What Did I Get Now? - Dec 2020

Aug 7, 2021

It's Christmas!

Also, as I write this in Aug 2021, I realize I think I haven't really discussed the Covid 19 lockdowns much. And in part, that's to be expected, as this blog is about my toy collecting, not really about my life. And when I wrote the previous entry, nothing immediately came to mind about what happened in my life in November, but I was also only looking at the tweets with toy pictures in them, nothing else about life. But as I thought about what might have gone on in Dec, I recalled a bit more.

The lockdowns were largely uneventful for my family. We had concerns primarily for my father-in-llaw, who had some health struggles at the end of 2019. So at first we pretty strictly isolated ourselves to my wife and children, my wife's parents and their daughter and family that live with them (all cousins of the same age as my children), and my parents. I was the only one going into the office for most of 2020 so I didn't see people there. After a couple of months we expanded our circle to include my weekly hangouts with my cousin, since his family was being pretty careful as well.

As Thanksgiving approached, my mom got pretty concerned about too many circles intersecting and cross contaminating, so she called off the small, less than 15 people get together we had been planning on for the holiday. My wife and I discussed it and thought we could have an even smaller get together of my family and my parents, and I had a conversation convincing my mom of that. But pronouns being the inexact things they are, that led to Mom reinstating the previous get together. So we had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents, masked when not sitting down to eat, my family at one table, my sister and her husband at another, my parents and my mom's sister at a third. My parents served everything for everyone, all masked.

Anyway, I thought that meant we would resume our weekly dinners with my parents that we had done from late summer through fall, but after Thankgsiving my parents self-isolated until Christmas, when we managed to convince them to have a brief visit, then they resumed their isolating until they were able to get the vaccine in...I don't remember when it was...late February maybe? Early March?

So much upheaval through 2020, and yet simultaneously so much of it unmemorable. Salt Lake FanX was postponed a year (along with everything else, but FanX was the only big event I was going to), far less eating out, no theatrical movie releases until Spring 2021, no large family reunions, no crazy hectic summer schedules of the girls have swimming, then self defense classes (which they started like three weeks before everything shut down), no piano, no church meetings or weekly activities. But also, no real sicknesses in our family. We were largely unaffected by the pandemic, and we enjoyed the slowed down pace of life.

In many ways, I miss the calmness that my personal life was last year, now, but I also recognize that far more people were afraid and uncertain about so many things that just were not a worry for me. Summer 2021 has been much busier, but still much less than a normal year, but slowly getting back to normal. My cousin and I have seen quite a few movies in the theater, but many times we've been the only ones there. I look forward to Salt Lake FanX next month, and I hope it isn't postponed again, and while I also hope masks aren't necessary, as everyone I'm going with is fully vaccinated, it's at the same time not that big of a deal if we have to wear masks for it. If that's the price to pay in order to still have these conventions like we used to, so be it. And maybe there will be fewer attendees, maybe fewer vendors will show up, out of concern for the growing Covid variants, unless things are raging out of control here again like they were end of last year, I think we'll risk it without too much worry. We'll see.

Anyway, back to toys and what I got last year.

Like November, December was aslso a good time for Star Wars figures, both SH Figuarts and Star Wars Black 6" figures. The Mandalorian SHFs arrived! I got both the original look from the first two episodes, and the Beskar version, from episode 3 on.

The new waves of SWB6 continued hitting, so I was able to get Endor Han and Leia to go with last month's Luke, GameStop started reissuing some of their older Gaming Greats releases, so I was able to pick up Jango (which I only got because of how much I loved The Mandalorian, I've pretty much stopped collecting Prequel figures, except for clones) and a black clone trooper. And I found the Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary figures on clearance and decided to grab them – since with the release of the Endor versions of the main charactes, and the recent or upcoming releases of the main three in ANH looks, and how good the newer figures are, I decided to get the main three in at least one iconic look from each movie. So I got Bespin Han and Luke, and Hoth Leia (with Hoth Han and Luke coming in the near future). And I love nearly all Imperial designs, and the AT-AT drivers are a particular favorite, so since they were half off, I grabbed two. And Yoda, cuz I didn't want to leave only one figure on the pegs, and hey, it's Yoda. Got the Imperial Probe Droid right AFTER it went on clearance on Amazon and sold out, but still got it for a decent price. Grabbed Walmart exclusive Jedi Luke reissue, some loose TIE Fighter Pilots, and loose Target exclusive First Order Commander Pyre and Captain Cardinal. Oh, and two more of the Rebels reissues.

While on the subject of Star Wars, I got some books! Art of SW Video Game I Won't Play, and Art of SW Animated Show I Haven't Seen (though I WILL someday). JW Rinzler's Making of Return of the Jedi, finally completing that trilogy of books, and a fun book about the various lightsabers in the SW universe. Oh, and the Art of The Force Awakens I've been missing for years, because of a funny mixup where I INTENDED to buy Art of TFA and Art of The Last Jedi at the same time, but spaced the orders out by a few days and inadvertantly ordered Art of TLJ twice instead. So finally sold off the extra copy of that and bought Art of TFA. And finally, The Art of The Mandalorian, which is possibly the greatest show ever made. I love it so much.

Shifting gears from Star Wars (finally), there's a new Halo toyline by Jazwares. I'm a medium? fan of Halo. I've completed the first game a couple of times, played the first, IDK, quarter maybe? of Halo 3, completed maybe half of ODST, played a few multiplayer levels only on Halo 2, a bunch more multiplayer levels on ODST and Reach, and finally last year I played through all of Reach with my middle daughter. Wow, Halo Reach was a great game. Anyway, I collected the 5" McFarlane Halo line for a few waves, but abandoned it several waves before McF did. This new line is maybe 6"? Or maybe it's 6" scale, so the figures are 7"? IDK. Anyway, it's called The Spartan Collection, and I grabbed 3/4 of wave 1 and it's a kinda low-quality line. I did get Kat eventually, and since Emile is in wave 2, and he's the coolest looking of the Reach's Noble squad, I ended up buying all of wave 2 as well. I haven't opened wave 2 yet, and I assume they'll be similar quality to wave 1. I'll probably give wave 3 a chance too, but if it's a poor quality, then I'll be dropping the line, except MAYBE to pick up the rest of the Noble team.

Moving back to high quality figures, More SH Figuarts! I still pick up the Goku, Vegeta, or fusion SHF figures, so Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Vegito arrived from the p-Bandai store, along with the new Iron Man 1 Birth of Iron Man figures: Iron Man Mk I and Tony Stark. Also from p-bandai the Metal Build Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Hana version figure, which like the black Amastu Mina version from a few months ago is gorgeous, and yet has so many pointy/extendy bits that it's kind of a pain in the butt to mess with. but it's SO pretty. And finally, I got MAFEX Infinity War Thor, because the SHF version was expensive to find for a while, and this one has lightning effects. But (having not yet opened it) I suspect it's too large to fit in with my SHFs, so I should probably sell it off and hunt for a decent price on the SHF version. But I haven't yet (as of this writing).

Oh! And Black Widow Figuarts arrived in Dec! At that time, the movie didn't exist, but as of this writing Black Widow has finally been released, I've seen it three times and love it, and I intend to open the figures any day now.

And thusly ended what will go down as one of the most infamous and for many, cursed, years ever, 2020. For me, collectingwise, it ended with a bang. I got far too many toys this year, but eh, what else is new?
See you soon for continued updates on what I got...
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