Friday, August 29, 2008

Batman's Tie Fighter

With the latest version of the Batman in animated form on T.V., our hero got a revamped set of wings that looks like it flew right out of Star Wars. The new Batwing from the Batman made it's debut around the second or third season, but didn't make it too market until about a season after that. this is one of those Bat vehicles that has the Batman figure, or figurine, stuck in place. This version converts to an attack mode, though it didn't do that in the show. I liked it when it appeared on the tube, so when I saw it on a shopping expedition I picked it up. For some reason I usually do not pick up these fixed figure toys, with the exception of Batcycles that is. But this was such a radically different approach to a Bat plane that I thought it was worth it. Plus it never hurts that it fires missiles.

I remember that the lines were packed at the Target we frequent, and a "Team Leader" that we always see opened up a lane and we jumped into it. He asked if the Batplane was for me, sort of as a joke and I said it sure was. Then he broke out into telling me that the new season started that coming Saturday and to make sure I watched it. You could tell he was a Batman fan as well, just by his pure excitement in the way he talked, like he finally found another Batfan that would listen. Then surprisingly my wife chimed in with "you should go check out Legions of Gotham on the web"... wow she does listen to all that crazy nerd stuff i talk about.

I really didn't have to say much except to promise to watch that Saturday's episode, like I wasn't going to do that anyway, paaaleeease what type of Batfan did he take me for.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bazooka Joe!

Code name: Sgt. Bazooka. This Joe is in my top five of favorites from the old days. The Cobra Viper being one of the others. the other three are yet to be revealed. Though I could have sworn that he was just called Bazooka back then. I wonder if he got a raise with the promotion?

This guy has bulked up since the olden days, and compared to the other Joes he's huge. Either Hasbro thought it would be cool to bulk this guy up to football status to match his jersey or they messed up the scale. I like to think it was the first option. I am also going to go on record at this time in agreeing that the mid body articulation bugs me on this one since it cuts his number in half on his shirt. So Jay you're safe on this one if you rag on the chest articulation, lol. Another thing i find sort of weird is that his knee articulation is not the usual double joint, I wonder why that was changed? He has a cool new helmet that comes off and also sports a chin strap, a backpack that has removable ammo, and a much larger bazooka than the vintage Bazooka. the ammo can even be loaded into the new bazooka! Thought I would shoot a couple shoots of the package before I ripped it open this time.

So why is Bazooka deserving to be in the top five, easy he was the first original Joe I ever bought back in the day. I thought it was cool that he had the plain ole' fatigues and then some bright jersey, like he wasn't a target out there in the field. Plus he's got the 70's adult industry stache! Sadly my original Bazooka fell in the Battle of the Baby Room back in the mid nineties. My son and nephew took his life in a rather vicious and brutal fashion, ripping him in two and losing his limbs. I wept for poor Bazooka, but I did not learn my lesson as Wheel Jack from the Transformers suffered a similar fate. To this day my son is reminded of all the mighty that have fallen for his pleasure, their names will live on in our hearts and memories... Bazooka, Wheel Jack, Bossk.

Yo Joe!

G.I. JOE: 10

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

He's Dead Jim!

And with that, cue the dramatic music and go to commercial, take a drink, and... Oh hello and welcome to the Dr. "Bones" McCoy drinking game! Ahh just kidding, we're here to round out the Holy Trek Trilogy from EMCE with no other than the good Doctor himself. I have to say Mego/EMCE did a pretty good job on the likeness, it really does look like Deforest Kelly. This is easily my favorite Dr. McCoy figure because of the likeness.

I had to stretch talking about these EMCE figures out a bit, it takes EMCE a little time to release these, which is totally understandable and fine by me. Gives me more time to save for em! Dr. McCoy was the one character none of my friends wanted to be when we played Star Trek, but to me he is one of the most likable. He was the solid ground, the rock of reason, the human element in the show. Not saying I was ever McCoy when we got our Trek on, I was usually the Captain or Scotty.

I'm three crew members into the original seven, waiting for Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov, and all the alien goodness they bring along for the ride!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One night only! The comic styles of R2!

Just because I thought my fine readership should see a utterly colorless R2-D2 from a previously posted Star Wars Comic Pack. I ripped open the comic pack to check this fine little droid out.

The coolest feature is the retractable leg, Hasbro has done this a couple times before on other R2 units. With a twist of his noggin the center leg magically disappears . Twist it some more and voila it magically reappears!

I guess it sort of looks like the comic book from the seventies, but to truly get it right they needed to make it way off model.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Well, I received a request to feature more from the style guides, in particular this one with mention of Krypto. Not wanting to let anyone down I thought the least I could do would be to throw some of the images from the disk up in a Krypto post while I scan some of the guide pages! Enjoy.

... and my favorite of the Krypto images.

"The Girls" get in on the action... I give you Ace the Bathound and Krypto the Superdog!

... and a little bonus, a peek at something we are working on here at the factory!

Friday, August 22, 2008

1930's Bat Gyro

The last of the Johnny Lightning "build your own" die cast vehicles, here is the Bat Gyro! This awesome little plane-a-copter comes straight from the early 30's Batman comics.

The Bat Gyro has a gloss black finish, with matte black accents, the wings have the scalloped bat wing edges as does the tail. two seats, fixed landing gear, a prop protruding from a bat masked engine cowling and a large rotor prop on top. The parts come pre painted like the other little models and most are plastic, with the exception of the main fuselage which is die cast. The only way to have made these better, include some little Batman and Robin figures to stick in them like airplane models.

I really wished that this series would have had a little longer life span, it was sort of fun getting these, doing some simple assembly and having a pretty polished display vehicle. I would have liked to seen at least four more from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. I still wants me that Frank Miller Bat-Tank from the Dark Knight Returns!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lightning Fast Bat Transportation!

I think enough time has passed since the Dark Knight has swept up everyone in it's amazing whirlwind of adventure that I can post some "Bat Goodness"! So here we go Bat Fans, the Johnny Lightning build your own Bat Vehicles. These were released in the early part of the new decade, and have to be one of the coolest if not easiest models I have ever built. The actual finished vehicle is about the size of a Hotwheels car, but they were packaged in a display type box with header card that is similar in size and shape of the Corgi Batmobiles, maybe a little smaller.

Each kit came with instructions, a tiny screw driver, tiny screws (duh), and pre painted parts. You could pretend you were on an assembly line putting together little die cast cars! Each represents a different era of Bat vehicle, or major Bat vehicle, with two of the four representing the 60's. No you are not seeing things the fourth will be revealed tomorrow.

Let's start with one of the coolest of Batmobiles, the 1940's. The 40's Batmobile is a supped up sedan with the recognizable bat fin adorning the roof, running down the back of the car, as well as the "mask" that was used as a battering ram. This version even has the wheel wells that have the bat like scalloped edges. Solid gloss black, chrome accents, this is one bad looking Batmobile. Probably only considered iconic by comic fans, but is easily recognizable as a Batmobile.

Next we have the 1960's comic Batmobile, I say comic because it seems that while they could do a version that was based on the Futura car design, Johnny Lightning was not licensed to do the 1960's Television Batmobile that everyone knows. But this one is similar to the Barris version form the show in so many ways that it's not to far to imagine Adam West at the wheel.

This set also features no bat markings except for the matte black mask that is on the hood of the gloss black car. The interior and any exterior details were all pre painted as before, but one extra feature on this one is the opening hood. This car also included a hitch on the back that comes in handy for the trailer that came with the next set the 1960's comic Batboat!

Again the comic being because the television Batboat was not licensed. Probably one of the coolest of the four sets, the Batboat features similar pre painted details as the above Batmobile and includes a trailer that you can hitch to the car, or lower it's hitch wheel to stand at the ready in the Batcave. I wouldn't try to float this one though, it's made up primarily of die cast, like the others, and would sink rather fast.

This one along with the Batmobile reminds me of the older Corgi sets that included the car, trailer, and boat. I believe there was even a larger rack toy set that had the same set up, but all plastic at a larger scale. I wonder if they ever produced a Batcamper, so Batman and Robin could hitch it up for a weekend of s'mores and ghost stories?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mighty Muggs: Chewbacca

Just to catch you up, here you can read a little about the Mighty Muggs from an earlier post. Just like in that post I will mention that it's funny how characters that don't strike me as my absolute favorite get picked up just because something clicks. The Hulks face, Chewbacca's somewhat happy growl here.

The Mighty Muggs are a mixed bag with me, I don't feel the need to pick up every one I see, just a few select ones, a representation of certain pop culture institutions, Star Wars, Marvel, etc. I can say too I find it really weird that some of my favorite characters do not translate well into the Mugg format leaving me on the fence and not really concerned about adding that version to my collection.

So having said that, Chewbacca here is a one of the ones I chose for the Star Wars section, just something about making the character so simple works. I have said before I am not particularly drawn to Chewie, he's cool don't get me wrong, as a kid he was one of my favorites! Just older me wasn't too thrilled about his appearance in the prequels. He didn't seem to do much except give Yoda a piggy back, and even then why did it have to be Chewie?!? So seeing this Mugg reminds me of cool Chewie from back in the day, the Chewie that few starships and blasted troopers, Rock on old Chewy!

I will also note that I called the G.I. Joe and Transformer Muggs before they were announced at SDCC 2008! Of course it's hard for Hasbro not to slap paint on a basic shell and sell it for ten bucks, they even sell them for ten bucks unpainted! At first I scoffed until I realized I could make DC Superhero Mighty Mugs, or Muggs of the family! Do I smell some crafting christmas presents?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

EMCE Spock

EMCE Spock, what can I say? Based on that great Mego toy of the seventies, EMCE continues to knock them out of the park! I knew immediately when these EMCE reproduction figures were announced that Spock was going to voyage home, my home to be exact.

Spock was one of the coolest characters, if not THE coolest character, from Star Trek. Of course he is one of my favorites and I had and still do have the Mego from my childhood. Spock here was released with the Andorian earlier this year. The second release in the series of repro Star Trek figures.

I was thrilled to have a "clean", complete version, of one of my favorite childhood buddies. Not that this guy could ever replace the original, but it's cool to have a complete one and also to have that feeling of opening that package to get him out and into action.

I will eventually post pics of my original Vulcan along with a fairly funny story about how we found each other again after all the years, but that's for another time, till then enjoy EMCE Spock and Live Long and Prosper.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's the Little One's day!

Squee's turning four today! I can't believe it's been four years since she came home with us. She is the littlest of our two Basset Hounds, but she's big on spirit!

Here she is, looking all but thrilled about having her picture snapped. Happy Birthday Little One!

Weekend Report!

Okay here in the great state of Texas it was tax free weekend. A tax holiday dreamed up years ago to "help" relieve some of the burden of taxes for certain back to school items. If you are a casual shopper on these three days, you save maybe 10 bucks (hey ten bucks is ten bucks), but if you have a large family and purchase their wardrobe for the year I guess you save more. It's been a while but I think it's mainly clothing that is affected by this no tax rule, that and a few other things. I know this is the first year backpacks were added to the list of non taxable goods, that's a big deal. I think this is something left over from Bush's turn at Governor, but I'm not entirely sure about that, I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Anyway the best thing about this weekend is the stores tend to stock up the toy aisles so they can reap the benefits of children coming along to try on clothing and pick up notebooks. So here's what I saw (but didn't pick up, that's another story)

1) The BMF Millennium Falcon
2) tons of DC Infinite Heroes series one
3) a few DCUC series three, including a Deathstroke without a mask (is that rare?)
4) New GI Joe vehicles, including a H.I.S.S. tank
5) a ton of those GI Joe DVD sets
6) some new Transformer Classics
7) Mighty Muggs Boba Fett and Stormtrooper
8) Tons and tons of Clone Wars Cartoon figures
9) Wii "light sword" controller add on
10) a Ghost Busters T-shirt ( I should of grabbed that one and enjoyed a tax break, I may go back for it!)

What I did get...

"Indiana?! The dogs name is Indiana!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bounty Hunter: Concept Boba Fett

It's been a while since I've done a Bounty Hunter Post so here is the origin of the main man himself, Boba Fett. Part of the 2006-2007 Hasbro Star Wars Artist Concept Series, Boba Fett is based on concept work done by Ralph McQuarrie. Though I'm sure others worked on the development of the character, McQuarrie gets the credit for the original concept.

The figure being the concept version does not yet have all the bright colors and battle damage that we all know and love from the movies, but rather is a clean gray and white version. Since the concept sported several helmet types an extra head is included to modify the look of your figure. Some cool features like a holster for his blaster, snap on flame for the flame thrower, and a concealed belly missile launcher have been added, all culled from the concept art.

This subset of figures has to be one of the coolest Star Wars toys in a long time, and were extremely popular. I consider myself a rather good toy hunter and I have not completed a set, which to tell you the truth I would really only want to get the Darth Vader version besides the few that I already have, one day Vader, we'll meet... Boba and I can wait, we're very patient.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Romulan Bird of Prey

It always amazed me how most of the alien vessels in Star Trek used to have the same type of engines, or at least they looked the same. I will admit that this one ups the ante some by placing them on the ends of two wings and swept forward. Besides the usual engine configuration this ship is more of a departure than the Enterprise or Klingon D-7 as far as ship layout, this bird is more compact and the bridge section does not hang out there like the others separate from the engineering section. Also you may have noticed a giant bird painted on the bottom, used to strike fear into the system they were attacking.

So what are we looking at? Another of the Johnny Lightning Star Trek ships released back in 2005. I'm going to go on record as saying I thought the bird on the bottom was sweet and when I was younger and the larger AMT models were around, I probably screwed up about a half dozen of these trying to get the bird to look right. So, I really glad that these Johnny Lightning ones come with the decals on.

This ship is a little bigger than the Klingon D-7, I know that they are not in scale, I believe it should be somewhat smaller since it is basically an attack craft. Sort of a strike hard and fast craft. But, I can see why the did not render these craft in scale, you would feel cheated getting a ship the size of a quarter after getting the Enterprise and Klingon D-7, so they were just trying to give you the most plastic for your buck.

The Romulan Bird of Prey was first seen, along with the Romulans, in the Episode the Balance of Terror. Where we learn for the first time Romulans and Vulcans are somewhat related and look surprisingly alike. We also learn the these bad boys have a cloaking device that make them invisible to scanners. The episode is a classic and plays out like an old War drama of fighting submarine commanders, down to the Romulan Commander casting out debris so the Enterprise would think his ship has been destroyed. One last thing the Romulan Commander was played by Mark Leonard, the same actor that would play Spock's Father.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum are bringing back the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise for all us EMCE Fanatics! Kirk was quoted as saying "The big chair and flat screen are mine!"

Oh Happy Day!

Klingon D-7 Battle Cruiser

When I was first introduced to Star Trek I was all about the U.S.S. Enterprise, as I got a little older I started expanding my horizons with the ships of the Klingon and Romulan Empires.

Today we'll be looking at the Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser form the original series. I have built a few of the AMT model kits in my time and still have one kicking around the collection, but this is a newer release of a classic ship from Johnny Lightning. Released in around 2005 the D-7 was among the first in a series of Star Trek ships from the company. The D-7 was produced in the standard gray, a cloaked version (which could be considered a Romulan version of the ship) and a limited white version called White Lightnings.

I went with standard colors, though they cloaked version might be kinda cool. When I first saw these, knowing what I know about Johnny lightning making die cast cars I thought the ship was die cast. I was surprised to find out it was the stand, and the ship was plastic. Sneaky, the weight of the package threw me off! I wasn't disappointed just surprised. So fair warning.

I am only two ships into this line, with plans only to get the other two classics and a couple of the movie ships, but if you dig a really detailed starship at about 2 1/2" to 3" in length, these are the toys for you. Tomorrow will be the Romulan ship of choice from the original series, tune in!