Sunday, 7 October 2018

The Road To Christmas: Holiday Joker


It has taken many years wait, but finally a figure based on Joker’s ‘Mock Mr Rogers’ appearance from “Christmas with the Joker” (Batman: The Animated Series) has become a reality!

The Clown Prince of Crime isn’t packaged alone, for he’s also accompanied by puppet sidekick Laughy The Elf and a dishevelled tree decoration.

As far as Christmas-themed action figures go - this is a must!
 




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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Flying Cauldron Butter(Scotch)beer

During the 'Road To Christmas', we’re going to be making some other stops along the way. One of these for the first time in this blogs history is the world of Harry Potter, as I cover a newly discovered product nodding to the franchise.

It was upon our familys weekly internet shop to Cyber-Tesco we discovered Butterscotch Beer or rather a fun take on the Butterbeer delicacy alluded to in J K Rowling’s book series. Butterbeer in reality is a thing! Sort of.

Going by the label, this product is a shameless 3rd party moneymaker with Potterverse fans set in its demographic sights. Going by reviews on Amazon, this product is also sold on the Warner Brothers tour to visiting punters. Flying Cauldron who dreamed up this wonderful beverage idea has certainly placed their foot into the doors of Hogwarts.

Coming from personal experience with this product, this is not beer. It says beer on the bottle, but isn’t beer at all. Another one for the Root/Ginger Beer family. This tipple is admittedly in smaller print Butterscotch Flavored cream soda (and is also Gluten-Free).  Saying that - this is very nice Cream Soda with a cool wizardry design that should appeal to all non-Muggle folk out there.



There’s nothing ‘Duff’ about this beer and this is a product I recommend for Potter-themed parties and the like. However, it is probably worth weighing up where its less expensive. This is currently exclusive to Tesco online (based in the UK), but is also retailing from various Amazon sellers and online candy stores. Prices on products like this tend to change so its worth searching around before investing in this US-based take on Butterbeer.

Butterbeer could end up being the Halloween equivalent of eggnog! 

Alternatively, there are a bazillion homebrew (no pun intended) tutorials across Youtube showing how to make Butterbeer, which is a fun option to consider. Something worth looking into for a possible follow up article.

This could get messy!

(gif courtesy of muggle.net)

Monday, 3 September 2018

The Road To Christmas 2018!


That's right! It is now the Ber Months and Christmas is looming closer.

Stay tuned for Christmas-related coverage on here as well as extra coverage on our spin-off 'All Year Santa' blog. There's a lot of upcoming Christmas tat to ramble on about as well as fun things and events from the throwback pile. If you're a long time reader you'll know we will be doing this well into January and beyond.

We have no shame.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Arrival of the LetRabots



And today’s Figured Out blog is brought to you by letters A, T, O, and W etc…

LetrAbots (subtitled:  ‘Transforming Secret Agents’) is a fun range of transforming robot letters that join the many blindbag toy ranges out there. For £2.99 a pop you get a toy, a checklist and profiled portrait card for each said toy. Each lettered character is given their own unique name instead of generically going by their alt-mode alias (e.g, P is called Plasma). 

The robot designs are a non-serious approach with beedy-eyes and chunky basic bodies. This appearance and feel of the toys gives a slight harkening back to the original 80’s McDonalds Happy Meal Changeables. Comparison photos taken! 

Being the alphabet, this line still has life after collecting all 26 toys. Having more than one of the same toy expands the play value with extra letters to create words with. Extra vowels are always a good thing! The robot range can get away with repeat characters, and there’s always potential for doing breaktime swaps with other collectors.
  


 Beyond this fun plastic display of edutainment and transforming robots is more waves on the horizon. France, Spain, Italy etc are all ahead with later releases, featuring numbered characters, glow in the dark outlines and a combining gimmick. The UK has a while to catch up yet!

LetrAbots can be found in ASDA stores, Amazon, Ebay and wherever Google may direct you… 



Wednesday, 28 March 2018

5 Selected Toys Covered in Slime..



Slime is becoming a popular plaything again. The fun days of Ecto-Plasm and Mutagen are back, but with a broader variety of colours and brands available.

Just for kicks, we’ve randomly selected some toys to go with an ensemble of slime recently purchased from various stores - and photographed the lot!

Anyone would think this blog has run out of ideas! We’re certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel to coin a phrase. So here goes…

1   1. Headbanger (Toxic Crusaders)

Toxic Crusaders is naturally a slime themed toy range, featuring characters drastically changed and deranged one way or another by radioactive goo. Headbanger was a perfect find without having to dig out the archives too much. 

2. Schleich Unicorn

Unicorn-themed anything has been a huge request on letters to Father Christmas over the last year. A perfect toy pairing, as slime has become trendy at the same time too. 


3. Dean Ambrose (WWE Retro)

Given his ventures with Nickelodeon, fellow grappler John Cena is no stranger to a slime party! On this occasion, it’s time for another WWE star to model a slime overcoat. Dean Ambrose was first out of the wrestling box! Give the Lunatic Fringe a mop and he could pass off as a pre-mutated ‘hideously-deformed-creature of the super-human size and strength’ who hails from Tromaville!


4. Fish Face (TMNT)

This is the USA exclusive repaint of Fish-Face who I like to dub Disco Fishface because of the wild new color palette. Orange is the colour used for retro-mutagen in the 2012 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an antidote version of the Kraang ooze that reverses mutations. I always thought the character Xever before he became Fish-Face was pretty cool and wanted to see him return. Alas.  

5. Putrid Pizza (Grossery Gang)

Another line of toys suited to sludge is this anthropomorphic rotten food range. I went for some extra cheese and chose a yellow slime overcoat for this modern-day Food Fighter. 

 
6. (Honorable Mention) Weird 1960’s Wind-Up Snoopy toy.

Looks like Charlie Brown’s best friend has a very bad cold. I threw this entry in to bulk up this already filler article.

All the slime in this feature was purchased at either Poundland, Home Bargains or The Entertainer. This is all the signs of pocket money well spent!


Saturday, 10 March 2018

REVIEW: WWE Retro-style Undertaker and John Cena


By: Mattel
Retail: £9.99
Accessories: None

Back in ‘them old days’ Hasbro ‘WWF’ wrestling figures were a popular selling brand. The company’s representation of Hulk Hogan and co were not the greatest toys ever by some standards; but had a real charm to them and never failed to capture the character of the wrestlers represented.


These toys were basic and repeated sculpts aside from an individual head, with little articulation and an added posed-play feature (be it a swinging arm, spring loaded ‘Ram Man’ style jump, or swivelling waist punch/clothesline). These were fun toy wrestlers that could be clashed together to re-enact classic matches as well as fantasy new ones.  Many years since, the WWF… or now WWE toyline has been handed over, evolved and changed around featuring more realistic looking and articulately larger-scale figures as a result.


Mattel who currently call the shots with everything WWE toys have taken a trip back in time by creating a sub-range of multi-era alumni figures in the old Hasbro style. This means that nostalgic collectors who kept their Hasbro wrestlers from the 90s can extend their roster, and the kids of today can experience the same charm these no frills toys presented more than 2 decades ago. The later waves of these retro figures have an additional WWE Mayhem phone app feature to give these new ‘old Hasbros’ a modern-day edge. The edge being that the QR code included will unlock the wrestler as a playable character in the WWE Mayhem game.

The first two figures I managed to score from this line are John Cena and The Undertaker (wave 1). Two iconic grapplers that many a fan would love to see a showdown between at Wrestlemania! As I write this piece, Wrestlemania 34 is on the horizon and internet gossip is thriving that this once in a lifetime dream encounter will actually happen.


Unlike The Undertaker, this is John Cena’s first action figure in this throwback style. Like with a lot of Cena merchandise, he is depicted with wearing a baseball cap. This is not removable. The posed-play feature on this figure is the gorilla press slam position with both hands are open and slightly grasping. This position has been used before with the old Hasbro figures of Hulk Hogan, and Ultimate Warrior in which their arms can be pulled back and sprung forward to launch another figure put in place. This feature has been modified for John Cena, in which the pull-back feature is located in the waist. The waist can be tilted from side to side to launch another figure sideways in an attempt to simulate Cena’s finishing manoeuvre – The Attitude Adjustment. Might I add - It works very well!


The Undertaker’s new figure is both a rehash and a new variant. This Undertaker is based on his ‘purple gloves’ look from the early-mid 90’s! Even though Hasbro already produced an Undertaker figure with this look, he is now additionally sporting the iconic purple/black striped necktie as seen on his entrance attire.

This new Undertaker also sports the ‘gorilla press’ battle-posed play feature but with the pullback arms lunging forward. That means no Tombstone, but with some imagination The Deadman can pull off a chokeslam or even a Last Ride. Then again, fantasy scrapping between plastic figures is up to the imagination of the holder!  Another noticeable difference this newer Undertaker toy has is the sculpted longer bangs of hair going past the shoulders, only… instead of solid plastic, the hair is more rubbery so the head still has some articulation.

I can’t sing the praises of this retro initiative enough. It doesn’t look like this new line will finish anytime soon as more waves of these toys featuring present and past alumni are being announced by Mattel. Based on the happy purchase of these two early figures alone, I’d be happy to pick more of these up. This is Nu-Nostalgia done right!

- @HeroKenFlatt
Figures courtesy of wrestlingshop.com

Click for more images.