Showing posts from 2006

Getting Matteled, again.

I love toys, and I especially love toys based on superheroes. I own all the Marvel figures I could possibly want, but DC characters- not so much. I can't see paying $16 and up for DC Direct figures. I own a few of them, but they aren't exactly amazing. I like my toys to be able to pull off more than one or two poses, and I like them cheaper.

Along comes Mattel with their DC Superheroes 6" scale line. My prayers are answered in the first two series. I have the obligatory Batman and Superman, but I also have Bizarro, Supergirl, Scarcrow, and kick-ass renditions of Bane and Doomsday.

But as Mattel often does, they take a golden oppotunity and screw the pooch on it. I've never seen the two most recent series on pegs locally, and of course, the exclusives in this line are impossible to find. Target stores have exclusive two-packs- Superman/Bizarro, Superman/Clark Kent, and Batman/Batgirl. Of course, the Superman/Bizarro set led off the line, and it still sits on shelves, h…

Superman Returns

If you don't already own this, well, you probably don't come to sites like this one.
This was my second favorite summer blockbuster this year, a close second only to Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest. Bryan Singer and the cast and crew of this movie did an excellent job in not only creating a new chapter in the already-established Superman-on-film continuity, but adding in a distinct flair of their own that brings it into the 21st century.

The story picks up after Superman II (the producers have decided to ignore that III and IV ever happened, to their benefit.) Superman has been gone from Earth for about five or six years, searching for the remnants of Krypton, which some astronomers believe they've found. The world went to Hell for a time, and eventually, people learned to live without Superman always being around. Lois Lane even wrote an editorial for the Daily Planet entitled "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman" for which she is nominated fo…

Star Wars Saga Legends

Repacked Star Wars figures coming out next year.

And I thought I was going to be done with Star Wars forever. Here, Hasbro is finally opening the floodgates on the figures us fans have wanted again for years- the foreign-only Pit Droids, Dark Troopers, TC-14, VTSC Biker Scout, AOTC Clone Officers, and even some droids that were pack-ins with exclusives.
Of course, those I listed above were all chosen by fans. The ones that Hasbro picked for the Saga Legends line leave a lot to be desired. (Does anyone really want to see that particular Anakin Skywalker mold again?) But still, good on them for getting a plain-white AOTC Clone and some TPM and AOTC Battle Droids out again.

With all this neat stuff coming out again, Star Wars might move to being my favorite line to collect again.

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

If there's one good thing about all those Christmas shoppers, it's that they clear out the pegs of old stuff so all the new stuff can be put on shelves.

For the last few weeks, I've been hunting like a madman for the last pieces I needed for my Toy Biz Marvel collection. With Hasbro taking over next year and me not continuing on to that (I've seen packaged pics, and the toys suck) I'm going to end with TB's last series, 15- the Modok wave. I first found this wave in early November, and I bought the ones I could- I found the variants of Captain Marvel, Moon Knight, and Spider-Woman, and I also picked up the regular edition of Wasp and the only Beta Ray Bill that was there (BTW, he's the only figure in the series without a variant.) I still lacked Thor Buster Iron Man and the regular Spider-Woman, but I managed to find them tonight, as well as Electro from the Spider-Man line. So now, my Marvel collection is done. I didn't buy everything, and I did buy som…

big week

I've scored a lot of new swag this week. Firstly, I found the Classics Jetfire at my local Wal-Mart. It was on the top shelf among several Primes and Megatrons and another Jetfire, and I had to ask one of the people working there to get one down. They left the other one up there, clueless that the other one could sell in minutes if they put it with the other Voyager-sized Classics. But, to everyone else, TFs are all the same. I brought him home, and he's the best in the line. I say that even though I don't own Grimlock and Mirage yet. There's just no way they can live up to this dude's awesomeness. And, he's much cheaper and prettier than the G1 Jetfire.
All good to me.

Then my order from BBTS came in. I ordered the first wave of the rereleased Heroes of Cybertron PVCs. I love these things, and apparently, I'm the only one who does. Some see it as "morally wrong" to own Transformers that don't transform, but really, these guys have a charm all …

G1 Swoop prototype


I want to think that this is Tomy/Takara's work, and that the Dinobots are finally going to be reissued. But then, if it was official, Grimlock would likely be the first one out of the gate. Or it could be a prototype for the World's Smallest TFs line.

But I'm thinking it's one of those high-quality bootlegs that have been coming out of China for the last few years. These boots look exactly like the official product, and the releases have been eclectic, to say the least. They've (whoever the are)offered Optimus Prime, of course, but then they've done Soundwave's cassettes and Seaspray, and others that I'm forgetting.

Swoop is the hardest Dinobot to acquire either boxed or loose, so I'd expect this one to be difficult to obtain if it is a bootleg.

Transformers: The Movie 20th Anniversary Special Edition

Go buy this. Now. Even if you have the Rhino version. Sony has given the treatment that the Transformers always deserved on DVD but never got with this set.
I picked it up this week, and loved it. The colors are much brighter and richer this time around, owing to Sony's painstaking restoration. On the first disc, you'll see a side-by-side comparison with the Rhino version, and it's like night and day.

My favorite special feature has to be the old toy commercials. Most of them a re from Japan, but they're so deliciously strange to American audiences, so they have to be seen to be believed. There weren't very many American ones, but I assume that those are being saved for Sony's rerelease of the G1 TV series next year. Hopefully that will have as much time and effort put into its restoration as well as some color-correcting.

This package is on two discs- the first disc is a widescreen presentation of the film, while the second is fullscreen. I like my movies to be…

Punisher: MAXed out.

I am so buying that little Punisher fella. Only in America can a gun-toting maniac with a kill count equal to Genghis Khan get his visage on something meant for preschoolers.

Yep, that'll be the newest "it" thing for hipsters who love irony to own next year.

Soundwave on eBay


Looks like Hasbro's is using the Soundblaster mold after all. Makes me glad I spent the cash for an original G1 Soundwave now.

It's still a good purchase, though. I won't worry about getting the TFC Soundblaster now, plus I get a Ravage and Laserbeak in this package, which are about $30 each on ebay. Now if he'd just show up here.

I'm glad Hasbro is offering this reissue. He needed to be in a line like Classics, but if he's anything other than a tape player, people complain. Since they wanted to keep close to G1 with this line (Megatron being a gun, Prime being a recognizable semi) this was their only option- a G1 reissue.

Soundwave = great.

I guess he's being reissued after all.

I'm asking for one for Christmas. I got my original on Chrsitmas Day 21 years ago, so it would be great to get this then. I'm not sure if it's using the Soundblaster mold as many have figured Hasbro would use for it, but I'm beginning to hope that they didn't. There's no pics on ebay yet that confirm it either way.

The bots are back

A keen article from the Boston Globe about the Transformers- read it before it disappears.

It's nice to see the Transformers getting some mainstream press attention. I can't wait to buy a TIME magazine with Optimus Prime on it now.

New name. Huzzah! and such

Yep. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Like "Dungeons & Dragons" only a name I can use legally. (Unless there's a game out there called Swords & Spaceships, in which case, AWWW FUCK.)

Updates coming soon, I hope.

Transformers Classics

I'm really looking forward to this line. Basically, Hasbro's taken classic G1 characters and their alt modes and recreated them, to a great effect.

Have a look.

There's also a great version of Optimus Prime coming in this line that looks damn close to his original G1 counterpart. Clicky.
A lot of fans aren't liking this, for some reason. They're screaming that it's the RobotMasters version, which is a line that only came out in Japan, so most US fans don't own them.

Plus, in other TF news, it looks like us US fans are finally getting a crack at a Soundwave reissue. Nooz is here. I can see that TRU's gouging on these continues, since the price listed is $30, but considering what any vintage or reissue Soundwave goes for on ebay, that's quite fair. (I paid $60 for a loose vintage Soundwave last winter. It came with his guns and missiles, but no tapes.) I'll bet Hasbro ends up using that Soundblaster mold for it, which is great, but Soundblaster was ne…

SDCC Quick-Hit #1

I'd do some in-depth commentary, but I had a great run of writing tonight.


Sideshow's take on Jabba the Hutt. It'll cost about $375 to get the complete set, which is completely out of the question for me. It's neat as hell, but where would I put it?

I'm glad that Sideshow put this out now, so it will prevent me from becoming a completist with this line. I'd consider just getting Jabba and the creatures (I could get those for about $150), since I could make a dais out of foamcore. But, Sideshow, the devilish bastards, stuck the pipe and bowl in with the dais. So that breaks the deal.

Still, it's gnarly to see them take on something so ambtious. I want to see their rendition of an armored Darth Vader and Boba Fett now. :)

Masters of the Universe LIVES!

which is a good thing.

More on SDCC later. I was just happy to see MOTU continuing on this strong.

all good things...

Out Sept. 19th. Yay!

Pirates of the Caribbean by Zizzle

Since I absolutely loved the newest Pirates flick, Dead Man's Chest, I did what every other overeager toy collector does- bought toys.

I had two choices- NECA's 7" scale stuff, which are $13-15 each, or Zizzle's 3.75" toys, which are about $5-6 each and in my favorite scale.

I picked up Prison Escape Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, and Pirate Disguised Elizabeth Swann. Great stuff all around. They're a lot like Star Wars toys from around 2001- great body sculpts with accurate costumes, but not quite there on faces. But these are great for the scale, price, and the fact they're from a new player in the game, called Zizzle.

Here's the current lineup.

If Zizzle goes back and does figures from Curse of the Black Pearl, and also does toys from the next sequel, At World's End, they'll have a hit on their hands.
Here's series 2 of Dead Man's Chest.

I'm impressed. They're doing playsets in this line, which is awesome. I've heard about them …

Sideshow Anakin Skywalker- quickie

I picked up the newest piece from Sideshow's 12" Star Wars line yesterday. I have some gripes.

Firstly, the right arm. It probably looked good on paper to do it this way, but the execution wasn't all that. The arm becomes detached above the elbow, and the brown undershirt prevents the peg from getting back in the hole easily. I trimmed the brown undershirt so it would fit around the arm, then I tucked it back and rolled down the black tunic to the guantlet. I wasn't happy about having to do that, but you can't tell by looking at it, and it looks better this way.

Secondly, the lips. They look as if Anakin was raiding Padme's lipstick stash. Sideshow has mentioned that they recognize that they are a problem, and should be fixed by the time the SDCC exclusive Darth Vader comes out. (It's just this regular Anakin with yellow Sith eyes, but I put my name on the Wait List for one anyway.) Maybe they'll fix that undershirt problem too.

I'll get to the good …

Sideshow Darth Maul

Wow. This will likely be Sideshow's best-selling figure ever, at least until they do Darth Vader in his armor.

I like the idea of the Inclusive Edition. It pretty much means I'll have a better chance of acquiring the exclusive version, which is getting to be a sore spot when it comes to this awesome line.

It goes up for preorder this Thursday, but since I have a few days in which to order, I can actually wait until I'm ready to order instead of making sure I'm at my computer at 9:59 AM hitting refresh until the preorder comes up and then just getting a Cannot Find Server page instead of cool stuff.

Kotobukiya C-3PO and R2-D2

I'm not a big fan of statues and such in my collection, but for this, I might make an exception...

It's one of the first images seen of them, so they're not up for preorder anywhere. I expect they'll cost the same as other Koto kits- $90-100. It's an impressive piece, and to locate a series of Hasbro's figures will cost me that much in gas. But I really don't want to start another series of uber-expensive Star Wars collectibles, after starting Sideshow's line last month.

Koto's Slave Leia looks pretty groovy too:

Kotobukiya has done a huge line of Star Wars vinyl model snap-kits for the last few years. Each kit is imported, which drives the price to about $100. But their work has to be seen to be believed. Their Darth Maul and ROTS Clone Trooper are freaking amazing works of art. And like all good art, it comes at a price. Those who own them dig them, but they aren't my cup of tea. I might break from that trend for R2 and 3PO, though.

DC Superheroes by Mattel

Holy crow, I'm actually impressed with a Mattel product. The universe should be collapsing about now.

I just received the second wave of these today from BBTS. Buy from them. They're awesome. This wave features all Superman characters- Supergirl, Bizarro, Doomsday, and Superman himself.

The point of the DC Superheroes line is to capitalize on the high interest in superheroes right now, plus to get a line of DC characters out that can compete with Marvel Legends.
Well, they don't really come close, and yet I find them better in some ways than the great ML line.

I own nearly every figure that Toy Biz has made in the Marvel Legends line. I love that line, and it's easily one of the greatest toylines in geek history. But I do find the figures overarticulated, and a lot of the earlier figures had entirely too much paint wash. (This problem is very apparent on series 10's Cyclops.) The DC Superheroes don't have any of those problems. While they aren't nearly as art…

Sideshow Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker

I'd show you a picture, but since this Blogger photo software sucks shit, you'll have to go without.

I picked one of these up this weekend (let's hear it for tax returns and the squandering of them...) and, in short, I love it.

It's shot right to the top of my single favorite Star Wars collectible. Which is hard, yet simple, to do. Most of my SW collection consists of Hasbro's action figures and other cheap knick-knacks. I decided to cut back on buying figures I didn't want so much, and to bring some higher-end stuff into my collection. I clearly can't afford prop replicas, but when I saw that Sideshow had sublicensed the 12" figure line from Hasbro, I was intrigued. I'd always wanted to collect Hasbro's sixth-scale offerings, and I have a few, but they were really cheap and sometimes, hideous. But Luke here blows everything Hasbro's ever done right out of the water.

And he should, since he was three times the price of Hasbro's line. Luke …

Stop the presses and shave the paperboy.

I'll update soon, hopefully with a piece about 90s superhero toys. Mostly Batman movie toys and Spawn stuff.

It's only been a month since the last update, what's a couple more weeks, right? ;)

cheap Funskool shit.

I bought about $12 worth of 99 cent Funskool Joes through last weekend. I got them today, ad opened the ones I intended to. Buzzer's t-bar (the par that connects the legs with the o-ring) snapped at the hook, rendering the figure useless. Zarana's right arm seperated at the elbow, a common problem with Funskool Joes.

I mainly bought this lot for accessories and carded figures, but that stuff just gets annoying. I have better vesions of Buzzer and Zarana from the recent comic packs, so it's not that big of a deal. It's just hard to resist Joes for less than a buck on vintage-ish cards. I did get all of Scrap-Iron's accessories, which kicks ass.

I got Flint, Airtight, Zarana, Road Pig, Buzzer, Scrap-Iron, and Barbecue for my carded collection. Sweetness.

If you're looking to buy old Joes, avoid Funskool's crap unless you need cheap accessories.

Star Wars is Forever.

My passion for Star Wars toys has been rekindled. I've had a great run of luck finding them the last few weeks, and nothing beats the high of finding these and bringing them home.

Thanks to a few Mega Buy packs at TRU, my Revenge of the Sith collection is close to totally complete. I wish I could have afforded to get some more carded figures, Obi-Wan and Anakin in particular, but this summer was pretty difficult, and I was lucky to keep my bills paid up, eat, and have a bit of money to get what I could from this line.

The new Saga Collection has been difficult to keep up on, but there's only one figure I want that I currently lack, and that's not bad for three waves of figures. Here again, I'd like to get some carded figures, but the $6-7 price tag on each kind of kills that. Damn expensive oil.

These things are still fun, so what the hell. The year ahead for Star Wars toys looks great, I just wish retailers felt the same way.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Season 1 Volume 1

This is, quite possibly, the finest DVD set I have ever purchased. Six discs, two art cards, and a beautifully-colored package that lets you know whoever designed it had an obvious love for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

I had an update about this a few weeks back, but it disappeared and I can’t recover it. But we’ll try again.

This set encompasses the first 33 episodes of the first season of the Filmation show called “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.” Filmation is a notable company because they were one of the last studios to keep animation in America instead of farming it out to Korea. In order to do this, they need a vast stock footage library, and that is one of the things you’ll notice while watching these cartoons- the repetitiveness of animation.
The animators needed to build this stock footage quickly, so Filmation hired a bunch of bodybuilders to walk around and fight, and the animators basically drew on top of that. I guess it also explains why Teela has such …

Name change!

I began to find the original title to be a little wonky, so I shortened it. I wasn't getting any submissions, so I dropped the 'You' part. I'll still accept anything, so fret not, true believers. Just remember you're paid in no-prizes that I forget to mail out.

I went to my folks' house this weekend and rescued my brothers' Beast Wars Transformers. Their old toys aren't as well-kept as my collection (though I aim to change that) but I knew they'll want these, so rather than let them rot in a hot attic, I brought them to my place. I cleaned them up and tried finding their accessories, but they're missing most of them. They have some real gems like Optimus Primal, Scorponok, and Rattrap, who seems to go for an insane amount on ebay right now. For right now, these are going to chill with my other TFs, and maybe a group shot is in order.

In other TF news, I finally bought and received that G1 Astrotrain. He's a pretty cool triple changer, though h…

NES- 20 years old this month.

Yes, it is.

Rather than me blathering on about that fact, wouldn't you rather watch this 45 minute clip of geeks talking about it? They mostly talk about the games throughout the movie, but they hit on all the greats. If you don't mind the format of VH1's I Love the 80's format and have a high speed connection, I'd watch it.

The Lord of the Rings by Toy Biz: a retrospective.

First of all, I must thank all at Toy Biz for such a great toyline. Who would have thought that in this day and age, a line of six-inch action figures could have gone on this long, especially when the said line is based on a movie (or in this case, a trilogy.)

I remember the first time I saw these at TRU in August 2001 in their big green half-moon boxes. I had never seen such well-executed toys. They had everything- great sculpts and actor likenesses, spot-on paint, and they even had action features! This line was clearly being marketed towards older collectors and kids who wanted cool toys.
I bought the first two waves, except Strider whom I wouldn’t find until the next year.
As I looked at them, I was just thinking “man, this trilogy is going to kick ass.”
I was right about that. When the movie opened, lord help you to find these things at retail. Well, you could probably find stinkers like Newborn Lurtz and Orc Overseer pretty easily, but to hell with finding Frodo, Legolas, or Strider…

2006 Toy Fair

Some of my favorite stuff from this year's Toy Fair. All in all, an awesome year ahead, one that's going to make my bank account sweat.

Firstly, some new GI Joes.
I like the new Airtight, Night Viper, and Lady Jaye. I really can't recall who the rest are, though. It might have helped if Hasbro had put some tags in front of the figures saying who they were.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
There's some neat stuff here. It's really hard to get hold of locally, since no retailer sells them with any regularity. I have to order mine online. Plus these aren't very cheap, which is why I have less than half of what DST has issued.

Star Trek.
Finally, some Next Generation figures. I'll gamble these will be as hard to find as the Buffy line, since it's made by the same company, DST. It looks like Thomas Riker is a repaint of Will Riker, which clearly works, but I'd hate to see DST go overboard with this idea and do the Playmates Thing where the a lot of figures …

same Bat-time, same Bat-channel...

Well, I had a great update about the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD set, but it appears to have disappeared. I mean, it only took me a fucking hour to compose the post. Stupid Blogger software. It's been fucked up all weekend, and it might be sometime until I get that post back together. But rest assured, it will be.

Anyway, the next review is likely to be Marvel Legends series 12, since I recently scored half of that wave and the other half can't be far behind.

Masters of the Universe Stinkor mini-statue.

Finally, Stinkor makes his appearance in the modern MOTU form, but not as you'd hope.

Here he is beside his vintage counterpart. The first thing you'll notice is that this new figure doesn't have the smell of patchouli oil, that hippie stuff that made the original figure have its smell that still hasn't worn off after 22 years. Instead, this new figure smells heavily of the resin and plastic used to make him.

The paint apps are beautiful, and just about the only redeeming quality to this 'staction' idea. There's shading in all the appropriate places, and a dull finish all around except for his eyes, which has a glistening wet look to them. It looks great.

This new Four Horsemen (the great guys repsonsible for most of the updated MOTU looks) design incorporates an oxygen tank, since apparently even Stinkor can't stand his own smell. His only detachable accessory is the blue shield, which plugs into a hole on his left arm. It stays in there pretty well, and…

Behold, Galvatron! part 1

He's big, he's expensive, and he's purple. If his name wasn't Galvatron and if he wasn't a Transformer, no one would care.

This is the newest reissue from Takara, the Japanese makers of Transformers. I acquired this sample from Big Bad Toy Store, the best source for Transformers and the best prices I've seen, plus they're the best online store I've ever purchased from. (I wonder if I'll get a kickback for that plug. :) )

This particular reissue didn't come in one of those goofy white boxes with the Pat Lee art. This guy instead came in a long purple box nearly identical to his first issue in Japan, just this time with some art I've never seen before.

I like this better than those white boxes, even if I can't read a word on the box besides Takara's logo.

Galvatron is much, much bigger than his previous incarnation, Megatron.

Galvatron does look better in robot mode than Megatron does, in my opinion. I think most of the movie-era Transform…

Behold, Galvatron! part 2

I think the Matrix included with Galvatron is just a tweaked version of the one that was included with the New Year Prime a few years ago. I fit the Matrix into my Hasbro reissue Prime, and it's quite snug:

Galvatron's alt mode is that of a futuristic (futuristic to 1986, anyway) Unicron-designed cannon, since a handgun probably wasn't a good idea. (Though he turns in to a child-sized handheld laser gun too, but it doesn't look nearly as real as Megatron does.)

I say it looks like a cannon, but I'm sure there's some out there that think he looks like a marital aid. To those people, I pity you.

Galvatron also features battery-operated sounds. One is a laser blast. Five more are Japanese orders in an angry voice. And the last is that great transforming sound. It's fun to bug people with it and make them think you're immature.

This is a pretty kick-ass toy, I must say. It was mightily expensive ($80), but if you want cool foreign toys and don't want to dea…

Get the DiC GI Joe series on to DVD

Yeah, it was never as good as the Sunbow series, but it still has its place in Joe history. (Plus it's better than the Sigma 6 cartoon.)

Email with your kindly-worded desires to see this series on DVD.

More info and banners for your website can be found here.

C'mon, man, you know you want to. Ninja basketball! Neon-clad soldiers! Range Vipers! Serpentor turning into a lizard! You know you dig it.

G1 Galvatron- my first impressions

I'm going to wait until I get a camera for an in-depth review, but I just had to blather on about this thing now that I finally have one.

First off, he's huge. Almost as tall as Ultra Magnus, which is pretty damn big. About a foot, more or less. He towers over most of my Transformers, but I really don't care. Part of the thing of being a G1 fan is you learn to forgive height differences and the fact that Megatron, who stood taller than Starscream in robot form, could be held in Starscream's hand while in gun mode. Scale is the second thing to go out the window after your money.

I figured out the transformation pretty easily, even though the instructions are in Japanese. G1 transformations are easy. You just have to do it once, and you'll know it for the rest of your life. I could be 80 years old and forgotten how to control my bladder and bowels, but you can bet your ass I'd remember how to transform Optimus Prime and Soundwave.

I love the battery-powered sounds i…

Serenity Malcolm Reynolds and 'Mercenary' Jayne by DST

I have never spent more money on shittier figures in my life.

We'll start with Jayne, since I wanted this figure the most and was really let down by it.
Mercenary Jayne's arms are completely immobile. Not just at the shoulders, but also at both elbows, upper arms, and wrists. His knees are pretty much fused as well. The only articulation points that work are the feet and the neck. He holds his myriad of weapons well, if you can get them in his hands. The head sculpt looks OK, better than Mal, anyway. All in all, I can't believe I spent $20 on this figure.

Mal fares a little better, but not much. Both his shoulders don't move, but at least his elbows bend and his wrists twist. The legs and head move properly as well.
His hands aren't sculpted well, at all. Only by the will of God is he holding his revolver as he stands here on my desk.
The face sculpt doesn't even resemble Mal or Nathan Fillion at all.

The paint on both of them looks OK (though it needs a little m…