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...