Friday, February 22, 2019

History in Action - BESSIE COLEMAN!

History in Action - Action Figures Series 01 - Bessie Coleman - HIA Toys 2007

When I started this blog seven years ago, I was thrilled with the idea of regular groupings of reviews based on a common theme. My first post was in late January so the natural first theme was Black History Month for February. I was really on top of things that first year - coming up with themes left and right, but soon I realized how stressful it was to put reviews on hold just so I could lump a few together. I made up for it by adding appropriate hashtags where applicable; "redhead", "felinoid", "fembots", etc, so those themed lists could be assembled at any point by clicking links on the hashtag list at the bottom of the page. By the way, I've continued to use the "BHM" (Black History Month) hashtag ever since, regardless of the actual month it's posted. This is all a long-winded way to say how excited I am that I just got my hands on the perfect figure for a February review - and I'm feeling very excited and nostalgic. HIA Toys ("History In Action") made this great series of historic action figures over a decade ago.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Rescue Bots - WHIRL!

Playskool Heroes - Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy - Whirl - Hasbro 2019

I've been really obsessed with robot toys lately. I literally just re-did a huge portion of my toy display with the sole intention of dedicating a lot more space to my burgeoning Transformers collection. I think one of the main reasons I feel so consumed by them is that I honestly never thought female robots would be something I could find in the action figure aisles. For a few decades it was quite a boys club. But now they are coming out with increasing regularity. This Whirl figure was a complete surprise to me when I found her in Target. She is from the new show Rescue Bots Academy show that premiered last month on Discovery Family. I haven't seen the show, but I love the design of this character and I'm excited to watch it when it's streaming somewhere (I imagine her to be energetic and spunky). I also expect to see more of Whirl in the toy aisle. My hopes are for one of the smaller scale figures eventually, and maybe even a blind bag or two. Time will tell. Let's check Whirl out in detail below!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Jazwares - The Ladies of FORTNITE!

Fortnite: Cuddle Team Leader, Brite Bomber, and Teknique - Jazwares 2018

The momentum of Fortnite product doesn't seem like it's going to slow down anytime soon. Every store I go into these days has a decent-sized display of their toys and roleplay weapons. Walmart, Target, GameStop, FYE, even my grocery store (totally not kidding). I don't play video games, but the character designs are so fun that I can't stay away. I especially love the girls dressed in animal onesies (Cuddle Team Leader, Tricera Tops, and Bunny Brawler are my favorites). I think everyone was shocked when Jazwares announced their license for 1:18 scale Fortnite figures. It's been a while since those Assassin's Creed figures of their's came and went. They definitely have a knack for video game properties: Minecraft, Sonic, Megaman, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, etc. I'm hoping there is a second Fortnite wave soon because there are so many more characters to make (and their lines tend to fizzle out unexpectedly). Fingers crossed! Let's check out Brite Bomber, Teknique, and Cuddle Team Leader below!

Friday, February 1, 2019


DC Multiverse - Lex Luthor Collect & Connect: Wonder Woman - Mattel 2019

Jim Lee is one of the most iconic comic artists of my generation. My middle school, high school, and early college years were in the 1990s and his impact on that decade was undeniable. His X-Men run alone would have immortalized him in the Pantheon of all-time greats, but in addition he had excellent work on Punisher, WildCATs, Heroes Reborn, Deathblow, and Divine Right (among many others). But the interesting thing about really distinct illustrators is that more often than not, there styles do not translate well into 3-D. I have always felt that the most notorious case of this has been with Mr. Lee himself. The Hush figures were the best attempts, but they don't really look like his art. Neither did any of the DC Universe Online Statues, and honestly neither do these Rebirth action figures.It has nothing to do with the sculptors either. Literally the most talented names in the action figure market have attempted his style (Brucker, Palinko, and both Matthews!) but I'm beginning to think it's an impossible feat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Masters of the Universe - DREE-ELLE!

MOTUC Club Grayskull - Dree-Elle & Uncle Montork - Power-Con - Super7 2018

When I was a kid I had a theory about Orko. Here was this playful magical being, with a mysterious hidden face, blue skin, and a high pitched voice. This wasn't too many years after I had outgrown my first childhood love, The Smurfs. The Smurfs were also blue-skinned, had high voices, and displayed occasional (often backfiring!) magic powers. I was certain I had figured it all out. But my siblings weren't convinced by my arguments. But then we met some additional Trollans: Dree-Elle and Uncle Montork (who were clearly Smurfette and Grampa Smurf) and I was finally vindicated! (Right?) Fine. Even if Dree-Elle isn't actually Smurfette, she is definitely a prime example of the Smurfette Principle. She appeared in five episodes (4 He-Man, 1 She-Ra, Plus the Christmas Special) along with an assortment of male Trollans. Only in her final appearance was another female Trollan shown (Foosabella the Muckess), but honestly Dree-Elle is the most memorable. I'm so glad she got a figure. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Marvel Legends - SILVER SABLE!

Spider-Man Legends - Kingpin Build-a-Figure Wave - Silver Sable - Hasbro 2019

Before I saw The Dark Knight, I never liked the Joker. Before I read her 2000 comic series, I never liked Harley Quinn. And similarly, I never really cared for Silver Sable until I got my hands on this gorgeous toy. I never had anything against the character per-say. In fact, I fondly remember reading her 1992 solo series. But in the wide spectrum of awesome female comic characters, I tend to lean toward the outlandish costumes, with tights and capes, rather than militant types with guns and headbands. Silver Sable's saving grace is in her namesake color and thematically consistent costume. So she's always been on my radar, but I never elevated her to my typical obsessive levels. However, when I found this new Marvel Legends figure in Target last week, I was genuinely intrigued like never before. Now I'm finding myself googling this morally dubious bounty hunter and wanting to read all her backstories. (And I expect her movie to further lead me down this rabbit hole). Let's check out Silver Sable below!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Marvel Legends - BLACK CAT!

Spider-Man Legends - Kingpin Build-a-Figure Wave - Black Cat - Hasbro 2019

With all the great Marvel heroines who have yet to be immortalized in plastic, it's hard to justify a character getting a second figure within five years. Even sticking to the Spider-Man theme, the fact that we don't have a Firestar or a Julia Carpenter yet is shocking (Not to mention all the awesome second and third-stringers like Lady Spider, Madame Web, Mania, Charlotte Witter, etc). But I know the (now cancelled) Silver & Black movie meant we would be getting Silver Sable and Black Cat, and that Felicia would need a costume variation since her 2014 figure still holds up nicely. My initial reaction to her new look wasn't a positive one (I first saw it with her 2017 Minimate). But the weird cat eyes on her jacket are kind of winning me over. Plus I was always 50/50 on the big puffy white details on her classic look. Sometimes I thought it cool, and other times I thought it was ridiculous. At the very least, this new look retains a lot of the same elements while being much more utilitarian. Let's check out Black Cat below!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Star Wars Black Series - L3-37!

Star Wars Black Series #73 - Solo: A Star Wars Story - L3-37 - Hasbro 2018

The new series of Star Wars films inspired me to look back at the prequel trilogy (which I hated) and analyze what was so wrong with them. The list of grievances was pretty extensive, but I thought one of the most glaring faults was the absence of likable droids. Imagine episodes 4-6 without C3PO or R2D2... it's really hard. From the very beginning droids were an essential part of Star Wars lore. Luckily the new movies are fully embracing the formula. The main trilogy has given us BB-8, Rogue One gave us K-2SO, and of course Solo gave us L3-37. This is the first "female" droid with a major role in the series (voiced by British actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge). She is Lando's pilot and navigator and is notable for her ability to self-improve (by taking parts from other droids and rebuilding herself) and also for being atypically political and independent instead of subservient. I thought she was terrific. Funny though, I really thought she was voiced by Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma). Let's check out L3-37 below!