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”

Guest Review > The Cryptkeeper! (Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Ace Novelty)

Today’s review is by Justin Gammon of the newly-redesigned WeirdoToys.com. Justin, the bone-strewn cave floor is yours. –PG

When deciding what toy to feature for Halloween, we toy bloggers really become conflicted. There’s only so many times you can post pics of the Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy or any other variation of the Universal Monsters.

As luck would have it, a couple of years ago I stumbled upon the perfect action figure for such a seasonal blogging occasion.

I present to you, the Cryptkeeper!

Continue reading “Guest Review > The Cryptkeeper! (Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Ace Novelty)”

NECA’s AvP:Requiem Alien Warrior: Still the best 1/12th-Scale Alien figure?

Bear with me here. My favorite “Alien” design is the one from Aliens. That’s solely because it’s the first film of the series I was exposed to, it’s my favorite, and because it’s awesome.

Those who argue the more psychologically-creepy design from the first Alien is superior have a strong argument too, given its smoother, phallic-shaped head. Continue reading “NECA’s AvP:Requiem Alien Warrior: Still the best 1/12th-Scale Alien figure?”

Interview > Monster Artist Extraordinaire Matt Frank

MattFrankArt.com

Matt Frank

Specialty: Drawing monsters
Base of Operations: MattFrank.com. You can find much more of his monstrous artwork here.
History: Matt Frank is based in the Golden Land of Texas. He likes pineapple juice. He also loves to draw monsters and anything else that happens to be very, very cool. His comics work includes IDW’s Godzilla and Transformers: Flash Forward and Bluewater Productions’ Ray Harryhausen Presents: Wrath of the Titans.

What toys did you collect as a kid, and what do you collect now?

When I was but a lad, my room (and our storage space) was practically bursting with toys. I had substantial collections relating to Power Rangers, Transformers, Jurassic Park, War Planets, Mighty Max, Ultraman, and, naturally, Godzilla. Largely this was thanks to my grandmother, God rest her soul, and her predilection towards expressing love via large purchases.

Nowadays, as an adult, I’ve had something of a change of priorities without a loss of motivation. My tastes have been refined, somewhat, in that I’ve trimmed my collecting habits down to mostly Godzilla and Ultraman related swag, with the occasional Transformer, but mostly keeping an eye open for the more interesting or unique toy/figure. For example, I came across a model of Osaka Castle that was quite nicely detailed, and it goes perfectly with my six-inch Bandai Godzilla figures! I also came across a rare Reptilicus figure (an exclusive for the Asian Fantasy Film Expo in 2000) while in New York City, and snagged it for my “rare and cool” shelf. Continue reading “Interview > Monster Artist Extraordinaire Matt Frank”

Doc Thomas Reviews > Left 4 Dead Boomer by NECA (w/ Sculptor’s Commentary!)

Poe Ghostal here. We’re trying something new for this review – what I’m calling “Sculptor’s Commentary” (though I reserve the right to change it to, say, “Designer’s Commentary” depending on who’s doing the commenting). The Boomer was sculpted by Jason Frailey, who also sculpted the Evil Dead II Henrietta as well as the super-popular new Glyos-compatible Armorvor. Jason was kind enough to do an interview in which he discussed some aspects of sculpting the Boomer. You can find this commentary in quotes throughout the review. I’m working on more of these for the future, so if you’re a sculptor who’s sculpted toys I’ve reviewed, or a reader who’s in contact with such a sculptor and think they might be interested, please shoot me an email at poe@poeghostal.com. –PG

NECA have done me proud. Way back in 2010, when I wrote my two articles about how the Left 4 Dead action figures should be made, fate was listening in and ensured that the Valve licence would end up with those who could best bring my plastic fantasies to life. Soon we’ll be seeing a plethora of excellent action figures based on Valve’s sensational award-winning video games done by those amazing people over at NECA. The first release was the original Left 4 Dead Boomer, probably the most well-known of the L4D zombies and the perfect test case for NECA to show off their chops at converting these characters into action figures. How did they do, particularly in regard to my planned version in my article? Read on to find out! Continue reading “Doc Thomas Reviews > Left 4 Dead Boomer by NECA (w/ Sculptor’s Commentary!)”

Monster Month > Poe’s Past Monster Reviews

In celebration of Monster Month, here are some of my past reviews of monstrous toys:

Sponsored Review > Engineer (Chair Suit) (Prometheus, NECA)

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Prometheus is not a good movie. It’s a bloated, pretentious, incoherent mess of a film. However, I thought the aesthetic aspects of the movie were great, and that’s where this figure comes in.

I had high hopes for Prometheus. I’ve been a fan of the Alien franchise since I was eight or nine years old, and one of my favorite mysteries of that universe was the story behind the so-called “Space Jockey” (Prometheus calls them “Engineers”) in the chair on the derelict spaceship.

This unexplained and yet crucially important part of the Alien universe was so compelling to me. What was that thing? Was that long nose the trunk of an elephantine alien, or simply a breathing mask of some sort? Why was its bio-mechanical body, particularly its ribs, so similar to those of the xenomorph? What was that giant cannon-like structure it was sitting in, and why did he seem to be organically fused to it? Prometheus promised to answer some of these questions. And it did, I guess, but in an at best incomplete and at worst completely unsatisfactory way. And it was really poorly written, too.

But no matter – I’m not here to review the film. The fact is, regardless of how it got here, I now have an action figure of the Space Jockey – something I’ve always wanted but never imagined I’d have. Now that I’ve got him, I can imagine he’s whatever I want him to be.

Continue reading “Sponsored Review > Engineer (Chair Suit) (Prometheus, NECA)”

Poe’s Halloween Display

For Halloween this year, I decided to just throw as many monster/horror figures as I could fit along the shelf above my desk at home.

From left to right:

  • Diablo 2 Diablo by Blizzard
  • Dark Alliance Lucifer by Art Asylum
  • Ghostbusters Slimer by NECA
  • Silent Screamers Graf Orlok by Aztech Toys
  • G.I. Joe Zombie Viper by Hasbro
  • Attack of the Living Dead Earl by Mezco Toyz
  • Silent Screamers Golem by Mezco Toyz (they had changed their company name by the time it came out)
  • MOTUC Skeletor by Mattel w/ Demo-Man alternate head
  • Throne from Marvel Select Mephisto
  • Dead Space Necromorph by NECA
  • AvP: Requiem Alien by MECA
  • Evil Dead II Henrietta by NECA
  • Nightmares of Lovecraft Cthulhu by SOTA
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy by NECA

Monsters take over Pic of the Day!

Up Soon! Paul Kaiju Custom Hedorah

Up Soon! Paul Kaiju Custom Hedorah by geozilla

Ever wanted to get your toy photo on PGPoA’s Pic of the Day? Well, you could have done it ages ago by submitting to the Flickr group or emailing it to me directly.

But that’s not my point today – my point is that it’s Monster Month, and I want to fill it with monstrous pics. So if you submit a monster-themed pic to Pic of the Day, your odds of getting your pic posted are pretty high! (Unless I get completely inundated of course, but I’m not expecting that.) So send me those monster photos! Here are a few things I’m particularly interested in:

  • McFarlane Monsters
  • Movie Maniacs
  • SOTA Now Playing, Nightmares of Lovecraft
  • Anything kaiju (Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, Power Rangers monsters, etc.)
  • Universal Monsters
  • Monster in My Pocket
  • Bootleg monster toys