Sunday, August 2, 2020

Marvel Legends - SHIKLAH!

Marvel Legends: Deadpool (Strong Guy BaF Series) - Shiklah - Hasbro 2020

One of the greatest things about the longevity and success of Marvel Legends is the endless pool of obscure characters they can now dive into. The downside is there are going to be plenty of characters who are a complete mystery to me. Case in point is this most recent acquisition of mine, Shiklah. I've never heard of her (and I consider myself a pretty voracious comics reader). I felt a little better when I learned her first appearance was just in 2014. In a nutshell, Shiklah is an undead/demon queen. Her true form is a purple dragon and she has all sorts of witchy powers. She was once married to Deadpool but is currently married to Dracula. She seems pretty cool and I really dig all the comic illustrations of her, but my hobbies are so focused on nostalgia that this relatively new character won't be getting a prime display spot. And despite her being an interesting figure, I suppose I'm a little resentful that Siryn, Feral, or a new Domino weren't given this slot. Let's check out Shiklah below!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Transformers Cyberverse - ARCEE!

 Cyberverse Adventures (Macadam Series) - Arcee - Hasbro 2020

The year of Arcee continues! It's been such a joy seeing so many female Transformers on the shelves these last few years. And it's especially nice to be getting so many different representations of Arcee. As the prime representative of the fembots, I always assume her presence is a reliable indicator of figures yet to come. For instance, this Cyberverse Adventures Arcee will almost certainly be retooled into a Chromia or a new Windblade. The tooling that went into the body is too good not to be re-used. While this figure is generally in the same scale as the Warrior Class Slipstream and Windblade, it is a big step forward in quality. The sculpt, paint, transformation, and poseability are impressive and more at the collector-level than the previous figures which definitely seemed geared towards kids. There are two more Arcees due out this year (Earthrise Deluxe and Masterpiece) plus the Tiny Turbo Changer and any other surprised we might see (Funko?). It's an exciting time. Let's check out Arcee below!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

First Appearance - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Comics - First Appearance: Wave 01 - Wonder Woman - DC Direct 2004

First Appearance figures are my favorite theme of superhero toys. For a long time I had a display with a first appearance figure next to my favorite modern interpretation of that character. Both Marvel and DC figures were intermixed and it was a great collection. This Wonder Woman would have been the only female on that shelf, but I sneered at making the purchase back then because of her soft good culottes. A few years ago one of my very favorite relatives surprised me with a giant bag full of her Wonder Woman collection. I somehow never realized that she was a fan, and likewise she had only recently discovered my hobbies. She was gifting me her collection and sadly she passed away shortly after in 2019. I only recently started going through that bag and incorporating the contents into my collection. I was very happy (and sad) to find this First Appearance Wonder Woman. And like a true Gift of the Magi, I had just sold all my (male) First Appearance figure earlier this year to fund some new purchases.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Infinite Crisis - WONDER GIRL!

DC Comics Infinite Crisis - Series 2: Donna Troy Wonder Girl - DC Direct 2007

This figure and I have a past. Way back in 2007, I ran to my comic shop the day of her release and picked up both her and the Donna Troy (black starfield costume). I had been waiting excitedly since their solicitation months prior. But in person, I didn't love them. I took them home, opened them up, posed, re-posed, re-re-posed... I just couldn't make them look good. They both had cocked-hip contrapposto sculpts, which isn't my favorite thing in the world, but sculptor Sam Greenwell is a pro at making it look great. The problem was the arms. They stick out at an unnatural angle and are way too long. Even the fingers are significantly longer than they should be. I blame almost all of this on the engineering and not necessarily the sculpt. I eventually sold both of them because I didn't like seeing them on my shelf. But we all know how this story goes.. ten years later I regretted the sale and began hunting her again. I'm much more accepting these days (although she still stays in the back row). Let's check her out below!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

DC Universe Classics - DONNA TROY!

DC Universe Classics - Trigun C-n-C Wave 13, Fig 7 - Donna Troy - Mattel 2010

DC Universe Classics was a very impactful toy line. When the line began in 2008, Marvel Legends was irritating. Most notably, their female bucks were horribly gangly and odd. However DCUC was a bright light that boasted consistent body designs with great articulation and a standardized scale. This would set it apart from both DC Direct and Marvel Legends. The DCUC line was not without its faults. The female characters in particular suffered from spindly short arms and often were sculpted with flat faces. But the overall impact and success of the line was amazing. My absolute favorite among all 30-some female DCUC figures is this Donna Troy as Wonder Girl. Her costume is simple and well-executed, her headsculpt is... intriguing (like she's actually conveying some emotion unlike the typical blank stares), and her arms strangely don't seem too short or too skinny. She is a great looking toy. (Although some runners-up are Big BardaDove, and Platinum). Let's check out Donna Troy below!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Silver Age - WONDER GIRL!

Silver Age Wonder Woman & Wonder Girl Deluxe 2-Pack - DC Direct 2001

One of the things I miss most about the heyday of DC Direct (circa 2000-2010) is the constant mix of genres and eras in their action figure lines. For any given A-list character, you could see a variety of representations from Golden Age to Modern (and with a healthy dose of Elseworlds re-imaginings thrown in). That kind of attention just wouldn't happen today. Of course less common characters also saw inclusion, and I think those are the real gems of the line. The Silver Age line of 2-Packs from 2001-2004 was a great way to get collectors classic designs of the Teen Titans as secondary pack-in characters. The costumes were not consistent to a specific roster, but the figures are still great in their own right. I especially love the wide-eyed good girl art style in the face sculpts. It's cheesy. But spot-on. This Wonder Girl figure is a favorite of mine. It features her second costume (her original was styled after Wonder Woman) back when she was Diana's younger sister, Donna. Let's check out Wonder Girl below!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Transformers THUNDERBLAST (and REDECOS)!

Transformers Thunderblast, Elita-1, and Chromia - Hasbro 2005/TakaraTomy 2009

As I get more and more involved in collecting female Transformers, I find myself going back and coveting figures I had turned my nose up at in the past. When I first saw the Thunderblast toy 15 years ago, I thought she looked bulky and silly. And the whole "shellformer" criticism it was receiving stuck with me and it quickly fell off my radar. But recently I realized that this is actually a really terrific example of an early fembot toy. The robot form has a really good design with a feminine silhouette and great articulation. I also love the head design with its subtle nod to the earliest G1 fembot, Elita-1. And what really sealed the deal was when I saw the three very different color variations of this mold that had been released. I normally avoid repaints, but with Transformers I am inexplicably drawn to them. And them kismet happened when I found the Japanese Chromia version (easily the rarest of the three) for $30 at a local toy show. I'm excited to finally have them in my collection. Let's check them out below!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

12" Power Rangers - PINK RANGER!

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - 12" Series - Pink Ranger - Hasbro 2020

One of my favorite reveals at New York Toy Fair this past February was the new classic Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers products from Hasbro. We already knew the core team would be completed in their flagship Lightning Collection series, but it was such a welcome and unexpected surprise to see multiple larger-scale MMPR products aimed at younger audiences. I fully expected any products like this to be limited to the current iteration of the franchise being promoted on TV (ie Beast Morphers), but instead we saw this amazing 12" basic line featuring MMPR Red, Blue, Black, and Pink (I can only assume Yellow, Green, and White will be released in the future). Plus we saw a line of 12" Morphin' Hero figures that feature an updated version of the classic head-flipping feature. Only Pink, Blue and Red for shown for that line so far and should hit shelves in the Fall. But who knows what other product we might see. The sky is the limit as far as I'm concerned. Let's check out Pink Ranger below!