Wednesday, December 11, 2019

DC Direct Blackest Night Green Lantern Hal Jordan

At the end of 2010, freshly back into reading comics and just a few months into authoring this blog, I read Blackest Night and got into Green Lantern like never before. I had soon collected several of the DC Direct Blackest Night figures, keeping them on card until liquidating them in 2018 as I downsized my collection. While I don't necessarily regret this, I did surprise myself when purchasing the Blackest Night Hal Jordan figure loose on eBay recently. The carded sample picture above is the Hal Jordan I sold off in 2018, one of the Blackest Night figures I most wanted to open, and am really happy to have found a loose, affordable sample in great condition.

Blackest Night: Green Lantern and Blackest Night (DC Comics, 2009-2010)

The sculpts on these DC Direct Blackest Night figures were extraordinary, and Hal was no exception. DC Direct rebranded as DC Collectibles just over a year after producing these figures and the subsequent Brightest Day Series figures, eventually adding more points of articulation in attempt to compete with other lines of figures in a rapidly expanding market. It's true that I'm nostalgic for this era of figures because I was just getting into collecting as an adult, there's little doubt that the hobby was climbing in popularity while the quality of figures was improving dramatically. The quality lantern accessories and bases included with the Blackest Night figures made them truly special!

I've said many times on this blog during my years collecting DC Direct figures, that what they lacked in articulation was more than made up for in aesthetic. I was also a huge DC Universe Classics fan at the time, but I do love the uninterrupted torso sculpt on Hal. The knees and elbows on this figure don't even achieve a 45 degree bend, but he does have swivels at his wrists, above the biceps and at his boot tops.

Below, Blackest Night Hal Jordan with my DC Collectibles New 52 Justice League Hal Jordan and Simon Baz. Not much had changed yet in regard to articulation with these two figures, who in fact have a little less without boot top swivels- gone are the figure bases we got with DC Direct just a year or two before.

Below, Hal Jordan with DC Direct Green Lanterns Soranik Natu, Sinestro, and Guy Gardner. These Series 5 Green Lantern figures dropped about a year after Blackest Night Hal, and sport a metallic green that just blew me away at the time. Everyone was into Green Lantern then, the books and figures coming out with fanfare not seen before, culminating with the oft bemoaned Green Lantern film. While the movie was kind of a letdown, I did continue to read Green Lantern into DC's New 52 relaunch, thrilled by Sinestro's reinstatement into the Green Lantern Corps! Visit Joe Acevedo's DC Direct Archive online to see all the figures from 1999 to 2012!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Jada Nano Metalfigs- Classic TV Series Batman

I've had a few of these Jada Nano Metalfigs in my collection for awhile, but had not yet opened this Classic TV Series Batman. The paint on these can often be hit or miss, more often the latter, such as the case with my sample. That said, I wanted to display him with a Hot Wheels Batmobile in my detolf, so I cracked him open. Check out the video:

Above, my Hot Wheels 1:50 Scale Classic TV Series Batmobile and Batboat, featured in a June 2017 post and tribute to late Batman actor Adam West on my Super Fun Hot Wheels Blog. Below, Jada Nano Metalfigs Classic TV Batman with the Jada Batman the Animated Series version I posted on at the Batman the Animated Toys Blog around the same time.

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team

I picked up this bag of throwback Tim Mee Galaxy Laser Team figures last summer on eBay for cheap, just for fun- my childhood friend had the pink, green, black and white original assortment back in the '70s. From a quick internet search, it appears these were also released as Galaxy Laser Team with Space Monsters and just Star Patrol as well, often an included "X-Wing Rocket" advertised on the packaging, my contemporary set here including two that came in two pieces that snap together. Decals for the ships, but I chose not to apply them.

Below, a comparison with my Tim Mee plastic army men, and some dollar store police men...

Small plastic figures like this are fun because they pair so well with other toys, like my Big Hero 6 Fred or my vinyl Ultraman figures- fun play for kids and fun for my photographs. Toys like these are fun for everyone, and most definitely what the Super-DuperToyBox is all about!

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

DC Collectibles New 52 Green Lantern Simon Baz

When this figure dropped in May of 2013, I was unfamiliar with his recently revealed backstory, a character born out of DC's New 52 relaunch. I was busy with other monthly titles at the time, including some of the Marvel NOW! titles- a fantastic time! I did buy the Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter that DC Collectibles released that year in this series, and had a substantial collection of Lanterns from across the spectrum at that time. I've had a renewed interest in the figures I collected in the first part of the decade, and have doubled back to pick up a few I passed on at the time.

Simon has a checkered past, driven to a desperate situation under pressure of poverty, but does the right thing when mistakenly chosen by a malfunctioning power ring. The character has received criticism for it's platitudinous characterization, and his use of a handgun merely a tool of controversy. Fair enough.  Eventually Batman calls Simon out on the mat regarding his sidearm, which the hero drops during the 2016 Rebirth relaunch of the DC Universe.

Below, Simon Baz with my other DC Collectibles/DC Direct Green Lanterns: 

Below, Green Lantern Simon Baz with Justice League of America teammates, DC Collectibles New 52 Martian Manhunter and Hawkman. I'm currently reading the first couple books of the New 52 relaunch of Justice League of America Vol.3- there's less regarding Simon in these, but he is welcomed to the team, and fights in Trinity War that runs through the middle of them. I had been reading New 52 Green Lantern Vol.5 just a year or so prior in 2011, invigorated by Sinestro's return as a Green Lantern, and fresh off reading Blackest Night, cementing my Green Lantern fandom. Maybe another GL in a growing line of others just couldn't keep my attention, maybe I'd just moved on to other reading, maybe it was the gun or overworked social message... I don't fully recall. Regardless, I like the figure aesthetically, DC Collectibles' execution was spot on.

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

DC Direct Brightest Day Aqualad

I have a few of the DC Direct Brightest Day Series figures on card, but did not have Aqualad. Series 3 arrived in Sept. of 2011, which also included Hawk, Dove, and Jade- the latter of which I sold a couple years ago. I found this Aqualad at a heavily discounted price and free shipping on eBay after finding the New 52 Aquaman featured in my last post, which I had also admired the time but passed on, likely for budgeting reasons. It wasn't long after this series of figures that DC Direct rebranded as DC Collectibles, which I continued to collect, as I was reading some of the New 52 era. I was obsessed with DC Direct when I began collecting, the detail of their sculpt and paint usually superior to the DC Universe Classics, another line of figures I collected at the beginning of the decade.

DC Direct used to give us figures stands, sometimes quite fancy like the White Lantern disc here, similar to the stands included in the Green Lantern Blackest Night Series. These take up some real estate on a collector's shelf, but it looks fantastic, keeps these exceptional figures from faceplanting, and just makes it special. 

I never did read Brightest Day, but did catch up on what happened over at Comicstorian on YouTube years later. This is the second, modern incarnation of the character, Jackson Hyde, who first appeared in 2010, coinciding with the Young Justice animated series Aqualad, Kaldur'ahm. It is revealed that he is the son of Black Manta in Brightest Day, but his version of Aqualad was short-lived, not appearing in the New 52 timeline.  He reappeared in the DC Rebirth timeline five years later, looking more like his Young Justice counterpart, joining Teen Titans in 2016.

Below, Aqualad with the DC Collectibles New 52 Aquaman featured in my last post- it's really fun to revisit this era of action figures that I loved so much at the time. I was reading a lot of comics, trade paperbacks and monthly single issues, and collecting as an adult was new. Visit Joe Acevedo's DC Direct Archive online to see all the figures from 1999 to 2012!

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Monday, November 25, 2019

DC Collectibles New 52 Hawkman & Aquaman

I've circled back about seven years to look at some of the New 52 characters DC Collectibles dropped after the relaunch of all their titles around that time. Having jumped right into Green Lantern, fresh off the ride that Blackest Night was, I also got into Green Lantern New Guardians, Earth 2, Justice League, and at least a few issues of some others. I've had my eye on Aquaman for years, and dove back in when finding Hawkman at a good price recently. DC Collectibles had recently changed their branding from DC Direct, but had yet to upgrade articulation, but what they lacked in that department was made up for in aesthetic with these stunning figures. Check out the video:

Below, Hawkman with DC Collectibles New 52 Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman with DC Collectibles New 52 Wonder Woman and Superman. I limited myself to just a few of these when I started collecting them at the end of 2012, but finding a few I missed out on at a discounted price here years later made me look again. Beautiful!

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Friday, November 22, 2019

COPPA, the FTC, YouTube & the Action Figure Community

For mining data for targeted marketing to YouTube viewers under the age of thirteen, YouTube and Google settled with the Federal Trade Commission for a record $170 million dollars. Though you must claim to be thirteen or older to sign up for a YouTube account, YouTube was ruled in violation of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act. Now YouTube has washed it's hands of this responsibility, throwing content creators under the bus, putting the responsibility of policing back on them. By complying, content creators must mark videos as made for children if the subject is of even remote interest, stripping their videos of many features, including comments and monetization. The FTC can fine also anyone up to $42,000.00 per video if found in violation.

RetroBlasting's call to action:


Fill in your years on YouTube and favorite channels in the first few paragraphs where the XXs are, THEN PASTE IT INTO THE COMMENT BOX AT THIS LINK:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Marvel Legends Avengers Endgame Smart Hulk BAF Series

The main drive to acquire this Marvel Legends wave was to assemble the Endgame "Smart Hulk", but I do like most all the other figures, Rescue being the primary figure of interest. After first being announced, I was more excited about Shuri, but Beta Ray Bill, Union Jack, & Loki interest me more now. Additionally, I can pair the Endgame Power Gauntlet accessory included with the Mark LXXXV Iron Man in my last post. Check out the video:

Above, Professor Hulk gets his Power Gauntlet fit by Iron Man Mark LXXXV, and below standing gauntlet to gauntlet with the Avengers Endgame Thanos BAF I recently picked up loose on the secondary market. What a great looking pair of action figures! See more pairings and comparisons in the video above!

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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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