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RIP TRU

So that's it then. Toys R Us went into liquidation today, effectively the end of the big box toy store in America. Apparently, in Canada the chain is staying afloat, but who knows for how long.

I'm kind of saddened by this, but for other reasons. Mostly that my niece and nephew will probably never know what it's like to go into a store like Toys R Us and be overwhelmed by the size of it all. And that 33,000 working people lose their jobs. That's the worst part. And now the founder of the chain has passed away. I'm sure it's heartbreaking to watch a bunch of vultures swoop in and destroy the company you worked your entire life to build.

I'm indifferent as to what this does for collectors. My local TRU closed after Christmas 2014, and though I made several trips to the Cedar Rapids or Des Moines locations since, I don't think I've actually purchased anything at a TRU store since the GI Joe 50th Anniversary line offered the Battle Below Zero set. Or ma…

gimme that barge

Big Damn Barge

Hasbro revealed this bad boy at Toy Fair this year, Jabba's Sail Barge scaled for your 3.75" Star Wars figures. 4 feet long, and enough space for all the Jabba's menagerie figures you've collected since 1983. It's incredible, and possibly could be another jewel in the Star Wars crown.

It's an interesting experiment- Hasbro is seeking 5000 backers in the US only (so far) at $500 each to get one of these that will ship in April 2019. It's a Kickstarter model, and therefore Hasbro wants their money April 4th of THIS year. Otherwise, it doesn't get made. I can't blame Hasbro for mitigating their risk by asking for their money now. $2.5 million is a lot of money, and I'm willing to bet the tooling costs more than that.

I'd love to have one, obviously. I think the window is too short, but if they made it too long, it wouldn't happen. If there was an option to split up payments, I'd be in already. The GI Joe Collector's …

die force friday die

Just got back from the midnight release for The Last Jedi merchandise. I am sorely disappointed.
Went to the two local Wal-Mart stores to find Jedi Master Luke, a figure I've been waiting 35 years for. I count myself lucky to find it at the second store, since Hasbro saw fit to pack this figure one-per-case of twelve. And these stores have received exactly one case of this series so far. There are going to be a lot of incredibly disappointed people this weekend.

So I have to wonder- why bother with this super-hyped release date at all? The product isn't there, so why bother going for all this press coverage when nothing is there to be purchased? These last three launches have been awful. It's taking what little fun is left in collecting Star Wars toys and destroying it. Social media is blowing up with stories of scant product offering, unless of course you collect the Hot Wheels or Funko POP things.

I understand Disney wants to make it an event and I appreciate the effort,…

Star Wars Marvel Comics Figures!

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Here's some proof that Hasbro could get away with ANYTHING ten years ago.


2007 was probably the best year to collect Star Wars action figures. The stuff Hasbro was willing to try was amazing, the prices were reasonable, the vehicles were works of art, and you could, y'know, actually find the product.

Around this timeframe, Hasbro began offering Comic Packs- two figures plus a reprint of either a Marvel or Dark Horse comic book, the figures featured in the package from the included book.The idea was incredibly appealing to me, since I read the comics as well as bought the toys. These pictured here are from probably my favorite series they ever released, based on the first six issues of the Marvel series that ran from 1977 to 1986.

What sets these apart, obviously, are the absurd colors they're painted in. The strange shading on the Stormtrooper armor not to mention the red lenses on the helmets, the far-from-final Imperial uniform on Grand Moff Tarkin, a Chewbacca who appea…

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Filmation He-Man

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or He-Man 2.0 if you prefer.


Mattel offered this guy last year, and I missed it. I picked it up on eBay for a ridiculous markup, but so it goes, amirite? I always hoped Mattel would offer toys that looked more like the Filmation cartoon from the 1980s, and now their licensee Super 7 is going to town with that idea. More on that later.

This figure went on sale around February of last year, and as I said, I missed it. Mattel sold these exclusively through their MattyCollector.Com website, and more customers went away empty-handed than acquired the figure. Mattel relied on forced scarcity to sell these, and since 2009 I've collected this line. I made more purchases from eBay, Amazon, and online retailers than I did Mattel, because they were so hard to acquire. Most of these purchases were well after the figure had been released, and I bought most for far less than what Mattel charged for them. (You can see why the Matty website has folded and a boutique toymaker called Super 7 is mak…

thoughts on Rogue One

Finally acquired the Blu-Ray for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Soaked the movie in again, so hey, time to write a bunch of words about it that four people will read.

I think I'll start with Darth Vader, because why not. I was thinking as I watched it that the original idea was to save him for the end, where he ignited his lightsaber and took out all those Rebels while he was chasing down the Death Star plans. The meeting with Director Krennic seemed superfluous, though I guess it would have cheated us out of seeing Vader's ridiculously melodramatic castle on Mustafar, which has been something I've wanted to see for a while. Some concept art for Return of the Jedi featured an Imperial castle on a planet called Had Abbadon, and that was where all the stuff between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor was going to take place. Obviously, the idea was scrapped and all the action moved to the Death Star. Lucasfilm is well-known for reusing concepts later on, and I was stoked to see Dart…

GI Joe Collector's Club Big Boa

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Back in 2011, the GI Joe Collector's Club offered the first series of their Figure Subscription Service, a little thing intended to get into collector's hands those figures that Hasbro had no interest in offering. I've been a member for years now, since the Club offered Dial-Tone as a free membership figure, so that has to be 2010.

The Service costs around $400 for thirteen figures, so it's HUGELY expensive. I never bought in again after the first series, since the value to me isn't there. (I have no desire for repaints of Hasbro-made characters in international repaint colors, and that's what far too many figures are in each year, in my opinion.) The only reason I bought in was for Cover Girl and Big Boa, since I figured (rightly) that those two would be the most expensive on the secondary market. A cursory glance a eBay just now shows carded examples of these two at around $300 for the pair, which is damn crazy, but that's how it goes.

As a figure, thoug…

Transformers Generation 1 Kup

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I received Kup for Christmas in 1987. Pretty sure it was then, because I had the Targetmaster version pictured here. This is the Takara reissue from 2005, from the Transformers Collection. #20, to be exact, so one of the last ones before Takara started yet another reissue series in 2007, Encore. Anyway, back to Kup.

Kup was one of the new characters introduced in 1986's animated Transformers: The Movie, one of the high points in Transformers (from here, that's going to be abbreviated to TF) history, and still the only TF movie worth your time. My mother took me to see it after much pleading, and I'm sure it was the only weekend it played here locally. Not only did Optimus Prime die, the movie bombed so terribly that plans for theatrical releases of the GI Joe and My Little Pony movies were called off. I can't tell you what happened with My Little Pony, but GI Joe was released on video and broken up into pieces and aired on TV in 1987/88 with intros and outros (if that…