Yearly Archives: 2010

Batman Brave & Bold Action League
Batman and Gorilla Grodd
2 Inch Scale
By: Mattel

To start off the year 2010, our first review here at Infinite Hollywood was the Action League Batmobile but as we head out of 2010, I figured it would make sense to revisit the Action League. So we’re ending the year the same way we started it. This time it’s the two pack of Gorilla Grodd and of course, Batman. These little guys have been quite the hit, but it seems as though 201 may also be the swan song for this particular brand of the Action League. Instead Mattel will be making an Action League without the Brave & The Bold cartoon style.

The package is a nice little window box with hanging tab. The design is simple and uniform throughout the Brave & The Bold line. Honestly, I find it more attractive than the DC Universe branding. I’m not a fan of Mattel branding all DC items alike.

You can see Grodd and Batman clearly through the window. Also, behind them is a neat little jungle background. No doubt the battleground for these two foes.

The back shows off the rest of the guys who came out in this assortment. That Joker has become quite hard to find in recent months, I suspect Mattel has stopped making them. The other deluxe pack in the assortment is also show, a Batcycle.

I’m a big fan of the style of these guys. Unlike Hasbro’s offerings, these figures don’t look particularly kiddie. I also think that they reflect a unique twist on the animation of the show. They’re not exact, but they’re exaggerated versions of those good designs.

Batman has been repainted with a jungle green theme, but we’re not given an explanation of exactly what this armor is. I do wish we had a little more details about that and why he’s using it to battle Grodd, but I guess you can fill in the rest of the details yourself. The gloves probably have some sort of electrical shock?

The Batman is the same “basic” Bats sculpt we’ve seen numerous times in this line. I’m okay with a universal sculpt and they’ve made plenty of other Batman sculpts as well. He looks good with the regular version and the Burton version.

Gorilla Grodd is obviously the draw of the set and looks quite nice. He’s just cartoony enough, but has some fearsome elements as well. He comes with a brain scan helmet on, similar to the DCUC version. This one of course, is more toon oriented.

The nice part about this one, as opposed to the DCUC version, is that the helmet is made to be removed. Huzzah! Grodd looks quite good underneath and he reminds me a bit of Donkey Kong. He’s also a perfect size to add to your Imaginext DC Superfriends collection as well, should you be so inclined.

He has some sculpted fur bits in various parts and his face has a lot of charm. It’s a nice little Grodd.

Batman has all the standard Action League articulation, which is simply cuts at the neck, shoulders and waist.

Grodd is a bit of a surprise as he has pin/post style ball jointed shoulders. His neck, waist and feet have additional cuts for posing. I do wish the hands had cuts so that we could swivel them into some other position than walking on his knuckles. Also, because the figure is hunched over, he’s hard to stand but in a few positions. I wish we had an extra joint to make him stand up straighter.

As far as I know, none of the Action League guys have come with separate accessories. If they have a weapon, it’s usually molded into their hands. Of course, this set is a tad different.

Grodd has his removable helmet. It’s a decent little addition and I’m sure you could so something else with it if you were so inclined.

You’re mostly paying $10 for Grodd. He’s a decent little guy and he’s got some bulk on him. Given that it’s $6 or $7 for a regular Action League two pack, I don’t feel too bad paying $10 for this deluxe set. Of course many stores are clearancing these guys out right now, so you can pick Grodd up for even less.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 5
Accessories – Helmet
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

This Grodd set scores a pretty good seven. It’s nothing amazing, but does everything fairly well. It’s a good way to round out the year and a neat little addition to your Action League set. I’m glad they decided to branch out into bigger characters. Plus he looks cool battling my Jakks Micro Ring Starz and such.

Some interesting new developments on the homebrew toy front, as the guys over at Working Class Villains have put together a unique new toy line. It’s called Backyard Legends, Action Figures of Yore. The concept is to recreate those “second string” toy line characters that aren’t licensed by any major toy companies today. Basically taking say anything Remco ever produced and turning it into a modern toy line, MOTUC style. You can see more at their Backyard Legends Facebook.

Of course these figures are completely unlicensed and as such, they are simply an homage to classic characters. First up in the “Prince of Crystal” who is similar to one of my old favorite toy line characters, Crystar. Right now they’re taking “pledges” that sort of work like preorders. If you’re just looking to help fund the project, you can donate any amount. If you’re looking to buy the Prince, he’ll run you a $45 donation. There are various levels of pledges. Think of it as PBS fund raiser for plastic! You can check that out at the Backyard Legends Kickstart Donation Page.

I really like the $200 level, which sees you get the Prince, a custom colored Prince of your choice and the follow up character based off of Moltar. Of course that’s a lot of bones to donate to a cause without a single figure produced. We’re going to keep an eye on the Backyard Legends and we’ll report back when more news comes about. The preliminary work looks excellent and all indications seem to say that this outfit knows what they’re doing. Production is supposed to start this January, so let’s hope this turns into a rousing success.

DC Comics Figure Reviews:

JLU Flash, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang 3 Pack Review

Skeletor/Lex Luthor 2 Pack Figure Review

He-Man/Superman 2 Pack Figure Review

JLU Robotman Figure Review

DCUC Hawkman Figure Review

DCUC Romat-Ru Figure Review

Action League Batmobile Review

Imaginext DC Superfriends Joker & Two Face Figure Review

Imaginext DC Superfriends Mr. Freeze, Batman and Penguin Figure Review

Revoltech Figure Reviews:

Revoltech Overman King Gainer Figure Review

Revoltech AV-98 Ingram 1 Patlabor Figure Review

Revoltech Tetsujin 28 Figure Review

Revoltech Black Ox Figure Review

Revoltech Fraulein Haruka Hasegawa Figure Review

Doctor Who Figure Reviews:

Time Lord Figure Review

Doctor Who Modern Cyberman Figure Review

Sontaran Commander Skorr Figure Review

The Ood Figure Review

Hath Peck Figure Review

The Narrator Figure Review

The Master & Axon Figure Review

10th Doctor in 3D Glasses Figure Review

Mutant Reveal Dalek Figure Review

Krillitane Figure Review

Captain Jack Harkness and Empty Child Figure Review

Mummy Robot Figure Review

Morbius Creature Figure Review

5th Doctor Figure Review

Pro Wrestling Figure Reviews:

Bootleg Mistico Figure Review

Classic Superstars Dusty Rhodes Figure Review

Classic Superstars Chainsaw Charlie Figure Review

WWE Basic Drew McIntyre Figure Review

Thunderlips Figure Review

TNA Deluxe Hulk Hogan Figure Review

TNA Basic Abyss Figure Review

Jakks Micro Ring Starz 10 Pack Figure Review

Mego-Style Figure Review:

James Bond (Sean Connery) Figure Review

James Bond (Roger Moore) Figure Review

Oddjob Figure Review

Retro-Action Green Arrow Figure Review

Retro-Action Lex Luthor Figure Review

Red Haired Dreadful Dracula Figure Review

Retro-Action Aquaman Figure Review

Zombie Claus Figure Review

Designer Vinyl & Vinyl-Like Figure Reviews:

Vortigern Machine Mr. Waverly Figure Review

Mighty Muggs Darth Vader Figure Review

Halo Odd Pod Arbiter Review

Mighty Muggs Destro Review

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Collection Review

Halo Odd Pod Spartan Hayabusa Figure Review

Ashley Wood WWRP Medic Bertie Figure Review

Applause Rocketeer Figure Review

TMNT Batsus Figure Review

Mini Muggs IG-88, Bossk and Boba Fett Figure Review

Cartoon & Miscellaneous Comic Figure Reviews:

Dr. Robotnik and Metal Sonic Figure Review

Vesper and Espio Figure Review

Astro Boy Robot PeaceKeeper Figure Review

Ben 10 Humungousaur Figure Review

Popeye The Sailorman Figure Review

Bluto Figure Review

Minnie Mouse Mrs. Cratchit Figure Review

Uncle Scrooge Figure Review

Goofy Jacob Marley Figure Review

TMNT 2K3 Fugitoid Figure Review

TMNT Mini Mutants Mike Exoskeleton Figure Review

Mez-Itz Dick Tracy Collection Review

SPAWN Sam & Twitch Figure Review

SPAWN Vertebreaker Figure Review

Toy Story Figure Reviews:

Toy Story 3 Alien Figure Review

iDance Buzz Lightyear Figure Review

GI Joe Figure Reviews:

GI Joe POC Jungle Viper Figure Review

GI Joe ROC Target Rescue Mission Review

Miscellaneous Movie Figure Reviews:

Ghostbusters Winston Figure Review

Puppet Master Totem Figure Review

Hellboy 3 3/4 Wink Figure Review

Mars Attacks Collection Review

Edward Scissorhands The Professor Figure Review

Marvel Comics Figure Reviews:

Iron Man 2 Crimson Dynamo Figure Review

Iron Man 2 War Machine (Comic) Figure Review

Iron Man 2 Iron Monger Figure Review

Marvel Legends Showdown Moleman and Reed Richards Figure Review

Captain America Happy Meal Figure Review

Marvel Universe Secret Wars Reed Richards & Ultron Review

Kaiju Figure Reviews:

Bandai 1995 Vinyl Gamera Figure Review

Final Wars Alien X Figure Review

Bandai EX Red King Figure Review

Ultra-Act Ultraman Figure Review

Mons-Ahgar Figure Review

Dreamworks 1992 Ultraman Figure Review

1983 Red King Figure Review

Trendmasters Gamera Figure Review

Trendmasters Gyaos Figure Review

Trendmasters Zigra Figure Review

Trendmasters Jiger Figure Review

Gigan Final Wars 12 Inch Figure Review

Mecha-Godzilla 12 Inch Figure Review

Godzilla Final Wars 12 Inch Figure Review

Star Wars Figure Reviews:

Star Wars IG-88 Figure Review

Clone Wars Thi-Sen Figure Review

Death Star Pez Review

Everything Else Reviews:

Kamen Rider Camo & Blank Knight Figure Review

Mighty Beanz Review

Dollar Store Firemen Figure Review

Muppet Whatnot Review

Mezco White Rabbit Figure Review

Attack of the Living Dead Jake Figure Review

Skeleflex Mynotorg Figure Review

Obitsu Figure Stand Review

GNU-DO Galactic Gale Boxinger Figure Review

Power Team Elite Navy Seal Figure Review

Androidz Hack-Jaw and Flash Flood Figure Review

Andoridz Stealth Copter and Pk 5000 Figure Review

Gothitropolis Red Time Keeper Figure Review

Skeleton Bobble Head Review

The Corps: Ethan Crowne and Jet Figure Review

An all new Fred’s Toy Run with a look at Walmart’s post holiday clearance! DCUC Wave 14 for only $11! DCUC 5 Packs on super saving discount! Plus plenty of other toy goodness from Star Wars, Iron Man and much more. Get a scoop fresh from the battlefield known as the toy aisle! It’s the last Fred’s Toy Run of 2010!

2010 is nearly over and for action figure collectors and toy fans it represents one of the biggest years in recent memory. Unfortunately with a plethora of highs comes a cavalcade of lows. Every major toy company and some smaller independent companies had some blunders this year. Here is the best of the worst for the year 2010!

#10. The Four Horsemen Announce Outer Space Who?
When the Four Horsemen, easily the most famous and well regarded sculptors in the toy industry, announce a toy line, fans take notice. Unless of course that toy line is from the 1960’s and relatively unheard of in the current market. The Horsemen’s big summer announcement of a new toy property had many fans dying to see what the masterminds behind MOTUC and DCUC had cooked up. Fans were bewildered at the unveiling of Mel Birnkrant’s Outer Space Men. These re-released Colorforms toys were certainly not what most had hoped for, but fans were still mildly optimistic. Surely the Horsemen would be able to put their unique spin on these colorful characters?

Unfortunately not, as the Outer Space Men line are largely complete recreations of the classic Birnkrant designs. The toys while beautiful and well done, don’t seem to represent the Four Horsemen potential as much as fans had hoped. Not even a cross compatibility with the popular Glyos toys has been able to energize this project much. Several variants have been released, but it’s impact upon the collector community is meager at best. Here’s hoping it continues to catch on.

#9. Shocker Toys Mr. Gone is Mr. MIA.
It’s hard to pick on Shocker Toys because everybody already does. We here at Infinite Hollywood were one of a few to sing Shocker’s praises when they delivered a fairly stellar lineup in their Indie Spotlight Series 1 in mid 2009, but the year of 2010 has not been so kind. Mr. Gone the mail away Build-a-Figure from Indie Spotlight Series 1 has yet to materialize.

Shocker moved on, largely ignoring the fact that Gone hasn’t been delivered and announced a variety of other really great licenses. However, despite selling con exclusive variants and preorders for Wave 2, Indie Spotlight remains at one single wave. Shocker Toys work in 2010 has been equivalent to the Star Wars Early Bird Certificate Package. Lots of pre-sell, but very little in the way of plastic playthings.

#8. WHO YA GONNA CALL?! Probably Kenner.
Mattel’s Ghostbusters Classics line has been plagued from the beginning with an odd business strategy that seemed hinged on the fact that fans would be forced to buy multiple variants of figures every other month just to complete the core lineup. Little has changed throughout 2010 to combat this and even when Mattel announced a Ghostbusters’ subscription plan, next to nothing but variants were unveiled. Mattel then went back and forth with fans on if they would even properly make certain variants (Slime Blower Winston) before dropping the ultimate bombshell to many fans surprise, that the Four Horsemen were moved off the line.

Although the figures themselves have been quite good, the line has been seemingly, misstep after misstep. The most obvious being that not one single ghost figure has been produced as a stand alone toy and the number of pack-in ghosts can be counted on less than five fingers. Ghostbusters or Dustbusters? 2011 may decide.

#7. Marvel Universe Sputters, Stalls Out.
After launching one of the most expansive and rapidly growing toy franchises in 2009, it seemed as though Marvel Universe could do no wrong in the first half of 2010. As more of Hasbro’s 3 3/4 Marvel figures were pumped out, even hardcore Marvel Legends fans began to convert. Somewhere about half way through the year, Hasbro just seemed to run out of figures. This probably had a lot to do with the launch of the Iron Man 2 toy line, but one thing is for certain, Marvel Universe seemed to lose focus in the last few months of 2010.

Stores didn’t stock new figures and those that did seemed to only gain a few. While there were several five star releases in 2010 under the MU banner, like Juggernaut and Galactus, these seemed spaced between huge lulls of no product or fairly uninteresting product. Here’s hoping MU can bounce back for 2011 stronger than ever.

#6. Avatar, The Toy Line Nobody Wanted.
When you consider that Avatar is far and away the highest grossing movie of all time, you’d think that toys of it would sell like hotcakes. Instead it seemed as though the number of people who actually cared about Avatar versus those that went to the theatre just because, were drastically different. Mattel actually came out of the gates swinging, with two fairly good lines in both 6 inch and 3 3/4 scale.

Mattel even unleashed a fury of vehicles onto the market but they might as well have been “Welcome Back, Kotter” action figures at the rate in which they sold. To the surprise of no one, a line of strange looking horses, a guy in a wheel chair and gangly Smurfs did not light the world on fire. Kids seemed even less interested in Avatar toys than adults, with many likely wondering where Aang, Katara and Zuko were. Not even James Cameron can escape the curse of movie action figure lines failing.

#5. Here Comes The A-Team! Err, B-Team! No? How About C-Team?!
Jazwares didn’t learn from Avatar’s mistakes and hoped to provide itself a leap into the big boys world of toys with their A-Team movie line. Of course, the most heinous offense was likely making a figure based off the A-Team movie to begin with. Little foresight seemed to have been planned in this line, given that at least a few classic A-Team figures would have sold well to collectors. Instead we were treated to a line that only featured the movie characters and even then, only the five man team. No villains, no extras, nothing.

Perhaps it’s for the best, considering that the figures that did make it to market had quality control that made the first wave of Hasbro’s Indiana Jones look like it had been hand painted by Leonardo DiVinci. Jazwares 3 3/4 figures lacked sharp paint detail, had bodies that were often mangled and broken in package and just generally didn’t look ready for prime time. They also released two large 12 inch figures that looked as though they should be dispensing soap and had less articulation than many bottles of bubblebath actually do! At least the iconic van got a decent release out of this.

#4. WWE Entrance Greats, Exit Stage Left.
Mattel’s WWE line launched in 2010 and was without a doubt their greatest effort of the year and perhaps of all-time. The house that Barbie built seemed to have studied Jakks Pacific very closely and made sure to deliver what fans had grown to love, but also what they wanted and hadn’t gotten out of a wrestling line. Sure, Mattel had a few mishaps such as a lack of title belts and weaker head sculpts, but overall the lines for the World Wrestling Entertainment brands were quite good. Except of course for the WWE Entrance Greats. This ill conceived idea provided fans a chance to get wrestlers in exclusive entrance attires they had worn during their career.

An excellent idea in premise, but the figures were overpriced at over $20, lacked the upgraded articulation that collectors were expecting and included a clunky electronic base that only played a fragment of the wrestler’s entrance music. Making matters worse, Mattel chose to release several Classic WWE superstars under this banner without giving them a proper Legends style articulated release. Entrance Greats is the only Mattel WWE line to be axed in 2010 and is being relaunched in 2011 under the mantle of “Defining Moments”, with better articulation and no singing base. Sadly, the price is still over $20.

#3. Jakks Wrestling Legends Canceled Before It Even Begins.
When Jakks Pacific lost the WWE license, it seemed as though they were quick to recover with an expansion of their UFC brand and a signing of the TNA Wrestling franchise. Jakks even took it one step further, announcing they would continue their popular “Classics” line by doing a Legends of TNA figure line that would include not just guys who had made their name in TNA, but other legends who had worked in other organizations, similar to how the WWE Legends line works. Fans who were disappointed in Jakks changing their basic lines to deluxe articulation could also take solace in the fact that these legends would appear in the beloved “Ruthless Aggression” style.

Jakks even upped the ante by signing the rights to produce figures under the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) banner and the first ever American license of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It seemed as though this line was everything a wrestling collector could ever want. While the first wave consisted of a fairly weak lineup, Wave 2 had fans salivating and the potential for Waves beyond seemed endless. However, by the time Wave 1 was starting to hit retail, Jakks had already effectively canceled the line, citing low retailer interest and instead transferred the legends into one figure per case pack in the basic TNA iMPACT line.

#2. BifBangPow Releases Venture Brothers… As Megos.
When BifBangPow announced that they had the license to produce Venture Brothers toys, many fans were speculative, but hopeful. The Venture Brothers seemed to represent a chance to give fans of the show an expansive toy line that had all the bells and whistles. Within an instant you can picture four or five waves of figures based on only a couple of seasons of the hit Cartoon Network Adult Swim property. Fans knew that no big company would likely take the risk on Venture Brothers, but took heed in the belief that a smaller company could build and create an entire toy franchise empire off the backs of a well done Venture Brothers toy line.

All of that jubilation came crashing to a halt as millions of Venture Brothers’ fans screamed in unison, “NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” as BBP unveiled their plans for the Ventures. It seemed as if the guys at Astrobase-Go were in on the joke. Instead of that toy line everyone had imagined, we were getting Bobbleheads and Megos. While the Venture Megos have turned out to be pretty good in their own right, they remain so far away from what the legions of Venture fans had truly wanted. BifBangPow has promised that a regular toy line could happen someday, but for now fans weep that Palisades isn’t in business anymore.

#1. Hasbro Slaughtergate, Maggot!
From the moment GI Joe was relaunched in their 25th Anniversary, fans began to ask one question in abundance, “When are we getting Sgt. Slaughter?”. It seemed as though the wrestler-turned-Joe would never be produced as the Sarge’s likeness was tied up in wrestling figures. As the 25th line was ended in favor of the movie line, it appeared as though it was never meant to be. However, when Jakks’ WWE license ended in 2010, this allowed Hasbro to approach Slaughter about making a new Joe and the Sarge was up for it! Hasbro rolled out the red carpet, producing not one, but TWO versions of the Sarge and putting them on 25th Anniversary cards. Despite being a SDCC, fans knew that Hasbro has loosely defined the term SDCC Exclusive in recent years, typically producing a massive amount of these sought after collectibles. Surely the Sarge would follow the same suit?

Sarge quickly sold out at the SDCC, but Hasbro Toy Shop’s big cyber Monday sale promised to deliver Slaughter to the millions of fans around the world who had waited to get their hands on this figure. Hasbro would wait two weeks after the release of every other figure, to release very small quantities of the Sgt. Slaughter figures. All told, when the dust settled, both versions of the Sarge had been available to purchase online for a combined time of around 5 minutes. Hardly what fans had hoped for and represented the single biggest PR blunder this year, from a company that usually avoids such things. Hasbro promised that they may try to squeeze a Sgt. Slaughter figure into the current Joe line in some fashion, but for now he remains trapped in the clutches of Cobra resellers at around $50 a pop.

Honorable Mentions:

JLU Returns to prominence with new sculpts and online exclusives, but figure prices increased nearly 50% with singles retailing at $9 and online for $20!

Tron… Seriously, what’s up with this mess? How about not putting lights on your figures and charging half the inflated price?

Roboto the robot that knows no QC!