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Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

Two Inches of Terror: Diamond Select’s “What If…” Zombie Mini-Mates

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Uh-Oh, Cap is looking hangry and you’re on the menu!
(All photos are courtesy of Diamond Select Toys)

Diamond Select Toys celebrates the 20th anniversary of their Mini-Mates action figure line with a box set that pays tribute to the Marvel animated series What If… as seen on the Disney Plus streaming service.

Mini-Mates are two inch tall, articulated figures that have been designed under a multitude of licenses, from Universal Monsters and Nightmare Before Christmas to Kill Bill characters. I’m always astounded at how the simple body form can be transformed to so accurately convey a character.

Along with their slightly larger siblings called Vini-Mates they’ve become some of my favorite collectibles. Even those of us challenged for space by decades of toy hunting and gathering can find room for a few more. This set’s quirky nature puts it on the top of my want list.

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6 Marvel “What If…” figures make up DST’s 20th Anniversary Mini-Mates box-set.

Zomb-Vengers Resembled…

The exclusive anniversary pack-up pays tribute to What If… episode 5 of season 1, which features a corner of the multiverse where several of the heroic Avengers take on zombie afterlives.

The figures are designed by Barry Bradfield (@bradfieldart) and include undead versions of Iron Man, Scarlett Witch, Captain America and Doctor Strange. Doing battle with them are zombie hunter Spiderman and Scott Laing‘s head-in-a-jar, held aloft by Doc Strange’s magical cape.

They’re available starting on October 12, 2022 at comic and toy shops as well as on Diamond’s website.

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People are strange, when you’re a stranger

Photo Finish…

By the way, those of you toy collectors who are also photographically inclined still have a few days to submit entries into the Mini-Mates 20th Anniversary Toy Photography Competition. October 17th, 2022 is the deadline.

Full contest rules and instructions are on the DST website.

Even if you don’t participate do hit DST’s Instagram (@collectdst) to see what your fellow enthusiasts have concocted.

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Scott Laing, giving a whole new meaning to Jar Head.

Skeleton Pete Says… 

The What If… zombie episode offered my first inkling that Disney/Marvel might be willing to go fearlessly into the fright zone. Although rendered in cartoon form, the characterizations were creepy enough to elicit some real scares.

Sadly, the latest Thor outing Love and Thunder went for more chuckles than chills and missed the opportunity to make Christian Bale‘s portrayal of Gorr The God Killer a truly threatening and brutal adversary.

That said, it’s clear from the special presentation of Werewolf by Night that they are ready to roar into a PG-13 or even R rated territory down the road.

Categories
Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

Widow Makers: Hasbro Toys Announces Marvel Legends Black Widow Action Figures

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Hasbro Toys’ Black Widow Marvel Legends Action Figures. (Images courtesy Hasbro Toys/Collage: Peter Parrella)

Spies Like Us…

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Toys & Collectibles

Figured Out: A Mezco Toyz 2016 “One:12 Collective” Gallery

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Punch Drunk Love: Marvel Comics’ Punisher gets Mezco’s detailed One:12 Collective treatment.
Toyz Story…
I’ll keep the chatter down since this post was promised as a gallery of prototypes for Mezco Toyz‘ burgeoning One:12 Collective series first revealed at their pre 2016 American International Toy Fair event. Take a look, the details speak for themselves. Having had hands on experience with the Dark Knight Batman and the Star Trek Mr. Spock I can say that the production models are as refined as the prototypes.

I recommend you make a point of checking out Mezco’s website for information on each character, it’s accessories, and the pre-order schedule. Many are selling out early.

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Mezco Toyz Space Ghost and Blip One:12 figures have just gone on pre-order. (Photo Courtesy of Mezco Toyz)

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Books & Graphic Novels

Once Upon A Time in Battleworld: Marvel’s “1872” #1

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Artist Skottie Young illustrates his youthful spin on Sheriff Steve Rogers for this Marvel “1872” #1 variant cover.

Younger Than Yesterday…
Fans of artist Skottie Young can mount their hobby horses and wave their 10 gallon hats for the just revealed variant cover of Marvel Comics1872 #1 on sale July 1, 2015. I love Young’s “little kid” spin on the superheroes of Marvel. They rarely fail to make me smile. I hope his designs find their way into an expanded line of collector toys and figures.

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Nik Virella handles the interior art for Marvel’s “1872” #1.
Red, White, and Blue Badge of Courage…
The Secret Wars story, written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Nik Virella, follows Steve Rogers (Captain America) as the sheriff of a small town called Timely (wink, wink) in the burgeoning American West of the 19th century. It joins the juggernaut of announced Battleworld warzones rattling the Marvel universe to shreds.

Other cover variations by artists Alex Maleev and Evan “Doc” Shaner reveal town casino kingpin Wilson Fisk, a gamma green “snake oil” elixir being brewed by a certain Dr. Bruce Banner, native American Red Wolf, and The Vision!

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Evan “Doc” Shaner variant cover for Marvel’s “1872” #1.

SkeletonPete Says…
Seems like time to put on an Ennio Morricone soundtrack, kick back with a shot of “rot gut”, and dig into a very different view of your favorite superheroes and villains.
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Marvel Comics’ “1872” #1 cover by Alex Maleev.

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Toys & Collectibles

To Infinity 2.0 (and Beyond): Disney Adds Marvel Heroes

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via "power discs."
Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via “power discs.”

The Disney Infinity Game line amps up the play action this fall with the addition of Marvel Super Heroes to the mix. The Infinity 2.0 game pieces expand the “Toy Box” of the previously Disney-centric character set to include beautiful three dimensional game pieces based on Marvel’s Avengers and Spiderman universes. Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, Nova, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Venom, Iron Fist, and Nick Fury will all be part of the Wave 1 roll out scheduled for September 23, 2014.

Although the new character set will not work with the previous Infinity base or software, all original characters will be recognized and playable on the 2.0 system and may even include power-up “skill tree” enhancements.

There will also be another group of Disney film characters coming to the shelves before the 2014 holiday season. These include Merida, Tinkerbell, a very Angelina looking Maleficent and Stitch, all pictured below. All characters are playable in all worlds so die hard purists will need to bring their sense of fun and an open mind to game play that could ultimately pair the Incredible Hulk with Tinkerbell. I believe kids will not blink and just go for it.

The Mighty Thaw, Um Thor…
I have always been a fan of The Mighty Thor from my earliest off-the-newsstand comic buying days and was thrilled to learn that The Avengers game story will pit them against Loki and the Frost Giants to save New York City from a frozen doom. Disney says the play maps are 4 times the size of the cityscapes offered in the original game.

Power to the People…
Power Discs will add other dimensions to the screenplay and come in two flavors. Placing a character on top of a Circular Power Disc (or 2) can for instance change a character’s uniform, add an on-screen helper character (like Falcon or Winter Soldier for Captain America) for a short “team-up” period, some will add a vehicle like the Spiderman dune buggy, or a motorcycle.

Hexagonal Discs offer “Play Sets,” these are game experiences with hours of story or task based action when placed on the Infinity base. While each starter kit will come with Power Discs, discs will also be sold mystery box style to encourage collecting and trading between gamers. 80 separate discs have been announced.

Building your own worlds inside the “toy box” area will also be enhanced so gamers can more easily create unique experiences. We were told those end-user built worlds could eventually be shared online via Disney to others around the world.

SkeletonPete Says…
It was great to get an up close and personal sneak peak of these temping collectible game pieces at the Blogger Bash’s SweetSuite 2014 Event in NYC this week. Like Activision’s Skylanders they serve not only as game tokens but excellent display items that deserve shelf space.

Thanks to the kind folks at The Big Toy Book for giving co-editor Andy Melendez and I the opportunity to cover this fun event.

I strongly suggest you visit Marvel’s website for detailed info on the deep set of gaming capabilities offered in Infinity on a wide range of platforms.