Kastor’s Retro Reviews

February 27, 2008

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Kastor’s Retro Reviews

come check out the new column on Kastor’s Korner


Finally the new home is OPEN

January 6, 2008

Hi all just wanted to give all an update.  Kastor’s Korner has a new home @ http://www.kastorskorner.com/   This week will see the long over due HML3 final review as well as DCUC wave one.  We should also have some Mattel answers soon


Mattel Keeps Answering

November 5, 2007

Thanks again to Toy Guru for finding time to answer some questions. 

Kastor: What’s Mattel’s view on changing certain characters articulation if the character calls for it? Say for example Green Arrow, who needs more articulation to look like he’s shooting his bow than normal DCSH figures. I know the Horsemen are totally onboard with this, but what about other people at Mattel? 

TG: Each character is handled on a character by character basis. While many figures will share some common body parts, we don’t have a set rule for this. As articulation is needed to ensure accuracy we will do our best to include it.

Kastor: With Orion, will his harness and helmet be removable or is it sculpted into the figure? And with the addition of those accessories with Orion, will we see other figures with added necessary accessories.  For example Green Arrow and some trick arrows, or Deathstroke and his sword.

TG: Orion’s harness is removable but his helmet is not. Deathstroke will come with many accessories including blades, guns and more!

Kastor:  When will we see more plans for the DC Super Friends line, and when is Hawkman and Cyborg planned to hit retail?

TG:We will announce new DCSF figures sometime next spring. Hawkman and Cyborg will be available by the beginning of 2008.

Some great news on Deathstroke I can’t wait for some pictures!

If you have any questions for Mattel about the DC Classics, JLU, or Super Friends email them to kastorskorner@cox.netby November 11th.


Mattel enters Kastor’s Korner

October 17, 2007

Welcome to the first installment of Mattel’s answers at Kastor’s Korner. 

I thought a little back ground on our friend at Mattel getting our information to us, Toy Guru.  Here is a little back ground on him and what he does at Mattel. 

Kastor-Can you tell us a little about your self and your position at Mattel?

Toy Guru-Sure. I am a Sr Brand Manager at Mattel. I handle PR for our collector lines, help run the summer conventions and my day to day responsibilities are managing the DCUniverse, Fighting Figures, JLU and other DC brands that have yet to be announced….

Kastor-Did you have an interest the DCU before you got the job?

TG-I have collected action figures since I was 13 and have about 5,000 personally. I am a huge comic fan of DC, Marvel and other characters so getting this job really is a dream job for me.

Kastor-Who is your favorite DC character?

TG-The Question. He’s just so spooky.

Kastor-In the past the line managers who have been on our boards have really fought and said they wanted certain figures to be part of the JLU line or the new DC Classics line is there one character, or team you would really like to see made? 

TG-Aside from the obvious figures in the Charleston catalogue which we are still fighting for, I really would like a Blackhawk figure. Savage Time is one of my favorite episodes. For DCU, I’m dying for a 6-inch Spectre and Shazam. 

And on to the figure questions:

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    1. One concern we have as collectors and some who have kids is how can we get info about your lines?  In the last year we have seen multiple waves which seemed to be repeated figures but no clear waves. The 800 number on the back of the boxes does has not in the past had accurate information and online stores recently have voice their frustration about keeping on schedule how do you respond to those concerns. 

TG-As revealed at Comic-Con this year, we will have five distinct waves of DCU classic figures shipping about 2.5 months apart. We will make specific announcements through fan websites and toy magazines this year as to when and where figures will be available. The Build-a-Figure strategy has really helped us achieve this change. The first wave will contain Classic Detective Batman, Etrigan, Orion, Red Tornado, and the Penguin. The Build-a-Figure will be Rex Mason the Element Man and will be on shelf Jan 1, 2008.

    2.      Knowing the line is focused at kids how do you think the big stores will respond to Demon in your first wave of DCC and Blue Devil in JLU?  Do you think that this figure will open up ways to get use other more risky figures in the DCC line?

TG-Actually, the DCUC line is aimed at the adult collector and the Demon figure was selected specifically to appeal to this demographic.

    3.      Do you think that with the success of the Doomsday box set, and hopefully a successful Grodd box set we will see other JLU exclusives with larger characters at stores other then Target?

TG-We can’t comment on any JUL product until after the fall Toy Fair when we know what product will be picked up by retail.

Thanks for all your work Toy Guru on the DCU

If any of my readers have questions for Mattel, just email me them and I will try my best to get answers for you.


The Last of the DCSH: Part III

October 7, 2007

Well we have reached the end of the last DCSH reviews.  The next time I review a DC figure it will be from the new Classics line, and I can’t wait.   

First up today we have Selina Kyle, Catwoman.  This is another female figure which gives us another body type to use for future figures.  Catwoman is well articulated showing Mattel’s ability to both give us a great sculpt and great range of motion.  The paint job on the figure is flawless and really reflects the comic version of the character.  The only drawback of this figure is her goggles.  The picture on the card back and side both show Selina without the goggles and she looks great, but with goggles she loses some style points.  They are thick and make her face look awkward up close, but as part of a display she looks good.  Now Selina comes with a ton of accessories, which is nice to have in this minimalist age of action figures. The extras include Isis her kitty, a removable back pack, a whip, and necklace. With these items she can be either Selina the hero of Gotham’s East Side, to Catwoman the villainous cat burglar who also tries to seduce the Batman.  She is a great addition and nice way to end this run. 


     

Our final figure of the newest wave is Clayface.  There is no doubt that the Four Horsemen are fans of the DCAU after seeing this figure.  The best way to describe Clayface is one word, WOW.  The Clayface sculpt is amazing given the fact the character is just a blob of clay, and the guys really brings out the detail of this character’s design.  But as with most figures no matter how well made the figure maybe, there is at least one problem.   The arms on Clayface are made of a very spongy rubber with wire in the middle making him really bendy.  I think the idea of making one of the most flexible villains in the DCU a very flexible figure is brilliant.  The problem is that it almost feels like the wire will break through the rubber if he is moved too much.  I myself will probably buy an extra just incase of a break, and if Mattel planed that, then they just doubled the demand of this figure for both collectors and parents. 


       

Overall I think this was a sold wave giving us 3 villains, and 3 different heroes.  As time goes on and we start to see how the new Classics line plays out the DCU will grow to Marvel Legends size. 

And a final look at our villains…. 


The Last of the DCSH: Part II

October 6, 2007

Welcome back to our look at the final wave of DC Superheroes.  In this review we will look at the other 2 repaints from previous waves.  This whole wave may be a filler to get us some new figures and keep the line on the shelves till our Classics line comes in, but I think we get some solid figures in this wave. 

We got our Clark Kent in the first round of 2 packs from Mattel, and now we get Bruce Wayne with Batman gear.  This figure was originally part of the last wave of Batman figures in 2002.  While some of us saw him during his original release he was hard to find, and then line went to exclusive releases in Europe.  I have to say not many kids would want to be Bruce Wayne for Halloween but Mattel gives us Bat gear to make this a kid friendly figure.  I think the details and sculpt are what makes this a worth while figure.  You can see the gloves have a little bat symbol and the Batman head is well sculpted just like the other Batman figures.  The one draw back as with the other re-release figures is the lack of articulation, though I have to ask how much articulation does a Bruce figure need.  This figure not only comes with a gloves boots, a belt, and an upper body piece, but also a flashlight.  That is the only way to describe this weapon, because I don’t really know what kind of gadget it is. 

       

The next figure is one of the standout repaints of the wave.  The gray and black Batman is a repaint of other Batman figures but really is a great addition to the line.  While I think the blue and gray design is my favorite version of Batman, this figure is a strong second.  The paint is well done on this figure and really has a nice sculpt.  Their is one improvement on this figure from some of the previous Batman figures, his stance is not as wide and the figures stands more natural.  The one criticism I have for the figure is that the face of makes him seem older.  This figure comes with 3 batarangs, which adds to the bat gadget arsenal. 


    

Come on back for Catwoman and Clayface


The Last of the DCSH: Part I

October 5, 2007

This is the last wave of DCSH before the brand changes over to DC Classics line.  I’m sure most of us wanted more original characters in this wave but I was not disappointed in any of them.   

Starting off this look at the figures I thought I would start with the redone figures from the old Batman line. 

Nightwing is my favorite character in comics, and yet we don’t have a figure, which really allows him to be a great toy.  This figure is a simple repaint of the original Nightwing from the Ninja Batman two-pack.  The figure comes with a club and a shield.  While the figure is not comic accurate the paint is precise.  All the blue on the figure is a metallic blue and his hair has brown highlights.  While this is not the real color scheme of Nightwing the figure still looks nice.  The real draw back with the figure is the lack of articulation.  Dick can’t bend his arms and the pose is rather static.  Nightwing is a very dynamic character yet this figure look more like a statue.  Even with problems this is a nice figure for those of you who missed him the first time around.  This Nightwing is decent filler until the Four Horsemen give us something new and improved. 


      

Next up we have the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime comes with a few accessories and sports a new color scheme.  The original Joker was in his signature purple suit.  This Joker however is very colorful with orange pants and green vest.  The one problem with the paint on the Joker is a blue wash on his face.  The original figure was pale white and right on target, while this one with the outfit color changes and the blue wash, does make him a questionable purchase.  While again this figure is a simple repaint it’s the extras that come with him, which makes this figure worth it.  Joker comes with a non-functional gun and backpack for what I have to assume is joker gas.  The gun seems to be able to shoot water but missing the parts for it to be functional.  We also get a great full face joker gas mask and hammer.  If this figure came with no accessories I would say it would not be worth grabbing, but knowing that you can use his weapons to possibly make a great diorama makes him a must have. If you don’t like the repaint try a Big Lots they have some of the originals in stock. 


    
   

Come back for the next review and look at Batman and Bruce Wayne

And to get these figures and more check out the Enchanted Toy Chest