Thursday, March 31, 2016

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl (Signature Series) from Batman: Classic TV Series Maquettes by Tweeterhead

 Just like I said in my review of Diamond Select's Premiere Collection Batgirl, we are receiving quite a few Batgirl statues in a very short period. Within the past twelve months we've received the Diamond Select Yvonne Craig Batgirl, Sideshow's Premiere Format Batgirl, the DC Collectibles Black & White Batgirl and the Designer Series Batgirl (I'll be reviewing her within the next week), and Diamond's Femme Fatales BTAS Batgirl and we've still got some more stuff coming out! Today I'm looking at a new Batgirl product based on Yvonne Craig's portrayal of the character from a company I was relatively unfamiliar with until recently: The Batgirl maquette from Tweeterhead. I preordered the Signature Series version of this item last year and was pleased to find that it arrived in the post just a week or so ago. Unfortunately, due to the passing of Ms. Craig last August, Tweeterhead was unable to deliver on these being actually signed by the real-life dominoed dare doll. Still, Tweeterhead did send along a letter to let customers know and there are some extra cool things they should be sending along to us such as a lithograph and a folder of pictures. I'll probably update the review when those arrive. Let's jump on in now and take a look at what might be the definitive Yvonne Craig version of Batgirl in statue form. Join me after the break...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Action Figure Review: Dr. Herbert West from Monstarz: Re-Animator by Amok Time Toys

 A few weeks back I was checking out my blog feed and saw that Phantom Troublemaker over at Needless Things had just reviewed a new action figure I wasn't even aware of which I ordered immediately: Dr. Herbert West from the film Re-Animator.Dr. West is from Amok Time Toys' Monstarz range of products which seems to encompass products from a number of different licenses released in a variety of different styles.  Dr. Herbert West has a lot of similarities to a Funko ReAction figure in that his packaging and design is clearly inspired by vintage Kenner action figures. Of course, Herb is actually a more sophisticated figure than Funko's ReAction offerings. While I've been growing a bit disinterested in the ReAction styled figures as of late this one really interested me due to both the license and the really cool accessories. Plus, there's always a place for him alongside the H.P. Lovecraft inspired Legends of Cthulhu line. Ready for a quick look at this Lovecraft and 1980's horror inspired action figure? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Action Figure Review: Batman (Zero Year) from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

 DC Comics' divisive New 52 "reboot" has technically come to an end (soon to be replaced by Rebirth) and I have to say that I'm kind of sad to see it go. Of course, my experience is with the books related to Batman and the goings on in Gotham, which didn't seem to be as problematic as other areas of the new universe. I'm really not sure that the flagship Batman title has ever had a stronger, better run of solid story arcs than those we've seen delivered by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. One of the things that was rather bizarre about the New 52, though, was the timeline suggested for the new story. With the Batman timeline, Batman was supposed to have only been active for 5 years. Those must have been 5 extremely busy years considering that Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian all had been Robins during that time and then moved on to their other respective roles, as well as having Barbara be Batgirl, suffer an injury, and overcome it again. The point is that DC did a poor job with setting things up as for the longest time it seemed like many Batman books taking place prior to the New 52 were still canon. A couple of years back we were finally given an origin story for the New 52 Batman, though, through the year long series Zero Year. It turned out to not only be a great book but also nicely helped to define the New 52's Batman on his own rather than just as a continuation of the previous Post-Crisis Batman. In Mattel's recent DC Comics Multiverse series the first Batman figure chose for the new main line (and not the Batman v. Superman or The Dark Knight Returns) is the Zero Year version of Batman. DC Collectibles released a version of this guy a year or so ago but it's cool to see this really cool new design getting some more love. Ready for a closer look at the Zero Year Batman? Then join me after the break...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Action Figure Review: Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  When you think about Star Wars action figures, most collectors who cut their teeth during either the vintage era or the POTF2 era will probably immediately think of Luke Skywalker in his classic Tatooine desert duds. The classic A New Hope version of Luke was probably the first Star Wars figure that many of us picked up, whether it was the smiling, happy vintage version with a yellow lightsaber or the hulked out POTF2 version that put He-Man to shame. Hasbro loves to release this version of Luke which makes it seem rather bizarre that this is the first time he's been released in The Black Series. I'm surprised that Hasbro was able to go nearly three years without this classic variation but I'm glad that we finally got him. Of course, this figure is definitely going to be a bit controversial as Hasbro opted to go with a soft goods tunic on him, a decision not everyone is in favor of. There have been a few figures in the Black Series that have utilized soft goods for capes, cloaks, and even scarves, but Luke's tunic is a little different as it's more of a fitted garment rather than something that hangs loose and free. Want to see how things worked out? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter! Here's a Song for a Sunday Morning from Johnny Cash

If you celebrate, I think you'll find this song is filled with the ramifications of the phrase "Christ has Risen, Indeed!" If you don't, surely you can still enjoy some Johnny Cash!




Action Figure Review: Poison Ivy from DC Universe Signature Collection by Mattel

 If you think about it, Mattel's 6 1/2 inch DC lines went almost 10 years without making a Poison Ivy which is pretty crazy considering that she's one of the most prominent Batman villains out there. There was no Poison Ivy in their original 2003 Batman line nor the Batman and Superman driven DC Superheroes. DC Universe Classics also failed to deliver Dr. Pamela Isley and they somehow didn't work her into the Batman Legacy line. Finally, though, Poison Ivy made it into the first year of the DC Universe Signature Series. That's a long time to wait for one of Batman's most popular foes. I didn't subscribe to Club Infinite Earths when it was running and I've regretted not doing so because I've really wanted Ivy for a long time. Fortunately, a recent trade has finally allowed me to get my hands on this really cool figure. Ready for a closer look at Poison Ivy? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Action Figure Review: Sandman from DC Universe Classics by Mattel

 I have a soft spot for the older, more mystical DC characters and I finally decided to pick up Sandman from series 19 of DC Universe Classics. Based on the original incarnation of the character from the late 1930's, this version of the character (who is really Wesley Dodds, a masked crusader and a pulp hero) has been overshadowed by Neil Gaiman's version of Sandman. They're really, really different, but Gaiman did make some connections with the two. My wife is a huge fan of Gaiman's Sandman so when this figure arrived in the mail I asked her if she could identify it. It turns out she couldn't. I guess she wasn't paying fully attention while reading those Sandman Omnibus editions, huh? Anyways, Wesley Dodds here originally included the left leg of Series 19's Collect & Connect figure S.T.R.I.P.E. but since I picked this one up second hand the piece was missing. That's OK, though, as I'm not planning on building S.T.R.I.P.E. anyways. I'm more interested in having this guy chill with other older superheroes and pulp heroes. Ready for a closer look at Sandman? Then join me after the break...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Statue Review: Lady Deadpool from Marvel Bishoujo by Kotobukiya

    Today I'm looking at one of the newest Bishoujo statues from Kotobukiya but guess what? It's not from their DC Bishoujo line that I'm such a huge fan of; it's from their Marvel line! Yup, this is the first Marvel Bishoujo figure I've picked up and I'm pretty thrilled with it. Lady Deadpool is also a fairly customizable statue, something that we've seen glimpses of from Kotobukiya before but not to this extent seen here. Lady Deadpool, AKA Wanda Wilson, seemed like too cool of a figure to skip out on so I had to pick her up. As part of the Deadpool Corps and the Deadpool on Earth-3010, it seems like Kotobukiya did a pretty good job of scheduling for Wanda to be released shortly after the release of the Deadpool movie, wouldn't you agree? Let's take a closer look at this figure after the break...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Action Figure Review: Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  I really thought that Ahsoka Tano was going to be my favorite figure out of the current series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures, but that may just not be the case. One of the stars of Star Wars: Rebels, Kanan Jarrus is a Jedi who survived Order 66 as a Padawan and now works with the Lothal Rebels in fighting against the empire. If you're at all keeping up with the new Star Wars stuff, you'll definitely recognize him whether from his TV, book, or comic appearances. While most of Phase III of the Black Series has been heavily focused on The Force Awakens, the second series of 2016 has given us one original trilogy figure (an Episode IV Luke Skywalker) and two figures from Rebels. The pre-ANH era might just be my current favorite time period in Star Wars to explore and I'm loving Rebels, so Kanan is a real treat for me. Ready for a closer look at this incredible figure? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Action Figure Review: Det. Harvey Bullock from Gotham by Diamond Select Toys

 I always forget that Harvey Bullock appeared in the comics for years before crossing over into Batman: The Animated Series because, let's be honest, that's where most of us remember Harvey Bullock from. While he's been a regular part of the comic universe since 1974 and had a major role in Batman: The Animated Series this is the first Harvey Bullock action figure that has been released. Based on the recent TV series Gotham (which I haven't watched yet) this version of Bullock is based on Donal Logue's interpretation of the character. While I can't speak much about Logue's interpretation of Bullock yet I definitely think he has the look for the detective. Harvey's from series 2 of Diamond Select's Gotham line along with Alfred Pennyworth and Edward Nygma. Ready for a closer look at the first toy of one of Gotham's top cops? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl from Baman Classic TV Series Premiere Collection by Diamond Select Toys

  It has been a couple of years since the now late Yvonne Craig worked out a likeness and merchandising with Warner Brothers but we're just now seeing the influx of product based on her portrayal of Batgirl hitting the market. So far 2016 has been an insane year for Batgirl collecting as there have been a number of higher end statues released, the DC Super Hero Girls line from Mattel, and lots of upcoming product from DC Collectibles, and today I'm looking at one of those higher end pieces: Batgirl from Diamond Select Toys' Batman Classic TV Series Premier Collection. Diamond is putting out quite a bit of product from the 1966 TV series but this is their first attempt at Craig's portrayal of Batgirl. They've certainly brought the A-team, however, with Clayburn Moore as the sculptor. Check out my review of this statue after the break...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Action Figure Review: Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro


 One of the things I absolutely love about Star Wars now is that it has so many different eras when the storyline takes place, each populated with a different cast (with some overlap of course! One of the areas and casts I'm currently finding the most interesting is that found in Rebels. While Ahsoka Tano was the star of Star Wars: Clone Wars, this figure is taken from her appearance in Rebels where she has returned to the fight older, wiser, and as the mysterious agent "Fulcrum" who assists the Lothal rebels. I just can't express enough how cool it is to have watched Ahsoka's story told over the six seasons of Clone Wars and now to watch it continue in another story that seems like it it could affect the events of the original film. Personally, I hope that Ahsoka appears in Rogue One (played by Ashley Eckstein, of course) and thus we get to see her storyline continue all the way to the events of the Original Trilogy. In this current series of The Black Series figures, Hasbro has released the first two figures from a Star Wars animated series. Uniquely, they've changed their appearance so that they still fit in with everyone else; almost as if they were film characters. It reminds me of how Hasbro integrated some of the earlier The Clone Wars figures into the main line back in the mid 2000 and later in the Vintage Collection. Ready for a closer look at the new Rebels era Ahsoka? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Action Figure Review: Phantom Stranger from DC Universe Signature Collection by Mattel

 It's time for another review from the DC Universe Signature Collection from Mattel! I love DC's mystical and magical characters so I was thrilled when a recent trade I made netted me quite a few figures from that area of the DC Universe, particularly the subject of today's review: The Phantom Stranger! A mysterious character with mysterious origins, the Phantom Stranger is kind of like Zodac from Masters of the Universe in that while he seems to favor good, he apparently just can't get involved. He was released as part of the second (and final year) of the DC Universe Signature Collection Club Infinite Earths. Honestly, picking up this figure and reading a little bit about him has me kind of interested in going back and picking up a few Phantom Stranger trades or something. The guy seems pretty interesting. Is the figure as interesting as the Stranger's 64 year publication history (yup! This guy first appeared in 1952!) Find out after the break...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Action Figure Review: Ozymandias from Watchmen by Mattel

Today I'm looking at the fourth figure in Mattel's Watchmen line: Mr. Adrian Veidt, AKA Ozymandias. Well, he's the fourth figure I'm reviewing at least. Originally Ozymandias arrived at the end of 2012 and was the last figure in the Club Black Freighter subscription. Before I jump in and talk about this figure, I want to give a few observations the line so far. First, let's just agree that ever since the comic itself teased the idea of "Watchmen" action figures, comic fans have probably been hankering for these figures. Mattel definitely managed to catch this incredible property at the right time and, with MattyCollector, should have had the right distribution avenue in place. Unfortunately, like with Ghostbusters, Voltron, and Back to the Future, Mattel Collector just couldn't go the distance with these figures. I picked these up in a trade, so I'm probably a bit less critical of these, but I think it's clear that Mattel really focused on making these as cheaply as possible. In this interview with former brand manager Scott Neitlich, almost every question seems to focus on how this line was really produced with as many corners cut as possible. Just keep that in mind as we take a closer look at Ozymandias, after the break...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Action Figure Review: Nite Owl from Watchmen by Mattel

 Today I'm looking at the third figure I've recently traded for from Mattel's 2012 Watchmen series: Nite Owl! Technically this is Nite Owl II since the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, retired and passed the mantle of the character down to Daniel Dreiberg. After Rorschach, Nite Owl is my favorite member of the Watchmen. He's definitely the most heroic and is truly one of those characters who does what he's doing because he believes it's right. Of course, so does Rorschach, but Nite Owl is a bit less... unhinged than Rorschach. Based on elements of Blue Beetle and Batman, Nite Owl is the member of the Watchmen with all of the cool toys. While I hate that we'll probably never get a scale version of Archimedes, I have to admit that it's pretty cool to have a comic influenced version of Nite Owl on the shelf to stand next to other caped detectives. Ready for a closer look at Nite Owl? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Action Figure Review: Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen by Mattel

  I'm not sure there's a better comic issue ever written than Chapter 4 of Watchmen, "Watchmaker." I man, all of Watchmen is pretty incredible, but that chapter which introduces Dr. Manhattan's origin and the true extent of his powers to the reader is just astounding. Whether you've only watched the film or are intimately familiar with the graphic novel, Doctor Manhattan leaves one heck of an impression. While his full on nudity was much talked about in the film, Mattel opted to depict the figure in one of his many uniforms. Well, it's one of his simpler ones: These are his small blue trunks, so there's a slightly diminished view of his "Lower Manhattan." Hey, Mattel could have just slapped his head on one of those suited bodies they loved so much and created a variant of Doctor Manhattan from when he goes on the talk show early in the book. Too bad we never got a second series of these figures! Based on comments made by Scott Neitlich after the line was concluded, this 2012 Watchmen series seem to have been pretty poorly received initially but it might be worth reconsidering for Watchmen fans. Let's take a look at the former Dr. Jonathan Osterman, now known as Doctor Manhattan, after the break...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Action Figure Review: The Comedian from Watchmen by Mattel

 There are a number of comics and graphic novels that people call classics and repeat over and over about how amazing they are. Watchmen is one of the few that actually lives up to the hype. Seriously, I reread it about every other year and I constantly find myself finding new details and connections in the story. I'm a huge fan but I passed up Mattel's Club Black Freighter subscription back in 2013 simply because I wasn't sure to expect with Mattel and this line. I also already had the complete set of DC Direct's figures from the 2009 film, and at the time I kind of questioned whether or not I needed another set. After a recent trade at The Fwoosh, however, I ended up with the entire set of six figures and now I'm finally getting a chance to check them out. Today I'm starting with the Comedian, an extremely divisive figure in the Watchmen universe. Is he a heroic patriot or a murderous sociopath? Well, he's definitely a murderous sociopath. Is he a worthwhile addition to your toy shelf? Join me after the break and see for yourself...

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Action Figure Review: Black Mask from DC Universe Signature Collection by Mattel

  Whenever you're setting out to make a DC Comics line of action figures, it's pretty tough to go wrong with putting any of Batman's villains into the roster. Seriously, I never get tired of Batman villains and it seems like other collectors are pretty much in agreement as we just keep getting them and they just keep selling,. Furthermore, it's always exciting to get a character like Black Mask since he's just not been released as an action figure many times before. This figure was originally released in 2012 as part of the first year of Club Infinite Earths and, at that time, it was only the second figure of Black Mask ever released (the previous one was in a series of DC Direct's Secret Files). Since then, we've received 7 inch and 1/18 scale versions of Black Mask from Batman: Arkham Origins. This guy is certainly the most well articulated, though, and fits in well with the bajillion other DC figures Mattel has made. Is he worth tracking down on the secondary market? Read on and find out after the break...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Action Figure Review: Batzarro from DC Universe Signature Collection by Mattel

 As part of a recent trade I completed on The Fwoosh I ended up with figures from Mattel's DC Universe Signature Collection which ran as a subscription based line from January 2012-December 2013 available on Matty Collector. Picking up where Mattel's DC Universe Classics and it's other various spin-off lines left off, the line tried to fill in some gaps and add in some obscure fan favorites. The last figure released in the line and the subject of today's review is Batzarro, and I think it's a bit of an understatement to say that he didn't go over well with most collectors. By the way some collectors go on about this figure you would think that ol' Batzarro had poisoned their dog or something. Really, it was just the issue of character choice: Considering that there were plenty of significant characters left undone in the line, Batzarro just felt like an odd choice to end the line on. Of course, it's now almost two years later and I just picked this guy up through a trade, so my expectations are a little different. Ready for a closer look at Batzarro? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Minifigure Review: Olimar from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

 Ready for a look at another figure from the 2.5 inch scaled World of Nintedo line that works pretty well with the larger 4 inch series of figures? Then let me to introduce you to Captain Olimar. First introduced in Pikmin for the Nintendo GameCube, Olimar is the diminutive Hocation captain of the S. S. Dolphin who crash lands on the "Mysterious Planet" and ends up discovering the Pikmin. He's a teeny, tiny little guy, so maybe this figure is actually too large to be truly in scale with the other World of Nintendo figures but the smaller scale does work. Olimar adds some nice size diversity to your World of Nintendo roster and I was thrilled to find him just last week at a Walgreens that had just stocked quite a few of the earlier series 1-3 figures. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Barbecue's Bonfire 3/12/16: The "I've Gotta Wrap This Up So I Can Go Geocaching" Edition

I've been slam busy at work this past week, the weather is awesome today, and I'm only 27 finds away from hitting 700 finds, so today I'm all about getting out and doing some geocaching! Of course, I still want to tell you about the cool things that I've done this past week, so check out this abbreviated installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! Today I talk about Marvel's Chewbacca TPB, Grayson vol, trying to track down the Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space series of books, episode #41 of the Confirmed Epic Podcast, Calvin's Canadian Cave of Coolness showing off my Batgirl collection, Spidey in the new Civil War trailer, and more! After the break...


Action Figure Review: Huntress from DC Universe Signature Collection by Mattel

    As I mentioned in my review of the DC Universe Signature Collection Ra's al Ghul last summer, this was one of Mattel's subscription lines that I just skipped over originally due to really only wanting the Batman themed characters from the line. Recently, though, I completed a trade with someone over at The Fwoosh and found my self with most of the figures from the collection I wanted. Huntress was one of the main ones I was missing, though, but a quick search online helped me to realize that she wasn't expensive to obtain at all! Now I have Mattel's interpretation of Ms. Helena Bertinelli, also known as the Huntress. Originally released as the September 2013 figure in Club Infinite Earths, Huntress has now made her way into my collection. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Action Figure Review: Poison Ivy from DC Super Hero Girls (6-inch) by Mattel

 If you're looking for some more in-depth thoughts on Mattel's new DC Super Hero Girls line, check out the introductions for the 6 inch and 12 1/2 inch Batgirl reviews from the series. Today I'm looking at Poison Ivy, one of the villains from the new series of action figures which are geared towards girls. Since I collect most Batman villains released in a 6 or 7 inch scale, I just knew I had to pick up Poison Ivy (Harley Quinn was already gone when I reached my local Target). Check her out after the break...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl from DC Super Hero Girls (13-inch) by Mattel

  Yesterday I reviewed the 6- inch Batgirl from Mattel's new DC Super Hero Girls series and today I'm looking at the 12-13 inch version of Batgirl. While the 6-inch version is more akin to something like a traditional action figure, this figure is more like a Monster High doll or something. While the 6-inch figures are bit more unique in that they're an action figure line being marketed towards girls, the larger "dolls" are pretty standard for what's available on the market: They feature actual cloth outfits, rooted hair, and some accessories. Of course, the superhero subject matter is a bit more unique, although there have been Barbie versions of DC Superheroes before. Currently the DC Super Hero Girls line is exclusive to Target (that will end this summer) and it will be interesting to see how these do. This is definitely a chance to see if a major company with a first-rate property and a willing distributor can make this concept work. I really don't know how the 6 inch figures will go over but I have a feeling this line will be the real hit. Ready for a closer look at Batgirl from this brand new line? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl from DC Super Hero Girls (6 inch) by Mattel

 As I mentioned in the last installment of Barbecue's Bonfire I managed to pick up a few of the action figures from Mattel's new super hero line targeted at girls: DC Super Hero Girls. Currently a Target exclusive until this summer, DC Super Hero Girls is intended to produce a line of superhero action figures that are geared towards girls and which produce a positive body image. Currently the line consists of six 6-inch figures, six 13-inch figures, and some various roleplay items. While targeting an action figure line towards girls certainly isn't a new idea, it is an idea that's really gaining some popularity. IamElemental by Rebel Elements has based their entire company off of this idea and it seems to be working for them. Hasbro also has a current line of My Little Pony Equastria Girls figures that are built like traditional figures rather than the standard ponies or dolls. Of course, Hasbro and Mattel are much larger companies and it will be interesting to see how these projects fare for them. Honestly, what I find interesting about DC Super Hero Girls is that overall these really aren't that different from most other superhero toys targeted more towards kids than collectors with the exception that the builds are less traditionally "comic booky" and more slim and athletic. I'm also intrigued that the superhero line targeted towards girls isn't a standard superhero line based around crime fighters; instead, these are supposed to be students at Super Hero High. Today I'm looking at the 6-inch Batgirl figure who wears an outfit that seems to be heavily inspired by the Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart Batgirl outfit used in the current run of the comic. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Check out the Confirmed Epic Podcast #41: Power Rangers #1 and The Ghostbusters Trailer




In episode #41 of the Confirmed Epic Podcast the crew discusses Boom Studio's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 & react to the first trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot. As always we discuss the epic news stories of the week as well as delve into what we have been checking out!

To listen, visit us at The Epic Review!

This podcast can also be found on it's new home on the GWW Radio Network!

To find us on iTunes now, just search for "thepicreview podcast network" or "GWW Radio"

*Please email any questions or comments about the show to thepicreview@gmail.com or leave them in the comments below, and thanks for listening!

Action Figure Review: X-Wing Pilot Asty from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 Today I'm reviewing one of the toughest figures to find in Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III. X-Wing Pilot Asty. Why Hasbro felt the need to call this guy "X-Wing Pilot Asty" is beyond me, particularly because this guy has a full name: Ello Asty. A member of the Abednedo species created for The Force Awakens, Asty's name, like those of each of his fellow Abednedos, pays homage to the Beastie Boys. Ello Asty sounds a lot like Hello Nasty, doesn't it? (There are other Abednedos in TFA, including one named Ilco Munica and a senator named Brasmon Kee.) Anyways, Mr. Asty here began popping up at the end of 2015 and has still proven to be pretty difficult to find. I finally found one online at a reasonable price (particularly since shipping was included) and added him to the collection. While Asty doesn't play a huge role in The Force Awakens, Hasbro did turn him into an incredible action figure. Ready for a look at this guy? Then join me after the break...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Minifigure Review: Purple Pikmin from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

  Today I'm looking at another 2.5 inch figure from Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line that should be nicely compatible with their 4 inch line: The Purple Pikmin! Well, maybe the Pikmin is compatible. Technically Pikmin are only supposed to be around a centimeter tall, so maybe this minifigure is actually too large? Regardless, I think the Pikmin still looks nice next to the larger figures in the line. First appearing in Pikmin 2 for the GameCube, the Purple Pikmin are much heavier and stronger than the other creatures. Tossing them at an enemy even caused more damage to the bad guys! I picked this guy up at Target a couple of weeks ago and I'm pretty happy with him as a fun little miniature. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Minifigure Review: Boo from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

   While I've been a fan of Jakks Pacific's 4 inch World of Nintendo line since the end of 2014, I've actually avoided the companion 2.5 inch line because it just seemed like a budget line of smaller, less articulated minifigures (not that I dislike minifigures). What I've just realized recently is that while there are plenty of minifigures that don't fit in with the 4 inch line, there are also plenty of figures that make great companion pieces. Take the subject of today's review, Boo, for example: At 1 7/8ths inches, Boo works incredibly well with the larger World of Nintendo line! Originally appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3 back in 1990 (and 1988 in Japan!), Boo has been around for a long freaking time! Ready for a closer look at this classic Mario enemy? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Barbecue's Bonfire: The "Not Half Bad Toy Run and I Review the Ghostbusters 2016 Trailer" Edition

Wow! This installment of Barbecue's Bonfire quickly grew into a monster of a task, particularly because I wound up doing a pretty thorough review of the Ghostbusters 2016 trailer. Of course, I also detail the results of a recent toy run, offer some brief reviews of Forever Evil and one of the tie-in titles, and praise Mauro Ranallo for being an incredible commentator on Smackdown. Check out this and more after the break...


Action Figure Review: Luke Skywalker and Wampa from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase II by Hasbro

 As I'm writing this review it is really cold outside. Really cold! I guess that's the perfect time to write about Wampas, huh? Today I'm looking at one of the two packs from Phase II of Star Wars: The Black Series: Luke Skywalker and Wampa! Yup, Luke decked out in the cold weather gear he wore on Hoth has been packaged together with the Wampa who scarred his face, ate his Tauntaun, and hung him upside down in a block of ice. That sounds like a great arrangement for Luke, huh? Of course, the Wampa is packaged with the guy who cut off his arm, so it's not like this arrangement worked out too well for either character. Let's take a closer look at these two, shall we? Join me after the break...

Friday, March 4, 2016

Action Figure Review: Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars: The Black Series by Hasbro

 Since my little one is getting into Star Wars pretty heavily, we've been watching through Rebels and all of the films. Well, all except Revenge of the Sith. It has some pretty intense moments in it that she's ready to process yet. While Hayden Christensen's acting in Episode II has become the stuff of legend, I really think he did a great job in Episode III. Honestly, watch The Clone Wars and then pop in Episode III and I think you'll be more pleased with what Christensen did with the character. I still get chills when he yells "I hate you!" at Obi-Wan. Of course, this review isn't really about Episode III or Hayden Christensen's acting: It's about an Anakin Skywalker action figure from Star Wars: The Black Series by Hasbro. While the Phase I Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan Kenobi turned out to be a massive pegwarmer (my local Walgreens still has three on the pegs), Anakin was a figure that few collectors even found on shelves. At this point he's one of the most expensive figures on the aftermarket, so I was fortunate to pick him up in a trade. Is he a worthwhile purchase for those of you wanting to go back and pay the big bucks for this guy? Read on and find out after the break...

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Action Figure Review: Resistance Trooper from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  Sometimes, despite being a really good figure, a figure just seems a bit boring. That's how I feel about the Resistance Trooper. He's a good figure but there's just something about him that seems a bit...dull maybe? I'm not sure if it's the coloring or the costume design itself, but I find it hard to get enthused about this guy. There's something about him that just doesn't scream Star Wars to me. Anyways, it's a shame because Hasbro did a pretty nice job on this figure. The guy portrayed here is not only in the Visual Dictionary for The Force Awakens but he also appears in other tie-in items such as various coloring books. Seriously, my two year old has an Episode VII coloring book and I've colored this guy once or twice. It is cool, though, that Hasbro gave us a figure of an actual actor from the film as I'm sure someday he'll have a cool backstory of and role of his own. This is Star Wars, after all. Ready for a closer look at the someday "soon to to be famous and have an extensive backstory" Resistance Trooper? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Check Out the Confirmed Epic Podcast #40: Fuller House


 I wasn't around to take part in this episode, but the Reel Brad Bell, Andrew "There's a Snake in my Boot" Stokes, and Everett Harn of the GWW got together to talk about a variety of things, particularly the Netflix exclusive Fuller House. Visit The Epic Review and listen to episode 40 of the Confirmed Epic Podcast Episode! I'm listening to it right now!

Action Figure Review: Chewbacca from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 So, does anyone find it strange that we are over two months out past the release of The Force Awakens with Toy Fair 2016 also having come and gone and we still haven't seen any figures of Leia or Luke from the new film? I mean, I know that Luke didn't have much screen time but Hasbro has made far plenty of figures of characters from The Force Awakens had far less and were far less significant. In fact, it was really bizarre that Hasbro even waited until after the film's debut to release any figures of Han Solo. We did did one member of the legacy cast in the first series of The Black Series figures released back on Force Friday, though: Chewbacca! I held off on picking this guy up for awhile but finally snagged him for a good price. Ready for a look at the newest version of everyone's favorite Wookie? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Action Figure Review: Han Solo and Tauntaun from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase II by Hasbro

  It's time for another Star Wars: The Black Series review! As I'm working to get caught up on this line, today I'm checking out another of the Phase II two-packs, this one featuring Captain Han Solo with the Tauntaun he rides on Hoth. Since the scenes on Hoth tend to be some of the best loved in the entire Star Wars saga, it was probably a good idea that Hasbro released them to try and gain a bit more traction for the deluxe sets. I'm not sure that I ever saw these sit on shelves the way I did the Jabba the Hutt set, although they haven't set the secondary market on fire yet. Recently I've reclaimed my POTF2 12 inch Tauntaun from my parent's house and my little two-year old plays with both that Tauntaun and a big stuffed Tauntaun I bought here someone last year. This one, though? This one Tauntaun is all mine. Ready for a closer look at these two? Then join me after the break...