Previews December 2019 “Comics No More!”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

NOTE: Due to a number of different factors I have made the decision to stop collecting comic books for the time being. Among those factors are cost, free time, and general quality of superhero comics, which are my preferred kind of comics.

If I was going to keep getting anything it would be Marvel’s great Star Wars books. And Matthew Rosenberg’s X-books. And Conan. And…

You see the problem. I’m a cold turkey guy. I have to stop completely. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve whittled my pull list down to four or five titles, only to find myself buying a dozen or more titles a couple of months later. And then there are the books that come out twice a month. Jeez.

It’s been about a month since I told my Local Comic Shop to stop pulling new books for me. I’ve made a bit of a dent in my unread books, but I find myself spending time on other things.

The point of all of this is that I probably won’t be covering much in the way of comics in this post anymore, but I’ll still be taking a look at the merchandise. I’ve stopped and started comic book collecting plenty of times of the years, but the toys never end.

Batman: The Adventures Continue Action Figures – DC Collectibles

I feel like DC Collectibles has found the right approach to doing these figures and I think it’s smart of them to reissue certain key characters, but I still don’t understand why they’re doing these figures.

The appeal of the Batman Animated line was that the fantastic designs from the DC Animated Universe were being represented in 3D, articulated form. But the figures themselves are not great. They look like we wanted them to look, but it’s not like you can really play with them or get a lot of great poses that they’ll actually maintain. What I’m saying is that it’s not like this format is so great that everyone was clamoring for more, unrelated characters.

If DCC had continued filling out the DCU with the Justice League and maybe even the Green Lantern animated show from a decade ago that would have made sense. I would have liked that and possibly kept buying them. But I have no interest in characters that never appeared in this style in this format. I’d rather buy a Deathstroke with ankles.

That being said, if you’re into these, awesome! Not everything is for everyone and this line isn’t for me. Which technically makes me happy because it’s money I won’t be spending!

And it’s a lot of money, too, as these are priced at a whopping $30-40 apiece!

Note: Even if DCC had continued with the DCAU tie-ins I probably wouldn’t have continued. I haven’t heard anything good about those Justice League figures they released and the last two I bought – Grey Ghost and Scarecrow – didn’t include the stands that had come with every other figure thus far, meaning that they look bizarre and out of place on my shelves.

5Castlevania Select Series 2 Action Figures – Diamond Select Toys

I’m really excited to see the first series in person, but this second series is fantastic. Featuring Dracula and his generals, Carmilla and Godbrand, it’s chock full of evil!

I like the show a lot, but I sure do wish we could get figures based on the games, too. I know NECA made some years ago, but that was back when their figures weren’t quite as great as they are today.

6DC Gallery Batwoman PVC Figure – Diamond Select Toys

For years now I’ve been recommending DST’s PVC statues for those who like 3D art but don’t want to spend $300. For fifty bucks you can get this excellently sculpted and painted figure, put it on your shelf, and not have anyone realize it’s PVC. They’ll think you’re all classy and shit.

Seriously, though – these figures and the banks that DST release are truly beautiful pieces for a great price. Once you see them in person you’ll understand why I’m so fond of them.

7

DC Gallery Birds of Prey Harley Quinn PVC Figure – Diamond Select Toys

This is the first product I’ve seen depicting one of Harley’s looks from the upcoming Birds of Prey movie and I’m for sure ordering it. As I said above, these figures are great. I’ve got several and even though I’m normally an articulation guy, these larger, statue-like figures look nice at the back of the shelf behind the Mattels and Figuarts and whatnot.

8

Iron Giant Select Action Figure – Diamond Select Toys

Wow – somehow I completely missed that this was coming out!

Standing nine inches tall with sixteen points of articulation, this looks to be an awesome addition to your collection. There have been a few Iron Giant figures over the years since the original toy line, but they’ve all been high-dollar collector items and very large. At thirty bucks, this guy – who has light-up eyes and a removable Hogarth and “S” chest plate – is  the figure I’ve been waiting for.

Lost in Space B9 Electronic Robot – Diamond Select Toys

Between their excellent Pacific Rim line, the upcoming Black Hole series, that Iron Giant, and this B9 DST is cornering the robot market!

Seriously – I feel like there’s been a distinct lack of cool robot toys lately. The fact that Diamond is putting out what look to be fantastic classic robots is very exciting. I might have to clear a shelf off just for these guys!

This B9 is ten inches tall and features lights and sounds taken directly from the show. While the robot is “On” the lights remain blinking, which is awesome. It also has moveable, extendable arms, articulated claws, and a moveable head.

When I first saw the price on this it seemed a bit steep, but between the size and the features I think it’s fair.

There’s also a “Retro” version that has the same color design as the original toy.

10Batwoman by JH Williams III T-shirt – Graphitti Designs

One of my favorite characters from one of my favorite artists.

“I don’t need more t-shirts!” is almost my catchphrase at this point, but I’m tempted to order this one. Heck, I can almost guarantee I bought a shirt this past Sunday at WWE’s Starrcade event and I definitely don’t need more wrestling shirts.

11Marvel Legends Stan Lee Action Figure – Hasbro

While this is technically an MCU figure based on Lee’s appearance in The Avengers, it’s just a nice tribute to an exciting, colorful guy who brought joy to millions of people. It includes a chess board (from the scene in the movie) and a Captain America shield with Stan’s signature emblazoned across the front. I already ordered one for myself and one for my son from Target, but if you want it from your Local Comic Shop, you can order it there, too.

12One:12 Collective Gambit Action Figure – Mezco

This figure looks incredible and will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be the very best Gambit figure released to date.

If it had come out in 1993 I… wouldn’t have been able to afford it, but would have wanted it really bad. But in 2019 Gambit doesn’t seem as cool as he did back then. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a Gambit hater. I still think he’s an interesting character. I just don’t have a stockpile of favorite Gambit moments in my brain like I do with other superheroes.

13Star Wars Retro Kenner Action Figures – Hasbro

It’s mind-boggling that Hasbro took so long to enter the retro figure market. They have the Star Wars license and the original Kenner line is literally THE inspiration for the ReAction figure boom that happened a few years ago. It’s insane that they didn’t launch these then.

Fortunately nostalgia is still strong, especially for Star Wars, and these figures – originally Target exclusives – blew out of stores. If you follow Needless Things you know I was doing my best to keep the Phantomaniacs updated. Well, here again is an opportunity to grab this set. I highly recommend these and if Hasbro chooses to reproduce the entire original line in this style, I am in.

I will say this, though – if you can find these anywhere other than from Diamond, choose that option. I got super incredibly lucky and found both sets I have just after they were put out, so they are minty fresh. But the cards are relatively fragile and probably bend easily. In case you weren’t aware, Diamond is not known for the care they take in shipping products. Just ask your Local Comic Shop manager.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Action Figures Wave 1 – Super 7

You guys, I am experiencing genuine angst over these figures.

When Super 7 first announced they had the license to produce TMNT figures I wasn’t that interested. I assumed they’d be ReAction figures (which they are, indeed producing) or figures based on the 80s cartoon. It didn’t occur to me that they might be making modern versions of the actual original toy line.

That hits me hard in the nostalgia because my collector timeline starts with Mego>Star Wars>GI Joe>TMNT as my main collections. I never loved the cartoon, but I was obsessed with the toy line, which took a lot of its cues from the comics.

The one question I have about these is if they’re in scale with the Masters of the Universe Classics. As in, the Turtles should be way shorter than He-Man and his pals.

I have not committed to these yet. Forty-five bucks apiece – $180 for this first wave – is a lot. A lot a lot. That means if Super 7 releases all four (I think) planned waves you’re looking at a $720 investment; as much as Snake Mountain, which I also did not order.

One additional note about these – Super 7 has confirmed that the figures that include weapons attached to sprues will include an additional set of standard weapons.

15One:12 Collective Black Bolt & Lockjaw Action Figures – Mezco

These look fantastic and I’m sure they will be, but I don’t give a fig about Black Bolt and I’m not spending $130 for Lockjaw, no matter how adorable he is.

5 Points Addams Family Action Figures – Mezco

It probably would have been wise to get these out alongside the movie’s theatrical release, but April might be when the Blu-ray ends up coming out. These could end up on my shelves thanks to their resemblance to Charles Addams’ original designs. The trailers for the movie made it look absolutely rotten, but I’ve heard from some reliable sources that it turned out pretty good, so I need to see it.

Madballs Bearbrick 2-Packs – Medicom

I mention these only because I adore Madballs and will put over anything having to do with them. Each set – Hornhead and Oculus Orbus – includes a 2.75” 100% and an 8” 400% Bearbrick with matching deco. I’m not paying $170 each for them, but any Madballs stuff is good.

James Bond The Golden Gun Limited Edition Prop Replica – Factory Entertainment

This is one of those “If I were rich” items. It would be the first thing I would buy after paying off my house and buying new cars.

This is a prop replica in every sense of the word; that is, it is based upon the original props from the EON archives and can be assembled and disassembled just like the actual Golden Gun. The Man With the Golden Gun is my favorite Bond movie and I’ve always been fascinated with this pistol more than any of Bond’s gadgets. Plus Christopher Lee used it, which increases its cool factor exponentially.

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Hungry for more movies, music, and pop culture? Visit the Needless Things Archives for a decade of dorkery!

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