Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 2014 Recap



Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in November 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 Authority
The Walking Dead Series 6 (Television)
The Walking Dead Series 3 (Comic Book Figures)
Birdman and Avenger
Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 10
Coneheads
Dynomutt and the BlueFalcon (AKA Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon)
The Expendables and The Expendables 2
The Fall Guy
G.I. Joe (Dollar General)
The Herculoids

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Herculoids (Toynami)



The Herculoids
Toynami
2003

Though The Herculoids originally aired in 1967, most children of today remember it more so for its 1981 iteration of episodes from Space Stars. Space Stars featured four segments which included, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Teen Force and Astro and the Space Mutts.

The Herculoids was about a family; Zandor, Tara, his wife, and Dorno, their son. Interesting enough was that Dorno never referred to his parents as mom or dad, but rather by their first names. The show also featured the creatures; Zok, a flying space dragon, Igoo, an ape made of rock, Tundro, the ten legged rhino, and the two protoplasmic characters Gloop and Gleep. Together, The Herculoids defend their planet from both local and foreign menaces.

In 2003, Toynami released three multipacks which encompassed all the characters from the series. A treat included in the box was the fabulous background diorama which when combined spelled out The Herculoids.


Zok and Zandor*Dorno, Gleep and Tundro
Tara, Gloop and Igoo
 
These sets weren't too easy to find back when they were first released, and have since then only gotten more scarce.
 
Hanna-Barbera Hi-Adventure Heroes
Hi-Adventure Heroes
1976
 
The Herculoids also enjoyed a short lived stint in the pages of Hi-Adventure Heroes comic book title, Hanna-Barbera Hi-Adventure Heroes.
 
Hanna-Barbera Hi-Adventure Heroes

Join us next time when we take a look at Dick Tracy!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

G.I. Joe (Dollar General) (Hasbro)



G.I. Joe (Dollar General)
Hasbro
2012 - 2013

In 2012, the internet world exploded when fans of G.I. Joe stumbled upon an inexplicably released set of new figures being released at Dollar General stores. Soon message boards and collector pages were brimming with pictures and questions regarding this set which seemed to materialize out of nowhere. New G.I. Joe figures exclusive to a Dollar General store? How could this be? Why weren't we notified by Hasbro?

Fans never did get the answer to that question, but what they did get were new releases of Duke, Snake Eyes, Shipwreck, Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow and Cobra Trooper. The thrill of the hunt was on as collectors flocked in droves to their local (or not so local) Dollar General store.


WAVE 1
Duke*Snake Eyes*Shipwreck
Cobra Commander*Storm Shadow*Cobra Trooper
 
So what do you do when you release a brand new set of figures on unsuspecting fans who swoop in and buy them all up? Naturally you release a second wave the following year. But, what do you do when you're Hasbro, and you've grown rather lazy about putting any effort into your products? Naturally, you just repaint the first wave and release that - And that's exactly what they did do.

Though they are repaints of the first wave, many fans actually prefer the Cobra Commander and Cobra Trooper figures from wave two over the prior wave. Mainly because the paint colors match the characters more so to what fans were accustomed to seeing from the comics, original cartoon and vintage figure.

WAVE 2
Duke*Snake Eyes*Shipwreck
Cobra Commander*Storm Shadow*Cobra Trooper

What made the repainted Storm Shadow interesting to collectors was that with the new orange and white paint scheme, the figure more so resembled T'Gin-Zu, a figure from the vintage line that came packaged with the Ninja Force Pile Driver vehicle. Though the original figure didn't match the sculpt of the above Storm Shadow, the look is definitely spot on for the character as depicted in the artwork for the Pile Driver package.
 
If you missed the chance to nab these figures in 2012 and 2013, you unfortunately missed your one and only opportunity to get them "cheap". These days they sell for ten to fifteen dollars each on secondary markets.
 
Though fans eagerly awaited a wave three, to date it hasn't come.
 
Join us next time when we take a look at The Herculoids!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 10 (Playmates Toys)



Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 10
Playmates Toys
2014

Just when you thought we'd seen the last that Playmates Toys had to offer for 2014, along comes Bebop and Rocksteady! These two figures are currently Walmart exclusive figures during their initial release phase, but Playmates Toys says that this will change once the duo appear in the animated series. After that point the figure will be mass market released, meaning you will be able to find them at most local toy retailers.

These guys look great, and bring back a little nostalgia for fans of the classic TMNT cartoon. For many of us, we've been waiting for what seems like an eternity for this duo to join not only the show, but our Nickelodeon based action figures.

Bebop
 
Unlike most of the new TMNT figures from this line that have been incredibly difficult to track down, Walmart has stock available right now on their website. You can find Bebop "Here" and Rocksteady "Here". How long this supply will last is unknown, so grab them while you can.
 
Much to our continued disappointment with this series, as you can see from the Playmates Toys production photo (loose figures), and our photo of the packaged figures, all of that great paint detail is once again lost in the actual production of the figures. This has been a continuing gripe of fans of the series, and it doesn't show any signs of changing, which is a shame.
 

Rocksteady

Variant hunters should be on the look out for two versions of each figure. For Bebop look for both a peach and brown skin version. For Rocksteady look for a version that has pants with and without the green camouflage markings.



These figures are being shipped to Walmart in their own case of eight (four of each figure), so stock should be in abundance - Pending your local store gets them. As of now there's no reason to start worrying about supply vs. demand - Not that this has been an issue with any of the prior waves yet.



It's unknown at this time if any further figures will hit store shelves the remainder of the year. The back of the cards for Bebop and Rocksteady show new figures such as Karia (serpent mutation), Turflytle and Baxter Stockman (fly mutation), but this wouldn't be the first time that new figures were advertised long before they were available. If anything new trickles out, we'll update this post.

In addition, look for a Slash variant hitting shelves now. We'd heard rumblings about this one in the TMNT action figure world for a while, but couldn't confirm its existence until The Toy Box reader Mattster sent us an image of one he'd found on shelves.



This particular version of slash has the lime yellow toenails as seen in the original production prototype of the figure. Depending on which factory your store gets their products from, you can find the version with the ooze on the neck, and also the version with the ooze on the marginal shell.

With the holidays upon us, it may be difficult to track one down right now as the TMNT section of most toy stores are typically left in distraught around this time of year.

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The Fall Guy (Tonka)



The Fall Guy
Tonka
1983

Lee Majors was Colt Seavers. Hollywood film stunt driver by day, and bounty hunter by night. This is the type of stuff that TV show fans of the 80's ate up! TV shows stuffed with explosions, wrecked cars, and over the top leading men who oozed just as much sex appeal as their female co-stars.

The Fall Guy ran for five seasons over the course of 1981 to 1986, and never deviated from its main premise. Each episode would start with a stunt being performed on a Hollywood set, where shortly after Seavers would receive his next assignment. Of course no assignment ever involved just going to the suspects house, knocking on the door and taking him in. Nope, instead each time it unraveled into a deeper mystery with these would be criminals turning out to be mastermind criminals or simply one step ahead of our hero.

In 1983, Tonka produced one of the very few toys based on the series. The Stunt Plane with Colt Seavers figure. The toy itself is a great design, but for its time wasn't a big seller. These days, we can certainly appreciate it more, and absolutely love the plastic streamer you can attach to the back of the plane which reads "Fall Guy Air Show".

Find in a mint in package plane these days is pretty hard to do. They show up occasionally, but typically don't sell because the sellers are asking too much for them. Most of the buyers we've seen are willing to spend about twenty bucks on a mint in package version - About half of what most people are asking for them. Loose planes sell for as low as $5.00, but this typically doesn't include the figure or plane accessories such as the streamer.

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

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Monday, November 17, 2014

The Expendables and The Expendables 2 MiniMates (Diamond Select)



The Expendables MiniMates
Diamond Select
2012

The Expendables was a dream come true film for action movie fans of the 80's and 90's. Where else would you get Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and Mickey Rourke all at the same time? Throw on top of that wrestling superstars Randy Coutoure and Steve Austin, and the film only rounds out even further. However, even if that wasn't enough, toss in a couple cameos from the likes of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now what kind of movie do you have going on?

Okay, cast aside, the film received mixed reviews praising it for its action sequences, but condemning it for its paper thin story. When you pull it apart, the film was what it was expected to be - An outing of our favorite action stars of yesterday all under one roof. Did it really plan on being anything more than that? Probably not. It was probably sold on actors alone.

Despite the power house cast, toy companies didn't seem to interested in marketing products to coincide with the film. MiniMates produced an incredibly small batch of tiny figures based on a few of the characters, however out of the two sets produced, one was a Toys R' Us exclusive.

Pack 1 with Lee Christmas, Hale Caesar, Mr. Church and Tool

Pack 2 (Toys R' Us Exclusive) with Paine, James Munroe, Barney Ross and Trent Mauser

The Expendables 2
MiniMates
2012

Expendables 2 upped the anit with the returning cast of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren by also throwing in Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and full inclusion from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once again critics praised the cast, and tore the plot and dialog to shreds.

MiniMates once again followed up with two packs of figures, with one again being a Toys R' Us exclusive.

Pack 1 with Yin Yang, Toll Road, Gunner Jenssen and Jean Vilain

Pack 2 with Barney Ross, Mr. Church, Booker and Trench

A third Expendables film was released in August of 2014, but its box office profits were far from what the prior films saw. Regardless, a fourth film is rumored to be in the works.
 
These days it's not difficult to find any of the packs above, and with each set ranging between five dollars and ten dollars, it's also not difficult to grab them all at a reasonable price. Whether prices stay this low for the foreseeable future is another story.
 
Join us next time when we take a look at The Fall Guy!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dynomutt and the BlueFalcon (AKA Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon) (Toynami)



Dynomutt and BlueFalcon
Toynami
2003

Make no mistake, Dynomutt was the star when it came to the duo of him and BlueFalcon.

The character first made his debut on the segmented show, The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour. With popularity soaring off into orbit, after just two months the show was tweaked to add an additional half hour, and became the 90-minute Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show which is how it remained until the series end in September of 1977.

Dynomutt's claim to fame was that he was essentially a robot dog with extendable limbs a la the yet to be introduced, but probably inspired Inspector Gadget (1983) character. The character also had the ability to produce a seemingly infinite amount of gadgets and tools to help in any scenario. Dynomutt was the ultimate swiss army knife.

Though the Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show came to an end in 1977, the character was far from done with the Saturday morning cartoon scene. He would have a recurring role in Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (1977-1978), and Scooby's All-Stars (1978-1979). During 1978, the character also returned in syndiacation under his own bannered show, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.

In 2003, Toynami provided fans a great opportunity to get their hands on figures of the Hanna-Barbera dynamic duo. This very limited two pack came and went in the blink of an eye. It was sold out before many fans even knew it existed.

Dynomutt and the BlueFalcon Deluxe Box Set

While not necessarily common, this can still be found on select secondary markets, but don't expect to get one if you're not willing to drop some cash. Mint in package sets have sold for $130.00 to $150.00.

***BONUS***

Hanna-Barbera's Dynomutt
Marvel Comics
1977

Dynomutt and BlueFalcon weren't just limited to the cartoon scene. In 1977, Marvel Comics produced a fun read for fans in the six issue run of Hanna-Barbera's Dynomutt.





Join us next time when we take a look at !

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Coneheads (Playmates Toys)



Coneheads
Playmates Toys
1993

It rarely works out when you take a three to five minute Saturday Night Live sketch and convert it into a ninety minute movie. Very few SNL sketches have been able to find success on the big screen, and most typically go on to have cult followings, but not necessarily be memorable iconic films. Coneheads was no exception to this rule.

The 1993 film was seen as a desperate attempt by cast and crew to grab a piece of the tail end success of Waynes World, and springboard into a non-related series of SNL character based films. Sadly while more films came such as It's Pat, Stuart Saves His Family and Superstar, most of them were critical flops with the same problem being sited over and over - One-note characters and plots stretched thin over a feature length period.

It was rather interesting to see Playmates Toys release a line of figures to coincide with the film in 1993 considering they were still pushing the ever popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys out in mass quantity. Coneheads wasn't exactly a line that the company needed to stay afloat in the toy isle, and it certainly didn't help them in any way.

Much like the film, the series of toys saw little to no success. Only six figures were produced in total.

Beldar in Full Flight Uniform*Beldar in Suburban Uniform*Prymaat in Full Flight Uniform
 

Prymaat in Suburban Uniform*Connie*Agent Seedling

SNL films were in abundance from 1992 to 2000, but since that period it seems that someone has learned a valuable lesson, and with the exception of 2010's MacGruber, there haven't been any big screen iterations of the characters. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? We suppose that's all a matter of personal opinion.
 
Join us next time when we take a look at Dynomutt and Blue Falcon!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Birdman and Avenger (Toynami)



Birdman and Avenger
Toynami
2003

The question of the day - Is Birdman more popular for his superhero adventures, or his attorney at law years?

Birdman got his start in 1967 when creator Alex Toth produced a series for Hanna-Barbera known as Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. The series ran as a Saturday morning cartoon until 1969, and featured three segments, two for Birdman, and one for The Galaxy Trio.

After the Saturday morning cartoons ended, Birdman went somewhat dormant. Though the cartoons were aired in re-runs, the character never really garnered as much popularity as it did in its original run.

Fast forward to 1992.

Cartoon Network hits the airwaves with its channel dedicated strictly to showing cartoons. It's every kid and kid at heart's dream come true station. With it came all the great cartoons that many adults grew up with such as Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, and yes, even Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. Sadly though all these great shows helped to put the Network on the map, the heads of the station soon started looking at new concepts for shows, and slowly started dropping these classics from their daily lineup.

Soon shows such as Dexter's Lab, The Power Puff Girls and I Am Weasel were the headliners for the network, bringing in a new era of animation for kids. Though many of these new shows took off in popularity, the classic characters wouldn't be forgotten. Instead they would be retooled to incorporate them in to all new concepts such as Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Brak Show, Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law. These new concepts/shows were met with praise from fans of the characters, and also new fans who tuned in each week.

Though many young adults of this era may only know the characters for their latter iterations, we old timer's had the privilege to see these characters develop from their origins to who they are today, and though we (maybe not all of us) can appreciate these new versions for what they are, still have a certain fondness for who they were.

Toynami gave us a bit of that nostalgia in 2003 when they released a two pack of the original Birdman and Avenger in a deluxe box packaging. The only downside to this was that they did it in an incredibly limited run. This left many fans unable to find them on store shelves, and scalpers running rampant on secondary markets.


Birdman and Avenger
 
These days it's still not easy to find this set, and those selling them on sites such as ebay are trying to sell them for around $125.00 to $150.00. Ouchy! However, $60.00 to $100.00 seems to be more around the actual amount that people are willing to pay for this.
 
***BONUS***
 
Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes
Gold Key
1968
 
Between the three year run of the animated series Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, Gold Key comics launched a series entitled Hanna-Barbera Super TV Heroes which ran for seven issues. Each issue consisted of four to five stories, each focusing on a different character/team.
 
 

 
 
Don't start seeing dollar signs if you're looking to buy or sell these books. While you would think that such a classic comic book with all these fantastic characters would put you in a mansion (seller) or the poor house (buyer), the truth is that you can nab up each issue in near mint condition for $15.00 to $20.00 each. Even better is that they're all pretty readily available from comic book dealers who specialize in 1960's/1970's comics, and even on ebay. Though when it comes to comic books we highly suggest buying from reputable dealers who let you inspect the book prior to purchase.
 
Join us next time when we take a look at Coneheads!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

The Walking Dead Series 3 (Comic Book Figures) (McFarlane Toys)



The Walking Dead Series 3 (Comic Book Figures)
McFarlane Toys
2014

Much like the post below of The Walking Dead Series Six (Television Series) we were going to wait until much later to post this. Also much like the post below, there's not a whole lot we can say at this point about The Walking Dead that we haven't already covered.

Though the comic book series of figures had a slight stall there at the beginning, and as such hasn't covered as much ground as the television series, it's safe to say at this point that we're sure it will get there.


Dwight*Andrea*Punk Rock Zombie*Rick Grimes
 
Much like prior waves, this set also includes a bloody black and white pack which contains Rick Grimes and Andrea.
 

 
 
Typically with the comic book series there aren't a whole lot of offerings once an initial wave such as this hits, so don't expect to see anything else until series four comes about.
 
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The Walking Dead Series 6 (Television Series) (McFarlane Toys)



The Walking Dead Series 6 (Television Series)
McFarlane Toys
2014

We were going to wait, and post this much further down the road (sometime after January of next year). As such, we're sure we'll be updating this one as exclusives and deluxe sets start to hit shelves down the road - Such as they always tend to with this series.

There's not a whole lot we can really add in terms of text to this post that we haven't already said in our numerous Walking Dead posts. Fans of the television series and action figures will be happy to get their hands on this all new sixth series, as well as to hear that a seventh series is also planned.

If there was one thing we had to say was becoming a major disappointment with this series, it would be the oversaturation of Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon figures. There's just too many of them! We get that they're the majority favorites of viewers, but the oversaturation of this character in toy form is a personal turnoff for us. With series six, and the upcoming series seven, it appears that Michonne will also be joining that list of characters that are being produced to abundantly.


Abraham Ford*Carol Peletier*Bungee Walker
 

Hershel Greene*Rick Grimes*The Governor
 
For those of you interested in chasing exclusives, Walgreens will once again be offering them. This time around its nothing short of a re-release of figures already out there, and the series is rightfully entitled Flashback.
 


Daryl Dixon*Michonne*RV Zombie
 
As we said above, we'll update this post as deluxe sets and exclusives get announced/released if/when they are available.
 
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The Authority (DC Direct)



The Authority
DC Direct
1998

The Authority is a series created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, which is/was published under DC Comics Wildstorm banner. The adventures surround a group of superheroes which were initially created by Ellis for the Image Comics series Stormwatch.

Unlike your typical superhero team, The Authority are willing to do anything necessary to get the job done. It featured many characters over its many iterations, to and include the original line up of characters, Jenny Sparks, Apollo, Midnighter, The Doctor, The Engineer, Jack Hawksmoor and Swift. Though some of the original characters would stay consistent in the series, as the years went on new faces appeared, some replacing other characters.

Unfortunately for The Authority, the series could never gain a strong foothold in comic form. Though it's no surprise considering that the only reason the characters thrived under the Image banner was because the staff at Wildstorm enjoyed reading the Stormwatch series, and wanted to keep Ellis employed. Beyond that, the books weren't selling all that well to actual fans outside of the company. As a result, it's easy to understand why when volume one hit stands in 1999 that it was met with lackluster enthusiasm from the comic reader community, and only seemed to roller coaster up and down through its following 2nd, 3rd and 4th volumes. It didn't help matters much that there was little to no consistency in when books were released, particularly with the 4th volume.

Prior to volume one, DC Direct released a handful of figures based on the characters. Sadly, much like the comics, the figures were met with little enthusiasm. As a result, only four figures made it to store shelves; Jenny Sparks, Apollo, The Engineer and Midnighter. It's not that the figures were bad, it was just that nobody was reading Stormwatch or The Authorit, so naturally there was not much of a fan base that was interested in the figures.




Jenny Sparks
 

Apollo
 

The Engineer
 

Midnighter

It's no surprise that secondary markets for these figures is pretty much non-existent. They're readily available, but they just don't sell all that often, and prices fluctuate all over the place making it difficult to pinpoint any firm numbers in terms of value. We've seen carded figures go for as little as $5.00 one day, and then $30.00 on another. Though we wouldn't recommend trying to hold off for the latter number if you're personally trying to offload these figures. Especially if you want a sale any time soon.

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

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