Merch Hunter #1: Demon Batman, Iron Man Mark IV, and ‘Alien’ Eggs

Those who know me well, know I have some problems when it comes to holding on to my money, especially when confronted with delicious, belly-warming movie merchandise. Seriously, it’s a disease – though not one I am actually particularly ashamed of – which hasn’t exactly cost me relationships, but has cost me a lot of respect at least.

Over the past ten or so years, since I succumbed to the need to seek out and purchase these pretty treasures, I have spent thousands of pounds (remember I’m a Limey) supplementing my now vast DVD and Blu-ray collection with the best the market has had to offer me. Hundreds of those pounds went to securing (finally) all of the Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads that I foolishly chose to collect only when most of them weren’t bloody well available any more. That’s just how I roll.

The idea of this column then is to share my obsession – to point out the greatest in new and legendary merchandise, and to suggest three essential purchases every week for discerning collectors and casual fans alike.

Since Comic-Con 2011 has just closed its doors, leaving a vapor trail of teasers and pre-orderable goodies, it’s probably most appropriate this week to offer up three of the coolest items announced at the expo. They’re all improbably expensive, but hey, who needs food when you can have things like this instead…?

1. Demon Batman and Scarecrow

Holy toxic hallucinogens Batman! Collector nerdvana, thy name is Hot Toys. It seems the company with the finest eye for movie merch isn’t content on just making exceptional fare that everyone wants, they also have to make things like this 10th anniversary figure set ultra limited, and available only to their inner circle of buyers.

So, this is pretty much a dream purchase, unless you’re willing to grovel. Which of course I am. And nearly $300 isn’t too high a price to pay for something this well made and jaw-droppingly well designed, now is it?

Available here.

2. Suit-Up Gantry with Iron Man Mark IV

I was pretty much done with Iron Man as a movie concern when John Favreau decided to include that horrendous “joke” sequence in which his character did some sweaty fat guy fighting while Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow effortlessly took out the entire rest of the security team. How droll! Anyway, I will forever love the comic book property, and also the idea of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark (let’s hope The Avengers fixes the execution), so new merchandise usually comes with a big flashing Buy Me Siren.

And when it looks like this, expertly crafted by wizard-like fingers of the Hot Toys team (again) and designed to near perfection (aside from the slight Chris Cornell look to Downey’s face), how could I not figuratively dry hump the shit out of this? $500 is a small price to play for that kind of personal and sexual gratification.

Available here.

3. Alien Egg

Does anyone really need a sizeable alien egg in their living room? Of course they bloody well do. Seriously though, I would fully allow myself to be penetrated by all manner of penetration-anxiety-type phallic alien appendage for the opportunity to own one of these. And while the egg is a prop replica from AVP and not one of the good additions to the Alien franchise, this 2-foot-high plinth-mounted monstrosity is about as fine an example of intricate design and craft you’re ever likely to come across. So $500 is pretty much a reasonable price again. Just stop buying gas, I’m pretty sure the pennies will stack up pretty promptly.

Available here.

They will be mine. Oh yes – they will be mine…

T-Shirt of the Week

As a Brit, I’m lucky enough to have the benefit of the wonderful Last Exit To Nowhere T-shirts, who constantly floor me with their clever movie-inspired designs. And to celebrate -and also to gloat a little bit – here’s my current favorite of their crop

And yes, they do ship across the big wide ocean.

What are you buying this week?

Born to the mean streets of Newcastle, England the same year that BMX Bandits was cruelly over-looked for the Best Film Oscar, Simon Gallagher's obsessive love of all things cinema blossomed during that one summer in which he watched Clueless every day for six weeks. This is not a joke. Eventually able to wean himself off that particular dirty habit, and encouraged by the revelation that was One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, he then spent many years reviewing films on the underground scene, throwing away thousands of pounds on a Masters Degree in English in the process, before landing feet-first at the doors of British movie site ObsessedWithFilm.com, where you can catch his blend of rapier wit and morbid sardony on a daily basis. Simon is also a hopeless collector of film paraphenalia, and counts his complete Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads collection among his friends.

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