Thursday, September 29, 2022

Monogram Carnage PVC Coin Bank

Just in time to join the Halloween decorations, this 9" tall Carnage PVC coin bank is one of the more fantastic of its kind. While I've admired a few from afar more than once, seeing this just before Halloween sent me over the edge. Check out the video below:

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Saturday, September 17, 2022

MOTU Origins Wave 8


I've been sitting on these Wave 8 MOTU Origins figures awhile, though I have yet to see any of them on the pegs here regionally. It's a pretty good wave, the characters past my time with the original '80s toy line. Some of the MOTU Origins characters that were released after 1984 in the original line I have passed on, but these all tie into the characters I have. Check out the video:

Sun-Man Rises was the minicomic included in this wave, a character created by Yla Eason in 1985, after her sone told her he could never be a hero because of his skin color- he was playing with a He-Man action figure. She founded Olmec Toys and set out to get a black action figure out through her multicultural Rulers of the Sun line. Sun-Man is pictured below, calling on the Eternian Goddess at Castle Grayskull, her Eternian Palace Guards on watch... 

Below, Clawful with an assortment of the Evil Warriors in my collection: Rise of Evil 2-pk Skeletor, Beastman, Trapjaw, Faker, Mer-Man, Webstor, and Tri-Klops...

I have to imagine we will see other MOTU Origins in the black/red Anti-Eternia deco, hopefully a Battlecat! In the meantime, Anti-Eternia He-Man can battle my MOTU Origins He-Man atop Panthor!

Last but not least, the new Horde Troopers have finally arrived to flank my MOTU Origins Hordak as the Evil Horde! I'm glad I snagged this Funko Primal Age Batcave while the price was reduced to use with my MOTU Origins figures- make a perfect villain's lair!

I'm still really enjoying this MOTU Origins line, one of the three or four major focuses in my collecting the last couple years. I am looking forward to some of the upcoming Snake Men figures, and there are a few that have already been released that I am looking out for. The value of some of these aftermarket is trending upward, so if there's one you want, it would probably be best to jump on it. 

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

McFarlane Toys Red Robin, Jonathan Kent Superman, Classic Martian Manhunter

 I had snagged the Gold Label/Classic Martian Manhunter at a local Target, picking up Red Robin and Jonathan Kent Superman later on Amazon. I am stopped in my tracks often looking at McFarlane's action figures, and some of the DC Multiverse figures are too hard to resist. I'm not invested in Red Robin, other than his fantastic outfit and team affiliation with Batman.

Below, Red Robin/Tim Drake, Robin/Damian Wayne, and Nightwing/Dick Grayson- 3 proteges of the Dsrk Knight. A Tim Drake Robin is on the way, which I will gladly buy! Though Tim Drake was rarely the Robin in Batman material I was reading, I'm a fan of the Robin character in general, and McFarlane toys has produced many variants.

For years I've had this beautiful DC Direct Red Robin boxed- he appeared to be shorter in stature, more youthful in build than the Mc Farlane version. I still have a great love for the older DC Direct figures and have held onto dozens of them.

I was unaware that young Jonathan Kent assumed the mantle of his father, but I liked this version of Superman based on it's merits as an interesting looking, colorful action figure - I kinda wish he had a cape, but do admire the design. Love the bright colors!

To date, I still don't have what might be considered a conventional Superman by McFarlane Toys, but some of the variant and "Elseworlds" versions are so cool, like the Red Son Superman and Superboy Prime figures.

As a big fan of Martian Manhunter, this classic, Gold Label version from McFarlane Toys was a must-buy for me. I was barely aware of this character as a child, but J'onn J'onzz of Mars became an intense interest when I returned to comics as an adult. Like Superman, J'onn is the last of his race, a powerful protector of the Earthlings, often reflecting the best of their humanity.

I really liked the more modern, regular release of this figure as well, which I reviewed here in April...I bought it knowing full well a more classic version would come later. My only complaint is the lack of a flight stand. Martian Manhunter is a flyer, and a powerful one. In fact, I would say we need a flight stand with a lot of other characters due to their renown acrobatics, but I digress... 

Below, McFarlane Gold Label Classic Martian Manhunter with some other classic representations in my collection: DC Direct History of the DC Universe Martian Manhunter, 9" Hasbro Martian Manhunter, 13" DC Direct Deluxe Martian Manhunter, DC Direct New Frontiers Martian Manhunter, DC Direct JLA Classified Martian Mnhunter, and my Mattel DC Universe Classics Martian Manhunter...

Though I don't buy a lot of McFarlane DC Multiverse figures, I'm pleased with these figures, and have enjoyed the others I've picked up in the last couple years. I bought several more this past weekend in fact, and will post them here in future posts. While I remain a big fan of Hasbro Marvel Legends, these McFarlane figures feel like a better value at their often much lower price- I picked these up at just under twenty bucks each. Some of the more deluxe figures that have build-a-figures parts can run higher, but they are by and large cheaper than Hasbro. A testament to McFarlane is their ability to sell figures of characters a lot of the general public knows nothing of, my interest in this Jonathan Kent Superman being a prime example of that. I look forward to finding more of these.

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Monday, September 5, 2022

Amazing Fantasy #1000: Spider-Man's 60th Anniversary

Amazing Spider-Man and Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man were among some of the first comics I read as kid in the '70s- a halcyon era for the character in my universe, with Nicholas Hammond starring in the live-action TV show, and Mego producing 8" and 12" action figures that I loved so much. Though he debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962, artist/writer Steve Ditko's creation had such enduring popularity that Spidey was a childhood favorite of all of us Bronze-Age kids many years later, and remains as strong a property today. Kids and adults of all ages love Spider-Man! While I'm dubious to the "#1000" claim, this 60th celebration of Marvel's top-grossing hero was an issue I couldn't pass up. There is a lot of splashy and diverse art styles throughout the issue and it's many variant covers, mine the John Romita Jr. version. Aesthetically, things got off to a good start with Michael Cho's art in "Just Some Guy", appealing to my love for the kind of retro-styled cartooning Darwyn Cooke or Tim Sale produced.

In "Slaves of the Witch-Queen", a continuation of a story thread from Amazing Fantasy #15 brings a witch from Egypt's past through a portal by a convict lost in time, trying to return to the present...

Spider-Man is late for his 60th birthday dinner with a resigned Mary Jane, who later finds him visited by the denizens of New York, lined up to pay respects for their critically injured hero in Dan Slott's "Sinister 60". I loved artist Jim Cheung's work on this story, very inspired by John Romita Jr. ...

 Spider-Man fan Neil Gaiman's story in this issue retells his visit to the office of Steve Ditko, where the character lives as a real person in the mind of the author, seemingly underwhelmed with his fan's admiration...

616 Spider-Man traverses the Spider-Verse in author Jonathan Hickman's "You Get It", seeking validation of his trials as a Spider-Man, only to be rebuffed by his fellow Spider-Men who have accepted the burden themselves as a part of being who they are...

There are two or three other stories in this celebratory issue as well that CBR contributor Matthew McCreadie said in a recent MSN article, lacked supporting cast. Sure, Harry Osborne, Flash Thompson, and Gwen Stacy weren't really present, nor Iron Man or any of the other Avengers- some notable misses, but there were a few other characters and Easter eggs from Spider-Man's history. There is so much from the character's past that no single issue could reference more than a small percentage of it, and his contemporary stories involving the Spider-Verse and it's characters are changing Spider-Man's mythos more rapidly than ever. Regardless of what may come, I feel confident the wall crawler will be around for a long time to come, each generation telling new stories about their own Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! Excelsior!

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