Hey, it's that time again. I heard internet rumors that series 8 figs were popping up in stores around the US, so I checked out my local Fred Meyers where I can usually get some good deals. And they had four boxes! Woot! (Actually, it sounded like they had 10+ as of a few days ago, but now they're down to four. There's a rabid AFOL crowd around here, I guess.) I helped some less-obsessive-than-me people find some of the figs they wanted (specifically, a fairy) and then I looked for some of my own. Since I really don't have lots of moneys, I limited my take to 6 figs, although I could've probably found a whole batch if I wanted. (Plus, 20% off coupon for toys... glad I checked the coupon booklet!)
So here's a quick glance at some of the ones I got. Might do a full review later, depending on if I can collect all of these.
Man-Bat: Pretty cool. The new arms are awesome, although more of a pain to pose than regular arms due to their angle. I guess that's a sacrifice to make for the wings. Yes, I realize it's almost a copy of the ones from the monster fighter sets, but that theme ripped off the Collectible figs pretty badly, so it's payback for Series 8.
Diver: OMG SO AWESOME. Printing on both front and back of torso, and 2 1x1 tiles on the feet to represent boots. But the helmet... oh the helmet. So detailed, and so LARGE. And I was surprised that there was a glass screen and not just an opening. Best part; the screen actually magnifies the minifig's face. I wouldn't say no to getting a couple of duplicates of him. I expect this one to be the star of the series.
DJ: Detailed tiles are neat. Although the lettering on the album is pretty illegible, IMO. (Also, records? They're certainly appealing to the AFOLs on this one. Heck, they're even too old for me... a classic would be a cassette tape.) Hair with headphones is win. Gonna make a self-fig to represent my sign-off now.
Conquistador: Another historical fig, and ideally it could be as big as the Spartan or Roman. But he seems just a tad boring. Printed armor is great, but the only new mold is the helmet, which isn't super amazing. Don't get me wrong; its not a bad fig, but I don't think it'll be as popular as the Spartan or Roman. (See, I guessed that the Gladiator would be the biggest hit and I was wrong, so I don't think this guy will be either now.)
Alien Queen: OMG, so awesome. Okay, to be fair, no new parts, but lots of new colors. 1x1 round stud in trans pink, which is new to this year (found in a Friends set and a SW set, that's all). Purple capes, rare and a plus. Lime alien head has new printing, and the trans skull piece is in trans pink this time. Plus, solid pink minifig head, first time. Parts are awesome. Oh, and I guess the fig looks cool too. It'll certainly fit in with Alien Conquest.
Fairy: Well, I thought she was most light blue, but here color scheme is closer to medium green. Cute female face, and I love the trans wings. Still not a fan of the hair element, but it's in a nicer color this time. Also not a fan of the skirt, would almost prefer it printed on as opposed to the swimsuit print we get instead.
Anyway, I was able to locate these 6 to 100% accuracy so far, so yay for that. During my search I also located the evil robot (by his laser bar), pretzel boy (by the pretzel), football player (by his visor), businessman (by his suitcase), cheerleader (by her hairpiece... the pom poms do throw me off), Shakespeare (by the 2 heads and collar), and the pirate (by the feather and cutlass.) I didn't manage to locate the cowgirl, santa, or the skier (who I want).
Still, I must say that I am impressed with this series. People seem to complain that it's not up to standards as some of the other waves, but the new parts in the Alien Queen an Fairy plus the amazing details on the conquistador and diver show that this isn't a push-over series. Sure, some people complain about the repeats. (Why would you need a second cheerleader... unless she's rooting for the opposing team?) Some collectors might not want another skier, but people who missed out on the first one or who appreciate the same idea done in a different style can still enjoy it. And there are still rather original designs like the diver or pretzel boy that continue to make this a cool line. I'm not going to say it's the best, but I'm far from disappointed with it.
Anyway, I still want the cheerleader, skier, and Shakespeare figs, and then maybe the rest to complete the collection. I wouldn't say no to a second diver or alien queen either, and I might pick up some extras for trading later on. (I have a small collection from series 5, 6, and 7 that I've set aside for trades) Or maybe I'll only get the ones I really want because I am kinda broke right now and should be saving up for Helms Deep instead.