Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014 Recap



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

The Goon
Kick-Ass
Captain and Tennille and TV Starz Fashion Collection
Air Raiders
Video Game Super Stars - Diddy Kong Racing
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Bossman, Geekman, Moneyman and Supermom
Star Wars Legacy Collection (Amazon Exclusive)
Jackie Chan Adventures

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jackie Chan Adventures (Playmates Toys)



Jackie Chan Adventures
Playmates Toys
2001

Do you want to talk about a series of action figures that are INCREDIBLY difficult to come by?  Then let's talk about the four figures based on the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures from Playmates toys.  It's as if nobody bought these, and as a result all the additional product was sent back to the factory and melted down.  Loose figures are just as difficult to obtain as carded ones, yet oddly when found they don't command a high price.  Carded figures sell for as little as fifteen dollars, and loose sell for even less.

So what's the deal?  Why is this series so hard to come by?  We wish me knew.  Suffice to say that if you're a collector who loves a challenge, then give finding a complete carded set of these a try.


Adventure Jackie Chan*Kung-Fu Jackie Chan
 
The figures of course are based on the animated series of the same name which went on for a whopping five seasons featuring ninety-five episodes.  It's odd that the animated series was so popular yet yielded so little merchandise.


Section 13 Jackie Chan*Shadowkhan Warrior

Three twelve inch dolls were also produced by Playmates Toys, however two were just larger versions of the four inch Adventure Jackie Chan and Section 13 Jackie Chan.  The other figure was a Training Jackie Chan.

Join us next time when we take a look at Sega Genesis!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Star Wars Legacy Collection (Hasbro)



Star Wars Legacy Collection
Hasbro
2013 - 2015

In 2013 Amazon decided to try and get a piece of the Star Wars pie with a set of exclusive figures.  Available only as a six pack, the set's main draw was the build a droid pieces, packed one per figure that could be combined to create TC-70 - Jabba's protocol droid during the Clone Wars era.

Each set was pre-packaged in a white box, and delivered inside your typical brown Amazon box.  This helped ensure that each collection would get to its specified location in fair condition (note we didn't say "mint").  Priced at $59.99, many collectors felt it was too steep to plunge in for essentially three new figure, as the rest were nothing new in terms of characters.  If we're being honest, saying it's three new figures is being generous as it can be argued that despite being called the Black Squadron TIE Pilot, this figure is really nothing more than your average standard TIE Fighter pilot, and out of the package would probably be sold just as such.

A full set comprised of; FA-4, Black Squadron TIE Pilot, Sandtrooper, Battle Droid, 212th Battalion Clone Trooper, Sun Fac, and the build a droid TC-70.

Beyond the stale figures, the packaging is actually some of the more unique to be found in terms of Star Wars figure collecting to date.  With all the detail to the dome section, and overall presentation, the Astromech shaped cardboard stands out as being more impressive than the actual figures inside.

We've asked this before, and we'll ask it again - With how much attention Hasbro puts into the packaging of their figures, and so little care and attention as to what figures are actually inside, we really wonder who they're catering to.  Because it really feels like they're only interested in those buying toys to keep in the package.  Seriously, how many more Battle Droids, Clone Troopers and Sandtroopers do we honestly need?  It's lazyness and greed on the part of Hasbro and Amazon to think that collector's were going to jump at the opportunity to yet again buy figures we've already gotten a hundred times over - Just in different packaging.

In December 2013, Amazon was blowing these sets out at $14.99 - A far cry from the initial asking price.  This seems like a loud and clear message to Hasbro that Star Wars fans aren't going to buy the same figures over and over anymore just because they're Star Wars related.  They want quality figures, and the characters that haven't been done yet.  However, that price has since jumped back up, and is hovering around $40.00 now.

Exclusives are typically geared towards the die hard collectors, as well they should be.  They're the only ones who are really going to invest the time to track things like this down.  Thus it should have been six brand new figures which haven't been released, even if they were the more obscure characters - Nay, especially if they were the more obscure figures.  Show the fans you care, and they will in turn show their support with their wallets - The only true support than any company really wants.

On a side note, it's interesting to see people on ebay trying to sell these sets when they're still readily available from the direct source - Amazon. It's equally intersting to see that some folks are asking more than what you can buy it for from Amazon. Sadly, unless these people are all but giving the sets away, they're not selling. $25.00 to $30.00 seems to be the average sale price. It's a shame to see people taking such a loss on their investments, but unfortunately it's a common mistake in the world of collecting. Just because it's exclusive doesn't mean it's in demand. It also doesn't help when said exclusive is mass produced in great quantity.

***UPDATE***

With the mild success of the exclusive series (or possibly from massive overstock still remaining), Hasbro made an additional set of figures that were produced in 2015. While related to the series, each figure featured slightly different packaging, and in the case of the build a droid, TC-70, was slightly different as well.

 WAVE 1
212th Battalion Clone Trooper*Battle Droid

 WAVE 1
Luminara Unduli*FA-4 (Build A Droid)*Pablo-Jill

 WAVE 1
Sandtrooper*Sun Fac

 WAVE 2
Anakin Skywalker*TC-70 (Build A Droid)*Biker Scout

WAVE 2
Clone Trooper Sergeant*TC-70 (Build A Droid)*Padme Amidala


WAVE 2
R2-D2*TIE Fighter Pilot

Join us next time when we take a look at Jackie Chan Adventures!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bossman, Geekman, Moneyman and Supermom (Happy Worker)



We'd be lying if we said every toy line out there was spectacular.  Truth be told, there's been a ton of dud lines that leave us, and many collector's asking, "What were they thinking?"  Happy Worker left many people asking just that when they released several small lines of toys based on the working world in 2011.  The figures included Bossman, Geekman, Moneyman and Supermom.

These figures would work great if incorporated into your average six inch line diorama.  However, as a stand alone line really don't have all that much charm to them.

Bossman
Happy Worker
2011

Bossman*Bossman (Exclusive with devil and clown faces)


Moneyman
Happy Worker
2011

Moneyman

Geekman
Happy Worker
2011

About the only group that got behind the figures was McAfee who were looking for a unique item for their technical support staff to leave behind for clients after performing onsite repairs to computers.

Geekman*McAfee Exclusive Geekman

Supermom
Happy Worker
2011

Supermom (Asian)*Supermom (Black)*Supermom (White)

  
Join us next time when we take a look at Star Wars Legacy Collection - Amazon Exclusive!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (LJN)



E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
LJN
1982

LJN has a talent for - well - really ruining everything franchise based that they touch.  Just ask the many Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) gamers who purchased such duds as The Uncanny X-Men, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, The Karate Kid...This list could go on and on.

When they set upon producing a series of toys based on the film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the company seemed lost.  Rather than focus on one thing, and do it well, they were all over the map.  Small figures, large "dolls", wind ups, pop ups, etc.  The company didn't seem to have any focus.  It was as if they were just randomly throwing stuff out there in hopes of hooking someone.

The mini figures are actually the best thing to come from the company, but sadly they only seemed focused on the E.T. character despite there being room for growth.  Numerous single carded figures and a larger gift set were produced which depicted the character in his various states throughout the film.

E.T. (in dress)*E.T. (with flower pot)*E.T. (with blue blanket and book)
 

E.T. (with robe)*E.T. (with white sheet and Speak and Spell)*E.T. (with phone)
 

E.T. (with ghost sheet)*E.T. (with doll)*E.T. (with umbrella)
 

E.T. Six Pack
 

E.T. Action Figure (with Speak and Spell)*Wind Up E.T.*E.T. and Elliott Powered Bicycle
 

E.T. Talking Figure*Poseable Talking E.T. (with robe)*Toys R' Us Exclusive Poseable Talking E.T. with "I'm A Toys R' Us Kid" T-Shirt
 

E.T. and Spaceship Launcher*Pop-Up Spaceship*Stunt Spaceship

It's safe to say that Steven Speilberg found greater success with the actual film than LJN found with the toys.  There were plans, and even a prototype advertised for a larger scale version of the spaceship, but due to the lackluster sales of all of the above it was cancelled.  The prototype was showcased in the 1983 LJN catalog which boasted that the playset would have weighed a whopping ten pounds.  It appears that it would have been compatible with the smaller figures above.

Join us next time when we take a look at an interesting toy line from Happy Worker!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Video Game Super Stars - Diddy Kong Racing (Toy Biz)



Video Game Super Stars - Diddy Kong Racing
Toy Biz
1999

Toy Biz's Video Game Super Stars is one of those diamond in the roughs type of toy lines. It was a great opportunity for gamers to collect figures based on some of their most favorite video game characters, and really paved the way for the massive abundence of said figures which we see fairly regularly on toy shelves these days. The biggest shame with the series is that Toy Biz hasn't continued it.

We've already covered the others which can be found "HERE" on our Toy Biz page, so unless something new starts hitting toy shelves in 2014 and beyond, this is unfortunately our last stop for the VGSS series.

Diddy Kong is a character made popular in the series Donkey Kong Country. Not only did this game help to bring this new character to light, but it brought the Donkey Kong series as a whole back to life in a way. It would never be comperable to the classic Donkey Kong title that started it all, but as its own series, developer Rare took great steps to ensure that everything came together perfectly in a solid game that spawned numerous sequels.

With Nintendo's craze for kart based racing games, soon Diddy Kong found the spotlight with Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64 in 1997. The game was highly successful for both Rare and Nintendo, and though a sequel was announced entitled Donkey Kong Racing, the game itself never went into development beyond a small rendering presentation trailer.

Two years after the game's release, Toy Biz produced an incredibly small line of figures. Each one came packed with its own racing kart which the figures easily fit inside of. It's disappointing that so few of the racers out of the potential eight were only produced. As a whole, it leaves the line probably the least desirable out of all the Video Game Super Stars series because it feels so incomplete.


Banjo Kazooie*Wizpig*Diddy Kong

Join us next time when we take a look at E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial!

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Air Raiders (Hasbro)



Air Raiders
Hasbro
1987

Finding success with a toy that has no cartoon series to back it up was a difficult challenge for toy companies in the 80's. Many relied on what they called thirty minute commercials to help make the characters a household name, and thus encourage children to beg their parents to buy more toys.

Despite this lack of support, Air Raiders will forever be one of those great toys of the 80's. Developed by Hasbro in 1987, the series of toys focused on the inhabitants of the distant world of Airlandia. The Air Raiders battle against the evil Tyrants of Wind who have taken control of the planet's air supply by force. Despite the odds, the Air Raiders wage a war for freedom of all the people of Airlandia.

Unfortunately beyond that, the individual figures never got any real individuality. The packages referred to them as soldiers, pilots, etc., and simply specified them by group. Unlike a lot of toys, each vehicle came packed with anywhere from two to eight figures helping you to build your army fast. If that still wasn't fast enough for you, there was also a package of Air Raiders and Tyrants of Wind figures which could be purchased. Each came with six figures.


FIGURES
Battle Squad*The Enforcers
 
 
The meat of the line leaned heavily on the vehicles. Each one had its own unique look, style and features. The Air Raiders vehicles featured a mostly all orange color, while the Tyrants of Wind were focused mainly on purple. The vehicles ranged in size, with the largerst being the Air Raider's Man-O-War.


SMALL VEHICLES
Storm Dagger*Thunderclaw*Twin Lightning


SMALL VEHICLES
Dragonwind*Wind Razor*Wind Seeker


MEDIUM VEHICLES
Thunderhammer
Hawkwind


LARGE VEHICLES
Man-O-War
 
The series was rounded out with the single playset, the Air Raider's Command Post. This particular playset featured several movable parts, and even a few projectiles. All and all, it was a great piece.


PLAYSETS
Command Outpost

Join us next time when we take a look at Video Game Super Stars - Diddy Kong Racing!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Captain and Tennille and TV Starz Fashion Collection (Mego)



Captain and Tennille
Mego
1977 - 1978

These Captain and Tennille dolls are technically part of Mego's TV Starz assortment which saw numerous dolls based on popular TV actors and actresses of the times.  The series included the likes of Cher, Farrah Fawcett and Diana Ross, but never really came together as an encompassed set in the eyes of buyers at the time, and collectors today.  This was because the only thing these "people" had in common with each other was that they were indeed on TV at the time.

The Captain, Daryl Dragon, and his wife, Toni Tennille found success with hit after hit during the era, and were featured several times on various variety shows as guests and hosts.  The two sang of happiness and love, something the general public truly felt the couple had for each other as evident by their long standing marriage.

However, as of January 2014, the couple have filed for divorce.  What a downer.  Not only that, but with the two being in their seventies, how much fuel could they really have left in the tank?  May as well gun it to the finish line at that point.

The dolls from Mego stood approximately twelve inches high, and even featured unique cut outs of their dogs on the packaging.  It was quite often that the duo would feature the pups in music videos and performances.

The Captain, Daryl Dragon*Toni Tennille

As mentioned above, the series of dolls was technically part of a much larger line entitled TV Starz.  Mego produced a line of additional clothing for each "set" of dolls which featured numerous outfits for all the dolls (in the TV Starz line) as seen in their television performances.  There were four produced specifically for Tennille in the line.

Shop Around*Sweet Tomorrow*Gypsy Magic*Sunshine

Today the dolls and fashion accessories fetch a pretty penny on secondary markets such as eBay.  The dolls can sell for upwards of a hundred dollars each, and the clothing sells for as much as $75.00 for each one.

Join us next time when we take a look at Air Raiders!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Kick-Ass (Mezco)



Kick-Ass
Mezco
2010

Kick-Ass will forever be that comic book movie that we consistently ignored because we knew nothing about it. After finally getting around to seeing it, we kicked ourselves for not having seen it sooner.

Based on the comic book characters and story created and developed by Mark Miller, the film follows Dave Lizewski as he sets out to become a real life super hero. Unfortuantely for him, he can't fight, he's not menacing, and worst of all, no criminal will take him serious. That is until he meets up with the mysterous Big Daddy and Hit-Girl who show him that crime fighting isn't just a game to be played, but serious business with serious consiquences - Especially for the bad guys.

In 2010, with the craze of comic book movies running strong, Universal and Lionsgate teamed up to produce a film based on the 2008 publication. Featuring a relatively unknown cast, with the exception of Nicholas Cage, the film debuted on March 26, 2010. It was immediately panned by advocate groups for it's gratuitous violence, and the very fowl mouth of it's then eleven year old actress Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit-Girl). In addition, some critics claimed the movie glorified violence and sexualized the young child actress. Though not all critic reviews were bad or against the film.

Mezco produced a very small line of figures based on both Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl to coincide with the film's release. Much to the dismay of collectors, the figures came pre posed with bent knees and necks which left little room for poses beyond what you see in the shots below.

Due to these stances, many collector's also had great issues with getting Hit-Girl to stand for more than a few minutes. The cuts in her leg for posing could never seem to come together to provide for a well balanced figure. As a result, she was often times on her back.



Kick-Ass
 
One of the smartest things that Mezco did for the series was to incorporate the characters over the double "S" of the title in a way of censoring it. They knew that retail stores would be hesitent to stock the toys, if not flat out refuse to should the packages be uncensored. They also censored the name of Kick-Ass himself by putting splotches of paint to resemble the double "S" in his name.
 

Hit-Girl

It was a shame to see that only these two figures were produced. A Big Daddy figure would have been an amazing item to have alongside these ones. It also wouldn't have hurt to have a couple of the "villains" from the film.

Join us next time when we take a look at Captain and Tennille!

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Goon (Mezco)



The Goon
Mezco
2005

The Goon is a series created, written and drawn by Eric Powell in 1999. When the series first debuted under the banner of Avatar Press, Powell was unhappy with the quality of their books, and soon stopped turning in work for publication. When his contract expired, he instead moved to self publishing where his series caught the eye of Dark Horse Comics who picked it up and continue to publish it to date.

Many of the stories take on a comedic approach which is intertwined with heavy violence and a touch of the supernatural. The average story will contain various undead creatures such as zombies, mutants, ghosts, etc. As a result, The Goon is very much so an adult themed comic.

In 2005, Mezco produced a very small series of figures based on the books. The series included only four figures, five if you include the chase variant of The Goon himself, and six if you include the build a zombie figure which could be made by purchasing all four of the basic figures.

Frankie


Joey the Ball


The Goon*The Goon (Chase Variant)


Zombie Priest


Zombie

The Goon probably isn't one of those series that your average collector would pick up, but all and all it's not a bad toy line.

Join us next time when we take a look at Kick-Ass!

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