Thursday, October 31, 2013

Toy Review: Lego Witch Polybag (40032)

     Lego releases quite a few seasonal polybags and today while out at Target I stumbled across this one. It's a wicked witch head that opens up into a small storage container. Since the majority of my Lego display is a giant haunted town, I figured I would be able to find a good way to use it: maybe display it outside of my witches' cabin or something? It kind of reminds me of Gruntilda from Banjo-Kazooie, which is a positive thing. Anyways, let's get right in and take a look at the witch! Join me after the break...

31 Days of Toy Terror: Michael Myers from Movie Maniacs by McFarlane Toys

   
      Today is October 31st. Halloween. It's also the final day of 31 Days of Toy Terror, so I've decided to do save the best for last. Today I'm looking at Michael Myers from McFarlane Toys' Movie Maniacs line. Released as part of Movie Maniacs series 2 in 1999, Myers completed the grand trio of horror slashers alongside of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Since Halloween is one of my favorite films of all time, I absolutely wanted to review this figure today. I'm actually dressing up as Michael Myers for Halloween this year, too, so if you see The Shape out there tonight while Trick 'r Treating, just know that it might be me. Or, it could be Haddonfield, Illinois' favorite son. Anyways, watch out for the boogeyman and enjoy this review. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Toy Review: OMFG! Series 3 by October Toys

    
     Wow! OMFG! (Outlandish Mini Figure Guys) series 3 has just arrived! Most toy fans should be familiar with October Toys' crowdsourced minifigure line by this point but if you're not here's the scoop: Each OMFG series of five figures is voted on by members of the October Toys forums from hundreds of sketches and sculpts submitted by community members. Once voted on the line is crowdsourced through Kickstarter and within a few short months backers get a cool set of five figures in the mail. I just got my set on Monday and am really excited by this batch. Ready for a look at these five little fiends? Then join me after the break...

Hokey Halloween Horror: Jones Blood Orange Soda


     Halloween is quickly approaching, so it's time for another review of one of the Halloween Jones Soda flavors! We've already covered Red Licorice and Candy Corn, so now we're looking at Blood Orange. Blood oranges are a real variety of fruit, not just a made-up name for a soda, so if you're familiar with them you might have an idea as to what to expect. They're sweet, but a little bitter as well. These little cans seem to be available at Target and are sold in packs of four although I've heard rumors that they can be found at some other stores as well. Ready for a look at blood orange soda? Then join me after the break...

31 Days of Toy Terror: Mantenna from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

     Oh Mantenna, what's not to love about you? You alternate between being creepy and endearing, you've had some great action figures made in your likeness, you're an original member of the Horde, and you are always getting dropped down trap doors by Hordak. Yes, while Mantenna looked like the fiercest of the fierce in the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline, The Filmation cartoon turned him into somewhat of a lovable loser. Now that Mattel has released Mantenna as the delayed September 2013 Club Eternia action figure, fans are closer to completing their core Horde roster (c'mon Modulok!) which is always a nice thing for action figure collectors. Modulok is a figure that I'm sure that many fans speculated on the execution of in Masters of the Universe Classics so it's great to see that Mattel really did a trop notch job. This is an excellent figure and since he's a creepy ant monster, he certainly has a place in our 31 Days of Toy Terror. ready for a look at him? Then stand over there while I pull this lever and I'll see you after the break...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Spooky Nerds Rope


     It's been a few days since I've reviewed any Halloween treats, so this week is going to be full blown, non-stop scary toys and junk food. Right now I'm looking at the Spooky Nerds Rope from Willy Wonka candy, a delicious mixture of Nerds and gummy candy. If you've never had a Nerds rope, it's essentially something similar to a Sour Punch Straw but instead of sour powder it's covered with Nerds candy. Of course, this isn't your standard Nerds Rope but a Spooky Nerds Rope. What makes it spooky? 1. The rope is covered with orange, purple, and white nerds and 2. Each rope is haunted by the ghost of an 19th century British orphan. Enjoy!

Action Figure Review: Nepthu from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

   
     Today's review is Nepthu, the October 2013 figure from the Club Filmation subset of Masters of the Universe Classics. Nepthu only ever appeared in one episode of the cartoon, "The Temple of the Sun," but apparently made a big impression on someone as he's been woven into both the Masters of the Universe Classics canon. When Nepthu was first revealed at SDCC 2013, it seems that the reaction of most fans was one of general indifference. Nepthu is really about as basic as they come and just doesn't seem that exciting. While he was a fun villain of the week for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, he definitely wasn't a figure I remember too many fans clamoring for. Ready for a look at Nepthu with me to see if he's a diamond in the rough or simply a dud? Then join me after the break...

31 Days of Toy Terror: Lord Dactus from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

   
    Another bat-like warrior in Masters of the Universe Classics? Yup, but this time it's a hero: Lord Dactus (formerly Lord Dactys). Lord Dactus was the leader of the Speleans, a race from Subternia in the Mike Young Productions He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series. It's been awhile since this line has seen a character originating in the 200x series so it's nice to see this faction represented again. Lord Dactus has been a long requested and oft-rumored figure so it's nice to finally get him. While he arrived at the same time as Mantenna, Lord Dactus is actually the October figure for Club Eternia (Mantenna is technically September's figure). Even though he's heroic, he's still kind of creepy, so I feel justified in putting him into our 31 Days of Toy Terror. ready to check him out? Then join me after the break...

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Norman Bates from Movie Maniacs by McFarlane Toys

    
Released as part of the second series of Movie Maniacs figures in fall of 1999, Norman Bates added a touch of classic cinema to the line. From the 1960 film Psycho (and by extension the 1959 novel by Robert Bloch) Norman Bates is truly an icon of not just horror cinema, but cinema in general, so he absolutely deserved his place in the Movie Maniacs line. Even if this figure is just a guy in a dress. Yup, this review is going to contain some massive spoilers for a movie that's now over 50 years old but you know what? Tough. This figure represents Norman dressed as his mother, his murderous alter-ego that is a result of his dissociative identity disorder. For someone just looking at this figure who has never seen the film, you may wonder what the big deal is; it's a guy in a dress. For those (pretty much everyone) who has seen the movie, you'll be impressed by how well this figure captures a few iconic scenes from the film. Ready for a nice, hot review? Then jump right in....

Action Figure Review: Shredder #2 from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates Toys

 
     As I said in my review of the SDCC 2013 exclusive Shredder, there's no doubt that the Shredder is one of the most iconic villains around, but has he ever truly had a perfect action figure made in his likeness?  He's had plenty of figures, and I've owned most of them, but I've never felt that there was one that stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Last year when I bought the entire first wave of Nickelodeon's TMNT figures, I was really disappointed by the Shredder.  On my Amazon review of him, I wrote:

     "I'm really disappointed with this figure. The Shredder usually makes an awesome toy, but I'm not exactly sure what happened here. He looks ok as part of a display, but if you put him by himself or try to play around with him, I think you're going to be disappointed. Hopefully, Playmates revisits this character down the line (although there is a talking version with a cape available currently) because this guy just doesn't cut it for me."

     At SDCC 2013 Playmates released an exclusive version of Oroku Saki that was taller, articulated a bit differently, and featured vac metallized blades and armor. He was also $35, about 4 times the price of your standard TMNT figure. I decided that the figure simply wasn't worth the money. At the time, I didn't realize that Playmates would be relasing the same exact figure (minus the vac-metal) in the regular TMNT line for around $9. Is this guy an improvement and worth your money? I'd say definitely, but read on to learn more after the break. 



Sunday, October 27, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Vampyre Castle from Monster Fighters by Lego

  
     This is the set that got me back into Lego during the summer of 2012.  I hadn't purchased any Lego sets since Star Wars: Episode 1 was in theaters (the first time). Maybe a minifigure here and there or one of the excellent boardgames, but Lego at large was pretty much off my radar. I paid attention to the licensed properties and the video games, but that was just part of my general nerdery. Long story short, it really wasn't much of a surprise that a non-licensed Lego theme managed to avoid my attention. However, on a trip with my wife to check out the Lego aisle just to scope out the newly released Lord of the Rings sets last year(which I had no intention of purchasing, but have since purchased) I happened to stumble upon the Monster Fighters theme. Then I saw the Vampyre Castle and I knew I would be purchasing the set before I left the store.

     As a theme, Monster Fighers pulled me back into Lego by combining everything I like into one terrifying package: Spooky castles? Classic monsters? Glow in the dark pieces? Cool, modified early 20th century vehicles? Zombies? Heroic battlers of the occult with some steam-punk sensibilities? Check yes to all of these. I love this theme and I love the Vampyre Castle. I'll tell you why, after the break...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Smiler from Doctor Who Micro-Figures by Character Building

    
     I received this little guy as a birthday gift last month and since the Smilers from the Doctor Who episode "The Beast Below" are pretty creepy, it only made sense to let him be part of our 31 Days of Toy terror. Working aboard the Starship UK, the Smilers were creepy in the episode but aren't what I would consider highly memorable characters . Still, Character Options pushed them heavily in the Doctor Who toy line and they ended up in the first series of micro-figures. These guys were sold in blind bags, so you didn't know which character you'd end up with. For a very short review of an even shorter figure, jump ahead after the break...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Fruity Yummy Mummy Cereal Review

    So, Fruity Yummy Mummy was apparently released in 1987 and discontinued in 1993. I don't remember it at all. What bothers me here is that I could have spent an additional 6 years of my life consuming Fruity Yummy Mummy, which I'm going to come out and declare as my favorite breakfast cereal of all time. Ever. Period. It's an orange cream flavored cereal (one of my favorite flavor combinations) and after just one bite I was hooked. I have never, ever, ever tasted a cereal as robust and vivid as Fruity Yummy Mummy. Seriously, if General Mills will agree to put this out year round from now on, I will happily offer to dress up as the Fruity Yummy Mummy and serve as the mascot for any commercials they might want to put out. This cereal is righteous. More details, gushing, and marshmallows after the break....

31 Days of Toy Terror: Spectral Ghostbusters from The Real Ghostbusters Minimates by Diamond Select Toys

    
     If you ask me what's the best Ghostbusters toyline of all time, I'm going to tell you it's Minimates Ghostbusters. Covering both films, the video game, and the animated series, Minimates managed to take their unique stylized minifigure body and create one of the best movie based lines ever. Is there any character not represented in the line? While the vintage The Real Ghostbusters line is a classic and remembered fondly by many, it just doesn't have many recognizable characters nor movie specific outfits. Mattel's Ghostbusters line was plagued by crazy problems such as a lack of ghosts, accessories, and significant characters; frankly it just wasn't thought out very well and seemed like a side effect of Mattel scooping up the rights in preparation for the oft rumored but probably never happening Ghostbusters 3.  Just get us an Ecto-1, Diamond, and I'll make you a crown myself as your Ghostbusters line is incredible and exactly what I need! Today I'm looking at a release from The Real Ghostbusters subset, the Spectral Ghostbusters. The Spectral Ghostbusters were evil doppelgangers of the Ghostbusters and appeared in the episode "Citizen Ghost." Ready for a look at some spooky evil Ghostbusters? Then join me after the break...

Action Figure Review: End of Wars Weapon Pak from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

     Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line has really been a pretty diverse line. In addition to basic figures we've gotten multipacks, vehicles, beasts, giants, a playset, and multiple accessory packs. This month fans could go on Mattycollector.com to purchase the "End of Wars Weapons Pak" which has been slated as being the last accessory pack planned, at least for the time being. While most of the weapons in the weapons pack (and at least the first two) were simply repainted accessories from previously released figures, starting with the last weapons pack we began getting some accessories that were cut from figures. End of Wars contains not only two newly tooled accessories (Strobo's gun and Rattlor's 200x armor) but it also contains a new minifigure: Kowl from She-Ra Princess of Power. I'm going to jump in and let some of the MOTU characters show off their new wares to you, but first take a quick look and my cheap and dirty Snake Armor He-Man figure above. OK, now you can follow me after the break...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Henrietta from Evil Dead 2 by NECA

  
 Every few years it seems that Evil Dead fans are blessed with a few great action figures. Typically everything we have received has been from Army of Darkness but last year NECA finally gave us some figures from The Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. The line was made up of three Ash figures, 1 SDCC exclusive Ash, and finally the deadite we're looking at today, Henrietta, the professor's wife who became possessed and gets stuffed in the fruit cellar. NECA has crafted one of the creepiest, most well designed horror figures ever: this is definitely not a toy for kids! Still, there is lots of fun to be had by collectors and Dead fans alike. Here's a brief look at Henrietta:

Toy Review: NYCC Exclusive Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre (unrobed), and Widowmaker from Mystical Warriors of the Ring by Fantastic Plastic Toys

    
     One of our first Epic Interviews was with Mark Vasquez, the owner of Fantastic Plastic Toys and creator of Mystical Warriors of the Ring; it was quite a few months ago so it's exciting to finally hold one of these cool toys in my hands. There have been quite a few releases in the line but this was the first set I was able to get a hold of due to the way these puppies have been selling out. Clearly an homage to M.U.S.C.L.E. and to the more flamboyant days of professional wrestling, Mystical Warriors of the Ring features a really cool cast of characters just waiting to wage war on your table or desk. Today I'm looking at the New York Comic Con exclusive series one set of Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre (unrobed), and Widowmaker. The figures come in a bagged set of three and were available in "Flesh" and "Candy Apple Red". I opted for the "Flesh" toned figures so that they'll fit in with my M.U.S.C.L.E. and OMFG figures, but now I kind of wish I had ordered both sets as these guys are awesome. Jump in for the full review after the break....



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Star Wars Black Series 2 Now Available at Big Bad Toy Store


Head on over to Big Bad Toy Store and pick up the second series of the 6-inch Star Wars Black line now! Boba Fett! Slave Leia! Greedo! Han Solo! This is a wave that'll be hard to beat (the only wave that could come close would be Darth Vader, Tarkin, Mace Windu, and Admiral Ackbar)! Pick up a whole set right here for only $79.99 or click on the banner at the top of the screen.

31 Days of Toy Terror: The Swamp Creature from Monster Fighters by Lego

    
     Prior to Summer of 2012 I had never reviewed a Lego set before. In fact, I hadn't bought any Lego sets (other than a few of the board games) since the Star Wars Legos first came out way back in the late 90's, maybe early 2000's. Lego's Monster Fighters theme started a new obsession for me. When I saw these while browsing the Lego aisle to take a peek at the Lord of the Rings Legos that had just recently bee released, I was floored. Here was everything I liked in one place: classic movie monsters, Lego weapons, zombies, modified turn of the century vehicles, slightly steam punkish characters, spooky old castles, and glow in the dark pieces. I was hooked and within two trips to the store I managed to get all of the first seven Monster Fighters sets available. This was the smallest set, an impulse buy set if you will, so how does it stack up? Read on after the break....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Colgate Wicked Watermelon Toothpaste

     With all the Halloween candy and junk food I've reviewed here on The Epic Review, it's about time that I review something that's somewhat healthy or at least contributes to the fighting of tooth decay. Today I'm looking at Colgate's Wicked Watermelon toothpaste. It's a delicious fluoride toothpaste in a cool glow in the dark package (the toothpaste itself does not glow). Ready for something spooky that will also help you keep your pearly whites shiny and clean? Then check this out after the beak....

31 Days of Toy Terror: Horde Prime from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel



Note: The staff shown with Horde Prime in many of these pictures was originally cut from the figure as released on Mattycollector.com. It was later released with the Great Unrest weapons pack.

     Horde Prime was released on Mattel's own Mattycollector website on June 15th, 2012 as a monthly figure. Originally intended to be the yearly subscription bonus figure, Horde Prime was bumped to allow Shadow Weaver to take the place of the yearly subscription bonus. If you're not familiar with the appearance of this character, it is because his visage was (mostly) created for this line. The leader of the Horde Empire, Horde Prime relates to Hordak in much the same way as the Emperor related to Darth Vader. Also like Darth Vader communicating with the Emperor, in the cartoon series She-Ra: Princess of Power Hordak communicates with Horde Prime, who appears as a giant being behind a cloud of smoke and shadow. All we can see of Horde Prime are his massive gauntlets and the vague outlines of a head (or helmet). Since Horde Prime (possibly Hordak's older brother) never had a concrete appearance in the cartoons, minicomics, or toyline, Mattel allowed the Four Horsemen to create their own design for Horde Prime. Since the design they came up with is pretty spooky, he's being introduced here for 31 Days of Toy Terror. Enjoy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Final Participation Thread: What is Your Most Memorable Haunted House Experience?

    
     If you still haven't checked it out yet, head over and check out the rules and first participation thread for our Halloween Grab Bag 2013 Contest! The second participation thread is here and the third is here. There's only one week left (the contest ends Monday morning, October 28th!) so get your entries in! Remember, you can still send in fun size reviews, pumpkin pictures, and comment on the three previous participation threads to win a series 1 S.L.U.G. Zombie still in his plastic bag, a mint on card Catwoman action figure, or a brand new Adam West Batman from Mattel's 1966 Batman line! You can enter to win the drawing multiple times and it's completely free! You might even win multiple prizes! The easiest way to win is by simply leaving a comment in one of the four participation threads. This week's discussion? What's your most memorable haunted house experience? Most everyone (though not Arathaelia) loves to go to haunted houses in the month(s) leading up to Halloween! What experience was most memorable to you? Mine's after the break....

31 Days of Toy Terror: Carrie White (non-bloody) from Carrie by NECA

     A little over a week ago I reviewed the blood soaked Carrie figure from NECA the new adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie by director Kimberly Peirce and starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore. Today I'm looking at the pre-blood drenched version that simply represents Carrie in her prom dress while her and Tommy Ross are being crowned king and queen of the prom. It's a very interesting choice for a figure since taken at face value, this is just a girl in a prom dress. Stand the blood drenched version next to, however, and you've got a pretty neat display that should be easily recognizable to most people. Ready for a look at Carrie as part of our 31 Days of Toy Terror? Then join me after the break....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Dementia from Mad Clowns by Figures Toy Co.


   
So, ready for something creepy and a bit off the beaten path? How about a look at Dementia from Mad Clowns by the Figures Toy Co. Figures Toy Co. was formed in 1998 to create Mego styled figures based on some classic TV properties. While they still do that (they're working on figures based on the 1966 Batman TV series) they've also delved into their own unique properties from time to time, including the series today's figure is from, Mad Clowns. Do you like Megos? How about creepy clowns? How about creepy clowns in nurse's uniforms? If so, this review is for you!  After the break......

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cool Kickstarter Campaign: Cool & Collected- The Magazine for Pop Culture Collectors



     I think it's fair to say that ToyFare magazine was one of the central pillars of pop culture for me growing up. I started reading it with the first quarterly issue that appeared in December 1996 and continued up until it's unfortunate demise in 2011. There was something so special, especially for me as a middle schooler, about having a magazine devoted to the things I cared about. Receiving ToyFare every month was like being a member of a secret society or hanging out with a group of close friends and talking about the things I loved. While I eventually began to find friends both in actual day to day life and virtually who shared my love for pop culture, toys, and nerdy humor, ToyFare was always near and dear to my heart (I'm sure that the good folks behind ToyFare would be happy to know I still keep a few random copies of ToyFare in my restroom, for old times sake!) Anyways, to help fill the void of action figure related periodicals Brian Adams of the website Cool & Collected has set out to release a magazine that should fulfill the need for glossy pictures of toys through Kickstarter. Head on over there and pitch in to help this project now! They are already 3/4 of the way there and with 19 days left, we should hopefully have this thing in the bag! If you need more convincing, however, check out more cool images and details after the break....

31 Days of Toy Terror: The Mummy Playset from McFarlane's Monsters Playsets by McFarlane Toys

   
 I've gushed about McFarlane's Monsters Playstets before when I reviewed the Werewolf set and I'm probably going to do so again here. These things were just fabulous and if Todd McFarlane ever wants to try his hand at returning to a non-licensed horror property, I think he'd be wise to reexamine these again. Blending together highly detailed (although smaller scaled) action figures) with a diorama like playset, these guys look fantastic on display, kind of like the old Aurora model kits. Today I'm going to be your ghoulish guide as I walk you through the horror that is the mummy's tomb from The Mummy Playset, one of the four series 2 sets. Released in 1998, for some reason I never owned any of these (I think I had gotten back into collecting vintage G.I. Joes and being a hardcore gamer at the time) so I was super excited to pick all of these back up a few years back and discover them anew! Ready for a jaunt through this creepy crypt? Then join me, if you dare....

Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: The Zombies from Monster Fighters by Lego


     When I was growing up, zombies toys (well, really zombie anything) was hard to come by. I remember having the Ghostbusters zombie when I was quite young and just as I was entering high school Toy Biz began releasing action figures based off of the Resident Evil video game series (which we reviewed to completion during our Resident Evil week). These days, however, zombies are everywhere, and that includes Lego sets. One of the now hardest to obtain releases in Lego's Monster Fighters theme is simply titled "The Zombies" and it's a mausoleum playset with 3 zombie figures, 1 human monster fighter, and a massive truck armed with giant hammers to brain any of the undead who stand in your way. It's a great set that has really jumped up in price now. Here's a look at it, though, just because:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Snickers Pumpkin

      I've raved about the Snickers Peanut Butter Pumpkin many, many times, but I still haven't covered the regular Snickers Pumpkin yet. Well, here it is! It's basically a small snickers bar shaped like a pumpkin. If you like Snickers bars, you should like this. The ratio of chocolate to nougat, caramel, and peanuts is different, but that's probably a pretty minor issue for all but the most discerning Snickers eater. There isn't much to say about this, so I thought I'd interview horror icon Freddy Krueger about the Snickers Pumpkin because otherwise this would be really boring. Let's join him after the break....

31 Days of Toy Terror: "Attack in the Box" The Joker from Batman by Mattel

While I love to pick up multiple versions of various Batman villains, the main reason I snagged this guy was because he was $5. "Attack in the Box" The Joker is part of Mattel's basic Batman line (which seems to possibly be on the way out) and presents the Clown Prince of Crime in a very unique outfit that looks equal parts escaped convict/ urban gang member/ hipster clown. Sometimes it's fun to pick up a toy that's clearly intended for kids and not collectors, as seems to be the case here as the figure is covered in neon colors and features a giant accessory. Want to take a closer look at The Joker? Well come on in! Since so many people are terrified of clowns, I thought the Joker might make an excellent addition to our 31 Days of Toy Terror. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Skittles Twist 'n Pour Ghost

Remember when there was tons of Halloween candy that also functioned as a toy? When I saw this Skittles ghost I snatched him up in a heartbeat. The ghost doesn't glow in the dark but he does dispense delicious Skittles candy. Sounds good, am I right? There's also a Skittles Pumpkin and if I seem him anywhere, I'm snagging him. There's more details on this after the break.

31 Days of Toy Terror: Cockroach Terminator from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates Toys

    
     While they're probably not on the upper pantheons of horror, bugs and robots do freak some people out. Now how about combining the two? One of the newer figures from Playmates new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line based off of Nickelodeon's TMNT animated series is Cockroach Terminator. Since I'm watching the series as it comes out on DVD I'm not far enough to have much knowledge of this guy yet, but that's never stopped me from reviewing a figure before. He's not the first roach themed villain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (remember Scumbug?) but he is the latest. Do robotic cockroaches have a place in the 31 Days of Toy Terror? You'd better believe it! Join me after the break....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Gangrene Gene, Ferocious Frankie, and Johnson from S.L.U.G. Zombies by Jakks Pacific


     I had high hopes that Jakks Pacific's S.L.U.G. Zombies would stick around for quite sometime, but everywhere I go I see them being put on clearance. With no new product appearing for quite sometime, I fear that the line is dead. I've said plenty about these cool new minifigures in the past so I'll try to get right into looking at these guys. Coming in around 2 inches tall, the S.L.U.G. Zombies come in two flavors: solid green plastic for the zombies themselves and a light pinkish for the human zombie hunters. In each series that was released the figures were sold in 4 different packs of three or a "coffin" set of 12 figures. They're a wonderful homage to the classic minifigures (M.U.S.C.L.E., Monster in my Pocket) of the 80's and early 90's and I love them dearly. Zombies absolutely have a place in our 31 Days of Toy Terror, so here we go!

Monday, October 14, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Hysteria Alice from Alice: Madness Returns by Diamond Select Toys




     Alice: Madness Unleashed  is a dark video game sequel to the original Lewis Carroll Alice stories and to the 2000 video game American McGee's Alice. Today, as part of 31 Days of Toy Terror, I'm looking at the very cool variant action figure Alice in Hysteria mode. When close to death in the game, Alice is able to go into Hysteria mode. She becomes tougher, stronger, and takes on a gruesome, blood soaked visage. While the only difference between this figure and the basic Alice figure is the paint scheme, Hysteria Alice is still a well done, very creepy action figure. She's around 6-7 inches tall and comes with the same terrific accessories as the basic Alice figure did. Here's a brief look at Hysteria Alice on our 31 Days of Toy Terror....

Halloween Grab Bag Contest 2013 Participation thread #3: What's your favorite Halloween Urban Legend?

  
If you haven't checked it out yet, head over and check out the rules and first participation thread for our Halloween Grab Bag 2013 Contest! The second participation thread is here. Win a series 1 S.L.U.G. Zombie still in his plastic bag, a mint on card Catwoman action figure, and a brand new Adam West Batman from Mattel's 1966 Batman line! You can enter to win the drawing multiple times and it's completely free! The easiest way to win is by simply leaving a comment in one of the four participation threads. This week's discussion? What's your favorite Halloween Urban Legend? Join us in posting after the break....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Arkham Asylum Breakout from DC Superheroes by Lego

    
     Lego released an Arkham Asylum set a few years back. Good luck picking one up at a reasonable price, however, as the price has skyrocketed on the secondary market. Fortunately Lego decided to release a second set representing Arkham Asylum late last year that is even larger than the previous set. This Arkham Asylum consists of three seperate modules that attach together in a couple of different ways to form one larger structure. There is also a prisoner transport van and the asylum gates. Featuring 8 excellent minifigures, beautiful, intricate gothic designs, and some really fun play/display features, Arkham Asylum Breakout is an excellent set that kids, collectors, and Batman fans of all ages will enjoy. It's also a freaking creepy asylum for the criminally insane named in honor of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Does it belong on 31 Days of Toy Terror? You better believe it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

31 Days of Toy Terror: Leatherface from Movie Maniacs by McFarlane Toys


     Leatherface was released in September 1998 as part of McFarlane Toys' first series of Movie Maniacs. Joining Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Patrick and Eve from Species 2, Leatherface would be part of a small group of horror figures that would spearhead an exciting new trend in action figure marketing and licensing. Did anyone ever believe in the mid 1990s that we would ever get action figures of these various horror icons? I picked up this guy sometime during Fall 2000, right around when Ash, Shaft, and Snake Plissken were released (I intended for him to be an adversary for Ash since they both had chainsaws. I had never seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at that point (I wouldn't see it until college) but the figure was bloody, disgusting, and according to my mom "sick", so naturally as a High School student I thought it was pretty amazing. There have been a few figures since based off of Gunnar Hansen's portrayal of Leatherface, but I'll still argue this is the best. This is definitely a bloody, violent figure, so viewer discretion is advised!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: "Return of Candy Corn" Soda by Jones Soda

In 2005 Jones Soda released it's first batch of Halloween flavored sodas exclusively to Target, one of which was Candy Corn. It was a pretty tasty and novel treat that returned yearly until at least 2009 and then seemed to disappear. Well, it's back, along with Caramel Apple, Blood Orange, and Red Licorice. I found my soda at Target again, but I've heard a few other smaller stores are carrying it as well, so keep your eyes peeled. Ready for a swig of scary soda? Then join me after the break...

31 Days of Toy Terror: Bloody Carrie from Carrie by NECA

    
  
     For years I have wanted action figures based off of the works of Stephen King. When I was in 8th grade and just starting to avidly read King's work I distinctly remember typing up a list (on my typewriter no less) of the figures I wanted to see in the first series of my imaginary Stephen King action figure line. The first series consisted of Roland Deschain with his revolvers from The Gunslinger, Gage Creed with a scalpel and Church the cat from Pet Sematary, Jack Torrance with typewriter and croquet mallet from The Shining, and Carrie White with a bucket of blood and "snap on flames" from Carrie. I wrote that list back in 1997 or 1998 so it's been quite a long time but I finally got one of my dream figures: Carrie White! She's based on Chloe Grace Moretz's version of the character from the upcoming film Carrie which is supposed to be a new adaptation of King's original novel versus a remake of Brian De Palma's 1976 film, but we'll have to see how that plays out as there is some specific imagery from the trailer that looks to be heavily inspired from De Palma's version. I was really excited to see NECA jump in and release some figures for Carrie as they don't seem to do as much pure horror work as they have in the past. Let's get the review started, if you dare...

A Toy Tribute to Big Trouble in Little China



     Do not adjust your screens, things are about to get real dorky. I'm Miss M and I was asked by Barbecue 17 to write a guest review on one of the coolest toy lines ever made: Big Trouble in Little China. And since this is ThEpicReview, it would only make sense that this be one big splashy epic toy review. I use a fun interview approach to my toy reviews, so prepare to read a fun story that pays tribute to John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China, and the toy line made by N2 Toys (circa 2002.) Thanks, and enjoy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Gruesome Grape Big League Chew





When I ran into this at a local grocery store (Ingles) I just had to buy it. Not only was it Halloween Big League Chew with a baseball playing mummy on it, but it's also grape flavored. Better yet, it's Gruesome Grape! I haven't had grape flavored Big League Chew since the late 80's! Anyways, this is going to be a short feature today, so we'll get right into the deliciousness. Rip open this review and enjoy!

31 Days of Toy Terror: Kraang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates Toys

 
      Every few years we get a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series or movie and, of course, that means a new toy line as well! Today I'm looking at Kraang. That's right, not Krang, the individual character from the original cartoon series, but Kraang, just one member of an alien race of brain people hanging out in robotic bodies. "What's going on?, you might ask. Let me tell you: It seems that for the new cartoon series, the writers have combined the Krang from the 1987 animated series and the Utroms from the original mid 80's TMNT comic books. Seems like a neat idea and so far these guys have been pretty interesting in the series (I'd love to see a suited Kraang figure released). How is this figure and why is it part of 31 Days of Toy Terror? Well, it's a creepy brain in a robotic stomach. Surely that's someone's nightmare, right?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Movie Review: In the Mouth of Madness (Confirmed: Great)


     Sam Neil has been in a great number of movies (including the upcoming Escape Plan) but I will forever be unable to watch any of his roles and not think of him as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park. His portrayal of that character is just such a huge part of my childhood that anytime I watch a movie starring Sam Neil, I feel as if I'm watching something that takes place either before or after Grant's visit to Isla Nublar. Personally, I would have loved to see Neil play James Bond (he was in the running for the role as a successor to Roger Moore) but obviously that train has now sailed. On that note, let's talk about something relevant to In the Mouth of Madness, such as the movie itself.  Written by Michael De Luca and directed by John Carpenter, In the Mouth of Madness is an incredibly unsettling 1995 horror film that strongly utilizes the mystique and ideas of the works of horror scribe H.P. Lovecraft to tell the tale of an author who literally drives his readers mad. While many fictional works reference the writings of Lovecraft through various name drops, few of them actually feel as if they're doing so on any more than a surface level. In the Mouth of Madness does a fantastic job of drawing inspiration from Lovecraft's work in a way that strives to channel the true depth of the author's mad genius, resulting in a film with a proliferance of disturbing images and even more disturbing musings on topics such as sanity and the nature of reality. Ready for a leap into madness? Then join me after the break....

Hokey Halloween Horror: Franken Berry Cereal!!

     While Boo Berry has always been my favorite of the monster cereals, I've got to say that I think I've been converted to a Franken Berry fan. Don't get me wrong, Boo Berry himself is still the coolest of the big three monsters, but Franken Berry's artificial strawberry flavor just rocks my world. I particularly love drinking the strawberry milk afterwards as well. I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Let's start with some history: Franken Berry was one of the original two Monster cereals released by General Mills in October 1971 (the other was Count Chocula). It was a mainstay of the breakfast cereal aisle until 2010 when the product became available only seasonally, which is a darn shame if you ask me. Now that all five monster cereals are available this fall you can not only pick up Franken Berry but you also have the choice of either the classic box art (as seen on the left and available exclusively at Target) and the modern box art on the right. Ready to read more about Franken Berry then you ever wanted to know? Then join me after the break...

31 Days of Toy Terror: Spider Bytez from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates Toys

   
 As I started watching through the new Nickelodeon TMNT series I was mentally making a list of characters from the show I wanted to see realized as action figures: Chris Bradford, suited Kraang members, Karai, and Spider Bytez were all on my list. I'm glad that Spider Bytez was selected as he's a fun looking and unique character. Since he's also a creepy spider, I thought he'd make an excellent addition to our 31 Days of Toy Terror here at ThEpic Review. As Michelangelo tells us in the cartoon, Spider Bytez is both a spider and he bites, hence the name. We'll leave the naming to Mikey since he's good at naming things and I'll jump into the reviewing. This is an...unusual figure. Read on and find out what I mean after the break...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Not a Trick just a Treat: A look inside the Reel Brad Bell's Horror Collection


       Barbecue 17 has been doing an insanely EPIC job of bringing our readers Halloween treats ever sense Labor Day.  As much as I love Halloween other than appearing in our last podcast I have been unable to really participate in a a lot of our Hokey Halloween Horror 2013, due to uncontrollable scheduling conflicts.  After many request from Jerry to review some of my horror figures, I have decided to give readers what I would consider a real treat a look inside my personal horror collection.  While it pales in comparison to number of horror figures Barbecue owns there are some nice pieces to highlight this Halloween season.  So enjoy and have a safe and Happy Halloween 2013!

31 Days of Toy Terror: Scarecrow from Playmobil Mystery Figures by Playmobil

    
     When Playmobil launched their Mystery Figures line in 2011, I decided that I absolutely had to have their super cool Grim Reaper with the neon yellow sickle. Not only did I find him but I ended up picking up quite a few random figures here and there. I hadn't bought a Playmobil figure for quite sometime but I absolutely had to have this wicked cool Scarecrow from Mystery Figures series 3. These guys are typically sold in blind bags but I just bought this dude from Ebay to save time (and money since the nearest place to me that sells these guys is about an hour away). Playmobil has released some friendly, functional scarecrows in the past, but that's not who this guy is. This guy is insane, demented, and wants to destroy you and everything you care about. He'd stab you with his pitchfork and then squeeze lemon juice in your open wounds. He'd come over to your house and use up all of your butter without leaving a note so that when you make toast, you just get stuck with dry bread. In other words, he'll break you. Read more about him after the break...

Hokey Halloween Horror: Pumpkin Cheesecake Creme Sandwich Cookies

    
      These aren't overly terrifying, but they're pretty tasty and appropriately festive so on my last trip to Target to by Fruit Brute and spooky Jones Soda I picked these up. Two nights ago most of The Epic Review crew got together for a Halloween party. Not a Halloween party, like the holiday, but a Halloween party, as in we watched the 35th Anniversary edition of Halloween on Blu-ray. Amongst the delicious foods we partook in were Jones Red Licorice Soda, some delicious snacks made by Brad's mom, and these little Pumpkin Cheesecake sandwich cookies (these were my contribution). How'd they taste? We'll get there. First, let's look at the box! Nothing too special, just one simple fall leaf proclaiming these as "limited time only" and a picture of the cookies. I love how these are displayed with candy pumpkins and cinnamon sticks! Other than that fun little element, the box is actually dull. Really dull. Things get more exciting after the break, though...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hokey Halloween Horror: Reeses Peanut Butter Pumpkin





     The Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin is another Halloween candy that, like the Cadbury Scream Egg and the soon to be reviewed Halloween Peeps, has roots with an Easter candy. If you've ever had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, a Reese's Christmas Tree, or a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, you know what to expect here. It's a chocolate covered peanut butter confection that looks vaguely like a pumpkin. Then again, it's a chocolate covered peanut butter confection that looks vaguely like a pumpkin!!! (See the excitement?!) When I think about Reese's cups and Halloween, I always think about the 90's commercial where we see a Reese's cup that has been attacked by a vampire. Remember it? Anyways, I guess at some point Reese's decided to fully connect their product with Halloween, so we get this spooky treat. The standard Reese's package is already orange, yellow, and brown, so it was already appropriately autumnal. Someone didn't have much work to do, so a simple yellow pumpkin outline and a smaller jack o' lantern was added. It's simple, but nothing terribly memorable when we live in a world where the M&Ms can dress like mummies and the Kool-Aid man happily dons a vampire cape (in years past the packages have been more exciting). We'll taste test this sucker after the break....

Movie Review: The Fog (Confirmed: Good and a 1/2)

   
      How do you follow up a film that changed the horror genre (arguably creating a new sub-genre), proved to be one of the most successful independent films of all time, and was positively reappraised by critics within a year of it's release? That's the struggle John Carpenter faced after the release of Halloween in 1978 and the film that followed it in 1980 was The Fog. In between the two films, Carpenter directed two television films including the very successful Elvis, his first pairing with Kurt Russell. While again pairing Carpenter's score and direction with the presence of Halloween stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Nancy Loomis, The Fog turns out to be a much different film than it's predecessor. It's a more traditional ghost story; something that feels like a cross between a vengeful ghost tale and Jaws involving lighthouses, ancient curses, buried secrets, and ghostly pirates. The Fog is not a great movie, but it's definitely a worthwhile horror film for a cold, foggy night. It's incredibly atmospheric and has a nice mystery at it's core that should appeal to most horror fans. Read on for a bit more analysis after the break...

Halloween Grab Bag 2013 Contest Participation Thread #2: Do you remember your first Halloween Costume?


     If you haven't checked it out yet, head over and check out the rules and first participation thread for our Halloween Grab Bag 2013 Contest! Win a series 1 S.L.U.G. Zombie still in his plastic bag, a mint on card Catwoman action figure, and a brand new Adam West Batman from Mattel's 1966 Batman line! You can enter to win the drawing multiple times and it's completely free! The easiest way to win is by simply leaving a comment in one of the four participation threads. This week's discussion? What is the first Halloween costume you remember wearing?

     Here's mine: The Count from Sesame Street. It's a great costume for a kid- scary (he is a vampire) but not too scary (he counts things). Interestingly, an obsession with counting (arithmomania) is a classic vampire trait from folklore, so it's really cool that Sesame Street worked that into a children's program. Anyways, I have fond memories of this particular Halloween night (I couldn't have been more than three) because my grandparents took me trick 'r treating (my grandma calls it Halloweenin'), I counted for everyone that opened there door to me, and I got tons of candy bars. Seriously, there is a picture of young Barbecue17 floating around in Chuck Norris pajamas with a  bucket of full and king sized candy bars. There evidently weren't a lot of kids around where I lived, just rich old people.

     The costume is just your standard 1980's vinyl suit with a plastic mask and a cape, but it actually looks pretty good. I look bundled up too (wearing a light blue hoodie) but it seems to go along pretty well with the outfit. You can also see that the eyeholes were cut to be a little larger so I could see better (probably at the request of Dad-ecue and Mom-ecue, who were all about safety.

     What was the first Halloween costume you remember wearing? Simply leave a comment (not anonymously of course) and gain an entry into our Halloween Grab Bag Contest!