Monday, October 18, 2021

MOTU Origins Battlefield Warriors Battle Armor He-Man & Battle Cat

It was a long time looking, but I finally got ahold of the new Target exclusive Battlefield Warriors Battle Armor He-Man and Battle Cat last weekend. Based on the current, plentiful stock of the recent Rise of Evil 2-pk no one could get ahold of initially, I think we'll see more of these in the wild. Regardless, it's a fantastic set  I hope you find soon- check out the video:

While it's mildly annoying having to cough up for what is basically the same figure as the recent Deluxe Battle Armor He-Man, and our second Battle Cat, the vac-metal armor and full power sword are nice upgrades, and I like the slightly more vibrant Battle Cat. We also get a base that matches the new Castle Grayskull with a couple small gargoyles to help build out your MOTU Origins display-  the vehicles in this line have all come with nice flight bases, as well. But the update I like most on this set was the windswept hair/pen mouth on the additional head, modeled after the original He-Man portrait. We got a similar treatment on the Deluxe Battle Armor He-Man, which used the newer character portrait. I may buck the trend among collectors in my approval of the updated He-Man portrait, which could be the reason for the retro He-Man and Skeletor face sculpts showing up more frequently in new releases.

Below, Battlefield Wariors Battle Armor He-Man and 
Battle Cat with my Battle Armor Skeletor and Panthor ...

And finally, Battlefield Warriors He-Man & Battle Cat with some of the other Heroic Warriors guarding my MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull: She-Ra, Roboto, and Zodac of Wave 3, Stratos, Ram Man, Teela, Man-at-Arms, and of course, Temple of Darkness Sorceress who lives there...

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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Marvel Legends Retro 3.75" Stealth Iron Man, Storm, and Vision

 I've been slowly building a collection of these Marvel Legends Retro 3.75" figures for the past year or so, acquiring Vision, Storm, and Stealth Iron Man recently on GameStop's website at a decent price. I've only enjoyed these on card so far, a big part of their appeal with the great artwork and throwback styling. Below, the 3.75" Retro figure with their 6" Marvel Legends counterparts, Vision, Storm, and Stealth Iron Man.

I'm a big fan of Vision, so I was happy to get him in particular, but it was nice to get another X-Men character with Storm, in her classic outfit nonetheless. I had the 3.75" Classic Iron Man, but quite fond of his Stealth mode, and have collected some blue Iron Man figures over the years.It's Ironic I sold off most of my 3.75" Marvel Universe figures only to start collecting these, but as a kid raised on 5-point Star Wars figures, there's a nostalgia engrained  into my soul. They also remind me of Hasbro's Marvel Secret Wars figures, which were larger, but simple in articulation, colorful, and simple.Good ingredients for a fun toy. Recommended! 

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Marvel Select Immortal Hulk

I bit the bullet a little late on the Marvel Select Immortal Hulk, but he's a huge Hulk action figure, which I have a hard time passing by, the character a childhood favorite of mine. The Mego World's Greatest Superheroes 8" Hulk was one of my favorite childhood toys, usurped by their 12" release in the years following. And when CBS debuted the TV series in 1977, starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, we were hooked. Check out the video:

The unexpected additional mecha head sculpt was a welcome accessory to this Marvel Select. Mecha Hulk is a concept that has been floating in and out of comics and action figures for years, this alternate head appearing to have been influenced by Cosmic Hulk. According to Marvel Fandom, this robotic construct was a misguided experiment by two MIT students, awoken with disastrous results by exposure to the power cosmic from the Eternals' Uni-Mind.

There have obviously been many comparisons weighed within the action figure community between this Marvel Select Immortal Hulk and Hasbro's 80th Anniversary Hulk. While Immortal Hulk has size over Hasbro's Hulk, the Marvel Legends Hulk has slightly better articulation. I really like the torn shirt accessory included with the Legends Hulk, and his clenched teeth that can be neutral or enraged depending on his setting. The Select has really good articulation however, the alternate mecha head sculpt is fantastic, and the torn pants at the knees really set him apart. Both are great figures I'd recommend to any Hulk fan.

Marvel Select Vs. Marvel Legends! Below, Marvel Select Immortal Hulk and Marvel Legends 80th Anniversary Hulk face off with my Marvel Select Thanos and Marvel Legends Infinity Gauntlet Thanos...

Of course, I had to throw in a shot of Immortal Hulk with my new Marvel Legends She-Hulk ...

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Monday, October 4, 2021

Marvel Legends She Hulk and Tigra

 I was surprised to see the Marvel Legends Retro carded Tigra on GameStop's website, but there and then decided to finally commit to the new She-Hulk and enjoy free shipping. These ladies are unique and colorful action figures that I felt might make a great pairing...

Tigra was initially introduced as The Cat, but revamped to the more familiar super-powered, part animal character we know now in Giant-Sized Creatures #1,1974. I had little or no experience with the character until backtracking that issue, also featuring Werewolf by Night, on Marvel Unlimited. Below, Tigra with Shuri from a 2018 Black Panther 2-pk with Klaw...

I'm unsure if this is a new buck for Tigra's tiny frame, but it has small areas of fur texture sculpted on the shoulders, forearms, and above the knee. This is unfortunately concealed by the painted stripes, but interesting to think about who may fit that body, perhaps Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair of the X-Men? That character probably would not fit the intricate sculpt details of Tigra's bikini, though. Amazing detail throughout this surprising little figure. Also, her tail seems to be meant to swivel, if begrudgingly on my sample.

Tigra has pinless limbs, and a decent level of articulation, the elbows of particular note. Not a lot abdominal crunch, but I was able to get her to do some things. Below, Tigra spars with Thundra...

While we have Thundra out, we might as well compare her with She-Hulk, as they are both larger female buck. Thundra could have benefitted from a more substantial base body, but I have held onto her...

I was reluctant to pick up this repaint of She-Hulk as she is the same figure it seems we just bought- it has been 20 months, but that happens more as Hasbro pushes out Marvel Legends figures with ever-increasing frequency. This gray version of Shulkie was part of the Super Skrull Wave that included the classic Doctor Doom that have also repainted in more comic-inspired colors.

It's great to finally have a green She-Hulk that's easy to acquire, and has an appropriately muscle build befitting of the character. While the neutral head sculpt is fine, I would have preferred more of a John Byrne Sensational She-Hulk hair style, like we got in the recent X-Factor Polaris figure. I predict we will get another She-Hulk in the Marvel Legends. I personally loved her FF outfit (we need a box set of that team with Miss Thing), but a more traditional Fantastic Four look or some variant of her purple and white outfit, are certainly on the table. Below, She-Hulk with my Marvel 80th Anniversary Classic Hulk...

She-Hulk may be one of the Marvel characters that actually could take on Mr. Hyde ...!

And finally, Tigra and She-Hulk with some of the other heroic females in my Marvel Legends collection: Angela, Captain Marvel, Ironheart, Black Widow, and Dazzler...

These are two nice figures I'd recommend to any action figure collector- I paid a couple bucks less retail for Tigra on GameStop's website than BBTS is asking, and got free shipping for buying She-Hulk for $19.99. The recent price increases on Legends are annoying, but I will say again that they are nearer to import quality than in the past. Hasbro sees people paying fifty to one hundred dollars for single figures by companies like Storm Collectibles, Mezco, Medicom, and Mafex, and they want some of that action.

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

MOTU Origins Clamp Champ & Man-E-Faces

 Like some of the other figures in the MOTU Origins line, I hadn't planned on getting Clamp Champ or Man-E-Faces, but as my enthusiasm and nostalgia grew, I found myself picking them up. These two were purchased at Amazon at an unusually reasonable price, when combined with some accumulated Amazon points totaling a paltry sum of $12.91 each shipped. Amazon likes to fold the card backs of this line, which while annoying mattered little, as I open my toys.

Clamp Champ is packed with a large action feature clamp similar to the 1987 version, though it must be manually pulled back to be triggered. whereas the original performed the complete action with one push of the button. Oversized action accessories are fun for kids, but I'll display mine with just the smaller clamp- I was onto other things when Clamp Champ premiered, so I have no real nostalgia for the larger clamp. I like the alternate head and extra left grip hand, as well as the outfit colors. Like Tri-Klops and many others figures in the line, Clamp Champ is essentially a repainted He-Man with a new head sculpt...

Below, Clamp Champ with my Masters of the WWE Mr. T, a favorite from Mattel's crossover line of figures and playsets that share interchangeable parts with MOTU Origins. I think this was a stroke of genius mixing wrestling figures with the sci-fi/fantasy aspects of Masters of the Universe.

I had the 1983 Man-E-Faces as a child, and while I've heard complaints about his skin tone being more orange than the original, this is incorrect. It's true he had a more natural skin tone in the mini comics, cross sell art, and Filmation animated show, but the figure was more like this Origins version. Mattel has stayed true to most all characteristics of the original figures, as they did with Man-E-Faces.

Below, Man-E-Faces with his Wave 2 mates, Orko, Scare Glow, and Trap Jaw, which was infamously absent from most of North American retail. Luckily, BBTS offered them for preorder, which I pursued the other three, but not Man-E-Faces- odd in that I had him as a child. Later, I corrected this oversight with the aforementioned Amazon find.

Below, Mane-E-Faces flies in on the MOTU Origins Wind Raider, He-Man greeting him at Castle Grayskull. Again, MOTU Origins has my vote for top toy line of the past year, it totally hooked me. The vehicles and playset, character selection, and WWE Universe line compatibility make it home run, and there is word of lots more to come. It will be cool if Mattel can navigate distribution woes.

Clamp Champ included the same mini comic as Battle Armor He-Man and SkeletorBattle Armor Reborn, and Man-E-Faces came with Double Trouble like Orko, Scare Glow and Trap Jaw from Wave 2- double back and check those out. Visit the Battle Ram Blog to see more about the original mini comics and Masters of the Universe toys I loved in the '80s!

I've said it many times now, Masters of the Universe Origins is my favorite line of the last year, and has really taken me back to the '80s with their faithful retro styling and play value. Clamp Champ and Man-E-Faces are both great examples of what make these figures so much fun. Recommended! 

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

MOTU Origins Wave 4

Like MOTU Origins Wave 3 in my last post, I've had this 4th Wave since early spring, and am just now getting around to opening them. More Origins figures and vehicles have become available since, so I'd been busy with those. I'd recommend preordering from BBTS to ensure safe arrival and best shipping price. Stratos was the sole character from this lineup in my childhood collection back in '82, so I was happy to finally get him out, but Tri-Klops, Hordak, and Ninjor were new for me. Check out the video:

Like the other MOTU Origins figures, Wave 4 included a mini comic, Sneak Attack, including all four characters. Artwork from the original Masters figures, drawn by Alfred Alcala set my young imagination alight. I enjoy seeing these in the new Origins line, and hope it does for kids today what it did for us in the '80s. Visit the Battle Ram Blog to see more about the original mini comics and Masters of the Universe toys!

Hordak was also released as a deluxe figure in this line, as Buzzsaw Hordak with a pop-out chest action feature, but I'd rather have had Ninjor released that way, with an unmasked head. I had passed on Tri-Klops initially, resolving to collect these on a limited basis, but picked him up later in the wild as MOTU madness came over me. Having Stratos again is really a sweet spot for me, having loved my childhood figure of this character.

Pictured below are many of the MOTU Origins currently residing in the Super-DuperToyBox. Masters of the Universe Origins has been my absolute favorite line of the last year- the nostalgia it has stirred in me was a surprise, and I'm really enjoying collecting beyond the characters I had as a child. Recommended! 

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Sunday, September 26, 2021

MOTU Origins Wave 3

I've had this 3rd Wave of MOTU Origins since early spring, but have had a hard time keeping up with others Origins and Masters of the WWE I'd found thereafter as they became more available. I'd recommend preordering from BBTS to ensure safe arrival and best shipping price. Zodac and Mer-Man were in my childhood collection back in '82, so I was delighted to open those, but She-Ra and Roboto didn't disappoint. Check out the video:

Like the other MOTU Origins figures, Wave 3 included a mini comic, though Dimensional Doom doesn't include She-Ra. Artwork from the original Masters figures, drawn by Alfred Alcala set my young imagination alight. I enjoy seeing these in the new Origins line, and hope it does for kids today what it did for us in the '80s. Visit the Battle Ram Blog to see more about the original mini comics and Masters of the Universe toys!

Masters of the Universe Origins has been my absolute favorite line of the last year, and I'm really looking forward to what else is to be seen- quite a bit more according to a recent statement by the Mattel MOTU design team. The nostalgia that Origins has stirred in me was a surprise, and I'm really enjoying it. Recommended! 

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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Marvel Legends Mark XV Stealth Iron Man

I passed on this blue Mark XV Stealth Iron Man a couple times, lamenting the number of figures in my Marvel Legends collection on this very same buck, but eventually gave in due to my love for variants and this updated Iron Man body. Tis is the Iron Man buck we've always wanted- big enough to look like a man in an Iron Man suit, with great articulation, and comic book accurate. See my post on Invincible Iron Man #152 from 1981 to read about the first appearance of the Stealth Iron Man armor!

While I've sold some of my earlier Stealth Iron Men in blue, the Joe Fixit Wave Gamerverse Iron Man and Iron Man Movie Series Stealth Strike IV Iron Man are still in my collection. Like the Gamerverse Iron Man, this new Mark XV Iron Man includes an interchangeable Tony Stark head...

Also in my 6" Marvel Legends collection is the blue Iron Monger BAF from the Iron Man 3 Wave in 2013- it's articulation is limited due to his bulk, but is dazzling to look at....

I sold off most of my 3.75" figures, including the bulk of my Marvel Universe collection, but held onto a handful of them, including this blue 3.75" Stealth Ops Iron Man. Like all the 3.75" Iron Man Movie figures of that era, this is a fantastic little figure ...

Below, Iron Man battles my new Marvel Legends Classic Ultron ...!

Below, Stealth Iron Man with my Shang-Chi Wave Tony Stark A.I. Iron Man, which included a holographic Tony Stark head, but doubles as a comic book accurate Iron Man...

Below, all the Iron Men in my collection that share that great new buck: Iron Man 2020, Stealth Iron Man, Tony Stark A.I. Iron Man, and the 80th Anniversary Classic Iron Man. While I lamented buying what is essentially the same figure four times, these are all great figures worth owning...

And finally, Stealth Iron Man with my new Marvel Legends Modular Iron Man- I can't imagine what iteration of Iron Man Hasbro wants to sell us in the future, but I'm pretty sure I'll be looking. I'm skipping the rest of this wave to make room for other things I want, but the Ursa Major BAF looks good if you are trying to complete that Winter Guard team! Recommended! 

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