Sunday, May 1, 2016

Avengers: United They Stand - WASP!

The Avengers: United They Stand - Series 01 - Wasp - ToyBiz 1999

Avengers: United They Stand was a very short-lived animated series from 1999. It lasted only 13 episodes, but it the first time that the Avengers were featured in their own series. It was essentially the Avengers version of X-Men the Animated Series. They had made previous appearances in X-Men, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, but for the most part the Avengers were unknown to the general public and the show was not a success. With only 13 episodes, I'm totally going to find it on YouTube and binge it all. It will be interesting to see how the earliest non-comic representation of Marvel's super-team was portrayed. The toys they made from the cartoon are pretty awesome. Hawkeye is a dud, but most are pretty sweet. I've always liked this Wasp figure and definitely thought it was way nicer than the first Marvel Legends Wasp from 2006. There is going to be a film titled Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018 so I'm curious to see how popular the character gets.  Let's check out this 1999 figure below!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Minecraft - ARMOR UP ALEX!

Minecraft - 5" Figures - Armor Up Alex - Mojang/Mattel 2016

I'm at my parents' house this weekend and I'm surrounded by all seven of my rambunctious nieces and nephews. One trend alert that's been impossible to ignore has been Minecraft. From ages 3 to 13 they are all obsessed with it. Whether playing the game on their tablets, warring with action figure armies, or building the Lego sets, it's been the theme of the day. It reminded be that I had randomly picked up this figure months ago and photographed it. I've never played Minecraft and don't know anything about it, but I recognize its popularity and I love action figures with removable armor or translucent details. This figure combines those two with a full set of translucent purple armor - so I couldn't resist. Plus it represents two different companies takes on the same figure.  I don't know if Jazwares lost their license or not, but these larger scale figures are made by Mattel (the small ones still lining the toy aisles are all Jazwares). Let's check out Armor Up Alex in detail below!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Female Character ACTION FIGURE COMICS COVERS!

The Coolest Variant Cover Trend of Recent Years - Fantasy Action Figures

This is the first post I've made on this bog that doesn't have to do with real action figures or statues. Comic Book cover variants are a major trend in the hardcopy comic world. Back in the day, variants would be rare incentives for some super-special issue. But now it's actually rare when and issue doesn't have at least one variant. Different companies will have themes, like Lego covers or Women of Power. But my favorite by far has been the Action Figure covers. There are a few early examples of this kind of cover, but I believe the current trend was kicked off by the various Marvel Star Wars comics from Spring of 2015. There were tons of action figure variants across all the Star Wars titles at the time. Then later that Summer, Marvel's Secret Wars event used the same tactic and its momentum has only grown since then. There are usually a few Marvel Action Figure Variants each week now. And other publishers are picking up on the trend as well.  Let's check out a slew of these covers below!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Marvel Dorbz - SCARLET WITCH!

Marvel Dorbz: Series 01 #012 - Scarlet Witch - Vinyl Sugar / Funko 2015

Scarlet Witch is one of those characters that I always overlooked in my youth, but that I really love as an adult. I was never a reader of Avengers in the 80s and 90s, but X-men (and Batman) were my jam. I was peripherally aware of Wanda and Pietro as the mutant kids of Magneto in those other books. But I just didn't have the energy to investigate them. I also couldn't stand her outfit. Pink and Red just did not work well together in my young fashion-confused mind. But then sometime in my 20s I realized that I loved monochromatic color schemes and I read House of M and Children's Crusade and realized that Scarlet Witch was an all-around kick-ass character. I think the rest of the world has taken notice, too, because she's received a decent amount of merchandising in the past 10 years. And her role in the Avengers movie franchise has only increased her plastic presence. These Dorbz have really won me over.  I only have seven so far, but I see a lot more in my future. Let's check out Wanda below!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Marvel's M2 1st Appearances WILD THING!

Wild Thing: The Daughter of Wolverine  - M2 1st Appearances - ToyBiz 1999

Marvel's MC2 Universe is one of those odd blips in the comic world where the stars seemed perfectly aligned for my tastes, but I was somehow utterly uninterested. An entire female-centric Marvel spin-off universe? It seems tailor made for me. But the art and stories just were not my cup of tea. I even waited 17 years to complete the action figure line! Toy Biz created a 4-figure Previews-exclusive line of the most popular characters from the MC2 universe. I've reviewed the 3 others over the years, but only picked up Wild Thing a couple weeks ago. Wild Thing is Rina Logan, the daughter of Wolverine and Elektra in this alternate future storyline. She appeared in J2, Last Hero Standing, Spider-Girl, and her own shirt-lived solo series (not to mention the 2007 Avengers Next reboot). My real inspiration is my recent adoration of Laura Kinney as the All New Wolverine. I'm guessing we'll probably see her in Marvel Legends form soon and knew I couldn't not have Wild Thing by her side. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Walking Dead's BETH GREENE!

AMC's The Walking Dead: Series 09 - Beth Greene - McFarlane Toys 2016

In my first few months doing this blog, I randomly picked up a comic-style Walking Dead Michonne from a Toys R Us that was clearancing all its inventory. At that point I had never read a single Walking Dead comic nor seen a single episode. But since that fateful review I fell hard for the property (at least the TV side of it). This crew of amazing characters trekking their way up the east coast while avoiding zombie pitfalls has been one of my favorite stories for years. One of my favorite aspects of the show is how so many characters start out afraid and helpless, but grow into strong formidable members of the group. Beth never becomes a total kickass character like so many of the others, but she definitely became one of the most likable. I'm not sure what the future holds for this line. I have a feeling this wave may be the last of the AMC line. There is at least one more comic wave, and a new Fear the Walking Dead spin-off line. But I'm still holding out hopes for Sasha and Rosita figures. Let's check out Beth!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

3.75" Marvel Legends - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Marvel Legends 3.75" Series - Wave 1 - Captain Marvel - Hasbro 2016

Marvel is in the middle of a major female-superhero boom. Currently there are solo titles for Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Silk, Wolverine, Thor, Hellcat, Gwenpool, Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Mockingbird, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Moon Girl, Angela, and of course Captain Marvel (not to mention the team books A-Force and Spider-Women). One of my absolute favorites is Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers first donned the Ms. Marvel costume in 1977 as a female version of the male Captain Marvel. She changed names and costumes several times over the years: Binary, Warbird, etc. But most recently she went back to her roots and became the New Captain Marvel. I love everything about this new design. It is basically Mar-vell's old costume with the colors inverted and Carol's signature sash around her waist. The new 3.75" Marvel Legends line is off to a good start. Thor and Carol are amazing choices for the first two ladies. Let's check out Captain Marvel below!

Friday, April 15, 2016

WWE Superstar - RENEE YOUNG!

WWE Series 60 - WWE Divas Superstar - Renee Young - Mattel 2016

With all the variety of characters presented in Mattel's' WWE line, I never expected to see a female sportscaster hanging in the toy aisles. Renee Young is a Canadian sports broadcaster and actress who has been with WWE since 2012. She performs commentary and interviews and won a Slammy Award in 2013 for Favorite Web Show of the Year. A just read a cool tidbit that as a young girl, Renee's father was a concert promoter and got her backstage access to a WWE event where she was instantly starstruck by the likes of Triple H, Chyna, and Stone cold Steve Austin. I'm a comic geek so I love a good origin story like that. I'm a big fan of the plain-clothed characters in the WWE line. This figure is especially notable for the cool boots and nice texture detail on her top. Hopefully characters like this prove popular with the fans, because I'd love to see more offbeat choices like this across all of Mattel's various lines. Think Lois Lane and Vickie Vale!  Let's check out out Renee young below!