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Cthulhu Vinimate and Marty Moose Bank from DST

Diamond Select Toys has released a few new items, and we're highlighting a pair of them.

Cthulhu Vinimates Vinyl Figure
It’s 2018, and Cthulhu has a new look for a new year. Cthulhu is the latest to join the 4-inch tall Vinimates vinyl figure line. With a retail price of $9.99, you can pick one up from Amazon.com.

National Lampoon’s Vacation Marty Moose Vinyl Bank
The beloved mascot of WalleyWorld, who greeted the Griswolds upon their arrival at the magical theme park, is now the latest vinyl bank to come from Diamond Select Toys. Measuring approximately 8 inches tall, Marty will help you save up for your own family vacation, with a coin slot in his back and an access door in the base. You can purchase one now from Amazon.com for $22.99.

REVIEW: DST – The Dark Tower Action Figures

If you go by what critics have to say, you’d likely want to steer clear of the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Currently, Rotten Tomatoes has a score of 16% for the movie. That’s not too good. It's like in Adam Sandler movie range. But the audience score is almost 50%.

Being a big fan of the book series, I was looking forward to seeing a big screen version of the epic story. Unfortunately, they decided to not simply adapt King’s stories. They went in a new direction, telling a new story with the main characters from the books

I might be in the minority, but I actually enjoyed the movie for what it was. It was entertaining. The movie definitely wasn’t anywhere on the same level as the books. But it was more watchable than the critics would have you believe.

There were some collectible tie-ins, including several series of toys from Diamond Select Toys. In this review, we’re looking at the pair of action figures that DST released based on the two main characters – The Gunslinger and The Man in Black.

    The Gunslinger features the likeness of actor Idris Elba in his cowboy-themed outfit. The figure comes with a pair of pistols, which can be held in special pistol grip hands. Or you can go the non-violent holstered route. There's also the Horn of Eld - which I don't even remember seeing in the movie.

    The figure includes a background diorama, which appears to be from Jake Chambers’ room. There are several stickers (each depicting one of Jake’s drawings) that you can slap onto a bulletin board on the diorama’s wall.

      The Man in Black also includes a diorama background. His is from the abandoned house that Jake visits. It says “All Hail The Crimson King” on the wall.

      The Man in Black figure is based on the likeness of Matthew McConaughey from the film. His lone accessory is a crystal ball that you can sort of balance in either open palm hand. Luckily, since the ball is fairly small, DST includes an extra crystal ball wrapped up in a baggy. (You’ll likely either lose the first one, or – what happened to me – a cat played with it until it ended up under the kitchen stove.

      In terms of 7-inch tall action figures, the sculpts of both actors are very good. They are done by Gentle Giant Studios, who are known to produce high level sculpt. These are both recognizable versions of their on-screen counterparts. The paintwork could have been better, but it’s actually slightly above average for figures of this scale.

      The number of accessories for The Gunslinger are adequate. The Man in Black is a little light on accessories. Although, I’m not sure what additional accessories are needed with either figure.

      For years, I’ve been hoping for a line of action figures (or 1/6th scale) based on an artist rendition of the characters from The Dark Tower book series. I’m not sure if that will ever happen. Nonetheless, getting action figures based on a film version of these characters is a nice consolation.

      Luckily for collectors, Diamond Select Toys has the license. And they’ve done a solid job with both of these figures. And at $24.99 each, you definitely won’t break the bank collecting the entire season.

      The Facts



      The Dark Tower Action Figures
      Series: The Dark Tower
      Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
      Sculpted by: Gentle Giant Studios
      Material: Plastic
      Authorized Likeness: Idris Elba as The Gunslinger; Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black
      Dimensions: Approximately 7 inches tall
      Points of Articulation: About 14 points
      Designs: The Gunslinger; The Man in Black
      Accessories: The Gunslinger – pair of guns, Horn of Eld, background diorama, 5 total hands; The Man in Black – background diorama, crystal ball
      Pricing: $24.99 each

      You can pick one up at the following:

      Diamond Select Toys: $24.99 each
      Amazon.com: $24.96 each

      Dark Tower Action Figures from DST

      Diamond Select Toys has released several lines based on The Dark Tower film and the characters of the Gunslinger and the Man in Black.

      Dark Tower Movie Select Action Figures Assortment
      Based on the screen adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels, this pair of fully poseable 7-inch tall deluxe action figures depicts Idris Elba as the Gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black, each figure featuring the actor’s likeness. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios, you can pick them up for $24.99 each.

      Dark Tower Movie Gallery PVC Dioramas
      This pair of PVC dioramas depicts Idris Elba as the Gunslinger and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black. These measure approximately 10 inches tall and come packaged in full-color window boxes. Sculpted by Rocco Tartamella, you can pick them up for $45.00 each.

      Dark Tower Vinimates Vinyl Figures
      DST is tackling The Dark Tower film with a line of Vinimates vinyl figures. These 4-inch designer figures of the Gunslinger and the Man in Black striking poses straight from the movie. You can pick them up $9.99 each.

      You can currently pick these up over at Amazon.com.

      REVIEW: Netflix Daredevil from DST

      Marvel Select is Diamond Select Toys’ premium line of Marvel Comics’ action figures. They’re a little more articulated than your average action figure and sculpted by a number of different, well-known sculptors. For example, the Netflix Daredevil action figure we’re featuring in this review was sculpted by Gentle Giant.

      Based on Daredevil’s look in Season 2 of the Netflix series, this version of Matt Murdock is wearing his dark red and black superhero outfit. The figure includes a few accessories. There’s two different sets of hands – fists and open hands. The open hands are meant to hold his pair of billy clubs. In addition to the weapons, the figure includes a plastic background diorama.

        The first thing I would do is toss the diorama. It looks nice and all, but this is more of a play toy than a display toy. There’s a lot of articulation there for a plastic figure that’s not 1/6th scale.

        Other Daredevil figures I’ve seen have come packaged with a number of different billy clubs – separated, connected into one, connected via a wire. This one version has the separated (that can turn into a single) version. It also has a holster, where you can stow those billy clubs.

        While it’s based on the likeness of Charlie Cox as Daredevil, it’s tough sculpting and painting a partial face sculpt at this scale. And trying to duplicate facial hair is often the downfall of many a good figure. Unfortunately, Daredevil sort of looks like he just finished up eating a mud pie.

        With that said, my kids loved adding this to their action figure rotation. At $24.99, it’s really a toy for kids to play with (even if it’s from a TV-MA Netflix series).

        The Facts



        Marvel Select Netflix Daredevil Action Figure
        Series: Marvel Select
        Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
        Sculpted by: Gentle Giant
        Material: Plastic
        Authorized Likeness: Charlie Cox as Daredevil
        Dimensions: 7 inches tall
        Points of Articulation: 16 points of articulation
        Accessories: Pair of billy clubs; 2 sets of hands (open and fists); Background diorama
        Pricing: $24.99

        You can pick one up at the following:

        DiamondSelectToys: $24.99
        Amazon.com: $19.01

        REVIEW: Elf Movie Vinimates

        Some folks feel that Elf is necessary viewing around the Christmas holidays. I am not one of those people. It’s a Wonderful Life? Of course. Die Hard? Yes sir. Elf? No thank you. In my opinion, the only thing that could make the movie worse is if Adam Sandler played the man-child elf Buddy. (I know you all will disagree with my assessment)

        But the thing is…people love Elf. It’s probably the same reason I find myself a fan of Beastmaster or any number of cheesy Godzilla or Gamera flicks. To each, his own – they say.

        So, when Diamond Select Toys decided to release the two main characters from Elf – Buddy and Jovie – as Vinimates figures, I thought…let’s get into the holiday spirit and review these two (film biases aside).

        The 4-inch tall Buddy and Jovie feature one point of articulation, similar to other Vinimates figures, at the neck. This line is produced to look like DST’s popular Minimates line, albeit a vinyl version that’s inarticulate and intended for collectors’ displays.

        It’s somewhat surprising what companies like DST can do with a minimalistic approach to vinyl figures. The face isn’t sculpted like the character, but the paintwork makes the Buddy figure look just like Will Ferrell. The Jovie, might be a little more difficult to determine, since Zooey Deschanel has a less-unique look.

        If you hadn’t noticed, Diamond Select Toys aims for no noses with their Vinimates (and Minimates). It’s sort of their thing. I like that they shoot for something unique, which separates them from other block styled figures out on the market.

        Priced at $9.99 each, the Vinimates are one of those few toy lines that are priced in line with my expectations. As you can see in my grades below, I would have assumed a price around $12 or so per figure.

        If you’re part of the 78% of folks who like Elf on Rotten Tomatoes, then you’ll also likely enjoy Diamond Select Toys’ Vinimates versions of Buddy the Elf and Jovie.

        The Facts



        Elf Movie Vinimates
        Series: Vinimates
        Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
        Material: PVC Plastic
        Authorized Likeness: Buddy – Will Ferrell; Jovie – Zooey Deschanel
        Dimensions: 4 inches tall
        Points of Articulation: 1 (Neck)
        Designs: Buddy and Jovie
        Pricing: $9.99 each

        Pick them up at the following:

        Diamond Select Toys: $9.99 each
        Amazon.com: $10.88 each

        Marvel Animated Minimates Series 7

        Marvel Minimates Series 7

        The sixth series of of Diamond Select Toys' Marvel Animated Minimates has arrived in Walgreens stores. Spider-Man and the Inhumans headline the latest assortment of the exclusive mini-figure line only available at Walgreens.

        And Diamond Select Toys is ready to unveil the next batch. Series 7 will hit Walgreens stores on or around December 1st 2017, and will include four different two-packs. The assortment includes: Spider-Man faces off with the Scorpion; Kid Arachnid, a.k.a. Miles Morales tangles with with the Vulture; Captain Marvel teams up with the Red Hulk; Captain America puts on his own Hulkbuster armor to stand up to his old foe Baron Zemo.

        Marvel Animated Minimates Series 6

        Ragnarok Arrives Early With New Marvel Minimates

        With Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok still a month away, Diamond Select Toys has announced the released of their line of Marvel Minimates based on the film. There are three exclusive mini-figure sets available at comic shops, Toys”R”Us, and Walgreens stores. At comic shops, a four-pack of figures includes Gladiator Thor (with alternate hairpiece), Hela (with alternate hairpiece and head), and exclusive figures of Bruce Banner (with alternate head) and Loki.

        At Walgreens, you'll be able to pick up four two-packs featuring Gladiator Thor (with alternate hairpiece and swords) with Hela (with alternate hairpiece and head), Gladiator Hulk (with weapons and alternate hairpiece) with Valkyrie, and exclusive two-packs of Grandmaster with Skurge (both Marvel Minimates firsts!) and Roadworn Thor (with Mjolnir) with Civilian Loki.

        Finally, coming soon at Toys”R”Us, you can grab two-packs featuring Gladiator Thor (with alternate hairpiece and swords) with Hela (with alternate hairpiece and head), Gladiator Hulk (with weapons and alternate hairpiece) with Valkyrie, and an exclusive two-pack of Loki (Sakaar outfit) and Heimdall (with sword).

        Winter 2017 Releases from Diamond Select Toys

        Diamond Select Toys has announced a group of figures that are expected to ship in late 2017 and early 2018.

        Cthulhu Vinimates Vinyl Figure
        “Old god” and literary superstar Cthulhu is the latest 4-inch figure to join the Vinimates vinyl figure line. With an articulated neck, he can cast his gaze at the faithful and unfaithful alike, summoning all to join his shambling host.
        $9.99

        DC Vinimates DC Comics Vinyl Figures Series 2
        Three new 4” vinyl figures – Superman, Joker, and Wonder Woman – are sculpted in the block-figure style, each striking an iconic pose straight from the comics.
        $9.99 each

        DC Vinimates Flash TV Vinyl Figures
        This assortment of Flash characters is based on the hit CW TV show and includes 4-inch versions of Flash, Reverse Flash, and Captain Cold.
        $9.99 each

         

        Kingdom Hearts Vinimates Vinyl Figures
        These four block-based figures take the main characters of the franchise -- Sora, Donald, Mickey, and Goofy -- and transport them into the world of Vinimates, where each 4-inch vinyl figure has an articulated head for additional posing options.
        $9.99 each

         

         

         

        Marvel Minimates Series 74 Greatest Stories 2-Pack Assortment
        The record-setting 74th series of Marvel Minimates is one for the ages, spanning four different storylines from Marvel’s history. This assortment of four two-packs captures four of the greatest Avengers in four of their most epic battles, with four new outfits and four never-before-made opponents. From the “Surtur Saga,” Ages of Thunder Thor takes on the first-ever Surtur Minimate. From “Planet Hulk,” King Hulk takes on the first-ever Red King. From “Old Man Logan,” Logan takes on the never-made Ashley Barton Spider-Girl. And from “Secret Empire,” Agent of Hydra Captain America takes on the all-new Ironheart.
        $9.99 each 2-pack

         

         

        REVIEW: The X-Files Vinimates

        There aren’t many shows whose path is similar to that of The X-Files. The popular show ran for 9 seasons, from 1993 to 2002, and spawned a 1998 feature length film of the same name. Another movie followed 10 years after the first. Then, in 2016, the show returned for a 10th season. And they’re currently filming an 11th season to debut during the 2017/18 television season. (I guess, to a lesser extent, Twin Peaks could fall into this same scenario)

        Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, we saw The X-Files based toys from McFarlane and Sideshow. But we’ve recently seen the X-Files toy license pick up steam (again) with companies like threeA and Diamond Select Toys grabbing the baton. For this review here, we’re going to be taking a look at the DST produced The X-Files Vinimates figures.

        Diamond Select Toys has released two versions of the Mulder and Scully Vinimates figures. The version we’re looking at here is the Classic look. There’s also one based on the 2016 mini-series.

        As with other figures in the Vinimates line, both Mulder and Scully feature one point of articulation (at the neck). They stand in at 4 inches in height and are made of PVC plastic. This line is made to resemble DST’s iconic Minimates figure, albeit much larger and more statuesque.

        Mulder, with his hands on his hips, and Scully, with her arms crossed, are fairly recognizable – even with the Vinimates’ fairly simplistic features. Similar to Funko’s Pop! line, they’re able to achieve with only a few details (remember, most Vinimates are lacking noses).

        Pricing on The X-Files Vinimates is $9.99 each. I feel that’s the perfect price point for this line (given their size and quality). And while I was never a big fan of The X-Files* (I could probably count the number episodes I watched on one hand), I like that Diamond Select Toys is bringing more film licenses to the Vinimates format.

        *I blame my reluctance for watching anything “alien-related” in the 90’s due to being thoroughly freaked out by the film Fire In The Sky.

        The Facts



        The X-Files Vinimates
        Series: Vinimates
        Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
        Material: PVC plastic
        Dimensions: 4 inches tall
        Points of Articulation: 1 (neck)
        Designs: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully
        Accessories: None
        Pricing: $9.99 each

        You can pick these up at the following:

        Diamond Select Toys: $9.99 each
        Amazon.com: $9.99 each

        REVIEW: Ghostbusters Vinimates

        Collectors likely know of Diamond Select Toys’ Minimates line. The company’s been producing their mini block figure series since 2003. That’s about the time when DST teamed up with the folks from Art Asylum. And the Minimates line has just grown with age, constantly adding new pop culture licenses.

        Recently, Diamond Select toys announced a new line – based on those iconic Minimates. The Vinimates – as they are called - are slightly larger, a little less articulated, and sculpted in dynamic poses. And, as the name might have given away, made of PVC vinyl.

        Thanks to the folks at DST, we’ll be looking at the original Ghostbusters Vinimates Series in this review. The series includes all four members of the Ghostbusters – Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore.

        Each 4-inch tall Vinimate features one point of articulation – a ball joint at the neck. It’s a far cry from the ultra-articulated Minimates, but these are geared more towards collectors (aka – the displayers). And for that, they’re perfect.

        Each Ghostbuster is sculpted in a unique pose. But there are some similarities. For example, they’re all mounted up with a proton pack - holding a particle thrower with a particle accelerator strapped to their back. But the way they’re holding the particle thrower differs. Also, the way each character is standing is different. And Egon has a P.K.E. Meter strapped to his side, while Ray is carrying the ghost trap.

        As far as the paintwork goes, DST does a more than admirable job. The most difficult thing to paint (and make look good) is when you run into a situation such as the hands and particle thrower on these figures. They’re sculpted as a single piece that has to be painted to look like individual pieces. I’ve seen many toys ruined with bad paint. Luckily, for a $9.99 toy, Diamond Select Toys did a stellar job.

        My lone complaint here might be that it’s difficult to differentiate between Peter and Ray. The Minimates/Vinimates style is to use a somewhat simple illustrated face (from a land where people have no noses). But the lone difference is that Venkman has fuller lips. My problem is I think they might have went a little too full on Bill Murray’s hair. That’s a fairly lush mane…and good ol’ Mr. Murray had a noticeably receding hairline at the time. I feel that little adjustment would have made a world of difference.

        In addition to the four figures we’ve looked at here, Diamond Select Toys is taking pre-orders for Gozer, Mr. Stay-Puft, and Slimer. And there are various slimed exclusives and a SDCC17 Exclusive Battle-Damaged Mr. Stay Puft (that I just picked up) available via the links below.

        The Facts



        Ghostbusters Vinimates
        Series: Vinimates
        Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys
        Material: PVC plastic
        Dimensions: 4 inches tall
        Points of Articulation: 1 (Neck)
        Designs: Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore
        Accessories: None
        Pricing: $9.99 each

        You can pick one up at the following:

        DiamondSelectToys.com: $9.99 each
        Amazon.com: From $4.98 and up