Category: Weekly Planet Archive

Val’s Toy Chest- High-End Items

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Val’s Toy Chest- New Hot Toys and Funko

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- Adam West 1928-2017

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

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

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

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- Summer Blockbusters

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

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

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

Briefly:

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

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

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

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- Wonder Woman is Here!

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

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

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

Briefly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Andrew’s Corner- Kidrobot’s Arcane Divination

Hey all you rad people, Andrew here to talk about some fun new things here in the shop! Today we’ll be looking at Kidrobot and their new Dunny art toy line, Arcane Divination. Just a background for those who may not know, Kidrobot, founded in 2002 by Paul Budnitz and headquartered in Boulder, CO (my hometown!) are producers and retailers of designer toys. They are best known for their licensed blind-boxes and proprietary Dunny art toy figures. Dunnys (Devil Bunnies) are soft-vinyl figures with distinctive tubular ears, three points of articulation and 360-degree rotational heads. Artists and designers are generally commissioned to do painting and/or sculpting on the blank canvas and are sold directly from Kidrobot or independently at art toy conventions like Five Points Festival. In 2014, Kidrobot was acquired by National Entertainment Collectables Association Inc. (NECA) and todays feature, Arcane Divination, shows that the company is only just getting started.

Arcane Divination is a 16 piece, multi-artist Dunny series, based on the Trump Cards of a standard Tarot deck. Featuring art from J*RYU, Tokyo Jesus, God Machine, Camilla D’Errico and Jon Paul Kaiser. Right off the bat I’m going to say that this series represents the best sculpting and painting work I’ve ever seen from Kidrobot or any other blind-box producer to this date especially considering the $11.99 retail cost. 

This attention to detail is most noticeable in the Hierophant and Death figures which feature high-detail exterior sculpting. The super-rare Devil boasts massive attachable horns which give the the figure an impressive 4-inch wingspan. Judgement comes paired with a beautiful wand accessory with skulls at its base and a bouquet of individually painted eyeballs and fingers at its crown.  
Probably my favorite of the series, The Wheel Of Fortune, has a meticulously painted Sphinx on its head and Demon clinging to its side with a spinning golden wheel on the front. In addition to the figure, each box includes a miniature tarot card that corresponds withthe toy so you can do your own Tarot reading at home!

Kidrobot has really outdone themselves with this series and in my opinion, has raised the bar for all blind-box based designer toys. From what I’ve heard, they have already sold out of this series and are not taking any more wholesale orders. Hopefully they do a second run on them but that has yet to be announced, so come grab them while you can at Forbidden Planet NYC for only $11.99 per box! Forbidden Planet also carries other Kidrobot products including the new Adult Swim, Bob’s Burgers and South Park lines.

If you want to see more shots of the Arcane Divination Dunnys and other Kidrobot toys, check out my instagram @93_Toys and happy hunting

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Andrew’s Toy Chest- Tamashii Nations 10th Anniversary World Tour

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Tamashii Nations 10th Anniversary World Tour event at Grand Central Station here in NYC. Just a little background for those who may not know, Tamashii Nations is an umbrella brand from Bandai known for its high quality figures and statues from many licenses. The name “Tamashii” translates to “Soul” or “Spirit” because the manufactures pour their heart and souls into the products and that soul was certainly on display at this event!

The main attraction of this particular event was the offering of exclusive figures, that many very dedicated collectors waited in line for hours to get their hands on. The most popular of which was a variant Kaio-Ken Goku figure from their popular S.H Figuarts line. S.H Figuarts are highly detailed and articulated figures under the theme of “Pursuing Character Expression through Humanoid Action”. With their expanding licensing including: Marvel, D.C, Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and WWE they have quickly taken over the high-quality figure market. Forbidden Planet NYC proudly carries several S.H Figuarts toys and more will be on the way!

In addition to offering much of their current line for sale at this event, Tamashii Nations also took the opportunity to show off some new products that will be available in the coming year as well as debuting some never before seen figures to the public. Some of the highlights included their Spider-Man figure from the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming” film. This one really blew me away with its elegance and personality worthy of the Web-Slinger himself. The release date for this figure is slated for August 2017 and i’ve been informed that we have it on order so keep your spider sense tuned for this one! Also on display was a figure based on The Joker from “The Dark Knight”. This one really caught my attention with its likeness to Heath Ledger and his maniacal performance as “The Clown Prince of Crime” and this figure is set for a September 2017 release.

The vast majority of the event was dedicated to Tamashii’s most popular and highest selling line of figures from “Dragon Ball Z” and they did not disappoint. The most exciting of which was the never before seen Majin Vegeta figure from the Buu saga of the Anime. This is a totally new body sculpt for the character and represents a massive leap forward for the already spectacular line of figures. Also on display was a Kid Goku figure from “Dragon Ball” which is also a totally new child-size mold from the company. Both of these figures have not been given a release date but i would expect to see them in late 2017 or early 2018. Also on display was the upcoming Nappa from the Saiyan Saga who measures almost an inch taller than the rest of line and comes with a Ki Attack and display stage. There was also an updated version of Super Saiyan 3 Goku with improved joints, painting and face mold on display. Both figures are set for a September 2017 release so keep your scouters calibrated for these awesome Saiyans!

Overall, The Tamashii Nations 10th Anniversary World tour event was a rad time for this toy collector and I look forward to seeing what else is coming from this great company!

– Follow me on instagram @93_Toys for some action shots and other fun toy pictures!

    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- She’s Back!

First things first- Just announced as I started writing this- Katie Cassidy will be back as a regular castmember on Arrow next season. I know I rag on the show all the time, but they’ve earned that with their treatment of Dinah Laurel Lance in the past. Katie is playing Laurel’s Earth-2 doppelganger, Black Siren starting with the last two episodes of this current season. Is all forgiven with the show for me?- absolutely not. I am proceeding with caution.

Speaking of DCTV though, what’d you think of the Musical Flash episode? I got to watch it over the weekend and was blown away by Melissa Benoist’s rendition of the classic “Moon River.” Both of the songs Grant Gustin sang on were enjoyable as well. My only complaint- not enough music for a musical episode. I enjoyed it so much, I picked up the soundtrack on iTunes.

We got some more cases of the Star Wars Black Series Wave 9 in this week and the Princess Leia we’ve received with this shipment has the brand-new head sculpt- she looks nothing like the previous figure and has a better likeness to Carrie Fisher. Definitely check her out if you get a chance.  Obi-Wan, Sabine Wren, A Snowtrooper, AT-AT Driver and Darth Revan round out this series, which has been one of the better waves of SW Black in a long time.

New this week:

DC is back with a whole new Designer Series set- this time focused on Amanda Conner. Amanda is currently on Harley Quinn as artist and this release will feature two different Harleys. One is classic Harley and the other is a Spacesuit Harley Quinn figure. That isn’t all from DC Collectibles this week either, as we see the long-awaited Batman Animated New Batman Adventures Dark Knight Returns 3 Pack featuring Batman, Carrie Kelley Robin and the Mutant Leader as they all appeared in the classic TNBA episode: “Legends of the Dark Knight.” Each figure will feature several accessories and the usual points of articulation you’ve come to expect from a DC Collectibles Animated Batman figure.

POP fans have a couple of things to look forward to within the next few weeks. Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks and Wonder Woman Movie POPs should be arriving by the end of the week/early next week. I personally can’t wait to see the Wonder Woman POPs because that means the film is even closer to being released.

Speaking of POPs- last week, we got a restock on several POP vinyls, including some we haven’t seen in years- Nightwing, Batman Beyond, The Joker, E.T., The Hulk, Silver Surfer, Splinter, the Phantom and so much more are ready for your perusal. Some newer stuff like the Dr Seuss collection, Winnie the Pooh and A Bug’s Life are also available now and brand new Steven Universe POPs have started to arrive including Peridot, Rose Quartz and Lapis.

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

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Val’s Toy Chest- Two Cats, A Riddler and an Instant Team…

DC Collectibles is back at it this week with two brand new pieces in their Batman: The Animated Series line. This time around, the characters hail from the Kids WB iteration of The New Batman Adventures.  Catwoman comes in her sleek all-black outfit, complete with her blue-green makeup, interchangeable hands, her cat, a whip and a figure base. Selina comes with the usual points of articulation you’ve come to expect by now from a DC Collectibles Batman Animated figure. Ms. Kyle isn’t the only Bat-Rogue to arrive this week, as Edward Nygma himself- The Riddler also makes his appearance in this line.  Dressed in his lime green jumpsuit complete with matching bowler hat, the Riddler features multiple points of articulation, a question mark cane, interchangeable hands and a figure base.

That’s not all arriving this week from DC Collectibles either. DC’s Icons series may have slowed down a bit, but here’s a chance to get a full team for a fairly decent price. Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Cyborg all appear in this Rebirth Justice League box set with each figure standing about 6″ tall.  If past DC Collectibles box sets are any indication, this one will be popular.

In other toy news- Black Panther is imminent- fans of Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the Wakandan Prince T’Challa in last summer’s Captain America: Civil War will love this new addition to the ever popular Hot Toys line. I anticipate that he will be in store either by the time you read this article or shortly after. Black Panther will feature a highly articulated 1/6 scale body, authentically detailed costuming, interchangeable hands and a character base. With everyone asking about this figure, I anticipate this one will fly out of here.

I don’t typically post about prop replicas in this column, but there is a really sweet inexpensive piece coming to us via Sideshow from QMX. I first saw this piece at Toy Fair and was blown away by the look and the pricing. Based on the prop’s appearance in the recent DC Cinematic Universe films, the iconic Batarang sits atop a magnetic display base and is made from a zinc alloy. It is also a 1:1, so it is life-sized. I think you’ll probably like this one, once you see it.

Funko POPs are still going strong and we have one new addition that I think you’ll be excited for. Fans of the Netflix series, Daredevil can now add the titular hero to their POP collection as he appeared in the second season of his hit show. Joining him is the famed assassin herself, Elektra. No word on the Punisher yet, but it should be soon.

Briefly:

DC’s Multiverse line from Mattel is dropping in limited numbers this week, this assortment will feature Batman Jim Gordon, The Batgirl of Burnside, Dark Knight Returns Joker, The false Jay Garrick from The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow’s Hawkman and a collect and connect figure of King Shark. More cases should arrive soon.

Make it So with Titans’ Star Trek: The Next Generation blind box series. Each blind box features one of the classic characters from the nearly 30 year old series. Picard, Beverly and Wesley, Tasha Yar, Geordi, Data, Worf, Riker and Troi are all here as well as some of their most memorable foes. You know I’ll be collecting this one hard.

I am expecting a pretty massive restock on Funko items in the store, so if you are in the mood for a POP or Dorbz or even Mystery Minis you might have missed, come check us out, we may have what you need.

That’s all for me folks- catch you next week!

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest Extra- Who’s Who in the DC Universe- Hawkgirl

This week’s print issue of the Weekly Planet has another Who’s Who entry to commemorate the release of DC Collectibles’ brand new Hawkgirl/Kendra Saunders action figure from the CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. For the previous entry, go here.

Template based on the 1985 DC Comics series: Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe.

Layout: Justin Bacolo

Text: Valentine Chhann

Note: Height and Weight info was researched online for both this entry and the previous one.

HGWhosWho

 

 

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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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