Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2019: “Megadeth”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

NOTE: Due to weather conditions(?!?), the actual physical copies of Previews did not make it to Metro Atlanta are comic shops(!). As a result this month’s post is being composed using the online catalog. This means everything will be wacky and out of order, but I trust you guys to handle it like the mature adults we all are.

For instance, I definitely didn’t have a few moments of, “Well F**K IT THEN. I just won’t write it this month!”

A side effect of writing the post this way is that it’s likely to be much leaner. Without being able to see blurbs and creative teams at a glance I’m probably going to end up skipping a few interesting things. Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2019: “Megadeth””

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews January 2019: “Still Mostly Spiders and Bats”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Note: In what is surely a cost saving measure – because everything is a cost saving measure – Diamond has discontinued the pull-out short order forms in favor of a regular page. While I’ll miss the perforations, I will not miss the stupid gloss that made it so hard to write on. I’ll mark this down as a sort-of-improvement. Continue reading “Comic Book Wednesday – Previews January 2019: “Still Mostly Spiders and Bats””

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”

Dave’s Best of 2018

All-new, slightly different site; all-new, slightly different year-end list!

A more accurate title for this post would have been “My Favorite Things from 2018 Out of the Limited Range of Available Things I Was Able to Experience”, but that’s a bit unwieldy.

Obviously I didn’t see every movie, watch every TV show, or read every comic. I’ve got stuff to do, man! But I can still make a pretty darn good list of things that were my personal favorites. Maybe my list lines up with yours, maybe not. If not, perhaps it’ll compel you to give something another look or even try a movie or TV show you missed. Please head on over to the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and share your own favorites when you’re done here!

As I start this thing I’m not sure what format I’m going to use. I scrapped last year’s list rather than using it as a template because I want to see how this unfolds in the more economical style I’ve been using lately. Some categories are easier than others; some I already know exactly what my choice will be.

So read on and find out what excited me the most and earned my fandom and respect in 2018!

Continue reading “Dave’s Best of 2018”

Needless Things Podcast 243 – Star Wars Toys with Adam Pawlus

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-bycrj-a1d628

On this weeks’ episode, Adam Pawlus of 16Bit.com and GalacticHunter.com talks to Dave about the past, present, and future of Star Wars toys!

Known for his quick wit and intuitive knowledge of the hobby, Adam Pawlus has written for various publications including Star Wars Galaxy Collector as well as stints at Rebelscum and Yakface. He also has a day job in the toy business. His newsletter was an invaluable resource for many collectors during the POTF2 era. He now brings his expertise, as well as his ever-popular Q&A column, to Galactic Hunter. If you have a question about Star Wars toys, it’s a good bet he has the answer, or an answer.
Listen in as Dave and Adam talk about the ups and downs of collecting toys from that galaxy far, far away!
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
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Needless Things Minicast Episode 2 – Mezco’s One:12 Collective

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-bnq4g-a12c57

Dave and Head of Research Ryan Schweck discuss Mezco’s One:12 Collective action figure line!

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
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!