Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Super Friends WONDER WOMAN!

Re-Activated Series 03 - Super Friends Wonder Woman - DC Direct 2007

Wonder Woman has had a ton of animated designs throughout her career.  She is the most cartoon-ized female superhero by far.  The groundbreaking Super Friends series contained 7 iterations spread over 13 years and Wonder Woman was featured as a main cast member throughout.  Her look changed a lot of the course of the series as would be expected, so it's important to note that this action figure is based on the earlier versions from the 1970s. The later animated versions had much longer and more dynamic/modern hair. These Super Friends action figures are some of the most perfectly executed animated-style action figures I've ever seen. They capture the simple colorful joy of the cartoons while maintaining enough artistic interpretation to easily fit in with any comic-based collection. I'm a huge fan (and you should be too!).  The James Shoop sculpts are fantastic.  And the series was popular enough to warrant a selective re-release (of certain characters) in the third Re-Activated series from DCD.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Super Friends CHEETAH!

Super Friends Deluxe Set - Wonder Woman & Cheetah - DC Direct 2003

Cheetah is a character who has gone through many transformations since her introduction in 1943.  Numerous people, both men and women, have adopted the title over the years- but this earliest incarnation of Priscilla Rich is my favorite.  I'm a sucker for retro costumes and she totally fits the bill.  Priscilla's version of Cheetah has fallen out of favor to newer more mystically-feline versions in modern comics, but this classic look still makes appearances in shows like Batman: The Brave and the Bold and videogames like Scribblenauts Unmasked.  Her most notable representation, though, was in the Challenge of the Super Friends animated series from 1978 wherein her role in the Legion of Doom was cemented.  These early Super Friends figures by DC Direct mark the first time I realized DC Direct was going to be a powerhouse toy company.  Back then, you didn't ever see "throwback" toys. They seem to be all the rage now, but 12 years ago this was uncharted territory.  Let's check out Cheetah below!

Monday, February 23, 2015

World of Nintendo - SAMUS!

World of Nintendo - Series 1-2 - Metroid: Samus - Jakks Pacific 2015

Samus Aran is the protagonist of the Metroid series of video games.  Starting in 1986, the series now has 12 games released, all of which star Samus Aran.  Samus is a space-faring bounty hunter in an advanced power suit who steamrolls through alien planets and spaceships fighting the jellyfish-like Metroid invaders.  I think a lot of players of the early 8-bit game had no idea Samus was a girl until later on in her development.  I never played any of the Metroid games, but I think I would have had I known more about her.  Apparently the earliest handbooks made her gender pretty clear, but the bulky armor still confused young gamers; me included.  It's kind of amazing that there are currently three really good Samus figures on the market.  The high-end Figma figure is beautiful, and the Amiibo figure is everywhere, but I personally think this World of Nintendo version is the best choice for quality and price.  This series has a ton of potential and I'm excited to see what comes out of it next.  On to Samus!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Marvel Legends - SPIDER-GIRL!

Spider-Man Infinite Series - Hobgoblin Wave - Warriors of the Web - Hasbro 2015

May "Mayday" Parker is one of those characters that I have desperately tried to get into.  The idea of a girl wearing Spider-Man's costume was such a novel idea to me.  I couldn't believe it hadn't been done before. I remember discovering her on a Wizard Magazine cover while on vacation with my family.  (I discovered Cassandra Cain in the same issue actually).  Over the years I tried and tried to get into the comic but it just didn't stick.  I always loved her design so I kept going back.  Her fanbase was phenomenal though and her title was continually resurrected and rebooted.  Even now, she's been a major player in the Spider-Verse storyline and the Petra Parker Spider-Girl in the Web Warriors cartoon plays homage to Mayday.  Pretty good for a character that started off as a hypothetical one-shot in "What If...?"  This figure is amazing.  Hasbro has been knocking it out of the park with their Marvel Legends figures lately.  My Spider-Lady shelf is positively exploding. Let's check out Mayday below!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Marvel Legends - ULTIMATE SPIDER-WOMAN!

Spider-Man Infinite Series - Hobgoblin Wave - Warriors of the Web - Hasbro 2015

Ever since Ultimate Spider-Woman first appeared way back in 2006 I've been obsessed.  In the Ultimate universe, Jessica Drew is a clone of Peter Parker, embodying all his powers and memories.  This origin led to some interesting romantic interactions over the years.  She's expressed a natural attraction to red-headed girls (a'la Peter's enfatuation with MJ).  But she's also had some bizarre romantic trysts with men.  In the instance of Iceman, the fact that she retained all of Peter's memories made it very interesting.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it really touched on a lot of gender and transgender issues, albeit in a very vague sci-fi way. But beyond all her backstory, Spider-Woman's costume just seems so incredibly cool to me. It is so simple, yet very unique.  I found myself eagerly buying every comic she was in for years.  It didn't hurt that the amazing Stuart Immonen was the main artist during much of her character development.  Without further ado, let's check out Ultimate Spider-Woman!