Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Party's Over, but the buying has just begun!

I hope you that all of my collecting brethren and.... sistren (?) enjoyed the latest of our peoples' religious festivals, the 2010 San Diego Comic Con. AFB took a hiatus during the Con as there are a number of sites that do a fabulous job of covering the reveals and news of SDCC, and I was too busy keeping track of everything they were reporting to post here as well!

As always, I especially enjoyed Michael Crawford's brilliant photo coverage of all of the toys and statues displayed and revealed during the course of the Con. Michael's up close photos really allow you to check out what's going to be on offer in the year to come. Thanks MWC for another great year of coverage!

AFB will be back on track in August, starting with our Comment Contest, and then some post-SDCC posts on the things that I'm most excited about adding to my collection. From the looks of things, there will be no shortage of things to spend our hard-earned money on!

That's it from AFB for July! In the meantime, what was your favourite reveal at SDCC? You can comment on this post for a last minute chance to win the AFB July Comment Contest!

Until next time!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

DCUC Wave 20 Collect and Connect: The Choice is Ours!

One of the announcements in the news-heavy TOYFARE #157 was that Wave 20 of DC Universe Classics will feature another Fan's Choice poll, but in a bit of a twist, the choice this time is not a single figure, but the Collect and Connect character that holds the wave together!

The choices we can vote on are: Blockbuster, Girder, King Shark, Nekron, Shaggy Man and Wildebeest. An interesting selection, which the cynic might say is heavily weighted towards Nekron in the wake of BLACKEST NIGHT. Odd, too, since it seems Nekron would make a great choice for a Green Lantern Classics Wave. Still, I'm holding out hope that one of the more classic characters like Blockbuster or Shaggy Man will come good, as it would be great to see them get the nod!

Most importantly, go to to have your say before 31 August, but while you're at it, jump over to our own fan poll on the top left of the site to give us an idea of how you'd vote!

You can discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the July AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

The New "Gatchaman" Film Lives!

Last I knew, the planned update of the "Gatchaman" franchise (which you may better know as Battle of the Planets or G-Force) was dead in the water due to studio finance issues, but Imagi has released a new trailer for their film, which is back on track for 2011! I have to admit my inner geek did a happy dance on viewing this little gem!

This is great news, especially if it leads to some new Gatchaman toys!

Are you a Gatchaman fan? Drop in to the AFB Forum to discuss! And as always, comment on this post to enter theJuly AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Spy an Eye, a Fish Guy... and a Very, Very Big Guy

I must admit I'm totally unfamiliar with the New Adventures of He-Man and any characters that were introduced therein, as I'd "grown out" of Masters of the Universe well and truly by the time it came on the scene. I know Optikk wasn't high on some people's lists, but I have to say that for a character I knew nothing about, he looked pretty groovy from the start, and since I'm a subscription holder and in the line for the long haul, I never thought of selling my sub Optikk off. One bizarre thing I encountered as soon as I opened the package was that I found that his "extra" eye, the orange one, was covered in some sort of oily substance. Maybe someone at the factory really, really liked the orange eye? I don't want to know, but I don't want that to happen again either.

Bizarre oily substance aside, I was pleased with the amount of detail that was involved in putting Optikk together. Considering that this line is built around reusage of the same bucks, I do like the figures that make the most of the sculpting and detailing to make something really quite different. This eyeball chappy definitely falls into that category! Great stuff happening here with his armor and circuitry and this is supported by excellent paint application. He also has some very groovy weapons, and the brilliantly done swappable eyes top it off perfectly.. He might be more futuristic than most of his MOTUC counterparts, but unfortunately he still suffers from the loose ankles that plague the line. Seeing as he's a bit top heavy, this makes posing a tad difficult, and sadly that's a problem that can't be wiped away as easily as bizarre oils.

Also out at the same time was the reissue of Mer-Man. Mer-Man is one of the characters I remember most from the original line, which isn't surprising since I'm always a fan of underwatery type characters. I really can't remember if I had the figure or just coveted it. Either way, next to Moss Man, this is the figure I'm happiest to have added to my collection. Like most of the characters that come with an two heads, Mer-Man came packaged with the head that I like the least, so we quickly swapped from moderately menacing to slightly goofy. I'm sure that doesn't say anything about me.

The thing I like about Mer-Man (the goofy version) is that he's just plain hokey fun. Something like this fishy guy could only have been created in the 80's, but he's been given a suitable update here. His - and sorry for getting technical here - bodice-y thing - is very detailed and his trident is all kind of goodness. Once again - loose ankle syndrome plagues this otherwise excellent figure. Still, I'm very glad this fishy fellow got a re-release!

Last but not least from the May MOTUC gang is the big guy, Tytus. I knew this fella was going to be huge, but I still wasn't prepared for just how big the box was, let alone the figure. He is truly huge! I'm extremely impressed with the sculpting on this figure - especially the muscle definition. The articulation is somewhat limited, which, according to Mattel was a cost concern. I'm all for keeping the price point as low as possible, and certainly don't see how the figure suffers in this instance, although I'm a displayer, not a player.

Tytus comes with a groovy accessory, which I must say I don't fully understand. It's either a giant ice cream scoop, or something to trap and catch smaller foes. Either way, it's good fun, and despite it's weight the figure can hold it quite easily without impacting on its balance if placed at the right angle.

Tytus is the kind of product that makes the MOTUC line so much fun to collect. Taking a character that never saw a U.S. release like Tytus or a mail-away character like Wun-dar, so rare that some think he was just an urban legend, and making them a reality is the kind of stuff that toy collecting dreams are made of! All I can say is long may it continue!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum and comment on this post to enter the July AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

AFB Enters the Original Comic Art World with SECRET SIX

I've long been a fan of DC Comics Artist Nicola Scott, especially when she's illustrating the wonderful stories of Gail Simone (who is #1 on my Fanboy I-Will-Meet-You-Before-I-Die List - .but not in a creepy way. Really. Okay, maybe a little). However, I only recently learned that the lovely Nicola is in fact an Australian! Gail and Nicola's work on SECRET SIX is right up there as one of my favourite runs of books out there at the moment, and SECRET SIX is still always at the top of my reading pile in the week it comes out. The book stands alongside LEGION OF SUPERHEROES and X-FACTOR as the only books I collect in single issues AND trades. If they print SECRET SIX toilet paper I'll buy that too. But never use it of course. That would be REALLY creepy.

Nicola was recently a guest at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Sydney. I had hoped to stop in and get a sketch from her, but alas, I couldn't stay long enough to do so. To console myself, I did a bit of searching to see if she sold her artwork anywhere, and I discovered the comicartshop website, and more specifically, Royd Burgoyne's Comic Art Shop, which sells original pages from a number of artists, including Nicola! Score!

I've bought a couple of commissioned pieces, but never having purchased original comic art before, I decided to stay at the lower end of the price range and buy an interior page. My final choice was page #5 from issue #9 of the Secret Six ongoing series. My main criteria was a page that featured Bane, who has become one of my favourite characters in comics thanks to what Gail has done with him in this series. Some Catman and Scandal certainly didn't hurt - and for my other fave character in the series, Deadshot, there's always next time - sorry Floyd!

I've taken some of my own photos of the piece, which are on Facebook, but I'm posting the scan of it from Royd's shop here as my photos simply don't do it justice. Click on the pic for a bigger version. Nicola's artwork compliments Gail's writing perfectly. Gail writes such strongly developed characters, and Nicola has an ability to convey characterisation and emotion through her artwork that reminds me of the master himself, George Perez. Gail's words may be missing from the page, but her intentions are clear. Doug Hazelwood's inks are brilliant as well. Mrs AFB and the AFB-ettes, despite being totally clueless as to what the whole thing was about, were really impressed with this, and Mrs A gave me much more than the usual "that's nice, dear" I normally get for new toy acquisitons, and in fact urged me to get it framed right away to ensure nothing happens to it. High praise indeed!

I have to give huge props to Royd Burgoyne's service. His communication was excellent, and the way the piece was packed was so amazing I had to take a photo of it for you - see Facebook. I'd happily recommend his store to anyone. Just don't buy the pieces I want please!

So, many thanks to Nicola, Doug, Royd and Gail for making the popping of my art-buying cher... er, my first tim... uh... oh, goshdarnit - for making me so happy! I hope it was good for you too! I definitely want to do it again!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the July AFB Comment of the Month Contest.

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Different Dynamic Duo - DC Direct's Latest DC Dynamics Statues

Good grief, I am really getting behind in some of my reviews. One of the pieces I'm looking at today was purchased on Free Comic Book Day! I've been talking about the backlog for awhile now and I really need to get moving on addressing it, so get ready for some two or three-in-one reviews to try to get up to date!

The DC Direct Wonder Woman DC Dynamics Statue was sitting on the shelves at my LCS pre FCBD, and while I was interested in it I was prepared to take the risk of missing out to try to get it in the Free Comic Book Day Sale (which, by the way, all self respecting comic shops have, but that's another story.) Happily, the Woman of Wonder was there in all her on-sale glory and I was able to take her home, as part of a very decent swag.

Right off the bat, this statue reveals one of my great statue pet peeves once I unbox it. There are times where the solicit and packaging photos have been taken from a slightly different angle which misrepresents the angle the statue sits at. That's annoying enough, but then there are times where it seems there has to be some photoshopping involved to get the picture, as just a different angle wouldn't achieve the effect. I can't be 100% certain, but that seems to be the case here. In statue form, Diana's face is angled much higher, in fact oddly high. Paired with a very un-Diana like face, which seems more porcelain doll than Amazon, it takes some getting used to.

From the neck down, this is a great piece. The way her lower torso and hips blend in to the base ins beautifully done, and the burst of light and smoke that forms the bottom of the base is my favourite of the three statues I've seen in person so far. This piece is great in concept - it's just a shame that the execution of the head doesn't do the rest justice. Being a Bruckner sculpt I'd say this a design choice, but it just doesn't work for me.

The Batman DC Dynamics Statue is another one of those things that I hadn't ordered but was quite taken with when I saw it in person. I was very lucky to get a good sale price on it. This is a really impressive looking piece, and I've been quite surprised to read a number of negative comments about it on various forums. For me, Bruckner has knocked this one right out of the park. I love the impressive arch of his cape at the top and the wispy tendrills at the ends. The inside of Batman's cape is painted a deep metallic blue for effective contrast. All this is topped up with a fantastic headsculpt.

The billowing smoke base may be on the bottom, but it tops off a wonderful piece. I need to find some sort of light that I can place under the bases of these to get the full illuminated effect.

As I mentioned when reviewing the Aquaman statue in this series, the price point on this series is hefty - it's in line with a Bowen Full Size Statue, and that seems rather pricey. Being the mad Aqua-fan that I am, I paid full price for Arthur, but like Wonder Woman and Batman, I can only see myself buying the rest of the series if I happen to find them on sale.

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the July AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest - July!

First off, thanks to everyone who commented on last month’s blog posts. Congratulations to AFB Forum member "slangards" for being our randomly selected winner! Once we hear from slangards, his choice of either the Jonah Hex movie figure or the Marvel Select Abomination will be on the way when available from Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff.

Now to July’s Contest: on offer are two great prizes, either the Batman Reborn Series 1 Batgirl from DC Direct, or the Marvel Select Cyclops figure from DST!.

A few bits and pieces:

  • 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, as long as your profile is not set to private – check your settings.

  • 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 all this is coming out of AFB’s not dreadfully deep pockets!

Once again, thanks to Mike for making this all possible for us, and here’s to another happy month of commenting!

Until next time!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...