Sunday, 22 April 2018

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Bootsale Report 18!

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately, why? I just didn’t think I had anything interesting to say. I still don’t but now I’m not depressed enough for it to bother me.
But Bootsale season has begun and I need to justify me spending over £20 a weekend on other people’s old crap and blog posts are a great way to do that, and it of course pushes me back into posting, so it’s win-win. A culmination of various factors – including weather, lack of other options and a need to avoid the London Marathon on TV – turned today’s bootsale into one long, slow, hot scrum. Traffic was already backed up when we got there at around ten to 7 (am) and by the time I’d woken up enough to chat with other bootsailors™ (say, 9ish) there was traffic jams at on both routes to the field, by the time we left (10-ish) it was backed-up a LONG way. The bootsale itself was pleasing big, having been forced to go ‘on the other side’ with the amount of sellers necessitating a line of stalls on what should be car parking space but even at that size it was still jam packed and there was still little cover from the sun (no clouds today, clouds can go fuck themselves) and whoever was directing the stall holders needed as isles varied from so wide you had to walk down one side then the other to see the stuff to so thin they were one long bottleneck, one long, sweaty, smelly, sun-baked, swearing in various languages bootlneck. I came home feeling like I’d been beaten up by a sunbed in the middle of a dust storm, this is probably why my haul photo kind of sucks today:

I obscured two heads and a giant gorilla, I should go work for National Geographic or some shit.
So was it worth it? From the point of view of someone who collects action figures? No, not really – though I did manage to find an X-Men Evolution Nightcrawler after binge watching X-Men Evolution all week which was a nice coincidence. From the point of view of someone who has a blog post to write about the shit he found at a bootsale? Hell yeah.
So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Daley Thompson’s Decathlon!
£2 ($2.80)
So last season I bought Sam Fox’s Strip Poker for the ZX Spectrum even though I didn’t currently own a working ZX Spectrum, that was a good day. I still don’t have a working Speccy but that doesn’t stop me because a) I have poor impulse control and b) DALEY THOMPSON MOTHERFUCKERS! Daley Thompson is a multiple times gold medal winner for Great Britain and to the disgust of every woman alive in Britain in 1985 he doesn't strip in this game, instead he partakes in Konami’s Track & Field style joystick-waggling sports mini-games and looks a bit like Mario, but who cares? DALEY THOMPSON MOTHERFUCKERS! It’s easily in my top 20 Spectrum games but even if it wasn’t this’d be worth £2 because DALEY THOMPSON MOTHERFUCKERS! The man’s a god, even if he did make an Irish joke on national TV that one time (oops).

A Knock-off Goop!
50p (70¢)
Goops were the shit; they were to Frisbees what Madballs were to baseballs. Milton-Bradly devised soft rubber Frisbees and stuck monster faces on ‘em and they were some good monster faces. The softness made them fly easier and much safer, so of course my dad found a way to knock me out with one – we were playing with it at Hainault park and dad bounced the thing off my head, causing me to fall and knock myself out on the ground. It was right by the snack hut too, just to make sure I was made a fool off in front of as many people as possible.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t an official Goop, I remember these dinosaur ones being on sale at the same time (including in the snack hut my dad K.O.’d me outside) but I can’t find anything that suggests MB made any more than the original wave and the TMNT wave. The problem with the concept was, like Madballs, it was easy and completely legal to copy the concept, hell one knock-off (that even used the same name), used the face from the Nabisco Ugly Ball, which was itself a Madballs knock-off:

I was pleased with how sandy this toy was btw, it’s not sandy now because I sat and spend a good while cleaning sand out of its crevices like the sad friendless human being I am but it was sandy when I pulled it out from under some random Power Rangers. For some reason I just associate Goops with sand, probably because using Frisbees as sand shovels was just something kids felt compelled to do when bored at the beach?

Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Bobble Heads!
£8 ($11.21)
Well technically they’re Bobble Waists but no-one ever seems to differentiate depending on exactly where the Bobble Heads or Head Knockers actually bobble and/or knock. I spend way too much time contemplating things that need not be contemplated.
These things are just fucking awesome, I’ve wanted a set for years for but never found them at the right price, and while 8 quid is pretty expensive for bootsale standards, it’s nothing for Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Bobble Waists standards. I am an admitted tight wad at bootsales and have probably frustrated a lot of sellers, I put back a large RoboCop today because I didn’t want to pay a measly £3 for it for instance (it wasn’t by Kenner but from the Toy Island line, I’d pay £3 for some Kenner Robocop accessories), yet at conventions I’m happy to fork out £30. Fuck me and my double standards, now I don’t have a 9” RoboCop to play with.
Fun fact: for years Rock ‘em Sock ‘Em Robots were distributed in the UK under the name Raving Bonkers, it should translate to ‘raving mad’ but thanks to other uses of the term ‘bonk’ in British slang it can also mean ‘more than one crazy person having sex’.

A Large 90’s M&M Dispenser!
£2.50 ($3.50)
I have carefully chosen the angle for this photo because I was trying to make it look like Red wasn’t wanking. I’m trying to round up one of each of these various M&M dispensers, they all came out in the very early ‘90s and were sold at retail, I’m particularly fond of the small Handy M&M Dispensers that were sold carded  but I wanted at least one in this size, the ‘fuck off big’ size. I didn’t think I’d able to get one for less than the price of a good meal out but that’s why bootsales exist, to surprise us with cheap crap.
Other than a scuff on his arm, Red’s in pretty good nick too, that said I don’t think I’d want to actually put M&Ms in him, not if I wanted to eat them afterwards. I might put some Smarties in him though, just to be a prick (I assume if you put Smarties in M&M dispensers they burn like vampires with holy water).

Wile. E. Coyote Mug!
£1 ($1.40)
Everyone has these little things that they’re just disproportionately enthusiastic about, they’re not always as obscure as say, plastic mugs given away at KFC of course but everyone has something like that. At least I hope that’s true or I’m going to feel even more of a freak than I already do.
Anyway yes, Kentuky Fried Chicken offered a whole bunch of these for purchase when you bought some finger lickin’ chicken in, I think, 1995ish. I think the complete line-up was Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Tweety, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and Taz and they are some of the best Looney Tunes likenesses ever committed to plastic, and thus I am committed to tracking down a complete set - but they turn up depressingly infrequently (honestly all fast food premiums and prizes that don’t come from McDonalds turn up depressingly infrequently, I’ve got a better chance of finding powdered rocking horse shit than I have of finding those big hand puppets Wimpy made). Taz was the one to have, and the best of an already good set of likenesses but Wile. E Coyote and Foghorn, I say, Foghorn Leghorn were fucking huge, with their mussel/beak in full scale, we’ve had to hang this one up because putting he doesn’t fit in any of our cupboards.
And no I don’t know why Brains felt the need to examine Blue Bomber’s arse workings just as I was taking this shot, that’s just the way he rolls.

Dancing Coca-Cola Can!
£2 ($2.80)
There are two lessons to be learned from this purchase, well three: 1) always look in random boxes at bootsales/yard sales you never know what you’ll find 2) trust in Basil Rathbone, for he is the lord and 3) putting sunglasses on things makes them instantly cooler.
For the curious this was one of the various mail-away offers Coke did, this version came out in 1990 (the first time the promo was done was in 1989 I think) and is basically one of those dancing sunflowers but a Coca-Cola can, he is adorable and I’ve named his Sammy. Now it’s story time. A stall selling mostly ‘proper antiques’ had a big cardboard box of DVDs including loads of Sherlock Holmes, I dug through the box in the hopes that they’d have some starring the almighty Basil Rathbone, they didn’t but laying at the bottom of the box was Sammy: still in his box, completely new. Sammies have a very thin layer of rubber on them to allow them to boogie convincingly and the box gives you a list of things you shouldn’t do (including hitting, poking and putting in the fridge) if you want your can’s flesh to stay on it so getting one boxed is the easiest way to guarantee yourself a can with no wounds. I was well happy, even more so when it was dismissed as junk by the couple running the tall and sold to me for a mere two quid. I love antique sellers, they always put no value on things I prize, these are about £40 online btw.
The box itself looked and felt like it’d been stored in someone’s outside toilet since 1990 but Sammy himself is minty fresh, I haven’t tried him yet though, because I can never find any batteries. I think they hide from me.

I also bought Duck Tales on DVD for a £1. It’s not in the haul photo because I was watching it while cleaning and taking photos, I bring this up not to gloat but because I realised today that no-one ever judges you for watching Duck Tales as an adult, they never say ‘oh why are you watching that for? You’re a grown up’ they instead go ‘oh I fucking love Duck Tales’ or some variation thereof, and then they get the theme tune stuck in their head
Just like you have right now
Moo hoo ha ha
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Long and Winding Five Nights At Freddy's 3.0

Welp, this was unavoidable. After Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator, the finale of the core Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise, came out a third and (probably) final version of the Long and Winding Five Nights at Freddy’s needed to happen. I’d like to personally thank Scott Cawthon, Freddy’s creator, for clearing up so much and then cure Scott Cawthon, for leaving so much unresolved. Anyway unmarked spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

Five Nights At Freddy’s is a franchise based around a chain of family restaurants – Pizzerias to be precise – that use animatronic anthropomorphic animals heavily reminiscent of Nolan Bushnell’s Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre and it’s old rival (and current owner) ShowBiz Pizza Place. The first, second and sixth games take place at three separate Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza locations, the third a theme park attraction based on those restaurants, the fifth the storage and showrooms for Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rental and the fourth in a seemingly ordinary house. Each game is a point-and-click indie survival horror game and although the exact methods differ between the four games they all share the same simple gameplay and goal – use what you have to keep yourself from being killed by the animatronics, though from Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 (FNAF2) small bonus mini-games in the style of the Atari 2600 home video game console were added to give more of the backstory of the franchise (and further scare players). All six games (and its spin-off Five Nihgts at Freddy’s World) were created and developed by Scott Cawthon and are available for PC (via things like Steam) and iOS.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

AFB's Top 12 Favourite McFarlane Movie Maniacs Figures

We’ve had a lot of toy content on this blog since last Christmas and I apologise for that, this blog was never meant to focus on one particular thing – I promise I have some non-toy posts brewing. However I just finished my index for Movie Maniacs and it made me want to do a countdown so more toys today I’m afraid.

 An index? Yeah, I make visual ‘indexes’ for personal reference, they have pictures and names for everything released in that line (they’re usually for toys or video games) and despite requiring a fair amount of work I generally don’t post them anywhere because they use images stolen from all around the internet, I have posted the odd small index on here before though and because the index is important to the backstory of why this post exists, here is my newly finished Movie Maniacs Index:
click to enlarge
Movie Maniacs, first unleashed in 1998 by McFarlane Toys and running for 7 waves over 7 years, ended up being somewhat revolutionary (in the field of action figures) – it produced highly detailed (and poorly articulated) action figures of various horror and movie icons made for and sold to adults. That doesn’t sound to amazing today  when there are dozens of companies doing such things and one or two who’s whole business is built around this but what Neca do today, what Diamond do today, what Mezco do today, what Hot Toys do today – the bloke from Spawn was doing last millennium and doing it well, McFarlane Toys had got their shit down by the time the line debuted and the results were a shocking consistent line in terms of quality and sheer awesomeity so this was a surprisingly hard countdown list to narrow down.

12. John Shaft
Movie Maniacs 3, 2000
Who? Titular character of the 2000 film Shaft, a remake of the 1970s television show – played by Samuel L. Jackson
Why? There’s a weirdness to Movie Maniacs (one that isn’t related to it being made up of figures of human fly hybrids and murderous hillbillies) caused by McFarlane choosing to use the line to produce figures of then-current licenses1 he’d got as well as by-then firmly established movie icons, leaving almost every wave2 with at least one choice that seems completely baffling today and none of them stand out more than the random inclusion of a modern-day urban detective. The John Shaft figure sticks out like inflamed testicles on a small Chihuahua in a line filled with monsters, madmen and the people who fought them but he’s a simply a fantastic figure of Samuel L Jackson. His likeness is perfect, and the posing of his limbs has managed to catch every ounce of the pure coolness that makes up Sam Jackson, the reason he’s so low is simply because he’s a little boring compared to all the others on this list, he is – after all – just a bloke in a roll neck sweater, though it’s also a testament to how good this likeness is that a bloke in a roll-neck sweater ended up getting voted above King Kong and Jaws3.

11. Blair Witch
Movie Maniacs 4, 2001
Who? Unseen antagonist of the 1999 smash hit horror film and exemplar of clever marketing that was The Blair Witch Project. How can you make a figure of a character you never see though? Such questions do not stop eccentric millionaires like Todd McFarlane! He was basically given carte blanche to design whatever he liked for the monster.
Why? This is so ridiculous that I can’t help but love it; they made a figure of a character you never see! It’s bonkers! The fact that it turned out to be a really wonderful and really quite original witch design was just the icing on the mental cake. It IS a very McFarlane toys design but in 1999 McFarlane Toys’ design aesthetic was shared by the film industry anyway so no harm there. What McFarlane and his boys produced was an emaciated thing that had a distinctly tree-like feel to it (one of the two versions had a full-on tree like head, that’s my favourite of the two) that’s a perfect for something so closely associated with forests from a film entirely set in one. If you were a Blair Witch fan (and I was and still am) this was our only way to see the witch and that was damn special – and frankly the small glimpses we’ve had haven’t matched up to this figure.

10. Norris Creature and Spider
Movie Maniacs 3, 2000
What? ‘The Thing’ in a form it took after it’s impersonation of the character Norris was exposed (via defibrillator), from the 1982 marvel that was John Carpenter’s The Thing, the remake of The Thing From Another World.
Why? While not 100% accurate (something that would have been bloody difficult in 1998 and still would be pretty hard to do today) the Movie Maniacs Thing figures completely captured the design and feel of The Thing’s signature (and fucking stunning) physical effects – and by that I mean they were exceptionally grotesque – lovely. There were two in the line, both in the same wave, Blair Monster (the big one at the end) and Norris Creature (the spider one) and the reason Norris on here and Blair isn’t? For me the Norris-Thing is what I think of when I think of ‘The Thing’ both as a film and a ‘character’ and this is my list so I can be as biased as I want, plus he came with the spider-head and that thing is just magnificently unsettling in-film and magnificent unsettling as a small accessory, so it had value for money as well as everything else. The reason it’s so low though is that I’ve never been happy with the paint jobs on the Movie Maniacs Thing figures, they’re just simply way more colourful than the film’s props and use a few too many washes for me liking.

9. Chucky
Movie Maniacs 2, 1999
Who? A My Buddy Good Guy doll possessed by the murderous spirit of Billy Bibbs from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the main antagonist of the Child’s Play franchise, this is his look from Chid’s Play 2.
Why? Because his size, look, articulation and rooted hair this figure looks and feel slike the Good Guy poseable figure that undoubtedly would have been released alongside the full size Good Guy dolls during their (fictional) day in the sun as a toy fad but one that’s also possessed by a murder! To further explain, in the 1980s toy companies developed this habit of making small action figures of toys that were primarily based around soft toys or dolls – Care Bears, Wuzzles, Rainbow Brite, Gummi Bears, Teddy Ruxpin, they all had ‘em – but because these were marketed towards girls or a unisex audience they were called ‘poseable figures’ or ‘poseables’ for short and as Chucky is a possessed toy from a big 80’s toy fad (in-universe) based around a doll it makes sense that there’d have been a poseable figure for him and McFarlane accidentally made it a reality. What’s important is that I HORDE these, I have a complete set of Care Bears bar one (Champ Bear! I can’t find that mustard coloured prick anywhere) and a complete set of Wuzzles for instance, you can get a life-size Good Guy (Chucky) replica doll from multiple manufactures but Movie Maniacs made the replica of the Poseable Figure (which doesn’t exist remember) that I’d’ve wanted more than that doll had it been 1988.

8. Candyman
Movie Maniacs 4, 2001
Who? Say his name three times and he’ll come and cut your nuts off, titular bogeyman of the 1992 film Candyman, was played very effectively by Tony Todd
Why? As far as I know this is the only figure of Candyman, which seems like something of an oversight on the part of the whole toy industry if you ask me but if this is destined to be the only plastic Candyman then ol’ Tony Todd could do a lot worse, the likeness is damn good (from most angles), the coat looks comfy and the torso came out nice and grizzly. It’s not perfect, the torso is stuck in a twisted position that can look very odd in some poses and the likeness isn’t spot-on, which might beg the question of “why’s it’s higher than Shaft?” because of two reasons a) Candyman is far less boring a design (and far better suited to the line) b) I like Candyman better than Shaft.

7. The Tooth Fairy
Movie Maniacs V, 2002
Who? The villain from the (then-upcoming) 2003 movie Darkness Falls, which I guess was tipped to be a big thing in horror when McFarlane got the licence – that didn’t happen.
Why? Darkness Falls is a shit film (I think it’s Rotten Tomatoes score is something like 7%?), I can get through it ok because I like the whole ‘coming back to a town with dark memories’ thing and because I think the Tooth Fairy is a sweet-ass villain but I think most people would need at least a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (or RiffTrax) commentary to make it half way. However just because the film she comes from is crap that doesn’t mean that the Tooth Fairy’s figure is equally shite, in fact it’s the complete opposite which shouldn’t be too surprising as she’s number 8 and thus above stars of not-crap horror film like Psycho and Halloween.  Her figure is just an amazing work of detailing, texturing and colour and with her wings open becomes a bloody impressive presence on your shelf – she’s effectively the toy collector’s version of the stone angel gardeners get and just as impressive.

6. RoboCop
Movie Maniacs 7, 2004
Who? The murdered cop Alex Murphy is reborn as a cyborg lawbringer in the future, titular star of RoboCop from 1987 and its subsequent sequels and television series.
Why? I have a theory that Movie Maniacs RoboCop is slightly overvalued by ‘at-the-time’ buyers and fans of the series because it took all 7 series to get a figure of him, that was certainly true for me and it seems to be true for a few others from the blogs I’ve read so I’m saying it’s a fact, live with it.  However the figure that we waited for turned out be quite frankly beautiful, he may lack the articulation of the newer Neca figures (and McFarlane never made a glow-in-the-dark repaint of him, a wasted opportunity if ever there was one) but the colour and sculpt of this one is just so visually appealing, you could use him as a Christmas ornament. Personally he reminds me slightly more of the Kenner action figures than the film version but I have NO problem with that at all, he was the sole highlight in Series 7 – which was otherwise dominated by Texas Chainsaw Massacre characters and a poor likeness of Michael Biehn but Murph’ would have stood out in any wave. So why is he only number 7 then? Well because his positives boil down to ‘he looks pretty’ and because a RoboCop figure is hardly a unique thing and this isn’t the best RoboCop out there - which is a bit unfair but I have to find some way of ordering these.

5. Sarah Connor
Movie Maniacs V, 2002
Who? Destined to give birth to the saviour of the future, this is the character as played by Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 – Judgement Day when she’d become a confirmed badass and an escapee from a lunatic asylum.
Why? Unlike RoboCop this is my favourite figure of Sarah Connor and unlike RoboCop I REALLY like Sarah Connor and I’m particularly fond of (read: sexually obsessed with) the T2 version of the character and that’s totally playing a part in this figure’s ranking as well, pathetic yes but still a reason. McFarlane released three versions, each with a different head (hair down, hair up, wearing a cap), all of which were included in Neca’s recent Ultimate Sarah Connor which of course was better articulated but I wasn’t quite as happy with the sculpt, I didn’t like the face as much (I’d say the likeness was no better or worse, I just didn’t personally prefer it) and that just continued all down the figure, I can’t really elaborate on why this is I just simply prefer the McFarlane sculptors’ Linda Hamilton efforts.

4. Pumpkinhead
Movie Maniacs 2, 1999
Who? Titular demon from the 1988 horror film Pumpkinhead (yeah, not much to say here really)
Why? Simply put: Pumpkinhead is a cool toy (you read that in Tom Hanks’ voice and you know it) – taken completely separately from his liscence, just as a monster toy, Pumpkinhead works – he’s a tall, twisted, detailed monster with a bendable tail that looks familiar enough to fit in with other monsters but still original in his own way (he kind of looks like a Xenomorph that’s been peeled). Now combine that fact with the fact that he’s actually a very good Pumpkinhead figure – he’s accurate, he’s surprisingly well articulated for a McFarlane release and he’s in-scale (roughly) – and bam, number 4 slot filled.

3. Special Edition Eric Draven
Special Edition, 2000
Who? The main character of the 1994 film The Crow (based on a comic book created by James O’Barr) who was played by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce and who famously died while filming the movie, strangely fitting as Draven is a murdered musician brought back to avenge his and his fiancĂ©’s murders.
Why? I have only kept 2 Movie Maniacs, this is one, number 2 is the other. Now I am more than willing to admit that Neca’s Draven figures are actually far better likenesses while this one is a little more cartoony but I rather like that about it, perhaps I’m more accepting of it on The Crow because it started out as a comic book? I’m not saying it’s better than Neca’s offerings, just that I like it as well – probably because the whole figure captures the essence of Eric Draven perfectly; god that sounds really pretentious doesn’t it? But it does, or at least to me – the pose, the…swagger of it, it’s just so CROW. The reason I’m putting the special edition the ‘fish tank’ re-release from 2000, on here is because it came with a crappy stand,  - really, the stand is really pathetic, it’s a plastic stand with a cardboard backdrop but that backdrop is of the circular window that Draven was thrown from in the movie, it’s an exceptionally iconic thing if you’re a fan of the film (and I REALLY am)  being able to pose this figure - who’s walking at you like the undead thing he is and loving every scare – in front of that, that iconic thing where this character died, is just so fitting and so pleasing to me as a fan.

2. Edward Scissorhands
Movie Maniacs 3, 2000
Who? Johnny Depp was built by Vincent Price and fell in love with Winona Ryder so Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson could make a comment about American suburbia, titular character of Edward Scissorhands from 1990 and technically the figure should just be called ‘Edward’.
Why? The sheer detailing in this sculpt alone should get it into a top 10, every stitch, every zipper, every scissor has been put onto this and they’ve all had their detailing painted, something that most companies would consider the exact same thing and burning $100 dollar bills in piles but hey, detailing and paint apps aren’t uncommon for McFarlane toys of this era so why so high? 1) the sculpting has a delicateness that’s not only rare for McFarlane and it’s macho heavy metal output but also perfect for the character 2) the likeness is excellent 3) they managed to get that hair looking that good on a 6” piece of plastic – which may well be magic and 4) like with The Crow this somehow catches the pretentious sounding essence of the character, only with a much better likeness, I really wish they’d made Kim4 to hug him, he needs a hug.

Runners-up are pretty much the whole line but if I must: variant Leatherface (Movie Maniacs), Norman Bates, Michael Myers, Ghostface (Movie Maniacs 2), Ash, Blair Monster, Bundle Fly, King Kong (Movie Maniacs 3), T-1000, Jaws5 (Movie Maniacs 4), T-800 Endoskeleton (Movie Maniacs V), Alien Queen (Movie Maniacs VI), the Dracula two-pack (2003) and Stealth Predator6 (a 2003 McFarlane Collector’s Club Exclusive).  

1. Lord of Darkness

Movie Maniacs 6, 2003
Who? Basically it’s Satan as played by Tim Curry (who apparently isn’t a demon in real life - pfft like I believe that), the Lord of Darkness was the main antagonist of the 1985 fantasy film Legend.  
Why? There was never any debate here; the Movie Maniac’s Lord of Darkness is fucking magnificent in every way a figure can be which is perfectly fitting because the character himself is magnificent, a magnificent bastard sure but still magnificent, everything about the pose they gave him screams ‘I am fucking awesome’. See how much I’m swearing? That should tell you my level of enthusiasm for this piece of plastic, I so wish I’d kept him and have no idea why I didn’t7. This exuding magnificence the combines with a spot on headsculpt with a spot-on expression (‘pissed off and evil’ about sums it up) and McFarlane’s usual level of detail and painting so it just stands head and horns about the rest of the line – he’s a huge devil, he’s Tim Curry, he’s wonderfully made and so he’s number 1. As for why I’ve put the regular release and not the deluxe edition like with The Crow, once again the main addition was a base and while it’s a million times nicer than The Crow’s I honestly don’t care about it in the slightest, that window is feels important to me while Darkness’ treasure just doesn’t feel important enough to pay out the extra cash - but then I like The Crow a LOT more than I like Legend.

And there you have it, Movie Maniacs was a schizophrenic but superb line that fulfilled a lot of toy fantasies for nerds in the late nineties and early noughties, Neca may have outclassed it with several franchises (most notably Nightmare on Elm Street, Terminator, Alien and Predator) but a lot of the figures still stand up well, either as good representations of their characters, as the only representations of their characters or just by looking bloody cool and I’ve love to see a new line like this (or Neca’s Cult Classics or SOTA Toys’ Now Playing), one that could allow for one or two figures from smaller cult films or films without the depth of character roster or profile to support a whole line of its own – wave one needs to include the Killbots.   

1 Which I suppose is great news if you’re a fan of Species II or Darkness Falls and especially if you’re a big fan of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.
2 Wave 2 doesn’t have this problem, its entire line-up had become iconic or cult classics by 1999, the most recent movie represented was Scream, by then three years old and already a modern classic and today considered on-par with the other great horror franchises.
3 I have my individual issues with all three of the big sets released in the line – the Jaws set is basically just a plastic diorama, out of scale with the rest of the line and doesn’t include a whole shark, King Kong has likeness issues (and most King Kongs do, people seem to just sculpt ‘big monkey’ rather than O’bie’s big monkey) and is again wildly out of scale (they were making 18inch versions of figures, there was no excuse) and I’ve never been fond of the ‘art style’ used on the Movie Maniacs Xenomorphs, including the Alien Queen.
4 Winona Rider’s character
5 I may have issues with them that kept them out of the top 12 but Jaws, King Kong and Alien Queen are still impressive
6 like their eternal cross-over partners I was never that impressed with Movie Maniacs Predators either, I didn’t like the bodies mostly, but I’m always willing to make an exception for c-thru Predators.
7 from this list I owned all but Chucky and Sarah Connor as a teenager, now I own Sarah Connor and was able to find a Ghostface at a bootsale but that still means I only have four figures left – sadnesss. Movie Maniacs average around twice their original retail price these days on the second hand market too – the Thing and Jaws stuff are especially expensive.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Belated Quick Crappy Reviews: Boss Fight Studios’ The S.P.A.C.E. Adventures of Bucky O’Hare and The Toad Wars - Bucky O’Hare and Jenny

I didn’t review some stuff because life, so let’s just embrace it and do a BELATED review!

I can’t believe I’ve never talked about Bucky O’Hare at any length on here before, not just because I really like it but because I’m usually willing to take any excuse to talk about Bucky O’Hare at length, my friends leave the room then.

Let’s change that shit: Bucky O’Hare is awesome, it’s a space opera starring a green rabbit with a laser gun and a four-armed space pirate duck fighting a massive robot toad. More specifically it’s a small franchise created by comic writer Larry Hama (who was instrumental in the development of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) and artist Christopher Golden (who drew The Micronauts) and first published through Continuity Comics (the independent comic company owned by comic legend Neal Adams) in the 1980s but it had it’s real day in the sun in 1990-91 when Hasbro picked it up for a toyline and got Sunbow Productions (who they had a good relationship with, they’d done the G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Transformers and Jem toons) to make a cartoon of it in a decision that was no-way influenced by the success of any teenage, mutant or ninja turtles. Unfortunately an oversight in how they packed the figures (they packed like 10 Toad Air Marshalls for every other figure) lead to stores not re-ordering toys and without toy sales the whole Bucky franchise got scuttled. BUT I was 6 in 1991 and looking for anything TMNT-like to get excited about so I was completely hooked, it helped that the animated series was actually good and the toys it was advertising were actually good albeit cut short by an abundance of short toads in fetching hats. I cannot stress how much I love these TMNT-alikes that had their five minutes of fame in the early-to-mid 1990s: Bucky O’Hare, Biker Mice, Street Sharks, Captain Simian, I love ’em all with a genuine and not at all sad love.

Last year Boss Fight Studios, an online-only collectors’ action figure company, put up a pre-order for their first two Bucky O’Hare toys: Captain Bucky O’Hare and First Mate Jenny and I was so there. They turned up November-ish last year which was just the right time to not get reviewed as I was unable to be enthusiastic about anything, even green space rabbits – yeah that’s how bad I was, I know right? We are actually gonna start with Bucky O’Hare himself so: Bucky’s a green space hare from the planet Warren and captain of the Righteous Indignation, a space ship in the small but growing S.P.A.C.E. fleet who basically leads the battle against the Toad Empire, who are conquering the Aniverse and terraforming it to their liking.

I’m a little disappointed with his new collector’s figure, most of that is in the body though because the headsculpt is fucking awesome, all three faces really captures a sense of self-confidence. I don’t know much (read: anything) about Boss Fight Studio’s licence so I don’t know if they can make characters and designs exclusive to the show (it would seriously suck if they can’t: a Bruiser is essential and a Mimi would be amazing) but the head seems to sit somewhere between comic and cartoon and ends up being pretty representative of both. They were also wise enough to keep the ear articulation, a neat feature on the original toy that’s now been upgraded into a pair of ball joints for extra ear-posing fun (what? You don’t like posing ears? Freak).

My disappointment comes from his body and it comes from an unfair but unavoidable area: comparisons with the previous toy, one we’ve had for a long time and have fond childhood memories of. In this case the body just seems so much less dynamic than the original, it’s more accurate (though closer to the cartoon in proportions I feel) but just feels a little bit boring. It IS articulated though, VERY articulated and I know some toy fans would much rather articulation to dynamism (or articulation to quality if some Marvel Legends buyers are to be used as examples) – he’s got ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, crotch, knees and ankles plus hinged toes and swivels at the wrists, waist and tail, yes his bobtail is separately articulated and that is fantastic, seriously you have to attach it anyway so why not give it a swivel? Now this does mean he lacks for ball-joints at the wrists (always a shame) and has no ab-crunch which is a shame as the design choice to go with a longer body than the original toy (which is show-accurate) totally allowed for one. He does have those awesome knee joins that have those little ‘cuffs’ that cover up the join though, and even though I’m personally not a fan of hinged fingers or toes (they cause more problems than they solve I find) anyone with feet as big as Bucky’s should have as such a thing and you can, of course, get more poses with them than without. His real problem is his cape, it’s simply an engineering cock-up, it attached to his back via a peg but the peg is too short and so it falls off all the time, which is doubly annoying as the Boss Fight people must be fans of Bucky to bother with such a small-time licence and as such I’d expect them to know about the Toad Air Marshall’s hat and know that fashion that can be detached should never be included with Bucky O’Hare figures again- shame on them. However they do claw back points for making sure Bucky kept his peg-holes in the soles of his shoes, why is this so important? Well because he actually has those in the comic and cartoon, it was a conscious decision on the part of Hama to incorporate them so there was no disconnect between how the toys looked and how the characters looked in the show/comic/whatever and could have easily been overlooked, but instead Bucky features fully sculpted soles with pegholes (they’ve been moved back a little I think to allow for the toe articulation) – there is never a good reason not to sculpt the bottoms of boots, it costs no more in tooling, materials or painting costs.

Most of Bucky’s accessories are swappable parts but he does come with two standard ‘Aniverse blasters’ that are commonly used by various characters in-universe. I think these guns are some of the best weapon designs in fiction, I’m not being hyperbolic: I find the roundness of them to be incredibly aesthetically pleasing and having some that I haven’t lost years ago made me delighted, I wished we’d got a role-play toy of these back in ’91, a water pistol that looked like that would have been amazing. Swappable hands/gloves are pretty great, we get two trigger finger hands, two fists, an open hand and a pointing hand of leadership, a set of standard c-grip hands seems like a glaring omission but I guess they figured more people would want to pose Bucky with guns than with a crowbar. The swappable faces are less pleasing, simply put they all look so similar.

It’s a problem with Jenny as well. On that: OH MY FUCKING GOD A FUCKING JENNY FIGURE!!!!!!! *calms down* Jenny is first mate on the Righteous Indignation, she’s a cat from Alderbaran (seriously) with secret psychic powers, she’s also a toy dream come true. Now I respect that you may think using terms like ‘dream come true’ for toys is over-the-top, a little silly even but with cases like Jenny it is completely accurate. Until Boss Fight’s pre-order went up fans of Bucky O’Hare could only imagine – or dream if you will – of owning a toy of Jenny, who I’d like to point out again is the first mate of the crew and a main character. Jenny’s sotry isn’t an original one – Skeleton Warrior fans will know the tale, as will Darkwing Duck fans and many others – Jenny was scheduled for wave 2 of the line but there was no wave 2, leaving kids without a key member of the crew, imagine not having Uhura, that’s basically what we’ve had for 26 years. Photos of the prototype (and, I believe, factory samples) have been around t’internet for years and a rich fan or so even owns one but for the rest of us all we’ve been able to do is look. Given the relative obscurity of Bucky O’Hare and the relative failure of the franchise as a toy fad I honestly never thought I’d ever own Jenny, until Boss Fight Studios were amazing!

I was actually… apprehensive about a Jenny figure, firstly because of the quarter-of-a-decade of anticipation but mostly because Jenny has the best arse and legs in all of furrydom, getting Jenny’s butt and pins wrong would scuttle any figure of hers as far as I was concerned, I’m fucking odd. I needn’t have worried, even with articulation Boss Fight gave her the physique she demands:

Away from revealing far too much about my perversions Jenny is a really nice figure, she seems clearly based on the prototype figure and I’m completely ok that with that that’s the figure we didn’t get and that’s now the figure we now get to own, effort has been put into making the fantasy a reality – this does mean that Jenny lacks two major design elements from the cartoon though: her combat stilettos and her huge pink hair and tail, replaced with equally impractical platform shoes and huge white hair and tail (her hair was more white in the comic book and cross-sell artwork as well as the proto). Speaking of the tail, that tail is VERY well done, it’s essential for balancing a figure that has tiny ankles and tiny knees but long legs and platform heels, happily it’s ball-joint, weight and thickness means it works perfectly. Other articulation is pretty much the same as Bucky’s though she has those ‘rocker’ joints at her ankles. Overall though she looks fantastic, far better, far more dynamic, than Bucky and a big improvement on her prototype, she’s also roughly in scale with the original toys so if you just want a Jenny to go with them, she’ll more than do. 

She also has a lot more accessories than Buck, it’s like Boss Fight Studios knew that she was the real star of this first ‘wave’ and Bucky was just a necessity. Or it might be because she doesn’t have any guns. She has 3 swappable faces and a total of 8 hands to choose from. Her hands are a lot more fiddly than Bucky’s but their fragility seems to be an illusion, they’re pretty durable: she has c-grip hands, fists, spell casting hands that match her card art and hands that are ‘blasting’ very tasty looking pink psionic energy, I have no problem with any of them, I do have problems with her swappable faces. She has a cute winking face but her other three faces are just so similar they feel a little redundant – they’re supposed to neutral, angry and happy (I think) but they all just look ‘slightly sassy’. Rounding out her accessories are two of those effects pieces that hang on the wrists that the whole action figure industry is now in love with since someone finally figured out how to do them; they’re actually gorgeous little sculpts that do a great job of replicating Michael Golden’s artwork in reality, they’re so good I wish I could have made them (if that makes sense). what she doesn’t come with (and what makes me a little resentful of the three faces that look almost identical) is her prototype’s weapon, a completely made-up sci-fi shotgun thing that makes no sense and looks like it was taken from a random Hasbro vehicle but I still would have liked it to complete the ‘prototype made reality’ feel of the toy.

Conclusions? Jenny is amazing which is all that really matters, Bucky is frankly irrelevant as is the continued success of this line as far as I’m concerned, I WANT it to continue, I want Boss Fight to put out the Deadeye Duck that’s now on pre-order (because he’s my favourite, yes I have pre-ordered him), I WANT collector’s figures of the Toad Stromtroopers, of Al Negator, Blinky, Dogstar and ESPECIALLY Bruiser and the mighty Toadborg; I WANT to finally own figures of Terror Toad, Mimi LaFloo, Rumble Bee and Komplex but Boss Fight have already achieved the only goal that mattered: we finally have a Jenny figure and it’s a really bloody good toy.    

Sunday, 18 February 2018

AFB Best in Show: New York Toy Fair 2018

It’s been another New York Toy Fair so it’s another chance for me to point and say ‘I want that one’ a few times for some of the stuff that was on show. If you’re new to the concept, New York Toy Fair is the main toy fair for America thus it’s the main toy fair for the western world; most toy companies from specialist importers to Mattel and Hasbro show off their wares and it’s a good way to plan your expenditure for at least the next 6 months if you’re a toy enthusiast.
I’m just gonna talk about the things that I’m definitely buying when they come out (or when they show up, the new Deadpool wave of Marvel Legends is allegedly out but I haven’t seen shit, I want that Cable and Domino) with a little paragraph recapping what else the company put out so this post has some actual use if anyone who stumbles on it, for full coverage you’re better off checking out The Fwoosh, ToyArk, Toy News International and Ringside Collectibles.

All pictures 'borrowed' from ToyArk except that Ghostbusters picture which was once on ToyNewsi but seems to have mysteriously disappeared. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin: 

Great Garloo ReAction Figure!
Super7, 10th of Never
I have absolutely no reason to trust Super7 when it comes to 6” scale collector’s figures but they seem to be semi-reliable when it comes to ‘all other junk’ - which is good because all of their reveals this Toy Fair were ‘all other junk’ and a lot of it was pretty exciting, but for me personally nothing is going to top a Great Garloo action figure. The Great Garloo was a remote-controlled kaiju released by Marx (I’ve seen some sources claim Marvin Glass & Associates developed it but I can’t confirm that) way back in 1961, for me he’s on the of the coolest looking toys of all time (not bad for a bloke wearing sandals) but really if you weren’t convinced of Garloo’s coolness by the phrase ‘remote-controlled kaiju’ I feel there may be no pleasing you and I’m wasting my time. It seems Super7 are going to be doing both the big daddy himself and the Great Son of Garloo, a small wind-up toy released in ’62 and I’m down for both, possibly for multiples of the Great Son. I’m over the whole ReAction thing and it seems like most people are, that’s why Funko dumped the brand and Super7 picked it up, but I don’t care if it’s a ReAction Figure, a Star Wars Black Figure or a Figuarts limited edition release, I shall own a posable Great Garloo. 

We got nothing new on the Masters of the Universe Classics front, still Super7 haven’t shipped the first wave so not showing us the third might not’ve been a bad idea, they did show off two sets of She-Ra based M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. that look swanky, although it seems like Super7 are no longer paying for the M.U.S.C.L.E. licence as all of their upcoming mini-figures are going to be released under the generic (and copyright free) Keshi name in Japanese style boxes. And the vintage style He-Ro and Eldor are back on show as upcoming releases so it looks like they got that sorted out and we’ll get some toy-dreams-come-true figures in the next decade. Ghouls ‘n Ghosts are getting a line of ReAction figures and I’m very excited for their Astaroth, we’re not getting Princess Prin-Prin though which is a bit of a bummer - new Planet of the Apes ReAction Figures were also shown off, including the Lawgiver Statue which I’m totally down for, oh and PeeWee’s Playhouse too, shan’t be buying them. This big reveal though seems to be that they’ve got the Universal Studios Monsters licence, so that means another round of ReAction figures but more importantly they’re reissuing and expanding the Super Soakies and introducing a new line of collectible licenced Halloween pails dubbed Super-Buckets, Megatron, Voltron, the Xenomorph and four Universal Monsters (Wolf-Man, Gill-Man, Frankenstein’ Monster and the Mummy) are pending licenser approval, I’m more than interested in both line but I’m waiting for prices, which of course weren’t revealed because it’ll be two years before these things go on sale.

Savage World!
Funko, TBD
This is the one; this is the thing that’s going to be costing me the most money in the year to come. Funko are going to be making 5.5” action figures in the style of the vintage Masters of the Universe line (like Super7 are doing) but they’re going to be doing it for Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kruger, Conan the Barbarian, Leatherface, Michael Myers and THE THUNDERCATS. We already knew they were doing Mortal Kombat characters, which was nice but THUNDERCATS! Firstly I’m just pleased to be getting any new Thundercats figures after the failure of the last cartoon and MattyCollector’s Thundercats Universe being stillborn but to finally have the ‘cats and Mutants in scale with vintage He-Man figures? That’s just, that’s just something I never thought would happen and yet here Funko are, taking a break from making castles with all their Pop Vinyl money to make this a reality. I think this is one of those ‘you don’t understand, you weren’t THERE, man!’ things so I’ll elaborate on why this is exciting: LJN made the vintage Thundercats figures, they’re very good and I have a complete set but they’re huge, out of scale for everything except maybe Sectaurs (dear Funko: you know what your new Savage World figures need? Sectaurs) so while I could and did spend many an afternoon teaming up He-Man and Lion-0 it had the look of teaming up Hornswoggle with Andre the Giant when it should have been Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage; it wasn’t a big deal but it always there. Now we’ll have Thundercats figures that blend seamlessly with MOTU and I can put them through the trap door in Castle Grayskull with ease, I mean, put them on the same shelf – because I’m an adult collector and not a five year old, yeah, that.
No seriously fuck that, first thing I do when these get released is drop Panthro through that fucking trap door.

Funko had hundreds of things on show – amongst the upcoming Pop Vinyls newly revealed or otherwise are: Grease (I’ll be buying Danny), Care Bears (out this month, I’ll be buying them all), Jurassic Park (I’ll be buying all the dinos and Ian Malcolm), Bob Ross (so down for that), the Twisted Ones version of the FNAF animatronics (I’ll be buying the wolf), Rainbow Brite and Twink (so down for that), Doug!, PeeWee’s Playhouse (because apparently it’s been long enough now that we’ve all forgotten about the arrest and are comfortable buying merch again), Gossip Girl, Ouran High School Host Club, Garbage Pail Kids (I’ll be buying Adam Bomb), Destiny 2 and the new It film plus more Marvel, DC, Halo, Yuri on Ice,  Nickelodeon, Disney, One Piece, Dragon Ball and Rick & Morty – actually if you like Rick & Morty you’ll be well happy with this year’s Funko stand, pity I don’t. No new wave of Five Nights at Freddy’s action figures were on show (just make the Toy Versions already Funko!) but the new Funko Racers look adorable, fun and you can get Chica’s Cupcake in its own little car. The other big news for me though is that Buffy and Harry Potter are getting the Rock Candy treatment, the Luna is amazing (Yuri on Ice is also getting Rock Candy figurines which has solved a few Christmas present problems for me this year thankyouverymuch).

Crash Bandicoot!
Neca, Q2 2018
Damn these are coming out soon - even though they’re still ‘pending Licensor approval’. There’s a lot of choices on this list that are here for the same reason and that reason is ‘FINALLY!’ Eg: finally! A proper collector’s figure of Crash Bandicoot is here! Taking the final fate of Neca’s Video Game Series Simon Belmont into account it’s probably not just toy companies that are to blame for us getting so little retro toy goodness when it comes to collector’s figures but it is still a largely untapped well of licences that I feel they should be exploiting when they can  - and Neca is doing this (pending Licnensor approval) and I am very excited – although maybe three Crash figures in a row might be a bit much, I’d’ve maybe thrown in a Cortex or Tiny in-between to space out the variants but Neca need the part reuse to make it financially viable and I doubt anyone’s going to complaint about Rocket Pack Crash – except me of course. I’ll be buying regular Crash and waiting in hope of a Ripper-Roo.   

Neca also had new Team Fortress and Portal figures on show; I couldn’t give a flying dog’s bollock about Team Fortress 2 so I’m not the person to ask about ‘em but the new Portal stuff looks very nice.

Ultimate Pennywise!
Neca, Q3 2018
At Last! How has it taken until 2018 to get this? Presenting to you a full-on-no-bullshit-swanky-as-fuck-fully-articulated-with-multiple-swappable-parts collector’s figure of Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the Stephen King’s It TV movie!! Even though he looked completely different to how the book describes him (the new It film is a lot closer, one of the only things in that movie that IS close to the book) the TV movie’s Pennywise, this Pennywise, will forever be how I imagine It’s clown form looking and sounding and I’ve wanted a figure of it, this figure, ever since I first saw the film, on VHS, rented from Vidbiz, which means I’ve been waiting about 120 years or more for this to come out. He even comes with a balloon – that floats (because they float, the ooooorrrrl float)! My complaints are two in number: 1) he doesn’t come with Prince Albert in a can 2) he’s coming out Quarter 3 which is after my birthday but too early for Christmas, so I’ll have to pay for him myself or wait, and I ain’t waiting. So really, I have no complaints at all

As it’s their bread and butter, Neca had a whole bunch of other Horror stuff on show - though I’m having trouble remembering what’s been shown previous and what hasn’t. We’ve got release dates for the first Guillemeto Del Toro figures, Santa from The Devil’s Backbone is coming out first (Q2) while the Pan’s Labyrinth stuff is for Q3 and Q4. There was a couple of new Mego-style figures on show including a Herbert West (Q3) and the captain from The Fog (Q4) and some new Freddy Kruegers, I’m tempted by The Fog figure. New Waves for Alien and Predator were shown off [] including some new Kenner Aliens characters, the Snake Alien is a must-buy for me but otherwise I’m not feeling it for the regular figures. The packs based on Capcom’s Aliens vs Predator arcade game however, that’s a different matter, Dutch & Linn two pack (Q4) needs to come home with me but Neca two-packs ain’t cheap, there was also a bitching throne of skulls for your Predators on show, it’s shit hot but if it’s anything lke the Trophy Wall it’ll be expensive, hard to find and easily broken. A second wave for Ash vs The Evil Dead was on show, plus a bunch of Ultimate figures which seem to be doing good business for Neca (I’ve bought a few, their Terminator 2 Sarah Conner is the sex) we’re getting an Ultimate Gremlin (Q3), Ultimate Elder Predator (Q4), Ultimate Part 2 Jason Vorhees (Q3), Ultimate new film Pennywise (Q3) and an Ultimate Evil Dead 2 Ash who’s gonna come in a two-pack with Evil Ed (Q2)! I’d say it’s gonna be hard not to buy them all but I’m sure it’ll be easier once I’m in the shop and looking at the price,  I can’t see me passing on the Gremlin and the Part 2 Jason though.

Marvel Legends Spider-Ham & Scream!
Hasbro (Marvel Legends: Venom Series), October (I think?)
A little tear to came to my eye when I saw him, I tear of pure joy. Spider-Ham is getting an action figure and I’m gonna be alive to see it, bless you Spider-Verse, it was so worth putting up with all your Silk Mary-Sue bullshit now it means that I’ll have a little plastic cartoon pig dressed as Spider-Man. Scream meanwhile is just a personal favourite of mine, hailing from the old Venom: Separation Anxiety mini-series/story/multi-media event I’ve just always been enamoured with her look, I have her Toy Biz figure from way back whenever but this’ll be her first collector’s figure and about damn time too. It really is worth paying attention to Marvel Legends, even if you hate most of the output like I do (the new Doctor Octopus is revolting, the new Dagger is as bad, the Venom from this wave has a ginormous head, The Thing is a disappointment and the Silver Surfer is meh) because you can usually find one diamond amidst the slew of shit – as well as these two there’s the new Carnage which has an awesome unmasked head, the upcoming Cable and Domino that was revealed last SDCC, a comic-accurate Malekith the Dark Elf and a surprisingly nice Spider-Man Noir.

I don’t even know where to start with recapping the Marvel Legends on show so I’ll just do the stuff I’m certain of: the second wave of Black Panther figures include Killmonger and Agent Ross; the Venom series is going to me Venom, Carnage, Spider-Ham, Scream and Anti-Venom; the next Deadpool wave will be Deadpool in his pants, X-Men Outfit Deadpool, Omega Red, Lady Deadpool and Bishop with Sauron as a build-a-figure; the next Spider-Man wave will be modern Daredevil (black outfit), modern Scarlet Spider, House of M Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, Cloak & Dagger and Elektra and the Ant-Man & The Wasp movie wave will include Ant-Man, Wasp plus comic book versions of Malekith the Dark Elf, Black Knight and Gladiator, none of whom have any ties to Ant-Man in the slightest, plus a two-pack of Astonishing Ant-Man and Stinger is coming out. The Riders series of figure and bikes will be Logan, Black Widow and Danny Ketch Ghost Rider.  Plus they’re doing a whole range to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe under the name ‘Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years’ and that is going to cost me a lot of money: single-boxed versions of Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy), Iron Man (Avengers Assemble), The Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hulk (The Avengers: Age of Ultron) and The Hulkbuster Armour (Avengers: Age of Ultron) will accompany two-packs of Iron Man & The Mandarin Trevor (Iron Man 3), Iron Man & Pepper Potts (Iron Man 3), Ant-Man & Yellowjacket (Ant-Man), Tony Stark & The Original Iron Man Armour (Iron Man), Thor & Sif (Thor: The Dark World) and Captain America & Crossbones (Captain America: Civil War). I shall own that Pepper Potts.

Real Ghostbusters!
Diamond Select (Ghostbusters Select), TBD
Did Diamond throw a hissy fit and have all the photos of these taken down or something? Because I know I saw pictures of protos for the four Ghostbsuters and Slimer but Toy News International’s page is now gone and I’m not turning up anything on Google Images – good job I saved a picture innit? I’m excited but I’m not as excited as I should be, I wanted screen accurate Real Ghostbsuters but it looks like we’re gonna get a kind Masters of the Universe Classics Real Ghostbusters instead, mixing styles into a new one – fuck knows why Diamond have chosen to do this but then Diamond’s track record with figures is so up and down it could be a Trials HD track. Apparently these are scheduled to come in two three-figure waves so I’m assuming it’ll be two Ghostbsuters and a third figure (Slimer for one and someone else for the other - Janine? Boogeyman? Sam Hain? Someone like that) for each wave and I’ll be buying them all, they’ll be Wave 9 and 10 I think.

No idea what else Diamond are releasing because apparently you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before you left their stand or something because there’s bugger all coverage, Pulp Fiction Wave 2 is apparently cancelled though but I got that from a forum it could be bullshit.

Honourable Mention: King Kong of Skull Island!
Mezco, Summer 2018
This is getting an honourable mention simply because it’s by Mezco and they’ve not released a price for it yet. Mezco seems to have found a gap in the market with their 1:12 Collective figures – essentially Hot Toys for the 6” scale fans and thus I now assume everything they release with be expensive for its scale so until I know how much this is going to cost I’m not 100% down for it but to have a figure that actually looks something like the original RKO King Kong is very enticing. Incidentally this is the 7” version, they’re going to produce an 18” version too but the headsculpt is wank, this one looks at least slightly like O.B. sculpted it.  

And this isn’t even touching on the Star wars Black stuff I want but will probably never buy because that happens for just about every Star Wars Black figure (they’re making the Gamorran Guard and R5-D4!)

Anyway I’m off to sell some organs, thanks for reading, see ya later.