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In Search of Stryker

A Smooooth Transaction!

I purchased my very first item from eBay in 1998. The seller of that item (A First Contact Captain Picard figure, I believe) gave the following feedback: “Fast payment and a smooooth transaction!!!!”

I have used some variation of “Great item” or “Great buyer” and “& a smooooth transaction!” as feedback for almost every single eBay item I’ve bought over twenty-two years.

PGPoA is going on indefinite hiatus


After six years, I’ve decided to take an extended break from running Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation.

I’ve been considering this for years now. I could provide a long list of reasons – or perhaps more accurately, excuses. But really it all comes down to two: interest and time.

Identify the Toy > Positive Attitude Alien

alien dude

Found this guy while cleaning out the attic at my parents’ house. I have absolutely no idea what he’s from. I like his attitude, though.

I think he might have been part of some sort of graduation gift. The bottom of his foot says “© Educational Design.”

Holiday Haul

For the curious, my Christmas/birthday haul this year included:

I’m still trying to resist getting into 3.75″ Star Wars collecting again – I wouldn’t even be interested in Star Wars if it weren’t for the 6″ line – but as I got interested in the property again, I found myself perusing the 3.75″ offerings and finding some surprisingly nice versions of some of my favorite characters. I’m not planning to get many more, but I do like the ones I’ve picked up. And down the line I still may decide I have to have that gigantic Millennium Falcon.

I have a fondness for the Ragon character because he’s sort of like a kaiju-ized Creature from the Black Lagoon (in fact, it’s been claimed that “Ragon” is a Japanese version of the word “lagoon,” but I’m not sure that’s ever been confirmed).

I want to get the full Alien ReAction set, but I’ve got to save up a bit first after the holidays.


A few new acquisitions & SWB Darth Vader speculation

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.

NICDIP Revisited (Updated)


After my last post about NICDIP (“Now I Can Die in Peace”) action figures, I decided to throw the question out to a number of reviewers and collectors from other websites.

So again, the full question is, “What action figures would you need to get before you could say, ‘Now I can die in peace’?”

Michael Crawford of

One of the biggest for me has finally made it – the 1966 Batman show. Of course, I won’t be completely happy until I have the Hot Toys Batman, Robin and Batmobile in my clutches, but the Mattel toys were a nice start.

Others for me, in no particular order:

  • Blade Runner. I want these in sixth scale, high quality. Just Deckard is fine, but a series of five or six would be ideal.
  • Firefly. Another series that really needs to be done in sixth scale to be done right.
  • Duckman. I loved this cartoon, one of the few that managed to be funny and touching at the same time. They also did the all-time best Star Trek parody. Something done by Mezco would be nice in the usual 6″ scale.
  • Zorro. We’ve had a few nice pulp characters in recent years, but my favorite has yet to be made. A whole line based on the Disney show would be great.
  • Lost in Space. Yes, I know we’ve had a decent 9″ line, and a slightly less so 12″ line, but neither were complete. A great 6 – 7″ sculpted line would be fantastic, including a bunch of the cool monsters and a B-9 that lights up and talks.

Here’s the sad part – if the Gods smiled kindly and gave me these five,
I’m sure I’d be able to come up with five more.

Poe’s 2013 Halloween Mood Table!

Are you one of those people who always intend to do a bunch of Halloween decorating, and yet life just gets in the way and you’re lucky if you remember to sticky-tack up those card-paper generic vampire and skeleton heads you bought at iParty because they reminded you of the ones your parents bought in the ’80s?

I know I am!

That’s why I loved this idea from Dinosaur Dracula: the Halloween Mood Table! (He actually had the idea last year as well, but I missed it.) It’s simple: just take a small table or other flat object and pile all sorts of Halloween or horror-related goodies on it and presto! Instant mood-setter for the house!

This form of decorating is perfect for two particular categories of humanity that I represent: specifically, those known as “action figure collectors” and “lazy.”

Anyway, here’s my mood table for 2013:


An alternate take on the Star Wars Black 6″ packaging

As I’ve argued elsewhere, the “Black” name should not be shared with the 3¾” line, because it’s needlessly confusing to fans of both scales.

However, I’m not a big fan of the packaging, either. I don’t mind the box format as opposed to the more traditional card – it seems like it will be re-usable and a good way to store the figures when not on display. I also like that the packaging highlights all the accessories; hopefully those extra accessories are a feature Hasbro sticks to on this line. The text on the back of the box that describes each character is a bit glib, but hardly a deal-breaker.

Yet, while there are some good ideas here, the whole effect doesn’t quite work. The light gray SWB logo and graphics are hardly eye-popping on the shelf, which seems like a waste since you already have the black to make a nice contrast with.

What’s really odd is the choice of orange as the secondary color. The “stripes” of orange on the inside of the package are presumably intended to evoke the lights of the Carbon Freezing Chamber in The Empire Strikes Back, but those lights are arguably as much red as orange. The shape of the lights on the packaging more closely resemble those of the Emperor’s Throne Room, which were white.

In the Nemo Eight’s SDCC interview with Hasbro’s Star Wars team, the designers said one of the inspirations for the “black” theme was the text at the beginning of each movie, which scrolls over the blackness of space. Great idea, but why not use that memorable bright yellow of the text as the secondary color, then? I find seeing “Star Wars” in stencilled yellow conjures up the power and immediacy of the beginning of the films, the words appearing at the same moment the soundtrack blasts its opening notes.

I decided to try my hand at a mock-up via Photoshop. I used the yellow of the scrolls for the logo (and renamed the line “Star Wars Legends”). I added an actual photo of Luke rather than that faded gray image, which I thought was a nice nod to the photos on the vintage packaging, and I changed the lights from orange to the white of the Emperor’s Throne Room. I think this look is more noticeable on the shelf, and more evocative of the movies.


Attack of the Death Trooper (Star Wars Black Zombie Sandtrooper Custom by Joe Amaro)



Twelve hours.

Twelve hours was all the time it had taken for nearly the entire crew of the Star Destroyer Vector – all 46,700 personnel – to die.

Ensign Bran Fenrell didn’t know why he’d been spared. He didn’t know why, just a few hours earlier, his bunkmate, Ryas, had drowned in his own blood just a few feet away. Fenrell himself had felt no ill effects, except for the painful knot of nausea that caused him to vomit all over the floor of their quarters as his bunkmate and friend gasped and writhed.

Finally Ryas had let out a slow, lifeless breath, like a deflating balloon, and lay still. Fenrell hadn’t bothered contacting the infirmary because by that point, everyone knew there was nothing that could be done. Whatever had been unleashed upon the Vector, it was invariably fatal.

Fenrell had sat on his bunk for hours, in shock, as the corpse of his fellow ensign putrefied across from him. He knew he’d have to leave eventually, though he had no idea where he would go.

He was considering his limited options when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flicker of movement on the opposite bunk.

He stared. He couldn’t have actually seen that, could he? His nerves were getting to him. But there it was again – he saw it clearly this time. Ryas’s finger had moved.

Fenrell hesitated, then crossed over to the other bunk. Could it be true? Could Ryas still be alive?

He looked over Ryas’s body. The skin of the ensign’s face and hands had turned to a gray-greenish color, with a rough, dried-out texture. It seem to hang loosely, although Ryas had been a bit overweight in life.

There was a slight hiss of air from the body. Was Ryas still breathing? A thought struck Fenrell – could Ryas actually have survived the infection? Could he be getting better? Or was this just the last bit of air escaping from a rotting corpse? Slowly, Fenrell leaned closer over Ryas, turning his head to listen for an intake of breath.

That’s when Ryas bit his ear off.

Fenrell screamed, blood spurting between his fingers as he clutched the ragged remains of his ear. Ryas lunged for him, sinking his teeth into Fenrell’s arm. The thing had terrible strength, and it was all Fenrell could do to tear it away. A chunk of his forearm came away in the monster’s jaws.

Fenrell ran for the door and frantically punched in the code to unlock it. Mercifully, he got the code in one try and the door slid open. As he fled, he glanced back to see the thing chewing with what seemed like deliberate concentration on the flesh of his arm, an almost beatific expression on its face. Torn bits of black uniform, sticky with blood and offal, clung to the thing’s lips.

Clutching his forearm and trying to ignore the desperate throbbing of his missing ear, Fenrell staggered through the door, being sure to lock it behind him. The thing that had been Ryas could have unlocked it from the inside, but Fenrell doubted it would remember how.

He found himself leaning along the corridor wall as he struggled to walk, leaving a long, bloody smear. He came to the end of the corridor and turned the corner…

…and found himself facing a squad of Field Stormtroopers. He recognized them by their yellow pauldrons and the rail detonators that dangled from their hands…

…their green, mutilated hands…

Fenrell managed one last scream, and then they were upon him.

I know zombies are probably kind of uncool at this point – particularly the tendency to insert zombies into any geek franchise you can imagine. But Joe Schreiber’s novel Death Troopers came out three years ago, when the whole zombie thing was a bit closer to its height. I wasn’t even into Star Wars at the time but I still bought it when it came out, primarily because I found zombies in the SW galaxy a more interesting idea than, say, the Marvel universe.

Part of that novelty was because Star Wars doesn’t typically veer into R-rated territory. Fifteen years ago, LucasFilm gave author Daniel Keys Moran a hard time for a scene in his Boba Fett story for Tales of the Bounty Hunters in which a mass murderer is executed by being eaten by animals (the actual killing isn’t even shown). Evidently by 2010 they’d realized there was a market out there for more mature-oriented SW material.

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