Monday, May 27, 2013

10" Justice League Martian Manhunter, J'onn J'onzz Collection


This 10" Mattel Justice League Martian Manhunter was a missing piece in my J'onn J'onzz collection here at the Super-DuperToyBox. I found him for 30% off of the listed price of $14.99 at a local retailer Memorial Day sale, bringing him home for just ninety-five cents less than he went for at K-Mart a decade ago when originally released. I've seen him go for thirty bucks or more the last few years, but upon seeing this pristine boxed specimen in person at that price, I knew the time was right. There were several other DC Heroes released in this larger scale, larger counterparts to the 4" Justice League figures, later Justice League Unlimited. There was a Green Lantern on the premises as well, but I passed holding out for a Superman or Batman, my second choices after this J'onn J'onzz...

























As stated previously, I was ignorant of this deep and wonderful character as a youth, but quickly gravitated  toward Martian Manhunter as a renewed, adult comics fan. Once called the most powerful being on the face of the Earth by his friend Superman, J'onn J'onzz shares a great deal of the Man of Steel's special powers but is also a powerful telepath, adding an interesting calm and intelligence to his personality. J'onn is a special character for me, hence I'm always on the lookout for a new action figure of him I don't yet possess, of which there are few...


*See my 2011 Martian Nativity post!
*See my Martian Manhunter painting!
*See what happens when J'onn walks in on Jabba the Hutt's party!
*See my post on Martian Literature!
* See my post on more Martian Literature...!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

4" Batman Power Attack Figures


I found these for five bucks each at Big Lots recently, and had enjoyed my Batman & Robin from the 6" line of these action figures so much that I thought I'd pick a few up. The Power Attack line was unusual in their independence of any television or movie merchandising tie-in, what is sometimes referred to as an "evergreen line". These took the place of the Brave & The Bold/Stealth Strike line, and were produced for younger children, with their chunky styling and sturdy construction. There was another armored 4" Batman I liked, but I settled on the classic and black & red variant...


I've seen some Power Attack figures this size included with playsets in the line, but not any single carded 4" figures until now. They are very simple in their articulation, limited to five points, but dynamic in their styling. You aren't getting the kind of detail seen in Hasbro's Marvel Universe line, or even the recent Avengers figures, but they were half the price. Mattel has to remember that constantly returning, younger demographic needs reintroduction to the Batman characters every few years, a place this line falls into much like the Fisher-Price DC Super Heroes line that has seen several incarnations over the last many years.


These are pretty much an exact, miniature replica of the larger scaled 6" Power Attack Batman, who has many variants throughout the line. The larger versions are pretty simply articulated, but do enjoy hinged elbows, a swivel waist, and ball-jointed heads. I do however like the natural way the swivel joints look on these small Batmen, and their cloth capes are nice...



I passed on a pretty cool 6" Power Attack Batman in black & red recently. though I do have a thing for the Dark Knight Detective rendered in this color scheme, and own a few including the Stealth Strike Knight Battle Batman...


I also picked up this small yet psychotic-looking, pompadoured Joker. I passed on the 6" version recently, but I must say I admire this updated version with straight jacket straps across the front. His coloring takes influence from the classic Clown Prince of Crime, but his razor-toothed smile and beady eyes remind me of the insane asylum version who starred in the 2004-2008 Batman animated show.  There are some simple, but dynamic details in his sculpt, the coat tails being particularly nice, adding movement to the this heavily stylized action figure....





4" Power Attack Joker with accessory rich 9" Hasbro Joker & 6" DCUC All-Star Joker, cute & kid-friendly Imaginext Joker by Fisher Price, and the  pop gun-wielding Mattel DC Action League Joker....

More Later- Keep SMILING!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recent Acquisitions...


*3 3/4" Marvel Universe Hercules, Jubilee, and Blastaar
A couple weeks ago I ran into three more Marvel Universe I've been on the look out for- the last few waves of Hasbro's MUs have been hard to come by in these parts, made even more frustrating by the restocking of some of the pegs with figures I got two years ago. Yes, I have an obscene number of these figures I haven't even opened yet, but c'mon. I was really looking for the Blastaar variant with translucent orange hands, but the regular will do for now. Like Psylocke, I finally scored the elusive and highly coveted Jubilee, and though I passed on Hercules initially, I finally came to my senses and picked up Nature Boy...





*Hot Wheels 1:50 scale 1980's Batmobile
I grabbed the 30's Batmobile from this 1:50 scale Hot Wheels series last fall, and while I'd liked to have found the 60's version, this 80's Batmobile is another great version. I have modest collection of the Dark Knight's famous car, and was really happy to add this beauty, based on the Super Friends Batmobile.


*DC Direct Series 1 JLA Green Lantern (John Stewart)
I am more and more fascinated by these Tim Bruckner sculpts based on Ed McGuinness' 90's JLA artwork. Thes figures don't have much in the way of articulation, but I'm a huge fan of their chunky, stylized sculpt, and of DC Direct figures in general. Their action figures draw a great deal of criticism, but variety is greater and more artful in general compared to Mattel and Hasbro's action figure lines. 


Having John in my JLA Lantern Corps also fills my heart with a warm, green glow! John was the hardest to get at a reasonable price, but after months of searching, I finally scored him for sixteen bucks shipped- quite the accomplishment considering he's still on the card.  I also found some other, larger DC Direct pieces- I'll talk more about those in the future...
                                                                                                                                         
More Later- Make It FUN!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stealth Jet Batmobile


I got this Stealth Jet Batmobile on clearance with an April Amazon haul of several Batman Stealth Strike toys. The Stealth Strike series morphed out of the Batman: The Brave & The Bold line after the animated feature upon which it was based had been cancelled in 2011.  It was a great show featuring team-ups of Batman & other DC heroes taking on the villains, the merchandising for which was highly successful for Mattel.


Unusual in color for the Batmobile, the body is cast in dark silver, highlighted in gold. The "stealth jet" accessories are molded in translucent yellow, plugging into the car's body via the hexagonal accessory plugs throughout, the play feature this line of 5" action figures and vehicles are known for. There was a similar "Battle Armor" Batmobile released in the B&TB Total Armor line prior to the Stealth Jet, in blue with black highlights- I had my eye on it for a long time, but never got around to picking one up.


The missile launcher that attaches to the car's hood fires a single, three-pronged projectile, engaged by pressing the gold button on top. The missiles beneath the vehicles wings can be "dropped" with a flick of the finger...


The cockpit holds a single figure, and has a steering wheel that can be gripped by the the figures in this line, unlike the Blast Lane Batmobile I reviewed back in March. I think it's important that Batman be able to "drive" his car...


When the vehicle's canopy is closed, you can clearly see the figure inside through the translucent yellow windshield-  I love that about this Batmobile...


The Stealth Jet Batmobile makes a great car for my Bow Shot Batman, whose translucent yellow body and silver highlights match this car's deco perfectly. I was fortunate to get them both for under twenty bucks, and truth be told would not have paid full retail for them as I already have a B&TB Batmobile I love and several Batmen from this line. But they sure do look cool together, and at that price I couldn't resist!


Bow Shot Batman's crossbow accessory plugs into the car's hood perfectly, customizing the vehicle specifically for this figure...






















Radioactive Armor Batman looks great next to the Stealth Jet Batmobile with his grey and yellow highlights and colorful translucent parts...


This is exactly the same body/chassis as my Brave & The Bold Batmobile, with the addition of the hexagonal accessory plugs and a new paint scheme. It's an unconventional color scheme for the Batmobile, and while I'm really into the black and red, I like the variant quite a bit.



I have over twenty Batmen from the Brave & The Bold toy line, a few of which go really well with the Stealth Jet Batmobile. My armored Total Destruction Batman has a great Gatling cannon that fits right on the nose of this vehicle, the missiles for which happen to be yellow...


...and my Stealth Wing Batman has the perfect yellow and metallic grey to match the vehicle's deco.


So yes, this is a fun toy, made even more fun by it's comparability with my other B&TB figures and accessories. As I've said before, while some found the hexagonal accessory plugs unattractive, I enjoyed the added play value in this recently discontinued toy line. It was a great idea that had a pretty good run, giving us many great action figures and vehicles of which I'm a big fan.

More Later- Make It FUN!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marvel NOW! Iron Man God Killer & Secret Origin of Tony Stark


As I said on my May 8th post, I'm back on the Marvel NOW! run of Iron Man, picking up with what I missed cutting off at issue five, and loving it! I saw Iron Man III last weekend, and though it I was mildly annoyed by the "Operation Clean Slate" and all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion, I enjoyed myself. I thought the twist with Mandarin was clever & unexpected, and Tony Stark's character was deepened by Robt. Downey Jr.'s comical and sometimes vulnerable performance. I'm really enjoying Iron Man's joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in their new Marvel NOW! title, and it's my hope that the character will be included in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, currently slated for a summer 2014 release. A quick look at issues 6 through 8, The God Killer, and #9, The Secret Origin of Tony Stark...

Issue #6
After defending the Voldi's ancient artificial world from mechanoid space pirates, Iron Man relaxes in the lounge of their citadel, enjoying his birthday in the adoring company of Veritina, one of the many princesses of the gentile civilization. After spotting Death's Head at the bar, Tony suggests they take it back to her place...


Upon removing his faceplate, Veritina vomits at the sight of Tony's facial hair, comically sending the playboy space knight away in disgust!


Leaving Veritina's chamber dejected, Iron Man is attacked by drones who accuse the hero of deicide. Believing there has been a mistake, Tony goes to clear things up and realizes that it's the Phoenix he dispatched in the recent Avengers/X-Men conflict that is the "god" they speak of. In defending Earth from this threat, Iron Man inadvertently hurt the Voldi spiritually and economically, who silently harvested it's energy Voldi Tear.


Issue #7
Prior to the Supreme Justicar's judgment of Iron Man as a "god killer", the same service automaton that served drinks while Tony was trying to make time with the beautiful Veritina shows up with a plan to help Tony escape. A rogue Regellian recorder, 451 had never had his data wiped, and evolved a consciousness of sorts...


451 recommends Tony demand the rite of  Shay-Tah Run, involving a gladiator-styled series of battles to prove his innocence. The recorder argues that Tony should be able to hold off the amateur fighters long enough for 451 to find and awaken  P.E.P.P.E.R. to go rescue him.


Tony holds his own against the less skilled Voldi warriors, but just as he's growing weary, mercenary Death's Head shows up to throw the hopelessly outmatched hero around...


Issue #8
Iron Man's new space armor, enhanced with P.E.P.P.E.R. artificial intelligence, comes to the rescue, awakened by 451 after the scheming robot has snatched the Voldi Heart while everyone's distracted. P.E.P.P.E.R. zaps Death's Head and snatches Tony up in the nick of time...! 


The Voldi Heart is a sophisticated cloaking device however, which once removed draws the attention of the nearby Celestials, who zap the Voldi people like a nest of mosquitoes once noticed.  Already swiftly escaping, Tony sees the  drones chasing him lose power and races back to witness the genocide of the Voldi unfolding before his very eyes...


Realizing all is lost, 451 confesses to the crime and his manipulation of Iron Man to steal the heart, knowing all along the Voldi would pay with their own lives and civilization. The scheming robot claims a higher purpose of saving more in the end by sacrificing whoever necessary to achieve his ends, but Tony vows to make him pay...


Issue #9
Tony ignores the advice of Guardians team mate Peter Quill, who warns Tony about the rising price for Tony's head after the theft of the Voldi heart and it's people's destruction, heading off to hunt down 451.


In a strange twist, Tony hires Death's Head to help him find 451, but the rogue recorder has beat him to the punch, and the bounty hunter double-crosses Stark. Releasing Iron Man to 451, Death's Head explains that it's only business, leaving an enraged Tony trapped in his own suit of armor, P.E.P.P.E.R. under the control of  451. 


The recorder sits Tony & P.E.P.P.E.R. down before a reel-to-reel film, unbelievably revealing a plan hatched long ago, using none other than Howard Stark, Toy's industrialist father, to set up his own son...! 451 appears in the frame next to Howard Stark at the end of the film, proof that 451 has manipulated the hero long before he ever had a hope of doing anything about it...


The defeated Tony can only sit, mouth agape, incredulous of such a long term plan of his undoing! This is great stuff- author Kieron Gillen has been delivering since issue #1, and artist Dale Eaglesham took over seamlessly where Greg Land left off at the conclusion of issue #8. I'm really glad I picked this title back up from where I left off, and look forward to issue #10, released today!

More Later- Make It FUN!