Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ask Matty Mattel

1. Did having the actors of Blade and Saurod coming out in support of MOTUC help increase their chances of getting made into figures, any?

Time will tell! We certain feel obligated to them!

Editor’s Note: That sounds like they may have boosted up a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blade wasn’t already on the list anyway, but I guess we’ll see.

2. Obviously MOTUC struggled to meet it’s numbers this year, but once we crossed the finish line it seemed to be with a pretty good stride. TG mentioned something new possibly getting greenlit because of the strong finish. Are there always secret projects like this that could be greenlit if sales were stupendous? Perhaps that should have been teased before the sub sign ups were ending.

We didn’t want to tease it in case it didn’t happen. We hate to disappoint.

3. How big of a challenge was it to get Granamyr made given the smaller production runs and difficulty within Mattel to allow MOTUC more money?

It was very challenging due to the overall low sales of MOTUC (compared to any other Mattel line) but luckily MOTU has a very dedicated team who is are also fans and try push the envelope all the time!

4. Any idea if there will be a Mad Matty sale coming up? Or some sort of sale in October like there was last year on the site?

Nothing to announce right now.

5. Last year you guys skipped C2E2 because of their date change. The year before you had a pretty good presence. Will you be attending C2E2 in 2013? People in the Chicago area really miss Mattel’s presence and we want a chance to buy some of those con exclusives!

We are not yet ready to announce our 2013 convention plans. All we can confirm is SDCC 2013 at this time.

Remember as always, if you have questions you’d like submitted to Mattel, email me or reply here with a question and I’ll try to get it asked.

GI Joe Collector's Club Footloose
GI Joe (25th Anniversary Style)
GI Joe Collector’s Club Exclusive
Footloose
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$45.00 (price varies on secondary market)

Earlier this year I reviewed the GI Joe Collector’s Club 12 Inch Exclusive Man of Evil figure. It was one of two exclusives that were membership incentives. The other figure is today’s review, a 25th Anniversary style 3 3/4 inch Footloose figure.


I’d be lying to you if I told you that Footloose was generally of any interest to me. Aside from his appearance in the cartoon where he was shown having a stone pillar fall on him in every episode’s credits, he wasn’t particularly memorable to me. I’m sure he’s somebody’s favorite though, as GI Joe has a great huge pantheon of characters that appeal to lots of different folks.


But as an example, Footloose ranks below guys like Repeater to me. These GIJCC membership figures have become incredibly popular. Last year’s figure, Dial-Tone, is virtually impossible to score on the secondary market and Footloose is starting to become the same way. So if you’re going to plunk down some serious change for him, is he worth it?

Packaging:
If you got this guy from the Club as your free membership figure, he came in a simple bag. No packaging whatsoever.


However for the GI Joe Convention and for a brief sale on the Club store, they had Footloose up for sale packaged. This means that his packaged figure is worth a LOT more than just the regular version. The number produced in package is much, much smaller, so the value of cardboard and plastic just went through the roof. The package itself is standard Joe fare, though the cardboard backer might be a bit weaker. The back doesn’t show any other figures but does have a bigger version of the Footloose illustration.


One minor advantage of the membership version is that he came with his filecard as a separate piece.

Sculpt/Paint:
Footloose is a “FrankenJoe” which really shouldn’t surprise anyone. That essentially means that he’s made up of previous GI Joe figure parts and cobbled into a new character. This used to be sacrilege back in the day when toy companies did this, but in the modern era of Joe it’s so commonplace that no one even bats an eyelash.


Truth be told, there’s no reason to get upset here anyway. Footloose is one of the finest examples of mix and match parts to come down the line in a while. Everything fits together seamlessly and he uses parts from some rarer figures as well, like the SDCC Exclusive Sgt. Slaughter, who provided part of the legs.


Even his head is a reuse, as he has the Lt. Claymore head sculpt from the 2011 Convention Exclusive set. Of course that set was produced in even smaller quantities than this figure, so you can practically count the number of people who have Claymore in their collections on your hand. This is a clever reuse anyway, as Claymore and Footloose actually shared a head sculpt in the vintage Joe line as well.


His outfit is nice, with crisp, clean paint applications. His coloring is slightly more muted than the vintage figure, but it definitely looks good regardless. He’s a really beautiful figure and he screams GI Joe. This is one of those guys who you’d love to pick up if this line was still at Walmart.


Compared to the recent Retaliation figures, his extra articulation and more advanced paint applications just remind you how much GI Joe as a toyline is suddenly moving backwards, instead of forward. Such is the way of cost cutting, I suppose.


If I had any real complaints it would be that his web gear is a bit cumbersome and can move around into funky positions at times. Likewise, his helmet is just a tad oversized… Though truth be told, so was the vintage figure’s.

Articulation:
GI Joe figures have tons of articulation or at least they did until the Retaliation line came out. Footloose builds upon the 30th Anniversary figures, which just built upon the 25th Anniversary style. He’s got joints on top of joints.


You don’t realize how much you miss these things, until you don’t have them anymore. The side to side movement in the legs is great, particularly because of the double jointed knees and ankle swivel hinges. It allows you to get him in some unique deep crouching positions, that just aren’t possible with the newer gimped articulation guys.


He’s easily possible and there’s a lot you can do. He has those extra swivel hinges at the wrists, that some of the 30th figures had and it really adds to the posing ability. You have to give the Club credit for making sure to use only the best parts. Particularly if they’re charging a premium price. I do find his hands are a little small, but they’re probably more properly scaled than I’m used to.


I would say the only problem is that his legs can get a bit loose, no pun intended, but that’s been a common problem for Joes since the first figures. It’s only really an issue when he has his big backpack on. That can make him want to fall over.

Accessories:
Footloose is loaded down with weapons. Don’t think just because this guy is an exclusive, that he doesn’t come ready for action.


Footloose has a ton of crap. Most of the weapons aren’t painted, but they do come in a nice gun gray. He also has a basic stand, his helmet which has a lot of great sculpting and paint applications as well as the web gear which you could consider an accessory if you wanted to.


The rocket launcher is probably Footloose’s most identifiable weapon and it’s nicely reproduced here. He can hold it quite well and little touches of paint help to make it stand out some. He also has a rocket that can be placed inside and huzzah, it doesn’t fire!


The smaller accessories like the knife and the flashlight are a great addition to this figure. He looks like he’s ready to do some survival in the jungles somewhere.


Of course those accessories are small and could easily get lost. But this is an “adult collectible” as the package says.


Footloose has a bigger gun that can fit in both hands easily. He also has a small pistol to round things out.


One neat addition is the real straps that can be found on the backpack. This really adds to the look of the backpack and it can be used to store some extra supplies. Of course that could also help them get lost, but I thought it was neat.

Value:
As a membership figure he was technically “free” with your $44 membership. Members could later buy the loose one for about $25 plus shipping and then a carded version for about $30 plus shipping. All of this is way too much for a GI Joe figure. The idea of a $40 3 3/4 GI Joe sort of repulses me. Yet that’s the name of the game these days, so if you consider that a reasonable value, the figure itself is really quite good.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 9
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Gun
Value – 6
Overall – 8 out of 10


Footloose is a really great exclusive. I felt like Dial-Tone looked bad, but Footloose doesn’t. He seems like a perfect incarnation if this classic character. He’s everything I loved about the GI Joe 25th line. One of my favorite toy lines of all time.


Unfortunately Hasbro isn’t in the business of making classic 3 3/4 GI Joes anymore. Thankfully the GIJCC is, but the cost is quite the burden on an average collector. This would have been an AMAZING figure back in 2007 or so, when these figures were under $7. These days, it’s not quite the same value, but it’s still a great figure.

GI Joe Comic Ad

Here’s a throwback for the bargain shopper in our latest Classic Comic Ad, which features Duke from GI Joe shilling the latest Marvel comic prices. Not just any prices either, but Marvel was offering 1984 prices in 1985! A big $2.30 savings! Holy smokes!

Back then, you could get 12 issues for just $6 or about what it costs for a single comic these days. Putting that aside, the interesting part about this ad isn’t so much the retro prices, but the choice of character to advertise those low rates. Typically you’d find a “real” Marvel character in one of the pages, such as Spider-Man or Hulk. The fact that we have a licensed character, makes this ad stand out and shows just how popular the GI Joe comic was at the time.

Duke is decked out in his comic colors (which would eventually become a figure variant in the 25th line) holding up a sign about the deal. Duke doesn’t strike me as a particularly interesting salesman, given his sort of bland nature but this was at the height of the GI Joe cartoon popularity so maybe they wanted to hook non-fans. You’d think if they were going to choose a Joe, it would have been Snake Eyes. Not to mention that Duke wasn’t exactly the most well written character in the Marvel Joe comics.

Another neat part of this ad, is that it features the Hasbro Bradley copyright. When Hasbro acquired the Milton Bradley in 1984, they briefly called themselves Hasbro Bradley, before ditching it in early 1986. Again, this is something that wouldn’t be on this ad, had Marvel not chosen to spotlight a GI Joe character on the page. It’s just another historic element that gets put into this time capsule.

Sadly, if you’re like me and lament the days when comic books only cost a few bucks, don’t try mailing this ad in. The offer expired in March of 1985. They can’t keep those 1984 prices forever!

Mego Month at Infinite Hollywood

September is Mego Month here at InfiniteHollywood.com! Be on the lookout all through the month of September for special posts about Mego figures, modern Mego-like remakes and plenty of toys in the retro cloth 8 inch style! Don’t worry, we’ll have our share of regular reviews and news as well, but all September long we’re keeping a special focus on the classic concepts of Mego!

KRE-O Transformers Blind Bags
KRE-O Transformers
Kreon Micro Changers Preview Series
Galvatron, Scorponok
1 3/4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro

If there’s two weak areas here at Infinite Hollywood it would be Legos and Transformers. While I have fiddled around with Legos before, our coverage hasn’t been super extensive. Likewise, Transformers has never really been my bag. Outside of Generation 1 and some random episodes of Beast Wars, I’ve never been a Transformer guy. I had a fair amount of Transformers as a kid, but I always though they were either a cool robot or a cool vehicle, but rarely both.

Transformers Galvatron Kreon Review

I realize that Transformers have evolved quite a bit in the last few decades and I also understand that they’re probably the second most powerful toy brand behind Star Wars, but nothing much has made me interested in them. At least until the KRE-O stuff came along. KRE-O is Hasbro’s attempt to move into the Lego market. The first KRE-O Transformers products were simple cars and trucks that could be built as either the vehicle or the robot forms.

Transformers Kreo

And then someone realized that nobody buys Legos anymore to build stuff (okay lots probably do, but I digress) and instead people care about the mini figures! And so, like so many other companies, Hasbro began making Kreons, their versions of mini figures. Unfortunately for Transformers, they got off to a slow start, only including Kreons in the HUGE most expensive sets. But finally they’re on board the blind bag concept that everyone loves and are now offering Transformer characters in Kreon mini form at an affordable price and without all those extra bricks nobody wants.

Transformers Review

As long as I don’t have to buy a bunch of bricks, I’m happy! To make matters even more interesting, this preview series of the blind bag minis is also the first version of these Kreons that can “transform” into a second mode. Transformers have come full circle. So how do these mini figures rate with a guy who’s not really into Legos or Transformers? Read on…

Packaging:
The packages are simple and mimic every other blind bag on the market. There’s no new ground being broken here people. I guess don’t try to reinvent the wheel if you’re KRE-O. Right now we’ve got Lego, Mega Bloks, K’Nex and a few others flooding the shelves with these blind bag minis. Blind bags are nothing new, they did this in the 80’s with M.U.S.C.L.E. and such, but they’re definitely all the rage these days.


The front shows off colorful cartoon versions of each Kreon in the series, while the back has a pretty basic checklist. It also shows that they’re 2 in 1 with the transforming mode and whatnot. It doesn’t mention anything about rareness or ratio, so I’ll assume they’re evenly packed, I guess. One of the gimmicks of these blind bags “gotta catch em’ all” elements is that some guys are usually a lot harder to find than others.

Transformers mini figures Review

Inside each guy is wrapped up in a little bag, meaning you have to completely build him. It makes sense for these kind of transforming guys, but having a mini figure dissembled is pretty much par for the course with these types of figures. I’m not really sure why, but I assume if they’re in a bunch of pieces it makes it harder for you to feel on the bag and figure out what you got.


There is also a small instruction sheet with more info on it. This is important because it tells you how to get the Kreon in both forms.

Sculpt/Paint:
Believe it or not, the first Kreons I was attracted to were not the Transformer ones. Instead I loved the design of the Battleship KRE-O figures. Crazy, right? Of course it’s not really a fair comparison because the Battleship Kreons were out before the Transformer ones. Hasbro sort of kept these Transformers KRE-O mini figures kind of low key for a bit.


Each figure starts out as a bunch of parts and once you decide which way to build him, you either have extra pieces laying around or he’s fully together.

Galvatron Review

While I’m not a big Transformer guy, I’ve always thought the robots looked cool. Particularly in their robot forms. I feel like the toys never properly replicated their robot forms right, because they looked like something that transformed into a robot, as opposed to actually being a robot… Yeah I get that it’s the whole gimmick, but I still always felt the figures lacked.


But cool looking robots I can dig and Transformers have always had cool looking robots.


Each body is pretty basic, with a Lego-like head. A body that’s similar to Legos (but designed just different enough to not be stealing) and some different tampo prints for details.


It’s nothing revolutionary, but immediately the bright colors and neat robot designs strike me as awesome. I guess it’s just the fact that this a much more colorful property and it doesn’t seem as limited as Lego does in terms of doing something neat with the Kreons.


Note: Some of these Scorponok builds are using two figures, as I ended up with a duplicate of him.

Like Scorponok, who has different hand connectors to his body. He also has translucent parts. There seems to be a lot of translucent stuff in this line. I LOVE TRANSLUCENT STUFF! I would buy a turd if it was translucent plastic. I’m a grown ass man, but I’m not afraid to admit that I am transfixed by translucent toys.

Lego, Kreo, Minimate, Doctor Who comparison

They’re pretty much the exact same scale as Lego mini figures, but smaller than some of the other minis out there. They can interchange parts with Lego, with not much of an issue. That’s one of the pluses of KRE-O.


This allows you to interact Lego parts as well.

Although you can’t interchange the midsection. That’s pretty much the only part that’s constructed differently.


Each guy has a unique build. While I’m not really much into the “Transformer” part, it does give these guys added value. Scorponok’s two builds are kind of unique. He definitely has some real pop with his claw hands and stinging tail. I had a lot of fun swapping parts around with him.


Galvatron’s vehicle mode is kind of stupid though. It’s sort of similar to the G1 version, but it’s a pretty big stretch. I guess you shouldn’t expect these guys to transform into anything great. At least you could sort of use him as a vehicle if you wanted.


Supposedly in his robot mode you can connect this crap to his back, but it does not work. That’s one area where I did find some trouble with these guys. Some of the stuff that they’re supposed to do feels a bit weak.


As does the plastic at points. One of my figures has a pretty loose shoulder and several times as I was popping parts in and out, stress marks appeared. I’ve owned a lot of Legos through the years and never, ever had a stress mark appear, so that’s pretty alarming.

Articulation:
The one problem I have with the Lego mini figure movement is the articulation. While I’m hardly an articulation eliteist, I do think that the Lego model is starting to show it’s age. Kreons offer a nice little update to that basic concept.


You can do a lot more with the KRE-O mini figures than you can a Lego. Of course, the robots and the vehicles have different levels or articulation, but all the basic Kreons have the same articulation.


This means you’re going to get a lot more poses out of these guys.

Accessories:
Obviously it’s kind of hard to say that these guys come with accessories, since everything is sort of built into their design.


However Galvatron most definitely does come with a shoulder cannon and I can’t tell you how in love with it I am. It’s such a neat little recreation of the vintage Transformer cannons. Kudos Hasbro!


He also has wheels that can plug into the side of his legs. Everyone has holes on their legs for wheels, in case their vehicle mode used wheels. I don’t care for the look of the wheels on him, but it’s pretty neat that they’re there. It’s also cool that you can remove them.


The ability to mix and match parts to create new bots and such, is something I really like about these figures. I realize you can do that with a lot of Legos and stuff too, but it just exudes some awesome play elements in these Transformers KRE-Os.

Transformers Scorponok Kreo Review

I was even building stuff with the extra bricks and pieces. It was like the old days again!

Value:
Value is sort of tricky, because although these guys have a lot of play value and they’re generally inexpensive at $3 a pop… They’re blind bags. So in my case, I spent $9 but only got two different figures. I guess one nice element here is that since they’re Transformers, you can make new robots out of them. As opposed to say if you got two Lego fishermen or something.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Shoulder Cannon, Vehicle/Beast Mode
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10


With the exuberant colors and neat designs, the Transformers KRE-O Kreons are a lot of fun. Giving these guys the extra transforming modes and lots of fun little details definitely makes even a guy who’s not big into Legos or Transformers, enjoy these little guys. Both Galvatron and Scorponok are really neat little desktop toys.

Transformers Scorponok Review

Being able to change these guys around and use them in different ways, definitely adds to their uniqueness compared to pretty much all the other mini figures on the market. Certainly Lego has embraced this idea for years, but the Transformers property definitely gives KRE-O new legs in this area. If the figure plastic quality can live up to the potential of the lines, KRE-O may be a nice challenger to the Lego monopoly.