TJ’s Toy Chest: DC Universe Classics Atom Smasher, Blue Aquaman & Classic Booster Gold

Between the cat being a jerk and Atom Smasher’s right leg popping out, this was a surprisingly difficult picture to take. But more on that in a bit. As I mentioned recently, the only figures I was missing from the Atom Smasher wave of DCUC figures were Booster Gold and Blue Costume Aquaman. I also recently came into some Target gift cards, which I figured I could put to good use by picking up at least the Booster figure. Last week the missus and I went to Target and I was shocked to see that that exact wave of figures was on clearance for the reduced price of $10.40. Now, that doesn’t quite reach back to my action figure heyday when I could get four figures for $20, but it was discount enough to get me to buy that damn Blue Costume Aquaman. The reason I hate that figure is because 1) there already are two Aquaman figures out there in the world that I already have and 2) he came with the torso of the Atom Smasher figure. It’s the only move of the DCUC line that bothers me. What not help us out a bit and have Flash come with the torso and not a figure stand? Because no one would buy him otherwise, is the answer I assume. In the end, I’m not too upset because, in my head, I spent the $10 for an Atom Smasher figure that came with an Aquaman figure. As you can see from the pictures (aside from the missus’ clear contempt for what I was doing in the background) I finally decided on the classic version of the Booster figure even though I really wanted the Skeets with Mr. Mind in it. I decided to go with the larger figure I preferred, which is the one with the collar. Anyway, Aquaman and Booster are both great figures. I like how Skeets attaches in the back in the same way that Mr. Terrific’s T Spheres do. I’m also a big fan of the Atom Smasher figure, though how much cooler would it have been if it was his previous identity Nuklon? As I mentioned his right leg popped out a few times, but overall, he’s a great build-a-figure and definitely the largest figure in my collection (I have the Giganta wave figures, but not Giganta herself or any of the equally large Marvel Legends ones).

I think the build a figure concept might be the best thing to come along in action figures in years. Why not give people a little extra value in their package with pieces to build a larger figure who looks awesomely cool when finally assembled? Metamorpho, Gorilla Grodd, Metallo, Solomon Grundy and Kalibak are all sick and I hope to add the other large figures to my collection, especially Kilowog. I love me some Green Lanterns.

TJ’s Toy Chest: DC Universe Classics Blue Devil

I mentioned at the end of last year that Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line of 6-inch figures with Collect and Connect pieces for bigger figures included in each package was my favorite toyline. There are plenty of other toy lines that I love as well, but this is the one that I still try and buy. I’ve got almost every figure from Waves 1-7 (I’m missing Amazo, the Green Parademon, Ocean Camo Aquaman and Booster Gold and a bunch of C&C figure pieces) so I was pretty surprised when the missus and I went to K-Mart and not only saw DCUC figures–which they haven’t had any other time I went in there–but Wave 13?! Holy crap. They even had the entire wave which consists of current Booster Gold, Negative Man (they only had the bandaged version), two Cheetahs, 90s Superboy, Cyclotron, red costume Donna Troy and Blue Devil. It was a hard choice between Blue Devil, Superboy and Blue Beetle, but I went with the Devil here. Continue reading TJ’s Toy Chest: DC Universe Classics Blue Devil

My Toy Line Of The Year

There were a hell of a lot of great toys that came out this year. I got to see far more than my fair share of them while I worked at ToyFare, but I have to say that my absolute favorite line this year was Mattel’s DC Universe Classics followed very closely by their Masters Of The Universe Classics. Being a gigantic DC fanboy, the DCUC line plays right to my heart (and my wallet) by offering up iconic versions of classics characters, awesome B-, C-, D- and Z-list characters and Collect and Connect figures that make me want to get every single figure they put out. This line, along with Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs, was one of the few I spent my own money on. Just wait until you see what they’ve got coming out in 2010 (and by that, I mean check out the February issue of ToyFare in which I got to talk to Mattel’s Scott Neitlich about their awesome plans for celebrating DC’s diamond anniversary.

As I mentioned Mattel’s Masters Of The Universe Classics also blew me away, as did their Ghostbusters figures. I was also really impressed by how good Hasbro’s 3 3/4-inch Marvel Universe figures turned out. Oh, and, as usual, Diamond Select Toys’ MiniMates kicked ass (especially the Ghostbusters ones). plus, DC Direct DOMINATED with their Green Lantern figures which are now morphing into the ridiculously cool Blackest Night waves. Overall, I think everyone really came at 2009 with their very best and it was a great year from NECA, Mezco (those 3 3/4 inch horror figures were SICK!), Sideshow, Bowen, Gentle Giant, Shocker and everyone else. Hopefully 2010 will be just as rad, and from what I’ve seen, it absolutely will be.