Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Scary Toy Review: Gremlin (Now in Color) from The Twilight Zone by Bif Bang Pow!

     It has been almost a month since I reviewed Bob Wilson, the protagonist of The Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," but I'm finally getting around to that episode's antagonist, the Gremlin! Part of the first series of 3 3/4 inch The Twilight Zone "retro" styled action figures from Bif Bang Pow!, the Gremlin can be found in two variants: The standard black and white or the "Now in Color" SDCC 2014 variant that gives the character a green paint job. Only 456 of the SDCC 2014 variant version were released and it is that limited version that I'm reviewing today.  I've talked a few times about how excited I finally am to be getting toys and action figures based on the works of Stephen King, well now I've also got some great action figures based off of the works of one of my favorite authors, the late Richard Matheson. "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is without a doubt one of the most memorable episodes of The Twilight Zone, and it has a lot going for it to make it stand out in the minds of fans: It's based on a short story by Matheson, it was directed by Richard Donner, it starred a pre-Kirk William Shatner, and it was remade with John Lithgow in the starring role for a segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie. It also is a darn fine episode of the show and one I'm really excited to be able to reenact whenever I desire. Ready for a look at this extremely cool Gremlin? Then join me after the break...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Scary Toy Review: The Invisible Man from Universal Monsters ReAction by Funko

     While I reviewed the Mummy when he was released earlier this month, it actually has taken me until just this past week to track down the rest of the Universal Monsters ReAction figures from Funko. Based on James Whales' 1933 film The Invisible Man (which was based on H. G. Wells' 1897 novel), this figure of the Invisible Man, a.k.a. Dr. Jack Griffin, is ready to bring a delightful bit of madness to your Halloween festivities! While Remco released a true vintage line of Universal Monsters action figures back in 1981, the Invisible Man was not included. Or maybe he was and we just never saw him. Anyways, it's really fantastic that Funko released him as part of their first release of Universal Monsters ReAction figures as I can see collectors of that vintage line wanting to include him in their sets. If you've never seen The Invisible Man, check it out. Even though the film is now over 80 years old it still manages to be a fun and wacky sci-fi film with some truly suspenseful moments and special effects that are still fun to watch. Ready for a closer look at the Invisible Man? Then join me after the break...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Scary Toy Review: Pennywise from It from POP! Movies by FunKo

During last year's "31 Days of Toy Terror" I reviewed NECA's bloody version of Carrie from the 2013 adaptation of Carrie. In that review, I talked about how ever since I was a young teenager I've always wanted toys based off of the works of Stephen King. For years the only thing I had was a die-cast Christine from Johnny Lightning, so finally having a Carrie action figure was a big deal. This year, not only is there an action figure of Stephen King himself from NECA's new The Simpsons line but we also now have this toy of Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the 1990 TV adaptation of King's novel It. Part of the movie branch pf FunKo's expansive POP! vinyls toyline, Pennywise is a stylized interpretation of Tim Curry's portrayal of the titular demonic entity in its favored guise of a creepy clown. Since so many people are terrified of clowns (which is called coulrophobia), I think Pennywise is an excellent subject for a review as we look forward to Halloween, don't you? For more evil clown goodness, join me after the break...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Scary Toy Review: Frankenstein's Monster from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 2 by Fisher-Price

     It seems that a lot of you really like the Imaginext line, particularly the horror themed figures. I know I do! That's why today I'm going to be reviewing one of the series 2 figures: Frankenstein's Monster! And yes, while I know that he's technically Frankenstein's Monster, I'm most definitely going to refer to him as Frankenstein during the review at some point. Why is that? Well, it could just be out of old habit but it could also be out of respect for the creature. In the novel, didn't the Monster (and arguably Dr. Frankenstein) consider himself to be the son of Victor Frankenstein? Well, then Frankenstein would be a perfectly acceptable name. It's all about how you choose to identify yourself. Also, thank about when you need to blow your nose. What do you ask for? Most of the time you probably ask for a Kleenex even though Kleenex is a manufacturer of tissues. How about asking for a Band Aid rather than an adhesive bandage? Band Aid is the maker and the brand, not really the product name. All that is to say that referring to Frankenstein's Monster as just Frankenstein is probably like calling your Apple manufactured product an Apple or your Ford manufactured Fiesta simply a Ford. Anyways, let's just talk about toys and spookiness now.  Ooohhh!!! Halloween!!!
Umm... Just join me after the break....

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Scary Toy Review: Freddy Krueger from ReAction Horror Series by FunKo

 One of the coolest concepts ever for an action figure line was McFarlane's Movie Maniacs. When McFarlane started releasing those toys in the late 90's it truly seemed like the sky was the limit for action figures. Any property could become a toy! With Movie Maniacs, McFarlane wisely acknowledged that not every property (particularly horror films) needed a complete toyline. Offering a potpourri of iconic character in each series was a strength of that line (and others like Cult Classics) and believe me, I'm kind of getting that same old magic feeling with FunKo's new ReAction Horror Series. With all of the retro styled action figures coming out these days (mostly from Funko, but Bif Bang Pow! and others are in on this as well) we're seeing so many characters covered but I think the horror stuff is the most fun. I think the magic really kicks in with these ReAction figures when you can almost really believe that these toys might have existed back in the late 1970's and early 1980's and, for Freddy Krueger here, I can almost believe it. Remember how Matchbox released some crazy toys back in the 80's like a talking Freddy Krueger doll and the Maxx FX Freddy doll? Yup, I can easily imagine a more traditional Freddy Krueger action figure hitting shelves as well. Granted, as a kid I would not have wanted this as I was pretty terrified of Mr. Krueger, but it's still fun to imagine back. If someone rambling on for the next paragraphs about a 3 3/4 inch Freddy Krueger sounds like your idea of a good time then join me after the break...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spooky Toy Review: Gillman from Imaginext Collectible Figures Series 3 by Fisher-Price

     Late this  past summer, Imaginext released their third series of blind-bagged collectible figures to eager kids and collectors. While I largely avoid the vehicles and playsets due to lack of space, I pick up cool Imaginext figures whenever I can. One of the coolest from the most recent series is the subject of today's review: Gillman! While the Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of the few of the prominent Universal Monsters who was created specifically for a film, we often see non-licensed homages to the guy where he is referred to as simply the Creature, the sea creature, or the Gill-man. Of course, there are also plenty of variant mer-creatures such as Cousin Gilbert, Mer-Man, and the beloved Old Gregg. As Halloween quickly approaches, perhaps we should spend some time beneath the surface and contemplate the horror of the Gillman. Join me for another always frightening, slightly fishy, review after the break...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hokey Halloween Horror: Dead End Zone from Yankee Candle

     Fall means two of my absolutely favorite things in the World: Halloween and Football.  This year for their annual Halloween series Yankee Candle has decided to combine both with the Dead End Zone.    The headless player stands about 5 inches tall and was one of the sturdiest pieces in this year's Yankee Candle Halloween line.  The candle is designed for a tea light either authentic or electronic.  The Legendary Candle company does a great job with these as you can see the little touches that set these pieces apart such as: the #13 jersey and the Dead End Zone play on words on the tombstone.  You also have to love how the headless player cradles his head like a pigskin with an old school helmet to top it all off.  This line from Yankee Candle is the perfect blend of slightly horrific and the cutesy Halloween that alot of families are looking for.  Thus making it the perfect first Halloween decoration for my fiancee' and I's new home.  If you would like to score in the Dead End Zone this Halloween season you can pick up this guy for $20 at YankeeCanlde.com,  Also if you spend over $35 dollar at Yankee Candle now you get $25 grave candy dish in this line for only $10.  

Confirmed: EPIC

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Richard Kiel, A.K.A. Jaws from James Bond, Has Passed Away

     Just wanted to pay a quick tribute to the awesome Richard Kiel who was probably best known for playing the giant metal mouth henchmen Jaws in both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker and in some of the more recent Bond video games. He also played Kanamit in The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man," Mr. Larson in Happy Gillmore, and dozens of other roles in both television and film. Mr. Kiel passed away yesterday. Mr. Kiel: You were by far one of the most iconic Bond villains ever and will never be forgotten so long as spy movies exist!

     For Bond fans keeping count, actor Gottfried John who played General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov in GoldenEye also passed away earlier this month. This is just really odd because this past month or so I've been on such a Bond kick again. I even have pulled out my Nintendo 64 and have been playing GoldenEye on it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hokey Halloween Horror: Caramel Apple Jolly Rancher Crunch 'n Chew

     I'm not sure if these are new or not this year, but this is certainly the first time I recall seeing Caramel Apple flavored Jolly Ranchers. More specifically, these are Caramel Apple flavored Jolly Rancher Crunch 'n Chew candy. Yeah, they're an odd mix between the traditional hard, square little Jolly Ranchers and the soft, chewy little Jolly Ranchers bites that come in a bag. Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of Jolly Ranchers but when I saw the purple and green fall themed bag I knew I was going to have to buy these. While purple and green are most definitely the George and Ringo of Halloween colors, I have to say I really like them. These aren't full on Halloween candy; they're more of a simple fall specialty and thus function as gateway drug to the harder stuff. Anyways, I'm going to write more on these and show you some pictures of these candies interacting with various toys after the break. Why wouldn't you read this?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Toys in Costume: Raph the Barbarian from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates

     Since I'm watching the new TMNT series on DVD, I'm a little behind (we just watched the first episode of season 2 last night) and so I haven't yet had the privilege of watching the LARP episode "Mazes and Mutants." While the original TMNT toyline features some bizarre fantasy variations of the turtles, it's kind of cool that Playmates used the animated series for inspiration here. Today I'm looking at the first of the four LARP (live action roleplaying) turtles, Raph the Barbarian. I have to say that the barbarian or fighter class makes perfect sense for an angry bruiser like Raphael; he seems like a guy who just enjoys smashing stuff. I found these in the wild over the weekend and decided that the turtles decked out in costumes make perfect sense for a toy review that's helping to pave the way to Halloween. Ready to smash some trolls with Raph the Barbarian? Then join me after the break...

Fall is Just Around the Corner: Autumn by Vivaldi

It's never too early to start thinking about Fall. I'm actually home feeling pretty cruddy today, so I thought I'd put this up to cheer everyone up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Haunt the Halls: "Hey There!" Fall Sign from Hobby Lobby

     This year I'm going to put up one Halloween/ Fall themed decoration a day. I'm not allowed to put stuff out in the yard yet, so I'm having to put things up in the house. At this point, everything I'm putting up is kind of tasteful so far as Halloween decorations go. This is my favorite time of the year and I want to make the most of it. On September 1st I put up a glittery green owl on my daughter's bedroom door. I bought it for her last year two weeks after she was born and this year she is extremely impressed by it. Since she's really getting into the whole "pointing at cool stuff" phase, a glittery green owl definitely receives a fair share of pointing. Yesterday's decoration, however, is a bit more subdued. In fact, it is actually on front door of our house. Read more about this after the break....

Scary Toy Review: Bob Wilson (Now in Color) from The Twilight Zone by Bif Bang Pow

    "Portrait of a frightened man: Mr. Robert Wilson, thirty-seven, husband, father, and salesman on sick leave. Mr. Wilson has just been discharged from a sanitarium where he spent the last six months recovering from a nervous breakdown, the onset of which took place on an evening not dissimilar to this one, on an airliner very much like the one in which Mr. Wilson is about to be flown home - the difference being that, on that evening half a year ago, Mr. Wilson's flight was terminated by the onslaught of his mental breakdown. Tonight, he's traveling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson's plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone."

     "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is without a doubt one of the most memorable episodes of The Twilight Zone. This fifth season episode (#123) has a lot going for it to make it stand out in the minds of fans: It's based on a short story by horror and sci-fi legend Richard Matheson, it was directed by Richard Donner, it starred a pre-Kirk William Shatner, and it was remade with John Lithgow in the starring role for a segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie. It also is a darn fine episode of the show. In their new Twilight Zone action figure line, Bif Bang Pow! has released two characters from this episode: The monstrous Gremlin and, the subject of today's review, Bob Wilson. While the standard figures in this line are done in a black and white paint scheme, Bif Bang Pow! released a limited run of 456 figures as SDCC as a "Now in Color" exclusive. Since I'm planning on displaying these along with other retro-inspired lines, I opted for the color variants. Ready for a look at poor Bob Wilson? Then join me after the break...

Must Watch: Shatner v The Gremlin -- Two Minute Twilight Zone Project of "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"

Guess what toy I'm going to be reviewing later today? Check back around 5:00am and find out!

I've been holding back on reviewing my new Bif Bang Pow! Twilight Zone figures for a few weeks now, so now all bets are off. But who will be first: Shatner or the Gremlin?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Scare of the Day: Guy Gets Scared by a Screamer

Not real, but still pretty funny video of someone getting scared by a screamer. Just pretend it's real and you'll have more fun!

Toys in Costume: Foot Soldier from Ninja Turtles by Playmates

     Every good property and toyline needs a nameless, faceless legion of bad guys for the heroes to battle. For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there have almost always been the Foot Soldiers, nameless and faceless legions of the Foot Clan. A variation on your archetypal ninja garb, the outfits of the Foot Soldiers have provided concealment to a number of baddies including ninja masters, common street thugs, wayward teenagers, and even robots. Typically, you know a Foot Soldier when you see one. Interestingly (and perhaps disappointingly), this wasn't the case with the Foot Soldiers in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Just a cursory glance at this figure definitely reveals that the new Foot Soldiers seem more inspired by tactical black-ops military groups and video game terrorists rather than ninjas. In fact, this guy doesn't even have any swords! Still, I figured I could use this guy with my Nickelodeon TMNT figures as a generic bad guy so I picked him up the first time I saw him. Ready for a look at the new Playmates Toys' Foot Soldier? Then join me after the break...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Must Watch: Universal's The Mummy - 1932 - Official Trailer

     We just watched this film last night. It is quite good, although definitely not what you may expect if you've never seen it before. The "mummy" himself only appears in the film for about 5 minutes or less and there isn't much time spent running around in old tombs or pyramids. It actually feels a lot more like Dracula in terms of its pacing and plot. To put this film in context, it came out in 1932, only a year after Dracula, its cousin Dracula en Espanol, and Frankenstein, and only 10 years after the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb by Howard Carter and George Herbert.

Scary Toy Review: The Mummy from Universal Monsters ReAction by Funko

     This is it! The first action figure review of the 2014 Halloween season! Isn't it exciting? I can almost smell the smell of a candle burning in a pumpkin! I can almost hear the sound of a serial killer hiding behind a tombstone in some abandoned graveyard that I have no business being in! I can almost feel the weird, vinyl-like material of an old, cheap Halloween costume as I put it on! It's Halloween Halloween Halloween! Since the best Halloweens often seem to be the ones from our youth, I've decided to review the Mummy from Funko's new Universal Monsters nostalgia driven ReAction toyline. The ReAction figures strive to capture the charm of the vintage 3 3/4 action figures of the late 1970s and early 1980s and definitely should remind many fans of Remco's vintage Universal Monsters inspired toyline. The Mummy is based off of the classic 1932 horror film featuring Boris Karloff as the titular mummy, Imhotep. Yeah, he only appears like this in the film for a few minutes, but it's definitely the look most people remember. Ready for a look at a spooky fun figure to kick off your Halloween? Then join me after the break....

Must Watch: Alice Cooper - Keepin Halloween Alive

As we kick off Hokey Halloween Horror 2014: Best. Halloween. Ever!!! at ThEpic Review, I thought a little Alice Cooper might help get you in the Halloween spirit!