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Issue 78 : Saturday 28th April, 2018

Diamond Select have revealed these packaged images of their upcoming 7" Select Black Panther movie figure. The packaging is the standard Select oversized blister, but with a very vibrant yellow theme with blue trimming and side art. It is also nice to see that the MCU figures do not seem to have followed suit with other recent Select releases such as Ghostbusters and Gotham where the sideart has changed to a figure image.

Diamond Select Toys have tweeted about a number of their Marvel Select figures being re-released into Disney stores to coincide with the release of Avengers Infinity War. The figures in question are comic book based, but are characters that will appear in Infinity War and this is the same principle that they applied for Civil War.

The figure is due for release next month (May) in the US. In terms of UK distribution we have to assume a similar situation to the last few releases which are taking an additional 4-6 weeks to hit UK stockists.

Doctor Strange is the blue headed version, but includes the Stephen Strange head. Hulkbuster is a repack with the Gladiator Hulk more of a restock. The final figure is the Mighty Thor. The tweet also talked about a reveal on Monday. This was simply the official US announcement of the Disney Store Thanos and unmasked Spider-Man, something the UK has had for a number of weeks already.

Responding to a fan's question on Twitter, Diamond Select Toys have pretty much confirmed the end of the Gotham Select 7" figure line which launched in 2015 and has given us 12 characters from the show.

While the end of any line is sad, the Gotham line is one that leaves me a little unfulfilled when you consider the figures we never got like Fish Mooney. The last wave with Mr Freeze and Azrael seemed to be going in the right direction with more visual figures, but we have to assume the sales were not there. If you want to have a look at the figures released in the Gotham line, then check out our Gotham Select Archive

Mezco have opened US pre-orders for their One:12 Collective Blade figures, and with this the promotional imagery for the figure. Blade is essentially comic book based, but does obviously borrow a lot of visual elements from the Wesley Snipes Blade movies. Blade comes with two head options, one of which is a very impressive Vampire snarling version. You can choose to use the sunglasses on either head and the body can also be adjusted further with a variety of hand options. THe hands all have different uses to hold the myriad of accessories which include guns, boomerangs, stakes and a sword with a working sheath. You also get some nuzzle effects to slot into the weapons. There is also the standard figure display stand

Mezco have announced the full details of their DC Darkseid figure arriving between September and November 2018. This 19cm figure not only has a few extra cms on the usual Mezco 6" offering, but it also comes with some pretty innovative features. The figure is essentially cast in Poly-stone, with metal parts including his Helmet and Chest piece. The clothing remains soft goods and tailored and the cloak is removable. Other features include a light up feature in the helmet with four swap-out magnetic face-plates. There are also a number of hand options, a mother box and the usual display stand. He will be supplied in a special metal collectors case. He will arrive in the final quarter of 2018, and will cost the standard $80 with $20 being a non-refundable deposit if you order now from Mezco in the US. Independent pre-orders are starting to crop up in the UK, checkout our partners Toys in the Attic and Kapow.

All these extras do mean the price on Darkseid is $180 with $36 non-refundable deposit for US collectors. Watch out for UK pre-orders opening soon.

The One:12 Collective Blade figure features two intricately detailed head portraits: an unwelcoming scowl and a bloodcurdling roar. No details were overlooked when designing the infamous daywalker. His outfit boasts a leather-like black trench coat with an integrated wire for dynamic posing, as well as a tailored three-quarter sleeve t-shirt and motorcycle style pants. Blade comes well-equipped to hunt down creatures of the night with accessories including a customized submachine gun with removable magazines, a pump action shotgun, his signature sword with removable sheath, collapsible throwing blades, striking stakes, and of course, sunglasses.

Darkseid, Overlord of Apokolips, joins the One:12 Collective.

Eric Brooks was being born when a vampire attacked his mother during childbirth, passing on a series of enzymes that transformed Eric into a Dhampir – a being tainted by a vampire’s kiss, but not converted. Now infused with all of a vampire’s powers but few of their weaknesses and determined to avenge his mother’s death, Eric Brooks arms himself with weapons that are fatal to the undead and fashioned himself into the vampire hunter known as Blade.

The One:12 Collective Darkseid figure is the first ever fully articulated Poly-Stone figure featuring a newly created One:12 Collective body that encompasses his immense stone physique. Incorporating magnetically interchangeable faceplates and light-up Omega Beam eyes, Darkseid is primarily made of Poly-Stone with casted metal accents to achieve a level of authenticity never achieved with the character. The tyrannical New God is clothed in his signature royal tunic with a real metal helmet, chest plate, waist belt, and includes an Apokoliptian ceremonial cloak with an armored harness. His sentient Mother Box supercomputer is also made from metal and magnetically stores on the back of his belt. Darkseid, ruling dictator of the dystopian planet of Apokolips, seeks to abolish freewill and enslave all life in the universe. A being of unparalleled strength, intelligence and boundless evil, his divine powers make him not only a threat to the heroes of earth, but to every world within his grasp.

The Disney Store is targeting May the 4th this year as its big launch day of new Star Wars product for Solo and the wider Star Wars Universe. Within what will likely be a product range of PVC figurines and roleplay are some new 6.5" Elite Series figures. This image is now circulating of one of these figures, a brand new and extremely impressive Darth Vader from Return of the Jedi complete with removable helmet. The figure is branded as a 35th Anniversary Figure to celebrate 35 years since the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983. At this stage it is not known if Vader will be the sole figure, or there are more planned in this anniversary wave.

The promotional images of the SH FIguarts Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker have finally been released. It seems pre-orders will go up by the end of the week. The initial magazine scan that leaked this figure indicated it would be a Bandai Webstore Exclusive, we will update the article once we have more details this coming Friday (27th). The figure comes with three head portraits, with the "Sith Eyes" version looking great, and the screaming head looking pretty disturbing. Accessories include his trusty lightsaber, and we will also get alternative hands with force gesture and clenched fists visible on the promo images.

The next Tamashii Nations Movie Realization figures, Star Wars Movie Realization Snowtrooper, has gone up online alongside some gorgeous promotional images. The figure is being released around September, but will be a Bandai Webstore exclusive. The trooper will come with a samurai sword and a re-imagined version of the E-Web cannon.

The Hulkbuster will arrive in December and is a combination of a standard SH Figuarts figure and a Chogokin (Super Alloy) release. This would indicate some level of diecast metal parts and it also will come with light up features. We would assume that will equate to a much higher than average RRP.

In March, SH Figuarts revealed a bunch of brand new 1/12 figures for release across 2018 for the Avengers Infinity War movie. At the time the images for Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier and the new Infinity War Hulkbuster were held back. These images and more details of each figure have now been revealed. Bucky Barnes will come with his rifle which seems to potentially have moving parts and a removable ammo clip. He will also get the standard swap out hand options for a variety of poses. The head-sculpt on Bucky sadly looks quite a way off in terms of the likeness to Sebastian Stan. No dates have been confirmed for Bucky as yet. But the current line-up runs until July so would expect the two of them would land August onwards?

Another new figure announced by SH Figuarts as Infinity War hit cinemas was this new release of Rocket Racoon. The figure looks to be pretty much a re-use of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 release which was packed with Baby Groot and released last September (2017). This newer version seems to have some variant paint apps as well as a brand new weapon. Alternative heads sculpts are still included, including the disturbing "smiling" Rocket.

NECA have shared the first look at the packaging layout and design for their 8" The Fog Captain Blake figure. Still sometime to go as the figure isn't due for release until end of 2018.

The SH FIguarts Infinity War line continues to get bigger, as promised in the launch poster, and after unveiling Buck the next reveal is this Infinity War Hulk figure. Hulk looks to come with neutral and angry head options. We await more details on this figure, and would expect this to be a late 2018 release

SH Figuarts have also updated the listings for their Infinity War Spider-Man figure with new images of his costume. We've known for a while this is the Iron-Spider suit and have also seen the mechanical arms on other items like the Hasbro basic line. THis gives us a closer look at the arms which look to be a backpack type design on the Figuarts release and have articulation across the segmented joints. They do look a little plasticy to me and I would hope the retail version addresses this. How long until Hasbro now unveil their updated version?

Some big UK news in terms of store finds was the Marvel Legends Infinity War Wave 1 figures arriving at Asda stores. Not only that, but they were sub ÂŁ19 with a price tag of ÂŁ18.97 per figure. I confirmed this myself in Bolton where the full wave was on shelf. Working to a budget I went with Proxima Midnight and Iron-Spider and hope to go back for more later. It seems these figures aren't in every Asda, and in deed I had tried two others before Horwich and found nothing, not even a label. The best guide I can give is that Horwich is listed as a Supercentre on the Asda Store Locator. Other stores are then designated Superstore or Supermarket. I would hazard a guess that the figures are part of an expanded range of Toys in these larger Supercentres.

Promotional images have been released of the Medicom MAFEX Bruce Wayne figure from Justice League. The figure will come with three Batarangs and a Parademon weapon. Also included is a new Batman head and collar piece, these will allow collectors who own the Justice League Tactical Suit Batman to amend it's look with this variant head option. Bruce Wayne is scheduled for a February 2019 release. Expect to be paying at least $80 / ÂŁ70 when this goes up for international pre-orders

Medicom's MAFEX Spider-Man figure will arrive in February 2019. This new version of Spidey is more comic book based and is highly articulated and can achieve, as you can see from the images, a wealth of fantastic poses. The figure has two masked head options, each with their own eye expression. It has also been revealed that an unmasked Peter Parker head will be included alongside a mask for him to hold. The figure also comes with swap out hands and feet and these are magnetic to allow the figure to be posed climbing a wall (assuming it is a metal wall. The figure also gets a number of web shooting FX pieces. The figure is likely to set you back $70 / ÂŁ60 when it goes up for pre-order

Find out which NECA Alien figure topped the Top 10 in the 2018 Alien Day Fan;s Vote

It is strange to think that as of this issue there will be no more Toys R Us stores trading in the UK. With the final few stores closing their doors for good on the 24th of April. I took a final nostalgic trip to my local store in Preston over the weekend of their closure, and it was sad to see the store reduced to the state you see in the images below.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Toys R Us employees for all their hard work over the many years that Toys R Us has been serving UK collectors. We hope they have all found alternative employment and wish them the best for the future. The UK market is going to be a very interesting place in the coming weeks and months as we see how things settle after the removal of the biggest player. We suspect Smyths will alter very little in terms of their product and service offering, and they may well now look for new stores in areas once served by a Toys R Us. They are also going to be busy having confirmed acquisition of Toys R Us in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We collectors may continue to drop lucky with Smyths who do seem very fluid in their stock of lines like Star Wars Black Series and Marvel Legends. The supermarkets are bound now to take advantage, is it a coincidence that Asda are the only major retailer with the Infinity War Legends at this point? Others that will flourish, most likely on older stock, are the discount brands like Home Bargains and TK Maxx. The other player is of course The Entertainer. but they seem content in their own bubble and like Smyths we will have to watch out for the surprise stocks.

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Wave 1 of the Avengers Infinity War figures includes the first of the Black Order in the shape of Proxima Midnight. The packaging on these new figures uses a purple and yellow theme against the usual black of the Marvel Legends boxes. The side art, presented in a purple hue, is particularly impressive.

The card back shows an image of the figure against a purple misty backdrop. There is a the briefest of background text which won't spoil anything and simply confirms Proxima Midnight as a lieutenant in the Black Order.

Proxima Midnight comes with the torso of Thanos, who is the build-a-figure for this line. The figure and the part are in a standard inner tray with no twisty ties. Proxima's spear is laid diagonally across the package.

Out of the packaging and looking at the sculpt, and Proxima is a magnificent head sculpt. She does look a little masculine, but that seems to mirror what we see on screen. The head piece has some red detailing on the cranial sections, and under these are some very well painted dark eyes with red pupils staring out. Her hair is swept back from the forehead and is coloured purple.

The costume is not as plain as it may look at first as there is a swirling relief pattern across the whole suit with varying panels of metallic grey and metallic white. Her left arm is armoured, with bronze shoulder guard down into gauntlets. The same principle applies to her right leg with golden straps around the thigh down to a bronze boot.

Proxima is a very tall figure, standing 7 1/2 inches high and she therefore cuts an impressive figure against the normal human sized characters. She will look brilliant once you build your Thanos and have them side by side, and this will be further enhanced as we get Cull Obsidian later this year,

While she is tall, the body shape is very lithe and therefore articulation is awesome. Proxima has 18 points of articulation starting as usual with a ball jointed head - although this is restricted somewhat by the hair.

Proxima is armed with her spear. This is another hefty sized piece, being the same size as the figure - 7 and 1/2 inches long. This is cast in a softer plastic and while the majority of the sculpt is neat, the end blades can be warped out of the pack. There is no paint app, just the simple bronze plastic in which this was cast.

The spear fits in the right hand and can then be cradled with the left should a two handed pose be warranted.

The torso has a ball joint not a T-joint and there is no waist joint. The arms have a ball jointed shoulder, bicep swivel, double jointed elbows and wrist joint - the shoulder on the left arm is a little less manoeuvrable than the right due to the shoulder armour. The legs are a similar setup, with ball jointed hip, thigh swivel, double jointed knees and ankle rockers. Proxima stands pretty well, but her hips are a little loose so there is an issue with her sliding into the splits.

Proxima Midnight is a pretty awesome release and has very few flaws assuming you protect those leg joints and keep her standing - a couple of foot stands seem to have fixed the issue for me. The painting on the spear could be better and a harder plastic would prevent warping. That aside I am happy to score Proxima Midnight a very impressive 4 out of 5.

The card insert continues the yellow theme, and when you take out the figure you can see this is now an Avengers "A" logo against an exploding background. The figure sits in the tray alongside the leg of Thanos. There are no twisty ties, the figure and BAF piece pop straight out.

Avengers Infinity War wave 1 is giving us four MCU figures alongside three comic book figures - and by purchasing the whole wave (well you can skip Iron-Man if you want) you get to build your very own Thanos to face down your Avengers. In this review we look at Iron Spider. The packaging shape and design remains consistent with the current Legends releases. The colour scheme is very much purple and yellow, a good representation of Thanos and the golden Infinity Gauntlet. The packaging overall is black but the Avengers logo is presented in a rich gold and under this a purple name stripe. This purple theme goes to the two side panels where we have a purple hue image of Spider-Man.

The sculpt is well proportioned and the head has the spider-web design sculpted into the head around the two defined eye sockets. Down into the costume and the spider logo is all relief sculpted and then painted neatly with a gold paint to trim out and separate the red and blue panels. While the painting is pretty spot on throughout, there are spots of red visible on or under the blue panels.

Round the back we get a promo image of the figure and some top line text about Spidey's role in Infinity War, don't worry there is no spoilers as such in the text. Under this is a checklist for the Thanos Build-A-Figure. Spidey stands 5 and 3/4 inches high, which is spot on in terms of Tom Holland's build. As you move past the torso the details of the suit do dry up so we have basic blue legs down to the top of the boots where we have some final gold trim and the red legs. One notable absence at this point are the additional mechanical legs that we associate with Iron-Spider. There is a rumour that these are coming with this same figure in a two pack in the future which feels a bit naughty getting fans to double dip the same figure. I did hope that the figure could be fitted with the unmasked Tom Holland head from Homecoming which would be nice as a variant - sadly the peg holes are not compatible without doing some work on one or the other to make it fit.

The legs have a ball joint, but these are less rounded and more natural than some I have seen on the Legends figures. Under this is a thigh swivel, double jointed knees and finally ankle rockers. Spider-Man sadly only comes with the set of hands that are fitted. These are both web-shooting hands, and while these are fine for web shoot poses (with both hands) they look odd with any other pose. The figure is crying out for a neutral set of hands to balance out the hand poses - either fists or gripping hands.

Articulation is impressive, and being Spider-Man you can see why there are extra bells and whistles to make this as pose-able as possible. If you count up we have 21 points of articulation starting with a ball jointed head which can be tilted back neatly as though he is looking up at building. We then have a T-joint chest and a waist swivel to articulate the torso. The extra couple of joints come in the shape of butterfly joints either side of the shoulder. This allows the arms to be swung inward a lot more than the standard arm articulation so if you want Spidey in a web swinging pose this is possible. The arms then have your usual ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivel, double jointed elbows and a wrist joint. Iron Spider feels like half a release, and I am convinced that this figure will get a re-release with more bells and whistles in the coming months. He needs a second pair of hands as a minimum, and should really also have his mechanical arms - as seen on every other version of this figure, including Hasbro's own 12" and basic line 6" figure. That being said, the articulation on what we gave is impressive as is the sculpt. Paint apps are neat and the suit is very visual and is growing on me the more I play with it. I score Iron Spider an average 2 out of 5 and await the improved version....

078 Action Figure Sat-TOY-day News, 28th April 2018  

Happy #SatTOYDay And it is finally here, Avengers Infinity War is in cinema's now and looks to be getting rave reviews. Issue 78 is very I...

078 Action Figure Sat-TOY-day News, 28th April 2018  

Happy #SatTOYDay And it is finally here, Avengers Infinity War is in cinema's now and looks to be getting rave reviews. Issue 78 is very I...