Friday, April 30, 2010

Your Happenstance page for today:

Hawkeye always hated when he showed up late to the group photo shot.From X-Statix #21, "The Good and the Famous, part 1" Written by Peter Milligan, pencils by Mike Allred, inks by Nick Craine. I had to go to GCD and look this up: this issue is cover-dated June 2004, same as Avengers #81, a Chuck Austen-written issue, that I haven't read but kinda figure is terrible. "The Good and the Famous" would run five parts and end about the same time as Bendis's "Avengers Disassembled," and X-Statix would end with issue #26. Weird...Thor, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man would all be dead about the same time this storyline ended. (I think Thor was dead, he was at least missing; and he and Hawkeye have of course returned since.)

I wanted to look it up, since this seems like a very old-school Avengers roster, and I thought Milligan and Allred might've just picked whatever Avengers they wanted to play with, rather than being tied to whoever was in the current book. Allred draws Thor and the Scarlet Witch in a likewise old-school style. He at least pays lip service to the current looks for Cap and Iron Man, but it seems like Allred really, really wants to draw them in a sixties style as well.

This issue: Terrorists kidnap the mysterious Doop, to use his brain to power a super-weapon. The Avengers and X-Statix clash, stepping on each other's toes and badmouthing everyone involved, until Doop's brain blows up, into six pieces scattered around the globe. (Think the Cobra Weather Dominator of G.I. Joe, although this storyline also calls back to the Avengers/Defenders clash of about a geological age ago.) Doop can only survive a limited time on the backup brain in his butt (ah, I love comics) and X-Statix fights for their spud-like teammate; while the Avengers try to keep it out of the wrong hands...including the X-Statix.

I just got this run out of the quarter boxes a couple of weeks ago; since I had read X-Force/X-Statix for some time, then fell off the book during the too-long pseudo-Princess Di storyline. I might have to check out the Iron Man/Mr. Sensitive fight next week, though...
Read more!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hopefully not getting Baron & Rude in as much trouble as Parker & Stone:

Even as I still can't watch that episode of South Park that I missed and Everybody Draw Muhammad Day falls through (links via The Bureau Chiefs) I knew this reminded me of something. The Prophet Mohammed (spelled such there, I'm not sure if 'Muhammad' is the more accepted nowadays) appears in Nexus: God Con; along with Jesus Christ, Buddha, and Yahweh, among others.

This storyline opens with Nexus's world of Ylum plastered with posters for "God Con One," placed by the Buddha, who appears as a young boy. After establishing his bona fides, Buddha explains that by popular demand, the gods are there to debate the question, how can a just god permit suffering, cruelty, and death?

Later, Horatio (the titular Nexus) is visited by Jesus, and is more than impressed with him.

Jesus is concerned about how his father will take this, being an Old Testament, 'thou shalt have no gods before me' kind of God; but actually seems more worried about what evil will do when it shows up. And it does, causing a bit of a ruckus before settling into a more pleasing, seductive shape:

Playfully, evil introduces herself to Nexus as Bernice.

Badger also shows up, not for his god Myrtle, but working security for a Thune earth mother. As the con opens, Jesus and Buddha work the dunk tank for charity, in probably the best scene of the book:

The first issue ends with Bernice opening up a ton of hell, and Yahweh arriving to put an end to evil forever. You can probably guess how well that's gonna work...
Hmm...reminds me of that Savage Dragon, "Don't **** with God" bit, although offhand I couldn't tell you which came first.

I think there may have been a few offended readers of this one, and long-time Nexus inker Gary Martin comments on the letters page about the story's liberties taken with Jesus and God. I don't know if Muslims were put off, though. Personally, this wasn't my favorite storyline either, since I'm mostly godless; but if you're offended or your feelings are hurt or you don't think your deity would act like that or you don't believe in any of them, you can just say it's a mysterious alien power taking a shape that would be recognized.

I've been a fan of Mike Baron's writing for years, but I also always thought he was on the liberal side of the fence; and in recent years his conservative views have been made more public. So I've been wondering if I've been seeing messages in his work that aren't there, or completely missing the point of what he was getting at. I thought the moral of God Con was that the real root of suffering and injustice in the universe was that there's always going to be the weak and the wicked that choose the tempting path of evil and wreck things up for everybody. I could be wrong...but I'm sticking with that one.

Scans from Nexus: God Con #1, written by Mike Baron, pencils by Steve Rude, inks by Gary Martin.

Read more!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is Nightcrawler toast?

Today, X-Force #26 comes out today (and the preview is here at CBR), and an X-Man will least for a bit. Will Nightcrawler die? Or will another X-Men take the (usually short) dirt nap?

I have a theory, that could well just be wishful thinking, but I'm thinking the fallen hero is going to be either Cable, or Angel. I think--and again, could be way off--that Nightcrawler is going to end up in Wolverine (and Rick Remender's) new X-Force. Kurt had been opposed to X-Force's kill-or-be-killed methods (or, more accurately, straight-up murder) and he may be added to the new version to either try to serve as its conscience, or be forced to soldier up in the fight against Apocalypse.
Here's hoping, but I won't know...until the spoilers come out. I gotta say, Nightcrawler on X-Force would get me to read that book for the first time since the Milligan/Allred days, before that became X-Statix.

We've been having a bit of a do-it-yourself week here so far; and now I have no idea what I'm doing here the rest of this week. Well, we'll see.

(EDIT: Still posting this, but you can see the spoiler at CBR here. Great...)
Read more!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


One page last week, five this week. That's how we roll around here, so click to enlarge!

Previous episodes in this one: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Ideally, I maybe could've got another part or two out of this one, if I had an in-scale D-list or better cannon fodder group of DC bad guys, like Kobra goons, or some such. I know I have a few Joker henchmen floating about, but it's not quite the same. The HYDRA agents are close, but for the Suicide Squad I wanted them up against DC baddies, and it didn't turn out.

I haven't picked up the DCUC Black Adam yet (and it seems to have disappeared locally) but I had considered using him for this one, and went with Bane instead. I haven't read Secret Six, but I'm hoped Gail Simone can keep moving his character forward: he got a lot of development for a few years, then was apparently reversed to "I break people" in Final Crisis or some damn thing. As a character, Bane could go a bunch of different ways--as a fighter for redemption, as the hired muscle, as the amoral crimelord, as the weirdly honorable sociopath, and more. But it seems some level of editorial doesn't want him to be more than just another recurring Batman villain.

I also thought about doing a page or two where Nightcrawler and Falcon visit Forge, to get the Deadpool-detector. (Last seen in the Doc Samson strips way back when!) I wanted to play with Forge as a guy who's also a Native American wizard, a Vietnam vet (or, given Marvel's sliding timeline, a veteran of some foreign war), has fought ancient evils, and helped drive the Dire Wraiths off of earth; yet now no one cares about him unless they need a technological dodad to move the plot forward. Oh, and I guess Forge was killed, maybe, in a recent Astonishing X-Men.

Tomorrow: wishful thinking, maybe.
Read more!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Eating (some) words about Avatar:

OK, so Avatar sold a figurative (and possibly literal) ton of DVD's since Thursday, meaning I was probably wrong about it not having the following of something like Lord of the Rings. Still don't get the appeal myself, though.

Deadpool/Suicide Squad concluding tomorrow!
Read more!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Call me a bad person, but I would read the hell out of this on a regular basis:

This is the meanest Betty & Veronica story ever...
Maybe that's why I could never watch soaps or primetime dramas: no matter how meanspirited, bitchy, or catty they got; they couldn't measure up to pre-Code comics. From 1953's Menace #2 (and reprinted in Giant-Size Dracula #2) "On with the Dance!" Written by Stan Lee, art by Russ Heath.

Posting ought to be a little more regular next week, and by then I should have a couple more strips done. I say now...have a good weekend!

Read more!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Earth Day bonus!...not related to Earth Day in any way, but still.

New One-Shots up at Articulated Discussion! Featuring figures I also got for my nephews, and they liked them too. And a short review, oddly enough, of a little figure you might be able to find for a buck or two, or you might have to pony up more dough, depending. Check it out!
Read more!

In other news, Avatar comes out on DVD today...

Best get these Nightcrawler panels in while I can...
OK, that's not a Direhorse or whatever, it's a Micronauts Centaurus, but close enough for some fun. It's funny, but I never saw the Avatar animal action figures as often as I did the corporate-oppressor Scorpion gunship or AMP suit. I might've picked up an AMP if I'd seen one on sale, but I never did, and I don't think the larger Joe figures would fit anyway.

While I don't particularly care, and won't get it myself; I am morbidly curious to see how well Avatar does on DVD, although I suppose it might come with enough bells-and-whistles to offset the downside of seeing it on a smaller screen. The TV spots seem to be pushing it as "Return to Pandora," like it's some mystical journey; or rather the same way a lot of fans felt about Middle-Earth in the Lord of the Rings movies. I don't think that level of investment is it?

And it's Earth Day, and I'm currently mildly annoyed since even though I've been walking to work lately, I had to drive today since I have to do stupid errands. Swell. Of course, and I had a great science teacher in high school that correctly pointed this out; the only good thing you can really do for the environment? Die. And even then, your smelly carcass is messing up the place...

I wonder if a science teacher could say that today, without being branded a left-wing agitator or advocate for teen suicide. But that wasn't his point, the point is, even if you're living the jungle primeval, using rocks for tools and eating berries, you're still having an impact on your environment. A significantly smaller impact, yes, but you're still changing it.

So, as corporations pay lip service to this made-up day, I always get the feeling that America, and the world in general, will never get off of oil; until every last drop of profit has been squeezed out of it by the oil industry, the auto industry, etc. Then, miraculously, some new technology will be discovered, that you'll have to pay for, and buy new cars, and blah, blah, blah.

I guess I try to "live greener," or as greener as an average work-a-day guy with a metric ton of dead tree comics and petroleum-based plastic action figures can be. I just don't have a very good attitude about it.
Read more!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Belle Reve."

Short one this week, but this storyline concludes next Tuesday! A day early, since Wednesday may have something else. Ooh, better get started.
Read more!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I go on and on about action figures, then buy this one for the comic...

I picked up the Star Wars Comic Two-Pack with Luke and Lumiya the other day, and while it's a pretty good pair of figures, the tipping point for buying it was the enclosed comic, Star Wars #96. From back in the day after Return of the Jedi when Star Wars fandom was going into a low ebb, Marvel still managed a few decent issues before the series ended. (Although it says Dark Horse on the reprint cover, since they have the license now!)

This month, Luke faces off against a mysterious female, who wields a whip with energy and barbed tendrils, and beats his ass with it. The mysterious Lumiya, allied with the unknown alien race the Nagai, plots an invasion against the still-unsteady galactic Alliance.

Luke's friend Kiro, a water-breathing Iskalonian, was beaten and left for dead in the previous issue; but manages to recover and free Luke. Seeing Kiro's short-sword, Luke has an idea on how to take Lumiya; and also promises to try and train Kiro as a Jedi, if he still wants.

After preparing, Luke faces Lumiya again, but this time ready:

With a second lightsaber (somehow cobbled together, seemingly without a crystal, or whatever) Luke recovers his original, and turns the tables. He also lets on that he recognizes her now, infuriating her. Lumiya wraps her whip around Luke's long saber, but it's a trap, and she loses her whip in the attempt. Lunging at him, Luke slices her mask and armor off...revealing an old friend.

While I love this issue, the Nagai invasion introduced didn't seem to catch on, and there were only eleven issues left of Marvel's series. I don't know if the art caught on at the time either, but I dug it then and still do now. "Duel with a Dark Lady!" Written by Jo Duffy, pencils by Cynthia Martin, inks by Bob Wiacek. Dig up a copy from 1985 or try and find the figures!
Read more!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Didn't this blog used to be about comics?

I like the logo on Pool's tanks, but what kind of flamethrower burns a hole through you?
Yeah, it happens sometimes: the action figures take over the show. That and...I haven't been reading a lot of comics lately. The last book I bought? Deadpool Team-Up #894, the disappointing issue with FrankenCastle. That sounds like the most fun pairing ever, but the whole issue is a set-up for one joke. One lame joke. (And why Hasbro hasn't gotten on a FrankenCastle action figure yet, I couldn't imagine...)

The Deadpool books are hit-and-miss, usually with more hits than that last one, but I think I'm enjoying Merc With a Mouth the most; and I don't mind that it's suddenly a limited series. With an end point in mind, that might keep the meandering to a minimum. I haven't read the Deadpool Corps stuff, either, since that seemed a bit much and I figured I could wait for a trade. (Kyle Baker and Phillip Bond art might sell that one for me.)

And...that's all the Marvel books I'm reading on a regular basis: I could start reading Captain America again, and that Alan Davis Cap/Iron Man/Thor project would be a lock if Bendis doesn't drop the ball. PunisherMax I'll probably get the trade for--man, I miss Garth Ennis on that. I only read the X-Men books when Nightcrawler gets to do something, which is never, so...

I've mentioned before, for DC I'm reading Unknown Soldier and Warlord, both of which sell a combined total of squat, which is a shame. I might cough up for that Return of Bruce Wayne series, since, well, Pirate Batman.

Over at Dark Horse, I will read about any Hellboy title they care to put out: B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien, Lobster Johnson...I skipped Witchfinder, but that was about it.

I get a lot of Warren Ellis' Avatar books, but some like Dr. Sleepless seem to have fallen off the schedule.

Is that it? Back when comics were less than two bucks, it was a lot easier to keep buying a mediocre or even crappy book, but with books coming up on a four-dollar average, it's easier to drop just about everything. And harder to pick up anything new: I'm sure I'd love Atomic Robo, but I've only read a couple issues.

So currently my enthusiasm for comics is a little low. But we'll see. Usually, something pops up to remind me why I put up with them...
Read more!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Retro Toy Week: Spawn the Bloodaxe!

If you were to ask me, I would probably say I'm not a fan of McFarlane Toys. I don't care for sports figures, clamshells, mismatched boots, unarticulated statues...

And yet, when McFarlane is on, it is on, and Spawn the Bloodaxe here? Definitely on.

With furry-fur stuff! Real metal chain! And joints! Working, movable, useful joints! And a big-ass axe, but that all pales next to that sculpt. The Spawn-face logo is on both his knees, I counted three skulls on him, and actually, that ax has more and better detail than a lot of the figures you might buy today.

I don't remember buying Bloodaxe here: I used to work in a mall store, where I would've picked him up at some discount, but I couldn't say what he cost. I do know I have at least the Valkyrie from his wave as well; and both of them weren't super-articulated, but they weren't the big unmoveable plastic lumps that would later fall out of McFarlane. They used to make action figures, if not toys...

There appears to be a repaint version of Bloodaxe, but I have no idea which one I have. has a review of the 2002 exclusive con-version, so check it out. Bloodaxe is going back on the shelf, and I might find something else for him to do...

Well, Bloodaxe is a good one to go out on for Retro Toy Week! It might be a while before I try something like that again, since man, I left a mess of figures lying around. But it was fun to go back through some old stuff, and I found some things I can still have fun with, and some others I can pass on to my boys or my nephews. Hope you enjoyed this one, and have a good weekend!

Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Robotech Veritech!

How many of you watched Robotech, or Macross? OK, how many of you didn't watch it until you were in your thirties? Uh-huh, that's what I thought. Thanks to the vagaries of programming in my area, I think it was only on at like 5:30 in the morning, on odd days. I read a few of the Comico adaptations, but it would be years before I could borrow a friend's tapes and see the whole series. About twenty minutes after that, it came out on DVD...

So today, we've got Toynami's Roy Fokker VF-1S super-poseable action figure! This one isn't transformable, but it's a lot more articulated than most of the Veritech figures that had come out before. "Super-poseable" might be a slight exaggeration, though, since the hips don't have a ton of range to the sides, but it's still a big step up. Also, there's lots of little touches like the moving rear after-burners and head mounted guns.

Fokker's fighter also came with five interchangeable hands, which I know I still have around here somewhere. I always liked the Veritech design, and Fokker's skull-and-crossbones logo was the coolest; but I always preferred my giant robots to have a face.
From 2002, this one's still a nice display piece. Just don't drop a hundred bucks on Amazon for him!
Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Palisades Micronauts Pharoid!

Theoretically, I could've gotten this one back when I was five years old, but no dice.

I know I had a Space Glider and an Acroyear, but slowly lost them piece by piece. I might have a gun or sword or perhaps Glider's helmet left, but that's all. (As opposed to my old Star Wars figures, who still have most of their accessories.) So, this Pharoid is one of Palisades' reissues, the second series from 2003. Supposedly, the distribution on that batch was a little dicey, but there's every probability that I picked him, and a lot of the others, on clearance. (I have a Palisades Red Falcon or two that were dirt cheap, for example.)

In fact, all the Micronauts I have are reissues, and I keep them in the same little bin. But I'm pretty sure I lose a piece every time I open it. Pharoid may fare a little better than some of the others, since he has his little sarcophagus/time chamber to keep him together. Still, every time I take him out, I have to put at least one hand back on, then his four winglet pieces. The rest of his joints? Pretty good, really; the ones on mine are more robust than any of his brothers.

I know a character named Pharoid appeared in Marvel's classic Micronauts comic, but don't recall him having a huge resemblance to his action figure namesake. I also know he was killed in a bit of a purge there somewhere, too; but he was never part of the main team. Then again, comic-Pharoid may not have had that rockin' mullet, either.

Pharoid's going back into storage with the other Micronauts, but they still pop up now and then. Don't feel too bad for him.

Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Clerks Inaction Figure Silent Bob!

Yeah, he's just too fat to fit on my shelves...oh, too soon?

I know I have the first wave or two of the Clerks Inaction Figures--so named because there's not a single point of articulation in the lot--but I don't have them on display. Partly because of space restraints, partly because of the scale, partly because I'm not as enthusiastic about Kevin Smith as I used to be. I know I liked Clerks 2, but like his last couple movies, it was a movie I watched once and might never watch again.

And his comics...I haven't read his new Batman thing, but I haven't heard good things, either. His Black Cat was terrible, and Nightcrawler guest-starred, which is usually enough to get a thumbs-up from me, so you know it's bad. That's not to say Smith is a bad writer or I'm never going to read or watch anything he ever does again, but I do think he could use a bit more focus somehow.

Silent Bob is getting a few paint rubs from being in a bin, but his cigarette hangs on. That and despite the novelty of hey, Clerks characters! They don't do anything, just like the movie! I do prefer my figures to have articulation. Even Simpsons-style arms and neck joints would've been something. He'll survive in the box.

Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Spider-Sense Peter Parker!

Sometimes, an action figure might end up in storage when the character it's based on loses popularity, or the relative scale of the displayed figures might change, or a better version of the character might come out. And sometimes because it's just not a great figure.

From Toy Biz in 1999, Spider-Sense Peter Parker tries for that iconic 'tingling spider-sense' look--I don't know how much it's used in the comics these days, but I'm pretty sure if you read the newspaper strip for a week you'll see it.

Historically, Peter is almost a missing link of action figures: sure, he's got a doofy action feature--squeeze his legs and his arms pump--but if you look closely, you can see the paint wash on the pants and the Spidey-side of his head, so the manufacturers were making some effort at something new there. And I know there was a J. Jonah Jameson figure around the same time (actually, the same wave) so Toy Biz maybe might have been testing the waters to see if civilian figures would sell. If Petey here had flown off the shelves, maybe we would've seen Spidey's supporting cast get figures before Marvel Legends. Vile speculation, that.

Then again, he comes with some garbage cans (to throw, since he can hold the handles) and a camera which he can't hold. It's more likely Pete was just thrown in to fill out the wave.

I'm almost positive I bought this figure for $3.33 at KB Toys, because I spent a long time slaving in a mall, and bought a lot of figures in lieu of food. It struck me to remember when figures used to go on something called 'clearance.' These days, a line like Star Trek or Terminator or even Avatar might be cleared out in the bigger stores, to make way for the next batch of movie toys; feels like superhero toys aren't moved like that. How many of you action-figure hunters know exactly what stores near you aren't getting new figures because they've had pegs full of Captain Cold or Secret Wars Spider-Man/Thunderball for the last six months or more. (Is that Secret Wars pack a pegwarmer? Eh, not compared to Captain Cold, anyway...)

Ah, let's step down from the internet ranty box, and have some action feature fun!

Read more!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Retro Toy Week: Umm...

Several years ago, a local store named Factory to You was a discount outlet for clothes, shoes, and so forth; and a pretty fair toy selection. It's been gone for a few years, and I miss it: there are similar stores around, but none came through for me like this place. I could fill a good-sized shelf with the stuff I bought there that I sure as fun wouldn't have paid full price for: pre-Legends Marvel stuff, Dragon's Lair figures, and this guy. Hmm...this guy.

Bangsy McOvercompensator could've gone with a smaller sword, that didn't take fifteen minutes to start and complete a swing; just like he could've gone with a haircut that didn't obscure his vision in life-or-death swordfights; but he knew he's the second banana in an anime, so who cares? Excuse him for having a sense of style!

OK, that's overly harsh and not right at all. He's Sagara Sanosuke from the anime Rurouni Kenshin. I know I've watched and even enjoyed that show, but can't for the life of me remember much about it, or at least about Sagara. (I remember the bad guy that fought with fire and may have burned off most of his skin...) In the episodes I saw, Sagara was the best friend spot, and was there mostly for commentary and exposition while Kenshin powered up to 9000 or something...OK, that's not right either.

I don't think I'm far off on that sword, since I think his attack would either kill his opponent outright, in one swipe; or leave him completely open for counterattack.

I think Sagara may have come with an alternate arm or something, but I didn't look for it. He's got seven points of articulation, so he's mostly just a display piece. And his sword looks like a cake-cutter. Sagara hasn't been on the shelf for a while, since that thing takes out like four other figures every time.
Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Total Justice Darkseid!

Most action figure collectors, meaning the ones over 6, have a rather problematic relationship with the action feature. After all, a lot of the time they're buying a figure for display, not for working missile-launchers or thunder-punch action. If there has to be an action feature, they'd prefer it be less obtrusive.

...and here's the definition of 'obtrusive action feature,' right on cue: Capture-Claw Darkseid.

Unlike the other Total Justice figures, Darkseid didn't get silly removable fractal armor (fun enough for kids or to mess around with, then you can leave it in a box) he gets a huge, working claw. A huge, working, non-removable claw. Actually, for the time, the rest of the sculpt isn't terrible, although Darkseid seems less omnipotent end of the universe evil, more somewhat mortified at that thing on his fist. His face doesn't seem craggy enough, either, but maybe this is a younger Darkseid, wet behind the ears but claw ready to find that Anti-Life Equation.

As was typical for the Total Justice line, Darkseid doesn't have a ton of articulation, six points, including his wrist at the claw. He's not terrible, but for display purposes, I'll stick with my DC Direct Darkseid. Oddly enough, that one has a Mother Box stuck in his hand. I don't think I'll be getting the DCUC version, but that version at least has two hands ready to go.
Too small, throw him back! This Darkseid's best remembered, by me anyway, for a joke from Toyfare featuring him and some fitting guest aliens. Seems a shame to put him back in storage, though: I might see if my nephews would enjoy a big bad to fight. there aren't Green Lantern Care Bears, I have no idea. In all the emotional spectrum colors and flavors! That one's on me, DC Direct!

Read more!

And now I have "Beyond the Sea" stuck in my head...

Another new One-Shot at Articulated Discussion! You'll have to go there to see what I'm on about...

Read more!

It just feels like the last page of every Fantastic Four, is all:

From Fantastic Four #196, "Who in the world is the Invincible Man?" Written by Marv Wolfman, art by Keith Pollard, finishes by Pablo Marcos.

Sigh. I said I was still going to have comic book posts this week, and aside from re-reading Nextwave the other day, I haven't had a lot of time to get anything going on that end. (And Nextwave? Still great.) Still, Retro Toy Week will continue later today! How many more randomy figures will I dig up, photograph, then throw back into storage? Um, your guess is as good as mine at this point. Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Art Asylum Bruce Lee!

Where are my damn Underworld CD's? I found the live one last week...anyway.

Why the hell is this in storage? Must've missed putting him back out when I moved. Art Asylum did a Bruce Lee figure assortment back in...some year. There's no date on Bruce, although one foot is stamped TM & Copyright Bruce Lee Estate, which would be a helluva imprint on some chump's face.

Three things about this figure: the head may be just a smidge oversized, but that may either be accurate, or to better display the incredible head sculpt. Conversely, Bruce's feet seem somewhat tiny, although I'm not a Lee expert, so maybe he did have dainty feet, and they were obviously still big enough to kick the hell out of you. Three, this figure has the weirdest damn action figure crotch I've personally ever seen.

Isn't that weird? It's...oblong. It does get him into a fairly natural looking split, though. The articulation all looks pretty natural, and besides the nunchuks, I think Bruce came with another set of hands, maybe a staff, and a little plastic Art Asylum coin. (A lot of their early Star Trek, Enterprise, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon figures came with those. Rumor was you could trade them for some kind of exclusive, but I don't know if that ever happened.)

This is off memory, but I think some other company might've had the Enter the Dragon license: I remember a Han figure on the pegs of Toys R Us for some time. Besides the yellow jumpsuit from Game of Death, Art Asylum also did a fantasy version of Bruce called Immortal Dragon, a sort of plastic 'what if Bruce Lee had filmed a historical kung-fu movie?'

The yellow jumpsuit might run you a bit. Heck, so might the Immortal Dragon or the others, but there are other Bruce Lee's out there. Shop it around! Meanwhile, I'm positive Bruce is going to fight his way back onto my shelves here. (And he didn't linger in storage too long, I had used him briefly in a tryout strip some time back!)

Read more!

Retro Toy Week: Nick Fury!

No forced perspective, that hand is huuuuuuge.
Although it may have been unintentional, under Toy Biz's various lines, a good-sized chunk of the Marvel Universe was on the toy shelves throughout the 90's. With their Fantastic Four, Iron Man, among others, most of the Marvel Universe was made into a 5-inch figure. (There were a few exceptions, like the first Silver Surfer figures that were bigger.)

Eventually, with their super-articulated Spider-Man figures as a precursor, Toy Biz would start reselling fans the same characters as Marvel Legends. I don't think most fans complained, since the updated figures were a quantum-leap forward in terms of sculpt, paint, and poseability. Whereas, now a lot of Legends fans are now grousing about the switch to the smaller Marvel Universe line.

And all of that is just to set the stage for this, the first Nick Fury action figure, from his guest appearance on the 90's Spider-Man cartoon. He's got a bit of fun play features: the jetpack launches two missiles, although I'm not sure if it's cartoon accurate or anything.

These figures had a bit of an exaggerated sculpt: Nick's hand is big, for example. And the paint wasn't perfect, or maybe he's had a few paint rubs over the years.
Read more!