Needless Things Podcast 255 – Transformers

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The Rad Ranger stops by the Needless Things Podcast to talk about one of the longest-lived 80s toy lines – Hasbro’s Transformers!
Originating in the early 80s with the standard toy/cartoon/comic book licensing combo, Transformers changed toys as we knew them. Robots that transformed into cars, jets, guns, and more were an ideal concept for the kids of the era. An amalgamation of several different Japanese toy lines, America’s Transformers line saw instant success.
That success has lasted right up through today, with countless animated shows, live action movies, comic books, and iterations of the original toy line. Even now a brand new line is in stores – Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege is bringing the sensibilities of the original franchise toy toys that take advantage of every modern innovation.
Listen in as Dave and Sean discuss their personal histories with the Transformers franchise on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

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Needless Things Podcast 253 – Toy Fair 2019

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The Needless Things Irregulars assemble for their annual look at the New York International Toy Fair!

The 2019 New York International Toy Fair was held from February 16th-19th so that toy manufacturers from all over the world could get retailers and journalists excited about their offerings for the upcoming year. Hasbro, Mattel, Funko, NECA, and many more all bring out their prototypes, concepts, and newest licenses to display in the biggest toy-oriented gathering of the year!
Join Phantom, Needless Things’ Head of Research Ryan, The Belligerent Monkey, and Josh Wilson as they discuss the coolest collectibles that will be unleashed in the coming year!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

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You can follow Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!

The Best of New York International Toy Fair 2019

This year brings with it an all-new, all-different form of my annual Toy Fair recap!

In previous years I provided exhaustive coverage of pretty much everything that went down from most of the notable toy companies. It took a ton of effort and lots of hosting space to post all of the pictures, not to mention the hassle involved in actually tracking down pictures that I felt comfortable using.

Using the sites mentioned below it’s now easier than ever for anyone to follow along with Toy Fair goings-on, especially if you’re part of the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group. Toy companies have mostly figured out social media and are posting announcements and new products even faster than the media can report them.

That being the case, in today’s post I’m just going to run down my favorites from the show. Which might end up being just as lengthy as the older posts because there were a ridiculous number of amazing announcements this year. It’s entirely possible that this was the biggest Toy Fair since we started covering it a decade ago.

Read on to see some of the coolest toys from the show and of course, listen to this Friday’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast to hear me, Ryan, Jay, and Josh discuss all of the hottest reveals!

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Note: I was able to find release dates for some of these and have provided them when possible. Continue reading “The Best of New York International Toy Fair 2019”

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 – Star Wars Black Series #67 4-LOM Action Figure from Hasbro

As I mentioned on last week’s Needless Things Podcast, I just can’t seem to choose a Star Wars line.

The less articulated basic line gives the best character selection, the Vintage Collection is the style and size I prefer, and the Black Series has finally achieved a level of quality where I find some of the releases irresistible.

If I can actually find them.

The bounty hunters – the group Darth Vader assigns to hunt down the Millennium Falcon in Empire – transcend those decisions, though. I’ve loved those character designs since I was a child, but the best thing is that they’re a small, specific group and that every Star Wars line tends to represent all six of them – Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar, Bossk, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss. So I’ve developed a habit of just buying all of the bounty hunters when I see them, even if I’m not collecting that line.

As for the Black Series, I hadn’t intended to buy anyone but Fett. At twenty bucks a pop these aren’t the same kind of fun impulse buy as Galactic Heroes or a small LEGO set that has three of the characters. I passed on Bossk and IG-88, but then when Hasbro hit us with the triple threat of Dengar, 4-LOM, and Zuckuss (a Disney Store exclusive and therefore much more easily obtained), as well as the announcement that they would be rereleasing the first two, I couldn’t resist.

Mainly because for one reason or another I’ve managed to stock an entire shelf with Black Series releases.

Am I dumb for continuing to dabble in this line, or is 4-LOM the kind of figure that could make you question your style loyalties? Read on and find out.

Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series #67 4-LOM Action Figure from Hasbro”

One: 12 Collective Wonder Woman Action Figure from Mezco

Gal Gadot blew away audience expectations with her portrayal of Diana of Themyscira in DC’s films.

She soared above the material of her first appearance in Dawn of Justice, providing a truly unforgettable segment in an otherwise… let’s say “divisive” film. She carried a solo film that was “pretty good” at best to greatness in the eyes of most fans, and as a result was the centerpiece of the follow-up, Justice League.

Now, thanks to Gadot’s bright, magnetic performance and admittedly good care being taken of her character, Wonder Woman is the sole point of positivity and high expectations in an otherwise highly questionable DC movie universe.

Note – While I am super-stoked for Aquaman and Shazam and relatively excited for Joker and Suicide Squad 2; not everyone is. So I speak from a “in the public eye” perspective.

I fell in love with Diana just as much as everyone else did. This of course meant that, me being me, I wanted the best Wonder Woman figure I could find (that wasn’t a $275 Hot Toys release).

I adore Mezco’s One:12 Collective line and had no doubt that they’d create the best possible movie Wonder Woman for the money I was willing to spend. I have had exactly two product issues with this line so far. The first was that every single Reverse Flash that came into the comic shop had a twisted up belt (which turned out to be a widespread production error), so I ended up without a Reverse Flash.

The second was the broken arm on my Special Ops Punisher, which Mezco made right with impressive quickness; after a phone call.

I hate to say it, but this might be the first One:12 figure I’m truly dissatisfied with. There are a couple of issues I just can’t get past. Do they ruin the figure or will I get over it? Read on. Continue reading “One: 12 Collective Wonder Woman Action Figure from Mezco”