Tuesday, September 30, 2014

GI Joe at Retro Con 2014

Yesterday I showed off my celebrity autographs from Retro Con. Today I want to share a couple pictures of the GI Joe actors as well as a short clip from their panel. I also have a bunch of loose GI Joe vehicles and parts that I picked up to show off.

 Sgt. Slaughter
Zach Hoffman (Zartan), Morgan Lofting (Baroness), and the Sarge

My friend Nick had  a vendor table at Retro Con and was cleaning out a lot of duplicates and parts he's collected over the past couple of years. He gave me some great prices stuff I needed. Here are a bunch of guns for the Space Shuttle Complex Gantry. Yeah Defiant!

I bought a Cobra Moray Hydrofoil several years ago that was in nice shape, but missing some parts. Now thanks to Nick I'm one machine gun short of having a complete Hydrofoil. I picked up a large cannon, large torpedo, depth charge holder and depth charge.

The GI Joe Killer Whale Hovercaft is another one of those really cool vehicles that it's hard to complete. There are just to many pieces. I have one that looks good, but was missing some stuff (and of course the vanes are broken but I can live without them). I picked up the front lower door, a missile launcher, three depth charge barrels, and three wheels.

Until Retro Con I never owned the 1982-1983 HAL Laser weapon. I bought a complete one with the seat, computer, and little foot piece in the back.

Unlike the HAL, I have more than a dozen RAM Motorcycles.I left this one on Nick;s table all weekend and near the end of the show when no one had bought it I decided it was coming with me to live in my RAM collection.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Retro Con 2014 Report Begins

Retro Con 2014 has come and gone. I had a great time toy hunting, hanging out with friends, but the best part was meeting a childhood hero. Sgt. Slaughter one of my top five GI Joe characters. I played with the figure that came with the TripleT Tank until his shoulders and knees where floppy. To this day I can't help but smile from ear to ear when I watch the cartoon GI Joe: the Movie. I even featured Sgt. Slaughter in my stop motion show Action Figure Adventures, even if my buddy Derek wrote him as a bit of a maniac. Getting to meet Sarge in real life was such a treat. He was very approachable and talked quite a bit to me about how he got involved with Hasbro. Sgt. Slaughter talked to me about recording his lines for the movie and how he loved that you couldn't buy his figure at first. You had to "earn" him with the call  the phone number for a  secret code promotion.

 Here is a quick shot right after my shift as a volunteer ended. Show organizer Tony is in the back in the black shirt and my friends Nick (seated) and Mike are in the foreground. Their shifts were all ending as well. We had the morning rush.

Along with getting to meet Sgt. Slaughter, there were lots of other guests who voiced some of my favorite cartoon characters. Zach Hoffman was the voice of Zartan in the GI Joe cartoon series. I had him sign a carded  25th Anniversary Zartan figure.

 Three of the Thundercats voice actors were at the show. this year. Larry Kenney (Lion-O) actually had so much fun at  the show three years ago he asked show organizers Rose and Tony if he could come back. Peter Newman (Tygra) and Gerrieanne Raphael (Pumyra) were also present. I had all three actors autographs on photos of their characters from previous events.

Since I got the honor of creating a stop motion video featuring Larry's voice I took a long a DVD of one of my favorite stop motion animated Christmas Specials to have Larry and Peter sign, since they did voice work. The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause was the final Rankin/Bass Holiday Special and is based on a Frank Baum book (Wizard of Oz author... so it's weird).

I saw this special as a kid and really enjoyed it. I didn't know what it was called for many ears. I was very happy when I was able to track it down a few years ago.

Then when I watched it, I was blown away to find out the Thundercats provided voices for this animated special. Peter was pretty impressed that I was actually able to find a copy of the movie.

I love cool play sets so while walking around the vendor area I snapped a few photos of some of my favorite play sets I saw for sale. Below you'll see Eternia  from He-Man & the Masters of the Universe, the USS Flagg from GI Joe, The Hive from Sectaurs, and the Star Wars Cantina Adventure Set that included Blue Snaggletooth.

Morgan Lofting, the voice of the Baroness in the GI Joe cartoon was also at the show. I like to get the actors to sign the 25th Anniversary single card figures, but I'm not a fan of that figure in the blue outfit from that line.

 I was racking my brain trying to think of something I had that I could ask Morgan to sign. Just before I left the house to go to the 2nd day of Retro Con I remembered I had save a Dollar Store Baroness from 2004 because I thought the little packaging was kind of funky. The Valor vs Venom small card didn't leave Morgan a lot of space to sign.

I had Sgt Slaughter sign a poster that was included in a old issue of the GI Joe Magazine. It featured the 1986 Live the Adventure artwork. I also had him sign a SDCC Exclusive TripleT Tank Sgt Slaughter figure. I loved that vintage figure as a kid.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Matty Collector Haul

Hey guys! What an crazy awesome weekend this will be. The Hayride I work at opens up and it's Retro Con weekend! I didn't have time to photography any of the stuff I picked up from MattyCollector yet, but I recorded a quick video. I'm sure I'll post more in-depth reviews later.

30th Annaversary Ghostbusters 2-Packs
30th Anneversary Super Powers Batman. Superman, and Wonder Woman
DC Signature Collection Super Boy
Batman Beyond
MOTU Giants He-Man

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Back to School & Back to Retro Con

When I was out shopping for some closes for the new school year I saw some cool pop culture school supplies that I wanted to show off. I got real busy with hay ride set up and back to school stuff so I lumped the school supplies with Retro Con for this video.

Here's a shot of the folders and notebook. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Guarduans of the Galaxy, and Spider-Man school supplies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Biff Tannen - ReAction BttF

Biff Tannen, the bully of the Back to the Future trilogy. This figure represents the character in 1955, while Biff was in high school. He's wearing a gray jacket and blue jeans. He's got a clean looking crew cut and looks a fair amount like the actor from the film. Like the rest of the series, the actor's likeness was not specifically sculpted. Biff has a bit of an odd stance like the George McFly figure  from the series. I really like the attention to detail with the rolled pants cuffs.

"That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Retro Con is this weekend!

This weekend is going to be very busy. It's opening weekend for the Haunted Attraction I work at and it's Retro Con! This will be the 3rd Retro Con held in Oaks, PA. When the show first started I knew of the organizers Rose & Tony, but they didn't know I even existed. It's funny how things change over time. Now I consider Rose and Tony to be very good friends of mine. I'm really glad that my friend Mike introduced me to them. I'm really looking forward to this years show. I'm volunteering at the show saturday and Sunday morning. I'll be selling raffle tickets at registration. The rest of the day will be for hanging out and buying toys.

Retro Con has a pretty impressive list of guests again this year, but I'm most excited to meet Sgt. Slaughter of Wrestling and GI Joe fame.

Monday, September 22, 2014

George McFly - BTTF ReAction

Today's post is about George McFly from the original Back to the Future movie. This ReAction figure is of George in high school in 1955. George is dressed n a gray shirt and tan jacket. It's neat how his shirt is sculpted half tucked in and half untucked. He's also got his long-ish hair combed across his forehead. George has an interesting stance, he sort of leans to the side a bit.

Hello McFly!

Friday, September 19, 2014

PhantomX-19 - Vintage GI Joe Box

A month or so ago, my childhood best friend gave me some of his childhood toy collecion and the boxes to just about every kids toy he had. The toy boxes ranged from pristine condition to totally ruined due to exposure to dampness. The Phantom X-19 Stealth Fighter box is in relatively good shape although the back has some water stains. The box features amazing painting of the jet in that classic 80's toy package style. The one flap from the box is covering part of the GI Joe logo in the photo.

I always liked line art on the back of the GI Joe boxes. What's black and white, and red all over? The Phantom X-19.

The edge panel of the box shows off some of the features of the Stealth Fighter.

Here is a close up of the cockpit on the box art. It's interesting that they used Dodger from Battle Force 2000 as Ghostrider's Co-Pilot. I also think it's interesting that they didn't paint a scarf around Ghostrider's neck.

Here is a close up of the image of the Ghostrider figure from the front of the package. In this image, they once again do not show off Ghostrider's scarf. His little notepad on this leg is also blank. The prototype figure photographed for this image also has different colored pants compared to the production figure.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Leo & Mikey - Movie Turtles

 I've got to be honest about the movie Turtle figures. I totally pasted by them dozens of time at ToyRUs. I'm not super wild about the movie designs, but I've gotten over some of that. At the end of the day these are pretty fun toys. Leo and Raph are my favorite figures in this series, and Mikey (who is my favorite turtle) is my least favorite figure.

I was given the four figures to review for SEO Toy Reviews and I really looked at them for the first time as I filmed the reviews. The guy who runs the channel cut out the video of me opening the figure, but as I describe them it really is the first time I've seen and touched the figures. After the review was filmed the figures came home with me, and I've been having fun with them ever since. They aren't as good as the Nick Turtles figures, but they are better than the supporting and villain Nick Turtle figures.

 Leonardo has vibrant blue paint that looks really cool. I like his head sculpt. His nose and mouth look fine to me on the toy.

He's the only Turtle in the bunch who can carry his weapons on his person, but I love that feature. I also really like the sculpt of his swords.

If you like the gritty updates of comic book characters, like the militarized Batman with the Tumbler, I think these figures might be up your alley.

Michelangelo on the other hand has the movie Turtle nose and lips that I don't like so much more defined in his head sculpt. The fact that he is missing a paint app on his chest in the area between his straps (where he necklace is) really drives me crazy. I can over look a missing paint app if it's not there at all, but to have 90% of his front shell painted... I can't deal. I'd rather the necklace be painted the color of the shell along with the shell.

I really like his regular nunchuck, but the three-piece-staff or whatever it's called is clunky and hard to work with.

I was really hoping the Super Exciting Outrageous Toy Reviews were going to take off. It's pretty cool going to an office getting handed a pile of toys and then hear someone say we are rolling. It's been fun being a part of something bigger than me futzing with toys at my house. Donatello's video did well the first day, surpassed any of my fellow reviewer's  SEO videos from the girl toys the week before. All the other Turtle videos have been pretty slow. If you check them out I appreciate it. Feel free to comment or hit the like button those all help people find out videos.

I'm not sure which video will be posted tomorrow, but it won't be Turtles. The following week it's back to the female reviewer with my girl toys and toys for real little kids. So next week Action Figure Adventures should be a little more "normal".

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Custom Power Sword - MOTUC

I've always wanted a metal Power Sword for my MOTUC He-Man, and not just a chromed plastic one. So I decided to make a custom sword. After the series of photos of King Grayskull forging the sword below you'll find a description of the process I went through to make the sword. The King Grayskull photo shoot was inspired by the cover of a recent issue of the He-Man & the Masters of the Universe comic by DC Comics.

So I have access to a small furnace (melting pot) and other accessories to cast small items out of a lead free pewter. Of course to cast something I need a mold. So I needed an original to make the mold from. I decided to use a spare Prince Adam sword from the Classics line. You can't beat the Four Horsemen's sculpt. So I set up a form of melamine coated boards to contain the plaster. The fours sides are clamped together and caulked to a bottom board. The form was filled with a thin layer of clay and the sword was pressed in half way. (Picture below is without clay)

I mixed up a small batch of plaster and poured it into the mold. Then I had to allow it to harden and dry.

Here you can see the plastic sword in half the mold. This mold is the reverse of the clay that was in the bottom of the form. The  large crater and funnel at the end of the handle were created by large lumps of clay. The crater is there to establish a registration point between the two halves of the mold. The funnel is there for pouring metal into the mold.

 The first half of the mold and the sword were flipped over and placed back inside the form. A small lump of clay was placed in the funnel to keep that shape from being filled in. The original half of the mold and the sword were coated with a little Vaseline to make it easy to separate the two halves. Then a new layer of plaster was poured on top to create the second half.

Above is a photo of the two halves of the mold. The high heat of the molten metal cause rapid degradation of the mold. I knew I'd only be able to produce a limited number of swords. After the mold was given plenty of time to dry I began casting swords. In the beginning the swords came out fairly clean with only a little flashing that needed to be cleaned up. Over time, as the mold wore out, the castings got worse and worse. I did get one sword with really interesting flashing that looked like lightning traveling down the blade. I painted the flashing a metallic blue to give the sword and energy effect. After that sword, the mold would no longer hold metal. It just ran out of the bottom. So the last thing I did was pour metal into just half the mold. This sword had a rounded overflow that was painted yellow and orange as my "being forged" sword. I carefullly cleaned up the best two castings of the standard sword and painted up the two forged swords I made. I sent a set to a fellow He-Man fan and of course I kept the one of a kind energized Power Sword.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Raphael - TMNT Movie

Today on SEO Toy Review I took a look at Raphael. I feel like I said his name oddly in the video. I said it with an "e" sound at the end instead of "i". How do you guys pronounce his name. I don't think I've ever noticed it before, but when I say his name it sounds like Raphy-L.

I think Raph is my favorite of the new movie figures. He's got a huge bulky build, and I can't of like the skull cap bandana look for a gritty modern turtle.

I promise not to turn the AFA blog into just SEO Toy Review central, but this is the first week of my reviews, so I got to push it a little. Feel free to thumbs up the video or leave a comment.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Donnatello - TMNT Movie

As I mentioned before, I'm now part of a team of people reviewing some of the best selling kids toys for boys and girls. This week Super Exciting Outrageous Toy Review will be featuring my reviews.

These reviews are aimed at a younger audience than my typical Action Figure Adventure Animated Reviews.

Please check out the videso and maybe leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you guys think of the new videos. We are still trying to find our style, and think each batch of videos we shoot will improve.

Today's video focuses on the new movie Donatello figure from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He's made out of green platic and has a lot of purple and black rubbery parts. Donny comes with a yellowish/tan bow staff. I was a bit shocked when I first saw the new Turtle designs. I think the figure actually look a little better than the Turtles do in the film.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Display Update: AFA Collection ReAction

 At leas a year ago, maybe longer, I bought this shelf at a yard sale. It's pretty much perfect for displaying 3 3/4" figures. I couldn't figure out what to display on it though. I have too many GI Joe or Star Ward figures. When the ReAction line was announced I knew these would be the toys to "live" on this shelf.

I still need an Alien figure to open up, but I have most of the Alien, Terminator, Goonies, and Back to the Future figures. I also have the Rocketeer some where, but he didn't make it on the shelf yet. I guess I need to order a SDCC Sloth figure. I still haven't seen a regular Sloth around here. Eventually the figure will have to share compartments, bu for now there's room to grow. I'm keeping just a few of my favorite figures carded as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marty McFly - BTTF ReAction

ReAction Marty McFly is on the blog spot today. Marty is pretty generic looking. Of course this orange "life preserver" vest lets you know who he is, but hi head sculpt doesn't look anything like Michael J. Fox.

In addition to his vest, Marty is wearing jeans and white sneakers. His one accessory is a little navy blue skateboard.  I actually broke one set of wheels off my board trying to find out if they spin. THE WHEELS ON THE SKATEBOARD DON'T ROLL!

I was having some fun with Doc, Marty and my Time Machine toy. The scale between the figures and Delorean are close, but not perfect.

This is heavy, Doc!