Following on the heels of Funko's Marvel Collector Corps subscription box, the collectible company slid comfortably over to Disney's other big pop culture phenomenon, Star Wars, for its latest venture. The Smuggler's Bounty adheres to the formula established by the MCC, and gives those who subscribe a handful of exclusive items, including shirts, pins, patches, and a few coveted, limited Pop figures. With so much hype and hoopla surrounding the arrival of a new Star Wars movie for the first time in 10 years, Funko positioned itself well to capitalize on all the excitement.
However, despite the promise the Smuggler's Bounty held, the First Order box, based on the villains of The Force Awakens, it lacks the significant punch of its Marvel brethren. In fact, were it not for the inclusion of the first fully-chromed out Captain Phasma, the Smuggler's Bounty would have been a great disappointment.
If you're a fan of Medicom's MAFEX line, you know it's been doing some good things with the DC Cinematic Universe license. Well, at least as far as Batman is concerned. We've gotten a few different Christian Bale Batman figures, as well as a handful of Heath Ledger Jokers and a lone Anne Hathaway Catwoman to round out the group. The DC portion of MAFEX line will continue in 2016 with the just-announced Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice series, which brings the new, dour incarnation of the Dark Knight to life alongside his Krytponian nemesis, Party Time Superman.
Seriously, have you seen the Man of Steel Superman this excited before? He can barely contain the joy of becoming a highly-articulated import figure. More importantly, this is exactly the kind of thing you expect a farmboy with such a wholesome attitude (and who probably calls soda "pop") to do in a situation where he's supposed to be happy. You could easily argue that Superman is meant to be showing off his strength in that picture, but the only thing he's raising above his head is the roof.
Since launching a full-on barrage of Star Wars merchandise on Force Friday, Hasbro's had its hands full. As the first new film-based Star Wars toys and collectibles in a decade, anything with The Force Awakens branding on it has been a hot commodity at retail. It's nearly impossible to find all the figures in stock, and what you do find has been picked clean by eager fans and collectors hoping to be among the first to complete the new collection. Sure, there have been a few pieces that linger (mostly Chewbaccas in any size in my part of the country), but for the most part, if you don't have an inside tip at FedEx or UPS, you're often left scrambling in the hopes of getting anything from the latest shipments.
Fortunately, being a member of the toy collecting press does come with some perks to help take the pressure off. Back when Force Friday kicked off, Hasbro reached out to a number of outlets and asked editors to pick either Light Side or Dark Side. There was little else in the communique to hint at what we might be making this choice for, but it wasn't a very hard decision to make. Though the good guys are the ones you want to root for in the movies, Star Wars' bad guys have always had some really cool designs, and have typically made more interesting toys. I mean really, which would you rather have, an old man in a brown robe or a bad-ass in green armor with a jet pack? Yeah, that's what I thought.
There once was a time when I would have thought it completely unbelievable to have Batman watching over my home. First of all, the dude is a fictional character. Secondly, I don't live in Gotham, which is a fictional place. Sure, there are a myriad of collectibles currently available that allow me to put miniature Batmans all over the place, and between you and me, those little guys are in a lot of places in my house. None of those scaled-down figures strike the fear of the night into criminals however. It's a trade-off in being able to afford them and fit them in convenient places like bookshelves.
Now, NECA's announced a life-size Batman based on the Batman: Arkham Knight incarnation, and what it lacks in function it more than makes up for in straight-up awesome.
For too long, the action figure world has been a lawless land of vagabonds, mutants and ne'er-do-wells. There's been no order out there on pegs or retail shelves. That will soon change however, as ThreeA is releasing the lawman of Mega City One to bring justice to toy collections everywhere. Continuing its line of 2000 AD figures, the ThreeA Judge Dredd will soon join Judge Death, Sam Slade, Gronk and Judge Fish. It's actually not the first Judge Dredd figure to release stateside, nor is it the first 1:12 scale action figure to debut this year, but the sudden resurgence of 2000 AD's enforcement officer in this format is welcome to be sure.
Inspired by the art of Carlos Ezquerra, Brian Bolland, and Mike McMahon, ThreeA's Judge Dredd looks as grumpy as ever in his signature Judge's uniform and helmet. The figure has been slightly stylized to give Dredd a bit of ThreeA's personality, but he's still unmistakably the bad-ass with a badge we've all come to know and respect (and fear).
Boba Fett wasn't always the Mandalorian armor-wearing bad-ass that made it into the final films. Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie originally envisioned Fett as a sort of super-trooper (meow) in the Imperial army. The concept also stemmed a bit from the original ideas for Darth Vader, though we all know how that turned out. The Fett we saw on screen was a further modified version of McQuarrie's concepts that was finished off by Joe Johnston, who was an art director at Lucasfilm at the time. While the white armor even made it so far as to be screentested, the final version deviated from McQuarrie's original plans quite a bit.
There have been a few different figures and collectibles over the years to commemorate Boba's original all-white armor, but none that were based solely on McQuarrie's original design. That's where Sideshow Collectibles steps in. As part of its new Star Wars Concept Art series of premium format figures, the Boba Fett that had previously only lived as a painting or sketch will soon be realized in 3D.
Few characters from the Star Wars saga truly transcend the franchise. Most everyone knows Darth Vader, and the recent media barrage means they probably know a few other characters, too, but Han Solo is a rare character indeed. Not only is he one of the most memorable rogues in cinematic history, but since his appearance in Star Wars in 1977, dozens of films and stories have tried to capture that very same essence of character Harrison Ford portrayed. Even nearly 40 years later, Han Solo has endured, which is more than you can say for a lot of fictional heroes throughout history. That's why adding this Hot Toys Han Solo figure to my collection was a no-brainer, even if it's not quite up to the company's usual standard of likeness excellence.
It's actually hard to believe Hot Toys never dabbled in the Star Wars universe before, but until this year, the company didn't have a hand in arguably the biggest license in the collectible market. However, that all changed this year with the arrival of The Force Awakens. Since the deal was announced, Hot Toys has not held back in the least when it comes to announcing new figures for the line. There's been a solid mix of classic trilogy characters mixed with some of the new blood, but to this point, there haven't been many unmasked characters released. There have been Stormtroopers a plenty, but when it comes to the faces of the franchise, Hot Toys' selection has been a little light in that department.
Okay, so maybe my sinister clues aren't quite supervillain material, but how else am I supposed to let you all know that Tweeterhead has released some new images of its upcoming Riddler maquette? I mean, just look at those wide eyes and that crooked grin! This thing demands a level of theatricality, just like Frank Gorshin did every time he zipped up those green tights and started hounding the Dynamic Duo. And if you're the kind of person who wants a tangible reminder of that criminal career, then get ready to open up your wallet, because this thing is up for pre-sale starting tomorrow.
This Sunday on Nickelodeon, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are going back in time. Well, at least their Half-Shell Hero versions are anyway. The new animated special, Half-Shell Heroes: Blast to the Past, takes our ninja buddies to the prehistoric era, where they'll have to stop an alien race from altering the future of the planet.
In addition to this animated special, there will also be some action figures based on the adventure. It just so happens, we've got a few sets to give away.
If you're wondering how long it takes to build a Millennium Falcon, the answer is, "About three Star Wars movies." Well, that's for a Lego version anyway. I couldn't really tell you how long it takes to actually build a Corellian YT-1300 freighter because trying to measure build time in the Star Wars universe isn't exactly easy.
Though we picked up this new Force Awakens edition of the Millennium Falcon back on Force Friday, things were just too hectic until recently to put the Falcon together. After spending a few weekends assembling the Lego Marvel SHIELD Helicarrier, I wanted to make sure we had ample time to devote to getting the Falcon finished in a reasonable time.
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