Let’s see what we’ve got in this month’s issue of ToyFare!
Keep in mind, this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive breakdown of every single page of the issue–just a few of the highlights that particularly interested me.
Page 4 – Inside the Monkeyhouse: Gotta love Zach’s old-school Toy Biz Batman outfit. There’s the requisite nipple joke as well, of course.
Page 10 – Customizing 101: Heheh. Dick Rider.
Page 16-17 – Incoming: Marvel Legends. Why hasn’t Hasbro released any good press photos of these figures? Particularly Red Hulk. Lovin’ that black-suit Wolverine. Why does the Silver Savage have a jewel on his right nipple?
Page 18 – Incoming: Marvel Legends 2-Packs. Dude, that is totally the Rock. Looks like Hasbro is following Toy Biz’s tendency to make likenesses that vaguely resemble famous actors (Brad Pitt as Angel, anyone?).
Page 20 – DC Direct’s Watchmen movie figures look great, but I must admit what I really want are the comic-based figures they showed way back in 2000 or so. One more casualty of Alan Moore’s conflicts with the mainstream comic biz.
I still think the Silk Spectre looks a bit too much like a stripper. I realize it’s a relatively modest outfit for many comic book heroines (e.g., Starfire), but in a real-world context, those black pleather thigh-highs, garters and long gloves, to say nothing of the very obvious zipper down the front, just look a little…never mind.
Page 22 – DC Infinite Heroes–The Atom wins this month’s award for Best Word Balloon Gag. “‘Where’s Ray Palmer’?” More like ‘Who’s Ray Palmer,’ am I right?”
Page 23 – That’s a spiffy retro repaint of JLU Batman. Very ’60s. As for the Dark Horse statues, that Bettie Page is pretty…um, pretty. The Rocketeer statue is also cool. Fun fact: The late Dave Stevens, creator of the Rocketeer, based the look of his hero’s girlfriend on…Bettie Page!
Page 26 – Marvel Select 7″ Captain America and Iron Man. They look good, but there’s one thing I don’t understand: why does Cap come with what looks like a Luger instead of the Colt M1911 he uses in the comics? Anyone know?
Page 31 – That working Bat-Signal is tempting, but at 12″ it’s too tall. I’d rather get the smaller one that came out a few years back, so I could pose it with a Batman figure.
Page 32 – Some great pics of the second wave of McFarlane Toys’ Legends of the Bladehunters…which McFarlane cancelled before this issue even came out. I might actually have bought Knight Captain Bayle and the Necromancer, since it looks like they may have real articulation for once.
Page 34 – DCD’s New Gods figures look great, but come on–Metron needs his chair. It’s like Optimus Prime without his trailer.
Page 42 – Japan’s skill at balancing great sculpting with great articulation is on display with this Motoko Kusanagi figure (from Ghost in the Shell).
According to the blurb, some of the joints are hidden beneath soft, flexible PVC, an innovation I’ve been expecting in action figures for years. Art Asylum tried it with their Enterprise line a few years back, and before that, McFarlane did it with their Sleepy Hollow deluxe Headless Horseman. But the Horseman suffered from tearing around the knees, while the Enterprise figures had an awkward fold wherever the PVC joints were. I suspect Yamato Toys has solved that problem, but we’ll see what the reviews say.
Page 45 – Will McFarlane ever make a figure of the Master Chief as he looked in the original Halo? That’s what I want.
Page 48 – “Back in Black,” by Keith Chow. A great rundown of the history of Batman movie toys. The cover asks, “Are these the best Batman toys ever?”–referring to the toys for The Dark Knight–and I have to say that yes, they are. I’m still fond of my original Toy Biz Batman figure, though. And who doesn’t love Bob the Goon?
Page 49 – A great interview (written by Don E. Smith, Jr.) with Kevin Conroy, the man who spent more than ten years voicing Batman in the various DC animated cartoons and whose voice I hear whenever I read Batman dialogue in the comics. Conroy returns to the role in the upcoming Batman: Gotham Knight animated DVD, due out July 8.
Incidentally–Grant Morrison has hinted Batman will be getting a new outfit in the comics soon. I’m wondering if it will feature the symbol shown in Gotham Knight–the more rounded bat symbol from the yellow-oval era, but without the yellow oval.
Page 58 – A fantastic article by Zach Oat (who’s now left ToyFare for Television Without Pity) featuring interviews with members of the Futurama staff and some original art they produced for the piece.
Page 62 – What’s this? Why, it’s “Get ‘Er Robo,” a retrospective on the old Robo Force toy line written by that handsome, debonair Jason F.C. Clarke. Easily worth the price of the magazine alone.
Page 66 – Twisted ToyFare Theater – “Just Say Nova, Part 2.” The giant bowl of soup gag from issue #108 pays off in spades!
Page 75 – Wow, a Hellboy visual price guide. Who ever thought such a thing could exist? It’s funny, though; there are four different lines, made by three different manufacturers, represented in the article, and just less than half the figures featured are Hellboy and variants of Hellboy. The big winner is Kriegaffe #10, who goes for $95 MOC. Geeks love cyborg apes. And I speak from experience.
That’s it for this month, folks!
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