Sunday, February 23, 2014

Onell Design Glyos drop tonight @9:30

I'm not sure how many of my readers are fans of Onell Design, but they're releasing new merchandise tonight at 9:30. I've told myself that I wouldn't become a collector or an accumulator, but I can't seem to help myself with the Onell figures.

It's not all my fault though, as Matt and Michelle are known to throw some freebie figures in with orders when they're sent out. For me, the big draw to tonight's drop is the inclusion of several Glow-in-the-Dark figures. It's one of my favorite action features, since A) it doesn't interfere with a figure's articulation or sculpt and B) it just looks damn cool.

So, if you're a fan of the Glyos figure system, you might want to head to their store tonight, because I have a feeling this wave is going to disappear quickly.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February random stuff post.

I hate that I've only posted a few times these past couple of months, but with work picking up, and just plain not feeling creative lately, I've neglected my duties as Stunt Zombie. It always saddens me when a blog I enjoy just kind of fizzles out, so I made myself promise that I wouldn't go out the same way. When I'm ready to give up, you'll all be the next to know.

-Speaking of blogs shutting down, it looks like Poe Ghostal is going on an indefinite hiatus. I haven't followed Poe for long, but I have to admit I've enjoyed visiting his site these past few months. The strange thing is, I had a feeling this was coming. Any time I start reading a new blog, it seems like they shut down shortly after. X-Entertainment, Eclectorama..yep, those were my fault. Honestly, I don't blame him. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, it's time to take a break or find something else. I look forward to seeing what kinds of projects he has cooking.

-Thanks to this post by Colbey Hooper on Random Toy Reviews, I think I've pretty much solved the last of my toy mysteries. I did a bit more digging on Four Star Toys, and it turns out they made quite a few of the Transformers knockoffs I used to own.

This guy is called Hard Hat, and he was a Devastator knockoff, in that he was also made up of construction equipment that combined to form a large robot. I held on to this thing for years, before the individual robots just started falling apart. It wasn't a bad toy for what it costs. The other one that has been puzzling me for years was this guy:

This one was called Decept-A-Bot, and it was a knockoff of the Godaikan Gardian. It's kind of like the nesting dolls, except with robots. This version only had one robot contained in the shell you see here, but the real one had two robots and a rubber figure contained within the outer shell. I remember this one being pretty fragile, and I don't think it stayed in one piece for very long.

As nice as it is to finally know what these two were, it kinda makes me sad that the internet is taking all the mystery out of the world.

-I'm finding I'm really starting to lose interest in modern toys. The last line of G.I. Joe toys produced by Hasbro was pretty sad really. I find myself missing the bright colors and character of the older figures. Other than Snake Eyes and a few of the other figures, most of them look rather generic. After seeing how little Hasbro cares about the 50th anniversary of their most popular toy line, I'm beginning to think this may be the beginning of the end for our favorite soldiers. As for the Collector's Club, forget that. I don't have enough money to spend nearly $40 per figure, especially when there's no guarantee that I'll like them. I think I might focus on picking up some of the older G.I. Joes I used to own instead. Thankfully, they won't cost me much more than figures that came out 2 or 3 years ago.

-Speaking of wanting crazy amounts for action figures, I was excited to see Mattel was releasing a wave of Super Powers inspired DC figures with modern sculpts. Then I learned they were going to cost around $30 retail....$30, and we don't even get cloth capes for Batman or Superman? No Thank you..

- I was also feeling pretty excited for Funko's ReAction line, but after seeing the trouble they've had with their Game of Throne figures, I'm going to have to wait to see some reviews before I plunk down hard earned money on Snake Plissken or The Goonies.

- I still find myself interested in newer LEGO sets as well as the figures released by Onell Design.  I tend to get a bit intimidated when it comes to using pieces to build my own creations, but it's nice to know the option is there when I decide to stop being a wuss and feel constructive.

-I'm definitely psyched for the Guardians of the Galaxy. I enjoyed most of the Marvel movies, but for the most part, I find they take themselves too seriously. GotG kinda reminds me of A-team, except in space. With a raccoon. And a talking tree. I think it's hard to screw up with that combination.

-I need help spending Amazon money! Between a gift card I received for Christmas, and some points I already had on my card, I have a total of $34.07 to spend on Amazon. The only problem, I can't figure out what the heck I want. That's where you fine folks come in. You've seen what I've written about on here, so I figure I can crowd source my next purchase(s). I'm a Prime member, so that free shipping may come in handy.

I've been tempted by this guy since I first saw him mentioned on Battle Grip, but I'd hate to blow most of my money on one figure.

-I have to give thanks to Eric over at Toyriffic for the care package I recently received from him. It was unsolicited, and his offer to send it was quite unexpected. It was greatly appreciated, and will help give me more to write about. Honestly, with the amount of stuff I've received from Eric and John Gaither of The Clawful Punch over the past couple of years, I probably have enough to write about for the next 10 months.

 I'd like to make it a regular thing, where I pick a couple of blogs that I enjoy reading, and share them with the rest of you. So, who do I want to acknowledge this month? Well, I've already mentioned Eric and John, so I'll have to pick a couple more.

First up, is Kim from Fully Jointed Play Figures. This is what I consider a "feel" good blog. I can't say I've ever seen Kim type a negative word about anything. I think my favorite thing about his blog is seeing his son's enthusiasm whenever he gets a new toy. It gives me hope that not all kids are just interested in apps and video games.

Next up, is Hobgoblin238 from Monster Cafe Saltillo. I might not always agree with him, but you can't fault the man for speaking his mind. He runs a Universal Monsters themed cafe in Mexico, and still manages to find the time to make a blog post almost every day. He's commissioned some amazing WWE and WWF custom playsets as well as custom clothing for many of the figures. Hob's also one of the hardest working commenters out there. If you have a blog, there's a damn good chance he's posted at least one comment on it.

So, that's it for this month's random post. I'm hoping to get a few more posts in before the month ends, so keep your eyes open.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Transformers Pretenders Waverider

It's 1988. I have allowance money burning a hole in my pocket, and it's one of the rare instances I didn't find a toy I wanted at Roses. We've made one last stop at People's Drug, and I realize, if I don't get something now, it will be a whole week before I can get back up here again. I scan the toy aisle for something, anything that might catch my attention, when my gaze settles on a box with a familiar font. "Transformers", it reads, "Robots in Disguise". I already have a large box full of the form shifting robots, but it's a rare occasion that I get to pick one up brand new. I look up and down the aisle again, and decide to go home with this guy:

Waverider, from the Pretenders line. I got inside the car, opened him up, and was immediately disappointed.
I'm not sure why, since I was more than capable of reading, and I'm sure I knew what I was getting. Still, the drab colors, and lack of articulation ended up being a let down once I got the figure in hand. He still got played with over the years, and I actually picked up a couple more Pretenders, but they were never my favorite Transformers. You see, the Pretenders were an oddity among a toy line that had a train that turned into a space shuttle that changed into a robot. The premise still confounds me even today. As I understand it, the Pretender shells were developed as a way for the Autobots and Decepticons to blend in on different planets. I'm not sure how well 25 ft tall monsters and humans would blend in on Earth, but this is also the toyline that had a 20 ft tall robot with the alternate form of a regular sized Walkman.

Honestly, I kind of like the way the human form looks, and I would have loved to see a more articulated version. He's big and brawny, and looks like he could throw down with the toughest of the Decepticons. Waverider was well equipped too, coming with a blaster rifle,

and a large axe.

So, I'm sure you're wondering what the gimmick is with these guys. Well, I'll tell you. You take off Waverider's belt and helmet, then split him in two to reveal...

Waverider robot version. There isn't much to the figure, as they had to keep it pretty basic so it would fit within the Pretender shell. The arms are articulated at the shoulders, so he can hold and point his blaster at you,

but that's about it. The leg are articulated at the hips and the knees, but they only allow side to side movement. Basically, they're only articulated to allow Waverider to transform. And what does he transform into?

An attack sub, or a boat. I'm not sure. It never really mattered to me, because I used to pretend he was a starfighter. His design reminds me of some of the ships from the NES and SNES shoot'em up games. As you can see, his gun fits nicely on top of his alternate form, though that's not the only thing that fits...

Yep, the battle ax will go in there too. I'm not sure how effective it would be, since he'd have to get close enough to ram the Decepticons for it to be effective. Of course, just the sight of the thing might be enough to discourage any attackers. If I saw that thing slicing through the water, I'd have to believe I just witnessed what has to be the most badass shark in existence. I doubt I'd ever go in the water again if I thought sharks were arming themselves with battle axes.

You kind of got two toys in one with the Pretenders. After you take the robot out, you can put the shell back together, instantly doubling your fighting force. I know the shell is mostly a statue, but I have to admit he's still pretty cool looking. Both the shell and the robot are rather robust compared to some of the other Transformers offerings of the same period. The blaster and ax are large and pretty tough, so they're less likely to get lost or broken. The same goes with the helmet and belt.

My perception of the Pretenders line has certainly changed over the years. Rather than disappointment, I've come to appreciate the simplicity and robustness of the designs. Trying to transform some of the new figures is an exercise in frustration, so it's nice to have one that only requires a couple twists to change forms. I know it's a long shot, but I'd love to see Hasbro release a line of modern Pretenders. I see they are releasing newer figures closer to the G1 style, so who knows, it could happen.

Either way, just keep pretendin' Waverider.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I certainly hope it was a great one for all of you out there in the blogosphere. I know mine was a pretty darn good one. Hopefully I can get pics of Chelsea's gifts to me posted in the next couple of days. In the mean time, here are some photos I used on the Valentine's cards I made for her this week.

That little spot in my yard really is great for figure photography. I feel like I should have had Yoda holding a card in his offhand though. Otherwise, he just comes off as a bit menacing.

I think this one was my favorite, but it just bothers me that I put the comma in the wrong place. Those commas, use one wrong one time, and it just haunts you forever.

Okay, so it should probably be two Storm Troopers in this scene, but I only had the one available. I have to admit, as much as I love the vintage figures, the modern ones have them beat when it comes to expressiveness.

I actually only ended up using the first two. For some reason, they just worked better for me. I also made up one from Lego bricks that ended up in the discard pile:

Eh, I'll work on it. Anyhow, apparently it's time for me to cuddle up on the couch and watch romantic comedies until my brains fall out. I hope you all have a fun (and sexy) evening.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Funko goes all out!

I saw the announcement on Poe Ghostal, and I'm sure you all follow him anyway, but I just had to share it here as well. Funko has announced the next 60 (yes, 60!) figures in their ReAction line up. Entertainment Earth has them up for order and pre-order, so shoot over there and check them out. They're covering everything from Predator to Nightmare Before Christmas to Pulp Fiction. I'm already thinking I might have to pre-order a Snake Plissken and Arnold from Terminator. Who am I kidding, I easily want half of them. 

Escape from New York Snake ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Figure

Terminator Terminator One Tech Noir ReAction Action Figure

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Marchon little Explorer Scout

I guess I didn't learn my lesson after discovering  the Orguss figure I used to love was a cheaply made piece of junk. I decided to go searching around for another toy that I owned and loved, hoping that it wouldn't end up being another disappointment. Was I successful? Let's meet the Marchon Mysterian Explorer Scout and find out.

I found this guy on a random summer day in 1987. I had gone with my mom on our weekly shopping trip to Roses. As we were walking up to the store, we saw that the People's Drug next door was having a sidewalk sale. I know most modern drug stores' toy selections are rather slim, and overpriced, but this place had an amazing toy section. Their prices weren't too terrible either. Sure, it started going downhill as the store got older, but for a few years, they carried toys I could never find at Roses. That's a story for another post though. So, I was walking along the tables set up in front of the store, scouring their surface for toys, any toys at all. That's when the little blue fella up there caught my eye. I snatched him up off the table, and ran over to my mom, asking if she would buy him for me. I was a good kid and the price was cheap, so of course she agreed. 

I'm assuming I must have immediately tossed out the packaging, because I had no idea who this guy was supposed to be. Most of the time, I pretended he was my very own phaser or Tricorder device. I had seen a few episodes of the older Star Trek series, and I was obsessed with the gadgets on that show. Every now and then, I would include him with my Transformers, but even they didn't know what to make of him. Still, sometimes not knowing is for the best, since it meant I could make up my own stories for the character. 

I can hear you all now, "But, it's just a little blue box!". Ah, that's where you're all wrong. 

Open the panels on the bottom, and give the whole thing a twist, and now we have some tank treads.

Flip the panels open on the sides to reveal a laser cannon and a communicator device. Now our little Explorer Scout can choose between vaporizing his enemies, or calling the space cops. I'm sure you're wondering what that pink thing is in the middle. Don't worry, we'll get to that in a minute.

Swing the top panel open, and you'll reveal Explorer Scout's tiny little head. The stickers are starting to come off this one, so he looks a bit cross eyed. I think it only adds to his character, and may work to lull his enemies into a false sense of superiority. I can see it now, the little blue robot rolls into the bar, and the biggest baddest bot starts picking on him for his pink head and crossed eyes. Then he looks down and realizes that the Explorer Scout has blasted a large hole through his chest. That's something we would all do well to remember. Just because someone looks a little funny, doesn't mean they don't have the ability to completely disintegrate you. 

Since this guy is an explorer, he obviously needs a compass. Sadly, it's not a working compass, but still a neat little feature nonetheless. The Explorer Scout also incluced several maps that could be hidden in his chest compartment.

I couldn't even begin to read them, but then again, I'm not a robot. They're probably not supposed to make sense to me. I was never quite sure how these were supposed to be used, so I would just pretend they were super secret plans that the robot was tasked with keeping safe. I think I finally figured it out the day I took all these pictures. 

It seems right at least. The pink lens actually acts as a magnifier, though it's not much more than 1x. I was also expecting it to reveal something different on the maps, but alas, it only gave them a pink hue. It only took me 26 years to figure out how this thing worked. Good job me.

So, does this toy really live up to the memories I had of it? Surprisingly, yes. It's well made, and more importantly, durable. Explorer Scout's panels come open a little too easily now, but it's a 30 year old toy. I doubt anyone expected it to last this long, let alone in such good shape. This one easily washes away the bad taste left by Orguss. 

I guess that'll teach me not to stick old toys in my mouth.

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