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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 14, 2021

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Another week, some new comics…

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Nothing all that exciting this week. Wolverine and Children of the Atom are "the latest X-books this week." Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon is the latest issue of that series…cruising on along on strength of the first issue and Larry Hama‘s name.

Then Star Trek: The Next Generation: The GIft as a reprint of an older story and getting some nostalgia. I’m not much interested in "modern" TNG comics, but occasional stuff like this I’ll check out. Cheaper than "hunting" back-issues to get the story, anyway.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #279 is another "latest issue/issue-out-this-week."

And the Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries is the first time in a few weeks that DC has been on here. But it’s a $2.99 comic! Given their shift mostly to $4.99/$5.99 and such…I’d be just part of the problem if I complain about their prices but then DIDN’T support a $2.99 book!

Finally, for the Comic Shop News issue this week…Looking just at the top, my first thought was "…again?" on The Mighty Crusaders/The Shield. My second thought was "Huh…that looks like Rob Liefeld art…" Unfolding the issue…sure enough, saw the ‘signature’ on the art. Say what you will about the man’s art…it’s typically very recognizable!

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Comic Con "Haul" from 4/11

Over the weekend, I wound up going to the Canton Comic Book, Toy & Nostalgia Convention in Canton, OH putt on by Harper Comics.

It was a little over an hour’s drive for me, and a $4 admission price. I’d given up on a similar event in Cleveland a few weeks ago so this one was a sort of "consolation prize" or such. Further from Cleveland so presumably less crowded, AND I didn’t leave to get there til about 2pm rather than around 10:30 (show hours were 10-4) so had NO trouble getting IN this time around.

But it seemed a lot smaller than I expected, while not exactly being tiny or anything. And it was basically exactly what I expect from a Harper show: a "dealer room." And that’s a huge part of why I go: no frills. I go for comics.

This one was a bit disappointing to me; didn’t have nearly the experience I had at the Cleveland one back in October with "finds," and for the most part merely checked off several "missing issues" from my pre-Hickman X-books.

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Found $12.50 in issues at one booth, though I believe she ended up asking $10 for the 3 issues…either way, better price than modern comics. Snagged the Marvel Legends edition/reprint of Uncanny X-Men #141 just because it’s bugged me seeing that it exists but for MUCH higher pricing online. $2.50 asking price was a virtual "given" for me! But I’m still after the actual original edition, albeit aiming for the $50ish or under range. Uncanny X-Men #143 I’d SWEAR I already had, but I’m pretty sure that’d be why I didn’t already have it before: I thought I did so passed on it and then discovered I was still missing it. For $6, even in less than pristine condition, I’m happy with it: it’s the issue. I have the actual issue in my collection. Doesn’t have to be "Near Mint" or whatever; the important factor to me is merely having the issue. Where condition and what I’m willing to spend on it intersect. ANd then $5 for Wolverine #27 that I suspect may simply be such a "key"-ish issue or otherwise hard to find and typically "expensive" solely for being a Jim Lee cover. [insert eyeroll-emoji]

Then at another booth, found $12 in issues that I believe the guy also ended up only asking $10 from me for the three. Uncanny X-Men #s 455 and 481 are simply "two issues I was missing still." This leaves me with Uncanny X-Men #s 142-459 as a solid run. I’m (now) presently missing #s 460, 464, 467, and 489 from having #142-507. My aim is to go back to #141, but may slowly go backward from there. And with Wolverine #32 paired to the aforementioned #27, I’m left with only Wolverine #s 10, 30, and 37 missing from having the original 4-issue mini-series and complete 189-ish issue first ongoing series.

So I suppose when it comes down to it…it was as a convention should be. No real hassles getting there or getting in; a number of dealers with good prices and deals to be had; found some comics that I didn’t already have and haven’t found at local shops (or for prices I’m willing to pay when I’m there and notice the issue(s)).

But it wasn’t exciting. I didn’t get an issue that I went in specifically wanting in and of itself. No "keys," as the 141 is a reprint and not the original. No spectacular, memorable, singular purchase. No "completion" of a series.

As I type this, it occurs to me that I probably should’ve looked through some of the cheapo stuff for X-Man #39, or Quicksilver 4/7/8/9, some Maverick or Ka-Zar or Generation X issues or District X #2 or such. But my heart’s just not really "in" "The Hunt" lately for stuff. I just want to trade money I have for comics I want and then kick back and read and enjoy having the things. I know my price points that I’m willing to pay with certain conditions (conditions on price and/or conditions OF the issues).

I know darned well that 4 hours into a 6 hour show of people who know comics themselves I’m obviously NOT going to "luck into" finding DC Comics Presents #26 in a $1 bin, or Incredible Hulk #181 for $5, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 for under $100 or such. So I"m at a point where I feel like screw getting a deal and just give me a fair market price that leaves both me and the seller happy.

Y’know?

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Retro Movie Star TMNT Out of Their Packaging

Several weeks ago, I posted about getting my set of the Retro Movie Star TMNT figures from Target. That post merely showed off the figures and collector’s box packaging.

I’m following up now to show the figures out of said packaging, actually opened and loose!

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Starting off, here’s the new Donatello side-by-side with my actual vintage figure that I still have all these years later from the early 1990s! (The vintage one is on the left).

One of the first things to note is that the coloring is slightly off, as are the weird dots marking the character. While having them present fits, the exact (or nearly-exact) placement is off.

The biggest disappointment to me, though, is that Playmates did NOT use the softer/rubbery plastic this time around that they did with the originals. These new ones move easily at the joints…but lack that rubbery texture that was so unique and cool about the originals!

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The new figures are slightly taller than the originals. I first thought it was the camera angle but on closer inspection I found that these new versions are indeed slightly larger pieces. Not significantly so, and not really noticeable without having them literally, physically side-by-side, but…there ya go.

I continue to be quite a fan of the shells on the turtles…I’m not sure why, but I really dig ’em!

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Here’s the Super Shredder…the only real difference that I noticed myself is where the original is stamped with a copyright year and the 2021 edition lacks that on its back. This figure is definitely the star for me, being the closest, full recreation…enough so that it’s actually pretty redundant. But as a guy interested in having the figures for the characters, this is exactly the sort of thing I want from Playmates: new "printings" of classic figures, virtually indistinguishable from the originals. Since I just want to be able to own a copy, and be able to look at it and have it appear as the original, I’m good with having a recreation, and leaving genuine vintage originals to die-hard collectors overall!

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Here’s the entire 2021 edition of the Retro Movie Star TMNT out of their packaging (minus accessories…holding the accessories would make these stick out big-time from the rest of the figures they’ll be displayed with!

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Going a bit further beyond merely opening the figures and comparing them to the two "originals" I have…here are the two genuine Playmates-produced figures side-by-side with a knockoff edition Donatello.

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And here’s the full Turtles + Splinter genuine 2021 edition with their knockoff counterparts.

The difference is much more telling with the side-by-side comparison. The knockoffs aren’t great, but they weren’t…horrible, either. For what they are.

That being said…being able to get actual, genuine articles for a reasonable price was something I was morrrrrrre than willing to do!


While I have no idea what sort of legal/licensing issues there may be with creator-owned characters and such that were produced as part of the original iteration of the TMNT figures line…for whatever tooling still exists, it’d be great to see MORE THAN just a handful of figures recreated multiple times over (with mere repaints)…and to see them just simply available as individual pieces. As otherwise rare, out-of-print vintage things…I’d more or less be willing to (at least grudgingly so) pay $15-$20 apiece for re-issued figures, just for the sake of having them. From Mirage characters and such that transferred to Viacom when Laird sold the property to various creator-owned characters like Ray Fillet, Usagi Yojimbo (Miyamoto Usagi), or Panda Khan.

To say nothing of some army-builder pack of say, 5 classic-style Foot Soldiers. The 5" Krang in Android Body. Non-turtle Toon characters like Burns, Vernon, and Irma. The Neutrinos.

And of course, a new re-issue of the Party Wagon would be amazing.

But I suppose time will tell…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 7, 2021

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Another week, another haul. AND no DC stuff!

  • 4 Marvel
  • 3 Image
  • 1 Aftershock
  • 1 IDW

Marvel‘s got the X-stuff. Image has new stuff; as does Aftershock; and IDW with a hefty, thick reprint volume.

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Geiger I bought for names alone: Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. No idea what the comic’s supposed to be about, but with these creators involved…certainly something to take a look at! Especially for NOT being something published by DC, particularly given Johns‘ history with DC.

Project Patron caught my eye somehow and seemed like an interesting enough concept at the time for me to decide to give its #1 a chance. We’ll see if it goes further, as I REALLY do NOT like $5 comics. I’ll accept ’em a bit more from a small publisher like this (compared to, say, Marvel or DC), of course.

Fire Power is definitely truckin’ along. And unlike most other recent "new series," it’s one I’ve actually kept up on, at least in buying. It’s an enjoyable enough title, though I may opt out on the singles and switch to the paperbacks. The initial hype has worn off, for me. Then again…it’s not DC and so more of a worthwhile book of late.

Nocterra is another exception: I’d picked up #1 on creator name (Scott Snyder) and though I’ve yet to read #1, snagged #2. Similar boat: creator(s) I know from DC but on a book that’s…(you guessed it!) not from DC!

Both Marauders #19 and Excalibur #20 are here by virtue simply of being current X ongoings. I’m into the #8s of the "first wave" of Dawn of X stuff…apparently up to right about a year ago just ahead of The Hiatus. So a bit to go, yet, and then the first third of X of Swords and then "catching up" from there to current, and hopefully STAY current. I suppose I now need to aim to catch up in time for the Hellfire Gala stuff…

Amazing Spider-Man is a definite "morbid curiosity" thing at this point–I’ve been "starved" for Spider-Man stuff and it’s at least "the main/traditional title" over stunt minis and such. I need to find a point for a good, clean break I think. Or keep watching it FOR the aforementioned morbid curiosity…

I have NOT been all over the Marvel Tales books the way I’ve tried to be the facsimile editions. That said, I got it into my head to get this one…though I’m more looking forward to the upcoming Thanos Quest one. Squadron Supreme is primarily a blind spot for me in Marvel stuff; so things like this offer to fill in that gap a tiny bit. IF I ever get around to reading it!

And finally, Tranformers ’84: Legends & Rumors. $7.99 for "100 pages" (not sure if ads and such are included in that page count or not). But still, for the price of two skinny comics with maybe 40-44 pages (let’s say even 60 between them with ads), this is like a third issue "free" and the Transformers are another relative blind spot for me, so the would-be nostalgia gets me.


All in all, not a bad week. Still pretty darned expensive…but a good third of that is the two $8 reprints issues. If I factored out reprints, "new stuff," and X-stuff, that’d leave me with Fire Power for the week. And that wouldn’t even really justify going to the comic shop!

Next week looks to be a decent-sized week as well. Until then…

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The Infinity Gauntlet Keepsake Collection

This is an interesting artifact I stumbled on at Kenmore Komics the other week. It’s apparently from wayyyy back in 1991 (when the original The Infinity Gauntlet was published), and I’m not sure offhand how one would have acquired it back then, but it’s "officially" numbered as 1909 of a 5000 print run. So for the ’90s…kinda "limited edition"?

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Anyway, the envelope containts 6×9" prints (black and white) of all 6 issues’ covers (AN ENTIRE EVENT SERIES and there were ONLY SIX COVERS. Total. Not per issue. But total.) There was also an "uncut sheet" of "6" trading cards featuring the covers’ images in color.

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Here’s the "trading cards" sheet.

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I realized that two 6×9" prints will fit perfectly side-by-side in 9×12" frames, so these can be 1. protected and 2. displayed, hanging simply on a wall as I display plenty of other comics, posters, etc.

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While in a way there’s nothing particularly special about these prints…they’re exactly the sort of comics-based "ephemera" that I really enjoy.

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And coming across this as I did, while perhaps a bit pricey, for the novelty of it, I was glad to buy it. I get more enjoyment out of this than several generic "modern" Marvel comics. And knowing how the original Infinity Gauntlet issues have taken off price-wise in a Marvel Cinematic Universe world, something like this was rather reasonably priced!

There was also a Gen13 thing like this, but I don’t have nearly the nostalgic attachment to Gen13 that I do to Thanos, Warlock, and the Infinity Gauntlet stuff in general.

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A Speculator’s Guide to Marvel’s Alien (2021) #1

Marvel recently released an Alien #1, after Dark Horse had the license for 30-some years. In fact, outside of a single graphic novel/album adaptation of the first film, I’m pretty sure that every Alien/Aliens/Aliens vs. Predator/AvP, etc comic published until March 24, 2021 had been published by Dark Horse.

To go along with this Bold New Enterprise and such, I’ve put together a Speculator’s Guide to highlight some of the "key" firsts and why you should absolutely stock up on and hoard this issue and alllllll its variants.

After all…that’s what comics are all about*, right?

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Consider the following my bonus "Speculator Guide" to Marvel’s Alien #1:

  • First Alien comic published by Marvel
  • First appearance of Gabriel Cruz
  • First appearance of Danny Cruz
  • First appearance of the Movement
  • First appearance of Epsilon Station.
  • First ("cameo") appearance of some sort of Xenomorph variant in dream sequences
    • First Marvel appearance of any Xenomorph variant
  • First cover appearance of some sort of Xenomorph variant (variant covers)
  • First Marvel Alien #1
  • First Alien cover by InHyuk Lee
  • First Alien cover by Steve McNiven & Laura Martin
  • First Alien cover by Peach Momoko
  • First Alien cover by Ron Lim & Israel Silva
  • First Alien cover by Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg
  • First Alien cover by Patrick Gleason
  • First Alien cover by Skottie Young
  • First Alien cover by David Finch & Frank D’Armata
  • First Alien cover by Salvador Larroca & Guru-eFX
  • First Alien comic written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
  • First Alien comic edited by Jake Thomas and Shannon Andrews Ballesteros
  • First $4.99 Alien comic not part of an event series
  • First ongoing Alien #1 at $4.99 price
  • First appearance of Facehuggers in Marvel
  • First facehugging in Marvel
  • First Alien comic with Captain Marvel (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Spider-Man (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Spider-Woman (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Venom (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Nightcrawler (ad)
  • First Alien comic with The Mighty Valkyries (ad)
  • First Alien comic with the Champions (ad)

I may have missed a few things, but there you have it! Feel free to chime in on what I’ve missed. I imagine we’ll see plenty of other "key" things about #2 in a few weeks, but that’ll be a Whole New Cycle of Key-ness after this issue’s been milked for all it’s worth…right?

(*This post is tongue-in-cheek but with a point to be had.)

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As random art or "prints" go…I like a number of these covers. But even for comic cover-sized prints $5 is a bit much. And since they’re basically all generic images…this really could be a year and a half’s worth of covers!

Put ’em in an art book…do an Alien Gallery by Marvel issue or something. (With so many covers just for #1, they’ve already got a full Gallery issue’s contents!)

Here’s hoping that the series develops something worthwhile and works out to more than JUST a TON of VARIANTS and being "not-Dark Horse." Let’s get some substance and such! Beyond hype, beyond mere "speculation."

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Robins Update

It’s been awhile, but I have a new Robin in the collection. It’s actually been several weeks now, but…whatever.

I don’t even remember now how I came across it, but I was able to order it from Amazon (and it actually came in decent shape!)

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I’m not all that familiar with this costume, or even if it’s "canon." The shape of the "R" tells me this is Damian, though, so not AS much preference on my part. I prefer the Tim Drake Robin…but have found that for me, to SOME degree…"Robin is Robin," regardless of WHICH Robin it is.

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So this new Funko Pop vinyl joins a dusty display-top that is dominated by Robins, while sharing with some excess Supermen.

In their own way, these Robins are themselves "excess," not really fitting well with stuff inside the display case.

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I’m keener to have the smaller figures and figurines and minis and such in a display case so they’re better ‘contained’ should any fall over or such and start a domino-effect or such.

But as of this typing, as of this post, this is the updated Robin collection (with a glimpse of some Supermen and some other miniatures and figurines).

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 31, 2021

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And here we are, back for another week’s haul of new issues, "current week." Not a bad week in and of itself, even with forgetting to message ahead.

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X-Men Legends #2 has the same trade dress as the first issue, which I do like…overall. I do think the corner box would be a bit more appealing with the number there, as the large issue number with the logo suggests this is X-Men Legends 2, #whatever, at a glance…much like X-Men Forever or such had been.

Spawn is now at #316. When Uncanny X-Men‘s original run was at #316, I think that was summer 1994, around the Phalanx Covenant!

And we have the new issue of Batman/Catwoman–#4–and I’m a bit iffy on this series, but at minimum, my "OCD" has me wanting to just get the series to slot in with the rest of King‘s Batman Rebirth run.

I’m extremely confident that this month’s issue of Crossover is an homage to CatesGod Country #1, given the "landscape" orientation vs the standard "portrait" orientation. [Edit: ok, looks like it was a cover for #2 of that series. So much for the aforementioned confidence!]

Interestingly enough on the timing…Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #5 (the current iteration of "Color Classics" reprinting early UY content) is ALSO a "landscape" cover! Surely coincidence, but highly noticeable anyway!

And while I opened on X-Men Legends, I close here on X-Men #19. For the moment, yet another "just the next issue available of an X-title," until I get caught up.

Finally, this week’s Comic Shop News features something called Seven Swords. I did a quick search online and seems that it’s at least NOT something from Boom Studios, so maybe I’ll keep an eye out for it. I’ll at least likely recognize this cover image, so if that’s available and not drowned out/hidden by others…well, maybe I’ll try it spur-of-the-moment?


This was a five-Wednesday month. Having six new issues, though…does not seem like stuff was necessarily shuffled to accommodate the "extra" week. I’m good with it, though.

We’ll see what April holds. I know I’m looking forward to the debut of Way of X…and I can’t quite remember if Predator launches in April, or not til May. Also considering the Aliens Omnibus vol. 1 from Marvel solely on the "completionist" angle. Again…time shall tell.

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Spawn…from Kickstarter!

So…last year, Todd McFarlane ran a Kickstarter project to do an updated version of the original Spawn figure from the 1990s.

It sounded cool, and I jumped in on it.

And then I waited…

And waited.

And operating on the understanding that it would arrive when it arrives, I was good with stuff.

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Last week, my figure finally arrived. And I’d actually forgotten about there being something in the campaign itself about collector-friendly packaging. This is quite the complex, specialized/"white-glove" packaging, though…VERY high-end for the price of this thing!

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In fact, this reminds me of an Apple product…where the packaging is a big part of the thing itself.

Take the slipcover off, and you have the box. And there’s a pretty ribbon to allow you to open the box without damaging it…

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Then there’s a sheet with a checklist comparing this new 2020 edition of the figure with the original edition from 1994…and a certificate of authenticity.

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Remove those and a foam sheet and you reveal the figure itself, nicely packed within its foam enclosure!

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There are some extra accessories in the foam tray..I believe these are "stretch goal" pieces due to the campaign raising about 30 times what McFarlane had aimed for.

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And here, finally, is the actual figure, as it would typically appear if it were a store-bought item, with none of the fancy boxing, packing, and so on…just closed into plastic and all that.

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As with the original figure(s), this comes with a comic, albeit with a new cover, I believe. It reprints Spawn #1…but as a director’s cut. Definitely a cool artifact in and of itself!

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The back of the comic shows off the original back cover of the comic that had come with that first figure. However, I noticed a typo…"This is the original add." Sigh. That should be "ad," one "d" as it’s not something that was ADDed to something. It was an ADvertisement.

Whatever. One word, BACK cover, the level of detail and prettiness to the appearance…the words aren’t exactly the important thing here..right?

It’s the…shall we say…IMAGE that counts?

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Here’s the new comic side-by-side with an original–the Medieval Spawn, though. Just to show the trade-dress and such.

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And here’s the figure out of all the plastic and on its display base…on the fancy box.

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And a closer-up pic of the figure itself without the extra.

I reallllllly like this. Much better coloring and detail, and actual metal for the chains…I’m quite happy with this, especially for the price!

It was well worthwhile, and I’m verrrrrrrry glad I did not pass on this!

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And then for good measure, here’s the new figure side-by-side with the original!

(Well, the body is my original…while the chains and cape, I believe, were from a loose copy I bought several years back).

I lack a pre-set display location for this…but it’s one that defffffinitely needs to be displayed.

And thanks to all that fancy packaging…this COULD be re-packaged either for storage or sale.

However, unless I explicitly have some other post saying otherwise…this guy’s "NFS/NFT!"

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Too Many Unopened Figures?

My purchasing of various figures has vastly outstripped my opening of said figures.

For that matter, it’s outgrown my available display space.

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I’d gotten the Age of Apocalypse wave of Marvel Legends last year, and 6/7 in the House of X wave this year (still looking for that 7th). I’ve also snagged some others "randomly" over the last couple years; plus the Rogue and Gambit retro-style figures. I suppose more than "random" the better word is "isolated." Citizen V, Thunderstrike, Doom and Thing, Genis-Vell and Mar-Vell.

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Three of my favorite Mortal Kombat characters; these based on MK11 from a couple years back–Raiden, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero. SPAWN got a figure for the line (and a role in the game as DLC). For as much Batman-Fatigue as I have, other than The Flash and an Action Comics #1000 Superman figure, all of my DC Multiverse figures from McFarlane Toys have been Batman related. 3 Batman, 2 Azrael, and Nightwing. (And I’ll likely get Robin if I come across it for "retail price"). Annnnd a Warhammer 40k figure that just…simply…looked cool.

And I showed off the Lightning Collection Mighty Morphin figures a few weeks back.

I finally realized recently that I had stacks of figures…and decided to stick ’em on shelves so I can at least see what I’ve got. No plans of getting rid of any anytime soon…but another factor in getting so many in short order is the toy landscape these days where you can see stuff ONCE and never, ever again "on the shelves" and have to go to the secondary market if you don’t "snap it up" the first time you see something.

That’s a topic for another post sometime.

To answer the question posed as the subject of this post:

Too many unopened figures?

From a certain perspective, sure. On the other hand, as I joked to someone recently…I don’t have ALL OF THE TOYS, so…?

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