Category Archives: Toys
In 2003 Mattel launched a line of 7″ scale figures featuring Batman and an assortment of villains and allies, all of varying degrees of quality and complexity. This line then began to be alternated with waves of Superman figures, before finally giving way to the DC Universe Classics line: Mattel’s answer to the competing Marvel Legends figures, and a series that would become legendary for inspiring customer frustration. It seems we’ve now come full circle, and Mattel’s once again has a collector-oriented line focused entirely on the residents of Gotham City, entitled “Batman Unlimited”. I was heavily invested in all the lines that led up to this one, buying almost every single figure for around six years, until I eventually had to sell the bulk of my collection. Even though I do still have a modest shelf of Batman toys, thus far the Unlimited line has not really piqued my interest. The figures are expensive, there are only around three released at a time (taking any and all fun out of sifting through the pegs at the store), and I generally just try to be a little more careful with my purchases these days. Today, however, “responsible” lost a critical battle with “fanboy”, and I walked out of Target with a brand new figure based on pre-crazy Frank Miller’s magnum Batman opus, The Dark Knight Returns.
I missed the brief M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in My Pocket craze growing up, but now there’s a wide assortment of miniature acronym-wielding freaks, alien robots, Outlandish Mini Figure Guys, and now zombies to collect. As JAKKS Pacific’s incorrect guess to 2012′s Monster of the Year, these S.L.U.G. Zombie 2″ PVC gum miniatures ended up warming the shelves of several Targets in my area. I bought one to add to my zombie collection when they were $3, and waited patiently until their clearance prices dropped to around $1. As you can see, I bought a few:
I haven’t written anything for a while, so I thought I’d get back into the swing of things with a flea market find. I hit my local flea market last month, which snuck in before the region was blanketed with a beautiful white layer of what the local news referred to as “heart attack snow”. So the place was fairly busy for December, with more things to see than I expected.
In this latest generation of TMNT, we don’t have Bebop and Rocksteady or even Tokka and Rahzar, but I think Dogpound and Fishface have the potential to be equally good villains. The complete lineup so far features the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kraang, Metalhead, Fishface and Dogpound. They will be joined by evil scientist Baxter Stockman, early opponent Snakeweed, and another set of the Turtles in early 2013. Until then, we have plenty of toys from the new TMNT show to dig into, including Dogpound.
No TMNT line would be complete without their link to the human world, April O’Neil. Since I collect April figures, there’s no way I would pass her up, but was she worth it?
On a recent stop into Kmart I was quite surprised to see a Koopa Troopa from the 5″ Super Mario figure line looking down at me from the top shelf. I love these Mario figures and new ones are so few and far between. I had to have it.
Rattlor is one figure that I’m not entirely sure I remember having as a kid. He seems really familiar and yet unfamiliar. I know I had King Hiss and Tung Lashor and liked both of them a lot, but I probably just remember Rattlor from their packaging and minicomics. Well, I definitely have him now, but this time he’s bigger, has more articulation and a better paint job.
Part of the first wave of toys based on Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the radical rat Splinter is the sentient sensei of the tubular turtles. The complete line-up is the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kranng, Metalhead, Fishface, and Dogpound. How sweet is this Splinter toy? Let’s find out.
After I finished my review of the Volkswagen Fall Fling 2012, I rewarded my efforts by adding a Volkswagen car to my Hot Wheels (and Matchbox) collection. I still have my complete childhood collection, which ranged from mainly funny cars to some real life cars, so after I gained an appreciation for muscle cars and in particular the old American iron thanks to my dad, I started collecting them again with a focus on pre-1972 muscle cars. Here’s a review of that toy, since I figured it’d be a fun diversion from the academic reviews we normally provide.