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Paradise Found

A birthday party with some rather unusual guests

By Andrew Kardon     June 06, 2002

It had to happen eventually. No matter how hard you try to avoid it or simply put it out of your mind, age has a sneaky way of catching up to you. Not that I'm ancient or anything, but this past weekend I celebrated the Big 30. Yes, I know that's half of 60 and a third of 90. I've heard it all, so save it.

Anyway, the wife threw me a grand ol' surprise party with a big crowd of my close friends and family. Lots o' food. Great weather. Killer decorations. (Where they found mini foam Batarangs, I'll never know.) And tons of presents. Yeah, the swag. That's what I really want to tell you about.

Sure there was the usual DVDs, CDs and kick-ass X-Box games. (SPIDER-MAN rules by the way. Even though I'm still stuck on the friggin' first level...) Beyond that, my friends really took care o' me. One bud got me the SPIDER-MAN MOVIE LEGO set. It's got the tiniest li'l Lego Spidey in it that actually swings from a Lego web. Then another friend, who must've sold his car and scoured eBay, got me two absolutely gorgeous Mego THOR and HULK figures. These things look like they just came out of the package. And yet another pal got me a few booster packs of WizKids' new Marvel HEROCLIX game. Great stuff.

For me, this was all a major score! But as I opened the gifts in front of everyone, most of my friends all hooted and hollered, while my family just sort of...well, stared. No, their jaws weren't on the floor in shock, complete confusion or utter embarrassment. I'm sure they were baffled and had no clue what any of this "stuff" was -- nor why on Earth I'd even want any of it -- but they've pretty much come to accept my rather eclectic taste for toys. They definitely don't understand it, but at least they accept it.

So way down the road when I'm celebrating my 90th birthday, am I gonna be psyched to open a box filled with mint figures of Toy Biz's MARVEL LEGENDS characters? Hell yeah! Of course, I'm sure someone'll be laughing their butt off the whole time and reminding me of that "Barbie Thor" I got some 60 years earlier...



TOY TIDBITS


The '80s [IMG2R]revival continues! Thanks to Diamond Select, you'll soon be able to get your mitts on a line of BATTLE OF THE PLANETS action figures. Shipping this August are a line of 7-inch figures of KEYOP, PRINCESS, MARK and an exclusive CIVILIAN KEYOP (same costume but completely resculpted head). With a suggested retail price of $10.99 apiece, these puppies come with colored visors, realistic capes and mini versions of their vehicles.

Your wrestling figures have just been drafted. Yep, Jakks Pacific just announced a new WWE DRAFT assortment that will be branded RAW or SMACKDOWN, with 20 draft picks in each roster. These limited figures will vary in quantity per wrestling superstar from 3,000 figures to just under 30,000. The six-inch Real Scan figures begin hitting stores in July, and even retailers will be left in the dark about just which super-limited Superstar will show up in each allotment. Can you smell what the collectibles market is cooking?

[IMG3L]

And speaking of men in tights... If you're in the New York area on Thursday, you can meet one of wrestling's greatest champs. Ol' Thunderlips himself, Hollywood Hulk Hogan will be making an appearance at the Times Square Toys "R" Us (1514 Broadway at 44th Street) to debut his newest JAKKS Pacific action figure, as well as help launch the all-new WWE toyshop located on the second level. Hogan will be appearing from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday June 6. So get moving, brother.

Palisades Toys is busted again. Twice in fact. Two of the company's latest mini-busts have completely sold out. The ALIEN DRONE and PREDATOR UNMASKED mini-busts were limited to just 2,500 pieces each, and no more will be made. Ever. So if you're looking to scare the other mini-busts on your mantle, you better hustle to your local comic or specialty shop. Like now.


EXCLUSIVELY YOURS


[IMG4R]


If nothing else, McFarlane Toys is constantly evolving. Nothing shows that off more than the company's latest limited-edition deluxe set called, appropriately enough, THE EVOLUTION. Packaged together in a deluxe boxed set, this two-figure exclusive features 1994's SPAWN 1 (Spawn Series 1) and 2000's SPAWN 5 (Spawn Series 17), both with slight paint alterations. Available in limited numbers at Gamestop in the United States, look for it to hit shelves sometime this August.



ON THE SHELVES


Hungry? Well, now you can satisfy your craving for action figures while you snarf down your lunch. Just head on out to any Subway restaurant, grab a Kids' Meal and you can start collecting your own JUSTICE LEAGUE figures, based on the popular Cartoon Network animated series. Just be sure to eat the sandwich, not the toys.

Go Figure is our weekly Toys and Action Figure column.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.

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