Friday, 24 December 2010

R2D2 Christmas Spectacular

Join R2D2 and many other plastic toy chums on this festive visual treat.

Christmas is a great time for lots of things and toys is but one of these elements. Click on PLAY and join the celebration.

Merry Christmas 'n' Happy Holidays from FIGURED OUT.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cringer the Battle Cat

Whilst at work today, I discovered amongst the kindergarten toy clutter an old 1984 Cringer toy (well Battle Cat minus his red armour anyway!).

The children were unimpressed that this toy had no articulation and were confused to why a large tiger animal would be green! They found my tales of He-Man more interesting though.

I had a Battle Cat back in the days when He-Man was the Ben 10 of my generation. It completed having a He-Man toy by having his feline steed to ride.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Money In The Bank

I picked up this nifty cover 'gift' on the recent issue of WWE Kids Magazine (issue 31, December) - a pretty awesome roleplay Money In The Bank briefcase.

Inside there's absolutley nothing, but it can be used as a container for school supplies or toys or whatnot, or... maybe a world championship match contract to cash in on...

Wrestling spectators will know the relevence of this item - For this is no oridinary case. The current reigning world champion recentley won the gold by winning this buy-in item earlier in the year.

Don't Try This At Home!

- WWE Mag Screenshot courtesy of Capt Ben Sisko

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Strong To The Finish...

Popeye on a whomping spree after dousing up on Tescos Spinach. Unfortunatley the for the Foot Clan, they just happened to have gotten in the sailor man's way with disasterous results. On top of that, Popeye's gotten some Christmas shopping sorted in the form of a handbag for Olive and some new boots for his papi!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Touch Ups #1: Transformers Universe Prowl

I like to think a little extra paint on some figures can go a long way or just repainting some minor details.

I used a Tamiya Silver Paint Marker for my Universe Prowl toy and coloured in his bland black/white weapons to make them more 80's G1-like and outstanding. I found the original scheme clashy to the actual figure paintjob.

Here's Prowl on duty...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Hasbro respond to public concern over Transformer name

Transformers communities all over the web went loud with mixed opinions and outcry in regards to the naming of an upcoming toy.

Hasbro have recentley broke thier silence and made a response through to address and respond to the many fan mails recieved.

"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to respond. The TRANSFORMERS brand intended no offense by use of the name 'SPASTIC' for one of its products which has not and will not be available via traditional retail channels in Europe, including the UK. Thank you once again for notifying us about your concern. As a marketer of children’s products, input from parents, families and fans regarding their experiences with our brands is extremely important to us. Our goal is to have all families who enjoy our brands feel good about their purchases and experiences."

On a side note. UK Press - The Daily Record have also picked up on the story. HERE

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Driller VS Zombies

More building-brick banter in today's blog. I messed around this morning with some Lego zombies I dug out from sorting through a pile of stuff.

This unsuspecting drller is from the knock-off 'click bricks' toyline. He obviosuly cant't hear the vastly approaching undead brickmen.

Captions please... :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Swop Em's Continued...

I got round to opening the 'Swop Em's' packet this afternoon.

Surprisingly enough, these are actually packs of 2 minifigures instead of 1. The figures are also a lot less dis-assembled than the real deal Lego men. At £1, this is a pretty good deal.

The leaflet (pictured) either side shows the run-down of collectables and assembley instructions. As these toys are compatable with Lego, they make potential 'army builders'.

Click Bricks Swop 'Ems

I found these in The Entertainer recentley. A direct bootleg of the popular Lego Minifigures. Click Bricks appears to be a copycat Lego brand with simular products and seem to mainly based around The UK.

These are half the price of the Lego figures at £1 a pop. Unlike the Lego series, these go by one set character theme.

I haven't opened this pack yet, but I am hoping I get the bank robber as he is probably the most characteristic of the lineup.

Unlike the Lego Brand, there isn't a second barcode to tell which 'mystery' figure is hidden in the packet.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Transformers Name Controversy

As if the revelation about the streaking Lego Santa was'nt enough of an eye-opener, I was brought to the attention yesterday of a very questionably named Transformers product.

That's not a 'photoshop', it's the packaging of an upcoming Stunticons homage figure.

Of course slang words in the US/UK differ from one another. I beleive the said name on the box is also offensive Stateside too. You have to question how much research the department at Hasbro put into thier Transformers names. I beleive they still own the copyrights to 'Menasor', 'Dead End' and 'Drag Strip'.

This is probably the most controversial name on a Transformer since the 80's when a certain fire-breathing triceratops hit the UK toy shelves. There have been other questionable Transformers names since, but never on this level. Let's hope Hasbro sorts it out.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

REVIEW: Toy Story 3, Twitch, basic asst

From: Mattel

Retail: around $7.99/£5.99

Accessories: None

First toy review in a long time… And this time round it’s not a Transformer! 

Toy Story 3 – the awesome threequel to the movie series introduced some very cool and well researched characters. The newer characters mainly consisted of Lotso-Huggin’ Bears gang. Even though they were the ‘baddies’ they had their individual charm and connotations that teased the viewer, (especially if they were a kid of the 80’s).

Twitch the insectoid warrior was the toy I wanted to rush out and buy after seeing the film. What did it for me was the cheesy Masters of the Universe homage and the fact that I actually owned a Buzz-Off toy back in 1984. Of course, the insectoid warrior theme has echoed in other toys I have owned – TMNT’s Baxter Stockman (1991) and Transformers’ Waspinator (2000). Pixar chose a good theme for a villain character in this.
What Mattel have done is genius, by making a movie accurate figure and within budget. The large and authentic-like Buzz Lightyear, Lotso, Woody, Rex etc are quite costly, but Twitch is only under 10 pounds sterling. Like a Blink Angel from Dr Who this toy only has to just stand there and look good. No gimmicks necessary!

I am aware of the other and more expensive versions of Twitch, but this basic toy suffices. A toy like this doesn’t need any more fancy detail than it already has. I think the basic figure itself based on a ‘basic figure’ in a film is satisfactory.

The first flaw that isn’t much of a throwback with me is the exclusion of the staff accessory. I can see that being an issue possibly, considering the staff is clearly illustrated on the box bubble illustration. It is like bad advertising and owning a 90% complete figure. Imagine He-Man without a sword or Popeye without a can ‘o spinach… The staff can easily be substituted for a twig or paintbrush maybe … . Still, a figure isn’t a bad figure because of a missing accessory..

The second flaw is the stiffness of the joints and lack of articulation. Again for me not a big deal as it takes me back 1984 when my Masters of the Universe figures were not exactly super-posable and a little stiff on the arms and legs. For me, this downer actually adds to the homage and makes this 80’s child quite happy. 2010 standards may not approve...

Twitch is a good all-round ‘accurate’ toy of the character represented in the movie Toy Story 3. He is tough, sturdy and lasting enough to survive the Caterpillar room of any Daycare centre. The stiff joints and omission of a staff weapon are a letdown, but not major flaws. Twitch does a good job of standing still and looking hard, just as he did in the movie. For us older collectors he is also a great desk ornament and workspace guardian.

There’s no messin’ with this musclebound mantis. Twitch RULES!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Power Rangers Samurai

Back in 2009 there was this amazingly ambient, artistic and explosive show called Sentai Samurai Shinkenger. The Sentai team of that year and into early 2010 were given a Samurai theme with a ton of Japanese cultural overtones.

Everything about that Sentai show was bliss and right; the gattai, the designs, the characters and stories etc. And best of all it was so quintessentially Japanese it was untouchable by western translation. (Or so I thought...)

An announcement came Summer of this year that Power Rangers was making a comeback in 2011 as 'Power Rangers: Samurai'. Oh dear...

Recentley Bandai unveiled pictures of the toys based on the show, and like the western dubs - these were lost in translation too. Non-show accurate toys for anything had just about got by in the 80's, but these days its inexcusable.

Again Bandai have laughably exaggerated the builds of the characters (the girls too) and made them look 'roided'.

I have not seen the cast for 'Samurai' yet, but I am guessing a few ex-Neighbours and Home & Away actors may be in the line-up. Still worth a chuckle on a rainy day.

Ta to Paul 'Logan Blaze' Anderson for the heads up.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Buttercup: Pegwarmin' Pony

It's probably me, but I've seen multiples of these from the basic figure assortment pegwarming everywhere.

Buttercup - the Moomin / Unicorn fusion is either unpopular, over produced or just unlucky to find owners. What do you expect from a lesser established character from the Toy Story-verse?

I've seen multiples of these at ASDA, Toys R Us, and Tescos. I may personally pick one up, especially if these end up reduced in Bargain-bin Pergatory. The Moomin homage is definitley a plus side.

Have a heart, give this Moomincorn a home.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Transformers: Universe Mystery Packs

‘Blind bags’ are becoming quite a toy trend. The hugely successful Lego Minifigures are now in their 2nd series (with a 3rd on the way), Halo has an assortment, Crazy Bones have been around a while - and now Transformers are getting in on the act!

Transformers: Universe blind packs have been spotted in The Entertainer, featuring a series of 12 Minicons to collect. On top of that, the packs also have sweets (or Energon Fizzy Jellies as stated on the packet).

These Minicons themselves have been on the toy shelves before as a 12 pack set exclusive to Woolworths (and later on in Poundstretcher). The 12 bots have now been split up and re-released in ‘blindbags’.

For those who missed out the first time, the mystery 12 includes; (Autobots) Backstop, Heavytread, Bodyblock, Makeshift, Flatfoot and Knockdown, (Decepticons) Supressor, Cloudraker, Boltflash (pictured), Brimstome, Skyhammer and Blight. An included collector leaflet shows the collection (pictured). As you can also see, the minicon 12 on either faction side are christened with some very amusing names.

So what are the ‘Energon Fizzy Jellies’ like? They are basically a couple of cola bottles and fizzy rings (that’s it). They must be very cunningly disguised to look less Energon-like. Still, it is an extra value inclusion, even if they are penny chews. They are as always delicious!

Like with most mystery pack toys, these are a pocket money assortment at £2 a go. They are also potentially great stocking fillers with Christmas just around the corner.

Hopefully there could be another series of these, but preferably original releases. If you missed out on the Woolworths 12 pack these tiny Transformers would be worth hunting down.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Lego Advent Calendar 2010

On my local high-street travels I normally pop into the local Entertainer to see whats in and whether the same old Transformers stuff is still shelf warming. Monday, I did just that… And I saw – It!

In the front display was the 2010 Lego Advent Calendar (City ver). I was pleased to see it, especially as I bought the previous 2009 edition.

What came to a letdown was the price hike from £20 to £28. The majority of 30 pounds sterling for an advent calendar is ridiculous! £20 was expensive enough.

I went home wondering if I could get a more affordable Calendar from somewhere else online. Amazon came up with the goods at £21 and they had pictures of the toys hidden behind the doors.

For a start, there are 6 mini-figures (instead of 9 like last year) and some of the toys are ‘toys’ of toys if that makes sense.

The theme this year is predominantly an internal Christmas scene where everything is indoors (cept for the snowman of course). There’s a Fireplace, Instruments, Pets, scaled down Lego vehicles as ‘toys’ and other weird objects. The indoor skateboard ramp is a pretty cool touch and maybe something Bam Margera would approve of.

Compared to the line-up from last year, this selection is a little watered down in comparison.

Of course, I also stumbled upon something in the set which has been on the lips of Lego collectors for the last few months, the obscurity that is - ‘Naked Santa!’.

I could not believe my eyes at the discovery! - Complete with a shower unit (minus the curtain) and what looks to be a ‘thong’ wearing Father Christmas. Why!?

The point behind this or the play-value it adds to a child’s Lego collection is anybody’s guess (?). This is actually one of two Santas in the set, as there is a fully clothed variant too which is illustrated on the box riding the indoor ‘train’ set.

The plot has been lost somewhere, but 'streaker' Santa could end up a very collectable figure. Is that also enough to justify £28 for an advent calendar? - You decide and have a chuckle!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Monster Mash

I managed to get a toy of the US Godzilla from a charity shop over the week gone by. My Gojira needed a sparring partner, and his American counterpart was a fair enough size to take the fight outside (the backyard)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Force is with me.

Here's me in 1980 with my Christmas Day acquisition of The Millenium Falcon from the old school Kenner Star Wars range.

Before any of my Transformers and MOTU hauls I spent many an afternoon with this awesome craft (I did get a Darth Vader, Han Solo and Luke to ride in it). I remember being allowed to sit up in bed with this before naptime. The gadgets were so cool such as the chess table, the pilot seat and the hidden floor panel. Certainly a toy before its time.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Skeletor VS Mo-Larr

After paying a ransom fee to the CUTA people for holding my parcel hostage I came home on Saturday morning with this long awaited arrival.

My SDCC Exclusive Mo-Larr VS Skeletor is finally here in all its 'I must keep sealed in packaging' glory!

For those not in the know, this 2 pack is based on the Robot Chicken season 2 comedy skit about an Eternian dentist with no allegiance for good nor evil but a life long mission to defeat cavities.

I've not cared much for the Masters of the Universe Classics stuff, but this was definitley a must have. Best kept sealed however.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Robot Plane Corps

As if the offerings of Keynsham's local Poundshop was'nt enough bootleg japery for this week, I end up finding these sized up Minicons at Poundland in Broadmead. For £1 you can buy a larger scale Minicon with firing missiles and flying mode action. May I present the Robot Plane Corps!

There are two different bots, but Poundland only had the red and black copter. The other bot - a plane was'nt present. The packaging itself even has what could be original 'Animated' inspired artwork featuring the Plane Corp duo looking happy and cheerful.

For knockoffs, this guy isn't bad. No pop off parts, a working rotor blade and firing missiles. If you have a guilty pleasure for Transformable knockoff tat and... Minicons this is certainly worth a look.


(Click to Enlarge Image)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


They're back... The Poundshop down my neck of the globe has in a newer range of the Alien Terminators.

I'm not sure what Transformers toys these are knockoffs from, but they do seem to be a bit better and bulkier for £1 worth of tat.

Anyone stateside after these, drop me a reply.