Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Top 10 Toylines of 2016

 Every year around the end of January/ beginning of February I start sharing my picks for the toys I enjoyed best from the previous year. The first list I always put out is my10 favorite toylines and this is the fifth year that I've created a list of my top 10 toylines (you can read my 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 lists if you'd like). It's something I always enjoy compiling and sharing in examining my collecting habits over the past year and thinking ahead to the year to come. Keep in mind a few things:

   First, this is a list of my favorite lines, and thus it's even more subjective than the standard "best of" list (which is already quite subjective). If I were doing a "best of 2016" I'd definitely be looking at the merits of lines that I don't even collect. For this list, though, I'm factoring in the fun I had collecting these lines, discussing them, and reviewing them in addition to the merits of the toys themselves.

Second, I've started doing a separate top ten for individual figures from lines that I didn't mention here. Sometimes a single action figure release or a standout figure from a line I'm not overwhelmed by captures my attention and I want to give them some attention.

Third, I try my best to be fair in determining what constitutes a toyline. Sometimes I mix stuff  that I feel is really part of a singular line, such as Mattel's work on the WWE license. Mattel's WWE basic line and WWE Elite line are the same license in the same scale, share parts, and are intended to work together; why separate them?  I wouldn't try to separate Hasbro's various Marvel Legends assortments that have different names, either, although I would separate Hasbro 1/18th scale Star Wars Black figures from the 6 inch scaled Black Series figures.  If the lines are in the same scale and style and from the same property and same company, I'll probably join them together.

Fourth, I list these alphabetically, not by merit. It's just easier that way.

Ready to get started with my top 10 favorite lines of 2016? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Minifigure Review: Sewerot from Trash Bag Bunch by Galoob

 I'm always excited to add another Trash Bag Bunch figure to my collection and today I'm showing off Sewerot, one of the Trashors. These came out in 1991 and I actually owned a fair number of them as a kid. This is one I never had, though, so there's a really cool, special kind of nostalgia that comes with adding a figure like this to my childhood collection. Since the Trash Bag Bunch only had the thinnest of premises, I've kind of been writing some biographical elements for these guys. Looking at Sewerot, I'm thinking that these are army builder styled troops, commanded by the evil Trasher! Let's take a closer look at them after the break...

Friday, January 27, 2017

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl (Batgirl of Burnside) from DC Comics Icons by DC Collectibles

 Today I'm looking at the last figure from 2016 I'm going to review before the end of January, which is when I'll be unveiling my picks for some of my favorite toys of 2016! (If you want to make your voice heard, head on over to Michael Crawford's and cast your vote in the People's Picks! I'm one of the judges for the 2016 Poppies, too!) My final 2016 product review is a figure I was anxious to finally get my hands on: Batgirl from DC Collectibles' excellent DC Comics Icons line. Based on her incredible new look in the Batgirl of Burnside storyline, this version of Babs sports what is quite possibly the coolest costume the character has ever worn. Heck, not only did DC Collectibles release a cool figure but they gave her her slick motorcycle, too! This release sneaked out at the end of the year and was well worth the wait. I had to wait a bit longer for mine to come in at my local comic shop, but it finally arrived last weak and I'm ready to review it! More bat-tastic action after the break...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

POP! Review: Licker #158 from POP! Games by Funko

 One weekend in early December 1998, my uncle and two of my cousins visited our house. My cousins brought their PlayStation with them and I definitely remember convincing my mother to take us to Blockbuster to rent a video game. Having played a few minutes of Resident Evil at another cousin's house during the summer, I was eager for this chance to play through the game. I only had an N64 at the time and was really trying to decide if I needed a PlayStation as well. Unfortunately, Blockbusters' copy of Resident Evil didn't work properly. Resident Evil 2 did, though, and I was greeted with what some might call the high point of the franchise. Resident Evil 2 is still and incredible game and one of the craziest moments early on occurs when you first encounter the terrifying Licker. Nearly 20 years later, that's still a really, really cool scene. Funko has included a POP! of the Licker in their first series of Resident Evil POP! vinyls and I had to have one. Let's check out this terrifying little guy after the break...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

POP! Review: Nemesis #157 from POP! Games by Funko

 If you want to talk about video game villains who not only left an impression due to their personality but also due to the way they affected the game play, the Nemesis absolutely has to enter into the conversation. The primary antagonist of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, the Nemesis took the creep factor of the trenchcoat wearing Tyrant/ Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 and upped it exponentially by following you non-stop throughout the game. To this day I still can't think of many villains that have given me the same sense of dread as waiting for this guy to pop up. The sheer craziness of this guy has still never been replicated in a Resident Evil title to date, although I've just started playing Resident Evil 7 and there definitely seems to be a few recurring villains who actively chase you like Nemesis, so we'll see. Let's take a look at the POP! vinyl version of the Nemesis, after the break...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

POP! Review: Leon Kennedy #156 from POP! Games by Funko

 Last night I headed out to my local GameStop to pick up Resident Evil 7 for my X-Box One. I'll probably share my thought on the game at a later date but right now I want to talk about another POP! vinyl from Funko's first series of Resident Evil releases: Leon Kennedy! Wearing the outfit he starts off with in Resident Evil 4 and carrying the standard shotgun, this is a pretty cool and recognizable incarnation of Leon. Let's take a closer look at him after the break...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Statue Review: Wonder Girl from DC Comics Bishoujo by Kotobukiya

 Kotobukiya has made their way through the most prominent female characters of the DC Universe in their DC Comics Bishoujo line and now they're starting to hit some more B-listers. I'm completely OK with that as I'm really looking to see their take on characters like Hawkgirl, Miss Martian, Vixen, Mera, Talia al Ghul, and others. The newest release they've put out is the Cassandra Sandsmark version of Wonder Girl. This isn't a character I'm terribly familiar with (I'm more familiar with the Donna Troy version), which I will admit probably has had an effect on my thoughts toward this statue. Still, Kotobukiya's statues are usually so impressive that I knew I was going to give it a chance. Plus, she'll display nicely alongside of Starfire and Raven if you're going for a Teen Titans display. These statues look incredible together and truly justify the expression "the more the merrier." Join me in taking a closer look after the break...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Minifigure Review: Junker from Trash Bag Bunch by Galoob

Today I'm looking at an older minifigure from my collection: Junker from Galoob's 1991 minifigure line the Trash Bag Bunch. What's really special about this guy, other than the obvious fact that he's a cybernetically enhanced werewolf, is that this guy right here was the first Trash Bag Bunch figure I ever owned. My parents purchased him for me at a K-Mart back in 1991 and something about this guy has helped him stick around in my toy collection for 26 years now. Yeesh! Junker is an incredibly cool minifigure and a real winner in this line. Let's take a closer look at this villainous beast after the break...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Minifigure Review: Garbeast from Trash Bag Bunch by Galoob

  I'm still trying to finish my collection of Trash Bag Bunch figures (7 are still eluding me) and I'm making it a goal for 2017 to finish this set! I'm happy to say that I recently added one of the figures I've been trying to snag for quite some time, though: Garbeast. It's really interesting how diverse the Trash Bag Bunch can be; if you didn't know the figures available in the series, I'm not sure that you would be able to recognize that these little figures all go together. I picked this guy up from a small lot of minis that included two figures I already owned, but the price was pretty low so I bit (if anyone needs an extra Junkor or Wastor, let me know!). Let's take a look at Garbeast after the break...

Friday, January 20, 2017

POP! Review: Jill Valentine #155 from POP! Games by Funko

 I'm planning on reviewing all of the figures in Funko's new Resident Evil releases. Being a huge Resident Evil fan, I cannot wait to see if this line picks up some steam. It's nice to get Jill in her classic outfit from the original game as part of the first series of POP! figures. Jill's absolutely one of the main protagonists in the series (and the first returning protagonist, having starred in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis) so her star power can't be ignored. She's also the butt of some of the infamous jokes in the series thanks to Barry Burton. Even if you've never played the game, you've heard people joke about a "Jill Sandwich" or "The Master of Unlocking." The first Resident Evil is a unique game and a classic, thanks in part to it's B-movie dialogue, and Jill might never live that down. Let's take a closer look at this POP!, shall we? More survival horror after the break...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Action Figure Review: Batman (Batman v. Superman) from One:12 Collective DC Universe by Mezco

Today I'm looking at the One:12 Collective Batman from Mezco, and he's one of the last two figures from 2016 I'll be looking at before making my various lists for the best figures of 2016. Mezco's One:12 Collective seems to be a hit although they're experiencing a lot of delays. That hasn't seemed to hurt them much, though, as every figure they release is darn near perfect. Batman is my fifth figure in the range of products and, actually, he's my fourth Batman from them. What can I say? I love Batman. Ben Affleck's Batman is just incredible and, despite your feelings on the rest of the film, I think most fans appreciate what he has done and what he seems to be doing with the role. We're seeing some stuff we've never seen Batman do before, in essence getting a unique interpretation of the character that still feels true to what we've seen previously in a wide variety of source material. The Affleck Batsuit might be the best ever (yeah, that's hard for me to admit as someone who still loves Keaton's look). I've reviewed quite a few versions of this look from different companies, but let's take a look at the best version yet released. More Batfleck goodness after the break...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl & Oracle from Batman: Arkham Knight by DC Collectibles

 I have three items from 2016 left to review before I start releasing my best of the year lists: The One:12 Collective BvS Batman, the DC Icons Batgirl, and the Arkham Knight Batgirl & Oracle two-pack. Today I'm looking at the Batgirl & Oracle two-pack and, as you can probably guess, I've been pretty excited for this one. Since Barbara Gordon/ Batgirl is my second favorite DC Comics character (Batman still comes first), this pack just seemed like it had my name written all over it. While the Batgirl design from the Arkham Knight expansion "A Matter of Family" doesn't differ much from the New 52 version of the character, the fact that we're getting Babs as Oracle is huge. It's been almost 15 years since DC Direct released the Birds of Prey set with an Oracle figure, and now that figure commands some insane prices. This set is cool as it captures both of Barbara's crime-fighting identities in one set. Is it as good as it seems on paper? Let's take a closer look and find out...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

POP! Review! Hunter from POP! Games by Funko

   This is the first 2017 release I'm reviewing! Hooray!

   As soon as I discovered that Funko was making Resident Evil POP! vinyls, I knew immediately that I'd be buying them all. I love Resident Evil. I have 7 preordered and paid for already. I'm planning to go see the Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Heck, I've read the novels by S.D. Perry, won a costume contest dressed as Chris Redfield, and own the Alice Hot Toy (the only Hot Toy I own, in fact). I've been a fan of the game series and the Resident Evil universe since the summer of 1998 and I've been collecting Resident Evil toys just as long. No one has ever really released a collection that began to feel complete. Toy Biz stopped before Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Palisades never got beyond a third series, and thus never got around to making a Jill Valentine. Moby Dick Toys never managed to make Leon. NECA has messed around with the license on a few occasions, but they've only released a handful of figures from different games, and never have made a Claire Redfield. Someone needs to do a comprehensive Resident Evil series featuring all of the main cast and, right now, my hope is with Funko. Can they do it? Let's hope so! The first release I picked up is the GameStop exclusive Hunter. I located and reserved him through my local store on GameStop's website and picked him up in store. Let's check out this B.O.W. after the break...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Statue Review: Edwards Scissorhands from Horror Bishoujo by Kotobukiya

 I'm wrapping up my 2016 purchases and today I'm looking at a statue that Kotobukiya got out the door at the very end of the year: Edward Scissorhands from their Horror Bishoujo collection. The first thing you'll notice about this is that this totally isn't a statue depicting Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands; instead, it's a female version of Edward Scissorhands. There has been a long tradition of female cosplayers putting their own touch on the Edward Scissorhands character, as well Halloween costume companies putting out feminine variations of the costume, so Kotobukiya definitely isn't doing something new here. Still, it's an interesting choice for this line which thus far has only included female versions of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. I managed to pick this statue up shortly after Christmas at a fairly discounted at a comic book store, so I was pretty pleased. Let's take a closer look at a cool new statue from Kotobukiya, shall we? More details and pictures after the break...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Action Figure Review: The New Day Pack from WWE Elite by Mattel

 I'm down to only four items leftover from 2016 that I need to review, and one of those is this very cool set from Mattel's WWE Elite Series of action figures. It's the New Day Pack, featuring all three members of the New Day, the current longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions (483 days), in their in-ring attire from Wrestlemania 32 when they faced three members of the League of Nations. This is a really cool set that I stumbled upon at Toys R Us about three days after Christmas and just had to pick up. Let's take a closer look at this one after the break...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Action Figure Review: Kanan #132 from POP! Star Wars by Hasbro

I'm already working on my annual Best of The Year awards, which should hit around the end of January. Right now I'm wrapping up the 2016 product releases that I've picked up and Kanan Jarrus has the distinct honor of the last POP! vinyl I've picked up from 2016. While I'll certainly be going back and picking up the rest of the Ghost crew as I find them, this is definitely the last POP! vinyl I purchased in 2016. Let's take a closer look at this super cool cowboy Jedi after the break...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Action Figure Review: Hera #136 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

  Want to know one of my biggest freak out moments during Rogue One? When you hear someone page General Syndulla over the intercom at the Rebel base on Yavin IV. That was so darn amazing! As a huge Rebels fan, I'm pretty inclined to pick up Rebels toys and whatnot, so I was really excited for Hera. As the captain of the Ghost and the person with the most connections to the Rebellion in the first season, she's the de facto leader of a group that really doesn't seem to care much for hierarchy. Let's take a look at Hera Syndulla after the break...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Diorama Playset E from S.H. Figuarts Super Mario Bros. by Bandai

 Today I'm looking at the last item from my Christmas Haul 2016 and it's a pretty good one. It's Diorama Playset E from the S.H. Figuarts Super Mario Bros. line by Bandai. Yeah, Diorama Playset E sounds pretty boring, but trust me: It's not! This set actually includes three villains that are intended to be used with the S.H. Figuarts Super Mario Bros. figures: Lakitu, a Spiny, and a Hammer Bro. While I don't own any figures from S.H. Figuarts' Super Mario Bros. line, I do own most releases from Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line, and I think these pair up really nicely with those releases. Jakks hasn't released any of these enemies in the line yet, so this is a good option to add them to my collection. As someone who has always wanted Nintendo action figures, specifically from Super Mario Bros., these really seem quite magical. I love this set! Let's take a closer look at it after the break...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Sabine #135 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

 Today is the penultimate toy from my 2016 Christmas haul and it's another POP! from Funko's Star Wars offerings. Hailing from Star Wars: Rebels is Sabine Wren! Sabine was released with her Mandalorian helmet in November as a Walgreen's exclusive, but this unmasked version is the standard release. I haven't been able to watch Season 3 of Rebels yet (I'm probably going to break down and order the episodes through an online streaming service before too long rather than wait for the Blu-Ray release) but I'm hearing nothing from good things about this latest season. Sabine is definitely one of my top favorite Rebels characters and I'm glad to have her as part of my POP! Rebels collection. Let's take a closer look at her after the break...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas 2016 Haul: R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2 from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

Today I'm looking at the last Star Wars: The Black Series release of 2016 that I'll be covering. Actually, I believe I'll have reviewed every figure except the rereleased Rey with a lightsaber (I already own the first version and the K-Mart exclusive Starkiller Base version, so there was nothing new in the set), the standard Kylo Ren (he's the same as the Celebration version, just without the cool accessories), and the single carded Obi-Wan Kenobi (who's the same as the SDCC 2016 Obi-Wan, again without the cool accessories). This set is a Toys R Us exclusive that was also kind of, but not really, a SDCC 2016 exclusive featuring three astromech droids from the Battle of Yavin: R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2. Two of these droids are straight up repaints of the Black Series Phase I R2-D2 while R5-K6 features a new head, so refer back to that review for a full rundown of the sculpt and such. I'm going to be paying more attention to the new or unique stuff here. Let's check these droids out after the break...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: K-2SO #146 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

It seems that most people who have seen Rogue One have walked out proclaiming K-2SO as their favorite character. The blunt, menacing reprogrammed droid managed to be quite the show stealer thanks to the excellent vocal work and mannerisms of Alan Tudyk (he was motion captured for the role). I received quite a few Star Wars POP! vinyls for Christmas and K-2SO was one of them. Let's take a closer look at this tall guy, shall we?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Chirrut Imwe #140 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

 Chirrut Imwe was one of the standout characters from Rogue One (which has a pretty solid cast of new characters) and is someone I'm really anxious to pick up in the Black Series. He's not quite out yet (some folks are getting him from China directly) but I'm pretty pleased to have this cool POP! version from Funko. I received him for Christmas and, I have to say, he's one of the best POP! vinyls in the Rogue One. Donnie Yen was incredible in Rogue One and I really hope we eventually see at least a book or a comic series about the adventures of Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus long before the events of the film. Let's take a closer look at this POP! and bother what might have been had the film ended differently, shall we?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: C-3PO from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 Today I'm doing another one of those reviews where I'm reviewing a figure that's extremely similar to another one, so I'm just showing you some new pictures, pointing out the new details, and directing you back to the original review. Over the past month or two Hasbro has released two different C-3PO figures: A Resistance Base version from The Force Awakens, available in the eighth series of Black Series Phase III figures, and a Walgreens exclusive classic C-3PO. My guess is that many collectors will opt for this classic one, which means it seems strange for an exclusive, right? Maybe Walgreen's decided they wanted the more recognizable version of the character? Anyways, let's take a look at this guy. I love him and I think you might, too.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Bray Wyatt #28 from POP! WWE by Funko

 Today my Christmas haul for 2016 continues with a look at one of the WWE POP! figures: Bray Wyatt! I'm a huge fan of Bray Wyatt and this figure was a welcome surprise in my stocking. Let's take a closer look at him, shall we?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Armored Batman from Batman v. Superman MAFEX by Medicom

  While it certainly wasn't one of the best movies of last year, 2016's Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice had some incredible costume designs, perhaps the most impressive being Batman's armored batsuit from his confrontation with Superman. Last January I picked up Mattel's version of Armored Batman from the DC Comics Multiverse line and as a belated birthday present I received Mezco's One:12 Collective Armored Batman. Despite having two versions of the costume, I was still drawn to Medicom's MAFEX version. It seems like MAFEX has some cool plans for this line and I wanted to go ahead and get an Armored Batman while they can still be found. You never know what toys are going to disappear and become harder to find, you know? Let's take a look at another Armored Batman figure after the break...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Captain Cassian Andor #139 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

 The entire Rogue One cast just worked for me and I'm heartbroken that we're not going to be seeing this crew in any further endeavors. Diego Luna's Cassian Andor was a really compelling character. He's part of the Rebellion, so he's definitely a "good guy," but he also flat up kills one of his contacts early in the film. I really felt like Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso were inspired by Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors from Star Wars: Dark Forces and I had hopes that we'd see these two characters become deep undercover operatives for the Rebellion. Well, that's not happening, is it? Anyways, let's take a look at this cool Captain Cassian Andor POP! vinyl that I received for Christmas, shall we? More Rogue One goodness after the break...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Jyn Erso #138 from Pop! Star Wars by Funko

  While I think most people would agree that Donnie Yen's Chirrut Imwe and Alan Tudyk's K-2SO stole the show, I really liked Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso. She was a great choice to bring the diverse team of characters together and I hate that we're not going to have the chance to see any further exploits from her and the Rogue One team. While I already own the Smuggler's Bounty exclusive version of Jyn Erso in her combat gear from Eadu, I was still pretty pleased to receive this POP! of Jyn in her more standard outfit from Rogue One. Ready for another POP! review? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Haul 2016: Ventriloqust & Scarface from Batman: The Animated Series by DC Collectibles

 I do like DC Collectibles' excellent Batman: The Animated Series line, but I just haven't been buying many of them because the style is pretty different compared to most other DC lines. Still, now that they're really getting into some more unusual characters, I'm picking up some more figures from them. For Christmas I received one I was eagerly anticipating. Well, two maybe: Ventriloquist & Scarface. While Arnold Wesker seems pretty mild mannered, as the Ventriloquist he uses the puppet Scarface to bring out his dark and vindictive side. The team had quite a few appearances on Batman: The Animated Series, so it's pretty cool to now have them in this scale. While the Arkham Asylum line included a Scarface with the Joker, this is the first Ventriloquist we've ever seen in the 6-7 inch scale. Ready for a closer look? Then join me after the break...