Figure Spotlight

Figure Spotlight – Mighty Muggs Darth Vader

Back in 2007, Hasbro introduced the world to Mighty Muggs. Inspired by the “vinyl toy” movement, these figures shared the same body and varied the paint to make characters from Star Wars, Marvel, GI Joe, Indiana Jones and beyond. Following a few years of retail success, Mighty Muggs disappeared from store shelves.

At this past NYCC, Hasbro announced the return of Mighty Muggs! While retaining the same general aesthic as the originals, these Muggs were a little smaller and featured a cool new multi-expression head rotating feature. Hasbro was kind enough to send over the new Darth Vader Mighty Mugg (part of the first Star Wars wave available now), so let’s take a look.

Starting off with the Mighty Mugg in package, I have to say that I think the new ‘dome’ packaging is fantastic. It showcases the figures from several angles and with the ‘try me’ hole in the top of the dome, you can give the face rotating action feature a go without removing the figure from the package. This new packaging really addresses the needs of collectors who won’t open them, as you can really experience the whole figure without having to pop the dome off.  It also looks great at retail and showcases the new action feature. A win on all counts on the packaging side. 

 That said, I’m not an ‘in box’ type collector – so my intention was the free Vader from his plastic prison. To open up these new Mighty Muggs you remove the tape securing the dome and unscrew the knobs holding the feet to the base and presto – one loose Darth Vader Mighty Mugg.

In the new format the Darth Vader Mighty Mugg stands right around 4″ tall – quite a bit smaller than the original Mighty Muggs, but also quite a bit bigger than Micro Muggs. The limbs and body are pretty similar in shape to the original format and you can still move the arms. The head is where the new Mighty Muggs most differ from the original. With a push on Darth’s helmet his expression rotates between a nuetral expression, an angry/frowning expression and what I think is a smiling one – these are some subtle differences – the unmasked characters show a much wider range of expression. The mechanism itself works great, the transition between expression is smooth and the mechanism feels solid. This was a great way to bring something new to the table with Mighty Muggs. 

11 years after their first intoduction, Hasbro is bringing Mighty Muggs with a brand new twist. Priced at $10 each these new Muggs are close the original, but the new action feature with the quick change expression brings something new to the format. The first Star Wars (Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Rey, Kylo Ren and Pricess Leia) and Marvel (Black Widow, Captain America, Groot, Hulk and Spidey) waves are on shelves now and Hasbro has just announced the second waves which should be hitting stores in a few weeks. If you spot these in store, be sure to try them out and maybe add one to your collection

Finally, thanks to Hasbro for providing this sample for review.

Sneak Peak: Funko’s Mortal Kombat X Figures

A few weeks ago, Funko announced a new line of action figures featuring characters from Mortal Kombat X.  These new Mortal Kombat X figures are designed to fit a vintage “Masters of the Universe” 5.5″ aesthetic. Our friends at Funko recently sent over the first wave and we’ve got an early look at them here.

The first wave features five essential Mortal Kobmat characters: Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Kitana, Raiden and Liu Kang. There are also three chase figures: Scorpion with a firey skull head, an “ice blue” Sub-Zero and an Electric Raiden. Accessories included with the figureas are a pair of clip-on lightning bolts (Raiden’s), an ice-hammer and ice-sword (Sub-Zero), a pair of swords (Scorpion) and a pair of razor fans (Kitana) – Liu Kang’s fists are the only weapons he needs. It’s also worth noting that the swords and other weapons are hard plastic – not gummy, so you’ll not be looking at a saggy sword out of the package.  Good choice, Funko!  Check out the carded figures below.

    

         

This first series all share the same card design with the Mortal Kombat logo featured prominantly in white, which provides great contrast to the card’s color scheme. Each character is called out seperately below a Mortal Kombat X logo and the three chase versions feature a silver ‘chase’ sticker. The cardbacks are the same across all figures and feature a cross sell of all the figures included in this series – variants aren’t pictured.

Once freed from their cards, these figures shine. Due to their ‘retro’ aesthetic, the figures do feel a little chunky in the hands (in this context that’s actually a positive) but that chunkiness adds a degree of sturdiness and stability that is missing in so many figures today. Certainly the format will not appeal to all fans, but those who give these figures a shot will not be disappointed. Once in hand the figures feature the same articlation scheme: neck, shoulders, waist and ball jointed hips. 

Of course, there are some unique challenges associated with choosing a vintage aesthetic for a new release,  most notably balancing the vintage design style against modern expectations. One extreme results in a overly simply design that misses the mark on character elements and the other extreme results in a figure that doesn’t honor it’s inspiration. In the case of the Mortal Kombat X figures, Funko did an excellent job balancing the two – the character designs are simplified to fit the figure format, but not to an extent where they are entirely lost. A great example is Sub-Zero’s costume, there’s a ton of sculpted details on the pants and vest – even little rockets on his guantlet wrist things. It would be a passable Sub-Zero without those details, but it would be far less visually interesting. All these scultped details are accentuated by an excellent paint job. In both design and execution, the colors on these figures really bring out the details.

When these figures were announced, I was skeptical of how well Mortal Kombat would fit into the 5.5″ style – having now spent some time with these figures, my concerns were unwarranted. The design team at Funko found the right balance of satisfying modern figure design expectations while still keeping a vintage feel to the figures. Look for these figures in stores next month and find them available at your favorite on-line retailers (AwesomeToyBlog sponsor Entertainment Earth has them here).  Thanks to Funko for providing the figures for an early look!

 

Bluefin Announces Release of Power Rangers Megazor and Dragonzord Super Mini-Pla Kit from Bandai Shokugan

Bluefin, the leading North American distributor of toys, collectibles, and hobby merchandise from Japan, Asia and more, announces the release of new Power Rangers Megazord and Dragonzord Super Mini-Pla Kits from Bandai’s Shokugan collections.

Units are now available from authorized Bluefin retailers nationwide and also from select leading online outlets in time for the start of this year’s Holiday Season. Please check your favorite online and/or brick-and-mortar outlet for immediate availability. They are also available from Bluefin’s own on-line store: https://shop.bluefinbrands.com/.

The Power Rangers Megazord and Dragonzord Super Mini-Pla Kits from Bandai’s Shokugan collections are fully articulated and faithfully recreate the proportions and details from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series. By combining all 5 Zords from the Megazord kits with the Drangonzord kit, fans can create the all-powerful Mega Dragonzord!

Bluefin will release the Titanus Super Mini-Pla Kit in Spring 2018 as the latest addition to the Bandai Shokugan Power Rangers line.

As the Super Mini-Pla name implies, these compact model kits offer simple pre-colored snap-together assembly. A nipper or sprue cutter (sold separately) is highly recommended for assembly, but the following kits do not require glue. 

  • Bandai Shokugan Power Rangers Megazord Super Mini-Pla Set · $60.00

Set consists of 5 core Zords – Tyrannosurus, Mastodon, Triceratops, Saber-Toothed Tiger and Pterodactyl that can be combined to form the Power Ranger Megazord. The kit also comes with a Power Sword accessory. Enjoy the Megazord by itself or with the Dragonzord to create the all-powerful “Mega Dragonzord.”

  • Bandai Shokugan Power Rangers Dragonzord Super Mini-Pla Kit· $45.00

Catch the debut of the Dragonzord, the Zord of the Green Power Ranger. Enjoy the Dragonzord by itself, or go into Dragonzord Battle Mode by combining it with the Mastodon, Saber-Toothed Tiger, and Triceratops Zords from the Megazord kits. Collectors also can combine all of the components from the Power Rangers Megazord Super Mini-Pla Set to create the all-powerful “Mega Dragonzord.”

  • Bandai Shokugan Power Rangers Titanus Super Mini Pla Kit · $150.00

The 3rd release to be added to the Power Rangers Super Mini Pla series. The transformable unit may be posed in “Carrier Mode” and “Attack Mode” and is battery powered and can be combined with the Megazord and Dragonzord kits to create the imposing Ultrazord. Set for release in Spring 2018.  Additional details on the Titanus Super Mini-Pla Kit will be released early next year. 

Figure Spotlight: Funko’s Darkwing Duck

Last week, Funko announced a series of action figures based on the ‘Disney Afternoon’ block of animated programming. Running from 1990 to 1997, this block included such series as DuckTales, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Darkwing Duck and Gargoyles in their lineup. This first wave of figures from Funko includes Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales; Chip and Dale from Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck (a normal colorway and a chase) and Baloo from TaleSpin. Funko was awesome enough to send a set over to the AwesomeToyBlog HQ, and we’re going to talk a look at them all. Let’s take a look at both versions of Darkwing Duck today.

As with the other figures in the Disney Afternoon line-up the card is specific to the Darkwing Duck cartoon and, as with Scrooge McDuck, no other figures are referenced on the card back. The ‘Negatron Negaduck’ variant is spotlighted as a chase figure by a silver sticker on the blister. He is a 1:6 chase figure. 

If you’ve read the other reviews from this series (Scrooge, Chip & Dale) then you know what to expect here. The quality continues to show through with the Darkwing Duck figures – again an on-model sculpt shines with a perfect paint job to boot. The paint job on the Negaduck chase is particularly striking. The articulation on Darkwing Duck is also comparable to the others – hips, waist, shoulders, elbows and neck.  Perfect serviceable articulation and a very stable figure.

Both Darkwing Duck figures include a gun weapon.

Retailing for $10-$15, the Darkwing Duck figue is another solid figure from the folks at Funko. Based on this first series of Disney Afternoon figures so far, I’m hoping a second wave of characters is announced soon to build this world out. Look for them soon from your favorite Funko retailers (like AwesomeToyBlog sponsor Entertainment Earth).

Figure Spotlight: Funko’s Chip & Dale (and Zipper too)

Last week, Funko announced a series of action figures based on the ‘Disney Afternoon’ block of animated programming. Running from 1990 to 1997, this block included such series as DuckTales, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Darkwing Duck and Gargoyles in their lineup. This first wave of figures from Funko includes Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales; Chip and Dale from Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck (a normal colorway and a chase) and Baloo from TaleSpin. Funko was awesome enough to send a set over to the AwesomeToyBlog HQ, and we’re going to talk a look at them all. Yesterday we looked at Scrooge McDuck – today we have your favorite chipmunks, Chip and Dale.

Starting with the figures on the card, you’ll notice that Chip and Dale (with Zipper) are on Rescue Rangers specific cards. This pair of figures is the only in the first assortment that include any cross-sell as both Chip and Dale are both featured on the card back with encouragement to ‘COLLECT THEM ALL!’. It makes sense as these are the only figures from the same show, each other character in this first series represents a different show.

Out of the packages, both Chip and Dale live up to the expectation set by Scrooge McDuck – the sculpt and deco are top notch and totally on model. The paint lines are clean, even down to the floral print on Dale’s shirt.  Both figures feature the same articulation – legs, a mid-body swivel (Dale’s is even hidden by his shirt), ball joined shoulders, elbows and neck. Well balanced and solid – these figures will easily stand where you put them. 

Chip includes no accessories, Dale includes a minifigures of Zipper. Zipper is unarticulated, but features an excellent paint job.

Retailing for $10-$15, both Chip and Dale figures are excellent for the money. Funko is really knocking these Disney Afternoons figures out the park balancing perfect sculpts, great deco and good articulation at an awesome price point. Look for them soon from your favorite Funko retailers (like AwesomeToyBlog sponsor Entertainment Earth).

Figure Spotlight: Funko’s Scrooge McDuck

Last week, Funko announced a series of action figures based on the ‘Disney Afternoon’ block of animated programming. Running from 1990 to 1997, this block included such series as DuckTales, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Darkwing Duck and Gargoyles in their lineup. This first wave of figures from Funko includes Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales; Chip and Dale from Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck (a normal colorway and a chase) and Baloo from TaleSpin. Funko was awesome enough to send a set over to the AwesomeToyBlog HQ, and we’re going to talk a look at them all, starting with Scrooge McDuck.

Starting with the figure on the card, you’ll notice that Scrooge McDuck is on a DuckTales specific card – each character in the series is on a unique card for the series they are featured in. The front features the DuckTales logo and some art with Scrooge and the duck nephews while the back features the same artwork – however much more prominently. There is no cross-sell for other figures in this first wave.

Freed from his plastic confines, Scrooge McDuck is just a bit under 4″, but with a sculpt and deco that is spot on…he even has his glasses resting on his bill. The figure features articulation at his hips (hips isn’t really a great way to describe it, but where his legs meet his body), his waist, ball jointed shoulders, his elbows and a ball jointed neck. He’s not quite super articuated, but he’s more than adequately articulated and thanks to his big webbed feet – he’s very stable. In your hands the figure feels great…it has a fair amount of heft and certainly feels sturdy. Funko didn’t cut any corners here.

Mr. McDuck includes two accessories, a cane intended for his right hand and a sack of money that fits perfectly in his left. 

Retailing for $10-$15, the new Funko Scrooge McDuck looks like he stepped right out of your afternoon TV series into your hand. Look for them soon from your favorite Funko retailers (like AwesomeToyBlog sponsor Entertainment Earth) and cross your fingers that a second series is announced soon that will boost the rosters of your favorite Disney afternoon show.

New Transformers Reveals From Hong Kong Toy Fair

Hong Kong Toy Fair is underway and our friends at Hasbro wanted to share two new Transformers items that made their debut at the show. Both from the movie verse these toys will be hitting shelves over the next few months.

This is just the start of the Toy Fair season – stay tuned for more news, including reports straight from New York Toy Fair next month. Check out the new Transformers below!

 

Transformers: The Last Knight Premier Edition Leader Shadow Spark Optimus Prime

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $69.99/Available: April 2017)

The explosive Transformers saga continues with Transformers: The Last Knight, and this Asia-Edition Premier Edition Leader Class Shadow Spark Optimus Prime figure allows fans to bring the action home with them. The large-scale figure features incredibly intricate space deco and purple eyes inspired by the movie and converts between robot and truck mode in 20 steps. This 9-inch Optimus Prime figure also comes equipped with two space weapons.

Masterpiece Movie Series Bumblebee MPM-3 Figure

(Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $79.99/Available: July 2017)

This premium movie Bumblebee MPM-3 figure from the Transformers Masterpiece series brings the 10th anniversary of the 1st Transformers movie to life with this film-version of the iconic Autobot scout. This figure includes stunning intricate detailing and 33 steps of articulation, as well as a flip-down battle mask and Chevrolet Camaro design. Whether he’s cruising the highway as a slick Chevrolet Camaro or facing Decepticons in battle, Bumblebee is one of the bravest bots in the universe.

Gallery for Entertainment Earth’s New Combiner Wars LIOKAISER Box Set

transformersEntertainment Earth has a brand new Transformers exclusive – the Platinum Edition Combiner Wars Liokaiser box set. Available for pre-order now, this set includes all six bots that form Liokaiser. They were kind enough to send over an early copy for review, so check out a gallery of pics below!

Also if you’re interested in ordering one, there’s a coupon that can be used for purchase of the Liokaiser beginning on 11/11. It’s $20 off, free shipping, and a free Transformers diorama. The coupon code SINGLES must be used.

Enjoy the pics!

Mark Hamill Joing Comic-Con HQ with Pop Culture Quest Series

cchq logoBest known for hs iconic role as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, Mark Hamill will bring his encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and passion for memorabilia to Comic-Con HQ, the new subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) destination that will extend the experience of San Diego Comic-Con into a year-round event.

Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest, a docu-style series featuring authentic stories about passionate fans and their collections, will be hosted and produced by Hamill. Production on the series will begin in June when he returns from shooting Star Wars VIII in the U.K. The series will debut on Comic-Con HQ this fall.

Hamill has been amassing memorabilia, including comic books, toys, lunch boxes, records, puppets, original artwork, and much more since the early 1970s. Now with Pop Culture Quest, he can share his appreciation and introduce other interesting collectors and their treasures to the Comic-Con community.

“I’ve been a collector all my life,” said Hamill. “This show is a natural outgrowth of that passion. Now I have an opportunity to collect other people’s collections! I can’t wait to see what’s out there and share it with the world. Collectibles are a living history of who and what we are, so we just might learn something…but there’s no doubt we’re going to have fun!”

Seth Laderman, EVP and General Manager, Comic-Con HQ, added, “From the moment I started talking with Mark about this idea over three years ago, his enthusiasm was infectious. It had such an impact on me that after I came to Comic-Con HQ, my first call was to him and his team about how to bring this show to our community. Passion is at the heart of all of our original series, with a goal to allow innovators like Mark the opportunity to create and bring their ideas to life. We couldn’t be happier to help Mark’s show find a home.”

Hamill will once again team with his friend and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi producer Howard Kazanjian. Kazanjian was Executive Producer on Raiders of the Lost Ark and served as VP at Lucasfilm during the dramatic expansion of the company in the 1980s. Producer Darren Moorman, whose film Same Kind of Different as Me will be released next year, and longtime collector and vintage show promoter Scott Kinney will round out the producing team as Executive Producers on the series.

More news about upcoming programming and partnerships for Comic-Con HQ will be announced in the coming weeks. Anyone can register now for a free extended trial on Comic-ConHQ.com via web browsers and iOS/Android devices. The paid subscription service will officially roll out this summer across more connected devices and distribution platforms such as Roku, AppleTV and Amazon’s Streaming Partners Program, with additional devices becoming available in the months to come.

popculture quest

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