Sunday, February 28, 2021

Action Figure Review: Prototype Armaments from Action Force by Valaverse


   A week or two ago Valaverse put up the Prototype Armaments set of 1/12th scale weaponry for their upcoming Action Force toyline. What's Action Force? I'm not terribly familiar with it (and only know of it in relation to G.I. Joe) but Action Force is essentially Europe's answer to G.I. Joe. In 1982 Palitoy began releasing 1/18th scaled military figures inspired by Action Man, just like Hasbro did with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Eventually Hasbro took over and the Action Force elements were merged into G.I. Joe. Over the years, particularly in a few 25th anniversary sets and G.I. Joe Collector's Club produced sets, Hasbro has added some of the Action Force characters and costumes into the G.I. Joe line. In 2019, however, the Action Force brand was purchased by Bobby Vala, a former Hasbro employee, and now the newly founded Valaverse is producing Action Force as a 1/12th scale toyline similar to the G.I. Joe Classified Series. Originally a Kickstarter project currently Action Force has comic books, art prints, and lots of figures available for preorder. As far as I'm aware this is the first actual toy product related to the line and I was quite curious to see the quality of these weapons. I'm happy to say that these are some excellent 1/12th scale firearms that are compatible with a variety of 6-7 inch scaled toylines. Let's take a look at these after the break and see what the Prototype Armaments set can do to equip your troops....

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Minifigure Review: Battle Ram from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx


   The Mega Construx Masters of the Universe line is off to a great start this year and quite possibly the best set so far is the Battle Ram. Not only do you get an excellent, brick built version of the classic MOTU vehicle but you also get two brand new minifigures with the set: Mekaneck and Tri-Klops! These are the classic versions of these characters as well and while they'll probably be re-released in someway down the line I imagine most fans will jump at the chance to own these guys as soon as possible. The Battle Ram continues to be a popular vehicle as it both looks cool and it was one of the original 1982 releases, so Mattel keeps cranking them out. Ready to tackle this excellent Mega Construx Battle Ram set? Then join me after the break...

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor from Masters of the Universe by NECA



  Today is the last installment of Ferociously Furry February, a month long tribute to Grizzlor, and I'm finishing the month up strong by checking out the NECA Grizzlor mini statue from 2006. I've talked about the history of this line before but it still fascinates and impresses me how NECA ad the Four Horsemen worked together to get these mini statues made. And yes, these really are mini statues rather than true action figures as they have no articulation. The popular fan word for these has been staction, a portmanteau of "Static" and "Action" referring to the fact that these are designed and accessorized to fit in with Mattel's 2002/ 200x toyline. When Mattel discontinued the line they had left out lots of important characters from the show as well as the Horde, most of the Snake Men, and some vintage characters who never made their way into the line. These are some of the most exciting MOTU products out there in my opinion as the Four Horsemen went all out with some clever redesigns of these beloved characters.  Grizzlor is one of my favorite stactions as the Four Horsemen really took the vintage toy and changed it up, making Grizzlor less of a wild animal and more of a terrifying hunter. I think he still captures everything I loved about the vintage toy but added a cunningness and intelligence to the character that made him a bit more chilling. Let's take a look at Grizzlor after the break...

Barbecue's Bonfire 2/26/2021: It was Agatha All Along Edition


   Hey everyone! Welcome to this week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire, a weekly chance for me to unpack all of the pop culture stuff I've consumed this week! This week is loaded with Marvel marvelousness!


 Tonight is Episode 8 of WandaVision and by gosh am I excited! Last week's episode was pretty good and while we all expected Agnes/ Agatha Harkness to reveal herself as being more significant than Wanda realized at some point, this episode definitely managed to reveal her as a big bad in the most charmingly fitting way possible. Is Agatha really the big bad or is Mephisto still behind things? I still think the true parentage of the twins is is tied to either Agatha or Mephisto's meddling and that their existence might be part of the cost for some nefarious assistance given to Wanda in order to create the Hex. The scenes of Vision and Darcy making their way to Wanda's aid were both poignant and hilarious while Wanda's explanations of the events of the show thus far make her predicament more tragic. Wanda really and truly has lost everyone in her life and it's hard to blame her for lashing out at those trying to take the reality she has created from her. Monica Rambeau is a real powerhouse and I'm curious as to who she'll ultimately have to confront to help make things right. If Wanda allies with her they'd be a powerful team. And Pietro? Is he really a Multiverse version of Quicksilver or is he someone else in disguise....

More Marvel madness after the break...

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Action Figure Review: She-Ra from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


 It's time for another review from the third series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and this time we're checking out She-Ra, the most powerful woman in the universe! I'm a huge She-Ra fan and I'm thrilled that Mattel continues to merge She-Ra into MOTU lines as they can, although I really hope they start releasing some of the other She-Ra cast members in Origins as well. She-Ra did make her way out to Walmart at the end of last year but this figure is the newer version with the "New for 21" logo at the top of the card. Same figure so far as I can tell, too. This version of She-Ra does differ a bit from the PowerCon exclusive She-Ra who was sold as a PowerCon 2020 exclusive but who just shipped out in January of this year, and I'll point those differences out in a few minutes. It's really cool to see She-Ra on a vintage inspired MOTU card ready to fight alongside of He-Man! Let's jump in and see how she stacks up against the rest of the Origins releases after the break...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Barbecue's Ramblings: 10 Members of the Vintage G.I. Joe Team Who Would be Awesome in G.I. Joe: The Classified Series


   Despite 2020 being a dumpster fire in so many respects there were actually some bright spots for popular culture in the year, one of those being Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Classified Series. It was easily one of the hottest lines of 2020 and, despite being a line I had no intention of collecting when I first heard about it, it's definitely become one of my favorites. For the most part the releases of the G.I. Joe team members in 2020 have been the usual crowd you'd expect: Duke, Scarlett, Roadblock, Gung-Ho, Beach Head, and Snake Eyes. Those characters were all part of the first two series for the 25th Anniversary line and they've appeared multiple times in movies and shows like G.I. Joe: Resolute. Hasbro returns to them quite often and the next Joe team members we know about, Flint and Lady Jaye, are also old standbys. Of course you know Stalker, Shipwreck, Spirit, and the rest of the main crew are inevitable, too. We're going to get through the main characters pretty quickly, so Hasbro will hopefully dive deeper into the ranks of the Joe team rather than release multiple variants and repaints. Who would make incredible figures in the Classified Series? These are my picks from the vintage line to bolster the ranks of the G.I. Joe team in the 6 inch scale....

1. Low-Light

  Originally released as part of the 1986 series of figures Low-Light has always been one of my favorites and would probably be my first choice for inclusion in the Classified Series. Clad in black and grey with a bevy of weapons, Low-Light just looks dangerous and he would make an incredible addition to the cutting edge/slightly futuristic feel of the Classified Series. The Pursuit of Cobra line gave us an incredible 1/18th scaled Low-Light but I think the Classified Series could do better. Imagine him with a modern sniper rifle with an array of scopes and gadgets and some extra silenced weaponry for when he needs to engage in some CQB to reach a target. This guy could be absolutely chilling!

More after the break...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Minifigure Review: He-Man & Jet Sled from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx


   Today I'm checking out the third and final of the new series of Mega Construx Masters of the Universe building sets that come packaged in a miniature Skeletor head and this time it's the He-Man & Jet Sled set. The Jet Sled is one of the smaller vehicles/ accessory packs that was released in the vintage line in 1986 both by itself and in a gift pack with a He-Man figure.While we've already had multiple He-Man figures in this line it is kind of cool that Mega Construx attempted to recreate that vintage 2-pack. I really think I had the Jet Sled as a kid (I know I had the Megalaser, too) but they were part of some of my MOTU collection I sold off in the mid-1990s to buy Star Wars stuff. Live and learn, right? Some day I'm going to have to do a post about what I sold off. I'm always thrilled by how much I kept but I'm still heartbroken about a few of the figures I sold off. Anyways, He-man. Jet Sled. Let's get soaring after the break...

Sunday, February 21, 2021

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


   It's time for another review from the third series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and today we're checking out Roboto. I was pretty excited for Roboto as while he's a very memorable figure from the vintage line he's one of those characters who usually only shows up once per toyline and doesn't often get made by licensees. In my review of Mer-Man last week I commented that Mer-Man (and the rest of series 3) were 2020 releases. As I thought about it, that's actually not quite true. MOTU Origins was exclusive to Walmart in 2020 and Walmart did get some of their allotments of series 3 without the "New for 2021" logo at the top while my order from BBTS and other releases have the "New for 2021" logo. So, yeah, this guy is technically a 2021 release but there is a 2020 release as well. As far as I know they're the same figure with a packaging variant. Anyways, just one of those things maybe worth recording for in the future if we're arguing what year these guys came out. So, Roboto huh? He's bright, he's robotic, and his Masters of the Universe Classics figure was problematic due cracks appearing in the translucent plastic of his torso and his reversed shoulders (one of the first known cases of the infamous reversed shoulders if I remember right). Did Mattel come back and knock this guy out of the park to make up for that past craziness? Eh, not really. This guy has some weird issues, too. Let's check him out after the break...

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor (Blue) from Keshi Surprise!: She-Ra: Princess of Power by Super7



  I reviewed the Red Keshi Surprise! Grizzlor earlier this month and today I'm reviewing the Blue version. Honestly, I grabbed a few of these guys because I realized I'd run out of Grizzlor stuff to show off and I wanted to have something scheduled at least every five days. Wouldn't it have been cool if Super7 has released sets of these minifigures molded in a color of plastic that was connected with the character? You know, Grizzlor in brown, Leech in Green, Beast Man in orange, and so on? That would have been a really nifty set for sure. We got what we got, though, so let's check out this version of Grizzlor who is either sad, cold, or looking to join the Blue Man Group after the break...

Friday, February 19, 2021

Action Figure Review: Drizzt & Guenhwyvar from Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms by Hasbro


   Fans of fantasy and swords and sorcery based action figures are currently living in a bit of a golden age. Besides the multiple Masters of the Universe lines out there you've got the Four Horsemen's Mythic Legions, Boss Fight Studios' Vitruvian Hacks, the various Conan figures from both Super7 and Mezco, and now Hasbro may be entering the fray with Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms. Hasbro has owned Wizards of the Coast since 1999 meaning they've had over 20 years to put out toys and action figures based on Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Finally Hasbro seems to be mining at one of these properties as a two-pack of Drizzt Do'Urden and Guenhwyvar has been released as a Hasbro Pulse exclusive. I'm a big Dungeons and Dragons fan and had an active group up until the pandemic his last year but I've never actually read any of the novels so I'm only familiar with Drizzt simply due to how popular he is. Like with last year's deluxe Snake Eyes from the G.I. Joe Classified Series Hasbro seems to be kicking things off here with a deluxe release that went up for preorder a few months ago to drum up excitement. Unlike with the G.I. Joe Classified Series, though, there hasn't been any concrete evidence yet that this set is anything more than a one off release. Will we get a full line of mages, monsters, and marauders from the world of D&D or is this a one off novelty for fans of the books? Maybe that will be answered in the weeks to come since Toy Fair 2021 isn't happening this year. For now, let's check out Drizzt & Guenhwyvar after the break... 

Barbecue's Bonfire 2/19/2021: Revenge on Melmac Edition


   What's up everyone? I hope that wherever you are you're staying safe and warm this week. Lots of icy cold craziness, right? In the Hollywood Foothills of North Carolina we've missed most of the ice storms with just some icy roads yesterday morning. It's been rainy, dreary, and there haven't been too many reasons to go outside this week although it's chilly but beautiful here today. But gosh, look at me prattling on about the weather. You want to hear about the nerdy stuff I've been involved with this week, right? Let's start by talking about WandaVision episodes 5 and 6!

  You better believe we'll be watching WandaVision episode 7 tonight as not only are my wife and I nuts about the show but my 7 year old is really into it, too. The show just keeps getting better and better with 1980s and 1990s inspired episodes of the last few weeks. Lots of cool throwbacks to classic looks (yeah, Vision and Quicksilver looked silly but I don't think anyone would complain if Scarlet Witch continued to use that outfit for future MCU endeavors) and the oddness and sinisterness of the situation continues to grow. Evan Peters as a "recast" Pietro Maximoff, hinting at a connection to the Fox X-Men universe? Wanda controlling the dimensions of the Hex as will? What's going to happen to Darcy? Who is Monica Rambeau's guy who is going to get her into the Hex (I have friends convinced it's Reed Richards)? How is Vision still alive, or is he? This evening can't come fast enough! At this point I'd easily list WandaVision as one of the top 5 MCU things ever and I hope they manage to stick the landing over the next two episodes. I don't know what's going to happen in this episode but I'd love Ron Howard to be the narrator for a 2000s themed episode.

More after the break...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel


   One of my favorite things about the Masters of the Universe theme months is that I get the opportunity to go back and revisit some of the Masters of the Universe Classics toys that I never got the chance to review! I didn't start regularly reviewing toys until early 2013 back when I started reviewing on The Epic Review (all of those reviews have since migrated over here to Action Figure Barbecue) which was already about 5 years in to Masters of the Universe Classics, so I never got the chance to do a full review of Grizzlor. Grizzlor was released in November 2010 as the monthly subscription figure and he was a pretty popular figure. Besides being a an excellent figure of one of the most popular members of the Evil Horde, the MOTUC Grizzlor also has a claim to fame as a figure who was shown with an alternate 200x inspired faceplate in an issue of Toy Fare magazine that the figure didn't end up coming with. The details are covered in this review of the 2015 Heads of Eternia pack which included the missing head, so check that out for the full scoop. For now, let's leap into this review of the Masters of the Universe Classics Grizzlor for Ferociously Furry february...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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


   I haven't found any of the Masters of the Universe Origins series 2 figures yet (Scare Glow, Man-E-Faces, Trap Jaw, or Orko) but my order of series 3 figures did arrive last week from Big Bad Toy Store, so get ready for some new MOTU Origins reviews! Today I'm checking out the fiendishly fishy warlord of Eternia's oceans: Mer-Man! Mer-Man was one of the original eight Masters of the Universe figures from 1982 and he's long been a perennial favorite who's been in every MOTU line except for He-Man 1989/ New Adventures. I'm not labeling this figure as one of last year's reviews but this guy did sneak his way out at the end of 2020, along with the rest of series 3 and series 2. was released at Walmart at the end of 2020 but this version is on the card with the label "New for 2021" in the top left corner, so he's a repacked release that's technically new for this year. Now that the MOTU Origins figures are no longer exclusive to Walmart they're getting easier to find. Let's dive in and take a look at Mer-Man after the break...

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Action Figure Review: Lord Draguul from Mythic Legions by Four Horsemen Studios


   I really like the Four Horsemen's Mythic Legions line but I only pick up the Masters of the Universe inspired figures from and it's another one of those awesome homage figures that I'm checking out today. This time it's Lord Draguul, an ancient vampiric warrior who clearly is based on Hordak. Like Dorina Onoris (who is based on She-Ra), Lord Draguul was released in very limited numbers last year as a pre-release exclusive but the actual shipment of the figures just arrived a couple of weeks ago so I'm counting this as a 2021 release. The Four Horsemen have a long history with the Masters of the Universe brand so it just makes sense that they would continue to pay tribute to it through Mythic Legions. The Mythic Legions line honestly feels a lot like MOTU as it's based on characters with shared parts differentiated by unique color schemes and their allegiance to various factions. Being a fantasy based line in scale with Masters of the Universe Classics, AKA the greatest toyline of all time, the similarities are right in your face. Still, the Mythic Legions line feels a bit more high fantasy than MOTU's Barbarian/ sci-fi/ fantasy feel, so it does have it's own distinctive flavor. Let's take a look at Lord Draguul, an evil creature that seems to blend a MOTU character into the Mythic Legions world, after the break...

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 2/4/2021: Belated Valentine's Day Edition



   What's up everyone? I'm totally late this week because me and my dad were working on some renovations to one of the bathrooms at my house this weekend, so things were just busy. We're redoing my wife and I's bathroom and we did a lot of scraping and sanding all day Friday that left me incredibly sore. Way more work than I thought! Anyways, what's been going on this week? Glad you asked!


   My daughter asked my wife's family for Lego shop gift cards and money towards the "Hogwarts fund" for Christmas and also sold off a few of her older toys, sold some Christmas decorations she made, and used some money she had been saving to purchase the massive Lego Hogwarts Castle 71043. This is in a micro scale so the microfigures are more the size of Micro Machines figures (they're the little pieces used as trophies and such on regular Lego sets). This beast has 6,020 pieces and we just finished it this week (we started it in early January). 37 backs of pieces, too! We may do a full review at some point.

More stuff after the break...

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Missing in Action: Toylines That Didn't Make the Cut in 2020



 Since 2015 I've supplemented the lists of My 10 Favorite Toylines and 10 Favorite Individual Toys with a list called Missing in Action, a list where I look back at the previous year's Top 10 Toylines list and determine why some of the lines from that year failed to return for the current year's list.  2020's top 10 list only had four toylines returning from the 2019 list, which means quite a few lines went missing in action!  I find it interesting to look at the lines that failed to show up again, attempting to diagnose why they went missing. There are a few reasons why a toyline makes this list:

Missing in Action: This is a toyline that gets cancelled, ends, or just didn't have any releases during the year. It happens a lot, unfortunately.

Demoted: Sometimes a toyline just gets outdone by others. This isn't specifically related to the quality of the demoted line and more reflective of the quality of the lines that supplanted it or of my interest in other things.

Drop in Quality: This is when a toyline has a severe drop in quality that causes it to fall from grace. While most toylines get better as they go, some do indeed get worse and worse due to cost cutting, mismanagement, and quality control issues.

Let's jump in and check out who went missing in action in 2020 after the break...


DC Primal Age by Funko- Missing in Action!

   While Funko's POP! series has been going for nearly a decade now they can't keep an action figure line running for more than a series or two to save their lives and DC Primal Age was another victim of Funko's ineptness in this area. DC Primal Age had a disastrous launch as an Amazon exclusive QC control disaster in late 2018 but early 2019 saw an improved run of the first series and an excellent second series. This line should have had some serious legs but it disappeared. Were folks turned off by the early problems, was there really no interest in these MOTU inspired DC figures, or were many of the rumors involving licensing issues to blame? Who knows but the line is a gem that sadly feels like it never reached its full potential. 

Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection by NECA- Missing in Action/ Demoted!

   This was never going to be an expansive line unless they brought in Hellboy, Blade, or Pacific Rim (which was doubtful), so it wasn't much of a surprise that NECA's only release for this line in 2020 was an Old Faun retool of the Faun figure released in 2019. I really was hoping they'd pull out a few more cool character designs like the Toad from Pan's Labyrinth, a Crimson Peak ghost or two, and maybe something from Cronos or Mimic. I didn't have much interest in the subtle retool of the Faun so this one was mostly just flat out Missing in Action.

Halloween by NECA- Demoted!

   In 2019 NECA released some killer Halloween figures but they kind of slowed things down in 2020. With Halloween Kills delayed until this year it's likely that NECA held off on some releases for 2020. The Silver Shamrock Trick-or-Treaters were great, though, and did make my Best of the Rest list but nothing else really stood out to me as I don't really care for the Mego styled figures. Halloween is going to be a tricky license due to the weird rights issues with different films and the fact that Michael Myers just doesn't vary in appearance much like Freddy and Jason but I'm really hoping for a few solid releases each year.

Masters of the Universe by Super7- Missing in Action!

Having lost the MOTU license at the end of 2019 (the only things released last year were stuff they had done preorders for previously) Super7's Filmation inspired neo-vintage Masters of the Universe line is over, replaced by Mattel's own Masters of the Universe Origins. I'm enjoying Origins but I don't find them as exciting yet as I found Super7's releases that almost seamlessly fit into the vintage MOTU line.

Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx- Demoted!

   It feels kind of weird to say this line was demoted in 2020 but there were just too many other lines I liked more. Plus, there weren't as many exciting releases as in 2019. Almost everything released in the Mega Construx line was really good, though they do tend to release the same characters a bit too often. They're off to a strong start for 2021 and I really expect them to make my Top 10 Toylines of 2021 list if they continue at the pace they're going this year. They had a really impressive showing at the virtual panel for PowerCon 2020 and it seems like the line is in the hands of a great team who loves MOTU. The Panthor at Point Dread set did make my Best of the Rest list for 2020 if it's any consolation.  

Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro- Missing in Action!

   This one hurts as Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates was one of my favorite lines of 2019. It was probably in my top 3. The line was excellent and did a great job of translating Blizzard's wonderful character designs into amazing action figures. What the heck happened, though? The line just kind of disappeared, listings for future releases were quietly cancelled, and Hasbro ceased to acknowledge it. What was to blame? Possibly culprits are the the slightly smaller scale, too many paint variants, Hasbro holding back on popular characters to try to stretch out the line, troubles with Blizzard's PR in 2019, Blizzard being difficult to work, or just a general lack of interest in the brand by most consumers. It's a shame as this was shaping up to be an amazing toyline. The figures are still fantastic but having so many missing well known characters from the line up just makes you dwell on what might have been. 

There were quite a few lines Missing in Action this year, 3 or 4 of which are probably completely done with no hope of returning. What toylines went Missing in Action for you this year? What toylines that you once loved lost your attention? Any new interests that excited you this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Best of the Rest: My 10 Favorite Indivudal Toys of 2020


 While the list of my 10 favorite toylines from the past year is always the main event, I do like to recognize that not every great toy is part of a larger toyline or a toyline that I fully collected. It seems kind of unfair to never acknowledge figures from smaller or one off lines. Heck, sometimes I purchased a spectacular action figure from a line that I had no intention of buying anything else from. What to do? That's where the list of my Top 10 Favorite Individual Toys for the year comes in. Who is eligible? Most any toy released in 2020. Who isn't eligible? Any toy from a line I picked in my 10 Favorite Toylines of 2020 list. Remember that these are listed alphabetically, not in order of merit. 2020 was interesting in that there were some good releases but as I've narrowed my collecting habits (narrowed being used fairly loosely, you might feel) I tend to buy less random, one off stuff. Let's see what made the best of the rest after the break...


   There weren't any other Toony Terrors released in 2020 that appealed to me but I'm always down for Ash. I love the Evil Dead series and this was a really fun, stylized version of one of the greatest heroes the world has ever know. The cartoonish expression on Ash's face does an excellent job of capturing Bruce Campbell's likeness as if imagined in a Saturday morning cartoon. "Armed" with his chainsaw and his boomstick, this Ash is ready to make some deadites pay. Hail to the king, baby!

Casey Jones & Raphael (In Disguise) from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by NECA

   NECA's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line very nearly made the list of my top 10 favorite lines of 2020 but it was pretty tough to find and I kind of picked and chose with the line. This has been a dream toy for me and I'm thrilled to have both Raph in the trench coat and Casey Jones. This set is pretty good, though it's a bit disappointing to not be able to have an unmasked Casey. Still, this set is loaded with awesomeness and lots of cool accessories for these two to fight the Foot and each other!

Conan the Barbarian by Super7

   Super7's comic inspired Conan the Barbarian figure was mighty impressive. Built on a Masters of the Universe Classics styled body and loaded with some deadly weapons (including a second set of bloody weapons) this guy was a ton of fun. He's one of the nicest figures Super7 has put out with a very solid feel, excellent paint work, and two expressive headsculpts. I know Super7 is currently releasing figures from the Conan films but I hope they get back to doing more comic inspired figures as I really like the look of these.

Kronnaw from Mythic Legions by Four Horsemen Studios

   The only Mythic Legions figures I pick up are the Masters of the Universe homage figures and Kronnaw was my favorite of last year. A clear tribute to Trap Jaw, this guy really stood out and was a darn fine figure. He's got some great accessories, solid articulation, and a pretty cool color scheme that just won me over.

   This pack of five minifigures based on the legends and lore of the state of Oklahoma turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the year. These are incredible minifigures! My wife got these for me for Christmas and I was absolutely delighted by them. Featuring Bass Reeves, Will Rogers, Wiley Post, Buck Atom, and the Golden Driller, this set is a really cool item for fans of minifigures, the West, and Americana in general. The quality of these minis is amazing, too.

Panthor at Point Dread from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx

The MOTU Mega Construx line didn't make my 10 best lines for 2020 but Panthor at Point Dread was a killer set. It came with Point Dread and the Talon Fighter, Panthor, and three minifigures, including an amazing Zodac. The Mega Construx line is doing the MOTU brand justice and I'm always curious to see what they have planned next. From what I've seen so far in 2021 they very well may make the 10 Best Toylines of the year if they keep things up.

Prince Adam & Sky Sled from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

   You might be surprised that MOTU Origins didn't make my Top 10 Toylines of 2020 list but, thus far, the line hasn't really released anything that made it seem like more than a novelty to me. Well, other than this set. I like Prince Adam but this is an amazing Sky Sled with some incredible features. Seriously, this could have been an amazing MOTUC release even. With the newer MOTU Origins releases I suspect this line might make my 2021 list as there's quite a bit more variety.


Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates by Super7

   Super7's TMNT Ultimates could have become the next massively expansive line I started collecting but being that I'm really, really trying to focus the bulk of my collecting on Masters of the Universe and Star Wars: The Black Series, I ended up selling off the figures I bought from series 1. Well, all except for Raphael, who has always been my favorite turtle. He's an awesome figure and he's loaded to the gills (not that turtles have gills) with cool weapons. This line is going to be exciting to watch but I'm planning to admire from afar.

Silver Shamrock Trick-or-Treaters from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch by NECA

   I love Halloween 3 and this set of the trick-or-treaters is something I never thought I'd own. It's an incredible 3-pack with lots of accessories and lots of potential for creepy displays. Most companies don't stray behind Michael Myers for Halloween stuff so it was cool to see NECA go completely outside the box. These are those weird, Mego inspired figures NECA does but they work really well in this set. 

Toxie from Toxic Crusaders Ultimates by Super7


   Super7 makes this list for the third time with another one of their Ultimates! This time it's Toxie from the Toxic Crusaders. I loved these guys as a kid and I'm hoping Super7 releases a few more because Toxie is amazing. Seriously, he's one of the best figures of the year. He's loaded with accessories, two portraits, his lil' buddy Blobbie, and he has some excellent sculpting! This guy really impressed me for sure. There's a glow in the dark variant as well, so some of you glow in the dark fiends may want to track that one down. 

What do you think? What were some of your favorite toys that weren't necessarily part of a larger toyline or from a toyline you didn't collect anything else from in 2020? Did I miss anything you thought deserved to be on the list? Talk about it in the comments below!

Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor (Red) from Keshi Surprise!: She-Ra: Princess of Power by Super7


   For today's installment of Ferociously Furry February, a month long tribute to Grizzlor, I'm checking out one of the Keshi Surprise! minifigures from Super7. Super7 had the actual M.U.S.C.L.E. license for a couple years but at some point it seems they either lost it or just stopped using it and so they began to sell the figures in little blind boxes under the Keshi Surprise! brand. I wasn't very happy with this decision back in the day as it's pretty frustrating to go from buying full sets of figures in specific packs to having to deal with online blind boxes at a higher price point. I've picked up a figure or two here and there, though, always on the aftermarket, and today I'm looking at the red Grizzlor figure from the She-Ra: Princess of Power series. I reviewed all of the sculpts from this series when I reviewed the PowerCon 2019 exclusive trash can set but this little guy is from one of the blind boxed Keshi Surprise! releases. Let's check out Grizzlor after the break...

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Minifigure Review: Trap Jaw & Laser Cannon from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx


   Last week I reviewed one of the new Mega Construx building sets that come packaged in a case shaped like Skeletor's head and today I'm checking out the next one: Trap Jaw & Laser Cannon! This is the first time we've received Trap Jaw in the Masters of the Universe Mega Construx line although this isn't his standard look. Instead, Mega Construx released him in his green skinned look from his appearance in the vintage minicomics. He comes packaged along with an improved version of the turret from Castle Grayskull, which is kind of cool. You could really place it anywhere. I'm liking these little sets, so let's jump in and check this one out after the break...

Monday, February 8, 2021

Action Figure Review: Cobra Viper from G.I. Joe Classified Series by Hasbro


   Yes, friends and neighbors, I do have a Cobra Viper from the G.I. Joe Classified Series. This guy is a Target exclusive and from all accounts he's an absolute pain to find. The Target exclusive Cobra Island subset has been one of the worst exclusive sets to finds that I can recall in years which is a shame for a line that's been so well done and so popular. The Cobra Viper has always been my favorite Cobra army builder, followed by the Alley Viper and the Night Viper. While the original file cards portrayed the Vipers as the grunts and the bottom of the Cobra food chain, visually they never seemed that way to me. They always seemed like Cobra special forces (the Crimson Guard seemed to me to be more ceremonial and designed for intelligence and espionage). The Viper's weapon was highly sophisticated and they seemed to be packing a decent amount of armor and gear for a trooper designated as simple cannon fodder. This guy further makes me think of the Vipers as all around Cobra special forces as he seems ready to spend some serious time behind enemy lines. Let's take a look at the G.I. Joe Classified Series take on the Cobra Viper after the break...

Sunday, February 7, 2021

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


   Remember a few weeks ago when I reviewed the flocked version of Funko's POP! Rides Skeletor on Panthor #98? Well today I'm going to take a quick look at the standard version. Yeah, this is the exact same figure as the last release, just without the flocking on Panthor. I'm really just showing off some pictures here. I wanted both figures but I don't think the standard version really warrants a full review, do you? For all the details check out the flocked version but for pictures of the painted Panthor check things out after the break...

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Action Figure Review: Moff Gideon from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro



   Moff Gideon is the last release from the most recent series of Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV figures I'm getting around to reviewing and he might be the best of the bunch! He is technically a 2020 release as that series trickled out at the end of last year, but my guess is that most of you didn't see this guy until recently. Moff Gideon is a fantastic villain in The Mandalorian and while he has been defeated as the end of season 2, I can't imagine we've seen the last of him. He's certainly one of the most stylish Imperials we've ever seen! Hasbro did an amazing job with this guy and he's one of the many reason why Star Wars: The Black Series made the list of My Top 10 Toylines of 2020. Let's check out Moff Gideon after the break...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor from Masters of the Universe by Mattel



   Welcome to the first review of Ferociously Furry February, a month-long special review series paying homage to one of the greatest Masters of the Universe characters of them all: Grizzlor! Grizzlor was released as part of the fourth series of vintage MOTU figures in 1985 and was part of the initial members of the Evil Horde. In the vintage MOTU toyline the Evil Horde was presented as a group ruled by Hordak who are out to destroy Eternia. They were an evil faction pitted against both the Heroic Warriors and the Evil Warriors and Grizzlor was kind of their berserker. Billed as the "Hairy Henchman of the Evil Horde" and "The Ferocious Figure with Fur" Grizzlor was a wild creature who seemed more intimidating than most of Skeletor's cronies. This is my original childhood Grizzlor and I'm darn proud of how great he still looks after all of these years! Let's take a look at one of the most unusual Masters of the Universe figures produced in the vintage toyline after the break...

Barbecue's Bonfire 2/4/2021: Watch, Rewatch, Read, Reread Edition


Welcome to this week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! I was pretty busy this week it seems. I watched quite a few movies, played quite a few games, and finished a few books. Before I get into my thoughts on a myriad of subjects, I do want to point out that I just released the annual list of My Top 10 Toylines of 2020. I always have a great deal of fun with it and I'm curious as to what all of you regulars think. Comment on it! I'm curious to hear your opinions, too. What should we talk about first this week? Let's stick with my title theme and go with a watch.


   I don't want to spoil too much about WandaVision episode 4 so if you haven't watched it yet just skip on ahead. OK, that being said this week's episode was interesting with Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis acting as surrogates for the audience as they're trying to figure out what's going on. Kat Dennings is the only reason to watch Thor: The Dark World in my opinion and I'm glad to see her back in this. I liked the way this episode took the three very unique episodes we've gotten so far and connected them to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and to specific other Marvel characters and films. I'm definitely enjoying this show as much or more than any other Marvel show I've watched (Daredevil is the only other one that would come close for me) and I'm liking it better than quite a few of the films, too. I'm excited to see it jump back in to a few decade specific "episode" episodes before we get back into the larger story. There's a terrific pacing here and I hope it's adding up to something big.

More watches, rewatches, reads, and rereads after the break...

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Minifigure Review: Fisto & Cliff Climber from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx



The Masters of the Universe Mega Construx range is off to a strong start in 2021 as they've already released the Skeletor & Panthor set, the Battle Ram is shipping out now, and the three character and accessory sets packaged in Skeletor heads are showing up on store shelves. Yes, the most recent subset of Mega Construx MOTU characters consists of three figure and accessory packs which come packaged in small plastic Skeletor heads. They're quit neat and definitely will catch your eye on the shelf. The first set I found is the Fisto & Cliff Climber set, which I'm reviewing today. Fisto was already released last fall in a single pack but this one's a bit different and is intended to work alongside the Cliff Climber. Remember the Cliff Climber? Released in 1987, near the very end of the vintage Masters of the Universe line, the Cliff Climber was a motorized accessory that allowed you to outfit a MOTU figure for battle in the mountains. It's not an easy set to find, especially complete, so it's kind of cool to see Mega Construx paying homage to it. Let's take a look at the Fisto & Cliff Climber set after the break and see if this one is worth picking up...

My Top 10 Toylines of 2020


   2020 is in the rearview mirror now and today I start my look back at the best parts of what has been universally been regarded as a "dog turd placed in a brown paper bag and lit on fire on your front porch with caltrops hidden inside so that when you step on it your feet bleed" of a year. In some respects, however, particularly when it came to action figures, 2020 wasn't too bad. In fact, it was pretty good, really. Creating my "Top 10" lists is always one of my favorite things to do at Action Figure Barbecue and I always spend a great deal of time going over my notes from the previous year of what toylines were the coolest and most fun to collect. This is now the ninth year in a row I've created a list (the earliest ones were posted at The Epic Review) and it's always interesting too see how my lists fluctuate from year to year, reflecting my changing interests. This year the list wasn't as hard to narrow down to ten candidates as in past years but it still did take a little thought. I've made some changes to my collecting habits over the past couple of years with most of my collecting focusing on Masters of the Universe and Star Wars: The Black Series but there are some other fun lines like the Fortnite: Legendary Series and the G.I. Joe Classified Series that also captured my attention. With Masters of the Universe being my main collecting focus, I definitely a great deal of my collectible funds there, sometimes buying pricier items and vintage pieces, so I tend to jump into fewer random lines than I have in years past. I passed up a lot of lines that interested me this year as well, including McFarlane's DC Multiverse, Marvel Legends, lots of ReAction stuff, NECA's Back to the Future, and Super7's TMNT Ultimates, simply because of space, money, and enjoying my more focused collection. 

    A few years back I divided my Top 10 list into two separate categories: My Top 10 Toylines and My Top 10 Individual Releases. Today I'm starting with my top 10 Toylines as it's my standard best of list. These are the 10 toylines (action figures, statues, minifigures, etc.) of the past year that I most enjoyed collecting. They may not always be the best or the most expansive lines, but they're my favorites for one reason or another. As I reiterate every year, the two key word for this list are "my" and "favorite." My list isn't really based on a toyline's true merits and I don't typically go outside of what interests me. This is really a snapshot of the ten toylines I had the most fun collecting last year. As always, these are listed alphabetically rather than by merit. And now, for My Top 10 Toylines of 2020...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Toy Review: GameStop Masters of the Universe Box from Funko Boxes by Funko


  I don't think GameStop's recent surge in stock pricing has anything to do with getting back at short sellers or a group of Reddit users or even their new management hires. If you ask me, it's because GameStop has been carrying lots of Masters of the Universe product! 😉

   Last year when Funko really seemed to show interest in ramping up their efforts with the MOTU license GameStop listed a Masters of the Universe box for pre-order. I'd had mine on pre-order for the better part of a year it seemed but a couple of weeks ago I got a call from my local GameStop that my box was in. This one wasn't a mystery box as Funko and GameStop were pretty transparent about what was in it but, if you saw this in the store, you wouldn't know what you were getting. I'm not often a fan of mystery boxes like this and while I did like the Smuggler's Bounty boxes when they were  subscription service I don't pick up many. Considering that Masters of the Universe is my main collecting focus, however, and I love almost anything MOTU, this was a safe bet. The box has four items in it and as far as I'm aware they're all exclusive to this set. Featuring four of the most popular MOTU characters, He-Man, Orko, Evil-Lyn, and Scareglow, there's defnitely a lot of appeal here. Let's take a look at the GameStop Masters of the Universe Box after the break...

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Minifigure Review: Skeletor & Panthor from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx


   The Mega Construx Masters of the Universe line has really delivered far more product than I ever thought it would and it looks like 2021 is going to be a big year for it. 2020 had a few good releases, too, but 2021 feels like it could be the biggest year yet. It's starting off small, however, with this small set featuring Skeletor and Panthor. This is by no means the first Skeletor in the line (there have been multiple Skeletors) nor is it the first Panthor as he came with last year's Panthor at Point Dread set. What's the selling point of this set? For one reason, it seems like a more vintage toy accurate Skeletor is included here. For another, Panthor is flocked. Yes, flocked. Just like the vintage toy! Flocking Panthor is apparently a go to variant for companies putting out MOTU product currently and Mega Construx has now done it, too. Ready for a look at Skeletor and his malevolent feline? Then let's check these two out after the break...

Monday, February 1, 2021

February 2021 is Ferociously Furry February at Action Figure Barbecue


February 2021 is Ferociously Furry February at Action Figure Barbecue!

   I've always loved Grizzlor and I still have my childhood Grizzlor from the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline who will absolutely be getting reviewed this month. I haven't done a MOTU theme month since Trap Jaw-ly last July and I've been wanting to start the monthly celebration of a particular MOTU character or theme back. Funko released two different Grizzlor POP! vinyls last month as well, so that put Grizzlor at the front of my mind. The vintage figure had a little blurb on the front of the package that said "The Ferocious Figure with Fur" which I've always liked, so that's where the month's name come from. Ready to roll with the wild man of the Evil Horde? Then check out these previous Grizzlor reviews and prepare yourself for a month long tribute to Grizzlor!

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Super7 (2018)
Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (2008) 
Heads of Eternia  
Masters of the Universe: ReAction by Super7 (2015)
Grizzlor (Dark Variant)
Grizzlor (Toy Variant)
M.U.S.C.L.E. Masters of the Universe by Super7 (2015)
Trash Can Wave 4 (Slime)