Monday, November 30, 2015

Star Wars Saga Legends / Mission Series (Hasbro)



Star Wars Saga Legends / Mission Series
Hasbro
2013 - 2014

When quality goes down, and prices go up, you end up with Star Wars Saga Legends / Mission Series - Hasbros attempt to convince collectors that paying top dollar for limited articulation was intentional for nostalgic purposes.

The worst part about it all is that the line is riddled with nothing short of rehash, rehash, rehash. Unless you're part of the 100% club, there's nothing in this particular line which screams, "Buy me now!"

Hopefully with a new Trilogy on the horizon, Hasbro will find some spark of inspiration to give fans something new as opposed to just piling on the massive amounts of plastic that we've all bought ten times over by now - If not more.

Hasbro seems bored with the Star Wars license, or perhaps they're just being lazy - Maybe both. The bottom line is that over the past five plus years it seems like quality continues to go down, while retail prices continue to go up. Perhaps it's time for someone else to take the reigns of the Star Wars license, and breath some new life into it.

Beyond that, there's not much to say about this particular line.


















Join us next time when we take a look at Super Mario Bros.!

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Edward Scissorhands (Mezco)



Edward Scissorhands
Mezco
2006

With the 25th anniversary of Edward Scissorhands just around the corner, we felt it appropriate to drop a little nod towards the cult classic Tim Burton film.

Released in December of 1990, the movie was immediately met with positive reviews from critics around the USA. Burton was praised for his modern take on Frankenstein, while Depp was praised for his ability to fully engross himself in the character as an actor.


Despite its massive popularity, Edward Scissorhands did not follow with a multitude of products such as toys, or trinkets. In fact, options remained fairly limited in general.


In 2006, Mezco released a small series of figures. It featured three versions of Edward, and one of The Professor. Sadly, this would be all for the entire run - If you don't include the four pack of Mez-Its.



The white shirt Edward was a Hot Topic exclusive, while the ice sculpture version was a SDCC exclusive. To date, these two remain the more difficult versions to track down. Despite this, the entire line can be found for around ten dollars for each figure.

Beyond that, there's not much more we can really say on this particular line.




Join us next time when we take a look at Star Wars Saga Legends / Mission Packs!

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Monday, November 23, 2015

A Nightmare On Elm Street and MAXx FX Now Showing (Matchbox)



A Nightmare On Elm Street
Matchbox
1989

Ah, the classic hack and slash horror icons of the 80's. Michal Myers, Jason Vorhees, Chucky - The list goes on and on - And of course includes the infamous Freddy Krueger.

Today we're going to take a look at two separate A Nightmare on Elm Street series from Matchbox. The first is their classic Talking Freddy Krueger doll.

On today's markets, a Freddy Krueger doll would do (and has done) fantastic in terms of sales. However, in 1989 nutty groups were everywhere ready to protest the slightest thing. Matchbox found themselves in such a predicament, and after numerous complaints from the American Family Association the doll was yanked from shelve.

Unfortunately when it's the 1980's, and you create a doll based on a character that was born of a raped nun, and burned by a community for molesting children, people oddly enough have a problem with this for some reason. Despite this, many folks must have gotten their hands on them some way or another as there have been numerous dolls available both open and sealed on numerous secondary markets.

The doll measured eighteen inches high, and featured Freddy in his iconic red and green sweater - And of course the hat. On his right hand was his razor glove. In short, there was no mistaking this doll for who he was supposed to be.


On the back of the doll was a pull string, which activated it's talking feature. Freddy would say one of six phrases - Albeit some were very out of character;

"Hi, I'm Freddy."
"Let's be friends."
"Wa-Ha ha ha ha!"
"Pleasant dreams!"
"Welcome to Elm Street."
"Watch out, Freddy's back!"

Pretty hit or miss in terms of what you would expect to hear from Freddy's mouth.



MAXx FX Now Showing
Matchbox
1989

Freddy was incorporated into the MAXx FX line in 1989, and actually released prior to the talking Freddy doll. It consequently suffered the same complaints as the aforementioned one.

An entire series was planned under the banner which would have included Dracula, Frankenstein, and the awesome looking Alien from the movie of the same name. Sadly only Freddy made it to store shelves - Briefly of course.


While we'd love to say more on these particular dolls, truth be told, we really can't say it better than it comes straight from the horses mouth, Mel Brinkrant. For a fuller history on these dolls, we highly recommend that you visit his site.



Join us next time when we take a look at Edward Scissorhands!

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tomb Raider (NECA)



Tomb Raider
NECA
2006

Honestly, we've never been a big fan of Tomb Raider. We've always found the games to be....Well....Clunky in terms of the play mechanics. Angelina Jolie taking the lead roll in the films didn't help this either. She's always seemed like the kind of person that if you touched her you'd just get sticky.

Movies and games aside, NECA took a crack at a series of figures based on Lara Croft. If you're looking for a figure (or two) that depict Lara Croft in all her plastic glory, then admittedly this is a great series to look to. In terms of sculpt, paint and overall detail, NECA nailed it.

Unfortunately our limited knowledge on the character really doesn't leave much else for us to talk about on the matter, so please enjoy the photos.


 Lara Croft*Lara Croft - Union Jack


 Lara Croft - Tomb Raider Anniversary

 Lara Croft - Tomb Raider Underworld

12 Inch Lara Croft

Join us next time when we take a look at A Nightmare On Elm Street!

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Spider-Man - Vampire Wars (Toy Biz)



Spider-Man - Vampire Wars
Toy Biz
1996

Oh, Toy Biz...How you flooded the market with anything Marvel related that you could...That's really not a bad thing.

During its prime, Toy Biz would release everything and anything it could in hopes that merchandise would keep flying off the shelve. At first it did, but as collectors soon caught on that a lot of stuff was just repainted or retooled items they'd already purchased a hundred times over, things started to taper off in terms of profit.

Fortunately for fans / collectors, Vampire wars was not your average repackaging of prior released figures - Well, in look anyway. Instead, it was a fantastic rendering of Spider-Man and a couple "friends" in an all new style, with bulky costumes, and fun accessories.

The series featured only five figures, and shortly after they were released Toy Biz was on to the next thing in their line up of mini series. As such, the Vampire Wars series was one of those blink and you missed it lines - Much like many of the Marvel related sub series that Toy Biz was releasing.

Anti-Vampire Spider-Man*Air Attack Spider-Man

What's not to love about getting a Blade figure? Especially when he's got a backpack loaded with what appears to be axe head missiles!


Blade

Mobius Unbound*Vampire Spider-Man

Much like many of the Toy Biz Marvel stuff, you can get these figures relatively cheap. They can sell for as low as $5.00 mint on card if you have the patience to wait for the right seller. Otherwise you'll spend three times that.

Join us next time when we take a look at Tomb Raider!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

8-Bit Zombie (8-Bit Zombie)



8-Bit Zombie
8-Bit Zombie
2014

No one on Eternia knows where THRASHOR came from or what side he is truly on. But rumor has it that Skeletor used his foul magic to bring THRASHOR back from the grave. Skeletor had planned on creating a powerful zombie that he alone could control but THRASHOR's will was stronger than Skeletor had anticipated. THRASHOR shattered Skeletor's controlling spell over him using his prized POWERGLOVE. Making a hasty escape on his skateboard, THRASHOR disappeared into the night and out of Skeletor's clutches for good.

 THRASHOR now roams Eternia in search of clues to who he was and how he died. Never truly living but not truly dead, this tortured soul finds solace only in skating. THRASHOR can sometimes be seen on dark and misty Eternian nights, skating by the glow of the moon...

Thrashor is the creation of Alanbernard and 8bz - The curator(s) of 8-Bit Zombie. Though we wouldn't normally focus attention on unlicensed "knock-offs", there is some charm to the character Thrashor. From his well thought out back story, to the overall look and design, he brings with him something more than your typical custom, and yet strays far from being a straight up "bootleg" of an already existing figure. Thrashor does indeed feel like he could fit right in with your heroes and villains of Eternia - Nay, that he actually belongs with them.

The original Thrashor figure was produced in what appears to be a very limited quantity. It had an all green paint scheme, and came bagged. These days the figure is incredible difficult to find - In fact, we have yet to see one at all on secondary markets. Now that we type that sentence, truth be told we've never seen any versions of Thrashor on secondary markets.

With the success of the initial release, 8-Bit Zombie produced a second version, this time producing a nice cardback as well as giving Thrashor a good paint job. In addition to that, the figure was produced in two variant formats - The first, Toxic Glow Thrashor, and the second, Ghost Glow Thrashor.


 Thrashor

 Toxic Glow Thrashor

Ghost Glow Thrashor


If we had to be honest, the biggest problem we have with these figures is the price. 8-Bit Zombie is asking for $175.00 for a set of the three carded figures above (breaks down to $58.33 each). No matter what realm you live in, that's a hefty price for three action figures. Thrashor here is definitely going to be for the die hard elites that are craving everything they can get MotU related - Be it official or unlicensed.

Join us next time when we take a look at Spider-Man - Vampire Wars!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Putting the F.U. In Fun.Com!



Sigh...I wouldn't normally use The Toy Box for this kind of post, but after the day I've had, this was just sort of the icing on the cake, and I have to vent...

For those of your that collect Funko Pops, you may be familiar with the recent Fun.com exclusive Marty McFly with Hoverboard from Back to the Future Part II. Now I'm not the biggest fan of these things personally, but my girlfriend is. So when I saw that this would be out just in time for the holidays I thought, "That would make a great Christmas stocking stuffer."

I, like so many before me clicked the preorder button, paid for my item, and then played that dreadful game that collectors so often find themselves playing - The Waiting Game.

When I got home from work today - Which was a great deal of my frustration - 14 hour work day for the win - I just wanted to relax. The sight of a box on the doorstep gave me a bit of a smile, and I immediately asked myself, "Is this my exclusive?!?!?" I grab the small brown box, note the return address, and excitedly rip it open to find...This;


 HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!



Yes, apparently someone at Fun.com felt that the best way to send me a collectible Funko Pop was to first put it down on the floor, and stomp on it. At least that's the only conclusion I can come to since the brown box it came in was perfectly shaped with not an iota of damage. This is literally the shape of the Pop prior to whomever was packing it put it into the box to send to me.


Are you kidding me, Fun? Seriously, are you kidding me? You are selling a collectible to collectors at collector prices, and you think for one second that this is the condition someone would want to receive this? You think this is okay in the slightest?

Even if this weren't a collectible item, I'm your customer. Whether it's an iron, toy, food, whatever - Nobody paying good money wants to receive something like this. They just don't. This is 100% ignorance and lack of caring on your part.


I immediately signed on to Fun.com, and wrestled with their poor website design to find the return an item option. I was greeted by the next thing that totally rubbed me the wrong way - A notice that returns would be $6.99 on my dime! So let me get this right - Fun.com doesn't even have a return policy that is justifiable and fair to customers when they receive something like the photos above? Customers have to be even more out of pocket?

Incredible.

Fortunately a very short hold time, and a phone call away later I was assured a replacement was on the way, and while I was on the phone a free return label hit my inbox. Does this make up for everything? Honestly, no, it doesn't. Because this never should have happened in the first place. It just shouldn't have.

We'll see how the replacement comes in, but regardless, this will most definitely be my last time ordering from Fun.com. Sorry, but I can't support a company that simply doesn't care to send items to people in a condition in which they themselves would expect to receive them if they were the paying customer.

Anyway, thanks for appeasing me with my rant, folks.

***UPDATE***

It deserves to be said that Fun did eventually make things right by getting me a perfect condition Pop, but I stick to what I said before - This should have never happened. Common sense would have gone a long way on the part of whomever was packing boxes that day.

Richie Rich - The Poor Little Rich Boy (Dimensions for Children)



Richie Rich - The Poor Little Rich Boy
Dimensions for Children
1981

Today we're doing a little cross promoting of The Harvey Mercheum site. Curator Jon was kind enough to donate images of the entire Richie Rich line from Dimensions for Children, and even helped us to track down our own set for purchase. Thanks, Jon!

The reality of Richie Rich is that we really can't say more or less than what Jon already said for us in our post related to the Richie Rich comic books from Harvey Comics. Jon's also pretty much covered all the ground there is to cover with his page dedicated to the figures.

I guess what we're saying is that we're going to go ahead and take the day off, and leave this visual guide up to the link's above. Lazy...

 Richie Rich*Gloria Glad

 Cadbury the Perfect Butler*Dollar the Dog

 Reggie Van Dough*Irona the Robot Maid

Cardback

Join us next time when we take a look at 8-Bit Zombie!

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Army of Two - The 40th Day (NECA)



Army of Two - The 40th Day
NECA
2010

Army of Two is one of those games that is so much fun to play - Especially in co-op. The objective is simple - Kill or be killed. Sprinkle in a massive range of weapon and mask customization, and you've got a game series that has not only a fun premise, but longevity too.

What's better than sitting down for hours on end playing the series of games? Playing with the action figures of course.

NECA delivered yet another fantastic series of video game based characters when they developed Rios and Salem for this very small, very short lived series. If there's one complaint we had, we would have loved to see more accessories. In fact, accessory packs full of masks and kitted out weapons would have been a great addition to this line, and would have been a cheap way for NECA to keep it going a bit longer. Missed opportunity we suppose.

 Rios

Salem

We're definitely looking forward to whatever EA has in store for the next round of AoT games. Hopefully at that point someone will capitalize on the fun aspect of weapon and mask packs in an all new action figure line.

Join us next time when we take a look at Richie Rich - The Poor Little Rich Boy!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

(Family Matters) Urkel (Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Tyco and Colorforms)



(Family Matters) Urkel
Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Tyco and Colorforms
1991

It's funny how things that one would never think become popular would do just that. Originally slated as a one time character on the show Family Matters, Steve Urkel quickly became the show's focus each and every week - To the point that other cast members were pushed from the spotlight, and eventually left the series. Jaleel White portrayed the character as such a loveable nerd that audiences couldn't help but be drawn in to root for him.

During the height of the character's popularity, merchandising became a big money making deal. Toys, games, cereal and t-shirts were all produced based on Urkel. It seemed like every product developer out there wanted a piece of the action.

Today, we're going to look at some of our favorite Urkel related items. Mind you, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the vast amount of products that were produced based on the TV persona.

For our money, Hasbro probably released the absolute best Urkel item to date - The Family Matters Urkel "I Speak My Mind!" doll in 1991. With the pull of a string, Urkel says phrases such as;

"No sweat, my pet!"
"Hee, hee, hee, *snort*"
"Got any cheese?"

And of course you couldn't have a talking Urkel doll if it didn't say, "Did I do that?"

These days the doll is fairly common on secondary markets, and one can obtain one for as little as fifteen to twenty dollars mint in the box. Of course you'll run across the occasional seller here and there that thinks someone will drop fifty to a hundred on it - Which they won't.

"If you want to do the Steve Urkel Dance,
All you have to do is hitch up your pants,
Bend your knees, and stick out your pelvis;
(I'm  telling you, baby, it's better than Elvis)"

Those were some of the obnoxious lyrics to what would soon be dubbed the Do the Urkel dance. The dance steps incorporated all as noted above, and oddly enough it took the world by storm. So much to the point that White portrayed the character in a cross-over episode of Full House where he reprises the dance.

In 1991, game makers Milton Bradley wanted folks at home to join in on doing the Urkel with their fun boardgame of the same name. Though the game involved a lot of doing the Urkel, the main concept was to be the first player to obtain eight Bow Tie cards.

Game play was simple enough. Each player chooses a corner of the board to start in, then a chosen starting player rolls the dice in the designated dice tray. The dice will either land on an arrow, or a pair of glasses. If it lands on an arrow, the player takes the corresponding Bow Tie card that it is pointing to. If it lands on the glasses, the player can choose any of the cards.

Players must then act out the instructions on the cards before claiming them which could include singing the lyrics to Do the Urkel, hiking up their pants, snorting, and more. After claiming their card, the player can continue to roll if they choose or pass to the turn to the next player. Should they continue to roll, if the arrow points to another card, they can claim that card as well by performing out the acts, and can then continue rolling. However, should the dice arrow point in the direction of a card that has already been claimed, all cards are forfeit, and the turn moves on to the next player.

You continue this torture until someone has obtained a set of eight cards, and the game ends.

This next item actually has a rather ironic packaging scheme. It's entitled the Family Matters View-Master 3-D. However, Tyco makes the central focus of the package Urkel, with the rest of the cast confined to a small bubble off to the side of the character. Apparently family doesn't matter.

Tyco produced the View-Master 3-D in 1991 along side several others TGIF lineup shows such as Full House and Blossom. Though we don't remember what story was showcased on the packed in reels, the blister pack was based on the episode where Urkel "rescues" an orangutang from a local research facility, and brings it to the Winslow's home. Now not only could you take in the visual story of Family Matters, but you could do it all in glorious 3D!

Last, but certainly not lease in the realm of Urkel "collectibles" is Colorforms 1991 Urkel! The premise was simple - Take a gloss finished background of Steve Urkel, and adhere peel and stick outfit pieces on top of him. When finished, peel of the pieces again, and put them back in the box or mix and match further combinations. Wow, what a blast of a good time....Zzzzzzz.

Sadly there isn't much more to this one that we can say. It's a pretty straight forward concept.

Though we didn't go into great detail on it, you can also check out the cereal box for Urkel-O's from our post on Cereals of the 80's. With that, we wrap up our look at one of the world's most beloved nerd. Now if only we could get all of the above utilizing the character Booger.

Join us next time when we take a look at Army of Two - 40th Day!

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