Sunday, June 20, 2021

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

 

   While Walmart exclusively carried the Masters of the Universe Origins line last year it's been available more widely in 2021 and Target recently got their first exclusive for the line. It was tough to come by at first but the Rise of Evil 2-pack seems to be showing up more frequently in stores over the past week or so which hopefully is a good sign that distribution is improving for Target's exclusive wares (the recently up for preorder G.I. Joe Cobra Island exclusives were more readily available, too). While Masters of the Universe Origins originally seemed like it was going to focus on the earliest minicomics and such there's definitely some 200x influence in the line, most strongly as seen in this set. The idea of Skeletor and Trap Jaw originally being Keldor and Kronis definitely comes from the 200x era (though, to be fair, the Skeletor/ Keldor connection was hinted at in a vintage minicomic) and seems to have become a pretty popular addition to MOTU lore. This is definitely one of the most desirable MOTU Origins release in my book and I'm thrilled to finally get the chance to review it. Let's take a look at two of Eternia's worst before they hit the big leagues after the break...

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Action Figure Review: Bo-Katan Kryze from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   It's been kind of tough to find new Star Wars: The Black Series figures recently so I was thrilled to find a Bo-Katan Kryze from season 2 of The Mandalorian, one of the newest Star Wars figures around! Bo-Katan first appeared in season 4 of The Clone Wars and quickly became a fan favorite. She was voiced by Katee Sackhoff in the animated show and it was pretty incredible that Katee Sackhoff returned to portray her in live action for The Mandalorian. She became a major player and with how season 2 left things I'm expecting her to return for season 3. While it's still quite silly that Hasbro and Disney cannot get on the same page so that most figures are ready for store shelves when the show is actually airing it is nice that they managed to have Bo-Katan out relatively soon (remember how it took Hasbro almost two flipping years to have a figure of Luke Skywalker on shelves after his appearance in The Force Awakens) and she's extremely show accurate. Let's check her out after the break...

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Action Figure Review: Jaxxon from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

     2021 is the 50th Anniversary of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Hasbro has been releasing quite a few Star Wars figures in conjunction with the milestone. Well, perhaps I should say re-releasing as most of the figures so far have been re-releases in new packaging. There's new stuff coming out, though, like the hard (impossible?) to find Target exclusive Clone Wars figures and the Fan Channel exclusives based on the Star Wars Legends books. Previously known as the Expanded Universe, the Legends stuff is composed of pretty much all of the Star Wars comics, novels, and video games released before April 25th, 2014. Disney has borrowed many characters, ideas, and concepts from the EU/ Legends material and Hasbro seems to enjoy mining it, too. Announcing Jaxxon T. Tumperakki in the Black Series was a pretty bold move. Firstly, this guy has long been one of the strangest Star Wars characters of them all and sort of a punchline of a character. Secondly, it's pretty crazy that this guy appeared in the Black Series before appearing in the 1/18th scaled Vintage Collection. The 6 inch Black Series is clearly Hasbro's favored scale now (it's mine, too) but it definitely seems kind of wrong to deny the 3 3/4th inch lifers a figure who has been around and who has been requested in toy form by fans since 1977 (he first appeared in issue #8 of the Marvel Star Wars series). He's here, though, and I'm pretty thrilled. I figured we'd never get him! Let's hop to it and check out Jaxxon after the break...

Monday, June 14, 2021

Vehicle Review: Battle Ram from Hot Wheels Premium: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   Mattel has released two extremely well done Masters of the Universe vehicles in the Hot Wheels Premium so far and I'll go ahead and say that the third release is also spectacular: The Battle Ram! The Battle Ram is a pretty iconic vehicle for MOTU and Mattel's miniature, diecast metal version of this Eternian siege weapon is a fitting tribute. Let's take a look at the Battle Ram after the break...

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Action Figure Review: Omega Sentinel from Marvel Legends Series: X-Men by Hasbro

 
   While I'm very familiar with Marvel Girl/ Jean Grey I can't say the same about her series mate, Omega Sentinel, who I'm reviewing today. She's part of the recent House of X/ Tri-Sentinel series of Marvel Legends figures although from what I have gleaned she's actually from the Powers of X comic series. Weird, huh? I purchased this figure just because she was incredibly cool looking so I had to do a bit of research. Omega Sentinel is actually Karima Shapandar, a former Indian police officer who was turned into some sort of Sentinel through nanotechnology and who has been part of the X-Men at times. I'm definitely more focusing on comics from the late 60s- through the early 90s in my current reading but I very well may get around to some of the series she shows up in in the future. For now, though, I'm just enjoying a cool figure. Let's take a look at her after the break...

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Action Figure Review: Lady Jaye from G.I. Joe: Clasified Series by Hasbro

 
   I actually found Lady Jaye back in May (the same time as I found Flint) and I've since seen her in stores 2 or 3 times, meaning Hasbro actually seems to be doing a decent job of getting this series of figures in stores. For some reason they're doing really small series with the G.I. Joe: Classified Series as the most recent case pack is only made of three different figures: Flint, Lady Jaye, and a repacked Cobra Commander. Lady Jaye is another A- /B+ lister and a welcome addition to the theme. Like most of the Classified Series she really feels like a true update of her vintage design with some more modern elements. Of course, she does have some of the elements of her vintage figure that make her feel outdated, too, namely a larger camera and a javelin launcher. I wish she had a more useful primary weapon, leaving the javelin launcher as a secondary weapon, but that's not the route Hasbro went with her. She's quite cool, though, and does have the swappable hair feature that I first remember from the Dungeons & Dragons Drizzt figure from earlier this year though I'm sure some import figures have used the feature previously. Let's take a look at Lady Jaye, the G.I. Joe team's covert operations specialist, after the break...

Friday, June 11, 2021

Jeopardizing June: Hordak Mini Bust from Masters of the Universe by NECA

 
For June 2021's themed Masters of the Universe series of reviews I'm trying something a bit different: The theme is a mystery and you have to guess what the subjects of the reviews have in common! Check out all the details and how to enter the contest for a prize package here.
 
   Last month's Malevolent May was a month long tribute to Hordak but, lo and behold, the ruthless leader of the Evil Horde has made himself known again for Jeopardizing June! This time I'm checking out the Hordak mini bust that was released by NECA in 2005 during the time when the Four Horsemen were really getting the chance to go wild and release lots of stuff they didn't get a chance to work on in Mattel's main 200x line. NECA's releases were for display rather than play but they really showed off the great redesigns of the 200x era, especially the mini busts. NECA called these mini busts (as opposed to their micro busts, which were tiny), but they really seem to be about 1:4 scale. I picked up this Hordak statue from a comic shop probably around 2010 to use with my Masters of the Universe Classics to use as some sort of giant Hordak projection (like the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back). It's a great bust and is the standard edition which had a run of 1,500 (there was also a Convention Exclusive sold at SDCC  2004 and Wizard World Chicago 2004 which has a run of 750 and an Artist Proof with a run of 150. According to this 2004 press release from Raving Toy Maniac the Convention Exclusive was supposed to have a metallic red base while the later standard run would have a black base but mine has the larger run number (1,500) with a metallic red base. I actually haven't seen any pictures of a black based Hordak so maybe NECA ended up not changing it? The mysteries! Let's take a look at another excellent Hordak product after the break...

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Action Figure Review: Marvel Girl from Marvel Legends Series: X-Men by Hasbro

 

   Like I said in yesterday's review of the Tony Stark (A.I.) figure from the Shang Chi/ Mr. Hyde series, I'm much more familiar with older Marvel comics stuff than I am anything newer. I have no idea what House of X is about but I do plan to read it now that I've been reading a lot more Marvel stuff, particularly X-Men, lately. I absolutely know who Marvel Girl is, though, and I was pretty excited to see this figure on shelves. While it appears that this figure is based on the rather recent House of X storyline and Grey has gone back to using one of her older costumes and her original codename I just picked this up because it's a great looking classic Jean Grey. I'm currently reading the X-Men Epic Collection volume 3 (1968-early 1970) and this is the outfit Jean's wearing throughout most of that book. I dig the old school comic styles and while she's not going to replace the main Jean Grey in my collection (the Jim Lee/ animated series styled Jean Grey from the "Love Triangle" 3-pack) I'm happy to put her on my shelf of cool variants. This figure is part of an X-Men series completely based on the House of X books which is pretty interesting. I can't think of many Marvel Legends series of figures completely based on such a new story. Yeah, new movies and TV shows usually get a full series but it's rare to see that happen with the comics. It's kind of cool, though. Let's take a look at Marvel Girl after the break...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Action Figure Review: Tony Stark (A.I.) from Marvel Legends Series: Iron Man by Hasbro

 

   I've only purchased two figures from the recent Marvel Legends Shang-Chi/ Mr. Hyde series of figures: Civil Warrior, who I reviewed last month, and Tony Stark (A.I.), who I'm reviewing today. Yeah, yeah, Hasbro has put put out dozens of Iron Man figures (he has a series all his own coming this summer with an Ursa Major build-a-figure) but they're usually pretty good. This was a very cool, very classic looking comic styled Iron Man who has the benefit of also having a translucent blue head. I'm way more familiar with classic Marvel stuff than anything modern but apparently Captain Marvel punched Tony into a coma, leading to a sophisticated A.I. Tony to take over for awhile. That's all the basis Hasbro needed to take a previous Iron Man body, make a blue Tony Stark head, and call it a day. I like him, though, and since I've mostly been avoiding MCU based figures (mostly) this was one of the only two figures I wanted from this series. Let's take a look at Tony Star A.I. after the break...

Monday, June 7, 2021

Jeopardizing June: Anti-Eternia He-Man from Masters of the Universe: ReAction by Super7


For June 2021's themed Masters of the Universe series of reviews I'm trying something a bit different: The theme is a mystery and you have to guess what the subjects of the reviews have in common! Check out all the details and how to enter the contest for a prize package here.
 
   For the first true installment of Jeopardizing June I'm actually reviewing a figure that I haven't removed from the package. I do that very rarely but I liked the look of Super7's Masters of the Universe: ReAction Anti-Eternia He-Man so much that I decided to not take him off the card at all. Anti-Eternia He-Man was an exclusive for PowerCon 2018 and came on a vintage styled blister card that really stands out from the rest of the line. There was a version of this figure where the packaging was in German which was an exclusive for S.P.A.C.E., so if you see this guy in German that's where it originated. The evil He-Man of Anti-Eternia first appeared in a 1985 German audio-play and has since become a fairly popular MOTU variant. He also appeared as the primary antagonist in DC's He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse comic series. Near the end of the MOTU: ReAction line Super7 released a clear smoke variant of Anti-Eternia He-Man who was easier to obtain than this guy. Ready to delve into the first true review of Jeopardizing June? Then join me after the break...

Action Figure Review: Ski Harry Dunne #1044 from Dumb and Dumber from POP! Movies by Funko

 

My wife and I celebrated out 16th wedding anniversary last month and for an anniversary gift she surprised me with two Funko POP! vinyls: Harry and Lloyd in their swanky ski gear from Dumb and Dumber. I don't purchase too many non-Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls these days but I was pretty excited to receive these as a gift. I absolutely love Dumb and Dumber. It came out when I was in 5th grade and I remember going to see it with my parents on Christmas of 1994. Street Fighter had just came out as well but my mom said she didn't want to watch fighting on Christmas so we went and saw Dumb and Dumber. I think my mom walked out saying that she would have rather watched fighting. Over the years, especially as I entered into middle school, it was a movie I found infinitely re-watchable. Is it a "dumb" comedy that relies on one-liners and gross out humor? Well, yeah, but there's something about the movie that's a bit more clever, too, with some rather layered jokes. I'm not saying it's The Big Lebowski or anything, but it's a solid film that I love that captures some of the best and worst of the 1990s. Today I'll start by looking at the ski version of Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) in one of his ski outfits he wears once the pair reaches Aspen, Colorado and discovers the briefcase they've been toting across the US contained one million dollars. Let's make an IOU, hop into a heart shaped tub, and check out Ski Harry Dunne after the break...



The Facts:

Height: 4 inches

Articulation: Swivel head

Accessories: None

Non-Scalper Price: $10 dollars


The Positives:

* Harry Dunne can swivel at the head, like most other POP vinyls. He also has a built in stand thanks to the fact that he's on skis. They give him a nice solid balance which helps keep him from tipping over and also give him a bit more of a unique look.
* Harry's not going to be one of those POP! vinyls that everyone will recognize but if you own this one and someone else recognizes him then you've probably made a friend for life. Harry actually wears a couple different ski suits in the film and sometimes has a larger coat over this outfit, but this is what he's actually going to ski with Mary Swanson but instead gets his tongue stuck on the metal of the chair lift. There are lots of cool little details on the figure like the sunglasses hanging around his neck and the ski poles in his left hand.

 

* It's so crazy how POP! vinyls are so simple looking and yet I feel like I can see a Jeff Daniels likeness in this POP! vinyl. The hair is spot on and the hat is very distinctive. Again, he's not a figure that is instantly recognizable like a Deadpool or Darth Vader but Funko did a nice job in delivering a stylized figure of the actor in this specific role.



 

 

* There are some other cool little details on the back and sides of the figure. His hat has a funny cord of some sort hanging down from the top and there are some spiderweb-like designs printed on the shoulders and thighs of Harry's outfit.

 

* The skis and ski poles are really cool. They look great and definitely help Harry stand out. I can't think of too many other items he could have come with. Maybe a cup of warm water or a functional toilet?

      Funko's slogan "Everyone is a fan of something" definitely rings true when you see releases like this. It's easy to know that you can make action figures and merchandise based on stuff like Marvel, DC, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Harry Potter, and other properties that have a huge following. It's less common to see stuff based on some of the random movies, TV shows, and artists that Funko picks. It's kind of fun, though, when something you really like that seems in no way connected with action figures, etc. does get a toy. Harry Dunne is a pretty great POP! vinyl from one of the best comedies of the 1990s. Dumb and Dumber is a movie that I grew up watching and that seems to pull me back to a specific time in popular culture whenever I watch it or listen to the soundtrack and I'm thrilled that my wife realized how sentimental I am for a film that involves a guy with a worm farm and another who drives a van turned into a sheepdog. This is a Great and a 1/2 POP! and it shows that Funko pays attention to the details even when they're dealing with product from what isn't an A-list fandom. 

 

This is the first toy of Harry Dunne I've reviewed. For more reviews from POP! Movies check out the following: 


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Minifigure Review: Evil-Lyn from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 
   I've reviewed a few of the Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis that were just rehashes of previously released figures so how about we look at a new character today? Let's check out Evil-Lyn! This is her first time in one of the MOTU Minis lines which makes her a pretty exciting release. Yeah, she reuses the same body as Teela, who we already saw in the Slime Pit Multipack a few months ago, but that's to be expected, right? Let's take a closer look at Evil-Lyn after the break...

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Action Figure Review: Sam from Toony Terrors by NECA

 
Picture by my assistant Adora.
   
   Sam is without a doubt one of my favorite horror characters and Trick 'r Treat is one of my favorite horror and Halloween movies. Honestly, it's a movie that manages to out Halloween Halloween, which is pretty incredible. NECA has released quite a few nice Sam action figures over the years but now he's been introduced into the Toony Terrors line. I love this series of horror movie icons rendered in the style of classic Saturday morning cartoons and Sam is a great addition to the line. I almost thought about holding off on this review until October for this year's 31 Days of Toy Terror but I figure since he's such a new release I should go ahead and show him off. NECA has done a pretty good job of getting many of the earlier releases in this line back on shelves regularly but who knows if Sam will be available easily come Halloween 2021? Also, my daughter, Adora, saw this one and really wanted to help with the review. She's not seen Trick 'r Treat (she's 7 so she's quite a few years off from being able to watch it) but she loves the character and was excited to snap some pictures and help with the review. Ready for some spooky fun a few months early? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Minifigure Review: Battle Armor Skeletor from Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis by Mattel

 


   I reviewed the Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis Battle Armor He-Man last month and I'm just finally getting around to reviewing his counterpart, Battle Armor Skeletor. Mattel showed off the third series of Eternia Minis last year at Power-Con but now that they've showed up in stores we're getting a  different assortment of figures that are missing the cool Slime Pit themed cases that they were originally shown with. Battle Armor Skeletor is another "re-do" of one of the figures from the 2014 MattyCollector exclusive Masters of the Universe minis line. The first two series of the Eternia Minis came "blindboxed" in plastic cases although they did have a code identifying the figure inside so you could make sure not to get duplicates. Now they're sold on little mini blister cards so you can pick exactly who you want (if you can find them). Let's take a look at Battle Armor Skeletor after the break...


The Facts:

Height: 2 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel waist, swivel shoulders, and a balljointed head.
 
Accessories: Power sword and Havoc Staff.
 
Non-Scalper Price: $5 dollars



Comparison:

* The new Eternia Minis Skeletor is on the left while the previous MOTU Minis Battle Armor Skeletor is in the middle and the Eternia Minis Skeletor is on the right. The Eternia Minis Skeletor is basically a repaint of the 2014 MOTU Minis Skeletor with the head from the Eternia Minis Skeletor. He's not as good as the older figure and has less paint applications overall.

The Positives:

* Overall, I do like the sculpt and design of these. Skeletor does have a nice amount of detail on his Battle Armor and on the emblem on his chest. The print is quite neat and clean. It's a great looking minifigure for the most part.


 

* These are nice little minifigures with decent articulation, especially the ball jointed heads.  They're very durable little figures and would probably fit in well with lines like Imaginext and the Hasbro Heroes figures, so if you have a little one who's into MOTU these could be some decent starter toys. They're fun to play with and have a lot of shelf presence!

 

 * Skeletor comes with a purple Power Sword just like the vintage toy did. It's a nicely sculpted extra with a lot of character.





 

 

* Skeletor also comes with his classic Havoc Staff. It's miniaturized (just like him) and has a pretty decent sculpt for the skull as well.

The Negatives:

* The MOTU Minis Skeletor has the purple and black paint scheme on the back of his armor but here it's just straight up molded in black. That's kind of a bummer because I've always found the detail of the back of the armor to be quite cool.

 

 

 

 *



   Despite getting two weapons with this guy I have to admit that I'm not feeling him that much. He's a big step down from the previously released MOTU Mini Battle Armor Skeletor. He's got fewer paint applications, an inferior headsculpt, and now you don't even get the cool clam shell cases that the first two series of Eternia Minis came with. I mean, for $5 bucks he's not terrible or anything, but there's better mini Battle Armor Skeletors out there so just pick one of those up. This one's an Eh and a 1/2. Not terribly but not thrilling, either. 
 
 
 
 
 
I've reviewed so many toys of Skeletor/ Keldor that he has his own review archive. Check out Snake Mountain for all of my reviews of Skeletor! 

For more Masters of the Universe Eternia Minis check out the following:


 






Tuesday, June 1, 2021

June 2021 is Jeopardizing June at Action Figure Barbecue!

 

   For June 2021's themed Masters of the Universe series of reviews I'm trying something a bit different: The theme is somewhat of a mystery and you have to guess what the subjects of the reviews have in common. Your clues: The title of the month, the picture above, and each of the reviews listed throughout the month. 

Send your guess to barbecue17 (at) actionfigurebarbecue.com and let me know what you think the theme is. If more than one person gets it right I'll draw a name randomly from all correct answers and send out a prize pack in early July. Unfortunately I can only ship to US residents only! Sorry! Also, one guess per person so you might want to wait for a review or two to get posted before you make your guess.

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

 

   Some of the Masters of the WWE Universe mashups are more inspired than others. Giving Seth Rollins Zodac's armor and a flaming sword? Uhh, OK. Giving Stone Cold Steve Austin actual snake eyes? OK, that's kind of cool I guess. Allowing the New Day to "swap" between members ala Man-E-Faces? Now we're talking! One of the best yet is today's figure, presenting Kane as a literal red machine who is created from Roboto parts. Amazing! This guy is really cool and he's definitely my favorite figure from series 6. The Big Red Machine is decked out as an actual cyborg and ready to set out and destroy the heroes of WWEternia. Need any more incentive to check out a red and black flamethrower wielding action figure of the mayor of Knox County Tennessee? Then join me after the break...