Saturday, January 16, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: Remnant Stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 
   Since Hasbro just released a brand new Imperial Stormtrooper in The Black Series Phase IV it makes sense that they'd give it a different paint variant and put it out as the Remnant Stormtrooper. While Moff Gideon's Imperial Remnant typically looks pretty much in-line with the Imperials we see in the Original Trilogy, the Remnant Stormtrooper seen here is based on the more weathered looking troopers who hang around with the Client on Nevarro. It's a simple variant of the standard Stormtrooper but these guys definitely made an impression in the first chapter of The Mandalorian and it's cool to have them on the shelf. The Remnant Stormtrooper is a Target exclusive, which sucks for two reasons. One, it's a troop builder, so being an exclusive is always a poor choice. Second, Target has been piss poor about stocking their exclusives this year (or Hasbro severely shorted them) so good luck finding this guy. Let's take a look at the Remnant Stormtrooper after the break...

Wrapping Up 2020: Mandalorian Super Commando from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 


   I've reviewed two of the Walmart exclusive Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV figures based on season 7 of The Clone Wars and today it's time to get to the third: The Mandalorian Super Commando! Take some Darth Maul, mix it with a Mandalorian, and what do you get? The Mandalorian Super Commando! Led by Gar Saxon in allegiance to Darth Maul's Shadow Collective, the Mandalorian Super Commandos have modified their armor in tribute to the Sith lord. Can you believe that Hasbro decided to take this army builder and make him an exclusive? That's crazy! This should have absolutely been a double packed figure in a standard case. I don't understand some of Hasbro's decisions these days! I had to resort to the secondary market for this guy, unfortunately, but thank goodness he's an excellent figure. Let's take a look at the Mandalorian Super Commando after the break...

Friday, January 15, 2021

Action Figure Review: Skeletor on Panthor #98 from POP! Rides: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 

   Last year Funko gave us the POP! Rides He-Man on Battle Cat and now they've delivered the evil counterparts of that heroic duo. Here comes Skeletor on Panthor! I've always enjoyed the symmetry of Masters of the Universe so it's fun to have the heroic and evil versions of various characters and creatures. This version of Skeletor on Panthor features a flocked Panthor, just like the vintage toy. It was an exclusive from the Funko Shop that went on sale at the end of December but which shipped and arrived in early January. It's a new toy for a new year, baby! Let's take a peek at the Evil Lord of Destruction and ferocious feline mount after the break...

Barbecue's Bonfire 1/15/2021: Tune Up Your Interocitor Edition


   Hey everyone! Welcome back to Barbecue's Bonfire! I'm not sure if I could consider this week "busy" or not but I've definitely spent a lot of my free time catching up on 2020 reviews and beginning a new Lego project with my child. My wife's been bust re-reading and re-watching The Hunger Games, which for some reason has never interested me in the least, so I've had more time to work on reviews and stuff in the evenings after Adora is in bed. For the 2020 reviews I'm catching up on most of them were Star Wars: The Black Series figures and since there's so much newer stuff arriving I'm going to go ahead and skip some reviews of product from earlier in 2020 that I just got my hands on in the last month or so. I try to wrap up all of my 2020 reviews by the end of January since February is when I do my annual "Best of the Previous Year" awards and I'd like to have everything finished up. I've already been working on my lists, though. Of course, I've been doing some other stuff this week, too. What's been happening at the international headquarters of Action Figure Barbecue? 


   My daughter had never seen Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie so we fixed that over the weekend. Now we can't stop running around talking about interocitors, chanting "Normal view! Normal view!," or saying "I'm hiding in one of these boxes, come and fine me!" The movie came out in 1996 and is a "bigger" budget affair for MST3K featuring Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo riffing on the 1955 film This Island Earth. I remember renting this while staying with one of my uncles as a kid (maybe back in 1997 or 1998) but I think I was the only person impressed with it. I got the DVD for Christmas a few years back so now I can watch it whenever I want and laugh as loud as I want. It's funny that the MST3K movie is so much shorter than the regular episodes, though. How odd, right? I've been watching a ton of MST3K, RiffTrax, and the Film Crew on Pluto TV lately, which always puts me in a good mood. Pluto's MST3K channel shows Werewolf or The Pumaman almost every night around 11 or so, which is usually when I start watching MST3K, so I'm having to mix in my own new material for the time being. 


More stuff after the break...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: Mandalorian Loyalist from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   The Mandalorian Loyalist is another figure from the Walmart exclusive series of figures based on the seventh season of The Clone Wars that seemed to barely make it into stores last year. The Mandalorian Loyalists are part of the Mandalorian Resistance who fight alongside of Bo-Katan Kryze to free Mandalore from the rule of Darth maul and Gar Saxon. They're troop builders and with Mandalorians being more popular than they've ever been before, these guys should have been available in decent numbers. Too bad they weren't. That's a shame, too, because the Mandalorian Loyalist is a pretty solid figure. He's built mostly from the Phase III Jango Fett body in one of the fairly uncommon instances of a "franken-figure" or a kit-bashed" figure in the Black Series, which tends to favor new sculpts or repaints. Let's take a look at the Mandalorian Loyalist after the break...

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Action Figure Review: He-Man #43 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 

   

   While January is usually spent finishing up my reviews of stuff I picked up in December I do work the new stuff released in there, too, and today I'm checking out another new Funko POP! Retro Toys release: The 10 inch jumbo sized He-Man #43 POP! vinyl. This is the fourth of the jumbo-sized Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls (they've also released two Skeletors and Beast Man) and, since he's a mass market release, you should have an easier time finding him. In fact, I've seen him on sale at a few e-tailers, so shop around a bit. He's quite cool and like most of the other recent Funko MOTU POP! vinyls he's clearly based on the vintage toyline rather than on the Filmation cartoon series. There really are some very recognizable differences between this version of He-Man and the previous releases that show how Funko really has some good attention to detail despite their toys having stylized, minimalist approach. Let's take a look at He-Man, the Most Powerful Man in the Universe, after the break...

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Christmas Haul 2020: Mr. T from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel

 


   While 2020 is universally regarded as one of the worst years ever, you do have to give it credit for being the year when Mattel introduced Mr. T into the Masters of the Universe line. Well, at least they introduced him into the Masters of the WWE Universe line, but that's close enough for me at this point. Mr. T, y'all. How amazing is that? I received him as a Christmas gift this year and I do think I spend the most time messing around with him on Christmas day. The Heroic Pitier of Fool, Mr. T is one of the heroes of WWEternia! It's truly amazing to have a figure of one of the coolest human beings on the planet to battle the evil forces of Skeletor and make them quit their jibber jabber. Let's check out Mr. T after the break...

Action Figure Review: Grizzlor #40 (Flocked) from POP! Retro Toys by Funko

 

   
   The flocked variant of Grizzlor #40 from POP! Retro Toys dropped on Funko Shop on December 21st, 2020 but they didn't ship out until 2021, so Grizzlor is another new review for 2021! Yes, I did review the standard Grizzlor earlier this week but this one is getting his own review since he's flocked! While the vintage Grizzlor wasn't flocked  but instead was covered with fur, the flocking really does a pretty nice job of selling the effect while still retaining the crispness of the sculpt. I've always loved Grizzlor and he's always been extra special to me because one of my uncles who died when I was in first grade (he was quite young and it was unexpected) bought him for me. It's funny how certain toys kind of connect your memories to certain people, places, or points in time, isn't it? I need to review my vintage Grizzlor at some point (I'm hoping to start back my themed Masters of the Universe months in February) but for now we'll check out the new POP! Retro Toys Grizzlor #40 (flocked) after the break...

Monday, January 11, 2021

Christmas Haul 2020: Expansion Master Set (Green) from Mythos by HH Toys

 

      Over the past year or so the Mythos line has gone beyond just offering figures based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and is now offering minifigures based on other writers of Weird Fiction who both inspired Lovecraft and who were inspired by him. While the line has only had two series released so far they have released multiple expansion sets of one or two figures molded in resin rather than the PVC of the regular figures. These drops have been extremely difficult to get a hold so it's quite welcome that HH Toys is offering a set of the released figures from the expansion packs molded in PVC. The set is filled with weird creatures from Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Edgar Allan Poe, William Hope Hodgson, Crispin Burnham, E.P. Berglund, and Clark Ashton Smith! It's also available in green, blue, red, yellow, and glow in the dark. As you can see, I received a set in green for Christmas 2020. Let's delve into toe realm of the weird as we check out the Mythos Expansion Master Set after the break...

Toy Review: He-Man from POP! Pocket Keychain by Funko

 

How about we start this week out right with a new for 2021 review? Today I'm checking out the He-Man POP! Pocket Keychain from Funko! Two big boxes of new Funko stuff just showed up at my door last week and I'll be slowly working my way through it through the rest of the month. I've picked up a couple of the little POP! Pocket Keychains before as a novelty but I'm all about the Masters of the Universe ones. Funko has been handling the MOTU license 2013 but this is the first sculpt of He-Man that's truly based on the vintage toy. He's quite cool and allows you to carry the Power of Grayskull in your pocket. Ready to check him out? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: The Brat from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 

   Jazwares kind of randomly releases their Fortnite: Legendary Series figures, often with little to no warning, and the Brat seems to be the last figure of 2020. He showed up on my porch on Christmas Eve as sort of an early Christmas gift from myself to myself and I'm pretty thrilled with him. The Fortnite: Legendary series line didn't have as many releases this year as I would have hoped but they did put out some cool figures and the Bart is one of the coolest. And most bizarre. Yes, most bizarre indeed. The Brat is one of the in-game skins released in 2019 and he's designed to look like a hip-hop hot dog. This line gets weirder by the minute and I love it. Let's sink our teeth into the Brat after the break...

Action Figure Review: Grizzlor #40 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

     At the end of 2020 Funko shop had a drop of some new Masters of the Universe product, including a few exclusives. I'll be checking those out in the days to come but for my first review of a new product from 2021 I'm giving the honor to Grizzlor, the Hairy Henchman of the Evil Horde! Grizzlor was one of my favorite MOTU figures overall as a child and I'm thrilled that Funko has finally given him the POP! treatment. While Funko has been making POP! vinyls from MOTU since 2013 they've also released them under the POP! Television banner. Now, though, they're releasing them under the fairly new POP! Retro Toys banner alongside other toy icons like Barbie, G.I. Joe, Stretch Armstrong, Transformers, TMNT, My Little Pony, and even Polly Pocket. Think we'll get a Mighty Max? I do think the Retro Toys banner is way more fitting as many of the characters Funko has released never even appeared in the Filmation He-Man and She-Ra cartoons. Let's take a look at Grizzlor #40 who is absolutely based on the vintage toy (and not She-Ra: Princess of Power) after the break

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: Range Trooper (Holiday Edition) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   I had hoped to get around to reviewing the Range Trooper (Holiday Edition) during the 12 Days of Christmas but I missed that by a couple of days. Oops. I actually didn't receive him until Christmas Eve, which was kind of cool. One of our mail carriers (true heroes, those folks!) delivered him in the early evening of Christmas Eve. So, yes, I did get a visit from Jolly Old Saint Range Trooper on Christmas Eve! While the other four troopers in the Star Wars: The Black Series Holiday Edition subset look like elves, the Target exclusive Range Trooper looks like Santa Claus himself. He's even got a reindeer! Let's take a look at one of the strangest Star Wars figures of .... well... ever, I guess. Hang your stockings and say your prayers because the Range Trooper (Holiday Edition) gets reviewed tonight!

Wrapping Up 2020: Speeder Bike, Scout Trooper, & The Child from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   It's time for another Star Wars: The Black Series review! As I'm spending January wrapping up reviews of the stuff that showed up near the end of December today I'll be checking out a set inspired by The Mandalorian: Speeder Bike, Scout Trooper, & The Child. Based on Chapter 8 of Season 1, this set features one of the two Scout Troopers with his speeder bike and Grogu in a satchel. It was an Amazon exclusive and my preorder surprised me, landing on my doorstep on Christmas Eve! Hasbro really seemed to have been blinded by the popularity of The Mandalorian (though Lucasfilm may have kept too tight of a lid on things) and so we're just now getting a decent array of product from season 1. This set features a lot of reuse since it's largely a repaint of the Biker Scout and Speeder Bike that was released back in 2014 although there are some new pieces that help elevate this set a good bit. Considering this Scout Trooper helped kill Kuiil and punched Grogu/ Baby Yoday/ the Child, he might be the most hated Star Wars character of all time! Who wouldn't want to have a go at this guy, huh? Let's take a look at the Speeder Bike, Scout Trooper, & The Child after the break...

Friday, January 8, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: Heavy Infantry Mandalorian from Star Wars: The Credit Collection by Hasbro

 

   The Heavy Infantry Mandalorian, real name Paz Vizsla (voiced by John Favreau), is the fifth and final figure of Hasbro's 2020 Star Wars: The Credit Collection. He's a Best Buy exclusive and he just arrived in my mailbox less than a week ago even though I ordered him in early December. Interestingly, the standard Paz Vizsla was part of my wrap-up of 2019 who I reviewed in early 2020 as well. He was also a Best Buy exclusive. Hasbro has treated Paz Vizsla as a deluxe figure (which seems like they're really stretching the concept of a deluxe figure) and so this one comes on a vintage Kenner styled card, like the other figures in the set, but it's quite a bit wider. Paz Vizsla is really just a repaint of the previous figure and, oddly, he's not all that different from the first release. Still, I was up for another Mandalorian and I got a good deal on this guy from Best Buy.com since his package was damaged. Want to check him out? Then join me after the break...

Barbecue's Bonfire 1/8/2020: First Snow Day of the Year Edition!

 

   Guess what, friends and neighbors? Today is my first snow day of the year! I've been sitting at home playing Assassins Creed: Valhalla this morning before my daughter woke up and while my wife is working but I figured I'd better jump in and do a quick Barbecue's Bonfire. Honestly, while I've been quite busy this week I don't have too much exciting to report. I received the first two High Republic era Star Wars books but I haven't gotten to read them yet and I know the G.I. Joe Classified Series Target exclusives are out there (Viper and Firefly) but considering how bad Covid is in our area and the fact that Target is about 30 minutes away I haven't even gotten to check for them. Plenty of good, though, as I've been getting to spend plenty of time with my family and enjoying lots of cool stuff, though none that I've finished this week (my wife and I are currently watching through the first series of The Black Adder, I'm still playing through AC: Valhalla and Little Nightmares), and I'm in the middle of Stephen King's Rose Madder). We did finish a room escape game, though!


    We actually started this one on New Year's Eve with my parents and then finished it later in the afternoon on New Year's Day. I talked about the first game in the Exit series I played last week and we liked this one even better. The Enchanted Forest is a fairy tale themed game with lots of clever, interactive puzzles. It doesn't feel like a traditional room escape game but that's not bad. Rather than looking for hidden objects, finding keys, etc, you're essentially solving a puzzle at each step. We actually made paper snowflakes, used a translucent leaf as a decoder, arranged little cardboard furniture cutouts, and built a bridge to find our way out of the woods. Technically these are one time play games (they involve a lot of cutting) but for the price of around $10-$15 dollars that might be worth it for around 2 hours of entertainment for your family. This one was quite nice and is definitely recommended if you have kids. The puzzles are mostly clever and logical and most of the time if we missed something we realized our mistake once we used a hit.

Just a bit more after the break today....

 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: Sith Trooper (Holiday Edition) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 
   We're still technically in the 12 Days of Christmas so let's take a look at another of Hasbro's Holiday Edition Star Wars: The Black Series figures released in 2020: The Holiday Edition Sith Trooper! The Sith Trooper was released in 2019 to coincide with the release of The Rise of Skywalker and, like the film itself, it was kind of forgettable. The Sith Troopers had really cool designs, though, and the figure was fantastic. I'm glad to see the mold reused again as I love the sculpted detail on it. This version of the Sith Trooper is decked out in red and green with a festive scarf, a "NERF" blaster, and a little companion in the form of Babu Frik. The Sith Trooper (Holiday Edition) is exclusive to Best Buy and I was able to order mine online although he took forever to arrive. Let's take a look at the Sith Trooper (Holiday Edition) after the break and continue the celebrations...

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Wrapping up 2020: Lords of Power from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 


   Like most other events last year Power-Con 2020 was canceled and, instead, was held as a virtual event. It was pretty cool and while I'm sure it wasn't the same as getting to attend Power-Con in person I certainly enjoyed it. The exclusives were still offered up as well and the main piece for Power-Con 2020 is what I'm checking out today: The Lords of Power 5-pack from Masters of the Universe Origins. What exactly is Lords of Power? Check out Battle Ram or one of the He-Man documentaries on Netflix like The Toys that Made us or The Power of Grayskull for a full run down but, to make a long story short, Lords of Power was the original working name for Masters of the Universe. Apparently the name was changed due to someone at Mattel thinking that it sounded "too religious" so Masters of the Universe was chosen. The "Lords of Power Collection" was displayed with an image of five prototype figures of He-Man, Skeletor, Beast Man, Mer-Man, and Man-At-Arms that showed more details from Mark Taylor's concept art which were eventually dropped for the final product. While ideally I would have wanted these figures as Masters of the Universe Classics releases but, considering that MOTU Origins is currently Mattel's main focus, it makes sense that they'd push it. All five figures come in a box that looks similar to one of the vintage MOTU carrying cases, so the presentation is pretty slick. The set was originally sold through Power-Con to folks who bought attendee tickets and was sold through Big Bad Toy Store for non-attendees. I'm going to go ahead and forewarn you that this set was quite pricey due to being a limited fan convention exclusive: Power-Con was charging $200 for attendees (who paid an extra attendance fee) who would pick up on site while BBTS was charging $270 for anyone who wanted one. Anyways, the price has been paid so let's check out the Lords of Power after the break...

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Wrapping up 2020: Phase I Clone Trooper from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

      This intro might get a bit confusing as this figure is technically called a Phase I Clone Trooper, which refers to the Clone Troopers from Episode II: Attack of the Clones with the sleeker helmet designs with a more pronounced fin on top. Of course, the Black Series toyline itself has also used the label "Phase" to refer to the different iterations of the line. In mid-2020 Hasbro transitioned the Black Series into Phase IV with new packaging. Make sense? OK, good! Like the recently released Imperial Stormtrooper figure, the Phase I Clone Trooper is another figure from Phase I of the Black Series that Hasbro has completely created a new version of for Phase IV. The Black Series has really evolved over the past few years and it's nice to get some new and improved base bodies for troop builders who we know we'll see repainted and re-released multiple times. I never reviewed the original release of this guy from 2014 although I've reviewed multiple repaints of the original figure. Clone Troopers are a staple of the Star Wars galaxy now and it's actually nice that Hasbro went back to the drawing board to improve this guy. Let's take a look at the Phase I Clone Trooper after the break...

Friday, January 1, 2021

Wrapping Up 2020: R5-P8 from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 

   Yes, it's officially 2021 but I've still got a dozen or so figures that I picked up in December or received for Christmas that I need to review so let's get started with wrapping up 2020 by taking a look at R5-P8. R5-P8 is part of the Target exclusive Galaxy's Edge Trading Outpost subset of The Black Series and is intended as the droid companion of Hondo Ohnaka, another figure releases in the Galaxy's Edge subset. I haven't gotten my hands on Hondo yet but I'm about to just bite the bullet and order one because I doubt we'll see him again. Anyways, R5-P8 did appear in a few episodes of The Clone Wars but he's also part of the ride Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, which is what this version of the astromech droid is based on. Let's take a quick look at R5-P8 after the break...

Barbecue's Bonfire 1/1/2021: What a Long, Strange Year it's Been Edition

 

   Happy New Year! Well, 2020 is over and 2021 begins! I've had a week that's been very busy as I've been with my family nearly every minute of the day but also not busy at all since I'm still on Christmas vacation from work until Monday. I've made sure to fill the time with some cool stuff. My daughter got a bunch of Harry Potter Lego sets, so we've been building up a storm. Also, we did Christmas with my wife's family via Zoom on Saturday. Our Christmas felt like it lasted 4 or 5 days! Of course, we've also been checking out lots of cool stuff. What, you might ask? Read on and find out...

 We've been watching through the Star Wars films in a really weird order with my daughter and we finally got around to watching The Empire Strikes Back, which is the greatest Star Wars film of all. It's amazing how good this one is. My daughter asked me what my favorite part was and I told her it's basically from the time the opening crawl starts until the music blares at the end. She said that wasn't specific enough so I decided it's from the moment we first see Vader and Lando in the carbon freezing chamber through Luke's rescue while hanging from the bottom of Cloud City. Better?

   She really loved Yoda in this one! This all started with me wanting to watch Return of the Jedi which she got into, then she wanted to watch ROTS because a friend of ours showed it to his daughter who is now scared of senior citizens because of Palpatine's face getting warped. Then we ended up watching A New Hope, Episode 1, Episode 2, and, finally, ESB. My daughter really liked TFA when it came out but hasn't seen it in a few years so we'll probably watch it soon. I guess we'll make our way through the Sequel Trilogy next.

More after the break...