Saturday, February 08, 2014

Let's Just Say I Found Some Imperial Entanglements

File this away, once again, under "some day I'll actually build this model kit." Found this Star Destroyer kit by AMT/Ertl (from around 1989) at the thrift store, and even though a few of the parts have been glued together, it's actually all there. Not bad for two dollars.

Star Destroyer
Star Destroyer

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hot-Wheels Bat-Pod(s)

Just to show a quick example of something by Hot Wheels that I've been really happy with, here are a couple versions of the Bat-Pod from The Dark Knight.

The first one is from the Motorcycle series, and comes with a little plastic Batman rider.

Bat-Pod
Bat-Pod
Bat-Pod
This second more recent version is just the Bat-Pod, and it comes on a basic Hot Wheels card.

Bat-Pod

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Where No Hot Wheels Collector Has Gone Before

I've been looking for the Hot Wheels Star Trek Enterprise for months now, and at long last I saw a couple of them at a local store just a few nights ago. About the only thing that I can really say, is that this may be the first time that I've actually been completely disappointed by something that Hot Wheels has put out.

U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
I should probably preface my comments by saying that I'm a huge Star Trek fan. I'm not really a big fan of the new movies -- haven't actually seen the second one yet. But the franchise in general is a big deal to me, so I'm likely to get excited about any new version of the Enterprise, especially if it's being put out by Hot Wheels.

I've tried to deny the fact that I'm a Hot Wheels collector, but it's really pointless. I'm not an obsessive completist, but over the years certain collecting patterns have developed, and I just go with it. I've loved most of the Batman stuff that they've done so far, and a lot of the other movie related die-cast has been great as well. So it would seem logical that a Hot Wheels Enterprise would be awesome... but it's not.

U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
There are apparently two versions of this little ship floating around out there, a plain version, and a "battle damaged" version. I've never seen the plain version in person, so it's actually the version with a few poorly applied scar decals that I've got. In general the toy is underwhelming. I imagine that Mattel had to deal with a safety requirement that forced them to make the pointy parts -- the engine nacelles -- out of soft bendy plastic, and it's not handled well, as the soft white plastic is both weirdly warped and somewhat discolored. The paint on the die-cast part of the ship is pretty shabby as well, with bits of white flaking off around the rivets, and what little detailing there is not lining up properly.

U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
The more I fiddle around with the toy, the more I imagine that a kid wouldn't care all that much about what bothers me. For the most part these are all cranky toy collector gripes, and they don't mean that much in the end. If Hot Wheels takes a stab at other Star Trek vehicles I'll probably hunt for them as well, but it would be nice if they put a little more focus on detail and build quality with these ones, as most of the people hunting for them are likely to be cranky toy collectors.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Worthy of Thor's Hammer

The Marvel Universe line by Hasbro has had its winners and losers, but when a really good one comes along I buy it. This Beta-Ray Bill figure is a good example. Even though I'm more than happy with the larger Marvel Legends version that I got years ago, this Marvel Universe figure has some cool features and is a fun little toy.

Beta-Ray Bill
The concept of a weird looking alien deemed worthy enough to wield Thor's hammer is a bit corny, but it works on a level that I'm not sure I understand... and so I really love the character actually. One great thing about Beta-Ray Bill is that he translates extremely well into toy form.

I once tried to boil down just what it is that I collect when it comes to toys, and I narrowed it to: robots, spacemen, heroes, and aliens. I'm obviously joking when I say "narrowed", but Beta-Ray Bill meets all of those requirements.

Beta-Ray Bill
Beta-Ray Bill
This small but well articulated figure is built solidly, and is painted very nicely for a Marvel Universe figure. The cape hinders play and poseability, but it's removable, so it's really not much of a problem.

Beta-Ray Bill
Beta-Ray Bill has been packed in a few different waves of Marvel Universe figures, so he's not too terribly difficult to find. I'm a fan of both versions, including the Marvel Legends version, so if you can find them I'd say pick them up.

Beta-Ray Bill

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Battle Royal Featuring He-Man

Easily the best thing about He-Man merchandise is the packaging art work. Over the years I've bought and sold a few boxed items, and even though I'm not a huge collector of He-Man toys, I'll admit that it was really hard to let them go because I loved the package art so much.

This big Masters of the Universe puzzle from around 1983, with art by R.L. Allen, shows exactly the kind of colorful and exciting imagery that made the world of He-Man so much fun.

e-Man"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Computer Perfection

Most trips to the thrift store are a bust, but recently I rescued this boxed Computer Perfection, made by Lakeside Games in 1979, from the local Goodwill. Even though it's not the most fun to play, I have to admit that this is probably the coolest looking electronic game that I own.

Computer Perfection
Computer Perfection
Computer Perfection

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Secret's in the Meat

A little while back Mezco Toys was doing a Friday the 13th special where they offered a box of toys for thirteen dollars. Of course I couldn't resist, and ultimately everything that came in the box was great, but what really made the whole thing awesome was the 12-inch Leatherface figure that they included.

Leatherface
I'm a huge Texas Chainsaw fan, and this fantastic 1:6 scale version of Leatherface in his fancy dinner outfit is pretty great.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Witching Hour

An awesome last minute find from earlier today... this rubber witch mask by French company Cesar.

Witch
Had fun as always with the Countdown to Halloween this year. Looking forward to next year when I can pull out and dust off some more cryptic treasures.

Witch, Pumpkin, and Black Cat

Happy Halloween!

This tiny plastic jack-o-lantern from the '50s or '60s is a candy holder, which I imagine once held a few Tootsie Pops for some lucky kid.

Jack-O-Lantern

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Buckets of Candy

I picked up two new jack-o-lantern candy buckets this year. The first is a small unmarked bucket from the '70s that apparently belonged to my wife when she was little.

Jack-O-Lantern
The second bucket, that I found at a thrift store, was made by Liberty Plastics, and judging by the writing on the bottom, it got its first use in '74 and was later used again in '96.

Jack-O-Lantern
Jack-O-Lantern