Friday, May 27, 2016

Star Wars Crusible Arena 6-pack

I had totally forgotten this set existed...I got it when it was new, in 2008, but I never put it with my other Star Wars figures, so it was out of sight, out of mind, until I found them in a box last night!

This six-pack was an exclusive in Previews, and is based on the Crimson Empire comic series. When Dark Horse started producing the Star Wars comics, I didn't read them for the first decade. I remembered how bad the Marvel Star Wars comics were so I gave the a wide berth, until the first Free Comic Book Day in 2001. I happened to visit Racing City Hobbies in South Glens Falls, NY, which was supposed to be a trip for models, which the store also does. I had totally forgotten it was Free Comic Book Day but I walked in and saw a free Star Wars comic on the counter, so naturally, I got one. I really enjoyed it- it was A LOT better than I even thought it would be, nothing at all like the Marvel run of 1977-85. Shortly after a trip was made to Barnes & Noble in Wilton, NY to get whatever I could get in the form of trade paperbacks. I'm not much of a trade person, I prefer the original comics, but I figured it would be a good way to get some of the Dark Horse Star Wars comics. The first ones I ended up reading were the Crimson Empire I and II trades, so they have always been stories I've favored.

Eventually, Hasbro realized there was a lot more to Star Wars than just the movies, and started making figures based on the comics. This set happens to be one of them. Most of the comic-based figures were issued as promos, and like I mentioned above, this one is no exception.

It includes 4 figures that are mostly the same except head sculpt and paint job, and repackages of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, with some minor paint differences.

The story of all three Crimson Empire series, plus several other stories, follows Kir Kanos, who was the last survivor of the Emperor's Royal Guard. The Crusible Arena, which this set is based off of, was the final test for prospective Royal Guards, where they faced each other...and then Darth Vader. If they survived, they joined the Royal Guard ranks. It's a big IF!

Kir Kanos, the star of the series.
Carnor Jax, his main rival.
Alum Frost. This photo is notable as the first action figure photo I've taken with my 3rd camera.

Lemmet Tauk. I have to be honest, I have not read the story since probably 2005 or so, and I don't really remember the latter two to get figures. I don't think they survived the Crusible but it's been a long time. (When I dig my books out, I plan to reread them)

This Darth Vader features a removable helmet, which I did not photograph, and full articulation.

My photo of Emperor Palpatine came out a little blurry but not so bad that I felt the need to reshoot it.

I also, as is my usual practice, did not include weapons in the photos. Both Sith came with Lightsabers, and all 4 Royal Guard trainees came with dual-bladed battle staffs.

Monday, February 22, 2016

DC Direct Wonder Woman (Version 1)

Once again, it's been far too long since I've written a post for this blog. I have not posted in over a month.

Moving back to DC Comics, today's figure comes from the DC Direct line. It began in 1999 and the figures are larger- average 6 inches. I prefer the smaller scale of the GI Joe and Star Wars figures, but we collected the DC Direct line from it's inception through 2007.

This was actually the first figure in the DC Direct line. The quality was not quite what it would be one day, the plastic used is different as well. One problem DC Direct has is the same trap that has befallen most of DC's retail lines as well, too much of the same thing. That's one of the main reasons we stopped collecting the line- even before we stopped totally, we had stopped getting the duplicate characters. Even so, I have nine different Wonder Woman figures, although they do represent several different costumes.

This figure is based on the George Perez run, which was the best in Wonder Woman history. (War of the Gods is my favorite DC story)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Starting Lineup 1998 Kenny Wallace

Starting Lineup figures could be a lot of fun, but they didn't always get the faces right. Near the end of the run they seemed to get worse in the facial accuracy department. This figure of Kenny Wallace, from 1998, is close to the end of the run. It's not the least accurate by far, but it's not really a good representation of Kenny.

It was the only figure of him ever released.