(W) Jim Zub (A/CA) Max Dunbar In Shops: Feb 12, 2020 SRP: $3.99
A devil-tainted puzzle box sends our heroes to the fortress-library known as Candlekeep. If Minsc and his companions can’t unravel its secrets in time, thousands of innocent souls will be lost, including their own! Infernal Tides continues the D&D comic odyssey written by Jim Zub (D&D: Legends of Baldur’s Gate, D&D: Shadows of the Vampire, Avengers) with artwork by Max Dunbar (Avengers, D&D: Legends of Baldur’s Gate)!
I was posed this question by a co-worker yesterday. He asked, “How and when do you decide what to collect?” He meant specifically in terms of figures, but I suppose you can apply it to anything. I had a multi-year period where I collected baseball cards due to an increased interest I had in baseball around junior high. I’ve been getting comics nearly my entire life. But figures is an interesting question, and I think I can break that down.
First thing, I’m going to subtract just “generally getting
toys” from the timeline. I had Fisher-Price Adventure People, for example, but
I couldn’t say that I actively “collected” them. I’m only going to include
lines that I could honestly say that I collected. (Let me clarify that the
years are when I collected these
series and not the dates that the lines necessarily ran).
Mego World’s Greatest Superheroes and Others (late ‘70s): I’m sketchy on the year, but the first Mego figure that I know I had was . . . Wonder Woman. I’m pretty sure my Aunt Jennie got me this, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I loved Super-Friends and Wonder Woman on TV. I could have been . . . 3, maybe? That would be 1976ish, which is about right, as Mego introduced the WW figure in 1974. Shortly after, I had Batman, Robin, Superman, Shazam!, Joker, Penguin, and Spider-Man. I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t have more Marvel. I DID, however, get three of the Mad Monsters: Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, and The Mummy; I’m also not sure why I didn’t have the Wolf Man, as I love werewolves. I had Captain Kirk from the Star Trek line (this is the only one that my memory is fuzzy on, as I think I might have had a couple of others), a couple from Planet of the Apes, and all of the Wizard of Oz (except the Munchkins) and the Emerald City playset. A number of these were played to death, lost to time or garage sales or younger relatives. I believe I still have the Kirk somewhere as the last survivor; that’s because he doesn’t believe in the no-win scenario.
Star Wars (1977-1984; 1995-2002ish; 2019): I’ve told this story here and elsewhere a couple of times, so I’ll keep this one brief. I was all in at the start; I even had the Early Bird Certificate. I was really consistent until I lost steam after ROTJ and stopped due to my interest in other things. When the line came back in the ‘90s, I picked up again and hung in until just after AOTC. I stopped completely until this past year when The Mandalorian re-ignited my interest, and I started filling in certain characters from the 6-inch Black Series. I kind of regret not getting on that sooner, but since I’m not approaching it as a completist, I’ll live with it.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982-1987): Again, I’ve told this story, notably a much longer version in the book The Joy of Joe. I got into the 3-3/4” line early, and I was all in on both the toys and comics right up until around BattleForce 2000.
Masters of the
Universe (1982-1984): A brief run, but one I should include. I really liked
that Castle Grayskull playset.
& Dragons from LJN (1983-1984): A brief shining moment. I didn’t have
all of them, but I had quite a few. These had great detail and should have
stuck around longer.
(1984-1986): I was never a completist, and mostly done in 1985. I got a
handful in 1986, including the Aerielbots and Hot Rod (which I got after the
movie). My favorite from the line remains Jetfire.
(1984-1986): Definitely not complete (I refer you to the previously
discussed Mister Miracle and Cyborg), but I loved this line and would have
certainly gotten more if they’d gone into the proposed Teen Titans, Blue Devil,
(1987-1991): I quit collecting for a few years spanning junior high and in
to the senior year of high school or so. The absence was due to a variety of
reasons: lack of interest, concentrating on comics, lack of money, sudden
upturn in the ability to secure dates, school activities, hanging out with
bands, and so on. But the thing that really brought me back, outside of a stray
pick-up here or there, was when the Toy Biz X-Men line launched in 1991.
(1991 to Now, really): I am a nearly lifelong X-Men fan. Seeing them get
figures ahead of the animated series brought me back. And when I went in, I
went in all the way. With a brief break for the cessation of Marvel Legends a
decade ago, I’ve pretty much been in the tank ever since. I narrowed my focus
over time to the 6-inch Legends, and they comprise the bulk of my collecting
Star Trek (Playmates; 1992-1996 or so): I told the story of my girlfiend (now wife) hunting down the original Deanna Troi figure for me. I was definitely into this for a good bit, picking up a lot of ST:TNG, DS9, and TOS figures. I stopped around Voyager due to a combo of burnout, the return of Star Wars, and my ongoing focus on comics figures.
Spawn/Youngblood/Wetworks (1994-1996): Like seemingly everyone else that started getting McFarlane Toys, I was drawn in by the details and the chance to get characters from an exciting new publisher. My favorites were the Wetworks figures (again, love that Werewolf). I stepped away from these as I lost interest in the comics themselves.
Total Justice/JLA (1996-1999):
I really wanted a DC line in the ‘90s that was comparable to the Toy Biz
Marvel avalanche. This was a decent, brief attempt. It got extended into comic
shops and TRU exclusivity (loved the “hard light” evil versions of the JLA
based on the “Rock of Ages” comic arc) and actually did Connor Hawke (MIA in
action figure form ever since).
DC Direct (1998-2010ish): I loved DC Direct for a good, long while. There were some maddening bits (scale inconsistency, an unwillingness to finish teams), but there were some truly great character selections that we’ll possibly never see again (Enemy Ace? Tim Hunter? The Authority? Spider Jerusalem? Jericho?). For a kid that always wanted JSA and Legion figures, this line was a partial dream come true. I ultimately ditched it due to character repetition, increasing prices, and a more enjoyable experience collecting DCUC and doing the C+C figures with my kids.
Wrestling (WCW/Toy Biz 1998-2001; WWF/E:1998-2001ish): Like millions (and millions) of people, I was very into wrestling for a time at the turn of the century. I’d watched a lot in the mid ‘80s, gone away from it, and picked it back up watching Nitro rebroadcasts while working the late shift of a publisher. (I was working 3pm to 11:30pm, and TNT would rerun the show after I got off work.) Soon after, I was watching both WWF/E and WCW, and soon after that, the Toy Biz WCW figures hit. I got interested for a while, but my collecting of the figures faded as a I watched less and less.
Dragonball Z (circa 2000-2007): Similar time frame, similar story. Started watching DBZ on Toonami. The show had an incredible array of characters and I really enjoyed it. I got these for a good while, including the DB and GT spin-off lines, but I tapered off when they did.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (2000ish-2006): Again, you love a show and you might buy the figures. I really feel like these could have gone on longer, as there are a number of characters that never quite made it (seriously, where the hell was Gunn? Or Connor or Gwen Raiden or Harmony or Nina?). I stopped just ahead of them releasing Kennedy and Kendra, which I never picked up.
Gundam (2001-2003): Stop me if you’re heard this one before. But I started watching Gundam Wing, and . . . yeah. I got A TON of these as I started writing for Newtype USA and watching more and more Gundam series. I didn’t list it, but I picked some up in “Japan” at EPCOT a couple of years ago.
Lord of the Rings
(2001-2005): Loved the book for years. Loved the animation. Loved the
movies. I thought that the figures were great. I didn’t get the tail-end
variants or the Eye of Sauron, but I did get the trolls, the horses and warg,
and the fell beast. I regret that a different company got the license for The
Hobbit films; I never did get any of those, and they never completed the
(2003-2009ish): One of the greatest animated series of all times turned out
a line of great-looking figures that had a really hard time standing up. I
burned out when they started doing more and more direct exclusives, etc., but I
did get the Grundy and Giganta. I gave all of these to my boys.
DC Universe Classics
(2007-2012): You know something? I loved this line. I thought it was a
worthy compliment to Marvel Legends and the Collect + Connect figures were
among the first things that my sons contributed to helping with where my
collection is concerned. The character selection overall was great and Mattel
deployed some boxed sets in clever ways to get us characters like the Crime
Syndicate. One of my favorite things ever is the Legion of Super-Heroes boxed
set. It was a drag when they had to go the subscription model, but I stuck with
it the whole time (and with Club Black Freighter, too). I know they tried to
continue the idea with DC Multiverse, and I have more than a couple of those as
a companion to these, but they just weren’t quite the same. This is a lamented
line for me.
Legends and certain Star Wars: The Black Series (6-inch scale only). I will
pick up occasional DC figures that hit a spot that’s not covering on my shelf
(come on with the classic Dawnstar, McFarlane).
All right, readers. What about you? What are your main
lines? How long? What’s the line you collected the longest that you eventually
quit, and why? Let’s talk.
(W) Jim Zub (A/CA) Max Dunbar In Shops: Dec 11, 2019 SRP: $3.99
A new Dungeons & Dragons adventure begins here!
Minsc and his friends are caught in the middle of devil-tainted corruption that has taken hold of Baldur’s Gate. Unravelling the secret of its source will take our heroes to unexpected places and threaten the sanctity of their very souls. Even if they survive this perilous journey, there will be Hell to pay!
Infernal Tides continues the D&D comic odyssey written by Jim Zub (D&D: Evil at Baldur’s Gate, D&D: Shadows of the Vampire, Avengers) with artwork by Max Dunbar (Avengers, D&D: Legends of Baldur’s Gate)!
(W) Jim Zub (A) Various (A/CA) Max Dunbar In Shops: Nov 06, 2019 SRP: $5.99
Join Minsc, Delina, Krydle, Shandie, and Boo the Miniature Giant Space Hamster on their original adventures in this oversized, value-priced, introductory issue! Dungeons & Dragons is more popular than ever-now is the perfect time to join the fun, and this is the perfect place to start!
Loot Crate‘s June 2019 release has arrived and here’s what you can find inside. The theme for this month is “Toybox” featuring childhood favorites like Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Legend of Zelda, and a surprise item.
There’s a decent amount of items in the box and some cool properties, but how do they stack up?! Find out!
Loot Crate provided a FREE box for review This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.
war threatens the Moonshae Isles, legendary heroes return to defeat the forces
of an unthinkable foe.
The Great Wyrm, Hoondarrh, has won the day. Impossibly, within the ashes of defeat, something even more sinister is set upon the winds. In the face of tragedy, loss, and betrayal, how can our heroes possibly prevail?
Go on a fantasy adventure with the beloved tabletop role-playing game that brought to life elves, dwarves, tieflings, and DRAGONS. Pop! Asmodeus is the Lord of the Nine Hells and should be regarded with suspicion as he’s likely to try to bargain for your soul. Pop! Mind Flayer is not a creature you’d want to meet alone in the Underdark. And Pop! Minsc and Boomight seem like unlikely companions as a human ranger and miniature giant space hamster, but they will have your back in any fight against evildoers – you know, like those other two.
Pop! Games: Dungeons & Dragons is out soon from Funko.