Category: Action Figures and Toys

Val’s Toy Chest- HUGE DC Week! Plus Star Wars!

Hi there- plenty of figures coming in this week including a ton of merchandise from a certain female-led comic book movie coming out next weekend. DC is the main focus of this week’s column as we have four all-new DCTV figures hitting our shelves this week and the aforementioned Wonder Woman product as well. Let’s dig right in, shall we?

By the time you read this column, Supergirl and The Flash will have aired their season finales, with Arrow‘s episode being on later tonight.  What better way to spend the hiatus of all the series than with action figures of several of the characters seen on our small screens either week after week or on special guest star occasions. Two of the figures fit the first criteria while the other two fit the latter. Who’s joining the CW TV cast this week in plastic? Glad you asked! Hailing from her very own show, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter both have figures dropping this week and each features several points of articulation and are based on their appearances on TV. Supergirl features the likeness of actress Melissa Benoist and should be a popular one. Meanwhile…over on Arrow, two of the fourth season’s most memorable guest stars are here to help build your live-action DC Universe with the arrival of the Vixen and John Constantine action figures. Vixen is based on her appearance in the season 4 episode, “Taken” and features the likeness of Megalyn Echikunwoke who plays the Mari McCabe version of the character. (The version of Vixen seen on Legends of Tomorrow and played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers is the made for TV grandmother of Mari, Amaya Jiwe.) John Constantine, whose show originated on NBC was allowed to appear on the “Haunted” episode of Arrow Season 4 to help Ollie and Laurel bring Sara Lance’s soul back to her body.  Played by the delightful Matt Ryan, John was definitely a significant presence during his one-off appearance. Both figures though based on live-action appearances also tie in to the CW’s streaming animated series of Vixen, whose first two “seasons” of episodes is also releasing on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, as well as the forthcoming Constantine animated show which hasn’t revealed a release date as of yet.    

Wonder Woman is coming out next week to theatres and I couldn’t be more enthused about it. We’ve already received the Multiverse figures in the past and will be restocking all four of those later this week. (To refresh your memories- Cloaked Wonder Woman, Diana of Themyscira, Queen Hippolyta and Steve Trevor are all part of the wave and feature parts to build Ares). Coming soon are the following items courtesy of Mattel- different doll assortments including Wonder Woman in her costume, as Diana Prince in her blue dress with sword, with a horse, and a more traditional deluxe Barbie edition, as well as a Queen Hippolyta doll with horse. As far as action figures go, there will also be a deluxe 12″ Multiverse figure of Wonder Woman which is absolutely stunning and includes snap on effects to make it look like she is deflecting bullets off her bracelets. Definitely an exciting time to be a fan of the Amazing Amazon.

There is also a Star Wars wave hitting shelves this week- it isn’t the second series of 40th Anniversary figures though- this time it’s wave 11 of Star Wars Black- who’s in this wave? K-2So is back for those who missed him the first time around as well as Director Krennic from Rogue One. The four new figures in the line span all three of the original trilogy as well as one of the prequel films. From the Phantom Menace comes Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn as a poseable 6″ figure, while A New Hope gives us the Tusken Raider, who will also make an appearance in series 2 of the vintage carded 40th Anniversary series. The Empire Strikes Back gives us a figure of Mr Billy Dee Williams himself- as the suave Lando Calrissian. Lando is definitely going to be a popular one in this store.  Finally from Return of the Jedi, the Emperor’s Royal Guard will make their 6″ debut and these look SWEET! I’ve always been drawn to this particular design as it is so simple yet awesome, plus they are attired in my favorite color- so huge win for me!

Anyway- hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week- see you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Welcome to the Dark Side…

Hey guys-it’s a brand new week at the Planet and there’s definitely some new items to discuss this week. If you follow this blog/article regularly you know that we received the first wave of the 40th Anniversary Star Wars Black figures a while back, this week we should be getting the deluxe Darth Vader set which comes with a display base to recreate the original Early Bird Kit that shipped back in the 70s. Vader is carded on a vintage card just like the rest of the series and comes packaged in a box reminiscent of the same Early Bird package. The Sith Lord is fully articulated and should be a popular piece.

Speaking of darkish things, Kidrobot released a brand new blind boxed series of Dunnys this past week and they’ve been fairly popular among the staff here. The new set, Arcane Divination takes inspiration from the Tarot and features several artists’ interpretations of these cards in Dunny form. My colleague, Andrew Guinn has more on this cool blind box series in his own column this week.

NECA has been releasing plenty of new toys over the past few weeks as we’ve seen the brand new Rocky figures including Rocky, Apollo, and two versions of Ivan Drago, a new 1/4 scale Iron Man from Iron Man 3, and this week- the first series of Preacher action figures based on the AMC series, which was in turn adapted from the very popular Vertigo series from back in the day. This first series features Jesse Custer, the titular Preacher as played by Dominic Cooper and Cassidy, the Vampire played by Joe Gilgun. Featuring the usual standards of NECA sculpting, these figures are here just in time for the Season 2 Premiere in June. Tulip better be in Series 2, NECA.

Speaking of another Cassidy- Katie’s back as Black Siren in this week’s penultimate Arrow episode, this and next week’s season finale episode will reintroduce the character who is set to be a regular part of the show next season- we’ll see how this develops as I’ve been majorly let down by this show before. Next week will also see the finales of Supergirl and The Flash.

DC Comics continues their blueline collection of figures this week with the release of Wonder Woman. Based on Jim Lee’s art, Wonder Woman is the third in this series of figures which feature the character in a 3D rendering of black and white pencil art. Kind of a neat concept.

Funko keeps cranking out the licenses and this time, they’ve tackled the Disney side of Kingdom Hearts with POP vinyls of Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Pete arriving this week, as well as some more Overwatch POPs, Clarke from The 100 and a couple of Nightmare versions of the Five Nights at Freddy’s characters.

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth is now a 12″ Marvel Legends figure and is available NOW. Equipped with interchangeable heads as well as an arsenal of weapons, this deluxe Deadpool figure should be a favorite among fans of the character.

Anyway- that’s all for me this week- see you next time!

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Andrew’s Toy Chest- Tamashii Nations 10th Anniversary World Tour

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Tamashii Nations 10th Anniversary World Tour event at Grand Central Station here in NYC. Just a little background for those who may not know, Tamashii Nations is an umbrella brand from Bandai known for its high quality figures and statues from many licenses. The name “Tamashii” translates to “Soul” or “Spirit” because the manufactures pour their heart and souls into the products and that soul was certainly on display at this event!

The main attraction of this particular event was the offering of exclusive figures, that many very dedicated collectors waited in line for hours to get their hands on. The most popular of which was a variant Kaio-Ken Goku figure from their popular S.H Figuarts line. S.H Figuarts are highly detailed and articulated figures under the theme of “Pursuing Character Expression through Humanoid Action”. With their expanding licensing including: Marvel, D.C, Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and WWE they have quickly taken over the high-quality figure market. Forbidden Planet NYC proudly carries several S.H Figuarts toys and more will be on the way!

In addition to offering much of their current line for sale at this event, Tamashii Nations also took the opportunity to show off some new products that will be available in the coming year as well as debuting some never before seen figures to the public. Some of the highlights included their Spider-Man figure from the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming” film. This one really blew me away with its elegance and personality worthy of the Web-Slinger himself. The release date for this figure is slated for August 2017 and i’ve been informed that we have it on order so keep your spider sense tuned for this one! Also on display was a figure based on The Joker from “The Dark Knight”. This one really caught my attention with its likeness to Heath Ledger and his maniacal performance as “The Clown Prince of Crime” and this figure is set for a September 2017 release.

The vast majority of the event was dedicated to Tamashii’s most popular and highest selling line of figures from “Dragon Ball Z” and they did not disappoint. The most exciting of which was the never before seen Majin Vegeta figure from the Buu saga of the Anime. This is a totally new body sculpt for the character and represents a massive leap forward for the already spectacular line of figures. Also on display was a Kid Goku figure from “Dragon Ball” which is also a totally new child-size mold from the company. Both of these figures have not been given a release date but i would expect to see them in late 2017 or early 2018. Also on display was the upcoming Nappa from the Saiyan Saga who measures almost an inch taller than the rest of line and comes with a Ki Attack and display stage. There was also an updated version of Super Saiyan 3 Goku with improved joints, painting and face mold on display. Both figures are set for a September 2017 release so keep your scouters calibrated for these awesome Saiyans!

Overall, The Tamashii Nations 10th Anniversary World tour event was a rad time for this toy collector and I look forward to seeing what else is coming from this great company!

– Follow me on instagram @93_Toys for some action shots and other fun toy pictures!

    

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Val’s Toy Chest- X Marks the Spot!

First things first- the news you’ve all been waiting for is here- Hasbro’s latest wave of X-Men characters should finally be in the store this week. Just to jog your memories a bit, this wave includes pieces to build Warlock from the New Mutants. Characters in this series are: Disco diva Dazzler, complete in her silver jumpsuit with roller skates and microphone, Polaris, Old Man Logan, Colossus in a more modern outfit and with interchangeable heads, Sunfire in his classic duds, X-Force’s Shatterstar and Cyclops in his X-Men Blue Jim Lee era outfit. After the success of last year’s lineup, this one is sure to be a hot wave. I will most definitely be grabbing a few of these figures myself and can’t wait to add these to my shelves.

Next up- a limited amount of the Mattel Wonder Woman DC Multiverse wave has made it in store. We are currently sold out of Queen Hippolyta, but Steve Trevor, Princess Diana and the Cloaked Wonder Woman are all currently available as of this writing. The figure to complete this time around is Ares, whose role in the film has mostly been shrouded in mystery. Thankfully there’s only a few weeks left before the movie hits the big screen and I cannot wait! We should eventually be getting more of the Wonder Woman product including larger figures and dolls. It’s a whole new Wonder Woman renaissance. This week also sees a restock on the Wonder Woman Pocket POP Keychain as well as the brand new DC Collectibles Training Outfit Diana statue which will be out by the time you read this.

Since the super-hero movies are coming in full force over the next few months, the July entry will be Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Audiences loved Tom Holland’s effervescent take on the web-slinger in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, and now he gets his own film. The POPs are already in store and they’ve been moving pretty briskly. Characters in the set include: Spider-Man, Spider-Man in his homemade outfit, Peter Parker, the Vulture and Tony Stark in his kitty shirt.  If you want these, get them ASAP as POPs are as popular as ever. Other recent POPs include more Rick and Morty POPs, Gravity Falls POPs, Despicable Me 3 POPs and more.

Hot Toys will be dropping soon from Star Wars: Rogue One including a new Death Trooper Specialist as well as Chirrut Imwe. I expect those to be here in a week or two. Speaking of Hot Toys, did you get to see the latest reveal from May 4th? A bunch of people here in the store are chomping at the bit for the new figure which will release in 2018. I’m almost definitely getting one myself and I think she’ll be extremely popular. Empire Strikes Back fans can rejoice because the Princess is back with a whole new look. That’s right- Leia Organa makes her stunning reappearance in the Hot Toys line with her fan-favorite Hoth outfit look. Leia comes dressed in her off-white jumpsuit complete with beige vest, multiple accessories and interchangeable hands as well as a movie accurate head and hair sculpt.  From what I’ve also gathered, a Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight Hot Toys is also in the works and should be revealed sometime soon.

Lastly- though this isn’t a toy per se, it is about toys, or at least a character that is most famous for his classic 80s toy line, along with his twin sister’s companion line- none other than He-Man and She-Ra. Dark Horse continues their archiving of Eternia’s finest champion with a brand-new character guidebook that showcases the many colorful personalities that encompass the world of Masters of the Universe. I think any He-Man fan would be thrilled by this encyclopedic volume- I know I am going to be checking this one out for sure!

Anyway that’s just about it for me this week- see you all next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2- This Week!

So it’s shaping up to be a huge week with the theatrical release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2., plus Free Comic Book Day this weekend.  There will be two exclusive toys for sale this weekend and they are strictly limited to one of each piece per customer as supplies are limited. The first is a Cryptozoic Lil Bombshells Wonder Woman figure which comes packed in a tin, while the other is a Funko POP of Netflix and Marvel’s most recent hero: Iron Fist.  The Iron Fist is labeled as the Gold version on the packaging and is different from the recent Previews Exclusive piece. Again these are limited to one per customer.

Guardians will be out on Thursday and I just wanted to do a brief recap of toys we currently have in stock to fill your need for Guardians memorabilia. Currently available in store are most of the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 POP vinyl figures with the exception of Groot, a Hasbro Star-Lord and Yondu 3 3/4″ two pack based on the movie, two different versions of Dancing Groot as well as a Rock Candy of Gamora and blind bagged Pint-Sized Heroes.  There’s a ton more stuff coming out soon including Series 2 of the Marvel Legends, a 6″ two-pack featuring Star-Lord and Ego and more! The movie should be fun if they continue being as sharp as they were in the first film.

Notable DC items this week: The next two figures in the Harley Quinn Amanda Conner Designer Series will arrive on our store shelves this Wednesday as well as a new statue of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman atop a horse straight from their new Wonder Woman movie statue line. The sculptors working on the new stuff from Diana’s solo film have really outdone themselves getting the likenesses just right, including DC Collectibles and Mattel. Here’s hoping that the long-awaited Hot Toys Batman V Superman Wonder Woman figure comes out just as nicely.

POPs in this week include the last few Godfather pieces, some Westworld, a small restock on Stranger Things Eleven figures as well as the Previews Exclusive Carrie Kelley Robin from the Dark Knight Returns and the previously mentioned Iron Fist which will be out Saturday.  Coming soon will be items from the third super-hero movie coming out in as many months with the Spider-Man: Homecoming series of POP also expected to arrive sometime over these next few days. Definitely a busy time for you Funko fans out there.

Lastly, the newest Godzilla has become an awesome action figure from NECA. The Shin Godzilla is 12″ long from head to tail and should be a popular item for all you Godzilla fans out there. Godzilla is available in-store NOW!

That’s it for me this week, see you next time!

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Tamashii Nations at Grand Central this Weekend and More

This weekend, Tamashii Nations will celebrate their 10th Anniversary by hosting a special event at Grand Central Terminal.  Tamashii Nations is known for their SH Figuarts series which includes plenty of Anime and Manga properties(Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, Naruto) as well as Western licenses like DC and Marvel Comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars. Forbidden Planet has gotten in some swag if you are a Tamashii Nations fan which include free stickers if you present us with a flyer received at the Grand Central Terminal event and a free tote bag with any Tamashii Nations purchase made in our store, starting this Saturday, April 29th. Supplies are limited. Personally, I think the TMNT stuff has been pretty awesome and we still have some of the SH FiguArts Leonardo and Michelangelo figures in stock. So come in, check what we have out and also check out the event at Grand Central Terminal starting this Saturday at 9am and also on Sunday at 9am.  If you do go, Tamashii Nations will have some exclusive items for sale there as well as a display of new product and some interactive elements as well. It should be fun.

Lots of stuff should be arriving this week or next including the single Han Solo Hot Toys figure from Star Wars: The Force Awakens,  more Series 2 Rick and Morty POPs, as well as Westworld and a couple of the Gravity Falls ones.  A restock on the recent DC Multiverse wave featuring Hawkman, Jay Garrick and Zoom from the CW’s DCTV lineup, Jim Gordon Batman, the Batgirl of Burnside and Joker from Dark Knight Returns should also be here this week.

Basic Spider-Man: Homecoming figures have arrived and include three versions of Spider-Man as well as a figure of the Vulture. Each figure stands about 6″ tall and has limited articulation, but these are the first of what is sure to be a decent amount of merchandise for the eagerly anticipated Tom Holland movie. Other products we’ve received are the slightly larger action feature figures which include a Spider-Man with light up hands and a Vulture with flapping wings.

The latest wave of Power Rangers Legacy figures featuring the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers versions of the White and Yellow Rangers as well as Power Rangers in Space Pink, Black and Blue should be back in stock as you read this. The first time we got these in, they flew out of here, so I highly recommend that you get what you want before we sell out again.

Just in time to commemorate the 25th(!) Anniversary of Terminator 2, which is also receiving a 3D theatrical release later this year is a brand new figure of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 character.  The T-800 is seen in his Galleria outfit and features plenty of articulation as well as scene-accurate accessories and interchangeable heads with a great Arnold likeness. This one has been flying off the shelves and Arnold toys usually do well, so if you want one, grab one.

That’s all for me this week- catch you next time with all the latest in new toy releases!

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Val’s Toy Chest- A Funko Kind of Week

Hey there- not the biggest week for toys this week, though you can always rely on Funko for providing us some cool stuff to talk about. Some news on our next Hot Toys release and some brief odds and ends round out this week’s column.

Funko continues to release product from pretty much every license under the sun as evidenced by this week’s product.  With a revival on the horizon for later this year on Showtime, Funko has crafted an awesome four pack based on David Lynch’s cult classic Twin Peaks. If you’ve been in the store recently, you’ve probably seen the recent POP vinyl figures, both Dale and Laura are currently sold out, but Bob, Audrey and the Log Lady are still available. The aforementioned four pack features four different characters and are part of Funko’s new 3 3/4″ action figure line(that replaced ReAction figures). Dale Cooper, Laura Palmer, The Log Lady and Bob comprise the set and each figure is sculpted really well, particularly for this scale. Dale, Bob and The Log Lady each come with an accessory, while Laura is wrapped in plastic. One of Funko’s other releases in this series was Suicide Squad, based on last year’s movie. The last figure to arrive is Will Smith’s Deadshot, who features at least 9 points of articulation and an accessory.

Looney Tunes provides the characters that comprise our next few releases- from the DORBZ line comes Elmer Fudd, ready to look for that Wascally Wabbit, as well as Pete Puma, most famous for his disastrous tea party with Bugs Bunny. And speaking of that wabbit- Bugs headlines the new series of POP vinyls based on the 1990s film, Space Jam.  Characters that we’ve received thus far include Bugs Bunny, Swackhammer, M3 Blue Monstar and Marvin Martian.  Other products based on these characters should be in soon including Taz from the Space Jam line as well as Daffy and Bugs DORBZ. Keep checking!

A pair of comic book characters, one from a TV adaptation, the other from a pin-up line of statues are next up- Netflix has had plenty of success with their new streaming Marvel TV series. The first of these Daredevil, completed its second season last year and Funko now has product from the three most prominent characters that season- you’ve seen the season 2 Daredevil, as well as Elektra over the past few weeks- now get ready for- The Punisher!  Based on ex-Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal- the Punisher POP comes dressed in his long trenchcoat, signature skull shirt as well as a heavy duty firearm. If Frank Castle is your fave- I’d recommend you grab this one now, especially with the Punisher’s own Netflix series recently wrapping production.

Briefly:

Joining her Suicide Squad brethren comes the Mafex version of Harley Quinn as portrayed by Margot Robbie.  Harley is fully articulated and comes with a variety of accessories to maximize your posing possibilities.

The next Hot Toys to arrive will be the Han Solo and Chewbacca 2 pack from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, following shortly after that is the single-packed Han Solo figure also based on his appearance in The Force Awakens.   If you’ve been in lately, the solo Chewbacca figure has been on display for a bit and looks really cool. The 2-pack should be popular since you can get both in one shot.

Sideshow recently released some new pieces in their 1/6 horror line- this includes Beetlejuice, Ash and now straight from Camp Crystal Lake- Jason Voorhees. Jason comes prepared to murder some teenagers with a couple of sharp weapons in his arsenal- the axe and the machete. Jason is on the prowl waiting to stalk your 1/6 collection. Later this year from the line- FREDDY!

Anyway- that’s all from me this week- see you around the store!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Buffy Turns 20, Star Wars Turns 40…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is quite possibly my favorite TV series of all time. It also turned 20 years old this year, which is quite jarring considering that was the same year I graduated high school. I bring up Buffy in this week’s column because I finally got to meet Sarah Michelle Gellar last week. Sarah was promoting a new cookbook that she wrote at Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately B&N changed their picture policy at the last minute, so no shot of me and Sarah to share with you all. That being said, Sarah was nice and I was thrilled to meet Buffy herself during the year of her anniversary. Sarah is also the latest member of the Buffy cast that I have had the pleasure to interact with as well.

As with Star Trek, my first introduction to Buffy was through the toys- I remember checking out the Moore Action Collectibles line and falling in love with the Buffy Season 3 Cordelia figure since she had a real chain on her purse. Little details like that was what compelled me to start collecting the line and also start watching the show. Cordy has been my favorite Buffyverse character and Charisma Carpenter my favorite Buffyverse actress since then.

What I enjoyed most about the show was of course the strong female protagonists, the humor and the action. I can put on an episode of Buffy and get drawn right back into the story and the characters.

Moore eventually released 4 waves of Buffy figures and 1 from Buffy’s spinoff, Angel but closed their doors before releasing Buffy Series 5 and Angel Series 2. Diamond Select Toys picked up the license and the molds for both series and released them under the Moore brand name in 2004. After Buffy Series 6(the Tara and Anya wave), and Angel Series 3(Wesley and Lorne)- Diamond started crafting their own figures which had nice sculpts but ended up being too tall for the rest of the line. Diamond would continue the Buffy line through 2007 ending with a super-articulated line featuring Kendra, Willow and Kennedy. The Buffy figure license would also be covered by 12″ Sideshow line as well as the more recent Funko ReAction figures and POPs.

Speaking of anniversaries, this year is also Star Wars‘ 40th Anniversary(and Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s 30th, but that’s a tale for another time…). To celebrate, Hasbro has decided to rerelease a bunch of the 6″ Star Wars Black figures in brand-new packaging based on the Kenner vintage figures’ cardbacks. We should be receiving our first batch of figures from this series this week. Figures in the first wave including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and R2-D2. There will be a few new characters in the next wave which should be out later this year. Star Wars enthusiasts late to the Star Wars Black line will especially want to pay attention to Han and R2, as both figures have been long unavailable since their initial release a few years back.

The other big news is that we have received POPs of my most anticipated super hero film this year- Wonder Woman! Currently in stock are Wonder Woman herself, Steve Trevor and Hippolyta. Each POP stands about 3 3/4″ tall and have highly detailed sculpting. Wonder Woman has been selling steadily and I anticipate we’ll be sold out by next week. Other Funko Wonder Woman products include the POP keychain and a Rock Candy of Diana in her Amazonian attire. That won’t be all the Wonder Woman toys we’ll be getting either as I have Multiverse 6″ and 12″ figures as well as 12″ dolls on the way. I’ll definitely talk about the other Wonder Woman stuff as it comes in.

To celebrate Buffy’s 20th- here’s my five favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

5. “Hush”(Season 4)- Joss Whedon had a brilliant idea to craft an episode where there is no speech for a majority of the runtime, so everything had to be acted out to convey whatever meaning he was trying to get across. Joss would later do an episode with no music(Season 5’s “The Body”), as well as an all-musical episode(Season 6’s “Once More with Feeling”)- this one started it all and is quite a great and scary episode.

4. “Becoming, Part 2” (Season 2)- The culmination of season 2 finds Buffy trying her hardest to save Angel even though he was now soulless and bent on destroying the world. Buffy has to make a heartbreaking decision and it still gets to me every time I watch it.

3. “Prophecy Girl” (Season 1)- I’ve always maintained that if you don’t fall in love with the show after watching the season 1 ender, Buffy was probably not for you. New alliances are formed, the Big Bad is vanquished and the Slayer actually DIES for a spell. Definitely a strong performance from Gellar when she tells Giles that she’s only 16 years old and doesn’t want to die- even though the prophecy says she will.

2. “The Wish” (Season 3)- Cordelia’s had her heart broken by Xander and wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale with nightmarish results after vengeance demon(and future girlfriend of Xander) Anyanka fulfills that very wish. Xander and Willow are vampires, Angel is imprisoned and Buffy is no-nonsense but extremely reckless. Great use of the alternate universe trope.

1. “Passion” (Season 2)- Hands down, my all time favorite episode, this one has everything from an evil Angel terrorizing all of Buffy’s friends and family to the heartbreaking murder(performed by Angelus) of one of the more prominent recurring characters during the first two seasons.  This episode changed everything about the show and showed that all bets were off.

That’s all for me this week- see you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- DC Icons and More

This week’s new toy releases focus on several major characters from DC’s pantheon. Included are DC’s premier heroine, a Milestone mainstay, one of the Titans’ greatest foes, a former Titan turned Justice Leaguer and the protector of the green.

DC Icons makes a huge splash this week with four new single-packed figures and one deluxe figure pack. Wonder Woman as seen in the Justice League: The Amazo Virus, Static, Deathstroke the Terminator from The Judas Contract, Cyborg from Forever Evil and Swamp Thing from Dark Genesis are the latest characters to receive a DC Icons figure. Each figure comes with dedicated accessories such as an Un-Man for Swamp Thing, interchangeable arms and a generator for Cyborg, a lasso, sword and shield for Wonder Woman, electrical effects for Static and an arsenal of weapons for Deathstroke. This is in addition to the usual interchangeable hands that come with the figures.

Everyone’s favorite vampire hunter- Blade is joining the POP vinyl family this week with the release of the Previews Exclusive Marvel Heroes Blade POP Vinyl. Blade features the character with his teeth bared clad in black leather and brandishing a sword. Blade should be a popular one so get him while you can. Significant recent POP vinyl releases include Mr. Poopy Butthole from Rick and Morty, Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss POPs and Herry Monster from Sesame Street.

The latest wave of Power Rangers Legacy figures should be hitting our shelves this week. This new wave features the last figure to build the classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Megazord with the release of that series’ Yellow Ranger, other figures in the set include the White Ranger from MMPR, plus the Black, Blue and Pink Rangers from Power Rangers in Space. Along those lines, we should be getting another small shipment of the Voltron Legendary Defenders line. Specifically the Red, Blue, Yellow and Green Lions.

We got in a small restock on older and some new Bandai items this week including Bruce Lee figures, The Joker from Suicide Squad, some Dragon Ball Z, Ranma 1/2 and Sailor Moon characters. I don’t know how long these figures will last as some of these haven’t been in the store in ages. Part of this Bandai shipment included new Tamashii Buddies of the Pink and Red Ranger and Lord Zedd from MMPR and a new line of Star Wars model kits.

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Legends of Tomorrow’s season finale aired this week, while Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl are all on hiatus til the end of the month. Will the Legends defeat the Legion of Doom and destroy the Spear of Destiny? We’ll know the answer to this by the time this article sees print.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer celebrated its 20th Anniversary this year and I will do a brief retrospective on the toys and the show in the next column.

Spider-Man Legends are back again with Shocker, Spidey 2099, Ms. Marvel, Black Costume Spidey, Green Goblin, The Jackal and Spidey-UK all gracing our store shelves once more.

That’s all for me this week- catch you all next time!

 

 

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- She’s Back!

First things first- Just announced as I started writing this- Katie Cassidy will be back as a regular castmember on Arrow next season. I know I rag on the show all the time, but they’ve earned that with their treatment of Dinah Laurel Lance in the past. Katie is playing Laurel’s Earth-2 doppelganger, Black Siren starting with the last two episodes of this current season. Is all forgiven with the show for me?- absolutely not. I am proceeding with caution.

Speaking of DCTV though, what’d you think of the Musical Flash episode? I got to watch it over the weekend and was blown away by Melissa Benoist’s rendition of the classic “Moon River.” Both of the songs Grant Gustin sang on were enjoyable as well. My only complaint- not enough music for a musical episode. I enjoyed it so much, I picked up the soundtrack on iTunes.

We got some more cases of the Star Wars Black Series Wave 9 in this week and the Princess Leia we’ve received with this shipment has the brand-new head sculpt- she looks nothing like the previous figure and has a better likeness to Carrie Fisher. Definitely check her out if you get a chance.  Obi-Wan, Sabine Wren, A Snowtrooper, AT-AT Driver and Darth Revan round out this series, which has been one of the better waves of SW Black in a long time.

New this week:

DC is back with a whole new Designer Series set- this time focused on Amanda Conner. Amanda is currently on Harley Quinn as artist and this release will feature two different Harleys. One is classic Harley and the other is a Spacesuit Harley Quinn figure. That isn’t all from DC Collectibles this week either, as we see the long-awaited Batman Animated New Batman Adventures Dark Knight Returns 3 Pack featuring Batman, Carrie Kelley Robin and the Mutant Leader as they all appeared in the classic TNBA episode: “Legends of the Dark Knight.” Each figure will feature several accessories and the usual points of articulation you’ve come to expect from a DC Collectibles Animated Batman figure.

POP fans have a couple of things to look forward to within the next few weeks. Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks and Wonder Woman Movie POPs should be arriving by the end of the week/early next week. I personally can’t wait to see the Wonder Woman POPs because that means the film is even closer to being released.

Speaking of POPs- last week, we got a restock on several POP vinyls, including some we haven’t seen in years- Nightwing, Batman Beyond, The Joker, E.T., The Hulk, Silver Surfer, Splinter, the Phantom and so much more are ready for your perusal. Some newer stuff like the Dr Seuss collection, Winnie the Pooh and A Bug’s Life are also available now and brand new Steven Universe POPs have started to arrive including Peridot, Rose Quartz and Lapis.

That’s it for me this week- see you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Two Cats, A Riddler and an Instant Team…

DC Collectibles is back at it this week with two brand new pieces in their Batman: The Animated Series line. This time around, the characters hail from the Kids WB iteration of The New Batman Adventures.  Catwoman comes in her sleek all-black outfit, complete with her blue-green makeup, interchangeable hands, her cat, a whip and a figure base. Selina comes with the usual points of articulation you’ve come to expect by now from a DC Collectibles Batman Animated figure. Ms. Kyle isn’t the only Bat-Rogue to arrive this week, as Edward Nygma himself- The Riddler also makes his appearance in this line.  Dressed in his lime green jumpsuit complete with matching bowler hat, the Riddler features multiple points of articulation, a question mark cane, interchangeable hands and a figure base.

That’s not all arriving this week from DC Collectibles either. DC’s Icons series may have slowed down a bit, but here’s a chance to get a full team for a fairly decent price. Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Cyborg all appear in this Rebirth Justice League box set with each figure standing about 6″ tall.  If past DC Collectibles box sets are any indication, this one will be popular.

In other toy news- Black Panther is imminent- fans of Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the Wakandan Prince T’Challa in last summer’s Captain America: Civil War will love this new addition to the ever popular Hot Toys line. I anticipate that he will be in store either by the time you read this article or shortly after. Black Panther will feature a highly articulated 1/6 scale body, authentically detailed costuming, interchangeable hands and a character base. With everyone asking about this figure, I anticipate this one will fly out of here.

I don’t typically post about prop replicas in this column, but there is a really sweet inexpensive piece coming to us via Sideshow from QMX. I first saw this piece at Toy Fair and was blown away by the look and the pricing. Based on the prop’s appearance in the recent DC Cinematic Universe films, the iconic Batarang sits atop a magnetic display base and is made from a zinc alloy. It is also a 1:1, so it is life-sized. I think you’ll probably like this one, once you see it.

Funko POPs are still going strong and we have one new addition that I think you’ll be excited for. Fans of the Netflix series, Daredevil can now add the titular hero to their POP collection as he appeared in the second season of his hit show. Joining him is the famed assassin herself, Elektra. No word on the Punisher yet, but it should be soon.

Briefly:

DC’s Multiverse line from Mattel is dropping in limited numbers this week, this assortment will feature Batman Jim Gordon, The Batgirl of Burnside, Dark Knight Returns Joker, The false Jay Garrick from The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow’s Hawkman and a collect and connect figure of King Shark. More cases should arrive soon.

Make it So with Titans’ Star Trek: The Next Generation blind box series. Each blind box features one of the classic characters from the nearly 30 year old series. Picard, Beverly and Wesley, Tasha Yar, Geordi, Data, Worf, Riker and Troi are all here as well as some of their most memorable foes. You know I’ll be collecting this one hard.

I am expecting a pretty massive restock on Funko items in the store, so if you are in the mood for a POP or Dorbz or even Mystery Minis you might have missed, come check us out, we may have what you need.

That’s all for me folks- catch you next week!

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest Extra- Who’s Who in the DC Universe- Hawkgirl

This week’s print issue of the Weekly Planet has another Who’s Who entry to commemorate the release of DC Collectibles’ brand new Hawkgirl/Kendra Saunders action figure from the CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. For the previous entry, go here.

Template based on the 1985 DC Comics series: Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe.

Layout: Justin Bacolo

Text: Valentine Chhann

Note: Height and Weight info was researched online for both this entry and the previous one.

HGWhosWho

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Women of the DC Universe and More

This week’s new toy releases provides us with a bevy of beauties. DC Comics’ beauties that is. All 5 of the newest DC Collectibles are the heroines and villainesses of the DC Universe. Which ones? Glad you asked!

Ant Lucia has been behind the DC Bombshells line for the past few years now and the statues have proven to be very popular. For those seeking a cheaper Bombshells line to collect, DC has you covered now. Part of their ongoing Designer series which have featured artists like Darwyn Cooke, Greg Capullo and Terry Dodson, the new Bombshells line kicks off with four brand new figures based on Lucia’s artwork. Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn feature the 40’s retro pin-up styling and are fully articulated and accessorized.  If you are a fan of the DC Bombshells, I think this line will be a hit.

If 40’s cheesecake isn’t quite your style, we’ve also got the brand new DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Hawkgirl action figure coming in.  Hawkgirl is based on actress Ciara Renee’s portrayal of the character from last season’s Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow episodes. Though Hawkgirl hasn’t been around this season, she can join your collection of CW DC heroes forever with this release. Kendra features several points of articulation(including her wings), interchangeable hands and a mace weapon. Collect the rest of her teammates(so far) with the recently released Firestorm and last year’s Heat Wave figure.

Other things of note this week:

Mezco’s 1:12 line may be the hottest new toyline of the year and we have restocks on Daredevil and Green Arrow scheduled to arrive, as well as the Flash making his debut in the line.

Power Rangers Legacy Assortments 1 and 2 are back this week as well. If you need any of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, particularly the Green and Red ones, this may be your last chance to get these guys. Series 3 should be hitting in a matter of weeks too.

Star Wars Black are also coming back in with limited numbers of Leia, Obi-Wan, Sabine Wren, Darth Revan, The Empire Strikes Back Snowtrooper and the AT-AT Driver back in store. Leia and Obi-Wan are both scheduled to be in the forthcoming 40th Anniversary vintage collection, but this particular Leia sculpt has been changed for the new line, so if you want this version, the time is now.

Hot Toys’ Chewbacca is in from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he is pretty cool looking. Fully poseable with a generous amount of fur, Chewie comes with his trademark bandolier and bowcaster as well as interchangeable hands and a base to stand on. If you love the character, this Wookiee is for you!

Anyway that’s all for me this week. Catch you all next time with more toy news.

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Val’s Toy Chest- Toy Fair 2017 Part 3- Wrap-Up

Though Toy Fair was a few weeks back, there was plenty to see and read about with everyone’s favorite licenses like Star Wars, DC and Marvel. I’ve covered DC and Marvel over the last few weeks and Star Wars and more movie-related properties will be part of this week’s column.

2017 is the 40th Anniversary of everyone’s favorite space opera- Star Wars and Hasbro is celebrating with a throwback series of Star Wars Black. Each of the Star Wars Black figures will hail from the original film, A New Hope and come on vintage-inspired cardbacks. The first wave in the series features reissued 6″ versions of Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, the long unavailable R2-D2 and Han Solo as well as a resculpted Princess Leia Organa. If you have nostalgia for the old-school packaging, these figures definitely bring you back to the halcyon days of the 70s. Further offerings will include a brand-new Jawa, A Tusken Raider, The Death Squad Commander, as well as the previously exclusive to Walgreens C-3P0 and a Darth Vader deluxe pack featuring packaging reminiscent of the 1977 Early Bird Kit.

NECA has a ton of horror offerings including a few items to commemorate the 30th Anniversaries of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Evil Dead 2. Freddy Krueger will have two new figures based on the fan-favorite film. One will be the long-awaited puppet Freddy prop replica while the other is an 18″ Freddy Krueger featuring an interchangeable chest of souls. The Evil Dead 2 gets a brand new two pack featuring Ash and all-new figure of Evil Ed, while sequel TV series Ash Vs Evil Dead gets a brand new prop replica of the Ashy Slashy puppet from the 2nd season. In other NECA horror news, Chucky will make his debut in the retro 8″ figure line along with a new Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3.

NECA continues their Aliens line of figures with a brand new series featuring some Kenner inspired Aliens as well as a figure of Lambert in her spacesuit from Alien with a fully authorized likeness of Veronica Cartwright. There will also be a couple of additional items in the Gremlins line including an ultimate Gizmo and a Mohawk figure.

Though I am not a huge collector of Minimates, I do buy them on occasion, typically if there is a character or license I can’t say no to. This next one is one of those licenses. At Toy Fair, Diamond Select displayed prototypes for their forthcoming 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates, based on the original animated series.  I haven’t heard how these will be distributed yet, so I am unsure if these are going to be individually blind bagged like previous series or if they will be in two-packs like most of the other Minimates sets. Characters in the lineup include all four Turtles, Bebop and Rocksteady, Splinter, Krang in his Android Body, Casey Jones, Baxter Stockman, the Shredder, Foot Soldier and April O’Neil. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I have a soft spot for the original TMNT toyline and these minifigures are giving me flashbacks to my youth.

Anyway- that’s all for me this week, hope you enjoyed my look at Toy Fair and I will catch you next time with all the latest news!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Toy Fair 2017 part 2- Marvelous Toys and more

First off- some of our newest releases:

We got in the awesome new Funko blind boxed Retro Video Games Mystery Minis which come in awesome arcade cabinet-inspired packaging, it’s been a great year for innovative packaging for blind boxes and I hope the trend continues. The 1/4 scale Batman Returns Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman has arrived in stores and SHE IS AMAZING! Selina Kyle comes with two heads, including one with patches of rooted hair to recreate her end-of-movie look, a whip, several hands and a taser, features a body that feels like vinyl and is poseable. If you were waiting for a nice Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman collectible this one is probably one of the best you could hope for.

Speaking of Funko- all of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. POP vinyls are in stock, from mainstays like Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and Groot to newbies Ego, Taserface and Mantis plus returning character Nebula, each Guardians POP stands about 4″ tall and features bobble-head action. Also from Funko- Pocket POPs of Star-Lord, Rocket and Groot as well as Rock Candy figures of Gamora and Mantis. Hopefully the toys will keep you entertained till the movie comes out later in the year.

On to the Marvel side of Toy Fair- Diamond Select, Hasbro and Mezco had a ton of product to show off. Diamond had a few new Marvel Select figures including Spider-Gwen, Charlie Cox Daredevil, Homecoming Spider-Man, Star-Lord from Guardians 2, and Lady Deadpool. Spider-Gwen will have an interchangeable piece so you can have her masked and unmasked.

Hasbro won Toy Fair’s Marvel offerings for me. Guardians 2, Spider-Man, plus some exclusives make up this year’s line-up. Characters such as Moon Knight, The Beetle, Tombstone, Jane Foster Thor, Ex Nihilo, Adam Warlock, Cosmic Spider-Man and Death’s Head II will all appear with their comics looks while live-action versions of Spider-Man, Vulture, Gamora, Iron Man, Nebula, Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, Jessica Jones, Rocket and Star-Lord will fill-up the roster of the regular assortments. Look for the Vulture’s wings and movie Mantis to be the build-a-figures for their respective series. Exclusives include characters such as Dark Phoenix, Mary Jane, She-Hulk, Lady Loki, Sif, Singularity, Photon and Elsa Bloodstone.

Mezco had a pre-Toy Fair event where they revealed their plans for the super-hot 1:12 line of action figures. Marvel characters coming out of this collection include Spider-Man, Charlie Cox Daredevil, Iron Man, Wolverine, Dr Strange and Deadpool. Other offerings include: Popeye, Ash, Gal Gadot Wonder Woman, Margot Robbie Harley Quinn, Darkseid and much more.

NECA showed off a couple of quarter scale figures including Benedict Cumberbatch Dr Strange and comic Daredevil and will reportedly also craft a Spider-Man Homecoming figure though it wasn’t seen at Toy Fair.

Coming soon: Hot Toys Black Panther from Captain America: Civil War should be making his way to us sometime in Mid-March according to my latest update. I anticipate that he will be a hot piece since he was so great in that film. Chewbacca from the Force Awakens should also arrive soon.

That’s it for me this week- next week- odds and ends from Toy Fair and more toy news! See you then!

 

 

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