Saturday, August 28, 2010

In brightest day, in exclusives cash...

There's an awesome customizer online that goes by the (also awesome) name of The God Beast. I met him through a forum. But I won't talk about his amazing work (although you should totally check it out here), I just want to thank him for hooking me up with some DC Direct exclusive figures.

Black Lantern Hal Jordan and White Lantern Sinestro (from C2E2).

I don't usually talk about packaging, since I'm an opener, unless packaging is way cool or fun (like the Wonder Twins or the new exclusive Plastic Man from Mattel) I'm not interested in it. In this case I just thought the box was clever and very well designed, with only one flaw: An exclusive toy is something you are lucky to get. You either went to the event where it was sold or found it on ebay and pay like the unworthy idiot you are or you find someone to get it for you...

My point is that if you know you are making that kind of toy, and you're going to make a nice looking book-like packaging...


OK, rant over. Let's go to the figures.

Hal Jordan as a Black Lantern is just a repaint from last years SDCC Hal-Jordan-in-every-color-we-can-think-of exclusives. So in the sculpting department there's not much to say. Since I don't own any of those, I'm happy with this well sculpted figure and I wanted to have one for the Black Lantern/Justice Zombies display I'm putting together. Although, next to the more detailed dead lanterns it may turn out to be a little bland.

Hal came with a Black Lantern ring, similar to the one you got with the comics. Except this one has a code the other one doesn't.

Sinestro, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise. his crooked smile and Vincent Price mustache are great. At first I thought he was just another repaint too. But he doesn't look like Justice or Yellow Lantern Sinestro (I don't actually own these, so I may be wrong). But I guess it's a new sculpted head in a repainted body.

I like the color of the head. DCD seems to have troubles deciding if Sinestro should be pink or purple, but I think this is just fine.

Also, he's the only white lantern you are going to get (in full white lantern outfit, at least) until Geoff Johns decides he needs another car and a better TV set and writes another giant Crisis-like arc.

Until next time.

(Hey wait a second... Isn't Geoff Johns writing Brightest day? That sneaky bastard... Next you are going to tell me we are getting a Mera figure too...)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dunny by Artist: George Gaspar

There are a few problems for Argentinean collectors that want to get in the world of art/designer toys:

1) There are very few places that carry designer lines from, lets say, Kid Robot, I can only think of one or two places and even they have very limited (and usually very old) options.
2) The blind boxes, one of the usual ways to get these toys, are not blind at all, in fact, all the stores will open the boxes and charge according to the rarity of the piece. Yeap, that sucks!
3) Since designer toys are rare, they are expensive, consider I can pay for a smorking labbit what someone in the U.S. would pay for a Masters of the Universe Classics figure (you don't even want to know what a MOTUC costs!).
4) Most stores will only get one case of figures so the possibilities of completing a set are very close to a negative number (oh, I also should warn you that I really suck at math...)

So, for these and some other reasons I never, until some time ago, owned a Dunny. But that changed when George Gaspar (of Toybreak fame) asked me if I would be interested in one of his awesome custom Skull Dunny(s) in exchange for some bootleg crap I had.

Lets see... Awesome custom in one hand... Bootleg crap in the other... I may suck at math, but even I knew the obvious answer... I said yes!

So basically, George took the Rainy London Dunny from the Ye Olde English Dunny line (designed by Triclops) and erased the rain drops, popped the head open, inserted the skull he sculpted and that's about it. It may sound simple, but with only those changes he turned this:

Into this:

Of course, the true skill of George can be seen in the skull, the sculpt is incredible, very detailed and fitting perfectly in the clear head. George is also a cool guy that left Triclops' name under the skull Dunny's foot. I agree with that, you should give credit when credit is due. But, the only mistake George made was not signing his own name in the other foot. After all, two very creative people were needed in order to help this little monster come to life.

I'm extremely happy with my first Dunny, because is freaky, and cool and I know is special. For now, until things change, If I want a Dunny I'll stick to trade or buy the great customs of the awesome people I meet online every day.

Until next time.

(Or... If I see a really cool one somewhere and I can't control myself. Along with math I was also never very good at controlling myself...)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Earth Mightiest... Bunny?

In Argentina, we call our Swap Meets, Park Sales, they are usually found on Sundays and, as the name says it, on parks. I don't go to Park Sales often because there's usually always the same stuff over and over. But sometimes you can get fun things.

Things like:

This is Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, he was Captain Marvel's pet during the make-no-sense era or something. He was released by Dc Direct in 2007 as part of the Shazam! line and is a figure I always thought to be fun, but not enough to actively search for it. But there it was, right in front of me in some guys table.

The seller also had Billy Batson (for me, he's like the accessory of this two-pack) but the paint was pretty damaged, Hoppy, on the other hand was perfect.

Image from Joe acevedo's site

The sculpt is really weird, he looks very cartoony, almost like a strange custom with a superhero type body and a Bugs Bunny head. Just another fun but not World changing figure from DCD homage to the silver age of comics and another cool addition to the Legion of Super Pets Squad! (yes, I just made that up)

Until next time.

(At least we didn't get an Uncle Marvel in the series).

Friday, August 13, 2010

The last Crusade

Hey, guys, do you remember this post?

What? You don't?

OK, it's all good... Go read it, I'll just wait here...


De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da, that's all I want to say...

Still reading? Man you're kinda slow... OK, I'll keep waiting...

... to you, De Do Do Do, Dee Da...

Oh, finally. OK, so you've read till the end when I mentioned Major Disaster from Toxic Crusaders right? Great, well, guess who can't control himself and it's not Bill Clinton? I'll give you three guesses.

"ME", the right answer was "ME".

You know those slow days when you start to wander on ebay just because? Well, I found this pretty nice auction for all the remaining figures I needed of the Toxic Crusaders line. Eight figures total some are awesome, some are good, all of them are really freaky.

These are the good guys:

(Yes, those are the good guys)

By now, you know Major Disaster, an eco friendly hero so much cooler than Captain Planet, and if you are among the select few that consider Toxic Avenger a work of cinematic art, then you are probably familiar with Toxie too. Lets get something out there from the beginning, you may notice that all of the figures have very noticeable paint stains, well those are not stains, it is, in fact glow in the dark paint sprayed on each figure, since this didn't follow a pattern, you can say that each figure is somewhat unique. I like that, plus it makes the figures look kinda campy, just like the movie was.

It's great to have a Toxie toy, although a bit of a caricature I just wanted one since I saw the movie for the first time (side geeky note: Marisa Tomei started her career in Toxic Avenger as one of the girls from the health club pool, true story that nobody wants to hear). Toxie's friend, and God's gift to women (check out that tongue!), is called Junkyard, it's your average mutated dog fused with a hobo thanks to the power of radioactive waste... y'know, the story of my life. Both sculpts are fun but I'd be happier if Junkyards tongue was retractable, you can store it in his mouth but the figure looks odd that way.

Since we are talking about 1990s Playmates here, all the figures came with a ton of accessories even with one that was in a plastic bag and said "SECRET GLO-IN-THE-DARK WEAPON: So radioactive, we've put it under wraps!", yes, that meant that every figure came with a GITD accessory and it was secret. I would have loved this as a kid, damn, I even love it now!

Junkyard GITD weapon was a rolled up newspaper with spikes (awesome), and Toxie's was this:

His own pet ghost, Blobbie.

The other two good guys are Nozone and Headbanger. Nozone is like one of those gimmicky characters that you might enjoy for some time, but then it gets kinda boring. Yes, he has a huge nose, and you can take his hat off and pour some slime so it will look like mucus. Funny... for, like, a minute. But the character design has some cool things, the wheel instead of his right foot is a great detail. Headbanger is the one I'm not thrilled about, he looks a bit out of scale and the sculpt in both the surfer dude and scientist is not Playmates best work. One cool thing is that one is called Fender and the other Bender... I laughed at that...

On to the villains, one thing I liked about this series is that both bad guys and good guys were monsters. And I liked monsters for as long as I can remember (that's why the Evil Warriors of Skeletor always defeated the normal He-Man and his normal boring Human Friends).

The main villain of the series was Dr. Killemoff, and I must say I respect a guy that can make the four arm / purple suit / gas mask combo work and, boy, does the good Doctor succeed. The figure came with plastic tubes to attach to the mask, but I think it looks better without them. The other figure is Radiation Ranger, this one really needed the tubes. He's the army builder of the series, the Rangers are like Killemoff Stormtroopers.

The other two are called Bonehead (lame name, cool figure) and Psycho (cool name, not so crazy about the figure). Bonehead is a punk biker that enjoys acid rain and polluting the Earth (all the line had a message about ecology that was a bit ahead of its time in 1991 but it would be really in right now... Toxic Crusaders remake anyone?). Another thing about cool about him is that all of his accessories are GITD. The sculpt is simple but effective. Psycho has something that I don't really like, but I can't put my finger on. Since the figure has great detail, as all the others, and has some cool design ideas, like the way his bionic leg continues from his knee, I'll say that what I don't like is the expression of his face.

Overall, a fun line to have and an easy one to complete (that's also fun). There they are, between Toynami's Futurama and Playmates WildC.A.T.S. on my display.

Until next time.

(Don't pollute and stay in school!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh, you know I couldn't resist!

(If you don't get this, check the last post)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A thought about art & toys

Let me start with a little digression:

Lets say you are a guy with some interest in art, lets say is the 1920s and lets assume the Internet exists. You, as a Man from the World start to check out those new forums about the things you are interested in and stumble across one called, it was created buy a guy called Mr_Bretontastic001 when he wrote the first post and forum manifesto. You decide to check out the forum, the members are one crazy bunch but they are cool and funny so you register, choose a nick that you thought was incredibly witty and edgy and you start posting too... Mostly pics of melting kittens with misspelled words as captions, you are so clever, you!

But then you check out the "Sell 'em, Trade 'em Rainbow Monkey Fish" board (hey, they were surrealists), and there you find the work of a pretty cool dude from Spain that calls himself Salvador_Dalicious. He's working on some lithographs, a very limited run, no more than 50 pieces and he's selling them. You like them so you buy a couple. After that Mr_Bretontastic001 bans Salvador_Dalicious for trolling, and somebody signs a urinal and everything goes to Hell.

But you get the art pieces, and they are great, and you know that maybe the World doesn't know it yet, but that is nothing but great art.

Well, I felt that way today, when I went to the Post Office and picked up a huge box that contained these:

These are the first three figures designed by the German artist Hauke Scheer (his site here), Hauke is a multi talented artist that not only created these characters but also did some animation and gave them a mythos of their own. These are also limited to 50 pieces.

U.R.I.NAL 9000 was the first figure that caught my eye, and the first I decided to get. Because it's a robot, it's a urinal, and it's just so insane that it can't not be great. Not a lot of backstory here, U.R.I.NAL 9000 is a machine built to fulfill mankind needs to relieve themselves in civilized way. And clean your hands afterwards, check the top of the head:

The sculpt is great, incredibly original. The black paint apps have some minor issues but it doesn't affect the figure as a whole. A thing that caught me completely by surprise is the weight of the figure and the quality of the materials. It's incredibly solid.

This guy's name is Dick Satisfaction. Yep, now I can say I ordered some Dick Satisfaction and paid with Paypal... I'd feel a bit ashamed if this figure didn't pack so much awesome. He's a hairless genetically altered wolfman bounty hunter from another dimension. If that didn't get you going, you really need some Dick Satisfaction.

He comes with a base that doesn't need, since he stands perfectly on his own, and with a disembodied victim head. Again the sculpt is amazing as is the attention to detail. Oh, did I mention the grenades attached to his nipples? I must have mentioned the nipple grenades...

And last but certainly not least is Callamorr:

I wasn't sure if I was going to get this figure. And I would be kicking myself in the crotch if I didn't because is my favorite of the bunch. The sculpt here is absolutely incredible, the paint is sharp and the concept is great. Go to Sheer's page to see the other characters that are coming.

Until next time.

(You may notice the lack of the silly toys comic in this post. I decided that since all I can think is nipple grenade jokes, I better stay out of this one).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Silver age goodness

As a teenager of the 90s I grew up with the gritty look of comics, people died, Batman was as crazy as the villains he fought and Superman's cape was shredded in every battle he had. Did I mentioned Superman had a mullet, Batman never shaved, the second Robin was dead and Rob Liefeld had established that lots of pouches and no feet were the way to go if you were an X-Men.

During that time I wanted my comics like my coffee, dark and with just a little pinch of vanilla. In that time I decided that the Adam West' Batman I loved during my childhood was stupid and that old comics with silly stories were impossible to enjoy. I guess I was trying to prove I was a man.

Later, I realized how incredibly idiotic this was (I don't even like pouches that much anymore) and in the moment I realized that, I became a better man and just a little bit happier. Why? Because what makes a person better is to experiment and investigate and try new things and acknowledge that not everything that is different is bad. It's called experience.

So I went out, and got this:

Pictured: Experience.

This is DC Direct Silver Age classic set of Batwoman, Batgirl, Bat-mite and Ace the Bat-hound. Characters so silly (most of them anyway) that I wouldn't have paid any attention to them in my gritty pouched years.

Batgirl and Batwoman are nice enough I still believe is not the brightest idea to go and fight crime in the night wearing yellow, green and red outfits. But hey, who am I to judge? They also have their utility purses... I guess that was a little silly, but as I said to that online test about sexual preferences: "the more bat-people, the merrier".

The sculpts are pretty good, it was 2004, quite a good year for DC Direct, they both stand on their own, and they are both graced with a happy silver age smile. And there's so much frowning toys in my Batman display that I'll keep these two around to even the odds.

Bat-Mite is a figure of a character I understand but, like the great Gazoo, never fully liked. It was also the one I less needed, since he was re-released in a Bat-characters box in June this year with a slightly different paint. Oh DCD, I know you too well already...

Still Bati-Duende (Bat-Goblin, as he was called in Spanish) is a nice addition to the bat-shelf.

But the real reason I couldn't let this great box go was this:

Ace, the Bat-hound. My all time favorite Super Pet. Why? Because he's Batman's dog! Because he wears a mask and a collar with the bat symbol! Because he can easily defeat Catwoman and even Catman! Because with enough time to prepare he can beat Krypto too!

The Ace figure was considered more like an accessory, so he has almost no articulation, but he stands perfectly and was placed with the due respect right in front Batman in the shelf. Because if I'm going to be in a display case for the rest of my toy existence I'd like to have my dog there with me. It's just the humane thing to do.

Until next time.

(Damn, all this talk about the 90s... I think I'll have that nightmare with the pouches again...)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ode to Orko

The AFB Forum is having a sweet contest that may allow you to win a Matty Exclusive Orko (Non SDCC) or a PLastic Man (Without suitcase). Since both items sold out from their webpage (how weird is that?), this might be one of the only ways to get them without e-paying your ass off.

What do you have to do to win? Just be a little creative, and try to come up with something funny to say: write and Ode to Orko or a Plea for Plastic Man, whatever dudes, you are creative and I know it.

I wrote a poem in the style of my favorite rapper: Dr. Seuss (East Side represent!).

And here it is:

"Ode to Orko" a poem with toys by Freak Studio

With Bwana Beast in the role of Freak Studio
And narrated (in your imagination) by Sir Ian McKellen