Toy Reviews

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The child actors behind the beloved characters in the Harry Potter franchise grew up in front of the eyes of their adoring fan base.  Emma Watson, who gave life onscreen to Hermione Granger, perhaps more so than many.  She went from a brilliantly talented Muggle-born witch to an equally brilliant bombshell.  While Watson now commands attention with her work for the United Nations, fans remember her most fondly as the eleven year old witch with bushy hair and big teeth that they first saw in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

One of the most admirable aspects of the Harry Potter series, both in the books and films, is that the reader gets to grow with the characters.  Yes, many readers began the journey at or around the same ages as the characters, and as each new book or film came out roughly a year apart, the ages stayed constant.  But that can be witnessed even as a new reader.  J.K. Rowling did a marvelous job of maturing her characters just enough in each book, and the movies reflect that.  The content and and themes of each subsequent installment also mature in keeping with the character development.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione go from innocents to battle-weary veterans of pain and loss.  And they come out of it in one piece.

Although there has been a lot of fuss lately surrounding Hermione and her romance choices in the books (Harry or Ron, make up your mind, Jo!), it seems a shame to focus so much on only the romantic aspect of her character.  This is a girl that gives female readers someone positive to aspire to be, someone relatable but also inspiring.  She is the smartest person in her year, even though she came from outside the fold of the wizarding world.  She is fiercely loyal to her friends and never afraid to be herself.  She is the role model for the millenials.

This introduction is the prelude to a review for a fairly new high end collectible toy company called Star Ace.  And like the Triwizard Harry Potter review we put out last week, this will cover the ins and outs of this new collectible figure, sent to us straight from the source as part of their fast-growing and very popular Harry Potter line.  Now, on to Hermione!

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Iron Man may not the best of anything to do with Iron Man (what they did with The Mandarin was sinful, and the other main bad guy, played by Guy Pierce, was an egomaniac who killed lots of people just because Tony Stark stood him up on a business date…really?), but the film did feature the largest & coolest assortment of Iron Man armors on screen (which did all get blown up by Tony for no apparent reason, but they were cool in the fleeting moments they were featured). The film also saw Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts kicking some butt… by turning into a human furnace thanks to that Extremis thing, which was sort of lame, but still – girl power and what not. Speaking of Pepper, lets take a moment and acknowledge what an underrated character she is. Pepper  is an integral part of Tony Stark’s life. She runs Stark Enterprises and keeps Tony in check. She may not be a legitimate superhero, but what a super-heroic feat it is to juggle those two things. How’s the saying go: behind every great man is a great woman.

Now, the Iron Man property itself has been the bread and butter for HOT TOYS and Sideshow Collectibles. A long line of Iron Man armors and characters have made their way to astonishingly detailed, high-end collectibles figures, with each entry in the ongoing line being highly sought after, selling out, and often going for twice as much on auction and collector sites. Because there are enough people who are Tony Stark rich (and some pretending to be), HOT TOYS  has two new 1/6th scale figures – available now – to add to the  Iron Man collectible family: Iron Man 3′s Pepper Potts and Iron Man Armor Mark IX.

Sideshow Collectibles was kind enough to send us this awesome two-pack for review. Head on past the jump to look at spiffy photos, read up on our detailed two-part take, and maybe  have some laughs along the way.  (more…)

Home alone

For many, the holiday season means friends and family.  For others, it’s all about the lights and festivities.  Still, others look forward to spending hours in front of the television, watching those old holiday classics that everyone has come to know and love.  Alongside the old staples like A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, and, of course, Die Hard, lives the 1990 John Hughes/Chris Columbus comedy, Home Alone (more…)

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From the first time she blew a Xenomorph out an airlock to her genetic orgy with the Queen alien, Ellen Ripley didn’t take shit from those tail-whipping, mouth-snapping bastards. A scared and vulnerable astronaut in the first film, Ridley Scott’s Alien, her awakening as a flamethrower-wielding warrior didn’t emerge until the second film, Aliens. That was when her maternal instincts kicked in and prompted her to go through hell to save her surrogate daughter, Newt, in her most heroic moment of squaring off with the Queen Alien. Strapped into a fork lifter Mech Suit, she smacks the queen around like a redheaded stepchild.

Now, thanks to NECA, this latter scene can be forever immortalized and re-enacted with their Aliens POWER LOADER P-5000 Deluxe Vehicle Figure, made to accompany the 7″ scale Ripley and other Alien line of figures. NECA was kind enough to send us one – under the condition that we write about it at night. Because we mostly do good work at night… mostly. (more…)