Friday, October 24, 2014

Voltron Classics - PRINCESS ALLURA!

Voltron: Defender of the Universe - Voltron Classic Princess Allura - Mattel 2012

I have such powerful childhood memories related to Voltron.  Those colorful robotic cats had little 6-year-old me geeking out way before He-Man, ThunderCats, or G.I.Joe ever caught my eye.  At the same time, I was too young to get many of the original action figures.  When I finally got them all as an adult, my standards had elevated and the blobby, minimally-articulated figures were a little underwhelming.  Then the angels at Mattel revealed this wonderfully retro line to satisfy all my nostalgic impulses.  I was beyond ecstatic.  Then I suffered a major setback when they changed the release plan last minute and suddenly the figures weren't available separately from the cats.  I just couldn't afford the $300 set at the time and I was really let down.  It took me two years to finally get the pilots (sans cats) at a decent price.  Luckily I found a seller who just want the collect-n-connect "Blazing Sword."  Then of course I needed to resort to China eBay sellers to get extra bodies to display the alternate heads.  My first world problems are ridiculous I know, but it all pays off when I have my little beauties all lined up.  Let's check out Allura!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kickstarter: Heroes of the World - DURGA!

Heroes of the World - Durga the Warrior Goddess (and Lion Steed) - Brillist 2014

I just backed my third Kickstarter campaign!  Unfortunately this one is off to a much slower start than my previous backings, which is a total shame because I think this concept and figure are brilliant.  Durga is a ten-armed Hindu Goddess who rides a Lion steed.  Without any further history lessons, that visual alone should have you throwing your money behind this endeavor.  Eastern religions always intrigue me with their other-worldly deities.  And the ornate decor and animal themes just add to my fascination.  Western religions are very boring in comparison (speaking visually of course).  Unfortunately for me, the history and stories behind individual Hindu figureheads is knowledge I am never able to retain.  I just read her entire wiki page, but barely absorbed a thing (aside from the fact that it made me want her in action figure form even more!)  Let's all rally behind this project people! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DC Keychains - WONDER WOMAN & HARLEY QUINN!

NYCC Exclusive DC 3D Figural Keychain 5-Pack - Monogram 2014

New York ComicCon was a bit of a bummer this year in the toy department.  Mattel's absence, Hasbro setting up shop at a different location (again), and no DCC exclusives all combined to bring the bar down a bit.  This 5-Pack of DC Keychains from Monogram was one of only two (!) purchases I made at the show.  I saw them listed in the exclusives guide before the show and I wasn't overly impressed.  But when I saw them in person at the Monogram booth I was hooked.  What I like most about them is how they look like the Little Big Planet characters which I've always been fond of.  The Keychains are also larger and heavier than I expected.  Their heads are about the size of a walnut shell and heavy like a dense ball of rubber.  I found myself handing the box to my friends just so they could feel the weight.  The box was fairly expensive at around $40-45 (I forget).  But it was one of my only purchases so it seemed justified.  Let's check out the adorable little novelties below!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Masters of the Universe Classics - SWEET BEE!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2014/10/masters-of-universe-classics-sweet-bee.html
Masters of the Universe Classics - Club Etheria Mattycollector Exc - Mattel 2014

This figure is exactly the reason why I love MOTUC so much. In the classic She-Ra cartoons, my least favorite character by far was Sweet Bee.  I didn't like her looks, I didn't like chemistry with He-Man, and I absolutely loathed her voice. Of all the POP characters to be made into MOTUC figures (back in the day when it was just a pipe dream to get them all), she was very low on my list of wants. Never underestimate the Four Horsemen though.  When this figure was revealed earlier this year, I didn't waste any time before eating my words.  She's gorgeous. The best part about it is that this figure makes me totally reappraise my feeling about the original animated Sweet Bee.. kind of like how a cover of a song makes you appreciate the original. When it came time to make a decision about subbing up for 2015, the excellent interpretation of Sweet Bee was my deciding factor. Perfuma is another character I've always kind of dreaded for this line, but now I'm excited to see what they can do with her. Let's check out Sweet Bee!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kamen Rider - BEE WOMAN (HACHI ONNA)!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2014/10/kamen-rider-bee-woman-hachi-onna.html
Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider W & Decade: Movie War 2010 - Bandai 2010

I have a major obsession with female monsters (kaijin) in Japanese serial television programs.  Whether it's the newest incarnation of Power Rangers, Metal Heroes Series, Ultraman, or Masked Rider, the female villains are right up my alley.  There's just something about their theatrical presence, their formidable strengths, and their de-sexualized nature makes them awesome.  (I say desexualized because 90% of the Japanese pop culture properties I pay attention to are inundated with girls in bikinis).  I think the most successful Japanese action figures these days are high-end, super collectible, and super-articulated toys like Figma or S.H.Figuarts.  These companies produce all the major characters quickly and within a reasonable budget.  But sometime $40-80 bucks for a 6-7" action figure is not a feasible prospect.  That's where these amazing vinyl Super Sentai-type action figures come into play.  You can get the same detailed character selection, but at an extremely  low price.  Let's check out Bee Woman below!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Darkstalkers 3: Vampire Savior - Q-BEE!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2014/10/darkstalkers-3-vampire-savior-q-bee.html
Capcom's Vampire Savior - SR Super Real Figures Series 01 - Q-Bee - TYC 1999
 
Welcome to (possibly) the penultimate review of Bee Week!  I say possibly because there's a figure I was dying to review that slipped through the cracks.  Hopefully I can get to her Monday.  Vampire Savior was a 2-D fighting game from Capcom in the late nineties.  Q-Bee was a fan-favorite character due to her speedy and focused attacks.  This figure is essentially a gashapon.  I ordered mine from an eBay seller in China and it came in pieces to assemble.  I honestly don't know if the original packaged figures were originally puzzle toys like this or not.  There are two versions of this figure: one in purple (the true-to-life game version) and this black variant.  Since I purchased mine from a questionable seller, the quality of my specific piece should be taken with a grain of salt.  I'm assuming a true release of this figure had tighter-fitting joints and cleaner paint lines.  After reading all about this character, I really wish a true action figure of her would be made.  We see Morrigan and Felicia all the time, I think Q-Bee deserves the spotlight for a second.  In the meantime, let's check out this little Q-Bee mini-figure below!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Teen Titans - BUMBLEBEE!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2014/10/teen-titans-bumblebee.html
Teen Titans - Teen Titans Go! - Bumblebee (Bumble Bee) - Bandai 2004

Teen Titans made major comeback in the early 2000s with their extremely popular animated series on the Cartoon Network.  This show definitely wasn't my speed at all (it was totally geared towards kids), but I loved seeing all these cool characters being reinvented for a younger audience.  The massive amount of merchandising was a bonus, too.  I doubt we would have ever seen a Bumblebee action figure if not for the popularity of this show.  This Bumblebee figure can fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market, so I confess that this is a figure I bought for a few dollars from a seller in China.  The real release of this figure had cleaner paint lines and came with either a bee-themed vehicle or another 3.5" figure in the 2-Pack series.  Bumblebee has no true superpowers, but derives her unique skills from technology.  She can fly, her armor is strong, her speed is increased, and she can emit stinging blasts.  Occasionally she shrinks in size a'la Wasp, but that skill seems par for the course with an insect-themed character.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Earthworm Jim's PRINCESS WHAT'S-HER-NAME!

Your Favorite Video Game Insect Princess from Playmates 1994

I first became aware of this figure early on in my collecting days (roughly 10 years ago).  She was raved about on my favorite online toy resource at the time, Action Girl's Guide to Female Figures.  At the time, however, I was very picky and would only buy non-cartoony 80's figure like GIJoe, He-Man, and ThunderCats.  So it wasn't until very recently that I picked up this figure in a lot on eBay.  I must say I'm very impressed with this little lady.  She's fun, well-sculpted, and a great likeness of both her cartoon and videogame counterparts.  I'm not too knowledgeable on the Earthworm Jim franchise, but from what I can gather it was a pretty unique development.  Playmates developed the characters for an original videogame with the intent of creating merchandising potential.  The original Sega/Genesis game was released in 1994, the same year as the first action figures.  The cartoon series didn't debut until a full year later in 1995.  However, the action figures seem to incorporate the details of the cartoon moreso than the videogame.