Author: Doc Thomas Page 30 of 31

Who is Doc Thomas? He is a lifelong toy collector and member of the international (i.e., non-U.S.) collector community. He enjoys making short films, non sequiturs, and dressing up in a bear suit at work.

Guest Review > Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Raiden (Mortal Kombat 6″ Series 1, Jazwares)

When Jazwares announced a new line of Mortal Kombat action figures to premiere alongside the new release, I was ecstatic. A lifetime fan of video games from the fighting genre, I love my SOTA Street Fighters to death and have always felt there was an unfilled hole in my collection where the Mortal Kombat fighters should be. With the recent revival of the fighting genre, beginning with the excellent Street Fighter, the news that Mortal Kombat was returning in a big way pleased me to no end.

When the game finally came out I was ever so pleased to find my expectations met: with a balanced and interesting new engine, sensational graphics, a fully realised story mode and some of the most despicable gore ever seen in a video game, Mortal Kombat was back! About the same time Jazwares revealed images from their first series of 6″ figures based on franchise favourites Sub Zero, Scorpion and Raiden, and subsequent images from a 3 3/4″ scale series. Fans were torn, prefering the look of the smaller figures to the seemingly less-detailed 1/12 scale toys. How do the final releases fare? Let’s find out!

Doc Thomas Reviews > Deformation TrainRobot

A millennium ago when I began chiseling my personal Word of God upon Poe’s stone tablets of wonder and virtue, I reviewed a very special toy, one that had elluded me for some time until I finally chanced upon it and had it delivered to my front doorstep – the Thomas the Tank Engine Voltron, Voltromas. This caught the attention of kind reader Onigaijan of the fantastic site Fanboy’s Closet, who emailed me to say he’d come across two of Voltromas’s children! He very kindly sent me them to me, to review for Poe’s site as a follow-up to the grand original. Presenting: Deformation TrainRobot!

Doc Thomas Probes > Most Wanted, Left 4 Dead 2 Edition

Welcome to Part 2 of my detailed Left 4 Dead-themed Most Wanted article, in which I beg Valve and “some other company” to create toys based on one of my recent favourite games! If you’re wondering why I haven’t specified the company I’d like to make these toys, that’s because there’s so many great companies that it doesn’t matter who makes them as long as the toys are great. Although top contender NECA have absolutely showed their chops at making great video game figures, including the Resident Evil zombies we know and love, Mezco have also done a sensational job with their Attack of the Living Dead line, comprised entirely of army-building fully-articulated awesomely-detailed zombies, some of which already resemble L4D characters. Really, it doesn’t matter – the toys are what matters, so on with the show!

Doc Thomas Probes > Most Wanted, Left 4 Dead Edition

Since Poe so kindly allowed me to start writing articles for his site as a favor and part of my community service, the very best response I’ve had was to the Most Wanted column, where I talked about the many action figures that I so dearly desired for my collection to sate the addiction, and that’s no surprise: every passionate collector has characters and properties that they’re passionate about seeing in plastic on their shelf. That’s part of the fun of the whole hobby, why everyone gets so excited for SDCC and announcements – the pleasure of having our plastic fantasies realised. (That sounds much worse than I’d intended. My apologies.)

Doc Thomas Probes > Videogame Toys

When it comes to video game action figures, there’s one company that currently has you covered: NECA. From their amazing Big Daddies to the gorgeously detailed Gears of War figures and even oddities like Bionic Commando, they can’t be beat for sculpt, articulation, playability and fun. (Durability is another matter, cough.) But there’s plenty of other articles out there covering these goods – I want to talk about something else fun today, in a similar vein but entirely different: video game plush toys.

Yes, no longer just covering your barely legal girlfriend’s bed, or containing a hidden camera so you can watch your mate’s daughter undressing, stuffed toys are now made for REAL MEN like yourself in the forms of all your favourite video game icons and props. Let’s start with some of the best, from the makers of some of the best games ever, Valve.

Doc Thomas Probes > Winning with Bargains

For Doc Thomas, it’s all about winning. Not winning in the traditional sense, like coming first in a race or plowing through the Tour De France in a monster truck, but winning in the sense that you’re doing what you love, and freakin’ loving doing it. Toy collectors know that when you’re finally buying that most beloved, most waited for, most coveted toy, you are winning. When you’re opening that action figure up and changing accessories, posing it, switching interchangable parts, you’re absolutely winning. And when you’re putting your toys on display, or preposing them in battle, you just can’t stop winning.

Review > Voltromas, the Thomas the Tank Engine Transformer

This review is best read while listening to Crablouse by Lords of Acid.

When Doc Thomas isn’t cruising around town and givin’ bitches the old “what for,” he spends a lot of time online, and sometimes he comes across brilliant gems like this. Click on that link now. Seriously. Tell me that isn’t the greatest to you have ever seen, ever. Go check it out now, I’ll wait.

This thing haunted my dreams. The mere notion of two things so great combined into one amazing (though thoroughly illegal) thing made my head spin: I needed to own one. I searched high and low online, on import stores, on eBay, even asking friends in Hong Kong and Singapore to look out for me, but no luck. “Voltromas” yielded no results, nor did “Thomas the Tank Engine Voltron.” And then, I found it! Turns out “Thomas the Tank Engine Transformer” was the right combination, and then viola, purchased, and on his glorious way to me!

Doc Thomas Probes > Most Wanted

These days, we collectors have a lot to be thankful for – the shift in quality of action figures over the past two decades has turned once-small, barely recognizable, barely moveable plastic playthings into fully articulated, awesomely detailed, instantly identifiable works of art that we’re glad to have displayed in our kitchen, to be briefly admired by last night’s mistake before we kick her out of the apartment. Yes, toys have come a long way, and with the expansion of the market has come a bigger range of great properties picked up and plasticized for our collecting pleasure.

If you’re anything like me, and I know I am, you can look in front of you right now and see an amazing range of amazing toys including Bender from Futurama, the Heath Ledger Joker from The Dark Knight, several Daleks, the amazing Masterpiece Grimlock, WALL-E, at least a dozen different Skeletors, Big Daddy holding a Little Sister’s hand, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cobra Commander, an entire shelf of friggin’ Muppets, and Richard Nixon’s head. That is range, my friends. The sheer mass of different characters that have been made into great toys is amazing and wonderful – and yet, there are still plenty of favourites that are yet to be immortalised in plastic. These are


Doc Thomas Probes > Action Features (Part II)

In Part I of our feature, Doc Thomas examined “Simulated Attack” action features. And now…the exciting conclusion!

Type 2: Pure Deco

The next most prominent type of action feature is that which focuses on the look of the toy, and attempts to add more life-like or just more interesting dynamic look via an internal mechanism. A good example of this is Cortana from McFarlane “Last Hurrah” Toys’ Halo line, which in addition to being awesomely scaled to be about life size included several blue leds inside which made it light up, giving it that same luminescence that lightened our lives across the galaxy’s hardship in the excellent series of games.

A different approach to a similar end is the aforementioned Metalhead from TMNT, whose eyes glowed red when light was shined above his head to nifty effect. These kind of action features are comparable to other creative approaches to action figures to make them closer to a real life representation, like the awesome SOTA Blanka sculpted entirely in glow-in-the-dark plastic, representing Blanka in his signature electrified state, or nearly every feature in the Masterpiece Optimus Prime toy, including light-up Matrix inside his chest, and the button-operated “talking” mouth.

Doc Thomas Probes > Action Features, Part I

Last week I poured my heart and soul into a well-received little shindig on Holy Grails. (Thanks for all the excellent comments! I hope you all can one day find the Holy Grails you seek, as well as a good wife! Not like mine, of course, who’s dead!) This week I’m continuing my insane ramblings with a contentious topic I have a lot to waffle on about: action features.

My good friend, mentor and Karate Buddy has already weighed in with his thoughts on action features in an article spawned from a message board debate (the source of most of history’s finest intellectual discussions and genocidal wars) and also included a nifty little poll to the side there asking readers what most drew them to an action figure as a wee child. It’s very interesting reading, though I think Poe’s focus is slightly to the side of the real issue. I feel that, like tacos, USB gadgets, the papacy, and nearly everything else in life, action features aren’t necessarily a bad thing –they’re just done badly the majority of the time, which makes them seem worse than they actually are and gives them negative stigma and connotation of childishness.

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