It's markdown time again.
Or actually, it's pretty much been markdown time for a really long time. With disappointing movie related waves from Amazing Spider-Man, hard-to-find figures from the Captain America: Winter Soldier wave, a non-existent X-Men: Days of Future Past wave, and not-worth-full-price Transformers: Beast Hunter waves, it's been awhile since there's been a real draw for the local toy stores. Even the The Guardians of the Galaxy toy line failed to pull in huge numbers (but I think that's mostly because there didn't seem to be large numbers of them ordered).
Thor: The Dark World is another line that pretty much got buried really quickly in toy stores. I guess Thor just isn't as cool as giant robots or guys in steel underwear. Even I didn't want to pick them up, since they aren't made for collectors. G.I. Joe is a good line for collectors. Articulation is standardized, accessories are the norm, and price isn't crazy. Marvel 1:18 toys used to be on the same page, but lately it's been more miss than hit.
And the Thor: The Dark World were all pretty much miss.
I don't like many Japanese cartoons, also known to geekdom as anime, but I will occasionally find a series that floats my boat. Kill la Kill (or Kiru Ra Kiru on the Wikipedia page, which I'm pretty sure is just "kill la kill" with a racist accent) fits that bill.
Awesome fight scenes? check.
Big action set pieces? check.
School girl outfits with short skirts? check.
Huge scoops of fan service? check!
If you're not familiar with the series, it's another winner from the makers of Gurren Lagann, the anime that brought us Yoko Littner. Click the link. That should tell you pretty much what you're in for.
I've been a fan of these little guys since they made the Marvel versions a few years back. So far, I've been able to collect a lot of the series including the two Marvel sets, the Disney sets, the BokChoyBoy toys, and a few others. I was even tempted to get the NFL sets, but I may have missed my window there.
I'm glad that didn't happen with the first wave of DC self-buildable figures.
I honestly am not sure if these are knock off toys.
If they are, they're definitely "Class A" knock offs, because they are absolutely amazing considering I only paid about Php 2,000 (roughly $45) for them. But from what I see online, the "original" toys from the Unknown Chinese Toy Manufacturer cost about the same, so they could be original for all I know.
Either way, they are amazing.
The Robot Spirits is a toy line from Bandai that includes 12cm (about 6") mostly robots from various anime shows, those most of the figures are of Gundam robots. The articulation and level of detail in the series is unprecedented and most usually include a good assortment of accessories. If you're not a Gunpla geek who wants to build toys from scratch, then these present a really great option.
I would have been really into these toys if not for one thing: they're really pricey. Even the ones that don't include a lot of accessories run about Php 3,000. If you're looking at something with tons of armor and weapons (like the the Altron), then you're looking at something closer to Php 4,000.
But recently, I found out that the few figures that local stores have in stock are all on sale for something like 65% off! So this Gundam Age-1 Titus, which was Php 3,500 was bought at Php 1,200 ($30 US) at Glorietta Toy Town!
If you haven't been to Divisoria in Manila yet, it's an insane place where just about everything is available for incredibly low (most of the time anyway) prices. When Marvel Legends and DC Universe Classics were at the peak of their popularity, Divisoria was the place to go to find cheaper, low quality factory over-run and test shot figures you could use for customs. Or if you weren't too picky, could pass off as part of your collection.
Now, with the rise in the costs of plastic and the drop in market interest pretty much killing off the super-articulated action figure, other bootlegs are taking over. We saw a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stuff start popping up, Frozen toys, Megablocks, (always) Transformers, and the big ticket these days, LEGO minifigures.
If you've already read the article I posted about the Marvel Mixable Mashable Heroes from Mr. Potato Head, then you know pretty much all you need to know about the Transformers versions other than the characters that are available so far in the Philippines, which are Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock, and Starscream.
You'll also need to know that they're still a whole lot of fun, and great value for your money, especially for younger kids.