Toy Review – One:12 Collective Diabolik from Mezco

I have to start by saying that this is not an action figure of John Phillip Law from Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik. It is based on the Italian Diabolik comic books that the movie adapted.

However, the movie was so well designed and Law was so perfectly cast that it doesn’t take a whole lot of squinting to convince oneself that this is a figure from the movie.

There aren’t many action figures that I’ve anticipated more than this one. I love Bava’s movie and like I said – this figure passes well enough. I never imagined in a million years we’d get Diabolik figures of any kind, let alone as part of the greatest action figure line of all time. Now that this figure is out, the obvious next step is One:12 figures of the Beastie Boys from the Body Movin’ video, right?

Pipe dreams aside, Danger: Diabolik is a singular film experience, rolling James Bond, Batman ’66, and the feel of classic Lucha Libre movies into one bonkers, visually stunning movie. In my opinion it’s Mario Bava at his best – bringing a cartoon world to life with little regard for the mundane trappings of reality. Add an absolutely killer soundtrack by the legendary Ennio Morricone on top of that and I feel like it’s one of the most criminally under-recognized films ever.

If you don’t know, Diabolik is a sort of anti-James Bond. He’s the best thief in the world who uses gadgets and an almost superhuman set of skills to take what he wants, whenever he wants.

As the movie poster states:

“Meet Diabolik, Slick, Suave, Gentle, Brutal, Wild. Out for all he can take, caress or get away with…”

I’m not gonna lie – I was a little nervous to open this one. I even put it off for a couple of weeks after I bought it. After years of anticipation and intervening (mostly) excellence from Mezco, it almost felt like I was too hyped for this one.

Did it live up to my expectations, or did it let me down (deep, deep down)? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Diabolik from Mezco”

Toy Review – WWE Elite 63 Dusty Rhodes from Mattel

Seeing as Independence Day is this Thursday I thought it would be a great time to take a look at the American Dream!

Dusty Rhodes is one of my favorite wrestlers.

We all know he could talk. Every time you see anything about Dusty he’s got a mic in his hand. I became a Dusty fan thirty years ago when he pulled Sapphire out of the audience and made her his manager. Those two were pure joy. I don’t remember a single Dusty match from that era, but I sure do remember Dusty and Sapphire dancing and Dusty cutting white-hot promos on Randy Savage.

It wasn’t until WWE started releasing their excellent DVDs collecting old AWA/NWA matches that I truly started to appreciate how incredible Dusty was. His work rate was amazing. He didn’t move or work like a big fat guy. He fought as hard and looked as good as any of his opponents, keeping pace with the likes of Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Harley Race, and everyone else.

That was when Dusty became one of my top guys and a part of every wrestling conversation I would have from then on.

In the years before his passing, Dusty cemented his legacy and became one of the most important figures in professional wrestling through his work with the young generation at NXT, WWE’s evolving developmental territory. To this day every wrestler who passed through NXT during Dusty’s time there credits the Dream as being key to their success.

As soon as I finished writing my Mattel WCW post, the first figure I tracked down was the American Dream.

If we’re ever lucky enough to get a Dusty/Sapphire two-pack I will buy that for sure (someone tell Bill that November 25th is the anniversary of Sapphire’s entry into the WWF), but this version is the Dusty I had to have and fits with my sort-of-strict WCW Elite collection.

Is Mattel a hit-maker and a record-breaker or are they in the midst of some hard times? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Elite 63 Dusty Rhodes from Mattel”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Blade from Mezco

I’m never afraid to admit things that might shame a standard dork. For instance, I pretty much only know Blade from the movies.

I’ve read comics where he guest-starred here and there, but haven’t ever really sought the character out in print form. In my defense he hasn’t exactly headlined a whole lot of books. Or maybe that doesn’t work in my defense, since there isn’t much to track down.

Whatever the case with the comics, I love the movies. The first Blade was something completely different than any other comic book or horror movie. It was absolutely the coolest movie released in 1998. The combination of style, gore, action, intense music, and a fantastic cast set it apart from comic book movies and horror movies. The pop culture world truly embraced Wesley Snipes as the Daywalker, to the extent that he and the character have become synonymous.

Just take a look at any comic representation of Blade since then.

Which is why, despite the fact that this isn’t a movie Blade, it totally looks like movie Blade aside from the likeness.

I don’t want to disregard the Blade TV show that starred rapper Sticky Fingaz in the titular role. I watched the pilot and couldn’t really get into it, but I’ve heard that the thirteen episodes turned out to be pretty good.

While I’ve got a beautiful sixth scale movie Blade from Toy Biz’ surprisingly excellent Marvel Studios line, I needed a great 6” Daywalker; even if it wasn’t Snipes.

Did Mezco’s release scratch that figure itch or will I have to track down the old movie figures? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Blade from Mezco”

Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel

I mentioned in my Mattel WCW post that I am only collecting three types of modern wrestling figures at the moment – Retros, the WCW roster, and the Women’s Division. Retros because they’re fun and nostalgic, WCW because that’s my favorite era of wrestling, and the women because they’re more visually interesting than the men and they are providing the highest level of entertainment on WWE TV these days and have been for a while.

Mattel can’t get a Lacey Evans out soon enough.

Ronda Rousey was a big part of the Women’s Division being so superior. Her current status might be inactive and her future might be in  question, but in my opinion she took to the business in a way that no athlete from an outside sport has since Kurt Angle. She had a believable, engaging charism that was unique on the roster and every match she had was at worst very good.

During Rousey’s brief tenure in WWE she was the proverbial Human Highlight Reel, with her every action being notable and a discussion-worthy part of that week’s action. Part of it was a very carefully cultivated program by WWE’s creative team, but even the best-executed writing will fail without a competent Superstar to carry it out on screen. And thanks to whatever magical combination of talent and execution occurred, Ronda Rousey was WWE’s biggest star in 2018-2019.

She might have hit the occasional bump, but this was her first year in the business. I can’t even imagine what she could be capable of if – hopefully when – she returns.

Due to the brevity of Rousey’s tenure and the nature of the action figure business Mattel has only released three Ronda Rousey action figures to date – one Basic, one Elite, and today’s Ultimate Edition. I passed on the Basic, but the Elite was a very good figure for what it was. I’m not the biggest fan of wrestling figures who aren’t in ring gear, but Mattel did such a great job with Rousey’s likeness that I had to grab that one when I saw it.

This Ultimate Edition is an all-new concept from Mattel. Replacing their Entrance Greats line, it is an attempt to deliver everything that wrestling fans might want from an action figure – entrance and in-ring looks, multiple hands, multiple portraits, and ultimate articulation. The first two releases were Rousey and – obviously – Ultimate Warrior. I mean, they had to, right?

Is this Rousey truly the ultimate and a ten dollar step above Mattel’s Elites? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel”

Toy Review – King Kong of Skull Island from Mezco

One of my earliest movie memories is of my mom tracking down pairs of 3D glasses for a special television broadcast of the 1933 King Kong. My guess is that this would have been around 1981, right after we moved to Georgia, but I can’t find anything about it online. The closest thing I saw is a 3D broadcast of Revenge of the Creature in 1982.

At the time this was a huge deal. Video stores and VHS rentals weren’t a thing yet and obviously it predated streaming and on demand, so everyone was sort of watching the same things and it was much easier to make something seem like an event. Our neighbor actually had sort of a mini party for people to go over there and watch.

I mostly remember waiting for King Kong to show up. If he wasn’t on screen, I was bored.

Since then I’ve seen lots of other movies about the giant ape, from the 1976 remake to King Kong vs. Godzilla to Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake. And, of course, 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. In general I like King Kong movies, but I don’t think I’d rank him in my personal top five movie monsters. He’s cool, but he’s still just a really big gorilla.

Licensing being what it is, today’s figure is not based on any of those movies. Or any movie at all.

This Mezco release is licensed through the estate of Merian C. Cooper, who created King Kong and directed and produced the 1933 film. There’s a very complicated story about how RKO got the rights to the movie Kong and cut Cooper out of the picture. Suffice it to say that this is, in my opinion, the most legit Kong license out there. You can check out the website here.

So if you’re wondering why this isn’t based on Legendary Pictures’ Kong or even the original movie Kong, it’s because Mezco went straight to the source.

I bought it because it’s a badass-looking giant ape toy. Was it worth monkeying around with? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – King Kong of Skull Island from Mezco”

Toy Review – MAFEX No. 71 Gwenpool from Medicom

The Unbelievable Gwenpool by Christopher Hastings and (mostly) Gurihiru is one of my favorite Marvel comics of the last decade. It’s a meta masterpiece that started in the pages of Zdarsky and Quinones’ Howard the Duck, which is fortunate because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have ever given this character a chance. I’m not usually big on the cutesy, manga-style stuff.

To be honest I’m not always big into meta stuff either, but the character of Gwen Poole was written with such sharp humor and even a deep emotional core that I was hooked from the first full issue. As the series went on the concept of this character from the “real world” being in the Marvel Universe was explored in very earnest and compelling ways. It seemed very different from everything else that Marvel was doing.

As seemingly unbelievable as the concept itself, Gwenpool became one of my favorite characters.

I was pretty happy with Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Gwenpool, but as soon as I saw preview pictures of Medicom’s release I knew it was a huge step up. Of course, I also knew that it would cost a lot more, but I tend to be very conservative about buying Figuarts and MAFEX releases, so one of my favorite characters every once in a while isn’t a huge deal.

Was this Gwenpool worth the wait or should I have stuck with my twenty dollar Marvel Legend? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – MAFEX No. 71 Gwenpool from Medicom”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Iron Man from Mezco

As a sometimes reluctant toy addict I have started many a toy review with the words, “I hadn’t planned on buying this…”

This is one of those reviews.

Mezco’s One:12 Collective line of action figures has been my favorite toy line for a few years now. Aside from one release that had a production error (Reverse Flash, who I returned three times and never got one that wasn’t defective) every figure I’ve bought from this line has ranged from very good to amazing. They’re expensive, but out of everything I collect these figures leave me feeling like I got my money’s worth more than anything else.

Although I have to admit that in the last year Hasbro has upped their game with the MCU Marvel Legends in a big way.

One:12 is still the premiere line in my opinion, though, and the one giving me definitive versions of my favorite characters. The key is that I try to stick to just my favorite characters due to the premium pricing. But sometimes due to extenuating circumstances that doesn’t always work out.

In a good news/bad news situation, my Local Comic Shop has a new deal with a toy distributor. This means that rather than going through Diamond, who are unreliable at best and aggressively bad at worst, these toys are coming direct from NECA, Funko, and Mezco. So now there’s a whole section of current releases from those companies, plus a ton of Marvel Legends that you won’t necessarily see at Target right now.

The best/worst part is that the seller has most of the One:12 Collective figures that have come out over the past couple of years and they’re right there on the shelf where you can look at them. And as I’ve mentioned in these reviews before, seeing these figures in person is a whole different experience from seeing them online.

So now I own a One:12 Collective Iron Man.

Our Head of Research, Ryan, had been telling me how great it was and after seeing it and holding the box, I had to see for myself. Is it as definitive as other One:12 figures or should you stick to your twenty dollar Hasbro figure? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Iron Man from Mezco”