Columns – Action Figure Insider The Best Darn Toy News On The Web! Sat, 17 Mar 2018 12:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 61893577 Funko’s Savage World Debuts with Mortal Kombat X! Mon, 25 Dec 2017 17:03:48 +0000 Recently, rumors started floating around about a new line from Funko, one that was 5.5″, and paid homage to the art style of a certain muscle-bound hero from the 80’s.  Well, the rumors are true!  Funko has delivered with the first salvo in what promises to be a very lengthy campaign.  First up in this new line is Mortal Kombat X!  Let’s take a look.

The first wave of Savage World Mortal Kombat X figures contains five figures, and three, limited chase variants.  As of press time, we do not know the exact distribution on the chase figures, but if they’re like the Darkwing Duck variant showed previously, it’s going to be one per every six cases.  Happy hunting!

The figures themselves feature swivel neck, shoulder, and waist articulation.  The legs are ball joints, reminiscent of the old he-Man figures these are inspired by.  If I had any nit to pick here, its that  I wish the shoulders had ball joints as well.  This would’ve really helped with achieving some epic fighting poses.  The paint apps are neat and clean, and some figures ever feature multiple color casting, like as seen on Scorpion’s head, which really makes them pop.  Figures include accessories as shown.  One of the really fun aspects of these are their compatibility with vehicles and accessories from previous lines that are in this same scale.   Without further delay, let’s take a look at the figures!

Liu Kang

Liu Kang does not include accessories, other than his invisible can of whoop-ass.


Includes fan weapons.


Includes Ice Sword and Hammer

Sub-Zero Chase Variant

Iced-out version


Includes Swords

Scorpion Chase Variant

Includes burning skull head.  FINISH HIM!!!


Includes lightning bolts

Raiden Chase Variant

Electrified version

That’s all of them.  As cool as these are, I’m really excited to see what Funko has up their sleeves at toy Fair this year.  The mind boggles with the possibilities for the Savage World line!  Happy holidays everyone!  I’ll be back real soon with my end of the year top toys of 2017, and more sneek peeks in 2018!

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New Hasbro Vintage Toy Biz Style Marvel Legends Thu, 26 Oct 2017 03:44:36 +0000 OK, this one took us all by surprise at Comic-Con this year.  Those of us who grew up collecting the old Toy Biz Marvel Super-Heroes 5″ line immediately recognized the card backs and obvious homages to that great line that started a revolution.  Using (mostly) existing bucks and tooling, Hasbro has tugged at our nostalgic heart strings, all while giving us some pretty great renditions of these classic characters.  The funny thing is, these mostly represent little tweaks and changes that many fans have been asking for color-wise.  These are a lot of fun, and feature frustratingly little improvements that make them must-buys.  Collectors have been asking for some side-by-side comparison images, so here we go!

The Punisher

Frank Castle here is a repaint of the Walgreens exclusive, with a few notable changes.  First, he’s the classic black & white costume.  Second, the gave him the missing trigger fingers he was badly missing.  Of note, they swapped the stubble paint job on the heads, and it works much better here.  Also, the head band is now red.  Well played, Hasbro.


Spider-Man is a repaint of the great “Pizza Spidey” that sold out instantly over a year ago.  This time,the blue is a more classic shade, and the red has a more matte finish.  This little change make him that much better for me.

Black Widow

Natasha here is a reuse of one of the current female bodies, and uses the new Mary Jane Watson head.  Personally,I couldn’t handle thathead, so I replaced it with the extra head that came with the Dark Phoenix set, and I think it works great.  She’s a must for those who missed the now-pricey Toys R Us two packs.

Captain America

Cap reuses the latest “Cap Wolf” figure, with a much more classic color scheme and painted on scales.  He also includes the throwing hand from the Secret Wars Cap.  As much as I like the colors used on this figure, the head still looks way to much like US agent, and illustrates how badly we need an all-new Captain America sculpt.  Still, the colors are vastly improved.

Iron Man

At first, I thought Iron Man was a straight repaint of the classic Secret Wars 80’s armor, but when I got him in hand, I was surprised to discover that he’s got the most new tooling of all of them.  He sports all new forearm and lower leg armor sculpts, and includes rockets blast effects pieces for his boots.


Wolverine was the one I was actually most excited about, and I think he steals the show.  Based on the uber-popular Wolverine from the Juggernaut wave, this version improves on that great figure by brightening the colors to a more classic palette, and adds the unmasked head and pulled back mask.  Expect him to sell out first, it’s just a hunch.

That’s all for now, happy hunting!  As always, see you in the toy isles!

Figures reviewed were purchased by the reviewer, and all pictures are copyright Action Figure Insider, and may not be reproduced or reprinted without the expressed written permission of the author and action figure insider editorial staff.

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Funko’s Disney Afternoon Action Figures Sneek Peek! Sun, 15 Oct 2017 01:28:04 +0000 When Funko announced last week that they would be producing action figures from a variety of great Disney cartoons of yesteryear, little did I know that they would show up on my doorstep days later!  Before we get into the nostalgic awesomeness, I’d like to thank Funko for the opportunity to give you fine folks a peek at what they’ve got in store.  I think you’ll agree, Funko really hit these out of the park.

The set consists of six carded figures, all in the 4″ scale range (which means they’ll fit in perfectly with your old Darkwing Duck figures!), and feature a nice range of articulation.  The original Negaduck (Darkwing Duck black & white repaint) is a chase figure, which Funko states is found “one of out every six”.  Hopefully he won’t be too hard to find for fans.  Let’s also hope this is just the first of many series for this line, because they are on another level for Funko.  They’ve really elevated their game here; these are gorgeous.  Aside from the clean paint apps and sharp sculpts, I’m impressed at the level of personality the sculpts convey.  Let’s check them out!

Baloo from Talespin

Baloo stands the tallest of the bunch, and includes a ball jointed head, pin and disk ball joint shoulders, elbows, waist (cleverly hidden), and cut leg joints.  Let’s hope the artwork on the back of the card foreshadows future cast mates from the show.

Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales

Uncle Scrooge includes his trademark cane and a bag of cold hard cash.  His spectacles are a separate piece of clear cast plastic, and they look great.  He features a ball jointed head, pin and disk ball joint shoulders, elbows, waist, and cut leg joints.  Clearly we need his nephews Huey, Dewy,and Louie!

Chip and Dale (with Zipper) from Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers

Both Chip and Dale feature swivel heads, pin and disk ball joint shoulders, elbows, waist, and cut leg joints.  Zipper is included as an accessory with Dale.  It would be nice to get a 2 pack with Gadget Hackwrench and Monterey Jack (hint hint Funko!)

Darkwing Duck

Darkwing is easily my favorite of the bunch.  He includes his trusty gun and features a swivel head, pin and disk ball joint shoulders, elbows, waist, and cut leg joints.  His cape is a flexible rubber.  The chase figure for this series is the original black and white Negaduck!  I can see the second Negaduck being another repainted exclusive down the line as well.  Let’s hope Funko doesn’t make us wait too long to get a Launchpad!

I hope you all had as much fun checking these out as I did photographing them.  They’re a blast, and show how Funko continues to evolve as a player in the action figure market.  A full on Disney line like this would be simply amazing.  Thanks again to Funko, look for these to hit shelves next month in November.  As always, all images are copyright Action Figures Insider, and cannot be used without the expressed written permission of the author and Action Figure Insider.

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Captain Collector’s Post SDCC Wrap Up Favorites Thu, 05 Oct 2017 02:13:29 +0000  

Greetings fellow Toy Collectors!  Every year, the AFI staff ventures south to San Diego for the annual pilgrimage to the Granddaddy of them all, Comic-Con International.  We’ve uploaded all of the galleries, published the interviews, and now it’s time for my favorite part, the post-mortem wrap-up.  This is where I get to talk about my personal favorites, the oddities that caught my eye, and the hidden (and not so hidden) gems amidst the sea of awesomeness.  Without further ado, here are my personal favorites from the show!

Moebius Models Creature From the Black Lagoon

I love that Moebius is still doing affordable, old-school polystyrene and polyurethane model kits.  This year, they showed off an excellent Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Had he been available to purchase, I can assure you this one would’ve come home with me!

Blitzwing 1/6 Scale Ecto-1

Look, I have to be honest.  I have no idea if this will ever get released or not, because it’s bonkers, but I applaud Blitzwing for showing up with this amazing prototype.  It had to bl close to four feet long, and included every possible bell and whistle.  The lights, the details, the accessories – unbelievable.  The only thing scarier than having to explain to the wife about where this behemoth would go on display in the house is the price tag such a masterpiece would command.

Origin Imaginary Creatures

This line came completely out of left field, and I was totally blown away with their imagination and artistry.  From their website

comes this description:  “Origin” represents the combination of imaginary and authentic animals from nature. This style of art from David Zhou presents a virtual animal world, following the concept of “The Origin of Species.” By continuing to add more animals from exotic lands, skies and oceans, we will explore a rich world with their lifestyle”.  Creatures such as the Magellan Octopus, Sailor Shrimp, and the Mauritius Slow Lizard were simply stunning.  These museum quality pieces were easily the most innovative new line at the show.  Check out their site for more images.

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles Green Ranger

As a closet Power Rangers fan, the Green Ranger & his Dragonzord were always my favorites from any era of the show.  PCS, as they usually do, managed to make a statue of him that is simply stunning.  PCS is known for their awesome statues, but the Ranger (with included chunk of Dragonzord) shows that a little creativity and ingenuity go a long way to creating a truly memorable showpiece.

Bandai Soul of Chogokin Gypsy Danger

I loved this Jaeger design from Pacific Rim, and now, thanks to Bandai, we are finally getting THE definitive version of him.  Made of beautiful die cast metal, premium paint and materials, and including all the articulation & accessories you could want, fans can now have a perfect representation of the film’s hero.  Actual digital files were used in the creation of this piece, and it shows; he’s perfect.

Star Wars Force Link Wampa Deluxe set

Full disclosure – the Wampa is my all-time favorite creature in the Star Wars universe.  We’ve gotten two versions for our 3 3/4″ collections from the modern line, but neither really hit the mark on the bulls-eye.  Until now, that is!  It’s nice to see old school characters like the Wampa and the excellent Probe Droid get some love in a new movie year, but boy did they!  I will be first in line to buy one next spring.

Transformers: Power of the Primes

Hasbro gave us just a little taste of the awesomeness that is to come at SDCC, and we got a more complete idea of how incredible the follow up to Titans Return really is at Hascon.  Now THIS is the Rodimus Prime I’ve always wanted.  With incredible, G1 inspired versions of Optimus Prime, the Dinobots, Predaking and others coming starting this December, Jon Warden and his merry band are keeping the ball rolling, making full use of all of the momentum from the hugely successful Titans Return line and pushing it further.

And that’s a wrap for Comic-Com 2017 folks!  As much fun as it is attending the show, seeing and buying the toys, and enjoying a vacation is, the best part of Comic-con has ALWAYS been seeing old friends I’ve known and loved forever.  There are friends that I see every year, without fail, on the convention floor.  as a matter of fact, it’s the fine people and friends of Comic-Con that keep me coming back, year after year after year.  See you in 2018, friends!


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Wizkids and the Greatest D&D Miniatures Ever Thu, 24 Aug 2017 17:00:08 +0000 (Disclaimer: The title of this blog post is solely the opinion of the author…but, dang it, it’s still true!)

I love Dungeons & Dragons. Love it.

I first was introduced to the game in 1979 as a Freshman in High School. My school (Branham High School in San Jose, CA) had an afterschool Dungeons & Dragons club, and my group of friends decided to check it out. Well, it only took a single session for all of us to be completely hooked. And while I haven’t played consistently over the intervening 38 years, I did keep playing and play to this day.

It’s probably the toy collector in me, but I prefer to play using miniatures. It’s not necessary to play that way, and others prefer to use the “theater of the mind”. But, that’s one of the beautiful things about the game. It’s flexibility to adapt to however you want to play it.

Back in the dawn of the 1980s there was a game store in Downtown Campbell, CA a suburb of San Jose, called The Game Table. Thinking back, this was well before the rise of dedicated game stores. The Game Table had to be one of the first. We would ride our bikes down there (a 4 mile bike ride) to check out the latest D&D supplements, modules and, of course, the miniatures. We’d also ride down Campbell Avenue a ways further to D&J Hobbies who also had a generous miniatures selection.

In the 80s gaming miniatures were made of lead. When someone figured out lead was toxic, they were switched to pewter. There were already several miniatures manufacturers at this point. Metal miniatures predated Dungeons & Dragons by a long shot. Wargaming with metal soldiers, tanks and naval vessels dates back to the 1950s at least. But, in the 80s with D&D surging in popularity (as it was also surging in controversy, but that’s a tale for another time) we saw the rise of fantasy themed miniatures, and even officially licensed Dungeons & Dragons brand miniatures. Minifigs was the first company to license D&D from publisher TSR and began producing miniatures in 1977.

Grenadier Models obtained the licensed for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in 198o. I wasn’t overly fond of Grenadier’s style. Their miniatures tended to be a bit dumpy and cartoony looking and not posed very dynamically. But, I still owned a ton of them. Ral Partha, however, while not making official D&D minis, was producing their own generic fantasy miniatures and they were absolutely stellar with sculpting that rivals some miniatures today. It was amazing stuff. Ral Partha would later get the license for D&D and it was a match made in heaven.

Well, I wasn’t intending to write the history of D&D miniatures, so let me flash forward. My gaming tastes changed over the years, and the gaming industry changed over the years and some manufacturers began producing plastic miniatures. I found, personally, that I infinitely preferred plastic over metal and even got to the point that I won’t touch metal at all. It’s all plastic for me.

A few years back Wizkids (maker of the ever popular Heroclix game and pre-painted Marvel and DC miniatures) became the licensee for D&D miniatures in conjunction with Wizards of the Coast releasing the 5th Edition of the Worlds Greatest Role Playing Game. They came in blind packaging (just as WOTC’s own D&D line had done for years before) and were prepainted. And, they were fine for what they were. But, I disliked the blind packaging (a practice I dislike in general) and the paint jobs ranged from pretty bad to ok to pretty good. Again, they worked for what they were. They just weren’t my cup of tea.

Then it happened.

Wizkids announced they’d be doing a new line of unpainted plastic miniatures with greater detail and sold in blister packs so you knew exactly what you were getting. And, to top it off they looked amazing. They are sold under the name Nolzur’s Marvelous MiniaturesWizkids also holds a license to Paizo’s Pathfinder (the no. 2 role-playing game) and make unpainted minis for that setting as well. The first assortment for both was released earlier this year, and were very warmly received. My Friendly Local Game Store (shout out to Guardian Games in Portland, OR!) has trouble keeping them in stock. A smaller wave is due to be released any time now, and a larger assortment is scheduled for November.

Why do I feel they’re the greatest D&D miniatures ever? Well, they’re plastic, and not metal. They not blind boxed. I need skeletons? I can buy a pack of skeletons. I need Orcs? I buy a pack of Orcs. My characters an elf bard? That’s what I get. I’m planning on playing a Dragonborn Paladin soon, and there’s a mini coming in the November assortment that’s perfect! The sculpting and detail is top notch. and the poses are dynamic. I just absolutely love them. Oh! I almost forgot! Monsters come 2 or 3 to a pack (different poses!) and they retail around $4. Characters come 2 to a pack with one figure representing a lower level version and the other a high level. Brilliant!

Wizkids will also be producing scenery pieces for the lines, like treasure chests, piles of loot, pillars and deluxe sets like a bar and a adventurer’s campsite with wagon!

The first wave was $3.99 a pack. Looking at preorders for the November releases it looks like we’re seeing a price increase to $4.99 a pack. That’s ok with me. These are still totally worth it. And, at that price they’re the perfect thing to pick up each time I visit the game store.

So, Wizkids, you just keep these minis coming and I promise that I will keep on buy them and singing their praises.

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Power Lords Returns…Returns! Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:21:07 +0000 By now, most of you know the tale of Power Lords. It started as a before-it’s-time action figure line from model maker Revell in the 1980s. It didn’t connect with kids at the time and disappeared from toy shelves all too soon.

Gone, but not forgotten, Power Lords made a glorious return a few years back thanks to toymakers extraordinaire the Four Horsemen. The original line was a sentimental favorite of the 4H’s Eric Treadaway, and he had wanted to bring it back for some time and finally did in 2013. Wayne Barlowe’s amazing concepts from the 1980s had new life breathed into them at last.

After a re-launch that included main character Adam Power, and his super-powered alter-ego Lord Power, 4 armed alien Ggripptogg (and variants) and various colorways of Power Soldiers there came little else but silence.

Until a few months ago. Just prior to the 2017 Comic Con International the Four Horsemen surprised everyone who had written off the line as dead, and issued a press release which announced they were returning to Power Lords with the goal of at least finishing the original Revell lineup. At Comic Con they showed off prototypes, some seen before, of old characters, new characters and variants, and they debuted the prototype of the line’s villain, Arkus!

This time the 4H are going with a pre-order system for the line. The pre-order should go live on on Friday, September 8th, 2017. So, it’s less than a month away.

It’s not often a toyline gets a second chance (well, technically a third if you count the vintage line) at life. As a fan of the original line back in the day, and a huge fan of the 4H’s faithful reimagining I am beyond excited to see it return.

By the way, if you missed out on the line originally you can still get (as of this writing) Adam Power, Lord Power and Ggripptogg at!

Keep your eyes on AFi, and to stay up to date on the upcoming pre-order and other Power Lords news!

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SDCC 2017 Hasbro Transformers Interview Thu, 03 Aug 2017 03:32:08 +0000 This year at SDCC, I was given the opportunity to interview Jon Warden, Brand Manager for Hasbro’s Transformers lines.  e shed some light on what they’ve done, where they’re going, and gives us a peek inside the process of making some of my very favorite toys.

JW  Hello!  i’m Jon Warden, Hasbro, I work on Premier class, Generations, and Masterpiece. And I worked on the diorama.


AFI Hello, thanks for speaking with me today!  Can you tell me something about these new Allspark Tech toys?


JW It’s a line of transformers actions figures that, using the Allspark, putting it inside the chest of the figure will bring it to life. In the case of the starter pack, which is Optimus and the Allspark, the Allspark is actually charged via USB cable, and has an included rechargeable lithium ion battery. You put the Allspark in Optimus Prime’s chest, and there’s a signature Allspark boot up sound, and he says “I AM OPTIMUS PRIME”. After he does that, as kids play with him, he’ll make sound effects and say signature phrases. When you transform him, you’ll know, because when he’s in truck mode, he’ll make car sounds. When you’re done playing with Optimus and building your collection, you take the cube out and put it in other figures, and the cube will know which figure you’re playing with. In the case of Barricade, the light will change to a Decepticon color. The cube will then say all of his phrases.


AFI Are they all movie based?


JW They’re all movie based. We wanted to go with a movie theme for these. But they’re super-fun, all new play pattern for us, very tech-feel for Transformers, so we wanted to make them feel more like real robots!


AFI …And they’re fun! I love Transformers Generations and Masterpiece; as elaborate as I can get, really. But I love that these exist for kids. That they can transform them on their own, and play with them without getting frustrated. And that’s what gets them into the Transformers mythos, and they graduate up to Generations. The hope is that twenty years from now, I can still buy Transformers because the brand is still going, with new fans.


JW That’s absolutely true. One of the most awesome things about Transformers is that it’s constantly refreshing itself and evolving. So we have new fans coming in just like in the beginning with G1, Beast Wars, then the Armada series. The nature of Transformers is to change, just like the Transformers themselves. It’s really exciting to be part of something that’s evolving. We need those kids to keep the tradition going, right?


AFI I love it. Speaking of Beast Wars, I understand Optimus Primal is one of the characters for Power of the Primes.


JW That’s absolutely true. Fans voted him last year into the Hall of Honor as the bearer of the Matrix of Leadership. So we’re going to be creating a leader class Optimus Primal, and fans who just saw the Rodimus Prime that we debuted, we really bring to light the idea of evolving. So we start with Hot Rod, and he’s able to “evolve up” to Rodimus Prime. So we’ve got this incredible Rodimus Prime truck that you can remove the front part of the truck off, and transform him into a deluxe class Hot Rod. Then the back of the trailer transformers into his legs and arms, and he can evolve up to a leader class Rodimus Prime.

AFI Sort of like Ultra Magnus style?


JW Exactly. I can’t say too much about Optimus Primal, but let’s just say he will be in the same assortment, and have the same feature.


AFI And instead of evolving from the Titan Masters, they’re now the Matrix?

JW Well, no, not exactly. The Power of the Primes revolves around small Transformers that are known as the Prime Masters. The Prime Masters contain the power of the spark of each of the twelve Transformers Gods. The thirteenth is the bearer of the Matrix of Leadership.


AFI The original Thirteen?


JW Yes. In the beginning, Primus split his spark among the twelve Transformers gods, so each one of those prime masters represents an aspect of the Transformers’ world, culture, and power. Those powers are captured inside of the Prime Masters, The Prime Masters, offered in the $4.99 assortment, transform into a small spark, and that small spark is able to play with each toy assortment, deluxe, voyager, and leader class. On the deluxe and voyager, they fit onto armor. On the leader class, they can fit inside the Matrix of Leadership. So you’re actually remove the center spark from the Matrix of Leadership, and replace it with a Prime Master.  When designing Rodimus Prime, the guys at Takara Tomy, specifically Hasui-San, really worked together to make this thing incredibly masterful. When you get this thing in your hands, you’ll realize what an amazing feat of engineering it really is.


AFI It looks amazing. I’m a fan at heart, and that’s the Rodimus Prime I’ve been wanting forever.


JW Absolutely, they nailed it.


AFI There’s always a compromise, either you get Hot Rod, or you get Rodimus, but that’s the one that got it right.


JW Thank you so much. You know, that’s the wonderful thing about coming to San Diego Comic-Con. You have a chance to actually meet one on one with fans like yourself. We’re able to get really awesome feedback of what people want for the future. Last year, we heard that people want Rodimus Prime. So I encourage fans to come to San Diego Comic-Con, or Hascon, and talk to us and let us know what you want in the Transformers line, and we’ll work as hard as we can.

AFI I just want to throw this out there – I’m a huge fan of Big Convoy!



JW I like Big Convoy too. Very, very cool. Love it


AFI  Man, when those came out, I imported every single one. I mean come on, Magmatron? Awesome.  Beast Wars Neo was my Jam!


JW Hearing stuff like that, we consider these things when we consider our strategy. What are the things people are looking for? What is trending? Even what’s trending outside of Transformers. What do we want to do to actually take our brand in new directions while also being true to what it is.


AFI So you’re tuned in?


JW We’re tuned into the business. Toy design is fashion, so we are paying attention to what’s been happening, what has happened, and what’s going to happen.


AFI I mean, look at what’s on display here. Who thought five years ago I’d be looking at a US toy of Overlord?



JW I know right? And five years ago, that wasn’t really our initiative. As things change, and as we survey the environment, we understand what needs to be made. It’s not what we want to make, it’s what we need to make. And that’s why that line is here. It’s a beautiful thing, I would say.


AFI From my perspective, I can’t wait to own a modern Overlord. But kids don’t know who he is, they just know that he’s a cool toy.


JW You nailed it. That’s exactly what we try to do. Honestly, with just about every single toy across the board, is we try to create not only something that’s awesome for the fans, but we really go back to the spark of what that toy was in the first place, what made him cool, and offer it up to a new generation of young fans. We’ve seen so many kids walking up to this dragon behind you, Overlord in the case, even Trypticon over there, and saying “Wow, what is that space dinosaur that turns into a city?’ That’s amazing. And the fact of the matter is, some of those original 80’s and 90’s toys, there’s some amazing toy concepts hidden in there. We don’t just stop by looking backwards. We’re constantly pushing and looking to the future for the next big thing. With the way we can mold now, the way we can sculpt now, 30 years ago it was just done by hand.


AFI You could have never gotten the detail on Trypticon you have now, for example.

JW Correct. What we’re able to do now is to give these guys a refreshing look, and to go forward. We can hearken back to dad’s Transformers, but when kids today get their new transformer, it’s this beautiful, awesome representation of the character their parents loved. What are Transformers going to look like 20 years from now?


AFI They’ll transform themselves!


JW Right!


AFI but to your point, you look at Trypticon, and he’s instantly recognizable, G1-wise. Like you said, detailed to the extreme. Was there a conscious decision not to offer a Trypticon exclusive this year? There’s always been a large Transformer figure exclusive for the past few years.


JW Absolutely. We are constantly looking for what fans are asking and saying. When we looked at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we knew that we wanted to do something that was able to be carried around the convention center, and we also didn’t want to create frustration among the fan community by having too many variations of the same figure out there. That’s why we partnered with Takara Tomy to create one awesome global version. The Takara version is exactly the same as Hasbro’s and it’s exciting to have one singular message. We have him on display here, and so many people have asked us – even little kids – asking where can I get one?


AFI I read last night that he showed up yesterday at Toys R Us!


JW Oh that’s awesome!


AFI I have to ask you about Trypticon’s hips issue that I’ve read about , if you don’t mind…


JW Sure, no that’s fine. We can speak directly to the hips issue. We have been reading online about some fans complaints. I can say that Hasbro’s engineering and QA (Quality Assurance) have looked at that throughout the development of the toy, and they have never identified this as an issue. Regardless, I flagged that and communicated that internally to a few people to look at. We’re looking at if it’s an issue or not, trying to identify if it’s really an issue, or an isolated incident. Maybe it’s part of the production run? We will address it accordingly if it’s an issue. Right now, we have no reason to believe it’s a big issue. It appears to be a small number of isolated incidents. It’s one of those things that we test like crazy throughout the toy making process. We literally have a meeting every Thursday trying to rip the toys apart. We transform things, we try to play with them as hard as we can to identify issues. We don’t just design the toys, we play with them hard to make sure they’re good for kids and the fans. It’s a lot of work.


AFI Thank you guys so much for what you do, for your time, and for the opportunity, I had a blast!


JW Enjoy San Diego Comic-Con man!


Thanks so much to the folks at Hasbro for giving me this awesome opportunity.  I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves for 2018!


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Quick Peek at Exclusive Marvel Legends Black Panther! Mon, 15 May 2017 00:14:57 +0000 It seems like it’s taken forever to get here, but the time is almost at hand!  As a Black Panther fan, I was excited to get the new retail exclusive Marvel Legends Black Panther.  I’ve taken a few quick pics, so that you can compare him to the previous (Blue Panther?) version this figure was based on, as well as to the original Toy Biz version, and a custom figure.


Essentially, Black Panther is a better painted version of the previous release, which has become quite scarce.  If you’re like me, the previous Black Panther figure was a bit frustrating; he was a nice sculpt, but was way too blue for my tastes.  This new version corrects this oversight, and includes a few new (re-used) accessories.  Black Panther includes a spear, extra hands, a necklace, and a cape.  Astute collectors will be able to spot most of these pieces, such as Adam Warlock’s cape.  I can’t be sure, but the necklace may be new.


Here are a few comparison images, showing the new Black Panther alongside the previous version, Toy Biz, and a custom figure.

Look for Black Panther to start showing up at retail this month.  Happy hunting!

Product shown was purchased by the reviewer.  All images are copyright 2017, and may not be used, posted, or reproduced in any form without  the expressed written consent of Action Figure Insider.

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Ben 10 Begins Again – Tomorrow Mon, 10 Apr 2017 02:25:48 +0000 Tomorrow is the first episode of the remake of Ben 10. Ben 10 is the story of 10 year old Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen, and their Grandfather traveling across the country in an RV.

Image result for ben 10 reboot

Except Ben finds a strange glowing watch which allows him to transform into 10 difference aliens. Along the way we learn that Grandpa is a retired member of an intergalactic police force, Gwen discovers some magic, and the watch can learn or is programmed with additional aliens beyond the first 10. 4 seasons I think. Beyond that we get to several sequels which I will leave to Wikipedia for those interested.

Ben 10 Toy Fair 2017

Ben 10 Toy Fair 2017.

Tomorrow we get to see the story all over again. New animation, a mix of the original 10 and other later aliens make the starting 10 for this revamp.

And coming soon, the new toys shown here that Daniel snapped at Toy Fair earlier this year. Why am I making such a big deal about this?

Ben 10 Toy Fair 2017

Ben 10 Toy Fair 2017.

Well other than being a big fan of the show, and having my own son named Ben who was 11 at the time the show started, fans of Justice League Unlimited noticed that the art style between the two shows was close enough that the aliens could be repainted as members of the Green Lantern Corps and fit right in with their JLU action figure collection.

Full Gallery of Ben 10 by Playmates Toys from Toy Fair 2017

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Mighty Meeples – Week 11 and Recap. Thu, 06 Apr 2017 02:45:21 +0000 I know what you thought.  You thought after last time when I got the last character I needed to complete the set, that would be the end of my Mighty Meepling.

But what about those last two lonely packs I mentioned last time?  I bought them this week while at the store.  Here is what I got.

Now why did I go back and buy these? Partly for curiosity and partly so I could give you all a breakdown of how many of each were in the gravity feed. Here we go:

  1. Batman – 4
  2. Wonder Woman – 3
  3. Superman – 4
  4. Joker – 3
  5. Harley Quinn – 3
  6. The Flash – 3
  7. Supergirl – 3
  8. Green Arrow – 2
  9. Deathstroke – 2
  10. Catwoman – 3
  11. Green Lantern – 3
  12. Cyborg – 3
  13. Aquaman – 3
  14. Black Manta – 3
  15. Reverse Flash – 3
  16. Sinestro – 2
  17. The Penguin -1
  18. Martian Manhunter – 2
  19. Firestorm – 2
  20. Mr. Freeze – 2
  21. Robin – 2
  22. Poison Ivy – 2
  23. Cheetah – 2
  24. Lex Luthor – 2
  25. Deadshot – 2
  26. Killer Croc – 1
  27. Hawkman – 1
  28. Hawkgirl – 1
  29. Bizarro – 1
  30. Batgirl – 1

Some of the above were easy to remember because I only ever got 1.  In general, there seem to be 3 if common, 2 if uncommon and 1 if rare.  Penguin seems to have been an oddity at just 1. It is cool that it looks like if you buy the whole box you can get the whole set (although definitely not guaranteed).

I’m still not sure what I am going to do with them long term.  At 3$ per pack, they came to 1$ each which made them something fun which became slightly obsessive.  My son has taken some of the duplicates, while others have been slowly migrating to my desk at work.

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into Mighty Meeples.

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Mighty Meeples – Weeks 9 and 10 Fri, 31 Mar 2017 02:36:04 +0000 A quick recap. As of our last posting, I was at 27 out of 30 Mighty Meeples. My luck continued during week 9.

My first pack of the night brought me the elusive Black Manta. Although a common, it had taken me this long to pull one. You might call this a Legion of Doom pack.

And the 2nd pack did not disappoint either. The Penguin, the last uncommon joined my ranks. This pack is certainly Batman themed.

When I went back, for week 10, there were only 3 packs left. I wondered. Could the distribution be such that if you bought a sealed box you got at least 1 of all 30? I asked one of the store owners if I was the only one buying these. He said, “Yes, I think you are.” But at 3$ a pack, and wanting to buy a 13$ Heroclix booster, I could only get 2 for my 20$ (with 1$ left over). He was willing to let me have the last pack for 1$ or pay the rest of it the following week. I don’t remember.

As we were in the middle of the sale, I opened the first pack and there was Hawkman.  That makes 30! (He let me give back the other 2 packs and I spent the 4$ on Dice Masters instead.)

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A Closer Look at Funko’s Upcoming Trollhunters Action Figures & POPS! Sun, 26 Mar 2017 22:41:58 +0000
Last month, Funko showed off their upcoming products for Guillermo Del Toro’s Netflix show “Trollhunters”.  The show has developed quite a following, and features an all-star cast of voice talent, such as Kelsey Grammer, Ron Pearlman, and the late , great Anton Yelchin.  I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to paint the prototypes of these cool toys for Funko, and now that Toy Fair has ended, I’ve been given the go-ahead to show off some close-up pics of them.  The creative team at Funko did an incredible job bringing these designs to life, and I can’t wait to see them on store shelves later this year.  Enjoy!

12″ Deluxe Action Figures

Featuring a 9″ Armored Jim with multiple points of articulation, sword & shield.  Bular is 12″, and massive; he includes his twin swords.


3 3/4″ Action Figures

These are standard 3 3/4″ figures, with multiple points of articulation and accessories included.  One of the great things about these figures is that the scales are perfect, so larger characters like Argh and Bular are suitable massive, as they should be.  Assortment includes Armored Jim, Claire, Armored Toby, Argh, Blinky, and Bular.


A selection of Funko’s immensely popular POPS! are also on the way!  Includes Jim, Armored Jim, Tony, Armored Toby, Claire, Blinky, Argh, Bular, and two Gnomes.

Once again, I’d like to thank the great folks at Funko for the opportunity, and for allowing me to shard these images here with you.  Until next time, see you in the toy isle!

* All images are copyright of the author and Action Figure Insider, and may not be used, reprinted, or distributed without the expressed written consent of the author.  All rights reserved.

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