Monthly Archives: April 2011


Masters of the Universe Classics
Sy-Klone
7” Scale
By: Mattel
$20 + shipping from www.mattycollector.com
(available now on ebay and other online sellers)

Sy-Klone is yet another Masters of the Universe action figure that I remember very vividly from my childhood. When I had him though, I had no idea that he was one of He-Man’s friends. I got my Sy-Klone from one of many Saturday morning garage sale trips with my parents. While he was far from the best Saturday score, that honor goes to the GIGANTIC Star Wars collection my Dad picked up all at once, Sy-Klone won a special place for being an action figure that could actively send other toys flying thanks to his action feature.

When I watched the 2002 MOTU cartoon for the first time I had a bit of a revelation, it wasn’t until then that I knew for sure where Sy-Klone had some from. Unfortunately for Sy-Klone he had to share episodes with one of the dumbest things in the MYP Cartoon, namely the Samurai Armor. Ignoring that fairly ridiculous plot thread leaves behind a pretty interesting character, a lonely, noble being who’s failed his goal in life and now feels pointless.

So now we’ve got a MOTUC version of Sy-Klone, this character that never was much more to me than a spinning pair of fists to launch my sister’s toys across the room, but he’s without his action feature, the one thing I used to know and love. Can this one note character overcome the loss of his defining element? Click inside and find out!

Packaging:
I don’t have much of anything to say about the actual packaging for Sy-Klone, it’s the same well done and iconic card that we’ve come to expect from the Masters of the Universe Classics figures and that’s that. His bio is almost entirely pulled from his appearances in the MYP Cartoon and then extrapolated from that, reinforcing his lack of characterization in the vintage universe.


Sculpt:
As you can see from the pictures, Sy-Klone has a fairly smooth sculpt that’s absent any really subtle details. Because of this he doesn’t come off nearly as interesting in pictures as most MOTUC figures tend to. In person, though, the bright colors and stripped down design give him a look that’s decidedly MOTU but unlike any other figure we’ve had access to so far.

Sy’Klone has a very passive, almost sad look to his face that falls in line with what was said on his bio. This is a guy who’s lost all of his people to time, a hero who lost a very powerful weapon to the bad guys! We don’t often get a good guy with so many things to be sad about and Sy-Klone’s face sculpt is that of someone determined not to repeat his mistakes. It’s also an all new piece, though it does resemble the he-man sculpt quite a bit.


Despite the simplicity of the overall design there are several other all new parts on Sy-Klone and it’s not until you really look at him closely that you realize how involved some of him really is. The red rings all over him are sculpted nicely and they give his arms a nice depth. The fins on Sy-Klone’s biceps are made of a soft plastic and are also welcome additions, they make me almost believe that this guy could spin around enough to be effective in a fight. Almost.


The chest piece hold his fancy shmancy lenticular radar dish, one of the cooler (and sillier) parts of the vintage toy. I firmly believe that there was a guy at Mattel in the 80’s who’s only job was to find crazy one-shot gimmicks to slap onto MOTU figures and boy to I love it. MOTUC Sy-Klone even has a lot more movement on his sweeping radar display that the vintage toy did, a nice touch! The chest also houses the backpack he uses to hold his huge red disc weapon thing. There’s a techy feel to the piece and even though the rest of him doesn’t have the circuitry it still works for me.


On the negative side, there’s something just a bit off to the way his shoulders connect to the chest, I can’t quite put my finger on it but the height they sit at may be what’s throwing me. Overall though, Sy-Klone’s looks make me happy. From his samurai inspired helm to his blue-booted feet.


The paint on my Sy-Klone has some minor problems, mostly associated with the red parts painted over the yellow plastic. There are several small flecks of red in various places like the forearm, top of the helmet and around the yellow parts of the legs. It’s a little annoying to me but the flecks aren’t noticeable in the least unless you’re looking very closely at the figure.

Articulation:
Sy-Klone shares the same articulation as the rest of the MOTUC figures to date. Of special note is the new loincloth style piece that allows almost fully unhindered movement from his hip joints. He’s one of the first MOTUC figures I’ve owned that can actually sit down without looking completely awkward.


The joint on Sy-Klone’s right shoulder is a little over tight and his head feels ever so slightly loose but that’s being extremely nitpicky.. Every other joint moves smoothly and his biceps aren’t affected by the fins on them in the least. I don’t think I could’ve been happier with Sy-Klone’s posability.


Accessories:
Sy-Klone comes packaged with a small gold shield and a HAYOOGE red ring o’ death. The shield is an update of one he came with as a vintage toy while the RRoD is a reference to his 2002 toy but neither weapon is mentioned in the bio. While the use for the shield is obvious, it’s been left up to us as the customer to decide a purpose for the giant red hula hoop.


I don’t have strong feelings in either direction about the smaller shield, it looks alright on him and clips snugly to his wrist, though it’s always been strange to me to see someone wearing a shield with no other weapon. Does anyone really ever fight with JUST a shield by choice?


The big red hoop looks cool in a lot of poses whether he’s holding it or it’s clipped onto his backpack. I’ve heard some think of it as a bladed weapon or something akin to Captain America’s Shield and those are both great ideas but the bottom line is it’s an awkward piece all around. There’s no good way for him to hold it without something seeming out of place and though it’s possible to get some very neat poses out of this is accessory (which I think I’ve done) I wish it’d been clearer what the designers were aiming for I could better tell if they hit their mark.

Value:
As always, $20 + shipping can feel like a lot for an action figure, especially with the time it takes for Matty and Digital River to get them from the warehouse to the doorstep. Nothing has changed since last month with regards to pricing and neither has my attitude, I’m comfortable with paying this price for the MOTUC figures and while I’d love to avoid spending so much on shipping I’m resigned to it.


Sy-Klone is a well made figure, sturdy and beefy. I’ve paid a lot more for action figures that didn’t feel nearly as solid as he does, figures such as Revoltechs who’s cost was also inflated by shipping. While Sy-Klone isn’t quite in the same style of figure as the Revoltechs I own he still compares favorably in the value department.

Summary:
Sy-Klone manages to be more than just a bright blue and yellow doofus with a red hula hoop. As usual the designers have taken a figure that was little more that a glorified action feature and fleshed him out into a unique and interesting action figure. Sy-Klone is another figure that did not get me all hot and bothered when he was revealed but, once he arrived, turned out to be overwhelmingly fun.


I don’t think Sy-Klone ranks among the core Masters of the Universe characters so he’s probably not on anyone’s “must own” list. As far as representations of Sy-Klone go he’s tops, I love the blend of the vibrant colors with his solemn looking face. I love the update on the lenticular sticker and I love that I can still accidentally watch it change for entirely too long. Sy-Klone’s a really neat toy and, as usual, one that’s worth picking up for any collector of Masters of the Univer Classics.



Masters of the Universe Classics

Sy-Klone

7” Scale

By: Mattel

$20 + shipping from www.mattycollector.com

(available now on ebay and other online sellers)


Sy-Klone is yet another Masters of the Universe action figure that I remember very vividly from my childhood. When I had him though, I had no idea that he was one of He-Man’s friends. I got my Sy-Klone from one of many Saturday morning garage sale trips with my parents. While he was far from the best Saturday score, that honor goes to the GIGANTIC Star Wars collection my Dad picked up all at once, Sy-Klone won a special place for being an action figure that could actively send other toys flying thanks to his action feature.

When I watched the 2002 MOTU cartoon for the first time I had a bit of a revelation, it wasn’t until then that I knew for sure where Sy-Klone had some from. Unfortunately for Sy-Klone he had to share episodes with one of the dumbest things in the MYP Cartoon, namely the Samurai Armor. Ignoring that fairly ridiculous plot thread leaves behind a pretty interesting character, a lonely, noble being who’s failed his goal in life and now feels pointless.

So now we’ve got a MOTUC version of Sy-Klone, this character that never was much more to me than a spinning pair of fists to launch my sister’s toys across the room, but he’s without his action feature, the one thing I used to know and love. Can this one note character overcome the loss of his defining element? Click inside and find out!



Packaging:

I don’t have much of anything to say about the actual packaging for Sy-Klone, it’s the same well done and iconic card that we’ve come to expect from the Masters of the Universe Classics figures and that’s that. His bio is almost entirely pulled from his appearances in the MYP Cartoon and then extrapolated from that, reinforcing his lack of characterization in the vintage universe.



Sculpt:

As you can see from the pictures, Sy-Klone has a fairly smooth sculpt that’s absent any really subtle details. Because of this he doesn’t come off nearly as interesting in pictures as most MOTUC figures tend to. In person, though, the bright colors and stripped down design give him a look that’s decidedly MOTU but unlike any other figure we’ve had access to so far.

Sy’Klone has a very passive, almost sad look to his face that falls in line with what was said on his bio. This is a guy who’s lost all of his people to time, a hero who lost a very powerful weapon to the bad guys! We don’t often get a good guy with so many things to be sad about and Sy-Klone’s face sculpt is that of someone determined not to repeat his mistakes. It’s also an all new piece, though it does resemble the he-man sculpt quite a bit.



Despite the simplicity of the overall design there are several other all new parts on Sy-Klone and it’s not until you really look at him closely that you realize how involved some of him really is. The red rings all over him are sculpted nicely and they give his arms a nice depth. The fins on Sy-Klone’s biceps are made of a soft plastic and are also welcome additions, they make me almost believe that this guy could spin around enough to be effective in a fight. Almost.



The chest piece hold his fancy shmancy lenticular radar dish, one of the cooler (and sillier) parts of the vintage toy. I firmly believe that there was a guy at Mattel in the 80’s who’s only job was to find crazy one-shot gimmicks to slap onto MOTU figures and boy to I love it. MOTUC Sy-Klone even has a lot more movement on his sweeping radar display that the vintage toy did, a nice touch! The chest also houses the backpack he uses to hold his huge red disc weapon thing. There’s a techy feel to the piece and even though the rest of him doesn’t have the circuitry it still works for me.



On the negative side, there’s something just a bit off to the way his shoulders connect to the chest, I can’t quite put my finger on it but the height they sit at may be what’s throwing me. Overall though, Sy-Klone’s looks make me happy. From his samurai inspired helm to his blue-booted feet.



The paint on my Sy-Klone has some minor problems, mostly associated with the red parts painted over the yellow plastic. There are several small flecks of red in various places like the forearm, top of the helmet and around the yellow parts of the legs. It’s a little annoying to me but the flecks aren’t noticeable in the least unless you’re looking very closely at the figure.

Articulation:

Sy-Klone shares the same articulation as the rest of the MOTUC figures to date. Of special note is the new loincloth style piece that allows almost fully unhindered movement from his hip joints. He’s one of the first MOTUC figures I’ve owned that can actually sit down without looking completely awkward.



The joint on Sy-Klone’s right shoulder is a little over tight and his head feels ever so slightly loose but that’s being extremely nitpicky.. Every other joint moves smoothly and his biceps aren’t affected by the fins on them in the least. I don’t think I could’ve been happier with Sy-Klone’s posability.



Accessories:

Sy-Klone comes packaged with a small gold shield and a HAYOOGE red ring o’ death. The shield is an update of one he came with as a vintage toy while the RRoD is a reference to his 2002 toy but neither weapon is mentioned in the bio. While the use for the shield is obvious, it’s been left up to us as the customer to decide a purpose for the giant red hula hoop.



I don’t have strong feelings in either direction about the smaller shield, it looks alright on him and clips snugly to his wrist, though it’s always been strange to me to see someone wearing a shield with no other weapon. Does anyone really ever fight with JUST a shield by choice?



The big red hoop looks cool in a lot of poses whether he’s holding it or it’s clipped onto his backpack. I’ve heard some think of it as a bladed weapon or something akin to Captain America’s Shield and those are both great ideas but the bottom line is it’s an awkward piece all around. There’s no good way for him to hold it without something seeming out of place and though it’s possible to get some very neat poses out of this is accessory (which I think I’ve done) I wish it’d been clearer what the designers were aiming for I could better tell if they hit their mark.

Value:

As always, $20 + shipping can feel like a lot for an action figure, especially with the time it takes for Matty and Digital River to get them from the warehouse to the doorstep. Nothing has changed since last month with regards to pricing and neither has my attitude, I’m comfortable with paying this price for the MOTUC figures and while I’d love to avoid spending so much on shipping I’m resigned to it.



Sy-Klone is a well made figure, sturdy and beefy. I’ve paid a lot more for action figures that didn’t feel nearly as solid as he does, figures such as Revoltechs who’s cost was also inflated by shipping. While Sy-Klone isn’t quite in the same style of figure as the Revoltechs I own he still compares favorably in the value department.

Summary:

Sy-Klone manages to be more than just a bright blue and yellow doofus with a red hula hoop. As usual the designers have taken a figure that was little more that a glorified action feature and fleshed him out into a unique and interesting action figure. Sy-Klone is another figure that did not get me all hot and bothered when he was revealed but, once he arrived, turned out to be overwhelmingly fun.



I don’t think Sy-Klone ranks among the core Masters of the Universe characters so he’s probably not on anyone’s “must own” list. As far as representations of Sy-Klone go he’s tops, I love the blend of the vibrant colors with his solemn looking face. I love the update on the lenticular sticker and I love that I can still accidentally watch it change for entirely too long. Sy-Klone’s a really neat toy and, as usual, one that’s worth picking up for any collector of Masters of the Univer Classics.


Imaginext DC Superfriends
Green Lantern Jet
2 Inch Scale
By: Fisher-Price
$12

My girlfriend picked this up for me back at Christmas. I’ve been meaning to get around to reviewing it, but this should give you an idea of how much backlog of stuff I have to review. Sadly, I have items much older than this… Anyway, I just yesterday saw that this pack is being sold at Target now with two additional figures (Hawkman & Flash) as well as a DVD. That’s pretty awesome.

I figured now was as good of time as any to review this set. More people will probably buy the new set and may be wondering about the jet and the figure. Personally, I’m not one of those people who’s been real caught up in the whole Blackest Night stuff, but I’ve always liked the Green Lantern. Imaginext doesn’t say specifically which Lantern this is, but we’ll call it Hal. Now it’s time for a grown man to review a toy that is for children 3-8!

Packaging:
The package your pretty basic Imaginext style packaging. They have a lot of these little vehicles. I’ve often contended that Imaginext may be the best toy line on the market right now. You’d be hard pressed to find another line so diverse and so full of vehicles.


Surprisingly, everything is held in nice and secure. Nary a twist tie to be found, as well. Hal is protected in a little plastic cup deal. Everything disassembles fairly easily.

Sculpt:
Imaginext figures typically offer up a pretty basic design and then shrink it down. It’s not really super deformed or kiddiezed as many of the Super Hero Squad style figures are. The faces are generally a little “friendly” but not overly done caricatures. In face, the sculpting reminds me a bit of the basic old school Super Powers line.


Green Lantern really lends himself well to this design. His costume is bright and colorful, but yet simplistic enough that it works quite well. Batman doesn’t look as good in this format, but GL just works for some reason.


The sculpting on the ring finger is pretty impressive as well. It’s not like, incredible, but it’s definitely there. The paint work isn’t super crisp, but it’s got less flaws than a lot of DCUC figures I see on the shelves. Especially in the ring department. Now I want an Imaginext Phantom, just so he can have his rings! Okay, that’s not likely to ever happen… But a boy can dream!


He does have a smilin’ grin which is sort of a trademark of this line. I’m not entirely sure why that’s a trademark of the DC version of this line, since some of the other Imaginext lines have more expressive faces, but it works well enough for Jordan. I mean, they didn’t cast Ryan Reynolds in the Green Lantern movie because of his surly demeanor! He fits in well enough with other small scale figures and makes for a great addition to the DC Imaginext Super Friends line.

Vehicle:
I decided to do a sub-category for the vehicle because I wanted to highlight a few specific things about it on it’s own. It’s got a great green translucent nature about it. In fact I prefer this jet to the larger one I saw at the C2E2 Mattel booth for their upcoming larger scale Green Lantern line.


The jet isn’t jam packed full of details or anything, but I prefer it that way. I’m assuming that this is some sort of construct, so it works well in that sense. It’s fairly good size too and I suspect with a little tinkering you could make this fit GI Joes.


However, you’re not going to be able to fit Joes in naturally. In fact ol’ GL has a little bit of trouble sliding in perfectly himself. He can fit in well enough, but he has to be positioned just right. There’s plenty of excess room in there, so I’m shocked they didn’t make the seats sit a little deeper.


With the jet and figure together, I can imagine hours of fun for a youngster getting his first real introduction to the Green Lantern. The base of the vehicle is a grip, like that of a gun. It’s like ToyBiz’s old Batwing which had a gun grip, allowing you to fly it around.


The video here shows a slightly puzzling feature, which is that there is a trigger on the gun grip of the jet. You’d think that the trigger would shoot the missile, but no… Instead it just makes a couple of little things inside move around. This feature feels a little, hmm, uneven to me. It seems like it should do more than it does. Shoot sparks or make a cooler noise or something.

Articulation:
The figures in the Imaginext line have one real weakness… The articulation!


The neck is a simple cut and works well. The shoulders are actually a hinge ball joint and they work well… The problem is in the legs, which are connected together and move as one. If Imaginext could make the legs be separate cuts, this toy line would be even cooler in my opinion. As is, the articulation suffers because the figures are forced to just stand static.

Accessories:
As mentioned above, if you buy this pack currently at Target you get a bonus DVD and two bonus figures of Flash and Hawkman. That’s a great deal. Sadly this pack isn’t as great, but is still pretty nice.


You get not one, not two, but three of these Lantern missiles. They don’t shoot super far (as seen in the video) but they have a decent bit of sculpting on them. I was impressed that you got three, as kids are more likely to lose them and typically you only get one. Good job Imaginext!

Value:
A couple of years ago you could get a really cool GI Joe 25th vehicle/figure set for around $13. Unfortunately that’s no longer the case and it makes the value of a relatively simple set like this go up in my book. It’s a lot of fun and if you can get the current Target set with the bonus guys, it’s even better in value.

Score Recap:
Packaging: 5
Sculpting: 7
Paint: 7
Articulation: 5
Value: 7
Overall: 6


A six might seem like a relatively low score, but that’s basing this on my more refined adult tastes. The truth is that for kids this toy is quite good. If the leg articulation could be better, the score would likely go up as well. We still haven’t quite gotten the perfect mini-figures, but the DC Imaginext line is as close as it currently gets. Of course if you get the Target bonus pack, the value would shoot up as well and so would the overall score.


Masters of the Universe Classics
Battle Armor Skeletor
7” Scale
By: Mattel
$20 + shipping from www.mattycollector.com
(available now on ebay and other online sellers)

Skeletor, the Evil Lord of Destruction, is probably my favorite fictional villain. Let that sink in for a minute, not only does he beat out fellow cartoon characters like Cobra Commander, Megatron and Dark Heart, in my book Skeletor beats out every villain in the history of literature. Sauron, Cthulhu, Moriarty, Dracula, they all fall short. I don’t know if that’s proof of how awesome Skeletor is or just proof that I need to broaden my horizons, but either way, I love Skeletor.

This version of Skeletor was definitely one of my favorite MOTU toys, not only because of his looks but because even by himself he was fun to play with. I must have spent hours just flicking his battle damage chest from clean to 1 cut to 2 and back. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Over and over, endless, monotonous fun from Battle Armor Skeletor.

Battle Armor Skeletor came to be in the vintage line as a way to reuse expensive new parts from Battle Armor He-Man. After all why would you go to the trouble of making a complicated action feature like the spinning battle damage chest without using it on both of your toy line’s main characters? That would be like throwing away money! But how does this new BA Skeletor stack up to the old one?

Packaging:
Skeletor comes packaged in the same gorgeous packaging shared by all of his fellow Masters of the Universe Classics figures. He gets a brand new bio that explains why he’s wearing his fancy new duds, although lets be honest, JUST BECAUSE is plenty reason for me. He’s packaged with a damaged armor plate in the chest for some reason, my best guest would be to see just how many threads would be started on the forums complaining about it.


In the future I’m going to spend very little time on the packaging for the MOTUC figures because the vast majority of them are in identical containers. If there’s anyone out there who enjoys the detailed descriptions of the boxes and card please feel free to post, I just usually end up saying the same thing and I hate to waste you guys’ time!

Sculpt:
Most of the sculpt for Battle Armor Skeletor is shared with previous versions of ol’ skull face. His legs, arms and head are all parts we’ve seen several times before while the chest, waist and crotch are all shared with Battle Armor He-Man. The face is painted noticeably differently from both the original Matty version and the Toys R Us 2-pack version, it’s a nice hybrid of the two styles in that it’s yellow in the middle with a green border. I’m not sure which version I prefer but this one does look a little less cartoony than the TRU head.


The chest armor, while similar to Battle Armor He-Man, is actually it’s own unique sculpt. This is something that really makes me happy to collect these toys, I know without a doubt that Mattel could have simply repainted He-Man’s armor without anyone batting an eyelash. Instead we get a brand new evil looking pair of armor pieces that match up to Skeletor perfectly.


The paint on my Skeletor was done nicely with no noticeable problems. His black painted fuzzy underwear are a nice change from the loincloth Skeletor normally wears and they make him feel like more of a unique figure than he would have without them. The painted feet are kind of an odd concept, I understand that Mattel was responding to fan requests when they painted them but since they just used Skeletor’s normal bare feet they feel a bit off.

Articulation:
Skeletor has all of the usual joints of a Masters of the Universe Classics figure. The Battle Armor stops him from putting his arms fully down at the sides but it’s not nearly as bad as it’s been on some other figures (such as the Palace Guards). He’s an extremely posable toy and it’s ridiculously fun to match him up against various heroic characters.


I did not have any stuck or loose joints on my Battle Armor Skeletor, though I know there were several out there with fairly serious problems. It can be a bit of a roll of the dice when ordering mass-produced toys online, especially when there are so many joints and parts that can be messed up. I definitely encourage anyone purchasing from a re-seller to request pictures of their item before they finalize a deal.


Accessories:
Battle Armor Skeley comes with 4 accessories, although to be fair to you the consumer only 1 of them is any fun. The 3 armor plates that give him his prefix come in clean, 1 slash and 2 slash varieties and are inserted into the slot in Skeletor’s chest plate by removing his armor. The armor comes off just easily enough, Mattel must have fixed whatever it was that made changing Battle Armor He-Man’s plates an exercise in terror, and the armor plates pop in with an acceptable amount of effort.


I understand why Mattel is skipping out on the “Action Features” with this collector focused toy line but I still miss the spring loaded action from the original Battle Armor figures. I’m far from the first to bring this issue up but it’s kind of hilarious that we’re buying new figures that outshine their vintage counterparts in every way…..except for the features that defined the figures to begin with. I don’t actually wish that my MOTUC figures had “THUNDER PUNCH ACTION”, far from it, but the remakes of these old, one note toys shine a unique light on my beloved hobby!


The real accessory, the one that you’ll actually use beyond the first few minutes of owning the figure, is the purple axe. It’s exactly the same as the gray axe that He-Man and Battle Armor He-Man came with and yet for some reason it’s a lot of fun. I don’t know if this is just an extension of the fun I had posing Battle Armor Skeletor, but he just looks great with that axe.

Value:
Another MOTUC review, another paragraph where I attempt to justify the high cost of the figure being reviewed. $20 + shipping is pretty pricey for a toy, even for one as well made and cool looking as Battle Armor Skeletor. I got mine in a paired shipment with King Hsss which helped to shoulder some of the cost of getting him across the country but even $5 is almost the cost of a small toy in itself.


$25 is probably a little more than I would want to pay for this figure on it’s own, there are several other Master of the Universe Classics figures that provide more play value by having more useful accessories, but in the grand scheme of things I don’t feel like a I got a raw deal. The extra armor pieces are easy to forget because no more than 1 of them is going to be used at a time but I don’t know that that’s a true justification for the cost.


The bottom line is this an extremely well made, highly articulated figure that is available from essentially one outlet. There are no other products on the market that come anywhere close to replicating the style and construction of the MOTUC figures, much less the MOTU brand that so many people love.

Summary:
Variants are at the core of any profitable action figure line, re-using many of the same parts and then charging full price for the resulting figure helps to offset the cost of other more expensive figures. He-man and Skeletor had lots of variants in the vintage MOTU line as well as the 2002 MOTU line and hell, we already have several of each in the Classics line.


It seems the key to success is to disguise these variants just enough to make them not just endured by the customer but actively desired. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t excited about Battle Armor Skeletor in the least, I already had BA He-Man and wasn’t blown away by him, but in the end he turned out to be almost perfectly executed.

Battle Armor Skeletor is a great action figure of a great character, he’s well made, looks awesome and is just flat out FUN. If there’s room in your collection for another Skeletor I think you owe it to yourself to track this one down. If you’re just looking to get 1 of each main character then I think Battle Armor Skeletor ranks right up there with the Toys R Us Skeletor as the best of the bunch. Either way, he’s highly recommended.


This post officially marks our 1,000th entry here at Infinite Hollywood. It’s definitely something of a milestone. To be fair, not all of these posts are my own (we’ve got quite a few contributors now) and some of these posts aren’t really full posts, but it makes more sense to me to celebrate 1,000 posts rather than 1,236 or whatever it would take to get a thousand of what I consider “official” posts.

For the next couple of weeks we’re going to celebrate with a variety of themed posts, contests and other Tom Foolery-filled festivities. So in honor of our one thousandth post on this little website, the first order of business is an interview with our founder and resident main man himself.

So what’s it take to get to 1,000 posts?

Apparently a lot of spare time, a persistence to put off more important things to work on your crummy website and essentially, no life. All kidding aside, (who said I was kidding?) it takes a fair amount of work to get up this many posts. While I certainly can’t take credit for all of the posts, nor can I honestly say they’re all “great” posts, it’s still a pretty good testament to dedication.

What’s been the most rewarding thing about creating Infinite Hollywood?

It’s tough to say. I hate to be a guy who doesn’t give a straight answer, but the truth is that the website has had a lot of really rewarding moments. When you’re able to bring attention to a US Soldier making cool custom toys in Afghanistan or when you can help put a few gifts under a child’s Christmas tree by sponsoring a contest to do just that, it means a lot. Even if it’s only a small thing, you know?

On a personal level, it’s great to see that someone has seen your stuff and been nice enough to leave a comment. I’ve had people from all over the planet visit the website. There’s a certain amount of gratification that comes from seeing that. I’ve made some good connections and some great friends through the website and that’s definitely rewarding.

What’s been the worst thing in the last 1,000 posts?

Never being satisfied. I’m my own worst critic and I can pick apart a million different things I dislike about the website. Every post is not quite as good as it probably could be. The perfectionist in me is never satisfied… But the fact that we’ve made it to 1,000 posts pretty much says I’m strong enough to weather the storm.

Take us back to the creation of Infinite Hollywood. Where did the idea and concept come from?

Truth be told, Infinite Hollywood in it’s infancy was a pretty different concept. Back in 2007, a few people I knew on a forum had tossed around the idea of starting up a website. I was still pretty big into writing for various other websites, but I realized that I could probably do a better job getting the basics down than the other guys. As it turns out I was right, because nobody else even decided to do a website. The original concept was something a bit closer to like, a celebrity gossip/pop culture site.

I quickly realized I had no interest in doing celebrity gossip and just geared it more towards a general pop culture blog. I had already dabbled with a personal blog, then just decided to sort of roll it all into one. Thus the official Infinite Hollywood was born. There was about a 2 1/2 year gap between when I tinkered with the idea and when I actually decided to do something with the site full time. A lot of those early posts are pretty bad.

Why didn’t you ever go back in and delete them?

They’re there for posterity’s sake. I don’t think there’s too much there that’s overly offensive. More amateurish than I’d like at times, but I think that’s true of pretty much any website as you go further and further back into the archive. Hell at times I’m still refining my style. Plus as I said I’m a perfectionist in a sense and if I went back and deleted every post I wasn’t 100% satisified with, we’d never reach a 1,000 posts!

Octo Joe is now the official mascot of Infinite Hollywood, but there was one before that, right?

A couple, actually. Originally I had rigged up this cool logo that had the infinity symbol as a roll of film. I thought it pretty clever, given the name of the site and all. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, though. The first official “mascot” was Fugitoid from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He appeared on all kinds of early banners and logos. I liked him because he was obscure, but yet still a good tie-in to what I thought the message of the site was. I figured if you knew who or what Fugitoid was, you were part of my target audience.

Ol’ Octo Joe came about this past year because although Fugitoid had long since been phased out, I didn’t have a permanent mascot. I thought of one late at night and after a few days of refining my design, another website started using nearly verbatim my idea. I was flabbergasted. So I went back to the drawing board (and what a horrible set of drawings it was) and Octo Joe was born. Of course he didn’t really come to life until he got into the much more capable hands of Bill White.

What websites inspired this one?

I think every toy reviewer out there owes a certain gratitude to Michael Crawford, who still makes the lion’s share of us look like rookies by comparison. I had actually done a couple of reviews for his site and one of them got lost in cyberspace somewhere, which was also part of the reason I started this place. I didn’t want to lose my work again, so what better way to have it archived than to make sure I did it myself?

Matt from X-E is always an inspiration because he was doing fun pop culture before pretty much anyone else and still does it the best. Nathan Newell of Dork Dimension and Jason Clarke of Poe Ghostal are definitely guys that can still provide inspiration. I’m sure there’s others. I can’t say that any website made me say “hey I can do that”, but I think like any good member of a community, you have to have some influence from your peers and those who were around before you.

What’s your favorite toy line of all time?

Honestly I don’t know if I can sum that up in a simple answer. As a kid, I loved GI Joes and Ninja Turtles the most, if I had to guess. In a lot of ways the return of Ninja Turtles to the toy aisles in 2003 and the 25th Anniversary of GI Joe both played a pretty big part in my return to buying toys. I had almost exclusively quit buying toys and was being a good “grown up” for several years, but both of those toy lines forced me to rethink that philosophy in a way.

Actually, I suppose you can add the Bruce Timm animated DC world to that as well. I can’t say a specific toy line, because the Hasbro line led me to the Mattel JLU line. That was one of the few lines I sporadically collected during my time away from buying toys. It’s kind of funny because a couple of years ago I was a die hard JLU guy and in the last few years I could pretty much care less. Changing of the times.

What’s your favorite toy line currently?

Probably the Doctor Who Classics. It’s one of those toy lines that in a way shouldn’t even exist and yet at the same time is thriving. It’s got it’s fair share of headaches of course, but the guilty pleasures are sort of endless.

What’s the one toy line you’d love to see continue or start back up?

That’s simple, the NECA TMNT line. I’d trade MOTU, Thundercats and a whole lot of other things to get NECA’s TMNT wave 2. It’s probably my greatest toy line disappointment of all time. It’s a shame that NECA hasn’t done something with it, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

Do you really buy all those toys you review?

Yes. Although I have gotten a few toy samples here or there, we buy our toys at Infinite Hollywood. I don’t know if that makes us better or worse off, but we all have an investment in our reviews. Of course I’d love some more free samples, hint hint, but our reviewing integrity isn’t for sale. However for a good price my sexual integrity might be.

Anyone you’d like to thank for helping you get to these first thousand posts?

Of course! I’d like to thank lots of people. Anyone who’s ever come to the website and enjoyed themselves, I appreciate. Especially those who have taken the time to leave a comment. I know it may not seem like much, but I know for a fact that all of the crew here at Infinite Hollywood appreciate the comments more than you can imagine.

Anyone who’s ever posted our link, submitted us to some sort of social media network, carried our banner or mentioned us in passing… I definitely appreciate. The toy community is small and yet at times pretty vast. We’d be lost out there if it wasn’t for other people connecting us together and for that I’m quite grateful.

Beyond that I’d like to thank my girlfriend for putting up with a house full of toys and me sacrificing time I should be spending with her, typing away at the computer. I’d like to thank the “regulars”, who pop in all the time and keep us feeling all warm and cozy inside. I’d like to thank Bill for his incredible artwork, Jon, Wesitron, Rob, Jeremy and all the contributors who have helped lighten the load and bring a fresh perspective and content to the website.

Is there anything that you’d like to say to people reading the website?

Just thanks for stopping by, please continue to support us if you’ve enjoyed anything you’ve read here and the best is yet to come…

Be sure to continue to check out the website and look for special 1,000th post celebration content. The next 1,000 posts are sure to be at least as good as the first! Thanks everybody!