Sunday, May 24, 2020

DCUC Wonder Twins - JAYNA!

DC Universe Classics - Wonder Twins: Zan & Jayna - SDCC Exc - Mattel 2009

I think this Wonder Twins set exemplifies the perfect type of convention exclusive toy. They are very cool and very original characters, but they won't appeal to a large portion of collectors. They weren't difficult for me to obtain, and that's probably because the demand wasn't super high across the collecting community. What drove people bonkers though was the exclusive polybagged Gleek figure that was only available in person at SDCC and still demands a super high price. Luckily I was always indifferent to him, so no skin off my back. Zan and Jayna were the second iteration of sidekicks in Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends cartoon series. In 1973, the non-powered human sidekicks Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog debuted alongside the traditional Justice League lineup. They only lasted one season and were replaced by the extraterrestrial shapeshifting Wonder Twins and their blue monkey, Gleek, when The All-New Super Friends Hour debuted in 1977.  It was a major improvement! Let's check out Jayna below!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Golden Armor WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse - Wonder Woman 1984 - Golden Armor - McFarlane Toys 2020

I wasn't always a fan of Wonder Woman's Golden Eagle Armor. When it debuted in the Elseworlds classic, Kingdom Come, way back in 1996 it represented a side of Diana that I hadn't been exposed to before. When she donned the armor, she became violent, aggressive, and ready to wage war. I never thought of myself as someone who needs their heroes to have monk-like morals, I enjoy the antics of Gwenpool and Huntress as much the saintly heroes. But seeing Diana pull a 180° like that had a weird effect on me. I think this was because I could actually see her character making that turn. It wasn't a case of bad writing or a core misunderstanding of her nature, but it was a drastic and believable morality shift under extreme circumstances. Anyway, for a long time, the visual association of this armor made me uneasy. But eventually I got over it. So when I saw Gal in the armor I got genuinely excited. I'm so curious to see how it plays into the plot of the movie. Let's check out Golden Armor Wonder Woman below!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

McFarlane Toys - WONDER WOMAN 1984!

DC Multiverse - Wonder Woman 1984 - Wonder Woman - McFarlane Toys 2020

I'm very excited to see the Wonder Woman 1984 movie when it (supposedly) will be hitting theatres this August. By that stage of our pandemic (three months from now), I will have attempted a family vacation, potentially traveled to a wedding, perhaps have gone back to the office, and I think I will be open to experiencing a theatre outing. It will actually be my birthday week as well, so I'll be feeling social. While I'm not opposed to the home-release of movies like Trolls and Scoob, Wonder Woman 1984 is definitely the type of movie I want to see on the big screen. The action and music in the trailer just gets me all revved up. The toys are adding to my anticipation as well. It's weird how all the standard-release Wonder woman figures so far have been unable to capture Gal Gadot's likeness. I've seen high-end items that look great, but this McFarlane figure is easily the best one in the $15-30 range. I'm holding out hopes that there will be a surprise release of Cheetah closer to August. Let's check out Diana below!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Age of Apocalypse - JEAN GREY!

Marvel Legends - Sugar Man BaF - Jean Grey (Age of Apocalypse) - Hasbro 2020

I skipped a whole lot of superhero comics between the mid-nineties and the early oughties. Across the board, the art style had become very loose with exaggerated anatomy and facial expressions. Costumes got way too complicated/busy for my liking. And the general aesthetic was extreme. It was an era of gritted teeth and pouches. My general dislike of this era has led to some major gaps in my comic repertoire. I don't know anything about Knightfall/Azrael/Bane, the Rebirth of Superman is a blur, and any X-books past the marriage of Scott and Jean in 1994 is a total black hole of my (normally encyclopedic) knowledge. In fact, it's no joke that my only connection to a good decade of comics is the toys that they inspired. This Age of Apocalypse Jean Grey is a great example. The first time I ever saw this costume was in a 2010 Minimates box set. While not my favorite design overall, it has a certain 80's glam-rock look that I dig. (The shoulderpads are spectacular!) Let's check out AoA Jean Grey below!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mythic Legions - XYLONA!

Mythic Legions: Advent of Decay - The Legendary Xylona - Four Horsemen 2018

Of all the action figures in my collection, I think this Mythic Legions Xylona figure may possibly be the most unique. I go through phases where I love her, and others when she irks me. While her body is a standard female buck (although dressed in a leafy/foliage design) paired with the hoofed legs that we've seen on several creature figures, it's her head and neck that draws all the attention. She is a adorned with a large nondescript cervid head, which is turn is crowned with a massive set of antlers. They're so high that they add 50% to her height (I measured). The proportions are inhuman and are part of the reason I find her unsettling. Normal human proportions tend to place a vertical midpoint at the waist, but the midpoint of Xylona is her chest. When I imagine her at my scale, I think she's terrifying my eyes don't know where to go. That said, she is magnificent, utterly original, and perfect for the fantasy Mythic Legions line. I'm extremely curious to see this mold repurposed too. Let's check out Xylona below!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Marvel She-Force - TIGRA!

Marvel Superheroes: Marvel Hall of Fame - She-Force - Tigra - ToyBiz 1997

I love buying inexpensive action figures from the 90s and opening them fresh. It's like a time machine to the infancy of the toy collecting hobby. I really wasn't into superhero action figures back when these were coming out (I was really into collecting monster toys!), but honestly I'm kind of glad all these Marvel figures were off my radar, because I don't think I would have had easy access to actually buy any of them. I had three comic shops in my little town when I was a kid, but by the late 90s they were struggling (if not closed already). Same with the Kay-Bee Toys at the local mall. And I didn't discover eBay until 1998. Plus, my taste in superheroes was probably suspect. I think Tigra is awesome now, but back then I just knew her as the cat-girl that was always in those weird Marvel Swimsuit Special magazines. So all-in-all, I'm glad I unintentionally waited 23 years to start collecting them. The timing lets me overlook the aesthetic and engineering faults and just focus on the fun. Let's check out Tigra below!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Mythic Legions - LUCRETIA!

Mythic Legions: Advent of Decay - Lucretia (Illythias Brood) - Four Horsemen 2018

I love vampire lore. It's pretty rare when there is a vampire story on television, on the silver screen, or in books that I don't appreciate on some level. I like everything from the scary and monstrous to the eye-rolling and romantic. And female vampires get even more love from me, but they are predictably much less prevalent. Up until this Mythic Legions Lucretia figure, I don't think I had ever seen a female vampire in the style of Count Orlok (from Nosferatu 1922); a more demonic, inhuman looking design. Females are usually vampy, goth, gorgeous, and ultimately human-looking which I certainly don't mind, but I never realized how awesome a demonic-bat character could look. She's quite possibly the most wicked-looking figure in my collection. And just imagine how epic she could look with white demon/dragon wings! I'm becoming very obsessed with these Mythic Legions figures. I still can't believe it took a quarantine to finally convince me to crack them open. (Sooooo many more to go). Let's check out Lucretia!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Genseishin Justirisers - RISER KAGERI!

Konami Real Great Model Series - Justirisers S03 - Riser Kageri - Konami 2005

Genseishin Justirisers is the 2nd installment in the Chouseishin Series, a tokusatsu TV Franchise in Japan created by Toho in 2004 to rival Toei's Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series. This series is a big departure from its predecessor, Chouseishin Gransazer, which was notable for having twelve main heroes, by instead only having three. Each of the 3 characters has a dizzying number of themes. Riser Kageri is the token female and embodies the themes of : Virtue, Ninja, Tiger, and Wind. Riser Glen, the red male, embodies Courage, Samurai, Phoenix, and Flame. And Riser Gant, the male in black, represents Wisdom, Monk, Tortoise, and Thunder. I honestly had trouble deciphering it all visually until I was researching for this post. The symbolism in these designs is what I have grown to love most about them. Researching all the new properties that have emerged since my interest dwindled a decade ago has been a fun quarantine pasttime. (There have been a lot!) Let's check out Riser Kageri below!