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REVIEW: TMNT (1990 Movie) – 1/4th Scale Raphael

The 1990 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film holds a special place in the cockles of my heart. I was only 11 years old when it was released, and the film was the first that I was able to attend without parental interference. That’s a big moment for a youngster, and luckily it was a TMNT film and not something like The Rescuers Down Under (also released in 1990).

That year was also the peak of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon series, which ran from 1987 to 1996. And there was also the classic Playmates TMNT action figure series. So it’s not a surprise that I still think fondly about the 1990 Ninja Turtles film.

Fast forward 27 years, and NECA has started releasing quarter-scale figures based on the film license. These are large, 16.5-inch tall beasts with a lot of heft and just as many points of articulation (they say about 30). To date, they’ve released Leonardo and – just recently – Raphael. Thanks to NECA, we’ll be featuring the Raphael figure in this review.

The first thing you notice is that this collectible likely weighs more than an actual live box turtle. It could definitely be the centerpiece of your TMNT collection. And it’s not just because the figure is the size of a two-year-old child. NECA has done an amazing job capturing the on-screen look of Raphael. If you remember, each turtle looked slightly different. And this is the spitting image of the film version of Raph.

Raphael includes three sets of interchangeable hands, a slice of pizza (of course), and his two sai. The sai can either be held in either hand or placed in the belt holster. And there’s enough articulation in the figure’s arms and legs that you can get all sorts of poses from the included accessories.

So let’s talk about the money. The suggested retail price of $99.99 seems like a lot, but it’s actually less than half of some comparable 1/6th scale figures. Remember…this Raphael is a 1/4th scale figure.

And it’s not like NECA is skimping on the quality. Both the sculpting and paintwork is top-notch. Raphael’s skin is sculpted with all sorts of texture, and he has random dark green splotches…just like he did in the movie.

It’s sad to type this, but the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is closing in on being 3 decades old. Hopefully the reboot hasn’t made people forget that original film. Although…we all hope we can forget that Ninja Rap scene from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

The Facts



1/4th Scale Raphael
Series: 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie
Manufacturer: NECA
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: 1/4th scale – 16.5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: 30 points
Accessories: Two Sai; Slice of Pizza; 3 sets of interchangeable hands
Pricing: $99.99

You can pick one up at the following:

Amazon.com$169.99
Still available for pre-order at a number of online retailers.

REVIEW: February 2017 Loot Crate

February 2017 marked a major change for the folks at Loot Crate. They swapped out the box logo we’ve come to know so well for a new stylized LC (shaped sort of like a box). Personally, I’m liking this one better.

And with the shock of a new logo out of the way, I discovered that the theme of February’s Loot Crate was Build. The first thing I had to do was build the box the crate comes shipped in into the #LOOTBOT. The instructions were pretty easy, and my kids had fun with it for about 10 minutes before destroying it.

For some reason, I didn’t receive a Loot Crate magazine this month. I’m assuming it was just someone forgetting to put one in and it wasn’t one of my children swiping it out from underneath me. The Loot Crate magazine is always a fun read.

The Loot Pin for February 2017 features the Power Rangers in their assembled format. I watched a little Power Rangers, and realize they’re becoming popular again, but, age-wise, I sort of missed that craze.

There was a Loot Crate exclusive Batman Food Container from Zak! Well, it’s sort of LEGO Batman. And you unscrew his head and put some food or slime in there. Just beware of those spiked ears.

Also building on the Build theme is the Tetris Flexible Magnet Sheet. Featuring a number of Tetris shapes in various colors, basically, you can play a lo-fi version of the game on you refrigerator. You’ll likely need to provide the soundtrack.

Another LEGO themed figure is the LEGO Dimensions Cyborg Fun Pack. If you don’t have LEGO Dimensions, you should think about grabbing the game. It’s very entertaining and includes a lot of 1980’s film licenses. I guess the DC Comics stuff is cool…but they have Goonies, Gremlins, and Knight Rider.

Finally, the included t-shirt features a Power Rangers theme. Like the pin, it’s showing the Power Rangers assembling. Does that robot have a name? There’s a lot of Japanese words written on the shirt, but I have no idea what it says (if it actually says anything). But I love the grid/blueprint look to the dark blue and white t-shirt.

REVIEW: Threezero’s Jaime Lannister

I’m sure folks are already counting down the days until Season 7 of Game of Thrones (it’s July 16th 2017). One of the most popular shows on television, the HBO series based on George R. R. Martin’s book series also has collectors’ interest piqued. And Threezero is producing the only 1/6th scale figure series (that we know of) based on characters from the show.

To date, they’ve released Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and – now – Jaime Lannister. The Kingslayer comes dressed up in his highly detailed Kingsguard armor that’s removable and gives Jaime Lannister a totally different look.

Featuring the likeness of actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Lannister, the face sculpt does an admirable job recreating the look of the character from early in the series. Remember, this is a show that started in 2011, and the characters have been through a lot. Like losing hands…although this version of Lannister doesn’t include his golden hand.

The outfit is pretty impressive. All of the armor can be removed rather easily. That getup has a weathered cloak that clips on to the armor. It also includes a pair of “dressier” boots. Or you can then go with the tan leather-ish jacket (I believe they call it a robe) and the “casual” boots. For that more, laid-back look.

As far as weapons go, the Kingslayer is sporting his sword (I think it might be Oathkeeper) and a dagger. Each one can be secured on his belt in the accompanying sheath. And to hold those weapons, the figure includes an extra pair of hands specifically designed for that purpose.

Threezero doesn’t include display stands with most of their figures, which helps keep costs down. For example, the Jaime Lannister figure at $190.00 is about $20.00 less than your average 1/6th scale figure from competing high-end companies. Of course, this isn’t a Disney license…which might lend to some of those high costs.

And while there are some options for Game of Thrones collectors, since it’s not a show fit for kids (just watch some of the first few seasons), you don’t get the same number of lines a Marvel film would pull in. We’ve seen lines from Dark Horse, Funko, and McFarlane…but nothing that compares to the quality of what Threezero is putting out. And the proof is in the pudding…their Jaime Lannister figure is sold out in most spots.

The Facts



Jaime Lannister
Series: Game of Thrones
Manufacturer: Threezero
Authorized Likeness: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Material: 1/6th scale plastic articulated figure
Dimensions: 12 inches tall
Points of Articulation: Very many
Outfit: Highly Detailed Kingsguard Armor; Shirt; Pants; Robe; Cloak; Boots; Belt; Metal Buttons
Accessories: Pair of relaxed hands; Pair of hands for holding weapons; Sword; Dagger
Pricing: $190.00

REVIEW: The Littles

The Littles are tiny creatures - so tiny they are rarely seen. Only when a Little is caught, gotten, or given can we really appreciate them - we could all use a Little. So if the opportunity presents itself, Give a Little, because you never know when you're going to Get a Little!

Okoner has a new series of 2.5-inch tall rotocast vinyl figures known as The Littles. There are six different characters, each one featuring a unique sculpt. You’ve got Peace, Luck, Love, Heart Broken, Happiness, and Wisdom.

Their tagline is “Give a Little. Get a Little.” For example…”Give a Little Peace. Get a Little Peace.” To help you remember which Little you’re looking at, each vinyl figure has its name printed backwards across its chest. And since The Littles come packaged with their own little mirror (it’s the backing card with a reflective oval printed on it), it’s fairly easy to read.

The underlying shape of The Littles is simple. But each one is slightly different. Wisdom has a little hat. Peace has an arm with a hand that’s giving the peace sign. Love has one extended arm and wings. Etc. So there ends up being a lot of sculptural variety throughout the six figures.

Also, the printing/paint application is really well done. One example of this is the mouth on the Broken Heart Little. There’s an old school cartoonish look to it. All of the characters have a fun feel to them.

It seems that vinyl toys have gone the route of either designer artist sofubi releases or licensed series. So it’s nice to see an artist released line of vinyl toys that’s original.

Then you get to the price. At $4.99 each, they’re extremely affordable (especially compared to other vinyl toys out there). You can pick up the set of 6 figures for $24.99.

The Facts



The Littles
Artist: Okoner
Material: Rotocast Vinyl
Dimensions: 2.5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: Peace, Luck, Love, Heart Broken, Happiness, and Wisdom
Pricing: $4.99 each

You can pick them up at the following:

Okoner on Etsy: $4.99 each

REVIEW: December 2016 Loot Crate – Revolution

The monthly Loot Crate for December 2016 featured the theme “Revolution”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, we’re looking at definition number one: “a sudden and great change, esp. the violent change of a system of government”. The theme has nothing to do with moving around in a circle around a central point. That might make for a dull box full of loot.

We received this Loot Crate to review from the fine folks at Loot Crate. Where you can sign up for monthly plans ranging from $11.99 to $15.99 a month (depending on the number of months you commit to).

It wasn’t until I read the Loot Crate Magazine, which comes with every Loot Crate, that I realized the crate box was designed to be an Assassin’s Creed style building. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a snapshot of the Aguilar Pop! getting ready for his leap of faith.

The Assassin’s Creed Aguilar Pop! vinyl figure is a Loot Crate Exclusive from Funko. This version shows the main character from the film posed in a crouch. Even if you didn’t see (or enjoy) the film, it’s clear this is an Assassin’s Creed figure. So just pretend he’s from one of the many games. No one will know.

Also from Assassin’s Creed is the Revolution themed pin. It features the Assassin’s Creed “Brotherhood” logo in a textured nickel look. The pin includes DLC, a digital excerpt from the new Assassin’s Creed Heresy novel.

As with every Loot Crate, you’re guaranteed a monthly t-shirt. For December, it was the Exclusive Mr. Robot fsociety tee made by Loot Crate. Mr. Robot is one of those shows that I know I should probably be watching, and would probably like if I did watch it…but for some reason I haven’t started watching it.

The Firefly Independents Patch is an exclusive patch made by QMx for Loot Crate. The design is based on the original art files from Firefly graphic designer Dylan Hay-Chapman. Perfect to put on a brown coat…or something.

This month, each Loot Crate included a pretty interesting exclusive book. The Figure Fantasy harcover book by photographer Daniel Picard is produced by Insight Editions and features incredible toy photography. While Loot Crate might have stretched the “Revolution” theme with this offering, there should be no complaining. It includes some great photos.

REVIEW: App Dudes Iron Man Smartphone Stand

Just about everyone has a smartphone nowadays. I’ve heard people debate whether or not 5th grade was too early to get a kid his or her own iPhone. And with all of these smartphones come smartphone accessories (chargers, stands, cases, etc.). And there are plenty of those available.

Toy Island has released what they call their App Dudes Smartphone Stands. Currently, there are two stands available – Iron Man and Captain America. With both being from Marvel’s Avengers license, Toy Island felt I should be a supporter of Team Iron Man for this review.

The Iron Man stand measures about 8.5 inches in height and is made of PVC plastic. It has no articulation. The stand works with the iPhone 7, 6/6S, 5/5S, SE and Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, 6 Edge smartphone models. I tested it out using the iPhone 7. Of course, if you use any sort of case, you’ll need to remove your case in order to fit the phone in the opening on the stand.

And that might be a deal breaker. I know taking off and putting on my UAG case is a royal pain in the butt. I wouldn’t want to do that every night just to charge my phone. But maybe it works a little better with a bumper case, or it’s possible that your case doesn’t take an engineering degree to remove.

The actual stand is only half of the equation. It doesn’t really work with the App Dudes app. You can download the free app from the App Store or Google Play, just search for App Dudes or Toy Island. The app allows you to choose your Character and Mode (Full Mode, Sleep Mode, Set Alarm). He speaks over 50 phrases and can speak randomly, respond to tilting, be interactive, or work as an alarm clock. You can check out some of the interactive functions in the video below.

 

A video posted by App Dudes (@appdudes) on

The nice thing is that you can download the app for free first. So, check it out and if you like it, $19.99 is pretty reasonable for a smartphone stand that doubles as a Marvel superhero. Admittedly, this will likely be more entertaining for the youngsters. But maybe you’ll be able to get them up for school in the morning if Tony Stark or Steve Rogers is yelling at them to roll out of bed.

The Facts



App Dudes Iron Man Smartphone Stand
Series: App Dudes
Manufacturer: Toy Island
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: 8.5 inches tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Pricing: $19.99

You can pick one up at the following:

Amazon.com: $19.99

REVIEW: The Walking Dead – 1/6th Scale Rick Grimes

Threezero has made some waves with their announcement and subsequent release of 1/6th scale figures based on AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead. The first figures delivered from the license were the pair of pet zombies we first saw with Michonne. They were released way back in late 2013/early 2014.

It wasn’t until just recently that Threezero started shipping their 1/6th scale Rick Grimes collectible figure. Luckily, we were able to get our hands on one of those recently released figures, thanks to the fine folks at Threezero.

I’ll start out by saying that I watched The Walking Dead up until (semi-spoiler-alert) Beth Greene’s death storyline back in Season 5. There was nothing specifically troubling about it. It’s just that I also read the comics, and the plot of the comics outpaced (and outperformed) what they were putting out on television. I do keep up with what transpires on AMC’s version, though.

Between The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, Threezero has the licenses for two of the most talked shows on television. And their first real release from the license (I’ll classify Michonne’s pets as more of a test zombie run), is the main character Rick Grimes.

Rick, portrayed by actor Andrew Lincoln on the show, appears to be based on his look from Season 5 of The Walking Dead. The figure has a beard as well as longer wavy hair. Both are sculpted. It’s often facial hair (either the sculpt or the paint application) that can ruin a figure. Luckily for Threezero, they did an excellent job with both.

If you do a search for Rick Grimes, you’ll notice his beard is not consistent. It sometimes has a little grey in it; other times it’s predominantly grey and dirty blonde; still others, it looks like Rick found a bottle of Just For Men and dyed it all dark brown. As far as the face sculpt, I’d say it’s about 95% Andrew Lincoln. It’s a case of, from this angle he looks perfect and from that angle...I’m not so sure.

Rick’s attire is similar to what we see him wearing in Seasons 4 and 5. He’s sporting a trendy brown leather jacket with a shearling collar, blue jeans, and tan cowboy boots. It took me a few tries, but the jacket has a functioning zipper if you have tiny baby hands that can operate it.

As far as accessories, Rick includes five hands. There are relaxed, holding, and a right hand that’s sculpted for holding a gun. From Rick’s belt hangs a Colt python .357 revolver in its holster as well as a red-handled machete in its sheath. The big gun is an AKM assault rifle. I had to look online where to place the carabineer that hooks the strap at the barrel end. I’m still not sure I have it correct.

Personally, I’d arm Rick with his revolver and a machete. It seems like using a Kalashnikov to mow through the undead is just gratuitous and removes the sport from a good old zombie apocalypse slaying.

As far as pricing, the figure is listed at $164.99. That’s considerably less than other 1/6th scale figures, which seem to average above $200.00 nowadays. Threezero is consistently on the lower end of pricing, when it comes to top tier 1/6th scale figures.

But if you’re a fan of AMC’s The Wallking Dead, now’s the time to start collecting this series. Threezero just released Rick; Merle Dixon is expected to begin shipping later this year; and we’ve seen preview images of the Michonne figure that will be available for pre-order in the near future.

The Facts



1/6th Scale Rick Grimes
Series: AMC’s The Walking Dead
Manufacturer: Threezero
Authorized Likeness: Andrew Lincoln
Material: Articulated plastic figure
Dimensions: 1/6th scale (12 inches)
Outfit: Weathered faux-leather brown jacket; Tan t-shirt; Black leather belt; Weathered jeans; Tan boots
Accessories: Pair of relaxed hands; Pair of holding hands; Right hand for holding gun; Colt python .357 revolver and holster; AKM assault rifle; Red handle machete and sheath
Pricing: $164.99

You can pick one up at the following:

Sideshow Collectibles: $164.99

REVIEW: November 2016 Loot Crate – Magical

It’s a little late, but due to the holidays, we’re just now checking out the November 2016 Loot Crate (don’t you worry, the December one is nipping at its heels) we recently received from the fine Loot Crate folks.. November’s theme was “Magical”, starting with the black box with all of the various jars and potions on it. And, as with every Loot Crate, you end up with the monthly Loot Crate magazine – featuring information about everything that you receive in the crate.

One of those items is the monthly t-shirt. For November, it’s the Exclusive Fantastic Beasts Obliviator T-Shirt from Bioworld. The black and white design on a blue t-shirt is from J.K. Rowling’s recently released film – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

There’s also an Exclusive Game of Thrones Journal from Caden Concepts. The journal features an image of Melisandre on the front and back. On the front, there’s the youthful Red Woman…the back…the old crone.

And for your reading pleasure, there’s a Loot Crate Exclusive Big Trouble In Little China/Escape From New York Comic from BOOM! Comics. Probably one of the most interesting comic book crossovers, this one sees Kurt Russell meet himself (or Snake Plissken meet Jack Burton).

A monthly pin is another mainstay in the Loot Crate. For November 2016, the Magical themed pin is the The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition Collector’s Pin. The pin includes an upgrade code for The Elder Scrolls Online for PC/Mac.

Finally, the major toy in this month’s Loot Crate is the Exclusive Doctor Strange Q-Fig made by QMx. The maquette is a stylized version of Doctor Strange based on Benedict Cumberbatch’s portraying the character in the recently released Marvel Doctor Strange film.

Remember, you can pick up a monthly Loot Crate for $15.99 per month plus shipping and handling. You can also sign up for 3 month ($13.25/mo), 6 month ($12.95/mo), or 12 month ($11.95/mo) subscriptions. Each month's crate includes 4 to 6 licensed and exclusive items with over $45 in value.

REVIEW: Modarri – The Ultimate Toy Car

Thoughtfull Toys is looking to shake up the toy car world with their Modarri line. Coined “The Ultimate Toy Car”, Modarri cars are building toys that allow kids and adults to construct their desired car design from millions of possibilities and dozens of parts.

Each car is broken down into seven parts, each one being interchangeable. There are the wheels, front and rear suspension, chassis, seat, fender, hood, and metal frame. They also include a hex tool screwdriver that allows you to tear everything down and put everything back together. The cars use retained screws, so you can’t fully unscrew the screws. It’s a nice touch…since no one ever wants to be searching the floor for tiny missing screws.

The folks from Modarri were nice enough to send along a few different sets, which we’re taking a look at.

The Delux 3-Pack Set (it is spelled without the E) includes the S1, X1, and T1 designs. There are three car frames and chassis plus five hoods and fenders. There are also two suspensions per car and four wheels per car. All of these things can be swapped out using the three hex tools (each colored similar to a car). The set also comes with eight traffic cones to test your driving prowess. The Delux 3-Pack retails for $59.99.

The Delux X1 Dirt Car Set includes both the orange dirt car and blue/silver concept car hoods and fenders along with the dirt car frame and chassis. It also comes with a hex screwdriver tool that allows you to swap between the two designs. The set sells for $24.99.

And the Le Mans T1 Track Body Pack includes a hood, frame, and fenders in a purple, black and white theme. The parts are interchangeable with all of the other Modarri cars. They have several other body packs available, each one retailing for $9.99.

Currently, there are four different car designs available. There’s the S1 – Street Stinger, S2 – Street Muscle Car, T1 – Track Attack Car, and X1 – Off-Road Basher. In the photo above, you're looking at the S1, T1, and X1 from left to right. We didn’t get a chance to check out the S2 design in this review.

To drive a Modarri car, you place your finger (any finger) in the base of the driver’s seat. You then apply pressure from side to side to steer it. Think of them as a more advanced fingerboard. You need to use the same type of control with your finger and hand. Admittedly, you’ll be doing fewer tricks with the Modarri cars…but it’s still possible to do figure eights and sharp turns.

It's that unique driving experience plus the ability to mix and match and create your own custom car (they also have a DIY version) that's led to the Modarri line's overall grade. To stand out, and to do something unique, in a market or field that’s been around for decades is impressive. I’ve found these to be some of the most playable toys I’ve reviewed on the site. I had to take photos the first day the box rolled in; else my five and six year old boys wouldn’t have let me get any packaging shots.

And the appeal to the Modarri cars is two-fold. There are the unique driving capabilities. You steer with your finger in the seat and the suspension to your pressure. But there’s also the ability to swap parts and create a car that’s your own design – truly unique.

The Facts



Modarri
Manufacturer: Thoughtfull Toys
Material: Plastic with metal frame
Dimensions: About 4.5 inches long
Designs: S1 – Street Stinger; S2 – Street Muscle Car; T1 – Track Attack Car; X1 – Off-Road Basher
Accessories: Hex screwdriver tool
Pricing: Bundles range from $18.99 to $368.99

You can pick up a single car at the following (plenty of other sets and packs available):

Modarri.com: $18.99
Amazon.com: $18.99

REVIEW: WWE TeenyMates Collector Tin

The folks from The Party Animal Inc. have released several series of their popular TeenyMates figures. They’ve taken on licenses from the four major American sports leagues – the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. And now they’ve moved on to professional wrestling with their WWE TeenyMates line.

We received the WWE TeenyMates Collector Tin, which includes four blind bags, an exclusive glow-in-the-dark Macho Man TeenyMates figure, and a WWE Arena Display. Each blind bag includes two random figures plus two double-sided puzzle pieces. In total, you receive nine WWE TeenyMates in the Collector Tin.

While the licensed sports league figures are mainly generic characters that highlight teams rather than a specific player, the WWE TeenyMates are sculpted to look like a specific wrestler. The chosen wrestlers span the decades and include both men and women wrestlers.

Also available in singular blind bags, you could pull any of the following WWE Superstars:

Big Show; Bray Wyatt; Bret Hart; Brie Bella; Brock Lesnar; Daniel Bryan; Dean Ambrose; Dolph Ziggler; Golddust; Jey Uso; Jimmy Uso; John Cena; Kane; Kofi Kingston; Macho Man Randy Savage; Nikki Bella; Randy Orton; Roman Reigns; Seth Rollins; Shaemus; Sin Cara; Stardust; Sting; Stone Cold Steve Austin; The Rock; The Ultimate Warrior; The Undertaker; Triple H

Having watched WWE since I was a youngster, I was easily able to identify the figures I pulled. So I asked my 6-year-old son, who is an occasional wrestling viewer, and he was able to name all of the current wrestlers. My guess is that means they’ve done a pretty good job sculpting these 1-inch tall TeenyMates. And the paint application on a line of this size (they are teeny) is pretty good as well. Not much slop, nor many missed spots.

My kids always want to pick up a blind bag of NHL TeenyMates whenever we go to a Hurricanes game. So I have a bunch of them. And while I like the league-licensed figures, I think the likenesses of actual WWE wrestlers is all that more impressive. Plus, there are dozens of wrestlers they could immortalize as 1-inch tall Teenymates. And since this is labeled as Series 1, let’s hope they continue to do just that.

The Facts



WWE TeenyMates Collector Tin
Series: TeenyMates
Manufacturer: The Party Animal Inc.
Material: Plastic
Dimensions: 1-inch tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Designs: 32 current and classic WWE wrestlers
Pricing: $19.99

To pick one up, check out the following:

LilTeammatesShop.com: $19.99
Amazon.com: $14.05