Thursday, May 17, 2018

Driven Pocket Series (Series 1) - Blind Boxes

I'm not familiar with the Driven brand or the company behind them, Battat. These small plastic "garages" can be found on the die-cast vehicle aisle at your local Target store and retail for just $1.99. I first noticed these during the Christmas shopping season and I was intrigued. I picked up three, one gray and two orange packages.



Like a lot of little boys growing up, I had a love for Tonka trucks and construction equipment. That later transitioned to Hot Wheels and Matchbox and then to Micro Machines. These seemed to be right up my alley and were worth at least checking out.


I knew there would be a small vehicle inside the plastic garage, but I didn't realize it would come with 3 pieces of road. These can be connected to one another as well as to the garage itself. Personally I love this little touch as I can see that aiding to the play pattern for kids. Heck, even this 40 year old guy was excited to connect all the pieces from all 3 packages together.


These vehicles are small, measuring around 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. They are all plastic, but surprisingly feature more molded detail and paint apps than you'd think a $2 blind packaged toy may have. One of my daughters took to this school bus upon first opening the gray package.


The two orange garages both yielded a yellow and black steam roller. Thankfully the included road pieces were slightly different than from before.


Not as cool as the school bus in my opinion, this little construction vehicle rolled around just fine.


Another nice undocumented feature is that the garages can snap together. On each side is either a 'u' shaped clip or a small peg.

I'm assuming these have sold well as return trips to Target I haven't seen these anymore. In their place is a Tonka branded product that appears to be similar. I know a Series 2 of Driven Pocket Series was released, but I've never seen them in person. They are available for sale on Target's website however.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Rabbids Invasion Series 2 Blind Bag



Over the weekend my wife and I hit the local outlet mall for her to do a little shopping of her own. I looked around for some shorts, but wasn't able to find anything I wanted. So as not to rush her, I left and walked around until I came across a little toy/gift shop. I've been to this store before around the holidays, but I thought it was one of those seasonal type stores. None the less, here it was. At the back of the store was a fairly large clearance area and while there wasn't much that caught my eye, I did find 3 blind bags of Rabbids Invasion mini figures.

Being a video game collector, I was familiar with the Rabbids, but have never really played many games with them in it. That was until I purchased Mario + Rabbids for Christmas this past year. I've laughed out loud so many times at the Rabbid dressed up as Peach...it's mannerisms are hilarious. This lead to these little blind bags being an easy purchase. I believe they originally retailed for $4-5 each, but I got them for about $1.75 each. 

I can't say I really recall seeing these at retail before. The date on the bag is from 2014 and I was surprised to see that McFarlane Toys made them. The 3 bags I purchased were all from Series 2 which contains 7 different Rabbids, one of them being a mystery figure. The figures themselves are about 1 inch tall with the ears making them a smidge taller. They aren't articulated in any way, but the paint apps are applied well. Each figure comes with a small round blue figure stand. Each figure has a small hole in the bottom of one foot, allowing it to peg onto the stand giving it extra stability.


I was hoping for this one, Blondie, as it reminds me of the goofy one dressed up as Peach in the Mario + Rabbids game. So goofy this one.


This is Bill E. Rock, a goofy Elvis impersonator. At first I thought he just had a wig on like Blondie, but my 6 year old daughter recognized it as an octopus on this head...and she's right! If you look closely you can see the little suction cups molded into the plastic.


The last figure I opened was Professor Marker. I love the little black marker he's holding in his hand and all of the scribble on his face. 

The likeness of these figures matches their craziness that is brought to life in various video games. These are some of the best blind bag toys I've opened in quite some time. I hate that I missed out on these until now, however I'm glad to add these 3 to my video game shelves.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Web Diver: Jaguaron W-01 Lucky Draw

Once upon a time I used to spend countless hours perusing Yahoo! Japan Auction listings looking for the next elusive item I wanted to purchase. I eventually came across a listing for this black version of the Webdiver character Jaguaron and ended up placing the winning bid. I figured it was limited being that it was packaged in a plain white box and sported a slick black and yellow deco, however I really wasn't able to find anything else about the toy. Even to this day, I don't know how limited this figure is as there just isn't much info posted (at least in English) on the web. If anyone reading can shed any light on how this was distributed or how many were manufactured I'd greatly appreciate the information.


I don't recall what I paid for this piece and I don't recall what I sold it for. While I don't own many Webdiver toys today, I do kick myself for letting this one go. I'm sure the market for this toy is small so I doubt I got much in return for mine. 

I do plan on doing a more proper review of the regular release of Jaguaron, so this post is more or less to show off the pictures I took before I decided to part with mine.







Many of the Webdiver toys take an acquired taste as they differ from your traditional transforming robot, however I always liked Jaguaron and this darker color scheme made the mold look that much better.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Charlotte Comic-Con - 04/15/18

This past Sunday I had the pleasure to once again hang out with my older brother for a few hours as we talked comics and searched boxes for comics. The Charlotte Comic-Con was held in Concord, NC at the Embassy Suites Convention Center. We headed up after church so I don't know what the crowd was like in the AM when the doors opened, but it was crowded. The crowd seemed to dissipate shortly after we got there due to the nasty storms that were coming through the area. At one point, the whole sales floor was flooded with weather alarms as the storms got closer. We decided to stay there through the storms and I'm glad I did because I found a few books right before we left that I really hadn't been searching for, but wanted.


For the most part I stick to the cheap boxes, especially when my funds are limited (like they were Sunday). We generally search the room for the cheapest boxes and then start there. Occasionally I work my way up to the dollar boxes, however this trip there were plenty of books to be found in the $.50 boxes...just take a look at my stack!


I didn't realize the old Atlantis Rising story ran through the short lived Fantastic Force series, but I found the two issues from the story. I believe these were the first books of the day that I found.


I started with X-Men 2099, then Spider-Man 2099 and slowly branching out to some of the other 2099 titles. Apparently I already had a few issues of Fantastic Four 2099 so it made sense for me to pick up these. Issue one has a nice chromium cover.


Moving across the aisle I found a dealer who had a lot of $.50 boxes...all on the floor. I knew immediately this was going to be a long and painful day for my back!! One of the first books I pulled out was this Marvel Two-In-One featuring the Thing and Captain America. Anything Cap that I don't own I usually buy...and hey, I got it for cover price!


I haven't decided if I'm going to actively search out Punisher books, but I came across this one with part of the Dead Man's Hand story line that also ran through Daredevil and Nomad.


I don't believe I've ever seen this Midnight Sons Unlimited title, but this one has the final part of the Siege of Darkness story. Love the cover.


Speaking of the Atlantis Rising story, found issue #2 of the limited series. Love gimmicky covers like this clear acetate cover.


I actually already have Silverhawks #1, but I couldn't pass it up at $.50. I figured someone reading this blog may need/want this comic...


I'll buy comics of just about any series based on 80's properties/toys. These are my first Saga of Crystar, but I seem to recall seeing these issues in the cheap-o boxes in the past.


I found one of the Master Editions of the Official Marvel Index books at my LCS a few months ago and ever since I've been keeping my eyes open for more. While this isn't one of the Master Editions, it is the first issue of the index to Amazing Spider-Man!


I could have sworn I already had this Marvel Action Universe, but according to my CLZ app I didn't. This contains the first appearance of Firestar in non-continuity.


Nothing special, but this issue of Spectacular Spider-Man fills a hole in a nice little run I have.


Three more books down in this series of Spider-Man. Oh so close to finishing this run. I believe issue #25 there w/ the Green Goblin in the cover is the alternate or variant cover.


Web of Spider-Man is the one Spidey title I haven't paid a lot of attention to, however with these 6 books my Web collection is getting fuller and fuller. Still on the look out for a nice deal on a #1 direct edition.


I've already completed several titles of Spider-Man related characters, but this is my first issue of Black Cat. Andrew Wildman of Transformers fame supplied the art for the cover and the interior. Looking forward to finding more of these.


My brother who was helping me comb through all the boxes actually found this one. I grabbed it thanks to the Spider-Man appearance, but know nothing else about the issue.


I've only recently begun to go back and pick up 80s/90s issues of Iron Man and I've already found several issues. I found 14 that I needed...actually more but some of them were too dogged for me to buy, even at $.50. I'm not the biggest Iron Man fan today, but I liked the his title and the character more 20 years ago.


I originally bought the Image and later the MVC series of Masters of the Universe, but I never bought the DC title. Found this one lone issue so I grabbed it. Not sure what the likelihood of finding more will be at future shows.


I skipped over this book, but my brother saw it and asked me if I needed it. The Coven is one of the few non-Marvel titles I collect. I'm going for a full set of covers since it didn't last that long and surprisingly this Dynamic Forces variant of issue #2 is one that I didn't have. Not bad for a $1.


The last set of tables we stopped at before leaving had most of their books in alphabetical order. This was nice as it was late in the day and it helped me find what I was looking for a lot quicker. They had several issues of Amazing Spider-Man that I needed, but I settled with these two as I was down to using the quarters in my pocket.


Most of you may know who that red image is on the cover of Doctor Strange, but just in case you don't it's Amy Grant. Yes, the Christian music recording artist Amy Grant. This image was lifted from her "The Collection" without her knowledge or permission. Amy sued Marvel Comics not for copyright infringement, but for the association of her image with the occult. She argued that it would negatively effect her music career. At this point in time she hadn't yet "crossed over" to the mainstream market. Amy and Marvel eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. Today this book isn't hard to find, but this is the first time I've come across it in the cheaper back issue boxes.


About the only comics my older brother buys these days (he's moved on to digital comics) he likes stuff like Marvel Age because it contains info, stories and art from the pre-internet days. I'll grab issues of Marvel Age for myself if there is a story that relates to my interests...such as #56 with a feature on G.I. Joe!


The final purchase of the day was this Spider-Man Unmasked book. It's square bound, not a normal issue. It retailed for $5.95 back when it was new and it contains small write ups on Spider-Man's abilities, along with his supporting cast of characters and villains. I flipped through it the other night and it's pretty cool. I've never seen this book before and nor had my brother.

Over all it was a great couple of hours spent at the show. This particular Comic-Con happens 3 times a year so I like to try and make it when I can. It's one of the best one day shows I've ever been too and always look forward to them. David Hinson and Rick Fortenberry do a great job putting on the show. Up next, HeroesCon this June!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hot Wheels Star Wars Starships: AT-AT

These Hot Wheels Starships were never really on my radar until I happen to come across several of them at my local Dollar Tree store. While I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, I've always liked small die-cast vehicles such as Hot Wheels. At a buck a piece, I cherry picked the few that I liked the best.


The iconic AT-AT vehicle used by the Empire has always been a favorite of mine. This was an easy choice to pick up. The body is die-cast metal while the legs are plastic. There is a little give to the legs, but they aren't really articulated. Like many of the ships, it comes with a circular translucent stand that bears the Empire's logo.