Monthly Archives: May 2009

Although I fully expected Terminator Salvation to improve this past weekend, it instead didn’t find an audience and continues to bomb. Despite all the hype this could end up being the lowest money making Terminator film in the franchise. More sub par reviews continue to flow in and the film thus far has only made $90 Million dollars. Which sounds good, but the film cost around $200 million to make.

Compare that to the newly released Star Trek which has already made $209 million in the United States alone. Terminator could make some more money on the international market where it’s yet to be released. Still I have to wonder if Terminator 5 will even happen now.

Obviously Christian Bale is no Arnold Schwarzenegger. Originally I compared this new Terminator to the 1998 Godzilla which I said was a movie that made tons of money but was still considered a bomb. Well it looks to me like that may have been an unfair comparison, because I’m starting to doubt that the new Terminator flick will make the near $400 million that Godzilla made.

Especially with the summer blockbuster season just starting. Transformers, GI Joe, Land of the Lost and several other big pictures are still coming down the line. To be successful you need to be #1 at the box office for at least one weekend, and Terminator failed to do that. It’s resting at #4 this week but I don’t think it’ll rise any in the weeks ahead.

Next week Land of the Lost and the Hangover will try to take some of McG’s money. After that it’s a few easy weeks. I have to wonder if Terminator wouldn’t have done better opening the week after next instead of against Night at the Museum 2 and then Up.

Box Office for Summer 2009:
Star Trek – $209,500,000
Wolverine X-Men Origins – $170,870,000
Night at the Museum 2 – $105,296,000
Angels & Demons – $104,760,000
Terminator Salvation – $90,657,000

This review comes a little late because I wasn’t planning on reviewing anything today but this fellow came along and I decided he’d be a fun change of pace. Actually this review is about 18 years late because this figure came out around 1991. And what was the box office summer smash in 1991? City Slickers of course! This however is not a City Slickers figure review. It’d be awesome if it was though.

No this is of the other box office smash of 1991, ROBIN HOOD! No… No it’s not that either. How about the not-so box office smash, The Rocketeer! Yes this is a review of the Rocketeer Bend-ems figure from JusToys that came out around 1991. I haven’t been savoring this figure for 18 years, rather I just bought it off EvilBay a while back.

Why review it? Well because this site is all about pop culture baby! And what could be more hip and relevant than a rubber figure from a movie that didn’t do so well. But let it be known that the Rocketeer is all kinds of awesome and that’s why he’s getting a review now! As Cheech Marin said in Ghostbusters 2, “Better late than never”.

Packaging:
There are two parts to this package review. First the package as I received it. It’s dirty, busted up, stains on it and clearly someone removed a price tag. And now something for our under 18 audience. Kids, before electronics and Skynet ruled the world they had something called “Price Tags”. Back then we didn’t need computers to tell us the price of anything and we didn’t have price scanners in the stores. There were little stickers called price tags that told us what the items cost. And these were on EVERY item. Unless you went to K-Mart, which was notorious for not putting them on their items in order to sucker you into taking it to the checkout in hopes that you wouldn’t take it back and would just buy it no matter the price.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so the package is in pretty terrible condition. In fact the bubble has been broken, thus exposing this figure to air for 18 years. Usually I feel bad opening a package, especially something vintage, but in this case I feel GOOD taking poor Rocketeer from his ghetto home.

The package itself though is clearly beautiful. Sure, it’s covered in muck now, but in 1991 this thing must have been a beauty. The back of the package tells the story of the Rocketeer and has some great artwork. As does the front. There’s even a dark blue image of the Rocketeer’s helmet that can’t be seen unless you take the figure out.

But if you take the figure out ripping the bubble, the picture would be destroyed. Thankfully I just cut my Rocketeer out. Or finished ripping the middle of the bubble. Perhaps he was trying to escape his home before he biodegraded?

All in all this is a nice package. I don’t get too excited by packages often, but this one has a very retro appeal to it. I’m keeping this card, even if it smells like raw sewage.

Articulation:
Technically bend-ems have no points of articulation and yet, EVERYTHING is a point or articulation. See the whole figure is poseable wire underneath rubber. That sounds like a good thing, but often it’s total ass. This would be one of the latter accounts. You can move Rocketeer’s arms and legs some and twist his torso a bit, but he’s not good for a ton of poses.

One of the problems with bendy figures is that over time the wires either break or come out of the figure. In this case, one of the wires is already poking out of Rocketeer’s foot! Before I ever even posed him. Where’s the quality control?!

Sculpt:
This is a bend-em. He’s not going to be a masterpiece. Still even grading on that curve this guy is far from perfect. For starters his body is too fat. He’s chunky all over. Apparently ol’ Cliff Secord hasn’t missed a meal in some time. He’s supposed to be 6 inch scale, but he’s really more like 5 1/2 or so, which back in 1991 would have made him perfect to fit in absolutely ZERO toy lines.


“C’mon fellas, group hug!”

Still it’s not all bad. The helmet and rocket pack are really good representations of what they’re supposed to be. This isn’t the Medicom Rocketeer but it’s got nice detailing on both. They tried to give him baggy aviator pants, but it just sort of looks like fat Rosie O’Donnell thighs.

The paint ain’t nothing to be proud of either. Rocketeer’s coat is red as opposed to brown, but I can see the comic stylized look they were going for. The gold helmet is actually painted nice and shows some “age” though I don’t know if that’s because of the package being open for 18 years (The whole figure is dusty and bit funky) or by design. Either way it works.


TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!

The rocket pack is painted pretty plain but looks nice. The rest of the figure’s paint is pretty sub par and it’s got a fair amount of slop. Such is life when dealing with old bend-ems.

Accessories:
Typically bend-ems don’t come with anything. Actually, do they even still make bend-ems? It’s like who really wants a bend-em? Aside from Gumby I’ve always thought bend-ems were dumb. It’s “For the parent who doesn’t love their child enough to get them a decent toy, get ’em a bend-em!”… But I digress, because Rocketeer does have an accessory!

His rocket pack. It’s a separate piece! Why? Who knows but I’m thankful. See, I plan on cannibalizing this bend-em into something else and I needed the rocket pack. The rocket has both a clip and peg to go into the figure. It’s quite nice and an almost identical replica to the movie backpack. Thank you JusToys!

Additional Notes:
This guy probably spent the majority of his life in a dollar store. I’m sure he sat on the shelf for a good five years before someone for no apparent reason bought him. He then sat on the shelf of someone’s basement and/or attic for another ten years. He was probably carted out on a few yard sale days and no one bought him. He likely ended up on Ebay for probably another two or three years before finally coming to a family that will love him. Or at the very worst chop him up for customs.

Value:
I’m not sure what his original price was (Someone ripped off his price tag!) but I’m guessing about $3 or $3.50. In today’s market he’s worth $3. Of course back in 1991, $3 was like $8-9 now, so uh… He’s not worth that. So for you time machine shoppers, he’s a pass. I paid at least two or three times his original retail and guess what? He’s not worth that now either.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 4
Articulation – 2
Accessories – Rocket Pack
Value – 3
Overall – 4 out of 10

I’ve been pretty rough on ol’ Rocketeer. But I’ll be honest, there aren’t very many good Rocketeer toys out there. I’ve spoken to Shocker Toys about making a Rocketeer, but because the merchandising rights are locked up in Disney it’s unlikely we’ll ever see one. So what does that leave us with? Well this toy. He’s not bad considering there is so little Rocketeer junk out there.

The Medicom Rocketeer is the pinnacle of Rocketeer toys. This little rubber dude is something much less exciting. But with any luck I’ll be able to make a decent custom Rocketeer out of him. Still a little life left in Cliff Secord after all.

I mentioned in my last post some silly prices I’d seen on Ebay for rather common stuff. Well I figured I’d share a few with you. Granted these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally THOUSANDS of bad deals to be had on Ebay right now. I think since the economy is in the dumps people must think they can sell worthless junk on Ebay for millions.

A lot of these are Ninja Turtle ones, but some aren’t. I find this funny because no one is bidding on these Ninja Turtles for outrageous prices. Same for the GI Joes or other items. No one is going to pay these crazy prices for rather average items.

The NECA Player Select series is popular and pretty cool. The Ninja Gaiden figures are probably the best. But Ryu Hayabusa for $87 is a bit steep. Especially since he retails for about $15 and is readily available elsewhere.

Here’s three sets of TMNT Donatellos that are neither rare nor sought after and they go for $59.99 but it has free shipping and considering some of the “deals” out there, this one isn’t that bad.

The new re-released Rocksteady and Bebop. Sought after figures I’m sure, but worth $50 for the pair? I think not. But it does include some mini Turtles that are also not rare.

Up next we have some World of Warcraft figures. I never collected these, but 23 of them for $1,000 doesn’t sound like a good deal. I know my local comic shop had some for much less, but obviously it’s a good deal because one has bought it yet.

Here we have a rare mistake figure. April with a Splinter tag on the new 25th TMNT figures. Only $100 which seems a bit pricey to me.

If you’re getting April, she’ll need a ride. Why not the new TMNT Cowabunga Carl van? You could buy it for $20 at most places but on Ebay it’s available for $99.95 Plus $50 shipping It’s a steal!

Up next is the “Hot Rod” himself, Roddy Piper. Now Roddy got a special GI Joe made in his honor a couple of years ago at the Joe Con. These Joe Con figures tend to go for quite a bit but Roddy is now going for ridiculous amounts on Ebay. Just look! Needless to say I doubt Piper will go for that much. It’s not a great figure and while it is sought after, not to those levels. Again folks, we’re in a recession, people aren’t gonna drop that kinda money on Piper.

And here’s probably my favorite. A NECA Leonardo figure with a Raphael paper insert (I saw tons of these screw ups when NECA released these figures mind you) for the low, low cost of $20,000! I can’t believe it hasn’t already sold. And I’m pretty sure it costs a decent chunk of change to list an item with a BIN so high. So this guy is rapidly losing money.

All in all, Ebay can be pretty hilarious at times. Although there are still some steals on Ebay, it’s becoming harder and harder to find them. I wonder if it’s because of the recent inflations in prices or because of people selling items they have no knowledge about.

Some randomness.

I had someone visit the blog from Dhahran, Ash Sharqiyah today. I have no idea where Dhahran, Ash Sharqiyah is and I don’t know if that’s because I went to public school or because it’s really obscure. I’m sure Google could tell me where Dhahran, Ash Sharqiyah is, but I’d rather just pretend it’s a hidden province in Latveria.

I’m getting quite pissed off that Ninja Turtle figures from a few years ago (and in some cases LAST year) are fetching upwards of $20 on Ebay. Especially when the rarer, older vintage figures are going for about the same. Please people on Ebay, stop trying to rip me off. Oh and it doesn’t cost $9 to ship everything.

Suck it USPS for legitimately raising your rates and no doubt adding to the Ebay shipping-rape-scheme.

I have no idea if I hate customizers or love them. I keep seeing incredible customs of figures I want, but haven’t the money to buy or the skill to make. I may dabble some into making some customs myself soon, but I know they’ll suck.

Anyone got something specific they want me to cover, review, etc? I’m open to suggestions.

First up David Tennant will be doing a stint on the Sarah Jane Smith Adventures as the Timelord in the CBBC series across two episodes this autumn. Tennant is being replaced as The Doctor by Matt Smith, 26, next year but he is due to appear in three specials, starting with The Waters of Mars in November.

However there could be more in the works…

BBC News recently did a story on David Tennant’s appearance on The Sarah Jane Adventures. At the end of the article, a BBC spokeswoman confirms that there is “a script is in development”. There are no other details at this time, but speculation has begun as to who will play the Time Lord if Doctor Who makes it to the big screen as David Tennant hands the part over to Matt Smith next year.

Credit: IGN.com

It wouldn’t surprise me if they went for some sort of big screen adaptation to push Matt Smith into the new role of the Doctor. Which could be why they chose the Twilight look-a-like to be in the role in the first place. They could have a big Time War style movie planned starring Tennant for half and then have him turn into Smith for half.

Either way it’s nice to see that Tennant’s 10th Doctor is getting some more screen time, both with Sarah Jane and whatever this “script” could be in terms of a major motion picture.