Saturday, April 20, 2013

Marvel Legends Heroes Reborn Iron Man

Another incarnation of Iron Man in 6" form I recently acquired was this Marvel Legends Heroes Reborn Iron Man. Produced in 2008 as part of the Ares Wave,  this Iron Man is styled after the 1996-97 retelling of several of  Marvel's characters, after their apparent deaths in the Onslaught series. I didn't read Onslaught: Marvel Universe, nor Heroes Reborn: Iron Man, but I did read the Heroes Reborn: Captain America, Fantastic Four, and Avengers volumes. While the series received a lot of criticism, they historically did well in sales, and entertained me with the big splashy art. I got this guy for a really low price on eBay as he was stripped of his build-a-figure pieces (Ares helmet & weapons), which is fine as my interest in the figure was medium. What I liked about him was his unique sculpt, one that would really stand out among my other unusual 6" Iron Men. I'm unsure if artist Jim Lee, who plotted the title, or Whilce Portacio, who pencilled on the book redesigned the armor, but it has a very techo-organic look to it that wass certainly different for it's time.

Tony's horned face mask does evoke the second version of the character's "Proto-Armor", a look that's a personal favorite of mine. That along with the  robotic chest repulsor and tendon-y underparts remind me of C3PO a little. I really like the afterburner pipe jutting up from behind his head like two big horns- much more imposing that the Star Wars droid.

The red portions of the figure's deco are a little flat/plastic-looking due to no shading/paint apps, but the gold has some real depth in person, a slight black wash added after the gold which accentuates the very detailed sculpt. I've noticed a lot of Legends fans weren't entirely enthusiastic about the line following Hasbro's licensing acquisition in 2007, but the relaunching of the series in 2012 was met with great anticipation. 

Iron Man has plenty of good articulation, including hinge swivel elbows and wrists, double-jointed knees, and swivels at the top of his thighs- attached to hinge-swivels at the crotch. He has no problem crossing his legs, and his abdominal hinge has good range, his poseability further enhanced by a waist swivel. The shoulders are somewhat limited in range due to the shoulder pads, but this can be overcome by swiveling it toward the back, and while the ball-jointed head has little backward range, it has enough expression to pose. 

With my Avengers Iron Man, which is merely a redeco, albeit a good one, of the Mark VI from the Iron Man 2 line...

Heroes Reborn Iron Man with some other Hasbro Marvel Legends figures: Doc Samson (Fin Fang Foom wave, 2008), Avengers Hulk (2012), and Lord of Asgard Thor (2011), the latter a re-release of Lord Thor from the Blob wave, 2007...

*See MarvelLegends.Net for the Legends visual checklist!
More Later- Make It FUN!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hey, Mr. Postman: Concept Series Iron Men

A week ago these Concept Series Series Iron Man figures came in the mail- produced  by Hasbro a few years back, earlier in the merchandising campaign following the blockbuster 2008 motion picture. I'd found two 6" Legends-style Iron Men early in the month, and had been on the lookout for some more I fancied. Hasbro made some really cool 3 3/4" and 6" figures in the Iron Man line, several of which found their way home with me in 2011, arriving late on the action figure scene. The new Legends Iron Man series is kinda cool, though I only committed to the Heroic Age Iron Man  so far, but would consider the Movie Iron Patriot and Mark 42 in the next wave. Needless to say, I will be seeing the forthcoming Iron Man 3, released on my birthday, May 3rd.

*3 3/4" Sonic Storm Armor and Inferno Armor Iron Man (2010)
Like I said, I've picked up a few 4 3/4" Iron Man figures in the past, and they did not disappoint. The sculpts are nice and the color schemes unique, Inferno Iron Man in translucent red & gold, and Sonic Storm in metallic black & purple. They come with missile launchers too, an accessory/play feature I've always liked.

*6" Concept Series Inferno Armor Iron Man (2008)
This bad boy was hard to find in the twenty dollar range, but an internet search found one on eBid.Net. Like the 3 3/4" Inferno Armor, the larger 6" version also has a translucent body with gold highlights, but with a very different sculpt  -seemingly unique among the 6" figures produced ever since. Hard to find! Again we get a launcher- these were great toys!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earth 2 #11: "When Fate Calls..."

While I've picked up the odd Batman & Robin & Action Comics issues among the New 52, the only books I've kept up with are World's Finest: Huntress & Powergirl and Earth 2, the former I've lost interest in. I dropped Justice League after issue #6, but picked up the first couple issues of  Justice League of America, Katana, and even the first issue of Vibe. I'll have to see how those go, but it's only Earth 2 I've stuck with so far. Nicola & Trevor Scott make some great art together, and I have to admit that when writer James Robinson killed off the Trinity in the first issue, I was convinced this was going to a different place. I've enjoyed the selection and re-imagining of the characters. I'm unsure if it will be remembered as pivotal or groundbreaking, but it's entertained me. 

In issue #10, Wotan sent Khalid Ben-Hassin into the impenetrable Tower of Fate to fetch the helm of Nabu, where the reluctant hero hid it to escape the madness it brought through the ancient Egyptian spirit. Jay's captive mother is all the reason he needs to accompany Khalid through the tower, where the two split up to distract the great beast guarding it, and find the helmet for Wotan. The scorcerer gives Ms. Garrick some backstory on his multiple lives spent battling Nabu, whom Wotan holds a centuries-spanning grudge against.

 Steppenwolf  sends Fury to capture the escaped Mr. Miracle in Gotham City, while he plans for the future of the world from the recently overthrown capital of Dherain...

It was a good issue, though the foldout cover claimed to call Mr. Miracle to the stage, which never really happened. Steppenwolf called Fury forth to find the son of the Highfather of New Genesis, and we get a beautiful full page illustration of he and Big Barda, but that's it. It's as though they tried to squeeze his name onto the marquee. Some of the numerous pages with the guardian beast chasing Flash and Khalid through the Tower of Fate could have been sacrificed for a little more Mr. Miracle in my opinion. After Khalid acquiesces to Nabu's desire to regain essence through him as Dr. Fate, we are given the hero we've been waiting for in the last few issues. Wotan and Dr. Fate will clash in issue #12, I guarantee, and we'll likely see Fury face Scott Free and his own former Fury, Big Barda, in Gotham.

More Later- Make It FUN!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

B&TB Blue Beetle Variants

I forgot to mention awhile back that I secured another variant of the 5" Blue Beetle from the Batman: The Brave & The Bold action figure line. From what I've gathered on the internet, there are four variants of this figure: one packaged with the Cosmic Crawler, the Deluxe Twin Turbo from the Total Armor series- which is the same as the Bug Zapper and Turbo Zapper Blue Beetles but with a different accessories, one from the Cyber-Tank playset, and this one that was packed with villain Kanjar Ro.

I'm a big fan of variant figures within a line, and for five bucks shipped I couldn't resist. He originally came with an accessory to plug in the hex-slots placed throughout the figure's appendage, the hallmark play feature these toys were known for. The Jaimie Reyes Blue Beetle was such a fun character on the show, and Mattel's design of this action figure is so well done, that I was glad to own another. Not everyone was a fan of the hexagonal accessory slots on this line, but I quickly came to appreciate the play value in them, and grew to appreciate them- I even like that the slots in back are molded in a different color, making them look even more like a toy.

5" B&TB Blue Beetle variants with my Cosmic Crawler...  too bad she's not a two-seater...

More Later- Make It FUN!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marvel NOW! Indestructible Hulk #6

I've been enjoying several of the new Marvel NOW! titles lately, including Captain America, Superior Spider-Man, Thor: God of Thunder, FF, Fantastic Four, and Indestructible Hulk. Issue six was a fun change of pace, the celebrated Walt Simonson on pencils stepping in for Leinil Yu, an artist's work I'd been really enjoying. While I'm not completely familiar with all of Simonson's run on The Mighty Thor during the 80's, the artist did introduce us to Beta Ray Bill, one of a handful of Marvel characters worthy enough to lift Mjolnir, Thor's enchanted hammer. I think by looking at the cover of issue #6, we can see why the man is qualified to step onto the Indestructible Hulk creative team at this moment.

When Dr. Banner's S.H.I.E.L.D. sponsored science experiment with the same uru element that Thor's hammer was forged in results in the opening of a portal to Jotunheim, Thor detects the mortals of Midgard's arrival.

To Bruce Banner's confusion, it seems the Thunder God doesn't recognize the scientist, who warns them to be gone before the resident Frost Giants arrive to protect their domain. But the trespassers are too late to flee, as the Frost Giants are upon them, and the Thunder God must defend the seemingly helpless mortals.

Hopelessly outnumbered, Thor is batted across the frozen tundra by one of the giant's clubs, losing Mjolnir in the snow. By now, Banner's transformation has turned him into the Indestructible Hulk, and he scrambles over the the Thunder God's hammer in the snow. I think you can guess what happened next, which I thought was really fun, leaving me eager to see what happens in issue #7. Well... I guess we know a lot of Frost Giants will find out if Hulk is truly worthy!

I enjoyed Banner's tenuous relationship with his unfortunate team, who foolishly signed onto the most dangerous job in the world, and the sci-fi centrifuging of uru to open a time/space portal in #6. The latter begs the question: in our rapidly expanding, 21st century technonlogy: would the  Large Hadron Collider been a more useful tool here with it's extra dimensions/string theory associations??  I don't know, but if the giant atom smasher in Geneva ever opens a portal to Jotunheim, I quit!  :D  This book has been really great, and while I will miss penciller Leinil Yu's work, Simonson's arrival on the title here was appropriate, and his catoony style combined with writer Mark Waid's far-fetched adventure remind me of another Marvel NOW! title I've really enjoyed, Captain America
 More Later- Make It FUN!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hey, Mr. Postman: Stealth Strike Amazon Haul!

I know this is like the 4th or 5th time I received toys in the mail this month, but what can I say- I love toys  :D  This particular haul goes back to my once again renewed enthusiasm for Mattel's Brave & the Bold line, which morphed into the Stealth Strike line...which I may have just completed with this Amazon haul LOL! I made out okay though due to markdowns and free "Super-Saver Shipping". All of these have translucent parts, a feature I'm into- they're bizarrely variant in their coloring, but as I said before, I'm into that as well.  

*Radioactive Armor & Bow Shot Batman
Though I had picked up the first few initial figures from the Stealth Strike line, I passed on these in retail initially. I'm glad I did because I paid significantly less, which is why I finally picked them up. Bow Shot Batman was only five bucks for instance, and while he's somewhat... yellow, he'll take great pics with the Stealth Jet Batmobile!

*Scuba Assault Batman
I know I just got the first Brave & The Bold Scuba Assault Batman, but this one is TRANSLUCENT AND METALLIC GREEN... and I like that  ;)  Again, he was discounted, and shipped free. I believe that makes about 20 variants I have of this B&TB Batman now, a testament to both my obsession with these, and the success of the toy   :D  I hated to see this line end, but was pleasantly surprised by the new 5" Justice League figures that showed up recently, even if the unique hex-slot accessory system was stripped from the line.

*Stealth Jet Batmobile
Yes, I have a Brave & The Bold Batmobile in black, but for fourteen bucks shipped, I picked up this bizarrely colored variant with the accessory hex-slots, translucent accessories, and working projectile. I scoffed at the initial retail price, but still admired it's unusual deco. The Batmobile collection grow yet again!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hey, Mr. Postman/Found In the Wild: 6" Iron Men

I'm as excited as anyone else about the upcoming Iron Man 3, and have become interested in some of the past waves of Iron Man action figures released in Hasbro's licencing juggernaut. Earlier this week I scored this 2008 Concept Series Capt. America Armor Iron Man on eBay, shipped for under $15.00. Unlike the similarly styled Iron Patriot from the recent Legends Iron Man wave, who's actually a different character, the concept series IM comes with a shield and missile launcher. I wasn't collecting/blogging quite yet, and never found him in the wild. Then just today I picked up the 2010 Hulkbuster Iron Man pictured below at TRU, a beautifully armored figure I'd had my eye on for awhile. He also has a missile launcher, the kind of accessory/action feature many adult collectors probably disregard that I actually enjoy.

That quickly doubled the membership of my unopened  6" armory, having recently picked up a Legends Heroic Age Iron Man and had been stowing away a Wave 1 Extremis blue/stealth variant since they came out. Like green, as well as black/red Batmen, I'm fetishistic about blue Iron Men, and have a sub-collection of sorts going. There are some other 6" Iron Men out there I've been tracking, but we'll just have to wait & see if I ultimately deem them necessary- these were unique enough among my collection to make the cut.

 More Later- Make It Fun!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stealth Strike Deluxe Knight Battle Batman

Toy companies can get a lot of mileage off a Batman sculpt, for example Kenner, then Hasbro's enormous reuse of  Batman the Animated toys, featuring Batmen of every color of in the spectrum. While I used to find that distasteful, I'm now somewhat fascinated by it, such is the case with the dozens of Batmen within the Brave & The Bold series by Mattel. If you've read this blog for some time, you are familiar with my obsession of these variant Dark Knight Detectives, sporting more outfits than Tony Stark has Iron Man armors.

While Batman in black & red generally interests me, this 5" Knight Battle deluxe figure is of note in that a very similar Batman was sold in the Action League line, which I scored some time ago, coupled with Etrigan the Demon in a B&TB 2-pack. By the time we got to this deluxe version, the Brave & The Bold TV show had been cancelled, and Mattel re-categorized the line under the Stealth Strike banner. While I reluctantly passed on this figure a few times, I was lucky enough to find him later online for about  six bucks- that's four dollars below what he went for retail, and with free shipping. The card backer was slightly mangled, but I was gonna crack him open any way.

The design looks great! The dark red on black is sinister looking, especially with the helmet on, thankfully made of a soft rubber, which stays on and doesn't rub Batman's nose abrasively. He's nothing new in the sculpt department, just a fun redeco in a color scheme I enjoy on this DC character. His vinyl cape is cut from translucent red vinyl- we've seen this treatment in a couple other Batmen from this line, and while I like it aesthetically, it's durability seems dubious to the touch. The winged armor attaches to the hexagonal accessory slot in his back, a feature repeated at the joints of his appendages, the design hallmark of this 5" line by of Mattel figures. The wings are engaged with the "key" included through a hole at the top. It's not my favorite action feature, the payoff not as climactic as a projectile, but at least the key/truncheon fits into the into the accessory slots with it's hexagonal billy-club handle.

Knight Battle makes a nice addition with my black & red Batman sub-collection! Here he is with my Brave & The Bold Cyber-Tank and Stealth Blast Rocket Batman ...

I have the black & red Total Armor Superman from this series as well....!

Another fun black & red Batman from my Brave & The Bold collection is the Aqua Attack Batman, which shoots water from the tank on his back- now THAT is a great action feature...!

The use of black & red throughout recent Batman mythology likely stems from the '66 TV Batmobile (a '55 Lincoln Futura customized by George Barris), but the Batman's mythical associations with Dracula make the colors seem appropriate as well. I have Justice League Armored Batman in these colors also that really pulls elements from Barris' Batmobile, and a 13" Batman Beyond dolly I love in his sinister looking black & red outfit!  See my posts on the B&TB Batmobile and Proto Bat-Bot!

More Later- Make It FUN!