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 – 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 – 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”