Sunday, February 19, 2017

Meteorite Aliens blind bag figures


This is a toy line I found out about thanks to @armyofthesix1six on Instagram. He posted some photos of them to his account and they immediately caught my eye. What exactly are these hunks of weirdo plastic goodness, you ask?

Meteorite Aliens! Blind-bagged monochromatic alien mini figures.

The good news is that they are a currently-available release that can be purchased relatively cheaply. The bad news is they appear to be limited to the UK, so if you want to get a hold of some in other countries, you have to pay overseas shipping prices.

I ordered some from gt-originalwarehouse.com, but they now appear to be out of stock there. However, another online store (where they still look to be in stock) is allaboutpartybags.co.uk. There's probably other vendors, too. I'm not sure.

Anyway, let's dive a bit deeper into these weirdos:

OVERVIEW

"They came by meteorite to target and eliminate the human race," says the packaging. The Meteorite Aliens are six different races of alien baddies that are out for human flesh, apparently! The figures come in blind bags so you can't tell what's inside each package -- one figure per package along with a character card featuring artwork and a bio for the corresponding alien.

The figures seem to be the same ones previously available in activity sets that also used the name Meteorite Aliens. The idea with those is for kids to chip away at a "rock" substance to unearth the alien figures. There's no activity or game tied to these blind bag versions.

Strangely, there's not a company logo or website on the packaging -- just the word "KandyToys" above the product code, which from a quick search appears to be a toy importer. So there's not a whole lot of background info about these to be found.



PACKAGING / ASSORTMENT

As mentioned above, the Meteorite Aliens come one figure and one bio card per bag. There are six different sculpts to collect in six different glow-in-the-dark colors -- white, pink, red, purple, blue, and green. So, a master set consists of 36 figures.

Package front and back
Based on the packages I got, it's hard to say if any colors are more or less common than others. I got the largest amount of figures in glow white, but overall I got a nice variety of all six colors. I think I got the fewest of the pink color.

I like that each alien's card provides a detailed bio for its specific race, including its skills, vitals, and how specifically it goes about hunting down humans! Each race's bio ends with "They are coming...for you!," which is kind of funny. I like the fact that these little weirdos were designed to be scary, ugly and fierce, not cutesy or cartoonish like a lot of monster or alien-themed minis are these days.

Here are the six different cards, front and back:



SCULPTING / DESIGN

The Meteorite Aliens are sculpted very well, with each all six being gnarly, big-headed creatures with skeleton-like bodies. In addition to the sculpts having various poses and weapons, the races are differentiated with subtle physical features like different textures on their heads and the fact that some have tails and others don't. I love the personality infused into their faces -- they look like properly horrible little buggers out to wreak havoc. In this sense they give me a bit of a "Mars Attacks" vibe.

The biggest issue is that because of the aliens' skinny bodies and the soft plastic used, most of them come out of the packages misshapen and don't stand very well. Sticking them in hot water and then immediately into ice water helps straighten them out so they look better, but even after that some of them aren't able to stand properly. It could be problematic if you're someone who likes to display all your figures on a shelf.

The figures are about 2.75 inches tall, so they are larger than some other little weirdos like Monster in My Pocket and MUSCLE, but I'd still consider them mini figures.

Size comparison with Monster in My Pocket & MUSCLE

FINAL THOUGHTS

I love these guys. They really remind me of old school mini figures in pretty much every way -- design, material, packaging, etc. Between the nicely done sculpts and eye-catching glow-in-the-dark colors, they are really fun and appealing toys. And at roughly £0.50 each (about 60 cents in U.S. dollars), the price is certainly right, even if you have to pay more for overseas shipping.

The packages say "Series 1," so maybe we'll see more of them turn up eventually (though I know better than to get my hopes up for another series of any toy line before I'm actually holding it in my hands).

What about you? What's your take on the Meteorite Aliens?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 1/30/17 to 2/14/17


Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Skeleton from Pirates vs. Skeletons playset
2. Cursor from Fistful of Power 
3. Quantum Wolf from Gorelords
4. Target Halloween pencil topper
5. Mummy from HeroQuest
6. Madballs knockoff pencil topper
7. Toysmith Ninja figure
8. Kaiju from Canfull of Monsters
9. Thor from Neclos Fortress
10. Spy Spig from Mini Boglins
11. Dimetrodon from Lakeshore dinosaur counters set
12. Buck Wilde from SLUG Zombies
13. Urai from Bit Figs Ninjas
14. Fantasy beast warrior pencil topper
15. Kinnikuman / MUSCLE capsule bootleg
16. Mysterus from Cosmix

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Oritet Russian fantasy figures: Cave Trolls and more!


A couple years ago I posted about an awesome set of mini figures based on creatures from Russian folklore. They were released in Russia in the early 2000s by a now defunct company called Oritet. That set is my favorite Oritet release, but the company did put out a some other gems around the same time, so I thought I'd do a post showcasing a few additional Oritet goodies I own.

First up is a group of Russian trolls. Nope, not Russian internet trolls, but trolls of the old-fashioned cave variety -- as pictured above. As trolls go, these are pretty top-shelf. From their huge heads to their bumpy skin and pot-bellies, these figures have a lot of personality. They are made of the same type of material as the folklore figures -- a hard, sturdy plastic. They measure about 2.5 to 3 inches tall. My set is in a cream color, and I've seen photos of some in glow-in-the-dark white, too. I'm not sure if they came in any additional colors. You can see the GITD set as well as the box artwork for these guys (plus tons of other Oritet figures) over at the Fantasy Toy Soldiers blog.

Here's a comparison shot showing a couple of the trolls alongside one of the Oritet folklore creatures as well as a caveman from their Cavemen set.


The other Oritet piece in my collection is a dragon with a removable sorceress rider. By itself, the dragon is about 3.5 inches tall. With the sorceress attached, the piece is a little over 5 inches tall. In addition to the rider being removable, the dragon features articulation at the neck and tail. I really like the bold, stylized design of this beast, and of Oritet figures in general. I think it would look even cooler in a more interesting color, but maybe some of these figures were intended to be painted.



Having been exclusive to Russia, these Oritet toys aren't the easiest to find, but they do turn up for sale from time to time. They are fantastic figures that deserve more attention. As mentioned above, be sure to go check out more of them at the Fantasy Toy Soldiers site!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 1/14/17 to 1/29/17


Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. '80s guitar girl from CUTIE
2. Chump from Mini Boglins
3. Crash Triod from Crashlings
4. Bob the Beaver from TMNT
5. Man-E-Faces from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE
6. Mikuras from Ultraman bootleg keshi
7. Gennie from Buck Rogers board game
8. Spring Heeled Jack from Monster in My Pocket
9. Darth Maul from Star Wars hologram figures
10. Worm from Neclos Fortress
11. Archer from Toyco Dragonriders & Demons playset
12. Paco Taco from Weird Ball Collectums
13. Tooth Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
14. Ultraman SD keshi
15. #129 from MUSCLE
16. Diener cow eraser

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fungus Amungus


Fungus Amungus is a recent toy line in the ilk of Trash Pack, featuring gross, one-inch tall critters called "Funguys." The Funguys are supposed to be germs, bacteria, molds, spores, and the like in the form of monstrous little creatures. The line debuted in 2016 from a company called Vivid Imaginations.

The Fungus Amungus website offers the following storyline:

After years of being poked, squashed, stretched, examined and contained by The Bio Busters the Funguys have had enough and escaped into the human world, causing all sorts of mayhem. With The Bio Busters hot on their heels, the Funguys have taken to hiding in all sorts of weird, wonderful and sometimes disgusting places! The three things Funguys hate most are dusters, washing machines and most of all The Bio Busters! Can you help the Bio Busters capture these bacteri-urgh?

There are several different products in the Fungus Amungus line, including:
  • Blind box "Petri Dishes" including two hidden Funguys inside
  • "Vac Packs" containing five Funguys: four visible in the package and one hidden
  • A Funguy 10-pack containing eight visible and two hidden figures
  • A "Toxic Chamber" storage container that comes with a larger "Superbug" figure
  • A "Superbug Set" including a Superbug and six Funguys
  • A "Bio Buster Superset" including six Funguys and a larger "Bio Buster" figure
  • An "Exgerminator" gun to "trap, squish and fling" the Funguys
  • A "Yuck Truck" vehicle
So far, two series of Funguys have been produced, though I believe the second series has so far only been released in Europe.

I picked up a Funguy five-pack as well as the Toxic Chamber. I absolutely love the designs and sculpts of these figures. They are very creative and well done.

My one complaint--and it's a pretty big one--is that all the Funguy figures are stretchy and sticky. This gives them a cheap, disposable feel. They would be so much better produced in firm rubber, or even the non-sticky squishy rubber of Trash Pack. If they weren't sticky, I would definitely be trying to complete a full set.

Fortunately, the larger Superbug figure is not sticky, but made of a regular soft rubber. In my opinion, the Superbug is the best part of this whole line. It's an awesome little weirdo! In addition to the orange shown here, I believe it's available in green and yellow versions.


In Series 1, there are about 36 different Funguy sculpts. The sculpts are available in different color variations, so the actual number of different figures that can be collected is much higher than that. Here's a scan of the checklist pamphlet that is included with the products:


I'm a fan of this line based on the high quality of the sculpts. The fun designs are reminiscent of the excellent 1980s Germs toy line from Worlds of Wonder, which featured larger rubber germ creatures that came in plastic test tubes. I only wish Vivid Imaginations would release non-sticky, firmer rubber or plastic versions of all the figures. I get that the stickiness probably appeals to some kids, but if they weren't sticky I think the line would attract a larger number of older collectors too.

What's your take on Fungus Amungus? Have you picked any up yet, or do you plan to?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 12/29/16 to 1/13/17


Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Cave Troll from Oritet fantasy figures
2. Personalman from Popy mini Kinnikuman keshi
3. Southpaw from Clutter Mini Boglins
4. Moth monster from Big Bucket of Monsters
5. Dragon Ball capsule bootleg
6. Tengu/Beast from Juguete Halloween (Peru Monster in My Pocket)
7. Gandar from Ultraman / Ultraseven "Great Monster the 30" set
8. Musclemania bootleg 
9. Kung Fu Man capsule figure
10. Mermaid from Neclos Fortress
11. Monster from Matutano Monstruos
12. #121 from MUSCLE
13. The Corroding Kid from SLUG Zombies
14. Subway Ghost from Ghostbusters Ecto Minis
15. Malus from Cosmix
16. Stegosaurus from Topps Dino Toys

Monday, January 2, 2017

Bit Figs capsule minis: Ninjas, Animals & Glyos Pheyden


With no shortage of boring toys filling up capsule machines these days, it's genuinely exciting when the vending toy gods occasionally decide to offer up some truly special bits of plastic. The latest example of vending greatness comes in the form of tiny figures called Bit Figs, and in this case the toy gods responsible are Onell Design, who brought them to plastic life -- and into capsule machines through a collaboration with SSM Vending.

The concept behind Bit Figs is old school-styled pixel art made into 3-D mini figures. Each figure is about three quarters of an inch tall and compatible with Onell's Glyos System, with two different sets available so far -- Ninjas and Animals. In addition to trying to hunt them down in capsule machines, you can order them online here.

Here's how Onell's Marc Beaudette described the inspiration behind the line:

"...There were 2 things that dominated playtime as we approached the '90s - Nintendo and TMNT. If we weren't crashing our mutant action figures into each other, we were smashing buttons trying to survive even 10 minutes of Ninja Gaiden. Throw in a handful of Lego sets and Monster in My Pocket mini figs and you pretty much have our childhood in plastic...These innocent memories are what fueled the concept behind Bit Figs."


The creators' passion definitely comes through in the figures. They're tons of fun.

Let's take a closer look at the sets currently available:

NINJAS

There are five different sculpts that make up the Ninjas set, and they each come in five basic monochromatic colors -- red, black, orange, off-white and brown.

You can also find less common variants with minor painted details randomly included in assortments. There's been additional limited monochromatic colors produced as well, including "Pheyden" light blue and clear green.

These guys even have individual names. Looking at the photo to the right, the figures in each row from left to right are: Oni, Tana, Ku, Iken and Urai.

My personal favorites are the skeleton-like Ku and and Oni. Ku, especially, is the kind of figure that would be fun to build an army of in a bunch of different colors.



ANIMALS

Next we have a set of five Bit Animals, which are also really well designed and pretty irresistible. They are Bit Pup (dog), Bit Kit (cat), Bit Bun (rabbit), Bit Pig and Bit Duck.

There are five colors -- light brown, gray, white, pink and yellow --  but unlike the Ninjas, in the basic assortment each animal is only available in one of the colors (for example, all pigs are pink). That said, there are painted variants as well as the limited Pheyden blue and clear green colors.

These designs have a really appealing simplicity about them, while at the same time somehow being packed with personality.



BIT PHEYDEN

Onell has also given its Pheyden character the Bit Figs treatment. Bit Pheyden is available online as a set that includes a "Mega" 3 inch tall version with articulated arms in addition to the tiny version matching the other Bit Figs. Mega Pheyden's arms are removable and can be replaced with other parts from Onell's Glyos system.

The standard Pheyden sets come in light blue, either monochromatic or with painted details. Onell has also produced a couple limited colors, including clear green and metallic gold.

Size comparison with MUSCLE and Monster in My Pocket

And there you have it...the current offerings from this awesome new line!

I am a big fan of Bit Figs and am excited to see where this line goes next. I, for one, would absolutely love to see a monster-themed set.

What about you? Have you picked up any Bit Figs yet?