Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LOEB Assignment - Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves – where do I start? Just kidding, I just don’t get riled up about a lot of things, but there are one or two things that drive me nuts as a toy collector.
1.       Enemy combatants – or the lack thereof. I get it. I get it. It is politically incorrect. It took Marx toys, years to make German and Japanese toy soldiers to go with their combat sets. Maybe time will tell, but in this modern age of terror, we are just not going to see enemy combatants for many lines, especially modern toy soldier lines.

 Green vs Tan

So here goes.

a.       McFarlane Military had seven great series of modern military figures. Obviously, they weren’t going to make insurgents and Republican Guard figures. I could imagine the protests at Toys R Us if that happened. I was excited to see the World War II figures announced, then re-marketed with Call of Duty. I could definitely see enemy combatants in that lineup, but once again, that wouldn’t be modern day.

b.      Plastic toy soldiers are doing great as a niche market: Barzso - www.Barzso.com , Conte Collectibles (www.conteco.com), Toy Soldiers of San Diego (www.sdsoldiers.com)  but no one wants to do modern toy solders. Only Armies in Plastic www.armiesinplastic.com did it, yet there aren’t any enemy combatants. Do we really need one more Civil War set? 21st Century Toys took a gamble and made the Eastern Warrior for their 1:18 scale modern sets. I never saw them at Toys R Us, had to pick them up on Ebay. 21st Century also created Vietnam enemy combatants for their 1:18 scale Vietnam line. So once again, time will tell.

c.       Even some fantasy lines never come out with the bad guys anymore. As much as I love NECA, some of their products just release one character (Clash of the Titans). Really, what am I going to do with a single Perseus figure?

2.       The amount of complaining on Toy Collector forums. I do it too, so I am not exempt. I am just amazed on how granular some of these complaints get. Luke should have brown hair, not blonde hair, like the Empire Strikes Back Bespin figure. Really? And I get we shell out our hard earned money to buy these things and want quality, but do we really need to get so spun up on minor details. Of course, I am one to talk – the abomination that was World War Z by Jazwares was atrocious.

3.       The “I know if they made figure X, it would sell out” wisdom. Unless you actually have experience in running a profit and loss operation, and the time/money it takes to license, design, produce, distribute a toy, this one drives me nuts. There are tons of figures I wish were made and haven’t been/will never be made, but simple business models and principles prevent this from happening. I for one am pissed that Prometheus figures are now warming the pegs and future series (with great characters) are canceled, but the fact is, the collector market is a lot smaller than the mom with kids market. And mom is going to buy/know Spiderman and Ironman, versus Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.

More two cents on this topic.

Other League Members

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kill Them All!

At least that is what the Governor says in the Walking Dead comic book, standing in the turret of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Here is the original comic book full page panel.

And here is the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Governor figure from McFarlane...wearing riot gear, missing right arm, and his eye patch. The Bradley comes from the 1:18 scale Bravo Team Bradley sold in Target stores. The scales match fairly well.

LOEB - My most epic yard sale find

I've been off the grid for a few weeks, but this week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers discussion topic was - The find. What was your best/favorite yard sale or flea market find?

Admittedly, I don't go to yard sales. I really should. Somehow, Saturday mornings are taken up with kid activities and errands.

However, the coolest thing I ever found for cheap at a flea market was the rare 12 inch Kenner IG-88. It was unboxed, but until that time, I had never seen one live except for at a birthday party 15 years earlier when it first came out. I believe the price tag was $60. I offered the seller $20. It was Sunday afternoon, close to closing time for the flea market anyway for several months. He said "OK".

Anyway - that was my most epic, and unexpected find. Not much to it. But I still remember it to this day.

Other epic finds:

Jaime's "Friends" find

Erik's plethora of fine art

Case o' HeMan

Dark side buckle

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Uncanny X-Men 136

Another puzzle posting. This one was a recreation of Uncanny X-Men #136 near the end of the Dark Phoenix saga. I used the 12 inch Marvel Icon figures to make the diorama. So glad they made the 12 inch versions of these figures: Colossus, Wolverine, Cyclops, Dark Phoenix, Nightcrawler and Beast. I substituted Beast for Storm since they didn't have a 12 inch Storm figure.

World War Z

So World War Z came out on DVD/Blu-Ray today. I read the book three times. Saw the movie in the theater. Accepted the fact they would be very different. The movie was entertaining. I think later it bothered me that the "zombies" weren't even really zombies...they were strong, super human, super fast, ...."rabid" people. The only advantage humans had in the book was that the zombies were slow, truly undead.

Anyway, I will watch the DVD "Extended Cut" and enjoy it just as well. With that, I will also post the second set of World War Z figures from Jazwares - Gerry Lane and Paramedic. The Gerry Lane figure looks nothing like Brad Pitt. The paramedic...well, I don't recall a paramedic at all in the movie. Overall, these figures are a fail when it comes to the movie and book, but you can always use extra zombie figures for whatever diorama you have set up.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Marvel Select Dark Phoenix

Hey! A Puzzle! Yes - this is how the blog started but it's been awhile since I've put one together and posted it. This one was tough because most of it was in black. The fiery wings were a challenges as well. Anyway, thought I would get back to my roots and post one of these.

McFarlane Walking Dead Comic Series 2

Even though a comic book kicked off the phenomenon, most casual fans are familiar with the AMC TV Show "The Walking Dead." McFarlane first released a Comic Series 1 and TV Series 1 almost two years ago. Since then, TV Series 4 is just releasing, and we just finally got Comic Series 2. It is a fairly solid lineup with fan favorites - The Governor, Penny (the Governor's daughter), Glenn in Riot Gear, and one of Michonne's pet zombies, Mike. The first three? AWESOME! Penny comes with a bunch of body parts as snacks including a fish tank full of heads. I wish another zombie or two had been done. We've already received Michonne's pets in TV series 3 and they are not much different than Comic Series 2. Need more zombies....just different ones. I do see this one warming the pegs a bit...although it could be a supply issue. Seems like most hard core collectors snagged them at Game Stop first, where they typically have them before Toys R Us.

Please, please, please make a comic series 3 before this line stops. Negan, Abraham Ford, Andrea, Carl with machine gun, Jesus and Ezekial/with Tiger.

NECA Rambo #1

It's been a long time coming, but NECA has finally given us a 6 inch scale Rambo figured. Nicely detailed and articulated, this is a great addition to the NECA line. Some complaints on the message boards about the head sculpting and painting of the eyes, but overall, nicely done.

Once again, a one shot figure. Where's Sheriff Teasle or Troutman, or even David Caruso as Mitch? Oh well, Rambo figure two was just released where he is wearing his makeshift poncho. Word from NECA is Rambo 2 figures are next in line. We definitely need a Co figure, played by Julia Nickson:

Julia Nickson

And Soviet Colonel Podovsky.

LEGO Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit

I took out all the mini-figures from all the sets. Not much to this except seeing the whole group (from both trilogies). I had Bilbo's Hobbit house in my workshop. Not sure why I didn't add it to the Hobbit figures. Anyway, just fun to see the Fellowship and the Unexpected Party.

1:18 Scale Gears of War

Though I have never played the game, I have always been a big NECA Gears of War action figure fan. The sculpting is amazing, the characters and bad guys look cool. The figures are big - 6 inches and massive. I mean, they have some mass in these figures...heavy...heavily armored. They are perfect. Each series had about 4 figures.

With the trend going to the 1:18 scale or 3-3/4 inch size, NECA got onboard and came out with the first two series this year. Series 1 started with Marcus Fenix, Damon Baird, and Clayton Carmine. Series 2 came with a new Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago, and Augustus Cole.

The only problem? No Locust bad guys. Once again, how do you let them fight without enemy combatants? Hoping Series 3 and 4 are on the way. Series 1 sold out quickly but I am seeing Series 2 warming the pegs a bit. Anyway, need some Locusts...need to build an army. At this scale, some vehicles would be cool as well.

Comparison with six inch scale.