Category: Contributors

Val’s Toy Chest- DC/POP/NECA/Halloween Ideas

This week’s column is a potpourri of stuff we’ve gotten in, stuff we’re getting in and some Halloween gift ideas. Let’s dive right in.

The next wave of DC Collectibles’ Batman: The Animated Series action figures is about to release with the debut of Firefly and the companion Anti-Firesuit Batman. Each figure is based on designs from The New Batman Adventures and has full articulation, interchangeable parts and a character stand. Hopefully the other characters should start arriving soon. I’m most looking forward to Talia Al Ghul! On the Mattel spectrum of the DC license, we will be getting a restock on TV Supergirl and TV Flash as well as figures of Armored Batman and Carrie Kelly Robin from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. There is also a Previews Exclusive Armored Batman POP from DKR out this week.

Speaking of POP, Capcom fans should be thrilled as we’ve received the remainder of the Street Fighter POPs in store since my last column.  Which fighter will you choose? Ken, Ryu, Cammy, Dan, Blanka and Balrog all join Chun-Li in this first series of Street Fighter POPs. That isn’t the only new set of POPs to come in this week either. Are you afraid of g-g-g-ghooosts? Relive childhood nostalgia with the brand new Scooby-Doo POPs based on the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The entire Mystery Machine gang is here with Daphne, Fred, Shaggy, Velma, and of course, Scooby-Dooby-Doo!  Finally- the first POPs of the most current popular game, Five Nights At Freddy’s have come in. Bonnie and Nightmare Freddy are the first from the series to hit our shelves.

When I think of the words- Nightmare and Freddy together, I think of the other Freddy- Krueger, that is. NECA is the current license holder for A Nightmare on Elm Street toys and they’ve created some awesome Freddy figures.  Now I’m a firm believer in building a universe with my action figures, so I’d love to see his main nemesis, Nancy Thompson finally immortalized in a proper action figure or two. Alice Johnson, the other thorn in his side from Nightmares 4 and 5 would also be a good figure. As for what has been made, NECA has the Ultimate Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors out now. I’ve discussed this figure in a recent column- but definitely think he’d be a great Halloween purchase.  New from NECA today are the following:

Godzilla 2001– features the world’s most famous Kaiju as depicted in a 2001 film. Measures approximately 12″ from Head to tail.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 8″ Chop Top Retro Action Figure– speaking of diving deep into a character selection, Chop Top comes with several accessories including a wig, hammer and more.

Predator Accessory Pack– features a skinless victim as well as skull trophies and blast effects which can be used on some of the older figures.

Any horror or monster movie fanatic on your list would most likely be enthusiastic about all the new NECA goodies. Another fun gift idea would be Funko’s new Mopeez from all your favorite horror films- Child’s Play, Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the 13th are all represented.

If you like all of that stuff, I have to ask are you a fan of 80’s pop culture? If you are, did you grow up watching Thundercats? I certainly did.  Feel the magic- hear the roar- because we’ve gotten a pretty cool warehouse find back in stock for a limited time only. Rejoining her fellow teammates Lion-O and the recently released Tygra on our shelves is the fleet-footed Cheetara.  Cheetara hasn’t been in production since 2013, so this is a pretty good Mezco find. Each of the Thundercats features their signature weapon and stands approximately 14″ tall. Lion-O also comes with his companion Snarf. I still need to get a Cheetara for myself…

Anyway- that’s it for me this time, catch you all next time!


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Val’s Toy Chest- Batman Animated Returns and More!

Hey readers- there’s a couple of notable items coming out this week, but the most enticing thing is probably going to be the Batman: The Animated Series Deluxe Batmobile Set. If you don’t already have the regular figures or the Batmobile, this set is for you. Containing the vehicle, plus BTAS versions of Batman and Robin with cloth capes and a working Bat-signal, this would make a great gift item. If you already have the single packed Batmobile, DC Collectibles is also offering the Batman/Robin/Batsignal set as it’s own item as well. Currently available Batman Animated figures include Riddler, Man-Bat, Commissioner Gordon, Ra’s Al Ghul and Harley Quinn, as well as New Batman Adventures Mr. Freeze, Batgirl, Robin, Roxy Rocket, Two-Face and Bane.

More horror goodness has come into the store since last week’s column. NECA has shipped the Ash Vs The Evil Dead figures based on the popular STARZ TV show, now in its second season.  There is a Hero Ash, a Salesclerk Ash and the monstrous Eligos, the Hero Ash figure has been selling quite well, so if you want one I wouldn’t wait too long. Another new release is the Prototype Suit Alien 18″ Alien figure from NECA. Cast in translucent plastic, this Alien figure has multiple points of articulation and is only scheduled for one production run.

Funko has a few new items for us this week, including all of the Dr. Strange wave based on the forthcoming film, as well as our first Street Fighter POP, plus some Once Upon A Time and the Walking Dead– just in time for the new season. The Dr. Strange wave includes Stephen Strange himself as played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Baron Mordo, The Ancient One and Kaecilius. From the popular Capcom game, Street Fighter, we have the awesome Chun-Li POP vinyl in stock. ABC’s long-running fantasy TV series based on the world of fairy tales gets two more POP vinyls with the Hook and Excalibur and Regina with Fireball POPs. Finally, the Walking Dead gets a new Carl and Daryl, plus Gabriel, Rosita and the villain that has kept everyone waiting with bated breath since the end of last season, Negan.

Other items this week:

Multiverse figures from Mattel including Earth-23 Superman, Zero Year Batman and the Reverse Flash, as seen on the Flash TV show.

A revised DC Encyclopedia has come and graced our bookshelves. I flipped through the book and it looks like it covers mostly the New 52 stories with some reference to the older pre-52 stuff. I’ll have to get one eventually.

Kidrobot blind boxes are on their way back into the store including a sweet Halloween-themed Dunny series called the Odd Ones, which are pretty darn cool and features stylized takes on Cthulhu, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man and more.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back from Kidrobot with a series featuring the four Turtles, plus Casey Jones, April O’Neil, Ace Duck, Rat King, Mutagen Man and more.

That’s it for me this week- next week, maybe something for Halloween- not quite sure yet. Catch you next time!

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Tales of Poe DVD Release Party October 26th 7-9PM

Forbidden Planet and Wild Eye Releasing team up once again for a DVD release party of spooky proportions.

Wednesday October 26th from 7-9 get freaky with the cast and crew of Tales of Poe.

Just check out this guest list…

Alan Rowe Kelly Director The Blood Shed
Randy Jones Actor Can’t Stop The Music (The Cowboy from The Village People)
Brewster McCall Actor
Cartier Williams Actor
Joe Quick Actor Horrorween
Joe Zaso Actor Nikos The Impaler
Douglas Rowan Actor
Desiree Gould Actress Sleepaway Camp

Wanna get your Tales of Poe DVD signed by the cast and crew but can’t make it to our release party on October 26th? No sweat. Just order a copy from and we will make sure to get it autographed for you by all guests attending and then we will send it out.

Order link…


Based on the timeless horror works of Edgar Allan Poe. Three of Poe’s most popular stories (The Tell Tale Heart, Cask of Amontillado & Dreams) receive unique retellings by directors Bart Mastronardi & Alan Rowe Kelly. A compelling and shocking journey into madness and the macabre, and featuring some of the most beloved final girls in horror movie history from series like Friday the 13th.
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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.


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.


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.


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- POP Goes the Alien!

It’s been a fairly decent week as far as new toys go- lots of stuff has come in and there’s a couple of cool items making their way into the store on Wednesday. Let’s start with the biggest thing in designer vinyl right now with the latest in the POP collection.

Fall TV Season is nearly upon us and we have POPs based on TV shows both old and new. Fans of the CW’s DC TV Universe will be pleased to collect the first four POPs from Legends of Tomorrow. We have the Atom, Firestorm, Hawkman and the White Canary all in stock right now. There’s also a Hawkgirl listed on the back of the box but no one knows where she’ll be coming out- yet. Fans of AMC’s newest series based on the classic Vertigo comic can also find figures of Preacher on our store shelves. Thus far we have Jesse, Cassidy and Arseface. There will be a Tulip as well, but she will come thru Diamond distribution.  Older shows that we have POPs from ihclude a restock on the Green Ranger from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and all four of Miami’s best, Dorothy, Sophia, Rose, and Blanchethe Golden Girls!

Moving right along, some other POPs new to the store include: late singer, Amy Winehouse; the modern version of Batgirl;  the Funko Specialty Series Golden Age Batman and Twilight POPs including Bella and Edward.  New Blind Boxes from Funko include the 3rd series of the best selling Horror Mystery Minis as well as series 2 of the WWE set. 

Moving on from Funko, the latest wave of Aliens figures have arrived from NECA. Included in this brand new set are the extremely popular Vasquez figure(who inspired the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s original security officer, Natasha Yar), a concept Albino Alien and Private Frost (whose actor, Ricco Ross can be seen in Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You” music video- Fun Fact!) . These figures have been some of the most anticipated from NECA and Vasquez was too good to pass up- haven’t opened her yet, but she looks amazing! Still in stock from series 8 is the Ripley from Alien 3 and the Weyland-Yutani Commando.

Speaking of Sigourney Weaver films, the next wave of Ghostbusters figures will be out from Diamond Select this week. Figures in this set include the first ever Janine based on Annie Potts’ likeness, a new Ray and Slimer.


Square Enix continues their Play Arts Kai line with the release of the brand new Wonder Woman figure based on her appearance in Batman V Superman.

Cryptozoic Entertainment, mainly known for trading cards and games are releasing new vinyl figures based on Ant Lucia’s Bombshells desgins. These are cute and figures include Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn.

Speaking of DC Bombshells, the long unavailable Black Canary Bombshell is due back this week. I don’t think this one will last long, so if you want her, get her.

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- A Voyage to the Star Trek Convention…

If you’ve been reading my column since its inception, you’ve probably guessed that I am a fan of a LOT of different properties. One of those is Star Trek. I don’t generally mention Star Trek too much in this column since there has been a dearth of product from the license in recent years. Plus- my favorite Trek is Star Trek: The Next Generation, followed closely by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and there’s not a lot of product going on for either lately, save the occasional trading card set and high-end figures for TNG. That being said there is at least one cool TNG product coming within the next year, which I will mention at the end of this article. All that being said, I attended my very first Star Trek Convention this past weekend and it was a lot of fun, though different than what my usual con experience is.

I went to the Star Trek Mission New York 50th Anniversary Con on Friday with the intent on meeting some of my favorite women of Star Trek. I checked my Facebook feed before I left for the show and found out that another of my faves was going to be there. Denise Crosby wasn’t listed on the website as an attending guest but was there anyway to promote Star Trek Online, where she voices one of her TNG characters, Sela. Denise was signing complimentary 8×10 photos promoting the game and was also posing for candid photos with her fans. Crosby has long been on my bucket list of TNG actresses to meet, so naturally I jumped at the chance to see Lt. Tasha Yar in person. Denise was an absolute pleasure to meet and she was accommodating, making sure to make time for everyone who had come to see her.

IMG_0733I will say this much about the show floor itself- it was tiny. I can understand this since it was the first official Star Trek convention in NYC in quite some time, but if you were looking for a wide selection of older/vintage items, this sadly was not the convention for it. The exhibitors were mostly involved in either gaming, currency, starship models, magazines and even postage stamps that debuted at this convention. That being said, it was still a fairly cool experience. As I had a few hours to kill, I decided to attend the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine panel that took place on the main stage.  Castmembers in attendance were Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Michael Dorn(Worf), Terry Farrell(Jadzia Dax), Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko), Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Nana Visitor(Kira). The six castmates had an hour long discussion about the show, acting as a profession and other interesting topics. As I was only going the one day, I decided to meet Terry Farrell and get an autograph from her as opposed to a professional photo with her, since you don’t get to interact much with the latter and almost none of the actors offered table photos.  Terry was as pretty as she was back during the heyday of DS9 and I briefly mentioned to her how Dax was my favorite DS9 character. Interestingly enough, though I forgot to mention my enjoyment of it to her, Terry played the role of the mannequin on a brief vacation in the remake of my all-time favorite Twilight Zone episode, “The After Hours.”

I did some more walking around after that and finally got what I most wanted to get out of this convention- a picture with Gates McFadden, a.k.a Dr. Beverly Crusher, my favorite Trek character of all time. The Gates interaction was brief, but she made it a point to greet the fan coming in for the photo op before we smiled for the camera. I did get to meet McFadden back in 2014, but that was a similar situation where I chose one option over the other. Being amongst all the Star Trek actors, made me want to start meeting more of them, particularly the TNG ones. Patrick Stewart is at the top of my list, and I should meet Armin Shimerman one of these days since he is also a Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum.  All-in-all I had a great time at Mission 50 and would do it all over again.


The cool TNG item coming out next year is a blind bag series by Titan, featuring the entirety of Picard’s original crew as well as some notable aliens. These are similar to the Dr. Who ones we currently carry.

Briefly: DC Collectibles has three new figures out this week from the Greg Capullo designer series including Wonder Woman, The Flash, and a new Batman. We will also be getting a restock on the Flash and Captain Cold TV figures, which join our still in stock Arrow, Black Canary, Heat Wave, Malcolm Merlyn, and Reverse Flash figures. Reenact your own adventures with these detailed figures from the different CW series…AND if you can’t wait til she crosses over with the Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and that other show, the Mattel DC Multiverse figure of Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl will also be arriving on our shelves this week.

Ripley, Alien Queen and the first of the Preacher TV POPs have arrived in stock and Legends of Tomorrow should be real soon…

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- Clowns To The Left of Me..

It’s a new week at the Planet and soon to be a new month and there are some neat new items in stock/back in stock this week. We received our second batch of X-Men figures this past Friday and though we are sold out of Deadpool and Wolverine, we still have Cable, Iceman, Rogue, Phoenix, Havok, and Kitty Pryde in stock as of this writing. This has been an excellent Marvel Legends wave IMHO and one of the few that I’ve been a completist on. I do love my DC characters more but have always had a soft spot in my heart for Marvel’s Merry Mutants, plus the Juggernaut Build-A-Figure is a beast(not Hank McCoy though).

DC Collectibles has a couple of Jokers releasing this week, for those who love the Clown Prince of Crime. The first is the DC Icons Joker based on his appearance in the classic Batman: A Death in the Family arc which found Jason Todd brutally murdered by the Harlequin of Hate. This figure will feature multiple points of articulation and several accessories including the infamous crowbar from the story. On the other end of the spectrum, the modern version of the Joker as drawn by Greg Capullo is the latest entry in DC’s Designer Series based on the artwork of various artists. This Joker is dressed in a black suit and comes with interchangeable heads as well as an axe and a gun. Not to be abandoned by her puddin’ this week, a new Harley Quinn figure based on the Arkham Knight videogame is also out on Wednesday and finds Harley dressed in her classic red and black jester’s outfit. As you and I are aware, both of these characters also featured in this summer’s Suicide Squad film. Mattel product has finally started coming in for this line and thus far we have the Deadshot 6″ figure based on Will Smith’s portrayal of the expert marksman, each figure in the set features parts to build a Killer Croc as seen in the film. Hopefully we’ll get Katana, Harley Quinn and the others before too long.

I mentioned last week how our basement is POPped out, well we have some more that came in today including a couple of restocked wrestlers and some new pieces. First we have Lemmy from Motorhead as a new POP Rocks piece, then we have Seth Rollins from the WWE.  WWE POPS that are back in stock include Bret Hart and Kevin Owens. There’s various other Funko product in stock right now including a Jason Voorhees Fabrikations, and new Bobbleheads of Star Wars mainstays Boba Fett and Leia Organa.

Back in stock this week from Diamond Select Toys will be the eternally popular and extremely best-selling Deadpool figure. If you’ve missed out on the X-Men Legends figure, this might be a good alternative. We should also be getting a small restock on DC Collectibles’ Batman: The Animated Series figures in the near future, including a couple we haven’t had in a while.

I got word that we should be getting our shipment of Hot Toys Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey and BB-8 two pack sometime around late September. This means we will likely get the single packed Rey first. I anticipate that she will do very well as she has become something of an icon in the past year.  Characters from TFA still in stock include Finn and Captain Phasma along with several different versions of Stormtroopers.

That’s it for me this week, I will be attending the inaugural Star Trek NY con this weekend, so expect at least a partial report of what I’ve experienced there. I guarantee one thing though, I will get a picture with my fave Star Trek actress, Gates McFadden(a.k.a. Dr. Beverly Crusher)  this weekend.  Catch you next time!

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Chris’ Comics: The Top 4 (and a Hawkguy) Finale

At last, it’s time for my final article for the Daily Planet. Instead of reviews, I’m going to recommend 4 series to you (plus Hawkeye, because we all know that’s coming) that are some of my favorite comics. There’s a few “well duh” choices on the list, but hopefully someone will find a new favorite on this list, or at least think I have excellent tastes in comics.

DCD5297571) Batgirl: Year One (Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Marcos Martin) The only way you can buy Batgirl: Year One these days is in a trade packaged with the also great Robin: Year One. But Batgirl: Year One is arguably my favorite story featuring my favorite DC character. It’s a nice re-imagining of her origin from pre New 52 times, from a writer who wrote a good portion of the best Babs Gordon stories in the 90s. Marcos Martin later blew up on books like Spider-Man and Dr. Strange: The Oath, but this is where the Martin hype train officially began. A gorgeous story that does wonders for one of the most iconic superheroes out there, Batgirl: Year One is the one DC story I can’t recommend enough.

DCD4061942) Phonogram: The Singles Club  (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson). While I absolutely adore this team’s work on The Wicked + The Divine and Young Avengers, P:TSC is my next pick, which was the first time Wilson joined Gillen and McKelvie on a creator owned joint. Set over the course of a single night, each issue in this trade tells a different story, focusing on a different character, and occasionally crossing over. My personal favorite of the various stories is the finale, a relatively silent story that focuses on Kid-With-a-Knife, one of the more simplistic but exciting characters in the series. While it’s technically the second part of the Phonogram trilogy, it’s by far the most accessible, and an excellent entry point for Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson’s indie work.

15958246263) The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Becky Cloonan). I really wanted to throw a Grant Morrison penned story on this list, but honestly, there’s enough best of/recommendation lists out there featuring his work on All Star Superman, JLA, Doom Patrol, etc. Instead I’ve opted for a comic featuring a character played by Morrison in the My Chemical Romance music videos this comic series is based on/a sequel to. While being familiar with said music videos/album helps. Killjoys is good enough to enjoy on it’s own, thanks to Cloonan’s gorgeous art, and Way’s sensational and kinda out there scripts. While you can make an argument that both creators have stronger work on the market, this is a favorite of mine, and it’s definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of either creators.

07851983934) NEXTWAVE: Agents of H.A.T.E. (Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen) Also known as my favorite comic series before Hawkguy was a thing. Warren Ellis’ funniest book to date, in which his team of super hero pirates fight an evil corporation profiting from a war they’ve created. A cult favorite that’s influenced so many books, NEXTWAVE was at one point the weirdest but also one of the best looking books Marvel had ever published thanks to Stuart Immonen’s art. Assuming you haven’t read it, you should, unless you hate nuclear puppies, flesh eating koalas and dragons that wear shorts.



0785192190Hawkguy) Hawkeye (Matt Fraction, David Aja, Annie Wu, Matt Hollingsworth, and various) And here it is, my obvious favorite that I’ve never shut up while writing for Forbidden Planet NYC. Hawkeye was a game changer for Marvel, and is easily the best for-hire work Fraction and Aja have done, possibly ever. The creative team makes walking dumpster fire Clint Barton one of the most relatable characters in comics, while making Hawkeye Kate Bishop a break out star. From the Pizza Dog issue to the Sandy relief issue, there’s some many amazing, genre defining comics that show that you can do big 2 comics with an indie comics sensibility. No comic series has affected as much as this book has, and there’s never going to be a time where I won’t recommend it.

And with that, I take my leave. I’d like to thank everyone who’s read my work, my fellow contributors, and the fine folk at Forbidden Planet for giving me a stage over these last years to talk about comics, and toys. I’ve had a blast, and if you care to see what I’m doing post Forbidden Planet, give me a follow on twitter (@theanarchris). Thanks for the memories FPNYC faithful!


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Chris’ Comics: Batgirl #2 & Snotgirl #2

Batgirl_002_2016_2_covers_Digital_Zone_EmBatgirl #2

Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque, Dave McCraig

DC, $2.99 

Batgirl #2 takes Babs to Singapore this month, where she attempts to up her hero game by learning mixed martial arts, while also trying to discover what kind of secrets her friend Kai is keeping, plus a dabbing of some romance. It’s a dense, but fun issue that offers very little time for Batgirl in costume, but a ton of focus on Barbara Gordon.

Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque‘s 2nd issue is a delight, as their take on Batgirl is a lot of fun. Larson’s voice for Barbara reads like someone in their early 20s, and captures the intelligence and spunk you’d expect from the character. She’s also genuinely funny in a way that she hasn’t before, almost in a classic Peter Parker way. And I like how the plot manages to weaves between multiples threads, without ever getting too overwhelming.  It’s a nice blend of romance, mystery and action that should appeal to old and new fans of the character.

While Rafael Albuquerque doesn’t have a breakout scene this month, is art is gorgeous none the less. I love, LOVE his facial expressions, and how he draws Babs’ MMA sequences. She looks like a legit brawler, never too sexy or frail, and the composition of the pages with the fight scenes are insanely good. Dave McCaig‘s colors are stunning as well, as he plays some bright colors off of white space.

Batgirl #2 is a another good comic from a team who’s doing some great work. It’s been awhile since I’m seen new creators excel so much after following a fan favorite run, and I’m glad to see Larson, Albuquerque and company hit the floor running.

Snotgirl_02-1Snotgirl #2

Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

Image Comics, $2.99

The cool thing about Snotgirl so far is that it’s the type of book that will keep you guessing. From the solicits and early previews, it was safe to assume Snotgirl was a comic about a fashion blogger with a nasty allergy, while also being a discussion about identity on the internet. Then the ending hit, and well, the only thing that was safe to say there’s more going on then I had initially imagined.

Issue two deals with the fall out of the previous issue’s ending, while raising a few more questions. We’re also introduced to a pair of intriguing new characters, and reminded that our lead and her friends are still some of the most shallow characters in comics.

Despite some more intentional confusion and leads that are hard to rally behind, Snotgirl remains one of the best new books on the stands. Bryan O’ Malley‘s script and dialogue ooze of the type of creativity that he can only bring to a comic. Oh sure you may not like Lottie, but you’ll be drawn into her world all too easily. As for the art by Leslie Hung, the best way to describe it is like a Korean drama with L.A. sensibilities. It’s bright, gorgeous, loose and expressive, perfect for a book that in some ways is about fashion and a vapid existence.

Snotgirl #2 is a treat for anyone who enjoys the comic medium and isn’t afraid of trying new things. Buy on sight.



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Chris’ Comics: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11

Got some bad news for you, the Forbidden Planet Faithful (or good if you’re a jerk!). This article is the one of the last three I’ll be writing for the ol Daily Planet, as the day job has The-Unbeatable-Squirrel-Girl-11-2016offered me a ton of a money for a new gig that’s going to eat up a lot of my time. I’d like to thank everyone who’s been reading my cra  content over the years, and I hope whoever replaces me is a bias towards Matt Fraction comics as I am.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11

Ryan North, Jacob Chabot, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi

Marvel $3.99

This month, regular series artist Erica Henderson is off due to working on the upcoming graphic novel “Squirrel Girl Vs. The Marvel Universe”.  Artist Jacob Chabot joins Ryan North and Rico Renzi for an issue is about Doreen Green facing off against Nightmare. Oh and a TON of computer science, which is par for the course for a book written by Ryan North. But hey, how many other 1pdopysuper hero book can actually claim they’ll teach you something educational?

Squirrel Girl fighting a bad guy in her sleep while using computer sciences facts is a weird premise, but Squirrel Girl is a book that’s always played by it own rules. Seeing SQ teach Count Nefari, (“Who?” in her own words) how to 31 on one hand is arguably one of the funniest moments in comics this year, thanks to North’s comedic timing and Chabot excellence body language. Having to fill in for Erica Henderson can’t be an easy job, but Chabot is absolutely wonderful on this issue. His style is as expressive as Henderson’s but with tighter pencils, and a better handling of more traditional looking super heroes. His art is also detailed back, putting some great visuals gags in panels that are already pretty humorous on their own ( see the page with KRAVEN THE COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR for example). He also draws the most metal looking comics page featuring Venom and squirrels to date, so if that’s a selling point for you, be excited.

Even without his usual partner in crime, Ryan North is fantastic on this book. Hell I might go ahead and say this is his best single issue to date, excluding the wonderful choose your 182867_1000013_8own adventure issues. Not too many creators can balance humor, action and still make a comic educational, but North manages to do so with little effort. It’s a comic that’s very smart, but never in a way that’s overwhelming. And his dialogue is always hilarious, be it Squirrel Girl wishing she was throwing down with Puppy Man, or peppering up the bottom of his pages with great alt text.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11 is another fantastic done in one that will delight and educate you.  As someone who finds himself pulling less and less Marvel book each much due to a variety of reasons (mostly due to Civil War 2 though), this title remains a must read due to it being such a quality comic. Easily one of the smartest comics I’ve read in my life, this issue of Squirrel Girl should be taught in classrooms, let alone belong in your pullbox.



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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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Chris’ Comics: Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #1

Nightwing #3 also shipped this week, and it’s a pretty good comic that features Barbara Gordon. However, so did B&BOP #1, which offers me MUCH more to talk about.

B013-Batgirl-and-the-Birds-of-Prey-1-Cover-214dcBatgirl & the Birds of Prey #1

Julie and Shawna Benson, Claire Row, Allen Passalaqua, Steven Wands

DC $2.99

It’s rare that I get to say that I have a guilty pleasure comic. Most of the comics I pull are critical darlings, or massive fan favorites. Then we have Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, which not only has a trio of character I like, but also a trio of female creators attached to the book. Should be a slam dunk for me right? No, the art is often ugly, and the dialogue is still WAY too over dramatic. Yet I can’t stop reading this book.

Birds of Prey #1 is the every cliche first meeting turn fight turn team up we’ve all come to expect from super hero books (Nightwing even chimes in on in, turning it into a running gag). Batgirl and Black Canary don’t trust Huntress, who Babs finally pieces together is Dick Grayson’s old spy partner/boss, but they come to terms with her so they can figure out who this new Oracle is. Unfortunately for our heroes, this new Oracle has a Batgirl-and-the-Birds-of-Prey-1-3plan, and this plan is SNAKE THEMED VILLAINS. Between this and the aforementioned Nightwing, it seems DC Rebirth is actually editorial ways of forcing BIG SNAKE onto the populace, and  I am okay with this.

I don’t want to crap on Claire Row‘s art, but there are some really questionable panels in this book. Barbara Gordon looks fine without her cowl on, but once it’s on, the shape of her head can only be described as “potato-esque”. Also there’s several instances where it looks like character’s teeth are trying to escape their mouths. With Roe as the inker and the pencilier, it leaves very little room for colorists Allen Passalaqua to make any improvements in this book. Their contributions are excellent, and its a shame that the line art he’s coloring isn’t better.

And like I said above, a lot of the dialogue from is bad, Julie and Shawna Benson as there’s a few instances where the characters argue with each other via screaming their motivations. Black Canary is often the voice of reasons and the only character who sounds remotely human. They do a fine job of showing that this new Oracle has gotten under Bab’s skin, so her acting slightly out of character at times is fine. But their Huntress spits Batgirl-and-the-Birds-of-Prey-1-7out cliche tough guy line after line to the point where it’s hilarious more than anything.

But that being said, I can’t stop buying and reading this book. It’s heavily flawed, but also crazy fun. While the art isn’t so hot in some areas, it’s more than serviceable in others, especially when it comes to the Babs and Canary versus Helena fight. And while the dialogue is so bad it’s good, the script itself and plot are pretty solid. So while there’s arguable better cape books on the stands, this is THE MOST CW DC book on the market, which means I MUST READ IT, despite my constant avoidance of Arrow.


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