Category: Star Wars

Val’s Toy Chest- Beyond Bats/Kotobukiya and More

A few cool things have come in within the last few days including new Hot Toys, Star Wars and POPs as well as a few new releases this week from Diamond Select, Kotobukiya and DC Collectibles. Let’s get right to it.

Hot Toys Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man are both in stock now and feature the characters as they appeared in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Each features highly detailed costuming, interchangeable hands, character bases and mini versions of Ant-Man. Scarlet Witch also comes with translucent red spell effects while the full-sized Ant-Man features a light-up helmet and an unmasked head. Speaking of Hot Toys, I just got notice that another pair of characters from Civil War will be arriving by the end of the month and they are…Winter Soldier and Falcon.

Collectors of 1/6 scale figures that happen to be fans of horror will probably love Sideshow’s next figure: Ash Williams from Evil Dead II should be here around the same time as the aforementioned Hot Toys. Ash will feature a fully articulated body including a chainsaw arm as well as film-specific accessories including the Necronomicon and Henrietta’s head. Fans of POP vinyl and the Evil Dead franchise should also know that we have received the entire series of Ash V Evil Dead POPs from the recent STARZ TV series. Included in this series are: Ash, Kelly, Pablo and an exciting one for fans of Xena: Warrior PrincessRuby as played by Lucy Lawless.

Star Wars fans that loved the recent Rogue One film will be pleased to know that two additional characters have debuted in the 6″ Black Series. Both Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus are here! Each figure comes with character specific accessories and features the usual articulation you would expect from Hasbro.

The real Black Canary(and not the fake new Canary running around on Arrow as of last week’s episode) is here with the release of Diamond Select’s Justice League Unlimited Black Canary Animated Gallery PVC figure. Dinah Laurel Lance is featured in her standard bolero jacket, tights and bustier and is captured mid-scream atop a city street base.

img_0771Canary’s cohort from the Justice League, Wonder Woman is the latest addition to Kotobukiya’s Super Powers PVC statues. This Wonder Woman is based on the old Kenner toyline with a design inspired by the artwork of Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. img_0777DC Collectibles continues their Batman: The Animated Series collection with their latest 3 pack featuring the characters from the futuristic spin-off Batman Beyond: Terry McGinnis, Old Bruce Wayne and Ace the Bathound! Each figure is crafted to appear as they did on the old series and features accessories for Bruce and Terry.

Miscellaneous new and restocked items:

Funko has stopped making ReAction figures but are still making figures in that scale. Their second release are the new Suicide Squad 3 3/4″ figures featuring characters from last year’s summer film. Characters in this series include Harley Quinn(Inmate version), Enchantress, The Joker(Shirtless), Katana, Underwater Batman and Killer Croc. Each figure features several points of articulation and some even feature an accessory.

A limited amount of Marvel Legends Deadpool figures from the most recent X-Men wave are expected to arrive this week. I don’t anticipate these will be around for long.

The Mezco One-12 Series have been on fire lately- particularly with the new releases. Coming up next is The Punisher. If previous figures are any indication this will be a blink and you’ll miss it figure on our shelves.

Toy Fair is imminent- I will have photos and more in a couple of weeks, so keep your eyes on this column.

 

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Rebels, Monsters and More…

Star Wars has more characters than ever thanks to media like The Force Awakens, Rogue One and Rebels.  Now in stock from Funko are a few of the awesome characters from the Rebels Animated Series. Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus and Zeb are the first three to arrive on our shelves and they all look pretty cool. True story- I once helped Freddie Prinze Jr. out in the store while he was looking for Star Wars Rebels merchandise, though it was still relatively new and we only had a 20″ doll of Kanan at the time. Still a cool experience and I had to restrain myself from telling him how much I adore his wife- (Sarah Michelle Gellar aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer, if you didn’t know.)

Halloween may be over, but we have more horror toys coming in, including Mezco’s One 12 Frankenstein featuring the Universal Monster in black and white with alternate head and hands.   Also new in the store as of today is the Ash Vs Evil Dead three pack featuring a bloodied Ash and two demon spawn figures.  Finally, Wes Craven’s oft-overlooked seventh entry in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series returns with a brand-new Freddy figure. Based on New Nightmare, this Freddy features an alternate demon head, long trenchcoat and a removable hat.

The Batmobile may be Batman’s vehicle of choice on most days, but sometimes if he needs to fly, he’ll use his impressive Batwing. The Batwing will measure a whopping 37″ in length and is meant to interact with the figures from the Batman: The Animated Series line by DC Collectibles.

Hot Toys alerts:

I told you last week that Hawkeye was scheduled to arrive in store soon, but I found out about three more figures to expect soon. First up is the Black Widow as she was featured in this summer’s Captain America: Civil War. Also on tap is War Machine from the same film, the aforementioned Hawkeye as well as this past year’s breakout movie star- Deadpool. Deadpool should be extremely popular and I don’t expect him to last very long.

Anyway- super brief week this week, but I thought i’d touch base and share the good toy news. Night all!

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Val’s Toy Chest-And Now For Something Completely Different…

Hi guys- I’m doing something a little different this week as I am not just going to talk about toys, but also about what I’ve been currently reading. The goal of Val’s Toy Chest is of course to update you the reader with the latest in the world of action figures and toys, but I will occasionally bring in my opinions on different comics as well. What’s got me all excited this week? Would you believe horror manga? Plus, more POP vinyls make their Forbidden Planet debut and I’ll tell you which Hot Toys figure will be next to arrive in store.

Let’s start with the manga. I don’t typically read much by way of Japanese comics. I dabbled a bit in high school when a friend of mine lent me his Maison Ikkoku manga as well as the Oh My Goddess! anime.  I liked both, but in the long run, Maison stuck with me much longer and I finally read the ending a few years back. As for what got me into Manga again, I picked up the Free Comic Book Day issue of Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito. The story included in that issue was pretty messed up, but definitely something that got me intrigued by Ito’s work. So with last Monday being Halloween, I decided to pick up the full volume of Fragments of Horrorwhich is comprised of several short stories and was impressed with what I read. Fast forward to the weekend and I pick up Gyo.  Gyo was pretty insane as well and I’ve figured out from reading these that I kind of like body horror in my scary stories. I won’t say more about Gyo in case you want to read it, but it certainly was intense.  Needless to say, I will be reading Uzumaki before too long and I am also anticipating the re-release of Tomie in December. I’m also going to read Junji Ito’s Cat Diary, just to get a well-rounded picture of his work. If you like horror stories, I think you should give Ito’s stuff a chance.

Funko POP is definitely gearing up for the holidays as we’ve gotten several new releases in the past couple of days. The entirety of the latest Harry Potter wave is here featuring a new Harry, Prof McGonagall, Mad-Eye, Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix, Fred and George Weasley and the nasty Dolores Umbridge.  Fans of classic 90’s cartoon, Animaniacs have five new figures to choose from including Yakko, Wakko and Dot as well as spin-off characters Pinky and the Brain.

The newest wave of Star Wars Black has arrived in the store with Director Krennic from Rogue One and C-3Po from The Force Awakens. We are sold out of the Scarif Stormtrooper which had a beautiful color scheme. I don’t think the rest of these will last too much longer.

Finally- we got notice today for the newest Hot Toys figure to hit our shelves. The Captain America Civil War Hawkeye is about two weeks out, so expect to see him in our display case shortly. Can’t wait!

Just a quick note for those of you who may be reading this as we open on Wednesday morning, I’ve taken on some more responsibility in the store and as a result, my schedule has been shifted around a bit. So if you’re used to seeing me right as we open Wednesday morning, I probably won’t be around as much during that timeframe anymore. But I am sure we’ll see each other every once in a while.

Catch you guys soon!

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Val’s Toy Chest- NYCC Edition 2016

New York Comic Con was this past weekend and I attended the show on Sunday. I think I might be over the crowds. I also didn’t go through with meeting any of the celebrities I had considered seeing at the show, maybe the next time they appear at a convention I will.  All that being said, I had a decent time seeing some of the new toys coming out within the next few months or so. I also got to see Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman outfit as well as Gal Gadot’s up close and personal, as the DC booth had both on display.

Mezco’s 1:12 line had some awesome additions to the line including a Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, marking the first female figure in the series, an impressive Darkseid, Deadpool, and the 1984 Ghostbusters cast.img_0770

NECA had their Quarter Scale Batman Returns Catwoman on display and she is beautiful. Selina comes with an alternate head and movie-accurate accessories and should probably be out before the new year.

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Diamond Select Toys had some neat PVC statues on display including Zatanna, Black Canary and the Huntress, all based on their DC Animated appearances as well as a brand new bust of the Batman: The Animated Series‘ Batgirl. img_0771img_0774
Diamond Select also had some of the new Muppets figures on display including Miss Piggy and Janice.img_0775

Sideshow Collectibles had some cool stuff to show off at NYCC as well including the 1:6 Lobo, Wolverine, Daredevil and Punisher figures as well as Hot Toys of Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey in her outfit from the final scene as well as Luke Skywalker from the same scene.

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Super 7 has teamed up with Mattel and is reissuing several of the Masters of the Universe classics figures with additional accessories that will allow for several different looks. I don’t know how these will be distributed yet, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on the Teela and Ram-Man in particular. Other characters announced are He-Man, Skeletor, and Faker.img_0787

Speaking of ’80’s toy lines, Kotobukiya showed off the remainder of their Super Powers statues featuring the original 8 heroes from the initial 1984 wave of the fabled Kenner toy line.  In the coming months, Aquaman, Hawkman and Wonder Woman will join the previously released Batman, Robin, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern. The colors are really vibrant on these and the sculpts are very sharp.img_0777img_0779

That’s pretty much all I saw at NYCC, but we’ve gotten a couple of notable pieces in-store over the past week. Here’s what’s brand new:

The Hot Toys Armored Batman from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has arrived. Decked out in his armor, Batman comes with interchangeable lower face plates and multiple accessories and should be a popular piece. The regular Batman should be along fairly soon as well.

Monster toys are starting to come back into the store just in time for Halloween. First up is the ultimate edition of Freddy Krueger as seen in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Freddy comes with several accessories to display several of his looks from the fan-favorite film. Meanwhile, from the next film in the series comes the A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master 8 Inch retro figure of Freddy in his surgical scrubs from the end of the film which comes with his trademark sweater and a pair of sunglasses to recreate another iconic moment from the profitable sequel. NECA is the manufacturer for both these items. If dream stalkers aren’t your thing, we’ve also received the 5″ Chucky figure from Mezco. Chucky comes with a gun and knife.

Not into killer dolls either? What about a couple of Wild Stallyns? Yes, the NECA 8 inch retro box set of Bill and Ted are in stock. Relive Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure with this pair of figures based on the film and featuring the likenesses of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Finally- NECA’s first female quarter scale figure has released with the Batman: Arkham City Harley Quinn based on the clown princess of crime’s appearance in the popular videogame.  Harley comes packaged with a baseball bat, extra hands and a pair of guns.

That’s it for me this week. Catch you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Ninja Turtles, Rogue One and More

Hi readers! It’s a brand new month here at the Planet and the year seems to be proceeding at a rapid pace. It being October- there’s a few things coming up- New York Comic Con is this weekend, the three DC shows are coming back(The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow) with new episodes and Halloween is sure to be upon us before we know it. Before we get into any of that- there’s a handful of new releases this week to discuss.

Fans of the original Murakami Wolf Swenson Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon have some new figures to drool over this week. Playmates Toys has been the master license holder for the Turtles since 1988, but every now and then, we get other companies joining in on the fun. In this instance, we have Bandai taking their stab at everyone’s favorite sewer-dwelling heroes. The S.H. FiguArts line has proven very popular with import toy buyers with the DragonBall, Sailor Moon and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lines. These fully articulated, true to the original animation style Turtles should prove to be very popular. The first two entries in the line are Leonardo, the blue-clad leader of the Turtles and Donatello, the purple wearing scientist of the team. Each figure should be packed to the gills with accessories including each character’s signature weapon. Raphael and Michelangelo have both been announced and I’m hoping if the line does really well, we’ll see some of the supporting characters like Splinter, April O’Neil, Casey Jones and the Shredder.

Star Wars: Rogue One had its product launch on Friday and now I can talk about what we’ve received.  Star Wars Black featured five new figures including K-2S0, Captain Cassian Andor, an Imperial Death Trooper and Sergeant Jyn Erso from the new film, as well as an unmasked Kylo Ren. K-2S0 has been the most popular one from what I’ve observed. The sixth figure in the series was a repack of the Rey and BB-8 two pack from the previous series. There were a few vehicles and role-play items released as well as two series of the basic 3 and 3/4″ action figure line. Included in the smaller scale were two different figures of Jyn, a new Rey, Rebels characters Sabine Wren, Kanan Jarrus in a Stormtrooper disguise and Leia Organa, plus Darth Vader and Kylo Ren amongst others. Come check out what we’ve gotten as a few items are still available. POP vinyls from Rogue One have also started trickling in, including Jyn, The Death Trooper, a Scarif Stormtrooper, Vader and more.

New York Comic Con is this weekend and there are some cool exclusives available from Funko, though you cannot walk up to their booth and just buy things unfortunately. I do know that if you’re a fan of Legends of Tomorrow‘s Hawkgirl, she will be one of the exclusives at the con and at least one other retailer(not us-unfortunately…). I haven’t figured out what I’m doing on my one day there this year, but I may go and meet Angel and Agents of SHIELD actor, J. August Richards. I’ll keep you posted.

The Flash returned this week with a new episode dealing with the fallout of Barry’s decision at the end of last season. Flashpoint should be an interesting storyline for the show to tackle and it seems to trickle into all of the other shows as well. Supergirl is back on Monday the 10th and Legends of Tomorrow returns on Thursday the 13th. For you DC TV fans, we still have Captain Cold, Flash and Heat Wave in stock from the Flash show, as well as Arrow, Black Canary and Malcolm Merlyn from Felicity and Fr…I mean Arrow still available.

Catch you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- DC Collectibles and Star Wars Black

DC Collectibles has been subject to a number of delays this year, but it looks like they’re starting to catch up with their release schedule again. This week sees a number of new releases from DC including more figures in the Darwyn Cooke Designer Series and a couple of ICONs figures.

The Darwyn Cooke Designer Series adds four new characters to the lineup including Catwoman, The Flash, John Stewart Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. Each features several points of articulation and some may come with character specific accessories. The DC Icons series continues with the addition of Firestorm and with his second figure this week, John Stewart. Each character is based on a specific storyline and comes with multiple accessories.

As I noted at the end of last week’s column, the Star Wars Black Series featuring characters from Rogue One as well as select The Force Awakens characters has arrived. They can’t go on sale til Friday the 30th, but I am pleased that we will have them for your shopping pleasure.

Speaking of the Force Awakens, the Hot Toys Rey finally arrived as well as the Rey/BB-8 Two pack.  I haven’t seen the BB-8 yet, but I can tell you that the Rey figure is gorgeous and would be a highlight of any Star Wars collection.

Other new and recent toys:

Mezco’s One: 12 series continues with the release of Captain Kirk from Star Trek. Outfitted in a cloth outfit and packed with interchangeable hands and multiple accessories, the captain of the Enterprise would make an awesome addition to anyone’s collection.

Also from Mezco- a 15 inch talking Chucky from Child’s Play 2, just in time for Halloween as well as a roto figure of everyone’s favorite ghost with the most, Beetlejuice!

New POP vinyls include Ariel, Belle, and Tiana as well as Tulip from AMC’s Preacher.

That’s it for me this week. Catch you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Rogue One and Forthcoming Hot Toys…

Last week we received a shipment of Star Wars: Rogue One 3 3/4″ Figures, a Vehicle and a Role-Play item. Of course these cannot go on sale until September 30th (and I am not divulging any details- SPOILERS!), but I am pleased to say that we will have some of the new product for sale during this year’s Force Friday. 

The most recent Star Wars film, The Force Awakens gets a new addition in the Hot Toys line as Rey is on her way onto our shelves. I anticipate that she will be here by the time this article comes out. Rey will feature the usual attention to detail that Hot Toys are known for as well as a bevy of accessories to recreate a few of her different looks from the film. The Rey we are getting first is the single packed version. The version that comes with BB-8 should be along shortly.

Speaking of Hot Toys, there are a few more items expected to drop within the next month or so. Included in this list are the first of the Captain America: Civil War figures, an Avengers: Age of Ultron piece and a Batman V Superman item as well. From Captain America: Civil War comes the brand new Captain America Hot Toy based on Steve Rogers’ look from the most recent Marvel Cinematic experience. Cap will feature movie-accurate accessories and is based on actor Chris Evans’ likeness. Every hero team needs a villain to fight and we’ve got one coming as The Avengers: Age of Ultron- Ultron Mark I will be arriving in a few weeks. Ultron Mark I features his look from the film and includes a damaged Iron Legion accessory and a base.  Finally from Batman V Superman, we get the Armored Batman figure as seen in the recent feature film.  This Batman figure comes with different facial expressions as well as movie-accurate accessories and a base and is modeled after Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the Dark Knight.

In other news, NECA has sent us some cool product over the past few days. You know about Aliens Series 9, which is still available though, predictably, Vasquez has been moving the fastest.  We also got in the Glow-in-the-Dark Aliens Egg Set, the brand new Cinemachines series and a massive 1/4 scale Hulk from Avengers: Age of Ultron. The latest wave of Cinemachines features a Scout Ship from Predator, the Lost Tribe ship from Predator 2 and the Narcissus from Alien. I expect these to be as popular as series 1 was.

Briefly:

I’ll be attending a Weird Al concert in Atlantic City on Friday, so what better time to bring up the 8″ Cloth “Weird Al” Yankovic doll which we still have in stock? Al will also be at Radio City Music Hall for the last night of his Mandatory Fun tour. Why not get an Al to commemorate?  Can’t wait to see him as he puts on an AWESOME show.

We should be getting some cases of the newest Marvel Legends wave. This new wave features a movie accurate Scarlet Witch from Captain America: Civil War which is set to be the most popular piece in the set. Also in the wave: Wonder Man, Captain Britain, The Eel, Iron Skull, and Secret War Captain America. The Build-A-Figure is of the Abomination.

Breaking News:

Looks like we’ll also be getting our shipment of the brand new 6″ Star Wars Black Series in time for Force Friday. Definitely plan to spend some time with us here at the Planet and check out the new wares from this winter’s newest Star Wars epic. I can’t wait! Catch you all next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- POPs Everywhere…

As I was working in the Forbidden Planet Forbidden Zone(aka the basement) today, I realized we have a TON of POP vinyls down here. They are still extremely popular and Funko certainly has one of the widest array of licenses out there. Since Friday, we’ve received about ten-to-twelve new POP figures and there’s definitely a whole bunch more coming. One of the hottest series thus far is the Golden Girls-so much so, that we’re currently sold out of the quartet. We should be getting more of those however, so I’ll save my Saint Olaf/Sicily stories for another time. For what we do have in stock- Labyrinth POPs just arrived. We have all four of the figures in now and I know that the Jareth POP will go fast- he is David Bowie after all. Sarah (Jennifer Connelly!) with Worm, Hoggle and the 6″ Ludo round out the series. A new series of Doctor Who POPs are in featuring variants on Doctors 10, 11, and 12. The 12th Doctor with guitar is pretty awesome. A 6″ Davros has also arrived. Though I’m not the biggest Whovian, an Amy Pond and an Astrid Peth need to happen. (Astrid was portrayed by Australian Pop star/ex-Cammy Kylie Minogue and I’d LOVE a POP figure of her.)  Something new that Funko is trying this year is the new collection of POP Pets. Several different kinds of dogs and cats are in this first wave and they are pretty darn cute. I’m a cat person myself and I think the Siamese is precious. Batman fans that prefer a little camp with their Dark Knight have the Joker from the 1967-1968 season’s “Surf’s Up! The Joker’s Under” dressed in his baggies and complete with surfboard to add to their collection.  No sign of Batman yet, though he’s probably out repelling a shark somewhere. Racing back onto our shelves is the Zoom POP from the most recent season of The Flash. I wouldn’t wait on that one FYI. Finally for you 80’s enthusiasts out there, Funko has introduced a line of scented POPs featuring everyone’s favorite fragrant female- Strawberry Shortcake. We have her and Lemon Meringue currently. Strawberry Shortcake smells like bubble bath in my opinion.

Other toys and toy-related items this week:

DC Collectibles has five brand new statues out this week from the recent Suicide Squad film. I haven’t seen it yet, but all my friends are currently split on it. We’ll see.  Characters that we have statues of include Deadshot, The Joker, Katana, Croc and Harley Quinn.

The Captain Phasma Hot Toys from Star Wars: The Force Awakens has arrived and she is beautiful. The chrome armor looks really striking and I hope she plays more of a role in the next films. Speaking of that film and Hot Toys, I just got notice that a certain someone will be scavenging her way into our store within the next couple of weeks. If you were a fan of Rey, she’ll be making her way in as a single figure soon. No word on the Rey/BB-8 two pack yet.

NECA has been crafting figures in 8-bit style for several years now and this time around we get a cool two-pack featuring one of the iconic games of the 80’s, Contra. The two pack features two fully articulated action figures painted to resemble the 8-bit style as well as a ton of accessories to recreate the video-game experience on your own shelves.

Lastly, my very first column featured a write-up on the Dark Horse Art of He-Man book which I can’t recommend enough. Continuing this tradition, I thought I’d mention the release of the complete guide to He-Man and She-Ra which will be on shelves this week.  The new book sounds like a blast as it details the Filmation adventures including trivia, synopses and more, I am definitely going to grab one ASAP!

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Toyetic Villains

This week’s issue of the Weekly Planet is an all-villain issue, so this column is a tribute to some of the bad guys and gals of the toybox. Whether they originated in the movies, TV or the comics or even the toyline itself, plenty of villains have found their way onto toy shelves since the advent of media tie-in action figures. I’m going to take a quick look at some of the more notable ones from the past thirty-plus years or so.

Star Wars- Darth Vader was the premier villain in the 1977/78 line by Kenner. Vader was hardly the only villain produced in the original line but he was definitely a striking figure dressed in his all black outfit with vinyl cape and red lightsaber. I never had Vader as a child but bought him when Kenner brought out the 1995 Power of the Force line. Other notable villains in the classic trilogy line include the Emperor, Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett. I definitely don’t have to tell you what those guys look like as their iconography has transcended pop culture.

Masters of the Universe/Princess of Power– 1982 was the very first year of the classic Mattel line and there was no shortage of baddies in the line. Skeletor was the main bad guy for the first couple of years with lackeys such as Mer-Man, Beast Man, Trap Jaw and Evil-Lyn as his henchmen. Skeletor would come in several variant versions during the series’ heyday which would highlight a new action feature such as a water-spraying dragon or battle armor that would show damage every time it was hit. My childhood included the two versions mentioned above but not the original version for some reason. 1985 was the year that Hordak joined the series and his black and red armor and bat motif definitely resonated with me. Hordak was introduced in the He-Man line but fans of the mythology know that he was the main antagonist in the She-Ra animated series. She-Ra’s toy line had its own feline foe in Catra who was also on the cartoon as one of Hordak’s army. He-Man was my first major toyline and I had a good portion of those baddies growing up, as well as several She-Ra dolls, Catra included.

Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe Shredder, Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, The Foot Soldier– Playmates’ 1988 line featured all of these characters and would expand to include villains of all sorts of shapes, sizes and species. The original Ninja Turtles series was the very first expansive line that I had every unique character from. And they were definitely unique, from the fly version of Baxter Stockman to the cajun alligator Leatherhead with a dose of a psychotic pizza chef(Pizzaface), an actual CAT burglar(Scratch) and everything in between, chances are if there was an animal or concept you liked, there was a Ninja Turtle character inspired by it.

Star Trek– 1992’s Star Trek: The Next Generation line kicked off a good seven year run of action figures from Playmates Toys, which would eventually include characters from all four of the original series and several of the movies up til Star Trek: Insurrection. Characters such as Khan, Q, The Borg, The Borg Queen, Gul Dukat, Sela, Seska and more made it into the series. The articulation and depth of character selection for a Trek line has thus far remained unmatched by any modern line, with most stopping at the crewmembers and including very few of the bad guys and/or aliens.

Of course there have also been multiple toy lines featuring the pantheon of DC and Marvel characters from companies like Mego, Kenner, Mattel, Toy Biz and Hasbro. Most of the classic DC and Marvel villains have seen some form of plastic immortality particularly with the modern DCUC  and Marvel Legends lines. For example, characters like the 13 members of the legendary Legion of Doom from the 1978 season of Challenge of the Super Friends were all released in the DC Universe Classics line over the 20-plus series of figures. For those playing at home, that lineup included: Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Brainiac, Toyman, The Riddler, Scarecrow, Cheetah, Giganta, Captain Cold, Grodd, Black Manta, Solomon Grundy and Sinestro. Marvel villain teams like the Sinister Six and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants have seen multiple plastic incarnations in several different sizes as well. Though villains aren’t always considered great sellers, the smarter toy companies know that we need them to build our universes.

Honorable villain shout-outs to: The Baroness, Destro and Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe, The Misfits from Jem and the Holograms and Mumm-Ra from Thundercats.

Briefly: NECA’s latest wave of Predators have hit which includes three figures from Aliens Vs Predator: Ancient Warrior Predator,Masked Scar Predator, Temple Guard Predator  and we’ve also received our shipments of Hot Toys’ Ant-Man and Princess Leia Organa. Catch you in the store next time!

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- She Is The One Named

Hey readers, we’ve got some cool stuff in this week including a couple of new Hot Toys, some eagerly anticipated Funko POP figures and I’ve got some cool toy news to share as well.

Our newest Hot Toys arrivals include a Bounty Hunter and one of Iron Man’s army. Everyone’s favorite Mandalorian is here in two distinctive versions. The regular Boba Fett features his detailed armor and helmet as well as several accessories, a standard base and interchangeable hands. The Deluxe version features all of the same components of the regular figure as well as a Sarlacc Pit base and blast effects for his jetpack.On the Marvel side of things we have the Iron Legion from last summer’s Marvel blockbuster: Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Iron Legion figures the usual standard of Hot Toys articulation as well as moveable fingers and light-up features. There are a couple of incoming Hot Toys as well that should be arriving within the next couple of weeks, if not sooner. The first of these is the Ant-Man figure as seen in last year’s feature film, the other is a character from a galaxy far, far away.  Yes- one of my most anticipated Hot Toys will make her debut as the Princess Leia figure is due to arrive, complete with her white dress, blaster and iconic hairstyle from Star Wars: A New Hope.

Funko POP has been compared to fads like Beanie Babies and Troll dolls, while there could be some truth to that statement, I think Funko POPs will last a whole lot longer. Why? It’s all due to licensing. Trolls were a revival of a 70’s fad while most Beanie Babies were just cute plush animals. POPs offer up a variety of licenses from all over the pop culture spectrum. One of the biggest markets right now is the Manga/Anime genres. One of the most famous of these is Sailor Moon and Funko now has figures based on the characters from that series. Currently in stock at the moment are Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus and Sailor Mercury. Jupiter has yet to arrive. Sailors Moon and Venus each come with a cat companion, Luna and Artemis, respectively. Also new to the store are the Harry Potter Neville Longbottom POP and the Pac Man POP.

If your idea of nostalgia involved turning on the TV to watch Lion-O yell “Thunder-Thunder-Thundercats- Ho!,” then you’re in luck. Mezco Toyz decided to finally finish the adult Thundercats lineup with the addition of Tygra to their ranks. Tygra stands in scale with the previously released Lion-O, Panthro, Cheetara and Mumm-Ra and comes with his signature bolo weapon. Thundercats merchandise in particular hasn’t been as regular as He-Man merchandise has been, though there are set to be exclusive Mattel website figures later in the year. Fret not however if you’ve missed previous figures in the Mezco line as Lion-O is due back out with his sidekick Snarf and Cheetara may also find her way back soon too. I’ll keep you posted.

Finally in cool toy news- NECA continues to widen the character roster on their Aliens line of figures. Last week, Aliens Day was on 4/26 and to celebrate, NECA started announcing a few items which were solicited later in the week. Firstly, there is a Toys R Us exclusive Kenner colors Ripley, which looks gorgeous. Then actress Carrie Henn announced a Newt action figure which will be available at San Diego Comic Con. Finally, Series 9 of Aliens was announced which will include the concept Albino Alien, Private Frost and the frequently requested Vasquez figure. Vasquez and Frost will both be sculpted to resemble Jenette Goldstein and Ricco Ross respectively and will come with dedicated accessories. NECA will also revisit everyone’s favorite dream street, Elm with a new 18″ Freddy Krueger based on his appearance in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. As much as I love Freddy- where’s my Nancy Thompson, NECA?

On that note- I bid you farewell for the week and I will catch you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Star Wars Black In the House!

If you’ve read my past columns, you know that I’ve been a casual Star Wars fan since I was a little kid. I haven’t been a fan of the entire saga, choosing to mostly ignore the prequels as they didn’t appeal to me. I did give the latest film a shot and really loved it- it helped immensely that there was a strong female protagonist in Rey and characters I loved like Chewbacca, Han Solo and Leia Organa were back. On that note, after a long wait, we have finally started seeing some new pieces from Hasbro’s 6″ Black Series line. There have also been a couple of restocks including one of my very favorite figures of the entire series thus far.

Fans of the Original Trilogy, The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Rebels and even the prequels should be thrilled with the assortment of figures just released by Hasbro. From the very first movie, A New Hope, comes the Luke Skywalker figure dressed in his famous white and beige outfit. Luke comes with his signature blue lightsaber and a pair of binoculars which clip on to his belt. His white tunic is made out of cloth and he features several points of articulation. The Force Awakens still gets the lion’s share of the Star Wars Black line for the moment- at least until Star Wars: Rogue One comes out later in the year. Figures out in this recent assortment include First Order Snowtroopers and Flametroopers, plus Han Solo as he appeared in this seventh installment of the fan-favorite film series. Each of the troopers comes clad in their respective armors with multiple points of articulation and character-specific accessories. Han comes with his blaster and is also fully poseable.

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Star Wars: Rebels has been a fairly popular animated series on the Cartoon Network and took over the reigns of the now defunct Clone Wars series. Hasbro has taken the character designs from the animated series and has given them a realistic look to fit in with the aesthetic of the regular Star Wars 6″ Black line. The first of the 6″ Rebels figures to arrive are Jedi Kanan Jarrus, the character played by Freddie Prinze, Jr. and fan-favorite character and original Clone Wars character, Ahsoka Tano, who has recently shown up on Rebels. Each figure comes with their distinctive lightsabers and follows the same poseability model as previous Star Wars Black figures. Finally- prequel fans get one of the cooler looking characters with the release of the Jango Fett 6″ Figure. Jango has his silver and blue Mandalorian armor, a removable helmet, his jetpack and two blasters.

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Back in stock from Star Wars Black is the premier villain of the entire Star Wars universe, Darth Vader. I’d argue that this is probably my favorite figure in the entire Star Wars Black line, even over the Leia in Boushh disguise figure. Vader comes dressed in his iconic black armor with a sweeping black fabric cape, his famous helmet and his red-bladed lightsaber. The blade is detachable and the helmet is removable, which helps you to recreate the scene at the end of Return of the Jedi where he reveals his scarred face to Luke. Definitely one of the best 6″ figures at this price point. Also back in- one of the newest heroes from the Force Awakens, Finn. Finn is dressed in the outfit he crashed on Jakku in. Still available are X-Wing Pilot Poe Dameron and Constable Zuvio, whose character ended up on the cutting room floor.

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Other toys scheduled to arrive this week include some Star Wars 3 3/4″ figures from the recent film, plus a restock on items from the wildly popular DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series line. Characters such as Bane, Batgirl, Killer Croc, The Joker, Harley Quinn, plus Batman and Robin should all be gracing our DC toy shelves again sometime this week. Newly arrived is the next figure in NECA’s popular videogame line, The Terminator 2 T-800 figure as seen in the 1991 T2 Video Game. Decorated to resemble his 8-bit pixelated appearance in the game, the figure is fully articulated and comes with interchangeable heads and a shotgun.

On a quick note, I’ve been listening to a lot of Prince this week due to his untimely passing. Prince may not have had a deep comics connection other than his soundtrack contributions to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film and a rare Piranha Press one-shot comic book, but he was an icon nonetheless and was definitely a memorable part of my youth. R.I.P. Purple One and thanks for “Manic Monday,” “When Doves Cry,” “Purple Rain” and so much more.

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Civil War 2016

Marvel’s got a massive movie coming out this May which is essentially as close to an Avengers film without actually being one. I am of course talking about Captain America 3: Civil War. Marvel is no stranger to merchandising their current spate of Marvel Cinematic Universe films and this year’s film is full of toyetic characters.  Before I started work on this week’s column, I was inundated with a massive amount of Funko boxes- many of which contained characters from the new movie. What did we get? Let’s take a look.

There are 11 announced figures coming out in Funko’s Civil War POP line and we’ve gotten 7 of those in this week’s shipment. Team Cap and Team Iron Man are both represented with the new POPs of Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr’s. Iron Man. Fans of the female characters have Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Elizabeth Olson’s Scarlet Witch to collect while Don Cheadle’s War Machine and Chadwick Boseman’s highly anticipated Black Panther round out the male heroes of the film that we’ve received thus far.  I think the Black Panther figure is going to sell out quickly, so jump on that one if you want it ASAP. That isn’t all as we’ve also received Frank Grillo’s Crossbones as a POP vinyl. I anticipate that he will also be a brisk seller since he is a brand new character to the line.

Funko and Vinyl Sugar have teamed up to bring us DORBZ and they’ve also crafted some Civil War collectibles for us. Vision, Black Widow and Iron Man are what we have right now with the others on the way soon. If you prefer to keep your lapels pinned, Funko has a line of Civil War POP pins using the POP style of several characters and those have shown up at the store as well. Characters available are Black Panther, Captain America, Crossbones and Iron Man.

It wasn’t all Civil War,  as more from the 2nd series of Harry Potter POPs have also started to hit our shelves. Luna and Malfoy came today as well as new versions of Harry and Ron. Hot Toys Snowtroopera Snowtrooper Officer and the impressive DeLorean from Back to the Future rounded out my very busy day at work.

Next week- if DC Collectibles’ current schedule holds, should see an awesome array of figures from the Animated Series as well as the current CW series- including my most anticipated figure of the year- Laurel Lance/Black Canary. I’m planning something special in the Weekly Planet for that figure if she comes out next week.  See you then!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Odds and Ends

She’s here! Actually that phrase applies to a couple of items we have received over the past week and a half. I mentioned in last week’s article that we’d gotten our shipping notice for the Hot Toys’ Scarlet Witch from last summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and she has finally arrived. The likeness to Elizabeth Olson is excellent and the rooted hair doesn’t detract from the figure at all, plus the costuming is gorgeous and the accessories all make sense. A very tempting piece for sure, I know I’m going to want one.

The other “she’s here!” piece I am referring to is the breathtaking Yvonne Craig as Batgirl Tweeterhead statue. Approved by Ms. Craig before she passed away last summer, the folks at Tweeterhead definitely put their best foot forward with this release. The Batgirl Maquette features the costume as seen in the 1960’s Batman TV series as well as a base that features the secret door to access her BatgirlCycle. Definitely one of the best Yvonne Craig likenesses out there and highly recommended if you are a fan of that iteration.

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Back in stock for Star Wars fans out there are the Hasbro Star Wars 6″ Black Series figures of Captain Phasma, The Guavian Enforcer and Poe Dameron have returned to our shelves and new to the store is the 6″ Kylo Ren figure. We also have a few assorted characters from the basic 3 and 3/4″ line still in stock as well as a handful of vehicles for both scales of figures. Speaking of Star Wars, Funko and Diamond Comics have teamed up to bring out their latest exclusive POP vinyl figures. The Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Funko POP three pack features Luke Skywalker, a 6″ Rancor and fan favorite Oola in POP vinyl form. Oola and the Rancor are both first timers for the POP line and this piece should also be a hot one.

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I don’t frequently talk about comics in this column but I thought I’d mention one this week since it is a character dear to my heart written by a person that I also adore. Black Canary #9 hits the stands on Wednesday and instead of the solicited story by regular series writer Brenden Fletcher, will feature a story by former FP employee and writer of last year’s acclaimed We Can Never Go Home, Matthew Rosenberg. Black Canary(the band) is hired to play at the birthday party of a young girl named Julia(possibly named for a fellow FP employee…) and there seems to be more to the gathering than meets the eye. I definitely think this issue will be an underrated gem and highly recommend picking it up as soon as you see it.

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That’s it for me this week, catch you guys next week with more toy and comic news. See you in the store!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Heroes and Villains to Gather

As we get further and further away from the beginning of the year the toy releases are starting to trickle in slowly. I’ve got some intel on what Hot Toys we should be getting within the next few weeks(should release schedules hold up), as well as details on what will be here this week. Lastly- CW shows are back on this week and I am heading to Heroes and Villains Fan Fest this weekend to meet a bunch of the actors from these very shows.

First we’ll talk about the new releases schedule to come out this week. The latest figure in the Marvel Play Arts Kai series is due and it just happens to be my favorite Marvel character- Natasha Romanov- the Black Widow. Black Widow will come with an array of accessories including weapons and blast effects and is fully articulated. Another of my favorite characters makes her dazzling debut in the high-end Robert Tonner doll collection with the release of the Classic Batman TV Series Batgirl. Batgirl will be 16″ tall and dressed in her glittery purple bodysuit with gold emblem, a purple and gold cape, a belt and will feature the likeness of the original live-action Batgirl, Yvonne Craig. The doll will have a removeable brown wig to simulate Barbara Gordon’s look on the show as well as a mask with attached red hair to complete the Batgirl ensemble. Elsewhere in the DC Universe- the Mattel figures I mentioned in last week’s column should start to hit this week. The first Mattel product will be the basic Batman V Superman movie line which will showcase Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. There will be three versions of the Caped Crusader, two of the Man of Steel and one of the Amazing Amazon in this initial shipment. All figures will feature limited points of articulation as well as kid-friendly gear and weaponry.

Now as far as Hot Toys go- we’ve gotten notices for two very exciting figures to be released within the next few weeks. First among these is the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Thanos 1:6 scale action figure. Thanos will come with a newly developed muscular body sculpt with body armor and a light-up throne for him to rule the galaxy. The other even more exciting release in this author’s humble opinion is our first non-Stormtrooper Hot Toy from the recent box-office smash Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’m speaking of the villainous Kylo Ren. Kylo will come dressed as he appears in the film and will come with his lightsaber and the usual Hot Toys articulation and interchangeable parts. Another Star Wars Hot Toy that should be here soon is the First Order TIE Fighter Pilot featuring the character as it appears in the new movie.

The Flash returned with a new episode last night and tonight sees the return of Arrow. Will Oliver Queen find his quarry Damien Darhk after the attack on his –groan– fiancee Felicity Smoak? Will Felicity become a low-rent Oracle in everything but name? Will Diggle, Thea and especially Laurel ever get a meaningful storyline for the rest of this season? We shall see. The long-awaited debut of Legends of Tomorrow will bethis Thursday and I am excited about it. The show follows the adventures of a ragtag team that includes fan-favorites like The Atom and ex-Canary Sara Lance (now going by the name White Canary) alongside new heroes Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Firestorm and Flash rogues Captain Cold and Heat Wave gathered by a time-traveler named Rip Hunter. Their goal: stop Vandal Savage from becoming a threat in the far future.

Speaking of the Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow– this weekend at the Meadowlands will be the inaugural Heroes and Villains Fan Fest put on by the same people that run Walker Stalker Con. This particular show is also co-organized by one Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow) which explains the high volume of his fellow castmates attending the show this weekend. If you’re a fan of Arrow, Stephen will be there along with Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance/Black Canary), David Ramsey (Diggle), Willa Holland (Thea Queen/Speedy), Paul Blackthorne(Detective Lance) John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn), Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn) and Katrina Law (Nyssa Al Ghul). Flash fans have Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow), Robbie Amell (Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm) and Teddy Sears (Jay Garrick) to look forward to. Legends of Tomorrow fans will get to meet the two lovely ladies of the series with Caity Lotz(Sara Lance/White Canary) and Ciara Renee (Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl) scheduled to make an appearance at the show. Fans of Gotham will also have a couple of castmembers present and Doctor Who fans can look forward to Karen Gillan(Amy Pond) in addition to the aforementioned Barrowman. I will be in attendance both days and I will try to have my con experience for all of you in my next column.

On that note- catch you guys next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Top 5 Action Figures of the Year

It has been quite an eventful year in the worlds of fantasy, sci-fi, comics and horror. We’ve lost a few stars of the genre this year including the beloved Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), sassy librarian Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), the father of some of our worst Nightmares (Wes Craven), Superman’s best friend Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson), the original Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and another of Kirk’s crew,Yeoman Rand (Grace Lee Whitney). It wasn’t just a year of loss as we witnessed the Age of Ultron and saw The Force Awaken(s) on the big screen. Heroes arose in live-action on regular and internet TV(Black Canary, The Atom and Speedy on Arrow, Hawkman and Hawkgirl on The Flash, Jessica JonesDaredevil and so much more) and the silver screen (Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, The Vision plus the heroes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to much fanfare. The toy world has exploded with all sorts of characters this year including a bunch from the aforementioned properties and there will be a bevy of awesome figures coming out next year as well.

To close out this year at Forbidden Planet- we’ve gotten and are getting a few noteworthy items to talk about this week and I will also talk about my five favorite figures that I’ve purchased in 2015 and my five most anticipated figures for 2016. Kicking it off with NECA’s products- the excellent Terminator 2: Judgement Day action figure of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor has arrived and she is AWESOME. Fully articulated with three interchangeable heads and a neat array of weapons I’d highly recommend her for Terminator fans and female action figure collectors. NECA has also released a new series of Aliensfigures- this time based on the Alien: Isolation video game and featuring figures of a Xenomorph and two versions of Ripley’s daughter Amanda. If you are a fan of the Alien figure series- these figures follow the same styling and articulation scheme as previous Aliens figures. Finally- we are getting the newest entry in Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series- my favorite stunning siren- Dinah Laurel Lance- the Black Canary. Featured in her classic fishnets and leather look, this statue should please longtime fans of the series as well as Canary fans like myself.

Now without further ado- my top 5 Action Figures of 2015:

5. Aliens Series 5 (NECA): Ellen Ripley– Dressed as she appears in the 1986 classic Aliens. She was one of my most anticipated and she definitely did not disappoint.

4. Marvel Legends Thanos Series (Hasbro): Hellcat– Currently the star of her own ongoing series, this 6″ fully articulated action figure of Patsy Walker is a first time figure and has always been a favorite character of mine.

3. Star Wars: The Black Series (Hasbro): Princess Leia Organa Boushh Disguise– One of my all-time favorite Leia variations made her way into the 6″ Star Wars Black line and she is a beauty. With a removable helmet and all the accessories one would need to reenact her scenes in Jabba’s Palace- this one was a definite favorite this year.

2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (NECA): Ultimate Sarah Connor– As stated above- a great figure with a great sculpt and check out those guns!

1. Batman: The Animated Series- The New Batman Adventures (DC Collectibles): Batgirl– Based on the Kids WB version of Batgirl as seen in the 1997 series, this figure was gorgeously sculpted and looks like she just stepped off the screen.

And now- my five most anticipated figures for 2016, thus far-

5. Batman V Superman Movie Masters (Mattel): Wonder Woman– I am unsure how I feel about the film in general but I am still looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman in action on the big screen and collecting various paraphernalia. Based on Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the famed comic book character, this should prove to be a popular piece.

4. Marvel Legends Onslaught Series (Hasbro): Mockingbird– Never before available in a 6″ format- this figure of newly minted TV star of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Bobbi Morse features her in her latest outfit and should be a good figure for those building their Marvel Universe in figure form.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Hot Toys): Rey– I loved when spoiler and also that scene where spoiler. I don’t want to talk too much about her since the movie is still new but she is an amazing heroine and the Hot Toys version of her is sculpted to look just like actress Daisy Ridley. I know quite a few staff members anticipating her release. On a side note- I am also excited to find the cheaper 6″ Star Wars Black Hasbro version sometime in the new year.

2. Batman: The Animated Series (DC Collectibles): Zatanna– Based on her appearance during the 1993 run of Batman: The Animated Series this Bruce Timm designed figure was always one I wanted when I was a kid. The closest we ever got was the Justice League Unlimited Figure from Mattel. This one comes with episode specific accessories and should be as gorgeous as previous offerings in the series.

1. Arrow TV (DC Collectibles): Black Canary– It took two and a half seasons for Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance to fulfill her destiny as the Black Canary on the CW’s Arrow and this figure is a nice commemorative piece for a character and a show I mostly love. Combine it with the fact that Canary is my favorite character of all time and you have a real winner.

There’s sure to be more coming out next year that I’ll love and you can bet I will discuss them in this very column. That’s it for me this year! Catch you next year with an all new Val’s Toy Chest. Happy New Year!

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