6/14/17

Damian Wayne Batman BootLEGO minifig

Batman Issue 666, cover date July 2007, introduced us to a dystopian future wherein Bruce Wayne's son and current Robin Damian Wayne had adopted the mantle of the Bat after his father's death. And now, then years later, those crazy Chinese BootLEGOers have made him into a minifigure!

Instead of wearing a cape, Damian Batman wears a trench-coat with a massive collar. Because DYSTOPIAN FUTURE!

This minifig also has a little cloth collar piece, and comes with your basic grapple-hook/gun. Damian Wayne Batman is a gorgeous minifigure, and a neat Batman AND Robin variant that I'm willing to bet the farm will never be a part of an official LEGO playset. I got him off eBay as usual, and I got him for less than a buck, shipped from China! Madness!


6/2/17

Wonder Woman in theaters NOW!

I saw Wonder Woman last night and loved it. I really believe that if the WW film franchise carries on (and there's no reason to believe it won't) then Gal Gadot will be the Christopher Reeve of this generation. The whole movie was great, but a stand-out for me was seeing the Golden Age villain Dr. Poison, played by actress Elena Anaya. She didn't have a ton of movie time but every moment with her on screen was mesmerizing. I hope the action figure lines are successful enough to get a second wave so I can get me a Dr. Poison action figure!

All the Amazon stuff was great, (I'd watch a whole movie about kid Diana, played by little actress Lilly Aspell), all the WWI stuff was great, it was just a great movie. Go see it!

In the meantime, here's a handful of Wonder Woman toys that belong to me and my daughters. Viva la Wonder Woman!

5/26/17

The Tale of Peter Rottentail

As a bona-fide toy expert, I often get asked to identify toys and toy accessories. Usually I can answer without a lot of effort, through either my own vast storehouse of knowledge or via the internet, through groups I follow with multiple experts weighing in, or by directly contacting other individuals I consider equally genius experts.

In all the years I've been collecting toys I've never been more stumped than I was by a query that came to me via email back in January of 2016. (Unless you count my own search for the Rabbagator). It seems Michelle had an important toy that she had been given years ago stolen from her work desk, and she wanted help identifying it so she could track down a replacement. Unfortunately she didn't have any pictures, (you mean not everyone photographs their toys?) and could only provide me with a written description. As you will see later in the post, her description was dead-on; had her toy committed murder a police sketch artist could have easily drawn him from her description, and the cops would have arrested the murderous rabbit post haste. In fact, I had even drawn a picture of it for myself based on her description, hoping it would jog my memory and I'd be able to identify it.

Unfortunately nothing in her description rang a bell for me or any of the handful of others I presented it to. She initially described her cherished toy thusly: "...It is a blue bunny, he has a bandolier (spelling?) Of small mice. He also is wearing a loin cloth and has spikey shoulder pads (armour). His ears are wrapped together and he barely stands. He is very very muscular."

My initial thoughts ran the gamut from Space Usagi to Bucky O'Hare, from TMNT to MOTU, but her bunny was none of these. I scoured the internet, asked at toy collector message boards, directly contacted fellow toy collectors...nothing. I asked a handful of follow-up questions of Michelle, hoping to hit on a new piece of info that may lead to the right rabbit, but got nowhere. All I hit were dead ends.

At this point all I could do was hope I stumbled on to the toy in question, either in an image online somewhere or in person on one of my frequent toy hunts. Michelle probably figured I had given up.

Jump ahead to May 2017:

I attended the May 20th San Jose Toy Show with my oldest daughter, in large part due to the appearance of Lee Meriwether, Catwoman from the '66 Batman movie. Before standing in line for Ms. Meriwether's autograph, we literally, and I mean literally, perused EVERY SINGLE VENDOR in the show, finally coming upon the VERY LAST table for the VERY LAST vendor in the VERY FAR corner of the building. There on a table full of random toy detritus I saw it, and I damn near couldn't believe my eyes...a muscular blue bunny, wearing a bandoleer of mice, with a spiky shoulder pad and ears wrapped together. Holy shit IT'S HIM!

I couldn't believe my eyes. After all these months, I had never forgotten about this mystery bunny, and had hoped luck would lead me to him one day, and here he was! There was no doubt in my mind the second I picked this rabbit up that it was our blue barbarian bunny!

I bought him from the vendor and immediately sent a picture to Michelle, who confirmed (through admitted tears) that I had located her long lost rabbit. I later did some google searching (once he was in hand he was much easier to identify, the magnets on his feet convinced me immediately that he was part of one Tech Deck line or another, and the Rosetta Stone effect took hold rather quickly from there). Turns out he's Tech Deck Grimm Dude Peter Rottentail from the Storybooks Gone Wrong series.

I snapped these pics so I could share Peter's tale, then I dropped him in the mail to Michelle. They have now been reunited, and Michelle even paid me a handsome finder's fee for my troubles (really it was no trouble at all! Thanks again Michelle!)

Freakin' Tech Decks...sheesh! Who knew?!?!

5/24/17

In This Corner: Andre the Giant

I have to admit, I didn't follow wrestling when I was a kid. I had friends who did, so I was certainly aware of the now iconic wrestling personalities of the eighties, but I just never could get into the scene. These days I'm a huge fan of Lucha Underground, so I've been paying a little closer attention to the whole professional wrestling shebang, which of course also means paying closer attention to the toys! That said, as of press time, there are no Lucha Underground action figures. But I for one am hoping that issue is rectified soon!

As for WWE (or whatever WWF is called nowadays, since losing the copyright to those damn animals!), Mattel has been pumping out figures for a few years now, and they recently released the one and only Andre the Giant. Of all the wrestling legends, Andre is, quite literally, the biggest. I remember seeing him in matches when I'd be spending the night at a friend's house, and being amazed at the massive, imposing figure Mr. Giant cut.

Andre later cemented his place in pop culture by playing the lovable giant Fezzik in The Princess Bride. This specific version of Andre was part of a Target four pack, which I picked up on clearance and sold or traded off the other figures in the set. The only one of the set I knew or cared about was Andre himself!

My nephew had a bunch of wrestling figures when he was into wrestling a few years back. I've always been impressed with the sturdiness of their wrestling figures, it always seemed a notch or ten above any of the DC comics stuff they put out. Andre is no different, and is a great all around action figure. I need to pick up a few more so Andre has someone to challenge him!

"Waitaminute, you're not Bone-Saw!"