Blog and News -- Figures

Kick Ass Franchise - Takin' Names!

Kick Ass had us hooked from the original comic books all the way through to the box office. With the comic books, we liked the art, we liked the ridiculousness, and to be quite honest, we liked the controversy. There was profanity, a slighlty psychotic lethal pre-teen girl that kills people, and a delusional outcast main character. The villains and storyline were a mix of real world crime crossed with the realms of superheroes. That proved to be a great recipe for piquing the interests of the general public.

It has been said that nothing makes a movie or book more popular than having the conservative segment of the population say that it is inappropriate. We think that Kick Ass certainly benefited from affair amount of that. The original debut movie for Kick Ass was rolled out with a strong “R” rating. To justify that rating the MPAA listed this statement:

"strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use—some involving children.” Rated R.

The original Kick Ass movie was fantastic because it stayed true to the comic books. Comic books that were made for a mature audience. Period. Not shying away from the controversy and sticking to the vision of a film for adults, has solidified the Kick Ass franchise a cult following.

It’s safe to say that we are fans of the franchise here at Radar Toys. We went ahead and swooped up on some of this first lines of figures that were produced. They were generally well done, exciting for being from the franchise, but not tremendously exciting on their own. However, the sequel movie is proving to be more fruitful in terms of quality action figures. Let’s take a look:


The figures in this line look great. Kick Ass himself looks detailed for having such a plain costume. He looks ready to take a beating, which let's face it, is inevitable for him at pretty much all times. Hit Girl looks great in this series. Ready to slice something and the figure manages to capture her personality fairly accurately. The real gem of the line in our opinion is MF'er. The cape, the feathers, and the black on red with double guns is just stellar. We are certainly looking forward to the new movie and hopefully a sweet lineup of figures to support the other characters. Kick Ass, it appears, has a bright future. 

- Radar Toys

My Little Pony Is Back!

Here’s something great to see:

  

My Little Pony is a franchise that has never really ended, which is a testament to its popularity since it debuted sometime around 1983. However, it has certainly been in need of and deserved a reboot for quite some time. The last few years , it appears that the resurgence has been successful. Just looking at the above merchandise you can see that Hasbro has come a long way in understanding the fans of the My Little Pony franchise. The packaging is a quality/artistic design and these ponies are certainly being advertised to a collector market. They look fantastic. All of this is backed up by the newest animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010-Present) that has been garnering critical acclaim since it debuted. It features sophisticated writing and very strong characters.

Most importantly though, the strong resurgence of the franchise has made it a veritable presence in the online and viral world of the internet. This has been fantastic for the franchise. Popular internet meme’s such as the one featured below, have pushed the franchise into the farther markets of adults. Take a look:

My Little Pony dominated the world of girl’s toys in the 1980’s, but now it has re-spawned across almost every demographic. It is not uncommon to see a teenage boy wearing a My Little Pony t-shirt that says something hilarious like, “firing friendship orbital cannon.” It appears the franchise has truly arrived again and that’s a good thing. Our hope is that Hasbro keeps servicing the collector market, as it is quite extensive and contains rabid fans. That’s the hope. 

Radar Toys

The World of Bust Banks

Question: what exactly is a bust bank? That’s an excellent question. We weren’t exactly sure ourselves for the longest time. A few years back, we discovered them and vaguely looked them over, but didn’t give them much notice. Chances are you’ve seen them yourselves at your local comic book store or perhaps on the shelf of a friend’s house. 

A bust bank is cool on a few different levels. First and foremost, they are generally regarded as a small statue of some kind, which is true. They’re usually the upper torso and head of a beloved character. In the world of collectibles, small statues and busts range in all kinds of quality and especially price ranges. They tend to be on the pricey side of things. However, one of our favorite companies called Monogram, has been producing a really stellar line of busts that are affordable and look fantastic. We’re talking under twenty dollars affordable. 
 
Made of a strong resin composite, they are durable and look great. Monogram also turned them into piggy bank, which is fantastic, and hence the term “bust bank.” The busts look great on a collector shelf, they’re super durable, and they great to keep your change in. That covers both kids and adults with this product. It was a smart move for Monogram to produce these.

Take a look at some examples and see how well done they are:

     
    
      

Personally speaking, there is nothing better than going into the bank to deposit your change jar and handing over your Deadpool or perhaps Dr. Doom. That’s just outright fun times. A mason jar just isn’t good enough for our change here at Radar. The level of detail and paint schemes on these busts banks are well done, and for the price, they make for a really good present. Monogram’s bust banks are certified awesome these days.
 
 

Collecting Miniatures

Ah, miniatures. Here at Radar, we love miniature collectibles. It's an odd thing to think about really, when it comes to collecting miniatures, but if you give it some depth of thought you'll arrive at some good reasons as to why people love to do it. For some of the team here, it comes down to a few key thoughts that make sense of it all.

First, is space. Collecting memorabilia of your favorite characters takes up room, and while you can always pick up another figure here and there, you can't always pick up more room. Miniature figures make building a collection a lot more feasible. Also, sometimes you want to bring your favorite characters to another space which is severely limited, like a cubicle or a desk at work. Bigger collectibles make that hard to do, and hey - let's be honest, it is an imperative that you let everyone know who breezes by your office that you're a Iron Man/Tony Stark kind of guy. Miniatures allow you to do that.

Another thing about miniatures that's great, is the variety of fixtures that you can use to display them. For example, let's say you've amassed an epic Transformer collection with the crown jewel being an original Starscream that is mint in box. Sidenote: You found it at a garage sale for three dollars and it's an epic story that you tell everyone all the time, etc. Well, displaying your collection is rather limited in the creativity of how you can do it due to the size of the figures. Miniatures let you find a way around that, and that can add a really fun aspect to displaying them. We've seen some really creative avenues that people have traveled down in this arena.

Let's talk about rarity for a bit. It seems that a good percentage of companies in the world of miniatures understand rarity and why it's cool. It makes collecting fun, and sometimes you have to work at it, but ultimately it gives supreme satisfaction to a collector that finds that ultimate "treasure." Sports cards have been doing it right for about a decade or so now, and miniatures are on the same path. For example, our favorite things at Radar these days are mystery boxes or blind boxes. It's simple, you buy a random figure of a genre or franchise you like, you don't know what you'll get, and you hope for the best. Each character usually has three or so variations of heightening rarity. Super fun and super cool. Here's a visual example of two franchises and the breakdown of a rarity chart:

It's a great idea and provides for some sweet collecting. Lastly, let's discuss detail. All of us like our favorite collectibles to be detailed. What's cool about mini's is being amazed at the level of detail for something smaller than it normally should be. People enjoy the craftsmanship in the world of miniatures. It's just neat. All that being said, this is not an article about why collecting mini's is better than any other size. It's just a look into the world of miniatures and understanding the allure and appeal of it. One things for sure -it's fun to collect mini's. Plain and simple.

-Radar Toys-

Superman - A Bobble Head for Hope


The super Pop Vinyl of our man Kal-El is here just in time for his new movie. The Man of Steel cuts quite the image with this 3.75" figure. And with his bobble head he is sure to inspire hope in all that see him.

While waiting in the movie queue, you could seem a knowledge buff to your friends with these fun facts:

Origin: Born on a dying planet (Krypton) his parents rocketed him to earth for safety. Landing on a farm in Smallville Kansas he was luckily adopted by Johnathan and Martha Kent. Instead of the scenario that is portrayed in so many other stories when aliens land on our planet.

Powers: Originally his powers were quite tame to what he is rocking now. When he was first written he could only lift a car and run as fast as a train, a far cry from pushing around planets and outracing light.

Trivia: His alter ego does more than use hair product and glasses to fool his friends. Clark Kent uses many tricks to keep his identity a secret. His glasses change his eye color, he wears baggy clothing and changes his body posture and demeanor. Also through the help of some of his shape shifting friends (such as Martian Manhunter), Clark and Superman have been seen together over the years.

The new movie that debuts June 14th is director Zack Synder's vision of Superman's origin story. It is said that this movie is influenced by the comic story Superman: Birthright. So if you can't wait to watch it on the big screen track down the comic. But if you have watched the trailers and are as hyped as we are, then your next purchase, after the tickets, will be like ours... a tent.

So hurry and secure one of these sweet figures for your Pop Vinyl or Superman collection. Who knows when the next arrival from krypton will be? Better safe than sorry, it's a good thing to keep Superman close by.

-Radar Toys-

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne. This ain't you father's Batman!

Admittedly it's sometimes hard to get us too fired up about Batman. Batman is already a comic book legend, and that has been certified for decades and decades. He's been crushing it in the box office pretty much since the beginning and that doesn't look to be ending anytime soon. His action figures generally look great on the shelves, and when they go our of print, a new line arrives as reinforcements. His storyline has survived years and years, and is very well known in the mainstream. So why such Batman apathy sometimes over here at Radar Toys?

When it comes to Batman, you know what you're getting. You know the story, you expect the results, you still grin from ear to ear the entire time in the theater, but generally there is no surprise. Batman has a franchise storyline that is fairly intact, having been drummed out over years and years. There are very few options when it comes to changing or tinkering with the story that wouldn't weaken or be a disservice to what we all love as Batman. That means that the Batman franchise can seem stagnant to us here at Radar Toys sometimes. We keep thinking, "Wouldn't it be awesome to see another part of the Batman story that was completely fresh? Completely original?" And then....this:

 

And suddenly all our Batman wishes came true. Laugh. This is awesome and it is called The Return of Bruce Wayne. It's a fantastic new storyline offshoot that has both depth and a uniqueness we think everyone's been itching for. Apparently, the folks over at DC Comics were thinking the same thing. What's great about the comic is that it's dripping in quality, both in writing and art. The actual story has Batman being thrown backwards into the time stream and having to survive through different time periods, while being yanked from era to era. It's unique and very well done. 

The line of action figures to support the comic are easily some of the coolest Batman figures we've seen in a long time. The picture you saw was of The High Seas Batman, and there is also a Prehistoric, Witch Hunter, and Wild West Batman. These figures are packing a serious unique factor. We're genuinely impressed with these figures. They're very cool, detailed, and have that cool historical spin. A win, a win, and a win. All across the board.

We are truly excited about the possibilities of the storyline of The Return of Bruce Wayne. Imagine that movie? Crazy. Check out the comics if you haven't and swoop up some of the figures. Your Batman shelf will never be the same.

-- Radar Toys

G.I. Joe Sky Striker With a Vengeance!

In the world of G.I. Joe, vehicles can be hit or miss in terms of both quality and awesomeness. Rarely, does it seem, that the two features overlap. It's either super awesome for the concept, or great quality for what it is. That's where the 30th anniversary Sky Striker reissue comes in. It's pure awesome collector level quality redux. Before we brush up on some G.I. Joe history, let's take a look at the reason why we're here:

 

Okay, now that everyone's settled down and has got their visual fill of this beast, let's talk about why the Sky Striker is certified G.I. Joe legend. Originally released around 1983 or so, the Sky Striker is great because it's steeped in real world aesthetics. Look, we all love us some futuristic military grade G.I. Joe combat vehicles, however sometimes we want to bring G.I. Joe a little closer to reality. The Sky Striker was loosely based on the certified badass F-14 Tomcat and fighter jets that ruled the skies in the 1980's. Featured in more than a few great movies, these fighter jets represented speed, power, and sky domination. And that's what makes the Sky Striker so appealing to us -- the realism mixed into the G.I. Joe world.

Thankfully, Hasbro has done an outstanding job on this reissue. They realized that the market for this vehicle is heavily sided in the adult collector market, as well as the (smart) kids in the know. The Sky Striker has awesome written all over it, and Hasbro delivered. Get it out of the box and this is what you'll find: imposing size with a great display factor, detail and quality that leaves any thoughts of cheap toy behind, and a behemoth sticker package that gives you great customizing options. You want old school? Go for it. You want new school G.I. Joe logo scheme? Go for it. Want someone else piloting besides Capt. Ace? No problem. You've got pilot name decals for multiple Joe's. 

Of course, there are minute things to nitpick on this Sky Striker, but all in all, it's a beast. So that's our two cents in the short and sweet version. But to really do a review justice on this bad boy, we're going to shamelessly plug our friends over at AtomicMartians.com. They do video reviews that are both hilarious and in depth. Below is their video review of the 30th anniversary Sky Striker. It's way better than ours, trust us, they've got these video reviews on lock. The Sky Striker review is the second item reviewed in the episode and it begins at around 8:20. However, watch the whole video, they're funny and know their stuff. Here's the video, enjoy! 

 

Radar Toys

Transformers - The Golden Child

Sometimes when we are extremely lucky, great franchises and product lines will culminate together creating an awesome brew of a decade. There is no better example of this than perhaps the 1980’s. Anchored by Transformers, it is perhaps one of the most revered decades of franchises. Cartoons, blockbusters, comic books, and of course, stellar action figures - Transformers is the golden child of the 1980’s.

One great thing about Transformers is that Hasbro has always been  great about making sure that releases have an adequate spread of price points, quality levels and sizes. What this means is that there is ample opportunity to stumble into a unique and affordable Transformer. A prime example, and the purpose of this article, is to promote and shed some light on the 2010 Transformers line of figures called the Reveal The Shield.

A great example of how fast some lines of Transformers come and go, Reveal The Shield featured the expected staple characters and a sprinkle of unique subsidiary ones. Based on the “classic” styling’s of original Transformers, Reveal The Shields was Hasbro’s goal of generating some interest in the origins of the franchise, albeit in a low key way. Nowhere near reissue or replicas, there is altered paint schemes and the use of “rubsigns” to show each character’s true allegiance. Hence the Reveal The Shield. aspect.

Let’s take a look at what we here at Radar Toys enjoyed the most about this here - and - then - gone line of Transformers, the subsidiary characters:


To sum things up, the Reveal The Shield line hit a sweet spot for us. An easy, medium price point, combined with a unique rubsign feature harkening back to the Transformer roots. You can find all three of these figures on our website at the best prices online, as always. Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoyed  the article. 

- Radar Toys 

Thundercats: Way Overdue

Since reviving franchises from the 1980's is all the fashion these days, we thought we'd take a moment and celebrate the moment that we've been waiting for since the 1980's became "cool." Thundercats! Thundercats! It's about darn time that this franchise got a second look and perhaps, if we're lucky, some new life. Lot's of storied franchises from that decade have gotten some new life and a second wind. G.I. Joe, Transformers, and heck, even the Smurfs are coming back. While we are somewhat satiated by the Masters of the Universe releases over the years, we are still waiting for more He-Man. That chapter had better not be closed...laugh.

Thundercats, however, has been deserving it's due credit for some time now. One reason that Thundercats is so deserving of a re-release and revival is that it was one of the franchises that helped make the 1980's become so "cool." Reprint Thundercats tee shirts were among the first vintage remade apparel celebrating that decade. So it is definitely about time.

Thundercats was not some weird flash in the pan 1980's cartoon, as many people who missed it believe. It ran from 1985 - 1990 and had a television movie. It was a huge success in the merchandising arena. The action figure lines actually lasted longer than the syndication of the cartoon. Not to mention apparel, lunchboxes, and games. Thundercats was big time. It's seems like some kind of error that the Thundercats franchise has somehow been left behind in all this. 

Celebration is near though. A new animated series has been slated for 2011. An awesomely, there will be action figures released to suppor the show. There are a few different companies producing the Thundercats franchise, but at the moment we are scoping out and drooling on Bandai's six inch line of figures, due to be released in July of 2011. This is the most current picture we have of what we can be expecting:

These are going to be great on the shelf. It's going to be fun seeing how the Thundercats reboot goes. We have high hopes for the new animated series and the product lines. The Thundercats can be summed up by their awesome logo. Here, take a look:

This is going to be awesome, and if you missed it the first time around, get on board, Thundercats are back to reclaim the throne. Man, we love this franchise, and you can believe that we have ours on pre-order for July. We will be putting them up for the best price on the internet. Period. It's the least we can due to help the most underrated franchise from the 1980's. 

-- Radar Toys


Big Daddy - Among the Coolest and Most Unique Figures in a Long Time

Nobody is needed here to debate the awesomeness and quality of the BioShock video game franchise. It was detailed, thorough, unique and stunning. Award winning design, beautiful graphic art, it was a masterpiece of an experience. Here at Radar Toys, we are huge fans. What really made us stand up and take notice however, was the fact that the line of action figures were actually given their due respect when it came to design and quality. Too often great franchises are slighted with sloppy, mass produced figures that end up cheapening and staining the series for years to come. Examples that are sitting on the shelves at this very moment are abound. Green lantern movie merchandise anyone? Perhaps Thor? These are perfect examples of cheap products that are not doing justice to the franchise. 

And I know, they're for the kids right? Well, kids form great memories from their favorite and beloved toys, and that has the power to turn them into collectors that can sustain a franchise for years, decades even. Why companies can't seem to grasp this is beyond us. A little more effort in quality, detail, and design can go a long, long ways.

Thankfully, BioShock was spared this slap in the face. Our guess is that because it is of a mature nature, it was treated as such, and reaped the benefit of that. So what made the BioShock figures so great and instantly collectible? The easily evident first attribute was the pool of material they had to start with. Perhaps the most recognizable character from the franchise is the Big Daddy. Scary, tough as nails, and hell bent on protecting his Little Sister, he is gorgeously designed. Drill, tank, suit, the Big Daddy has all the components for a really cool and unique figure. Lets look at some pictures:

    

Stellar comes to mind. They look great on any shelf and definitely stand out as unique against any other characters. There's a few different versions out there, but BioShock collectors don't seem to mind, they've been snapping them up since the game came out a couple of years ago. They're just such an easy example of things done right. They almost embarrass other product lines. Of course it helps that they are stylized from a the fantastically designed world of Rapture from the game, in and of itself a stellar piece of design work. Recently what has us all giddy here at Radar Toys, is the release of the Big Daddy variation with light up LED lights inside his helmet. Take a look:

With three colors to choose from included on each figure, it's a top tier BioShock figure. Plus, by including a three color option, NECA didn't force us to pick one specific color and stretch for some extra profits. Smart move, because collectors hate to feel forced or cornered. We just won't buy. Kudos to NECA. These look great on shelves, and fans are taking notice. Easily our favorite Big Daddy to date, it's a solid buy. To wrap this up, we are very thankful that BioShock has been treated as reverently as it has. It's a franchise that is definitely worth it, and judging by sales, the fans agree. BioShock figures for the win.

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