Friday, December 13, 2019

12" Fortnite - PANDA TEAM LEADER!

Fortnite - Victory Series Squad Mode Box - Panda Team Leader - Jazwares 2019

Surprisingly there aren't many panda-themed action figures out there. As one of the most universally recognizable animals, they somehow never get the same anthropomorphic-action-figure attention as the big cats, reptiles, and birds. Besides the obvious Kung Fu Panda product, I can't think of any. This Fortnite Victory Series 4-pack appears to be exclusive to Sam's Club exclusive (I don't believe they have been found anywhere else), and at first glance you might think they are all simple repaints of the single-pack figures. However, this Panda Team Leader has several sculptural differences from Cuddle Team Leader. The most obvious change to me is the chest piece: Cuddle Team Leader has armor while Panda Team Leader has sculpted fur. Also, Panda is now missing Cuddle's trademark facial scar. I feel like every day I'm hearing about new Legendary or 3.75" figures, but the 12" Victory Series isn't getting much press. I would love to see more. Let's check out Panda Team Leader below!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Marvel Legends - TIGRA!

Marvel Legends - Nemesis B-a-F Series - Tigra - Walmart Exc - Hasbro 2009

I had a conversation with a friend the other week and he started scoffing at this old Tigra figure. I agreed that it wasn't terrific, but that it's also not that bad. The sculpt is decent and I have no complaint about the paint application. The only problems are a bland facial expression and the awkward articulation (this was about 5 years before Hasbro perfected the female Marvel Legends buck). So I thought I would dig out my figure and give her a little love with a photo shoot. Especially since I have a hunch we'll be getting an updated figure very soon. She's definitely one of the Marvel characters most deserving of an update, and the recent Tigra: The Complete Collection TPB (that was released today!) is a definite sign that the character has something brewing. It would be especially interesting to see her get some attention at the same time that Cheetah has a starring role in Wonder Woman 1984.  It could be a clash of the felinoid women, and I would love every second of it. Let's check out this 2009 Tigra below!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Masters of the Universe Vintage - EVIL LYN!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 4 - Evil Lyn - Super7 2019

Oh Evelyn Morgan Powers, I was always rooting for you to wrest power from Skeletor and lead the Evil Warriors of Eternia. But alas, those annoyingly perky heroes would always win. When this Vintage-Style Evil-Lyn figure from Super7 was announced, I was a little bummed that they weren't using this platform as a pathway to get us characters that never before had MOTU-style vintage figures (like She-Ra and Shadow Weaver). I would have loved to see Scorpia, Queen Marlena, or Delora before re-hashes of Teela and Evil Lyn, but once I had them in hand, I realized how vastly different the Filmation designs were from the vintage toys. So it's nice to have a proper update, especially since He-Man and all the boys were getting them. Of course, now I will lament that we will never see a Sorceress in this line since she is that only remaining MOTU female without a refreshed action figure. (I only hope Mattel's Origins line does the brand justice and give us lots of characters). Let's check out Evil Lyn below!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Masters of the Universe Vintage - SHADOW WEAVER!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 4 - Shadow Weaver - Super7 2019

Shadow Weaver is one of the most iconic vampy women from my childhood. Her shadowed face and raspy voice actually made her one of the scariest characters in the (expanded) MOTU world. All the other bad guys got silly very quickly and devolved into outright buffoonery, but Shadow Weaver was always sinister. Of all the characters from the Filmation series, it was always a shock that Shadow Weaver never got an action figure made. She appeared in a whopping 52 episodes, while "main" characters like Mermista, Frosta, and Queen Angella were only in a handful. But somehow we haven't seen a vintage-style figure until now. Although when I imagine what a vintage POP Shadow Weaver would look like, I cringe. She would probably be pink and glittery with sparkly gemstones and gauzy fabric. So I'm actually glad it took so long. It's a shame this wave appears to be the last of the Super7 vintage line, because there are so many more characters deserving of this treatment. Let's check out Weaver below!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Two Years of DC Heroines from IMAGINEXT!

An Assortment of Imaginext DC Super Friends Ladies - Fisher-Price 2018-2019

I love Imaginext so much but I get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of figures I've collected over the years. So this post is collecting 23 amazing DC Super Friends ladies I've assembled over the past two years (and there are at least two I couldn't locate amidst my clutter to photograph).  I'm exhausted from editing 214 photos, but giddy about having them all unpackaged now. Way back in early 2012, the release of the Imaginext Catwoman was the push I needed to start this blog - which is funny because I never ended up reviewing that particular figure. But every time there is a new release I feel a nostalgic sense of excitement. The presence of female characters in the line is increasing at a shocking rate, and the two female-centric 6-packs in 2018 is a perfect example of Imaginext's new focus on gender inclusion. It was a very slow trickle for may years, but lately it's been an absolute flood (and I couldn't be happier about it). Let's check out two years of DC Imaginext ladies below!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

SDCC Metropolis ReAction - MARIA!

ReAction Retro Figures - Metropolis' Maria (SDCC Exc) - Super7 2019

Smaller toy companies have a leg up on the big guys for one crucial reason: they're almost always geeks like us. That scenario tends to give us great character selection, attention to detail, and amazingly nerdy easter eggs. Hence this truly fantastic SDCC exclusive Maria figure. Maria is the iconic robot from the 1927 film Metropolis, one of the earliest science fiction films ever made. That setup would normally be plenty to excite us collectors (and it did, with the two previous releases of this figure being very popular). But then we add in the super-cool trivia that Maria was the design inspiration behind one of the most popular Sci-Fi robots of all time, Star Wars' very own C3PO (specifically the originally Ralph McQuarrie concept designs), and our collective heads can explode. So in homage to this connection, this Super7 exclusive Maria is deco'd in super shiny gold (complete with a silver leg!) and packaged in classic Kenner style with a retro collectible coin. Maria is totally the droid we've been looking for!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Justice League International - FIRE!

Justice League International - Action Figures Series 02 - Fire - DC Direct 2009

My first exposure to Beatriz da Costa was in the pages of Super Friends when she went by the name Green Fury. I was always drawn to monochromatic characters, even at such a young age. But on the flipside, I was also so young that the idea of fire that wasn't red or orange baffled me. That's honestly why I remember her so well.. because her powers confused me. I didn't even realize she was she same character as Green Flame and Fire until very recently. When she was Green Flame in the Global Guardians, she first started being paired with Icemaiden. And when Icemaiden was re-created as Ice in Justice League International, Green Flame followed suit and shortened her name to Fire. I really don't know much about the pair, except that they seem so iconic - like a female Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. There have been a handful of good action figures of this pair, but I personally think these DC Direct Justice League International versions are the best. Let's check out Fire below!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Justice League International - ICE!

Justice League International - Action Figures Series 01 - Ice - DC Direct 2009

Fire and Ice are two characters I know next to nothing about. I never read any Justice League books when I was young, let alone Justice League International. But when I got into toy collecting in my twenties, the official DC Direct message boards were overflowing with fans begging for action figures of the pair. There was also a fair amount of shipping going on, but as far as I can tell that was all just fanboy fantasy. Once I started reading about the characters, though, I became kind of obsessed. I love the theme of elemental opposites with coinciding temperaments. Ice is Tora Olafsdotter, a naive girl from a magic wielding tribe of Norsemen. There is some confusion with the character Icemaiden who debuted a decade prior. Apparently the JLI writers thought Icemaiden never had a fleshed-out history when they introduced Ice (who they intended to be the same character). But Icemaiden had a very detailed origin previously published which led to Ice being an (unintentionally) original character.