Thursday, December 14, 2017

Marvel Legends Infinite Series: Daredevil

Marvel Legends have come a long way...and I'm a long way behind in sharing some of the purchases I've made! In the Spring of 2015 Hasbro released the Hobgoblin wave featuring primarily Spider-Man characters. I know that Spidey and DD have crossed paths plenty of times in the comics, I do feel as if Daredevil was shoe horned into this wave. Regardless, I ended up enjoying this figure much more than I thought I would.


The packaging for the Infinite Series remained unchanged for this wave. Decorative black matte box with a large window to show off the figure. The back of the packaging gives a small write up for the character in multiple languages, along with a product shot of the figure. Along the bottom are thumbnails showing off the other characters in the wave, along with the Build-A-Figure specimen, Hobgoblin.



I go have to admit that I probably got more enjoyment out of this figure after watching the Daredevil Netflix series. I never collected or read Daredevil comics growing up so my knowledge of this blind Marvel superhero was very limited prior to the Netflix series. While there is a more show accurate version of DD on retail shelves now, I prefer the classic comic look when it comes to my Marvel Legends figures.


The sculpt on this figure is spot on for the character. From the classic DD logo on his chest, to the different shades of red to the horns on his cowl. There is no mistake who this character is. He comes included with his patented billy club weapon that can be holstered on the side of his thigh.


Sorry for the lack of action photography. I'm not the best at posing super articulated action figures such as Daredevil here. I'll let the pros take care of that. At one time I only intended to purchase mostly Spider-Man related Marvel Legends figures, but now my collection is starting to add many other characters from the Marvel Universe. Daredevil is a great figure and if you're a fan of the character or just the street level heroes of the MU, I highly recommend tracking this figure down on the secondary market.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Transformers Power of the Primes: Beachcomber

My look at Hasbro's newest line of Transformers, Power of the Primes rolls on with the Autobot geologist, Beachcomber.


The packaging is your (now) standard far for this size/price point (MSRP is still $9.99) with character art on the top and a black bar down the side; featuring the Transformers name in large, bold red letters.

The really isn't much of a bio anymore, which is really sad, so the back of the packaging is pretty bland. We do get two product shots of the toy as well as a blurb that a Prime Master figure can actually sit inside Beachcomber's vehicle mode.


The original Generation 1 toy of Beachcomber was always a favorite of mine growing up. Originally a minibot, this updated version does a great job capturing all of the features that made the original toy so great. After having a few on hands moments with this mold and I can honestly say there isn't much I'd change. The porportions all seem good, colors are spot on and the level of articulation for such a small robot is impressive. 



Beachcomber features both ball joints as well as swivel joints so you have the freedom to pose him in many different ways. He doesn't have a waist swivel due to his transformation, but I think most will be pleased overall with the articulation.



Transformation to his vehicle mode is straight forward and pretty easy to pull off. Other than the rollbar cage, he pretty much transformers just as his G1 toy. Flip up the legs to form the front part of the dune buggy, collapse the body to hide the head, fold up the pieces of the rollbar cage and snap the arms on each side.

Beachcomber's vehicle mode looks fantastic. From the rigid tires to the suspension and the exposed engine, he has a much more authentic looking dine buggy mode when compared to his original G1 toy. I don't care for how the front wheels look with the exposed blue plastic in the center, but the rest is so great I can overlook this.


Some may not care for the exposed "hole" on the back of the vehicle. Since it's on the back it doesn't bother me, but it would be nice if there was a small door or something that covered this cavity.


The underside if the vehicle does a pretty good job at hiding his robot bits. Yes, you see his hands exposed, but that really doesn't bother me.



Comparison time! As you can see there is no doubt the designers wanted to keep to the original toy as much as possible. The color of the blue plastic is spot on, though the gray plastic is a shade lighter. The Power of the Primes figure is larger, but that is to accompany a Prime Master (or Titan Master) figure. I do apologize that I forgot to photograph this feature. My only grip when looking at these two side by side is that I wish the rollbar cage was black to match the G1 toy. Other than that, I love the homage.


All of my praise carries over to the robot mode as well. From the chest, to the duplicated detail of the stickers on the G1 toy. The designers nailed it. Beachcomber's headscuplt is great. I love the squared "hood" around his head and the silver visor. The one area that was changed was he was given a proper nose and mouth whereas the G1 toy had more of a mouth plate. Mix in the increased articulation and you've got yourself a great Transformer.

Most of the first wave of Power of the Prime toys are starting to hit brick and mortar stores now. Walmart stores currently have "stocking stuffer" displays that contain the first wave of scout class figures (Slash, Windcharger and Skrapnel) and I believe Amazon.com will start shipping/selling the toys on the 15th of December. If you are a fan of the G1 line, Hasbro has done a great job updating many of the classic characters including Beachcomber. He's a solid A in my book.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Transformers Power of the Primes: Dreadwind

The third and final chapter of the Prime Wars trilogy, Power of the Primes is nearly here. I say nearly because of the street date for the new toys is December 15th...however some lucky people started to find them at their local Target stores in late November.


Right before Thanksgiving the wife and I were at a Target gathering pictures and ideas for our daughters Christmas lists. Several aisles down from the action figures I found Dreadwind just sitting on a shelf. I scooped him up quickly as I was excited to finally find something new at local retail I wanted to buy. Personally I'm sick of seeing all those horrible movie toys on the shelves!

The packaging for the Power of the Primes figures may seem familiar. It shares the same overall design that started back with Combiner Wars and then carried over to Titans Return. Transformers is written in the same large red block letters down the right side of the packaging, the same as the previous Prime Wars trilogy lines as well as the movie toys *shudder*. I love the large new character art on the front of the card.


On the left side of the cardboard insert inside the blister bubble features some new art of Starscream as a combiner. Just like early Combiner War images, both factions are shown to comprise a larger combiner. In this case you have Dreadwind as an arm for Starscream, along with the Autobots Jazz, Dinobot Swoop and Dinobot Slug. Weird, but cool art none the less.



If this mold looks familiar to you, it should as it was first used in Combiner Wars as Aerialbot Skydive. Hasbro did a great job retooling this mold to make it look like the iconic G1 Powermaster. The colors are pretty spot on and the tampographed designs on the wings look good. I really wasn't sure when I first saw the images of him online if those were stickers or not. The mold doesn't appear to show any signs of "mold rot". The wings, arms and legs all seem firm.


Transformation from jet to robot is pretty much the same as with previous versions of this mold. I do have to say that while I liked the Titans Return line, it's refreshing to see a Transformer with a normal sized robot head again.

Speaking of the head, what a great sculpt. Again, the designs did a good job capturing the likeness of his G1 self.

 

Unlike his G1 self, this version of Dreadwind only comes with one blaster. It's a teal color versus the original dark gray, but its a great looking gun so I can't knock it too much. 

Dreadwind still sports a good amount of articulation in both his arms and legs. I'm not the best with coming up w/ dynamic poses and such for action figures, but hopefully you get the picture.


The gimmick in Power of the Primes are the Prime Masters. These are essential retool Titan Masters (or Headmasters if you will) that interact with the Legion, Deluxe, Voyager and Leader classes. Each deluxe figure comes with a combiner hand that can double has chest armor. In Dreadwind's case, there is a teal piece of plastic that covers the cavity the Prime Master will fit into. The picture on the right shows a Titan Master figure inserted as I've yet to acquire my first Prime Master.

From a straight on view you really can't tell the armor has been attached to his chest, but from an angeled or side view it appears that Dreadwind is carrying a Baby Bjorn! Personally I don't care for this look and don't plan on displaying any of my Power of the Prime toys with this "armor" attached.

I should have taken a picture of the combiner hand piece as it's been changed since the Combiner War days. Now there are two semi-articulated thumbs. Yes, each hand has two thumbs. They attach via a ball joint so I guess you could pop off the back thumb if it bothers you that much (raises his hand!).


This combiner hand / armor piece can also attach to the top of Dreadwind in his vehicle mode. If this doesn't remind you of the G2 Decepticon seeker jets with their bulky electronic pack I don't know what will! If you look carefully, you'll see both thumbs spread out on each side.



Lastly, Dreadwind's blaster can be mounted under either wing or you can use the same port on the top of the jet the armor piece uses and mount the gun there. I don't mind it underneath the wing, but he really needs two guns if you're going to do that in my opinion.


Hasbro continues the trend of including small cardboard cards of the characters, but this time there are 12 different versions of the cards for each character! Each Prime Master is represented, in this case Megatronus. This will make it very difficult for some collectors (such as myself) that love the cards. This will also make it rather challenging for me to catalog all of these different card images as a part of the Transformers Bio Card Database. I'm gonna need plenty of help from the fandom and fellow collectors if I'm going to fill this area out.

All in all I'm very impressed with my first exposure to Hasbro's newest Transformers outing. Of course I'm axious to see what kind of changes Takara Tomy make to both the toys and the packaging, but this is a very sold release by Hasbro. It seems the MSRP has risen a few dollars to $16.99 USD with these deluxes, but as long as Hasbro delivers a good product I'm OK with the price.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

BLACK FRIDAY eBay Sale!


I know I've been slacking on the toy review front...I'll blame it on being busy with work and home life. However, I have been slowly adding new toys and other items to my eBay store over the last few weeks. Starting around 4 PM EST on Thanksgiving, my Black Friday sale begins. Select items in my store will be 25% off...including a complete Transformers Car Robots Brave Maximus!

I still have more items to list and if time allows, I'll add those to the store over the Thanksgiving weekend. I'll be adding new items all throughout December so if you need to get a gift for that geek on your Christmas list, I ask that you give my store a look to see if there is anything that fits the bill.

I promise I am working on a new Transformers toy review and hope to get that posted before the new work week begins on Monday the 27th.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

GI Joe Combat Heroes: Cobra Commander & Cobra Trooper

Launched at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) in 2008, these small PVC figures were aimed at a younger demographic. To accompany this line, Hasbro also had launched a similiar series of toys for Transformers (Robot Heroes) and Star Wars (Galactic Heroes).

For the case of GI Joe, the Combat Series was short lived, only lasting about a year total. There were several classic Joe characters in series 1 and series 2, but ultimately the line would focus on the Rise of Cobra movie characters in late 2009 before the line was ended.


I really dig little toys like these. Yeah yeah, they may have been aimed at a pre-school age but this adult thought they were cool and grabbed up a few sets. I've always gravitated more to buying the Cobra characters so I picked up this two pack featuring Cobra Commander and a generic Cobra Trooper.


The sculpts for these figures are really good and the paint apps are surprisingly well done. There is more detail sculpted into these little figures than I would have thought. Just look at the back of Cobra Commander's uniform. You could stowe his pistol on the back of the original 3 3/4" action figure. They included this small nod, something that I wouldn't have expected.

While its still going to be awhile before we see new GI Joe toys on retail shelves, I'm surprised with the popularity of blind packaged toys that Hasbro doesn't try their hand (again) using these Combar Hero toys. I could see these little figures blind bagged, retailing for $2 to $3.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Texas Chainsaw 3D


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre family of movies is a mess from a story perspective. The series was rebooted by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes in 2003. While I'm a big fan of the reboot, the series was then rebooted with 2013's Texas Chainsaw 3D. Several key aspects of the characters from the Chainsaw franchise has been changed again...but for the better?

Texas Chainsaw 3D is actually a sequel to the original 1974 movie, basically ignoring the original TCM sequels. The beginning of the movie opens up with the local sheriff at the home of the Sawyers asking them to turn over none other than Leatherface himself. Sally Hardesty escapes Leatherface in the original movie and obviously alerts the local authorities...hence the sheriff being at the home to make the arrest. Just then many of the townsfolk of Newt, Texas show up ready to lynch the whole family. It doesn't take long before chaos ensues, gunfire is traded and the Sawyer home is burned to the ground. It is believed that the entire Sawyer clan died in the fire, but one of the locals finds Loretta Sawyer, and her child, Edith Rose Sawyer. The mother is killed and the baby is taken and raised as their own.


Fast forward years later and Edith Rose Sawyer (played by Alexandra Daddario) is now all grown up and goes by the name Heather that her adopted family gives her. She receives a letter in the mail from her late grandmother, Verna Carson. She was not privy to knowing she was adopted. She learns not only of her being adopted, but of the inheritance she was left in Newt, Texas. She packs up the van with her boyfriend Ryan (played by Trey Songz), best friend Nikki (Tania Raymonde) and her boyfriend and hit the road.

During this trip they come across a hitchhiker. Like in the original and the 2003 reboot, they pick up the hitchhiker and take them with them. The inheritance turns out to be Verna's home. It appears to be a an elaborate older home and oddly untouched after all of these years. There are sheets over some of the furniture, but the house seems to be very clean for a house that has sat empty for that long.

Up until this point the movie was pretty boring, but as they leave the hitchhiker alone in the house as they go into town for supplies (who does that? leave a stranger in their new home alone?) the action starts to pick up. The hitchhiker eventually finds Leatherface in the basement (or does Leatherface find him?) and from here on out it's on. 

It takes awhile for Heather to find out that her relatives are crazy murderers, but eventually finds out through old police files while she seeks refuge from being chased by Leatherface. This is the turn in the story that myself and a lot of fans didn't care for. The sheriff kidnaps Heather and takes her to the local slaughter house to lure out Leatherface. He intends on killing the last of the Sawyers, but as Leatherface spices a family tattoo on her chest, he lets her go. Heather now basically goes over to the dark side herself and fights alongside her cousin. Yeah, I didn't see that coming either.

In the letter from her grandmother, Verna tells Heather/Edith that as long as she takes care of Leatherface, he'll take care of her. It seems that Edith has finally found the family she's been longing for and decides to take up residence in the house.

There are a lot of things I don't like about this movie, yet I still find it more fascinating than Tobe Hooper's 1986 sequel. The 3D effects are just a part of the time the movie was released and not necessary. The sudden attitude change you see the main character, Heather/Edith take when she is released by Leatherface is crazy. Most of the movie she is being chased by this maniac and now all the sudden she wants to fight along side him? Despite the sudden fork in the road the movie takes, its still a fun watch. I thought Alexandra's performance was pretty good, yet I'm not too sure how I feel anout Dan Yeager's Leatherface. He'd have to be well in his 60's during this movie, yet he's more mobile than you think he could be. 

Mariluyn Burns (Sally Hardesty) and Gunnar Hanson (Leatherface) from the original 1974 movie, both have small roles. Sally plays Verna and Gunnar plays a new Saywer family member, Boss Sawyer.

Texas Chainsaw 3D isn't great, but it's not as bad as some of the fans and critics make it out to be. I believe it was planned to make another movie exploring more about Heather / Edith and Leatherface, but ultimately that never came to fruition. A prequel to the original 1974 movie, Leatherface, was released earlier this year (2017), but at the time of this post I've yet to watch it.

The Belko Experiment


The Belko Experiment is one of those movies that I remember seeing advertised on TV, but as quickly as the movie came into theatres I forgot about it just as quick. That is until I saw it at my local Redbox. 

A few weekends ago I promised my girls they could pick a movie out so while I was standing there helping them, I saw this movie was in stock and wouldn't you know Redbox threw a 50 cent off coupon at me upon renting the kids movie.

I purposefully didn't look up much about the movie prior to watching it. I wanted to be surprised. I couldn't remember much from the original trailer that was aired on TV so all I had to go by was the movie poster and it's tag line, "Office Space Meets Battle Royale".


There isn't a lot of backstory on who the Belko Company is, other they than are a company that stands to supposedly make this world a better place. The movie takes place in Bogota, Columbia where 80 Americans are working in a Belko highrise. It appears to be your typical day at the office until a mysterious voice comes over the building's intercome insisting that everybody plays along in a deadly and twisted game.

I wasn't familiar with many of the actors/actresses outside of John C. McGinley, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn and Tony Goldwyn. The story was written by James Gun (Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy) so I knew the movie at least had that going for it. One of the movie's main characters is Mike Milch, played by John Gallagher Jr. I kinda compared him to John Krasinki's The Office character, Him Halpert. He puts forth a pretty good effort in the movie and you can't but help root for him as many of his co-workers go over to the "darkside" when the stakes of the game (or experiment if you will) takes a turn.

If you work in a highrise or in an office type envirnoment then you may act differently to this movie than others that can't relate to the setting. Parts of the movie are a little disturbing at times and you do stay on the edge of your seat during most of the movie. The violence can be graphic at times and blood does splatter. Not overly gory however.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie. It didn't seem to follow the traditional horror / thriller / suspense movie mold. I like the idea behind the story and the fact that we don't get much info on the Belko company just piqued my curiousity that much more...especially after witnesses the area. If you're looking for something just a little different that most modern horror / thrillers, give The Belko Experiment a try.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Transformers Prime - Beast Hunters: Huffer

Hasbro continued the Transformers Prime story and toy line with Beast Hunters. While many of the core characters got upgraded toys, Hasbro also gave us new toys of non-show characters, such as Huffer.


Huffer is part of the Commander Class, the larger of the two sizes that were under the Cyberverse umbrella. It's the closest to the old Basic size class as we've been given in quite some time.

The Huffer toy itself is a retool/repaint of a fellow Beast Hunters Commander Class toy, Trailcutter. I've always liked the Huffer character so this was an easy buy. 


The character has the familar orange and blue colors those of us from the G1 days will remember, but there really isn't much else about this form of Huffer that harkens back to his original days. The figure itself is a fun little toy. It sports a good range of articulation all around and the paint apps are pretty good. 

The drawbacks of the toy is the mold itself. There is a lot of kibble hanging off the bottom of his arms, the front of the truck (including the plow) just sits on the back of the robot. To me this takes something away form the overlook in robot mode. Then there is his gun. The bright blue gun reminds me of something a mid 90's GI Joe figure would've came with. While it's not spring loaded, the missile does shoot (surprisingly pretty far) when you press the back of the missile while inside the gun.



Huffer's truck mode looks like something out of a Mad Max movie. Gone is the traditional tractor trailer cab, replaced with a armored truck with guns, blades and a plow. I guess I get the two gun barrels mounted on the front of the truck and even the big plow, but the silver blades (or are they fins?) on the corners of the truck's cab? What purpose do they serve?

I almost get an Energon Landquake vibe looking at Huffer in his truck mode. While I don't love the alt mode, I've definately seen far worse over the years. I can't really recommend the figure, but it's not horrible either. Should come pretty cheap on the secondary market should you wish to pick it up for the first time.