President Juggernaut

President Juggernaut

President Juggernaut is a Boston area lover of toys, film, TV, books, sports, and comics fan. A true enthusiast of all trades, but a master of none. His first and most beloved childhood toy was a Kenner Star Wars Stormtrooper which remains on display amongst a vast and ever growing collection of far too many action figures, collectibles and assorted oddities.

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Glow in the Dark Universal Movie Monsters
Wolfman, Mummy, Frankenstein, Gillman
5 Inch Scale
By Uncle Milton
Approximately $10

Have you ever been to a toy show? Or maybe a flea market, where some guy invariably has a bin full of beat up vintage toys? If you have, chances are that you have seen these Universal Monsters figures. Like giant versions of green army men, these figures are solid plastic pieces capturing the classic Universal Monsters characters. Originally created by Louis Marx and Company in the late 1960s, they have been reissued in a variety of colors. Most recently, the figures were cast in glow in the dark plastic in 1990, by Uncle Milton.

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These versions are probably the most common nowadays, and can be picked up loose or on a shelf-worn cardback fairly cheaply. Today I am going to be looking at four figures, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. There are also figures available of the Phantom of the Opera and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I have limited myself to my four favorites. Continue reading

There are certain things I looks forward to every October… the perfectly ripe apples, the pumpkins and gourds placed everywhere, and of course, the reemergence of General Mills monster cereals. This year the usual suspects of Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Booberry were joined by old friends Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, which Newton featured in an earlier Infinite Cuisine. In the past few years, the popularity of the monster cereal brands has led to some spinoff products, such as Frankenberry Fruit Rollups and today’s subject, Count Cholula cereal bars.

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I’ve tried all of the monster cereals, and my favorites are definitely Count Chocula and Frankenberry. It’s no secret that Chocula is basically Cocoa Puffs, in a different shape and with marshmallows. But while I always pick up at least one box of Count Chocula each year, I never buy Cocoa Puffs. The simple change of shape can have a big impact on cereal, as it changes the texture and the way the pieces interact with the milk. The addition of marshmallows is a big plus as well. My point is, there is a connection to Cocoa Puffs, but the cereals are not the same.

Unfortunately, these cereal bars are made out of Cocoa puffs, and not Count Chocula. The cereal pieces are clearly little chocolate globes, not the chocolate ghosts I was expecting. And while there is some small amount of gooey white marshmallow in evidence, I was expecting a healthy portion of the crunchy Count Chocula marshmallows to be mixed in. Instead there are none. These bars are probably released as Cocoa Puffs branded treats all year long. Continue reading

Marvel Select The Wolverine Review

Marvel Select
The Wolverine
6 Inch Scale
By Diamond Select Toys
$21.99

I did not have big expectations for this summer’s The Wolverine, but I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Marvel Comics and their movie adaptations are one of my many loves, but the first Wolverine spinoff was garbage. Along with Elektra and both of the Ghost Riders, it is one of the few Marvel features that I have not owned or really even seen all the way through. Without even the spark of so-bad-their-good enjoyability, they cannot hold my interest.However, Hugh Jackman owns the role of Wolverine, and even the lesser X-films have benefited from his performances. And in The Wolverine, I believe he gives his best performance as the character yet.

2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine had a decent 3 ¾” toyline, with movie and comic versions of important X-characters. This time around, Hasbro’s figure line consisted of five comic based figures with basic swivel articulation. Three of the figures were Wolverine variations. They have also shown off a 6” Wolverine Legends assortment of comic based figures, but it still is not available, and will be a Previews exclusive series. Marvel Select has released a Wolverine which seems to be the only true action figure based on the film. Continue reading

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Breaking Bad
Heisenberg
6″ Scale
By Mezco Toyz
$17.99

After an incredible five seasons, the AMC epic Breaking Bad is winding down. And as this popular show enters the home stretch, the floodgates of merchandising have opened. Over the last few weeks I have spotted more Breaking Bad items than ever before, t-shirts, pint glasses, shot glasses, lanyards, keychains, plushes, air fresheners… and Mezco is leading the pack, with Walter White bobbleheads, action figures, and prop replicas.

Breaking Bad has become my second favorite television show of all time (to answer the obvious question, HBO’s The Wire is still #1). The saga of Walter White has been compelling and unrelenting since the pilot. I cannot say that there has ever been a bad episode throughout its run. In reaction to the most recent series premiere I read one reviewer remark that a single episode of Breaking Bad offers more story development than entire seasons of some shows. It’s true. The tension that builds at various points in the show always pays off in explosive and unexpected ways. The premise of a terminally ill high school chemistry teacher transforming into a drug kingpin sounds strange to the initiated, but the journey has been amazing. Walter White is the hero and the villain, occasionally hilarious and often terrifying. So when an action figure is made of this man, of course I need it in my collection.

Continue reading

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DX Ultraman
Ultraman (Hayata)
14 Inch Scale
By: Banpresto
Price Varies

Many years ago, in the early 1990s, I would get an awesome catalog in the mail every so often. It was filled with page after page of the coolest toys and collectibles that were being made at that time. Far beyond the stuff you could get at Toys R Us or KB, there were Japanese and European imports and specialty products. Everything from rare collectibles to model kits, stuff from older-skewing science fiction and horror… It blew my mind as a child.

I loved Godzilla and the other monsters I would discover during TV monster weeks, probably on Monstervision. Suff like Godzilla vs Mothra and War of the Gargantuas. The only toys of Toho-type monsters I owned were knockoffs and imitations, up until Trendmasters started making them in the US. So every time the catalog arrived, several times a year, I would pour over each page and save the issue for months. I wish I had managed to save just one over the years, or at least could remember the name of the store that put it out. Even if they have gone out of business, I would love to look through the pages again.

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One of the coolest items in there consistently was a large scale vinyl Ultraman figure, about 12” tall. I had only seen a limited amount of Ultraman on TV, probably one of the later sequel series. But I knew who he was, and loved the idea of a giant superhero who fought Godzilla-like monsters. Unfortunately for me, my parents did not think it necessary to order something out of a catalog when there were perfectly good toys available in stores. I never owned one, or even saw one in person. Eventually we moved and I no longer received that catalog in the mail.

About twenty years later, I dug into a Walmart $5 DVD bin whilst killing time and came across Ultraman: The Complete Series. I bought it, watched it, and my childhood desire to own that Ultraman figure was reborn. Not knowing where to start looking for an obscure old toy, I took to eBay and started sifting through Ultramen, eventually settling on the subject of this review.

Despite all of that… This is not the figure from that catalog. This figure is stamped under its foot with the year 1999, long after I had admired the one on those pages of paper. However, it is very close to what I remember, whether those memories are real or muddled by time I cannot say for sure. The pose or size might be a bit different, but the idea is the same. It might even be from the same company, which in the case of at least this figure is Japanese toymaker Banpresto. Standing at 14”, this is actually the tallest figure I own. So after all this time, is this really the figure of a lifetime? Let’s take a look. Continue reading