Thursday, October 30, 2014

Moonraker (AKA James Bond Moonraker) (Mego)


Mego's Moonraker line was really the first attempt at producing a line of toys based on James Bond. But why the 11th James Bond film, and not the ten prior to it? Speculation has it that it was all about the outer space adventure theme which drew Mego to jump at the franchise.

If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times. Mego had been kicking themselves for passing up the very lucrative opportunity to grab hold of the Star Wars license which Kenner was at the time making hand over fist profit on. As such, the company was desperate to find a movie based tie in that would produce such lucrative financial success. Sadly, this didn't come in the form of Roger Moore dolls.

Only three dolls were produced and released in the USA before Mego threw in the towel on yet another dead end toy line; James Bond, Holly Goodhead and Hugo Drax.

James Bond
To help keep the toy line more "kid friendly", Mego made the decision to drop the last name Goodhead of the character Holly.

In addition, the dumped the first name of the villain Hugo Drax, and simply referred to him by his last name.

European markets were a little kinder to the line, and as such were rewarded with two additional dolls. The first was a deluxe version of James Bond which included an awesome hard plastic space suit. Fans to this day are disappointed of this particular dolls exclusivity.

James Bond
For as much as fans of the series regret not having the above doll released in the USA, they more so regret missing out on the one below - Jaws. Richard Kiel's portrayl of the character was perfect, and for many fans, Jaws was (is) the ultimate nemesis of Agent 007.


Typical to many Mego lines, these days the Moonraker series is more so sought after than it was in the 70's and 80's. The actual James Bond doll is the easiest (and cheapest) to track down in the line, with Holly and Drax being a little fewer and farther between. As such, while you can typically purchase a Bond in the package for $50 - $200 (depending on condition), the other two go for a little more, typically ranging from $75 - $300. Because of their region exclusive nature, the deluxe Bond and Jaws are much harder to find, and you can expect to drop anywhere from $750 to $1,000 on them.

Join us tomorrow for a special Halloween post that's been over three years in the making, and don't forget to join us on Monday when we take a look at The Authority!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Hasbro)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
2012 - 2013

We are definitely in the minority when we say that we liked G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. We had zero expectations for the film, and it met all of them. It's follow up, Retaliation - Not so much. The film is summed up perfectly by Rotten Tomatoes user Peter Hartlaub who states,

"The Filmmakers appear to have handed a dozen or so G.I. Joe dolls to a 9-year-old, watched him play for 110 minutes, and then shot a scene-for-scene remake."

If you're one of few people who enjoyed this film, we commend you, and ask that you please tell us what you enjoyed about it in the comment section.

Naturally, Hasbro was quick to start pumping out the Retaliation tie in toys. Unfortunately for them, they got the memo way too late that the initial release date of the film was being pushed back to a different calendar year so that it could be upsized with 3D. As a result, product hit the market almost a full year prior to the film's release, and was quickly pulled so as to not spoil any surprises.

Cobra Commander*Cobra Commander (Black Suit Variant)
Cobra Trooper*Conrad "Duke" Hauser*G.I. Joe Trooper

Red Ninja*Roadblock
Snake Eyes*Storm Shadow*Zartan

Battle-Kata Roadblock*Ninja Duel Snake Eyes*Sneak Attack Storm Shadow

Alley Viper*Dark Ninja
Cyber Ninja*Joe Colton*Lady Jaye

Budo Samurai Warrior*Cobra Commander
Cobra Combat Ninja*Crimson Guard*Data Viper

Conrad "Duke" Hauser*Firefly
Ultimate Flint*Krinn*Ultimate Roadblock

Snake Eyes*Ultimate Storm Shadow

Kim Arashikage*Night Viper*Blind Master
Much like the film, the toys related to it came quickly, and disappeared off to clearance isles to be forgotten about. However, that's not to say that all the figures were duds. Quite the contrary. There are a lot of hidden gems to be found in the four waves which encompass the Retaliation line.

Kim Arashikage (White)*Kim Arashikage (Red)

Shockwave H.I.S.S. Tank with B.A.T. and Destro

Movie Preview Pack with Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Cobra Commander

G.I. Joe Tactical Ninja Team*Cobra Invasion Team
G.I. Joe Ninja*G.I. Joe Ninja

Ninja Speed Cycle with Snake Eyes*Wheel Blaster Bike with Firefly*Road Retaliator with Flint

Cobra Fangbike*Ninja Commando 4X4
Tread Ripper Tank

Ghost Hawk II
H.I.S.S. Tank*Ninja Combat Cruiser
One of the more sought after pieces from the line is the Echo Class vehicle, Eaglehawk Helicopter.

Eaglehawk Helicopter

It's safe to say that in the long run, fans were more so forgiving of the toys than they were of the film, as for the most part product moved steadily off of store shelves. Though don't expect to cash in on these as an investment any time soon as secondary markets are pretty much non-existent. Sellers want to believe that each figure's value ranges from thirty to fifty dollars each, but the truth of the matter is that the average sale price is seven to eight dollars.

Join us next time when we take a look at Moonraker!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tarzan (Mattel)


A big problem occurred in toy isles when Kenner found massive success with Star Wars merchandise. What happened was that every toy company out there jumped at everything movie and television based in a desperate attempt to find the kind of success that sent Kenner laughing to the bank daily. As such, the market was flooded with all sort of television and movie based toys - Most of which were huge duds.

1978 wasn't going so smoothly for Mattel. They were already taking loses on their failing "TV" based toys, and it appeared that Tarzan would quickly become another license that wasn't going to blow children's minds.

The entire line (as well as several others being churned out by Mattel during the late 70's) was done so by utilizing parts from their most successful European series of the time, Big Jim. Everything got a fresh coat of paint, a new name, and of course, new packaging. As a result, these days many collectors of Big Jim seek the toys out as a sort of sub series collection.

***FUN FACT***

Look closely at the Jungle Cat in the packaging below. Does he look familiar? If you're a He-Man fan, he should. This "figure" was reused again in the 80's when Mattel released Battle Cat and Panthor for the massively popular Masters of the Universe line. The sculpt was first used in the Big Jim series for the Big Jim on the Tiger Trail set.

Tarzan with Jungle Cat

Tarzan with Giant Ape

These days the Tarzan line is difficult to track down. Complete sets are rare, and mint in package pieces appear to be almost non-existent. Evolution wise, these items are great collection pieces if for anything to show the history/evolution from Big Jim to Tarzan to Masters of the Universe.

Join us next time when we take a look at G.I. Joe: Retaliation!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Mighty Muggs - G.I. Joe (Hasbro)

Mighty Muggs - G.I. Joe

Ah, the Mighty Mugg. It's the ship that made the Kessel run in...No, wait, that was something else.

Much like it's biggest competition, the Funko Pop, there is a special place in collector's hearts for this over exaggerated, tiny plastic caricatures of some of today's most highly recognizable pop culture characters. Several iterations of series have come and gone over the years from Star Wars to Transformers, the massive waves based on Marvel Comic characters, and others. Today, we're taking a look at the very small, but incredibly fun G.I. Joe line.

The Joe line leapt out of the starting gate with a great lineup of Muggs. We of course got the two opposing leaders, Cobra Commander and Duke, as well as the rivaling duo of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. The first wave took off among collectors who swooped them up.

Cobra Commander


Snake Eyes

Storm Shadow
Sadly, the second series of Muggs didn't strike with the same hot iron as the first series. Despite the wave offering two additional great "figures" to the line up, Destro and Baroness, it seemed as if collector's took a step back and asked, "Is that it?"



As a result of the lack of sales, Hasbro cancelled their third series of Joe based Muggs which would have included Serpentor, Cobra Trooper, Shipwreck and Zartan. The news disappointed many fans who supported the line, and were looking forward to the series blooming well beyond six "figures".

Join us next time when we take a look at Tarzan!

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 9 and Original Comic Book Figures (Playmates Toys)

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 9
Playmates Toys

Ninja Turtle fans rejoice! New figures have hit store shelves, and though they're a little difficult to get your hands on them during their initial release, rest assured that they'll soon be in abundance.

The basic series contains the all new Tiger Claw and Robotic Foot Soldier, while the all new sub series includes the original comic book versions of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael.

As it has become typical in this series, most of that great detail in paint on the figures and vehicles is lacking in the actual retail versions vs. the production photos provided by Playmates Toys. We know this is something that has turned a lot of people off on the series.

Tiger Claw

Robotic Foot Soldier

We've found a variant! Hooray? Variant hunters should be on the lookout for a very subtle variant in the Robotic Foot Soldier. The emblem on the red bandana on his head has been found in both shiny silver and dull light gray. It's a minor one, but probably enough to excite some variant hunters. The bigger variant is that the silver emblem figures come on cardbacks that have the words "Interchangeable hand weapons!" Printed on the bottom left of the card. The gray ones don't have the printed text, but rather a sticker that says it. The sticker is to the left of the right leg.

Fans of the original TMNT comic book series will be excited to own these all new figures based on the comic. It's been a series that we've waited thirty years For Playmates Toys to get around to doing. Hopefully they'll continue with figures like these, bringing us all sorts of original renditions of our favorite characters.
Original Comic Book  Leonardo

Original Comic Book Michelangelo

Original Comic Book Donatello

Original Comic Book Raphael
Finally the long awaited Shell Flyer is on store shelves. This one actually hit last month, and is definitely easier to find than the figures.
In addition, the all new Hot Rod with Hot Rod Mikey was released in August of this year, but is just now being more abundantly released around the USA.

Shell Flyer

Hot Rod with Hot Rod Mikey
Fans of the RC Shellraiser will be happy to see two additional vehicles released with RC features - Leonard's RC Patrol Buggy and Raphael's RC Patrol Buggy. What's odd about these vehicles is that many websites such as Toys R' Us are advertising the Raphael buggy, but not Leonardo's.

Raphael's RC Patrol Buggy

Leonardo's RC Patrol Buggy
Those of you interested in buying the same figures again should jump on the opportunity to nab the Target exclusive 3 Pack Exclusive Leonardo. It's essentially a package that contains the 2014 Original Comic Book Leonardo, the 2012 Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonard, and the recent 30th anniversary re-release of the 1980's Leonardo.
At $27.00 (online price) that's not a price point that leaves us eager to jump at a collection of figures we've already got. Not only that, but with how often most retailers put their TMNT figures on sale for either $7.99 each or buy one get one 50% off, it's not like you couldn't track down all three of these figures individually for much cheaper. So what's the incentive here? A cardboard box?
If this is a must have item for you, then you can find it at your local Target soon, or now at their online store "HERE".
Last up for retail releases is the all new carry case. This particular version may be disappointing to fans as it doesn't have any slots or trays for actually holding figures. It's essentially a hollow box that you would "throw" your figures into a pile in.

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Carry Case
Variant hunters should be on the look out for the new version of the series one Foot Soldier. The original version had white eyes with red speckles. The new version has black eyes with red speckles. Below is a photo comparison of the original vs. the new release variant.

The all new SDCC exclusive black and white Raphael which was released at this year's San Diego Comic Con is one amazing figure both in detail and fan appeal. It was a great teaser for the upcoming sub series of comic book Turtles, and makes an excellent addition to any fan's collection. Of course you won't find these in stores anywhere, so ebay is going to be one of your few options for nabbing this figure now.
Happy hunting Turtle fans!
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

TV's Grizzly Adams (AKA Grizzly Adams) (Mattel)

TV's Grizzly Adams

Continuing our look at Mattel's 1978 releases, we come to a somewhat continuation of our last post a la TV's Grizzly Adams. Much like the prior discussed TV's How the West Was Won line, these particular dolls were developed utilzing the same parts and pieces (pilfered from Mattel's Eurpoean Big Jim line).

From 1977 to 1978, NBC was host to the Grizzly Adams television series which continued the adventures of the character from the 1974 film The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, which in and of itself was an adaptation of the novel of the same name. Though the series only ran for two season, concluding with the two hour theatrically release film, Once Upon a Starry Night, the show had a finite ending in 1982 with the made for TV film, The Capture of Grizzly Adams.

Only two dolls were produced by Mattel; Grizzly Adams and Nakoma. A set known as Grizzly Adams and Ben is listed on the back of the packaging, but to date we have not seen any proof of the item existing. If you have a mint in package one that you could share some good photos of, we'd love to add it to our post. Please send the photos to We will credit whoever sends them in this post. Thanks!

Grizzly Adams


Join us next time when we take a look at Mighty Muggs - G.I. Joe!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

TV's How The West Was Won (AKA How The West Was Won) (Mattel)

TV's How The West Was Won

It was important for Mattel to add the disclaimer (of sorts) in the for of, "TV's" to the title How the West Was Won because they were eager to not only capitalize on the popularity of the western series, but also distinguish it from the even more so popular film of the same name which was released in the USA in 1963. Granted, the television series is loosely based on the film both in overall theme and of course, the title.

Though the series saw a fair amount of success from 1976 to 1979, the dolls produced by Mattel in 1978 weren't as popular? Why? Because children were turning their heads up to the sky thanks to a little known film entitled Star Wars. Yes, the Western was quickly becoming a thing of the past as TV airways made room for more space based series such as Star Trek, Space 1999, Logan's Run, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and maybe even Mork and Mindy.

As a result, only two dolls ever made their way to store shelves; Zeb Macahan and Lone Wolf. A set known as Zeb Macahan and His Horse Dakota is listed on the back of the packaging, but to date we have not seen any proof of the item existing. If you have a mint in package one that you could share some good photos of, we'd love to add it to our post. Please send the photos to We will credit whoever sends them in this post. Thanks!

Zeb Macahan

Lone Wolf

Sadly it seems that time and secondary markets haven't been to kind to the series either. Today you can get the "figures" for between $40 and $80, depending on how good the boxes are in. Loose, you can nab them up for aronud $20. That's a far cry from what some of the Mego's garner.

Join us next time when we take a look at TV's Grizzly Adams!

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