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REVIEW: NTF’s B-KAWZ

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Background

The latest vinyl figure from Necessaries Toy Foundation is called B-KAWZ:

B-KAWZ there isn't enough shit at Comicon already. B-KAWZ you are not a very discerning toy collector. B-KAWZ absolutely everyone bastardizes everyone else. B-KAWZ art imitating art is still art, geddit?

Call it what you will, is it a blatant rip-off or a noble tribute? We at Necessaries Toy Foundation consider it a homage to two successful and very respected artists.

It is also commentary and parody.

Is it an original idea? We think it is, but only in an esoteric sense. In fact, it is a very original idea if you are a lateral thinker.

Appropriator? Perpetrator? Instigator?
It is what it is, and I yam what I yam.

B-KAWZ is a metaphor du jour. Merely this and nothing more . . .

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The Facts



B-KAWZ: Appropriating the Appropriator
Manufacturer: Necessaries Toy Foundation
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: 11” tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Edition Size: 250 pieces (Gold Edition)
Pricing: $100.00
 

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Packaging

The B-KAWZ vinyl figure comes packaged in a large box that features a dissected illustration of the character over the various side panels. (It’s not as elaborate as some of the recent releases from NTF.) On the inside, the figure is secured between a pair of snapping clear plastic trays.

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Our Opinion

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REVIEW: Iron Man 3 – Series 2 Cosbaby (S)

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Background

Iron Man 3 was the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first film following the enormously successful 2012 film – The Avengers. Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it was just as successful at the box office as the first two. And like the first two films, collectible and toy tie-ins were readily available.

Hot Toys, which has produced toys based on the first two Iron Man films, has released sixth scale, collectible busts, and Cosbaby figures based on the Iron Man 3 license. For this review, we’re taking a look at Series 2 of their Iron Man 3 Cosbaby (S) figures. Featuring six Iron Man Cosbaby figures, this series gives us a different spin on how we think about the Cosbaby line.

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The Facts



Iron Man 3 – Series 2 Cosbaby (S)
Series: Cosbaby (S)
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Material: Plastic snap kit
Dimensions: Approximately 3” tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: Mark XLII, Mark XLII (Battle Damaged Version), Mark XLII (Pepper Potts Version), Tony Stark, Iron Patriot, and War Machine Mark II
Accessories: Each Cosbaby will includes a special diorama base
Pricing: $69.00 set

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Packaging

The Iron Man 3 – Series 2 Cosbaby (S) set comes in a long rectangular box. This comes packaged as a set, so you won’t need to purchase individual figures to complete your set. The box features a plastic windowpane front with minimal Iron Man artwork highlighting it.

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Our Opinion

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REVIEW: 8 Little Zombies Plush

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Background

Eight Little Zombies, rising from the dead. One got shot and lost his head. Neighbor called the Sheriff and the Sheriff said, “No more zombies rising from the dead!”

John LaFleur and Dave Metzger have taken to Kickstarter to get their 8 Little Zombies hardcover book produced. The story is a zombified spin on the classic children’s tale about eight little monkeys jumping on someone’s bed and then falling and being brutally injured.

The 8 Little Zombies plush - one of the backing rewards - is available at various funding levels. Hopefully, it will also be able to be purchased following the successful completion to the Kickstarter project.

The Facts



8 Little Zombies Plush
Artist: Dave Metzger
Material: Plush
Dimensions: 12” tall
Edition Size: 2,500 pieces
Pricing: $20.00 each

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Tag

The swing tag is shaped like a tombstone. It features the 8 Little Zombies logo and one of those zombie’s undead hands poking out of the ground. Inside, there is a sketch of the zombie character as well as part of the story (reprinted above).

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Our Opinion

With Kickstarter becoming a viable option for raising funds to self-produce toys, more artists and companies are taking that route to get their projects rolling and/or completed. And that’s where Dave Metzger (artist) and John LeFleur (writer) are looking to raise funds to get their 8 Little Zombies book produced.

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REVIEW: Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1

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Background

The Mystical Warriors of the Ring toy line was created by Mark Vasquez and Fantastic Plastic Toys, with help from artist Jazyl Homavazir, sculptor Simon Grell, and prototype-master Marty “The GodBeast” Hansen. While the line had been predominantly produced as small run resin figures, late last year they released the first PVC series.

The Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1 features three characters - Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre, and Widowmaker. Each figure is designed in the 1980’s M.U.S.C.L.E. style, which is fitting since this line also revolves around crazy creatures battling it out in the squared circle.

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The Facts



Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1
Series: Mystical Warriors of the Ring
Manufacturer: Fantastic Plastic Toys
Artist: Mark Vasquez
Material: PVC
Dimensions: Around 2" tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre, and Widowmaker
Pricing: $9.00 per 3-pack

Packaging

The three figures are bagged in a simple, clear plastic bag.

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Our Opinion

The Mystical Warriors of the Ring Series 1 is made up of three characters. Kayin Kungaa is the large gorilla sporting and Andre the Giant singlet. Sheldon Sabre is the lion/tiger/cat thing with a tail hanging out of the back of his trunks. And Widowmaker is the creepy giant spider Luchador.

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REVIEW: Hot Toys’ Joe Colton

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Background

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the 2013 action film based on the Hasbro toy license. The second live-action G.I. Joe film is a follow-up to the 2009 box office success – G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Even though reviews of the film were mixed to negative, Retaliation grossed big money at the box office.

So it makes sense that a successful film based on an iconic toy line would result in additional toys being released. That’s where Hot Toys steps in. They have the high-end sixth scale toy license for G.I. Joe: Retaliation and have released a total of four toys: Joe Colton, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, and Storm Shadow. For this review, we will be taking a look at the Sideshow Exclusive Joe Colton figure.

Joe Colton, aka the original G.I. Joe, is portrayed by Bruce Willis in Retaliation. Hot Toys released the figure as a part of their 2013 Toy Fairs Exclusives, with Sideshow Collectibles picking up the figure for the North American market.

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The Facts



Joe Colton
Series: G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Sculpted by: Kim Yong Kyum
Painted by: JC. Hong
Authorized Likeness: Bruce Willis as Joe Colton
Material: Plastic articulated figure
Dimensions: Sixth Scale
Points of Articulation: Over 30 points of articulation
Outfit: Green military jacket and pants; Black t-shirt; Pair of black boots; Belt with magazine pouches; Double shoulder holster; Left knee pad; Drop leg panel with holster and magazine pouches
Accessories: Six interchangeable hands: Pair of gun shooting hands, Pair of relaxed hands, Right hand for holding gun, Left fist; Machine gun with silencer and strap; Shotgun; Three pistols; Five small ammo clips; One big ammo clip; Two climbing buckles; Figure stand with Joe Colton nameplate and movie logo
Edition Size: Limited Edition (Hot Toys' 2013 Toy Fair Exclusive)
Pricing: $214.99

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REVIEW: Monsters University Cosbaby (S) Series

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Background

Monsters University is the 2013 prequel follow-up to the Disney•Pixar Monsters, Inc. Fans of the original film only had to wait 12 years to get their anticipated sequel, which has pulled in mostly high grades among film review aggregators. I like to think of the film as Revenge of the Nerds in the Disney•Pixar universe.

Hot Toys, which has the license to produce their Cosbaby line based on Monsters University, has released a 6-pack Monsters University Cosbaby (S) Series featuring the entirety of Oozma Kappa characters: Mike, Sulley, Squishy, Art, Terry & Terri, and Don.

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The Facts



Monsters University Cosbaby (S) Series
Series: Cosbaby (S) Series
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Material: Plastic snap kits
Dimensions: Approximately 3” tall
Points of Articulation: From zero to five, depending on character
Designs: Mike Wazowski, James “Sulley” Sullivan, Scott “Squishy” Squibbles, Art, Terry & Terri Perry, and Don Carlton
Accessories: Mike’s lunchbox and bag
Pricing: $69.99 set ($11.99 each)

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Packaging

The series comes packaged in a long, rectangular plastic window front box. That window shows off all of the characters that you’ve just purchased in a long plastic tray. The back of the box features some great character artwork, that’s somewhere between the on-screen version and the Cosbaby figure.

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Our Opinion

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REVIEW: Captain Action Wave 3

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Background

Captain Action was originally released in 1966 as Ideal Toy Company’s answer to Hasbro’s G.I. Joe. Kids and collectors were able to dress him up in costumes of some of the most popular superheroes of the day. After 30 years off the market, Captain Action returned briefly in the late 1990’s. Then, a few years ago, Captain Action Enterprises announced a new sixth scale series.

The sixth scale Captain Action comes with the ability to change into a number of Marvel superheroes. With the outfits sold separately, Captain Action can become Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, and Wolverine. For this review, we are taking a closer look at the Captain Action figure as well as the Marvel Wave 3 costumes: Iron Man and Wolverine.

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The Facts



Captain Action
Series: Marvel Wave 3
Manufacturer: Captain Action Enterprises and Round 2 Corp.
Material: Plastic articulated figure
Dimensions: One-Sixth Scale
Points of Articulation: 25+ points
Captain Action Outfit and Accessories: Blue and black bodysuit with Captain Action logo on chest; Black boots with silver lightning bolt; Silver and red belt with yellow lightning bolt; Captain Action blue peaked hat
Iron Man Outfit and Accessories: Two piece Iron Man mask; Red and yellow bodysuit; Red belt; Red gloves and boots; Two piece red chest plate with yellow unibeam; Hawkeye’s wrist and
Wolverine Outfit and Accessories: Wolverine’s mask with sculpted face; Yellow, blue and black bodysuit with blue shoulder pads; Blue and black boots; Red belt with X-Men symbol; Blue gloves with silver Wolverine claws; Hawkeye’s face mask
Pricing: $19.99 each MSRP

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REVIEW: Ion Men – Uma-naut

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Background

Designed by Matts Walls (A.O.I.) and Daniel Smith (turboPISTOLA), the Ion Men are a series of 5” tall sofubi vinyl figures. The Ion Men are made up of a combination of 7 different parts. There are 8 heads, 2 bodies, 2 legs and 5 sets of arms (clockwork cannons, fists, mace, Seismic Ace head arm, and a UFO). The heads are named: Big Damage K16, Centurion K16, Kumatank (Beartank), Murder Boner, Seismic King, Strollbot, Trojan Hoss, and XLR8OR88.

There have been several color releases, as well as some hand-painted versions. For this review, we received the Uma-naut Clear Black colorway. It features the Trojan Hoss head and a translucent black look.

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The Facts



Uma-naut
Series: Ion Men
Artists: turboPISTOLA (Daniel Smith) and A.O.I. (Matt Walls)
Material: Clear black vinyl sofubi
Dimensions: Around 5” tall
Points of Articulation: 6 points (neck, shoulders, elbows, waist)
Pricing: $25.00

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Packaging

The Japan-made sofubi vinyl comes bagged with a header card. There is a colorful illustration of the Ion on the front. The back of the card is where all of the information about the figure is located. Also, you can also see outlines of the various head styles in the background.

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Our Opinion

As you’re probably well aware, I have a slight bias towards Japan made (sofubi) vinyl figures. It’s not that pieces made in China are inferior; there are plenty that stack up equally to (or better than) their Japan-made counterparts. It’s that a good sofubi figure feels better in your hands (softer) and can be made in translucent colors without the bubbles that usually plague those made in China.

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REVIEW: AJ’s Toy Boarders – Snow Series 1

Toy Boarders Snow 01

Background

With the release of their Snow Series 1, The Original AJ’s Toy Boarders has expanded their boarding empire from skateboards to snowboards. Similar in appearance to those unforgettable little green army men, the Toy Boarders – Snow Series 1 features eight different designs (some more action-packed than others) bagged with a header card.

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The Facts



Toy Boarders – Snow Series 1
Series: The Original AJ’s Toy Boarders
Manufacturer: Alfa-Row Inc.
Material: Injection Molded Plastic
Dimensions: Around 2” tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: 8 Poses - Big Air, Switch, Rail Slide, Rail Grab, Tail Grab, Cruising, Bomber, and 180
Pricing: $5.95/pack of 24

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Packaging

The lot of 24 figures comes bagged with a header card. The header card features simple silhouette illustrations of the poses, accompanied by their names, on the rear of the card. The front of the card has the AJ’s Toy Boarders logo.

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Our Opinion

Most people have played with or know someone who played with those little green army men. They were a cheap staple of toy collections since the 1950’s, and are still readily available at supermarkets and dollar stores. AJ’s Toy Boarders pay homage to those toys, although with a non-violent, more sports-oriented spin.

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You always knew those army guys would have some extra plastic on the top of their head from where they were hastily pulled from the injection molding. But that was part of the appeal. And it’s part of the appeal with the Toy Boarders.

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REVIEW: Mike, Sulley, and Archie Deluxe Vinyl Set

HT Monsters University Vinyl 01

Background

Monsters University is the 2013 released prequel to the immensely popular 2001 film Monsters Inc. Starring most of the same characters and voice talent as the first film, the story follows Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan as they begin classes in the scare program at Monsters U.

Hot Toys, which has the license to produce Cosbaby and MMS Vinyl figures based on the film, has released two different versions of the Mike and Sulley vinyl figure set from Monsters University. The first features Mike and Sulley in all of their nude monster glory. The Mike, Sulley and Archie Deluxe Set (the one we’re reviewing) features both Monsters University students dressed in their school jackets. It also includes Archie the Scare Pig, who was swiped from Monsters U rival - Fear Tech.

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The Facts



Mike, Sulley, and Archie Deluxe Vinyl Set
Series: MMS Vinyl
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Material: Vinyl
Dimensions: Sulley – 9”, Mike – 5”, Archie – 2”
Points of Articulation: Zero
Pricing: $149.99

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Packaging

Hot Toys rarely lets folks down when it comes to the packaging of their collectibles. The front of the box features a plastic windowpane that allows you to view the figures as they should be displayed. And the rear of the box features an illustrated version of the characters in the same pose.

The interior packaging actually can be removed and used as a backdrop for the vinyl figures. It’s an illustrated version of the entranceway to the Monsters University campus.

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