Monday, September 1, 2014

(Justice League) The New Frontier (DC Direct)

(Justice League) The New Frontier
DC Direct
2006 - 2009

Just when you thought there was nothing new or original that could be done with the Justice League, in steps Darwyne Cooke with his concept for The New Frontier. The six issue limited series was highly regarded by comic book fans, and even went on to win an Eisner Award for best limited series, best coloring and best publication design. The awards didn't stop there. It also won Harvey Awards for best artist, best colorist and best continuing or limited series. Lastly, it recieved the Shuster Award for outstanding Canadian comic book cartoonist.

If you couldn't tell, the series is highly regarded in the comic book industry.

In 2008 the story was adapted into a television movie which was made available directly on DVD and blu-ray. On the day of its release it also had a limited pay-per-view running. To date it's one of the few rated PG-13 animated cartoons based on DC comic book characters.

DC Direct built on the popularity of the series by producing a very select release of figures from 2006 to 2009. At this point it's very difficult to go into great depth of the line as we've basically said the same thing over and over when it comes to the DC Direct stuff. It's great, it's very limited, and it's somewhat pricy for your average collector. A such we're not going to continue to beat out the regular ho-hum post, and instead will just let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

Blackhawk*Green Arrow*Green Lantern

Superman*Wonder Woman

Batman*Dr. Fate*The Flash

Martian Manhunter

The New Frontier Box Set with Green Lantern, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman

Join us next time when we take a look at Shadow Strikers!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 9 and Beyond!

Here's a great look at the latest Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figures from Playmates Toys!

Tiger Claw*Robotic Foot Soldier*Rocksteady*Karai*Baxter Stockman (fly)*Bebop
Tiger Claw and Robotic Foot Soldier are due out in September/October of this year. All others have unknown release dates.

Comic Leonardo*Comic Raphael*Comic Donatello*Comic Michelangelo
The four turtles are the only figures that have been announced in this all new sub series of the Nickelodeon line. They will feature a similar package design which will be mostly purple in color. These figures are expected to hit store shelves in September/October.
We'll keep you posted on any future news we hear.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Waterworld (Kenner)


In an ever growing futile attempt from Kenner to grab hold of a franchise that would give them the profits the likes that they'd seen in the late 70's/early 80's, the decision was made to produce a toy line on the Universal film Waterworld.  Sadly, much like so many Kenner products over the late 1980's/early 1990's, the film was a flop, and with it went any chance of mass sales in toys.

The film which cost $175 million to make just barely grossed over $264 million.  While 89 million dollars would be happily received by many of us, to Hollywood it was a major bust for the investment.

The poor reception of the film certainly didn't help it's leading actor, Kevin Costner, who would be a nominee of the Razzie Award fairly consecutively from 1992 through 2002 for not only worst actor, bust worst film.  Waterworld was no exception, and nominated for both.

In total, eight figures were produced - Six basic figures, and two deluxe with vehicles.  Four of the eight would be renditions of Costner's character, The Mariner.

Atoll Enforcer*Bola Attack Mariner*Deacon

Hydro Stinger Mariner*Nord*Power Bolt Mariner

Wave Ripper with Warrior Mariner*Smoker Thunder Ski with Berserker Rider
Only one larger vehicle was produced for the series.

The Trimaran
Kenner learned the hard way in 1977 that you should have product ready to go for a film that could potentially turn into an overnight success.  Unfortunately for them, they also spent the next two decades learning the hard way that you should wait to see if a film is going to be a huge success before having product ready to go.  What a terrible catch 22.

Join us next time when we take a look at The New Frontier!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Borderlands (NECA)

2012 - 2014

Greetings traveller! It's the line that has become synonymous with the series Borderlands from Gearbox. Despite it's main cast of valut hunters being the actual playable characters, fans of the series found more joy when running into the speaker of the line, ClapTrap, or CL4P-TP. The clunky little robot was your first NPC met in the game, and from there would show up randomly to offer quips and tips all delivered with a humerous undertone.

Though NECA first intended on producing a series of figures based on the numerous characters from Borderlands, they quickly changed directions when the popularity of ClapTrap took off. As such, the company focuses the majority of their efforts on the toy line in producing variations of ClapTrap himself. The only other figure to be produced to date is the Psycho Bandit, which while it's a great figure doesn't hold a candle to the uniqueness of ClapTrap.

ClapTrap AKA CL4P-TP

Psycho Bandit

ClapTrap AKA CL4P-TP: Model BLU14

ClapTrap AKA CL4P-TP: Model Jakobs
ClapTrap AKA CL4P: Model Gentleman Caller

Because this is an ongoing series, we will continue to update this post as new figures are made available.

Join us next time when we take a look at Waterworld!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mass Effect 2 and 3 (Big Fish Toys)

Mass Effect 2 and 3
Big Fish Toys

Mass Effect was Bioware's masterpiece series which touted it was all about player choice. Each decision you made not only affected the outcome of your current game, but also set the stage for further adventures in its two sequels. Fans spent hundreds of hours searching every nook and cranny of the game, determined to get the ultimate experience from its vast world, and interesting NPC characters.

When the trilogy was concluded in 2012, the relatively unknown toy company Big Fish Toys stepped into the spotlight producing a line of figures based on Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. Both series were released consecutively in specialty and select retail stores.

Though sales were slow, as product went out of production it became more and more difficult to put a full set together without resorting to second hand dealers. While you would think this would make prices start to increase, instead the majority of collector's went the opposite route. They just lost interest.

As a whole the series is one of the finest produced to date based on video game characters. The sculpts are spot on, and the articulation is pretty impressive. Equally impressive is the attention to detail in the character's signature weapons.



So where is Big Fish Toys today? We wish me knew. The Mass Effect 2 and 3 series are the only action figure lines they appear to have produced to date. Google searches yeild no information on the company, leading us to believe that they may have suffered the same fate as AnJon, the producers of the Dragon's Lair toys. By that we mean, they invested all their cash in producing an amazing series that unfortunately only a small niche of collectors wanted, and as such have gone belly up.

Join us next time when we take a look at Borderlands!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Teen Titans (Mego)

Teen Titans

Before the Teen Titans became the group of super heroes that most people know them as today; Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Terra, they were a completely different concept. Though still incorporating Robin, the series also included the likes of Aqualad, and Kid Flash. The series would later go on to incorporate a few more faces that would come and go.

The original series of comics was produced from January 1966 through its final issue, number forty-three, in February 1973. It was picked up again in November of 1976, picking up with issue forty-four. The revival was short lived ending with issue number fifty-three in February of 1978.

Helping to build on its ever popular franchise of "dolls", Mego produced a very small series of figures based on the original Teen Titans. One of the best concepts Mego had going for it was that since the size and materials used for each character they produced never changed, it was easy to incorporate the various lines produced together. As a result, it was never necessary for them to produce a new Robin figure because numerous versions already existed. This meant that they could focus on characters who had yet to be made in plastic.


Kid Flash



Though the company is no longer around these days, for its time Mego stood for quality toys that were unmatched by any other company for the style they focused on. It could be argued that without them, the majority of beloved comic book icons would not be as popular today without their unique dolls to help promote play in children's imaginations.

Join us next time when we take a look at Mass Effect 2 and 3!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Outer Space Men (Colorforms)

The Outer Space Men

The Outer Space Men was a series of bendable figures which were produced in the late 1960's by Colorforms.  Using the basic constellations of planets in our own galaxy, each figure was given a name, and assigned a planet of origin.

It is speculated by several collector's markets that the line was produced to compete with and also be incorporated with Mattel's Major Matt Mason line from the same period.  Colorforms failed to find much commercial success with the line when it was first produced, and the line quickly vanished from store shelves.  This unfortunately meant that even though a second series was well into production, the line was cancelled before it would be released.

Alpha 7 The Man From Mars*Astro-Nautilus The Man From Neptune

Colossus Rex The Man From Jupiter*Commander Comet The Man From Venus

Electron+ The Man From Pluto*Orbitron The Man From Uranus

Xodiac The Man From Saturn

 A full set out of the figures can run you anywhere from $1,200.00 to $1,500.00.  A full set sealed on the cards is unheard of, with the exception of one confirmed set owned by creator Mel Birnkrant.  Thus no price point can even be speculated.

These days, the line is seeing a major resurgence in popularity, most notably because of the new products being sculpted by The Four Horsemen and original creator Mr. Birnkrant.  The line now features smaller, 3 3/4 inch figures, and even the above mentioned cancelled figures are being released, much to fan approval.

The photographs of the figures and cardbacks in this post are the property of Mr. Mel Birnkrant.  Taken from his own personal website, "HERE".  Photo layout and design by The Toy Box.

Join us next time when we take a look at Teen Titans!

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