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REVIEW: Carbonation Toys’ FizzKids

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It all started when a 53’ trailer carrying 1,800 cases of canned soda pop was headed south on Bubble Blvd. and the driver lost control, crashing into Plush and Lush Toy Company.

But what has the town talking is what happened to the toys. Residents report that — miraculously — the formerly soft, cuddly stuffed animals appear to have transformed.

According to Carbonation Toys, this is the creation story for their FizzKids line. The FizzKids is a series of six solid vinyl figures. Each one is contained within its own aluminum can style packaging. 

The can is about the size of your favorite carbonated beverage. It features a little pop cap on the top as well as nutritional facts on the cardboard tube can. Inside of the can exterior, there’s a clear plastic capsule where the figure resides. It’s one of the more unique packaging designs that I’ve seen over the past 10 years of reviewing toys.

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There are six different figures in the FizzKids Series 1. Each figure/character has it’s own corresponding carbonated beverage flavor. There’s Alien Limeade (Alien), Bone Crusher Root Beer (Boy), Cranked Cola (Cat), Rummy Cola (Rat), Vicious Dog Sparkling Water (Dog), and Zombie Juice (Zombie).

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I like the variety that Carbonation Toys has chosen for this series: Cat, Dog, Rat, Zombie, Human, and Alien. (The standouts – in my opinion – are the Cat and the creepy little kid) But I also like that the sculpts are so varied. Maybe it’s that I’m so used to seeing platform toys in this scale.

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REVIEW: Doc Savage – Double Danger Deluxe Version

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‘The Man of Bronze’ - Doc Savage was created by publisher Henry W. Ralston and editor John L. Nanovic at Street and Smith Publications, with additional works by Lester Dent. Doc’s popularity transcended the pulps moving into radio, comic books, and a feature film. Doc has been interpreted by some of the greatest artists. This beloved adventurer is considered to be the model for the ‘super hero’ with his strength, intelligence, speed, physique, and wealth – he even has a ‘Fortress of Solitude’. The name Doc Savage is synonymous with courage, danger, and adventure - remaining a heroic pop-culture icon to this day.

The Doc Savage 1/6th scale collectible figure comes from Go Hero and Executive Replicas. This is one of several collaborations that the two companies have worked on in the past or are working on into the future. The Doc Savage figure is available in two different versions: the Silver Age version and the Go Hero Exclusive Double Danger Deluxe version. For this review, I’ll be looking at the Double Danger Deluxe (DDD).

Not knowing much about Doc Savage, I had to do some research. I wasn’t surprised to find out that one of the professions of this fictional character was that of a doctor. But I was a little surprised that he wasn’t at all related to ‘The Macho Man’... Fans of the character will be delighted to know that this is the first time the good Doc has been made available as a 1/6th scale figure. 

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RETRO REVIEW: Roy Rogers gives you the Snorks

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Apparently, back in 1988, the Roy Rogers restaurant chain was looking to compete with McDonalds by trying to outdo their Happy Meal toy lineup. Since picky little kids really drove parents fast food choices, it was often up to what chain had the best toy that specific week.

But in 1988, Roy Rogers decided to give away figurines based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon - Snorks. The 3-inch tall Snorks figurines that Roy Rogers gave away were actually produced by Schleich. And Schlech is a German toy company that’s still around today (and still releasing new Smurfs toys).

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Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was able to partake in the Roy Rogers’ menu once or twice as a child. And since these toys are really all that’s memorable about the restaurant – I guess the fact that it was named after an old western film star made it unique – that might have something to do with why the chain never made it past the mid-Atlantic.

The Snorks cartoon series originally ran from 1984 to 1989. While there were hopes that it would rival The Smurfs in popularity, it never achieved that type of success. The two cartoons had a number of the same voice artists, editors, and producers. This likely led folks to think what I thought as a kid – “the Snorks are the underwater Smurfs”.

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REVIEW: Rise of the Beasts

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From a time before time, the villains of myth and the heroes of legend have returned to continue a savage battle that will determine the future of humanity.

With barbaric kingdoms, led by power hungry animals in the form of men preparing to conquer the earth, mankind must place it's hope in the lion Thufur Asa'Yid, The Sword of Krix!

As ancient armies equipped with advanced science and technology erupt from underneath the earth all over the world who can stop ..

The Rise Of The Beasts!

The Rise of the Beasts is a new line of 1980’s inspired mini figures in the same vein as Battle Beasts. And like several other contemporary lines that have been influenced by Battle Beasts, these feature Onell Design’s Glyos joints. That means you can switch out all of the parts and pieces with other toy lines that similarly feature the Glyos joints.

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To date, there have been two characters released – the African Rhinoceros and the Emperor Scorpion. Depending on the paint and color scheme, the character has a different name. And in addition to painted versions of these two guys, there are also a few unpainted ones that nearly cut the price in half.

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Speaking of price, they sell for $7.00 per painted figure and $4.00 per unpainted. I’d probably go the painted route as the added personality you get from one of the painted figures far outweighs the $3.00 extra you’ll need to pony up.

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RETRO REVIEW: Barnyard Commandos

It’s possible that you remember a little line from 1989 called Barnyard Commandos. It was something straight out of Animal Farm…if George Orwell had dreamt up strapping heavy artillery to the backs of talking pigs and sheep.

The R.A.M.S. (Rebel Army of Military Sheep) and the P.O.R.K.S. (Platoon of Rebel Killer Swine) were rival groups of farm animals that somehow got into radioactive materials left over from an abandoned military experiment. Was it a big government conspiracy that they were trying to trick little kids into thinking that radioactive waste creates wonderful monsters rather than causing cancer and/or a painful death?

Playmates, which also released those other mutants – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, produced the toy line. In all, there were 16 characters produced – 8 P.O.R.K.S. and 8 R.A.M.S. There was also a 13-episode run of cartoons that’s likely still available at your local Blockbuster Video in VHS form.

I went on eBay and picked up a trio of Barnyard Commandos – all from the P.O.R.K.S. lineup. When I received them, I noticed the first one had a bubble that was slightly opened on the bottom. I opened the thing up and could have sworn that a live pig had been trapped in there for the past 26 years.

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RETRO REVIEW: GoBots

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For our first Throwback Thursday retro review, I’m going to take you all the way back to 1985. It’s the year where two of the top three songs were performed by Wham!, WrestleMania debuted, and Back to the Future debuted. It’s also the year where you’d be able to fire up your console television and watch Challenge of the GoBots.

Youngsters nowadays likely look at GoBots and think they were some cheap corner store rip-off of Transformers. Not so! Both GoBots and Transformers started in Japan in the 80’s - GoBots by Bandai and Transformers by Takara. They both came over to the US in 1984 - GoBots from Tonka and Transformers from Hasbro.

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Most kids fell into either the pro-Transformer or pro-GoBot group. It was basically the two political party system for male children in the 1980’s. And while I had a handful of GoBots, Transformers were my preferred robots in disguise. GoBots always felt like the red-headed stepchild. And it wasn’t an unusual occurrence to see young GoBot children standing alone against the wall during recess.

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Both lines featured robots that transformed into vehicles and back again. The majority of Transformers were fairly intricate figures. There was a lot of twisting and turning and you might have even had to read – eek – instructions! The GoBots felt a little held back by their simplicity. Their robot form looked entirely too vehicle-y with a little head and a big body.

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REVIEW: reddit’s Snoo

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Even if you’re not a frequent user, most people have likely visited reddit.com. Likely you’ve checked out one of the celebrity AMAs (Ask Me Anything). And if you’ve seen the site, you’re probably familiar with reddit’s logo – a little black and white alien.

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At some point in time, that little reddit alien was actually given a name – Snoo. Of course, someone would hear the name and say “Hey! What’s Snoo?” And then they’d get caught up in an Abbott ad Costello routine for ten or so minutes.

Actually, the creators of reddit intended to name the site Snoo for that very exact reason…but someone already had that URL…they didn’t have the money to purchase the domain name…and the rest is history.

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With reddit celebrating their 10th anniversary, they’ve revealed Snoovatars for reddit gold folks (basically a customizable Snoo avatar). More importantly for collectors, they’ve released a few toys based on the character. The first toy, a collaboration with Pretty In Plastic, is the official vinyl Snoo in both OG and DIY colorways.

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Each 3-inch tall rotocast vinyl Snoo features a single point of articulation at the neck. The difference between the two versions is that one has a painted mouth, antenna, and eyes…and the other is blank white waiting for your (un)artistic touch.

Both vinyl figures retail at $8.99 each. Snce the box states Series 1, I wouldn’t be surprised if there might be a Series 2 out at some point. Possibly wishful thinking, but with the amount of customized and special event Snoo artwork out there…I think they could pluck enough designs to maybe fill out a blind box series.

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REVIEW: MBW – WWII – Willy’s Jeep

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Modern Brick Warfare produces custom designed LEGO accessories as well as custom printing on LEGO figures and kits that use all new original LEGO blocks to create Modern Brick Warfare designed vehicles. They recently sent us one of those kits – the World War II inspired Willy’s Jeep – to check out.

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This specific kit features over 110 brand new LEGO pieces as well as instructions on how to put it all together. There are programs out there that let you digitally design a LEGO model, making it perfect to design an object such as this Jeep.

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In addition to the original LEGO pieces, there are some customs from Modern Brick Warfare. You get a .50 CAL Machine Gun with 2 ammo cans for it, a custom World War 2 American Soldier minifigure armed with a 1911 colt pistol and a M1 Garand rifle, and a custom built gas can. Other LEGO accessories include a backpack, shovel, and pickaxe.

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Having a 3 and 4 year old, I’ve had to put together a lot of LEGO sets. And I might have picked up the Ecto-1 and the Back to the Future DeLorean sets for myself. But it seems as soon as I put one together, my kids turn into destructive kaiju whose only goal is to violently destroy the fruits of my labor. Luckily, I was able to keep Willy’s Jeep away from them for long enough to take photos.

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REVIEW: Nerviswr3k’s Inner Child

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Arizona-based artist Nerviswr3k has teamed up with New Jersey-based designer toy store/art gallery SubUrban Vinyl to release the first production piece from both artist and shop. Named Inner Child, the rotocast vinyl figure features some of the workings most common to Nerviswr3k’s customs – especially those sharp, pronounced teeth.

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The 4-inch tall vinyl will be released in at least three colorways: Red – Retailers; Green – SubUrban Vinyl Exclusive; Blue – Tenacious Toys Exclusive. Each version is limited to a run of 125 pieces, definitely putting it in the more limited edition category.

For being the first production piece from SubUrban Vinyl, it’s a very impressive designer toy. Heck…it would be impressive for a company that’s produced 10 or 20 figures. And when you consider the waning genre of true designer vinyl, this might be one of the best pieces released in the past two or three years.

The Inner Child combines excellent and intricate sculpting work with some nice painting. I like the weathered look that’s created with the addition of the black paint on the body. And around the face, a spot where many good toys go bad, you don’t have any glop or bleeding of the various paint colors.

It’s definitely a piece to display in your collection. It’s not likely that you or the kids will want to be playing with it. Some of the teeth are pretty sharp and I found the arms somewhat difficult to turn. Usually I give up easily due to the number of arms, legs, and fingers I’ve broken off. Sometimes I feel like I’m the Luca Brasi of toys…coming to collect on debts.

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REVIEW: The Sea Ghost

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The Sea Ghost was first seen in Jay Piscopo’s The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli. Created by Piscopo, who both authored and illustrated the comic, The Sea Ghost was last seen in his very own comic book - The Sea Ghost #1: Sea Ghost in the Machine. The 36-page comic retails for $3.99 at your favorite comic shop.

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In addition to his return in The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli – Volume 3, which will be released in March 2015, The Sea Ghost is now available as a Mego-style action figure. That 8-inch tall action figure runs $20.00 and comes packaged in a plastic clamshell case. (Unfortunately…I wasn’t able to get a photo of that case before I ripped into it with my canine teeth).

The action figure is a good representation of The Sea Ghost character as shown in the comic book. He is a little bit limited by the Mego-ish body (I so dislike Mego wrists). For example, his feet resemble hooves in the comic, but the figure has regular human feet…albeit bleached white feet. Oh…and that white body is slightly visible underneath the stretched bodysuit. Thank goodness his name isn’t Anatomically Correct Sea Ghost.

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I was going to comment on the color of Sea Ghost’s face…and by writing this, I obviously am commenting on it. While it looks blue-green on the action figure – a lot greener than seen throughout the comic book - it actually does match up with the version of The Sea Ghost as presented on the rear of The Sea Ghost #1 comic.

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