Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Torn from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 

   Series 1 of Final Faction was pretty straight forward: The heroic human Alpha Team 1 versus the evil alien Kharn. Series 2 begins to mix things up a bit with the introduction of Torn, a mysterious covert agent who appears to help fight the Kharn and then disappears again. Seemingly human but armed with unearthly technology, there are definitely doubts cast about Torn's true loyalties. Torn has a pretty neat design and adds an interesting "wild card" character into the mix. Let's take a look at Torn after the break as I wrap up the 2021 releases from Final Faction...

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Spc. Scope from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 

 I'm making my way through the 2021 Final Faction releases and next up is Spc. Scope from Alpha Team 1. Specialist Scope is the sniper of Alpha Team 1 and the brother of Specialist Shift from series 1. He's a cool figure and one of the neatest looking humans in the line thanks to his slick metallic red armor. If you haven't read any of my other reviews of this series yet keep in mind that these are exclusive to Dollar Tree and only cost $1 a figure. Let's take a look at Specialist Scope after the break...

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Churro & FD-0 from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 


   Ready for more of the Final Faction? Today I'm checking out what is absolutely one of the coolest action figures released in 2021: Churro and FD-0. According to the bio on the back of the card (something the $1 Dollar Tree exclusive line can apparently include that most companies can't) Churro is the canine pal of Steadfast, the leader of Alpha Team 1, and the pilot of the FD-0 mech. Yeah, he actually helps the team fight the Kharn. That's pretty cool! Churro was shown in the cartoon released alongside the first series of figures but didn't make his appearance in stores until series 2. He's a really cool figure and I'm excited to check this guy out. I love dogs and I've always loved dogs included in action figures as a companion and robotic dog toy, so Churro is absolutely a treat for me. Let's check him out after the break...

Wrapping Up 2021: Arrow ATV Weapons & Armor from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 
   On Thursday I reviewed the Arrow ATV from Final Faction, the line of 1/18th scale sci-fi/ military figures exclusive to Dollar Tree stores. Like the action figures themselves, the Arrow ATV costs $1. I was running errands this morning and bought some beef jerky while running around. It cost more than $1. The Arrow ATV is pretty basic, though, so for another $1 you can buy the Arrow ATV Weapons & Armor battle ready conversion kit to trick it out. Like the Arrow ATV, the Weapons & Armor pack comes in a small cardboard box. You've seen what a $1 vehicle looks like so how about a $2 vehicle? Let's check out the Weapons & Armor kit after the break...

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Arrow ATV from Final Faction by Greenbrier International

 



   Have you heard about Final Faction? Over the next couple of days I'm going to be talking about Final Faction, one of the most interesting toylines of the past few years. The first figures were released at the end of 2020 but I didn't pick them up until last year and just never got around to reviewing them. In December some figures and a vehicle from the second series dropped so I'm finally giving the line some attention on Action Figure Barbecue. For those of you not familiar with Final Faction, it's a 1/18th scaled toyline about the special operatives of Alpha Team 1 defending Earth from the Kharn, an Alien collective intent on plundering Earth's natural resources in the year 2050. OK, that's cool, so what's the claim to fame of this line? They're exclusive to Dollar Tree and they cost $1 each. Yes, the figures are $1. There are also currently six very cool accessory packs with extra gear for the humans and the aliens. Guess how much those cost? Yup, $1. Today I'm checking out the first vehicle in the line, the Arrow ATV. It's a 1/18th scaled ATV that the figures can ride in. Guess what? It also costs $1. While just being cheap isn't a quality in and of itself I think there's a lot of creativity and innovation in Final Faction. The team behind it is clearly very passionate (they have a very active Instagram page and regulalrly interact with the fan community) and are doing some neat stuff. In a world where Hasbro has started charging an extra $10 bucks because Boba Fett's armor is "deluxe" Final Faction is kind of refreshing. 

   The Arrow ATV is the first vehicle in the line and is a small transport for the heroic Alpha Team 1 members. It's basic, yeah, but only because there's an accessory pack that allows you to arm it with additional weapons and gear for another buck. That review is next but for now let's look at the basic Arrow ATV after the break...

Wrapping Up 2021: She-Ra on Swift Wind #279 from POP! Rides by Funko

 



   Funko was an absolute Masters of the Universe merchandising beast in 2021 and while the still seem intent on neglecting Teela they did make sure to give She-Ra some love. Most exciting was the fact that they also gave Swift Wind some love as well. When Funko shifted the Masters of the Universe license to the POP! Retro Toys branding a year or two ago they mainly started focusing on the toy versions of characters so that's what we've got here: A mixture between the vintage Princess of Power and Filmation She-Ra riding a vintage toy inspired Swift Wind. While Swift Wind was male in the Filmation cartoon series and in everything since then, some of the early material referred to Swift Wind as she. My daughter, Adora (seriously) and I were reading one of the vintage She-Ra storybooks a few nights ago and encountered this. Interesting. Anyways, She-Ra and Swift Wind are part of the POP! Rides subset and were sold exclusively through Walmart. I ordered mine off Walmart.com back in October or so but I've seen the set quite often so the distribution seemed to be pretty decent on this set. Let's take a look at She-Ra and Swift Wind, a powerful pair of POPs.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Sorceress from Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis by Mattel

 

   It's time to wrap up the Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis reviews with a look at a fantastic minifigure: Sorceress! While released under the MOTU: Revelation banner, the Sorceress seems like one of those figures that can work equally well with the classic/ vintage styled Eternia Minis. Her looks is pretty classic styled for sure and she ought to fit right in with your collection. The Sorceress has long been a core of MOTU and I really like how Revelation told her story, leading to her passing the mantle of the Sorceress of Grayskull to Teela. I also really loved the relationship between the Sorceress/ Teela Na and Man-At-Arms/ Duncan in Revelation. I'd love a 3 pack of Duncan, Teela Na, and baby Teela, but I doubt Mattel would ever relese that, huh? Let's let the Sorceress cast a spell on us and check her out after the break...

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Faker from Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis by Mattel


  I just reviewed the Metallic Faker figure so I might as well take a quick look at the standard Faker minifigure from Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis. For not having that much screen time during the series Mattel sure went pretty heavy on Faker releases, didn't they? Faker's a popular and beloved villain despite usually just being a blue He-man with orange hair. Revelation went in a bit different direction, though, which was kind of cool. Let's take a look at the mini Faker after the break...


Wrapping up 2021: Mercenary Teela from Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis by Mattel

 


   As I'm wrapping up stuff I picked up in 2021 I'm making my way through the second series of Mattel's Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Mins with a look at Mercenary Teela. Based on her appearance in the second episodes of the series, Teela is wearing the black robe and protective mask she wears when she encounters Stinkor. It's cool to see another different look for Teela but how does this version fare as an articulated minifigure? Let's check her out after the break and find out...


Monday, January 10, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Metallic Faker from Masters of the Universe: Revelation Eternia Minis by Mattel

 


   Mattel released quite a few Eternia Minis in 2021 including two series to coincide with the release of Masters of the Universe: Revelation. The second series only had three new characters in it and I'm going to be reviewing them over the next day or two. Let's kick things off with a quick look at the Metallic Faker figure. I guess the intention was for these metallic variants to be something of a chase variant. It kind of works for Faker, though, who looks much more like a traditional robot in Revelation than most of his toy incarnations ever have. Prepare to be faked out after the break...

Wrapping Up 2021: Zodac & Scubattack from Masters of the Universe by Mega Construx

 

   Mega Construx had a weaker year in 2021 than in 2020 but they still had a few nice sets and some solid minifigures released. One of the most unusual ideas for Mega Construx in 2021 was the introduction of the minisets packaged inside of a little Skeletor head. There were four of these; three released very early in 2021 and then a set with Zodac and the Scubattack mixed in to the assortment later in the year. I found mine back in October but with so much stuff coming out I'm just getting around to checking it out. Zodac was already released in 2020 in the Panthor at Point Dread set but the Scubattack hasn't been utilized in toy form since it's original 1987 release as part of the vintage Masters of the Universe line. One of the Power Pak sets (along with the Cliff Climber and Tower Tools) the Scubattack was one of the last accessory packs/ small vehicles released in the vintage line, so it's fun to see Mattel revisit it. Zodac is an odd choice for inclusion here but at least he's not a figure we've seen multiple times like He-Man or Skeletor. Clamp Champ was one of the figures wearing the armor on the vintage packaging so he would have been an excellent inclusion. Anyways, let's dive in and check out the Zodac & Scubattack set after the break...

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Skeletor from Flextreme!: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 


   Since I reviewed the Flextreme! He-Man yesterday you just knew I was also going to review Skeletor before long, right? Like I said in that review, it's crazy how much Masters of the Universe product was put out last year by both Mattel and other companies. These Flextreme! figures are odd because they just started showing up at places like Ollie's and Big Lots already marked down. They're 7-inch tall solid rubber bendable figures. While they're bendable (kind of) they kind of remind me of the old solid rubber wrestlers from the 1980s. Skeletor definitely is a bit cooler than He-Man as he looks better in this style but as toys they're just not that great. Let's take a brief look at the Flextreme! Skeletor after the break...

Friday, January 7, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: He-Man from Flextreme!: Masters of the Universe by Mattel

 

   2021 saw an absolute flood of Masters of the Universe toys. Seriously, I'm not sure if there's beena year since the 1980s where so MOTU product came out. Companies like Funko, Tweeterhead, Monogram International, Beeline Creative Inc. and Mondo, among others, all jumped in with product but Mattel was clearly the king this year From Mattel alone we had Masterverse, Origins, Eternia Minis, Mega Construx, He-man and the Masters of the Universe, Hot Wheels, Shogun Masters, Micro Collection, and now Flextreme!. Flextreme! didn't get a big release, though, and seemed to just show up at outlet stores like Big Lots and Ollie's (that's where mine were found) already on clearance. Maybe these were straight up intended as a bargain product for holiday shoppers looking for inexpensive gifts to fill stockings? So, what is a Flextreme!? They're 7 inch scaled hard rubber, bendable figures. Mattel has used the branding for a few other properties as well (DC Comcis, WWE) but they're nothing I've ever paid attention too. I was hoping they'd be a bit more like Stretch Armstrong or Goo Jit Zu, a toyline from Moose Toys that my daughter really likes which has some really fun designs and action features. They're not, though; they're just larger traditional bendy figures. Let's take a quick look at the Flextreme! He-Man after the break...

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Snake Eyes & Timber: Alpha Commandos from G.I. Joe Classified Series by Hasbro

 


   As far as I'm concerned this is the last 2021 G.I. Joe Classified Series review I'm doing. Yeah, some of the newer figures like the BAT and Alley Viper leaked out before the end of 2021 but since Hasbro Pulse just put those up this week I'm really considering them 2022 releases. I don't have them in hand yet, either, but I'll be reviewing them for sure. So for the final Classified Series review from 2021 get ready for Snake Eyes & Timber: Alpha Commandos! This 2-pack has slowly been making its way out and mine arrived from GameStop shortly before Christmas. This is the fourth Snake Eyes figure in the line so far but this time he's based on the original v1 figure from 1982, usually referred to as Commando Snake Eyes. Of course, Snakes is also joined by his pal, Timber, who came with the v2 Snake Eyes release that showed off more of Snake Eyes' ninja side. So whether you keep these two together or mix and match, this is still a pretty impressive set. Hasbro seems to really be focusing on the animals in this line as we have Timber, Spirit Iron-Knife's eagle, Freedom, and Croc Master's crocodile coming soon. Most folks really liked the Dungeons & Dragons Drizzt & Guenhwyvar set from last year and I'm curious if Hasbro will be able to reuse her body for any animal companion? Let's take a look at Snake Eyes and Timber after the break and see if these Alpha Commandos really are the top dogs...

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe Classified Series by Hasbro

 


   I've got two more G.I. Joe Classified Series figures to wrap up for 2022 and the first is Snake Eyes from the Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins movie released in 2021. I still haven't seen the movie yet as it just hasn't appealed to me that much. I largely ignored the Classified Series tie-in figures except for Baroness  but there was a sale in December at GameStop and I ended up finding Snake Eyes for a pretty good price. Shop around and you'll surely find this guy for as low as $10 or so. Since he's completely masked I figured I could still use him with the rest of the Classified Series figures. I do like the sleek costume as it gives a slightly different look to the character. While it seems that the film and product was a flop, Hasbro did put out some nice figures that mostly blend in well with the main Classified Series line. Let's check out Snake Eyes after the break and see if he's worth rolling the dice on....

Monday, January 3, 2022

Wrapping Up 2021: Master of Disguise Zartan from G.I. Joe Classified Series by Hasbro

 

   It's now officially time to start wrapping up my action figure reviews of stuff from 2021 and since November and December were filled with releases I'll be working overtime in January to catch up. I'm currently in a bit of a G.I. Joe Classified Series mini marathon and today I'm checking out Master of Disguise Zartan, the deluxe Hasbro Pulse Convention exclusive version of Zartan who went up for sale in late October. I received mine in mid December so I'm not too behind, I guess. Hasbro has been getting a lot of flack about their "deluxe" offerings of late, especially in Star Wars: The Black Series, but Zartan is absolutely what a deluxe offering should be. This guy has so many alternate heads and incredibly cool accessories that you'll definitely be quite pleased even with the higher than usual price. The standard Zartan figure released in early 2021 was pretty good but this version, while mostly a repaint, still manages to top it. Let's take a look at Master of Disguise Zartan after the break...