• December 2018
    S M T W T F S
    « Nov    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

TMNT Toys in the Wild: Rise of the TMNT 1st Wave

I already posted about the Raphael figure I bought over the weekend, with the new Rise of the TMNT toy line starting to make its appearance.

I came across a display of the entire first wave of basic figures, and got photos of them "in the wild" (actually at a Walmart). Including the not-in-the-wild Raphael, here are my photos of the figures "on the card" as well as their "profile" from the back of the card, a la the old "clip-and-collect" profiles from the ’80s line.


Raphael:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_profile


Leonardo:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_leo_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_leo_profile


Donatello:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_don_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_don_profile


Michelangelo:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_mike_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_mike_profile


Splinter:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_splinter_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_splinter_profile


April:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_april_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_april_profile


Meat Sweats:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_meatsweats_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_meatsweats_profile


Baron Draxum:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_barondraxum_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_barondraxum_profile


Origami Ninja:

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_origamininja_front

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_origamininja_profile


Until seeing the figures for myself, I hadn’t realized the Origami Ninja had a foot slapped on its face…which does somewhat "qualify" it as a Foot Ninja…so against prior expectations, I may (eventually, perhaps) try to get several.

And Baron Draxum seems rather obviously a stand-in for Shredder, so there’s a good chance I may (again, eventually, perhaps) try to get one.

I’d figured Meat Sweats would be "worth it" for bulk alone…but I think I’ve pretty much decided that if I want a large pig muant…I’d rather go with a 30+ year old classic in Bebop.

Time will definitely tell. And I suppose I’ll be curious as to what other figures will make their ways out for this line.

I remember the 2012 line rolling out by early August 2012, and 3-4 more figures by Christmas. Given we’re at early October for these, I think I’d be sorta surprised to see a second wave in 2018, though not too surprised if another makes it out in early 2019.

I have issues with the extremely-limited nature and high prices on the Neca figures…and I think it would be absolutely fantastic if Playmates were to produce a line of figures based on the IDW comics…ideally in the style of Mateus Santolouco. The four turtles, Splinter, April, Casey, Shredder, Krang, (human) Baxter Stockman (with mousers), maybe a multipack of named Utrom characters; the Neutrinos, the Mutanimals…Bludgeon, Koya, Bebop, Rocksteady…Alopex, Agent Bishop, The Pantheon…

To borrow a phrasing style…I’d buy the heck outta those, at under-$10/figure!

But that wishlist and topic is surely a topic for some other post.

tmnt_toys_in_the_wild_rise_of_the_tmnt_wave_1_blogtrailer

Advertisements

New Rise of the TMNT Figures are Out

For the first time in over six years…there’s a new "main" line of TMNT toys out.

BEING that it is the Ninja Turtles–my core "exception" on stuff in comics–that bleeds a bit into the toys.

I’m not a fan of Rise of the TMNT. I was NEVER the best at "keeping up" with the 2012 animated series–nor ANY animated series, PERIOD, in the last 15 years or so, no matter how much I love the series itself. But I’ve always HATED the "optics" of Rise–namely, that the 2012 series was flat-out cancelled TO MAKE WAY FOR this new series. Whether that was actually the case or not, I don’t know–but it’s certainly how I FEEL on the thing.

I watched the first episode some time back now, it was "free"–and while it wasn’t as "bad" as I’d expected (perhaps my view has softened since I watched it), I did not like it, and I really do not like a number of elements from it, particularly the character designs.

But somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that when the new toys came out, I’d probably "at least" try getting Raphael. "Traditionally" Leonardo was always my favorite of the turtles, and the one I’d claim as a kid and growing up. But over the last 10-15 years, I’ve found a newer preference for Raphael.

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_front

So I did indeed go ahead and get Raphael, finding the figure available this weekend at a local-ish Walmart.

And on the surface, the figure itself doesn’t look totally horrid or such…this one, at least, actually more or less looks like a decent TMNT figure, albeit the character does not come with the sais that have been associated with this character for 34 years. But the "new/different weapons" thing is a whole other matter I’m not getting much into right now.

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_back

The back of the figure is more or less what I would expect, if slightly more basic-looking. The bulk of the back is the "profile" of the character. It makes sense of course, for that to dominate…it just seems almost "too" dominant to me. With a new series, new toy line, I’d somewhat expect the part showing the figures available in this first wave to be a bit bigger, to better emphasize and show off THAT there are other figures!

Even so, I’m not enamored with most of these other figures as shown. Leonardo is dominated by the giant sword and seems scrawny; as does Donatello with a more proportionate staff weapon; and Michelangelo also seems rather scrawny for a Ninja Turtle.

I’ll be curious about Splinter as he looks rather small, but could be interesting.

This is the first "main" TMNT toy line that I’m aware of that has NOT included a Shredder in its premiere wave. On one hand, that’s a bit refreshing; on the other–and in context of these toys–I find it rather lame.

The butcher character might be interesting for size…it looks like a nice, bulky character that’ll at least be worth its price for that bulk; where the ninja doesn’t look like it’ll even stand on its own.

rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_profile

As a TMNT guy, as a collector…not having a Shredder and not having any Foot ninjas does this line a real disservice. I’m not invested in any of the villains…and with neither Shredder nor Foot, there’s not even the notion of having a new version to "match up with" the previous versions.

I’m reluctant on the other turtles, but have NOT ruled out the idea with myself that I’ll get the other turtles and Splinter to at least have the "set."

I appreciate the idea of having new characters and NOT merely regurgitating the past. That said…I’m NOT invested in the new show. I’m not invested in the particular new characters. I may get the other three turtles and Splinter–at least eventually–but I don’t really see getting much into this iteration of the toy line.

I could wind up eating those words, though.

Time will tell.

new_rise_of_the_tmnt_figures_are_out_blogtrailer

New DuckTales Toys in Target!

The other day, I was clued in that there is a new line of DuckTales toys at Target!

ducktales_wave1_purchase1a

I zipped out intending to get several. The first location did not yet have them out–an employee suggested they had them "in" but didn’t know when they’d be "put out." (this, despite the Target site AND app both saying they were "in stock"–something I’d take as meaning shelved and available for walk-ins).

So I went to another nearby Target where I had some actual success!

ducktales_wave1_purchase1b

Of course, it wouldn’t be DuckTales without Scrooge McDuck himself!

ducktales_wave1_purchase1c

And then, following behind, other primary characters like Huey and Dewey…

ducktales_wave1_purchase1d

Also Louie and Webby, rounding out "the kids" (how did I get old enough for that phrasing to seem most appropriate?)

ducktales_wave1_purchase1e

The single-figure cards were $8.99, while the two-packs of the kids were $12.99.

I also saw the single-card Donald Duck and Flintheart Glomgold, but passed on them, only having so much to spend. I do intend to get those eventually, assuming these are not a one-shot flash-in-the-pan for the store.

There are also a couple of "playsets"–the Suncatcher (plane) that comes with Launchpad McQuack (I suspect but have not confirmed it as the ONLY way to get the character, but I did not see a single-figure card for him!). There’s also some sort of Money-Bin playset.

And while not part of this line, there’s a HUGE Pop figure–like a "statuette"–of Scrooge on a pile of coins from his Money-Bin.

I also saw a pack of "inaction" figures with most of the key characters, and they had the first two graphic novels from IDW on the endcap as well. There was also a box/pile of talking plush characters, and though I didn’t see them, something for what I believe is a set of blind-pack figures.

All in all…a nice-size roll-out for a line of toys based on an excellent cartoon!

I have GOT to get caught up…they "lost" me last year with their HUGE hiatus, and I’ve yet to get back to the show since (and the DVR didn’t pick up any of the newer episodes, so I suspect the usual random quackery going on that seems to plague ALL cartoons I try to keep up with).

ducktales_wave1_purchase_blogtrailer

The End: Toys "R" Us – June 29, 2018 #TRU #ToysRUs #ToysRUsKid

This is it.

Today’s the end.

toys_r_us_the_end_a

Toys R Us is–after several months of liquidation and such–closing officially.

My final visit was the other day–Wednesday, June 27.

It was the Mentor, Ohio store–across from the Great Lakes Mall. This was the first Toys R Us that I remember…and in many ways, the most important. At least, to me.

This was the TRU that I got my very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figure–an original Rocksteady (that has, unfortunately, been lost to the passage of time). This was the TRU where I got my Dino-Riders figures. This was the TRU where a friend and I loaded up shopping cards with clearance Star Wars Episode I toys one friday evening after we’d just gotten paid for the week, back in the summer of 2000. This is the specific TRU where I got some Marvel Overpower starter decks and boosters; where a friend and I once debated whether or not and which of us should go back in to try to ask out the cute cashier.

I specifically remember getting the mutant fly of the original TMNT  line–Baxter Stockman–at this location. I remember seeing some of the Marvel Onslaught/Heroes Reborn figures here. I bought my X-Man (Nate Grey) figure here.

I got my very first figure of the TMNT 2012 line here–a lone Donatello figure, and that was the only figure they had out that first visit.

I bought my Herocscape boardgames at this store.

And I made my two largest/most-expensive single-item toy purchases of my entire life at this store.

toys_r_us_the_end_c

Over the years–while yes, I’ve bought plenty of toys from places like Target and Walmart, even the occasional online purchase–Toys R Us was THE place to go for toys of pretty much any sort.

Maybe it’s the “looking back with rose-tinted glasses” of memory, but I feel like even when I had complaints about pricing, Toys R Us was consistent and always there. They would have that elusive Pop, that elusive TMNT figure, the elusive Marvel Legends figure. They would have chain-exclusive stuff, made specifically for them…and there was plenty that they would have exclusively, because they were the only place that would give something a chance.

Maybe most notably for me, the TMNT Classics line–reproductions of the original 1980s figures. While I eventually did find most of my ORIGINAL-originals, the reproductions filled things out. No other toy chain stocked this line–you could NOT get it from Walmart or Target or such.

And I never stopped going to Toys R Us. I wasn’t there every week, or even every month…but I was in there frequently. While maybe not every week or month, there were times that I’d be in this particular store a couple times within a week. And some times that I might make “the rounds” and visit not only the Mentor location, but other relatively-nearby locations.

Beyond Mentor, there was one in Mayfield Heights that I’d go to here and there. Rarely specifically, but when I was already in that area for Half-Price Books or Microcenter or some such, I’d stop in. There was one in Fairlawn/Montrose not far from where I worked for a time that I visited a number of times. In July 2016 specifically, I remember zipping over to that store on a lunch break to get a Charizard figure for my desk shortly after Pokemon Go hit–also not knowing I was a couple weeks away from being laid off.

There was one in Cuyahoga Falls that I went to most during my grad school years and then living in the city itself for another 8 years until being laid off. This one was across the street from a Target, and about a 5 minute drive from my apartment, so it was easy to get to just to “see what they have” at any given time. Back in 2009, after securing our tickets for the new Star Trek film, my roommate and I went in and between the two of us, bought the entire line of figures, along with a couple overlaps.

There was another Toys R Us over in Sandusky that I’d been to a number of times with a couple of different friends that live near there.

There was one in Toledo that I got to a handful of times during college, and where I got my 2003-TMNT turtle van. I remember on one visit to Toledo leaving several friends at the mall, driving to TRU myself because I was the only one that wanted to go in, and then meeting back up with my friends at the mall afterward.

So very many other memories I could dig up if I tried, and had the time.

Maybe it’s sentimentality. Maybe it’s my weird memory or the way my mind works, associating people and events with places and physical spaces.

I believe I would have been “introduced to” Toys R Us at least by 1988…and my earliest conscious memory of the store was that first TMNT figure, which I believe would have been sometime in 1989…so that late-1988 until whenever it was specifically in 1989 is a bit fuzzy.

But give or take a few months to a year…nearly 30 years.

toys_r_us_the_end_b

Ultimately–for me–it ended with a whimper. With a final $11.77 including sales tax. Two talking Titan Hero Series Avengers Infinity War figures–Thor and Starlord. A 2017-Power Rangers movie morpher. And a poster kit of some sort from a “pre-order” of the digital Star Wars: The Force Awakens…purchased for the posters, zero regard if it includes a digital movie code or not (I’m assuming it does not).

My final time in the Mentor store, it was just the entrance-area atrium and the front main aisle. Everything else was taped off…and a good 3/4ths of the space even there was empty, bare shelving. The Power Rangers morpher was on a shelf slightly into what used to be the videogames and such area–but otherwise that area was taped off, too.

I felt bad–like some vulture picking over the bones of something that used to be fuzzy and cute. This final time, I wasn’t there for some sale–not in itself. I mean, I was curious what was left, what they’d have.

But in a way, I wish that I hadn’t gone.

At least the previous time in the store, it still seemed like a store instead of a garage sale. This was pitiful–it was sad. To see a once-great toy store full of all sorts of toys reduced to whatever it was. It made my personal toy collection look like some huge thing, and the store selection look like some cast-off.

And I felt bad as well, hearing other people muttering about the lack of selection. Like they were inconvenienced by there not being MORE still there for up to 90% off. Like they’d been slighted.

Yet, all these employees hustling about–it was very nearly the end for their JOBS. I’ve been laid off twice myself in the span of 18 months, so I can sure as heck appreciate the “losing a job out from under” one’s self, but at least in my experiences, it’s pretty much been a matter of cleaning out my workspace and leaving–and that’s that. I’ve never had to hang around for weeks or months, doing my job as if everything’s normal, dealing with people as if everything’s normal. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to put on the usual, cordial front, to be working RETAIL, being nice to customers, while watching my job drain away…even as customers are out for a deal.

There was virtually nothing left on Wednesday…because the chain filed for bankruptcy. Is closing. This liquidation sale’s been going on for several months. Employees are out of their jobs…and people were upset because they thought there should’ve been a bigger selection?

I was there for the nostalgia of walking into Toys R Us at all, for the nearly-last (or as it’s turned out, THE last) time. I bought what I bought to “buy SOMEthing,” since I was there, since I had for some reason grabbed a cart.

I could have gone one last time today…but I opted not to.

Wednesday was enough.

Maybe we’ll see a return of the brand someday–look at Hostess. But in terms of “continuity” and such…this is it.

It’s over.

But…I’m still “a Toys R Us kid.”

toys_r_us_the_end_blogtrailer

A Peek at the "Comic Cave"

I’ve mentioned new/additional shelving and rearranging for months now. I still haven’t gotten things 100% the way I want them, but with touching things up here, rearranging there, etc. I’ve had the overall space essentially set up.

And falling behind on writing reviews–Ultraverse Revisited and otherwise–today I decided to show off the bulk of my "comic cave" space. However, it’ll likely be awhile yet before I get into a detailed "tour" or shelf by shelf show-off, etc.

And even these photos show some of the rough edges and unfinished messiness…though do not show the huge mess that is my longboxes, shortboxes, "desk" and table.

library_peek_2018_06_27a

Above: an "outer" view of the main "library" (I’ll show the "inner" view further down). The bulk of the action figures on the front, with a corner piece for some of the Build-A-Figures and giant Heroclix; and presently some general storage/mess.

library_peek_2018_06_27b

Here’s a better look at the bookcases from the above photo. The far right is graphic novels, and then other things on the shelves to the left beyond "just" graphic novels.

library_peek_2018_06_27e

Opposite of these is my "media and games" space, as well as my Magic: The Gathering books, and Aliens and Predator books, as well as movies and tv…plus some storage.

library_peek_2018_06_27f

…And here’s a view from the other side–the small bookcase is my Dragonlance paperbacks. The bookcase behind the chair has boardgames, card games, and even trading card binders.

library_peek_2018_06_27d

This bookcase is seen looking out from the "inner" view of the main ‘library’ and includes the Thanos Shelf I’ve shown off a couple times.

library_peek_2018_06_27c

And here’s an "inner" view of the first photo of this post, with primarily my DC and Marvel stuff, plus some storage with some of the bottom shelves. The cropping here is to avoid much of the mess I’m not ready to show.


As said…I’ll probably show off a more detailed look sometime later–including the staircase down to the basement, a few things I didn’t specifically show here, and a better sense of the space as a whole.

For now, this is a peek at the heart of my collection and where/how most of it is stored at present…at least, outside of the single-issues collection…the longboxes and shortboxes are quite the mess at the moment, as well as my "workspace" and "desk" and such.

peek_at_the_comic_cave_blogtrailer

Legacy Thunder Megazord–Power Up!

Toys R Us has been around my entire life. I have plenty of memories of the store–and toys bought there; going back at least to the late-1980s, and the initial Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze. Probably my earliest memory of it specifically is getting a Baxter Stockman (the fly) figure, and being annoyed when we were stuck at a train crossing for what seemed like forever to me as that little kid waiting to get home and open his new toy.

I hold no joy whatsoever in the chain closing–I remember being glad that my "local" store–several "local-ish" stores, for that matter–NOT being on the initial list of closures a few months back. Selfishly, for sentimentality at least, and nostalgia…but also for those employees that would be out of jobs. Recently laid-off myself…that’s not something I’d truly wish on anyone!

And me getting something at a significant discount? That’s by no means worth someone’s job, their livelihood and all that. So much more I could say in this vein–but let’s leave it that what I say is in context of the fact that I cannot change that the chain filed bankruptcy and is going out of business. I have been a regular Toys R Us customer even before the closing–albeit a bit discerning, when I knew I could get the most basic figures for the most basic/common toy lines cheaper at Walmart or Target. But plenty of the "adult collectibles" and such were only at Toys R Us. The worthwhile Power Rangers stuff–the Legacy line–was only at the chain. The Classic TMNT line was only at the chain. The best variety of other lines was at the chain. And plenty often, while a toy line was cheaper at Walmart or Target, it’d be the individual specific figures I most wanted that I’d locate at Toys R Us.

My very first TMNT figure–Rocksteady–was bought at Toys R Us. When the property returned in early 2003, it was Toys R Us where I snagged my figures. When the line returned a third time in 2012, my first figure from that line was from Toys R Us.


So, as stuff’s been discounted/clearanced, and I can’t buy the toy chain or single-handedly change the fact of it closing down, can’t employ anyone myself to save jobs, etc… to boil stuff down, "it is what it is."

A few weeks ago, I bought a huge Mega Construx set for the TMNT line–my single largest (most expensive) purchase from Toys R Us in my life. It was at a token discount, though already significantly clearanced from its MSRP. I bought it then because it was a Toys R Us exclusive as far as I know, and I didn’t want to "miss" it and wind up facing scalper pricing–double/triple MSRP–later–that would make it even more prohibitively expensive.

I thought that was it–my final purchase from the chain. With them going out of business–selling everything, even store fixtures–the shelves and such–surely they wouldn’t be getting anything new in. Surely, of whatever stuff was left, others who found the 10% off worthwhile would have cleared out anything/everything of interest to me.

And then, sure enough, I missed the closing. I saw some story online that they had closed, and I figured that was that.

Then a friend messaged me about something she’d seen at one. The chain itself had not yet closed! So I went back to the one location, figuring more consciously "one last time…" And ended up with some Power Rangers stuff. And then the local one to see what they had that might complement those.

mmpr_thunderzord_box

And I saw this. The Legacy Thunder Megazord. The box was a bit beat-up and less than pristine…but intact.

And 50% off.

Still very expensive for me, period, and especially at present. But it’s not likely I’d ever come across it again for this price. No, more than likely, it’d be 50% more than MSRP if not double or more. And I’ve had my eyes on this for a year and a half or so, having long since figured that at MSRP, it was too much…but for half that, it’d be more than worthwhile.

So, at 50% off…I bought it.

Expensive as a single unit, but it’s more like a "boxed set." With each of the Zords being the price of a Marvel Legends figure–to put it into a bit of perspective. And it was buying pieces piecemeal that I justified to myself the large Legendary Voltron set last year.


Anyway…a week later and I finally got this thing unpacked!

mmpr_thunderzord_assault_team

First, the individual Zords! Red Dragon in Warrior Mode; Pink Firebird; Blue Unicorn; Yellow Griffin; Black Lion (not THAT Black Lion…). The set came with a base, allowing the Zords to join together as the Thunderzord Assault Team.

As the Red Dragon in Warrior Mode stands in the middle, which basically looks like it’s rather uncomfortable (even as a giant robot, another giant robot’s beak-up-the-backdoor probably wouldn’t be pleasant), I don’t like that as a display mode. Of course, for the four smaller Zords, it’s great, and the Red Dragon can stand separate on its own…basically like in the show!

mmpr_thunderzord_assault_team_red_dragon

Of course, it also transforms on its own into "Dragon Mode," which is also pretty cool! He makes for a rather long piece that way, though, and sorta steals the scene!

thunder_megazord

I really like the look of the Thunder Megazord. However, it’s a bit loose, and wobbly and leans a bit…and I had to half-disassemble it when the Firebird decided to split into three pieces on me (note: it’s not really supposed to split into 3 pieces!). I don’t think this is "the lean" that early versions had, but more a side-to-side lean…which might be something with my assembly and not the figures, but whatever. I’d be really annoyed if I’d paid anything like full price…but at half off and just having the thing, I’m pretty much ok with it, overall!

thunderzords_voltron_lions

For the heckuvit…here’s the Thunderzord Assault Team with the five Legendary Voltron lions (well, the smaller die-cast ones, anyway!)

thunder_megazord_voltron

And here’s the Thunder Megazord with the larger version of the Legendary Voltron lions assembled into Voltron itself!

Though in retrospect I was technically exposed to Voltron–as these five lions that combined into a big one–first, having recalled sometime after I was introduced TO the Power Rangers that I’d seen a giant robot from five smaller ones before the show, it was truly MMPR that got to me first. But being a sucker for the combining robots and such, and nostalgic for Power Rangers in general, I guess they’re a lot like Star Trek for me.

I’m a fan of Star Trek, period. "The Original Series." "The Next Generation." To me, Star Trek has always been Star Trek, regardless of subtitle/flavor. And along with that, I’ve also been a fan of Star Wars, and though I’ve read a number of Star Trek novels to maybe 3 Star Wars books…on the whole, I don’t have any great one-or-the-other mentality to the properties.

And so it is here–Power Rangers. Voltron. I’m good with both, like ’em both.

legacy_thunder_megazord_power_up_blogtrailer

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Tamashii Buddies

I can’t remember when I first saw the Tamashii Buddies figures for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers–but it feels like it’s been at least a year.

I’ve only ever seen them at Toys R Us, but the price has often put me off on ’em, and I never got around to actually getting any of them.

Of course, over the past year and a half or so, my Power Rangers collection has expanded quite a bit.

tamashii_buddies_mmpr

With Toys R Us‘ "Store Closing" "liquidation sale," prices recently moved to 40-60% off. "Action figures" went from 10% off (not really "worthwhile" as that’s barely tax) to 50% off (quite worthwhile).

After checking prices on a number of things, I ultimately settled primarily on these Tamashii Buddies figures.

I’m not 100% on how I feel about them…but whatever the case, I really like the way they look! I just wish they had figures for the other original Rangers–Black, Blue, Yellow. Based on the box art and the "look what else you can buy!" stuff, these are it…at least for what had made its way into Toys R Us.

These are from two different TRU stores–the one did not have Lord Zedd while the other, as it turned out, had all 5. Of course, I only "needed" Zedd when I went into the second store.

I wound up walking out with my second-largest single TRU purchase (price-wise) of my life (which I’ll likely post about some other time, along with the first).

Anyway…these are the latest additions to my Power Rangers collection…I just need to figure out the shelf arrangement to include them!

tamashii_buddies_mmpr_blogtrailer

%d bloggers like this: