Tuesday, June 30, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Tuskador / Insyzor from He-Man by Mattel

   Today is the last day of JuNe Adventures and I really hope that you've enjoyed the chance to go back and look at a random mixture of action figures from Mattel's New Adventures of He-Man brand extension. The vintage He-Man line certainly has its own charm which is often overlooked because the figures are so aesthetically different from the vintage Masters of the Universe line. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I still wonder if the line would have done better if Mattel had attempted to adhere more the aesthetics of the vintage MOTU line, treating the Galactic Guardians and the Evil Space Mutants more as new factions rather than as "replacements" for the original crew. Stylized figures like Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all the rage in the late 80s/ early 90s and were closer in design to the vintage MOTU line than to the fairly standard proportions that Mattel used here. Today I'm looking at Tuskador (known as Insyzor in Europe). Tuskador was released in 1991 as part of the third series of the He-Man line and he is a character that absolutely screams MOTU. Let's take a look at Tuskador as out last figure for JuNe Adventures!

Action Figure Review: Sy-Klone #995 from POP! Television: Masters of the Universe by Funko

    This slow and steady marathon of checking out all of the newest Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls continues with a look at Sy-Klone, the Heroic Fist-Flinging Tornado! Sy-Klone is an interesting character and as a kid I somehow ended up with two of him. I have no idea how! I feel like I either found him somewhere or one of my cousins gave him to me, and I never turn down free toys! While Sy-Klone had limited appearances on the Filmation series he was developed a bit more in other media sources such as in the Golden Books and the UK Comic series and the 200x Mike Young Productions cartoon series. In the Golden Books he was a circus performer transformed into a cyborg by Skeletor, the UK comic series he was an athlete named Dash-Shel who was transformed into a Cyborg by his father after an attack by the Horde (kind of like DC's Cyborg), and in the 200x series he is the mystical guardian of the Legacy Stones on the island of Anwat Gar. Oh, and in the MOTUC canon Sy-Klone is actually a Gar (like Keldor) who wears ancient Gar armor. And now he's a POP! vinyl! Let's check this guy out after the break...

Monday, June 29, 2020

Action Figure Review: Shadow Stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   GameStop has another Star Wars: The Black Series Gaming Greats exclusive figure and this time it's a Shadow Stormtrooper from The Force Unleashed! The Shadow Stormtroopers (sometimes called Blackhole Stormtroopers) have a long history dating back to the 1970s Marvel Star Wars comics and they've most recently appeared in the new canon in Star Wars Battlefront, but this one is clearly based on their appearance in The Force Unleashed due to the grayish color of the armor and the glowing blue details (I think those ones are technically referred to as Shadow Troopers, not Shadow Stormtroopers, but that's what who this guy is). Hasbro actually released the Imperial Shadow Squadron as a Target exclusive back in 2014 but those are simply fully black Stormtroopers, so this guy is still quite different than the previously released figures. When it comes down to it, the Shadow Stormtrooper is a simple repaint of the 2014 Stormtrooper figure from series 3 of the Black Series but it does have a very color scheme that really does make it stand out from the rest of your 6 inch Stormtrooper garrison. Let's check out this guy after the break...

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Action Figure Review: Sorceress #993 from POP! Television by Funko

    It's been about a week since I last reviewed one of the new Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls so let's check out another one. How about the Sorceress? The Sorceress, also known as Teela Na, is the defender of Castle Grayskull, a being of immense power, and the mother of Teela. Inexplicably, Teela does not yet have a Funko POP! vinyl yet. Her mother, does, though! The Sorceress was certainly featured in the early MOTU minicomics and such, though in a few different forms, but Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon is really what catapulted her up to the ranks of a MOTU A-lister. She's now a pretty popular character fro most MOTU toylines and it's nice to see her finally in the POP! brand. Let's check out Sorceress after the break...

Saturday, June 27, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Flogg / Brakk from He-Man by Mattel

    JuNe Adventures is coming to a close soon but I'm hoping to at least get one more review out before the end of the month. I hope you've enjoyed this opportunity to look at a variety of toys from one of the most unique (although often maligned) eras of Masters of the Universe. Today I'm going to check out Flogg, the leader of the Evil Space Mutants! Known as Brakk in his European release, Flogg was released as part of the original 1989 series of figures. A prominent fixture in the toyline (he got a rare variant in the fourth series, Hook 'Em Flogg), the minicomics, and the Jetlag Productions cartoon, Flogg was definitely the #2 villain behind Skeletor in the New Adventures era. Something else special about this figure is that this is actually my childhood Flogg. I ended up selling off most of my New Adventures figures as a kid but for some reason Flogg hung around. Let's check out this Flogg figure after the break and see if he can still whip it good!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Action Figure Review: Luke Skywalker (Bespin) from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Collection by Hasbro

   Today I'm taking a quick look at Luke Skywalker in his Bespin gear from Hasbro's The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Collection. Hasbro has released two sets of figures so far on the vintage inspired Kenner cards (there's a third set coming, too) and Luke here is part of the first set. This version of Luke Skywalker was originally released in early 2014 in the 3rd series of Black Series figures and he was always one of my biggest disappointments in the line. This is probably my favorite version of Luke Skywalker from one of my favorite scenes from my favorite Star Wars film and rather than delivering a knockout Hasbro just kind of skated by with a bare bones figure with a terrible headsculpt. Fortunately, Luke has been given a second chance with a new headsculpt and the new face printing technology and it really improves the figure. I haven't bought all of the figures with updated headsculpts but I have picked up a few and I've definitely been impressed by the difference the updated or new headsculpts make. This is going to be a shorter review since I'm really just nothing the differences between this release and the 2014 Phase One release. Let's see the improvements after the break...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Intergalactic Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

    August 2014 was a busy month for Masters of the Universe Classics and, for some reason, I didn't end up reviewing all of the figures that were released at that time! I review the standard monthly figure, Flutterina, a few months after she was released but never got around to Madame Razz from Club Etheria and the SDCC exclusive Filmation Hordak. Skeletor was the quarterly variant figure for the month and was a figure I remember being very excited about. Unfortunately, he came at a time when there were lots of minor quality control issues working their way into the line. Nothing major like breakage, certainly, but weapons with no paintwork, reversed shoulders and forearms, and the crudely named "fat armor" that left many figures looking overly puffy all plagued Skeletor. It's a shame, too, because this really is an excellent Skeletor variant. I know that the New Adventures of He-Man isn't everyone's favorite era of MOTU (it's not mine, either) but Skeletor was awesome. No, I didn't care for the Jetlag cartoon version of Skeletor with googly eyes and a bizarre voice, but I love the toy design. Taking a cue from the vintage Laser Light Skeletor at the end of the vintage line the New Adventures Skeletor depicts a new era in the life of a villain willing to do whatever it takes to attain power. After magic and sorcery don't get him what he wants it seems logical that Skeletor would be willing to become cybernetic to continue his evil schemes! Let's take a look at this figure and see if he was a worthy adversary to the excellent MOTUC Galactic Protector He-Man and She-Ra....

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Action Figure Review: Skeletor #998 from POP! Television: Masters of the Universe by Funko

   Today we're going BIG with a review of the new Funko POP! Skeletor and it's not just because Skeletor is one of the biggest baddies of them all; it's because this is a supersized Funko POP! Skeletor stands around 10 inches tall and is really quite massive. My daughter received the Target exclusive supersized Eevee POP! for Christmas, so that was my first in-person experience with the supersized POP! vinyls, but this Skeletor is the first one I've personally owned. He's quite cool! The POP! aesthetic works really well in this scale and all of the little details just look better. Funko has made a few Funko Skeletor POP! vinyls with the first being one of the earliest POP! Television releases back in 2013. This one is an update of the classic Skeletor design and I imagine we'll see him released as a standard sized POP! sometime soon (there is also a Black Hood/ Disco Skeletor repaint of this guy released as a Funko Shop Exclusive). Let's take a look at this massive Skeletor POP! after the break...

Monday, June 22, 2020

Action Figure Review: Rebel Soldier (Hoth) from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Collection by Hasbro

   Thus far Hasbro's offerings for the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back have been fairly underwhelming. The Retro Collection figures are quite cool and the Probe Droid wasn't bad but the the Vintage Collection figures were, I believe, mostly just re-releases and the Black Series 40th Anniversary line has mostly been re-releases as well. Series 1 was all re-releases though a few of the figures (Luke Skywalker in Bespin Fatigures and Lando Calrissian) at least offered new face printing. Now we've got the Snow Speeder coming along with the second series of TESB 40th Anniversary figures which offers up some genuinely new figures. Today I'm checking out the Rebel Soldier (Hoth) figure and, let me tell you, this guy is currently the figure to beat in the Black Series in 2020. While there haven't been a ton of Black Series releases so far I have no doubt that the Rebel Soldier is going to put up a fierce fight as he is simple one of the best figures that Hasbro has released in the series. Hasbro has been making Rebel Soldiers for 40 years now and this guy is the best yet. Let's check him out after the break...

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Action Figure Review: Knight of Ren (Vicrul) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   I've been picking up the most recent figures from Star Wars: The Black Series here and there and I finally grabbed the Knight of Ren figure a week or so ago as an Amazon Warehouse Deal (messed up packaging but the figure was fine) so let's check him out today! I could spend the better part of a day talking about the Knights of Ren and how oddly they were handled in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy as they're a great example of one of the weird issues with the films. Introduced only briefly in The Force Awakens and the ancillary materials for that film, the Knights of Ren seemed like they were going to be one of the big mysteries of the ST, or at least a big "reveal". Nope. In The Rise of Skywalker they pretty much show up only to later be killed by Ben Skywalker. What's their deal? That was dealt with in a comic book, which is fine for some things but it seems weird for some enemies who seemed like they were going to be important and who had a relationship to Kylo Ren that was teased for a few years.
   There are six Knights of Ren but Hasbro only released one of them in the Vintage Collection (Ap'lek) and another here in the Black Series. This one is named Vicrul and he's depicted on the cover of The Rise of Skywalker's visual dictionary though Hasbro just labeled each release "Knight of Ren," presumably because the packaging was created before they knew the characters' names (Funko identified their individual releases by referring to the weapon of each Knight of Ren).  Per the visual dictionary, his limited Force connection gives him "heightened reflexes and the power to magnify fear in his prey." That's pretty cool and really makes it frustrating that these guys weren't explored more. Heck, if they hadn't died in TROS it would have been cool to see a follow-up series about Rey and the Resistance hunting down the Knights of Ren. Let's check out Vicrul after the break and see if he's a worthwhile pickup...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Rocketdisc Power Pack from He-Man by Mattel

    I'm enjoying the opportunity to explore some MOTU stuff that is more off the beaten path during JuNe Adventures such as today's Rocketdisc Power Pack from Mattel's 1989 He-Man line. While we don't see many accessories or accessory packs sold today for action figures (traditional doll lines like Barbie still get them, though), they were still regularly included as part of action figures lines until the early 1990s. The vintage Masters of the Universe line offered up a few accessory packs and items so it makes since that Mattel attempted to put some in the He-Man line as well. Oddly enough, they never made it to the United States and ended up being exclusive to Europe. The Rocketdisc Power Pack is intended to support the Galactic Guardians by adding some more firepower to their arsenal. Let's take a look at this accessory after the break...

Friday, June 19, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Shuttle Pod from He-Man by Mattel

    This has been a pretty packed week for JuNe Adventures over here at Action Figure Barbecue and today I'm checking out another vehicle from the vintage He-Man toyline: The Shuttle Pod! Remember my story about picking up a load of He-Man toys from a discount toy store (probably Toy Liquidators) at the Gurnee Mills mall when I was a kid? The Shuttle Pod was another one of the He-Man items I picked up on that epic day! Released in 1989 in the first series of figures, the Shuttle Pod is referred to as the "Ultimate throne ship of doom" and can attach to the Terroclaw to create an even fiercer fighting machine. I see a lot of collectors referring to this vehicle as the Dreadwing but I can't find any packaging that refers to it as such. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Despite what you call this vehicle, the Shuttle Pod is actually an incredibly fun toy with a few cool features. Let's check it out after the break and see what it offers...

Action Figure Review: Egon Spengler and Gulper Ghost from Ghostbusters Kenner Classics by Hasbro

   It's been nearly a month since I found Winston Zeddemore from Hasbro's Ghostbusters Kenner Classics line but last Friday I stumbled upon the other three Ghostbusters while out on a grocery run so I'll be checking them all out in the days ahead. Let's check out Egon Spengler today! Out of all of the character redesigns for the Real Ghostbusters cartoon Egon's has always seemed to me to be the most drastic. None of the Real Ghostbusters really looked like their actors but cartoon Egon's blonde do and round red glasses really seemed like a drastic change from Harold Ramis's Egon. Still, the cartoon did a great job in casting Maurice LaMarche as Dr. Spengler and Egon's unique look just became part of the character. Looking back, Kenner's vintage The Real Ghostbusters line offered up some of the most cartoon accurate toys of the 1980s (the Filmation's Ghostbusters line was incredibly accurate to their cartoon as well). While Hasbro anticipated releasing these Walmart exclusive retro replicas alongside the marketing blitz for the theatrical release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, these guys still seem to be selling quite well on their own. Let's check out Egon Spengler and Gulper Ghost after the break...

Thursday, June 18, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Spin-Fist Hydron from He-Man by Mattel

   It's always fun when I can show off an action figure that is fairly uncommon and today I'm getting that chance with Spin-Fist Hyrdon from the fourth series of Mattel's He-Man figures. Released in 1992, the fourth series of He-Man figures are fairly uncommon with some like Too-Tall Hoove and Hook 'em Flogg being downright rare. The fourth series of figures only features six figures and two role-play items and all of the figures were variants of previously released characters. Hydron was originally released in the first series of figures in 1989 and is actually the leader of the Galactic Guardians. While in the cartoon Hydron hails from the underwater city of Serus on Primus, I've never understood why Mattel really doubled down on the diving theme for the leader of the Galactic Guardians. Spin-Fist Hydron continues with both the diving theme and the obscured face of the character's first action figure (oddly enough, the Masters of the Universe Hydron figure didn't show off the character's face, either) but in a new outfit that seems a bit more space-like. Let's check out Spin-Fist Hydron after the break and see if he's worth tracking down...

JuNe Adventures: Optikk from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

    Who should we lay our eyes upon for today's installment of JuNe Adventures? How about Optikk? Released Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics toyline in May 2010 (yes, it's crazy to think this guy came out over 10 years ago now!) Optikk was the first New Adventures of He-Man era character to make an appearance in that line. Mattel started out very slow with the New Adventures based figures (and, unfortunately, neither Mattel nor Super7 have completed the roster) with Optikk being a way to test the water. He's a crazy looking Evil Space Mutant who definitely represented the best of what New Adventures had to offer. There is no way that anyone but the most die-hard New Adventures haters could resist placing this Evil Mutant Spy in the ranks of their Evil Warriors at the time of his release. Let's take a look at Optikk after the break and see how he fared as an introduction for many fans to the New Adventures toyline...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Action Figure Review: Mosquitor #996 from POP! Television: Masters of the Universe by Funko

    It's always exciting when a toyline based on an existing property starts moving beyond the A-list characters and starts delivering up the more obscure fan favorites and that's why I'm pretty excited for the newest series of Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls from Funko: It has a great assortment of B and C list characters! Yeah, the newest series has a He-Man redo, the Sorceress, Prince Adam, and an oversized Skeletor, but it also has a more obscure character from each of the four main factions. There's Sy-Klone for the Heroic Warriors, Tung Lashor from the Snake Men, Webstor for the Evil Warriors, and Mosquitor for the Evil Horde! Since I'm on the younger side of MOTU fandom (I wasn't born until '83) I actually had a lot of the figures released later in the line as a kid, like Mosquitor. I'm not quite sure where and when I got my Mosquitor but I still have him and he still works. Mosquitor is a pretty fearsome villain and a popular figure. I'm really glad to see Funko put him into the POP! line since he doesn't get the exposure that so many other characters do. Let's take a look at Mosquitor after the break...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Spinwit / Tornado from He-Man by Mattel

   JuNe Adventures strikes again! Today we're checking out another of the Galactic Guardians and today it's Spinwit, the heroic pilot who can generate tornadoes by spinning body! Spinwit was known as Tornado in his international releases and he was released as part of the third series of action figures in 1991. Speaking of the 1990s, man, does Spinwit look like the early 1990s or what? Seriously, he looks like he ought to be rollerblading down the road listening to New Kids on the Block on a walkman while eating a Butterfinger and telling someone to eat his shorts. Overall He-Man kind of avoided the 1990s (both the good and the bad), but not Spinwit. I mean, dang. Let's check this guy out after the break and see if this guy is a worthwhile addition to the collection...

Monday, June 15, 2020

Action Figure Review: He-Man #991 from POP! Television: Masters of the Universe by Funko

    Back in 2013 Funko released their first He-Man POP! vinyl (he was #17 in the POP! Television series) and now, 7 years later, they're revisiting the character. He-Man #991 is a brand new sculpt from the original figure and a great way to see how the POP! aesthetic has changed over the years. Funko seems to be hitting the Masters of the Universe pretty hard once again with a bunch of new figures currently hitting stores and e-tailers as well as two rumored exclusives coming soon (Clawful and Blast-Attak). This He-Man figure is also being re-released later in 2020 as part of a GameStop exclusive MOTU crate where he'll have flocked boots and trunks, so some of you may want to wait for that one. Let's jump right in and check out this updated POP! He-Man after the break and see if he still has the power!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Lizorr from He-Man by Mattel

    Overall the designs of the Evil Mutants in Mattel's He-Man line (aka New Adventures) were quite strong (with the exception of Karatti, who is pretty dull) and probably would have been a huge hit if they had been introduced as a new faction in the vintage Masters of the Universe rather than a completely different toyline. Today I'm checking out Lizorr, the "cold-blooded goon squad mutant from the burning Gorn desert on evil planet Denebria." Lizorr was released as part of the second series of figures in 1990 and was a bit less common among North American collectors as he was apparently only released in the UK until later in the line. Lizorr never got much screen time on Jetlag's The New Adventures of He-Man cartoon series nor did he make many comic appearances. That's disappointing as he's a pretty cool looking lizard warrior. Let's check out Lizorr as part of our JuNe Adventures festivities at Action Figure Barbecue!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Action Figure Review: Conan the Barbarian from Conan the Barbarian by Super7

   Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian has been crafted into action figure form by many companies over the years and now Super7 gets their turn with this new release based on the look of the character during the 1970s within the pages of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian series. Super7's Conan is an extremely interesting release not just because of the source material, however, but because he utilizes the "Classics" body that was designed for the Masters of the Universe Classics line. Conan and He-Man have an interesting history together that is filled with lots of speculation and rumor, but now they have some level of official connection. Super7 is getting some great mileage out of the standard body designed for the Masters of the Universe Classics line by utilizing the scale and style for other lines like ThunderCats, The Toxic Crusaders, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Of course, being that he's a swords and sorcery barbarian, Conan is a perfect fit to exist alongside of the Masters of the Universe line; Conan inspired He-Man and now He-Man, in a sense, is lending something to Conan! This figure was listed as a preorder on Super7.com in early 2019 (alongside the movie-based final wave of MOTUC figures)and just shipped to fans within the last couple of weeks. Let's check out this incredible Conan the Barbarian figure after the break and see if he can stand toe-to-toe with the other brawny, beefy, and bulky barbarian bruisers on your action figure shelf!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Action Figure Review: Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters Kenner Classics by Hasbro

    I know I've talked about my love for Ghostbusters many times (the original film is constantly tied with Raiders of the Lost Ark for my favorite film of all time) and I know I've talked about my nostalgia for the vintage toyline, but you may not believe that based on my reviews of Hasbro's Ghostbusters Kenner Classics which are essentially remakes of the vintage Kenner toyline. While I do like Winston (I haven't found the other Ghostbusters yet) my review of Slimer, AKA the Green Ghost, was only a little above average. Folks, as much as I love Mr. Stay-Puft this guy just isn't getting high marks from me. Don't get me wrong; The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is an iconic toy and I definitely had fun with him as a kid but he's not a fantastic toy nor is he a perfect remake. Let's take a look at the toy after the break and see the ups and the downs of this massive marshmallowy menace!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Nocturna from He-Man by Mattel

    Today for JuNe Adventures I'm checking out Nocturna, a member of the Galactic Guardians from the vintage He-Man (AKA New Adventures) toyline. Released in the second series of figures in 1990 Nocturna seems to be a master of martial arts who is decked out in a stealthy blue and purple camouflage suit. While Mattel did release few of the Galactic Guardians/ Galactic Protectors in Masters of the Universe Classics, Nocturna didn't make the cut. He almost did, though, as there was an episode of He-Man.org's Roast Gooble Dinner where former Masters of the Universe brand manager Scott "ToyGuru" Neitlich did give a month and year that Nocturna was scheduled for to show how deep MOTUC was scheduled to go. Unfortunately, plans changed and Nocturna never got made, and thus his sole toy incarnation is this vintage figure. I really like Nocturna though admittedly he does look like he'd fit in better with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero or C.O.P.S. and Crooks rather than alongside of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The New Adventures brand expansion just had a different feel from classic MOTU. Let's take a look at Nocturna after the break!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Action Figure Review: Imperial Probe Droid from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

  The 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is being celebrated this year, so I guess there's at least one thing about 2020 that isn't a complete dumpster fire, right? Hasbro certainly hasn't gone all out for anything Star Wars for a few years now but they do have a decent selection of Star Wars: The Black Series releases based on the greatest Star Wars film of them all. Most of them are being released on the oversized retro cards, like the figures for the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Collection, but the Imperial Probe Droid comes in an oversized black and red Phase III box like General Grievous, the Gamorrean Guard, or Moloch. He's labeled as the third deluxe release in Phase III and thus he's going to run you about $10 more than a standard figure. The Probe Droid has a long history in Star Wars toys and is easily one of the most memorable droids from the Original Trilogy: He appeared in the vintage Kenner Turret & Probot Playset and was the best of the deluxe releases from Kenner's POTF2 deluxe series. That's the one I had as a kid and I loved him! Hasbro also released an updated Probe Droid on Force Friday 2017 but this is the first in the Black Series. Let's take a look at this slightly creepy Imperial spy droid after the break and see if he's a worthy addition to the celebration of Episode V!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Action Figure Review: Black Widow: Deadly Origin from Marvel Legends Series: Black Widow by Hasbro

    It's been 7 months since I last reviewed a Marvel Legends figure! Hasbro continues to put out some amazing Marvel Legends figures but I'm kind of selective about which Marvel Legends figures I pick up. The Target exclusive Deadly Origin Black Widow featuring Natasha Romanoff in a slick white outfit with lots of guns and firing effects definitely grabbed my attention, though, and thus she broke the streak for me. I'm only vaguely familiar with most Marvel comic storylines unless they're pre-2000 or were featured in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, so I'm not terribly familiar with the 2009/ 2010 Black Widow: Deadly Origin by Paul Cornell, Tom Raney, and John Paul Leon. This figure is based on that miniseries and, of course, was released as a bit of a tie-in to the Black Widow film which should have been released in May of 2020 but now has been pushed back to November due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Think these will still be around when the film actually hits theaters? Let's check out the Black Widow: Deadly Origin figure after the break...

Saturday, June 6, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Karatti from He-Man by Mattel

    Ready to look back a another vintage figure from Mattel's 1989 He-Man line? Then join me for today's installment of JuNe Adventures as I take a look at Karatti, Evil Space Mutant and martial arts expert! When I reviewed the Masters of the Universe Karatti when he was released back in 2013 I commented that I didn't really have strong memories of the vintage figure. I never owned him and I don't really remember him. Karatti was released in the second series of He-Man figures from 1990  which features a decent selection of Evil Mutants. Karatti always has seemed kind of dull to me (he's definitely the dullest of the Evil Mutants) and that might be because he was originally intended to be a creature made of crystal called Crystoll. There's concept art of him floating around and while Karatti was based on the concept, I have to wonder if Quakke borrowed some from that concept as well, as he has some very similar colors and design elements. Let's take a look at Karatti after the break and see the good and dull aspects of this figure...

Friday, June 5, 2020

Action Figure Review: Green Ghost from Ghostbusters Kenner Classics by Hasbro

    I recently stumbled upon a couple more of Hasbro's Ghostbusters Kenner Classics, the 2020 toys which are near exact recreations of Kenner's 1986 The Real Ghostbusters toyline. I had all of these as a child so seeing these in stores was a real treat! That oversized purple backer card just stands out from everything else on the shelves, doesn't it? I believe there are currently two cases shipping in this series: One with the four Ghostbusters and another with both the Green Ghost and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Today I'm checking out the Green Ghost, who we all know is Slimer. Kenner used this name on their Slimer figures and even rereleased the original figure with a label pointing out that the character was known as Slimer on The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. The original Ghostbsuters toys were very popular and there are probably untold numbers of these figures floating around out there. Still, it's nice to get a new and complete one at a decent price. Hasbro did a great job recreating these figures, so doing reviews of these figures is a bit odd as most of the positives and negatives I'm pointing out are aspects of the original figure. That said, I have to admit that this was never my favorite Slimer toy as a kid. My favorite was actually the Topps Slime candy container released around the time of Ghostbusters II. Still, I had this guy as a kid and I have him again now, so let's take a look at the Green Ghost after the break...

Thursday, June 4, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Icarius from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

    For JuNe Adventures I'm going to be jumping back and forth between reviews from Mattel's 1989 He-Man line and Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics series which featured characters from the New Adventures of He-Man era alongside MOTU characters from nearly all incarnations of the brand. While MOTUC began in 2008 the line didn't get it's first New Adventures character until 2010 when Optikk joined the line. October 2011 brought the second New Adventures release and the first member of the Galactic Guardians: Icarius! The vintage figure was called Flipshot in the US release but the European release was named Icarius, which I'm assuming is a play on Icarus of Greek Mythology. There were two Greek characters named Icarius: One was a Spartan king and a renowned runner who was the father in law of Odysseus and the other was an Athenian who was hospitable to Dionysus and was murdered by his own shepherds when he introduced them to wine, which they apparently were unfamiliar with.  Neither of these seem like they'd make sense as inspiration for the character's name, though, so I'm going with my original assumption that Icarius is a play on Icarus.

   Anyways, I think the issue was that Flipshot was currently being used by another company so Mattel went with the European name. That's cool, and the bio still brings up the point that Lt. Icarius (real name TC Icarius Kaz) is nicknamed Flipshot, so you can still call him Flipshot if you want to. I would argue that Icarius is probably the most popular of the Galactic Protectors (MOTUC started calling them Galactic Protectors rather than Galactic Guardians, probably another licensing issue) and Mattel and the Four Horsemen really went all out to make him a strong MOTUC offering. Let's check out Icarius after the break and see why he's still a high point in the MOTUC line!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

JuNe Adventures: Terroclaw / Terrapod from He-Man by Mattel

 It's time for the first review for JuNe Adventures and today I'm going big with a review of the Terroclaw from the first series of He-Man toys. Known as the Terrapod in Europe (and often misspelled as Terrorclaw rather than Terroclaw across the internet), the Terroclaw was the largest vehicle for the Evil Space Mutants released in the first series of toys. Billed as "3 Attack Tanks in One!," the key feature of the Terroclaw is that has a limited ability to convert into three different battle modes by repositioning the legs and body of the vehicle. The first series vehicles also featured compatible ports which allowed for various docking options between the ships and thus another selling of the Terroclaw was that the Dreadwing/ Shuttle Pod could attach on to it to create an even more fearsome vehicle. Let's take a look at the Terroclaw after the break and see all of the features it sports in fighting the Galactic Guardians and waging war on Primus!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Action Figure Review: Zorii Bliss from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   Does anyone else feel like Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker just kind of happened, came, and went? Seriously, it feels like a movie that even Lucasfilm, Disney, and Hasbro have kind of forgotten about. Hasbro just showed off a bunch of fantastic new Star Wars: The Black Series figures last week and it included figures from The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, The Original Trilogy, Rebels, and.... well, nothing from The Rise of Skywalker. Nothing. Can you believe that Hasbro has nothing more in store for the final Star Wars film that was just released less than a year ago? Today I'm checking out Zorii Bliss from the most recent series of Black Series figures and, quite possibly, one of the last Sequel Trilogy figures we will see in the Black Series for some time. While she didn't have a major role in the film (her role in Rae Carson's novelization of the film is more significant), Zorii Bliss is a very cool looking character who manages to capture the aesthetic of many beloved "fringe" characters from the Star Wars galaxy. I like the character and after reading the expanded novelization I decided to pick her up since the releases for The Rise of Skywalker seem to be at an end for the time being. Let's take a look at Zorii Bliss after the break and see if she's a worthwhile pickup for your collection:

June 2020 is JuNe Adventures at Action Figure Barbecue

Hey everyone!

Moss May was a lot of fun to celebrate and featured many reviews of Moss Man toys, one of my favorite Masters of the Universe Characters. For June 2020 we're going to celebrate The New Adventures of He-Man. If Masters of the Universe has a red-headed stepchild (and his name isn't Ging-Or or something) than it's probably The New Adventures of He-Man era. As sales dropped and the movie flopped, the vintage Masters of the Universe line died off around 1987 and 1988 and the planned Powers of Grayskull expansion was prematurely cancelled. But He-Man himself would rise again! More after the break...