Thursday, July 31, 2008
One of my all time favorite GI JOE figures, the Cobra Viper! The foot soldier of the Cobra armada, or is the Cobra Trooper the foot soldier of the Cobra Armada???
Anyway, I just dig these guys, they are like the Stormtroopers of the GI JOE universe right down to the lousy aim. The thing I like the best about their costume is the helmet, the shape is just sweet, plus googles! Why they have googles when they have a face shield? Who knows, they just have them. I will tell you there were times when I was ridding motor cycles that I wish I had the option of face shield or googles, maybe that's why I think it's cool.
the uncool thing about this figure is the hands are in a funky position instead the usual generic way. But I figured a cool pose out and it didn't stop me from doing something I haven't done in a long time, pick up two of these guys. Now when the Cobra H.I.S.S. comes out I can chunk the driver and two of these bad boys can take it for a joy ride! I have to wait for the new tank, because my cool black one was sold or given away long ago... why did I do that?
G.I. JOE: 8
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Okay finally the EMCE Andorian! I jumped ahead to the Romulan last time cause I was pretty excited to get him, but the Andorian is a pretty cool figure as well.
The thing I remember about the Andorians in the original series was they were always with a crazy villain or they were sort of spineless. I guess that last one was because the ambassador Andorian came off that way to a young mind. It wasn't till I saw some episodes of Enterprise that I appreciated the Andorians on a whole new level.
So this Andorian, while weaponless, will be part of the proud warrior race and not the spineless one of episodes past. I really dig the gloves on this figure, not like the usual Mego style mittens, more like hard little plastic boxing gloves. Perfect for smacking some Starfleet personnel around!
I know I've raved about these EMCE reproductions of Megos before, but I'm really glad these are making a comeback. It gives me a chance to get some of the characters I didn't pick up when I was younger (mainly because of a lack of interest, if it wasn't Kirk and Spock, I wasn't having it!) and It gives Star Trek and Mego collectors alike a chance to get some newer figures. It wasn't long ago I had a post where I had some comments about future characters, now EMCE is releasing a revision of the Gorn and Khan! Plus a couple of other never before seen figures, Sulu and Chekov, Space Lincoln are you just around the corner?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Titanium Man is from Hasbro's Iron Man Movie line released this summer. While not in the movie, Titanium Man is one of the cooler Iron Man villains, I actually thought this guy would be in the movie, not Iron Monger, but hey, can't have everything.
The figure is actually a lot better than I originally thought when I saw the prototypes all over the web. He is not a recycle or repaint of the standard movie Iron Man figure, but a new mold, done up in the style of the movie. A nice little update to a classic character. Another cool thing is that the armor is asymmetrical, the arms and legs look to be made of different parts. Now if I was building an armor I think I would make some stuff symmetrical, like boots and gauntlets, but hey ya know... that's me.
The blaster that snaps on his arm shoots two missiles at once, kinda weird when you think of it, you blow all your ammo at once. It can be removed or placed on either arm as well, though it fits better on the left. The articulation on the figure is pretty nice, one thing you will notice if you are an Iron Man toy connoisseur is that there are really no bits that get in the way of the articulation. So you can pull off some pretty cool poses. Color seems okay, titanium Man is green so that's pretty had to screw up. A metallic green might have been over the top for this movie inspired figure.
I like the new design, but I really would love to see the classic Titanium Man design make an appearance, maybe in a future Marvel Legends wave. It has appeared in the little Marvel Super Hero Squad figurines so I know somebody at Hasbro knows what he looks like.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Midnight Madness hit this past weekend, and while I had other things to do I'm not sure I would have joined in. I did a Midnight Madness with the last movie a few years back and wasn't good for much the next day... oh, what is Midnight Madness? Well that's a term they came up with for Star Wars toy debuts, usually Toys R Us, target, and Wal Mart all do something for the launch of new Star Wars toys, usually in conjunction with and event like a new movie or cartoon series. This Midnight Madness was to help launch the new Clone Wars Cartoon.
While I was not planning in participating in the actual Midnight Madness, I did plan on stopping by a Target to see the new toy aisle reset. See, not only was the new Star Wars stuff supposed to debut, but other toys were to be expected. More GI JOES, new JLU, and whatever else they saw fit to cram into the new aisle reset. I was hoping to see the new Big Millennium Falcon, but no luck. Also no luck on the JLU or GI JOES at this Target, instead I found a Classic Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider, a year and eight days since I wrote about skipping it never to see it again. Seems that they did a re release in with the other Star Wars Die Cast. Thank you very much Hasbro.
I also had to pick up at least one Star Wars Clone Wars figure on this trip. There are only a few I want, and it looks like that most will be plentiful, but I had to grab a cartoon looking R2-D2, just because I wanted to check out all his cool little features. This reminds me when we last saw Star Wars take a bow, it was the Droids and Ewoks cartoon. Being too old for toys at the time, I remember seeing the cartoonish R2 from the Droids series, which was little more than a sticker change and some simpler paint apps, but I secretly wished I would have grabbed one then.
I'm not sure how the new cartoon will do, but I do like some of the more stylized designs for Obi Wan and the Clone Trooper, plus I've seen a C3-PO from the series, so I will more than likely pick up one of each to round out my little sub set. Plus it's neat that they built in some action features as well. So a double shot of Hasbro toys this trip!
I had these scans laying around from when Plaid Stallion's Brian Heller asked for submissions for his mall appearances section of his blog. Not technically a mall appearance he was looking for, he was nice enough to include it on his site. This is a promotional comic from back in 1985, when Northstar Mall in San Antonio added Foley's Department store as one of their anchors. These comics were included in the Sunday Newspaper at the time, plus I threw newspapers so you think I would be swimming in these things. Wrong I have two. One from my parents newspaper, and a second I acquired from another collection. Which is how it should be, I would hate it if I didn't get a complete paper on Sunday morning.
Some cool things to note, the cover building actually looks like the Foley's store that was added, come to find out that was a signature look for that store so the Marvel artist probably got a picture of one of the other stores. I don't think we had a rodeo going on at the time, but if we did it probably wasn't too far fetched that there would be a little parade going by the mall. During that time we used to have a little event called a Cowboy Breakfast that sort of kicks off the rodeo, held right across the street at a neighboring malls parking lot. Trail riders with covered wagons and the whole nine yards make a trek into town and stop at the breakfast, where everyone that attends is served free breakfast tacos at about five in the morning. Thousands show up for this event, makes the news every year. This past year was the first time it was held in a new location, just outside of town, but at that time it would have been close to where it is depicted on the cover. Also the newspaper's name in the comic was the newspaper that the comic came in, the San Antonio Express News, now the only paper in town. Back then there were two rival papers the Express News and the San Antonio Light, those Light paper carries could be jerks, they would steal your papers, throw them in water, you name it.
The story goes, Peter Parker and J.J. Jameson make a trip to San Antonio, Parker to cover the rodeo, Jameson to catch a break from Spider-Man, plus there happen to be a new Foley's store opening up in town. A crook makes way with the rodeos ticket money, Hulk happens to be traveling through town and chases the guy down, the Spider-Man joins in. San Antonio's a pretty jumping town! The money is recovered, the store remains standing, Hulk gets away, Spider-Man saves the day, and Jameson gets a headache! through out the comic the only ads are for children's clothing sold at, you guessed it Foley's! The ads even follow a comic style story line.
At the time this had to be the coolest thing in the world, your home town, your newspaper, being featured in a Marvel Comic! I realize now these were done a paid promotions, but the magic doesn't seem to fade, it's still pretty cool. To this day you can go into just about any comic book shop in town and they have these issues, not worth much, but you couldn't be a comic book collector in San Antonio with out one of these! I often wonder if there are others out there, if they followed the same format, or if they were personalized. How many towns have a rodeo that Hulk helped get the ticket money back?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
CB: Ms. Harley Quinnzel are you ready to meet the eligible bachelors?
HQ: I sure am Chunky!
CB: Well let's get started, Bachelor number one, tell us a little about yourself!
Joker 1: Well I come from the small state of Rhode Island, straight from a little toy shop called Hasbro! I dislike Bats, and I likes to keep my hands free, so I can hold a big "BANG!" gun, missile launcher, or rev up the ol' Harley if you know what I mean?
CB: Wow, right out of the gate there, Bachelor number two how about you?
Joker 2: I'm from the sunny state of California, around Mattel way. I also dislike bats, I like playing jokes on people, and I know some card tricks. Oh and I love pet Hyenas.
HQ: Oh, you would just adore my little babies then!
CB: Okay, animal magnetism, Bachelor number three, it' your turn!
Joker 3: I'm crazy, I'm mad, I did a few cameos in a little show called Justice League, and I also know some card tricks... This card reminds me of you Ms. Quinn...
HQ: Oh, how?
Joker 3: It's got a big Mr. J all over it!
Joker 1: Hey now, I was on T.V. too, anyone Here of a little show called the Batman Adventures???
Joker 2: Pfffft, I did that show too, no big deal, but I'm also from Cali, and Card tricks... Card tricks baby!
Joker 3: Can't you see I'm crazy, crazy for you baby...
CB: Okay, okay settle down bachelors. Ms. Quinn, have you decided on one?
HQ: One? I'll take them all!
CB: There you have it folks, three for the road! Tune in next week when we go back to our regular Eclectorama format of eclectic toy goodness! And thanks for hanging in there for Batman and Joker Weeks! Big Kiss!
Note of thanks to Rob! at the Aquaman Shrine, Joker 3 was played by one of the many JLU Club exchanges we have going! Viva La JLU Club!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Oh, I mean Target Exclusive Joker. Released on the heels of the Batman Gotham Knight Target exclusives, the Joker: Clown Prince of Crime flew in and out of Targets like a thief in the night. Standing at about 8" to 9" tall these figures from Hasbro are what most consider "Mego Like" meaning of course similar to the Mego Toy Company figures of long ago. Megos were known to be 8" action figures of your favorite heroes and villains wearing cloth costumes (yes, like dolls) instead of molded threads like todays plastic action figures.
This Joker fits right into the whole DC Super Heroes of the time, and with the modern Hasbro release of Marvel Super Heroes. So it's like Mego all over again. I think the detail in the costume is crazy and I really like the head sculpt on this Joker, a little more scarier than it's Mego brother, but still a cool little sculpt.
The Joker came with his Jester cane, a "BANG!" gun that while larger is probably more at home in this scale than from were it was recycled from, the Batman the Animated Series figure of Harley Quinn. I guess they at least kept it in the family. He also came with a large present (not shown) that when a button was pushed would split open and a little Jester figure would pop out.
This is another line I wished Hasbro would have kept going on. I could only imagine the other Bat Villains they could have done... Mr. Freeze, the Riddler, Catwoman, Two Face... They did get around to making the Penguin as a Target Exclusive, so at least Bat's got two fiends to fight!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Before there was DC Universe figures, Mattel launched a series of action figures under the Batman banner sculpted by the Four Horseman. The Joker here called Quick Fire Joker came packed with a huge green gun (not shown) that fired either a hand of cards or a "BANG!" sign. Not your usual projectiles, unless you're the Joker I guess. He also came with one of the most bendable canes I've ever seen. The cane is almost a rubber type of soft plastic, I know they didn't want any little ones to get injured, but wow this thing is like holding a rubber band.
Now usually I try to get a "normal" Batman and a Joker from each series, of course sometimes that plan doesn't always work out. Quick Fire Joker was one of the hardest to find from the series in my area, of course years latter they were released at discount stores in a two pack, though slightly different colors. I finally tracked one down at lunch time durning the week day. That afternoon was the longest wait ever. I left the Joker in the car while I finished up the days work, rushing home at 5:00 to free the Joker from his little plastic prison, I felt like I was 5 years old rushing home after school to catch my favorite show or play with a brand new toy.
The thing I like about this figure is that crazy look in his eyes and what a grin. That and he has a certain style or flair about him!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
2004 brought us one of the coolest little Joker playsets around. The C3 line of Minimates from Art Asylum hit selves with a bang, zip, pow! C3 stands for Create, Construct, Customize. These Minimates were taken from several sources of the Batman mythos including two different cartoons, comics, and even movies. Though some of the movie versions never saw release.
This set is based on the Justice League cartoon and is titled the Chemical Warehouse Battle. As you can guess these sets come with little Lego like blocks and Minimates. You can follow the instruction like a Lego set or build whatever your heart desires, cool thing is the bricks in the C3 sets are compatible with Lego sets. I know some people really do not like Minimates, but I really love these little toys, they remind me of a cross between some of the first Lego figures and the stuff they produce today. That and they are like a little hybrid of the Medicom Kubrick figures.
Now if you are scratching your head about Minimates, here's how they started. Art Asylum created them based on Japanese block style figures, they originally were 3" high, and several licenses where approached at that scale. Latter they partnered with Diamond Select to bring out the 2" Marvel Minimates, and still later they partnered with a little company called Play Along to bring out the C3 Construction series introducing the first DC Minimates to the world.
Today Art Asylum is in full swing again with Diamond Select toys to release a more comprehensive set of DC Minimates, plus tons of other licenses including Back to the Future, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek to name a few. Okay that's Minimates in a nut shell, to learn more you have to check out Minimate Central .
The C3 sets are no longer available, even when they were released some of the sets were near impossible to find, three sets that were released during the end of the line are the hardest, the Mini Javelin from Justice League and two from the Batman Cartoon, the Batcopter and Batcycle.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Not a figure per se, but rather a vehicle with a little Joker figurine inside. The awesome laughing fish shaped Joker Mobile! Does the Joker Mobile have a theme song? If so insert it here, I'll wait...
Okay, released around 2004-2005, the Joker Mobile was from a great series of die cast vehicles featuring Batman and his villains. The company responsible, Corgi, one of the kings of die cast. Not only did Corgi release almost every incarnation of the Batmobile known (they left out movies and the Barris) but the did cars for Catwoman, Two Face, Killer Moth (thanks Jay!), Batman's little buddy Robin, and the Joker.
Each one seemed to have a cool little feature, Joker's was you pushed in the smile on the front of the car and the canopy would spring open. Another cool little bonus was there is a relief of the character on the bottom of the car.
I wish Corgi would have kept the license for these so we could have gotten more of the Bat Vehicles, they seemed to be hitting all the comic versions of the Batmobile, so I kept hoping that the Bat Tank from the Dark Knight Returns would have popped up, Wouldn't that have been cool?
I'm happy to have gotten a hold of the Joker Mobile, Just looking at that grill makes me all smiles!
Monday, July 21, 2008
So you made it through Batman Week on Eclectorama and thought you would see if I had moved on to something else... Surprise!
Mego Batman spied this guy moving in on his territory this past Saturday, so I thought I would kick off Joker Week with one of the best, hands down Jokers around, Mego's the Joker! Okay my example is not the best specimen of Mego's Clown Prince of Crime, but the figure itself is what I'm talking about.
This Joker was won in an auction along with another one with one shoe (not shown) that was a fist fighter version of the character. When I was bidding on them I just figured they were the same figure since the seller didn't specify, I figured I would eventually pick up some reproduction shoes for the second one and I would have one at work and one at home... I was really surprised to find out one was a fist fighter.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah the Mego Joker to me is one of the best likenesses of the character around and I figured if I was going to have a Mego Dark Knight I needed Mego Villain, which lead me to a Mego Batmobile that they both usually go riding in.
I'm not sure why, but as a kid I only had Star Trek and Marvel Megos, but my Buddy had Batman, Robin, Joker, Penguin, the Batmobile, the Bat Cycle, and I believe the Bat Cave so I didn't miss out, there was always plenty of Batman Mego goodness when Steven was home!
So like Batman Week, in celebration of the Dark Knight (like every blog in the toy universe), Joker Week is going to be full of some of my favorite Joker Action Figures and toys.
Enjoy and... Haahaaahaaaahaaahaaahaahaahaaaaahaaaahaaaahaaaaahaaaaahaaahaaahaahaaaahaaahaahaaaaa!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
So I usually try to take the weekends off from all things computers, but thought it would be neat to throw out a bonus post, so here is my refurbished Mego Batman. I know he's not the best example of a Mego Batman, but here's his story anyway.
One summer Saturday, much like today, in the heat of the Texas morning this Mego Batman and I crossed paths. You see there is this little flea market down the road from the house, and the family found itself killing time on a sunny Saturday morning checking out the junk at the local market of fleas. I say junk, because the Flea markets in Texas (in my mind anyway) are nothing like the tales I've heard coming from New York city or even Cali-forn-i-a, no Texas flea markets are basically a bunch of junk dealers. I say this with the highest regards for the dealers, so if I do offend, I am sorry, but let's call it for what it is.
Anyway this trip yielded a sword from a knife dealer for my son (yes he is old enough to purchase mid evil weapons from a flea market), some great Mexican pottery for the misses, and nothing for me... until I saw him, Mego Batman, buck nakid in a display case. Now being a Bat Fan I knew I had to rescue him, so I inquired to the cost. One buck for a bare assed Batman! Sold! I took my prize home, much to the amusement of my wife and son who teased me the trip home and days after for buying a nude super hero dolly. That didn't phase me, cause I knew as he sat in the cool a/c on my drawing desk that this Batman would ride again!
So months passed and it was getting close to Christmas and my wife who can't keep track of the ever growing collection suggested I pick out something that I truly wanted, hum what do I truly want... I know some pants for Batman, so with the okay I went to a site I had been scoping out by the name of Dr. Mego. I went crazy and picked up a whole costume for my crime fighter, apparently though I forgot to add gloves to the cart, so Batman didn't get any standard issue mitts. The package came quicker than I thought, and right before Christmas I was playin... err, I mean posing for display my very first Mego Batman. No I didn't have one as a kid, I had Spidey and Captain America, but no Bats. I was thrilled. I will also add that Dr. Mego included a little freebie in my order, what looks like a short Knight sword and some literature on other items. Dr. Mego you made one owner of a crappy Batman very happy that year, if this gets back to you I want you to know you are a Mego Saint and I highly recommend your fine website to any and all who need pants for their superheroes!
Wait what's that Mego Batman? Who do you see? Mego Joker, Oh no that must mean we are going to have a Joker Week! Thought I would keep the Dark Knight Movie train going, so tune in next week for the Joker Week!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Batman Begins yielded some pretty cool merchandise when it came out and one of the coolest items was from Japan and is cousin to the Micronauts!
Takara Micromen are 3 3/4" super articulated figures that come with extra hands and all sorts of Bat-goodness. If your comic book shops are like the ones around my home town, you've seen the comic versions of Batman, Catwoman, and even a Batman / Batgirl set kicking around. These comic sets were imported by Diamond select. Batman Begins on the other hand you had to resort to a importer or eBay to get your hands on one.
So what does he come with? For starters you get a stand to pose him on (though he doesn't need it to stand up), a little sprue with extra hands in different poses, the Bat Grenade from the movie in it's deployed and storage form, the Batman Begins Bat-a-rang in a deployed and storage form, and a little iPod... okay it looks like an iPod, it's the cell phone he uses to call Alfred for help. And what is possibly the coolest feature, one huge freaking cape!
The cape has a wire in it so you can pose it, sort of like the Hasbro and DC Direct 1st Appearance Batmans. The idea being that the cape is this huge Spawn like monster in itself that flaps in the wind as Batman plays Gargoyle on a building. It really is a cool feature, thought it can get in the way. The cape is easily twice as tall (if not more) than the figure.
The figure itself is loaded with all sorts of crazy articulation, plus if you have a specific hand gesture (sorry the middle finger is not included) you just pop off the hands at the wrist and pop on a new hand. Seems that most Japanese toys are like this. I think this is kinda cool if you are posing the figure to sit on a shelf, but if you are a kid you are losing these things left and right.
I had hoped that Takara would get the Dark Knight license and we would get a Joker figure, but I haven't seen anything. The Batman Begins series not only had Batman here, but a Ras' al Ghul and a Samurai Batman, which is probably more of an else worlds sort of thing. Ras can still be picked up on line, and searching eBay turns up the others on occasion. Takara also makes blanks along with a few other licenses, so I guess if worst came to worst a custom Joker could be put together.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Back when Hasbro held the Batman license a little cartoon made a debut called Batman the Animated Series. Hasbro not missing a beat released some of the best all around Batman figures ever. These things were spot on to the cartoon, well with the exception of all the multi colored bat suits with skis and jet packs and the like. Combat Belt Batman was the only way you were getting a "regular" looking Batman from the cartoon in the sea of goofy Suit Batmans.
This Batman not only combines the look of the show, but has a pretty cool play feature, that actually makes sense, the utility belt! If you didn't feel like wearing the Combat Belt, you could remove it and not ruin the look of the figure.
So what comes on a Combat Belt. You get the standard issue humongous grappling launcher with rope and hook, you also get a bat-a-rang that fits into the launcher and has a storage loop on the belt, plus you get a neat little set of Bat-Cuffs for apprehending Gotham City's Goons.
Combat Belt Batman is by far my most treasured Batman in my collection. You know that question people ask, what is the one item you would grab in an emergency? Well besides the Family and Pets, Vintage Boba Fett, and the family pictures. Combat Belt Batman is right there with them. Of coarse I might have to grab his Batmobile as well, especially if that's were he is at at the time, no time to stop and think about these things...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I will admit that I am a fan of Frank Miller's the Dark Knight Returns. I was first exposed to this wonderful tale back in college when a buddy and I were out hitting comic shops in 1989 caught up in the bat craze. I picked up the trade paperback not knowing what to expect and ended up reading it three or four times over the next couple of days. I loved everything about that book and it was to me the end all be all bat story.
DC Direct finally came to their senses a few years back and turned out a series of four figures based on the book. The series was to included Batman, Carrie Kelly Robin, the Joker, and Superman, each to included a piece of sidewalk that makes up the street corner where Bruce loses his parents in the book. The Robin figure also includes the street lamp that Batman uses to power his Superman fighting suit!
This Batman is one of the first DC Direct figures I bought, it was at a time when I was freelancing and I picked him up as a reward for a fine job on a little catalog I was working on. The catalog would come due in November and the day after the press checks I would swing by the local comic shop to pick up a Batman. I timed that years catalog just right as I knew this chunky Batman should be making an appearance right when it was going to press!
As you can see it's not very poseable, I think of DC Direct stuff more as movable statues, the articulation is basic, but the sculpt is dead on to the comic. This version reminds me of the panel where Batman rises up from the Bat "Tank" Mobile to fight the leader of a cult of punks and hands him his ass along with his teeth and a few other bits and pieces. This Batman does not mess around, this is the Batman I think of when someone says Dark Knight.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This Batman is from the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons and has been sitting on my desk forever, begging for a picture. Now most of you are going big deal, these things hang around on shelves forever, but this is not one of the smaller figures, it's none other than the 9" to 10" figure that came out a few years back. Yes, yes, if you can find them, they are still on shelves, but if you missed them, I think you are missing out on one cool figure for this reason alone... it can stand up by itself. Those that collect JLU figures will know what I am talking about.
Okay besides that it is a really nice stylized version of Batman, more stylized than the Batman the Animated Series version (not better mind you). If you followed Batman the Animated Series (BTAS) all the way through it's various incarnations you will notice that Batman's style evolved into what is now shown on Justice League Unlimited. I like stylized versions of Batman, whether it be BTAS, JLU, or the newer "the Batman", and from what I've seen the next incarnation, the Brave and the Bold. So when these hit stores it could be understood why I would grab one.
I thought that the larger line would do better than it did, the figures where a cool scale, large enough for small hands, plus they make really cool display pieces for older collectors. I guess not everything bigger is better. To go a little off topic I'm kicking myself having not picked up any of the other of the main characters besides the Flash. This larger scale really displays much better than the smaller scale, and captures the clean lines of the show much better as well.
I think what makes this version one of my favorites is the attitude he brings to the Justice League cartoon, there are more times than I can count that I've watched that show and gone "Now that's the Batman I know, kickin' ass and takin' names!" Those are the times that I think the Dark Knight shines through.