Thursday, May 6, 2021

Action Figure Review: The Grady Twins from Toony Terrors by NECA

 


   A weekend or two ago I was at Target and stumbled upon some new Toony Terrors from NECA. Y'all know I'm a pretty big Stephen King fan and I was thrilled to see that the Grady Twins are included in the most recent series of NECA's "horror icons meet vintage Saturday morning cartoons" line of action figures. Stanley Kubrick's The Shining might not be a very faithful adaptation of King's book but is sure is one heck of a movie. The film is filled with iconic imagery and the Grady Twins, the ghosts of two young girls who haunt The Overlook, are quite possibly more well known at this point than Jack Nicholson. They're pop culture fixtures and NECA has immortalized them in plastic to hang out with the big guns of horror. Now before some of you get all persnickety with me I'll go ahead and disclose that yes, in the book they're not twins. The girls are different ages. They also don't show up in the book and are only mentioned in passing. The Grady girls in this format are purely an invention of the movie. Second, there are some folks who are convinced that these are not the Grady girls (again, mentioned in the movie as being 8 and 10) but are some other twins haunting The Overlook. When the girls are mentioned as having been killed in the hotel and then their ghosts show up, c'mon? Why complicate things? These are the Grady Twins and we're getting ready to check these figures out after the break...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Malevolent May: Hordak (Tweeterhead Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe Legends by Tweeterhead

 


   Sideshow's series of 1/5th scale statues is definitely one of my favorite range of Masters of the Universe products ever. Sideshow started the line in 2016 and released their last statue, Orko, in late 2018/ early 2019. During their time they released He-Man, Skeletor, She-Ra, Orko, and two versions of Evil-Lyn. Last year Tweeterhead announced that they were continuing the line in the same scale and style and their first release was Hordak. Hordak went on sale last year in both a standard edition and as a Tweeterhead Exclusive with a run of 300 and he just shipped at the end of March for folks who preordered him through them directly. There has been so much MOTU stuff lately that it's taken me a bit to get around to it all but I figured this guy should kick off Malevolent May since this might be the greatest Hordak collectible ever! I'm using the back of my daughter's playroom today since Hordak is so massive and mighty that he just won't fit in my usual photography area. The colors are kind of Etheria-ish, right? Let's take a look at the Tweeterhead Exclusive version of Hordak from Masters of the Universe Legends after the break...

Monday, May 3, 2021

Action Figure Review: Stephanie McMahon from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel


      So far Becky Lynch is the only figure I have managed to find from the fifth series of Mattel's Masters of the WWE Universe line but I've now found all of series 6. I've reviewed Goldberg previously so let's move on to Stephanie McMahon, the "Evil Billion Dollar Skull Queen." While I would have preferred Alexa Bliss as an Evil-Lyn homage gear Stephanie McMahon definitely makes sense. Not only is she an established name and part of the McMahon dynasty but she also partners with the Skull King Triple HHH from series 1. She's also legitimately dressed in an outfit sort of similar to this so it really is a good fit for Stephanie McMahon. Are we destined to get Vince McMahon as King Grayskull someday, too? Let's check out what we have for now and what we've got is Stephanie McMahon as Evil-Lyn. Enjoy it after the break...

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Action Figure review: Keldor from Masters of the Universe by Mondo

 

   While Keldor was alluded to in the vintage minicomics the connection between Skeletor and Keldor wasn't fully realized until the Mike Young Productions animated series . To go along with that show and the 200x toyline Mattel released the first Keldor figure as an SDCC exclusive back in 2003. Ever since then Keldor has been a popular Skeletor variant. Currently there are two Keldors on the market; the Target exclusive Masters of the Universe Origins Keldor from the Rise of Evil 2-pack and this very cool 1/6th scale Keldor from Mondo's Masters of the Universe line. Today I'm checking out Mondo's Keldor, who went up for sale on April 13th. He sold out pretty quickly and was part of a fairly limited run of just 1,000 figures. While Keldor is a variant of Skeletor he has plenty of new pieces that make him a pretty exciting release and far more than just a repaint or a head swapped figure. This is the first Mondo MOTU release of 2021 so let's get things started after the break...

May 2021 is Malevolent May at Action Figure Barbecue!

 

   Uh oh! A dark shadow falls over Action Figure Barbecue this month! That can mean only one thing: The Horde is here and Hordak is with them!

   This month I'll be doing a monthlong tribute to Hordak, the ruthless leader of the Evil Horde. Released in 1985 Hordak served both as the leader of a new faction for He-Man to battle in the Masters of the Universe toyline and as the main antagonist of She-Ra and the Great Rebellion in Filmation's She-Ra: Princess of Power.  Mattel and Filmation developed Hordak together so he's equally a part of both of those MOTU incarnations. The Battle Ram Blog has an excellent history of the development of Hordak and I'd encourage you to check it out!
 
   For He-Man/ MOTU Mattel used the storyline that Skeletor had once been Hordak's apprentice until Skeletor trapped Hordak in another dimension. When Hordak escaped and brought his evil Horde with him he was determined to rule Eternia, fighting against both the Heroic Warriors and Skeletor and his Evil Warriors, thus adding a third faction into the mix. Hordak is much more of a magic wielder being an ancient, evil wizard. For She-Ra/ PoP, Hordak is the leader of the Horde's techno empire on Etheria, though he's not the top dog; there's also a Horde Prime elsewhere in the galaxy. 

    This month I'm to be looking at quite a few different Hordak items! I hope you enjoy this celebration of one of the MOTU A-listers! To get started here are some Hordak reviews I've written on the site previously:

Masters of the Universe by Mattel (1982)
Buzz-Saw Hordak
 
Masters of the Universe by NECA (2005)
Hordak
 
Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (2008)
"Buzz Saw" Hordak  
 
Masters of the Universe: ReAction by Super7 (2015)
Hordak
Hordak (Grey)
 
M.U.S.C.L.E. Masters of the Universe by Super7 (2015)
Trash Can Wave 4 (Slime)  
 
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power by Sonic/ C3 (2020)
Hordak 
 
 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/30/2021: The Captain Falcon America Edition

 


   It's Friday and you know what that means... It's time for this week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! It's been a great week (Masters of the Universe Day always makes for a memorable experience) and it's time to talk about it. Let's start by looking at the final episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier!

   Did this show end on a high note or what? The second Disney+ MCU show is another fantastic installment in the MCU and I'm still wrestling with whether or not I liked it more than WandaVision there's no doubt that it was the more significant and meaningful show. TFATWS was a thoughtful and timely take on issues being faced by both the United States and the entire planet such as radicalism, equality, jingoism, unchecked power, and race that still managed to be a fun, exciting superhero experience. Anthony Mackie definitely has proven himself worthy of the shield and delivers an excellent monologue at the end of the episode. Between that, Bucky's final steps in closing his book on the Winter Soldier, and Sam's trip with Isaiah Bradley to the Captain America exhibit, this episode stands out as one of the finest moments in the MCU The episode is nearly one long action scene until the end and most of the major players get a chance to shine and, in some ways, to redeem themselves. There's a lot of loose ends left intentionally which gets me all the more excited for the upcoming Captain America 4. I was hoping that Bucky would take up the title of White Wolf after making amends with those he hurt and laying the legacy of  the Winter Soldier to rest but maybe that will be saved for Captain America 4 along with Sharon Carter's continued role as the power broker and John Walker as the U.S. Agent. The end title card proclaiming the show as Captain America an the Winter Soldier was just too cool and really sealed the deal. Steve chose his successor well and it will be exciting to see what's in store for Sam Wilson as Captain America next!

More after the break...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Toy Review: Kobra Khan from Vinyl SODA by Funko



  When Funko listed the exclusives for the Funko Virtual Con Spring 2021 earlier this month I was able to order both of the Vinyl SODA figures available: Kobra Khan and Man-At-Arms. When mine arrived in the mail I was thrilled to discover that I actually received Battle Mode Kobra Khan, the limited chase variant. Of course, knowing that I was able to order the standard figure for retail price or less made acquiring the garden variety Kobra Khan a pretty easy sell and I scooped him up shortly after getting my exclusive version. How's the regular Kobra Khan? Let's check him out after the break...

Masters of the Universe Day 2021: Twelve of the Most Expensive Vintage Masters of the Universe Figures

 


   Happy Masters of the Universe Day 2021! 

   Today I'm proud to present a very special Masters of the Universe Day collaboration between Action Figure Barbecue and The Toy Box! Matt from The Toy Box contacted me and suggested that we create a post discussing the most expensive vintage Masters of the Universe currently out there. Matt handled the art while I handled the research and the write-ups. As I notified Matt who was on the list he returned some pretty cool MOTU art to me so fast your head would spin! Collecting the vintage Masters of the Universe line has gotten crazy expensive over the past decade or so and it's pretty wild for one line to have so many incredibly rare and expensive pieces. Sadly, I don't own any of these vintage figures so I'm just enjoying them from afar. So what was the criteria for making it onto this list?

1. Only the vintage toylines are included (Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power, and He-Man/ New Adventures. Unfortunately, there just aren't any New Adventures figures as expensive as the guys on this list (though a few were awfully close) so none of them made the cut.

2. I'm only looking at standard figures (though we did include the giants) rather than vehicles and playsets and only at the loose items. There are so many factors that change the value of carded figures that it wasn't really feasible to make a list.

3. Consider this a snapshot in time. These kind of things can change from month to month and prices absolutely fluctuate. The releases of new media, new toylines, and new documentaries like The Toys that Made Us and Power of Grayskull can all have an impact on the prices of MOTU items. 

4. There are figures who I know are extremely rare (most of the Leo Toys and especially Leo Faker) but for whom I just couldn't find enough current sales information to make a good estimate as to their pricing. If you have some information toss it our way!

Enjoy! If you have these figures bask in their glory and share with us how you acquired them! If you don't have own them then think about what organs and body parts you could do without in order to earn some sweet cheddar cheese so you can buy them. Let's get things spinning with Rotar...


Rotar -1987

   Loose and incomplete you can sometimes find Rotar for under $100. When you start trying to find his accessories, though, the price jumps up and you can expect to pay up to $400 dollars for this really odd looking Heroic Warrior. He's He-Man's top man. Top. Man. Get it? Yeah, the Energy Zoids were top-like warriors who were supposed to interact with the Gyratakker, a never released vehicle. I was collecting MOTU stuff at this time (I'm a bit younger than most fans) and I don't remember seeing this guy on shelves at all back in 1987.



The rest of the crew are after the break...


Monday, April 26, 2021

Action Figure: Cobra Infantry from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 


   If you want to talk about the best action figure line on the market today that's the most frustrating to collect then it's definitely G.I. Joe: The Classified Series. So far the Target exclusive Special Missions: Cobra Island figures have been just too darn hard to find. Last year's Cobra Trooper was a Target exclusive army builder released in limited numbers during a pandemic. That made for a perfect storm of troubles in trying to acquire the figure. Fortunately, Hasbro has released a very similar Cobra Infantry figure which is easier to find and could be preordered from most e-tailers and Hasbro Pulse. Mine was actually found on a shelf at a Walmart which is becoming a less common occurrence these days. The Cobra Infantry is a repaint of last year's Cobra Trooper with fewer accessories. How does he stack up compared to last year's release? Find out after the break...

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Evil-Lyn from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

 


    Remember how I had to review a figure of the Sorceress in order to add Zoar in for Masters of the Universe Month 2021? Well, I'm going to have to review Evil-Lyn in order to give Screeech his spot this month as I'm trying to cover different versions of all of characters, beasts, and vehicles from the 1983 series of vintage MOTU toys. Now I actually have already reviewed Evil-Lyn for this month as she's first appeared in the 1983 line as well but keep in mind that 1. This is all about Screeech and 2. I rarely need much coaxing to review a Masters of the Universe Classics figure. Evil-Lyn (and Screech) were released in April 2010, just a little over 11 years ago, and I remember ordering her, or trying to order her, from Matty Collector. Moss Man was my first MOTUC figure and Evil-Lyn was the first figure I ordered (or attempted to order) on the day of sale. Ready for a look at this evil sorceress and her evil barbarian bird? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Action Figure Review: Terror Claws Skeletor #39 (Metallic) from POP! Retro Toys by Funko

 
   
   Earlier this year Funko released the standard Terror Claws Skeletor in the POP! Retro Toys line and shortly afterwards they also released a Target exclusive metallic version of the same figure. Oddly enough, this guy wasn't that tough to find. Lately Target has been an anathema when it comes to exclusives but I managed to snag this one on their website while it was on sale. That was fortuitous, don't you think? It's the same sculpt as the standard Terror Claws Skeletor POP! but now he has a shiny, metallic paint job. You know, just like the Hot Topic exclusive keychain. Ready for a second round with Terror Claws Skeletor? Then join me after the break...

Friday, April 23, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/23/2021: The Salame, Ascendancy, and End of Phase III Edition

 


   This week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire is loaded with lots of stuff! It didn't feel like this past week and weekend was this busy but I guess it was! What all was I up to? Well, how about finishing Phase III of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We watched Spider-Man: Far From Home on Sunday evening with our daughter, a film my wife and I hadn't seen either, and now Adora has seen all of the MCU films. Wow! It's been a really fun journey and I know she loved it. 


   2019's Spider-Man: Far from Home is technically the end of the Marvel Phase III films and it was really a nice way to end that Phase, giving us a glimpse of what life looked like after "The Blip." Tom Holland's Spider-Man is obviously at the front and center here but the film has a solid supporting cast with Peter's lovable classmates, especially Zendaya as MJ and Jacob Batalon as Ned, Happy Hogan providing support, and Nick Fury and Maria Hill struggling to deal with the reality of threats in a post Avengers world. This is a really fast paced movie that balances menace and fun nicely, giving both Peter Parker and Spidey a chance to shine. If you're at all familiar with Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) then you're surely suspicious of his almost mentor-like role towards Peter. He was an interesting choice for this film and I liked how things played out. The mid-credits scene really has me excited for Spider-Man: No Way Home, which seems like it has the potential to be a darker film than the previous Spider-Man installments.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Action Figure Review: Thanos from Marvel Legends Series: The Infinity Gauntlet by Hasbro

 


     It has been almost a year since I last reviewed a Marvel Legends figure but a mixture of some great new releases from Hasbro and a recent rewatch of all of the MCU films have gotten my attention again and I've been picking up some figures I missed out on previously. I saw this fantastic new Thanos figure and I just knew that I wanted him. While I've purchased many of the toys based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters and enjoy them my Marvel Legends collection leans more heavily towards the comic side of things. I really like collecting the comic versions of characters who have appeared in the MCU and considering that Thanos is the big baddies of Phases 1, 2, and 3 he was a must have. Hasbro has released a few Thanos figures before but this guy is the most classic version so far. He comes in the deluxe Marvel Legends packaging with a "The Infinity Gauntlet" branding on the front and seems to be available pretty widely. ready for a look at Thanos? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month: Sorceress (Classic Deco) from Masters of the Universe by NECA

 

   For today's installment of Masters of the Universe Month 2021 I'm checking out the Sorceress in her classic paint scheme from NECA's 2005 Masters of the Universe "staction" line. Now if you've been keeping up with Masters of the Universe Month 2021 you're probably wondering why I'm reviewing the Sorceress, a character originally released in the 1987 series of figures. Isn't the focus of this year's MOTU month the figures and toys from the vintage 1983 series of figures? Yes it is. So why am I reviewing the Sorceress? Because she comes with Zoar the falcon, who was a vintage 1983 release. Further showcasing the theme of symmetry in the 1983 line Mattel released both Zoar and Screeech, the heroic and evil falcons. Originally Zoar was a male bird who was a messenger for the Goddess/ Sorceress but the Filmation series introduced the idea of Zoar as being a form of the Sorceress herself. The Mike Young Productions cartoon also retained the idea of Zoar as being the spirit form of the Sorceress and it's been a pretty prominent part of the MOTU mythos ever since. 

   Anyways, here's a great history of NECA's 2005 Masters of the Universe line to get you up to speed if you're unfamiliar with the "stactions." The line was intended to complement/ complete Mattel's 200x line which was missing some key characters from the MYP cartoon and never got the chance to cover other fan favorites. The Sorceress was released in the third series of figures in 2006 but this version is the Classic Deco or Vintage Colors Variant. It was released as an exclusive through Action Figure Xpress which, so far as I can tell, doesn't exist anymore. NECA took a few of the MOTU mini-statues/ stactions and gave them paintjobs to match the vintage toyline colors and these proved to be pretty popular with fans. Let's take a look at the Sorceress and Zoar in their classic colors after the break...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Toy Review: Mer-Man from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 

   
   Mer-Man isn't my favorite of the Evil Warrors or anything but, man, do most Mer-Man products end up looking fantastic or what? Today I'm checking out another figure from Funko's excellent Vinyl SODA line and it is of course Mer-Man. Interestingly, this Mer-Man Vinyl SODA figure wasn't an exclusive from an online convention or something and just kind of popped up on the second hand market. Did Mer-Man even show up on sites like Big Bad Toy Store and Entertainment Earth? I never saw him anywhere! He wasn't expensive when I got him, though (standard retail price, really) so I have no clue how Funko directly got him out for sale. Funko is putting out a nice assortment of the Masters of the Universe crew in this line and it's nice to have another of the original 8 figures in this line. Let's dive in and check out Mer-Man after the break...

Monday, April 19, 2021

Action Figure Review: Goldberg from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel

 



   Who's next? Why it's Goldberg, of course! I recently stumbled upon most of series 6 of Masters of the WWE Universe while checking out an out of town Walmart. I found everyone but Kane, so I'm still on the hunt for him. Which Masters of the Universe character is this version of Goldberg inspired by? Ram Man! Billed as the Heroic Human Jackhammer Goldberg is ready to plow his way through his enemies! Ready for another interesting amalgam of the MOTU aesthetic with the star power of the WWE? Then join me after the break....

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Action Figure Review: Ice Mario from Super Mario by Jakks Pacific

 
   I've loved Super Mario Bros. ever since I was a child. Honestly, it's probably up there with G.I. Joe, Ghostbusters, and Masters of the Universe as the properties I've loved the longest. My seven year old is nuts about Mario and the Nintendo characters too and so we spend a lot of time playing the Nintendo Switch. I loved Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line and collected it pretty steadily for years but the distribution was never great on it and the line really started getting to be filled with too many repaints. A few months ago my daughter and I switched out a display shelf in the living room and filled it with the World of Nintendo and Super Mario figures (it looks so good that my wife approved!). Now we've been going back and picking up a few figures we missed out on over the past year or so. Recently GameStop has been getting these in again in their own unique exclusive boxes and we stumbled upon an Ice Mario. This guy was originally released in wave 1-5 of World of Nintendo but it was also released in the Super Mario line a year or so ago. I never picked this version of Mario up previously but seeing him in GameStop a month or so ago while with my daughter convinced me to snag him. Ready to check out the powered up Ice Mario? Then join me after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Panthor from Pint Size Heroes: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 

   Saddle up and let's take a look at another toy or collectible based on one of the 1983 additions to the Masters of the Universe line for today's installment in Masters of the Universe Month 2021! I've mentioned multiple times this month that the 1983 MOTU line really focused on creating symmetry between the Heroic Warriors and the Evil Warriors and today we're checking out Panthor, the evil counterpart of Battle Cat. Last year I looked at the Pint Size Heroes Battle Cat for Masters of the Universe Day so how about we check out Panthor for this year's celebration? The vintage Panthor was a purple, flocked repaint of Battle Cat without a helmet and that goes for this tiny version of Panthor as well. Ready for a look at Skeletor's loyal and ferocious flocked feline? Then join me after the break...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Action Figure Review: Land Shark from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 
   
   Mattel is really pumping out Masters of the Universe Origins product in 2021 and one of the coolest items that's come out so far is a remake of the Land Shark. Based on the original 1985 vehicle, the Land Shark isn't too different from the original toy at all. It's a little larger, a little brighter, and it has fewer separate pieces than the vintage toy but otherwise it's quite similar. The Land Shark is my favorite of the vintage vehicles (I think; I really like the Roton, too) and I'm thrilled to get it this early in the line. The other good thing about the Origins Land Shark is that it works pretty well with Masters of the Universe Classics, too. Ready to take a spin in the Land Shark? Then join me after the break...

Toy Review: Man-At-Arms from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 



   Ready for another Vinyl SODA review? Good because I am too! Today I'm checking out the Vinyl SODA Man-At-Amrs, one of the four Masters of the Universe items that Funko offered up at the Spring 2021 Funko Virtual Con. For a line that's only a little over a year old now The Vinyl SODA MOTU offerings are fairly robust. Man-At-Arms was released as a "limited" run of 7,500 with part of that run being a chase variant based on snake Man-At-Arms from the Mike Young Productions animated series. So far as I can recall Snake Man-At-Arms and Battle Mode Kobra Khan are the first chase variants in this line to have unique sculpts. That's kind of frustrating, really. The paint variants were OK but new sculpts seems kind of frustrating, especially due to how limited these are and the fact that they come blind packaged. Oh well, at least Man-At-Arms himself is really cool. Let's check this one out after the break...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/16/2021: The Captain Marvel Triumphant and the Eternia Box Edition

 


   Hey everyone! The weekend is almost upon us and that means it's time for another installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! Last weekend was my daughter's last hurrah before starting back to in-person schooling after over a year so we did things up! Now that we're all vaccinated we decided to make a trip to the Charlotte Comicon on Sunday afternoon. I picked some Marvel Legends I was looking for, a Skeletor patch, and my daughter ended up winning an award!

   We just watched Captain Marvel on Saturday evening (more on that in a moment) so Adora wanted to wear her Captain Marvel costume. I think she first wore it at HeroesCon 2019 and we didn't know if it would still fit her but it still did. Tack on a Feisty Pet to serve as Goose and she was ready. We told her anyone dressed like Captain Marvel got in free (it was free for all kids 12 and under) so she was extra excited. She's sometimes a bit shy but she decided to enter the costume contest. When she went on stage to show off her costume she did some punches, shot some Photon blasts, made Goose growl at the judges, and then leapt off the stage rather than going back down the stairs. She won a judge's choice award, too! Way to go Adora!

More about Captain Marvel, the MCU, and my trip to Charlotte Comicon after the break...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Ram Man from Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 



    Are you ready to take a look at another toy or collectible based on another of the 1983 additions to the Masters of the Universe line for Masters of the Universe Month 2021? Today we're checking out Ram Man, the Heroic Human Battering Ram who came in like a wrecking ball to devastate the Evil Warriors! Ram Man was released in the second series of figures from 2002 in Mattel's "200x" Masters of the Universe line which made perfect sense as he was one of the main heroes in the Mike Young Productions animated series. I never had a vintage Ram Man as a kid (I now own at least three) and I didn't end up getting this one until the mid 2000s. I actually started collecting the 200x line after it was out of stores but before Masters of the Universe Classics was in full swing, so this was my first Ram Man. I love the 200x line and how it melds the playability and action features of a traditional kid focused toyline with the focus on detailed sculpting that was popular among collector focused lines of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Four Horsemen worked magic with this line, too, and Ram Man is a big improvement over the vintage toy. Let's check him out after the break...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Action Figure Review: Scare Glow from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 



   The distribution on Mattel's Masters of the Universe Origin line hasn't been very good and it's been pretty tough to find most of the figures in the line other than the series 1 releases. Scare Glow is part of series 2 and the last figure from that series that I found. Yeah, he's a 2020 release but I've finally got my hands on him. Scare Glow is probably one of the most exciting releases in this series so far as it's a great way for most fans to get a vintage inspired Scare Glow without having to break the bank and live off of Ramen for the next 6-12 months. Yeah, the vintage Scare Glow might not be that expensive but he's definitely pricy, especially if you're trying to acquire him complete with his cape and halberd. This guy's still not easy to acquire but he is a good bit cheaper. Let's check out Scare Glow after the break and see how the cult favorite of the vintage MOTU line has fared in the Origins series....

Monday, April 12, 2021

Collectible Review: Skeletor from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

   I told you I was going to wrap up the Masters of the Universe Geeki Tikis mugs, didn't I? Today I'm checking out Skeletor, the last of the six Tiki mugs from Beeline Creative Inc. Did I save the best for last? Not quite, as Mer-Man is still my favorite of the mugs, but Skeletor is pretty darn good. After reviewing six of these in a relatively short period of time I'm kind of running out of new stuff to say. Instead, I'll just take a minute and comment how interesting Masters of the Universe licensing has been over the past couple of years. For a property that was absolutely dominant for a brief few years in the 1980s MOTU really has felt like a niche property for most of the thirty-some years since the original line ended. Interestingly, though, it must have a pretty dedicated fan base or enough nostalgic goodwill to keep things going as more and more companies are putting stuff out. It's not a property like Star Wars, Pokemon, Marvel, or DC Comics that feels multi-generational now and is everywhere but it's definitely developed it's own respectable niche in pop culture. Someone's buying all of the MOTU stuff out there and it feels like we just keep getting more of it. Hey, MOTU Tiki Glasses! What a world, huh? Let's check out the Skeletor mug after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Evil-Lyn from Rock Candy: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   It's time for us to look at a toy or collectible based on another of the 1983 additions to the Masters of the Universe line for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 and today I'm turning my attention to Evil-Lyn. For Evil-Lyn I've selected a vinyl figure that I find to be very enchanting: The 2018 Funko Rock Candy Evil-Lyn. I don't think Funko's making the Rock Candy line anymore (I believe the last releases were in 2019) which is kind of a shame as I thought it was one of the better vinyl lines Funko pitched. It's still stylized but the overall sculpts are really charming. Funko only ever released Evil Lyn and She-Ra from Masters of the Universe in the series which is a bummer. What does Funko have against Teela, anyway? Seriously, why in the world have they only ever released Teela in the Pint Size Heroes line? Of course, today's not about Teela but Evil-Lyn. Let's take a look at this sultry sorceress after the break...

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Action Figure Review: Becky Lynch from Masters of the WWE Universe by Mattel

 

   I've finally found my first Masters of the WWE Universe figure of the year and it's Becky Lynch, the Man of WWEternia! Released as part of the fifth series of this Walmart exclusive line I was pretty thrilled to stumble upon her in the toy aisle. After series 2 this line has had some of the worst distribution I've seen in a toyline. Both series 5 and 6 are on store shelves right now and I've only found one figure from series 5 and three from series 6 (if you find the rest of series 5 or Kane help me out!). Anyways, this is Wrestlemania weekend so it seemed fitting to review a Masters of the WWE Universe figure even though I haven't watched wrestling for almost two years now. I really like Becky Lynch, though, and she is perfectly cast as a Teela inspired warrior. Ready to check out The Man? Then let's get ready to rumble after the break...

Collectible Review: She-Ra from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

 
 
  I figure I should probably wrap up my reviews of the Masters of the Universe Geeki Tikis as I've had them for over a month so today we're going to check out She-Ra, the most powerful Tiki mug in the Universe! She-Ra is the fifth mug from this set that I've reviewed and she's quite cool. She's similar to He-Man in color and design though her yellow is a bit lighter than He-Man's yellow. They make a great pair, though. I'm always thrilled to get MOTU stuff that's a bit outside of the box and these definitely count in my book. Let's check out She-Ra after the break...

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Toy Review: Kobra Khan & Spikor from POP! + Pez by Funko

 

   Ready for another review of one of the four Masters of the Universe items that Funko offered up at the Spring 2021 Funko Virtual Con? Then how about we check out the POP! + Pez 2-pack of Kobra Khan & Spikor? Yeah, let's do that! The POP! + Pez line is still creeping along with mostly exclusive releases these days it seems and this is one was limited to only 1,000 pieces. It was originally intended for Emerald City Comic Con 2021 (which had some exclusive POP! + Pez dispensers that were only offered online last year, too) and it has the ECCC 2021 sticker on it rather than a generic Funko spring convention sticker. This was the only set I wasn't able to obtain through Funko or an exclusive partner so I ended up having to hunt this one down secondhand. Kobra Khan has been popular with Funko this year as he has had a POP! release and a Vinyl SODA release while Spikor has always been an odd favorite of the Funko team, appearing in the first set of MOTU POP! vinyls back in 2013. We still don't have a Teela but we've had Spikor for 8 years now. Anyways, these guys are definitely popular B-list villains and it's cool to get two of them at once. Let's take a look at the set after the break...

Collectible Review: Orko from Geeki Tikis by Beeline Creative Inc.

 

  Guess who's just a bit late for March Magic? Orko! Yeah, I originally intended for the Geeki Tikis Orko mug to be one of the installments for last month's celebration but, unfortunately, it just didn't happen. Oh well! Do I really need any excuse to review an Orko item? Nope! Orko is the fourth of the Geeki Tikis mugs I've reviewed and I really like him. Not as much as Mer-Man, of course, but he's up there. Ready for a look at another Masters of the Universe mug? Then join me after the break...

Friday, April 9, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/9/2021: The Baron Zemo Shuffle Edition

 

   This week was a bit different as we finally got to see my wife's parents after 16 months of being separated. Wow! They came for a visit over Easter and it was great to get to spend some time with them. There was a lot of cleaning prep and such (our guest suite hadn't been used in a year and a half) and then once everyone was here we were mostly busy visiting. Also, as of today my wife and I have been vaccinated for 2 weeks, so that's a big deal! We've been busy with company and Easter and, yeah, I was down for a day or so with what I feared was the making of a wicked sinus infection (the pollen is horrible right now) but, still, lots of stuff to report, starting with last week's episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier....

   Last week's episode of TF&TWS was excellent as we got the return of both Sharon Carter and Baron Helmut Zemo. Getting to see those two team up with Bucky and Falcon in Madripoor was amazing and the action there was some of the best yet. Poor Sharon really did get a raw deal, didn't she? Who thinks she might be the mysterious Power Broker? Anyways, despite everything else good about this episode the absolute standout is Zemo. He's just incredible though his awesomely awkward dancing is definitely one of my favorite memes in quite some time. Seriously, director Kari Skogland should have went full on David Lynch and just given us five straight minutes of Zemo dancing. This show is another hit and my only complaint about this episode was that we didn't get much of Walker Captain America. I'm kind of starting to like him in a way. He's not Cap by any means but I do want to see him succeed. I watched this episode twice over the past week and I'm ready for tonight's episode!

More after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Faker Mask from Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   

   It's time for another review for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 and today we're taking a look at a really cool, random item based on Faker, another member of the 1983 Masters of the Universe cast. I've said a few times that the 1983 line was all about symmetry and that year the line introduced Faker, an evil robotic He-Man wearing Skeletor's chest armor. What fun Faker item are we looking at today? How about this really cool Faker mask from 2018? These were sold as a Mattel SDCC 2018 exclusive in a set along with He-Man, Anti-Eternia He-Man, and Horde Zombie He-man, and I think they were also offered up at PowerCon 2018 as well. Reminiscent of the 1980s' Ben Cooper MOTU Halloween costumes this is actually a foam mask with an adjustable elastic strap. It's kind of a cool item and I love how these masks look displayed on the wall. I'm trying to pick some interesting items from my collection this month as we look at the 1983 MOTU cast over the years and I hope you'll agree that this is a pretty unique item. Join me after the break for a look at the Faker Mask...

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Toy Review: Terror Claws Skeletor (Metallic) from POP! Pocket Keychain by Funko

 



  

 Just a little over a month ago I reviewed the standard Terror Claws Skeletor POP! Pocket Keychain from Funko and today I'm going to take a quick peak at the Hot Topic exclusive metallic variant. This is the exact same piece as the previous keychain, just with a metallic paint scheme. Since they're so similar I'm reusing most of the text from the previous review so if you're experiencing déjà vu or something that's why. Let's take a look at the metallic version of the Terror Claws Skeletor POP! Pocket Keychain after the break...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Action Figure Review: Mantenna #67 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   Funko continues to make their way towards offering a respectable selection of Masters of the Universe POP! vinyl collection (though still no Teela) with Mantenna, another offering from the Spring 2021 Funko Virtual Con. Now that the MOTU POP! vinyls are listed under the POP! Retro Toys banner rather than POP! Television (where they were since 2013) the figures are influenced by the vintage toys rather than the Filmation cartoon series. Mantenna looked pretty different in the toyline than he did in the cartoon so this one is definitely a character where the distinction matters. Mantenna #67 was a shared exclusive with Funko Shop and Walmart and I ended up grabbing him off of Walmart.com since they listed him earlier. He arrived really quickly with free shipping, too, which is one of the few positive experiences I've had with ordering product from Walmart.com. Let's take a look at Mantenna, the Horde's evil spy with the pop-out eyes, after the break...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Toy Review: She-Ra from Masters of the Universe Magnets by Monogram International

  

 A little over a month ago I reviewed the He-Man magnet from the Masters of the Universe Magnets  by Monogram International. In March 0f 2020 I reviewed Monogram International's Masters of the Universe Figural Bag Clips, a series of blind bagged "chibi" styled bag clips/ key chains and these blind bagged magnets are in the same style. She-Ra, however, wasn't part of the set last year so where did this sculpt come from? Well, it turns out the She-Ra bag clip was part of a NYCC 2019 exclusive set along with He-Man and Skeletor, so that's where this sculpt originated.  There are five magnets in the set (He-Man, She-Ra, Orko, Skeletor, and a glow in the dark chase Skeletor) so I ordered five of them from Hot Topic. I only got two different characters, which was kind of a bust, but my daughter was eager to grab a couple of the extras.  Currently we have a She-Ra magnet that my daughter moves around to different places at my parents' house as kind of a game. I really like these and since I didn't get the NYCC 2019 bag clip set I'm glad this magnet gave me a chance to have this sculpt in my collection. Let's check out She-Ra after the break...

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Trap Jaw from Pint Size Heroes: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 


It's time for another review for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 as we continuing our journey of looking at how the characters, creatures, and vehicles from the second series of vintage Masters of the Universe toys released in 1983 have been re-imagined in the 37 years since their release. Today we're turning our attention to Trap Jaw, another of the Evil Warriors released in 1983. Trap Jaw is without a doubt one of the most popular MOTU villains of them all (I gave him his own month last year, Trap Jaw-ly) and he usually always appears in any toyline. Today I'm looking at the Pint Size Heroes Trap Jaw from 2018. If you're not familiar with these, Funko offered these little guys in 2018. Sold in blind bags, the Pint Size Heroes were kind of like miniature Dorbz figures. Like most Funko efforts other than POP! vinyls these didn't last terribly long at retail and a second series was never released. They're a nice set of minifigures, though, and Trap Jaw still manages to look a bit menacing even in this smaller scale. Let's check Trap Jaw out after the break...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Action Figure Review: 8-Ball from Fortnite: Legendary Series by Jazwares

 
   It's time for the last Fortnite: Legendary Series review I've got planned for awhile and today it's 8-Ball! A billiards themed tactical trooper? Absolutely, let's go for it! This guy's clad in black and gray, loaded with weapons, and has an 8-ball themed helmet. He's like a POG and a character from Metal Gear Solid had a baby! Let's take a look at 8-Ball after the break...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Tri-Klops ("GID Edition") from Masters of the Universe Action Vinyls by The Loyal Subjects

 

   Today for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 we're continuing our journey of looking at how the characters, creatures, and vehicles from the second series of vintage Masters of the Universe toys released in 1983 have been re-imagined in the 37 years since their release. There's a lot of symmetry in Masters of the Universe in general but series 2 really ramped things up by delivering many counterparts for specific Heroic and Evil Warriors. Previously I looked at the MOTU Origins Man-E-Faces so today let's look at his villainous counterpart, Tri-Klops! For Tri-Klops' spot I'm checking out his appearance in The Loyal Subjects Action Vinyls line, particularly the glow in the dark web exclusive version from 2016. Part of a limited run of 750, this is an interesting take on the swordsman who is "Evil and sees everything!" Let's check him out after the break...

Friday, April 2, 2021

Barbecue's Bonfire 4/2/2021: The Infinity War, or How I Started Collecting Marvel Legends Again Edition

 

Hey everyone! I hope you're having a blessed Good Friday, particularly if you're a person of faith. Our church hasn't met in person since the Sunday before Christmas but we will be starting Sunday service back this Easter morning. A large majority of our church has been vaccinated and we have some really strict Covid protocols in place so I'm very much looking forward to it. Last year not only did we have Easter Sunday service virtually but since we didn't know much about what was going on with Covid yet my wife and daughter were staying with my parents since I was the only one having to work outside of the house. That was rough and I'm sure thankful we're in a better place now than we were a year ago. Anyways, let's talk about the nerdy stuff I've been up to this week, starting with Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

   This was another solid episode and I'm loving the "buddy cop" dynamic between Bucky and Sam. Those guys are excellent! I'm also really enjoying Wyatt Russell as John Walker/ Captain America. This episode has definitely made him more sympathetic as you have to feel for the guy. He's a decorated service member who has been placed in an impossible position. The battle scene with the Flag Smashers at the end was pretty fantastic and I'm glad to see Erin Kellyman again, this time playing Karli Morgenthau. She was Enfys Nest in Solo and it's cool to see her again. I'm definitely waiting for Zemo to show up, though. Do you think he'll be looking for any mission reports this time around? More Marvel marvelousness after the break...
 

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

 

  The Skull Trooper (Purple Glow) was the first Fortnite: Legendary Series figure I reviewed back when the line started in 2019 and now, almost two years later, I'm checking out Jazwares' third release of this sculpt: Skull Trooper (Inverted). What's inverted about this guy? Well, he comes packaged upside down of course! Just kidding. Actually, it refers to pattern of the bones on his outfit. Instead of having white bones on a black outfit he's now rocking black bones on white. Hey, it works for Scare Glow, right? Let's check this guy out after the break...
 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Masters of the Universe Month 2021: Man-E-Faces from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

      Today is the first review for Masters of the Universe Month 2021 and this year the celebration is focused on the characters, creatures, and vehicles from 1983, the second year of the vintage Masters of the Universe line. Only two heroic warriors were added to the line in 1983 and I'm checking out the first of them today: Man-E-Faces! Man-E-Faces was one of the last figures designed by Mark Taylor and he has become one of the most recognizable MOTU figures thanks to his memorable action feature. Today I'm reviewing the Masters of the Universe Origins Man-E-Faces from 2020. Released in the second series of the Origins line, this version of Man-E-Faces is only slightly redesigned from the vintage toy with brighter colors and added articulation. How crazy that 37 years later Mattel is still cranking out toys based on this property, huh? Let's take a look at the Masters of the Universe Origins Man-E-Faces after the break...

April is Masters of the Universe Month 2021! This Year We Travel Back to 1983...

 


   April 28th is Masters of the Universe and since I've taken part in Masters of the Universe Day celebrations since 2013 you just know that big stuff is planned. So what exactly is Masters of the Universe Day? Are you in the dark about this holiday that ranks only behind Easter, Christmas, and Halloween for me? (Yeah, it's ahead of Thanksgiving.) The short version is that in 1987 Tom Bradley, the then mayor of Los Angeles, California declared April 28th to be "Masters of the Universe Day"  due to the live Masters of the Universe: Power Tour show coming to the city. While now it seems that every popular franchise has a holiday (Batman Day, May the 4th, Aliens Day, Mario day) Masters of the Universe is, to my knowledge, the first. Yeah, it's a goofy PR thing that fans jumped took and ran with but it's still pretty cool. 

   This year I've got some great stuff coming up including a collaboration with Matt from The Toy Box blending his artistic talents and my eBay addiction, lots of current Masters of the Universe reviews, and a look at the characters, creatures, and vehicles of the 1983 Masters of the Universe line. Last year I looked at all of the characters, vehicles, and playsets from the original 1982 series so this year I'm jumping forward to 1983 and looking at how those original toys have been reinterpreted over the years. It's going to be a lot of fun looking at different versions of those characters from the second year of the line.

To get you in the spirit check out some of these Masters of the Universe Day posts from previous years (some from my time with The Epic Review):

Five of My Favorite Masters of the Universe Related Memorie

Introducing a Non-Fan to Masters of the Universe, from a Non-Fan (written by my wife!)

Masters of the Universe Hidden Names Story 

The First Masters of the Universe Day Feast (this is now an annual tradition for us)

MOTU Day Review of the ReAction Scare Glow 

MOTU Day Review of Possessed Skeletor 

MOTU Memories Updated (2015)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March Magic! Orko #566 from POP! Television: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 


Today is the sixth and final installment of March Magic, a month-long celebration of all things Orko!
 
   Let's take a look at one final Orko collectible this month: Orko #566 from POP! Television by Funko! Released in 2017 this was part of the second era of Funko's Masters of the Universe releases and was heavily influenced by the Filmation animated series. Orko is very Filmation inspired here although he does have a detail that seems more inspired by the 200x series and Masters of the Universe Classics: His wand! The vintage Orko toy didn't have a wand and his wands in the Filmation series were pretty plain so the Four Horsemen designed a new wand for Orko in the 200x toyline that was reminiscent of ripcord from his vintage action figure. Funko likely based their design on Orko's appearance in MOTUC which gave Orko the 200x inspired wand as one of his accessories. Ready for a POP! vinyl review of a 1980s pop culture icon? Then join me after the break...
 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Toy Review: Masters of the Universe 5-pack from Hot Wheels Character Cars: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 


   Last year Mattel introduced the Masters of the Universe characters into the Hot Wheels Character Cars brand but I didn't find any until around mid-January. While I rarely gave these a second look when any other property got Character Cars Masters of the Universe always gets a pass from me and I was really excited by these. This set seems to be available through online retailers and it includes all five Character Cars from last year's line (Beast Man, He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, and Man-At-Arms) in one box. I only reviewed Teela and Man-At-Arms from their single packed releases so this is a nice chance to check out the other three in the set. Let's rev up our Road Rippers and check out these bizarre, oil leaking versions of our favorite Eternians after the break...