Wednesday, September 19, 2018

DC Universe Busts - STAR SAPPHIRE!

Women of the DC Universe Busts - Series 3 - Star Sapphire - DC Direct 2011

I really miss the days of regular DC Direct product. The variety of action figures was unprecedented. You could rely on a unique Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman figure every month. I know the repetition of characters and the inconsistent scales drove fans nuts, but I loved it. Occasionally a favorite character of mine would get that A-list treatment and I would be on cloud nine (2007-08 were spectacular for me). But beyond the action figures, I really was obsessed with the Women of the DC Universe Mini-Bust line. Each series (there were three) had roughly 12 busts all designed by an iconic artist: Series 1 Adam Hughes, Series 2 Terry Dodson, and Series 3 Amanda Conner. At the time I was very selective with what characters I would purchase, but as the years have passed I have backtracked and I'm sure I'll eventually have them all. I've always loved the look of the classic Star Sapphire and this bust is the nicest looking representation of her in my collection. Let's check out the Star Sapphire mini-bust below!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Robotech - LYNN MINMEI!

Robotech - Action Figures Series 1 (Macross Saga) - Lynn Minmei - Toynami 2018

I really love animation. Especially properties from the 1970s and 1980s. And even if a movie or show is terrible, I still usually find find some silver lining and appreciate the overall effort. Consistently though, my biggest issues have revolved around music. Specifically when a character or characters sing an irritating song. My number one example is Rankin and Bass's Return of the King from 1980. The music makes that film (almost) unwatchable for me. A close second is Lynn Minmei's song stylings in Robotech. In the show she is a beauty pageant contestant and pop star in Macross City.  The memories of those songs still make me cringe. Although I must admit I recently rewatched the whole series on Netflix and for the first time I was able to sit all the way though her performances. Minmei is the only figure from the 1985 Matchbox line that I never picked up, so I'm super glad we got this great updated figure in the first wave. And she's actually wearing my favorite outfit of hers. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Robotech - MIRIYA!

Robotech - Action Figures Series 1 (Macross Saga) - Miriya - Toynami 2018

Robotech is one of those 1980's properties that was just way ahead of its time. In fact, I honestly didn't appreciate it until the mid-90s while it was in heavy syndication on the SciFi Channel (and later Cartoon Network). Robotech is composed of three independent Anime series edited into once long multi-generational space odyssey - which is blasphemy for anime purists, I know - but it was my first real exposure to Anime so I will always adore it.  In the mid-80s there was a commendable toy series from Matchbox and Harmony Gold. It was missing tons of core characters, but it included at least five females from across the three chapters. The problem is that all the figures had really weird headsculpts. They made early GIJoes look like masterpieces. Surprisingly it took 33 years to get new action figures, but they are gorgeous so it was worth the wait. Now I just want a Lisa Hayes and Claudia (Not to mention all the characters from the Masters and New Generation). Let's check out Miriya below!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

PJ Masks Wolfy Kids - RIP!

PJ Masks - Wolfy Kids - Rip and Owlette (Power Up Accessory) - Just Play 2018

PJ Masks is a super popular Disney Jr show featuring three young friends who become nocturnal animal-themed superheros when they don their pajamas. I've actually never watched the show, but I'm a sucker for animal-themed characters and I think the main female hero, Owlette, is so cool. I was taken aback a few weeks ago when I found a new series of figures at Target. Each of the main heroes now comes repackaged with extra accessories and a figure of one of the Wolfy Kids - the werewolf-themed villains from season two. I never would have thought to pair the most obvious nighttime monsters with a trio of nocturnal heroes, but it seems so obvious and perfect. I'm glad they got the greenlight to get action figures so quickly. It made me look into all the other potential characters in the series to see what future toys we might see. The only good candidate I discovered was Flossy Flash, a (grownup) comic character that Owlette idolizes. Fingers are crossed we see her someday. Let's check out Rip the Wolfy Kid below!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Funko Bat-Family DC BOMBSHELLS!

A Variety of Bat-Family Products: Dorbz, POP, and Rock Candy - Funko 2017-18

The amount of DC Bombshells merchandise that has come out over the past year has been a little overwhelming. The majority of these products have been from Funko.  They have released tons of products from their Pop, Dorbz, and Rock Candy lines (Plus the first Vynl figures have been solicited and I'm sure Mystery Minis and Pint Size Heroes will come eventually). With all that glorious product hitting the shelves, I defaulted to my standard cost-saving methods and limited myself to only Bat-Family characters. But as you'll see in this post, that still left me with a ton of characters to collect. When the Bombshells designs first appeared five years ago I wasn't instantly sold (I have hangups over the historical objectification of pinup girls vs their cool modern reinvention). But after about three years I caved and bought my first DC Bombshells item (a Harley keychain from Elephant Gun). Well then the dam broke and I have almost 30 pieces (with more on the way). Let's check out the current roster below!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Marvel Legends - DAGGER!

Marvel Legends - Spider-Man (SP//dr BAF Wave) - Dagger - Hasbro 2018

When I started buying comics in the late 80s, there was a major trend of having male/female heroic duos starring in their own titles: Hawk & Dove, Vision & Scarlet Witch, Kitty Pryde & Wolverine, Hawkeye and various heroines in Solo Avengers, and all the odd pairings on the covers of Secret Origins. But I think the ones that caught my eye the most were Cloak and Dagger (both in their solo series and their starring role in Strange Tales). Tandy and Tyrone were teenage runaways who were abducted and given experimental drugs that gave them powers over light and dark. You might think this would glorify drugs in young impressionable minds (which it kind of did), but they balanced that out by making it their mission to wage a war on drugs. While never becoming A-list heroes, they have had a constant presence since they first appeared in 1982. Their new Netflix show is undoubtedly the reason for new Legends figures, but I know they would have gotten them eventually even without it. Let's check out Dagger below!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Marvel Mini-Bust - MYSTIQUE!

Marvel Mini-Busts - Mystique (Classic Comic Version) - Bowen Designs 2005

The recent announcement of a new classic-styled Marvel Legends Mystique in 2019 inspired me to snap from photos of this gem from 2005. I've always loved this character. Her blue skin and subtle voodoo decor honestly frightened me a bit as a kid, but back then things were a little more black and white. The heroes were good and the villains were bad. I don't think she really morphed into the standard modern antihero until Brian K Vaughn's amazing 2003 solo series. But back then she showed up in all my 25 cent bin treasures. I remember her in Avengers, Ms. Marvel, Dazzler, and even ROM. She eventually became an exclusively X-Men-oriented adversary, and I think she's actually the first serious mutant female villain (she predates Emma Frost by two years). She's had a decent amount of merchandise made, but honestly most of it wasn't super great. This bust and the 1996 ToyBiz figure are the only good ones in my opinion. That's why I'm so excited for the new Hasbro release and already celebrating!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Transformers - NOVASTAR!

Transformers: Power of the Primes - Deluxe Wave 4 - NovaStar - Hasbro 2018

NovaStar is the newest addition to the unprecedented barrage of female Transformers we've seen in the past few years. All my collecting life, Transformers was easily the least gender-diverse toy property out there. I think all the fans gleefully accepted Arcee as the token female of the show, but the lack of toys seemed to be accepted as a "never gonna happen" situation. I was in this same mindset. Transformers toys were always blocky and almost featureless representations of their cartoon counterparts. But making a robot appear specifically feminine in the cartoons seemed to be all about subtle (and not-so-subtle) detail differences. I think we all assumed the toys would miss the mark. And this was generally true. The first ones to really look good (in my opinion) were the ladies from the the Transformers: Animated line in 2008 and 2010. But now fast forward to 2018 and we've been given a true treat with perfect renditions of the original female autobots from the iconic 1985 episode: The Search for Alpha Trion.