12/8/16

Star Wars Color Still (20th Century Fox, 1977)

I was mildly surprised to purchase a lobby card from the original STAR WARS--which would have been 11 x 14 inches--and have it arrive as a color still, which is 8 x 10 inches! But, as it's in fantastic shape, with no pinholes or tape even, it's still a smashing success!

And it's a great shot of stuntman Peter Diamond (as the Tusken Raider) and the beloved-to-The-Sphinx hero Mardji the elephant (as the Bantha) in the desert of California! Enjoy!

12/5/16

Baragon's Bumper Car (E-bay Ephemera, part six)

Sometimes you see something, and you just have to save the photo, to prove to yourself that you really saw it.  This above....thing...appears to be made out of a legitimate Baragon figure, but then my brain loses all track of what's going on.  
Note that Baragon's nails are painted, and his lips are...lipsticked...and that the whole thing looks like a prop that would decorate Pee-Wee's Playhouse.  
I would call it "nightmare fuel" if not for the presence of Baragon, but then again...and the punchline is, this thing SOLD.  If I remember correctly, it went for around 40 bucks.
But that doesn't answer the question........WHY?!

This bootleg LP sold last week...and, it's apparently so rare that it doesn't have a discogs listing.  Silly bootleggers, they don't know their Gorgos from their Godzillas.  Make a mental note though, if you see one of these in your local thrift stores, buy it.  It sold for over $150! Like I'd leave THAT on the rack and walk away, anyhow.

Felix the Cat milk cap (remember those?), Wendy's Kid's Meal, 1996.

11/21/16

Rodan CED Video Disc (Vestron, 1983)

When I was discussing the companion release to this disc, Vestron's GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, I had mentioned that it may have been the only Godzilla or even kaiju film released in the CED format.  However, from some database searches, I can now tell you that there were actually three Godzilla-related CED discs released in the USA:  KOTM, RODAN, (which I just picked up), and GODZILLA 1985.  
More information on CED discs is available in that previous post, as well.

11/14/16

2001 Godzilla ("GMK, Giant Monsters All-Out Attack") NECA, 2016

The seventh figure in NECA's Godzilla series has arrived!  NECA has slowed down from the speed that began this series, but thankfully, it is still alive.  Here is their production so far:

2014 - Three figures (beginning in June of that year)
2015 - Three figures
2016 - One figure

If I recall correctly, Shin Godzilla is going to be next, but I'm sure it will be in 2017, at this point.  Here's a halfway-decent look at the new figure:
It's another stunning sculpt, and the bulkiest Godzilla so far, and that even counts 1985's thunderous thighs.  This figure's are actually bigger, and to my quick comparisons, everything is newly-sculpted.
Also, the biggest feet so far.  This Godzilla has huge, thick feet, and I think that's accurate to the design.
I decided to make a comparison to Bandai's version of this Godzilla, from their line of American vinyls (credited to Bandai Creation, of course).  You can see the major difference right away:  NECA's 2001 can't stand up very straight.  It's really true for all their Godzillas.  
Now, this really isn't a deal-breaker.  It's just the way it is.  In the first unboxed photo above, that is the absolute straightest he will stand and still have both enormous feet on the ground.  Sure, you can lean him forward more, but his heels will be off the ground.  You'll notice Bandai's posture is very rigid in comparison, and it just comes down to what you prefer for a given display situation. 
Of course, Bandai's 2001 isn't super-articulated, and this figure has all of the great design elements of the previous six, including the jaw.
Oh, and points for the tail, which has a lovely, blunt end, as well as the usual bendable wire.  (The point of the tail was a complaint of mine in reviewing previous figures.)
Overall, NECA's 2001 has a wider stance, a more impressive bulk, and nice-looking texture to the folds and scales of the sculpt, achieved with a dark wash.  Originally pushed back to September--and then again to October, until finally arriving in November--I ordered mine from Entertainment Earth, thinking they would never show up on store shelves.  However, I was surprised to see several of this exact figure on the shelves of my local Toys [backwards "R"] Us the other day, so you just never know.

11/1/16

Lego #76057 Expansion Project (Web Warriors Bridge Battle)


I know this was a popular idea, when this amazing set recently came out, to buy more than one and "extend" the bridge.  From the way it's designed, I think this was even what the Lego Group had in mind.  I was lucky that a local Wal-Mart ran a sale on this set for $78, instead of the $99 it originally was.  I don't know why they did that, but I haven't regretted the second purchase for one moment.
And of course, it provides room to involve the other current Spider-Man sets!
First off, let me say that I did absolutely nothing fancy.  I could have done a lot of modifications, but
I didn't see the need.  All I added were a couple of large plates to connect the two bridge playsets together, three baseplates for water, two minifigures (a fireman and a driver for the second taxi), and some clear rods and bricks to make the gliders fly.  That's all it took.  Really, you could modify this thing as much as you want--unless I'm parting out a set I like to keep it complete, so I just built the whole thing, and left off the final, small segment (where the street signs and trash can launcher is).  Not building that last part gives you the plates you need to hook both sides together, and fill in the missing street plates. 
I have over 300 Lego sets, and I have to say that this very well may be my absolute favorite set that has been made.  Definitely the best Marvel set, hands down!
Hey, I just remember that Doc Ock was involved when Capt. Stacy died in the original comics.  This was a happy accident.
If only they had given us a Gwen, instead of Aunt May.  Oh well, it feels just as therapeutic to dangle her from a bridge!
A better view of the translucent bricks and rods, which of course would work for the Vulture too.

10/28/16

Happy Halloween from Phunny Godzilla

This is a new plush Godzilla called "Phunny Godzilla," that is about 8 inches tall.  It's made by Kidrobot, which is actually NECA.  I happened to have my Bandai buildings out when he arrived, and this happened.  Happy Halloween!

10/24/16

The Phenomenon of Bootleg Chinese Lego Marvel Super Hero Minifigures

Or, as I call them, "BOOTLEGO"....

When I was a teenager, and discovered bootleg CD's, I had a saying:  "Power to the pirates"!  Then the Internets exploded, and piracy took on new levels of existence.  That said, you may have read that Lego has recently levied a lawsuit against various companies operating in China, who are producing low-priced copies of actual Lego sets, often very quickly.  (For example, you may have seen some of the "STAR WNRS" sets, that steal the set, the artwork, and everything, floating around.)

However, this exact type of product isn't what we are discussing here.  It's one thing (and pretty blatant) to copy existing Lego products, but slightly another to offer items and characters that, for various reasons, Lego doesn't (or won't ever) produce.  That's what we will be looking at (for the most part) today.  

You probably remember when the word "bootleg" meant shoddy or inferior quality, like fake Nike's that would fall apart when you wore them, or jewelry that turned your fingers green.  This is no longer true.  Some of these Chinese companies are producing figures very close to the quality of what the Lego Group makes!  Let's look at a handful of Marvel characters that are missing from the physical Lego Marvel universe (but, mostly, exist in the games, in fact!):
1) First up, STAN LEE.  Huge oversight by Lego not offering him, as he is omnipresent in their wonderful Lego Marvel video games.  He should have been a pack-in offer with one of the games, but then again, I'm sure there is a reason for this, like maybe Stan wanted too much money? Would that surprise anybody alive? I bet not.
2) Baron Zemo was an impulse buy, but one that we aren't likely to see in a Lego set, especially in his classic comic version.
3) Yes, we got a great ANT-MAN minifigure, but it was the movie version, and it left the comic version woefully unrepresented.  (Although, bootleggers, those are Lego SPIDERS, but nice try, there...)
4) Daredevil also should have been made by now.  I know he often has batons, but for some reason they included two red lightsaber blades, which is weird.
5) Spider-Woman...oh, how did that get in here? She was actually a Comic-Con exclusive, and is a very expensive figure, that's how.  Moving on...
6-10) We all know why there is no Lego Fantastic Four...because movie studios that aren't Marvel aren't done corrupting the original characters yet, and won't admit defeat.  We all also know what needs to happen--exactly like Sony did with Spider-Man--then, we might see a Lego FF.  Until then, this will do.  Also note the transparent Human Torch.  There is a reason that Lego won't produce minifigures that are entirely translucent:  because the required plastic creates a chemical bond when placed up against itself, rendering your figure into a statue.  Or, that's what I've read.  So far, this figure still moves, but just in case, I positioned him in "flying mode."  The cool Thing looks like he stepped out of the video game.  He comes with a boulder, which, strangely, is on a stick, which I discarded.
11) The Rhino is another no-brainer...but yet when we got one, it was the stupid Sony version from their second Amazing Spider-Man film.  I do hope that Lego will make a Rhino, and that he will be exactly like this. 
12) The Silver Surfer, of course, is lumped in with the same batch of rights issues that the Fantastic Four are, but he's also needed.  I wouldn't be surprised to see chromed versions coming out of China soon, because lately that is the trend.
13) Out of everything in this post, I would put money on Mysterio being the most likely minifigure to be produced by Lego.  They have been very diligent about providing us with classic Spider-Man villains, and have given us a long list.  This figure has a clear head, a two-piece bubble that clips around it, and a neat cape that is actually velvet-y on the outside, but I can see Lego outdoing themselves when it happens.
14) In the cool-but-a-little-ridiculous department, Galactus would be an amazing minifigure, but if he were made (and he should be lumped in with the FF licensing problems, so...not), he would need to be at least the size of those large minifigure clocks...even Minimates did something similar, and made him twice for that reason.  Anyway, you are probably noticing that his legs are longer than the typical minifigure legs, and you are correct (another manufacturer uses this trick for Mr. Fantastic, to make it look like he is stretching)...I can't decide if this is really cool, or just really silly, but the original sculpt of the amazing helmet made it all worthwhile.

If you decide to pursue some of these figures, know that it will take around a month to get them to the United States.  What you have seen above was completed in four orders with no problems at all. There is an excellent blog that goes much further into sites, sellers, and tracking, and you can read all about it here:  It's Not Lego!

Of course, bear in mind that accidents still happen, as in this review I saw posted:
No other problems though!

10/21/16

Godzilla Color Bromide Set: Part 19, Godzilla vs Gigan (1972)

The end of the line for the bromide set (it's too bad they didn't at least make it through TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA).  I hope this has been a fun and helpful journey.