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”

Toy Review – Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege from Hasbro

Last week I wrote about my history with Hasbro’s Transformers franchise. That post started off as a review of the newest line of toys from that franchise – War for Cybertron: Siege. I like to open toy reviews with a bit of my personal history with what I’m reviewing, but sometimes if I haven’t written a whole lot about what I’m reviewing it turns into more than an intro.

So now that I’ve gotten that history out of the way, I can explain how I ended up collecting Transformers again after quitting (several times) and I can also review some toys. Continue reading “Toy Review – Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege from Hasbro”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Evil Dead 2 Ash from Mezco

Ashley J. Williams is my guy, my hero.

Thanks to Bruce Campbell’s irresistible charm and charisma Ash is that rarest of commodities in the horror genre – the good guy that’s the center of the franchise. For three films and thirty television episodes, the mad and gruesome story of the Necronomicon and the Deadites revolved around this unsophisticated yet lovable chump.

I own a lot of Ash figures. Rarely can I resist the temptation to buy a new one, even if it’s part of a line I don’t necessarily collect or a scale that isn’t on my shelves. Heck, I’ve got an Ash bobblehead and I can’t stand bobbleheads. I see a halfway decent Bruce Campbell likeness and I am compelled to open up my wallet.

Which, by the way, is a Necronomicon wallet.

Mezco’s One:12 Collective is by far my favorite line of action figures, but I’ve tried to stick to comic book characters. I didn’t buy Jason or Michael Myers and I don’t plan to get Freddy, even though he’s my favorite horror icon. I bent the rules with Alex from A Clockwork Orange just because he seems like he’d be a great villain in the worlds of Batman or Judge Dredd.

I had to have Ash, though. Initially I was reluctant, but in the end the fact that my favorite action figure line was going to have one of my favorite characters was too much for me. I had to have it. I had to know if this would be the best Ash ever or another “almost got it”.

Was it worth it? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Evil Dead 2 Ash from Mezco”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Popeye from Mezco

Grown-up Dave doesn’t think about Popeye the Sailor Man all that much, but kid Dave loved him.

It started with the cartoons, obviously. When I was very young Popeye cartoons were just as heavy in rotation as Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry. I don’t know what happened or why the Sailor Man hasn’t remained as relevant as many other animated icons, but for whatever reason he doesn’t have a very high profile nowadays.

The cartoons were one thing, but in 1980 something very peculiar and quite special happened – Robin Williams starred in a musical Popeye movie directed by five-time Academy Award nominee Robert Altman. The same Robert Altman who directed MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, and Nashville. It was surprising to the world and to this day I think film fans are a bit confused, but of course four-year-old me didn’t know any of that when Mom took me to the theater to see this unique cinematic experience.

While my actual memories of Popeye come from later viewings, I do know that I loved that movie and that it reinforced my fandom for the character. One of my earliest memories is of begging Mom for a can of spinach until she finally broke down and got one. I tried it raw – like Popeye – hated it, and switched to a can of Fritos like they used to have back in the day.

HEALTH ADVISORY – Fritos will not make you strong like Popeye, but they also will not make you throw up like raw spinach out of a can.

My Popeye fandom probably peaked right around the movie coming out and has slowly waned ever since. At no point have I disliked him; he just hasn’t loomed large in my pop culture awareness for quite some time.

I have a collection of comic strips that my mom gave me years ago, but I can’t pretend I’ve read it cover to cover. At most it’s been perused a time or two with only a few pages read in their entirety.

Actually, the last time I gave Popeye any real thought was the last time Mezco put out Popeye toys. Popeye the Sailorpedia lists way more figures than I remember actually being released. I just had Popeye, Bluto, and Wimpy from the first wave. I passed on Olive Oyl because she is the worst.

Clearly someone at Mezco is a much bigger Popeye fan than I am. Between those excellent figures from eighteen years ago(!) and this new One:12 Collective figure, they are carrying the torch for an animated hero who deserves much more recognition than he seems to get. This was one of the earliest announced One:12 figures and it’s been clear from that initial peek that this figure is a serious labor of love.

This is a truly weird concept and design – bringing a character whose most remarkable features are incredibly anatomically improbable into the One:12 semi-realistic format resulted in a look that many found off-putting at first, but that has become more acceptable as the line has gone on. I, for one, hadn’t planned on getting this one due to my strict One:12 collecting rules, but apparently at some point I relented and ordered one because it came in at the Local Comic Shop. By that time I was delighted that Past Me had made the decision because reviews were coming in and Popeye seems to be a hit, making many “Best of 2018” lists.

Is the figure worth the wait and worth possibly going outside of your fandom to obtain? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Popeye from Mezco”

Toy Review – Halloween (2018) Ultimate Michael Myers from NECA

The newest entry in the legendary Halloween franchise comes home tomorrow, so I thought today would be the perfect time to review NECA’s newest – and long-awaited – Michael Myers figure.

After years of near-constant Freddys and Jasons, and even a few Chuckys, the absence of the OG slasher from action figure aisles was conspicuous. While Mezco’s One:12 Myers (from the original film) just barely beat this one to market, off the top of my head I think the last one we got was in the box set with Doctor Loomis and the porch diorama. That’s the one that’s on my shelf, anyway. Sadly the diorama did not survive a move.

Out of all of NECA’s figures, that one has actually aged rather well. One of the advantages Michael has is that he mostly looks the same and there’s not a whole lot of updating to be done at an action figure scale. Of course, as far as being a renewable license with lots of merchandising opportunities, this is not an advantage. I’m sure NECA will squeeze a 1978 Michael out of this figure and might even be able to convince us a couple more are warranted, but I can’t see them doing one for every movie in the same way that they have with Freddy and Jason.

Note: We already know that NECA is releasing a Laurie Strode to go with this Michael and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they pack a slightly different version of Myers in, too. I hope they don’t, but they have a history of such tactics.

After loving the new Halloween I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some merchandise. NECA’s figure took a little longer than I expected to arrive, but now that it’s here, was it worth the wait? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Halloween (2018) Ultimate Michael Myers from NECA”

Toy Review – Walgreens Exclusive Marvel Legends Magik Action Figure from Hasbro

Hasbro has been doing some nice things with the Marvel Legends line for the past year, but their Walgreens exclusives have been going above and beyond.

I’ve been a fan of Colossus’ little sister, Illyana Rasputin, since the mid-80s when I first started reading New Mutants comics. I think she clicked more for me because of the relationship to Peter, who was one of my favorite X-Men.

Over time, as her character grew and her place in the mutant side of the Marvel universe expanded, I ended up liking her even more than I did her brother. Her unique story and wild powerset made her a favorite among a huge number of other characters that I also loved. It would take a whole other post to really run it down, but Claremont’s X-Men are my favorite characters ever. Just thinking about that group and what they went through in the years that I followed Uncanny X-Men (and any related crossover titles) is almost enough to get me a little misty. For an outcast kid who never had an easy time making or keeping friends, they were family.

When Hasbro released Illyana as part of an SDCC exclusive box set a few years ago I was pretty annoyed, but by that time they had already established a habit of eventually rereleasing those kinds of characters. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I could wait.

As X-Men waves came (returned) and went, I waited. Then, much to my surprise, Magik was announced as a Walgreens exclusive. Even more surprising was the short amount of time that passed between the announcement and me having the figure.

Thanks to our Head of Research Ryan Schweck I was able to order Magik from Walgreens website and actually had her in hand before I found the Thing, though only by a couple of days. And when I did find ol’ Ben, there were six Magiks next to him.

That’s just how toy collecting works sometimes.

Was she worth the wait? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Walgreens Exclusive Marvel Legends Magik Action Figure from Hasbro”

Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro

Star Wars vehicles are very important to me.

If I’m talking about Star Wars toys I’m probably going to mention that the starfighters, cloud cars, assorted tanks, and the odd space freighter are critical to any toy line focused on The Galaxy.

Note: Ever since I watched the Solo special features and heard Ron Howard refer to Star Wars as simply “The Galaxy” I have thought it was absolutely wonderful. Pardon me while I obnoxiously co-opt his term of endearment.

The 3.75” Star Wars line has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade and the last few years, specifically, have seen dramatic changes in how Hasbro releases vehicles. Toy production costs have skyrocketed, so the days of getting an acceptably scaled starship for under forty bucks are gone.

Ten years ago you could purchase a (reasonably) accurately scaled Jedi Starfighter with a functioning cockpit, spring-loaded wings and missiles, a removable droid piece, landing gear, and other bells and whistles for $19.99. Since then, as production prices have risen, Hasbro has tried various methods of getting vehicles to the public – scaled-down versions, simplified models, (much) cheaper plastics, less deco, and big hunks of rotocast plastic that don’t even interact with figures.

None of these were for me and I have had to sort of accept that 3.75” scale vehicles were no longer part of my collecting habits.

Fortunately I have an eleven-year-old son who likes Star Wars, so I’ve been keeping tabs on things through his collection. Hasbro has done some interesting things since The Force Awakens and I’ve actually picked up a few items here and there (on clearance).

This past year, though, Hasbro has shown a new interest in getting collectors like me back on board.

You all probably know about HasLab and the forthcoming Sail Barge (good lord it’s less than two months from shipping and I have no idea where I’m gonna put that enormous sonofabitch), but we also got a special treat in the form of today’s subject – a Vintage Collection Imperial tank from Rogue One.

If you don’t know, Hasbro’s Vintage Collection is a line meant to appeal to collectors like me. It uses packaging based on the looks of the original Kenner line, which is a huge draw. Beyond that, the toys themselves have more articulation and deco than the current basic 3.75” releases. While I enjoy the look of the packaging, I open everything, so the quality of the toys is much more important to me. They could put a super articulated figure with great deco in a Mylar bag with cardboard stapled to the top and I’d buy it.

This Imperial vehicle – from a key scene in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – was the first modern Vintage Collection vehicle release. There is currently also a Walmart exclusive TIE Fighter that’s less appealing to me because I already own some fine TIE Fighters and don’t want to pay eighty bucks for a slightly different one.

Oh, yeah – that’s the MSRP for this tank, too.

I’m a big fan of that scene and this tank and when Hasbro first shared pictures of it (at Toy Fair, I think) I was excited. But I also knew that I probably wouldn’t buy it because it would probably cost way more than I was willing to spend. Once it hit retail that turned out to be the case, so I resigned myself to missing out if the price didn’t drop.

Yes – I am aware that waiting for things I want to drop in price probably reduces the likelihood that toy companies will produce more things I want in the future. But I’m at a point where my idea of value has been left behind by inflation. If something is too expensive for me anyway, I’m okay with it going away.

Of course, there’s the whole other issue of those One:12 figures I love so much costing as much as this tank, but that’s a conundrum for another day.

Anyway, eyeballing Amazon for dropping prices on toys I want, but not badly enough, has become a habit. Much to my surprise this beautiful tank dropped to forty bucks just before Christmas, so I ordered one. Is it worth forty or maybe even the original eighty? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Imperial Combat Assault Tank from Hasbro”