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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: Hexbug BattleBots Rival (Minotaur and Beta)

There’s something cathartic about watching robots tear each other to scrap metal. But a tragic event happened during the summer of 2017. Someone forgot to air new episodes of BattleBots. I’ve been watching robots fight it out on television for almost 20 years (yes…Robot Wars started in 1998). But, for one reason or another, no one decided to pick up BattleBots for the 2017 television season.

Hexbug hopes to fill that BattleBot void in your soul with several new lines based on the series. For this review, we’ll be taking a look at the BattleBots Rivals line. Specifically, the Minotaur and Beta bot pack.

Even before taking on this review, I was very familiar with the line. My kids made me pick up the Hexbug BattleBots Arena, which includes Witch Doctor and Tombstone. Okay…I picked it up under the guise that it was for my kids.

The Rivals come packaged as a duo. Each bot includes a mini infrared remote control. The remote has five buttons: forward/backward; left/right; weapon. There’s also a switch that allows you to select one of the four different frequencies. This lets you battle with up to four BattleBots in the arena.

When the bots hit the arena, the goal is to knock the pieces off of your opponent. Each BattleBot has three pieces that are held on by magnets. They vary in placement. For example, Minotaur has a pair that cover the wheels and one of its’ back. Beta has pieces on three sides of the bot’s body.

The fighting is where the real fun is at. Out of the four available BattleBot Rivals, each one has strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you to figure out and then attack those weaknesses.

As far as weapons, Minotaur features a spinner weapon on the front of the robot, while Beta has a hammer arm. We would usually turn on the spinner drum and let it go throughout the battle. But every press of Beta’s button either brings the hammer back or slams it down. In other words, they’re very different bot designs.

The one negative is that these things – both the bots and remotes - run through batteries pretty quickly. You’ll need to stock up on both AAA and button cell batteries if you’re going to be playing with the BattleBot Rivals.

These are probably some of the most playable toys I’ve reviewed on the site. And the fact that I had purchased some prior to this review shows you that I’m a fan. If you’re okay with investing in a cache of batteries, you’ll definitely have hours full of fun playing with the Hexbug BattleBots Rivals.

The Facts



BattleBots Rivals (Minotaur and Beta)
Series: BattleBots
Manufacturer: Hexbug
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: About 4 inches in length
Accessories: Two Infrared Remote Controls
Pricing: $49.99

You can pick one up at the following:

Hexbug.com: $49.99
Amazon.com: $49.99

REVIEW: Hot Toys’ Netflix Daredevil

Recently, Netflix has had a pretty good run of series collaborations with the folks over at Marvel. But it all started with the debut of Daredevil in 2015. Starring Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who becomes the vigilante Daredevil by nightfall, the television series has garnered attention from fans and critics (something no one ever said of the 2003 film).

With the cult-like success of the show, Hot Toys hopped in with their Marvel license and released a 1/6th scale version of Daredevil based on his Season 2 appearance. Thanks to Sideshow Collectibles, we are getting a chance to review that collectible here.

The first choice you will need to make is what face you want Daredevil sporting. The Daredevil figure features a pair of interchangeable lower face portions. There’s the pouty face or the angry/bloody face. Both of these magnetically lock up with the top portion of the Daredevil mask, and they actually do look like actor Charlie Cox.

Secondly, you’ll have to choose from three different Billy Club designs. There’s the connected clubs, which basically looks like a long stick. Then, you have the separated clubs. You can have Daredevil hold these or place them in his holsters, which are setup to hold this version. Finally, there’s the Billy Club nunchaku. In this version, the separated clubs are connected by a wire.  

Okay…and then you have hands. There’s a pair of fists, a pair of open hands, and a pair of hands for holding the Billy Clubs. I guess your previous choices might influence the types of hands you’ll be outfitting Mr. Murdock with.

The display is one of the more intricate that I’ve seen from Hot Toys. The stand is made up of three pieces – the street level display stand, a black riser, and then the sidewalk scene (which goes on top of the riser). In addition to the stand, the figure includes a Daredevil themed cardboard backdrop.

The quality of the figure is up to Hot Toys’ high standards. The pleather outfit syncs up, color-wise, to the Daredevil helmet. Not an easy feat given the unique shade of red. And I have no issues at all with the suit. The various patterns and layers make it look amazing. And, while this might be the least amount of paintwork I’ve seen on a Hot Toys’ figure, what we see around the face helps make this look like a 1/6th scale version of Charlie Cox.

As far as pricing, this is the new normal. Priced at $229.99, we’re looking at what’s the average price of a 1/6th scale figure from Hot Toys. Comparatively, there’s not a ton of accessories. There aren’t multiple outfits or head sculpts (there’s a lower portion of a face), so I would have expected a little closer to $200 in price.

I’m guessing the outfit pushed the pricing up somewhat. It’s a very well-done outfit - likely one of the best I’ve seen from Hot Toys. But, for this price, I would have liked an unmasked sculpt of Matt Murdock to swap out.

There seem to be a number of collectibles hitting the market based on the Netflix Daredevil series (I have another review coming up next week). But Hot Toys has really grabbed that high-quality segment…those folks who are looking for their very own Daredevil to Netflix and chill with (get your minds out of the gutters).

The Facts

 

Hot Toys’ 1/6th scale Daredevil
Series: Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Material: Plastic articulated figure
Authorized Likeness: Charlie Cox as Daredevil
Dimensions: 1/6th scale
Points of Articulation: Over 30 points
Outfit: Daredevil suit with detailed patterns and layers; Thigh holster for Billy Club; Pair of black boots
Accessories: Daredevil helmeted head sculpt with two interchangeable lower faces; Pair of Billy Clubs; Billy Club in nunchaku mode; Billy Club in extended mode; Specially designed diorama figure base with backdrop and Daredevil nameplate
Pricing: $229.99

You can pick one up at the following:

Sideshow Collectibles: $229.99

REVIEW: Finn Balor Bleacher Creature

Bleacher Creatures have come a long way since we last reviewed their cuddly plush creations on Plastic and Plush. Currently, they produce their 10-inch tall Bleacher Creature plushies based on the following licenses – WWE, NHL, and NBA. For this review, we’ve received a Demon Finn Balor Bleacher Creature to check out.

First off, this is the first time we’re using our new 360-degree view video to show off a collectible. You can check out the Balor Bleacher Creature from all angles.

If you didn’t realize yet, Finn Balor is a WWE wrestler (or sports entertainer). He normally comes to the ring as a normal looking (unpainted) dude, but he occasionally lets the Demon come out. When that happens, he more than often shows up in the paint scheme you see here.

I can see why Bleacher Creatures features this plush in their WWE marketing. Balor’s one of the more interesting characters and the only one who’s just not a guy in a shirt. He would be a lot less interesting if it was just regular old Finn Balor minus the Demon makeup.

While kids love them – my 5-year-old son swiped this Finn Balor as soon as he saw it – the Bleacher Creatures plush line is made with collectors in mind. They’re produced with flat feet, which allows you to display your plush next to your plastic collectibles. So, you could put the Finn Balor Bleacher Creature next to the Mattel Elite Series figure. No problem.

Plus, the entire line looks a lot like the players/wrestlers they are trying to represent. That’s a challenge, especially considering these plush. It’s difficult to get a plush toy to look like a real person. But Bleacher Creatures has done it.

It appears that all aspects of each Bleacher Creature’s face are unique. They have different nose shapes, different eye styles with correct colors, various mouths. You can even check out Enzo Amore’s unique two-tone spikey hairdo.

In addition to Balor, Bleacher Creatures has a number of other WWE wrestlers in their line. There’s about 10 different characters, including The Rock and John Cena. Each plush runs $19.99. I’m of the opinion that $19.99 is a decent price for a 10-inch tall licensed plush.

The Facts



Finn Balor Bleacher Creature
Series: WWE Bleacher Creatures
Manufacturer: Bleacher Creatures
Material: Plush
Authorized Likeness: Finn Balor
Dimensions: 10 inches tall
Pricing: $19.99

You can pick one up at the following:

BleacherCreatures.com: $19.99
Amazon.com: $19.99

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

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.