Category: Valentine Chhann

Val’s Toy Chest- A Bat, Knights and Deadshot

Back in the Summer of 1992, I remember reading an article in Wizard Magazine about the forthcoming Batman: The Animated Series.  I remember being really ecstatic that Barbara Gordon as Batgirl was going to be used in the series since she had been forced to retire as Batgirl in the comics after the Killing Joke. Then I waited forever to see her don the costume on the show. I still remember how there were three episodes featuring Barbara before she became Batgirl and how much I was like- c’mon already. The Animated Series Batgirl was featured in the spin-off comic, random merchandise like McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys, playing cards and Valentine’s cards before she ever appeared in the Batgirl outfit on the actual TV show. And don’t get me started on how it took five years and an appearance in Batman and Robin before we even got a Batgirl in the animated toyline- and she was completely inaccurate design-wise. Kenner nor Mattel ever released a show-accurate Batman: The Animated Series Batgirl when they were doing figures and she’s always been a major want for me. Diamond Select released both a bust and a Gallery PVC figure utilizing this design, but for the first time ever, we have a Batgirl action figure as she appeared during the Fox era of Batman: The Animated Series. Clad in her grey and blue outfit, Batgirl features several points of articulation, interchangeable hands and a figure base. My one minor quibble with the figure is her slightly inaccurate hairsculpt, but when I saw it at Toy Fair, it didn’t seem as noticeable. So look for her on our shelves starting Wednesday.

The Marvel Legends wave of the Netflix TV characters have arrived. Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Blade and Bullseye are in this latest assortment which features a build-a-figure of Man-Thing. With the popularity of the Netflix shows as well as Hasbro’s beautiful sculpts, this wave should be a hit. Keeping in line with Marvel Legends, the Star-Lord and Ego 2-pack from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 should also be here soon.

Deadshot is joining the Joker as part of Hot Toys’ Suicide Squad collection. Featuring the character as he appeared in last year’s film, Deadshot is sculpted in the likeness of Will Smith and features several interchangeable parts including both a masked and unmasked head, a display stand as well as an impressive arsenal of accessories. I think this’ll be a fun figure to play around with.

In closing- I wanted to mention the loss of two legends over the weekend- first was director George A. Romero who managed to frighten young me back in the day with his collaboration with Stephen King on the original Creepshow.  I remember passing by a video store during the mid-80s which had no qualms about showing movies right on their TV in the window, so I remember watching Creepshow in that very window and freaking out over the scary parts. Romero was the father of the modern zombie genre including the brilliant Night of the Living Dead as well as the original Dawn of the Dead. Thanks for the scares, George.

We also lost the legendary Martin Landau this week, known for his roles on Space 1999, the classic Mission Impossible, as well as appearances on The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and an Oscar winning role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. He was also the father of Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress, Juliet Landau. Rest in peace and thanks for everything, Mr. Landau.

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- A Super Week!

DC Collectibles is back with another animated style offering. This time around DC is releasing a couple of characters from the classic 90s cartoon: Superman: The Animated Series. Late last year we got the “Girls’ Night Out” 5 pack which featured new figures of Supergirl and Live Wire- adding to that pair is a brand new two pack which includes Superman and Lois Lane.  Featuring both characters as designed by Bruce Timm, each figure follows the previous Batman: The Animated Series model which includes multiple interchangeable hands as well as figure stands that showcase the turnarounds of each character featured in the pack. Each figure will also feature multiple points of articulation and should make any fan of the Bruce Timm era cartoons happy. From what I understand, the Batgirl figure from Batman: The Animated Series is imminent and should be here within the next few weeks.

NECA has been busy the past few weeks, figures currently on our shelves from the company include the lost wave of Prometheus figures, Alien: Covenant figures as well as a 1/4 scale Freddy Krueger action figure from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. We also got a limited restock on Alien Queen figures and ED-209s from Robocop.  Coming soon will be the Predator 30th Anniversary line as well as Aliens Series 11, which includes the first ever Lambert figure with actor-approved likeness from the original Alien.  NECA has recently announced a few new products including figures from the upcoming Blade Runner film, including a killer Harrison Ford likeness, a new Aliens 2 pack featuring the first ever Burke figure and an Alien Xenomorph as well as acquiring the rights to make products from 80s horror classic Re-Animator.

Supergirl’s early 80’s adventures will finally be collected in full with the release of the Daring Adventures of Supergirl Volume 2. Featuring the final 11 issues of the Paul Kupperberg penned title, these stories came out around the time of the Supergirl film and would be Kara Zor-El’s last solo title before her character is killed off in the 1985-1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.  I haven’t read most of these stories, so I am looking forward to completing this run of Supergirl tales.

Briefly- Disney and POP fans, particularly fans of the Disney Afternoon have another figure to add to their collections with the release of the Negaduck Previews Exclusive POP vinyl from the classic Darkwing Duck TV series.  Negaduck is clad in his yellow, black and red outfit and has a red hat to complete his look. Fans of Darkwing Duck will definitely want to bring this piece home with them.

There will be a small restock on Star Wars Black Series 9 and 11 figures which feature characters such as Obi-Wan, Darth Revan, Leia, Sabine, Lando Calrissian, The Imperial Guard and Qui-Gon arriving sometime this week or early next. No word on Star Wars 40th series 2 yet however. Hopefully soon.

Sideshow has pushed the Batman v Superman Wonder Woman Hot Toys figure back again- this time with an expected release date of August-September. The final production piece has started showing up overseas, so that at least is a good sign. With the success of her solo movie, I expect this figure will fly off our shelves fast. Once I get final confirmation of her ship date, you’ll be the first to know.

As always- thanks for reading! Catch you soon!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Another Eternal Con/New DC Multiverse

Over the weekend, I went out to Nassau Coliseum in Long Island to attend my second Eternal Con.At last year’s con, I had the opportunity to meet Brent Spiner and Elizabeth Henstridge so Eternal Con has been on my list of conventions to check out in case some actor or actress I like ended up appearing. One of the first guests announced for this year’s Eternal Con was actress Helen Slater whom some of you may recall was the first live-action Supergirl. Helen has continued to appear in DC’s live-action adaptations, first as Kal-El’s mother Lara on Smallville and in recent years as Eliza Danvers, Kara Zor-El’s adoptive mother on the CW’s Supergirl TV show. Regular readers of this column know how much I love my DC heroines, so I was determined to meet the original feature film Supergirl. Helen was a complete sweetheart and we briefly chatted about the original Supergirl film. I took my customary celebrity picture and also got an autographed 8×10 of Helen in her Supergirl outfit.

The con itself was a pretty decent one, lots of old comics as well as both newer and vintage toys and collectibles. I didn’t go too crazy with purchases this time around but there was definitely some temptation at the show. If they can get more awesome names next year, I will be back for a third Eternal Con.

This week at the store- our first shipment of the newest wave of DC Multiverse has arrived. The Atom! Batman! Batwing! Robin Duke Thomas! The Reaper! These are the characters in the current series with a build-a-figure of the Bat-Bot(listed as The Rookie on the figures’ packaging) as seen in the Jim Gordon Batman run from a year or so ago. The Atom is based on Brandon Routh’s portrayal of the character on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow TV series and includes a masked and unmasked head to portray Ray whichever way you want him. He also comes with a smaller version of himself to simulate his shrinking action.  Batman and Batwing are based on the current Rebirth versions of the characters while Duke Thomas hails from the “We Are Robin” storyline. Duke also comes with an alternate head. The most out of left field choice however is the Reaper figure from Batman: Year Two which is one I never thought I’d ever see. The Reaper comes decked out in full red armor, shiny skull mask and includes a couple of scythes. I haven’t gotten around to opening him up yet but I think I can safely say that he will most likely end up on my top 10 figures list this year.

Briefly:

New Game of Thrones POPs including a bearded Tyrion, Bran Stark and a Battle of the Bastards 2 pack featuring Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton.

WWE POPs of Sasha Banks and Chris Jericho, as well as Pint-Sized Heroes Blind Bags of the WWE wrestlers.

Iron Man Mark 46 has arrived to add to your collection of Captain America: Civil War Hot Toys. Die-cast and featuring loads of interchangeable parts and a character base- Tony probably won’t last too long.

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

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- High-End Items

Hey guys- not a lot of new stuff this week at the moment. There are, however some high-ticket items coming in this week and beyond courtesy of the folks from Sideshow.

Scheduled to arrive this week from Sideshow is my personal favorite- the Black Canary. Part of Sideshow’s Premium Format figure line, Dinah Laurel Lance’s statue features her standing atop a base designed to look like a section of a brick wall. Designed by Stanley Artgerm Lau, Dinah looks ready to throw down as she is shushing someone, possibly in preparation to release her earth-shattering Canary Cry. Black Canary is a mixed media statue featuring resin as well as fabric and would make any fan of the character happy. Standing about 21″ high, this piece would make an impressive centerpiece in any DC collection.

Coming relatively soon will be the next piece in Hot Toys’ Captain America: Civil War line- Iron Man! I’d say the figure based on the most recent cinematic armor in Tony Stark’s arsenal should be here sometime within the next week and a half. Based on its appearance in the aforementioned movie, the Iron Man Mark XLVI will be die-cast and have the usual Hot Toys articulation as well as interchangeable parts including a Tony Stark head to swap onto the Iron Man armor. Iron Man Hot Toys always seem to do well, so if you want one of these act as soon as possible. That being said, Iron Man will also feature in Spider-Man: Homecoming and the inevitable Hot Toys figure has already been announced and looks just as awesome as past figures have been.

Fans of old school suspense and horror movies will get a kick out of this next item. Mondo has crafted a 1/6 figure of one of the most renowned film directors ever- Alfred Hitchcock! Dressed in a suit and featuring a director’s chair as well as other accessories, Alfred Hitchcock would be a welcome addition to any film buff’s collection. He should probably arrive around the same time as the above-mentioned Iron Man figure.

NECA surprised me last week with the release of their 1/4 scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Leonardo figure. The third in the series, Leo should be a popular item as he joins his brothers on your toy shelf. Leonardo features several points of articulation as well as his trademark katana. We also received the “lost” wave of Prometheus action figures at the tail end of last week which features figures of Shaw, Fifield and Vickers.  Each figure in this set is sculpted to resemble their respective actors and are in scale with past Prometheus/Aliens/Predator figures. Moreover, NECA recently announced series 12 of their Aliens line and it will feature two battle-damaged Xenomorphs, a new Ripley figure and a new Vasquez figure. I think my NECA Aliens figure collection is going to become a Vasquez/Ripley collection at this point as these new figures completely hit it out of the park.

That’s all for me this week- I should be at a convention this weekend and I will try and have a report here next week! See you then!

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- New Hot Toys and Funko

The Guardians of the Galaxy came back to theatres this year and Hot Toys has finally released the last member of the original film team with the recently arrived figure of Drax the Destroyer based on the character as played by Dave Bautista.  Drax features interchangeable hands, a character base, a completely different pair of pants as well as two knives. Drax features the usual Hot Toys articulation scheme and should be a nice addition to your Guardians collection as we eagerly await figures from the 2nd film.

Speaking of characters on the horizon- Hot Toys recently showed off their forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming figure featuring the character in his more traditional looking outfit. The figure features an interchangeable head sculpt with Tom Holland’s likeness as well as different accessories including some awesome extras in the deluxe version. Spidey won’t arrive til sometime next year, but I think he will be a huge hit, considering how well-received the character was in Civil War. We should be getting both the basic version as well as the deluxe version of this sure-to-be popular piece.

Batman ’66 has been in the public consciousness again with the passing of Adam West- which makes the release of Funko’s new 4″ line of figures from the classic series all the more bittersweet. A couple of characters appear in this line that did not appear in the Mattel 6″ line including King Tut, Mr Freeze and Bookworm. The variant version of Mr Freeze features the likeness of actor Eli Wallach who hasn’t been made as a figure in any of the lines including the 8″ Figures Toy Company Mego line. Rounding out the line are Batgirl, Batman(with a variant based on Adam West’s original screen test outfit) and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman. There is also a Batmobile with Batman and Robin figures included that we are currently out of. On a related note, Diamond Select’s line of Batman 66 busts continues with the addition of that princess of plunder, the purrfidious Catwoman to the series. But wait, you might say- wasn’t there a Catwoman bust already based on Julie Newmar’s likeness? Yes indeed there was- this latest one is the Season 3 Eartha Kitt version featuring a similar body sculpt to the Newmar with a brand new head sculpt featuring the likeness of the sultry songstress from her stint on Batman. I think the Eartha will be a hit personally.

Back to more modern superhero series, after a quick sellout on her day of release, we have received more stock on the Melissa Benoist Supergirl statue. Standing atop a base featuring her logo, this Supergirl statue will make a fine addition to your Supergirl or superhero collection.

On the Marvel TV side of things- Hasbro has revealed their Netflix line of Marvel Legends figures. A couple of characters hail from the comics as well including the cool Build-A- Figure for the wave. The lineup consists of Daredevil, Punisher and Elektra from Netflix’s Daredevil series featuring the likenesses of actors Charlie Cox, Jon Bernthal and Elodie Yung, respectively, Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones from her eponymous Netflix series as well as Blade and Bullseye in more traditional comic book attire. The build-a-figure: Man-Thing! An improvement on the Toy Biz figure, I know several people who are chomping at the bit for this particular character. This one should be a fun wave to collect.

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- Adam West 1928-2017

The 1960s Batman TV Series has always held a special place in my heart- ever since I started watching the brief reruns on WNYW/Channel 5 during the 1984-85 season as well as during the summer of Batmania in 1989 on WPIX 11. I had a hard time when Yvonne Craig died back in 2015 as her Batgirl remains one of my favorite live-action super hero characters to this day. As you have no doubt heard- Adam West died this past weekend- I never got to meet the man, but I always had fun with his take on the Caped Crusader. That being said, I was definitely attached to his version of the Caped Crusader possibly more than any other live-action interpretation to date. (Michael Keaton is a close 2nd as I still love the two Tim Burton films to this day.) Adam played Batman relatively straight compared to the actors who played his over-the-top villainous counterparts like Burgess Meredith or Cesar Romero, though West had his fair share of zany too- such as the show defining Bat-Tusi dance from the very first episode of the series.

Comic book fans haven’t always been kind to the 1960s series over the years, but thanks to Adam West, Batman permeated pop culture- he was everywhere in the 1960s- from lunchboxes to trading cards, different toys and more. Most people of that generation will likely tell you that they got into Batman because of Adam West and the ABC show. It may have been tarnished somewhat when DC decided to return Batman to his gritty roots in the 70s, but campy, humorous Batman has a place in DC’s history books as well. West’s portrayal definitely brought a different dimension to the historically dark character and fans ate that up- even down to this day with new merchandise still being released for the show.

Everyone has their heroes- I was at a convention with a friend this weekend, where he got to meet one of his personal childhood heroes. That was where I found out about Adam West’s passing.  I didn’t want to believe it, especially as he was scheduled to appear at a convention in August- but somehow I knew it was true.  I don’t think the weight of it has settled in yet-  I will say this much though- the Adam West/Burt Ward series definitely shaped my perceptions of what Batman should be as well as which other characters I expect to see in a good Batman adaptation- this includes The Joker. Catwoman, The Penguin and the Riddler as well as Barbara Gordon’s version of Batgirl. All of these characters were made important due to the success of the TV show and DC used them as definitive Batman villains and allies going forward from 1968 to the present. Adam’s Batman, as well as Burt Ward’s Robin and of course Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl, were just a few of my childhood heroes- there’s definitely others, but this particular trio was always special to me and it is a reminder of one’s mortality when your heroes start dying.

For many, Adam West will forever be remembered as Batman, younger generations will know him as Mayor West from Family Guy. Some may even recall his work with Batman: The Animated Series as the Grey Ghost, Bruce Wayne’s childhood idol.  No matter what role, Adam West has earned the right to be considered a legend due to his part in the nearly 80 year legacy of Batman. Whether he was playing the suave debonair millionaire or the strait-laced boy scout of a crimefighter, Adam West will always be a part of my childhood and I will keep his Batman interpretation close to my heart. Thanks for the memories, Adam- rest in peace.

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Val’s Toy Chest- Summer Blockbusters

Did you all see Wonder Woman last weekend? I LOVED IT! I definitely want to go for a repeat viewing ASAP. As anticipated, Wonder Woman items have seen an upswing since the movie’s release and I am thrilled that one of my favorite heroines is finally in her own feature film and has a merchandising extravaganza behind it. Speaking of summer films, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was another hugely anticipated flick and there’s been a good amount of items related to the movie already released.

That being said, there are several items in stock for Wonder Woman already and we should be getting series 2 of the Guardians Marvel Legends in this week.  To refresh your memory of this wave: the Build-A-Figure is Mantis, who featured in the recent sequel, along with single carded figures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket and Nebula as seen on the silver screen, comic versions of Ex Nihilo, Death’s Head II and Adam Warlock make up the rest of the series. I predict that these Legends won’t be on our shelves very long, much like any of the recent Marvel Legends releases. Also coming in within the next few weeks will be the Hot Toys Drax figure from the 2015 film to complete your original Guardians team.

Lots of new Funko POP figures dropped at the end of last week including figures from Bojack Horseman, Rugrats, AAAHH Real Monsters, Mr Robot and Batman 66. The new Batman 66 POPs include Batgirl, The Riddler, The Penguin, Mr Freeze and King Tut.  I think this may be my favorite wave of DC Pops yet, with Batgirl’s shimmery purple, King Tut’s intricate Egyptian outfit as well as the Riddler and Penguin’s classic designs.   Funko needs to bring on the new 4″ figure line as well as I cannot wait to see how those turned out. The beautiful Entertainment Earth Diana Prince POP also released featuring Wonder Woman as she appeared during one of the more humorous scenes in the film.

Briefly:

A new DC Collectibles statue of Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl will hit our shelves this week and if the recent DCTV action figure is indicative of how the sculpt will look, this is going to be one beautiful piece.

Hot Toys has announced their first figure from the Wonder Woman movie and it will be Diana in her Amazonian Training outfit. The Gal Gadot likeness on this one is pretty breathtaking and this one is going to be hard to resist when she releases next year. The long-delayed Batman V Superman version should be releasing soon as a redone sculpt has surfaced and rumors of her shipping soon have started to circulate. I’d expect her sometime in July-August if current estimates are correct.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, Mezco has opened pre-orders on their Wonder Woman One:12 figure. The One:12 line has been wildly popular and this one is scheduled to drop around the end of the year. Based on the recent movie version of Diana, this will be just the second female figure thus far announced in the Mezco line.

I am headed to a convention in Connecticut this weekend and will likely have a report for you in next week’s column. Catch you then!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Wonder Woman is Here!

All hail the princess known as Diana of Themyscira as she finally headlines her own solo feature film this week. As a result of the Wonder Woman film releasing this week, DC is making this Saturday June 3rd, Wonder Woman Day. Similar to previous years’ Batman Days, DC has provided some special material for Wonder Woman day this year, including a couple of special edition comic books as well as a tiara and bracelets. Further information is forthcoming on what else will take place in store on Wonder Woman day, but it should be fun.

If you’ve got an itch for Wonder Woman items, we’ve got several figures from the new film including the Princess Diana figure, Steve Trevor, the cloaked Wonder Woman and Queen Hippolyta figures from the DC Multiverse series, a bunch of awesome dolls including Diana in her blue dress from one of the more anticipated scenes shown in the trailer as well as other Mattel items.  We also have a few DC Collectibles figures and statues as well as miscellaneous other Wonder Woman product.

If you want to read more about the Amazing Amazon, there are several graphic novels available including Diana solo, with the Justice League of America as well as teamed up with Superman. Recommended runs from this Wonder Woman fan include the George Perez 1980’s series,  the Greg Rucka run from the early 2000s as well as his Rebirth stuff from the past year and Brian Azzarello’s New 52 storyline. There is also a Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film book scheduled to drop this week featuring the behind the scenes aspect of the highly anticipated movie.

Briefly:

Old Man Logan makes his debut in the Marvel Gallery line from Diamond Select Toys. Standing approximately 9″ tall, Logan joins previous figures like Deadpool, Thor and Spider-Man in this popular line of vinyl figures.

Hot Toys has a few items scheduled to drop in the next few weeks including the Yoda figure and the Suicide Squad Purple Outfit Joker. Check back for news in this column on those as they are sure to be popular items.

Anyway that’s all for me this week- go see Wonder Woman this weekend, I definitely will! I’ll catch you next time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- X Marks the Spot!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- A Funko Kind of Week

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

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

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

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

Briefly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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