Monday, November 11, 2019

Marvel Legends Avengers Endgame Iron Man Mark LXXXV

While uncertain how interested I am in the Lebowski Thor BAF for this wave, I did find the Iron Man Mark LXXXV I wanted on a peg at retail last week. Frankly, the Endgame Power Gauntlet accessory included that goes with the Smart Hulk BAF interested me more. Regardless, the deco on this Mark LXXXV is beautifully metallic in finish, and the fine armor sculpt details are fantastic.

We get four repulsor blasts with this figure, which is nice, but also repulsor blast hands that are hinged, unlike what we've been getting with our Iron Man figures for some time now. I've sold most all the original Iron Man and Iron Man 2 figures, yet I keep buying new Iron Man figures. A Marvel character who was once B, maybe C Level in now transformed into a top tier property by actor Robert Downey Jr,'s portrayal in the Iron Man and Avengers movies.

Below, Mark LXXXV with my Mark XLII Iron Man 3 figure, and again with the 80 Year Anniversary Classic Iron Man. Interesting how much the latest Mark LXXXV has in common with the Classic armor...

Below, Iron Man with some of his Avengers teammates, 

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Marvel Legends Storm (Apocalypse BAF)

I posted a shot of the Marvel Legends Retro Series Storm I picked up on my Instagram back in April, but was still on the lookout for the X-Men/Apocalypse Wave version with the mohawk. As luck would have it, I happened upon her on sale at a local GameStop, where we'd normally pay more for a figure than other retailers. No way I'm taking a pass on such an occasion. I love the retro Storm, and have been just enjoying her on card for the time being- she was difficult to track down at a reasonable price, and is somewhat of a treasure. I'm proud to report that mohawk Storm is her own brand of cool, and a fantastic action figure. Not all one color as I'd thought prior to up-close examination- her pants are actually dark grey, which along with the metallic details on the belt and choker necklace make her simple deco feel restrained instead of lazy.

The lighting effect accessories included are appropriate for Storm, but I have also used as fire, such as in my recent Halloween Hulk post. Her articulation is standard for female Legends buck, but she can do enough for me. The figure's neck suffers from lollipop syndrome, which the right pose can hide, but she is otherwise great looking. A swivel at the boot top would have been nice, but they are fixed. Regardless, Ororo stands fine, and with some attitude, I might add.

Storm shares her petite jacket and cuffed glove hands with the Retro Series Dazzler I picked up this summer, which initially didn't interest me, then surprised me by her simple charm as my surrogate for the earlier Rogue figure I never picked up. These two make a fun pair of heroes! Below, Storm with my 2017 Marvel Legends Walmart Exclusive Black Panther. Ororo married T'Challa in Black Panther #18 (2006), and even shared Fantastic Four duties for a brief period, replacing Sue & Reed during a leave of absence in the aftermath of Civil War.

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Currently Reading: Batman 80th Anniversary, Detective Comics No.1000 & More

Detective Comics #1000, May 2019

Though I started this post back in April, I have continued to pick up the occasional Batman book, as I did just this past weekend. So I'll get on with it here and mention some of what I've been reading. As with the character's 75th year in 2014, the hype surrounding Detective Comics #1000 and Batman's 80th anniversary reinvigorated my interest in DC Comics, resulting in a modest splurge on comics. Good on it's $10.00 price tag, 1000 was thick and fun to read. Manned with an All-Star lineup of  DC talent, this issue boasts 11 variant covers, topped by what at last count appeared to be no less than a stunning 75 retailer and creator variant covers! This romp through the character's history featured most all his surrounding cast and rogue's gallery, starting things off right with a detective story by author Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, several collaborations by some legendary Batman creators like Jim Lee, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Dini, Peter J. Tomasi, and Neal Adams fill the rest of it's 96 pages. Additional artwork and a great two page spread of the Bat Family make this a visually dashing issue.

Batman Vol.1 The Court of Owls, Batman Vol.2 The City of Owls, 2011-2012

I was reading a lot of comics when DC relaunched with it's New 52 campaign, but took a pass on the now highly lauded Court of Owls by author Scott Snyder and artist Gregg Capullo. I may have passed on one of the best New 52 books though, 'cause I really enjoyed this. I had eventually caught up with Capullo on Batman, jumping in at Batman: Zero Year in 2013, it just took me six years to backtrack. So nice to revisit Snyder & Capullo's Batman.

DC 80th Anniversary Giant Detective Comics Batman #1, 2019

I stumbled upon an endcap at Walmart this past year full of giant-sized issues of different DC Characters, one being this Detective Comics Batman. Mostly reprinted material, of particular interest to me, the 1967 debut of Batgirl, featuring sidekick Robin and the villainous Killer Moth, as well as the Boy Wonder's own debut from 1940. There's also some Bronze-Age material in here that tickles my nostalgia bone, but this would make a great gift for a kid just getting interested in Batman.

Batman: Ego and Other Tails (Darwyn Cooke/DC Comics, 2007)

I had just got back into comics as an adult around 2010, and discovered Justice League: The New Frontier (DC Comics, 2004) by the late great Darwyn Cooke. His Atomic-Age tale of the team's origin is like no other, and reestablished what I liked about superhero teams as a kid. Ego was just a continuation of this sweet spot for me, particularly in "Selina's Big Score", my favorite of the "tails" included. Artist Tim Sale shares a certain retro styling that is unique from Cooke, but complements this collection.

Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 (DC Comics, 2017)

More recently, I discovered this fun team-up of Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77, combining what are essentially my childhood versions of these two DC characters. I love the Alex Ross cover on this collected edition, and am a big fan of Michael and Laura Allred, who did the original issue covers also included here. Artist David Hahn has simple, animated style that is colorful and appropriate in tone for this adventure that I quite enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed Nightwing's appearance later on in the book, all grown up in his original disco outfit, kickin' butt! Ra's al Ghul and daughter Talia make great villains for this decades-spanning romp, starting with a young Bruce Wayne's meeting the Amazon he would later team up with as Batman, and later be pulled out of retirement by to put a stop to Ra's scheme to finish what he started. Though I only picked up a few issues of  Batman '66 when it dropped in 2013, I did enjoy them- this made me want to go back and get the collected editions of this even more, especially considering the passing of actor Adam West a couple years ago.
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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Hulk

Just for fun, because it's Halloween, my favorite monster... The Hulk! One of the first Marvel Legends I bought was this 1st Appearance Hulk by ToyBiz (above). I was playing around with some lightning effects from another figure, and thought they looked like fire, so I shared it on my Super-DuperToyBox Instagram. Follow me there to see some things that may not make it onto the blog, and stay informed on all my new posts and Super-DuperToyBox YouTube videos!  And while on the subject of Hulk and social media, below are pics of my newer Marvel Legends Hulk from the Marvel 80th Anniversary 1st Appearance Wolverine/Hulk 2-pk. with his Marvel PEZ dispenser. If you don't think that's fun, you are looking in the wrong corner of the internet!   :D

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Mego 14" Wonder Woman

I've said before that I'm mad for these recent 14" Mego figures, and although Wonder Woman toes the line of being what basically amounts to a doll, I felt she would bring some diversity to my otherwise white, male collection. Yes, yes, it's an action figure, not a doll. Fine. She has hair and real clothes, so that seems to qualify her in my mind... it's just that I don't care. Regardless, I had stopped to check her out a couple times before I finally picked her up. Her simplicity grew on me after I had a few of these and could see she was pretty consistent in her styling with the others. That Mego style from the '70s has been maintained, yet updated in some ways- people who complain should look elsewhere for entertainment, these are not for them. The head sculpts on these are fantastic! I was delighted at how well she stands in those heeled boots as well, and while you won't be doing handstands with her, she will hold some simple poses. A more modern version of Wonder Woman is also available in this 14" line, but the classic version fit my collection better. I'd love to see a retro Black Lightning or Vixen in this line as opposed to repeated characters in modern costumes! There's now way Mego could lose! 
Check out the video:

Below, Wonder Woman with Aquaman, Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern!
Also see my recent post on the Mego 14" SDCC Dark Knight Detective!

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Marvel Legends Retro Series Wasp, Vision, Hawkeye

I've had the Marvel Legends Retro Series Vision on card for a year, picking up Wasp and Hawkeye more recently to round out a classic Avengers team for my collection. We all know this variant of Wasp was teased as a variant in 2006, then not produced- while I have no personal connection to that unreleased figure, nor the obscure costume, I do like the way she fits into what I have going on. Check out the video:

Below: Wasp, Vision, and Hawkeye with Hulk from the 80th Anniversary Hulk/1st Appearance Wolverine 2-pack, and the 80th Anniversary Classic Capt. America, Thor, and Iron Man. While the Retro Series figures don't have quite the sheen the 80th Anniversary figures enjoy, they fit in well enough with them. As plain as Hawkeye's deco is, I was surprised by how much I liked him- his sculpted armor scaling goes well with Capt. America's. And I'd been waiting for the right moment to crack that Vision open- love that classic styling!

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Mego 14" Batman Dark Knight Detective (SDCC Debut)

I am sometimes again sold an item that I'd essentially paid for once, such is the case regarding this 2019 SDCC Debut Dark Knight Detective. Unlike the Classic Batman however, this all-black version has gripping fists that hold his grapple hook, a different belt, and a smaller chest emblem. Mego also pinned the cape onto the chest just above with a few stitches. I've said before what fond memories I have of the summer of '89, when Keaton debuted this look for Batman in Tim Burton's blockbuster -it's not a direct representation, but nostalgia kicks in. These go for twenty bucks at Target, unless if you find them on sale, as I have more than twice. I have yet to buy any of the new 8" Mego dolls since the company's sudden return, but eventually caved to the retro appeal of these oversized DC figures. Some 1:6 scale collectors bemoan the unique, taller scale, and some just don't have room for them, but there's no denying the wow factor of the 14" line. Check out the video:

Above, Batman Dark Knight Detective with my Mego 14" Classic Batman. Below, with my Applause 10.5" Batman Returns vinyl, and my Mattel 6" DC Universe Classics Batman.

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Hasbro 9in. Punisher (Spider-Man Origins 2006)

On the heels of my last post, I wanted to finally open this Hasbro 9" Punisher I've had in my collection for 9 years. I started this blog just prior to finding it on eBay, the focus of my new hobby on action figures that resembled my childhood Mego dolls, Mattel's DC Retro-Action Series and ToyBiz's Famous Covers Series being two examples. Later, Figures Toy Co. would relaunch the craze for Mego-styled figures, in their own design reimagining, and using Mego molds outright. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Marty Abrams relaunched Mego through an exclusive distribution deal with Target in 2018! While I've so far resisted buying any of the new 8" figures, I've purchased a few of the fantastic 14" line, of which I plan to buy more. Be sure to visit the online Mego Museum! I only had a handful of these 9" Hasbro figures from the mid-2000s, which were unique in design, and different than the earlier ToyBiz Marvel Famous Covers figures. Check out the video:

Like many of the early Marvel Legends action figures, these 9" Hasbro figures included a comic, this one a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #129 from 1974, introducing Marvel's infamous antihero, The Punisher. In the middle of this comic is an advertisement for these "Signature Series" Spider-Man Orgins figures, featuring Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and two versions of Spider-Man. Hasbro would also release an Iron Spider, Daredevil and Captain America in this format. I've had the Spider-Man and Wolverine from this series for years, two favorite toys in my collection, and had a black suit Spider-Man at one time, as well as a Cyclops. If Hasbro were making theses today, after the Spider-Verse craze, we would have undoubtedly seen Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, Prowler, and Spider-Man Noir among many others.

As a teenager at the end of the '80s, I got my hands on a copy of The Punisher, a graphic novel compiling the 1986 five issue run "Circle of Blood". Revered as the character's foray into success in a solo title and definitive Punisher story, this book blew my young mind and made me a fan. It was gritty, violent, and perhaps a little more than adult in nature than intended for kids. Written by author Steven Grant and illustrated by Mike Zeck. It is sometimes, and fairly, accused of being dated, but that's part of the fun for me now. More recently, I enjoyed Punisher in the 2012 Marvel NOW! relaunch of Thunderbolts, alongside Red Hulk, Agent Venom, Elektra, and Deadpool, but "Circle of Blood" will always be the impression branded on my imagination.

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