Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Mandalorian - BO-KATAN KRYZE!

Star Wars Black Series - The Mandalorian #10: Bo-Katan Kryze - Hasbro 2021

My favorite thing about The Mandalorian on Disney+ is that we finally get to see female Mandalorians in live action. Way back in 2007 I saw advertisements for exclusive Isabet Reau and Rav Bralor action figures and was instantly obsessed with the idea of female Boba Fetts. But with the exception of some Sabine Wren animated figures in the years since, there was a drought on these bounty hunter toys until 2020. I was hoping The Mandalorian would give us lots of fun characters, and I was thankfully right. Bo-Katan was probably my favorite part of Season 2. I love her costume, her skills, and her flawed power-hungry motivations. I never watched any of the Star Wars animated series, but I'm aware she was a very popular character on both Rebels and The Clone Wars - voiced by Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) who was also cast to play her the The Mandalorian. Bo-Katan was a leading a small group of Mandalorians who rescued Din Djarin and quickly made an impression on me. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

G.I.Joe Classified - LADY JAYE!

G.I.Joe Classified Series (6" Line) #25 - Lady Jaye - Hasbro 2021

Lady Jaye was the first real tough girl I admired as a kid. Other characters had their moments of fierceness, but they always reverted to damsel mode far too often. But Lady Jaye seemed tough to the core. She's even tough in that weird episode where she finds out she's related to Destro and spends most of the episode running around his haunted castle in a pink nightgown. I also really enjoyed her relationship with Flint. It was taunting and playful and very unlike the other relationships in the show. When I think about G.I.Joe, one of the most iconic images in my head is of Lady Jaye in battle and how she would attach a weaponized head to her javelin and toss it. I was never very impressed with guns. I'm more a lightsaber and crossbow kinda guy. And this javelin thing was a whole new type of weaponry to obsess over. I also remember her filecard saying she went to Bryn Mawr College, which I lived just a few hours from. Just one more reason I always felt a connection to her. Let's check out Lady Jaye below!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Funko Pop - PRINCESS ARIEL!

POP! Animation #831 - Thundarr the Barbarian's Ariel - ECCC Exc - Funko 2021

I find few genres as aesthetically pleasing as adventure cartoons from the late '60s thru early '80s. Filmation and Hanna-Barbera dominated this market at the time, but the newly-formed Ruby-Spears Productions ('77) had a few great contributions as well, my favorite being Thundarr the Barbarian ('80-81). Thundarr follows three nomadic heroes on a future Earth where the moon has been split in two causing massive climate change and the fall of civilization. Old magicks have replaced technology and the remnants of modern cities lie in ruin along the heroes' path as they help the civilians with evil wizards, werewolves, or monsters. It's like Conan meets A-Team meet Planet of the Apes. Also, it's hard not to see the influence to He-Man. The sandy page-boy haircut, furry clothes, and a power sword is all very familiar. And remember, this show pre-dated He-Man, Blackstar, and the Conan movies. Ariel is a young sorceress hero and has one of my favorite animation designs ever. Let's check her out!

Friday, April 9, 2021

Wei Jiang - ARCEE!

3rd Party Transformers - Robot Force Deformation Era - Alcee - Wei Jiang 2014

I remember that not long after the 2014 Generations Arcee figure came out, there started to be 3rd party knockoffs of the mold popping up everywhere. A lot of these were resized to be "Masterpiece Scale." As someone who only collected female Transformers (of which the 2014 Arcee was one of the first great ones), I had no clue what this scale meant. Nowadays, of course, there have been three Masterpiece females (Road Rage, Blackarachnia, and Arcee), but the appeal of an upscaled Generations Arcee still didn't appeal to me until very recently. I realized that the Wei Jiang Alcee featured more classic colors than the main Hasbro release. It actually matches the color scheme of the scarce Target-exclusive Platinum Arcee repaint (but without the shiny paint). And I also realized I want as many Arcee representations as possible in my collection. There are a lot of disreputable eBay sellers offering Alcee. I have had several failed transactions but I finally got one. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - APRIL O'NEIL!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series - April O-Neil (Reissue) -  PlayMates 1991

I am well aware of April O'Neil's iconic status among action figure collectors. When I hear like-minded hobbyists rattle off their favorite vintage female characters, she's always right up there with Teela and Scarlett. But until very recently I never saw the appeal. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn't my favorite property. I had a personal aversion to martial arts, I liked more serious cartoons, and I never saw the appeal of surfer dude culture. So in the midst of this immensely popular cartoon, that I had very unpopular opinions of, was a sole female reporter who inexplicably wore a bright yellow jumpsuit all the time. She just failed to capture my imagination. It honestly wasn't until Super7 unveiled their TMNT Ultimates figure that I looked back and really began to see the appeal. I received this figure MOC in a random eBay lot many years ago but only recently opened her. While this orange-pocketed reissue isn't an ideal vintage representation in my opinion, she's a perfectly suitable stand-in for the yellow one.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Transformers - AIRAZOR!

Transformers: War For Cybertron - Kingdom Deluxe - Airazor - Hasbro 2021

I still have yet to watch any of the Beast Wars cartoons, but after reading about Airazor for this review, I'm legitimately excited to start. For those unaware, Beast Wars takes place in the future when the Maximals (Autobots) and Predacons (Decepticons) crash on Earth in the midst of their ongoing war. As they entered the atmosphere, the Maximals has to jettison many stasis pods (essentially embryonic Transformers) into the upper atmosphere for their protection. Over the course of the series, these orbiting stasis pods would fall out of orbit and both sides would race to retrieve them and imprint a new soldier for their side. Airazor was in once such pod and fell to Earth deep in Predacon territory. But luckily the Maximals found her first and she imprinted on a nearby Peregrine Falcon for her beast form. She became one of the only flying good guys. I've always been aware of this characters, but her design never read as "female" to me so I never hunted down any toys. But this new Kingdom figure proved hard to resist.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Metropolis ReAction - MARIA (NEW VARIANTS)!

ReAction Figures - Metropolis' Maria (Vac Metal Silver & GITD) - Super7 2021

A colorway is any of a range of combinations of colors in which a style or design is available. You hear this term used a lot in the collectible toy world but I only recently looked up the definition. In general, I'm never too obsessed with collecting color variations of a single mold. My first hobby was PEZ dispensers, and many collectors go crazy trying to get every variant stem color. I just never thought it was a worthwhile endeavor. But at the same time, the idea of a spectrum of identical figures has a certain aesthetic appeal. I have definitely fallen into this trap with certain Transformers and G.I.Joes in the past, but my most recently obsession has been this Super7 ReAction Maria figure. Maria is from the 1929 silent film, Metropolis, which is regarded as the original Sci-Fi film. As such an iconic design, she's very under- merchandised. So when Super7 started releasing different colorways, I just couldn't resist. This post highlights the 4th and 5th releases of Maria in Silver and GITD. Let's check them out below!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Power Rangers S.P.D. - PINK RANGER!

Power Rangers Lightning Collection - S.P.D. Pink Ranger - Hasbro 2021

I first started paying attention to Power Rangers as an adult in 2006 when Mystic Force came out. That series sparked an interest in all things Rangers and I dove deep into all the iterations I had missed. At the time, I could easily say that S.P.D. was my least favorite. When there are amazing themes like dinosaurs, jungle beasts, and mythical creatures, the thought of space police just seems lackluster. But now that I have this Pink SPD Ranger in hand, I really appreciate the design. The profile of the helmet is great and the asymmetrical color blocking on the torso is really unique among Ranger designs. SPD is the 13th season of Power Rangers and stands for Space Patrol Delta and the are essentially space cops. Still not my favorite, but I love having this Pink SPD Ranger as part of my collection. And this season has quite a few additional Rangers like Nova (silver, blue, and gold) and Kat (silver and orange) that would make for awesome toys. Let's check out S.P.D. Pink Ranger below!