Toy Review – Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Ultimate Roy Burns from NECA

Who would’ve imagined the phrase “Ultimate Roy Burns” would ever be used, let alone the cause for so much excitement among Friday the 13th fandom?

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ve been a fan of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning from the start. First of all, I didn’t even see the movie until long after it was released. I was later on the game on Friday the 13th than I was A Nightmare on Elm Street, I think because I found Jason scarier than Freddy. I’ll have to sit down and think about it someday, but I remember a very real apprehension about watching the Friday the 13th movies.

I did not like Part V the first time I saw it. Or the second or third, probably. It was only a couple of years ago that I finally was able to put aside the fact that ***SPOILER*** Jason isn’t really in the movie. This was a very dumb thing to get hung up on, especially for someone who likes Jason Goes to Hell as much as I do.

A couple of years ago I picked up the Blu-ray set of the eight Paramount Fridays and had a little marathon. I ended up liking all of them a little more than I remembered (except for Part VIII, which I still think is trash), and finally came around to the fact that A New Beginning is pretty darn good, despite having the least likeable cast of all of the movies.

Replacing Jason Voorhees with Roy Burns was not a bad idea. Within the context of the insane Friday the 13th universe and timeline it’s actually one of the less ridiculous things that has happened.

The movie has great kills, Tommy Jarvis’ continuing story is pretty good, Reggie is fun (they should have brought him back at some point), and Violet’s dance scene is one of my favorite things in the whole franchise.

The funniest thing about Roy is that he’s so obviously not Jason, but for some reason his likeness and mask have been used on a lot of merchandise over the years, so a lot of people don’t even realize he isn’t Jason. I have a Friday the 13th shirt that is clearly meant to sort of represent the franchise as a whole, but the image on it is Roy.

So now NECA, one of the best toy companies on the planet, has released an action figure immortalizing the Jason-who-wasn’t, Roy Burns.

Will it take years to appreciate NECA’s Roy or is he a hit right out of the box? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Ultimate Roy Burns from NECA”

Toy Review – Universal Studios Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Bend-Em from Sunny Days Entertainment

Bend-Ems have been a staple of the toy industry for billions of years now. The concept of putting a rubber form over a wire armature and calling it an action figure is cheap, visually acceptable, and easy to sell.

With a Bend-Em there are no questions about action features, articulation, or deco. What you see is what you get and what you get can range in quality from an amorphous blob that’s supposed to resemble Darth Vader to a startlingly detailed Batman that might look better than some actual action figures.

Bend-Ems can be slapped on the simplest blister cards imaginable and sold anywhere. Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Piggly Wiggly, airport convenience stores and basically anywhere that sells any kind of non-food items probably has a peg full of Bend-Ems somewhere on the sales floor. Continue reading “Toy Review – Universal Studios Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Bend-Em from Sunny Days Entertainment”

Toy Review – Halloween II Ultimate Michael Myers from NECA

What better way to kick off the spooky season than with the godfather of slash himself, Michael Myers?

Slashers as action figures are a funny proposition.

Due to their iconic nature, their looks typically do not change a whole heck of a lot from movie to movie. Back in the olden days toy manufacturers could get away with releasing a sort of generic amalgamation of a character’s appearances across several films. Take McFarlane’s early efforts, which are ostensibly based on specific entries in their respective franchises but do not precisely represent any versions of Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, or whomever.

We ate it up because it was the best we had at the time. And while those figures still have their charms, in this day and age of intense detail and strict screen-accuracy, we as consumers demand more. And have sort of shot ourselves in the foot as a result.

Thanks to our demand for accuracy, we now have approximately fifty-eight Freddy Kruegers that are barely different.

Michael Myers might seem to be the least changing of the slashers, but of course we insane-o fans know that there are more variations to his mask than there are actual movies in the franchise. So while his blue coveralls barely change from film to film, there are plenty of changes to be made to that iconic, but eminently variable, mask.

Fortunately for us a few years ago NECA saw fit to launch their “Ultimate” line of action figures. Each release in this range includes basically all of the parts needed to represent multiple looks from a single film. Today’s review subject includes three different heads, whereas previously we would have had to buy three separate figures to represent these looks.

Of course, the clever part is that NECA charges between twenty-five and thirty bucks for these, so if you want to display all three looks you’re actually paying more per figure than you used to. Granted, you’re getting tons of accessories, but I feel pretty sure NECA is reaping some benefits here. Which is fine by me. They’re a pretty great toy company.

As far as this Michael Myers figure goes, it represents various scenes from 1981’s Halloween II.

I’m a huge fan of this sequel and will almost always watch it immediately following the original. They’re inseparable to me. This isn’t the place to get into how the most recent Halloween affects the legacy of that film, but to me it doesn’t change things.

Back when NECA revealed this figure I was most excited for the Ben Tramer mask that’s included. It’s only in the movie for a couple of minutes, but to me it’s a crucial piece of Halloween lore. Tramer is a victim of Loomis’ obsession. It’s important to remember that Halloween II takes place on the same night as the prior movie, so it’s not like Tramer is knowingly wearing a costume that is lethally similar to a serial killer’s. He’s simply a victim of tragic circumstance, which is something I would love to see explored in the forthcoming films.

Michael’s mask from the finale of Halloween II is also included in this set, complete with the striking “bloody tears”. It’s a look that is absolutely essential, though I honestly hadn’t planned to display the figure that way; this was going to be Tramer on my shelf.

Is this figure an essential addition or an extravagance? And who won out for my shelf space – Myers or Tramer? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Halloween II Ultimate Michael Myers from NECA”

Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ultimate Warrior from Mattel

In the time that has passed since I reviewed the other figure in this case pack, Ultimate Ronda Rousey, I have been unable to resist expanding my collection of wrestling figures.

For a long time I was just collecting Mattel’s Retros and female figures. The Retros were charming throwbacks to Hasbro’s WWF figures and for the most part I find WWE’s female performers more interesting both in the ring and visually than the males. Objectively, females tend to be more toyetic.

Now, however, I have ended up collecting Mattel WCW figures as well as a few odds and ends here and there – mostly stuff I find on clearance. How could you possibly pass up Big Strong Boi Tyler Bate with the NXT UK Championship for twelve bucks? Or Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa, or (Mustafa) Ali for seven bucks each (due to a nationwide screw up on the part of Walmart)?

The bottom line is that Mattel is making some of the best action figures on the market, but only if you’re into wrestling toys. I’m resisting going all-in, but as a lifelong fan of action figures and wrestling, some of these releases really give me the itch. Especially these Ultimates.

The first wave of these consisted of Rousey and this Warrior, the next – which should be hitting stores soon – includes Shinsuke Nakamura and Bret Hart. I’m not sure yet if I’ll end up getting those, but Rousey and Warrior both fit into what I’m already collecting, though I didn’t realize the latter did at first.

I’ve never been much of an Ultimate Warrior fan. Body guys never did much for me. Don’t get me wrong – I admire their dedication to what I think must be a very difficult lifestyle. But I like guys who can work and who look like they’re built for ass-kicking, not for wearing a G-string and flexing on a stage. Warrior had charisma for sure, but he was the shits in the ring. He’s not a guy I’m going to collect.

But then I found out from the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast that this look is based on his time in WCW and that was a very interesting run.

Not good, but interesting.

Between my love for wrestlecrap and the fact that I am actively collecting WCW figures, I knew I had to get this guy.

Is it truly the Ultimate Warrior? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ultimate Warrior from Mattel”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Gomez – Agent Edition from Mezco

Who loves roaches?

NOT ME.

I don’t know why Mezco chose a roach as their mascot (mezcot?), but whatever the reason I have to admit that it’s a notable and immediately recognizable figure. In this case, a literal figure.

Mezco offered this Agent Edition of their mascot, Gomez, as a Toy Fair exclusive way back in February. If you ordered early enough you got actual existing stock; if you didn’t, it was a preorder. Mine was a preorder, but that’s okay because I find as I get older I have plenty of patience to wait for good toys. Better a long wait than a crappy toy.

For instance, I have no effing clue when the William Stout Collection of Masters of the Universe figures will arrive from Super 7, but I’m not sweating it because I’ve been waiting decades for them and I want them to be perfect.

But I’m not here today to talk about Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella. I’m here to talk about this bug.

You know you’re a toy addict when you look at a figure that you not only aren’t familiar with, but are actively repulsed by, and think to yourself, “Man, that’s a really good figure. I’m going to be mad at myself if I don’t get it.” There have been a few One:12s that hit me that way so far and Gomez is the latest. With his plethora of accessories, wonderful suit body, and Chuck Taylor knock-offs I knew it was a figure that I’d regret not having on my shelf if I didn’t jump on the preorder.

Was it worth it or will I be ordering a One:12 Collective Orkin Man to get rid of this guy? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Gomez – Agent Edition from Mezco”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Diabolik from Mezco

I have to start by saying that this is not an action figure of John Phillip Law from Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik. It is based on the Italian Diabolik comic books that the movie adapted.

However, the movie was so well designed and Law was so perfectly cast that it doesn’t take a whole lot of squinting to convince oneself that this is a figure from the movie.

There aren’t many action figures that I’ve anticipated more than this one. I love Bava’s movie and like I said – this figure passes well enough. I never imagined in a million years we’d get Diabolik figures of any kind, let alone as part of the greatest action figure line of all time. Now that this figure is out, the obvious next step is One:12 figures of the Beastie Boys from the Body Movin’ video, right?

Pipe dreams aside, Danger: Diabolik is a singular film experience, rolling James Bond, Batman ’66, and the feel of classic Lucha Libre movies into one bonkers, visually stunning movie. In my opinion it’s Mario Bava at his best – bringing a cartoon world to life with little regard for the mundane trappings of reality. Add an absolutely killer soundtrack by the legendary Ennio Morricone on top of that and I feel like it’s one of the most criminally under-recognized films ever.

If you don’t know, Diabolik is a sort of anti-James Bond. He’s the best thief in the world who uses gadgets and an almost superhuman set of skills to take what he wants, whenever he wants.

As the movie poster states:

“Meet Diabolik, Slick, Suave, Gentle, Brutal, Wild. Out for all he can take, caress or get away with…”

I’m not gonna lie – I was a little nervous to open this one. I even put it off for a couple of weeks after I bought it. After years of anticipation and intervening (mostly) excellence from Mezco, it almost felt like I was too hyped for this one.

Did it live up to my expectations, or did it let me down (deep, deep down)? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Diabolik from Mezco”

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”