Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 Recap



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

Bugs Bunny Playhouse
DC Comic Super Heroes
Mr. T
From Filmation's Ghostbusters (AKA Filmation's Ghostbusters)
Tron
Clash of the Titans
The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (AKA Yoda)
Alien ReAction Figures

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

Alien (Funko / ReAction Figures)



Alien
Funko / ReAction Figures
2013

Super 7's retro based Alien line has been met with very mixed reviews from collectors.  While some praise the line for its true to form renditions of what would have been a classic Kenner series, others say it's too much of a step backwards for action figures in this day and age, and only encourages toy manufacturers to keep things basic in terms of articulation while at the same time charging outrageous prices based on nostalgia, and not necessarily quality.

The original concept for the line began in 1979 when Kenner was looking to once again capitalize on the latest and greatest science fiction film of the year.  However, once prototypes were produced, it became apparent very quickly that Kenner would be facing an uphill battle trying to sell toys to children based on a rated R film.  Though some products did get produced, the action figure line was scrapped prior to going into production.

Enter Super 7 over three decades later.  Whatever side of the fence you're on, the fact remains that without Super 7, these long lost Kenner toys would have never seen the light of day.  They were able to obtain the rights to the line, and meticulously went to work on creating the vintage series you see before you today.  They even took a page out of Kenner's book and presented the series as an Early Bird Package at San Diego Comic Con in 2013.

The infamously designed cardboard box guaranteed buyers that they would receive a complete set of figures between October and December 2013, and as an incentive to the $100.00 buy in price also guaranteed a secret chase figure that at the time was not revealed.

EARLY BIRD PACKAGE

When the figures started arriving via mail, fans and collectors were treated to vintage style cardbacks very reminiscent to those of the vintage Star Wars line.  Each figure was packaged on the left with a scene straight out of the movie encompassing the majority of the rest of the otherwise blue card.  In the center was the vintage logo for the line straight out of Kenner's original design.

EARLY BIRD FIGURES
Ash*Dallas


EARLY BIRD FIGURES
Kane*Ripley

The promised chase figure turned out to be a clear version of The Alien, and to date it has only been made available to those who purchased the Early Bird Package.


EARLY BIRD FIGURES
The Alien*The Alien (Clear Chase Variant)

To help promote the series, Super 7 created the fake Cancelled Toyfair 1979 Advance Promotional Sample.  The company falsified a story that they had found a storage bin full of prototype versions of Kane and The Alien.  Mind you, their intentions were never to dupe anyone as below the fake story was also the truth behind it.  The bottom line, they simply thought it would be neat to create a "what if" scenario of prototypes, and truth be told, it was neat.


CANCELLED TOYFAIR 1979 ADVANCED PROMOTIONAL SAMPLE
with The Alien and Kane

With all the Early Bird Packages fulfilled with buyers, Super 7 produced the retail editions of the series.  This would include all new packaging that now featured a black outlining as opposed to the prior blue one.  We commend Super 7 for not only being creative, but for helping to keep the first company supporters investment of the toys somewhat unique and valuable to the full blown retail released versions.



RETAIL EDITION FIGURES
Ash*Dallas*Kane


RETAIL EDITION FIGURES
Ripley*The Alien


Funko continued their San Diego Comic Con releases in 2014 with the first playset from the series, Egg Chamber. For those of you who were unable to attend this years convention, don't resort to secondary markets just yet unless you're a package collector. A retail version is scheduled to hit select store shelves later this year, and much like the figures above will come in a black packaging.

PLAYSETS
Egg Chamber

In addition to the Egg Chamber, Funko also came to San Diego Comic Con with several Deep Space Mystery Eggs. Four figures in total were made, but each came in two variations. The rarest version are the clear, and the common versions are the black with glitter.

DEEP SPACE MYSTERY EGG
Clear Ripley*Clear Alien*Clear Ripley in Space Suit*Clear Chest Burster Kane

DEEP SPACE MYSTERY EGG
Deep Space Ripley*Deep Space Alien*Deep Space Ripley in Space Suit*Deep Space Chest Burster Kane

In addition to the Alien line, several new lines have been announced, some of which may already be on store shelves as of this post.  Will Funko and Super 7 milk this train until people are sick of it?  Or will this be widely received by collector's as the new thing to do?  Time will tell that answer.

***UPDATE***

Wave two of the Alien line hit shelves in 2015.

 Alien (Metallic)*Chest Burster Kane

 Face Hugger Kane*Ripley (in Spacesuit)

***BONUS***

As we said above, despite Kenner eventually passing on the idea to produce a series of action figures on the film Alien, a handful of products did get developed and released.  The most popular, and considered a holy grail among collector's is the very large, highly detailed Alien.

Standing at 19 inches tall, to this day this "figure" represents how action figures/dolls should be done.  It features a rotating waste, ball joints on the arms, a removable portion on its head to reveal the skull - which also glows in the dark.  However, the best feature is the mechanism on the back of the head which opens the mouth and expels its inner jaw, also known as the "attack tongue."

To date this remains the definitive Alien collectible for fans, and it won't come cheap.  Mint in the box versions have sold for two to three thousand dollars, while open ones, or poor in the package ones have garnered anywhere from $500.00 to $1,000.00.

We wonder what cartridge the kid on the box of the Alien Movie Viewer is actually watching.  Even back in 1979 parents were not big supporters of their children seeing the film, so we doubt that in such a modest time that any child would actually be viewing the actual Alien cassette - Let alone smiling about it.  Let's be honest, kids back then scared easily, not that they don't these days as well.  But we children of the 70's and 80's weren't as desensitized as kids these days.  Alien would have terrified the majority of us.

Regardless, Kenner moved forward with releasing this all new dark gray Movie Viewer which included the cassette, "Alien Terror".  It would be the one and only cassette created for the Movie Viewer series in general.

This last Kenner product is actually more well known for the box containing an image of the prior mentioned 19 inch action figure.  It was, "An exciting new game of elimination and escape for 2 to 3 players."  We're talking of course about Alien Game.

The object of the game was to be the first player to get one of your astronauts into the space shuttle Narcissus.  However, at the same time, you have a secondary objective - Use your Alien to eliminate the other player's astronauts.

The box contained one game board, twelve astronauts, four Aliens, two dice and an instruction booklet.  An average game would last about thirty minutes.

Join us next time when we dig deeper into Kenner's Movie Viewer line!

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Star Wars - Attack of the Clones (AKA Yoda) (Hasbro)



Star Wars - Attack of the Clones (AKA Yoda)
Hasbro
2013

Hot on the heels of their poorly received 2012 line of figures based on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D, Hasbro released the even worse Attack of the Clones line - Or as some collector's have come to call it, the Yoda line.  This name was of course given to it for the obvious reason - Yoda on the package.

The line was meant to correspond with the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 3D.  The only problem with this was that Lucasfilm had scrapped the idea of continuing the Saga in 3D.  Some say this was because internally it was known that the studio would be shifting hands to Disney and the upcoming Episode VII.  Other's say it was because The Phantom Menace in 3D was very poorly received.  Whatever the reason is, collector's of the toys made it very clear to Hasbro that they would not support either lines, and rightly so due to the amount of poorly produced, rehashed figures.

Much like the prior line, the series was broken up into two sections; Movie Heroes and The Clone Wars.  More so similar was that the line didn't contain anything new in terms of characters.  Each set contained nine figures, and as a whole also included four Class I vehicles (which each included two figures) and three Class II vehicles.


MOVIE HEROES
Anakin Skywalker*Battle Droid*Darth Maul
Darth Vader*Jango Fett


MOVIE HEROES
Obi-Wan Kenobi*Stormtrooper
R2-D2*Yoda


501st Legion Clone Trooper*Anakin Skywalker*Battle Droid
Captain Rex*Clone Commander Cody


Darth Maul*Obi-Wan Kenobi
R2-D2*Savage Opress


CLASS I VEHICLES AND FIGURES
501st Legion AT-RT with ARF Trooper and TX-21 Tactical Droid
501st Legion Attack Dropship with Clone Pilot and Battle Droid
MTT Droid Fighter with Battle Droid and Obi-Wan Kenobi
Yoda's Jedi Attack Fighter with Yoda and Super Battle Droid


Jango Fett's Slave I
Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighter
Republic Fighter Tank

Since the lines ghastly release, Hasbro has made good with many fans by way of restructuring the Star Wars franchise into the current Black series, both in 3.75 and 6 inch formats.  These lines have been much better received by collectors, and hopefully Hasbro has learned their lesson that fans of a series for the past 30+ years are no longer throwing money at any and everything Star Wars related.  They want quality, care, and most importantly, figures they don't already have unless the newly sculpted ones are drastic improvements over the last.

Join us next time when we take a look at Alien ReAction Figures!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon (McFarlane Toys)



The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon
McFarlane Toys
2004 - 2005

We were very surprised by the reception of our post on The Beatles: Yellow Submarine figures. We knew the group was popular, but we didn't know so many "hits" would amass from one single obscure toy line.

Forty-eight episodes encompass what is known as The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon series. While all four Beatles are represented in the series, oddly enough just two people provided all the voice overs; Paul Frees (John and George) and Lance Percival (Paul and Ringo).

Several shorts encompassed each full episode, and each was designed to set up a visual illustration of the full song featured in the skit. Though during this time the band moved on in both look and style in their personal lives, the show insisted on depicting them in their clean suited mop top look. The producers did however incorporate real photos of the band during the intro which showcased their more contemporary looks.

When the series original aired the band voice their dislike of it, and refused any involvement beyond their music being utilized. It was because of this series that when the feature film "Yellow Submarine" was produced that the band declined to be involved in that as well. It wasn't until seeing the finished product of the film that they agreed to provide a live action epilogue.

Much like the Yellow Submarine figures, these Saturday Morning Cartoon renditions are incredibly difficult to track down, especially at a reasonable price. Individual figures can sell upwards of $45.00 a piece, though if you act fast, on occasion you can find them for about $25.00 a piece.

Even rarer is finding someone selling a complete set. If you do manage to find a complete set being sold by one person, a lot of times they seem to think that having said set deems double the asking price.


Paul


John


George


Ringo

Those looking for a cheaper alternative to tracking down all four figures may instead want to focus on this multipack which was released in 2005. It will probably still set you back over a hundred dollars, but in the long run could end up being cheaper than the individual figures, and even includes an alligator.


Below is a fun little video which showcases all three of the different intros utilized for the series from season one through three.


Join us next time when we take a look at Star Wars - Attack of the Clones!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Clash of the Titans (Mattel)



Clash of the Titans
Mattel
1982

Ever since Kenner struck gold with the vintage Star Wars toys in 1977, every toy company clamored to latch on to the next speculated big blockbuster Hollywood hit, and develop a toy line.  Unfortunately for most, it just didn't pay off.

Such was the case with Mattel's 1982 line of toys based on Clash of the Titans.  Despite the film being highly regarded as the reason most people today know of the story of Medusa and Perseus, and becoming one of the most noted sci-fi/fantasy films of its time, it wasn't really geared towards children, and as a result most kids didn't know or care about the toys.

The series only saw a total of four figures produced, and two "beasts".  The four figures included Perseus, Thallo, Calibos and Charon, while the beasts featured the infamous Pegasus and Kraken.  A second release of Pegasus would also include the figure Perseus, though both are simply a repacking of the single packed figure and beast.


Perseus*Thallo


Calibos*Charon


Pegasus*Perseus and Pegasus


These days the Kraken beast is a difficult one to track down both complete and in the box.  Many loose pieces contain broken parts, and boxes are few and far between.  A complete Kraken beast with the box can fetch close to a thousand dollars, and is considered a "Holy Grail" for toy collectors.

Kraken

The film remains a top cult classic feature to date, with the toys being more so collectible these days than when they were first released.  Mind you, this is no collection for the faintest of collectors as a complete sealed set can cost well over a thousand dollars, and again, that's if you can even find the Kraken.

Join us next time when we take a look at The Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tron (Tomy)



Tron
Tomy
1982

These days the original film, Tron, has more of a cult following than a fan base.  That's not to say that those who do follow it aren't "fans", but that unlike other highly successful films which even casual viewers can leisurely view here and there, the bottom line with Tron is you either like it, or you don't.  Even at the time of its release, while it received great reviews for its visual work, many critics felt rather harsh towards the actual story.  In short, many considered it to be boring and lacking any depth.

During its production phase, Disney had high hopes for the film.  So much so that they even licensed with Tomy to create a line of toys based on it.  Much like the film, the toys dazzled a very select few, and failed to sell as well as anyone hoped.  It came and went with just four figures and two vehicles.

Tron*Flynn
 
 
The figures were designed using colored, yet translucent(ish) plastic which was highlighted with white lines to depict the CGI costumes from the movie.  There were two "good guys" (blue), and two "bad guys" (red).  Three of the figures came with little white discs, and the Warrior figure included a staff.
 

Sark*Warrior
 
Probably the best items to come from the line are the two Light Cycle vehicles which included a plastic "rip and ride" feature.  Basically, you inserted the flexible plastic "cord" which had "teeth" on it, pulled it out fast, which in turn spun the wheels to make it go when you put it down.
 


Light Cycle (yellow)*Light Cycle (red)
 
These days, the original Tomy Tron toys sell much better than they used to - Mainly because many toy collectors find the line to be cheap and easily accessible.  Though there are still die hard fans of Tron who have added these pieces to their collections as well.  Their popularity was also mildly boosted in 2002 when Neca released them all again using the same molds and package designs.  Neca even included a blue Light Cycle in the bunch along with the yellow and red ones.

Join us next time when we take a look at Clash of Titans!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

From Filmation's Ghostbusters (AKA Filmation's Ghostbusters) (Schaper) (Tyco)



From Filmation's Ghostbusters (AKA Filmation's Ghostbusters)
Schaper (Tyco)
1986

Schaper was a toy company made somewhat famous for their board game, Cootie in the late 1940's.  It was designed and developed by founder, Herbert Schaper, who actually created the game in his spare time while working as a mailman.  Throughout the years his company has found little bits of success with other games, and a handful of action figure lines.  One such line is the highly controversial (between Ghostbusters fans) From Filmation's Ghostbusters - AKA Filmation's Ghostbusters.

Fans of Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters films (and animated series The Real Ghostbusters) take great offense to Filmation's version which began airing in 1986.  They felt that it was a complete rip off and was duping fans to tune into a series not in fact based on the beloved screen renditions of the Ghostbusters, but rather a mocking farce of the series.  The sad truth is while Filmation's Ghostbusters series didn't launch until after the Reitman film premiered, and was probably brought to light as a result of its success, Filmation actual had the rights to the name Ghost Busters due in part to their 1975 live-action series - The Ghost Busters.

The short version of this tale is that when the film Ghostbusters was in production, Filmation sued over the rights to the name, and actually won.  Thus when the animated series of the Reitman based Busters came out it was known as The Real Ghostbusters - A proverbial middle finger to Filmation?

Tiffs between studios aside, Schaper stepped in to produce a fantastic line of toys based on the animated series which ran for sixty-five episodes in late 1986 (September - December).  Unique to the packaging was the circular "ghost" symbol at the top.  You have to keep in mind when looking at these that this was the day and age of rectangular cards that either had rounded edges or sharp corners.  To do something like this was typically unheard of, and most major companies with high selling toys (such as G.I. Joe) shied away from such "gimmicks".

In total, twelve figures were produced - Six Ghostbusters, or good guys as they were, and six Evil Prime minions, or the bad guys if you will.

Belfry and Rat-A-Rat*Eddie*Futura
Jake*Jessica*Tracey


Fangster*Fib Face*Haunter
Mysteria*Prime Evil*Scared Stiff

In addition to the figures, Schaper produced four vehicles and a playset.  The Ghost Command is a playset that would rival most of its time, and even to date.  The shear size, design and incorporated mechanisms designed to increase the amount of play aspects are fantastic.  The biggest shame of it all was that it was produced for a toy line that so many kids passed on.

That's not to say that the vehicles are anything to frown about.  Fans of the series praise (in particular) the Ghost Buggy for being true to the show both in design and its ability to "transform" as seen on screen.


Ghost Buggy*Scare Scooter
Time Hopper*Bone Troller


Ghost Command

Its important to note that Schaper toys was acquired by Tyco in 1986, and as a result every toy shown above can be found with either a Schaper or Tyco logo on the packaging.  In addition to that, several other companies were given the rights to release the toys in various other countries.  These toys don't have either the Schaper or Tyco logo on them, but rather the foreign distributed companies name.  What does this mean?  It means that for a true mint in package variant hunter that this series could be a dream come true collection or a nightmare waiting to unfold.

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

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mr. T (Galoob)



Mr. T
Galoob
1984

Mr. T did indeed, "Pity the fool."  Sadly that fool was George Peppard who failed to see that T was the star that kids around the world tuned in to see on the A-Team, and not him.  Rather than embrace this aspect, and capitalize on it, the aging actor grew jealous, and made co-stars and producers of the series more than aware of his dislike for the man.  For a great in depth look at this check out Justin Lee Collin's Bring Back...The A-Team (or any of the Justin Lee Collins Bring Back... episodes for that matter - They're all incredibly entertaining).

While producing a highly insulting series of figures based on the A-Team in 1984, Galoob also managed to produce a more respectful "doll" line based on Mr. T.  Both a standard and talking version were produced, and both skyrocketed in popularity with children.  Mr. T was the baddest mutha of them all, but in a respectful way to his mother, and kids of all ages looked up to him, making him a very iconic - very rich - young man.


Mr. T*Talking Mr. T

Though a pull of the string didn't have Mr. T spouting things such as "Hey, sucka," or things of that nature, it did include one of four phrases including;

1) I pity the poor fool
2) Always listen to your parents
3) Study hard in school

And one other that just wasn't working right, and we couldn't understand.

Galoob also produced two lines of accessories/clothing for the doll.


Combat Attack Set*Fire Rescue Set

The last item produced (at least in the US) was the smaller Wrestling Mr. T figure.  It doesn't really incorporate into this particular line, but it incorporates well into the other wrestling figures of this era from the various toy companies.



If you have a chance, check out the original commercial for the Mr. T doll.  It's a riot.  It depicts kids with balled up fists just punching away on the doll, all to a jingle about how T is tough and mean.  These days, that kind of commercial wouldn't go far with parents.

Join us next time when we take a look at From Filmation's Ghostbusters (AKA Filmation's Ghostbusters)!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

DC Comic Super Heroes (Toy Biz)



DC Comic Super Heroes
Toy Biz
1989 - 1991

If you ever want to find yourself in a fistfight, you need only to walk up to someone buying an original Kenner's Super Powers figure and say, "Toy Biz's DC Comics Super Heroes are far superior."  You'll be attempting to dodge punches in no time.

We're not sure why this line gets such a bum rap from many collectors of DC related heroes.  Sure, they're not the best iterations of the characters, and okay, they may have paled in comparison to Kenner's Super Powers line, but it's not like during 1989 you could have logged on to the internet to track down the Kenner versions instead.  It was kind of one of those take what you can get and be happy about it moments.

The summer of 89 saw the release of Tim Burton's Batman, and with it came a major resurgence in comic book toys.  This of course was boosted by Toy Biz themselves who produced a very small series of action figures based on the film (see our post on that, "HERE").  Quickly moving to expand on the line, Toy Biz changed the title of the series to DC Comics Super Heroes.


Aquaman*Green Lantern*Hawkman


Lex Luthor*Mr. Freeze*Robin

Though it focused heavily on Batman related villains, the line also saw almost the complete line up of the Justice League characters as well.  Because this line was a springboard from the 1989 Batman movie, you'll notice the absence of an actual Batman figure.  Toy Biz never released any of the three Batman carded figures (Batman, The Joker, Bob the Goon) on these new cards.



The Flash*The Flash with Turbo Platform*Superman


The Penguin*The Riddler*Two-Face

What's interesting about this series is the exclusion of any vehicles.  The prior released Batman figures included six vehicles as well as a playset, so it was odd that this concept was suddenly abandoned.


Wonder Woman

Join us next time when we take a look at Mr. T!

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Entertainment Earth

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bugs Bunny Playhouse (Concept 2000)



Bugs Bunny Playhouse
Concept 2000
1977

Looking for the ultimate Bugs Bunny and pals playset?  Well, you missed it by about three to four decades.  For the best of the best, look no further than Concept 2000's 1977 release of the Bugs Bunny Playhouse.  This amazing thing had it all, straight out of any number of classic Looney Tunes shorts featuring Bugs and his pals!

It featured a rabbit hole with ladder, mailbox and tree trunk with television antenna, and that was just the top level.  The bottom level featured Bugs Bunny's private home with his bed, bookshelf, chair and hung picture.  For such a small company to get it so right was amazing at the time, and even more so amazing that nobody to date has topped it.

 
We don't normally take a look a loose items, but since the figures included were so cool, and the only way you could get them, we thought we'd have a more in depth look.

 
 
That's right, this playset not only came with Bugs Bunny, but also Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd.  What's not to love about that?  Unfortunately Concept 2000 never developed any further figures to be sold individually, and the Bugs Bunny Playhouse ended up being a one and done project.

It's a real shame that many toy companies today can't seem to do it right.  By that we mean show a little love and care for the products they're producing, and actually put a little effort into them.  If Concept 2000 could do it in 1977, there's absolutely no reason why it can't be done today.

This playset didn't have any moving parts or elaborate sounds and lights.  It was just a true to its television counterpart rendition of your average Bugs Bunny cartoon that left little room for complaint, and after all isn't that all that we as toy collector's want?  Take heed, toy manufacturers - Sometimes simple is better.

Join us next time when we take a look at DC Comic Super Heroes!

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Entertainment Earth

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