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....

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: The Gruesome Ghost from Mad Monsters by Figures Toy Company

     Day 17 of 31 Days of Toy Terror goes a bit old school as today we're looking at a ghost. Just a simple, old school ghost. How old school? I'm thinking this guy would definitely have been in his haunting prime in the 1960s or 1970s, quite possibly chasing Scooby Doo and the gang. Get ready for the Gruesome Ghost!
     I'm not the biggest fan of Mego styled action figures but I've definitely taken note of what Figures Toy Company has been doing lately, particularly in regards to their 1966 Batman series. I find it rather amusing that this small company is seemingly finding more success and doing a much better job with the liscense and scale than the 500 lb. gorilla Mattel was able to do just a few years back.  They've been releasing both liscended and non-licensed Mego styled figures and replacement parts for at least a decade now and it was through their Mad Monsters line that they first got my attention. Designed to look like a 1970's action figure line, the Mad Monsters offered a line of groovy ghoulies for Mego fans to add to their collections. The designs of the characters were quite cool, particularly the Gruesome Ghost here, so he soon ended up in my collection. Ready to get spooked? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Chewbacca from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase II by Hasbro

     What? Why the heck is Chewbacca part of 31 Days of Toy Terror? Good question. Is there any Star Wars character more universally loved by both adults and small children than Chewbacca? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that this guy still can't pull people's arms out of their sockets. Yes, it might be a stretch, but Chewbacca from phase II of Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series is our featured review for today.  Honestly, I'm not sure Chewbacca needs any real introduction, so I'm going to take a minute and talk about my love/ hate relationship with this line. If you want to read it, read on; otherwise, just jump after the break for a review of the Star Wars Black Chewbacca.
     Last year, I had the highest of hopes for Star Wars: The Black Series as every release in series one and two was incredible and pretty much the definitive release of a character. There's really no reason to buy another version of figures like Darth Maul, or R2-D2, or Greedo. Figures like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker in his X-wing Pilot Gear, Princess Leia in her slave girl outfit, and even Boba Fett definitely offered a fairly definitive version of a character in a particular look. With his Stormtrooper utility belt and swappable gloved hands, Han Solo is a pretty comprehensive Episode IV Han Solo in his standard duds. Boba Fett is the only Episode V Fett I imagine I'll ever need. Every figure felt complete. While I can always think of little extras that would have been cool, I was very content with what Hasbro gave us. Then series three hit. The Stormtrooper was great (although slightly under armed), but Bespin Luke and Episode III Obi-Wan Kenobi were disasters. No alternate portrait for Luke? No removable hand? A prequel Jedi with no robe? Besides the terrible case packs, Hasbro just seemed to be letting the line rest on the popularity of Star Wars and the novelty of finally giving us 6 inch figures rather than really doing everything to make these toys the best can be. Throw in stuff like the deluxe Jabba the Hutt only coming with his accessories at SDCC and I felt like I was really over the line. Of course, then I ran across the Speeder Bike and decided to pick up a few figures here and there. If I'm harsh on Star Wars: The Black Series, it's only because I feel like this line can and should be the absolute best that it can be. Enough with my rant. The review is after the break...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Brocotal from OTMFG! by October Toys

     As we move closer to Halloween, the toy terror grows and grows! Today I have two terrors to thrill and chill you, boils and ghouls! First, if you haven't already, make sure to head over to Kickstarter and support the fourth series of OMFG! minifigures. This is a great, crowdfunded and community designed line that just gets more and more awesome. There are only about two days left to fund this, and it'd be a real terror if these guys didn't get made! Secondly, it's time for a minifigure that is the perfect fit for your phobia if you just can't stand leafy, green vegetables! It's Flesh Brocotal from OTMFG! (October Toys Minifigure Guys) from October Toys. If you're only picking up OMFG! and missing out on these guys, you're making a big mistake! Nearly every the good folks at October Toys are treating us to great new sculpts and colorways from this awesome, home brewed line.  Brocotal is a new sculpt for 2014 and was originally released as a Leafy Green colorway. Unfortunately I missed that version, but I've since picked up all the rest. Ready for some veggie inspired horror? Than join me after the break...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Clayface from DC Superfriends Imaginext by Fisher Price

     A monster made of clay? Sounds like perfectly fine territory for 31 Days of Toy Terror to me! While Clayface has been around since the 1940's, it really seems that his role as one of Batman's prominent villains was solidified by his appearances in the 1992 Batman: The Animated Series. This rendition of Clayface is clearly based off of that popular incarnation (that was the Matt Hagen version and not the Basil Karlo version) and even mimics some of the character's powers depicted in the series. Like most Imaginext toys, this is a very fun that has recently been released as an ice monster to hang out alongside Mr. Freeze. Ready for a look at a giant mud monster? Then join me after the break...if you dare!

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 Days of Toy Terror: Krauser from Resident Evil 4 by NECA

 What have we covered so far this year? Ghosts? Check. Backwoods maniacs? Double check. Storytelling corpses? Check. Mutated super-soldiers? Nope. Time to remedy that, then. For day 13 of 31 Days of Toy Terror we'll be looking at Krauser from NECA's Resident Evil 4 action figure line. When Resident Evil 4 came out for the Nintendo Gamecube in January 2005 it was a big deal. While it strayed quite heavily from the series' roots, it offered something fresh and new not just for Resident Evil but for video games in general. To follow up their first series of action figures based on the game, NECA released a second series in mid 2006 that included four variants of the Illuminados monks, Garrador, two versions of the Iron Maiden, a RPD suited Leon Kennedy and, the subject of today's review, Jack Krauser. Krauser is in the process of being mutated (kind of like how he appears in the Mercenaries minigame) and it definitely is a more interesting look for him. Ready for a look at a mutated super-soldier with a funky arm? Then join me after the break...