Monday, September 26, 2022

Action Figure Review: Desert Rat from Action Force by Valaverse


   My birthday was a week or so ago and I ended up with quite a haul of action figures. Today I'm going to start checking out the cool new Action Force figures I received from the second series of releases. Let's star with Desert Rat, a figure based on Tony Roberts. Tony Roberts is the founder of Analog Toys, the director of the documentary The Story of Action Man, and served in both the Australian and British militaries, including as a member of the SAS. Desert Rat pays tribute to the guy by injecting him into the new Valaverse Action Man mythos as a member of the SAS who has come back to support Action Force. Pretty cool stuff! That has to be one heck of a dream come true for Roberts. The figure is really solid, too, and makes for a great addition to the line. Let's check out Desert Rat after the break and see what he brings to the fight...

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Toy Review: Outland TIE Fighter from Star Wars: Micro Galaxy Squadron by Jazwares


   While Galoob's Star Wars Micro Machines line is still one of my favorite toylines ever, I did like Action Fleet as well. I've always been more of a "figure" guy than a vehicle" guy, so I ended up with more of the Action Fleet playsets and figure packs than the vehicle sets, but I still have a decent collection of them from when they first came out. Jazwares' new Star Wars: Micro Galaxy Squadron line definitely had me excited as this truly seemed like a return to what made the 1990s Action Fleet series so fantastic and I was excited to see them in stores. When I finally ran into them, though, I wasn't as taken with them as I thought I would be. I examined all of the ones that I came across but I always ended up passing on them. The character selection seemed a bit limited (a minimum of two figures per vehicle would have been more ideal) and some of the sales methods like blind boxed speeders and chase variants sort of killed my enthusiasm. While out with my family at Target one day I stumbled across the chase Outland TIE Fighter and had to pick it up. The Outland TIE Fighter, flown by Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, is a cool ship, but knowing that I stumbled upon a chase variant sold me on this one. I believe it's the "chase variant" of Darth Vader's TIE Advanced but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the distribution of these in terms of case packs, etc. Was it worth it? Let's take a look at the Outland TIE Fighter after the break and find out...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Action Figure Review: Xamot Paoli from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

   Since I reviewed Tomax last week you surely were expecting Xamot to follow, right? Well, here he is: Xamot Paoli from Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Classified Series. Since Tomax and Xamot are twins, it seems reasonable that both figures are pretty similar, right? Well, that's true here. The figures are basically mirror images of each other, so while they look similar they do have their fare share of unique parts. You know, different headsculpts, different shoulder pads, different belts stuff. I'm still a bit surprised that Hasbro didn't make them a two-pack, which seems like the best idea, but hopefully they'll at least ship in the same numbers. Since they're so similar  this review is a total cheat, as I didn't have much new to add and was mostly able to just change the names. Let's check out Xamot Paoli after the break and see if he 's as good of a figure as his twin brother...

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Plundor Cake!


   I've shared before that my dad bakes great cakes and will go all out to decorate them, too. Back in 2019 my parents retired and moved close to us and my dad began baking special cakes for our birthdays again. After he arose to the challenge of a pistachio Moss Man cake (flocked with green coconut), he has also made a butterscotch Scare Glow cake and a raspberry Orko cake. He's been training our daughter, Adora, and this year she made my birthday cake. Well, birthday cakes. I originally suggested that this year's cake should look like Plundor, but then I found a recipe for a cake inspired by the strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. It has a crumbly top, so it couldn't be decorated. I was surprised, though, that my dad and daughter split the cake into two, giving one the crumbly topping and the other a buttercream frosted Plundor. Amazing!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Action Figure Review: Tomax Paoli from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   It's been over a week since I reviewed Sgt. Stalker but I actually received him, Tomax Paoli, and Xamot Paoli at the same time, so it's time to start checking out the Crimson Twins. I'm starting things off with Tomax. I have to say that I'm actually quite surprised that Hasbro didn't release Tomax and Xamot as a two-pack. There's only ever been one time they were released separately and that was in the 2005 Toys 'R Us exclusive Crimson Guard Force set. One set came with Tomax and one came with Xamot. Collectors weren't too thrilled with the setup, if I recall correctly, and it seems odd to split these guys up, especially considering that the Classified Series has been doing oversized/ deluxe releases. Still, getting Tomax and Xamot in the line is quite nice as they're two more of the major Cobra villains to round out your Cobra Command. I'm really curious as to how these guys will do once the hit mainstream retail as they're both very similar and I could see some more casual buyers not feeling the need for both. Let's take a look at Tomax after the break and see what he brings to the G.I. Joe: Classified Series...

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Action Figure Review: Roton from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   Over the years I've stated that the Roton is one of my favorite Masters of the Universe vehicles. Honestly, it probably is my favorite. It's a close tie between Roton and Land Shark. I love the crazy design and the sinister color scheme, and I've loved it since I was a kid. While the vintage Roton was released in 1984, I probably got mine later than that considering the oldest I could have been in 1984 was 1. I think most of my early MOTU collecting years were between 1986 and 1989 when the vintage line was wrapping up, on clearance, and transitioning into He-Man/ New Adventures. While I distinctly recall purchasing some items new at retail, a good number of my vehicles and playsets came from yard sales. Where'd I get my vintage Roton? Who knows? I picked up the Masters of the Universe Origins Roton recently from Walmart, however, and it comes in a big, gorgeous window box just like the vintage toy. Like the Masters of the Universe Classics Roton, this updated version of the original toy also takes some design cues from the vintage Monogram Roton model kit. Ready for an updated version of Roton, the Evil Assault Vehicle? Then join me after the break...

Monday, September 12, 2022

Accessory Review: Weapon Set B from Mark 2 Toys


   A week or so ago I reviewed Weapon Set A from Mark 2 Toys, a new small creator of 1/12scale accessories from which contributed weapons sculpting to Valaverse's Action Force line. Those figures have some fantastic weaponry and now Mark 2 Designs is selling some of their own sculpts in very affordable packs. Today I'm looking at Weapon Set B, another pack of eight solid plastic 1/12th scaled accessories that work with a variety of toylines such as Action Force, Marvel Legends, G.I. Joe: Classified Series, and other 6-7 inch scaled figures in need of some additional firepower. It seems like Mark 2 Toys (my packages say Mark 2 Design but I think they might have changed the name) has plans to offer more goodies in the future. This set has some very cool sculpts that can definitely complement a number of figures you may already have in your collection, so let's check it out after the break...