Saturday, May 30, 2015

Action Figure Review: Blue Toad from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

     Today I'm looking at Toad from Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line. Well, if you want to get technical I'm looking at Blue Toad. Yeah, he's apparently different from the normal Toad pretty much everyone thinks of that has the red dots on his head. Blue Toad has appeared in both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Bros. 2. Yup, in the original NES version of Super Mario Bros. 2 the dots on Toad's helmet were blue (that got changed to red in Super Mario All-Stars and other re-releases). Anyways, no matter what color he is Toad is a pretty significant Nintendo character and it's need to have him around. Still, one only has to look at this guy to see how small and simple this figure is. Is he worth picking up? Read on and learn more after the break...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Action Figure Review: Red Hood from Batman: Arkham Knight by DC Collectibles

     It's been awhile since I last preordered a video game from GameStop but I did preorder an action figure from them last fall and it has finally arrived! This Red Hood is exclusive to GameStop stores. Yes, with the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight video game less than a month away it only makes sense that DC Collectibles would be releasing a new series of Batman: Arkham Knight action figures for collectors to scoop up. The Arkham-verse is quite possibly my favorite incarnation of the Batman mythos to date and I'm thrilled that the Red Hood is finally making an entrance in this series. I can't say with 100% certainty but I highly suspect and have every reason to believe that this is the Jason Todd version of the character (there have been a few different folks to wear red hoods in Batman lore). Initially I thought that the Arkham Knight character would be Jason Todd but it seems that the new titular antagonist is a completely new character. Awesome! Anyways, Red Hood is one of those Batman characters who hasn't been made into an action figures too many times yet so it's cool to see him this early in the Arkham Knight series. Ready for a closer look at the GameStop exclusive Red Hood? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl from Showcase Presents by DC Direct

     It's time for a trip back in the Action Figure Time Machine! Join me today as we head back to 2008 to check out this awesome Carmine Infantino styled Batgirl from DC Direct's short-lived Showcase Presents inspired series of action figures. One of the things that DC Direct (now DC Collectibles) used to be known for was producing action figures that really reflected the particular style of a specific artist. Over the years they've kind of moved away from that (although the Greg Capullo Designer Series is a welcome return) and have began producing figures that reflect a more general style. Artist specific figures can be a tough sell. While some fans tend to love various specific artistic interpretations of certain prominent characters (I'm thinking big names like Batman, Spider-Man, and the Joker) or specific distinctive artists (such Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes, or Alex Ross) overwhelmingly it seems that most fans want to build a comic universe in a cohesive action figure line. In 2008 Marvel Legends was being taken over by Hasbro (and getting some nice Diamond Select releases, too), Mattel was knee-deep in Justice League Unlimited and was just starting DC Universe Classics, and DC Collectibles was in an odd place. They tried a lot of stuff and this small line of heavy hitters was an attempt to try and do some well known characters in distinctive styles. While this line didn't seem to set the collecting world on fire, it did give us a beautiful Batgirl figure. Ready for a closer look at Batgirl? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Minifigure Review: Metallic Black Yvonne Wolfrom, Ulric Wolfrom, Leo Corazon, and Goliath bundle from Mystical Warriors of the Ring by Fantastic Plastic Toys

     I absolutely adore Mystical Warriors of the Ring and I'm really excited to finally be reviewing the second series of PVC figures from this awesome line that wonderfully blends together professional wrestling, M.U.S.C.L.E., and anthropomorphic animals into something amazing! I've had my hands on these figures for a few weeks but I'm just finally getting around to reviewing these! Initially exclusive to C2E2, Fantastic Plastic toys also made some sets available on the Mystical Warriors of the Ring shop for fans who couldn't make the trip. Available as a special bundle this set features three new figures, Yvonne Wolfrom, Ulric Wolfrom, and Leo Corazon in a Metallic Black color scheme and a new version of the previously released Goliath also in Metallic Black. I already know Goliath is an amazing figure but how does the new crew hold up? Read on and find out!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Action Figure Review: Ms. Marvel, Captain America, & Radioactive Man 3-Pack from Marvel Legends Infinite Series by Hasbro

     Remember last week when I reviewed a 2006 Toy Biz Warbird/ Ms. Marvel figure that I ordered by accident? This is the figure I really wanted! This three pack of Ms. Marvel, Captain America, and Radioactive Man was an exclusive to Target that started showing up last year in October or November if my memory serves me right. While Ms. Marvel hadn't had a figure since 2006 and Radioactive Man is a new character to Marvel Legends (who I'm completely unfamiliar with), there have been way, way too many Captain America figures over the past few years. Don't get me wrong, as I'm a huge Cap fan, but Cap is getting to be like Superman, Snake Eyes, and Darth Vader: He just appears in toy form far too often! Anyways, this set didn't disappear from store shelves and is now available for a pretty low price (around $30 if you play your cards right). That's not a bad price for these figures at all! I ordered it mainly for Ms. Marvel but since the only other 6 inch Cap I own is the Ultimate World War 2 Captain America, I didn't mind picking this one up. Ready for a very quick look at this set? Then join me after the break...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Action Figure Review: Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars: Rebels by Hasbro

 Now that I've finally picked up Kana Jarrus I have five of the six crew members of The Ghost from Star Wars: Rebels. It's been a bit tough to find most of the one's I've found (except for Zeb who definitely seems to have been abundantly produced) and I fear that unless Hasbro rereleases Chopper at some point that I'll never own him. The combination of his scarcity and popularity definitely has contributed to the high price he fetches on the aftermarket. Anyways, this review is about Kanan so I probably should talk about him a bit. I didn't get the opportunity to start watching through Rebels until after Christmas so my first exposure to the character was actually through A New Dawn. Hasbro definitely expects Kanan to be a pretty popular character because they've released this exact same figure multiple times! You can get him in the Reveal the Rebels Toys R' Us exclusive pack, as a pack in figure with the Phantom Attack Shuttle, as the second figure in a Mission Series set with Ezra Bridger in his Imperial Cadet uniform, and as the single carded figure from the Saga Legends line that I'm looking at today. Ready for a closer look at Kanan? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Action Figure Review: Raven from DC Universe Classics by Mattel

     Since I've been doing an informal look at the evolution of Marvel Legends articulation based on some various Toy Biz and Hasbro Marvel Legends figures I've recently acquired, I thought it might be interesting to look at a DC Universe Classics figure from Mattel. Starting in 2008 as a successor to Mattel's earlier DC Superheroes line (which itself was an evolution of Mattel's even earlier evergreen Batman line), DC Universe Classics owes a great deal to Marvel Legends. It's style, inclusion of build-a-figures, use of character variants, diverse character selection, and even it's name were all evocative of the Marvel Legends formula that Toy Biz had found great success with and that Hasbro had taken over by 2007. Today I'm looking at Raven from DC Universe Classics' 15th series that included a build-a-figure- of Validus. Since I ordered this Raven loose she didn't come with the part, but I'd probably never pick up the other figures anyways so it's no skin off my back. Ready for a look at Raven? Then join me after the break...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Action Figure Review: Black Queen from Marvel Legends by Hasbro

 Yup, I'm reviewing another older Marvel Legends figure again. This time it's a figure from Hasbro's first series of Marvel Legends: Black Queen! I'm not fully up to par on my X-Men history, so forgive me, but my understanding is that this is the Phoenix entity in the guise of Jean Grey who has joined the Hellfire Club. Is that right? I was actually looking for the newest Marvel Legends Emma Frost (considering the price that figure is going for I'm done looking) but I stumbled across the Black Queen at a ridiculously low price. Black Queen was a Toy 'R Us exclusive back in 2007 and is largely a repaint of the 2006 Emma Frost figure with a new head sculpt. The figure is pretty cool looking and gives me another chance to look at how the articulation of Marvel Legends figures evolved over the years. Ready for a quick look at Black Queen? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Action Figure Review: Black Widow from Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Hasbro

Last year I had the chance to review a few of the figures from the Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in series of Hasbro's Marvel Legends Infinite Series since The Reel Brad Bell had picked up a few of the figures and allowed me to borrow them for a few days. I was impressed by the line but never ended up purchasing any myself, partially due to the fact that I could never find Black Widow. Well, I finally found her. I found her online at a decent price and jumped on the opportunity to add an articulated version of Scarlett Johansson's excellent portrayal of Natasha Romanoff to my ever growing collection of 6 inch super heroes. While Black Widow hasn't gotten her own movie she's definitely a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it's good to see that Hasbro has been supporting her to some extent (although they've really dropped the ball for Avengers 2). Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Can Anyone Identify these Plastic Zombie Minifigures I Bought Last Week? *Edit* The Mystery Has Been Solved*

   UPDATE:  Thanks to the folks over at, I now know that these are ZOMBIES from October Toys! I'll review them in a bit more depth sometime next week!
     I bought these a week or two ago at Troll and Toad, a comic shop, while I was traveling through London, KY. They are around 2- 2 1/4 inches tall and are made from an only slightly rubbery plastic. The figures were loose and sold individually from a big plastic container on the register.They came in a few different colors: Flesh, clear, and maybe black. I asked the employee working at the shop if they knew anything about them but they did not. Considering that they all seemed new and in good shape I'm wondering if these were ordered through someone like Diamond Distributors in bulk.

I picked up one of each of the five different figures I found in the container. They were 99 cents each. Can anyojne identify these for me? I'm really curious to learn the name of the line, the manufacturer, and if there are any more in the series.

Thanks so much! The first person to correctly identify these for me gets a special Barbecue Prize Pack! A few more pictures after the break...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Action Figure Review: Warbird from Marvel Legends by Toy Biz

     So....I accidentally bought this figure. After reviewing the new Marvel Legends Captain Marvel, I decided I wanted the Ms. Marvel version of Carol Danvers as well. Target had a decent exclusive three pack that came out late last year that seemed to be fairly inexpensive. A quick E-bay search let me to see the Marvel Legends Ms. Marvel for a very, very reasonable price. I had done a quick check to see if there was any older Toy Biz Marvel Legends Ms. Marvel and came up empty-handed, so I decided to order this one assuming it was the newer Hasbro figure (the picture wasn't that great). She arrived a few days later and, to my surprise, I was looking at a figure that is almost 10 years old. Yup, this is indeed a Toy Biz Ms. Marvel, but guess what? Toy Biz didn't call her Ms. Marvel. They called her Warbird using the alias Carol Danvers used in the 90's when she went to rejoin the Avengers. Anyways, I figured I'd keep her around since it was my mistake and it was interesting to look at a Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure from this era. I actually only ever bought a few Toy Biz Marvel Legends from back in the early years of the series (all of series IV and a few scattered figures from series V) and didn't end up picking anymore up until Hasbro took over in the late 2000's, so a figure from the middle/end of Toy Biz's run is a bit of a novelty to me. Warbird was part of 2006's Wal-Mart exclusive Giant-Man wave. ready for a quick look at an older Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Action Figure Review: Stormtrooper Commander and Hera Syndulla from Star Wars: Rebels Mission Series by Hasbro

     Some of the Star Wars Rebels figures have been nearly impossible to find. I consider myself very fortunate that I just happened to be on Amazon at the right time to pick up this set for the standard $10 with free shipping through Amazon Prime.While she's prominent in Rebels as one of the six crew members of the Ghost (which she owns and pilots), I was actually introduced to her through John Jackson Miller's novel A New Dawn. If you like Rebels, particularly Kanan and Hera, the book is definitely worth checking out. Of course, there's also the Stromtrooper Commander in this set, too. But you're not buying the set for that, are you? Ready for a look at a Twi'lek hero who is ready and willing to stand up to the Empire? Then let's get started after the break...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Action Figure Review: Sabine Wren and Stormtrooper from Star Wars: Rebels Mission Series by Hasbro

     The distribution for Hasbro Star Wars: Rebels line has improved over the past couple of months and I've finally been able to find more of the figures I've been looking. Today I'm checking out another Mission Series 2 pack that features Sabine Wren and a Stromtrooper. I like all of the crew members of the Ghost in Rebels but Zeb and Sabine are my two favorites. I reviewed Zeb quite a few months ago and I've been looking for Sabine for quite sometime, so I was incredibly thrilled to find her in a Kohl's while they were having a sale. I paid a bit more for her than I would have paid at a standard retailer but the price was worth it to pick up Sabine. She's an incredibly cool character both visually and personality wise and it's great to have her on my shelf alongside Zeb and Ezra. Of course she also comes with a Stormtrooper so she has someone to fight. Let's take a closer look at these figure, shall we? More Mandalorian mayhem after the break...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Action Figure Review: Spider-Woman (Fierce Fighters) from Marvel Legends Infinite Series by Hasbro

  I don't usually dedicate my reviews to anyone but this time I'm making an exception: This review goes out to my good friend Terry who loves Spider-Woman quite a bit. The man even reviewed Spider-Woman stamps back when ThEpic Review was still a thing! Hope you enjoy this one, Terry!

     Rumor has it that Hasbro's newest series of Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures should be out within the next month or so which means that in the first half of 2015 Hasbro will have released 4 build-a-figure waves, an Amazon exclusive set, and the Toys 'R Us Agents of Shield back. Oh, and there is that cool Guardians of the Galaxy set coming out, too. While other properties are floundering at retail, Marvel Legends seem to be doing just fine. Today I'm looking at a cool figure from the Thanos build-a-figure wave: Spider-Woman! Originally appearing in 1977's Marvel Spotlight #32, Spider-Woman (AKA Jessica Drew) was initially created at the request of Stan Lee simply to keep any other comic book company (i.e. DC) from using the name Spider-Woman. Thanks to the excellent work of Marie Severin and Archie Goodwin, however, Jessica Drew became a significant character in the Marvel universe. While Toy Biz released Jessica Drew in Marvel Legends back in 2006 it's definitely time she received an update so this new figure is a welcome addition in the newest, somewhat Avengers: Age of Ultron themed series. Ready for a closer look at Spider-Woman? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Action Figure Review: Bone Titan Skeleton from Skeleton Warriors by October Toys

     Yesterday I reviewed Baron Dark, the first figure in October Toys' new revival of 1994's Skeleton Warriors. Today I'm looking at one of the generic army builder figures in this line: The Bone Titan Skeleton. October Toys' Skeleton Warriors figures utilize the Glyos system which means they can easily be disassembled and used with other Glyos compatible toylines. It also means that basic parts will be able to be reused multiple times in the future to create new Skeletons. The Bone Titan Skeleton is a more generic skeleton that shares most of his body with Baron Dark but lacks all of his adornments, paint apps, and his unique headsculpt. While the Bone Titan Skeleton is available on October Toys' website it was also an additional add on during last year's Kickstarter campaign. Ready for a look at this bare bones figure? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Action Figure Review: Baron Dark from Skeleton Warriors by October Toys

     Over 10 years ago wrote this great piece on the beautiful failure of a toyline that was Skeleton Warriors. Skeleton Warriors came out when I was around 10 or 11 and while I didn't have all of them (I only remember having Shriek, Aracula, Grimskull, and the Skull Cycle) I do have some fond memories of how cool they were. They were definitely a key part of the revolution in toys that occurred in 1994 and 1995 when action figures grew up quickly. One day I was playing with bright, colorful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 90's era G.I. Joe figures, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the next I was playing with Skeleton Warriors, Legends of Batman, Spawn, and Star Wars: The Power of the Force II. While Skeleton Warriors were definitely the black sheep among those toylines that seemed to up the bar for what was possible (and acceptable) in action figures, they definitely made an impression on me. Over the years I've considered picking up the vintage figures but I've always opted for other things. Last year, however, October Toys announced that they had managed to obtain the Skeleton Warriors licence and were bringing the line to Kickstarter. The toys would be a bit smaller than the originals but would be sculpted by the always exceptional George Gaspar and would be compatible with the Glyos range of products. Since I like Skeleton Warriors, October Toys, and Kickstarter funded lines, I jumped on the bandwagon. Just a few weeks ago my Baron Dark figure arrived and I'm finally getting around to reviewing him. Ready for a look at Baron Dark? Then join me after the break...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Action Figure Review: Angella from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

     Masters of the Universe Classics is still trucking along and I love this line as much as I ever did! What's amazing is that now we're completing factions and vintage release years with almost every release. Today I'm looking at the April 2015 Club Eternia release: Angella! Angella is the queen of Brightmoon, a leader in the Great Rebellion, and Etheria's resident hot mom. She's also the last figure from the first series of Princess of Power figures to be released in MOTUC so her inclusion here means another year of figures has been completed. Congratulations POP Class of 1985!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl and Wonder Woman Magnetic Salt & Pepper Shakers by Westland Giftware

     While I collect a number of things (You read the site: You know.) one of my favorite things to collect is Batgirl related stuff. While Batgirl has been seeing a resurgence in popularity (there are multiple high-end statues coming out this year as well as her downloadable content for Arkham Knight) when I decided to start collecting Batgirl stuff in 2007 there just wasn't as much out there. Still, for the most part it's manageable to grab everything I want with Batgirl. That wouldn't be true with Batman, the Joker, or probably even Harley Quinn these days, but with Batgirl it's still manageable and is actually part of the fun. Sometimes I have to actively look for new Batgirl stuff and that's how I stumbled across this salt and pepper shaker set from Westland Giftware. Yes, the set includes a Batgirl salt shaker and a Wonder Woman pepper shaker that connect together via magnets. This is one of those odd things that I stumbled on and just knew that I had to have for my collection. Ready for a look at some super powered salt and pepper shakers? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Statue Review: Batwoman from DC Comics Bishoujo by Kotobukiya

     Ever since I picked up their Batgirl statue I have been a big fan of Kotobukiya's DC Comics Bishoujo series of 9 inch statues. They're colorful, durable, fairly inexpensive (so far as statues go), and feature beautiful renditions of DC's terrific cast of female characters. Other than Batgirl related items this is the most "high end" line I collect and I'm always excited for each new release. I was incredibly excited for this release of Batwoman, though. First of all there just isn't much Batwoman merchandise out there. There's only ever been one figure from DC Collectibles back in their "52" line and one from Mattel in their ill-fated 1/18th scale Infinite Heroes line. Secondly, I really like Batwoman. I read trade paperbacks rather than single issues, so I'm a bit behind, but from everything I've read from Batwoman up through volume 4 (volume 5 is sitting on my desk right now waiting to be read), Batwoman was probably the most consistently well done title in the New 52. Only Batman rivals it. Kate Kane is a truly interesting character and it's amazing to me how unique and disturbing her own personal corner of Gotham manages to be. With Batwoman (and many other titles) ending due to the aftermath of Convergence, it'll be interesting to see what happens to Batwoman. Hopefully her story will continue as she's one of the best DC characters in modern history (and yes, I know there was an older Katherine Kane, but they're clearly not the same character). Anyways, I was extremely excited to pick up this new statue of Kate Kane as Batwoman for my shelf. Ready to check her out? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Action Figure Review: Luigi from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

  Jakks is really getting the Nintendo heavy hitters out in this line! While series 1-1 had Mario (real name Mario Mario) series 1-2 has Luigi (real name Luigi Mario). Luigi first appeared in 1983 (just like me!) and has gone from being just a Mario palette swap and sidekick to being his own man. Seriously, Luigi has starred in plenty of games and has developed his own personality. Whether you want your Luigi teaming up with Mario, looking for a missing Mario, or hunting down malevolent ghosts, this figure should make you happy. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Action Figure Review: Diddy Kong from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

     In the newest series (1-2) from Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line we get a few sidekicks: Luigi, Toad, and Diddy Kong. It's Diddy who I'm reviewing today! I still remember picking up the amazing Donkey Kong Country shortly after Christmas of 1994. I didn't play many video games when I was in grade school that I can remember (renting a video game was a special and infrequent rare treat) but the Donkey Kong Country series managed to become must buys every year. In all honesty, though, my favorite Diddy Kong game is still Diddy Kong Racing. I'm never been much for racing games but that game was amazing an the adventure elements really appealed to me. I'm thrilled that Donkey Kong already has his little nephew to pal around with as they explore, break bananas, and fight bad guys! Ready for a look at this cheeky little monkey? Then join me after the break...

Toy Bloggers United Contest Part 2: Electric Boogaloo!

   We're back for round 2 of the Toy Bloggers United Contest! Yup, once again a number of toy bloggers have united to give you free stuff that's cluttering our shelves to thank you for your readership! Our host blog this time is The Harvey Mercheum! All you need to do to enter is go over to The Harvey Mercheum and leave a comment on this post. That's it! Leave a comment, pay attention on May 11th when the winner is announced, and you could win a box full of goodies. Here's what our luck winner won last time and I know I added even more bizarre and unusual stuff this time.

Official Rules after the break...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Action Figure Review: Samus from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

     Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line seems to have a lot going for it: The figures are colorful, durable, inexpensive, and represent the first time we've seen many beloved Nintendo characters in action figure form at regular retail stores. While distribution and retailer support has been a bit sporadic (Wal-Mart doesn't carry the line yet) I can't help but feel that Jakks Pacific has earned a great deal of good will from video game fans due to releasing a Nintendo based toyline that seems to have some real legs to it. Today I'm looking at a new figure from series 1-2: Samus Aran from the long running Metroid series. This isn't the first time that Samus has had an action figure crafted in her likeness but it is the first time that I can recall that one was released at a regular retailer like Target or Toys r' Us for a reasonable price point. Ms. Aran is without a doubt one of the most popular and significant video game protagonists ever and it's great to see her in this line alongside other Nintendo icons like Link, Mario, and Donkey Kong. Ready for a closer look at Samus Aran? Then blow into your computer, smack on the casing, and join me after the break...