Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Action Figure Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Padawan) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    Today I'm checking out the sixth figure from the most recent series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures: Obi-Wan Kenobi from Episode 1. 2019 has finally been the year that we've gotten a decent collection of characters from the Prequels, possibly thanks to the fact that it is the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace. This isn't actually the first release of this version of Obi-Wan Kenobi, though; he was actually released as a Celebration exclusive in Episode I throwback packaging. I missed that one but I didn't fret too much because I knew this one was coming. Obi-Wan makes a great companion piece to hang alongside of Qui-Gon Jinn or to face off against Darth Maul, a figure released way back in the first series of figures from 2013. While largely the same figure as the Celebration exclusive, this figure is lacking the two interchangeable hands that figure came with. Picking up this figure reminds me a lot of getting the Episode I Jedi Duel Obi-Wan Kenobi back in 1999. Gosh, that was an exciting time back then, wasn't it? Let's check this figure out after the break...

Monday, July 15, 2019

Action Figure Review: Battle Armor He-Man from Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjcts

 While I've reviewed Panthor and two different versions of Battle Cat, I haven't actually reviewed any of the standard figures released by The Loyal Subjects in their Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls line of miniature action figures. The second series of figures just started showing up a month or so ago, although they did have early variant releases through Hot Topic at the end of 2018. Today I'm checking out the first of the standard Series 2 releases: Battle Armor He-Man! I've always loved Battle Armor He-Man ever since I was a child and I'm always down for a version for the figure. Battle Armor He-Man shouldn't be a tough figure to find as his rarity is 2/12, or about two per case. While the series 1 figures were all blind boxed, series 2 has moved towards window boxes and window boxed with blacked out windows. Most of the standard 2/12 figures can easily be found in a visible window box, so at least getting the basic figures in a set should be easier.  Let's take a look at Battle Armor He-Man after the break...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Action Figure Review: Chopper (C1-10P) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    Every time I review a Rebels figure I go on and on about my love for the series. Rebels was fantastic and it's been fun to see the characters show up in other areas of the Star Wars universe. Most exciting for me was seeing Chopper show up at the Rebel Base on Yavin 4 in Rogue One. While Chopper is an animated character, Hasbro's aesthetic goal with the Black Series is to depict all characters from animated and comic media in a more realistic style so we're kind of getting a version of Chopped appearing as he looked in Rogue One. This guy is loaded with features and definitely makes for one of the most feature intensive figures in the newest series of Star Wars figures. Interestingly, this series has consisted of 50% droids. Crazy, huh? Let's check out Chopper/ C1-10P after the break...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Action Figure Review: Panthor (Flocked) Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjects

   Recently I got my hands on the Hot Topic exclusive flocked Panthor from The Loyal Subjects' Masters of the Universe Acton Vinyl line so today I'm going to be checking him out. I reviewed the flocked Battle Cat from the Action Vinyls earlier this month and, if you remember, I had some problems with him due to the flocking covering the paint. I obviously love all things MOTU, especially the big cats, and I'm thrilled that The Loyal Subjects released flocked variants of these guys. While Battle Cat has never been flocked before, most releases of Panthor have been (outside of the MOTUC version). Unfortunately, these versions of the big cats have flocking that covers over the eyes, claws, and teeth. Weird, huh? I'm guessing this really was a production error as I'm not sure why any company would intentionally cover all of the painted detail. Let's take a look at the flocked Panthor after the break...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Action Figure Review: Ofelia from The Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection by NECA

   One of the coolest lines in recent memory is NECA's The Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection. It really is a very unique, very special action figure line. Not only do I love how NECA has selected characters from across three different del Toro films thus (Pan's Labyrinth, the Devil's Backbone, and The Shape of Water) but they've also been willing to give each figure multiple unique accessories. Ofelia is the protagonist of Pan's Labyrinth, so fans of the film will want her for that reason alone, but she also comes with an incredible statue of one of the ruins from the film. I believe it's actually made from polystone. It's amazing to see such an accessory come with a 6-7 inch scaled figure and it really makes this line feel like a signature, special event. Played by Ivana Baquero, Ofelia is a young girl who deals with the grim reality of the world she lives by embracing fantasy, believing that she may truly be the reincarnated Princess Moanna, the daughter of the king of the underworld. Let's delve in and explore the magic NECA has crafted with this figure after the break...

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Toy Review: Castle Grayskull from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

   Back in 2014 I reviewed the Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull and, man, it's still one of my favorite pieces I own. It was also one of my favorite reviews to write. While my little daughter was only 1 at the time the MOTUC Grayskull was released, she totally helped me build the new Mega Construx Castle Grayskull. We actually received ours back in May but it's taken me quite a bit to get around to taking pictures of it and writing a review. This thing is huge and loaded with parts. The package proclaims 3508 parts (though I had lots of leftover pieces; others seem to have them as well) and it will take you quite some time to build it. While Lego is still the gold standard of building bricks, Mega Construx has radically improved themselves over the past few years and Castle Grayskull might be the most impressive set they've released yet. Scratch that: It is the most impressive set they've released. Hands down. Game. Set. Match. The Mega Construx line has released Masters of the Universe figures slowly and quietly over the past few years but this year they've cranked things up to 11 with the Wind Raider, more figure releases, Castle Grayskull, and the upcoming SDCC exclusive Battle Bones. Let's delve into the ancient fortress of mystery and power after the break...

Action Figure Review: Ezra Bridger from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   Behind the now-assembled ESB bounty hunters, my next most anticipated subset in the Black Series has been the crew of the Ghost, also know as the Spectres. I love Star Wars: Rebels; it's not only one of my favorite Star Wars things since Disney's take over of Star Wars but probably one of my favorite Star Wars things in general. The crew of the Ghost managed to not only be incredible characters but also had some of the most visually appealing character designs ever seen in Star Wars. The Rebels crew managed to have classic Star Wars looks while also having very colorful, appealing color schemes, a balance that the Sequel Trilogy has really struggled with finding in costume designs. Ezra changed and matured a lot during the Rebels, though this figure depicts him during the earlier seasons of the show. Let's take a look at young Ezra Bridger, aka Spectre 6, after the break...

Monday, July 8, 2019

Action Figure Review: Reinhardt from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

    Today I'm finishing up my reviews of series 1 of Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates with a look at the deluxe figure Reinhardt. While the standard Overwatch figures are closer in size to a regular Marvel Legends or Star Wars: The Black Series figure, Reinhardt is closer in size to an average Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure. Reinhardt comes in a much, much larger box however, so why exactly does he come in such a large package? It's because Reinhardt has perhaps the largest actual accessory I've ever seen with a 6 inch scaled action figure: An enormous energy shield! Hasbro has done an excellent job of including energy effect pieces with the figures in the Overwatch Ultimates line to replicate the in-game abilities of the characters and Reinhardt's is pretty darn impressive. This 61 year old German crusader can actually tote around his massive barrier field or set it out to protect the rest of the team. Let's check out this deluxe Reinhardt figure and see how he compares to the standard releases after the break...

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Action Figure Review: Skull Trooper (Purple Glow) from Fortnite Legendary Series by Jazwares

    Guess what? Today I'm reviewing another action figure from a game I'm barely familiar with! This time it's the Skull Trooper (Purple Glow) from Jazwares' Fortnite Legendary Series line. Fortnite is a pop culture phenomenon and both Jazwares and McFarlane Toys have been putting out lots of action figure for it. Jazwares started off with 4 inch figures which, while very cool, are just in a scale I don't really collect anymore. McFarlane's figures are kind of cool too, and definitely a big leap forward for the company. I skipped them, though, as they just didn't grab my attention. When I heard about Jazwares Legendary Series of 6 inch scaled highly articulated figures, I decided to check it out. I haven't seen these anywhere yet except GameStop and on Amazon. I picked up this Skull Trooper a day or two ago from GameStop and, man, am I thrilled with him. Jazwares has really come out of nowhere with a figure that, quality wise and articulation wise, rivals what Hasbro is currently doing in this scale. To the best of my knowledge Fortnite doesn't have "characters." Instead, you just put different "skins" on for cosmetic purposes. Thus, this is simply a figure of a random guy in a tactical suit emblazoned with purple bones. It turns out that sometimes that's all you need for a compelling design! Let's check out the Purple Glow Skull Trooper after the break...

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Action Figure Review: Lucio from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

    Today I'm checking out he last of the standard figures for Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates line and this time it's the good-natured Brazilian DJ and freedom fighter Lucio! When I first started checking this line out and delving into Overwatch's lore a bit, Lucio was the character I was the familiar with. He's a support character in the game and utilizes his musical abilities to buff his teammates during battle. It was Lucio's eye-catching bright green and blue color scheme that caught my attention, though. Well, that and the fact that he's wearing rollerblades. Actually, they're called hard-light skates. Something about Lucio's design totally makes me think of an early 90s design, particularly the Jeremy Baker figure from Zen: Intergalactic Ninja. Check out the colors and the rollerblades! Anyways, Lucio is a much better figure, though it's been nearly 30 years so that's expected. Seriously, though, Hasbro is doing some incredibly cool stuff with this line and it looks like even more is coming. Let's check out Lucio after the break...

Friday, July 5, 2019

Action Figure Review: Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   For Father's Day 2019 Target actually advertised a few exclusive Star Wars figures that they were carrying including figures from the Kenner inspired Retro Collection, a Vintage Collection Han Solo in Stromtrooper Disguise, and, the subject of today's review, Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape). Interestingly, rather than having these figures in the regular toy aisle, Target had then in the men's clothing section. Of course, immediately after Father's Day Target began clearing them out. What? Yup, it seems that Target had these coded as holiday merchandise and began offering them on clearance. Currently you can find these on Ebay at some great prices (below original retail) so if you want this guy jump on him now and get a deal. While he's largely a rerelease of the Phase II Luke Skywalker (Stormtrooper Disguise) with a new portrait and some additional paint applications, he is quite nicely done. Let's check out Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape) after the break...

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Action Figure Review: Tracer from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

   Even if you've never played Overwatch, perhaps even if you're barely aware that it exists, you're probably at least familiar with Tracer. While many of the characters from Overwatch have proven to be rather popular, inspiring loyalty among their fans, Tracer is pretty much the de facto face of the brand. She's sort of a staple of gaming pop culture at this point so it makes sense that Hasbro would include her in the first series of Overwatch Ultimates figures. In fact, it appears that she's going to appear in a series 2 in a white outfit along with a repainted McCree as well. This is definitely the most popular version of Tracer, the 26 year old British time traveler and adventurer, and I imagine that she'll prove to be the most popular figure from series one. Let's check Tracer out after the break...

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Action Figure Review: Doctor Aphra from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   I'm making my way through the newest series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures and next in line for review, joining BT-1 and 0-0-0, is Doctor Aphra. Hasbro was very smart to release Doctor Aphra with the Droids as the presence of all three figures automatically makes each of the individual figures more desirable. I've felt that the Black Series would benefit from more themed waves and this seems like a small step in the right direction. I love Doctor Aphra, so much so that I actually purchased the 1/18th scale Doctor Aphra figure from the Vintage Collection last Fall. We knew a Black Series version was coming, however, and here she is. What's really interesting about this figure, besides the fact that she's one of the first figures from the New Canon in the Black Series line, is that she features a lot of reuse. We've seen droids and armored troopers rely on reuse but Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra might be the first regularly clothed human figure to take advantage of clever reuse to craft a completely new figure. Yes, while you may not realize it right off the bat, Doctor Aphra reuses quite a bit from...wait for it... Jaina Solo. Yup! Who would have thought, huh? While I applaud Hasbro's commitment to using unique sculpts and accuracy for movie characters, I'm A-OK with clever reuse to offer us more characters from books and videogames. Let's see how Doctor Aphra turned out after the break...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Confirmed Epic Podcast Bonus Episode: Spider-Man Far From Home




The Reel Brad Bell is proud to Welcome you back to The Confirmed Epic Podcast with a very special bonus episode as we give our thoughts on the latest MCU entry: Jon Watt's Spider-Man Far From Home.


You can always contact the show directly via email at thepicreview@gmail.com or on twitter @thereelbradbell

Minifigure Review: Cyclist Bike Racer from Imagnext Series 12 by Fisher-Price

   Today I'm finishing up my reviews of all of the figures for Series 12 of the Imaginext Collectible figures series and I'm wrapping things up with the Cyclist Bike Racer. I'm just going to call him the Cyclist for short, as he is clearly supposed to be a hardcore professional bicyclist. I'm not usually a huge fan of the sports based figures but I kind of like this guy. His textured suit and cool helmet definitely add a bit more pizazz to him than your average sports figure has, plus he also has a fairly intricate bicycle with spinning wheels. Imaginext usually throws a sports figure in the mix, so they must have some level of demand. Let's check out the Cyclist Bike Racer after the break...

Monday, July 1, 2019

Confirmed Epic Podcast #106: Does SDCC still matter?





The Reel Brad Bell is proud to Welcome you back to The Confirmed Epic Podcast with episode #106.

In episode #106 we discuss:

-The Over/Unders of the MCU's future. (Epic Games)

-Tim Burton's Dumbo, Pet Sematery 2019, Jason Aaron's Avengers The Final Host (What we have been Checking Out)

-Should FUNKO be making Political/Historical Pops? (Collecting)

-Does SDCC still matter? (FILM)

-Is Cable/Satellite getting ready to make a comeback? (TV)

-What didn't Marvel have Sina Grace and Iceman's back? (COMICS)


-We also have some random tweets, and our weekly CONFIRMED CRAP & CONFIRMED EPIC ratings of the week

You can always contact the show directly via email at thepicreview@gmail.com or on twitter @thereelbradbell

Action Figure Review: Battle Cat (Flocked) from Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjects

   In early June I checked out the Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls Battle Cat and today I'm going to be checking out the Hot Topic exclusive variant of the figure. This time Battle Cat is flocked! While Masters of the Universe has a history of flocked figures (Panthor, Moss Man, and Kowl) this is the first time that I can recall that Battle Cat is flocked. I'm down with it, though, as it makes for an interesting variant. I ordered mine from Hot Topic online but these have been popping up in stores too, although these seem to have sold through quite thoroughly. Let's check out Battle Cat after the break...

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Minifigure Review: Monkey Tiger from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 12 by Fisher-Price

   Today I'm checking out the fifth figure in series 12 of the Imaginext Collectible figures and this time it's something pretty unusual: A Tiger Monkey. That's what I've seen it called, anyways. Fisher-Price doesn't really give these figures official names, so I'm just using the designation I've seen most commonly online. Series 12 hasn't been the most exciting series for me and while I wasn't initially looking forward to this figure that much, having him in hand has changed my opinion greatly. He's excellent and really unique. First things first, though: What the heck is this guy supposed to be? He definitely has the fur color and pattern of a tiger, but he's clearly simian in nature, right? And is he a mechanic? I don't know why, maybe I'm thinking that he is because of the gloves and the blue suit. It makes me think of some sort of a space mechanic. But is that some sort of magic staff he's wielding? Perhaps he's a street mage of sorts. Anyways, I gotta give Fisher-Price credit for the fact that this guy is interesting. Series 12 has been rather basic overall but this guy is just a ton of fun. I keep getting a ThunderCats, Legends of Chima, and Captain Simian & the Space Monkeys vibe from this fella. Let's check him out in more detail after the break...

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Action Figure Review: 0-0-0 (Triple Zero) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   Today I'm checking out 0-0-0 (Triple Zero), another character from Marvel's Star Wars comic series. Alongside his murderous companion BT-1, 0-0-0 roams the galaxy looking for savage and sadistic ways to harm humans. Wouldn't this guy get along well with HK-47? 0-0-0 is the result of  something called the Triple-Zero protocol personality matrix, a device studied by Wat Tambor, later being put into the body of a standard protocol droid shortly after the Battle of Yavin. In the most recent series of Black Series figures Hasbro has included three characters from the new canon: BT-1, 0-0-0 here, and Doctor Aphra. What's interesting is that all three of these figures largely rely on reuse. Smart reuse, however. While Hasbro has definitely reused sculpts for figures like Stormtroopers, Clone Troopers, and other figures of the sort, reuse has been pretty minimal in this line. With smart reuse, however, hopefully Hasbro is more willing to give us more figures from both the New Canon and the Expanded Universe/ Legends that might not warrant completely new sculpts. Let's check out 0-0-0 and see how effective a figure that's 95% reuse can fully be!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Confirmed Epic Podcast #105: Are the X-men Back?





The Reel Brad Bell is proud to Welcome you back to The Confirmed Epic Podcast with episode #105.

In episode #105 we discuss:

-Is Andrew Garfield really the best live action Spider-Man? (Epic Games)

-Detective Comics 1000, Heroes-Con 2019, and Chasing Amy (What we have been checking out)

-What is more important when collecting Quality Vs. Budget? (Collecting)

-Why do people hate the FOX X-men film franchise now? (FILM)

-Is HBO's Chernobyl the most important piece of entertainment in 2019? (TV)

-Are the X-men getting ready to make a cultural comeback? (COMICS)


-We also have some random tweets, and our weekly CONFIRMED CRAP & CONFIRMED EPIC ratings of the week

You can always contact the show directly via email at thepicreview@gmail.com or on twitter @thereelbradbell

Minifigure Review: Female Backpacker Camper from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 12 by Fisher-Price

 Last month I reviewed the first three figures from series 12 of the Imaginext Collectible Figures line and now I'm going to be wrapping things up with the final three figures. Today I'm checking out the lone female figure in series 12, the very clumsily named Female Backpacker Camper. Yeah, I'm not really sure where these names come from. I think they're how the figures are listed in retailer inventory systems or something. Unlike a lot of other blindbagged lines the Imaginext Collectible Figures are not truly blindbagged, as the foil packaging has a unique number stamped on it for each figure. Series 12 feature a few figures with a lot of reuse and one of those is the Female Backpacker Camper, which I'm going to just refer to as the Backpacker. I'm pretty sure she's made up of parts we've seen before and I know that her backpack has been features in other Imaginext lines such as Jurassic Park, the desert adventure line, and even the DC Super Friends line. Still, I was kind of excited about this figure as she fits in well with the adventurer line (which my daughter loves) and kind of looks like a gender-swapped Race Bannon from Jonny Quest. It turns out that this figure is kind of disappointing, so check her out along with me after the break...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Action Figure Review: BT-1 (Beetee) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    The newest series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures have started showing up and today I'm checking out the first figure from the series I managed to get my hands on: BT-1 (Beetee). A BT-1 assassin droid disguised as an astromech droid, BT-1 is half of the infamous and murderous droid duo alongside his killer counterpart 0-0-0. Originally appearing in the third issue of Marvel's Darth Vader comic series, BT-1 now appears fairly regularly in the pages of Marvel's Doctor Aphra comic. I was pretty excited last year when Hasbro announced Doctor Aphra, BT-1, and 0-0-0 as these are the first figures based on books or comics from the New Canon. Hasbro used to release a lot of Expanded Universe/ Legends stuff back in the day, and still does on occasion, so it's nice to see the New Canon supported as well. The various Marvel series have been very, very good with some strong character designs. I picked up BT-1 on my lunch break at a GameStop near my office and, apparently, they were only getting in 1 per store. Weird, huh? GameStop is getting these in separately rather than as cases. Let's check out BT-1 after the break...

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Action Figure Review: Teela from Masters of the Universe by Super7

 Today I'm reviewing the fourth and final figure in the second series of Super7's Filmation inspired, vintage styled Masters of the Universe figures: Teela! Of the four figures in series 2, Teela was probably the one I was most looking forward to. While Robot He-Man is technically a new character and Man-At-Arms with his mustache was a long anticipated addition to 5.5 inch MOTU collecting, I really was looking forward to a Filmation inspired Teela. Sadly, Teela turned out to be a fairly disappointing figure. She's not terrible but she definitely has some flaws that hold her back from being recommended to all but the most enthusiastic MOTU collectors. Let's check her out after the break...

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Action Figure Review: Trap Jaw (Cartoon Colors) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

  Last weekend I had the chance to go to HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC and  ended up with some pretty cool stuff. One item I picked up was this incredible Masters of the Universe ReAction Trap Jaw from Super7's blind boxed assortment. Trap Jaw is one of the four characters in the villain blind boxes and he's available in two flavors: Cartoon Colors and Metallic. A vendor actually had these available opened and labeled so I scooped up the Cartoon Colors version of this evil menace. Oddly enough, I don't actually own a carded ReAction Trap Jaw so picking one up seemed like a pretty good idea. It turns out that Trap Jaw is actually one of the cooler figures in the series as he not only really looks like his Filmation counterpart but he has a working action feature as well. Let's check out Trap Jaw after the break...

Friday, June 21, 2019

Action Figure Review: Robot He-Man from Masters of the Universe by Super7

    I'm slowly making my way through series 2 of Super7's vintage styled line of Masters of the Universe action figures and I'm only now coming to the third figure in the line: Robot He-Man, a bizarre He-Man variant from the Filmation episode "Disappearing Act." When Prince Adam is kidnapped, Man-At-Arms builds a robotic He-Man to take his place. Well, not quite. Robot He-Man serves as more of a decoy so that Skeletor (and everyone else not in on the secret) won't realize that Adam is really He-Man.I know that companies always want to get more mileage out of their tooling dollars, so being able to slap a new head on He-Man and sell another figure is an easy win. Now that Mattel has revealed that they're doing their own vintage styled line (possibly called Masters of the Universe Origins), it seems we have an answer as to why Mattel has apparently been fairly controlling about what Super7 is allowed to make in this toyline. Apparently, Super7 is mostly limited to the Fimation license. That's not too limiting, though, although there are far fewer He-Man variants in that cartoon. Probably why we got Robot He-Man so soon, huh? Let's check him out after the break...

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Minifigure Review: Skeletor (Blue) from Masters of the Universe Micro Vinyl by Super7

 A little over a week ago I reviewed Super7's Micro Vinyl He-Man they sold at the Five Points Festival and now I'm checking out his arch-nemesis: Skeletor! Both He-Man and Skeletor were available in either blue or orange so rather than buying one of each (these guys were a tad pricey at $10 each) I went with an orange He-Man and a blue Skeletor. Blue just seemed more fitting for Skeletor, you know? I don't own many Japanese vinyl toys of this sort so getting these two guys in the mail definitely added something a but unique to my collection. Let's check out this miniature Skeletor after the break...

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mothman #484 from POP! Games by Funko

   I haven't played Fallout 76 nor do I have any intention of playing it. I bought this POP! vinyl simply because it is based on Mothman, a legendary cryptid that I've been fascinated with since I was 8 years old. In addition to having a small but respectable collection of Mothman items and artwork and a shelf full of Motham books I've also made the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia a few times (including once to attend the Mothman Festival), so I'm always down for anything Mothman related. Since Fallout 76 takes place in Appalachia and the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant is a location in the game, it's no surprise that the Mothman makes an appearance. I was really pleased that Funko added this legendary being as a POP! to coincide with the game's release. Let's check out the mysterious Mothman of Point Pleasant after the break...

Friday, June 14, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mercy and Pharah from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

  It's been a few days so it's time for another review from Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates toyline. As I've stated on all of these reviews, I've never played Overwatch. Prior to picking these figures up I wasn't even familiar with the story. Heck, other than recognizing a few of the main characters, I was completely ignorant of the property. Cool action figures is enough to get me excited, though, and now I'm starting to pick up on some of the lore. Today I'm checking out a very cool two-pack that features two of the more popular characters from the game: Mercy and Pharah. Mercy is the code name for Dr. Angela Ziegler, a 37 year old Swiss field medic and first responder from Zurich while Pharah is the code name for Fareeha Amari, a 32 year old security chief from Giza, Egypt. While the characters in Overwatch have multiple different "skins" that showcase different appearances for the figures, Mercy and Pharah come in their standard looks. Let's take a look at this two-pack after the break...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Minifigure Review: He-Man (Orange) from Masters of the Universe Micro Vinyl by Super7

   Just last week Super7 listed a few Masters of the Universe vinyl toys which they originally released at the Five Points Festival earlier this month. While some of the figures were fairly expensive, I really wanted to add at least one of the He-Man and Skeletor minifigures to my collection. Each of the figures came in either orange or blue so I ordered one of each sculpt: An orange He-Man and a blue Skeletor (that made sense to me). Super7 shipped these quickly and they arrived on Saturday. Ready for a quick look at a Japanese vinyl styled He-Man? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Action Figure Review: He-Ro from Masters of the Universe: The Powers of Grayskull by Super7

   Yesterday I checked out Eldor, the heroic mentor from Super7's Masters of the Universe: The Powers of Grayskull and now I'm checking out He-Ro, the Most Powerful Wizard in the Universe. I talked a lot about these figures yesterday and their significance in Masters of the Universe history so today I'm going to give less of a history lessen and more of some general thoughts on Super7's efforts here. Super7 has done some really cool stuff with the Masters of the Universe license and while they have had some criticism due to pricing and delays, overall I think they've done a pretty good job of doing something with a license that Mattel kind of threw away for a few years. Honestly, I wonder if if it was the fact that so many companies like Super7, Mondo, Funko, and The Loyal Subjects wanted the rights to do MOTU product that Mattel seems to now be interested in getting back into the game and is really pushing the upcoming film. Hopefully there is room for everyone at the table so that collectors are presented with a wide array of MOTU offerings. Super7 does a stellar job on packaging and art design and in these respects He-Ro truly excels. Let's check out He-Ro in detail after the break...

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Action Figure Review: Eldor from Masters of the Universe: The Powers of Grayskull by Super7

    There's no denying that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a wildly successful property back in the early to mid 1980s. Beginning in 1982, the line grew in popularity until 1986 when the toyline was doing around $400 million in sales. Sadly, in 1987 the line dropped in sales. Despite the release of the live action film that year the line dropped to around $7 million in sales, causing Mattel to scrap plans for the next planned expansion: The Powers of Grayskull. Mattel's plan for the future of Masters of the Universe was to go back in time to Preternia, Eternia's ancient past filled with wizards and dinosaurs. The new main hero of this series would be, well He-Ro, a powerful wizard. It's interesting that Mattel went backwards, attempting to do the prequel thing before pretty much anyone else. While Mattel did limited releases of the three dinosaurs from the line and the two giants (released only in Italy), the figures were scrapped. For a number of years now fans have know about Mattel's planned figures for He-Ro and Eldor. The two characters were released in Masters of the Universe Classics but fans of the vintage line would always have an empty spot on the shelf where these two characters should have been...until now! As part of their mass amount of MOTU product Super7 has done a remarkable job of finally getting these never before produced vintage prototypes out to collectors as legitimate figures. Let's start with Eldor, the Heroic Guardian of the Book of Living Spells, after the break...

Friday, June 7, 2019

Action Figure Review: Reaper (Blackwatch Reyes) from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

    Today I'm checking out another figure from Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates line and this time it's Reaper (Blackwatch Reyes). That's a rather oddly named figure, isn't it? I'm no Overwatch expert by any means (I have not actually even played the game) but a brief glimpse through the Overwatch Wiki gave me some information to help make sense of things. While Reaper is one of the most recognizable characters in the game, this isn't how he usually dresses. While most of the alternate skins for characters are simple palette swaps, sometimes they offer up a truly unique appearance. Reaper's real name is Gabriel Reyes and before he was a mercenary and a terrorist, he was the commander of a US Army group called Blackwatch, were he served alongside of Jack Morrison/ Soldier 76. At some point I'm sure we'll get Reyes in his Reaper outfit but to kick things off Hasbro's offering up this "prequel" version of Reyes that is one of his Legendary skins. I have to admit that the story and character connections in this game are making me more interested in playing this than anything I've heard about the game itself, which doesn't appear to be very story based. Are there novels or comics that anyone would recommend? For now, let's check out the Blackwatch version of Reyes/ Reaper after the break...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Action Figure Review: Battle Cat from Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjects

    I have quite a few of the Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls from The Loyal Subjects, but you know what? This is the first one I've reviewed on the site! Just as the cases of the second series of figures is starting to hit store shelves (Hot Topic had an exclusive case of series 2 at the end of 2018), cases of just Battle Cat and Panthor are also starting to arrive. The Loyal Subjects has evolved on their approach to blind boxes and while Series 2 has a mixture of blind boxed and regularly packaged figures, Battle Cat and Panthor are packaged in traditional window boxes. Pretty cool, right? Cringer is easily one of my favorite Masters of the Universe characters so that means Battle Cat gets pretty high marks in my book, too. Let's check out this very cool miniature Battle Cat after the break...

Monday, June 3, 2019

Action Figure Review: Ana (Shrike) and Soldier: 76 from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

    Sorry that it's been a few days since I posted a new review! Something pretty cool arrived in the mail this weekend and it's been keeping me busy. I'll be showing it off shortly but today I'm going to be checking out one of the 2-packs from Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates line: Ana (Shrike) and Soldier: 76. As I said in my review of Sombra, I really don't know that much about Overwatch. I'm familiar with it but I've never played it nor have I read any of the tie-in comics. I really just dig the character designs and I like the product Hasbro has put out. This set includes two completely unique action figures. The Overwatch characters have multiple different "skins" they can wear which usually seem to be just new color schemes but some, like Ana's, feature different elements such as the Tron-like helmet seen here. Let's check out Ana and Soldier: 76 after the break...

Friday, May 31, 2019

Action Figure Review: He-Man from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

    I have many, many He-Man action figures. Dozens, probably. Today I'm getting ready to review another one that is really unique and definitely should make you stand up and take notice: It's Mondo's He-Man from their new Masters of the Universe line of 1/6th scale action figures. While best known for posters and vinyl records, Mondo has been slowly working their way into the collector's market with released based on TMNT, Batman: The Animated Series, and now Masters of the Universe.  Mondo has indicated that they have some extensive plans for the line but He-Man is their first release. While He-Man is a 1/6th scale figure, rather than feeling like a Hot Toys release He-Man feels more like an oversized action figure with separate armor made from various mixed materials. It's a cool approach that works better for the barbarian-like clothes most MOTU characters wear as they're not usually wearing standard outfits. Another cool thing about this line is that rather than base the He-Man design off of one specific incarnation of the character, Mondo has designed their own take on the character. Like Sideshow's He-Man, this feels like it could be a possible movie inspired design for a fairly serious swords & sorcery Masters of the Universe film. He-Man has been shipping for a couple months now from some sources although Mondo seems to be taking their time getting these out everywhere. Let's take a look at this new Mondo version of He-Man after the break...

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Action Figure Review: Sombra from Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro

    Hasbro is on a roll lately, aren't they? Marvel Legends and Star Wars: The Black Series continue to improve with every new release, they've now acquired the Power Rangers license and seem to be releasing some killer product there, and now they've jumped into a major video game license with Overwatch Ultimates. I'm going to admit right off the bat that I am not an Overwatch expert. I've never played the game although I am familiar with the characters as a number of them have become fixtures of modern pop culture. A little searching turns up the fact that these characters are pretty well developed, particularly for a game that is a team-based shooter. These little details remind me of the extensive backgrounds Larry Hama created for the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline. Sombra is a 30-year-old Mexican hacker named Olivia Colomar who uses her stealth, hacking skills, and machine pistol to deal damage to her opponents. For the past week or two GameStop has had a 20% off sale on Overwatch merchandise, so I jumped in and picked up Sombra to check these new figures out. Let's take a closer look at her after the break...

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Action Figure Review: Teela (Shiva) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

    Today I'm checking out the last of the Variable Variants from Super7's Masters of the Universe ReAction line and it's Teela...dressed as Shiva. Yes, this might indeed be the oddest Masters of the Universe variant I am aware of since the variant isn't based on a particular media representation of a character but is actually based on the Hindu deity Shiva. You might at first guess that this is supposed to be the Goddess/ Green Goddess from the vintage He-Man and the Sword of Power mini comic, but it isn't: That figure was released already last year as yet another color variant of the standard Teela figure. Super7 officially has listed this figure as Teela (Shiva), so it really does seem that this color variant is indeed simply based on the color palette of the Hindu deity. Apparently the inspiration for this figure, as revealed by Super7's Brian Flynn, is that there was discussion about the vintage MOTU variants released in India through the toy company Leo. Realizing there wasn't a vintage Leo Teela, Super7 decided to create this design and call her Shiva. Why? Well, Leo is an Indian based company and since the Hindu deity Shiva is sometimes depicted draped with a serpent, the serpent-like armor this version of Teela is wearing is fitting. Interesting choice and a fairly obscure reference, huh? Let's take a closer look at the figure after the break...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Minifigure Review: Tan Surfer from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 12 by Fisher-Price

    I've picked up every figure in the Imaginext Collectibles Figures Series and while I like most of them, every now an then there is a dud. For me those duds are usually the sports themed figures. I'm just not that interested in most sports in general and the designs tend to be fairly dull. Today I'm checking out what is referred to as the Tan Surfer, though I'll just be calling him the Surfer for the sake of brevity. Let's check him out after the break...

Monday, May 27, 2019

Action Figure Review: Slime Pit He-Man from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

   Ready for a Masters of the Universe ReAction review of a slimy green He-Man variant? Then let's check out Slime Pit He-Man! Alongside of the Variable Variants released a month or so ago Super7 also released this incredibly cool Slime Pit He-Man figure. While Slime Pit He-Man has been around since the 1986 minicomic Escape from the Slime Pit! he's fairly new to action figure form. We're sort of going through a trend with the character as the Loyal Subjects released a Club 28 version of Slime Pit He-Man a couple of years ago, Mattel showed off a concept figure of a vintage styled Slime Pit He-Man at SDCC last year, and one of the upcoming Power-Con 2019  exclusives is a MOTUC Slime Pit He-Man. Super7's Slime Pit He-Man is a simple translucent green version of the basic He-Man but the color of the plastic and the unique packaging make him really stand out. Let's check him out after the break...

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Minifigure Review: Empire State "Big" Robot Building from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 12 by Fisher-Price

    Today I'm checking out the second figure from Imaginext Series 12 and, man, does this one have a crazy long name: Empire State "Big" Robot Building. Yes, this is actually designed to look like the robot from the Tom Hanks film Big, which makes this figure another really, really strange homage in this toyline. This figure started showing up on international auction sites earlier this year which kind of tipped us all off that Series 12 was coming soon. What a strange choice for a figure, huh? I love how crazy Fisher-Price is with some of these releases and creating a toy in 2019 based on a toy prop from a 1980s Tom Hanks film just sounds crazy. Could a Zoltar be far behind? I definitely think that this figure, very clumsily called the Empire State "Big" Robot Building, is one of the two heavy hitters in this series along with the Adventure People inspired Black Clawtron Robot. Let's check this guy out more closely after the break...

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Action Figure Review: Skeletor (Midnight) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

    Earlier this week I reviewed the Cartoon Colors Orko, one of the figure the Castle Grayskull series of blind boxed Masters of the Universe series of ReAction figures and today I'm checking out a villain from the Snake Mountain: Midnight Skeletor! Like the heroic series the villainous series includes four characters (Skeletor, Trap Jaw, Merman, and Beast Man) each in two different variants. While the main figures (with a 2/12 rarity) come in their classic cartoon colors, the variants with a 1/2 rarity are a bit more unusual. This version of Skeletor is referred to as the Midnight variant and I gotta admit that he looks really, really cool. While Skeletor typically looks the same, he's a character who looks fantastic in alternate color schemes. This grey and black Skeletor with red eyes is absolutely striking. While he's just a simple repaint of the standard Skeletor, he's just too cool for school. Let's check him out after the break...

Friday, May 24, 2019

Minifigure Review: Black Clawtron Robot from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 12 by Fisher-Price

    Recently I acquired all of the figures from the 12th series of Imaginext Collectible Figures from Fisher-Price and today I'm going to start reviewing them all. I'm starting off with what might be the coolest figure in the set: The Black Clawtron Robot. Series 10 and Series 11 both had figures based on the Fisher-Price Adventure People toyline and series 12 continues the pattern. Clawtron was a character from Adventure People and while Fisher-Price hasn't been 100% faithful to the vintage toy, this Imaginext figure is definitely recognizable. Let's check out the Black Clawtron Robot after the break...

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Action Figure Review: Ram Man (Mini Comic) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

   Today I'm checking out another one of the Variable Variants from Super7's Masters of the Universe ReAction line and this time it's the heroic human battering ram: Ram Man! I've already reviewed the standard Ram Man ReAction figure but this version comes in his mini comic colors from the vintage mini comic "He-Man meets Ram Man." Rather than being depicted with his red tunic and green pants, this guy's outfit is a mixture of orange and maroon. For some folks this will be an easy pass but for Ram Man fans and, of course, fans of the ReAction line who love the unusual variants, this is a pretty cool offering. Let's check out Ram Man (Mini Comic) after the break...

Monday, May 20, 2019

Action Figure Review: Han Solo (Mimban) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   I finally got my hands on the final figure from the latest series of Star Wars: The Black Series figures from Hasbro thanks to a GameStop preorder: Han Solo in the Mudtrooper outfit he wears on Mimban. Solo had some of the best costume designs of any of the Disney era Star Wars films and the Mudtrooper design was a great design that managed to expand the Imperial legions while still hearkening back to the Original Trilogy sensibilities. Hasbro continues to improve the Black Series and this version of Han might easily be one of the best figures ever released in the entire series. Not only is this an incredible Han Solo variant but it also can be used as an army builder as well. Let's check out Han Solo (Mimba) after the break...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Action Figure Review: Orko (Cartoon Colors) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

    Today I'm checking out another ReAction figure from Super7's line of Masters of the Universe ReAction figures only this time it is one of their blind boxed offerings. Yes, for some reason Super7 decided to release blind boxed ReAction figures. There are two different assortments (one for heroes and one for villains) with each assortment including four characters. Oh, and each character has a variant. So...16 blind boxed figures. Crazy, huh? Yeah... anyways I did pick up one figure from each of the assortments and from the Castle Grayskull heroic assortment I ended up with Orko. I love Orko but this guy is really, really similar to the Orko figure Super7 just released. The differences are extremely minor but this Orko is actually based more on the Filmation cartoon color while the previous Orko is based on the toy version. Let's check out the cartoon colors Orko after the break...

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Action Figure Review: Man-At-Arms from Masters of the Universe by Super7

    Today I'm checking out another figure from Super7's newest series of vintage styled Masters of the Universe figures and this time it's a Filmation styled version of Duncan, the Man-At-Arms to the Eternian royal family. While most of the vintage toys differed from their Filmation counterparts, Man-At-Arms always really stood out to me due to his mustache. Without the stache, the vintage toy just seems like a completely different character. Super7's current run of vintage inspired figures are all based on the Filmation cartoon (apparently a Mattel directive, as Mattel seems to be interested in doing something with the license again fairly soon) and thus have a different aesthetic from the original toyline. Seeing as Man-At-Arms is one of the core cast members from the vintage series, his presence here is very welcome. Let's check him out after the break...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Action Figure Review: Mer-Man (Carry Case Color) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

    Today I'm checking out another one of Super7's Variable Variants from the Masters of the Universe line and this time is Mer-Man in his Carry Case Colors. What does that title refer to you might ask? It actually refers to the the blue colored Mer-Man on the vintage Jumbo Collectors Case. Yeah, this figure is based on the specific color scheme of a character from a 1980s action figure carrying case. That might be scraping the bottom of the barrel just a bit, huh? OK, I kid, I kid. I actually like the unusual themed variants that Super7 is throwing out here. It's fun for folks who like that kind of stuff and it's a great way to make Mer-Man available to the masses again. This is actually the first ReAction Mer-Man I own so let's check him out after the break...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Action Figure Review: Beast Man from Masters of the Universe by Super7

    While I've reviewed one of Super7's first attempts at recreating a true vintage Masters of the Universe action figure, I didn't review any of their first full series of vintage styled MOTU figures based on the Filmation designs. The first series apparently had a lot of problems and I skipped most of them (I own She-Ra and she's great, though I never reviewed her). The second series just hit and I decided to pick them up. The first figure from the new series I'm looking at is "Biff" Beast Man. Strange things are happening with the Masters of the Universe license now and one oddity is that it appears like Mattel has restricted Super7 to mostly making figures styled after the Filmation cartoon rather than figures from other mediums such as minicomics and such. The Filmation characters always seem to be a hit, though, so let's check out Skeletor's number one numbskull after the break...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Action Figure Review: Man-At-Arms (Movie) from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

    Today I'm checking out another Masters of the Universe ReAction figure from Super7's Variable Variants series and this time it's a Man-At-Arms figure inspired by the 1987 film. I actually don't own the standard ReAction Man-At-Arms so this is my first time checking out this sculpt. I am actually a pretty big fan of the 1987 Masters of the Universe film, so getting a movie inspired Man-At-Arms is a real treat. Jon Cypher's portrayal of Man-At-Arms is easily my favorite portrayal of the character from any media source. Cypher really captured the character's nature as both a tough, dedicated veteran and a loyal, fatherly influence. Plus, his costume is excellent. While the colors are different the design was an excellent translation of Duncan's battle armor. While we're not getting a William Stout inspired Man-At-Arms from Super7 in their upcoming subset of MOTUC figures, this is an OK consolation prize. Let's check him out after the break...

Monday, May 13, 2019

Action Figure Review: The Faun from The Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection by NECA

    Considering that the film is about 12 years old now would you have ever imagined that Pan's Labyrinth would now finally receive action figures? The Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection is one of the most exciting lines NECA has released lately and it continues with the Faun. The titular character from Pan's Labyrinth, the Faun is one of the most interesting look film creatures of all time and a great character that always leaves you guessing at his true intentions. NECA is the perfect company to take the terrifyingly beautiful designs from del Toro's imagination and turn them into action figures and they're doing a heck of a job. Today it seems that most toylines rely on heavy reuse in order to minimize costs, so a line with such unique and outrageous designs like this is a real treat. Let's check out Ofelia's guide to the land of faerie after the break...