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”

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”

Toy Review – Vincent Price as Dr. Erasmus Craven Action Figure from NECA

Big thanks to super-fun site The Toy Box for bringing this figure to my attention!

As I commented on the above linked post, I remember this figure coming out back in 2002, but at the time I was hoping we might get a character from a different movie, like Dr. Phibes or Nicholas Medina. The Raven isn’t my favorite Price vehicle.

2002 was a very different time for NECA, the company we now know as the masters of toy horror. Their Reel Toys imprint (which this figure is a part of) had just launched and didn’t have the multitude franchises it does today. There was a focus on more obscure and classic horror. I’m actually struggling to recall what their first offerings were.

That was also the year that Randy Falk joined NECA and brought several former McFarlane Toys employees with him. It was the start of a huge shift in pop culture and genre action figure business.

I’m pretty sure this Vincent Price ended up being a sort of one-off item, because I don’t believe NECA released any more Vincent Prices or sixth scale figures in this style (if I’m wrong, let me know). Continue reading “Toy Review – Vincent Price as Dr. Erasmus Craven Action Figure from NECA”

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”