Commentary on a few bits of toy- and geek-related news that interested Poe over the last few days.
- Starwars.com revealed a new character from Star Wars Rebels, C1-10P, a.k.a. “Chopper,” a “grumpy” astromech droid. He reminds me a bit of Claptrap from Borderlands, although it should be noted that Claptrap probably doesn’t exist without R2-D2. Chopper is directly inspired by early McQuarrie concept art for Artoo himself (particularly the arms on the head). The video on Starwars.com includes a quick look at Chopper’s 3.75″ figure as part of Hasbro’s Rebels line (static photo here). I’m really everything I’m seeing and hearing about Rebels, and I find myself hoping we see Chopper or the Grand Inquisitor in the SWB 6″ line. Given Hasbro’s tendency toward media synergy, it’s more likely than, say, Kyle Katarn in SWB. On a side note, I love the whole Inquisitor concept, which originated in the Expanded Universe, I believe.
- Speaking of, I also hope the rumors of strong synergy between Rebels and Episode 7 are true, and to a lesser extent I hope the Mara Jade rumors are true, because if any EU character deserves to be enshrined in the film canon it’s Mara Jade. I mean yeesh, Dash Rendar is (indirectly through the Outrider) canon.
- And finally on the Star Wars topic, here’s the latest leaked list of Star Wars figures for 2014, including Star Wars Black. The list doesn’t differ much from what we’ve seen in previous rumors; at this point, Chewbacca, Jedi Luke, Darth Vader, a Clone Trooper, and a redeco of the Sandtrooper all look like a lock. The upcoming wave with Bespin Luke, Prequel Kenobi, the Stormtrooper and the Han Solo carry-over is listed for February-May, while the June assortment is Anakin, Prequel Kenobi carry-over, Chewie and the Clone Trooper, and a mere month later is Vader, Jedi Luke, Sandtrooper redeco and Chewbacca (carry-over). I’m guessing the Sandtrooper redeco will be white, since black would be pretty boring. Here’s hoping the figure gets a new left hand that can actually hold the blaster cannon. Look, I understand re-use is necessary to keep a line like this going – NECA re-uses its molds more per wave than this line does – but couldn’t Hasbro at least replace the carry-over figures with some redecos? It sucks we get the Sandtrooper redeco and the Chewie carry-over in the same wave, particularly when the carry-over figure counts as part of the case. Why do they even bother with four-figure waves/cases? I’d rather get less frequent waves with four new figures, or more frequent waves of three figures, than this four-figures-including-a-carry-over thing we’ve got going now. I’ve got a few friends’ kids who are going to be getting a Prequel Kenobi and a Chewbacca in the near future.
- Okay I lied, one more Star Wars thing: here’s some neat fan art by Li Jia Tan (who did some concept art work for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II) of Han & Chewie working on a mech. Love the crotch-cockpit that looks like a 1930s sedan. It’s interesting to see a mech cockpit there, instead of the head or the torso.
- The Four Horsemen have announced their annual Toypocalypse show at Tokyo Kid during Toy Fair next month. They’ll have factory paint masters of some of the Power Lords figures, as well as the “rebirth” of the FANtastic Exclusive project.
- The Horsemen also released a ton of in-progress production photos of the Gothitropolis Ravens, along with the news that the Ravens will probably be delayed about two months, but they’ll be produced by the same folks who did such a great job on Scarabus.
- NECA posted a photo of their next NES figure, the Predator. At this point they really need an unofficial name for this sub-line…
- NECA also released a photo of in-progress classic Planet of the Apes Dr. Zaius. Seeing that name should immediately make you think of this.
- A friend of a friend is looking for an experienced customizer to make a Doctor Who custom. Anyone have a rec/referral?
- Jeff Cope has a revealing interview with Brian Mariotti of Funko regarding their plans for the ReAction brand. Definitely worth reading if you’re interested in the line. I need to do a write-up on ReAction. I have really mixed feelings about the line.
First off, I’d like to thank the Four Horsemen for sending this figure along for review. I only asked for samples of the Power Soldier and Elite Soldier (since I’d missed the sale), so his inclusion in the package was a pleasant surprise. –PG
Revell’s Power Lords were memorable for three things: great designs, ahead-of-its-time articulation, and gimmicks. In bringing the Power Lords back for modern collectors, Four Horsemen Studios has (so far) chosen to do away with the gimmicks. For example, the upper torso of the vintage Adam Power spun around to reveal the otherwise staid Adam in all his blue-skinned, red-veined, bare-chested alien glory. The Four Horsemen plan to offer an interchangeable, fully-sculpted upper torso.
Ordinarily I’m all for getting rid of action features, which often ruin an otherwise great action figure. But sometimes the “gimmick” isn’t really a gimmick, and actually might be a desirable feature. A case in point is today’s figure, Ggrapptikk. Continue reading “Review > Ggrapptikk Grunt (Power Lords, Four Horsemen Studios)”
The Power Lords has to be one of the strangest action figure lines of all time. It was developed in the early 1980s by Revell, a company known primarily for making model kits. Many of the characters and creatures were designed by Wayne Barlowe, a legendary science fiction and fantasy illustrator and creature creator for film and television.* It was a 6″-scaled line in a 3.75″ (Star Wars) and 5″ (MOTU) world. And for some reason, the figures were loaded with more articulation than would be regularly seen on any other (American) action figure line for nearly two decades.
The line was a seminal influence on the sculptors of Four Horsemen Studios – in particular Eric Treadaway (who discussed it in this interview from the second day of this blog’s existence, December 2, 2007). And so it’s not very surprising that Treadaway and the Horsemen managed to track down the owners of the Power Lords license and brokered a deal to bring the line back to the toy world. Continue reading “Reviews > Power Soldier & Elite Soldier (Power Lords, Four Horsemen Studios)”
The Power Lords Slate Zone Elite and Slate Zone Soldier go on sale to the general public today at 3pm ET (it’s exclusive for Club Members until then – you could add them to your cart, but without a Power Lords Fan Club number it’ll be cancelled). Only the remaining stock after Club orders will be sold, so if you really want these make sure to get your order in as close to 3pm as possible. Order them at www.shopfourhorsemen.com.
I like the very 1970s sci-fi vibe I get off these designs, particularly in these colors.
It’s taken over two years for me to review this figure. There are a lot of reasons why, but “sheer procrastination” is probably the most honest one.
For those who don’t know, Scarabus was made and sold by design-studio-turned-toy-company The Four Horsemen. They started out as sculptors for McFarlane Toys in the mid-1990s. They were responsible for many fantastic and memorable figures. In 1999, they left McFarlane to form their own design studio and were swiftly contracted by Mattel to revamp the Masters of the Universe toyline. The result was Millennium (200x) MOTU. Mattel not only gave the 4H credit for their work on the line, but – in stark contrast to McFarlane – actually used the Horsemen as a selling point to collectors. Continue reading “Review > Scarabus (Gothitropolis, Four Horsemen)”
Just some random musings for you.
I got this guy recently via sponsor Nerd Rage Toys. Playmates’ short-lived Toxic Crusaders line was great because it was 100% compatible with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in every way – size, style, articulation, and even the overall theme. I only owned Toxie himself, but it was a great figure and line. In retrospect I wished I’d picked up the Radiation Ranger. Continue reading “A few new acquisitions & SWB Darth Vader speculation”