Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Katchoo


Self-named 'The Original Angry Blonde, Katina 'Katchoo' Choovanski, was a former operative of the Big Six organization that trains women to infiltrate and influence the American political system.

Shocker Toys presents the 6-inch action figure of Katchoo, with 18-points of articulation, as part of its Indie Spotlight Series 1 (Maxx Series).

The Katchoo figure has cleverly articulation joints hidden in its clothing. Points consist of swivel, ball and joint and slide points that allow the figure to pose in realistic stances without the aid of a stand.

The figure is nicely crafted with crisp sculpting, tight paint application devoid of rough edges or slop over and comes with an extra right hand sans the revolver that the right hand attached to the figure holds.

Included with the figure is a Maxx Isz figure. It is deep pink, has large teeth, white hair, a red hair ribbon, pink wings and a red dress with white trim and small pink protruding feet. The figure comes with a small stand.

Packaging is a flat bubble hanger with a colorful card backing and pictures of the entire Maxx series of character on its back along with a description of the Katchoo character.

Other figures in the set (all of which come with an Isz) are Maxx, Shadowhawk, Kabuki, Scud and Katchoo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

James Bond 007 Archives

With a limited print run of only 6,000 Rittenhouse Archive's/Sci-Fi Hobby's throwback 1960's style James Bond Trading Cards include images from all 22 James Bond films beginning with Dr. No through Quantum of Solace.

The set clocks in at 66 Base Cards, 5 Cards per Foil Pack and 24 Packs per Box.

Look for photos of each actor that played James Bond, his foes, friends and women. For my Box I was able to assemble one full Base Set with enough cards left over for a serious dent in a second set.

Randomly inserted Bonus Cards include (two each guaranteed per Box), Autograph Cards (mine are Joe Don Baker and Neil Jackson) and Relic Cards (from Quantum Of Solace: a piece of James Bond's tuxedo and Mr. Greene's suit.)

Also look for Quantum of Solace Cards for the following Sets: The Complete James Bond, The Quotable James Bond, Bond Technology, Bond Villains and several others (I received six such cards.)

Special Incentive Cards come with each Case sold. How do extra Costume, relic and Autograph Cards sound?

"Shocking! Absolutely shocking!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wolverine Weapon X #1

One of my favorite Marvel artists, Ron Garney, along with writer Jason Aaron and colorist Jason Keith delve into Wolverine's past with the infamous Weapon X program-the program that gave him his Adamantium skeleton and temporary memory loss.

In issue #1, a Columbian guerilla group is neutralized by unseen green clawed assailants on San Francisco train a female newspaper reporter is attacked by knife wielding thugs. On a nearby seat a man snores, his head covered by a newspaper.

One of the thugs attempts to wake him in order to steal from him. He makes the mistake of prodding him with his hand gun only to pull away the bloody stump of his hand. The sleeping man is, of course, Wolverine. The other thug leaves-quickly.

A few minutes later as Wolverine walks down a wharf, he meets with Maverick who tells him of a new secret ops group, Blackguard. The group managed to get its hands on the Weapon X secret files and has used them to create their own 'super soldiers' complete with claws. Wolverine investigates Blackguard's abandoned base and concludes that it's up to him to stop them.

Included in the first issue are Weapon X operative bios and a short preview of the new Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire series.

Wolverine Weapon X looks to be an interesting series. Unlike the monthly Wolverine series that ties into the Marvel Universe and the Wolverine Origins series that Wolverine's past, his regained memory and his quest of revenge, the new series focuses specifically on Wolverine's Weapon X involvement. Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Japanese Goth

Over the last 20 years the influence of Japanese popular culture has had a tremendous impact on American society. Anime, manga, toys, graphic design, transportation, cuisine and especially fashion have successfully reshaped American popular tastes.
It takes no small stretch of the imagination to see how Japanese fashion designers and Japanese youth have revolutionized clothing and fashion. A case in point is the growing fascination in Japan and in America with cosplay: dressing up as one's favorite anime or manga character.
On closer examination of Japanese art-specifically anime and manga, it's easy to see that dark, often Western supernatural themes have intermingled with Japanese folklore and mythology. Vampires, demons, dark and mysterious castles, pale white skin antagonists and Victorian garb are everywhere.
The Japanese, especially the youth, have embraced Goth and created their own unique take on Gothic fashion and art, appropriately called Japanese Goth. Tiffany Godoy, Ivan Vartanian and Universe/Rizzoli present Japanese Goth- a book that examines the phenomenon in art, photos and descriptive text. For a unique Eastern perspective on a Western creation, be sure to pick up a copy of Japanese Goth.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Previews, April

It's no April Fool joke when it comes to Diamond Previews April Catalog solicitations.

Check out these cool new comic books with DC's Batman & Robin #1, Dark Horse's Werewolves On The Moon: Versus Vampires #1, Image's Berserker #21, Marvel's Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 and many more.

Magazines to buy include CBG, Torchwood, Doc Savage, Geek, HorrorHound and Star Trek.

Books to read are The Essential Guide To G.I. Joe, Comic Book Design, Transformers: The Art OF the Movies and How To Cosplay.

Trading cards to collect are Battlestar Galactica: Season 4, X-Men Archives and WWE Slam.

Toy around with Cinema OF Fear, Tonner DC Stars, Marvel Universe, Marvel Legends, Transformers, Halo and Star trek.

Are you game? Then get ready to play Talisman, Axis & Allies, Warcraft, D&D and YGO.

Audi R8

The Audi R8 STM Safety Car is a real Edition: 1:43 beauty. Nicely displayed and secured on its solid black pedestal base and covered by a five side, clear canopy, the miniature car is a showcase of miniature sculpting and design.

The Schuco Audi R8 is a sleek little two door car that hugs the road with its oversize custom wheels and tires and low body style.

The silver car comes with full decal details, front and rear windows, open side windows, front and rear lights, side mirrors, roof lights, complete inside details with dash, steering wheel and seats and rear mounted, high-performance engine that is visible through the rear window.

Body detailing is impressive with lots of to-scale decals, body detailing around the doors, side panels, front and back. Paint application is crisp and clean with blotting or clumping and the sculpting is first rate and perfectly in scale.

Mission Impossible: The Sixth TV Season

By its Sixth Season Mission Impossible was down to three of its original members and one newcomer. Barbara Bain, Martin Landau and Leonard Nimoy had all come and gone. Veteran members Greg Morris, Peter Graves, Peter Lupus and newcomer Lynda Day George as makeup artist Casey rounded out the team.

The Sixth Season also brought about a slight change in the direction of the show. The IMF team focuses on targets outside of traditional law enforcement circles. Stand out episodes include the IMF crashing a top syndicate leaders meetings atop a mountain, searching for a fortune beneath the oceans, infiltrating the music business, faking an island off the shores of Africa, pitting loan sharks against one another on an island and turning a syndicate boss against his cohorts.

Six discs containing 22 episodes from the Sixth Season make up the DVD set from CBS/Paramount. Mission accomplished.

Terminator Salvation: From The Ashes

The new movie, Terminator Salvation, promises to jumpstart the Terminator series and send it into an exciting new direction.

In anticipation of the new movie, Titan Books and author Timothy Zahn present a prequel to the film called Terminator Salvation: From The Ashes.

The book sets in motion the events leading up to the new Terminator movie in which John Connor and his wife Kate begin to assemble their resistance forces for the final showdown between humanity and the Skynet.

Slowly, inevitably, John and Kate discover that the Terminators are far more clever and devious than either originally thought. Events are set in motion so that the Terminators John was raised to believe would exist have been replaced by Terminators of a different, far more dangerous sort.

Readers are introduced to a group of new characters that will prove critical in the war with the Terminators. Two lost kids, Kyle and Star, along with a crusty, jaded Marine are witness to the birth of a new generation of Terminators-ones that will prove to be formidable foes to the Resistance. The future is not what was expected.