Saturday, January 29, 2022

Mego 14in. Shazam & Superman

 I was somewhat late to the party for Mego's resurrection when in May of 2019 I began picking up some of their magnificent new 14" figures, but I was hooked from that moment on. I was less than enamored with their first attempt at the Man of Steel, so when this new version with improved body and extra hands was solicited, I preordered him from BBTS. We were supposed to get a Shazam in this scale back in 2019, but sources at the online Mego Museum reported the factory producing these closed, leaving Mego to start from scratch. Check out the video:

I could not be happier with these two figures, which were quite a bit more expensive than Mego's first outing in this scale, but vastly improved in body construction and included an extra set of hands. I was surprised to discover they are not exactly the same buck- because I didn't want to strip them down, I'm not sure where the difference is but suspect it is in the legs.

Among several comparisons in the video above are Mego 14" Superman & Shazam with my new Mego 8" Justice League Superman and Mattel's 8" Retro-Action ShazamThough the success of Figures Toy Company's 8" replica figures was nearer to Mego's 2018 resurrection, Mattel's Retro-Action line from over a decade ago essentially led to Mego's revival.

Within my collection of large action figures are several of DC Direct's 13" deluxe figures, including a beautiful, classic Superman which I treasure. I'd love to see Mego's take on Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow in this larger 14" format...

My Mego 14" Justice League lineup is coming along nicely! 

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Mattel 12in. Batman Unlimited Figures

From memory, I believe the 12" Batman Unlimited figure line came out of the former Power Attack line around 2015-16, then morphed into the 12" Batman Missions line. This ongoing "evergreen" line of Batman toys spanned across different scales as well, from Mattel's 2" Mighty Minis to 6" basic figures offered at big box retail. I've picked up a few of these from time to time, circling back to pick these up more recently on the secondary market.

I prefer Mattel's use of cloth goods for the capes on their 12" figures as opposed to Spin Master's vinyl capes. I was surprised when Spin Master won the merchandising contract for the "boys' toys" category away from Mattel in 2020, though I do feel like they have made some fun toys and raised the bar in some ways I think.

The blue and silver Batman was included exclusively with an attack quad vehicle set, while the armored Batman came individually boxed, Mechs Vs. Mutants sub branding stamped on the corner. I didn't understand the mutant aspect, but Batman and Green Arrow mechs were part of that line.

Below, Unlimited Armored Batman with my 2016 Unlimited Bat-Mech- a favorite toy of mine that featured an opening chest cockpit to house Mattel's 2" Might Minis. Super fun! You can see similar design elements they share, making them a nice pair...

Below, the Blue and Silver Unlimited Batman with my Mattel New 52 Superman, both which share a lot of sculpt detail. Superman was the only one of these I picked up in 2015, so it's fun to have another figure from the line to pair with him...

I've amassed more than a few 12" Batman figures recently, both older Mattel and more recent Spin Master versions. See my recent posts on Spin Master Metal Tech and Bat Tech Batman, The Batman, and Mattel Justice League Stealth Batman. These two earlier Batman Unlimited figures lack the knee articulation later figures would enjoy, but there is something pleasing about their simple, bright deco. 

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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Mego 8in. Justice League Superman

I've only picked up a handful of Mego's new 8" figures since the company was miraculously resurrected in 2018 but was overcome with nostalgia seeing this Justice League Superman on the pegs at a local Target. The Mego 8" World's Greatest Super Heroes Superman of my childhood was a beloved toy, and though this updated Justice League version has somewhat muted colors, it takes me back to my love for the line.

The way the cape is sewn in folded at the neck is fantastic, and I love the gold highlights at the boot tops! A molded chest insignia would have been great but printed onto the fabric is better than a sticker like we'd get in the '70s. I'm pretty sure this is the same head sculpt as the standard 8" Superman they just released, which looks nothing like Justice League actor Henry Cavill, but I don't care- it's a fantastic sculpt.

Below, Justice League Superman with my 2021 Mego 8" Batman and the 2010 Mattel Retro-Action Superman. Though the success of Figures Toy Company's 8" replica figures was nearer to Mego's 2018 resurrection, I feel like Mattel's Retro-Action line from over a decade ago essentially led to Mego's revival.

Below, Mego Justice League Superman with my 1:6 scale Hot Toys Man of Steel Superman and 2" Mattel Mighty Minis Batman V. Superman Superman. BIGTOYlittletoy!

Also available was a Justice League Wonder Woman, but the spindly, anorexic look of Mego's 8" females don't really do it for me, so I'm undecided on her for the moment. There are some other Mego 8" DC figures I'm interested in, but I'm really hoping for some more characters in the 14" lineup, which just got an updated Batman and Superman, as well as a long delayed Shazam (Captain Marvel). Mego was a big part of my childhood love of action figures, some of my very first in fact, and it's great to see them produce a Superman this cool. Recommended! 

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Spin Master 12in. The Batman

I found one of these at a local Target, tucked behind some other action figures, just a day or so after a YouTuber posted a video about it. The long-awaited movie The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, is finally coming out, and Spin Master is dropping their offerings heralding its arrival in theatres this March. Retailing at ten bucks, this large, serviceably articulated figure is targeted at younger boys, but has a decent sculpt with lots of detail. I had just recently picked up a couple Spin Master Batman figures of this class that I like quite a bit- unfortunately this Batman has the same papery vinyl cape those had, but it's not a dealbreaker. I liked Mattel putting a soft goods cape on their 12" figures before Spin Master secured the licensing of this class of "boy's toys", though the vinyl capes may actually be more durable/resistant to water.

I will say the 12" DC figures of this class, produced both by Spin Master and Mattel before them, have better articulation than the Hasbro Marvel Titan figures. A swivel at the boot top and waist could have made a big difference, but these are made for young kids, price point being a major consideration.  Regardless, I was able to get a few poses out of mine...

Below, The Batman with my Spin Master Metal Tech and Bat Tech Batman, and Mattel's Justice League Stealth Batman. While The Batman fits in good with the others, the details in his sculpt, his body proportions, and blue eyes give him a little more realism. Even a single accessory- a grapple with a cord or batarang, could have made this more fun, but a lot of these larger DC figures don't include anything. It seems the other Spin Master Bat Tech figures had better paint around the cowl, but your experience may vary.

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Mattel 12in. Justice League Stealth Batman and Superman

While I liked Batman V Superman okay, I have to confess to having not seen Justice League (2017) to this day. Chalk it up to superhero movie overload or CGI fatigue, I just never got around to it or several of the other DC/Warner movies that followed. I do like a big dumb action figure, however, be it Hasbro Titan Hero Series, 12" DC Spin Master figures, or those 10" ToyBiz  Marvel Universe figures I collect. These Mattel Justice League figures would have cost around ten bucks when they appeared at retail in late 2017- a great value for a large, durable figure of the type that has become a toy aisle staple the last many years.

While I'm unsure how or who operated in "stealth mode" in the movie, it seems more like a mode Batman would utilize. A Stealth Flash was also released by Mattel, but I'm not aware of other characters getting the same treatment. Regardless, I just liked the variant look on Superman with his black and red chest insignia, and thought they made a great looking pair. These don't actually measure in at 12", but closer to 11.5", in spite of the manufacturer's claim. I lump these under "1:6 Scale" in my post labels for the sake of organization, as I do with the DC Direct 13" figures I collect. 

Aside from modern styling, great sculpts, and 11 points of articulation, the translucent smoke plastic for the figure bodies interested me. This is pretty subtle in normal lighting conditions, and I almost wish the plastic was a little lighter/clearer. Regardless, I like clear/translucent plastic in toys, and was delighted when I realized this to be the case- it just makes them way more interesting and fun.

The obvious comparison for the Stealth Batman would be the Spin Master Metal Tech and Bat Tech Batman figures I posted about just this past December. I was very surprised when Mattel lost the licensing for the DC "boys toys" category to Spin Master in 2020. I prefer the cloth cape on the Mattel Batman to the papery vinyl capes Spin Master used, but Spin Master has made some fun toys the last couple years.

Below, Justice League Stealth Superman with my Hot Toys Man of Steel Superman and Mattel New 52 Superman I picked up in 2015- both opposite ends of the spectrum among action figures. The Mattel New 52 Superman figure is about the same class as the Stealth Superman but didn't have the knee articulation nor sculpt detail the latter got. Movie-based figures usually get a level of detail above general "evergreen" releases. I still love that Hot Toys Man of Steel Superman here 8 years later, one of the most beautiful action figures in my collection. Being true 1:6 scale, you can see he towers over the Mattel figures...

I have bought and sold off several of this class of action figure in the past, and they have maintained an evolving presence in my collection since starting this blog in 2010. I would have loved these as a kid- big durable action figures with serviceable articulation and lots of bang for the buck. They are toys, and don't try to be much else beyond that, but I appreciate them as variants among the other Batman and Superman figures in my collection.

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Sunday, January 2, 2022

4in. DC Spinmaster Figures

 Though I sold most all my 3.75 - 4" figures just a few short years ago, I'd taken to picking up these 4" Spin Master DC figures while out and about this past December. Though I don't typically pick up figures of this class, meant for younger kids, I do like them and feel they will sell easily enough in an eBay lot down the road.  These remind me of Mattel's Infinite Heroes line from the late 2000s, which lasted about three years or so, and I wonder how far Spin Master will take this line, going into its third year in 2022. The pegs have been While they have no wrist, ankle, or waist articulation, the hinge-swivel joints in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees in most the figures make them serviceable enough for posing.

Spin Master included "mystery accessories" with these figures, located in three small lockers withing the left side of the packaging. While a lot of them are somewhat clunky, with no paint apps, the play value of these figures is increased by their inclusion, allowing kids to collect and swap them among their other action figures. Both the standard and gold Superman came with armor, a Kryptonite rock, and laser eyes accessories...

Below, 4" gold Spin Master Superman with 2" gold Mighty Minis Superman...


Shazam! ...complete with Billy Batson figure accessory   ...!

Green Lantern:

Wonder Woman:

Flash and Reverse Flash:

Gorilla Grodd:

Aquaman and King Shark...

I was particularly taken with this Tech-Firefly...

Deathstroke actually came with a couple nice swards in a realistic color,
 pictured below with the 3.75" Funko ReAction Series Deathstroke...

Picked up several Batman figures from this line...

One of the first of these 4" Spin Master figures I picked up was this outstanding 
Batwing figure, pictured below with the Imaginext Batwing I posted about recently...

Was mad for these two Bat Tech Series Batman figures, one is translucent blue plastic:

This black and gun metal/gray Batman, decked out in another figure's accessories, is the more conventional. He reminded me of my Mattel EXP Series Ultimate Defender Batman, pictured with below for comparison...

Man-Bat came with a pair of claws, as did a couple other Batman figures...

I also managed to find four different variations on Robin, a couple hooded, and a couple molded in translucent plastic- one an almost completely red translucent mold. I liked some of the accessories, particularly the gun metal finished

Like the Robins I found, this Nightwing has the Bat Tech lines on his outfit and has a translucent black buck. Spin Master went all-in across its DC toy lines with the Bat Tech branding. For whatever reason, Spinmaster gave Nightwing his signature escrima sticks molded into giant gauntlets, mine in sparkle-translucent blue nonetheless ridiculous. 

Like Nightwing, Batwoman has the Bat Tech lines
 on her outfit, and has a translucent black buck:

Catwoman and Harley Quinn were in their standard issue looks, both great little figures...

And last but not least, the Clown Prince of Crime himself. This may be the third or fourth Joker of the series, this one with utility belt and dynamite strapped to his thigh. I like the metallic paint on this version, which came with a fish and chattering teeth, accessories appropriate to the character, even if molded in translucent/sparkly plastic. The left pantleg hiked up over the boot on this mold is a small detail I enjoy on this... glad I found this variant.

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