Friday, October 30, 2009

Day of the dead

I decided to celebrate Halloween with toys. This is not an original idea, I saw it in articulated discussion, at first I decided not to do anything about Halloween, but since I found these figures today I guess I really have no choice...

Alex Ross' Kingdom Come Spectre and Deadman from DCD (Elseworlds series 2, 2006 and Kingdom Come series 3, 2004).

Let's start with the first: Spectre is... Well, a spectre. But not any spectre, he's the spectre of revenge. I guess the spectre of tea and biscuits was not scary enough. Let's just say that when you are in the underworld and a demon asks what spectre are you is better to say you're the spectre of revenge, or the spectre of punk or at least the spectre of sharp pointy things, than to say, for example that you are the spectre of water lilies, or the spectre of pancakes and don't even get me started in the spectre of Christmas pasts, what a loser.

But I digress (apparently that's all I do in this blog), Spectre is more a statue than an action figure, he's articulated but the cape really restrains movement and articulation. Besides being a DCD figure from 2006 the articulation wasn't as impressive as DCUC today standards. Plus he has a black base that really allows Spectre to be in the background of your display kinda levitating behind everyone else. Creepy right?

Spectre is (barely) dressed under the cape, just some green underwear... Which is weird considering he's the spectre of revenge and not the spectre of dead male models (that would be Derek Zoolander). Let's just say that dressing up like Spectre for Halloween is the best ticket to jail and probably a restraining order to keep you away from schools and playgrounds.

Also, he looks like he's wearing lip and eye make-up. I guess we're lucky he's not the spectre of Emo kids, but on the other hand he kinda looks like a dead Robert Smith and that is fairly awesome.

“I don't care if the XVII century's blue / the XVIII century’s grey and the XIX too / XX century I don't care about you / it's the XI century I'm in love”

Dead Man was a daredevil that used the stage name "Dead Man" even when he was alive. That's just plain stupid, is like being a car racer and call yourself "Crash" or being a paramedic that goes by the name "Too late". If I were a daredevil in a freakish circus act I would call myself "The guy that can't possibly die". Any other option is just calling out for bad karma leftovers.

Anyway, this Dead Man is one more reason to drop to your knees and thank Mr. Alex Ross for being such an egotistical bastard. In Kingdom Come Alex Ross thought he had to re-create every character he could in the DC Universe into a twisted variation of themselves. But Dead Man was already twisted, he was pale and kinda rotting, but guess what? Not only his idea of Dead Man as a skeleton was great, but we also got an incredible action figure out of it.

I'm waiting for the DCUC's more traditional version of Dead Man, but somehow, I don't think that is going to top this one.


And finally I got for you a last scare. A creature so vile I couldn't show it in the first picture. This one...

He just stays there, looking at you, staring at your soul, looking exactly like your uncle Greg looked before getting drunk at your birthday party and throwing up all over the cake. Yes, he looks just that creepy.

Happy Halloween everybody.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Silly Toys: And now, a word from our sponsors...

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Friday, October 23, 2009

In justice for all

It's time for me to return to my one true love: Superhero toys. I have five new additions to my (extended) JLI display. First I got DCD Crisis on Infinite Earths Huntress from Earth II (man, that's a long name for a toy).

It's true that the Huntress that was a member of the Giffen league wasn't this one, this is the daughter of an alternate Earth's Batman and Catwoman. So now you know, if you ever cross a bat and a cat you won't get a lame Dr. Seuss rhyme, you will get a hot girl in a swimsuit and a cape. Try to top that Japanese writers! (actually I'm sure they did top it).

The thing is that from all the 6' Huntress figures out there (that would be 2 figures total), this one did look a lot like the one in JLI.

And then I got this four figures, probably my most anticipated wave of the year:

Yes, DCD JLI wave 2. This figures captured so well the spirit of that run of the Justice League that I love them all (although I love Booster a little bit more than the others).

Booster Gold is one of my top 3 favorite comic book heroes. Since JLI #4 back when I was a kid I loved this character so much, and I was oh so pleased with his current evolution in his own series. He's great in cartoons too both JLU (The Greatest Story Never Told is one of the best episodes of that season) and Batman Brave and the Bold. And here, the sculptors took a chance, something DCD hardly does, and tried to give the character a goofy smile and two thumbs up and they nailed not only a great figure, but also everything the character stands for in my head.

This is probably my favorite figure of the year so far.

"If my smile was any bigger I would swallow my ears"

Then you have Booster Best Buddy Blue Beetle (wow, that's a lot of "B", for short this figure will be now called "BBBBB"), he looks great and the goggles didn't have any issues as I read in complaints is several blogs like AFB.

Again the sculptor decided to make him... Well... Bigger... Around the waist area, yes, that's it.

"That's not me, the costume shrunk, really"

What? You don't believe that's what a superhero would say? Think again:

Martian Manhunter has a great addition: An Oreo. That would be enough for me, but his facial expression is amazing too. The only thing that bothers me about this figure is the huge legs. It's like, being a shape shifter, when MM was trying to look more "human" the only models available were a bunch of guys on heavy horse steroids. Still is good to have him show all those muscles, specially when sided with BBBBB (I had to use that sometime).

"In order of appearance: Eyebrow, Oreo, Thighs"

And finally Fire. Is funny how in the League they started calling her an exhibitionist AFTER she started wearing pants. But anyway, is a nice looking figure, although I'm not entirely convinced with her face. She still looks hot enough to display her with a cool looking Ice (get it?).

In DC HQ 27 years ago:

"- I know, we'll make the most geographically cliché super group...
- What do you mean?
- Y'know like... Global Guardians, each being a cliché of their respective countries...
- Like...?
- I don't know, like a Japanese guy that has solar powers and is called Rising Sun!
- Oh I see, like a guy from Ireland, right? And he's name is Jack O' Lantern.
- And he's like Green Lantern, but with an actual lantern!
- Genius! And what about Africa?
- I don't know, a Zulu warrior or something...
- Might work, and get this: an ice girl from Norway!
- Yes, 'cause they have a lot of ice... And Australia?
- Tasmanian Devil...
- Like the animal?
- Yep...
- They are from Tasmania.
- Tasmania is part of Australia.
- Oh, how about South America?
- What's in South America?
- Brazil, Argentina...
- OK, Brazilian people are fiery, so... a sexy model that... vomits fire, or something... And in Argentina you have Gauchos, I saw it in a Disney cartoon...
- What the fuck is a Gaucho?
- They are like... I don't know... Like Batman.
- Really? Cool!"

It was 1982 people, Wikipedia was far far away.

But for the record... Yes, Gauchos are like Batman.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The once and future show

I like Futurama better than the Simpsons. There. I said it. Now come and get me with your torches and pitchforks, or sporks or whatever you have. (A good old controversy is going to do wonders for this blog).

But before you do that, first don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that The Simpsons is not a mythical show that changed the way me, you and the world sees animation, or even television. What The Simpsons accomplished, no other show did. But sadly, most shows are able to accomplish what The Simpsons is apparently unable to do: They, eventually, died.

I'm an absolutely hardcore fan of the first 8 (maybe 9) seasons of the Simpsons, but that run of the show ended more than 10 (TEN!) years ago. Futurama started more or less like a spin off show (is Bender a Robot Homer?), but after season 2 never stopped getting better, more profound and more appealing (if never as funny as The Simpsons). Then, after the idea peaked, it died.

But nothing stays dead on TV (specially if your zip code is 90210), so it returned in the form of movies. Good movies, way better than the stupid, old and washed out Simpsons movie.

In Latin America, the voice actors (an incredibly talented group starting with Humberto Velez as Homer, he's funny in any language, you should look him up), got tired of being underpaid and under recognized and left. This was bad for the show, but not as much as the lack of good scripts was. If the Simpsons are gonna have a second coming is going to need some good rest and a complete new set of writers with fresh ideas (it worked for most of the ever living comic characters).

And actually this whole rant is an excuse to tell you this:

My Futurama Wave 6 figures arrived today!

I also got Leela as Clobberella, but since she counts as a variant, I didn't even wrestle with the twisties for that one, just the gorgeous Amy Wong and the Robot Santa BAF (Solomon Grundy aside, one of my favorites BAFs ever!).

"I like little green men, so what?"

"- Excuse me, is this Christmas town?
- Shut the hell up you skinny asshole!"

They actually did something very clever with the Santa BAF, since they only divided him in parts for five figures, and the wave had six, they place two normal arms with Leela and a normal tip in his hat with Fry as Captain Yesterday. But they placed the spiked tip and the arm holding the machine gun with Amy. That way, you could complete Santa if you bought only Leela, but she was the superfluous one, she was the variant, so of course you needed Amy too to complete the Planet Express crew.

Here's the whole gang:

Now, if the series ends with wave 7 (Professor Farnsworth, Hermes and Nibbler) I would be oh so happy... If not, and if someone from Toynami is reading, I have created my own dream waves of awesome Futurama figures. This would be:

Wave 8: Mom and Slurm Mckenzie.

Wave 9: Morbo and Linda from the future news.

Wave 10: Lrr and Elzar, in a pure alien wave.

The BAF for this three waves would be the one and only...

Hedonismbot, one of the best and better exploited robots in Futurama world.

Then, similar to Wave 7 (two figures without BAF and with a cool bonus little figure) I would love this Wave 11: Cubert Farnswoth, Dwight and Hypnotoad.

I would also like the heads of Leonard Nimoy and Matt Groening... But that would be asking too much... Right?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Don't look back in anger

After deciding I was going to get into the sugar rush simply known as MOTU Classics, I decided that not only I was going in like a rooky police officer in a lame action movie, but also that I was going to do it with full force. Guess what? Apparently I'm the rooky that gets shot at the beginning to prove that the bad guys are serious.

I had to make it up for the lost time and bought Hordak, Zodac, He-Ro, Tri-Klops and Faker. To quote the band Katrina and the waves, "I'm walking on sunshine"... Hmmm, no, not accurate enough... I know!

To quote Captain Hazel "Hank" Murphy from Sealab 2021, "It feels like a koala just crapped a rainbow in my brain". That's how I feel.

Now to individual analysis (not reviews, everyone reviewed these already):

The figure is great, the cross bow (not displayed) was a must, since it was the weapon from the old action figure, but it was a weapon I never liked in the 80s. Every Horde member had one, and I just thought that was to standard. The staff is very retro and looks a lot like the one from Neca mini-statue, but the hands down for best accessory is the red bat-dragon-whatever that is just amazing.
I did, however find one odd thing about the bio, Hordak's real name: Hek-tor. That just seems like an Eternian version of the Spanish name Hector and left me wondering if that name was in the original series bible or if it is new. Actually what I'm asking is if Mattel thinks that Latin America is some kind of evil horde waiting to invade.

"Hola, mi nombre es Hek-tor. I came to rule your planet, and to steal your job. This is my friend Pancho the dragon."

He's just another repaint, but since I don't own a He-man I guess he'll be the repaint and Faker the original... Man, I wish Philip K. Dick was still alive so he could write this down.
Again, blue and orange, not really a match. It must be weird to do a line of figures and see something wrong but, since it's an homage line, not being able to do anything about it.

"No! What do you mean Faker? I'm not Faker... I'm... I'm Ice Armor He-Man... Yeah, that's the ticket."

I got nothing. The figure is just amazing, he was one of my favorites when I was a kid and have the feeling that after Mer-Man, and perhaps Webstor, he will remain that way.

"He he, my bio doesn't mention it, but I also got X-Ray Vision. Oh, by the way, Evil-Lyn? Pink panties."

I actually didn't know anything about this character until I saw the preview pics for the SDCC. When I did I thought he was a waste of an exclusive. But now that I have him, he turned out very good, the innocent look on his face makes great contrast with the bulky body and the bio that stipulates that he could easily kill you if he feels like it.

"Yes, this is the Green Gem of Protection, how would you like to see my Black Gem of Kick You In The Balls?"

And Finally, Zodac.
Again, not much to say about this figure, he looks just like Zodac is suppose to look: Neutral. The original 80s Zodac was a plain figure that could either be sided with the good guys or the bad guys (he was usually a first to attack, first to die bad guy for me. And keep in mind that in my MOTU world, the bad guys won most of the times). On the other hand, Zodak from MOTU 200X was a really cool (and really hard to get) figure. So I'm waiting for the Bonus Zodak way more than for this guy. Still as a way to remember the epic fights I had in my room and in my mind as a kid, he's just spot on.

"It's NEUTRAL, not NEUTERED! Stop staring at me!"

And that is all, as my journey into the world of MOTUC continues, I'll keep you posted.

He-Man: You should end this post with a helpful advice to children.

FS: Like in the cartoon?

He-Man: Yes.

FS: That was really lame.

He-Man: I know!

FS: ... OK... So, kids, eat lots of fruit and vegetables and stay in school!

He-Man: ...

FS: And now what?

He-Man: Now everybody laughs!

FS: Oh, right...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Heavy Metal... Or is it Heavy Mattel?

Now is time to show the two most unique pieces of my collection. Metal He-Man and Metal Trap-Jaw:

These might seem as metal plated old 80s toys, but they are not. The guy... Wait, let me correct... The artist that made these casted some molds from the old toys and recreated them using different alloys for texture and color. Since they are made from separate pieces joined together, they are completely articulated and yes, they are incredibly heavy.

"Now with real metal biting action"

Even Trap-Jaw's Jaw is articulated. And for Trap-Jaw's arm, the guy just got creative and added a screw joint (something Mattel never did, they just screwed us. Zing!).

"Man, if I don't stop doing Mattel jokes I'll never have my own Q&A with Matty. Plus, I need to have some visits in this blog first. None of those things is going to happen any time soon"

And of course, when you have real metal for Trap-Jaw, you need real leather for He-Man's vest. After all, nothing says "80s homo-erotic innuendo" as good old fashioned leather.

"Just like Poison in the 80s, but with real metal"

Last, but not least, you get a cool metal replica of the power sword since without it He-Man is just a guy wearing pink tights.

"Just some furry underwear, leather straps and a big, long, sword, damn you! No second meanings that will ruin your childhood"

Sure, the figures lost the details in the process, but I don't like them for their quality as action figures, but for the very unique (and very geeky) devotion the guy that made them needed in order to make these. A geeky devotion that myself, and probably most of you, share.