Monday, May 29, 2017

Minifigure Review: Pack A from M.U.S.C.L.E.: Mega Man by Super7

 I'm just going to come out and say it: These are terrible. I love both the vintage M.U.S.C.L.E. and Super7's M.U.S.C.L.E. revival. I've reviewed nearly everything they've released thus far and nearly all of them have received high marks. While I'm certainly anywhere as big of a fan of Mega Man as I am of Masters of the Universe, Alien, or Street Fighter, I certainly have enjoyed a number of the games and I'm almost always willing to pick up some minifigures, particularly M.U.S.C.L.E. Folks, let me tell you that these are quite possibly the most disappointing minifgures I've ever owned. I hate to say that as I really was excited for these. They fail on almost every level, however; the plastic quality is crap, the detail is soft, the color isn't right, and the figures just feel sticky and oily. If you read my reviews regularly, you know that I don't usually write too many negative reviews. That's because I tend to only buy figures I'm pretty sure I'll like. I ordered this set as soon as I received the notice that it was available from Super7, so I kind of ordered sight unseen, knowing how good the stuff is Super7 usually produces. I'm not sure what happened here, though. Let's take a closer look at Pack A from M.U.S.C.L.E. Mega Man and see if you agree me...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Action Figure Review: R5-D4 from Star Wars: 40th Anniversary Collection by Hasbro

   Legend says there is only one way for a character in the Original Trilogy to be truly immortalized: To have had an action figure released by Kenner in the vintage Star Wars action figure line. R5-D4 is one of those characters. While the little R5 unit does have an overall effect on the plot, it's doubtful anyone would ever know his name if it weren't for the fact that Kenner released him in the 1979 series of Star Wars action figures. R5-D4 (AKA Skippy the Jedi Droid. It's true. Look it up.) wasn't one of the original 12, but Hasbro still decided to give him a release in the 40th Anniversary Collection as an exclusive to both GameStop and ThinkGeek. He was pretty tough to track down initially, but now he's starting to become a bit more common so look around at your local stores before you pay a bit more for him online. While he's lacking the proton torpedo launcher and blaster cannons of the POTF2 release, he's as film accurate as he's ever been. Let's take a closer look at R5-D4, the slacker droid with no motivation, after the break...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Action Figure Review: Legacy Pack from Star Wars: 40th Anniversary Collection by Hasbro

 I'm a bit late posting this but yes, today is the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars. To celebrate I'm looking at one of the releases from Hasbro's recent Star Wars: 40th Anniversary Collection action figure series: The Legacy Pack. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film, Hasbro has released (or re-released) Black Series figures of all twelve of the original Kenner Star Wars action figures from 1978, plus a few random extras as exclusives like R5-D4 and Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing Pilot gear. While the rest of the figures are available on upsized vintage style cards, Darth Vader is unique in that he comes included with what is labeled as the Legacy Pack. The set, retailing at $40 bucks, includes a carded Darth Vader figure and a display stand that's very similar to the one included with the 1978 "Early Bird Kit." Besides this desirable due to being part of the 40th Anniversary Series, this is also Hasbro's second attempt at sculpting a Vader; the original Black Series figure, based on Vader's Return of the Jedi costume, turned out being just so-so. This one, it turns out, is a complete new sculpt based on the A New Hope outfit. Ready for a closer look at this set? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Action Figure Review: Spacesuit Harley Quinn from DC Designer Series: Amanda Conner by DC Collectibles

 Earlier this week I reviewed the Traditional Harley Quinn figure and now I'm looking at the second figure in the Amanda Conner inspired DC Designer Series: Spacesuit Harley Quinn. Coming from the cover of issue #12 of the comic (she wears an outfit similar to this in the story, but it's a bit different) this figure represents an outfit Harley wore in space during her team-up with Power Girl against the evil Manos. Heck, it also includes the guardian of Manos' realm, a giant talking slice of pizza. This line definitely manages to capture the offbeat humor and fun of the Harley Quinn comic, but does it capture the quality? Join on and learn more after the break...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Action Figure Review: Traditional Harley Quinn from DC Designer Series: Amanda Conner by DC Collectibles

 The DC Designer Series seems to be getting back in a pretty steady groove. Just in the past couple of months DC Collectibles has released the incredible Ant Lucia Bombshells figures and the Amanda Conner inspired Harley Quinn series. Harley Quinn seems to be more popular with DC Collectibles than even Batman these days, so I imagine they have high hopes for an entire line of just Harley figures. If you haven't read Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti's Harley Quinn comics, you're missing out on some incredibly fun books. One of the things that is kind of off, though, is that of all the various Harleys offered in this series of figures, not one of them is anything that you might call a standard outfit for the character in the books. Even her "traditional" outfit rarely shows up. Still, it's not like a traditional Harley Quinn rendered in Conner's incredibly fun and expressive art style isn't going to sell, so I can completely understand why DC Collectibles released "Traditional Harley Quinn" as one of the first four figures in the line. Let's jump in and take a closer look at this figure after the break...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Statue Review: Poison Ivy from Vinyl Vixens by Vinyl Sugar/ Funko

   Today I'm looking at the Vinyl Vixens Poison Ivy from Vinyl Sugar, a statue I picked up on a really good clearance sale! Sometime last month I was at Manifest Disc (a record store in Charlotte, NC) and found that they were having a pretty incredible sale on a variety of toys and statues: Buy 1 get 2 free! I ended up grabbing six items from the sale including the Diamond Select Gotham Jim Gordon, the DC Collectibles B:TAS Riddler and Penguin, the DC Icons Green Arrow, and of course, the Poison Ivy vinyl statue I'm looking at today. I reviewed the Vinyl Vixens Batgirl back in 2015 and I liked it quite a bit. I think I might like Ivy even a bit better. Funko/ Vinyl Sugar has put out a number of different lines like this and while some have had some true longevity (POP! and Rock Candy come to mind), others like Vinyl Vixens and the atrocious Vinyl Idolz don't seem like they caught on. Still, I think Vinyl Vixens was a pretty decent line of vinyl statues and considering that most of them can be found at clearance prices, fans of the Gotham City Sirens might still be interested in tracking them down. Let's check out the beautiful and deadly Poison Ivy after the break!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Action Figure Review: Shazam from One:12 Collective DC Universe by Mezco

    What do you get when you combine Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury? Why Shazam of course! Today I'm checking out the newest One:12 Collective action figure and it's Shazam from Mezco's DC Universe range of characters. Mezco has stuck to extremely popular modern characters thus far but Shazam seems like the first character that has a very classic feel to him. Yeah, I know he's still a part of the DC Universe and only had his named changed to Shazam (from Captain Marvel) in 2011, but when compared to Batman, Punisher, Green Arrow, and the Flash, Shazam just feels a bit more more obscure. Still, I like that. I dig the more obscure DC characters and while Shazam has never been one of my favorites, he's a great character and well deserving of a figure. Of course, he does have a film slated for 2019, so Shazam might come back around to being a household name in the next few years (in the 1940s the guy outsold Superman!).With Shazam Mezco has showed off some neat tricks in how they might pull off some more traditional superheroes in the future, so even if you're not a fan of the character he's worth paying attention to just because of his execution. Join me in taking a closer look at young Billy Batson as the heroic Shazam!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Action Figure Review: Jim Gordon Batman (Batman: Superheavy) from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

 Near the end of last year I reviewed DC Collectibles' GCPD Batman which is based on the New 52 Batman story arc where Jim Gordon takes over as a Gotham City sanctioned Batman in Bruce Wayne's absence. Today I'm looking at Mattel's version of the character from the most recent DC Comics Multiverse series. Mattel's take is called Jim Gordon Batman which more easily identifies who is actually underneath the cowl. It also includes an unmasked Jim Gordon head which definitely makes this a pretty worthwhile purchase. I'm really liking the fact that Mattel has been giving us action figures based on very specific books and story arcs, especially some more recent ones. That's always a cool feature for a comic book focused toyline. Let's take a closer look at this new version of Gordon Bats after the break...

Friday, May 5, 2017

Action Figure Review: Batgirl (The Batgirl of Burnside) from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

 Mattel's most recent series of DC Comics Multiverse figures has some pretty current characters in it, including the most recent incarnation of Batgirl. Based on her redesign from he Batgirl of Burnside soft reboot during the New 52 era, this figure also stands in just fine for the current Rebirth era Batgirl. I've been reading a ton of Rebirth stuff lately (I read trades, so most of the volume 1 books are just hitting) and I'm loving it. While I certainly didn't have any ill will towards the New 52 (I read mostly Batman/ Gotham centric titles and those were all pretty good), Rebirth definitely seems to have a more consistent quality across the board. Batgirl stars in two titles in the New 52, Batgirl and Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, so this figure definitely represents a character who is currently available in comics in a costume pretty accurate to what they're currently wearing. I can dig that. Let's take a closer look at the Batgirl of Burnside after the break...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Action Figure Review: The Joker (The Dark Knight Returns) from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

   If you're sitting online and reading action figure reviews (which isn't at all something to be ashamed of!) then you really do not need me telling you who the Joker is or why The Dark Knight Rises is such an important part of the history of sequential art (that's a fancy way of saying comic books). Despite Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse line rarely offering up figures that compare to Hasbro's Marvel Legends line, when Mattel puts out comic based figures I think they tend to do really strong work. One of the coolest sub-lines for the Multiverse series has been the various The Dark Knight Returns figures sprinkled into the line. Today I'm looking at The Joker from The Dark Knight Returns, one of the figures from the new Multiverse series which features a King Shark build-a-figure. This is an incredible Joker figure and proof that Mattel can do some great work when they want to. Let's take a closer look after the break...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Action Figure Review: Angela from Marvel Legends Series: Guardians of the Galaxy by Hasbro

 Back when I was just a boy, Angela was not "Marvel's Angela" as the package of this action figure proclaims: She was McFarlane's Angela. Well, technically Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman's Angela, but Todd didn't see it that way. So Neil Gaiman sued Todd McFarlane in 2002 and Angela went from being McFarlane's Angela to McFarlane and Gaiman's Angela. I think. Along the way, McFarlane may have also sold Gaiman the rights to a character that McFarlane didn't actually own (Miracleman/ Marvelman). Anyways, Gaiman eventually earned full rights to Angela, making her Gaiman's Angela. Gaiman, probably due to working on clarifying rights to Miracleman, sold Angela to Marvel, making her Marvel's Angela now. She's also apparently Thor's sister. Back when I was just a boy, Angela was part of the second series of Spawn action figures and was know for having a particularly rare and unusual variant where the earliest runs of the figure were released without painted shorts, thus earning the nickname Party Angela. This was a rare and expensive variant, because of course it was. To be brief, I have no connection to Angela as a character; I've never read any Spawn or Marvel comics she has ever appeared in. My connection is due to the fact that she was a huge icon in toy aisles back in mid 1990s when McFarlane pretty much revolutionized the action figure industry overnight. Even though I was just a preteen who was buying toys but also reading Lee's Action Figure News & Toy Review (and later ToyFare), I knew something special was happening in the action figure aisles. To me, Angela is a representation of that magical era in toys and I picked her up due to nostalgia alone. That and she's a pretty incredible action figure. Read on and learn more after the break...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Action Figure Review: Ares from DC Comics Multiverse: Wonder Woman by Mattel

 The Wonder Woman inspired Multiverse line has been kind of a mixed bag (great sculpts, poor articulation), but one of the cool aspects of this figure is the inclusion of a build-a-figure that can be built by only picking up four figures. Ares, allegedly the primary villain of the Wonder Woman film, is the Collect & Connect figure for this series and he seems like a pretty beastly dude. I'm really excited to see Ares make his onscreen debut in the film. Heck, I'm really excited to see that a DC villain in one of the DC movie based lines. While Man of Steel did include Zod and his crew, the BvS Multiverse line was missing Doomsday while the Suicide Squad Multiverse line included neither Enchantress or Incubus, so it's pretty nice that Ares is already in the line. Let's take a closer look at this buildable baddie after the break...

Monday, May 1, 2017

Action Figure Review: Queen Hippolyta from DC Comics Multiverse: Wonder Woman by Mattel

   Today I'm looking at the fourth standard figure in the Wonder Woman inspired DC Comics Multiverse line from Mattel: Queen Hippolyta. Played by Connie Nielsen, Wonder Woman's mother Hippolyta is slated to appear in both Wonder Woman and Justice League. While the Wonder Wman Multiverse thus far have been just OK, Hippolyta bucks the trend by being pretty good. She's one of the best Multiverse figures we've seen released, particularly in the movie-based lines. How cool that we're getting a Wonder Woman specific line too, right? A few years back, when most manufactures only wanted to short pack the few female figures in a line, the thought that Wonder Woman would get her own line seemed highly improbably. Now we've received a line dominated by female figures. Pretty cool, right? Let's take a closer look at this battle ready queen after the break...