Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mecha "Kong" Gorilla from Raymundo Toys care of

One of my many purchases over Cyber Week was the flat silver Mecha Gorilla two pack by Raymundo Toys care of I had held off buying this set because the $110 price sticker (may I also add that it's limited to 250 pieces) was daunting for what is basically the equivalent of an unlicensed knock off of the Bandai Mecha King Kong from King Kong Escapes (1967) also known as King Kong Strikes Again (international title) or KinguKongu Frankenstein's Sohn (Oriental release title). Even though it's a lot for a bootleg toy, the licensed version goes for anywhere between $90-$150 and hasn't really been reproduced too many times in it's short life time. This really was the economical version to buy just so I could fill this empty slot in my collection. The Cyber Week sale price was a low $22.10 and is still available through while quantities last. Is it worth the price? Let's open the box and find out.

King Kong Escapes is the second movie collaboration between Toho and Rankin Bass productions (the fine folks who brought us great cartoon masterpieces like The Osmond's, the Jackson 5ive, Silver Hawks, Thundercats and all those great claymation holiday specials.) where the evil Dr. Who (no, not that Dr. Who) is using a Robotic King Kong to mine a radioactive element at the North Pole called "element X". When Dr. Who (yep, still not the one you are thinking of) finds out his mecha just isn't able to handle the high amounts of radioactive isotopes coming off of element X, his female counterpart Madame Piranha (or in the American release, Madame X) suggests the uber bright idea of kidnapping the real King Kong. To ensure he does his job, Dr Who (listen, it's going to get complicated to explain so just rent the movie.) and Madame Piranha kidnap Kong's human friends including his crush; Lt Susan Miller. Madness ensues, Susan has a human boyfriend (drama bomb love triangle craziness), Kong breaks free from Dr. Who's (I'm not going there this time) control and him and Mecha Kong battle it out in Tokyo. The final battle center's around Tokyo Tower when Mecha Kong in full Kong fashion grabs Susan and starts scaling the tower. Will King Kong win? Will Susan drop the zero and get with a hero? Is America ready to accept the union of a giant ape and a beautiful woman? I know Japan is, have you seen some of the shit they put in cartoons?

Each figure comes double bagged in it's own clear plastic bags, separately to avoid any paint rubs or transfers. In each bag was a very interesting and slightly racist yellow folded piece of paper simply stating Raymundo Toys 2010 out of Alaska with a crudely drawn picture of an overweight woman of african descent hula hooping with a word bubble over her head stating "Yes! We can.". Now I'd expect this out of packages coming from South America or Mexico but from a US based company, it threw me for a loop and gave me a giggle and a slight feeling that I was an asshole for laughing. But on to the toys because here at Raging Nerdgasm we are all about toys, slightly inappropriate jokes are left for forum postings and Facebook buffoonery.

With this bundle you get two different versions of Dr. Who's (not the guy with the Tardis and the British accent, this guy looks like Dr Wiley's Japanese cousin) mighty robot, with and without the bomb belt. At first the sculpts look identical except for the upper torso, but upon a secondary look I noticed the head on the Mecha Kong without the bomb belt has an open mouth. The finish is glossy which all and all I didn't agree with. There were two versions, chrome and silver. I got the silver one thinking that it would have a flat finish but the plastic looks almost like it was polished to a high gloss finish. I'll more than likely repaint mine in the near future. The construction is identical to an other vinyl figure, hollow on the inside with limited range of motion. Three points of articulation consisting of both shoulders and a swivel waist, this is standard with Kaiju vinyl toys which is why I love them; statuesque with just enough articulation to make me happy and not corrupt the sculpt. Bottom of the foot is stamped TONYMK Raymundo toy 2010 and Made in China.
Overall, I'm happy I held off on purchasing this item as long as I did. In my opinion less than $25 is a bargain for any vinyl fanatic who needs this character but doesn't want to feel wallet rape after purchasing an original. I would have valued each separately at least around $15-$20 and I would have probably bought them without flinching at that price. If you like what you saw here, don't hesitate too long. Buy one today at

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Totally over Matty Collector dot con

Yes I meant to type dot con, as in over Matty and their laundry list of underhanded business tactics that only ends with them neglecting their biggest demographic; the adult collector. The demographic with the biggest and deepest wallets, their bread and butter. Some may argue that Fisher Price and girl toys (Barbie sales) outrank the adult collector market, but which demographic is more likely to consecutively spend upwards of $100 a month on themselves without flinching? That and also a good portion of the Barbie and Monster High doll sales come out of adult collector wallets (myself included). But Mattel is the 1200 pound gorilla, right? Their products make up more than half of toy store shelves with DC Universe, Barbie, Monster High, WWE, Toy Story, Hot Wheels and Cars movie branded products to name a few. I mean, who'd be crazy enough to go after the giant of the toy industry? Just call me Don Quiote because I have a dragon to slay.

My gripes with Mattel may not be the same opinions of other toy collectors, there is also a large group of Matty fans that put up with the buffoonery that I have grown to loath over the last 3 years. They cling onto hope like a battered wife does about their partner, hoping they will eventually change and life will be happy again. I admit it, I bought into yearly subscriptions and held tight hoping that slight mistakes would eventually become a thing of the past. I put up with paint apps that look like a mildly retarded 3 year old hit it with a paint roller. I accepted crushed boxes shipped in "padded" envelopes because their warehouse had no more to send as a replacement. "Padded" envelopes is being generous, these things were padded with a mixture similar to compost, asbestos and soggy frosted flakes. I bounced payments for cell phones and water when they overcharged my bank account, but tried to take it in stride because they threw about a dozen $5  off coupons in my box. It's a nice gesture but DC Universe coupons aren't accepted as currency with AT&T, I tried. And finally, I tolerated manufacturer errors like backwards shoulders, two left legs and flocked and unflocked ears. If your company makes 8-15,000 of a figure and no one on the production floor, supervisory staff or management realizes that all the figures have mismatched shoulders until it's in a consumer's hands, that's real frickin' pathetic.

 A monthly treat to myself became an absolute terror, constantly wondering what curve ball Mattel was going to throw next.

When you buy a figure at the store, you get to carefully inspect your purchase before you leave. And, if something is actually wrong you can return it with little to no hassles. When you buy online, what you get is your problem when you open the box. I expect it from eBay, dirty deals are done every minute and sellers disappear and resurface under new names. But when I buy from an alleged reputable company, I expect to be justly compensated for my problems. Calling Mattel with a problem is like trying to get through to God, they hear you but they sure as heck aren't going to do anything about it. And if you mention Matty Collector, they give you another number to call. My Matty Collector calls remind me of the Capital One commercials with the "Peggy" joke, except "Peggy" is "Bob" and he's more than likely from New Delhi. And I'm totally cool with that, everyone has to have a job but "Bob" gives me Mattel's number and at the end of it I'm so ready to throw carded Masters of the Universe Classics and Ghostbusters in Toys For Tots cans and be done with it. Customer service doesn't exist, they won't replace it or refund your money (even partially) but in six months they'll release a "corrected" version of the same figure and you'll have to fight everyone else online to get one.

Even us brave souls cringe at the white screen of death.

That and Mattel blames Digital River, their Matty host, for any and all issues. Sorry, but you are ultimately
responsible for the actions of your employees. Business 101 my friends.

I've even gone so far as to boycott the entire website, refusing to purchase anything from it for now no matter how cheap it is or how bad I want it.

I review every figure fairly, Mattel's had some wins the last year but a ton of losers. I don't get my figures for free or three months early like some other sell-outs, so you get fair and unbiased breakdown of why I don't care for the figure. Some of these reviewers Mattel has in their pocket aren't even really reviewing the figure, it's almost a 5:23 commercial for fanboys. I just can't sacrifice myself and my good name for freebies.

I considered it a win/loss this year when Mattel said Ghostbusters subscriptions were cancelled and MOTUC sales weren't as high as projected. The fans had spoken I thought, they were over Mattel's shenanigans and said it with their wallets. But, then again it's a rough economy and I'm not sure if it's more people over the monthly headaches or if their demographic is feeling the pinch in their wallets. That and also it is basically the end of Ghostbusters figures, they had announced Dana Barrett was on deck for 2012 and the rest of the team was going to be slid in to the other 5 slots for the year. The jury is still out on the subscriptions but it never stops Mattel from threatening the livelihood of the rest of the subscriptions of the table. MOTUC production won't be much more than the amount to cover the subscriptions plus those who want to buy ala cart on sale day will be paying a $2 penance for not openly supporting the line.

Honestly I could care less. I never wanted to be on the hook for 16 figures for this year, of which only about 7 of them I'd end up keeping and be stuck trying to sell the rest. We are into year three of this line and we don't have a Mecha-Neck, Ram Man or even a Two-Bad. That's sad from a production standpoint and fan standpoint if you take a step back. We do have 3 versions of Skeletor already which I think is redundant for a collector's line of figures. How'd we get Leech before Stinkor? How'd we get Adora before, well anyone else? They already have a Snake Man Man-At-Arms ready for 2012 and I still haven't seen plans for a General Rattlor. Character selection has been a little on the disappointing side over 3 years.

In the end, if you continue to spend money on products that aren't what you expected, you will never get what you want. Or you will, but you will have put such a mind boggling amount of time and money into it that by the time you get it the magic will have worn off. I think the collecting world has congratulated Mattel for too long for them doing a mediocre job, at best.

Like I said, my opinion but I'm not alone.

Tom Khayos


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Adventure Time toys

Many of us are Adventure Time fans and when it was announced at NYTF (that's New York Toy Fair for those that aren't hip to the groove) that Jazwares was named the primary production company for everything Adventure Time related, I was slightly concerned to say the least. Jazwares was a very familiar company for me because they supplied my former employer, KB Toys, with a ton of poorly constructed toys based off of properties such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog and numerous defective electronic toys and room decor. But how badly could they screw up such simplistic designs as Finn and Jake? My questions were answered one fateful Monday morning during a toy run with my wife.

It really hadn't been much of an exciting morning to say the least. Three Walmarts and 2 Targets later we found ourselves at Toys R Us's doorstep and my wallet still had all the money in it that I left the house with. I really must thank my wife for putting up with my man-child impulses, I have been going to toy stores all my life and it's a habit I don't see going away anytime soon. Browsing the toy aisle with much dismay I came across the 2 foot long section of Adventure Time toys, which had been empty for most of the month till today. There on the pegs were the 5 inch Finn and Jake and Finn's sword of mighty, the shelf below had the 7 inch plushies and the shelf below that had the 10 inch Finn with changing expressions. My eyes got big like a kid on Christmas morning as my wife and I squealed for joy and grabbed the 5 inch figures and the 10 inch toy. Running for the registers, I couldn't wait to open these and display them proudly on my shelves at home.
The first knee jerk reaction came just before checkout when I remembered reading on the 4chan/toy message boards that fellow collectors felt the figures could have been done better. I couldn't remember what exactly was the issue, but I'm a consumer and anything I feel isn't made right can go straight back to the store as long as I hold on to that precious receipt. The second knee jerk reaction came while looking at 5 inch Jake and 10 inch Finn and thinking why not just get the Finn and Jake that are in scale with each other. My wife said she'd pick up the 10 inch Finn as long as I got the 5 inch set, at that point I couldn't say no to that offer. Besides, they look totally awesome and Jake shape-shifts all the time so my concern with scale went completely out the window.
Here's where the sobering realization that these figures were as poorly made as everything else Jazwares makes, has made or will ever make. Opening the figures in the car, I notice the knee and hip joints for both figures have been painted over. Not just a slight over spray, but intentionally painted over like someone didn't tell the child labor not to do that. Also, while the rubber arms translate well for Finn and his sword they don't work out so well for Jake's big fist attachment. The whole figure falls over. And while the first couple of times it's very comical, it becomes frustrating after a while. Secondly, for what you pay for ($9.99 or in my case $7.49 since they were on sale) you kind of feel like you are getting ripped off. The figures are hollow plastic and look great in the package but feel like a happy meal prize in your hand. And lastly, just with mild posing the paint starts to chip off. I'd hate to see how long these toys last in a 5-7 year old's hands. You probably wouldn't get out of the parking lot without having to turn around to exchange or return the figures.

If I had to grade these toys on a report card, they'd get a solid D. My summary, keep them in the package folks. They look wonderful until your breach that veil of cardboard and plastic and I have a strange feeling they won't be in production for long.