Friday, August 28, 2015

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 13 and Beyond!




It's amazing how much ground Playmates Toys has already covered so far this year, but there's more to come - Some of which will be hitting store shelves prior to the end of the year. With that said, we know that some of these figures have been in the works for months to a year now, and patience is definitely dwindling for some. Rest assured, as far as Playmates Toys is concerned, these figures are all on the way - Of Course the question of when remains up in the air.

 Fugitoid*Mondo Gecko

 Mutant Shredder 2-Pack*Savage Mikey

 Dimension X Michelangelo*Dimension X Donatello

 Dimension X Raphael*Dimension X Leonardo

 Dark Dream Beaver*Dire Dream Beaver

 Muckman*Mozar (Walmart Exclusive)
Lord Dregg (Walmart Exclusive)*Slamboni with Casey Jones

Playmates Toys announced a Fugitoid ship with Space Mikey figure mid this year. Though they have provided photos for the ship, there have been no press releases showcasing the figure that will be packed in.


Dimension X Fugitoid Ship with Space Mikey

In addition to the above referenced photos, we also have confirmation from Playmates Toys that several other items are coming down the pike;

Kraang Prime
Dr. Cluckingsworth, Ice Cream Kitty and Spike Three-Pack
Savatini Romero

Though the Mutations line didn't see the release of all the prior figures announced, until the line is official cancelled (if that is happening at all), fans can still expect;

Stockman Fly (Mutations)
Rahzar (Mutations)
Dogpound (Mutations)
Leatherhead (Mutations)

For those looking for a big purchase, keep your eyes peeled for the Toys R' Us exclusive History of the Turtles. This eight pack will feature the various versions of Leonardo in the majority of his plastic iterations since the 1980's. Expect a hefty price tag with that one. Just don't expect anything new as all these figures have already been released at some point in time.

Target is also getting their own exclusive five pack. This one will feature the four Dimension X Turtles and Fugitoid. What sets this particular multipack apart from the originals is that they will be painted with a chrome finish.

Beyond the Slamboni and Fugitoid ship as shown above, there hasn't been much noise in the world of vehicles as of late. The playsets seem to be all wrapped up for the year as well. Sadly for fans that were waiting on the Pop-Up Pizza Shredder's Lair Playset the wait is over - It has been cancelled.

We'll keep you posted on any future news we hear. For a look at all the prior Nickelodeon TMNT waves, click "HERE".

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (NECA)



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
NECA
2005

This post is going to be out of the norm for us here. While we would normally only focus on toys, the sad truth is that Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory license doesn't have many beyond the 18" Willy Wonka doll, and handful of bobbleheads - If you even consider those toys. As such, we thought we'd take a look at the entire front of products that NECA released in 2005 for the highly hyped film.

During 2005, NECA produced a vast array of items. These included the aforementioned 18" figure and bobbleheads (known as Head Knockers), as well as Golden Ticket replicas, nite lites, pillows, tins, and so many more items. It was a mish mash of collectibles that didn't necessarily come together to form one line, yet at the same time left it open for collector's of all varieties. We'd honestly like to know just how well most of these items sold, but probably never will. We can't imagine that for the most part the majority of these items were popular.

Join us as we run through the offerings;

Willy Wonka 18" Figure

Will Wonka Head Knockers

Oompa Loompa Head Knockers (Red)*Oompa Loompa Head Knockers (Blue)

This item (below) we actually really like. It's a framed replica of the infamous Golden Ticket along with a wrapper for a Wonka Bar. It really displays nicely on the wall, and is a great conversation piece.

Framed Golden Ticket with Wonka Bar Wrapper

A second version was produced which is encased in plastic. It doesn't include the Wonka Bar wrapper.

Mounted Golden Ticket

Nite Lite Assortment

Plush Wonka Candy Bar Pillows

Plush Wonka Candy Bars

Sadly, the below tins didn't actually include any candy inside of them. They were just metal tins for storing bits and bobs in. Personally, we'd rather have actual candy.

Wonka Candy Bar Tins

Wall Clock

Book Ends

Fridge Magnets

Lunch Boxes with Thermos

Coffee Mug

The honest impression we get from this particular line up was that no game plan was necessarily made. It was more so just an attempt on NECA's part to "throw" things out there, and hope that something would catch somebody's interest. We've seen better from them. Perhaps they learned a valuable lesson here.

Join us next time when we take a look at Mighty Muggs - Indiana Jones!

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Big Trouble in Little China (N2 Toys)



Big Trouble in Little China
N2 Toys
2002

<Insert Jack Burton quote here>

Every time you come across a post regarding Big Trouble in Little China, or Jack Burton in general, they all start with some form of quote from the movie. Why not, there's so many memorable ones. That's why we're not going to limit this post to just one. Go ahead and insert your own favorite before proceeding to read on.

Big Trouble in Little China merchandise is few and far between. This is probably because while the film has gone on to be a successful cult classic, in truth, when first released it was a critical flop. The movie did no favors for actor Kurt Russell, and director John Carpenter. In fact, it arguably hurt both of their careers - Again, during the time.

These days, it seems the film is more so appreciated for what it was initially designed to be - A fun, action/sci-fi/martial arts/comedy film that resonates on every note among fans.

Unfortunately, because of its lack of success at the box office, fans who wanted to take home more than just the movie in VHS form had to wait until 2002 when N2 released a very small line of figures based on the film. Sadly, while the figures were sculpted nice, action figures they were not. Where was the articulation?

Due to the poor quality in which many fans viewed the toys, they sold poorly, and were quickly shuffled off to most clearance bins. That was 2002...

 Jack Burton*Egg Shen*Wang Chi

...It's 2015 now. Try as you might, you're not going to find these figures for cheap. What many ignored as trash over ten years ago has cultivated into a vast treasure. Carded figures can set you back anywhere from fifty to two hundred dollars - Depending on the character. Most loose figures sell for twenty-five to fifty dollars. Not bad for a toy that nobody wanted, and was blown out in clearance bins for a couple bucks.

Lo Pan*Lightning*Chinese Wildman

It is rumored that a second series was in the works, but cancelled when the line faltered from the get-go. Those figures supposedly would have included; Thunder, Rain, Gracie Law and Little Old Basket Case on Wheels Lo Pan. While spread across the internet, this information is not confirmed to be true - Though it also hasn't been disproved.

Fans who still want a little piece of the Big Trouble in Little China action figure world need not go broke grabbing these up. Funko has since released a series in the ReAction Figures line - Though not as detailed, they're still fun in their own way - If you like vintage style figures that is.

Join us next time when we take a look at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Muhammad Ali (Mego)



Muhammad Ali
Mego
1976

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in January of 1942, Muhammad Ali is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in the world. Out of sixty-one fights, he's one fifty-six, thirty-seven of said fights were won by knock out. To date he is the only boxer to have one the heavyweight title three times; 1964, 1974 and 1978 - Respectively.

We could go into more detail on the man, discussing his ups and downs, his conviction for draft evasion, and even more so into depth on his fight with Joe Fraiser in 1971, but we'd be here all day going that route.

Instead, we'll just jump head long into Mego's 1976 line of dolls. The line is incredible small, featuring only The Champ, and his Opponent - In multiple package variations.

The most sought after versions for collectors are the bubble cards which are mounted to cardboard rings. Though you can often find the carded figure, a lot of times the ring section is missing. The best way to tell the two carded versions apart from each other is that the ring style ones have the figure packed to the left. The standard bubble carded figures are packaged to the right.

BOXING RING PACKAGE
The Champ*Opponent

BUBBLE CARDS
The Champ*Opponent

A mail away option was also made available, and is even more so elusive than the carded ring versions above.

MAIL AWAY
The Champ

Out of all the playsets that Mego produced, the Muhammad Ali's Boxing Ring is one of the best in our opinion. Unlike most Mego playsets of this era which were made with 90% cardboard, the boxing ring is all plastic.

PLAYSETS
Muhammad Ali's Boxing Ring

Mego also produced a Bop Bag version of Ali so that the rest of us could contend against the champion without...You know...Dying.

INTERACTIVE PLAY
Bop Bag

Denys Fisher produced a version of Mego's Muhammad Ali doll which was sold in the UK. To date it's one of the more difficult versions of the doll to track down.

  HONORABLE MENTION
Muhammad Ali (Denys Fisher)

Unfortunately for Mego's Muhammad Ali line, it was cut short. Four additional opponents were planned, and even developed as prototypes which never got released. These would have included Manila Mauler, Lightning Lefty, The Carrot Kid and Battling Ben.

Join us next time when we take a look at Big Trouble in Little China!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 12



What an incredibly busy and lucrative two months Playmates Toys has had! New product after new product has been hitting store shelves at a rapid pace as well as a healthy amount of repacks.

The hard to find, long announced Karai Serpent is finally hitting U.S. shores. Though she's not in abundance just yet, she is steadily streaming into stores. She comes one per case, so patience is a necessity with this one. Much like April, she's going to be a short pack, and relatively scarce.

Karai Serpent

Also finally hitting store shelves are the remaining Head Droppin' Turtles. For those of you that have Leonardo and Donatello which were released several months ago you can now round out your Turtles with Michelangelo and Raphael.

A problem we're noticing with these figures is the legs going missing. Because there's a large rectangular slot at the knees so that people can try out the features of the figure, the legs are either being removed from the toys, or falling out during production. Either way, we've seen quite a few figures sans legs.

Head Droppin' Michelangelo

Head Droppin' Raphael

Making its way from the West Coast to the East Coast are two new figures, Napoleon Bonafrog and Monkey Brains. These figures will most likely be easier to find within the next three to four weeks as they spread out across the U.S.

Napoleon Bonafrog

Monkey Brains

Admittedly, a disappointing aspect we're starting to see with this line is the cutting back of articulation. All the figures above are extremely limited in movements. While we suppose this is an aspect that is helping to keep prices relatively low on this line, we can't help but wish that Playmates Toys would put just a tad bit more effort into it. We won't even get started on the production paint jobs vs. final product ones - A gripe many fans have had since the series began in 2012.Okay, we will - They didn't even give Monkey Brains pants. The figure is pure brown and tan.

***UPDATE***

Here's an interesting one - A seller in the UK is claiming to have numerous Atilla the Frog figures in stock. His listing on ebay shows that he has sold over 10 of them to date, and that he still has more than ten in stock. That's an awful lot of this figure for one seller to have, let alone the fact that it's a brand new figure.

Red flags are certainly raising over this one, but if you absolutely can't wait to get this figure, you have an opportunity. It's relatively cheap in terms of secondary market prices for new figures - 11.99 GBP - Roughly $18.79 American. The shipping is also relatively cheap from the UK to US at just 7.00 GBP - or $10.97 American.

Buyer beware - We can't authenticate this figure as legit, nor if it was obtained through "legal" channels. All we know is that it feels sketchy.

Atilla the Frog

The new wave of Mix and Match Mutations figures has seen a mass release as of August. These all new Battle Shell figures only encompass the four Turtles so far, but pending popularity of the series could potentially spawn into new waves with other figures. At $12.99 a piece, it's not a bad selling price for a "deluxe" figure with large accessories.

Leonardo with Ariel Attack Battle Shell

Michelangelo with Stealth Battle Shell

Donatello with Recon Battle Shell

Raphael with Ground Pounder Battle Shell

Despite the large second wave of figures announced in the standard Mutations line, only three new figures have been released. Could this be a sign of the series failing to find a foothold with kids and collectors?

Casey Jones*Bebop*Rocksteady

Vehicles and playsets have been a strong component to the series, and it's great to see that Playmates Toys is continuing to release them in unison with the figures. While a lot of companies tend to shy away from bulkier items such as these, the TMNT lines have always ensured massive variations to incorporate in the various series over the years.

T-Rawket

Pizza Thrower

Mutations Turtle Turbo-Charger

Mutations Quad Rotor with Cloud Cruisin' Leo

Mutations Tri-Flyer with Jet Jammin' Raph

Mutations Giant Leonardo Playset

Secret Sewer Lair Playset with Dimension X Portal

In addition to all the new items above, Playmates Toys has been steadily producing all the old stuff on the new style 2015 packaging. This includes a multitude of figures and vehicles. The latest addition to this is;

Battle Shell Donatello
Battle Shell Leonardo
Battle Shell Michelangelo
Battle Shell Raphael
Baxter Stockman
Donnie the Wizard
Fishface
Foot Soldier
Kirby Bat
Leo the Knight
M.O.U.S.E.R.S.
Ninjas in Training Raphael and Michelangelo
Raph the Barbarian
Spider Bytez
Squirrelanoid
The Rat King

With the above batch of figures, and the prior ones re-released to date, that leaves us with only a handful of figures yet to be released on the new 2015 style packages; Snakeweed, Mikey the Elf, all four Stealth Tech Turtles and all four of the Mutagen Ooze Turtles. Hopefully we'll see those soon.

Playmates has also begun releasing a slew of older vehicles in the new 2015 style package. What's interesting about this is that stores like Target and Walmart are clearancing out the smaller $9.99 vehicles, making them particularly difficult to obtain. Hopefully this tactic is in anticipation of the newer style packages going into full production to replace the older style. It would be awful if these were being discontinued altogether.

Grass Kicker
Hot Rod with Hot Rod Mikey
Michelangelo's Patrol Buggy
MMX Cycle
Ninja AT-3 with All-Terrain Leonardo
Ninja Stealth Bike with Stealth Ninja Raph
Shell Flyer
Turtle Sub with Diver Don

Last, but not least, we have an all new set of the Turtles as based on the original first series. These all-new updates now feature pupils in their eyes, letters on their belts, and colored arm and knee pads that match their bandanas.

With these new variations available, the question becomes, "Will Playmates Toys phase out the original designs in favor of these?" Time will tell, but as of now, we haven't been seeing the original versions released again since earlier this year when they debuted on the new 2015 cards.

 Leonardo

 Michelangelo

 Donatello

 Raphael

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