Sunday, November 24, 2013

#023: Spider-Man (Classic) - 2011 Marvel Universe Comic Pack

#023: Spider-Man (classic) - 2011 Marvel Universe Comic Pack

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Character Name: Spider-Man
Series/Property: Marvel Comics Universe
Toy Line: Marvel Universe
Company: Hasbro
Year Released: 2011
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: US$14.99 (for the whole set)
Character's First Appearance:  Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
Toy Based on Appearance in: Amazing Spider-Man #38 (July 1966) / art of John Romita, Sr. / 1970's style
Style: Modern Action Figure

An excellent classic 1970's style Spider-Man figure.

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This figure is extremely articulated.

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Includes web accessory, which went right into the spare parts bin.

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With VOTC Han Solo for scale.

As you can see with the picture above, Marvel Universe figures tend to scale really large.  Most heroes are a full head taller than your average 3.75 inch figure.

Whether either is actually truly "3.75-inch scale" is a subject of heated debate; since the figures look really nice for the most part, I don't mind.  Plus I somewhat segregate my super heroes and science fiction displays.

MU vs. Spider-Man line
With another Spider-Man figure from the "Spider-Man 3-3/4 inch" line.

The problem starts when you try to combine them with other lines, even other Marvel lines.  Put Spidey here in front of a 1:18 scale car and you begin to see how really tall he is.

IMG_1329The set also included a 1970's Captain Britain figure.

But with other Marvel Universe figures, he looks great, and isn't a gangly giant.  I tend to not get that crazy about scale- unless it just looks ridiculous.  An example to me of ridiculous would be the first MU Wolverine, as it was clearly way too tall compared to the other figures; or a Luke Skywalker who stands head-to-head with Chewbacca.

Spider-Men
Clockwise from upper left: Classic Spidey; Scarlet Spider; Black Spider-Man; New Spider-Man (Clone Saga)

Another issue I have with the Marvel Universe line is the plastic T-bar hips.  They, simply, suck.  They feel cheap.  Why they make the support bars out of plastic (besides being cheap) is beyond me.  The hips in the Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, and Wolverine lines are mostly balls or another type of sturdy joint.  And G.I.Joe figures don't suffer from this because the bar is metal.  Why they didn't just save themselves the hassle and make it metal is beyond me.

I'm no where near completist on this line.  I do however have a lot of them, and have a need to buy the classic characters in their classic looks.  I am a real sucker for the Fantastic Four, 1980's Avengers, 70's & 80's X-Men, and the super cheesy villains.  You'll see, though, I get whatever I think looks cool.  I need a Paste-Pot Pete figure.



Sources:
Spider-Man:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man
Cool Toy Review:  http://www.cooltoyreview.com/Hasbro_MU_GB_Spidey-CapBritain.asp

Saturday, November 23, 2013

#022: The First Doctor - Character Options 5-inch figure

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Character Name: The First Doctor
Series/Property: Doctor Who
Toy Line: Doctor Who (Eleven Doctors Action Figure Set)
Company: Character Options
Year Released: 2010
Size/Scale: 5 inches
Character's First Appearance: "An Unearthly Child" (1963)
Toy Based on Appearance in: "The Three Doctors" (1972)
As portrayed by: William Hartnell
Style: Modern Action Figure

Another of my favorites... I have an addiction to 60's Sci-Fi that knows no bounds.  "The Dalek's Masterplan" is one of my favorite stories from the era.


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Friday, November 22, 2013

#021: Superman - 2008 Mattel Infinite Heroes

#021: Superman - 2008 Infinite Heroes

Infinite Heroes Superman
Character Name: Superman
Series/Property: DC Comics Universe
Toy Line: DC Infinite Heroes
Company: Mattel
Year Released: 2008
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: --
Character's First Appearance:  Detective Comics #1 (1938)
Toy Based on Appearance in:  Man of Steel #1 (1986) ; DC Superfriends cartoon; Super Powers figure (1984)
Style: Modern Action Figure

This figure seems to be based on John Byrne's classic redesign of Superman in the mid 1980's.

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This is a standard, classic, no frills Superman toy.

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The big 1986 style "S" symbol.

Superman's cape
Yellow superman shield on the cape.

Infinite Heroes Supermen
Superman (classic); Superman (Heat Vision); Superman Prime; unreleased Silver Age style Superman (Earth 2)

Justice League
With the classic Justice League lineup.

Sources:

Superman:  http://superman.wikia.com/wiki/Superman_Wiki
Cool Toy Review:   http://www.cooltoyreview.com/Mattel_DCIH_Superman.asp
John Byrne's Superman:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_of_Steel_(comics)

#020: The Second Doctor - Character Options 5-inch figure

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Character Name: The Second Doctor
Series/Property: Doctor Who
Toy Line: Doctor Who (Eleven Doctors Action Figure Set)
Company: Character Options
Year Released: 2010
Size/Scale: 5 inches
Character's First Appearance: "The Tenth Planet" (1966)
Toy Based on Appearance in: "The Three Doctors" (1972)
As portrayed by: Patrick Troughton
Style: Modern Action Figure

The Second Doctor is another favorite.  My favorite story is probably "The Invasion."  This figure is just so, so much fun.

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#019: Captain Kirk - Ertl 1984 Star Trek III

#019: Captain Kirk - Ertl 1984 Star Trek III

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Character Name: Captain James T. Kirk
Series/Property: Star Trek
Toy Line: Star Trek III
Company: Ertl
Year Released: 1984
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: US$---
Character's First Appearance:  Star Trek (1966 TV)
Toy Based on Appearance in: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)
As portrayed by:  William Shatner
Character Created by: Gene Roddenberry
Style: Vintage Action Figure

I wanted these figures so badly in the 80's as a child.  I never got them.

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Carded figure before restoration. He's a mess.

They were way too expensive in the 1990's for me to afford, and loose examples today are usually in bad shape, or the gold trim has worn off their badges (a big deal for me.)  They're also made of a really fragile plastic, so often they are broken at the thumbs, elbows, shoulder, etc.

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Back of the card showing the other toys Ertl made for Star Trek III.

So I decided to buy some and restore them.  By restoring them, I mean that I replaced the rubber bands, and changed the T-bars out for new ones.

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Kirk included a tricorder or log of some type (left.)  

Spock and Scotty, who both should have came with the tricorder, instead came with phasers.  Kirk, who should have come with a phaser, came with the captain's log/tricorder/communicator/whatever. It's unimportant because all of the accessories are way too big and don't work so great anyway.  They look better empty-handed.

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So happy to add Shatner in his proper turtleneck to my collection.

One day I'd like to get all of the Ertl Star Trek III toys.

Sources:
Memory Alpha:  http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/James_T._Kirk
cooltoyreview:  http://www.cooltoyreview.com/Ertl_Kirk.asp

Thursday, November 21, 2013

#018: The Third Doctor - Character Options 5-inch figure

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Character Name: The Third Doctor
Series/Property: Doctor Who
Toy Line: Doctor Who (Eleven Doctors Action Figure Set)
Company: Character Options
Year Released: 2010
Size/Scale: 5 inches
Character's First Appearance: "Spearhead from Space" (1970)
Toy Based on Appearance in: "Carnival of Monsters / Frontier in Space / Green Death (1973)
As portrayed by: Jon Pertwee
Style: Modern Action Figure

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A really great likeness, and while not the first Third Doctor figure (that honor goes to Dapol and their 3 3/4" Pertwee)- CO has made the best so far.

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Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Doctor

#017: Worf - 1987 Galoob Star Trek The Next Generation

#017: Worf - 1987 Galoob Star Trek The Next Generation


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Character Name: Worf
Series/Property: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Toy Line: Star Trek The Next Generation
Company: Galoob
Year Released: 1987
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: US$---
Character's First Appearance:  Star Trek The Next Generation Episode 1
Toy Based on Appearance in: Star Trek The Next Generation Season 1
As portrayed by:  Michael Dorn
Character Created by: Gene Roddenberry or Worf himself
Style: Vintage Action Figure


I am not the biggest Star Trek The Next Generation fan, but the first two seasons are amazing and quite fun, and a big part of that is Worf.  Worf!


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Worf included this cellphone/purse... I mean Tricorder.

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As with all the crew of the Enterprise, he can only raise his fist in encouragement.

Worf.

I love Worf.

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The Enterprise D crew, 1987.


Sources:

Memory Alpha:  http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Worf
Worf:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edflm7Hh3hs

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#016: The Fourth Doctor - Character Options 5-inch figure

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Character Name: The Fourth Doctor
Series/Property: Doctor Who
Toy Line: Doctor Who (Eleven Doctors Action Figure Set)
Company: Character Options
Year Released: 2010
Size/Scale: 5 inches
Character's First Appearance: "Planet of Spiders" (1974)
Toy Based on Appearance in: "Seeds of Doom" (1976)
As portrayed by: Tom Baker
Style: Modern Action Figure


Tom Baker is tied for my favorite Doctor, and "City of Death" is probably my favorite serial next to "The Invasion."  When I was young in the late 80's/ early 90's PBS no longer showed any Fourth Doctor serials, and the VHS cassettes were incredibly expensive and rarely seen for sale.  When I rediscovered the show in the early 2010's, I finally saw "Pyramids of Mars," one of the most famous and popular of the Fourth Doctor's serials.  It did not disappoint, and I continued on to watch all the serials I could.  Baker is probably the most famous and well-known Doctor, and that is because he is simply amazing in the role.



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I'm sure you will see this figure again and often on this blog, it's one of my favorites.

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Doctor

#015: Batman (Classic Blue) - 2008 Mattel DC Infinite Heroes

#015: Batman (Classic Blue) - 2008 Mattel DC Infinite Heroes

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Character Name: Batman
Series/Property: DC Comics Universe
Toy Line: DC Infinite Heroes
Company: Mattel
Year Released: 2009
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: --
Character's First Appearance:  Detective Comics #39 (1939)
Toy Based on Appearance in: Detective Comics #395 (1970) and the 1970's art of Neal Adams / DC Superfriends cartoon / Super Powers figure (1984)
Style: Modern Action Figure

Infinite Heroes: one of the greatest disappointments to DC fans in the 2000's.  Just the mere mention of the line sends shivers up nerds spines.  Always the butt of a joke, always held up of an example of what not to do by modern toy fans.  And as always, I love the outcasts- this is one of my favorite toy lines, ever.

There was such promise in 2008; Mattel announced it was going to offer kids and collectors the first 3.75" line of DC Comics super heroes in over two decades (no, JLU doesn't count! They're not in scale at all, no matter what people say.) and right off the bat they announced a number of  obscure characters in the first wave, like Black Hand and Adam Strange.

Right away, fans (and store buyers) were upset the actual product looked nothing like the detailed prototypes shown at Comic Con, and the retail price per figure was quite high for a line with zero accessories and limited articulation.  Once fans got them in hand, they hated them with a vigor I haven't seen in years.  They hated the big, kid accessory-friendly hands. They hated how they were a little small compared to GIJOE and Star Wars figures, and tiny compared to the slightly-big-for-scale Marvel Universe figures available at the same time.  And once fans saw how they could bend their Marvel Universe figures into pretzels, Infinite Heroes was becoming a distant vision in the rear-view mirrors of many.  An interesting footnote of "what could have been" for many fans.

But not me.  I loved this line, still do.  The articulation is not all over the place, but the toys can mostly sit, hold things, and stand there pretty.  They look like the characters, and they're sturdy and fun.  They made display stands.  The problem was, this line could have been huge, especially for kids, if not for the ridiculously expensive price per figure.  I still don't understand why they don't just re-issue the main characters and villains, and make it a budget-store line like Hasbro has for its Marvel and GIJOE lines.

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L-R: The basic various body styles of the line:  Infinte Heroes 1.0; Infinite Heroes 2.0; and various unique sculpts for special figures, like Batman on the right.

Infinite Heroes is one of the few toy lines I've ever been "Completist" on.  It is truly difficult to be 100% completist on Infinite Heroes (or DCIH for short)- as there are four figures (three prototypes that were never released, and one 30-inch tall Anti-Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths of which thirty were made for a controversial contest) that a collector is not likely to find for sale, even at high prices.  While I would love to own those four toys and be complete on the line, I also don't want to spend enough money to buy a car on four figures, especially for things less than ten years old.  It really made me look at myself, and change how I collect nowadays.  While I am no longer "completist" on this line, I would like to document what was released, as there is no real complete truthful online checklist for this line as of 2013.

This is another favorite, Classic Blue, or as some fans call, "Detective" version, of Batman.  The "Detective" term used for this costume comes from Mattel's DC Universe line, and one of the first figures released: a Neal Adams-style Batman called "Batman (Detective)" from 2008.  This flies in the face of almost twenty years of collecting, as the "Detective Batman" term comes from the Batman: The Animated Series line of the 1990's and it's infamously hard-to-find at first normal (non-neon) Detective Batman figure.  This term has been used since to refer to Batman on various other toys, and other media, always in a black cape/mask with gray bodysuit, with the single black angular Bat symbol on his chest.

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This figure, with it's blue cape/mask, grey bodysuit, and rounded Bat symbol in a yellow oval, has usually been referred to as the "Classic" look, as it has appeared more than any other look of Batman in video games, cartoons, lunchboxes, toys, etc. since at least the early 70's (if not before.)  So to me I'm not going to jump onto some multinational's marketing bandwagon.  I'm going to stick with what I know and what makes me happy... so "Classic" it is.

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I don't care what other people think.  I love this line.  It's fun, cheap, and best of all, no one else cares.  They're goofy, they're fun, and it's a great time tracking them all down.

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Batman (Detective); Batman (Classic); Batman (Public Enemies); Batman (Gotham Knights.)

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With a small sampling of the bat-family figures in the line.

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The classic Justice League of America lineup.

As far as I can tell, this line never made it to my home here in Spain- I've never seen them on the shelves, or at any comic stores here. (I bought all of mine in the US and most at a severe discount.)

Sources:

Batman:  http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Batman_(Bruce_Wayne)
Cool Toy Review:   http://www.cooltoyreview.com/Mattel_DCIH_Batman3.asp
Neal Adams' Batman:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Adams#Batman

If you live in Guragaon, India, then Batman is not a vigilante, he's a food delivery guy:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Need-something-after-midnight-Call-Batman/articleshow/20320284.cms

#014: The Fifth Doctor - Character Options 5-inch figure

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Character Name: The Fifth Doctor
Series/Property: Doctor Who
Toy Line: Doctor Who (Eleven Doctors Action Figure Set)
Company: Character Options
Year Released: 2010
Size/Scale: 5 inches
Character's First Appearance: "Castrovalva (1982)"
Toy Based on Appearance in: Season 19 (1982)
As portrayed by: Peter Davison
Style: Modern Action Figure


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This toy is spot-on, and one of the few representations of the Fifth Doctor in plastic.

DSCN1395

This version depicts the look from the 1982 season of the show, the Fifth Doctor's first.


Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fifth_Doctor

#013: Rebel Fleet Trooper #3 (Custom) - 2011 Vintage Collection

#013: Rebel Fleet Trooper #3 (Custom) - 2011 Vintage Collection

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Character Name: Rebel Fleet Trooper
Series/Property: Star Wars
Toy Line: Vintage Collection (VC52)
Company: Hasbro
Year Released: 2011
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: N/A
Character's First Appearance:  Star Wars (1977) (Episode IV: A New Hope)
Style: Modern Action Figure

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I changed the head on this figure too.

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It looks so much better when you swap heads on these figures.  Very happy that Hasbro planned on people doing this with their 2011-2012 lines.

Sources:
Wookieepedia:  http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rebel_trooper
Rebelscum:  http://www.rebelscum.com/TVC52Fleet.asp

Monday, November 18, 2013

#012: The Sixth Doctor - Character Options 5-inch figure

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Character Name: The Sixth Doctor
Series/Property: Doctor Who
Toy Line: Doctor Who (Eleven Doctors Action Figure Set)
Company: Character Options
Year Released: 2010
Size/Scale: 5 inches
Character's First Appearance: "The Caves of Androzani (1984)"
Toy Based on Appearance in: "Terror of the Vervoids (1986)"
As portrayed by: Colin Baker
Style: Modern Action Figure

The Sixth Doctor gets a bad rap... I think it's the coat.

But "The Two Doctors" is one of the best stories in the classic series, and not just because it was filmed mere blocks from where I live in Seville, Spain.

The stories are dripping with 80's cheese, cheap effects, and bad acting- but these are all things I love in my science fiction.   Baker is consistently awesome in creating a Doctor that simultaneously is a throwback to the first two Doctors, but with a sinister, dangerous side.   I remember in the 90's people hated the Troughton episodes, and now in the 2010s, they are considered some of the best (this is true.) Maybe as time passes people will love this era of the show more, and just accept it for what it is, a fun romp through the cosmos.

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Doctor

#011: Rebel Fleet Trooper #2 (Custom) - 2011 Vintage Collection

#011: Rebel Fleet Trooper #2 (Custom) - 2011 Vintage Collection

Fleet Trooper #2

Character Name: Rebel Fleet Trooper
Series/Property: Star Wars
Toy Line: Vintage Collection (VC52)
Company: Hasbro
Year Released: 2011
Size/Scale: 3.75 inches
Original Retail Price: N/A
Character's First Appearance:  Star Wars (1977) (Episode IV: A New Hope)
Style: Modern Action Figure

I changed the head on this figure so it didn't look like everyone was related, or creepy clones.

Fleet Trooper #2

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Someone told me this figure looked like Will Ferrell once.

DSCN7378 The body of this guy came from a Hong Kong seller and had a strange, malformed pistol (top). I think it's cool.

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This figure is one of my favorites.  I probably will say that about all of them.

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Sources:
Wookieepedia:  http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rebel_trooper
Rebelscum:  http://www.rebelscum.com/TVC52Fleet.asp