Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shopping: Marvel Universe

It's always a good idea to take a look after the public has plowed through some inventory during the holidays and the help has had a chance to put some new/old stock from the back room  :D

*Red Hulk
This wouldn't be the first time this year I've seen 2009 Marvel Universe stock on the pegs, nor the first time I've spotted a Red Hulk in the wild this month! I took him home this time. Could he really look more angry?  :D

*Iron Spider-Man (translucent variant)
I've passed on the peg-warming, flat red version of this many times, but when I saw a picture of the translucent variant recently, I become more interested. I didn't expect to find one so soon- Great! Paintjob looks shoddy on this one however- may or may not return it.

Another translucent variant, this Electro was released in '09 with flat, gold paint, but released again with clear hands- very cool! What a hilarious looking villain- right up my alley  :D

My New Year's resolution should be to open more of these Marvel Universe! I am WAY behind on these, and while I didn't want to pass these up, the last thing I needed this year was another one to throw on the pile  :D

*See the Marvel Universe visual checklist at ItsAllTrue.Net

Happy New Year! Make It FUN!

Friday, December 30, 2011

DC Direct Arkham City Robin

I'm not really into video games, but when I played a round of Arkham City with a couple pals recently, I was impressed. I played a few rounds in the Animated Robin skin as well, and liked that a lot!  When I saw both Mattel & DC Direct released a version of this Akham City Robin, I was pretty sure I'd go with the DC Direct- I had been pleased by their Arkham Asylum Batman, and when I saw Mattel's version included in a two-pack with Arkham City Joker, I couldn't justify the $30.00 price tag with NO ACCESSORIES. Further cementing my decision to go with the DC Direct was JTrain's YouTube review in which the Mattel Robin's had keeps popping off.

I picked this Robin up at Comic Heaquarters in South County- a great little comic shop & my newest haunt! He was marked $19.95, but they are having a 20% off year-end sale, so I only paid $15.96 for him- not bad! They had the "infected" Batman and Harley Quinn from this series as well, but I picked up a Justice League #4 instead, knowing I'd find other stuff I want more in the new year.

I love the outfit with the hooded cape on this version of Robin, which has a glossy black finish on the outside simulating a "raincoat" feel, and offering another texture to this nicely painted figure. The hood is a separate piece, enabling the head to move all the way around. The colors on Mattel's version are darker than this DC Direct, but I prefer my Robin able to hold a staff (Mattel's had one closed fist), & there appears to be no slop on mine.  The Boy Wonder is one of my all-time favorite DC characters, and this reimagining of the teen crimefighter's outfit is a unique & welcome addition to my collection! Check out this cool post I found on Robin Through the Ages at Off My Bird Chest!

A lot of folks complain about lack of articulation in DC Direct figures, and while it's true that they pale in comparison to Mattel's in the said area, they are often more beautifully sculpted & painted. Some ankle & waist joints would have been nice on this figure, but he did have cut joints at the top of his boots and at his biceps, which helped. I played around with this toy for over two hours last night, taking over 200 photographs, and had a ball! And hey- I was able to get this DCD Robin to do quite a bit   :D

In JTrain's video review of this DC Direct Arkham City Robin, he had a hard time getting the figure to hold his bō staff with both hands, but with some patience I was able to gently "corkscrew" the accessory into the hold in his right fist, and then position the other end into his left open palm. Once I learned how to do it, I found it much easier and could position him with the staff in both hands in a variety of poses. The figure's swivel biceps give him some flexibility in this department as well.

Arkham City Robin with Arkham Asylum Batman- what a great pair!

Arkham City Robin with Batman Incorporated Robin...

Arkham City Robin with some of my other DC Direct figures- New Krypton Superman and Superwoman, Justice Sinestro, and Crisis On Infinte Earths Lex Luthor.

More Later-Make it FUN!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marvel Glass Tumbler Set

Among the thoughtful gifts heaped upon me this Christmas, my sister & her husband gave me this rocking set of Marvel glass tumblers. I'd seen these at Target before, but resisted the urge to buy them- very cool!

The colors and individualized logos for each of the classic Marvel characters are just beautiful, and remind me of some of the pop culture themed glassware I had in my youth. I absolutely love these!

Hasbro Wolverine with ToyBiz Captain America:

Also somewhat related to toys & comics, my lovely parents gave me a gift card to V-Stock. You may remember my raving about a store called BAM! here in the county, where new & used comics, toys, music, movies, books, & CDs are sold- well, BAM! just changed their name to V-Stock; they are one & the same  :)

More Later-Make It Fun!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Captain America Painting

"Captain America" 2011
acrylic on canvas, 8 X 10"

Some of you may or may not know that I'm an artist, selling and showing my paintings here in the Midwest. When I was a kid in school, I dreamt of being a comic book artist, but went on to discover all other kinds of art while attending college many years ago. I still like to crank out an occasional illustration of a favorite hero, and starting this blog last year reignited that interest. I painted this little Captain America canvas for my nephew for Christmas this year, a memento of our trip to the theatre to see the Captain America: The First Avenger this past summer. Needless to say, we are anxious for the new Avengers movie due out this forthcoming summer. I obviously styled Cap after Jack Kirby's rendering of the Marvel hero, but painted his shield over the edge of the gallery-wrapped canvas to give it a modern presentation. I had a great time making this one!

More Later- Make It Fun!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Riddle

Slide on over to Batman the Animated Toys blog and read my post on The Batman & Robin Adventures issue #3!

***Merry Christmas to my partners in blogging BubbaShelby & ChunkyB, all of our readers at Batman the Animated Toys, and to all of you!***

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Martian Nativity

Pictured above is my submission to this year's action figure nativity photo contest at Hey, Look At My Toys! Reis put the word out a month ago, and I sent my submission this past Saturday night! I knew I didn't want to do anything with a manger, hay, animals, etc... I just wanted it to be completely reimagined. While I'm unsure if it was successful as a nativity scene, it was certainly different   :D    But it's a Martian Nativity, so who knows what that looks like?? I thought the colors were sufficiently "Christmassy", and had fun taking pics on Saturday night  :)    Here are a few outtakes from my photo session:

Swing by Hey, Look At My Toys!, check out all the really fun entries, & vote for your favorite  :)
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Marvel Premiere Editions!

Precipitating my creation of the Super-DuperToyBox, my childhood love of comics was rekindled- a passion that has only accelerated over the last 14 months, my shelves now spilling over with trade paperbacks & back issues of everything I can get my hands on. As much as I love action figures, I don't just collect plastic over here- I want to read the stories, know the characters, and enjoy the art that these toys are based on. I study my comics more diligently than most college students do their coursework. I take it seriously, and not a day goes by without reading them.  I found a little comic shop down in South County the other day that had gone undetected by myself: Comic Headquarters at 4352 Telegraph Road- they've been in business over two decades! There was a 50% off hardback editions, and while I had a respectable pile of back issues to read, I wasn't going to pass up these ten dollar Marvel Premiere Editions!

*The New Fantastic Four
In the aftermath of Civil War comes Reconstruction, the beginning of a stunning new era of fantastic adventure. The team has been rocked to its foundations by the controversial events of the last several months. Now Reed and Sue have announced their plans to take some time off to work out their martial problems, leaving Ben and Johnny to hold the fort. But they won't be doing it shorthanded. The newly married Black Panther and Storm join the team for all new adventures featuring Silver Surfer, Galactus and... a new Quasar? Collecting Fantastic Four #544-549.

*Future Foundation Vol.1: Tomorrow
Before his death, the Human Torch made his wishes known: If anyone were to replace him in the Fantastic Four, it should be his best super-hero buddy, Spider-Man. but even with the addition of Spidey to their ranks,Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman and the thing are now so much more than four. Welcome to the FF - the Future Foundation! Marvel's First Family has moved beyond the simple pursuits of super heroing into a bold new era of discovery. but to make tomorrow today, they'll need to expand their ranks even beyond Spider-Man and their genius children. What does the future mean when it depends on the likes of the Wizard, the Mad thinker, A.I.M. and Dr. Doom? Collecting Future Foundation #1-5.

*Cable: Homecoming
From the moment Cable jumped into the time stream with the infant "mutant messiah," he's had only one goal: keep Hope alive until she can choose her own destiny. But now, stranded on a planet in its death throes, eating fried rat on a stick for the millionth time, Hope turns to Cable and tells him she's ready to go home. Thus begins "Homecoming," the penultimate chapter in the X-Men saga that began with "Messiah CompleX." It's not only zero hour for Cable and Hope, but also for the mutant hunting them, Lucas Bishop, who is rapidly running out of chances to save mutantkind and the world. Because if Hope does make it back to the present, everything changes for the X-Men. PLUS: Duane Swierczynski and Steve Dillon bring you four thrilling, untold tales from Hope's future past as she grapples with vicious snipers, robot wolf packs, mutant rats, and even Cable himself. Collecting Cable #21-25 & X-Men: Hope.

*Defenders: Indefensible
Wong possessed by Nightmare! Dormammu and Umar in unholy alliance! The Hulk and the Sub-Mariner at each other's throats! The Silver Surfer... uh... surfing. Can Doctor Strange reunite the Defenders and save "Reality As We Know It?" Only the Ancient One knows for sure! Collecting Defenders #1-5.

*Publication summaries/descrptions taken from Amazon.Com

I haven't been able to post much in December due to my heavy workload at the day job- a small, high-end retail establishment in a VERY busy shopping mall. Needless to say, we have been extremely busy! Additionally, I had to halt work on the 15 canvases I'm working on for my show next February in order to crank out a painting commission and a few other paintings as Christmas gifts for some family members. AND... another art gallery in the city recently expressed interest in my artwork, so I'll be reworking my resume, preparing a presentation, and wrapping up some work for a Sunday delivery to them- when opportunity knocks, answer the door! 2012 is shaping up to be my year, and I will be ready!

So if you don't see me before, I want to take this moment to wish each & every one of you a Joyous Holiday Season! I am most grateful to all of you who come to this happy place where we share toys, comics, and a love of all things FUN!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hey, Mr. Postman!

Oh boy, oh boy! Let's take a look at  what wonderful toy came in the mail this week...

MattyCollector released their exclusive DC Retro-Action Green Arrow again, herald of the 8" Mattel action figure line inspired by the Mego World's Greatest Superheroes of the 70's- a childhood favorite of mine! I caught the end of sale in late November, having missed him the first time around- Ollie was one of these I'd been after for some time- a really fun dolly with great accessories!

Click this link to see all my posts on these fun action figures, now sadly discontinued... there were so many characters I would have liked to have seen produced in this format, such a shame!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Friday, December 9, 2011

DC Action League Martian Manhunter/Deadman 2-Pack

I picked up this DC Action League Martian Manhunter/Deadman 2-Pack at the same time as the  Arkillo/Sinestro 2-Pack last week. There was a Professor Zoom/Flash pack as well, but I was watchcing the bucks, and I believe a Batman/Bronze Tiger was released with this wave as well. I love the packaging, on these- it looks like a squashed version of the DCUC packaging I know, but it says FUN.

Obviously a tip of the hat to Jonn Jonzz & Boston Brand's resurrection at the conclusion of Geoff Johns' Blackest Night for the following Brightest Day series,  Martian Manhunter and Deadman are paired together, Jonn having been murdered by Libra in  Final Crisis (2008), and Boston having been dead his whole career.

What can I say about this tiny Deadman? Extremely cute! I've read a few comics in which he appeared, including some team action with the Spectre & his appearance in Alex Ross' Justice, but am still hardly a novice concerning the ghost of a circus aerialist. Jonn was the clincher for me in this 2-pack, but Deadman is a great little figure, his body and collar molded in translucent, dark red plastic, a small "D" engraved into his abdomen. He stands well on his pedestal footprint, his white head able to turn to either side, looking around his tall collar. Extremely diminutive, but cool!

While my Martian Manhunter collection is becoming a nation of it's own among my action figures, this little guy is by far the shortest! I have a 7" DC Direct Brightest Day Martian Manhunter in this new outfit with black pants, the red bandoliers crossing his bare chest again, but with a new ornamental buckle at the center. I dig. He stands well, and has four point of articulation like most in this line: neck, shoulders, & waist. I'm a huge fan of Jonn Jonnz, in case you didn't know- I highly recommend The Idol-Head of Diabolu Martian Manhunter blog!

Of course here at the Super-DuperToyBox, I love to play BIGTOY/littletoy, so here are the pair with their 6" Mattel DCUC counterparts... now how is this not fun??  :D

Click this link to see all my posts on these Action League figures :)
More Later-Make It FUN!