Marvel Comics’ Summer of Bull$#!+: My thoughts on the 2015 reveals

Marvel BS 2015

By Nick Saunders
11/1/14

With all of the recent announcements from Marvel relating to their upcoming Summer 2015 events, I figured it was a good time to weigh in on the subject. Speaking of weight, I am pushing a svelte 327 pounds at the moment, and I think a cool 25% of that is the gorgeous cinnamon beard I’ve been cultivating as of late.

For better or worse, I really don’t feel like doing a whole ton of research to back up anything I opine herein. So if any of my three readers want to pepper my comments feed with fact-checking that contradicts me, be my guest.

I feel less like taking a title-by-title crack at these revealed series, and more like stating my intense distaste at what appears to be a double whammy of laziness and fanwanking by the editorial staff at Marvel. By the previews shown, they are planning on events such as Secret Wars, Armor Wars, Civil War, Planet Hulk, House of M, Age of Apocalypse, Old Man Logan, and Infinity Gauntlet just to name a handful. If the list that I just spouted off to you sounds like a verbatim bibliography of some of the biggest Marvel crossover events of the last 30 years, don’t fret because it’s not the mescaline talking. Apparently they are somehow planning to create either continuances or re-imaginations of all these previous crossovers, and publish all of them during the summer of 2015.

It is at this juncture where I almost feel like calling bullsh*t on the whole thing- this must be Marvel dicking around in a sadistic fashion with the perverse desire to see fanboys’ heads explode like a tranny Schwarzenegger in Total Recall. Once they’ve gotten the geek community all hot and frothy with nerd rage, they will come back and and let us know that the whole world just got Punk’d. Hell, they might even get Kristen Bell to stop shaving Dax Shepard’s ass long enough just so he can come break the news to us all.

However, the cynic in me (like the last paragraph wasn’t cynical enough) thinks the people at Marvel have something even more insidious planned. I suspect that they are going to publish all these titles, hoping that nostalgic suckers like myself will buy them to re-live the awesomeness that the regurgitated titles harken back to. I fear that this is a 100% real publishing campaign, and as such is the worst case of fan-baiting shysterism this side of The Death of (insert iconic comic book character set to be resurrected in the very near future here).

You know what they one thing they didn’t take into account is though? That nerds like myself either own, or have a close personal homeboy who owns, the trades of these original titles they are siphoning from. So if I really want to nostalgically relive these epic stories, I will read them as originally published.

So droppeth the FigureBOMB.

(Nick Saunders is not a raging fanboy; he only plays one on T.V. He fully acknowledges that he may be entirely wrong about this, and come next summer will be eating a buttload of crow)

Sorry Kids, but my Voltron Would Own Your Megazord

By Nick Saunders
2/10/14

Being the crusty old man that I am, I would be remiss if I didn’t once in a while spend time touting the superiority of the toys I grew up with as opposed to the contemporary ones owned by my son. Today I have come to bash the Power Rangers with the assistance of my close personal friend, Voltron.

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While by no means a universal truth, most things were better back in the 1980’s. Sure, this is a biased assumption at best, and grossly inaccurate at worst, but I’m running with it regardless. By the way, I am jamming to the soothing sounds of Master P and his posse of “No Limit Soldiers” as I write this, so my tastes are notably and admittedly suspect.

So, two weeks ago I was out at Target with my son looking for a way to further spoil him and blow through some disposable income. I decided the best way to accomplish this goal would to be to buy a hollowed-out shell of a robot called a Megazord. To be specific, I bought him the Legendary Megazord from the Power Rangers Super Megaforce line.

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This current MMPR (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) Megazord clearly took its stylistic cues from Johnny Depp, as it reeks of scurvy-infected, swashbuckling piracy. This is driven home by the skull and crossbones symbols on each vehicle (which besides the primary red one, all have absolutely nothing to do with sailing the Seven Seas or pirate hookers whatsoever). Each vehicle/limb is hollow with a depressingly simple transformation, but I will say they securely connect to the torso and the robot is cool looking, if a tad brickish. I tried to get some decent shots of the vehicles, but between their Steven Seagal level of suckage and lighting issues I abandoned these efforts. You ain’t missing much.

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The closest thing I have to compare to this toy is my 1997 Trendmasters Voltron, which is a die-cast reproduction of the Matchbox Voltron III released in the 1980’s. For those who don’t own this toy, it is HEAVY.  Also just for the record, nowadays I prefer plastic toys because companies struggle to make joints strong enough to support the added weight of die-cast components- MP-01 Masterpiece Optimus Prime, I’m looking right at you and your heavy-ass legs.

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Die-cast metal versus plastic issues aside, there is a definite deterioriation of workmanship here. On Voltron, each limb transforms into an individual lion, with pop-out action features and ejecting heads for the Green and Red lions. On the Legendary Megazord, the limbs turn into non-descript vehicles that quite frankly reek of ineptitude and fail. They are also glaringly devoid of articulation when combined into the robot, whereas Voltron features fairly advanced articulation for his era.

Now, this MMPR toy was about $35, and while my Voltron was $30 back in 1997 it would probably retail for at least $100 if re-issued again today- $50 if done entirely in plastic. While I am  aware of this disparity, it doesn’t change the fact that if given the chance my Voltron would gladly use his Blazing Sword to bisect this mockery of a kaiju-fighter faster than dispatching the lowliest of Robeasts. Since the Megazord doesn’t have knee joints of any sort, he wouldn’t be able to do a dang thang about it.

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Now, I will leave you to ponder this while I resume grooving to “Bourbons and Laces”. Unnggggggghhh!!!!

My Time with Azog and the Ghastly Crotch of Doom

Not particularly being a fan of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, I was concerned about my capacity for objectivity when my editor at The Comixverse asked me to review The Bridge Direct‘s 6″ Azog figure. Most of my thoughts towards Tolkien’s works can be best summarized by the character Randal in the film Clerks II, so I didn’t approach this task with my usual enthusiastic, ride-or-die zeal. Two months of procrastination later, I crawled out of my cave and gave it a whirl.

It turns out thatvAzog is a pretty sweet figure that I was able to take some great photos of, all while developing appreciation for a collectible outside my typical purveyance of transforming robots and superpowered spandex jockeys. His spooky loincloth had me at hello, without having to mimic Renée Zellweger’s perpetual bitter beer face or shoplift the pooty to get the message across.

So, whaddya waiting for?! Go on and check it out here and feel free to share your thoughts.

A final warning to the weak of heart: beware of the phantasms emanating from Azog’s pelvis, lest they devour your mind and steal your soul.

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Bombed On but not Bombed Out

It has been a long while since I have been able to post on figureBOMB, and it feels good to be back. Like lounging in my favorite chair with the nacho cheese stains and threadbare cushions, figureBOMB is where I can always feel comfortable being me- for better or worse.

A couple of months ago I received news that my day job (think the Daily Planet for Clark Kent but less intriguing) was being eliminated. So, as I have spent the last several weeks hunting like Kraven for a new place to maintain my alter-ego, I have not had the time to spare to post my musings here or at The Comixverse. While I still have not quite landed on my feet, I recently decided to ease up on my tireless pursuit of an income source and get back to the things I enjoy- writing about and photographing toys. As a result, I haven’t felt this good since first getting my walking papers.

So anyways, I plan on linking some new material up here that I recently penned for the ‘Verse, and make sure to check out my Instagram feed for all of the new photos I have been putting up. They’re hotter than Kate Upton wearing a habanero bikini. Below are some samples to whet your collectively awesome whistles.

As always, thanks for sticking it out with your boy and allowing me the pleasure of spewing nonsense for your reading enjoyment.

figureBOMB Update: Predators, Pacific Rim, and NYCC!

Hey Everybody!

Sorry for the relative quiet over the last few weeks, I have been quite the busy bee over at The Comixverse.

Since I last posted, NYCC has come and gone, I received my promotional samples from NECA, and I surpassed 200 followers on Instagram (click here to check out my feed)! I have really been focusing on improving my photography skills, and am really happy with the improvements I have made. Now I can actually use my own photos for reviews, and not have them look like they were taken with my VGA cellphone camera back in 2002.

So head to The Comixverse to check out my recent work, and as always thanks for stopping by. Just don’t ask to borrow any of my toys.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction Optimus Prime severely underwhelmed me at NYCC

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IDW announced an ongoing Transformers/G.I. Joe series at NYCC. Heck yeah!

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Gipsy Danger, while battle-weary, still managed to impress this OCD reviewer.

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The Nightstorm Predator looks like some sort of nightmarish Egyptian god, which is just fine by me.

Transformers: Generations Metroplex Review up at The Comixverse!

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After many long nights of writing, editing, photography, conflict, and sacrifice, my long overdue purchase and review of Transformers: Generations Metroplex is finally in the bag! My epic journey that started at BotCon 2013, and ended two weeks ago at my local Toys R Us, is chronicled in full detail for your literary enjoyment. Hit the jump below to head to The Comixverse and see what I think of this super-sized, Decepticon-smashing, hardcore mofracken!

Honey, I Shrunk the Transformers (posted at The Comixverse)

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What up loyal readers?! For this week’s edition of Maximum Articulation, I take some time to explore the economic causes behind the ever-decreasing size of Transformers, and the rise in prices for action figures in general.

I take a slightly more academic tone with this week’s subject; hopefully you all will forgive the temporary divergence from my typical debauchery. Hit the jump over to The Comixverse and check it out!

Hold That Pose: Hasbro and the Attack of the Stick Men (posted at The Comixverse)

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I’ve posted my introductory article up on The Comixverse for my new column, Maximum Articulation. I explore the recend trend of Hasbro towards decreased articulation in their actuon figures, with the paleolithic tact you’ve come to expect from my writing.

Hit the jump to check it out!

Maximum Articulation | Hold That Pose: Hasbro and the Attack of the Stick Men

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By Nick Saunders
9/13/13

Greetings all! Whether by hard work, an amazing stroke of luck, or both, this week I was offered a spot as a Contributor at The Comixverse, a fantastic website dedicated to all things geek. While I am transitioning into this new role, I will be temporarily decreasing the frequency of original posts here on figureBOMB. However, I will be posting updates and linking to my work at The Comixverse so you can continue following my spastic musings.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in pursuing this silly dream of mine from day one, and helped give me the confidence to continue my writing. Especially my amazing wife, who has tolerated all of my late nights spent getting this effort off the ground.

I also want to thank the editors at The Comixverse (Joe, Zedric, Troy, and Jason) for permitting my rantings to be published on their awesome site.