Toy Chest Theater: Kevin Conroy Tribute by kneelbeforezod

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m normally not a huge fan of toy photographers processing grief or sorrow at someone passing away via their work. Simply put: It often comes off tacky to me. For instance, we saw a lot of that when Stan Lee died.

But once in awhile, you get a shot like this one. On paper, the idea of various versions of Batman saying goodbye to the Kevin Conroy animated Batman as he journeys into heaven sounds like a recipe for a tacky, tone-deaf disaster. But kneelbeforezod (who has appeared in this space with Batman before) managed to do it in a classy way. Not to mention visually appealing, with the contrast between the darkness of the cave and the brightness of the heavenly clouds.

Having the Adam West Batman in the background with the ’66 Batmobile is a great little touch too. It provides a nice sense that the Conroy Batman isn’t going to be alone on his next great adventure…

Kevin Conroy Batman tribute, kneelbeforezod

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Nosferatu by Joe Hume

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Sometimes it’s all in the lighting, as Joe Hume illustrates with this image of Count Orlock from Nosferatu.

Obviously, we’ve got the hand popping in the foreground. But what really makes the image, at least to me, is how the figure’s face is lit in the background. The effect looks like moonlight seeping in through a window. And yet, it’s still dark enough to give it that spooky vibe.

Nosferatu, Joe Hume

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: “100m Slash” by John O’Neill

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The title for this edition of “Toy Chest Theater” was originally going to be, “Motivation For Cardio.” A fair enough title, right?

But then I noticed John O’Neill had the perfect name in his caption for this image: “100m Slash.” That’s, objectively, a better title.

Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Michael Meyers, John O'Neill

Incidentally, I was sorry to hear that Halloween Ends apparently sucked so badly. But in hindsight, was anyone really calling for the Halloween franchise to end? It just goes to show that, like these slashers themselves, some things are just meant to live on and on and on…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Darth Vader by Tanner Scott Mielken

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

So would this be…an inverted parody?

More than three decades after its release, Spaceballs remains the definitive Star Wars parody. Frankly, it’s not even a close race. Most of us who’ve seen the movie no doubt recall the moment when Colonel Sandurz (played by George Wyner) walks in on Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) playing with his dolls. Personally, I’d call them action figures. But that’s neither here nor there…

In this image, Tanner Scott Mielken takes that scene from a Spaceballs and flips it on its head, using the character that’s actually being parodied to parody that parody. Make sense?

Darth Vader, Tanner Scott Mielken

It doesn’t hurt that it’s funny just to see Darth Vader playing with dolls. So even if you haven’t seen Spaceballs, it works.

Incidentally, if you haven’t seen Spaceballs then run, do not walk, and find it. I’ll even help you: You can stream it for free on YouTube.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: “I Am Here, My Son.”

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

As far as toy photography is concerned, those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures from NECA are like the gift that keeps on giving.

TMNT, Splinter and Raph, dr mumbles

This image from @dr_mumbles recreates a moment from the film where Splinter is comforting Raphael, telling him, “I am here, my son.” It’s a fine shot in that regard. But what I really dig is how Splinter is lit. He’s cast in white light, which suggests he might be dead. I like that idea of Splinter watching over his son from beyond the realm of the living.

Granted, it also helps that Splinter is dead in the IDW comic books right now. I say “right now” because we know he’ll be back…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Ghost Rider by Off the Shelf Pictures

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“That can’t be real fire…can it?”

That was my first thought when I saw this image from Off the Shelf Pictures. I’ve seen toy photographers do a lot. But setting a figure on fire?!?

And yet, the original post is accompanied by a little behind-the-scenes clip, and…yup. That’s real fire. Kudos for making Ghost Rider look as good as he’s ever looked in toy form. And kudos for speed! For obvious reasons, the window for getting this shot has got to be short. Like, really short.

Ghost Rider, Off the Shelf Pictures

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Wolverine and Hulk by Michael David

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s not surprising that I’ve got Wolverine on the brain these days, what with the recent announcement about Hugh Jackman returning to play the character in Deadpool 3. The movie should be a lot of fun, and hopefully it winds up being something special.

Something else that’s a lot of fun? This shot from Michael David. Hulk and Logan go way back, as the latter made his first appearance in 1974’s The Incredible Hulk #185. Having Hulk be out of focus as he throws Wolvie toward the camera is a simple trick. But in this case, it’s effective. Also, the blood on the claws is a really nice touch. Perhaps more than anything else, it creates the vibe that these two are in the midst of a battle.

Wolverine, Hulk, melonseed_man, Michael David

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Killer Croc From the Depths

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ve got a soft spot for the Arkham games. They’re one of my favorite takes on Batman and his world. I can also be a sucker for “up from the water” type images.

So I really didn’t have much of a chance when it came to this shot from Deven. He even nailed the caption, repeating Croc’s first line from the original Batman: Arkham Asylum game…

“I’ve got your scent, Batman.”

Killer Croc by @practical_toy.photo

One thing I kind of love? Croc’s reflection in the water. The shadows over his eyes almost make him look undead.

An undead mutant crocodile? *shudders* No thanks.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Wolverine vs. T-Rex!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Here we have an image that asks a question: Who would have the more terrifying roar: Wolverine or a T-Rex?

This image from Ian Saunders has a lot going for it. The simple figure choice and positioning both work well. The idea of a confrontation between these two is a great idea on its own. The bright yellow to dark orange background creates a nice and intense vibe, will also obviously invoking a sunrise. The glow it casts on Wolvie in particular is great. I also love the spittle around the T-Rex’s tongue, which adds that little extra touch of realism.

The really fun thing about this pic? You can hear it. Wolverine’s primal bellow mixed with the gargantuan T-Rex roar from Jurassic Park. It’s enough to give you chills.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Batman ’66 by Fachro

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ve been saving this one for a special occasion. Batman Day seems appropriate, no?

I love this shot from Fachro because it feels like something that could actually happen on the old Adam West Batman show. Plus, if there’s one person who could catch a damn shark with a fishing line, it’s Batman.

Kudos to Fachro for putting the Joker in the background. It makes things a little more interesting, and adds an element of story to the proceedings.

Batman 66, shark, Fachro

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.