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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest Begins!

contestjun091I love putting this blog together, and I love getting feedback about what people think about the toys and opinions that have been posted. The stats I get from Google tell me we get some very healthy traffic here, and so I’m keen to get people talking as well as reading!

The establishment of the AFB Forum has been one great way of getting discussion going, and if you haven’t joined in yet I’d encourage you to jump in and have a go – we’re having a blast, and seem to have a knack at getting the discussion off track in record time!

I’m wanting to see the discussion happening here on the blog as well, and so as I briefly mentioned a couple of posts ago, starting with June 2009, AFB is partnering with Mike from Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff to bring you the AFB Comment of the Month Contest! In basic terms, at the end of each month, I’ll be randomly selecting (in some super scientific method, I assure you) one valid comment (see below) from that month’s post to receive their choice of one of two pre-announced figures on offer from Mike’s amazing store. Hopefully this will help generate some of the same fun discussion on the blog that we have going on the forum.

Here’s some basic contest rules:

  • every genuine comment on a post from the calendar month will be eligible for receiving the prize. I’m going to stick to my own time zone and call it at 23:59:59 Australian Eastern Standard Time – best to comment often and comment early
  • if my super scientific randomizer comment selector system chooses an Anonymous comment, I’ll skip it and go again – you need to leave a name, a link, your AFB Forum username or email addy so that I can contact you if you are the winner. Blogger comments allows you to do this.
  • you will be given a choice of one of the two figures on offer from the month’s contest – figures will be in their original packaging
  • figures will be sent by first class mail within the US (Mike is sending them, remember) and first class international to any overseas winner. An overseas winner can elect to chip in for Priority Mail or Insurance, but otherwise we can’t take any responsibility for a parcel that doesn’t arrive – after this is coming out of AFB’s  not dreadfully deep pockets!

contestjun092As for June 2009, I am pleased to announce that the two figures available for your choice of prize are the Yellow Dr Fate from DCUC Wave 8 and Live Wire from Superman / Batman Series 7 (provided this is released on time).

Since we’re all over the place and I’m posting this just as my June is about to start, the contest starts now, so comments on this post are the first eligible posts for the first ever AFB Comment Contest!

Thanks for making this little pursuit a great deal of fun, and I hope you enjoy this little way that I can give back – and thanks heaps to Mike for agreeing to partnering with me in this.

Okay, enough of me, get commenting!

DCUC Wave 8: Too Much!

Picture 017 I got my DCUC Wave 8 Master Case from CSC at the start of the week, but the combination of a busy week and the inability to decide which figure was my favourite delayed my review until the weekend.

After taking the figures out the box, looking them over carefully, and letting them sit for awhile, I’ve decided that my favourite figure is definitely Hawkgirl. No, the Yellow Fate. No, Mr Terrific. No, Vigilante. No….

Picture 024Bottom line is, this is the most amazing wave of figures I have ever seen. I fully admit I started off as a DCUC doubter, unsure of where the line would go, how committed Mattel would be to delving deeply into the DCU, etc., and while my belief when hit even greater heights when the first Doom Patrol member or Legionnaire appears, when I hold an Adrian Chase Vigilante in my hands I really believe Mattel when they say no one in the DCU is off limits.

Mr Terrific is an outstanding piece that captures the character well. The structure used to suspend his T-Spheres is excellePicture 022nt. I’m ordering another of these so that I can take that horrific DCD Total-Justice style Mr T and either melt it down or give it to the Salvation Army or something.

Commander Steel and Vigilante are both just faultless. Each one became my favourite as soon as I unpacked them. The metallic look for Steel works well Vigilante just looks like he leapt off the page – perfect. I’m getting an extra of each of these – Steel for the MA JSA shelf and Vigilante for the Teen Titans shelf.

Gentleman Ghost was certainly one of the most exciting and surprising additions to the line, and while I’m delighted to have him on my shelves, the colour effects used to make him look translucent at the bottom don’t quite work for me – I get the idea but I personally would have preferred him all white. The effect used to structure his collar, glasses and hat is amazing and makes him a winner overall.

Picture 019I would have preferred to see Granny Goodness or Desaad in place of the Parademons if we needed  another New Gods character, but these turned out to be much more fun than I was expecting and I’m glad to have them.

I reviewed Hawkgirl and the MA Dr Fate when I got them from MikeS, so all I’ll say here is that sadly the MA Fate is the stinker of the wave and perhaps the stinker of the whole line. Many of my online compatriots were campaigning for this figure to be all gold, and it should have been. The yellow / gold combo is a downright mess. The all-yellow version, on the other hand, is a really impressive figure and works brilliantly. The only criticism I have of both figures is that the eye slits are black instead of white, but that’s being picky.

Picture 018Giganta is the tallest DCUC C&C – and it’s great to see the line treading into the territory of the Marvel Legends BAF glory days. I had a bit of trouble snapping her legs in properly, but we got the re, and she’s impressive. The pack-in mini-Atom is a nice bonus. I would have said he should have come with the Wave 5 item, except I still can’t find the bugger for a reasonable price, so at least I have him.

Again, this wave is by far the best DCUC wave to date, but also I’d have to say one of the best waves of toys I’ve ever seen. So many different things to enjoy, such variety, and perfect paints apps to boot. Not quite sure what’s coming up that could top this for quite awhile!

You can look at the full range of pictures at Facebook and discuss DCUC Wave 8 at the AFB Forum.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It wasn’t in the plans…..

Picture 002….and yet somehow I now own Wolverine and the X-Men figures! I’ve mentioned before here that after a long toy drought here in Oz, the fact that we’re now getting some dribbles at retail makes it hard to resist the thrill of the find, and I certainly fell victim to that today, in a totally innocent browse in between getting my car serviced (well, trying to, they mostly just doofered around) and another appointment.

Lo and behold, there was a nearly full set of what I guess is Wave One of the figures from the latest animated X-Men series, which I have to say I’m enjoying greatly. I hadn’t planned on these for reasons I’ll discuss in a moment, but I blame three things: 1) I don’t get to buy toys at retails very often (see above) 2) Nightcrawler comes second only to Aquaman in my book and I find it pretty hard to resist Nightcrawler toys and 3) I didn’t realise they’d made a Forge figure, and he’s one of my favourite characters from the cartoon, despite his portrayal being so different to his comics persona.In the end I picked up all the heroes available (I only need to find Cyclops) and left Toad and Avalanche – I would have bought Magneto if they’d had him.

Picture 011Hasbro is certainly making the most of the Marvel licence when it comes to the 3/34” scale. The figures bear some similarities to the Marvel Universe figures but are fairly close to the animated stylings. The smaller figures are basic but pretty functional, but the bigger figures, Colossus and Beast, are a bit clunky and awkward to pose. Colossus’ arm  articulation seems to be linked, so when you move one arm the other moves as well. He’s the hardest to pose and with his little pin head probably my least favourite. Each toy comes with a decent range of accessories – something Mattel could really be doing a better job on with Infinite Heroes, hint hint.

Now that I’ve fallen victim to this line, I’d hope for at least a few of the female characters – I’m surprised we didn’t get at least one of Storm. Kitty or Rogue in Wave 1, but then again I realise I am not in the “suitable for ages 4+” target audience for this particular series. But hey – I can hope!

There’s a full photo set of these at Facebook, and you can chat about them if you like in the talkback thread at the AFB Forum

Batman goes bust!

Picture 001 The latest mini-bust in the Heroes of the DC Universe line is Batman. Before buying the Green Lantern bust I wasn’t committed to this line – Aquaman was always a lock of course – but after being so pleased on the effort done with Hal I decided to give the upcoming busts a go.

Batman is not a disappointment. Bats is poised ready to sling a batarang which is strung with firm wire.  His cape is draped over his right shoulder and is well constructed. He’s poised above a grey gargoyle type thing which nicely juxtaposes the golden gargoyle the Women of the DCU Picture 003Batwoman mini-bust uses as her base.

Bats is posed with a typically grim expression (lines on the mouth could be cleaner) in a dynamic pose that matches the other busts made and coming in this line. I have commented that some of the Dodson wave of the Women of the DCU busts are a bit too much on the coquette-ish side for me, and it struck me that it seems a bit sexist that the guys get these dynamic poses with accessories like batarangs, tridents and bows and arrows, and Marvel Marvel (ahem, I mean Shazam! Mary – urgh) gets wind blown up her skirt. Maybe the cheesecake Picture 006works for some, but I prefer the statues like the Batwoman version that present our heroines in the same powerful, respectful manner.

As I said when I reviewed the Green Lantern bust, one manner in which I hope this line does mirror the Women of the DCU line is by giving the B list characters their moment in cold cast resin. I hope DCD sticks with the line long enough!

You can see a wider range of pics at my Heroes of the DCU Photo Album at Facebook or chat about this in the Heroes of the DCU discussion thread at the AFB Forum!

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest is Coming!

AFB_small_logo_02That’s right, folks! Giving in to the intense peer pressure of several other excellent blogs, AFB is taking up the super original idea of a Comment of the Month Contest! Good news, yes – the great news is the AFB contest is being co-sponsored by the amazing Mike of Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff!

It’s simple – starting in June 2009, one commenter each month (sensible comments only – no one-liners or sillies) will be randomly selected to win a choice of one of two items on offer from Mike’s online store. I’ll be announcing the two available figures for June and some more technical rule-ish stuff on June 1.

MikesFor the moment, many thanks to Mike for helping us out. To get ready for June, you can do two things – get bust commenting, and have a look at Mike’s amazing shop to make sure he gets some business out of doing us a good turn!

To help us organise our prize selections, have a go at the poll at the right – let us know which lines you’d most like to receive a prize from!

More details to come soon!

AFB’s Brisbane Haul

Picture 001Back from a work trip to Brisbane (Queensland for our overseas readers), and my oh my, how did I make out! Most of it is the fault of AFB Forum Member Toy Guy, who lured me to his LCS and tempted me with toys galore.

Just to give an overview: I got the Jim Aparo Batman B&W Statue for a great price, the Captain Britain mini-bust for an okay-ish price (but I thought I needed to help him out, with his title being cancelled and all….), a number of Legends and Select figures, the Jason Firestorm (which Toy Guy had pre-bought for me) and in a last minute excitement, the Batman: Brave & the Bold Blue Beetle with Bug!!!!

Some of these will get individual reviews, but for the moment you can see the picture array at Facebook .

Happy happy!

 

Monday, May 18, 2009

DCD’s 1:6 Scale Line goes Beyond the pale…..

bb_L1Cornerstore Comics has an advanced solicit up for this new addition to the DCD 1:6 Scale Line…….

Now obviously many of us out there have been keen to see the 1:6 Scale line go in the direction we thought it was heading when it started – a 1:6 Scale JLA for starters and then moving on to the B list mainstream heroes. So first of all, from the perspective of someone who wants to see that continue – ARGH!

Having said that, I’m not as anti-Batman Beyond as some (I even bought and like his unmasked DCUC figure), and believe it or not, I’d actually consider adding this figure to my collection – if it didn’t look like someone’s Eighth Grade Home Economics Project.

I mean, I remember back in Year 9 we had to make a marionette (it was quite fun actually) and I made one of Mon-El and my project looked better than this. Seriously, this pic looks like a turd’s turd. The head is wrong, the chest is wrong, it’s all just…….. wrong.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that the actual solicit will be better and that he’ll come with an unmasked head etc., but still, it’s a disappointing use of the 1:6 slot for that month, another confusing message about the direction of the line and a 99% chance of a pass for me.

Oh, and did I mention this pic looks like a turd’s turd?

The Brave and the Bold World Expands!

Picture 021After the great excitement of finding Mattel’s Batman: Brave & The Bold at retail in Oz (and getting a “DVD backup” of the series from a loyal AFB Forum member), I’m a firm fan of the show and the line, so when I spotted two figures from Wave Two cheaply on eBay I jumped at the chance.

I’m pleased to say that Atom and Sportsmaster are now mine, and here they are in Picture 023all their glory. Sportsmaster has a groovy sports-weapon launcher thingy, and Atom has a….. well it looks like a bunch of grapes on a stick, but hey, I’m sure as heck not collecting these for the accessories!

Both have the trademark bizarre holes at all the joints so that you can attach accessories anywhere etc. In fact if i got really bored I could probably use the accessories to make a daisy chain of all my B&B toys, that would be pretty……

Picture 024The other figures in this wave are Green Arrow and Plastic Man, and I am going to be doing my best to wait for them to show up here instead of eBaying for them. Really.

Okay, I give myself three days. These are just too fun!

You can check out the Brave & the Bold Photo Album at Facebook and discuss these fun toys at the existing Brave & the Bold thread at the AFB Forum.

We’re back online!

That was quick! Server migration is finished and the AFB Forum is back up with conversation flowing!

See you there: http://actionfigureblues.smfforfree.com/index.php

Cheers!

AFB Forum Maintenance

For our AFB Forum Members, SMFForFree has advised that they are migrating servers this week and as such all of their forums will experience a short downtime. AFBForum is currently offline, however we expect this to be a brief outage.

Anyone with urgent AFB business (like, toys and other urgently important stuff….) can contact me at scott@actionfigureblues.com

I will let you know as soon as we are back up and running!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

JLU Legion – Order Early and Order Often!

N6449_LightnigLad_fullsizeimage01 The first JLU Legion figures are now available for order at mattycollector.comLightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5. I am definitely looking forward to having these little Legionnaires on my JLU shelf!

Mattel has made it clear that if we want to see any more Legion JLU figures, this set has to sell well – so do this Legion fan a favor and order a set (or three……).

Please?

 

Friday, May 15, 2009

AFB’s FCBD Haul Part Two

Picture 011When I displayed my greedy haul from Free Comic Book Day I also mentioned that faithful AFB Forum Member dozymuppet was also my man on the ground at the Sydney sales, keeping an eye out for some mini-busts he knew would be on sale. I’ve been trying to collect the whole range of Alpha Flight mini-busts, and through a few phone calls on FCBD,  dozy managed to help me out with Sasquatch and Puck. The AFB Network certainly came through for me big time on that day!

Picture 006Here they are in all their glory, along with all the the Alpha Flight busts I have to date: Snowbird, Marrina, Northstar and Aurora. They make an amazing bunch, don’t they? Now I just need to tick Vindicator, Shaman and Guardian (I know, good luck on that one…) off my list to have the collection complete.

There are some expanded photos at Facebook along with individual shots of the earlier busts.

If you want to revel in my glory you can discuss this at the existing FCBD haul thread at the AFB Forum!

Thanks again, dozy!

The Happiest of Days for the Aquafan…..

dc-dynamics-statues-20090514003110875ign.com has the breaking news about some new statues coming out from DC Direct next year. The DC Dynamics Statue line has one statue in particular that is going to interest this Aqua-fan………

It’s great to see DCD doing some of the stuff that Bowen has been nailing out of the park for years for Marvel, and I know that the collectors of bigger statue are going to be eating these up. They look fabulous. Batman bursting out of a slew of bats is pretty amazing….

The US $195 price tag (*gasp* *choke*!) means that I will certainly not be collecting this as a line, but I’m already working out which organ I can live without and hoping that the Aquaman statue is released around either Christmas, Father’s Day or my birthday, because it is SO going to be mine!

Many thanks to AFB Forum member Faithful Butler (FB) for the heads up! Between the upcoming Heroes of the DCU Aquaman Mini-bust I’m doing quite well out of DC in the Aquaman department. Now if we could just get that 6” Aquaman wave that’s been begging to be done for years underway……

You can discuss the new DC Dynamics line at this thread at the AFB Forum.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Steps Step Closer to DCUC 5!

Picture 013Collecting shouldn’t be this hard.

I could own all of DCUC Wave 5 by now if I was prepared to pay ridiculous eBay prices and shipping, and sell a kidney from each member of my family. And donate my body to science.

Since I’m not prepared to do that, and because  I am good boy and set my snipe limits and walk away from eBay, it’s taking me a loooooong time to get this rassin’ frassin’ retailer exclusive wave. All made worse that a friend found me a Riddler ages ago and it went missing in the post. Grrr.

Happiness then, when searching for something else, to find someone selling Riddler and Amazo who obviously didn’t know the going rate and had them as cheap Buy it Now items. Happiness even more, that they actually arrived in the post!

I’ll save the Wave review until I finally have Atom and Eradicator (Black Lightning was my only one to this point) but I had to give a progress report. After my eBay success with Nova and Tigra I’m on a roll!

Until next time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Dribble of DCUC Wave 8!

Picture 010My full case of DCUC Wave 8 for Cornerstore Comics is still a while away I’m sure, so I am picking up a few extras from my good mate and AFB Forum Member MikeS of Mike’s Comic-N-Stuff – I plan to buy an extra Commander Steel and Mr Terrific (to replace the horrid DCD version) for my MA JSA collection when they come in, but for now I have the “Gold” Dr Fate which doesn’t come in my case and an extra Hawkgirl just because I knew she was going to be awesome, and I just wanted two of her!

First to the good Dr – I have to say I think the “Modern” Fate is going to end up down at the bottom of the DCUC faves list for the simple reason that the mixture of gold and yellow is just horrid. I’m sure at some point Mattel said this one would be all gold and he really, really should have been because this mish mosh of a figure is just a big disappointment. I see many customs coming. Even I could probably fix the yellow gloves but turning the yellow cape gold is beyond me. If it Picture 013annoys me enough after sitting on my shelf for awhile I’ll send it off to one of my capable customising friends for fixing. I think it shall. Obviously a removable helmet would be the ideal here, but in this case we don’t really have the hint of eyes underneath which is a shame.  On a nice note, his power Nabu-whatever symbol lightning doo-hicky thing (I know, I’m a walking comics encyclopaedia) is cool.

Hawkgirl has been one of my most highly anticipated figures in this entire line to date, and while I am not disappointed, there are two drawbacks. One is that her flesh tones differ significantly from Hawkman’s. Hawkgirl has the more muddy tones of the S2 Aquaman than the brighter flesh tones of the S6 Hawkman, so the two don’t stand together as nicely as I’d like. This is more noticeable in person than in pictures.

 Picture 016The second niggle is that due to something about her stance and the lack of neck articulation due to her sculpted hair, it’s challenging to pose her looking straight ahead, so she tends to be looking down with her mask covering her beautifully sculpted face. More work required in this but I found I couldn’t accomplish it even with her standing in her base.

Neither of these things take away from this being the best Hawkgirl ever, even beating DCD’s lovely original Hawkgirl with removable helmet for me, just by a smidge, however I expected this to be my new front runner for 6” female figure of the year, and I’m afraid the DCD New Gods Big Barda still holds that slot.

Looking forward to getting the whole case so that Giganta comes together – Wave 8 has been one of my most hotly anticipated waves of any line this year and while I have had some niggles hear I suspect the overall review when the arrive is going to be raves plus!

You can see more photos at Facebook or discuss this in the DCUC Wave 8 thread at the AFB Forum.

Until next time!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meet Marilyn Marvel!

Picture 008 While I tend to focus on figures, I actually enjoy collecting mini-busts and the occasional statue, and I keep meaning to show them off here – soon, I promise. What I will start doing is trying to do a better job of reviewing them as they come in.

I hadn’t planned on buying the DCD Women of the DC Universe Mary Marvel mini-bust because of the Marilyn Monroe style pose and cheesecake-y style that plagues some of the Series Two busts in this line, but when I saw it in person it appealed to me more than I expected, and my LCS kindly ordered it in for me.

Note the box is labelled “Shazam! Mary”, not Mary Marvel – not sure what all the avoiding calling the Marvel Family the “Marvel” Family is all about, but it’s annoying.

Picture 009As for the bust, it features a fun clear lightning yellow base, and the feature that nearly put me off – Mary holding down her dress Marilyn-style. Off key for what I’d like to see for this lovely heroine and a sad reminder of the dreadful mess that’s been made of the character in recent times. The flowing hair and cape are nice touches, but the closed eyes add to that Kewpie-Doll style cuteness that a few of the Dodson sculpts have an element of.

I must remind myself this could be much worse of course – this could be the freaky pink hair version!

This line must be applauded for the depth of character selection – we have Phantom Lady and Mera coming up this  year, for heavens’ sake – and obviously this piece ended up being something I felt shelf-worthy, but I’d probably rank it on the bottom of the pile of Series Two of this line overall. I’ll have to get the whole gang out (yes, I own them all…..) for a photo-study soon so you can judge for yourself!

In the meantime, enjoy, and remember that the politically correct term is “Shazam!”, not “Marvel”, Sheesh!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Conquering my Nemesis

Picture 017Don’t me started on retailer exclusives. I know our friends Stateside loathe them, but for us abroad they are just a nightmare. Unless we can find a kind friend to grab one for us, we face either deprival or eBay scalpers. It’s a good test of collector self control. This I still don’t own most of DCUC 5, etc. etc.

When I am forced to eBay for this kind of thing, I set my price, set my snipe, and walk away. I miss out on alot of auctions, but sometimes get lucky.

And so it was, that after another Marvel Legends Nova and Tigra slipped through my snipe, I was most surprised to received a second chance offer at my price I was prepared to pay. The winner had become an unregistered bidder and the seller obviously didn’t realise he could have gotten much more for them. My gain!

Criticisms: Nova’s blue is too deep for me, and Tigra’s headsculpt is the typical blank ML female face instead of the something a bit more fierce which would have been fun. However, while these are by no means figures that reflect the heyday of Marvel Legends, they’re both great additions to the line and two of my Top 10 I really wanted to see done before the line gasps its’ last, which I suspect it has.

Now it’s just Black Bolt, Beast and 1st Appearance Daredevil to  go! I could care less about Nemesis so won’t be chasing Punisher to be sure.

Until next time!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

AFB’S 2009 Free Comic Book Day Haul

Picture 042I quite happily tell anyone who will listen that FCBD is one of my religious festivals, and usually manage to keep it as clear as possible, however today was a full one with a couple  of FCBD obstacles: morning netball games and an afternoon birthday party for the eldest AFB-ette. Thankfully I had huge support from my “crew”:

First off , Mrs AFB let me nick off from netball as soon as it was finished so I could do the rounds. This started with a very unsatisfactory visit to the city where the CBD Comic Shops “sale” consisted of a teeny, tiny little table of sale items, with everything else at their usual high prices. Blah. Small purchase only.

Secondly, to my LCS, Dee’s Books & Comics, where I knew that AFB Forum member Tyroc had already put aside Blackest Night for me to ensure I got it, and where there was the kind of great service and storewide sale  you expect on FCBD.

My spoils required a box for me to carry them away in and include as pictured (mostly from Dee’s a small handful from the non-sale): the DCD 1:6 Sinestro and GL Corps figures (much wanted but at sale prices), the DC Life & Death of Ferro Lad HC, JLA Showcase #3, the Hulk Vs. DVD, the next two volumes of Y; The Last Man in TPB, two Superman figures which were worth having on sale, and in some ways the most exciting of all, my copy of Barry Lyga’s “Wolverine: The Worst Day Ever”, which we’ll be talking more about shortly as Barry has granted AFB an interview on his work!

And finally, a huge FCBD hoorah to AFB Forum member dozymuppet, for taking a shopping list with him to his Sydney LCS sale, ringing me to confirm prices and organising shipping – an act of mateship above and beyond the call of duty that will not be soon forgotten! Looking forward to that parcel and subsequent review.

So this evening, we’re having a competition between who is most excited with their new toys: the birthday girl or Mr AFB – and I’m pretty sure I’m winning!

Here’s hoping your FCBD is equally successful!

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