Tag: action figures

Toy Review: Voltron Legendary Defender Basic Series – Blue Lion & Lion Attack Voltron

Like any good child of the 1980’s one of the highlights of my Saturday mornings was catching a block of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.  Even by 1985 standards, Voltron was a pop culture phenomenon whose legendary iconography has remained relevant for thirty years.  Now, when Netflix relaunched the franchise last year with, Voltron: Legendary Defenders, I was very impressed with the results.  As promised, Voltron: Legendary Defender paid homage to the original series, staying loyal to mythos, characters and overall look of the show.

I mean, they even brought the Space Mice back!  After binging the first season I likened it very much to the  the ill-fated ThunderCats reboot from 2011, which I loved.  In both cases theses reboots embraced some of the sillier aspects of their predessors all the while providing a more contemporary, action driven plot.

In anticipation of the second season of Voltron: Legendary Defender, set to release on January 20th, 2017 my good friends at Playmates Toys were kind enough to send over some samples from their expansive action figure and role playing line which has started to hit stores across the country.

Long a go a mighty robot warrior,Voltron, was created to protect the galaxy from evil.

Now, five young heroes must master the power of the Voltron Lions to defeat the Galra Empire and restore peace!

The Voltron: Legendary Defender Line is spread of four categories:

  • The highly detailed and articulated basic action figure assortment includes all of the heroes and villains of Voltron, and each figure comes equipped with incredibly fun action features.
  • The Legendary Lion assortment includes all 5 Lions that can combine to unlock unique phrases and sounds from the show and form a 16” articulated Voltron figure
  • The 14” Ultimate Voltron Figure features electronic lights, sounds, incredible detail, articulation and more.
  • The roleplay assortment includes Voltron and Red Lion masks and swords, as well as an electronic transforming version of Voltron’s sword.

For review purposes I was provided two figures from the Basic Assortment: Blue Lion and Lion Attack Voltron.

img_7511It is important to note that the Lions in the Basic Assortment do not combine, rather they each have a specific action function.  The Blue Lion has a “pounce” action which is is engaged by pushing down on the lion so that it’s hind legs lower and you hear a click.The lion then “pounces” by pushing a button on its back.  Due to the internal mechanics of the action feature, the Blue Lion has limited articulation but it’s sculpt and paint are extremely faithful to it’s look on the show, making it a decent display piece.

One of the things that I enjoy most about Voltron: Legendary Defender is that the overall production design pays homage to the classic Voltron we all know and love.  The Blue Lion of 2017 looks nearly identical to the Blue Lion of 1985.  They aren’t amorphous blobs like those new Zords from the upcoming live action Power Rangers movie.  You take one look at it and you would think that it looks very much like the Voltron toys you may have had as a kid 20+ years ago.

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The second figure that I was sent was Lion Attack Voltron, one of two full Voltron figures in the basic assortment.  Coming in at right around 5 1/2 inches, Lion Attack Voltron features a missile launching feature which is activated by depressing the end of the projectile which protrudes from the Green Lion.

It’s a fun little figure and undeniable cool, with just enough articulation which make for some really great hero poses.  From what I’ve seen first hand, the Basic Assortment is a great entry level action figure for long time fans who want a small piece of nostalgia or even better a great way for those very same long time fans to introduce a new generation of fans to Voltron, Defender of the Universe.

Do you want to know what one of my favorite parts of ripping open these figures was? The mini fold-out catalog wedged under the plastic tray which showcased the rest of the action figures.  As a kid I used to freak out over the catalogs included with GI Joes and Transformers.  It was a way to plan out what you were going to ask for for Christmas, your birthday and when you got a good report card.

 

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Now, savvy collectors have already started to spot the Voltron: Legendary Defender line at retail. I imagine that the Legendary Series which features the combining lions and allows you to assemble a 16″ tall robot will be the first to fly of shelves.  It has been quite some time since we’ve been able to get Voltron merchandise at retail that wasn’t ultra high end or vendor exclusive (cough cough R.I.P MattyCollector). The Basic Assortment figures have a MSRP of $9.99 and will be available across most brick and mortar retail establishment as well as several online options.

Toy Review: WWE Ninja Superstars – Raphael as Sting (Playmates Toys)

If there is one action figure line that can get away with ridiculous variants and theme mashups it would have to be Playmate Toys’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  The latest genre mashup was a result of a partnership with WWE which transformed our favorite foursome into new versions of some of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever to grace the squared circle.

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  • Leonardo as WWE Superstar John Cena
  •  Raphael as WWE Hall of Famer Sting
  •  Donatello as WWE Superstar Undertaker
  •  Michelangelo as WWE Hall of Famer “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Playmates Toys has been the master license holder for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for well … forever (1988 to be exact).  And when I was offered a chance to get an early look look at one of the Walmart Exclusive Ninja Superstar figures I couldn’t say no.

Once the package arrived I was greeted by Raphael as Sting, which in my opinion could be the truest Turtle-to-WWE Superstar translation of the series.  At the 6-inch scale, Raphael has 12 points of articulation and is capable of some really great poses despite his duster, which is more flexible than your would think just by looking at it.

 

img_3366As far as accessories go, Raphael comes with Sting’s iconic bat, a kendo stick and a trash can lid.  The paint applications are spot on and my review sample was free of any smudges or smears.  I imagine that this figure in particular will appeal to wrestling fans of a certain age as the height of Sting’s career was in the now defunct WCW (which was purchased by WWE in 2001).  I fully believe that the Leonardo as John Cena will sell because … John Cena.

Sting returned to the WWE Universe to much acclaim in 2014 with appearances in SummerSlam and Wrestlemania 31 and was enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016.  In the grand scheme of things, this really isn’t the weirdest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mashup we have seen in the near 30 year old line.  The WWE Ninja Superstars are a fun combination of two of the more popular boys action figure lines right now.

 

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(L-R) Grand Slammin’ Raph (1991), WWE Ninja Superstar Raphael (2016), Classic Collection Raphael (2013)

 

As stated earlier, this limited series is a Walmart exclusive and has a MSRP of $19.99.  Now my toy hunting days are somewhat behind me, but I can tell you that I have yet to see any of these at the two Wally Worlds that I frequent.  If you can track one down, this would make an excellent gift for the 10 year old boy or the 34 year old man in your life.  Good luck and Happy hunting!

 

*Note – This figure was provided by Playmates’ Toys for review.  

 

I Went To The #ForceFriday Midnight Madness Event So You Didn’t Have To

file-sep-30-10-13-28-amThe official retail kick off for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story AKA Force Friday was officially underway at 12:01AM on September 30th, 2016. And because I was up anyway, I decided to take part in the midnight launch at my local Toys ‘R Us. I arrived at 11:55PM to find myself the 11th person person in line, at which time staff were handing out passes for their exclusive 6″ Black Series Imperial Hovertank Pilot.

There were also giveaways (provided you gave Geoffrey a high five) which consisted of a Rogue One Funko T-Shirt and a poster.  At the stroke of midnight they let us into the store and back to the Star Wars area which had been restocked with approximately 3 cases of Black Series figures (the Death Troopers and K2-SO were the first to disappear) and a ton of 3.75″ basic figures (5 POA), vehicles, role-play items and LEGO sets.

I was in the store for maybe 25 minutes, during which time maybe a grand total of 30 people came in (and even one female!).  The event was low key and very orderly and no one got stabbed, molested or harassed.  My haul was modest along with the giveaways, as I picked up a 6″ Black Series K2-SO and a 3.75″ Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels.

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Not interested in dealing with the teeming, sweaty masses?  Head over to our friends Entertainment Earth who have a huge Rogue One shop set up with everything you could possibly desire.

 

Here’s Our First Look at Mattel’s Ghostbusters Action Figures from the 2016 Reboot

With last year being the 30th Anniversary of the release of Ghostbusters, there was a glut of new merchandise released based on the classic foursome of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zedmore.   We knew that there was going to be a big marketing push for Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, including action figures, role-playing proton packs and all kinds of other plastic collectibles in mass retail and specialty shops.

Up until this point, not much has been known about Mattel’s main action figure line but with Toy Fair 2016 just around the corner, a sneak peek was bound to happen sooner or later.  Director Paul Feig tweeted out an image of the 6″ prototypes for the world to see.

GB2016_MattelProtosOf course the 30 year old men on action figure forums are already blasting the line, but I think these prototypes have done a pretty good job of capturing the likenesses of the actresses.  As father of twin 5 year old daughters who dressed up as Ghostbusters last Halloween, I cannot even begin to express how awesome it will be that they will be able to buy a Ghostbusters toy at retail in 2016.  Let’s just hope that the role-playing proton pack will live up to the greatness of its predecessor.

 

Arm Chair Toy Fair 2015 – TMNT LEGO No More, NECA’s Power Loader, Diamond Select Takes on “Ghostbusters” & More

ArmchairSDCC14Toy Fair International is running throughout off the weekend at the Jacob Javitts Center in New York City and lots of press releases and photographs of the latest and greatest in nerd culture is hitting the Interwebz.

The collector’s event for Hasbro is taking place Saturday afternoon with Mattel’s big event scheduled for early Sunday morning.  Until then, I have gathered some of the biggest surprises and reveals to date.  Keep an eye out here all weekend for the latest and greatest from Toy Fair 2015!

TMNTlegonomoreTMNT LEGO NO MORE!!! — Mattel and Nickelodeon announced in a press release that beginning in 2016 Mega Bloks will be producing construction sets based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  LEGO will obviously sell out their remaining stock based on the current animated series as well as the lackluster sets based on the 2014 live action movie.

I fully expect the first wave of TMNT LEGO sets will see their secondary market prices increase in the coming months. [via The Brick Fan]

“Get away from her you bitch!” — After much anticipation NECA revealed the prototype for of Lt. Ellen Ripley and her Power Loader from the science fiction classics Aliens.

Image via Toy News International

Image via Toy News International

The folks at Toy News International have a really good look at everything NECA has in the works, including their continuing Pacific Rim, 8-bit tribute figures and a 12″ Christopher Reeves as Superman.   [via Toy News International]

Diamond Select Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost! — It looks as though the good people at Diamond Select Toys quietly picked up the license to make action figures based on Ghostbusters!  In their booth they had prototypes of Ray Stanz and Winston Zedmore on display and from the initial look it appears they learned from Mattel’s  bungling of the license are doing everything right. [via The Fwoosh]

Gordon’s Alive!?! — Bif Bang Pow is rolling out a line of 3.75″ scale action figures based on the characters of the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon.  The first wave will include: Flash Gordon, Prince Vultan, Prince Baron, Ming the Merciless and Princess Aura.

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As a youth my GI Joes would have done unspeakable things to a 3.75″ Princess Aura … just saying.

[via Action Figure Insider]

Here’s Enough “Big Trouble in Little China” Funko POP! To Fill A Six-Demon Bag!

I’m fairly impressed that I’ve been able to avoid the urge to collect Funko POP! figures considering that Funko has licensed everything from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe to The Muppets.  That streak may be ending with the announcement of the Big Trouble in Little China Funko POP! figures.

FU_BTiLC_JBMost of the main players from John Carpenter’s cult classic will be available in this highly collectible format including Gracie Law and David Lo Pan along with the Three Storms: Thunder, Rain and Lightning.  It does make me a little sad that Wang Chi and The Chinese Wildman did not get any love this time around.

You know what is even better? Funko also announced a series of Big Trouble in Little China retro-styled ReAction action figures.  These limited articulation figures are a call back to the Kenner-era Star Wars action that so many Gen X-ers melted, maimed and otherwise abused.  The standout for me has to be Lo Pan which features his little eyeball covered sentinel … looks like an instabuy for me!

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Sponsor and friends of the site Entertainment Earth has the first round of Big Trouble in Little China Funko POP! and ReAction figures up for preorder with an estimated release date in February.

 

Sylvester Stallone’s Action Figure Lines, Ranked

Throughout his Hollywood career Sylvester Stallone has given us truly iconic performances.  Despite his nearly $2 billion in lifetime box office gross attempts to turn his likeness into action figure gold like his contemporary Arnold Schwarzenegger has most fallen flat.  Because I hate myself (and most of my readership) I’ve scoured the dark corners of the Interwebz to bring your the most authoritative ranking of plastic Stalloneness.

5) Demolition Man (Mattel, 1993) — Sylvester Stallone’s future cop flick got a tie-in action figure line consisting of 8 figures and 2 vehicles that were mostly repaints/retools from Mattel’s The New Adventures of He-Man line from 1990.

As someone who stalks toy shows and the depths of eBay quite regularly I can honestly say that no one has truly thought about these action figures since the days of KB Toys.  The general awfulness of this line has made it oddly collectible and economically feasible to own. Sadly enough this may have been the closest we may have ever gotten to an honest to God Denis Leary action figure if there had been another wave produced.

4) Over The Top (LEWCO, 1987) — The greatest movie ever made featuring competitive arm wrestling received a full treatment of action figures as well as role playing gear.  This line had a total of six figures all of which aside from Stallone’s Lincoln Hawk had characters like John Grizzly, Johnny “Ice Man” Walker and my personal favorite Cleve “Armbender” Dean.  The action figures even had an honest to goodness arm wrestling play feature which required the purchase of the official arm wrestling table (figures sold separately).  overthetop_figure

3) Rambo and the Freedom Force (Coleco, 1985-86) — This kid friendly adaptation of Rambo was supported by a cartoon that turned the PTSD suffering Vietnam veteran into the leader of GI JOE-like team battling the evil forces of S.A.V.A.G.E. The cartoon barely lasted a year but COLECO was able to put out two full series of action figures and vehicles before the end of 1986. Despite the preposterous storyline, COLECO did a hell of a job on this line.

rambo_colecoWhat is most notable about this line is that is gave us what may be consider to be the definitive “movie style” Rambo action figure until NECA’s turn with the property in 2014.

2) Rocky (Pheonix Toys, 1983) —  While many argue that Rocky IV may be the peak of the Balboa saga, I’ll always partial to Rocky III if only for Clubber Lang. This line featured a total of three figures Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang all with surprisingly decent likenesses.  rocky3

1) Rambo/Rambo First Blood: Part II (NECA, 2014) — Over the last few years NECA has necarambobuilt a reputation of landing huge licenses and putting out tremendous action figures in terms of paint, sculpts and attention to detail.  It should come as no surprise that their turn with Rambo comes out on top of this list.

NECA turned out several versions of John Rambo with my favorite probably the Frist Blood: Part II edition.  They even went so far as to produce a variant based on the 1988 NES video game, with paint applications meant to mimic the cell-shading graphics.

So there you have it … the definitive ranking of Sylvester Stallone themed action figures.  Did I miss something? Am I totally off base? Sound off in the comments or find me on Twitter.

Armchair SDCC ’14 — Batfleck, Thunderbirds, Batman ’66 & The Return of The Real Ghostbusters!

armchairSDCC14It’s Friday and the bigger panels are just starting to get underway.  Throughout the rest of the day expect bigger and better information to start tweeting out of the myriad of panels as well as the show floor.  There’s quite literally something for everyone, and I am only covering a mere fraction of what is out there.  It only gets better from here on out!

It’s Batfleck … Ahem BATMAN

To sate the appetites of DC fanboys Warner Bros. released a full color headshot of Ben Affleck in his Batman cowl from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  I imagine that we will be seeing quite a bit more of Batfleck before San Diego Comic Con is over.

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[via Coming Soon]

Thunderbirds Are GO …. Again!!!!!

Thunderbirds-promo-imageUnbeknownst to me, WETA has been working on a new Thunderbirds project titled Thunderbirds Are Go! which will be a CGI / Live Action hybrid.  Apparently all of the sets will be scaled models and the characters will be full on CGI.  Sadly there will be no puppets in this iteration!

WETA had a model of Thunderbird 1 on display on their booth and it is extremely faithful to the original series.

/Film snapped a few pictures of the Thunderbird 1 model in its super-marionation-less glory. The 26-episode first season will be ready for broadcast in 2015.  [via /Film]

NAH NAH NAH NAH …. BLURAY!!!!!

After years of bickering between studios the complete 1960’s Batman television series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin will be coming to Bluray and DVD later this fall.  There will be a couple different versions available including a killer set complete with a Batmobile.

Print[via ToyNewsI

SUPERION IS IN FACT SUPERIOR

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Hasbro is bringing back combiners in a major way in 2015.  Today they unveiled new versions of Menasor and Superion during their panel and they are very faithful to their Generation 1 predecessors.  [via TFW2005]

NEW REAL GHOSTBUSTERS ON THE WAY?

During the MattyPalooza Panel there was a not so subtle hint that new version of The Real Ghostbusters action figures would be coming in 2015.  I am not so confident in the execution as Mattel really bungled the first Ghostbusters line which tanked due to poor character selection, few accessories, and endless repaints.

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[via @Ghostbusters on Twitter

Are The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures Really That Bad?

Today during a quick toy hunt I made my first sighting of merchandise for the soon to be released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.  There was a full end cap of movie themed action figures, vehicles, and role play items.

Playmates Toys has had master toy license for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles since well … forever.  I must say, despite my love of their Classic Collection and the detail to their reissues I find the execution on this movie line lacking.

The worst offenders in the first wave have to be the Foot Soldier and The Shredder.  The sculpts are very soft and the joints are hideous.  The final product is not something I would expect coming from a company with a such a strong track record.

I’ve always been good for picking up at least Raphael during each TMNT iteration; but I think I will be sitting this line out entirely.  Nothing I have seen in person or online has convinced me that these figures are worth picking up … let the flame war commence!

With The Dinobot Special Edition SDCC Set, We Can Now Confirm That Hasbro Is Drunk

Today IGN had the pleasure of unveiling Hasbro’s latest San Diego Comic Con exclusive Transformers set and it is completely ludicrous.  The Dinobot Special Edition set features the new Dinobots from Transformers: Age of Extinction line repainted as their G1 counterparts.  And what’s even better … the box unfolds to a play set of the Autobot Ark and Mt. Hilary from the G1 cartoon.

via IGN.com

via IGN.com

The Dinobots Special Edition Set features Voyager-scale Grimlock, and Deluxe-scale Snarl. Strafe, and Slug and will retail for $159.99.  For those of us that won’t be attending San Diego Comic Con a limited quantity will be available after the show on Hasbro Toy Shop.

While I am bypassing most of the Transformers: Age of Extinction line at retail, I may have to make an attempt to snap this up due to its blatant tugging at my nostalgia nerve center.  When Hasbro announced the Optimus Prime as a hair metal rocker in the Knights of Unicron set everyone thought the Transformers team at Hasbro was out of their minds.  With this new reveal we can all agree that they are just drunk.

Credit: [IGN via TFW2005]

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