Sunday, September 30, 2018

Barbecue's Bonfire: The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy is Less Than 2 Hours Away!

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! This years Halloween countdown, the Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror, starts in less than 2 hours! Are you excited? Are you ready? Here is what I got planned this year:

The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Every day in October I have a special extra spooky toy review lined up for you! It's going to be great! A little old, a little new, but all are very, very creepy!

Frequent installments of Barbecue's Bonfire: Thanks to Matt over at The Toy Box I've got a great new logo for Barbecue's Bonfire! I'm also planning to publish more frequent segments of Barbecue's Bonfire throughout the month as a spooky place for us to gather and talk about whatever is on our minds!

Regular toy reviews: These won't stop as I still have a pile of junk to review. New Star Wars Black figures, more Marvel Legends, Jurassic World Matchbox Cars, and even Imaginext... my desk is crammed with stuff that isn't spooky but that's still fun and deserves to be spotlighted!

A special contest....Guess the subject of the October 31st installment of The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror!

 I'm not going to make a big deal of this contest. This one is for you fine folks who read my stuff often and make doing this a heck of a lot more fun for me.  Here's the deal: I've already written review #31 for The Revenge of 31 Days of Toy Terror and, throughout the month, I'm going to put subtle nods to the identity of the character in various reviews, comments, and such. If you think you know the name of the character who I'm reviewing on October 31st for the final installment of The Revenge of Toy Terror, email me at barbecue17 @ with the character's name. You get one try and I'm not going to confirm whether you are wrong or right until I post the final review. Whoever guesses it the earliest gets a trick 'r treat surprise from me. If you're not located in the US, still participate. I'll still find a way to make sure you get a fun Halloween surprise.

Two important pieces of info: It's not going to be something generic, so it wouldn't be say, just a generic dinosaur or generic construction worker. It is a named or titled character.

You don't have to guess a specific version. If the character were, say, Batgirl, you wouldn't have to say "the DC Comics Multiverse Batgirl of Burnside" figure. You could just say Batgirl. You dig?

Let's make this Halloween one to remember, folks!

Your pal,


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Toy Review: '10 Textron Tiger (Battle Damage) from Matchbox: Jurassic World by Mattel

   Back at the end of May when I reviewed my first vehicle in the Matchbox Jurassic World series, I don't think I could have imagined that this line would ever be as expansive as it has become. I don't usually collect Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars other than picking up a Batmobile or Ecto-1 every so often but the Jurassic World line has sucked me in (and has become a favorite topic of discussion among myself and a few readers on here). They're inexpensive, they're well made, and they just keep coming, which really feeds the ol' collecting bug, doesn't it? Earlier today I was out at my local Wal-Mart checking the toy aisles when I stumbled across five repaints in this series given the subset moniker of "Battle Damage." There were five individual vehicles ('10 Textron Tiger, '14 Mercedez-Benz G 550, Armored Action Truck, Deep-Dive Submarine, and Gyrosphere) available as well as all five vehicle packaged together as a 5-pack, which you'll recognize is the make-up of the original 5-pack Island Transport Team. Oddly enough, it was actually about .75 cents more expensive to pick up the 5-pack than buying the five vehicles individually. Apparently these are Wal-Mart exclusives, so check their as they seem to have been released to coincide with the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on Blu-Ray and DVD. Let's check out the first vehicle available, the '10 Textron Tiger with Battle Damage! More after the break...

Friday, September 28, 2018

Action Figure Review: X-23 from Marvel Legends Series: Deadpool by Hasbro

    I don't know a whole lot about X-23 other than her name is Laura Kinney, she's a clone of Logan, and she has taken the Wolverine name a few times. Still, she's a cool looking figure and since I found her for super cheap loose online I picked her up. Hasbro's Marvel Legends Series is one of the most fun toylines out today and they're just excellent figures to pick up and play with when you're looking to fiddle around with something while watching TV or something (which I totally do; not gonna lie). There have been a couple of X-23 releases but this one is from the 2018 Deadpool themed series which includes the Build-a-figure parts for Sasquatch. Remember that my figure came loose, so no torso for Sasquatch shown, but if you get her new in the package you'll be a step closer to building the big orange guy. Ready for a closer look at X-23 clad in her X-Force duds? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Action Figure Review: Domino from Marvel Legends Series: Deadpool by Hasbro

    I've picked up lots of cheap Marvel Legends figures lately and another one I picked up was Domino, or "Marvel's Domino" according to the package. Released as part of the first Deadpool themed series which included the Sasquatch Build-a-figure, Domino, AKA Neena Thurman, came out right around the release of the excellent Deadpool 2 in theaters. While Hasbro didn't release a version of Domino that looked like actress Zazie Beetz (who was awesome in the role and has pretty much the best name ever), they did make sure that we got comic versions of the main Deadpool 2 cast. It's been quite a few years since the last Domino figure was released in Marvel Legends so she was definitely due for an upgrade, right? Let's check out Domino after the break...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Barbecue's Bonfires: In Defense of Charging a Few Bucks More when Selling an Action Figure!

   Hey everyone!

A few years back I was doing a weekly topic called Barbecue's Bonfire but, sadly, I kind of stopped. I'm bringing it back now and I've got a snazzy homemade logo that utilizes the very best of Paint skills and a focus on various topical issues. Today's topic might be less of a bonfire and more of a dumpster fire, though, so I figured why not kick things off with "In Defense of Charging a Few Bucks More when Selling an Action Figure." Yup. One installment in and I'm already defending Scalp-Or, the Evil Master of Scalping, right? Well, not exactly. What I want to discuss today is how much we as collectors should expect someone who is offering to sell an action figure "at cost" to their fellow collectors should expect to receive. Lately I've seen some seemingly mild mannered collectors attempting to go out of their way to help out their fellow collectors who have gotten attacked by their fellow collectors and branded as scalpers. What going on here? Read on and find out after the break...

Monday, September 24, 2018

Action Figure Review: Deadpool (X-Force) from Marvel Legends Series: Deadpool by Hasbro

   Recently I grabbed quite a few Marvel Legends figures loose from some sellers for some very, very low prices. Today I'm checking out the X-Force Deadpool figure from the Sasquatch Build-a-figure series of Deadpool figures that was released in late spring/ early summer to coincide with the release of Deadpool 2 in theaters. While Hasbro hasn't released anything directly resembling the characters from the Fox Marvel films in quite some time (I think the last true tie ins were from The Wolverine back in 2013, and no Marvel Legends were released) they definitely have been getting better at coordinating releases of the films comic counterparts. While Deadpool 2 definitely has a tribute to Wade's X-Force costume he never wears this specific outfit in the film (the gray coloring is just from dust covering his outfit), who knows what future films will have? Hasbro certainly is fond of this variant as a version of X-Force Deadpool has appeared a few times previously and this one is largely a redo of the HasCn exclusive Deadpool from last year. Let's check out this 2018 version after the break...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Action Figure Review: Doctor Aphra from Star Wars: The Vintage Collection by Hasbro

    Don't be alarmed! This isn't a 6 inch scaled The Black Series version of Doctor Aphra! It is, indeed, the 1/18th scaled version of Doctor Aphra from the newly reignited Star Wars: The Vintage Collection. Series 2 and 3 of the Vintage Collection continuation just began hitting stores within the past week or so and I was stunned to walk into my local Wal-Mart Friday night and stumble on series 3. I haven't purchased a 1/18th inch Star Wars figure in two years as I mostly just collect the Black Series but I really wanted Doctor Aphra. I absolutely am loving nearly everything that Marvel is putting out in their Star Wars comics and Doctor Aphra is one of the best newly introduced characters. She's a rogue archaeologist with a lot of flaws but there's something inherently charming about the character, too (many others must have agrees as she won a fan's choice poll to earn a slot as a character in this series). The new Marvel Star Wars is absolutely one of my favorite Star Wars things ever and I'm really hoping that Hasbro continues to mine it as a source for more action figures (especially in the Black Series). While this figure isn't going to turn me into a Vintage Collection figure again (even though I still have plenty of my favorites around from the original years of the line). Let's check out Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra after the break...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Action Figure Review: Lady Deadpool from Marvel Legends Series: Deadpool by Hasbro

 Wow! Guess what has happened since my last Deadpool themed review? I have finally seen Deadpool 2! My wife bought it for me for my birthday. It was both pretty hilarious and pretty awesome, so you can say I dig it. Definitely not for the kiddos, though. Of course, the action figures are for anyone and Hasbro released a pretty nice range of Deadpool themed action figures alongside of the film. One of the new characters in the series is Lady Deadpool (I'm pretty sure this is her first Marvel Legends figure, although she has been released in the 1/18th scaled Marvel Universe line), also known as Wanda Wilson from Earth 3010. While it clearly wasn't Lady Deadpool, there is a scene in Deadpool 2 where Deadpool is wearing a blonde wig in order to infiltrate a strip club to assassinate some very bad guys that made me think of Lady Deadpool. I wonder if we'll ever see the Deadpool Corps in a future film? Anyways, not only did Hasbro give us Lady Deadpool here but we also get Headpool. Crazy, right? If you factor in that Lady Deadpool also comes with the right leg for the Sauron build-a-figure then you're really getting 2 1/4 characters. I bought this one loose without the leg, though, and paid well under $10 bucks. If you're willing to forego the BAF pieces and cherry pick here and there you can find some incredible deals. Let's get on with this review and check out Lady Deadpool after the break...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Minifigure Review: Astronaut Boy w/ Alien Pet from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 10 by Fisher-Price

  Back in early April I found 5 of the 6 figures from the 10th series of Imaginext Collectible Figures at a Walmart for $1 each. I reviewed all of those months ago but I never did find the lone figure I was lacking from the set... until now! Today I'm checking out the last figure from Series 10: The Astronaut Boy w/ Alien Pet. Guess what? This is another figure that was inspired by Fisher-Price's Adventure People toyline. I really didn't know that much about the line prior to researching it a bit for the Series 11 X-Ray Alien but it was during that research that I realized the Astronaut Boy is based on the early 1980s Alpha Star Astronaut. The space suit, colors, and the Alien Pet from this Imaginext figure are dead ringers for that vintage toy. Cool stuff! Let's take a quick peak at this kid and his alien pal after the break...

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Crunch 'N Chew Candy

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2014!

     I'm not sure if these are new or not this year, but this is certainly the first time I recall seeing Caramel Apple flavored Jolly Ranchers. More specifically, these are Caramel Apple flavored Jolly Rancher Crunch 'n Chew candy. Yeah, they're an odd mix between the traditional hard, square little Jolly Ranchers and the soft, chewy little Jolly Ranchers bites that come in a bag. Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of Jolly Ranchers but when I saw the purple and green fall themed bag I knew I was going to have to buy these. While purple and green are most definitely the George and Ringo of Halloween colors, I have to say I really like them. These aren't full on Halloween candy; they're more of a simple fall specialty and thus function as gateway drug to the harder stuff. Anyways, I'm going to write more on these and show you some pictures of these candies interacting with various toys after the break. Why wouldn't you read this?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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

    It really isn't an exaggeration to say that there are nearly as many store exclusives released for Star Wars: The Black Series as there are standard releases. Hasbro seems to really be trying to gain retailer support for the line by offering retailer exclusives far and wide and today's release, the Red Squadron droid set, is an exclusive to This set has been a bit of a pain to pick up as it appeared only for short intervals. I finally managed to grab one though and while I'm always happy to add new figures to my Black Series collection, I do have to admit that this set is fairly disappointing. Off the bat, I'll just remind everyone that the astromech droids for the Black Series are woefully undersized. Considering that the line has been going for 5 years now I doubt Hasbro is ever going to fix this. We already have 9 astromechs in this scale, so at this point it would be just weird to have astromech droids in two scales, right? The second thing I'll mention is that these figures are 100% repaints. That's just kind of the way it is with astromech droids, though, as rarely do they look much different from one another other than having unique paint jobs. I know that might make this sound like a less than impressive set but maybe it is. Of course, it's also the only way to get these droids and serves as a companion piece to the Toys 'R Us 2016 exclusive 3-pack which features three more astromech units from the Battle of Yavin. Let's check out Red Squadron, starring R5-D8, R2-X2, and a repainted R2-D2 after the break...

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Snickers Pumpkin

   This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!  

   I've raved about the Snickers Peanut Butter Pumpkin many, many times, but I still haven't covered the regular Snickers Pumpkin yet. Well, here it is! It's basically a small snickers bar shaped like a pumpkin. If you like Snickers bars, you should like this. The ratio of chocolate to nougat, caramel, and peanuts is different, but that's probably a pretty minor issue for all but the most discerning Snickers eater. There isn't much to say about this, so I thought I'd interview horror icon Freddy Krueger about the Snickers Pumpkin because otherwise this would be really boring. Let's join him after the break....

Monday, September 17, 2018

Action Figure Review: Deadpool from Marvel Legends Series: Deadpool by Hasbro

    Hasbro has definitely gone all in on releasing Deadpool figures in Marvel Legends, haven't they? While they can't/won't release any Deadpool movie based figures, they're certainly getting the comic versions of all of the characters from the films out. Of course, they're also having fun with the crazy Deadpool variants and this time we get what you might call "Casual" Deadpool. It's your standard, garden variety Deadpool but he's got his mask up (presumably for snacking) and his pants off, presumably for just chilling out on the couch. He's an interesting choice for a variant and he was too hilarious for me to pass up. I'm not a huge Marvel Legends collector but every now and then I pick some up for fun. Deadpool is part of the recent series that includes the Build-a-Figure of Sauron (Dr. Karl Lykos, not Mairon the Admirable) but I managed to get him for about half price without his build-a-figure part (Sauron's head and torso). Let's chill with the Pool-man after the break...

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Skittles Ghost

 This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

   Remember when there was tons of Halloween candy that also functioned as a toy? When I saw this Skittles ghost I snatched him up in a heartbeat. The ghost doesn't glow in the dark but he does dispense delicious Skittles candy. Sounds good, am I right? There's also a Skittles Pumpkin and if I seem him anywhere, I'm snagging him. There's more details on this after the break.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: "Hey There" Fall Sign from Hobby Lobby

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2014!

     This year I'm going to put up one Halloween/ Fall themed decoration a day. I'm not allowed to put stuff out in the yard yet, so I'm having to put things up in the house. At this point, everything I'm putting up is kind of tasteful so far as Halloween decorations go. This is my favorite time of the year and I want to make the most of it. On September 1st I put up a glittery green owl on my daughter's bedroom door. I bought it for her last year two weeks after she was born and this year she is extremely impressed by it. Since she's really getting into the whole "pointing at cool stuff" phase, a glittery green owl definitely receives a fair share of pointing. Yesterday's decoration, however, is a bit more subdued. In fact, it is actually on front door of our house. Read more about this after the break....

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: "Return of Candy Corn" Jones Soda

 This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

  In 2005 Jones Soda released it's first batch of Halloween flavored sodas exclusively to Target, one of which was Candy Corn. It was a pretty tasty and novel treat that returned yearly until at least 2009 and then seemed to disappear. Well, it's back, along with Caramel Apple, Blood Orange, and Red Licorice. I found my soda at Target again, but I've heard a few other smaller stores are carrying it as well, so keep your eyes peeled. Ready for a swig of scary soda? Then join me after the break...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Gruesome Grape Big League Chew

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

When I ran into this at a local grocery store (Ingles) I just had to buy it. Not only was it Halloween Big League Chew with a baseball playing mummy on it, but it's also grape flavored. Better yet, it's Gruesome Grape! I haven't had grape flavored Big League Chew since the late 80's! Anyways, this is going to be a short feature today, so we'll get right into the deliciousness. Rip open this review and enjoy!

Minifigure Review: Snake Man from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 11 by Fisher-Price

    Series 11 of the Imaginext Collectible Figures has been a real treat for collectors of somewhat obscure 1980s toys as we have received homages to the 1982 Adventure People X-Ray Man, the stars of M.U.S.C.L.E., and now even a Battle Beast! Yes, Mattel has given us a pretty direct recreation of Triple Threat Snake from Hasbro's 1986 Battle Beasts line. This is definitely one of the coolest figures in the series and might prove confusing to casual observers as this figure, one might argue, is less of an homage to the original and more of an outright remake. Also odd is that unlike Adventure People or M.U.S.C.L.E. Mattel didn't create this property; Takara did! That's pretty crazy, right? Let's check out this fifth member of series 11 after the break...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Franken Berry Cereal

    This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

    While Boo Berry has always been my favorite of the monster cereals, I've got to say that I think I've been converted to a Franken Berry fan. Don't get me wrong, Boo Berry himself is still the coolest of the big three monsters, but Franken Berry's artificial strawberry flavor just rocks my world. I particularly love drinking the strawberry milk afterwards as well. I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Let's start with some history: Franken Berry was one of the original two Monster cereals released by General Mills in October 1971 (the other was Count Chocula). It was a mainstay of the breakfast cereal aisle until 2010 when the product became available only seasonally, which is a darn shame if you ask me. Now that all five monster cereals are available this fall you can not only pick up Franken Berry but you also have the choice of either the classic box art (as seen on the left and available exclusively at Target) and the modern box art on the right. Ready to read more about Franken Berry then you ever wanted to know? Then join me after the break...

Minifigure Review: Centaur Horse Man from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 11 by Fisher-Price

    Today is the fourth review of the six figures from series 11 of the Imaginext Collectible Figures Series and this time it is the Centaur Horse Man. Yup. A Centaur Horse Man. He's certainly not the craziest Imaginext figure we've seen but he definitely is kind of unique. Similar to the Woodland Mystic from series 8, the Centaur Horse Man is a blue mythological character who would fit well into a fantasy themed Imaginext series. Imaginext doesn't currently have a fantasy themed series on shelves but if they did this guy would work perfectly with it. Considering that he is blue, I've seen some online commentators suggest that he could be a tribute to the Na'vi from Avatar. That's a possibility. This guy doesn't look like him but he could also be somewhat inspired by Nessus from Disney's Hercules. Wherever the inspiration may come from, this guy is definitely unique. Let's check out the Centaur Horse Man after the break...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Pumpkin Cheesecake Creme Sandwich Cookies by Market Pantry

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!   

      These aren't overly terrifying, but they're pretty tasty and appropriately festive so on my last trip to Target to by Fruit Brute and spooky Jones Soda I picked these up. Two nights ago most of The Epic Review crew got together for a Halloween party. Not a Halloween party, like the holiday, but a Halloween party, as in we watched the 35th Anniversary edition of Halloween on Blu-ray. Amongst the delicious foods we partook in were Jones Red Licorice Soda, some delicious snacks made by Brad's mom, and these little Pumpkin Cheesecake sandwich cookies (these were my contribution). How'd they taste? We'll get there. First, let's look at the box! Nothing too special, just one simple fall leaf proclaiming these as "limited time only" and a picture of the cookies. I love how these are displayed with candy pumpkins and cinnamon sticks! Other than that fun little element, the box is actually dull. Really dull. Things get more exciting after the break, though...

Minifigure Review: Fish Robot from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 11 by Fisher-Price

    It's time for a look at the third figure in the 11th series of Imaginext Collectible Figures and this one is definitely a strange one! Today we're checking out the Fish Robot, a figure that seems to be a goldfish of some sort (possibly evil) on top of a robot body. Imaginext offers some some pretty strangely awesome figures in the Imaginext Collectibles Figures series and the Fish Robot is definitely closer to the far end of the weird spectrum. Looking at this guy, I was reminded of two fish on top of some sort of robot bodies from my childhood: Bob the Killer Goldfish from Earthworm Jim and the motorcycle riding daredevil Fish from the Sweet Pickles series. I don't know where the exact inspiration for this crazy guy came from but I do like him. Oddly enough, though, he doesn't include any accessories. That's weird, right? He is the first figure in the series to not come with anything (the Muscle Men also don't have any accessories although you do get two of them in the pack). This is kind of an odd decision as I can think of a few cool extras that would have worked with the figure. Let's dive in and give the Fish Robot some attention after the break...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

     The Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin is another Halloween candy that, like the Cadbury Scream Egg and the soon to be reviewed Halloween Peeps, has roots with an Easter candy. If you've ever had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, a Reese's Christmas Tree, or a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, you know what to expect here. It's a chocolate covered peanut butter confection that looks vaguely like a pumpkin. Then again, it's a chocolate covered peanut butter confection that looks vaguely like a pumpkin!!! (See the excitement?!) When I think about Reese's cups and Halloween, I always think about the 90's commercial where we see a Reese's cup that has been attacked by a vampire. Remember it? Anyways, I guess at some point Reese's decided to fully connect their product with Halloween, so we get this spooky treat. The standard Reese's package is already orange, yellow, and brown, so it was already appropriately autumnal. Someone didn't have much work to do, so a simple yellow pumpkin outline and a smaller jack o' lantern was added. It's simple, but nothing terribly memorable when we live in a world where the M&Ms can dress like mummies and the Kool-Aid man happily dons a vampire cape (in years past the packages have been more exciting). We'll taste test this sucker after the break....

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

    While we're almost two years out from the release of Rogue One we still don't have an action figure of Bodhi Rook yet, leaving our Rogue One crew incomplete. Fortunately, Hasbro doesn't seem like they're going to let the crew of the film Solo suffer the same fate as Tobias Beckett has arrived with Val and Rio Durant are the works (yeah, Korso is probably a long shot but I really can't even remember him from the film so I doubt most others do, too). While it is a bit odd that Hasbro is spacing the Solo figures out so much it is tough to argue that they're not putting tremendous effort into them. Tobias Beckett is another figure that uses the new faceprinting technology that Hasbro has introduced to the Black Series this year with great results. It makes for a really cool figure which is, I believe, the first official Woody Harrelson action figure (barring the Funko POP! Becketts and some unlicensed renditions of Harrelson's character Tallahassee from Zombieland). Sadly, Solo is one of the best Star Wars offerings we've had and yet folks largely seemed to ignore it even though it is filled with cool, underworld fringe characters, bounty hunters, and scoundrels. Let's take a look at this great action figure of Han's mentor after the break...

Monday, September 10, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Boo Berry Cereal

     This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

   Boo Berry cereal was definitely the monster cereal that I requested most often when I was a kid. There's just something about blue food that appeals to me. I think it's because there's nothing gross that's blue and so thus the color blue is always appealing. Green? Boogers. Red? Blood and gore. Brown? Feces. Black and white? Skunks. But blue? Nothing. It's just a pleasant and amazing color for food. The brighter the blue color, the better. In October of 1971 General Mills released the first two installments of their breakfast cereal masterpiece: Count Chocula and Franken Berry. Those guys are OK, but Boo Berry is where the real action is. Released in 1973, Boo Berry added a delightful blueberry flavor to the pantheon of breakfast foods.I just ate a full box of Boo Berry cereal last week and three bowls immediately prior to typing this review, so I'm ready to go. Let's get this review done before the sugar rushing through my veins makes me too crazy! Join me after the break, if you dare!!!

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl from Batman Missions: TrueMoves by Mattel

    A month or so I was checking out She's Fantastic and discovered that the new Batman Missions series was releasing a 12 inch scaled Batgirl figure in their TrueMoves line.  Over the past 5 years or so Hasbro and Mattel have been releasing these inexpensive, 12 inch scaled action figures and they're really rather ho-hum to me: Decent character selection but limited articulation, questionable likenesses, and a very "flat" appearance. When I learned that a Batgirl was coming out, though, I was might tempted. At this point there is so much Batgirl stuff coming out that I just can't keep up, particularly due to the number of statues and other higher end items. I decided to go for this one though because she is only $10 dollars and I like how it represents Batgirl as one of the big guns worthy of being in this sort of line. These are called Batman Missions: TrueMoves with the TrueMoves name indicating that the articulation has been improved. These remind me quite a bit of the DC Super Hero Girls basic figures, which my 5 year old loves. I could see her possibly being interested in these to bolster her ranks of the girls. Let's check this version of Batgirl out to see how she fares...

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

    While making pumpkin flavored foods used to be all the rage during the Halloween season, now it seems that candy corn flavored foods are what's hip, cool, and funky fresh these days. Today I'm looking at one of these new kids on the block: White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M's.  Here's notable points that jump out at me from just looking at the bag:
1. The red M&M guy doesn't look too happy to be wearing that candy corn outfit. Oh! the humiliation.
2. Take note these are artificially flavored. I'm assuming this means that the candy company did not use actual candy corn to flavor these, so what exactly did they use?

Of course, that's just the colorful candy shell. If you want the rest of the article (the part that will melt in your hand) then you're going to have to read on after the break...

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

    Back in the summer of 1997 my family took a brief trip back to the suburbs of Chicago, IL where we had lived from the very late 80s until the mid 90s. I remember lots of things about the brief trip but one of the memories that stands out to me the most was that it was during that trip when I found the Power of the Force 2 version of the Rebel Fleet Trooper. The Rebel Fleet Trooper was one of the most anticipated figures the POTF2 line, probably alongside of Slave Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin, and he was the first of those new figures released. He was overly tall and looked a bit stiff but, man, was it cool to have one of those guys finally. I've always loved the costume and, let's be honest, the Imperials have greatly outnumbered the Rebels thus far in the line! I'm super excited to finally have Hasbro Black Series version of the Rebel Fleet Trooper who, oddly enough, is just called the Rebel Trooper here. Of course, this isn't just any old Rebel Fleet Trooper. This is actually Lt. Pello Scrambas, one of the ill-fated troopers aboard the Tantive IV who fights the initial wave of Imperial Stormtroopers. I don't hide my love of this line very much but I don't think I'm overreacting when I say that this is easily one of the best figures Hasbro has released in the Black Series so far. Let's check out everything right about Lt. Pello Scrambas/ the Rebel Fleet Trooper after the break...

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Minifigure Review: Muscle Men from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 11 by Fisher-Price

    Over the past few years one of my favorite toylines to collect has been Fisher-Price's "not-really" blind bagged Imaginext Collectible Figures. The new series 11 is easily the best set since series 7 (although series 9 was quite good though I never reviewed any of them) due to the creative figures (no sports figures! Yeah!) including a few that pay tribute to previous toylines. Just a few days ago I looked at the X-Ray Alien which paid tribute to the 1982 Fisher-Price Adventure People X-Ray Man and now I'm checking out another 1980s tribute: The Muscle Men set! If you can't tell from the pictures or the name, the Muscle Men set pays tribute to Mattel's 1986 M.U.S.C.L.E. minifigure line (based on Bandai's Kinnikuman) and two of its stars: Kinnikuman/ Muscle Man and Buffaloman/ Terri-Bull. Not only are you getting a great M.U.S.C.L.E. homage figure in this set, but you're getting two of them for the price of one! I love M.U.S.C.L.E. and I've been excited to show this one off ever since I got it. Let's check this one out after the break...

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Pumpkin Delights by Little Debbie

 This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

   It doesn't matter when or where, but Little Debbie's Pumpkin Delights are always the first Halloween themed food I stumble across every year (typically in late August or early September it seems).  Yes, Little Debbie is the harbinger of the two months of madness and terror that is the Halloween season.  Why does she always make it to shelves first? Well, they seem innocuous enough; they're generic enough to be a general "fall" themed item rather than full blown Halloween.  Just look at the box: regular pumpkins, fall leaves, and a smiling little Debbie.  She's not decked out in a witch costume or being stalked by a serial killer or anything; she's just standing above the pleasant fall scene, peddling these pleasant ginger cookies with a pumpkin filling that I tend to by every year, even though I only ever end up eating one or two. Anyways, let's taste test them, shall we? Join me after the break...

Friday, September 7, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: 7 Super Spooky Scary Pogs!

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2013!

    Remember when pogs were the single biggest hobby in the world?  It happened in the early-mid 1990s and didn't last long, but while they ruled the world pogs were spoken of in reverent tones, sold for outrageous sums of money, and banned in classrooms near and far. In my vast collection of pogs, I have Christmas pogs, Easter pogs, dinosaur pogs, animal pogs, fast food themed pogs, and of course Halloween pogs.  Today I'm going to look at seven awesome pogs from my collection that are sure to get even the most ardent hater of Halloween into the Halloween spirit.  We'll start with the most mundane, but perhaps most classic, Frankenstein's monster as seen above.

#1 Frankenstein's Monster

Yup, that's Franksenstein's monster all right.  It's a classic interpretation of the monster with some particularly cool little lightning bolts sparking off of the bolts in his neck.  

You can read about the rest after the break...

Hokey Halloween Horror: PEZ Glowing Jack O' Lantern with Candy Corn PEZ!

 It's really, really late where I'm at but I just don't think I can go to sleep until I show you my new PEZ dispenser. Ready? It's a Jack O' Lantern and it comes with Candy Corn flavored PEZ. Isn't that just the best? It's like two of my favorite things about Halloween all in one package! Let's check this one out...

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Minifigure Review: X-Ray Alien from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 11 by Fisher-Price

  Today I'm offering up the first review from series 11 of Fisher-Price's Imaginext Collectible Figures Series of blind-bagged mini action figures and to kick things off I'm starting with the X-Ray Alien. While the Imaginext line is primarily aimed at kids, Fisher-Price knows that adult collectors are picking these up too so, over the years, they've sprinkled in all kinds of figures that play homage to various beloved toys of the past and other pop culture characters. The X-Ray Alien here pays tribute to the 1982 X-Ray Man from the Fisher-Price Adventure People toyline. Running from 1975 to 1985, the Adventure People featured simple 1/18th scaled action figures of characters such as paramedics, reporters, explorers, and aliens with various vehicles and accessories. The line definitely seems to be the spiritual predecessor to Imaginext so this is a fitting tribute. I honestly am not terribly familiar with Adventure People although I did own a couple of them. I specifically remember my dad buying me the Deep Sea Diver at Toys 'R Us and I had the Alpha Interceptor spaceship that I either bought at a yard sale or found abandoned in a park. There's a lot of love for this line from the folks who collect these so I imagine this figure has excited Adventure People collectors (who appear to have their own convention now!). Let's check out the X-Ray Alien after the break...

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Snickers Peanut Butter Pumpkin

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review on 9/11/2013!

   Technically, this review is out of order.  Yup, I'm not planning on reviewing the regular Snickers Pumpkin until later in the month, thus that review will be a prequel of sorts to this review. I guess you could see this review is in medias res.  Anyways, I'll catch you up on this: Snickers is a candy bar, but since it's Halloween you can buy little Snickers bars shaped like pumpkins.  You can now buy them with peanut butter in them as well.  I bought two of these (one peanut butter and regular) and got a third free at the store.  I was going to give it to my wife, but I instead ate it in the car. Oops.  (*Editor's note:  Thanks.  I was really hungry, too.*) Anyways, this product is fairly low on scares, but high on sugar and deliciousness. More treats after the break...

Hokey Halloween Horror: Froot Loops with Spoooky Marshmallows

    Today I'm checking out some spooky cereal and since it's so creepy I'm not going at it alone! Today I'm joined by my pal and number one assistant Aly Fox! Aly Fox is my 5-year old daughter and this is actually her cereal. A week before school started she took a trip to visit my parents and came back with this box of Froot Loops with Spoooky Marshmallows. Kellogg's has gone all out with this delightfully frightening urban legend of sweetened multigrain cereal haunted by spooky marshmallows. It's perfect for breakfast, snacking, or possibly using in various recipes that call for cereal. Plus, it features Toucan Sam dressed up like a werewolf. I dressed like a werewolf of sorts last year too, so I kind of feel a kinship with Toucan Sam. We also both wear plaid a lot, so there's that too. While I usually buy generic cereals (toys ain't cheap and ya gotta cut where you can) they just don't go all out like the big brands, you know? Let's bite into some spoooky fruit loops after the break...

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Starburst Candy Corn (2013)

     This review originally appeared on The Epic Review on 9/10/2013!

   When I first heard about these, I was expecting that they would either be Starburst jellybeans in the shape of candy corn, or something more akin to Mike & Ike's.  Boy was I wrong!  These things are full-on fruit flavored candy corn.  I finally found a pack today (this is a 2oz pack that cost me $1.07 at a Walgreens after tax) and decided to both eat the candy and review it.  Because looking up reviews for candy corn is a pretty common thing people do, right?  Anyways, candy corn is a pretty polarizing issue.  People in camp A love the stuff and would eat it year round if they could.  I'm in camp A actively hunt down anything candy corn flavored. Remember that candy corn Jones soda?  I actually had an IV drip full of that stuff during the whole month of October 2004. Anyways, what happens when the outrageous lemon, strawberry, orange, and cherry flavor of Starburst possesses your average candy corn? Find out after the break...

Classic Food Review: Soda Shaq by Arizona

This review originally appeared on The Epic Review back in 2014!
     Shaquille O'Neil may have never been bigger! Not only does he have a role in the excellent The Lego Movie, but he also has his own line of soda from Arizona Beverages. I really don't drink much soda at all but I picked this up because A. I'm a sucker for strawberry cream soda, B. The can looks really cool and/ or crazy insane. Arizona seems to be the go to people for delicious beverages from celebrities, including their official Arnold Palmer lemonade and tea blends and their Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear honey lemondade, so it is cool to see Shaq get into the soda business. How's it taste, though? More refreshing details after the break....

Hokey Halloween Horror: Tic Tac Count's Combo

     Lately I've been republishing some of my older candy and food reviews from my days at The Epic Review but I'm excited because I have some great reviews of Halloween treats coming up in the coming weeks to make 2018's Hokey Halloween Horror one for the books. First up is a pack of Halloween flavored Tic Tacs: Count's Combo! I know these have been around since at least 2017 but I picked up a few packs of these this year. Back in 2013 I reviewed the Bewitching Blend so I guess it is way past time that I review some more Tic Tacs. I don't eat Tic Tacs often but I don't know why. It's kind of fun to carry around a small package of colored candy that doubles as a maraca. Now throw in the fact that this package features Halloween colors and a picture of a vampire that looks like he belongs on the cover of a Mad Libs book and I'm sold. Let's check these delightful little 2 calorie breath mints (actually 1.9 calories) after the break...

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Classic Hokey Halloween Horror: Cadbury Scream Eggs (2013)

This review originally appeared during the initial year of Hokey Halloween Horror at the Epic Review on September 9th, 2013

  Someday I'll have that magical conversation with my daughter; we'll be sitting down and enjoying Cadbury Eggs together during October and she'll say how much she enjoys them, and I'll proceed to tell her that when I was a kid, we only got Cadbury Eggs during Easter. She'll be mortified. "What did you do, Dad?" she'll ask?  I'll tell her about how I kept a stash of Cadbury Eggs hidden away for the rest of the year, and she'll be thankful that she didn't live in the old days when fondant filled chocolate eggs were only available at Easter and not Halloween.  Yes, we now have Cadbury Screme Eggs, although the package advises us to "Fear Not!" because they taste the same as regular Cadbury Creme Eggs. Doesn't it seem counter productive to advise us to not be terrified when you're peddling something called a "Screme Egg?"  I expect this candy to terrify me to no end. I was almost disappointed that when I bit into it, there wasn't a razor blade or an eyeball inside that caused me to shriek in terror and/or pain.  Nope, just the same old delicious Cadbury Creme Egg that I've always known, only with a green creme center.  More after the break....

Monday, September 3, 2018

Toy Review: '93 Jeep Wrangler #12 from Matchbox Jurassic World: Legacy Collection by Mattel

   Today I'm checking out the last vehicle I know from Mattel's Jurassic World: Legacy Collection of Matchbox vehicles: The '93 Jeep Wrangler #12. A Target exclusive, this small subset of vehicles features vehicles from the first two Jurassic Park films and a maintenance truck from Jurassic World. Initially these were pretty tough to find but it seems now that Target is restocking these little vehicles. I was super excited to finally get my hands on Jeep #12 as this is the staff vehicle that Dennis Nedry crashes when he is trying to get to the docks to deliver the stolen dinosaur embryos to the Biosyn contact. Yes, this is the jeep that Nedry is in when he gets killed by the Dilophosaurus. I have to admit it's one of my favorite parts in a film that is pretty much filled with my favorite parts. Heck, remember how gruesome this scene was in the original novel? I still remember this line: "Nedry stumbled, reaching blindly only to touch the ragged edge of his shirt, and then a thick slippery mass that was surprisingly warm, and with horror he suddenly knew he was holding his own intestines in his hands." I dig it. Let's check this one out after the break...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Action Figure Review: Stormtrooper (with Blast Accessories) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  Like Captain Phasma (Quicksilver Baton), the Stormtrooper (with Blast Accessories) is another figure from Star Wars: The Black Series that appeared internationally before Hasbro ever even officially announced it. Unlike Phasma, the Stormtrooper doesn't have a planned US release. I picked this guy up at the same time I picked up Phasma and I'll be checking him out today. This is an interesting release as he seems to be Hasbro's attempt at a more deluxe figure that is released with some larger accessories. It feels like some sort of attempt to mix together the standard Black Series line with the Centerpiece Series. That could have worked but this figure ended up being a bit plane. Let's check out this Stormtrooper after the break...