Thursday, August 19, 2010

SDCC Shakedown - the Top 10 things that will take my money in the year to come - Part 2

Carrying on with my rundown of the items and lines that caught my attention, and will subsequently probably capture my paycheck, at this year's SDCC, here's the Final Five (again with thanks to Michael Crawford's amazing SDCC 2010 coverage at

Hot Toys Ghost Rider

Oh wait, I said I wasn't going to buy any more Hot Toys after War Machine. Oops! I forgot about good old Johnny Blaze, but it's not just because HT is making Ghost Rider - they're making his bike too. His bike! That's just too amazing to miss. War Machine is due out soon, I'll be picking up Ghost Rider, and then that's it for me and Hot Toys. We are totally, totally done. Unless, oh, you don't think they'll make Green Lantern movie figures, do you? Uh-oh...

Marvel Universe

I'd much prefer to be listing Marvel Legends here, but while I'm keen to pick up this year's Two-Packs (Valkyrie!) I will wait to get too excited about the promised revival of Marvel Legends until I see it. In the meantime, Hasbro is keeping the Marvel flame alive for the 3 3/4" collectors with an ever expanding range of characters (and endless IronSpiderene variants, natch), an extension of the Secret Wars Two-Packs to a wider range of themes, and adding some sweeteners like Thanos, Bill Foster Goliath and the amazing Galactus!

If Hasbro could only do something about the widely varying quality of these figures, most likely due to the use of a range of factories for production, they'd have my undying enthusiasm. In the meantime, Galactus will do!

Kotobukiya Bishoujo PVC Statue Series

I will soon be reviewing Psylocke and Phoenix from the Koto Marvel Bishoujo series, and it was great to see the final proof of the upcoming Emma Frost statue at SDCC, plus a sketch for Ms Marvel. The best news of all, however, is that Kotobukiya will producing a DC line of this series as well, with Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Catwoman the first on the way. These statues are a bit on the pricey side for vinyl, at least here in Australia, but as much as I've enjoyed some of DC Direct's Ame-Comi series, I much prefer Koto's more "comic accurate with anime stylings" approach to the genre, and will be happy to my anime-styled vinyl super-ladies of all denominations at the same scale on my shelves - a phrase which I realise would sound very, very bad if it were taken out of context!

Bowen Statues and Busts

Bowen didn't have any new reveals to show at SDCC, mainly because Randy Bowen does such an amazing job of providing regular sneaks of upcoming pieces, and in fact consulting fans about poses and styles and even making changes to sculpts based on fan feedback. Still, there's no way I can leave Bowen off of this list, as they did make a showing at SDCC 2010 and they are going to be getting a good chunk of my entertainment budget in the year to come.

I have a pretty big collection of Bowen Busts already - focusing mainly on the Avengers and X-Men with some odds and sods thrown in, but there is SO much coming up in the year to come from Bowen that I'm really excited about, including Busts of Daimon Hellstrom and the Wrecking Crew, lots of Asgard love, including the Enchantress and Hela, and Full Sized Statues of Banshee and Valkyrie. When it comes to Marvel - make mine Bowen!

DC Universe Classics

Leaving DCUC til the end is of course saving the best until last. Distribution problems, numerous retailer exclusives and a lacking female buck aren't enough to take the shine off the amazing thing Mattel is doing with the DC Universe. Mattel continues to amaze by filling out the ranks of the big names of the DC Universe (Martian Manhunter is just a few months away folks, you can make it...) while continuing the provide those "wow" characters and teams - Metal Men and Doom Patrol anyone? For anyone who loves the breadth and depth of the DC Universe, this line continues to be a dream come true.

Not that Mattel needed to do any more to win my allegiance, but the Legion of Superheroes 12 Pack that will be exclusive to in 2011 kinda seals the deal. Yes, I would have liked to see more female characters, but the inclusion of Matter-Eater Lad seems to me to be a nod from Mattel to just how weird and wonderful the world of the Legion is, and I am confident we can expect more to come. Thanks Mattel!

And that's a wrap on my SDCC wrap-up. Agree or disagree with my choices? Discuss it at the AFB Forum, or comment here for a chance to win the August AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Finally, don't forget there's still time to win the versions of MOTUC's Orko or DCUC's Plastic Man in our current contest!

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SDCC Shakedown - the Top 10 things that will take my money in the year to come, Part 1

Now that the euphoria of this year's San Diego Comic Con is fading, and the hunt for those elusive exclusives has most likely concluded, either through expensive success or a painful admission of defeat, I thought I'd take a look back at my personal highlights from the products shown, and those that are most likely to end up in my collection (and on my credit card statement). Most of the reference pics for these are taken straight from Michael Crawford's great coverage of the event, so all credit where credit is due - it's guys like MWC that allow the rest of us to live vicariously through their SDCC experiences, and I for one am extremely grateful!

Now to the stuff that grabbed my attention:

Sideshow’s She-Hulk Premium Format Figure:

I’m already locked in to the MS Marvel Premium Format Figure, which is going to be my gift to myself for an upcoming significant birthday (one of those that end in an “0”). I was thinking that Ms Marvel was going to be a bit lonesome, and when I heard that Sideshow was producing the ever’ lovin’ She-Hulk in this line, I thought she’d make the perfect companion. I have to say I am a tad put off by the purple pants, but I am really in love with the headsculpt of this piece. I passed on Sideshow’s Adam Hughes She-Hulk Comiquette because I didn’t like the bimbo-esque portrayal of the lovely Jen Walters, and this is just the antidote – a beautiful, strong and elegant version that is going to look great on my shelves.

Justice League Unlimited

Mattel’s JLU line is the toy line I just can’t quit. Frustrated with the lack of distribution here in Australia and starved for shelf space, I packed up my JLU collection awhile ago and decided not to add more figures to it, but then Mattel made Amanda Waller, General Eiling, Captain Boomerang and a few other much-wanted firsts, which roped me back in. At this SDCC, amongst some gems like Angle Man and Killer Frost, we also saw Kalibak and Parademons. Parademons!! Sigh! The JLU may not be making its way back into my display just yet (them little buggers are hard to keep standin’ up!), but somehow I’m still going to be spending money on them in the year to come!

Masters of the Universe Classics (Club Eternia 2011 Subscription)

There’s definitely split opinions out in MOTUC fandom land about the revised Club Eternia “All In” Subscription for 2011. It happens to suit me, because I really can’t do the middle of the night get-ups here in Oz to get all of the extras, which are some of the best parts of the line, but I hear the detractors who are put off by not being able to opt out of some of the bigger expenses, and not knowing everything that's going to be included. I liked the look of the characters shown at SDCC, but would have been happier if one of the big “wants” for the line had been revealed, but I still think that there’s enough steam in the MOTUC and PoP lines to make 2011 a stellar year.

DC Direct’s Brightest Day Figures

Turn the clock back a few years, and pretty much all I bought action figure-wise was made by DC Direct. Now, I’m looking forward to exactly two upcoming 6” figures – Mera and Deadman from Brightest Day. After DCD doing a very DCD-type thing by announcing Red Lantern Mera before a regular version, I was pretty stoked to see this one announced and to see her looking fabulous. For sure, I want Mattel to hurry up with their version and make it a classic one, but this is a beauty. Deadman wasn’t a huge drawcard for me to start with, as I’m satisfied with the perhaps slightly too skinny DCUC version, but when I saw that he comes with an unmasked head with a mask prop – sold! Now I just can’t wait for Brightest Day Wave 3, with Hawk, Dove, Capt Boomerang I and.. oh wait, this is DC Direct. I shan’t get my hopes up.

Hot Toys War Machine

I’ve resisted the lure of Hot Toys for a very long time. Those prices don’t translate very nicely into AUD, and that’s not even counting international shipping. Recently, however, a friend offered me a great deal on a Hot Toys Iron Man Mark IV, and I just know he’s going to get lonely, so it’s a good thing HT is making War Machine as well. Once he arrives, of course, I’m totally quitting the Hot Toys thing. I mean, unless Black Widow ends up needing a home….

Okay, that’s the first half of the Top Ten – I need a breather before I put the rest together – and so will my wallet!

You can comment on this post to enter the August AFB Comment of the Month Contest, and don’t forget that there’s still a chance to win the SDCC Orko or Plastic Man toys in our current Contest!

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Contest! Win Orko or Plastic Man in the AFB SDCC 2010 Contest!

Oh, the generosity!

There has to be some benefit to getting up at 2:00 in the morning to face the White Screen of Death, doesn’t there? AFB managed to resist the temptations of a warm and cozy bed to stay up long enough to get some post-SDCC spoils from Mattel, and while I was there, I decided to try to help out my fellow collectors by grabbing a couple extra to share.

As such, we at the AFB Forum have one each of the versions of the sold out Masters of the Universe Orko (regular version with Prince Adam pack-in) and the DC Universe Classics Plastic Man (sans suitcase) to give away to two lucky action figure fans!

But hey, winning prizes as great as these requires a little bit of work, right? If you’d like to enter to win, you’re going to need to put together either an “Ode to Orko” or a “Plea for Plastic Man”. This could be in the form of a verse, song, graphic, video, whatever you choose, as long as it’s safe for work and entertaining, because the best Ode and Plea, which will be the ones our panel of judges (the three other AFB Forum admins: FB, fishmilkshake and dozymuppet) find the most amusing, will be selected to win the respective prize for that category.

To enter, go the Ode for Orko and Plea for Plastic Man threads at the AFB Forum, and post your entry. You can enter both contests, but to keep it fair there will be different winners for the two separate prizes. There is also a general thread for the contest to answer any questions, etc.

We hope you enjoy this chance to win one of these two great items, and we’re sure we’ll all have some great fun along the way! Start getting your Odes and Pleas together – the competition closes on 20 August, 2010!

Have fun, and remember you can also comment on this post for a chance to win the AFB August Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest - August 2010!

First off, thanks to everyone who commented on last month’s blog posts. Congratulations to "Total Toyz" for being our randomly selected winner! Once we hear from Total Toyz (you can contact me through the AFB Forum - "Andy"), his choice of either the DC Direct Batgirl figure or the Marvel Select Cyclops will be on the way when available from Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff.

Now to August’s Contest: on offer are two great prizes, either the SDCC Exclusive 90's X-Men Minimates (Magneto, Bishop, Wolverine and Jubilee), or the Blackest Night Series 5 Nekron figure from DC Direct!

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!

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