Monday, June 29, 2015

Now Playing Presents Land of the Dead (State of the Art Toys)



Now Playing Presents Land of the Dead
State of the Art Toys
2006

State of the Art Toys is one of those companies that comes and goes at its own pace. They don't tend to release a whole lot of items, but what they do produce is pretty impressive. The quality and sculpts show the work of people who care about the product they're putting forth, and the attention to every detail is always highly praised by fans.

Now Playing Presents Land of the Dead was one of those lines that kind of came out of no where. It was based on the George A. Romero of the same name (Minus the Now Playing Presents part). Romero himself has been pleasing fans for decades with his "Dead Series", and SOTA took an opportunity to bring some of that pleasure home in the form of plastic action figures - That sounded almost dirty as we typed it.

Beyond saying that there were three figures produced, there's honestly not a whole lot more to say on the series. It's a line that appeals to a niche market, and beyond that isn't going to be a big seller - Thus why there were probably only three figures.

Big Daddy


Machete


The Butcher


Each figure came packed with a few hacked up pieces to form "The Victim" when compiled. However, this wasn't exactly an extra figure that could be assembled - More so just spread about the plastic base diorama pieces that also came packed with each figure.

These days it's not a hard line to track down - It just costs more than most people are willing to pay. Typically priced at an average of $25.00 to $30.00 per figure, most go unsold on secondary markets. Most collector's on average are willing to pay about $5.00 for each figure.

Join us next time when we take a look at Ghost in the Shell!

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mr. Bacon (Accoutrements)



Mr. Bacon
Accoutrements
2002

We love finding stuff like this. We honestly do.

Accoutrements is a company behind numerous bacon based products - Toothpaste, lip balm, body wash - The list goes on. Their mascot, Mr. Bacon not only has been plastered across the packaging of these items, but also made an appearance in plastic as a bendable figure in 2002.

The Toy Box readers, if you haven't met him before, we'd like to introduce you to, Mr. Bacon!

This fun little guy stands about eight inches high, and compliments every bacon lover's collection just perfectly.

Mr. Bacon
 
Now, we didn't know this, but apparently bacon and tofu don't get along. If you're like Mr. Bacon, and you can't stand your tofu, then you'll want to nab yourself a Mr. Bacon Vs. Tofu two-pack, and live out your fantasies of destroying this curd and soy based villain.
 
Or perhaps you're a tofu fan, and you simply want to stick it to those bacon eaters by destroying Mr. Bacon for good with your tofu fighter. Either way, Accoutrements has you covered with this two pack.
 

Mr. Bacon Vs. Tofu

Mr. Bacon isn't too hard to find these days. You can nab him up from sites such as Amazon and ebay for around $5.00 to $7.00. The two pack on the other hand is a little pricier. It can still be found on Amazon, but some sellers ask as much as $30.00 for the set. That's ranging on the "steep" level for these guys.

Join us next time when we take a look at Now Playing Presents Land of the Dead!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Scarface (NECA)



Scarface
NECA
2007

It's interesting that the 1983 film, Scarface, has become noted for being such a great "mob" film, praised by critics today. In the 80's when it was first released it was heavily criticized for it's harsh language, drug overtones and violence. Certain Cuban groups even went so far as to pan and ban the film for such a harsh portrayal of Cubans as criminals in general.

Since its initial release, several bits of merchandise have hit shelves from posters to mugs, to t-shirts and toys - And more. The film has certainly come a long way, and during its travels has picked up several thousands if not millions of fans.

NECA knew that there was money to still be made off this classic 80's film, and that's where these fantastic figures come into play. In 2007 they released both a seven inch and eighteen inch version of the infamous Tony (Al Pacino) Montana. Each size came in two different versions - One with a white suit, and another in a blue suit. The sculpts were the same for all of them - Though the eighteen inch version had far more articulation.

Seven Inch Figures
Tony Montana (Blue Suit)*Tony Montana (White Suit)
 

EIGHTEEN INCH FIGURES
Tony Montana (White Suit)
 

EIGHTEEN INCH FIGURES
Tony Montana (Blue Suit)
 
Neither of the figures are necessarily cheap. The seven inch figures will set you back about $30.00 each, and the eighteen inch figures go for around $50.00. We suppose in terms of retail prices that they're not far off from that, but even at retail they were rather pricey.

Join us next time when we take a look at...Well, you really just have to see it to believe it.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Space: 1999 (Palitoy)



Space: 1999
Palitoy
1977

This post is for our reader, Night Owl, who commented about the Palitoy versions of Space: 1999 figures back in our original post of Mattel's version of the same series.

Palitoy was a British based toy manufacturer who often times worked with companies such as Kenner and Mego to produce and release figures in areas of the world that toys otherwise would not have made it to. The company found its biggest success in 1977 when it produced several foreign versions of Kenner's massively popular Star Wars line.

In that same year, Palitoys also released Mego branded dolls for Space: 1999. What's interesting about this particular line is that Mego never actually released dolls for this brand in the USA. Instead, it was Mattel that got their hands on the license to do so. With that said, there are definite differences between both lines in terms of design. As such, both are highly sought after by fans of the television series.

Only five - eight inch dolls were produced and released. All came packaged on that familiar Mego style bubble package which featured the status quo circular artwok depicting each character available.

 Alan Carter*Captain Koenig

 Captain Zantor*Mysterious Alien

Paul Morrow

Figures Toy Company gave a nod to the line in 2005 when they produced the original figures above as well as eleven additional ones. As such, be mindful when tracking down loose Palitoy versions as you may unwittingly purchase the newer versions at a vintage price.

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

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Kull the Conqueror (Toy Biz)



Kull the Conqueror
Toy Biz
1997

Kull the Conqueror was a character created by Robert E. Howard, the man behind Conan the Barbarian. The character found mild success in three separate volumes from Marvel Comics between 1971 and 1983, and in 1997 was brought to the big screen by actor Kevin Sorbo (Hercules). Though the film peaked at number nine at the box office, the overall reviews were negative.

It was this particular film that Toy Biz based their concept of the toys they produced on. Unfortunately due to the film thudding hard with critics, only three figures made it to store shelves before the line was halted and cancelled.

 Kull the Conqueror with Blazing Battle Armor

Because the line of toys was so small, we thought we'd take this opportunity to also look at the three volumes of the Marvel Comics series.

Volume one, Kull the Conqueror, (as pictured above) consisted of ten issues, and ran from 1971 to 1973.

Volume 2, Kull the Destoryer, (as pictured in the two photos below) picked up in 1973 where the Conqueror series left off. It even continued the numbering scheme, beginning with number 11. The Destroyer series ran through 1978 ending with issue number 29.


 Kull the King with Royal Battle Armor

Marvel tried to find success with a third volume (as pictured in the below photo - to the right of the figure) of Kull the Conqueror in 1982 and 1983 when they released two giant sized issues (one each year). Due to the lack of the characters overall popularity, and the hefty $2.00 price tag, sales were bleak at best.

Taligaro with War Attack Armor

Though the figures are readily available on secondary markets, sales are slim to none. Figures have been priced as low as $4.99, and still don't get purchased. It's a great line if you're looking for something cheap, but it's not a line that's grabbing the attention of the masses.

Join us next time when we take a look at Space: 1999!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rob Zombie Presents The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (NECA)



Rob Zombie Presents The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto
NECA
2009

Rob Zombie has worn a lot of hats during his career. Music artist, film writer and director, and as of 2009, animated movie developer. Rob Zombie Presents The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto wasn't technically his first foray into the world of animation. In fact, fans of the movie Beavis and Butthead Do America can be treated to a fun music video of sorts tucked into the film featuring both Zombie's music and animation style.

For his fans, El Superbeasto was a project long in the works, and one they feared would never come to light. The film started production in 2006, but was put on hold when Zombie switched focus to write and direct the reboot of the Halloween franchise. Upon completing that film, Zombie then went on tour.

It wasn't until 2009 that Zombie announced the film would see completion. True to his word, it was released in September of that same year. Much like his prior work, it quickly reached cult classic status.

In that same year, NECA licensed to produced a batch of figures based on the movie. Much to NECA's MO, the series came and went in the blink of an eye. Only two figures made it to production before the company moved on to other projects.

 Suzi-X

El Superbeasto

Was there room for this series to grow? Absolutely. There were plenty of characters NECA left untouched. Unfortunately, this is common for NECA, and action figures in general these days - Produce small lines that feel incomplete. Quickly move on to what may or may not be the next biggest and best thing.

As far as secondary markets go, these aren't breaking banks just yet. Each figure can be grabbed for about $7.00 each - Which is pretty amazing considering their retail price was twice that (if not more).

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

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Monday, June 8, 2015

G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra (Hasbro)



G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra
2010 - 2011
Hasbro

The iron was hot for the striking, and Hasbro came down on it with all their might. Right on the heels of their prior Rise of Cobra line, Hasbro dove headlong into the all new Pursuit of Cobra which ran from 2010 to 2011.

Though Joe fans were eager to swoop up what they could, truth be told there were a lot of questions as to what happened to the line as showcased at Joe Con in 2009. What hit shelves wasn't what was in correlation to what was initially displayed at the convention. To much dismay of collectors, several pieces had been cancelled prior to the line even getting an opportunity to thrive.

Despite this, Hasbro was able to please with what they did deliver - Six waves of figures, three waves of vehicles and a handful of exclusives.


 WAVE 1
Beachhead (City Strike)*Duke (Jungle Assault)*Snake Eyes (Desert Battle)*Snow Job (Arctic Threat)
Alley-Viper (City Strike)*Firefly (City Strike)*Storm Shadow (Desert Battle)*Cobra Commander

We love how Cobra Commander got his own "Cobra" themed card for this particular release. It adds all the more menace to his persona. We also love how Hasbro consistently creates artwork for each character in general leaving no one package the same as the other.

WAVE 2
Dusty (Desert Battle)*Recondo (Jungle Assault)*Snake Eyes (Jungle Assault)
Destro (Arctic Threat)*Jungle-Viper (Jungle Assault)*Zartan (Desert Battle)

WAVE 3
Duke (Desert Battle)*Snake Eyes (Desert Battle)
Cobra Shock Trooper (City Strike)*Storm Shadow (Arctic Threat)

Admittedly, one of our biggest complaints about this particular line is the over production of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow figures. We get that the two are popular, but it has become an annoying trend that each new series of G.I. Joe often times ignores other great characters that could be made in lieu of mass producing these two over and over.

WAVE 4
Low-Light (City Strike)*Skydive (Jungle Assault)
Destro (City Strike)*Shadow Tracker (Jungle Assault)

WAVE 5
Blowtorch (Jungle Assault)*General Clayton "Hawk" (City Strike)*Steel Brigade (Desert Battle)
Cobra Commander (City Strike)*Cobra - The Enemy (City Strike)*Jungle B.A.T. (Jungle Assault)

One of the things we love the most about pretty much every G.I. Joe line that has been produced to date is that they can all be incorporated together fairly seamlessly - As if they were just one giant line that's been running non stop for the past 30+ years. Not only that, but the look of the characters has stayed fairly consistent with their prior rendition. In other words - If you were to look at say, Crazy Legs from this line, and compare him to his 1980's counterpart, you would easily be able to tell that this is the same figure - Just in a different outfit.

WAVE 6
Crazy Legs (Jungle Assault)*Snake Eyes (Arctic Threat)
Cobra Viper (Desert Battle)*Croc Master (Jungle Assault)*Iron Grenadier (City Strike)*Rock Viper (Arctic Threat)

Personally we really appreciate the fact that exclusives were kept to a minimum for this line. There's nothing worse than not being able to complete your collection because you can't find or worse, afford a particular piece. Hasbro only released two exclusive figures via Toys R' Us, and even then they were fairly plentiful at the chain.

EXCLUSIVES
Quick Kick
Spirit Iron-Knife

While Hasbro planned, but then eventually cancelled a mail away version of Cobra Commander, the figure has still seemed to find its way to secondary markets. What's notable about it is that it contains all new accessories and a redesigned package. The figure itself is the same as what was released in wave one.

 MAIL AWAY
Cobra Commander

Every good Joe line needs a set of vehicles, and Hasbro made sure to deliver. Not only did they produce a fine few waves of sets, but each one came packed with a figure you couldn't get any other way.

 WAVE 1 - ALPHA CLASS VEHICLES
Ghost Hawk with Tomahawk (Jungle Assault)
Doom Cycle with Storm Rider (City Strike)

 WAVE 1 - BRAVO CLASS VEHICLES
Wolf Hound with White Out (Arctic Threat)
Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank v5 with Tank Driver (Desert Battle)

During production, Hasbro changed the color of the Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank v5 to black, and discontinued the original green version. Without opening it, the only way to tell if the version you are getting is green or black is to look at the production number on the bottom of the package. Production number 02381 (or higher) are the black ones. Numbers lower than 02381 are the green version.

 WAVE 2 - ALPHA CLASS VEHICLES
A.W.E. Striker with Nightfox (Desert Battle)
Cobra Ice Cutter with Snow Serpent Officer (Arctic Threat)

 WAVE 2 - BRAVO CLASS VEHICLES
V.A.M.P. with Double-Clutch (Jungle Assault)
Cobra Fury with Alley-Viper Officer (City Strike)

 WAVE 3 - MECHS
Steel Maurader with Kickstart (Jungle Assault)
Cobra Deviant with Cyber-Viper (City Strike)

Hasbro also planned on releasing two additional mechs - Minotaur with Desert Scorpion (Desert Battle) and Mountain Wolf with Alpine (Arctic Threat). Unfortunately these items were cancelled.

Two vehicles initially planned for a 2011 release were the G.I. Joe Cycle Armour and H.I.S.S. Attack Scout. Hasbro shopped the vehicles around to numerous retailers, but found little success until Winners of Canada accepted it as a store exclusive.

 G.I. Joe City Armour with Ashiko (City Strike)
H.I.S.S. Attack Scout with H.I.S.S. Scout Pilot (Desert Battle)

Finding G.I. Joe toys today on store shelves is just as much fun as finding them back in the day when the line was in its prime. There's no denying that Hasbro found something special with the 3 3/4 inch line, and it's just fantastic that they've managed to keep it relevant for so many collectors for so long. We're sure the franchise will be thriving for decades more.

Join us next time when we take a look at Rob Zombie Presents The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto!

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rocky (Phoenix Toys)



Rocky
Phoenix Toys
1983

We touched a whole lot on the Rocky films in our post on the Jakks Pacific series "HERE". As such, we're not going to go very far into depth on the actual films themselves.

These particular Rocky figures were produced and released by a company known as Phoenix Toys in 1983. Unfortunately it was also the only line of toys they produced, and they have not been seen or heard from since.

The figures themselves are actually pretty awesome. They're designed in the style of the highly popular wrestling figures of the era, and incorporate rather nicely into such a collection. They're also right in line with the size and design of lines such as Masters of the Universe and The Lost World of the Warlord (post coming soon).


Sylvester Stallone as Rocky

Only four figures were ever released, though some action figure collector's like to suggest that a fifth, Ivan Drago also made its way to shelves. This is doubtful as the figures were released in 1983, and Ivan Drago was not introduced as a character in the films until the 1985 Rocky IV film. We would love to be proven wrong, but the suggestion that a figure would be produced and released two years after the fact for a series and company that were long gone by this point is highly unlikely.

 Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed

For those unfamiliar with the actual Rocky films, most of these particular characters are all designed to coincide with their look in the third Rocky film which was released in 1982. We love how each figure showcases the actors name, and states that they're depicted as, and then lists the character's name. That's rather unique, and adds a little fun to the card.

 Mr. T as Clubber Lang

Both Mr. T and Hulk Hogan were up and coming stars of this era, and as such were popular among not only Rocky fans, but fans of WWF and the A-Team.

Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips

The cardback for the series lists several other Rocky related items to collect including a Rocky Sock'Em set. The concept was simply a re-make of Mattel's Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots. We tried desperately to track one down, but found no remnants of one anywhere. We honestly wonder if this item was ever produced. It's possible that when Mattel caught wind of the product being produced that they shut it down. They may have even been the demise of Phoenix Toys in general. All of this is speculation of course.

The figures aren't necessarily difficult to find. However, they are difficult to find at a reasonable price. Carded figures sell between $60.00 and $150.00 (each) with Apollo and Thunderlips being the most difficult (but not impossible) to track down.

Loose figures are far more common, and you can typically nab a full set for around $40.00. The downside to this is that they typically don't have any of their accessories.

All and all, this is really an awesome series of figures, and one we highly recommend to collectors of Rocky, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan toys and memorabilia.

Join us next time when we take a look at G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra!

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Donkey Kong (Coleco)



Donkey Kong
Coleco
1982

Coleco's 1982 Donkey Kong line is one of those great series that if anyone asked us we would tell them not to collect them. Why? Because they're so frustrating to track down - Specifically in mint in the package condition. Furthermore, they're so expensive for what you're getting.

Disclaimers aside, the line is fantastic to be sure.

Each mini figure stands about two inches high, and much like the style of the vintage Smurfs line from this same era, have zero articulation. However, what they do have is perfect detail and paint, and a massive aura of nostalgia.

As many fans already know, Donkey Kong was a game developed by Nintendo, and released in the arcade (1981), and eventually on home consoles such as the ColecoVision (1982), and of course the Nintendo Entertainment System (1986). The game is notable not only for its fun and addictive game play, but also for being the first video game to feature the (future) mascot for Nintendo - Mario.


 Mario

The "action figure" line was initially planned out as three figures; Donkey Kong, Mario and Pauline - All of which are noted/depicted on the cardback.

 Donkey Kong

 Pauline

With the toys selling somewhat successfully, Coleco later incorporated Donkey Kong Junior into what became the one and only figure for a second series. The package was altered slightly to a blue and greens striped motif, and the DK Jr. arcade machine replaced the photo of the original DK game.


Coleco continued publishing games for their ColecoVision game console until 1985, but must have not seen the value in continuing to produce action figures as the line halted just as quickly in 1982 as it started.

These days collector's clamber to nab these figures up on secondary markets, and at a pretty steady price of $20.00 to $30.00 each. The line has no trouble selling as fans are constantly on the lookout for them.

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

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