Saturday, October 31, 2020

Funko POP Universal Monsters Frankenstein


While I have a few in my collection, I'm not a big collector of Funko POP vinyls. This Universal Monsters Frankenstein was an impulse purchase at a local Walgreens, who retails this figure exclusively. Universal Monsters were a childhood fascination of mine, and I remember dressing as the monster for Halloween. I certainly would have picked up more of this series if I'd seen them, particularly Dracula, the Wolfman, or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The daisy was a cute touch, but his ability to glow in the dark is somewhat limited. Still, a fantastic decoration for my favorite holiday!

Below, my childhood Aladdin Universal Monsters lunchbox:

Play the video below:

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Funko Primal Age Batcave Playset

After preordering the new Masters of the Universe Origins Castle Grayskull recently, lamenting it's distant shipping date, I stumbled upon the Funko Primal Age Batcave Playset at a great price on Amazon. I liked the aesthetic of this series when announced a couple years ago, a mash-up of He-Man styled figures and DC characters based on a '70s concept by writer Marv Wolfman that was revived in 2019. 

Constructed much in the spirit of the 1982 Mattel Castle Grayskull, clasped at the side to double as a carrying case. Like that toys, the Funko Batcave comes with a flag/banner, extra weapons, training dummy, throne, as well as a crystal ball and creature skeleton that doubles as a ladder to the playset's second floor. The box art is fantastic, with cross sell illustrations of the figures and beasts also available in the Primal Age line- I'm quite tempted now. the thing came fully assembled with the accessories bagged, sitting atop. The airbrushed facade recalls Mattel's old Grayskull aesthetic directly, translucent blue torches at the top and bottom adding a level of detail to set it apart. A fantastic piece measuring 21 x 15 x 10".

Below, the Batcave's verso, showing the circular back window and tiny lizard detail...

What I really bought this for is my MOTU Origins figures, specifically as a castle for Skeletor, for which the overall bat-related motif goes with perfectly. I'm sure I'm not the only collector adopting this Batcave for my MOTU figures, and noticed the asking price going up on the secondary market- it seems not long ago, people were buying these on clearance for $25.00 or less, about what I paid after cashing in some Amazon points.

My new MOTU origins figures fit right into the Batcave like it was designed for them, accessories and all! This could as easily be designed a lair for Skeletor and all his baddies- a gang I plan on filling out more as soon as we see the second Origins wave here in the Midwest.

Below, MOTU Origins Evil-Lyn looks into the crystal ball to spy on He-Man and his friends...

Below, MOTU Origins Beastman lock up He-Man, Man-At-Arms, and Teela ...

MOTU figures can hold most the weapons accessories, the sword a little clumsily due to it's wide handle. They add to the interior nicely, clipped onto the interior wall. Again, the bat symbol on the door banner doesn't disturb the MOTU aesthetic whatsoever. One of the best crossover toys I've experienced.


If like myself, you are collecting Masters of the Universe, particularly the new origins line, or have some of the recent Super 7 MOTU Classic reissues, you cannot go wrong picking this up. I paid almost $75.00 for the new Origins Grayskull preorder, so this felt like a real score and it was. I will enjoy photographing future MOTU Origins figures with it, and can stow them inside to save space. Recommended!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Nickelodeon TMNT

I remember admiring this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line that ran from 2012 - 2017, but was never a collector of the franchise. I didn't have any Ninja Turtles in the '80s, and so while I like the characters & idea, I have no deep nostalgia. That said, I've wanted at least a set of the four to complement my collection, so when I saw these at Five Below at a heavily discounted price, I impulsively scooped them up. As you can see in the cross sell sheet below, this was a major launch to back the Nickelodeon CGI animated show at the time, with a ton of figures, playsets, vehicles, and role play toys...

I love that their colors, height, and detail vary, and while the range of articulation is somewhat limited, there is enough there for me to have fun. In the spirit of the original toys, each figure included a punch-out weapons rack to arm Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael well....

My own custom urban diorama seemed like an appropriate setting for these shellbacks:

All the references I've seen on these credit them as a Playmates toys product, though I see no reference to them anywhere on the packaging. Instead, Giochi Preziosi, an Italian toy company that has more recently produced toys for the PJ Masks, Ben 10, and Power Players- all properties also listed on Playmates' website. I'm unsure if these were distributed by Giochi Preziosi for the Italian market, or if they manufactured them- the former seems more likely.

My MOTU Origins Beastman would make a perfect nemesis for the Ninja Turtles!

... looks like a Beastman Beatdown is underway!

Below, Michelangelo with my Marvel Legends Fantastic Four Ben Grimm...

Lots of new NECA TMNT figures have come out recently at a higher price point, but these four Playmates Nina Turtles seemed more my speed. Visit the Turtlepedia online database for all things TMNT!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Masters of the WWE Universe Ultimate Warrior

I didn't expect to find this highly sought after Masters of the WWE Universe Wave 1 Ultimate Warrior so late in the game for such a great price. I've only seen Wave 2 hanging around the pegs in my area the last couple months, and not a sign of the forthcoming Wave 3 and 4. I've said before that I don't really follow the WWE, but I loved Masters of the Universe back in the '80s, and I love the wacky mashup of these two properties!

 Ultimate Warrior's Spear of Champions and Ultimate Energy Harness comfortably pin him within the Masters of the Universe aesthetic, the latter of which can be removed to expose the tattoo on his chest. I love the colors, and think the arm bands across his biceps give him a savage look. He'll look right at home next to your MOTU Origins He-Man!

Like the MOTU Origins figures, the Masters of the WWE figures come with a short mini-comic very much in the spirit of the original Masters of the Universe figures. Those first mini-comics illustrated by Alfred Alcala were much longer however, including a narrative and multiple pages of illustrated action that I was fascinated by as a child.

Ultimate Warrior looks right at home atop my MOTU Origins Battle Cat!

... and my MOTU Origins Beastman makes a nemesis for Ultimate Warrior ...!

And finally, Ultimate Warrior with Masters of the WWE Universe Roman ReignsWhat appealed to me about both these figures was how seamlessly they both fit in with the MOTU Origins line. I'm open to collecting a few more of these to complement my collection and do battle in and around the new MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull coming next spring!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

MOTU Origins Teela & Evil-Lyn

 I actually passed on Teela and Evil-Lyn on more than just a couple occasions, as I didn't want to end up buying every one of the new Masters of the Universe Origins figures, but my nostalgia reached a fever pitch when the new Origins Castle Grayskull went up for preorder recently. I never had an Evil-Lyn back in the '80s, but I did have Teela. True to form, they both possess the same buck and sculpted details, but the facial portraits are unique and quite fantastic.

Like the Teela I had in my youth, Origins Teela has her cobra staff, head dress, and shield. While dimple in paint deco, I like the added color on her bootstraps, and her facial portrait is softly beautiful. While the added articulation on these figures makes for better posing, the females have a somewhat jarring edge at the knees. Still, Mattel didn't stray far from Teela's '82 release, the Origins Teela is very similar!

Above, Teela takes the saddle atop Battle Cat, He-Man alongside, 
and below, Teela with her adoptive father Duncan, Man-At-Arms...

I didn't have Evil-Lyn in my childhood, but felt obligated to pick up the Origins version to complement Teela, and of course, my new Origins Skeletor. I do love her coloring, and as with Teela, this Origins reissue is very true to the '83 Evil-Lyn.

Above, Evil-Lyn summons my Mattel Clash of the Titans Kraken
and below with MOTU Origins partner, Skeletor...

While my interest in Evil-Lyn was a little less than Teela. I'm glad I picked up both, completing my collection of the first wave of the Origins line. I look forward to adding more from future waves, and posing them in the new Origins Castle Grayskull this spring! Read more about the original Masters of the Universe line at the Battle Ram Blog!

More Later- Make It FUN!