Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Since I'll be away for a few days this week, I thought I would post an oldie but goodie! The Super Sized Justice League Flash.
The Flash here has always been one of my favorite DCU Super Heroes, right next to Bats, and this 10" version is no exception. I originally thought it would be a less expensive alternative to collecting the maquettes, by just picking up these larger figures, since they are really based on the maquettes, but I just picked up Bats and the Flash. Though I've seen Hawkgirl in this format and tossed around the idea of picking her up as well. It would be sort of cool to pick up the original team, hopefully they start re-releasing these again.
The articulation is pretty much the same as the smaller version of this character, head, waist, shoulders, and legs. There is a little movement at the elbow, but just a pivot, not a bending joint. When I see what Toy Biz had done with the articulation on their large format vinyl figure, it makes me wonder why Mattel didn't try to make these a little more articulated. Maybe it has something to do with ruining the lines of the character, who knows?
I remember getting the 10" Flash when it first came out, my wife and son had made a trip to the store and at my son's suggestion, my wife picked him up. I was later told that my son told her that he was sure the Flash was one that I would like, way to listen boy!
Friday, November 30, 2007
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:
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)
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
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
27) Sand Man
28) Mr. Fantastic (to date unproduced)
29) Human Torch (to date unproduced)
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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 über 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Just sit back, let yourself go, and enjoy this week's Stormtrooper of the Week, Straight from Tokyo, Japan, the Dancing Stormtrooper!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I had some plans for this Halloween, but instead I'm watching a crew install floors in the house. So I should be up and posting in a couple days. I will say this, it is sooooo nice for a change, seeing someone else work on this house!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Friday, October 26, 2007
I have waited 9 years to find this figure (or one like it). That's right 9 years!
It all started back in the summer of 1998, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Star Wars: Dark Forces, a PC game from Lucas Arts, had been out for a little while and I was hooked. I would spend an hour to two hours every Friday before I went to work trying to make it from level to level on this game. It had everything, first person shooter, Star Wars, and these evil looking Darktroopers! Well that summer Kenner/Hasbro released expanded universe toys in their Star Wars line, always trying to milk the cash cow, and the Darktrooper was among them! I searched and searched for this figure, refusing to pay scalper prices of upwards to 50 bucks for this figure, maybe more. in April of 1999, at the first Star Wars Celebration, I actually got within 2 feet of one, it was in a huge jar on the artists table with a sign that said "guess the number of Star Wars figures and win the lot!", I think I actually touched the jar (no not Jar Jar).I remember sitting there staring at that figure when I wasn't working on drawings or talking with the other artists. It was just sitting there taunting me. I remember one fellow strolling up to the table and asking the assistant if all the weapons were with the figures, she just said they dumped what ever was in the package in the jar. He was especially interested in the Darktrooper as well. Being a "employee" I was excluded from the fun of guessing the number, and sadly the company store was fresh out of Darktroopers.
So, years went by and troopers came and went, but the ever elusive dark trooper never crossed my door. 2007 came with the re-release of the Darktrooper, being hand picked by fans across the globe as this year's Fans' Choice #1 figure. To make it that much more desirable and rare, it was packed with the "gold" collector's coin instead of the usual "silver". A nice little touch that was sure to drive all the scalpers into a feeding frenzy as they gobbled every last one of these up, only to flood eBay with an ever growing army of overpriced Darktroopers. I got myself ready for another Darktrooper drought, knowing I would never, ever see one of these in person.
That all changed when I took a quick trip to the local grocery store for some milk and as usual, I passed down the toy aisle on my way to the cash register. Thats when I noticed the first ever concept figure I had ever seen in the wild, a concept Boba Fett! I had ordered it months before and had it at home, but it was cool seeing it out in a store... but hey, what was this behind him... a Darktrooper. Holy Crap! Hoooooly Craaap!
I knew I shouldn't get him though and after sitting there holding it in my hands, resided to the fact that it would be lost to time again. I actually made it all the way home where I recounted the morning's adventure to my son and wife, knowing that neither one of them really cared, I mean one Stormtrooper is the same as the other right? My son seemed a little more interested as I told him the stories of these troopers, that's when the ever beautiful Judy spoke up with "if they're that hard to find, just go back and get it." she also added that I'm an addict and that I needed help. I think she wanted to see if I would actually go back after this figure, you know what? I thought about it, and I threw caution to the wind and jumped back into the Jeep and to the store I went. This was the first time I had ever done something like this, the figure meant that much! I felt like I had finally accomplished a life long goal (or at least a 9 year goal) and as I walked this trooper to the register and plopped down my cash, I envisioned marking the Darktrooper off some list of things to do! Upon return home the second time that morning, my son and wife both asked what I was going to do with it, being that it is "rare" and all, and I told them it was getting opened and put on the blog and then placed on my desk never to leave my sight. A trophy for all to see, a prize from "the Hunt", always to be cherished, never to tarnish. You know though, now that I found one, they'll be everywhere... Oh well such is the karma of the Toy God, at least I have my Darktrooper, finally!
Here's a link to the original release that came with a cool package feature, where you could turn the package into a 3-D scene from the game. The new one doesn't have this feature, but it does have a gold coin!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Not to long ago, my friend Rob Kelly at the Aquaman Shrine and I entered into a little agreement (that we'll now call JLU Club), where as, we exchanged our ongoing list of Justice League Unlimited action figure wants and if either one of us found something on the other's list we would pick it up and send it on it's way. This was born out of the frustration of not being able to find new JLU figures in our home towns, as Rob would put it.
I think to date Rob and I have done pretty well. This figure being the latest addition to my collection! The Huntress! Straight from the streets to the shelves to join the ever growing "Eclectorama Justice League Lineup". This was sort of a weird one, as it's not the single pack version of the Huntress, but the one that comes packed in a three pack with Batman and the Atom. I remember telling rob that I already had an Atom, and was up to my armpits in Batman, which now looking back really isn't a good vision to have kicking around in your head. Rob, being the ever gracious host of many a blog, ignored my comment of having way to many Batman and sent the Huntress out on her way. So a big thank you to Rob for this latest addition and for helping keep the JLU monkey at bay.
Some of these figures may be new finds, while others (like Huntress here) might have dried up in our specific region while being numerous in others. So the hunt is that much more exciting now. You never know if you'll find something that you need or if it fills a void on a friend's list. Hey, maybe this is the start of something new in the collecting realm, where scalpers, hoarders, and troop builders once roamed free, now sharers are paving the way for the new collecting era. I'm not saying we started it or anything, but we could be at the fore front of a new collecting movement! Viva the JLU Club!
Monday, October 22, 2007
More Marvel Cuteness this Monday, with another Fantastic Four villain, the Super Skrull! This one trumps Lil' Doc Doom, with a mischievous smirk and displaying each of his foes powers. I love that only one foot is invisible, so he can trip you and play it off I guess, unlike Sue Storm who's invisibility starts at both her feet and works it's way up I imagine!
I think I can safely say "I'm in!" when it comes to collecting these Marvel Super Hero Squad figures, so expect to see more of these when I can find them! Maybe they'll make a Lil' Fantasticar! Hint, hint Hasbro!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Okay it's really an Imperial Landingcraft, but let's face it, it carries Stormtroopers!
This is one of those rare, and I mean rare, instances that I liked the "improvements" that George Lucas did to the Star Wars films when he re-released them as the Special Editions back in the nineties. This ship was added into the scene in the New Hope, where all the Sandtroopers are looking for the droids. It was a background element, and did a sort of fly by off in distance. I really enjoyed and appreciated the look of the ship, being based on the Imperial Shuttle from Return of the Jedi, this version is a troop carrier.
So, with the special editions being out since the late nineties, I was sort of surprised that this ship did not make an appearance as a Lego until 2007. I will admit I still purchase Lego sets to build, sort of like puzzles, even to this day. Plus being that my wife told me that the Imperial Shuttle was her favorite ship from the movies, I thought getting this would be a slam dunk. So I picked it up and told her that we could build it one night when there was nothing else to do... which happened to be that night. She helped for a little while, but I stayed through out the project until the ship was complete.
I have to say, that the phrase "these aren't your father's, insert toy, comic, cartoon, etc. here!" has never rang so true. Though I really hate that saying, I'll make an exception in this case. This thing, being that it's a transport, is loaded with the gizmos! Working wings, bombs that drop, a payload section you can leave at a landing site, and two firing missiles ( that can fire pretty far!), a pilot, plus not one but four Stormtroopers! Two regular troopers and two Sandtroopers! I almost overlooked the most important upgrade, the debut of the new molded rifles and blasters, before you had to use existing Legos to make the blasters. Never have I seen so much Stormtrooper love in one toy!
The pictures I've included are from before all the damage to the house, so my completed transport in in storage, but I wait for the day that it can find it's way home (which should be soon!) and can claim it's rightful place among the troopers of the collection, until then here's to the memories and it's official entry into the Stormtrooper of the Week!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
How could you fear Dr. Doom when he looks like this. He really doesn't seem all that bad when he's reduced to this child like version. Lil' Doom here was packed with one of the members from the Fantastic Four Super Hero Squad two packs shown together here.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, why didn't they think of these things earlier? I can't wait till they start making key chains of all these little Marvel heroes and villains! Come on DC get on the ball and makes some lil' competition for these guys. I could see the whole Justice League of America done up in this style!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I purposely skipped the whole Marvel Civil War story line, it seemed like it had been done before, plus I really had no interest in the direction some of the characters were taking in the story. The Iron Spider-Man is one of those characters, but I do have this figure of him since I wanted to try and get a least one of all of Hasbro's new Signature Series line. The figure itself is pretty cool, I think they could have done something better with the spider legs coming out of his back, but all in all he's pretty nice. The costume on the other hand can be chunked into the ever growing pile of "let's re-design the heroes look to sell more books!" train of thought that always seems to rear it's ugly head time and time again in the wonderful world of comics.
Much like the recent Captain America design or the Superman Blue design, Spidey seems to have a costume redesign every time something major happens to him. There are times they work, the black costume, other times they don't. This being one of them. None the less I was not going to let this figure slip my grasp like it's cousin Superman Blue from Hasbro's earlier attempt at Mego-like figures. Even though I dislike the costume I still wanted to complete this series of figures for some reason, and I don't even consider myself a completist, now to find a cheap Superman Blue so Iron Britches Spidey has a buddy on the shelf!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Lady Jay to be exact!
I was strolling through Toys R Us last Friday during my lunch break, having just had my fill of a super steak burrito and the company of my wife and son at the local burrito shack. I thought I would stop by the ole' TRU to see what was up, as I was heading back to work. In other words, research! I actually found a few items of toy goodness, and they were all hanging on the front of the pegs. This being one of them (the other two will have to wait), an item I thought I would never actually see. I have resolved that I will pick up 25th Anniversary G.I. JOES whenever I see a new one, sort of like I do with the ole' JLU. Living in a predominately military town (I think the nickname used to be Military Town, USA) and seeing as how the scalper to child and/or collector ratio is 15 to one, these things disappear pretty fast. Matter of fact I'm still looking for a few from the first series, so imagine my surprise when this Series two figure showed up.
Straight from the cartoon of the 80's, comes Lady Jay with rocket launcher in hand and what looks to me to be a non-regulation use of the uniform. How long do you think Hasbro will get away with making figures with their boobs hanging out, in lack of a better term??? This reminds me of the rather chesty Jean Grey figure from Toy Biz's original X-Men Movie line, which was later repainted to cover some of her cleavage with what looks like an under shirt. Now, don't get me wrong, I do not have a problem with this toy, I even showed my wife, saying "you have to see this G.I. JOE I just bought" thinking she would see it and couldn't believe they made such a toy either. Instead I got "Don't rub that figure to hard, toys have lead in the paint now a days, you know!" and knowing is half the battle!
G.I. JOE: 2
Monday, October 15, 2007
A villain from the 1991 Toy Biz line, one that I did not initially buy the first time around. It wasn't till recent I decided to try to complete this series, filling in holes when I could. I remember not getting this guy back in the nineties and there was a real low auction on Ebay so I immediately put in a bid. While he was being shipped I unpacked some of my other figures from this series, thinking Doc Oc was the only one missing, I realized that I had gotten rid of a few of these marvels of modern toy goodness in some "Goodwill purges". So now I'm back at square one with this line. Some would say why bother, but this line has a somewhat "vintage" feel to it and it brings back a load of fond memories.
The good doctor here, while not being the most attractive of the figures in the line (like any of them are all that great), still is a pretty fun find. The tentacles are really a neat feature, with bendable arms and two different "claws" to grab onto things. The suction cups for smooth surfaces and the pinchers to grab onto everything else. So with Doc Oc in hand I'm off to catalog the rest of the series and see what other holes I have. Which just goes to show you, it's not wise to pack up your collection, and think twice about what you thin out, as I'm sure many have done the same thing I have thinking that you will never go back. Still I'm glad that the toys went to children who probably enjoyed them so that's a bonus.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Okay I know they (Marvel) are going for a reaction, and it's not Steve Rogers, but why give Captain America a gun and a knife? I say No! This isn't Captain America!
So to further drive the point home that we live in modern America we give Captain America a pistol, my Grandmother used to say "Real men do not need guns." This is like giving Aquaman a hook hand or turning Superman into a killer.
I usually dig the treatments that Alex Ross gives these classic characters, but not this one, I do not approve Mr. Ross, not at all.
Sometimes I really dig the "pack ins" that come with figures. At times they can be pieces to build bigger figures, extra props, comics, stands, dioramas, cards, you name it. My favorite "pack in" to date for the Star Wars figures is a tie between the Commtech chip and the Freeze Frames. Though this shiney coin is not bad. The ideal with the 30th Anniversary figures was that you get a coin with each figure and you could buy a Coin Album and not only collect the figures, but all the coins. That's just a little too much collecting for me. Plus I have a hard enough time finding the figures I want, let alone the coins. So these things pretty much take up room in a box somewhere, till I get rid of them.
The coins are kind of a throw back to the original Power of the Force coins from the original Kenner line. This is not the first time the coin card has been played. When the Power of the Force two line came out, there was a small set of figures that came with golden coins and a display stand. Speaking of golden coins, some of these 2007 coins come in gold, part of the 2007 Galactic Hunt! Yeah! More difficult coins to find for your album! So I guess all this coinage could have some sentimental value to some.
That said, here's the coin that came with the most recent Stormtrooper figure. It's got a snazzy Stormtrooper on one side and the Imperial symbol on the back. The only thing it's missing is the phrase "In George We Trust". I wonder if you can spend these things at the company store on the ranch. That would be cool if the different characters had different denominations and you could save your coins for some special figure or toy... better not give them any ideas.
Well being that it's got a stormtrooper on it, I guess I'll keep this one for the collection, and display it proudly as this weeks "Stormtrooper of the Week"!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Actually I think that was a line from the talking Hulk action figure, which was basically this figure without the arm activation mechanism and came with a back pack that held the sound chip. Well, we're not here to talk about the talking Hulk, we're here for this little giant. Believe it or not, this Hulk is actually smaller than most of his Marvel counterparts from the same line. I guess Gamma Radiation wasn't all that it was cracked up to be in 1991.
This is another great example of mold the figure in one color and just a few paint applications later you have a super hero! Now I can honestly say I'm really not a huge Hulk fan, though I probably could identify with the character more than any other super hero. I really find it hard to find Hulk toys that I truly like, besides this guy, I have a Toy Biz first appearance Hulk that I really dig, and I would love to someday get a Mego Hulk, that and there's a vinyl classic looking Hulk out there that is pretty cool looking.
Hulk here has one of the most insanely designed levers on his back. It's actually a lever that raises and lowers his arms and then there is a pull out tab in the center of the lever that makes his arms "crush" things. He originally came with a boulder he could crush (not very well I might add) and a little plastic "steel" rod he could bend. Really adds to the whole raging, mad look of the character. Though, now that I look at this Hulk he looks less mad and more disgusted... "What do you mean Hulk small? Hulk get sad..."
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Another "craptastic" figure from early Toy Biz days, it 's the Dare Devil, circa 1991! I really appreciate the paint application on this figure, a little bit of flesh color and a dab of black on the chest and we're done! Sometimes it's the simple things!
The "billy club" feature which really turned out to be a firing grappling hook is pretty cool, and it works pretty well, but I must have killed myself trying to find a Dare Devil with a true billy club as advertised. These were before the days of all they Toy News infornation sites, I still wonder though, did one ever exist???
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Well if the little surfer made it here, then the lil' Fantastic Four cannot be far behind. I really dig the look of all the "Lil'" treatment, whether it is Star Wars or Marvel, but what would make this line really fun is some lil' vehicles, kind of like what they did for the Star Wars line.
Now I've seen a Spider-Man car and neighbor hood playset, but I'm talking about the Fantastic Car, the X-men's black bird, or what about Avengers Mansion. Maybe they are not too far off, I have seen a Galacticus and a Sentinal done up in this lil' format. Ahhhh, a cute lil' devourer of worlds and a mutant killing robot, what 3 year old wouldn't want these?
Friday, October 5, 2007
I knew he was evil, and this proves it! In 2006 Hasbro came up with the Ultimate Galactic Hunt. If you purchased all of the six Vintage Original Trilogy figures that year you could send in a sticker from each on a special little form and then months later you would get non other than George Lucas in his fancy Pajamas! Which makes George here the Stormtrooper of the Week.
The figure itself is just a retool of a previously released stormtrooper figure, the 1999 Commtech Figure to be exact... come to think of it I haven't shown a Commtech Stormtrooper yet, hmmm. With a brand new head sculpt, a removable helmet, and a standard issue Imperial blaster. Even though the figure itself is a re issue, I will say this, they nailed that likeness pretty damn close, even made it the "younger" George. The package front is the vintage style package with a little blurb on the back about the maker himself.
I missed out on the x-wing pilot George so I thought I would send away for at least one of these figures, before they dressed him as Jabba the Hutt.
Since I showed off the EMCE Reproduction Klingon, thought I might drop ol' Captain James T up on the blog. I'm still digging these figs and have had some thoughts of maybe doing a web strip type comic when the rest of the set comes out, and when the Planet of the Apes reproductions are released next year I can see the crew of the Enterprise getting into all sorts of situations. Nahhh, that would be to much like "Twisted Toy Fare Theatre", I knew it was too good of an idea, oh well.
Am I the only one that liked it better when it was called "Twisted Mego Theatre"? They caved in when they changed the name.