Monday, March 29, 2021

Super 7 Super Cyborg Cobra B.A.T.

 I had some 3.75" G.I. Joe figures as a kid in the '80s, and have had a few things as an adult collector- notably some of the recent Hasbro 6" G.I. Joe Classified. While I'm not a diehard collector of the franchise, and was completely unaware of the character, I could not resist this 11" Cobra B.A.T. vinyl figure by Super 7. There are other figures in the toy company's Super Cyborg Series, three Transformers and a Megazord thus far, the Cobra B.A.T.'s color scheme, interchangeable arms, and overall retro appeal sold me upon solicitation months ago. Check out the video:

Articulation is very limited on the Super Cyborg Cobra B.A.T., but there are swivels at the boot tops, wrists, shoulders and neck. The arm attachments are made of a soft vinyl that also plug into the backpack for storage. I would have loved to have the sidearm removeable to hold in his hand, but the included accessories are fine. I picked up a couple of 3.75" Cobra B.A.T. II figures that Hasbro produced in 2004 to complement my Super 7 B.A.T. There have been other Battle Android Troopers produced in this smaller scale that have transparent chest plates, but these were affordable and similar in color scheme to my 11" Super 7 B.A.T.

I included my Mattel 11.5" Bat-Mech from 2016 for comparison in the video above, which also has an opening chest plate, which can hold DC Mighty Mini figures, like my Batman V. Superman 2" Armored Batman! The Bat-Mech is a fun toy that was somewhat coveted on the secondary market the last time I looked...

The Super 7 Super Cyborg figures go for $75.00, but I was able to use Amazon points to cash in, reducing it to under $55.00. Super 7 makes nice toys that have smaller production runs and distribution, so they cost more. If you can get one at a discount, take advantage of that, but I recommend the Super Cyborg Cobra B.A.T. regardless. It's a fun, retro-styled toy with lots of crossover possibility with other toys.

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Friday, March 19, 2021

McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Robin (Damian Wayne)

I picked up this McFarlane Toys Damian Wayne Robin when buying the Red Son Superman in my last post; as I said then, I've not the time nor money to collect everything McFarlane drops, but these two caught my eye. I loved the Batman and Robin storyline by Grant Morrison (2009-2011), and subsequent stories featuring Damian as Robin. The character was a murderous brat, retrained by Dick Grayson first, then his father Bruce Wayne when he finally reclaimed the mantle. He was easy to dislike, but turned out to be an interesting character in the Batman mythos.

Robin comes with two throwing stars and a large sword, all of which he can hold quite well, and are character appropriate- the sword, a reference to the weapon that killed Damian in the second volume of Batman Inc. A separate, hooded head would have been nice, but it's not a deal breaker. This is another McFarlane figure that would have benefitted from a thigh swivel, but perhaps more notably absent are double-jointed knees. The figure appealed to me solely upon aesthetics, but such an acrobatic character should have double-jointed knees. Regardless, he's a fantastic looking figure that I was looking forward to as a Robin fan.  

Below McFarlane Toys Robin with DC Direct Batman Inc. Robin, and Mattel DC Multiverse Damian Wayne. I'm pretty sure the DC Direct was the first figure of Damian as Robin, and still sought after. Grant Morison's Batman Incorporated was a fun book, featuring a global network of Batmen to fight crime! I picked up the Mattel Damian just a year ago, and am still a fan of their past DC Universe Classics line.

And finally, Damian with other members of the Bat Family, McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse Batman, Batgirl, and Nightwing.  I enjoyed all these McFarlane figures and love having Robin to go with them.

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Monday, March 15, 2021

McFarlane Toys Red Son Superman & Flashpoint Batman

 I've been sitting on the McFarlane Toys Flashpoint Batman for over three months, but decided to crack him open with this Red Son Superman I picked up a week ago. Their "Elseworlds" representations of two classic DC characters don't share the same storyline, but they pair well aesthetically.

I've not read Red Son, but am familiar with the 2003 book's premise of this "Elseworld" Superman originating in the Soviet Union, and a few tidbits of what happens within. I mostly purchased him on action figure merits alone, and my love of this Superman's outfit. Truth be told, I wouldn't mind seeing the American Superman in these colors, with the black trunks and muted reds and blues.

While somewhat indifferent regarding the character cards, I love McFarlane Toys' inclusion of bases with their figures, Red Son Superman packed with a modest, but serviceable flight stand. He can strike an effective flight pose, and is a handsome action figure.

Below, Red Son Superman with DC Direct's History of the DC Universe Nightwing Superman, and DC Collectibles' New 52 Superman. I have a handful of other figures from both these series, and while McFarlane does have superior articulation, these earlier action figures did represent each character's source material successfully.

I wasn't sure I'd have a crack at this McFarlane Flashpoint Batman, released the last week of November last year as a Target exclusive. Those kinds of situations will sometimes drive hoarding, but the first Target I walked into had a few- I didn't see many after this, so time on this guy was limited.

I enjoyed author Feoff Johns' Flashpoint several years ago, the story arc that would drive DC Comics' New 52 relaunch in 2011, an occasion that ruffled the reading community, but successfully drove sales. I was reading a few of these titles, and enjoyed the moment for awhile. I was engaged with the idea of a timeline featuring a Thomas Wayne Batman, who instead survived the death of his son Bruce.

There are limitations to some of McFarlane Toys' articulation on this figure, namely the forward hips range in movement, and the lack of upper thigh swivel. While this is unfortunate, articulation is more than adequate throughout the rest of the figure, and the sculpt and deco are fantastic.

Below, Flashpoint Batman with McFarlane Toys' Bloodshot, who also wields twin pistols, and McFarlane Toys' Hellbat. These are a couple of McFarlane figures in my small connection that I really like, and pair well with Flashpoint Batman.

While I haven't had the budget, nor the time to collect many McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse offerings, I did enjoy these two "Elseworlds" characters, and their subdued color palettes- though unrelated, they make a nice pair. I've been pretty happy with what McFarlane Multiverse figures I've picked up, as well as a couple other figures from other properties. I'd love to see a classic Action Comics or Kingdom Come Superman, and look forward to the forthcoming Batman Beyond!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

McFarlane Toys Witcher Geralt of Rivia

This McFarlane Witcher was an impulse preorder; the Walmart exclusive would possibly jump in price on the secondary market, and I didn't want to miss it. There is a darker brown Witcher figure like this I've seen solicitation for, but I like the unique color of this lighter brown version. Though I'm no gamer, I had caught a few episodes of the Netflix show starring Henry Cavill, and though the figure bears no resemblance, it's deco looks magnificent. This is one of McFarlane's "Gold Label" releases (hype), the main difference being deluxe packaging, it seems. Regardless, inside is another cool action figure by McFarlane Toys I wasn't disappointed in.

 Geralt carries two large broadswords in sheaths on his back. which he grips quite securely. I'm a little surprised McFarlane Toys would produce an action figure from a 6 year old video game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt having been released in 2015. The popularity of the Netflix show may have influenced their decision, though McFarlane also recently produced Arkham Asylum and Arkham Knight figures.

While shoulder armor covers some of the articulation points, their soft plastic allows for a great range of motion. The figure has serviceable abdominal range, though the plastic sleeve covering it does restrict it to a degree. Still, this figure has decent articulation by modern standards, and an import-quality deco with a ton of great sculpt detail.

Below, Geralt of Rivia battles my NECA 1933 King Kong!

And finally, The Witcher with my McFarlane Toys Bloodshot figure, another Walmart exclusive I got one year ago. I've really enjoyed the few McFarlane figures I've bought, including both of these, the only two that aren't DC Multiverse figures in my collection. I've been tempted by other McFarlane gaming figures like Doom, Warhammer and Mortal Kombat, but have so far resisted, but not for a lack of admiration. Recommended! 

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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Mego 8" Batman

This blog was launched over 10 years ago, based on my love of superhero comics and action figures produced of the characters therein. Like many children of the '70s, my first action figures were Mego's 8" World's Greatest Heroes, Batman front and center. Mego's sudden resurrection in 2018 surprised many of us, and I did eventually pick up a few of the 14" DC Comics characters, which are some of my favorite figures. Still, I was interested to see Mego's return to comic book characters in their classic 8" scale, and settled on this Batman to sample. I have several 8" Mattel DC Retro-Action figures from the early 2010s, and some 9" ToyBiz Marvel Famous Covers figures from the '90s that captured the spirit of Mego's Worlds Greatest Heroes, but this is the original return to form.

Below, 8" Mego Batman, with my 8" Mattel DC Retro-Action Batman, one of the first action figures I bought when I started collecting again as an adult.  This figure had some waist joint issues, but his shoulders and elbows are far superior to the new 8" Mego Batman, which don't pose well- a combination of banded shoulder joints and loose elbows. Mattel's chunky boots do help Retro-Action Batman stand better than Mego's, as well. Mego did adapt the glove cuff approach Mattel applied; this use of a separate scalloped cuff is so much better than the oven mitt gloves Mego produced in the '70s.

I was excited when Mego solicited a 14" Shazam and Black Adam in 2019, which we sadly never heard about since. I fear we may have seen the end of this deluxe scale from Mego, which were an outstanding value at twenty bucks, several of which I scored at a 25% discount. Below, 8" Mego Batman with my 14" Mego Dark Knight Detective- possibly my favorite of these... 

While I'm not fully committed to going all-in on this new Mego 8" line, I really like the aesthetic of this Batman. I love the inclusion of a batarang, and modern treatment of the outfit's chest emblem and pouched utility belt. The head sculpt is fantastic! Mego also dropped a Wonder Woman and Superman recently, and a Flash, Green Lantern, and Riddler have been solicited, the latter of which I may be interested in. 

And finally, Mego 8" Batman with 13" DC Direct Modern Batman, 14" Mego Dark Knight Detective, 13" DC Direct Classic Batman, 9" Hasbro 1st Appearance Batman, and Mattel 8" DC Retro-Action Batman. I have three or four other cloth costumed Batman dolls in my collection, and would have a hard time choosing a favorite- definitely a favorite subcategory within my collection!

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