Thursday, January 18, 2018

Speed Racer the Movie - TRIXIE!

Speed Racer - Sky Shooter w/ Trixie & Snake Oiler - Mattel (Hot Wheels) 2008

I actually enjoyed the live action 2008 Speed Racer movie. It generally got bad reviews and didn't make a lot of money at the box office, but I thought it was a fun trippy nostalgic spectacle. The cast was full of my favorites too. I always love Emile Hirsch. Matthew Fox was in the middle of his Lost fame (I was so addicted to that show). And John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, and Christina Ricci are always good for a supporting role (plus it was directed by the fan-favorite Wachowskis). Ricci played Speed's eye-in-the-sky girlfriend, Trixie. (Fun fact, a young Ariel Winter played Trixie in the flashback scenes). I discovered this toy line relatively recently - years after they disappeared from clearance bins - and it took forever to hunt her down at a decent price. I thought she would be a 2.5" figure, but in reality she is a pretty unique scale of 3" high. While not a terrific movie line by any means, these toys seem like a throwback to the kind of  movie product on the toy shelves in the early 90s. I like it.  Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rock Candy - JESSICA RABBIT!

Rock Candy Vinyl Collectible - Disney's Jessica Rabbit - Funko 2017

Jessica Rabbit is one of the most iconic women from 1980's pop culture. When she first stepped on screen in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I think the whole world took notice. Her look was created to epitomize the ultimate screen siren: Veronica Lake's hair, Lauren Bacall's gaze, Rita Hayworth's face, and Red Hot Riding Hood's general presence. Despite this calculated formula, she's had very little merchandise produced in the 30 years since her introduction. This is kind of understandable since her animated body is so exaggerated and seems to morph with every step, so pinning down a single iconic look for representation in 3-D would be a difficult task. I've only seen two really well-done sculpts: one is an expensive PVC statue from Medicom, and the other is a simple Hallmark ornament from a few year ago. This Rock Candy is the only Jessica Rabbit figure I own but I'm very pleased with it. They really captured her essence while staying within the Rock Candy style. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Stranger Things - ELEVEN!

Stranger Things - Action Figures Series 01 - Eleven - McFarlane Toys 2017

I love Stranger Things. When the first season was teased a few years ago, I for some reason got the impression that it was written by Stephen King. I'm a huge King fan so I was really excited for it. I was a few episodes in when I realized that it didn't seem like something he would write, but by then I was hooked anyway. (It turns out the series was just inspired by King.. and Spielberg, Shyamalan, Carpenter, Del Toro, etc etc). The story takes place in the the fictional small town of Hawkins, Indiana during the early 1980s. Here, four young outcast characters meet a mysterious girl named Eleven with telekinetic powers. Eleven is the central character of the show, but it mainly works because it's an ensemble cast of fantastic actors that make a really fun show. Plus the small sleepy town in the early 1980s is a great setting that is both nostalgic and creepy (and they replicated that era perfectly). There is a lot of merchandise for the show already, but these McFarlane figures take the cake. Let's check out Eleven below!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Marvel Gallery - IRONHEART!

Marvel Gallery PVC Statues - Ironheart (Riri Williams) - Diamond Select Toys 2017

One of the greatest joys of collecting is when you've been eyeing a product for months, with no intent on actually buying it, but then the stars align and it finds its way into your hands anyway. I always have lots of reasons to refrain from a collectible purchase, but mostly it comes down to space/scale, not wanting to "start a whole new collection," and the trusty standby: price. But then there are these rare occasions when you stumble across a a deal you can't pass up and you cave. I recently picked up this Ironheart 11.5" PVC statue at GameStop for $11 and I'm thrilled with the purchase. I've eyeballed a lot of the Marvel Gallery statues in the past (Lady Deadpool in particular), but all it took was a crazy sale to get me to break my resolve. It doesn't hurt that this is the first piece of merchandise of Riri Williams as Ironheart either. I read the first bunch of Invincible Ironman issues and loved her. Hopefully this is just the start of many Ironheart products (I just bought her Minimate today!). Let's check her out below!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Kabuki Agents - SCARAB & AKEMI!

David Mack's Kabuki Agents: Scarab - Scarab & Akemi - Diamond Select 2004

I often gripe about comic life in the nineties. The big companies were just so gimmicky that I viewed 90% of comics in that decade unreadable. But one really positive thing was all the weird esoteric independent and foreign comics that suddenly had room to flourish. I fell headfirst into all the interesting manga titles that were now being translated, but another genre that really caught my eye was the artfully painted indy comics like Joseph Lisner's Cry for Dawn, Dan Brereton's Nocturnals, and of course David Mack's Kabuki. Kabuki followed the story of an assassin struggling with her identity in an alternate-future Japan. Honestly, I was in high school at the time and the stories were too intense for me. (I needed upbeat stuff to offset my moody teenage years). But years later I got really into several spin-off series like Kabuki Agents: Scarab. Unfortunately, David Mack wasn't providing much more than an occasional cover for these stories, but they did expose me to the pencils of Rick Mays (who I still follow to this day).

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Long Overdue 2016 YEAR-END REVIEW!

A Collection of 2016's Most Amazing Female Action Figures All In One Post

You read that right: 2016. I've reached a new level of procrastination and am posting this Year-End review approximated 365 days behind schedule. I intended to do this so many times in the past twelve months, but unlike most of my posts, these actually require some forethought and planning. And although exhausting and incredibly time-consuming, these posts are still my second favorite kind to do (right after Character Spotlights). It's easy to focus on the next shiny new toy on the horizon, complaining about details that weren't perfect or an important character who was skipped. But when you take a step back and look at all the wonderful items we get in a single year it's pretty humbling. Every year this hobby gets more complex and interesting. The sculpts, articulation, and character selection are constantly improving, and it's really easy to overlook that. And that is just talking about the year-to-year changes. If you skip 5 or ten years and see the industry changes it's simply mind-blowing.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

DC Multiverse - DKR WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse - Dr. Psycho Collect & Connect: DKR Wonder Woman - Mattel 2017

I have such mixed reactions to Frank Miller. I pretty much can't stand to read any of his comics as an adult. I find that his work is just too infused with weird gender politics and outdated stereotypes. It's like his views on masculinity are stuck in a 90's Mountain Dew commercial and his women seem ripped from either a 1920's bordello or an 70's biker bar (depending on the character), and it's all very tedious to me. But at the same time I can admit there's a certain undeniable fun factor and I have some major nostalgic ties to the Dark Knight Returns series. I read it when I was 11 and somehow convinced my middle school English teacher that it was suitable for a book report. Funny thing is, even back then I didn't love it. I remember there being a lot of nipples and garbage in almost every frame and thinking it was just too much. I only read the various DKR sequels in a cursory manner, but I enjoyed seeing new character designs like this Wonder Woman. It's kind of amazing to get a figure of her. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

DC Multiverse - WONDER GIRL!

DC Comics Multiverse - Dr. Psycho Collect & Connect: Wonder Girl - Mattel 2017

I truly thought this was one figure that would never make it to the shelves and likely only live on in photos as one of those sad Toy Fair prototypes we all fawn over but will never get. From what I remember, this figure (along with the DKIII Wonder Woman) were originally intended to be released as a comic-themed amazon-centric Walmart exclusive wave back in June to coincide with the Wonder Woman film release. The rumors were that either the production or shipment deadlines were not met and the Walmart order was cancelled. We were told that these would eventually be released, but I think we've all experienced that song and dance before. But I will gladly eat my words because luckily they showed up a mere mix months later and I couldn't be happier. Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl is a very interesting choice for this line and makes me wonder if she'll play a role in the upcoming Titans show. (Speaking of, I hope that show gets lots of figures - especially Dove!) Let's check out Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl below!