Friday, November 29, 2013

Action Figure Review: The Joker from The New 52: Super Villains by DC Collectibles

     On an older episode of the Confirmed Epic Podcast Brad and I discussed the New 52's Death of the Family story arc that covered 23 issues across nine different titles. Advertising the return of the Joker into the New 52 and paying homage to 1988's A Death in the Family story line (which featured the death of Jason Todd by the Joker's hand), Death of the Family focused on the Joker's plans to eliminate the Batfamily in order to restore the original dynamic between himself and the Caped Crusader. In order to convey the Joker's new personality and purpose, he was depicted by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo as trading in his classic purple suit and deadly prankster gags for a more utilitarian workman's outfit and a tool belt. DC Collectibles has really been impressing me lately as they've upped the quality control and the detail of the product they've been producing, so is Joker another success? Read on and find out after the break....

Thursday, November 28, 2013

McDonald's Eggnog Milkshake Review

November the 26th

From the journal of Barbecue the 17th,

     It has been a long trek through sleet, slush, and snow on my way to holiday festivities with family but alas, I have taken respite for the night in a humble inn. Upon bargaining with the innkeeper for a night's keep and surveying my lodgings, I secured my baggage and trod over to the nearest purveyor of general goods, whale oil, and edibles in order to make my sustenance for the night. The eatery was run by a Mr. McDonald and served grilled patties of beef served on a split bun with condiments, sliced fried potatoes, and cold milk based beverages with a variety of sweeties blended into them. I was intrigued by one of these shaken milk refreshments that was based around the traditional holiday beverage Eggnog. I ordered one from the burger-keep, passed him some coinage, and sat down to wait and discuss the issues of the day with other travelers enjoying their meals. As the snow danced down like ash from Mount Vesuvius, I sat waiting for the employees of Mr. McDonald to freshly prepare my meal. I watched as the strange, milky beverage was produced from what I can only assume was some sort of steam powered cow and served to me in what appeared to be a soft, flexible glass. I don't know what sort of devilry this Mr. McDonald employees, but the luscious, yellow beverage dazzled my tastes and caused my holiday spirits to soar. More on the next page....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A New Batgirl Review: Steampunk Batgirl from Ame-Comi Heroine Series by DC Collectibles

     While I prefer Kotobukiya's Bishoujo line, DC Collectibles has also given fans a way to get fun, anime inspired versions of their favorite DC heroines and villainesses with ther Ame-Comi line. While I've tried to pick up all of the DC females in Kotobukiya's line, I've only been buying the Batgirl related figures in Ame-Comi and fortunately I now have another Batgirl to add to the shelf: Steampunk Batgirl. While the genre has been around for quite some time, steampunk seems to be getting more and more popular over the last few years, especially when it comes to cosplay. Look through pictures of cosplayers from any of the major conventions and you're likely to see a few versions of popular comic book characters that have been rendered in the popular steampunk style. Now DC Collectibles has jumped in and offered us a statue of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl in some very cool steampunk garb. Ready for a look at Babs in her neo-Victorian finest? Then join me after the break....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Mystical Warriors of the Ring Colors from Fantastic Plastic Toys!

     Just got this announcement from Mark at Fantastic Plastic Toys, creator of the super cool Mystical Warriors of the Ring line. I reviewed the first set of their PVC figures here which consisted of Kayin Kungaa, Sheldon Sabre, and Widowmaker. Soon these guys will be back in three cool new colors:

After a successful launch with our Flesh and Red, we are now releasing 3 more colors for the Holiday Season. They are currently in transit from China and we hope to have them available shortly.
In honor of our partnership with True Cast Studio (whose company color is Blue) and our use of metallic in our prototypes we are offering a Pearlescent Blue colorway. This will be the standard $9.00 per 3 pack and will be available on our True Cast Studio Store. You might be familiar with the use of Pearlescent colors with the recent Onell Glyos drops.

(continued after the break- with more pictures!)

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

     Last year Mattel offered subscribers a chance to vote on a figure that would appear in the 2013 subscription. The options were Crash Landing Marlena, Cloak & Dagger Evil-Lyn, "Mini-Comic" Trap-Jaw, Illumina, Songster, Camo Kobra Khan, Green Demon, and Geldor. While I was pulling for Illumina (who ended up in second place), Geldor won the poll and thus he's the figure I'm reviewing today. Appearing in the mini-comic The Secret Liquid of Life, Geldor is a villain searching for the titular liquid that will grant him eternal life. He's a rough, tough, barbarian looking gent that's ready to cause trouble just for a drink of water. Ready for a look at this guy? I am- while I'm still bitter about Illumina's loss, I am a fan of the more straight up barbarian characters in the line and this guy would look right at home fighting He-Man, Vikor, Vykron, and King Grayskull. Join me after the break....

Monday, November 25, 2013

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Confirmed Great and Three Quarters)

The Hunger Games, much like Harry Potter and Twilight, was an instant hit when it first came out in hard back. Now that the second film in the three part series, Catching Fire, has been released in the United States the craze has rekindled (bad fire pun intended).  I went with one of my good friends to see Catching Fire this past Sunday and I must say we were not disappointed! Read more about this fabulous conflagration of a movie after the break!

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

     Sea Hawk is the captain of the Solar Sailor and one of those pirates with a heart of gold beneath his rugged, roguish exterior. Appearing in a few episodes of She-Ra: Princess of Power, Sea Hawk made an impression on many Masters of the Universe fans with his charismatic and swashbuckling demeanor, his snappy fashion sense, and his inexplicable combination of having red hair and a red beard combined with black eyebrows and a  mustache. As the November figure in Mattel's Club Filmation subscription, Sea Hawk is actually a bit exclusive as he was not available for sale to non-subscribers on We've known this for awhile, though, and clearly it was a sales tactic to encourage people to subscribe and not just a random instance of Sea Hawk being a figure made in lesser numbers. So, ready to ready to read about a pirate with a laser sword and an ascot? Then join me after the break....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Action Figure Barbecue: Batman, Batros, Brickwarriors, Daleks, DC Universe, Chibis, Prometheus, Joker, KA Mumb, Lifeline, Nepthu, TMNT Comics, R2-D2, and Christmas Cheese!

Image from Misfit Robot Daydream
     It's the weekend before Thanksgiving! As you're getting ready for all of your Turkey Day festivities, here's a list of some great reviews and commentaries from the past week that I really enjoyed during my journeys across the Interwebs. Reviews here on the site may be a bit sporadic this week as I make my homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce, but I'll be sure to get a few things up. In the words of the always quotable Reel Brad Bell, "Happy Collecting Everyone!"

     As part of their Crime Fighters and Criminals Month, Joshua Raymond at Misfit Robot Daydream did an excellent review of NECA's 1/4 scale Adam West Batman. This thing is amazing and definitely a toy I'm not trying to track down! The accessories and extra hands that come with this thing really make it work!

     While I don't agree with most of his review, Doc Thomas's review of MOTUC Batros at is pretty funny and definitely worth reading.

     I always like seeing reviews for cool stuff I didn't know existed and this week I was surprised by Eric Stettmeier's review of the Brickwarrior's Weapons Pack at Toyriffic. These are some really cool bagged accessory kits from BrickWarriors to spice up your Lego minifigures and make them even more awesome. The jester set is truly wicked!

Lots more after the break.....

Friday, November 22, 2013

Action Figure Review: Blast and Battle Batcave from Batman: Power Attack by Mattel

     Every now and then I buy something just on a whim. I was at Big Lots on Saturday and saw the Blast and Battle Batcave from Mattel's Power Attack Batman line on sale for $15. I said to myself, "What the heck?" At the very least I could use it for a backdrop when taking pictures for reviews. It's a pretty decently sized item and came with a Batman action figure. While the line seems to be ending in favor of Mattel's new DC Total Heroes, the Power Attack Batman line has been Mattel's evergreen Batman line for about the past year and a half. It's definitely designed for kids and features a very stylized look, but for this set I figured "How often do you get to buy a Batcave?" Batcaves have always been some of the most prominent and best playsets available, which is interesting because rarely does much combat occur in the Batcave (part of the reason why Kenner's six paneled Batcave playset is one of the best playsets ever). Still, Batcaves are awesome in general, so I paid my cash plus tax to the cashier and left Big Lots with the Blast and Battle Batcave. How is it? Read on and find out, chum!

Action Figure Review: John J. Rambo (Survival Version) from Rambo by NECA

     Back in June I reviewed the first Rambo figure released by NECA which portrayed Rambo as seen on the classic movie poster for First Blood and during the film's climax. Today I'm looking at the second figure in NECA's Rambo series which is called the Survival Version and represents Stallone's John J. Rambo character as he appears throughout First Blood as he is evading the Washington State Patrol and the National Guard. Decked out in his makeshift poncho and armed with the various weapons he has gathered from his pursuer or crafted himself, this guy is ready to start an all out war. Ready for a look at the Survival Version of Rambo? Then join me after the break...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Action Figure Review: Fortress Armory Manhole Cover for Castle Grayskull by BadVermin

     Today's review is an interesting piece by custom toymaker and member BadVermin that's designed to fix a problem with the upcoming Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull. It's the Fortress Armory Manhole Cover, a double sided manhole cover that will fill in a gap in the floor of the interior of the Castle Grayskull playset. In the new Castle Grayskull, there is an extra floor piece that has a hole in it which was designed to hold the arm of the Wind Raider stand so that the Wind Raider can be docked inside of the castle. It seems that many fans weren't happy with the feature, however, and lamented the fact that the floor extension would have an ugly hole in it. Well, not any more! With this double sided piece you can cover that hole with either a rusted metal seal or a worn wood cover. Want to learn more about a simple way to improve your Castle Grayskull? Then read on after the break....  

Action Figure Review: Sky High with Jet Sled from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

     When I eventually release my top ten MOTUC figures of the year list, I'm really going to have a tough time narrowing things down because there have been so many good figures this year. One of the ones that came out of nowhere was Sky High and the Jet Sled. In my review of the Fighting Foe Men I discussed that the characters were originally used as the drivers in the painted box artwork of the Monogram model kids. We got the Roton driver, the Attak Trak driver, and the Talon Fighter driver, but strangely were missing the Wind Raider pilot which was the only vehicle we had in MOTUC at the time. Not only did Mattel rectify the problem of not giving us a Wind Raider pilot but they also managed to give us our second vehicle for the line, the Jet Sled. In the vintage line the Jet Sled was the front part of the Battle Ram Chariot vehicle and later appeared as the default air transportation for both heroes and villains in the Filmation animated series. Mattel opted to package together the Jet Sled and the Wind Raider pilot (now named Sky High) as an item available outside of the subscription. Ready for a look at both Sky High and the Jet Sled and some discussion regarding the way Mattel delivered them to collectors? Then join me after the break...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Toy Review: Marauders Inc. Series #7 part 1

     I've been a fan of Marauders Inc. for quite some time, probably since I saw this interview with them conducted by Fred Meyer of Joe Battlelines back in 2007. What is Marauders Inc. you might ask? They're a small company that manufactures weapons for 1/18th scale action figures. While the majority of their fan base are G.I. Joe and 1/18th scale military collectors, you could easily use their equipment with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Marvel Universe, or any other 1/18th scale toyline. While Hasbro's G.I. Joe line has always had scads of cool accessories, they haven't always had the most regular weapons. Marauders started out manufacturing basic weapons that collectors building armies might want such as AK-47s, M-4, and standard pistols but quickly moved on to more elaborate and exotic weapons. Then they started offering weapons with removable magazines and silencers. Then they started offering weapons that were modular and featured removable sights, flashlights, and tactical grips. To finance their latest series (series #7) Marauders Inc. utilized Kickstarter. My Kickstarter items just arrived and I managed to get most of series #7. There are a few extra pieces from series #7 which I've ordered that I'll be reviewing as soon as they arrive. Ready for a look at the very cool weapons of Marauders Inc.? Then join me after the break....

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

     So far, Strobo has not been an easy figure for Masters of the Universe Classics fans to get their hands on. Being the traveling convention exclusive for 2013, Strobo has only been available in fairly limited numbers at a few different conventions and was available very, very briefly as in the subscription holder's early access sale early this summer (I was there right when the sale started and couldn't procure one). Fortunately Strobo is now slated to be available on Cyber Monday on so hopefully more fans will have a chance to grab what is undeniably a very cool action figure that comes with a crucial extra: the unhelmeted head for the 200x version of Zodak. It's important that Strobo's a pretty cool action figure because by no stretch of the imagination is Strobo a well know character; his only appearance was in the story "The Dark Power of Skeletor" from an issue of Masters of the Universe Magazine. Of course, sometimes these lesser known characters turn out to be the most exciting figures in the line. How does Strobo fare? Read on and find out after the break....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Action Figure Review 90's Edition: Catwoman from Batman: Special Legends Edition by Kenner

     Wait, didn't I just review this figure yesterday? Well, kind of but not really. The Catwoman I reviewed was a regularly released figure that was part of the first series of Kenner's Legends of Batman line in 1994. A few years later after that line ended Kenner made a few exclusive repaints available to collectors through Warner Bros. Studio Stores, a chain of stores selling Warner Brothers merchandise (similar to Disney Stores) that all closed in 2001. The packaging was different and featured a large image of Batman against a purple background. The defining title on the package was "Batman" with "Special Legends Edition" written above in smaller text so I'm choosing to list these as a separate line. The figures were essentially just repaints of previously released figures but since I've always had a fondness for this Catwoman figure I decided to pick this one up as well. Since the figure is simply a repaint, I'm going to reuse a good bit of material from yesterday's review. Deal with it. When you're ready, the review of Ms. Kyle is after the break....

Action Figure Review: Sandtrooper from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

     I'm always intrigued regarding the characters Kenner chose to include in the vintage Star Wars line and the characters they left out. While I wasn't born until 1983, discovering the vintage line during the mid 1990's was a magical experience as there was just so much product out there. Figures, vehicles, beasts, and play sets: the Kenner line had it all. Well, all except for the Sandtrooper. The Sandtrooper was always one of those characters that seemed like a glaring omission from the vintage line. To think that Kenner even went about creating a Dewback and yet left out the Sandtrooper. Of course, the Sandtrooper was always a fairly easy custom for fans of both the vintage and Power of the Force II lines, but fairly early into POTF II (around December of 1996) Kenner released the first official Sandtrooper with a second to follow in fall of 1997, mounted on a Dewback. Interestingly in Star Wars Black, Hasbro chose to get the Sandtrooper into the hands of collectors right out of the gate. It was an interesting choice, but one that turned out to be a great figure. Let's look at this guy a little more closely after the break....

Monday, November 18, 2013

Action Figure Review 90's Edition: Catwoman from Legends of Batman by Kenner

 I'm almost through reviewing a huge lot of Legends of Batman toys I picked up over the summer from a seller, but I've still got a few good ones left. Right now, however, I'm reviewing a figure that I've owned for quite a few years: the Legends of Batman Catwoman. Based on the Catwoman from the early to mid 1990's as drawn by Jim Balent, I think this was easily one of the best figures in Kenner's Legends of Batman line and as a kid it quickly replaced my Batman Returns Catwoman figure (the figure only, however, as no one will ever replace Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman). Ready to get clawed? Then join me after the break...

Action Figure Review: M.O.U.S.E.R.S. from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates

While my assumption is that most of you reading this site are quite familiar with toy collecting terminology, I'm aware that there's always someone out there who is new to the hobby. Just like you. Hi there! I see you over there. That's a mighty fine set of boots you're wearing. Mighty fine, indeed. What's that? You don't know what army building is? Well, allow me to educate you then: army building is the term for purchasing multiples of an action figure such as a Stormtrooper, Viper, Horde Trooper, or other nameless, faceless grunt in order to create a large group. Think about it- how often does just one Uruk-Hai attack the fellowship? How often does Wolverine fight just one Hand Ninja? How often does just one Goomba attack Mario? Rarely to never: that's how often!
As a kid, the first line that ever made me want to army build was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Perhaps it was due to the influence of the arcade game, but every time I played with my TMNT figures I wanted to have them fight groups of either Foot Soldiers or Mousers, just like in the game. Army building is a tough thing for a kid to explain to a parent, however, and while I had many TMNT figures, I never had more than one Foot Solider or more than one Mouser. The first line I was able to decently army build with was Star Wars: Power of the Force II due to the presence of additional Stormtroopers such as the Luke and Han figures in disguise, the Crowd Control Stormtrooper, and some of the cinema scenes sets. I also had a good friend, Felix, who traded me lots of his Star Wars figures for Batman figures (a trade I wish I never had made) but at the time netted me additional Snowtroopers, Stormtroopers, and Rebel Soldiers. Anyways, that's army building in a nutshell, and fortunately Playmates has made it easy for TMNT fans (both young and old) to army build MOUSERS by packaging them seven to a pack. I love this idea and was really excited to find this set. Ready for some cool metal minions? Then join me after the break....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Action Figure Barbecue: McFarlane's Frankenstein, Tenkai Knights, Poison Ivy, IG-88, Neca Predators, Wrecker, and Battle Damaged Batgirl

Image from The Clawful Punch

     What toy reviews jumped out at me this week? Here's a few that I've read and enjoyed:

* John Gaither at The Clawful Punch has taken a look at one of the first series McFarlane's Monsters sets: The Frankenstein Playset! These sets are some of my favorite toys ever and I'm always excited when someone else starts collecting them!

* Alexx at Toys and Tomfoolery has reviewed a cool new building line I had never heard of: Tenkai Knights from Ionix. Alexx looks at Vilius, Bravenwolf, and Lydendoor. These guys are smaller than Lego Bionicle and Hero Factory stuff but look amazing and have a really cool gimmick. Alexx is also hilarious, so expect to see pics of these guys wailing on guitars.

*Michael W. Crawford at looked at Poison Ivy from the very cool DC Bombshells statue line. I've got the Batgirl from this line already preordered, but all the figures in this set are quite tempting. Michael has probably cost me more money than anyone else on the net due to his great reviews of DC statues.

More after the break.....

Friday, November 15, 2013

Action Figure Review: Bane from Arkham Origins by DC Collectibles

      I was simultaneously shocked and impressed when my Arkham Origins Bane arrived from Big Bad Toy Store- not only was he larger than the other figures in the line and packaged in a nice window box, but he also was sold at the same price point. Remember how DC Collectibles charged around 2 1/2 times as much for the Arkham City Mr. Freeze as they did for a basic figure even though he wasn't much larger than one? Well, it seems that DC Collectibles is really making a turn around. QC seems to be improving, character selection is fantastic, and while Mattel's 6 inch DC offerings seem to be winding down, the future seems really exciting for DC Collectibles. While Bane is a character that has received quite a few action figures in the past, this is a new look for him in the Arkham-verse. While the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City Bane represented a very roided out and mentally impaired version of Bane, the Arkham Origins version represents Bane as the brilliant and cunning criminal mastermind that terrorized Gotham and broke Batman in Knightfall and The Dark Knight Rises. It's a neat figure that's plagued by a few unfortunate problems. Ready for a look at one of the eight assassins hired by Black Mask to kill Batman? Then join me after the break?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Action Figure Review: Dual Destruction Two-Face from Batman: Power Attack by Mattel

There is just too much Batman stuff out there for any normal collector to collect it all. To help me out, I've created a priority list to help me determine what I buy:

Tier One: Batgirl stuff- Figures, busts, autographs, etc. If it's based on Barbara Gordon as Batgirl (or Oracle) I'm on it like white on rice.

Tier Two: Batman, Villians, or Bat-Family members in the 6-7 inch scales: Basically any Batman figure, villains or other Gothamites from DC Collectibles, DC Direct, or Mattel.

Tier Three: Villains in any scale- This can be Batman: The Animated Series figures, Infinite Heroes, or older movie figures. I'm sort of picky with these and the more unique the villain is, the more likely I am to hunt them down.

Tier Four: Other Batman stuff- Legends of Batman, Imaginext, etc.

     Today I'm looking at the Dual Destruction Two-Face from the Batman: Power Attack line by Mattel. These are the current (well, they seem to be being phased out) evergreen Batman line that are targeted more towards kids than collectors. He's a Tier Three buy for me, which is why I only picked him up in a bargain bin for $2.99 at the Great Escape in Madison, Tennessee (shout out!). He's a pretty cool version of Two-Face and I like him a lot more than the previous Power Attack figure I reviewed, Attack in the Box Joker. Ready for a closer look? Let's do it!

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

      Maybe I'm just a sucker for Masters of the Universe or maybe Mattel really has been on fire this year, but I definitely think that this has been one of the best years for MOTUC figures yet. It's amazing that this line, which so many seem to love to hate, has now gone on for over five years now with no relaunches, changes in scale, or changes in style. Well over a hundred figures in and we're still getting new accessory packs, vehicles, beasts, giants, and soon an in-scale Castle Grayskull! Today I'm looking at one of the sets that has been eagerly awaited for years: The Horde Troopers! The evil robotic minions of Hordak are probably the most significant and well known army builders in Masters of the Universe. Mattel packed two of them together and released them as the quarterly bonus figure for the 2013 Club Eternia subscription and I'm going to be looking at them today. Ready? For the Honor of Grayskull!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Action Figure Review: Biker Scout from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

It's tough to decide which Imperial Troopers have the coolest outfits, but I'm always willing to throw Scout Troopers/ Biker Scouts into the running. I've always liked these guys and just recently realized that the most recent Biker Scout I owned was the POTF II version that came with the Speeder Bike. You know, the one from 1996 that looked like he was riding a horse. Yup. I decided it was time to add an updated version to my ranks, so here it is. This guy's part of the first series of the 1/18th scale Star Wars Black line and is mostly a repack of the 2012 Toys 'R Us exclusive Biker Scout with Speeder Bike set, so if you have that you pretty much this figure, too. Still, I didn't have that set so this guy's all new to me. More Biker Scout goodness after the break....

Action Figure Review: Batman from Batman Classic TV Series by Mattel

  While we recently gave away one of these guys free in our Epic Grab Bag Contest, I still hadn't reviewed mine yet. I think it's safe to say that the Adam West Batman from the 1966 TV show is one of the most popular action figures of 2013. Everyone seems to have bought him. Really, other than the Family Guy figure (which I own) or one of vintage Mego products, this is pretty much your first chance to get an Adam West action figure so it's understandable why fans went nuts. I'm a big fan of the 1966 TV series (heck, I'm even a member of the Yvonne Craig Fan Club) so I was thrilled when the floodgates opened and merchandise from the series poured forth. I originally planned on being an ultra completest with this line...but then I bought this figure. Looking at most people's reviews I'm thinking I must be in the minority, but I'll just go out and say that I think this might be the most disappointing action figure of the year for me. Ready to hear me rant and rave? Well, follow me past the break and the ranting and raving will begin...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Epic Finds: Spider-Woman Stamp

Oh, Spider-Woman, how I love thee!

     Just a quick blurb on my recent find: Personally, I think Spider-Woman is the hottest of all the Marvel and DC heroines. No one comes close (not even Batgirl) [*FYI, This will be both Terry's first and last post- The Editor*]. I've spent the past few years collecting everything I can get my hands on and over the weekend, I found this stamp. More details and pictures after the break.....

Action Figure Review: Boba Fett from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

Who says "As you wish", keeps his face covered, and is hotter than melted butter on your breakfast toast? It's Boba Fett of course. Does the subject of today's review really need any introduction? Nope, but he's getting one! In the immortal words of mc chris:


My backpack's got jets
Well I'm Boba the Fett
Well I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt
To finance my 'Vette

-from Fett's Vette by mc chris


Heck yeah. Boba Fett, baby. While this guy doesn't have the Han Solo in Carbonite accessory with him that SDCC 2013 exclusive version did, he's also not going to cost you the price of a 'Vette to procure him, either. Is there any character that fans really wanted more in a 6 inch Star Wars line than Boba Fett? I'd say maybe a Star Wars Black Darth Vader might be pretty appealing, but the Fett man's where it's at. I don't own the SDCC version, so this guy is all new to me. Is he worth the money? You better believe it! Check him out after the break...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Action Figure Review: The Joker & Harley Quinn from DC Super Friends Imaginext by Fisher Price

Every year I pick up a few Batman Imaginext figures simply because they're really cool. One figure I really wanted was Harley Quinn, but she was released in pretty limited numbers initially and thus quickly began being sold for ridiculous prices by scalpers. Thankfully, as part of Imaginext's extensive DC line at Target (including great figures like Black Manta and Gorilla Grodd) Harley Quinn and the Joker have been released. This isn't the same Joker as the figure that can be found in other Imaginext sets, either. I've reviewed that Joker here and can say with confidence that I prefer the Joker released in this set. So, a two pack of Harley Quinn and her puddin' Joker as kids toys- what could be better? Read on and learn more about this dastardly duo after the break....

Action Figure Review: The Joker from Arkham Origins by DC Collectibles

 I'm a little further in Batman: Arkham Origins than I was when I reviewed Black Mask earlier in the week, so I know that the Joker is involved with the plot. Typically I would mark that kind of reveal as a spoiler, but since the figure was released about the same time as the game and the character was features prominently in the marketing of the game, I didn't figure it was much of a surprise to anyone. I mean, is it really a surprise when the Joker shows up anymore? Still, that doesn't mean I'm not glad to see the old guy when he does show up to pester Bats and that's exactly what he's doing here, although for the first time (at least in the Arkham universe). In Arkham Origins the Joker is not voiced by Mark Hamill as in the previous games but instead by Troy Baker (who voiced Robin and Two-Face in Arkham City and Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite). With better quality control than some of the previous DC Collectibles releases (see here) and sculpting by Gentle Giant Studios, this series of figures positions itself to expand upon the previous waves of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City figures. Does it make the grade? Find out, after the break....

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Action Figure Review: Clone Trooper Sergeant from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

     While all of the attention lately has been on Hasbro's 6-inch Star Wars Black, Hasbro has put out a few cool figures in the traditional smaller scale. While I'm not planning on picking up too many of the 1/18th scale figures, I do have a fondness for troop builders in that scale and have continued to snatch up troopers and clones. Today I'm looking at the Clone Trooper Sergeant from the first series of 1/18th (or 3 3/4 in.) Star Wars Black figures. These are the guys wearing green stripes on their armor who command squads of nine clone troopers. Ready for a look at this guy? Then jump right in after the break. Just don't call him sir- he works for a living!

Action Figure Review: Princess Leia (Slave Outfit) from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

     Back in the Power of the Force II days, was there any figure fans wanted more than Princess Leia in her slave outfit? I remember receiving her on my birthday in 1997 from a friend who was a fellow collector and at the time it was like a dream come true. Face it: there no more iconic female character in the world of fandom than Princess Leia and fanboys (and fangirls) went nuts over Carrie Fisher rocking that metal bikini. Hasbro has since released a few versions of Leia in her slave outfit in the traditional 1/18th line but I was quite surprised to see them bringing this version of the character into Star Wars Black so soon. How'd she turn out? Well, read on and find out after the break....

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Action Figure Review 90's Edition: Egyptian Batman & Egyptian Catwoman from Legends of the Dark Knight by Kenner

     Well, I'm a little closer to my goal of completing Kenner's Legends of Batman line now that I've added this Egyptian Batman vs. Egyptian Catwoman set to my collection. Since Legends of Batman utilized an Elseworlds theme to give us multiple versions of Batman across time, wouldn't it have been cool if they would have tried to work King Tut in here? Not King Tut, the Pharaoh of Egypt, but King Tut, the villain from the 1966 TV series played by Victor Buono. Anyways, is this much more to say about this almost 20 year old toyline or can we get right into looking at the toys? Let's do that, right after the break...

Action Figure Review: Black Mask from Arkham Origins by DC Collectibles

 If you've read my review of Talia al Ghul from DC Collectibles' Arkahm City series 4 then you know that I've had some issues with DC Collectibles over the past year or two. I haven't heard of too many problems lately, however, so I decided to give DCCollectibles another chance with their Batman: Arkham Origins line. Based on the recently released videogame Batman: Arkham Origins, the prequel to Arkham Asylum and Arkham CityArkham Origins tells the story of a Christmas Eve early in the Dark Knight's career on which the Black Mask has ordered a hit on Batman, drawing a number of mercenaries and hitmen to Gotham. I was at the midnight release of the game (first game I'd picked up at midnight since Skyrim in 2011) but I'm not too far into the game yet simply because I've just been so insanely busy with Halloween, work, and being out of town. While I've been tipped off that Black Mask is probably not the true antagonist of Arkham Origins, he still plays a very important part in the game's events so it's nice to have the character represented in the Arkham series' style.  Ever since his first appearance in Batman #386 in 1985, Roman Sionis has steadily become a more prominent villain in Batman's impressive gallery of villains. Ready to add this version to your shelf or should you look elsewhere? Read on and find out....

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A New Batgirl Review: Batgirl Key Chain from Mez-itz by Mezco Toys

It's been a while since I've reviewed anything Batgirl related, but it seems that I won't be able to say that for quite some time as there is a wealth of new Batgirl merchandise hitting. Today I'm looking at one of the smaller new items I've picked up: a Batgirl Mez-itz styled key chain from Mezco toys. Need to easily find your keys wherever you go or want to sport your undying fandom to the Dominoed Daredoll? The perhaps this is the right product for you! More details after the break...

Action Figure Review: Greedo from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

     "Koona t'chuta, Solo?" Yes, now you too can reenact all of Greedo's famous scenes from Star Wars with the new Star Wars Black Greedo figure available from Hasbro! Yes, everyone's favorite Rodian bounty hunter is now ready to menace your Han Solo figure in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina and subsequently get blown away. Who will shoot first this time? Greedo? Han Solo? Will they both shoot simultaneously? Now you can decide! There's not much more to say about Greedo for the more casual Star Wars fan (although the character has an insanely lengthy back story on Wookiepeida that even details how Greedo's body was ground up into a liqueur by Wuher. What the French, toast? That's some really dark, disturbing stuff, even for the Expanded Universe! Anyways, Greedo is proof that even characters with a mere minute or two of film time truly become icons in the world of Star Wars. What other film series would be able to include a character who appeared for less than two minutes in their deluxe line of 6-inch figures of the most popular characters? Heck, how many Greedo figures do you already own? I own at least six or seven. Star Wars action figures just don't operate under the same logic as any other toyline. Let's jump into looking at the figure so you can learn why you need another Greedo figure. Join me after the break....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Toys in Costume Review: Gladiator Batman from Legends of Batman by Kenner

"My name is Bruce Anthony Wayne, commander of Batman Inc., General of the Outsiders, loyal servant to the people of Gotham. Father to a murdered son, son to murdered parents. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." - Gladiator Batman

     In Kenner's mid 90's Legends of Batman line we saw a variety of Elseworlds variants of the Caped Crusader and his greatest foes. Pirate Batman, Post-apocalyptic Batman, King Tut Batman; the list could go on. Today we're looking at one of the figures from the third series of figures released in 1996, Gladiator Batman. Yup, this is Batman decked out as an ancient Roman Gladiator. How, you might ask, does Batman function as a gladiator when one of his hallmarks is his moral imperative against taking lives? I'm glad you asked. The bio tells us:  
     Gladiator Batman posed as one of these combatants with a master plan to end this bloodthirsty sport. Instead of taking part in the matches, he rallied the ranks of gladiators together in a massive uprising, leading their final escape to freedom and earning a place for the Dark Knight in ancient lore.  

 Pretty sweet, huh? Yup, I could actually see this happening in some crazy Elseworlds Batman story. So, do you like Batman stories about Gladiators? If so, you'd better jump past the break to read all about this guy....

Action Figure Review: Han Solo from Star Wars Black by Hasbro

  Star Wars Black series 2 has already arrived at Big Bad Toy Store and I'm thrilled to have got mine early. While I initially didn't plan on getting into the series, after having Darth Maul in hand I knew I would be pulled into collecting this line like the Millennium Falcon was pulled into the Death Star's tractor beam. Today I'm looking at Han Solo in his well known outfit from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. One of the things I really like about Star Wars Black is the well thought out accessories and Han Solo delivers more than any other figure in this series. Not only does he come with his famous blaster pistol, but he also comes with extra gear so that you can give him his stolen Stormtrooper utility belt and his gunner's gloves from the Death Star escape. Honestly, if Hasbro had found a way to give him a buttoned shirt like in the Yavin throne room we'd have every variation of Han Solo from A New Hope other than the Stormtrooper disguise. The figure's really well done, although I should probably let you read the review to fins that out. Why don't you join me after the break....

Friday, November 1, 2013

Epic Grab Bag 2013 Contest Winners!!!

     Happy Re-Halloween, everyone!  Hope everyone had a spooky night last night and is ready for another week of fun! Right now, however, I'm getting ready to announce the winners of our 2013 Epic Grab Bag Contest. As part of our Hokey Halloween Horror 2013 we offered up three great prizes: a Decayin Dom figure from the first series of Jakks Pacific's S.L.U.G. Zombies, a Catwoman figure from Kenner's Legends of Batman line, and the grand prize- a 1966 Adam West Batman figure from Mattel's new Batman line. Ready for the winners?

OK, here's how the drawing was held: I rounded up all of our entrants (remember, you could enter more than once- up to eight times) and tied each of them to a D.I.N.O. Mites figure that I found in a drawer at my parents' house (don't worry, I found a ton of D.I.N.O. Mites). I then made my list of who was tied to each D.I.N.O. Mite and dropped them into an orange Halloween pail that was actually used for Trick 'r Treating and then proceeded to draw out three winners- the first winner gets the S.L.U.G. Zombies, the second gets the Catwoman, and the third and final gets Batman. Ready?  Let's do this! Winners revealed after the break.....

The Legend of Re-Halloween!

    Halloween has come and gone right?  Maybe...if you read some wimpy website. Here at ThEpic Review, however, Halloween goes another week. Why's that, you ask? Because we have Re-Halloween. What's that you ask? Why it's an extra week of madness, treats, and pumpkins! It also isn't something crazy we just made up- it has roots. They're only a few years old, but they're roots nonetheless! Want to learn more about this most unusual holiday? Then read on for "The Legend of Halloween! (If we were sitting around a campfire, this is the point where I would throw sawdust into the campfire to make it flare up like in Are You Afraid of the Dark?.)   Read the Legend after the break.....

Action Figure Review: Stealth Tech Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates

     Finally! With this review I'll be done reviewing all of the Stealth Tech Turtles. I've loved all of these guys so far and they're most certainly one of my favorite sets of variant TMNTs ever. Taking the coolness of the turtles and their crazy ninja skills and adding in a wealth of stealth and spy gear that would make Sam Fisher, Ethan Hunt, James Bond, and Solid Snake all jealous turns out to be a pretty cool way to approach the shell shocked pizza kings. So how does Michelangelo fare? Finish your pizza, yell "booyakasha," and join me after the break to find out....

Happy Halloween!

     Hope everyone had a safe, happy, and spooky Halloween! This year was a really special Halloween for me because it was my daughter's first Halloween so we traveled to visit my parents so that they could be part of the fun. Today was crammed with Halloween fun including visiting a local book store to pick up some horror literature (shout out to Ms. B's Used Books!), a visit to a local comic shop, playing lots of scary music all day at my parents' house, walking around in my costume and scaring trick 'r treaters, carving a jack o' lantern, eating homemade pumpkin pie (thanks Dad!), taking my daughter trick 'r treating (which meant I got to go too!), watching some of Troll 2 with friends, and watching Halloween with my mom. My mom is perhaps the best person to watch scary movies with because not only does she react to them but she really gets into them. It's definitely not a passive experience, which made it even more fun. And since it's now after midnight where I'm at I can safely blow out the candle in my pumpkin without drawing the wrath of Sam. Good night everyone and farewell Halloween 2013!