So, what's Ramblings all about? Well, I guess it's just an opportunity for me to spew out my thoughts on anything toy related or whatever may be on my mind. Check out my 1st entry all the way at the bottom to for the motivation behind this section.
Oh, by the way, I like to do a lot of lists.
It has been quite a year for action figure collector's. I unfortunately have been unable to provide my thoughts and reviews as I have in years past. However, I assure all that I was very actively collecting.
I was rather disappointed with 2009. All my favorite toy lines seemed to be on the wrong track especially those accompanied by lackluster movies (Transformers & GI Joe). 2010 was a major comeback for my tastes. Sure, I still have a lot of complaints about the quality of recent Transformers toys but at least I had other options besides the movie characters. Transformers Generations is pretty fun but I felt the figures from the "Hunt For the Decepticons" was where its at! Lockdown, Brawn, Tomahawk and Terradive are as cool as any modern American Transformer has been in years and as an "Animated" fan, I was happy to see at least a few new releases.
Movie toys were a vast improvement over last years Star Trek and Terminator Salvation toys. I find the Tron Legacy figures to be great fun and a nice collection. Even bad movies like the Last Airbender and Prince of Persia had nice looking 3 3/4" scaled figures.
Superhero toys pretty much followed suit from last year with the wonderful yet frustrating to collect DC Universe Classics and the underwhelming yet sort of fun to collect Marvel Universe from Hasbro.
The Four Horsemen continue to thrill with the always fantastic Masters of the Universe Classics! Sure, the figures are pricey and a hassle to obtain but every time I get a new figure in the mail, it always seems to out due the previous one.
Even Star Wars made a nice comeback with the "Vintage Collection". All the Return of the Jedi figures are tops! I do wish Hasbro would stop with the soft goods or at least cut down on them.
With all this said, the one series that made 2010 a great year for action figures is the GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra series by Hasbro. This line would definitely classify as my toy line of the year! Every new figure I opened provided me with the joy I got when I was a child and opened a new Joe figure for the first time. The sculpts and designs are refreshing, the articulation can not be beat and the accessories!!! Wow! So many! and so unique to the character they belong to. If I had to decide on one figure of the year it would easily be the POC V8 Series 3 Snake-Eyes! I know Hasbro has produced so many different versions of this popular ninja commando but this one takes the cake! I could spend a lot of time discussing all the great features on this figure but it's best for you to discover them for yourself. Even if you are not a GI Joe enthusiast, you should be able to appreciate this figure.
Overall, I am pretty satisfied with 2010. I am a bit concerned with 2011. With a new Transformers movie and a lackluster looking Captain America and Thor, I don't think I'll be getting too many robots or superheroes. However, I cannot wait for Takara to release their new Masterpiece Rodimus! I suppose as long as Hasbro keeps it up with GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra- I will be a happy collector.
Thanks for sticking by Primetoystore and have a great new year!!!!
I realize I have not added reviews or ramblings in quite awhile due to lack of time but I assure you I have bought plenty of new toys. I have pretty much been buying the usual: new Transformers, GI Joe: POC and the occasional Star Wars figure. I do love the new Star Wars Vintage series even though I think they are priced a buck too high. The GI Joe POC figures could not make me more happy and Transformers stuff has been lackluster but at least they are finally coming out with non-movie toys. I am incredibly excited for the Takara Masterpiece Hot Rodimus and already have it pre-ordered.
The toy line I have finally found that I have been anticipating the most is Spinmasters' Tron Legacy movie toys. I went out and bought almost everything! I have all the 3 3/4" figures and vehicles, the die-cast vehicles and two out of the four seven inch figures. I am happy to report that I am very satisfied. They are not the cheapest toys on the shelves but they are some of the most innovative. I have always enjoyed light up toys and Spinmaster has done a great job with these. Even if you have no interest in them, it is worth checking out the seven inch Kevin Flynn and Clu figures. The face change feature works great and is nothing like I have ever seen in an action figure.
Well, that is it for now. Hopefully it does not take another two months for my next update.
As a true child of the 1980's, I was lucky to grow up with what I believe to be the greatest time in action figure history. Without going into a full history, the 1980's brought some of the greatest action figure series such as Masters of the Universe, Transformers and GI Joe. I was into all three of these toy lines but without a doubt it was GI Joe that really captured my attention. I never thought of my self as a military buff but the variety of characters and accessories were amazing. Each character had their own specific role on the team whether they were a Joe or a member of Cobra and the figures and accessories really expressed that.
In the past couple of decades, after A Real American Hero, Hasbro has kept the Joe name alive with many different incarnations but none of them could hold a candle to ARAH. Then, a couple years ago Hasbro revived GI Joe with their series of 25th Anniversary action figures. It was a trip through memory lane with the new highly detailed new sculpts of many favorite Joes and Cobra's in their most popular outfits. I love this series. Most of them were as good as it get's for me.
The line sadly came to an end with the horrendous GI Joe movie. The action figures and toys were fairly well done but it was hard for me to get into them since I cared little for the movie designs and aesthetics. At this point I was preparing for GI Joe to go the same route as Transformers. The Transformers movie character designs have sadly infiltrated the overall look of even non-movie Transformers beyond the films. However, Hasbro changed gears with Joe from the movie to "Pursuit of Cobra".
Being the proud owner of the entire first series of POC and the Toys R; Us Exclusives Quick Kick and Spirit, I can say that POC is the most magical series of GI Joe since the beginning of ARAH.
POC features all the classic characters and the essence of the soldier with a new look that is still befitting to their military expertise and the accessories are like nothing Joe fans have ever gotten before (see Snow Job).
25th Anniversary was a great nostalgia series but what POC provides is a modern look to all my favorites with little compromise. I suppose I am not very fond of the Storm Shadow and could due without three Snake-Eyes figures planned in the first three series, but that aside this line is brilliant.
The new designs of old favorites reminds me of being a kid again. Seeing the beautiful card art on toy store shelves, the refreshing and fairly accurate military character designs. It is very clear to me that the team working on POC are very passionate about their work.
The only real disappointment is that POC will not be lasting very long. It is only a filler line to keep something GI Joe on the shelves until the new animated series, Renegades hit the HUB network and the 2nd film hits theaters. I genuinely believe that even though the series will not last long on store shelves, it will be beloved by collectors for a very long time (at least this one).
It's been a crazy month already for new action figure announcements. The biggest being that Bandai will be bringing all new action figures and toys to retail and Mattel will be doing the same with Voltron. I find this interesting because due to past records, Voltron seems more fitting for Bandai as Thundercats might work better by Mattel. To be honest, I am a bit nervous about Bandai handling Thundercats. I have been awaiting new action figures from this beloved 80's cartoon since I can remember and unlike Bandai Japan, Bandai America does not excite me with their toys. I think they've done a nice job with Ben 10 but overall I dislike the glossy plastic they tend to use. As for Mattel and Voltron; I am curious to see how Mattel tackles transforming robots. I am certain they will be expensive at retail but if Mattel follows their current quality pattern, they should be nice looking toys.
On another note: Mattel continues to frustrate me. I noticed that their line of DC Infinite Crisis 3 3/4" action figures have the "adult collector" stamp on it. What is this about? Is this so they can get away with charging eight bucks a figure? The IC figures aren't of superior quality and don't seem to feature any dangerous qualities to children. I think this is utter crap! Since when do kids not like superhero toys? Why should they be pushed away from buying these action figures? Mattel, you make some nice looking action figures but you are marketing them and pricing them all wrong. I get closer and closer each day to not supporting them by not buying their toys. It's just difficult because they do make some nice action figures but as far as Infinite Crisis goes, I think I can just avoid them altogether.
This past weekend was the Joecon in Providence, Rhode Island where Hasbro revealed some new figures for the new "Pursuit of Cobra" series that will run through 2011 and boy are they ALL top notch.
In the last few years, my favorite toy company, Hasbro has been a disappointment for me. The completely have no interest in the Transformers movie toys which I could easily blame Michael Bay for but Hasbro made substandard figures for the most part by skipping out on detailed paint applications and cheaper plastics. Star Wars toys have been okay but they are getting a little tired by now. Marvel Universe figures are too expensive and the sculpts seem a little too soft. With G.I. Joe, Hasbro made some nice figures even though the movie designs weren't exactly what I hoped for.
With a new year, there appears to be some new improvements with Star Wars coming soon and same with Marvel Universe. Transformers looks to be a wait and see but G.I. Joe seems to be exactly what I want!
At JoeCon, Hasbro revealed a new assortment of excellent looking action figures. Starting off with my favorite is an all new Snake-Eyes that looks a lot like the Sideshow 1/6 scaled figure. This figure rules because it combines every aspect of Snake-Eyes I love. He has the commando look with a slight ninja feel. You get two heads with the figure, both a V1 & V2. Oh, did I mention he is loaded with weapons? Actually all the new figures shown are loaded with amazing accessories. The overall character designs are fresh versions of classic characters that still hold the essence of the originals. The figures tend to mix real military with a fantastical design. Even some of the new characters like the guy who looks like a human Predator is interesting enough. Low-Light makes an appearance in the line and is pretty much a 25th Anniversary homage to his original costume. Hasbro nailed it.
I could spend hours writing details of my love of each new figure but you really need to look at these yourselves. I think it is very evident that the team working on the new Joe figures are very passionate about G.I. Joe and I appreciate it. Unlike last year, it is nice to see that there will be at least one toy line this year and next, that I am excited for and looking forward to hunting down.
When the Avatar 3 3/4" action figures first hit the shelf, I was a bit underwhelmed. I picked up the Jake Sully figure out of curiosity. It's not that it wasn't a decent enough figure but it was rather boring especially at the reasonably high cost of the figure. I hoped after seeing the movie, I would be so blown away that I would run out and pick up the entire set. That did not happen. I liked the movie just fine but I wasn't as enthusiastic as the rest of the world. It was a fun, albeit long film but take away the 3-D and it just seemed like typical James Cameron story telling.
I tried to force myself to be interested in the action figures. However, they all looked too similar to one another. You either got a tall skinny blue person or a military guy. I held off and saved my money. Then, one day, I stumbled upon the figures on clearance at a Target and I bought the few human figures they had. I thought they were interesting enough for the price I paid. I then found myself traveling from Target store to Target store looking for the rest of them. I found a few more of them and happily snatched them up. Next thing I knew, the completist in me set in. I was soon hunting down the figures I couldn't find on clearance and paying full retail. Now, I wasn't only buying the action figures but the vehicles and large scaled creatures too.
I was amazed with how much I liked the creatures and vehicles. They not only looked great but were fun too! I love how I had to put them together. I was now completely obsessed with finding the hard to get second series. After some serious searching (mostly online), I found them. The second series figures seemed to have much more personality than the first. Perhaps it was the brighter colors used on many of the figures.
At this point, I even ordered the strange variations like: Wheelchair Jake with long hair (which to me does look better than the regular version). I only await getting the Grinder vehicle that I passed up on clearance several times but now MUST HAVE IT!
I just got the movie on DVD and I already watched it again. I seem to like the movie much better this time around. Perhaps the toys have truly brought the characters to life for me and made them more memorable. Whatever it may be, Mattel's 3 3/4" Avatar figures have become some of my favorite movie toys in some time. They did not do very well in stores and when they are gone, they're gone. I doubt toys for this movie will be tackled again for a very long time. So, if you haven't given these a chance and are thinking about it, jump on them now. Avatar is the number one grossing film of all time. There are a lot people who are going to be interested in these for years to come and I believe it's just going to drive the prices through the roof. Good figures + good movie = high demand. Just a thought.
The good news: Sales have been on a major upswing. The bad news: it hasn't left me much time for Ramblings or Reviews. Jeez, it has been two months since I last posted and I'm certain I've had much to say. With Reviews, I've gotten many toys worthy of reviews such as the Iron-Man 2 War Machine figure and all the new Avatar toys but I haven't had the time to dedicate my full attention to proper reviews. In addition to increased sales, I am working on a great new website which I hope to have more details about soon. In the meantime...
Mattel, do you hate your customers? Hasbro, what's happened to you guys over the last couple of years? I am cool with the new Marvel Universe figures when it comes to the 3 3/4" scale but the head sculpts are not up to par with what I expect from you guys. Oh, and the price. Way too high!
I also want to mention that I have fallen for the 4" Avatar figures. I don't know what happened. At first I thought they were mediocre but I bought a bunch on clearance and that led me to hunting down all of the figures even the tough to get second series. I also want to say, the beast toys are awesome! Really good stuff Mattel. If only you would lower your prices and make your products more available you would take the crown from Hasbro as best action figure manufacturer.
On another note, my good friend Brian has introduced me to a great 80's toy line: Britain's Star System (Britain's Space in the US). These are cool Capsella like vehicles and play sets with highly detailed and painted figurines. These were made by a toy soldier company called Deetail. I hope to have some sort of write up on them as soon as I acquire more of them.
Well, the Summer is closing in and I am ready for some new toys. I hope to get back on a schedule where I can at least provide a new review each week. We'll see. Please feel free to shoot me an email if you actually read and miss my reviews and ramblings cause if no one's reading them than I suppose, why write them?
Till next time...
Another Toy Fair has come and gone. I usually like to comment as the show is in progress but I was rather sick and could not muster up the energy. I wouldn't say it was a huge disappointment but it wasn't brilliant either.
What surprised me most was how much I dig the new G.I. Joe figures. Hasbro did a great job of transitioning the movie line into something new with a similar feel to the amazing 25th Anniversary line. I'm not crazy about either of the new Snake-Eyes figures but the new Beach Head, Dusty and Firefly look like winners. I am also geeked for the Resolute sets. I will certainly be loading up on these when they come out.
Transformers was pretty much a disappointment for me. I was looking forward to the War for Cybertron figures but what was on display looked cheap. Hopefully Hasbro will make improvements before they are released. I have little to no interest in the Power Core combiners. They just seem like blah to me. I do like the HA Jazz as far as movie toys go and will most likely get one.
Both the Marvel and DC toys seemed lackluster to me but part of that could be my anger towards Mattel with how they are handling the DC Classics.
Star Wars stuff this year wasn't too bad but not a great deal to get excited about. The mail away missile firing Boba Fett seemed interesting enough. I actually hoped they would have designed it to look like the concept figure shown on the packaging back before the figures release.
The Masters of the Universe Classics was kind of a bummer. There were new characters I know nothing about. There was a character shown of some guy called, Mo-Lar. This guy was some sort of dentist. Seriously? Mattel, is this the best you can offer?
There were no great surprises. I was sad not to see any Tron Legacy stuff but I suppose it will give me something to look forward to in the near future. All in all some neat stuff but I guess I will have to wait till SDCC to see the real goods.
With Toy Fair right around the corner, as with every year I get geared up with excitement. The last few years seem to have disappointed. It could be for several reasons: Toy companies tend not to go all out anymore considering that Toy Fair isn't the same show as it used to be. It no longer is the place where buyers go to make their yearly deals on new products. It also seems to have taken a backseat to the San Diego Comic-Con which has become the new standard for building excitement for upcoming action figures. Nevertheless, I still get excited. Here are some of the toy lines I am most anticipating to see.
1. Tron Legacy - This is undoubtedly the one series I want to check out the most. The movie looks phenomenal. It looks like Spin Masters has the toy rights and I am perfectly okay with that. They have made some nice 3 3/4" movie toys that has been overlooked by both the industry and collectors. I am hearing Tron Legacy will also feature 3 3/4" scaled figures which is exactly what I was hoping for. I can't wait to see these figures and light cycles. I just hope Spin Masters shows them off at Toy Fair.
2. Transformers - Now that the movie year is over, I am hoping to see anything with style. I think the War for Cybertron stuff that has been shown looks pretty good and I look forward to seeing more. The Power Core Combiners shown did not interest me but perhaps Hasbro has a few other Transforming goodies up their sleeve.
3. G.I. Joe - I am not expecting much that I will like from the post movie world of Joe but I am still curious.
4. Movie toys - With Summer comes big movie spectacles and with that comes action figures. Last Summer's blockbusters brought some pretty lame toys but I always like to look towards the future with hope.
5. DC Classics - To be honest, I've had enough of this line. Mattel has killed it for me but I still like to see what's ahead for these well made figures.
...And anything else that catches me by surprise. It's those toy lines that really get me excited.
Here we are in a new year which means many new toy lines will be canceled and new ones will emerge. If you have read any of my Reviews or Ramblings throughout 2009 then you know I was rather disappointed with the overall offerings. However, it is a new year and I am ready to welcome many new action figures to my collection. Here are some overall things I am excited about.
I am very much happy that this is not a movie year for Transformers. I know the line was successful and will most likely carry on in one way or another but with the N.E.S.T. stuff, it is already looking like a vast improvement. I am also interested in the War for Cyberton video game figures. Nothing has been confirmed but an Optimus Prime sample has leaked onto the internet. As always, I cannot wait for more Takara products such as the just announced Starscream and Skywarp Alternity's. This series is really starting to come into its own and I hope we get a few new molds this year. Of course I hope for more Masterpiece's as well. Online forums seem to suggest the next new mold will be of Rodimus. I really hope this is true since no other version of this leader has satisfied me. Finally, I can't wait for the final run of Animated. What a great series. Who knows? Maybe Hasbro or Takara has even yet another series up their sleeve.
I have finally accepted that I have fallen for Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics series. Even though they are way over-priced, I just can't get enough of them. On the other hand, I can no longer keep up with Mattel's DC Universe Classics figures. There are just too many of them. They come out too often and are way too hard to find. Not to mention the prices keep going up. I will likely pick one up from time to time such as the Blue Devil figure.
Star Wars has been about the same for me with the last couple of years. It looks like this year will have a heavy focus on the Clone Wars which will save me some money since I don't collect them. I appreciate the figures but it's an overload.
I have really no idea of what to expect from G.I. Joe this year. I really hope to see some Resolute figures. Resolute is perhaps my favorite Joe stuff since the original series put its spell on me back in the 1980's.
As for movie toys, well, it's really anyone's guess. I know we'll be getting some Iron-Man figures and I am sure I'll pick one or two up. Other than that, I REALLY hope to see some nice Tron Legacy action figures. I think this is the movie I am most looking forward to. I hope whom ever gets the license goes the 3 3/4" route so I can get some of the light cycles too. I can't really think of any other movies that are getting released this summer that would warrant action figures but I am sure there are a few.
As always, I can't wait to see what the Asian market releases in regards to robots. They are usually out of my price range but I always try to sneak a few into my collection.
I am sure I am missing many other potential winners but if somewhere out there, there is a god then let the Four Horsemen make Thundercats figures. PLEASE!
From the very beginning of the creation of this site, I constantly praise Takara's Transformers Binaltech series. It's been a couple of years now since the line has expired and like most collector's, I have moved on. Transformers Alternity is the closest we get to a series of realistic high quality Transformers. Thus far, I have been very satisfied with Alternity (even if there are only three figures and the future is unknown). However, as I was reorganizing my toy showcases, I rediscovered Binaltech. I remember how fun they were to collect and how excited I was to see a new figure revealed. I really don't think Transformers fans will ever see such a great series again. Each figure was well designed, sculpted and have a unique complex transformation. If there was any criticism I could make on Binaltech is there were perhaps a few too many repaints. Nevertheless, most of them were well thought out and fit in nicely with the collection. I still dream that one day Takara will release Binaltech versions of Rumble & Ravage let alone jump start the line with new figures. It's a far fetched dream but one can always hope.
Transformers Binaltech remains my favorite series of Transforming robots and probably will till the end of time. It was nice to see the Transformers given the respect they deserve with high quality toys and transformations that did not insult my intelligence. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy Alternity and the Masterpiece series for as long as Takara produces them.