Friday, September 28, 2007

VOTC 12 inch Stormtrooper

Not to be outdone by the 3 3/4 inch Stormtrooper from the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection (VOTC) this twelve inch Stormtrooper came in a package that has to be the most packaging that I've ever seen for a toy. The toy came packed in a box that is a replica of the original, or vintage, trooper from 1978, plus an outer box wrapped around that, and a nice heavy plastic shell on the front to protect that. You would get tired just opening this toy. Which reminds me, has anyone seen what they use to tie your favorite toys to their package? I have, it's a tool from Satan's workshop it is, I'll have to dig out my picture of it...

Released in 2004 - 2005 as a part of the first series of VOTC, the twelve inch figures did not have as an extensive collection at the 3 3/4 inch toys. This set included the Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker (Farm boy dress), and a Chewbacca. The last was an exclusive to Kay Bee Toys and was later repacked in the Revenge of the Sith line with a different weapon I believe.

While this issue of "Stormtrooper of the Week" is focused on the package, I would be remiss if I didn't wet the appetite some by addressing the figure. Hasbro couldn't just repack a twelve inch trooper they released earlier (thought that doesn't stop them now), they created a whole new sculpt, and it's really a nice looking piece. If you had to get a great looking trooper, twelves inches tall, at a value, this would be the one. While not the level of detail of a Medicom trooper, this guy will hold his own among the other troopers in your collection as far as detail. One great thing about this trooper is his armor no longer has the rubber boots connected to the shin guards, he actually has a little articulation here now. I plan on showing this guy out of the package in the future, maybe in comparison with the Medicom so keep an eye out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The New Frontier!

Okay this is a rare time that I will post a video, I like to see videos in blog, just not sure everyone else does, plus sometimes I think it gets abused.

Now that I've said that... Holy Crap! New Frontier coming Spring 2008!

JLU Update

And the roster continues to grow! So this past weekend did not only yield a Sand Man from the Signature Series, but a Dr. Light from the JLU! I had actually been watching her collect dust on the pegs in a TRU (Toys R Us) for a little while, they had a sale, so I moved in. Which is not my normal MO for JLU figures. So I was a happy camper to finally add her to my collection, but the list doesn't stop there! As I was taking a trip to pick up some lunch on Wednesday I decided to stop at a Dollar General on the way, which I'm going to add was quite clean although very unorganized. I noticed the toys were spread all over the store, so I went to hunting and came up with Atom Smasher and Hawk!

Being two that I had passed on before, I grabbed them and checked out. I'm making a note though, that store had a few cool Star Wars Titanium ships I might have to go back for, all from the original trilogy! Better pay the bills first though. So, like I had said this was an extremely clean Dollar General, seeing how I've only been in two in my life, the first being on the other end of the clean scale, I was really surprised at how well they kept the store uncluttered and really well lit. So I guess it goes to show you never know where you'll find cool stuff! Oh and the best part they were both purchased at the bargain price of 2 bucks each!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Signature Series Sand Man!

This is kind of a "I found Something New!" and an "anniversary post" all rolled into one. One year ago today my wife and I were sitting in the middle of the Sony Pictures Lot in Los Angeles enjoying a sneak peek at all that was going to be Spider-Man 3! I just remembered that we made this trip last year at this time. The cool thing is that what ties all this together is we got to mingle with Thomas Haden Church who played Sand Man in the movie, and is pretty funny in real life. This was also the first time my wife said I totally "geeked" out when I got to shake hands with and speak briefly with Avi Arad (don't worry if you are not familiar with the name, true geeks will know and that's all that matters). She said it was a site to see, the inner Fan Boy sneak out and make an appearance. Oh well. I got to meet Avi, we made away with a cool freebie and a few months later Sony sent me a cool Spider-Man 3 Poster, but I'll always remember being able to share the experience with my wife. Okay onto the toy...

I found this during a fluke trip to Target. We actually just finished having a little break from working on the house and ended up at Target with my wife's parents. We were heading out of the store and I noticed a Sand Man in someone's basket so I told everyone I would meet them up front and immediately hoofed it back to the toy isle. There on an end cap being cleared out at five bucks was Sand Man, along with Cyclops from the X-men (which I bought at full price, doh!). I had never even seen these at full price, so I grabbed one and ran back to the front of the store.So now Spider-man has another arch villain to fight.

Compared to the other figures in the Signature Series line he is short on style, articulation, and I found some of the paint applications to be sort of disappointing. Although, he is fairly easy to stand and pose, which amazed me because of his giant sand fist. I am probably one of a very few that actually enjoy this line, and I have gone on record that I enjoyed the DC version of this line as well. I'm really sad to see this Marvel line fade out like the later mentioned DC one, without seeing Iron Man, the Thing, Doctor Doom, Hulk and others join the ranks. I understand that Mr. Fantastic and Johnny Storm have made prototype appearances on the web, so hopefully these will surface somewhere. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an Iron Man in the classic armor, that would be sweet. Oh well, maybe I can go get a clearance Cyclops and do some sewing and modifications and cobble something together. Stay tuned true believer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Vintage Jedi - Ol' Ben

You thought Yoda was in pretty good condition! This is my original Obi Wan Kenobi from the 1978 Kenner Star Wars line, with original saber I might add. I remember needing to get this figure to train my Luke figure, but that was probably it, he was much too old and frail to combat the evil Empire at the time. I would have to say that at that time Old Ben was not my most favorite of characters from the movie, but as time goes on he has become one of my top ones. Funny how things change when you get older.

He has become so much my favorite that when I sat down to check out the recent Family Guy Blue Harvest episode I was really offended at how he was portrayed in the show. Now I'm not an old stick in the mud, I can handle Family Guy in doses, but a show that's whole gimmick is "that's like the time (insert funny moment in pop culture here)" kind of gets old. Back to Kenobi, as I'm sure to have made some Family Guy fans upset, I think it goes back to what one of my readers has said about respecting our Jedi Masters as little kids, and to me Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda are really the two I think of when you mention Jedi masters.

I will say that I really love the simplicity of vintage toys sometimes, the articulation and paint applications are basic, but just enough to spring board that imagination. I don't think I ever wished my toys could hold numerous poses as a kid, okay maybe it would have been nice if the Stormtroopers didn't look like they were handing you their blaster when you posed them, but that's all part of the appeal of these vintage figures. I really dig today's figures as well, but you can't beat these originals for what they are, fun toys.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Batman Can Fly!

I really dig this new interpretation of the Batman making the rounds on the cartoon channels. I know some people do not like the re-imaging of the characters or maybe the style of the show, but to me it all helps to keep the franchise fresh. I also have to say I caught the new season's premiere this weekend, and ole' Sups has a little bit of an attitude towards the Bat, it's usually the other way around, isn't it? Made it interesting.

Anyway, this is one of the deluxe figures from Mattel, I believe he broke out the flying wings to chase down and capture Firefly, in season two!? For the most part it is pretty show accurate, except for the giant missiles, but looking past those, it is a pretty neat figure set. The wings fold up and pop back out, and he has the harness sculpted on so it's not like a generic Batman with a hole in his back. The usual articulation on these guys at ten points and the "chunky" features help complete the look. You know now that I think about it, does it ever hurt to have a giant missile strapped to your back? Boba Fett I'm looking in your direction.

Friday, September 21, 2007

You say Stormtrooper, I say Spudtrooper...

It's Stormtrooper of the Week time, and today we have a special guest, Spudtrooper. I'm really surprised this is the first Mr. Potato Head I've featured on the blog. I really cannot get enough of these spuds! Always liked them, pretty much always will.

Spud Trooper is a second release in a Star Wars theme set of Potato Head products. Darth Tater being first and Artoo Patatoo book ending the set. Disney has plans to release a continuing set with potato versions of Boba Fett, Han Solo, and others. Have we gone too far, or not far enough?

Not sure I'll get them all, but Boba Fett is a must, and I'm hoping they do a few more Marvel Potato Heroes. I might have to do a custom Bat Potato!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Concept Luke

I remember when Hasbro announced that they would be doing a whole series based on the concept artwork of Ralph McQuarrie (one of my major influences as a kid) I was pretty jazzed about it, but now months into the line and with the trouble of finding these figures I'm not so thrilled anymore.

Rumor has it that there are about 12 or so figures in this sub-line, all but one McQuarrie inspired. To date I have three (well four if you count a two pack as two separate figures). Man I hate me some scaplers. This is not the first time a McQuarrie inspired figure has hit stores, matter of fact one of the new ones is a repaint of the first concept figure produced back in 2000. The Stormtrooper concept figure. This guy was a cinch to find, nobody wanted him. I could have made an army out of them if I was so inclined. Fast forward to today and the repaint was the first released and has still eluded me.

This was a convention exclusive Concept Luke, based on the painting of Luke and Vader facing off. This guy is sort of notorious because he was released at Comic Con, and during the convention he was released on line at a less expensive price. To add a discount code was circulated, and then later denied by Hasbro. So people on both sides of the purchase were pissed to say the least. Hopefully I can complete the painting at least, if I can find the concept Vader!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lil' Silver Surfer

This just in from the Hasbro Superhero Squad line, Silver Surfer. I've actually been holding this one for a couple of weeks, he came packed with a little fiery Human Torch. When did you ever think that a guy on fire would make an appropriate toy for kids? But now that I think about it Mego had a Human Torch as well.

This was given to me with one stipulation, I had to open it. So I did! I'll admit that between the Superhero Squad and the Star Wars Galactic Heroes line, plus the Transformers joining the fray, I have a hard time keeping up. So I resorted to just getting the characters that I like! Oh and I likes me some Silver Surfer!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Here's Bossk!

Another of the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection, Bossk here is really a neat representation of this character. The usual detail and articulation that you've come to expect from this sub line of Star Wars figures, Bossk does not disappoint either of these department.

Bossk is the one character from my vintage collection that I did seek out to buy from a toy show while in college, see my son and nephew beheaded my original Bossk when they were young. Something that I still to this day remind them of. Boba Fett was next in line before I stepped in. They would have had very different lives if the Fett man had fallen that day. Anyway, I always considered Bossk Boba Fett's equal, though the comics make him out to be more of a nemesis, and not to good of a bounty hunter either. Even though, as a kid, Boba and Bossk were always inseparable in my mind.

I still see these hanging around on the shelves, and I still say if I was going to get one figure out of the set this would be the one. This is by far the ultimate version of Bossk.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Windup Thing

I just love the head sculpt on this little wind up. When the Thing here gets all wound up he walks and smashes his fist together! Part of the Toy Biz Twist Em's, I'm really surprised at the amount of characters, and for that matter the characters chosen to get this treatment. I mean you expect to see Spider-man, Captain America, Hulk, but the Thing, Dare Devil, Nightcrawler??? Don't get me wrong, I think it's really cool when other characters besides the flagship ones are given time to shine.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Will the REAL Stormtrooper of the Week please stand up!

Not too long ago, I posted a rant about someone replacing a 30th Anniversary Stormtrooper with one from the 90's. Well I realized I haven't shown the 30th Anniversary trooper yet. So here he is in all his 30 years of Star Wars glory. You know for Star Wars being the big 30 you think they would have done something a little bit more like re-release the original with 30 extra minutes of George Lucas adding Jar Jar or something! I guess we can actually say "Thank the maker!" he didn't. But that doesn't mean he's not jacking with the originals still, I read somewhere, and I hope it's a joke, that he is making them 3-D now???

Well, Hasbro here, produced a 30th Anniversary line with a mixture of characters from all the movies. So I thought I would just go over what I like about this figure, since it's really just a re-release of the VOTC figure.

Pros: The packaging is kind of nifty with the die cut and the weathered look. The look itself could be taken as the weathered look Lucas originally tried to give his movies, the "used car" look, or I like to believe it was somewhat inspired by the "Circus" Poster for Star Wars. A one sheet poster that was illustrated to look weathered and torn, posted on an old fence, sort of like the Circus advertisements of long ago. Another pro is the figure is packed in a cool running stance, which I've noticed recently that figures are taking on that "action" part of their name more and more. Last pro, even though it is a re-pack, it is still a great figure, nice detail, proportions, and articulation.

Con: One, but it's a big one. It really is not a straight up re-pack. Hasbro worked their clone / Jango voo doo on it and he has a removable helmet with none other than Jango Fett's face. Yeah, we get it, they're clones, enough already!

Well that's the Stormtrooper of the Week, till next week, here's hoping George forgets where he put his copies of the original trilogies so he won't do some more damage!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Scuba Batman: Scuba Duba Doo!

I don't know why, but out of all the numerous Batman variations, I always gravitate toward the Scuba Batman. I just think these are cool! I think it has something to do with a swimming instructor when I was a kid that had a Superman and Batman Bendy (Mego I believe) that she would throw into the deep end of the pool to help teach us to dive. Nothing like a little "Help Batman! Before he drowns!" to get a kid to push a fear of drowning himself aside to save his hero.

Anyway, I always thought that it would be cool to have Batman, in his cool scuba gear, team up with none other than Aquaman on an undersea adventure. This Batman is one of the early Mattel released a few years back, before they rebranded the line to S3, that I think is one of the best of the Scuba Bats. Not only is he sporting the cool flippers, but he has the webbed gloves to go with them, and a cool missile firing tank too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Canary Has Landed!

The planned post has been preempt for this breaking news!

This was sent to me by my friend over at the Aquaman Shrine. It's hard to believe that I missed the first release of this figure, but I did. So this version is a much welcomed addition to the Eclectorama JLU Collection!

This little bird came with a note that instructed me to keep an eye on the Green Arrow, good advice, as I woke up this morning with little tiny arrows shot into my pillow, almost like a warning or something...huh?!

I have to say that after getting this figure in hand, for an animated heroine, she's a Hotsa Mama! This little gal might make my Zantana figure jealous.

Thanks Rob, I owe you one now, hope I can find the Hawkman before you do!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vintage Jedi - Lil' Yoda

I thought it would be fun to throw up some of my "Vintage Jedi". I have a handful in various conditions, one of my favorites and probably in the best condition is none other than the Original Jedi Master himself, Yoda! This would be my original Yoda by the way, not a purchase from a toy show or flea market. I have probably only bought two vintage figures that way, the rest in my collection are all O.G. baby!

For the life of me I can not figure out how this little guy made it to the present day with out losing all his accessories. I'm lucky to have maybe five blasters left from my original figures, but Yoda here must have used the force or something to hold on to his cane, belt, and snake. Also looking at the photo I can say this is by far the best Yoda figure Kenner / Hasbro ever made.

I mean look at that kind , all knowing expression on his face. They do not make Yodas like this anymore. Nowadays they all have this fierce look on their face, waving a little green lightsaber around, jumping around and doing what looks like a Jedi floor routine for the intergalactic olympics while they stab Clonetroopers. I guess I'm a sucker for the kinder, gentler Yoda. As a kid I had no problem with Yoda not needing a lightsaber, he pretty much showed he was powerful when he lifted that X-Wing out of the swamp, that was proof enough for me that he could hold his own in any situation without resorting to a weapon. Did I miss the message of the Yoda from Empire Strikes Back? "Wars not make one great."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

SOTW: Don Post Stormtrooper Helmet

First, no I'm not a part of the 501st. I often thought it would be cool to have Stormtrooper Armor, but I'm not about to take that dive off the deep end. This is a full Stormtrooper helmet though, from the Don Post Company. Now I could not tell you the exact year this one was produced because it has what looks like the sloppiest copyright statement I have ever seen, you can barley make out "20th Century Fox ©".

Also, you may look at the condition of this bad boy and wonder what war has this thing been through, many my friend, many. This was purchased back in 1994 at Disney World MGM Theme Park, at the Star Tours Ride. We were on a family vacation and I noticed there was a Sci-Fi store in Florida that was selling these helmets, and I had planned to go and pick one up there. See, I remember seeing these advertised in the back of all the Sci-Fi and Horror magazines when I was a kid, and I've always wanted one. At the time this was the best that there was, as in 1994. Well needless to say we didn't make it to the store that was carrying these, but the souvenir shop at the end of the Star Tours ride had them and at a better price. So not only did I make away with the Stormtrooper, but Lord Vader as well. But we couldn't stop there, I told my son to pick out a couple and he grabbed an Ewok and Yoda Mask. So we had quite a collection.

This mask brings back memories of this particular road trip as we were heading home by way of Tennessee and we really had no room for the masks in the trunk, so we all decided (except for the driver) to wear them through most of trip in Tennessee. Cars were honking and laughing, I think a pretty good time was had by all. The mask has been through several other minor battles and light saber duels in the House of Howell along with age, which leads to it's character.

I love the fact that since it is made of vinyl, they couldn't put lenses in the eye holes so it is drilled out in a sort of screen and painted black, that and the communication areas on the ears are just foam. When I bought this the stickers had started to peal then, so Disney was nice enough to give me an extra set of decals (which I still have), when I think back how much trouble it must have been for them to stock extra decals and hand them out when asked without so much as a groan, it is really amazing customer service on their part. I will never get rid of this mask, but I do have my eye on a newer version with lenses, and then there is this ultimate version which I will probably never own because of price, but man it's cool to imagine the possibilities, like looking at all those old magazine ads.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

DC: Super Friends - the Flash

Next to Batman, the Flash is one of my all time favorites. So I thought, I spread enough Superman love the past few days, I would continue the DC vibe with one of my favs.

Again from the Mattel DC: Super Friends line, the Flash! I will say whenever new DC Comics figures come out I always snag Batman and then set about seeing if the Flash made the cut, then I work my way to Aquaman, and the rest. I'm usually pretty excited when I find a so called "second stringer", even more excited when I find those obscure "third string" characters! But, they are all top tier as far as I'm concerned!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

DC: Super Friends - Superman

Thought I would follow up that Super post yesterday with this little Mattel DC: Super Friends, Superman. Man my nephew would have loved to get this when he was younger. I've never seen anyone that loved Superman more as a kid! Plus my son would have made out like a bandit, because he would have had a whole set as well. Too bad they are both "too old for toys" now. Still these might be fun to give them as Christmas presents.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Super Preview!

I was planning on posting this on Monday, but this week is going to be hectic at best. Shooting photos for an upcoming catalog, home repairs, back pains, and a mountain of other tasks. I'll be lucky to get any "real" work done. That said the posts might be a little sporadic this week.

So what is this thing? This was a preview kit, or best guess a promo kit for the Superman Returns Movie. Well not so much as just the movie but a kit building hype for Superman across the board. These were sent out to license holders to fill them in to information about the upcoming movie, about the other Superman licenses in the Warner Bros. Stables, and the Man of Steel in general. This one came with a letter announcing the movie and other Superman properties, which I returned to the person it was addressed to, because it seemed a little personal even though it was probably a standard letter to all licensors.

Me being a fan of Style Guides and studio promo items and a fan of DC Comics Heroes, I had a chance to go through the material, after which I was offered it because it was taking up space in the offices. I sort of dug the case, plus it came with a cape! So how could I say no?

I will say that WB is one of the few studios that go out of there way to produce these crazy promo items, but in this case the enclosed discs fell a little short. Instead of the custom printed discs, they opted for the ink jet labels. Which I can't really blame them because the case and cape are the real jewels in this set. I do wonder if the case is recycled from a previous superman style guide. If anyone knows, drop me a comment.