Friday, October 20, 2017

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Witch from Monster in My Pocket by Matchbox

  It;s time for another Monster in My Pocket review for The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror. Today I'm looking at another of the Monster in My Pocket figures I've owned since my childhood: The spooky Witch! The Witch is one of the most common symbols of Halloween and this is a great representation of what most people probably conjure to mind when they think of one. Warty nose? Check. Broomstick? Check. Non-talking Sorting Hat? Double check. Let's stir up something scary after the break...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Action Figure Review: Cyborg (Wal-Mart Exclusive) from DC Comics Multiverse: Justice League by Mattel

    Yesterday I reviewed the Wal-Mart exclusive Justice League Batman and today I'm reviewing his counterpart, Cyborg.  I reviewed the standard Cyborg but this Cyborg seems to be an enhanced version of the character. He's a bit bulkier with a fully covered head, so that means none of Vic Stone's face is visible. It's an interesting design and I'm curious as to how it will be implemented into the film. Like Batman, Cyborg is part of a 2-figure miniseries that includes the pieces to three Mother Boxes. I'll be reviewing the Mother Boxes on their own since they're technically Collect & Connect accessories, so today I'm just going to be checking out Cyborg. More cybernetic fun after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas Trading Figures from Jun Planning

 Today for The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror I'm looking at another toy of one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite movies: Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas! It's still one of my favorites and it always manages to have some representation on 31 Days of Toy Terror. Today I'm looking at one of the buildable "Trading Figures" from Jun Planning. Released in 2010 as part of the first series (I think there were two), these figures were sold disassembled in small labeled boxes (not blind-boxed). They were pretty easy to snap together, resulting in something more like a small model kit versus a traditional toy or minifigure. I remember reading about these on back in 2010 and convincing my wife that we needed to drive out to Target that night and hunt these down. We had success and picked up the whole set! Oh the crazy things we did when we were younger and didn't have a child! Of course, now my little one loves Halloween and the Nightmare Before Christmas, so she goes along on the hunt with me! You could say that she's the Lock, Shock, and Barrel to my Oogie Boogie! Speaking of the big, bad Boogie man, let's check this guy out after the break...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Unite the League: Batman (Wal-Mart Exclusive) from DC Comics Multiverse: Justice League by Mattel

   Guess what I'm reviewing today? If your answer was "Another Batman action figure!" then you are correct! Today I'm reviewing the Justice League Batman figure that is part of a Wal-Mart exclusive two figure series (the other figure is a powered up version of Cyborg). I found these at my local Wal-Mart a week or two ago which surprised me as I typically have terrible luck in finding exclusives. I walked right in, however, and found Batman and Cyborg just sitting on the shelves. While the standard six figures in the Multiverse: Justice League series include pieces for the "Collect & Connect" figure Steppenwolf, Batman and Cyborg each includes the halves of three separate Mother Boxes. That's an interesting idea for a build-a-figure item, isn't it? Let's check out this Batman figure after the break and see how he stacks up...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Creature from the Closet from Monster in My Pocket by Matchbox

   Another one of my childhood Monster in My Pocket figures gets to be the star of The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror today and it's the Creature from the Closet. While Monster in Pocket specialized at creating figures based off of actual world legends and folklore elements, they also occasionally offered up some more "generic" figures. One of the more interesting ones is the Creature from the Closet from the Super Scary series. Based on the common childhood (and sometimes adult) fear of something lurking in your closet, the Creature from the Closet is a stereotypical monster with a broken piece of closet frame wrapped around the neck. You think this guy works for Monsters, Inc.? Let's take a closer look at this Super Scary MIMP after the break...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Road to The Last Jedi: Elite Praetorian Guard from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 Earlier this month I reviewed the Elite Praetorian Guard with the double bladed weapon that is part of the GameStop and Barnes & Noble exclusive Guardians of Evil 4-pack. My guess, however, is that most collectors will encounter this single packed version of the Elite Praetorian Guard first. Seemingly an evolution of the Emperor's Royal Guards, the Praetorian Elite Guards are Supreme Leader Snoke's red armored masters of disaster. Apparently there are eight of them, although some of them may share helmet styles and weapons. This single packed guard is distinct from the version in the Guardians of Evil 4-pack and utilizes a different weapon while also sporting a different helmet. Let's check him out after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Steppenwolf from DC Comics Multiverse: Justice League by Mattel

 Today for The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror I'm looking at an intergalactic evil from the world of Apokolips: Steppenwolf! It took me around two months but I have finally been able to complete Steppenwolf, the "Collect & Connect" figure for Mattel's Justice League inspired series of their DC Comics Multiverse line. While thus far only appearing in a scene in the Batman v. Superman Ultimate Edition, Steppenwolf is slated to be the main villain in the upcoming film. As a huge fan of Jack Kirby's DC work, particularly the Fourth World storyline, I'm pretty excited to see one of the New Gods get a chance to rock the silver screen. While Steppenwolf looks rather different from his classic Kirby designs (he looks more in line with his modern appearances), there is definitely something about him I like that seems a bit unusual. Of course, seeing him in motion and context will be the real determining factor as to how successful of a villain he is for the DCEU. While we'll have to wait a month to judge that, we can take a look at this figure right now! Let's check out Steppenwolf after the break...

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Gillman from Big Bucket of Monsters

   Today it's time for a visit from one of the classic monsters: The Gillman! Often referred to as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, too, the Gillman has definitely stepped to become one of the classic Universal Monsters. Of course, this isn't an official Universal Monsters product but just a generic Gillman. Still, we know who he is, don't we? He's another minifigure from the Big Bucket of Monsters and another worthy addition to this years festivities during the 31 Days of Toy Terror. Let's dive in and check him out after the break...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Mummy from Big Bucket of Monsters

  Who is your mummy and what does she do? Today for the The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror I'm checking out yet another cool minifigure from the Big Bucket of Monsters! Between the Goosebumps movie, Abbot & Costello Meet the Mummy, and the Three Stooges short We Want Our Mummy, mummies are a pretty big deal at our house right now. My daughter loves those movies and they get a lot of playtime in our DVD/Blu-Ray player. Today this spooky mummy minifigure stalks the labyrinthine halls of Action Figure Barbecue. Check out the full scoop on this undead wonder after the break...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl #168 from DC Comics Bombshells from POP! Heroes by Funko

 A few weeks ago I received a very cool birthday present from a friend: The Bombshells Batgirl POP! from Funko! Being a fan of Batgirl, Funko POP! vinyls, and DC Comics Bombshells, this figure is a pretty amazing blend of stuff I like. While I wasn't a huge fan of the Batgirl Bombshells statue due to the face sculpt, I like the overall character design and I've been a much bigger fan of the various other products released based on the character. Let's take a closer look at this very cool POP! vinyl after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Chucky from Child's Play 2 from POP! Pocket Keychain by Funko

 A few weeks ago I actually sat down and watched Child's Play. Strangely enough, I had never seen it before and I definitely think it was pretty good. I remember watching one of the Chucky movies at some point as a young teenager (Bride of Chucky, probably) but it didn't leave a big impression on me. The original Child's Play is a really good movie! I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go out and track down Child's Play 2. While at Wal-Mart "grocery shopping" I stumbled upon a DVD set called Chuck: The Killer DVD Collection that includes Child's Play 2, Child's Play 3, Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, and this little POP! Pocket Keychain that I'm reviewing today. The set only cost $15 dollars which isn't bad for four movies and a POP! keychain. Let's take a closer look at the reigning king of killer dolls after the break...

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Jack Torrance #456 from the Shining from POP! Movies by Funko

 Inspired by the new film adaptation of It, I've been revisiting a number of films based off of Stephen King books this year. So far I've watched both version if It, Misery, and both versions of The Shining. The 1997 TV movie version of The Shining was one of the first horror films I ever saw and the first Stephen King based film I ever watched, quickly leading me to start reading King's novels as well.  The Shining (1997) and Night of the Living Dead (1968) are quite possibly the two films that really got me interested in watching horror movies. Of course, shortly after watching the TV version of The Shining I wanted to check out Stanley Kubrick's 1970 version of the film. I like the 1997 version due to its length, themes, faithfulness of the book, and likeability of the characters. I like Kubrick's version because of its menace. It is absolutely a terrifying, unsettling movie that is filled with bizarre imagery yet still manages to only show you a little bit of what is happening. I just watched it again on Sunday afternoon and it is as good as it always is. I knew that Funko was releasing some POP! vinyl figures based on the film and I absolutely wanted to own a Jack Torrance based on Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the character. Let's check this figure out after the break...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Unite the League: The Flash from DC Comics Multiverse: Justice League by Mattel

   Finally! I have the Flash! It's been a few months since I first picked up most of the Justice League series of Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse line so it's taken me around 2 months to find the Flash. He definitely seems to be the most popular and most difficult figure to find in this series which is made all the more difficult by the seemingly poor distribution for this series. I have hardly seen these action figures in stores. Today is a day for celebration though and, with the recent release of the new Justice League trailer, I'm pretty excited to see how Ezra Miller's The Flash fits in alongside the other members of the Justice League. Let's take a closer look at this figure and see how his figure fits in alongside of the toy versions of his teammates, too. More fast fun after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Norman Bates #466 from Psycho from POP! Movies by Funko

 Norman Bates is pretty much the original film slasher. He's been a part of 31 Days of Toy Terror in the past (the first year, 2013) and now makes his return in the form of a POP! vinyl figure. Outside of the Star Wars POP! figures that come with the Smuggler's Bounty crate, I haven't picked up any POP! figures since the Resident Evil series back in January. I was actually looking for a Jack Torrance from The Shining at Books-A-Million a week or two ago and happened to stumble upon this very cool Norman Bates. Considering it's October and I'm a fan of the horror themed POP! vinyls, I figured I couldn't go wrong. Let's take a closer look at this spooky fine vinyl after the break...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Action Figure Review: Starfire from DC Super Hero Girls by Mattel

  My four year old has owned the 12-inch Starfire from DC Super Hero Girls for quite a few months now but I only just managed to find the 6 inch Starfire from the line. I really like this line and what Mattel is doing with it; while they aren't the best action figures available at mass market retail stores, they're definitely a lot cooler than many of the toylines offered to kids. It's nice to see the character selection starting to improve in the 6-inch linen although it would be cool to see some more villains in the line (I know Mattel has released Harley Quinn but she's not really considered a villain in this series). Honestly, it's nice to see that Mattel is releasing a fairly diverse roster of female characters in this line. Let's check out this pretty cool Starfire after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Godzilla from Big Bucket of Monsters

 Today we're going big with another minifigure review from the Big Bucket of Monsters! It's Godzilla! Fun Fact: The name Godzilla, or Gojira, comes from a mixture of the Japanese words for whale and gorilla. The creature has been around since 1954 and has appeared in 29 official Toho Studios films. That's a lot of film appearances! Godzilla is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable characters ever and tends to have lots of unlicensed merchandise floating around. You know, like this minifigure. Let's take a closer look at this very cool "totally not Godzilla for legal purposes but definitely meant to be Godzilla" minifigure after the break...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hokey Halloween Horror: We Made Pillsbury Ghost Cookies!

Pillsbury releases these "Ready to Bake" Ghost sugar cookies every year and I'm always down for them. I look forward to them because despite the fact that my wife is a world class master of baking, I like to throw some pre-made cookies with little ghosts on them in my oven and chow down. I'm glad my little one is taking after me because all I had to do last Friday when picking her up from pre-school was say "Tonight we're baking super spooky ghost cookies" and she was hooked. These cookies were a huge hit. Read more about ghost cookies than you ever imagined possible after the break...

 Here's what they're supposed to look like. The ghost and cookie are very pale (almost white) while the ghost is silhouetted with purple. The ghost also has an orange mouth and orange and purple eyes. These are pretty complex for ghost cookies. I'm pretty excited that these look the same (so far as I can remember) for as far back as I can remember.

  This year the Pillsbury Doughboy is dressed up like a ghost. It's pretty spooky.

 Here's the cookies straight out of the package. They look good enough to ear right here, but the package warns against that. Since Action Figure Barbecue is all about food safety, we wisely waited to cook these before eating them. They do look cool, though. Like little ghost tokens.

  Here's the cooked batch. It's kind of tough to tell when they're done as they really don't change shape much at all. They definitely do still look like ghosts though. I'm impressed that they didn't warp or anything. Ignore that one on the back, by the way; that was an accident on my part from trying to test a cookie that wasn't quite done yet.

Hope you get a chance to bake some cookies, too!

Minifigure Review: Wonder Woman (Series 2) from DC Comics LIl Bombshells by Cryptozoic Entertainment

 Series 2 of DC Comics Lil Bombshells has two resculpts of characters who also appeared in series 1: Harley Quinn, who I reviewed a week or so ago, and Wonder Woman. Kind of tells you who DC's two most prominent are, doesn't it? I reviewed the first series Wonder Woman figure last year and today I'm checking out this second version. Ready for a new minifigure of the first lady of DC Comics? Then join me after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas by Applause

 Do ghost dogs have a place in The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror? You bet your Kibbles & Bits they do! Today I'm looking at one of my all time favorite ghost dogs: Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas! As a kid I was typically kind of reluctant to blend toylines together, typically only doing so to fill in "gaps" in a toyline. One of the biggest gaps that I remember from a toyline I loves was the lack of Zero in Hasbro's 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas line. I was in grade-school when the movie came out and I eagerly snapped up the action figures and whatever memorabilia I could find (which wasn't much in 1993- now Walgreens has more Nightmare Before Christmas stuff on one seasonal endcap than every store combined offered when the film came out). While the Hasbro action figures could be found at most places that sold toys, a chain of stores called Suncoast (that were typically located in shopping malls) carried lots of The Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise released by the toy company Applause, who crafted the cool Zero figure I'm reviewing today. While Applause is no more, they definitely were a mainstay of gift shops and entertainment retailers in the 1990s releasing lots of licensed merchandise for properties like Star Wars, Batman, the California Raisins, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I've had this Zero since 1993 and he has always had a home on display in my wife and I's Nightmare Before Christmas collection. Let's check him out as our "terrifying" toy of the day, shall we?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hokey Halloween Horror: Do you paint your pumpkins or carve them?

This is a Halloween picture from probably 1990. That year we had a mixture of painted pumpkins and carved pumpkins. I'm more of a carver, though, and always carve my pumpkins now. What do you do? Carve? Paint? Something really cool I've never heard of? Share it with us!

Action Figure Review: Hawkgirl from DC Super Hero Girls by Mattel

   Admittedly, I am not the core demographic for the DC Super Hero Girls line. As a huge DC Comics fan who collects as many 6 inch DC Comics figures as I can afford, I definitely pay attention to the line and have certainly grabbed a number of the figures that interest me. My 4 year old daughter loves the 12-inch figures and that line seems to have a much more diverse roster of characters than the 6-inch line, although both lines seem to have characters not yet released in the other. Hawkgirl is a new figure in the 6-inch line that doesn't seem to have yet been released in the 12-inch line. I've never seen any of the show but I have been able to learn that the DC Super Hero Girls version of the character is the Kendra Saunders version and is a hall monitor. Let's take a closer look at Hawkgirl after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Sunigator Shotai #153 from M.U.S.C.L.E. by Mattel

   The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror is going to some strange places this year and perhaps it gets no stranger than Sunigator Shotail from M.U.S.C.L.E. Typically known affectionately as The Claw, Sunigator Shotai is probably one of the most recognizable and popular of Mattel's M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Based on the Japanese anime and manga Kinnikuman, M.U.S.C.L.E. only gave these figures numbers but they actually have names and pretty impressive backstories as well. It took a bit of Google-fu, but I did find that this guy's name is also transliterated as Sneagator. Sneagator/ Sunigator is a Choujin (a super powered being) from the Republic of the Congo who is one of the Akuma Knights, a team of six individuals who sold their souls and serve Satan as a group of powerful, wrestling warriors. Sneagator/ Sunigator is a reptilian shape-shifter who could take a multitude of forms, including the giant claw from that we're checking out today. A shotai is a Japanese military unit, similar to a platoon, so I'm wondering if this refers to the fact that this version of Sunigator/ Sneagator has multiple fingers at his disposal to aid him in battle? Who knows! Heck, who knew, the Claw was such a complex and nuanced character? Let's check this cool guy out after the break...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ghoulish Gallery: "A Haunted Place" LED Picture

   I'm really excited to show off this amazing picture that I received for my birthday last month. It's called "A Haunted Place" and it is available through Kirklands. It's a beautiful painting that has LED lights built in that, with the flip of a switch, lights up the pumpkins, the windows, and the moon. To top things off I added some bat garland to the top and behold: Halloween splendor!

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

   I'm going to state two things that sound contradictory, but that are not! First, the Amanda Conner subset of the DC Designer Series has been one of the most disappointing lines of 2017. Second, Superhero Harley Quinn is one of the best looking figures of the year. I think the issue here is that DC Collectibles couldn't decide what this line was supposed to be and mixed too many concepts together. For years, DC Direct did release plenty of beautiful (and often fragile) figures that looked amazing, functioning more like small statues than traditional action figures. Over the past few years, though, DC Collectibles has been releasing some excellent "action figures" that featured cool accessories, and solid, sturdy articulation. This series seems to be DC Collectibles trying to find the middle road between those two approaches and it just doesn't work. I'm so conflicted by that, too, because this is an incredibly sculpted figure! It seems like it should have been impossible for DC Collectibles not to have made this Harley Quinn focused series anything less than incredible. Let's see what went wrong and what went right after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Restless Ghoul from Big Bucket of Monsters

   Today's installment of The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror is another figure from the Big Bucket of Monsters, a generic minifigure set that I picked up loose from The Creature's Crypt in Fort Mill, SC. There are quite a few figures in the set so I've been "scarefully" selecting the ones that I find the creepiest and the spookiest to show off for my little October toy marathon. Of course, since these are generic minifigures I'm having to give them names, too, but I'm trying to be as generic as possible so anyone searching for information on these minifigures can find them. Today I'm looking at one of the pieces from this series that really caught my eye: A simple wooden cross marking a grave with a skeletal hand popping out of the ground. It's a cool concept and quite different in composition from what we usually see with most minifigures. Let's take a closer look at this neat minifigure mini-diorama that I'm calling "Restless Ghoul." More spooky fun after the break...

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ghoulish Gallery: A Fall Tree by My Daughter!

My daughter made this really incredible tree during storytime at our library this past week. The tree was pre-drawn but she dipped her fingers in different colors of paint to make the leaves. I love the mixture of fall colors and the inclusion of falling leaves, too.

I asked the artist herself about her work, and here's what she had to say: "It's just a regular tree with leaves. The different colors were on a plate and I used all of my fingers. I don't know where to put it on my refrigerator."

There you have it! Enjoy!

Action Figure Review: Deadpool from One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco

 It's time to look at another cool birthday gift I received this year: The Mezco One:12 Collective Deadpool! While the SDCC version Deadpool in his X-Men costume has been out for a few months now, that one was more of a pre-release for this figure. Mezco has definitely been putting out the One:12 Collective figures pretty slowly recently (some figures have been shown for more than 2 years now with no estimated arrival time in sight) but it does seem that Mezco always puts out quality product. Let's take an in-depth look at Mr. Wade Wilson here and see how he stacks up to the other figures in this line...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: The Crone from Sleepy Hollow by McFarlane Toys

 Today for The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror we have another review of a toy from a Tim Burton film. The Crone from McFarlane Toys' Sleepy Hollow toyline is such a creepy toy that I had to give her a slot in this year's festivities. I'm not going to say that Sleepy Hollow is my favorite Tim Burton movie, but I'm not going to say it isn't, either. I love this movie and I will say that it certainly sits above anything Tim Burton released after it on my list of my favorite Tim Burton films. This is my absolute favorite depiction of the Sleepy Hollow story and one of my favorite horror movies overall. In 1999 McFarlane was really on a roll. While 1998's Movie Maniacs began to show what McFarlane toys was truly capable of, 1999 was the year that McFarlane raised the sculpting and paintwork bar to unseen levels with both their Austin Powers and Sleepy Hollow lines. The Sleepy Hollow line was fairly small: Only three figures and a deluxe boxed set of the Headless Horseman with his steed. The fact that we never received a Katrina Van Tassel figure is criminal, by the way. Rather than immortalizing Christina Ricci in action figure form, McFarlane toys instead gave us the Crone, the mysterious witch who lives in the woods and guides Ichabod Crane towards the Tree of the Dead. I'm assuming that McFarlane toys thought this would be a more interesting looking figure and a better use of their sculpting talents which is probably true. The Crone is an impressive figure that still manages to be rather spooky almost 20 years later. Care to spend an October day with a spooky old witch? Then join me after the break...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hokey Halloween Horror: Pumpkin Spice Hummus is a Real Thing and I Love It

  We eat quite a bit of hummus at our house. It's a pretty delicious, pretty health, and pretty filling snack to keep around. My wife purchased some pumpkin spice hummus recently and, my gosh, it is amazing! It's made by Lantana and it has the beautiful color of pumpkin pipe filling. The flavor is somewhere between the filling of pumpkin pie, regular hummus, and Indian food. It is incredible. This far this is easily my favorite Halloween themed food of 2017!

Minifigure Revew: Killer Frost from DC Comics Lil Bombshells by Cryptozoic Entertainment

    Are you starting to feel a bit of a chill in the air? Sure, it could be because we're now into autumn but it's most likely because Killer Frost is in the house. Killer Frost is a cool character (well, multiple different characters really) and it's interesting to see the Bombshells take on her. I really like the skiing aesthetic; it's a different vibe that doesn't seem like it would work with anyone but her. Let's take a closer look at this ice cool lady after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Mad Gasser of Mattoon from Monster in My Pocket by Matchbox

   Today I'm checking out another Monster in my Pocket figure from the fourth series (also known as the Super Scary Series) that is extra special because it's a toy I've owned since I was a kid: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon! Like so many Monster in My Pocket designs, the Mad Gasser of Mattoon is based on a character who may or may not have actually existed. The Mad Gasser is supposedly responsible for a series of gas attacks involving random people smelling noxious fumes in their homes in Botetourt County, Virginia in the early 1930s and Mattoon, Illinois during the wartime years of the 1940s. It's a creepy story, especially when you consider the Mattoon, Illinois attacks that seemed to happen largely to women whose husbands were away in World War 2. Let's take a look at this creepy minifigure based on an urban legend or possibly real assailant after the break...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hokey Halloween Horror: What Halloween Costumes Have You Worn Over the Years?

Here's my list (as best as I can remember):

1980s: The Count, a generic G.I. Joe, a Ghostbuster twice (but two different costumes)
1990 and 1991: Raphael (Twice)
1992: General Norman Schwarzkopf
1993: some sort of space invader
1994: A Grim Reaper (maybe)
1995: Robin
1996: A Pumpkin Spirit
1997: The Cat in the Hat.
1998: Jack Torrance from the Shining
1999: The Headless Horseman
2000: Indiana Jones
2001: 1970s Detective
2002: A Cowboy
2003: Ash from Army of Darkness

2005: Frodo Baggins
2008: A generic mercenary
2009: Captain Kirk
2010: Carl Fredricksen from Up!
2011 and 2012: The 11th Doctor

2013: Michael Myers
2014: Starlord
2015: Kylo Ren
2016: Starlord
2017: ???

Minifigure Review: Supergirl (Noir Variant) from DC Comics Little Bombshells by Cryptozoic Entertainment

 Companies love to put out chase variants as, supposedly, there are collectors out there who still wan them. Foruntately the DC Comics Lil Bombshells chase variants aren't new sculpts or new characters but are just paint variants. For this line, Cryptozoic Entertainment is calling them "Noir" variants as the characters are rendered with a muted color palette and grayscale skin. To be honest, it's actually a pretty cool look that meshes well with the Bombshells aesthetic. Supergirl is the first of the chase variants I've owned simply because I never bothered seeking them out. For series 2 I preordered a case of 12 figures which netted me this 'Noir" Supergirl. Let's check her out after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Dracula from Big Bucket of Monsters

    One of the favorite haunts of both me and my daughter is The Creature's Crypt in Fort Mill, SC. Affectionately called "the monster shop" by my little one, The Creature's Crypt is a store specializing in handcrafted masks, decorations, and horror memorabilia. They also sell lots of cool random horror and sci-fi toys, which is how I managed to snag the cool little minifigure I'm reviewing today. It's a Dracula minifigure from a series of minifigures called Big Bucket of Monsters. This is a "generic" line of plastic minifigures sold in a big tub but some shops sell them individually. My daughter and I discovered this series at The Creature's Crypt back in early July and picked up one of each sculpt from the line. Today I'm going to look at the very cool Dracula minifigure. Let's check out this little plastic Count after the break...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Haunt the Halls: How Many of these Things Have You Done Yet?

I've done five of these things so far! We went to a pumpkin patch last weekend and also went through a corn maze and went on a hayride. Interestingly enough, we actually saw someone propose to his girlfriend in the pumpkin patch. Being someone whose spirit gourd is the pumpkin, I can respect the choice of locale.

Back to the list! My little one and I made caramel apples during an activity at her preschool and went Trick or Treating during both of our recent trips to the Great Pumpkin Festival at Carowinds, an amusement park on the North Carolina/ South Carolina border.

How's your Fall Bucket List coming?

Unite the League: Deadshot No.038 from Suicide Squad MAFEX by Medicom

   My birthday was last month and I received a few really cool presents. One of them is the subject of today's review: The MAFEX Deadshot from Suicide Squad. Over the past year I've really come to appreciate Medicom's work on their DC MAFEX line. They've really been improving their product and their last few releases, particularly the Harley Quinn and the Knightmare Batman figures, have been exceptional. Early buzz on Deadshot seemed pretty favorable and I was excited to be able to receive him as a gift. Let's check out this very cool rendition of Will Smith's portrayal of master assassin Floyd Lawton after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Martian Trooper from Mars Attacks! by Trendmasters

  While there definitely are some Halloween tales involving alien lifeforms, Tim Burton's Mars Attacks always makes me think of Christmas. Christmas of 1996, to be exact, as that was the year that Mars Attacks was released and kind of dominated my attention for a few months. I'm not going to call it a renaissance, but there was definitely a period between 1996 and 1999 when big budget, high-profile sci-fi films had a major revival. Perhaps this was due to a combination of the success of Independence Day in 1996 and the anticipation of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 1999 but, within the span of a few short years, there was an increased sci-fi presence in theaters. Lost in Space, Godzilla 1998, The Fifth Element, Men in Black, and Mars Attacks all stand out to me because they were all released while I was in middle school and helped to scratch my newly awakened sci-fi itch. While their quality varies and my least favorite of the group at the time has since become my favorite (The Fifth Element), there is definitely a nostalgia attached to these films for me. And, of course, isn't nostalgia one of the things we love about Halloween? There's something powerful about having the chance to once again be scared of the dark, dress up, and revisit some of the things of our youth. Mars Attacks definitely feels nostalgic to me and I'm excited to share with you just one more piece from my Mars Attacks collection: The Martian Trooper. While the Martian Spy Girl might have been the most memorable part of the movie (other than Tom Jones), the standard Martian Troopers are certainly the most recognizable. Released by Trendmasters in late 1996 (the toy company who had a monopoly on many of these sci-fi movie properties), the Martian Trooper was part of a fairly expansive action figure line comprised of figures, vehicles, and role-play toys from both the film and the Topps comic book series. Maybe he's a little more silly than spooky, but the Martian Trooper is the perfect fit for some Hokey Halloween Horror! More Martian fun after the break...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Haunt the Halls: The "Not Fuzzy But Looks that Way" Pumpkin

Me and the little one picked up this Pumpkin at a dollar store a few weeks ago. My daughter loved it so we just had to own it. What do you think? Classy, right?

Road to the Last Jedi: Guardians of Evil 4-pack from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  Hasbro has released a few retailer exclusive 4-packs over the past few years but this one might be the best of them all. While the packaging doesn't name it Guardians of Evil, all of the promotional and ordering information seems to have referred to it that way and thus that seems to be what collectors are calling this new set that explores four different incarnations of the various Royal Guards through the ages. Included is a Senate Guard from Revenge of the Sith, a Shadow Guard from The Force Unleashed, a standard Imperial Royal Guard from Return if the Jedi, and an Elite Praetorian Guard from the upcoming The Last Jedi. While the standard Royal Guard is exactly the same as the figure released earlier this year, he's not a character I mine having a duplicate of as I'd wanted two of them, anyways. This set is exclusive to both GameStop and Barnes & Noble and my preorder just came in from GameStop last week, so that's the place to check if you want this set ASAP. Let's check out this super cool 4-pack in a bit more depth after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Black Tomahawk #145 from M.U.S.C.L.E. by Mattel

 When you think of Halloween, do you think of being chased through some frightening and remote location by a hulking shirtless man wielding dual axes? If your answer is "Yes!" then you are going to love today's review during "The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror. Today I'm checking out another spooky minifigure: Black Tomahawk from Mattel's 1986 M.U.S.C.L.E. line. I've always wanted to watch the original Kinnikuman series that these characters come from it seems to be very difficult to find a way to actually legally watch the show. From what I've been able to ascertain, Black Tomahawk is one of the Space Bandits or Space Samurai, a group of warriors from deep space led by the terrifying Black King. For me personally, Black Tomahawk's claim to fame is that he is one of the toys I've owned for the longest time: He was part of the first four pack of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures my parents ever bought for me. Not only is he crazy scary, but there's a sentimental quality here, too! How can you beat that? Let's take a look at this dual wielding monstrosity after the break...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Haunt the Halls: My Skeleton Butler! Let's give him a name!!!

This is my skeleton butler. He's another dollar store pickup from last year who chills out on the door to the south wing of my home. I know that sounds fancy (it's really not) but I figure if I have a skeletal butler then I need to make things sound grander than they are. Anyways, here's my skeletal butler. What should we call him? Indiana Bones? Vomer Pyle? Brian Coccyx? Dang. I like Brian Coccyx. That's a good one. What do you think? It's way better than Capitate America or Dev Patella.

Minifigure Review: Huntress from DC Comics Little Bombshells by Cryptozoic Entertainment

  I don't own the statue of Huntress yet but she's definitely on my short list of the DC Comics Bombshells statues I definitely want to pick up. I absolutely love her rockabilly style! The glasses, the guitar, the bangs, and the purple color scheme just pop! I'm a sucker for any of the Birds of Prey and it's possible that Huntress has the best Bombshells design of any of that crew. Well, I don't know; I really like Black Canary's look, too. It's tough to say. Huntrss is not only a cool looking figure but she's also playing a pretty cool role in Marguerite Bennet's Bombshells comic series. Let's take a closer look at this literally rocking out version of Helena Bertinelli after the break...

The Curse of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Ghost from Monster in My Pocket by Matchbox

   This year look forward to lots of minifigure reviews during 31 Days of Toy Terror. I'm part of a few minifigure related Facebook groups (Minifigure Militia!) and it's always fun to participate in their various Halloween events involving pictures of spooky minifigures. This year the first minifigure of the Halloween 2017 season is 27 years old and part of the first series of Monster in My Pocket: It's the Ghost! I only owned a few MIMP figures as a kid and the Ghost certainly wasn't one of them. I managed to pick him up a year or two ago. I've always wanted him and I love his simplicity. He's just a simple, classic ghost that's removing his head. How can this go wrong? Let's check out the Ghost after the break...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Haunt the Halls: The Halloween Decoration I've Kept Up For Over a Year!

Guess what? I've managed to keep this Halloween decoration up for over a year straight! Me and the little one bought it last year at a local dollar store. I hung it up on the outside of Action Figure Barbecue studios (AKA My Study) and have kept it up since at least since the end of last September. I just managed to convince my wife that I wasn't keeping this up as a Halloween decoration but as somewhat of an avatar of myself.

What do you think? Can you see the resemblance to your old pal Barbecue17?

Road to the Last Jedi: Admiral Ackbar & First Order Officer from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   It's very difficult for me to be 100% certain when it comes to Star Wars characters but I'm pretty sure that Admiral Ackbar is my favorite Star Wars character. I've been looking forward to his appearance in the Black Series for a long time, although I have been hoping that we would see a Return of the Jedi version first. Due to Hasbro's strong marketing of the Sequel Trilogy, though (which makes perfect sense) we have the Admiral in his outfit from the upcoming The Last Jedi. Yes, Ackbar's outfit in the Last Jedi does indeed differ from his The Force Awakens outfit. In this new Toys R Us exclusive 2-pack we not only get Admiral Gial Ackbar but also a generic First Order Officer. While some people have tried to identify this figure as Lt. Dopheld Mitaka from TFA, this doesn't seem to be the case. The headsculpt seems different and the armband rank identifies this as a Captain, so this is either truly just a generic officer or a character we will see in The Last Jedi. Let's take a closer look at this very cool new 2-pack after the break...