Sunday, 20 May 2018

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money on: Bootsale Report 20!


Play was stopped due to injury today. I squatted down to look at some old rubber monsters (and bought some, the three between the zebra and the witch below were from this stall, I like them so much I’m almost ok with them crippling me) and then couldn’t get up.  I don’t mean it hurt to get up, I mean I physically couldn’t get up, the bloke on the stall had to come and help me get upright (shush). After that my back has been in constant pain, from squatting, an action that uses the legs, only I could hurt my back with my knees (I actually think I hurt it yesterday carrying some fertilizer). I’ve been laying in bed for most of the day watching the WWE Network but I grew tired of sweaty men grabbing each other and once again realised that no matter how hard I wish it, Becky Lynch will not show up and offer to be my girlfriend so I got up and cleaned my ‘haul’ (I really need a less pathetic name), this was somewhat foolish as y’know, constant pain an’ all that.


I did pretty damn good, especially as I only got ‘round just over half the bootsale before ending up having to be helped back to the car. I mean that picture includes a monster who is clearly raising the roof, what’s to complain about? Actually what pleases me is that after a few weeks of moaning about not finding a lot of vintage or at least interesting action figures and toys I found almost entirely those – of course this means that this bootsale haul won’t be too full of variety, but on the other hand I’m not subjecting you to a fifteen paragraph sermon on why Strangers in Paradise is one of the greatest comic books ever, believe me when I say I could.  So with that in mind, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll being:

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A Look At: IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog Volume 3 Issues 1-4



Ok, since 1992 Archie Comics held the licence to produce comic books based on Sonic the Hedgehog in the US (Fleetway had it over here), until they lost it last year in a confusing mess that we still don’t know all about but know that a lawsuit from Scott Fulop (aka Kent Taylor)1 - a former Archie editor and Sonic the Hedgehog writer - filed in the wake of Archie’s old settlement with Ken Penders3 seems to have been a contributing factor. The licence was picked up by IDW because of course it was because IDW are on a quest to have all the licences ever. They did a good thing though by keeping writer Ian Flynn on the book. Flynn has been writing Sonic for years now and is a fan favourite, critical success (though I still slightly prefer Nigel Kitching3) and is seen as the man who turned the old Archie comics around.   
As a special event/promotion the first four issues of Sonic the Hedgehog Volume 3, IDW’s first Sonic Book, shipped weekly. All four issues are now out, this is a big thing for the Sonic franchise – the first American Sonic comics not produced by Archie, and I’m a Sonic the Hedgehog obsessive so I’m having a Look At them.  So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Bootsale Report 19!


A bit late due to life but…


It’s bloody hot, I can barely keep my eyes open I’m so tired, I’m listening to a playlist that jumps between that goes from Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ to Junior Brown’s ‘And My Wife Thinks Your Dead’ via ‘My Boy Lollipop’: what better time could there be to talk about other people’s old crap?
Just getting to the botosale this week was a pain, there’d been an accident on the roundabout the bootsale lies off of and this combined with perfect weather and a bank holiday the next day meant we queued for nearly half an hour just to get near enough to field for me to get out and walk across to the bootsale itself. The end result was me being later than usual to start looking and being beaten to the punch by at least four bastard dealers who were hoovering up anything remotely collectable and action figure-y and had a serious effect on my self-worth, when you always feel third place you don’t need something as insignificant and bootsales confirming things for you. Here’s their leavings, delightfully posed on my worktop by the Coke bottles and my medication:


Now I know what you’re thinking (if you were real anyway) so you might as well say it: “dwitefry, you have two of the same dinosaur monster” – YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW?? YOU THINK I’M STUPID ENOUGH TO BUY THE SAME THING TWICE AT THE SAME PLACE WITHIN HALF AN HOUR OF EACH OTHER? If you answered 'yes' to that then you’re correct. No joke, I seriously bought the same dinothing twice by complete accident, I was very tired. They are actually different versions in different rubber from what seems like different time periods but yeah, I still bought the same thing twice.
Anyway are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Examples of Crap I Waste My Money On: Bootsale Report 18!



I haven’t been blogging a lot lately, why? I just didn’t think I had anything interesting to say. I still don’t but now I’m not depressed enough for it to bother me.
But Bootsale season has begun and I need to justify me spending over £20 a weekend on other people’s old crap and blog posts are a great way to do that, and it of course pushes me back into posting, so it’s win-win. A culmination of various factors – including weather, lack of other options and a need to avoid the London Marathon on TV – turned today’s bootsale into one long, slow, hot scrum. Traffic was already backed up when we got there at around ten to 7 (am) and by the time I’d woken up enough to chat with other bootsailors™ (say, 9ish) there was traffic jams at on both routes to the field, by the time we left (10-ish) it was backed-up a LONG way. The bootsale itself was pleasing big, having been forced to go ‘on the other side’ with the amount of sellers necessitating a line of stalls on what should be car parking space but even at that size it was still jam packed and there was still little cover from the sun (no clouds today, clouds can go fuck themselves) and whoever was directing the stall holders needed as isles varied from so wide you had to walk down one side then the other to see the stuff to so thin they were one long bottleneck, one long, sweaty, smelly, sun-baked, swearing in various languages bootlneck. I came home feeling like I’d been beaten up by a sunbed in the middle of a dust storm, this is probably why my haul photo kind of sucks today:

I obscured two heads and a giant gorilla, I should go work for National Geographic or some shit.
So was it worth it? From the point of view of someone who collects action figures? No, not really – though I did manage to find an X-Men Evolution Nightcrawler after binge watching X-Men Evolution all week which was a nice coincidence. From the point of view of someone who has a blog post to write about the shit he found at a bootsale? Hell yeah.
So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin:

Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Long and Winding Five Nights At Freddy's 3.0



Welp, this was unavoidable. After Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator, the finale of the core Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise, came out a third and (probably) final version of the Long and Winding Five Nights at Freddy’s needed to happen. I’d like to personally thank Scott Cawthon, Freddy’s creator, for clearing up so much and then cure Scott Cawthon, for leaving so much unresolved. Anyway unmarked spoilers ahead, you have been warned.


Five Nights At Freddy’s is a franchise based around a chain of family restaurants – Pizzerias to be precise – that use animatronic anthropomorphic animals heavily reminiscent of Nolan Bushnell’s Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre and it’s old rival (and current owner) ShowBiz Pizza Place. The first, second and sixth games take place at three separate Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza locations, the third a theme park attraction based on those restaurants, the fifth the storage and showrooms for Circus Baby’s Entertainment and Rental and the fourth in a seemingly ordinary house. Each game is a point-and-click indie survival horror game and although the exact methods differ between the four games they all share the same simple gameplay and goal – use what you have to keep yourself from being killed by the animatronics, though from Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 (FNAF2) small bonus mini-games in the style of the Atari 2600 home video game console were added to give more of the backstory of the franchise (and further scare players). All six games (and its spin-off Five Nihgts at Freddy’s World) were created and developed by Scott Cawthon and are available for PC (via things like Steam) and iOS.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

AFB's Top 12 Favourite McFarlane Movie Maniacs Figures


We’ve had a lot of toy content on this blog since last Christmas and I apologise for that, this blog was never meant to focus on one particular thing – I promise I have some non-toy posts brewing. However I just finished my index for Movie Maniacs and it made me want to do a countdown so more toys today I’m afraid.


 An index? Yeah, I make visual ‘indexes’ for personal reference, they have pictures and names for everything released in that line (they’re usually for toys or video games) and despite requiring a fair amount of work I generally don’t post them anywhere because they use images stolen from all around the internet, I have posted the odd small index on here before though and because the index is important to the backstory of why this post exists, here is my newly finished Movie Maniacs Index:
click to enlarge
Movie Maniacs, first unleashed in 1998 by McFarlane Toys and running for 7 waves over 7 years, ended up being somewhat revolutionary (in the field of action figures) – it produced highly detailed (and poorly articulated) action figures of various horror and movie icons made for and sold to adults. That doesn’t sound to amazing today  when there are dozens of companies doing such things and one or two who’s whole business is built around this but what Neca do today, what Diamond do today, what Mezco do today, what Hot Toys do today – the bloke from Spawn was doing last millennium and doing it well, McFarlane Toys had got their shit down by the time the line debuted and the results were a shocking consistent line in terms of quality and sheer awesomeity so this was a surprisingly hard countdown list to narrow down.

12. John Shaft
Movie Maniacs 3, 2000
Who? Titular character of the 2000 film Shaft, a remake of the 1970s television show – played by Samuel L. Jackson
Why? There’s a weirdness to Movie Maniacs (one that isn’t related to it being made up of figures of human fly hybrids and murderous hillbillies) caused by McFarlane choosing to use the line to produce figures of then-current licenses1 he’d got as well as by-then firmly established movie icons, leaving almost every wave2 with at least one choice that seems completely baffling today and none of them stand out more than the random inclusion of a modern-day urban detective. The John Shaft figure sticks out like inflamed testicles on a small Chihuahua in a line filled with monsters, madmen and the people who fought them but he’s a simply a fantastic figure of Samuel L Jackson. His likeness is perfect, and the posing of his limbs has managed to catch every ounce of the pure coolness that makes up Sam Jackson, the reason he’s so low is simply because he’s a little boring compared to all the others on this list, he is – after all – just a bloke in a roll neck sweater, though it’s also a testament to how good this likeness is that a bloke in a roll-neck sweater ended up getting voted above King Kong and Jaws3.

11. Blair Witch
Movie Maniacs 4, 2001
Who? Unseen antagonist of the 1999 smash hit horror film and exemplar of clever marketing that was The Blair Witch Project. How can you make a figure of a character you never see though? Such questions do not stop eccentric millionaires like Todd McFarlane! He was basically given carte blanche to design whatever he liked for the monster.
Why? This is so ridiculous that I can’t help but love it; they made a figure of a character you never see! It’s bonkers! The fact that it turned out to be a really wonderful and really quite original witch design was just the icing on the mental cake. It IS a very McFarlane toys design but in 1999 McFarlane Toys’ design aesthetic was shared by the film industry anyway so no harm there. What McFarlane and his boys produced was an emaciated thing that had a distinctly tree-like feel to it (one of the two versions had a full-on tree like head, that’s my favourite of the two) that’s a perfect for something so closely associated with forests from a film entirely set in one. If you were a Blair Witch fan (and I was and still am) this was our only way to see the witch and that was damn special – and frankly the small glimpses we’ve had haven’t matched up to this figure.

10. Norris Creature and Spider
Movie Maniacs 3, 2000
What? ‘The Thing’ in a form it took after it’s impersonation of the character Norris was exposed (via defibrillator), from the 1982 marvel that was John Carpenter’s The Thing, the remake of The Thing From Another World.
Why? While not 100% accurate (something that would have been bloody difficult in 1998 and still would be pretty hard to do today) the Movie Maniacs Thing figures completely captured the design and feel of The Thing’s signature (and fucking stunning) physical effects – and by that I mean they were exceptionally grotesque – lovely. There were two in the line, both in the same wave, Blair Monster (the big one at the end) and Norris Creature (the spider one) and the reason Norris on here and Blair isn’t? For me the Norris-Thing is what I think of when I think of ‘The Thing’ both as a film and a ‘character’ and this is my list so I can be as biased as I want, plus he came with the spider-head and that thing is just magnificently unsettling in-film and magnificent unsettling as a small accessory, so it had value for money as well as everything else. The reason it’s so low though is that I’ve never been happy with the paint jobs on the Movie Maniacs Thing figures, they’re just simply way more colourful than the film’s props and use a few too many washes for me liking.

9. Chucky
Movie Maniacs 2, 1999
Who? A My Buddy Good Guy doll possessed by the murderous spirit of Billy Bibbs from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the main antagonist of the Child’s Play franchise, this is his look from Chid’s Play 2.
Why? Because his size, look, articulation and rooted hair this figure looks and feel slike the Good Guy poseable figure that undoubtedly would have been released alongside the full size Good Guy dolls during their (fictional) day in the sun as a toy fad but one that’s also possessed by a murder! To further explain, in the 1980s toy companies developed this habit of making small action figures of toys that were primarily based around soft toys or dolls – Care Bears, Wuzzles, Rainbow Brite, Gummi Bears, Teddy Ruxpin, they all had ‘em – but because these were marketed towards girls or a unisex audience they were called ‘poseable figures’ or ‘poseables’ for short and as Chucky is a possessed toy from a big 80’s toy fad (in-universe) based around a doll it makes sense that there’d have been a poseable figure for him and McFarlane accidentally made it a reality. What’s important is that I HORDE these, I have a complete set of Care Bears bar one (Champ Bear! I can’t find that mustard coloured prick anywhere) and a complete set of Wuzzles for instance, you can get a life-size Good Guy (Chucky) replica doll from multiple manufactures but Movie Maniacs made the replica of the Poseable Figure (which doesn’t exist remember) that I’d’ve wanted more than that doll had it been 1988.

8. Candyman
Movie Maniacs 4, 2001
Who? Say his name three times and he’ll come and cut your nuts off, titular bogeyman of the 1992 film Candyman, was played very effectively by Tony Todd
Why? As far as I know this is the only figure of Candyman, which seems like something of an oversight on the part of the whole toy industry if you ask me but if this is destined to be the only plastic Candyman then ol’ Tony Todd could do a lot worse, the likeness is damn good (from most angles), the coat looks comfy and the torso came out nice and grizzly. It’s not perfect, the torso is stuck in a twisted position that can look very odd in some poses and the likeness isn’t spot-on, which might beg the question of “why’s it’s higher than Shaft?” because of two reasons a) Candyman is far less boring a design (and far better suited to the line) b) I like Candyman better than Shaft.

7. The Tooth Fairy
Movie Maniacs V, 2002
Who? The villain from the (then-upcoming) 2003 movie Darkness Falls, which I guess was tipped to be a big thing in horror when McFarlane got the licence – that didn’t happen.
Why? Darkness Falls is a shit film (I think it’s Rotten Tomatoes score is something like 7%?), I can get through it ok because I like the whole ‘coming back to a town with dark memories’ thing and because I think the Tooth Fairy is a sweet-ass villain but I think most people would need at least a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (or RiffTrax) commentary to make it half way. However just because the film she comes from is crap that doesn’t mean that the Tooth Fairy’s figure is equally shite, in fact it’s the complete opposite which shouldn’t be too surprising as she’s number 8 and thus above stars of not-crap horror film like Psycho and Halloween.  Her figure is just an amazing work of detailing, texturing and colour and with her wings open becomes a bloody impressive presence on your shelf – she’s effectively the toy collector’s version of the stone angel gardeners get and just as impressive.

6. RoboCop
Movie Maniacs 7, 2004
Who? The murdered cop Alex Murphy is reborn as a cyborg lawbringer in the future, titular star of RoboCop from 1987 and its subsequent sequels and television series.
Why? I have a theory that Movie Maniacs RoboCop is slightly overvalued by ‘at-the-time’ buyers and fans of the series because it took all 7 series to get a figure of him, that was certainly true for me and it seems to be true for a few others from the blogs I’ve read so I’m saying it’s a fact, live with it.  However the figure that we waited for turned out be quite frankly beautiful, he may lack the articulation of the newer Neca figures (and McFarlane never made a glow-in-the-dark repaint of him, a wasted opportunity if ever there was one) but the colour and sculpt of this one is just so visually appealing, you could use him as a Christmas ornament. Personally he reminds me slightly more of the Kenner action figures than the film version but I have NO problem with that at all, he was the sole highlight in Series 7 – which was otherwise dominated by Texas Chainsaw Massacre characters and a poor likeness of Michael Biehn but Murph’ would have stood out in any wave. So why is he only number 7 then? Well because his positives boil down to ‘he looks pretty’ and because a RoboCop figure is hardly a unique thing and this isn’t the best RoboCop out there - which is a bit unfair but I have to find some way of ordering these.

5. Sarah Connor
Movie Maniacs V, 2002
Who? Destined to give birth to the saviour of the future, this is the character as played by Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 – Judgement Day when she’d become a confirmed badass and an escapee from a lunatic asylum.
Why? Unlike RoboCop this is my favourite figure of Sarah Connor and unlike RoboCop I REALLY like Sarah Connor and I’m particularly fond of (read: sexually obsessed with) the T2 version of the character and that’s totally playing a part in this figure’s ranking as well, pathetic yes but still a reason. McFarlane released three versions, each with a different head (hair down, hair up, wearing a cap), all of which were included in Neca’s recent Ultimate Sarah Connor which of course was better articulated but I wasn’t quite as happy with the sculpt, I didn’t like the face as much (I’d say the likeness was no better or worse, I just didn’t personally prefer it) and that just continued all down the figure, I can’t really elaborate on why this is I just simply prefer the McFarlane sculptors’ Linda Hamilton efforts.

4. Pumpkinhead
Movie Maniacs 2, 1999
Who? Titular demon from the 1988 horror film Pumpkinhead (yeah, not much to say here really)
Why? Simply put: Pumpkinhead is a cool toy (you read that in Tom Hanks’ voice and you know it) – taken completely separately from his liscence, just as a monster toy, Pumpkinhead works – he’s a tall, twisted, detailed monster with a bendable tail that looks familiar enough to fit in with other monsters but still original in his own way (he kind of looks like a Xenomorph that’s been peeled). Now combine that fact with the fact that he’s actually a very good Pumpkinhead figure – he’s accurate, he’s surprisingly well articulated for a McFarlane release and he’s in-scale (roughly) – and bam, number 4 slot filled.

3. Special Edition Eric Draven
Special Edition, 2000
Who? The main character of the 1994 film The Crow (based on a comic book created by James O’Barr) who was played by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce and who famously died while filming the movie, strangely fitting as Draven is a murdered musician brought back to avenge his and his fiancĂ©’s murders.
Why? I have only kept 2 Movie Maniacs, this is one, number 2 is the other. Now I am more than willing to admit that Neca’s Draven figures are actually far better likenesses while this one is a little more cartoony but I rather like that about it, perhaps I’m more accepting of it on The Crow because it started out as a comic book? I’m not saying it’s better than Neca’s offerings, just that I like it as well – probably because the whole figure captures the essence of Eric Draven perfectly; god that sounds really pretentious doesn’t it? But it does, or at least to me – the pose, the…swagger of it, it’s just so CROW. The reason I’m putting the special edition the ‘fish tank’ re-release from 2000, on here is because it came with a crappy stand,  - really, the stand is really pathetic, it’s a plastic stand with a cardboard backdrop but that backdrop is of the circular window that Draven was thrown from in the movie, it’s an exceptionally iconic thing if you’re a fan of the film (and I REALLY am)  being able to pose this figure - who’s walking at you like the undead thing he is and loving every scare – in front of that, that iconic thing where this character died, is just so fitting and so pleasing to me as a fan.

2. Edward Scissorhands
Movie Maniacs 3, 2000
Who? Johnny Depp was built by Vincent Price and fell in love with Winona Ryder so Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson could make a comment about American suburbia, titular character of Edward Scissorhands from 1990 and technically the figure should just be called ‘Edward’.
Why? The sheer detailing in this sculpt alone should get it into a top 10, every stitch, every zipper, every scissor has been put onto this and they’ve all had their detailing painted, something that most companies would consider the exact same thing and burning $100 dollar bills in piles but hey, detailing and paint apps aren’t uncommon for McFarlane toys of this era so why so high? 1) the sculpting has a delicateness that’s not only rare for McFarlane and it’s macho heavy metal output but also perfect for the character 2) the likeness is excellent 3) they managed to get that hair looking that good on a 6” piece of plastic – which may well be magic and 4) like with The Crow this somehow catches the pretentious sounding essence of the character, only with a much better likeness, I really wish they’d made Kim4 to hug him, he needs a hug.

Runners-up are pretty much the whole line but if I must: variant Leatherface (Movie Maniacs), Norman Bates, Michael Myers, Ghostface (Movie Maniacs 2), Ash, Blair Monster, Bundle Fly, King Kong (Movie Maniacs 3), T-1000, Jaws5 (Movie Maniacs 4), T-800 Endoskeleton (Movie Maniacs V), Alien Queen (Movie Maniacs VI), the Dracula two-pack (2003) and Stealth Predator6 (a 2003 McFarlane Collector’s Club Exclusive).  

1. Lord of Darkness

Movie Maniacs 6, 2003
Who? Basically it’s Satan as played by Tim Curry (who apparently isn’t a demon in real life - pfft like I believe that), the Lord of Darkness was the main antagonist of the 1985 fantasy film Legend.  
Why? There was never any debate here; the Movie Maniac’s Lord of Darkness is fucking magnificent in every way a figure can be which is perfectly fitting because the character himself is magnificent, a magnificent bastard sure but still magnificent, everything about the pose they gave him screams ‘I am fucking awesome’. See how much I’m swearing? That should tell you my level of enthusiasm for this piece of plastic, I so wish I’d kept him and have no idea why I didn’t7. This exuding magnificence the combines with a spot on headsculpt with a spot-on expression (‘pissed off and evil’ about sums it up) and McFarlane’s usual level of detail and painting so it just stands head and horns about the rest of the line – he’s a huge devil, he’s Tim Curry, he’s wonderfully made and so he’s number 1. As for why I’ve put the regular release and not the deluxe edition like with The Crow, once again the main addition was a base and while it’s a million times nicer than The Crow’s I honestly don’t care about it in the slightest, that window is feels important to me while Darkness’ treasure just doesn’t feel important enough to pay out the extra cash - but then I like The Crow a LOT more than I like Legend.

And there you have it, Movie Maniacs was a schizophrenic but superb line that fulfilled a lot of toy fantasies for nerds in the late nineties and early noughties, Neca may have outclassed it with several franchises (most notably Nightmare on Elm Street, Terminator, Alien and Predator) but a lot of the figures still stand up well, either as good representations of their characters, as the only representations of their characters or just by looking bloody cool and I’ve love to see a new line like this (or Neca’s Cult Classics or SOTA Toys’ Now Playing), one that could allow for one or two figures from smaller cult films or films without the depth of character roster or profile to support a whole line of its own – wave one needs to include the Killbots.   

1 Which I suppose is great news if you’re a fan of Species II or Darkness Falls and especially if you’re a big fan of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.
2 Wave 2 doesn’t have this problem, its entire line-up had become iconic or cult classics by 1999, the most recent movie represented was Scream, by then three years old and already a modern classic and today considered on-par with the other great horror franchises.
3 I have my individual issues with all three of the big sets released in the line – the Jaws set is basically just a plastic diorama, out of scale with the rest of the line and doesn’t include a whole shark, King Kong has likeness issues (and most King Kongs do, people seem to just sculpt ‘big monkey’ rather than O’bie’s big monkey) and is again wildly out of scale (they were making 18inch versions of figures, there was no excuse) and I’ve never been fond of the ‘art style’ used on the Movie Maniacs Xenomorphs, including the Alien Queen.
4 Winona Rider’s character
5 I may have issues with them that kept them out of the top 12 but Jaws, King Kong and Alien Queen are still impressive
6 like their eternal cross-over partners I was never that impressed with Movie Maniacs Predators either, I didn’t like the bodies mostly, but I’m always willing to make an exception for c-thru Predators.
7 from this list I owned all but Chucky and Sarah Connor as a teenager, now I own Sarah Connor and was able to find a Ghostface at a bootsale but that still means I only have four figures left – sadnesss. Movie Maniacs average around twice their original retail price these days on the second hand market too – the Thing and Jaws stuff are especially expensive.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Belated Quick Crappy Reviews: Boss Fight Studios’ The S.P.A.C.E. Adventures of Bucky O’Hare and The Toad Wars - Bucky O’Hare and Jenny


I didn’t review some stuff because life, so let’s just embrace it and do a BELATED review!


I can’t believe I’ve never talked about Bucky O’Hare at any length on here before, not just because I really like it but because I’m usually willing to take any excuse to talk about Bucky O’Hare at length, my friends leave the room then.


Let’s change that shit: Bucky O’Hare is awesome, it’s a space opera starring a green rabbit with a laser gun and a four-armed space pirate duck fighting a massive robot toad. More specifically it’s a small franchise created by comic writer Larry Hama (who was instrumental in the development of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) and artist Christopher Golden (who drew The Micronauts) and first published through Continuity Comics (the independent comic company owned by comic legend Neal Adams) in the 1980s but it had it’s real day in the sun in 1990-91 when Hasbro picked it up for a toyline and got Sunbow Productions (who they had a good relationship with, they’d done the G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Transformers and Jem toons) to make a cartoon of it in a decision that was no-way influenced by the success of any teenage, mutant or ninja turtles. Unfortunately an oversight in how they packed the figures (they packed like 10 Toad Air Marshalls for every other figure) lead to stores not re-ordering toys and without toy sales the whole Bucky franchise got scuttled. BUT I was 6 in 1991 and looking for anything TMNT-like to get excited about so I was completely hooked, it helped that the animated series was actually good and the toys it was advertising were actually good albeit cut short by an abundance of short toads in fetching hats. I cannot stress how much I love these TMNT-alikes that had their five minutes of fame in the early-to-mid 1990s: Bucky O’Hare, Biker Mice, Street Sharks, Captain Simian, I love ’em all with a genuine and not at all sad love.


Last year Boss Fight Studios, an online-only collectors’ action figure company, put up a pre-order for their first two Bucky O’Hare toys: Captain Bucky O’Hare and First Mate Jenny and I was so there. They turned up November-ish last year which was just the right time to not get reviewed as I was unable to be enthusiastic about anything, even green space rabbits – yeah that’s how bad I was, I know right? We are actually gonna start with Bucky O’Hare himself so: Bucky’s a green space hare from the planet Warren and captain of the Righteous Indignation, a space ship in the small but growing S.P.A.C.E. fleet who basically leads the battle against the Toad Empire, who are conquering the Aniverse and terraforming it to their liking.


I’m a little disappointed with his new collector’s figure, most of that is in the body though because the headsculpt is fucking awesome, all three faces really captures a sense of self-confidence. I don’t know much (read: anything) about Boss Fight Studio’s licence so I don’t know if they can make characters and designs exclusive to the show (it would seriously suck if they can’t: a Bruiser is essential and a Mimi would be amazing) but the head seems to sit somewhere between comic and cartoon and ends up being pretty representative of both. They were also wise enough to keep the ear articulation, a neat feature on the original toy that’s now been upgraded into a pair of ball joints for extra ear-posing fun (what? You don’t like posing ears? Freak).


My disappointment comes from his body and it comes from an unfair but unavoidable area: comparisons with the previous toy, one we’ve had for a long time and have fond childhood memories of. In this case the body just seems so much less dynamic than the original, it’s more accurate (though closer to the cartoon in proportions I feel) but just feels a little bit boring. It IS articulated though, VERY articulated and I know some toy fans would much rather articulation to dynamism (or articulation to quality if some Marvel Legends buyers are to be used as examples) – he’s got ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, crotch, knees and ankles plus hinged toes and swivels at the wrists, waist and tail, yes his bobtail is separately articulated and that is fantastic, seriously you have to attach it anyway so why not give it a swivel? Now this does mean he lacks for ball-joints at the wrists (always a shame) and has no ab-crunch which is a shame as the design choice to go with a longer body than the original toy (which is show-accurate) totally allowed for one. He does have those awesome knee joins that have those little ‘cuffs’ that cover up the join though, and even though I’m personally not a fan of hinged fingers or toes (they cause more problems than they solve I find) anyone with feet as big as Bucky’s should have as such a thing and you can, of course, get more poses with them than without. His real problem is his cape, it’s simply an engineering cock-up, it attached to his back via a peg but the peg is too short and so it falls off all the time, which is doubly annoying as the Boss Fight people must be fans of Bucky to bother with such a small-time licence and as such I’d expect them to know about the Toad Air Marshall’s hat and know that fashion that can be detached should never be included with Bucky O’Hare figures again- shame on them. However they do claw back points for making sure Bucky kept his peg-holes in the soles of his shoes, why is this so important? Well because he actually has those in the comic and cartoon, it was a conscious decision on the part of Hama to incorporate them so there was no disconnect between how the toys looked and how the characters looked in the show/comic/whatever and could have easily been overlooked, but instead Bucky features fully sculpted soles with pegholes (they’ve been moved back a little I think to allow for the toe articulation) – there is never a good reason not to sculpt the bottoms of boots, it costs no more in tooling, materials or painting costs.


Most of Bucky’s accessories are swappable parts but he does come with two standard ‘Aniverse blasters’ that are commonly used by various characters in-universe. I think these guns are some of the best weapon designs in fiction, I’m not being hyperbolic: I find the roundness of them to be incredibly aesthetically pleasing and having some that I haven’t lost years ago made me delighted, I wished we’d got a role-play toy of these back in ’91, a water pistol that looked like that would have been amazing. Swappable hands/gloves are pretty great, we get two trigger finger hands, two fists, an open hand and a pointing hand of leadership, a set of standard c-grip hands seems like a glaring omission but I guess they figured more people would want to pose Bucky with guns than with a crowbar. The swappable faces are less pleasing, simply put they all look so similar.

It’s a problem with Jenny as well. On that: OH MY FUCKING GOD A FUCKING JENNY FIGURE!!!!!!! *calms down* Jenny is first mate on the Righteous Indignation, she’s a cat from Alderbaran (seriously) with secret psychic powers, she’s also a toy dream come true. Now I respect that you may think using terms like ‘dream come true’ for toys is over-the-top, a little silly even but with cases like Jenny it is completely accurate. Until Boss Fight’s pre-order went up fans of Bucky O’Hare could only imagine – or dream if you will – of owning a toy of Jenny, who I’d like to point out again is the first mate of the crew and a main character. Jenny’s sotry isn’t an original one – Skeleton Warrior fans will know the tale, as will Darkwing Duck fans and many others – Jenny was scheduled for wave 2 of the line but there was no wave 2, leaving kids without a key member of the crew, imagine not having Uhura, that’s basically what we’ve had for 26 years. Photos of the prototype (and, I believe, factory samples) have been around t’internet for years and a rich fan or so even owns one but for the rest of us all we’ve been able to do is look. Given the relative obscurity of Bucky O’Hare and the relative failure of the franchise as a toy fad I honestly never thought I’d ever own Jenny, until Boss Fight Studios were amazing!



I was actually… apprehensive about a Jenny figure, firstly because of the quarter-of-a-decade of anticipation but mostly because Jenny has the best arse and legs in all of furrydom, getting Jenny’s butt and pins wrong would scuttle any figure of hers as far as I was concerned, I’m fucking odd. I needn’t have worried, even with articulation Boss Fight gave her the physique she demands:

Away from revealing far too much about my perversions Jenny is a really nice figure, she seems clearly based on the prototype figure and I’m completely ok that with that that’s the figure we didn’t get and that’s now the figure we now get to own, effort has been put into making the fantasy a reality – this does mean that Jenny lacks two major design elements from the cartoon though: her combat stilettos and her huge pink hair and tail, replaced with equally impractical platform shoes and huge white hair and tail (her hair was more white in the comic book and cross-sell artwork as well as the proto). Speaking of the tail, that tail is VERY well done, it’s essential for balancing a figure that has tiny ankles and tiny knees but long legs and platform heels, happily it’s ball-joint, weight and thickness means it works perfectly. Other articulation is pretty much the same as Bucky’s though she has those ‘rocker’ joints at her ankles. Overall though she looks fantastic, far better, far more dynamic, than Bucky and a big improvement on her prototype, she’s also roughly in scale with the original toys so if you just want a Jenny to go with them, she’ll more than do. 


She also has a lot more accessories than Buck, it’s like Boss Fight Studios knew that she was the real star of this first ‘wave’ and Bucky was just a necessity. Or it might be because she doesn’t have any guns. She has 3 swappable faces and a total of 8 hands to choose from. Her hands are a lot more fiddly than Bucky’s but their fragility seems to be an illusion, they’re pretty durable: she has c-grip hands, fists, spell casting hands that match her card art and hands that are ‘blasting’ very tasty looking pink psionic energy, I have no problem with any of them, I do have problems with her swappable faces. She has a cute winking face but her other three faces are just so similar they feel a little redundant – they’re supposed to neutral, angry and happy (I think) but they all just look ‘slightly sassy’. Rounding out her accessories are two of those effects pieces that hang on the wrists that the whole action figure industry is now in love with since someone finally figured out how to do them; they’re actually gorgeous little sculpts that do a great job of replicating Michael Golden’s artwork in reality, they’re so good I wish I could have made them (if that makes sense). what she doesn’t come with (and what makes me a little resentful of the three faces that look almost identical) is her prototype’s weapon, a completely made-up sci-fi shotgun thing that makes no sense and looks like it was taken from a random Hasbro vehicle but I still would have liked it to complete the ‘prototype made reality’ feel of the toy.


Conclusions? Jenny is amazing which is all that really matters, Bucky is frankly irrelevant as is the continued success of this line as far as I’m concerned, I WANT it to continue, I want Boss Fight to put out the Deadeye Duck that’s now on pre-order (because he’s my favourite, yes I have pre-ordered him), I WANT collector’s figures of the Toad Stromtroopers, of Al Negator, Blinky, Dogstar and ESPECIALLY Bruiser and the mighty Toadborg; I WANT to finally own figures of Terror Toad, Mimi LaFloo, Rumble Bee and Komplex but Boss Fight have already achieved the only goal that mattered: we finally have a Jenny figure and it’s a really bloody good toy.