Review: Diamond Select Rocketeer & Black Hole Figures

Diamond Select has been working their deal with Disney to produce some long fan-demanded figures. We’ve had a number of Rocketeer figures over the years, most recently by Funko as a 6″ Legacy figure (which was pretty great but had significant QC issues). But aside from some Japanese super-deformed or block-style figures, we haven’t had any toys from The Black Hole since Mego’s 3 3/4″ line in the late 1970s.

I owned the Maximillian and V.I.N.Cent from that old Mego line. They were some of my favorite toys, though they were lost fairly on in my childhood.

But now, Diamond has brought back both Max and V.I.N.Cent as well as the Rocketeer himself. Let’s take a look!

Blasting off, or too much P.F. Chang’s for lunch?

The Rocketeer is better than I expected. The Funko Legacy figure was notably oversized and I would say this figure is maybe a tad under-sized for DST, so the truth is I think they’re pretty compatible, which means the Funko head might work on this figure. I’ve got one somewhere so I’ll try it out later. But everything else about the figure is pretty fantastic – it’s like having the Funko Legacy figure with added accessories and without the QC issues.

For the record, I have no idea where that Luger he’s holding comes from – it was in my accessories box – but I think most Marvel Legends Lugers (which tend to come with Doctor Doom and Red Skull) will work fine — because again, he’s a tad smaller than I expected. And at least DST included the gun-holding hand.

As other collectors have noted, the Black Hole figures are huge – borderline 1/6th figures I’d say. Nonetheless, they’re awesome and well-equipped with tons of accessories and a great diorama piece.

I do have two minor complaints – I wish the shoulder pivot for Max’s arms were angled slightly more out from the body, so the arms didn’t brush up against the body so much (that appears to be the case for the movie prop, so I’m not sure why it wasn’t done here). And I wish the Cyngus diorama had a hole for Max’s stand, because without it there’s really no way to get him on there.

That said, these are amazing, fun figures and I remain kind of amazed they even exist.

Pic of the Day > Diamond Select Universal Monsters – Metaluna Mutant [This Island Earth] by Ed Speir IV

Diamond Select Universal Monsters - Metaluna Mutant [This Island Earth]

Diamond Select Universal Monsters – Metaluna Mutant [This Island Earth] by Ed Speir IV

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Review > Metaluna Mutant (Universal Monsters, Diamond Select) w/ Sculptor’s Commentary

Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Universal Studios built their reputation on horror films. The “canonical” Universal Monsters are Dracula, Frankenstein(‘s Monster), the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Gillman from Creature from the Black Lagoon. However, there are other Universal Monsters who aren’t quite as well known; Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame; the Invisible Man; and the subject of today’s review, the Metaluna Mutant from the 1955 science fiction extravaganza This Island Earth.

I have watched This Island Earth many times – far more times than any other Universal Monsters movie, even Creature. However, I’ve never seen the “official” film – the version I’ve watched is the one found in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. Partly due to the film’s mocking at the hands of the MST3K crew, I have a hard time thinking about it as a good movie, but it’s a fun, colorful film featuring a monster straight out of the pulp comic covers of the era. [Fun fact: the Outer Space Man figure Orbitron was based on the Metaluna Mutant.]

There have been a few Metaluna Mutant toys and model kits over the years – in the Universal Monsters TMNT line, there was even a “Mutant Raphael” figure. But for some time now, the gold standard for the under-12″ scale has been Sideshow Toys’ 8″ figure. Now that Diamond Select Toys (DST) has taken over the Universal Monsters license, there’s a new contender in town.

You can get your Metaluna Mutant in two flavors. There’s the specialty store version (the subject of this review), which includes the “Interocitor” device from the film. It will run you about $19-$20. Then there’s a basic version with no Interocitor that’s available as a Toys R Us exclusive for $16 and comes with a small display stand. Given the meager price difference and the fact that the TRU version doesn’t appear to differ in any other way other than lacking the accessory, you’re certainly better off with the specialty store version.

I’d like to thank sculptor Jean St. Jean for sending along this figure to me, and for agreeing to add his “sculptor’s commentary” to the proceedings. His comments can be found in the blockquotes. Continue reading “Review > Metaluna Mutant (Universal Monsters, Diamond Select) w/ Sculptor’s Commentary”

Interview > Diamond Select’s Zach Oat on Battle Beasts

One of the most talked-about toy lines of this year is Diamond Select’s Battle Beasts. There’s been a lot of speculation about this line, how it came to be and where it’s going, but the buzz is growing: a new comic book from IDW based on the property is already in stores.

I got in touch with Zach Oat, Marketing Supervisor at Diamond Select Toys, to find out more about what the future holds for Battle Beasts.

1.) Let’s start with the obvious: what led Diamond Select to pick up the Battle Beasts trademark, and were you concerned about the fact that you would not have the rights to the original toy designs?

We were brainstorming new concepts for toy lines, and we started thinking about similar toy lines that had experienced success in the past. Battle Beasts came up, so we did a little research and saw that the trademark was actually available. It’s such a great name, and it went well with our Minimates mini-figures, so we acquired it. The name was what we thought had the most value; we already had a lot of ideas for what we could do with the fighting animals concept, and the original toy line was known more for its gimmicks than for its characters and storylines, so we weren’t too worried about not having the rights to them. Continue reading “Interview > Diamond Select’s Zach Oat on Battle Beasts”

More SDCC Highlights

As we wait for the Mattycollector panel to start, I thought I’d post a few more thoughts on the various SDCC reveals.

Pic courtesy Pixel-Dan.com

Keldor looks much better with the twin swords. I never realized how integral they are to his character design – they’re what make him distinct from just being “Skeletor with a face.” Continue reading “More SDCC Highlights”

Enter for a Chance to Win Diamond Select’s Spider-Man & Lizard, Courtesy of FigureoftheDay.com!

In honor of the imminent release of Marvel’s new Amazing Spider-Man film, PGPoA and FigureoftheDay.com are offering a set of both Spider-Man and his latest cinematic nemesis, the Lizard. These fully-articulated figures were designed and produced by Diamond Select Toys! Continue reading “Enter for a Chance to Win Diamond Select’s Spider-Man & Lizard, Courtesy of FigureoftheDay.com!”

Avengers: Hulk vs. Hulk

So, like most of you I saw The Avengers this weekend. It was a very entertaining film, and a lesson for Michael Bay on how to make a blockbuster movie that’s fun and not a three-hour cinematic waterboarding.

Anyway, I came away loving the film’s take on the Hulk, which made me wonder which action figure to get. Since I don’t collect the 3.75″  or 12″ scales, I have two options: the Marvel Select Hulk, and the upcoming Walmart-exclusive 6″ Hasbro Hulk.

Marvel Select HulkHasbro Hulk

They both have their merits. The Marvel Select figure is larger, has more detail, and will doubtless be easier to obtain. On the other hand, the Hasbro Hulk (which is in 6″ scale, so I believe it stands around 7″-8″) is more articulated and cheaper – if I can find it.

How popular is the Marvel Select stuff among you Marvel collectors? Articulation-wise they’ve been moving closer and closer to Hasbro, but they still put greater emphasis on the sculpting.

Which Hulk will you get?

Battle Beasts Cont’d – Takara Beast Fight Revealed [UPDATE: Preorder at BBS]

While Diamond Select moves forward with their new take on Battle Beasts, TakaraTomy is indeed bringing back the original Beastformers as, at least according to one site, “Takara Beast Fight.” Go here to see the pics of the various figures.

It appears to have some sort of dice game element, which makes a lot of sense. So – are you in for Takara Beast Fight, DST’s Battle Beasts, or both?

Thanks to Pixel Dan for the tip!

UPDATE: These are now available for preorder at BBTS.