Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two Bad - Vintage MOTU

Two Bad always stood out among all the other strange MOTU characters as one of the weirdest to me. He's like a conjoined twin from two different races. Two Bad came with a small yellow shield that could be clipped to either of his writs. There are two different variations of the figure. Pictured below is the "flat" back version. The other figure has a more rounded back. Two Bad's action feature is involved his two arms. They are connected internally, when you pull one back they both open up and when you let go they slam shut in a pounding action.

 I never had Two Bad as a kid, but my cousin Eddy had him and I used to enjoy playing with the toy at his house. I'd love to see a custom version of the vintage figure with more traditional shoulders and arms. I kind of hope when they makes the MOTU Classics version of the character has standard shoulders.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ghostbusters Mini-Trap - (Orange Ghost)

This is one of two ghosts that came in one package labled as mini-traps from the Kenner Real Ghostbusters line of action figures. These little monsters have spring loaded jaws that snap shut if anything touches their tongue. I received the pack of both traps as a kid. At some point in late elementary school or middle school when I was paring down my toy collection I sold the purple monster at a year sale. The orange monster lived in my parents attic in a box of yard sale fodder for years.

This little dude features lots of little legs, two horns, and one eyeball.

Here he is with his jaws locked open, ready to snap shut.

Fright Feature Winston stepped in the trap!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Raven - DC Universe

This is the DC Universe Raven figure. This version of Raven is based on her comic appearance instead of her cartoon Teen Titian appearance. Both costumes are similar but have obvious alterations. Mattel clearanced a lot of  products over the summer at Ollie's Bargain Warehouse. This is were I picked up Raven. She's kind of a cool figure, but with her cape in this position, I feel like she's kind of limited.

Raven came with a leg to a Collect & Connect figure and a pin feature art of her.

 I really have not read very much Teen Titans, but I am familiar with the character based on the 2000's cartoon show. In the show the characters are much younger. Raven is the only DCU Teen Titan figure I own.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Patrol Buggy - Nick TMNT

The Patrol Buggy is made up of four small go-cart type vehicles that can connect to make a larger vehicle. Playmates has released the Buggy in two sets. Leo & Donny's Patrol Buggy features a front and rear cart, just like Raph & Mikey's Patrol Buggy.

Raph & Mikey's Patrol Buggy

Leo & Donny's Patrol Buggy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flash v1 & v1.5 - GIJoe '82 & '83

Flash is the original laser soldier for the GI Joe team. He comes with a helmet, visor, backpack, and laser weapon. As with all of the 1982 characters there is both a "straight arm" and "swivel arm" version of the character. The straight arm Flash is on the left in the photo below. The  straight arm figures have one less point of articulation in the arms and a bulkier crotch pieces. I have always found it interesting that when Hasbro retooled the arms they did not make unique  upper arms for Flash. They used the standard long sleeve shoulders tooled for other Joes. Then they applied a red paint app to represent that pad that was sculpted on the original release.

Flash shares his entire uniform with Grand Slam. Snake-Eyes has the same boots. His head sculpt is shared with Hawk, Steeler, and Short-Fuse. Flash never really got a lot of "screen time" in the comic or cartoon show.

I owned many of the '83 figures as a kid, but Flash was not one of them. I picked him up later, after I was a collector.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Netossa - MOTUC

Netossa was the January release from Matty Collector in 2013. This figure kicked off the year adding diversity to the line in several ways. This beautiful Princess of Power figure helps fill out the ranks of the great rebellion. Netossa was a vintage PoP figure and appeared in the Filmation She-Ra cartoon. There was much controversy over Netossa's accessories. She came with a repainted She-Ra shield and a rubber net cape. Many fans were annoyed that her cape counted as an accessory for this figure.

Netossa ready to trap her prey!

 My Netossa's neck cracked when I popped her head off to take the photo of her without the cape. It's a minor issue so I didn't send her back. I'm also not really a big fan of the figure so it didn't really care that much. It's not that there is anything wrong with the figure, I just don't have any real interest in the character. I would have passed on this figure if she wasn't part of the subscription.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Hand - the Claw

The Muscle Men Hand was always one of my favorite figures from this series as a kid. I'm now aware that this figure is refereed to as #153  or The Claw. As a kid I did not know of any way to identify these figures other than to just describe them. The Claw is one of the most unique figures because he is not really humanoid at all. He has great texture and detail.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sabertooth - Toy Biz

I picked up this Sabertooth figure on clearance at Toys R Us back in the days after the first X-Men movie was out of theaters. He's got some very nicely sculpted details. I love his snarl. Sabbertooth also came with a Police Officer figure for an accessory. The cop's entire body was made of segments held together by a string. The string could be tightend to make him stand up. Then when Sabertooth "hit" him the string would untension and he would flop over. (sorry no picture of the cop).


Sabertooth was the villain in a segment of our show Animation Creation called O Cruel Master! 

The Cop gets punched out at the beginning of a segment of AC called Millersville University Police Department Part II.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jabba's Sail Barge or Glamor Gals Ocean Queen

Back when I was a kid, my Mom brought home this giant cruise ship after she went out the get groceries. It was out for trash at the end of a neighbors driveway on her way home. She thought my sister would like it, but it's far to small for Barbies. My sister didn't really have any toys that would fit in it, because there aren't many toys in the same scale as the Glamor Gals. I quickly figured out it worked well with my 3 3/4 inch figures (although the windows are technically to tall).

I used the Cruise Ship with both my GI Joes and Star Wars figures. With the GI Joes, the ship was their Naval Flag Ship. I didn't have the Air Craft Carrier as a kid. When I played with my Star Wars toys the Cruise Ship was Jabba's Sail Barge.

I've mentioned before that my buddy Derek and I used to take photos of "Set Ups" when we were kids. These set ups  rarely happened at my house, but we did play Star Wars almost exclusively at my place.

The tables that the aliens are hanging out at on the lower levels are made out of Construx. These 80's building toys were used to make lots of accessories for my action figures. You may notice the Rancor Keeper and several Gamorrean Guards right under Jabba. There is actually an opening in the floor that leads to that room. If someone fell down the "trap door" the guards would grab the victim and throw them out the back window of the ship to Derek's Rancor Monster. (We combined elements of both the Palace and Barge when we played with the ship)

The last item of note in the photo is my home made Han Solo in Carbonite on the deck behind Leia in Boussh disguise. At Derek's house, on several occasions, we made play sets by pouring plaster of Paris into shirt boxes full of tin foil and sticks. One time Derek's mom game use this great idea to fill a little container with sand. Then press Bespin Han Solo into the sand. Once we removed the figure we poured plaster into the impression. Once the plaster hardened we ended up with our own version of a very hard to find toy.  I may post more about this creation some day.

I reality this is a Cruise Ship that came with more than 50 accessories.  There should be tables, chairs, a shuffleboard game, a heart shaped pool, and railings. I never had any parts to it. That never stopped me or my friends from having a ton of fun with this girl toy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Castle Grayskull - MOTU

Castle Grayskull is one of the greatest toys of all times. With the release of the MOTUC version at the end of the year I've been thinking about the vintage castle a lot. I never owned a Castle Grayskull straight out of the box in the 80's. Although as a kid I did own five Castle Grayskulls at different times. Like many of my "early" He-Man items, I bought my first Castle at a yard sale. It was first released in 1982 and that was the year I was born. By the time I knew what action figures were there were many of these toys on the secondary market. The line was still in stores, but some of the items had been discontinued.

 I didn't really know what all the Castle was supposed to include, but when I came across another one at a yard sale with some parts mine didn't have I bought a second one. I then sold of the duplicate that I had robbed parts from at the next flea market I went to. In the 80's my Mom took my sister and me to a lot of flea markets and yard sales. It was a way for us to get toys cheap because we didn't have a lot of money and my mom sold the cloths we had out grown.

 Over the year, as I mentioned I bought five different Castle Grayskulls. The last one I bought had the gargoyle for the elevator rope. I never saw (or knew about) the cardboard pieces to the Castle. Sometime in the late 80's I sold off my He-Man collection when I started to only focus on GI Joe & Star Wars toys. I sold my Grayskull and Snake Mountain (which I did get new).


Sometime in the mid-nineties I picked up basically empty shells of both Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain again. These guys lived in my parents attic for years. Sometime this summer when I was buying lots of vintage He-Man stuff on Ebay I picked up another Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain. (That's my 7th CG and 3rd SM) I combined the play sets once again and threw in some parts my buddy Paul gave me to create one decedent but incomplete version of both play sets and one version of both with very few accessories. I plan to let my friends kids play with the bare version when they come over.

While all this was going on I noticed some very distinct difference between the Castle Grayskulls I own. As a kid I discovered so variations, but some of these things are new to me.

As a kid I noticed that many of the castles had different "paint schemes". What I will refer to as Castle A is on the left side of both pictures. Castle B is on the right. I've always been more of a fan of the Castle A style paint scheme. It features less black and doesn't have the light green.

 As a kid I came across both version of the laser cannon and tower floor piece. Some version of the Castle has a flat tower floor while others had the version with clips to hold the gun in place. Some Laser Cannons have a closed loop and others have an open loop at the pivot point between the cannon and it's base. I don't know if either of these are only found with a particular paint scheme. I don't have any good data on that. Like I've said, I've never looked at one of the Castles straight out of the box.

 Castle A is pictured above and Castle B is pictured below. Notice the difference in the wall as well as the floor. These floor plates are not interchangeable between the two different walls. Castle A has "T" shaped tabs and a circular bump. You can see the corresponding floor plate has a square notch in it. Castle B has more simplified straight tabs and no circular bump. The floor also does not have the square notch in it. The notch is what names the floor not fit in the other wall setup.

Taking a closer look at the inside of the back wall of Castle Grayskull we find another difference. Castle A just has the reverse of the details on the outside of the castle. Castle B has a sculpted area with some production information. "MATTEL INC    1981 USA      3991-2139"

Does that mean Castle B is older? Not really sure.

I've looked around a little on and the internet in general, but I haven't found a lot of specific information about the variations in the Castle. I'm not sure if there are only two major variations or lot of minor changes over the years.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Luke Skywalker in Hoth Battle Gear - Star Wars

I rarely photograph toys outside. I love the way he photos look, but I'm always worried about loosing their accessories. While take pictures after a recent snow my worst fears were realized. Below is a photo of three different versions of Hoth Luke. Going Left to Right, we have the PotF2 Luke, Vintage, and then the 2000's Modern figure.

The modern style Luke is articulated so that he can be positions to recreate his time suspended from the ceiling in the Wampa Cave. He has an odd articulation point in his neck and a pivoting scarf attached to his hat. While posing him to take a photo that showed off this feature the scarf fell off. I was photographing these toys on a snow covered pile of wood chips. Looking for a tan piece of plastic on a wood chip pile is like a needle in a hay stack. Maybe it will turn up, but I doubt it.

 This figure is actually the 2nd release of this toy. He was first released with a icy diorama base that suspended him upside down. For this release his face still has many scares sculpted into it, but he doesn't have the bloody paint scheme of the other release.

As far as I know Hasbro has yet to release a "perfect" version of Luke Skywalker in Hoth Battle Gear. Perhaps we will get a Vintage Collection version at some point. This "modern" Luke isn't so new and current anymore.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Great Unrest: Weapon Pack - MOTUC

(I'm still suffering from a cold, so I haven't been up to blogging lately. - sorry)

Mattel has done a nice job of offering additional products to go along with their MOTUC figures. We've gotten weapons packs, figure stands, over-sized figures, a vehicle, and soon a play set.  The Great Unrest Weapon Pack is the only way to pick up extra weapons currently available on Matty Collector. I'm kind of surprised that the set didn't sell out. It's very cool and contains many accessories that were dropped due to budget constrains for figures many collectors own. There are also some more generic weapons as well.

 Draego-Man's Flaming Whip, Flaming Shield, and unflaming Sword are some of them most desired. Draego-Man is by far the coolest of the new characters created for the 30th Anniversary of Master of the Universe. The Four Horseman went overboard on the weapons and paint deco for the figure they designed. In the end he came only with his Flaming Sword. As an added bonus the flames can be removed from his shield, a feature that was not originally designed into the accessories.

Perhaps the most controversial items in the weapons pack are the green weapons for Clawful.  The pack came with a green version of his shield that can work nicely with Merman.  The pack also came with another version of Clawful's mace that looks almost identical to his original. To bad they didn't do it in the same dark green as the shield.

The best thing for Mattel to have done, in my opinion would have been to include a green version of the mace that came with the Weapon Rack. That version has the diamond at the bottom instead of the shell and would offer fans a more vintage accurate accessory.

Man-at-Arms' 200x Arm Cannon. This is a much desired accessory  for many fans.  The cannon looks good, but you must remove his armor piece for the cannon to fit. The cannon fits over his arm and has a handle near the front of the gun. The hand on the original M-a-A is sculpted in a more closed fist and hold onto the handle better than the Roboto hand used for Snake Man-at-Arms. The SM-a-A figure is much more 200x in appearance, so it's a shame that the gun wasn't designed more for him. The cannon stays on him for the most part, but occasionally it slips out of his grip.

 The weapons pack also came with a repaint of Teela's shield. This is meant for the vintage style Evil-Lyn figure. The weapons pack also included repaints of Chief Carnivus' sword and shield. Both of them are nice weapons, but I'm not really sure what to use them for. Maybe the cat-man palace guard. I don't display any of my palace guards with the snake or cat faces.

 I think the weapon from this pack that I wanted the most beside the arm cannon, was Keldor's two part sword from the 200x series. This sword started out as He-Man and Skeletor's swords combined like how the vintage weapons clipped together.  Which was the reason He-Man needed the electronic Power Sword. This plot point was later dropped, but they retained the hero (bird) and villain (skull) decos.

Here's Keldor with the MOTUC version of the Sword as well as the 200x version. The double handle is a little more sleek looking on the 200x weapon. Below you can see how the 
swords clip together to form one weapons.

The Weapons Pack included more vintage colored accessories for Teela. These bright red versions of her armor, staff, and sword came in the set. It's odd that they included the 200x sword and not her vintage shield in the bright red vintage colors.

Horde Prime's dropped staff was another much desired accessory. It's a nice accessory, but I'm not a huge fan a ceremonial staff weapons. Although I do love the Havoc Staff, so if they are 
also a weapon then I kind of like them.

The last accessory in the pack was a gray version of the falcon to go with the Temple of Darkness Sorceress figure. Many fans want the next weapon pack to include armor and a perch for the bird. I can do with out them.