Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Road to the Last Jedi: First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  Today on Action Figure Barbecue I'm checking out the Amazon exclusive First Order Stormtrooper with a bunch of extra gear. Hasbro released plenty of variants of the First Order Stormtrooper in the Black Series when The Force Awakens was released but they did skip the Heavy Gunner Stormtrooper version. This set finally gives us the Heavy Gunner alongside of a bunch of other accessories. It's honestly the closest thing we've seen to an accessory pack in a Star Wars toyline since those sets that came out during the Attack of the Clones line. For $35 dollars you get a standard First Order Stormtrooper with the gear to outfit him as four different troop types. Pretty cool, really, and you can use the gear on your previous basic First Order Stormtroopers to outfit them, too. Let's see how this set turned out after the break...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Road to the Last Jedi: Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III

 Like the First Order Stormtroopers for The Force Awakens and the Scarif Stormtroopers/ Shore Troopers for Rogue One, the Elite Praetorian Guards seem to be Hasbro's go to faceless minions for creating multiple variants for this year's Star Wars merchandising bonanza. Set to appear in The Last Jedi, we currently don't know much about the Elite Praetorian Guard other than there are eight of them, they use martial arts styled weapons, and they guard Supreme Leader Snoke while clad in red, just like the Emperor's Royal Guard.  The latest Elite Praetorian Guard variant is given the designation of coming with a heavy blade and is an Amazon exclusive. He just started shipping within the past week or two and you should still be able to pick him up. Let's take a closer look at what makes this guy unique after the break...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Toy Review: End Level Display from amiibo by Nintendo/ PowerA

   Recently I picked up a Nintendo Switch. I'm really enjoying it as it's a system with plenty of high quality games that I can play along with my four year old. Right now we're mostly playing Super Mario Odyssey and the game takes advantage of Nintendo's amiibo collection to allow you to obtain a bonus power-up, unlock special costumes early, or even obtain hints on where to find the games numerous hidden moons. I picked up a few of the Animal Crossing amiibo figures earlier this year both due to playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf and my desire to add them to my World of Nintendo collection, and now I've picked up a few more to add to the collection. Today I'm looking at a cool display base for the amiibo figures that is modeled after the flagpole and stairs that appeared at the end of the levels in the original Super Mario Bros. videogame. While it is branded as an officially licensed Nintendo amiibo product, it was actually produced by the company PowerA. Does that make this a second party item? I actually picked it up more to use with my World of Nintendo figures rather than to use with my amiibos, but it works great with both collections. Let's take a look at it after the break...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Unite the League: Mera from DC Comics Multiverse: Justice League by Mattel

So, what did you think of Justice League? I liked it! In fact, I loved it! As a DC fan, getting the chance to watch the Justice League interact and just be heroic on screen was a magical experience. I was giddy and enthusiastic the whole way through! Now I can definitely understand why not everyone is going to appreciate this movie but I'm nuts about it (I'll probably be talking more about it on the Confirmed Epic Podcast next week). Now let's talk about one of my disappointments (which I really don't think is a spoiler, but your mileage may vary): Mera has a very, very small role in the movie. Maybe 5 minutes of screen time. I assumed she wasn't going to have a starring role but I did think she would play a bigger part throughout considering her prevalence in marketing materials. She'll definitely have a much larger role in next year's Aquaman so I guess we should consider her appearance in Justice League to be similar to the cameos of the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman in BvS. This Mera figure is an Amazon exclusive and just started shipping in the past week or two. Let's take a closer look at her after the break...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Road to the Last Jedi: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  We're now less than a month away from the release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi! I don't know about you but I'm insanely excited. I read all of the new canon books and having just recently finished The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu, I'm even more excited to how the new film truly portrays the aged Jedi master. Today's toy review isn't about Luke, though; it's about his original mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. For the past few years Walgreens has had an annual Star Wars: The Black Series exclusive figure and this year's figure is the Force Spirit version of Obi-Wan Kenobi. While this is largely a repaint of the previously released Obi-Wan Kenobi figure that first showed up at SDCC 2016, the paint work here really helps this one to stand out. I still remember receiving my Spirit of Obi-Wan action figure from Frito Lays in 1997, so this one feels a bit nostalgic to me. Hasbro has tried different methods of capturing the Force Spirit versions of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin over the years this might be their best attempt. More after the break...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Confirmed Epic Podcast #77: Thor Ragnarok

On episode #77 of the Confirmed Epic Podcast The Reel Brad Bell & AKA Andrew Stokes are joined by a very special new co-host: Kate Mcall to review the latest installment in the MCU: Thor Ragnarok.  As always we get into the epic news items of the week, as well as what we have been checking out.

We also finally answer the question of who the hell is Hela?

*We apologize for the technical difficulties in our return during last week's Stranger Things 2 Review, but have taken steps to correct that, mainly by recording a live in person edition of The Confirmed Epic Podcast for the first time in quite sometime.

*Cover Art courtesy of Dan Mumford's epic print: 'The Bifrost Showdown'

Let us know what you thought about the podcast in the comments below or follow and tweet us @thereelbradbell  

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Unite the League: The Flash: From Page to Screen from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

 We're only a few days away from the release of Justice League and I, for one, am getting pretty excited. I think I have my expectations set at a reasonable level but I'm also getting pretty enthused that there is some good feedback coming from early showings of the film. Of course, whether the film is good or bad we're still getting toys and plenty of them. Overall Mattel's offerings for Justice League have been pretty bad but today I'm looking at a set they've released as a Target exclusive that is quite cool. It's called "The Flash: From Page to Screen" and it features both a comic version of the Flash and the film vision of the Flash. While this set features a good deal of reuse, there are also a few cool new parts, too. I've had this set since the end of October but I figured it might be a cool set to get us all pumped up for Justice Legaue. More fast fun coming after the break...