Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Swag!

I scored some sweet deals on Marvel t-shirts while running around town this afternoon- the Ghost Rider and Marvel tees were five bucks at Wal-Mart, and the others were ten at Kohls. I fly the dork flag with pride, and am always on the lookout for another cool tee. Yes, I already have loads of superhero tees in my closet, but these were nicely priced & exceptionally cool...

I also happened upon a couple sweet Batmobiles: a 1966 TV Batmobile for a buck, and a more deluxe 1940 version in a slightly larger scale. The latter was somewhat expensive at eight dollars, but I stop to look at this every time I pass one, so I bought it. I'm not a hot wheels collector, but I do have a few Batmobiles. 

More Later- Make It FUN!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DC New 52: Earth 2, #2

In continuance of my earlier post on DC New 52: Earth 2, #1, we are introduced, or reintroduced to Jay Garrick at his moment of truth- when he acqires his powers of speed from Mercury...

When the World Army shows up, the reluctant Jay pleads with Mercury to understand he's just a regular guy and they are the good guys & here to help. Mercury insists that Jay's gallant heart combined with his own power of speed to get away and to save the world from an impending darkness to come.

Elsewhere, Mr. Terrific arrives from another Earth, confused at the alternate version of Manhattan he's found himself. A man named Terry Sloan approaches him, somehow aware of Terrific's identity and time of arrival, and quickly turns the hero's own tech against him.

Running in thrill of his new power, Jay finds himself in Poland, the mysterious Hawkgirl having somehow been expecting him.

We were introduced to business mogul Alan Scott in the last issue. Meeting his partner for a holiday in the country, the two board a train, upon which Alan proposes to Sam just before the shocking ending to this issue...

Nicolla Scott does some expert penciling in this issue, and though I was initially unsure about the Flash's new outfit, it's grown on me somewhat. I dig the colors that pay homage to the original Flash. My main complaint with newer comics is that it seems there are too many ads and not quite enough story, especially when I'm paying three bucks an issue for this title. That could be nostalgia talking. It may take some more for me to decide if this Earth 2 fascination is a passing faze, or if it's any good- I'm not a literary critic. But hey- I am curious enough that I bought a couple more issues after this one, so DC's little New 52 hype worked to a degree... well at least for now  :D 
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Monday, September 24, 2012

State of the ToyBox: Currently On Display!

One of our fellow toy bloggers was recently getting their collection organized, so I thought I'd get out the featherduster, move some things around, and commit to neatness over the weekend. It's easy to let things pile up and get too crowded, so I shifted the arrangement in my glass case, putting some figures away while bringing out others. 

Taking a look from top to bottom, my 13" DC Direct Superman came out of the cabinet and onto the top in one of my plexi display boxes, along with some favorite Mattel Flash and Batman toys, including some Retro-Action dollies. I love to see several different sizes & styles of one character together- BIGTOY/littletoy is one of my favorite was to play! I got a couple frames to display some 2011 Marvel calender art I had, and finally framed the Batman Vs. Catman mini poster that came with my Mattel Batman Legacy Catman. Below that I hung my DC Direct Jusice League International Batman, an action figure that looks so cool that I never opened him. I found him tucked in a shelving behind some CDs, brushed him off, and pinned him to the wall so I could better enjoy him for awhile.
And of course the top shelf of my glass cabinet still is, and will likely always be dedicated to J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter. I arranged a couple packed figures that had been hiding in the closet around the back of my grouping and moved my light feature up from the bottom shelf with them to spice things up. A few of my other 13" DC figures had been crowding it up in there, so now I can better enjoy all the green goodness  :D  See my Martian Nativity from last Christmas!
Marvel took the second shelf over, represented by some of my Diamond Select figures, 6" Hasbro Avengers, Thor, and Legends figures, and my Marvel Universe 12" Savage Frost Giant...
Back to DC Comics on the third shelf, the Dark Knight of Gotham being the theme, my deluxe  DC Direct Batman Beyond being the centerpiece, and a couple DC Direct Robin action figures thrown in for good measure. See the two "First Appearance" Batmen? One is a 6" DC Direct, and the other is a 9" Masterpiece Edition dolly by Hasbro, both of which feature wired, poseable capes.
Down below are some favorite Marvel Universe toys, including my 16" Sentinel, Fantastic Four & Guardians of the Galaxy box sets, new She-Hulk & Psylocke, and prized Archangel! My brother asked who the nudist was when he saw Sub-Mariner down there  :D

I've had the Batman Returns poster framed & displayed for awhile now, but put my Green Lantern Series 3 Batman as Green Lantern next to it after the lucky break of my life, finding this rare figure at Slackers for the paltry sum of $14.99. Still can't believe that- SO great   :D
I also finally framed the signed Chris Giarrusso poster I got at Project: Comicon this summer, a tribute to the famous Brave & The Bold cover done by Mike Sekowsky in 1960. I love Chris' childlike interpretation of Marvel & DC characters, and really enjoyed his Mini Marvels: Secret Invasion book!

Out in the main room, little has changed, though I put aways some of the crowd gathering around my display shelving. My deluxe DC Direct Sinestro and Green Lantern Corps figures remain the centerpiece atop the bookshelf, but I brought out some Retro-Action Green Lantern figures I still had on card, and my Blackest Night Hal Jordan. Down front is my DC Direct Sinestro Green Lantern- a figure I am still obsessed over after reading the New 52 Green Lantern title. Sinestro is a great character and I'm crazy about Doug Mahnke's art!

I rearranged the wall shelving minimally, which still features some of my favorite 10" Deluxe ToyBiz figures, including Beast, Cable, Shatterstar, Gambit, and Spider-Man 2099. I have a lot of these, some newer to the collection alongside my glass cabinet,  and find their simplistic design and bright colors very appealing.

And finally, a look at the Hulk collection- no they aren't all in there, but my Marvel Select Avengers Hulk and Hasbro Avengers Hulk are somewhat new to the grouping. Loved the Hulk as a kid, and still do!  :D

 More Later- Make It FUN!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

90's X-Men MiniMates

It's probably as good a time to photograph these fun MiniMates, having read so much 90's X-Men in the last year. There seems to have been a nostalgia for 90's comics lately, and finding them in the dollar bins is easy since the market was flooded back then. I had lost most of my interest in comics as that decade progressed, and was too busy to even notice the comics crash of 90's, so it's interesting time in industry that's fun to read for me.

Starting with the X-Men's fearless leader, Scott Summers, seems appropriate. While I've liked all the variations on Cyclops' outfit, this pouched/strapped-out verion seems to appeal to a lot of fans. It's a little more outrageous looking than other versions, and I suspect that and the boom in the X-men's popularity during this period are reasons why. Scott comes with an extra hair piece that reveals his ruby shades hidden by the visor on the other.

 Scott's longtime lover, Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), has quite the red mane- a nice contrast against the blue and yellow costume. Like Cyclops, this was a popular era for Jean for the same reasons as her beau, I suspect.

90's Jean Grey and Cyclops with their X-Factor counterparts. It would be hard for me to choose a favorite pairing of these two- I'm recently keen on the X-Factor outfits, but was always liked the 90's X-Men costumes.

No 90's X-Men team could save the day without Rogue and Beast- sassy and smart, two valuable teammates!

It's easy to forget our Southern girl was raisedon the wrong side of the tracks. A runaway, Rogue was adopted by Mystique and grew up as a villain. After Rogue permanently absorbed Ms. Marvel's psyche and Kree powers, she reformed and turned to the X-Men. This was unknown to myself, having read a little about her strange bond with Carol Danvers only in the last year or so. I just didn't read much X-Men as a kid- didn't realize the wierdness I was missing  :D


Who could not love this? I love everything about this impossibly cute Beast MiniMate. His little paws and oversized feet are great! Like a lot of the chunkier characters in this line of Diamond Select toys, He has a slip-over torso piece to beef him up. The shade of blue is perfect!


Like my X-Factor Beast, 90's Beast came with an extra set of standard sized feet and hands, for what reason I am unsure. Who would pose these guys with out their beastly appenagages? That's why they are fun! Hank McCoy, brilliant scientist and medical doctor for the X-Men, actually had his first appearance in blue fur back in 1972- he briefly regained to his more human appearance on an early X-Factor mission, but is soon returned to his beloved blue.
 These make a fun group! I had to hunt them down on the internet, and paid too much more for them getting into MiniMates so late, but were too cool to pass up. I have more MiniMates to show, including some Marvel mutants, so stay tuned and remember to PLAY WITH TOYS AND HAVE FUN WITH YOUR LIFE  :D

Monday, September 10, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #300, May 1993

It was a $3.95 cover price for Uncanny X-Men #300 back in '93, but Marvel did make it a triple-sized issue with a gimmick holo-foil cover. Like a lot of 90's comics, you can get one for a dollar now. I like the work of pencilist John Romita Jr.- while his father was a famous Marvel artist before, I can't help see the influence of Jack Kirby, whose Eternals story he reinterpreted with write Neil Gaiman, and Frank Miller, with whom he collaborated on Daredevil: The Man Without Fear.

The X-Men are after the Acolytes, a small group of mutants religiously loyal to Magneto and his teachings, led by Fabian Cortez. Cortez has captured Dr Moira MacTaggert, silent partner in the founding of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and co-creator of Cerebro.

The newest member of the Acolytes, Neophyte, is made to see the truth about Cortez's murdering Magneto by the captive Moira. Upon witnessing fellow Acolytes murder a human who comes to his aid, the mutant Neophyte realizes Cortez's deception. When the X-Men drop in to rescue the outnumbered Neophyte, Professor X confirms the young mutant's growing realizations, "We want to ensure the horrors which so scarred your chosen avatar never come to pass again. Tell me Neophyte- are you strong enough to live the dream? Will you help us?"

The X-Men's Blue Team, led by Cyclops, and Gold Team, led by Storm, are conflicted on sufficient evidence of the monastery's occupants until Xavier's Cerebro device confirms the presence of an unidentified mutant on the premises.
Neophyte leads the X-Men to the Acolyte lair in an old French monastery, where the heroes storm in to do battle. Moira is rescued, Neophyte arriving on the scene to angrily distract Cortez long enough for Wolverine to run him through.

 The epilogue finds Cortez later liberated by Amelia Voght, the mysterious mutant Gamesmaster leaving him to ponder his failure to kill Magneto. Professor Xavier and Dr. MacTaggert realize their knowledge of the Legacy Virus that Stryfe released is severely limited, and it would only be a matter of time before it claimed Collossus' kid sister Illyana.
The X-Men stories, and X-Book tie-ins like X-Force had a lot of mutual narrative themes weaving throughout one another during the 90's, the mutant superheroes probably more popular than ever at this point, and this issue is an interesting snapshot of that moment in Marvel history. Newer characters mix with classic, themes that would blossom later are introduced-like the Legacy Virus, and the long-running X-Men franchise is being carried from the 80's into the turn of the century- full steam ahead. Though I've read out of continuity, it's fun realizing after you've read something where it's plot climaxes later, or when the story arc originated before. While I'm no comics aficionado nor literary critic, I'm an eager student of comics   :D
More Later-Make It FUN!