Monday, June 28, 2010

Toy Score!

The other day was fathers day. At home, fathers day usually implies a family Sunday lunch. No, I didn't get any presents, I don't have kids therefore I'm not a father. I did get some toys the day before fathers day because it was my birthday, but I'll leave that for another day.

So, it was fathers day and my family got together for a Sunday lunch and after the meal my uncle, sitting on the couch says to me "So, you like them toys don't ya?" (By the way, that's the worst impersonation of my uncle ever, for starters, my uncle doesn't talk to me in English). But he basically said that, so I rolled my eyes, 'cause my uncle is from the side of the family that thinks that toys are for kids (the other side of the family thought that cartoons were for kinds until I started to get paid for watching them).

But after I finished rolling (it usually takes 3-7 minutes, I'm kind of an expert), my uncle says "Why don't you come over and watch our old boxes, we have tons of toys that belonged to your cousin". I open my eyes and ask: "so, what do you have in there?". He stares at me for a few seconds and goes: "I don't know, some of them Ninja Turtles I guess".

Now my eyes were open all the way, all I could say is I'll be there as soon as aI can. And I went. My cousin is a little younger than me and caught the TMNT wave with full force, plus, my aunt and uncle always got him really cool stuff, so I wanted to know if there was perhaps a little hidden jewel in there.

False alarm with the turtles. They were some but were completely destroyed. But then I opened one last box, my cousin was never (ever) into superheroes, no matter how hard I tried, but for some reason my uncle didn't know this. And I got several, never played with, old Toy Biz X-Men!

I know it may not seem like much to some of you, but when these figures came out, I wasn't really into toys, just X-Men comics and the 90s X-Men cartoons, so finding these was extremely cool for me, and a bunch of fond memories showed up. SO much that I forced my girlfriend to watch a 90s X-Men marathon that night.

I never really got involved in Marvel Legends, the over articulation and the hideous (yeah, you heard me) ball jointed legs were a pain to look at. Yes these are not nearly as nice sculpted, or painted or whatever, but I like the fact that they are clearly toys. Cool toys.

Morph, for example, was in perfect shape, and all of his three different heads were there. I like characters that are created just to die, so I like Morph quite a bit. I chose the bad Morph head for the display (oh yes, I'm displaying these!).

Cyclops is quite cool, doesn't have neck articulation because his eyes light up. And the light still works! Nightcrawler is also a light up toy, but only his sword lights up, his sword looks kinda silly, so no light for you! But I think he looks great, he has the smile that the ML one missed, he was too darn serious. And Wolverine is just Wolverine being Wolverine.

I couldn't believe when I saw inside that box, because up to that moment most of the toys, TMNT, He-Man, Mazinger Z, two Ghostbusters and several Transformers were beaten up beyond repair. And made me real sad, but these guys were perfect!

Archangel's wings look very good, I even like this version of the character with the halo in the chest and the blue skin. I remember that episode when he wanted to destroy Apocalypse so bad that he became obsessed with it. That was a great superhero show. There was also a Gambit figure, I actually did like Gambit a lot during that era, now I'm not so fond of him, but this figure is better than the other version with a cloth coat, I like the rubber one better. Then there's Sunspot, from X-Force sub-series. He looks cool I guess. And then there's Random, a character I never knew a lot of, he was like a bounty hunter and never an official member of the X-Men, I think. So was like in the line of good and bad all the time. Also he was not a born mutant, but mutated afterwards, like Deadpool. If I'm not right with this information, Marvel geeks, correct me! He does look super bulky and cool, has pretty rad tats too!

It was really great to find these toys in an old box in my uncle's house. As I said I'm going to display them proudly and, since X-Men from Toy Biz are relatively cheap, I'm going to see if I can find other characters. After all, Marvel Super Hero Squad is killing me, nobody works that line in Argentina. And I always liked the X-Men.

Until next time.

I also got more toys there, see if you can guess which ones with these clues:

1) Same company
2) Not a US based group
3) Complete set with just six figures.

First one to guess wins... I don't know... My respect or something. Start guessing!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The end of my First Freaky Contest (and a lesson on how Karma works)

One of the few things I asked when I established the rules for my Win a Fuerza T contest was that the winner was supposed to take some pics of it with his collection.

Monsterforge won, and he took the pics:

Here's Pantano with the 200X beastman and Brawlor, the figure that made his journey possible.

And here he is in the final place he'll (hopefully) ever be, as part of the amazing collection of a really cool guy. Check Monsterforge's blog for more pics of Pantano and his amazing collection.

But here's how Karma works: Do you remember the Kawaiiju figures I bought from MF? You should. As I was anouncing the winner of my contest, MF had a contest of his own planned. He hid a "Golden Ticket" inside one of the blind bags. He shuffled the bags and sent them. And the golden ticket traveled quite a distance and ended up in Argentina.

In other words: I WON!

What was my prize?

This awesome thing!

"What's that awesome thing?" You may ask. That's the biggest Kawaiiju of them all! Big Daddy... I'll let Monsterforge explain it.

This guy is all kinds of cool but, like the other, smaller Kawaiijus you shouldn't feed it to a baby. Bummer.

The sculpt is great, it's also unique as the rest of the series. And all the eyes, the arms and the legs of this masterpiece just makes me want to do a little jump of joy. As I said, MF is working, or will start soon, on Kawaiiju series 2. I truly recommend you to get some (if I don't buy them all first, that is).

Oh, by the way, this is how Big Daddy will look from your point of view when he destroys your city:

Another plus to this figure is that now I won't necessarily think in Nicholas Cage when somebody says "Big Daddy". And that's always a good thing.

The name though, is the one thing that intrigues me...

I guess it's not just me.

Until next time.

(Surprisingly, Big Daddy is not the only thing I won, stay tuned for more posts about good luck coming my way. Well, maybe I'm not THAT lucky, I'll show you why soon).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Action League now!

Do you remember that animated segment from Nickelodeon's show Kablam!?

It was silly, and pretty amusing and the stars were toys. What's not to love. You should really try looking for it on youtube if you don't know what I'm talking about. But I'm not here to talk about them.

In an unexpected turn of events, Mattel captured and (probably) stole the name Action League... Maybe they didn't steal it, but they owned it, and that's why the show was called Action League Now! I don't know, what do you expect from me? C'mon!

Oh, anyway, Action League is the best thing Mattel has in stores right now, as I've said before. And in my (not so) recent trip to San Francisco I was able to secure (almost) all the figures I was missing, namely these:

FOUR figures from THREE TWO-packs of the ONE line that just keeps getting better. You can't ignore the math here).

First Kanjar Ro, he's not one of my favorite bad guys, but he was important in the show, and was the only one I was missing from Wave 1. He looks evil and alien and angry, so there's really not much more I can ask from him.

Scarecrow is the second inclusion of someone from Batman main villain gallery. First one was Joker. I'm expecting a Two-Face that can really kick some ass done in this style. Scarecrow is my favorite of the bunch, he looks amazing.

The last adittion was the Wildcat/Black Lightning two-pack and is a great example of what the line really needs. I love Batman because he's... Well... The Goddamn Batman! of course. But, I could skip some Bat-love and exchange it for some more characters. This wave had two packs without Batman (great!). This was one of them.

Black Lightning has his reimagined look from the show with the hoodie and the jeans, I like this look for a teenage superhero.

Wildcat looks pretty cartoonish (I don't mind that), pretty old (that either) and pretty badass (I especially don't mind that). I like that he wears bandages over his gloves and not over his bare hands. I always thought that was kinda stupid, but it's classic and I like that they kept it for the redesign.

I know Deadman, Bronze Tiger, The Metal Men (as alloy), Sinestro, Chemo and Earth II Robin are coming. I can't wait people. Lets start releasing these bad boys faster, pretty please?

Until next time.

(Oh, the one pack I couldn't get was the one with Guy Gardner and Dr. Polaris, so if you find it, let me know! Pretty please?)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kilowog? More like KiloWOW!

I know, I know, is the lamest title ever, but just look at this:

This is just so great, so amazing, so massive, that the only word I can use is "epic"... But I can't really say that because I'm actually speechless.



So... Crazy weather huh?

OK, breathe, breathe... This is, of course, DC Universe Classics Wave 11 Collect and Connect Figure Green Lantern Kilowog. Since I didn't get the entire wave 11 I had to find other ways to get Kilowog. Luckily these ways didn't involve mud wrestling, garbage eating or killing a bunch of people in a car the other night around 11:30 and 12 a.m. (wait, better forget you've read that)...

I said "luckily" because I would have done those things and much more for this figure. He's incredible, and did I mention "massive"?

The sculpt of the head and neck is amazing the 4 Horsemen did an awesome job this time. The body was reused for Brimstone, but since I only want one figure of the Public Enemies line, Major Force (and I can't even get him) I don't think I'll have Brimstone any time soon. So, I don't mind the reuse.

Kilowog, doesn't have any accessories but has a cool ring sculpted in his huge hand. Also he thinks accessories are for pussies and he doesn't want any. Hey, that's what he told me.

I have said before that I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of the C&C... Well, now, like that time, the delicate balance of feelings is pointing towards love!

Also, some people asked me to show more pics of my collection and not only of the new figures. So I'll try to take a pic of the place they'll take in the display. In this case my extended Justice League International display:

Of course, when Kilowog was in the JLI he didn't have his power ring, was dressed in civilian clothes and was more like a handy man than a hero. But that doesn't matter because Kilowog was incredibly Badass then... Hell, I'm sure Kilowog was incredibly Badass even in HIgh School...

I wonder...

Until next time.

"... ..." (that's me being speechless, by the way)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Turtle (girl) power

You may or may not know this, but the first run of Playmates TMNT was very diverse in terms of animal species but didn't have a lot of gender diversity, for some reason the mutated guys were always... well, guys.

Probably if I ask you to name a girl from the Ninja Turtles world you will instantly think of April. That's because it turns out it was all in her head...

(I got that image from Cal's blog... And yes... I did it because of the cleavage)

Other girls from the top of your head may include Irma (if you used to watch the cartoon) and Venus de Milo if you're young enough to have seen the horrible live action show, and old enough to remember it.

But the original toy line had a grand total of... five female characters. Man, talk about the Smurfette syndrome!

These are two of those five. Kala, the Neutrino (or is it Neutrina) and She-Dragon.

You may (not) remember a post a did sometime ago about Zak the Neutrino, there, I called him and an angry elf rocker from space. Well, Kala is his friend from Dimension X. She was released in 1992 and does look a little different than the rest, because she's part of the sub-line called Toon Turtles that were directly inspired in the cartoon (Irma and other characters are from this line). I wasn't planning on getting any toon figures until I noticed that the Zak they used was the same as in the regular line. So, I decided to get the other two neutrinos.

Some of you may recognize She-Dragon as a character in Eric Larsen's Image comic The Savage Dragon. Those of you may think I finally snapped and that I'm linking two figures that have nothing to do with each other. But the truth is that in 1995 Playmates released a series of turtles re-imagined by Jim Lee. Then they made a crossover of these turtles and three Savage Dragon characters why? you can ask, I don't know... Maybe because Savage Dragon was green? These figures were packed with a divided mini comic, this is the one that came with She-Dragon:

As you may notice she has long blond beautiful hair in the comic, and also a mohawk. Two variation of the figure were released. Why did I choose the one with the mohawk. Two things: 1) These are figures from the 90s and in the 90s the mohawks were hot! 2) In the comic she gets her haircut when she pisses off Leonardo, so he cuts it... With his katanas! Can you say "awesome"? I know you can.

Back to Kala for a second. In the blister and, as the rest of this sub-line, it said that she has "real toon texture feel" this just means she's made of a more rubbery plastic than the rest. I wanted to point it out, because it's extremely silly.

(And also because if I didn't this comic doesn't make any sense)

I also got these:

I got them from a friend and TMNT collector from Argentina. He's a real hardcore collector that owns not only the figures but a ton of merchandise. His collection is a real pleasure to see. And I'm lucky enough that when he gets extra figures, I can call dibs on them.

Our last turtle lady of the day is Mona Lisa. Also released in 1992. I was really surprised with this figure, especially because of her name. TMNT names are usually as punny and lame as MOTU names. But Mona Lisa's name is actually pretty good and kinda subtle. She's a girl lizard of course, so I was expecting Mona Lizard... or at least Mona Liza... But no, nothing like that. The figure is pretty simple, but she's the only mutant girl in the whole damn line. So you better like her!

This is Dask, the last neutrino, I know this was a post about girls in the TMNT line, but I also got him in this haul and he was always kinda of a sissy character so, I'll talk about him too. He was also released in 1992, also in the toon line and also with "toon texture" I like his design way better than Kala's. she's actually pretty weak and not very well painted. Dask, on the other hand, looks sharp. If you can forget about the cartoony look for a second he does have something going on, with the hair, and the pants and the shoes... I just can't put my finger on...

(What's that you say? Brain Setzer? No, I don't know who that is...)

Still, I think they are going to get along nicely with regular-line-Zak...

I think...

But wait, there's more. I mentioned my friend for a reason, after I sent the money for the turtles he had some troubles with his local post office so the figures came and go for more than a month! After all of that he was so ashamed that he sent me a present:

This guy is Major Disaster from the Toxic Crusaders line, also from Playmates, released in 1991. Look at how awesome this guy is! he has ton of sculpted details like little vines and bark and spikes (he's supposed to be a nature based mutated, like Swamp Thing) and his arms have cool and unique textures. I just love this guy and the people of Playmates for doing this!

Actually I've been checking out the Toxic Crusaders line for quite some time. They are also made by Playmates and there were only nine figures produced so it's a cool line to start now that I'm finishing up with the classic TMNT (only three figures left)... But no, no I mustn't, not another line!

Until next time.

(Evil voice in my head) "But hey, guy, now you have one, so you just need eight". (Don't worry, I have a great answer to that evil statement)"... Uhm, yeah... I only need eight, right?"

Oh, damn!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Turn on, Tune in and Corpse Out

During my trip to San Francisco I was able convince my girlfriend (mostly by lying to her about interesting places to see) to do a little tour of Toy ad Comic stores. There, I managed to get three more figures for my Black Lantern Corpse display of JLZombies.

First, from DC Direct Blackest Night - Wave 2. Martian Manhunter.

I just find the sculpts of this line appealing. I think they are doing a great job showing some gruesome decay in the bodies of the fallen heroes. I've read the Blackest Night event, wasn't really moved by it but still thought it was kinda cool. Since I wasn't really following but read most of it in one sitting I didn't get tired of it like some people did.

The figure just comes with the base and the soft rubber cape, competes with Superman for most display space taken. I like the way he looks and he stands fine, I'm OK treating this as plastic DCD sculptures, for articulation I already got Mattel.

I think Aquaman from Wave 3 is the scariest of the lot. The face sculpt is horrifying and also I think he can telepathically control sushi. I like sushi, but you have to agree is one scary food. I think one of the reasons he's so spooky is because of the orange top. All the other Black Lanterns wear black/silver/grey outfits, this one stands out from the crowd.

A note in zombie fashion. As a zombie you usually move in large groups, so you will want to stand out in some way. Take a look at this picture:

See how your eyes tend to see the guy in the yellow coat? That's because he knew what he was doing. If you're bitten by a zombie, make sure to be wearing an outfit that makes a statement.

Take Firestorm from Wave 4, for example:

He doesn't have a lot going in the costume department, but he compensates with blue flames coming out of his head, eyes, mouth and insignia. a bit of a show off for my taste, but the sculpt in this case is also excellent.

The plastic used by DCD for the package is quite sturdy and some warpage may occur. A little balance exercise may be needed to stand these figures at first, but one you have that down, they won't fall... for a couple of days...

Also, when I returned I was able to get Dead Wonder Woman (also from Wave 4):

She doesn't have as much love as the others in the sculpting department, I think she's mostly a repaint. But if you've read the comic it kinda makes sense. Still, I don't think a lot of people would want to buy a rotting Wonder Woman, no sir, we want our zombie girls hot...

And in that note...

Until next time.

(Remember, wear your brightest colors even during the Blackest Night, 'cause you may be a zombie, but are still an individual... Right?)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

AmeriCat Woman

In the World of Toys (hmm, that's not good enough, it kinda needs and adjective... The Wonderful World of Toys? Still not good enough, The Wonderful Wide World of Toys? Nah... The Wonderful Wide World of Wicked Toys? I'll keep trying)...

In the something something something World of Toys, if you are a collector there are two kinds of toys, those toys you need and those toys you want. For example Some time ago, I decided that I wanted to get in the Futurama boat. But they were in wave 4 or 5 at the moment and getting the two figures of wave one was really hard. So I found a guy that was selling all the waves, arranged a price for all of them, dusted one of my piggy banks filed with Krugerrands, smashed it with a hammer, shed a tear and jumped in the line with full force, my eyes closed and the hope that I didn't kill myself when I reached the ground.

Those were toys I needed.

For the toys you want, you can wait. Well, I waited and it finally paid off:

In Argentina is almost as hard to get a Catwoman from the Hush line as it is to get Nightwing. But I had a stroke of luck and found a guy that was trying to sell his Hush collection. The catch was that he didn't want to split it 'cause he thought he'll end up with figures he wasn't going to be able to sell. I offered him a deal: If I could locate buyers for the other figures I could keep Catwoman. One good thing? Collectors love Hush figures. A couple of phone calls later, my friends got a great deal on some toys, the guy sold all of his and I could buy Catwoman. I felt like The Kingpin (of course I could never fill a white suit like he does, but still, it felt good).

Catwoman, like all female figures from Hush has a gorgeous sculpt and, unlike the other females from Hush, she can stand perfectly on her own. She also has the Goggles sculpted as a separated piece so you can see her eyes through them.

Surprisingly there are not a lot of Catwoman figures, and they are really hard to find (or are sadly out of scale). This is the modern look of Catwoman, but I like the simplicity of it. SO, I'm OK with it.

Before this one I had the Catwoman from Mattel's line DC Super Heroes. Like the line that came after that (DCUC) the women are puny little things, see for yourself:

As you can see, the details and the design are almost the same, but DC Direct comes out as the winner of this challenge. The only two things that the Mattel one has that are cooler are:

1) The sculpted Backpack. The DCD one doesn't have it.
2) She comes with her cat.

Well, I think I can do something about that last one...

I'm glad to finally have this toy in my collection. I waited for it some time, and that just made it sweeter when I found it. Some times, the toys you want are way better than the toys you need.

Until next time.

(Maybe if I eat at McDonald's for like three years and order a white suit I can... No, that's OK... I'll pick a better role model from comics... Hmm, maybe if a shave my head and my beard I can be a good Lex Luthor...)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kawaiiju attack!

The next figures I'm going to talk about are something that I, some time ago, might have said, were not my "cup of tea". Well, life taught me that usually when say stuff like that, you should really shut the Hell up and drink the damn tea, because it's actually delicious.

Yesterday I announced that Monsterforge was the winner of the Fuerza T contest. I also said I knew he was a great sculptor. That's because he released a series of little figures called Kawaiiju, these are not really toys, but wander dangerously into the territory of what I like to call art.

These pieces are really limited, he only made 30 unique hand made not casted designs and sold them on his blog.

Sometime ago I might have said "those look great but I'm not interested in blah, blah, blah", actually what I said in this case was "those are amazing, I'll take three if you didn't sell them all already". I was lucky.

After several days of waiting and nail biting, the box with my Kawaiiju arrived. The cool thing about this series is that MF packed them in blind bags so nobody knew what figures they had...

Also, he included a hand made "thank you" card. Awesome. Lets see which ones I got:

Grumblor. The art included the name, a description and an attack the little monster uses. It also says "This is a special action toy for the serious collector. Do not feed to babies!".

Each character had a hand made card too!

At first, when I saw the 30 characters, Lavarah wasn't in my top picks. But the pic taken by MF just didn't do him justice, he's very cool, his teeth are sculpted and very detailed.

And Zirrion is the dream of every Sci-fi geek (like me). A cute space robot. I loved him right away.

When I was trying to decide what I was going to do with the silly comic in this review my girlfriend suggested I should do something artistic. But I can't do that... So I wrote a silly poem... Using toys... I think I invented a genre. Here it is:

I think (hope) Monsterforge is working on Kawaiiju wave 2, but I strongly suggest you not to buy them... Is it because they are not going to be great? No... It's because I want them to myself! They will be mine!

Until next time.

(Mine I tell you! MINE!)