Monday, October 27, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Sam from Trick 'r Treat from Reacton Horror Series by Funko

     While horror films are a dime a dozen, films truly focusing on Halloween quite a bit more rare. While Halloween is the gold standard, the film that almost rivals it in perfectly encapsulating the experience of Halloween is Trick 'r Treat. I followed the progress of this film throughout its many delays until it was finally released to audiences in October of 2009. It is quite simply a Halloween lover's dream! When first watching the movie with Confirmed Epic Podcast guest host Andrew, I explicitly remember him saying that the film felt like Goosebumps for adults (that was meant as a positive in case you might be a little too young or too old to fondly remember Goosebumps) and myself saying that the film felt immediately nostalgic, as if I was watching an old favorite seasonal film even though the movie was new and I had never seen it before. It's definitely one of those fun horror movies that I've seen many a non-horror fans enjoy because of the ties to Halloween. Of course, getting on the subject of today review, we need to talk about Sam. Played in the film by Quinn Lord, Sam is the living embodiment of Halloween (the name is short for Samhain). I'm really delighted to see Sam in the Reaction Horror Series because it means that he is achieving the same cult status as all of these other guys. Who knows? Maybe in a few more years we'll see kids dressed as Sam as prominently as people dressed like Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, or Jason Voorhees. Ready for a look at everyone's new favorite Trick 'r Treater? Then join me after the break...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Martian Spy Girl from Mars Attacks! by Trendmasters

 Today's installment of 31 Days of Toy Terror is a catchup for day 19. What's more horrifying than alien invasions? How about dating a green alien? But not a hot green alien like Gamora, Gaila, or Oola. I'm talking one of the little fellows from Mars Attacks! Based on the 1962 trading card series, Tim Burton's 1996 film came out during the height of my youthful sci-fi obsession. It was right after Independence Day and just before The Fifth Element and Men in Black. While the movie was kind of a box office bomb, I loved it and still do. Featuring an insanely talented cast, unique special effects, and a offbeat sense of humor, Mars Attacks! was a gem of a film that deserved better. In 1996 Trendmasters released two toylines to tie in with the film: One that focused on the movie and one that featured character designs from the then contemporary Topps comic book series. Today I'm looking at the Martian Spygirl from the movie based line. Played by Lisa Marie Smith, the Martian Spygirl was one of the most memorable parts of the film. I remember my parents buying this figure for me before Christmas of 1996 so, like any figure owned since childhood, it holds a special place on my toy shelf. Ready for a look at a figure that still remains impressive after almost 20 years? Then join me after the break...

31 Days of Toy Terror: Trixie Lulamoon from My Little Pony: Vinyl Collectible by Funko

 Evil magicians have a place in the world of horror, right? They do on day 26 of 31 Days of Toy Terror! And yes, I'm reviewing a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic figure. But c'mon, this is a character who boasts: ""I hereby challenge you, Ponyvillians: anything you can do, I can do better. Any takers? Anyone? Or is Trixie destined to be the greatest equine who has ever lived!?!"

    That's a pretty bold statement, am I right? Trixie Lulamoon is a unicorn and a traveling magician who first appeared in the first season episode"Boast Busters" where she caused trouble for the residents of Ponyville. While she's not downright evil or anything, she's boastful and makes a great antagonist for the Mane 6. Before we get any further, let me point out that Trixie is not one of the standard My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic toys from Hasbro. Instead, she is from a line of vinyl collectible figures from Funko. While these are marked as suitable for older children, they're actually sold at places like Hot Topic, Books a Million, and comic shops. Yeah, they're really intended for the bronies and pegasisters out there and not the kiddies. I really don't pay much attention to Hasbro's offerings, but Funko's line is much more show accurate, features more obscure and fan favorite characters (including males like Dr. Whooves), and offers some limited edition exclusives. Anyways, ready for a look at the great and powerful Trixie? Then join me after the break..

Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 Days if Toy Terror: Fib Face from Filmation's Ghostbusters by Schaper

Because of some business related travel and other business last week I got a bit behind on 31 Days of Toy Terror. This is technically Day 18, just in case you're wondering.

      As a kid I was so into Ghostbusters that I was even into Filmation's Ghostbusters. That's how deep in I was into the whole Ghostbusting thing. I was in so deep that I even had the Spook Chasers action figures because there just wasn't enough of the Real Ghostbusters to satisfy me. Yeah, I was that kid. Anyways, while I haven't seen the cartoon in ages I do fondly recall the Filmation's Ghostbusters toyline. Released in 1986 by Schaper (later purchased by Tyco), the toyline didn't last for very long but did include most of the main cast (including three female characters!). I had most of them but unfortunately, as I tended to do, I sold most of them off at yard sales just to make a bit of scratch in the mid 90s. I probably bought Power of the Force II Star Wars figures, if that's any consolation (*editors note: It's not*). Anyways, today I'm going to review one of the villains from the line whom I still own: Fib Face! Voiced by the late and much beloved Lou Scheimer himself, Fib Face was a two faced character who often argued with himself. When I saw John at "Robot Monster Space Superhero" post some pictures of this guy earlier this year, I knew I wanted to pull him off my shelf for 31 Days of Toy Terror. A quick search of YouTube should allow you to find lots of clips from Filmation' Ghostbusters while a simple click after the break will give you the lowdown on Fib Face himself....

31 Days of Toy Terror: Talky Tina (Now in Color) from The Twilight Zone by Bif Bang Pow!

Today is technically day 25 of 31 Days of Toy Terror, but I'll be putting a few missed days up over the next few days to make up for the18th through the 22nd!

     "Talky Tina, a doll that does everything, a lifelike creation of plastic and springs and painted smile. To Erich Streator, she is the most unwelcome addition to his household - but without her, he'd never enter the Twilight Zone."

     What is it about dolls that makes them scary? Maybe it is because they often so closely capture certain elements of humans while completely missing or neglecting other elements, thus entering the uncanny valley? Who knows? (I'm sure someone has done lots of research on this.) Today I'm looking at another figure in Bif Bang Pow's The Twilight Zone 1/18th scale action figure line. As seems to be popular this year Bif Bang Pow has intentionally designed these figures to mimic elements of retro action figures. Today I'm looking at Talky Tina, the creepy killer doll voiced by June Foray and featured in the fifth season episode "Living Doll". While inspired by Mattel's Chatty Cathy, Talky Tina was actually played by a Brikette doll from the Vogue doll company, so what we have here is a toy of a toy who was playing a toy based on another toy. How successful is this figure? Well, join me after the break to find out....

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Eric Draven from The Crow from ReAction Horror Series by Funko

 Is The Crow a horror film? Not really. It's much more of a superhero revenge film than a horror film. So, does the Crow, Eric Draven, fit in Funko's ReAction Horror Series? I'd say so. Yeah, he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would keep accompany with the likes of Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, and Michael Myers, but I guess they do have a history together. McFarlane Toys put Eric Draven in the second series of Movie Maniacs while NECA included multiple versions of Eric Draven in their Cult Classics line. Funko is just doing what McFarlane discovered with Movie Maniacs: It's much easier to sell a toyline filled with the A-list characters people want rather than to try and flesh out a line containing only one or two characters people care about. It's a strategy that works well and my only suggestion to Funko would be to create a better name. Rather than just the generic "Horror Series." We've had Silent Screamers, Cult Classics, and Movie Maniacs, so maybe this series should have been called Funko Frights? Funko Fear? Fears and Frighteners? Seriously, Funko: Just send me some free toys and you can use any of these you want. Ready for a look at Eric Draven, AKA the Crow? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Alucard from Castlevania by NECA

     Back in 2007 NECA released just a scant four characters in the Castlevania subset of their long running Player Select series (along with a few variants). That seems like a real shame as, with how many Castlevania games there have been since the series debuted in 1986, it seems like this series really could have had some legs to it. There were numerous opportunities to release cool versions of classic creepy monsters and various arcane warriors; what didn't seem viable about this property? In fact, the original release of this series was quite under produced and saw a saw a second production release in 2009. Today I'm looking Alucard (AKA Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes), the son of Dracula. Yup, being the spawn of Dracula and a human mother Alucard is a dhampir. He originally appeared as a boss who could turn into a playable character if defeated in 1989's Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse on the NES, but it was his role in 1997's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night that cemented him as a major protagonist in the ongoing Castlevania epic. Of course, Alucard wasn't created for Castlevania: He was actually created Robert and Curt Siodmak for the 1943 film Son of Dracula, the third film in Universal's Dracula series. He was portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr., whom I incidentally saw walking with the Queen. Ready for a review of Alucard? Then join me after the break....