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REVIEW: Andre the Giant’s Posse Has a Posse

Recent trends have seen the “designer toy scene” shift from what was primarily dominated by small run (100 to 500 pieces) production vinyl to limited edition (1 to 100 pieces) resin. The advantage? Pretty much anyone can produce figures using resin. Sculpt something. Create a mold. Pour resin into the mold. Rinse and repeat. Plus, it’s much cheaper - there’s no tooling, going back and forth with the factory, and no shipping from China.

With that said, it’s the main reason we’ve seen a shift - by individual artists - from vinyl to resin. The licensed stuff still gets play in vinyl, because they can be created in such large amounts that its economically feasible. But those artists, unless they have worldwide appeal, don't see the vinyl production like they used to. There's still resin. And one of those artists currently slinging in the resin game is Junk Fed.

Artist Todd Rogers (aka Junk Fed) tends to sway more towards 1980’s (with some 70’s and 90’s) nostalgia with his creations. From the Thundercats to Star Trek, all sorts of retro pop culture find themselves mashed up and/or bootlegged. Right now, we're going to take a look at Junk Fed's Andre the Giant's Posse Has a Posse.

Let's see if we can follow this. Back in the late 1980's, artist Shepard Fairey created a sticker called Andre the Giant Has a Posse. That sticker evolved into OBEY Giant. OBEY Giant was also influenced by John Carpenter's cult film They Live (which, coincidently starred a different professional wrestler - Roddy Piper).

All of this loops back around to Junk Fed's Andre the Giant's Posse Has a Posse. The 5-inch tall hand-sculpted, hand-cast, and hand-painted resin figure is a comic take on Fairey's original sticker design. But the figure specifically features Andre as an alien from They Live. Now, if you're reading this thinking "What is this movie?" I'm sorry. Because you have missed a piece of cinema that rivals the historical and societal impact of ten Citizen Kanes. With memorable quotes and a nearly six-minute-long fight scene that rivals Swan Lake in its pageantry, you should buy/rent They Live right now.

The Andre resin is posed similar to his 1980's LJN Wrestling Superstars figure - flexing with his hands near his head. The piece is painted in the blue, white, and red details of the They Live aliens (sorry for the spoilers, but I just told you to watch the movie). And given the continued popularity and cult status of the film, it's sort of strange that the only "toys" based on the film are customs and bootlegs inspired by the movie.

The piece has no points of articulation. CONSUME Battle him against your old-school WWF collectibles at your own risk. CONFORM Andre the Giant's Posse Has a Posse is currently available to purchase from Junk Fed for $50.00 (although it's currently out of stock) BUY.

The Facts



Andre the Giant’s Posse Has a Posse
Manufacturer: Junk Fed
Artist: Todd Rogers
Material: Resin
Dimensions: 5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Pricing: $50.00

You can pick one up at the following:

Junk Fed Store: $50.00 each

REVIEW: NBA OYO Minifigures

The 2017-18 NBA regular season opens in a little over a month. And if you’re not able to contain your excitement, you can always bide your time by putting together your own OYO fantasy squad. OYO Sports has 1.6-inch tall minifigures from all 30 National Basketball Association teams.

Thanks to the folks from OYO, we’re going to taking a look at three OYO NBA figuresAnthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Victor Oladipo (Oklahoma City Thunder), and Steven Adams (Thunder). Of course, Oladipo has since been traded to the Pacers.

Each player includes a base with the team’s logo on it. There’s also a pair of red headphones, a grey water bottle, and the ever-important basketball. That basketball has a hole in it so that the OYO figure can realistically hold the rock.

As can be seen from the variety of players in this review, OYO has figures with both painted on hair as well as a separate sculpted piece. I prefer the sculpted piece, just because there’s a weird unpainted nub that sticks up from the center of the OYO’s cranium. And while they were able to get a realistic representation of Steven Adams’ ponytail, I sort of wish we could have seen a sculpted version of his iconic mane.

I was surprised that they were able to achieve such a recognizable look with Davis and Adams. Davis has his signature unibrow and a goatee, while Adams is rocking the ‘stache and stubble he’s been known for. But minifigures aren’t often thought to have realistic likenesses of individuals. Some of the more recognizable players definitely have similarly recognizable OYO heads.

We’ve featured several OYO lines in reviews on the site, including the NFL, NBA, and MLB series. And while I still think the football figures are my favorite, OYO’s NBA collectibles are right up there. You can put them in action poses (even though I didn’t do that in my photos) and the basketball is a perfect accessory for these guys.

As far as pricing, you’re looking at $9.99 each. (Oladipo for the Thunder is limited and available for $4.99, because he’s been dealt) OYO also has: NBA ATVs for $19.99; Team Locker Rooms for $19.99; Team Display Plates - $9.99; Team Shootout Sets - $29.99.

The Facts

OYO Sports - NBA
Series: NBA
Manufacturer: OYO Sports
Material: Plastic minifigures
Dimensions: Approximately 1.6 inches tall
Points of Articulation: 11 (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees)
Designs: Anthony Davis, Victor Oladipo, and Steven Adams
Accessories: Basketball, Water Bottle, Headphones, and Base
Pricing: $9.99 each

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: June 2017 Loot Crate

I am running behind on Loot Crate reviews, so get ready to be bombarded over the next week with Loot knowledge.

The June 2017 Loot Crate’s theme was AlterEgo – “there are two sides to everyone’s personality – the side we show others and the one we keep hidden.” It featured characters and licenses that personified this duality.

First off, the shipping box actually transformed into Optimus Prime (the tractor trailer version). It took a little time, some patience, and a steady hand…but I was able to cut out and assemble the paper Transformer in time to snap some photos (and then have my children demolish it).
Optimus Prime Box – 9/10

June’s Pin of the Month was inspired by the age-old tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Made by Loot Crate, the pin shows the character’s split personality in visual form. And in the middle is the test tube with the serum that caused the transformation.
Jekyll and Hyde Pin – 7/10

As with every Crate, June 2017 included a t-shirt. With the AlterEgo theme, we’re given another taste of Optimus Prime. The light blue tee features the G1 Optimus Prime transforming from big rig to Autobot in five action-like illustrations.
Transformers G1 Optimus Prime T-shirt – 9/10

Loot Crate included a book for those of you who don’t like to read. From Insight Edition, the Exclusive DC Comics Mini-Poster Book features The New 52 (the 2011 revamp from DC Comics). The book features 40 removable posters with many of your favorite DC characters.
DC Comics Mini-Poster Book – 7/10

And when you think of AlterEgo, of course Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk has to be in the conversation. And with Thor: Ragnarok on the Marvel film horizon, Loot Crate included an Exclusive Hulk Bowl from Vandor. It’s large enough that you might not be able to fit your smaller-than-Hulk-size-hands around it.
Hulk Bowl – 9/10

The collectible “toy” included in June’s Loot Crate was the Exlusive Spider-Man Webslinger Q-Fig variant figure from QMx. They packaged this one in there to help celebrate the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming. This exclusive figure features a black and white Spidey hanging from a lamppost as he’s slinging out a web.
Spider-Man Webslinger Q-Fig Variant – 8/10

The Loot Crate subscription runs $15.99 for a single month; $13.25/mo for 3 months; $12.95/mo for 6 months; $11.95/mo for 12 months. Each Crate features over $45.00 retail value of collectible goods and gear.

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

 

REVIEW: April 2017 Slam Crate

The theme of the April 2017 Slam Crate (powered by Loot Crate) is Master of the Mic. It features items from some of the best talkers to enter the squared circle.  Whether it’s following a thrilling victory or talking some pre-match smack, the Crate highlights a handful of the best on-mic talkers.

The included information sheet/poster gives you information about all of the included items. Also, it has the “Outside The Ring With” feature on it. The April 2017 Slam Crate’s insert spotlights wrestler Alexa Bliss. And the poster is of The Rock yelling into a microphone, overlaid by his Team Bring It motto.

 

Exclusive Finn Bálor Authentic T-Shirt  (7/10)
In my opinion, Finn Bálor isn’t in the upper echelon of exceptional talkers in WWE. It could be because we’ve seen him in limited action over the past year. But he was the chosen one for the April 2017 exclusive t-shirt. The black shirt features the artwork of the Demon King on the front along with the wrestler’s name on the upper back area.

Exclusive WWE Microphone Cup Set (8/10)
Speaking of  Masters of the Mic – how about a pair of Microphone plastic cups? The set of two 16 oz. cups includes one classic WWE mic and the unique microphone that Enzo Amore totes to the ring.

Exclusive WWE Mini Encyclopedia Vol. 1 (7/10)
If you’ve never seen a copy of the WWE Encyclopedia, it’s worth checking out if you’re a professional wrestling fan. This one is simply a smaller version highlighting some of those big talkers that the Crate is looking to show off. But it gives you enough of a sample size for you to determine whether or not you’d want to purchase the full Encyclopedia.

Exclusive WWE Attitude Era Championship Pin (9/10)
So…the Loot Crate pamphlet calls this the WWE Attitude Era Championship Pin, but it clearly states Universal Champion on the bottom. (And it’s the exact same design as the Universal Championship) Since the Universal Championship was established in 2016, it obviously couldn’t be an Attitude Era belt. Nonetheless, this is a pretty sweet pin…all decked out in sparkles.

Exclusive WWE Slam Stars Stone Cold Steve Austin Figure (9/10)
So this is the big piece, right? Designed by artist Brian Baity of The Creation Crib, the Stone Cold Steve Austin Slam Stars figure was created for Loot Crate just for their Slam Crate line. So it’s a brand new line of collectibles and you’ll only be able to get them through Slam Crates. 

The Stone Cold figure features limited articulation (neck, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles). I would have liked to see some articulation at the shoulders and elbows, but it seems like they’re shooting for more of a displayable collectible than a wrestling toy. The stylized look lends to its uniqueness amongst the wrestling collectible market. And the quarter ring that’s included is perfect for a display base. Also, Series 1 includes four figures, so you’ll be able to complete a ring with the entire set.

REVIEW: OYO Sports – NHL Line

NHL free agency season just started today. So that means a lot of movement, a lot of excitement, and new faces on new teams. For a company like OYO Sports, I’m guessing it means a lot of work as well. They produce their OYO minifigures based on the teams that players are currently on. So when big-name players change jerseys, they’ll be following with updated OYO figures.

For this review, OYO provided us with both the Carolina Hurricanes Gametime Rink as well as a Cam Ward home version minifigure.

The Gametime Rink comes in all different team themes. We just happened to get the Hurricanes (if you follow @plasticandplush on Twitter, you likely know I tweet a lot about Carolina hockey). The Rink is made up of 681 pieces. It’s very similar to putting together a LEGO set. The directions are very easy to follow. And you end up with a 22.5-inch long by 15-inch wide hockey rink.
Read more

REVIEW: OYO Sports NFL Minifigures

OYO Sports has released their 2017 line of NFL minifigures and buildables. And they were nice enough to send us a pair of Carolina Panthers players as well as an All-Terrain Vehicle with their mascot (yes, his name is Sir Purr).

I actually own some of what might just be the first generation NFL OYO figures (they’re from 2014), and the company has made several advancements, specifically in the players’ facial features and the overall sturdiness of the figures. OYO Sports has figures and buildable sets for all 32 NFL teams. They also have a handful of those players available in their college uniforms. And there are some alternate jerseys and classic players (I need a Buffalo Bills Doug Flutie).

For this review, we were sent the two most recognizable Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. Each figure is wearing his black jersey and includes a helmet, headphones, football, and a personalized stand. The stand has the team image as well as the players’ number on it.

As far at the All-Terrain Vehicle with Sir Purr, if you’ve ever followed LEGO instructions, these are very similar. It was easy to put together, and the final vehicle allowed you to choose from a number of different sticker decorating options. Plus, it came with the Panthers mascot – Sir Purr. Of course, I haven’t seen the vehicle since these photos were taken, as one of my children stole it…so it’s likely broken apart and underneath a bed somewhere.

The NFL series is one of my favorite OYO Sports lines because the minifigures just work in this scale. You can get some natural poses with that extra knee joint in the leg. So both offensive and defensive players can be posed and displayed. And the figures just look sharp with their jersey and helmet. (I’m assuming

I’m much more bullish on the NFL figures than any of the mascots. I think it’s hard to convey a mascot, which often has weird appendages (nose, ears, beak, etc.) shooting out of its head, in a one-size-fits-all minifigure.

In addition to the figures, which retail for $9.99 each, and the ATV, OYO Sports carries a Team Locker Room Set, and Endzone Set, and a Gametime Field Set for every team.

The Facts



OYO Sports - NFL
Manufacturer: OYO Sports
Material: Plastic block minifigures
Points of Articulation: 11 points (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, legs, knees)
Designs: Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and ATV with Mascot
Accessories: Figures include football and headphones
Pricing: Figures - $9.99 each; ATV w/Mascot - $19.99

You can pick them up at the following:

OYOSports.com: $9.99 - $79.99

REVIEW: April 2017 Loot Crate – Investigate

The April 2017 Loot Crate is all about the theme “Investigate”. We get our first glimpse of this with the themed investigative briefcase box. It features illustrations of everything you’ll need to start your very own forensic investigation. Also, the included Loot Crate magazine looks like it includes the silhouettes of Dana Scully from X-Files and Jim Hopper from Stranger Things. They might just be, since, inside, you get items from both licenses.

The t-shirt of the month in the April Loot Crate is a Stranger Things black tee featuring a homage to the cover of Uncanny X-Men #134. It features Eleven with the Demogorgon flaring up in the background and other characters in black and red on the sides.

Made by A Crowded Coop, the X-Files Pencils features four (maybe No. 2) pencils with various sayings from the show. There’s “That’s Why They Put The ‘I’ In FBI”, “I Want To Believe”, “The Truth Is Out There”, and “Trust No One”.

This month’s Loot Crate pin is basically a mini cassette recorder. I’m guessing most people under the age of 30(?) have no idea what one of these things are, but investigators used to take voice notes on these before iPhones were invented. Just ask Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks) who always spoke to Diane into one.

From The Dark Knight, who is a detective in his own right, the crate includes an Exclusive Batman Color-Changing Mug from Zak! Designs. Featuring the Gotham skyline, put a little hot beverage in this mug and witness the Joker’s gas and the Bat-Signal overtake the once peaceful cityscape.

Finally, there’s the collectible figure (some might say toy) that’s included in the Investigate Loot Crate. It’s the Exclusive Marvel’s Jessica Jones Q-Fig from QMx. The head of Alias Investigations is kicking down walls in the Q-Fig as she’s all dressed up in her trademark scarf, leather jacket, and boots.

The Loot Crate subscription runs $15.99 for a single month; $13.25/mo for 3 months; $12.95/mo for 6 months; $11.95/mo for 12 months. Each Crate features over $45.00 retail value of collectible goods and gear.

Kickstarter: OYOme Personalized Minifigures

The folks from OYO are looking to expand their OYOme line, which currently allows you to go online to personalize one of their MLB licensed minifigures. Their plan is to create and upload face/other features so you can build your own avatar. From there, you'll be able to pick your outfit from an ever-expanding list of creative outfit designs. Lastly, pick the style of your package and the messaging. On each package, the software will upload the image of your avatar and the messaging you created. Maybe you want to say Happy Birthday, Congratulations, or Funky Monkey Pink Unicorn. Its up to you, just have fun and inspire a smile.

So they've taken this project to Kickstarter. Currently, you can get a personalized OYO beginning at the $25.00 funding level. At the $100.00 early bird level, you'll be able to grab 5 personalized OYO minifigures as well as a Brick Cap (yes...you can display your figures on your head). Plus, there are many other funding levels and various goals (like $100k would allow tooling for lacrosse players). 

This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

Remember...this is not a pre-order. There are many instances of crowd funded projects that have been funded never making good on their promised goods. So back with caution.