Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rumbler - GI Joe '87

 Rumbler was the vehicle driver to the Radio Controlled Crossfire vehicle. Rumbler was made using no new parts. Hasbro just combined parts from several other figures to create this one. Rumbler has very minimalistic paint apps to boot. Rumbler is made using the head of Footloose, the torso of Heavy-Metal, and the legs of Bazooka. Rumber is armed with a brown helmet and gray gun, both of which previously came with other vehicle drivers in different colors.

 In 1987 my friend Will and I both got the Crossfire for Christmas. Our parents had talked ahead of time and got us the alternative versions.The Crossfire was released in two different versions that operated on different frequencies. I played with that R/C car for years and beat the crap out of it.

 As a kid I used to pretend that Rumbler and Footloose were brothers, considering they look so much alike. For a while in the early 2000's there were many jokes made about Rumbler's peach pants on the Joe Customs message board. They even sold t-shirts that said "Nice Pants" with a little 8-bit version of his pants.

 It would have been interesting if Hasbro had given Rumbler a different hair color. This would have helped to make him look less like Footloose. I had fun with him as a kid, but he's not one of the best Joes, and he's often forgotten about.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Arkham Origins Bane

Along with the Arkham Asylum 2-Pack I recently reviewed, I also received the Arkham Origins Bane figure. This toy is based on the third video game in the series. Origins is a prequel of sorts. For this appearance, Bane's design is much more influenced by his movie design. Bane is wearing military style webbing gear and combat boots. His stature is also not as beefy.

Bane is wearing a venom backpack that has bright green tubes that attach to different parts of his body. While this figure displays well, his articulation on the other hand is lacking. The tubes make it hard to move his arms. He has a grenade on his one leg that makes it impossible to move his one hip. I know these are for adult collectors, so they don't expect people to play with them, but I like to be able to pose my figures. Articulation is often an issue on these DC Collectables.

Here's a great shot for the family album: The Bane Brothers

Thursday, November 28, 2013

KRY-SIS - Realm of the Underworld

KRY-SIS the Underworld Warrior is the 2nd hero in the Realm of the Underworld toy line. He is part of the 2nd wave of retro style figures produced by Zoloworld. Like the rest of the ROTU figures all of is body parts are removable and interchangeable with the other figures from the line.

Kry-sis is armed with a gold battle axe and a large red shield. His "Shield of Life" was a gift from Zeus and allows the dead warrior to leave the Underworld to battle along side Hercules in the Overworld.

Check out my Kry-sis animated review below...

Kry-sis has a very cool paint job giving him a undead skin tone. He holds his axe well and his sheild is designed to be clipped on his arm easily,. The clip on the shield worried me at first because it is very thin, but it is fairly flexible and functions very well. Compared to the rest of the wave Kry-sis is a little plain, but he's still a fun figure.


oops! I some how mixed up some of the accessories. KRY-SIS should have the black axe, not the gold one that is pictured. Sorry... hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Custom Mr. Freeze

More than 10 years ago, a couple buddies and I were planning a Batman stop motion video project that would use various different styles of Batman toys to tell several short adventures. Basically, in the future someone would excavate the Bat-Cave and while reading case files found in the Cave the excavator would imaging these adventures. Each story would use different toy lines. One would use Super Power style figures, one Animated Series figures, and one Tim Burton movie figures. I picked up a beat up DC Heroes Mr. Freeze figure who was missing his helmet dome at a yard sale. So I fashioned a new helmet for him from a small bubble from a quarter machine. I used a light blue paint to cover up the areas I sanded and glued to make the new dome fit. I also painted a few other small details on the figure. We never made the video, but I still have this Mr. Freeze lying around.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GI Joe Collectors Club FSS

The GI Joe Collector's Club has been running a Figure Subscription Service for a little over a year now. I signed up for the FSS 1.0. This set contained 13 figures. 12 were revealed before the service started, and the last figure was a surprise. I've gone back and forth on opening them or keeping them sealed. The figures are more expensive that store releases, but are also more limited. Because I wasn't dying to own all of them I kept them carded. I was disappointed because one came unsealed in the mail. I subscribed to the FSS 2.0, and so far one figure out of both shipments have arrived unsealed. I don't know if the glue comes undone in the mail due to cold weather or what.

I talked to customer support about the first figure, and they told me many collectors were just gluing the bubbles back to their cards. I talked to the club president about the first figure from the second series and said that customer service would replace it if I wanted. Now I have a second figure that isn't sealed from series 2. I find this to be very annoying. I get toys from Mattel in the mail every month and they always arrive in perfect condition. The club President tells me the figures are made by Hasbro and are sealed just like the ones in the stores. I know Toys R Us wouldn't want to carry a product where 3 out of 17 came in packaging that made them unsellable.

Maybe I should just open them all and not worry about it, but since they cost almost 3x the price of the figures in the stores and I can't pick and choose which one I buy, I'd like to know they are coming Mint on Card so I could sell off some of the ones I don't want. I don't think I will not be signing for FSS 3.0

Monday, November 25, 2013

Robo-1 - Kenner

Back in the late '80s RoboCop was the most violent thing in theaters. Yet somehow there was a short lived cartoon and toy line for kids. I actually had a bunch of the toys without seeing the movie. I was disappointed to find out that RoboCop's car Robo-1 was not in the movie when I finally saw the film.

Robo-1 can seat up to two action figures and features a spring loaded missile launcher. Like the Robo-Cycle, which I posted about previously, Robo-1 has really cool blue-chrome armor on the front half.

The car's windshield/roof flips up to allow the passengers to be positioned inside. Notice how the seat backs have slots cut into them. This allows the figures to sit down, since they all have the cap firing levers on their backs.

Robo-1 is decorated with a handful of stickers. The car also has two side mounted black guns. Considering the fact that the figures all had cap firing features, I was always surprised the car didn't fire caps also.

The box to my Robo-1 has some wear and tear, but I've stored my car in it's original box along with my RoboCop figures since I was a kid. I really like the artwork on the box. The artist did a nice job of representing the chrome armor in the artwork. I had a ton of fun with this car as a kid.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Arkham Asylum: Batman vs Bane

I recently received the Arkham Asylum: Batman vs Bane Action Figure 2-Pack from DC Collectables. The set includes two beautifully sculpted toys. Batman is about 6.5" tall and features a rubbery cape and decent articulation. He's up against an 8" Bane with giant venom backpack and rubbery venom tubes. These figures are from the extremely popular Arkham Asylum video game. For the game Batman's costume is a pretty standard comic book batsuit. Bane has a lot of Kelley Jones influences, but he's dressed in prison jumpsuit pants, shackles, and a steampunk venom system.

Both figures are decently articulated. Bane is a little better than Batman, who is hindered by his cape. Both figures stand well, even though Bane seems very top heavy. Both figures feature very detailed and clean paint applications. Batman's gloves and boots have a slightly armored feel to them, which makes sense since he's a regular guys fighting super villains and wackos.

Bane's backpack is a separate piece, but isn't fully removable because of the tubes. There is a large void in his back where the backpack actually plugs into the figure.

 Bane has a really neat looking cybernetic spinal cord sculpted on his back. His hands and bare feet are also enormous. This is a really cool set for fans of Batman, Arkham Asylum, or Knightfall.

Preytus - Realm of the Underworld

I've had my Wave 2 figures from Realm of the Underworld for a few days now. I've been playing around with them. I'm trying to cook up a little story to do individual animated reviews for each figure in this wave. Preytus so no particular reason became the first figure to get an animated review.

Just like the previous wave, Preytus comes packaged on a brown card back with the logo for Realm of the Underworld on it. The bubble nicely shows off the figure and his accessories. If you look carefully you may notice that my Preytus lost one of his arms while still in his package. Luckily all the ROTU figures have interchangeable parts. Their limbs are designed to pop off an go back on.

Pretyus comes will some cool gear. He has a soft goods mask and tunic. He comes with armor, a belt, a chain, and a staff. Preytus and his staff are made of Glow-in-the-Dark plastic.  For more info on Preytus check out the animated review below.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wrestler Spider-Man - Toy Biz

I was in college when the movie Spider-Man came out and it blew me away! It was such an awesome and exciting thing to see one of my favorite heroes on the big screen. I bought one or two of the figures from the movie and they eventually got used in the stop motion animated series I was creating for my college's cable channel. A little while down the road I really wished I had bought the Wrestler Spider-Man.

Wrestler Spider-Man is an interesting figure. He can be converted between both costumes Peter wore in the film. His wrestling outfit, which is a sweatshirt, windbreaker pants, and a mask, can all be swapped for his super hero suit.

This figure is a traditional Spider-Man figure with a rubbery removable mask. He includes wrestler arms and boots that can be switched out with the Spider-Man parts. He also came with rubbery windbreaker pants, sleeveless rubbery sweatshirt, and  rubbery ski mask. So he can look like the Wrestler Spider-Man, Super Hero Spider-Man or even unmasked Spider-Man. I bought mine a couple years later at a yard sale. My figure has all the parts needed to create his wrestler look. I also have both Spider-Man boots, but only one arm. So I'm missing the Spidey mask and one arm. I think in the future it will become extremely hard to find a complete figure. I'm worried that over time the rubbery pieces will breakdown. My figures has a piece missing from his shirt and the tear in his pants. Even if you never really play with him I worry about the parts breaking down from UV light.

As I was saying before, in college my friends and I were making two different animated shows. One was kind of finishing up as we were starting the second. So there was some overlap in production. For the final episode of Animation Creation there was a portion where our characters were being interviewed by several different people. Since Peter Parker works for a news-paper I thought it would be funny if he was on of the interviewers. (I also wanted Clark Kent, but couldn't get a hold of a Super Powers figure) Plus we could get the guy who was voicing Spider-Man in our second show (Action Figure Adventures) to voice Peter. I looked all over at toy stores for old stock as well as at some collector shops but couldn't find a Wrestler Spider-Man anywhere. We ended up using a Happy Meal Peter from the 90's cartoon for the scene. You can check it out here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Han Solo - Vintage Star Wars

Han Solo, the bad boy of the Star Wars Universe, was my least favorite figure from the first movie. There were two versions of the figure. They are commonly known as the big head and small head variations. I personally like the small head version best.  I avoided buying either of  these Hans for a while as a kid. The Han Solo in Bespin gear and later the Han in Endor Gear were my go to Solo figures.

His pose is kind of dorky looking.  I think his open hand was always the thing I disliked about the figure most. I don't know why. Han does contain a lot of good details like his belt and holster. I'm sure there are tons of people out there that love this figure... I understand that there was a time when he was the only Han Solo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Realm of the Underworld Wave 2

Wave 2 of Zoloworlds Realm of the Underworld toy line arrived this week. This wave adds four new figures to the line as well as an accessory set. wave 2 gives us a 2nd version of Acromancer and three new characters. Archterrus and Preytus join the ranks of the villains. Kry-sis is the lines second hero. The new figures reuse a lot of parts from the previous wave, which is fitting with the vibe of this line. Three out of the four figures feature some sort of glow-in-the-dark parts or accessories.

I will be working like crazy to make animated reviews of the new figures. I hope you pre-ordered these guys if you are into them. They produced less wave 2 figures than wave 1. These bad boys are going to sell out fast. Check out how awesome the entire collection looks together!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Super Powers Superman

I know I've posted about this figure before, but he didn't really get his own true post. So I decided to show him a little more love. Superman was the first figure I got from the Super Powers toy lines. He was one of the few DC Heroes I had in figure form until the Tim Burton Batman was released. I played hard with this guy, He went all over the place with me. He's loaned his cape to dozens of other action figures in my collection over the years. You can see he's got a lot of paint wear on his chest and waist. I touched up his hair with a sharpie marker one time as a kid. The "S" on his cape has been missing so long I almost forgot it was ever there. He's even got a little blue Play-Doh residue in some of his sculpted details. This is a well loved toy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Leatherneck v1 - GI Joe '86

Leatherneck was the GI Joe teams 2nd Marine. He is dressed in green and brown camo uniform. His cap has the Marine Corp. logo on it. Leatherneck came with a green backpack and a gray gun with a grenade launcher. His face is based on Hasbro Designer, Ron Rudat. Leatherneck's card art looks even more like Ron than the toy's face sculpt.

The rivalry between Leatherneck and Wetsuit (Marine vs Navy SEAL) was one of my favorite things about the 2nd season of the GI Joe cartoon. They were always busting on each other, but in a fight they were true brothers. I bought Leatherneck at a yard sale when I was a kid.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Great Allentown Comic Con

 Yesterday I posted about meeting Walter Jones up in Allentown. Over the weekend I attended the Great Allentown Comic Con, which does live up to it's name by having lots of comics. The show also has lots of cosplayers and celebrity guest.

I went to a panel with Veronica Taylor who was the voice of Ash for the first 8 seasons of Pokemon. I faithfully watched the first season or two of the show, but lost interest when they continuously discovered hundreds of new Pokemon each season.

Veronica was very engaging and the panel was extremely enjoyable. She spoke in Ash's voice off and on which was fun. She  discussed the process of "finding" his voice. In the late 90's it was popular for little boys in cartoons to sound stuffy. She said she took a lot of inspiration from the voice of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, specifically when he had the black cover on his nose. Eventually she backed off the stuffiness and Ash was found.

Veronica also talked about the ins and outs of the voice over industry.

Two years ago at Retro Con, I bought a few 4x6 prints from Geek Boy Press. I saw this one of Jim Henson's Dinosaurs and had to get it.

I really enjoyed the show, and even had a lot of toys from the series as a kid. They all got sold off when I was in middle school along with my X-Men and Ninja Turtles toys.

I also attended an Animation Panel that featured Carol "Cotty" Kilbanks who worked on Rocko's Modern Life and many other cartoons in the 90's. Carol and her friend (whose name slips my mind) brought with them many examples of their work including cels, backgrounds, and character designs. Carol spent a lot of time talking the various studios she worked at over the years. Carol specialized in painting backgrounds and doing character designs. She worked on Ninja Turtles, Ren & Stimpy, as well as Iron Man.

I picked up a copy of GI Joe 3D with the glasses for four dollars. This was one of my first comic book buys. There were many people wearing great costumes at the show. I sort of forgot to take pictures of a lot of the cos players. I asked the guy in the Putty suit if I could take his picture after the martial arts panel. Walter Jones (The Black Power Ranger) was walking by just as he was finishing putting on his mask and gloves. I asked Walter if I could take his picture with the putty, but he "had to get back to his table". Oh well, would have been a fun picture.

 I picked up a couple of super cheat quarter comics. Superman: the Wedding album and two issues of Detective Comics from the Knight Quest story line that followed Knightfall in the 90's.

I was shocked to see a copy of Interplanetary Lizards from the Texas Plains on a table at the show. As a kid when I went to Wizard World (Philly Comic Con) I had dozens of artist and writers sign a little autograph book. One of the artists that signed my book drew a picture of a lizard in a cowboy hat. Well, it turns out he's still plugging away at making comics featuring his Cowboy Lizards and so I told him about meeting him years ago, and he was pretty amused. Another interesting feature of the show was that they created a set of collector cards specifically for the show, The gave one two you when you paid admission, and then you had to ask around to get the others. Some of the guests and vendors handed out random cards if you asked them. The only card I got was for Bonnie Piesse, who played Beru (Luke Skywalker's Aunt) in Star Wars Episode II & III. I felt kind of bad for her. I didn't see to many people talking to Bonnie. She had a pretty minor role in the films so aside from being attractive there wasn't a lot of reasons for attendees to go talk to her and get autographs.

Aside from the Power Ranger, the guest I wanted to meet the most was artist & inker Scott Hanna.  He is know for his work on Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man and Green Lantern. I knew Scott was from near were I grew up, but never had the opportunity to meet him before. I took issue 1 & 2 from the New 52 Green Lantern Corps. to be signed. I also took some 90's Knightfall issues that I've had for a long time.

Here are two issues of Detective Comics that Scott signed for me nine years after writer Chuck Dixon signed them. Below is another issue from Knightfall, this one is from the monthly Batman book. Scott signed the cover, which was I has signed by artist Jim Aparo years ago, and inside (right)  was signed by writer Doug Moench. There are very few comics in my collection signed by writer, artist, and inker... but this is one of them.

 I also bought the first 20 issues of Shogun Warriors. This comic was written by Doug Moench to support the giant robot toyline out at the same time. I owned a few random issues already, but I've been wanting to read the series, so I figured it was a good pick up.

The Great Alllentown Comic Con is a small show, but was a good time. A lot of my collector convention friends were there. The show was held at Merchant's Square, which is a blessing and a curse. The good thing about it is that there are many vintage toy, model, video game shops there.. The down side is that there is little room for the event to expand.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Walter Jones @ the Great Allentown Comic Con

Yesterday was the Great Allentown Comic Con. This was the second time I've been to the show. The guest that grabbed my attention this year was Walter Jones who played Zack on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I loved the show as a kid and watched it religiously. I was really bummed out when Walter and two other actors left the shoe part way into the second season. Their characters were written out in a way that left hope for their return. The other characters even received letters from the absent characters from time to time throughout the rest of the season. I enjoyed the original cast so much that I always resented their replacements.

In typical Con fashion, Walter had a table and was signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. He was charging for both, but that's to be expected I guess. I brought a 90's Black Ranger figure still sealed to get signed. I like that the old packaging shows Walter's face morphing on the bottom and refers to the toy as Zach. I purchased the figure off ebay shortly after he was announced as a guest.

Walter participated in a panel along with an actor from the Last Dragon. They talked about their interest in Martial Arts and then answered questions. One of the fan boys asked Walter to hold up the prop morpher he had with him and say Mastodon. I wasn't ready for it, and had to switch my camera from still picture to video. I missed recording him say "It's Morphin Time!" but I did record "Mastodon". The video is super short.

Walter had two cool prop replicas with him, a morpher and a ranger helmet. When people payed for a photo op with him, he'd hold the helmet and they would hold out the morpher. People were having a lot of fun with it. I think the morpher he has there is the new legacy morpher, I'm not sure where the helmet came from. During the panel Walter did say the only show props he has are the skate board he rode in the pilot, one of Zach's shirts, and the neon sign from Ernie's Juice Bar.


I'll be posting more show coverage tomorrow.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Zach: Auto Morphin Power Ranger

Go...Go...Power Ranger! You Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

This year is the 20th Anniversary of the MMPR and the current show Power Rangers Megaforce is a lot of fun. I've been enjoying a lot of the new 20th Anniversary products, but today I'm taking a look at a Ranger toy from back in the day.

This is the Auto Morphin Zach action figure. The Auto Morphin toys have a pretty cool action feature where their torso contains both a teenager head and a Ranger helmet and with a touch of the Morpher on their belt, the figures chest springs open and the head flips over morphing them into a Power Ranger.

Like most of the 90's Power Ranger toys, Zach has a large Power Coin emblem on his chest. They did not have logos on their uniform in the TV show, and it annoyed me some that the figures were not very screen accurate.

Zach originally came with a gray Power Axe and a while Blade Blaster gun that would fit in the holster on his belt.

The Auto Morphin feature only flips their head to helmet. You must manually reset them back to being in their teenager form. Some of the Auto Morphin Rangers look more like the actors that played them than others. Zach really doesn't look that much like actor Walter Jones. His hair cut is okay, but his ears are too big and his skin tone should be a little darker.

I don't have Zach's original accessories because I bought my Auto Morphin Rangers off Ebay in the mid 2000's to create a stop motion animated spoof. We had some funny ideas, but we were pretty backlogged on other projects and it never happened.

I'm kind of glad I bough them back then. I had a lot of fun playing with my little cousins with all their Power Ranger toys, and they look good on display with my other (modern) Ranger toys.


Today I'm heading up to the Great Allentown Comic Con. I plan to hang out with my buddy Paul some. He has a store where he sells vintage toys and video games at the venue. The show will have a lot of cool guests and I enjoyed the Panels the last time I went. Some of the guest include the girl who played Aunt Beru in Star Wars Episode 2 & 3, the girl who provides the voice of Ash on the Pokemon cartoon, comic book inker Scott Hanna, and the Original Black Power Ranger Walter Jones (Zach).

Should be a fun time. There are lots of other guest, but those are the ones that I think are funny or interesting. I should be posting about the show tomorrow hopefully.