Sunday, March 12, 2017

Beastie Buddies capsule toys


A short while back I came across a photo of some cool-looking capsule toys called Beastie Buddies that I had never seen before, and it of course made me want some. After researching a bit further, I discovered that Beastie Buddies came out last year and were designed by James Koenig, someone I had seen around before in toy groups.

There are five different Beasties in the set, including a "Little Shop of Horrors"-esque venus flytrap monster! As someone who always wished for a mini figure of Audrey II, seeing that convinced me that I needed to track some of these bad boys down!

It took a bit of searching, but I was able to order some in bulk online. I've never actually seen any in capsule machines, so once again the wonders of the internet come through.

Beastie Buddies display card - front and back

Here are the Beastie Buddies basics:
  • The 5 sculpts/characters include: Flora (the flytrap), Yuna (the unicorn), Oggy (the ogre), Sammy (the samurai), and Shelldon (the snail)
  • All of the sculpts are available in 5 different colors: brown, pink, yellow, aqua, and tan
  • All of the figures include painted details, but interestingly, there are 2 different versions of each character in each color: one with several features painted and one with only the eyes painted (or in the case of Flora, the teeth). In my big box of figures, there was an even mix of both types. I'm not sure why the decision was made to release the figures in both versions, but the ones with less paint tend to look better, since most of the other versions are sloppily painted. In fact, some of the paint jobs are almost laughably bad (pupils painted onto foreheads, etc)
  • Each figure is about .75-inch tall
  • They are made out of a soft, squishy rubber similar to Trash Pack and Squinkies
Here's a closer look at each Beastie Buddie in all of its color and paint variations:

OGGY THE OGRE



Fantastic sculpt on grumpy little dude! My second favorite of the set.

SHELLDON THE SNAIL



So much fun. He looks like a cantankerous old snail who would yell at snail young'uns to get off his sand patch.

YUNA THE UNICORN



Gotta love a derpy unicorn.

FLORA THE FLYTRAP



My favorite. Pretty much a little rubber Audrey II toy, which automatically makes it amazing.

SAMMY THE SAMURAI



This guy's great as well, although the paint jobs tend to be especially bad on him. I picked out the best ones in my pile of them for this photo, but the majority were pretty crazy.


And there you go! A very cool modern-day set of vending mini figures, which we don't see often enough. James Koenig's designs pack a ton of personality into these tiny weirdos. The factory paint jobs are dicey and I would have preferred them to be made of a firmer rubber or plastic, but for what they are, I can't complain too much.

What do you think of the Beastie Buddies? Have you ever seen any out in the wild?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 2/15/17 to 3/2/17


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. Monster wrestler from Musclemania 
2. Soldier from Invincible Army Men
3. Beast Man from Panrico Masters of the Universe premiums
4. Bug Bear from Neclos Fortress
5. Caveman figure
6. Ecto-Plazm Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
7. Kaiju from Ultraman 'Great Monster the 30' set
8. #188 from MUSCLE
9. Palace Guard from Blackstar mini figures
10. Diener duck eraser 
11. Dino from Mini Boglins
12. Plesiosaurus from Topps Dino Toys
13. Villser Core Crayboth from Glyos
14. Oriental Trading Co. skeleton warrior
15. Ichor from Gorelords
16. Monster from Matutano Monstruos

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ghostbusters: Cryptozoic Micro Figures


Cryptozoic Entertainment finally released their first series of Ghostbusters Micro Figures after a delay (the figures were originally supposed to come out in 2016). The wait was worth it, because the final product turned out really nice -- they're certainly better-produced than the Mattel Ecto-Minis that were released last year to coincide with the new Ghostbusters movie.

The Cryptozoic set consists of 16 different figures, including a nice mix of human and ghost characters. They are sold in single-figure blind bags with 24 packs to a box. The easiest way to get an entire set is to order a box online. I ordered two boxes to split up with another collector, and the assortments ended up being exactly the same in both boxes, including:

3 Slimers
2 of each of the four Ghostbusters
2 Ecto-1 vehicles
2 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men
1 each of all other characters

The figures are about 1.75 to 2 inches tall, painted, and made of a solid, sturdy plastic. The paint jobs are thankfully quite well done -- for the most part very clean. They run about $4 each, so not cheap, but at least the quality is there.

The set features characters from both 1980s Ghostbusters films. My favorites are (of course) the ghost creatures, including the Librarian, Tony and Nunzio Scoleri, the Terror Dog, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and of course, Slimer. I think my absolute top favorite is Nunzio Scoleri -- he's got a killer sculpt and a great color!

All of the figures are produced in solid colors, but I'd love to see translucent variants of the ghosts -- maybe an idea for a future release?

The human (and human-looking) characters are done in an exaggerated, cartoonish style with big heads. That's not usually my thing, but it does work with these figures, and they all look good.

In addition to the ghost and human characters there's also the Ecto-1 car, which is also nicely sculpted and a cool addition.

Here's a closer look at all of the figures:



EGON SPENGLER, PETER VENKMAN, WINSTON ZEDDMORE, RAY STANTZ



STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN, SLIMER, TONY SCOLERI, TERROR DOG, NUNZIO SCOLERI, LIBRARIAN



JANINE, ECTO-1, KEYMASTER, VIGO THE CARPATHIAN, GOZER, ZUUL



And that's the lot! The packaging says "Series 1," so maybe we'll eventually get another set. I'd definitely love to add more ghosts to the collection.

What do you think of these Cryptozoic figures? Do you plan on picking any up?

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