Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Flash and The Martian Manhunter!

Okay so this post will be a two-fer! I needed to get out of the office at the beginning of the week, so I decided to swing by the store at lunch and then stop for tacos on the way back. Taco run always brings the best toys out. I scored a second 1966 Batmobile on a taco run.

So while I was trolling the toy aisle, browsing the Star Wars and GI Joe section, I noticed some recently stocked "The Batman" figures. As I flipped through the pegs I found the Flash and the Martian Manhunter here, so I grabbed them and proceeded to check out.

So later, after lunch and after work, I opened them up for closer inspection at home. All I can say is that I'm sort of just okay with both. The Manhunter seems sort of small, and both seem just average as far as figures go. The paint seems fair, though I'm going to have to find a screen shot of the Flash to compare, he sort of has these little lighting bolts on his wrists and waist instead of the usual bands, kind of weird. The one thing that I always think is a waste is the one thing that I missed, accessories. I know Manhunter and Flash don't have Bat Belts and equipment, but these toys had nothing, I mean if a kid was to get these you better damn well hope they love not having missile launchers and what not.

Don't get me wrong, I still like the character design on both, Manhunter a little less, his face just looks sort of goofy, I just wasn't as thrilled when I popped these two open and actually held them. Still they will look good next to Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Bats on the shelf. Superman is next and I'm still waiting on the show accurate Green Lantern Mattel!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bounty Hunter: Christmas Fett

Okay, not Christmas Fett exactly, but this is the version of Boba Fett that appeared in the famed Star Wars Holiday Special. This could be considered a debut for the Fett man as this is his first appearance in media.

The figure is again a re paint of the Vintage Original Triolgy Collection figure, this time with some slight changes to his gauntlets, a new holster and pistol, and the addition of a giant tuning fork he used to poke the dragon he rode in the cartoon. It would have been cool to see the dragon realized at the scale of the figure, maybe I'll go but some play-doe. There is also the obvious color change. This figure was previewed with a much cooler animated style helmet, but for reasons unknown he got to keep the standard fett helmet. See this is why previewing figures in magazines and on the web is such a let down some times. You get your hopes up and then the figure hits and bam!

I guess it could work in reverse as well, bad looking figure, company gets feed back, and when the figure is released you get a much better product... Nah never happen.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Concept R2-D2 and C3-P0

One of my favorite concept artist, and a reason I decided it would be fun to draw for a living, Ralph McQuarrie did a few little concepts for a little movie called Stars at War (or something like that). Last year Hasbro decided to release 12 of the most hard to find figures based on his artwork. This pair of droids was a set from that release.

R2-D2 and C3-P0 here were exclusive sold at the Star Wars Celebration last year. If you didn't get to go, like myself, a figure company called Toy Rocket bought up the stock and sold them online. Thing is I've checked Toy Rocket before, and their prices are really high, but for a limited time the sold these for what the were going for at the Celebration. Now Star Wars Shop is carrying what ever is left.

The pair is based on one of McQuarrie's concept paintings that were used to sell the idea of Star Wars to 20th Century Fox back in the 70's. C3-P0 really does look like the Metropolis Robot, though the painting has more of a wide eyed, vacant stare than the figure. R2 is a little shorter and he has extra arms hanging about his dome. I really thought these figures were great when they were announced and apparently so did everyone else, going by how hard they are to find. I finally just gave up, with plans on waiting a little while and maybe pick up the remaining ones I want on sites like E-bay or Hasbro Toy Shop.

The thing is that these are just representations of his artwork. Galloob back in the 90's released a set of concept vehicles (as did Hasbro w/ figures) and even had Ralph McQuarrie produce new artwork for the outside of some playsets. You would think these would be hard to find, but for some reason these figures have struck a cord with the collector, or were just released at the right time. Either way they are pretty cool to have kicking around the drawing desk for inspiration and to keep concept Luke company.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Batman: Hawkman

Another Justice Leaguer from the animated show The Batman. Like Green Lantern, Hawkman was a guest star on the cartoon this season and ended up getting a figure for it.

The figure must be patterned after a early concept because some things are slightly different than his appearance on the show. One being the beak on his cowl is longer and pointed downward, the show had it much more compact, kind of like Batman's cowl.

Some things I don't like, the paint is a little sloppy on the figure and his pins on his knee articulation are flesh colored instead of green like his pants. These could just be on the one I picked up.

Thing I like is the stylized look of the character and that he is among several heroes that have guest stared on the show that received action figures. So that leaves me to find Superman, Martian Man Hunter, and the Flash in this style. Green Arrow mad several appearances, and is actually starting to be one of my favorites because of this show and Justice League Unlimited, now they just need to make a Green Arrow Figure and an Aquaman in this style.

Sadly this is the last season for The Batman, rumor has it it will be replaced by a new show featuring Batman and other Heroes called the Brave and the Bold. Also rumored is the show will take on a different appearance. Can't wait to see it, but The Batman style was growing on me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Little Green Lantern Premium

Anyone else go pick up the New Frontier on DVD the day it came out? I'm such a huge fan of Darwyn Cooke's art that I couldn't wait till this movie was released. As a bonus I picked up the Best Buy version with the little Green Lantern figurine in the package. At first I was going to pass on the "collectible" figurine, but being the same price as the DVD without it, I figured what the hey!

It has some articulation, arms and head move, and comes with a tiny Green Lantern that he can hold, or you can remove from his hand to pose without it. The stand is permanently attached to his feet, but if you were so inclined you could remedy that with an x-acto.

It sort of reminds me of the old green army men, with some extra paint. I kind of wish that DC Direct would release a series of these in Cooke's style, not just of the JLA, but of some of the soldiers and civilians of the movie. Though I'm sure they would end up costing more than the green army men of old.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Doctor Jones to you!"

"I must be feeling ill", I said as I was recounting my trip to Target earlier in the week to Rob over at The Aquaman Shrine as I told him how I passed on a Red Tornado from the DC Universe line, some New GiI JOES, a Marvel Legends Old School Captain America, and a "hard to find" Star Wars concept Rebel Trooper. I actually carried the last one around the store with me. Like some little kid waiting for his parents to say "oh, okay you can get it."

I left the store with no new treasures in tow, but as we made our way past a Toys R Us, I decided to duck in and look around. I passed over the figure aisle, the whole time thinking the same think that I was thinking at Target, blah, blah, blah... when are we going to see the new JLU stuff, man same ol' same ol', I was totally uninspired I guess.

So I went to check out the other areas of the store and came across the Indiana Jones Legos! I knew these were coming out, but I couldn't pass on a chance to get a little Indy! Plus the set comes with a little version of Sean Connery! That was it, I was sold. So now exploring the mess that is my desk Indy and his Father are busy out smarting the included German Soldier and looking for treasure!

These would have been so cool to get as a kid, back when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out. I'm am probably a bigger Raiders fan than New Hope Fan. I saw that movie something like 6 or 8 times in a row, every Saturday for a couple of months. Then I went back for good measure. When it was released on video I picked it up and burnt out the VHS, then the DVD's hit and I've watched it several more time since. I'll try to dig up some of my fondest Raiders stuff, in the meantime "Throw me the idol and I'll throw you the wip!"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bounty Hunter: Comic Pack Boba Fett 2008

Last year Hasbro started releasing Comic Packs, two figures accompanied by a reprint of a Dark Horse or Marvel Comic. The figures are meant to reflect the characters in the comic. Sometimes these comic packs are available at most retail chains and sometimes the are "exclusive" to certain ones. The Boba Fett Comic pack is a Wal Mart exclusive this year. The strange thing about the comic packs is the color of the figures. As I have mentioned they are meant to reflect the look of the character in the comic. Most of the Dark Horse reprints use colors from the modern comics, which are pretty much the same as movie or TV versions of the characters. The Marvel age of Star Wars comics was known for its strange (by today;s standards) coloring, which means the figures are colored to match. So that being said I give you the comic pack Boba Fett and a purple RA-7 Droid, old schoolers might remember him as the Death Star Droid.

I kinda of like the purple droid, adds a little flair to the Star Wars shelf here at Eclectorama, the Fett figure isn't too shabby either. A much brighter version of the Fett man, the figure is based on the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection figure of 2004. This marks the fourth version or repaint of this figure base. The second version I have shown here. This version bears a similar resemblance to the vintage 12" Boba Fett of Legend. I still have yet to capture a 12" vintage Fett, so an e-bay swipe will have to do for comparison. The comic pack figure also has some sand or Sarlaac pit goo detail. At first glance it looks like a mistake on the figure, but it supposed to represent the part of the comic were Boba is covered in sand and the fore mentioned goo when found by the Jawas. Which leads us to the re printed comic.

"Jawas of Doom!" Star Wars # 81! The story in a nut shell, Boba Fett has survived the Sarlacc Pit from Return of The Jedi, but is unconscious just outside the mouth of the pit. Seems the Sarlaac didn't find his armor to appetizing. A band of Jawas and their RA-7 droid find him and have trouble determining if he is a droid or cyborg so they take him to the sand crawler, which I will note changes scale and configuration a time or two in the story. In the mean time R2-D2 has found himself in the clutches of the same Jawas and it's up to Princess Leia and Han Solo to pull his metal ass from the fire.

Boba Fett regains consciousness and is immediately recognized by the R2 unit, but Fett is suffering from amnesia and fails to recognize R2 or Han Solo who has came to rescue the little droid. Leia in the mean time is outside the Sand crawler attacking it with her stolen landspeeder, causing the crawler to veer out of control back towards the Sarlacc Pit. Han enlists the help of Boba Fett to lift the droid out of a top hatch to get to safety before the Sand Crawler meets it's end in the Sarlaac's belly. As Leia calls Han's name, Boba Fett's memory comes back and instead of grabbing Han's hand to climb up himself, he chooses to take a shot at the scoundrel. Han and R2 leap to safety, leaving Fett to head straight into the Pit with the Sand Crawler. Khaaaaaaaan! I mean Haaaaaaaaaan!

Now some amazing things about this comic. The Sand Crawler, as big as it is can be swallowed by the Sarlaac, and apparently tastes better than Boba Fett's armor. So it's a Fett in a Crawler that does the trick for the Sarlaac. Our heroes also steal two speeders outright from some poor alien sap on Tatooine, not borrow, steal and return fire as they do so, nice. I'm also amazed that Boba Fett, when he remembers Han, does not use his rocket pack to get clear of the Sand Crawler, then take his shot. Also he may need to rethink the helmet because he misses Han at about five feet, but then again he's a clone and like the Stormtrropers apparently cannot shoot to save his life. As I have mentioned the Sandcralwer is drawn in different scales and at one point has a couple of seats on the front that the Jawas can be seen using as a cockpit. One nice moment at the start of the story is a small panel depicting a tender moment between a man and his Wookie, it was so beautiful.

So two figures, an amazing story, and Wookie love what better way to spend 10 bucks and an afternoon? What better way indeed.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

DC: Super Friends - Batman

Probably one of the coolest renditions of ole' Bats in a long time, in my opinion at least. This is more for the kindergarden set, than the collector, but seeing how I'm just a kid at heart I've tried to get at least one of all the characters. Not really that hard, maybe Aquaman being the hardest of the group to date, though I have yet to see the all Black Costume Batman anywhere. That one is a must, it screams 89' Batman Movie!

I also like how they branded the line under the old Super Friends namesake. I think this opens up a whole new generation to the cool classics.

I've spotlighted a few of the others here in the past, and have even had some discussion of characters I would like to see in the future. Seems someone at Mattel is on the same wave length, because Bats will be joined by his sidekick Robin and his arch nemesis the Joker. Just what every little fan needs a Homicidal Clown in the toy box...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bounty Hunter: Bubble Gum Cards

Straight from a pack of Empire Strikes Back Trading Cards to Eclectorama! The notorious Boba Fett makes an appearance on the illustration / sketch cards of the day, the day being 1980! Back in the day we also ended up calling them Bubble Gum Cards.

I remember my buddies and I buying these cards by the case at the new Warehouse Club store, that would later become a Sam's then close to become a Walmart, and is now a fitness center, and trade them on the bus after school. Which really turned into passing off the extras you didn't want to someone else. Each pack had the standard stick of gum that had to be left over from the first world war! At least in our minds anyway. How come no matter how bad that gum tasted, you ended up eating every last stick?

I had one of these illustration based cards up before with the Stormtrooper of the Week feature last year. These were a breath of fresh air among all the photo cards and I count these as some of my favorite images from the movies. More than likely these were style guide images used on other products, but I haven't been able to place them on anything else yet, though I'm still looking!

So enjoy this weeks Bounty Hunter on his hot pink background!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I couldn't help it...

It's like that story of the scorpion and turtle, it's just in my nature, I'm bound to "sting" or in this case open up a figure just to check it out. So going against what I said months ago, I opened this two pack up to check out the R2 unit and snap some pics.

It's actually a pretty cool little R2-D2 toy, too! Like all the Galactic Heroes what these lack in articulation they make up for in "cuteness". I actually kind of dig the mini Luke as well. I'm going to have to assemble my army of Galactic Heroes on the top of the drawing desk and see just how many of these I have.

Also a little update, if you collect these and missed out on the Falcon Playset, ole' Wally Word is supposed to have the exclusive re-release of this bad boy! With a few changes in the figure line up of course. I'm holding out that someone in the family will pick this one up for my Birthday and save me a trip to Wally World.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Toy Biz Green Lantern

Okay, okay we all know these figures look awkward, chunky, and full of suck. Less we forget the feeling when we found them on the shelves, okay same as above, but when I found these I thought it was great to get other heroes besides my beloved Batman and Superman. So it's with that thought I spotlight the 1989 - 1990 Toy Biz Green Lantern!

First up lets talk about action! Since these figures have about as much possibility as a brick the Biz had to throw in an action feature on many of these. I think this is the saving feature of the line, that they actually tried to give them some play value. Green Lantern here came with a short length of hose and a squeeze bulb that you could fill with water. Plug the open end of the hose to the back of his arm and you had a power ring that squirted. Okay maybe something more suitable for the Joker, fact is the Joker had a similar feature with a flower on his lapel, you could at least imagine it was the energy from the power ring. Hell with a little green food coloring it could be the energy from his power ring!

The fun didn't stop there, once you got tired of soaking your parents furniture with water and food coloring, you could be sent outside with your own power ring. Note that these things didn't fit chubby adult fingers. The ring has a spiffy glow in the dark feature. Hold the ring up to your power lantern (standard lamp or light source) and you were ready for action. The other accessory that came with this figure was a miniature lantern for Green Lantern to work the caboose of the train, oh yeah power his ring.

I've said it time an time again, I really appreciate the feel and look of these first attempts by Toy Biz, having missed out on Superpowers, I really appreciated the mix of heroes and the speed they were released. It never seemed like I missed out buying another great hero for my son when he was younger, and I never missed out on getting some of my favs as well.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

That's no moon, it's a coin!

I used to stare at this card for hours as a kid. I understood it was a miniature model from the Empire Strikes Back (I think it's the one used in shot of the Falcon on the back of the Star Destroyer)I just wanted that Falcon, or one like it. I wanted a tiny Millennium Falcon so bad, I would make them out of paper. Mine never looked like this.

It wouldn't be till the 90's that Galoob would make the Star Wars Micro Machines version and I was too old to appreciate it then... though I bought it anyway!

I think every time I see this card from Topps 1980 Empire Strikes Back set, how I wanted to be a model maker when I was young, what the hell happened...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Denim, the final frontier!

What better way to say "beat the crap out of me and steal my lunch money" than to sew a patch on you tough skins of your favorite sci-fi show?

The crazy thing is, I kept this from my child hood. I even remember picking it out when I was young! It never got used (thank the maker!) Must have been during the time they stopped making tough skins and I had to start wearing regular jeans. That's one beat down I escaped!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

2001: Classic Superman Style Guide

Here's a pretty cool find. It's a style guide for a Classic Superman program. Those that don't know, Style Guides are just that guides with graphics for use on products that support the licensed program. So in this case it's the classic imagery of Superman and his pal Krypto.

Today I'm just showing a scan of the cover with this short description. The guide measures 6 1/2 inches x 11 inches, 16 pages including the cover, contains logos, graphic treatments, and character artwork for "The Man of Steel! As seen in the 1950's & 1960's". The size and shape is very comic like, yet the cover is of a much sturdier and glossier stock. The interior pages are also a nicer stock about 80 lb. with a gloss finish. The inside back cover includes a clear pocket for the included CD of artwork.

I plan on featuring some more from this and other guides I have in my collection (note: all from the past, as newer guides for newer properties are kept confidential) as I think these are pretty neat finds and it's fun to see kind of the inside of product development.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bounty Hunter: 30th Anniversary Boba Fett

So last year Hasbro released this line of figures to help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars, man do I feel old. Anyway this version of the Fett was to be another mold, actually the one pictured on the back of the card. That one pictured has an action feature, where you press down the rocket on his pack and he raises his arm into a firing position. Kinda cheezy, but they did a really good job at hiding the mechanics. Plus it had a really cool stand that looked like flames. Well back to this one. Seems the fans spoke and they wanted this version, which is a repack of the VOTC figure (Vintage Original Trilogy Collection).

Don't get me wrong, but this is kind of what is turning me off of Star Wars collecting, at least the action figures anyway. The VOTC figure was about 10 bucks when it came out, it was marked up more because it has more articulationn than the basic figures, packed in vintage style packaging, and was supposed to have more detail. Cool and cool, until they release it a year or two later in their basic line. To me this defeats the purpose of getting these types of figures, though for the purpose of making money it's a home run. This isn't the first time I was bit by this snake, the first time I purchased the second version though. I have no one but myself to blame though.

To tell you the truth, if they were going to repaint Boba Fett over and over, I wish they would use this mold and paint him in his Empire Strikes Back colors. There's a difference? you ask. Hell yeah! Empire Boba is a little bit duller in the paint scheme, his gauntlets are green, and the jet pack doesn't have all the bright colors. Doesn't everyone know that? As I kid I didn't have a clue, nor did I care. It wasn't till I had to draw him over and over again for Star Wars Kids Magazine that I learned all the little differences.

This Boba Fett, even sporting his Jedi colors, is still a really great figure. So if you had to have one besides the original and the 300th version, it would be this one. He's sort of like the super articulated Stormtrooper, can be posed pretty believably and is probably the best (not including the original) version of the character out right now. Oh I mentioned the 300th version, that's not the 300th version of Boba Fett, but the 300th Star Wars figure that has been released, that happens to be Boba Fett. More on this one later.

This one comes from the aisles of the Magical Grocery Store. I knew he was out and wasn't sure I would get him since I had the VOTC version, but being a fan of the Fett, and having had a JLU dry spell, I picked him up. Just for the purposes of reviewing him here, and I can't pass up a Fett figure! I mean to compare him to the VOTC version in the future and see if there are any differences. I'm betting that they would be minor if any, maybe since they were manufactured a few years apart. Still would be neat to compare. Till then, enjoy some more macro shots. Who knows maybe I'll try my hand at a custom paint scheme and paint me up an Empire Strikes Back Fett!