January always brings new collectable series. John takes a look at the first issues of three major new titles.
Over the years these collectable series have enabled you to build collections of the cars of the Batman universe, the starships from Star Trek, Star Wars helmets or even chess boards populated with DC characters, the list goes on.
To entice you into buying the first issue, they’re always priced at a very tempting £2-£3. You’ll receive the first issue of the magazine as well as the first part of the model, chess piece, graphic novel or whatever the series pertains to.
Therefore, I always pick up issue one as it’s a very cheap way of getting my mitts on a cheap licensed trinket or hardback graphic novel. I have a couple of painted Batman figures, cars and several graphic novels at home thanks to the companies’ first issue pricing structure.
One big release for this year that I haven’t included in this roundup was the Build Your Own R2-D2 series. The first issue comes with R2’s eye and a piece of one leg, not something I really wanted out of one issue.
So, what do we have for 2017? The first to catch my eye, as I previously reported here at The Unheard Nerd was:
Build The Back To The Future DeLorean
I bought this primarily as a huge fan of the films but have no intention of collecting the series for reasons I shall mention later.
As the title states, once complete, this set will allow you to build a model DeLorean as featured in the Back To The Future films. It’s one hell of a model too!
Included in issue one is a life-size photograph illustrating how big the final model will be, and boy is it big. Once completed it will not only look glorious but feature many small intricate details such as:
- The dashboard and time circuit display will illuminate.
- The wheels will turn when you use the steering wheel.
- The brake lights will come on when the pedal is pushed.
- The exterior cabling around the bodywork will glow blue.
I could go on!
There were enough parts included with the first issue to almost complete the tail end of the DeLorean. As you can see from the picture all that was missing were the left-hand set of tail lights. It was very easy to piece together with everything held together will small screws. Don’t have any tools? Don’t worry as a screwdriver is included with the first issue!
It’s worth noting that what would be aluminium of the real car is die-cast metal in this replica model. Just the tail end I’m holding in that photo has quite a weight to it and makes me wonder how heavy the final build will be.
The included magazine features brief articles of the history of the car and its design within the Back To The Future films. Obviously, this wealth of information will be spread out over oncoming issues.
Most of the magazine is given over to excellent diagrams showing you how to piece your model together. They were concise and very easy to follow.
The series has been produced by Eaglemoss Hero Collector and will be issued in 130 parts. Issue 1 is £1.99, issue 2 will retail for £4.99 and the rest of the collection will be £8.99 each. Each issue will be released weekly.
Do the math! It works out to be an expensive model…but it’s so beautiful!
Celebrating 50 Years Of Star Trek: The Graphic Novel Collection
As the title states, this series will reprint hand-picked Star Trek comics and reprint them in deluxe hardback book format.
Issue one comes with, surprisingly, volume one! These sets usually give you a completely random book! For example, the Transformers book I’ll talk about later is volume six!
Volume one is entitled Countdown and features the artwork of several Star Trek: The Next Generation characters and a young Nero. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the “bad guy” from the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek film series.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, the film was a huge success. Countdown was a four issues comic series that tied into that film by detailing the events in the run up to that story. You’ll discover how Nero came to work with Spock and to try and save the planet Romulus. By the end, you’ll discover why Nero hated Spock so much and that you’ll want to watch the film again to finish off the story.
But it’s not just recent material that makes this first volume. The second story comes from the original Star Trek featuring Captain James T. Kirk, a younger Spock and Bones, the ship’s doctor.
Coming from a series of comics that ran in the 1960s, these stories are a little over the top and as they were written during the early days of the series and don’t always follow the show’s guidelines.
The story involves the crew of the Enterprise discovering a planet inhabited by carnivorous plants. Where not talking little plants either! These beings dwarf the Enterprise crew and their phasers have little effect on the creatures. Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say the conclusion to the story is very un-Star Trek!
It was an interesting look at a comic of its time and it was such a stark contrast to the modern tale in the previous pages.
The hardback book itself is of a very high quality. The comics have been reprinted on good quality paper and I noticed that the issues were divided up using both the photo and comic covers that were originally an option for the original separate four-issue release.
Whilst there is hardly anything on the book’s spine for issue one, when the series is complete on a shelf, the spines together will form some rather nice Star Trek starship artwork.
The book also comes with a short magazine with some further details and articles about Star Trek and its comic legacy.
The series has been produced by Eaglemoss Hero Collector and will run 100 issues. Issue 1 is £1.99, issue 2 will be £6.99. The remainder will be £9 each. Each book will be released fortnightly.
Transformers: The Definitive G1 Collection
The Transformers, robots in disguise, have become a huge multi-million dollar franchise. Starting off in the 1980’s as a cartoon designed to sway the children into buying the toys, the franchise has never stopped growing and this year will see the release of the fifth live-action blockbuster film.
Rolling back the clock to the 1980s, there were cartoons, toys and a weekly comic series (in the UK at least I think) that allowed even more stories to be told within the Transformers universe.
This new part work series takes these classic Transformer comics and reprints them in deluxe hardback books. In many cases, the artwork has been colourized and it looks pretty snazzy. You’ll find both the US and UK stories in these volumes which like the Star Trek collection will create beautiful Transformers artwork when the complete set is sitting on your shelf.
These new book editions also contain bonus artwork, the original comic covers and profiles on the artists who brought these characters to life within the comic pages.
Unlike the Star Trek collection, issue one comes with volume six entitled Target: 2006. As the synopsis on the back states,
Witness the era spanning and groundbreaking ‘Target: 2006’, a mini-epic which span out of Transformers (The Animated) Movie and changed the course of the UK comic forever, and the essential US stories (#21-23) that followed it.
I’ll admit I haven’t got around to reading this story yet, but the book itself is very nice with a high quality. It’s also a lot thicker than the Star Trek book and contains a much larger story.
Whereas the previous two collections come with a magazine, the Transformers collection comes with brief details about the collection itself, subscription offers and a few other scant details printed on folded glossy paper.
When unfolded, one side of this paper contains a beautiful Transformers poster that I’m planning on framing. Who doesn’t like massive robots?
The collection has been produced by Hachette Partworks and issue one is only £1.99. Issue 2 will be £6.99 with the remainder of the collection priced at £9.99 each. Eighty issues are planned.
I think it was worth picking up the first issues of these sets for the price of a few cups of coffee, especially as your buying two hardback graphic novels at spare change prices. The OCD in me is trying to force me into buying issue two of the DeLorean series just so I can get hold of that left-hand tail light piece!
However, as a family man with a low disposable income, I can’t afford to purchase any further issues on a regular basis. But in a parallel universe, I could see myself picking up the Back To The Future DeLorean series and possibly even the Star Trek collection very easily.
For more information on these collections, visit their official web pages:
Also in a similar vein but not reviewed here: