Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Justice League Infinity No.1 (Sept. 2021)

 Curious about the cover of this first issue of Justice League Infinity, I opened it to find it was essentially a continuation of the Justice League Unlimited series that ran parallel with the wildly popular animated show from 2004-2006. I hadn't discovered JLU until I started this blog years later in 2010, but loved the vast and unprecedented roster of DC characters. This first book is narrated by my all-time favorite, Martian Manhunter, now separated from the League, living his life as many different individuals in search of understanding the often complex human race. Simultaneously, J'onn J'onzz reintroduces Amazo's return, also in search of his own identity and place in the universe...

Meanwhile, the League has surprised the Flash with a birthday party!

The festivities are soon rudely interrupted by Granny Goodness and her Parademons from Apokolips, the situation made even more dire by Kalibak's arrival, challenging Granny for the honor of conquering the Justice League!

Martian Manhunter's mentally tethered instinct to race to his teammates and join the fight is tempered by his commitment to leave that endless battle in continuance of his pursuit in a more universal understanding...

Amazo's similar effort to understand his own existence grows more fierce, while Mr. Miracle reverses the trace polarities of Granny and Kalibak's boom tubes, sending them back to Apokolips with a great explosion ….!

Finally, while retelling the spectacular victory to Lois Lane over a candlelit dinner, Superman disappears, an else-worlds Superman left in his place, demanding what Lois did to him. The chest insignia reminds me of the Multiverse German Superman that appeared in Final Crisis, so I'm curious about the second issue of Justice League Infinity. While I'd hoped for a self-contained issue of this book, I must say it caught the mood of JLU, including the humorous banter surrounding Flash's birthday party, the love triangle between Jon Stewart, Shayera, and Vixen, and the use of Amazo's return to kick off the series. I love seeing the Bruce Timm-inspired art again as well, in all it's cartoony splash- colorful and fun, like comics should be.

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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Masters of the WWE Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

Stumbled onto another of the elusive Masters of the WWE figures at a local Walmart this weekend, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Heroic Master of Dragons! While I'm not a follower of wrestling, the mashup of MOTU and WWE are fantastic, many blending right in with my Masters of the Universe Origins collection. I love the colors on The Dragon, and the Merman chest harness fits great with his overall aesthetic. For whatever reason, Ricky checked out for $10.44 at the register, a few dollars less that the $14.95 these figures are more typically priced. The Dragon Blaster accessory is unfortunately a total waste of plastic, barely able to hang on the figures back, and otherwise useless- I'd have preferred some weapons, such as nunchacku or bo staff... 

The Masters of the WWE come with a mini comic, shorter than the MOTU Origins figures, with a cross sell sheet on back showing other figures in the wave...

I feel like this pole axe from my Funko Primal Age Batcave playset 
is a more suiting weapon for "The Dragon ...!

Below, Ricky Steamboat with the other Masters of the WWE figures in my collection:

Aside from the Dragon Blaster accessory, Ricky Steamboat makes a great addition to my collection. I hope to see more of these figures more readily available in the future. Mattel and Walmart have a lot of room for improvement regarding distribution of both MOTU Origins and Masters of the WWE figures, which is a shame because they are some of the best toys out recently. Their interchangeable parts, playability, and retro charm are undeniable. Recommended! 

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Mego Ultraman & Ultraseven

While I've largely avoided buying Mego's new 8" figures, they were a staple of my '70s childhood, and I have figures produced by other toy manufacturers in this scale and style. I have several of Mego's recent 14" figures, and love them, but their 8" line is getting harder to resist, such as in the case of this Ultraman and Ultraseven. Aside somewhat roughly hewn material around Ultraman's wrist cuffs, the outfits an head sculpts on these figures are fantastic!

Below, Mego 8" Ultraman with my 5.5" Bandai vinyl Ultraman...

Below, Ultraseven with the only other 8" Mego figure I've bought, Batman...

When I started this blog over ten years ago, Mattel's Retro-Action figures were of great interest to me because of their callback styling, targeted at us kids of the '70s who loved Mego back in their halcyon days. Below, Ultraman with my Mattel Retro-Action Shazam... 

While I have less interest in Mego's new 8" figures than their larger 14" figures, I do love the retro appeal of this Ultraman and Ultraseven, both of which stay true to that unique Mego styling. What they lack in poseability, they more than make up for in charm. It's fun witnessing the resurrection of Mego after all these years! 

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Monday, August 9, 2021

MOTU Origins Faker & Evil-Lyn

The MOTU Origins continues here on the Super-DuperToyBox with Faker and Evil-Lyn, from the fifth wave of this series. I actually found this second color variant of Evil-Lyn in the wild, but somewhat regrettably resorted to the secondary market for Faker, a figure I loved as a child. I've yet to see Fisto on the pegs, who is the star of the included mini comic, Sucker Punch.

Naturally, I'd been shooting a  lot of my MOTU Origins around the new Castle Grayskull, but decided to pull the Funko Primal Age Batcave back out to feature Faker and Evil-Lyn. While the nature of this character was somehow lost on me in 1983, I loved the color scheme of this figure and still do. Faker comes with a full power sword as opposed to the original half sword, the handle for this accessory updated for a better grip.

Below, He-Man and Orko capture Faker with the Wind Raider Assault Lander ...!

Ironically, some collectors have bemoaned Faker not including the updated He-Man head sculpt, but instead their preferred original portrait! Ironic considering Mattel did include the original head sculpt with the Battle Armor He-Man, and a refresh of stock on the single carded He-Man purportedly also includes this.

While I already had the first Origins Evil-Lyn, and kinda liked her acidic colors, the new colorway on this updated figure is quite striking. Noted by it's secondary branding near the bottom of the package, this figure's repainted colorway is inspired by the 2002-2004 animated series.

Featured on this updated Evil-Lyn are the resculpted knees, a huge aesthetic improvement over the series' first female knees. I didn't have an Evil-Lyn back in the '80s, so I've now nostalgia for either colorway, but I do prefer this latest version.

Faker and Evil-Lyn are two key henchmen of Skeletor that I'm glad to have in this second MOTU collection of my life- I'm really enjoying this line. Having had some of the first MOTU toys back in 1982, the nostalgia that MOTU Origins evokes is spot on, better I dare say.

While the distribution woes of this line continue to frustrate collectors, their embrace of the MOTU Origins seems dedicated. Mattel has successfully recaptured the magic of the original. Recommended! And finally, Skeletor sends Faker, atop his savage cat Panthor, to destroy He-Man so he can be Master of the Universe!

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Saturday, August 7, 2021

MOTU Origins Wind Raider Assault Lander

I'd held out preordering the MOTU Origins Wind Raider in hopes of scoring one at Target and enjoy my 5% card discount, and that day came recently, my local store showing stock on their website. Though it hadn't been put out on the sales floor, a friendly associate retrieved one from the stock room. I had the 1982 Mattel Wind Raider as a child, and could not escape the nostalgia of owing the updated Origins model. Check out the video:

Two fantastic additions to the MOTU Origins Wind Raider are the launching grapple and flight base diorama. Play and display options are elevated by Mattel's new flight bases for Origins flying vehicles like the Sky Sled in my last post. Visit the Battle Ram Blog for more about the original Masters of the Universe toy line from the '80s! Below, He-Man and Mat-At-Arms prepare the Wind Raider for flight within the safety of Castle Grayskull!

This Wind Raider further solidifies my high opinion of the MOTU Origins line, which I will continue to collect. Mattel's future plans with this line continue to be a subject of speculation within the collector community, due to their limited time in possession of licensing Masters of the Universe. I'm confounded by this as Mattel created He-Man, but the short of the long is that Mattel sold off the rights some years ago, the loophole allowing them to still use the copyright ending in 2023. I can only hope they will be able to push out a few more vehicles, figures, and playsets before then. Recommended! 

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Monday, August 2, 2021

MOTU Origins Prince Adam Sky Sled ...Again!

I bought this MOTU Origins Prince Adam Sky Sled set this past January, but when I saw then go on sale at a local Target for fifteen bucks, I couldn't pass on pick up a second to pair up for battle! Circle back and check out video in that post! While I liked getting Prince Adam with a Sky Sled, it seems like Mattel should release the Sky Sled alone in a smaller package at a more attractive price. MATTEL: Collectors Want More of These Vehicles.

A running change on this newer sample feature a smaller Power Sword handle that Prince Adam 
can grip better. While I didn't need the second figure, this update was a welcome surprise!

 Below, Trap Jaw and Skeletor attack on the Sky Sleds, customized with the interchangeable kick panels and head/hood ornaments. I loved this MOTU Origins vehicle, and hope Mattel will produce the Battle Ram Mobile Launcher that bolted onto our Sky Sled of 1982! I loved that piece as a kid, and I'm sure other MOTU Origins collectors would get behind these as well. This very well may be how we see the Sky Sled be re-released, only time will tell.

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