Monday, September 30, 2013

September 2013 Recap



Boy, this year is flying by!

Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in September 2013. If you missed any, or simply want to see them again, click on each "title" to be taken directly to that post. As always, thanks for reading.

Predators Series 1 - 9
Popeye The Sailor
Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutagen Ooze - Series 2
The World of Annie - 6 Inch Dolls
Ooze-It
Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 5
The Shadow
Defenders of the Earth
Over the Top
Video Game Super Stars: Mario Kart 64
Wild Wild West

In addition to those new posts, we've also updated our original Marvel's G.I. Joe post with an all new layout featuring larger pictures of each issue.  Check it out, "HERE"!

We've also updated our original Mirage Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles post which now not only features the original series, but all the spin offs, and secondary series under the Mirage banner.  You can check that out, "HERE"!

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page.

Wild Wild West (X-Toys)



Wild Wild West
X-Toys
1999

I think we're one of the few people who actually liked the movie Wild Wild West. Admittedly we never saw the original television show, so the sudden change of direction the film went from the show wasn't even a thought in our minds. In fact, I don't think we even knew it was a series until after we saw the movie.

Will Smith and Kevin Kline play off each other so well in the movie, and quite frankly it's just fun to watch. It has a healthy dose of action, a good bit of comedy, and characters which are likable. What's not to like about that?

X-Toys had a very short live shelf life from 1999 to 2000 having only produced four toy lines until closing shop. One said line was a small series based on the film Wild Wild West.

The company gets points for trying. The figures aren't terrible, in fact they're quite on par with the likes of your average Toy Biz Marvel line of this particular era. They have descent sculpts, descent paint jobs, and descent articulation - Not to mention a some great accessories.

FIGURES
Artemus Gordon with Hidden Message Shell*Artemus Gordon with Retinal Terminus Projector*Dr. Loveless with Spider Blaster


FIGURES
General McGrath with Capture Disk Slinger*James West*James West with Power Escape Hook*James West with Demolition Pool Ball*Rita Escobar with Venom Spitting Arthropod


VEHICLES
Derailer Tank with Dr. Loveless*Desert Wasp Nitro-Cycle with James West

We suspect the lackluster sale of figures can be attributed to the lackluster reception of the film which received mostly negative reviews. We suspect Will Smith may be kicking himself for passing on the role of Neo in The Matrix for James West in this film - But, let's be honest, first film aside, the sequels for The Matrix didn't fair to well either. Either film seems like it would have been a bad choice in hindsight.

Join us next time when we take a look at WWF - World Wrestling Federation!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Video Game Super Stars - Mario Kart 64 (Toy Biz)



Video Game Super Stars - Mario Kart 64
Toy Biz
2000

Video Game Super Star figures are hard to come by. Whether you're chasing down Diddy Kong, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, or the other various series under the VGSS banner you're in for quite the hunt - An expensive one at that.

The figures produced for Mario Kart 64 are no exception to this rule. Fans love action figures based on video games, and it seems they're more so ravenous for the ones which ended up in clearance bins. It's rather ironic how stores couldn't get rid of stock at a buck a piece, yet these days people will pay close to a hundred or more for them.

Toy Biz produced seven character / vehicle packs, and each one has its own unique style and accessories to correspond with the popular game franchise - Well, with the exception of Mario who received two variations. Those are only unique in the accessories category as the vehicles and figures are the same.

Bowser*Donkey Kong*Luigi


Mario (with Ghost)*Mario (with Shell)*Wario*Yoshi

Fans of Mario Kart need look no further than this fantastic line!

Join us next time when we take a look at Wild Wild West!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Over The Top (LewCo)



Over The Top
LewCo
1986

Question: What do you do when you have a movie about arm wrestling staring one of the hottest action stars of the 80's?

Answer: Make action figures designed to arm wrestle based on said action star of the 80's!

Cannon films gets a bum wrap in the movie industry. They're "credited" with making some of the most overpriced, under delivering films in the industry, as well as causing the boom which would be celebrity paychecks. In the documentary, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (which we highly recommend movie fans watch - On Netflix now), Robert Foster tells an excellent story of how he told the head of Cannon films his client would not work for him for ten million dollars. To which the response he got was, "How about twelve?" This was during a time when at a most Stallone had probably only been paid four or five million for his roles. When other actors started hearing about this, they too started asking for the large payouts to perform in movies.

If that weren't bad enough for the group, Cannon was also the group behind Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and though we love it, and are in the minority, Masters of the Universe. They were also the driving force behind the numerous Chuck Norris and Jean Caude Van Damme films which were churned out in droves during this era.

We digress though (but seriously, check out the documentary).

Over the Top wasn't deemed to be a "bad" film, it just got a wrap of being another routine movie in the world of film making. It's also been stated as nothing more than a feature film product placement ad, and a 90 minute rock video due to all the hard rock songs showcased throughout it.

LewCo stepped in to produce action figures of the film, and sadly never did anything beyond this. The company folded almost immediately under the lackluster reception of the film which equated to poor sales of toys.

The irony of this is that carded figures will set you back over a hundred dollars a piece these days, with loose ones setting you back anywhere from $20.00 to $60.00 a piece. Where was this kind of demand when the toys were being shuffled off to clearance bins?



FIGURES
Bob "Bull" Hurley*Cleve "Armbender" Dean*John "Golden Boy" Brzenk
John "The Bear" Grizzly*Johnny "Ice Man" Walker*Lincoln Hawks


ACCESSORIES
Arm Wrestling Table (For Figures)


DOLLS
Lincoln Hawk


INTERACTIVE PLAY
Arm Wrestling Table (For Kids)

Join us next time when we take a look at Video Game Super Stars - Mario Kart 64!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Defenders Of The Earth (Galoob)



Defenders Of The Earth
Galoob
1985

Defenders of the Earth was a spectacular culmination of three of the hottest series heroes of all time; Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician as they did battle against Ming the Merciless. The series ran for only one season which comprised of sixty-five episodes.

Coinciding with the animated show was a set of figures produced by the Micro Machine makers themselves - Galoob! Each carded figure came on its own unique cardback with fantastic artwork depicting the character inside. This is classic cardback representation right here!

FIGURES
Flash Gordon*Garax*Lothar
Mandrake The Magician*Ming The Merclless*The Phantom


CREATURES
Mongor


What was fantastic about this series is how vehicle "heavy" it was. Galoob produced four in total in addition to the awesome giant creature above. There was definitely a lot of love invested into this line.

VEHICLES
Defenders Claw Copter
Phantom Skull Copter


VEHICLES
Flash Swordship
Garax Swordship

Join us next time when we take a look at Over The Top!
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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Shadow (Kenner)



The Shadow
Kenner
1994

Oooh...Ouch. When a film costs forty million to make, and you only see a return of forty-eight that definitely isn't going to translate into the franchise full of toys, comics, books and more that Universal Pictures was banking on. It probably didn't help the film at all that it was poised against other summer blockbusters such as Disney's The Lion King, and Jim Carrey's The Mask. It also didn't help when reviewers gave it mostly negative reviews with the consensus of being visually impressive but ultimately forgettable.

This didn't stop Kenner from diving head long into a toy franchise in hopes of cashing in on the film's expected success. With eight basic figures, one deluxe and four vehicles, the line was certainly ready to take off from the starting gate, and fill shopping carts across the world. Unfortunately this never happened. With lackluster sales, the toys were quickly reduced, and shuffled to clearance isles.

BASIC FIGURES
Ambush Shadow*Lightning Draw Shadow*Ninja Shadow*Transforming Lamont Cranston
Battle Shiwan Khan*Dr. Monquino*Mongol Warrior*Shiwan Khan


DELUXE FIGURES
Electronic Bullet-Proof Shadow

Worth noting is Nintendo originally planned to release a game based on the film for the Super Nintendo. When the film bombed they quickly backed out of the deal despite the game already being finished.

VEHICLES
Mirage SX-100 Car*Thunder Cab
Shiwan Khan Serpent Bike*Nightmist Cycle

Join us next time when we take a look at Defenders Of The Earth!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 5 (Playmates Toys)



We thinks it's safe to say that the rate in which the series five Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stuff hit store shelves pretty much surprised everyone who collects the series.  It was just July of this year when series 4 hit store shelves, just about a week ago that the second series of Mutagen Ooze hit store shelves, and in between all of that were a ton of vehicles (which we'll cover in this post).  Playmates Toys is in full swing of for the line with no sign of it slowing down any time soon.

The first item in the new series that we personally saw was the Ninjas in Training two pack featuring very young versions of Leonardo and Donatello.  We absolutely love this set, and have been anticipating the mini ninjas since we first saw them at Playmates Toys reveal early this year.

Each figure stands approximately two inches high, and comes with their classic weapons of choice with a twist - They're designed to look like wooden training weapons.

Each figure features a swiveling head, and can also swivel at the waist - Though admittedly, this looks really weird when done because the shell splits as well.  We suppose this was put in strictly for the articulation police - You know, the collector that can't justify buying a figure if it doesn't have an outrageous amount of articulation.  The arms are on ball joints which allow for up and down, and a little side to side motion in them.  Unfortunately the legs have no articulation, so the pose that they're sculpted in are the only way you're going to get them to stand.  Still, the stance for each figure is pretty cool, and works well for displaying.


The Raphael and Michelangelo Ninjas in Training feature the same articulation, and weapon style, and round out the "collection" of mini turtles nicely.

The M.O.U.S.E.R.S. seven pack is destined to be a fan favorite, and one that many people will be buying in abundance for "army building."  Playmates was incredibly generous when putting this package together not only when it came to the sheer quantity you receive for the price, but also in the detail.

Each Package features two black, two dark grey, and three silver M.O.U.S.E.R.S. figures, each with 360 degree rotating legs, a ball jointed neck and a mouth that opens and closes.  The detail inside the mouth is impressive with little pink wavy lines inside depicting the power source flowing through them.
The package displays the "figures" in walking and standing poses, but sadly you're only going to get a standing pose out of them when displaying them.  They're simply too top heavy to pose any other way.
Other figures have been announced to date such as Spider Bytze, Shredder #2, and Battle Shell Turtle figures which coincide with the 4 inch line, but to date these figures haven't been found on store shelves.  We're not sure if these are slatted for 2014, and will encompass series six, or if there's still more to see from series five (figure wise).  We suppose it's also possible that series six could hit store shelves this year at this rate.  We'll certainly keep you posted.
Because a whole bunch of vehicles came out in between the series four and five figures, we're not sure if these belong to the 4th or 5th, but since we didn't cover them in our series four review, we'll cover them here.
When the Shellraiser was released with the initial series one figures we were majorly disappointed with it.  It was nothing more than a hollow hull which served as nothing more than a carrying case - Which clearly wasn't the vehicle's produced intention.  We were expecting seats inside, consoles, even a simple steering wheel would have sufficed - But instead there was nothing.

When it was announced that Playmates would be producing a new Ninja Controlled Shellraiser we hoped that the vehicle would be redeemed - Especially with the higher price tag.  Sadly, it wasn't, and this new version of the Shellraiser is nothing more than a cash grab by Playmates Toys.
Sure, it now features a radio controlled function, and fires out up to ten manhole cover discs, but that's it.  You can't even access the inside of the hull to put figures inside, and all and all this vehicle compliments the series about as much as Carrera's Slot Car Race Set.  Unless you're a completest, or absolutely love remote control cars, this is definitely an item you can pass on - Especially if you already have the original Shellraiser.  The $49.99 price point certainly doesn't help either.
The Hover Drone vehicle coincides with the smaller class vehicles of the series, ranging at around $9.99.  We love this thing!  We really like the Kraang based color theme here - light blues with bright pink inner workings.  We more so really like the fact that it works great for actually standing up your Kraang figures with the foot peg and handlebars.

But, don't just get this thing for helping your figures stand, it really is a pretty neat little thing.  It has wheels on the bottom that when you move them forwards or backwards, the hover engines (fan blades) spin inside - And you can really get these things moving if you spin the heck out of the wheels.  It also has two pink missiles that can be flicked out of the barrel located on each wing.

This vehicle is proof positive that a toy doesn't need to be overly fancied up with accessories or gimmicks, nor expensive to be cool  For ten bucks, we're sure kids young and old will get their money's worth out of this thing.
The second smaller class vehicle is one we almost completely missed.  Why?  Because it looks to similar to the series one Rippin' Rider when on store shelves.  The MMX Cycle is slightly larger and bulkier than the aforementioned Rippin' Rider, but all and all it really gives the impression of, "Oh, look.  Another motorcycle for the new TMNT line."  It really doesn't feel necessary.

Much like the Rippin' Rider, it features two missiles that can be flicked from the same sculpted launcher of the previous motorcycle, and features a kickstand for standing the bike up.  Beyond that though - It's just another motorcycle in what is quickly becoming a heavily motorcycle populated line - Though we can't deny that aesthetically it's very pleasing to look at.
The last vehicle produced is the medium sized Ninja AT3 which features an exclusive All-Terrain Leonardo figure.  The figure alone is worth the purchase in our book, and really the main selling point for us.  We love the cap on his head, and the newly sculpted swords for the figure.

The three wheeled ride features a small spring loaded missile on the front - A rarity for the line as the majority of the vehicles seem to be geared towards flicking the projectiles out from the rear.  Though beyond that, and the three spinning wheels you won't find any other features.
It's a little heavier than most of the mid sized vehicles in the series, and it also doesn't feature many thin plastic pieces, so it may be a little more sturdier for those out there who have children who are tough on their toys.  Though, we suppose that just like any other toy out there, with persistence it would break.
That about does it for our look at the series five figures, and either the series four or five vehicles in the hot, hot, hot, Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  This line is one of our absolute favorites on the market today, and we really hope that Playmates Toys can keep up the momentum, excitement, and sheer volume of toys.  We already have our mental checklist in full swing of toys we'd love to see from this line just based on the first season of the show.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ooze-It (Ooze It Inc.)



Ooze It!
Ooze It Inc.
1981

Here’s one a lot of you have probably never heard of – Ooze-It!  This little green guy was created by a family in Metairie, Louisiana, and quickly became their one and only product produced under their “Ooze It Inc.” label.
How it would work was simple.  Unscrew the head which came off like a bottle top, pour in the included red syrupy liquid which came packaged with it.  After that, simply squeeze it, and watch all the goo come pouring out of the various holes.  When done, attach the yellow strand plug to all the holes to keep the remaining goo inside.

It was simplistic, it was gross, and it was fun.

The company never went on to produce anything successful beyond the Ol’ Green Oozy here, and little is known about the group in general.  As of this year, the rights to Ooze-It have been purchased by Tokyo toy developer Yoda-san who is producing a larger version of the figure now known as Yusei Majin.

As for the original Ooze-It, it remains one of the rarest toys of the 1980’s.  Few are known to exist in their original shrink wrapped packages, and the ones that are can sell for upwards of a thousand dollars.  Not bad for a toy that came stamped with a $9.00 price tag on the box.

Join us next time when we take a look at The Shadow!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

The World Of Annie 6 Inch Dolls (Knickerbocker)



The World Of Annie
Knickerbocker
1982

There are few musicals we would actually admit to liking, and oddly enough Annie is one of them. The film featured a great cast, memorable and catchy songs, and a story which leaves even the hardest of men weeping for the young orphan. It's a classic for a reason.

Since the film debuted, there have been numerous products released to coincide with it. Once such item is Knickerbocker's line of six inch dolls (they also made a miniature figure set). The line featured five different dolls (plus a variant of Annie which contained a locket), numerous sets of clothing, a vehicle and a massive playset.

While the series covers the main cast of characters Annie eventually adopts as a family, it doesn't veer much beyond this with the exception of Annie's friend and fellow orphan, Molly. We would have loved to seen characters based on Carol Burnett's Miss Hannigan, and Tim Currey's "Rooster". Even then, that's just the tip of the iceberg as compared to the numerous characters which could have been included.

Still, if you're a fan of Annie, you'll find something to appreciate with this line. 

SIX INCH DOLLS
Annie (with Locket)*Annie*Daddy Warbucks


SIX INCH DOLLS
Miss Hannigan*Molly*Punjab


ANNIE FASHION


VEHICLES
Limousine


PLAYSETS
Mansion

OVERSIZED RAG DOLL

Join us next time when we take a look at Ooze-It!

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutagen Ooze Series 2 (Playmates Toys)



Did you miss the original batch of Mutagen Ooze from Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line?  Do you just want more?  How about in new colors?

Out on shelves now is an all new series of Mutagen Ooze.  Now you can nab one of four different neon colors of your favorite slimy goop to pour all over your plastic mutant friends.  The colors are; Green, Yellow, Purple, and Orange.

All of them carry the same product number, NN3183, but still contain a mini figure inside.  For us, the purple ooze contained an orange colored Michelangelo figure.  The orange ooze contained a blue Leonardo.  The green ooze contained a red Raphael.  Finally, the yellow ooze contained a purple Donatello.  The sculpt for each mini figure is the same as the original.

The packaging is also less bulkier, doing away with the mini "box" style, and going with a simple circular wrap around.  The case is the same triangular style as the previous release, holding twelve canisters of ooze, three of each color, now includes a small blurb on the front right which reads, "New!  More Ooze to Choose."

Each canister carries a price tag of $7.99 - Ouch!  That's a hefty price from these, especially considering most kids will just dump it everywhere, and it will be gone forever.  Even so, the original batch of ooze had a slow start when it first hit store shelves, but now is relatively scarce.  If you missed it the first time around, or simply want to add a new color to your collection, grab them while you can.

Another exciting aspect to these was that the promo catalogs inside of each one contained the new figures for series five - Spider Bytez, M.O.U.S.E.R.S., the two packages of Ninjas in Training, the non chrome version of Shredder 2, and smaller Battle Shell versions of the turtles which appear to coincide with the basic figure sizes.  For those of you collecting the deluxe, larger figures, there is also a section in the catalog for Throw N' Battle figures.  Truth be told, the catalog excited us more than the actual ooze.

Until next time, this has been News from The Toy Box!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Popeye The Sailor (Mezco)



Popeye The Sailor
Mezco
2001-2002

If we really have to sit here an explain the premise of Popeye the Sailor to you, then we really don't know what to say. Sure, we could go into in depth detail on the character, but the bottom line is he's so ingrained in pop culture as one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time that if you don't know about him at this point our only really advice would be to head to Youtube now.

Over the past eighty+ years, Popeye has been the star of comics, cartoons, full length films, and featured on pretty much any form of merchandise you can think of. Today we're looking at the fantastic toy line created by Mezco between 2001 and 2002.

Each figure featured fantastic sculpting and painting, making the toys look exactly like their cartoon counterparts. Each one also came packed with a magnificent array of accessories, and some even came with additional "smaller" figures. In total, sixteen figures were produced over the line's three waves - Each one spot on in detail.

SERIES 1
Bluto*Classic Popeye
Olive Oyl*Popeye (Pea Coat)*Wimpy


SERIES 2
Pappy*Sailor Bluto
Sailor Popeye*Sea Hag*Storm Gear Popeye


SERIES 3
Alice The Goon*Bluto (Repaint)*Olive Oyl (Repaint)
Popeye (Repaint)*Deep Sea Bluto*Deep Sea Popeye


For those looking for an even more classic rendition of the characters, check out the black and white three pack produced exclusively for FAO Schwarz. Granted you're not going to find this on toy shelves these days (or any of the figures for that matter).

FAO SCHWARZ EXCLUSIVE
Multipack with Black and White Bluto, Popeye, Olive Oyl and Sweet Pea

If you're lucky you can nab a complete loose figure for around $30.00, but we've seen them sell for as much as $60.00 a piece. Mint in the package is going to set you back all the more. As for the three pack - We've honestly never seen it on secondary markets, so we couldn't begin to guess what that would cost you.

Join us next time when we take a look at The World of Annie 6 Inch Dolls!

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Predator Series 1 - 13 (Neca)



Predator
Neca
2010 - 2015


SERIES 1
Berserker Predator*Falconer Predator*Classic Predator


SERIES 2
Berserker Predator*Classic Predator*Tracker Predator



SERIES 3
Classic Predator*Elder Predator*Predator Hound



SERIES 4
Boar Predator*City Hunter*Shaman Predator



SERIES 5
Guardian Predator*Snake Predator*Stalker Predator



SERIES 6
Lost Predator*Scout Predator*Warrior Predator



SERIES 7
Big Red*City Hunter*Falconer Predator



SERIES 8
Jungle Extractoin Dutch*Jungle Hunter*Jungle Patrol Dutch


SERIES 9
Jungle Disguise Dutch*Water Emergence Predator*Jungle Encounter Dutch


SERIES 10
Hive Wars Predator*Nightstorm Predator*Lava Planet Predator


SERIES 11
Thermal-Vision Dutch*Battle Armor Lost Predator*Wasp Predator


SERIES 12
Viper Predator*Enforcer Predator*Elder Predator V2


Renegade Predator*Cracked Tusk Predator*Scavage Predator
TOYS R' US EXCLUSIVE
Classic Predator


TOYS R' US EXCLUSIVE
Berserker Predator and City Hunter Two Pack*Jungle Hunter and City Hunter Two Pack*Dutch Vs Jungle Predator: The Final Battle


SAN DIEGO COMIC CON EXCLUSIVE
Berserker Predator (2010)*Classic Predator (2011)

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON EXCLUSIVE
City Hunter Predator (2012)*Albino Predator (2013)*Ahab Predator (2014)

NECA CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE
Ambush Predator (2015)

As a thank you to fans of the series, NECA produced a downloadable Predator poster showcasing all the figures through 2013.  You can download both the JPEG and PDF versions directly from NECA "HERE".  Below is also an upload of it.


Join us next time when we take a look at Popeye The Sailor!

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