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”

Toy Review – Game of Thrones Series 1 from McFarlane Toys

Like many toy collectors of my generation I’ve had a long and tumultuous relationship with McFarlane Toys.

That may seem like a dramatic way to open a toy review, but I have to lay down some groundwork so you know where I’m coming from. I have a deep fondness for McFarlane Toys and the amazing changes they wrought in the toy industry. Because of them horror toys became mainstream and a constant presence in toy aisles. They also leveled up what was possible in a single action figure, from sculpt to paint to accessories.

McFarlane Toys penetrated the likes of Walmart and Target with collector-focused products and paved the way for mass-market availability of every niche of dorkery.

McFarlane Toys has produced some of the most amazing-looking action figures in the history of the business. They have also produced some tragically fragile collectibles that have a tendency to simply fall apart, sometimes straight out of the box.

There’s probably a whole post to be written, but that’s not what I’m here for today. Continue reading “Toy Review – Game of Thrones Series 1 from McFarlane Toys”

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Ultimate Filmation from Super 7

When Super 7 took over the Masters of the Universe Classics line from Mattel I was pretty much okay with being done with the line.

I had every character I ever wanted (except for Wun-Dar, who I now consider a lost cause) and plenty I didn’t. I looked at the shift in companies as an opportunity to bail. As a matter of fact, I intentionally neglected updating my credit card information for the final few months of Mattel’s releases because I decided I didn’t need them.

Fortunately I was able to pick the ones I wanted up for cheap at GameStop and ThinkGeek a couple of years later.

Super 7 has announced a couple of things I want here and there – most notably Karg – but after years of subscribing to MattyCollector and paying for things I don’t really want I can’t justify signing up Super 7’s sets, which have all included at least two figures I do not want.

Note: Obviously this does not include the recently announced and offered William Stout Collection. I jumped on those day one.

From time to time Super 7 offers individual figures, though. And I’ve been more than happy to grab them because they’ve been fun, gimmicky things like Laughing Prince Adam and Holiday He-Man. And today’s subjects.

I was never particularly interested in the Filmation style Classics figures. They look great, but they don’t fit in with the regular Classics collection and I don’t want to start all over again. I have Trap-Jaw – who is the character I’ll buy in pretty much any form – thanks to our pal Rad Ranger, but I had no plans to own anybody beyond him.

Then Super 7 revealed that beautiful and weird Robot He-Man head, as well as Laughing Skeletor.

Those excellent pieces were to be included with all-new Ultimate figures of Filmation He-Man and Skeletor, which weren’t necessarily on my “needs” list, but were gimmicky and interesting enough to grab my attention. I was well aware that I might be inviting a case of Potato Chip Syndrome by buying these, but I hadn’t felt any particular compulsion to order any of the other Filmation releases. I think I’ll be okay.

These two arrived a day prior to me receiving the shipping notice because apparently Super 7 is now utilizing time machines to ship their products. Were they a good purchase? Did Super 7 deliver “Ultimate” figures? Am I now compelled to collect all of the other Filmation releases?

Read on and find out!

Continue reading “Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Ultimate Filmation from Super 7”