Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Friday, May 29, 2015

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One

Marvel Comics rules the movie theaters and soon TV!  One of the first Marvel TV shows to hit the air in the 2010s is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Deriving much of its storyline from the Marvel movies the TV series expands on that universe and presents other Marvel characters and storylines.

Rittenhouse Archives/Sci-fi Hobby presents the very first season of the TV series in living color with its new 24 Pack, 5 Cards per Foil Pack Trading Cards with one Autograph Card (mine is Ruth Negga) and one Costume card (Brett Dalton is mine) guaranteed per Box.

Seventy two Cards make up the Base Set (I assembled one full Set with enough left over to make a dent on a second), A Gold Parallel Set is also randomly inserted (zip for me.)

Randomly inserted Bonus Cards include:

6 I.D. (mine is Melinda May)
6 Art of Level 7 (1 for me)
18 Allegiance (1 again)
9 Advanced Technology (1)


As always Rittenhouse delivers high-quality, heavy paper stock, full color photos Trading Cards fans will love.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Inside The Sideshow Studio



As I mentioned in the Avengers Age of Ultron toy review in the ‘Toy’ section of my website and blog I have been a big fan of Sideshow Collectibles since its formation over 20 years ago.
Insight Editions has just released a new book: Inside Sideshow Studio, that examines the Modern Renaissance Environment encouraged by the studio, its staff and artists.
Full color photos illustrate the various departments and processes used to create Sideshow’s amazing selection of figures, art and merchandise.
From its Waxworks to its Design and Development headquarters readers are given an inside look at the amazing production capabilities and the talented artists, painters, sculptors and administration staff behind Sideshow’s stellar success all over the world.
Sit back, look at the full color, full bleed photos and be amazed!

Avengers Age of Ultron Cosbaby Collectible Set Series 1



A little over 20 years ago I was visiting my local Wal-Mart to pick up a few auto supplies.  As was (is) my custom I walked through the toy section to check out the latest releases.
As I passed through the toy aisles I immediately noticed a new set of figures unlike anything currently on the shelves. 
While most toys featured superheroes or various other TV or movie ties ins (all of which were of varying degrees of detail) I was drawn to a set of figures that were beautifully sculpted, finely detailed, painted to perfection and slightly larger than the other figures on the shelves.
The series featured several of the classic Universal Pictures movie monsters: Frankenstein, The Mummy and several others.
I was intrigued.  I spotted the manufacturer’s name: Sideshow Toys. I went home (either wrote a letter to or pulled up Sideshow’s email-I can’t recall which) and wrote Sideshow explaining that I hosted and wrote a review newsletter and that I would be interested in reviewing Sideshow’s new figures.
Within a week I was pleasantly surprised when a package arrived containing all the aforementioned figures.
Since that time I’ve received many figures from Sideshow and watched as the company grew from Sideshow Toys to Sideshow Collectibles and dominated the 1- inch figure market.  The years passed and Sideshow became a distributor for various foreign toy manufacturers, primarily Hot Toys.
Sideshow and Hot Toys have collaborated on a huge selection of figures and now are considered the very best in the business.
If you’ve seen any of Hot Toys figures you know what I mean. Having said all that I want to talk about a recent Sideshow/Hot Toys release.
It’s no secret that Marvel Comics movies dominate the Silver Screen.  Hot Toys has produced an incredible collection of figures based on Marvel Comics movie characters ranging from Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor and right up to the recent Avengers Age of Ultron figures.
While Hot toys is mainly known for its realistic figures it also produces series of Cosbaby figures that are miniatures (approximately 3 ½ inches large head figures that are every bit as detailed as their larger namesakes in their own right.)
Recently Sideshow/Hot Toys were kind and generous and sent me a Series 1 Collectible Set featuring several of the Age of Ultron figures.
Before I go into each figure individually I want to talk about  set in general.  First let’s talk about the package.
All six figures are snuggly fit in the clear front panel, narrow long box.  The figures are secured between two form-fitting clear plastic panels that keep the figures stationary and free from damage.
The box is made of fairly sturdy cardboard festooned with full color illustrations of the figures within the set. On the back are individual illustrations of each figure.  In this case they are Ultron Sentry Prime (available only in this set), Ultron Sentry, Iron Legion 01, Iron Man Mark XLIII, Captain America and Thor.
Let’s start with the Ultron Sentry Prime.  As with all the figures the Sentry has a large head that shakes and moves when the figure is moved or touched.  The details are amazing.  The figure is painted a dull metal silver with red accents on its eyes, skull and torso.  While slightly cartoonish in appearance it still is easily identifiable as the figure it represents
Construction is solid, with tight joints, no color splash over or bleeding and the fine sculpting and paint application are crisp with clean edges and multi-layered giving the figure a solid 3D appearance even when seen in the display box.
The Ultron Sentry figure is identical to the Ultron Sentry Prime figure except it is accented in blue.
The Iron Legion 01 figures looks very much like Iron Man armor (which makes sense since it was created by Tony Stark (Iron Man).  It features a gold, blue and white head and humanoid body painted in blue and white emulating various layers and accessories seen in the large unit.
The Iron Man Mark XLIII recreates the latest Iron Man armor with its characteristic gold and red paint scheme, chest unit power supply, various techno and mechanical devices sculpted or painted and like the other figures in the set it has short arms and even shorter legs with large feet.
The Captain America figure duplicates the Avengers Age of Ultron uniform seen in the movies duplicating the red, white and blue para-military attire, brown belt and boots and a highly reflective shield.  The face is flesh color with large blue eyes and a slight smirk on its lips.  A giant silver ‘A’ adorns Cap’s helmet.
The Thor figure also has a flesh tone face and blue eyes.  It also features a scowling mouth and slightly disheveled, long golden locks of hair,
Thor is dressed in his Asgardian uniform in blue, silver and black and also comes with a red cape and his trademark hammer.
All of the figures combine for a spectacular set commemorating the runaway hit movie: Avengers Age of Ultron.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The World According To Iron Man

"Tony Stark makes you feel 
He’s a cool exec with a heart of steel. 
As Iron Man, all jets ablaze, 
He’s fighting and smiting with repulsor rays! 
Amazing armor! That’s Iron Man! 
A blazing power! That’s Iron Man!"


If it weren't for the success of the Marvel Comics' Iron Man movie series there would be no "Marvel Universe" series of movies.  Iron Man set the standards by which all other Marvel movies must meet.

Of all the Marvel superheroes Iron Man is the only one without super powers.  In fact, in his original origin story Tony Stark (Iron Man) had a heart condition (caused by an explosion in Vietnam) that forced him to use the life-giving powers of the Iron Man chest armor.

Iron Man's origin has been 'tweaked' over the years, but it pretty much has remained consistent.
Insight Editions proudly presents 'The World According To Iron Man' written by Larry Hama and Marc Sumerak and beautifully illustrated by Marco Pierfederici.

Iron Man takes center stage on this hardbound book.  Placed against a character background, Iron Man pops off the cover courtesy of a high gloss varnish effect.

Inside Readers catch a glimpse of the life and times of Tony Stark starting with his young genius years and moving right up to his current status as the founder and member of The Avengers.

Discover who his friends and allies are, his enemies, business associates, loves and little known personal facts.

Chapters are dedicated to his pioneering engineering work, Avengers status, corporate dealings and sprinkled throughout are facsimiles of important documents such as blueprints, diplomas, membership documents, business and family photos and papers and even an autographed photo!

The book is packed with amazing special features.  Pick up a copy today.  Tell 'em, "Tony sent ya!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fangoria #341

Sex meets death in It Follows in this issue of Fangoria:
        
IT FOLLOWS, the truly terrifying new feature from writer/director David Robert
       
In-depth interview with Mitchell, along with words from composer Rich Vreeland, who contributed the chilling score under his “Disasterpeace” moniker
       
Talk with the creators of UNFRIENDED, which takes on-line terror to a frightening new level
        
Preview of the second season of the hit Showtime series PENNY DREADFUL
        
Chat with Michael Douglas about his villainous role in the desert thriller BEYOND THE REACH
         
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead delve into their monstrous romance SPRING
         
Hungarian filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó discusses his acclaimed dog-bites-man epic WHITE GOD

Visits to the sets of the blood-drenched indie shocker KILL, GRANNY, KILL and the British supernatural spooker THE SLEEPING ROOM

Comics legend Steve Niles exploring his latest creations

Actress Susan Penhaligon recalling her days on PATRICK, THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and others; and much more.

Previews, June



COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
Girl Genius: The Second Journey Volume 1 TP/HC l AIRSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
War Stories Volume 1 TP l AVATAR PRESS INC
War Stories Volume 2 TP l AVATAR PRESS INC
Over The Garden Wall #1 l BOOM! STUDIOS
The Shadow #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Red Sonja/Conan #1 l D. E./DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
Space Dumplins GN/HC l GRAPHIX
Stringers #1 l ONI PRESS INC.
Little Nemo: Big New Dreams HC l TOON GRAPHICS
Kill La Kill Volume 1 GN l UDON ENTERTAINMENT CORP
Book of Death: Fall of Ninjak #1 l VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Ultraman Volume 1 GN l VIZ MEDIA LLC


BOOKS
The Doctors Are In: The Essential and Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who l DOCTOR WHO
Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume 1 HC l STAR WARS

MAGAZINES
The Walking Dead Figurine Magazine l EAGLEMOSS
DC Masterpiece Figurine Collection #2: Femme Fatales Set l EAGLEMOSS
Ace Magazine #6 l COMICS
Ultimate Spider-Man Magazine #5 l COMICS

TRADING CARDS
Penny Dreadful Season 1 Trading Cards l CRYPTOZOIC ENTERTAINMENT
St Voyager Heroes & Villains Trading Cards l RITTENHOUSE ARCHIVES
Topps 2015 Garbage Pail Kids 30th-Anniversary Trading Cards l TOPPS COMPANY

APPAREL
Ant-Man: Pym Technologies 3930 Flex Fit Cap l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Doctor Strange: Mythos Navy T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
DC Heroes: Reverse Flash White T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Batman: Arkham Knight: Villians White T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Doctor Doom: Von Doom Black T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Batman: Greetings from Gotham City Charcoal T-Shirt l PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE WEAR
Star Laboratories Navy T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS
Harley Quinn: Nurse Womens T-Shirt l GRAPHITTI DESIGNS

TOYS & STATUES
Batman: The Animated Series: Harley Quinn Bust l DIAMOND SELECT TOYS & COLLECTIBLES
One-12 Collective: Judge Dredd “The Cursed Earth” Figure l JUDGE DREDD
Judge Dredd: Justice Department: Psi Division Coffee Mug l JUDGE DREDD
Jurassic World: Indominus Rex Figure l JURASSIC WORLD
Disney’s Frozen: Singing Elsa Doll l DISNEY’S FROZEN
Tonner DC Bombshells: Supergirl 16-Inch Doll l DC HEROES
Vinyl Idolz: Seinfeld Vinyl Figures l FUNKO
POP! Agents Of SHIELD: Agent Melinda May Vinyl Figure l FUNKO
Mortal Kombat X Series 2 Figures l MORTAL KOMBAT
Transformers Generations Leader Action Figures l TRANSFORMERS
The Dark Knight: Batman 75th-Anniversary 1/9-Scale Tumbler AHV Set l DC HEROES
Star Trek: The Original Series: Phaser Replica Universal Remote l STAR TREK

IMPORT TOYS
DC Comics: Black Canary Bishoujo Statue l KOTOBUKIYA
Attack on Titan: Levi 1/8-Scale PVC Figure l ATTACK ON TITAN
Attack on Titan Capsule Toys Series 4 l ATTACK ON TITAN
Godzilla 1995 S.H.Monster Arts l GODZILLA
Sailor Moon PS Patisserie Cookie Charms l SAILOR MOON
Super Robot Chogokin: Mazinger Z Kurugane Finish Figure l TREASURES OF AKIHABARA
Batman: Arkham Knight Play Arts Kai: Harley Quinn l BATMAN: ARKHAM
DC Comics Variant Play Arts Kai: Batman “Tetsuya” Figure l BATMAN: ARKHAM
Marvel Universe Variant Play Arts Kai: Spider-Man Figure l MARVEL HEROES
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Play Arts Kai: Venom Snake Gold Tiger l METAL GEAR SOLID
Breaking Bad: Heisenberg 1/6-Scale Figure l THREEA/THREEZERO

COLLECTIBLES & NOVELTIES
Attack on Titan: Scouting Legion Hooded Cloak l ATTACK ON TITAN
One Piece: Chopper Plush l ONE PIECE
DC Bombshells Tapestry Blankets l DC HEROES
Marvel Heroes: The Punisher Symbol Molded Mug l MARVEL HEROES
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Eastman & Laird Tapestry Blanket l TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA
TURTLES

GAMES
Batman Fluxx Card Game l LOONEY LABS
D&D Attack Wing Wave 9 l WIZKIDS/NECA
D&D Miniatures Set Three l WIZKIDS/NECA
DC Dice Masters: War of Light l WIZKIDS/NECA

DVDS & DIGITAL MEDIA
Vampire Hunter OVA l ANIME
Justice League: Gods & Monsters l ANIMATION