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Matty Colllector photo
Buy now, regret spending too much later
Have you bought a Castle Grayskull yet? No? Good thing you waited, because you can now get it for US$150 ***WITH*** free shipping! (The only way you could beat those savings would be at a Big Lots!). The savings train doesn't...

Legend of Zelda photo
A Link between GSC and my wallet
A Link Between Worlds (reviewed) has very quickly joined the list of my favorite Legend of Zelda games and, as such, I was happy to learn that he'd join the figma line... and even happier to see a photo of an unpainted protot...

Bishoujo photo
Sure knows how to swing
Kotobukiya has unveiled Shunya's artwork for a Marvel Bishoujo Spider-Gwen (aka the Spider-Woman of Earth-65). Gwen is depicted in a pretty neat -- albeit a little confusing -- action pose where she seems to be readying to we...

NYCC photo
Did you need more reason to attend NYCC?
Diamond Select Toys has announced its NYCC 2015 plans which include two panels, awesome exclusives, and FREEBIES! The first item that will be on sale at DST's booth (#1644) is an exclusive is a black & white "Almost Got '...

Pokemon photo
Regretting picking Charmander yet?
Bandai of Japan continues its line of Pokemon gym leaders with a web-exclusive Misty. Although Misty plays a prominent role in the Pokemon anime, in the original games she was just a minor roadblock who you needed to overcome...

SDCC 2015: MattyPalooza panel

Jul 15 // Scarecroodle
The presentation began with an apology, poking fun at the oft-mocked MattyCollector slogan, "Collectors are King." It was continued with the traditional promise that things would get better (despite continuing to use Digital River), more promises about transparency, and so on. It was topped off by a product philosophy slide which shows the aim is to do better than what could be found at retail. There was also a mention that there wouldn't be a "face" of Matty Collector going forward (which I took to mean a Scott Neitlich kind of guy) and that everybody was involved (meaning that I'm even less sure who to hassle for press info). Most importantly, the first announcement was that there's life outside the Masters of the Universe franchise. Matty announced plans to carry collectibles related to DC Comics, WWE, and Disney's Cars. They also teased the possibility of doing things from older toy lines, like Street Sharks and Dino-Riders (yes, that was a thing) should enough fan interest exist. The discussion then turned to the Masters of the Universe comics series (put out by DC). [[Editor confession: I tuned out during this part, since I read one of the demo issues and it was fairly lousy.]] There was also a mention of Masters underwear, including a She-Ra version for the girls (see gallery). Masters of the Universe characters will apparently be featured in an upcoming video game called Toy Soldiers: War Chest. It's a tower defense game that will feature various toy lines. I'm not a fan of the genre, but the casting is interesting. Dark Horse will be releasing a compilation of all of the mini-comics that came along with the figures. It's a hardcover book which will feature backstories behind the stuff as well. The Sideshow statues also got a brief shout-out and there was mention of a Super 7 partnership including MUSCLE-styled He-Man figures and a Moss Man Chia Pet. We were then treated to a run-through of the schedule for the rest of the year, along with the unveil of a celebratory Point Dread and Talon Fighter set (featuring Teela 2.0) set to release in November. Also up will be a Laser Light Skeletor vs Laser Power He-Man  2-pack. Club Eternia may be over, but it's apparently being replaced by a limited "Collector's Choice" series and, most importantly, the prices are going to be going down! Before you get excited, this isn't down to the old US$20; no, it's just being dropped to US$24 (sub price) and US$27 (non-sub) for normal figures. (Now if only Digital River stopped gouging us on shipping...). The Collector's Choice will have a US$25 sign-up fee (pays for exclusive) and will feature 6 figures (at US$24) and 2 semi-annual figures (one at US$30 and another at US$40; these will cost US$5 more if buying outside the club). The figures announced thus far are Lord Masque, Vultak, Darius, Crita (!!!), General Sunder, and a Horde Wraith. While I won't be buying into the club, I'm looking forward to picking up Crita and may cave on that Horde Wraith. The sub exclusive figure will be Despera and one of the over-sized figures will be the Night Stalker. (That's one cool mechanical horse...) Power-Con is apparently returning (June 4th & 5th in LA?) and will feature some limited (ie, small run) exclusives including a green Granamyr (it's an incredibly neat item). The MOTU Minis club may have been canceled, but the series has apparently be reconfigured into a box set with that little Snake Mountain diorama. However, the biggest announcement of the day (for Masters) was a "2.0" line based on the Filmation cartoon. The reasoning for the re-launch is that it gives collectors who started late (such as myself) access to the characters while providing die-hard collectors with a new look. While the line will re-use parts from the original MotUCs, the figures won't just feature new heads. Apparently other things on the figure will be tweaked, like the style of He-Man's boots. The figures announced (and shown) thus far are He-Man, Trap-Jaw, Skeletor, and Evil Seed (not to be confused with the 200x one coming out; he's the club exclusive). Other announced figures included Beast Man, Evil-Lyn, and Clawful. The line will feature new packaging which looks pretty neat (see gallery). Mattel picked up Mega Bloks not that long ago and apparently one of the results will be a Castle Grayskull set. There was a whole video promo for it as well which showed that it will feature moving parts like the jawbridge. Can it get bigger than that? Why, yes. Yes, it can! Just about a year or so ago, Matty Collector front man Scott Neitlich had mentioned that a MotUC Snake Mountain was "unlikely" given the sales issues with Castle Grayskull. However, a lot has apparently changed since then because Matty Collector not only had plans for Snake Mountain, but had a prototype for the booth. Size comparison? It could be massive. Matty's rep instantly clarified that the finished product may not be quite that size although it'll still be larger than Castle Grayskull (and, given that Grayskull had an initial US$250 price tag, I shudder to think how expensive Snake Mountain will be!). Apparently the prototype was too big for the booth's display case which had to be remodeled to fit it... or so the legend goes. Sure, the story told by the rep could be bollocks, but I want to believe that. I want to believe. THEN they mentioned that it would feature a bluetooth speaker. This way the old Skeletor voice changer could be an app and you can play music from the cartoon (or whatever) from it. The rep went on to say, "We have no idea what it's going to cost." Well, that makes two of us.... and the prospect is scary. Because I want this. I want this bad. Of course, on a completely personal note, that announcement would pale in comparison to the next big reveal. The rep played a video featuring kittens playing with MotUCs and used it to segue into... Yes! THUNDERCATS! The crowd ROARED in response to the ThunderCats Classics reveal. The audience reaction was absolutely deafening. The ThunderCats Classics line, which is in the MotUC scale and style (because that's where some of the parts are coming from >_>), also had painted figures on display at the booth which spoiled the surprise for anybody not at SDCC because photos were flying around fast. While I was floored by the Lion-O, Jackalman had me tossing money at the screen. (Not so fun fact: I had pre-ordered the Icon Heroes Jackalman, which looked fantastic, and watched as it got pushed back month after month until Icon Heroes just canceled the damn thing.) Matty Collector has always been in the habit of dragging out lines by mixing up A-listers with supporting characters so, while other toy lines may have been canceled by the time they reached Jackalman, Matty Collector is giving us the fan favorite minion right off the bat. Yes, I'm sure we would seen him anyway in the club's inaugural year, but I'd rather get him sooner rather than later. The old, decrepit version of Mumm-Ra will be a sub exclusive (because I needed more motivation to subscribe?). He's going to feature both the cape seen here as well as an open cape so his arms can be outstretched like in his transformation sequence. The packaging hasn't been decided, but one of the options looked curiously like the packaging that Bandai of America used on *its* ThunderCats line. (Remember when that was a thing?) [[Editor's note: Curiously, the presentation included no mention of the Ghostbusters Animated series line and I'm wondering if I missed a cancellation notice somewhere. I know that DST is doing the movie stuff, but didn't think that impacted the cartoon items.]] Things then shifted to the Question & Answer segment, which is usually a throw away. I was half paying attention until this brave man stood up... While I may never know his name (but I imagine I could find it if I really bothered looking), this champion of the people mentioned how he had bought two of every club thus far but wasn't going to continue. He directly called out Digital River (aka that company-whose-name-we-wish-was-never-spoken-and-whose-service-wasn't-used), citing that the distributor had REPEATEDLY shafted him on money which it refused to return (or, as collectors call it, just another day for Digital River). Given that this is a massive, extremely common complaint, I silently cheered along with the rest of the crowd... then suddenly suspected he was a plant, meant to be used so Matty Collector could reveal that a more competent delivery system was going into place. But no, that sadly wasn't the case. When the audience member said that he wouldn't buy from Matty if they continued to use Digital River and then asked, "Is there an answer to this problem?", the rep merely replied, "There's no answer." The rep then mumbled that they're aware of the problem [[Editor's note: They've been aware FOR YEARS at this point. None of these complaints are new and none are ever resolved.]] and are seeing what they can do to fix them. You know, the usual response! The rest of the questions (or the answers) were more garden variety and boring. Matty refused to reveal additional details about the ThunderCats club. Matty couldn't say more about the new Masters of the Universe movie (although they saw a new script). Different scales for the figures are never out of the question, but currently no plans.
Mattel photo
Feel the magic, hear the roar...
One of the few panels I make sure to catch each Comic Con is Matty Collector's "MattyPalooza." While I can't always make it to a con, you can usually find the presentation in its entirely on Youtube (thanks, Pixel Dan!). For ...

Teen Titans photo
May cast a spell on you
Kotobukiya has released photos and additional details for its upcoming DC Comics Bishoujo Raven, whose art was previously seen at Winter WonFes. Kotobukiya has done a great job in translating the original artwork into figure ...

Pokemon photo
He's ready to Brock your world!
Bandai knows exactly what Pokemon fans want: a shirtless Brock styled after the Pewter City gym leader's appearance in Pokemon Red/Blue! One of the Pokemon anime's long-running gags involves Brock's lack of luck with the ladi...

Tomopop Review: Titanfall Stryder by Threezero

May 21 // Tianxiao Ma
Figure Name: StryderFigure Maker: ThreezeroRetail Price: US$430Available at: Threezero store | Sideshow Collectibles | Big Bad Toy Store  This is my first review of a Threezero collectible. So if you've collected Threezero stuff before, some of this post might be old hat to you. Also, since this is a pre-production sample, a lot of the packaging and finish may not be final. My first impression was: "This is probably the craziest thing I've ever reviewed." Even getting through all the layers of bubble wrap was a saga, as I didn't want something to come loose or break off as I was pulling away the packing materials. The figure's gigantic by the way: 20" tall! That's just shy of two feet! In fact, I couldn't do this shoot on my usual tabletop space. I had to pack it into another box (wouldn't fit in my backpack) and take it outside. Fortunately, I had plenty of daylight to work with and a suitable location in mind. The first thing that struck me was the paint job - specifically the weathering. No detail was left un-weathered and it does a great job making the Titan look grungy and worn-in. I think the attention to detail goes past "devout" and enters "fanatical" territory. Despite the figure's size, there is a delicacy that makes me hesitant to play around with it too much. Part of that is from the figure's design, but the use of lightweight plastics in its construction also concerns me a bit regarding durability. Still, it survived the shipping process without any problems so maybe my fears are unfounded. Threezero shipped this with a plasma railgun, but if you order from their store you'll get a bonus XO-16 chaingun. The railgun is absolutely enormous but lightweight, and you can fit it (with some effort) into the Stryder's hands. Its ammo cylinder can revolve and be detached. Speaking of hands, this is a good time to start walking you through the articulation of the figure. The wrist and base of the thumb are on ball joints. Each individual thumb/finger segment is articulated as well! The forearm can rotate just above the elbow, and the elbow itself is on a ratcheting joint that helps it hold its pose for heavier accessories. Above all that, the shoulder joint rotates on three axes. Each leg has two joints at the hip. The first knee joint has minimal articulation to give some leeway for standing poses, but the legs overall aren't very flexible. I don't think running or crouching postures will be possible. Both ankles can swivel on two axes, and the pistons behind can be disconnected for further flexibility. You'll find a surprising amount of articulation at the torso. I'm not even sure I've fiddled with everything that can be fiddled with... The entire upper body can be rotated and swiveled about the waist with an interesting joint system consisting of pistons. The tubing you see is made of a flexible material. Around back the thrusters and exhausts are articulated, as well as its "head" and missile launcher. But that's not all! Its cockpit opens up wide enough for you to seat the included pilot. I could basically write an entire review of the pilot figure, but it's a throw-in for the Stryder. Here you can see the core with the cover removed. The aerial is detachable (a bit too easily) so make sure you don't lose it. And once again, I'd like to point out the magnificent weathering work on the figure. But that's still not all! Under the hip joint you can find a battery cover. Pop in two AAA batteries and you'll be able to turn on its LED lights. They're controlled by a button on the back; press it once for red, again for blue, and a third time to turn them off. Rounding out the package is the pilot figure, which is about the size of a bulky figma. Even this figure is amazingly detailed, with cloth and elastic materials for its uniform! Of course he's also fully articulated for a variety of poses. He comes with a C.A.R. SMG (unfortunately the stock broke off during shooting) and some alternate hand parts to hold it. As I said, I could write a whole review on just the pilot figure, but he's an extra in this package! Figure makers will sometimes produce PVC figures at a very large scale. But the ones I've seen are usually very basic, without any real increase in detail or variety in materials used. Threezero, however, has leveraged the large scale to cram in as much detail and articulation as possible. You just won't see this on even the best made action figures. With all that in mind, Threezero's pricing starts to make sense. Yes they're asking for $430, but this is a lot of figure. Like Sideshow, they use the large format to its fullest, and that's going to cost money. But how many awe-inspiring centerpieces do you really need in your collection? [ Thanks to Threezero for the review sample! ]
Threezero Strider photo
The craziest thing I've ever reviewed?
Titanfall was one of the most hyped games for the new console generation, and may have been one of the most disappointing depending on who you ask. The premise reminds me of something like the old school mech shooter Hea...

Super Mario photo
Can Flower Power beat Bowser's Glower Power?
Were you wondering where Bandai would go next with its Super Mario S.H. Figuarts offerings? Perhaps you thinking Princess Peach or Bowser? If so, you're out of luck because the next figure to follow SHF Yoshi will be a Fire F...

Batman photo
Every rose has its thorns
Diamond Select Toys' Femme Fatales line has previously been home to a lot of heroines and villainesses with whom fans may not be familiar. However, that's likely changed with the addition of some women from the DC Animated Un...

Armarauders photo
Mean lime green
While it may take a lot to convince me to cross the border into New Jersey (such as a cousin's wedding), the state certainly isn't without its attractions. Recently this came in the form of the New Jersey Comic Con (NJCC) whe...

Ice to meet you: Introducing the new batch of editors

Mar 13 // Scarecroodle
Oansun I’m Oansun. Kentucky based, and University of Kentucky educated (you could say). Specifically in English, with unintentional minors in theatre and history. Boy, do I enjoy a smattering of different entertainment endeavors: music, movies, wrestling, anime/manga, writing, comics, theatre. Though of them all, toy collecting is probably the oldest interest. I’m one of those people that started becoming a collector, essentially, from childhood. Just looking at the back of my first Masters of the Universe packages, I can remember a strong desire to get everything pictured. Chores were the easiest way to score a new King Randor, or even something as goofy as Food Fighters (I have all of these weirdos, and vehicles). I would mow lawns to make enough money to get ToyBiz Marvel figures or Lego sets (along with CDs of a bygone era) and stare at the aisles, for what seemed like hours, making decisions. Lines have changed over the years (Figuarts, Monsterarts, WWE, Diamond Select, Minimates, Matty Collector lines), but what remains is that simple desire to collect what was on the back of a package. I’ve been on a podcast (Planned Banter) for just under five years, discussing everything from collector interests to favorite Bond films to vacation stories. I also continue to write goofy parody songs (and lots of transitional music) for this show, just trying to make people laugh (or gag on their lunch…no particular order). I also have a dog, his name is Zorak. He’s in my icon with a shark hat, so you know he’s fun (that Old Kentucky Shark). I am extremely excited about my opportunity to write, share and discuss as much as I can here at Tomopop; so let’s all be pals. Rachel Chambers I'm a twenty something artist and minimalist living in the Pacific Northwest. Despite my minimalistic tendencies, I have a rotating toy collection that includes old standbys and fun new favorites. The collecting bug bit me when I was given a Unicornasaurus as a Christmas gift and I haven't looked back since. Since that fateful day, I have displayed everything from Pullip Dolls and Nendoroids to vintage Polly Pockets and handmade plushies. I tend to lean towards gaming collectibles and will never give up my Dragon Quest VIII figure set. You can check out what I'm up to on Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr where I share pictures of toys, cats, and photos of my adventures. I'm always up for a chat about Playstation RPGs or epic thrift store finds, so hit me up if you're in my corner of the internet. Happy collecting! Soul Tsukino I'm a published author and writer based out of central Maine. When not writing about toys I'm working on another fiction book (You can see my work HERE) or my weekly article, Damn Write!, at RT Gomer Productions. Outside of writing, I love pop culture nostalgia, anime, conventions, pro and sumo wrestling, and create wrestler features in pro wrestling video games. Being a child of the 1980s, my collecting and toy interests grew out of the shows I watched as a kid. I first was a huge Masters of the Universe fan, having a large collection of those figures. As MOTU was waning, I shifted my attention to G.I. Joe: Real American Hero figures and never looked back. Not content for Joes to sit on a shelf collecting dust, I usually buy figures for construction of customized FrankenJoes. Lynette Cantos My name is Lynnette and I'm a writer, editor and all-around geek. I'm a passionate collector, despite a humble yet growing and valuable collections of anime figures and Disney Vinylmations—my strongest hobby points. I think bootlegs are hideous and will gladly fork over money for authentic and limited-edition toys with pride; However, sales are always encouraged on my behalf (hey, two figures are better for the price of one).I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and now I currently reside in South Florida with my husband and cat. In my spare time, I enjoy drinking coffee or tea—depends on my mood—while working on new projects, binge-watching TV shows and planning my next trips to either Japan or Disney World. Well, those are our four new editors and, as you can see, none of them are squirrels in a trenchcoat (in fact, they're not even chipmunks in a trenchcoat!). You'll notice that the new editors are a varied bunch, whether it be their interests or their tendency to describe themselves (the first bio drafts were very short for some people while others had a full page; however, they were alike in the fact that they ALL forgot to include some ice puns. Geez!).  Since joining the team (back around January?), they've collectively written around a hundred stories so you may have noticed the names. However, now you can attach some details to the names and pictures.  Finally, and most importantly, did you spot Loo Kee in this episode?
Tomopop original photo
Don't give them the cold shoulder
If you're anything like me, you may have suddenly noticed an influx of Tomopop editors. It's like, who are these people? Where did they come from? Who do they work for? (Oh, right, us.) Having learned our lesson from previous...

Toy Fair 2015: NECA

Feb 26 // Scarecroodle
Truth be told, I haven't always been the biggest fan of NECA's NES-inspired figure redecos in its Classic Video Game line. I also wasn't thrilled by this older-style Godzilla mold. So imagine my surprise when the two things combined to form a figure that absolutely floored me. I'm not sure why I love the NES Godzilla video game figure so much. I'm not nostalgic about the game (which I remember as being worse than caustic video game reviews like AVGN described), but this is by far the most appealing NES-inspired redeco I've seen so far. When (not if) I pick it up, it will also be the first NECA Godzilla collectible that I'll own. Another surprising NES-inspired design was the Gremlins 2 Mohawk.. although this one is interesting because it's a redeco of a figure that, as far as I know, was never released! The last time we saw "Machine Gun" Mohawk was at SDCC 2013. Shortly after that, we learned that NECA wasn't going to be moving ahead with some of its Gremlins lines due to poor sales (the mogwais were an exception since they apparently sold well enough to justify a fifth wave). As such, the MG Mohawk was apparently stuck in limbo (not unlike the Spider-Gremlin/Spider-Mohawk, which finally saw a release years after it premiered) so seeing it appear in a different deco was something of a shock. Given the status of the normal line, it makes some sense to recycle Mohawk into the Classic Video Game series since NECA already put work into the prototype and there are fans who wanted to buy the unreleased version. It's just something of a shame that we may never get the original version. (For fans who want a Mohawk figure in his normal colors, NECA released and then reissued a more basic version of the character years earlier. The figure (and its reissue) can be pricey on the aftermarket, however.) I vaguely recall liking the game, but I'll mostly be buying this one because I don't believe we'll see him in his glorious normal colors. Sack up, because it's a Big Planet for a Little guy. NECA has outdone itself with its Little Big Planet Sackboy figures, which includes a long-wanted Kratos sackboy! The Kratos sackboy is unbelievably cool news (I'd also like to a Nariko). Other cameo Sackboys include a Nathan Drake (Uncharted franchise) and Helghast (Killzone series). The figures seem to be the same size as NECA's mogwais figures which could make for a few neat displays. Offhand, I believe this is the first time that NECA has touched the Little Big Planet franchise. Previous holders included Mezco who, to be blunt, didn't do a great job. It's nice to see LBP collectibles that I actually want. Although I've rarely been able to get into Blizzard's games, I've always been into collectibles based on those properties. NECA did some awesome work with Diablo (and its blue variant) and looks to do the same with characters from Heroes of the Storm. Like the game, NECA's line features a mix of characters from Blizzard's other games. So far we've seen painted prototypes for  Illidan Stormrage (World of Warcraft), Nova (StarCraft), and Stitches (Warcraft). Also shown were the unpainted prototypes for Tyrael (Diablo) and Arthas (Warcraft). Will these be followed up by the Lost Vikings? And will the Vikings be sold together or separately? Only time will tell. The final object that caught my eye were the chibi "In Movie" replica figures from Pacific Rim. Having adapted pretty much everything else, NECA has apparently gone with some replicas of the tiny figurines seen in the film. Oh, plus the exo-suit from Aliens was on display. I vaguely recall seeing an image of it at an older con, but it wasn't with the Alien Queen during some more recent cons. Otherwise be sure to check out the gallery for all of the photos.
NECA photo
NECA isn't playing around with these awesome video game collectibles
Let the video games begin: NECA brought a plethora of video game-released collectibles to Toy Fair, in addition to its usual assortment. This included NES decos for some of its previously released figures. Highlights included an awesome NES Godzilla, Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm characters, LBP Sackboys, and so much more. See some of my personal favorites after the jump.

Toy Fair 2015: Diamond Select Toys brings the best display ever

Feb 21 // Scarecroodle
The biggest news might be the 6-inch scale Ghostbusters figures which look a LOT better than the ones Mattel gave us a few years ago. Besides the superior sculpting, paint, and likenesses (although Ray's forehead still looks a little large, even compared to Dan Aykroyd's massive noggin), the figures will also include better accessories: each one seems to come with a proton stream and at least one of them includes the ecto-goggles & a full ghost trap. Now I wish I had waited 4 or 5 years instead of picking up Mattel's versions... DST also had a pretty full display for Tim Burton's holiday classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The selection apparently included articulate figures (possibly for the Select line?), oversized dolls, and a healthy amount of Minimates. Given the film's large cast, there's certainly a lot of room for these lines to grow. Personally, I need that Oogie ASAP. I was also excited to see a Marvel Select Doctor Strange. Yes, most companies with the Marvel license have done at least one good Doctor Strange (Toy Biz with its ML version, Hasbro with MU), but it's still really awesome to see a new one especially since the MS version will likely have alternate hands and some neat accessories. He stood alongside the recently announced MS Ant-Man and zombie Sabretooth, as well as the previously shown (and currently available?) Cable and Carnage. All of that was really exciting, but then I saw all of the Batman: The Animated Series stuff and... like... whoa. There were a lot of busts on display including Batman (one suspiciously looks like a Dark Knight Returns version?), Catwoman, Poison Ivy (who looks great), and the Phantasm. For those who enjoy more affordable busts, Joker and Harley Quinn each had a vinyl bank bust on a lower shelf. Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Ivy, and Batgirl will apparently also be getting full statues. I'm excited to see what else DST may do with the license. If that wasn't exciting enough, DST will also be producing Justice League Unlimited collectibles. This apparently includes a great-looking Supergirl and Wonder Woman. The selection also includes what look like lunchboxes as well as bottle openers. DST has apparently also expanded its My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic line of vinyl banks. I had somewhat lost track of these offerings but, as always, the poses look cute and they have neat stands. Hopefully the faces will be a bit nicer on the new ones. Oh, plus there were some Spongebob Squarepants Minimates on display. I can't remember if we'd seen all of these before. Finally, I just learned that the Cthulhu vinyl bank will be coming in an additional color (ie, more to buy). Plus there's some female character next to them that I don't recognize, although the design looks neat. Other items on display (and in the photo gallery) included: Black & white 6-inch Select Clerks figures (including Randall and Dante!) Some new TMNT stuff, including a neat Shredder buff and some vintage comic-style Turtles Minimates More Tarentino Minimates, including Beatrix in her coffin from Kill Bill vol. 2 Star Trek collectibles, including some items for Worf Godzilla collectibles, including a figure for Rodan A Predator bust of some sort Dragon Age Minimates Be sure to check out everything in the gallery. (In other news, I think I spent too much time putting this together.)
Awesome photo
It's hard to summarize what a delight it was to look over DST's NY Toy Fair 2015 booth for the first time. Just when you thought you were impressed or excited, there was something that almost blew that out of the water. The s...

Toy Fair 2015: Hasbro - Marvel Legends

Feb 17 // Scarecroodle
It's hard to know where even to begin, but let's start with Spider-Man Legends 2015 wave 2. The Build-a-Figure for the wave is the big guy, the beloved bruiser, Rhino. The figure apparently comes with TWO possible head-sculpts (probably one with a running change) giving you the option of a masked or open face. The articulation looks strongly reminiscent of DST's Marvel Select Rhino, but the new ML one also features an ab crunch (and probably better ankle movement). The sculpting is awesome and he should be a proper-sized (ie, big) BAF. The remainder of the wave features some long-overdue Spidey rogues in the form of Kraven (previously available in the MU line and, well, in Toy Biz's Spidey Classics line although this one looks a LOT better) and the Chameleon. This is the first time that the Chameleon has received a collector-level figure (one was almost produced in a Toy Biz line) and, to top things off, he comes with interchangeable heads for a J. Jonah Jameson disguise and a Hammerhead disguise. Also appearing is a new Ghost Rider (which looks decent), a figure for Misty Knight (who I had never heard of), Superior Venom, White Tiger (probably because she's featured in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon?), and Scarlet Spider. I'm *guessing* that at least Misty and White Tiger are running changes since there are seven basic figures in the wave. While I'll definitely get Chameleon and Kraven, I'm not sure if I'll buy the full wave. Next up is the Ant-Man wave (or Ant-Man Legends) which features some Ant-Man specific characters and some "orphans." Remember that Bulldozer who was supposed to be a running change for Wrecker? He's here. So is that Batroc the Leaper and Tigershark (hooray!). The selection also features Grim Reaper (no idea why, but not complaining), Giant Man (one of the only ones who kinda makes sense), Wasp, and, of course, the titular Ant-Man (with mini accessories). The wave's BAF is a movie Ultron which is a decent fit for the theme. While I already have a Toy Biz version of Wasp in that costume, I'm *still* tempted to pick this one up for some reason (and not just because the head kinda reminds me of Arya Stark). True be told, I'm not a fan of the cookie-cutter standard female mold but it looks like a good use here. Although I'm not overly fond of the movie Ultron BAF, I may grab the whole wave. Fans who want a more traditional Ultron can find it in a Target exclusive 3-pack along with a Vision and the Hulk. For US$50, this pack seems like a steal. I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be a phasing Vision or just the white version but I honestly don't care either way. This is the kind of Ultron I had *hoped* we would get with that Iron Man Legends wave. The base body is based on the Spider-Man Legends Beetle but the paint looks better (than either Beetle's plastic-y paint job or IML Ultron's weird silver mix) and Hasbro really nailed that evil-looking head. [EDIT: Earlier I had misattributed his body design to the same Titanium Man mold used for the IML Ultron... whoops!] Avengers Legends 2015 wave 3 features Thundara (who looks to use the larger She-Hulk mold), a green/yellow Vision, Valkyrie (who was supposed to be a running change for... you know, it's been so long I don't even remember), Doctor Strange, that Blizzard we saw a while back, a Marvel Now repaint of an Iron Man Classics (or whatever) Iron Man, and a War Machine repaint. The wave's BAF is the Hulkbuster Iron Man. The sculpt looks almost entirely new and he seems awesome. The wave itself leaves me with mixed feelings so I may buy him separately. I will say that Thundara and Vision seem like must-buys Last but not least, Amazon will have a movie Avengers 4-pack featuring Thor, Bruce Banner, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. It has a US$80 MSRP and looks okay, although it's probably something I'll skip. The SHIELD Agents that I *thought* were in an actual wave (Maria Hill, Coulson, Fury) are actually slated for a Toys "R" Us exclusive 3-pack. Finally, I tossed in an image of the Spider-Man Legends 2015 wave 1 Ultimate Spider-Girl because I don't believe we've covered it previously (and isn't to be confused with MC2 Spider-Girl who was mentioned). This version is a female clone of Peter Parker. There's some natural awkwardness. She does, however, outlive Peter Parker and has since then acted as a mentor for Miles Morales. Be sure to check out all of the images in the gallery. There are a LOT of them.
Marvel photo
I can practically feel the money flying out of my wallet already... especially with that higher US$20 MSRP
Ultron, Rhino, Wasp, Kraven, Chameleon, Ghost Rider, Hulkbuster Iron Man, and Vision were among the slew of Marvel Legends that Hasbro showed off in its press briefing. It's hard to appreciate the massive glut of figures shown (including some slated waves for guys I thought were MIA) but appreciate them you shall! Join me after the jump.

Batman photo
Feeling animated over more animated series figures
MTV News has stolen a sneak peek at DC Collectibles upcoming Batman: The Animated Series collectibles, including a look at character sheets which feature the accessories. It's kind of a big deal. The reveals include a 24-inch...

Bishoujo photo
Will Kotobukiya give us an awesome Bishoujo Raven?
You don't have to wait for Toy Fair to have all of your biggest Bishoujo questions answered. Kotobukiya has unveiled the full artworks for its Raven and Lady Deadpool at Winter WonFes (Mass Effect 3's Tali appeared as a silho...

Mako Two-Star photo
Two Stars Shining
Everybody agrees that magnificent klutz Mako Mankanshoku was the breakout star of Kill la Kill, but now she's getting a bunch of attitude and a whole lot more badass. Good Smile Company revealed that Mako will be returning fo...

MF Link photo
Legend of Zelda hero appears
What with figma Link and Nendoroid Toon Link popping up in Good Smile's portfolio over the past few years, it was surely only a matter of time before a full fat scale version of the legendary hero broke ground. And here he is...

Iron Man photo
An armored exosuit is perfect for power meetings
Pre-orders have opened for Square Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai Iron Man. First seen back in October, the VPAK Iron Man has some of a stealth vibe; eschewing the bright, metallic red & gold design widely associated with th...

Tomopop Review: Freddie Mercury

Jan 29 // Soul Tsukino
Figure Name: Freddie MercuryFigure Maker: Minifigures.comMSRP: £14.95 (US$22.68)Buy it at: Have I mentioned just how much of a fan of Queen I am? It is like a gift from the Gods (or my bosses). Already just getting it out of the shipping box I'm pleased with how professional this is done. The blister package is nice and secure, the card looks amazing and has a bio of Freddie on the back. And they even included a "Care Guide" for taking care of your minifigure. Looks like I'm going to need more pizza! Opening up the package, I looked over the figure and just as the company claims, it is a full 360 design of the costume he wore for the 1986 live concert at Wembley Stadium (look it up, it's a powerful show). The joints are nice and tight and the parts are firmly set in place. However I was in for another pleasant surprise when breaking him down I found hidden under his hair that he had a second "singing" face! Bonus points to Minifigures for that. He comes with a mic (of course!) so you can pose him belting out notes to your hearts delight. Wait. This isn't right. There we go! BTW: You don't want to mess with the security he hired. As you can see, I love this little figure. It is very well made, the art design of both the figure, the card, and the guide that came with it are great! If you are big into LEGO, I recommend giving Minifigures a look and pick up some famous faces for your collection. You will not be disappointed. [A huge thank you to Minifigures for providing us with this review sample!]
LEGO photo
A few weeks ago I was able to do a story on Minifigures, an England-based website where you could buy celebrity LEGO figures. I was happy to see that Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was one of the figures you could buy. I beca...

Tomopop Review: ThreeZero's Tyrion Lannister

Jan 27 // Kristina Pino
Figure Name: Game of Thrones: Tyrion LannisterFigure Maker: ThreeZero MSRP: ¥13,000Retail: HobbyLink Japan | BBTS | Entertainment Earth Tyrion is great, straight out of the box. All I did here was stand him up and put a goblet in his hand, because... well, he kind of demands it. He takes a little more effort to get standing on an uneven surface, like the gravel I photographed him on here, but it's do-able. The figure itself is hefty, super articulated, and easy to pose. He stands well on his own, and once you've got his feet planted it's easy enough to pop accessories into his hands for photos. Tyrion comes with three extra hands (the odd one is posed to grip his blade, which comes with a belt and sheath), the goblet, and a copy of An History Or The Great Sieges of Westeros by Archmaester Ch'vyalthan. The book itself is pretty heavy as well, and I should stress now, very delicate! I don't mean that it'll fall apart, more like the paint will scratch off or chip easily if you aren't careful, so please handle with care. Tyrion's clothing is made from actual cloth, which is pretty great. It really brings it all together, in terms of keeping things realistic. The vest is, of course, decorated with his Hand's badge and some clasps holding it together. And there's the belt (lower image) that comes around the figure straight out of the box, which is different from the one with his sheath and blade. I decided to pose his hand hooked there for most of this review. As I mentioned earlier, he's got some heft to him, and though he's got many points of articulation and a great range of motion, once you pose him a certain way, he doesn't budge easily. That makes it quite a simple affair to pose him with heavy objects such as this book, which you can, of course, pose under his arm or in other ways than this precarious situation I've got going on. I went ahead and piled on that second belt on with his blade at his hip. At this point, you can keep his goblet-grabbin' hand on to look like he's making for his blade, or you can unsheathe the blade and have it actually in his grip (below). Clearly, my belt-tying skills are no match for a chamber maid's or page boy's, but you get the idea. With a little wiggling, you can get the pommel and grip into Tyrion's hand, and then he's in business. His calm, yet furrowed expression is perfect for just about any pose you can think of. Speaking of his expression, the last bit of detail I'll talk about in this review is his head. Just look at that - with a little PhotoShop wizardry, one can no doubt make this look just like the real thing. This is lovely work, really well done, and I like the paint job on the hair as well. Of course, it's one thing to look at these details in a photograph, and it's another to look at the figure on your shelf. The colors work rather well together to enhance the look of the curls, and in low light you can't even notice there are different paint colors at all. But look at the subtle sculpt and paintwork on his face - the shading for shaved areas of the face, the lips, and the rest. Just lovely. As you can surely tell by now, this figure comes highly recommended by me. If you're a fan of Game of Thrones, especially of Tyrion Lannister, and you wanted one, centerpiece-worthy, high quality product to display, this is a good candidate. One of the biggest strengths of a figure like this is he doesn't require a stand or any props to lean on, so there's nothing to take away from his presence on a shelf or table. Add his sturdy build and poseability, and the possibilities are endless. Check out the gallery below for more images that didn't make it into the body of this review, and have a look at Good Smile Company's retail listing of the figure for even more shots, exploring more poses as well as a different lighting situation (my images were taken outdoors). I hope you've found this review helpful. Feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section below, and share images of your own if you happen to have adopted your very own imp. [A big thanks goes to ThreeZero for providing Tomopop with this review sample.]
Game of Thrones photo
Hear him roar
This month saw the release of ThreeZero's Tyrion Lannister, which is based on the image of Peter Dinklage in the HBO series Game of Thrones. When it comes to figures based on real people, it's usually a hit-or-miss deal. The ...

Batwoman photo
'I'm a woman and here's my bat, hence Batwoman'
Like a bad cartoon pun, DC Collectibles' upcoming DC Comics Bombshells Batwoman re-envisions Kathy Kane as either a baseball player or a bat-wielding vigilante. The figure was recently featured as part of a Bombshells promoti...

Hot Toys Alien lady photo
H.R. Giger would be proud
Back in 2008, Hot Toys decided to put together a 1/6-scale figure for their Hot Angel line, the She-Predator Machiko. Based on a character from the Alien vs. Predator comics, it turned out to be surprisingly popular ... ...

Tomopop Original: It's ALIVE! A look at FrankenJoes

Dec 30 // Soul Tsukino
I've heard them called the "Real American Hero" sculpts; 3 3/4 inch sculpts, you know the ones. They had the back screws and rubber O-rings holding them together. They had loads more articulation than just about anything else at the time, didn't break the bank, and they were small enough you could have an entire army of them in a small box. And with a small enough screwdriver (or drill if need be), O-rings, and a little time, they could be fixed if anything was broken. You could also get really creative. Call them custom figures or FrankenJoes, these are when you start putting different pieces together and coming up with new characters of your own design. Some people take it to a whole different level with actually sculpting and painting their work to make things match, but since I like to actually use my figures, I've not been big on the repainting route, the paint usually doesn't last long with me. However, search on Google and you will find some crazy amazing customs out there. But for those of us who want to be creative, but don't want to have their figures sit on a self, there can be a big difference between a decent looking FrankenJoe, and one that just looks like crap. Take for instance this fellow. I named him Impact. This is actually the first custom Joe I made once I figured out to take apart and repair these figures. But this is the third version of the character. Why? I learned that not all parts fit together very well. Originally he used the chest of a character called Road Pig. Pig is one of the few figures made that were JACKED full of muscles (They also used this body mold for several of the Street Fighter Joes), but when taken apart the head of these figures are specially designed for the muscular body, and most of the regular figure heads don't fit. I did not realize this when I made him using a regular Snake-eyes head. One errant head move later and the original figure had a giant gaping hole in the chest. Lesson number One learned. So I found a still muscular frame, albeit smaller, but more importantly it fit with the parts that I had to work with. This is also a problem when you consider that older release Joes had a different canister shape assembly for the head joints, while later figures had a ball shaped assembly. Unless you are an expert in crafting plastic, they are not interchangeable. So don't try to force pieces together if they don't fit, things will break that way. I've discovered that the better looking custom figures are the ones with the least amount of modification. Here are some customs I made when I bought a junk parts lot on eBay a few years ago:   The first figure is largely a Voltar figure, but I replaced both arms with a different matching set, the head, and the waist piece. Next to him is another figure that started out as a spare Lifeline figure. The head was swapped out, as were the waist and legs from an older worn figure I had. Even if parts are a bit worn, the color scheme of Red and Blue work well together creating a well done figure without a lot of effort. Finally we have another couple of figures that was made of left over parts. Here it's not so much the color but the clothes that match well making the figures work. Sometimes just a headswap can radically change a figure, and sometimes you can really get away with being creative. But of course, with the good comes the bad. As you can see the parts don't really match up very well. I was trying to go a for a "man in the iron mask" look for this figure, and it just didn't happen,. Also the head that I used sits horribly in the chest so it just wobbles up and down. But for me, most of the fun is the process of getting the parts together and making a new character than the figure itself. It's a creative process and if you are into these figures as much as I am, it's a great way to not only recycle parts from broken figures, but a chance to be creative as well. I'd love to hear from anyone who customs their G.I. Joe figures, or any of their figures for that matter! Can you do better than my merry lot? Prove it and show what you've created!
FrankenJoes photo
Bringing new life to old parts.
I love G.I. Joe figures. I have since I was 7 years old. I got into them largely when Masters of the Universe ended. I watched the cartoon almost everyday and grew up on these figures, so I never developed much of a fandom fo...

What Toys Are Up To: Penguins in Berlin

Dec 02 // Martin Siggers
For those of you who haven't read my previous posts, the concept of these trips is very simple. I love shooting toys in new and unfamiliar surroundings, but I'm too much of a wuss to bring anime girls or action figures with me. The three penguins supplied with figma Princess of the Crystal however are perfect - small, distinctive and easy to carry about with no loose parts. So with that in mind, let's go off on our tour of Berlin, a city that stood at the centre of 20th century European history. One of Berlin's few remaining historical landmarks is the Siegessäule, or Victory Column. Sixty-seven meters tall, it commemorates a series of victorious wars waged by what was then Prussia in the mid to late 19th Century. Originally standing in the Königsplatz directly outside the German Parliament building, it was later moved several hundred meters to its present location, the large traffic intersection known as the Großer Stern (literally 'Great Star') The column is hollow and for a few euros you're able to go inside and climb to the top, where you can take in the gorgeous view. It may seem slightly odd to see what's apparently a massive wood in the middle of an industrial city, but this is the Tiergarten, a gigantic park that lies at the heart of the city's political and historic district. At 210 hectares, it's practically a forest. Visiting in autumn ensured the park was dappled in a fantastic variety of reds, browns, greens and yellows. The stylish blue of the penguins looks rather out of place in such a location. Also located nearby is the Reichstag, the mighty palace where the German parliament meets. Though it looks gothic and old, like most historical buildings in Berlin it's actually a bit of a facade, since the original was bombed into a shell during the last days of World War II. Large parts of the building were only restored following German reunification in the early 90s. The gorgeous all glass dome seen on top is a creation of famed architect Normam Foster and is open to the public. Though the Reichstag building may be newer than it looks, some parts of old Berlin really are old, such as the magnificent cathedral here. It was however significantly damaged during the war and took decades to be restored to its current condition. Somewhat unbelievably the most severe damage the church took was not from Allied bombing but from the Soviets, who blew up the northern wing in 1975 because they disliked its imperialist connections. Elsewhere, the ruins have been preserved as a memory of the hardship the city suffered. Here, the bombed-out remains of the original Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Chruch sit between the modern church and belfry of the same name. While much of its own history may have been lost to the ravages of the war, Berlin still loves looking back, and museums are a particular attraction. In fact, there's an entire district of the city dubbed "Museum Island" which plays host two five world-acclaimed museums - the Altes (Old) Museum, the Neues (New) Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. The last is particularly unusual, as its main attraction is a number of detailed full-scale recreations of real life historical locations and artifacts, including the namesake Pergamon Alter and (alert, Fate/Stay Night fans!) the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Here, the Penguins are lounging about outside the Alte Nationalgalerie, which houses a huge collection of art ranging from Neo-Classical to Modernist, The statue outside the museum is of Prussian King Frederick William IV. But really they should just replace it with a statue of Penguin #1 By far and away the most famous historical landmark in Berlin is the Brandenburg Gate, which has become an icon of the city and in fact thee whole of Germany. Patterned after a Roman triumphal arch, it was built between 1788 and 1791 by the Prussian Emperor Frederic William II. Of course, it's nearly impossible to say anything about the history of Berlin without mentioning its defining landmark of the last century or so - the Berlin Wall. I'm sure plenty of you are familiar with the structure, but those of you who aren't, a brief history lesson. After Germany was defeated in World War II, the country was split into four segments, each under the control of one of the major Allied Powers - Great Britain, France, the United States and the USSR. Britain, France and the USA quickly joined their segments and formed the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) while the Soviets countered with the establishment of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic). This meant that for over forty years Germany as we know it today was in fact two entirely separate countries, each on either side of the Iron Curtain and each allied with a different power bloc. The West sided with NATO while the Soviet dominated East signed the Warsaw Pact. Berlin lay deep inside the Soviet-controleld sector of the country, but by agreement was also split into four corresponding zones. Once again the three western allies combined their segments leading to a direct division of the city. Many who lived in East Berlin took this opportunity to cross over into West Berlin and from there on to the Federal Republic by the permitted rail and plane links. The Soviets were desperate to stop this exodus of people, and attempted to blockade the western half in mid 1948 to force the Western Allies to abandon the city. Thanks to a huge airlift program the plan failed and the blockade was lifted almost 12 months later. Anyway, the net result of all of this was that by 1961, the Soviet government decided to take the most direct route possible to prevent escapees and simply built a bloody big wall between the two halves of the city. The wall stood for 28 years, becoming a symbol of the brutal divide between the western and eastern halves of Europe. Lined with barbed wire, spotlights and watchtowers, as many as 200 people were estimated to have been killed attempting to cross the 'death strip' that lay between the inner and outer walls. Though the war was gradually torn down following a public uprising in 1989 and the subsequent re-unification of Germany in 1990, large chunks of it still remain, as you can see behind the penguins above. The segment is in original concrete grey but other parts of the wall have been daubed in graffiti or even turned into outdoors art exhibits.   I actually arrived in Berlin during the week leading up the 25th anniversary of the wall's fall. There was widespread commemoration of the occasion, with special displays, planned exhibitions and a massive concert party to be held at the Brandenburg Gate, which since the end of the Cold War has become a symbol of a reunited Germany. Even 25 years have not fully healed the scars of division though. One of the places that best represents this lingering gap is the forum of Alexanderplatz, once under Soviet control. Though much has been done to renovate the area, it still has an undeniably grim, socialist sheen about it. Glass fronted skyscrapers and department stores sit uncomfortably alongside slab-sided Communist constructions. Looking the opposite way is a stark reminder of the way this world used to be. In the foreground the Communist built world clock turns slowly, reminding visitors of the time in long since irrelevant Soviet cities. In the background meanwhile towers one of the jewels of West Berlin, the TV Tower, which was when built the tallest building in Europe and a reminder of the West's superior financial and technological prowess. The observatyion deck of the tower provides a sweeping view across the city and seems an appropriate place to end our journey. Berlin's an odd, interesting city, one in which the old and the new seems constantly at war. It's less glamorous, less artful than the cities I've traveled to with the penguins before, but there's a sense of deep history in the very stones you walk on. It's a city torn by past conflict but with a bright future ahead of it. For that and many other reasons, I highly recommend a visit.
Penguins in Berlin photo
Ich bin ein Berliner
They've been to the city of water, and the land of chocolate and beer, so where would my intrepid penguins and I end up next on our tour around Europe? Well, what better place could there be than the heart of the continent, Germany? Or more specifically, its capital Berlin. Let's see what our intrepid adventurers could find this time round.

Super Mario photo
Or 1990 if you're from Japan... or 1992 if you live in Europe?
Yoshi! Everybody's favorite dinosaur plumber's assistant will be joining Mario and Luigi in Bandai's S.H. Figuarts line. First introduced in Super Mario World, Yoshi would go from being little more than a handy power-up to a ...

Batman photo

New photos of Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Harley Quinn (Injustice ver.) have appeared, courtesy of a listing on the Tamashii web store. The figure depicts the Joker's fangirl/love interest as she appeared in Injustice: Gods Among...

Retro photo
But will anybody actually buy this garbage... pail kids stuff?
There are some things in our childhoods that we love to remember... and also things we're still trying to forget. Funko has tapped into that latter category with upcoming collectibles to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ...

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