Valaverse put up the Prototype Armaments set of 1/12th scale weaponry for their upcoming Action Force toyline. What's Action Force? I'm not terribly familiar with it (and only know of it in relation to G.I. Joe) but Action Force is essentially Europe's answer to G.I. Joe. In 1982 Palitoy began releasing 1/18th scaled military figures inspired by Action Man, just like Hasbro did with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Eventually Hasbro took over and the Action Force elements were merged into G.I. Joe. Over the years, particularly in a few 25th anniversary sets and G.I. Joe Collector's Club produced sets, Hasbro has added some of the Action Force characters and costumes into the G.I. Joe line. In 2019, however, the Action Force brand was purchased by Bobby Vala, a former Hasbro employee, and now the newly founded Valaverse is producing Action Force as a 1/12th scale toyline similar to the G.I. Joe Classified Series. Originally a Kickstarter project currently Action Force has comic books, art prints, and lots of figures available for preorder. As far as I'm aware this is the first actual toy product related to the line and I was quite curious to see the quality of these weapons. I'm happy to say that these are some excellent 1/12th scale firearms that are compatible with a variety of 6-7 inch scaled toylines. Let's take a look at these after the break and see what the Prototype Armaments set can do to equip your troops....
- Action Figure Review Index
- Who is Barbecue17?
- My Toy Review Rating Scale!
- 31 Days of Toy Terror!
- Top 10 Lists and Other Stuff
- Podcasts on The Epic Review
- Oh the Horror!: Horror Movie Reviews!
- The Batgirl Library
- The Dark Knight Gallery
- Fabulous Secret Powers
- Snake Mountain!
- Beast Manor
- The Harley Quinndex
- The Joker's Funhouse
- Tosche Station
- The Kessel Run
- The Crystal Castle
- Teela: Warrior Goddess
- Trap Jaw's Tourist Trap
- Cringer's Crib
- Sea of Rakash
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
The Mega Construx Masters of the Universe line is off to a great start this year and quite possibly the best set so far is the Battle Ram. Not only do you get an excellent, brick built version of the classic MOTU vehicle but you also get two brand new minifigures with the set: Mekaneck and Tri-Klops! These are the classic versions of these characters as well and while they'll probably be re-released in someway down the line I imagine most fans will jump at the chance to own these guys as soon as possible. The Battle Ram continues to be a popular vehicle as it both looks cool and it was one of the original 1982 releases, so Mattel keeps cranking them out. Ready to tackle this excellent Mega Construx Battle Ram set? Then join me after the break...
Friday, February 26, 2021
Today is the last installment of Ferociously Furry February, a month long tribute to Grizzlor, and I'm finishing the month up strong by checking out the NECA Grizzlor mini statue from 2006. I've talked about the history of this line before but it still fascinates and impresses me how NECA ad the Four Horsemen worked together to get these mini statues made. And yes, these really are mini statues rather than true action figures as they have no articulation. The popular fan word for these has been staction, a portmanteau of "Static" and "Action" referring to the fact that these are designed and accessorized to fit in with Mattel's 2002/ 200x toyline. When Mattel discontinued the line they had left out lots of important characters from the show as well as the Horde, most of the Snake Men, and some vintage characters who never made their way into the line. These are some of the most exciting MOTU products out there in my opinion as the Four Horsemen went all out with some clever redesigns of these beloved characters. Grizzlor is one of my favorite stactions as the Four Horsemen really took the vintage toy and changed it up, making Grizzlor less of a wild animal and more of a terrifying hunter. I think he still captures everything I loved about the vintage toy but added a cunningness and intelligence to the character that made him a bit more chilling. Let's take a look at Grizzlor after the break...
Hey everyone! Welcome to this week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire, a weekly chance for me to unpack all of the pop culture stuff I've consumed this week! This week is loaded with Marvel marvelousness!
More Marvel madness after the break...
Thursday, February 25, 2021
It's time for another review from the third series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and this time we're checking out She-Ra, the most powerful woman in the universe! I'm a huge She-Ra fan and I'm thrilled that Mattel continues to merge She-Ra into MOTU lines as they can, although I really hope they start releasing some of the other She-Ra cast members in Origins as well. She-Ra did make her way out to Walmart at the end of last year but this figure is the newer version with the "New for 21" logo at the top of the card. Same figure so far as I can tell, too. This version of She-Ra does differ a bit from the PowerCon exclusive She-Ra who was sold as a PowerCon 2020 exclusive but who just shipped out in January of this year, and I'll point those differences out in a few minutes. It's really cool to see She-Ra on a vintage inspired MOTU card ready to fight alongside of He-Man! Let's jump in and see how she stacks up against the rest of the Origins releases after the break...
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Barbecue's Ramblings: 10 Members of the Vintage G.I. Joe Team Who Would be Awesome in G.I. Joe: The Classified Series
Despite 2020 being a dumpster fire in so many respects there were actually some bright spots for popular culture in the year, one of those being Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Classified Series. It was easily one of the hottest lines of 2020 and, despite being a line I had no intention of collecting when I first heard about it, it's definitely become one of my favorites. For the most part the releases of the G.I. Joe team members in 2020 have been the usual crowd you'd expect: Duke, Scarlett, Roadblock, Gung-Ho, Beach Head, and Snake Eyes. Those characters were all part of the first two series for the 25th Anniversary line and they've appeared multiple times in movies and shows like G.I. Joe: Resolute. Hasbro returns to them quite often and the next Joe team members we know about, Flint and Lady Jaye, are also old standbys. Of course you know Stalker, Shipwreck, Spirit, and the rest of the main crew are inevitable, too. We're going to get through the main characters pretty quickly, so Hasbro will hopefully dive deeper into the ranks of the Joe team rather than release multiple variants and repaints. Who would make incredible figures in the Classified Series? These are my picks from the vintage line to bolster the ranks of the G.I. Joe team in the 6 inch scale....
Originally released as part of the 1986 series of figures Low-Light has always been one of my favorites and would probably be my first choice for inclusion in the Classified Series. Clad in black and grey with a bevy of weapons, Low-Light just looks dangerous and he would make an incredible addition to the cutting edge/slightly futuristic feel of the Classified Series. The Pursuit of Cobra line gave us an incredible 1/18th scaled Low-Light but I think the Classified Series could do better. Imagine him with a modern sniper rifle with an array of scopes and gadgets and some extra silenced weaponry for when he needs to engage in some CQB to reach a target. This guy could be absolutely chilling!
More after the break...
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Sunday, February 21, 2021
It's time for another review from the third series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and today we're checking out Roboto. I was pretty excited for Roboto as while he's a very memorable figure from the vintage line he's one of those characters who usually only shows up once per toyline and doesn't often get made by licensees. In my review of Mer-Man last week I commented that Mer-Man (and the rest of series 3) were 2020 releases. As I thought about it, that's actually not quite true. MOTU Origins was exclusive to Walmart in 2020 and Walmart did get some of their allotments of series 3 without the "New for 2021" logo at the top while my order from BBTS and other releases have the "New for 2021" logo. So, yeah, this guy is technically a 2021 release but there is a 2020 release as well. As far as I know they're the same figure with a packaging variant. Anyways, just one of those things maybe worth recording for in the future if we're arguing what year these guys came out. So, Roboto huh? He's bright, he's robotic, and his Masters of the Universe Classics figure was problematic due cracks appearing in the translucent plastic of his torso and his reversed shoulders (one of the first known cases of the infamous reversed shoulders if I remember right). Did Mattel come back and knock this guy out of the park to make up for that past craziness? Eh, not really. This guy has some weird issues, too. Let's check him out after the break...
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor (Blue) from Keshi Surprise!: She-Ra: Princess of Power by Super7
I reviewed the Red Keshi Surprise! Grizzlor earlier this month and today I'm reviewing the Blue version. Honestly, I grabbed a few of these guys because I realized I'd run out of Grizzlor stuff to show off and I wanted to have something scheduled at least every five days. Wouldn't it have been cool if Super7 has released sets of these minifigures molded in a color of plastic that was connected with the character? You know, Grizzlor in brown, Leech in Green, Beast Man in orange, and so on? That would have been a really nifty set for sure. We got what we got, though, so let's check out this version of Grizzlor who is either sad, cold, or looking to join the Blue Man Group after the break...
Friday, February 19, 2021
What's up everyone? I hope that wherever you are you're staying safe and warm this week. Lots of icy cold craziness, right? In the Hollywood Foothills of North Carolina we've missed most of the ice storms with just some icy roads yesterday morning. It's been rainy, dreary, and there haven't been too many reasons to go outside this week although it's chilly but beautiful here today. But gosh, look at me prattling on about the weather. You want to hear about the nerdy stuff I've been involved with this week, right? Let's start by talking about WandaVision episodes 5 and 6!
More after the break...
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
I haven't found any of the Masters of the Universe Origins series 2 figures yet (Scare Glow, Man-E-Faces, Trap Jaw, or Orko) but my order of series 3 figures did arrive last week from Big Bad Toy Store, so get ready for some new MOTU Origins reviews! Today I'm checking out the fiendishly fishy warlord of Eternia's oceans: Mer-Man! Mer-Man was one of the original eight Masters of the Universe figures from 1982 and he's long been a perennial favorite who's been in every MOTU line except for He-Man 1989/ New Adventures. I'm not labeling this figure as one of last year's reviews but this guy
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021
What's up everyone? I'm totally late this week because me and my dad were working on some renovations to one of the bathrooms at my house this weekend, so things were just busy. We're redoing my wife and I's bathroom and we did a lot of scraping and sanding all day Friday that left me incredibly sore. Way more work than I thought! Anyways, what's been going on this week? Glad you asked!
My daughter asked my wife's family for Lego shop gift cards and money towards the "Hogwarts fund" for Christmas and also sold off a few of her older toys, sold some Christmas decorations she made, and used some money she had been saving to purchase the massive Lego Hogwarts Castle 71043. This is in a micro scale so the microfigures are more the size of Micro Machines figures (they're the little pieces used as trophies and such on regular Lego sets). This beast has 6,020 pieces and we just finished it this week (we started it in early January). 37 backs of pieces, too! We may do a full review at some point.
More stuff after the break...
Thursday, February 11, 2021
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 the previous year's Top 10 Toylines list and determine why some of the lines from that year failed to return for the current year's list. 2020's top 10 list
only had four toylines returning from the 2019 list, which means quite a few lines went missing in action! I find
it interesting to look at the lines that failed to show up again, attempting to diagnose why they went missing. There are a few reasons why a toyline makes this list:
Missing in Action: This is a toyline that gets cancelled, ends, or just didn'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 out who went missing in action in 2020 after the break...
DC Primal Age by Funko- Missing in Action!
Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection by NECA- Missing in Action/ Demoted!
This was never going to be an expansive line unless they brought in Hellboy, Blade, or Pacific Rim (which was doubtful), so it wasn't much of a surprise that NECA's only release for this line in 2020 was an Old Faun retool of the Faun figure released in 2019. I really was hoping they'd pull out a few more cool character designs like the Toad from Pan's Labyrinth, a Crimson Peak ghost or two, and maybe something from Cronos or Mimic. I didn't have much interest in the subtle retool of the Faun so this one was mostly just flat out Missing in Action.
Halloween by NECA- Demoted!
Masters of the Universe by Super7- Missing in Action!
Having lost the MOTU license at the end of 2019 (the only things released last year were stuff they had done preorders for previously) Super7's Filmation inspired neo-vintage Masters of the Universe line is over, replaced by Mattel's own Masters of the Universe Origins. I'm enjoying Origins but I don't find them as exciting yet as I found Super7's releases that almost seamlessly fit into the vintage MOTU line.
Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx- Demoted!
It feels kind of weird to say this line was demoted in 2020 but there were just too many other lines I liked more. Plus, there weren't as many exciting releases as in 2019. Almost everything released in the Mega Construx line was really good, though they do tend to release the same characters a bit too often. They're off to a strong start for 2021 and I really expect them to make my Top 10 Toylines of 2021 list if they continue at the pace they're going this year. They had a really impressive showing at the virtual panel for PowerCon 2020 and it seems like the line is in the hands of a great team who loves MOTU. The Panthor at Point Dread set did make my Best of the Rest list for 2020 if it's any consolation.
Overwatch Ultimates by Hasbro- Missing in Action!
This one hurts as Hasbro's Overwatch Ultimates was one of my favorite lines of 2019. It was probably in my top 3. The line was excellent and did a great job of translating Blizzard's wonderful character designs into amazing action figures. What the heck happened, though? The line just kind of disappeared, listings for future releases were quietly cancelled, and Hasbro ceased to acknowledge it. What was to blame? Possibly culprits are the the slightly smaller scale, too many paint variants, Hasbro holding back on popular characters to try to stretch out the line, troubles with Blizzard's PR in 2019, Blizzard being difficult to work, or just a general lack of interest in the brand by most consumers. It's a shame as this was shaping up to be an amazing toyline. The figures are still fantastic but having so many missing well known characters from the line up just makes you dwell on what might have been.
There were quite a few lines Missing in Action this year, 3 or 4 of which are probably completely done with no hope of returning. What toylines went Missing in Action for you this year? What toylines that you once loved lost your attention? Any new interests that excited you this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
While the list of my 10 favorite toylines from the past year is always the main event, I do like to recognize that not 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? Most any toy released in 2020. Who isn't eligible? Any toy from a line I picked in my 10 Favorite Toylines of 2020 list. Remember that these are listed alphabetically, not in order of merit. 2020 was interesting in that there were some good releases but as I've narrowed my collecting habits (narrowed being used fairly loosely, you might feel) I tend to buy less random, one off stuff. Let's see what made the best of the rest after the break...
Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates by Super7
Super7's TMNT Ultimates could have become the next massively expansive line I started collecting but being that I'm really, really trying to focus the bulk of my collecting on Masters of the Universe and Star Wars: The Black Series, I ended up selling off the figures I bought from series 1. Well, all except for Raphael, who has always been my favorite turtle. He's an awesome figure and he's loaded to the gills (not that turtles have gills) with cool weapons. This line is going to be exciting to watch but I'm planning to admire from afar.Silver Shamrock Trick-or-Treaters from Halloween 3: Season of the Witch by NECA
Ferociously Furry February: Grizzlor (Red) from Keshi Surprise!: She-Ra: Princess of Power by Super7
For today's installment of Ferociously Furry February, a month long tribute to Grizzlor, I'm checking out one of the Keshi Surprise! minifigures from Super7. Super7 had the actual M.U.S.C.L.E. license for a couple years but at some point it seems they either lost it or just stopped using it and so they began to sell the figures in little blind boxes under the Keshi Surprise! brand. I wasn't very happy with this decision back in the day as it's pretty frustrating to go from buying full sets of figures in specific packs to having to deal with online blind boxes at a higher price point. I've picked up a figure or two here and there, though, always on the aftermarket, and today I'm looking at the red Grizzlor figure from the She-Ra: Princess of Power series. I reviewed all of the sculpts from this series when I reviewed the PowerCon 2019 exclusive trash can set but this little guy is from one of the blind boxed Keshi Surprise! releases. Let's check out Grizzlor after the break...
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Last week I reviewed one of the new Mega Construx building sets that come packaged in a case shaped like Skeletor's head and today I'm checking out the next one: Trap Jaw & Laser Cannon! This is the first time we've received Trap Jaw in the Masters of the Universe Mega Construx line although this isn't his standard look. Instead, Mega Construx released him in his green skinned look from his appearance in the vintage minicomics. He comes packaged along with an improved version of the turret from Castle Grayskull, which is kind of cool. You could really place it anywhere. I'm liking these little sets, so let's jump in and check this one out after the break...
Monday, February 8, 2021
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Remember a few weeks ago when I reviewed the flocked version of Funko's POP! Rides Skeletor on Panthor #98? Well today I'm going to take a quick look at the standard version. Yeah, this is the exact same figure as the last release, just without the flocking on Panthor. I'm really just showing off some pictures here. I wanted both figures but I don't think the standard version really warrants a full review, do you? For all the details check out the flocked version but for pictures of the painted Panthor check things out after the break...
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Moff Gideon is the last release from the most recent series of Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV figures I'm getting around to reviewing and he might be the best of the bunch! He is technically a 2020 release as that series trickled out at the end of last year, but my guess is that most of you didn't see this guy until recently. Moff Gideon is a fantastic villain in The Mandalorian and while he has been defeated as the end of season 2, I can't imagine we've seen the last of him. He's certainly one of the most stylish Imperials we've ever seen! Hasbro did an amazing job with this guy and he's one of the many reason why Star Wars: The Black Series made the list of My Top 10 Toylines of 2020. Let's check out Moff Gideon after the break...
Friday, February 5, 2021
Welcome to the first review of Ferociously Furry February, a month-long special review series paying homage to one of the greatest Masters of the Universe characters of them all: Grizzlor! Grizzlor was released as part of the fourth series of vintage MOTU figures in 1985 and was part of the initial members of the Evil Horde. In the vintage MOTU toyline the Evil Horde was presented as a group ruled by Hordak who are out to destroy Eternia. They were an evil faction pitted against both the Heroic Warriors and the Evil Warriors and Grizzlor was kind of their berserker. Billed as the "Hairy Henchman of the Evil Horde" and "The Ferocious Figure with Fur" Grizzlor was a wild creature who seemed more intimidating than most of Skeletor's cronies. This is my original childhood Grizzlor and I'm darn proud of how great he still looks after all of these years! Let's take a look at one of the most unusual Masters of the Universe figures produced in the vintage toyline after the break...
Welcome to this week's installment of Barbecue's Bonfire! I was pretty busy this week it seems. I watched quite a few movies, played quite a few games, and finished a few books. Before I get into my thoughts on a myriad of subjects, I do want to point out that I just released the annual list of My Top 10 Toylines of 2020. I always have a great deal of fun with it and I'm curious as to what all of you regulars think. Comment on it! I'm curious to hear your opinions, too. What should we talk about first this week? Let's stick with my title theme and go with a watch.
More watches, rewatches, reads, and rereads after the break...
Thursday, February 4, 2021
The Masters of the Universe Mega Construx range is off to a strong start in 2021 as they've already released the Skeletor & Panthor set, the Battle Ram is shipping out now, and the three character and accessory sets packaged in Skeletor heads are showing up on store shelves. Yes, the most recent subset of Mega Construx MOTU characters consists of three figure and accessory packs which come packaged in small plastic Skeletor heads. They're quit neat and definitely will catch your eye on the shelf. The first set I found is the Fisto & Cliff Climber set, which I'm reviewing today. Fisto was already released last fall in a single pack but this one's a bit different and is intended to work alongside the Cliff Climber. Remember the Cliff Climber? Released in 1987, near the very end of the vintage Masters of the Universe line, the Cliff Climber was a motorized accessory that allowed you to outfit a MOTU figure for battle in the mountains. It's not an easy set to find, especially complete, so it's kind of cool to see Mega Construx paying homage to it. Let's take a look at the Fisto & Cliff Climber set after the break and see if this one is worth picking up...
2020 is in the rearview mirror now and today I start my look back at the best parts of what has been universally been regarded as a "dog turd placed in a brown paper bag and lit on fire on your front porch with caltrops hidden inside so that when you step on it your feet bleed" of a year. In some respects, however, particularly when it came to action figures, 2020 wasn't too bad. In fact, it was pretty good, really. Creating my "Top 10" lists is always one of my favorite things to do at Action Figure Barbecue and I always spend a great deal of time going over my notes from the previous year of what toylines were the coolest and most fun to collect. This is now the ninth year in a row I've created a list (the earliest ones were posted at The Epic Review) and it's always interesting too see how my lists fluctuate from year to year, reflecting my changing interests. This year the list wasn't as hard to narrow down to ten candidates as in past years but it still did take a little thought. I've made some changes to my collecting habits over the past couple of years with most of my collecting focusing on Masters of the Universe and Star Wars: The Black Series but there are some other fun lines like the Fortnite: Legendary Series and the G.I. Joe Classified Series that also captured my attention. With Masters of the Universe being my main collecting focus, I definitely a great deal of my collectible funds there, sometimes buying pricier items and vintage pieces, so I tend to jump into fewer random lines than I have in years past. I passed up a lot of lines that interested me this year as well, including McFarlane's DC Multiverse, Marvel Legends, lots of ReAction stuff, NECA's Back to the Future, and Super7's TMNT Ultimates, simply because of space, money, and enjoying my more focused collection.
A few years back I divided my Top 10 list into two separate categories: My Top 10 Toylines and My Top 10 Individual Releases. Today I'm starting with my top 10 Toylines as it's my standard best of list. These are the 10 toylines (action figures, statues, minifigures, etc.) of the past year that I most enjoyed collecting. They may not always be the best or the most expansive lines, but they're my favorites for one reason or another. As I reiterate every year, the two key word for this list are "my" and "favorite." My list isn't really based on a toyline's true merits and I don't typically go outside of what interests me. This is really a snapshot of the ten toylines I had the most fun collecting last year. As always, these are listed alphabetically rather than by merit. And now, for My Top 10 Toylines of 2020...
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Monday, February 1, 2021
February 2021 is Ferociously Furry February at Action Figure Barbecue!
I've always loved Grizzlor and I still have my childhood Grizzlor from the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline who will absolutely be getting reviewed this month. I haven't done a MOTU theme month since Trap Jaw-ly last July and I've been wanting to start the monthly celebration of a particular MOTU character or theme back. Funko released two different Grizzlor POP! vinyls last month as well, so that put Grizzlor at the front of my mind. The vintage figure had a little blurb on the front of the package that said "The Ferocious Figure with Fur" which I've always liked, so that's where the month's name come from. Ready to roll with the wild man of the Evil Horde? Then check out these previous Grizzlor reviews and prepare yourself for a month long tribute to Grizzlor!
Heads of Eternia
Grizzlor (Dark Variant)
Grizzlor (Toy Variant)
Trash Can Wave 4 (Slime)