Monday, September 26, 2016

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC Direct)



Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
DC Direct
2004

We touched on The Dark Knight Returns in our post about the comic series by Frank Miller. In that post we pretty much covered the entire history of the story, so there's really no reason to repeat it all here.

2004 brought with it yet another Batman line from the hot, hot, hot multitude of DC Direct lines. The series features just four figures, but boy oh boy are they good ones. We of course get Batman with that iconic look as seen in the pages of the Frank Miller story. In addition we also get Carrie Kelley as Robin, Joker and Superman.

 Batman

 Robin

 Joker

Superman

Unlike a lot of DC Direct lines, this one isn't going to break the bank should you want to add it to your collection. On the low end, you can grab each figure for $25.00. High end, you can expect to pay about $40.00 each. Granted that's not too cheap, but it's still not terrible as compared to some of the other DC Direct figures which can sell for over a hundred dollars each.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Mighty Crusaders (Remco)



Mighty Crusaders
Remco
1984

The Adventures of the Mighty Crusaders began in the pages of Archie Comics (the publisher, not the series) in 1965. Though it was intended to be an ongoing monthly title, popularity quickly waned - Or possibly never even grew. Whichever it was, the series ended after just the seventh issue in October of 1966.

The series was revitalized in the pages of The New Adventures of the Mighty Crusaders in 1983 under Archie's Red Circle Comics. After thirteen issues the series was once again cancelled (in 1985).

A third attempt to launch a comic series came in 1992 when the characters returned for The Crusaders. This time out, DC Comics licensed the rights, and produced the series under their Impact banner. Much like the prior attempts, the series was short lived, lasting for just eight issues.

In between the original and New Adventures comic series, Remco produced eight figures based on the Mighty Crusaders - In 1984 to be specific. What's interesting to note about some of the characters produced in plastic was that they didn't actually appear on the team (officially) until the 1992 comic series - I.E. 8 years after the figures were produced.

 The Comet*The Fox

 The Web*The Shield

 The Brain Emperor*The Buzzard

The Eraser*The Sting

Unlike many Remco lines, Mighty Crusaders isn't all that pricey to obtain these days. Figures can sell for as little as $8.00 each, mint on card - A far cry from the $60.00+ that you'll spend on each of Remco's Karate Kid figures. They're also not to difficult to find, so putting a set together is fairly easy to do. If you're looking for a line to pick up for little cash, this is definitely a good one.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Portal 2 (NECA)



Portal 2
NECA
2013

Portal was designed to be a simplistic puzzle game by developer Valve, and quickly evolved into one of the biggest hits for the company when it was released in 2007. People fell in love with not only the challenging puzzles through each level, but also the quickly quipped one liners of GLaDOS, the series antagonist.

In 2011, Portal 2 brought us back to the world of Aperture Science in the roll of test subject Chell. The story follows Chell and robot Wheatley as they band together to escape the test facility, only to accidentally reactivate GLaDOS in the process. We won't spoil the whole story, nor the ending here for those who have yet to play.

In 2013, NECA developed some pretty top notch figures based on a handful of the characters in the Portal 2 world - Not that there are many of them. The two robots below, Atlus and P-Body actually come from the games fantastically developed co-op mode where each player takes on the roll of one of the robots as they run themselves through the various Aperture Science testing sites.

 Atlus

 P-Body

The last figure produced was the leading lady of the series, Chell. Much like the two above, she comes with a portal blaster and figure stand.

Chell

The figures have definitely seen a boost in price on secondary markets. The two robots will set you back about sixty to eight dollars a piece. Chell isn't much cheaper at around forty dollars.

For those looking to expand on their Portal 2 figures, NECA has also produced multiple series of mystery packs that include the likes of various turret designs and companion cubes.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Manglors (Ideal)



Manglors
1984 - 1985
Ideal

Manglors are not a very commonly known toy from the 80's, but for those that had them they are fondly remembered. The line was produced by Ideal, and featured characters made from a material known as Sobothane - a synthetic polymer. The figures contained no joints, and were boasted as being able to be cut apart so that you could mix and match the pieces of the various figures to make your own creations.

Toys that could be cut apart and adhered to others in the line? It was a brilliant marketing scheme that would later be put to the test by Consumer Unions own Penny Power. Long story short, the tests failed, and the product was determined to be sold under false advertising as while the pieces could be cut apart, they didn't adhere to each other as advertised. The end result was a series that lasted only two years.

When the series began, three individual figures were made available as well as one playset. The figures came packed inside cardboard peg boxes that held the figures inside of plastic to ensure their sticky limbs didn't dry out.

Manglodactyle*Manglord*Manlosaurus

The highlight of the series (in general) is Manglor Mountain - The one and only playset produced during its run. It came packed with not only the volcano playset base, but also a Manglord figure, a cage to encase the figure in, and the biggest selling point for its era - Slime!

The playset worked by pouring the slime into the top of the volcano, and then placing your Manglord figure inside of the cage. Drop the cage into the volcano, and then pump it back up to the top by pressing the red button located in the mouth of the volcano - Literally. The end result was a figure that would rise out of the top of the playset covered in gooey slime. Awesome!

Manglor Mountain

A second series was released which featured the three original released ones as well as three new ones. Each figure came packed in its own window box, and encased inside of an egg. The figures were made from the same Sobothane material, and still boasted that they could be cut apart, and adhered to each other.

Manglolizard*Maglodactyle*Mangloedemon

Manglodragon*Manlord*Manglosaurus

Because many people don't know about the series, selling points are all over the map. The playset, which is the most commonly found item in the series, can sell for as little as $2.00 (loose with all components), and $100.00 (mint in the box) with price points all over the place in between for loose and sealed.

The individual figures are far more scarce, and priced so high that most people don't buy them. Sellers ask as much as $150.00 to $170.00 for each of them. With that said, Manglodragon and Manglolizard are the only ones we've seen cropping up as of late.

Because of the nature of these figures, it's not easy to find them in a condition that is desirable. Due to the material they are made from, they are prone to drying out. This could contribute to why so many sellers are asking such a high price - There honestly may not be all that many of them out there that are in good condition, or salvageable in general.

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