Thursday, June 30, 2016

Suicide Squad Pocket Pops - HARLEY QUINN!

Suicide Squad - Pocket POPs! Keychain - Harley Quinn - Funko 2016

I never quite understood keychain culture. I wasn't one of those kids in school with a jingling collection of pop culture references dangling from my backpack. I wasn't one of those kids who bought a keychain for each of my friends at every vacation gift shop. Even now, my keys are a utilitarian jumble of metal with nothing decorative whatsoever. That's why I find it so interesting that in the past few years I've been compelled to buy so many keychains. The simple reason is that a lot of my favorite collectibles release miniature versions in this novelty format. Mini Mez-Itz, Lego Flashlights, Fast-food premiums, and of course Funko's Pocket Pops have all weaseled their way into my home. I usually have a hesitation about altering a collectible from its original form (some lofty notion about preserving the integrity of the hobby), but for some reason I have no qualms at all about de-keychaining these guys. Let's check out this de-chained Pocket Pop Harley below!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Suicide Squad Mystery Minis - HARLEY QUINN!

Suicide Squad - Mystery Minis Blind Box Assortment - Harley Quinn - Funko 2016

I'm really trying to keep my Harley Collection in check these days. Though it's kind of hard with the massive amount of product hitting the shelves in advance of the Suicide Squad movie. For that reason I've decided to only buy figures in lines that I've previously starting collecting. Luckily I already had three Harley Mystery Minis in my collection, so this little gal was a shoe-in. Funko's Mystery Minis have exhibited a variety of styles over the years. My favorites by far have been from the Arkham Series with the sculpted facial details and white eyes. These Suicide Squad figures have flat decal'd faces with big pupils that frankly I find a little off-putting. The same general style is used for the Disney Mystery Minis, but in a much more successful execution. I photoshopped this Harley with white-out eyes like the Arkham version, but it just looked bizarre. So, all-in-all, I think this is a cute figure that I'm happy to have in my collection, but the aesthetics of the face isn't my favorite. Let's check her out below!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dark Knight Returns CARRIE KELLEY ROBIN!

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Series 01 - Robin - DC Direct 2004

I have a love/hate relationship with the Dark Knight Returns. I recognize and appreciate its impact on the evolution of Batman; It added a grim and gritty element where previously things were pretty PG. However, I just never liked the story. I find it boring. The one thing I did love though was the unique and unexpected introduction of Carrie Kelley as a female Robin (despite the weird and disappointing treatment of Catwoman). Still, the first female Robin will always be iconic. This DC Direct figure from 2004 was one of only two pieces of Carrie merchandise (the other being an expensive statue) for many years. However, in the next 9 months she is getting a 6" Multiverse figure, a BTAS-style DCC figure, an Eaglemoss Figurine, and a Funko Pop. This is likely due to the DKR 30th Anniversary this year as well as the animated adaptation. Whatever the reason, I was so excited about the prospect of a small Carrie Kelley collection that I finally hunted down the original. Let's check her out in detail below!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Long Overdue 2015 YEAR-END REVIEW!

A Collection of 2015's Most Amazing Female Action Figures All In One Post

Sorry for the insane delay with this post. I did my first year-end review last year (for 2014) right after New Year's Day, and in that post I wrote that it had been a surprisingly gratifying process that I wanted to do annually. I still fully intend to do that, but this year so far has been a whirlwind and this post took a long time (there are 115 images and links). I'll try to be more on top of things for next year I swear. I like doing these posts because it can be so easy to "horde and forget" - there's always something new around the corner and it's easy to grumble about missed exclusives, cancelled items, and things as trivial as a not-quite-right paint color. But I like to put on the brakes every now and then and look back at what twelve brief months have added to my burgeoning collection. We truly are in the middle of the Golden Age for collectibles, but it's easy to lose sight of that in the rush to get the next new thing. Take a gander at this selection (by no means complete) and realize how lucky we are. Sermon over :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

12" Suicide Squad - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics Multiverse - 12" Suicide Squad - Harley Quinn - Mattel 2016

I love those rare occasions where collectors are surprised by a final product being nicer than the solicitations. I had absolutely no intention of buying this 12" Harley Quinn Multiverse until I found her in Toys R Us today and fell in love with her. The images previously shown of her had looked awkward and cheap. But in person she's practically perfect. I was trying to scrutinize the face to determine if she had been resculpted, but I think her extreme makeover is solely due to better paint apps. This is now the fourth 12" figure in my collection. The Multiverse figures are roughly 3 times the cost of the Batman Unlimited figures which share very similar bucks and articulation (knees and waist articulation is new). The extra money comes into play with elaborate costume details, excellent face sculpting and paintjobs, and of course accessories. I actually think it's a good value considering the quality of the figure. I'll definitely be picking up more in this scale. Let's check out the Suicide Squad 12" Harley Quinn below!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Green Lantern Corps - FATALITY!

Green Lantern: Series 02 - Fatality (Yrra Cynril) - DC Direct 2002

The early days of DC Direct were pretty great. The character selection was very interesting and the sculpting was usually top notch. I had a long hiatus from toys and comics in the late nineties and was only getting back into the groove in 2002 after I landed my first post-college job. I remember seeing this Fatality figure hanging in my local comic shop and thinking she was awesome, but I had no budget for toys back then (plus I lived in a house with a bunch of strangers I met on Yahoo Roommates and I wanted them to think I was a lot less geeky than I was). Then years later when I let go of all pretense and let my nerd flag fly, she was commanding a high eBay price and I still couldn't afford her. Luckily she's relatively easy to come by now.  I still don't know anything about the character, but her design is awesome and I love her pointy ears. I also noticed that she became a Star Sapphire at some point because they made a toy of that costume in a Blackest Night boxset in 2011. Let's check out Fatality below!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Character Spotlight - DOVE!

A Collection of DC's Beautiful Avatar of Peace: Dove (Dawn Granger) 2011

As enjoyable as it is to bask in all the Liefeld vitriol on the internet, I never take it too seriously. I'm secretly a fan. That's because in the late eighties I was obsessed with Rob Liefeld and his first Hawk & Dove miniseries. Those five issues are some of the most nostalgic pieces in my unwieldy comic collection. Traditionally Hawk & Dove was composed of the brother duo Hank and Don Hall as the avatars of war and peace. Shortly before the 1988 miniseries, Don was killed and a new female Dove named Dawn (a rather confusing homonym) took his place. I was pretty young and such a self-explanatory yin/yang type dynamic for a comic series was perfect for me. Add in the bird theme and I was hooked. I followed the subsequent Hawk & Dove ongoing series for years, got ecstatic when they briefly joined the Birds of Prey, and even found the 2011 New 52 reboot very enjoyable. I especially enjoyed those couple issues of Teen Titans that Liefeld drew which featured Dawn with her sister Holly as Hawk.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DC Comics Icons - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics Icons #13 - No Man's Land Harley Quinn - DC Collectibles 2016

Sometimes I forget how much Harley Quinn has evolved from her first appearances. When she first made the leap into the "real" comics world (ie, not BTAS spin-offs) I was just not a fan. She was kind of dark and grim, and I thought her humor was more sadistic as opposed to her quirky irreverence we all love today. Her first big non-animated story arc was 1999's No Man's Land, which is the basis for this specific Harley figure. It wasn't until December of 2000 that the first Harley Quinn solo series started. I feel like that series is where we started to see the the modern Harley start to evolve, but this figure is the precursor to all that. The Icons series is meant to be an unofficial continuation of Mattel's DC Universe Classics. They are a smaller scale than previous DC Collectibles figures and have a completely different body style. The really are like really high quality cousin of DCUC and it makes me super excited for the Burnside Batgirl in November. Let's check out No Man's Land Harley below!