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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Select Indeed!

Perhaps it's just withdrawal from what was once a steady flow of Marvel Legends, but I am really getting into enjoying Marvel Select and its' offerings. I've gone from picking up the occasional release to pretty much buying everything Marvel Select is producing in recent times. I've collected a few lately without reviewing them, so here is a catch-up which includes the Marvel Select Hulk (recently re-issued), Daredevil and Spider-Man.

Hulk was part of a "Best of" release in recent times, and I was pleased to have a second chance to pick him up. This is an absolutely massive figure, and a great centrepiece for a Marvel Select collection. With the massive shoulders in the way, there's not a lot of room for movement of the head, but the head is surprisingly loose. My one quibble would be the way that the black wash that's been used to define his muscles has worked on the roughish green paint. It doesn't bear for a very close inspection. Still, this giant sized Hulk is great fun, and it's inspired me to give up my futile quest for the Marvel Legends Red Hulk BAF and go for the Marvel Select Rulk instead as a companion to this big fella.

I really can't say I've ever seen a brilliant Daredevil figure, and while I don't think this is it, it's a very workable Matt Murdoch for the Select line. It seems that giving Daredevil's mono-colour mask definition in action figure form is difficult, and that's the case here as well. Daredevil also suffers from a the same kind of unsubtle wash that Hulk has. Oddly, he comes with numchucks instead of his signature billy club. Daredevil has the odd sort of shape that plagued the Bucky Captain America figure - the ball jointed hips (which really don't belong on any action figure) make him look a bit, well, hippy. That seems like a lot of negatives! This is a good figure, but one more worth having for the Marvel Select collection than for the figure itself.

Finally, there's Spider-Man. The first thing you notice about everybody's favourite webslinger is that his head is a slightly odd, oversized shape. His white eyes are slightly oversized and run quite a distance up the sides of his head. It's a shame, because otherwise this is a great figure. The body sculpt is excellent, without the strange proportions that bring some of the male Select figures down, and the detailing on his costume is excellent. He is a bit more poseable than some of the Select figures. A winner overall, but I have to wonder if the strangeish head was design or a production issue.

One of the features of the Marvel Select figures is a detailed base, and this is the case with all three of these figures. Hulk, being a much bigger figure, has a more perfunctory metallic looking base, while the other two figures have a more substantial inclusion. Daredevil has a church spire to hang from, and Spidey has a smashed car to stand astride. For collectors who have the display space to use these bases, they are great touches, but for me, they end up in storage, and in some cases I'd much prefer a pack of two figures than a detailed base for the price.

Ball-jointed hips and potentially over-priced bases aside, one of the concerns I've had with committing to the Select line is the hodgepodge nature of previous releases, and concerns with scale, etc, but in recent times, Marvel's "big guns" have been being released in very short order and they look great together. With more on the way like the upcoming Thing, Deadpool, Cyclops and Magneto releases, a sense of a developing Select-scale Marvel Universe doesn't seem far away.

You can see more pics (including in-package shots) at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the April AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DC Dynamics Aquaman - King of the Seas, King of the Statues

The original DC Direct Tim Bruckner Aquaman statue is one of my collecting holy grails, and I dare say will remain so, unless something dramatic happens to the secondary market prices for that great piece. While the new Bruckner-sculpted Aquaman Statue from DC Direct's DC Dynamics Statue line isn't going to fill that void, it's the first full-sized Aquaman statue in quite some time, and it's very good looking to boot.

The idea of the DC Dynamics line is the visual provided by the detailed, colourful base which envelops the legs of the character. Unsurprisingly, Aquaman's base is a water spout, complete with foamy edges. It's a tall and thin statue but is remarkably stable. Quite often with DCD Statues and Busts the end product is a little bit less than the sketch or solicit photo, but this is one statue that actually looks better than the pictures - the paintwork on the detail of the face in the profile shot on the box doesn't hold a candle to the real thing - it's a much better job. The styling choice for Aquaman is very classic - interestingly no scales on the orange of his shirt. The sculpting here is quite beautiful, with wrinkles that match the twist in his torso.

The recent Heroes of the DC Universe Aquaman Mini- Bust had a trident that was the same as what often comes with a 6" figure, but the DC Dynamics Statue gets an upgraded version. It's still flexible, but has wider and more detailed edges and prongs. While the statue looks great from a number of angles, the length of the trident does limit the options in my display.

The only downside to this excellent statue is the cost. While the price point is on par with a full sized Bowen Statue, in DC Direct terms I think these are a bit pricey. A full sized 10 - 11" Cover Girls of the DCU Statue runs at nearly half the price of this, and a massive two-character statue like the recent Batman vs. Killer Croc is the same price as the DC Dynamics, so it's a bit hard to reconcile what could basically be a well-done mini-bust on a really fancy and tall base being priced where it is, As such, the value for money will probably keep me from picking up any of the others in the series, although the Green Lantern and Batman pieces definitely appeal visually, and I love the Silver Aged Goodness of the Supergirl Statue.

While this is likely to be my one and only full-priced DC Dynamics purchase (one never says never when it come to sales!) , it's certainly a vital part of my Aquaman collection, and I keep returning to my display to appreciate just how good looking it is. With Arthur's return at the end of BLACKEST NIGHT, it's a good time to be an Aquaman fan. Let's hope DC Direct keeps the Aquaman love coming!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post for a chance to win the April AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mattel's MOTUC and DC SDCC Exclusives Revealed

After a false start last week, Mattel's SDCC Exclusives for the Masters of the Universe, DC Universe Classics and DC Infinite Heroes lines have been revealed on Attack of the Show. Here's the official video!




Most of the reveals have been teased or expected in some way, but we now have visuals and more detail.

The exclusives revealed and shown are:

MOTUC Mo-Larr and Skeletor Two-Pack - complete with Skeletor's Missing Tooth!

MOTUC Orko with Prince Adam "accessory". The SDCC Exclusive version of Orko turns transparent when dipped in water and has a spell book that reveals a SDCC logo when wet.

DC Universe Classics Plastic Man: deluxe figure with swappable limbs and a SDCC exclusive Plas-as-suitcase body.

DC Infinite Heroes Starro & The Justice League Set - HUGE Starro with five Silver Age JLA figures (including Aquaman!!) and a small Starro for each of their faces.

Also shown - Mego Style Ghostbusters!

This is very impressive set of exclusives, and best of all there's nothing Gleek-ish in the SDCC - only versions that is going to worry many collectors who have to buy to the web versions after the con!

Attack of the Show will have more reveals next week!

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

Until next time!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Amazon Leaks DCUC Wave 15?

It might be another Amazon Glitch, but the world's biggest bookstore currently has listings up for seven DC Universe Classics Figures that haven't been released or announced yet, most of which have been rumoured for DCUC Wave 15. They're listed as "Out of Stock", with no photos as yet.

These are: (follow the links to the Amazon listings:)

Martian Manhunter (according to the listing, will have an alien head variant)

Jemm

OMAC

Raven

Batman Sinestrro Corps

Starman (according to the listing, a 50 / 50 classic / modern split)

Golden Pharaoh

Is this the real Wave 15? Will Amazon get in trouble for jumping the gun? Time will tell!

You can discuss all this and more in the AFB Forum DCUC Wave 15 Speculation Thread.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lastest and Greatest Bronze Age Legion Customs!

Quite some time ago now, the rather amazing customiser and my good friend Dr Terrific and I started on a journey to create a complete line of Bronze Age Legion of Superheroes Customs. It began as a gift of a Wildfire custom, then a Dawnstar to go with Wildfire, and then somehow turned into a quest to complete the whole gang. Alongside Wildfire and Dawnstar, I received the first "wave" of the three Legion founders at the end of last year, and from now on Dr T will be completing the heroes in waves of four in the order of joining.

That means that the next "wave" is Duo Damsel (formerly Triplicate Girl), Phantom Girl, Superboy and Chameleon Boy. The gang arrived a week ago and to say I'm rapt is a major understatement. I'm WAY rapt!

If there was one figure in the whole Bronze Age Legion project that had to work to make the whole thing work, it's Phantom Girl. For some reason I really can't explain, Phantom Girl has always been my favourite member of my favourite super team, and her iconic white bell bottoms and pigtails look very much sums up the Bronze Age Legion style. I was very confident in Dr T to deliver, especially since he knew how important she was to me, but I am totally blown away by the result. The base is a JLA Vixen with swapped hands, and there's major sculpting work in those bell bottoms! All white could look horrible in the hands of the wrong painter, but not so here - the shiny spraypaint-work of Dr T comes through here in a big way. I am in absolute love with this figure.

Superboy might look like a simple JLA Superman repaint, but looks can be deceptive! Dr T went to great lengths through sculpting, sanding and paint to cut down the size and muscle definition of the base figure to make sure this looks like the teenage Clark and not the beefed up adult version. The "S" symbol is also redone, and the hairstyle modified to reflect Superboy's 70's "do". A great piece!

Duo Damsel had an interesting look in the Bronze Age, and Dr T worked very hard with us to find source pics and nail the colours and the hair to transform a Watchmen Silk Spectre I into this futuristic beauty. Chameleon Boy started his life as a JLA Black Lightning, but turned out 100% Durlan. The colours are spot-on, and the sculpted vest, ears and antennae make this custom work fantastically.

So once again, I am in great debt to Dr Terrific and his amazing skills. While I'm obviously helping out with costs and Dr T's time, I know this is also a labour of love for him and I am incredibly grateful. The next "wave" Colossal Boy, Star Boy, Brainiac 5 and Invisible Kid is already taking shape and progress shots can be seen on the AFB Forum. Can't wait!

You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum (the discussion thread is here, the whole BA Legion Customs in progress thread is here) and comment on this post to enter the April AFB Comment of the Month Contest.

Until next time!

Friday, April 02, 2010

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest - April 2010!

First off, thanks to everyone who commented on last month’s blog posts. Congratulations to AFB Forum Member Westy and AFB Facebook Fan Renny Roccon for being our winners in this two prize month! Winners - please get in touch with me – probably easiest to do so through the AFB Forum – just log in and message me (“Andy”). Once we hear from these gents their choices of either the DC Direct Blackest Night Larfleeze or the Marvel Select Thing will be on the way when available from Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff.

Now to April’s Contest: on offer are two great prizes, either the Negative Man (regular) or Blue Devil figure from DC Universe Classics Wave 13!.

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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