Category: Star Wars

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

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

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

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

Other things of note this week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous new and restocked items:

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catch you guys soon!

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Val’s Toy Chest- NYCC Edition 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other new and recent toys:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Briefly:

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

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

Breaking News:

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- POPs Everywhere…

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

Other toys and toy-related items this week:

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

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

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

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

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- SDCC Marvel Announcements/Batman Animated and More

Hasbro had a decent showing of new Marvel action figures at San Diego Comic Con this year with new X-Men, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy 6″ Figures making their debuts. The next X-Men line includes an updated Jim Lee style Cyclops, 70’s era Dazzler, Sunfire, Colossus, Polaris and a New Mutants Warlock Build-A-Figure, The Guardians will include Vance Astro, Darkhawk, and Angela, while the Spider-Man wave features popular Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan, The Green Goblin, Spider-Man UK, Black Costume Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. Finally, the Dr. Strange wave features movie versions of the titular Doctor and Baron Mordo, Iron Fist, Brother Voodoo, Nico and a comic version of the Doctor with a build-a-figure of Dormammu. In addition to these Legends, Hasbro has a series of Netflix based figures scheduled which will feature the Punisher and Jessica Jones.If the 3 and 3/4″ figures are more your speed, Hasbro has another assortment in the works which includes the X-23 version of Wolverine, Iron Man from the current Civil War II miniseries, Lady Deadpool, Maestro, Jewel, Shocker, Tombstone and Moon Knight.

Hot Toys fans were treated to the prototypes of several figures from this summer’s Captain America: Civil War including Crossbones, Scarlet Witch and several of the other key players. Netflix’s Daredevil series will also see a Hot Toy or two coming out in the near future.

Recently released and on our store shelves now are the following awesome items:

Finn from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film is now a highly collectible 1/6 scale action figure, equipped with the usual Hot Toys detail and accessories. He is available on his own or packed with the Riot Control Stormtrooper.

New Funko POP arrivals include video game mainstays, Mega Man and his archenemy, Dr. Wily, Scott Pilgrim, Ramona and Knives from the Scott Pilgrim feature film as well as POPs from the old Jim Henson film, The Dark Crystal. Funko also has new ReAction figures available to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens. The three-pack features Ripley, a Power Loader, and the Alien Queen.

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Finally we will be seeing some new DC Collectibles this week. We should be getting stock on Commissioner Gordon, Ra’s Al Ghul and Zatanna from Batman: The Animated Series as well as the Reverse Flash from the Flash TV show. I personally cannot wait to add Zatanna to my collection of all this week’s new figures.

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Next week- could it be- could the Laurel Lance Black Canary figure from Arrow finally be shipping to stores? My sources say yes. Let’s hope they’re right! Catch you all next time!

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Val’s Toy Chest- A Legendary Week /SDCC Preview

As I write this column, we have already burned through most of our newly received Spider-Man Marvel Legends action figures. Spider-Man Peter Parker, Spider-Girl Ashley Barton, Hobgoblin and Electro are all that remain from the wave as of today. Each figure in the wave has a piece to build Space Venom and the two sold-out figures were Silk and Spider-Man Miles Morales. We should hopefully get more of these in the future. Arriving this week will be the heavily anticipated X-Men Legends wave and these will definitely not last very long either. X-Men merchandise isn’t as heavily marketed as it was during the 90s and 00s, so there’s definitely a collector’s void that needs to be filled. The previous wave of X-Men Legends ended up being a shared Toys R Us/Diamond exclusive and command some pretty impressive after-market prices. (I still need you Mohawk Storm!) So my advice on this wave is- if you want it, jump on it fast. Seven of the figures in this series have a piece of the Juggernaut so you can build your own Cain Marko. The seven figures needed are: Brown Costume Wolverine, Cable, Phoenix, Rogue, Havok, Kitty Pryde and Iceman. The final figure in the wave is Deadpool, hot off his movie star turn earlier this year. I rarely buy complete Marvel Legends waves and this wave is definitely calling to me. My personal must haves are Rogue, Phoenix, Kitty, Iceman and Juggernaut. Wolverine is rumored to be the best action figure version of him yet, so proceed with this information as you will. We’ve also gotten restocks on Taskmaster, Mockingbird, Agent 13 and Captain America with the Wolf Head.

San Diego Comic Con is this week and although I won’t be there in person, you bet I will be following all of the latest toy reveals and news. As has been tradition the past few years, DC Collectibles has started showing off their new product before the show. Earlier in the year, I lamented that the DC TV line didn’t have a strong enough presence at Toy Fair. This was a mere few weeks before I disowned Arrow as a show, though there are still characters I would want in a DC TV line, particularly from Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. DC Collectibles is about to give us a good portion of the DC TV verse in action figure form in a big way. From the worst season of Arrow, we will see figures of Matt Ryan’s Constantine and Megalyn E.K.’s Vixen, both awesome guest stars and welcome additions to my live-action DC heroes shelf. Flash sees Zoom, while the inaugural Supergirl season gives us figures of Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl and David Harewood’s Martian Manhunter. Legends of Tomorrow‘s first three offerings are Ciara Renee’s Hawkgirl, Brandon Routh’s Atom and Franz Drameh’s Firestorm. Though I quit the one TV series, I am down for all of these figures, particularly since I enjoyed Vixen and Constantine so much in their guest roles. All I need now are for Speedy, Black Siren and White Canary figures to be announced. These newly announced figures are scheduled to start appearing on store shelves sometime in 2017.

Sideshow Collectibles has been announcing new figures and statues in the lead-up to SDCC and this includes some cool new items including a beautiful Premium Format statue of this author’s favorite super-heroine, everBlack Canary. Fellow FP employee and Kaijuly author, Pablo is thrilled to see that the Main Man, Lobo is getting his first 1:6 scale poseable action figure. Sideshow’s retail partner Hot Toys has also teased Back to the Future 2 toys, including Doc Brown, Marty and a new movie-accurate Delorean car, plus a teaser for the older Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

NECA is sure to have some interesting figures on display at SDCC this year, including horror based action figures such as Freddy and Jason, stuff from their Aliens and Predator lines and more. One surprising announcement made prior to the start of the convention is a very interesting action figure two-pack. Based on the treasury-sized special released in 1978 is a two pack of Muhammad Ali and Superman. Each figure is fully articulated and is done in a stylized manner to evoke the art of Neal Adams as seen on the famous cover. NECA doesn’t usually have the license to make DC figures in this scale, but they must have found a similar loophole as they’ve used in the past to make their Toys R Us exclusive DC figures.

That’s all for me this week- next week- we’ll take a gander at what was announced at San Diego Comic Con! Catch you next time!

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- Heroes and Villains Day One

Way back in January, I was excited to go to the inaugural NY/NJ Heroes and Villains Fan Fest held at the Meadowlands Convention Center. I had purchased my ticket to the show on Black Friday the year before- and was anticipating two days of meeting and greeting the stars of my then favorite show. Then- Arrow Season 4, Episode 18 happened and I was DONE. I had been spoiled about the events of that episode prior to them unfolding, but I was hoping that the producers were putting out false spoilers to hide someone else’s fate. Regular readers of this column know how upset I was(and still am) about the unnecessary death of Dinah Laurel Lance/The Black Canary on Arrow earlier this year, so going to Heroes and Villains after breaking up with the show was going to be an interesting experience for me. Of course, since Arrow is part of the CW DC TV Universe, actors from that show, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow were going to be in attendance at the con. I still like the latter two shows, though LoT has me a little upset with the decision to can Hawkgirl and Hawkman. And speaking of Hawkgirl- actress Ciara Renee was one of the biggest draws for me at this convention as I’ve enjoyed her portayal of Kendra Saunders throughout the three series. I headed on over to New Jersey on Saturday with my friend Kim and we met Ciara first thing that day. She was very lovely as we chatted briefly and I told her that I was going to miss seeing her as Kendra on a regular basis. She also loved Kim’s shirt. I got an autographed 8×10 from her(which ended up being the only one I got the entire weekend), as well as a picture at her table with me and Kim in the shot.

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We spent a lot of Saturday walking around as everyone I wanted to meet had massive lines. I managed to luck out and get on Caity Lotz‘s line during one of the rare times where she wasn’t bombarded with a long queue of people. Caity, for those of you who aren’t fans of the different shows, plays an original character named Sara Lance, sister of Laurel Lance, and in the show continuity, was the inspiration for the Black Canary. Sara portrayed the Canary, a League of Assassins member during season 2 of Arrow, before she was killed off to launch Laurel towards her Black Canary destiny. Sara returned to life via the Lazarus Pit and joined LoT as the White Canary, who is a rather enjoyable character. I decided just to get a picture since I owned one of Caity’s autographed Arrow season 2 trading cards already. She was a doll during our brief meeting and I definitely want to meet her again. IMG_0633

Much like her TV sister, Katie Cassidy had a huge line all weekend. Now I’ve met Katie before, but she’s one that I could meet over and over again, especially since she was the live action version of my favorite comic book character. Since I’ve met her before and got an autograph in person and on a trading card, I opted for the photo- a little blurry, but you can tell its us.

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After the picture was taken, I mentioned to Katie that I was annoyed about Laurel’s death and that I wasn’t going to watch Arrow anymore. Katie told me that I still should, but I told her that I wouldn’t until they announce that she’s coming back. She thought that was sweet of me. Great experience with her as always.

My final picture for Saturday was with Willa Holland, whom I will miss seeing as Speedy/Thea Queen, unless she is in a crossover episode. Very brief encounter with her as well, but she seemed really into her fans, which was nice to see, I definitely wouldn’t mind meeting her again either. She also had a massive line all weekend.IMG_0639

Briefly- new Star Wars: The Force Awakens POPs are in, including Maz Kanata, General Leia, FN-2199, Kylo Ren Unmasked, Snap Wexley, ME-809 and the Guavian. Luke is almost gone, though we should be getting more and Rey and Hux haven’t arrived as of this writing. New Marvel Comic-based POPs are also here including Dr. Strange, Doc Ock, Spider-Gwen and the Falcon. These join the previously released She-Hulk and Captain Marvel. Next time: Part 2 of my Heroes and Villains Con experience! See you next week!

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Val’s Toy Chest- Funko Goes Retro and NECA Gets Catty

Funko kicks off this week’s column as we’ve gotten several new items from them that are still fresh in my mind. I also have some really cool toy news to share from one of my favorite companies: NECA and whatever other news I can fit into this column.

Newly arrived from Funko this week are the very cool Barbie Rock Candy vinyl figures. These join the previously arrived DC Rock Candy figures and are all very nice and affordable. Barbie outfits from the 1950s thru the 1980s are represented, including Barbie as a Hippie, an Astronaut, in a Red Dress, Gym Outfit, Rocker, Surgeon, a Superstar and in her classic Swimsuit. I am partial to the 1986 Barbie and the Rockers look since that is my favorite decade and all. We still have the DC ones as well. with the exception of the two Batgirl figures which I anticipate will be here before too long. New DorbZ have also arrived including Wilson Fisk, the Masked Vigilante, and Matt Murdock from Netflix’s Daredevil series, Finn, The Flame Princess, Marceline, and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time and a Daedric Warrior from Skyrim. Fans of Funko’s most successful line are sure to love the new Harry Potter POP Rides. Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley each come with a part of the Hogwarts Express and the sculpts on each character varies from the original single boxed versions. These will probably go really fast. Last but not least, everyone’s favorite talking dog from this columnist’s favorite Disney/Pixar film has made it out in POP form with the release of Dug from Up.

NECA and I have a complicated relationship- I love plenty of their lines, but I wish they would do certain characters that they deem to be too niche(e.g; Nancy Thompson- A Nightmare on Elm Street). That being said, NECA announced a brand new 1/4 scale figure to go with some of their previously released 1/4 scale pieces. The latest announcement from NECA would gladly claw your eyes out and purr while doing it. I’m talking about the Batman Returns Catwoman, featuring the likeness of actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who memorably brought Batman’s favorite feline femme fatale to life in the 1992 blockbuster. Catwoman should be out before the end of the year and features movie accurate detailing, an interchangeable head with battle damaged mask, a whip and a taser weapon. Just announced as I was putting this piece together is another 1/4 scale figure- this one of fan-favorite Marvel character, Deadpool. Deadpool will come in his traditional red and black outfit and features plenty of weapons. That one should be out by the end of the year.

Odds and Ends: We should be getting a ton of Hasbro Star Wars Black 6″ The Force Awakens figures soon. We’ll finally have Rey, Chewbacca and General Hux. I’m looking forward to completing my own Star Wars: The Force Awakens 6″ collection with a couple of the aforementioned characters. Hot Toys’ latest addition to their collection of Marvel figures is a doozy. Plenty of those Marvel characters can call him their creator. I’m speaking of Stan Lee, who has been getting plenty of action figure love these past few years. This is also the last year he plans to do conventions, so meet him while you can.

Speaking of conventions, I will be at Eternal Con on Saturday. I skipped out on Wizard World Philadelphia this year to go to this one. As you may or may not know, I’m a big fan of celebrities and have met a ton over the years. This convention has a couple of neat guests that I am interested in seeing in person. For Dr. Who and Guardians of the Galaxy fans, Karen Gillan a.k.a. Amy Pond will be in attendance. Star Trek: The Next Generation fans can meet Lt. Commander Data himself, as Brent Spiner is making an appearance. Finally, from one of the comic shows that hasn’t completely let me down this year is one half of Agents of SHIELD‘s FitzSimmons, Jemma Simmons herself, Elizabeth Henstridge. I am planning on meeting Ms. Henstridge and will try and have a convention report in the next column!

That’s it for me this week! Next week if my sources are accurate, should see some neat new DC Collectibles. Catch you then!

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