Thursday, December 30, 2010

Superman Dog Tags

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: When the Superman motion picture was released in 1978, Chris Reeve became my hero. Tall, handsome, and good natured, Chris was my childhood Superman and I worshiped him. After a devastating horse riding accident in 1995 that shattered his first and second vertebrae and left him quadriplegic, Chris showed us that he was in fact a super man, by dedicating the rest of his life to lobbying for stem cell research and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, which is now one of the leading spinal cord research centers in the world. He also created the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which has raised over $65 million for research in spinal cord injury treatment, as well as over $8 million for quality-of-life grants for those suffering from disabilities. Reeve was also elected Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. Superman, indeed!
Sadly, Chris passed away in 2004, but his children still serve on the board of directors for the foundation, now called The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (Dana tragically passed away from cancer not long after Chris was gone). Visit the link to see all about Chris and Dana's beautiful, fruitful legacy- very inspirational.
When I stumbled upon these Superman dog tags, it was a must-do in my book. The money for these goes to Chris' Foundation, and the message makes sense to me now more than ever, "Go Forward". Go Forward each day with strength, determination, and compassion. My life has changed a great deal here lately, and that has taken the kind of will that I hope Chris would be proud of. I have two working legs, two working arms, and nothing should be able to stop me from living my life to the fullest or challenging myself to be all that I can. Nothing should stop you either- don't ever let anyone tell you different! You are divine, special, and your life is worth everything- get out there and let it show, get out there and help others do the same!

Have a Prosperous and Happy New Year!

*Get your own Superman dog tags at SupermanTag.Org!
*Check out my new Mattel Movie Masters 12" Christopher Reeve Superman doll! Love! Totally awesome!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More Martian Manhunter Comics!

Been getting some hella deals on Martian Manhunter comics on E-Bay- received some yesterday, and AGAIN today...

*Four issue mini-series from 1988! I was really into comics and drawing superheroes around this time, but knew nothing of/had no interest in Martian Manhunter. I love the advertisements for games, candy, & toys in these 80's comics- this mini-series seems to contain mostly ads for other titles from DC... the artwork looks pretty far out in this series!

*Martian Manhunter Special (Holy War, 1996) Click here for a (laughs) scathing review... I'll judge for myself after I read it, the art doesn't look that bad to me at a glance...

*Martian Manhunter Annual #1 (For Love & Country,1998)! Looks like a tragic-love-story type, we'll see... Nice cover!

*Last but not least, Martian Manhunter Annual #2 (JLApe/Gorilla Warfare, 1999)- Click the prior link to read a review at Random Happenstance Blog. This one looks particularly FUN! Great cover!

Needless to say, I will be (laughs) doing a lot of reading about Martian Manhunter into January 2011. Bubba also recommended the Ostrander/Mandrake run from 1998-2001. I've found a place I can get these, but I need to pay some bills and read the stack I already have first. Thanks Bubba, those look good!

*Guide to Martian Manhunter, including list of published works at CosmicTeams.Com

Martian Literature

My attractive, blonde mail-lady brought me some Martian Manhunter comics today- Hooray! The boys in green felt right at home...

9" Hasbro Martian Manhunter stumbles upon my copy of DC's Martian Manhunter: The Others Among Us (2007)... can't wait to get a couple hours alone with this graphic novel!

13" DC Direct Martian Manhunter finds three part Martian Manhunter: American Secrets series (1992) that came today... this guy looks serious about his comics...

Well it looks like I'll have some good reading this week... if I can pry in on these two!

*Guide to Martian Manhunter, including list of published works at CosmicTeams.Com

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December DCUC Haul

In my earlier post on 2011 Collecting Goals, I resolved to spend more cautiously- well, that's my resolution for 2011, and it was still (laughs) 2010 last time I looked! I had also mentioned in that same post that I would be grabbing some more 6" DC Universe Classics, and since I was gifted some cash for Christmas, I decided to have some FUN and spend some of it on these toys I love. I have said before that I never thought I'd get into 6" action figures, but ever since I won a DCUC Starman on the comment contest at Action Figure Blues, I've been crazy over this line. Let's see how I did...

*DCUC Fates Intertwined HawkGirl Vs. Gentleman Ghost! (Wal-Mart Exclusive) Have you priced a DCUC Gentleman Ghost on the internet lately? I saw one for up for $200.00 the other day, and landing a Hawkgirl can be pricey, too. Gentleman Ghost is SO cool- his lower extremities are clear plastic that fades into a clean white... really nice. I about fell over when I was trolling the toy isle at Wal-Mart the other day and saw this for just over $32.00- I knew I'd find myself there again buying it! Dreams DO come true, Friends...

*DCUC Wave 14 Todd Rice (Obsidian) & Hourman! (Wave 14 is a Wal-Mart Exclusive) To be honest, I know nothing of Obsidian & Hourman other than I just liked them- Obsidian has a cool, evil outfit, & Hourman looks retro (from 1940) which I also like...

*DCUC Wave 14 Gold & DCUC All-Star Green Arrow! I already have Iron from The Metal Men, and Mercury is on the way (pre-ordered), so I couldn't resist Gold- so cool with his snap-on hand accessories! Like Gentleman Ghost & Hawkgirl, Green Arrow was released in 2009- these are re-releases. I've heard this Green Arrow has a slightly different paint job. Just read DC Final Crisis, which includes an appearance by this classic DC character...

*DCUC All-Star Nightwing! (Toys 'R Us Exclusive) This is basically a repaint of the other DCUC All-Star Nightwing I have, but I liked him a lot. I'm not a completist who must have every variant figure, but he was fun to get!

I've found that in a lot of instances, it is cheaper to get these while they are in store as opposed to getting them later on the internet, paying a jacked-up price and additional shipping costs, so I got some of these while the getting is good!

-See the visual checklist of these action figures at DCClassics.Com

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Swag

I want to share with you some fun comics-related swag I received on Christmas. I said in a previous post that I probably wouldn't get any toys for Christmas because I buy them all for myself (heh, heh :D), and few people in my life know of my alter-ego, Super-DuperToybox. But my wonderful family has ALWAYS known I loved comics & superheroes. They know the real, fun-loving Colin, always have...

*Totally Awesome Vintage Marvel Comics calender from my nieces & nephew! What makes this rule a large sector of my personal universe is that it includes a removable 11 x 14" cover that I can display in a ready-made sized frame. I had seen this at the bookstore while shopping for my brother's present a just a week ago and nearly bought it on the spot, but I told myself I was shopping for someone else and should (laughs) stick to the agenda. I about fell over when my little niece CharleyBoots brought me a present from the kids that I opened to find this! While on the subject of kids, something else happened this weekend that was cool- I discovered that my nephew Harry has been really getting into comic books! I saw that he got Iron Man 2 (which I still haven't seen), and was reading Batman: The Killing Joke, which I read back in the 80's. Soon we were talking about comics, the New Avengers animated show, toys, and I was showing him my blog! Ha Ha! Harry & I have always had great, comical relationship, but this will be a fun addition to our rapport- so cool!

Harry's Mom (my sister) and Dad got me this killer retro Batman shirt! I have been buying a lot of superhero shirts in the last three months and this will make a GREAT addition- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! The both have known that for most of my life I've been a Batman Freak! Also, I love the artwork of Dick Sprang...

*Dad got me this cool Spiderman cold beverage thermos, which keeps your water, pop, iced tea cold for 12 hours... great for those hot summer nights spent blogging about ol' Webhead! Hooray!

I received a lot of other really nice presents as well, including a beautiful handmade quilt from my lovely & talented mother, a digital camera & framed art piece from Mom & Dad, a CD from my brother, and some cool flashlights, coffee, & a book from my pal Mike. The best present was being able to spend some quality time with my family though- that's best Christmas blessing a guy could have, and I'm most thankful.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey Mr. Postman- Mattel 1:6 Chris Reeve Superman & General Zod!

I couldn't believe my Christmas luck, when after my DC Direct 1:6 Classic Superman & Batman arrived only yesterday, the UPS guy was knocking on the door with these guys! Hooray!

*Mattel 1:6 Movie Masters Christopher Reeve Superman! When Superman came out in 1978, I was but a lad- still I remember that feeling of pure fascination! Like any young boy, I thought Christopher Reeve WAS Superman, and we all found out what a generous and courageous human being Chris really was as his life unfolded in the years following. When I saw this go on sale at MattyCollector.Com recently, I had to have one. I think people need heroes, and when I was a little boy, Chris Reeve was one of mine- he still is (RIP). The box says MattyCollector proudly supports the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and has made a donation on behalf of DC Comics.

*Mattel 1:6 Movie Masters General Zod! Superman's Kryptonian nemesis in Superman was played by Terence Stamp, who also played  Supreme Chancellor Valorum in Star Wars- Episode One: The Phantom Menace. General Zod was sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone by Superman's father, Jor-El, but returned to exact vengeance upon his accuser's progeny. I must say, they did a great job on face sculpt on this guy, and Chris Reeve as well- they do look like the movie characters...

I'll post more on these guys after the holiday season winds down- I'm really looking forward to photographing these FUN toys! Much to do, much to do!
From the Super-DuperToyBox, Have a Very Merry Christmas- One and All!

Hey, Mr. Postman!

I regret not seeing the postman coming by to drop this box of toys today, because SHE is actually a HOT BLONDE- I'm totally serious! I finally opened it tonight when I got home from work, and that made up for it...

*DC Direct 13" Deluxe Collector Classic Superman Figure! Been looking for this guy at a good price for awhile, since I lost an E-Bay auction a few months back actually. I was reflecting on how ridiculous his Superman's outfit is on the way home tonight... can you imagine what that looked like to someone in 1938, the first year the Man of Steel appeared on the scene? It occurred to me that I LIKE superheroes/villains that dress outrageously- the more ridiculous the better! I recently scored a DC Direct Martian Manhunter in the 1:6 scale- that alone is proof...

*DC Direct 13" Deluxe Collector Batman Figure! There is a differently styled, blue version of Batman DC Direct released, too. I like them both, but I thought this one was pretty bitchin'- he's a serious character, for a guy in tights dressed as a bat, I mean...

I probably won't get any toys for Christmas because I (laughs) bought them all for myself! The truth is that very few people in my real life know my secret identity, Super-DuperToyBox. I come here to get away from everything, and hang out with YOU... ya know, fun-loving people that love comics, toys, superhero movies, etc. I have been seeing that some of you have been getting toys for Christmas already, and you deserve it because you have all been very good boys & girls! Have a great one!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hey, Mr. Postman!

A friend asked me if the picture of the boxes at the top of each installment of Hey, Mr. Postman! are the actual boxes the featured toys came in- why, yes they are. I hope I'm not boring you with these posts, they are fun for me because any day I get toys in the mail is (laughs) A GOOD DAY!

*DC Direct 13" Martian Manhunter!  I was so jazzed to get J'onn J'onzz in this scale, especially for the nice price of $35.50 (shipping included was what made him such a bargain). He came without his box, but at that price who cares? I was gonna take him out anyway! He was is pristeen condition, all parts inspected & accounted for. I've been fascinated with Martian Manhunter ever since I read DC: The New Frontier, and among the list of comics I want to read in 2011 is the Martian Manhunter graphic novel, Others Among Us.

*DC Direct New Frontier Series 1 Blackhawk- he rounds out my New Frontier action figure collection, now I have them all now. I'm not a completist, but $12.00 (shipping included), I just couldn't say no... this line of figures' retro-styling is so cool. "Leader of an elite squad of heroic airmen, Blackhawk battles enemies and Super-villains alike!", it says on the box... Bitchin'!!

More on these guys later- I'm out!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Batman Returns Poster, 1992

This past Thanksgiving I found a few treasured relics from playtime past, including some vintage Master of The Universe and Raiders of The Lost Ark action figures, a vintage Marvel Secret Wars figure, an old Tron tabletop videogame, and this killer 1992 Batman Returns poster!

I finally got around to drymounting and framing it in black. The poster was still attached to the wall of my old bedroom with four white thumbtacks- I hadn't given it much thought since those days, until I recently started reading comics, collecting toys, and blogging. It was in pretty good shape and turned out beautifully, a gleaming glass & metal prize- I LOVE it! Though released in June of '92, my timing is perfect as the setting of Time Burton's dark masterpiece was Christmastime, the snow swept bat emblem bestowing a chilly, noir feel to the herald of Batman's $80 million return to the silver screen.

I really enjoyed this movie, and still believe it may have been better than the first, Danny DeVito not to be outdone by Jack Nicholson's Joker swagger in the previous film, and instead delivering a visceral performance as The Penguin. It's safe to say however, that Michelle Pfeiffer stole the show as Catwoman in the opinions of most- she turned in a sexy delivery tinged with a saucy good-girl-gone-nuts aura- Riveting!

I just scored the new 1:6 scale Movie Masters Chris Reeve Superman at MattyCollector.Com, and if Mattel would be so kind as to release a Michael Keaton Batman I would be most grateful!

*Batman Returns at Wikipedia.Com
*Warner Video Batman webpage
*Interesting Batman Returns styled 1:6 scale Catwoman at ToyHaven... where does he get all theose Wonderful Toys?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hey, Mr. Postman!

Part of my 2011 goals for collecting toys is to open some more of the hundred or more action figures I've recently collected- there were a couple weeks there a month or so ago that seemed like I was (laughs) getting toys every other day! Hooray! Let's go back to December 1st and take a look at the excitement that was knocking at my front door...

*DC Direct Trinty Series 1 Batman, Ra's Al Ghul, & WonderWoman. I really like these action figures- superb styling. The WonderWoman in particular is majestic and unique. I haven't read this DC book... may have to look into that after I read the dozen or so comics I have on my list to read in 2011!

*DC Direct First Appearance Series 4 Aquaman- I'm nuts about this series of action figures, and Aquaman makes seven that I've collected. He's really different, with his long hair, iridescent paint, and sword...

*DCUC Nightwing by Mattel- I've always ignored this DC character, and I'm unsure why- there's a very interesting psychological element to a guy who got out from under Batman's wing and went out on his own. Though I'm unschooled on the existing literature concerning this, I gather there is a slightly broken relationship between the two- at least it appeared so in Batman: Under the Red Hood, which I viewed recently at my pal Jackhammer's house. FUN movie!

*DCUC Dr. Impossible by Mattel- I got nothin' here, Friends... I bought him only because I like the way he looked. I will have to learn more about this guy. I could not figure out for the life of me why he was only $8.75- he's SO COOL looking!


Yes, it's good to be me, heh heh- the very next day I received yet MORE toys in the mail! Things get better over here by the day Kids, I swear!

*DC Direct New Frontier Series 2 Dr. Fate! After reading DC New Frontier, I had to get the Dr. Fate action figure from this series- he was too cool to pass up at $6.99, and I enjoyed the scene in the book where he and Spectre are summoned by The Phantom Stranger to a banquet on the Moon to discuss if they should assist mankind in destroying the alien invaders, or let let them carve their own path to salvation, hence bettering themselves- Epic, I say!

*DCUC Spectre by Mattel! DC Direct didn't make us a New Frontier Spectre action figure for us, so I got a DC Universe Classics Spectre... whaddya gonna do? I have several of the Mattel DC figures now- I've said before that I never thought I'd get into 6" figures, but I certainly dove right in! Mattel seems to do a pretty good job on these...
Well, I'm bushed folks- I work retail, and they asked me to work on my only day off tomorrow due to business being so good this holiday season. Of course I accepted the offer as I must (laughs) pay for all these toys!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Marvel Select Mark VI Iron Man

I was kinda hot to get a modern Iron Man action figure because I saw the 2008 Iron Man motion picture starring Robert Downey Jr. recently. I realize I'm behind on my superhero movie watching, but this blog, toy collecting, and reading comics is a fairly recent adventure for me- so I've had A LOT of catching up to do! It's all been fun, rediscovering these things I loved as a kid, and watching the Iron Man movie brought back that old feeling of exitement I experienced seeing the 1989 Batman that Tim Burton directed. FUN! The special effects were fantastic, and I especially enjoyed the scene where Tony Stark has Miss Pepper Potts Gwenyth Paltrow) help him replace the arc reactor imbedded in his chest- modern movie magic! Robert Downey Jr. was great, adding  casual comedy to the role that really brought Tony Stark to life- I can't wait to see Iron Man II!

When I saw the Marvel Select Mark VI Iron Man go on sale recently for $18.92 on Amazon, I decided to give him a try. And you know what? I was a little disappointed...   What's that you say? "Mr. Happy-go-lucky, easy-to-please Colin found a toy he didn't like?" No, no- I didn't say I didn't like him, I said I was a little disappointed. I found the sculpt detailed and interesting, and his colors really beautiful- it's just that his articulation isn't so great. Iron Man's leg movement at the hips and arm movement at the shoulders are limited due to his bulky armor. His torso, ankles, and neck suffer from the same issue. This hinders his play factor a little more than I like, but what are you gonna do with a character who is covered head-to-toe in armor? Diamond Select Toys chose form over function in some areas of the figure, and for what was probably a good reason: they wanted him to look like he did in the movie. There are also some small splotchy areas in the paint job, but nothing too grotesque. Perhaps I'm developing a more critical eye as my experience level rises- reading my fellow toy blogger's posts, seeing more toys, etcetera...

 The flip-up flight rudders on his back were a nice touch, affixed to his armor via a tiny ball joint, like his shoulder armor reinforcements. These might be easily broken off in a spill, so be careful...

 Iron Man's mask can be removed to reveal a decent likeness of actor Robert Downey Jr.'s mug, the mask held held in place with two pegs that can be affixed in the two small holes atop his helmet...

I wish they had painted the eye slits black on Iron Man's mask- it shows them painted on the back of the package, but the toy did not recieve this treatment. I shall have to rectify this with some model paint!

The Mark VI comes with two sets of hands, closed fist and open handed, that pop onto a ball peg at the ends of his arms. They were a little tough to get on and off, but I managed with some difficulty- a child might have a harder time with this, and might easily break off the tiny fingers or some of the extended armor covering the back of Iron Man's hands. After a couple tries I either got the hang of it or it loosened up a bit...

I have mixed feelings about the diorama included with Iron Man- it's meant to add some feature to a "deluxe" figure like this, but it also takes up more room. Additionally, the peg meant to fit into the bottom of Iron Man's foot fits somewhat loosely and doesn't hold him in place securely. And while I'm at it, why not put a little drawer on the back for his extra set of hands? It does look cool though!

All gripes aside, he's a pretty little thing I really enjoyed photographing- great color and all kinds of fun detail in his armor. I was surprised by how heavy he was for a plastic toy, actually- he felt sturdy in my hands. My Marvel Famous Covers Iron Man, who's articulation also suffers somewhat due to bulk, is still my favorite- though not as detailed and realistic as the Marvel Select, his playability is much superior in my humble opinion.

*Iron Man II at IMDb.Com
*Wicked-looking 1:6 Hot Toys Iron Man Mark III review at ToyHaven!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010/2011 Collecting Goals and Achievements

Okay now, this is serious- inspired by Doc Atomic, ChunkyBatSnaps just threw down and laid it out for both his 2010 collecting achievements as well as his 2011 goals, challenging us to all to do the same. Well, here we go...

I have kept all my receipts for the toys I've bought since the beginning of this new venture of mine just as ChunkyB has, and while I won't tell you the exact sum, I'll just say it's A LARGE SUM. Being new at this, it's fair to say that I went crazy like a kid in a candy store- there was a lot out there I liked and I went for it, so to speak. I was thoroughly warned of "the obsession" by many of you, and I let it take me over- it was fun and therapeutic. While I'd like to say I spent no more during this time that I would have spent drinking before, that just wouldn't be honest. It would be true however that it was a hell of a lot healthier, and the time I've spent photographing and writing about these toys, working on this blog, and making new friends has been productive in my recovery, and therefore priceless to me. Needless to say, 2010 was an eventful year for me.

In the last three months I have...
*collected over 100 action figures, including but not limited to: several 10" ToyBiz Marvel Universe figures from the 90's, an impressive array of 9" ToyBiz Marvel Famous Covers figures from the 90's, a few 9" Hasbro dollies, a few 6" Marvel Select figures w/diorama stands, a few 6" Marvel Legends, a ton of 6" D.C. Direct figures (1st Appearance, New Frontier, Trinity, assortment of Reactivated Series), and more recently a dozen or more 6" DC Universe, and some Kenner 12" dollies.
*Started this blog which has had over 4,000 views, 20 followers, and well over 50 posts. I also had postcards made for the blog to take out with me to local comic shops and spread the word, while hopefully making some more local friends with the same interests.

Here are some of the toys i haven't got to open yet- not because I haven't wanted to, because I haven't had time to...

All that being said, 2011 should be a year of focus on spending less and catching up writing about the dozens and dozens of action figures that (laughs) I haven't even got to open yet! I also want to continue reading comics and including them in my blog posts along with some of the action figures- these make more interesting, multi-dimensional posts that I hope highlight my imagination, thought processes, and writing ability. I would also like to use some of these toys as inspiration to make some superhero fan art and use this blog to showcase it... something different though, not in the tratitional pen and ink comic style- I'm still simmering on this, though.

As far as what toys I want to collect in 2011.... well, I never thought I would get into 6" action figures, but I most certainly dove right in. I'm 100% sure I will get more DC Universe Classics- those have been fun! Something magical happened the other night though- I scored a 1:6 scale DC Direct Classic Superman for $40. and a 1:6 scale DC Direct Batman for $60 on E-Bay. unheard of deal, Friends! I knew at that moment that I wanted to focus on waiting for the good deal on some more of these (a DC Direct 1:6 Martian Manhunter, for one).


Ever since I got my 1:6 scale DC Direct Batman Beyond, I have been smitten, knowing just how deluxe an action figure can be! Seeing Alex's world-class collection over at ToyHaven also made me want a few larger, more detailed figures for myself. One of the bloggers featured on my "Blogs of Note" on the sidebar here at Super-DuperToyBox, Alex has been here since my small beginnings, like ChunkyBorat, ShubbaBelby, and so many others of you that I am most grateful for- I dub Alex "The Father of My Love For Toys". Here's to you, all of us, and the fun we will have in 2011- CHEERS!

I am Super-DuperToyBox, and I COMMAND YOU to Play With Toys and Have FUN with Your Life!