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REVIEW: October 2017 Loot Crate

The October 2017 Loot Crate theme encompasses all things Mythical. But it wasn’t all unicorns and fairies in this crate. Loot Crate describes the October theme as the “things in this world beyond what science has explained”.

As with other boxes, the Crate can be turned into a theme-specific item. This month, it’s Thor’s Hammer. A little ripping and folding and you get a cardboard weapon that you can use to smack around flies.

This month’s pin features the art of Gabriel Silveira. It’s his take on Dracula. I must say, I had to do a double take to make sure I was looking at this pin with the correct side up.

Ghostbusters T-Shirt
(Licensed by Sony Pictures. Designed by Loot Crate. Loot Crate Exclusive.)

Every month, we get to add another t-shirt to our burgeoning collection of pop culture related tees. October 2017 was from one of the most iconic sci-fi films of the 1980’s – Ghostbusters. A little different from your traditional Ghostbusters logo, this version features blue and pink pastels with cheesy 80’s graphic embellishments.

SuperEmoScenes Stranger Things Diorama Figure
(Licensed by Netflix. Designed by J Salvador. Loot Crate Exclusive.)

Loot Crate included a collectible diorama depicting artist J Salavador’s take on the showdown between Eleven and the Demogorgon. (That’s from the Season 1 finale, so I’m not dropping any Season 2 spoilers) This is my first time seeing the SuperEmoScenes style. I’m digging it. I like seeing new designer toys lines hit that once bustling market.

Thor and Loki PhatMojo Figure
(Licensed by Marvel. Designed by PhatMojo. Loot Crate Exclusive.)

This is one of those “I have no idea how to feel about this” figure. I’m not a huge fan of Thor or Loki. The design doesn’t do much for me. And the fact that it’s a diorama style piece means you have to display them in this action pose.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Mr. Pointy” Bookmark
(Licensed by FOX. Designed by Loot Crate. Loot Crate Exclusive.)

I think I need to read more. But I sort of go through phases where I want to read physical books and then others where I only want to read off of my Kindle. If I’m doing the Kindle thing…this won’t be very useful. But if I’m reading a physical book and ever have to defend myself? I will want this…

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: Classicbot Classic

The fine folks from playsometoys have dropped their Classicbot Classic designer toy collectible. You might remember that, a few months back, they changed the name of the figure from Macinbot Classic to Classicbot Classic. Same toy…new name.

And in addition to the Standard Edition, playsometoys has released their Thailand Special Edition Classicbot Classic. Limited to a run of only 200 pieces, this special version features a classic TRON paint scheme. You’ve got me sold on that one.

The Classicbot Classic is modeled after the Macintosh Classic, a desktop computer sold by Apple in the early 1990’s. It featured an all-in-one monitor with a keyboard and mouse. The toy uses that same design and adds in a pair of magnetic arms and legs that snap into the bottom of the monitor body.

The figure includes a pair of accessories. You will find the classic mouse. (Is that a smiley face on it? I do think so) Also, there’s the briefcase with the letter A on it. If my memory serves me correctly, this would be the old-school Apple system icon for fonts. It’s fairly easy to snap the briefcase into ol’ Classicbot Classic’s classically classic hands.

Even though I made mention of what a huge TRON fan I am, I feel the standard version works great at reproducing the look of the Classic personal computer. And I’m not saying I don’t like the TRON colorway. What I’m saying is that these are both amazing in their own right.

It’s been a while since I’ve rated a toy as high as the Classicbot Classic. And it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve rated a designer toy at this level. But it just checks all of the boxes – retro chic, fun (magnetic arms), great design, and better than perfect price point.

So, if you don’t pick up a Classicbot Classic…you only have yourself to blame. But you will be seeing this little guy again when I post about my best toys/collectibles of 2017. No doubt about it.

The Facts



Classicbot Classic
Series: Classicbot
Manufacturer: playsometoys
Material: Plastic with magnetic arms
Dimensions: 5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: 5 (legs, hips, and arms)
Designs: Standard Edition; Thailand Special Edition (200 pieces)
Accessories: Font briefcase; Mouse
Pricing: Standard - $27.00; Thailand - $31.00

You can pick one up at the following:

Classicbot.com: Standard - $27.00; Thailand Version - $31.00

 

REVIEW: NECA’s Mohawk Gremlin

Gremlins 2: The New Batch is often downplayed as one of the many inferior sequels that were spawned during the 1980’s. First off, Gremlins 2 was released in 1990. And, secondly, Gremlins 2 was a fun take on the slightly scarier original Gremlins film. The New Batch, thanks to the genetics laboratory, opened up a whole new world of wacky Gremlins.

One of those creatures was the Spider Gremlin, which, many folks don’t remember, started out as Mohawk Gremlin. NECA has released a version of Mohawk before drinking that spider serum, and – obviously – before his ultimate showdown with Gizmo.

The ultra-realistic Mohawk Gremlin measures in around 7.5 inches in height. He comes with a single accessory – an Uzi submachine gun – that his hands are sculpted to hold. His namesake red mohawk flows down his head and back.

The sculpting on this figure is excellent. There are so many little details that aren’t visible until you really start combing the little Gremlin with a fine-tooth comb. Add on the paint, which is also excellent, and you have a totally excellent quality figure. (By the way, I like that NECA went with a glossy looking paint, which gives Mohawk a slimy look).

As far as articulation, the figure is fully articulated with 15 points. That includes an articulated jaw, which is useful for freaking out your children. I have noticed that Mohawk’s dental structure is very close to that of my cat. And they sort of sound alike. Maybe they’re related?

NECA is well-known for their Gremlins line. It’s been going strong for many years now. And why not? The films and characters are classics. And thanks to The New Batch, they have a whole group of unique Mogwai and Gremlins (yes, they also produce Mogwai figures) to work with.

The Facts



Mohawk Gremlin
Series: Gremlins
Manufacturer: NECA
Material: Plastic articulated figure
Dimensions: About 7.5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: 15 (6 legs, 6 arms, 2 neck, 1 jaw)
Accessories: Uzi submachine gun
Pricing: $24.49

Pick one up at the following:

Amazon.com: $24.49

REVIEW: CC Sabathia Ballers Figure – Sports Crate

Sports Crate’s (a division of Loot Crate) MLB Diamond Crate is a bimonthly box of official gear from your favorite Major League Baseball team. Currently, they’re offering 10 different teams (about 1/3 of the league), so there’s a possibility that your favorite team is not yet represented. But plans are to keep on adding teams next season.

And while a lot of the items in your SportsCrate is amazing, exclusive stuff, the big draw – in my opinion – is that each MLB Diamond Crate includes a special Ballers action figure. Standing around 4.75 inches tall and featuring 21 points of articulation, these figures are produced exclusively by Loot Crate/Sports Crate for inclusion in these boxes. As you might already know, each bimonthly offering features a specific theme – shortstops, team leaders, ace pitchers, etc.

In recent months, Sports Crate has reengineered their Ballers figures. They’re a little taller. Have legs that are a little thicker. And they feature better articulation. Basically, they noticed some issues with the first few releases and made the figures better (I wish a lot of toy companies would follow this example). Compare the Sabathia (new) and Gregorius (old) figures in the above photo.

The most recent release – at least for the Yankees MLB Diamond Crate – was CC Sabathia. So, if you know of Sabathia, he isn’t the most svelte gentleman. That’s where having a standard body hurts a line. The Sabathia head sculpt looks good, although they maybe could have made his face extra fat to compensate. The stylized (caricature-like) look is something I’m a big fan of.

The stylized look, plus the articulated body, give sports fans a toy line we haven’t had for…well…ever. Starting Lineup was great back in the day. McFarlane produced more statuesque products. But the Ballers line is something that you can display or play with. (I know my kids have stolen several of these guys to battle against their WWE wrestlers) Collectors have been pining for articulated sports toys...and we have finally  them thanks to Sports Crate. Now...if they would expand to some of the other major sports...

The Facts



CC Sabathia Ballers
Series: Ballers
Manufacturer: Loot Crate
Material: Plastic
Authorized Likeness: CC Sabathia
Dimensions: 4.75 inches tall
Points of Articulation: 21
Accessories: Base Stand
Pricing: Included in $29.99 Sports Crate

Pick one up at the following:

SportsCrate.com: $29.99 (includes a Crate full of other team-related items)

REVIEW: September 2017 Loot Crate

Robotics is the theme of the September 2017 Loot Crate. And while you won’t find anything relating to Small Wonder in the monthly box, you will find items from Blade Runner 2049, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Aliens.

Cog Crispies Box
As always, you can turn the Loot Crate box into something related to the monthly theme. This month, you turn the Crate inside out to form the Cog Crispies cereal box. What exactly are they? Well, I’m guessing, something that robots eat for breakfast.

September 2017 Loot Pin – Loot Bot
(Designed by Loot Crate)
The robot on the Loot Pin for the month is very similar to the character on the Cog Crispies box. Check out the four panels on the Loot Bot’s chest. You might completely miss the Loot Crate logo in one of them.

Blade Runner 2049 T-Shirt
(Licensed by Alcon Entertainment. Loot Crate Exclusive)
So, there’s this big sci-fi film out called Blade Runner 2049. You might have heard of it. It’s a sequel of another very popular film. And there are androids in it. September’s Loot Crate T-Shirt features the logo of the Wallace Corporation (which makes artificial intelligence). This dark blue tee has glow-in-the-dark writing on it…well, because…

Star Trek: The Next Generation Mirror Universe Comic
(Licensed by CBS. Made by IDW as a Loot Crate Exclusive)
Written by Scott and David Tipton, this full-length, alternate universe Star Trek comic book details the origin of the Mirror Universe version of Data (everyone’s favorite Star Trek android).

Star Wars R2-D2 IncrediBuild
(Licensed by Lucasfilm. Made by Insight Editions)
This one is the highlight of the September Loot Crate. The Star Wars R2-D2 IncrediBuild includes a book with loads of information about the character. Then, there’s a sheet with wooden pieces. You have to follow the included instructions to put the wood model together. It’s fairly simple, but includes a number of steps. Then, you have the option to paint up the whole thing to look like R2-D2. (I’ll admit that I picked up a few of these for my kids following this review).

Aliens “Queen Takes Bishop” Mini Figure
(Licensed by FOX. Designed by Loot Crate as an exclusive)
Recreating one of the key scenes from the film Aliens, Loot Crate and Phat Mojo have included the “Queen Takes Bishop” Mini Figure. It shows the android – Bishop – getting skewered by an Alien Queen. The mini figure comes disassembled and involves very little effort to assemble.

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: Brienne and Daenerys Rock Candy (Game of Thrones)

With all of the controversy that sometimes revolves around Game of Thrones, the HBO show features some of the strongest (both physically and mentally) female characters in television. Just look at the plots of some of the major female figures - Arya, Cersei, Daenerys, Sansa, and Brienne - to see that one of these ladies is likely to wind up sitting on The Iron Throne at the end of Season 8.

In addition, collectibles for the series are in high demand. We’ve seen 1/6th scale, vinyl, and various blind box toy lines. And that’s not even including various statuettes, beer, apparel, etc. available. So with these strong female leads, one toy series that makes a lot of sense is Funko’s Rock Candy line.

Rock Candy is a line of 5-inch tall stylized vinyl figures based on various pop culture licenses. They have collectibles based on Marvel, DC, Disney, plus various movies and television shows. But, the caveat is that they’re all female. It’s an entire line showcasing strong female characters (except for a few early Harry Potter releases).

From Game of Thrones, the first two Rock Candy figures released are Daenerys Targaryen and Brienne of Tarth. You don’t get much more intimidating than these two.

My initial reaction was that I am an awful judge of scale. For some reason, reporting on these for as long as I have, I thought they were a lot larger. I think the 5-inch tall size is great for this stylized line. If they were larger, I likely wouldn’t have been as impressed. At this size, Funko is able to get some great sculpting and just the right amount of detail for a stylized character - with realistic clothing.

Each Rock Candy figure comes with a clear display stand with pegs that insert into holes on the bottoms of the vinyl toys’ feet. It’s an appreciated addition. And is sort of a middle ground for those who don’t like display stands, because it’s clear and difficult to see.

Each character is given a doll-like appearance with large eyes. The figures do resemble their on-screen counterparts, in as so much as a caricature resembles the person sitting for it. But they’re good caricatures. Like Tom Richmond caricatures.

Unlike Funko’s Pop! Line, the Rock Candy figures are posed and sculpted with unique bodies. Brienne is suited up in her armor and has one hand on the hilt of her sword, while Daenerys is in her Dothraki attire with Drogon perched on her hand. It gives them a unique look to other Funko offerings.

Overall, I have to give the Game of Thrones Rock Candy figures kudos for bringing these characters to life in a unique style that we’ve yet to see. Upon my first viewing, I think the Rock Candy line is pretty impressive. And who doesn’t like collectibles based on Game of Thrones? I mean I have a whole shelf dedicated to them. Though, when my kids ask me if they can watch the show about dragons, I have to tell them…in about 10 years.

The Facts



Game of Thrones Rock Candy Figures
Series: Rock Candy
Manufacturer: Funko
Material: Vinyl
Dimensions: 5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: Brienne of Tarth; Daenerys Targaryen
Pricing: $10.99 each

You can pick one up at the following: 

Amazon.com: $10.99 each

REVIEW: The Walking Dead – 1/6th Scale Merle Dixon

There was a time there in the mid-90’s where it seemed like Michael Rooker played the villain in almost every film. Okay, so it was really only Cliffhanger and Mallrats, but the man known as Mr. Svenning was also in Days of Thunder, JFK, and Tombstone. And it wasn’t until playing Merle Dixon, in the comic book turned AMC television series The Walking Dead, that Rooker was able to seemingly become a household face (if not name) once again.

Rooker’s character – Merle Dixon – was one of the primary antagonists in the third season of The Walking Dead. Also, he’s the older brother of series favorite Daryl Dixon, making for some awkward zombie apocalypse Thanksgiving dinner conversations.

Being one of the main characters, Merle is also one of the first characters to be released as a 1/6th scale figure from Threezero. The company’s The Walking Dead series continues to grow, with several character announced over the past year.

The 1/6th scale Merle Dixon sports a striking resemblance to the veteran actor. Threezero is a high-end collectible company, and much of that can be seen in the face sculpt. The lone sticking point, for me, is that they chose to paint Merle’s eyes sort of looking upwards. While head-on shots look fine, he looks a little zombified when viewing from angles.

As far as accessories, Merle comes packed with six hands (fists, gun holding, open palms), a prosthetic right arm with a bayonet, and a pistol with removable magazine. There’s really only one option – you sort of have to go with the prosthetic bayonet hand. We only see Merle on the show with a right hand for a few minutes. Plus, that prosthetic is the perfect weapon for a zombie apocalypse (I guess if you must chop off your own hand).

The outfit is fairly plain (you probably wouldn’t want to be super flashy when there are flesh-eating zombies after you). Merle is wearing a brownish button-down t-shirt, a white undershirt, green military pants (with lots of pockets and zippers), and a pair of brown boots. The clothes are given a weathered look, and the undershirt might even have some coffee stains on it.

Overall, the 1/6th scale Merle Dixon is a good grab for this price point. While all of the other high-end 1/6th scale collectibles are inching towards $250 per figure, Threezero continues to hold in there below $175. That is definitely appreciated by my pocketbook – err…wallet (I carry a wallet and not a pocketbook, I swear!).

So if you’re a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, or maybe you’re a Michael Rooker fan who has wanted to complete your 1990’s 1/6th scale Cliffhanger collection, I recommend you picking up Threezero’s Merle Dixon figure. Just make sure to look at him straight-on, or else he will likely give you the evil eye.

The Facts



1/6th scale Merle Dixon

Series: The Walking Dead
Manufacturer: Threezero
Material: Articulated plastic body
Authorized Likeness: Michael Rooker
Dimensions: 1/6th scale
Outfit: Brown short-sleeve shirt; White tank top undershirt; Green military pants; Belt with holster; Brown boots
Accessories: Pistol with removable magazine; Pair of fists; Pair of relaxed hands; Pair of hands for holding gun; Prosthetic right arm with bayonet
Pricing: $164.99

Threezero provided this figure for review.

To pick one of your own up, check out the following:

Sideshow Collectibles: $164.99
Amazon.com: $229.99

 

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