Friday, March 28, 2014

Framed Marvel Solicitation Posters!

Picked up another 2-sided Marvel Solicitation poster recently, and it reminded me I never got around to getting frames for these, several of which I posted on back in November. I've been enjoying Iron Man since his Marvel NOW! relaunch in 2012, and enjoyed several issues of Wolverine and the X-Men as well. In the end I opted to show the Superior Spider-Man issue #17 promo (with Spider-Man 2099!) and Guardians of the Galaxy, two other books I've followed since the Marvel NOW! imprint took over my life. I've read far more titles, more consistently from Marvel than DC ever since, the latter of whom also rebooted their title catalogue in the New 52 imprint. Regardless, after having regained some footing back into reading comics by trade paperbacks, the relaunch of each respective title got me into the weeklies. While on the subject of decorating, I never showed of the Thor metal poster I picked up this winter at 1/2 price... nice, eh...? 

If you haven't checked my Boyish Wonder Pinterest, head on over! I worked all week pinning what's started to resemble a "Super-DuperToyBox: Greatest Hits" of my collections & photography. It's been fun going back through the last 3 1/2 years of photography and seeing some of my collection that's been stored for awhile!
More Later- Make It FUN!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

State of the Blog: 600 Posts Later.

I started this blog on Oct. 7th of 2010, and just posted my 600th post! It's not typical of me to draft a State of the Blog, but this hallmark time, and the recent retirement of a fellow blogger gave me pause to think, so here are a few random notes...

You may have noticed the frequency of my posts cut in half in the last couple years- the recent upward trend of my career accounts for a great deal of this. I work far more nowadays, but my business acumen has been sharpened, my realm of experience expanded, and professional contacts multiplied significantly. I have other hobbies that take time as well, including live & recorded music with multiple bands/songwriters throughout the years, fine arts painting, and my endless dabbling in photography and video- the latter two informed & expanded by working on this blog, one of three I write on as time permits. I'm busy.

My posts take time, research, and at least my best effort at writing. While I'm not going to win any Pulitzer Prize with my prose, I've rarely compromised on quality or my efforts to improve. Lazy blogging annoys me slightly- I take pride on all things I work on, and if it takes longer it just does. I don't understand when people apologize, and am not sorry if I don't get back at it for two or three weeks because I'm working on my career stuff, recording & performing music, working on some painting, or just hanging with the loved ones. It's been said that to be truly great at something, all else must be sacrificed- I'm not a believer in that statement. I want it all. I enjoy wearing different creative hats and believe they inspire one another. Variety is the spice of life.

I let all come here, and try to keep things fun for all to enjoy. I think that discourages a lot of negative feedback, and hopefully provides a nice refuge from the fear-mongering and manipulative corporate interest our dysfunctional media feeds us every day. Any registered user can comment, and are only moderated if the post is over two weeks old. I don't subject new comments to that ridiculous word verification either- I hate having to do that, and can't read half of them anyway. I'm not worried about lack of comments, and won't need any suggestions on what more you'd like to see here. This is my toy box and we're playing with my toys. I love sharing with you! Thank you for coming to this happy place! I removed all monetization for your browsing pleasure because I think it's a scam, and you didn't come here to watch a commercial.

Good luck to my friend on all his new endeavors! As for me, I'm gonna keep on truckin'- I'm not sure when I'll reach the end of the road as it were and don't care. I seem to slowly attract more page views as time goes by, and after posting something like 10,000 photos, my photography comes up  a lot in search engines. While it's true the blog platform may now be an antiquated social media, I enjoy it's longer format, Twitter's shorthand inadequate playground for my abilities. That said, I did recently start a Boyish Wonder Pinterest at the suggestion of our belated blogger. I will use it to supplement the Super-DuperToyBox, and will post things there that may not appear here.
More Later-Make It FUN!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Total Heroes Sinestro & Green Lantern

I'll admit that I wasn't blown away by these new Total Heroes action figures by Mattel, but I liked the Superman I reviewed recently well enough, and I rarely pass on a Sinestro action figure, especially in his black & yellow Corps uniform. I've seen there will be a Total Heroes Batman Beyond as well, a character I feel the same about collecting. And I couldn't pass on a Green Lantern to go with him while I was there on the premises with both in hand, so here we are   :D

As I said before, these are not DCUC-grade action figure, but have their own appeal. Styled less realistically than Mattel's late DC Universe Classics line, in more of a chunky, "animated" version with less articulation, Mattel was able to hit a price point more attractive to big box retail. Similar to the recent Batman Power Attack figures, the Total Heroes have a few additional points of articulation at only a dollar more. The waist still swivels, and there are additional swivels in the elbows and wrists, as well as hinge-swivel shoulders and hips for lateral range and hinged knees and ankles. Pretty simple, but serviceable.

The Lanterns didn't come with a power battery, but constructs instead, both in the form of hand weapons cast in translucent plastic matching the colors of their respective spectrum. The figures grip the accessories securely- they're appropriately exaggerated and goofy...

Total Heroes Sinestro & Green Lantern with DC Universe Classics Wave 3 Sinestro and 2010 Wal-Mart Exclusive GL 5-pack "90's Hal" Green Lantern...

Total Heroes Sinestro & Green Lantern with 4" Justice League Unlimited Sinestro and Green Lantern, another highly stylized line of action figures from Mattel...

Total Heroes Sinestro & Green Lantern with 2" DC Action League Sinestro and Green Lantern...

And finally, Total Heroes Sinestro & Green Lantern with 8" Retro Action Sinestro & Green Lantern, another Mattel Action figure line that was modeled after my favorite childhood Mego dolls...

Mattel stuck to the same buck on all these Total Heroes action figures, and while it would be nice to see a different body, particularly a female, I'm doubtful it will be produced. The previous 5" Justice League got a Wonder Woman packed with 6 others in a Target exclusive, there wasn't a single carded release. Where's the love, Mattel? And one final gripe is that Green Lantern was shown with metallic green paint in promotional images, which didn't materialize onto the final product. That withstanding, the applications are pretty clean on these, and at ten bucks I didn't feel bad picking some up- they're fun! 

More Later-Make It FUN!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tech Glider Robin

I've seen a lot of these 4" Mattel Batman series in retail lately, including the Action Wing Batman modeled after Azrael/Knightfall Batman, but very few of these Tech Glider Robin figures. I thought he'd be a good choice just to see what they're like.

Mattel produced 4" figures like these in recent past, styled after the Batman Power Attack evergreen line. Like the new 6"  Total Heroes, and 2013 5" Justice League toys, Mattel seems to be trying to hit that ten dollar and under category to keep capitalism alive, now trending toward a "greatest hits" list of characters across their action figure lines.  I'm a Boy Wonder fan myself, and rarely pass on another for my collection, especially one with a soft goods cape.

 Robin's glider is two pieces, the underwing adjoined to the top by a metal disc that can be shifted/engaged for "flight". The handles peg onto the underside for the figure to grip onto, and can double as combat batons. I like the color and sculpt of the glider, as well it's multi-purpose function, in spite of it's fast food premium-like quality. Not award-winning by any means, but a fun extra for the kids.

Among my collection of Boy Wonders, Tech Glider Robin is most like my Kenner Turbo Glider Robin, of course, in both size & accessory. The Turbo Glider Kenner produced back in 1992 is superior in many ways, employing a chest harness that attaches to the figure and larger sail with detachable missiles... 

The Kenner Robin is more realistically proportioned than the Mattel figure, with more paint apps and double layered, removable cape...

Tech Glider Robin with 4" Power Attack Batman and 6" Mattel Power Attack series Strike Shield Robin- the 4" Batman doesn't have elbow & knee joints, but makes a decent partner to this Robin, whose sculpt is very much like the 6" counterpart...

Tech Glider Robin with my 5 1/2" Mattel DC SuperFriends Robin, a personal favorite...

More Later- Make It FUN!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Total Heroes Superman

With the rise in manufacturing costs versus the ever-emptying monetary resources of the average household, Mattel has opted to strip down their 6" action figure line to a product that can achieve the kind of price point parents are willing to spend. This hybrid of a larger action figure like a DCUC with simpler paint and articulation akin to the recent Batman Power Attack line, the toy manufacturer came up with this Total Heroes line. There's always a new crop of young comic enthusiasts to sell toys to, and with the rising popularity of these characters in movies and video games, it will be easier to compete on the pegs at major retailers with a ten dollar price point. While action figure collectors lament the recently announced conclusion of the DC Universe Classics line, make no mistake- Mattel wants to make more money.

These Total Heroes figures are highly stylized, much like the Batman Power Attack figures, but with a few additional points of articulation at only a dollar more. The waist still swivels, and there are additional swivels in the elbows and wrists, as well as hinge-swivel shoulders and hips for lateral range and hinged knees and ankles. There neck is only a swivel, and they don't have an abdominal hinge like the DCUCs, but they do have cloth capes, which I like, Superman's with a neatly printed insignia. Serious action figure collectors may see this as a dumbing down of their beloved DCUCs, but they aren't really Mattel's focus demographic.

I was a little surprised to discover that long-time Marvel artist John Romita Jr. will be drawing Superman for rival DC Comics. I really enjoyed the artist's work on the recent Captain America, as well as his run on titles Thor and Peter Parker: Spider-Man. I liked his illustration on the cover of Comic Shop News last week, and will be looking into it. JRJ's style is vastly different from his famous father's, and unique among his contemporaries. I see a certain Jack Kirby influence myself in his use of shadows and exaggerated features, another artist I'm a big fan of. The blocky, cartoony style of the Total Heroes figures share some those traits, but look more like a mix of the Young Justice and The Batman animated TV shows. 

While DC Collectibles is still producing a detailed aesthetic in similarly scaled action figures, it seems there will be a certain gap in highly articulated 6" DC characters. If anyone will take the torch remains to be seen, but it could simply mean a change in the industry. Future waves of the Total Heroes line were shown at the 2014 New York Toy Fair, and MattyCollector will be selling deluxe exclusives online that will include more accessories. I can appreciate the fun simplicity of this toy, but would understand it's rejection by more discriminating collectors. And while I won't be hunting down every character in the Total Heroes line, I do like these and predict their success. 

Total Heroes New 52 Superman with 3" Fisher-Price Imaginext Superman and Mattel 5" Justice League Superman...

Total Heroes with 7" DC Collectibles Justice League Superman...

More Later- Make It FUN!