Sunday, April 18, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Panthor from Pint Size Heroes: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 

   Saddle up and let's take a look at another toy or collectible based on one of the 1983 additions to the Masters of the Universe line for today's installment in Masters of the Universe Month 2021! I've mentioned multiple times this month that the 1983 MOTU line really focused on creating symmetry between the Heroic Warriors and the Evil Warriors and today we're checking out Panthor, the evil counterpart of Battle Cat. Last year I looked at the Pint Size Heroes Battle Cat for Masters of the Universe Day so how about we check out Panthor for this year's celebration? The vintage Panthor was a purple, flocked repaint of Battle Cat without a helmet and that goes for this tiny version of Panthor as well. Ready for a look at Skeletor's loyal and ferocious flocked feline? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Action Figure Review: Land Shark from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 
   
   Mattel is really pumping out Masters of the Universe Origins product in 2021 and one of the coolest items that's come out so far is a remake of the Land Shark. Based on the original 1985 vehicle, the Land Shark isn't too different from the original toy at all. It's a little larger, a little brighter, and it has fewer separate pieces than the vintage toy but otherwise it's quite similar. The Land Shark is my favorite of the vintage vehicles (I think; I really like the Roton, too) and I'm thrilled to get it this early in the line. The other good thing about the Origins Land Shark is that it works pretty well with Masters of the Universe Classics, too. Ready to take a spin in the Land Shark? Then join me after the break...

Toy Review: Man-At-Arms from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 



   Ready for another Vinyl SODA review? Good because I am too! Today I'm checking out the Vinyl SODA Man-At-Amrs, one of the four Masters of the Universe items that Funko offered up at the Spring 2021 Funko Virtual Con. For a line that's only a little over a year old now The Vinyl SODA MOTU offerings are fairly robust. Man-At-Arms was released as a "limited" run of 7,500 with part of that run being a chase variant based on snake Man-At-Arms from the Mike Young Productions animated series. So far as I can recall Snake Man-At-Arms and Battle Mode Kobra Khan are the first chase variants in this line to have unique sculpts. That's kind of frustrating, really. The paint variants were OK but new sculpts seems kind of frustrating, especially due to how limited these are and the fact that they come blind packaged. Oh well, at least Man-At-Arms himself is really cool. Let's check this one out after the break...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/16/2021: The Captain Marvel Triumphant and the Eternia Box Edition

 


   Hey everyone! The weekend is almost upon us and that means it's time for another installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! Last weekend was my daughter's last hurrah before starting back to in-person schooling after over a year so we did things up! Now that we're all vaccinated we decided to make a trip to the Charlotte Comicon on Sunday afternoon. I picked some Marvel Legends I was looking for, a Skeletor patch, and my daughter ended up winning an award!

   We just watched Captain Marvel on Saturday evening (more on that in a moment) so Adora wanted to wear her Captain Marvel costume. I think she first wore it at HeroesCon 2019 and we didn't know if it would still fit her but it still did. Tack on a Feisty Pet to serve as Goose and she was ready. We told her anyone dressed like Captain Marvel got in free (it was free for all kids 12 and under) so she was extra excited. She's sometimes a bit shy but she decided to enter the costume contest. When she went on stage to show off her costume she did some punches, shot some Photon blasts, made Goose growl at the judges, and then leapt off the stage rather than going back down the stairs. She won a judge's choice award, too! Way to go Adora!

More about Captain Marvel, the MCU, and my trip to Charlotte Comicon after the break...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Ram Man from Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 



    Are you ready to take a look at another toy or collectible based on another of the 1983 additions to the Masters of the Universe line for Masters of the Universe Month 2021? Today we're checking out Ram Man, the Heroic Human Battering Ram who came in like a wrecking ball to devastate the Evil Warriors! Ram Man was released in the second series of figures from 2002 in Mattel's "200x" Masters of the Universe line which made perfect sense as he was one of the main heroes in the Mike Young Productions animated series. I never had a vintage Ram Man as a kid (I now own at least three) and I didn't end up getting this one until the mid 2000s. I actually started collecting the 200x line after it was out of stores but before Masters of the Universe Classics was in full swing, so this was my first Ram Man. I love the 200x line and how it melds the playability and action features of a traditional kid focused toyline with the focus on detailed sculpting that was popular among collector focused lines of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Four Horsemen worked magic with this line, too, and Ram Man is a big improvement over the vintage toy. Let's check him out after the break...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Action Figure Review: Scare Glow from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 



   The distribution on Mattel's Masters of the Universe Origin line hasn't been very good and it's been pretty tough to find most of the figures in the line other than the series 1 releases. Scare Glow is part of series 2 and the last figure from that series that I found. Yeah, he's a 2020 release but I've finally got my hands on him. Scare Glow is probably one of the most exciting releases in this series so far as it's a great way for most fans to get a vintage inspired Scare Glow without having to break the bank and live off of Ramen for the next 6-12 months. Yeah, the vintage Scare Glow might not be that expensive but he's definitely pricy, especially if you're trying to acquire him complete with his cape and halberd. This guy's still not easy to acquire but he is a good bit cheaper. Let's check out Scare Glow after the break and see how the cult favorite of the vintage MOTU line has fared in the Origins series....

Monday, April 12, 2021

Collectible Review: Skeletor from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

   I told you I was going to wrap up the Masters of the Universe Geeki Tikis mugs, didn't I? Today I'm checking out Skeletor, the last of the six Tiki mugs from Beeline Creative Inc. Did I save the best for last? Not quite, as Mer-Man is still my favorite of the mugs, but Skeletor is pretty darn good. After reviewing six of these in a relatively short period of time I'm kind of running out of new stuff to say. Instead, I'll just take a minute and comment how interesting Masters of the Universe licensing has been over the past couple of years. For a property that was absolutely dominant for a brief few years in the 1980s MOTU really has felt like a niche property for most of the thirty-some years since the original line ended. Interestingly, though, it must have a pretty dedicated fan base or enough nostalgic goodwill to keep things going as more and more companies are putting stuff out. It's not a property like Star Wars, Pokemon, Marvel, or DC Comics that feels multi-generational now and is everywhere but it's definitely developed it's own respectable niche in pop culture. Someone's buying all of the MOTU stuff out there and it feels like we just keep getting more of it. Hey, MOTU Tiki Glasses! What a world, huh? Let's check out the Skeletor mug after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Evil-Lyn from Rock Candy: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   It's time for us to look at a toy or collectible based on another of the 1983 additions to the Masters of the Universe line for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 and today I'm turning my attention to Evil-Lyn. For Evil-Lyn I've selected a vinyl figure that I find to be very enchanting: The 2018 Funko Rock Candy Evil-Lyn. I don't think Funko's making the Rock Candy line anymore (I believe the last releases were in 2019) which is kind of a shame as I thought it was one of the better vinyl lines Funko pitched. It's still stylized but the overall sculpts are really charming. Funko only ever released Evil Lyn and She-Ra from Masters of the Universe in the series which is a bummer. What does Funko have against Teela, anyway? Seriously, why in the world have they only ever released Teela in the Pint Size Heroes line? Of course, today's not about Teela but Evil-Lyn. Let's take a look at this sultry sorceress after the break...

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Action Figure Review: Becky Lynch from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel

 

   I've finally found my first Masters of the WWE Universe figure of the year and it's Becky Lynch, the Man of WWEternia! Released as part of the fifth series of this Walmart exclusive line I was pretty thrilled to stumble upon her in the toy aisle. After series 2 this line has had some of the worst distribution I've seen in a toyline. Both series 5 and 6 are on store shelves right now and I've only found one figure from series 5 and three from series 6 (if you find the rest of series 5 or Kane help me out!). Anyways, this is Wrestlemania weekend so it seemed fitting to review a Masters of the WWE Universe figure even though I haven't watched wrestling for almost two years now. I really like Becky Lynch, though, and she is perfectly cast as a Teela inspired warrior. Ready to check out The Man? Then let's get ready to rumble after the break...

Collectible Review: She-Ra from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

 
 
  I figure I should probably wrap up my reviews of the Masters of the Universe Geeki Tikis as I've had them for over a month so today we're going to check out She-Ra, the most powerful Tiki mug in the Universe! She-Ra is the fifth mug from this set that I've reviewed and she's quite cool. She's similar to He-Man in color and design though her yellow is a bit lighter than He-Man's yellow. They make a great pair, though. I'm always thrilled to get MOTU stuff that's a bit outside of the box and these definitely count in my book. Let's check out She-Ra after the break...

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Toy Review: Kobra Khan & Spikor from POP! + Pez by Funko

 

   Ready for another review of one of the four Masters of the Universe items that Funko offered up at the Spring 2021 Funko Virtual Con? Then how about we check out the POP! + Pez 2-pack of Kobra Khan & Spikor? Yeah, let's do that! The POP! + Pez line is still creeping along with mostly exclusive releases these days it seems and this is one was limited to only 1,000 pieces. It was originally intended for Emerald City Comic Con 2021 (which had some exclusive POP! + Pez dispensers that were only offered online last year, too) and it has the ECCC 2021 sticker on it rather than a generic Funko spring convention sticker. This was the only set I wasn't able to obtain through Funko or an exclusive partner so I ended up having to hunt this one down secondhand. Kobra Khan has been popular with Funko this year as he has had a POP! release and a Vinyl SODA release while Spikor has always been an odd favorite of the Funko team, appearing in the first set of MOTU POP! vinyls back in 2013. We still don't have a Teela but we've had Spikor for 8 years now. Anyways, these guys are definitely popular B-list villains and it's cool to get two of them at once. Let's take a look at the set after the break...

Collectible Review: Orko from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

 

  Guess who's just a bit late for March Magic? Orko! Yeah, I originally intended for the Geeki Tikis Orko mug to be one of the installments for last month's celebration but, unfortunately, it just didn't happen. Oh well! Do I really need any excuse to review an Orko item? Nope! Orko is the fourth of the Geeki Tikis mugs I've reviewed and I really like him. Not as much as Mer-Man, of course, but he's up there. Ready for a look at another Masters of the Universe mug? Then join me after the break...

Friday, April 9, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/9/2021: The Baron Zemo Shuffle Edition

 

   This week was a bit different as we finally got to see my wife's parents after 16 months of being separated. Wow! They came for a visit over Easter and it was great to get to spend some time with them. There was a lot of cleaning prep and such (our guest suite hadn't been used in a year and a half) and then once everyone was here we were mostly busy visiting. Also, as of today my wife and I have been vaccinated for 2 weeks, so that's a big deal! We've been busy with company and Easter and, yeah, I was down for a day or so with what I feared was the making of a wicked sinus infection (the pollen is horrible right now) but, still, lots of stuff to report, starting with last week's episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier....

   Last week's episode of TF&TWS was excellent as we got the return of both Sharon Carter and Baron Helmut Zemo. Getting to see those two team up with Bucky and Falcon in Madripoor was amazing and the action there was some of the best yet. Poor Sharon really did get a raw deal, didn't she? Who thinks she might be the mysterious Power Broker? Anyways, despite everything else good about this episode the absolute standout is Zemo. He's just incredible though his awesomely awkward dancing is definitely one of my favorite memes in quite some time. Seriously, director Kari Skogland should have went full on David Lynch and just given us five straight minutes of Zemo dancing. This show is another hit and my only complaint about this episode was that we didn't get much of Walker Captain America. I'm kind of starting to like him in a way. He's not Cap by any means but I do want to see him succeed. I watched this episode twice over the past week and I'm ready for tonight's episode!

More after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Faker Mask from Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   

   It's time for another review for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 and today we're taking a look at a really cool, random item based on Faker, another member of the 1983 Masters of the Universe cast. I've said a few times that the 1983 line was all about symmetry and that year the line introduced Faker, an evil robotic He-Man wearing Skeletor's chest armor. What fun Faker item are we looking at today? How about this really cool Faker mask from 2018? These were sold as a Mattel SDCC 2018 exclusive in a set along with He-Man, Anti-Eternia He-Man, and Horde Zombie He-man, and I think they were also offered up at PowerCon 2018 as well. Reminiscent of the 1980s' Ben Cooper MOTU Halloween costumes this is actually a foam mask with an adjustable elastic strap. It's kind of a cool item and I love how these masks look displayed on the wall. I'm trying to pick some interesting items from my collection this month as we look at the 1983 MOTU cast over the years and I hope you'll agree that this is a pretty unique item. Join me after the break for a look at the Faker Mask...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Toy Review: Terror Claws Skeletor (Metallic) from POP! Pocket Keychain by Funko

 



  

 Just a little over a month ago I reviewed the standard Terror Claws Skeletor POP! Pocket Keychain from Funko and today I'm going to take a quick peak at the Hot Topic exclusive metallic variant. This is the exact same piece as the previous keychain, just with a metallic paint scheme. Since they're so similar I'm reusing most of the text from the previous review so if you're experiencing déjà vu or something that's why. Let's take a look at the metallic version of the Terror Claws Skeletor POP! Pocket Keychain after the break...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Action Figure Review: Mantenna #67 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   Funko continues to make their way towards offering a respectable selection of Masters of the Universe POP! vinyl collection (though still no Teela) with Mantenna, another offering from the Spring 2021 Funko Virtual Con. Now that the MOTU POP! vinyls are listed under the POP! Retro Toys banner rather than POP! Television (where they were since 2013) the figures are influenced by the vintage toys rather than the Filmation cartoon series. Mantenna looked pretty different in the toyline than he did in the cartoon so this one is definitely a character where the distinction matters. Mantenna #67 was a shared exclusive with Funko Shop and Walmart and I ended up grabbing him off of Walmart.com since they listed him earlier. He arrived really quickly with free shipping, too, which is one of the few positive experiences I've had with ordering product from Walmart.com. Let's take a look at Mantenna, the Horde's evil spy with the pop-out eyes, after the break...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Toy Review: She-Ra from Masters of the Universe Magnets by Monogram International

  

 A little over a month ago I reviewed the He-Man magnet from the Masters of the Universe Magnets  by Monogram International. In March 0f 2020 I reviewed Monogram International's Masters of the Universe Figural Bag Clips, a series of blind bagged "chibi" styled bag clips/ key chains and these blind bagged magnets are in the same style. She-Ra, however, wasn't part of the set last year so where did this sculpt come from? Well, it turns out the She-Ra bag clip was part of a NYCC 2019 exclusive set along with He-Man and Skeletor, so that's where this sculpt originated.  There are five magnets in the set (He-Man, She-Ra, Orko, Skeletor, and a glow in the dark chase Skeletor) so I ordered five of them from Hot Topic. I only got two different characters, which was kind of a bust, but my daughter was eager to grab a couple of the extras.  Currently we have a She-Ra magnet that my daughter moves around to different places at my parents' house as kind of a game. I really like these and since I didn't get the NYCC 2019 bag clip set I'm glad this magnet gave me a chance to have this sculpt in my collection. Let's check out She-Ra after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Trap Jaw from Pint Size Heroes: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 


It's time for another review for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 as we continuing our journey of looking at how the characters, creatures, and vehicles from the second series of vintage Masters of the Universe toys released in 1983 have been re-imagined in the 37 years since their release. Today we're turning our attention to Trap Jaw, another of the Evil Warriors released in 1983. Trap Jaw is without a doubt one of the most popular MOTU villains of them all (I gave him his own month last year, Trap Jaw-ly) and he usually always appears in any toyline. Today I'm looking at the Pint Size Heroes Trap Jaw from 2018. If you're not familiar with these, Funko offered these little guys in 2018. Sold in blind bags, the Pint Size Heroes were kind of like miniature Dorbz figures. Like most Funko efforts other than POP! vinyls these didn't last terribly long at retail and a second series was never released. They're a nice set of minifigures, though, and Trap Jaw still manages to look a bit menacing even in this smaller scale. Let's check Trap Jaw out after the break...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Action Figure Review: 8-Ball from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 
   It's time for the last Fortnite: Legendary Series review I've got planned for awhile and today it's 8-Ball! A billiards themed tactical trooper? Absolutely, let's go for it! This guy's clad in black and gray, loaded with weapons, and has an 8-ball themed helmet. He's like a POG and a character from Metal Gear Solid had a baby! Let's take a look at 8-Ball after the break...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Tri-Klops ("GID Edition") from Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjects

 

   Today for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 we're continuing our journey of looking at how the characters, creatures, and vehicles from the second series of vintage Masters of the Universe toys released in 1983 have been re-imagined in the 37 years since their release. There's a lot of symmetry in Masters of the Universe in general but series 2 really ramped things up by delivering many counterparts for specific Heroic and Evil Warriors. Previously I looked at the MOTU Origins Man-E-Faces so today let's look at his villainous counterpart, Tri-Klops! For Tri-Klops' spot I'm checking out his appearance in The Loyal Subjects Action Vinyls line, particularly the glow in the dark web exclusive version from 2016. Part of a limited run of 750, this is an interesting take on the swordsman who is "Evil and sees everything!" Let's check him out after the break...

Friday, April 2, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/2/2021: The Infinity War, or How I Started Collecting Marvel Legends Again Edition

 

Hey everyone! I hope you're having a blessed Good Friday, particularly if you're a person of faith. Our church hasn't met in person since the Sunday before Christmas but we will be starting Sunday service back this Easter morning. A large majority of our church has been vaccinated and we have some really strict Covid protocols in place so I'm very much looking forward to it. Last year not only did we have Easter Sunday service virtually but since we didn't know much about what was going on with Covid yet my wife and daughter were staying with my parents since I was the only one having to work outside of the house. That was rough and I'm sure thankful we're in a better place now than we were a year ago. Anyways, let's talk about the nerdy stuff I've been up to this week, starting with Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

   This was another solid episode and I'm loving the "buddy cop" dynamic between Bucky and Sam. Those guys are excellent! I'm also really enjoying Wyatt Russell as John Walker/ Captain America. This episode has definitely made him more sympathetic as you have to feel for the guy. He's a decorated service member who has been placed in an impossible position. The battle scene with the Flag Smashers at the end was pretty fantastic and I'm glad to see Erin Kellyman again, this time playing Karli Morgenthau. She was Enfys Nest in Solo and it's cool to see her again. I'm definitely waiting for Zemo to show up, though. Do you think he'll be looking for any mission reports this time around? More Marvel marvelousness after the break...
 

Action Figure Review: Skull Trooper (Inverted) from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 

  The Skull Trooper (Purple Glow) was the first Fortnite: Legendary Series figure I reviewed back when the line started in 2019 and now, almost two years later, I'm checking out Jazwares' third release of this sculpt: Skull Trooper (Inverted). What's inverted about this guy? Well, he comes packaged upside down of course! Just kidding. Actually, it refers to pattern of the bones on his outfit. Instead of having white bones on a black outfit he's now rocking black bones on white. Hey, it works for Scare Glow, right? Let's check this guy out after the break...
 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Man-E-Faces from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

      Today is the first review for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 and this year the celebration is focused on the characters, creatures, and vehicles from 1983, the second year of the vintage Masters of the Universe line. Only two heroic warriors were added to the line in 1983 and I'm checking out the first of them today: Man-E-Faces! Man-E-Faces was one of the last figures designed by Mark Taylor and he has become one of the most recognizable MOTU figures thanks to his memorable action feature. Today I'm reviewing the Masters of the Universe Origins Man-E-Faces from 2020. Released in the second series of the Origins line, this version of Man-E-Faces is only slightly redesigned from the vintage toy with brighter colors and added articulation. How crazy that 37 years later Mattel is still cranking out toys based on this property, huh? Let's take a look at the Masters of the Universe Origins Man-E-Faces after the break...

April is Masters of the Universe Month 2021! This Year We Travel Back to 1983...

 


   April 28th is Masters of the Universe and since I've taken part in Masters of the Universe Day celebrations since 2013 you just know that big stuff is planned. So what exactly is Masters of the Universe Day? Are you in the dark about this holiday that ranks only behind Easter, Christmas, and Halloween for me? (Yeah, it's ahead of Thanksgiving.) The short version is that in 1987 Tom Bradley, the then mayor of Los Angeles, California declared April 28th to be "Masters of the Universe Day"  due to the live Masters of the Universe: Power Tour show coming to the city. While now it seems that every popular franchise has a holiday (Batman Day, May the 4th, Aliens Day, Mario day) Masters of the Universe is, to my knowledge, the first. Yeah, it's a goofy PR thing that fans jumped took and ran with but it's still pretty cool. 

   This year I've got some great stuff coming up including a collaboration with Matt from The Toy Box blending his artistic talents and my eBay addiction, lots of current Masters of the Universe reviews, and a look at the characters, creatures, and vehicles of the 1983 Masters of the Universe line. Last year I looked at all of the characters, vehicles, and playsets from the original 1982 series so this year I'm jumping forward to 1983 and looking at how those original toys have been reinterpreted over the years. It's going to be a lot of fun looking at different versions of those characters from the second year of the line.

To get you in the spirit check out some of these Masters of the Universe Day posts from previous years (some from my time with The Epic Review):

Five of My Favorite Masters of the Universe Related Memorie

Introducing a Non-Fan to Masters of the Universe, from a Non-Fan (written by my wife!)

Masters of the Universe Hidden Names Story 

The First Masters of the Universe Day Feast (this is now an annual tradition for us)

MOTU Day Review of the ReAction Scare Glow 

MOTU Day Review of Possessed Skeletor 

MOTU Memories Updated (2015)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March Magic! Orko #566 from POP! Television: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 


Today is the sixth and final installment of March Magic, a month-long celebration of all things Orko!
 
   Let's take a look at one final Orko collectible this month: Orko #566 from POP! Television by Funko! Released in 2017 this was part of the second era of Funko's Masters of the Universe releases and was heavily influenced by the Filmation animated series. Orko is very Filmation inspired here although he does have a detail that seems more inspired by the 200x series and Masters of the Universe Classics: His wand! The vintage Orko toy didn't have a wand and his wands in the Filmation series were pretty plain so the Four Horsemen designed a new wand for Orko in the 200x toyline that was reminiscent of ripcord from his vintage action figure. Funko likely based their design on Orko's appearance in MOTUC which gave Orko the 200x inspired wand as one of his accessories. Ready for a POP! vinyl review of a 1980s pop culture icon? Then join me after the break...
 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Toy Review: Masters of the Universe 5-pack from Hot Wheels Character Cars: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 


   Last year Mattel introduced the Masters of the Universe characters into the Hot Wheels Character Cars brand but I didn't find any until around mid-January. While I rarely gave these a second look when any other property got Character Cars Masters of the Universe always gets a pass from me and I was really excited by these. This set seems to be available through online retailers and it includes all five Character Cars from last year's line (Beast Man, He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, and Man-At-Arms) in one box. I only reviewed Teela and Man-At-Arms from their single packed releases so this is a nice chance to check out the other three in the set. Let's rev up our Road Rippers and check out these bizarre, oil leaking versions of our favorite Eternians after the break...

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Toy Review: Battle Mode Kobra Khan from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 

   When Funko listed the exclusives for the Funko Virtual Con Spring 2021 earlier this month I was able to order both of the Vinyl SODA figures available: Kobra Khan and Man-At-Arms. I had already ordered the Mantenna POP! vinyl through Walmart but I missed the Pez set (had to obtain that one elsewhere) but I was glad to get my hands on the Vinyl SODA releases as they're one of my current favorite toylines. They arrived in the mail last week and I was thrilled to discover when I opened Kobra Khan that I actually got the limited variant: Battle Mode Kobra Khan! Each of the Vinyl SODA releases has a chase variant and this is the first time I've pulled one from a can. How exciting! This is actually the first Vinyl SODA chase variant I've owned, too! Let's take a look at Battle Mode Kobra Khan and see if he's worth the hunt after the break...


Friday, March 26, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 3/26/2021: Defeating Voldemort, Tak, and Lubdan Edition

 


 Hey everyone!

   Wow, what a week! We've had a mixture of gorgeous weather and crazy storms, I did a little plumbing, and I'm starting to make plans to see friends in the next month or so since my wife and I get our Covid vaccines today. We're also still making out way through Phase III of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but, first up, we gotta talk about the premiere episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier...


   The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is off to a good start although the two heroes have yet to meet up in this show so far. Still, it's nice to spend more time with Sam and Bucky. Their appearances in the films have usually been during crisis and this show gives us a chance to get to know them as people, seeing the unique struggles each of them faces. Sam's dealing with family struggles, celebrity, the fallout of having disappeared during The Snap, and the weight of Cap's shield and legacy, while Bucky is dealing with guilt, forgiveness, probably some form of PTSD, and the struggle of being a man out of time with seemingly no purpose. At first I really thought that Bucky's friend was a now very elderly Jim Morita (one of the Howling Commandos) but it turns out that he is Mr. Nakasima, the father of a man killed by the Winter Soldier who is still grieving for his son. While the opening battle scene between the Falcon and some enemy forces is quite excellent the episode excels in smaller, uncomfortable scenes like Sam and his sister, Sarah, trying to get a loan from a local bank while all the bank officer can do is want selfies with the Falcon. The scenes of Bucky reluctantly meeting with his therapist and going on a date are just as engaging as the scenes of Torres infiltrating the eerily too familiar riots of the Flag Smashers. TFATWS is a more straight forward show than WandaVision but there are still plenty of questions to be answered going forward like who will ultimately become the new Captain America, who are the Flag Smashers and what is their end goal, what will the Avengers look like when the next major crisis hits, and who is that smug looking fake Captain America? Obviously they're going with a US Agent storyline here but it'll be interesting to see how this show tackles it. So far so good and I'm excited to watch episode 2 tonight!

More of Barbecue's Bonfire after the break...

Thursday, March 25, 2021

March Magic! Orko (Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe by Sideshow Collectibles

 

It's time for the fifth installment of March Magic, a monthlong celebration of all things Orko!


 While there has been no shortage of product since Mattel started heavily licensing out Masters of the Universe around 2013 most of it has relied on the designs of either the vintage toyline or the Filmation animated series. Sideshow's series of high end 1/5th scale Masters of the Universe statues presented collectors with some amazing new interpretations of some of Eternia's and Etheria's most beloved denizens, however, and that's why it's one of the most exciting MOTU endeavors of the past 5-10 years. Under Sidwshow, the line began in 2016 with He-Man and ended with Orko in very late 2018/ early 2019. That's not terribly long but fortunately Tweeterhead has picked the line back up and their first release in the same scale and style, Hordak, is shipping now. Of course we're here today to talk about Orko. Created for the Filmation cartoon series Orko had a very simple, animated appearance that clearly designated him as a Saturday morning comic relief sidekick. In the 2002 Masters of the Universe line Orko was redesigned and sculpted by the Four Horsemen to emphasize the character's role as a powerful mage. In most media Orko is depicted as being powerful but somewhat inept due to the magical laws of Eternia being different from his native Trolla. Sideshow's vision of Orko presents a character who still seems lovable but who also just exudes an aura of powerful magical ability. This is a spellcaster you'd surely want on your side, right? Sideshow released two versions of this statue: A standard release and an exclusive with an extra arm holding a magical text in his hand. We're looking at the exclusive version of Orko today after the break...

Action Figure Barbecue: Aerial Threat from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 


   Full disclosure: I'm just not a sports fan in any way. I never really have been, either. That being said, it shouldn't come as any surprise that I typically find sports figures pretty boring. I mean... why? Anyways, today I'm checking out the Fortnite: Legendary Series Aerial Threat figure from Jazwares. In a line filled with space skeletons, sentient bananas, and killer tomatoes, a plain old soccer player is pretty dull. Fortunately, Aerial Threat comes with a nice complement of weapons that convinced me to pick him up. Still, though; couldn't they have went with one of the female soccer skins? That would have least made the figure standout more since Jazwares doesn't seem to have any interest in putting the women in the line. Hopefully that's somethin Hasbro will do better when they take over the 6-inch Fortnite license in 2022. For now it's still Jazwares' party so let's check out their take on Aerial Threat after the break...

Monday, March 22, 2021

Action Figure Review: Skeletor on Throne #68 from POP! Retro Toys by Funko

 



   I'm pretty sure Funko has released more Skeletor POP! vinyls than they have He-Man POP! vinyls and the latest release is a pretty amazing one: Skeletor on Throne #68. Released as a "Funko Target-Con 2021" exclusive (which means scalper city), Skeletor on his throne is a deluxe release that features a regular sized Skeletor POP! sitting on a really cool version of his bone throne. I will give Target and Funko credit in that this guy has been available online quite a few times, so hopefully you'll be able to get your hands on one if you need this guy for your collection. And wow, do you need this guy for your collection. He's hands down one of my favorite POP! vinyl releases ever! Let's take a look at Skeletor on Throne #68 after the break...

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Vehicle Review: Land Shark from Hot Wheels Premium: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   While Hot Wheels has released Masters of the Universe themed cars off and on since the 1980s, it was only last year that they released a Hot Wheels MOTU vehicle based on an actual design from the vintage toyline. To follow up last year's Wind Raider this year we now have the Land Shark, AKA the best MOTU vehicle of all time. Seriously, I love the Land Shark and it's not received much attention in the years between it's 1985 release and 2021. This year we have both this Hot Wheels Land Shark and the MOTU Origins Land Shark! 2021 might be the Year of the Ox but on Eternia it's the year of the shark, baby! Let's check out this 1/64th scale Land Shark after the break....

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Action Figure Review: Trap Jaw from Masters of the Universe: Origins by Mattel

 

   Trap Jaw is part of the second series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and while some Walmart stores did get the series in last year it seems like most folks are finding him in 2021. Trap Jaw may not have originated in the the original series of 1982 Masters of the Universe figures but that doesn't seem to hurt his popularity as he's easily one of the most well-loved villains in the property. I have fond memories of getting Trap Jaw as a kid (I feel like I got him as a Christmas present) and I've always liked his unique design. The MOTU Origins Trap Jaw feels like kind of a mix between the vintage figure and the Filmation design, probably due to the brighter colors of the Origins line. Let's take a look at Trap Jaw and see if he's still a menacing master of evil!

March Magic! Orko from Pint Size Heroes: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 

It's time for the fourth installment of March Magic, a monthlong celebration of all things Orko!

   Funko has really put out a lot of Masters of the Universe product since they first got the license in 2013, but over the past 4 years  or so they've really been on a roll. Today I'm checking out Orko from Masters of the Universe Pint Size Heroes, a blind bagged series of Dorbz-like minifigures from 2018. In most of their MOTU lines, other than POP! vinyls, Funko doesn't go to far outside of the main MOTU characters who were key parts of the Filmation cast, so Orko made his way into most every line they produced. I remember finding lots of these little guys at places like Books-a-Million and FYE (FYE had three exclusive figures in their series) and trying to pick out the figures I was looking for. Later on it was far easier to just pick up most of the basic figures I was looking for secondhand, though the FYE figures definitely jumped up in price. When you need a little magic in your day this miniature Orko is a welcome pal! Let's check him out after the break...

Friday, March 19, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 3/19/2021: Four Marvels, a Puzzle, and a Pot of Gold Edition

 


   Welcome, welcome, welcome! It's Friday again and it's time for another installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! This week my family has finished Phase II of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and began our journey into Phase III. We also celebrated St. Patrick's day with a great dinner and some fantastic deserts. We've had some beautiful days this week and some really stormy ones, so there's been a nice mixture of getting outside and playing and sitting inside hunkered down on the couch. I'm super excited for the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier tonight so we'll definitely be picking up some pizza this evening and checking it out. Meanwhile, let me continue with my thoughts on the rest of the MCU films we've watched this week starting with Avengers: Age of Ultron.


   Last weekend we watched 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. When I saw this film originally I remember thinking it seemed a bit long in places with lots of dead weight. I've definitely seen it since then but watching it this time, in connection with the rest of the films, I liked it much better. It's quite good and while it's not as much fun as the first Avengers film it definitely moves the narrative forward, making for a logical step on the way to Civil War. Having Ultron be Tony's creation, resulting in a tool meant for good becoming a weapon of destruction, definitely adds some more nuance to the villain and makes Ultron one of the more memorable MCU villains. Since my wife and I our watching these with our daughter we've been splitting up some of the movies over two nights and I think this actually makes some of the longer films more enjoyable as you can focus on some of the stuff that seems extraneous on a regular viewing (Thor's visions, the time on the Barton family farm). I'm still impressed how the actors of the MCU embody their characters even when no one is wearing their costumes or in battle. The dialogue is perfect, giving everyone a chance to shine. 

Continue after the break for more of Barbecue's Bonfire!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Barbecue's Ramblings: How Might Hasbro's Fortnite: Victory Royale Series Differ from Jazwares' Fortnite: Legendary Series?

 


   Over the past month or so it has become clear that Hasbro has expanded their Fortnite licensing agreement with Epic Games and now they're moving on from just NERF blasters to actually releasing Fortnite action figures. The news first popped up on February 25th, 2021 though the preorder for a Fortnite branded Snake Eyes in late January (a repaint from the G.I. Joe: Classified Series) definitely caused a lot of speculation. Jazwares and McFarlane have both held the Fortnite action figure license with both companies beginning to release product in late 2018. While McFarlane's output has slowed tremendously Jazwares continues to put out a lot of product and it seems like they will continue to do so, but only releasing product under 6-inches starting in 2022. Now Hasbro has officially announced the Fortnite: Victory Royale Series presumably a 6-inch scaled Fortnite line. We'll know more details on March 26 but, for now, I'd like to take a few minutes and speculate how Hasbro's Fortnite: Victory Royale line might differ from Jazwares' Fortnite: Legendary Series line. 

   Since first appearing on store shelves during the summer of 2019 Jazwares' 6-inch scaled Fortnite: Legendary Series has become a collector favorite. Over forty figures have been released in the line within the past 2 years and fans have praised their unique sculpts, sharp paint applications, wacky designs, and plethora of weapons. Including backpacks, weapons, in-game accessories, and often interchangeable faceplaces with each figure, Jazwares' Legendary Series has definitely stood out from other 6-inch offerings in the action figure aisle in the accessory department, giving Jazwares a solid hit and helping them to gain some shelf space at most retailers. It's quite funny how common it is to hear action figure collectors stating that they collect the line despite never even having played Fortnite! Now that Hasbro is taking over the 6-inch range of Fortnite things are inevitably going to change. I've thought of a handful of positives and negatives to Hasbro taking over the 6-inch Fortnite license which I'll ramble on about after the break...

  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Action Figure Review: The Scientist from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 



   Unfortunately 2021 is the last year for Jazwares' Fortnite: Legendary Series as Hasbro takes over the 6 inch scaled Fortnite license in 2022. Jazwares will still be releasing the 1/18th scaled and 2-inch figures but the line I've been collecting is transitioning to Hasbro. It seems like we'll get to know a bit more at Hasbro's upcoming Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest on April 9th and I'm definitely excited. I like Hasbro's product although I do hate the idea that Jazwares has done an overall great job with the Fortnite 6-inch brand since 2019 and now that it's a proven success Hasbro has muscled in to take it over. I'm probably going to end up writing a Barbecue's Ramblings piece covering my thoughts on this, so for now I'll focus on The Scientist, who is actually a variant of The Visitor from an alternate timeline. The Scientist is part of the new Legendary Series Brawlers subset which consist of larger figures with more complex weaponry. They're about $5 bucks more, too, so I guess you'd consider them to be deluxe releases. I haven't seen Meowscles or Kit yet so this is the first of the Brawlers I've been able to get my hands on. Let's take a look at The Scientist after the break and see if bigger really is better...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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

 



   Whenever Battle Cat is released Panthor is sure to follow! Mattel released Battle Cat in Masters of the Universe Origins at the end of last summer and they've simply reused the mold to give us Panthor. That's how the vintage line and MOTUC did things, though, so it makes perfect sense to follow suit, especially given that MOTU Origins is such a nostalgia driven line. There's always been a lot of symmetry in MOTU and for the vintage second series of figures from 1983Mattel released heroic and evil counterparts for many figures. Besides releasing Zoar and Screeech (heroic and evil falcons) and Man-E-Faces and Tri-Klops (heroic and evil figures with three faces/eyes), Mattel also released Faker (evil He-Man), Evil-Lyn (an evil counterpart for Teela), and Panthor, the evil counterpart to Battle Cat. While the vintage Panthor was flocked to further set him part from Battle Cat Mattel has made the standard MOTU Origins Panthor unflocked with the flocked version coming as a Walmart exclusive. Ready to look at Skeletor's evil mount? Then join me after the break...

Monday, March 15, 2021

March Magic! Orko from Dorbz: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 



    It's time for the third installment of March Magic, a monthlong celebration of all things Orko!

    I've reviewed a few of the Masters of the Universe Dorbz figures in the past but I never got around to Orko so today I'm remedying that! Funko's Dorbz line started in 2015 and the last release was in June of 2019, so it seems that the line is effectively now dead. Orko was released in 2017 which was when the MOTU Dorbz figures first hit shelves. Orko is from the Specialty Series which meant you had to get hit from smaller retailers and e-tailers so he was a bit tougher to come by, but not much. Most of the Dorbz these days can be had for their original retail price or less so it's not terribly difficult to complete a set of these. I like the Dorbz style and Orko's a very charming figure in the line. He definitely reminds me of the Black Mages from the Final Fantasy games here, especially with his slightly spooky eyes. Let's take a look at another fun Orko collectible after the break...

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Collectible Review: He-Man from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

 

   I'm really enjoying the Masters of the Universe Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc. so today I'm going to look at another one: He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe! How could you have a Masters of the Universe set of Tiki mugs and not have He-Man present, right? I've already reviewed Mer-Man and Battle Cat last week and He-Man differs from them in that he actually has a paint application on his chest. I like the attention to detail but, at the same time, there's something about it that seems to rob the rest of the design of its power. What do you think? I've never owned a Tiki mug before (I don't know that I've ever even held a Tiki mug before) so I'd love to hear some feedback from others who might be Tiki mug aficionados about these. I'm just speaking as a MOTU fan and collector. Let's take a look at He-Man after the break...

Friday, March 12, 2021

Collectible Review: Mer-Man from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative, Inc.

 

   Earlier this week I checked out Battle Cat from the Masters of the Universe Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative, Inc. and today I'm checking out another mug from the set: Mer-Man! I really like these as they look fantastic on display and I'm going to flat out say that I think Mer-Man might be the best mug in the set. The color, the sculpt, and just the general idea of Mer-Man as a Tiki mug is just too perfect! Plus, you can use this to drink out of and when you gargle you'll sound like Mer-Man! Let's check this one out after the break...