Category: collection spotlight

Collecting Core Samples on Ice Planet Krystos

With Winter Storm Nika wreaking havoc in Southeastern Pennsylvania earlier this week I found myself with an opportunity to take one of my all time favorite LEGO sets its intended environment.

IcePlanet2012The Ice Planet Scooter (1711) is from the truly awesome, yet completely underrated LEGO Space theme Ice Planet 2002.  Coming in at only 19 pieces, the Ice Planet Scooter is a great little flying craft highlighted by its signature translucent orange accent pieces.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Bebop & Rocksteady


TMNT Classics Review Bebop & Rocksteady

When Playmates Toys launched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection line, fans where frothing at the prospect of a complete line of super articulated 6-inch scale action figures based on one of the most iconic cartoons in modern history.

Even though the line launched in 2012 with all four of the Turtles I never actually saw them at retail until May 2013.  I wasn’t the only one who had trouble locating the ninja teens, there was a lot of frustration among the fandom regarding the spotty distribution and rampant scalping.

What good are having four heroes without any bad guys? Well Playmates Toys heard our cries and released Bebop and Rocksteady in August 2013 (which I picked up right around Christmas).

The sculpts really are phenomenal and are on par with any of the mass market releases that we are seeing from companies like NECA or even the Masters of the Universe line from MattyCollector.  While the characters are cartoonish they details are accurate to both the original action figures and they sync up rather well with their on screen appearances on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

As most fans of the Fred Wolf produced cartoon know, Bebop and Rocksteady were often used as comic relief and were never really an actual threat to the Turtles.

At a MSRP of $19.99 you are getting a great value, back in December you may have seen prices spiking on the secondary market but right now as distribution is improving prices are starting to normalize.  I highly recommend picking up these mutated buffoons for your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle collection.

 

 

Christmas Came Early! My LEGO Winter Village Market Arrived

20131019-230314.jpgIt’s October which means Double VIP points at LEGO Brand stores (as well as LEGO Shop At Home) and I’ve made my annual purchase in the continuing Winter Village series.  This year’s entry the Winter Village Market (10235) boasts 1261 individual pieces and its centerpiece is a functioning carousel.

Since I began my Winter Village five years ago these have become a tradition for my family and look great underneath my Christmas tree.  Even though the set has been purchased I typically do not put them together until after Thanksgiving which is the official kickoff of the Christmas season in my household.

Collection Spotlight — Vintage RoboCop Night Fighter Card Art

I don’t think there is a toy collector around that does not have a soft spot for vintage Kenner card art.  About a month ago I picked up a carded (but very worn) RoboCop Nightfighter from the RoboCop and the Ultra Police line and have been unable to bring myself to open it.

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This card back is torn, battered, and has been exposed to the elements; but it showcases the entire RoboCop and the Ultra Police line.  I think I may have opened Pandora’s Box because I have an urge to start snapping up some figures and a few vehicles from this line the Robo-Tank must be mine ….

 

Collection Spotlight — Chief Medical Officer Raphael (Playmates, 1994)

At the height of the merchandising zeitgeist that Playmates launched into toy aisles during the 1990s, they created an unholy union between their two top product lines: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Trek.

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Official Collectible Trading Card Biography:

“When the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise go into hyper space and nosh down to many alien pizzas, it’s up to Chief Medical Officer Raphael to clear the air.  Using his highly sensitive Mutant medical classic tricorder, Chief Medical Officer Rapheal quickly determines the state of things.  Whether he’s beaming down to some unknown planet or attending some illogical ceremony on the planet Vulcan, Chief Medical Officer Raphael brings with him good common sense and a classic Foot blastin’ phaser, just in case common sense dictates blastin’ the baddies.  

It was not until recently that I realized that his indescribable mash up of two of my lifelong franchises existed.  Imagine my excitement when I dusted off this carded figure from a dealer’s overstock box earlier this month at Wizard World Philly.  It must have been fate that brought me to Chief Medical Officer Raphael that day (It was nearly 25 years after I walked out of KB Toys in the Neshaminy Mall with my first ever Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Series 1 Raphael).

As one of the later releases in the Playmates line, Chief Medical Officer Raphael has seven points of articulation (neck, arms, elbows, legs) and decent paint applications.  The Star Trek/TMNT theme mashup is very effective, giving Raphael the appropriate tunic color, rank, and insignia.  With a grimace reminiscent of Dr. McCoy this a great addition to any Star Trek or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan.  And now I have to do track down the remaining three figures in this line.

 

Collection Spotlight — GI Joe #95 (1989)

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GI Joe #95 Cover Scan from my collection

Thanks to the dealers at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con I am now roughly 40 issues short of a complete run of Marvel’s GI Joe series.  One of the purchases I made was G.I. Joe #95, the second part of The Snake Eyes Trilogy, and I immediately fell in love with cover art.  There’s just so much to love here, a battered Snake Eyes silhouetted against flames and a Cobra insignia amidst a pile of broken (and most likely dead) Cobra Vipers.

 

Star Trek Week — Collection Spotlight > “Star Trek III Taco Bell Glass”

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In a promotion that coincided with the release of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Taco Bell released a set of four collectible glasses in 1984. Upon learning of their existence I immediately went about purchasing the one I coveted the most … “Enterprise Destroyed”.

Over the years I have actually purchased “Enterprise Destroyed” on eBay on three separate occasions. I do find a bit of “redshirt” humor being that the glass that kept on breaking just so happened to feature the destruction of everyone’s favorite Constitution-class ship.

The third time around I snapped up the “Spock Lives” glass for next to nothing (I think the eBay seller was feeling bad for me at that point). For collectible glasses that are 29 years oldIMG_2210 they hold up remarkably well in terms of paint (definitely lead based). Even with regular use and washing they remain some of my favorite Star Trek collectibles.

Unlike other collectible glasses these are actually based on glassware actually seen on screen during Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. There is even one in the Captain’s quarters off the U.S.S. Excelsior.

One side of “Enterprise Destroyed” features the explosion and break up of the NCC-1701. The reverse is a depiction of the scene in which Kirk asks Bones “My God … what have I done”. To which Bones replies, “What you had to do. What you always do: turn death into a fighting chance to live”

Look There's A Taco Bell Glass!

This reverse side does a tremendous job of conveying the likenesses of the actors along with the text:

“Scotty, Kirk, and McCoy of the U.S.S. Enterprise watch in safety as the great starship, their home for the last 20 years, self-destructs in the skies above them”.

And for comparison here is a picture of the actual glass versus that emotional scene from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

My God What Have I Done?

My God What Have I Done?

 

Review: LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Kraang Lab Escape (79100)

As part of my 30th birthday celebration, my wife treated me to a mini-shopping spree to the LEGO Store where I picked up three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sets, the first of which I’ll be reviewing here is the Kraang Lab Escape.

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This is the smallest set in the TMNT line at 90 pieces, but with that you get two minifigures: Michelangelo and a Foot Soldier and of course Kraang (which I don’t necessarily count as a minifigure).

Where's that f*cking piece?!?

Where’s that f*cking piece?!?

Now, I’m not one of those LEGO reviews that breaks down the condition of the instruction manual or take pictures mid-build.  I’ve been building LEGOs for 25 years there are no breaks, just little plastic bricks that need to be put in their place. So here is the finished product ….

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I’ll freely admit that I’ve only seen about half of an episode of the new TMNT cartoon, so I’m not well versed in the actual plot, or if this little lab escape even occurred in the show.  This is a very fun and quick build, Kraangs walker had flick-fire missiles, the top rotates and the legs are  for additional (but limited posing).  But hell, you guys just want to know about Mikey right?IMG_2127

The shell is a essentially a back pack that slides over the head post, and his nunchukas are three separate pieces.  I found the printing on both minifigures to be well done.  Kraang is actually a pliable piece of plastic, and a blank pink minifigure head sits inside of his brain body.

With a $12.99 MSRP, you’re paying roughly $0.14 per piece but for those of you that want to make sure you get all four Turtles this is the cheapest set in which Mikey makes an appearance.  For a buyers guide of sorts, check out my article on Infuriating LEGO Math: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Edition, which lays out the least expensive means to obtain all four of your favorite ninja teens.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this set.  It took me longer to take the pictures for this review than to actually build it, and you aren’t stuck with a ridiculous vehicle or playset that will fall by the wayside in your TMNT display.  Kraang’s Lab Escape earns an official  star rating.

Collection Spotlight-> Custom TMNT Flower Pots

Happy New Year!  It’s hard coming back from a holiday break, whether it’s at work or getting back into normal operations here on the blog.  Before I got too far ahead of myself, I wanted to highlight one of the coolest (and nerdiest) presents my wife picked up for me for Christmas.

Knowing my lifelong affinity for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, she worked with a vendor on Etsy to get these custom Leonardo and Raphael flower pots made for me.  One of my hobbies is working outside, and I’ve been working on my plans for a herb garden this spring and summer … and these mutagenic vessels will do a fine job assisting me in that task.

Custom TMNT Flower Pots

Custom TMNT Flower Pots

Interested in a unique gift? Check out more hand painted items over at GingerPots on Etsy.

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Collection Spotlight -> Vintage Godzilla

Something I plan on doing more often is highlighting some of the items I have amassed over  the years.  My first entry is appropriately enough one of my oldest toys, a vintage Godzilla action figure.

This Godzilla is at least 25 years old, and given the breadth of merchandize available I’ve never been able to track down more information about this figure. It does have a Japanese stamp on the left foot, but no date visible.  The story behind this big lizard was I was at work with my dad and he had one of his guys run out to get me something to keep me off of the forklifts and die-cutting presses.

Coming in at approximately 6 inches, this Godzilla has seen its fair share of GI Joe battles and sandcastle destruction. While it may not be considered a ‘holy grail’ by most, this piece has a very sentimental place in my collection and one of a few things that I will never part with.

 

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