Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: The Hunchback Playset from McFarlane's Monsters by Mcfarlane Toys

 

   Today's installment of The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror is The Hunchback Playset from McFarlane's Monsters. Released in 1997, McFarlane's Monsters is one of my favorite toylines and I've reviewed a few of the sets previously, including the Werewolf Playset back during the original 31 Days of Toy Terror. For McFarlane's Monsters McFarlane Toys went smaller with their figures, including two figures and a diorama like playset in each set. The Hunchback of Notre Dame set was the first set I found of these and it definitely seemed to be the least popular of the sets. I'm not sure if that had to do with the fact that the Disney film had come out the year before or just because Quasimodo is such a strange choice for a monster line. As I've said before, he's not a monster despite appearing in a Universal film. Maybe the implication is that the vicious executioner this set comes with is the true monster and Quasimodo must overcome him! I remember getting this set in late August or early September of 1997 on a short trip to visit my grandparents. There really wasn't anything on toy shelves quite like this at the time of its release...

Monday, October 26, 2020

Minifigure Review: Stinkor from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 

   Today I'm checking out the final figure in the second series of Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis and it's the only new character in the line: Stinkor! Stinkor was originally intended to be part of the second series of the MattyCollector.com MOTU Minis but the 2015 lineup didn't end up getting released (other than She-Ra and the Horde Trooper), so getting him here is kind of a big deal. The second series had a couple decent figures but overall it was a but if a disappointment with too many repaints and straight re-releases. Stinkor wraps thing up for this set, though, and while he's not scented like his vintage counterpart he certainly looks just like a miniature version of that toy. Let's check out Stinkor after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Sam Hain from Extreme Ghostbusters by Trendmasters


    For today's installment of The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror we're going back to the year 1997 to check out a figure from Trendmasters' Extreme Ghostbusters line: Sam Hain! Based on the name for the Gaelic festival of Samhainn, marking the end of the fall harvest season and the beginning of winter, Sam Hain is a ghost from 7th century Ireland who has fought the Ghostbusters on a number of occasions. While Sam Hain never appeared in the 1997-1998 Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon series other than in the intro, he did get a toy in the 1997 toyline. That's the one we're checking out today! If you were a kid interested in anything sci-fi related in the 1990s (Godzilla, Battlestar Galactica, Independence Day, Mars Attacks, Lost in Space) Trendmasters was definitely on your radar. They were a very ambitious company that put out some really cool product that, unfortunately, was often a bit flawed and never seemed to fully capitalize on the popularity of the properties they licensed. While it's had a resurgence thanks to the quality of IDW's comics, Extreme Ghostbusters didn't make much of a mark and Trendmasters' toyline quickly faded. I never had any of the figures originally but back in 2013 someone sent me this guy (thanks, John!) and he has been part of my jack-o'-lantern collection ever since. Ready to travel back to check out a spooky specter? Then join me after the break as we look at Sam Hain...

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Action Figure Review: Toxie from Toxic Crusaders Ultimates by Super7


   Apparently in a contest to see who can bring back the craziest vintage toy line yet Super7 ups the ante with Toxic Crusaders Ultimates. Yes, the Toxic Crusaders. Remember the environmentally woke 1991 animated series and accompanying Playmates toyline which were inspired by the extremely violent 1984 film The Toxic Avenger and it's sequels? Yup. Super7 has resurrected that property. They've actually made ReAction and Keshi Surprise figures, too, but it was the Masters of the Universe Classics and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates scaled Toxie that won me over.  While I didn't see The Toxic Avenger until I was in my 20s, I loved the Toxic Crusaders as a kid. I even had Toxic Crusaders shoes as a kid. While I haven't heard if they're planning to put our more characters than just Toxie in this line, Toxie was enough to get me excited as he's such a fantastic looking figure and he'll fit in well with the other lines I mentioned. Ready for a look at Tromaville's favorite son? Then join me after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Ponda Baba from Star Wars: The Power of the Force by Kenner

 

   Yes, people were collecting toylines (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men, Starting Lineup, 12-inch G.I. Joes) before Kenner's Star Wars: The Power of the Force (POTF2) debuted in late 1995 but that line, coupled with the recently released McFarlane Toys' Spawn really took things to the next level and gave birth to the "adult collector" market that we have today. POTF2 was one of the "it" lines of its time and 1997 was a pretty exciting year to be a Star Wars collector with the release of the Special Editions and a flood of new figures from Kenner. While many collectors look back today and laugh at some of the overly muscular figures in the line at the time it was also pretty incredible how accurate the details of the figures were when compared to the movie costumes. I always like to include a Star Wars toy in my 31 Days of Toy Terror countdowns when I can as for so many of us the various aliens from the Star Wars galaxy were some of the most prominent "monster" toys we owned as kids. Today I'm checking out one of my favorite minor characters in Star Wars, Ponda Baba (I was thrilled when he showed up in Rogue One with Dr. Evazan). Known as Walrusman in the vintage Kenner line, Ponda Baba is the aggressive Aqualish criminal who tries to start some crap with Luke Skywalker only to be, literally, disarmed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. He's a brutish alien and definitely warrants a spot on The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror. Ready for a closer look at Ponda Baba? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Minifigure Review: Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

   Oh sheesh! Mattel has done it again! As part of the second series of Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis Mattel just carried forward Skeletor from series 1. Rather than come up with another cool paint variant they just repackaged the same figure, gave it a new letter in the series, and that's it. Why not give us a cool paint variant, like the Leo Skeletor or the 200x blood red variant, or give him black armor and a white face like the movie version of Skeletor? Seriously, anything would have been preferable than a straight up repack. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Let's spend a few minutes chastising Mattel's boneheaded repack after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Yummy Mummy from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 

   Back in 2013 General Mills re-released Fruity Yummy Mummy and in my review of the cereal I declared it as my favorite cereal of all time. Fruity Yummy Mummy was amazing. Well, the 2013 reboot of it was, anyways. The original Fruity Yummy Mummy cereal was released during the 1988 Halloween season and was actually just repackaged Fruit Brute cereal with vanilla marshmallows instead of Fruit Brute's lime flavored marshmallows. Anyways, when General Mills brought all of the Monster Cereals back for Halloween 2013 they gave Fruity Yummy Mummy his own unique flavor: Orange cream. It was incredible and I really hope they bring it back next Halloween! Now, all of that is simply to give you some background on the Yummy Mummy Vinyl SODA who Funko released as a WonderCon 2020 exclusive and sold online only. Like many of the other Vinyl SODA figures there is a variant as well with the Yummy Mummy in green, orange, and pink. This is the traditional version, though, and the one I want on my shelf. Let's take a look at the Yummy Mummy after the break...

Friday, October 23, 2020

Barbecue's Bonfire 10/23/2020: Everything's a Little Spooky Edition

 


   What's up all you groovy ghouls and ghosts out there? This week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire is filled with my adventures this week. We've got horror films, horror TV shows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, room escape games, and more. Not much more, but a little bit more. Halloween is coming and I'm trying to make the most of every day. How about you? Your old pal Barbecue also bought a new Halloween costume this week. Anyone want to take a guess what it might be? I'll give you a hint: It's a costume of a character who has appeared previously on 31 Days of Toy Terror! Let's check out what I've been up to this week...


  After a stream of largely family friendly Halloween movies last week this week I made sure to watch something with a bit more teeth. I had never before seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 so I rectified that this week. All I can say is...wow. This is a strange, strange movie. Not a bad movie, if you like gory over the top stuff, but not a great movie either. Just... weird. Considering that it's directed by Tobe Hooper, the director of the original 1974 horror classic, the tonal shift between the two films is truly jarring. While the original film is straight horror with minimal blood and a frightening, subdued feel, this one is an over the top black comedy with lots of violence. It almost feels like a parody of the first film! There are some good aspects of the film. First, Moss Man makes an appearance! He's chilling out in the booth of a radio DJ. Dennis Hopper as Lefty Enright, a former Texas Ranger and the uncle of characters killed in the original film, is also a treat. NECA seriously needs to give us a figure of Lefty toting around three chainsaws ASAP! Despite how violent things get, the Sawyer family is kind of played for laughs, striking an odd balance between menacing and bizarrely charming. If you like the cheesier Elm Street films or stuff like Evil Dead, Dead Alive, and other splat-stick, give it a watch.

More frightening fun after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Jeebs from Men in Black by Galoob

   While Men in Black isn't a horror film, like many sci-fi films it certainly contains some elements of horror. Giant roach aliens, tentacled creatures, and a guy who can regenerate heads. Men in Black came out in 1997 during what an explosion of science fiction films and it was a huge hit. I loved Men in Black though I only owned five of the action figures from Galoob's toyline, though, as they were kind of underwhelming. I still have at least three of them but recently a series of strange events ended up with me adding another figure to my collection: Jack Jeebs, played in the film by Tony Shaloub. Jeebs is a pawnshop owner dealing in illegal alien weaponry who Agents J and K visit in the film. The scene with Jeebs is one of my favorite scenes in the movie so I figured this would be a fun figure to pickup and review for some fun, "horror" toy nostalgia. It's a really unqiue action figure for sure. Let's take a look at Jeebs after the break...

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Action Figure Review: Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates from Super7

 


   Who's ready to start checking out the first series of Super7's Teenagt Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates action figures? I offered up a review of the exclusive Glow-in-the-Dark Baxter Stockman about a month ago but now it's time to delve into the first series of figures themselves. When Super7 took over production of Masters of the Universe Classics in 2017 they really began to up the work they were doing previously. Mostly known for keshi, Japanese vinyl toys, and ReAction figures, adding 6-7 inch scaled fully articulated action figures to their repertoire was a huge leap forward. While they sadly no longer have the MOTU license, Super7 has been moving forward with a long string of action figures in the same scale and style of MOTUC under the "Ultimates" range. With the Thundercats, Toxic Crusaders, Conan the Barbarian, and now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super7 is intent on recreating our childhood toy boxes in a bigger, better scale. Today I'm checking out the standard version of Baxter Stockman who, like the rest of Super7's TMNT Ultimates, is based on the vintage toys rather than any other piece of media. Originally release in the second series of action figures in 1989 Baxter Stockman is absolutely a well known figure from the vintage line. Appearing in the original cartoon series and adding another villain to Shredder's minions it seemed like most folks had Baxter. Super7 has done an excellent job of recreating him here with modern articulation and a larger size so he can mix in with other nostalgia themed toylines. Let's take a look at Baxter Stockman after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Supreme Commander from Mars Attacks by Trendmasters

 


   It's time for what I'm pretty sure is going to be my third and final Mars Attacks review for The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror as we have now worked our way up to the Supreme Commander! There was a deluxe (maybe 12 to 16 inches?) talking Supreme Commander as well, but he had a very different color scheme and I'm not sure if he was intended to be a larger Martian or if he was supposed to just be in a different scale. One of the weird things that Trendmasters did (not that they originated it or anything) was release toys from the same line in multiple scales. This article from Infinite Hollywood does a good job of showing off the figures in differing scales that Trendmasters released for this line, plus they had the over sized Martian Supreme Commander I mentioned earlier and the flying saucers with smaller Martians inside. This kind of stuff drove me crazy as a kid! I know many popular lines offered an oversized deluxe figure from time to time or attempted a micro collection but Trendmasters seemed to throw the idea of a "main" scale out the window. Anyways, the 6 inch figures always appealed to me the most from this line and I'm glad to have completed this trio of comic based Martians I missed out on in 1996. Let's take a look at the Supreme Commander after the break...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Minifigure Review: Serpent Claw Man-At-Arms from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 

   

Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis series 2 is full of repaints, repacks, and remakes of previously released figures. While some of them are kind of lame, some of the repaints are fairly inspired. Take Serpent Claw Man-At-Arms here; based on a slightly uncommon variant from the Masters of the Universe vs. The Snakemen series of the 200x line, this is a pretty unique look for Man-At-Arms that radically differs in color from his most well known looks. That makes this a more fun and interesting variant in my book who definitely will stand out on the shelf. It's also cool to see some more acknowledgment of the 200x line and designs by Mattel, especially hearing about the hostility some at the company seemed to have had for the 200x line during the Masters of the Universe Classics era. Let's take a look at a minifigure celebrating a pretty fun era of MOTU after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Paeec Overlord from Mars Attacks by Trendmasters

   I'm returning to Trendmasters' Mars Attacks series based on the Topps comic book series for another creepy toy for The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror.  I've already looked at the Martian Trooper so now let's look at the Paeec Overlord, the Martian Military Advisor. I never read any of the 1990s Topps Mars Attacks comics so I don't know if the Paeec Overlord appeared in that series or if he is a creation of Trendmasters. I actually looked through my copy of Topps' Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary Collection (which contains some of the 1990s Topps material) to see if I could find any evidence of the Paeec Overlod, but I couldn't. Anyways, this guy is pretty interesting as he's only got one eye and it's situated in the middle of his forehead, presumably representing some sort of telepathic powers he might possess. Let's take a look at the Paeec Overlord after the break for some chilling terror from space after the break...

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Action Figure Review: Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   Back in 2016 Hasbro began a 4+ year endeavor of releasing all six crew members of The Ghost from the TV series Star Wars: Rebels. First up was Kanan Jarrus, Spectre-1 followed by Sabine Wren, Spectre-5, in late 2016. Only Hera Syndulla, Spectre-2, was released in 2017, and it wasn't until 2019 that we got two more crew members with Ezra Bridger, Spectre-6, and Chopper, Spectre-3. Now, finally, as part of the Black Series: Phase IV we finally have Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, Spectre-4. Wow! It's taken awhile but Hasbro has finally done it! I don't know why they waited so long between released to get this set completed but it was worth it as the Rebels figures have typically been the highlights of each series they have appeared in. Zeb is a rather tall as he is a Lasat, a now rather rare species that was devastated by the Empire. Zeb is one of my favorite characters from Rebels as he's so much more complex than he might initially seem. One of the only few surviving members of his species and a former Honor Guard of Lasan, Zeb's grumpy and sarcastic personality actually hides the deep sense of personal loss he's experienced. He's a lovable, loyal guy and I'm really glad to finally have him in The Black Series. Over the past couple of years Hasbro has released some larger characters in the series as deluxe figures and Zeb here is one of those deluxe releases. There has been some speculation as to why Zeb warranted a deluxe release with most folks deciding it's due to his slightly larger size and more complex weapon. Let's take a look at Zeb after the break and see if he's a fitting finale to the Rebels subset in The Black Series.

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Martian Trooper (Topps) from Mars Attacks by Trendmasters


   Trendmasters' 1996 Mars Attacks toyline has appeared in 31 Days of Toy Terror before so I think it's very clear that I have a lot of nostalgia for it. The line came out during the sci-fi boom of the mid-late 1990s and certainly captured my attention at the time. Trendmasters split the line into two, releasing toys from the 1996 Tim Burton film and from the then new Topps comic book series. I was a bigger fan of the movie based toyline but I remember the Topps based line, too, and I still own the Doom Saucer from the line that I got for Christmas 1996. I actually picked up a few of the Topps' comic based figures for this year's celebration. Let's start off with the Topps Martian Trooper whom the package identifies as a "relentless killing machine."

Monday, October 19, 2020

Minifigure Review: Golden Armor Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 

   Oh my gosh! Mattel has brought back Disco Skeletor! Yeah, Funko certainly loves him but I can't recall Mattel using the color scheme since the original 2003 figure was released, so that's kind of cool. Mattel is calling him Golden Armor Skeletor, which is a better official name. Just think of him as the toy version of the movie Skeletor if you want. Man, I'm just checking out the most flamboyant versions of popular 1980s villains this month, aren't I? The second series of Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis features a lot of repaints, so this Skeletor is just a repaint of the previously released Skeletor. Still, he's a cool addition to the line so let's check him out after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Lava Planet Predator from Aliens/ Predator by Kenner

 Last year during The Scream of 31 Days of Toy Terror I reviewed Kenner's 1993 Cracked Tusk Predator. Last year's theme focused on movie based horror toys and so the Cracked Tusk Predator, even though he was a Kenner creation, was selected to represent the Predator films. Since The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror focuses on nostalgia and toys made before the year 2000 I'm returning to Kenner's Aliens and Predator line with a look at Lava Planet Predator. The Lava Planet Predator is another Kenner creation (one NECA has revisited, too) although one that I didn't pick up when it was originally released. I was way more interested in the Aliens and Space Marines at the time and the Predators kind of passed me by. I started recollecting Kenner's Aliens/ Predator lines in 2013 and I actually completed my collection earlier this year, so I've had a good opportunity to reexamine many of the figures I missed as a kid. Lava Planet Predator, while a simple repaint, is now one of my favorites from Kenner's toyline. I'm not sure what the rational for a translucent red Predator is but he sure looks fantastic, doesn't he? Maybe it's intended to be the Predator seen through thermal version on a volcanic planet like Mustafar? Maybe he now has the high ground? Make up your own terrifying tale of Predator terror involving the Lava Planet Predator as we prepare for another frightening toy review....

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Accessory Review: Legendary Loadout #1 from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

   I've reviewed quite a few Fortnite: Legendary Series figures from Jazwares on the site but today I'm checking out something a little different: The first of the Legendary Loadout accessory sets! While the 4 inch Fortnite figures from Jazwares have long had accessory sets only this year have the 6-inch figures gotten any extra armaments. Of course, the 6-inch figures come loaded with accessories, unlike most of the 4 inch figures. Still, it's a cool idea. The odd thing is that, thus far, the Legendary Loadout sets have not been released in the United States. I got mine through a Canadian seller and my guess is you might have to do the same too, unless you're in Canada or the UK. The first set features four weapons for the Fortnite crew to use: A Pump Shotgun, a Light Machine Gun, a Guided Missile Launcher, and a Minigun. Three of these weapons have already appeared in the Legendary Series already but here they actually each have an action feature of sorts. In fact, all of the weapons do, so they're more complex than the standard accessories. Are they worth picking up? Let's find out after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Bones from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by Bandai

 

   It has been over 5 years since I last reviewed a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toy on the site and it very well may be 5 more until I do it again. I'm just not that big of a fan of Power Rangers. I don't dislike it or anything but my love for the property encompasses mostly the first season or two of the television show, the earliest toys, and little else. That being said it's interesting that my 7 year old has gotten back into Power Rangers, watching the original series on Netflix from time to time. Today I'm checking out the third Mighty Morphin Power Rangers figure I ever owned as a kid: Bones! Bones was the first villain of the week in the original series (he appeared on episode 2, "High Five") and was known as Dora Skeleton in the Japanese Super Sentai series. I remember getting bones in early 1994 as I had just gotten into Power Rangers and was eagerly looking for the toys. I loved Halloween themed stuff as a kid and Bones definitely jumped out at me as a cool Halloween themed toy. Honestly, he kind of reminds me of Scareglow, although the character is supposedly based on Baron Samedi from Haitian Voodoo. That's interesting, huh? Anyways, Bones was sold in a larger box as part of the second series of the Evil Space Aliens in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers line. Ready to check out a spooky space alien from MMPR? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Minifigure Review: First Appearance Trap Jaw from Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis by Mattel

 


   I'm slowly but surely making my way through the Snake Mountain themed second series of Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis and today I'm checking out another variant in the line: First Appearance Trap Jaw! In the earliest minicomics included with the vintage toys Trap Jaw was depicted with green skin. It was one of the oddities of the design process where teams seemed to work separately from each other but, over the years, the green skinned Trap Jaw has become quite popular among collectors. Mattel is always up for a repaint (which is always preferable to just repacking the same figure again) so First Appearance Trap Jaw gives them another use for the Trap Jaw mold from series one. Let's check out First Appearance Trap Jaw after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Fruit Brute from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 

  

 It's a Saturday which means I'm kind of jumping outside of the parameters of this year's The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror to show off something different: Fruit Brute from Funko's Vinyl SODA line of collectible vinyl figures! Released as a WonderCon 2020 exclusive the Fruit Brute is a stylized vinyl figure capturing the mascot for the General Mills cereal named after this colorful and lovable werewolf. Fruit Brute was the fourth of the General Mills monster cereals and was originally released in 1974. Fruit Brute was discontinued in 1982, before I was born, but fortunately is was brought back for the Halloween season of 2103. Fruit Brute was originally a generic fruit flavored cereal with lime flavored marshmallows but the relaunch was a cherry flavored cereal. Having tried all five of the cereals when they relaunched, I'd say it's my second favorite (Fruity Yummy Mummy is my favorite). Despite General Mills not keeping the cereal on shelves the cereal monsters themselves are quite popular and Funko has used them multiple times on different toys. Let's check out this super cool Fruit Brute after the break...

Friday, October 16, 2020

Barbecue's Bonfire 10/16/2020: More Halloween Fun Edition

 


   What's up all you spooky people out there? It's Friday so it's time for another installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! I've been consistently doing these since the end of August now, so I think this is a record for me. What have you been doing to get a daily dose of Halloween this October? With a 7 year old who is doing remote learning and who loves for me to read to her for hours at night (we're almost done with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) it's often not possible for me to watch "real" horror movies throughout the week, so this week we ended up watching a lot of family friendly spooky movies together. I've also been finding up fun, short videos and so her and I watched some Youtube videos about the history of Disney's The Haunted Mansion, which lead us to watch the Eddie Murphy movie from the early 2000s. Let's start with a look at that one...



  When Disney's The Haunted Mansion came out in 2003 I had little interest in seeing it. It seemed like too much of a family comedy for college aged me to bother with. After watching a documentary and a ride-through video of the popular attraction (which I did ride on my one trip to Disney World in 2002), we decided to give the move a watch. It's actually not bad. It's not the Haunted Mansion movie I would make but it was fun for an October family movie night. Eddie Murphy and Marsha Thomason are husband and wife realtors who get the opportunity to sell the titular mansion but it's really a plot by one of the ghosts, the evil Ramsley (played by Terence "kneel before Zod" Stamp). With lots of references to the ride, Eddie Murphy's humorous rambling, some actual frightening parts, and Jennifer Tilly as Madame Leota, The Haunted Mansion isn't a bad movie at all and you should have at least a little fun during your stay. My daughter particularly loved the singing busts in the graveyard.


More hokey Halloween horror after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Shriek from Skeleton Warriors by Playmates


   Today's installment for The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror is a real bone chiller! We're taking a look at Shriek, the Evil Temptress of the Skeleton Legion, from Skeleton Warriors. Released in 1994 by Playmates, Skeleton Warriors was a small line of action figures based on the cartoon of the same name created by Gary Goddard (of Masters of the Universe movie fame). It didn't last long (OAFE wrote a great piece speculating why) and an attempted revival by October Toys five or six years ago didn't really pan out, either. Skeleton Warriors just feels like it should be a real hit but it seems to never get a fair shake. Maybe someone like Super7 or NECA could give it the boost and toyline it really deserves? Anyways, let's get back to Shriek and the Skeleton Warriors. Shriek was one of the few figures I had from this line as a kid (I also had Aracula, Grimskull, and the Skullcycle) and I remember being very impressed by her. The sculpting on this line was truly ahead of its time and while Todd McFarlane's Spawn line is remembered as being the line that revolutionized action figures, bringing up darker subject matter and gearing them towards adult collectors, Playmates definitely was definitely part of the trend with Skeleton Warriors. Let's take a look at the horrifically wonderful Shriek after the break...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

31 Days of Toy Terror 2020: Metal-Mash Terminator from Terminator 2: Future War by Kenner

    I loved The Terminator as a kid. Terminator 2: Judgment Day was probably the first R-rated movie I was allowed to watch and I saw it at some point after it came to VHS. Watching it for the first time was kind of a frightening experience despite it not being a horror movie. Even before ever seeing the film, though, I was nuts about the character and the toyline. Kenner expanded the Terminator 2 toyline in 1993 with the Terminator 2: Future War subset which saw the Terminator return "to the future to fight tomorrow's evil cyborgs." While there were a few new T-800s and two new villains in the line (Kromium and Cyber-Grip), three of the T-800s were repaints of previous releases. Today I'm checking out the Metal-Mash Terminator! A bronze colored robotic skeleton with glowing red eyes? I think he's a perfect candidate for this year's nostalgia focused 31 Days of Toy Terror, don't you? I never actually had this guy as a kid but I loved this line as a whole and it's fun to revisit some of the toys I only saw on the store shelves or on the card backs. Let's check out Metal-Mash Terminator after the break...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Action Figure Review: Beast Man from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 


   Let's continue on checking out the first series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures by taking a look at another one of the Evil Warriors! Today I'm checking out Skeletor's right hand (beast) man, Beast Man! Beast Man went through multiple different designs and coilors during his development in the original Masters of the Universe line but since 1982 he's been bright orange and savage (though red variants have been released from time to time). Appearing in nearly every piece of MOTU media Beast Man is definitely one of the MOTU A-listers and he was a shoe-in for the first series of figures. Beast Man is shipping in cases along with one Evil-Lyn, one Teela, and one Man-At-Arms, so he's a bit tougher to acquire than He-Man and Skeletor. Mattel's exclusive deal with the line is supposed to end soon, though, so hopefully getting Beast Man will soon be easier. That's a good think, too, because Beast Man is another of the figures in this line that truly feels like an upgrade from the vintage toy, as heretical as that might sound. Let's take a look at this Savage Henchman after the break...
 

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Dimetrodon from Jurassic Park by Kenner


    Dinosaurs are probably the first first "monster" toys that many of us owned as kids. Toy dinosaurs are easily available and kind of an evergreen item at retail stores. The 1980s certainly had plenty of dinosaur toys marketed to kids, both "off brand" items like the Imperial dinosaurs and mass market lines like Tyco's Dino Riders. The 1990s were a golden age for dinosaur toys, however, thanks to Jurassic Park. I turned 10 in 1993 and, at the time, Jurassic Park was the biggest thing in the world. Kenner put out a pretty solid toyline that managed to capture all of the dinosaurs in the movie, and many who weren't, in plastic form. That was the great thing about the Jurassic Park line: Nearly any dinosaurs fit in as you could imagine that there were an untold number of dinosaurs that could be stumbled upon while exploring the island. Today I'm checking out the Dimetrodon. I remember buying the Dimetrodon at a K-Mart back in 1993 (probably the one my dad managed at the time) as he just seemed so cool and the colors were incredible. A large carnivore who liked to hang out in swampy areas, the Dimetrodon made an awesome addition to my dinosaur collection. Ready for a look at the Dimetrodon? Then let's check her out after the break...

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Mighty Max Slays the Doom Dragon from Mighty Max by Bluebird/ Mattel

 

  
 For today's installment of The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror I'm taking a look at another of my favorite toylines as a kid: Mighty Max! I've reviewed a few Mighty Max playsets in the past but today's set, Mighty Max Slays the Doom Dragon, was the first of the Doom Zones that I owned as a kid. The Doom Zones were a bit larger than the Horror Heads and they had a lot more play value. Released in 1992, Mighty Max Slays the Doom Dragon was part of the first series of toys in the line. The Doom Dragon isn't my favorite of the Doom Zones but it is a cool set and the fact that it was my first of the larger sets definitely makes it a very nostalgic toy for me. The 1990s were a Golden Age of microfigure playsets and it's disappointing that the Mighty Max property hasn't made a return yet. Let's take a look at an incredibly cool horror playset after the break...

Monday, October 12, 2020

Minifigure Review: He-Man from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 

   Today I'm checking out another figure in series 2 of Mattel's Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis and this time it's He-Man. Yes, another He-Man. Hey, listen, you're talking to a guy who owns at least 100 He-Man action figures and such, so I should be OK with that, right? Well, here's the thing: This is the exact same figure as the series 1 He-Man. That's pretty lame, right? Yeah, this is mostly going to be a few paragraphs of me complaining about a really poor decision. Listen, I have no problem with companies repacking a popular character every now and then but when it's the second series of a blind boxed line? That's just really strange. Could Mattel not think of any better He-Man variant? Heck, they at least could have given him different accessories or something. Ugh. Pure laziness here, folks. Let's take a look at this one after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Exploding T-1000 from Terminator 2 by Kenner


   Since 31 Days of Toy Terror is focused on nostalgia this year I'm taking a look at a figure from Kenner's Terminator 2 toyline for today's daily dose of dread: Exploding T-1000. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't consider Kenner's Terminator 2 toyline a horror themed line but considering we're focusing on nostalgia for 2020 I had to think back to my childhood. Terminator 2 was one of the first R-rated movies I was allowed to watch and I remember being absolutely terrified of the scene where the T-1000 kills John Connor's foster parents. Seriously, when T-1000 drove his spiked arm into the foster dad's mouth my teeth were probably literally chattering! It was so intense and, even now, the scene gives me the creeps! So, how about a toy based on that figure? Kenner released a few different versions of the T-1000 in the original Terminator 2 line (and a repaint of this guy in the 1997 Terminator 2- 3D line) and the Exploding T-1000 was part of the second series of figures. Ready for a quick look at an old school (but still menacing) killer made of a mimetic polyallow? Then let's check this guy out after the break...

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Action Figure Review: Gung Ho from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Classified Series has so far been one of the most exciting toylines of 2020. It's release was pretty much a true surprise (though collectors had been speculating about a similar line for years) and it so far has seen a steady stream of excellent figures. Today I'm checking Gung Ho, a new interpretation of the popular Marine who is part of the second series of figures (alongside of Cobra Commander and the Red Ninja). Gung Ho was such a popular character that he had five figures in the vintage line and 16 more since the 1997 relaunch of A Real American Hero. Like most Gung-Ho figures released since 1997 this one is based on the ARAH v1 figure with a bare chest and a vest. Gung Ho (usually written as Gung-Ho, but this figure is listed as Gung Ho) is the first figure in this line that I'm really very mixed on. There are some things I love about him and some others that I find to be very disappointing. Let's take a look at Gung Ho after the break and see if he's got what it takes...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Red Cap from Monster in my Pocket by Matchbox

 

   Matchbox's Monster in My Pocket is another toyline that almost always makes an appearance on 31 Days of Toy terror and it fits in with this year's theme of horror toys prior to the year 2000, doesn't it? I didn't have too many Monster in My Pocket minifigures as a kid but I did have a few and, of course, I've picked up more over the years. I love how the line features a blend of common movie and literary monsters, monsters from around the world, and other random creatures. This year I'm checking out the Red Cap, a small malevolent creature from English and Scottish folklore who takes his name from his distinctive red hat which he dyes in the blood of those he kills. Why the Red Cap? My daughter and I have been reading through the Harry Potter series lately and Red Caps are mentioned there, so it jumped out at me. Red Cap also is featured in the Hellboy story The Iron Shoes, which is a pretty cool short story about the creature. Most sources seem to call the creature a Redcap, but Matchbox apparently put a space between the red and the cap, so I'm using their version. Ready for a look at a spooky little Monster in My Pocket? Then let's check out the Red Cap after the break...

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Minifigure Review: Faker from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 


   I'm just starting to make my way through the second series of Mattel's Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis and today we're checking out Faker, the evil robotic doppelganger of He-man. Faker was released in the 2014 series of Masters of the Universe Minis that were sold through MattyCollector (he was paired with Man-At-Arms there) but now you get a chance to get Faker on his own. Ready for a blue and orange evil He-man? Then join me after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Ash from Toony Terrors by NECA

   Today is Saturday, so here is another review that breaks the rules of The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror's focus on "horror" toys made before the year 2000, but I think it still fits the spirit of the theme. Today we're checking out the Toony Terrors version of Ash Williams from 1987's Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn and I'm going to lay out the case for why Ash belongs in this year's 31 Days of Toy Terror for all of you primitive screw-heads, so listen up! First, while this is a figure from 2020 it's based on a movie from 1987. Second, Ash was a figure that fans wanted to see for quite a few years before McFarlane Toys released him as part of the third series of Movie Maniacs in 2000. I first became familiar with The Evil Dead through ToyFare magazine (a formative part of my middle school and high school years) and I tracked the movies down, thus ingraining myself into the legions of fans wanting a plastic Bruce Campbell toy. Lastly, NECA's Toony Terrors line is intended to evoke nostalgic feelings by imagining famous horror icons as traditional Saturday morning cartoon characters. Does that work for you? Groovy! Then let's get things rolling after the break with a look at the Toony Terrors Ash...

Friday, October 9, 2020

Barbecue's Bonfire 10/8/2020: Halloween Movie Extravaganza Edition!

 


      What's up all of you October People? I hope you're enjoying The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror this year! I'm loving the chance to go back and look at a punch of toys from my childhood. To make this year's countdown feel more nostalgic I decided to use the year 2000 as a cutoff point, so everything is from 1999 and before. Yeah, I have some cheats on there like the My Pet Monster ReAction and the new Ghostbsters Kenner Classics, (and Saturdays are kind of free for alls) but otherwise I think I did a pretty good job sticking to the parameters. I turned 16 in 1999 and while I never stopped collecting action figures (which should be obvious) I feel that the nature of horror toys really changed around that time with things really moving into the modern era with McFarlane's various lines and the rise of other companies like Palisades, Resaurus, NECA, etc., around 2000 and shortly afterwards. We're making our way through the 1980s now, so what toys do you hope to see covered from the 1990s?

Since it's the Halloween season I also watched some spooky movies this week!


   First up is Something Wicked This Way Comes, the 1983 Disney adaptation of ray Bradbury's 1962 horror classic. While most book to movie adaptations fail to live up fully to the source material Something Wicked This Way Comes does manage to capture some of the deliciously frightening atmosphere of the novel. Bradbury's prose is always amazing and since he wrote the screenplay much of it us directly used here, retaining his unique voice throughout the film. Me, my daughter, and my wife watched this on Sunday night (I've seen it a few times before) and my daughter definitely was enthralled by it. It's a pretty good family horror movie with different appeals for different ages. The cast is great, especially Jason Robards as Charles Halloway, Royal Dano as Tom Fury, and Pam Grier as the hauntingly beautiful but terrifying Dust Witch. 

More after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Optikk from He-Man by Mattel

 

   Another Masters of the Universe figure showing up during a 31 Days of Toy Terror countdown? I bet you're just shocked, aren't you? It's no surprise that Masters of the Universe is pretty much my favorite thing ever and today I'm taking a look at a figure from the 1989 "He-Man goes to space" based toyline" released by Mattel as a successor to the original MOTU series. Simply called "He-Man" (often referred to as The New Adventures of He-Man due to the title of the cartoon series) the line had a very different aesthetic and introduced lots of crazy Space Mutants into the mix. Today I'm checking out Optikk from series 2! He's an incredible looking figure that appears to be a giant eyeball in an armored spacesuit. Can you dig it? Of course you can! Let's check out this creepy guy after the break...

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Minifigure Review: Beast Man from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 


      Did you enjoy checking out the first series of Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis from Mattel? Then it's time to check out series 2! I actually found these at the beginning of September but with lots of MOTU stuff out right now (along with working on 31 Days of Toy Terror) it's taking me a bit longer to get to new stuff. While the first series of figures come in little plastic Castle Grayskulls the second series of minifigures come packaged in little plastic Snake Mountains. That's pretty cool, right? I love the purple color of these! They really jump off the shelves. Like the first series, these are not truly blind packaged as there is an identification letter on the bottom of each Snake Mountain so you know who you're getting if you know the code. That's pretty cool and preferable to these being truly blind packaged. Anyways, Beast Man was released in the previous Masters of the Universe Minis line (packaged with Zodak) from 2014 but this one actually has quite a few differences. Let's check out this new Beast Man after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Buzz-Saw Hordak from Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   You surely didn't think I'd let the Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror pass without an appearance from a Masters of the Universe toy did you? Of course not! I was trying to decide on a frightening figure from the vintage MOTU line and I decided on Hordak, the ruthless leader of the Evil Horde! I actually had the original Hordak and Buzz-Saw Hordak as a kid though somewhere along the way my original Hordak went missing. Fortunately I kept Buzz-Saw Hordak, though, as he's the rarer of the two figures. Hordak was one of only three character to receive variants in the vintage line (alongside He-Man and Skeletor) which definitely bumped up his street cred. Interestingly, Buzz-Saw Hordak doesn't look very different from the original release. His uniqueness comes from the horrifying weapon hidden inside! Released in the 6th year of the line (1987) Buzz-Saw Hordak seems like he may have been inspired by the She-Ra: Princess of Power depiction of the character as a technologically infused nightmare. Let's cut to the chase and check out Buzz-Saw Hordak after the break...

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Action Figure Review: Evil-Lyn from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

   Let's return to checking out the first series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures from Mattel with a look at Evil-Lyn! While she wasn't released in the original first series of figures in 1982, Evil-Lyn's popularity definitely caused Mattel to put her in the first series of Origins figures. While I've liked most of the Origins figures so far, Evil-Lyn is the first one I've reviewed (well, other than the Sky Sled) that I feel is truly an improvement over the original figure. Evil-Lyn looks fantastic and really improves on the look of the vintage toy. Usually most Evil-Lyn toys and such take their cues from the Filmation and 200x series where her skin color is toned down to more of a grey but here Evil-Lyn is bright yellow and proud of it. Let's check out this Evil Warrior Goddess after the break and see what makes her so enchanting...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Snakebite from Super Naturals by Tonka

 

   Today we're experiencing an encounter with the supernatural! Tonka's Super Naturals, to be precise! I talked about the history of the 1987 Super Naturals toyline when I reviewed Burnheart recently so today we can jump in and get right to checking out Snakebite, another member of the Forces of Evil. Man, snake themed bad guys were everywhere in the 1980s, weren't they? G.I. Joe had Cobra, an entirely snake themed faction of bad guys who had Serpentor, who went all out with the whole snake thing. Masters of the Universe also had their own serpentine faction, the Snake Men. Snake people just seem to generally be bad guys (Slytherin, anyone?) and, of course, Snakebite is a villain. Super Naturals really lumped together every gimmick you can imagine from the horror themed toylines of the day. You had removable disguises, holograms, and glow in the dark accessories. It really is a wonder that this line didn't do better than it did as it seemed like it was loaded with kid appeal. Let's take a look at Snakebite after the break on this spooky October day...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Action Figure Review: Profit Director Destro from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   Destro had a few variants in the vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American hero line and many of them were more popular than the original. My preferred Destro was the 1992 Destro v3 but the Iron Grenadiers Destro was also extremely popular and wel loved by many fans. One of the strangest Destro variants, however, is a legend of an action figure known by fans as Pimp Daddy Destro. Pimp Daddy Destro (that's not his official name, by the way) was at one point a mythical action figure, kind of like the vintage Masters of the Universe Savage He-Man/ Wonder Bread He-Man. While Savage He-Man remains a complete and utter mystery, Pimp Daddy Destro's existence and history are now well documented and acknowledged by Hasbro. While Hasbo has never officially called the figure Pimp Daddy Destro, they did release two tribute figures in the 25th Anniversary collection back in 2007 celebrating the crazy variant and now we have a version in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series. Meet Profit Director Destro! A fan channel exclusive, Profit Director Destro is a flamboyant, money burning maker of mayhem who is available through online toy stores and places like GameStop. Ready to check out this over the top and wonderfully gaudy variant of Destro? Then join me after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Burnheart from Super Naturals by Tonka

 

   Holograms were all the rage in the 1980s and in 1987 Tonka combined holograms, horror, and action figures to create a very unique toyline that, unfortunately, didn't last very long. Tonka's Super Naturals used holograms to create toys of ghostly beings who escape from the Tomb of Doom and continue the battle beteen good and evil across the earth. While Hasbro's Visionaries line also came out in 1987 and used holograms, Tonka's Super Naturals line differed in that the holograms were used to represent actual characters. The Visionaries had holograms on their chest armor and on their staffs but the holograms on the Super Naturals were the characters' actual appearances. I remember having quite a few of these as a kid, as well as the Tomb of Doom, but sadly I don't know where they ended up (probably yard sale victims). The figures are a bit tougher to find complete but, fortunately, they're not very expensive. For this year's festivities I knew the Super Naturals needed to be represented so let's start by checking out Burnheart, one of the Warriors of Evil who has a thing for fire. I definitely had Burnheart as a kid as I remember having his gun for years after he disappeared. Let's get things heated up with a look at this flaming phantasm after the break...

Monday, October 5, 2020

Action Figure Review: Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

 Back in 2017 Hasbro released a 2-pack of Admiral Ackbar and a First Order Officer as a Toys R Us exclusive based on the then upcoming The Last Jedi. It's been about three years but Hasbro has finally decided to give us a Return of the Jedi version of Admiral Ackbar (perhaps my favorite Star Wars character) in Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV. Yes, we've now entered Phase IV of the Black Series. Phase I hit in early 2013 with the black and orange boxes followed by Phase II in mid 2014 with the black and blue boxes and Phase III in 2015 on Force Friday with black and red boxes which lasted through the Sequel Trilogy. Unlike the previous phases, Phases IV actually has unique packaging colors based on where the character is from (movie, cartoon series, etc.) This is clearly Admiral Gial Ackbar's most iconic look and it's a figure I've been waiting for since the line began. Ready for a look at one of the greatest Rebel heroes of them all? Then join me after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: #163 Mammothman from M.U.S.C.L.E. by Mattel

 

   When I think back to the monster toys I had as a kid I always think about Mattel's M.U.S.C.L.E. line of little rubber wrestlers from 1986. Based on Bandai's Kinnikuman line of Japanese keshi figures (Mattel literally just used the molds) these still stand out to me as the epitome of what a minifigure should be. While the M.U.S.C.L.E./ Kinnikuman cast are meant to be wrestlers there definitely are some monstrous designs in the line. Today I'm checking out figure #163, known in Kinnikuman as Mammothman. I know very little about the Kinnikuman anime and manga (though I'd love to be able to watch it/ read it) but what I've been able to learn is that Mammothman is from Siberia, he weights 882 pounds, and he's one of the chojin. He was also in the very first 4-pack of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures I got as a kid (Black Tomahawk was also in there, too) and this is my original Mammothman! Let's check him out after the break...

Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: My Pet Monster from My Pet Monster: ReAction by Super7


   While the upcoming reviews for The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror are overwhelmingly going to be based on toys from before the year 2000, I'm definitely making sure to review some newer horror toys, particularly if they're based on nostalgic properties and such. Today I'm very excited to check out Super7's My Pet Monster ReAction figure! While I sadly no longer have my childhood My Pet Monster I have such fond memories of him. I really have no idea why I sold him as a kid, but I'd love to own one again. My Pet Monster was released in 1986 by American Greetings and was a huge hit! There was even a direct-to-video movie, which I still have on Betamax. My Pet Monster was recently acquired by Hasbro as part of their purchase of Saban's entertainment assets in 2018, so hopefully we'll see a re-release of the original doll in the near future. For now, though, I'm thrilled to have this ReAction figure of My Pet Monster (henceforth just referred to as Monster) to show off for 31 Days of Toy Terror 2020. Let's check him out after the break...

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Action Figure Review: Man-At-Arms (Mondo Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

 


    Mondo's 1/6th scale Masters of the Universe line has been one of the most exciting MOTU toy lines since the end of Masters of the Universe Classics. Rather than just remake previous toys, Mondo's interpretations of the Heroes and Villains of Eternia have featured a mixture of classic details, the best elements pulled from a variety of sources, and even some exciting new design features to truly make these some of the best interpretations of the MOTU mainstays you're going to find. Man-At-Arms is the 6th character to be released in the series and he finally gives He-Man someone to find alongside of during epic battles of epicness for control of Castle Grayskull. Scareglow was cool but Mer-Man seemed poised to be the standout figure in the line for 2020. Now that Man-At-Arms has arrived? That just may not be the case! This is without a doubt one of the best versions of Duncan we've ever received in toy form. Mondo. Mondo offered up two versions of the figure, both an exclusive and standard version. This is the exclusive version (long since sold out now) and he comes with an extra Snake Man-At-Arms portrait and a figure of Orko peeking out of a jar. Ready for a look at the heroic Man-At-Arms? Then join me after the break...

The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror: Silver Shamrock Trick-or-Treaters Three-Pack from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch by NECA

 

   While "The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror" is going to mostly focus on toys released before the year 2000 Saturdays are going to be a bit different as there are still some horror toys that have come out in 2020 that I gotta show off and there's no toy this year that has had me more excited for Halloween than this three-pack of the Silver Shamrock Trick-or-Treaters from Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Yes, Halloween III, which was released in 1982 (a year before I was born). What was once viewed as the bizarre outlier of the Halloween series has in recent years become a well loved horror classic. It's filled with some pretty cool imagery, too, and while I didn't see the film until about 15 years ago or so, seeing the box art definitely feels very nostalgic. The image of the silhouettes of the Trick-or-Treaters against that ominous red sky always stood out to me as a kid when I was at the video store. It seemed so terrifying and frightening, yet so evocative of Halloween night. I love the movie and I was thrilled when NECA revealed this boxed set. It's one of those dream toy sets for me and something I never imagined we would actually see. I've been sitting on these for quite a few months but I decided to hold them back for Halloween. Aren't you glad? Turn on the Silver Shamrock theme and tune in to this review....


Friday, October 2, 2020

Barbecue's Bonfire 10/2/2020: The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror Edition

 

   Hey everyone! Guess what? We are officially in October 2020 and The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror has started! Since 2020 has been absolutely crazy and unsettling I decided to go with something warm, nostalgic, and terrifying. That's why the focus of The Dawn of 31 Days of Toy Terror is on toys from prior to the year 2000 with a few cheats in there for fun. Yeah, I kicked things off with Peter Venkman from Hasbro's Ghostbusters Kenner Classics, a line that came out this year, but they're clearly just remakes of the old Kenner Ghostbusters I had as a kid. There are truly lots of vintage gems in there, though, and I really hope you enjoy the heck out of it! For more great stuff also check out the Countdown to Halloween blog! They're the hosts with the most, babe.


   I had the chance to watch a couple of spooky movies over the past week, one of which was Phantasm II. Don Coscarelli's 1988 sequel to the 1979 original has a bigger budget, more outrageous effects, faster pacing, and is actually a better movie than the original. It's not quite as surreal and dreamlike as the first film but it makes up for it with some pretty frightening stuff. Phantasm II also takes some cues from the splat-stick style of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series, even giving Raimi a shoutout in one scene. Angus Scrimm is back as the Tall Man and Reggie Banister is back as Reggie, the former ice cream man turned monster hunter who now uses a homemade quad-barreled shotgun. I really like how this movie puts Reggie and Mike on the offensive as they're tracking the Tall Man with their homemade weaponry through increasingly desolate small towns. It's a good sequel that keeps what works about the original but moves the story forward. The practical effects are excellent, too. There's some great, gruesome stuff here!


More after the break...