Aaron Judge had a pretty solid rookie season. In addition to winning the AL Rookie of the Year award, he was second in the AL MVP voting. Plus, he led the league in homers, runs scored, walks, and (unfortunately) strikeouts.
And since Sports Crate hadn’t released his likeness as a part of their Ballers line, it just makes sense for Judge to be the 5th Yankees’ player to be added to the stylized line.
This is the second round of figures featuring the newly-designed Ballers body. I’m a fan of the enhancements that they made to the figure. It’s more solid. You don’t have the loose ankle joints, which made displaying a little difficult. But they’ve kept the great, stylized look of the series.
And while I had some issues with the svelteness of last Yankees’ Crate Ballers figure – C.C. Sabathia – the Judge figure is an excellent likeness. (Although, he is missing the gap between his front teeth that’s shown on the illustrated box art.)
The Judge figure comes with a pair of accessories for displaying. There’s a stand, in the shape of a base. Also, the figure includes a baseball bat. I did notice that this figure didn’t have the interchangeable gloved hand, which the old design would include.
Of course, this is only one of the items that’s included in a Sports Crate. You’ll get other team specific collectibles, such as t-shirts, cups, games, and plenty of other things. And while those items vary, there’s a Ballers figure included in every Crate. Also, included with every Ballers figure is a Topps trading card of that player.
Aaron Judge Ballers Series: Ballers Manufacturer: Loot Crate/Sports Crate Material: Plastic Authorized Likeness: Aaron Judge Dimensions: 4.75 inches tall Points of Articulation: 21 Accessories: Bat; Plate figure stand Pricing: Included in $29.99 Sports Crate
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).
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
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.
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
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).
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
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.
Finn Balor Bleacher Creature Series: WWE Bleacher Creatures Manufacturer: Bleacher Creatures Material: Plush Authorized Likeness: Finn Balor Dimensions: 10 inches tall Pricing: $19.99
Some folks feel that Elfis 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 Vinimatesfigures, 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.
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
The October 2017Loot 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.
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.
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
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.
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...
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)