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Welcome to 2020

Welcome to a new decade. Yes, I consider 2020 the start of a new decade–it’s the start of the ’20s. One doesn’t refer to the ’80s and 1990, or the ’90s and 2000, etc. When I turn 40, that indicates I’ve completed 40 trips around the sun, but it will still be the start of "my ’40s."

ANYway…

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I’ve written several drafts of stuff as a year-start post and I’m not all that keen on any of those the way I’d envisioned as I started writing. So here I am, day-of, doing a bit of a stream-of-conscious(ness?) piece.

2019review_1_actual_review2019review_ultraverse_revisitedIn 2019, I only wrote ONE true REVIEW (covering a current brand-new issue). I only wrote 2 new posts of older issues (‘__s Revisited). I posted several stockpiled/not-yet-formatted Ultrverse Revisited posts written in 2018. I posted several entries on adding NECA TMNT (and 1 Aliens) items to my collection. A Super-Blog Team-Up post on the Shredder Redeemed. Some excitement for Spawn #300 and launching my #SpawnQuest. Getting a nearly 100-issue run of Uncanny X-Men allowing me to decide to begin my personal collection with Days of Future Past-forward. And I’m pretty sure I managed to document the entire year’s worth (52 weeks) of NEW-new comics (albeit with a number of posts covering multiple weeks’ worth each).

2019review_shredderOf course, after periods of having (week)-daily posts for extended times including over a year into mid-2017…that makes 2019 seem like one of my least-worthwhile blogging years, looked at as a whole.


2020 Blogging

  • I want to get back into my Ultraverse Revisited project. I believe I have Ultraverse Premiere #0 and Firearm #0 to cover between the November 1993 issues and December 1993’s Break-Thru linewide event.
     
  • I want to get back to covering some further issues of TMNT Adventures, and having decided several years back that I could see "seasons" in the title, I believe I’d be covering "season 3" with 26-38 + Mutanimals 1-6.
     
  • I want to get back to some regular-ish ‘__s Revisited posts.
     
  • I also have a couple other tentative projects shaping up to participate in with others that I intend to have posts for here as well.

2020 Comics

  • I’m beginning the year with the intent of working on hunting down Spawn #s 101-256; 156 issues. I’m pretty sure I have 8 or 9 from #185-193 or so, which means I’m only hunting about HALF of the series in its entirety.
  • I’m also beginning 2020 with the intent of seeking out the "classic" 1990s Marvel 2099 stuff; with several specials and then later issues of the 4 "OG" titles (Spider-Man, Ravage, Doom, Punisher) and a handful of X-Men, and the back half of Ghost Rider, and then whatever other misc. issues I’m forgetting.
  • Beyond stuff I’m interested in acquiring that I don’t already (know I) own…I’m also hoping to get some significant sorting/purging done on my accumulation and get it to being more of an actual collection again than a random "warehouse" of "stuff."

2020 ‘Grails’

  • Uncanny X-Men #141 (part 1 of Days of Future Past)
  • TMNT Adventures: Year of the Turtle #1
  • Prime #1 (hologram cover, silver OR gold)
  • Wolverine (1988) #145 (foil edition)

So we’ll see what actually comes to pass over the next 365 days or so. I believe it’s also a "leap year," with 29 days in February, so…bonus?

Time will tell!

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Showing Off the Shelves: Kotobukiya X-Men ’92

Earlier in the year, I discovered the Kotobukiya line of X-Men ’92 figures/models/statues.Where I’d originally only intended to get Rogue and Gambit, that quickly expanded until finally, I wound up with the entire line (that I’m presently aware of)!

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Professor X and Phoenix/Jean Grey were the only figures to come as single-characters, all the rest came in packs of 2. Jubilee came with Wolverine, and Storm came with Bishop.

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Gambit and Rogue came together, which is what set me off on this entire line. Cyclops and Beast make up the final pair.

The Bishop/Storm set was the most expensive for me, and I paid more than I’d have preferred–still a bit of buyer’s remorse there–but after missing one heckuva sale price at Black Friday, I decided to splurge and order them from BigBadToyStore just to HAVE them and not have to worry about them becoming even MORE extremely-exspensive if they’re "out of print" or such.

Despite that/leaving the cost off to the side…I really dig the set, and would certainly prefer to see more releases for it.

Most immediately, a "regular" Jean Grey, perhaps paired with a Morph (possibly with an "extra" head for "Dark Morph"); and then of course, some villains.

Magneto and Mr. Sinister would be definites for me, along with Apocalypse, perhaps Mystique, Blob, Pyro, and Avalanche. Perhaps swap Juggernaut for Mr. Sinister if we’d keep to the first season, though Jean in her Phoenix form is from beyond the 2nd season, even, so…yeah.

It’d even be great to see a sentinel, perhaps…though for the price of these-sized figures, I hate to consider what a Sentinel would cost from Kotobukiya!

Despite wanting more…this present set pretty much perfectly fits on two "floating" wall shelves I bought on Amazon; it wasn’t until I was mounting the shelves to the wall that I realized they’d be good for these figures.

I may look into getting some more of these shelves in the new year when I do some re-arranging of the basement space; I have a number of ideas there (plus thoughts toward some alternate shelving as most of my shelves have bowed significantly, and I reconfigure the overall space a bit to accommodate the last couple of years).

Time will definitely tell, though…as always!

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80th Anniversary Batman Imaginext Singles

After about 4 weeks and more than two-dozen Target visits, I had finally managed to get the Neca Bebop and Rocksteady two-pack a few weeks back. I feel like that was ONE OF the, if not THE most hassle I’ve ever had finding a particular toy at non-scalper prices. I’m not after first-editions, they aren’t SDCC-exclusives, etc.

ANYWAY.

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I’d found out about a series of Imaginext Batman figures for the character’s 80th anniversary (WHY is there virtually NOTHING for Superman, but EVERYTHING for BATMAN?!?).

A few days after learning of their existence, I opted to go ahead and check for them at the local Walmart.

Which ONLY had 2 of the figures–the Green Lantern one and the Justice one.

Of course, the one I most wanted was the Knightquest one!

For the price, I went ahead and got the two, figuring I’d regret it later if I didn’t.

I also decided to visit a second Walmart since the one I was at first ALSO did NOT have the only other thing I’d gone in for (treating the figures as a secondary objective).

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The second Walmart had all 5, so I was able to get the 3 I was unable to at the first, and have what I believe is the complete set. (IF there are more than 5 in the series, I am blissfully unaware!).

And I was simply amazed at the fact of being able to go out–ONE evening, a mere TWO visits to a store–and actually being able to find what I was looking for!

EXTREMELY refreshing after the frustration and discouragement trying to get the Bebop and Rocksteady pack!

I am NOT a "thrill of the hunt" kinda person for most things…especially when they’re ARTIFICIALLY-LIMITED and such or seem like some one-off. With toys–figures, statues, whatever–if it’s cool, if it’s desirable such that I want one…I just want the publisher to LET ME give them my money and be done.

Anyway…these remind me a bit of HotWheels in there being this mini-set and there being several figures, with a cardback featuring some cover or other piece of art that the figure represents.

But for me personally…these are much more appealing, as they can be opened and displayed with other small figures without having to worry about them rolling off a shelf or such.

If I’d gone for only 2 or 3 of these, I’d probably leave out the Green Lantern and Zur-En-Arr ones and possibly the Justice one. But not being terribly expensive, and not being able to change the past, I’m happy to have all 5.

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My Spawn Collection at 300

As of Spawn #300’s release–September 4, 2019–my Spawn collection isn’t all that large.

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But it includes #s 1-19, 25, 30, and 257-300! Granted, in this photo, I have the 2019 Free Comic Book Day edition of #1 on top. I also have the Image Firsts edition. And the homage to Ultimate Spider-Man #1 edition of the Director’s Cut in there.

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I have my real, actual #1 framed alongside the #1-homage cover of the Director’s Cut hanging on the wall down to the basement.

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At a glance it disappears into a sea of framed stuff, but it’s still there! It’s how I like displaying the occasional variant that I do buy for the art!

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Then I have a shelf of miscellaneous stuff that hasn’t been rehomed elsewhere as yet. Several bust banks, a Kotobukiya Professor X, the Neca Shredder…and Spawn figures I got a couple years back.

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In this photo are a couple of early-ish (maybe not FIRST wave, but certainly from an early one!) Spawn action figures. These are standard-size; I’m not sure exactly what scale…they just are what they are. I also have my ORIGINAL Medieval Spawn figure minus its cape elsewhere, but when I had the chance to buy one that had the cape (and the sword) I jumped on it! Of course, with the originals, I do remember it being quite cool having a figure that also came with a "full-size" comic book. (And this was before Marvel Legends, even!)

While I don’t know if they were originally with either of these figures, I do have a couple issues that I think had originally come with some figures.

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And there’s this oversized statue-size figure. I loved the price, and its size. I may not be willing to pay several hundred dollars for a statue, but a couple comics’ price for a plastic figure? Great by me!

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My two original Spawn figures on a shelf of miscellaneous figures…

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A bit of a closer view. Though…wow. Batman is REALLY rather prominent, there!

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OK…there we go. The Spawn figures!

So that’s Comics and toys.

"But what about the movie?!?" you might ask. "Wasn’t there an animated series?"

Got those, too.

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The original film, as well as a "box set" of the animated series (from HBO, at least originally, I think?)


I probably have a handful of other Spawn things around. But other than getting the individual issues the last almost-4-years, I’ve really only dabbled in the character/property. (As I type, I recall I also have at least one of the Spawn/Batman issues…but if I jump up for every memory to add a photo, I’ll never finish this post and get to bed at a decent hour!)

I suppose this is a bit more than I thought when I first started typing tonight…and surely "more" than many people have.

I have roughly 70 issues of the main Spawn title…leaving me 230 issues to have the full series. Whether I’ll seek to attain that, I don’t know. A couple years ago, I hunted down 100 issues of Savage Dragon in barely a month. I don’t see THAT happening again.

But time will definitely tell!

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NECA Aliens: Alien Queen Deluxe

This shows just how far behind I’ve gotten in producing content for this blog! I got this about FIVE WEEKS ago! But only just now getting around to sharing/posting about it!

I’d seen this several years ago in a Toys R Us, but at the time it was wayyy outta my price range. Of course, I spent much of 2018 contemplating stuff in the price range, and finally pulled the trigger on the most expensive toys I’ve ever bought: the NECA Baby Turtles, a (non-NECA) Power Rangers Legacy Megazord, the NECA 1/4-scale Raphael, the Gamestop-exclusive 7" 1990 movie turtles, the 1/4-scale Leonardo & Michelangelo, the 1/4-scale Donatello, and the ’80s 2-packs.

And so it just made sense to (finally) get this Alien Queen, as well!

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Like the other figures, this one has a window on the front for you to see (part of) the figure itself, and a nice dioramic image on the rest of the box.

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One side of the box is another window to see in to the Queen, while the other side shows the typical photo/rendition of the figure…in this case, with another figure for some scale, though that figure is not actually something included in this box (and that fact is noted: "Marine Figure Sold Separately").

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The back of the box is the Queen herself and a brief overview of what she is.

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The figure is very "top-heavy," and in many poses–especially at her most "natural" and menacing, she won’t stand on her own…so a base with two rods is included to allow for various poses and balancing. The TMNT Donatello figure is a standard Ninja Turtle figure for size comparison…it was what I had handy when I was taking these photos back in March!

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I like the Queen raised up a bit more to show her height. She TOWERS over the other figures…as she should! While the 1/4-scale TMNT figures are amazing…they’re really only "in scale" with themselves (and the baby turtles). This Alien Queen is in scale with other NECA Aliens products, so they can all stand together and look awesome in the same scale!

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And here’s–as of this writing–my Aliens shelving. The Queen and other figures are on top of a bookcase, with the books on the shelves immediately below.

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The Aliens/Predator comics stuff doesn’t fit the newer shelving the figures are part of, so the comics and such are still in the midst of the graphic novels collection area…which is definitely plenty appropriate!

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NECA TMNT Quarter Scale: Donatello

It’s been a few weeks–maybe a month or so, now–since I got the last of the NECA TMNT quarter-scale figures I’ve been after.

I believe there’s also a Foot ninja and a Raphael-in-trenchcoat…but I’m really not interested in either of those. I prefer Raph as-is without the trenchcoat…and a lone Foot ninja makes little sense to me, and at this scale and price I’m NOT investing in 3-5+ of the things to justify the "generic minion/bad-guy" thing.

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I didn’t have the patience at the time to get a better shot of the front of the box…a bit of glare, as such.

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The sides of the box…

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The back of the box.

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I’d neglected at the time–due to other things going on in my private life–to get a solo shot of Donnie. Right now I don’t really have open space to properly get a good shot, so here he is towering over the Gamestop 1990 Movie Mikey and a Target 2-pack Foot ninja.

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And here’s the current (at least as of this posting in early April 2019) shelf of my NECA TMNT stuff with Raph, Leo & Mikey, and of course, Donnie…as well as the Baby Turtles that I started this crazy-expensive collecting ride with.

I may still try to get the ooze cannister prop and Casey Jones mask prop…but after a number of extremely-expensive (for me) purchases across a number of paychecks, and other stuff I’m trying to get…expensive NECA stuff is on hiatus for me at the moment.

(One more expensive NECA purchase from several weeks ago yet to share, though!)

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NECA TMNT ’80s Cartoon Two-Packs

Life’s been its own brand of crazy the last couple months. So I’m only now–a MONTH after the fact–getting around to sharing these cool purchases!

I’ve been AWARE OF the NECA brand since 2010 or 2011…whenever they did the Mirage Comics-style turtles, before the 2012 line for the Nickelodeon 2012 show was out from Playmates.

Having recently (finally) bought the Raphael and then Leo & Mikey 1/4-scale figures, these 2-packs from Target were not a terrible stretch…though it was a LOT to spend in such a short time-frame. But they served as a sort of "retail therapy" or such.

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I’m not the greatest fan of the 1980s cartoon. For a time, I actually held a fair bit "against" it, though as the IDW comics have continued and have incorporated elements, stuff has been somewhat "redeemed" and I’ve come to appreciate its place in history–in general and of the TMNT property in general. And these 2-packs made for a decent "set" of figures…that’s certainly one thing about the TMNT stuff–it’s totally geared for sets of 4 with the main characters!

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Leonardo and Shredder make for a good pairing here. All the 2-packs are one turtle and one villain. So of course, matching the "leaders" up works quite well on a number of levels! 

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While the front of the boxes are showing off the figures themselves, the backs show a staged photo, a short description, as well as the other 3 boxes available for this "wave" of figures! 

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Donatello and Krang are the "brains" of their respective groups…Krang pretty literally so. That makes these a good matchup as well. The walker contraption Krang rides in–from the earliest episodes of the ’80s cartoon–is roughly the same height as the classic Playmates figure…though Krang himself is a lot smaller here and more proportionate. 

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Back of the box showing Donnie poised to tip Krang right on over… 

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Though Raphael has come to be my favorite turtle as an adult, his 2-pack has him and "just" a Foot ninja. I’ve never been overly keen on this version of the Foot–mindless robots just seem like they shouldn’t be a threat whatsoever. And generally they were not MUCH of one, just a delaying tactic. Still, the poseability on the NECA figure(s) makes this far, FAR superior to the classic Playmates iteration! 

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Cliché as it is, there IS the classic line from Raph’s first encounter with the Foot bots. "Klang?!? Did you say–‘Klang’?"

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Michelangelo also comes with a Foot bot, that seems basically the same as the one with Raph. Though it would seem a someone generic thing to have half the packs come with these…it also actually, truly makes sense as the Foot bots ARE generic and to just have one is to defeat the point of having generic minions. And as these are a much better quality, I’m glad TO have two, although I’d have also been rather happy if these came in their own 2-pack, so that their slots could be filled with other characters!

Of course, I believe I saw stuff coming out of the one toy convention that NECA has upcoming plans for Bebop and Rocksteady. And if they come in 2-packs like these…I’d be grateful to get the pair as their own pack. But if there’s to be more hero vs villain foolery to further induce buying of multiple packs…I’d take April and Splinter with them, and/or Casey Jones! 

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Here we have the back of the pack with Mikey gut-kicking his Foot bot.

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I like the sides of the packages. One side shows each of the turtles…

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…while the other side shows the villain that turtle’s paired with!

The packs are definitely quite attractive as-is. But these being TMNT, I "couldn’t" just leave them in their boxes. So I did get them out. However, the photos of the unboxed figures will have to wait for another post!

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