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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Here’s hoping…..

N6445_Skelator_fullsizeimage1…that you got your Masters of the Universe Skeletor if you wanted it, because it’s sold out on Mattycollector.com!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

News from Mattel on DCUC Waves 6 and 7 Variants

af_dcu6_impossibleI logged into my Facebook this morning and saw this little nasty from Matty Mattel (complete with typos):

Hey gang,

Two quick updates for those fans who order their DCUC figures through online retailers.

We have been working all year to bring better distribution to the fans and one of those strategies was to offer all DCUC figures "open stock" to the online retailers. (meaning online retailers can order solid case packs of any 1 figure).

Although we had the best of intensions, we did hit a minor snag. The variants for Waves 6 and 7 were unfortunately not produced for the open stock orders. They are still available randomly distributed in the standard retail case packs (which are also available to online sellers). But for reasons way beyond our control, we had a mess up and the variants will not be available open stock until Wave 8.

We sincerely appologise to any fans who were planning to order the variants this way. We are activly working with our plants to ensure starting with Wave 8 that the variants will be included in open stock orders. Any cancelations of variant orders for Wave 6 and 7 is the fault of Mattel and not of any trusted online seller!

And on the "awesome news" front, we were able to redirect the remaining stock of the previous Wave 4 KB exclusive figures "Maskless Batman Beyond" and "Sonic Arm Cyborg" to online retailers. Both figures are available at 5 of each per case. Ask your favorite online retailer for availablilty today.

Okay, that is a lot of updates for one day. Keep those emails and posts coming! All of us at MattyCollector.com can't wait to meet all the fans who come out to New York next month!

Matty

I guess that means my order at Cornerstore Comics for the variant Barda will be cancelled, and that that figure, along with the Superman and Booster Gold variants are going to become scalpers’ wet dreams and collectors’ nightmares. Boo, hiss.

I am way too into this line to be swayed by this, but with the impossible to find Wave 5 (especially for us overseas dwellers) and the issues that seem to be plaguing the distribution of Wave 6 to online retailers, it’s a shame to see that there’s more issues with 6 and already issues with Wave 7.

It has to be said, at least they are communicating about this - I can't really imagine DCD fronting up in the same manner! Here’s hoping Mattel can get this sorted out soon!

Is the distribution of DCUC impacting on your enjoyment of the line? Have your say in the new AFB poll to the right!

Together forever - in plastic

Picture 007Their love story on the TV show may have come to a tragic end, but at least Lee Adama and Anastasia Dualla can remain together in plastic, thanks to this Battlestar Galactica 2-pack from DST.

I’m sold on this line of figures because I love the series, but I’ve never been sold on the headsculpts in terms of resemblance to the characters – I think they’ve nailed Helo and maybe Tyrol but not come near many of the others, although I have to say that from the solicits for Series 4 that Roslin and the Old Man look pretty good. The Apollo headsculpt, however, is off the mark for me, although it seems to work better than the last version (if it is in fact different..) and sadly the Dualla headsculpt looks alot more like “generic African American woman” than the lovely Kandyse McClure.

Picture 008It’s a shame the faces don’t quite hit the mark, because the bodies on this line of figures are very solid. The detail on    the uniforms is brilliant and they pose well and stand easily.

One of the most outstanding features of figures from DST is the wide range of character-specific accessories that come with each figure, and this two-pack has a great range, including Dualla’s headset (not that I’ve worked out how to attach it) and Apollo’s grandfather’s law book which plays an important part in one episode. There’s also a bunch of officialish-looking Galactica documents and folders and a pair of boxing gloves for Apollo.

Picture 009These two make impressive additions to the BSG collection, and I’m looking forward to the Boomer / D’Anna 2-pack, Series 4 and the recently announced Starbuck & Leoben 2-pack to add to it further. Not planning on getting the Razor series at this stage – blasted budgets and the like!

I’m trusting there’s going to be a Series 5, since the collection isn’t going to be complete without Tigh and Baltar at least…. and I might suggest Gaeta and Tori?

Until next time!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Display progress

Picture 004After a brief hiatus for a family holiday, the AFB display renovation has been back in full swing. To this point, the collection has been packed up, the old open shelves removed, the old furniture in the study / display room removed and sold and the room has been painted courtesy of Mrs AFB and her holiday renovation bug.

Last weekend a mate drove me to IKEA in his big people mover and helped me face the perils of self serve furniture and bring home five display cabinets, ten glass doors and one sofa bed. I then began the happy adventure of assembly.

A day and a half later, with only minor wailing and gnashing of teeth, we have an assembled sofa bed and cabinets ready to be filled with toys!

Picture 006Grabbed these photos of the completed cabinets – one set of three and one set of two – and thought I’d post them as a progress report before the displaying begins. I do imagine my collection will come close to filling its new home, with a bit of room for expansion.

Will check in later with the finished product!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On second thought….

11570_b_fullI know I trashed the Blackest Night figures the other day, but having seen the pix of the second wave, I think it’s only fair to add a couple of things:

  • At least DCD is getting event figures out closer to the event – this is better than FINAL CRISIS or 52 figures that came out way after the fat lady had sun – of course these early solicits mean spoilers ala the E2 Superman spoiler, and from the shape of that cowl you gotta think that’s a zombified J’onn J’onzz that’s been blacked there
  • GREEN LANTERN and Geoff Johns are two of the best things going at DC at the moment, so there’s a good chance that BLACKEST NIGHT won’t stink up the place, so tying in with this event may well be a smart thing
  • And at least it looks like someone read my last post and gave us a MA John Stewart, although I have to say I’m not sold on the face here.

…and that’s the final work on BLACKEST NIGHT and associated merchandise from me for now, except to say that if they make a Black Lantern Aquaman figure I am going to be in a real bind…….

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If you have a spare two grand lying around…

IMG_8912…then why not check out this life sized Superman on eBay?

If your friends and loved ones aren’t totally clear on the fact that you’re a geek, this will clear it up in no time fast, and take up a heck of a lot of room in your house at the same time.

Bid fast and bid often!

Sadly, the little old lady is not included.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh, sigh……

blackestnight_LHip, hip hooray. That house of innovation, DC Direct, is releasing a line of Blackest Night figures, according to this preorder solicit at Cornerstore Comics. Yawn, yawn and yaaaaaawn.

I’ll give DCD a tick for soliciting event-based figures before the event for once, and for the fact that the wave includes three characters new to plastic, but….. really? At the same time as Mattel is exciting us with characters like Adrian Chase Vigilante and Killer Moth?

You know, I’ll probably buy some of these because I am a mad Lantern fan, and as I’m loving what Johns is doing with that world, Boodika at least has a place in that display, but it’s a Green Lantern display that still doesn’t have Arisia or Katma Tui or a non-artist specific MA John Stewart for that matter.

It certainly makes sense from a marketing perspective to link in with big events, and Blackest Night is certainly being built up to be big, but couldn’t they at least throw us serious collectors a bone with something like a Classic Boodika variant?

Nah. Too creative.

Yawn.

 

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Strange and Starfire are headed to Oz

adamstrange-starfire_fullsizeimage6After doing a bit of time zone calculating, I worked out that if I logged on to mattycollector.com when I woke up on Friday morning here in Oz I’d be just in time to get in on the DCUC Adam Strange and Starfire 2-pack which is now up for pre-order.

This is the third order I’ve made from mattycollector, (Giganta last year and some stands last week) and I’ve had no hassles despite reports I’ve read elsewhere. Best of all is they offer first class international shipping which means a much cheaper shipping cost than most other sites, as long as you’re willing to take the risk of uninsured post, but when there’s a $40.00 difference in price, I’m risking it in this case.

Really looking forward to getting this set, mostly for Strange – I was sorry to see that Starfire in the pack still seems to have the uni-boob thing happening – I had hoped this would have been sorted out when so many people commented on it from the solicit pics.

Nonetheless, I’m hoping this is the start of great things to come from Mattel via their website. If only they’d make their regular product available as well!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A much needed break and a bit of withdrawal

AFB is currently on a much-deserved and needed family holiday, so the blog is on a bit of a break as well. I only have internet access through my phone and I've never posted to the site this way before, so I don't know how this is going to turn out format-wise, but hey, it's an experiment.

Holidays have lots of positives - lots of relaxing, reading and swimming (it's summer here in Oz), however it has one major downside -between the holidays and my travels I am missing three weeks of trips to the LCS, thus delaying my likely purchases of the Jade Mini-Bust,JLA Series 3 and DS9 Series 2 (which I think is coming out now). A nice slug to the bank balance when I get back!

This of course means nothing is happening with the room renovation at the moment. The painting was all done before we left and the big bed is up on eBay (going to replace it with a day bed), but have to wait a few days after we return to work out exactly how we're getting the new shelving down to Canberra, so it'll be little while before the gang is back in action. Best to have them packed away while we're gone - I'd hate for the housesitter to play with them! Pics to come once we get it done.

In other news, we got an Xbox 360 before we left. It's "for the kids"of course. And I just know they want to play Lego Batman. Of course they'll probably whip my butt on that just like they did with the dodgy games we got with the system. But..... it's Batman.

Finally, we saw "Bolt" a couple days ago and I think it is officially my new favourite kids movie. Loved it.

Back to toy news soon. Just have to take the kids for a few more swims first!

Until next time!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A fun way to spend New Years’ Day

Picture 005If you’ve been following my Twitter tweets (http://twitter.com/afblues) you’ll know that I’ve been spending the day packing up my action figure collection (the portion that is on display) in order to prepare to paint the room they live in. Under the terms of the AFB marital agreement as defined by my Domestic Coordinator, my geek gear is strictly limited to one room of the house, the study / spare room / IT Hub / action figure room, and that room has been nominated by the DC for painting these school holidays. as  our “test run” to see if we paint the rest of the place or get someone in.

Picture 002The upshot is that once this is done, I’m getting rid of the shelves the gang have been hanging out on and getting a full-on display case from IKEA. This has been decided by the DC, who thinks that something with doors will make it easier for her to pretend that the geek gear does not exist. (Don’t get me wrong, Mrs AFB is basically very supportive of my hobby / habit. It just works better if she doesn’t have to look at it.) I’m in two minds about whether or not the doors are going to obscure the figures too much (they’ll be clear glass with very small edging) but I think the DC is going to win on that one.

Picture 007 So, just for the record and posterity and nostalgia and all that, here are some pix of my display as it was from 2005 – 2008, and then a sad photo of their current sad state, which should hopefully only be for a month or so. I only have my DC Direct and DC customs on display at present. 1:6 Scale figures are still in boxes due to dust,etc etc. The new display system (which will run the full length of one wall and around the corner of the next) should allow me to display them loose and also find space for DCUC, JLU, Infinite Heroes (if I keep up with them) Marvel Legends, Star Trek, BSG, etc.

Something to look forward to I guess – after the shelf removal, patching of holes, preparing to paint, painting….

Sob.

AFB’s 2008 Round-Up

The year is coming to an end, and that calls for a round-up of the best and the rest in the superhero action figure world for 2008. I’m sticking to the figures that have been featured in the pages of AFB this year, so you may not agree with my takes in all of these categories, but hey – it’s my blog! Let’s get started:

jsanewto9Custom of the Year: Choosing between my customs is like having a favourite child, but the one that I acquired this year that my collection absolutely couldn’t live without would have to be the MA JSA Liberty Belle done by the  amazing Lars. My custom MA JSA is well on the way, and Liberty Belle is the gem of the roster and one of the absolute gems of my whole collection. Best custom I featured that I don’t own (unfortunately) would have to be the custom MA Bulleteer from the Doosh Custom Con. Love it and want it.

Picture 006 Best 6” Scale Figure: Mattel DC Universe Classics Aquaman (Series 2) The flesh tone is a bit off, but this is by far and away the best ever plastic representation of the King of the Seas, and one of the strongest efforts in the DCUC line to date. Great to see Aquaman getting such respect in plastic – now if only the same could be said about the comics! Runners Up: DC Direct New Teen Titans Jericho, Mattel DC Universe Classics Wonder Woman, Marvel Legends Ronin (great figure of a not that great character), DC Direct Justice Captain Cold. Also am a big fan of the Marvel Legends Union Jack that I picked up this year but who never made it up onto the site.

Picture 003Best 6” Wave: Mattel DC Universe Classics Series 2: A diverse line-up, solid sculpts, good QC and a kick-ass Collect & Connect figure, DCUC Wave 2 had it all, even if some of the variants didn’t come until the end of the year. This wave is where DCUC really began to show what it was capable of. Only a blue-faced, slightly wonky Harley Quinn kept it from absolute perfection. Gorilla Grodd, Superman Red & Blue and an amazing Aquaman more than made up for it. Runners Up:  DC Direct New Gods Series 1: In all their Kirby goodness, who could go past Orion, Mr Miracle, Darkseid and Lightray for the one of most enjoyable 6” wave of the year? DST Battlestar Galactica Series 2 gave us Starbuck, Kat, Helo and an amazing Cylon for some great, non-superhero fun. Mattel DC Universe Classics Series 3 could have taken the prize if not for scale issues: a less tall than intended Sinestro and a worryingly small Robin, but this was still an excellent set of figures.

Picture 002Best 1:6 Scale Figure: Sticking with what I’ve collected, I’m going to have to give this to the recent DC Direct 1:6 Scale Black Canary, a favourite character and by far the best female in the DCD 1:6 Scale line. The extra screamy head was a huge bonus. If the headsculpts just looked a bit more like Dinah and bit less like Michelle Pfieffer, it would have been near perfect (still would have had those pesky thigh cuts though). Naturally, the clear overall winners are the amazing 1:6 scale figures that Hot Toys is putting out at the moment, like the Batman range and their Iron Man. Oh to have the funds. Runner Up: DC Direct 1:6 Scale Joker.

picture014ut6Best Roster Completion: DC Direct New Teen Titans Series 2: We love having complete teams on our shelves, and few sights could be sweeter than seeing the Wolfman / Perez New Teen Titans all together in one place. The addition of Robin, Terra and Jericho made that possible, and DCD has to get some thanks for that. Not only were these much wanted characters almost perfectly sculpted, they were also in scale with the original NTT series from DCD’s much smaller years. A job well done.

    3037227905_ebe2d653d1_oAnnouncement of the Year: Mattel DC Universe Classics Series 8: Any questions that I had about just how far the DCUC line could go were answered when Series 8 was announced. Gentleman Ghost? Adrian Chase Vigilante? The sky is no doubt the limit here. Now it’s going to take a Legionnaire or ten to make me totally happy of course, but the announcement of Series 8 actually made me believe that just might happen. Runner up: the Mattel Justice League Unlimited Legends of League 6-packs announcement: Vibe, Steel, Crimson Fox and B’wana Beast?? Hello!!

Mattel_logoLine of the Year: DC Universe Classics. Like I said earlier, the sky really does appear to be the limit with this line. Distribution and a few pesky QC issues aside, this line carries the hopes and dreams of a great many DCU fanboys and girls on its plastic little shoulders.

Company of the Year: Mattel. DCUC, JLU, Infinite Heroes, Brave & the Bold. Mattel has taken the DC license and given us DC fans more loving than we could ask for, with some honey thrown in for Masters of the Universe collectors as well. The level of fan interaction and the launch of mattycollector.com all just add to justification, if any more was needed. Long may these halcyon days last!

An epic post for what really has been an epic year. Thanks for sharing it with me, and I look forward to bringing you more fun in 2009!

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