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Sunday, October 14, 2018

My thoughts on the 2018 New York Comic Con

Even though I did not attend the New York Comic Con , I've browsed online coverage of it from various websites . I'll be honest, the action figure reveals were not enough. Don't get me wrong there were some nice reveals, but I was disappointed that most of the toy lines that I collect today had very little to show at the 2018 NYCC . There were no new WWE Mattel reveals, no new Masters of the Universe Classics reveals, however Marvel Legends and the Star Wars Black Series had a few nice reveals . Although the " number " of figures revealed turned out to be disappointing , it's the " NEWS HEAD LINES " of the show that really stood out . Some possible good news for toy collectors.

The first good news that I think all of us collectors like is the fact that Toys R Us having a change of heart about closing all the stores. Thoughts of them making a come back through re branding and starting over . However the name may not stay the same as it is to be rebranded into Geoffrey's Toybox according to this article on ToyNewsi.com  -    https://toynewsi.com/1-31912 .


Other than the upbeat news about Toys R Us possibly returning , the only other big announcement was the return of the Movie Maniac figures according to Todd McFarlane . Here is a link to this article also courtesy of ToyNewsi  -  https://toynewsi.com/14-31911 .

Despite there not being many major reveals from the big name toy companies, there were some cool items I liked from the Star Wars Black and Marvel Legends lines. Pictures are courtesy of The Fwoosh and Toyark .



Not pictured is Corvus Glaive . It's nice that Thanos Black Order team can be nearly completed with the additions of Ebony Maw and Corvus Glaive . Also a new Blanka figure from the Street Fighter franchise is on the way by S.H. Figuarts. It's also nice to see a Night Thrasher figure representing Marvel's New Warriors. Hopefully his presence is a sign of more New Warriors to come soon, and popular Star Wars villain General Grievous looks to be finally getting the Star Wars Black treatment along with Dr. Aphra . There were some other nice reveals too from other toy lines but these are the ones that got my attention the most .

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Congratulations to Bro Midnight - WINNER of the September 2018 Contest !!!

Congrats to Bro Midnight . Below is what was shown.
Below is the answer
WWE Mattel  Then, Now, and Forever Macho Man Randy Savage figure . GOOD LUCK TO ALL IN THE NEXT CONTEST !!!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

No winner for August 2018 Contest .

Unfortunately no one won the August 2018 Contest . Below is what was shown .
Below is the answer
A Justin Bieber mini figurine from a three-pack by Bridge Direct .

GOOD LUCK TO ALL IN THE SEPTEMEBER 2018 CONTEST !!!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

September 2018 Contest !!! Win 10 Dollars !!!

Give the name of the character and the toy line .
You have until October 31, 2018, Halloween to have the correct answers . GOOD LUCK TO ALL !!!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Pros and Cons of Marvel Legends !!! Both Toybiz and Hasbro !!!

Since Marvel Legends is basically split up between two companies, first it was owned by Toybiz then when Toybiz folded the Marvel Legends franchise got sent to Hasbro . So because of this situation I've decided to review both Toybiz and Hasbro Marvel Legends together . The words " APPLIES TO " will be used to clarify rather  a situation applies to Toybiz , Hasbro or both .

                         The Pros of Marvel Legends 
                    (   Both  Toybiz and Hasbro  ) 
                                The  Positives  

( 1 ) Applies  only  to  Toybiz  -   ACTUAL  REAL  COMIC  BOOK  REPRINTS  CAME  WITH  THE  FIGURES  -
Even though they are all re-prints , there were some re-prints of some classic Marvel Comics . Actual real comics by Marvel themselves, and not some made up stuff by the toy company . So not only did you get a cool figure , but also an actual comic book for your reading enjoyment . Once Hasbro took over the comics ended .

( 2 ) Applies to BOTH  -  EXCELLENT  LIKENESS  OF  ACTORS AND  ACTRESSES OF  THE  MARVEL  MOTION  PICTURE  MOVIES  -
From the Spider-Man films with Tobey Mcguire as Spidey to the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy figures based on the films , both Toybiz and Hasbro have done an excellent job of making the figures look like the actors .

( 3 )  Applies  only  to  Hasbro  -  THE  LUXURY  OF  HEAD  SWAPPING  IS  FUN  -    With the most recent Marvel Legends by Hasbro , you can now remove the head of a figure and place it unto the body of another figure . Just think of the options being almost limitless . Lots of fun and creativity to explore with head swapping . The older Hasbro figures do not have this luxury, same with the Toybiz figures . However the most recent Hasbro Legends are making head swapping a fun trend .

( 4 )  Applies  only  to  Toybiz  -   MORE  ARTICULATION  THAN  ANY  OTHER  KNOWN  SIX  INCH  SCALED  TOY  LINE -
With the Toybiz Legends , a lot of figures even have finger articulation . You can actually move all five fingers on some figures . When Hasbro took over quite a bit of the articulation that Toybiz gave the figures got cut out . Also with Toybiz the female figures have ab crunches whereas till this day the female figures still do not have an ab crunch .

( 5 ) Applies  only  to  Toybiz  -  REALISTIC  LOOKING  FACES  ON  THE  FIGURES  -  Even though today's Hasbro's figures are catching up to Toybiz in this department, however the Toybiz figures have more details in their faces so far .  For example , compare the faces of the Toybiz version of the Absorbing Man to all of the Hasbro Absorbing Man figures, including the build-a-figure, and you will immediately notice the differences .

( 6 )  Applies only  to  Hasbro  -   MARVEL  LEGENDS  STILL  GOING  STRONG  TODAY  -   However the reason the line still lives on is because of Hasbro and not Toybiz . Why is it that Hasbro can keep the line going and Toybiz could not ? Did Toybiz's business practices did them in ? They suffered the same fate as Toys R Us . However Hasbro has been around much longer than Toybiz ever was and has much more business experience . Lack of experience in the business could have been a factor in the demise of Toybiz .

( 7 )  Applies  to  BOTH  -    THE  JOY  OF  BUILD - A - FIGURES  -   Once Marvel Legends started the build-a- figure  idea , other toy companies have continued the trend by following in Legend's footsteps . Toybiz's BAFs ( Build-a- Figures ) were bigger , however this could be a negative too as well as a positive because the bigger the figure the more shelf space, among just space in general it takes up . Rather you prefer the bigger BAFs of Toybiz or the smaller Hasbro ones , the build-a-figure concept was and is a great idea to keep one from spending a lot of money all at once on over-sized characters . By purchasing individual body parts over time is a great way to keep from spending too much at one time . A situation very similar to lay-away .

( 8 ) Applies only  to  Hasbro  -   THE  FIGURES  COME  OUT  MORE  FREQUENTLY  NOW - 
Since Toybiz is no longer in operation . Now there are no more long waits between waves . Hasbro has been on a ball keeping the figures rolling into the stores without the long waits .

( 9 ) Applies to  BOTH  - MARVEL  LEGENDS  ARE  CHEAPER  THAN  OTHER  MARVEL  FIGURES  - 
The other companies that make six inch scaled Marvel figures such as Diamond Select Toys with their Marvel Select figures and the Mezco 1 /12 Marvel figures  are doing a great job, however the figures are on the pricey side . Even though Marvel Legends are not as cheap as they used to be under Toybiz , twenty bucks per figure is still better than what Marvel figures from other companies are priced at . How does Toybiz apply you may ask ? Because you can still purchase loose Toybiz figures off of places like Ebay and Amazon for fair deals .

( 10 )  Applies only to Toybiz  -  THE  FRESH  STRONG  NEW  SCENT  OF  OPENING  A  NEW  FIGURE  - 
How many of you remember opening a Toybiz figure and inhaling a strong scent afterward ? It's not a bad odor but it's not exactly roses neither . It's kind of hard to explain in words however I'm sure many of you have heard people mention " that new car smell " . That's the kind of feeling you get when you open a Toybiz figure of some characters . I remember my Toybiz Sasquatch had that scent when I removed him from the packaging .

( 11 ) Applies only to Toybiz  -   STRONG  DETAILED  BIOS  ON  THE  CARD  BACKS  - 
I'm sorry but Hasbro's bios just do not cut it anymore . They started off similar to Toybiz but recently the bios are just too basic and seem more aimed at kid collectors than adults . For example , if you purchase  any figure of the Hulk these days, the bio may say something similar to this " The Incredible Hulk uses his super strength to smash the enemy . " No bio has actually said those exact words,  however those types of bios have been given to us recently by Hasbro . The bios are now basic and in my opinion are now also boring . They're not as fun to read as they used to be . The older Hasbro bios were good because they're similar to the Toybiz bios . The Toybiz bios provided a physical trait chart displaying a character's strength, speed, fighting skills and intelligence . You also got the character's origin story alongside the chart . I miss those old Toybiz bios .

( 12 ) Applies only to Hasbro  - A  LOT  OF  THE  MOST  RECENT  FIGURES  MAY  COME  WITH  EXTRA  HEADS  AND  HANDS  - 
Some Toybiz figures had alternate heads but not many came with alternate hands . This is where Hasbro has them beat . Extra heads come in handy for masked characters, such as a masked and unmasked head for multiple display options .

Before moving on to the Cons of Marvel Legends , let's see how both Toybiz and Hasbro compared with each other with the Pros .

                        TOYBIZ  - Applies  only to Toybiz  -  5 out of 12
                                            Applies  to BOTH     -       3  out of   12
FINAL   TOYBIZ   SCORE   -    8  out of 12 for a total  Score  of   8 

                          HASBRO   -  Applies only to Hasbro  - 4 out of 12
                                                  Applies  to   BOTH    - 3 out of 12 
FINAL    HASBRO  SCORE   -  7 out of 12 for a total Score  of  7   

Toybiz wins by only ONE point . Even though Toybiz has the winning score this by no means mean that Toybiz did a better job than Hasbro . Because there are some things not discussed in this article such as paint applications on figures . Categories like that vary from figure to figure so that situation alone makes paint apps a difficult category to judge .  Now on to the Cons of Marvel Legends .

                                 The  Cons of Marvel Legends
                           (  The  Negatives  )  - Both Toybiz and Hasbro

( 1 )  Applies to Toybiz  -   TOYBIZ  WENT  OUT  OF  BUSINESS  -   I sure miss Toybiz , but Hasbro has slowly caught up with them in the quality of the figures .

( 2 )  Applies to  Hasbro  -  NEEDS  TO  CONTINUE  TO  IMPROVE  THE  TIGHTNESS  OF  JOINTS  IN  SOME  FIGURES -
Some figures made today still have loose ab crunches , etc . 

Well that;s it for now folks. I enjoyed writing this article and I hope you enjoyed reading it . Before I go let me leave you with some pics of Marvel Legends in action .













Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pros and Cons of the Vintage 1980s Masters of the Universe line !!!

The Pros and Cons series looks back at an old popular toy line from the nineteen eighties , the original Masters of the Universe toy line . A Pros and Cons Review was also done for the current Masters of the Universe Classics line, and in case you missed that review here's the link to it - http://actionfigureimagerytoyreviews.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-pros-and-cons-of-masters-of.html . Now on to the old 1980s vintage Masters of the Universe toy line.

                              The Pros and Cons of the original MOTU  
                       Masters of the Universe 
                                 (  The   Positives  )  

( 1 )   EVERY  FIGURE  CAME  WITH  A  MINI-COMIC  -  Plus the  mini - comics were awesome. The comics themselves were among the features that made the toys popular . I remember as a kid wanting a second figure of Teela even though I already had her in my collection . The reason being was that this time around Teela came with a new mini-comic, so I wanted that same figure just for that comic, and not for the figure .

( 2 )  THERE  WERE  SOME  NICE  PLAY-SETS  IN  THE  LINE -   The play sets are Castle Grayskull , Snake Mountain ,  Point Dread , The Slime Pit  , The Fright Zone and The Eternia Towers Play-set, which allows the connection of Grayskull and Snake Mountain to attach to it to create a super size play set .

( 3 ) PLENTY  OF  COOL  VEHICLES  WITH  NICE  FEATURES  SUCH   AS  BEING   BATTERY  OPERATED, ALSO  SOME  COOL  ANIMAL  CHARACTERS    -     Among the battery operated vehicles are Attak Trak , Spydor , Dragon-Walker , and  Beam-Blaster and Artillery . Some of the ones with nice action features are the Wind Raider with its rescuing rope and the Battle-Ram with missile launching action . As for the beasts, the creators of these characters really let their imagination run wild with a green tiger with yellow stripes and a purple panther , thus turning into Battle-Cat and Panthor . Also don't forget about Zoar and Screech , along with Strydor and Night Stalker . As for Battle Bones, many may debate rather he should be considered a vehicle or animal ? I say he belongs in the animal category because he once was an actual living dinosaur with flesh, brought back to life with magic .

( 4 ) THEY  STAND  BETTER  THAN  A  LOT  OF  TODAY'S  FIGURES  -   Another great thing about the vintage MOTU is that they can stand very well without falling . The " bent knees " on every figure not only are great for battle and fight poses , the " bent knees " on the figures also help maintain balance .

( 5 ) LOTS  OF  FIGURES  COME  WITH  COOL  UNIQUE  WEAPONS  -  One thing I like about the vintage MOTU is that there are all sorts of weapons characters / figures come with . It's not just all swords and guns . Plus the weapons are unique . Beast-Man's bullwhip, Webstor's grappling hook, Clamp-Champ's clamp , etc. I could go on and on , are among my favorite weapons in the line .

( 6 )  THE  CARD-BACKS  HAVE  NICE  ART  ON  THEM  ALONG  WITH  THE  PACKAGING  FOR  THE  VEHICLES, PLAY SETS AND  ANIMAL  FIGURES -
The first few card backs of the original eight figures just displayed drawn images of those figures . Later on characters would be displayed in action plus you would get mini instructions on how to make their action features work . Also there is plenty of great artwork with the characters in action with everything from Castle Grayskull to the vehicles and beast characters .

( 7 )  THE  ACTION  FEATURES  IS  WHAT  REALLY  MADE  THE  FIGURES  FUN  -  The original eight figures just had the " twist waist for power punch " feature . Then later in the line Mattel took things a step further by giving individual action features to characters rather than have everyone do the same thing . Sy-Klone spins, Kobra Khan and Snout Spout squirt water, etc .

( 8 ) THE  VINTAGE  MOTU  ALSO  HELPED  SPIN-OFF  OTHER  GREAT  MOTU-RELATED  MERCHANDISE  AND  PRODUCTS  -
If not for the original MOTU figures, there would be no cartoons, no She-Ra , and not even MOTU Classics . A lot of fans that were born after the release of the line may think that the Filmation cartoon came before the toys, however we all know that the toys came before all of the toons including She-Ra and the New Adventures of He-Man. Also other great MOTU -related products such as comics, magazines , etc . would not exist if not for the original vintage line .

( 9 ) SUPER 7  ARE  MAKING  VINTAGE  STYLED  FIGURES  TODAY  JUST  IN  CASE  YOU  MAY  WANT  TO  ADD  ON  TO  YOUR  ORIGINAL  VINTAGE  MOTU  COLLECTION -  Have you always wanted those non produced He-Ro and Eldor figures from that Powers of Grayskull line ? Thanks to Super 7 they can now be yours along with other vintage styled figures . I think this is very cool that Super 7 is doing this. So not only are they just focusing on adding to the MOTU Classics , but they also want to keep fans of the vintage toys happy too . You can visit the Super 7 store at this link  - https://super7.com/ .

( 10 )  TODAY  THERE  ARE  OTHER  FRANCHISES  AND  TOY  LINES  MAKING  FIGURES  IN  THE  SAME  DESIGN  AND  STYLE  AS  THE  VINTAGE  MOTU  -   For example , the Mortal Kombat and Thunder-Cat figures that are  designed in the same fashion as the vintage MOTU . So if you want to have a vintage MOTU crossover with some Mortal Kombat figures on your display shelves, now you can . Plus other toy lines have also produced vintage MOTU style figures in the 1980s , such as the Sun-Man series by Olmec Toys .

Now for the negatives , the Cons .

       The  Cons  of  the vintage  Masters of the Universe  line 
                           (  The  Negatives ) 

( 1 )  SOME  OF  THE  RARE  FIGURES  FROM  THE  VINTAGE  LINE  ARE  SUPER  EXPENSIVE  TODAY  -   You may have to save two or three full time paychecks from your job in order to purchase vintage versions of Megator , Tytus , the Eternia Playset and Wonder Bread He-Man . For those not familiar with the mysterious Wonder-Bread He-Man figure, rumors has it that this brown haired He-Man figure was involved in a prize give-away by none other than who else, the Wonder Bread company . A complete  Eternia Playset at the time of this writing , while still inside the box may now cost you above the thousand dollar mark .

( 2 )  THE  FIGURES  WERE  NOT  MADE  FOR  ROUGH  PLAY -   This situation is not a problem now as an adult but it was as a kid . This was my only gripe about the vintage line not related to the pricing of the rare figures . A lot of my old He-Man figures lost their legs when I was a child playing with them. The rubber bands that hold the legs together just were not strong enough in a lot of figures . Especially in the older figures . As the line aged the newer figures did not have the same type of problem, despite using the same rubber bands to hold the legs together . However now as an adult I'm not bothered by the rubber bands being used to hold the legs together.

Well that's it for now folks. I hope you all enjoyed the article . Below the vintage He-Man figure and The Meteorbs .




Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pros and Cons of the SOTA Street Fighter figures !!!

The Pros and Cons series continues with another toy line that is discontinued. The Street Fighter Sota Toys series . There are quite a few companies that have made or are currently making six inch scaled Street Fighter figures . Among them are Neca , S. H. Figuarts , Storm Collectibles , and Sota . Out of all of the companies to make Street Fighter figures in six inch scale I think that Sota has done the best job and I'll explain why as of now.

                                         The  Pros of  Sota Street Fighter figures
                                      (  The  Positives ) 

( 1 )  THE   FIGURES  COME  WITH  EXTRA  HEADS  AND  EXTRA  HANDS  -   I know a lot of today's toy lines do this same thing . However when it comes to an extra head , nine times out of ten the pair is almost always a masked head and an unmasked head . Whereas with the Street Fighter Sota figures you get different facial expressions with the alternate heads. For example , Balrog comes with one head where it seems that he is displaying a sinister grin , and the other head looks as if he is angry . This is a nice luxury for toy photography, just in case you want the figures displayed with a variety of emotions .

( 2 )  THE  FIGURES  COME  WITH  SOME  COOL  ACCESSORIES  -   Lots of today's figures do also. However with the Street Fighter Sota figures , for example, Guile . Not only did Guile come with his dog tag and a comb for his hair, but he also came with his famous " sonic boom " attack beams. So not only do you get a character's regular accessories, but also some of their powers in plastic form also . Not to mention animals too, because Ibuki comes with her pet raccoon and Thunder Hawk with his eagle. Also not considered an accessory , but the figures also come with a poster like sheet showing other toy lines and figures that are not Street Fighter made by Sota Toys . So overall some nice bonus goodies to go along with the alternate heads and hands .

( 3 )   SEVERAL  CHARACTERS / FIGURES  HAVE  VARIANTS  OF  THEMSELVES -  Although I'm not a big fan of variants myself , this is good for those that are . For example you can purchase three different versions of Cammy . Not only can you get her in her original green outfit, but also in pink and blue .

( 4 )  NO  SHARED  BODY  PARTS  OR  BODY  MOLDS  -  In most toy lines, both old and current there will be characters / figures that share the same torso, the same arms , etc . However this is not the case with the Street Fighter Sota figures . Each figure is designed with their own original parts .

( 5 ) EVERYONE  IS  IN  SCALE  HEIGHT  WISE  AND  STATURE  WISE -  All of the figures are proportioned correctly just like they are in the famous video game franchise .

( 6 )   THE  PACKAGING  OF  THE  FIGURES  -  Other than different colored packaging for different figures , there are some that display drawn arcade buttons on the front , and on the back there are some with what resembles a character selection menu . I think this is a nice nod and sort of like a tribute to the video game franchise itself .   This is great since Street Fighter's true roots are video games , and not toys and action figures .

( 7 ) THE  FIGURES  SEEM  TO  BE  MADE  OUT  OF  A  NICE   HARD  PLASTIC  WITH  TIGHT  JOINTS -   Although not  all figures  have " super " tight  joints but at least you don't have to worry about " bobblehead type looseness" with ab crunches , knee joints , etc . Plus is it just me or does the plastic seems like a nice hard plastic that feels different from other toy lines ? The plastic feels right and the figures have a nice sturdy feel to them without any signs of being fragile .

( 8 )  THE  FIGURES  HAVE  BETTER  ARTICULATION  THAN  A  LOT  OF  TODAY'S  FIGURES -  Including Hasbro's Marvel Legends . Excellent all around articulation exists in these figures .

( 9 )  THEY  FIT  IN  WELL WITH  MARVEL  LEGENDS  AND  OTHER  SIX  INCH  SCALED  LINES  -  However I'm putting more emphasis on the Sota Street Fighter figures fitting in well with Marvel Legends more than I am any other toy line . The reason why is because of the " MARVEL  . VS . CAPCOM " video game series . Thanks to a combination of Sota Street Fighter figures and Marvel Legends collectors can now display half of the characters from that popular video game series upon their display shelves .

( 10 )  TONS  OF  MULTIPLE  DISPLAY  OPTIONS  - Because of all of the extra heads and hands, along with the accessories allow for various multiple display  options  .

That's  it for the Pros. And now for the Cons .

                  The  Cons  of the Sota Street Fighter figures 
                               ( The  Negatives ) 

( 1 )  NOT  EVERY  STREET  FIGHTER  CHARACTER  GOT  MADE -  Unfortunately Sota did not get around to every single character . Hopefully one day soon all of the characters will have six inch scaled figures of themselves if not by Sota than maybe by some other company .

( 2 )  A  LOT  OF  THE  FIGURES  ARE  NOW  VERY  EXPENSIVE  -  This occurrence however happens with all toy lines as they age, especially a discontinued one .

Alright folks that's it for the article . But before I go let me leave you with some Street Fighter Sota figures in fighting action . Thunder Hawk versus Balrog . For your entertainment .