Friday, August 29, 2014

Retro Friday! Tomland's 1977 Starroid Raiders "Newt" Action Figure

Retro Fridays

Welcome to the first installment of "Retro Fridays."  Every Friday I will be featuring a different vintage 3 and 3/4 inch action figure from the 1970s or 1980s.  From action figure lines like Kenner's Star Wars, Fisher-Price's Adventure People, Mego's Pocket Heroes, Mattel's Battlestar Galactica, and more.  This week, I'll be looking at "Newt," a weird robot from Tomland's Starroid Raiders collection.

"Take me to your leader!"

The Starroid Raiders were a line of cheapo robot and alien action figures designed to cash in on the success of Star Wars in the 1970s.  They were mostly all the same figure but with different heads, molded in different colors, a few minimal paint applications, and a sticker on their chests, to differentiate them from each other.  They are all profoundly weird looking, almost like they were designed by a little kid.  The line continued on into the early 1980s under various names such as Starroid Warriors, Space Raiders, Space Fighter, and Space People.  For more information about this line check out the Tomland page at Toymania.com.

I didn't realize, until I was taking photos with the flash, how dusty this figure has gotten.  Looks like it's time for a robo-bath.

The Newt figure is molded in green plastic, with paint on his boots, eyes, and mouth, and a sticker on his chest.  he looks like a man in a robot suit from a b-movie sci-fi flick from the 1950s.  This is so NOT what kids were looking for in robot toys in the 1970s, but that's what makes it great.  It's so oddball that it becomes kind of wonderful.


The figure originally came with a space gun and a laser sword, but I just bought him loose, and don't have either one of those.  Tomland also produced a glow-in the-dark version of this figure, and also used the same head design on an 8-inch Mego-style figure as well.



Next week on Retro Fridays I'll be showing off my Kenner Princess Leia action figure from 1978, so I hope you tune in for that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Retro Wednesday! Funko and Super 7's Snake Plissken ReAction Figure

Retro Wednesdays

Welcome to the second installment of "Retro Wednesdays," where every week I'll be taking a look at a new 3 and 3/4 inch retro Kenner-style action figure, like the ReAction figures being released by Funko and Super 7, Bif Bang Pow's Twilight Zone figures, and more.  This week's figure, again from our friends at Funko and Super 7, is Snake Plissken, the character Kurt Russel played in the movie Escape From New York.



When I first saw pictures of this figure online, I wasn't especially impressed.  For one thing, I thought his neck was really long and awkward looking.  I assumed they did that on purpose, to make room for his long hair, while still allowing his head to turn back and forth.  Now that I have the figure in hand, I can confirm that the neck is kind of long, but does not really look bad at all in person, it just doesn't photograph well.  I think it has to do with the angle the figure is photographed at, as well as the way the proportions of the figure tend to get exaggerated when it is blown up in a photograph.



Another thing I didn't like in the pictures I saw online was his beard.  In the movie, Snake doesn't actually have a full beard, just really heavy stubble.  But the figure has his beard fully painted in, in the same brown color as his hair.  However, this is another instance where when I see the figure in person, I think it works.  On this small scale, painting on dots of stubble probably wouldn't work that well, the surface on his chin is just too small for that.

Front and back of the package.

Overall, I really like the looks of this figure.  The sculpt isn't a perfect likeness of Kurt Russel, but it's definitely in the ballpark, and looks as much like Kurt Russel as the old Kenner Star Wars figures look like their actors.  It resembles Russel much more than The Rocketeer figure resembles actor Billy Campbell.  The paint job is simple and clean with no serious errors.  The only problem I noticed was that some of his hair was unpainted flesh color under his right ear, but I only noticed that in my zoomed in photos of the figure.

This gun snapped in half.

The figure comes with two guns, a small silver revolver and a larger black machine gun.  However, the machine gun snapped in half the very first time I tried to put the gun in the figure's hand.  That sucked.  The revolver fared better, although it's compact design doesn't really have any spots that could easily break off.  I hope that quality control isn't going to become an ongoing issue with these figures, the way it did for the first wave of Funko's Game of Thrones Legacy figures.

Han "Who?"
The figure is slightly taller than some of my vintage Kenner figures, but still easily in the same scale.  He's also taller then the ReAction Rocketeer, so this may just be a design decision.  I think I would welcome some small variation in height between the various ReAction figures, as that will help to make them unique.  I look forward to comparing more figures from this line as the weeks go by.


Next week on "Retro Wednesdays" I'll be opening up my limited edition SDCC 2014 figure of "Sloth" from the Goonies, so check back for that.  Also, come back in two days, when I am going to be starting a series of companion pieces to my Retro Wednesdays called "Retro Fridays."  On Fridays, I'll be posting about vintage 3 3/4 inch figures from the 1970s and '80s, the type of figures that inspired the current crop of retro figures.  I'll be kicking that off with a look at "Newt" a weird 1977 robot figure from Tomland's Starroid Raiders line, so come back on Friday for that.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Final Hours of "Amazing Heroes" Kickstarter, plus Upcoming Blog Stuff

I've got a bit of news about an upcoming feature on here on Misfit Robot Daydream, but first, I want to remind everyone that there's only a few hours left to get in on the "Amazing Heroes" Kickstarter. I've blogged about it a couple of times, but for those of you who haven't seen it, it's a line of action figures of Golden Age comic book characters, plus Captain Action as well, done in the style of the Marvel Comics Secret Wars action figures from the 1980's. I think they are really cool, and am hoping that the Kickstarter gets funded, but time is running out. There are only about 9 hours left, and it's only 90% funded. But it was only 80% funded this morning, so it's possible that there might be a last minute rush and it will get funded.

Image

I'd encourage anyone who is interested to head over to their Kickstarter page and check it out!

In my blog news, last week I launched a new weekly feature called "Retro Wednesdays," in which I will be featuring a new retro, Kenner-style 3 3/4 inch action figure every week, like the ones currently being produced by Super 7, Funko, and Bif Bang Pow.  For an example, check out this link for the Retro Kenner section at Entertainment Earth (that's not a sponsored link, by the way, I won't get any money if you click on it or buy anything).  Well, I thought it would be fun to pair them off with actual vintage 3 3/4 inch action figures from the 1970s and 1980s.  So I've decided to make a Fridays "Retro Fridays," where I will feature action figures like Fisher-Price Adventure People and Kenner Star Wars, and other figures in this style. I'll be kicking that feature off this Friday with a look at "Newt," a 1977 figure from Tomland's Starroid Raiders line, and I'll be featuring the new Funko ReAction Escape From New York "Snake Plisken" figure.  So there will be at least two new, regularly scheduled pieces to look forward to on this blog every week, and I'll still be posting other, random stuff as well.  So check back often for some fun stuff! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Retro Wednesday! Funko and Super 7's The Rocketeer ReAction Figure

Retro Wednesdays

Starting today, I'm going to be starting a new weekly feature called "Retro Wednesdays," focusing on the new wave of retro, Kenner-inspired 3 3/4" action figures.  The bulk of these will be from Funko and Super 7's ReAction line, as well as any other figures I come across in this style, such as Bif Bang Pow's Twilight Zone figures, or Amok Time's upcoming Day the Earth Stood Still figures.  Some days I will have full reviews, other days I might just have a few quick photos, but I should have something fun about these figures to post every Wednesday.


Today's figure is the Rocketeer, from Funko and Super 7.  This figure features the classic Kenner-style 5 points of articulation at the head, arms, and legs, and has a removable helmet and jetpack.  The helmet is a little large compared to the helmet in the movie and comics, but that was probably necessary to make it removable, so I think that's okay.  And, anyway, true-to-life realism is not what these kind of figures are all about, they should be a little bit stylized and cartoony.  The face sculpt doesn't really look like actor Billy Campbell, either, but again, that's forgivable in this type of figure.


The helmet comes on and off easily, but stays in place when you are playing with the figure, and the same is true of his jetpack.  There are some really nice little details on the sculpt, such as the buttons on the Rocketeer's shirt, and the rivets on his jetpack.  They even sculpted a little wad of gum on the jetpack where the Rocketeer used it to plug a hole, which is a nice touch.



The paint job for the most part looks really good, although I do have one error on my figure.  The paint application on his eyes is a little skewed on mine, so one eye is a little to high, and one is a little to low.  This gives him a sort of Alfred E. Neuman "What me worry?" look.  But despite this one flaw, I still really like this figure, and can't wait to see what the other ReAction figures are going to be like.  So check back next Wednesday, when I will be looking at either the Snake Plisken Escape From New York ReAction figure, or the limited edition Sloth from the Goonies SDCC 2014 figure.  Which one will I chose?  Come back next Retro Wednesday to find out!




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