Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - KARAI SERPENT!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Karai Serpent - Playmates 2015

All my Turtle education comes from the original animated series from the 1980s. So when I was researching females in the TMNT line about 5 years ago, I belatedly discovered this elusive daughter of Shredder. I was impressed, but I also was bummed because I couldn't afford the eBay prices her action figures were fetching. This version of Karai is from the 2012 Nickelodeon cartoon. They changed her character a lot in this series. Most notably is that she is now Splinter's daughter, although raised and brainwashed by Shredder. In a scheme by Shredder to turn the Turtles into snakes, Karai accidentally fell into the mutagen and became a serpent herself - while retaining the ability to revert back to human form at will (albeit with reptilian eyes). This figure was first teased a long long time ago. So long ago that I had given up hope to find her almost a year ago. Then a couple weeks ago I found her in TRU sitting randomly on a shelf in front of the Power Rangers. It was kismet. Let's check out Karai below!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Masters of the Universe Classics - MARA!

MOTUC Club Eternia - Mara of Primus - Mattycollector Exclusive - Mattel 2015

The New Adventures of He-Man was an interesting chapter in the He-Man mythos.  Filmation had gone out of business, the 1980s had come to a close, but the He-Man brand still had a lot of potential.  The production company Jetlag picked up the reigns and changed up everything.  He-Man and Skeletor had left Eternia and began quarreling in space and on the far-away planet of Primus.  The series was very interesting to me as a young viewer. The animation was much more dynamic, but conversely the storylines and (new) characters were much less interesting.   The character Mara was the most prominent female in the series.  In the beginning she was a plainclothed assistant to Master Sebrian (think Doc Brown meets Gandalf).  But later on she donned her warrior garb as seen in this figure.  Along with the Galactic Protector She-Ra and the upcoming Crita figure, I'm really excited to have a mini New Adventures collection on my shelf.  Let's check out Mara below!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

DC Collectibles Jae Lee WONDER WOMAN!

DC Comics Designer Series: Jae Lee - #2 Wonder Woman - DC Collectibles 2015

I rarely buy Wonder Woman figures. I realized long ago that if I were to dive headfirst into collecting Wonder Woman, my collection would easily double or triple in size and I would have an oppressively patriotic looking house. I have reluctantly relegated myself to living vicariously through other people's amazing collections (ExperienceTheWonder is my favorite).  Wonder Woman is easily the most merchandised female superhero of all time... so little gems like this Jae Lee Designer Series version can be easy to overlook.  However I think that would be a great disservice because this is one of the nicest looking figures of Diana I have ever seen.  It's definitely highly stylized, but it's also very classic at the same time.  This is maybe the 5th or 6th Wonder Woman I've been unable to resist adding to my collection, and she is definitely worthy of that exclusive status.  Hopefully she sells well because I would love to see more Jae Lee styled figures.  Let's check out Wonder Woman below!

Monday, August 24, 2015

DC Collectibles Jae Lee CATWOMAN!

DC Comics Designer Series: Jae Lee - #4 Catwoman - DC Collectibles 2015

I think the thing the sets DC Collectibles apart from all the other action figure companies is their willingness to embrace different styles. Sure, with Mattel we will see comic, animated, and movie styles over the course of the years. But DCC has a long history of breaking down the comic portion of that trifecta into the gritty minutiae of artist-specific storylines. In the past, we've seen different versions of Selina in the styles of Jim Lee, Tim Sale, Adam Hughes, Terry Dodson, and Amanda Conner (among others).  But now this year, DCC has seemingly fully embraced the celebrity factor of their artists and made new figures designed by Bruce Timm, Greg Capullo, and now Jae Lee. I've been a fan of Jae Lee since his Hellshock series used to scare me back in 1994.  I was thrilled when he started dabbling in DC Comics last year, and I'm even more thrilled his efforts have been immortalized in plastic. This is an absolutely stunning action figure. Let's check out Jae Lee's Catwoman below!

Friday, August 21, 2015

DC Mini-Busts - CATWOMAN (and Customization!)

DC Comics Super Heroes Catwoman Mini-Bust - DC Collectibles 2015

I love my Catwoman mini-bust collection. It took me years to succumb to the temptations of statue collecting, but when I finally did, it was Miss Kyle who pushed me over the edge.  This newest Jim Lee designed bust is my sixth (Three Women of DCU busts, DKR, and Halle Berry).  Plus there are Julie Newmar and a BTAS versions due out by the end of the year.  Now all we need is a Michelle Pfeiffer version and I'll be happy.  I've been very excited for this bust since it was first solicited, but I must admit the final product was a pretty big let-down for me.  The Joe Menna sculpt is beautiful, but the face paint was a far cry from the paint master.  What drives me nuts is that the paint apps on a character like Catwoman are so minimal.  It's literally just her face and a zipper.  Luckily I'm patient with a paintbrush so I was able to revamp her until I was happy.  All the customized pics start around halfway down this post.  Let's check out this JimLee designed New 52 Catwoman mini-bust below!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WWE Battle Pack Diva - LANA!

WWE Battle Pack - Series 34 - Lana and Rusev - Mattel 2015

Mattel's WWE series is one of the few lines out there today that seems willing to release female figures in civilian clothes.  Every few years we get an official Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, or Commissioner Gordon figure.  But the Lois Lane, Oracle, and Mary Jane Watson faction are practically nonexistent.  Collectors who want characters like these almost always have to resort to customization.  That's the main reason I get excited when I see figures like Lana in the stores.  I don't even customize like that, but I'm excited for all the fans who do.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot of fan repaints of this figure in the coming year.  Lana is a Russian-accented WWE manager who was first introduced back in 2013.  She has historically always worked with her fellow Russian, Rusev (her mate in this 2-pack) but recently began managing Dolph Ziggler after a fallout with Rusev earlier this year.  This figure is pretty cool overall, although rubberized clothing always tends to add a lot of awkward bulk.  Let's check her out below!


Monday, August 17, 2015

Marvel Legends - INVISIBLE WOMAN!

Marvel Legends 2-Packs: Wave 2 - Invisible Woman & Human Torch - Hasbro 2008

I swear it's pure coincidence that I'm reviewing all these Sue Storm figures on the same week that the long-awaited Fantastic Four reboot film was released. I've been a huge fan of the Fantastic Four for a long long time, but I've also decided long ago that my love of Marvel's First Family is best rooted in the comic world. Whenever there would be a new cartoon or movie featuring the Fantastic Four, I would always be hopped up on expectations, only to plummet down every time. By the time the 2005 film rolled around I was already a Doubting Thomas. But conversely, all the disappointing media made my appreciation for the comics and the characters really expand. This figure of Sue Storm was released in 2008, shortly after the Rise of the Silver Surfer movie came out (I still haven't seen it). The Invisible Woman is one of the most merchandised females in the Marvel Universe (Storm is the other top contender), but unfortunately she has very few decent action figures. This figure is one of the better ones, but even it has some serious flaws. Someday she'll get a good one like she deserves. Let's check her out below!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fantastic Four Classics - INVISIBLE WOMAN!

Fantastic Four Classics - Series 02 - Invisible Woman - ToyBiz 2006

For a long time this rare little beauty was the best looking female action figure in Marvel Legends style. Back in 2006, we were so happy to be getting female characters in the line at all that were gladly accepting the awkward overly-jointed spider-like bodies that plagued the Marvel heroines.  Then came this random series of comic-style Fantastic Four figures (riding the wave of popularity from the 2005 film) with an Invisible Woman figure that absolutely blew all the previous Marvel ladies out of the water. The dynamic sculpt and thoughtful articulation are what set her apart from the crowd.  She looked feminine, strong, and awesome.  It was a shame that she wasn't easier to come across on the shelves.  I only remember seeing this line in stores like FAO Schwarz and small Mom & Pop toy shops.  If they got wider distribution, I never saw proof of it.  That definitely explains the extremely high eBay prices for these beauties though.  Let's check out Sue Storm in detail below!