Monday, August 31, 2015

Action Figure Review: The Street Deacon from Shadowrun Duels by WizKids

 I've said many times before that it is almost impossible to overstate the influence McFarlane Toys had on the action figure industry in the late 1990s/ early 2000s. During that period McFarlane, while  leading the pack in terms of what was possible in sculpting and paint design, had plenty of competition at their heels. Plenty of smaller companies popped up trying to one up the competition by seeing who could add more detail, who could create larger figures, or who could snag a more obscure property. While larger companies like Mattel and Hasbro have typically always had their own in-house designed teams, many of the new smaller companies looked to private studios for creative talent. One of the best teams working in the early 2000s was Plan B Toys. These former Resaurus employees worked on a number of different lines including the amazing Special Forces and Palisades' Resident Evil and The Muppets. They worked for a variety of different companies including Mezco, Diamond, and WizKids. It's a product from their collaboration with WizKids that I'm looking at today: The Street Deacon from Shadowrun Duels. A hybrid between action figures and the Heroclix gaming system based in the Shadowrun Universe, Shadowrun was an action figure line that failed to catch on with gamers and a gaming system that seemed to avoid the attention of most action figure collectors. I've owned eight of the line's thirteen figures for quite a few years (ever since I actually bought them in a game store) and lately I've been wanting to complete my set. The first figure I picked up that I didn't own was the Street Deacon from the first series of figures released in the Summer of 2003. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Minifigure Review: Purple Skeletor and Skeletoken from M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. by Super7

    Over the past four days I've reviewed all four sets of figures from the new M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. line by Super7. When I ordered my four packs of figures I wasn't expecting to get anything special in return. I was absolutely amazed when I opened my box and found the SDCC exclusive purple Skeletor with the Skeletoken and the postcard/ flyer for the promotion. At SDCC 2015 there was a very cool promotion where you were supposed to gather one of these special Skeletokens and use them to access a secret location nearby (I believe at Super7's store). After SDCC I had looked on Ebay and saw these Skeletor figures selling for some very high prices, thus I became content with never owning one. I was amazed that Super7 sent him out to me for free along with my order! What a cool thing to do for folks picking this set up! Want a short but closer look? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Minifigure Review: Whiplash, Tri-Klops, & Mer-Man from M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. by Super 7

 Today I'm looking at the last of the four 3-packs from series one of Super 7's M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. line. There's not much more to say about these than what I've said over the past few days: They're M.U.S.C.L.E. styled figures based on the Masters of the Universe cast. They're nicely priced at $6 a pack ($2 a figure), they're sold as set assortments (as opposed to random or blind bagged packs), and they're nicely sculpted. Hopefully Super 7 keeps these coming since these appeal to both MOTU fans and fans of plastic minifigures in general and should please a number of customers. Today I'm looking at the second set of villains: Whiplash, Tri-Klops, and Mer-Man. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Minifigure Review: Ram Man, Buzz-Off, & Man-E-Faces from M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. by Super 7

   I'm still making my way through the first series of M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. figures, the new Masters of the Universe and M.U.S.C.L.E. mash-up line from Super 7. Over the past few years we have seen an upswing in the number of retro inspired minifigure lines paying homage to Kinnikuman, M.U.S.C.L.E., Monster in my Pocket, and the other great minifigure lines of the 80's and 90's. Super 7 has officially stepped into the ring, attempting to marry the characters of MOTU with the style of M.U.S.C.L.E. While I have some problems with the execution I can't help but love the spirit of this awesome 80's amalgamation. Today I'm looking at the set of three figures which includes Ram-Man, Man-E-Faces, and Buzz-Off. While Ram-Man and Man-E-Faces were second year MOTU characters, Buzz-Off was from the third year of the line. Hopefully Stratos and Zodac, both first year figures, will make it into a future series! Ready for a closer look at these guys? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Minifigure Review: Skeletor, Beast Man, & Trap Jaw from M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. by Super 7

 Yesterday I reviewed the first series from Super 7's M.U.S.C.L.E. and Masters of the Universe mash-up line: M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E.! These first appeared at SDCC 2015 but have appeared on Super 7's website at least once now (that's when I ordered mine!). My understanding is that Super 7 plans to keep producing these little guys so hopefully the many fans who missed out will have a chance at these again soon. These guys are quite fun but not without a few problems (which I'll reiterate from yesterday's review below). Looking at these guys, I would love to see Super 7 release these guys in various colors. Man-At-Arms and Beast Man in orange, Trap Jaw in blue, and Teela in red would be fantastic. Today's set includes the basic pink figures of Skeletor, Trap Jaw, and Beast Man. I'm quite glad that Super 7 didn't try to do something like make these randomly packed or anything (like their Alien eggs last year) as that would have been very, very annoying. Ready for a closer look at Skeletor and his two cronies? Then join me after the break...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Minifigure Review: He-Man, Teela, & Man-At-Arms from M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. by Super 7

 One of the coolest things that popped up at SDCC 2015 was Super 7's Masters of the Universe and M.U.S.C.L.E. mash-up series M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. The premise is simple: Take the beefed up Masters of the Universe characters and release them in the traditional M.U.S.C.L.E. style. M.U.S.C.L.E. is one of my favorite toylines ever (I love minifigures) as is MOTU, so this was a match that was right up my alley. I purchased these directly from Super 7's website and while they're sold out as of the writing of this article, they're supposed to continue releasing these. The packaging art featuring the red exploding rocks over a blue background is perfectly vintage MOTU while the style of the card and blister with the leaping He-Man is pure M.U.S.C.L.E. (M.U.S.C.L.E. and MOTU are both Mattel properties, so it's all good!). Each set comes with three figures and today I'm looking at the set which includes He-Man, Teela, and Man-At-Arms. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Action Figure Review: Triple Threat from The Corps Elite by Lanard

Just yesterday I reviewed one of the new sets of figures from Lanard's newest incarnation of their budget 1/18th scale military line: The Corps Elite! While not as articulated as many 1/18th scale military figures, The Corps makes up for their shortfalls in price. Guess how much a pack of three figures and a motorcycle or small vehicles costs? About $6-$7 dollars. That's cheaper than Hasbro asks for one 5 POA Star Wars figure. Unbelievable, right? While these might not be up your alley, they're a fun line that's easily available at most Wal-Marts across the country. Ready for a closer look at Rain, Puma, and Dozer, the Triple Threat? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Action Figure Review: The Corps Elite Vs. The Curse from The Corps Elite by Lanard

  Admit it: As a kid you had some members of the Corps mixed in with your G.I. Joes. Don't try to deny it! While you might like to brag about your collecting purity and how you don't mix lines, there were some figures from Lanard's The Corps that just fit in too well with the Joe team, Cobra, or the Dreadnoks. While the Corps and G.I. Joe have really went their separate ways, lately many fans have been giving a more watchful eye to some of the cool figures Lanard is putting out on shelves. With G.I. Joe largely missing from retail (someone please help Hasbro) the Corps stands prepared to give 1/18th scale collectors something fun to snag on toy shelves. While I don't usually go on and on about price I feel that this review warrants it: This 3 pack of figures plus a motorcycle costs around $6-$7. Let me say that again: $6-$7. Name me one action figure that you can buy these days for that price. I'm not sure how Lanard is magically doing this but somehow they have figures out retail distribution and managed to get costs under control better than any of their competitors. Want to check out this three pack of Ogre, Buckshot, and Snake Bite? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Action Figure Review: Batman Beyond from Total Heroes Ultra by Mattel

 I'm not sure what the problem is but Mattel just doesn't seem like they can keep their kid focused DC lines going. Take Total Heroes: It's supposed to be a kid friendly, under $10 DC Comics based line. Did stores even stock these? I saw one or two sitting around every now and then but it didn't seem like Mattel really pushed the line at all. While Hasbro's Marvel Superhero Mashers are going strong, Mattel can't even seem to really sell a Batman line. While fans really showed a lot of hate for this line early on (it kind of took the place of the various DC/ Batman Unlimited lines) overtime they seem to have just forgotten about it (as did Mattel). The figures weren't bad but there wasn't much variety. The most exciting things to come out of the line were from the Total Heroes Ultra subset: Multiple heads, piles of cool accessories, and some great character choices. Guess where these were sold? Only on Mattycollector, because you know that's where the kiddies shop. Anyways, when I picked up my SDCC Exclusive Rotar and Twistoid I also grabbed this Batman Begins set. The only Batman Begins figures I own are the two from DC Universe Classics so I wanted to add another. This is a cool set and is definitely worth checking out regardless of your thoughts on the Total Heroes line. Want a closer look at the Batman of the Future? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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

 For the past few years Mattel has started offering a traveling convention exclusive that only has limited online sales; the intention is that the figure is sold primarily at various conventions. So far the figures offered have been somewhat difficult to get, but not impossible. Of course, Temple of Darkness Sorceress, Strobo, and Goat Man weren't army builders. This year's traveling convention exclusive, Skeletor's Hover Robots, are. It's kind of odd to make an army builder an exclusive as it seems like something that folks might want multiples of, wouldn't you think? Fortunately, Mattel opted to include three of the Hover Robots in each set. That was a great idea as these guy nearly always showed up in groups in the Filmation cartoon series where they originated (you gotta have robots for the bad guys to beat up in a kids cartoon, after all). Ready for a closer look at the Hover Robots three-pack? Then join me after the break...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Action Figure Review: Rotar and Twistoid from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

      In 1987 as the Masters of the Universe line was winding down, Mattel was trying everything to stay relevant. Besides attempting to strong-arm retailers to carry other MOTU products in order to earn the privilege of selling MOTU figures, Mattel was also trying out a number of gimmick figures. One of these ideas led to the creation of Rotar and Twistoid, the Energy Zoids. Essentially some form of battle tops, Rotar and Twistoid ended up being pretty obscure figures. Many fans, myself included, don't even seem to remember them from back in the day. Only after getting back into MOTU thanks to Masters of the Universe Classics did I discover these two. Since 2015 is all about finishing up the vintage line of action figures we knew these two would be coming. They made their appearance as as a set of SDCC 2015 exclusives that were also sold on Matty's own website. Ready for a look at the Rotar and Twistoid, the Energy Zoids? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Episode 3 of The Collection Agency Podcast is Up at Geeks With Wives Radio!

 Me and my good friend Brad Bell have released our newest podcast episode!

On Episode 3 of The Collection Agency Podcast I complain we talk about the difficulties, benefits, and problems caused by exclusives and limited editions in collecting. We also discuss: TMNT Mondo Posters, Garbage Pail Kids, Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys leaking early, the new Sideshow Collectibles Friday the 13th Jason Voorhees premium format figure, new threezero 1/6 scale TMNT figures, Power-Con, and the most unique relationships we've made through collecting.

 Give us a listen and let us know what you think about exclusives. Or anything, really! We just want some comments and to know you're listening!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Action Figure Review: Nightwing from The New 52 by DC Collectibles

     While the New 52 is no more (even though the continuity it set up is still in order for the most part), that doesn't mean that we can't keep playing with the various toys it spawned! Last year saw the release of two versions of Nightwing in his red and black New 52 outfit: This version and a version from the Greg Capullo inspired line. Lately many of the New 52 branded figures have gone on sale at a number of e-tailers and I've been picking up ones I've missed. While I grabbed Red Hood, Red Robin, and Batgirl last year as soon as they came out, I didn't grab Nightwing. I finally did a week or so ago when I saw him for $12 and now I'm getting a chance to review him. Ready for a closer look at Dick Grayson in his Nightwing costume (which he's now abandoned as an agent of Spyral)? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

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

 Fans of the Mike Young Productions Masters of the Universe cartoon and the accompanying toyline had a rough time with Masters of the Universe Classics for a few years. At some point between 2010 and 2011 former brand manager Scott "ToyGuru" Neitlich made a big deal about Mattel's corporate directives to eliminate all traces of the "hyper anime detail" look of the 200x line. While we still got some characters that originated in that era (Count Marzo and Chief Carnivus come to mind) it wouldn't be until this year that 200x fans got an entire subscription to themselves. The Club 200x subscription just sent out it's first monthly figure, Callix, in July. Who is Callix? He's a rock dude that appeared in one episode and was killed shortly after he first appeared. Of course, being a new member of the Horde and all, fans latched onto the character. Long story short, we now have Callix. And he rocks. Rocks. Get it? Anyways, check him out after the break...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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

     For July 2014 the Masters of the Universe Classics Club Eternia figure is....Peekablue. Peekablue, She-Ra's "watchful feathered friend" who is able to use the eyes on her plumage to give her a better view of everything that's happening around her. Peekablue was one of the vintage Princess of Power from the second series of figures released in 1986. She's the second to last new POP series 2 figure needed in classics (just Perfuma left) to complete that year, with the exception of a She-Ra and Catra variant (although who knows if those will ever get released?). Yup, Peekablue is a peacock themed character. This is Masters of the Universe though! Aren't wacky themed characters just part of the fun? Ready to watch Peekablue strut her stuff? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Minifigure Review: OMFG! Series 4 from OMFG! by October Toys

It's been almost two years since I originally reviewed OMFG series 3!  It's taken some time but October Toys has finally counted to 4 with their signature Kickstarter backed minifigure line. While there are many toys originating on Kickstarter these days, OMFG! is the first line I remember showing up there and succeeding. Can anyone recall anything else? Anyways, if you've ever held a M.U.S.C.L.E., a SLUG Zombie, or a Monster in My Pocket minifigure, you should know what to expect: These guys are small (around 2 inches, give or take depending on the characters) solid plastic unarticulated minifigures. They're all the same shade of pink, like M.U.S.C.L.E., but are available in different colors from different sources. They come packaged together in a very cool little blister pack that's very evocative of 1980's styled packaging. Fans submit these designs and then vote on who was included. Ready to see who showed up? Then join me after the break...

Monday, August 10, 2015

A New Batgirl Review: SDCC Exclusive Batgirl from Batman: Classic TV Series by Mattel

 Yeah, Batgirl existed before Yvonne Craig appeared on the 3rd season of the Classic TV series and before "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl" in Detective Comics #359, but she wasn't Barbara Gordon. At the request of ABC, DC Comics recreated Batgirl to help increase ratings for the third season of the TV show. Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino created Barbara Gordon and launched her in the comics while Yvonne Craig brought her to life! Today I'm looking at the first Batgirl action figure from Mattel's Batman: Classic TV series line An exclusive for Toys 'R Us, Batgirl was available both at SDCC 2105 and online at Toys 'R Us' website (Entertainment Earth helped with distribution at the show). I ordered her as soon as I could from Toys 'R Us and didn't have any trouble securing her. Ready for a look at Batgirl? Then join me after the break...

Friday, August 7, 2015

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl Premium Format (Sideshow Exclusive) from DC Comics by Sideshow Collectibles

     This is the first Premium Format from Sideshow Collectibles that I've ever owned. My friend Brad Bell (of Geeks with Wives and The Collection Agency podcast) has long been a fan of the Premium Format's 1/4 scale and I've had a chance to view a few of his figures. For me, though, I knew it would take something pretty special to finally cough up the cash for a 1/4 scale figure. That something special turned out to be Batgirl. It's not much of a secret that Batgirl is probably tied with Batman for the title of my favorite superhero. I say probably because it's entirely possible that Batgirl is actually at the top of the list (although by a small margin). As a comic fan, I find Barbara Gordon fascinating and relatable: She is an idealistic and driven character inspired by Batman. While she borrows the motif of the Caped Crusader she also makes it her own. I think it's pretty clear that in most portrayals Batgirl is not a sidekick: She's an independent operator who gets the privilege to work alongside the person who inspired her. Unlike many superheroes, Babs doesn't really possess some defining event such as possessing powers, a life-changing tragedy, or recruitment by an alien race that spurs her to become a crime fighter: She does it because it's what she see needs to be done. While many things about Barbara have changed in various depictions over the years (family history, career, age, etc.), the core elements of her character have remained the same: She's competent, driven, and talented enough to hang with folks possessing legitimate superpowers and still make her mark. Today I'm looking at Premium Format Batgirl, definitely the largest and certainly one of the most impressive Batgirl collectibles I own. Ready for a closer look and lots of pictures? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Action Figure Review: The Terminator from The Terminator Reaction by Funko

     If you didn't check out yesterday's review of Kyle Reese, you might want to do that first. In it I discuss my feelings on how Funko has improved their ReAction line over the past year and why I finally snapped up these Terminator figures. Today I'm just running a quick review on old Arnold here. Yup, it's the Terminator himself from the original film. This is the outfit he wears in the Tech-Noir nightclub early in the film and is a pretty significant look for the character even if it's not the most iconic look from the film (the black leather jacket and sunglasses takes that award.) Ready for a short look at the Terminator? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Action Figure Review: Kyle Reese from The Terminator ReAction by Funko

     While Funko has really found their groove with the ReAction line this year with a steady string of hits, last year was very hit or miss. While the Universal Monsters and Horror Series were really strong, the Back to the Future, Firefly, and Terminator lines felt rather lacking. Today I'm taking a look back at one of those lesser ReAction lines from last year, The Terminator, because I found a couple of the figures on clearance at a Barnes & Noble for $5. At that price I couldn't resists and so I picked up Kyle Reese and the Terminator himself. Today I'm looking at Kyle Reese. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Statue Review: Armored Wonder Woman from DC Comics Bishoujo by Kotobukiya

    On a recent trip to Nashville, TN I was able to visit one of my favorite comic shops, Comic City Too! I went with  a friend who has a pull box there. While we were browsing they were even recording an episode of the Geeks of the Square Table podcast! Anyways, as a big fan of Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line I saw this Armored Wonder Woman figure at a regular retail price and I just knew I had to have her. I already own the first Wonder Woman release but I figures I'd wait and see if this one dropped in price a bit. Well, it doesn't seem like she's going to drop much and since other figures are starting to skyrocket I figured I should grab her while I had the chance. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Action Figure Review: The Creeper from The New Batman Adventures by DC Collectibles

     It's the Creeper! The Creeper is only the second figure I've picked up from DC Collectible's The New Batman Adventures line but he's such a unique character that I just had to have him. The only other Creeper figure I own is the DC Universe Classics version and I figured I should grab another one. Old Jack Ryder hasn't had that many figures made in his likeness, you know. Anyways, you all know that I love Batman action figures but there is another reason I purchased the Creeper: I have a friend whom myself and other friends pester a bit by calling him "Da Creeper!" It's a long story. Anyways, he hates it, so I thought it would be funny to have this guy sitting around when he came for a visit. He's rather observant because he noticed the Creeper just standing on top of a book shelf, half hidden behind something else. Whatever your reasons for checking out the Creeper, why don't you read on and learn more?