Mattel Answers!!!! Save Journeyman?

December 17, 2007

Thanks for another round of questions from Toy Guru:

Kastor’s Korner: We know there are some characters off limits in the JLU line, and some limits due to copyrights.  With all the fan polls on Fwoosh, AFI, and my own Demanded Characters column (have you checked it out?) are there any characters right now that are off the table for the classics line that does not have to do with copyrights? 

Toy Guru: Several characters have been off limits in the past such as Lobo (due to violence factor) and some of the Charlton and Fawcett characters due to legal restrictions. We are working through all of these in an attempt to bring every fan request to life.

Kastor’s Korner: Any news on JLU?  In another interview you said that Mattel is aware of some of the scarcity of the figures in the JLU line in the past year.  While we have seen Vigilante in a 3 pack and at some Big Lots, the real hard find this year seem to be the Star Girl, Parasite, and Volcana.  Are there any chances those will be incorporated in the 2008 line, or in an exclusive 3 pack?

Toy Guru: We will be announcing new JLU figures in the Feb issue of Toy Fare magazine.

Kastor’s Korner: With the increase in oil prices going on, how do you see that impacting the new line coming out?  Will in decrease the amount of pack-in items?  Will we see a decrease in the size of the Collect to Connect figures? Will there be possible a price increase but no change in what is offered?

Toy Guru: It is likely that there will be a slight price increase for many of our action figure toy lines sometime down the road. Whenever raw materials increase in price eventually the cost does trickle down to the consumer.

Kastor’s Korner: Through Costco we got all of the DC super Friends in multi-packs at a reasonable price, can we look forward to this trend continuing to get the average collector and parents those shorter packed figures?  Can this idea get some females into a primarily boy line?

Toy Guru: Nothing to announce quite yet but we are working on getting some female figures into the line for collectors.  The Costco packs will likely continue next year. They have been a huge success for the Super Friends line.

Kastor’s Korner: The phrase collect to connect is not a build a figure so does that mean it is possible to connect things that are not action figures?

Toy Guru: The line could mean connecting other things, but for the moment we are only offering Build a Figure options. Anything is possible in the future.

If you have any questions please go to one of the message boards and post for me or email me you questions. 

             This might be the last week to see new shows for Journeyman.  This is a great show that really has potential, but maybe cut short.  For some reason the 10 pm time slot on Monday is a bad time for new shows.  This will mark the second year a show will start and not get the chance to grow.  Please if you have time support this show tonight at 10 on NBC and Wednesday at 10 pm for the possible series finale. 

Set your Tivo’s or sit and watch a great show, which is hard to find in this age of reality and cop shows.


Marvel Legends Black Queen

December 14, 2007

Welcome back to another Kastor’s Review.  This time we take a look at the newest exclusive offering from Hasbro Marvel Legends, Jean Grey, the Black Queen.   This figure is not hard to review because it has very little in the way of new parts.  This figure is simply a remodel of Emma Frost, White Queen.  The newer parts are the head and a new paint scheme.  While Emma didn’t have a great head sculpt, this figure shows that details and a decent paint job are possible from Hasbro.  Where this figure fails is where every other HML fails, articulation.  I know most of you ask what kind of articulation the Black Queen needs, but we need to stop using this as an excuse for Hasbro.  This type of figure is unacceptable based on what we have been offered in the past.  The only reason that Hasbro seems to have us over a barrel is that most of us want to finish various teams and sets and we are forced to settle.  But I think as time goes on and the figures overall quality decreases, so will the collectors who need to get all the figures despite the wish lists. 


Action Thursday: HML 3

December 13, 2007

While I was not thrilled with the new Hasbro offerings, they do have some cool features. 
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Hasbro Marvel Legends 3: The Cap Compare

December 12, 2007

Captain America may be dead in the comics but he is still kicking in the Marvel Legends line.  This new Cap marks the return of the 1st appearance figures.  Joining the ranks of figures like Spiderman, the Thing, Ironman, the Hulk, Wolverine, and the Punisher, this Captain America is a standout figure.  Though there is a very cartoonish look to him, he really does reflect the original design of the character. The figure reflects the comic look of the character, however the figure loses points area of articulation.  

As part of the Hasbro Marvel Legends this Captain America has a great deal of decreased articulation.  In this review we will take a look at how Hasbro has actually set the figure back instead of moving Captain America forward.  I decided to look at this figure in stages, highlighting the difference between Marvel Legends 1(ML1) Cap, Face-Off (FO) Cap and this Hasbro Marvel Legends 3(HML3) Cap. There was an Ultimate Captain America but for this review we will stick to the 616 universe figures, besides the Ultimate figure is similar to the previous Captain America.   

Starting top down on the figure the heads all seem to have a good sculpt, reflecting the look of the Captain America they are modeled after.  This is the one place that all the figures have been successful.   

Where the differences seem to be most apparent is in the body.  The joints, such as the arms and legs, are the most glaring examples of the decrease in the quality of this line.   Starting with the arms: you can see all figures have the ball jointed shoulders. In both ML 1 and HML 3 you can the joint is not as well hidden as in the FO.  The one thing Hasbro started to get right as you can see here, they all share the same elbow articulation in the double joint.  The double joint was missing in the other figures in previous waves of HML.   

Moving our way down the arm to the wrist you can see the articulation is hidden on the new HML Cap, whereas in the older Caps you can see the joint as part of the sculpt, not hidden at all. This new way of hiding joints can be both a blessing and a curse.  While the hiding of the joint gives some figures a more realistic look, it also hinders the range of motion.  This new figure fails in the hand itself of the new HML3 Cap.  While you can see how in the first ML 1 you could close his hand, and next in the FO Cap the added finger articulation, the new HML 3 Cap has no finger articulation.  While it’s not always necessary, I think it just adds to the growing cost-cutting of the figures. I would have expected this type of sculpt and lack of articulation in the first offering of the figure, not the 5th.  You can also see the lack of detailed sculpt from the elbow down of the new figure.   

Moving down the body to the legs, we see the same decrease in both detail and articulation.  Again you can see here the ball joints at the hips and the double knee joints as you move down the figure both the detail and the articulation decreases.  The lack of articulation leads to the inability to pose the figure.  The loss of the toe joint makes it harder to get the figure into various poses as well as balance the figure.  There is also a hidden ankle joint like the wrist and while it may help to make the figure look a little better, you can tell when you start to pose that the ability to move the feet in certain directions is impossible, once again limiting the movement of the figure.   Overall this is a solid figure, just not a solid Marvel Legend.    

Hasbro Marvel Legends 3: The Faces

December 11, 2007


Hourman Demanded

December 10, 2007

Come on over to Fwoosh for a look at Hourman in this week’s Demanded Characters.

Hasbro Marvel Legends 3: The Boxes

December 8, 2007

Coming up over the next few days will be the full blow review of HML 3.  Come back tomorrow for the faces.