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Monday, November 08, 2010

.....and your little Monkey too!

After finally getting my reviews for Count Marzo and Whiplash up a little while ago, and having photographed the subjects of tonight's review, I was priding myself on finally being only one month behind on posting my items from Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line, and then Roboto arrived from his sojourn across the seas..... drat!

Well, in the spirit of better late than never, I'm getting September's MOTUC items posted - after all, this humble blog has never been about breaking news, just my humble collection! Good thing, eh?

The big deal in MOTUC land for September, and I do mean big, was the mega-monkey bad guy, Gygor. I knew this fella was going to be oversized, but I really had no idea just how oversized! I suppose because he looks very similar to Gorilla Grodd from DC Universe Classics, I was expecting something of the same size, but Gygor is much bigger. He stands well above the average MOTUC male figure. Makes for some great fight scenes if you're skilled at posing your figures - something I'd never personally claim to be great at.

Gygor's rather bright yellow and green colour scheme is tempered somewhat by an impressive range of black body armour. He has a highly detailed helmet, a harness, large forearm pads and smaller ankle...things. All good additions, and his excellent axe is a great weapon, perfect for swinging around at unsuspecting victims. Of course, it's usually much harder to swing an axe if you don't have a head, so I was a tad distressed when I tried to adjust what I thought was a loose helmet and instead found Gygor's head loose from his body. It took a bit of effort to get it firmly back in place but thankfully it was accomplished in the end!

Much like Tytus, Mattel has kept the price point low on this larger figure by using limited articulation, but I don't really see that the final product suffers terribly from it. Aforementioned pop-off head issue aside, the only real issue is getting Gygor to stand firm when raising one of his awesome axe over his head - he can topple backwards if the correct angle isn't used, but I found the correct position of his other arm for counterbalance fixed this. All up - a very enjoyable figure that adds a great deal to the MOTUC landscape - and one I'm very glad to have on my shelves.

Also out in the same month was the September Subscription figure, Chief Carnivus. Much like Count Marzo, Carnivus is a character that is beyond the reaches of my Masters of the Universe knowledge, but is a very fun addition to the overall collection nonetheless. Also like Marzo, Carnivus has more an animated look, which doesn't bother me, although they probably do look a bit out of place next to some of the other figures.

Carnivus has received some pretty special treatment in both the sculpt and accessories department. He has sculpted fur, paws with claws, a cape and great golden armour. Add to this his great set of weapons - matching sword and shield - and this guy's very well set up! Carnivus won't make it to the front of my MOTUC display simply because he's not one of the characters I know well (er... at all..) from the series, but in terms of look and quality, he's definitely ahead of the pack. (Badoom tish!)

All up -great additions to the line, with Gygor obviously a favourite - as long as he keeps his head! Now, I just need to make sure I get Roboto's review up before Grizzlor makes his way to sunny Oz, and I'll finally be out from under my MOTUC overflow!

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

Until next time!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Marvel Universe Wave 10 is in!

Following on from looking at the biggest figure in the Marvel Universe series, the mega-big Galactus, I'm having a look this evening at the latest figures from the normal waves of Hasbro's 3 3/4" Marvel line. I generally don't buy the Iron Man / Wolverine / Spiderman variants that tend to come with each wave, just the characters new to the line, so from Wave 10 I bought Captain Britain, Multiple Man, Mystique and Ghost Rider.

Captain Britain is a favourite character of mine and one I'm happy to see in the line. The only niggle here is the way in which the gray wash that's been used on the white areas of CB's uniform has accumulated in a few places, particularly on his gloves. It's just a little distraction, and I do understand that a wash on a white section looks better than just plain white. Otherwise, the paintwork on this small figure is great - nice clean lines, and all stripes well applied and executed. I'd love to see some of CB's other costumes as variants later on in the line, as this helmeted version is the main one we've seen toy-wise.

I currently only own one Multiple Man but I will surely be hoping to get more to build up a bit of a Jamie Madrox army. This is an early costume, and I'm certainly hoping for variants here - Classic and Modern X-Factor are both musts for a well-rounded X-Collection! The rather simple design here is complimented by metallic gold paint which is applied in nice clean lines. The face on this figure has come out very well for the scale. A great figure to have, but I am keen for the modern versions of the character!

Mystique is a welcome addition to the line, which is short on female villains, and she's also one of the better female figures in the line overall. Some of the heads on the female figures haven't come out particularly well paintwise, but this one is pretty flawless. One of the things I don't like on some of the MU females are the breasts, which are a just a tad too big - something that is really noticeable on this figure with the white paint in this area. They look more like little golf balls glued on than something that naturally belongs there. That aside, this is a great figure - her skull belt and her sash are well crafted and paint is very solid all around. I'm not quite sure she needed the big bazooka, but it'll be fun for someone to use if not her.

Ghost Rider is the clear winner for me in this wave. His flaming head is well designed, and I love the bit of a smirk that comes through in his facial "expression" - pretty cleverly done! The detail of sculpting on his uniform is excellent and gives a great sense of texture. His fiery chain is a great accessory, and unlike some of these types of add-ins, he can actually grasp it easily so it's a practical winner as well as an aesthetic one.

From what I understand, the different Marvel Universe Waves / Two-Packs are produced at more than one factory, and there seems to be a sliding range of quality between the different producers. These seem to be from one of the "good' factories - overall quality control and paint apps are very good. All this makes this a great set, and great additions to the Marvel Universe line!

You can see more pics of these and other Marvel Universe figures at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum, and comment on this post to enter the November AFB Comment of the Month Contest!

Until next time!

Monday, November 01, 2010

The AFB Comment of the Month Contest - November 2010!

First off, thanks to everyone who commented on last month’s blog posts. It was my birthday month, and in the spirit of giving there were two prizes on offer! Congratulations to blog commenter Super-Duper ToyBox and AFB Facebook fan Olivier Fritsch for being our randomly selected winners! Gentlemen - you can contact me through Facebook or the AFB Forum (Personal Message to "Andy"). Once we hear from our winners, their choices of either the Ted Knight or Jack Knight Starman figures from DC Universe Classics Wave 15 will be on the way when available from Mike’s Comics N’ Stuff.

Now to November’s Contest: on offer are two great prizes, either the Universal Monsters Retro Series 1 Frankenstein figure or Black Lantern Hawkgirl figure from DC Direct's Blackest Night Wave 6. These would have been great figures for the Halloween month, but since I couldn't find any turkey action figures for Thanksgiving, they'll do for November!

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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