Saturday, March 16, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mario with Super Star from Super Mario by Jakks Pacific

   I don't remember if I mentioned it in my previous reviews from the new Jakks Pacific Super Mario figures but I actually preordered a whole set of series 1 figures. While these are technically a new line, the figures pretty much feel like a continuation of the long running World of Nintendo series. I'm not sure of the reason for the change in name (I'm assuming that overall Jakks just wasn't interested in releasing anything but Super Mario based figures) but I'm not overly concerned. While World of Nintendo relies heavily on repaints and reuse, series 1 of Super Mario features some straight up repacks. Basically, for ordering a complete set of series 1 figures I've ended up with some figures I didn't really need. Let's take Mario here: He's basically the same as the original 1-1 Mario and the 2-4 Mario. I was really hoping for a new Mario to kick off the new series, but that's not what we got. Let's take a quick look after the break...

Friday, March 15, 2019

Action Figure Review: Werewolf Biker from The Worst by Super7

    I feel like you couldn't even begin to enjoy this review unless you imagine Werewolf Biker being in a sleazy grindhouse styled trailer with the old fashioned movie trailer narration. Because that's exactly the vibe I get from this figure: Werewolf Biker is a vicious, brutal, bad guy that audiences root for despite him being Hairy Hell on Wheels. I like to believe that in some alternate reality there is an Earth where Werewolf Biker was a long running series of over the top 70s and 80s films that have now became legendary as cult classics. In the (early) 1990s there was even a revival TV show on USA and an attempt at a kids cartoon called Werewolf Riders. You just gotta look at this figure from Super7's The Worst line and the infinite possibilities start to flow through your mind...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Action Figure Review: The Joker from DC Primal Age by Funko

    It's taken me a couple of months but I'm finally getting around to finishing my reviews for Series 1 of Funko's DC Primal Age. I'm going to be reviewing the Target exclusive black and grey Batman soon as well but, with the Joker here, all of the standard series 1 figures, vehicles, and playsets have been covered. While I purchased most of the series 1 figures at the same time the Joker took me a little longer to track down. The Target closest to me didn't have any Joker figures even though their shelves were quite full so I had to check other Target stores until I tracked him down. While I know not everyone digs the faux retro lines and the Masters of the Universe styled aesthetic of this line, I sure do. I'm really impressed with Funko's work here and I really hope they at least continue this line past the second series. To be honest, I think I would have liked to have seen what might have been if Funko had been awarded the main DC license for action figures. I'm curious what McFarlane is going to do but I think Funko could have produced great stuff. Hopefully fun stuff like this is still possible for them after this year! Anyways, let's check out this very cool swords and sorcery rendition of the Joker, shall we? More after the break...

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Action Figure: Cortex Commander from The Worst by Super7

    While we don't know much about the leadership structure of The Worst, I believe we can say with confidence that Cortex Commander is the .... brain of the operation. OK, bad joke! I really like The Worst. Super7 really does a good job with most of their ReAction figures and the idea of a line consisting solely of absurd villains is just too fun. Today I'm checking out Cortex Commander from Series 2, a villainous military officer billed as the Ruthless Mastermind of Chaos! These figures are really fun amalgams of all sorts of villainous tropes and Cortex Commander is one of my favorites. He reminds me of a character from a Mike Mignola comic, particularly one of the villainous Nazis from Hellboy, or perhaps a villains from The Tick. Let's check out this cool new addition to The Worst after the break...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Action Figure Review: Wonder Woman from DC Primal Age by Funko

    I'm currently on a roll trying to review the rest of series 1 of Funko's DC Primal Age toyline and I'm finally getting around to checking out Wonder Woman. The fourth of the series 1 heroes, Wonder Woman is actually one of the coolest figures in the line. Since Princess Diana is already a magical/ fantasy based character who tends to wear armor and use a sword and shield her redesign isn't as drastic as some other characters in the line. Still, it works and we've received another really good Wonder Woman figure. Ready for a closer look at this incredible barbarian/fantasy version of Wonder Woman? Then join me after the break...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Action Figure Review: Red Tiger from The Worst by Super7

 Ready for another review from Super7's The Worst? Today we're getting another figure from Series 2: Red Tiger, the Brutal Champion of Carnage! Mixing together elements of an old school wrestler and a man-eating tiger, Red Tiger adds a bit more savagery to the villainous ranks of The Worst! Initially I wasn't thinking that Bronze Tiger would be one of my favorites from the series but having him in hand I really like him. He's crazy, over the top, and a true bad guy if you've ever seen one. He does bear an uncanny likeness to Bronze Tiger, though Bronze Tiger is by no means an actual tiger nor does he eat people. Let's check out Red Tiger, a humanoid tiger who does eat people, after the break...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Action Figure Review: Scarecrow from DC Primal Age by Funko

    The second series of DC Primal Age figures are starting to show up online in a few places. Will I complete reviewing the first series before the second series arrives? Let's hope so! Today I'm checking out another villain in the series and this time it's the villainous Scarecrow! Do you think the master of fear fits well within the DC Primal Age line? I definitely do! He's really cool as he kind of brings the same vibe as Skeletor and Scareglow while also bringing his own unique and terrifying charm. I'm always down for a Scarecrow figure as he is one of the Batman villains who often gets a very unique makeover whenever he shows up in a new toyline. Let's check out the DC Primal Age Scarecrow after the break!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Action Figure Review: Captain Deadstar from The Worst by Super7

    While you may have thought the faux Kenner action figure trend was over, it is actually still moving along with a number of figures still being created by Super7, who now has the ReAction brand name. Interestingly, even Hasbro is getting in on the genre by re-releasing vintage Kenner Star Wars figures and sculpting at least one new figure, too. While Funko's time with the ReAction brand seemed to be kind of a "throw everything against the wall and see what sticks"), Super7 is much more intentional about what licenses they pursue and develop product for. One of my favorite brands from Super7 is The Worst, a series of random in-house villains done in the Kenner style with glorious card artwork from Ed Repka. Super7 just released the second series of these so I ordered them and they just arrived in the mail this week. Let's check out the first one, Captain Deadstar: The Cosmic Ghoul Renegade! More weirdness after the break...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mister Freeze from DC Primal Age by Funko

 Last month I reviewed the Ice Mode version of Mister Freeze that was given out free at NYCC 2018. I really liked that guy so today I'm checking out the normal version of Mister Freeze from Funko's DC Primal Age line. Like the rest of the figures in the series, the early shipments released through Amazon in 2018 were prone to breakage so Funko completely released a second run of these through Target in January. These seem to be selling well as the classic DC Comics characters blend together quite well with the 1980s barbarian fantasy style of the classic Masters of the Universe toyline. Let's check out Mister Freeze after the break...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Action Figure Review: Bizarro from DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel

 Me is Bizarro Barbecue17. Me not like DC Comics action figures. Me hate Batgirl, Masters of the Universe, and carbonated water. Me not find new Bizarro figure at Walgreens last week. This not a short review of Bizarro from Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse line....

OK, sorry, I can't keep that up that long! Yes, this is the DC Comics Multiverse Bizarro that is exclusive to Walgreens. I found it a week or so ago on a quick trip there while picking up some Chinese food next door and boy did it pay off! New DC Comics Multiverse figures have been hard to come by and Bizarro has been what I've really been looking for. He's a great classic version of the character and it's been well over a decade since Mattel last gave him a new sculpt (although his last repack release was in the MOTUC vs DCUC Faker vs.Bizarro set). This guy came at a great time as just a few weeks ago my daughter brought home one of the kids DC storybooks from school and it was a Superman and Bizarro story, so she's been really interested in Bizarro lately. This one was a hit! Let's check him our after the break...

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Action Figure Review: King Shark from DC Primal Age by Funko

  I've been slowly working my way through the DC Primal Age toyline and today I'm checking out another one of the series' villains: King Shark. King Shark is a pretty cool addition to the line and provides a nice counterpart to Aquaman in the line. While DC Primal Age has the usual complement of Batman foes and A-list DC villains like Bizarro and Lex Luthor (coming in series 2), King Shark is a nice lower tier villain to add some flavor to the line. A giant, savage shark man fits in perfectly with the barbarian fantasy aesthetic of the line, doesn't it? Let's check this guy out after the break...

Saturday, March 2, 2019

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

   Today I'm checking out another figure from the newest series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures and this time it's the public face of the Crmson Dawn crime syndicate, Dryden Vos. Played by Paul Bettany after the original actor couldn't be present for the Ron Howard directed reshoots (Michael Kenneth Williams originally played the role with the intention of Vos being a motion captured character, possibly a Lasat), Vos provides Han Solo a charming yet menacing introduction to the true nature of the criminal underworld. Since Bettany joined the cast later it took longer for Hasbro to get us an action figure of him. Where's a decent Qi'ra now, huh Hasbro? Anyways, Dryden Vos is one of the two Solo characters in this series. Let's check him out after the break...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Action Figure Review: Green Lantern from DC Primal Age by Funko

  It's time for another review from Funko's DC Primal Age and this time it's the Green Lantern! This is definitely Hal Jordan and, at a glance, he doesn't look terribly different from a standard Green Lantern figure, probably due to the colors. Look closer and you've got a version of the Green Lantern outfitted as if he were roaming around in a swords and sorcery adventure. Many of the figures in this line feel like they take inspiration from particular Masters of the Universe figures and it definitely feels like Hal has taken inspiration from Man-At-Arms. Remember that my DC Primal Age figures came from Target and are part of the 2019 second run of figures. Let's check out Green Lantern after the break...

Monday, February 25, 2019

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

    I just found four of the six figures from the newest series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures last weekend: Vice Admiral Holdo, Padme Amidala, Dryden Voss, and, the subject of today's review, the Battle Droid. I'm still looking for Mace Windu and Han Solo as a Mudtrooper. This is an interesting series of figures as it's not-related to the release of a film and yet doesn't have any Original Trilogy figures in it. That's highly unusual for this line! Mace, Padme, and the Battle Droid are three characters that I'm still flummoxed it took over five years to get in this line. The Prequels haven't gotten much love from Hasbro in the past five or six years but considering that Padme is one of the three stars of the Prequel Trilogy and Mace is Samuel L. Jackson as a Jedi, their long absence seems ever so strange. The Battle Droid also seems like he should have been a much earlier release. Considering how Hasbro loves figures they can repaint over and over, like Clone Troopers, the Battle Droid seems like it would have been a great selection for the line. We finally have a Battle Droid now and with 2019 being the 20th anniversary of Episode I, it's a nice touch. Let's check out the Battle Droid after the break...

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Higher, Further, Faster! Captain Marvel from Marvel Legends Series: Captain Marvel by Hasbro

   Are you ready for Captain Marvel? I'm pretty excited for it. It looks like another solid Marvel movie with a great cast, the inevitable connection to Endgame (even if it's just a prelude), and the 1990s setting. Of course, since it's a new Marvel film Hasbro has given us a complete series of Marvel Legends figures with a Kree Sentry Build-a-Figure. This figure is the only one in the series to not come with a BAF piece. It's also the only double packed figure in the set. I do wish we'd gotten a few comic based Carol Danvers figures, perhaps even as retailer exclusives, as it's been a while since we've seen her on store shelves. This one is without a doubt based on Brie Larson's portrayal of the character and looks incredibly accurate to the source material. Let's check out Captain Marvel after the break...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Minifigure Review: Series 1 from Kaiju Big Battel

    Are you ready for some phenomenal minifigures in the tradition of M.U.S.C.L.E./ Kinnikuman? Then get ready for Kaiju Big Battel! I had never heard about Kaiju Big Battel, either, but it's a live action wrestling show with bizarre characters and giant kaiju facing off in a wrestling ring complete with miniature buildings. Last year Kaiju Big Battel went to Kickstarter and now it's a line of minifigures, too. After running a suucessful Kickstarter campaign we now have a great set of 11 minifigures based on such rich characters as Dr. Cube, French Toast, and the Silver Potato. The first series has 11 different figures will eventually be sold in blind boxes of two figures each. Backers were given the chance to grab all 11 sculpts in one go, so that's absolutely the set I went for. It was a good choice as these little guys are awesome. The plastic is great (maybe a bit more rubbery than vintage M.U.S.C.L.E. but they feel great), the sculpts are as crisp as a Fall morning, and the pinkish color is a site to behold. Let's look at all eleven figures after the break...

Minifigure Review: Man-At-Arms from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

 Since I reviewed Evil-Lyn yesterday I'm going to review her Series 4 wave mate, Man-At-Arms, today. Man-At-Arms is one of the original Masters of the Universe crew and I'm sore long term collectors of this line are glad to finally have him. Mattel seems to definitely have some plans for MOTU in the Mega Construx line as we know more figures are coming (Stratos and Scareglow) as well as a 3600 piece Castle Grayskull set. I'd love to see more figures in the line before we escalate things so quickly but this seems to imply Mattel has a lot of faith in the license (or at least the iconic Castle Grayskull). Let's take a look at this new minifigure of Duncan, the Man-At-Arms, after the break...

Action Figure Review: Fire Luigi from Super Mario by Jakks Pacific

    So kids, are you ready for a rant? 'Cause here comes a rant: Fire Luigi is absolutely just a repack. In a new series of figures in the newly named Super Mario line. Yup. I preordered the first series of Super Mario figures expecting that we'd be getting a slightly retooled Fire Luigi like we've seen various other retools in the line. Both World of Nintendo and Super Mario have a lot of reuse, so it's not uncommon. What really bites here, however, is that this is exactly the same figure as I purchased back in wave 1-4 from 2015. I can understand that there are some figures Jakks wants to get back on shelves, but couldn't they have changed the hands? Give Luigi a new expression? A new accessory, such as the fireball seen on the Fire Bro.? I'm all for reuse but a straight repack in a new series is just insanely lazy and disrespectful because, let's be honest, most of us have to order these sets online from e-tailers. There's no way to avoid these! This review is going to be short and most full of complaints, just like Wario's last relationship. More after the break...

Monday, February 18, 2019

Minifigure Review: Evil-Lyn from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

   Today I'm checking out the first of the two series 4 Masters of the Universe figures from Mattel's Mega Construx line of single packed minifigures: Evil-Lyn! Alongside Man-at-Arms (who I'll be reviewing soon), Evil-Lyn adds another figure to the MOTU line and another Evil Warrior to Skeletor's legions. While the Battle for Eternia Collection and the Wind Raider Attack set come on Masters of the Universe specific packaging, the single packed figures are part of Mega Construx's line consisting of characters from other various properties including Aliens, Hellboy, God of War, and Star Trek. These are strongly influenced by the vintage Masters of the Universe figures and have turned out to be some really fun toys. Let's check out Evil-Lyn after the break...

Action Figure Review: Fire Bro from Super Mario by Jakks Pacific

   Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line has been one of my favorite lines since 2014 but now it seems that the line has morphed into something new. While the figures are largely the same, now the line is being labeled as Super Mario, seeming to imply that the line is going to be mostly consisting of figures from the Super Mario Bros. games going forward and ignoring the other Nintendo franchises like the Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Star Fox. While that seems like a strange decision with the popularity of the Super Smash Bros. Games (not that Jakks has the rights to all of those characters), most of the characters I really want to see made by Nintendo are from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, so I'm not terribly disappointed. The series don't have a wave designation like World of Nintendo, so this one is just simply series 1 so far as I can tell. First up is the Fire Bro. originally from Super Mario Bros. 3. He's mostly a repaint of the WoN Hammer Bro but that's accurate to the games, so it works. Let's check this first Super Mario after the break...

Minifigure Review: Battle for Eternia Collection from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

    While the Mega Construx Masters of the Universe figures have been out since 2017, I have actually never seen most of the figures in stores. He-Man, Skeletor, and Faker were notoriously difficult to come by. Fortunately Mega Construx announced that a 5-pack of the first figures from the line was being released. A few weeks ago I walked into my Wal-Mart and, sure enough, found the Battle for Eternia 5-pack and both of the series 4 MOTU figures (who I'll be reviewing very soon). Included in this set are He-Man and Skeletor from series 1, Teela and Beast Man from series 2, and Faker from series 3. If you're new to this series of minifigures like me and want to get caught up on a massive chunk of the MOTU A-list, this is a great set. They're amazingly well articulated and definitely faithful to the vintage toy designs. Toy Fair 2019 has revealed that Mattel has big plans for the Mega Construx line (including a giant Castle Grayskull) so these should prove a nice refresher for the line as it starts to really take off. Let's check out the Battle for Eternia Collection after the break...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Action Figure Review: Batman from DC Primal Age by Mattel

 Today we're checking out another figure from Funko's DC Primal Age toyline and this time it's the man whom everything seems to revolve around: Batman! Considering he already has a Batcave to chill out in and Ace the Bathound to ride around on, there's no doubt that Bruce is the star of the show. I'm really liking this line and while we've seen the preorders for the second series of figures I was kind of hoping we'd see evidence of a third series at Toy Fair 2019. While we've seen everyone featured in the very cool cartoon intro I really want this line to continue with more figues. The line definitely needs some more females (Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Power Girl would be excellent choices), more magic based characters (Etrigan, Dr. Fate, and Zatanna), and Cyborg as well. Hopefully the line is a success and has a nice long lifespan. For now, the revamped first series figures are exclusive to Target. Let's check out the DC Primal Age Batman after the break...

Minifigure review: M.U.S.C.L.E.: Shogun Figures by Super7

  I've been a pretty big fan of Super7's M.U.S.C.L.E. offerings as they've made my top 10 toylines list every year for the past three years. Most of the figures have been good with a few of the sets, such as Street Fighter II, The Worst, and Iron Maiden being flat out amazing. The only line thus far I thought was a total bomb was the Mega Man series. With waxy plastic, a really dull non-pinkish color, and really soft, weak sculpts, those were terrible and didn't even deserve to be labeled as M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Sadly, Super7 just released a line of minis as bad or worse than the Mega Man figures: Their Shogun Warriors themed Shogun Figures. I'm not very familiar with Shogun Warriors but considering that the pictures made the characters looked unique and I love M.U.S.C.L.E. figures so much I went ahead and ordered these the day they went up. Big mistake! Super7 botched these big time. Seriously, I love their MOTUC line and M.U.S.C.L.E. but releases like this leave me scratching my head. This could have been a great line of minifigures as Shogun Warriors was comprised of characters from a variety of different Japanese properties, so you get dozens of crazy cool designs. Too bad the sculpts on these are so waxy and limp that you can hardly tell what's even going on with them. Let's take a quick look at all four packs from the series after the break...

Action Figure Review: Aquaman from DC Primal Age by Funko

    This isn't my first review from Funko's DC Primal Age line but it is the first 2019 figure from the line that I've reviewed.  The 2018 versions of these figures were released through Amazon and suffered from some really serious breakage problems. For the 2019 releases through Target, Funko improved the quality and these figures feel solid and sturdy. First up is Aquaman who just looks awesome. While these are definitely styled after 1980s barbarian fantasy lines, Aquaman's design takes a lot of cues from his 90s era look, particularly the long blonde hair and the hook hand. Let's check out this fearsome warrior from the deep after the break!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mega Man from Mega Man by Funko

  Since I reviewed Dr. Wily earlier this week it's about time that I review the Blue Bomber himself, Mega Man! The star of Funko's new Mega Man series of action figures, this figure has a few different repaints in the line. Of course, I imagine the most desirable for nearly anyone is going to be the classic blue version of Mega Man. Whether you're a fan of the traditional side scrollers, Mega Man Legends (like me!), or you just dig the fact that this guy is part of the Super Smash Bros. roster, Mega Man is a pretty nifty figure. I actually picked him up to merge him with my World of Nintendo collection. Funko's figures go great alongside the World of Nintendo line, allowing you to had a couple more characters to the roster. ready to check out Mega Man? Then come join me after the break...

Friday, February 15, 2019

Action Figure Review: Ultimate Michael Myers from Halloween by NECA

  2018 was a great year for the Halloween franchise as we got the release of Mezco's excellent One:12 Collective Michael Myers based on the original film and the one of the best sequels in the Halloween franchise with David Gordon Green's Halloween. NECA has now delivered up their new Ultimate Michael Myers, based on the 2018 film, which is their first Michael Myers figure in at least a decade. NECA has made some huge advances since they last released a Michael Myers figure and we now have a Michael Myers that is on par with NECA's other Ultimate releases like Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface. While NECA has plans for a Laurie Strode figure from the 2018 film and one of their 8-inch Mego styled figures, we haven't heard about Ultimate styled releases from any of the older films. Let's see how NECA handled the newest version of the Shape after the break...

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Action Figure Review: Dr. Wily from Mega Man by Funko

    Guess what? This is my first actual review of an item from 2019! Shortly after the beginning of the New Year I was walking around a GameStop on my lunch break when I saw the complete series of Funko's new Mega Man action figure line. Since these are about the perfect size to mesh with Jakks' World of Nintendo line I had to at least pick up Mega Man himself and his nemesis, Dr. Wily. First appearing in 1987's Mega Man on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Dr. Wily has long been obsessed with turning Dr. Light's robots in terrifying instruments of chaos. He has a great classic cartoon mad scientist vibe to him, easily looking like a character from an early 90s cartoon. He was tough to pass up, you know? There are only five figures in the first series of Mega Man figures and four of them are Mega Man variants, so this guy stands out because he's a completely unique sculpt. Let's check him out after the break...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Missing in Action: Toylines That Didn't Make the Cut in 2018




   Since 2015 I've supplemented my 10 Favorite Toylines and 10 Favorite Individual Toys with a list called Missing in Action. The general premise of this list is to look at my list of last year's Top 10 Toylines and determine why the lines present then failed to return on the current year's list.  2018's top 10 list had five toylines returning from the 2017 list, which is a pretty average retention rate for toylines on my lists due. When looking at the lines that failed to show up again there are typically three reasons why a line makes this list:
Missing in Action: This is a toyline that gets cancelled, ends, or just doesn't have any releases during the year.
Demoted: Sometimes a toyline just gets outdone by others. This is less reflective of the quality of the demoted line and more reflective of the quality of the lines that supplanted it. 
Drop in Quality: This is when a toyline has a severe drop in quality that causes it to fall from grace. While most toylines get better as they go, some do indeed get worse and worse due to cost cutting, mismanagement, and quality control issues. 
 
Let's jump in and check these out after the break...  

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Best of the Rest: My 10 Favorite Individual Toys of 2018




 For a few years I always selected my 10 favorite toylines from the past year but a few years ago I realized something: Not every great toy is part of a larger toyline or a toyline that I fully collected. It seemed kind of unfair to never acknowledge figures from smaller or one off lines. Heck, sometimes I purchased a spectacular action figure from a line while I had no intention of buying anything else. What to do? I finally decided to do a list of my Top 10 Favorite Individual Toys for the year. Who is eligible? Any toy released in 2018. Who isn't eligible? Any toy from a line I picked in my 10 Favorite Toylines list. This year this list contains some of my absolute favorite stuff, including what is probably my favorite 2018 release of them all!  Simple right? Let's check these out alphabetically, after the break...

Thursday, February 7, 2019

My Top 10 Toylines of 2018






   Well...this is it! Today I'm going to start my best of 2018 awards and I'll be starting with my primary category, My Top 10 Toylines of 2018. Creating my own "Top 10" lists is one of my favorite things to do every year on Acton Figure Barbecue and I spend a lot of time preparing my list. This is the seventh year I've created a list (the earlier ones were originally at The Epic Review) and it's interesting too see how the list changes year by year. While this year has a few entries from larger lines, there are definitely some unusual choices on here. While there were a few lines I was incredibly devoted to this year, I picked up random stuff here and there far more often, including a few choices on this list that are going to surprise you. As I always say, a key word for this list is "Favorite." I will readily admit that my list is not a best of list but a list of my favorites. One of my favorite end of the year awards events has been Michael Crawford's Poppies over at MWCToys.com as it's more of an Academy Award styled event with multiple judges from different areas voting on the best. Over here, though, well these are my picks and they're based on criteria that I alone set. Let's get this show rolling after the break....

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mister Freeze "Ice Mode" from DC Primal Age by Funko

   OK, I promise! This is the last 2018 I'm I'm reviewing before I jump in and start releasing my best of 2018 lists! Over the weekend I reviewed a few DC Primal Age releases and today I want to throw out one more: Mister Freeze in Ice Mode. While the actual figures I've purchased have all been the new 2019 releases from Target (they're sturdier with better QC), Mister Freeze in Ice Mode was exclusive to NYCC 2018. Apparently, he was a free giveaway. That's crazy, right? I only paid about $10 bucks for him so he doesn't seem to be terribly difficult to come by, which was a welcome change considering convention exclusives can be crazy pricey. Let's check out this solid blue Mister Freeze after the break...

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Action Figure Review: The Joker Beast from DC Primal Age by Funko

    I just reviewed Ace the Bathound earlier today so now that we've reviewed Batman's steed it's time to check out the Joker's steed. In DC Primal Age the Joker rides the monstrous Joker Beast. Interestingly, I like the Joker Beast far more than I like Ace. He's a more interesting design and just feels like a higher quality product. He kind of reminds me of one of the various lizard-like mounts that the enemies rode in the Golden Axe games or perhaps even a repainted Dewback. He's a cool mount and gives you more coolness to surround the Batcave with. Let's check out the Joker Beast after the break...

Action Figure Review: Ace the Bathound from DC Primal Age by Funko

    Today I'm plowing through the 2018 releases from DC Primal Age that I've picked up (all of my figures are the 2019 Target releases) and after reviewing the Batcave now I'm going to check out the two beasts from the first series. First up is Batman's trusty pet Ace the Bathound, now reimagined as Battle Cat like dire-wolf that Batman can ride into battle. Like the larger beats figures from various 1980s toylines, especially Masters of the Universe, Ace the Bathound comes in a large window box. Let's check Ace out after the break...

Action Figure Review: The Batcave from DC Primal Age by Funko

    Today I'm wrapping up my 2018 reviews with a massively epic review of the DC Primal Age Batcave. Yes, my friends, this is a Batcave designed as if it were the vintage Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull. Let's talk about DC Primal Age for a bit before I jump into this review. In late 2017 Funko began showing off some 5.5 inch action figures reminiscent of Mattel's Masters of the Universe and other similar fantasy lines from the 1980s. They first showed Mortal Kombat and then later expanded to ThunderCats and a Horror line. A DC based line, called Primal Age rather than Savage World was announced in the early fall, and it appeared to be bigger and better than the previous offerings as it included more figures, mounts, licensed items, and the Grayskull like Batcave that I'm reviewing today. Amazon was set to have a big launch for these but their offerings were....problematic. Look at the reviews on nearly any Primal Age offering on Amazon and you'll see stories of breakages and cards arriving in terrible shape. I was insanely excited about this line but hearing about the breakages killed my enthusiasm and I resigned myself to believing this would be a failed project. It turns out that Funko had bigger plans for the line as Target had a large retail launch planned for early 2018. Not only was Target stocking these on special end caps but the figures have been redone to correct the breakage issue. I've now picked up all of these. The Batcave and the mounts remain the same, so I'll be reviewing those now as the last items I check out for 2018 but the figures will be part of my 2019 reviews. Savvy? Alright, well let's get this show on the road...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Action Figure Review: Santi from The Guillermo Del Toro Signature Collection by NECA

    January is almost over and today and tomorrow I'm finishing up my reviews of all of the cool stuff I picked up in 2018. I've only got a few things left I'm checking out and today I'm checking out a very cool Christmas present I received: Santi from NECA's The Guillermo Del Toro Signature Collection. NECA has absolutely been putting out some incredible stuff lately and the Guillermo Del Toro collection brings together the modern NECA penchant for spectacular action figures with the classic NECA habit of picking up licenses no one else is doing. Guillermo Del Toro is one of my favorite directors, easily in my top 5, and while he definitely crosses multiple genres he's known for the unique horror themed characters in his films. Santi comes from Del Toro's 2001 film The Devil's Backbone. It's a great movie that simultaneously manages to be a murder mystery, a coming of age story, a war tale, and horror film. It's definitely the kind of horror film that even someone who doesn't like horror films should appreciate as it feels like a good old fashioned ghost story. Anyways Pacific Rim and the Hellboy series have received action figures but Del Toro's other films have not, which is where NECA's line comes in. So far figures from The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth have been announced. Santi here is the lone figure from The Devil's Backbone and the first release in the series, so let's check him out today. More spooky goodness after the break...

Monday, January 28, 2019

Toy Review: Banjo-Kazooie from Totaku by ThinkGeek

    If you were a Nintendo fan during the end of the SNES era and throughout the Nintendo 64 era, you definitely know the name Rare. While they moved to developing for Microsoft in 2002, Rare's years with Nintendo are easily their most popular. During that time they released hit after hit including the Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Land series, Killer Instinct, GoldenEye: 007, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini, Blast Corps, and Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo-Kazooie is a game I have a ton of nostalgia for as not only is it still a very solid adventure game/ collect-a-thon, but it' a game that I picked up one summer while staying with my grandma. We spent so much time playing it together and had a blast with the game. While for years I just assumed that Banjo-Kazooie were Nintendo characters, it turns out that Rare owns them and thus they'll never show up in the World of Nintendo toyline. That doesn't mean they won't be able to stand alongside that line, however, thanks to ThinkGeek's Totaku line of figures. Featuring characters from many non-Nintendo properties, Totaku is a series of non-articulated mini statues reminiscent of Nintendo's Amiibo or the now defunct Disney Infinity series. The biggest difference between Totaku and other similar lines, however, is that there is no in-game functionality. These are simply mini-statues and nothing more. Still, I realize I use my Amiibo and Infinity figures far more as just cool figures rather than use them for games, which probably is something ThinkGeek realized, too. Let's check out Banjo-Kazooie, the 28th figure in the Totaku collection, after the break...

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Action Figure Review: Beast Man + Sorceress from VYNL: Masters of the Universe by Funko

   I'm making my way through the last reviews of stuff I purchased in 2018 and today I'm wrapping up my reviews of the Funko Vynl Masters of the Universe line hat was with a look at the Beast Man + Sorceress two-pack. This set was a Funko 2018 Spring convention exclusive limited to 2500 pieces. It's not hard to find or very expensive, however. None of the MOTU Vynls have been which is great for collecting but might not be so good for the long term health of the line. I like these a lot more than the MOTU POP! vinyls, although the selection is more limited. All of the Vynl sets feature two characters but the pairing on this one is kind of unusual. Beast Man and the Sorceress? I guess it makes sense becuase you get a hero and a villain, but it seems like a thematic pairing would have been better (as that seems to be one of the characteristics of the Vynl line). Maybe the Sorceress and Teela or Beast Man and Stratos, Man-At-Arms, or Ram-Man? The only theme I can detect here is that we get the wisest person on Eternia paired with the dumbest person on Eternia (Beast Man sure isn't known for his brains, you know.). Anyways, these are still two A-list MOTY personalities so let's check them out after the break...

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Minifigure Review: Early-Bird Collector's Package from Mythos in My Pocket by HH Toys

     This Christmas I told my wife there was only one thing I wanted: The Early-Bird Collector's Package from HH Toys' new Mythos in My Pocket line. Released on December 15th, 2018, the Early Bird Package kicked off the new H.P. Lovecraft inspired Mythos in My Pocket line. You're telling me there is a new set of Minifigures inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, M.U.S.C.L.E., and Monster in My Pocket? Sign me up! Well, my wife delivered and this package was under the Christmas tree for me on Christmas morning (along with lots of other stuff, too!). It's taken me a little over a month to get around to reviewing them but I just had to check them out before I close out all of my 2018 reviews and start my annual best of the year awards. There were only 100 of these sets made although you can still order both of the three packs. Let's check out this very cool line of minifigures after the break...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Action Figure Review: Skeletor + Faker from VYNL: Masters of the Universe by Funko

  I never paid much attention to Funko's VYNL line of Masters of the Universe figures but after getting the incredibly adorable Prince Adam and Cringer set for Christmas I decided I wanted to pick up a few more of these. It turns out that while half of them are convention exclusives none of them have gotten to be terribly expensive yet. Heck, I picked up the other three available sets for retail or less. Maybe that's not such a good sign for the line's future? I hope not, though, as I love the wacky style of the VYNL renditions of the MOTU cast. Today I'm checking out the Skeletor + Faker two pack which was a Funko 2018 Summer Convention exclusive. Let's check out this pack of villainous vinyl figures after the break...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Minifigure Review: Cyborg, Robin, Slade, Starfire, and Wonder Woman from Teen Titans Go! To The Movies by Mattel

    A little over three weeks ago I reviewed the first of two 5-packs of Teen Titans Go! The Movies minifigures from Mattel. Released alongside the movie this summer, most folks probably never saw these because they were probably intended for distribution at Toys R Us, the only store that seemed to ever consistently carry Teen Titans Go! merchandise. Fortunately 5 Below was carrying these at the end of last year which made these an attractive pickup. Teen Titans Go! To The Movies was a great superhero flick and I really enjoyed it. These figures are fun, too. Plus, you get a minifigure of "DC Comics Slade." Yup. That's exactly what the packaging calls Deathstroke. DC Comics Slade. This is clearly one of those "we don't want to use the name Deathstroke on the packaging of a kids toys but Slade is just too generic so we gotta identify him" scenarios. Anyways, let's check out this set that gives us three more Teen Titans, another key member of the Justice League, and a villain after the break...

Action Figure Review: Raccoon Mario from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

   I didn't review too many World of Nintendo figures in 2018. There weren't as many releases as in years past and what was released was often ridiculously hard to find as the distribution on this line was pretty poor in 2018. 2019 looks better, however, as Jakks is going to a new packaging format with more unique characters. Hopefully that means a renewed commitment to the line. That seems like a great idea considering how big of a hit the Nintendo Switch and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is right now. Today I'm checking out a figure from Wave 2-7 that has been one of my longtime wants: Raccoon Mario! Super Mario Bros. 3 was possibly the first video game I remember actually waiting to be released and seeing Mario on the cover in his Raccoon outfit was such a huge thrill when my dad finally brought it home when it was released. Let's check out this cool variant of Mario after the break...

Monday, January 21, 2019

Action Figure Review: Hammer Bro. from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

     As I'm wrapping up my 2018 toy pickups in anticipation of the upcoming end of the year awards season I'm getting ready to review a couple World of Nintendo figures I picked up this year. While Jakks Pacific looks ready to gear up for a soft relaunch of the line with new packaging and such, 2018 was a bit of a rough year for this line. I'm not sure I ever saw any figures from Wave 2-6 and figures from both that wave and Wave 2-7 have gotten to be ridiculously expensive. I did manage to track down a Hammer Bro. however, which is great. While I have the S.H. Figuarts version of the Hammer Bro., it's nice to have an official World of Nintendo version, too. Plus, they're usually referred to as the Hammer Bros., so having two of them just makes sense. I love these guys ( a Fire Bro. has just been released and I'd love a Boomerang Bro. in the future, too) and having this classic villain is really fun. Let's check him out after the break...

Action Figure Review: Prince Adam (Laughing) from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Super7

    While my wife no longer thinks it's funny, I still find the Fabulous Secret Powers/ "HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA" video hilarious, especially the part that features the cover of 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up?" Super7 still thinks it's funny too and that's why they releases this action figure of Prince Adam laughing/ singing as a 2018 SDCC exclusive in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line. While I've not been a huge collector of the more Filmation focused line (I love the Filmation cartoons but I'm most interested in figures that mesh well with Masters of the Universe Classics) this was one I couldn't pass up. Let's check out this rocking version of Prince Adam after the break...

Sunday, January 20, 2019

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

    Over the next week I'm going to be wrapping up reviews of the stuff I picked up in 2018 that I want to make sure I review before I start my annual "best of the year" awards at the end of January. Masters of the Universe Classics is my favorite toyline of all time so I'm pretty glad that 2018 was the year that Super7 really started continuing the line. There were some incredible figures released this year, such as Karg, Quakke, and Wrap Trap, but there have been a few less than impressive releases as well. While figures with a true Filmation aesthetic have a home in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line, Super7 seems to be trying to work them into the standard MOTUC line, too, and the results are less than impressive. Dylamug has long been one of the most wanted figures in MOTUC due to his role as one of the earliest Horde villains in She-Ra: Princess of Power. Getting him as part of Super7's second series is a real treat but, aesthetically, he feels like he almost belongs more in the Filmation line rather than MOTUC. Join me me after the break so I can show you why.

Minifiigure Review: Advent Calendar from Star Wars: Micro Force by Hasbro

   Yes, we're near the end of January. Yes, I'm reviewing an Advent Calendar. I actually didn't hear about the Star Wars: Micro Force Advent Calendar until after Christmas so I tracked mine down in early January. I got it on clearance, too (although I've hear they're down to around $8-$9 dollars at Target). Star Wars: Micro Force is a fun little line although the fact that they're typically blind bagged mixed with the terrible distribution of the single packs means there are a few of the series I haven't even seen in stores. The Advent Calendar is a fun idea and includes figures from the various series released thus far as well as some "exclusive" figures for this set. I'm going to buzz through these pretty quick, which is kind of the opposite of the intent of an Advent Calendar, but considering we're far past Christmas and Epiphany, I think we're OK. Light your advent wreath and join me after the break...

Friday, January 18, 2019

Toy Review: Michelangelo from Eekeez: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by FOCO

    Today I'm checking out the last item from the very cool box of stuff that FOCO sent me last month and it just so happens to be another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Eekeez figure: Michelangelo! This party dude really looks incredible in the Tiki inspired aesthetic of the Eekeez line, doesn't it? I'm really a pretty big fan of this line and I hope to add the other figures from it (Raphael, Donatello, and the Shredder) to my collection in the near future. As someone who has collected various Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures since 1988, it's nice to see there are still unique depictions of the TMNT to be had. Let's check out Michelangelo after the break...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Minifigure Review: Captain Phasma from Star Wars: Micro Force Wow! by Hasbro

 Hasbro has started putting the Star Wars: Micro Force figures in new lightsaber packaging and is now calling the line Star Wars: Micro Force Wow! While the name and packaging are different, the figures are the same as the previous Micro Force figures, which are essentially the same as the Fighter Pods figures from a few years back. I'm pretty sure these are all new sculpts, though. One of the figures I got in my pack was Captain Phasma. While Phasma's not one of my favorite characters or anything, she definitely does have a great look.  This figure depicts Phasma with her Quicksilver Baton from her battle with Finn in The Last Jedi. Ready for a quick look at a small figure? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Toy Review: Master Splinter from Eekeez: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by FOCO

       Today I'm yet again checking out another item from the big box of cool stuff that FOCO sent me last month and the subject of today's review is another Eekeez figure from their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection: It's Master Splinter! Master Splinter is one of my favorite characters of them all: He has an incredible design, he's a master warrior, and he's a caring father. I love this guy and I'm really excited that FOCO has released him in the Eekeez line. FOCO has lots of Eekeez figures from various Nickelodeon owned properties and while it's been quite some time since TMNT became a Nickelodeon owned property, it still always takes me by surprise. If you dig shows like Invader Zim, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, and SpongeBob SquarePants, check them out. Of course, I'm eager to check out this Splinter, so let's get rolling!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Minifigure Review: Star Wars: Micro Force Wow! by Hasbro

    While I plan to offer up "micro" reviews of all of the minifigures from this package, I'm taking a bit of time today to show off the new Star Wars: Micro Force Wow! packaging. Micro Force Wow! is the successor to Hasbro's Star Wars: Micro Force (which is itself the successor to Star Wars: Fighter Pods) and is differentiated from that line because of its unique packaging. While Micro Force featured standard foil bags containing two minifigures for around $3 dollars each, Micro Force Wow! figures come four to a package in a plastic lightsaber container for around $8 dollars. While you're getting more figures and a reusable miniature lightsaber, you are paying a buck more for the packaging. Is it worth it? That's up to you, isn't it? While these will be released everywhere in 2019, they were exclusive to Walmart for the fall of 2018 and that's the only place I've seen them so far. Let's check out what's in one of these packages after the break...

Toy Review: Joker from Eekeez: DC Comics by FOCO

    Today I'm checking out another really cool item from the box that FOCO sent me last month: The Joker from Foco's DC Comics Eekeez line! I reviewed the Eekeez Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a few weeks ago and I really, really liked it. I was pretty excited to check the Joker out, too, as not only am I really partial to Joker themed collectibles but I absolutely love the Eekeez style. While these are made of resin, they really do have the look and feel of actual painted wood. FOCO seems to have a history of releasing lots of bobbleheads but Eekeez are a new venture for them and one that seems it could have some real potential. Let's check out this Tiki inspired collectible of the Joker after the break...