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...