Category Archives: Collectible

iReview :: Star Trek Starships Collection – SPOCK’S JELLYFISH

Eaglemoss Collections releases its latest “special issue” model in their Star Trek Starships line of perhaps one of the more obscure designs to ever be featured in the extensive cinematic mythology.

When film director J.J. Abrams was given the duty of rebooting one of the longest-running science fiction franchises in popular culture, fans were more than a little nervous about how the visionary filmmaker would approach Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry’s “wagon train to the stars” inspired generations, and 50 years later it’s thriving beyond anyone’s expectations. Abrams then elevated the brand by creating an “alternate timeline”.

In his 2009 film Star Trek a Romulan ship from the future travels back to the 22nd Century and effectively shifts reality with its incursion. Another vessel from the future is also caught in the temporal wake, that craft is piloted by a legend and is among one of the most unusual designs ever seen in the Trek universe. Spock’s Jellyfish Ship is recreated by the folks at Eaglemoss Collection as part of their “Special Issue” releases of the Star Trek Starships Collections.

Solidly constructed and slightly larger than the regular line of starships Spock’s Jellyfish measures nearly 6” in length and diameter. Highly detailed and well-textured to evoke the vessel’s uniquely organic looking design. The gyroscopic spokes are on full display, but are not articulated to mimic the movement as seen in the film, but that hardly diminishes the overall attractiveness of this model. The coloring does dull its shine, though amplifies its authenticity.

In the script for the film the vessel is literally described as a “jellyfish” (as revealed in Mark Cotta Vaz’s book Star Trek: The Art of the Film) and was further developed from an original idea by comic book artist/illustrator Bryan Hitch, so it should come as no surprise that the ship itself is one of the most peculiar in recent cinematic mythology, but still maintains a continuity of Vulcan ships. Hitch insists that he wanted “something not like conventional Federation ships,” and with its gyroscopic design, the “Jellyfish” certainly lives up to that dictum.

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Of all the recent releases from Eaglemoss Collections this “special issue” is a bit lackluster. The model builders have been dedicated to producing a high-end subscription line with their Star Trek Starships Collections, but “Spock’s Jellyfish” is simply just a large-sized mock up. Perhaps it would have been asking too much to construct a model that also featured the gyroscope components — which could have been accomplished with just three parts — the Jellyfish is just not as interesting as a solid, non-moving, prop.

The model is also mostly constructed of plastic. Though it feels like it sports some heft, the die-cast may be relegated to a portion at the forefront of the model, which pulls it slightly down on its stand. A seam along the front hull is slightly off and should be something that Eaglemoss should carefully monitor in their quality control. This is often than not an issue with their models.

Given that the modelers have kept the price of their “Special Issues” at about $40 – $45 on the mainland (mostly because of the limited factory release of these larger-sized offerings) it is a bit pricey especially for those of us that mostly display these finds. Eaglemoss Collections can be depended upon for a unique collectible experience, but the sculptors need to be delivering a more sophisticated product, especially with competitors appearing on the market.

Recently they’ve announced the production of larger scale releases, an 11” Classic Series Enterprise NCC 1701 is the first in this new line, fetching nearly $80 for the avid collector. I would suggest that if they are looking to keep or court more fans to their subscription based products, they need to be more less careless. A little precision goes a long way.

Eaglemoss Collections Star Trek The Official Starships Collection – Spock’s Jellyfish Ship “Special Issue”  is available now stateside or by visiting Eaglemoss Collections online.

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Unboxing…The BATMAN

The action figure collectibles market is again booming thanks to toy makers eager to latch onto the adult collector!

The collectible action figure market has exceedingly grown up with its market, and never more so than in the last decade. Everyone from Hasbro, Mattel to competitively invested Japanese toy makers have invested in the fabrication of sculpting multi-articulated and artfully crafted figures that outweigh their appeal to capture adult collectors, and similarly attract younger investors. The DC Comics universe and all its brand expansion has generated some high-collectible interest especially in the last year.

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Medicom Toy manufacturers Batman action figure based on the film design appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is among one of the best on the market for a 6″ line.

With several movie and television licenses, and a limitless volume of publication imprints to their name, DC Comics must lead the charge on several toy lines that have grabbed collectors attention and garnered major excitement. Among one of the most anticipated films of the year, Warner Bros. launched the blockbuster season with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which expanded on the DC Comics Cinematic Universe and brought together on the big screen for the first time the “big three” including the film’s headliners and Wonder Woman.

The action figure roll out featured for all audiences a selection of 1:18 (3.75”), 1:12 (5”- 6”) and 1:10  (7”) scale at several different price levels. The DC Comics Multiverse line released prior to the BvS film’s premiere in theaters gave fans the first look at the characters distinct looks for the big screen with durably strong, variably articulated and heavily accessorized action figures for general play. The release was also accompanied by figures for the DC TV personalities including The Flash and Green Arrow as they appear in their respective television series.

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Though the likeness of these figures, the detailing and craftsmanship is admirable, for the adult collector, more recent releases will be far more attractive especially in the form of the action figure line from Japanese toy maker Medicom Toy. No. 017 in the line is part of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice series. Let’s examine the Batman action figure now available on the collectible market. I picked up my figure here in New York City’s Midtown Comics Grand Central Station location, and I was skeptical at first of picking up the figure.

The last Medicom figure I purchased was their version of Batman (V.1) as he appeared in The Dark Knight Rises and although the figure was highly-detailed, beautifully crafted and well articulated, it was extremely delicate in construction. The right arm on the initially purchased figure fell out of its socket when it was raised to shoulder height. I exchanged that figure, and the second also suffered from a similar limitation. I resorted to never moving the right arm to keep it in place. Already from the looks of the much sturdier BvS version, that isn’t a problem.

The detail alone on the 6″ figure is astounding. The figure is accurately sculpted to resemble actor Ben Affleck in the kevlar armor suit he dons for most of the film. The proportions are among the best ever for a figure of this size and appear to have been made from a laser scan of the actor in the suit itself. The brass-fitted detailing on the Batsuit, including the utility belt, gauntlet and steel-tipped boots are appropriately worn from battle. The cape is properly fitted under the cowl through to the shoulders and is wired to allow for dramatic poses.

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The figure is packed with movie-accurate accessories including a perfectly sized batarang, Batman’s signature grappling gun and the kryptonite grenade launcher the character uses in the film in defense against the Man of Steel. The action figure is hyper-articulated for an unimaginable number of positions and comes with a transparent stand to solidly pose the figure for display. By comparison to the similarly scaled DC Comics Multiverse figure from Mattel of about the same size, the Medicom figure is far superior and a much better buy for the price point.

The Mattel line, which is meant to appeal to a younger audience, and is manufactured for practical play, is a hunk of a 6″ figure, and for what it lacks in detail it makes up for in articulation, but the Medicom figure is in a class all of its own. Ideal for the serious collector, great for play and posing, this Batman v Superman Batman action figure is a delight. The first in a series that will also feature Superman and Wonder Woman in their movie accurate costume, Medicom is also releases a companion set of figures based on the cast of Suicide Squad to position alongside the expanding DC Comics cinematic universe.

A high-end line of action figures based on BvS from DC Collectibles will also be hitting the market under the brand title of “DC Films” and promises to deliver on the level of the Medicom Toy line, but in the meantime this series is a must have, and at a price mark of just under $50 they are well worth picking up.

Eaglemoss Delivers on the Starship Enterprise

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Never a more decorated vessel in Starfleet’s history…and now just in time for its 50th Anniversary, the “USS Enterprise” comes home.

Perhaps it couldn’t be anymore appropriate that this week’s shipment from Eaglemoss Collections of Star Trek The Official Starships Collection featured the one that started it all. Issue 50 in the line of vessels from the longline of spacefaring ships to map out Federation space and beyond, is none other than the one that started it all: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.

Beautifully die cast an measuring approximately 5 inches in length, Captain Kirk’s fabled Constitution class ship has been expertly reproduced; all her delicate lines captured in great detail. Considering the size of the model, the weigh it significantly ideal and hefty along the saucer section of the ship, which holds the nerve-center of the ship.

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Eaglemoss Collections’ USS Enterprise is one of the best releases yet from the die-cast series of collectibles.

The nacelles and lower engineering hull appear to be in perfect proportions to the original designs inspired by the tv ship’s designer Matt Jeffries. This model of the Enterprise also matches many of the details that were introduced when the ship was upgraded for the high-resolution BLu-ray release of Star Trek: The Original Series Remastered.

Of all the ships that have been released by Eaglemoss and carry the name Enterprise (including the larger scale “special issue” from the reboot) this is by far one of the best models, and is sure to please any starship collector. It wouldn’t be a fleet without one of the Federation’s finest! The model also comes with a 20-page magazine with background info.

DC Comic’s “Convergence” Re-Converged

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Part II. Writer Jeff King took on mission impossible revisiting highlights in DC Comics multiverse for the event series “Convergence”

Tasked with marking the 30th Anniversary of DC Comic’s milestone, the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths writer Jeff King had several years of the publishing giant’s history to comb through, but it would all begin with its most iconic champion. At the core of King’s epic is none other than the Man of Steel. Superman is caught in a game of wills with his arch nemesis Brainiac…and the winner takes all!

But what’s at stake? Only the fate of the multiverse. It started with “FlashPoint” — the events that followed reshaped the DC Universe, “The New 52” relaunched every major character in the DC pantheon. The contemporary Superman, after finding himself cured of a Doomsday virus,  is whisked away to a null space in time and confronts a version of Brainiac he has never faced before.

Brainiac subjugates the Man of Steel easily. The contemporary version of Superman is still very young and inexperienced in using his superpowers, but that does not mean that he’s not still a formidable force. Buying time to learn everything he can about Brainiac’s plan, Superman learns how throughout the multiverse every version of himself is purposefully linked to a “crisis” event.

In essence, Brainiac has been gathering bits of “history” throughout the multiverse and incapsulating “moments”. Each one an effort to learn more properly find a weakness in the Man of Steel, but each time he fails. Brainiac’s efforts, a generation’s worth of work, is killing him — causing a cancer that is ripping him apart all throughout the multiverse.

Seeking the information he needs to guarantee his survival, Brainiac has harvested doomed civilizations from throughout the timeline and brought them to a planet…a living planet named Telos. There was no question to series writer King, the scope and magnitude of the work he was about to undertake. “The stories we are doing in Convergence come from everybody who’s contributed to the stories that have come from [DC Comics] Crisis on Infinite Earths to Zero Hour to Kingdom Come — all of those events,” said King, adding: “I’m working with a laths of characters, and we’re going to be answering some very important questions.”

By the time King came to Convergence many of the thematic details had been graphed for him. “A lot of the groundwork had already been laid,” King revealed. “I inherited a lot of the work.” Events within the then established DC continuity were also in upheaval due to the weekly series Future’s End which placed our favorite characters five-years into a future that appeared particularly hopeless. How would our heroes prevail?

“The beauty of it all is that it will culminate in a big change for all of them.” King promised that by the end of his Convergence the heroes would all be irrevocably altered, and the DC multiverse would also be forever changed. On the planet “Telos” the heroes (and villains) found themselves in a bizarre “contest of champions” with the fate of their cities hanging in the balance.

At the end of Convergence, in order to save the entirety of the timeline, FlashSupergirl and Hal Jordan — all casualties of previous “crisis” events must travel to pivotal points in history — specifically the collapse of the multiverse. Again they face sacrificing themselves to save all of existence!

Convergence written by Jeff King is now collected in a single hardcover edition that includes Issues #0 – #8 of the now classic event.

Excepts from this feature first appeared in an Alter-EDGE Interview featuring Jeff King.

DC Comics ICONS Get Articulated!

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Just in time for the holidays DC Comics releases the most ambitious line of action figures worthy of the multiverse that they hail from. These are ICONS!

The action figure collectible has become huge for fans in the market to not only partake of their favorite adventures whether they be television favorites or comic book hero, now DC Collectibles adds to their increasing line of variants with the DC Comics ICONS Action Figure line.

Crossing all spectrums of the multiverse and celebrating the near centennial history of the comics publisher the ICONS line will feature the most highly detailed sculpts, multiple points of articulation and accessorized features of any previously released model.

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The DC Comics ICONS line of collectible action figures will feature the most articulation of any line competitively on the market for a 6″ figure line.

The premiere set of the line just launched and features Batman from “Last Rites”Deadman from “Brightest Day”Green Arrow from “The Long Bow Hunters”, and Mister Miracle from “Earth 2” with a deluxe version of Green Lantern with Emerald Armor and coming up soon The Flash with Cosmic Treadmill.

Several other figures will be released in future lines including a classic take on Superman, his arch nemesis Lex Luthor and the villainous Joker. With the current focus of creatives at DC taking readers through all points and parts and of the multiverse and the publishing house’s history, the ICONS line will certainly feature prominently on fan’s holiday lists.

The DC Comics ICONS is meant to appeal not only to the die-hard collector but also those that enjoy a design with a degree of playability, which the multi-jointed and accessorized 6″ figures have in spades. The proportions of each are also quite realistic and the detail is much more accurate as compared perhaps to Hasbro’s line of Marvel LEGENDS.

Similar to that line of figures, ICONS will transcend to include versions of characters from post “The New 52” continuity as well. Additionally DC Collectibles will also be expanding on its line of television based action figures, as it adds Black Canary from “Arrow” and the highly anticipated release of the Reverse-Flash from “The Flash”.

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The DC Comics ICONS line of collectible action figures will feature the most articulation of any line competitively on the market for a 6″ figure line.
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Superman and from “Forever Evil” Atomic with a legacy of Atoms.

On Blu-ray: Justice League Unlimited

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Coming home in full HD are the remaining episodes in the popular “Justice League Unlimited” series…and the league has never looked better!

When Batman: The Animated Series debuted in syndication it brought with it all the gravitas of the 1990 Tim Burton feature film, and it single-handedly elevated the animated series to a new level. The story arcs were darker, plenty more sophisticated and the artwork — though stylishly simple — set the tone perfectly. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini had created a phenomenon.

It wasn’t long before audiences wanted to explore more beyond the streets of Gotham and the production team introduced the proper spin-off Superman: The Animated Series which brought the Man of Steel into the animated continuity. After several Emmy® Winning seasons of both series, it was time for the roster to expand, and Justice League was introduced into primetime.

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Loosely basing its origins on the more contemporary team of heroes that included both Batman and Superman, as well as properly rounding out the pantheon with the inclusion of Wonder Woman, the “modern day” Flash (Wally West), the aliens Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl who all operated out of an orbiting Watchtower. The series in this incarnation had a very healthy run.

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With the trinity in place all the heroes of the world rally behind the create the Justice League Unlimited available now on Blu-ray.

At the end of the series run, the writers decided to end things with a band and delivered the feature film length “Star-crossed” arc that raised the threat level for our heroes. With the earth on the brink of joining the universal community, the Justice League decide that the time has come to expand their reach.

From a newly designed Watchtower all of earth’s heroes gather and more effectively deploy to deal with any threat that comes their way. No longer dependent on their core group, not with an unlimited membership roster, the final season of the series, renamed Justice League Unlimited took on a more anthology tone with a revolving cast .

Able to incapsulate story arcs to two to three episodes, Unlimited spanned the entirety of the DC Universe and changed animated adventures for an entire generation. What followed were the full-length DC Animated Adventures that continue to adapt graphic novel series as well as present original stories featuring all our favorite characters.

The 3-disc Blu-ray set of Justice League Unlimited: The Complete Series is available now from the DC Comics Shop.