Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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


   I'm currently finishing up my reviews of the fourth series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and today I'm checking out Stratos, the Winged Warrior of Avion! Stratos was one of the original eight figures released in the 1982 Masters of the Universe line and now, with his appearance in series 4, we have the original 8-back figures. That's a pretty cool little milestone for Origins! Stratos had a few vintage variants, the most common being whether he had red wings and a blue jetpack or blue wings and a red jetpack. For the series 4 figure Mattel went with the blue wings and red jetpack which is the same as the vintage Stratos figure I own. I've never been a huge Stratos fan and about the only time I've ever found him overly interesting was during the 200x era due to his characterization in the Mike Young Productions animated series. Still, I'm not passing him up, so here he is! Let's take flight with Stratos after the break...

Monday, May 10, 2021

Malevolent May: Hordak from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   It's time for the second installment of Malevolent May and today's Hordak tribute is from the Masters of the Universe Origins line. Hordak is one of the figures in the fourth series of figures which have been showing up on store shelves over the past month or so. I managed to walk into a Target one day and find the whole set in one go which is pretty incredible. Since then I haven't seen a single one. What the heck, Mattel? Also, why are these figures shipped in cases of four? They're fairly small! Why not cases of 8? Anyways, Hordak is the first member of the Evil Horde to appear in MOTU Origins and hopefully he won't be the last. I had both the standard Hordak and Buzz-Saw Hordak as a kid although at some point my original Hordak disappeared or got sold off. Bummer, huh? This guy does a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of the vintage toy although I'm not completely sold on the headsculpt, particularly the eyes. Let's see what the Ruthless Leader of the Evil Horde brings to the Origins line after the break...

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Action Figure Review: Firestar from Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro


      While most of the Marvel Legends Series figures I've been picking up lately are from the past couple years when I was sort of doing my best to ignore the line to focus on DC Comics stuff I have purchased a few 2021 figures recently. I looked at the Infinity Gauntlet inspired Thanos last month as he was one of the main reasons I got back into Marvel Legends and today I'm checking out Firestar. Angelica "Angel" Jones, AKA Firestar, was created for the 1981 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series. Over time she slowly made her way into the mainstream Marvel Universe and has been a member of many different teams including the Hellions, the X-Men, the New Warriors, and the Avengers. Why did I buy Firestar? Well, for one she's a really nice looking figure. For another, I wanted to display her with Spider-Man and Iceman. For a third my daughter has this really cool Marvel biography book that we've read through together a few times and Firestar is one of the featured heroes, so that was an influence. Firestar is a Hasbro Fan Channel exclusive meaning she has showed up at places like GameStop, fine e-tailers, and Hasbro Pulse. She's not part of a build-a-figure series but she does come with her doggie companion. Ms Lion! Let's take a look at Firestar after the break...

Friday, May 7, 2021

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


   It's time to finally start checking out the fourth series of Masters of the Universe Origins figures and we'll kick things off with the review of a figure I've always wanted in the vintage toyline but never owned: Ninjor! I remember Ninjor as a kid but I never owned him. Out of the quartet of the four limited budget figures from 1987 that David Wolfram worked which have come to be some of the most coveted toys in MOTU collecting (Scareglow, Ninjor, Randor, and Clamp Champ) I only ever owned King Randor and Clamp Champ. Sadly, both of those figures were sold off when I was younger. That really bites, right? On the bright side, Masters of the Universe Origins has already released three of those four figures in the line which is a pretty welcome addition to the line up. Ninjor capitalized on the 1980s ninja craze and has become a cult favorite over the years both due to his cool design and his rarity. There are plenty of collectors who scoff at the idea of a ninja running around in the swords and sorcery/ barbarian fantasy world of MOTU and to them I say: "Go rub a monkey's tummy." Ninjor is awesome.

   Let's check out Ninjor after the break...

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)
Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel (2008)
"Buzz Saw" Hordak  
Masters of the Universe: ReAction by Super7 (2015)
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)