Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The three "Rs" of toy marketing: (R)eboot, (R)efresh, (R)elease characters nobody wants...


I'm not just talking about movies, "reboot" seems to be a magical word that can be applied to anything these days. And it is a welcome word in some cases and it's a most feared concept the rest of the time.

Don't get me wrong, change is a good thing. It's a great thing, but only if timming is good. When Mattel announced that they were going to turn the Batman the Brave and the Bold - Action League line into DC Universe Action League I celebrated the idea. That meant more characters and less Batman variants.

But remember what I said about timming? In this case, Mattel, like happens to a lot of people in bed, started too slow and finished too early... Or so I've heard it happens... I mean, it never happened to me... Ehm... Moving on...

What I'm trying to say is that they never released the last wave of Brave and the Bold. And it was a good wave, thanks to the stolen factory samples we all know and love, we know we missed Robin, Solomon Grundy, Green Lantern Sinestro, Bronze Tiger, Deadman, Alloy and Ted Kord Blue Beetle. That sounds good to you too, huh?

Let's see what we got instead:

It's a pretty cool first wave anyway. Two very interesting two-packs and two semi-lame ones. That's six cool figures out of a total of eight. Not bad. Not bad at all.

(But don't worry Mattel haters, these numbers will surely change in the next, already announced, waves)

The Flash and Captain Boomerang was probably my favorite. I love both characters, and although I would have liked a classic Digger, I'm not against this brightest day redesign.

Flash (like Superman) came with a base to help the running/flying look. The base is small, stable and it fits perfectly on the peg. Flash's supposed to have his fist forward like he's punching something, but there's a lot of figures that have that pose. So I'll pose it like this.

Boomerang is the less stable of the wave, he doesn't fall but he's much more sensitive to strong vibrations than the others.

The Superman/Bizarro pack was the other great one we got in this wave.

Bizarro is very well done, looks a little bit like Quasimodo in this design, I like the fact that he's not just a copy of Superman but has so many distinctive features, like the longer arms and open hands.He also has the strange honor of being the second figure in the line with an accessory (I can't remember if any of the Batmen from TB&TB had any, so I'm just counting Gorilla Grodd and his removable helmet). A really big chunk of Kryptonite, he's supposed to hold it over his head, but if you have patience and a little bit of balancing skill you can find other ways to display the character.

I'm not a Superfan, but this line was deffinitely lacking in Kryptonians, so he's welcome and he looks good too.


What changed in this line from the previous TB&TB? The hands in the new ones are bigger and they have a little bit more detailed sculpt (now they have abs and ribs, for example).

Batman & Superman - Until Mattel releases a new Batman (and probably other Superman).

This is one of the Semi-lame packs, Firestorm is great, again, I like the character, the figure looks great and it is super fun. With that color scheme he really pops up on the shelf.

Black Lantern Firestorm or Deathstorm on the other hand, is pretty much "meh". I know he's now his own character, but I would have liked other characters more, like Killer Frost, or Plastique or Multiplex... Hell, I would even have accepted Doctor Double X, he was in the cartoon, in the episode that Firestorm was created and I'm sure he has more appearances than Deathstorm.

Finally my least favorite pack. And not because of Green Lantern, he's really cool looking (although he had a few paint marks on the chin). This is the year of the Lantern and I get that, but still this line is getting to be a bit too Lantern-Centric for my taste. Kilowog, John Stewart, Tomar Re, Low from the Sinestro Corps, Atrocitus from the Red Lantern Corps and some weird ball guy from the Red Lanterns have been announced. It's too much.

The third "R" takes us to White Lantern Sinestro. I really don't like this dude. I mean, I have nothing against him, as a Con exclusive, for example (I own one of the DCD exclusives). But a White Lantern Sinestro here is not the same, this one is taking the spot of other more deserving characters and even is taking the spot of even more deserving incarnations of himself. I would have taken Green Lantern Sinestro, Sinestro corps Sinestro and even blue/black Sinestro costume before this one.

Well, at least this line still made justice for one guy...

Until next time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How do you call the love child of Grizzlor and Buzz-Off?


OK, OK... Sorry.

I'm trying to pick up the pace in my MOTU Classics reviews, so I tried mixing to very different figures under one title.

But there are other thing that these characters have in common, for starters the Bio writers tried to be funny with their real names: Buzz-Off is "Tzzzzt zz zzTTTzz" and Grizzlor is "Gur'rull Gu'rrooowarrrk"... Really, Bio writers? Really? OK, nice try... But you should leave the funny part to guys like me. Why? Because the stupid joke I opened the post with will only last a post... And it will not be printed in every fucking package the figure is in... That's why!

Anyway, I'll start with Grizzlor.

I owned (a never truly liked) Grizzlor when I was a kid. He was like a fur ball with arms and legs and therefore, not very threatening. The lack of shape of the body was a turn down for me, because, let's face it, he didn't even look like a bear... He was more like the Pink Panther after coming out of the washing machine...

The 200X MOTU staction of Grizzlor improved greatly on the original design by adding shape and a shit load of weapons. The new one, sadly, didn't evolve as much.

(But he did rocked some serious Son-Goku hair)

There's not much to say about Grizzlor other than "he's the furry dude". The face sculpt is great and I like the added loincloth, a detail absent from the vintage and present in the staction that gives him some definition to his body.

But Grizzlor really kicks some serious ass in the weapons department, his got axes, machetes, knives and a Horde cross-bow! The best part is that everything can be stored in his back-pack. Each weapon is sculpted very well and looks great on him. I will display it with the little axe, because is different than the other weapons on the line.

At home, the one that got really excited with Grizzlor was my wife, because only she, with years and years of Barbie experience, was able to comb Grizzlor's fur into this stylish new hairdo...

Buzz-Off is a different story, I really liked this figure when I was a kid. He wasn't my favorite, not by a long shot, but I always had a soft spot for him.

The sculpt is great, I'm OK with the reused parts from Whiplash, the paint really gives him a new personality with no need for more extra tooling than what he has. He comes with his helmet and two weapons, but I'll display him without them.

I don't like the helmet for nostalgic reasons, I didn't really liked how the vintage helmet looked in the figure. Plus, the color of the eyes makes him pop on the shelf. I won't display him with weapons (he comes with two of them), because why would you need a tiny axe having razor sharp claws?

The sad part is that paint wise my Buzz-Off had some QC issues. The paint in the eyes, for example, wasn't very good.

The best parts of Buzz-Off (vintage and classic) are his wings. Casted in clear plastic and using ball joints in tha back, I just love how they look. And all the cool display options you have with them. He can stand easily even with his wings open, and that's great.

I said it before, and I'll say it again, I loved Buzz-Off as a kid because he was one of the very few monsters the heroic warriors had on their side on the first three waves of MOTU. In Argentina those were the biggest waves, the fourth with Sy-Klone, Roboto and Moss-man wasn't as popular as the others, and some characters were harder to find.

But I say this so often is time to prove my point, so here it is, a list of all heroic warrior from the first three waves:

He-Man - Magically altered human.
Man-at-arms - Mustache wielding human.
Stratos - Some sort of flying almost human creature? Flying ape? He looked human.
Teela - Hot human.
Man-E-Faces - Altered schizophrenic human.
Ram-man - Mutated and mentally challenged human.
Fisto - Altered human. Possibly chronic masturbator.
Mekaneck - Altered human with useless power.
Prince Adam - Sissy human.
Orko - Non-human. Annoying and useless in battle.
Buzz-Off - Honest to God monster.

Now I'll just have to think something else these characters have in common so I can close the review... Oh, yeah, this:

Until next time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dunny by artist: Clark R.

Sometimes you come across a custom so good you just need to have it. Most of the custom dunnys I have were made by friends or other people I know. In this case, I didn't knew the artist, I just saw a post about him on Spanky Stokes' blog and I immediately contacted this so called "Clark R."

The name of the custom was Day Dreamer Dunny.

Clark was super cool and told me he was going to do a run of 20 of the DDD (Day Dreamer Dunny) but that they were not ready yet. I liked the box the dunny came in, but I liked this even more:

I like that he took the time to write something in the box for me. I try to do it when I mail something too (not always, I'm afraid, but I try to do it as much as possible), because what we are doing here is not only buying or selling or trading is also getting to know people that share your passion, and I dig that.

But let's get to the toy, what caught my attention that badly?

Here it is:

This is a 3" dunny. Is painted white (is very shinny too), and inside his clear head there's some incredible micro-sculpting. I tried to take better pics of it, but it was really difficult 'cause they turned either too dark or the light was reflected on the plastic. Here's the best one.

You can still tell how awesome it is. The details and colors on the little landscape are great. Is one of those pieces that just makes you smile when you are working sixteen hours a day with just two thoughts: "I really want to be outside right now" and "man, that shotgun wasn't THAT expensive".

On those days, this dunny makes you forget that shotgun. That's how good it is.

Until next time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

That's one angry pussy...

So I reached THAT level, y'know? I'm in THAT deep that I can even post about it without feeling shame (well, just a little bit of shame, but not enough! Not enough, I tell you! Not enough!).

I bought a toy just to get the accessory! And the accessory is a Red Lantern (the color of fury) and it is also a cat. What? What were you thinking? Pervs...

Last week I got this:

That's DC Direct's Red Lantern Mera from Blackest Night Wave 7. Man! Seven waves already? Yeah, seven waves and they are not even done yet! When I read it, I though Blackest Night was OK, and the toys are pretty cool (I'm still looking for that damned Larfleeze).

Like some of my friends I was annoyed that the first Mera figure ever was a two-page gimmick like this one. Don't get me wrong, the figure is great, lacks articulation (like most figures from DCD), but it has great detail and sculpt. Luckily a regular Mera will come out as part of the Brightest day line (also from DCD).

It's really weird, but now that DCD is kinda trying to do never released characters (they are releasing Mera, Hawk, Dove, the new Aqualad, Jade, etc.) Mattel decided to do an entire wave of substitute lanterns. It's like the world has gone mad! Mad, I tell you! Mad! (I really should cut that out).

But why did I get Mera if I didn't really want her? For this:

That's Dex-Starr a Red Lantern that used to be a cat and now is a little feline killing machine. Apparently he was drawn as a joke and he was weird and so out of place, that they decided to leave him. And, for what I've heard he became a fan favorite.

His back story is actually great, probably one of the best things Geoff Johns ever wrote. But maybe to sad for you, so I probably shouldn't post it... I'm just kidding, here it is!

The sculpt on Dex-Starr is great, but when I got it out of the blister I couldn't get him to stand. I thought it was a solid chunk of plastic that didn't stand on it's own and I was getting really pissed, at me, at DCD, at the Guardians of the Universe, at God, whatever, I was just angry enough to vomit acid blood.

So I turned to the Internet, source of all reason and justice... But the online reviews didn't give me any hope, just a bunch of people complaining about how Dex-Starr wouldn't stand. But they did give a crucial piece of information, the tail was articulated.

Then I realized, it's not that he can't stand, it's just that the tail is packed on the wrong side of the body. Force it a bit to the other side, no hair driers or hot water required and...

Wait for it...

He can stand! It's a miracle I tell you! A miracle!

Sorry, I had to do it one last time.

Until next time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dreams can come true...

If you have access to the Internet and a credit card.

In my trip to San Francisco last year I found a very cool tiny figure called Mini Gobi, the company that made him is Muttpop, and I said at that time that I wanted the figures from the Lucha Libre line Muttpop was doing.

But, at that time, I was one of two possible kinds of bastards:

1) A lazy bastard. Too comfortable to track this figures down.
2) A cheap bastard. Too greedy to buy the figures I wanted.

Well, I don't really like to call this personal growth, but Hell, I'm no longer cheap nor lazy since I tracked down those toys and I bought them like there was no tomorrow!

Yay me! (I think...)

Some of them got to me with the help of a dear friend of mine (more on him when I get to those toys).

Let's start with these.

I got this from an online toy store. First of all I got one of my Holy Grails Dr. Destruction.

According to his bio, Dr. Destruction is French, that explains his French mustache and the cigarette, because unless you are The Penguin you have to be French to smoke like that, right? Actually no, but hey, whatever, the figure is cool.

I really like the almost animé features of his smile. I can really see the artwork that lead to this figure. The cape, cane and cigarette are separate pieces, and you can display Dr. Destruction without them, but I don't know why would you want to do that. He looks so incredibly awesome.

There's almost no articulation but these are more like vinyl statues and not action figures, a shame since you can't really play with them and they look like awesome toys to play with.

Tequila is one of the big guys of the line. His bio says that he was raised by cacti, probably agave since his name is Tequila and that's the plant tequila is made of. I always thought tequila was distilled from drunken worms and broken dreams, a guy can be wrong y'know?

Tequila is great, the sculpt looks amazing and his poncho is removable. He was the first figure released by Muttpop, I couldn't get the original release of Tequila, but I didn't want to get one of the repaints (although there's a very very cool Incredible Hulk one...). Apparently the guys at Muttpop had us covered because they did Tequila 2.0

2.0 is Basically the same paint with a bloody fist and a blood splatter in his clothes. Fits perfectly for a guy that looks like this if you ask me.

These toys are great, and big, and for me are some of those things that you just know you need when you see them. Keep them coming Muttpop, and I'll keep buying them.

Did I mention they were big?

Until next time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thundercats of the Universe Classics

Like my friend Scott, I'm way behind in my MOTUC posts, so this month I'll try to pick up the pace. I still don't have Bow, and he should be here any day now, but I have several characters to get to before that. I'll try to do one MOTU post a week to make up for lost time. I decided to start with him:

I think I was one of the few people that was really excited about getting a Chief Carnivus, I liked the 200X cartoon, and I love the 200X toy line so having him and Count Marzo just improves my chances of ever getting a King Dactys figure...

That's a freaky toy collector dream, I tell you...

But Carnivus is a great character on his own right. Many said that Mattel released Carnivus as a way to show collectors what they were missing when Bandai got the Thundercats license, I don't know if that's right (probably not), but those Classic 8" Lion-O and Tygra Bandai showed look awesome anyway.

Carnivus' sculpt is incredible, some reuse from Beastman and a lot of new tooling, and I really like the new parts: the head, paws, sword, shield, armor and cape. He looks like a lion king (ha!) and If I had a Chief Carnivus in the vintage line when I was a kid he could have totally been Lion-O's father. Tell me that doesn't have a huge amount of play value.

The sculpt in the shield is particularly impressive, proving once again just how talented the 4 Horsemen truly are.

I'm trying to follow Eternian history through the bios, but it's really complicated, I think, most of the time, Eternian warriors weren't sure who the fuck they were fighting. They'd charge into battle, kill a few enemies and then go "You'll never get away with this, Skeletor... Oh, we are fighting the Snake-Men today... My bad... OK... You'll never get away with this, King Hsss!".

Maybe Mattel could add a non character specific Eternian time line with each figure starting, I don't know, with the Faceless One or something. That way, if you collect all figures for the next year or so you can have a complete time line that will maybe (just barely maybe) help you understand that world.

Another plus of Chief Carnivus is that he adds non-human characters to the good guys. That, I've said it already, was something I always felt they were lacking. you have a lot of altered humans fighting with He-Man (and a giant bee), but the monsters were mostly in Skeletor's side. That's why he usually won when I was a kid. I like monsters. Maybe with guys like Carnivus and Dactys on the team those battles would have been a little less one-sided.

Until next time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Since my idiotic drawings were, mostly, accepted the other day, I'll upload now and then some stupid (badly) drawn doodles. Here's the first.

A chronic masturbator turned into a zombie becomes...

We'll be back with our usual toy posts.