Looking For Muckman?

Are you looking for Muckman from the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line? Head to your local Ross and / or Ollies. It appears these two stores are getting all the leftover stock which never made its way from Playmate's distribution centers to retail stores and TMNT collectors are lucking out left and right on finally adding this figure to their collection.

In a recent trip to Ollies my girlfriend found not only Muckman, but also the 80's Beebop, Rocksteady and Leo along with Usagi Yojimbo and a handful of Monster Hunters. That's a heck of a find! At $5.99 she happily grabbed the one figure I was missing (80's Rocksteady) and even brought home the lone Muckman - Who is mint in the package at that.

Too bad I already had one opened for my collection otherwise I would have been grinning ear to ear to finally obtain this elusive figure...

...Which reminds me - I still have to set all of these guys up in my toy room. 

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I purposely didn't put a title on this post because I'm confident 99.9% of you will figure out what you're looking at just by the photo above.

For the remaining .01%, perhaps this photo will help you out.

If not, well let me just tell you.

Today I'm sharing my LJN Michael Jackson line from 1984. When I first set out to collect these dolls, I initially just wanted to purchase one, and then all the outfits. My vision was to put said outfits on doll rack displays and / or doll hangers in a doll closet. Unfortunately the only doll racks I could find were for dresses and the furniture was proving to be far more expensive than simply buying seven dolls to display the seven outfits. So naturally...

...I took the cheaper route.

If you look closely at the dolls, you'll notice there are actually some subtle differences between some of them. The most obvious being the height differences.

While most of the dolls stand around 11 3/4 inches high, there are some which almost top the 12 inch mark. You'll also notice a difference to the face sculpt and color - The taller version being a little chubby in the cheeks and also paler.

You may have also noticed the difference in the gloves. LJN got a little lazy during the production phases of the dolls and for what I can only presume as a cost savings measure altered the gloves to no longer include a thumb. Instead, they were just poorly designed mini cloth sacks - Lame. I think I'm going to look into replacing these ones as they simply look stupid - If I'm being blunt.

I've talked about the various outfits in my prior "boxed" post on these dolls. So I'll spare everyone the details and simply show the photos.

 Beat It (front)

 Beat It (back)

 Thriller (front)

 Thriller (back)

 Motown (front)

 Motown (back)

 American Music Awards (front)

 American Music Awards (back)

 Human Nature (front)

 Human Nature (back)

 Grammy Awards (front)

 Grammy Awards (back)

 Billie Jean (front)

Billie Jean (back)

The attention to detail in this line - Well, with the exception of some of the gloves - is immaculate. You can immediately tell which each of the outfits are (if you're a Michael Jackson fan) and the sculpt is spot on for its time.

LJN packed in a few accessories with some of the dolls - A pair of sunglasses, a microphone and stand.

 Microphone and Glasses (obviously)


Bottom of Stand

Unfortunately, if you bought the outfits separately you got none of these accessories - Which is a shame, because some of the outfits were only available on separate cards and not with the dolls. Then again, I suppose the overall intent in the 80's was to not buy seven dolls, but rather one doll and then outfits.

In conjunction with your personal collection of Michael Jackson albums you can have hours of fun playing out your own concerts. I mean, I don't play with dolls, so I wouldn't know...Or would I?

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi DVD and Blu-Ray Round Up

Another year, another Star Wars movie. Boy, I never thought there would be a time where I could say that. I have to admit, I was distraught when Disney announced they had acquired Lucasfilm and their plan was to create a film universe akin to that of their Marvel franchise. Though Disney has done a magnificent job with the Marvel Universe, I feared for my beloved Star Wars franchise in their hands.

So far, it hasn't been Earth shattering (good or bad), but it's been decent. Admittedly, every time a new movie comes out I walk away from the theater with a sour taste in my mouth. However, the films quickly grow on me with additional viewings. It's as if my system is in such shock over what I've seen the first time around that I simply can't process it all until further viewings.

The same thing happened with The Last Jedi. When I left the theater I hated the film. I felt like it was the worst in the franchise. Then I watched it a few times when it was released digitally and, well, it grew on me. It's not my favorite, but it's not the worst.

Naturally, since I collect the various home video releases of Star Wars, The release of The Last Jedi is an important day to me. However, unlike most films which get released mass retail, Star Wars always seems to have multiple versions, multiple covers and retail exclusives. Everyone wants a slice of the Star Wars pie - Including most of you. But, which slice do you want? Let's take a look at all the various releases to see which one is right for you - Unless you're like me and the answer is, "All of them!"

If you're looking to keep your library digital, you've been waiting longer than you have to. It's been available on your favorite media streaming devices since March 13, 2018.

It features quite a few bonus features - Which you'll also find on all the physical media versions. As such, I'll list them here since none of the exclusives or physical releases have anything different from one version to the next. The features are;

The Director and the Jedi
Balance of the Force
Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle
Snoke and Mirrors
Showdown on Crait
Andy Serkis Live!
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary

Additionally, digital versions will have a one of a kind special feature - The ability to play the movie only with John William's score. No dialog, no sound effects. Just music.

Digital versions can be watched in both standard and high definitions - Depending on how high tech your "system" of choice is.

The first physical release is the standard DVD edition. No fuss, no frills. Just the movie presented in widescreen. Not one special feature to be found on the disc.

What was interesting was how many retailers have given up on DVD's in general. Best Buy wasn't even offering this version for sale on its website at the time of this writing.

Should you want this one, you can find it at Target and Walmart for about $17.99 (currently on sale). However, the standard retail price is around $19.99.

An interesting note about the DVD version is that this is the only version available to date which doesn't have the artwork obscured by a bunch of busy designs and symbols - As you'll see on the various Blu-Ray versions. Even when the Blu-Rays are removed from their slipcovers you can't escape all the busy nonsense going on.

If you're looking to up size your experience to Blu-Ray, you'll find your options are lucrative.

The Blu-Ray release features (of course) the Blu-Ray, a bonus disc and Digital HD download code for viewing on your favorite online source. Unlike prior Star Wars releases, you will notice the absence of the DVD in this pack. That's an interesting choice on behalf of Disney, but yet at the same time I have to admit that I've always been that guy who asks, "Why do I need three versions of the movie in one package?"** Typically when I buy a Blu-Ray that has a DVD inside, the DVD never gets viewed once.

**Star Wars is exempt from that statement

I'm honestly not a big fan of the cover for the Blu-Ray. As mentioned above, it's too busy and really detracts from what would otherwise be a nice packaging of the film. Equally, I'm curious as to why Disney suddenly changed the design for the packages from the prior released The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi would have looked great with that black slipcover look with the original poster artwork on the actual Blu-Ray. Oh well. Consistency has never really been big in Star Wars releases unless the films are released as a set.

For those of you looking for uber picture quality, The Last Jedi is the first Star Wars film in the franchise to be released in a 4K format.

The downside to this is that due to the different formats in which this movie was filmed - I.E. 35mm film and digital, these subtle differences from shot to shot are screamingly noticeable. The other downside to this is that there really isn't all that much difference from the standard Blu-Ray format to that of the 4k version. That's not to say the 4K version is bad - Rather it means the Blu-Ray was simply processed to the best quality possible.

Additionally, there are some potential audio issues for those who don't have a maximum capacity and quality audio set up. The perfect example of this is the dialog which seems excessively low in correlation to the sound effects which often times down it out.

In short, I really only recommend this one for people with top notch equipment. Otherwise you're really not going to get the benefit from this version.

With that said, if you really want the best bang for your buck, for a few dollars more you will not only get the 4K version of the film, but also the Blu-Ray and Digital HD download. Additionally, you'll also get the bonus disc which features all the bonus features noted above. That there may make it worth the price of admission - Even if you don't currently own a 4K set up, but plan to do so in the future.

For those who pre-ordered the Blu-Ray (either 4K or standard) directly from the Disney Store, you of course got Disney's annual dredge of exclusive lithographs.

Honestly, these don't impress me and never have. Sorry, but lithographs aren't a selling point for me - Even as an exclusive for a home video release. Perhaps if the lithographs were shrunken down and packed inside the case I'd bite. But as a stand along "thing" - Yeah, not interested.

***UPDATE - Disney Club's version of the film is actually a Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD combo. It comes in the same package / slipcase as the standard edition noted above, but you know...different cause it has the DVD inside. Please note you cannot buy this version from Disney Stores directly. This was only available through their club.

Speaking of exclusives - Let's talk about the retailer versions.

Target packaged a Blu-Ray, DVD (Hey, there's the DVD!), HD Digital and bonus features disc combo pack with a forty page book which contained exclusive behind the scenes photographs from the movie. In addition to the book you also get a really nice exclusive cover for the combo pack which features the artwork for the IMAX poster.

You also get an exclusive price of $29.99 - Which is the same price of the 4K combo pack sans the 4K disc.

If you're in to behind the scenes photographs and / or books, this could be the set you're looking for - Especially if you don't mind not getting the 4K version.

You won't find any bonus features on the bonus features disc that you can't get from any of the versions (with exception to the DVD) as noted above.

I am honestly surprised that Target didn't create a second exclusive pack which would have featured the 4K disc, Blu-Ray and HD Digital version. After all...

That's exactly what Best Buy did for their SteelBook exclusive.

For those of you looking for either the standard or 4K versions, you can get them both in SteelBook fashion.

Much like the Target exclusive, the Best Buy version of the standard Blu-Ray features the Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital HD and bonus features disc. The 4K version features that particular version of the film as well as the Blu-Ray, HD Digital and bonus features disc.

Regardless of which version you choose, you'll get the artwork from the foreign posters of The Last Jedi. All of this will of course come printed on a very nice solid steel case.

There was some confusion with fans looking to Walmart for their exclusive version. At first glance, it appeared Walmart seemed to have shied away from an exclusive version for USA residents. For those of you who recall, they released a fantastic interchangeable cover version of Rogue One last year and many expected them to do the same for The Last Jedi. Well, they did...Sort of.

It didn't help matters that the only sign of a Walmart exclusive was via their Canadian website. An exclusive for Walmart, but only available in Canada? This was very sad news for us who don't live there.

Despite what I felt would be a futile attempt, I made my way to Walmart this morning in the good ol' US of A - Which turned out to be a good idea. They did indeed have the exclusive multi-cover version available which features all of that fantastic artwork from the character movie posters. It is worth noting it's not as thick as the prior released Rogue One. It's also not as well thought out design wise.

While the Rogue One Version had cards which slid in sideways in an actual holder, the cards for this particular version simply get slid in front of the Blu-Ray case in a standard slipcover. Meaning if not careful, it will slip out the bottom. There is however a solution to this which I actually really like. You can fit the cardboard backer and front tab inside the slipcase and doing so not only adds a little something extra to the front of the package, but also keeps the cards inside.

While the actual cover for the actual Blu-Ray case is no different than that of the standard Blu-Ray edition (artwork wise), there is one added facet which may make this set desirable to people - Well, with the exception of having multiple covers. That facet is that this version also includes a DVD of the film along with the Blu-Ray, HD Digital and bonus disc. If Walmart would have had the foresight to include the 4K version as well in this set, this would have been the no brainer version to buy - If you're limiting yourself to just one particular release.

The real question is will you buy enough to display all the various covers?

I'm also curious to see if The Last Jedi will follow suit like The Force Awakens and pop out a 3D version for USA residents in the next few months. Because we all know how well that marketing plan sat with people who had already purchased the movie.

Regardless, there you have it. The round up of The Last Jedi on Blu-Ray, DVD and 4K. Which one suits your fancy?

Before heading on my way, here's the round-up of what I got; 

7 Copies of the Walmart Exclusives - 6 to display, 1 to keep sealed
3 copies of 4K - 2 in slipcase with different stickers and 1 out of the slipcase
3 copies of the Blu-Ray / Digital - 2 in slipcase with different stickers and 1 out of the slipcase

 2 Target Exclusives - I'll open one eventually to flip through the book
2 Best Buy Exclusive Steelbooks of the Blu-Ray / Digital
2 Best Buy Exclusive Steelbooks of 4K
1 Disney Movie Club Exclusive Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital with Lithographs
1 Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital without slipcase
2 standard release DVD's

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Thanks, Best Buy!

It's only one of the two versions I ordered from Best Buy, but I'll take an early release!

Thanks, Best Buy!

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The World of Teddy Ruxpin Minis (Worlds of Wonder)

The World of Teddy Ruxpin Minis
Worlds of Wonder

We jumped headlong into The World of Teddy Ruxpin a little over a month ago when we talked about the highly popular stuffed talking bear. In that "article" we mentioned the mini figures which you see before you today.

There's no denying talking Teddy Ruxpin was one of the hottest toys of 1985. Worlds of Wonder looked to expand on this aspect with a line of plastic action figures. For this, they produced twelve figures, a play area, and one "vehicle". While the line was successful, it didn't shoot off into the stratosphere such as WoW had hopped. Unlike the talking bear which would be produced from 1985 to 1990, the plastic figures didn't fair as well, and production was ceased by 1986.

Teddy Ruxpin*Bounder*Grunge

Tweeg*Newton Gimmick*Gutang

Wooly Whats-It*Grubby*Mudblup

Fob (Pink)*Fob (Orange)

For their time, the plastic mini figures stood as an example that sometimes it's best to stick with what you know, and not necessarily expand beyond your means. Just because the talking Teddy was a massive success didn't mean that WoW could throw anything onto the market based on the character(s), and expect a massive reception.

Land of Grundo Map Play Area


While the line wasn't necessarily popular in 1985, these days Teddy Ruxpin fans are eager to add them to their collections. The good thing about this is that with the exception of the Airship this can relatively be done for just a few dollars. Unfortunately the Airship is going to set you back at least a hundred dollars for an open one, and anywhere between $135.00 and $175.00 for one in the box.

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Lazy Saturday

Just sitting around watching cartoons...

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It's A Kind Of Magic

Now that things have finally settled in my move and I have my toy room all set up it's time to get back into some photos.

In this Blogger's personal opinion, he was the lead singer of the greatest band of all time.

Their albums span twenty-two years, starting with their self titled debut and ending with a posthumous album - A tribute to their lead singer.

Though Freddie Mercury tragically died of AIDS in 1991, he remains a legacy.

I had my eyes on NECA's Freddie Mercury figure for the longest time, but didn't pick one up until just recently. However, as the figure was in transit from the seller to me I had this thought in my head. I wanted to pose the figure with a piano. Something which would not be achievable in a very display friendly way with NECA's all but statue version. As such, when it arrived I decided to keep it in the package and continue my search.

That's when I found a fantastic version from Bandai / SH Figurarts. This thing boasted a ton of articulation from head to toe and I knew it would work perfectly - Which are the loose photos shown here today.

This figure has articulation in the neck, breast bone, shoulder, bicep, elbow, wrists, stomach, waist, knees, ankles and even toes. In short, if you can think of a pose, you can get this figure into it.

If that wasn't enough, it also features several interchangeable heads and hands as well as two microphones - One on a stand and one without. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this. While the heads easily change out, the hands are a tad more difficult. It took me about five to ten minutes to get the two on that I wanted for posing which is why you won't see any other photos beyond the one above showing the various hands. I didn't dare bother fighting with them to change them around again.

For those of you unfamiliar with Queen, this particular version of Freddie is based on the 1986 Magic Tour which is most notably remembered for its Wembley Stadium venue - A great concert in its own right. It shows the group at their height of popularity and unfortunately their last concert series due to Freddie's illness.

As I mentioned above, I wanted Freddie to be displayed with a piano. The problem was I didn't know where to find one. At first I looked at wooden doll furniture versions, but these were going to cost me two to three times more than I paid for the figure. So, those were quickly out of the question. I then looked at a Barbie piano from 1984, but knowing Barbie was ten to twelve inches tall knew this too probably wasn't the best solution for this figure.

Then I stumbled upon this purple piece...

This piano came packed in with Chelsea, Barbie's younger sister. Okay, this was a start in the right direction, but would it be compatible with Freddie? A quick Google search answered that question. Chelsea stands five and a half inches high - The exact same height as this figure. A match made in plastic heaven.

When I initially purchased it I thought I would at least paint it to match a real piano. However, I have to be honest and say the purple color with Freddie's yellow and white clothing really work great together. So, I decided to leave it as is.

The perfect backdrop for this figure to be displayed with is a fantastic record I recently scored; Queen's Sheer Heart Attack...

...Autographed by the band (hopefully). This one is on my list to get PSA certified and I have to be honest and say at a glance it looks pretty legit. I've been able to find signatures on other memorabilia which looks dead on to the ones on this record. The seller also didn't bat an eye when I told him I was going to get it PSA certified. In fact, he took it a step further and said, "You should look into a more reputable autograph authenticator (not a real word apparently). PSA is all opinion based while people who specialize in this field do a handwriting analysis." He also provided a thorough write up of how the autograph was obtained and by who. Typically when you mention getting something authenticated to someone selling fakes they pull the plug and cancel the sale on the spot.

Here's a closer look at those beautiful signatures;

What do you think? Legit?

I'll let everyone know what the verdict is.

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