Go Joe!: ReAction revives the Greatest American Hero (and other heroes too)!

Super 7’s ReAction figures welcome G.I. Joe, a Warrior Princess, and…Spooky Snoopy?

Time waits for no man, even if that man (or woman) is at 3 3/4″ scale, and we have a roundup of recent announcements from Super7’s ever-growing lineup of ReAction Figures.

Image courtesy Super7

ReAction has gotten the go-ahead from Hasbro to bring G.I. Joe back to 3 3/4″ scale, though this revival of key G.I. Joe characters (Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Kwinn, and various literal “army builders” on the Joe side, along with Destro, Cobra Commander, Baroness, and Cobra grunts on the Cobra side) more closely resemble old-school Star Wars figures than they do the Hasbro Joes of the ’80s, sporting only five points of articulation and simpler features.

That formula, however, is baked into the recipe of the ReAction line, along with knockout artwork on the figures’ packaging. The various available skin colors on both the Joe and Cobra infantry are also a nice addition – anyone can join the fight.

But Super7 also knows that Halloween is coming fast, and it’s prepared a real treat for fans of the classic Peanuts comics – a whole new wave of Peanuts characters in their finest trick-or-treating garb!

This upcoming wave (at the time this write-up is being prepared, the figures have yet to be added to the main ReAction Peanuts page) takes its cues from the gang’s classic Halloween gear, so you can have them at the ready while you’re waiting for the Great Pumpkin to make his appearance (which he totally will, at long last, this year, I promise).

Already available are the first two characters in what hopefully is a whole new range of ReAction figures based on the ’90s TV action phenomenon that was Xena: Warrior Princess.

Clearly Super7 is cautiously testing the waters with just two characters from a franchise that could just as easily include the likes of Ares, god of war, Joxer, and well-meaning thief Autolycus (played by none other than Bruce Campbell). They haven’t tipped their hand yet as to what future developments, if any, await in the Xena lineup.

One final teaser – like the Peanuts Halloween wave, not yet available to order – is a pretty tantalizing one, though it’s also enough to make us want to ask Super7: what about the car?

Image courtesy Super7

One thing’s for sure: Super7’s ReAction figures are coming for your wallet… and even the combined forces of G.I. Joe, Xena and Gabrielle, and Michael Knight probably can’t help you save it.

I Say We Take Off And Nerf The Entire Site From Orbit

I Want To Introduce You To A Personal Friend Of Mine…

So let’s say you’re stuck on LV-426, and nobody back at headquarters was sure if this was going to be a stand-up fight or a bug hunt. The next drop ship is days away, and the only thing that stands between you and being dinner (or worse, a hot dinner date) for the nearest xenomorph is your trusty M-41A Pulse Rifle, loaded with…Nerf ammo? Yeah, you heard that right. Lean into it. Hasbro and Nerf are joining forces to bring the iconic light-but-not-so-light weapon from 1986’s Aliens to your next Nerf fight.

Image courtesy Hasbro Pulse

Now, because the real world is sometimes about as scary as LV-426, it’s not an exact replica – the paint scheme is what Hasbro describes as a “Power-Loader-inspired design”, meaning it’s a bit more brightly colored than the standard issue that Corporal Hicks might hand you. But the other details are right on the money, including the digital counter. The Nerf M-41A even has a magazine that holds 10 Elite Nerf darts, which can be fired in a fully-motorized mode, as well as three Mega Nerf darts in the pump-action “grenade” launcher.

Image courtesy Hasbro Pulse

Now…it’ll kick some. Hasbro recommends protective eyewear (!!). If the “weapon” itself isn’t impressive enough, check out Hasbro’s advance renderings of the Colonial-Marines-approved packaging.

Image courtesy Hasbro Pulse

Because this isn’t exactly a piece of hardware you’re going to use every day, the packaging is definitely not a throwaway, decorated on all sides with details that fit right into the Aliens saga.

Image courtesy Hasbro Pulse

Now, your new personal friend doesn’t come cheap…or quickly. Hasbro Pulse is taking pre-orders through Halloween (appropriately enough), with an admonition that the Nerf M-41A may ship either sooner or later than the first of October 2022. (You’re going to have to hold out a little longer than seventeen days on your own, trooper; they won’t charge you the ninety-five bucks until it’s time to ship.) Undoubtedly the slippery-release-date disclaimer is due to supply chain issues that are effecting everyone the world over currently. But the level of detail will make this your armament of choice next xenomorph season.

Image courtesy Hasbro Pulse

Hope your motion tracker (not included) is fully charged until then.

Enjoy 1983’s Superman In The Flying Firefighter!

Friends, last week over at the SHOW ‘N TELL PICTURESOUND VIEWER CLUB on Facebook, a member shared a link to Superman in The Flying Firefighter for the iconic GE Show ‘N Tell phono viewer. Just one in a series of DC Super Heroes film strip and 33 1/3 record combos produced by CBS Toys back in 1983, along with other DC characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, and even the Justice League.

I have talked about the awesomeness that was the GE Show ‘N Tell phono viewer in a previous article, in which I was able to share some of the other stories produced for the combination filmstrip viewer/projector and record player. A ‘toy’ that lasted a remarkably long time, first being produced by General Electric in ’64 and lasting until the early ’80s, being released under a few brand names. And while I was never fortunate enough to obtain a GE Show ‘N Tell phono viewer for myself, I certainly enjoyed the model that was in the kindergarten class of my youth.

Besides the likes of DC Super Heroes, other ‘Picturesound programs’ included Marvel Super Heroes, Sesame Street, The Shirt Tales, Hello Kitty, The Berenstain Bears, and even adaptations of popular Disney films and animated shorts.

Of course the 33 1/3 records provided in the Picturesound programs meant the stories were generally kept to under 4 minutes in length, with the B side of the record offering music or in the case of Superman in The Flying Firefighter, something entitled Aerobic Adventures: Sailing Through Space.

The synopsis for Superman in The Flying Firefighter is by necessity pretty simple. While receiving an award for reporter of the year, Clark Kent must excuse himself and respond to the threat of a massive fire. On the scene, he learns of a small boy who is still within the burning building, the child was scared by the firefighters in their gas masks and gear. It is up to Superman to save the day and pass along some words of wisdom in the process!

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY PRSRECORDS.

Ready For The Prisoner Action Figures?

Friends, I have talked about my love of The Prisoner television show in past articles and podcasts over the years, something about the 1967 science fiction/spy thriller which was co-created and starred Patrick McGoohan (Braveheart) really clicked with me. It might have had a little something to do with the fact that my Father would continuously tell me about the show while I was growing up, the ambiguity of the actual meaning of the series made it seem incredibly fascinating. It was after High School though when I was working at a mom and pop video store that I learned the cult classic TV show was being offered on VHS by Columbia House. As I had disposable income at that time in my life I quickly signed up and wound up purchasing all 17 episodes of The Prisoner, and while I have most assuredly picked up the series on both DVD as well as Blu-ray over the years, I’ve managed to hold onto those Columbia House video cassettes out of a sense of nostalgia.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Consumer Time Capsule.

After watching “The Arrival”, the groundbreaking first episode of The Prisoner, I was absolutely hooked and did my level best to share it with friends and even co-workers. Although much like when the series originally aired it was met with varying degrees of acceptance, from outright ridicule to thankfully a few seeing what made the show so amazing.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Shout! Factory.

For such a remarkable cult television series however it has always been a little shocking how little official merchandise has been produced for fans to purchase. While there have been numerous books on the creation of the show as well as a few comic books, novelizations, soundtracks, and of course clothing based on the series for fans to pick up… what has really been missing is an action figure line.

With the subject matter of The Prisoner TV series, you can understand why toy manufacturers weren’t exactly beating down the door in 1967. But thanks to the Kickstarter by Wandering Planet Toys, one that has already been fully funded I should add, we can finally add multiple plastic versions of McGoohan’s Number 6 to our shelves – to say nothing of obtaining the nightmarish Rover and of course the Eric Portman version of Number 2.

http://kck.st/3svuMSJ
VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Wandering Planet Toys.

Make sure to check out the Kickstarter which has 37 days left for you to find time to back the project. There are multiple levels of pledges from a single Number 6 action figure to a two-pack set based off of the episode entitled “The Schizoid Man”. Wandering Planet Toys has pointed out that these officially licensed action figures for The Prisoner are just the first wave, hopefully this Kickstarter will be a massive success and we might see even more iconic Number 2’s or perhaps a two-pack set based on the episode “Living in Harmony”?

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Santi Pages.

If you’ve not had the pleasure of watching The Prisoner for yourself, I believe that thanks to Tubi TV you can stream the entire series for free!

Remember Kenner’s Snoopy Drive-In Movie Theater?

Friends, one of my most cherished childhood toys was the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer Theater, which I believe was released back in 1977. The handheld movie viewer which was originally released in ’73 was obviously easier to take to school or on car trips, but it was that 1977 Movie Viewer Theater though that captured my heart. Thanks to being able to not just watch the Super 8 mm shorts on the much larger screen of the viewer, but I could also flip a dial and cast the moving images on a nearby blank wall or sheet. I am extremely happy to say that not only is that beloved toy still in my collection but it is in working order, to say nothing of the fact that I now possess nearly a complete collection of those Fisher-Price film cartridges.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Televisionarchives.

As I understand it, Kenner actually beat Fisher-Price to the punch back in 1973 with the Cassette Movie Projector, although they didn’t stop there. Just two years later they would produce the Snoopy Drive-In Movie Theater as well as the handheld Snoopy Movie Viewer. While I believe that four Peanuts shorts were made for the Fisher-Price Viewer and Theater, Kenner would produce a total of 12 cartridges in their line.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY The Museum of Classic Chicago Television.

Considering that I frequently discuss the local drive-in theater of my youth on the Saturday Frights podcast, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I was blown away when I received the Snoopy Drive-In Movie Theater as a kid. From the plastic Snoopy sitting in his car looking up at the ‘drive-in’ screen to the fact that Woodstock was running the concession stand, it just managed to always make me smile.

Interestingly enough, besides those 12 carts focusing on Peanuts characters, Kenner also ended up releasing six cartridges for The Six Million Dollar Man as well as film carts for the likes of Speed Buggy, Grape Ape, and Scooby-Doo among other Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

“Bring on Godzilla!”

Sadly my Snoopy Drive-In Movie Theater is no longer functioning, and I assure you that my finger hovers over the ‘Buy It Now’ button when looking on eBay, but at least we can enjoy watching it in action thanks to this YouTube video!

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY CollectPeanuts.com

Great Scott, Marty! Super 7/ReAction is going… Back To The Figures!

Back To The Future was one of the original ReAction figure licenses back during the heyday of Super 7’s partnership with Funko. But after that heyday – with saw Back To The Future figures sharing retail peg space with licenses like Universal Studios’ classic movie monsters, Firefly, The Fifth Element and classic Star Trek, the two companies went their separate ways, with Super 7 retaining the ReAction brand and its aim to produce “Kenner-style” action figures for unlikely pop culture brands. Recent years have seen ReAction not only deliver long-overdue action figure lines for cult classic movies, but music brand such as Slayer, Wu-Tang Clan, and yes, they even did an action figure of Lemmy from MotÖrhead. A while, back, they even went further into the future with a line of figures from Back To The Future Part II.

Images courtesy Super7

But the original has not been forgotten, and now Marty and Doc are back in a variety of guises not previously produced in ReAction’s original Back To The Future line. Marty is available in two forms – as we meet him at the beginning of the movie, in the company of Einstein, the world’s first time-traveling dog (take that, K-9!), and in his full head-to-toe hazmat suit when he pays his father George a visit in the past as “Darth Vader of the planet Vulcan”. Doc Brown is back as well, both in his own hazmat gear from the beginning of the movie, and in his younger 1958 form, complete with his elaborate mind-reading helmet (“this thing doesn’t work!”). Best of all, the packaging has been rethought so that it forms a kind of diptych – the Back To The Future figures’ cardboard backing cards show the left half of the time-traveling DeLorean, while the Back To The Future Part II cards show the right half. (For those of us who like to leave a figure or two on the card here and there, this makes a great display piece.)

Images courtesy Super7

The only thing that would make this package sweeter would be a DeLorean to scale, complete with flux capacitor and Mr. Fusion. Hint, hint, ReAction. Get on that. (The sad fact is…we probably shouldn’t hold our collective breath, because it may well be more expensive to license the likeness of a DeLorean DMC-12 than to license the likenesses of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Maybe they can borrow Luke’s landspeeder or the Batmobile and upgrade those for time travel? Use your imagination, kids. That’s what action figures are for!)

The new wave of Back To The Future figures are now available at Super7.com.

Showtime, Synergy! Jem and the Holograms are now ReAction Figures!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVED Jem back in the day. I was very small, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 years old watching the show. Most of it went over my head, but I loved the music and all the color that came with each episode of Jem. That show was, and still is, truly outrageous. I had a Jem wristwatch, and while I never had any of the Jem dolls, my sister and I did get at least one of Mattel’s answer to Jem–Midge from Barbie and the Rockers. I can’t say with 100% certainty, but it’s even possible that the long-dormant subconscious influence of Jem led me to pursue music as a middle and high schooler. I still play music as an adult, and I may or may not have Jem to thank for it.

Gif provide by Giphy

When I was in college, I happened upon a box set of seasons one and two of Jem at my local Borders Books. This was after the set was out of print and I had some textbook buyback money burning a hole in my pocket and some end-of-the-school-year steam to blow off. Needless to say, I snatched up that DVD set like a mom going after the last Cabbage Patch Kid on the day after Thanksgiving. That summer, my best friend and I spent an entire day watching through several discs of the set, munching on snacks, and laughing hysterically at the cheesy delight and unabashed ridiculousness that is Jem

Gif provided by Giphy

Lines such as, “Jem, how does it feel to be the first rock star to win the Indy 500?” and song lyrics like, “We wear a sarong, but it looks so wrong!” from the song, “Misfits in Hawaii” brought the biggest laughs for us. Truth be told, I laughed just writing that down. 

Adventure Con, Knoxville, TN 2008

A few years later, we were fortunate enough to actually meet the voice of Jem herself–Samantha Newark–at our local comic convention. Ms. Newark is one of the kindest celebrities I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She took time to speak to everyone, take pictures, shake hands, and genuinely seemed to enjoy meeting her fans. As you can see in the photo, we were quite ecstatic to have met our childhood idol.

Getting to watch Jem again as an adult reignited my love for the series. In fact, I turned Jem on my TV last Saturday morning, just because I was feeling nostalgic. By the way, you can watch the entire series for free with ads right now on Tubi TV via the web or your favorite streaming device, along with several other classic 80s Saturday morning cartoons. 

Image provided by Super7

All of this is to say, imagine my delight when I learned this week that Super7 is adding Jem and Pizzazz of The Misfits to their ReAction figure line! Jem comes dressed in her trademark pink dress and microphone, while Pizzazz is rocking out with her guitar, fully ready to shred the competition. The figures have 5 points of articulation and come packed in holographic packaging! Appropriate, right? These figures will set you back about $18 each. 

Image provided by Super7

Have you gotten your hands on these truly outrageous figures yet? I know I’ll be hitting up my local comic shop for a set soon. Thanks to Earl Green for sharing the link to the announcement for this release

Were you a Jem Girl or a Jem Boy? Once you’re a Jem Girl (or Jem Boy), you’re never the same, you know. Do you have fond memories of Jem? Share them with us in the comments. 

Did You Meet He-Man And Skeletor At Universal Studios In 1985?

Friends, in 1985 Mattel arranged to have characters like He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor, She-Ra, Angella, and others from the Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power toyline appear at Universal Studios Hollywood for two weeks. In addition to providing exciting photo opportunities for children and their families, if you were lucky enough to be the age of 4 to 11 when visiting the heroes and villains from Eternia and Etheria – you would receive a free action figure!

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Cow Missing.

I can only imagine how many children were lined up for the event on those two special weeks between December 21st and January 5th. To say nothing of how many figures that Mattel must have handed out during the visit of those heroes and villains. When all is said and done there is very little information to be had about the event. Besides a quick post from theStudioTour.com, which states that the event was held on two weekends between February 8th – 10th as well as February 15th – 17th. Perhaps it was popular enough that Mattel and Universal Studios brought back the event? Although that site does provide a few photographs from when He-Man and others showed up at Universal Studios, the majority of them from the Masters Cast site. If you consider yourself a fan of the Filmation Studios He-Man and The Masters of the Universe animated series, I think you need to visit the latter site and read the heartwarming post by Lioncourt. While he doesn’t discuss the Universal Studios Hollywood event, you will see a few more photographs of it, but most importantly you will be able to hear the special audio message recorded by He-Man (John Erwin) and Cringer (Alan Oppenheimer) and mailed to a then six-year-old and quite ill Lioncourt.

As that audio message will prove – both John and Alan most assuredly were worthy of the powers of Castle Grayskull.

I sincerely doubt that the 1985 Universal Studios Hollywood TV Spot aired in my neck of the woods, which might have been a small blessing as I didn’t know what I was missing. If I had access to a working time machine though, you better believe that I would take the time to pose with Man-At-Arms and He-Man. If you were lucky enough to attend the event we would love to hear about it in the comments section!

Want To Help Make This LEGO Labyrinth Set Become A Reality?

Friends, the other day while I was killing some time on Facebook I came across this LEGO Ideas proposal for a set based on the Escher room scene from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. I was very much a fan of the film on first catching it on a Saturday matinee after it’s release on June 27th of 1986. As I have admitted in other articles over the years, I was and still am a devotee of the work of Jim Henson and the studio he founded, I think the overall design by Brian Froud really raised the bar on Labyrinth. In addition it didn’t hurt that the screenplay was handled by the late and great Terry Jones of Monty Python fame, from a story by both Henson as well as Dennis Lee (Fraggle Rock).

Of course having said all of that, I would be criminally remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that both Jennifer Connelly (The Rocketeer) and David Bowie deliver the goods with their performances, especially considering they are surrounded by all manner of puppets and creature effects throughout the film. The latter also helped elevate the picture with 5 original songs, to say nothing of the sweeping and beautiful score by the iconic Trevor Jones (Excalibur, The Last of the Mohicans).

VIDEO PROVIDED BY David Bowie.

Sadly the truth of the matter is that the Henson directed Labyrinth failed to initially find the audience it needed to become a box office success. On a budget of 25 million dollars it only managed to secure half of it’s cost back, at least from the take here in the States. As the years passed it has managed to obtain a cult following, you can probably find T-Shirts and other collectibles at your local Hot Topic store these days. The truth of the matter is that even with new comic book series and graphic novels, a smattering of action figures and even a board game, all of us fans of the 1986 film still want so much more.

Thanks to the amazing work of LEGO enthusiast Colonel Attentive Candy who submitted this LEGO Labyrinth set to LEGO Ideas, we have the opportunity to help push the project into a reality. If 10,000 votes are collected for the project, which is made up of 3,000 LEGO pieces, the set will be reviewed officially by experts. Which then of course means that someday in the near future we might be seeing this particular LEGO set on store shelves, which as I understand it is how we got LEGO versions of Voltron, The Flintstones, and even the Disney Steamboat Willie set!

At the time of writing this article, the project has already received 3,000 votes, so only 7,000 more are needed to push the project over the finish line. Not an impossible task by any means, especially if it is shared on social media. But why not take about 30 minutes out of your busy schedule and let the creator discuss the project with Joshua Hanlon of Beyond the Brick?

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Beyond the Brick.

Retro Records: The Thief Of Castle Grayskull

Friends, it was in 1982 when Mattel toys released the initial first wave of action figures for their new Masters of the Universe toy line, and it was a massive success. Perhaps kids of the day were primed to accept the sword and sorcery setting thanks to the likes of Dragonslayer, The Beastmaster, and Conan the Barbarian to name a few of the movies released during that time. Whatever the reason was, I can definitely tell you that I was bowled over the first time that I laid eyes on both He-Man and Skeletor at a little toy shop in our local mall. While money was extremely tight when growing up, for some reason my Father allowed me to pick out two action figures that afternoon. And my choices that day were limited to only four characters from the Masters of the Universe toy line, the aforementioned He-Man and Skeletor as well as Beast Man and Man-At-Arms. It seemed like a rather easy choice however and both the ‘Most Powerful Man in the Universe’ as well as ‘The Lord of Destruction’ came home with me to begin their long battle of good versus evil.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY 80’s ToysNow.

Thanks to my Grandparents I was gifted the impressive Castle Grayskull playset on my birthday the following year, it stands as was one of the biggest surprises in my youth, I had not asked for it and when I ripped the paper off and saw that beautiful artwork by Rudy Obrero… I started jumping up and down in excitement. And while I may no longer wage epic battles between He-Man and his fellow Masters of the Universe against the evil legions of Skeletor for the fate of Castle Grayskull – those adventures of my youth still echo in this ‘fortress of mystery and power’.

It was two years after that first wave of Masters of the Universe figures had hit shelves when Kid Stuff Records and Tapes released The Thief of Castle Grayskull, a book and cassette tape set. Interestingly enough the read along book is totally the same as the Golden Storybooks version released the previous year, featuring a story by Roger McKenzie with illustrations courtesy of Fred Carrillo. The former might be best known for his work on Warren Publishing’s line of horror magazines like Creepy, Eerie, and even Vampirella, although in addition he did write for both DC and Marvel Comics. Carrillo also worked with Warren Publishing but was perhaps better known for illustrating a slew of the DC Comics horror tiles such as Weird War Tales, Ghosts, and House of Secrets.

The story for The Thief of Castle Grayskull finds He-Man, Teela, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, and Battle Cat with a serious problem – Skeletor has used his magic to summon a vortex that rips Castle Grayskull from the very ground to transport it to the Land of Shadows. Can He-Man and his allies prevail against the threats of a demon army and Skeletor’s minions?

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Grayskull Warrior.