Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series Mandalorian, Cara Dune, & IG-11 from Hasbro

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE DISNEY+ PROGRAM THE MANDALORIAN

As you’ll be seeing over the course of the month, Triple Force Friday got me a little more than I expected.

Due to the impending conclusion of the Skywalker Saga and the recent launch of The Mandalorian. Star Wars is going to be getting a little extra love here on Needless Things. And I’m glad I did get seduced by the marketing because I’ve ended up with some of the best Star Wars toys ever. Unfortunately it’s a mix of Black Series and Vintage Collection, but in this day and age you take what you can get or you stop collecting. And I think we all know that I’m not about to stop collecting.

Continue reading “Toy Review – Star Wars Black Series Mandalorian, Cara Dune, & IG-11 from Hasbro”

San Diego Comic Con 2019 – The Toys

I’ve never been to San Diego Comic Con and I can’t foresee a time when it will ever be practical for me to attend, but I do follow the excitement from afar every year.

As an avid fan of pop culture and toys in particular, SDCC is like a blitzkrieg of delight that assaults my mind and my wallet. Film studios and toy manufacturers drop years’ worth of news in the span of a few days. It’s a lot, and if you’re like me it’s helpful to have a place to distill it down to the best stuff.

That’s what Needless Things is for.

Today I’ll be writing about all of the coolest toy news from this year’s Comic Con. Then, for the next two Fridays, you’ll be able to hear me and our pop culture experts Ryan and Jay discuss toys, movies, and more on the Needless Things Podcast!

I’ve included pictures where I can, but mostly just official releases when the companies have put them out (which they have gotten much better about since I started doing these). Toy Ark has massive galleries of the toys and our pal Action Figure Attack on Instagram and Facebook for the best pictures from the show. Continue reading “San Diego Comic Con 2019 – The Toys”

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”

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 – 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”