Monthly Archives: August 2010

I saw this over at FHQ this morning and just had to share. I’m not sure which of the fellas over there is responsible for it, but it’s a brilliant piece of work irregardless. Passion of the Flock? Last Temptation of Fuzz? Nope, this is the Last Fuzzupper!

By now you’ve probably heard of the American Residental Law Group, but you may wonder if they really can help people. Look no further than “God’s Little Acres” a place for special needs children to come and have an enjoyable weekend getaway, that was facing foreclosure. Cue the American Residential Law Group, where they were able to get the owners of this farm an extension on their loan and are working to help them get a loan modification. This is exactly the type of thing that the American Residential Law Group strives for and it’s part of the reason for their existence. They know the ropes and they know the best ways to help out those who are in need during these troubling economic times.

While the economy is showing some signs of a turn around, it’s a long slow process that could see many Americans lose their homes or like in the case of the aforementioned special needs camp, many great charitable projects could also go under. American Residential Law Group will provide consultation, information and the best legal help available to pursue all the options including loan modification. That’s why they were created and it’s what they’re working hard every day to do. Helping hard working Americans keep the American dream alive in the face of devastating foreclosure.

For more information visit their website and learn all about their programs.

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I haven’t bought a lot of 1:6 scale stuff in my time in collecting. I have dabbled a few times, but I’ve rarely considered myself too serious about it. In the weeks ahead I’ll be reviewing more 12 inch figures, however, in a variety of sizes, brands and price points. Today I’m looking at a figure from a brand I’ve passed up dozens of times.

Power Team Elite
World Peacekeepers
Navy Seal Night Operation
12 Inch Scale
By: M&C Toy

Power Team Elite are essentially a secondary store brand, with these figures usually popping up during the summer and sometimes before Christmas in those chains. Most often they can be found at Big Lots, though occasionally other stores do carry them. Interestingly, I’ve bought Power Team Elite stuff at the 1/18th or 3.75 inch scale. Typically I bought them for the accessories or vehicles. While the accessories were always good, the actual action figures were just decent at best and usually were tossed into my fodder bin. I always assumed that the larger 12 inch Power Team figures were of similar quality, but what I’ve come to learn is that the 1:6 scale Power Team Elite figures are some of the best toys in that scale readily available on the market.

The packages are pretty simple, with a large window box. You can see the figure and most of his gear pretty plainly from the shelf, though some of it may be obscured. It’s designed to look like camouflage, but it definitely looks less like army fatigue camo and more like deer hunter camo.

Oddly enough the back of the package features pictures of the other figures in the series and a bunch of vehicles and accessories that rarely hit our shores. Many fans want to get their hands on some of these sets, including the 1:6 scale horse, helicopter and hovercraft, but rarely if ever get the chance. It’s another part of the mystery of these figures.

While the Power Team stuff has been out for a while, it wasn’t always this great of quality. Figures from a few years back had less articulation and weaker head sculpts. The figures that they’ve put out in the last few years however, are all pretty good.

Immediately you’ll be struck by the head sculpt. It’s of a pretty generic guy, but he’s got a great sculpt. Also, of note, is that these characters change in certain packages. So you may find this same outfit and trooper, but be treated to a different head sculpt.

Power Team figures are a bit gargantuan, at least in comparison to Hasbro’s GI Joes. Of course Hasbro’s figures are actually known as some of the smallest in the genre, so maybe Power Team isn’t so big at all. Regardless, they can co-mingle well enough, especially if you bend the Power Team figure’s knees just a bit. Because these figures wear clothes, you can’t really tell that the knee is slightly bent and in an instant they’re essentially the same scale.

The cloth outfit is quite nice, though nothing to write home about. The fabric is a little different than what I remember my 12 inch figures coming with as a kid, but it seems durable enough. In this case the outfit is plain black and pretty generic. The boots are a mid grade rubber and seem fairly stable.

He also comes with a large rubber vest that can be snapped on. The vest features shotgun shells painted into the holsters and it definitely has a cool look to it. This looks like something a SWAT team member would wear, but it works well for a night operation Navy Seal as well.

The back of the vest has a spot for a gun, though it looks like a breaching shotgun should go there. I suspect you could fit his included gun in that holster, but I doubt it would look very good. This was probably reused from a set where an actual shotgun was included.

There’s a tag underneath the clothes in the form of a sticker on the body. It actually says this was made in May of this year. I’m not sure if this tag is telling the truth or not, but if this entire thing was made in May, then it had an incredible turn around time because these things usually hit US shores in June.

Even the older Power Team figures had pretty good articulation, but they weren’t super impressive. The ones that have come out in the last few years though, offer up one of the best basic bodies on the market in terms of poseability. Of course Hot Toys’ various True Types and a few other companies have better bodies, but on this end of the budget it’s hard to beat what’s offered by the folks at M&C Toy.

This dude is loaded down with articulation and being more of a collector of 6 inch and below figures, I was shocked to see just how articulated this guy is. More specifically, there are some unique elbow and knee joints that work quite a bit differently than anything I’ve seen in the smaller scale. They’re double hinges, but the bottom half of the hinge has a separate swiveling peg joint to give it an increase range of movement. That peg is protected by the knee and elbow caps. Pretty neat.

This leaves our Navy Seal with a wide variety of poses affordable to him. I did notice that a couple of the joints were a little loose, especially one of the aforementioned peg elbows, but I don’t know if that is common or just as a result of the twist ties that held him in. It’s not too loose for play or posing though.

The range of motion in all the parts are really good, especially the neck. This allows you to replicate a ton of lifelike movements with just a subtle tilting of the joint. Very cool for adults and probably just as neat for kids. I do wonder how well these points of articulation could hold up to a youngster, but I suspect it’d fare alright.

One of the big reasons people love 1:6 scale stuff is the accessories. People who collect at this scale do more accessorizing than any other scale. Since Power Team is a budget line, you’d think they might skrimp on accessories.

That’s not really the case, however. You get the aforementioned vest, a semi-automatic gun, an extra clip and holder, night vision binoculars and a ski mask.

You also get a pistol with laser point scope, a detachable scope for the larger gun, a leg holster for the pistol and a knife with holder and belt. It’s a pretty nice display of stuff. My knife was a bit warped. That said, your hardcore collectors probably don’t like the basic black guns with an average level of detail, but for kids or guys like me who don’t care as much about the weathering on a gun will find these quite satisfactory.

Even if your an accessory snob, you’re bound to find a thing or two on this guy that’s useful.

Additional Notes:
Technically this figure is a good guy, but with the all black outfit and ski mask… Well he sort of looks like a terrorist.

Nothing wrong with that, in my view. Kids need bad guys too. In fact I specifically bought this figure because he seemed like a bad dude.

TEN FREAKING DOLLARS! It’s almost hard to believe that I got a 12 inch super articulated figure with cloth accessories, great head sculpt and a ton of other accessories for $10. It’s pretty much unheard of today and really, it’s pretty unheard of since the 1970’s. I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet that can say anything other than this is one of the best values on the market today. I used to steer clear of these guys because I assumed the body underneath the clothing was rubbish, but that’s just not the case.

Also, looking at a figure like this, it become increasingly hard to justify Mattel’s $20 Mego figures. How does it cost more money to produce something with less accessories, less size and articulation? Licensing fees just can’t be it. Truth is, M&C Toy is just making a smaller cut off the profits. That’s the dirty little secret. They make less money than we see from the bigger companies and thank goodness for that, because the product is incredible for the price.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Ski Mask, Vest, Gun, Pistol, Scope, Night Goggles, Knife, Belt, Extra Ammo
Value – 10
Overall – 9 out of 10

This is a really brilliant figure. I could easily have given it an even higher grade, to be honest. It’s just a damn good toy. When you look at the articulation, accessories and price point it’s hard to deny how good this guy is. The only thing I can really hold against him is that he’s sort of a bland character and may not appeal to a lot of people as a result.

If you’ve thought about picking up some of these Power Team guys, but never have, I totally suggest that you should. They offer way more bang for your buck than most of the toy companies out there today and they’re some of the best bodies and figures available at this scale without resorting to importing.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter if you enjoyed this and want updates on future reviews, plus mindless rambling. Leave a comment, let me know what you think! Your opinion matters.

Today we’re diving into a little bit of the “Infinite Cuisine” realm of things, with a beverage made from the best stuff on Earth. What am I talking about? Snapple of course! Not just any Snapple though, I’m reviewing the rare and mysterious Celebrity Apprentice Bret Michaels’ Trop-A-Rocka!

Bret Michaels: “My new tea is taste bud tested and rocker approved. I chose to create a Diet Snapple because I am a lifelong type-1 diabetic and I know together we can find a cure for diabetes. And just like being a diabetic doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice having a rockin’ good time, Diet Snapple doesn’t sacrifice great taste. My Snapple-osophy is simple: awesome taste, the best ingredients and low calories. And now The Best Stuff on Earth is better for me.”

If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ll know I’ve been looking for this sweet nectar ever since the Celebrity Apprentice finale ended. See, I’m a pretty big fan of Celebrity Apprentice, but as fate would have it my GF was out of town when the finale aired. So I just DVRed the show and when she got back in town a week later, we watched to see who had won. Prior to that I had briefly saw the Snapple displays, but avoided them in fear of finding out who won.

As it turns out, unbeknownst to me Snapple made both finalists beverages, but after a week had passed I could only find Holly Robinson Peete’s Compassionberry Tea. At first I thought this was because Snapple made more of it than Trop-A-Rocka. I was finding cases upon cases of Peete’s drink, but none of Michaels’. Surely it didn’t all sell out, right? It seemed on the show that they liked her’s a bit more than his, despite agreeing to make both. What I learned rather quickly however, is that Bret Michaels’ tea was so good that it had sold out EVERYWHERE in that week.

The finale aired in March and it’s now the end of August and I just now found Bret’s tea. I have went across state lines looking for this stuff, just to try it out and couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally a local grocer got a case stack in and they’ve sold through it like crazy. So how is it?

In a word, AWESOME! This tea is probably the best Snapple ever. I tried the Compassionberry Tea and to be honest, it kind of sucked. It was good for like one bottle, but not a case. It had the same problem that I think many Snapples have, which is that it’s too fruity and sweet.

Trop-A-Rocka is the total opposite as it hits a great spot where it’s sweet, but not too sweet. The cinnamon gives it a little kick, which is nice. I’m not even a fan of cinnamon, but it’s great here. This is also a DIET drink and to my amazement there is no nasty aftertaste.

Incredibly the drink only has 10 calories and 10mg sodium. Which means it’s quite a lot better than most sugary sodas (another love of mine). It’s got a very refreshing taste and I can drink several in a row without ever feeling like I’m being attacked by sugar. It’s just a brilliant, velvety tasting, bit of liquid heaven.

Snapple needs to get more of this on the shelves pronto, we’ve already bought 6 cases in our household with hopefully more to come (if we can find it!) and they also need to make this a permanent flavor. Don’t be scared by the Diet moniker, or the fact that it’s got Bret Michaels and Donald Trump on the label. This stuff is good!

9 Inch Scale
By: Applause

When Disney backs a movie with their full effort, they really back it up. In the early 1990’s it seemed Disney was intent on having their own Batman-like blockbuster. First they rolled out the red carpet for Dick Tracy, which failed. So they tried again in just one short year, managing to repeat nearly all the same mistakes in marketing that they did with Tracy. In 1991, The Rocketeer saw Disney spend over $19 Million dollars in advertising and get tons of tie-in advertisements as well. The Rocketeer was everywhere in 1991, even though the film didn’t quite find it’s audience until it’s theatrical run was nearly complete and I’m not sure Disney ever knew exactly how to market the film.

The Rocketeer was marketed to kids, but missed one major aspect, action figures. Of course, for kids, The Rocketeer was a pretty boring film. The movie should have been marketed to adults, similar to the way Pirates of the Caribbean was. Of course, the kids could get in on the action just like Pirates, but alas it was not to be.

Although Rocketeer didn’t get an actual action figure, he did get a variety of other stuff, including what we’re looking at today. A vinyl figure from Applause. How does this vinyl figure shape up? Continue reading