Monday, September 26, 2022

Action Figure Review: Desert Rat from Action Force by Valaverse

 

   My birthday was a week or so ago and I ended up with quite a haul of action figures. Today I'm going to start checking out the cool new Action Force figures I received from the second series of releases. Let's star with Desert Rat, a figure based on Tony Roberts. Tony Roberts is the founder of Analog Toys, the director of the documentary The Story of Action Man, and served in both the Australian and British militaries, including as a member of the SAS. Desert Rat pays tribute to the guy by injecting him into the new Valaverse Action Man mythos as a member of the SAS who has come back to support Action Force. Pretty cool stuff! That has to be one heck of a dream come true for Roberts. The figure is really solid, too, and makes for a great addition to the line. Let's check out Desert Rat after the break and see what he brings to the fight...




Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Toy Review: Outland TIE Fighter from Star Wars: Micro Galaxy Squadron by Jazwares

 


   While Galoob's Star Wars Micro Machines line is still one of my favorite toylines ever, I did like Action Fleet as well. I've always been more of a "figure" guy than a vehicle" guy, so I ended up with more of the Action Fleet playsets and figure packs than the vehicle sets, but I still have a decent collection of them from when they first came out. Jazwares' new Star Wars: Micro Galaxy Squadron line definitely had me excited as this truly seemed like a return to what made the 1990s Action Fleet series so fantastic and I was excited to see them in stores. When I finally ran into them, though, I wasn't as taken with them as I thought I would be. I examined all of the ones that I came across but I always ended up passing on them. The character selection seemed a bit limited (a minimum of two figures per vehicle would have been more ideal) and some of the sales methods like blind boxed speeders and chase variants sort of killed my enthusiasm. While out with my family at Target one day I stumbled across the chase Outland TIE Fighter and had to pick it up. The Outland TIE Fighter, flown by Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, is a cool ship, but knowing that I stumbled upon a chase variant sold me on this one. I believe it's the "chase variant" of Darth Vader's TIE Advanced but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the distribution of these in terms of case packs, etc. Was it worth it? Let's take a look at the Outland TIE Fighter after the break and find out...




Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Action Figure Review: Xamot Paoli from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 
   
   Since I reviewed Tomax last week you surely were expecting Xamot to follow, right? Well, here he is: Xamot Paoli from Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Classified Series. Since Tomax and Xamot are twins, it seems reasonable that both figures are pretty similar, right? Well, that's true here. The figures are basically mirror images of each other, so while they look similar they do have their fare share of unique parts. You know, different headsculpts, different shoulder pads, different belts stuff. I'm still a bit surprised that Hasbro didn't make them a two-pack, which seems like the best idea, but hopefully they'll at least ship in the same numbers. Since they're so similar  this review is a total cheat, as I didn't have much new to add and was mostly able to just change the names. Let's check out Xamot Paoli after the break and see if he 's as good of a figure as his twin brother...





Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Plundor Cake!

 

   I've shared before that my dad bakes great cakes and will go all out to decorate them, too. Back in 2019 my parents retired and moved close to us and my dad began baking special cakes for our birthdays again. After he arose to the challenge of a pistachio Moss Man cake (flocked with green coconut), he has also made a butterscotch Scare Glow cake and a raspberry Orko cake. He's been training our daughter, Adora, and this year she made my birthday cake. Well, birthday cakes. I originally suggested that this year's cake should look like Plundor, but then I found a recipe for a cake inspired by the strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. It has a crumbly top, so it couldn't be decorated. I was surprised, though, that my dad and daughter split the cake into two, giving one the crumbly topping and the other a buttercream frosted Plundor. Amazing!




Thursday, September 15, 2022

Action Figure Review: Tomax Paoli from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 


   It's been over a week since I reviewed Sgt. Stalker but I actually received him, Tomax Paoli, and Xamot Paoli at the same time, so it's time to start checking out the Crimson Twins. I'm starting things off with Tomax. I have to say that I'm actually quite surprised that Hasbro didn't release Tomax and Xamot as a two-pack. There's only ever been one time they were released separately and that was in the 2005 Toys 'R Us exclusive Crimson Guard Force set. One set came with Tomax and one came with Xamot. Collectors weren't too thrilled with the setup, if I recall correctly, and it seems odd to split these guys up, especially considering that the Classified Series has been doing oversized/ deluxe releases. Still, getting Tomax and Xamot in the line is quite nice as they're two more of the major Cobra villains to round out your Cobra Command. I'm really curious as to how these guys will do once the hit mainstream retail as they're both very similar and I could see some more casual buyers not feeling the need for both. Let's take a look at Tomax after the break and see what he brings to the G.I. Joe: Classified Series...

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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

 

   Over the years I've stated that the Roton is one of my favorite Masters of the Universe vehicles. Honestly, it probably is my favorite. It's a close tie between Roton and Land Shark. I love the crazy design and the sinister color scheme, and I've loved it since I was a kid. While the vintage Roton was released in 1984, I probably got mine later than that considering the oldest I could have been in 1984 was 1. I think most of my early MOTU collecting years were between 1986 and 1989 when the vintage line was wrapping up, on clearance, and transitioning into He-Man/ New Adventures. While I distinctly recall purchasing some items new at retail, a good number of my vehicles and playsets came from yard sales. Where'd I get my vintage Roton? Who knows? I picked up the Masters of the Universe Origins Roton recently from Walmart, however, and it comes in a big, gorgeous window box just like the vintage toy. Like the Masters of the Universe Classics Roton, this updated version of the original toy also takes some design cues from the vintage Monogram Roton model kit. Ready for an updated version of Roton, the Evil Assault Vehicle? Then join me after the break...




Monday, September 12, 2022

Accessory Review: Weapon Set B from Mark 2 Toys

 

   A week or so ago I reviewed Weapon Set A from Mark 2 Toys, a new small creator of 1/12scale accessories from which contributed weapons sculpting to Valaverse's Action Force line. Those figures have some fantastic weaponry and now Mark 2 Designs is selling some of their own sculpts in very affordable packs. Today I'm looking at Weapon Set B, another pack of eight solid plastic 1/12th scaled accessories that work with a variety of toylines such as Action Force, Marvel Legends, G.I. Joe: Classified Series, and other 6-7 inch scaled figures in need of some additional firepower. It seems like Mark 2 Toys (my packages say Mark 2 Design but I think they might have changed the name) has plans to offer more goodies in the future. This set has some very cool sculpts that can definitely complement a number of figures you may already have in your collection, so let's check it out after the break...





Friday, September 9, 2022

Action Figure Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro

 

   It's been around three months since I last reviewed a figure from Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series but recently there have been some releases I was looking forward to, one of which is Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) from the recent television series. There are currently three Black Series versions of Obi-Wan planned but this one was the first I stumbled across and it's definitely the "main" look from the show. I really enjoyed Kenobi overall and while I'm not planning on picking up everything from the show, some version of the man who made saying "hello there!" a thing was definitely on my list. Over the past couple years the Black Series has alternated between overwhelming numbers of boring repaints and incredibly solid mainline releases. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) is one of those very respectable mainline releases who manages to feel worth the new, higher price point. Besides just being a fine figure of Obi-Wan, err..., I mean Ben, he also has a soft goods robe and a droid companion, LO-LA59, with articulation and accessories of her own. Let's check out this new version of Obi-Wan Kenobi after the break...






Thursday, September 8, 2022

Accessory Review: Weapons Pack Charlie from Action Force by Valaverse

 

   It seems like it was just a few days ago when I reviewed Weapons Pack Alpha from Valaverse's Action Force line.... wait. It was earlier this week. Yeah, I ended up getting my Weapons Pack Alpha and Weapons Pack Charlie at the same time, so I'm getting to review both sets fairly close together. While Weapons Packs Alpha and Bravo features weapons that we saw in the Prototype Armaments set, Charlie features eight all new weapons. Some of them have been included with other figures but they've not been in any accessory packs. The price has gone up a couple dollars and there are fewer guns in this set but the paintwork is more impressive and you get more firing effects. How does Weapons Pack Charlie do in equipping your troops? Let's find out after the break...




Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Action Figure Review: Sgt. Stalker from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   Ready to check out some new G.I. Joe Classified Series figures? Then let's take a look at one of my most anticipated figures, Sgt. Stalker. He's part of the newest series, along with Tomax and Xamot, and adds another member of the Original 13 to the Classified roster. Stalker, AKA Lonzo R. Wilkinson, wasn't just one of the original team members but was a substantial presence in both the Marvel comics and the 1980s animated series and had quite a few variants in the vintage toyline. The Classified Series version of Stalker is heavily influenced by the original 1982 figure though he has been nicely modernized with a more muted color scheme, some extra weaponry, and some extra equipment like his scarf and drag bag for his SMG. Let's take a look at Sgt. Stalker after the break and see what this Ranger brings to the fight...





Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Accessory Review: Weapons Pack Alpha from Action Force by Valaverse

 

   I had preordered the Action Force Weapons Pack Alpha through Big Bad Toy Store and it arrived in my pile of loot sometime this summer. I shipped my pile of loot sometime last month and I'm finally getting around to checking out another of the excellent accessory packs from Valaverse. I reviewed Weapons Pack Bravo back in February and I reviewed the original Action Force Prototype Armaments set in 2021, so I've had a bit of experience with the Valaverse Action Force accessories.  This set is $13 dollars and comes with 10 weapons plus extra magazines and some excellent firing effects. That's a pretty solid deal, especially considering the price hike we see with most action figure lines when a deluxe figure jumps up $10 dollars or more due to the presence of an extra accessory or two. There's enough goodies here to nicely equip a good six figures to eight figures, whether they're from Action Force, Marvel Legends, G.I. Joe: The Classified Series, or some other 1/12th scale line. Let's take a look at the long awaited Weapons Pack Alpha after the break...

Friday, September 2, 2022

Action Figure Review: Silk and Doc Ock from Marvel Legends Series: Silk by Hasbro


 

   Last weekend I received my Amazon exclusive Silk and Doc Ock 2-pack from Hasbro's Marvel Legends Series and I quickly got around to taking some pictures and working on this review. Neither of the characters in this set are new to Marvel Legends, but both are rather desired figures still. Doctor Octopus has had multiple figures in the line but was last released in 2018 in the SP/DR build-a-figure series while Silk has had two previous figures: One in 2016 and another in 2020 as a Fan Vote exclusive. Spider-Verse themed stuff seems to always do well, though, and with the recent surge of popularity from Doctor Octopus' appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, this set hit at the right time. It's also the first of Hasbro's releases I've picked up with the plastic free packaging which is interesting in and of itself. I'm going to talk about that in this review as well as I feel that, while this was an online, the new packaging failed me in two ways. Let's take a look at Silk and Doc Ock after the break...






Thursday, September 1, 2022

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

 


   Snout Spout is definitely one of the goofiest Masters of the Universe characters out there, particularly when you only count characters who have appeared in more than one piece of MOTU media. Yeah, there are goofier characters who only appeared in the Fimation series for an episode but Snout Spout was in the vintage toyline, three episodes of the Filmation cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power, comic books, and even received a Staction in the NECA MOTU line. He's a cybernetic firefighting elephant who squirts water from his trunk. The 1986 line definitely had some crazy characters. I remember getting him for Christmas as a kid, probably somewhere between 1986 to 1988 (I was really young), so I've always had him around. I didn't think Snout Spout would need to be a deluxe figure but Mattel did manage to retain his action feature from the vintage toyline and also gave him two portraits. Not bad for Hose Nose, right? I mean Snout Spout. Let's check him out after the break...



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Action Figure Review: Pig-Head from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

   Ready for another figure from series 9 of Mattel's Masters of the Universe Origins? Then let's get ready to take a look at Pig-Head, the "Wicked Enemy of Sun-Man." Yes, Pig-Head is Sun-Man's archenemy and he's part of the cast of Sun-Man: Rulers of the Sun rather than Masters of the Universe. Well, he was, anyways, until recently when Mattel worked out a deal with Olmec Toys to bring the Sun-Man universe into the Masters of the Universe...universe. Pig-Head was originally released in 1985 and you'll have a much easier and much less expensive time trying to find this version than the original. The prices are crazy high on vintage Sun-Man toys. This is a great version of Pig-Head that really looks to capture the look and feel of the vintage toy on the modernized MOTU Origins body. Let's take a look at Pig-Head after the break...




Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Accessory Review: Weapon Set A by Mark 2 Design

 

   I've always been loved the accessories that come with an action figure. Honestly, cool accessories are probably the biggest selling point for me when it comes to attracting my attention to a new toyline. When I was in middle school and even into high school, I had a big plastic case that I stored lots of loose accessories in: G.I. Joe gear, the fantastic weapons from Coleco's Rambo line, the cool extras from McFarlane's Metal Gear Solid series, the spy gear from Tradewinds Toys' Mission: Impossible line, and anything else I had from random toylines. Me and a couple friends would create a "mission" and then take turns selecting which gear our agent would use to carry out the mission. It was more like role-playing as we'd discuss why and how our chosen gear would work to help us complete the objectives using our extensive knowledge of video games and spy movies. Anyways, that's a long way to preface the fact that I love picking up more accessories and weapons for me action figures and we're in a golden age of 1/12th scale accessories. Mark 2 Design is a new small business from Mark, the guy who contributed weapons sculpting to Valaverse's Action Force line. Those figures have some fantastic weaponry and now Mark 2 Designs is selling some of their own sculpts in very affordable packs. I ordered both sets available and they arrived very quickly. Today I'll start with Weapon Set A which includes eight 1/12th scale firearms to use with a variety of 6 inch scaled action figures. Let's take a look after the break....




Monday, August 29, 2022

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

 

   While Series 9 of Masters of the Universe Origins does have a He-Man and a Skeletor variant, there are also two new figures: Mantenna and Pig-Head. If Pig-Head doesn't sound familiar, it's because he's originally from Olmec Toys' Sun-Man: Rulers of the Sun line, but Mantenna ought to be familiar to most every fan of Masters of the Universe. Mantenna had a figure in the vintage MOTU toyline (I ended up with two as a kid after I found one buried in a sandbox) and was a prominent character in Filmation's She-Ra and the Princess of Power. Mantenna is one of the main members of the Evil Horde and while he was bullied by Hordak in the cartoon, the toy version of Mantenna is pretty terrifying. There was a point some time last year when I was really worried that Mattel would burn through the easily made vintage lineup figures (i.e. those who use the basic He-Man body) and would neglect the characters with unique bodies. Mattel seems to be on track to really deliver with Origins as characters like Leech and Mantenna have really turned out to be excellent releases. With next year focused on the Snake Men and Mattel releasing a solid amount of deluxe figures, recreating the vintage line-up in Origins seems now more doable than ever. Mantenna is a standard figure, though, which really surprised me. He has an action feature and four fully articulated legs. That's pretty impressive! Let's take a look at the Horde's "Evil Spy with the Pop-Out Eyes" after the break...




Saturday, August 27, 2022

Toy Review: By the Power of Grayskull from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx

 

   Mattel actually had a couple SDCC 2022 exclusives for Masters of the Universe this year which they also sold through Mattel Creations. For Mega Construx, the exclusive is the "By The Power of Grayskull" set, a fun display piece that allows you to transform a Mega Construx Prince Adam figure into He-Man in front of a Castle Grayskull facade. It captures what is perhaps the most iconic image in the franchise in brick built form and does a pretty neat job of creating something that's fun to display and show off. My set arrived in the mail last week and I've had a fun time building it and messing around with the "transformation" feature. Ready to hold aloft you magic sword and say those familiar words? Then join me after the break...



Thursday, August 25, 2022

Action Figure Review: He-Man (200x) from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

   Wow! It's been almost two months since I last reviewed a He-Man figure! Let's change by taking a look at the new Masters of the Universe Origins He-Man figure from series 9. This isn't your standard vintage inspired He-Man, however; this version is actually based on the 2002/200x Masters of the Universe toyline. That's one of my favorite He-Man designs ever so I'm super thrilled that Mattel is bringing some of those designs into this line. Mattel did release a 200x inspired Evil-Lyn last year, but she was really just a repaint with no new sculpting or accessories to further differentiate her from the classic yellow figure. For He-Man and Skeletor in this series, Mattel did give them new portraits, new armor, new weapons, and one or two new sculpted bits to capture the unique look of the 200x toyline while still making the figures fit in with the rest of Origins. This series contains the 200x versions of He-Man and Skeletor, along with Mantenna and Pig-Head. All of those reviews are coming soon, but let's start with He-Man after the break...



Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Action Figure Review: Kol-Darr from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

   Kol-Darr just arrived on my doorstep a week or two ago and it's about time that I review him! Kol-Darr isn't a character that I was anxiously awaiting for in action figure form, but I am pretty thrilled that we're getting him since he is a character we've never had a toy of before. Kol-Darr appeared in the episode Double Trouble from the second season of Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He definitely feels like a character we could have gotten in Masters of the Universe Classics but he works really well in Origins, too, as Kol-Darr has a very classic look that's evocative of the first two years of the vintage toyline. Kol-Darr was a Mattel Creations exclusive and he went on sale on May 27th, 2022. Let's check out another ally for He-Man after the break...

Friday, August 12, 2022

Action Figure Review: Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   While Hasbro released Arctic Mission Storm Shadow in 2020, the first year of the line, and the movie based version in 2021, it's taken until 2022 for a standard Storm Shadow to be released in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series. Why so long? Probably because Storm Shadow was caught up in the Classified Series' move towards more classic/vintage renditions of the characters. I was a big fan of many of the modern Classified Updates and I was pretty excited to see the version of Storm Shadow we saw in the advertising art and the video game turned into an action figure. More faithful renditions of the vintage toys are definitely where this line has been headed for the past year, though, and thus this new Storm Shadow is quite reminiscent of the 1984 version of the character. Storm Shadow is a really good figure (there's a "retro" carded version coming, too, with more classic inspired arm wraps and all black weapons) but I do miss getting to see what that redesign would have looked like as a toy. Let's take a look at Storm Shadow after the break and see how he turned out...




Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Action Figure Review: Spirit Iron-Knife from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

  I'm having a tough time deciding if Spirit Iron-Knife or the Cobra Officer is my favorite figure from this series as they're both incredible figures. I never owned Spirit as a kid as he was part of the 1984 series, which was about two years or so before I got into G.I. Joe, so it's possible he just wasn't on shelves anymore by the time I was picking up figures. I was always familiar with him from the comics and cards but the first Spirit figure I owned was probably the 2005 G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 version. Spirit has had quite a few different looks over the years but the Classified version is a modernized take on his classic appearance. I believe that in one of their streaming events the Classified team discussed that they had Native American/Indigenous designers to help work on the figure and create the packaging art, which is pretty neat to hear. The G.I. Joe team was always quite diverse with at least three Native America/ Indigenous members that I can recall offhand (Spirit, Airborne, and Altitude) and it's cool to see these characters still part of the crew and being reimagined over the years. I find Spirit Iron-Knife to be one of the best examples of a figure that has kept the appeal of the vintage design while also being modernized with some cool new touches. Let's take a look at Spirit Iron-Knife after the break...





Friday, August 5, 2022

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

 


   The most recent series of basic G.I. Joe Classified Series figures have been showing up slowly and I'll start reviewing them by taking a look at the Cobra Officer. The Cobra Trooper and Cobra Infantry have been two of the best figures in the line, so I had high hopes for the Cobra Officer. Since those figures were released earlier in the line, the aesthetic of the figures has changed a bit with the designs more strongly favoring their vintage counterparts. I was a bit concerned that we'd get a downgraded, less modern feeling figure but, fortunately, the Cobra Officer nicely pairs with the Cobra figures we've already received. The vintage Cobra Officer was released in the original 1982 series and has shown up multiple times over the years in different designs. This one takes the cake for me and is an amazing figure. Let's check out the Cobra Officer after the break...



Thursday, August 4, 2022

Action Figure Review: Gung-Ho from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   Like they've done with most of their collector focused lines, Hasbro has now started offering retro carded figures in the G.I. Joe Classified Series. Hasbro really doesn't seem to be referring to these figures any differently (maybe to prevent confusion between these and the 1/18th scale G.I. Joe Retro Collection) but they're definitely packaged on the larger blister card like the similar Star Wars: The Black Series and Marvel Legends Series lines. While some of the figures are largely repaints with more vintage accurate color (Destro, Baroness), Gung-Ho is a very different figure from his previous Classified Series release. There was a lot I liked about the first Gung-Ho figure from series 2 but also quite a few things that disappointed me. While I wasn't one of the fans clamoring for the Classified Series to be 100% vintage accurate, I do like this more vintage accurate Gung-Ho. He's honestly one of my favorites at the moment. These are technically Walmart exclusives although Hasbr Pulse does have a quantity available for preorder as well. Let's take a look at the retro version of Gung-Ho after the break...



Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Action Figure Review: Teela from Masterverse/ Masters of the Universe: Revelation by Mattel

 


   Mattel really supported Masters of the Universe: Revelation in Masterverse (or did MOTU: Revelation really just support Masterverse?) and we're still getting figures from the show. Today I'm checking out the "Classic" version of Teela from Masters of the Universe: Revelation. This is how Teela appears in the first episode and in the flashback segments. Mattel released the "Modern" Teela last year but since she's such a popular character she's definitely deserving of two figures. I feel like I said everything I wanted to say about Teela's role in MOTU: Revelation in that review so no need to retread old ground, right? This is a cool figure and definitely captures a classic Teela look with a few new elements thrown in for fun. Let's take a look at Teela after the break...





Monday, August 1, 2022

Adora's Collection

 



   Hey guys! It's Umbreon 13 (AKA Adora) and, if you do not know, I collect Pokemon. I mainly collect Eevees and I want to show you my collection.  I have many more but my whole room would of had Eevees in it.  I thought that before I talk about my collection I would tell you how I started collecting.  When Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out my dad got it for me and we started playing and got a trophy. It was the Eevee trophy and I thought it was the cutest thing ever!  On Christmas morning of 2015 I got my first Eevee (She's the one on the left of the Sylveon Pop!), and that is how I started collecting.

   In this picture there are 52 items that are part of my collection.  I will start from top to bottom. First, big Eevee; she is the largest of my collection and is 17 1/2 in. and on top of her are the two smallest stuffed Eeves in my collection. They're 4 in.  There are three of the the Build-A-Bear Eevee's: Glaceon, Flareon and Eevee and, yes, Glaceon and Eevee are wearing fake ears. In the back there is Evoli ( Eee-voo-lee) a French and English speaking Eevee.  And then we have my medium Eevees with my giant Eevee Pop! The Jazwares and Tomy plushies are some of my favorite brands of Pokemon toys because I like that they're sitting. Then there are my Funko Pops. I like to collect them the most since they have shiny Pops, flocked Pops ,and all of the characters.  And last, but not least, my outfits I have four different outfits including my Vaporeon blanket.  
 
 Before it's finished I'd like it if my dad, AKA Barbecue 17, would say a few things about it.

   Hey everyone! Barbecue17 here. Pokemon came out when I was a freshman in high school and while my friends and I liked it and played the games and the card game, I secretly wished it was something that had been around when I was a kid. I always liked the characters but I sort of lost interest in Pokemon until I introduced it to Adora when she was quite little. It was seeing that Eevee trophy in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that seemed to seal the deal for her, though, as this kid is now obsessed with Eevees! Seriously, she goes crazy over these little guys and goes nuts when she find a new one. Eevee and her evolutions are all incredible designs and they're absolutely adorable. She really loves all things Eevee and it's been fun to help share in her collecting. I always wonder if she'll still be enamored with Eevee when she's my age in the same way I'm still enamored with Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, and the other things of my childhood. I think it's probably a given.
 









Saturday, July 30, 2022

Action Figure Review: Wun-Dar from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

 

  Wonder Bread He-Man. Wun-Dar. Savage He-Man. No matter what you call him, the brown haired He-Man has long been one of the most mysterious figures in the history of toy and action figure collecting. Long believed to be a mail-away promotional item from Wonder Bread (he wasn't), an early prototype for a Conan based toyline (nope), an early version of Prince Adam, a recolored figure for Asian markets, or just a flat out hoax, back in 2020 the mystery was seemingly solved when former brand manager Scott "Toy Guru" Neitlich found a series of correspondences that seem to definitively identify this figure as "Special Edition He-Man." According to the letter addressed to from an upset mother, Barb Hackenburg, the figure was received by her son and nephew as part of a "buy 3, get 1 free" Mattel promotion but disappointed then because it was a figure they didn't recognize who came with no weapons or armor. From follow up letters from Mattel President Ray Wagner and Mark Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, it does seem the idea was to create a unique figure that kids wouldn't already have when they ordered for this promotion. It may have just been a cheaper was to make a new character that kids presumably could outfit with extra accessories they had. I mean, the 1982 G.I. Joe toyline shared headsculpts between multiple characters (Short-Fuze, Flash, Hawk, and Steeler; etc.) so maybe Mattel just thought this was an easy way of making a new, more generic figure and offering up something new?
   While the mystery has seemingly been solved, fans still have a passion for the incredibly rare figure. Named Wun-Dar in Masters of the Universe Classics (due to early speculation about his connection with a Wonder Bread promotion), Wun-Dar, the Savage He-Man, has become a character with his own story who even appears in Masters of the Universe: Revelation. This Masters of the Universe Origins version was sold as a Mattel Creations exclusive. It was kind of a disaster, though, as many of the figures seemed to leak out well before the figure was even announced (presumably they "fell off" the truck) and then on the day of sale he sold out in less than 2 minutes. Maybe even less than 1. According to the Origins team, they claim they didn't realize how popular he'd be. I'm not sure whether or not I believe that but it's possible those figures that seemed to show up early maybe have really depleted the supply for sale. I got an order in on a second batch but it was cancelled shortly afterwards. I finally managed to get one, though, so let's take a look at Wun-Dar, the Savage He-Man, after the break...



Thursday, July 28, 2022

Action Figure: Mer-Man from Masterverse/ Masters of the Universe: Revelation by Mattel

 

   With Masters of the Universe: Revolution coming in the future, it still seems timely for Mattel to continue to release figures based on Revelation. I've been itching to watch Revelation again now that I've had some more time to process it (I like it quite a bit even if it wasn't necessarily the story I would have told), and perhaps some of that desire is driven by getting some new action figures. Mer-Man is part of the most recently released series, though he has been available from some retailers since early Spring. My case of Masterverse figures arrived near the end of June, though, and I'm slowly making my way through them. Mer-Man is branded under the Masters of the Universe: Revelation banner and is based on Mer-Man's "modern" look in the story (after the death of He-Man and Skeletor). Mer-Man didn't play a major part in MOTU Revelation, he did show Teela, Evil-Lyn, and Man-At-Arms the way to Subternia. I liked the character in the show but it was weird to hear Kevin Conroy voicing Mer-Man. Conroy's voice just isn't how I've ever imagined Mer-Man voice. Still, I like the ragged and weathered Mer-Man we've got here. Let's take a look at Mer-Man after the break...


Friday, July 22, 2022

Action Figure Review: A.C.R.M. Razor from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 

   Today I'm reviewing the final accessory set from the newest series of Final Faction releases. It's also the last item currently available as we haven't seen anything else revealed yet, so I guess we're all waiting to see what happens with the line. Let's check out the A.C.R.M. Razor, an accessory pack to add more aerial prowess to the A.C.R.M. Let's take a look at the Razor set after the break...




Thursday, July 21, 2022

Action Figure Review: Ragnarok from Marvel Legends Series: Ragnarok from Marvel Legends Series: Thor by Hasbro

 

   Hasbro did release a few comic based figures outside of the Thor: Love and Thunder movie based series and one of them is Ragnarok, a clone of Thor who, ironically, did not appear in the film Thor: Ragnarok. I'm passingly familiar with the comic Civil War but I wasn't aware of Rangarok's presence in the story. Built by Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and a Skrull disguised as Hank Pym from a lock of Thor's hair that Tony's been holding onto for years, Ragnarok looks like Thor but is wildly unpredictable. He seems to go on killing sprees often before getting defeated by Hercules and then Thor himself. Ragnarok is a Target exclusive and comes in an oversized box since he's a fairly hefty figure with a really cool accessory: A swinging Mjolnir effect. Ragnarok was cool on his own but if it weren't for this Mjolnir effect I probably wouldn't have picked him up. Accessories matter, people! Let's take a look at Ragnarok after the break and see how he fares. 




Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Action Figure Review: Ruck Rampage from Final Faction by Greenbrier International


Ruck is a lucky guy, isn't he? This is his second accessory pack in the line and they're both pretty good. This one is called the Ruck Rampage and it's a heavy armor set for Ruck. Parts of Ruck's armor remind me of Jake Rockwell's gear from Centurions, particularly the Wild Weasel due to the funky helmet. This one's a solid set so let's check it out after the break...

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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

 
 
   Maybe I just forgot I saw it somewhere before but I was pretty surprised to walk into a Walmart a couple weeks ago and discover a Talon Fighter on the shelf. Based on the new Netflix CG animated He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, this is a slightly more futuristic take on the Talon Fighter that really does have some of the characteristic of the vintage vehicle. It's a sleek, single pilot flying vehicle that is bright, colorful, and perfect for swooshing around the house. I'm pretty sure I've talked about swooshability before, right? That's the satisfactoriness level of a toy based on something that flies. You know, how fun is it to take it in one hand and make it "swoosh" around the house or yard. I was never a big Captain Planet fan but as a kid I had the Geo Cruiser from Tiger Toy's Captain Planet toyline and, man, that thing had some major swooshability. I used to pick that thing and up and rollerblade around my cul-de-sac with it, pretending like I was flying it. I was definitely influenced by Star Fox. When I discovered Star Wars I was definitely met with no end of swooshable vehicles but, being a bit older and starting to consider myself a collector, my swooshing was mostly reserved for inside the house. That little trip down memory lane is simply to say that while this is meant for kids and completely different than the excellent MOTUC Talon Fighter from 2015, this is a very swooshable toy. is it worth picking up? Let's take a look at it after the break...




Monday, July 18, 2022

Action Figure Review: Steel Dragonfly from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 
  
   Only three more accessory packs left to review in this most recent series of Final Faction toys and today I'm checking out the Steel Dragonfly, an armored flight suit for Steel. For this most recent series of accessory packs Greenbrier International really increased the quality of the designs and included some really impressive and complex upgrades for the Alpha Team 1 heroes from the first series. They also changed the plastic, making things a bit rubberier and more flexible. That actually has worked well for the sets I've reviewed so far but it causes some real problems for today's set as it makes the connections between the wings and the pack far too flimsy. This one is a bit of a disappointment, especially for how cool the design is. Let's take a look at the Steel Dragonfly set after the break...

Friday, July 15, 2022

Accessory Review: Munitions Pack by McFarlane Toys

 
   
  A few months ago Shartimus Prime released a lengthy interview with Todd McFarlane of McFarlane Toys that mostly covered the DC Multiverse line. I don't collect the DC Multiverse line but I'm always interested to hear some behind the scenes stuff on the action figure industry from an insider and the Toddfather definitely shares some interesting stuff. One of the most fascinating topics of conversation that popped up in the interview was the issue of Warner Bros blocking most merchandise based on their properties from coming with firearms as accessories. It's not something that McFarlane can do much about as a licensee but it definitely effects the products he and other makers of product based on Warner Bros owned properties produce. Characters like Red Hood, Arkham Knight, Two-Face, Hush, Joker, and the cast of Suicide Squad are known for toting around guns but all toy manufacturers can put in the package with them are melee weapons and different hands. For their Golden Age Two-Face Mezco got around this by releasing a separate, unbranded kit of  weapons called the Double Trouble Weapons Expansion Pack that went on sale the same time as Two-Face. In the referenced interview, McFarlane mentioned that he might make a weapons pack of various firearms that could be used with Spawn and other toylines, subtly referencing that you could always let these weapons migrate over into the hands of your DC Multiverse figures. A couple months later McFarlane Toys put up a preorder for this exclusive Munitions Pack of 17 firearms and just within the last week or so it's been shipping out. Want to check this out and see if your figures could benefit from some extra firepower? Then join me after the break...


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Action Figure Review: Steadfast Cyborg from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 


   The newest series of Final Faction accessory packs is all about providing extra gear to the original Series 1 members of Alpha Team 1 and today I'm checking up the Cyborg set, an equipment pack for giving more armor and firepower to Steadfast. Steadfast already has a cybernetic arm and a robotic eye but the Cyborg set gives him some more armor, some extra cannons, leg attachments, and some upgrades for his arm. He's the leader of the team so he has to be prepared for anything the Kharn toss his way and this set definitely gives him the edge. Let's check out the Steadfast Cyborg kit after the break...


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Action Figure Review: Croc Master & Fiona from G.I. Joe Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   Wow! It's been over 5 months since I last reviewed a G.I. Joe Classified Series figure. There are some great figures showing up right now like Spirit, Storm Shadow, and some folks internationally are even finding Tomax, Xamot, and Stalker, but I haven't found any of those yet. I did just get Croc Master in, however. Well, Croc Master and Fiona, to be precise. Yes, Hasbro has named the crocodile and made her so large and well articulated that she counts as a second figure. Seriously, she's a very cool figure. G.I. Joe has almost always had weird elements in it that went behind just normal military action stuff but the 1987 line really delivered some unusual characters with figures like Raptor, Cobra-La, Crystal Ball, and Croc Master. Bizarre concepts for sure but Larry Hama's characterization of some of these characters still helped to place (most of them) firmly within the G.I. Joe universe. I actually had the chance to meet Mr. Hama a couple weeks ago at HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC, and I did my best to deliver a heartfelt thanks for creating the personalities and world that was a huge part of my childhood. I guess my whole life, really, as I'm a 38 year old guy writing about Croc Master. I like the way that Hasbro is embracing these more unusual figures in the Classified Series and while Croc Master is very much a 6-inch update of the vintage toy, he fits nicely within the line and doesn't feel too out there. The blend of the tactical, the futuristic, and the bizarre in this line reminds me of the Metal Gear Solid Series, which kind of blended those elements together as well. Let's take a look at the Croc Master, a former gator wrestler and burglar alarm salesman who lives every week like its Shark Week, but with alligators and crocodiles instead of sharks....

Monday, July 11, 2022

Action Figure Review: Shift Blades from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 
     
   Today seems like as good of a time as any to check out another of the new Final Faction accessory kits. This time it's the Shift Blades set, an accessory pack consisting of four weapons for Shift and a backpack to carry them all in. Shift is one of the first series figures from the end of 2020 (but I only reviewed her back in April), so it's nice to finally have an accessory pack devoted to her. I've always used a few of the Covert Ops pack accessories with her but these here are all much more fitting. Ready to help Shift gear up for some CQB? Then join me after the break...


Sunday, July 10, 2022

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

 

   Back in March I reviewed the 8 1/2 inch Stratos figure from Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line but now there's a standard version in the 5 1/2 inch line, too. Stratos played a major role in season 2 of the show, sometimes as an antagonist to the Masters, sometimes as an ally, and sometimes he was just doing his own thing. The original concept for Stratos in the vintage line was intended to be a villain (he even appears that way in the minicomic "He-Man and the Power Sword"), so maybe that was a source of inspiration for having Stratos start off in conflict with the heroes? Stratos is one of the designs in this new series that is the most unrecognizable from his vintage design as his color scheme is completely different. I do like the character, though, and he looked like he would make a fun action figure. How did he turn out? Let's check him out after the break...

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Action Figure Review: Raven Spawn (Small Hook) from Spawn by McFarlane Toys

 

   Let's take a look at another Spawn figure, but one who isn't Al Simmons. This time it's Raven Spawn, AKA Kray-Von Gore. Kray-Von Gore is one of Malebolgia's Death Knights and an adversary for Al Simmons who is still around in the comics. Raven Spawn first appeared a little over 20 ago in Hellspawn #7 and had a figure shortly after as part of Spawn series 21: Alternate Realities. This is actually the second Raven Spawn figure in the modern Spawn line as Raven Spawn was released last year (2021) as part of the first series of standard releases. I never picked that one up but I ended up grabbing this one. This one is officially called Raven Spawn (Small Hook) and the weapons do seem to be the only legitimate differences between the figures. That's kind of weird, right? He sure is a creepy looking figure, though, so let's take a look at him after the break...




Friday, July 8, 2022

Action Figure Review: Captain America from Marvel Legends: 20th Anniversary Series by Hasbro

 


      Toy Biz went all out with the heavy hitters in the original first series of Marvel Legends from 2002: Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, and ...well... Toad. Mostly heavy hitters, though. For the 20th anniversary of Marvel Legends Hasbro has released modern versions of three of those figures (Iron Man, Hulk, and Cap) with Toad on the way later this year. I never owned the original series 1 Captain America (my first Marvel Legends Cap was from the Hasbro 2 pack of Ultimate Nick Fury and Ultimate Captain America) but I've bought a few Captain America figures since. While I love the Mezco One:12 Collective Captain America, I've been using the Marvel Legends Retro Collection version in my main Avengers grouping of my Marvel Legends display. That's probably going to change, with this new version being a rather impressive improvement over the previous Legends releases. Cap seems to be the star of this series and I'm still thrilled I picked him up from that crazy 40% off sale Hasbro Pulse held last month. Let's take a look at the 20th Anniversary Captain America after the break...


Thursday, July 7, 2022

Action Figure Review: Mo-Squit'ra from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 



   I love Mosquitor but there's always been a problem with the character: Only female mosquitos bite. OK, yeah, Mosquitor isn't really a mosquito. Not an Earth mosquito, anyways. He's a Kribleen insectoid vampire, so who knows what his deal is. In the Netflix He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series there have been some major changes to characters and (presumably) in place of Mosquitor, we now have Mo-Squit'ra. Mo-Squit'ra first appeared in the second season as a villain but ended up kind of reluctantly working with Stratos to defend Avion. Along with Ram Ma'am, Mo-Squit'ra is the second character in this show to kind of get gender-swapped, though both of these characters are really unique and so different than their predecessors that I kind of have a hard time of seeing them as just a gender-swap. Krass/ Ram Ma'am is one of my favorites in the new show and since Mosquitor has rarely appeared in any MOTU media, Mo-Squit'ra is far more developed than he's ever been. Let's take a look at Mo-Squit'ra after the break...


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Toy Review: She-Ra Vs. Hordak & Monstroid from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx

 

   It's been a bit since I reviewed a Masters of the Universe Mega Construx set but now that I've received and built the new She-Ra Vs. Hordak & Monstroid set it's time to check out another great build. Well, the build is just OK on this one but the minifigures are fantastic, particularly She-Ra and Hordak. They're the true stars of this set although the biggest part of it is Monstoid, a robotic beast based on a 1986 toy released in the vintage Masters of the Universe line. Monstroid is fairly uncommon and I've never owned one. I've only even seen him on a handful of occasions, so it's kind of cool to have him released again in some form. Ready to check out this set of characters and a giant beast? Then join me after the break...


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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

 

   Mattel has put out a new series of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figures based on the Netflix CGI animated series and I've managed to pick up the full set: Tri-Klops, Mo-Squit'ra, and Stratos. Let's check out Tri-Klops first as he's a pretty interesting figure, especially considering that in the show he's a floating drone (built by Kronis/ Trap Jaw) who attaches over the heads of his victims in order to control their bodies. Wild stuff. It's a very different take on Tri-Klops and I was really curious how Mattel would translate the character to actin figure form. What the ended up doing was giving us a version of Tri-Klops who has seemingly taken over what appears to be a Palace Guard. In the second season of the show Tri-Klops did take over King Randor and one of the Hand Witches but here it seems to be just a standard Eternian Palace Guard. Let's take a look at this new incarnation of Tri-Klops after the break...

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Toy Review: Snout Spout from Vinyl SODA by Funko

 
 

   Snout Spout is a fairly recent standard release from Funko's Vinyl SODA line that's been shipping from e-tailers recently. Mine arrived from Big Bad Toy Store a couple weeks back and while I didn't get the variant (he's more metallic looking and holding the Jaws of Life from the 200x Staction) I'm still glad to add another Snout Spout to the collection. Snout Spout has a deluxe Masters of the Universe Origins figure coming out soon, too, but he's rarely a character that gets a lot of merchandise. He's definitely a very gimmicky character from late in the vintage line but there's still something charming about him. I'm pretty sure I got the vintage toy as a Christmas gift as a kid, maybe in 1986 or 1987. I like this heroic firefighting elephant even though he seems like something more fitting of a TMNT concept than MOTU. Still cool, though. Let's check out his Vinyl SODA after the break...




Saturday, July 2, 2022

Action Figure Review: He-Man from Masterverse/ Masters of the Universe: New Eternia by Mattel

 
   
   Ready for another review from Mattel's Masterverse: New Eternia subset? I just reviewed the New Eternia Beast Man and now it's time for the New Eternia He-Man. The idea behind the New Eternia line seems to be taking the vintage concept designs, so far all from Mark Taylor, and changing them up a bit with new story elements. It's a cool idea that pays tribute to the history of the brand while also exploring some new territory. The packaging for New Eternia He-Man paints He-Man as an explorer of Eternia, a world on the edge of destruction, who must stop Skeletor from forging the Scimitar of Chaos. It's an interesting, seemingly darker take that would be really intriguing if explored as a comic series or something. Of course, Masters of the Universe has always been about the toys first and foremost and that's what we've got here. This take on He-Man looks to be based on Mark Taylor's concept art (which evolved from his creation, Torak) with the Viking-like helmet, the classic axe, and the boot dagger. Masters of the Universe Classics found great success with adding concept art based characters to the line and it's nice to see the trend now continue with Masterverse. Let's take a look at New Eternia He-Man after the break...

(I want to add a special thank you to the Battle Ram Blog. They are probably the best resource on the internet for Masters of the Universe information about the vintage toyline and have a wealth of knowledge. Check them out as I refer to them frequently for their fantastic art collection and image galleries.)


Friday, July 1, 2022

Action Figure Review: Beast Man from Masterverse: Masters of the Universe: New Eternia by Mattel

 


   Around a year ago Mattel's Masterverse line started showing up in stores and quickly delivered us a fairly nice roster of characters from Masters of the Universe: Revelation. While the figures were clearly based on that show, most of the figures were also quite true to their classic/vintage designs. Ever since the Masterverse line hit, though, Mattel has assured us that it wasn't just going to deliver figures based on Revelation; Masterverse was always intended to be an umbrella line for multiple area of Masters of the Universe.  Figures from the second sub-line from Masterverse, New Eternia, have been showing up lately and I'm kicking things off with a figure that surprised me when I stumbled upon him on a Target shelf: Beast Man. The New Eternia Beast Man is a rather impressive figure who just oozes personality and that classic MOTU feel. So classic, in fact, that he's based on some of Mark Taylor's legendary concept art, especially drawing elements from the Ursis Prime concept (it was deemed to be too similar to Chewbacca and thus continued to evolve). I love MOTU more than about any other property and getting a line that both draws from the concept art and does something new with it is a dream. Let's take a look at the New Eternia Beast Man after the break...



Thursday, June 30, 2022

Action Figure Review: Rhino from Marvel Legends Retro Collection: Spider-Man by Hasbro

 

  Hasbro has been putting out some very good, very definitive versions of popular characters in the Marvel Legends Retro Collection line and I've recently picked up another villain: Rhino. The Rhino was released as a build-a-figure back in 2015 (so a good seven years ago) but now you can pick up an improved version of him as a single release as part of the Spider-Man focused Retro Collection. While he's placed on a classic Toy Biz inspired card from the Spider-Man animated series of the mid 1990s, this version of Rhino works perfectly well in your standard comic inspired Marvel Legends display, too. I'm honestly not sure I've ever owned an action figure of the Rhino before, so this is a first. I didn't have many figures from the Toy Biz Spider-Man line (I remember having the Lizard, Peter Parker, and Carnage) and I really stopped collecting the 1/18th scaled Marvel Universe line before the Rhino was released, so, yup, this guy's a first for me. Let's check out the hard charging Rhino after the break...

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Statue Review: Teela (Tweeterhead Exclusive) from Masters of the Universe Legends by Tweeterhead

 


   I don't collect many statues these days but I definitely have been keeping up with Tweeterhead's Masters of the Universe Legends line of 1/5th scale statuees/maquettes. They're a continuation of Sideshow's line of MOTU statues from 3-5 years back and continue the tradition of providing amazing versions of the characters that are incredibly familiar yet which also still feel like they're bringing something new and unique to the table. Teela is the most recent release and she just started shipping out over the past couple of weeks. Like with most of Tweeterhead's statues, there is a standard version and a Tweeterhead Exclusive version. The Tweeterhead exclusive version comes with an additional right arm holding the Staff of Ka, Teela's classic snake staff that resembles the Nehushtan or the Rod of Asclepius. Teela has always been one of my favorite MOTU characters and was quite possibly the first female action figure I owned. She's definitely one of the A-list MOTU characters and I'm thrilled that Tweeterhead got to her so soon. She's an incredible statue, so let's check her out a bit more closely after the break...



Friday, June 24, 2022

Action Figure Review: Ruck Assault from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 

   
   Just last week I stumbled upon the six most recent Final Faction accessory sets which augment the series 1 figures with new weapons and equipment. These are some of the most ambitious accessory packs yet and I'm excited to see how they turn out. First up let's take a look at the Assault pack for Ruck. Ruck is kind of like a walking tank already (he reminds me of Tank Ellis from Captain Power) and this kit gives him even more firepower and the ability to roll. Pretty nifty stuff! This set reminds me a lot of the Jake Rockwell accessory sets from Centurions, one of my favorite childhood toylines. Grab a Ruck, grab an Assault set, and make this mobile tank guy for $2.50. Let's check this one out after the break...