Friday, December 8, 2023

Action Figure Review: Annie Brackett from John Carpenter's Halloween by Plastic Meatball


   I'm back to moving through all of the random stuff I've picked up and today I'm checking out Annie Brackett from Plastic Meatball's John Carpenter's Halloween toyline. Plastic Meatball is a company started by some former Mattel employees (the name Plastic Meatball is a reference to an inhouse joke name for the red Mattel logo, looking like a meatball) who are creating vintage inspired action figures. It's an action figure subgenre that's become pretty popular and we've seen an array of companies like Funko, Super7, Amok Time, Warpo, and even Hasbro delve into it. John Carpenter's Halloween is one of my favorite movies. While I love horror, I'm not the biggest fan of slasher films and typically prefer more supernatural horror; I'm a huge John Carpenter fan (he's hands down my favorite director) and the film's plot, pacing, characterization, atmosphere, soundtrack, and the question of whether or not there is a supernatural explanation for Michael Myers just makes it such a well done, classic movie. I originally wanted to cover some of these figures during October but things got hectic. I really like that Plastic Meatball is offering more characters than just Michael, Loomis, and Laurie. Series one had Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, and Lynda Van Der Klok while this year's series 2 has Dr. Loomis, Sheriff Brackett, and Annie Brackett, along with variant figures The Shape (Blood Splatter) and Laurie Strode (Final Girl). Annie Brackett was played by Nancy Kyes/ Nancy Loomis and is Laurie's best friend. She's somewhat of a comic relief character but she is sadly killed by Michael Myers on Halloween night. Plastic Meatball must really love this license and knows that there are plenty of us out there who just adore Halloween as they've really delivered a fun retro inspired toyline with great packaging. ready to check out Annie Brackett? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Action Figure Review: Joan Rivers (Stand Up! Records Exclusive) from Legends of Laughter by Nacelle


   A few weeks ago Stand Up! Records, a source for comedy albums, videos, and other merchandise, reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their exclusive Joan Rivers action figure from Nacelle's Legends of Laughter toyline. Of course, I said yes. I'm easily swayed by toys, you know. Nacelle's Legends of Laughter line is an interesting concept: An action figure line for stand up comedians. It kind of reminds me of some of the more offbeat lines from the early 2000s like X-Toys' Saturday Night Live line. We're definitely in a second golden age of action figures when there really seems to be no limits for who can get an action figure. Stand Up! Records' exclusive Joan Rivers action figure is based on the legendary comedian's various endeavors like being the first female late night host (The Late Show with Joan Rivers) and her stalwart presence on the red carpet. A plastic action figure of Joan Rivers seems like a suitable tribute to the Grammy and Emmy award winning talent as, according to Joan herself, "I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware." I'm most familiar with Joan Rivers as the voice of Dot Matrix in Spaceballs, and from her work on E! in the late 90s/ early 2000s, and I'm sure most folks will fondly remember something that she was involved with. Let's take a look at this limited edition figure (only 500 of them) after the break...

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Action Figure Review: Tripwire, Aspara, & M.A.C.L.E.O.D. from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Today I'm going to review Tripwire from the G.I. Joe: Classified Series and then I'm going to take a break from reviewing G.I. Joes for a little bit. Don't worry! They'll be back. They'll be back for sure. Tripwire has never been one of my favorite characters or figures but I have long been interested to see how Hasbro's Classified Series team would approach him in this line. The vintage Tripwire is one of those figures who feels a bit antiquated and I really hoped that Hasbro was going to update him with a more modern military aesthetic. That is exactly what they did, giving him a selection parts so you can have a more vintage or a more modern Explosive Ordinance Disposal expert. The package also really sells this as a team as you get Tripwire, Aspara, and M.A.C.L.E.O.D. as part of the deluxe set. Ready to check out Tripwire, Aspara, and M.A.C.L.E.O.D.? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Action Figure Review: Crimson Strike Team from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   I'm as shocked as you are that this G.I. Joe: Classified Series marathon keeps going and going and going! Today I'm checking out the Crimson Strike Team, the 2023 PulseCon exclusive that pairs thematically with Chuckles, the 2023 SDCC exclusive. Chuckles was released first but I actually received the Crimson Strike Team a week or two before I received Chuckles. The Crimson Strike team is based on the 2002 G.I. Joe Convention set of the same name which included the Baroness, Tomax, and Xamot in their Crimson Guard colors along with twelve crimson Vipers! In 2009 the Crimson Strike Team was revisited as a Joe Con set but this time with the 25th Anniversary figures. And yes, 12 Vipers Once Again! Aren't you glad Hasbro is selling the Crimson Vipers separately this time around? Let's check out the Crimson Strike Team after the break and see if it's worth it to revisit these three characters in the Classified Series again so soon. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Action Figure Review: Vypra (Python Patrol) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Who is Vypra? Great question! Vypra wasn't part of the original vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American hero toyline but was released as the driver of the Rattler 4WD in the 1998 Toys 'r Us exclusive line. There she was a repaint of Jinx in black and blue named Ann A. Conda who came from New Orleans. In 2004, two more figures named Vypra were released in the same set: The Toys 'r Us exclusive Ninja Cobra Strike Team. These two figures were both named Vypra and both used the Jinx mold, but were identified as the twin daughters of Onihashi, a legendary swordsmith who makes swords for the Arashikage clan. In 2015 the G.I. Joe Collector's Club released another version of Vypra who looked more like the 2004 release but now had a classified name, ninja training, and served as a daring courier. That actually seems to be the figure Hasbro is basing this one off of, though the colors are more like the Vypra twins. The Classified Series Vypra is part of the Python Patrol subset and is a Target exclusive. She's quite a cool looking figure, offering up something rather different for Python Patrol. With a nice mixture of parts, Hasbro has definitely released a neat take on a character that's not as well known as most vintage figures. Let's check out Vypra after the break...

Thursday, November 30, 2023

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


   Today it's time to jump back into the cold with a look at the Snow Serpent, the backbone of Cobra's cold weather operations crew. These guts aren't just your average grunts, though; the Snow Serpents are actually a division of the Cobra E.E.L.S., so they're kind of the best of the best of Cobra's legions. I still remember picking up the vintage figure at a K-Mart with my dad, so it had to have been some older stock as the only two 1985 figures I had were Barbecue and the Snow Serpent. The Snow Serpent has long been a popular figure and Hasbro has revisited the troops on multiple occasions. The Classified Series version also seems to be draw inspiration from the 1991 v2 figure, the 2002 Joe vs. Cobra figure, and the 2008 Snow Serpent from the Extreme Conditions: Arctic Assault Squad. This Classified Series version takes the legendary vintage figure, adds some of the best additions from the variants of the past few decades, and ends up as one impressive toy. Let's check the Snow Serpent out after the break...

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Action Figure Review: Steel Corps Troopers from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   I've been enjoying lots of time with family and friends over the past week or so as well as playing Nintendo Switch, watching Universal monster movies, and doing some shopping (lots of action figures purchased), so I've been a bit slow in putting out reviews. I've got plenty more coming, though, and today the G.I. Joe: Classified Series marathon returns with a look at the Steel Brigade.... wait; this isn't the Steel Brigade? Nope. While Hasbro originally released the Steel Brigade as a mail-away figure in 1987 (mine was named Shark!) and continued releasing the the troops in different ways through 2014, in 2019 Valaverse picked up the trademark to the name Steel Brigade. So, no, this isn't the Steel Brigade. It's the Steel Corps, now! The Steel Corps Troopers set came out a couple months ago and includes two Steel Corps Troopers; one male and one female. That's a neat idea. These figures are loaded with accessories including alternate heads, multiple weapons and firing effects, and even JUMP jetpacks. Ready to check out the first true army builders for the Joe team in the Classified Series? Then join me after the break...