Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snow Job v1 - GI Joe '83

If you are a regular reader you know I recently took some pictures out in the snow. I'll be sprinkling them in posts once an a while. Today I'm taking a look at Snow Job v1. He's one of the first environment specialists to join the GI Joe team. Snow Job has a nice sculpt with pouches all over. He has nice details in his beard and the fur around his hood. His uniform is almost entirely white as one would imagine for a snow trooper. He does have a few back details and some brown straps.

Snow Job came with an impressive set of accessories for 1983. He came with a rife (which would be the standard gun for all the Joes in the cartoon), backpack, skis, and ski poles. His backpack had the ability to store the poles and skis.

Here is a photo of Snow Job competing in the Biathlon at the 1980's Winter Olympics.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Catra Halloween Costume - PoP

I recently picked up this 80's Halloween costume of the Jealous Beauty from Princess of Power, Catra. Being a huge He-Man and the Masters of the Universe it's hard to not be into She-Ra the Princess of Power a little. My buddy Paul picked this up at a yard sale to resale. When no one bid on it on ebay I swooped in at snatched it up for the minimum bid at the last moment.

 The costume consists of a  thin ridged plastic mask and a vinyl smock. These parts are packaged up in a little window box. The box is kind of beat up, but still cool.

I find it very interesting that the mask is based on the Filmation cartoon version of the character, but the smock is based on the Mattel action figure of  her. It's a odd mix of the two styles. The furry skirt is also pretty funny since it is just black hash marks on a skin tone plastic.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wile E. Coyote - Mini-Fig

As a kid one time I got this Wile E. Coyote figure in a little tin box with some stickers. The box looked like one of those old metal Band-Aid boxes but decorated in Looney Toons characters. He is crouching down behind a cactus about to push the plunger on an old time TNT detonator box.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Procrustus -MOTUC

Procrustus is a four armed giant from the Masters of the Universe mini-comics. The figure is a mix of new parts with the legs of Megator. Procrustus is the first MOTUC giant figure I've bought. He's pretty cool. He is mostly painted in shades of brown. I wish he had a little mossy green on him to make him match his comic look a little more. He comes with a giant yellow ball. This is supposed to be the Star Seed from one of the He-Man cartoon episodes.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Snow Cat with Frostbite - GI Joe '85

1985 is arguably the greatest year in the history of 3 3/4" GI Joe figures. So many great characters and so many great vehicles. Today I'm taking a look at Driver and Vehicle pair that I just loved as a kid.

Frostbite is a good looking action figure dressed in a white snowsuit with fur collar. He has a holster across his chest and a furry hat and goggles on his head. He came equipped with a rife with a huge scope.  

*Odd customizer fact Frostbite is one of the few GI Joe figures who has no details sculpted on  both his thighs. I have bought lots of Frostbites over the years for making custom figures that don't have holsters and knives strapped to their legs.

Here is Frostbite standing in front of his awesome vehicle. Both Frostbite and the Snow Cat were repainted and reissued as part of Tiger Force. I really like the Snow Cat logo on the side of the vehicle. As a kid it make be think of Snow Meow from Thundercats.

The Snow Cat is a great multipurpose vehicle. It features tires and treads. It can carry up to six action features (the way it is designed). and has two ski missiles and four missiles in it's rocket launcher. As a kid sometimes I'd remove the rocket launcher and pile extra guys in the back (kind of like a pickup truck). The rocket launcher top is a very fragile piece so be careful with it. Along with Frostbite behind the wheel this photo shows off some of my custom Arctic GI Joes (Snake-Eyes, Footloose, & Beach Head - all of them use some of the left over Frostbite parts from other custom figures that used his thighs).

My favorite little feature of this vehicle is the windshield and wiper. The windshield is molded in a clear plastic but is textured to create a fogged look  in the areas the wiper doesn't reach. The little windshield wiper is articulated.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Raven - Teen Titians

This is a Raven figure based on the Teen Titans Go! cartoon. I previously posted about a Beast Boy figure from the same line. I bought Raven years ago at the same yard sale. They are pretty simple figures, but has decent articulation. I still feel like their hands are sculpted in useless positions unless they have a bicycle to ride.

Raven wears her standard black outfit with a little purple cape on her back. She also has a hooded cape accessory that she can wear to represent her hooded appearance. She has nice yellow details on her belt and neck. Every time I look at this figure I think of the Robot Chicken sketch where Beavis and Butthead join the Teen Titans.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Iron Giant

This Iron Giant action figure came with specially marked versions of the VHS tape of the movie. He's got nice sculpted on details and only a couple paint apps on his head. He features the standard 5 points of articulation that so many toy do. I picked him up at a yard sale one time to possibly be used in an animation. You can see he is badly yellowed on this front side. Something more common with white toys.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Custom Cobra Figures - GI Joe

Today's post consists of a couple of Cobra characters I made by cobbling parts together and repainting them. One wears a uniform of my own creation, one is inspired by the cartoon movie, and the third is a character from the old Marvel comic book.

 Dr. Mindbender in Hazmat Suit - The good Doctor is not know for being very well clothed. It's kind of funny for a scientist. We did eventually get a lab coat figure of the character, but sometimes the situation calls for something more. This figure is made from a Dr. Mindbender head, Ozone body, and a Countdown helmet. I used a dremel to cut out the face mask. Then I put electrical tape over the opening on the outside. Finally I filled the gap with hot glue. Once the glue hardened, the tape was removed and the semi-clear visor was created. I painted some dark blue details on the suit and helmet and armed him with a weapon pack Destro gun.

Cobra Mechanic -  In the early 2000's Hasbro drastically redesigned Recondo's uniform and released him in a two pack with the Iron Grenadier army builder. Many collectors weren't quite sure what to do with all the Recondo figures. I can't give credit, because I don't know who did it first, but everyone who had an extra Recondo and blue paint made a Mechanic from GI Joe: the movie. These guys were working on a Firebat and get beat up by Pythona.

Billy -  (William Kessler-Latta in the new IDW books) is the son of Cobra Commander. He was important at various times during the original comic series. One of the high lights was when Storm Shadow was training him as a ninja. This figure is basically a badly yellowed Storm Shadow that I added an eye patch to and repainted white. I also sanded off the details on his torso because Billy didn't wear the extra sash and weapons. This is another common custom figure.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Super-Something Spider-Man (ToyBiz - Movies)

Today I wanted to do a little comparison of a Spider-Man 1 and Spider-Man 2 action figure. The first Spider-Man movie came out when I was a freshman in college, and it blew me away. I has so much fun watching that movie, naturally I bought a few of the action figures. I picked up Super-Poseable Spider-Man and ended up using him as a hero in my stop motion show Action Figure Adventures. He got so much use in the animation process that some of his joints got a little loose. When Spider-Man 2 came out I bought Super Articulated Spider-Man to replace him, but I didn't like the figure very much.

 So we have Super-Poseable (Spidey 1) on the left and Super-Articulated (Spidey 2) on the right. They are very similar and both came with an obnoxiously large accessory that had a rope attached to it that they could be posed on or hung from. Spidey 1 came with a gargoyle head and Spidey 2 had a daily bugle billboard. From this photo you may be able to see that Spidey 2 has brighter colors and shinier plastic. The shiny red plastic always made this figure feel cheap to me.  He also has some extra articulation cuts most noticeably in the torso and shoulders.

Super-Articulated (Spidey 2) does have better articulation. He has more joints and can be posed in more ways. The area that impresses me the most by this figure is that all of his fingers can move. Spidey 1 could only move his middle and ring finger to form the web shooting pose. Spidey 2 can do the web shooting pose or make a fist.

The reason I don't like the Super-Articulated (Spidey 2) is that he has the weirdest shoulder joints ever. I really don't like the way they look. From the back I find them very unsightly. I also found that these joints didn't stay the ways I posed them very well. I bought him to replace a toy with loose joints... so he needs tight joints.

If you want to see of clip of Super-Poseable Spider-Man in action check out this clip from AFA.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

60's Batmobile - Corgi

In honor of the resent sale of George Barris' original Batmobile I decided to post my 1960's style Corgi Batmobile. This small scale car was the first Batmobile toy I ever owned. It came in a big case full of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars a boy up the street gave me when he out grew his toys. I had a lot of fun playing with it along with some other Corgi Super Hero cars from my neighbor.

The Batmobile is all black with a red interior. It features a translucent blue bubble windshield and an unpainted Batman driver. The car also has a small bat sticker on the back behind the vertical smoke stacks. This one has seen a lot of play and so the paint has been chipped, but all the little features like the sticker and windshield are still in-tacked.

Corgi produced this car from 1976-1983. They also made a very popular version in a larger scale that featured  miniature Batman & Robin figures inside. The lager one also had a tow hook that could pull a Batboat on trailer.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Archfiend (Ultimate Evil Edition) - ROTU

I recently received and reviewed the Realm of the Underworld figures I had pre-ordered. After they came in I realized I should have picked up some of the Ultimate Evil Archfiends, so I placed a second order. He's a great looking skeleton warrior figure. The darker and dirtier paint scheme is more realistic that the standard Archfiend figure.

The Archfiend comes in a blister card package that nicely displays the figure and his accessories inside. He comes with a belt, shield, and dagger. The packaging on this guys looks really nice for display.

If you haven't seen my review of the other Realm of the Underworld figures, be sure to check it out. You can find it by following this link.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Million Color Drawing Set - Clowny

Clowny was a big name in trendy art supplies in the late 80's. The Million Color Drawing Set contained all their products in one box. I recently came across mine from back in the day while helping clean out my parents attic. They use the terms "million color" very loosely because there are really about ten. Check out my video review of all four products contained in the box.

Check out this vintage Clowny Commercial, you'll know why I wanted this set. It made the set look pretty impressive. I never really used it a whole lot.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Scared Stiff - Filmation Ghostbusters

As a kid I was a big fan of both the Real Ghostbusters and the Filmation Ghostbusters. In case you don't know the Real Ghostbusters were based on the 80's live action movie and the Filmation Ghostbusters were a modern update of a 70's live action TV show. Filmation was trying to cash-in on the popularity of the movie that used the same name as their earlier show.

Scared Stiff was a wimpy nervous henchman for the main villain, Prime Evil. He is a robotic skeleton and has a similar personality to C3P-O from Star Was. He has standard 5-points of articulation and a simple paint scheme. He matches his cartoon likeness nicely. He is some what pre-posed by his sculpt. As a kid I wished he could come apart because in the cartoon he was frequently falling to pieces.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

AFA Year One: Complete

Wow, I can't believe it has been a year since my first blog post! Action Figure Adventures (the blog) has been way more successful that I would have imagined. I'm totally impressed that I have had well over 15,000 hits in one year. That's just incredible. It's also really cool that I have developed a strong bond with some fellow bloggers who are frequent commenter here at AFA.

A really big dream come true for me is that the stop motion animated series that this blog is named after was finally completed and shared with the world this year. My buddy Derek and I started working on it back in 2002. It was a very ambisious project for a couple of college kids, and life kind of got in the way. Derek completed editing the 8 episodes this summer that feature over 50 speaking characters. It was a ton of work. I'm happy with how the series turned out. Unfortunatly youtube has already shut down my favorite episode because we use copyrighted music in the show. Fell free to check out any of the post about it under the Action Figure Adventures (the series) tab.

At this point I've posted about more than 250 toys and other pieces of memorabilia in my collection. There is plenty more to go, so don't worry. I haven't even touched my GI Joes and Star Wars toys yet.

I wanted to share this quote from my first post:

"My plan for this blog is to write (and maybe video blog) about Toys and other merchandise that ties into them. So, there may be some comic or cartoon material on here."

That's pretty much what I have done and plan on continuing to do. It's been fun getting back to animating. I really haven't done much stop motion work since college. My buddy Derek always edited our stuff and he was so backlogged with AFA I kind of got away from it. Now that I've messed around and figured out a way that works to edit the videos with what I have, I'm having a blast. I keep the animations short in my reviews to help me be able to complete them promplty, but also I just want to throw in a little enternaiment with the review. I don't want people to have to sit through 5 minutes of animation just to hear about a figure.

There are tons of toy reviewers out there. Many of them have fancier backdrops and cameras. I feel like the animation is something unique I can bring to the table and help make my reviews a little different. I hope to complete quite a few more animated reviews this year.


PS: I like to include a picture with posts as often as possible. These little mini-figs are little rubber knights. They come is a variety of styles and were easy to find in the early 90's. I don't really know much about them.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Godzilla vs Shogun Warriors

Since sometime in the first grade I have been best friends with a kid named Derek Moench. He has had a huge influence on me and my toy/animating hobby. For years Derek and I have made "Set Ups" with our toys and photographed them. We used to do a Set Up every year on New Years Day. Over the years the quality of these displays have improved. This photo is from one of the last New Years Sleep Over Set Ups we ever did. By the time we got into middle school and high school we started shifting to making stop motion animated videos which turned into our shows Animation Creation and Action Figure Adventures (check out the tabs to the right ----->).

We really managed to really fill the frame of this photo. In many of the photos from our early set up you could see the carpet or the furniture in the back ground. Our final Set Up took place on Mars. We used an orange sheet for the surface of the planet and Derek's star field comforter as the sky. As you can see the aliens have not yet activated their giant defense robot, but the monsters are battling it out.

One of my favorite things about this photo is that it features lots of Godzilla (and other Japanese monsters) along with Raydeen from Shogun Warriors. In the 70's Derek's Dad, Doug Moench wrote both of these comic books. No wonder Derek had tons of these toys when we were kids. Someday I'd actually like to photograph Derek's Monster collection to share with you guys. I probably own 15  Japanese monster figures. Derek as at least 100. You can see a lot of them in our video Godzilla Flick on youtube.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ra's Al Ghul - BTAS

I picked this guy up at a yard sale a couple of years ago. This is a great looking Ra's Al Ghul action figure from the Batman Animated Series. He was cobbled together for the Shadows of Gotham City box set. He uses the head form his original animated series figure on an Alfred body. They gave him a new cape that really completes the character.

He has five points of articulation and clean paint apps. I would have gone a shade darker on the green of his suit and cape, but they aren't bad. I don't know what I would have done with him if they had made a Super Powers figure of him back in the 80's. Ra's a thinking character. He has no gimmick and therefore is hard for kids to wrap their brain around him. I would love to have the rest of the box set.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Claudus - Modern Thundercats

I'm a little sad that I'm posting about the last modern Thundercat I will probably ever get. The line and cartoon were both good, and I really wanted them to last a few more years. Clausus is the father of the main character, Lion-O. He appeared in the vintage show very briefly as a vision. His character got a slightly more significant role this time around. He is killed in the first episode setting the event in motion for the rest of the series. He appears frequently in flash backs through out the show. I love the fact that Larry Kenney, who voiced Lion-O in the original cartoon voiced Claudus in the new show.

The figure has a much bulkier build than characters like Lion-O. I felt that the ability to make characters of different stature was one of the highlights of this toy line. He has nice paint apps, although the scar on his nose is a little funny looking. On some figures it just looks like a paint mistake. He has decent articulation. It is limited somewhat by his cape, shoulder pads, and skirt. He comes with a really nice sliver version of the Sword of Omens.

I did a pretty massive animated review  of most of the line back during the summer.

I could not find this guy in stores anywhere. Then all of the sudden the Thundercats were being clearanced left and right. I was bummed out that I missed him and that he was so expensive online. Recently when I was shopping for toys for the holiday toy drive I found a bunch of Thundercats at Five Below. I was so happy to get one for my collection. I pretty much cleaned out that store. I bought a set to keep carded. I bought figures to give to the toy drive and a couple that I sent to fellow bloggers.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

More Retro Stickers

Right after Christmas I posted some stickers from my childhood sticker collection. Well, that wasn't all of them. Today I am focusing on stickers from two distinct 80's toy properties. Pretty much all of these stickers are stuck in my Sticker Book.  I don't think I have all the stickers from either sheet, but it looks like I have most of the stickers from a set of puffy Voltron stickers and a set of Crystar: Crystal Warrior stickers.

Here we have Voltron's head along side Crystar's sword and shield.

Here we have an unstuck full body image of Voltron with sword and 
a head shot of Pidge in my alien sticker book.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe logo sticker

Next up, a full body Hunk in pilot uniform and a casual head shot sticker of Hunk as well.

 These Crystar stickers are badly damaged. I can't remember the circumstances, but I do remember having them stuck on something and regretting that they weren't in my sticker book so I could keep them forever. (I've been a die hard collector of action figure based pop culture since a young age) So I peeled them off and as they came off, white "stretch marks" appeared on the stickers. Unfortunately I really messed them up. They were the only stickers I ever had this happen to as a kid. Some times stickers would rip or loose their stickiness if you tried to move them, but I never had other stickers develop these lines.

The characters from Crystar were created by Marvel Comics and had and 11 issue comic series. The toys line that went along with the comics were also short lived. The good guys looked like they were fromed from crystal and the bad guys looked like lava.

Over at Branded in the 80's you can see the full sticker sheet these guys came from. Not to mention the fact that they are pristine and you can enjoy the art work better.

I never had any of the Crystar figures new and I've never read any of the comics, so I don't really know the characters names. I have always kind of wondered if this next fellow was a good guy or bad buy since he seems to be half and half crystal and lava. The lava dragon sticker didn't end up getting damaged as much as the others when it comes to the white lines, but it almost ripped in half. I love the "Mr. Yuck" sticker from poison control just above him. You don't see those guys any more.

Last but not least, a nice puffy Yellow Lion sticker from Voltron.