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Friday, November 30, 2007

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!



1938 to 2007

While I'm talking about Superman...



This just arrived in the mail. The last piece (unless Hasbro releases Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch) to my collection of Hasbro 9 inch "Mego Like" figures. I don't consider myself a "completist" but there are a few that I want to see completed in my entire collection, and this was one of them. So here's a list of figures from Hasbro's DC and Marvel lines if anyone cares to do the same:

DC Super heroes Silver Age Collection:
1) Aquaman
2) Green Arrow
3) Green Lantern
4) Batman Removable Mask (Target Exclusive)
5) Superman (Target Exclusive)
6) "Dick Sprang" Batman and Robin Set (Hasbro Toy Shop Internet Exclusive)

JLA Collection:
7) Martian Manhunter (Kay Bee Exclusives)
8) Superman Blue (Kay Bee Exclusives)

DC Comics Collection:
9) Guardian of Gotham Batman/Bruce Wayne, 1st release "Blue Gloves Version" (Target Exclusive)
10) Guardian of Gotham Batman/Bruce Wayne, 2nd release "Black Gloves Version" (Target Exclusive)
11) The Joker (Target Exclusive)
12) The Penguin (Target Exclusive)
13) The World's Greatest Hero Superman/Clark Kent (Target Exclusive)

Other DC Comics:
14) Batman Beyond
15) Batman Master Piece Edition - 1st Appearance Batman

Marvel Spider-Man Origins Signature Series - Series 1
16) Red and Blue Costume Spider-Man
17) Black Costume Spider-Man
18) Doctor Octopus
19) Green Goblin

Marvel Spider-Man Origins Signature Series - Series 2
20) Captain America
21) Wolverine
22) Dare Devil
23) Iron Spider-man

Marvel Spider-Man Origins Signature Series - Exclusives
24) First Appearance Spider-Man (Target Exclusive)
25) The Punisher (Target Exclusive)

Marvel Legends Signature Series
26) Cyclops
27) Sand Man
28) Mr. Fantastic (to date unproduced)
29) Human Torch (to date unproduced)

It's getting closer...





I cannot wait for this DVD to be released. And according to various sources it's going to have a regular version and a two disk version with extras! Click on each of the pics to go to DC Comics New Frontier Page and the Warner Home Video Page.

That is all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

DC Minimates: Green Lantern and Star Star Sapphire



I can't believe this is my first real post about Minimates! I know some do not care for these smaller versions of their favorite heroes, but I truly love these things. I was hooked when they first arrived on the scene and they were much taller. Then when the Marvel ones came around in the new scale it was all out Minimate Madness!

So to kick things off is a recent set I picked up at the local comic dive. I had been waiting on these new DC Minimates, I figured I would order them online in sets, but never really got around to doing it, so this is officially my first set of the new DC Minimates. You will note that there are some DC Minimates that have surfaced prior to these new ones, the C3 line, I do have most of those, but these are the newer comic versions, so totally different series all together.

I think I dig Minimates so much because they remind me of the Kubrick line from Japan and I always thought it was about time we did something smaller and better than Japan. By smaller these are at least a half inch smaller than the Kubricks, at about two inches tall, and by better they have at least 14 points of articulation to the Kubrick's 8 POA!

Anyway I was picking up a comic and saw Hal Jordon here and thought, why not. He comes with a little power lantern to charge his ring and a villain to fight. Truth be told I was looking for the Hawkman / Hawkgirl two pack and this was the next best thing they had in stock and I needed a Minimates fix.

Still, it's a pretty damn cool Green Lantern figure, and he can hang with my Marvel Minimates until more DC reinforcements show up!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Magic Grocery Store



I have been away too long! So, here's an update, that a few might have already heard about, but hey, I like the story.

I call it the tale of the Magic Grocery Store. It begins on the eve of the Great Turkey Feast, Thanksgiving of course, since we had the meal covered twice the following day we really didn't have to do much in prep work the night before, so we set about to run a few errands. See every Thanksgiving we wake up, hang about the house in the morning before going to the in-laws for a Thanksgiving lunch, then that evening we head for my folks home to have another round of turkey. Why we don't just do one big, all out, Turkey Day is beyond me, it has always been done this way and probably always will (well except for the one year we skipped town to go to a parade). So needless to say we try our best to starve ourselves the night before, just kidding.

Well upon returning home that eve, I realized we had no breakfast supplies to get us through the parade, nothing heavy mind you, cereal, milk, a donut maybe. Well I jumped back into the auto and struck out to the grocery store, the same one that has yielded such toy treasures as the Hotwheels 1966 Batmobile, various JLU figures, and the most recent Star Wars Dark Trooper. So of course anyone who knows me also knows I always check the toy aisle on the way out.

Last time I was at the store they really didn't have much, I remember seeing a Vigilante figure from the JLU series, but already had him, so I left him on the peg. Well as I came down the aisle I saw a Vigilante were I had last left him, but the pegs seemed like they were just stocked up, so I stopped. Right behind the Vigilante was the Shade! Holy Crap, I needed this guy for the collection, what great luck I thought as I picked him up. right behind the Shade was none other than this guy staring back at me...



That's right Blue Freaking Devil! For those, like my parents, that peruse the blog every great while and are not versed in the Justice League Unlimited toy line, Blue Devil is extremely hard to find, I would rank it up there as next to impossible. He's considered rare, I guess, if a modern toy could be considered rare he would be it. I'm not sure if it's because Mattel's distribution on this figure is wacky, if because only collectors like this guy, or if he wasn't made in any great quantity, who knows, he's hard to find.

So right after I woke up from passing out, in the middle of the toy aisle I might add, the first thing that popped into my mind was "wouldn't it be great if they had another one, so my buddy Rob, at the Aquaman Shrine, could have one for his collection. Well as if the Magic Grocery Store read my mind I picked up Blue Devil and right behind him was another Blue Devil. All told that day I saw three of the little blue critters hanging on the pegs, I left the third for the toy gods, want to keep the good karma you know.

Well the story doesn't end there. As I was checking out the lady at the cash register had problems with the price, okay I knew these things were about six bucks, but I didn't know the exact amount, that wasn't good enough. "PRICE CHECK!" and a bagger stepped forward, grabbed the Shade and ran back towards the toy aisle. He was gone forever, when he suddenly came out of nowhere and said "$3.89!" The cashier looked at me and said "See. So you got three of 'em, right?"

Yes, yes I did...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Medicom 1/6th Scale Sandtrooper



I've been waiting a while to show off this weeks Stormtrooper of the Week. I had pre-ordered him on my Birthday earlier this year and three months after that he arrived, right in the middle of the house remodel. So he has sat patiently in his box till I could get a chance to shoot some photos. This is the 2007 "30th Anniversary Exclusive" Medicom RAH Sandtrooper. Released by Medicom Toys of Japan and distributed through Sideshow.

This year I had saved up some money and like I said it was my Birthday, so I said what the hell and purchased him. Medicom is usually way out of my price range, but I figured if I was going to buy one (the second in my collection, the first being a gift) this would be the one. I can tell you I am pretty happy with this trooper. Medicom is obviously known for their detail, but the level of articulation is crazy, though most of it is hindered by the armor. when I first saw pictures of these I was like most and could have sworn I was looking at one of the actors in a costume.



For some reason I have always been drawn to the Sandtroopers, ever since I saw them on the big screen for the first time, especially the ones with the orange shoulder paldrons. Must be something about the grit and grime covered trooper with all the extra gadgets? The Sandtroopers are really my favorite of the Stormtroopers, and next to Boba Fett, probably my favorite of the characters from the Star Wars Universe.

This trooper comes with his standard issue survival pack, a blaster rifle, and an extra set of hand to get some pretty cool posses (my favorite hand has to be the thumbs up), plus a clear stand just in case you want to keep him from tipping over, which he stands pretty good on his own. The box, like the Stormtrooper box, is pretty much no thrills, but gets the job done. The cool thing is that the box has all the people responsible for design, sculpting, etc. listed on the back, plus some information about the trooper listed inside the fifth panel. Always cool to see the artists get the credit they deserve, I just hope they got some of the profit from this guy.

Well enough talky, here's some pics, enjoy!



Star Trek: The Menagerie on the Big Screen!



Well I gave in and went to one of the showings of Star Trek the Menagerie! I had a good time, it was kind of weird seeing the show on the big screen, even though it was basically an extended commercial for the release of the new HD series one set. The Menagerie has never really been my all time favorite episode, but having actually sat through it and watched it in this format, I do, now have an appreciation for it.

So here are some the things I liked. The fly by of the Enterprise where the camera comes over the bridge and there is a pass through where you see everyone on the bridge and it zooms in so you can see what's going on, has now been fixed so it matches up better. If you remember before it seemed like the bridge was on a different plane, since they did not match the angle of the model shot with the live action back in the sixties. This shot always bugged me, as a kid all the way till now. So I was relieved when someone finally caught this and fixed it.

The color was brilliant, and they really looked like they took care to remove scratches and dust from the print. The sound totally beat what I have home, but wasn't overwhelming. Then there are the special FX upgrades. I have been watching these re-mastered versions of Star Trek for a little while now, and I can honestly say that the re-mastered FX are not distracting in the least. The first time I watched one of these "newer" versions I really had to question if they changed anything at all. You really only notice when they do close ups of the ship, there is way more detail now.

My wife and I had a discussion after the viewing last night if the enhancements were more distracting in the re-mastered Star Trek episodes or when George Lucas worked his magic on Star Wars. We both came to the same conclusion that the Star Trek enhancements didn't affect the story and were done in a way that they did not take away from your original memory of the show, while Star Wars did have elements that changed the story in re-telling parts or the stories pace. So I'm giving the Star Trek team a thumbs up, way to go!

It was also nice to see some footage on how they accomplished the re-master, even though they were selling the new HD DVD set, I really found the part about the scan and clean up interesting, as well as the re-recording of the original score, pulling the original music and notes from the sixties. It was also a nice touch that when they flashed a name of one of the people that worked on the re-master it was set in the Classic Star Trek font, eye for detail I tell ya!

Things I didn't like, the price seems a little steep, 12.50 USD for a ticket, plus it would have been nice to get a little one sheet or something of the movie poster. I've been to movies before where they handed out little flyer / posters. If this was such the event that it was billed to be, why not give out a little bit more advertising, right? That's really about it for the dislikes. I did here some people complain about the 4:3 Television ratio and not widescreen, but hey you can't really control things like that and not distort the picture.

I will add my apologies to my wife, she didn't find out this was a two hour event until about 30 minutes before we got to the theater. But hey we did go out for Tex Mex before hand and I made sure she got a Margarita, before dealing with all the Trek geeks, myself included.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lil' Namor



Does anyone really like Namor? I mean pretty much every story I've read he has been a big ole' jerk. Maybe my memory is fading, as a kid I thought he was sort of okay in the Invaders, of course I only had one issue. I mean he was hanging out with Captain America and a couple of Human Torches, he couldn't be that bad, right? But then as he started popping up in various Fantastic Four comics I was reading or cartoons, he really started coming off as more of a jerk...

Anyway, I don't care how cute Hasbro made him for the Super Hero Squad line, he still looks like a little jerk, you know the friend that would take your favorite toy, break it, and then tell you that he didn't! Yeah I'm talking about you Namor... you jerk ass!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Action Figure Monkey!



Just when I think I have the Action Figure Monkey under control, Hasbro goes and releases these! Damn you Hasbro!

Marvel Legends Fantastic Four Series, the series number escapes me, but lets just say that Marvel Legends have been aroooound! Being a fan of the Four, not an ├╝ber geek fan, just a fan, and having purchased Marvel Legends on a few occasions, I thought it was safe to say that I wouldn't be sucked into a series of FF4 figures for quite some time, I mean who in their right mind releases a series based on the FF4 now? Right? The Thing and Mr. Fantastic sit on selves years after they are released from the first movie line, you can never find the Invisible Woman... and not because she's invisible, and FF4 villains, hah, good luck! Plus like I said I have only purchased Marvel Legends (Toy Biz and Hasbro) on rare occasions. So safe right?

Not at all, I've seen all eight in this series, and I love em! Love 'em all I tells ya! Some people don't dig the non-wash, or lack of detail Hasbro has brought to the Marvel Legends Table, but on these this makes them look that much more like toys, fun and bright! Mr. Fantastic, actually looks like Mr. Fantastic and he's all stretched out! Doc Doom here looks like he should and they made Namor in his green panties! The whole cast has been represented fairly accurately and the numbers of them available are a plenty! So I guess I'm hooked, at least for this series, and possibly the next with Captain America and Bucky! A freaking Bucky! I can finally assemble the Invaders!

I guess since I have been weaning off Star Wars figures, that the Fantastic Four here make a pretty good substitute on the Hasbro side of the collection. So let it go on record that I am only collecting JLU, Batman, FF4, some Star Wars, some Star Trek, oh and those Minimates, the occasional Mego, oh and forgot the Joes, and... Dammit, I give up... stupid monkey!

Side note that these two are open and currently battling on my desk until the rest of the team shows up!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day!



Well, observed Veteran's Day anyway, yesterday being the true holiday and all.

I also don't know if you really wish people a Happy Veteran's Day, being that it is in remembrance of all that have fought for our country, so maybe a Salute to all Veteran's on this Day is in order!

I have a few Veteran's in my life, so in my own weird way here's a salute as I rank them up there with one of my favorite heroes!



The card is the first in the 1990 Marvel Comics Super Heroes trading cards set. Probably one of the only card sets I have ever completed in my life! Wow, 1990 these things are seventeen years old, seems like yesterday, man I feel so old right now.

Friday, November 9, 2007

SOTW: Dark Forces PC Game



A week or so ago the Stormtrooper of the Week was a Darktrooper that originated from the PC Game Dark Forces, so this weeks Stormtrooper is just that the PC Game Dark Forces!

This is one of the few games that I have actually budgeted my time to play, I think it actually added to the enjoyment of the game even more. I was in college and working nights and when this game was released I pretty much had my Fridays clear in the afternoon, so having completed my chores that morning I would sit down from 1:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon to immerse myself in the Star Wars Universe. It was almost like watching a weekly show, in that It usually took me a few weeks to clear a level during that time slot. I will admit as I closed in to the end of the game I may have played a few hours more on a Saturday.

So the game goes like this, it's a first person shooter, and it's your mission to delve into the Darktrooper Project. A new "Super Trooper" being developed by the Empire. In true Star Wars fashion it's not just as simple as making it though a level to the boss, there are traps and puzzles to solve along the way. Your character, Kyle Kartan, a freelance adventurer that is recruited by the Rebel Alliance for this mission.

The first level is more or less to get you familiar with the controls in the game, then the adventure really gets going as each level gets a little longer and more difficult. A bonus is you get to shoot tons of Stormtroopers!



When I was digging this out of storage, I noticed I had a sheet of codes that included "cheats" for more weapons and life, plus some codes that I wrote down as I went through the game that helped to open doors and whatnot. This was 1994, during the dark times, the times of hardly any Star Wars product, so getting this game was just cool in itself, but finding codes without internet help or game guides was that much cooler. I actually stumbled on a few of these by accident (the cheats that is). A side note, It wouldn't be until 1995 that the re-release of the action figures would start what is now going on 12 years of Star Wars crap in the market (and I say crap with all the love and care in the world). In 1994 I thought the cover of this game was pretty cool with the CG generated troopers coming at you, blasters a blazing. What was on the back? A target framed Boba Fett, what more could you ask for!?

This is one of a very few games that I would consider to eventually go and find on E-bay for my Mac (seeing how this is the PC version, and I stopped using PC's a long, long time ago...) This is also one of a few Star Wars Games I still have, seeing as how my son sold some of my others in a Garage Sale, without my knowledge... Oh well them video games will just give you Drain Bamage!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Batman Villain Plush Vol. 2



Did someone ask about the Riddler and the Penguin? I really dig these versions, especially the Penguin, what kid wouldn't want a short, fat man in a tux? But that Catwoman... I never understood the blue face, I know it's supposed to be her face in shadow, but it just doesn't look good in 3-D. Originally the Catwoman was to be the gray suit version from the Animated Series, but the powers that be wanted the "new" Catwoman.

At risk of public humiliation, here is an early (and I mean early, so be kind) concept drawing I did for the gray Catwoman. I would have loved to have seen this one produced. I also have a early concept of the first Animated Penguin (The De Vito Penguin) that I always thought would be cool to see, that's for another time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Batman Villain Plush Vol. 1



The thing I like about the villains is that the series was in the middle of changing it's character designs, but since the company had already developed the Joker, and apparently people liked him that way he stayed the Animated Series version and was not updated to the New Batman Adventures version.

I really dig this version of the Clown Prince of Crime, if I can't find a decent plush of him on E-bay I may have to dig up the old patterns and have one made. It would give me a chance at trying my hand at sculpting and casting, though I would be casting in resin and not doing the roto head as this piece has. You know I did have a chance to do some of the control drawings for the heads of the Animated Series pieces, though not my best work, that was the extent of my contribution to this line.

Also check out that Mr. Freeze! I remember seeing the proto type for his head and wow it was amazing, stone cold expression.

Monday, November 5, 2007

BTAS Amusement Plush



I know I have mentioned in the past working for a little amusement plush company called Play By Play. Well ole' PBP had the license at the time to do a great deal of the Warner Bros. Characters, and the ones that most interested me were of course Batman and Friends! So this week I thought I would so some of the old product pages. These were forever featured in the company store and I always meant to go get a set, but alas I never did. But that's just as well, I really do not have room for more plush Batmans, but I could make room for that Joker!

Some things to note, I was not responsible for the layouts and setups since I was developing hard goods at the time. Plus looking at some of the colors they used for the borders may give you a headache, but these catalogs were marketed towards Carneys.

So to start off here's the dynamic duo themselves!

Friday, November 2, 2007

"Just Looooose Yourself..."

Something different for the Stormtrooper of the week this time around. This was shown to me by my son, he said it was perfect for the Stormtrooper of the Week feature, and I couldn't agree more.

Just sit back, let yourself go, and enjoy this week's Stormtrooper of the Week, Straight from Tokyo, Japan, the Dancing Stormtrooper!