Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Action Figure Review: Mer-Man (Lords of Power) from Masters of the Universe: Origins by Mattel

 


   The mini marathon of Masters of the Universe Origins reviews continues with the final figure from series 5: The Lords of Power Mer-Man variant. A classic toy version of Mer-Man was released in series 3 this year but last year Mer-Man was also included as part of the PowerCon 2020 exclusive Lords of Power set. The Lords of Power collection were essentially the prototype versions of some of the earliest Masters of the Universe characters and while they were included in last year's PowerCon exclusive set Mattel seems intent on releasing them in the mainline as ways to continue to refresh main characters like Mer-Man and Beast Man. Mer-Man's Lords of Power/ prototype looks closer to the cross-sell art on the back of the vintage packaging which seems to be more popular for modern depictions of the character. While this is the same sculpt as the exclusive from last year this version of Mer-man does have a slightly different paint job and fewer paint applications, differentiating him from the rarer and far more expensive exclusive. The Lords of Power set was definitely for the most hardcore fans so its nice that Mattel is giving everyone a chance to own a much cooler version of Mer-Man. Let's take a look at the Lords of Power Mer-Man after the break...

Flick or Treat Episode #1: Halloween Kills

 

   Hey everyone! My and my friend The Reel Brad have just posted the first episode of our new podcast Flick or Treat! What's Flick or Treat? It's a podcast dedicated solely to movies that take place at Halloween. There are plenty of horror movie podcasts out there but ours is strictly about movies set during the Halloween season so we're going to work really hard to keep up the Halloween vibe all year long. 

In this episode we chat about Halloween Kills, Spawn toy and comics, the Dark Horse EC Comics collections, me coming in third place in a Halloween Haiku contest at HalloweenHorrorHaiku, and the 1962 Halloween Massacre urban legend. 

   You'll also get to hear Brad's impersonation of Todd McFarlane, me doing a terrible Donald Pleasance, and us butchering the names of half of the cast of Halloween Kills. It's a spooky good way to spend 1 hour and 54 minutes! Check it out and let me know what you think! 

Monday, November 29, 2021

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

 
 
     I guess it's time I finished reviewing series 5 of Masters of the Universe Origins, huh? If I were giving out an award for the most improved toyline of 2021 I think I would choose Masters of the Universe Origins. Last year the line felt like a standard "retro" line with little character of its own. This year Origins has really grown on me, however, and it's become a very fun and rather unique toyline. Series 6 and Series 7 are hitting stores now which means this line has had a bunch of figures released. Figures, vehicles, and even a playset make for a really fun toyline sold at mass retail for a pretty decent price. Today I'm checking out Fisto who was always one of my vintage favorites. Let's check out this power punching warrior after the break...

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Action Figure Review: Snake Face #95 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
    Lately it feels like Mattel and most folks making licenses merchandise have been neglecting the Snake Men. Mattel hasn't released any Snake Men since Masters of the Universe Classics and Super7 never made any of the Snake Men in the M.U.S.C.L.E. or ReAction lines. Neither has anyone else. Funko is currently the only company giving the Snake Men any attention, thus it's very cool to be getting one of the later Snake Men like Snake Face here. Snake Face was an exclusive for NYCC 2021 that is shared with GameStop and you can still find him there in store if you shop around. With some similarities to the mythical Medusa such as the ability to turn heroes to stone, Snake Face is known as the "Most Gruesome of the Snake Men Warrors." I never had him as a kid which is surprising as I loved the Snake Men and I was really into MOTU around 1986 and 1987. It's great to get some of the underappreciated characters from Funko as POP! vinyls and today Snake Face is getting some attention. Join me after the break as we check out Snake Face....

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Action Figure Review: Zodac #94 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   
   The set of the original eight Masters of the Universe figures is one of the most recognizable action figure casts of all time and in most Masters of the Universe toylines they're the first ones to get made. Funko has oddly spaced out the original eight, however, and they still haven't made Teela. That's crazy to me! She has to be coming soon, right? Anyways, as I was saying, the original eight figures usually are the first toys to make it into new MOTU lines but if there's an outlier there, it's typically Zodac. He's a fantastically cool character and maybe it's the fact that he's been portrayed as a bounty hunter, an Evil Warrior, a heroic ally, and a neutral Cosmic Enforcer that has made him an odd character to get a handle on who hasn't been as predominant in as much media as the other original seven characters. The POP! vinyl Zodac is fantastic, though. Released as a NYCC 2021 shared exclusive (he was also sold through Toy Tokyo) Zodac is yet another exclusive. Let's check him out after the break...
 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Action Figure Review: Mer-Man #91 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   Now that Funko has placed the Masters of the Universe license under the POP! Retro Toys banner they've been going back and redoing some previously released characters in the style of the vintage toys rather than their Filmation looks. Today I'm checking out the Funko Shop exclusive Mer-Man #91 which is a variant of the standard release Mer-Man #88 that I reviewed back in early October. This guy is mostly a blue-green repaint of the previous Mer-Man with a new weapon. It's not a terrible variant as Mer-Man being depicted as blue has a long history in MOTU art and advertising, plus he has the spear from the 200x line to further spice things up. The last time I checked he was on sale for Black Friday as well, so you ca now pick him up for about $9 bucks instead of the usual exclusive price. Let's dive in and check out Mer-Man after the break...

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Action Figure Review: Whiplash #82 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 

   There were two Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls released for Funkon 2021: Roboto and Whiplash. Since I've already reviewed Roboto it's now Whiplash's turn in the spotlight at Action Figure Barbecue. Whiplash was part of the third series of vintage MOTU toys (from 1984) and is a really common vintage figure to find. He's very recognizable, has a great name, and is well know but he doesn't tend to show up in MOTU merchandising that often. That's why it's so cool to see that Funko seems to be trying to make everyone. Well, except for Teela. Clearly I'm going to have to summon the power of my big ol' boot and go to Funko headquarters to explain why Teela needs to be made in POP! form ASAP. Anyways, we're talking about Whiplash today, the evil tail-lashing warrior who assist Skeletor and the Evil Warriors. Let's take a look at the Funko POP! Whiplash #82 after the break...

Action Figure Review: Roboto #81 from POP! Retro Toys: Masters of the Universe by Funko

 
   November has been filled with mini review marathons as I catch up on my reviews and today I'm starting another one! This time I'm going to be checking out a bunch of Masters of the Universe POP! vinyls. Between Funkon 2021 and NYCC 2021 there have been quite a few new MOTU POP! vinyls released and many of them are characters we don't see all the time. Today I'm checking out Roboto #81, an exclusive to Funkon 2021 who was also shared with Toy Tokyo. I had to buy the Toy Tokyo bundle to get him so if anyone wants the Tokidoko POP! vinyls that came with the set let me know. I still am stuck with them. I really wish Funko would stop giving Toy Tokyo shared exclusives as they take forever to ship and always put them in bundles with other properties that no one seems to care about. Anyways, Roboto is a very cool character from the fourth year of the vintage line and while he definitely tends to make it into most MOTU lines and such he's not a character we see all the time so it's cool to finally have him in the POP! vinyl line. Let's boot up for Roboto after the break...

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Action Figure Review: Doctor Strange Supreme from Marvel Legends Series: What If? by Hasbro

 

   I thought all of the episodes of What If? were pretty good but the Doctor Strange episode "What If...Doctor Strange Lost his Heart Instead of his Hands?" was one of the best. It was a dark, creepy, well made episode that was in some ways stronger than the actual Doctor Strange film. I wasn't planning on picking this guy up at first but when I stumbled upon him at a GameStop during a sale (ended up getting him for 20% off) I decided to snag him. Currently the Doctor Strange in my display is the Marvel Now! version from 2015 (I'm really waiting for the Walmart exclusive classic Doctor Strange coming next year) but this guy makes a great alternate figure who I can find a place for on my shelves. Let's take a look at Doctor Strange Supreme after the break...

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Action Figure Review: Heist Nebula from Marvel Legends Series: What If? by Hasbro

 


   Ready for another Marvel Legends review in this mini marathon? My second pick up from this series was the What If? inspired Heist Nebula from the episode "What if? ...T'Challa became a Star-Lord?" Why is she called Heist Nebula? I'm assuming it's a reference to the plot to steal the Embers of Genesis from the Collector, Taneleer Tivan. It's kind of a weird name for the figure, especially since Hasbro hasn't released a Nebula figure since 2017 as far as I'm aware, so it's not like it'd be confusing due to having multiple figures of the character on the shelf. Anyways, I picked this figure up for a couple reason. One, it's a figure based on a Karen Gillan character, so there's that. Number two, though, I think she makes a decent comic based Nebula for my shelf. No, she doesn't look exactly like any of the comic versions of Nebula but the style of the figure really does blend nicely with the standard comic based Marvel Legends figures, more so than the excellent MCU version from 2017. Is she worth picking up? Let's take a look and find out after the break...

Monday, November 22, 2021

Action Figure Review: Captain Carter from Marvel Legends Series: What If? by Hasbro

 

   Not too long ago I found the three figures I was looking for in the newest series of Marvel Legends figures based on the Disney+ series What If? and I'm going to review all three of them over the next day or two. Let's start off with the figure I most wanted from this series: Captain Carter! What If? was a very fun show that ended up being a pretty impressive piece of MCU entertainment despite also kind of being its own thing, too, and while there were lots of great characters in it Captain Carter still stands out as my favorite "new" element of the show. Hayley Atwell returned to voice a Peggy Carter who ends up taking the super-soldier serum after Steve Rogers is shot by a Hydra agent and becomes the Union Jack wearing Captain Carter. She's a pretty incredible looking figure and due to the somewhat animated style of the line I think she'll fit right in with my Marvel Legends collection that is mostly comic based. Let's take a look at Captain Carter after the break...

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Action Figure Review: Ursa Major from Marvel Legends Series by Hasbro

 

   I finished reviewing the Iron Man/ Ursa Major series of figures over a month ago and due to a number of reasons (31 Days of Toy Terror, lots of new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe releases, etc.) it's taken me until now to finally get around to looking at Ursa Major, the Build-a-Figure from that series. As I've said in most of my reviews from the series, originally I wasn't planning on picking up that many figures from the set; probably just Ultron and Ironheart. Ursa Major was too temping, though. I mean, c'mon: He's a giant bear! Yes, in Marvel he's Mikhail Ursus, a Russian mutant who is part of the Soviet Super-Soldiers and the Winter Guard who had a cameo in the film Black Widow but as a toy he's a massive killer bear. I love giant bears! This is one of those instances where the build-a-figure caused me to purchase some figures I wouldn't have otherwise picked up. Let's take a look at Ursa Major, the big, bad bear, after the break...

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Action Figure Review: Moff Gideon from Star Wars: Retro Collection by Hasbro

 


   It's time for he last figure in this mini marathon of Mandalorian reviews: Moff Gideon! We need a good villain here and Moff Gideon certainly fills the bill there. Giancarlo Esposito is fantastic as Gideon and definitely helps to build the bridge between the more traditional military might of the Empire and the new era of Imperial remnants and warlords. This figure definitely will remind you of Kenner's Darth Vader and TIE Fighter Pilot figures but there is a great headsculpt and some cool accessories to add some uniqueness here, too. Let's take a look at Moff Gideon after the break...

Action Figure Review: The Mandalorian from Star Wars: Retro Collection by Hasbro

 

   This mini marathon of Star Wars: Retro Collection figures from The Mandalorian just has to include the titular Mandalorian himself, right? Of course! Din Djarin has quickly become one of the most popular Star Wars characters out there and Hasbro of course included him in this set wearing his outfit from very early in the first season. Had this been an actual vintage release you just know he would be almost everyone's favorite figure! He's just a fantastically cool character. Is anyone else getting a little tired of Hasbro just calling this figure "The Mandalorian" on packaging? OK, maybe it makes sense here but I'd really like to see everything start calling him Din Djarin since that's his actual name and we've known it for nearly around years now. Let's jump in and check out the Retro Collection Din Djarin, better known as Mando or the Mandalorian, after the break...

Action Figure Review: Kuiil from Star Wars: Retro Collection by Hasbro

 

   Who doesn't love Kuiil? The Mandalorian had a lot of love for its characters and it's because of that love that fans fell in love with those characters, too. While the show offered up a great mixture of new alien species and beings it also took familiar aliens from the Original Trilogy and the Prequels and presented them in new ways. For most of us, our primary experience with Ugnaughts is their appearance in Empire where they're troublesome, loud, and seem to just be going along with whatever the Empire is asking them to do. Kuiil is the complete opposite of that depiction. He's quiet; a teacher and philosopher with a strong moral compass. Kuiil's death in Chapter 7: The Reckoning hurt, adding yet another life to those who sacrificed to protect Grogu. While he doesn't have a blurrg to ride on Kuiil is part of the Star Wars: Retro Collection. Let's check out this remarkable Ugnaught after the break...
 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Action Figure Review: Cara Dune from Star Wars: Retro Collection by Hasbro

 

   Cara Dune is reporting for duty for the third installment of this mini marathon of Star Wars: Retro Collection reviews. If you're coming in late what's the deal with these? Simple: These are action figures designed in the style of the vintage Kenner Star Wars toy line of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Hasbro has both rereleased replicas of the vintage figures in retro Collection as well as created new figures from characters who never received figures in the vintage line and now they're releasing characters from The Mandalorian. I feel like collectors have been asking Hasbro to make vintage styled figures for years now and it's nice to see they're finally doing it. I'm not even going to wade into the controversy of actress Gina Carano being released from Disney/ Lucasfilm but I will say that I'm not sure how true early reports that this figure was being limited are. She certainly wasn't cancelled as early reports suggested. I didn't even have any trouble finding her quite a few months after her release and you should still be able to pick one up for not much above retail. Will she be released? That's doubtful. It's a shame, too, because I really like this character. Let's take a look at Cara Dune after the break...

Action Figure Review: Greef Karga from Star Wars: Retro Collection by Hasbro

 

   It's time for the second review in my mini marathon of Star Wars: Retro Collection reviews and this time we're checking out Greef Karga played by the national treasure that is Carl Weathers. Not only was Carl Weathers nominated for an Emmy for the role but he even directed Chapter 12: The Siege. Interestingly, the Black Series release of Greef Karga is based on the character's first season appearance while this is his second season outfit. It's a bit more eye-catching and I hope we do get it in the Black Series someday. Greef Karga looks like he stepped right out of the vintage Kenner Star Wars line and he's ready to give your bounty hunters some jobs. Let's check him out after the break...

Action Figure Review: The Child from Star Wars: Retro Collection by Hasbro

 


   I don't have a very large collection of vintage Kenner Star Wars figures. I have some of my favorites and sentimental pieces on display and some other random pieces in storage and while I like the line and I appreciate it, the vintage toys were a little before my time. I do like the retro action figure aesthetic, though, and that combined with my love for The Mandalorian prompted me to pick up some of the Star Wars: Retro Collection figures based on the show. These typically retail for around $10 bucks but with some shopping around on the Amazon warehouse deals I found many of the figures for closer to $6 or $7 bucks. I'm an opener who doesn't need a pristine card, anyways. I'm getting ready to start another mini review marathon of these figures and today I'm starting off with the figure everyone probably wants from this line, Grogu, better known in merchandising as the Child or Baby Yoda. Grogu is a tiny little guy. Since he's part of the same species as Yoda he ages differently and hopefully will live a long, long full life. Interestingly he was born the same year as Anakin Skywalker (41 BBY). That's kind of weird, isn't it? Could that be significant at some point? Anyways, let's take a look at the Kenner inspired the Child after the break...

Minifigure Review: Zodak from Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis by Mattel

 



   The third and final review in my mini Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis marathon is Zodac, the neutral Cosmic Enforcer. While Zodac did appear in the 2014 Matty Collector exclusive Masters of the Universe Minis line (packaged alongside "Biff" Beast Man) this figure is a completely new sculpt that seems to represent a more Filmation inspired version of Zodac. Zodac was never one of my favorites as a kid but as I've gotten older I've really come to appreciate the unusual role he plays in Masters of the Universe. Think he'll show up in part 2 of Masters of the Universe: Revelation this week? Only a few more days until we find out. In the meantime let's check out the Eternia Minis Zodac after the break...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Minifigure Review: Anti-Eternia He-Man from Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis by Mattel

 
   
   Wait, isn't there already an evil He-Man repaint?

   As part of my mini Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis marathon I'm checking out the second figure from the set I have setting around and waiting to be reviewed: Anti-Eternia He-Man! Originating from a 1980s German story on tape, Anti-Eternia He-Man (or just Anti-He-Man) has become a relatively popular variant in the modern MOTU period. He's appeared in Masters of the Universe Classics and was the primary antagonist of DC's He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse comic series. Mattel has released some other Anti-Eternia variants in Eternia Minis but this is the main guy. He's He-Man in red and black. Let's check him out after the break...

Minifigure Review: He-Man and Ground Ripper from Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis by Mattel

 
   
   As we're approaching the end of the year I'm dedicated to not having a bunch of wrap up reviews in early 2022 like I did last year so I'm spending November going through mini review marathons to wrap up some toylines that I'm behind on reviewing. Today I'm beginning a very short look at some short figures from Mattel's Masters of the Universe: Eternia Minis and I'm going to start by looking at He-Man with the Ground Ripper. Ground Ripper is apparently the new name for the Road Ripper as Mattel also used that name in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line, possibly due to some sort of issue with trademarks or something. The vintage vehicle, called Road Ripper, was released in 1984 and was a simple ripcord powered vehicle inspired by the classic Evel Knievel stunt cycle. It had only minor appearances in the minicomics and the Filmation animated series but since it was such an inexpensive and durable vehicle, many kids had these and you can still find them pretty easily. The Road Ripper surprisingly never made an appearance in the 200x line nor Masters of the Universe Classics where it seemed like an ideal fit as a recognizable but simple vehicle. It's cool Mattel is revisiting it here in Eternia Minis. Let's check this 2-pack out after the break...

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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

 
  
 I've been looking for Crosshair since the release of the series he came in back in late spring/ early summer and I finally ended up paying a couple dollars more to get him. Now that I'm reviewing the fourth Bad Batch figure of this year I have to say that all four of these guys are probably in the top 10 Black Series releases of 2021 and are one of the strongest teams/ subsets in the line. While Crosshair was part of Clone Force 99 in season 7 of The Clone Wars, he ended up remaining loyal to the Empire in The Bad Batch and betraying his team. He just looks like an evil guy, right? Crosshair, AKA CT-9904, is an incredible figure and I'm excited to finally have him in hand. Let's check out the supreme marksman of Clone Force 99 after the break...

Monday, November 15, 2021

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




   The members of Clone Force 99, better known as the Bad Batch, have been some of the best Black Series releases this year and I'm excited to checkout another one from the most recent series of figures. It's time to check out Tech, the science and technology expert for the team. I'm impressed that Hasbro has been cranking these guys out so fast although that's likely because they first appeared in season 7 of The Clone Wars back in 2020. In fact, the team was designed around 2011 and appeared in some unfinished animatics back in 2012. I love the concept of the Bad Batch and while I'm still making my way through the show, I'm eager for more of them. Tech is a very fun, very interactive action feature that feels like he could fit in with the G.I. Joe Classified Series because of all of his cool gear and how he can tote it around. Let's check out Tech after the break...

Action Figure Review: Q9-0 (Zero) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

He's quicker than organics. And smarter, too!

   You know The Mandalorian is a hit when Hasbro is really starting to roll out more side characters from the series. While we're not getting figures like we did in the past for the Prequel Trilogy releases, it's pretty cool that the Black Series is starting to flesh out the world of The Mandalorian with figures like Q9-0, AKA Zero. Voiced by Richard Ayoade, Zero has thus far only appeared in two episodes of The Mandalorian, most prominently in Chapter 6: The Prisoner where he was part of the squad of scoundrels tasked with rescuing a prisoner from a New Republic prisoner transport ship. The Mandalorian has had some great droids so far and while Zero isn't as memorable as IG-11 he definitely feels like a figure that would have been released if Kenner had been producing toys for the show back in the day. He's very reminiscent of 4-LOM, too, so here's another killer droid for your collection. Let's check out Q9-0 after the break...

Saturday, November 13, 2021

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

 

   I'm continuing my review miniseries of Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV figures and today I'm checking out Aurra Sing, the Palliduvan bounty hunter who first appeared in Episode I (briefly!) and later made a name for herself in The Clone Wars. Aurra Sing is one of those characters who initially was just popular due to her unique appearance but over time she became an interesting character who was sort of a mentor and a maternal figure to young Boba Fett. Bounty hunters, especially alien bounty hunters, almost always make fantastic action figures and it's pretty cool to see Aurra Sing make her way into the Black Series. She's part of the most recent series of figures released alongside of General Lando Calrissian, Tech, Q9-0, and Koska Reeves which is a pretty strong series of figures. Interestingly, Hasbro sourced her to The Clone Wars instead of Episode I. While she did appear in both, and actually had dialogue and such in The Clone Wars, I still kind of wanted to see her as an Episode I figure since that was her first appearance. Oh, well. Let's check out Aurra Sing after the break...

Friday, November 12, 2021

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

 


      At a recent online event a few weeks ago Hasbro showed off upcoming figures for Omega and Echo which still haven't gone up for preorder. Hasbro did manage to get out the original four members of the Bad Batch in 2021, though, which was quite welcome. I've now acquired all four members of the original Clone Force 99 and I'll be reviewing them (along with a few other Star Wars: The Black Series releases) in the next few days. I reviewed Hunter back in July, so now let's move on to Wrecker, the muscle of the group. Whether talking about physical power or explosive power, this demolitions expert is your guy. I love Wrecker. He's just such a lovable guy and his relationship with Omega adds a lot of heart to the show. Wrecker is one of Hasbro "deluxe" figures which are getting to be a bit of contention with collectors. Wrecker might be a bit taller and bulkier than his squadmates but is he really so huge that he deserves to be a deluxe release? That doesn't seem to hurt his sales, though, as I saw him when he first came out a few times and then he was gone, unlike the previously released deluxe Jar Jar Binks who his clearance a few months back. Clones and armored characters are almost always popular, though, and Wrecker is a pretty impressive figure. Let's check him out after the break...

Toy Review: Trap Jaw, Havoc Staff Skeletor, and Tri-Klops from Masters of the Universe: Figural Bag Clips by Monogram International

 


   I received both of the Walmart exclusive Monogram International Masters of the Universe: Figural bag Clips for my birthday back in September but I only reviewed the first set back in October. Let's take a look at the second set today which features some more Evil Warriors to pester the heroes. It turns out that Monogram International has a second set of bag clips out which features four of the figures from these exclusives (Trap Jaw, Tri-Klops, Man-At-Arms, and Battle Cat) along with the She-Ra that was released as an SDCC exclusive a few years back and six all new clips (Teela, Moss Man, Panthor, Hordak, and new versions of He-Man and Skeletor). I'm going to have to start looking for those! I love the design of these little guys and they're fun to hang up and display. This set is another cool little MOTU collectible and now that these seem to be showing up on clearance you can probably snag a deal. Let's check out these three villains after the break...

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Action Figure Review: Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   I'm really enjoying Skeletor in the Netflix series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and I'm really liking this new design, too. It's still clearly Skeletor but there are some new ideas mixed with details from other Skeletor media interpretations (he reminds me of some of the depictions of Skeletor in the modern DC Comics MOTU series). So far though, I haven't been overly thrilled with the toys of Skeletor from this line. The sculpts are pretty good but the paint work has left a lot to be desired. Today I'm checking out the 8.5 inch Skeletor with some optimism that the larger scale might fix the problems of his smaller line mates. Will this be a hit or a miss? Let's find out after the break...

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Action Figure Review: Man-At-Arms from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   8.5 inches isn't a common action figure scale but since this is a line targeted at kids it seems Mattel wanted to have multiple SKUs on shelves and pegs to encourage retailers to order lots of product, thus the line has two scales. Man-At-Arms is a pretty cool looking figure who manages to look more like he should belong in Centurions or G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 than Masters of the Universe. You can see elements of the classic Man-At-Arms here, though. Let's take a closer look at this 8.5 inch version of Duncan after the break...

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Action Figure Review: He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 


   Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line, based on the Netflix animated series of the same name, is a completely different animal from Mattel's other MOTU lines out on store shelves right now. Masterverse, Masters of the Universe Origins, and even the Mega Construx line, are obviously strongly marketed towards collectors. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is clearly aimed at strictly at kids, though, and it feels like many of the other lower-budget that are out on shelves chasing kids dollars. With two scales (5.5 inch and 8.5 inch), open packaged deluxe items, figures on motorcycles, and large, colorful, chunky figures with simple articulation, this line definitely seems designed to attract the attention of the kiddos. The 8.5 inch line is an example of what is often  referred to dismissively by collectors as "shampoo bottle" figure: Hollow plastic figures designed to be oversized while still sold at a "budget" price. I've already reviewed the Battle Armor He-Man 8.5 inch figure so today I'm checking out the basic 8.5 inch He-Man. Let's take a look at this guy and see if he's worth picking up after the break...

Monday, November 8, 2021

Action Figure Review: Man-At-Arms and Sky Sled from He-man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel



    Today I'm looking at the third of the bike and rider sets from Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line and this time it's Man-At-Arms and the Sky Sled. I was kind of surprised when I stumbled upon this guy at my local Walmart a couple weeks ago as I didn't even realize that this set was available. I still haven't found the standard 5.5 inch Man-At-Arms figure yet so I was extra excited to stumble upon this guy. While He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is really built around a team of heroes, the first series relies very much on He-Man and Skeletor though there are three Man-At-Arms items available currently. In the new show Duncan is about the same age as Adam (he might be a little older) which is a huge change from how the character has always been portrayed. Initially Duncan is the assistant to Kronis (who was once the Man-At-Arms for King Randor) but soon joints up with the Adam and the other heroes. Once Adam/ He-Man discovers how to power-up his friends with the Power of Grayskull Duncan armors up and takes on the name Man-At-Arms for himself. This version of the character is wearing blue armor which seems to be a made up variant for the toyline and he's riding the Sky Sled, which doesn't look at all like the Sky Sleds from the show. How weird that Mattel is making stuff up already from a show that has pretty solid character and vehicle designs, huh? Let's check this set out after the break and see how it compares to the rest of the line so far...

Ornament Review: Castle Grayskull from Hallmark Keepsake by Hallmark

 

   Well, Halloween has come and gone but today I've prepared a very special review today to help bridge the link between the Halloween season and the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Let's look at a Christmas tree decoration that ties in with the 31 Days of Toy Terror: Skeletober theme: Castle Grayskull! Hallmark has released two previous Hallmark Keepsake ornaments but this Castle Grayskull is without a doubt the best yet. I'm not sure there's anything more iconic to Masters of the Universe than Castle Grayskull and this ornament is one of the most impressive renditions of the castle that we've seen. While my vintage Castle Grayskull came from a yard sale when I was a child (I wasn't born until 1983, so I'm a bit younger than most MOTU fans) it doesn't take long to find other fans posting childhood photos of them happily receiving Castle Grayskull on Christmas morning. This is an incredible ornament that I'm so thrilled to have. Let's get ready to deck the halls of this ancient fortress of mystery and power after the break...

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Action Figure Review: Trap Jaw from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 
   The marathon of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe reviews continues and today I'm reviewing a figure that's neither He-Man nor Skeletor: It's Trap Jaw! I've only watched 7 of the 10 episodes available so far and, as of yet, I haven't actually seen Kronis turned into Trap Jaw yet. In the Netflix series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Kronis was once the Man-At-Arms to King Randor before conspiring with Keldor and Evelyn to overthrow Randor. When the series begins Trap Jaw is still Kronis and he's working with Eveleyn and his young apprentice, Duncan, to get revenge on Randor. The show does a great job of fleshing out Kronis/ Trap Jaw and he's one of the best villains on a show that has had very strong villains so far. The Evil Warriors ought to be proud of themselves and I'm hopeful that this toyline lasts long enough to get us non-transformed versions of the villains, too. Keldor, Kronis, Evelyn, and R'Qazz all have fantastic designs. Trap Jaw is definitely recognizable from his vintage toy and from other MOTU media, though, and he's the only help Skeletor has in series one of the toyline. Let's check him out after the break...

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Action Figure Review: Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 
   As I continue on my marathon of reviewing figures from Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toyline based on the Netflix series of the same name it's time for us to look at the basic 5.5 inch version of Skeletor. Skeletor looks quite cool in this show though he's been used rather sparingly thus far (I just finished episode 7 a few hours ago). A variant of this figure is also available with the Panthor motorcycle which I reviewed Thursday but it's the same sculpt with a slightly different paintjob. This one has a better, slightly more intricate paintjob and just looks better. Let's take a look at the evil Skeletor after the break...

Friday, November 5, 2021

Video Review: Chaos Snake Attack from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 


Yes, I actually did a video review of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Chaos Snake Attack Playset. I don't do video reviews often but I did one here. Check it out!

Action Figure Review: He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   
   My review marathon of Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line based on the Netflix series of the same name continues with a look at the standard He-Man from the 5.5 inch line. Yes, Mattel has divided this line up into two scales, 5.5 inch and 8.5 inch, which always seems like a strange move to me. With a toyline based on a cartoon on Netflix that is largely untested with today's kids, is there really a need for multiple scales? I really think the idea behind this is that having different scales creates more SKUs for store shelves but that's at the expense of a more robust toyline. Still, despite my complaints there it does seem that Mattel has lots more figures in store if the line is successful. I've already talked quite a bit about the new He-Man design in my review of the He-Man and Ground Ripper set so for this one we'll just jump right in and look at the basic He-man for this line. Let's check him out after the break...

Action Figure Review: Battle Armor He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   Mattel's new He-Man and the Universe line based on the Netflix series of the same name has two scales of action figures: The 5.5 inch traditional line and the 8 1/2 inch oversized line. The 5.5 inch line looks to include more characters in the near future while the 8.5 inch line is similar to other oversized, budget lines that often are called "Shampoo Bottle" figures due to their resemblance to the character shaped shampoo bottles of the 1980s. The first series of 8.5 inch figures includes He-Man, Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, and a Battle Armor He-Man variant. That Battle Armor He-Man variant is the one I'm checking out today as he was the first of the larger figures I found. Battle Armor He-Man works his way into nearly every Masters of the Universe line in some fashion and this one has a very unique look. He definitely seems like a design reminiscent of the 200x era variants, doesn't he? I'm only 5 episodes into the show and so far I haven't seen this version of He-Man pop up. It's likely just a variant made for the toyline. Let's check out this larger version of Battle Armor He-Man after the break...

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Action Figure Barbecue: Skeletor and Panthor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 


   About two weeks ago I reviewed my first figure from Mattel's new toyline, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, based on the CG animated Netflix series of the same name. I'm about 5 episodes into the show (I didn't binge it like I did with Revelation) and so far I'm enjoying it. It's a very different take on the Masters of the Universe story but I'm enjoying it along with the characters and character design. Of course, you're here to read my take on the toys so let's start what is going to be a fairly length review series of most of the figures released as part of the first series of the line. I've already reviewed the "figure and motorcycle" set of He-Man and Ground Ripper so let's take a look at the evil counterpart, Skeletor and Panthor. Yes, Panthor. Rather than being a purple cat similar to Battle Cat/ Cringer (who is awesome in the show) the toyline's take on Panthor is that he is a purple, feline styled motorcycle. Oh boy. At this point I don't have any idea if this shows up in the actual show (I haven't seen any evidence of that yet) or if this is just a Mattel creation for the toyline. Skeletor on a motorcycle, huh? Let's see how that worked out after the break...

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Action Figure Review: The Clown from Spawn by McFarlane Toys

 


   So far I've picked up two of McFarlane's new Spawn figures so far and today I'm looking at the second of my acquisitions: The Clown! I reviewed the original figure of The Clown from 1994 years ago I had that figure as a kid and, apparently since I have some nostalgia for Spawn, I ended up grabbing this guy with some GameStop rewards points a Couple weeks ago. The Clown is a creepy looking guy and while I've just started reading the Spawn Compendium vol 1 I'm at least familiar with the character from some of the comics that came with the original toys and his appearance in the movie. This version of the Clown is absolutely loaded for battle with a massive backpack outfitted with enough firearms to overthrow a small country. I imagine he's inspired by 1996's Clown II from Spawn Series 4. Ready for another creepy, murderous clown to ruin your night? Then join me after the break...

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Action Figure Review: Mandarin Spawn Deluxe from Spawn by McFarlane Toys

 


   I've been kind of getting back into Spawn lately and most of the blame falls on the Reel Brad Bell from The Epic Review. Every time we talk on the phone Brad has been going on and on about Spawn. Spawn this and Spawn that. After him going on and on about Spawn I finally picked up the first volume of the Spawn Compendium and have been making my way through it. It's an enjoyable trip back to the 1990s when Spawn was new and cutting edge stuff and McFarlane Toys was a trailblazer in the action figure industry. While I never focused on collecting Spawn I do have quite a few action figures from the line as it was just too cool and impossible to ignore. I'm going to be reviewing the two figures I've purchased so far from McFarlane's revival of the Spawn line over the next couple days and I'm starting with the GameStop exclusive Mandarin Spawn Deluxe. Picking up this figure is something I can't blame on Brad, though. I purchased the original Mandarin Spawn back in 1999 and loved the heck out of that guy. I still have him, too. Mandarin Spawn was retooled, re-released, and repainted many times over the years but he originally appeared in Spawn: The Dark Ages, the 14th series of Spawn figures released in late 1999. He was one of the most impressive action figures ever at that time and I still keep him on my shelf on display. I received this guy back in September for my birthday but due to all of the 31 Days of Toy Terror reviews I've been working on it has taken me some time to check him out. Let's look at the deluxe release of Chenglei, better known as the Scarlet Edge or Mandarin Spawn, after the break...

Monday, November 1, 2021

Collectible Review: Teela Staff from Masters of the Universe by Factory Entertainment

 
   
   Skeletor's Sword and Teela's Staff of Ka are the two newest releases from Factory Entertainment's Masters of the Universe Scaled Prop Replica line and since I just reviewed Skeletor's Sword (awkwardly called "Skeletor Sword" on the packaging) it's time to check out Teela's Staff of Ka (awkward called "Teela Staff" on the packaging). So, what exactly is Teela's Staff of Ka? It's the snake themed staff that came with the vintage Teela figure. The vintage Teela figure was originally intended to be two separate figures (the warrior Teela and the pre-Sorceress character the Goddess) but was combined into one, thus the reason Teela came with a bunch of snake themed items. In Masters of the Universe Classics Teela's staff was given the name the Staff of Ka and tied in with the Snake Men. It makes sense and adds a bit more mystery and magic to the item. Considering is and has always been an A-List MOTU character it's fitting that one of her accessories gets covered in this line of miniature prop replicas. Let's take a look at Teela's Staff of Ka and see if it's a worthwhile addition to this line...

Collectible Review: Skeletor Sword from Masters of the Universe by Factory Entertainment

 
   
   Wait! Isn't 31 Days of Toy Terror: Skeletober over now?

  Well, yeah, it is. That doesn't mean you're not still going to get a ton of Skeletor reviews even during non-Halloween months! Skeletor seems to get merchandised even more than He-Man. Today I'm going to start a miniseries of reviews of the newest series of Masters of the Universe scaled prop replicas from Factory Entertainment and I'm kicking off things with a look at the Skeletor Sword scaled prop replica. This sword is the same as He-Man's Power Sword from last year but now given a brilliant purple finish, similar to the Skeletor's half of the Power Sword from the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline. In most MOTU incarnations since the early minicomics Skeletor's sword is nothing special and the Power Sword is a standalone weapon but a purple Power Sword still endures in MOTU toys and collectibles. Need an evil counterpart for your Power Sword? Prefer the bad guys to the good guys? Then we have the right piece for you! Join me after the break...