THE AFJ MAY TOP TEN LIST!!
By Jarrett Kruse
I do not know why May always seems to go so darn fast. Maybe it is because the tentpole summer movies from the studios get earlier and earlier every year. This year, Warner Bros. tried to start summer the last weekend in May and we all know how that turned out. To say the mass market figures from BVS were underwhelming is like saying its not difficult to order coffee at Starbucks.
So after looking back at the month and getting terrific input from the amazin' Admins from the Facebook page, I think we are in good shape. If not repetitive shape, since it seems that two brands seem to come up aces high with the regularity of a newborn with a full diaper. So sit back, relax, put that elbow on the TP and read what was hot in May. What made the list, what did not and which we overlooked. We love your Junkie enthusiasm and your ongoing upbeat comments. It does not go unnoticed and is appreciated!
10. FUNKO POP! VINYLS VOLTRON
I am a converted POP! fanatic for the brands I love. Translation, I do not need to have every single one, the variants, etc. But thanks to Admin Jason Nelson who gave me a stern warning that this could happen if I bought a couple, now I am completely hooked. And anything 80's is fodder for me to pick up. So when I saw that VOLTRON was available on Amazon for $10, I jumped all over it. I was wishing that they did this one as an Oversized POP! but it just wasn't in the cards. Still, make no mistake, the little VOLTRON is an office conversation starter.
I was not surprised when I did some digging that one of my favorite director's, Joe Johnston, was behind the Prototype Boba Fett. The auteur of The Rocketeer & Captain America: The First Avenger is clearly a prolific guy that knows what he is doing and has the geek cred that is unmatched. A few weeks ago on DisneyStore.com, Junkies were treated to a May the 4th Celebration of everyone's favorite Bounty Hunter in his Prototype iteration. I love that they really used the original colors that although both white, are rich with other shades of white. It really is a wonderful figure for your STAR WARS arsenal or as a display piece. And yes, it does come with the new "mini-cape" that sold out even faster than this one back in April. The Fett simply never dies. The Sarlaac Pit had no idea who he was trying to digest because it was quite possibly the baddest man in the Galaxy. No word from George Lucas, but I have decided to call the new Prototype as Fett's STAR WARS golf clothes. *Going for about $40 to $50 on the evilBay
Now here is something pretty cool because the guy who sculpted this beauty is a longtime Junkie and friend of the AFJ page. I am not sure if he was in on the big MARVEL reveal last week that Captain America was a part of HYDRA (I was sold out at my local LCS), but figure sculptor extraordinaire Jean St. Jean is certainly on a hot streak. The fact that the base for the figure has the HYDRA logo so prominently next to the figure's head makes me think that the Mouse House put that there as a clue for us. But really, who knows? I will say that this is a really quality entry to the very hot MARVEL SELECT line that is now so conveniently available online AND at your local mall's DISNEY STORE. I would pick this one up as my investment pick of the month. I think that the buzz around this comic book story-line is only just starting to pick up steam. On top of that, I really love this iteration of Cap's suit with the WWII looking brown boots and patches & buckles with a battle-damaged vibe. Thumbs up Jean.
While I reviewed this figure last week, here, I really just cannot get enough of it. Its a thing of beauty that NECA really knocked out of the park. I think it was important for them going into CON season because having this figure is really a remarkable addition to any Junkie's budding collection. From head to toe, the sculpt is an absolute marvel of action figure engineering. Try as hard as you like and its highly doubtful you will find a flaw. The greatest care and skill was put into this figure that you can still pick up for less than $25 at major online retailers or TRU. Just brilliant.
5. DIAMOND SELECT'S GHOSTBUSTERS WAVE 2 PETER VENKMAN
I reviewed this with the glee of my seven year old self. I was immediately taken back almost 32 years and it was glorious. Zach from DIAMOND SELECT TOYS has been so tremendous a friend of the AFJ brand that I am always amazed at what arrives at my door from him. This is the Venkman that you have waited for for over three decades. The sculpt is Bill Murray. The goofy icon that said, "Yes, its true, this man has no d**k" Murray and Murray alone could pull that line off. And it really is a joy to finally see him in action figure form in the absolute best possible version we are going to get. This buries the CLUB ECTO-1 version from top to bottom. Putting them next to each other and you realize just how far and fast the technology for toys is moving. You can land this comedy icon for around just $30 which is an absolute steal in my book.
4. BLACK SERIES TRIFECTA! AHSOKA, GENERAL HUX & PILOT ASTY!
After racking my brain trying to decide where these three figures should be on our TOP 10 list, I broke down and said, "that's it, I'm giving them all a spot! A Jedi, a Resistance Fighter & an ex-Weasley on a power trip! How can you not love these three? While I was able to secure Ahsoka for $21.99, which is an absolutely beautiful figure gang, the other two I have not come across once on pegs or online. Well, I did find them on the First Order's (eBay) website so they have to be out there but at this stage in the game, I'm thinking I may have to buy a case and see if I can move the others without me taking a huge loss. STAR WARS always vexes me with what becomes the figure du jour. However, I refuse to spend above $35-$40 for a 6-inch figure. What is your max on a $19.99 type figure gang? I would love to hear some opinions...
3. MATTYCOLLECTOR HE-MAN & THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE TRAPJAW!
Nine minutes Junkies. That's how long it took for TRAPJAW, my favorite MOTU figure to sell out on the most poorly run big time website. I do not blame MATTEL, I blame DIGITAL RIVER and their complete lack of who their fan base are and what kind of baggage we come equipped. Nine minutes and I was in my car but to be honest, even if I was at home with 18 windows open, I still would have S.O.L. So I had to resort to evilBay and pay a bloody fortune for the figure. It has come down considerably though hovering around $50 but this really a sweet figure. A fantastic sculpt with outstanding paint apps and the feel of a much higher end figure. I thought that the fly-swatter attachment was a little hokey but hey, nine friggin' minutes! I also fell in love with the new packaging as it leaps past the old and cumbersome white boxes. A very nice figure for any 80's MOTU Junkies.
2. MARVEL LEGENDS: CIVIL WAR BAF GIANT-MAN
Here's the rub kids. In order to make a CIVIL WAR Giant-Man, you must acquire the six figures in the wave. For whatever reason, like that pesky X-wave from a few years back, finding CIVIL WAR figures on the pegs at big box chains has been like finding the Ark of the Covenant. However if and when you do find all six figures, you get to make what is now my favorite BUILD-A-FIGURE to date: GIANT-MAN. Sure its only a brief scene in the movie but Rudd sells it big time. I finally put my BAF together and had a blast taking photos of it. So I say to you Junkies, always Pre-Order cases if you can because their is no barometer for what is going to be hot. Eventually, you will find it but now it may be a waiting game.
1. MARVEL LEGENDS: CIVIL WAR BLACK PANTHER
Oh I failed to mention that T'Challa aka BLACK PANTHER is the elusive figure that along with Nick Fury, are the reasons so many Junkies are itching to finish that BAF GIANT-MAN. BLACK PANTHER was the runaway sleeper character from CIVIL WAR and clearly it was underestimated as to just how awesome his ML figure would be. It is insane how much I love this figure. This is far and away (outside of HOT TOYS version) the best money you will spend on an ML piece. I think that $50 is worth it, especially if you are a Junkie that has been putting a lot of miles on the old Junkie-mobile and are just plain tired after a month of searching. I only found my second one, that I promised to an Admin just yesterday and that was only because I found an actually helpful WAL*MART employee that told me they'd be coming. I showed up before 7 AM and their was only one set left so go figure, literally.
HONORABLE MENTION--MARVEL LEGENDS: CIVIL WAR NICK FURY
I could not find a place for Nick on the list but wanted to give credit where credit is due. This is a fresh faced Fury that once you locate, I guarantee you will be happy with. If BLACK PANTHER is #1, the Fury is definitely #1A.