Monday, May 30, 2016

Action Figure Review: Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection:The Secret of the Ooze by Playmates Toys

 Today I'm looking at the second figure in the newest installment of Playmates Toys' new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Collection based on the 1991 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of the Ooze: Leonardo! These are exclusive to Walmart and I managed to track down the entire set about a week ago. I have to admit that while I haven't picked up any figures from Playmates' Nickelodeon inspired line in at least a year I have a true weakness for the original movies. Heck, I love the 2007 TMNT as well (and the accompanying toyline). For someone who was the perfect age at one of the heights of Turtle-mania in the late 80's and early 90's I have such incredibly fond memories of these films. I remember being so excited for the original film that I threw up in line, unfortunately meaning that I had to go to a later showing of the movie. While The Secret of the Ooze definitely doesn't hold up as well as the first film, I have to admit that as a kid and for years afterwards it was my favorite TMNT film. I liked the original movie as a kid but TSOTO just felt more like the cartoons and toyline to me which were my preferred methods of TMNT consumption as a child. While I sadly thought that the 2014 film was rather lackluster and forgettable (something that I find difficult to conceive of in a TMNT film) I do have high hopes for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows as it seems to be trying to capture the over-the-top feel of the current animated series. Will that movie turn out to be any good? Who knows? For right now let's focus on this Leonardo figure! Since there is a good amount of reuse between these figures, expect a good bit of reuse from my earlier review of Donatello from this line. Ready? Then join me after the break...

Friday, May 27, 2016

Action Figure Review: Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection: The Secret of the Ooze by Playmates Toys

 Today I'm looking at the first figure in the newest series from Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection: Donatello from 1991 cinematic classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze! Back in 2012 Playmates released four 6 inch, highly articulated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures in a series they called the Classic Collection. These were the most well articulated and possibly most cartoon accurate TMNT toys ever at that time and fans gobbled them up. With that kind of success, how did Playmates react? Well, they released Rocksteady and Bebop and then proceeded to cancel the line. You're telling me Masters of the Universe fans will buy figures of nearly every character in existence but Playmates doesn't think they can make a dime off of classic interpretations of characters like Casey Jones, Shredder, April O'Neil, and Master Splinter? Perhaps they were too focused on the wildly successful Nickelodeon line and the then upcoming movie but eventually they did release movie versions of the four turtles in 2014. Now they've essentially just repackaged those four figures with more accessories and have released them as a Wal-Mart exclusive, just in time for the newest TMNT film. I skipped out on these figures the first go around, so I'm pretty excited to see them available again with cooler accessories and alternate portraits. I'll be reviewing the rest of the set early next week since I bought them all in one go but today I'm starting with Donatello, the brainiac of the group. Ready for a closer look at this new version of Donatello? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl (Pensive Face) from DC MyMojii by Funko

 Last Saturday I was out with my wife and the little one and we ended up at a Books a Million. I typically don't purchase many blind bagged items but I'm always curious to see what's out there. I was quite surprised to find out that there were two series of blind bagged trinkets that featured Batgirl items I just had to have. The first and most recent of these two collections is the DC MyMojii collection of little plastic emojii heads by Funko. Fortunately, these were blind bagged and not blind boxed so I was able to sit on the floor of the Books a Million with my very helpful two year old and track down a Batgirl. I was right on my first try! Go me! Each minifigure in this series is available with three different facial expressions (mine is the "pensive" version but there is also a happy and a really happy version) and also comes with a download code for a free emojii. Are emojiis something people actually buy? I thought they were just images you used on message boards to temper passive aggressive posts? Anyways, let's take a look at a pensive looking Batgirl emojii, after the break...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Action Figure Review: Batman from DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman by Mattel

  I first saw this figure on January 1st, 2016 when Toys R Us put these out on shelves. I originally wasn't sure I was going to pick up the entire set so I just grabbed the Armored Batman figure. Fortunately, Batman has been insanely easy to find and I waited until I could get him at a discount. Just recently did I manage to get him from a seller on Amazon who only wanted $12 bucks for him (with free Prime shipping), so now I have a new Batman figure to review. I've already reviewed the Toys 'R Us exclusive unmasked Batman figure which reuses most of this figure, although it does have a different cape and a unique head along with a different paint job. Honestly, that's quite a few differences and it totally justifies me snapping up another Batman figure! Ready for a look at Batfleck? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Action Figure Review: Lex Luthor from DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman by Mattel

   Today I'm checking out another figure in Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman themed series of figures: Lex Luthor. Zack Snyder's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice definitely made some changes and took some risks with reinterpreting characters and one of the most drastic just might have been Lex Luthor. While Luthor has almost always been portrayed as a powerful alpha male (the guy has been POTUS in the comics) BvS subverted that by casting Jesse Eisenberg, who gives Lex a very different vibe. He's more Mark Zuckerberg than Kenneth Lay. Of course Lex had to make his way into the toyline but while the more kid friendly received made-up versions of Lex in his Warsuit, the collector focused Multiverse line gets a more standard Lex. Is he a decent toy or something you're going to have to buy just to complete the Grapnel Blaster "Collect & Connect" accessory? Find out after the break...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Action Figure Review: Sting (Series 39) from WWE Elite by Mattel

 Tonight, May 22nd, is WWE Extreme Rules 2016 so in celebration I just had to throw up a WWE review! Today I'm looking at an older figure I actually just purchased fairly recently through a Ringside Collectibles sale: Sting! Sting was a WCW guy for years and years who wound up in WWA and TNA, not signing with WWE until 2014. He first appeared at Survivor Series 2014 and debuted on RAW in January 2015 where he feuded with the Authority, fought (and insanely lost to Triple H) at WrestleMania, and fought a pretty good match against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions 2015. Unfortunately, he was injured in that match and it pretty much seems like it has ended his in-ring career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, which is pretty cool, and of course now that he's an official WWE player Mattel is cranking out the Sting figures. This one was part of Elite series 39 which was released at the end of last year and is the first modern Sting figure from Mattel (the others have been Flashback figures). Ready for a meeting with the Icon? The Franchise? The Vigilante? The Man They Call Sting? Then join me after the break...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Action Figure Review: Bat Creature from DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman by Mattel

 Don't you love when a movie based toyline releases a completely out of left field character who gets only a fraction of a second of screen time? You have to admit that it's interesting to see what secondary (or lower) characters make their way into a toyline and I think you'll be hard pressed this year to find an action figure based on a more obscure character in a recent movie line than the Bat Creature from Batman v. Superman. This guy was a pretty big surprise, especially considering that he's a hallucination in a brief dream/vision sequence fairly in the film. I respect Mattel for picking a fairly toyetic character although I do wish that this spot had been given to Lois Lane. Or Bruce Wayne. Or a Parademon. Alfred. Or Diana Prince. Or Anatoli Knyazev. Or Zod's corpse. Seriously, any of those characters had more screen-time than this guy. Still, that doesn't mean it's a bad figure does it? Let's take a closer look and see what we can see, after the break of course...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Action Figure Review: Rey (Starkiller Base) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 # Where's Rey? Here she is! While the whole "Where's Rey?" thing made major waves, it turned out to be a pretty uneducated and reactionary movement; The issue is that everyone was buying the Rey figures! The same thing happened with Captain Phasma, too. Heck, we could have said "Where are Force Awakens Toys?" in general as Hasbro seemed woefully unprepared for the release of the Force Awakens with a toyline that was too diverse in terms of scales and types of product offered while offering little depth. I will express some solidarity with the movement, though, in saying that I'm incredibly disappointed that Hasbro hasn't offered all of Rey's costumes in the 6 inch Black series yet. While she was one of the first five figures released in Phase III of the Black Series, she's the only main protagonist to not get a legitimate variant. Hasbro had better show off a Jakku Scavenger Rey and a Resistance Rey at SDCC or people will be pissed! Anyways, today I'm looking at a "variant" that's really just a fancy repaint: Rey from Starkiller base. The second figure in a K-Mart exclusive series of deluxe boxed figures, Rey connects with the earlier Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base) figure to reenact their duel on Starkiller Base. Remember when we all the second figure that would connect with Kylo Ren was going to be Finn? Anyways, this is a simple repaint of the first Rey figure with two diorama pieces and a repacked lightsaber. Is it worth it? Learn more after the break...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Action Figure Review: Xavier Woods (Series 42) from WWE Elite by Mattel

 Guess where I'm going to be tonight? Watching WWE Smackdown live in South Carolina! Since I'll be watching the New Day live tonight, I figured I'd give you the pleasure of reading a review of one of your WWE Tag Tag champions: Xavier Woods! The New Day is without a doubt one of my favorite parts of the WWE right now and I'm excited as anything to get to see what they'll be up to tonight! I'm going to jump right into this one pretty quickly so eat your Booty-O's, gather up a little unicorn magic, and clap your hands as you get ready for this review of the Elite series 42 Xavier Woods in his ring attire from last year's Elimination Chamber. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Action Figure Review: Vultak from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

  Can you believe that it's been over three months since I last reviewed a Masters of the Universe Classics figure? This has been one of my favorite lines for quite a few years now but my gosh is the new team at Mattel taking all the joy out of it. Don't get me wrong, the new Filmation inspired figures look good (I'm not collecting them, though) but the constant delays, zero contact with the collector base, and bizarre business practices have made this line far more frustrating than it ever was under the leadership of former brand manager Scott Neitlich. Fortunately, the product itself is still pretty good and I'm excited to have my hands on Vultak! I just received him in the mail a week or two ago (he's the March figure, but didn't ship until the end of April. BTW, the two May figures have been delayed until June and September.) and I'm glad to finally get a chance to review him. Ready for a look at this never before made Filmation baddie? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Action Figure Review: The Godfather from WWE Elite by Mattel

 As part of WWE Elite series 39 Mattel invites you to light a fatty for this pimp daddy from the red light district: It's the Godfather, baby! Released as a Flashback figure in series 39, the recent Hall of Fame inductee the Godfather (real name Charles Wright) was one of the many memorable figures from the Attitude Era who now struts his way into the Elite series. Looking at a character like the Godfather, it's almost impossible to imagine someone pulling off this gimmick in the current era. People would freak out! The guy was a pot smoking, ho train leading, pimp. Definitely not someone who would work in the modern PG era, huh? Anyways, it's really fun that Mattel was willing to put out a figure of this guy as he was always an entertaining presence. Ready for a closer look at this figure? If you like what you see then light it up for the Godfather!!! After the break, of course...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Action Figure Review: Neville from WWE Elite by Mattel

  Yesterday I looked at Kalisto, the most agile warrior in the WWE and today I'm looking at Neville, the Man that Gravity Forgot! Elite series 43 is double packed with high flying, acrobatic Superstars, isn't it? While this Neville figure is decked out in his outfit from his WWE debut in March 2015, it's actually still current as he hasn't changed his look much yet. He may be sporting a new look soon, though, as he is currently out with ankle injury, but for now this is a pretty up to date figure. Neville has made a name for himself on the main WWE Roster as one of the most fun Superstars to watch. He's acrobatic, agile, and does some incredible aerial maneuvers. He also took part in a pretty cool match last year when he teamed up with Stephen Amell to face Stardust and King Barrett at SummerSlam, so I guess you could put him with your Arrow figures if you wanted to. Ready for a closer look at this new high-flying Superstar? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Check out Confirmed Epic Podcast #45: Captain America: Civil War

    In episode #45 of the confirmed epic podcast me, the Reel Brad Bell, and Andrew come together to discuss Captain America: Civil War. We also talk about Steppenwolf being in the Justice League film, the 2014 Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen film Outcast, Andrew winning an Ashes tournament, the lead up to Civil War II, the new Power Rangers costumes from the upcoming film, and more! Click the link below to head over to The Epic Review and listen!

ThEpic Review: Confirmed Epic Podcast #45: Captain America Civil War

Action Figure Review: Kalisto from WWE Elite by Mattel

 Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!

That's right! It's time for a review of Kalisto from Mattel's WWE Elite series 42! I recently made an order from Ringside Collectibles and picked up three of the newest figures that I was looking for to add to my roster. Kalisto is an incredible athlete and hands down one of the most entertaining WWE Superstars to watch in the ring. He's agile, energetic, and seems like a really nice guy to boot. He's currently the United States Champion and 1/2 of the tag team duo The Lucha Dragons, one of the most exciting tag teams out there. Ready for a closer look at Kalisto? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Action Figure Review: Lt. Ripley from Aliens by NECA

 April 26th, 2016 was the first ever Aliens Day and to celebrate NECA released a exclusive Aliens figure through Toys 'R Us based on Ripley's appearance in the original 1992 Aliens toyline by Kenner. NECA has really gained a reputation for making some cool throwback figures like this and Ripley is perhaps one of the neatest they've done. It doesn't hurt that Ellen Ripley has been a tough figure to track down in both NECA's Alien and Aliens lines. Here's a chance to get the same great Aliens version of Ripley with a cool new paintjob and a brand new accessory. Honestly, as someone who played with the toyline long before I ever saw the film, this is without a doubt my version of Ripley. I found her at Toys 'R Us last week as part of a pre-dental visit toy run. Ready for a closer look at this figure? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Action Figure Review: Knightmare Batman from DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v Superman by Mattel

Until the release R-Rated director's cut of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I figured I had said everything I needed to say about the film in the 3 1/2 hour episode of the Confirmed Epic Podcast where we reviewed it. Picking up this figure, however has definitely stirred up a few lingering thoughts about the film and I have to say that I'm anxious to see what a second viewing of the film brings to my mind. Released as the 6th figure in Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman line, Knightmare Batman depicts Batman in the post-apocalyptic garb he wears while wondering through a mysterious future ruled by Darkseid. Here's the thing about this figure: First, he looks really, really cool. Two, it represents a rather different take on Batman. Whether you love the film, hate the film, or fall somewhere in between (like me), I think you have to admit that Zack Snyder did something different with these characters, particularly Batman. While you can see many of his influences (particularly Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns) he managed to do some things that no on would expect. I also think that these things are extremely intentional and not a result of Snyder just not understanding the characters; I think Snyder really wanted to try something new. If you really think of Snyder's BvS:DOJ as an Elseworld's concept, it works much better. Anyways, all of my thoughts here are just my way of getting into the meat and potatoes of this endeavor which is a review of Knightmare Batman. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Monday, May 9, 2016

Action Figure Review: Chris Jericho from WWE: Then, Now, Forever by Mattel

  Early last week I had to go to the dentist, which really sucked, but I did end up having some time early in the morning to run around and hit up some stores in a nearby town and boy did I have one heck of a toy run. The first thing I picked up while out and about is a figure from a recent Wal-Mart exclusive series from Mattel's WWE line called "Then, Now, Forever" (I actually picked up the DC Multiverse Aquaman that same day, but it was after I snagged Jericho). These are essentially "basic" WWE figures but they've turned out pretty nice. Plus, it's been a few years since there was a modern, Elite Chris Jericho and since he's been a pretty big presence over the last few months I decided to grab him. Plus, I'm totally digging the Highlight Reel accessory as it's been a major plot point again over the past few weeks during his feud with Dean Ambrose. Maybe we'll get a jacketed Dean Ambrose next year with an "Ambrose Asylum" sign and a Mitch accessory! How cool would that be? Anyways, let's take a look at this new figure of Chris Jericho shall we? Join me after the break ("the walls down")!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Action Figure Review: Aquaman from DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman by Mattel

   Aquaman is not lame. You're lame if you think that. I love Aquaman and I get so tired of people bashing the character because of a few jokes that shows like The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy has made. If you didn't read the early issues of the New 52 Aquaman, you really should; it nicely addresses the issue of people misunderstanding Aquaman's powers and shows his true strength. Anyways, rant over and on to talking about this figure! Aquaman is included as part of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice subset of Mattel's new DC Comics Multiverse line which is pretty impressive for a character who appears on one of the posters for the film and yet only appears in the film for like 7 flipping seconds. Jason Momoa looks awesome in this role and I love the redesign but I really thought Aquaman might have a larger part in the film. Maybe they relied on him heavily in the posters and merchandising because they know that people love them some Khal Drogo and Warner Bros. wanted to get in on some of that sweet Game of Thrones money? Who knows? Still, while his appearance in the film is limited that doesn't really detract from my desire to own this figure. I've been looking for it for awhile and I managed to track him down earlier this week. I don't know how many Aquamen come to a case but if it's like any character in this line other than Batman, the answer is probably only one. Ready to go a little... deeper? Read this review and you'll think you're looking at Aquaman!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Action Figure Review: Batman Unmasked from DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman by Mattel

 I was very surprised last week to walk into the Toys 'R Us closest to my home and find the new Toys 'R Us exclusive Unmasked Batman from Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse: Batman v. Superman line. If you're trying to find any figures other than the basic Batman and the Armored Batman, you're going to have a tough time thus far. This guy was right there, though, so I picked him up. This is a pretty cool idea for an exclusive as it's actually rather rare to have an unmasked Batman figure in any toyline. I mean, Ben Affleck's portrayal of an over the edge Bruce Wayne was definitely one of the high points of the film, so it's nice to acknowledge him in some way (of course, as you'll see, this figure doesn't exactly look like Affleck). Want to take a closer look at an unmasked figure of the Caped Crusader based on Ben Affleck's portrayal? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More May the Fourth Be With You Madness!

Here's another picture of my Star Wars collection I took at some point. This is another one from early 1996. If you have an eagle eye (like me) you can see that the figures shown only go up to the second series of Power of the Force II figures as the TIE Fighter Pilot, Yoda, Han Solo in Hoth Gear, and Dagobah Training Fatigues Luke are absent. There are also some more vintage figures that I acquired at a local flea market, a BP Station that sold collectible figures, and through an online retailer (the first time I ever discovered you could order toys online or through the mail!).

Take notice of the couch in the background, too! This couch was the "family room" couch for many years when I was growing up and it is incredible! Later it got moved into my room (well, the love seat did- I can't remember where the couch was stores for a couple of years) and then my wife and I took it to our first apartment in 2005 when we were married. It was our couch until my wife decided it needed to be replaced, so I moved it into our spare bedroom. When that became my little one's nursery in 2013 it moved down into our new spare bedroom. It's still there and to this day it strikes me as a comfortable, beautiful piece of furniture.

Happy May the Fourth be with you! BTW, if you ever want me to do couch reviews, I'll do them!

May the 4th Be With You!

Happy May the 4th and May the Fourth Be With You! I didn't really prepare anything new for today but I did want to share a couple cool Star Wars things I've worked on in the past, most significantly this article I wrote back in 2013 about my first Star Wars toys. Check it out and have a great Star Wars Day!

(BTW, that nerdy looking kid in the picture above? That's your old pal Barbecue17 circa 1996 with my then very humble Star Wars collection.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Action Figure Review: Alicia Fox (Series 47) from WWE by Mattel

Alicia Fox has been with WWE since 2008 and this former Divas champion has had a few figures based on her likeness during her time with the company. Within the past year she joined in the Diva's Revolution as part of Team Bella and participated alongside Nikki and Bella. Things have been pretty quiet for Alicia Fox lately (honestly while the women's division has some incredible talent right now they have a tough time ever finding stuff to do for more than a handful of performers) but I found this figure on Amazon for retail price and decided to jump add to her to me display alongside Nikki and Brie to recreate Team Bella. She's currently part of team Total Divas and has had a handful of matches here and there. Of course, pick up this figure and you can put her in whatever matches you want? Ready for a closer look at Alicia Fox? Then join me after the break...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Action Figure Review: Sasha Banks from WWE by Mattel

Today I'm checking out another figure from Mattel's WWE basic line: Sasha Banks! Sasha Banks has been hanging out in NXT since the end of 2012 but she finally made her WWE debut last summer as part of the Divas Revolution where she certainly began to make a mark as part of Team B.A.D.. This is the first Sasha Banks figure Mattel has released and I was amazed that I managed to find her at my local Wal-Mart a week or so ago! That place has been sitting on at least eight pegs filled with nothing but Elite 32 Daniel Bryans and Elite 34 Bad News Barrettss so getting anything new in is a pretty big deal. Ready to take a break from watching RAW to check out this Legit Boss in her action figuere debut? Then join me after the break...