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Well, well, well – what do we have here?

Don’t worry, there is PLENTY more to come…

MOTUC Classics Preview – Tung Lashor, Mermista, Gwildor, and Spinnerella Well, well, well - what do we have here?

IMG_1470 (1024x505)My friend at school had all the Thundercats. He would bring them to school every day in his beat up old backpack (a backpack he also occasionally brought his dad’s old Marvel comics from the ’60s). That backpack would end up getting shoved under his desk, easily accessible. And every single day I would quickly finish up whatever writing assignment we had, sneak over to his desk and pull them out of his backpack. I’d have Lion-O wave the Sword of Omens around. I’d have Panthro swing his claw-ended nunchucks. I’d resist the urge to make punching noises while the other students were still hastily scratching out answers with their number 2 pencils. The teacher never noticed that I was all the way on the other side of the room, sitting on the floor, playing with toys. Finally, school was fun.

The sad thing is that this was the 12th grade.

OK, no, it wasn’t.

But I was super jealous of him because he had ALL THE THUNDERCATS and he had them first. He even had the full-size Sword of Omens with the battery powered light-up symbol.

Bastard!

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Sadly, I never got all the Thundercats. I don’t know what happened. One minute they were in stores, and the next, they were nowhere to be found. There was a chunk of time there where this just kept happening. The toy aisles stopped being bright and friendly things and they started to become ruthless mass-murderers, killing toy line after toy line, not letting them get past two waves before mercilessly headshotting them. Thundercats, Silverhawks, COPS, MASK… frickin’ plastic graveyard, man.

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I only managed to get Lion-O, Tigra, and Hachiman. Remember Hachiman? Cool samurai dude? Well, cool in hindsight. I wasn’t too enthused to get him at the time, but he was the only one my mom saw and the first one she bought when she knew I wanted Thundercats, so it wasn’t her fault. But those were the only Thundercats I ever managed to get before the line died and I moved on to something else.

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So when it was announced that a brand new take on the classic figures would be restarting, albeit in a weird 8-inch scale, I was eager to scoop up brand new, fully articulated toys. Because the stiff-armed/stiff-legged figures of old weren’t the most flexible of kitties.

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Now, obviously, the 8-inch scale was an odd choice for the line. And I would have liked for them to have been in a scale that worked well with other scales, so I could have Lion-O fight He-Man or something, but none of my toys are strictly “right” with each other (MOTUC is too big for DCUC and ML, DCUC is too big for ML, the various Turtles are in a strange gray area, so on and so on), and I don’t really care about having them fight each other as long as I get a good toy, so that didn’t matter. I just wanted cool-ass Thundercats toys, and I wanted more than just Lion-O and Tigra that I had as a kid.

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So the 8-inchers came out. First wave: Lion-O and Tigra. Kind of cool, starting with the only two I had before. I could dig it.

And then they stopped.

What. The. Cuss.

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I assumed this was some practical joke that Bandai was playing on me. I seemed doomed to only have Lion-O and Tigra from the line.

Then they announced that they would be shifting to a smaller scale, abandoning the 8-inch line.

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Deep breath.

OK, fine. Let’s work on getting more than two figures out this time, eh?

So they released the first wave in their brand new, fan-demanded scale. And they also were really great figures. Who were they?

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Lion-O and Mumm-Ra. OK, another Lion-O, but at least he has someone to fight this time.

And then that was it.

At least it wasn’t another Tigra this time, but still… what the cuss?

I’m just… I don’t even know what to say. I have two figures — two really great figures — at 8 inches, and then two at 6, and… that’s it?

Nobody likes a quitter, Bandai.

After two aborted attempts, I’m left with four really good figures of three characters, in two scales, and all hopes of a completed line in either scale are deader than Maude Flanders.

Toys, you know?

Toys.

The 8-inch Tigra is still available at Big Bad toy Store

And Amazon

The 8-inch Lion-O is still available at Big Bad toy store

And Amazon

The 6-inch Lion-O is available at Amazon

The 6-inch Mumm-Ra is also available at Amazon

Discuss

Bandai’s Classic Thundercats and the Infinite Sadness of a Toy Line Killed Before its Time My friend at school had all the Thundercats. He would bring them to school every day in his beat up old backpack (a backpack he also occasionally brought his dad’s old Marvel comics from the ’60s).

The Cthulhu Collection – 10 H.P. Lovecraft Characters That Deserve Action Figures

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Few authors are as intimately linked to their creations as 20th century fantasist H.P. Lovecraft. In the 70+ years since his death, the author and his body of work have become inexorably bound in the eyes of pop culture. Reinforced by the choice to tell his weird tales in the first person and bolstered by the inclusions of details from his own life and times, fact and fiction blur now together,…

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raven 7

While these pretty birds are making their way to our shores from across the Pacific, the Horsemen have shared some production images that you might find fun to peruse while you wait.

via Four Horsemen:

Update 100: Production Images.

Four Horsemen Studios – Gothitropolis Raven Update: Production Images While these pretty birds are making their way to our shores from across the Pacific, the Horsemen have shared some production images that you might find fun to peruse while you wait.

Funko-Legacy-Game-of-Thrones-Brienne-Review-feature

“All my life men like you have sneered at me. And all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.” – Brienne of Tarth

When the second series of the Funko Game of Thrones Legacy line hit online at Barnes and Noble, I snatched them up as quick as could be. Of course, I wanted to add them to my collection with the quickening, but I also wanted to feature them here so that our members and readers could get an early look at them in case they needed to be a little more informed prior to buying. So the plan would be set to bring out one of these articles per day, and since Funko does us the favor of numbering the figures in the line, I thought I could just shoot through in order. Then I realized that Lady Brienne was not immediately available for order, so that wonderful organizational plan went right out the window. Fortunately, she was only a couple of days behind, so while we had to go a bit out of order, Brienne of Tarth arrived in time to complete this series in due time.

It is funny, the same thing happened with the Tyrion Lannister figure not being ready immediately when the first series dropped; he is figure #2 in the line while Brienne is #8, so if you notice, the second figure in each series has been just slightly behind for both waves of this line. It is probably nothing more than a coincidence, but it is funny how these things have worked out. Anyhow, you have heard me talk about the overall improvement in quality and engineering in wave two over the initial release, so I am happy to report that Brienne keeps that theme alive down to the final figure. I think that, overall, she turned out great, but let’s take a few minutes to look over some of the particulars.

I think Brienne is a watershed character on the show, and that is saying a lot in cast of amazing actors/characters. She started off the show in almost startling stereotypical fashion: being the big awkward female that is laughed at for not being attractive and for her skill in taking up martial arts, something that is typically reserved for males in the story. However, she quickly blossomed into a very complex, interesting, and highly entertaining character, and her growth and personal dynamic with characters like Cat, Jaime, and Podrick have made her one of my current favorite personalities in Westeros. Gwendoline Christie has done a fantastic job in bringing Brienne to life, especially under all of that armor and makeup they use to bring down her striking aesthetic qualities, and her portrayal of Brienne’s growth through her relationships with the aforementioned characters has been a very rewarding part of the show. Really, that is just my long-winded way of way of saying, I am really glad we got a figure of her, especially so soon.

You have to give credit to Funko for that last fact because even though there was only one female figure in the first wave, Brienne brings the wave two count to three women, which is half the series. That is pretty remarkable considering the fact that the collector community is constantly beaten over the head with the mantra that female figures don’t sell, that is why they are much more scarce. I applaud Funko for targeting the interesting characters based on their on-screen characterization and actions, rather than their gender. Brienne (and Arya, for that matter) is such a great character, but considering her personality and role, she also has the makings for a fun and interesting action figure.

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That being said, overall, Funko did a great job of getting Brienne through production and more so than any of her series mates, she has the best overall construction. I have noted that series two is an overall improvement from series one, but Brienne is the shining example of this. All of her articulation works really well, and not one joint was stuck on this particular figure. Furthermore, since she does not wear a cape or cloak or dress, so nothing about her costume inhibits her articulation. Finally, this figure does not have any floppy joints or paint slop, so I cannot really point out anything that did not come through production smoothly. I am quite pleased with this and I hope that this is what we will be able to expect in the future.

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Like all figures in this line, the sculpt and detail on Brienne is second to none. Gentle Giant has proven time and time again, and over many diverse lines, that they are one of the best design houses going right now, and a quick survey of Brienne really reinforces this. Her armor is simply beautiful and the sculpt does an amazing job representing the show counterpart. Sure, I think the armor that she got from Jaime in the last season is even more impressive, but this “Rainbow Guard” suit looks just fantastic and competes with the aforementioned Jaime for having the coolest armor in the line thus far. All of the little intricacies are represented well and the pieces are all constructed of the appropriate type of plastic to preserve the articulation schema. I was concerned that she would not be tall enough due to Jaime being pretty huge, but I am happy to say that she appropriately towers over him. I will say that do I find Brienne’s build to be slightly too skinny here, but I am not going to crow about it because it does not trouble me.

The one thing I will point out is that while I think she has a nice head sculpt, and the paint is actually nice, I don’t think Christie’s likeness is captured as well as some of her series counterparts. Jaime, Robb, Drogo, and even Arya have pretty spot-on face sculpts (paint not withstanding) and while Brienne is nice, she is not quite up with them. I think it is probably the eyes that are doing it – they seem small on the figure. Christie has very large and very striking eyes and while they are downplayed in terms of make-up on the show, they are still VERY expressive. So, while I recognize that expressive quality is probably REALLY difficult to capture in a static piece of plastic, I wish the likeness was just a little bit closer because if it was, Brienne would win this series. As it stands, I put her at about the same level as Khal Drogo – not quite as good as Robb and Jaime, but certainly better than Arya and probably even Dany. Who knows, we will probably see some variation in the likeness from figure to figure.

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Finally, Brienne comes with one accessory – her sword. This is not the gifted Valyrian steel Oathkeeper (made from the Stark sword Ice), but rather her default sword from the previous seasons. That is fine and is completely appropriate to this variation of Brienne, but if we ever get a second version of Brienne, I hope that sword is included (along with the Wolf pastry from Hot Pie). Like the rest of the swords in this series, the construction and plastic choice is much stronger than the series before, and it can easily be yielded or stored in the sheath. Brienne is a known ass-kicker, so hopefully we will get a Catelyn or Renly soon for her to defend.

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Whew! It has been a marathon, but we made it all the way through series two of the Game of Thrones Legacy in due time, and before the series has even hit most retailers. Overall, I think Brienne is a great character to be in the line and her figure is very satisfying, even with a couple of small shortcomings. While her costume is not current (or screen appropriate for the situation), I cannot wait have this figure square off with the Hound in a brutal round of sword play, or verbally duel with Jaime Lannister. So, to close out – Funko! You have done a fantastic job of making the needed improvements in this second wave of figures and I cannot wait to see what it up next. The fact that, as a company, you listened to the fans and made the quick improvements is so heartening as we continue down the line. Speaking of which, I hope we get some new reveals soon as we are now up to date with everything revealed thus far. I know I speak for most of the community when I say, “Now show us series three!”

Thanks for reading and remember that you can pick up Brienne (and the rest of the gang) at Barnes and Noble and Amazon right now.

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Oh, and are video reviews more your thing? Be sure to check out Robo’s video review on FwooshTube for range of movement on all the joints!

Additional Links

Funko Legacy – Game of Thrones Brienne of Tarth “All my life men like you have sneered at me. And all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.”

DC Collectibles Batman the Animated Series Harley Quinn featured

The DC Collectibles May 2015 solicitations are posted and the announcement for Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Robin, and The Creepr look fantastic. I know we can’t wait to get our hands on these figures for review soon enough! These are due to hit in May 2015. Read the snippet below for more information or click through to the official announcement.

DC COLLECTIBLES Group Solicits (May 2015)

BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES: THE CREEPER, ROBIN, HARLEY QUINN, AND KILLER CROC WITH BABY DOLL ACTION FIGURES
Build your Batman collection with these highly articulated 6-inch scale action figures that transform the designs of the Emmy Award-winning animated series to poseable works of art.
Each figure comes with multiple show specific accessories!
EACH FIGURE SOLD SEPARATELY
$24.95 US • On Sale May 2015 * Allocations May Occur
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: CREEPER – 6.25″
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: KILLER CROC – 7″
BABY DOLL – 2.5″
THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: ROBIN – 4.75″
BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: HARLEY QUINN –5.25″

DC Collectibles – New Batman the Animated Series Figures for May 2015 The DC Collectibles May 2015 solicitations are posted and the announcement for Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Robin, and The Creepr look fantastic.

Bandai Robot Spirits Aura Battler Dunbine Botune featured

Botune is another mech from the classic anime Aura Battler Dunbine, a series that I loved as a kid and models that I used to collect and build. And I’m about to have new collecting obsession. Botune looks amazing! The images were posted today and I don’t see any pre-order news for it yet, but it appears Botune is slated for March 2015. I’ll have to check my budget.

Remember to follow this link to check out the latest Bandai releases for October 2014.

Morning Rush – Bandai’s Robot Spirits Botune Botune is another mech from the classic anime Aura Battler Dunbine, a series that I loved as a kid and models that I used to collect and build.

Toy Biz – Marvel Legends Series 5: Nick Fury

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Nick Fury saw his first release as a Marvel Legend action figure in Toy Biz’s 2004 Series 5. For those of you doing the math, this figure was released 10 years ago, and it’s aged pretty well. Released on what we call the Series 2 Namor sculpt with some added parts, Nick Fury was a key part of any Marvel Legends collection.

Toy Biz Marvel Legends Series 5 Nick Fury

This is the Nick Fury that I grew up with. That doesn’t mean that I…

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The World’s Only Official Lodarticle – Lodar for Masters of the Universe Classics

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It always comes down to hair pulling with these guys.

With Masters of the Universe Classics coming to an end, and with Masters of the Universe as a property having an uncertain future, thoughts turn to the figures that are left. Obviously, the vintage figures are now taking precedence, and every effort is being made to get the rest of those made (don’t forget about the Meteorbs, guys). However,…

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