Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mad Matty Monday Reveal

Last week I wrote about Mad Matty Monday. I jumped on the sale this time around and made an unboxing video to show you what you could get in the box this time around. The internet is reporting about 5 different variations of the box, all of them with 4 figures, so not too bad for $40. The value of my box is roughly $100.

In the box I got Gygor, Mo-larr vs Skeletor, Keldor, and Adora. For me this was a good box as I only had Adora out of this set.

If you participated in Mad Matty Monday this year I would love to hear what you got.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Toy Stories

I love toys. I always have. Toys were a very important part of my childhood. They were a way to express myself, tell stories, and even relate to others. I will go so far as to say that some of the toys I had as a kid, helped me become who I am. Not literally, but more in a round about way.

What I love about toys are the stories they tell. Not Necessarily the stories that children tell with them, but the stories that they tell. The little bit of paint that is rubbed off of a nose, or a chew mark on the right arm. Heck, a missing arm. These little plastic people can tell as many stories as their owners. This is one of the reasons I like going to flea market and yard sells so much. I like to find these stories. I like to bring these stories home with me.

To me a well played with vintage action figure is worth so much more than a vintage action figure that is still in the box. Toys can be securities for children. Some children escape into their toys to get away from less than desirable circumstances at home, some may just want to get away from a brother or sister, and others want to tell stories. Toys make all of these things possible. And in 20 years that kid will look onto that toy fondly.

I have had a lot of toys in my day (as a child and as an adult) I have gotten rid of some and I still have some. The ones that Stay the closest to me are the ones that mean something to me. I have acquired several He-man and Skeletor figures over the years, but MINE sit astride their Battle Cat and Panthor and battle it out on my desk. These figures got me through childhood and they are some of my most prized possessions, not because of a monetary value, but because they are MINE But these toys can tell a story on their own. He-man is dirty, and his legs are loose, but I don’t want to clean or fix him, because that dirt represents hours of battles we had together. I don’t want to change him because he is mine and is important to me the way he is.

Toys are important to children and I think that it is important for children to have these physical, tangible things that they can hold in their hands, as a security and as a developmental tool. Video games can be fun, and they can even learn from them. But they are not tangible, the adventures they have are scripted by a game designer. Giving children toys to play with may be more important than you can imagine.

Friday, October 14, 2011

UNIT-E from Hasbro And What it could be!

At NYCC this weekend there have been sightings of a poster bolstering UNIT-E from Hasbro. On the poster is a plethora of properties owned by the toy company. These Lines include, M.A.S.K, Jem, Action Man, Micronauts, Stretch Armstrong, Candy Land, and Battleship. There is also a new property that I am not familiar with "Primordia."

There has been speculation from months that Hasbro was doing something exciting with some of these older brands. But no one knew what it was. In august some even discovered that Hasbro got the rights to the name UNIT - E. So it has been speculated for some time, but now there is a little more information about it, and I suspect we will continue to get information through out the weekend.

this could turn out to be some very big news for toy fans.

Check out the poster and news at these sites:

And here is a forum post following the history of this project:

Now for My take and some friendly speculation.
There is some thought that hasbro is unleashing a shared universe between these properties. Some are speculating Transformers and GI Joe included in this as well.

this would be cool, and MASK, Action man, battleship, Micronauts, and maybe Stretch Armstrong could really work well in that universe. Then you have Candy land, and Jem. Which doesn't quite fit the bill.

What I find interesting is what is left off the list. Inhumanoids and Visionaries are two very good lines that did not make the list. That said we still don't know what Primordia is, and based on the image, I wouldn't doubt if it is somehow related to Inhumanoids, it wouldn't surprise me.

Some are speculating that it is a toy story/night at the museum like movie where toys come to life at night. Could be, so if they are toys for toys sake. . . Perhaps.

Unit-E could be any number of things, and it is going to be interesting to see what they do. I am excited about where it can and will go!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

80's Nostalgia: The Wheeled Warriors

This week I am am going to take a look at a little known toyline form the 80s and some of it's commercials. The Wheeled Warriors was a toy line of vehicles and small (about 2 inches) figures. The vehicles could share removable parts including wheels and weapons.

(The song on this cracks me up, really playing into the good guy bad guy thing. "You can make the Good guys better" and "You can make the bad guys badder")

As a Kid I never had any of these toys, but of course as an adult I have aquired some. This is another review I hope to do soon.

There was also a Cartoon series that these toys were based on. It was produced by DIC, and Animated by Sunbow. I remember watching this quite a bit a a kid. It was a fun show. Unfortunately it is one that suffers from "Not being as good as I remember it" I recently watched it and it was just kind of blah. Of course I find that a lot of shows suffer from this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Repackaging is stealing!

This bothers me. Today I took a trip to Wal-Mart on my lunch break and pursued the toy Aisles. I do this from time to time to see what is new. The last time I was there I had noticed that they had goten quite a few characters from wave 14 of DC Universe Classics. which I thought was strange since those figures had been gone for a while. They had actually only recently disappeared from those same toy shelves. As I pursued the packages I noticed something was odd in a few of the figures. The Build a Figure piece was missing.

In some modern toy lines They have created Build a Figures. where you get a peice (an arm or a leg etc) of a figure so that if you collect them all you can guild a new complete figure. As I looked over the figures I realized this piece was missing in ALL of the new arrival wave 14 figures. They had all been "Repackaged"

Repackaging is what someone does when they buy a figure, takes the parts out that they want (sometimes replace it with something else) Reseal the package so it looks as if it has not been opened and then take it back. This, of course is stealing.

Its annoying on a couple of levels. 1) Like I said above it is stealing. 2) the store doesn't know it has happened and puts it back on the shelf for regular retail price, and 3) someone could buy it!

Its really quite despicable that people would do this. I understand that the figures are expensive. I understand that you might not want all of those figures, to get the one that you do want, but there are other ways to get them. Ebay usually has a huge stock of these pieces that you can buy for decent prices, and other places online as well.

Here are some pictures I took of the repackaged figures and their packaging.

Where the piece is missing

The Figure in package

The white line in the letters is where the culprit cut the tape and then repackaged.

The Figure in package

Where the piece should be.

The White line is the where the Culprit cut the original tape and then re-taped the package.

Please don't do this!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mad Matty Monday Sale

Today is the second Mad Matty Monday sale from In this sale Mattel bundles up to 3 mystery items in a box and sends them to you. you pay $40. The Items are guaranteed to have a $40 value, but more likely it will be much higher. There are three brand options. Masters of the Universe Classics, Ghost Busters, or DC Universe. Just select your brand and then get your items.

The reports from the last sale were pretty good, In the Masters sets most people got an oversized figure like Tytus which has a $40 price tag to begin with, a regular figure and some sort of accessory product. That comes out to about 75$ worth of product.

So, if your interested in one of these brands and you either want to get a good deal, or perhaps you are just looking for a good way to start collecting these figures you may take a look at this Mad Matty Monday sale!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Evocative Cover Art of Jack Kirby's Kamandi

In the Early 70s DC tried to get the license from for Planet of the Apes, but was unsuccessful. Of course that didn't Dampen their spirits, they just turned to Jack Kirby and ask him to create something similar. Kirby hadn't seen the movies but was familiar with the concept. He had written other stories similar to Planet of the Apes predating even the novelization of the story.

So Kirby created Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth. A series with vivid imagery of a post apocalyptic earth ruled by sentient animals. I find that the covers of this series is some of the most evocative imagery I have ever seen in comics. The covers tell a story. Here are some of my favorites.

(Images come from The Cover Browser you can find more comic book covers there as well)
Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 4

Issue 8

Issue 12 unfinished and finished Cover
(found at

Issue 15
Issue 19
Issue 27

Issue 29
Issue 31

Issue 36
Take some time and explore other great Kamandi Covers at the Cover Browser

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Is Moffat Still the Golden Boy?

I am writing today to pose a question to myself. “Is Moffat still the Golden child I had hoped he would be?” Now that the honey moon period with Moffat is over What do I think about his tenure as producer so far?

Moffat has an incredible resume (in Doctor who alone). He does fantastic work. that resume got me thinking back RTD’s day that Moffat would be a perfect person to replace RTD. For the most part I was not alone in this thought process. Many fans championed the cause of Moffat as show runner. All of the stories he had written were so original, and well done. Most of them won awards and those were the stories that were putting Doctor who on the map like it had never been before. I was firmly on “Team Moffat” I championed the cause. Moffat took over.

Now its been two years and while I still agree that Moffat was the obvious choice and still was the best option (especially for taking doctor who to new audiences) I have to say he has taken the show in a direction that was unexpected.

In season 5 he introduced a whole new way of looking at the show. He made it clear that the past still happened and he wasn’t trying to supersede any of that. However, the look changed immediately. Even the promotional material changed to a kind of floating, spacey feeling. replacing dark shadows with purples and stars. Immediately, I really liked this! It felt classic, some how.

It took me a few episodes for it to really jive with me. Moffat put his new direction in from the very start, but it wasn't until we hit “Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone” that it really jived with me. Those stories introduced space in a way that the new series hadn’t done. It DID feel like classic who. Lots of little references for the old school fans but not so much to really turn off new viewers. At the same time though, Moffat was putting his mark on his tenure, and that mark was River Song. He started throwing in long term story goals. Some of which we still don’t know the answers to! This is Moffat’s style. Toying with the audience.

Season five went on with some very good episodes, some of them may be some of the better in doctor who history. Others of the season could be some of the worst! It was a mixed bag but still good and for the most part on par with the RTD era.

Moffat, at least for me seemed that he was doing a good job, but I decided to reserve judgement for the next season.

Season 6 has now come and gone, and I have a better idea of what Moffat is doing. If I were basing my opinion of where he is going on season 6 alone I would be a little worried. He has continued threads from season 5, some of which he still hasn’t finished, and I have to say I am becoming bored with the River Song story. There is a silver lining however, He is bringing back some very good episodic stories that are good for what they are. A fantastic plus. I thrive on these episodic stories. the arc was still there (and often very present) but the episodes have been good.

If all indications of where season 7 is going is accurate, I am excited for season 7 and of course season 8 will be a 50th anniversary extravaganza. So at the moment I am excited as to where Moffat is taking us, but I have to say it is not the way I would have expected him to do it. And I’m not sure it is the way I would have asked for it to be done.

I’m not sure if Moffat is the the golden boy we thought he was going to be. If you look at his person he is much more of an ego than RTD was, this is not necessarily a bad thing. He does have a precise image of where he sees Doctor who going, so in that respect I think we are in good hands. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for our show and it’s show runner.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Four Horsemen's Independently Made Action Figures

I’ve been familiar with the four horsemen since they worked on the 2002 Masters of the Universe line. Since then they have worked on several lines including Masters of the Universe Classics and DC Universe Classics for Mattel, But did you know that the Four Horsemen also have their own lines of figures.

I first heard about these four horsemen creations a few years back, but only recently have really paid attention to them. As with ALL of their work they have created some really, cool figures and sculpts, and are really innovative with their design process.

A few of the really cool lines that they are producing on their own is the Outer Space men (which takes advantage of Onell design's Glyos system), and the Gothitropolis line of figures. All of the figures they produce offers multiple interchangeable parts from arms and hands and some times even faces. . . Yep you read it right some of the Scarabus figures from the Gothitropolis line have multiple faces! The Horsemen go all out to make great figures.

Here are a few images from the Fore Horsemen's web store, flick on the image to go to that product on their store.

Take a look at the other toys you can get from their store at Take a look at the Awesome statuesque figures that these guys are creating on the independent market.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

80's Superhero Toy Lines, and Some Commercials

I am a fan of 80s toy lines. I love He-man, and am intrigued by Transformers and GI joe, but there are two other lines that epitomize the 80s for me. Secret Wars, and Super powers were Competing lines of Marvel and DC super heroes respectively. Both were about in the same scale (about 4 inches) but they were both different.

The Super Powers line, by Kenner, was made up of DC Super heroes, and made a huge deal out of action features. You press the figures legs together you activate punching arms or a grab or some other feature. This was the main piece of the line, and I have to say it was fun as a kid. I got a lot of play out of the Super Powers figures I had. which as I recall were only SuperMan, Batman, and Robin. But those three saw a lot of play.

DC Super Powers line toy commercials.

Alternately there was Marvel’s line, the Secret Wars was produced by Mattel. They were simpler figures. . . Much simpler figures. They had two fewer points of articulation, and no action features (which is strange because of the emphasis Mattel had put on action features in other lines). The figures were made out of an almost PVC materiel and had an almost rubbery bend in them. Each of the figures came with an accessory, a Shield, a Secret shield to be exact. The shields would open and a small lenticular insert could be inserted within the shield to show moving scenes. As a kid I only had spider man from this line, but that spiderman got a lot of play. I still rank this as one of the best toy lines in the 80s regardless of it’s simplicity!

Marvel Secret Wars Toy Commercial showcasing some vehicles. There, weren’t as many Secret wars Comericals produced.

Since the 80’s I have acquired more of each of these lines, and hope to do some line reviews of these in the near future. For now though, Watch these spectacular Toy commercials for the lines! They scream adventure to me :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

That New Toy Smell No more!

This weekend one of my favorite web series ended. That New Toy smell is/was a toy news and review show that was produced by the Pop Culture Network. The guys that roe on this show and the other shows/videos from the site really know their stuff. They were some of the first people online doing what they are doing.

That New Toy Smell is just one show that they produce and their material is fantastic. A community of collectors has really popped up around these videos. I have to admit that These guys are the guys that got me back into collecting, and going to toy shows etc. . .

The guys over at the network cover all kind of toy events from cons like SDCC and even industy shows like New York toy Fair. They have the best pictures and information for what is coming out.

I also find myself frequenting he forums there, there is a GREAT community of users and collectors who are always helpful if you have a question. If you are a collector sign up for the forums there are a lot of people who are interested in what you have to say.

So to the guys at Pop Culture network I would like to thank you for all of the time and efort you guys put into the show you do, and thank you for almost 4 years of that new toy smell, Even though I got to it late, I still feel that it is an important part of the collectors community and it will be missed.

To all of you who may be interested take a look at the Pop Culture Network and see what they have to offer they have some Great content! you can also check out their youtube channels Here and Here

If you are interested here is the final episode of That New Toy Smell!