Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bull Alien - Kenner Aliens

As a kid I really loved Kenner's Aliens toy line. I saw the movie Aliens shortly before the toy line was released, even though the movie was kind of old at the time. This made the toys seem super exciting. Even though the figures didn't look like their movie counterparts (an sometime weren't in the movie at all) I still thought they were cool. The Bull Alien was one of the few figures I was able to get my hands on. He's a red tinted alien that stands on all four legs. He has large horns that can actually spin and be positioned as you so desire. The Bull Alien also has a head butt action feature that is pretty powerful.

My buddy Derek showed me one time that you could actually get the Bull Alien to balance on his back legs. The articulation point in the Bull's neck allows him to look forward while standing. It's kind of a cool display option

The Bull Alien has four hip joints, a joint at the end of his tail, and a pivot at his neck. As mentioned before his neck can extend out from his body to make his neck longer or "ram" a Marine. The Bull Aline also came with a face hugger accessory to use one the human figures from the line.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stratos Cel - Original Animation Art

I've been collecting original animation art for quite some time. I have cels from several different shows, but by far the most from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. This one shows off Stratos one of the birdmen of Avion. This cel is labeled "stock" which means it was developed as part of a sequence that could be used in numerous episodes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scrap Iron - Kre-O

Kre-O is Hasbro's answer to all the licensed Lego toys. Hasbro releases blind bag Kre-O figures as well as building block sets that include figures. They mostly produce Kre-O's based on toy lines they make like Transformers and GI Joe, but they also have their own "Kre-O World" that they produce sets from kind of like Lego City or Space.

I've been picking up some of the GI Joe Kre-O figures. I think they are pretty cool, but not as cute as Lego Mini-Figs. They do have slightly more poseablity than the Lego men.

Scrap Iron is a weapons tester for Destro who joined the world of GI Joe in 1984. It's kind of a shame they never made a figure of him again when Destro had his own arm. Like the vintage figure, the Kre-O comes with a bulky missile launcher system with a remote control and a gun.

I like that you can flip up his visor to show off his scar and dead eye. Being a weapon tester is a dangerous job. The remote also kind of looks like a ray-gun if you rotate it so the antenna is the barrel.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ecto-2 - The Real Ghostbusters

Ecto-2 is a small helicopter (autogyro) the Ghostbusters used to battle ghosts from the air. In the Real Ghostbusters cartoon it fits inside the back of Ecto-1. It's a fun little toy that reminds me or the Cobra Fang and kind of looks like it could be a TMNT vehicle.

The Ecto-2 has fold down door/wings. Spinning red rotor blades  (missing one) that are activated by squeezing the trigger under the tail. The helicopter also has a rescue winch that really works to raise and lower figures or other items. Ecto-2 also came with a small red bomb (missing) that attaches to the bottom under the driver.

Ecto-2 is a really nice vehicle. It looks like they built it out of the front half of a motorcycle with some other parts. A good friend of mine had it as a kid and I played with it a lot. I got this one in a lot of ebay a while back when I was buying an action figure for a stop motion video project.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What SDCC Reveals have you excited?

 I love SDCC Comic Con. I've never been there, but there is always tons of fun news released at the show. It always seems like there is more news about toys and movies at Comic Con than comics. I wanted to talk a little today about some of the stuff that was announced. Some stuff I'm really excited about, while other stuff looks neat but doesn't really tickel my fancy. I don't like stealing other people's images so you'll have to just enjoy my sketches. If you want to see the real thing just google it!

2015 Masters of the Universe Classics Subscription
Along with announcing the rest of the 2014 product line, Mattel finally revealed the first few figures of the 2015 subscription. I can't wait. We know who a lot of the characters for 2015 will be, because they are wrapping up the vintage figures.

Oo-larr (Vintage Mini-Comic He-Man) will be the club exclusive.

Snake Armor He-Man & Battle Armor King Hisss (200x)

Lizard Man (Filmation) come with the Diamond Ray of Disappearance accessory
Ninja Warrior (Ninjor) was from the end of the vintage line.

Huntara (Filmation) was the fan choice winner from the She-Ra cartoon.

Snake Armor He-Man played an important role in the 200x cartoon as the Snakemen became the main villain in the later episodes. For the first time in Classics we will be getting a He-Man with the longer anime style hair. I really want an extra of the 200x head. I've been slowly making my own custom 200x He-Man, but the head is the main problem. King Hisss had a unique look in the 200x cartoon, but unfortunately the "snake body" isn't coming in this pack. They will include his snake torso with another figure in this years subscription.

Ninja Warrior comes with a mask and unmasked head as well as several ninja weapons. Oo-Larr is He-Man without any of his armor and bare feet. He comes with a spear and two versions of his head. One looks like He-Man from the original mini-comic, the other is identical to the vintage action figure.

 Mattel also announced MOTU Giants. These are 12" tall versions of the vintage figure. Basically they've seen that Gentle Giant doing well selling the scaled up Star Wars figures so they are trying it as well. First up is He-Man, Skeletor, Stratos, and Beast Man. They look cool, but are expensive. I'm also worried they will have issues standing up some day like the vintage figures. There are some sort of notches in the giant figures hips to help them stand.

Unfortunately, unlike Gentle Giant, the Mattel giant figures aren't coming in resealable, fan friendly packaging.

I'd kind of like to get He-Man, but I'm hoping they change his head before the final release. His head sculpt doesn't perfectly match the vintage figure which is a bummer.

 NECA had a lot of cool toys to show off. I don't collect a lot of NECA stuff, but I do like looking at them. I am really excited about the Queen Alien they announced from the film Aliens. She's such an awesome and imposing monster. At the size they are making her I think she will be really awesome displayed with my Kenner Aliens toys.

Another really cool looking toy from a company I don't usually collect is the Hot Toys Marty McFly. I don't know why I like him more than say a super hero or GI Joe character in the same format, but the photos of Marty from SDCC looked great.

Speaking of GI Joes, I didn't see anything from Hasbro for their
 3 3/4" line. They did show some cool Kre-O figures.
 Gentle Giants is releasing Jumbo GI Joe figures. Based on the original Straight Arm figures. They are kind of cool, but I think the Straight Arm Joes are inferior to all the later figures in the line. I'm going to pass on these guys but if they ever do some of the later characters I might pick up one or two. I have two jumbo Star Wars figures currently.

The final toy line I want to talk about is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. More Nick toons figure to come including a cool looking Party Wagon Van. This thing looks way cooler than the Shell Raiser. There are also 90's movie inspired Classics figures coming soon and they will be followed by 90's cartoon styles Shredder and Krang. Too bad I missed out of the previous wave that included Bebop and Rocksteady.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Magneto - X-Men Secret Weapon Force

In 1998, long after I stopped collecting X-Men, ToyBiz released a jacked up Magneto figure as part of the Secret Weapon Force. This guy looks imposing compared to the wave 1 Magneto of my childhood. I saw him at a flea market when I was planning the Action Figure Adventures animated series. I had been planning on using the original Magneto, and thought I might some how be able to use this super version. We didn't end up exploring that plot idea in the show, but I'm still happy to own him.

Magneto came with a cloth cape and removable helmet. His secret weapon was a large vehicle like battle station with spring loaded missile launcher. His longer hair and larger stature is similar to that of the comics of the time period, but I don't think Magneto was ever quite this bulky. He's a cool figure with or without the helmet. I really like the large size of his cape.

Friday, July 25, 2014

2015 Club Eternia Sub Video

Once again on the Friday of SDCC I'm releasing a stop motion animated video to help promote the Masters of the Universe Classics Subscription. I hope everyone enjoys it, and if you are into the Classics line I don't think 2015 will disappoint.

If you missed any of the previous videos here are some links below.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nightwing - Justice Leauge Unlimited

Dick Grayson grew up paroling the night as Robin, but he grew up to be Nightwing. This Justice League Unlimited figure shows off his black uniform with bright blue bird logo. He was released in a three pack with the Penguin and Batgirl. Nightwing has a more unusual stance than most of the JLU figures who are all standing at attention. Unfortunately with his really thing legs and action stance, Nightwing falls over easily.

I actually traded a Real Ghostbusters toy to one of my blog readers a few years ago for this figure. I didn't really watch JLU, but I did enjoy Nightwing in the last seasons of Batman the Animated Series.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Batman Day!

Hey Guys, it's Batman Day! I posted a short video for today and I'll stick a few links down below to some of my favorite Batman posts here on Action Figure Adventures from the past.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pteranodon - Dino-Riders

The Pteranodon was the first and only bad guy Dino-Rider I owned as a kid. I had a few of the good guys, but I really thought the bad guys looked cool with their Dinosaurs wearing the brain boxes.

The Pteranodon has an articulated beak as wells as a wing flapping action which can be activated by pressing the button on its back.

The back of the package contained a little information card about the dinosaur. You can see that the prototype that was photographed for the packaging has a slightly different paint scheme. The prototype is also shown with a black flying stand while the actual toy came with a clear base.

 Along with the stand the Pteranodon came with a seat, two wing guns, the brain box and a Rider. All my MASK and Dino-Riders figures went missing when I moved. I'm not sure what happened to Rasp, but he was a green skinned snakeman with a black uniform with some purple details.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Action Figure Creative Writing Adventures

Back when I was in college and writing for (which doesn't exist anymore) My buddy Greg needed two people to write stories that he was then going to do something with for his college English course. The stories were supposed to some how be connected to the myth of Theseus. Naturally I was willing to help out my buddy when he asked me to write him a story, and I knew I'd turn it into an article for Newg. I wanted to include photos of action figures acting out the story so I'd use GI Joes for my little army story. I used GI Joe file names (although I changed one) to help me keep the characters straight. So, I'm re-posting this story here... knowing that the photoshop skills may leave something to be desired. At the time my roomate was in ROTC and this was shortly after 9/11 and Black Hawk Down, so my mind was on military stuff a lot.

General Abernathy sat at his desk in his office with the lights turned off. The sun light from outside filtered in through the blinds causing a strange striped pattern to streak across his face and uniform. He knew he needed to find a team of soldiers to complete a dangerous mission. This is the kind of mission that makes men heroes. The soldier who could lead a group of men into this situation and come back and tell him, “The mission was a complete success sir!” would be the type man who could some day replace him as general.

Just ten hours before, someone had penetrated the base’s outer wall and slipped into a small office in the unmarked bunker near the air strip. Surveillance video revealed it was a man of average height wearing urban camo and a mask. The masked intruder incapacitated several guards and escaped into the desert. 

Sources point to a small apartment complex in the center of Baghdad. It is believed that the thief is an ex-green beret that has been accused of numerous terrorist attacks and acts of sabotage. General Abernathy had read Lt. Henderson’s files, and knew this man was capable of such a convert mission. In fact he had done similar work for the Military while he was enlisted. He knew that this would be one of the most impossible missions he had ever sent any of his men on. Since the objective was in a highly populated area and he could only send a small task force, the men he chose would need to be the best of the best.

As he looked through the gaps in the blinds, the General saw Sgt. Conrad Hauser and a small group of men running some advanced drills. As Hauser barked commands at the men, Abernathy knew who he would have to lead the mission. He sent a message to Sgt. Hauser telling him to report to his office immediately.

After running several obstacle courses and unloading a few rounds of ammunition at the shooting range, Sgt. Hauser dismissed the troops and retuned to the barracks. As he walked to his bunk he wiped the sweat off his forehead. He picked up the note and read it to himself:

          “TO: Hauser, Conrad S. (E-8) Master Sergeant
           FROM: The Office of General Clayton M. Abernathy
                    Sgt. Hauser the General request your presence
                     in his office ASAP for combat assignment.”

A drop of sweat rolled off Hauser’s chins and landed on the paper. He folded the paper and shoved it in his pocket. He grabbed a towel and headed out towards the General’s office. As he walked he wiped his face on the towel and straightened his shirt. He entered the General’s Office and stood at attention. The General eyed up the sergeant and begins to brief him.

“Hauser, good to see you. Oh, at ease soldier.”

“Thank you sir,” the sergeant replied.

Hauser looked at the General and got that feeling he always received when he was in the presence of Abernathy. Abernathy was a born leader. His dirty blond hair combed perfectly in place. He uniform was perfectly pressed and his name patch was perfectly parallel with his belt. Just by looking at the General, Hauser could just tell that this man deserved every star that he proudly wore on his shoulders.
The General leaned back in his chair and began to brief the sergeant.

“I need you to put together a small strike force; you get one hummer and all the men and equipment it can hold. I need you and your team to sneak into an apartment in Baghdad and recover the plans for the Taurus Weapon. You have heard about the Taurus Weapon, right? Well of course you have, but I can’t say anymore about it because it is classified. Those plans must be recovered. The man we believe stole the plans is a former green beret. Everything else you need is in this folder.” 

The Sergeant and the General talked for a few more minutes and then the Sergeant walked out. As he walked out he assembled his team in his mind. Hauser walked towards the other barracks and began tapping men on the shoulder and telling them to gear up and be in the briefing room in thirty minutes.
In exactly thirty minutes all six of the strike force had taken a seat in the briefing room. Hauser opens the briefing by saying “Well, we all know each other, but to follow protocol I’ll take roll.”

“Private First Class Kibby?” asked Sgt. Hauser.
“Here,” replied PFC Kibby a highly trained communications expert.
“Private First Class Gambello?”
“Present,” replied PFC Gambello as he finished cleaning his M-16.
“Private First Class Graves?”
“Ready and able,” shouted back PFC Graves.
“Private First Class McConnel?”
“I’m here,” the machine gunner replied in an uneasy voice.
“Private First Class Steinberg?”
“Ready to roll,” replied PFC Steinberg a driver on many past missions.
“Private First Class Brown?”
“Yep, I’m here,” called back PFC Brown. He was an excellent marksman, but was know for his skill with shoulder mount rocket launcher.

The Sergeant briefed them and gave the order to move out. The men grabbed their equipment and pile into a hummer. PFC Steinberg drove the team off the base and into the city. He weaved in and out of streets and alleys towards the address given to them in the briefing. The men were all concentrating on the objectives. PFC McConnel sat with his eyes closed and slowly slipped into the mental state he likes to enter before each of his missions. His machine gun becomes like and extension of his arm and forgets how heavy his gun and ammunition is. The trip was long, but of course they did not travel on a direct path to the apartments. They needed to come in from the rear in case Henderson was expecting them. They spotted the building were the spy who stole the plans is allegedly staying. Before they stepped out of the hummer Hauser laid down the final game plan. Kibby and Steinberg would stay in the hummer and keep watch from outside. Hauser and Graves would be working together as a team and Gambello, McConnel, and Brown would be a team once inside. They would be inside for fifteen minutes and then were to get out. As soon as a team had the plans they were to radio to Kibby and let him know they were on the way out. 

The team snuck into the building and splits up. Each mini team went up a different set of steps and met up at Henderson’s door. Hauser motioned with his hand to take down the door. McConnel moves in front of the door and attempts to kick it in. The door did not budge.

“He knows we’re here and barricaded the door” yells McConnel.

Hauser called out, “PFC Brown you know what to do!”

PFC Brown slung his M-16 over his shoulder and unhooked the bazooka that was hanging from his backpack. He loaded a rocket into it and placed the bazooka on his shoulder. “Stand back!” he shouted. Then he let the rocket fly. As it contacted the wall flames shot towards the solders. They all ducked and covered their faces as the wall evaporated into a cloud of dust and debris. 

They swarm into the empty room. As soon as they all entered the room they heard gun fire from behind them.

PFC Graves turned around and screamed, “It’s that bastard Henderson! Prepare for incoming fire!”
McConnel set up his machine gun and started to lay down cover fire. Henderson is once again dressed in his urban camo uniform complete with face mask. He was in the door way of the room directly across the hall from them. Brown fired a missile into the room were the traitor was and the two halves of the Strike Force ran out of the empty room in two different directions. Hauser and Graves ran towards the room Henderson was in. Henderson fired off a few more shots and ran out. Hauser and Graves quickly searched the room while the other team ran after Henderson.

PFC Gambello fired a shot that hit the brief case Henderson was carrying. The handle on the case broke and fell to the floor with a thud. Henderson let off a quick burst of fire at the window in front of him and dove through it.

Brown ran up to the case and carefully opened it up. Inside were the plans they had come for. Gambello looked out the window and down towards the street. He saw Henderson running down the fire escape. His shots were rushed and bounced off the metal frame of the fire escape and flew off in different directions. Brown grabbed the plans and started to yell to Sergeant Hauser when the floor beneath the three soldiers collapsed.

Hauser and Graves finished searching the room and ran; Graves informed Hauser that they were running out of time. They left the ransacked room and ran out of the building the way they had come in. When they got to the hummer, Hauser asked how much time was left on the mission clock. Kibby reported that there was two minutes and thirty seconds left. Hauser waited and waited for McConnel’s team to check in saying they had the plans or to emerge from the building.

By now every criminal and terrorist hiding out inside the apartment building was awake and ready to go to war. McConnel and his team were now taking heavy fire from other occupants of the apartment building who thought they were the ones the soldiers were after. The men took cover behind the rubble from the floor they had just fallen through.

Brown told PFC Gambello to give the hummer the signal that they had the plans, but the radio was smashed when they fell through the floor. The small group of soldiers was trapped and had no way out and could not report their status.

Hauser looked at the clock again. “They should have been out thirty seconds ago” he snarled.
Steinberg replied, “It’s thirty seconds… give ‘em time!”

Hauser waited a few more seconds. He was mad at himself because it was looking like the mission was a failure and Hauser was not about to leave a man behind.

“I’m going in!” Hauser called out as he ran in the main door.

He burst through the door and shouted “all men out now!” and with that he felt a cool breeze go through his side and collapsed.

“Sarge is hit!” McConnel yelled. He stood up and ran for the door. As he approached Hauser he crouched down and picked up the sergeant by his belt and ran out. The rest of his team followed while trying to provide McConnel with a little cover fire.

They piled into the hummer and raced through the city. Twisting and turning down the unlabeled road back to their base.

“Hauser, speak sir!” Graves shouted at the lifeless sergeant as he lightly smack his cheeks. PFC Kibby was rummaging thought a first aid kit trying to figure out what he could do for the injured commander.
When they returned to the base General Abernathy was glad to see they had returned with the plans and medics raced to save Hauser’s life. There was nothing they could do for him. PFC Kibby explained about how Hauser had thought the mission was a failure and wanted to try to save his men and had no idea what he was racing into. 

“He didn’t look before he leaped” Steinberg chimed in.

The General promoted PFC McConnel for his bravery and leadership on the mission and Sergeant Hauser was given purple heart for his service and a proper military funeral, complete with a twenty-one gun salute.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A photo from my 5th Birthday

Here is a photo of all the kids that attended my 5th birthday party. The party was Masters of the Universe themed. One of the kids is actually wearing the goofy party hat in the picure. My mom had everyone hold the present they game me after they were all unwrapped to make it easy to write thank you notes.

I know it's a little hard to tell but there are some awesome 80's gems in there. My sister game me a Masters of the Universe puzzle. The kid next to her (with the party hat) game me Sgt. Slaughter and the Triple T. The kid in front of her game me Streetwise a police car Transfomer. One of the other kids in the front row (Will Smith, not the actor) gave me a metal He-Man lunch box that I used up until 3rd grade. The girl in the sitting in the upper right corner game me Night Stalker the evil mechanical horse from MOTU. I'm the kid with the heart-shaped sun glasses.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Flea Market Finds #31

Today my buddies Nick and Mike invited me to go to a flea market over in New Jersey that I had never been to before.

They didn't seem to find to much, but I founds some good stuff.

 First I got two beat up GI Joe mighty mugs. I bought these guys to make customs. I plan to just prime them and paint my own designs on them. I have the Snake Eyes MM but these guys are scratched up and I think I'll have more fun painting them than displaying them.

I picked up the Cowabunga Carl Van from the CGI TMNT movie. It's missing the funny Turtle head that goes on the top, but I've been wanting it for a while.

I grabbed a Real Ghostbusters ghost and a Justice Leauge Doomsday. The final items I found today were actually in a store in the indoor part of the flea market. I finally have (two) Loogies from Power Rangers MegaForce. I've been looking for at least one for a while, and now I have a small army of two.

Here's a quick shot of the Blind Box Mickey riding in the Cowabunga Carl Van.
Then the villains attack!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Genghis Frog - TMNT

Genghis Frog was one of many anthropamorhic characters to join the Ninja Turtles cast through out the 80's and 90's. Originally he was tricked by Shredder to be bad guy Ganghis quicly changed sides and joined the Turtles.

Genghis has a great sculpt and is one of the more friendly looking characters from the entier toyline. Many of the other animal characters look rather pissed off. This bright green frog is dressed in a blue Hawaiian shirt. Genghis Frog's accessories include a Tongue Gun, Radica Razord-sharp Boogie Board, Surfin' Shades, Beach Bandolier (belt) with Cola Can Grenades.

 I had Genghis an all his accessories as a kid. He was sold off with most of my Turtles in middle school. This one came in a small collection of Turtles figures my Mom picked up at a yard sale for me a year or so ago.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flogg - MOTUC

Flogg, the leader of the Evil Space Mutants has finally arrived as a Masters of the Universe Classics figure. He turned out great. Flogg is a weird purple skinned reptile like alien. He's dressed in red and silver armor with a helmet and large boots. Flogg is armed with his Sidewinder Laser Whip, or a space fishing pole depending on how you look at it.

I think the whip made more sense with his vintage figure that included an action feature. It's a fitting accessory, but kind of lame for a Classics figure.  I understand they have to address safety concerns, but a little black rope is not threatening.

Flogg comes with an additional accessory, but it's not for him. It's a Power Sword for He-Man based on the Filmation cartoon. Why this weapon came with a New Adventures of He-Man figure we may never know. They just did a Filmation mini-sub but didn't include it with any of those figures.

Flogg has given up on JDate, and is now literally fishing for a date.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Double "Trouble" Mischief - MOTUC

This just in from Matty Collector,  Double Mischief has arrived. She's the first figure from the Club Etheria subscription service. I think she's the character announced for the She-Ra mini-sub so far that I was least excited about. Double Mischief is a female Man-E-Faces with one less face.

Double Mischief is based on a vintage She-Ra figured called Double Trouble. Mattel had some issues getting the name, so she's got a new monicker. She is dressed in a mint green outfit with a clear cape. She has silver and gold details and an extremely long ponytail coming out the top of her helmet.

Double Mischief's big feature is her two faces. She has a happy face and a sinister face. As an interesting accessory she has a double sided crossbow. Double Mischief is a cousin to Glimmer and to help the Great Rebellion she spies on the Evil Horde by pretending to be a Horde loyalist.

Here's a shot of Double Mischief without her helmet. Obviously she's not meant to be displayed this way, but it's interesting to sort of see the sculpt underneath. The original prototype looked better than the final result. By the end of all the design and molding work DM's chin came out flat with her collar. It's kind of unfortunate.