5 1/2 Inch scale
By: Toys N’ Things
Troll dolls first came to popularity in the 1970s, where a handful of hippies and stoners would place one on their wall. Apparently they were actually invented all the way back in 1959, but for all intents and purposes, Trolls didn’t really exist until sometime in the mid 1990s. You see, up to that point, troll dolls were likely the least popular holdover from the 70s. But sometime in the 90s, some kid found a troll doll and he told another kid it was cool and suddenly we were off to the races!
If you weren’t alive during this period, you might look back on troll dolls and think they were some brief phase that wasn’t a big deal. Of course, you’d be wronger than humanly possible. You see, the troll craze was huge. 1,000 times more popular than He-Man, Beanie Babies and Pokemon combined. I’m not kidding either. Trolls suddenly just appeared overnight EVERYWHERE! And everyone collected them.
Adults bought them. Kids bought them. Hot teenage girls bought them. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE UNITED STATES (and quite possibly the world) WAS OBSESSED WITH TROLL DOLLS! Why were troll dolls so popular? I can’t say for sure, but I know manufacturers loved them because you could make 100 troll dolls for about a nickel and then resell them for at least three times that. All you had to do was slap some new hair on one and BOOM, new type of troll doll. Even though there were “official” Troll dolls, there was no copyright on the troll design, which meant everyone made trolls. Millions of trolls, of every shape, size and variety.
Eventually they started putting clothes on troll dolls. Then they’d add little gimmicks to them. Even if you didn’t want to collect troll dolls, you were forced to because it was virtually the only toy being sold at the time. I’m not kidding. I cannot understate how much troll dolls just infiltrated every facet of childhood life in the 1990s. This led to Hasbro and Ace Novelty releasing honest to goodness Troll “action” figures with Battle Trolls (“They’re outta conTROLL”) and Stone Protectors. The latter of which ended up with a cartoon, video games and god knows what else.
So naturally, someone would knock those off. At this point troll dolls had reached maximum saturation, with even gumball machines being filled with trolls. This led to the good folks at Toys N’ Things to create Troll Force! The subject of today’s review.
It’s hard to say exactly what Troll Force is. Are they a team? Do they fight each other? Do they all live in one big hippie commune? All I know is that they released 12 different figures in six different themes. Each theme had two figures. Today’s review is of the Viking, from the Medieval Warriors (labeled as just Warriors on the back of the card) theme. His partner in crime (or enemy?) was the Roman figure. Continue reading
4.5 Inch Scale
Let me preface this review by saying Raphael is my least favorite turtle and I detest everything about the 2014 movie designs but when TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com sent along a Raphael for me to check out, I couldn’t necessarily refuse. Much to my surprise, there’s a lot to like about this Raph figure. In fact, it’s a really fun little figure.
Perhaps the nicest thing about this figure is that Playmates have done a good job replicating the actual movie design, without necessarily going so far as to translate the utter ridiculousness. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Raphael has the least ignorant redesign on the surface. Whereas the other turtles have random crap stuck to their bodies, Raph is pretty normal aside from the hunchback shell and skirt.
In fact Raph definitely channels the Next Mutation designs, which I actually loved. Clearly this goes overboard, but at least he’s not wearing glasses and oversized sneakers. So is this still worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out! Continue reading
3 3/4 Inch Scale
When The Rocketeer hit theaters in 1991, Disney put a ton of merchandising behind it. There was literally every kind of movie tie-in you could think of, from birthday party hats to paddle balls. Everything except one major tie-in… The only thing that was left out was action figures. Had Rocketeer turned into a hit, instead of a misunderstood gem, one imagines that a toy line would have been inevitable, perhaps as part of a cartoon. Instead, it’s taken over 20 years for us to get a “traditional” action figure of the Rocketeer.
But even that is a bit of a misnomer, as the Rocketeer is the first figure in Funko’s ReAction toy line. ReAction is a line of “retro” styled figures, in the format of vintage Kenner Star Wars figures. Okay, technically the Super 7 Alien figures came first, but those were created before Funko came on board and were based off decades old sculpts. Rocketeer is the first newly sculpted ReAction figure and he’s got a lot of hype and a lot to live up to.
So with all that pressure, does the Rocketeer manage to deliver? The answer is no, mostly it doesn’t. But does that mean this figure is worth skipping? Read on to find out why this may still be worth your time. Continue reading
Michelangeo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter & Shredder
#60 – #65
3 3/4 Inch Scale
My friends over at Fun.com invited me to take a look at a few Funko Vinyl Pop figures in celebration of their big push for more toys and collectibles. They have tons of Funko Pop Vinyl figures at great prices and it only made sense that I take a look at the TMNT figures. Series 1 is based on the classic Fred Wolf Ninja Turtles designs. It includes the four turtles as well as their sensai Splinter and their arch rival, Shredder.
There isn’t a ton of nostalgia TMNT product out there right now, but I expect more and more of it to hit shelves as the new Ninja Turtles movie draws closer to release. Among the various things that are out there, these Funko Pop Vinyls are actually pretty nice. Definitely better than some of the other stuff we’ve seen. It’s a testament to Funko’s knowledge of the “nerd” industry for them to have so many awesome licenses under one roof.
The other really nice thing about the Funko Pop Vinyl line, is that you can collect tons of different characters all in the same style. Which is basically unheard of in this day and age. Or if you’re only a fan of a single property like the Ninja Turtles, you can just get their whole series. Continue reading
Ghosts of Christmas: Past, Present & Future
5 Inch Scale
By: Memory Lane
$19.99 (Back in the day)
My final review for the Toy Review Advent Calendar is a real doozy as it’s three figures in one set! And not only are these three different figures, but each figure is of a character playing another character! We’re getting into real “dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude” territory today.
I mentioned a few years ago in my Uncle Scrooge Review that as a youngster, I was blessed with a “taped off TV” VHS tape of Mickey’s Christmas Carol. This was the version that aired on ABC and had the little opening sequence with extra Disney Christmas cartoons on it. It was an annual tradition to watch that worn out old tape in my household, and I still have the tape to this day. Sadly it doesn’t play as well (plus my VCR is buried under other things I don’t use anymore) so I have to settle for the abridged DVD version.
Even so, I love Mickey’s Christmas Carol and was elated to get the whole collection of figures a few years ago. I’ve reviewed pretty much everyone here on the website, except for the Ghosts of Christmas. At least until now! The Ghosts of Christmas set came out shortly after the figures and was the only “deluxe” set put out by Memory Lane. It included all three ghosts (past, present and future) as well as a smattering of accessories.
As with all the Mickey’s Christmas Carol figures, this is a top notch set that makes me miss not only my childhood, but the days when toys like this could be readily bought on the shelves. Continue reading