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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.
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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.

REVIEW: OYOme MLB Minifigure

OYO Sports has introduced a new way to customize their OYO building block style minifigure. The OYOme minifigures are a new series of personalized Major League Baseball figures available for all 30 MLB teams.

OYOme is currently only available for the MLB license. So even though OYO has NHL, NBA, and NFL figures, you can only customize baseball figures.

The folks from OYO gave me a chance to customize my very own OYO figure, so I went all out. While I’m a lifelong Phillies fan, I decided to go with a Padres jersey. My excuse - I already have a handful of Phillies OYO figures and wanted to check out a different jersey for this review.

Let’s break down the process. Via the online OYOme Creator, you can select one of twenty-four faces (I went with beard and glasses). Next up, you select one of three skin tones (I went with the pastiest white available). Then you select one of the thirty MLB teams (I’ve already told you I went with the Padres). Finally, you enter in your Last Name (for the back of your jersey), your Jersey Number, your full name for the package, and your Position.

I went with Catcher, thinking maybe you get some extra gear, but catchers come with the same accessories as other players. I thought it was a little weird that they labeled catcher – CA. At first, I was reading it as California. Plus, even though I’m listed as a catcher, the illustrated picture on the front is the one OYO uses for infielders. But it’s cool that all of your selections are reflected on the packaging.

The figure’s accessories include a team appropriate hat, baseball glove, baseball, baseball bat, a pair of headphones, and a stand shaped like home plate. I feel like OYO’s MLB figures include the largest number of accessories. That gives you a number of different display options (if you’re not throwing this to the wolves that are your children).

You can get some decent poses with the OYO minfigure, including one where it has both hands on the baseball bat. Or you can attempt to pose the little guy in a number of various pitching windups. The leg kick is optional.

As far as pricing goes, the OYOme figure runs $24.99. A regular OYO MLB figure will cost you $9.99. It’s not a huge upcharge to get a personalized figure. Imagine being a kid and getting your very own baseball player with your name on it. I know that would have blown my 7-year-old mind. Heck, it blows my thirty-something year old mind.

The Facts



OYOme
Manufacturer: OYO Sports
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: 1.6 inches tall
Points of Articulation: 11 (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, legs, knees)
Accessories: Baseball hat; Baseball Glove; Baseball; Baseball bat; Headphones; Home plate stand
Pricing: $24.99

You can pick one up at the following:

OYOsports.com: $24.99

REVIEW: February 2017 Slam Crate

I was able to get my hands on the February 2017 Slam Crate thanks to the folks at Loot Crate. Their specialized Slam Crate is made for wrestling fans, specifically fans of the WWE. Since February was the last crate before Wrestlemania 33 in early April, there were plenty of reasons to want to nab that loot. One of those reasons being that the Slam Crate informational insert was also a poster of The Undertaker from what I believe was last year's Wrestlemania.

The Road To Wrestlemania Slam Crate included an Exclusive Seth Rollins Authentic T-shirt. The grey short sleeve tee shows off Rollins’ logo as well as having “The Architect” and “Seth Freakin’ Rollins” printed around it. Apparently, Rollins even sported this version on an episode of RAW.

There was also an Exclusive Topps Card Pack, which featured three full-color trading cards (John Cena, Kevin Owens, and Charlotte Flair) as well as a code card that unlocks something in the Topps WWE Slam Card Trader App.

And, as with all crates, you get an exclusive pin. This month, it’s the WWE Attitude Era Championship Belt Enamel Pin. You can celebrate the title runs of The Rock, The Undertaker, and Mankind with the replica of this 1990’s belt.

The big toy included in the February Slam Crate is an Exclusive The Rock Figure from Jada Toys. The figure is part of Jada’s Metals line, a die-cast series of hefty and solid collectibles. The 4-inch tall figure features a single point of articulation at the waist. It also comes with a small black stand base. I often test my 6 and 5 year olds on who a toy is supposed to be, based on its sculpt, and they got my fellow Freedom High School alum correct.

The final piece in the crate, and what will likely get the most use around my abode, is the Exclusive World Heavyweight Championship Belt Pouch. Think of it as a giant fanny pack in the shape of a WWE belt. But the great thing about it is that it can fit a not-so-svelte 39 year old as well as a 6 year old because it’s got some serious adjustability. My kids love that they can pretend to be a WWE champion, and my wife suggested I use it as a part of my next Halloween costume.

You can sign up for the bi-monthly Slam Crate with the following plans: 1 Crate - $29.99; 3 Crates - $28.99 ea.; 6 Crates - $27.99 ea.

REVIEW: Sideshow’s Beetlejuice Sixth Scale Figure

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who grew up being a little superstitious about saying Beetlejuice three times. Of course, the year was 1988 and I was only 10 years old at that point. But the Tim Burton film starring the likes of Michael Keaton, Wynona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Catherine O’Hara left an impacting mark upon my young mind.

The film spawned a children’s television cartoon that ran from 1989-1991. That opened the somewhat scary film up to licensed toy lines. And while there were several lines released throughout the 90’s, it wasn’t until this year that we’ve gotten a solid sixth scale Beetlejuice figure.

Sideshow Collectibles provided us with their recently released 1/6th scale Beetlejuice based on the likeness of Michael Keaton as the ghost with the most. This is the Sideshow Exclusive version, which includes the extra Handbook for the Recently Deceased.

Beetlejuice comes dressed to impress in his black and white striped suit. He has a pair of black boots, a white dress shirt and a black tie. The figure features five sets of creepy hands plus an additional right hand with a fingernail file (because there was that one scene where Beetlejuice filed his nails…remember?).

Sideshow went with sculpted hair on this figure, which is an obviously good call. It’s wild, crazy and then there’s that mossy stuff that was sort of growing from Beetlejuice’s hair onto his face. That had to have been accomplished via sculpting. Although, the on-screen character had a little problem with thinning hair, which you don’t really get with the sculpted hair.

The face sculpt is a pretty good likeness of Keaton. Since he also portrayed Batman, we’ve seen some versions of the actor in sixth scale. I feel this one holds up to the others. Of course, Beetlejuice is covered up in makeup…so there’s an added element.

Thanks to companies like Sideshow, fans have been able to get their hands on an increasing number of 1980’s cult film collectibles. All of those toys we (meaning 30-40 somethings) wished we had as kids are now being made available in our adulthood. But that means they also have adult prices.

At first blush, $239.99 seems a little pricey for a figure with only a few accessories. Usually, that price point is reserved for sixth scale with loads of accessories or some type of LED lighting. But Beetlejuice does have a fairly complicated head sculpt. The figure’s also wearing an additional “fat suit” under its’ clothing, to give him that doughy middle-aged look.

The Facts



Beetlejuice Sixth Scale Figure
Manufacturer: Sideshow Collectibles
Sculpted by: JPark
Authorized Likeness: Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice
Material: Plastic articulated figure
Dimensions: 1/6th scale (12 inches tall)
Points of Articulation: Multiple points (over 14)
Outfit: Finely tailored classic black and white striped suit, Watches
Accessories: Five pairs of hands; Nail file hand; Handbook for the Recently Deceased (Sideshow Exclusive Version)
Pricing: $239.99

You can pick one up at the following:

Sideshow Collectibles: $239.99
Amazon.com: $260.00

REVIEW: March 2017 Loot Crate – Primal

The March 2017 Loot Crate was designed to help you unleash the beast within. With the Primal theme, this month’s crate features exclusives items from Overwatch, Wolverine, Jurassic Park, and Predator. It includes the “Explore The World Of Primal” Loot Crate magazine.

That plain old black shipping box converts into a big green Tyrannosaurus Rex. It takes a little bit of work getting everything popped out and refolded, but you’ll get there.

Inside, there’s that March 2017 – Primal Exclusive Loot Pin. This month, it’s a circular, yellow happy face with what appears to be dinosaur claws and blood coming from the inside. And with every Loot Pin, there’s DLC you can unlock.

The Loot Crate Edition Jurassic World Warning Sign measures inches tall by inches wide. The metal sign is made by Factory Entertainment. It features the image of an electrified raptor with a nice little warning. The sign includes four zip ties, so you can put it right next to your Beware Of Dog sign on your chain link fence.

Every Loot Crate includes an exclusive t-shirt. For the Primal crate, they’ve included the Overwatch Winston Primal Rage T-shirt. Licensed by Blizzard and made by Loot Crate, the gray shirt features the Overwatch character Winston – a gorilla – with the phrase Primal Rage.

The crate includes an Exclusive Predator Bottle Opener, licensed by Fox and made by Loot Crate. This heavy metal bottle opener is available in one of two variants: the Jungle Hunter from Predator or Gort from the hunting party in Predator 2. I pulled the original Predator version, but have yet to use it to pop a bottle cap.

The big toy in this month’s Loot Crate is the 100% Die Cast Metal X-Men Logan Wolverine Figure made by Jada Toys. This exclusive toy is available in three different variants: Logan; Old Man Logan; Raw Adamantium Logan. We pulled the original Logan figure. Being die cast, it’s a hefty figure.

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.