Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014 Recap



Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in February 2014. 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.

Family Guy Crazy Interactive World
The Crocodile Hunter
The X-Files
Identity Crisis
Magic The Gathering - Alpha
New Gods
Star Trek
Hellboy (AKA Hellboy Movie Figures)

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hellboy (AKA Hellboy Movie Figures) (Mezco)



Hellboy
Mezco
2004

Hellboy is a highly underrated comic book movie if you ask us. Because the character isn't necessarily mainstream, or at least wasn't prior to the movie, many people passed on it, and those said people missed out. Ron Perlman captures the look of Hellboy perfectly, and as an actor comes through as someone who is actually enjoying playing the part on screen.

The film is based off of the character's first mini series, Hellboy: Seed of Destruction from Mike Mignola and John Byrne, published by Dark Horse Comics. Since its original inception, Hellboy has expanded to numerous other story arcs in comic, television and movie form.

To coincide with the movie's release, Mezco produced a small line of action figures. Variants were the name of the game, most of which contrived of various incarnations of Hellboy with simple changes to his mouth position or various clothing.


SERIES 1
Abe Sapien*Hellboy (with Big Gun)*Hellboy (with Trenchcoat)


SERIES 1
Hellboy (with Trenchcoat) Variant Chase with Teeth Showing*Kroenen
Rasputin with Hellbaby*Sammael


SERIES 1.5
Anung Un Rama*Abe Sapien (Battle Damaged)*Hellboy (with Stockade)



SERIES 1.5
Hellboy (with Trenchcoat - Open Hand)*Hellboy (with Trenchcoat - Closed Hand)
Officer Kroenen*Hellboy (Shirtless with Dumbbell)

In addition to the regular waves of figures, Previews released their own package variations. These were denoted with small stickers which labeled them as being from Previews. The figures were no different from those released in the regular line.




PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE
Abe Sapien (Black Suit)*Hellboy (Battle Damaged)
Hellboy*Hellboy (with Trenchcoat)

PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE
Kroenen*Rasputin (with Hellbaby)*Sammael

The last two pieces produced were San Diego Comic Con exclusives. Much like the other variants in the series, the only difference between the two are the mouth positions.

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON EXCLUSIVES
Hellboy (Open Mouth)*Hellboy (Closed Mouth)

Join us next time when we take a look at yet another Mezco Hellboy series based on the comic book series!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Star Trek (Playmates Toys)



Star Trek
Playmates Toys
1995 - 1998

When we think of Star Trek, we think of that scene from Winnie the Pooh where Tigger is in his house and something to the tune of "honey" is said, and Tigger says, "Honey?  That's what Tiggers like best!"  He then digs in, smacking his lips and making sounds of enjoyment only to cringe and say, "Yuck!  Tiggers don't like honey!"...And that's what Star Trek is to us.

Though we're not fans of Star Trek in general, we can still appreciate a good toy line based on the series.  Between 1995 - 1998, Playmates Toys did the ultimate nod to everything Star Trek by creating a line encompassing several of the various shows, from the original to the most current.  Throughout its three year run, over forty figures hit store shelves, making it one of the largest Star Trek line of toys to date.

Wave 1
Dr. Katherine Pulaski*Picard as Galen*Geordi LaForge*Sheriff Worf in Western Attire
Dr. Beverly Crusher in 1940's Attire*The Hunter of Tosk



Wave 2
Vash*The Traveler*Conselor Tori as Durango in Western Attire*Lieutenant Jadzia Dax in Ritual Klingon Attire
Borg with Firing Cybernetic Arm*Lieutenant J.G. Geordi LaForge with FIring Phaser Rifle

For some unknown reason, Playmates Toys felt it would be a great idea to produce an incredibly limited run of Captain Jean Luc Picard figures during their third wave.  The figure was limited to just 1,701 (you Star Trek fans get what that means).  During the prime of the series, fans were paying several hundreds of dollars for the figure on secondary markets.  These days while may people attempt to sell it for upwards of $500.00, it typically sells for between $50.00 and $100.00.


Wave 3
Worf Governor of H'Atoria*Captain Jean Luc Picard from "Tapestry" (Limited to 1,701)*Grand Nagus Zek*Commander Benjamin Sisko from "Crossover"
Christin Chapel*Janice Rand


Wave 4
Security Chief Odo from "Necessary Evil"*Captain James T. Kirk*Jem Hadar*Lieutenant Commander Worf
Admiral Riker from "All Good Things"*Lt. Natasha Yar from "Yesterday's Enterprise"


Wave 5
Captain Christopher Pike*Elim Garak*Mister Spock*The Talosian Keeper
Vina as Orion Animal Woman*Lietuenant J.G. Reginald Barclay (Limited to 3,000)


Wave 6
Captain Kurn*Captain Benjamin Sisko*Seska as a Cardassian*Tom Paris Mutated
Gorn Captain*Dr. Beverly Crusher (Limited to 10,000)


Wave 7
The Mugatu*Captain Kirk in Environmental Suit*Professor Data*Harry Mudd
Dr. McCoy in Dress Uniform (Limited to 10,000)

Probably the two most commonly missed figures in the series are the Spencer's exclusive Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott and Lt. Hikaru Sulu.  Spencer's has never been known as a store that advertises, and as a result many collector's didn't know that the two figures were even available.  Not only that, but you just didn't tend to find Star Trek fans shopping at Spencer's.


Spencer's Exculsive
Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott (Limited to 10,000)*Lt. Hikaru Sulu (Limited to 10,000)


Toyfare Exclusive
Lt. Tasha Yar*Mr. Spock


Box Sets
Star Fleet Officer's Collector's Set
Toys R' Us Exclusive

Probably contributing to the sudden deflation of the secondary market prices of the limited edition Picard figure was the release of the three pack below which not only included that particular figure, but also two other limited figures in the series.  Unlike the individually carded figures which were limited to 1,701 - 3,000 pieces, this box set had 20,000 pieces available ensuring that pretty much every collector who wanted one got one.



Box Sets
1701 Star Trek 3-Pack with Picard, Yar and Barclay (Limited to 20,000)
Captain James Kirk with Balok and Balok's Puppet
Captain Jean-Luc Picard as "Dixon Hill" and Ginan as "Gloria"
Ensign Harry Kim and Species 8472
Lt. Commander Data with Lt. Worf and Alexander Rozhenko

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

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Gods (DC Direct)



New Gods
DC Direct
2008

New Gods is by far a new concept for DC Comics.  The characters, or rather, the concept of the original characters first appeared in Jack Kirby's New Gods number one back in February of 1971.  Since then they have seen many iterations and story lines which have come and gone as mini series over the past decades.

DC Direct's figures are based on the Countdown to Final Crisis story arc from 2007 (to 2008).  The story evolves around the mysterious deaths  of the New Gods across the universe, and is actually meant to set up the highly acclaimed Final Crisis story arc by Grant Morrison.

It's true that your mildly interested comic book fan probably hasn't heard about the majority of the characters in this particular series of toys, but for New Gods fans, this was a dream come true.  These characters stem from the classic era of comic books, and it's very apparent in their nostalgic looks with the bright greens, oranges and yellows worked into their costumes.  You just don't see characters this "bright" these days.


Darkseid*Lightray*Mr. Miracle*Orion
 

Big Barda*Kalibak*Metron*Superman

DC Direct has been doing an amazing job releasing figures in their various series that otherwise just wouldn't see the light of day.  It's commendable that they're not concerned with releasing a series that would otherwise only have a handful of figures.  They know what fans want, and they seem happy to oblige.

Join us next time when we take a look at Star Trek!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Magic the Gathering - Alpha (Wizards of the Coast)



Magic the Gathering - Alpha
Wizards of the Coast
1993

Magic: The Gathering, or Mana Clash as it could have become to be known, is a card game created by Richard Garfield and released by Wizards of the Coast.  The idea for the card game came to Garfield as he was sitting in his bed complaining about Mondays...No, wait...Different Garfield.

This particular Garfield just a college kid when he first approached Wizards of the Coast with the concept of the board game RoboRally.  Peter Adkison, CEO of Wizards liked the idea of the game, but felt the company didn't have the resources to produce such a concept.  He instead mentioned that the company would be more interested in developing a "portable" game that could be played at conventions during down time.  Garfield later returned to the company presenting them with the concept for Magic, a portable card game, later changed to Magic: The Gathering when the company was seeking a patent upon release.

The game became an overnight success during it's first print run of 2.3 million cards.  It was so popular that the company even feared advertising it as they already couldn't keep up supply with demand.  Though it was widely received in the gaming community, many fans quickly started to complain about some of the more powerful cards which made sessions to one sided.  Thus began what would become a staple in the Magic community, the banning of cards.

The first series of cards came to be known as Alpha, or Limited Edition.  This set contained 302 cards, and set the premise for the game with its core functionality that it is still know for today - I.E. Tap mana to cast spells, creatures, artifacts and more.  As later sets became available, Wizards often times tried to add various gimmicks to improve the game, but in a lot of ways actually did more harm then good.  Gamers loved the core premise, and beyond that, much more wasn't necessarily needed.

The cards are broken up into various color sets - Green, white, red, blue and black.  In addition to that it features land cards, which are used to obtain mana, and artifacts.  From there, the cards are once again broken down by three levels of rarity - Rare, uncommon and common.  All of these various colors and rarities can have a combination of spells and creatures.  Below is every card from the now very hard to obtain, very expensive Magic: The Gathering - Alpha series.






























































It's safe to say that Magic: The Gathering is more popular today than it was when it was initially released.  Fans of all ages enjoy collecting the cards, building decks, and spending hours upon hours just playing and trading cards.  It's a game that has brought thousands, if not millions together, and most importantly, it's just good old fashioned honest fun.  Sure there are players out there who take the game a little too seriously, but for the most part, players are very grounded, well adjusted friendly, and enjoy the common bond they have with each other.

Join us next time when we take a look at New Gods!

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