Isn’t it kind of crazy to think that the Transformers have been a part of our culture for just about thirty years now? Transformers #1 brings the world’s most famous robots into the realm of comic books.
This issue does exactly what you would expect it to do. It’s a quick adaptation of the Transformers back story, with the Cybertronian civil war between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons spilling over to our planet, with them laying comatose under a volcano in Oregon since the dinosaur era. One day an eruption reawakens the robots (who have now adapted to their new surrounding), rekindling their ages old feud. It also introduces the comics version of the Witwicky family, the humans who wind up interacting the most with the Autobots.
It’s a great beginning to the run of the Marvel era of Transformers comics, and hard to believe that this almost wound up being just a four issue mini series. The book sold like hotcakes and went on to have an eighty issue run.
There’s a lot of talent on the creative side of this book, whether it be the awesome Bill Sienkiewicz cover to Bill Mantlo’s credit as a co-writer on this book. That is something that I was never aware of till this last re-reading.
The one very impressive thing about the creative team on this is that colorist Nel Yomtov did the colors on all eighty issues of the series, plus all the various specials and related mini series that were off shoots of this. That’s one heck of a streak right there!
Make sure you head over to Huffington Post Home; today they featured an article I wrote about growing up in the 1980s and some of the things that everyone had in their bed rooms if you were a kid during that decade! You can read it here.
Sorry for the lack of updates, but I took a few pre-holiday days off to take some much needed rest.
As part of that, I’ve taken a much needed Internet break and was pleasantly surprised to see this video pop up as a recommended choice on the old Xbox YouTube app.
It’s an amazingly well-done stop motion version of the intro to the 1990s X-Men cartoon show that my brother and I would watch every Saturday morning growing up. We demanded complete silence at 11 am; this was serious business.
What’s even funnier about this is the little framing story they made about life at the Xavier Academy. Definitely check this out.
Although, there is one glaring problem…the VHS cassette tape they play wasn’t from that X-Men cartoon series. It was the direct-to-video release of Pryde of the X-Men!
DC Collectibles (the former DC Direct) has this set of 3.75″ action figures as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive. But what’s more interesting than that is that this is part of a new line of convention-exclusive action figures.
This new line of figures can only be bought at conventions, which I don’t know how I feel about. I think they look really cool, mostly because they are the same scale as the Marvel Universe line. This finally gives me the opportunity to integrate DC’s finest alongside their Marvel counterparts, GI Joe and even Star Wars.
But, since this will be a super limited line, it will be pretty hard to collect. That I’m not too fond of. I’m sure people will be scalping these on eBay and at finer comic book stores everywhere.
That said, I do think that Kilowog and Kyle Rayner look awesome. I like that the line is starting with two lesser known characters, appearing to wear their standard, non-New 52 costumes.
They’re retailing this set at $25, which to me is a price point that just puts it out of consideration. However, if they release a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle set all bets are off. You can find out more about the line here.
This San Diego Comic Con exclusive from Mattel is really cool. It’s a figurine set of the lead characters from Tiny Titans. I’ve been a huge fan of this series and have been sad to see it go. But this set is really cool.
I try to avoid getting non-posable toys, but I just might have to get this.
Hasbro has some really cool GI Joe exclusives for Comic Con as well. Following up with last year’s Starscream/Cobra Commander team up, the toy company has some more fun stuff uniting Cobra with the Decepticons.
They are offering a modified Cobra H.I.S.S.–basically a souped up attack tank–that uses a plasma cannon as its main weapon. And that plasma cannon happens to be none other than the evil Shockwave in his non robot form. The vehicle is decorated in his color scheme of purple and grays.
The vehicle will come with two 3.75″ figures. It makes sense that Destro would team up with Shockwave, as they are the second-in-commands of their respective organizations. It also comes with one of Cobra’s robot B.A.T. soldiers. While neon green and purple might not be the best color choices for the battle field, these colors pay homage to the Constructicons. If it works for a gang of construction vehicles that turn into the menacing Devastator, its good for Cobra’s disposable soldiers.
What also is really amazing about this set is that it comes with Energon cubes (scientifically speaking, food for Transformers) and a scaled down Soundwave in his cassette player/boombox form. I’m really hoping that Hasbro has this available for purchase after San Diego.
Hasbro will also be selling two versions of GI Joe’s lady ninja Jinx, one in her traditional red look and the other in her GI Joe Retribution look.
It’s summertime and that means visions of San Diego Comic Con exclusives will be dancing in my head. Hasbro has a bunch of great stuff this year, mainly the Marvel Universe three pack of the Masters of Evil! Lead by Baron Zemo, the team is usually a group of whatever super villains that he can find available. This set features Zemo with Radioactive Man and Tiger Shark.
For me this is a must buy, since I’m a huge Namor fan. Really, when else will they make someone implicitly for the Sub-Mariner to fight? Not to mention, the translucent Radioactive Man is pretty sweet.
Marvel Legends fans can get a special three pack featuring Psylocke, Archangel and Wolverine in their grey combat gear from Uncanny X-Force comics. This is kind of passable for me, since I already have Marvel Legends of the characters featured.
The biggest thing–pun intended–Hasbro is offering is a four-foot long SHIELD Helicarrier! It’s a whole foot longer than the regular retail version. I think it also comes with an exclusive Maria Hill figure. As much as I would love to have this, I think I’m going to have to pass. If it’s going for $129.99, can only imagine what the shipping would be. But if one of my loving readers would like to gift this to me, I would be pretty grateful…
Poor Marv. Not only did he bite it in the electric chair in the Sin City comics, but even his action figure winds up that way as seen in this one from McFarle Toys in 1999.
This action figure is without a doubt the creepiest one I own. Marv is strapped to the electric chair and there is a switch you flip to fry him, for lack of a better word. Inbetween the shaking and eyes glowing Marv speaks his final words: “That the best you can do, you pansies?”
The grim nature of this action figure caused controversy with many parents groups and anti-death penalty groups who objected to how graphic it was. That wasn’t the last time that Marv got killed for our enjoyment; Mickey Rourke reenacted this scene in the movie version of Sin City.
Anyway, this picture is of my Marv. I took it a while ago and only recently figured out what to do with it. Enjoy!
Let’s look at a classic super hero toy commercial! This comes from 1984 and it is for Mattel’s line of Marvel Secret Wars toys! This one is for two vehicles, Doctor Doom’s Doom Roller (which looks like the gerbil ball from hell) and Captain America’s Turbo Cycle.
Those figures were pretty cool due to their simplicity and super durability. But the one thing that sticks out to me was how unenthusiastic the children are. They’re playing with some cool toys! Let alone, a Doctor Doom action figure! I bet they were too impressed by the RDI Halcyon to play with such simple toys.
I stumbled across this vintage Tron Light Cycle in my basement a few weekends back and how cool is it! This was part of the Tron toyline that Tomy produced back in 1982, pretty much around the same scale of the Star Wars and GI Joe action figures from that time period.
In the Tron movies, the light cycles were not only a mode of transportation but for combat games on the grid. As you can imagine, this is a speedy form of transportation and this toy reflects that. It has a pull back rip cord that launches it pretty far.
I picked this up at a church rummage sale back in high school, about 15 years after this toy was sold to its original owner. It’s missing an action figure (it comfortably sits one) and the rip cord, but it looks awesome on my toy shelf.
I really wished that they had made some of the original characters in the Tron: Legacy toy line that was out last year. The new action figures are the right size and detail level to look awesome piloting this light cycle.
So who had the red/orange light cycle in the orginal movie?
That would be Ram, one of the programs that was allied with Clu and Tron in the original movie who was derezzed (killed). Ram’s programmer Roy Kleinberg is still alive in the Tron real-world universe, and was behind the “Flynn Lives” hoopla early in Tron Legacy.
Remember the 1990s when we had a new Batman, new Green Lantern, new Spider-Man and even a gaggle of new Supermen? The character now known as U.S.Agent was a replacement Captain America back in 1986, and eventually wound up carving his own identity once Steve Rogers took the job back.
So when they released a figure of U.S.Agent as part of the recent Captain America line of action figures, I was pretty excited to get a chance to add him to the collection. It also gets me one step closer to having a set of the West Coast Avengers.
His costume is awesome, as it is a darker version of the American flag. The accessories are pretty cool. U.S.Agent comes with his most recent shield and a Uzi. After all, he’s a much tougher (and more violent) version of Cap. For picture and display sake, I swapped it out for one of the M-16 assault rifles that are so prevalent with GI Joe figures.
U.S.Agent is a brute of a guy, so I imagine him being one of my most combat-ready toys. I could really see him being air-dropped over an AIM or Hydra base, with two machine guns, a lot of ammo and maybe a Monster energy drink,.
So who needs a mercenary? Red Skull will always recommend Crossbones. The figure from the new Captain America line is pretty bad ass. He doesn’t have his more super villainy look from the 1990s, but the more military accurate style from the 2000s.
Just looking at Crossbones, he intimidating. He’s slightly taller then the rest of the Marvel Universe figures and you can tell by his ammo-filled flak jacket that he means serious business. I also like this realistic depiction of Crossbones, as he looks like a villain that would be found in the GI Joe world.
Crossbones is certainly not going to take any crap and do what he wants to do. He’s probably the toughest action figure on my shelf right now.
So why has Crossbones turned to a life of villainy and violence? To support his true love–DJing.
Okay, so I made this last part up. But it makes sense. Why would he have such a high risk, high reward field of employment? So he can buy the best equipment. It makes perfect sense.
So lets talk about new Captain America figures from Hasbro that have out on the shelves and start off with Cap’s arch-enemy Red Skull. He’s wearing a military uniform, which makes him look cool in both World War II and more modern setting. Flat out he looks like an evil dude.
Weapons wise, Red Skull comes with a comically oversized missile launcher, which makes sense. Not only is he evil, he’s also a brilliant weapons manufacturer. Unfortunately, this really doesn’t fit in his hands all that well, so he will leave this in his villainous office lair.
The super cool accessory that he comes with is the reality warping Cosmic Cube that has been his most sought after object since the 1960s. Now if we could get an Ultimate Nullifier, my life would be complete.
On my toy shelf, Red Skull spends a lot of time hanging out with his favorite henchman/hitman Crossbones. He’s the hired muscle in the Red Skull’s world. Here they’ve stopped Black Widow, who was snooping on them.
Nothing says summer fun like Green Lantern and Sinestro plush!
As part of the Fourth of July festivities, my girlfriend and I went to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. There is lots of fun to be had at the Jersey Shore, even if you are me and would rather read comics than go out clubbing with the Situation.
That confused, classy lady with the Kate Spade handbag is not only a master of the skill claw but my girlfriend.
The boardwalk amusement games were filled with stuffed animals, Sponge Bobs, and flocks of Angry Birds. But things got comic-y really quickly. There were giant stuffed Green Lanterns everywhere.
There was even a skill crane filled with plush Hal Jordans and Sinestros. I can see lots of kids begging their parents for another dollar so they can win a stuffed Green Lantern. Who I feel bad for is the child who winds up getting Sinestro–in a Green Lantern suit no less. He or she would probably have that same sad, defeated look that Ralphie had that Christmas morning when he was forced to put on the bunny suit. Me, on the other hand, unsuccessfully attempted to win a Sinestro to impress my lady friend. She was more interested in hitting up the 1990s Addams Family movie themed pinball machine in the back.
Who has two thumbs and a stuffed Thor? This guy.
So after some ice cream, I decided to challenge her to a game of air hockey. Even though I started the game pucks-a-blazing like the Sedin twins, she did her very best Tim Thomas impression, crushing my hopes of winning like the Boston Bruins broke the collective heart of the city of Vancouver.
So to make me feel better, the girlfriend vowed to win me a prize by the end of the evening. Without fail I wound up getting this really cool stuffed Thor.
1991 was an awesome year for me and my love of the X-Men. I was ten years old, secretly sent an envelope full of cash to Marvel in the hopes of subscribing to comics, only to get paranoid because it was eight weeks into my “wait six to eight weeks for fulfillment” period.
When those issues of Uncanny X-Men started coming in I thought I was the most awesome kid on the block. Actually, I was. I wound up really digging the story line of Bishop and Trevor Fitzroy, and all the time traveling hysteria they were causing in the X-books.
By 1994, I was still hooked on X-Men things and HAD to have the Fitzroy figure. He would be the deciding factor in the never-ending war between my super hero toys and my younger brothers. But when I opened him and showed him off, my brother paused and looked very concerned. He then said something that haunts me to this day.
“Why would you buy a bad guy who’s power is that he’s stuck in ice?”
I casually explained that oh, well he has all these cool powers and can make a crystal armor. Color my brother unimpressed. To this day, he still thinks that my Fitzroy action figure is a joke, and I tend to agree with him. The top part looks like he’s stuck in an ice cube. The leg armor pieces never stayed on (the picture here is from an eBay auction…they can’t even get them to stick!)
Fitzroy ultimately made it to the bottom of the toy box, and then ultimately to my grandmother’s house. His current whereabouts are unknown; I haven’t seen since him the Clinton administration.