Tagged: Action Figure

Marc Alan Fishman: What Makes A Great Action Figure?

Green Lantern

As I stared blankly past my blank-canvas-of-a-computer-screen this evening (and yeah, I totally know you’re reading this Saturday morning…), my eyes have rested on my still-mint-in-package Kyle Rayner Action Figure. It’s his post-crab-mask, post-Jim-Lee, pre-New-52 costume. He sits in line with representatives of all the Lantern spectrum – Saint Walker, Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Sinestro, and Indigo. Whoops, never did buy that Star Sapphire figure, did I? Oh well.

There was a time, in what I’d wish was the not-too-distant past (it is, I did the math, ouch), where my toys would not find their final resting place on a half-mantle, still sealed in clamshells. They would be free-air action figures, posed in intricate dioramas, depicting my favorite scenes from books past. And slightly before that time (yes, so, I’m really starting to feel old), these same action figures would sit in a toy chest, ready to do combat on the coffee table, and zip around the basement. No worries, Batman can fly too. He installed rockets in his boots. Which is why there are holes in the heels.

Action figures have come a good long way since the 80s (when I’m personally professing the true boon began). The Transformers – once blocky and spindly in the same breath – are now multiple lines deep, featuring both highly intricate sculpts as well as animated-inspired designs offered in the same shelf-space. And where we comic fans might pray for a chase rogue packed deep in the line of a Batman or Superman series, now we’re getting B, C, and D listers being sold en masse. And where the action figures of yesteryear were either choked with articulation points (G.I. Joe) or confined to four or five (Batman: The Animated Series), now, we have offering from each pole and everything in between. And accessories? What was once a series of mono-color swords or missiles, is now a litany of swapable heads, hands, guns, and pieces of other figures.

And what of those Build-A-Figures? Pure marketing genius. How better to force kids and their grown-up counterparts to part with errant assets for otherwise unwanted figures in a line? Well, pack in that much-needed torso of the Anti-Monitor or Galactus, and suddenly the demand for Batroc the Leaper or G’nort goes through the roof.

If I’m allowed to kvetch for a second though, allow me now to digress. With the mass of plastic übermenches choking the aisles of the local department stores, there still seems to be a few big gaping holes left to plug. As usual, the girls aren’t getting as much attention as the boys. We’ve come a long way from just the pink aisle for the girls – packed tightly with 17 variants of the same white Barbie (sorry, Michael Davis) – but there still seems to be the stigma of corporate focus groups when it comes to complete diversity via toy lines. Look no further than The Avengers movie tie-ins, where Black Widow can’t even seem to negotiate a spot on the damned packaging, let alone get a figure to call her own. Where or how little girls are supposed to get their ass-kicking in, I don’t know. Maybe release a pink Thor and call it a day?

Girl-power aside, I’m also surprised that there’s no push of the ole’ action playset anymore. Back in my day a kid coveted those gargantuan homes for their action figures to pummel one-another on. To be totally fair? I only went over to Kyle’s house (Kyle Gnepper, of Unshaven Comics infamy) because I’d heard he’d had the Technodrome. Bastard never let me see it up close either. Suffice to say, perhaps it’s because of the price point or production woes, but when there’s 19 different Hulkbusters all coming to the collectible shelves near you… why isn’t there a half blown-up Triskelion awaiting the kiddies under the Hanukkah bush? Digression over.

So, what of my titular question? What makes a great action figure? Here’s the truth: imagination. Nothing more. No accessory too detailed, sculpt too perfect, or pitch-perfect point-of-articulation mean a hill of beans without the very life-force of a toy. Toys breed creativity for those willing to cut open their clamshells.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to act out a better ending to Geoff John’s War of Light.

 

The Point Radio: DaVINCI’S DEMONS Back For More

In a few days, Starz will premiere the second season of their original series, DaVINCI’S DEMONS. Stars Laura Haddock and Tom Riley give us a preview of what’s coming up on the show, plus bad news for the Big Two in the bookstore and some very cool TWILIGHT ZONE toys are headed to your shelf.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

THE BOOK CAVE EPISODE 214: ED CATTO AND CAPTAIN ACTION RETURN!

Captain Action‘s Ed Catto joins Ric Croxton, Art Sippo, and Bruce Rosenberger in The Book Cave to update goings on in the Captain Action universe!

Listen to The Book Cave Episode 214: Ed Catto Returns with News and Updates on Captain Action now at http://thebookcave.libsyn.com/the-book-cave-episode-214-ed-catto-returns-with-news-and-updates-on-captain-action

GO HERO ANNOUNCES DOC SAVAGE ACTION FIGURE

He knows if you’ve been naughty.

Toy company, Go Hero, has announced via their Facebook page that Doc Savage will be getting the 1:6th scale action figure treatment, joining the company’s similar version of The Shadow. Go Hero also features popular characters, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, The Claw, The Spider, and more.

Check out some sneak peeks of Go Hero’s pulpy projects in the works for 2013 here.

About Go Hero:
Go Hero is at the forefront of the vanguard movement in designer toys.  Go Hero endeavors to re-imagine classic entertainment and lifestyle products for collectors by combining creative vision, industry knowledge, artistry, and a love for pop-culture.  We want to do justice to justice doers and evoke the experiences of our collective childhoods!
Follow Go Hero on Facebook for the latest news and updates.
Click on images for a larger view.
Doc Savage Sneak Peek #1

Doc Savage Sneak Peek #2

Doc Savage Sneak Peek #3

CHOOSE LADY ACTIONS NEXT ALIAS!

Vote now!

Over on the Captain Action Facebook page, Joe Ahearn and Ed Catto, the founders of Captain Action Enterprises and the fine folks behind the action figure line have posted a poll. For the upcoming Lady Action figure, what Marvel Heroine costume sets would you most like to see?

This is your chance to let them know what you’d like to see next.

Your vote counts.

Learn more about Captain Action at www.CaptainAction.com.

ED CATTO RETURNS CAPTAIN ACTION TO THE BOOK CAVE!

Ed Catto visits the Book Cave and he’s bringing Captain Action news with him. Ed join hosts Ric Croxton and Art Sippo for another fantastic episode of The Book Cave podcast. You can listen now at http://thebookcave.libsyn.com

Learn more about Ed Catto at www.captainaction.com/about/ed-catto
Learn more about The Bonfire Agency at www.bonfireagency.com
Learn more about Captain Action at www.CaptainAction.com

Visit The Book Cave at http://thebookcave.libsyn.com

Playing with Toy Fair 2011: Recap, Part II

I wanted to show off some of the other cool Minimates that Diamond Comics Distributors had at their booth, but as is often the case with trade shows, photos were not permitted yet.

Something of note at JAKKS Pacific was a considerable line of goodies from the Dreamworks movie, “Real Steel.”

A 5″ line of figures will have interchangeable limbs and light up heads & bodies for customization. A larger 7.5″ line will have signature moves from the movie, but there’s gonna be something even more dear to the hearts of a lot of geeks – a variation (and a necessary one at that) on the childhood favorite, “Rock’em Sock’em Robots” (note to younger readers: ask your folks about this. It’s really cool. trust me).

DC Direct had some very well made busts & figures from the upcoming “Green Lantern” movie:

But the thing I was most looking forward to was goodies to “Batman: Arkham City,” the video game sequel to the 2009 hit game “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” So far, only one figure had been shown off, and it’s a doozy.

Harley Quinn keeps getting nuttier and nuttier. And that’s a good thing.

Mezco Toyz showed off a 6″ Scott Pilgrim figure from the movie and fan fave graphic novel series. Hopefully more figures will be coming.

I love that “Little Big Planet” brings a lot of user-creativity into video games, and to celebrate that, Mezco showed off their second wave of “Little Big Planet” action figures.

McFarlane Toys never fails to impress, and they had a couple of great highlights including this guy

Now Bungie may have left Microsoft, but that does not mean that “Halo” is dead. Far from it. More video games are being planned, and one can only hope that a movie might actually happen.

McFarlane Toys also had shown off figures from “The Walking Dead.” Take a look at these two guys.

Now note that “Officer Rick Grimes” doesn’t look like Andrew Lincoln, the actor who portrays him in the AMC TV series. There’s a reason for that. McFarlane Toys’ goodies for “The Walking Dead” is both for the Robert Kirkman graphic novel series as well as for the AMC TV series. This can create some issues as one of the figures in the first wave “may” actually appear in the 2nd season of the TV series (“Daryl Dixon,” everybody’s favorite crossbow-wielding hillbilly, will be in the second wave of action figures).

That’s it for now. In the third part, I’ll talk about some of the stuff I was unable to see as well as what I consider to be the coolest toy at Toy Fair 2011.

Playing with Toy Fair 2011: Recap, Part I

Having fun at Toy Fair is hard work.

OK, So I’m not likely to get much sympathy about the “hard work” bit, but Toy Fair is an overwhelming experience at which toy manufacturers will show off their wares for retailers, wholesalers, and the press from around the world. Anything and everything from yo-yos to high ticket collectibles and everything in between. But on to the fun stuff.

The venerable cartoon “Thundercats” is getting  a reboot soon, and Bandai showed off a complete line of  4″ figures. They also had 8″ figures done of classic “Lion-O” and “Tygra.” Take a look at the difference between new and classic “Lion-O” (again – keep in mind that the Classic figure is really twice the size of the New one).

The 4″ figures have a magnet embedded in their backs that activate features in  other playsets & accessories. Of course, if you want Snarf, ya gotta get the ThunderTank. Ain’t that always the case?

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