Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Missing in Action: Toylines That Didn't Make the Cut in 2019




   Since 2015 I've supplemented the lists of My 10 Favorite Toylines and 10 Favorite Individual Toys with a list called Missing in Action, a list where I look back at last year's Top 10 Toylines list and determine why some of the lines from last year failed to return for the current year's list.  2019's top 10 list only had two toylines returning from the 2018 list, which is the lowest retention rate for toylines on any of my yearly lists to date!  I find it interesting to look at the lines that failed to show up again and attempt to diagnose why they are missing. There are usually three reasons why a toyline makes this list:

Missing in Action: This is a toyline that gets cancelled, ends, or just doesn't have any releases during the year. It happens a lot, unfortunately.

Demoted: Sometimes a toyline just gets outdone by others. This isn't specifically related to the quality of the demoted line and more reflective of the quality of the lines that supplanted it or of my interest in other things.

Drop in Quality: This is when a toyline has a severe drop in quality that causes it to fall from grace. While most toylines get better as they go, some do indeed get worse and worse due to cost cutting, mismanagement, and quality control issues.

Let's jump in and check these out after the break...


Monday, February 24, 2020

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

   It's time for the last review from Super7's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe/ Club Grayskull line: Stratos! Stratos definitely was one of the most popular B-characters in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, appearing in 15 episodes and, of course, He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special. He definitely warrants a place in this line far more than Roboto (sorry Roboto!), so his presence here feels worthy of the last series of figures. He also looks quite different from the Masters of the Universe Classics Stratos figure, so that's another plus in his favor. I've never been the biggest Stratos fan but I've definitely been warming up to the character lately (I honestly just bought my first vintage Stratos figure at a toy show a few months back). Let's check out the last figure from the final wave of Super7's Club Grayskull figures after the break...

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Action Figure Review: Kronnaw from Mythic Legions by Four Horsemen Studios

    The Four Horsemen have a long history with the Masters of the Universe brand and they've been making it a tradition to include some MOTU inspired figures sprinkled throughout the Mythic Legions line. The latest Mythic Legions series, Wasteland, just started popping up en masse and the set contains tribute figures to two great MOTU characters: Trap Jaw and Panthor! Today I'm checking out the Trap Jaw tribute figure. He's named Kronnaw, a portmanteau of Kronis (Trap Jaw's real name) and "jaw." Kronnaw's bio reveals him as the creation of an evil and arcane experiment, causing him to be a walking death dealer who kills indiscriminately. He's probably my favorite Mythic Legions figure yet (I don't own many), so let's check him out after the break so you can see why!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Action Figure Review: Shadow Weaver from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Super7

    While Super7 never offered any of the female Horde villains like Catra or Scorpia in any of their toylines other than M.U.S.C.L.E./ Keshi Surprise, they sure did ensure that Shadow Weaver made it into each line. Shadow Weaver thrilled collectors of Masters of the Universe Classics back when she was revealed as the 2012 subscription exclusive figure and now Super7 is offering her up in the Filmation inspired Club Grayskull/ He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line. She's a character who I'm not sure looks different enough from her MOTUC figure to really warrant a figure in this line (the MOTUC as very Filmation inspired) but she's a popular character and she fits in with the Filmation styled Horde Super7 was trying to build, which will forever remain without Leech, Catra, and Scorpia). Let's take a look at the evil Horce wtich Shadow Weaver after the break...

Friday, February 21, 2020

Action Figure Review: Mer-Man (Mondo Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

    Last week Mondo sent out another figure from their series of 1/6th scale Masters of the Universe figures and this time it's the ocean warlord Mer-Man! Mer-Man is one of the original Evil Warriors from the vintage line and here he makes the fourth villain in the series. Yup, the fourth villain. Poor He-Man is woefully outnumbered so far! Then again, he's He-Man, so you know he's got this. This Mer-Man looks pretty serious, though. I really like Mondo's subtle redesigns of the MOTU crew in this line as they look fantastic and really seem like something you would see in an incredible MOTU movie adaptation. Mer-Man might just be the most impressive figure in the line yet and the Mondo exclusive figure is even better since he comes with not two but three interchangeable heads and a spear containing the Crimson Pearl. Amazing stuff, right? Let's check out Mer-Man after the break and see how cool he is!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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

    Today I'm checking out Roboto from Super7's final series of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figures. While he had a figure in the vintage toyline Roboto sure isn't a character we've seen too often in toy form. He had one vintage figure, one 200x figure, one MOTUC figure, and a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. I mean, he's been represented in all three of the major lines so far, but he's not getting lots of extra stuff. That's why it's nice to see him here. I like Roboto with his bright red and blue colors and his funky duck bill like mouth piece. Of course, a question worth bringing up is "why in the world did Robot get made in this Filmation inspired line ahead of so many other characters?" Roboto appeared in one episode, "Happy Birthday Roboto." One. Ram Man was on the show all the time, as was Cringer. Melaktha appeared more times than Roboto and has never has a figure before. Heck, why not Leech or Catra, or any of the POP crew? Yeah, I know their MOTUC designs were much closer to their Filmation appearances than to their toy appearances, but still. Why Roboto? Either, A: Roboto is someone at Super7's favorite character or, B: Super7 planned to have the license much longer than they did and was looking to pad the line out over multiple series. Anyways, we now have a Filmation inspired Roboto. Is he any good? Find out after the break...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Best of the Rest: My 10 Favorite Indiviudal Toys of 2019


 While the list of my 10 favorite toylines from the past year is always the biggest deal, I do like to recognize that tot every great toy is part of a larger toyline or a toyline that I fully collected. It seems kind of unfair to never acknowledge figures from smaller or one off lines. Heck, sometimes I purchased a spectacular action figure from a line that I had no intention of buying anything else from. What to do? That's where the list of my Top 10 Favorite Individual Toys for the year comes in. Who is eligible? Any toy released in 2019. Who isn't eligible? Any toy from a line I picked in my 10 Favorite Toylines of 2019 list. Remember that these are listed alphabetically, not in order of merit. Let's see what made the best of the rest after the break...

Monday, February 17, 2020

Action Figure Review: Jedi Knight Revan from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   GameStop just released two new Star Wars: The Black Series figures under a new subset title called "Gaming Greats." One was the Heavy Battle Droid from Star Wars: Battle Front II (I reviewed it Saturday) and the other is Jedi Knight Revan from Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Revan has long been a popular character so it's understandable why GameStop and Hasbro would want to offer up a second version of him for the market. Unfortunately, Jedi Knight Revan suffers from GameStop's new price hike: If you preordered him he was $24.99, but in stores now he's marked as $29.99 (though GameStop's online store has him on sale at $24.99). This version of Revan is largely a repaint of the 2016 release, though the repaint really does change the look of the figure. Let's check out Jedi Knight Revan after the break and see how he turned out...

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Action Figure Review: Prince Adam from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Super7

  Earlier this month I started reviewing the latest and last series of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe/ Club Grayskull figures from Super7 and now it's time to begin finishing up the series. Today I'm checking out the Filmation inspired Prince Adam! Now if you remember correctly, Super7 did release the Laughing Prince Adam based on the popular meme as a 2018 SDCC exclusive. That figure gets largely reused here, but it benefits from some new sculpted elements, some new accessories, and a fantastic new approach to the skin tone that helps to make this the best Prince Adam figure yet. Prince Adam deserved to be done perfectly and Super7 didn't disappoint. Let's check him out after the break and see how he fared...

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Action Figure Review: Heavy Battle Droid from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    GameStop has recently done two things that have got collectors of Star Wars: The Black Series talking: Released two new video game based figures under the "Gaming Greats" banner and raised the price on all of their Star Wars figures to either $24.99 or $29.99. The Gaming Greats thing is good news, as there is a really cool Jedi Knight Revan and the Heavy Battle Droid, who I'm checking out today. The price jump, however, is not. GameStop actually went and repriced all of the Star Wars figures they had at $24.99 unless they're exclusives; those get the $29.99 price tag. Of course, if you preordered these you got the $24.99 price, and preordering them seems to be the only reliable way to have gotten them as most stores and online are currently sold out. I preordered mine and was told by my store that I got the only set that came in. Factor the preorder with the current 20% off bag sale GameStop had and my $5 February membership coupon and I ended up getting the two for between $35 and $40 bucks. That's not too bad at all! Anyways, let's talk about the Heavy Battle Droid from Star Wars: Battlefront II. These guys first appeared in 2001's RTS game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds but later showed up in Star Wars: Battlefront II which is the label appearing on the box. Hasbro didn't release a Battle Droid in the Black Series until last year, so this is only the first repaint of this sculpt we've released. Is it a worthy variant? Let's find out after the break...

Action Figure Review: Advanced-APC Vehicle from Alien Collection by Lanard Toys

 Today I'm checking out the last set from Lanard Toys' Alien Collection line and this one doesn't contain any Xenomorphs. That's kind of a bad sign, as they have easily been the best part of all of the previous sets. This set does feature the largest vehicle in the line, however, and it is an all new sculpt rather than being reused from a previous Lanard line like the Power Loader or the Planetary Hover Bike. The Armored APC's from Aliens are quite memorable, sand while Kenner at some point had plans for one in the vintage line it was never released (though it was mentioned in a Previws catalgog, along. Maybe it was a size issue? While they did release four vehicles (the Hovertread, Power Loader, Stinger XT-37, and Evac Fighter), Kenner seemed to have a tough time getting larger Aliens product out. The Mini Drop Ship never happened (though was repurposed in the VR Troopers line), along with a larger, film accurate Drop Ship. Anyways, we finally have an APC from Aliens, so how did it turn out? Let's find out after the break...

Friday, February 14, 2020

Old School MOTU: '41 Willys Coupe 2002 #91 from Hot Wheels by Mattel

    On Wednesday evening I dropped by my local comic shop to pick up issues #2 and #3 of He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse. Little did I know I would end up finding some really cool Masters of the Universe goodness there! I ended up finding a new She-Ra t-shirt (with an old school design), four issues of the MVCreations comic for around $1.50 each, and two cars from the 2002 Hot Wheels He-Man subset for a $1 each. I decided to check one of them out today just for fun. Also, it's Ram Man, who is one of my favorites! (The other car was the Man-at-Arms car). While Mattel is currently ramping things up to give MOTU a big push in 2020, the last big push was in 2002 where we saw lots of MOTU product on store shelves. Tooth brushes, puzzles, games, and even random Hot Wheels cars: The 200x series definitely had a lot of representation on store shelves. This subset of cars from 2002 featured regular vehicles with MOTU art on the side. Let's check out this '41 Willys Coupe plastered with Ram Man's image after the break...

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Action Figure Review: Super-Power Loader from Alien Collection by Lanard Toys

    Today is my fifth review from Lanard Toys' Alien Collection and this is one of the "Xenomorph Attack" sets. These sets are $15 bucks each (the Xenomorph Swarm sets are $10) and include the two larger vehicles from the line. This set features the Super-Power Loader but it also comes with a green Warrior Alien and a Colonial marine. The scene in Aliens with Ripley using the Power Loader to fight the Alien Queen is one of the coolest fight scenes in movie history, thus the Power Loader always seems to make its way into Alien toylines. While Alien Warrior is a new sculpt for this line, the Power Loader is reused from a previous The Corps release from about 5 years ago. Still, it does work pretty well as the iconic vehicle. Let's check this set out after the break and see if it's worth picking up...

Minifigure Review: Expansion 2: Edgar Allan Poe & Red Death from Mythos by HH Toys

  I really like HH Toys' Mythos line (it just made my list of my 10 Favorite Toylines of 2019) and I'm super excited that they're branching beyond the works of H.P. Lovecraft to cover the works of more writers of "Weird Fiction." At the end of January HH Toys released their second expansion for the Mythos line, which focuses on the work of Edgar Allan Poe. While I doubt most students read Lovecraft in school as assigned reading, the works of Poe are absolutely a major part of many English curriculum. Poe surely is one of the most recognizable authors around (both for his appearance and for his works) and it's great to see him in this line with Lovecraft (whom Poe inspired). This was a very limited run but apparently HH Toys will be making more of these soon, so keep your eyes open! Let's check these out after the break...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Action Figure Review: Colonial Marines 'Vs' Aliens (Blue) from Alien Collection by Lanard Toys

    My reviews of Lanard Toys' budget Alien Collection toyline have been pretty popular so far, so how about another one? Today I'm checking out the third of the Xenomorph Swarm sets. These things don't have actual set names but this one has a blue Xenomorph Warrior, a Colonial Space Marine, and a rotating sentry gun. Remember that I'm purchasing these to supplement the vintage Kenner Aliens/Predator line, which is one of my favorite toylines of all time, so I might be judging these a bit differently than folks just interested in them purely as toys. Purely as toys, all of these sets are quite good with a lot of stuff for $10 bucks.There's definitely some reuse here from other Lanard Toys' lines, but that's kind of what they do and how they get these things on the shelves at Walmart for such low prices. Let's take a look at this set after the break and see how it stacks up to the rest...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

My Top 10 Toylines of 2019

  It's that time of the year again! Today I start my best of 2019 awards and I'll be starting with my primary category, My Top 10 Toylines of 2019. Creating my own "Top 10" lists is one of my favorite things to do every year on Acton Figure Barbecue and I always spend a lot of time preparing my list. This is the eight year in a row I've created a list (the earlier ones were originally at The Epic Review) and it's always interesting too see how the list changes, reflecting my changing interests. For the past few years I've actually felt like I had a difficult time finding 10 truly deserving lines, but this year I really had to whittle things down from a larger list of excellent candidates. I've made some changes to my collecting habits over the past couple of years and since I've really been focusing most of my collecting efforts on Masters of the Universe, you'll see a lot of stuff from that property on here. There were some real surprise lines this year, though, particularly a couple based on video games I don't even play but that had fantastic toylines. In fact, much of this list was comprised of new toylines.

 As I always say, two key word for this list are "my" and "Favorite." I will readily admit that my list is not a best of list but a list of my favorites. One of my favorite end of the year awards events has been Michael Crawford's Poppies over at MWCToys.com as it's more of an Academy Award styled event with multiple judges from different areas voting on the best. Over here, though, well these are my picks and they're based on criteria that I alone set. Let's get this show rolling after the break....

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Vehicle Review: Wind Raider from Hot Wheels Premium: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

    Other than a number of Batmobiles and the odd Ecto-1 every now and then, I don't really pick up Hot Wheels releases too often. That changed, however, when I learned that Hot Wheels was releasing a Wind Raider in their Hot Wheels Premium range. It seems like we may see more vehicles in the future as well, as the PowerCon 2020 teaser acknowledges a Hot Wheels exclusive item there, too. Now there definitely have been random cars with Masters of the Universe related art on them before, but so far as I can recall this is the first actual vehicle from MOTU to be released in the Hot Wheels range. The Wind Raider was one of the original 1982 vehicles from the first series of the vintage line, so it's definitely one of the most recognizable vehicles in the line (even if it's far from one of the most unusual). I never had one as a kid, though. In fact, I only acquired a vintage Wind Raider last year. While it's not the most expensive vehicle out there, it can be hard to find because the wings break at the drop of a hat. This one's made of metal, though (well not the wings) and seems a bit more durable. Let's check out this smaller scaled Wind Raider after the break...

Action Figure Review: Colonial Marines 'Vs' Aliens (Red) from Alien Collection by Lanard Toys

   It's been a week or so since my last review of one of the sets from Lanard Toys' Alien Collection and today I'm back to look at another set. Other than the Alien Queen and the larger vehicles, the smaller Xenomorph Swarm sets don't really have unique names, which kind of drives me crazy. The set I'm reviewing today includes a red Xenomorph runner, a Weyland commando, and a planetary rover bike. Of course, the reason I'm buying these sets is to use the Xenomorphs and some of the accessories with my Kenner Aliens/ Predator figures. I have a complete Kenner Aliens/ Predator collection, so it's nice to be able to add some more items to that line. For $10 bucks a pop for the Xenomorph Swarm sets, I don't mind getting a few clunky pieces mixed in with the excellent Xenomorphs. Let's check out this set after the break and see if there's enough value in this pack to make it worth your money...

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Minifigure Review: Moss Man from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

    Today I'm checking out the second figure from the first series of single carded Masters of the Universe Mega Construx figures (well the first series of figures that have their own branding versus being part of the Mega Construx Heroes line) and it's Moss Man! Yes, Moss Man, AKA
Kreann’Ot N’Norosh, the Eternian nature spirit who is also the Heroic Spy & Master of Camouflage! I love Moss Man and I am very, very excited to be able to pick up a Moss Man toy at retail.  Moss Man was already released in the Mega Construx line as an additional figure in the SDCC 2019 Battle Bones set, and that version was flocked and came with his classic weapon. This one isn't flocked and comes with a slightly different weapon, but he's still quite cool and definitely offers up a slightly different take on the character. Let's check out Moss Man after the break and see how he turned out...

Action Figure Review: Rebel Leader He-Man from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

    This might be the last new Masters of the Universe Classics figure I review. I know...it's bittersweet. While I really hope that the line will return some day (in name or in spirit) for now Super7's third and final series of figures are the last scheduled. Yes, we're still getting Snake Mountain later this year, but now that I've reviewed the rest of the movie figures (Dark Despot Skeletor, God Skeletor, and Commander Karg), Rebel Leader He-Man stands as the final figure in MOTUC, my favorite toyline of all time. How fitting that we end with a version of He-Man that many (most?) fans have wanted for years. While we've received multiple versions of He-Man and the movie based characters who appeared in the vintage toyline, we now finally have a movie based He-Man. Well, technically this is based on William Stout's designs for the film, so there are some minor differences. Still, though: This is movie He-Man and he turned out quite well. Let's check out Rebel Leader He-Man after the break...

Friday, February 7, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Beastman (Green) from Masters of the Universe Japanese Vinyls by Super7

    Today I'm wrapping up my 2019 reviews with the last item I purchased in 2019: The Green Beast Man from Super7's Masters of the Universe Japanese Vinyl line (they call him "Beastman" on the website and invoice". I've picked up a few of the Micro Vinyls before but this was the first of the larger vinyls I picked up. Well, larger than the micros. These guys are only around 4 1/2 inches tall, so they're not huge. They're kind of pricey, though. I've skipped all of the previous releases of these (though they do tend to sell out really, really fast) but I couldn't pass up this green Beast Man. You know why? Because green Beast Man is.... Moss Man! Yup, this guy totally seems like a Moss Man homage and that's enough to get me to drop some scratch any day, you know? I love Moss Man. Heck, I asked my dad to make me a Moss Man birthday cake for my last birthday (true story, and he did it. My wife refused!) so you can say that I absolutely love Moss Man. Let's check this guy out after the break...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Minifigure Review: Evil-Lyn from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

    Technically Masters of the Universe figures have been appearing in the Mega Construx range of building figures since 2017 when He-Man and Skeletor showed up in the Mega Construx Heroes line, a series of minifigures from different properties. It was only last year, however, that Masters of the Universe started getting their own unique branding with the Battle for Eternia Collection and the Wind Raider Attack sets. Now MOTU is getting it's own line of minifigures, too. Instead of mixing in characters from other properties, this series is straight up MOTU, baby! First up is Evil-Lyn. Evil-Lyn appeared in series 4 of the Mega Construx Heroes line in her vintage toyline appearance but here we have her in her Filmation colors. Let's check Evil-Lyn out after the break...

Wrapping Up 2019: Skeletor and Panthor from Masters of the Universe ReAction by Super7

 Is this the last "new" Masters of the Universe ReAction product from Super7 that I'll be reviewing? It's possible! It seems like in preparation for a major refocusing on the brand tied in with the 2 upcoming Netflix shows and the "perpetually in development but now seemingly cancelled" movie, Mattel has been ending the licensing agreements they have had in place with many other companies. Of course, Funko's seemingly ended last year but now it's back in effect, so maybe something similar will happen with Super7 as well? Anyways, I reviewed He-Man and Battle Cat on Tuesday and today I'm looking at Skeletor and Panthor. Whenever Battle Cat shows up you just know that Panthor is going to follow, don't you? Let's check out this two pack after the break...

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

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

    Today I'm checking out the last item under my Christmas tree from Christmas 2019 and it's Pack B, the second set of Street Sharks M.U.S.C.L.E. figures from Mattel. In my review of Pack A I talked about the oddness of this line and how they just seemingly appeared out of nowhere, so today I'm just jumping in to looking at the toys in general. I only ever owned one Street Shark as a kid and it was Ripster, who is part of this set. I actually found him abandoned at my neighborhood swimming pool. They always seemed like cool toys but during the time they were out I was probably way more into other things such as Batman, Biker Mice from Mars, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Star Wars: The Power of the Force II, and Micro Machines. Maybe if I had seen Vin Diesel's Toy Fair pitch for Street Sharks I would have been more into them? Some of the Street Sharks are insanely rare and valuable now, so good luck to those of y'all who collect them. Anyone here have a great Street Sharks collection? I imagine fans of the Street Sharks are excited to get these, so let's check them out after the break...

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

   The latest (and last) series of Super7's Filmation inspired He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figures started shipped out in mid-January and I'm slowly making my way through them all. Today I'm checking out Modulok, the evil Eternian scientist who finally left Skeletor's abuse to join the Evil Horde. The vintage Modulok is most famous for being completely modular and sold in a box containing 22 body parts that you could use to build whatever creature you wanted (the Masters of the Universe Classics Modulok followed suit). The Filmation Modulok was definitely a bit different as he didn't have swappable body parts, although he could change his arms into different tools and he apparently could swap his head out if he needed to. Let's check out Modulok after the break and see how he turned out...

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: He-Man and Battle Cat from Masters of the Universe: ReAction by Super7

     At the end of 2019 Super7 put their last set of Masters of the Universe products up for sale and included in the drop were two Masters of the Universe ReAction Releases: He-Man and Battle Cat and Skeletor and Panthor. I'm going to check out He-Man and Battle Cat first! During the fairly brief time they held the license Super7 released around 100 figures in the Masters of the Universe ReAction line. There were a ton of repaints for sure, but overall we still got a nice sampling of Masters of the Universe characters in the vintage Kenner style. Ever since the line began collectors were asking Super7 for a Battle Cat that operated like the vintage Star Wars Dewback and Tauntaun and finally, at the 11th hour, they delivered. Is this set a success? Let's check it out after the break and find out...

Monday, February 3, 2020

Christmas Haul 2019: Ultimate Sam from Trick 'r Treat by NECA

    I was really hoping that NECA's Ultimate Sam from Trick 'r Treat would come out during October 2019 so I was able to include him in 31 Days of Toy Terror, but he didn't. He actually came out in November, so I ended up getting him for Christmas. I love Sam and Trick 'r Treat and getting a new version of the character from NECA was definitely a real treat. The original Sam figure debuted in the Cult Classics line back in 2008, before the movie even got its first wide release by being released on DVD in October 2009. That figure is definitely a popular piece but NECA has released a true upgrade now of Sam, who certainly has been rising in popularity over the past decade or so as one of the new icons of Halloween. NECA clearly puts their heart and soul into these Ultimate releases and Sam is another fantastic one. Let's check him out after the break and see what all this guy has to offer...

Sunday, February 2, 2020

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

   With wrapping up all of the cool stuff from 2019 and reviewing some of the cool stuff showing up in January of 2020, I'm just now getting the chance to check out the final series of Club Grayskull/ He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figures from Super7. In early January Super7 shipped out the last series of Masters of the Universe Classics figures and then a week or so later they shipped these out. I'm going to start making my way through these figures and first I'm checking out Kittrina, a member of the Cat Folk from the Filmation episode "The Cat and the Spider." This is the first action figure of Kittrina ever made and I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed that she showed up in this line versus MOTUC. Since MOTUC began the idea has been to bring all characters together into one cohesive style, and even Filmation based characters like Lizard Man were augmented just a bit to it in with everyone else. The Club Grayskull figures were intended to be Filmation styled variants of the key cast. Kittrina is one of the rare characters to show up in the Club Grayskull line with no MOTUC counterpart (Uncle Montork and Dree Elle are two others), so I have to admit I'm a bit disappointed by the fact that we didn't get a MOTUC version of Kittrina. Still, we did get her, and she's a new character, so let's check her out after the break...

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Rust Lord from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

   Today I'm wrapping up my 2019 Fortnite: Legendary Series reviews with a look at Rust Lord. I looked far and wide for this guy during November and December but I didn't end up finding him until early January. Rust Lord is one of the series 3 figures in the Fortnite: Legendary Series and thus far has only seemed to pop up at Walmart and Amazon. It's really weird how these guys are distributed as they seemingly come in fairly random cases or with different stores getting different figures. Anyways, Rust Lord is a scrapper of sorts and seems to be an homage to Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. I dig it! He's definitely one of the "plainer" figures in the line, but considering the line has blue haired Norse warriors, living nutcrackers, and a giant banana, that's to be expected. Let's take a look at Rust Lord after the break...

Friday, January 31, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Ultimate Warrior from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel

    Today I'm wrapping up the 2019 Masters of the WWE Universe releases with a look at Ultimate Warrior, the Heroic Champion of WWEternia. I like the fact that Mattel really mixed up the wrestlers appearing in the first series of figures as we got a classic guy (Ultimate Warrior), a 90's Attitude Era/ Monday Night Wars guy (Sting), some Ruthless Aggression era guys (Cena and Triple H), and a modern Superstar (Finn Balor). It's a good mix that works well with the craziness of Masters of the WWE Universe. Looking at the minicomic and the cardback, I really get the impression that Ultimate Warrior is the main hero of WWEternia. He definitely seems to be a hero very much in the vein of He-Man in the original "He-Man and the Power Sword" minicomic. Heck, he carries the same spear as Oo-Lar, so the connection seems crystal clear, actually. Let's take a look at the Ultimate Warrior after the break...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Action Figure Review: Colonial Marines 'Vs' Aliens (Gold) from Alien Collection by Lanard Toys

    I just reviewed the Alien Queen from Lanard Toys' Alien Collection on Monday and now I;m checking out the first one of the sets including a standard Xenomorph. Most of these sets don't have actual names, which is kind of frustrating to me. Still, I can't help but like this line. I really only picked these up so I can mix in some of the pieces with my beloved Kenner Aliens and Predator collection, but they definitely have a charm of their own that I appreciate. These are very inexpensive, which I think is one of the first things you'll notice about these. This set with a 1/18th scale Xenomorph, a human figure, and an egg with a Facehugger is less than $10 bucks. Yeah, I know. That's crazy. There's obviously a lot of reuse between the sets and the humans are reused from previous Lanard lines like The Corps, so that probably helps keep the costs down. Anyways, let's check this set out and see what you get for $10 bucks, after the break...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Christmas Haul 2019: Valkyrie from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

    I'm down to only two reviews left until I've finished up reviewing the 2019 Fortnite:Legendary Series releases so let's knock one of them out today with a look at Valkyrie. Valkyrie is not only one of the coolest figures in Jazwares' Fortnite: Legendary Series but she also stands as the first female released in the line. Originally slated for series 2 in early Fall, Valkyrie ended up shipping out with series 3 in December. Valkyrie is a Legendary outfit in Fortnite and is loaded down with amazing details. She was another figure I received for Christmas and I've been really excited to review her. Ready to check out Valkyrie? Then join me after the break...

Monday, January 27, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Triple H from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel

    It's been a few weeks since I reviewed a figure from Mattel's Masters of the WWE Universe series but today I'm checking out the third of the four single packed figures in series one: Triple H. This is the second Triple H in the line, as the first was released in the Grayskull Mania set along with John Cena. These are Walmart exclusives and the first series of carded figures have been slowly trickling out over the past few weeks. It's interesting that of all of the WWE Superstars out there, Mattel doubled down on Triple H so early on. Maybe it's because he's a big fan of the barbarian fantasy aesthetic, or maybe it's because he's a bigwig over at WWE. Anyways, this Triple H is actually a very cool inclusion in the line as he seems like a true fantasy villain and should mesh well in the upcoming MOTU Origins line. Let's check out Triple H after the break...

Action Figure Review: Alien Queen from Alien Collection by Lanard Toys

   It's no secret that Kenner's vintage Alien and Predator toyline is one of my favorite toylines of all time, and in 2020 I'm hoping to go through and review every figure in the lines. Yes, every figure. We'll see how it goes but I've found that there aren't too many great resources out there for collectors of the line, so I'm going to help how I can. Plus, I love the line so much and I'm in the process of completing it. Of course, my love for that vintage toyline is the reason I'm checking out the subject of today's review: The Alien Queen from Lanard Toys' Alien Collection. Yes, Lanard Toys, the makers of The Corps. Over the past couple of years Lanard has been releasing a few movie based toylines covering properties like Rampage, Kong of Skull Island, and Jumangi. Now they've got the Alien license and they've released an unusual assortment of action figures loosely based on the property. These are all exclusive to Walmart (as is most Lanard product), so that's where you'll need to check to pick these up. My biggest interest in this line is finding pieces that will blend in well with Kenner's vintage Aliens line and I do believe the Alien Queen fits in quite well as sort of a "boss villain" version of the Queen. Let's check her out after the break and see if this is a line worth screaming about...

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Christmas Haul 2019: Skull Trooper from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

    I'm back with yet another item I received for Christmas! I ended up with most of the latest series of Fortnite: Legendary Series figures under the Christmas tree for me, including this very cool Skull Trooper. The Purple Glow Skull Trooper was released in the first series of figures last summer and was actually the first of the Fortnite: Legendary Series figures I reviewed. The Skull Trooper is definitely one of the most recognizable characters from Fortnite and I've always found it interesting that Jazwares led off with the purple variant. This guy is really cool, though, and while he's a repaint he looks awesome, makes for a nice troop builder styled figure, and comes with a slightly different arsenal than the first release. Let's check out this wicked cool Series 3 Skull Trooper after the break...

Wrapping Up 2019: Early Bird Collector's Package Series 2 from Mythos by HH Toys

    It was exactly one year ago today that I reviewed the Early Bird Package of Series 1 of HH Toys' Mythos in My Pocket figures. My wife got them for me for Christmas and they ended up being one of my favorite releases of 2018. While the name has changed for Series 2 (they're just Mythos now), the figures are as great as ever. I picked up the Series 2 Early Bird Collector's Package on my own this year and I'm happy to say it's another stellar set of minifigures. While the Early Bird Package is long gone, you can still pick up the standard packs of figures. Let's take a look at the latest series of terrifying monstrosities...

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Action Figure Review: God Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Classics by Super7

    Today's my third review from Super7's final series if Masters of the Universe Classics figures and this time it's God Skeletor! Based on William Stout's design for the 1987 film, God Skeletor represents Skeletor's appearance at the finale of the movie one he is fully imbued with the power of the universe. This is an incredibly popular look for Skeletor that really depicts the character in a way that was never seen before the film or since in other media. It's way outside of Skeletor's normal depictions, but that's part of what makes it so unique and interesting. My guess is that for a lot of collectors, God Skeletor is going to be the hit of the series. Let's take a look and see how he fares as an action figure after the break...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Christmas Haul 2019: Raven from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 I'm still, slowly but surely, going through some of the cool stuff I ended up with for Christmas 2019. I actually received the newest series of Fortnite figures (I've reviewed a few of them previously), one of which is Raven. Raven definitely has a very cool, very goth look to him. He kind of reminds me of a mixture between a Halloween costume and the Merchant from Resident Evil 4. I was really excited for this guy but I will say that I'm a bit disappointed here due to how Raven's face was handled. Anyways, let's take a look at the "Brooding Masters of Dark Skies" after the break and see how he turned out...

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Sorceress from Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjects

    Now that many Walmarts have placed a collector focused section in the electronics section containing a number of different lines from The Loyal Subjects' Action Vinyls range I've been having some luck finding a few of the less common Series 2 Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls. First I found Orko in early December and then, in late December, I stumbled upon the Sorceress. I ordered a case of these last Spring and wound up with the fairly rare Pink Sorceress variant but I really wanted this classic Sorceress for my collection. Well, here she is! Let's check her out after the break...

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

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

Monday, January 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

Saturday, January 18, 2020

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

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

Thursday, January 16, 2020

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

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

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Christmas Haul 2019: Molten Battle Hound from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

    I ended up with quite a few of the Fortnite: Legendary Series figures fro Christmas this year and the next one I'm checking out is Molten Battle Hound.  I'm really only familiar with any of these characters from their appearance on advertising and stuff or if they've already had an action figure made, so I was aware of Battle Hound due to Jazwares including him in the 1/18th scaled line. I don't collect that line o anything, but I do keep up with it, and I dug his gladiator styled design. The Molten Battle Hound is even better, though, as his mask his on fire! Why is on fire? Who knows? It's crazy cool, though, right? This guy was actually only released as in-game costume at the end of March 2019 as part of the Lava Legends pack, so this is a pretty new outfit. Let's check out the figure and see how the Molten Battle Hound stacks up against his competitors after the break...

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Neomorph Alien from Aliens/ Predator Classic by NECA

    NECA delivered lots of surprises last year, from the release of Toony Terrors to their decision to start producing more Halloween figures. Perhaps my favorite surprise, though, is NECA's decision to revisit the vintage Kenner Aliens and Predator lines by offering new toys in the retro Kenner style. I'm not talking about the vintage 1/18th "Star Wars" scale, either; I'm talking about the 4 1/2 inch scale Kenner used throughout the 1990s. For a few years now NECA has paid homage to the Kenner figures for both Aliens and Predator in their typical 7-inch scale, but these figures will fit right in with your vintage Kenner Aliens and Predator collection. I checked out the Berserker Predator from Predators a couple of weeks ago and now I'm checking out the Neomorph Alien from Alien: Covenant. Let's see how this ghost white Neomorph turned out after the break...

Friday, January 10, 2020

Christmas Haul 2019: Peely from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

   Getting some fruit for Christmas is an old tradition that hearkens back to the gifts of St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra. I got some fruit for Christmas, too. A banana. And he's carrying a flipping 12 gauge. Rack it! Yes, I actually received Peely from Jazwares' Fortnite: Legendary series for Christmas and today I'm checking him out! He's crazy, as are so many of the Fortnite designs, but he's so darn loveable, too. Jazwares has released Peely in the smaller 1/18th scaled line while McFarlane Toys has released him in their 7-8 inch line, so there is a Peely no matter what size you prefer. The Fortnite: Legendary Series version is the only one to come with multiple faces, however, so that's a big point in his favor. Let's check out Peely after the break and see why he's the top banana.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Wrapping Up 2019: Stratos from Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx by Mattel

    Mattel's relaunch of the Masters of the Universe: Mega Construx line is just starting to hit stores (folks are finding them at Walmarts across the US and in Canada) but today I'm checking out the last MOTU figure from the previous Mega Construx line (which included characters from multiple different properties): Stratos, the winged warrior of Avion. Stratos is actually making an appearance in the first series of the new line as well, although that version has the blue wings and red jetpack while this guy has the red wings and blue jetpack. And yes, these things matter to Masters of the Universe fans. Stratos was released in the same series as Scare Glow, which ended up being notoriously difficult to find until a month or so ago when these guys started showing up at Bargain Hunt stores and other discount retailers. Ready to check out Stratos? Then join me after the break...