Sunday, February 5, 2023

Jurassic World Dominion - KAYLA WATTS!

Jurassic World: Dominion - Kayla Watts & Pyroraptor 2-Pack - Mattel 2022

I really enjoyed Jurassic World: Dominion. I think the franchise has gotten to the point where every viewer has their own specific recipe of expectations for these films that are impossible to live up to. I have several diehard Jurassic fans in my life and they were all highly disappointed, but I was happy. I thought the energy good, the story was engaging, there was a great variety of dinosaurs, and none of the actors (except for Chris Pratt imo) were annoying. That sounds like a successful Summer blockbuster to me. My favorite of the new characters was Kayla Watts. she is an ex-Air Force pilot who now specializes in dino transport. She doesn't have strong allegiances initially but gets pulled into helping Owen, Claire, and Maisie. I recently read that her character was inspired by Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Sarah Harding - and that totally makes sense and explains the appeal. I wouldn't hate it if she was the lead character in the next movie. She certainly has the screen presence to pull it off. Let's check out Kayla below!

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Apex Legends - LIFELINE!

Apex Legends - 6" Action Figures Wave 6 - 18 Lifeline - Jakks Pacific 2022

I started this blog on Jan 19th 2012 and I was initially very excited about planning different themed groups of posts like I had seen on other blogs. My themes have gotten pretty obscure and specific in recent years (like a week of mermaid figures or bee-themed figures), but back in 2012 I had just picked up the first Walking Dead Michonne figure right at the beginning of February and my first theme became an impromptu celebration of Black History Month. I've tried to replicate that in subsequent years, but figures of black female characters can be pretty scarce. Plus it always seems weird to delay any reviews of new figures until February. So I've made it a habit to tag any of these posts with "BHM" so they can be searched and celebrated year-round, regardless of the month. Lucky for me though, I (unintentionally) have a backlog of quite a few diverse characters that I'm excited to post this month, so I get to relive my original journey into toy blogging. Lifeline from Apex Legends is first. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Fortnite - RAGSY!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series - Ragsy - Hasbro 2022

The great thing about Fortnite is the seemingly endless supply of interesting skins you can acquire (purchase) to play as different avatars. The first character type to attract me to the Fortnite franchise was the pink teddy bear character, Cuddle Team Leader. It was such a wonderful contradiction to see a playful and adorable costume suited up with tactical accessories and big guns and axes. But that's the whole aesthetic unique to Fortnite and the reason I will always pay attention to this brand. Ragsy is the third figure I have featuring a decayed or zombified version of Cuddle Team Leader (Spooky Squad Leader and Skull Squad Leader). While zombie-type versions of toys are my second least favorite gimmick (after "bloody" variants) for some reason I don't mind it when the disarray is mostly made up of popped stitched and leaking stuffing. It's actually pretty adorable. I'm always looking forward to what will come next in Hasbro's Fortnite line. There's an endless supply of cool characters. Let's check out Ragsy below!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

NewAge - CHRISTINE!

Legendary Heroes No. 48C - G.G.I.D. Commander Christine - NewAge 2022

I am going to go out on a limb and say that this Commander Christine from NewAge Toys is the best Elita-1 figure in my collection. The sculpt, proportions, and coloring are all perfection. The only downfall is that I wish she were scaled larger. As a small 1:18 scale figure, she doesn't fit in with the bulk of my fembot collection. However, if the third party market has taught me anything in the past few years, there is a decent chance that some other toy entrepreneur will release an up-sized version of her. I now own four upsized 3rd Party figures (Generations Arcee, Iron Factory Windblade, Kingdom Airazor, and Blue Bolt). It's a great trend that I hope Christine falls victim to. You'll see in the final picture of this post how she compares to all the other Elita figures. There something about her that is more reminiscent of the original cartoon than her predecessors.  The white parts of her body appear soft and organic while the pink and coral parts look hard and robotic. I always liked that dichotomy in the original fembots. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Dr. Wu - AMIE!

Dr. Wu No. DW-MS30 - Amie (3rd Party Arcee) - Mechanic Toys 2022

Hot on the heels of yesterday's review of the Maschinenmensch figure from NewAge comes this eerily similar Amie figure from Dr. Wu/Mechanic. Both figures are well-designed and of very high quality, but it was just surprising to see two 1:18 scale Arcee homages released from different companies within a few months of each other. Another great thing is that each company announced five retooled variations of their respective molds to give us collectors a ton of options. Each company included an Arcee, Nightbird, and Paradron Medic, but the other three for both companies were unique. I'm also very excited for the Elita One homage from Dr. Wu shown in convention slideshows this past Summer and I hope this trend of retooling continues. I'm always surprised that these 3rd Party companies don't see the potential in a Chromia, Firestar, and Moonracer trio. Elita often gets some attention, but if for nothing else other than color variety I would hope the others would be considered. Let's check out Amie below!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

NewAge - MASCHINENMENSCH!

Legendary Heroes No. 48 - G.G.I.D. Warrior Machinenmensch - NewAge 2022

2022 was a pretty crazy year for 3rd Party fembots. My count may be off, but I think there were around 16 new figures in twelve short months. I personally purchased ten and had a lot of difficulty choosing which variants to buy. NewAge Toys created this fantastic Arcee mold (named Maschinenmensch) and promptly announced five additional releases using the same general buck. The name Maschinenmensch is German for 'robot' or 'machine man.' I'm familiar with this word because it is often tied to the robot Maria from the 1929 German film Metropolis, which to the best of my knowledge is the first representation of a female robot in popular culture. So giving this name to an Arcee homage seems very appropriate, even if it's a mouthful. The NewAge mold is very impressive and has great proportions. Legs and arms in particular tend to look off at this 1:18 scale, but you could easily convince me that this was a deluxe or masterpiece sculpt. Let's check out Warrior Maschinemensch below!

Friday, January 27, 2023

MOTU Origins - TEELA & ZOAR!

Masters of the Universe Origins - Teela (200x Version) & Zoar - Mattel 2023

I get nervous about the future of the Masters of the Universe Origins line. When it first launched a couple years ago I was excited and hopeful about all the good characters that could finally get the vintage treatment through this line. At the very least I thought we would see Queen Marleena, but I was secretly hoping for a whole Princess of Power lineup. But instead we keep seeing the same four molds used multiple times: Teela, Evil-Lyn, Sorceress, and She-Ra. Don't get me wrong, I love every figures I've bought in this line so far, I just can't help but feel to the potential of this line is being squandered to save money on new molds. This newest Teela figure is exclusive to Big Bad Toy Store and features Teela in a 200x-inspired deco. This figure is surprising because she actually has a retooled head with a ponytail and a different tiara. It's a subtle difference from the 2020 Teela, but it really give her that extra 200x feel. Zoar, on the other hand, in 100% vintage toy inspired. Let's check out Teela and Zoar below!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Transformers Earthspark - SKYWARP!

Transformers: Earthspark - Warrior Class Figures - Skywarp - Hasbro 2023

I love the inclusion of female Seekers in the Decepticon ranks. For quite a few years, we only had Slipstream, but in the past few years we were introduced to the newly gender-inconsistent Nova Storm and Skywarp. And in the new Transformers: EarthSpark series, they are both decidedly female. Unfortunately, these characters will rarely get a unique sculpt so they have historically mostly been simple repaints of Starscream. And this new Skywarp is no exception. So I made a quick edit to this figure. To me one of the most prominent features of Skywarp in EarthSpark is her dark lips and wicked grin. There is also a precedent for giving this (male) mold a darker lip to feminize it. The Slipstream figure from a few years ago used the same Starscream mold but had a slightly red lip and looked great. The sculpt itself it pretty androgynous, so the tiniest detail can make a big difference. I took my smallest brush and darkened her lip and suddenly she looked like Skywarp from the show. Let's check her out below!