Sunday, May 15, 2022

Playmates TMNT Figures & Turtle Party Wagon

 There aren't a great deal of posts on the Super-DuperToyBox about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because I had moved on from toys before Playmates dropped their first TMNT figures back in 1987. While I don't have the kind of nostalgia for them as I do for Masters of the Universe or Mego figures, these reissued retro figures are fun and fit in with some of the other more "toyetic" items in my collection. Check out the video:

I picked up some more contemporary TMNT figures at a discount outlet a couple years ago from a 2012 line of toys also produced by Playmates. These newer figures have better articulation and detail, but there's no deying the charm of the retro-styled figures...

There were a handful of figures released with the "Movie Star" sub-branding last year, including a Super-Shredder that looked almost identical to his '90s counterpart. I felt it was important to have at least one villain for the Turtles to battle, and this Shredder fits in great...

Having the Party Wagon to go with the Turtles really makes the whole thing fun though! Be sure to check out the video to see the spring-action Foot Tenderizer and Whacko Bombs in action. It seats six figures comfortably!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Hulk Grand Design MONSTER & MADNESS No.1 (2022)

 I was pretty excited about artist Jim Rugg's Hulk: Grand Design upon solicitation, a fan of the character since childhood. I've said before that the CBS TV show starring Bill Bixby opposite Lou Ferrigno was a defining moment in my Hulk fandom, preceded by my Mego Hulk action figures, both 8" and 12", and strengthened by the Hulk comics I read thereafter. "Marvel's TV Sensation" was stamped on new books, reprints, and the avalanche of other product solicitations. I enjoyed Rugg's 2020 independent release of Octobriana 1976. but Hulk: Grand Design was several levels beyond that, taking on the history of the character, at times deftly assuming the styles of some of the greatest artists ever to have worked on him.

Two of the stories noted in Hulk Grand Design: Monster link directly to the Hulk comics of my youth and are reviewed on this blog, Hulk #124 and Incredible Hulk #141, telling the sad story of Bruce Banner and Betty Ross' ill-fated wedding, and the Hulk's jealous battle versus Doc Samson!

Many stories involving Betty Ross, daughter of Hulk's arch-nemesis General Thunderbolt Ross, pepper the character's history and source of his loneliness and misunderstood state of being...

The rapid-fire assault of visual delights never let up throughout Monster, Jim Rugg personalizing the art style at times, such as the ballpoint pen homage to Incredible Hulk #181, introducing alpha Marvel character, Wolverine...

The second book, Hulk Grand Design: Monster deals with some story arcs I'm less familiar with, like the Peter David run, but I had managed to catch a few issues starring Mr. Fixit, the Hulk's smarter, gray version, at the end of the '80s.

Hulk Grand Design: MADNESS ends in an epilogue covering Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, both I enjoyed tremendously. While I've enjoyed Hulk stories that came after these two, particularly Indestructible Hulk, his latest, critically acclaimed incarnation in Immortal Hulk is missing from the Grand Design story - I realize there was a conscious decision where to cut off, and though the aforementioned epilogue seems like a good spot, Immortal may have been a better epilogue due to its ongoing popularity, portraying Hulk as a monster in a horror comic.  

Regardless, I found Hulk Grand Design to be a fun romp through the Hulk's history that I'd recommend to any longtime fan, or new readers to get a broad overview of the character. There are just so many Hulk stories- it would be impossible to get it all in 88 pages. You will find yourself thumbing back through it for the visual delight it is, and for $5.99 each, they are a great value. Jim Rugg is a fantastic cartoonist with a wide range of talent this format showcases wonderfully.  

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

McFarlane DC Multiverse Martian Manhunter

We don't get as many Martian Manhunter figures as we do other members of the Justice League, but he's been a favorite DC character of mine for some years now. Created by Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Verta in 1955, J'onn J'onnz is often compared to the other last surviving orphan of an alien race and is portrayed as equal in power to Superman. 

I haven't read any of the more recent Vol. 4 of Martian Manhunter, nor the Rebirth material, but I do like this look- the portrait is very cartoony, much like what little of the art I've seen. The color palette is darker, but the collared chest harness and oversized cape clasps are familiar elements. A mature update to the New 52 look, with a nice swoosh to the cape and leathery texture to the black outfit. What we wanted with this figure was a flight stand and an alternate alien portrait, but I do like him quite a bit.

Below, Martian Manhunter apprehends McFarlane Toys new Superboy Prime...

I've really enjoyed some of the recent McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse figures- 

Below, McFarlane Martian Manhunter with my DC Collectibles New 52 Martian Manhunter...

Visit The Idol Head of Diabolu, an online Martian Manhunter blog!

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Mego 8in. Robin, Riddler, & Joker, Figures Toy Co. Mego Batmobile

 When Mego unexpectedly reappeared on the scene in 2018, I resisted at first, eventually picking up several of their 14" DC Comics heroes. Fast forward to 2021, Mego returns to form, releasing all new 8" DC Comics figures, like the halcyon days of their World's Greatest Heroes line of the '70s. I was seriously hooked after picking a few of these up, and eagerly await a few preorders, including a couple PX Previews Exclusive Mego figures.

The new head sculpts and outfits on these figures are top notch, distilling the essence of each character to its purest form. Mego didn't overcomplicate these updates, retaining the simple charm of all we love about their figures. In a word: classic.

I have a small assortment of pistols for 8" figures, acquired from Dr. Mego. None of the original World's Greatest Super Heroes or Villains had guns, but other Mego series like Planet of the Apes did.

Below, Mego Riddler and Joker with my Mattel 8" Retro-Action Two-Face. That 2010 series of Mego-inspired 8" action figures was at least partially responsible for my getting into action figure collecting as an adult and starting this blog...

With my Mego Batman finally paired with his old crime-fighting chum, Robin the Boy Wonder, 
the streets of Gotham can finally be safe from villains like the Riddler!

Below, the Dynamic Duo with Mego Flash and Green Lantern ....

The legacy of the '66 Batman TV show, and featured George Barris designed Batmobile will forever be a nostalgia trigger for me, having watched years of the syndicated episodes throughout my youth. I had a Mego Batmobile exactly like this in the '70s, that I could push my Mego Batman and Robin around in- they looked like the figures pictured in the box, also replica reissues by Figures Toy Company.

My new Mego Batman and Robin will be driving the Figures Toy Company Mego Batmobile around. I don't remember if the original Batmobile the same size as this release was, but the modern 8" Mego figures do fit, albeit tightly. The car is of unremarkable construction, like the original, but more than sturdy enough for play or display. Three stickers were included to complete the look, one a rear grill pattern, and two cheesy Batman stickers for the door ...

The charm of having a Mego Batmobile to go with my new Mego Batman and Robin was just too much to resist this fantastic replica any longer. While I got mine at a discount, these Figures Toy Co. Batmobiles usually run about $60.00- far more than the $6.95 in 1974, but a somewhat expensive item when adjusted for inflation. Regardless, a joy to have that is now produced in black, blue, and red -with matching Batcycles!

Below, Mego Batmobile with a couple 1:64 scale Hot Wheels '66 Batmobiles and 1:50 scale Hot Wheels '66 Batmobile. This George Barris Batmobile design really stuck with the sixties TV show in heavy syndication throughout the '70s and on to this very day. Visit the Mego Museum online!

Robin! To the Batmobile! Let's Go!

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

McFarlane DC Multiverse Future State Batman

I know Tim Fox, son of Wayne Enterprises C.O.O. Lucius Fox, was the Future State Batman, but I'm otherwise unknowledgeable regarding the character, purchasing this figure because it's a visually interesting variation on Batman. The McFarlane DC Multiverse line has been at least half Batman-related figures and continues to be so. Having passed on several very nice McFarlane Batman figures the last couple years, this one reminded me of the DC SuperHeroes Knight Shadow Batman, a long coveted variant figure from 2007 with a full mask like this Future State figure.

I said in my last post that McFarlane figures can have somewhat cumbersome articulation, but usually have nice sculpts with lots of textures throughout. The cape on this figure has a convincing leathery appearance like none I've seen before- really nice! And the Batarang is a more slim, much improved version than what we got on the first Batman. Extra fists are appropriate on this figure but missing are the escrima sticks Tim would be known for wielding.


In a world where Hasbro now asks $26.00 and up for an action figure, I always appreciate McFarlane including a black disk base with even their standard $20.00 figures. I'd have paid two more dollars for a flight stand some of McFarlane's have- that and some fighting sticks would have made this seem more deluxe. Otherwise, his figure hits all the notes of character visually and has serviceable articulation. The textures in the sculpt and raised armor panels make this otherwise dark, monochromatic figure kind of special.

Below, Future State Batman with McFarlane's Detective #1000 Batman 

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