Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Action Figure Review: Dark Despot Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

    I can't even begin to discuss how excited I am to have a movie based Skeletor action figure in Masters of the Universe Classics. It's truly a great day!  While Super7 didn't release as many Masters of the Universe Classics figures during their time with the brand as I thought they would, they certainly did help to fill some gaps in the wish-lists of many fans and these movie based figures are certainly one of the biggest gaps Mattel left open. Well, I should say that these figures are actually based on the designs of William Stout who created the character and costume designs for the 1987 film. You might see some differences between the characters from the films and the figure but that's part of these figures being based on the concept designs, which is probably they only reason we're able to get them. While the 1987 film is often maligned (both fairly and unfairly, though I myself really like it) there are definitely two aspects of the film that are beyond reproach: The costume designs and Frank Langella's portrayal of Skeletor. With this figure, Dark Despot Skeletor, you get both of the best parts of the film all rolled into one. Let's check out Dark Despot Skeletor after the break...

Monday, January 20, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Scare Glow (Clear) from Masters of the Universe: ReAction by Super7

    Near the end of 2019 Super7 released a few more translucent variant figures in the Masters of the Universe: ReAction line and while I didn't pick up all of them, I did grab Anti-Eternia He-Man (Clear Smoke) and Scare Glow (Clear). Scare Glow is definitely one of those characters who went from having only one figure in the vintage line (and none in the 200x line, not even a staction), to being a go to figure for most new lines. Super7 released the basic glow-in-the dark Scare Glow in the ReAction line last spring but now we get a very ethereal translucent variant, too. Spooky, right! Let's check out the clear Scare Glow after the break...

Wrapping Up 2019: Chewbacca & C-3PO from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  Well, unless I find the Mandalorian himself soon then this is the last Star Wars: The Black Series release I'll be reviewing from 2019. Released around early December, Chewbacca & C-3PO are an Amazon exclusive 2-pack featuring two of the Star Wars Galaxy's most recognizable heroes in a very scene specific look from the finale of The Empire Strikes Back. Chewbacca and Threepio are no strangers to the Black Series but this set definitely does something very different with them by allowing you to recreate Chewbacca toting C-3PO around Cloud City while escaping from the Empire's trap. And yes, I know that I positioned C-3PO incorrectly in my pictures, as he's supposed to be backwards. I finally got tired of him complaining that he couldn't see, OK? Let's check out this set after the break and see how it turned out...

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Action Figure Review: Commander Karg from Masters of the Universe Classics by Super7

 Just last week Super7 started shipping the four figures from their third and final series of Masters of the Universe Classics action figures, this time featuring figures based on the costume and character designs of William Stout that were used in the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie. I'm going to be checking all of these out in the coming week or two but first up I'm going to be reviewing Commander Karg. Karg was one of the trio of new villain introduced in the film but, oddly enough, he was not released as a figure in the vintage toyline (both Saurod and Blade were, however). Mattel also never released Karg during the main run of MOTUC figures (but they did release Saurod and Blade) but when Super7 took over they released Karg in the second series of MOTUC/ Collector's Choice figures. That figure was based on his appearance in a 1987 comic book, and it features green skin, yellow hair, and blue armor. This version, however, is quite movie accurate and has been give the designation of Commander Karg. Since the MOTUC philosophy has always been finding a way to fit all of the characters and their unique appearances together into one cohesive story/ universe, this version of Karg represents the character later in his life after he has been freed from Prison Starr after years in isolation, thus his skin has grown lighter and his hair has turned white. Whether you dig the MOTUC bio (I do) or just like that this is a movie based version of Karg, you should be happy with this figure. Let's check him out after the break...

Christmas Haul 2019: Pack A from M.U.S.C.L.E.: Street Sharks by Mattel

    One of the strangest surprises of 2019 were the Street Sharks M.U.S.C.L.E. figures that started showing up at bargain outlets like Ollie's and 5 Below. While Super7 has been cranking out M.U.S.C.L.E. branded figures since 2015, in 2019 it seems that Mattel wanted the brand back. Super7 begin labeling their figures Keshi Surprise and Mattel seems to be using the M.U.S.C.L.E. brand again. Well, maybe. These guys really just slipped out into discount retailers over the summer with no fanfare or acknowledgment whatsoever.  At first some folks thought they were even custom but it seems that ultimately these were a project that Mattel simply scrapped and sold off to discount stores. It turns out they're pretty cool, however. While Street Sharks may not have the following of many other 1990s toylines, I definitely remember them being on toy shelves. I only ever owned one, and it was because I found him abandoned at my neighborhood swimming pool. I always kind of wanted them but by the time they came out I imagine my interests were in different toylines. Still, I love M.U.S.C.L.E. and I definitely don't turn down cool (and cheap!) minifigures, so these guys were a real surprise to find stuffed in my stocking. I had been looking for them for months and my parents actually found them on a trip to an Ollie's. Pretty slick, huh? Let's take a look at Pack A, which contains Big Slammu, Slash, and Streex...

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Heavy Infantry Mandalorian from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    While I'd love to say it's simply a loving homage to the time when most background Star Wars characters didn't have names, that fact that the package simply calls this guy Heavy Infantry Mandalorian rather than his real name, Paz Vizla (he's voiced by Jon Favreau, who also voices Pre Viszla in The Clone Wars and Rio Durant in Solo). It's a small thing but, to me, it shows the current lack of cooperation and trust between Disney and Hasbro. With The Mandalorian, we've received one of the best things to come out of the Disney era of Star Wars, and Hasbro's currently on fire with the quality of what they're producing in the Black Series (sorry 1/18th scale fans, I know y'all are definitely getting left out in the cold and I do feel for you), so why not bring this stuff together? We should be swimming in product for The Mandalorian right now! Still, I'm grateful for anything we're getting from the series (even though I have yet to actually acquire a Mandalorian himself) and this guy was a surprise that kind of showed up out of nowhere as a Best Buy exclusive.  While he's a bit bulkier than some other figures, it's kind of odd that Hasbro felt the need to designate this guy as a Deluxe release (he's given the designation D2 on the side, following after General Grievous' D1 numbering). Is he really that deluxe and worth of a $8-$10 dollar price jump? Well, let's check Paz Vizla out after the break and see if he's deserving of a salute himself...

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Action Figure Review: Scareglow from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

  First things first: The vintage packaging lists the character's name as Scare Glow, while lots of more recent merchandise uses Scareglow. I'll probably mix it up and use both interchangeably, because that's how I roll. Now, secondly, man, does Scare Glow have a cult following or what? For being a figure that seemingly few fans had as a kid, now everyone loves Scare Glow. Considering he has hardly appeared in any media and we know next to nothing him, Scare Glow's fandom kind of reminds me of Boba Fett's fandom throughout the 1990s. I always find it off that I never had Scare Glow as a kid since I'm on the younger side of MOTU fandom (I wasn't born until 1983) and I owned so many of the 1986 figures: Gwildor, Saurod, King Randor, Mosquitor, Blast-Attak, Clamp Champ, Buzz-Saw Hordak, and even some of the Meteorbs. How the heck did Scare-Glow get by me? Anyways, the last few years have seen a bit of a Scare Glow renaissance and Mondo has managed to get Scare Glow into their 1/6th scale Masters of the Universe line as the fourth figure released. Scare Glow went on sale on Halloween of 2019, but he just started shipping during the first full week of 2020. Like his vintage counterpart, Scareglow is mostly composed of parts from other figures with a new head, cape, and weapons. He's an interesting figure but, I have to say, he definitely has disappointed me a bit. Let's take a look and see how Mondo's interpretation of Scareglow turned out after the break...