Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DC Universe All-Stars - Wave 2 preview

Over at Comicbookresources.com, Mattel has announced the 2nd wave of their new retail DC Universe All-Stars toy line which is due to be in stores early 2012.  This wave is a little less randam than the DCU All-Stars wave 1 and focuses on the mainstream characters, but specifically the DC New Universe version of these characters.

First we have the new Superman supporting his red belt and trunkless tights.  Not a big fan of the head sculpt.  I think the DC Direct DCNU Superman head looks better.  I could be wrong but the "S" symbol appears to be raised but other than that, the body sculpt looks pretty much like the previous DC Universe Classics Superman (right)




 Next up we're getting the Flash.  Hmmmm....two main Justice League members in the same wave?  Unheard of in the DCUC waves.  Okay, well as you can see the main differences between the new DCU All-Stars Flash and the DCUC Flash are his boots and the lightning bolts across his forearms and waist.  Again, his chest symbol looks to be raised in the DCNU version.  Those seem to be the only differences here.  The head sculpts look almost identical. 



 The next DC Universe All-Star action figure is Supergirl (left) which is a complete repaint of the DC Superheroes Supergirl (right) that came out in 2007 and then again in a two pack with Lex Luthor in the DC Universe Classics toy line.   




 And the final DC Universe Classics All-Star action figure is the only real original of the bunch, Red Robin.  A pretty good likeness.  The head sculpt looks like Batman without the horns.



So there you have it, you can expect to see these toys in stores, online and at your local Target, Wal-mart, etc, early in 2012.  Also, Mattel will soon be announcing the next Batman Legacy 2 packs so as soon as that news breaks, I'll post it. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Batman Legacy - Golden Age Batman

The DC Universe Classics toy line may be coming to an end after Wave 20, however, Mattel still plans on giving us a certain level of these great action figures under different toy lines.  They will have their online Infinite Earths club, their DC Universe All-Stars retail toy line as well as their current Batman Legacy retail toy line which is up to its 2nd wave.  Today, I'm going to review one of those Wave 2 action figures - Golden Age Batman

So clearly this action figure is based on Batman's early years, Definitely pre Frank Miller stuff.  Look how happy he is!  If you're comparing Golden Age Batman to other DC Universe Classics Batman, you won't notice too many differences...well......because that's because there aren't that many.  More on that later. 


First, here's a look at the packaging.  Slightly different than the DC Universe Classics packaging.  As you can see, this Golden Age Batman does NOT include the K-mart exclusive Batmite action figure.



As you can see, other than the new head sculpt, Golden Age Batman pretty much supports the same Batman sculpt as DC Universe Classics Batman from Wave 1



 So whats different about this Batman besides the head sculpt?  Clearly the Bat symbol on his chest.  From there its just small differences.  (See above), the blue along the side of his underwear is something we don't see on any of the DCUC figures.  After that, the paint job on the Batman Legacy action figure is a mix of both DCUC wave 1 Batman is on the right and Gotham city 5 pack Batman on the left.  It would have been nice if Mattel would have maybe changed up the belt sculpt a little.




Below is a close up of the head sculpt.  A very classic looking Batman.  Its pretty much spot on to the Golden Age look.  Also the paint job on this action figure is fairly good.  There aren't any nasty spots or blotches to speak off. 




Unfortunately, as far as accessories go, the only things that come with this Batman action figure is a mini-poster and a golden age action figure stand, which quite frankly does not securely support the action figure in any way.  As mentioned above, if you bought the K-mart exclusive, then you would also be getting a little Batmite action figure as well.  No batarangs or grapple hooks or anything else.  Not even Bat Shark repellent!  (you tube it).  Fortunately I have enough of Mattel's Batman action figure accessories that its not a big deal to me but beginner collectors may feel a bit jipped here.


Articulation has not changed in this Batman figure compared to any of previously released Batman action figures (Wave 1, Wave 10, Gotham City.....)  You have all your standard joints which are all in fine working condition with the exception of the swivel waist joint.  it seems very tight and i can't get it to turn.  I didn't want to try too hard and break my new toy but i thought i should mention it.  I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that someone else had the same problem. 

So overall, well, if you're a Batman fan, like me, you're gonna wanna get this action figure. But if you're ho-hum getting tired of seeing Mattel give us a new Batman action figure with very little changes, this one might not be for you.  Quality wise, it ranks right up there with the DC Universe Classics action figures, the only decision is whether or not you need another Batman to add to your collection.



It will be interesting to see how much longer Mattel keeps this Batman Legacy toy line alive.  Hopefully longer than the Green Lantern experiment.  I personally would like to see it keep going and have more characters covered that the DCUC line did not get to.  Ra's Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy....this list goes on.  So far, for Batman Legacy Wave 3, we know that a "First Appearance Batman" and a Golden Age Catwoman will be included along with a Batman Arkham City Harley Quinn and Nightwing action figures.  No announcement on the NYCC 2011 "Super Powers" Penguin action figure and where he fits in on all this.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him as the 3rd Wave 3 figure and the two Arkham City action figures be sold separately as a two pack but that is pure speculation on my part.   



To find Batman Legacy action figures on eBay - click here



Friday, November 18, 2011

DC Universe Classics - Captain Boomerang


Flash villains have gotten very little love from Mattel in regards to the DC Universe Classics action figures (and maybe with good reason). We have only seen a handful of Flash related characters up until wave 18, specifically Gorilla Grodd in Wave 2 and Captain Cold in Wave 7.  Now that DCUC wave 18 is out, lets take a closer look at Captain Boomerang



 Pretty cool sculpt.  Right off the bat you're gonna notice that Captain Boomerang has the newer elbow and knee joints giving him more flexibility.  More on that later.  The sculpt of the character is pretty cool.  The jacket is a separate piece but does not come off as the boomerangs across his chest keep the jacket on


 Captain Boomerang's scarf is sculpted so that it looks like its slightly blowing in a breeze.  The body frame size used is the slightly skinnier body parts similar to Thaal Sinestro, Creeper and Deadman but the detail work in the actual sculpt is definitely all unique. 


The DC Universe Classics head sculpts are 99% of the time, amazing and Capt. Boomerang is no different.  Pretty sweet sculpt right down to the stubble on his face and detail work in his toque. 


Captain Boomerang's paint job is not too shabby.  No really issue except for some paint missing from the inside of his left hand which I didn't even notice until i sat down to type out this review. 

  
 Mainly due to the newer knee joints, Captain Boomerang has a slight height advantage over the DCUC action figures that do not have these new knee joints.  Above, I've compared Captain Boomerang to Flash.  


  As far as accessories are concerned, besides the Collect and Connect head and waist pieces of Apache Chief that comes with Captain Boomerang, the only other thing you get is one, plain ol' Boomerang with no special detail what-so-ever and fits rather loosely in either of his two hands.  Not only that, the boomerang is made of a very limp rubber and bends too easily.  Boooooo!!!


  Captain Boomerang's strong point is definitely articulation.  As mentioned, he has the newer elbow and knee joints which add a little bit extra movement.  All other joints are pretty standard.  Neck, biceps, wrists, abdominal, hips, thighs and ankles.  All joints were in great working order and too loose or tight. 

 Overall, if you're a Flash fan, then guess what?..... You're gonna want Captain Boomerang.  It is really a great looking action figure despite another fail by Mattel in the accessories department.  Seeing as he is only the 3rd Flash villain to be released at this point, you're gonna wanna snatch this bad boy up.  Luckily for Flash fans, DCUC wave 20 will also include another Flash villain, Reverse Flash, coming in 2012.

Sculpt - 9.5
Paint - 9
Accessories - 1
Articulation - 9.5
Fun - 8

 

For those of you having trouble finding these DC Universe Classics action figures at your local toy store (like me), eBay is a very good source for finding these collector items.  Check out the links below:

To find the following DC Universe Classics action figures on eBay, click on the appropriate link:


To find Captain Boomerang and other DCUC Wave 18 action figures on eBay:



To find other DC Universe Classics action figures on eBay - click here

Thanks for checking out Action Toy Review.  Check back later for more info, news, previews and reviews on Mattel's DC Universe Classics and the upcoming DC Universe All-Stars action figure line ups.

Monday, November 14, 2011

DC Universe Classics - DC Universe All-Stars




 Mattel has given us a bit of news and some pictures regarding the new "DC Universe All-Stars" retail toy line that will be replacing the retail DC Universe Classics toy line in 2012.  You can expect to see them in stores and on eBay next year.



First, we have the Larfleeze action figure which was actually already shown off at the 2011 New York Comic Con.  Be sure to click on the link if you missed my NYCC report.

The next action figure appears to be a re-release from the DC Universe Classics Wave 4 set, Batman Beyond.  I'm a little puzzled as to why Mattel is putting this one back on the shelves.  Could this have not be released in the Batman Legacy toy series instead? 



Looks like we're getting a new Plastic Man figure at the retail level, specifically, Plastic Man from the Flashpoint comic series. Previously, Plastic man was released only as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive action figure that came with a whole bunch of attachments (see picture below), similar to the DCUC wave 1 Collect and Connect figure, Rex Mason but with even more stuff! 


At this point, all i can see is that we're getting a regular Plastic Man with, so far, no indication of attachments.  Flashpoint Plastic Man looks a little less cartoony but the SDCC Plastic Man action figure appears to be  better value.  Check him out on eBay by clicking here


Finally, we a new Superboy action figure complete with a new sculpt and all.  Previously in the DCUC wave 13 set, Mattel released a Superboy but this new one is specifically modeled after Superboy Prime in his Anti Monitor armor.

Overall, I think Plastic Man needs to have attachments and Superboy Prime and Larfleeze look like cool additions but these characters aren't really what I would expect to see in the very first "DC Universe All-Stars" toy line.   Are they really "All-Stars"....?  I'm most disappointed that Mattel is already re-issuing action figures from the DC Universe Classics toy line.  I fully expected it to happen at some point, but not right off the bat.  Was Batman Beyond really that big back when DCUC wave 4 came out?  I don't know.  It is a cool action figure and for those of you that don't have it, should grab one but I would have liked something new.  You can probably still grab a Batman Beyond action figure on eBay for a very reasonable cost right now instead of waiting for Mattel to re-release it in 2012.  

Hopefully Mattel isn't saving all the good action figures for the Infinite Earth Club.  I decided to not join after sitting on the fence for the longest time.  I wasn't too crazy about committing to paying for action figures of an unknown line up.  We'll see.  Hopefully more news will come out of Mattel soon on which other DC characters we can expect to see released in 2012.  
What do you think of the new DC Universe All-Stars?  Feel free to comment below. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DC Universe Classics - Scarecrow (Sinestro Corps)

DC Universe Classics Wave 17, aka the Rainbow Lantern wave was certainly not my favorite set.  I like Green Lantern and I also enjoyed The Blackest Night comic series but I wasn't a big fan of Mattel devoting an entire set of action figures to what was really, a second string set of characters from TBN story.  Like really, how long did we see Scarecrow as a member of the Sinestro Corps?  Well, apparently long enough to get his own action figure.  We did get a Scarecrow action figure from Mattel about 4 years ago in the DC Super Heroes toy series.  I'm sure Batman fans would agree, we need an upgraded version.  Since it appears we will not be getting a new regular Scarecrow action figure in the near future from Mattel (fingers cross for something in the Batman Legacy series), I decided to bite the bullet and pick a Sinestro Corps Scarecrow.  Lets take a closer look.:

Out of all the DCUC Wave 17 action figures, Scarecrow is the only character that has not had a previous action figure released in the other DC Universe Classics toy line.  So even though he is a Lantern action figure, I still wanted to have him. 

This is a completely new sculpt in comparison to the DC Super Heroes Scarecrow (left) from head to toe. Sinestro Corps Scarecrow has thicker body parts and is less lanky than the DCSH version. 

Wave 17 SC Scarecrow looks exactly like the Blackest Night version of the Scarecrow so fans of the comic series will love this action figure, but the best part, by far, is the head sculpt on this action figure.  One of the best head sculpts I've seen in a while. 


Close up, you can see the great detail work on Scarecrow's head.  His yellow eyes are very cleanly painted and are very creepy looking.  His mouth is also highly detailed and well painted.  The hat has an old beat up look which is great too.  My one minor complaint is the rope around his neck could've been painted a different color than his mask, but oh well.  A great job overall.  Paint job is also great.  There was plenty of room for error and slop here, especially in the face but Mattel has put out a good job on this one. 


Scarecrow also shines in the Articulation Department.  All the usual DCUC joints are included and since Scarecrow's jacket is opened, his abdominal joint is not restricted, unlike what we've seen on some other jacket supporting DCUC action figures.  Scarecrow also supports the newer double elbow and knee joints for extra flexibility.  I find the newer knee joints add a little bit of height to these action figures, so compared to the characters from the older waves, Scarecrow is just a tad bit taller. 

The only accessory that comes with Sinestro Corps Scarecrow is the standard issue Yellow Lantern and of course the CNC piece of Anti Monitor. 

So, my ranting about the rainbow lanterns aside, this Sinestor Corps Scarecrow action figure was a good purchase.  Like I said, the head sculpt a is pretty amazing piece of work and I would love to see it re-released on a regular Scarecrow action figure somewhere down the road, perhaps in the Batman Legacy toy series.  (fingers crossed)

Sculpt/Design - 9, Paint - 9, Articulation - 9.5, Accessories - 5, Fun - 7

Best place to buy your very own DC Universe Classics action figures: eBay. 
To find DC Universe Classics - Sinestro Corps Scarecrow on eBay - click here

To find the DC Super Heroes Scarecrow on ebay (good luck) - click here




Other DCUC Wave 17 "rainbow lantern" action figures on eBay:

To find other DC Universe Classics action figures on eBay, click here




Thanks for checking out Action Toy Review.  Be sure to check back for more news, info, previews and reviews on your favorite DC Universe Classics action figures. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DC Universe Animated Movies

I love the DC Animated films and am always glad when news and new trailers come out.  Their movies do such a great job for the most part and the films are quite entertaining.  At New York Comic Con 2011 DC showed off the new trailer for the upcoming animated film, Justice League Doom.  Check out the trailer at the bottom of this post.  Also just out this week, Batman: Year One, which i loved as well.  So, today I thought I'd take a break from the action figure reviews and go through some of my favorite DC animated fims in the form of a Top 10 list.  If you're a DC fan, these animated films are a must see.  Marvel may have the jump on DC when it comes to the big budget live action flicks, but DC is certainly holding its own in the animated movie department.   If you haven't seen them, go out and get yourself a copy as they are better then A LOT of the live action superhero movies that have been released in recent years.  



Now, lets go over some honorable mentions.  These films were not my favorites, however a lot of DC fans enjoyed these movies and just because they weren't my favorite, doesn't mean they should be overlooked. 

A lot of DC fans felt that Justice League - The New Frontier was a great film and would probably rank it in their Top 5.  It is based on Darwyn Cooke's 2003-2004 graphic novel "DC: The New Frontier" and features all the major Justice League characters.   



All-Star Superman was released earlier this year (2011) and is based on Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's 2005-2008 comic book "All-Star Superman".  Again, a lot of fans hold this film in high regards but I myself, was not a fan of the animation in this one. 


Superman/Shazam - Return of Black Adam is a DVD made up of a bunch of short films.  In addition to the Black Adam Story, also included are short films on Green Arrow, Jonah Hex and The Spectre.  By far, the best short film on this DVD is The Return of Black Adam.  A lot of action squeezed into a short story.  I wish they would've hammered out a full length film on this one.  Black Adam kicks some ass!  Green Arrow was probably the next best story.  Worth a watch if you can get it cheap. 


Batman Gotham Knight was basically a collection of short films, each of which each has its own style of animation. It was released as a tie into the Christopher Nolan's films supposedly taking place in between the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight films. Batman Gotham Knight features short stories that include the likes of Killer Croc, Deadshot, Scarecrow and many more Batman regulars.





Okay, on to my TOP 10 DC Animated Films:



Loosely based on The Death of Superman comic book, this action packed movie did a great job of taking the concept of the popular comic series and condensing it into a 90 minute film.  It features Superman, Doomsday, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olson

Its sort of a new take on the origin story of Hal Jordan becoming the Green Lantern.  Although they rush though Hal's training process (he seems to pick things up fairly quickly), this movie is filled with some pretty tight action sequences and Victor Garber voicing of Sinestro is brilliant. For those unfamiliar with the Green Lantern world, you get a good introduction to the Green Lantern Corps characters.  The movie does have its flaws but is much better than the Ryan Reynolds live action version.   

First off, Tim Daley IS the voice of Superman, and without a doubt, Kevin Conroy is the best Batman voice ever!! When you get them both in the same movie, you know its gonna be good.  Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is based on the  "The World's Finest" comic series where Lex Luthor is President and puts a bounty on Superman's head.  So of course, you have a ton of villains looking to collect. Look for appearances from Captain Atom, Metallo, Black Lightning, Powergirl, Shazam, Hawkman, Gorilla Grodd, Toyman and many more in this one.   

  

Based on the "The Supergirl from Krypton" story, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse again features the voices of Tim Daley and Kevin Conroy as well as the equally great Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman.  This movie tells the story of Supergirl and features some really brutally violent fight scenes, which of course, is a good thing.  Darkseid is your main bady this time around and Granny Goodness and Big Barda to make noticeable appearances as well. 

Loosely based on JLA: Earth 2, Crisis of Two Earth tells the story of a good Lex Luthor from a parallel Earth looking to recruit the Justice League to help save his planet from the Crime Syndicate.  A very good story and animation the only real knock against this film, is no Kevin Conroy.   

Yep, that's right, I'm including the older animated films in my list simply because they must be seen.  Batman Beyond was not my favorite TV series but this movie is definitely worth the watch.  Released in 2000, this movie features a retired Bruce Wayne at 80 years old and his Batman protegee Terry McGinnis and tells the story of the mysterious return of Batman's arch enemy, The Joker is voiced by the great Mark Hamill


Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was released in 1993 and takes place in the Batman: The Animated Series world.  An original story about the Phantasm arriving in Gotham and killing off Gotham's crime bosses.  Batman becomes mistaken for the Phantasm and now must run from the police and apprehend the killer and clear his name. 


An origin story based on Frank Miller's Year One comic book, this story looks at Bruce Wayne's transformation beginnings as Batman but even more so, tells Commissioner Gordon's start in Gotham.  Also included in the DVD is a 15 minute short flick on Catwoman.  Very Impressed with this one.



 #2. Wonder Woman

Batman does not totally dominate the Top 5.  A great origin story released in 2009, this Wonder Woman animated movie does a great job telling the story of how Diana of Themyscira becomes the greatest female superhero ever.  Amazing story, stunning animation and brilliant voice acting, this movie really fills the void DC fans are feeling from a lack of a live action Wonder Woman film.  Hey, if Marvel can pull off a live action Thor movie, I say that DC can pull of a Wonder Woman. 


The story of Batman: Under the Red Hood is based on the comic book story "Under the Hood" where Batman and Nightwing are dealing with a new mysterious vigilante in Gotham known as the Red Hood.  This leads Batman to interactions with some of his greatest enemies, The Joker, Ra's Al Ghul and Black Mask.  Bruce Greenwood voices Batman this time around and truly does an amazing job.  If ever you need a replacement for Kevin Conroy, Bruce is the man.  Great story, violent, dark and full of emotion, Batman: Under the Red Hood will be very hard to top and is a must see animated movie for any super hero fan.

Thats it for my Top 10. Feel free to leave a comment below about which movie you liked the best or didnt like at all or check out the readers poll on the left side of your screen to vote for your favorite.   See the trailer below for a preview of the upcoming DC animated film - Justice League Doom:


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