This was actually such a big week for the release of collectibles, that hanging out in my local comic shop Conquest Comics to do comic reviews got way too distracting without having a look at the boxes being unloaded. In them we found a Groot Mini-Bust (mini? It was massive…), a Marvel Venom Labbit, a Batman Arkham City Solomon Grundy Deluxe Action Figure, and 3 different 5 inch Mini Quee Hellboy vinyl figures.
I didn’t take the Groot Mini-Bust out of its really very well packaged box, but was impressed by the quality of what I saw, and also pondered the rise in Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise and popularity in the past few months due to the ongoing series at Marvel, as well as the buzz about the casting and development of the 2014 film. I think we can expect to see more Guardians items in the near future, and if you’re into busts or other items created for longevity, perhaps it’s a good move to get them before they break into movie tie-in likenesses. You just get more authenticity to the comic artwork that way.
The Marvel Venom Labbit follows on the heels of the Marvel Wolverine Labbit issued at San Diego Comic Con, and is another solid and attractive piece from Kidrobot. Though I wouldn’t advise it, you could probably drop the Labbit a few times and it wouldn’t be particularly perturbed by it. This is an item you don’t want to leave in the box, no matter how collectible it is. There’s something about the perfectly shaped Labbitness of Labbits that cry out for a geek den display and who are we to deny such a cute-vicious looking creature as this Venom?
Also from Kidrobot was the new Zombie Bart Simpson. At six inches, he makes quite a statement, especially due to his dayglo undead colors. The additional spoon to accompany his opened skull is a nice touch. The figure manages to feel very cartoony and funny as well as pretty gross, which is exactly in keeping with the Simpsons ethos created by Matt Groenig. No doubt there are plenty of homes where Zombie Bart will become a prized possession.
The Arkham City Solomon Grundy loomed out of his shipping cases with a fair amount of gravitas. The detail on the figure was an immediate draw, as well as his dimensions at 13 inches tall (with removable chest plate for extra gore). The Arkham games are known for their truly edgy gothic art style, one of the reasons they feel so cinematic, and this Solomon Grundy really preserves that feel. In fact, these Arkham figures may well give other Batman collectible figures on this scale a run for their money. Because the Arkham art is so iconic and consistent, seeing one does make you want to see a few together. Clever marketing and follow-through from DC.
The Hellboy 5 inch Mini Quees launched by Dark Horse at San Diego Comic Con and were very sought after, though it was the exclusive version that incorporated a SDCC t-shirt into the design that caused the most massive lines. The others were well-stocked and didn’t fully sell out, as well as being reasonably priced. Now, they are available in your local shops. That is an excellent egalitarian move. Not everyone can make it to SDCC or wants to, and there are millions of Hellboy fans out there who also like Quee items. The stumpy Quee proportions make Hellboy almost as cute as the upcoming Itty Bitty Hellboy comic, and the champion devil was just made for vinyl because of his vibrant coloring. The three varieties were Hellboy shirtless (“red”), Hellboy in a black BPRD t-shirt (“black”) and Hellboy glow-in-the-dark. That’s plenty of choice, even. It’s a big deal to see Hellboy in these solid Quee formats, finally, but pushing it further, of course, Abe Sapien glow-in-the-dark would be a fabulous next step. He’s an amphibian, after all. Just saying.
So, what did I manage to bring home? I sprung for the glow-in-the-dark Hellboy. I’m a sucker for vinyls, especially if they are stylized in appearance. The only question for me is if I will leave him in or out of the box since he could, technically, still glow through his box window. Decisions.
There was one other thing I nabbed that was in the shop as an SDCC exclusive that had journeyed east, one I hadn’t been able to get at the con myself, though I considered it: a special glow-in-the-dark CHOG from John Layman via Skeleton Crew Studio, signed no less. The CHOGS, a chicken-frog hybrid from Layman’s comic Chew, have stormed the market, and I just couldn’t resist. Always useful as a food source for when the apocalypse finally arrives.
Special thanks to Conquest Comics in New Jersey for showing off their collectible arrivals. You can find their Facebook page here. They are currently dominating POP vinyl collectibles with their White Phoenix exclusive.
Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress. Find her bio here.