Monday, May 31, 2021

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


   I just reviewed the deluxe Masters of the Universe Origins Clamp Champ a day or two ago so how about now I get around to reviewing Ram Man? I love Ram Man. He's one of my favorite MOTU characters and one of my favorite vintage figures. Some people aren't too thrilled by the vintage Ram Man figure since he was built so differently from the other figures in the line but I've always liked him. I never owned Ram Man as a kid but now I have three vintage Ram Mans (Ram Men?) and I always keep one of them on my desk at work. The MOTU Origins Ram Man differs from the rest of the figures in the line, too. He really does feel fairly deluxe and Mattel gave him some very cool accessories. Ready for a look at Ram Man? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, May 29, 2021

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

   I still haven't managed to acquire the Masters of the Universe Origins deluxe Battle Armor He-Man and Battle Armor Skeletor but I did get Clamp Champ and Ram Man from the second series of deluxe figures. I was pretty excited for both of these releases and I'm starting with Clamp Champ because, sadly, I had the vintage Clamp Champ as a child but sold him at some point when I was getting into Star Wars: POTF2 and was selling off many of my other old toys. I remember picking him out when I was pretty young from a department store and loving him, especially his claw weapon. The vintage Clamp Champ has become a rather expensive figure these days and I now have every other Clamp Champ released except the vintage one. Someday. I'm super happy to have this one, though, as he definitely hits most of the same beats as the vintage figure. He's also quite nicely accessorized. The deluxe figures come on a larger card with alternate portraits and more weapons which is pretty cool. Let's check out Clamp Champ after the break and see if he's still as "gripping" as the vintage toy...

Friday, May 28, 2021

Action Figure Review: M.O.D.O.K. from Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro


   Many of you regular readers know that I've collected Marvel Legends on and off for years (my first Legends review was back in 2013 but my first purchase of one was the original Toy Biz Marvel Legends Series IV Punisher) but lately I've been really impressed with them and keeping up with many of the current releases. I've long been known as a DC guy and honestly hadn't read many actual Marvel comics until this year but lately I've been reading a lot of the classic stuff and loving it. As a kid I went back and forth between being nuts about Marvel and Toy Biz's releases, especially X-Men and the Iron Man lines, and being nuts about Batman and whatever Kenner was putting out at the time. I distinctly remember one time in 1995 when I was dead set on obtaining Modok and War Machine from the Toy Biz Iron Man: The Animated Series line and I ended up getting both at Target while on a shopping trip with my mom. I still have that M.O.D.O.K.! He's just so strange and wonderful! I'm not a huge fan of the character necessarily but I love his wonderful design that's filled with the magic of the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby era. Toy Biz made M.O.D.O.K. a build-a-figure in 2006 for the original Marvel Legends line so it's definitely time for an upgrade. Rather than go with a build-a-figure this time around Hasbro opted to make him a deluxe release. I'm not going to complain about that as it made him easy to pick up in one swoop. Let's take a look at Hasbro's M.O.D.O.K. after the break...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Action Figure Review: Boba Fett from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro


   It's been over 3 months since I last reviewed a Star Wars: The Black Series figure! There is a new series of standard figures out now but I haven't found any of them yet. I have, however, found the new deluxe release of Boba Fett based on his Return of the Jedi appearance. The original Boba Fett figure in the Black Series was released in 2013 so it's nice to finally get an update even if this is a fairly different outfit. Jar Jar Binks was released at the end of last year as a deluxe figure and he seemed a bit light for a deluxe release even though he was fairly tall and packed with some larger accessories. Why does Boba Fett warrant a deluxe release rather than being packaged in a standard box? Good question. My guess is that it has to do with him having more paint applications and a fairly nice complement of accessories though you may disagree. Let's take a look at this new version of Boba Fett after the break and see if he's worth hunting down...

The Facts:

Height: 6 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, swivel/ hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck, and a barbell jointed head.
Accessories: Blaster rifle, 2 piece "sliced" blaster rifle, jet pack, rocket, two engine effects, flamethrower effect, and dart cord. 

Non-Scalper Price: $30 dollars


* The new deluxe Boba Fett is on the left while the Phase I Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back is on the right. These are two completely different figures and they don't share any parts at all. Besides the colors these figures are built quite differently with the new figure being rather complex with lots of additional pieces attached to the sculpt.

The Positives:

* Boba Fett has a very complex outfit with lots of painted details and damage. For a mass market action figure he's pretty impressive looking, especially on the armored pieces. Lots of his parts are separate pieces (the belt, knee pads, and shoulder pads) and his torso even seems to be a slightly flexible piece overlaid on top of a slimmer, blank torso. He looks incredible and seems pretty screen accurate to the films.


* The helmet looks like a great sculpt and has some excellent paint work. Seriously, it's superb and looks more like metal than plastic.


* Boba Fett also has a functioning range finder. Well, functional in the sense that it can pivot down over his visor and not in the sense that it can actually truly aid the figure in targeting fools during  combat.




* Boba Fett's got a lot going on below the belt, too. You know, with his gear and gadgets on his knees. Besides spiked boots and pockets full of tools and gadgets for slicing into security systems, working on his jet pack, and good old CQB he's also got his knee pads with built in dart launchers. The knee pads are separate pieces attached to the knees and they look fantastic. Everything has a paint hit except for the boot spikes, oddly enough.
* Boba's gauntlets are amazing! The detail and paintwork is really very impressive on these and you can point out all of his gadgets like the dart launcher, flame thrower, and his wrist lasers.

* The articulation on this guy is much improved over the vintage figure. I pretty much compare all Boba Fett figures to the Kenner POTF2 figure from 1995 and the Power of the Jedi 300th release Boba Fett so this guy really is a major improvement movement wise. Seriously, the joints have an excellent range of motion. While the shoulders don't have lateral hinges since the armored torso overlay is a bit rubbery you get about the same level of movement.

* Boba Fett comes with his EE-3 blaster rifle. It's absolutely a new sculpt that's based on the Return of the Jedi model. It's very sharp and has a lot of weathering too it rather than the cleaner look of his ESB rifle.

* What happens when Boba Fett runs into Luke Skywalker? His blaster gets cut, that's what. Hasbro included a second EE-3 blaster that can break apart and has some paint that makes it look like the barrel has been melted bu Luke's lightsaber. That's pretty cool! This feels like the kind of accessory we would have seen during the early 2000s, maybe in the Power of the Jedi or Saga Collections, when Hasbro was releasing super scene specific figures. 

* The jetpack is a completely new sculpt too and it's very intricately painted with plenty of weathering. I love how colorful this is! It fits on really well via a main peg in the back and two smaller tabs that fit in to what look like buckles on the back of Fett's armor. I'm sure we'll see this piece again with Cobb Vanth and some Mandalorian season 2 versions of Fett, and that's fine by me. This is excellent work and the pack has quite a few nice features...

* The jet pack does have a removable missile, which is pretty cool. It doesn't launch but it does pop in and out so you can mess around with it. Also, the thrusters on the pack are articulated and can swivel up and down. That's pretty cool and a feature I didn't expect!
* There is even a pair of jet boots effects that plug into the thrusters on the jet pack. They look great! I loved the 2003 Saga collection Boba Fett in his ROTJ outfit and this guy gives me some of the same feelings!
* Another really cool feature is this snap on flame. It's a translucent piece that fits over the flamethrower on Boba Fett's left gauntlet and makes for a really cool and dynamic accessory to display the figure with. I love it! It's just so fantastic looking!

The Negatives:
* Boba Fett's last accessory is the fibercord whip that he uses to ensnare Luke during the battle at the Great Pit of Carkoon. The idea is that you clip the cuff on Boba Fett's wrist and then you can wrap the cord around someone or use it to swing him, I guess. It's not awful but it just feels a bit too toyish. One of the Saga Collection Jango Fett figures had a similar feature and this one really isn't that much better. It just seems like something better suited for a kids line than designed for the Black Series, y'know?

* The paint and sculpt of Boba Fett's helmet is really excellent but there's a weird issue with the helmet looking kind of scrunched at the bottom. Rather than just sculpt a "head" Hasbro actually sculpted a Temuera Morrison portrait and then permanently attached the helmet over it. They've been doing this on the Stormtroopers and newer clones, too, and I suspect it's a way to enure that helmets are appropriately sized. Unfortunately, it means the lower part of Fett's helmet is thinner and flexible and ended up a bit smooshed from being in the plastic tray.
* Lastly, why not give Boba Fett a soft goods cape? The last figure from almost eight years ago had one and it really turned out pretty well. It's a small enough soft goods piece that it looked great and blended in nicely with the sculpt. This one isn't bad looking but I was kind of surprised that it wasn't an actual fabric cape, especially considering this is a deluxe figure.

   Is this the nicest Boba Fett figure made in the Black Series line? Definitely. Is this a pretty impressive figure overall? Absolutely. Is there any reason why this really feels like a deluxe figure? Ehh.. not really. I don't think it's as overpriced as some people do but I definitely think Hasbro is overly inflating the price on the Fett man her. He's a Great figure but I can't help but feel that you're paying extra for some features that really should just be expected. There are also lots of little odd issues, too, that I wouldn't have expected with this guy, especially the smooshed helmet. Still, he's pretty cool and I don't you'll feel like passing him up if you run into him.
   If you're a fan of Boba Fett then check out a couple other Boba Fett toys on the site, including the Black Series Phase I Boba Fett, the Walgreen's exclusive Boba Fett (Prototype Armor), and Boba Fett (Carbonized), both the standard Hero Mashers Boba Fett and the Han Solo Vs. Boba Fett two-pack version, the Funko POP! #102 Boba Fett, and Boba Fett as a background character in the Bossk Micro Machines Mini Head and in the 4-LOM Micro Machines Mini Head
For more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV figures check out the following:





Sunday, May 23, 2021

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

   I was amazed a couple of weeks ago when I stepped into a Walmart on mu lunch break and found Flint and Lady Jaye on the shelf! There was a new case and I managed to grab both figures which was quite a thrill. Today I'm checking out Flint who has long been one of my favorite G.I. Joe characters. As a kid I had the Tiger Force Flint who came out in 1988, which was definitely during the biggest period of my childhood G.I. Joe fandom. Flint's a very cool character and while he's not as recognizable as some of the A-list Joes he's solid B+ list. Flint's a very strict looking military figure and he sort of shows how Hasbro seems to be evolving on their design philosophy with this line. While he mostly shares a body with Duke, Flint doesn't have the gold highlights and light blue details that figure had (though his shotgun shells do have brass casing, which makes perfect sense). How does he fare with more of a focus on military realism? Let's check him out after the break...

The Facts:
Height: 6 1/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed drop down hips, ball jointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck base, hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Shotgun, pistol, holster, and beret.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars
The Positives:
* Flint (left) uses most of the body of Duke (right). Fortunately, this kind of makes sense since they have such standard military outfits and the paintwork nicely differentiates them. Flint also has a different belt and a different harness with body armor attached. The torso look very similar except that duke has a t-shirt underneath his button up while Flint doesn't. Maybe Hasbro uses a similar torso sculpt with digital editing difference for that area?

The Positives:

* Flint has a very traditional military look to him with some modern flourishes like the plate of body armor across his chest. His webgear and body armor plate are all one piece that sits over his torso. His belts are a separate piece, too. Flint's easily recognizable and Hasbro did a nice job on the paintwork here, especially on the camouflaged pants.


* I've seen some mixed opinions on Flint's hadsculpt but I'm liking it. I've heard some comments that he looks like John Cena but I'm not sure I'm seeing it. He looks a bit older than Duke but I think that makes sense based on what we know about Flint. The scar over his left eye is cool and adds some character.






* Flint's beret is a removable piece and he looks fantastic wearing it. It seriously fits really well and stays on securely. I'm impressed.




* Here's a close up of Flint's gear. You can see the body armor, the communicator device on his left shoulder, all of the shotgun shells he's toting around, and the grenades on his belt. It all looks great and all of the items have some painted details as well. Fantastic!

 * Like the rest of the Clasified Series Flint has some incredible articulation. There's some seriously well designed articulation that allows for a great range of motion everywhere on this guy. The Classified Series truly makes the classic Joes, the ARAH Joes, and the modern 1/18th scale Joes proud. These are fun, durable figures that are a joy to mess around with.


* Flint's pistol is the same model that came with Duke and Beach Head but this time it's just molded in plain black plastic. It looks good, though, as all black accessories are fairly realistic looking.

 * Flint has almost always used some sort of shotgun as his primary weapon and the Classified Series is no different. He comes with a very cool and compact pump action shotgun. The design is great and the forearm gets a paint hit to help it stand out. The extra shells along the back also have their brass parts painted. It's an incredibly nice looking weapon.

* So... Flint's shotgun is a pump action shotgun that is also a break action. That's kind of odd and impractical. Still, the function works and you can expose the breech. Now why would Flint have a weapon that's both a pump action and break action shotgun? I'm going with the idea that while he probably keeps standard shotgun shells loaded in the magazine the break action feature allows him to quickly pop in specialty shells, perhaps something like a dragon's breath shell or an EMP shell, when the need arises. 


* Flint's pistol can easily fit into the removable holster on his right hip. It looks great and gives him easy access to his backup weapon.


* Flint even has a holster for his shotgun! There's a holster permanently attached to the web gear on his lower back which his shotgun can conveniently slide into. It stays in their securely and looks petty cool.

      If I have any complaints about Flint it's just that I wish he had an extra weapon or two. A knife with a sheathe would have been cool, or perhaps a second type of shotgun to give him some options. What we have is still pretty Epic, though. I continue to be impressed with the G.I. Joe: Classified Series and I'm excited to see what comes out next. I've seen rumors pointing towards Barbecue, the Alley Viper, Cover Girl, and Dr. Mindbender, so it';; be interesting  to see who Hasbro adds to the growing ranks of both the Joe team and Cobra.


 This is the first figure of Flint I've reviewed on the site. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

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


   Are you ready for a stream of new G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews? Awesome, because I am too! I've managed to get my hands on a few new figures lately and I'm kicking things off with a look at Zartan, the leader of the Dreadnoks and a master of disguise. Zartan was released in 1984 (packaged with the Chameleon swamp skier) and was really the first G.I. Joe figure to start implementing sci-fi/ fantasy elements into the franchise. Who is Zartan? He's a mystical user of technological gadgets who might be a mutant, possibly possesses supernatural abilities, and who also may have a mental illness (if the original filecard is to be believed). He's a skilled, capable, and unpredictable opponent who has been near the center of so many of the major events of the G.I. Joe universe and he's one of the most popular characters in the franchise. Hasbro is really getting the main Cobra members and allies out quickly, opting to release the A-listers first rather than holding them back to artificially add longevity to the line. Since Zartan is a standard release he's been relatively easy to find and lots of e-tailers and local shops should be able to hook you up. Let's take a look at Zartan after the break and see what new tricks this guy is up to.... 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Malevolent May: Hordak from Masters of the Universe by Super7


   It's time for another installment of May 2021's Malevolent May, a month long tribute to Hordak, and today I'm checking out the 5 1/2 inch Filmation inspired Hordak from Super7's neo-vintage Masters of the Universe line. I reviewed most of this line as they were coming out but I didn't review all of the first series figures so let's begin to rectify that today with a look at Hordak. If you're not terribly familiar with these this was Super7's attempt at releasing vintage-inspired figures styled after the Filmation character designs. The line started off kind of rough with lots of problems with series 1 but by the end it was a really solid line that I hated to see end. This version of Hordak is based, of course, on his appearance in the She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon so you can display him with your vintage Princess of Power line if you want. Catra needs some help! Let's take a look at Hordak after the break...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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

   Today I'm going to do something I very rarely do: I'm going to review the Walmart exclusive flocked variant of Panthor without opening the package. Very rarely do I ever keep my stuff mint in the package and it's usually only reserved for older and rarer items. With the flocked Panthor, however, I sort of made a calculated decision based on a few different factors. First, I already have the standard MOTU Origins Panthor. He was just released earlier this spring, I've fully reviewed him, and I'm just not sure that my display requires two Panthors. Second, I'm a bit suspicious of how the flocking is going to hold up on this guy. I'm sure he's not going to molt or anything but there already seemed to be some damage on the figures I saw on the shelf so I'm not terribly fussed about keeping him packaged. Third, I really like the packaging on the MOTU Origins oversized releases but I don't want to rebuy anything just to add a boxed piece to my collection. Keeping Panthor in the box allows me to have a unique boxed piece without missing out on something for my display. Sound good? 
   Well, I'm still going to give my thoughts on this guy. I find it kind of funny that giving Panthor flocking has become a go-to variant. Shouldn't he just come flocked in general? That'd be like making Man-E-Faces spinning head a variant or Scare Glow's glow a variant (though I guess Funko actually did that, didn't they?). The flocked Panthor is a Walmart exclusive and comes in a box with a burst that proclaims he has realistic "fur" and a gold "Collectors Edition" label at the bottom. It seems like these came four to a case and quickly disappeared from Walmart shelves. The day I found mine there were three other Panthors when I left and they seemed to be newly placed on the shelf for display. I haven't seen one since so who knows if we'll see another shipment? I'd bet against it. Let's take a look at Panthor after the break...

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Action Figure Review: Civil Warrior from Marvel Legends Series: Gamerverse by Hasbro


   I'm super excited for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings but my Marvel Legends collection is mostly focused on comic based figures (or at least figures that fit in with the comic based line well). That meant that most of the current Shang-Chi series of figures didn't interest me (I have the comic based Shang-Chi from last year and he's awesome. maybe I'll review him at some point). Other than the Mr. Hyde Build-a-figure the only other non-move figures are the comic based Tony Stark A.I. and this Gamerverse Civil Warrior figure. I wasn't at all familiar with this incarnation of Captain America but it's based on the 2014 fighting game Marvel Contest of Champions and it was too cool to pass up. This is an alternate version of Cap from Earth-TRN634 where Steve Rogers kills Tony Stark during Civil War and ends up using the Iron Man technology to survive in his own suit. Personally, I like this as just a Captain America in a suit designed by Tony and it's just a really cool toy in general. Let's take a look at the Civil Warrior after the break...

Monday, May 17, 2021

Action Figure Review: Ultimate Warrior from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel


   Ultimate Warrior is the Heroic Champion of Masters of the WWE Universe and the star of the greatest anti-smoking PSA of all time. Ultimate Warrior was released in Masters of the WWE Universe previously as part of series 1 and proved to be one of the most popular figures of the series. That figure seems to have been based on the Masters of the Universe concept character Oo-Lar while this figure has Vikor's cape with him so, for some reason, Ultimate Warrior strikes someone as being a proto-He-Man kind of guy. He's another figure from series 6 and since this line is exclusive to Walmart you just can't reliably find them. That's a shame, too, as this is a really fun toyline. Let's take a look at Ultimate Warrior after the break...

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Malevolent May: Hordak from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel


   It's time for another Hordak review for Malevolent May and today I'm checking out the original Hordak figure from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel. It's no secret that Masters of the Universe Classics is my favorite toyline of all time so it's always exciting to go back and review one of the figures released before I started reviewing them. Hordak was released in June 2009 and was one of the original figures planned for release before the line turned into an ongoing juggernaut. Hordak's a great example of the early years of MOTUC and the superb work of the Four Horsemen and the Mattel design team at the time. He's a great update of the vintage figure but with improvements! Rather than just having the bat creature shield of the vintage toy Hordak has an actual little minion perched on his arm. His crossbow is improved from the vintage toy and he comes with the staff from his 200x incarnation. Rather than just plain black armor he has the red ribs from the Malaysian Hordak variant. There was a lot of creativity and blending of eras in the early days of the line, some of which sadly disappeared for a bit during the middle years when upper management supposedly became overly involved. Hordak is just excellent, though, so let's take a look at him after the break...

Toy Review: Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Magnets by Monogram International


      A couple months ago I reviewed two of the Masters of the Universe Magnets from Monogram International. These little guys are based on the Masters of the Universe Figural Bag Clips from 2020 and, like the bag clips, were sold in foil blind bags. Interestingly, the magnets have been appearing in little clear plastic bags as well. My parents were at an FYE a week or two ago and called me to ask if I had any of the Masters of the Universe Magnets as they had found some. I assumed they were referring to the blind bags but when they sent a picture and I was surprised to see the magnet visible. I've seen these at a Hot Topic as well so it seems they're being sold alongside other Monogram International magnets on little hanger tabs. I didn't have a Skeletor from my blind bag pulls so that's been rectified! Interestingly for this set Monogram went with the Battle Armor Skeletor design which was one of the "chase" variants from the Figural Bag Clips series. That's pretty cool! Let's take a look at this super attractive (Get it. Attractive). Skeletor magnet after the break...

Friday, May 14, 2021

Action Figure Review: Tri-Klops from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   Today I'm checking out the last figure from series 4 of Masters of the Universe Origins and it's one of Skeletor's most loyal warriors: Tri-Klops! Despite not being one of the original eight characters in the line (he was released as part of the second series in 1983) Tri-Klops definitely "feels" like he's always been a part of Masters of the Universe. That's why it's so odd, then, that I never owned him as a kid. Despite not really being into MOTU until around 1985 and 1986 I had most of the 1982 and 1983 figures but I never owned Tri-Klops. My first Tri-Klops figure was actually the 200x version. I love the guy, though, and he just has a wonderful classic MOTU feel to him. MOTU Origins is definitely making sure to knock out as many figures as they can who use the basic bodies so Tri-Klops was guaranteed sooner rather than later. Let's take a look at the master swordsman who is "Evil & Sees Everything!"

Thursday, May 13, 2021

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


    I've finally been able to acquire some of the third series of Mattel's Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis! Before we kick things off with a look at Battle Armor He-Man allow me to rant for a moment: Why does Mattel have such poor communication with collectors and retailers? When Hasbro makes a big announcement their retail partners are typically all ready at the same time for preorders with official press photos and estimated release dates. Mattel showed off the third series of Eternia Minis last year at Power-Con and they recently showed up in stores with no fanfare, a different assortment of figures, and missing the cool Slime Pit themed cases that they were originally shown with. Oh, and retailers selling these or offering preorders had no images until fairly recently. Seriously, Mattel, get someone to handle this stuff! Anyways, on to He-Man! Battle Armor He-Man is another "re-do" of one of the figures from the 2014 MattyCollector exclusive Masters of the Universe minis line. The first two series of the Eternia Minis came "blindboxed" in plastic cases although they did have a code identifying the figure inside so you could make sure not to get duplicates. Now they're sold on little mini blister cards so you can pick exactly who you want (if you can find them). Let's take a look at Battle Armor He-Man after the break...

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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


   I'm currently finishing up my reviews of the fourth series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and today I'm checking out Stratos, the Winged Warrior of Avion! Stratos was one of the original eight figures released in the 1982 Masters of the Universe line and now, with his appearance in series 4, we have the original 8-back figures. That's a pretty cool little milestone for Origins! Stratos had a few vintage variants, the most common being whether he had red wings and a blue jetpack or blue wings and a red jetpack. For the series 4 figure Mattel went with the blue wings and red jetpack which is the same as the vintage Stratos figure I own. I've never been a huge Stratos fan and about the only time I've ever found him overly interesting was during the 200x era due to his characterization in the Mike Young Productions animated series. Still, I'm not passing him up, so here he is! Let's take flight with Stratos after the break...

Monday, May 10, 2021

Malevolent May: Hordak from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   It's time for the second installment of Malevolent May and today's Hordak tribute is from the Masters of the Universe Origins line. Hordak is one of the figures in the fourth series of figures which have been showing up on store shelves over the past month or so. I managed to walk into a Target one day and find the whole set in one go which is pretty incredible. Since then I haven't seen a single one. What the heck, Mattel? Also, why are these figures shipped in cases of four? They're fairly small! Why not cases of 8? Anyways, Hordak is the first member of the Evil Horde to appear in MOTU Origins and hopefully he won't be the last. I had both the standard Hordak and Buzz-Saw Hordak as a kid although at some point my original Hordak disappeared or got sold off. Bummer, huh? This guy does a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of the vintage toy although I'm not completely sold on the headsculpt, particularly the eyes. Let's see what the Ruthless Leader of the Evil Horde brings to the Origins line after the break...

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Action Figure Review: Firestar from Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro


      While most of the Marvel Legends Series figures I've been picking up lately are from the past couple years when I was sort of doing my best to ignore the line to focus on DC Comics stuff I have purchased a few 2021 figures recently. I looked at the Infinity Gauntlet inspired Thanos last month as he was one of the main reasons I got back into Marvel Legends and today I'm checking out Firestar. Angelica "Angel" Jones, AKA Firestar, was created for the 1981 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series. Over time she slowly made her way into the mainstream Marvel Universe and has been a member of many different teams including the Hellions, the X-Men, the New Warriors, and the Avengers. Why did I buy Firestar? Well, for one she's a really nice looking figure. For another, I wanted to display her with Spider-Man and Iceman. For a third my daughter has this really cool Marvel biography book that we've read through together a few times and Firestar is one of the featured heroes, so that was an influence. Firestar is a Hasbro Fan Channel exclusive meaning she has showed up at places like GameStop, fine e-tailers, and Hasbro Pulse. She's not part of a build-a-figure series but she does come with her doggie companion. Ms Lion! Let's take a look at Firestar after the break...

Friday, May 7, 2021

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


   It's time to finally start checking out the fourth series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and we'll kick things off with the review of a figure I've always wanted in the vintage toyline but never owned: Ninjor! I remember Ninjor as a kid but I never owned him. Out of the quartet of the four limited budget figures from 1987 that David Wolfram worked which have come to be some of the most coveted toys in MOTU collecting (Scareglow, Ninjor, Randor, and Clamp Champ) I only ever owned King Randor and Clamp Champ. Sadly, both of those figures were sold off when I was younger. That really bites, right? On the bright side, Masters of the Universe Origins has already released three of those four figures in the line which is a pretty welcome addition to the line up. Ninjor capitalized on the 1980s ninja craze and has become a cult favorite over the years both due to his cool design and his rarity. There are plenty of collectors who scoff at the idea of a ninja running around in the swords and sorcery/ barbarian fantasy world of MOTU and to them I say: "Go rub a monkey's tummy." Ninjor is awesome.

   Let's check out Ninjor after the break...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Action Figure Review: The Grady Twins from Toony Terrors by NECA


   A weekend or two ago I was at Target and stumbled upon some new Toony Terrors from NECA. Y'all know I'm a pretty big Stephen King fan and I was thrilled to see that the Grady Twins are included in the most recent series of NECA's "horror icons meet vintage Saturday morning cartoons" line of action figures. Stanley Kubrick's The Shining might not be a very faithful adaptation of King's book but is sure is one heck of a movie. The film is filled with iconic imagery and the Grady Twins, the ghosts of two young girls who haunt The Overlook, are quite possibly more well known at this point than Jack Nicholson. They're pop culture fixtures and NECA has immortalized them in plastic to hang out with the big guns of horror. Now before some of you get all persnickety with me I'll go ahead and disclose that yes, in the book they're not twins. The girls are different ages. They also don't show up in the book and are only mentioned in passing. The Grady girls in this format are purely an invention of the movie. Second, there are some folks who are convinced that these are not the Grady girls (again, mentioned in the movie as being 8 and 10) but are some other twins haunting The Overlook. When the girls are mentioned as having been killed in the hotel and then their ghosts show up, c'mon? Why complicate things? These are the Grady Twins and we're getting ready to check these figures out after the break...