Thursday, October 17, 2019

Action Figure Review: Faker (Mondo Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

 Variants and repaints are just a part of action figure collecting. Whether you're giving a character a different look or you're creating a new character out of existing parts, variants and repaints allow a company to get more mileage out of molds, which are the most expensive part of action figure production. While some repaints are often looked on with disdain, some grow to legendary status. While the Masters of the Universe line relied quite heavily on reusing parts and variants, Faker is one character who is largely just a repaint, and yet he's nearly treated as another A-list character at this point. I've previously reviewed the first two figures in Mondo's 1/6th scale Masters of the Universe line (He-Man and Skeletor) but this is the first time I'm getting to review one of the Mondo exclusive figures. Yes, this version of Faker has a new headsculpt that is unique to him. Let's take a look at the Mondo exclusive Faker after the break...

The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Mola Ram from Indiana Jones by Hasbro

    One of my favorite film series of all time is Indiana Jones and while Temple of Doom isn't my favorite now (it's my third favorite), it definitely was my favorite as a kid. I loved tombs and temples and stuff like that, and the fact that most of the film takes place in a giant underground temple thrilled me. I remember watching the movie for the first time, probably on October 1 1989 on ABC, probably when it was an ABC Sunday night movie. I loved the film a lot and was nuts about the main villain, Mola Ram. The Indiana Jones movies, and particularly Temple of Doom, combine a mixture of old fashioned adventure film with horror elements to create something that's shocking, exciting, and fun and man, did Mola Ram make for a shocking and exciting villain. Played by the late Amrish Puri, Mola Ram is a terrifying presence on screen. While Indy has battled his fair share of villains, Mola Ram is definitely the villain who still stands out the most and since he's so darn creepy, he's earning a spot on The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror! Mola Ram was released in the kind of tough to find fourth series of Indiana Jones figures back in 2008. This was the last series of figures with a wide release (the true final wave was released as an SDCC 2011 exclusive) and, sadly, it showed how Hasbro was really improving this line as it went. Hasbro was on fire with this scale back in 2008. Let's check out Mola Ram after the break. Kali maa!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Road to Rise of the Skywalker: Emperor Palpatine and Throne from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    On December 20th, 2019 Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of the Skywalker will hit theaters and it seems like Sheev Palpatine is going to be making a reappearance.I'm pretty excited for that and I'm really, really hoping that an appropriate mixture of material from the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy will make Rise of the Skywalker a satisfying conclusion to the Trilogy of Trilogies, particularly after how disappointed I was by The Last Jedi. Regardless, we're getting some cool merchandise from Hasbro and today I'm checking out the Amazon exclusive Emperor Palpatine and Throne set from Star Wars: The Black Series. Emperor Palpatine was released in the Black Series nearly five years ago (way back in Phase II) but that figure was a little disappointing. Rather than simply re-release him in the Archive Series with a redone headsculpt, Hasbro fixed most of the problems with the original figure, threw in some additional portraits and the Emperor's throne, and are offering him as a deluxe set. Ready to see this new and improved version of the Emperor? Then join me after the break...

The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Transforming Action Set from Micro Machines: Aliens by Galoob

   I'm very, very excited about today's installment of The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror as it combines two things I love: Micro Machines and Aliens! Yes, today I'm checking out the Xenomorph shaped Transforming Action Set from Galoob's Micro Machines: Aliens line from 1996. Galoob had amazing success with Star Wars and a moderate success with Star Trek, so they were definitely exploring for another big property. With a renewed interest in science fiction, between 1996 and 1998 Galoob tried to launch multiple successful lines started from a number of properties: Men in Black, Predator, Starship Troopers, Babylon 5, The Terminator, and Aliens. Aliens was definitely my favorite of those properties at the time of release and while I never managed to track down the Action Fleet scaled vehicles, I did manage to get all three of the regular packs and the transforming set. The regular sets probably came out in the summer of 1996 but I definitely got the Transforming Action set in late 1996 or very, very early 1997. I know I got it from a Toys 'r Us and I played with this thing non-stop. While the Micro Machines line didn't contain the entire cast, I drafted various Star Wars: Action Fleet and Jonny Quest figures to fill in as the missing crew. Based on the original Alien, a masterpiece of science fiction and horror, this Micro Machines set is sure to deliver thrills and chills! Let's check it out after the break...

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Action Figure Review: Red Hood from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

    Today I'm checking out the third figure in Mattel's final series of DC Comics Multiverse figures and it's a character I've wanted to see in Mattel's DCUC/ Multiverse line for years: Jason Todd as the Red Hood. One of the main members of the Bat-family, Red Hood has been a key player in the DC Universe for years though he hasn't gotten much attention toy wise. DC Collectibles just released their DC Essentials Red Hood a month or so ago and Mattel's has been hitting shelves for around the same amount of time. The last series of DC Multiverse figures really does fill in some gaps in the Bat-family, so it's a welcome series, although it does have lots of little weird issues that just seem like very Mattel things to do. For instance: Red Hood doesn't come with pistols. Now, let's think about how little sense that makes since the Red Hood's primary weapons are pistols. He always carries and uses pistols. If Mattel had made some better choices and had a bit better character selection over the past few years, maybe things might have been different. Starting in 2020 McFarlane Toys is going to be making the DC figures we see at mainstream retail. For now, though, let's see how Mattel's Red Hood fares. Join me after the break...

The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Lak Sivrak from Star Wars: The Power of the Force by Hasbro

    I love pulling out random figures of on-screen monsters and such for The 31 Days of Toy Terror and since this year's installment, The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror, is all about monsters and such from movies, I'm really getting the chance to check out some of my favorite Star Wars creatures. Today I'm checking out one of the figures from Kenner's Star Wars: The Power of the Force II line: The Shistavanen wolfman Lak Sivrak! I distinctly recall getting this figure, along with a few others, back at a Service Merchandise on a rainy evening back in 1998. My mother had taken me out to dinner and we were checking out the local Service Merchandise when I stumbled upon quite a few new Star Wars figures. Jackpot! As a middle schooler at the time, a Friday night not spent at a friend's house consisted of watching some Nick at Nite, playing with Star Wars figures, a little N64, and staying up late to watch Cartoon Network. That being, said, back to Lak Sivrak: Despite being released for the first time in 1998, after the Special Editions had been released, Lak Sivrak was actually cut from the film! Yup! A new alien, the Pacithhip, Ketworl, took his place. Lak Sivrak still lives on in our hearts, however, and in the Expanded Universe/ Legends continuity. Wait, in the EU he actually died at the Battle of Endor while piloting an X-Wing fighting against the Empire. He's still alive in the New Canon, though, hanging out with his love, Dice Ibegon. Let's check out a spooky space Wolfman after the break...

Monday, October 14, 2019

Action Figure Review: The Punisher from Marvel Legeneds Series:

    It's no insult to Hasbro's Marvel Legends, as they've continued to be excellent this year, but I haven't purchased one since Captain Marvel back in February. I was checking out GameStop a few weeks ago and I stumbled upon the new Fan Channel exclusive of the Punisher, which I just had to pick up. What can I say? I have a weakness for Punisher figures. They usually look really cool and feature lots of great accessories. This version also reminds me of a cross between the Punisher, Solid Snake, and Snake Plissken. That was enough to sell me on it right there. The Fan Channel exclusives tend to show up directly at sites targeting fans like BBTS, Entertainment Earth, and Hasbro Pulse or in retail at places like GameStop. They don't have build-a-figure parts with them as they're sold as individual releases rather as in series. Let's check out this new version of Frank Castle after the break...