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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bowen Designs Web Exclusive Hydro-Man Bust Review

Bowen Designs does a number of website exclusive items each year, but their ordering system for the Bowen Exclusive Hydro-Man Bust, which I’m reviewing tonight, went one step beyond that. As well as being a web exclusive, Hyrdo-Man was made to order, meaning that only the number ordered were produced. This explains the unusual edition size of 483. As far as I’m concerned, this also means there are 483 extremely lucky people out there, as this is a truly amazing piece.



The amazingly talented Kucharek Brothers can always be counted on for a top quality sculpt and something a little bit out of the box to go with it, and it is really great to see them doing busts for Bowen as well as their excellent statue work. Hydro-Man is the Kuchareks at their best, and the end result of this piece is one I am very glad to own.



These days Morris Bench sports a more modernised costume for his crime fighting, but his iconic look was a black t-shirt and jeans long before Superboy appropriated it for himself. It’s this look that Bowen has chosen, which means he will fit nicely with the majority of Bowen’s Spider-Man Family (and Foes) collection. The design of this piece, with Hydro-Man’s water arms up behind his head ready to pounce, is genius. It does make him a bit of a space hog for collectors short on shelf space, but this piece is worth making a focal point.



Apart from the overall concept and design, the making of this piece is the use of translucent materials for the water elements of the statue. There is an incredible level of detail in Hydro-Man’s giant water arms, and the translucent material creates a stunning visual effect.
Many Bowen collectors tend to be bust only or statue only, and there continue to be many requests for a Full Size Hydro-Man Statue. While this could be done magnificently, I almost don’t see the need. There is nothing “mini” about this bust - it stands nearly as high as some statues! When you consider Hydro-Man’s power and take into account the manhole base, it’s easy to imagine this is Hydro-Man coming out of the ground and put him alongside your Full Size Spidey collection, as I have done.



The pickings have become a bit slimmer for Bowen bust collectors in recent times, but it’s some comfort to know that when the busts do come, they are complete home runs. With the move towards more oversized busts that Bowen seems to be making, even the most die hard statue-only collector really needs to give these great pieces consideration!
You can see more pics on Facebook, and discuss this at the AFB Forum!
Until next time!



Pre-Order Sideshow's Deadpool Premium Format Figure!

Sideshow's Deadpool Premium Format Figure is now up for Pre-Order at Sideshow Collectibles!

It's been confirmed that the chicken (stuffed with dynamite) is the exclusive - so if that was putting you off this great piece you can now feel free to order as he can be displayed poultry free!

Are you ordering? Tell us in the comments - or go to Sideshow and order now!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

AFB Sponsor - Collector-Action Figures (DASH) - New Contest!

Following on from our great interview with Corey Tincher of Collector-Action Figures (DASH) on Episode 35 of the AFB Podcast, we are pleased to welcome DASH on board as an AFB Sponsor!

Please check out their introduction and details of their current contest below!


Welcome to DASH - Here’s a Sideshow Snake Eyes Giveaway!

In case you haven’t heard of Collector-ActionFigures.com, we wanted to make a strong first impression. In fact, we’re giving away a Sideshow Collectibles Snake Eyes and Timber sixth scale figure to make sure you remember us. This exclusive figure is limited to 1000 copies, is valued at $200, includes a bundle of extras including a fully-articulated Timber figure, and is being given away to one lucky collector for free by Collector-ActionFigures.



For your chance to win Snake Eyes, all you need to do is complete a free membership registration with Collector-ActionFigures. It doesn’t cost a dime and only takes a minute, but make sure you go through the entire process (including email activation) to set up your account. Not only will you then be entered to win the contest, you’ll also have access to the internet’s best catalog of action figures. There’s simply no better way to start off a digital collection on DASH than by entering a classic figure like this near-perfect G.I. Joe action figure into your collection.

Enjoy your new membership, and good luck winning this unbelievable masterpiece of a prize.

Contest Details
  • All entries must be received by 11:59p.m. ET on Friday November 2nd, 2012.
  • One grand prize winner will be selected at random.
  • For an international winner, the first $10 will be paid for shipping, and the rest will be paid by the contestant.
  • The figure has not yet been released, but will be shipped to winner upon release date (~December 2012).
For complete contest rules and requirements, please email corey@Collector-ActionFigures.com

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The AFB Podcast Episode 35: Corey Tincher of Collector DASH Action Figures





Episode THIRTY-FIVE of the AFB Podcast is live at iTunes and is now available for direct downloadDownload and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes now! 

Join Ben, Scott and John from the AFB Forum for Episode Thirty Five of the Action Figure Blues Podcast! The AFB Podcast is a weekly look at action figures, statues and other collectibles from the worlds of comic books and pop culture.

Episode Thirty Five includes our regular features and an interview with special guest Corey Tincher of Collector DASH Action Figures - the fantastic new online resource that every action figure collector needs to check out!

We also have the next answer and clue in the "Name That...." Audio Game run by our friend Engineernerd from TV & Film Toys .

If you can't use iTunes, you can download Episode Thirty Five here now! Click on the link to listen, or right click to save the file! The podcast will always be available from the “Podcast” tab here - but if you can subscribe and give us positive ratings at iTunes, that will help us greatly!

Have a listen, and please give us some feedback at podcast@actionfigureblues.com - we might even read out your feedback on the next show!

Happy listening!

AFB is back in the review saddle with Sideshow's Premium Format Psylocke!

It’s been some time since I managed to get a review of one of my own purchases up, what with the AFB Podcast taking up most of my “geek time” these days. While I haven't been posting reviews, I certainly have still been avidly collecting, so I thought it was high time I get back to getting some of them up here on the site - and tonight’s is a real beauty!





Sideshow Collectibles has been having a few QC issues with some of their Premium Format Figures recently, which has made me hesitant to pull the trigger on subsequent releases. Despite some disappointment with their efforts with X-Man Rogue, I am enjoying collecting the ladies of Marvel in this line, and so decided in the end to go ahead with the item I’m reviewing tonight - the Sideshow Psylocke Premium Format Figure, which I purchased from AFB Sponsor Popcultcha.com

Sideshow has been aiming many of their X-Men efforts at fans of the Jim Lee era, but I passed on the Exclusive for this as the head that comes with the Regular Edition suited me fine as it was less stylistic to a certain era. Some controversy was created when Sideshow changed both headsculpts after the item went up for pre-order, but in my opinion (and I may be in the minority) the changes to the regular head were for the better and I’m satisfied with it.





This figure has not been without its own QC issues, with a number of collectors reporting cracking in the flesh coloured paint on Psylocke’s legs. Mine has shown no side of this defect after a couple of months on display - much to my relief, as I would not like to have to deal with returning an item this big all the way from Australia!

One word of warning for those assembling this figure - the head doesn’t go on at the angle you expect, so check the photos carefully before inserting and proceed with caution. I managed to make a (thankfully very tiny) mark on my Psylocke’s shoulder by trying to put the head on the wrong way. Check those angles!






The Premium Format pieces are becoming less mixed-media and more sculpted, which is an issue for some but not a big problem with me. Being a “statue guy”, I don’t mind the idea of these being larger statues. I do often wonder how the fabric will wear on these. For Psylocke, the cloth elements are her barely-there (especially at the back!) swimsuit, and her red sash.

The regular version comes with a swap-out option for Psylocke’s left hand. She can either wield a second katana which is held behind her back at an angle, or emanate her trademark psychic knife, which is the option I’ve chosen. Both the katanas and the psychic knife are nicely done, with translucent material used for the psychic knife to great effect.





This statue comes with the traditional X-Base, which is good in terms of tying the X-Figures together, but takes a bit away from the piece for me as I enjoy some of the earlier Premium Format pieces that had bases that reflected a bit more of the character - for example, She-Hulk holding a parking meter or Black Cat opening a safe.

Next up for the X-Ladies will be Storm in early 2013, and we also have Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman to look forward to. It’s a good time to be a Marvel Premium Format Collector!

You can see more pics at Facebook, and discuss this at the AFB Forum!

Until next time!




Thursday, October 18, 2012

The AFB Podcast Episode 34: NYCC News / Freelance Toy Designer Catrina Arana







Episode THIRTY-FOUR of the AFB Podcast is live at iTunes and is now available for direct downloadDownload and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes now! 

Please note there is no enhanced podcast this week!

Join John, Eli and Scott from the AFB Forum for Episode Thirty Four of the Action Figure Blues Podcast! The AFB Podcast is a weekly look at action figures, statues and other collectibles from the worlds of comic books and pop culture.

Episode Thirty Four includes a rundown of toy news from New York Comic Con, and a special interview with freelance toy designer Catrina Arana, who speaks about the role of a toy designer and  her work on Hasbro properties including Star Wars, G.I. Joe and Marvel Movie toys!

We also have the next answer and clue in the "Name That...." Audio Game run by our friend Engineernerd from TV & Film Toys .

If you can't use iTunes, you can download Episode Thirty Four here now! Click on the link to listen, or right click to save the file! The podcast will always be available from the “Podcast” tab here - but if you can subscribe and give us positive ratings at iTunes, that will help us greatly!

Have a listen, and please give us some feedback at podcast@actionfigureblues.com - we might even read out your feedback on the next show!

Happy listening!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The AFB Podcast Episode 33: "Transforming Collections" with Philip J Reed






Episode THIRTY-THREE of the AFB Podcast is live at iTunes and is now available for direct downloadDownload and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes now! 

Join Scott, Ben and John from the AFB Forum for Episode Thirty Three of the Action Figure Blues Podcast! The AFB Podcast is a weekly look at action figures, statues and other collectibles from the worlds of comic books and pop culture.

Episode Thirty Three includes our special guest Philip J Reed of battlegrip.com who talks to us about Transformers and his upcoming book (funded by a successful Kickstarter) "Transforming Collections"- an in-depth look at the amazing world of third-party Transformers Toys and Accessories. 

We also have the next answer and clue in the "Name That...." Audio Game run by our friend Engineernerd from TV & Film Toys .

If you can't use iTunes, you can download Episode Thirty Three here now! Click on the link to listen, or right click to save the file! The podcast will always be available from the “Podcast” tab here - but if you can subscribe and give us positive ratings at iTunes, that will help us greatly!

Have a listen, and please give us some feedback at podcast@actionfigureblues.com - we might even read out your feedback on the next show!

Happy listening!

Friday, October 05, 2012

The AFB Podcast Episode 32: Vintage Voltron / What Are You Collecting Now?





Episode THIRTY-TWO of the AFB Podcast is live at iTunes and is now available for direct downloadDownload and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes now! 

Join Ben, John and Adam from the AFB Forum for Episode Thirty Two of the Action Figure Blues Podcast! The AFB Podcast is a weekly look at action figures, statues and other collectibles from the worlds of comic books and pop culture.

Episode Thirty Two includes our Toy of the Week feature on the Vintage 1980s Voltron Lion and a discussion on "What are you Collecting Now?"

We also have the next answer and clue in the "Name That...." Audio Game run by our friend Engineernerd from TV & Film Toys .

If you can't use iTunes, you can download Episode Thirty Two here now! Click on the link to listen, or right click to save the file! The podcast will always be available from the “Podcast” tab here - but if you can subscribe and give us positive ratings at iTunes, that will help us greatly!

Have a listen, and please give us some feedback at podcast@actionfigureblues.com - we might even read out your feedback on the next show!

Happy listening!
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