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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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Marvel Legends Classic Punisher, 80th Anniv. Punisher, Punisher War Machine

I've had the Classic Punisher for a couple years, so I thought it would be a good time to open him upon finding the new 80th Anniv. Punisher and Punisher War Machine at GameStop recently. Check out the video:

We've had a few Punisher figures over the years from Hasbro, including a camo Punisher with the face paint ten years ago in the Nemesis wave, as well as a classic Punisher from the 2012 Epic Heroes wave, which had a Thunderbolts variant in red. This newer 80th Anniversary Punisher is a kitbash of parts from Erik Killmonger, the Netflix Punisher, Classic Punisher, and Demolition Man.

The Punisher War Machine came out of nowhere recently, surprising all of us, and I compulsively with the 80th Anniversary Punisher at a local GameStop. I'd long admired that sculpt originally used on the Civil War Series War Machine, but was ultimately disappointed by all his extra parts that don't peg in well at all. I already have him up for auction on my eBay, because while I love the deco, he doesn't compare to that bitchin' Avengers War Machine I got just a couple months ago.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Marvel Legends X-Force Wolverine/Cowboy Wolverine

While I was more interested in the new X-Force Wolverine, the Marvel Legends Cowboy Wolverine kinda bowled me over on the spot at a local GameStop. I love that he comes with a sword, and the alternate "berserker" head sculpt is really fun! I unloaded my previous X-Force Wolverine (2013 Hit Monkey Wave) on an eBay auction for a shocking amount, prior to this new version being announced, and I have to say that I much prefer this new, shorter buck for the character. Check out the video:

Below, Cowboy Wolverine and X-Force Wolverine with Marvel Legends X-Men Wolverine and All-New Wolverine, and Old Man Logan and Retro Series Wolverine. Not pictured is my 1st Appearance Wolverine from the Marvel Comics 80th Anniversary 2pk w/Hulk, a Wolverine that I didn't think I'd like as much as I did.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Marvel Legends 80th Anniversary Iron Man, Capt. America, & Thor

I was trilled to get this trio of classic Marvel Avengers, part of Hasbro's recent avalanche of Marvel Legends celebrating Marvel's 80th Anniversary. These are all-new sculpts with a deluxe assortment of accessories, set at a higher price point of $25.00, though I picked up Iron Man and Thor on Amazon for south of twenty bucks using points on my card,. Check out the video:

Based heavily on  Alex Ross' styling of these three characters, the artist's work is featured on the verso of each box. I feel Hasbro nailed it on all three of them, giving us most the appropriate accessories, though Cap's alternate head was too similar to the Alex Ross Portrait, and Thor didn't come with much. The classic Hulk that came in my 80th Anniversary 1st Appearance Wolverine/Hulk 2pk goes perfectly with Thor, Cap and ol' Shellhead! Make me think I need to backtrack and pick up the Vintage Series Hawkeye or Wasp. Recommended!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Marvel Legends Dazzler

Dazzler was a slow burn for me, from the 2017 X-Men Series "Classic" version, up to the latest 2019 Retro Series, appealing to the younger '90s kids with it's ToyBiz-inspired, X-Men cardback. The latter is somewhat a stand-in for the Marvel Legends Rogue I never picked up, wearing the same jacket and belt of that figure- even a sporty headband! Rogue's secondary market price has ballooned, but Dazzler in her '90s gear will do fine. Check out the video:

I can't say enough good things about these two, though the 2017 classic version on roller skates with feathered '70s hair and disco outfit is probably the more original/unique action figure- we don't often get one on roller skates. That said, the Retro Series Dazzler scratches an itch for me personally. Of note: Dazzler was originally commissioned as a cross-promotion between Marvel Comics and Casablanca Records, who had struck gold previously with the rock group Kiss. While this project fizzled, Dazzler first appeared in Uncanny X-Men # 130 (1980), and went on to be published under her own title from '81-'85, and the X-Men in the years following, before disappearing for most of the next two decades. Read more about Dazzler at Comic Vine!

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Marvel Legends Deathlok & Cable

I picked these figures up in March of 2018, not quite a year after getting back into Marvel Legends, and am finally getting around to photographing them, not for lack of enthusiasm regarding, but rather lack of time. While Cable is a longtime favorite character, Deathlok did not disappoint, and I enjoyed him every bit as much.

First appearing in Astonishing Tales #25 in 1974, the Deathlok identity has been employed by several Marvel characters, including a mostly cyborg Steve Rogers in X-Factor #231. And his likeness to British metal band Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie is undeniable! Hasbro revealed recently that Deathlok will be rereleased in his Uncanny X-Force black & gray, but I prefer this classic color scheme. I feel like Deathlok was a greatly underappreciated figure upon his release over a year ago, but is certainly on of the best figures from this Deadpool wave- his sculpt and deco are fantastic, regardless of the character's standing in the Marvel hierarchy.

Below, Deathlok with my Marvel Legends Colossus, a modern version that wasn't favored by a lot of collectors, but I liked very much. I'm unsure these two characters had much crossover in the Marvel Universe, but the figures have a lot of aesthetic similarities I couldn't ignore...

Hasbro certainly captured the Rob Liefeld/'90s aesthetic with this Cable figure- the bulk of his shoulder harness hampers his articulation somewhat, but I feel like this is the classic X-Force version I'd been waiting for. He's armed to the teeth as well! I appreciate the inclusion of a peg for stowing his rifle onto the back of his harness and holster for his shotgun, but an additional left trigger hand would have been nice

Below, Cable with my Marvel Legends Hope Summers- I loved the Messiah War story arc from a few years back! Hasbro was bringing 6" Marvel Legends back around the time they produced this Hope figure, and while I love the sculpt/paint, the articulation leaves a lot to be desired and she doesn't hold her rifle well at all.

Below, Cable and Deathlok with their wave mate, and possibly best Deadpool action figure Hasbro has produced, the 1st Appearance Deadpool- no, he didn't include an arsenal of firearms that we associate with the character, but his articulation, deco, and sculpt are top notch. Recommended!

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Marvel Legends Jubilee (X-Men Wave)

The recent Marvel Legends X-Men wave was roundly praised for it's strong roster in spite of their individual shortcomings in the eyes of some, and Jubilee was one of the most anticipated. I preordered Beast and Forge right out of the gate, and have been sitting on them only for a lack of time due to moving house and career obligations. There seems to be less interest in the Caliban BAF, for myself included in spite of having read about the character in Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor. That said, we get Weapon X, Gambit, Jubilee, Forge, and the Beast figure we've waited on for a long time all in one wave.

Jubilee came with no effects accessories, but at this point nearly every Legends collector has one of these "magic bubble" rings. The arm clasp is far too large for Jubilee's wrists, but you can manage for a photo at the right angle. Apart from her elbows being limited to a right angle, she has otherwise useful articulation- her lollipop neck is problematic, but is at least partially diminished by her collar. Boot tops and shorts disguise the swivel joints perfectly. The boots, shorts, torso, and perhaps forearms all appear to be new tooling to my eyes. She looks fantastic!

While we were shorted on effects accessories for Jubilee, we did get a spectacular second portrait blowing bubble gum and extra shades that make this a really unique and fun action figure. I actually received two extra pairs of shades, and maybe you did as well, perhaps Hasbro's assumption one of these painfully tiny pieces would be immediately lost. Regardless, these are particularly useful accessories that are apropos of Jubilee's youthful pluck. Wonderful!

Above, Jubilation with her X-Men teammate Wolverine
and below Nico Minoru, fellow A-Force member...

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