Sunday, December 21, 2014

Transformers: Generations - CHROMIA!

Transformers - 30th Anniversary Generations Deluxe - Chromia - Hasbro 2014

I never thought I would ever be holding a G1-styled Chromia in my hands.  I know this figure seems to be more based off the modern comics than the vintage cartoon, but the overall look of Chromia is consistent.  The Search for Alpha Trion is by far my favorite episode of Transformers.  The episode takes place on Cybertron and introduces us to a renegade team of female Autobots living in secret on the planet.  We meet Elita-One, Firestar, Moonracer, Greenlight, Lancer, and of course Chromia (who appears to be second in command under Elita-One).  Not only was this the introduction to female Transformers as an overall concept, but it was also the first deep-dive into Cybertronian history and design.  I ate it up.  Ever since then there have been a loyal band of female Transformers fanatics whose unshakable devotion have made this figure possible.  Over the years there has been a lot of anti-fembot vitriol flying around.  I never understood it, but plenty of fans want Transformers to be a boys only club.  Thank God they lost the battle.  Let's check out Chromia below!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

McDonald's Hook - MERMAID!

McDonald's Happy Meal presents Hook - Mermaid - McDonald's Corp 1991

Every time I watch some incarnation of Peter Pan I spend the whole time wishing and hoping that the mermaids will be represented properly.  It's kind of a silly part to view as the highlight of the story, but it's totally my favorite part.  I was in Middle School when Hook came out in 1991.  This Steven Spielberg film starred Robin Williams as the titular boy -- who did grow up.  Peter was reluctantly dragged back to Neverland to fight Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook.  I haven't seen this movie in twenty years, but I think I would still like it today.  I specifically remember being thrilled with the Mermaid scene.  If my memory serves me correctly, when Peter plunges off the gangplank, there are several colorful mermaids who greet him under the water.  Of course I told all my friends my favorite part was the swordfight or something, but we all know the lure of mermaids.  The merchandise for the movie was pretty scant, limited to a small action figure line from Mattel and a 4-piece Happy Meal set from McDonalds.  None of the toys are great, but hey, Mermaids will always have a home in my collection.  Let's check her out below!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Transformers: Generations - ARCEE!

Transformers - 30th Anniversary Generations Deluxe - Arcee - Hasbro 2014

Wow this figure has been a long time coming.  As the most high-profile female in the Transformers Universe, it's so surprising that it's taken 28 years to get a proper G1 figure.  Hasbro's neglect to make this figure has made Arcee quite the darling of the 3rd Party market.  There are quite a few very well made non-Hasbro "non"-Arcees out there.  But in all honestly, I think the Hasbro version was well worth the wait.  She looks great in both Robot and Vehicle forms, she transforms easily, and it seems no shortcuts were taken in her production (I don't think she shares any parts with previous figures).  I'm totally smitten over her.  When I found her in Walmart earlier this week I had a profound reaction - almost like vindication.  Like the toy companies have been telling us for years that she wouldn't sell, but the demand kept growing until I'm standing there under the fluorescent lighting looking at an aisle full of Arcees, Chromias, and Windblades.  I almost got a little teary.  Not really, but I was definitely feeling something.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hanna-Barbera's Fish Police - ANGEL JONES!

Hanna Barbera's Fish Police Bend-ems - Angel - JusToys 1992

I only recently discovered that there was a short-lived Fish Police cartoon in the early 90s. By "short-lived" I mean really short. It lasted only three episodes and it's easy to see why. I personally think the animation looks really good, but the pacing is slow, the voices are ill-cast, and the humor goes from childish fish jokes to some pretty serious sexual innuendo. I can't imagine who the intended audience was. I originally stumbled across the Fish Police comics accidentally in the late 80s as I was obsessively tracking down every comic that my favorite artist (Arthur Adams) had ever contributed to. These were the days prior to the internet so finding back issues of indy comics was no easy feat... especially if you were in elementary school. I managed to get my issues for the random Arthur Adams pinups and short stories, but I quickly became a fan of the book as a whole. Steve Moncuse's Fish Police was a weird film noir/gumshoe book set in the undersea Fish City that mixed gritty crime with offbeat humor.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Transformers: Robots in Disguise - STRONGARM!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise - Deluxe Class - Strongarm - Hasbro 2014

This character is a bit of mystery to me right now since the new cartoon Transformers: Robots in Disguise doesn't premiere until early 2015.  All we know about Strongarm is that she is an "Elite Guard Cadet" and a member of Bumblebee's young Autobot team when he returns to Earth following the Predacons Rising movie.  Aside from that, all we have are some graphics, some teaser video clips, and three (count'em, three!) action figures.  The action figures make her out to be a lot bulkier than she appears in the animation, but even so, she is definitely packing a lot more muscle than previous Transformer girls (if you don't count Strika).  I'm hoping we get another version of her someday with a more cartoon-accurate body, but if not, I'm still very happy with this Deluxe Class figure.  There are also mini Cyberverse-style figures and blocky One-Step-Changer figures on the toy shelves right now.  I love it how I have to pick and choose because I'm running out of room on my fembot shelf (!).  I never thought I'd see the day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wild Republic's SISTERS OF THE SEA!

Sisters of the Sea: Mermaids - 6" Action Playsets - Wild Republic 2014

I found this little gem in a random beach shop on the Jersey shore while on vacation this summer.  My family vacations are usually bizarrely toy-focused because they tend to coincide with SDCC.  I spend my evenings frantically trying to get an internet signal to see all the exciting reveals.  With all my focus on the digital world, I never expect to find interesting toys in the surf shops.  Well these figures certainly burst that bubble.  Sure, they're cheaply made with sloppy paint, but at the same time I know that fully sculpted and articulated mermaid action figures are exceedingly rare.  The first Sisters of the Sea figure I spotted was blonde with an orange tail.  I'm still kicking myself for not grabbing her right away because she was gone in a few hours and all that was left was the requisite Ariel wannabes.  Wild Republic is a company I'm well aware of from their animal replicas (one of my many other hobbies).  You can easily find Wild Republic toys in museum gift shops and tourist areas.  I know it's just a matter of time until I get all the color variations.  Let's check out this cool mermaid figure below!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Walking Dead's CAROL PELETIER!

AMC's The Walking Dead: Series 06 - Carol Peletier - McFarlane Toys 2014

I love Carol.  Of all the characters in AMC's The Walking Dead, she is by far my favorite.  When we first meet Carol, she seems nothing more than a meek victim of her husband's abusive nature.  But over the course of five seasons, we've seen her grow into one of the most complex characters in the series.  She is fiercely maternal, shockingly pragmatic, and a surprisingly competent survivor. Her comic book counterpart died off ages ago, but the TV character is so much more dynamic and interesting that she'll probably stay alive forever. The sad part for me is that I'm not sure what other ladies are on the horizon for this line.  Sasha, Beth, and Rosita are likely candidates, but at this point all the heavy hitters are done.  The sculpting on this Carol figure is great.  However, every version I saw in stores had pretty awful facial paint.  I looked at the paint master photos on as a guide for a quick touch-up and I'm pretty happy with the results. Let's check out Carol (and my customization) below!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean EVIL MERMAIDS!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - 4194 Whitecap Bay - LEGO 2011

I love mermaids.  Ever since I was a kid they were my favorite of the mythological beasts.  Sure, I had strong obsessions with Centaurs, Griffins, Unicorns, and the whole fantastical menagerie of legend.  But mermaids were special to me.  Unfortunately my love of them also made me pretty particular about what kind of mermaid I like.  In short, I don't go for cute, pretty mermaids.  Ariel is pretty boring in my book.  I like my mermaids to either be fierce warriors, or (ideally) vicious predators.  Finding evil mermaid figures is pretty challenging.  Especially ones without rooted hair.  These Lego figures fit the bill though.  I think they're amazing.  This review is technically the start of my Mermaid week reviews leading up to the release of Mermista.  But my attempts to hoard a bunch of interesting mer-figures fell woefully short.  There will still be some great reviews, but not to the degree of previous themed weeks like Bee Week.  Let's check out the awesome Lego mermaids below!