Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Storm Shadow v1 - GI Joe '84

As a kid I had a lot of early GI Joe figures because a neighborhood kid gave me a lot of his toys as he out grew them. My first brand new Joes were from the 1986 line. The cartoon made me aware of a lot of the older characters, and I really wanted to get them, Storm Shadow was one of the figures I was dying to find. Sometimes you could luck out and find an older figure warming a peg at a grocery store. I never was so lucky. I found a Storm Shadow head and front half of his torso in the bottom of a box of loose toys at a comic store when I was in late elementary school. I put the head on a spare Hooded Cobra Commander body and pretended that Storm Shadow wore business suits while acting as Cobra Commander's body guard. Later (once the Internet was a thing) some offered me $35 for my custom suit wearing Storm Shadow, so I sold him. I eventually bough a loose Storm Shadow of a toy dealer and then slowly acquired all his accessories from yard sales and other dealers.

 Storm Shadow wears an all white ninja outfit including a mask. He has a black belt and sash. Stormy has a red Cobra logo on his chest and a few sculpted on weapons tucked into his belt. One of the coolest things about Storm Shadow is that his backpack can hold all of his accessories. He has a black back pack that serves as a quiver (holds arrows). The back pack has slots to hold both his long and short swords. His bow can clip to the outside of the backpack and his nunchucks can be placed inside.

When I was picking out figures to include in the main cast of my stop motion animated series, Action Figure Adventures, I knew I wanted Storm Shadow. He got the most screen time is episodes one, three, and eight of the series. He's a pretty straight forward character in the series and has a cool ninja battle with Snake Eyes in episode three.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Echo Base - Action Figure Set Up

As a follow up to yesterday's post about Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot, here is a photo taken back in the day. My buddy Derek and I used to love to arrange our toys and take photos of them. We called this practice "Set Ups". This was taken in the early 90's. Almost every weekend Derek would bring a ton of Star Wars toys over to my house and we would play in my basement. Here the GI Joe Mobile Command Center is standing in as Echo Base. All of the snow trooper GI Joe and Cobra figures are bolstering the ranks of the Rebel Forces. We used a lot of elements from the movies but never really played out the exact plot of any of the Star Wars films. You can see here that all the Rebels are on Hoth, including the Ewoks and Bespin people.

I mentioned yesterday that our Star Wars collections were all 2nd hand. Check out Derek's Millennium Falcon. This thing was just a shell. The only two removable piece it had were the ramp and top hatch (cover). There is no windshield, no chess table, no gun, no radar dish. We didn't care and put a ton of miles on that hunk of junk.

All that other rambling aside... The reason I posted this photo is so you can all see how I solved the problem of not owning an X-Wing Fighter. I built one out of Constructs. These were an 80's building toys more similar to K'Nex than Lego. I eventually built two Constructs X-Wings for myself. I built an AT-ST out of Constructs at Derek's house one time.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot - Vintage Star Wars

I missed Star Wars figures being in retail stores as a kid. I was born in 1982 and by the time I was playing with action figures and had seen a Star Wars movie, the figures were long gone. My entire childhood Star War collection came from yard sales and comic shops. Due to my heavy involvement with the GI Joe brand as a kid I assumed that the pilot figures came packaged with the vehicles. I was shocked to find out that the X-Wing Pilot didn't come with the X-Wing fighter. What would you do with this figure if you didn't have his fighter?

 As you can see, Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot is a hard character to find with good paint apps. The white of his vest rubs off his back. The gray of his boots rubs off and the logos on his helmet show wear very quickly as well.

My buddy Derek and I used to both collect 2nd hand Star Wars figures and we had a deal that if one of us got a second copy of a figure that the other one didn't have we'd give the duplicate to the other person. I bought a lot of toys at yard sales, and Derek's Uncle Bobby in Chicago would mail him 2nd hand toys a lot. So I was the first to have an X-Wing Pilot. When I got a 2nd one at a yard sale I gave him to Derek. Later on I picked up a third which stayed in my collection to bolster the ranks of my Rebels.  I eventually (in Hiigh School) got an additional X-Wing Pilot who has been on my work bench for a while. The plan was to make a custom of an alien X-Wing Pilot. I was going to do a head swap with a Walrus Man or Admiral Ackbar.  Out of the three in my collection, only one has a halfway decent paint job.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Evil-Lyn - MOTUC

Evil-Lyn is Skeletor's right-hand woman. She's helped him out in a pinch on several occasions, and kind of screwed him over a few times as well. I'm not a huge fan of the yellow skin-tone, but it is vintage figure accurate. I first bought the Battle Ground version of the character, but later picked up this vintage style Evil-Lyn when Matty Collector had a sale a while ago.

 Evil-Lyn shares her entire body sculpt with Teela, except for her head. She came with her bird Screeech including his armor and stand. Evil-Lyn also came with her magic wand with two different length staffs and a knife based on her 200x figure.

 I love that the top piece of Evil-Lyn's wand is molded in transparent plastic. Like the entire Masters of the Universe Classics line, she's a great action figure.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Weapon X - X-Men Origins Wolverine

To go along with the first Wolverine movie, Hasbro produced toys based on both the movie and the comic book series. The year the movie came out a buddy of mine got me two of the figures for my birthday. I was pretty excited to receive Weapon X because I had the Toy Biz version in the 90's and really liked him.

 Weapon X is the secret government program that created Wolverine, Sabertooth and many other crazy super mutants. Weapon X is also the name Logan aka Wolverine went by for a while after the experiments were conducted on him that gave him his adamantium bones and claws.

Weapon X has a very angry head sculpt featuring matted down hair. His chest has several electrodes sculpted on it. Both hands have his claws extended and this guy is ready to tear his way out of a top secret government instillation.

One of my favorite details on the 4" figure is his arm hair. It's a small detail, but really helps capture the look of the character. Weapon X comes with a belt, helmet, and shackles.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wade Shaw's A Comic Madness Christmas

Over the past year I have transitioned from one local comic shop to another. As a kid comics stores came and went frequently, but Cyborg1 in Doylestown had staying power and I bought Magic: The Gathering cards, Warhammer 40,000 table top miniatures, and comics there for a long time (around 15 years). When I bought my own home and hour from where I grew up is got harder to stop by Cyborg. Kids from the school I work at would talk about Wade's Comic Madness. I checked the place out once or twice, but didn't really buy much other than an occasional back issue. I actually got involved with the "Comic Madness Community" when I walked in the Levittown St. Patty's Day Parade last year. I kept my monthly pull file and Cyborg and eventually started getting books pulled at both stores. I kept all my old titles at Cyborg (Batman, GIJoe, etc) and when I started reading Superior Spider-Man and All New X-Men  I had them pulled at the Madness. I am loyal to a fault and after living down here for over 4 years I finally broke official ties with Cyborg. I still love that store, and really like the owner, James. It's just so much more convenient going to a shop 10 minutes away instead of 40.

The owner of the Madness and the manager have been making very funny promotional videos for Holiday Sales and Free Comic Book Day for a couple of years. They are all very entertaining and make Wade out to be a larger than life "Super Hero". Wade and Jon put together a Christmas Special as a sort of fairwell video. Jon is moving to the West Coast and leaving the store after 10 years of employment.

I know that part of the charm of the video is that I know a lot of the people in it, but I think the story is fun even if you do miss a few of the in-jokes.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Haul - 2013

Well, I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. My immediate family (Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother-in-law, and Niece) were all at my place today. We had a good time opening presents and eating desert. My Niece had to take her nap in my bed today, and at first she was a little nervous. She didn't like the looks of my Masters of the Universe Classics Granamyr, so I had to move him off the night stand before she'd lay down.

This pictures shows off some presents I got from school. One of the  girls from the Senior class got me the "Build R2-D2 Kit". It' a 12" tall paper model with a speaker and LED lights. It's going to take some time to build. One of the boys from the Senior class bought me the Ewok ornaments. The Darth Vader ornament and the Wrench and Bowling ornaments came from co-workers.

 All the stuff in the picture below came from family members who were at my house today along with Captain American and The Avengers both on DVD. There is a plush Spider-Man Ball, two Star Wars books, two Star Wars puzzles, a plush Darth Vader, a how to draw comic book heroes kit, a 90's Darth Vader Electronic Bank, and two Batman wash cloths.

I hope everybody had a great holiday.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Castle Grayskull - MOTUC

The vintage Castle Grayskull is one of the greatest playsets ever made. I was so happy to hear that Mattel was going to product a new Castle for the MOTU Classics line. I jumped on the pre-order band wagon and even made a video promoting the pre-sales. I was very excited when I received my Classics Castle a few days ago.

The Castle is massive and full of great details. The paint applications and sculpting are incredible. The Four Horsemen did an incredible job. This toy sports three levels to play on, a working drawbridge, and a trap door!

There are a few people that complained that they wished the new Castle Grayskull was bigger. If you use the new Castle with the Vintage figures it works out even better. Check out my view review for details on the inside. Perhaps there will be some interior pictures in a post after the Holidays.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Archterrus - Realm of the Underworld

It has been a while since I posted about wave two of Realm of the Underworld. Archterrus the Artifact Stealer is by far my favorite figure figure from the wave.

He uses the Skeleton Warrior body we have seen before, molded in glow-in-the-dark plastic. He comes with a staff, cloth robes, a chain and key. I think my favorite thing about this figure is the way they painted his eyes. They are haunting.

Archterrus has a special ability to track magical items. He is on a quest to find the Sword of Heroes, which is the weapon of choice for the hero, Hercules.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Catwoman - Batman Returns

Batman Returns was the sequel to 1989's smash hit Batman. This was the movie that started the trend of comic book movies containing two main villains. Today's post focuses on the sexier of the two villains from Batman Returns. Catwoman is dressed in her stitched up black leather outfit and features 5 points of articulation. For an early 90's action figures she's pretty attractive. Often times 80's and 90's female figures just looked off.

I picked this figure up at a yard sale as a kid, but she originally came with a whip and a spring-loaded "taser" missile launcher. The whip is a great accessory, but the taser launcher is pretty ridiculous Catwoman's boots have sculpted  high heels. The heels combined with her action stance makes her fall over pretty easily..

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Airborne v1 - GI Joe '83

Airborne was the GI Joe Helicopter Assault Trooper, which never made a lot of sense to me. What is a Helicopter Assault Trooper? His name is Airborne, which implies he is a paratrooper. His card art shows him hanging from a rope. One could assume this is the winch on the Dragonfly Helicopter. Airborne was the first Native American member of the GI Joe team, even though he's not the most remembered.

Airborne is armed with a green helmet with goggles sculpted on, a gun with a bayonet, and tan backpack with a shovel and bedroll sculpted. These pictures show his wearing Ripcord's green parachute and black gas mask. I had several extra parachutes, and since I think of him as paratrooper I equip him differently. I'm not sure why I didn't snap a picture of him without it on.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

MOTUC Caslte Grayskull (pics and post coming soon)

Pics and Post to follow this weekend... but it's pretty cool... and huge!

Sorry I've been light on content this week. I've been busy with work and cleaning up to host a huge work Christmas party tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Splinter - Vintage TMNT

Master Splinter was part of the original wave of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was the man mutated into a rat that taught the turtles to be ninja teens. He's also a radical rat. He is a large brown rat figure with some  sculpted on cloth wrappings on his tail and feet. He came with a soft goods maroon outfit and plastic black bet. He was armed with a bow & arrow (not pictured) and a cane that contained a hidden blade.

I always though Splinter was a really nicely done figure. I liked the fact that his arms were not as bulky as most of the other characters from the line. He also didn't have the squatting stance that the other figures had. His sculpt is very different from his cartoon appearance. His face was different  in the eye and ears and his outfit was more of a robe.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sea Hawk - MOTUC

As part of the Filmation mini subscription offered by Matty Collector this year we finally have an action figure of Sea Hawk. This pirate turned Great Rebellion sympathizer was one of the coolest reoccurring male guest characters in the She-Ra show. Sea Hawk has his own flying ship and a crew of pirates that helped him smuggle goods and later fight the Evil Horde.

I can't help but think of the GI Joe Dreadnok Zandar whenever I see this guy.  His hair and ascot reminds me of Zandar's hair and scarf. He's dressed in a brown outfit with bright blue highlights.

 Sea Hawk is armed with a laser sword and shield. They are both made out of translucent plastic and were weapons he used in an episode of the cartoon that told Sea Hawk's back story.

Sea Hawk is very friendly with Adora, while he enjoys fighting alongside She-Ra. He's romantic relationship is the reverse of Bow who is friends with Adora and in love with She-Ra. As a kid I would have loved a Sea Hawk for the vintage He-Man line.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Plastic Army Men Helicopter -Revisited

A couple weeks ago I posted about a toy helicopter that came in a set of Green Army Men. I also mentioned that it happens to be the type of helicopter used by the company my Dad works for. I took this photo of that Helicopter along side two other toys in my collection of the same style helicopter.  I some how missed posting it, and just came across it. So, I'm putting it up today. Each year I try to find my Dad some sort of Sikorsky S-61 toy. I'm not always successful, but when I am I buy one for him and one for me.

The toy in the back is the largest and most detailed. It's decorated in a Navy paint scheme. In fact, this particular helicopter's deco is from the Navy Base in Jacksonville Florida, where my Dad started his career in aviation as a civilian contractor. It's a little hard to see, but JAX is visible on the tail under the word Navy. That toy company also made that same model in a dark blue Air Force paint scheme. (We both have that one as well) The Green Helicopter in the middle is also available in tan and is made by Tim Mee. I'll try to get a picture of the tan version when my dad open's it on Christmas. The smallest helicopter is a die cast toy painted up as the Presidential Helicopter, Marine One.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Random Robin Figures - Batman

Today's post features two different Robin action figures that I have picked up at yard sales over the years missing their accessories. The first one is Robin from the Batman Returns toy line. In early drafts of the film Robin was going to be included, but with all the characters all ready packed into the film it seems the idea was dropped. They made a Robin figure anyway, because just like the first film they planned to merchandise the hell out of the picture. This Robin figure looks a lot like the 90's comic book Robin.  He has a red tunic with short green sleeves but long green pants. The outfit's torso looks slightly armored. This figure came with a nice cloth cape that was black on the outside and yellow on the inside. He also came with a ridiculously large grappling hook firing backpack.

The second Robin is called Crime Fighter Robin and comes from the later portion of the animated series toy line, once it was revamped as the New Batman Adventures. This Robin is the younger Tim Drake from the New Adventures of Batman & Robin show and is styled like that cartoon show. He wears a mostly red outfit with black gloves, shorts, and boots. This Robin originally included a short plastic cape that was yellow and black. He also came with a bulky red mini jet vehicle.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toys for Tots

I love toys, can't you tell? I also love to give other people toys. Every year for the past 9 years I have challenged students in my woodworking class to make toys for needy kids in our area. We make wooden cars, trucks, tic-tac-toe boards, and new this year jig saw puzzles. Our goal is to make 50 toys and we did it once again. We also makes some little animals with wheels on their feet, and a doll cradle.The toys are delivered to a local agency, the Ivin's Outreach Center, who distributes to toys to families who otherwise might not have a Christmas. Below is a photo of a few of the toys the kids made. Some of the cars and trucks are around the sides and in the center you can see some of the puzzles put together and other packaged up in baggies at the bottom.

Along with all the toys the kids and I make, I also always buy a bunch of toys to donate. The Ivin's Outreach Center is actually a distribution point for Toys for Tots, so I skip dropping the toys into a barrel and take them straight to were the Marines take the toys. I bought a complete set of Thundercats toys that have been on clearance at Big Lots and Ollie's. I asked to ladies if they could find a family with a couple of brothers to give these toys to. I figured a bunch of brothers have a blast playing with this set. (I know there is two Tygras in the photo and no Panthro, but I did fix that issue)

Here are some books, coloring books, and comic books that I donated to be handed out with the toys. Reading is a good thing, and if you buy the right books can be fun also. There is also an Iron Man paper arts and craft set.

The bottom picture here show some other toys I picked up for them to hand out. A lot of these were on clearance at Toy R Us right before they reset for Christmas. There is some Thundercats, Men in Black 3, Green Lantern, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Redakai figure. Some of the other odds and ends came from Nerd Block, a monthly grab bag subscription I receive each month.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

'89 Batmobile - Ertl

I recently re-watched the '89 Tim Burton Batman film and so I decided to post about this die-cast toy. I've always thought this Batmobile was bad ass. I had various toys based on this design as a kid in different scales. Ertl put out this die-cast car, but it always seemed just a little to big to mix in with my Hot Wheels  and Matchbox cars. So it was kind of hard to find other cars to use with it. I also always thought it was a little odd that they had to add the non-movie accurate bat-symbol on the roof. This Batmobile is a super .low-rider. I'm kind of amazed it didn't scrape bottom going over the hills to the Batcave.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Luke & Taun Taun - Star Wars PotF2

Well, we are off from school today for a snow day. It's really coming down out there. I'm warm inside watching Star Wars as I always do on a snow day. Today I'm watching Revenge of the Sith. I love the first 8 minutes of the movie. I really enjoy Obi-Wan in this film and the final lightsaber battle between him and Anakin is tons of fun.

Today's post is a photo I took last winter of Luke riding his Taun Taun. These are from the 90's Power of the Force (2) line. The Taun Taun has a great sculpt and paint job. The pose the creature is in is much more screen accurate than the vintage toy. This PotF Luke Skywalker in Hoth Battle Gear has additional articulation. Unlike just about every other figure from the line, Luke has knee joints to help him ride his beast.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Polar Battle Bear - GI Joe '83

In honor of all the snow we got over the weekend I decided I needed to post a snow picture. I actually photographed almost every arctic toy I owned last winter, so this wasn't taken over the weekend. The Polar Battle Bear is a small GI Joe vehicle originally released in 1983. I've owned at least three of these things in my life time. As a kid I had two Battle Bears that were missing a lot of parts. I sold them off at one point when I thinned out my vehicle collection. Later on I picked up this one in a lot. It's missing some decals, but looks pretty good.

If you have a Battle Bear or are looking to get one, take good care of the skis. They break easily so look them over well or treat them gingerly. Other easily lost or broken parts include the two grey missiles that attach to the skis. There are two thin laser guns on the front connected by a grey bar, There is also a small grey roll bar behind the drivers seat and a white engine cover tha is often missing.

Pictures above is my custom  Arctic Stalker driving the Battle Bear while Snow Job rides on the running boards.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ellie Sattler - Jurasic Park

Ellie Sattler was the female lead in the 90's hit Jurassic Park. I only owned a few JP toy as a kid, and the humans were not my top priority. I'd rather have my GI Joes fight the dinos. I picked up this Ellie figure years ago at a yard sale. I though maybe I'd use her in a stop motion project as a generic female sometime. For a 90's female figure she actually looks fairly decent. I'm glad sculpting and molding have improved to the point that female action figures finally look attractive. Ellie came with a grappling hood launcher, a radio backpack, and a baby triceratops. I don't have any of her accessories, so none of them are pictured below. Don't forget to "Look for the mark of Jurassic Park!"

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dollar General Ninja Turtles

I've posted about recently available Dollar General GI Joe, Batman, and Transformer figures, but today I am posting about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys I bought there. Before anyone gets too excited, I bought all of these more than 10 years ago. Over the course of about a year I picked up Turtle Mini-Figures in three different styles.

 The first four figures I got were retro style turtles. These guys are based on the original TMNT figures. All four Turtles are identical sculpts with unique paint jobs. They have 5 points of articulation can came with no accessories. I bought Raph, Leo, and Mikey while I actually worked at Dollar General for a few months one summer during college. I don't know why Donny sold out first, but I was able to track one down eventually.

A few months after I purchased the first three retro style Turtles I found these 2000's style Ninja Turtles Characters alongside the Retro Donny I was missing. I picked up two Foot Soldiers, Shredder, April O' Neil, and Splinter. I didn't see any 2000's Turtles there. Again these figures have 5 PoA, came with no accessories, and are about 2" tall.

 On another trip to Dollar General I found three of the four Turtles from the CGI movie TMNT. I did stop back a few times at a couple of different Dollar General locations, but I couldn't find Leo. It's kind of funny because at the beginning of TMNT Leo has left his life in the sewer and the three Turtles below are left behind. Again these mini-figures have 5 PoA and are about 2" tall. This time around the Turtles have their weapons, but they are sculpted into their hands and can not be removed.

Just for fun here is  a picture of the standard 5" Shredder figure holding the DG Mini-Figure. This picture kind of cracks me up because it looks like Shredder is carrying a doll of himself.

It looks like Splinter caught a rat in the lair.