Monday, 31 August 2015

Review: Power Rangers Legacy Titanus

Titanus is a toy of two halves. One great, one a big stinking pile of poo. Intrigued? Read on!

There's a lot of high-end (i.e. cost) collectible toys on the market at the moment, aimed at now-grown 80s and 90s kids who have a nostalgia-hole to fill, preferably with stuff 'as they remember it', rather than 'as it actually was'. As police will tell you, people's memories aren't very reliable and they tend to look on the past with rose-tinted glasses, not remembering, for example, how inaccurate to their TV screen counterparts a lot of old toys were.

Titanus forms the third and final part of the Super-dooper Megazord (*may not be official name) from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He's kind of like a big brachiosaurus, but with with an even larger body, some teeny tiny legs and, well, thinking about it, Titanus doesn't have too much in common with a brachiosaurs besides the long neck. But never mind.

There were a whole bunch of things 'wrong' with the original toy, but most kids probably didn't care too much. Adults, however, are much more critical and want the increased details that a toy costing over £100 ought to have. And Legacy Titanus has them all in spades.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Review: Star Trek Attack Wing

Firstly, I'll be completely honest and say that, so far, I've only played with the 'quick start' rules for this game. This simplifies absolutely everything down to its absolute minimum: move and shoot. The cards and counters are, essentially, completely ignored. At some point, I'm sure, we'll start adding in more of the full rules, but at the moment the kids are more than happy with the basic rules.

Before getting the starter set I read many recommendations from people to buy X-Wing instead. The game is similar, they say, but the models are far superior. I chose to ignore this mostly because there are far more ships I'm fond of in the Trek universe: Defiant, numerous Enterprises, Excelsior, most of the Dominion ships etc etc. In the Star Wars universe, on the whole, it's more about fleets of the same few ships that lots of different ones.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Review: Voltron Battle Miniatures Game

I never watched Voltron as a kid. I'm not sure how it managed to pass me by. It was only within the last five years or so that I went out and bought all the DVDs and sat and watched it all (well, some of it - there are a lot of episodes!). Not having that nostalgic connection, I not a huge fan, however I do enjoy the giant robot combiner on monster action and my kids love it. I've since bought the vintage Castle of Lions and the Mattel lions they put out a couple of years ago.

More recently I found out there was a Voltron miniatures game, which has proven to be a right ****** to get hold of for a reasonable price. The online reviews I looked at weren't that great, but I was undeterred and finally a nice chap in Germany listed one on ebay and I pounced.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Review: Cavemen Vs Pirates Vs Ninjas Vs Army men

Everyone knows the classic green army men. Big bundle of poorly made army men with plastic flashing down the join, devoid of paint and detail. But they're cheap and you get a big bag of them and when you're small this is more than you need to keep yourself entertained for hours on end.

One of the more bizarre items of merchandise created for the Toy Story films was the 'screen accurate' tub of army men. Charging a premium to get an exact replica of what Pixar had gone to great effort to create an exact replica of a really cheap toy.

But I'm not reviewing those.

Instead, I'm reviewing these packs of toys I found in B&M. They're really the next advance in army men toys. No, there's no added paint or articulation, nothing of that ilk that 'improves' them. Instead additional teams have been added: Ninjas! Cavemen! Pirates! Zombies! (except they'd sold out of the zombies) And of course the army men.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Review: Small Soldiers Archer

My preference in films is a little bizarre. Fighting it out for the title of Damian's Favourite Film Ever are The Fly and The Thing. Dawn of the Dead and Alien are also near the top of the are (and this is where anyone trying to make predictions might find their guesses way off) Bring It On, Transformers: The Movie, The Last Unicorn and Small Soldiers.

Small Soldiers was made by Joe Dante, the guy who made Gremlins, and they share a common theme of small creatures wrecking havoc on humans. In Small Soldiers a bunch of toys are installed with hi-tech computer chips, achieve sentience (sort of) and start attacking a PG sort of way.

If you haven't seen the film I recommend you stop reading here and go watch it. This review's not going anywhere and it will happily wait until you return.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Review: Jurassic World Hero Mashers

Companies like to copy each other. It's a big risk launching a new product, one that can lead to huge losses if you get it wrong, so if you see something that's already selling well and you can make something similar, well time to jump aboard that wagon!

At the moment the craze among toy manufacturers seems to be the multi-part mix and match figure. Playmates have their Ninja Turtles versions, Bandai have their Power Rangers ones and Hasbro has Hero Mashers for Transformers, Marvel, not Star Wars for some reason, and, most recently, Jurassic World.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Review: Visionaries Collector's Guide

80s toy collectors are really being spoiled at the moment. Within the last year or so we've had the 30th Anniversary TMNT book, the Voltron 30th Anniversary book, the Transformers Legacy packaging art book and recently the He-Man art book.

Of course these are for some of the bigger lines that emerged from the 80s. There are many, many others (I'm especially aware of this since I've recently sorted out my collection for display at our school comic con). The odds of getting big guides for these is remote.

...unless they're on Kickstarter.

Earlier in the year a campaign was launched to produce a Visionaries guide. Well, the campaign was successful and the guide is now available to everyone for the grand sum of 1p (plus postage). So is it worth it?

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Review: Combiner Wars Legends Powerglide

Generally I'm loving the Combiner Wars toys. Generally. There are one or two, however, which can I put this?...not so great.

Powerglide is one of them.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Review: Combiner Wars Legends Bombshell

I've heaped praise on the Combiner Wars line before and in this review I will, essentially, be doing it all over again. After a few years of being unable to walk the line between good looking robot & vehicle modes and transformations don't take a degree in transforming from Cybertron university, Hasbro have completely nailed it.

Take Bombshell...

Monday, 3 August 2015

Review: Doom Board Game

Best PC game ever? Got to be Doom, right? Running round corridors and blowing apart everything in sight. Both 1 & 2 were gaming classics and 3, well, 3 was a bit different. 3 was more slow and careful rather than running in all guns blazing. I remember the instruction manual for 3 (yes, I actually read it) said to turn off the lights and turn up the sound. So I did. And had a few monster-fighting dreams for weeks afterwards.

It doesn't seem like the most likely subject to turn into a board game. That didn't stop someone from trying.