Saturday, June 30, 2012

Action Figure Adventures Ep 5

Here we are at episode 5 of Action Figure Adventures. The story is going to start moving towards the finale, but not without a few more figures attempting a crazy escape plan. In the past couple of episodes the events in the dorm room have focused on the Star Wars characters, but in this episode we shift back to the GI Joes. Clutch has a crazy dream that may help the heroes with their escape plans.

Later on Crazylegs explains his plan to free the toys from their current prison. Will his presentation to a panel of heroes have everyone on board? As I look at this screen shot I can't help but notice that the Marvel Super Heroes and the Ninja Turtle haven't done much in the show yet.

Oh wait, I spoke to soon, Leonardo (TMNT) speaks for the first time. Leo's rap was written by our head writer Derek Moench, but is voiced by Don Lansdorf. During one of the recording sessions for Cobra Commander, Don started rapping and imitating the style of different early rap artists. It became clear that he was the man for the job. Don took a copy of the script with him and months later sent us a recording with his beats and vocals.

I wanted the show to feature a lot of different toy lines, but since my collection at the time was predominantly GI Joe and Star Wars they got the most characters. I also didn't want to put in too many different hero factions if we only has three villains. I originally was going to have the Joker be a bad guy, but with Batman and Robin being eliminated in the first episode it seemed odd to have the Joker left with no real adversary.

This episode also wraps up Chuckles' adventures with the Lego people. This is Chuckles most developed subplot to the main story, but I'm not sure if it's his weirdest story.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Action Figure Adventures Ep4 Eggs

It's Friday and I have to post some Easter Eggs and Notes on the show. I hope you are checking these episodes out. We spent a lot of time on them and I think they are pretty fun.

So if you haven't seen AFA Ep 4 yet, what are you waiting for? If you have, thank you and here are a few little hidden gems about this episode.


 2:00 More screen time for the Villians as the capture Chewbacca story line continues.

2:54 There are two different Masters of the Universe posters in the dorm room, but no MOTU figures in the show.

3:29 Like the Dental Floss in Ep 3, the Pop Tarts box was the only little box I could find around campus. A lot of things in the series are made out of Pop Tart boxes including the "Computer" from an earlier episode and the stretchers in this one.

3:45 The last three Lego people were put together to be reminiscent of Clutch, Scoop, and Barbeque. Clutch wears all green has black hair and beard and holds a wrench. Scoop has
brown hair, green vest, yellow pants, and is holding a video camera. Barbeque is the weakest resemblence, but the guy is a fire fighter.

4:09 I drew that face on that Lego head as a kid. The real face had rubbed off. I think a pack of blank Lego people would be fun.

4:32 Wow can the ceiling above the drop ceiling be another drop ceiling?

6:39 How useful is a Lego drill when you are building things out of Legos?

8:06 There is a major continuity error in this scene. We see Cobra Commander push on the back
of the statistis text book but the front cover falls towards the camera when we hear him scream.

9:56 Can you spot the custom Han Solo Lego person I made years before Star Wars Legos exisited?

11:10 The Scoop and Clutch Lego people are off to the side again.

11:39 In the 80's I never had to cool Construx Purple Astronaut. I only ever had the guy in a blue sweater and pants. He seemed like a good arch-rival for the Lego people.

13:10 Magneto is using a MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) in his trap. As I mentioned before, my college roommate was in ROTC.

15:56 The town fool is another custom Lego face I did on a old head that had lost it's details. I made him have his tounge stick out.

16:29 The Solders are doing most of the rebuilding this time while the civilian Lego people are working out with chuckles. Later the Solders are involved in weapons training

17:44 The solder is wearing Big Boa's boxing gloves from GI Joe

17:47 Get it... Rock' em, Sock' em robots.

17:56 The knights build a battering ram.

18:47 The Lego people saying "hut, hut, hut" is a reference to the National Guard guys in the Blues Brothers movie.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4" Modern Thundercats

Here is the review I've been working on with a stop motion animated battle at the begining that's been eating up all my time. I spent more than 30 hours making the 2+ minute animation. From taking the pictures, photoshopping the effects, recording audio, and editing. I was only going to review the two newest figures... but since I used everything in the video I just decided to look at the entire line.

I can't believe I misplaced Mumm-Ra's sword right before I did the review. 
Oh well, at least I took a picture of him holding it to post.

I also forgot to mention that the Panthro with robo-arms has a new head that
 shows off his pearly whites. He's even more angry... or in pain.

The Thunder Tank looks cool, but just isn't durable enough.

 This Snarf figure is way out of scale for his appearnace in the new cartoon. 
It's right on for the classic cartoon.

Here you can see how tiny the motorcycles are that the tank launches.

The lizard-man is taking a beating from Tygra.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's going on at AFA...

Okay... today's post is not a typical post. No toy review or update about something new in my collection. All I have for you today is a status report of sorts.  I'm hoping to have a new video posted tomorrow which features a 2+ minute stop motion animation and toy review. I've been working on it for a while and was having some computer issues so it sort of got delayed and the focus of the review may even change a little.

My buddy Derek who I've known since 1st grade and my collaborator on the animated shows, Animation Creation & Action Figure Adventures, is leaving for Europe soon. I am hoping that everything goes as planned and that the last four episodes of AFA are uploaded to Youtube soon So we can continue to release them one a week. I hope you guys are checking them out and enjoying them. The first episode is a good start, but it gets even better after we worked out some kinks with that episode and move forward. So if AFA 1 didn't sell it, check out AFA 2.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is friends and Fellow Bloggers (and I'm not causing drama).  A while ago while Derek was still working on editing the episodes of AFA he told me I should start a blog about the show. Something we could us as a platform to launch the show. A place to tell people to go to check out the show without just saying try to find it on youtube.

As he was talking to me about this I remember something another one of our friends has said to me a long time ago. Brian, (the voice of Clutch, Mr. T, and Gambit in AFA) told me that I should write something about all the 80's GI Joe figures and sort of explain how I got them or my impression of them as a kid. This was back when we were all working on another website (Obscene Newg). We haven't worked on Newg in a long time, and Brian decided to let the Domain name lapse when the time comes. I have actually  reposted some stuff from that site on this blog. It's also where our youtube profile name comes from. I have yet to follow through with Brian's idea... but I will.

So I had that in the back  of my mind and I started looking around at other blogs. Since I recently really got back into He-Man I studied a little of what  James from MOTU Figures  was doing. I love the videos he makes with his son. I also like that he spends the time to take really nice photos of the toys and posts them. James hasn't posted anything new in months and it's so disappointing since I check his blog everyday.

Another blog I began reading, which celebrates being a nerd, is Dave's Geeky Hockey. This blog doesn't focus on toys, but he designs hockey jerseys based on many nerd franchises. I bought the Voltron Jersey and posted about in on here. I was shocked when I checkout  his blog today to find out he is giving it up.

Since starting my blog I've been reading Action Figs & Things quite a bit.  ActionFig is my number one comment poster here. I really enjoy that fact that he and a group of other blogger mail each other figure off and on. It's nice to see the comradery. I'd like to maybe get involved in something like that eventually (when I get my license back and can go to the post office).

Finally I'll mention long time internet content generator and toy reviewer who recently launched his own site Pixel Dan. Dan's reviews of the MOTUC figures are a big part of what got me into them .There were a bunch of figures available on Black Friday that I was going to pass on, but my mind was changed each time after watching his review. He does and awesome job. I think about his reviews a little when I make my videos. He's done such a perfect job of showing off their articulation and features that I don't spend a lot of time talking about that stuff. I basically try not to be Pixel Dan. I look at it form the perspective of what can I offer that Dan didn't include. So that little animated segment is something goofy and fun I can offer and I state my opinion on the figure.

So, hopefully I will be posting a video review on Thursday, AFA Easter Eggs on Friday, and new AFA Episode on Saturday. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Voltron - Green Lion & Pidge

I'm now three lions deep in my Club Lion Force Voltron Subscription through Matty Collector. As a kid I had a diecast Voltron and the Green Lion was always one of my favorites. Green was also my favorite color and I'm sure that had something to do with it. The reason I say "one of", is that none of the other lions can compare to the Black Lion. He's just boss.

The Green Lion is almost identical to the Red Lion in features and size. So, like the Red Lion, Green is an awesome toy. The main difference here is that the Green Lion's body is more rounded while the Red Lion has a more box like design.

I'm not going to harp on the auto-transformation feature again this time. My position is the same. Don't put action features on Adult Collector toy line! (Although if you had to do an action feature... as a kid I loved how the heads could shoot off of my Red and Green Lion like a spring-loaded missile launcher.) On my Green Lion the locking mechanism for his back doesn't work. The other lions were not hard to get open with the keys... just a little tricky some times. This lion practically opens on it own. Pidge is going to fall out while pulling maneuvers in space.
 Pidge has plenty of leg room inside his lion. Red and Green Lion has the same internal compartment. So Pidge can really slide around a lot in there and without a propely locking hatch I think he will end up on the floor easily.

Speaking of Pidge, let's take a look at our pilots so far.  Pidge has the same articulation as the other figures, but is scaled down to look like a kid (as he should be). He comes with a helmeted and unhelmeted head just like the other pilots. A little item to point out, Pidge's helmet does not have a visor due to his glasses, just like in the cartoon. His glasses look pretty good. Sometimes glasses look weird on toys. They are a hard detail to sculpt on a face.

I find it interesting that even though these Pilots are a slightly larger scale than the vintage pilots, both Pidge figures are the same size. The new Pidge with his unhelmeted head always looks like he is looking towards a the ground a little (but that might just be my figure).

Like the other two Lion/Pilot sets, Green Lion comes with a blade that can be held in his Mouth. Pidge comes with a key to Green Lion that can work as a figure stand and a collect and connect piece to build the blazing sword.  The stand will be helpful with Pidge, his feet are so tiny.

Just like with Lance, while swapping head a few times to take pictures for this review, Pidge broke. I'm not sad or mad. There just wasn't enough glue holding his helmet to his head. On the positive side now I can take a picture of him holding his helmet.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Horde Prime & Snake Man-At-Arms - MOTUC

I got this months MOTU Classics subscription figures this weekend and so I wanted to take a look at the regular figures today. I did make a video review... as I explain in the video this one doesn't have a little animated bit at the beginning. Below there are a bunch of photos to go along with the review.

Horde Prime - Leader of the Evil Horde and Brother to Hordak. This toys starts off a few points below other figures because he doesn't have any real nostalgia factor. In fact he is directly opposed to nostalgia because he look nothing like (what little we saw of) Horde Prime in the She-Ra cartoon.

 Horde Prime with is main head covered by his helmet and 
Horde Prime with his secondary (UK comics) head.

 Here he is with the helmet pushed down over the UK Comic head. 
It doesn't fit well because of the antennas.

Hordak and Horde Prime - it's a family reunion!

Hordak Head on Prime's body with Hordak's Cape and Prime's Cape.

Horde Prime's main head on Hordak's body

Snake Man-At-Arms - Evil weapon maker for King Hsss. This loyal servant and protector of King Randor is twisted and forced to serve a new evil master by the power of the Serpent's Ring. This figure was made in homage to a 200x figure and a plot concept from the MYP cartoon series that never came to be.

Snake Man-At-Arms featuring a more 200x style armor.

Close up of his snake face.

Close up of that undetailed arm band.

The way I'm displaying my Man-At-Arms - Snake - 200x - Vintage

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flea Market Finds #7

Well, I got out to the Flea Market across the bridge in New Jersey this weekend. It was a hot one, but it was nice to get out of the house for a while. My buddy that drove me was looking for tools, but I had my eye out for action figures. I saw a GI Joe Defiant Space Complex that had the main parts, but was missing most of the guts. I asked what they wanted... just in case but they wanted $200.00 for the thing. Oh well, not like I needed two any way. Later on I saw the bridge to the Toss 'n' Cross Bridge Layer in a box a guy was carrying out of his car. I peaked in as he set it on the table and I was happy to see a bag of GI Joe parts. So, I bought them...

 Serpentor's Air Chariot, Silver Mirage Parts,, and a Snow Cat Missile Rack with all it's tabs! Raptor's winged backpack is in good shape even though it's kind of folded up. (In this picture the are two identical mystery items -- the white side ways "L"s - Anyone know? Leave me a comment. I don't think they are GI Joe)

 Here we have some more GI Joe vehicle parts. (Second Mystery Item - What is the yellow three barrel laser gun from? Leave me a comment... please.)

 Missiles to the Mamba and Ferret, Tactical Battle Platform Ladder, and a gun to the Night Raven Drone.

Some vintage Star Wars Weapons! I'm happy about the Stormtrooper blaster. I need a couple dozen of them and the Han Solo blaster to arm my collection.

 Here is a mess of GI Joe guns. I'm not going to name drop everyone here, but I am happy to have the bi-pod to Lowlight's sniper rifle and General Hawk's (v2) gun.

Here's the picture that's going to make everybody jealous that got got all this stuff for $4. Check it out Storm Shadow's (v1) Bow, Nunchuck, Sword and Backpack. Snake-Eyes' (v2) Wolf, Gun, and Sword. Plus three backpacks for Cobra Troopers (Eels, Techno-Viper, and Viper). Well, even if I got a little bit of sunburn I think it was worth it. Now I have to go threw and check off the stuff  I needed that I now have.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Action Figure Adventures Ep4

Here we are at the 4th episode of Action Figure Adventures. The big halfway point in the series. We even break the format a little bit because there is no new hero escape attempt.

The Star Wars characters adventure with the Villains coninues from episode 3. This time the Villians have Chewbacca as a prisioner instead of  Luke and Han trying to hack into the computer. This story line really allows the Villains to develop a little more. We saw Darth Vader, Cobra Commander, and Magneto a fair amount in the first episode, but they have been absent since.

The Rouges Gallery
 Another big subplot that has been developing over the past three episodes is Chuckles' adventures in the ceiling. In episode 3 Chuckles met a Lego man, but he has no idea what he's getting into.

This may be the most anticipated episode of Action Figure Adventures because several kids that lent us their voice talents for the show have been waiting quite a while to see this. I hope everybody enjoys it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Action Figure Adventures Ep3 Eggs

 It's Friday! That means we've got to post some Easter Eggs and Notes about the 3rd episode of Action Figure Adventures because tomorrow is the release of the 4th episode.

Each episode has it's own escape plan but there are is also usually an on going story surrounding the escape plans. In the 3rd episode the story line continues the adventures of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo trying to get an R2-D2 from the Jawas that can hack into the bad guy computer. This eventually leads to this episodes escape attempt.

If you haven't seen AFA 3 yet check it out! If you have seen it... well here are a few things to look for on a second watch.

3:54 Squidface is the first vintage Star Wars toy featured in the show (besides the Stormtroopers).
                 - The Stormtroopers don't really count because they aren't an individual characters
I am a lone knight!

4:34 Chuckles pulls a move reminiscent of the Matrix in his fight trying to dodge a live wire.

6:57 There is a VHS tape of our other show Animation Creation sitting by the Gateway Computer mug.

7:34 The "computer" is made out of cardboard and masking tape

7:36 The Star Wars characters never notice the bad guy base is a computer desk with a "giant" real computer

8:41 R2-D2 "fighting" the bad guy is a little obscene

9:01 One of the B.A.T.S. does the old playground trick of bending down behind someone about to get pushed.
Chewie getting bullied at school

9:12 The Anime girl in the background is Nene from Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040. One of my favorite anime.

9:16 There is a stray blob of ticky-tak in the shot for a couple of frames.

9:34 Dental Floss was chosen as the rope for the episode because it was the only "string" I could find for sale on campus.

11:09 The First Aid kit (It belongs to the GI Joe Life-Line who is not in the show) is seen at the good guy base in one of the intro slides during the open of some of the episodes.

12:51 Often times at he beginning or the end of episodes when the heroes are sitting around or sleeping some of them are working out. Here Chuckles works out in the ceiling. (My college roommate was in ROTC and he did push-ups and sit-ups when ever he was bored. That's basically where this came from)

13:31 The first of many Lego People to be used in the show. The big dog is Peter Puppy from Earthworm Jim.

Chuckles first encounters a Lego Person
14:41 The 2nd time in this episode where masking tape is used  as action figure bandages (and it's not the last time in this series)

16:47 My roommate and I dropped bouncy balls down that center opening several times as well as the spool of tape from a VHS of the Lost Boys The building was 10 stories and we lived on the 7th floor..

17:20 Derek did a really nice job of combining the frames of the toys being animated with live action feet to make it seem like they barley made it out of the way.

17:46 the Lighting in the stair well is so weird the colors look bad and it always made me feel kind of sick when I was in there.

18:39 I tried to frame shots so the dental loss would pass in front of something black like the railings or else the string just blended in and it look like he was floating.

19:11 I took the screw out of Alpine's back to make sure he would "explode".

19:26 Derek specifically wrote in Alpine's teddy bear so that way we would have a stuffed animal at the memorial the Heroes build the their fallen friends.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harvey Dent (The Dark Knight)

As I mentioned on here before I'm temporarily without a drivers license for medical reasons, so I'm dying to see The Dark Knight Rises and try to get the new figures to build the Collect and Connect Bat Signal. (EDIT: When I posted this I thought the movie came out June 20th not July 20th) The next best thing I can do is to review this Batman: The Dark Knight Harvey Dent action figure.

He uses Mattel's stock suit body for all their DC Comics characters with a head sculpt that looks very much like Aaron Eckhart who played Dent and Two-Face in the film. I was drawn to this figure for two reasons. Like I said in my review of Prince Adam I have always been of fan of the secret identity figures, and this is as close as you get with Two-Face. I also like him because when I do stop motion animation project it is often useful to have generic looking characters in suits or street cloths to fill bit roles.

If you've seen the 10th episode of our show Animation Creation we used a movie Professor X who I sculpted hair on as a reporter.

The figure has the same awesome articulation that Mattel puts into all their DC Universe and Movie Masters figures. Here is Harvey Dent dancing or getting shot. You decide...  It is nice that the jacket and tie have some slight movement to them. It allows for more realistic looking poses and movement. You could have him reach into his jacket to pull something out.

He also comes with a metal double heads coin that you an actually flip. It's a shame he didn't come with a really tiny one that he could hold. An accessory for the district attorney would be nice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ghostbusters 2: Movie Masters

The Ghostbusters 2 Movie Masters Box Set contains the four Ghostbusters in their 2nd movie costumes with proton packs as well as including Slimer. I passed on this set a couple of times because I kind of would rather have them in their first movie colors. One time while on a Toy 'R' Us
 run I didn't find anything I was looking for and these guys were marked down so I knew I had to grab them. I've gone back an forth about ordering the original versions of Peter and Ray that have been on Matty Collector .com

First up we have Peter Venkman (Bill Murray)

All the figures pretty much use stock bodies. They all have permanently attached proton packs and the "gun" can be clipped to their backpack or held in their hands. I think they did a really good job of capturing Bill Murray's likeness with the figure. This figure differs a little from the other three in that his pants are not tucked into his boots. (I wish I had taken a photo that showed this)

The next figure is Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). Egon was my favorite character in the cartoon show.

Egon like Peter has nice articulation and good paint applications. The details on the proton pack are really nice. His glasses are non-removable, but a separately sculpted piece. I go back an forth on this a lot. Glasses sometimes look weird sculpted straight on a head, but they often are a little too bulky as separate pieces. When I look at this figure I instantly think of John Tuturro (Barton Fink, O' Brother Where Art Thou, and Transformers) I did a quick Google search for the two actors and it turns out other people noticed it in real life not just with this action figure.

The third figure is Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd)  Ray is my favorite Ghostbuster in the movies. I'm a big Dan Aykroyd fan.

I am the most disappointed with the Ray figure out of the entire set. He head is a little to small for the body. It's just off somehow. I don't know if it is his hair sticking up so high that makes the head look weird or what. It looks like Dan, but doesn't fit the figure right. I also wish he had a slightly stockier build, but I understand Mattel's design system of reused parts. The set comes with one trap, I photographed it with Ray. The little doors on the trap even open up.

The final Ghostbuster to talk about is Winston Zeddemore  (Ernie Hudson)

Again this figure looks great. Lots of details and hoses. He has an unpainted, but sculpted on mustache. This is because of Mattel reusing the head from the toy based on the first movie. I love the detail in the paint applications like put their last names on the patch on the front of their jumpsuits. The set also included a soft goods Santa hat for each of the Ghostbusters. They look okay, but are a little bulky.

The final figure in this boxed set is Slimer!

 Slimer is made out of a translucent green plastic and comes with a clear floating stand. He has some articulation in his arms (shoulders and elbows). Mattel recently annouced they will be sending subscribers to the now canceled Ghostbuster line a free glow-in-the-dark Slimer figure. It will be this same Slimer just made from a different plastic.

At the end of the day, the set isn't perfect, but it's still a pretty nice set and I'm glad I picked it up. I don't know if Mattel could do it, but I'd love to see these figure reissued in cartoon colored jump suits. I just always thought it would be neat to see the movie guys in four unique jump suits.