The Toy Fair’s Not Back In Town

Action figures are good, but they can be better! All you have to do is become a customizer! Toys are like drugs except you need to find a place to keep them after the high wears off.

NY Toy Fair has been cancelled for 2021. In lieu of the big press show, many companies are doing smaller virtual conventions through the year. The most hyped was last week’s Hasbro Pulse Fest Fan Fest. Rather than spacing things out, Mattel, Diamond Select, & NECA decided to post similar events around the same time with less fanfare. They were all underwhelming to various degrees. I would’ve made more impulse pre-orders had Hasbro not suddenly jacked up the price of all their 6″ lines by $3. It doesn’t sound that steep on an individual basis, but it adds up when they encourage you to buy entire series of Marvel Legends to complete BAFs. With customers’ budgets already stretched thin by the terrible 2020, this feels like a precarious time to raise prices on non-essentials.

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“Ach, I’m not some nouveau riche piker! I employ people to burn my money for me!”

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Polaris Is The Most Gifted Custom?

Whilst watching The Gifted, it occurred to me that its Polaris could be customized from a Marvel Legends Jessica Jones. Shortly thereafter, I saw someone had used this recipe. Not being the first person to execute it dampened my zeal to make one. When I decided to try my own, I found the price of loose Jessicas had skyrocketed since I acquired mine. Then I saw a bootleg custom The Gifted Polaris on eBay. I don’t normally go in for these gray market pieces, but this one included a superb Emma Dumont likeness I’d not seen in this scale. (Perhaps it was hydroshrunk from one of an unlicensed 1/6 scale Polaris, of which there are a few varieties?) My winning bid ended up being only slightly more than an official Marvel Legends figure. It was supposed to be delivered within the broad range of June 10 – August 4. A China Post tracking number was created on May 21 when I ordered it & then nothing. As 2020 was an exhausting string of calamities, I decided to wait patiently for it & save my anxiety for other matters. The day before its last possible delivery date, I leaned “this user is no longer registered on eBay” from my purchase history. The other listings for this product from assorted sellers disappeared too. That’s the karmic thanks I get for trying to be a good citizen of the ‘Net & alerting other fans to its existence.

Dare I trust AliExpress? Its price was double the refund I received from eBay. (A version with Lorna’s head on Elektra’s body was moderately cheaper.) I decided to go for it while they were still in stock rather than miss out & pay triple later. (It doesn’t appear to be available there anymore either, so I did something astute for a change.) I shaved a few bucks off via a coupon from a friend, Kinou Menthe, who was already a customer. I had to specially authorize my credit card to make this payment. The downloadable invoice PDF did not reflect the coupon, which panicked me greatly. It arrived three weeks later, which is quite reasonable considering I ordered it amidst a pandemic. Then I panicked that the reason it had such a good likeness with a professional paint job is that it was stolen from Hasbro’s secret production line & an official version at a more reasonable price would soon be unveiled now that Fox X-Men are back on the table. Thus far one hasn’t materialized (he wrote as as he rushed to publish this before the inaugural Marvel Fan First Friday of 2021).

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If Lorna Dane gets an advanced degree she could also be Dr. Polaris.

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X Of Mr. Sinister’s Swords

Now that Wonder Woman 1984 & The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 4 are done, I can resume blogging unpunctually! As threatened last year, here’s my review of the X-Men crossover, X Of Swords! (What is the proper formatting for a crossover’s name?) I finished it just in time for readers to have moved on. I didn’t get all the issues so it’s also recapped poorly. I still complain about earlier “Dawn Of X” stuff too. To make that go down smoother, I modified my Mister Sinister! I hear he’s a magnificent bastard in Hellions, but that’s sadly one of the books I didn’t have on my pull list because I accidentally prioritized titles I don’t enjoy.

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It’s The Most Marvelous Time Of The Year!

After last week’s commissioned deep dive into Stormfront the proverbial milkshake duck, I figured it’s time to clear out some of the Marvel content cluttering my drafts. I won’t be finished editing my X Of Swords review until nobody cares, so this is light on X-Men content. It does have a surfeit of pre-Christmas action figure photos if that’s your bag. (I will regret this if Santa only delivers coal this year.) After the MCU news musings not involving She-Hulk, my comic book thoughts are separated by superfluous tildes!

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“Now I have The Phoenix Force! Ho ho ho!”

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Halloween Fire Gourd 2020!

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I carved Swamp Thing into a pumpkin to show my disrespect for The Green! You can tell it’s not a Man-Thing fire gourd because it’s got a wishbone shape on its face instead of a distended M. Fear doesn’t burn at its touch, unlike the existential angst within. It kind of resembles The Creature from The Black Lagoon (“Gillman” if you’re nasty). I have a long history with Jack-O-Lanterns not resembling what I envisioned them as.

In the spirit of Samhain not involving vampires staked with shilleaghs, here is a grab bag of bite-sized horror TV reviews. I also rant against the entities that provided such entertainment. Boo to the trend of diverse shows being cancelled in favor of reboots & spinoffs! Netflix didn’t even release the final chunk of CAOS in time for Halloween! There may be minor spoilers for assorted shows you would’ve watched by now if you really cared.

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Black Tom Cassidy, Now With Color Veracity!

Last time I said I’d see if NYCC 2020 was anything to write home about. As it turns out: No! Much like SDCC, this year’s New York Comic Con went virtual as a self-proclaimed “Metaverse.” The new NYCC emails were too busy. I thought SDCC had the better panels this year. Hellstrom premiered, & not a single damn was given. So instead of blogging last week, I just watched the delightful third season of Kipo & The Age Of Wonderbeasts! (Should I write a whole blog on that, or do you already know it’s great?)

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So this week brings another custom of a mid-tier character. There’s finally a Marvel Legends of Juggernaut’s “hetero-life-mate!” (Once you get into fanfic, there’s an even bigger question mark over that dubious descriptor. Also consider Avalanche & Pyro.) Thanks to Deadpool 2 for finally raising Black Tom Cassidy’s profile sufficiently for Hasbro to take action!

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“I cane do it!”

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Yes, We Have No Content!

We have no content today!

As you probably know by now, the Fall 2020 TV season isn’t really happening. Some series have begun filming again (This doesn’t seem safe given the general state of Covid Compliance Officers.), but new episodes won’t be arriving until January 2021. This puts me at a disadvantage because I typically fill out the rest of the year blogging about season premieres, series premieres, & mid-season finales.

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Come On Baby, Light My Firefly!

It took me four Marvel toys to make one DC! Can you identify them? This project was a big May Kennedy mood. This blog says Firefly frequently, so hopefully it’ll pick up some bonus traffic from diehard Browncoats.

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“Your future’s so bright, I have to wear shades. Because you’ll be aflame.”

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Why Can’t We Ban Star Wars?

The Star Wars is a pathway to much suffering that some may consider unnatural. Its fandom is in a weird place now. Despite making billions of dollars on its new films, Disney’s grand plan to continually spawn more movies appears to have been scuttled. Its Story Group was so preoccupied with streamlining all the continuity that it somehow failed to plan ahead to the trilogy’s culmination. So theoretically Star Wars is over. Meanwhile TV series like The Mandalorian & The Clone Wars spinoff (Being less disappointing on television is Star Trek’s angle!) plus comic books like The High Republic are still getting buzz. So Disney put all this effort into wiping the slate clean of the sprawling Expanded Universe, only to discovery that ancillary media evoking it was more acclaimed than its flagship offerings. Go figure!

As someone who experiences Star Wars primarily through film & action figures, I’m satisfied to shrug & let the it go at this point. I like to insist I enjoy Star Wars less than you while still meeting the minimum criteria for being a fan. “We can move on to other franchises now, everybody!” says the bloke who insisted on watching The New Mutants. I’d be less bothered about SW discourse if it didn’t continue being so obnoxiously overexposed. It’s been a really tough year to write weekly content for, however, so I’m still going to write about Ewoks! Who is your favorite Star Warrior & why is it Albrekh?

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The Official Kitty Blog Of 2020

After recapping two titanic televisual finales back-to-back, I took a longer than usual break to recharge from burnout. I finally changed the sharing call to action at the bottom of my posts so it’s no longer insensitive during this era. It took me way too long to figure out where that editing option was. A labor-intensive top secret custom has also been occupying my attention.  I could’ve written something about DC Fandome but it would’ve basically just said it had some nice trailers. Now I have compiled content worth regurgitating for you!

You might think I’d already done my yearly feline blog. That was about the global phenomenon Cats. (Now that she’s become a YouTubist, will Brie Larson finally share her thoughts on it?) This is about cats. If you’ve read prior installments, you’ll know these are a mix of personal anecdotes & random cat links with minimal organization.

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