4/20/17

Spider-Hulk, Spider-Hulk, smashes whatever a gamma irradiated spider smashes!

First, let me apologize for not posting for the whole of March. I appreciate the three of you who are still reading. That said, I'm baaaaack!

And not only am I back, but I bring you today some fun pics of one of my Holy Grails that I finally added to my collection: Spider-Hulk!

Back in 2006, Toy Biz was reaching the end of their Spider-Man Classics line. They may have also been close to the end of their license with Marvel, which ended up (and still is) with Hasbro. I'm no Marvel expert, so don't quote me on that. What I do know is that one of the last Spider-Man Classics figures Toy Biz released was Spider-Hulk. I'm pretty sure, as the story goes, Peter Parker somehow gained the powers of The incredible Hulk for a hot minute (and this is not Bruce Banner/Hulk in Spider-PJs). I've not read this specific story in the comics, but I love that Toy Biz made an action figure of this...well...incredible moment!

I saw this figure at retail back in '06 and somehow talked myself out of it. I've regretted that decision ever since, and as is always the case in such situations, Spider-Hulk became a very hard-to-get figure, and has since held a ridiculously high resale value. I've kept my eyes peeled for him for over ten years, hoping to find an economical example, but I've never seen him going for a sane and excusable price...until now!

For some reason beyond my mere human intellect to interpret,  a couple months ago a Chinese ebay seller suddenly began selling loose Spider-Hulks. The auction end prices vary, but have been hovering around an average of $25 bucks for as long as I've been monitoring. Buying loose toys from China can be a risky venture, so I had to ask myself: was it worth tempting fate to get either a) a cheap bootleg, b) a Spider-Hulk with two left feet or c) nothing at all, in an attempt to get Spider-Hulk for a fraction of what he's gone for on the secondary market for the past ten years?

Well the answer was obviously 'yes.'

I'm glad to report that I bid, I won, and lo-and-behold, a couple weeks later a beautiful loose but perfect example of Spider-Hulk arrived at my doorstep! HUZZAH!!!

Of course there are a lot of questions this figure's existence raises. Did Toy Biz have a warehouse full of these gentlemen, just sitting in crates for a decade, waiting for someone to buy them up and liquidate them on eBay? Or did toy Biz themselves, or whatever manufacturer they contracted, find a crate ala the Lost Ark of the Covenant, and after they busted them open and their faces melted off, they decided to offer them up on eBay for us True Believers who never stopped looking and hoping and praying?  Or is he coated in lead paint and was held back from retail sale for safety reasons and I'm going to die soon?

Who cares. I HAVE SPIDER-HULK!.

One last thing: You too could own a Spider-Hulk: As of press time, they are still popping up on eBay and auctions are ending between $20 and $30 with free shipping. I can't guarantee your experience will be the same as mine, but I can guarantee that this is a great price for an otherwise hard to find figure. Search for SpiderHulk and search under 'free shipping', and you should find the auctions easily enough. Good luck!

2/9/17

BootLEGO Jokers HA HA HA HA!

"The pen is truly mightier than the sword. But I left my pen in my other coat."
The BootLEGO makers are at it again, putting out incredible minifigures you didn't know your life was so empty without until you see them!

Jack Nicholson's 'mime' Joker from the 1989 Batman movie! You really get the impression when looking at this minifigure that this is how The Joker would have looked had Tim Burton not held back a bit on his first Batman outing. The minifigure came with a standard LEGO Joker hairpiece but there's no point in having that piece when you have the top hat! He also came with a sword, I assume since LEGO doesn't make a feather quill.

The BootLEGOers often go further than one would think they need to, considering the fact that they are making these figures illegally and selling them for pennies. Mime Joker is no exception, as he includes tails for his fancy coat!

Another BootLEGO Joker new on the scene is Bat-Joker!

Bat-Joker comes with a grappling gun/hook, two faces printed on his head (under the cowl he's Leto Joker, complete with 'Damaged' tattoo on his forehead.) and printing details galore all over the minifig. Another BootLEGO I couldn't live without!

You can find these guys (and more) on eBay for waaay cheaper than your official LEGO minifigure. I'm not saying you shouldn't be buying official LEGO minifigures, you should, but when things like these don't exist in any official form, well, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

1/24/17

Star Wars Action Fleet Rancor

Another flea market find: a 1996 Star Wars Action Fleet Rancor!

The Rancor has long been a favorite Star Wars monster. I had the original and loved every minute of him when I was a kid,

Like with the original, this mini Rancor can 'swallow' an in scale Gammorean Guard or whomever is unfortunate enough to fall into his pit.

Move his arm up and down and his mouth moves to match.

Mini Rancor also has a rear...umm...trap door...to release the figures. Not as graphic as it sounds, his hinged tail merely acts as a hatch and you can remove whatever folks he's swallowed.

The only other Action Fleet anything I own is the Slave I, but I gave that to my daughter, so I didn't have it on hand for this photo shoot. Fortunately a Galaxy Laser Team Buck Gordon was around to join in the fun! PEW PEW PEW!

1/8/17

Bootleg Funko POP Batman

I found this bootleg Funko POP Batman at the flea market and had to have him in all his cheap knock-off glory!

Funko POP!? More like Funky POOP! HAW HAW HAW!

Packaged in a simple little generic re-sealable bag, the vendor had a single Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America available. They were only a buck each, and I really should have bought all three, but with Christmas just past, and having already procured a handful of 'unnecessary' toys that I'd have to try and explain to the Mrs...well, I settled on bagging Batman alone.

Because Batman.
Unlike actual POPs, this bootleg is simply hollow plastic, and not made of vinyl.

He's flatter than a standard POP, and but for the cape, would be a single piece (unlike POPs who have movable heads.)

The bootleg is smaller in scale than your average POP as well. And obviously the paint apps are as ghetto as you can get (you should have seen the Captain America. I know, I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT HIM TOO! And Spider-Man. I swear if I see them again I will.)

For all his flaws, well, bootlegs are supposed to be flawed aren't they? It's part of their charm. It's neat to see the iconic Funko POP aesthetic in bootleg form and I'm glad to have discovered this silly little Batman to add to my collection.