A foul mouthed robot with authority issues, an opening chest cavity and bendy arms.
You could easily be forgiven for thinking I was talking about Futurama’s Bender, but this character predates him by 21 years.
Fengschwing is a UK based collector who's main passion (weep for him) is collecting DC Universe Classics. He has a long-suffering, understanding wife, two children who are NOT allowed to play with daddies toys and a dog called Radar.
Even as little as five years ago, Doctor Who might have needed an introduction outside of the UK. These days, thanks to the efforts of Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat, Doctor Who is the UK’s most successful TV export and is making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. British company Character Options has been the main provider of Who toys, starting out modestly in 2005 with mostly pre-posed 5 inch action figures and then progressing through season-themed waves, Build-A-Figure assortments, episode specific box-sets and even convention exclusives, not to mention Lego-compatible building sets and role-playing toys.
But now there is a new player on the block, a new UK-based company called Big Chief, aiming to bring the high-end collectible 1:6 aesthetic to Doctor Who action figures and claiming to stand toe-to-toe with such established companies as Sideshow and Hot Toys. That’s a big claim to make from a young company with no product to show. The eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, as played by Matt Smith, is their debut release and it took its time getting here.
Pretty much every team of heroes has one: the big guy whose chief role is to lift stuff, smash things and hit people. The Avengers had the Hulk, the Fantastic Four has the Thing and the A.B.C. Warriors have Mongrol…
In the late 20th century a fascist uprising in the Volgograd area of Russia turns to a full blown coup and the Volgan Republic of Asia is born. Soon the Volgans begin a rapid invasion of the rest of Western Europe, including the British Isles, igniting a third world war.
The United States retaliates but quickly realises that 21st century combat requires a new kind of soldier to deal with the atomic, bacteriological and chemical threats on the future battlefield. The A.B.C. Warriors were born.
Poe’s note: This figure appears to be identical to the Disneyland Exclusive Indiana Jones from a few years back.
This year I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland Paris for our family holidays. It’s been the second time we have been with our kids, everyone enjoys themselves a great deal, but I like to make a bee-line for Adventure Land and the Temple of Peril ride in particular, not so much for the ride you understand, but for the toys.
I first saw Predator at the age of 13 in 1987. I was mildly indifferent to it at first–sure, it had Schwarzenegger in it, but even as a kid I knew a B-Movie when I saw one. Yeah, they’ll go into the jungle and eventually some cheesy half-assed man in a suit alien would jump out on them and that would be it.
Man was I wrong, even though I was right. The alien was anything but cheesy. I still can’t figure out how they managed the cloaking effect without CGI to this day. Even from the earliest glimpse of the Predator, when it performs surgery on itself in a tree, I knew I was going to love this creature. Of course, it went on to become a design classic, just like its stable mate the Alien. And similar to the xenomorph, the Predator started off as a tale for adults but ended up in the hands of kids. The 1990s saw Kenner’s line of Predator action figures (very, very few of which got as far as the UK), then McFarlane brought us a more grown-up toy before Takara shrunk him again for their AVP Microman line. Hot Toys gave us incredibly intricate 1/6th versions, and just lately NECA have released a wide range of Predators capitalising on all five of the creature’s film outings.
But now a new player is at the table: Japanese company Kaiydo have released a Classic Predator through their Sc-Fi Revoltech line. How does this figure fare up against his American cousin? Let’s take a look…
Say Ashley Wood and I suspect the first thing that may come to mind will be his World War Robot toys.
Giant, clanking war-bots with vinyl limbs, preposterously huge weapons, an unexpected amount of articulation and amazing paint jobs (or ‘colourways’ as they are known in threeA land).
Quite aside from his comics, Wood (along with threeA co-founder Kim) has been causing quite the splash with his ‘Bots. They seem to bridge the gap between action figure and art toy collector quite neatly. And while I’ve always been intrigued, it’s never been enough to actually buy one. There is something quite distinct about the design, an acquired taste I think, much like Wood’s art work itself and I’ve never been able to get myself quite past the ‘water boiler’ aesthetic even if I can appreciate that the things look very World War 1 or even a little steampunk, something I usually go for.