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Poe’s Point > The Buzzlords

I’ve had a theory for a while that modern adult action figure collectors of a certain age (i.e., the ones currently driving the market, between the ages of 30-50 mostly) have gone through a number of fads. I’m calling them…the Buzzlords.*

While there have been plenty of popular action figure lines throughout the years, these are the lines that seem to dominate an era.** Here’s what I see as the most important traits of these lines:

  • The line appeals to fans of the property who perhaps aren’t toy collectors
  • The line appeals to adults who were fans of the property as children
  • The line draws in collectors who weren’t fans of the property at all
  • At some point, the line becomes hot enough that the scalpers come in and start trying to make a quick buck.
  • There are multiple instances of collectors going nuts trying to find or preorder particular figures, especially variants and exclusives (the monthly Top Ten lists in ToyFare were particularly instructive for this)
  • And finally, and I’m sure most controversially, the lines have a certain “buzz” around them among collectors – they’re the line everyone is familiar with, the one you see at every booth at comic conventions, the one that gets the occasional mainstream news article written about it.

So, using these criteria, here is my list of the Buzzlords since the modern collecting era. The years are obviously a rough approximation, as lines waxed and waned and some overlapped in their popularity, and many of these lines kept going long after their initial burst of mega-popularity (such as Marvel Legends).

  • 1994-1995 Spawn (McFarlane Toys)
  • 1995-1997 Star Wars: Power of the Force 2 (Hasbro)
  • 1997-2000 Movie Maniacs (McFarlane Toys)
  • 2000-2002 The Simpsons: World of Springfield (Playmates)
  • 2002-2006 Marvel Legends (ToyBiz)
  • 2006-2010 DC Universe Classics (Mattel)
  • 2010-2015 Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel)
  • 2015-2020 Star Wars Black (Hasbro)
  • 2020-? G.I. Joe Classified (Hasbro)

Honorable Mentions: Masters of the Universe 200X (Mattel), G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary (Hasbro), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NECA)

But this is just my list. Perhaps it’s biased, or perhaps I’m just way off-base with this theory in general. I’d love to hear your thoughts! (No, really, I would! That’s not just comment-baiting. I mean it is, but it’s not just that.)

*Why the Buzzlords, you ask? Why not, say, the Zeitgeist Lines? 1.) I don’t think there’s anything about these lines that particularly embodies the spirit of their age (except maybe Movie Maniacs). 2.) “Buzzlord” is more fun and memorable than “zeitgeist” – and potentially marketable if the idea takes off. 3.) It kind of sounds like a forgotten Sectaurs character.

**I’m going to exclude sports-themed lines like Starting Lineup and McFarlane Sports. I mean no offense, but the collectors of those lines seem somewhat different from the sort of collector who would visit PGPoA. Their love of the lines comes as much from their love of the sports and their favorite teams and players as it does the toys themselves (which tend to be more like statues than action figures). That said, there’s no question those lines were very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. You might think I’m being unfair, and if so, click here for a rebuttal on my behalf from an expert witness.

Poe’s Point > Thoughts on SDCC 2013, Part II: Star Wars, Marvel, TMNT, Toynami, Mezco, Square Enix

Continuing my thoughts on the SDCC reveals from last week…


Hasbro has four big licenses action figure franchises: Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, and Marvel. I don’t really collect Transformers or G.I. Joe at all (with a few exceptions), so I’ll just comment on the other two.

Star Wars

There was 3.75″ stuff, but I don’t care about any of that. The important thing here is Star Wars Black 6″.

BS6 Han Solo

To quote Mordecai, “Yay-yuh!”

My SWB6″ collection will probably be fairly small, but this guy will definitely be in it. I must admit, I still don’t think Hasbro is quite reaching the quality of the best of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends or Lord of the Rings with any of their 6″ lines…but it’s Han Solo. In 6″ scale.

Comic Review > “Man-At-Arms” (Masters of the Universe, Web Exclusive, DC Comics)


Release Date: July 14, 2012
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Penciler: Pop Mhan
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letter: Carlos Mangual
Cover: Mhan & Strachan
Assistant Editor: Sarah Litt
Editor: Kwanza Johnson

 Plot Synopsis: Set before the Great De-Remembering, the story follows Man-At-Arms’s attempt to retrieve Chrono, one of two relics that once served as Castle Grayskull’s eyes before they were stolen by rival tribes. The Sorceress asks Duncan to retrieve Chrono from the “Knoll Warlocks” who keep it. Duncan infiltrates their temple (making use of some very Predator-like invisibility cloaking and infrared vision technology) and finds the jewel, but the sorcerer who rules the temple catches him and attacks. Despite being stripped of his armor and weapons, Duncan’s Batman-like preparation allows him to win the fight. When he returns Chrono to the Sorceress, she offers to heal him magically but he responds, “I appreciate the offer, Sorceress, but you know me – I’m not a man of magic.”

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…..)

Comic Review > He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 (DC Comics)


A good piece of advice for living one’s life in general is, “If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” There are many blogs and websites that would immediately vanish into the ether were their authors to subscribe to this philosophy. However, in general I have always tried to be as fair and reasonable as possible on PGPoA. There have been a few times where I’ve simply skipped a review rather than having to write something really negative.

I also just don’t like getting down on someone when they’ve put time and effort into creating a piece of art. I think of all the effort, by one person or the combined work of many people, that goes into making a toy, or a movie, or a novel, and the idea of bashing the end product and making light of their efforts bothers me.

But sometimes I just can’t let it go by without comment, and DC Comics’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe comic – which recently wrapped up its initial six-issue storyline and will become an ongoing title next month – is one of those times.

So settle in, folks. While I’m going to try to avoid clicking into full-on rant mode, I am going to be honest in my opinions. There were six main issues of the comic, plus two one-shots (the Origin of He-Man and the Origin of Skeletor) and, most annoyingly, eight Web-exclusive short comics that are pretty important to following what the hell is going on, but won’t see print until (presumably) the collected edition.

Poe Totally Missed This > He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Getting an Ongoing Comic


I’ve been meaning to write up my thoughts on the DC Comics MOTU miniseries, but in the meantime the series evidently did well enough to score an ongoing title. This news broke over two months ago, but I’m rather out of the MOTU loop…plus I haven’t enjoyed the new series much.

Anyway, the first issue of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe debuts April 17, written by Keith Giffen and drawn by Pop Mhan. Ed Benes does the main cover (above) and there will be a variant She-Ra cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson.

Assuming you can get past Teela’s ridiculous cleavage, you might notice that creepily sexy Hordak-looking thing. The press release says this is the “return” of She-ra, who is “now known as Despara, the most lethal weapon in Hordak’s army.” So does this mean He-Man actually knew She-Ra in this universe, but then She-Ra left and somehow became Hordak’s slave again – or is this just the return of She-Ra to comics and is actually a new origin story? I don’t know.

There will be at least twelve issues of this title, since Mattycollector is offering a 12-issue subscription featuring a variant action figure cover for the first issue.

Does Mattel have the 6″ Michael Keaton Batman rights?

So I came across this exchange on Twitter:

If that’s true, then is Mattel withholding a Movie Masters Keaton Batman simply out of spite? Or will we finally see one at San Diego Comic Con (if not sooner) this year?

When the Nolan Batman films came out, they more or less made me forget about the Burton films. But in the years since The Dark Knight, I’ve come to remember how much I loved the Burton films as a kid. All the talk at the time was about how dark and moody they were, but compared to The Dark Knight they’re flat-out fun. And you will never convince me that the Tumbler is cooler than the Burton Batmobile. Nothing on this earth is cooler than the Burton Batmobile. James Dean and Jack Kerouac reciting “Howl” at the Cavern Club while Thriller-era Michael Jackson dances in the background is not half as cool as the Burton Batmobile.

Anyway, those with a Keaton Batman jonesing who can’t drop the cash on the Hot Toys version can enjoy the far-cheaper and yet still incredibly awesome NECA 18″ figure, due this August.

Toy Aisle Trolls > Fled Arrow

Toy Aisle Trolls is a feature highlighting acts of vandalism to in-store toy items. If you find a ruined package, a stolen figure, a swapped-out figure, or any other such acts, take a photo (cell phone photos are fine if they’re not blurry) and email them to poe@poeghostal.com.

Submitted by: MG

Found at: A TJ Maxx somewhere in Los Alamitos, CA.

Doc Thomas Reviews > Starman (DC Signature Collection, Mattel)

This Starman is based on the Kingdom Come version of the character.

I’ve always been a Marvel man. Sure, I’ve been a fan of the Batman since Miller’s seminal graphic novel, and I’m apparently one of the only sane people who loves Superman Returns, but I was always much more fond of the Marvel universe than the DC. This can be in part attributed to Bryan Singer’s excellent X-Men films raising the bar for comic book movies back before the 90’s ended, and then in part due to the phenomenal Marvel Legends action figures that redefined the way we collect today. But that line ended, and although Hasbro took the baton from ToyBiz it hasn’t quite been the same.

When Mattel decided to apply DC characters to that same formula the result was a great series of toys, but one that was incredibly hard to collect in Australia; while Marvel Legends were plentiful in Oz across their early run, the DC Universe Classics were barely available, if at all. Fortunately friend Poe was able to help me acquire basically the entire series, and since then I’ve been reading a lot of the great DC arcs, currently knee-deep in Blackest Night. I’m a convert; for all their mistakes and baffling choices, especially with the sad reboot last year, I’d argue DC can rise to the occasion with stories just as strong as Marvel’s.

I jumped at the chance to subscribe to Club Infinite Earths, to continue collecting characters from the DC universe, and I feel like I’ve been rewarded for it: the DC Signature Collection has offered both entirely new, and fan requested, characters, like John Constantine and Saint Walker, as well as excellent new versions of figures that have previously seen toys, like Atrocitus. Metron was an excellent incentive to subscribe – as was previously reviewed on here, he’s an excellent toy and a great centrepiece for your New Gods display. I’m happy to continue subscribing; even though I’ve fallen off the MOTUC wagon courtesy of the $75+ Fearsome Foe Whatsits, CIE’s figures are all interesting to me, even characters I’ve previously never stumbled across like Starman.

Comic Review > “The Lost Knight” (Masters of the Universe, DC Comics, 2012)

“The Lost Knight”

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Howard Porter
Inker: John Livesay
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letter: Sal Cipriano
Assistant Editor: Sarah Litt
Editor: Kwanza Johnson

“The Lost Knight” is the first of a digital-first online miniseries, titled Masters of the Universe, that ties in to DC’s main MOTU miniseries He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  It will feature a series of character one-shots.

The digital series will debut new chapters twice a month on Saturdays. The second chapter (7/14) is written by Mike Costa with artwork by Jheremy Raapack and it tells the story of He-Man’s most trusted companion, Battle Cat.  The third digital chapter (7/28), written by Kyle Higgins with artwork by Pop Mhan, is an adventure with the captain of the Eternia guard, Man-At-Arms. —DCcomics.com

The first issue focuses not on any classic MOTU characters like He-Man, She-Ra or Skeletor, but on a brand-new character, Sir Laser Lot, who was created by Geoff Johns in his childhood and will be one of the 30th Anniversary figures in Masters of the Universe Classics this year.

There be spoilers after ye olde jump!

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