Category: Toys and Action Figures

Val’s Toy Chest- She’s A Wonder/Guilty Pleasures

Not a lot of new toys to speak of this week, but there’s some cool stuff coming back in as well as a few new items.

Fans of Wonder Woman have a lot to look forward to this year as Princess Diana finally receives her own solo film from Warner Bros. Drawing from her appearance in last year’s Batman V Superman, is more merchandise featuring the Amazing Amazon. The latest figure is from the Medicom MaFex line distributed by Diamond. Wonder Woman is packed with multiple points of articulation and features film-accurate accessories including her shield, sword and lasso. She stands approximately 6″ tall and features the likeness of current Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot.

Longtime DC Comics enthusiasts may remember the classic 1980s era Super Powers Collection line from Kenner. Several companies have crafted figures in tribute to that toyline in recent years. One of these is Kotobukiya and the next figure to arrive in stores is Hawkman. Hawkman joins the reccently released and still in stock Aquaman figure and is based on the classic 1980s Jose Luis Garcia Lopez style guide look. Other Super Powers era inspired collectibles still in stock include the Gentle Giant large scale reproductions of the Flash, Superman and Wonder Woman. These figures definitely evoke nostalgia in those who remember the toyline.

Speaking of nostalgia, we are getting a restock on a couple of different yet similar toylines this week. The first of these is a couple more cases of the recent Power Rangers legacy line. Featuring different Rangers from different eras of the series, we’ll be receiving a limited restock on the first two series. Most figures in the Power Rangers line feature a piece to build each respective characters’ Megazord. Characters already released include the Green, Red, Black, Blue and Pink Rangers from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Red and Yellow Rangers from Power Rangers in Space and Blue, Red, and Yellow Rangers from Power Rangers: Ninja Storm. Now on the other side of that coin is Voltron. When I grew up in the 80s I loved watching Voltron on Sunday mornings. I enjoyed the characters and the transforming robot lions, so imagine my surprise when Power Rangers debuted in 1993 and featured almost the exact same type of transforming robot vehicles. Power Rangers was always a guilty pleasure for me and I always thought I was too old for it, but I still enjoyed the adventures of the original 5 Rangers and eventually, Tommy. That being said, I never bought any of the older toys, though I had been tempted to on occasion. This new Legacy line might be the first time I get all of the original 5 Rangers(I eventually got 5″ figures of the Pink, Blue and Yellow Rangers a couple of years back.) Stay tuned. Speaking of Voltron though, Netflix has had a hit with the latest Voltron series, Voltron: Legendary Defender. Playmates Toys, most famous for their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line is the manufacturer of these latest Voltron toys.  Just in time for the 2nd Season debut, we will be getting all five lions back in. We had a small shipment of these guys around Christmas time and they flew off the shelves, so if you want these, I’d act fast.

Anyway that’s all for me this time- catch you next time with more toy news as we count down to Toy Fair! See you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- New Year, New Toys!

I’d like to wish you guys a belated Happy New Year with this week’s column. Since it is a new year, there are new toys coming. Not a lot of information is out yet, but expect tons of toy news from the worlds of DC Comics, Marvel, and more when I attend Toy Fair next month. Definitely watch this space.

As far as this week goes, we got some new stuff from NECA the last couple of days. Firstly, the Batman Returns Mayor Penguin 1/4 scale action figure has arrived. Based on Danny Devito’s portrayal of the classic Batman villain, the Penguin features several points of articulation, a cloth coat and several movie accurate accessories. The Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman is the next figure due from the Batman Returns line and she should hopefully ship sometime this year. As her arrival gets closer I’ll let you know. The other neat item we got in is the Star Trek: The Next Generation Bat’leth Prop Replica from NECA. If the Klingons were your favorite aliens in the Trek universe, this awesome replica is for you. Whether you use it to spice up your Worf costume or hang it on your wall, NECA definitely hit a home run with this Trek piece.

Keeping in line with NECA, the toy company announced this week that they have acquired the rights to make merchandise and figures from the forthcoming Blade Runner 2049 film. NECA seems excited about it and will debut new figures next month at Toy Fair.  On the DC front, DC Collectibles finally announced that they are making Batgirl as she appeared on the original run of Batman: the Animated Series. While she mostly looks good, there are some issues with the length of her neck as well as her hair placement. DC has said they are at least working with the neck, we’ll see what happens when she finally comes out later this year.

Continuing on with DC Media representation, statue company Tweeterhead, which recently released an awesome Elvira coffee table book, just announced the first in a line of Wonder Woman maquettes. First up is a gorgeous representation of Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman as seen in the classic 1970s series. Only the unpainted sculpt has been shown off, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the final painted version looks like. I expect this piece to be popular with this year being a massive year for the Amazing Amazon.  If you remember the Yvonne Craig Batgirl piece, this was sculpted by the same artist.

Not much else going on this week, but there’s some cool books coming out including a Justice League of America special centered around Vixen, volume 7 of Mike Grell’s run of Green Arrowand Rebirth trades of Batman and AquamanThat’s about it for me this week. Catch you all next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Carrie Fisher 1956-2016

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Last week’s column was my year-end favorite figures list and one of the figures on that list was the recent Star Wars Black Series Princess Leia Organa, I mentioned in the article Carrie’s- at the time– current medical status. After the issue went to press, Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60, she drowned in moonlight and was strangled by her own bra. This column is my tribute to her and her most well-known character.

Growing up, I was raised mostly on Superheroes with the occasional science fiction like Star Wars thrown in. I remember watching and rewatching the original Star Wars  and loving all the characters, but especially Princess Leia. I don’t remember watching Empire Strikes Back much as a child, but I really got into Return of the Jedi.  Due to my love of the  (then) 1st and 3rd movies, I got into the Kenner action figures. I had no less than three distinctive Leia action figures during the 80s, including New Hope Leia, Leia in her Boushh disguise and Endor Leia in her poncho from the Speeder Bike sequence. It’s quite possible that Leia as Boushh was my first ever female action figure but I don’t really remember if that was truly the case. My adoration of the Leia character probably came from her sass, her regal presence and her no-nonsense attitude. All I know is that I’ve always loved strong female heroes and Princess Leia was no slouch in that department.  Though there was a lull in my love of the Star Wars franchise from the mid-80’s thru the early ’90’s, I always did appreciate the character.

1995 was the first year that Star Wars lived again on the toy shelves. And there I was again collecting Leia all over again. This time however, I made sure to get figures of Leia that I never had before, from updated versions of Bespin and Hoth Leias to brand new figures like Jabba’s Prisoner and Ewok Celebration, Leia was finally getting all of her varied looks included in this more comprehensive toyline.  Kenner folded into Hasbro, but the toyline continues to this day with both the original size figures and the larger 6″ figures. Princess Leia has been a mainstay in the 6″ line with three figures under her belt to date. Prisoner Leia was released during one of the first waves a few years back and was the subject of controversy when a parent complained about her sexy outfit.(He must have NEVER seen the film, but I digress…) This was followed up by the Boushh figure which made my Top 5 of 2015 and now the current New Hope Leia.

It’s difficult writing about Carrie Fisher’s death because in some ways I haven’t fully grasped it yet. I’ll share an anecdote with you about why you shouldn’t take anything for granted. As you may have heard, Carrie released a book within the last couple of months. She then did a signing at an NYC bookstore that I refuse to support and I passed up the chance to meet her, figuring I’d catch her at her next public appearance, whether it be at a comic con or another future book signing not at the aforementioned bookstore. In hindsight, I should have made an exception, but who knew that we’d lose Carrie shortly after that signing. I can’t beat myself up too much as you can’t change the past, but it is a lesson to never squander an opportunity when it presents itself to you. It’s also tough because Carrie was my mother’s age and I don’t need to face her mortality yet either. I’d also be remiss to not mention the tragedy of Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, dying the day after her daughter’s untimely death.

I don’t want to end the column on a downer, so we should celebrate Carrie’s legacy through her films, her books and through her iconic heroine which influenced an entire generation of children, male and female to reach for the stars.  I received the Leia Hot Toys figure for Christmas and now I have an incredibly accurate figure of one of my very first on-screen heroines that I will cherish forever. Thank you, Carrie Fisher for sharing your wit, your sass, and your talent with the world. May you rest in peace.

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- 2016 Top 10 Figures of the Year

Note: This article was written before Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing and will appear as follows in the print edition of the Weekly Planet. I am leaving this unedited and will discuss more about the beloved Ms. Fisher in my next column- Val

Hi guys- it has been a busy season here at the Planet and this being the last week of 2016, I thought I’d close out the year with my 10 favorite figures (5 Male and 5 Female) of the year. I have three criteria- one: nothing above 8 inches tall, two: the figure had to have been available to purchase at Forbidden Planet sometime this year, and three: I must OWN the figures in question. Without further ado:

Top 5 Male figures of the year:

5. Star Wars: The Black SeriesC-3Po (Hasbro): Coming in late in the year, the C-3Po figure features the (mostly) golden droid as he appeared in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The sculpting on the figure is pretty well done and though the articulation scheme is limited by the sculpt, C-3Po moves exactly as you would expect a figure of him to move.

4. Marvel Legends: X-MenWolverine (Hasbro): Hasbro has really upped their game with the Marvel figures this year and several of them made this countdown, gone are the days of abysmal sculpts. In its place we get beautifully sculpted figures like this Brown Costume Wolverine figure which puts Wolverine at his rightfully smaller size and includes cool extras like hands with both retracted and exposed claws.

3. Star Wars: The Black SeriesLuke Skywalker (Hasbro): A lot of people will knock this figure for the soft cloth goods that don’t necessarily sit where it should when posing, but the Luke figure for me is a decent enough representation from A New Hope that I can forgive that aspect of the figure. Star Wars has been back with a vengeance in my toy collection this year and I can’t wait to see what next year will hold.

2. Marvel Legends: X-MenDeadpool (Hasbro): I will confess right now, I’m not the biggest fan of the character, but this figure is beautiful. From the color scheme of red and black to the sculpts on both masked and unmasked heads and the impressive arsenal of weapons, this Deadpool figure should be in any Marvel fan’s collection.

1. Marvel Legends: Spider-ManVenom (Hasbro): I’ve always been a sucker for the black costume Spider-Man and though that figure didn’t make this list(as I haven’t bought him yet), the version of the symbiotic costume that became Venom makes an impressive looking figure with his larger build and menacing facial features. The best part is you can interchange his head to have either the sharp teeth look or the slimy tongue look, as well as clawed hands or fists.

Honorable mention: Marvel Legends: X-MenJuggernaut Build-A-Figure (Hasbro): I rarely ever complete Build-A-Figures in the Marvel Legends line, but the Juggernaut figure was too good to pass up. Cain Marko has an amazing look to him and the heft is unbelievable. Definitely a good investment for my figure shelves.

Top 5 Female figures of the year:

5. DC Comics MultiverseSupergirl (Mattel): Melissa Benoist certainly made an impression on TV audiences with her portrayal of the Girl of Steel, first on CBS and now on the CW. This figure has a soft but decent likeness of Melissa and has definitely been a favorite on my toy shelf this year.

4. AliensPrivate Vasquez (NECA): Ripley made last year’s list and the next obvious female figure choice for Aliens would be the awesome Vasquez. Featuring the likeness of Jenette Goldstein, the Vasquez figure is pretty darn impressive from her sculpt all the way to her heavy artillery. If NECA makes a decent female figure, she will most likely be on my list. (Still keeping fingers crossed for a NECA Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare on Elm Street).

3. Star Wars: The Black SeriesPrincess Leia Organa (Hasbro): Featuring some of the same issues as her twin brother, Leia also features a cloth outfit and though her sculpt isn’t the most accurate Carrie Fisher likeness, she works well enough as a figure for me that she makes it on this list. I haven’t really stopped playing with her since I got her, which is a definite sign of favoritism on my part. On a related note, I am keeping as many good thoughts for Carrie Fisher as I can. Hope she recovers from her medical emergency ASAP.

2. Marvel Legends:  X-MenRogue (Hasbro): The Southern Belle known as Rogue has never had a decent 6″ Marvel figure until now. Beautifully sculpted and rendered in her Jim Lee-designed outfit, Rogue makes an awesome addition to the toy shelf and was one of the most popular figures in the Legends line this year. Featuring an additional ungloved hand, Rogue was an awesome release for this fan.

1. ArrowBlack Canary(DC Collectibles):  Laurel Lance and her fans have been through a lot this year with her death on the TV show, the subsequent backlash and her to be determined storyline for this current season. Go back to a simpler time when Katie Cassidy was still a series regular and was busting heads and shattering glass with this Black Canary figure based on the 3rd season of the show. Sculpted in her likeness, this one was my most anticipated and she didn’t disappoint. I’m gonna get Katie to sign a packaged one for me the next time I meet her.

Honorable Mention: Marvel Legends: Spider-ManSilk (Hasbro):  I could put so many of the Marvel women on the list this year, but this one stands out as she had a great sculpt on her masked and unmasked heads as well as a decent color scheme that makes this figure a stand-out.

All-in-all, it’s been a pretty decent year for toys. Lots of cool looking figures including several I haven’t bought yet and even more that didn’t make the list for one reason or another. Here’s hoping next year’s releases are half as good. Catch you next year!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Marvel Character Gift Guide A to Y

Last week’s column had the DC Character Gift Guide, so to change it up this week, I figured we’d do a companion Marvel Gift Guide- Let’s begin!

Abomination– One of Hulk’s gamma-irradiated foe’s makes an imposing figure with this Marvel Select toy that is a nice chunky piece of plastic.

Black Widow– One of my favorite Marvel women, the most recent Hot Toys figure has gorgeous features and is accessorized to the hilt. Based on the character as she appears in the film Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America– Hasbro’s Marvel Legends series is great about keeping updated versions of their heavy hitters in stores and this figure of Cap is no exception. Featuring Cap’s costume from the recent Secret Wars mini, this figure is rather striking in color scheme and accessories.

Doctor Strange– fresh off a feature film, Dr. Strange has seen a few different figures this year, one of these is the adorable Funko POP based on his movie appearance.

Enchantress– Thor’s nemesis, the Enchantress is now a gorgeous figure in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line.

Falcon– Relive Sam Wilson’s earliest days of superheroing with the classic Falcon Funko POP, featuring one of his most iconic looks ever.

(Spider) Gwen Stacy– An alternate Gwen from a different universe, Spider-Gwen has been fairly popular these past couple of years. Japanese company Kotobukiya has crafted a beautiful statuette of Gwen for their Bishoujo line, featuring masked and unmasked heads.

Hulk– Bruce Banner’s alter ego makes for an imposing figure with his own Marvel Select figure. Pairs well with the Abomination mentioned above.

Iron Man– Tony Stark has used several different suits throughout the history of the comics and the movies. This Hot Toys figure of this particular suit is striking with its blue and grey colors and was seen in Iron Man 3.

Juggernaut– He is unstoppable and heavy. One of the most popular Marvel Select pieces, this figure of Cain Marko should be a part of any Marvel toy fan’s collection.

Kaecilius– One of Dr. Strange’s nemeses, Kaecilius was featured in the recent film and has been immortalized as a Funko POP.

Logan– One of Marvel’s most popular characters, Logan a.k.a. Wolverine is seen here in the Marvel Select line in his famous orange and brown costume and features a dedicated character base and several points of articulation.

Mockingbird– Now known for her appearances on Agents of SHIELD, as well as her own recent comic series, Bobbi Morse received only her second action figure ever with the release of the Hasbro Marvel Legends toy.

Ororo Munroe– The X-Man known as Storm, has returned to the POP vinyl line with this brand new figure of her in her 80s punk getup, Mohawk and all.

Psylocke– Another Funko POP, this one is based on Betsy Braddock’s look as designed by Jim Lee during the early 90s.

Quake– Originally known as Skye, Daisy Johnson is now one of the Agents of SHIELD and this Funko POP represents her as she appears on the TV show.

Rogue– Another fabulous Marvel female, Kotobukiya’s Marvel NOW line of statues features the X-Man in her recent green outfit.

Spider-Man– Soon to be the star of yet another brand-new movie, this particular Spider-Man toy is from Hasbro’s current 12″ Marvel Legends series, bringing you classic characters in a larger format with the articulation scheme that Legends is known for.

Thor– Jane Foster is currently Thor in the comics universe and this Funko Rock Candy figure captures her current look in a cute style.

Ultron– he’s got no strings on him- this imposing Hot Toys figure was crafted based on the design featured in the Avengers: Age of Ultron film.

Vision– One of the latest characters to jump from page to screen, the Vision has had quite a few figures these past few years. This DORBZ figure of him from Funko features the android in a cute vinyl style.

Wade Wilson– That’s Deadpool to y’all. Diamond Select has crafted a beautiful statue in their Gallery line capturing Wilson’s striking design as he is ready to attack, swords drawn.

Yondu– returning to the big screen next year as part of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, this figure based on his comic look might be a good appetizer as you anticipate the sequel.

Briefly: Arrow and Flash figure 2 packs should be in this week, featuring both characters as they appeared in the previous season of their respective TV series.

Deadpool 1/4 scale figure and possibly Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 should be arriving any day now.

Rey in her Resistance outfit from the end of the Force Awakens should be here shortly, courtesy of Hot Toys.

That’s all this week- Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- NECA Explosion/Hot Toys/DC Gift Guide from A to Z

Lots of new stuff in this week, so let’s get right to it.

NECA has no less than four new figures this week with more on the way. Aliens, Predator and Terminator figures showed up and there are some awesome pieces in there. First off is the Ripley and Newt two-pack. Based on a famous Aliens poster, the figures are packaged in a manner reminiscent of said artwork. Pretty sweet piece if you ask me.  Next up from the Predator line comes a Predator Clan Leader based on an old Kenner action figure.  Also from NECA is the Concrete Jungle Scarface Predator based on a videogame design and a pretty slick looking figure if you ask me. Finally- the Ultimate T-1000 Motorcycle Cop figure features the character as seen in Terminator 2 and based on actor Robert Patrick. Past Ultimate Terminator figures have been awesome, so this new figure should be a hit.  Coming soon: Aliens Series 10, Quarter scale Freddy Krueger and Donatello, and possibly Deadpool. And speaking of the Merc with the Mouth…

New Hot Toys are here, including the long awaited Deadpool, plus Black Widow and Hawkeye from Captain America: Civil War. All the new figures are quite attractive and tempting to this toy columnist.  Deadpool probably won’t last much longer and should be a good one to get as it is a new character in this style.

I thought I’d do something a little fun this week with the holiday gift ideas- this week- DC characters you can gift from A to Z(with a few letters missing in between…)

Aquaman– An awesome Kotobukiya Statue based on the beautiful Super Powers sculpt, comes in this week.

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Black Canary– Laurel’s back on Arrow, but which Laurel is she, and for how long is she there? Celebrate Katie Cassidy’s return with the action figure of her heroic alter ego.

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Clayface– Based on the original Batman: the Animated Series, I discussed this one last week. 761941337876

Darkseid(and Grail)– DC Icons brings one of the most imposing DC villains to their line with the release of Darkseid and his daughter Grail. Darkseid stands about 12 inches tall and should feature multiple points of articulation. Grail features extra accessories and is also poseable.

Eobard Thawne aka The Reverse Flash–   Mattel has brought several characters out from all sorts of media in their DC Multiverse line, and this figure of one of Barry Allen’s most notorious enemies looks pretty darn amazing.

Flash– Barry Allen is the breakout star from the CW DC TV shows and this DC Collectibles figure is an awesome tribute to Grant Gustin’s portrayal of the Scarlet Speedster.

Green Lantern John Stewart– From the late Darwyn Cooke comes a figure of Hal Jordan’s replacement and popular Justice League Animated character, John Stewart. Based on Cooke’s retro designs, this figure is sure to evoke memories of the past.

Heat Wave– now one of the stars of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the Heat Wave action figure features the likeness of actor Dominic Purcell, who has in this author’s opinion, is one of the best characters on that show.

Invisible Jet(and Wonder Woman)– DC’s POP vinyls(and all POPs in general) make great gifts- they’re relatively inexpensive and you get some cool toyetic items, like this POP rides Invisible Jet featuring an awesome silver-age styled Wonder Woman POP. This one would be awesome under a tree.

Jim Gordon as Batman/Batbot 2-Pack– Brand new this week is a two-pack based on the final Scott Snyder arc in the comics and featuring the artistic stylings of Greg Capullo. See what happens when Jim Gordon becomes Batman.

Katana– Gaining new exposure thru Suicide Squad, Arrow and DC Super Hero Girls, this POP vinyl is based on her appearance in this year’s Suicide Squad film.

Legends of Tomorrow- The Atom, White Canary, Firestorm, and Hawkman make up the first wave of POPs from the popular CW show. Great for fans of the series.

Man-Bat– A great deluxe figure from the Fox Animated TV series.

Nightwing– Play Arts Kai makes beautiful figures and this one is based on the Arkham Knight video game.

Oracle(and Batgirl) Two-Pack– Based on the aforementioned game, I discussed this last week.761941337296

Poison Ivy– a bright, colorful POP based on the character as she appeared on Batman: the Animated Series. Great representation of a character not heavily merchandised.

Quinn, Harley– NECA makes beautiful toys and the 1/4 scale figure of Harley from Arkham City is one of them. Features multiple points of articulation and accessories.

Robin– Return to the 60s with this Moebius model kit based on Burt Ward’s portrayal of the Boy Wonder. Some assembly required.

Speedy–  Oliver Queen’s TV sister is now an adorable DORBZ figure from Funko.

Talia Al Ghul– The League of Assassins member got her due with the DC Collectibles’ Batman: The Animated Series figure last month. 761941340845

Victor Fries– The heartbreaking character of Mr. Freeze, as seen in the later iteration of Batman: The Animated Series, this one like the other figures from the line has similar aesthetics to the figures mentioned above.

Wonder Woman– The jumbo action figure from Gentle Giant evokes memories of a simpler time for those fans raised in the early 80s with the large-scale reproduction of the Amazing Amazon as seen in the old Super Powers line.

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Zatanna– Diamond Select Toys is releasing this gorgeous statue based on the princess of prestidigitation as she appeared on Batman: The Animated Series.

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That’s it guys- more toy news and gift ideas next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Holiday Gift Ideas Part 2

Continuing with last week’s theme- I’ve got more gift ideas to share as we get closer to the holidays. I have a few books and toys to discuss this week including some of the newest stuff to hit our shelves. Newly arrived on our shelves are the following POP vinyl figures:

Batman: The Animated Series figures are now all in stock including the Joker, Batman, Harley Quinn and Batgirl. Each figure stands approximately 3 3/4″ tall and comes in window box packaging.  These join the Poison Ivy and Robin POPs we received last week.  Any of these figures would make an excellent gift for the Batman fan in your life, especially those that grew up with the classic animated series.

889698117326Funko’s Specialty Series continues with the latest release of everyone’s favorite sports nut/masked vigilante and Team Green ally: Casey Jones. The classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character comes dressed in his sweats, mask and wielding his hockey stick. Casey is a limited release figure, so once he’s gone, he’s gone. As of right now, the Casey figure is only available in store and may be made available online if quantities remain. Limit 2 per customer, please.

DC Collectibles has a few neat items due out this Wednesday that would also be sweet gifts for the DC fan in your life. One of these is the Batman: The Animated Series Clayface deluxe figure featuring multiple parts to recreate a few of Matt Hagen’s looks from the TV show. 761941337876

Batgirl fans have gotten several treats these last few weeks, what with the POP, the Icons Batgirl and Batcycle and now the Arkham Knight Batgirl/Oracle two-pack is out this week. Batgirl comes with a batarang and several interchangeable hands and features multiple points of articulation. Her famous Oracle persona comes complete with wheelchair and a backpack. Both figures are based on the recent video game. 761941337296

If you seek Marvel figures, what better figure than everyone’s favorite mercenary, Wade Wilson? The recent movie star has returned to our toy shelves with a restock of the best-selling Deadpool Marvel Select action figure. Deadpool features a dedicated character base, accessories and several points of articulation and comes in the trademark oversized Select packaging. Definitely an excellent gift choice for some of the Marvel fans in your life.

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Switching gears to books, there are some notable releases from the past few weeks that I never got to talk about, but they’d be awesome treats for the fan in your life, especially those that love DC’s media adaptations.

First of all, I’ve made no secret what a huge fan of the 1960’s Batman TV series I am. Just released last week was the Batman: Celebration of the Classic TV Series oversized book. Chockful of beautiful sharp stills, conceptual drawings and never before seen behind the scenes shots, this book comes highly recommended by yours truly. There is also an episode guide at the end of the book with brief synopses and shots of some of the title cards used throughout the show. If you’re a fan of the TV show and want a lighter, fluffier Batbook, the recent Batman Facts and Stats from the Classic TV Show is also out. The content is different in this one and is more of a trivia book with brief info but not as in-depth behind the scenes stuff as the former book. 1781167885

Switching gears to modern superhero TV comes the Art and Making of the Flash, featuring behind-the-scenes info and plenty of photos from the current CW series starring Grant Gustin. The book is current up to the recently ended second season and includes characters from all of the CW series. 9781785651267

Finally, the recently ended Black Canary series had its second trade released. Collecting issues 8-12, as well as an issue of Gotham Academy and the one-shot Rebirth: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, this second volume comes highly recommended by me, especially since it features issue #9 which features characters based on a couple of Forbidden Planet employees, including myself. If you like awesome heroines, as well as rock and roll type characters, Black Canary is for you.  1401265278

Catch you next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season Part 1/Crossover Time

Hey guys, there’s a few cool items coming in this week that would make awesome gift ideas, I’ll be mentioning multiple ideas in each of the articles all the way up to Christmas week. One of these is the super sweet deluxe DC Collectibles DC Icons Batgirl of Burnside Action Figure set which features the soon-to-be 50-year-old Barbara Gordon Batgirl in her most recent comic book incarnation and featuring a purple motorcycle befitting her latest look. The newest Batgirl figure comes with alternate hands, a second cape and head to show Batgirl as if she were riding the Batcycle and features multiple points of articulation.

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A trio of Batman: the Animated Series collectibles also highlight the week here at the Planet, with the soon to arrive on Arrow, Talia Al Ghul, based on her appearance on the 1992 animated series. Talia will feature the usual alternate hands, accessories and display base that the animated line is known for.

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Funko POP keeps going strong and now we have vinyl figures based on the classic Batman: The Animated Series gracing our store shelves. The first two figures to arrive are the Teen Wonder himself, Robin and the Botanical Beauty, Poison Ivy. Each figure is about 3 and 3/4″ tall and is crafted in the typical POP style. 

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Though it came out a few weeks back, another great Animated Series gift idea is the deluxe Batmobile with Batman, Robin and the Batsignal set that is a sight to behold. The set features a Batman and Robin with cloth capes so they can sit comfortably in the Batmobile. 761941334509

Also new this week- the NECA 1/4 scale Predator 2 City Hunter Predator action figure. The latest version of the City Hunter Predator features a LED helmet, stands approximately 20″ tall and movie accurate costuming and accessories.

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I am not the biggest Transformers guy, but this particular figure came in and immediately struck me as cool. From the Hasbro Titans Return line, Hot Rod comes in striking red and yellow colors and transforms from robot to sleek automobile.

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Shifting away from toys for a minute, this week is the annual CW DC TV series crossover event, entitled “Invasion!” and inspired by the old DC crossover event. Featuring Supergirl for the first time, the CW heroes are up against the alien threat of the Dominators. By the time you read this, the Flash segment will have aired and the Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow episodes will air tonight and Thursday, respectively. Yes, I’m mentioning Arrow again, as Laurel is in the episode airing tonight(the show’s 100th), albeit as part of an illusion that Oliver and company will experience. There’s talk that Katie Cassidy will be back as a few different versions of Laurel this season across all of the DC shows, so I’m holding out hope that I’ll once again get to see some incarnation of the Black Canary on my TV set again. We shall see.

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Catch you all next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Toys I Am Thankful For/New This Week

Hi guys- not a lot of new stuff due in this week, though there are some awesome goodies coming down the line.  Let’s get to it then.  Fans of NECA’s Predator series have 3 brand new figures to collect with the arrival of series 16 in the long-running line. Featured Predator figures include Ghost Predator,  Spiked Tail Predator and the neat glow-in-the-dark Stalker Predator. Each figure now features approximately 30 points of articulation, as well as character dedicated accessories and are based on vintage 1990s Kenner designs.  Speaking of the 90s, DC Collectibles has more from their successful Batman: The Animated Series line dropping this week. Expected in store this week are figures of Detective Harvey Bullock, The Ventriloquist and Scarface and The Joker. All three figures are based on their appearances in the 1997 The New Batman Adventures animated series.

New POP vinyl have made their way into the store as well with the arrival of the first four pieces from the latest X-Men line. Characters now available include Cable, Sabretooth, Mohawk Storm and Psylocke.  Back in stock from Funko are the two leads from the X-Files, Mulder and Scully.

Hot Toys’ Die Cast War Machine from Iron Man 2 arrived today and is beautiful. The figure features many metal parts, a base that evokes the end battle from the movie as well as accessories galore and a gorgeous Don Cheadle head sculpt.

It is Thanksgiving this week, so I will talk about some of the recent toys that have me thankful this year:

McFarlane Toys’ Saga Action Figures- I neglected to mention these last week, but we were able to secure some of the sets that were introduced at SDCC earlier this year. The figures in this two pack based on the best-selling Brian K Vaughan comic are of the two leads, Marko and Alana and feature beautiful sculpting, articulation and neat accessories.

Hot Toys’ Star Wars the Force Awakens Rey 1/6 scale figure- Rey was the breakout star from last year’s Star Wars film and this beautiful figure captures the likeness of actress Daisy Ridley and a ton of accessories to showcase a couple of her looks from the film. Plus- if you are so inclined, you can upgrade and get the combo pack which includes BB-8.

Various Funko POP figures including the Golden Girls, (just Blanche and Rose left for now, people.)  Legends of Tomorrow, (White Canary and the Atom, especially.) Agents of SHIELD, DC and more.

DC Collectibles’ Arrow Black Canary action figure- You had to know she was on this list. I won’t say anymore that hasn’t already been said.

Anyway in keeping with the Thanksgiving spirit, I am thankful for the opportunity to share my love of toys with all my readers out there, as well as to this newsletter which has given me the chance to write about what I love. We’ll be off this Thursday, but definitely join us for the Black Friday sale which is good on items storewide.

Catch you next time!

 

 

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

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

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

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

Hot Toys alerts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catch you guys soon!

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Val’s Toy Chest- November Already?

Hey guys- this week is shaping up to be a relatively quiet week for toys. There are a few notable items in-store this week including more fun from Funko, a Hot Toy that may not last the week and some other miscellany.

Halloween was on Monday and that was the day we got everyone’s favorite hostess with the mostest- Elvira! The Funko POP figure of Elvira captures the sexy horror hostess with the usual cute POP style. Staying with the POP theme, two more of the Five Nights at Freddy’s POP vinyls arrived with Springtrap and Chica joining the ranks of Nightmare Freddy and Bonnie. Speaking of horror-ific POPs, Funko made the announcement that we will be seeing Stranger Things POPs sometime in 2017. Stranger Things has become a fan favorite since debuting on Netflix earlier this year and as there isn’t much by way of merchandise at the moment- these should fulfill a void for  Stranger Things fans. Characters in the lineup include Eleven, Barb, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will and the Demogorgon.

Hot Toys is still pumping out figures from all your favorite movies and the new Batman V Superman Batman figure is no exception.  Equipped with several accessories including alternate facial expressions and hands, as well as batarangs and such, this Batman figure based on Ben Affleck’s recent portrayal of the Dark Knight will probably be gone within a few days.

Hasbro has released the latest Marvel Legends wave based on the Sorceror Supreme- Doctor Strange. Of course, there’s also the huge Dr. Strange movie coming out this Friday starring Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role. Figures in the latest wave of figures include the now sold out Iron Fist, Nico Minoru, the Enchantress, A comic Dr. Strange, Brother Voodoo and movie versions of Baron Mordo, played by Serenity and Kinky Boots actor Chiwetel Ejiofor; Dr. Strange himself and an astral version of Stephen Strange. Collect all eight figures to build Strange’s enemy- Dormammu! Should be a fun wave to collect, especially if the movie meets the public’s expectation.

Briefly:

Bishoujo statues from Kotobukiya that we’ve recently received or are due in this week include Spider-Gwen, the new 52 Harley Quinn and a restock of my favorite, the Black Canary.

Diamond Select Toys’ Femme Fatales line is also coming back to our shelves with a restock on the animated Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman.

Though I am not a fan of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, a very neat item came in at the end of last week with the release of the Puzzle Box from the third film in the series. The box is configured in a style reminiscent of a Rubik’s Cube and has been a fairly popular seller.

I can’t believe it’s November already- Thanksgiving, Christmas and a whole New Year are coming quickly upon us. I’ll have to start talking gift ideas soon. Plus- this month should see the annual CW DC TV crossover which will expand this year to include characters from all of the network’s superhero shows, including new addition: Supergirl. AND- is Laurel coming back for good? This Black Canary fan hopes so.  What will our TV heroes do during this crossover? Fight aliens! The storyline is said to be based on the old crossover event- Invasion! Hopefully they can pull it off.

 

 

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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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Val’s Toy Chest- NYCC Edition 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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