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Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation or (Also: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thoughts)

So, a question for you all, faithful readers. There’s yet another redesign coming (I don’t want to say it’s “major,” but you’ll certainly notice it), and I’m debating whether to keep the name “Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation” or just go to plain old “”.

I’ve always been fond of the “Points of Articulation” pun, but “Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation” is kind of a mouthful for a name (though an easily-identifiable acronym, PGPoA). I’m leaning toward just going with “,” but I can be easily swayed. Thoughts?

So, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered last night. (Spoilers ahead, I guess.)

A very early version of Poe

Let’s take a little trip down Memory Lane, shall we?

Way, way back in the year 2000 (weird how that still sounds futuristic…), I asked a friend of mine to create an visual avatar for my “Poe Ghostal” handle. This was back when the expression “go postal” was still somewhat in circulation, so I figured people knew where the joke came from.

The earliest reference to “Poe Ghostal” I can find is this Usenet message I wrote on  January 12, 2000. For the record, I still stand by my assertions regarding variations and “definitive” figures.

Two joints

I’ve got a poll on the sidebar regarding whether, given the choice of one or the other on a (human) action figure, you would prefer double-jointed elbows or double-jointed knees.

I know which one I’d choose, and I’m going to talk about that in an upcoming post. But I’m curious: why do you prefer the one you chose?

Poe’s Evolving(?) Thoughts on Bios

I’ve been going back and re-reading some of my oldest toy reviews lately (partly in an effort to get my reviewing mojo back, I’ll admit). In the course of doing so I came across some statements I made that, in light of more recent developments, seemed pretty amusing.

From my review of the Spawn: The Viking Age Skullsplitter figure from McFarlane Toys:

I actually find it rather interesting; if McFarlane can take these characters, change their names and cook up a new back story, why can’t I? I think action figure collectors should reject messy, half-baked biographies and come up with their own stories.

This was followed by a review of Bluetooth from the same line, where I wrote this:

[…] more importantly, why is there a need for a backstory at all? This complaint isn’t so much directed at McFarlane Toys at it is toy collectors in general. I know that McFarlane put out several lines without the backstories – it was the fans who demanded they be brought back, feeling that they had no connection with the figures without some sort of understanding of who or what they were. All I can say is, that’s a little sad. It seems  collectors are ready to come up with potential storylines for their toys, but they’re incapable of characterizing them.

I can’t decide whether this is consistent with the things I’ve written since then or not. I’ve always said I make better connections with figures whose characters have some sort of story or franchise behind them, but at the same time, I’ve rejected many of the bios created for MOTUC. (I still think Gygor is good, for example. I don’t care how many people think he’s cool as a bad guy. In my universe, he was a heel who made a face turn.)

I think I like to have some sort of character bio – at least the barest outline of one – but I also want the option to create my own stories with them. That may actually be what bothers me most about the MOTUC bios. While I’d like nothing more than a brief background and some information about the character’s personality and abilities, Mattel’s effort to tell an ongoing story within the bios often shortchanges all of that.

Poe Through the Years

Ever since the inception of this site, I’ve had some sort of graphic avatar to represent the “Poe Ghostal” character. I thought it might be fun to do a quick rundown of the various versions of Poe’s look that we’ve had through the years.


This was Poe’s very first look, from the site’s very first incarnation in 2007. I’ve always had a fondness for the look of 1930s pulp heroes like The Shadow, Sandman or their Batman: The Animated Series homage, the Gray Ghost. The raven perched on Poe’s shoulder was a obvious reference to Poe’s “The Raven.” This was drawn and colored by my good friend Red Kryptonite, and it served as Poe’s look on the site until the redesign in 2011.

New comment system

Just a heads-up: I’ve decided to try out a new commenting system, and I’ll be switching over to it today. So commenting may be a little wiggy for a bit.

UPDATE: Aaaaand I didn’t like that new system at all, so never mind! joins forces with CollectionDX!

As many of you have already guessed, the mystery site that is now hosting is none other than CollectionDX!

A Dynamic Debate at Dork Dimension


Not that this topic hasn’t been argued to death before, but I thought I’d point you all to a discussion going on over at Dork Dimension about “collectibles vs. fun toys.” It grew out of the comments section of a review in which Nathan of DD had a side-rant about “collectibles.” I’ve made a few long-winded contributions in the comments section. It’s an interesting debate, even if I think it’s mostly a semantic argument being twisted into a qualitative argument.

That said, there does seem to be a groundswell among some toy fans against “collector” toys in favor of more simple toys that are “meant to be played with.”* I first noticed it with some of the Glyos folks, it accelerated around the time of O.M.F.G. and the burgeoning DIY toys movement, and now – for some toy fans, anyway – seems to be moving into mild but open antagonism toward “adult collector” toys.

*I use quotation marks not to denote sarcasm or belittle their argument, but to ensure I’m not implicitly endorsing the idea that collector toys aren’t meant to be played with, something I don’t necessarily agree with – at least not for all collector-oriented toys.

UPDATE: The discussion has also spread to Twitter (and roamed far afield from there, but it’s a pretty cool discussion).

Call for Help Completing My MOTUC Reviews

motu-motuc-banner-logoAs I mentioned a while back, I’m now officially a cherry picker on Masters of the Universe Classics. This includes selling off some of the figures I don’t want as they arrive from this year’s subscription. In addition, my interest in MOTUC has, not waned per se, but become more moderated, so that I’ve even fallen behind on the items I am holding on to.

However, I feel a strong obligation to ensure this site has a complete archive of reviews of MOTUC. As such, I’m officially soliciting guest reviews of MOTUC figures.

A Poester’s Alternate Review of He-Man & the Masters of the Universe #1

Poester DB sends along this dissenting opinion to my review of the first issue of DC’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. (Warning: contains spoilers for the entire miniseries.)

I am going to have to disagree with you on this one, Poe. I read tons of comics nowadays, and have read all of these with the exception of the origin of Skeletor which I don’t have. I agree with you some about the art, but not about the story.

I have heard much bashing of Issue #1. Typical of the MOTU fans I reckon. And I probably sound like Scott Nitelich (spelling?) when I say “Hello! We are getting a NEW COMIC! We should be thankful!” But it’s true. There has been a long dry spell in media related to MOTU since the Mike Young and MV Creations era.

But this time it is really different, and I can see why some people of put off by it. But hear me out please. My He-Man is the same as most peoples…The He-Man from Filmation and the Mini-Comics. The Prince Adam angle has been riffed on a lot. “Mineternia” has not so much. I feel that the writers have done well in advancing the stories forward. We can have a new context to put familiar characters…a context that is going more for the Barbarian angle, I think.

Poe, you mentioned that He-Man would appear on the front of every comic, whether Adam transformed or not….I say “So. That hot babe that Conan is painted with on the cover of his comic NEVER APPEARED IN THE STORY!!!” The cover got your attention, though. Then when you opened the book, you didn’t get what you expected. Isn’t it BETTER that way? If it was what we expected, then it would get old fast. (Prince Adam is transforming AGAIN…time to get a Snicker Bar from the kitchen…) (Or even better. James Eatock’s “This time the artists took special care with the transformation…..)

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