Month: November 2013 Page 3 of 6
Nerd Rage Toys is having a Pre-Black-Friday sale through the end of the week! If you’re looking for some awesome deals, you might want to check this out!
- 15%-20% off Star Wars Black
- Up to 44% off select Marvel Legends
- Up to 50% off select GI Joe Retaliation figures
- 20% off Transformers
- 25% off vintage The Real Ghostbusters
- Up to 33% off select Walking Dead items
- Plus much more!
This stuff is going quick, so don’t be left in the dust!
ToyFinity will have the next batch of their Mordles on sale on Thursday, November 21st at 9 pm EST. This is always good news, but what’s especially exciting this time is that they’ve got their awesome Giant Mordle available! It’s called the “Imbalance of Blood” edition, but the important thing is it’s huge and only $15 apiece. You can see more photos over at Doomkick.
This review was sponsored by friend, editor and webmaster Poe Ghostal, who sent me a toilet and a dumpster, oddly fitting items for the review subject.
Batros is one of the worst, most ridiculous and most bewildering characters in Masters of the Universe, a place where bewilderment and ridiculousness flourishes. So it’s fitting he’s got one of the worst, most bewildering action figures in Masters of the Universe Classics – but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
To prep for this review, I watched the specific Filmation episode from which the action figure originates, “The Great Books Mystery.” In the episode Batros (a character who exhibits no bat-like traits whatsoever) decides to take over Eternia by stealing all of its books. A winning plan if there ever was one! Why swiping all of the books would immediately plunge Eternia into ruin and force the kingdom to make Batros ruler goes unexplained. I don’t know, it seemed to me like no one would have even noticed if Orko hadn’t gone looking for his book on unicorns.
Poe’s Pick of the Week > DC Total Heroes: Mr. Freeze
I’m very curious to see how collectors respond to the 6″ Total Heroes line. At a $13 price point, they’re more competitive than most comparable 6″ lines out there. I chose to use Mr. Freeze as the example figure because there’s obviously a lot to like – the details and the metallic blue sheen, for example.
However, the articulation is obviously a step back from DC Universe Classics – there is no biceps swivel or even an elbow ball-and-hinge. I believe the idea behind this line is to try to appeal to both kids/parents (lower price, more stylized and colorful designs) and adult collectors (scale and articulation, character selection). The stylized look also avoids competing with DC Collectibles, who seem to have taken the reigns of producing 6″-7″ “realistic” superhero figures for DC.
I honestly have no idea whether this line will succeed. It’s not compatible with DC Universe Classics and represents a step backward in terms of sculpting detail and articulation. But my hunch is that while many collectors will eschew them at first, as more characters get added they’ll be drawn in by the consistency of style and character selection. And obviously some collectors (Nathan Newell and Phil Reed, for example) may be on board immediately.
Still, let’s all have a moment of silence for the end of DC Universe Classics.
(Also, Dr. Mrs. Ghostal would like to me to mention that Mr. Freeze should be properly addressed as Dr. Freeze.)
Toy industry trade magazine Toy Directory has an article discussing how action figure sales are declining even as the blockbuster films they’re based on are more popular than ever:
Aside from the usual “kids don’t want plastic replicas, they want interactive experiences” discussion (which is true, and when combined with rising production costs is why I think action figure collecting will be solely a niche market for adults in 10-15 years, like baseball cards and comics before them), the article does have an interesting theory about how all the bunched-together blockbusters and their attendant toy lines crowd one another out. When I was a kid, you got one Batman, maybe Dick Tracy the following year, and then maybe another Batman. Now there can be as many as six to seven heavily-merchandised movies per year.
- It’s another Mattycollector release day. Today’s sale includes DC Universe Classics Ra’s Al Ghul, John Constantine, and Elasti-Girl; Watchmen’s Ozymandias; MOTUC Geldor and stackable stands and a number of re-releases.
- Castle Grayskull ships soon, but Pixel Dan won’t have an early review due to assholes who nicked bits off the display piece at NYCC.
- In Four Horsemen news, rough cuts of the Raven arrived at 4H HQ, and they’ve also been running a feature detailing the creation of my personal favorite Power Lord, Sydot the scientist. I must say, the various exclusives they’ve done to this point are nice, but I think the Power Lords need to be fully-painted to really be appreciated. I’m hoping we get those, but I’m wondering whether funding is becoming an issue for this line. If so, why not hold another Kickstarter to make themselves more financially comfortable? I doubt they would need as high a budget target they did for the Raven. That said, I must admit I’ve noticed very few, if any Kickstarter projects for Glyos-related toys.
- In the course of getting back into Star Wars via Star Wars Black, I’ve actually gone back and picked up a few of the 3.75″ figures – just my favorites. What’s been interesting about it is that some of the most definitive versions of these characters are nearly a decade old. For example, I picked up the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection Han Solo from 2004; it’s a great figure with great articulation and the best head sculpt I’ve ever seen in this scale. I also got the VOTC Chewbacca and Boba Fett. Each of these figures has been reissued at least once or twice and they’re not that hard to come by. I also picked up the Holiday Special repaint of Fett, because fun. The only other figure I picked up was the Vintage Collection (not “Vintage Original Trilogy Collection”) ANH Darth Vader. This was the only one I had to think about; the VOTC Vader had the better ESB design and a ball-jointed neck but cut rather than hinged elbows, and every other decent Vader Hasbro has made has cloth on the front of his outfit. The VC ANH Vader also has ball-jointed hips, which seemed novel, so I went with that. It bums me out he doesn’t have a ball-jointed neck, though. Not that Vader was constantly cocking his head in curiosity like Data, but I’d like him to be able to look up and down somewhat to add some character to his poses.
- Another thing about Star Wars 3.75″ – the line seems to be on a sudden downhill trajectory, at least for collectors who want well-articulated, highly-detailed figures. The quality on the Star Wars Black 3.75″ appears to be pretty bad across the board, and the Saga Legends figures have only five points of articulation. It’s odd how a Star Wars figure made in 2004 is far superior to most of what’s being produced now. (Though the Vintage Collection just ended and seems to have retained that level of quality – again, this downturn seems to be recent.)
I used to love taking photos for my reviews. It was exciting. I started out just taking them on my desk, then started to get concerned about things like lighting, so I made a custom light tent out of a cardboard box and some tissue paper. Eventually I got a real light tent and a nicer camera. And yet, for whatever reason, somewhere along the way I stopped enjoying taking photos. I tend to find the process tedious nowadays.