Under the Radar’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Part 5: Collectibles | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Under the Radar’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Part 5: Collectibles

Statues, Action Figures, Toys, and More from DC Collectibles, NECA, Lego, and Hallmark

Nov 30, 2017 Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Bookmark and Share

Welcome to part 5 of our Holiday Gift Guide 2017, in which we look at collectibles (aka wonderful toys for adults who are film, TV, and comic book fans). Gone are the days when you have to give up your action figures and toys as you enter adulthood, you just graduate to cooler, more detailed, and likely more expensive toys. Below we have collected some of our favorite collectibles from 2017-action figures, statues, stuffed animals, Lego sets, mugs, and even Christmas ornaments.

We have previously posted part 1 of our 2017 gift guide (for music reissues, music box sets, and vinyl), as well as part 2 (for board games) and Part 3 (for DVDs and Blu-rays, plus there was a supplemental to Part 3 with several other DVD/Blu-ray suggestions). Part 4 focused on toys and other gifts for kids. Over the next week and a half we’ll also be posting more gift guides relating to books and graphic novels, technology, video games, and household items and apparel. And don’t forget that Under the Radar subscriptions also make a great gift. Plus donating to the charity of your choice in the name of the gift receiver is also a good way to go.

Batman: The Animated Series Harley’s Holiday Statue (DC Collectibles)

SRP: $275.00

Twenty-two years after it went off the air in 1995, Batman: The Animated Series is still considered one of the greatest animated TV shows of all time and one of the best versions of The Dark Knight. For its tone the show mastered the middle ground-it wasn’t quite so dark and scary that kids couldn’t watch it, but it was also serious and deep enough to be appreciated by adult fans. One of the show’s lasting contributions was the creation of Harley Quinn. Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, she first appeared in the season one episode “Joker’s Favor” in 1992 before showing up in the comic books a year later. Initially she was the Joker’s sidekick and girlfriend, his former psychologist who fell in love with him when she worked at Arkham Asylum, but she soon became a popular character in her own right. She’s been both an anarchist and an anti-hero and made her big screen debut in last year’s Suicide Squad, where she was memorably played by Margot Robbie.

DC Collectibles have put together this statue based on “Harley’s Holiday,” the third season episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Written by Dini, in the episode Harley Quinn is given a clean bill of mental health and is paroled out of Arkham. She promises Batman and Robin she’ll stay out of trouble and tries to prove to herself, and the world, how sane she is. Harley being Harley, it doesn’t exactly go as planned. Taking her two pet hyenas with her to a department store is probably not the best way to start her first day of freedom. Things escalate from there, meaning Harley really only gets a holiday from Arkham Asylum. The statue features Harley tangled up in her hyenas’ leashes. It is 9.75 inches tall and is a limited edition of 5,000. Harley’s large sunhat is magnetic (like her personality) and adjustable. (Buy it here.)

Cinemachines: Blade Runner 2049 Spinner (NECA)

SRP: $29.99

The critically praised Blade Runner 2049 may have been a disappointment at the box office, but what did its makers really expect? It was a near-three-hour long art film and the sequel to a 35-year-old cult classic that didn’t do well at the box office when it was first released. But that’s all too bad, as director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival) nearly matched the brilliance of Ridley Scott’s 1982 original and a weaker than expected box office result could spell doom to a third Blade Runner film getting made any time soon, if ever. But regardless, at least fans got another chance to visit the tech-noir world of replicants and Voight-Kampff tests. NECA’s Cinemachines line of die-cast model vehicles from iconic movies has previously featured ships from Alien, Predator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and others. Now they have added Ryan Gosling’s Spinner flying car from Blade Runner 2049. It is 6-inches long, hand painted, features rolling wheels, and is a good replica of the film’s three-wheeled vehicle. (Buy it here.)

Blade Runner 2049 7” Scale Action Figures (NECA)

SRP: $19.99 (each)

Also available from NECA are 7-inch action figures for four of Blade Runner 2049‘s biggest characters. Series 1 includes Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard and Ryan Gosling’s Officer K. Series 2 features the villains, Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace and Sylvia Hoek’s Luv. Each of the four figures is sold separately. The Deckard and Officer K ones are available now, but the Wallace and Luv ones aren’t released until January. (Buy the Rick Deckard figure here, buy the Officer K figure here.)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 7” Scale Action Figures (NECA)

SRP: $23.99 (each)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has long been a pet project of French director Luc Besson (The Professional/Leon, Lucy). Alas it was a bit of a box office bomb and had a mixed response from critics. But even most of its detractors agreed that it was a visually stunning film. At a budget of $180 million, it is both the most expensive non-American film and the most expensive independent film. It may have only made $40.5 million in America, debuting at #5, but it had a worldwide box office total of $225.2 million and of course did well in France (as well as China), so no doubt the film has its fans and they might be interested in NECA’s very cool Valerian action figures.

Based on the 1960s French comic book series Valerian and Laureline that Besson read as a kid, it was heralded as Besson’s return to wide screen futuristic science fiction 20 years after he directed The Fifth Element. The movie, which fittingly opened with a sequence cut to David Bowie’s “A Space Oddity,” had some fun set pieces. Dane DeHaan is space and time traveling agent Major Valerian, Cara Delevigne is Sergeant Laureline, his partner and love interest. The duo fight to save Alpha, once a space station orbiting Earth, but now a huge traveling space city inhabited by creatures of thousands of planets. Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer, John Goodman, and musicians Herbie Hancock and Rihanna also star. NECA’s 7-inch action figures include Major Valerian, Sergeant Laureline, and the police robot K-Tron. Each fully articulated figure comes with weapons. The film is also now available on DVD and Blu-ray via Lionsgate. (Buy the Valerian figure here, buy the Laureline figure here, buy the K-Tron figure here.)

Gremlins 2 Mohawk Gremlin 7” Scale Action Figure (NECA)

SRP: $31.95

1990’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch came out a full six years after the beloved original 1984 film. That was partly because it took Warner Bros. a long time to convince the first film’s director, Joe Dante, to return behind the camera. In the meantime the studio flirted with other filmmakers and scripts, but couldn’t crack the sequel. Dante eventually agreed to return only if he had complete creative control. The results were a strange film that was almost a parody of Gremlins and sequels in general. One scene even featured film critic Leonard Maltin holding up a VHS copy of the first Gremlins film and denouncing it (he gave it a bad review when it was first released), only for some Gremlins to jump on him. Wrestler Hulk Hogan also appeared as himself. The first film’s original stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates returned for a plot that featured Gizmo multiplying into various Gremlins in a New York City skyscraper. NECA has replicated the Mohawk Gremlin (voiced in the movie by Frank Welker, the longtime voice of Fred Jones in Scooby-Doo) with a 7-inch scale action figure. The scary looking figure is fully articulated with a hinged jaw and includes a machine gun. Just don’t feed him after midnight. (Buy it here.)

“Weird Al” Yankovic White & Nerdy 8” Scale Action Figure (NECA)

SRP: $29.99

Did “Weird Al” Yankovic (a fixture of the 1980s MTV era with his hilarious parody songs and videos) ever really go away? We’re not sure, but he came back in a big way with 2014’s Mandatory Fun, his first ever #1 album. He had an earlier “comeback” eight years before, with the 2006 single “White & Nerdy,” which was a top 10 hit and was a parody of “Ridin’” by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone. In the song he makes fun of nerd culture, singing that he’s too white and nerdy to “roll with the gangstas,” he’s just too busy playing Dungeons & Dragons, collecting comic books, learning Klingon, deciding which Star Trek captain is best, and editing Wikipedia. Seth Green, Donny Osmond, and comedy duo Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key (then of MADtv) all had cameos in the hilarious video. NECA have an 8” scale action figure based on an outfit Yankovic wore in the video, gold chains and all. It comes with fabric clothing. (Buy it here.)

DC Icons Superman Rebirth Action Figure (DC Collectibles)

SRP: $28.00

The DC Icons line of action figures has a new Superman figure in his current costume from 2016’s Rebirth relaunch of DC Comics’ characters. This figure was originally part of a seven pack of Rebirth action figures, but now it’s available solo. Sculpted by Steve Kiwus, the figure is 6.25 inches tall. Also available is Batman. (Buy it here.)

Lego Marvel Super Heroes Thor vs. Hulk Arena Clash (Lego)

SRP: $59.99

Sure, Lego’s are aimed at kids, but there are adult collectors too (remember Will Ferrell in The Lego Movie?). This fall’s Thor: Ragnarok movie was a complete delight. Not only was it clearly the best of the three Thor movies, it was also one of the funniest Marvel movies, thanks in large part to New Zealand director Taika Waititi, making his superhero movie (and big budget movie) debut. Those who knew him for his hilarious 2014 vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows may have been better prepared for the humor he brought to the Marvel universe, both as director and as the character Korg. But that’s not to say Thor: Ragnarok was an out and out parody, its action scenes still carried weight thanks to heavy duty award-winning actors like Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, and Idris Elba, alongside Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. And Jeff Goldblum nearly stole the show as relaxed villain Grandmaster. Lego’s Thor vs. Hulk Arena Clash set recreates the scene where Hulk and Thor first battle each other in Grandmaster’s intergalactic arena, famously featuring Thor’s pleasant surprise when his adversary is revealed to be his old buddy (“He’s a friend from work!”). The 492-piece set includes mini figures of Hulk, Thor, Loki, Grandmaster, and a Sakaarian Guard. It’s recommended for ages 7-14 (or the adult collector). (Buy it here.)

Lego Star Wars: Desert Skiff Escape (Lego)

SRP: $29.99

There are lots of Star Wars Legos tied into the new movies, such as this year’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but adults might appreciate this set’s throwback to the original Star Wars trilogy. Desert Skiff Escape recreates that scene in Return of the Jedi where Han Solo and Chewbacca are about to be thrown by Jabba the Hutt and his men, including bounty hunter Boba Fett, into the desert Sarlacc pit featuring a monstrous tentacled creature. Luckily they are saved by Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, Princess Leia (at first stuck as Jabba’s slave girl), R2D2, and C3PO. Boba Fett ends up in the creature and our heroes live to fight another day. This 277-piece set includes the skiff ship and the Sarlacc pit, along with figures for Boba Fett, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a Skiff Guard. It’s recommended for ages 7-12. (Buy it here.)

itty bittys Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Finn (Hallmark)

SRP: $6.95

Itty bittys are Hallmark’s line of small and cute stuffed animals that have a rounded lower half rather than legs. All sorts of iconic branded characters have been turned into itty bittys, from superheroes to Disney princesses to even President Obama. There have been Star Wars itty bittys before and this year there are some tied into the latest film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Finn debuted in 2015’s long-awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The former First Order stormtrooper turned resistance fighter is played by British actor John Boyega in the movies and gets his own itty bitty. (Buy it here.)

itty bittys Star Wars: The Last Jedi - First Order BB-9E Unit (Hallmark)

SRP: $6.95

BB-8 was the standout droid of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and in Star Wars: The Last Jedi there’s a less friendly version, a First Order BB-9E unit. He now comes to Hallmark’s itty bittys line of small and cute stuffed animals. (Buy it here.)

itty bittys Star Wars Chewbacca Christmas Card with Stuffed Animal (Hallmark)

SRP: $9.99

Hallmark are of course known for their greeting cards, but more recently they’ve been known for their itty bitty small and cute stuffed animals. This combines the two. It’s a Christmas card that comes with a Chewbacca itty bitty that is shrink-wrapped and expands when you open it. The message inside: “Hairy Christmas chew you!” (Buy it here.)

itty bittys The Walking Dead Collector Set (Hallmark)

SRP: $29.95

AMC’s hit zombie show The Walking Dead come to Hallmark’s itty bittys line of small and cute stuffed animals. This collector set includes fan favorites Rick Grimes, Michonne, and Daryl Dixon, as well as a walker (aka zombie). Young kids will still enjoy playing with all but the walker toy, but despite these being stuffed animals, this is really geared towards teenaged and adult fans of the show and for them this will be an amusing gift. A Negan itty bitty is also available. (Buy it here.)

itty bittys The X-Files Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (Hallmark)

SRP: $14.95

FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully come to Hallmark’s itty bittys line of small stuffed animals in this set that includes both paranormal investigators. Mulder and Scully finally returned to TV for 2016’s 10th season and season 11 airs in January. While season 10 got a mixed response from fans, hopefully they are back on track for 11. Either way, fans will always have the original classic episodes and now they can watch them with these Mulder and Scully itty bittys. (Buy it here.)

Star Wars BB-8 Mug With Sound (Hallmark)

SRP: $22.95

BB-8, the standout droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is now a mug. As cool as a BB-8 shaped mug would be, this one also has a fun feature. When you remove the lid (aka BB-8’s head) to this 10 oz. mug the droid makes cute little BB-8 sounds, from various different noises that rotate. Oh, and the lid can help keep your coffee or tea warm, so it’s a win-win. (Buy it here.)

The X-Files Scully and Mulder Musical Ornament (Hallmark)

SRP: $17.95

Every year Hallmark unveils a new set of Keepsake Christmas tree ornaments. Most feature familiar characters. 2017’s ornaments included Moana, Star Trek, DC Super Hero Girls, Star Wars, The Lego Batman Movie, Airplane!, Elf, Beetlejuice, Aliens, Thor: Ragnarok, Zootopia, Beauty and the Beast, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and more. Some ornaments even light up, others make sound. This X-Files ornament features FBI special agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder and it plays Mark Snow’s theme song to The X-Files. Make Christmas spooky. (Buy it here.)

Justice League Aquaman Ornament (Hallmark)

SRP: $15.95

Jason Momoa’s Aquaman was one of the highlights of this year’s Justice League movie and in December 2018 we get a solo Aquaman movie. One of this year’s Keepsake Ornaments is of Momoa as Aquaman looking badass and ready for battle, his trident in hand as he swims or leaps into the fight. (Buy it here.)

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