Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vintage Goodness: The Women of M.A.S.K.!

Vanessa Warfield and Gloria Baker in all their 80's Glory from Kenner

For me, the 1980's are defined by toys and cartoons.  I was seven years old when all the 80's greats were at their prime.  M.A.S.K. was right in there with the best and was extremely popular for a few years between 1985-1988.  We had quite a few figures and vehicles around the house (mostly my brothers' however) and I have very fond memories.  At the time M.A.S.K. was created, it was presented as a sort of hybrid between G.I.Joe and Transformers.  The basic premise was two opposing forces (M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M.) each had a team of drivers/pilots who had transforming vehicles.  Like a motorcycle that transforms into a one-man helicopter, or a racecar that pops out some fins and becomes a speedboat.  The drivers all had intricate masks that enabled them to control these vehicles.  It was pretty genius and had some great characters and awesome toys.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Character Spotlight on BATGIRL (CASSANDRA CAIN)

A Darker, More Deadly Batgirl Than We Ever Expected!

In 1999, nearly 10 years after Barbara Gordon was paralyzed by the Joker, the mantle of Batgirl was taken up by this very unique young girl.  Cassandra Cain is the daughter of the assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva.  She was raised with no reading or writing skills, just combat.  Her only language was body language and her dependency on subtleties and instincts as her sole form of communication made her an extremely deadly assassin.  She came into contact with Oracle and Batman during the No Man's Land storyline and was eventually adopted into the Batman family as the new Batgirl.  I was a latecomer to the Cass bandwagon.  It wasn't until near the end of her 10-year run as Batgirl that I began to appreciate her.  I liked the personal obstacles she had to overcome; a murderous lineage (and personal history); a severe communication handicap; and struggles with teamwork.  Plus I love that her Eurasian heritage added some much-needed racial diversity to the Bat-universe.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Both Movie and Comic Version Collectible Block Figures from Mezco

I swore a long time I would never buy any cutesy, Super-Deformed, Urban/Vinyl toys.  They weren't "serious" enough for me and they just looked silly.  Years later I have a small shelf dedicated to these little monsters.  Kubricks, Mini-Mates, SHS, Blammoids, Cosbabies, Lego, and Funko Pop have invaded my heroic world and I don't think I will ever look back.  I even made room for Imaginext, Little People, and Polly Pocket.. what is the world coming to??  My one caveat is that they have to be small, I don't want giant looming marshmallow men peppered throughout my collection.  Because of this, Mez-itz were off my radar until they introduced their Mini line of 2-inch figures.  These two Catwomen are my first Mez-Itz and I must admit I am won over.

DC Collectibles Dark Knight Rises CATWOMAN Bust!

Movie-Accurate Likeness of Anne Hathaway on a Mini-Bust from DC Collectibles

I love collecting Catwoman Busts.  Of all the DC females, Selina has had the most distinctive and differentiating looks from era to era.  If I had a collection of Wonder Woman busts, you know almost all of them would be the traditional longstanding star-spangled red, blue, and gold.  Catwoman, however, keeps reinventing her appearance every few years, yet there is never any doubt who she is.  Ears and skin-tight suits provide more successful variations than I ever dreamed imaginable.  It's kind of amusing that when I heard that Anne Hathaway was cast as Selina Kyle in DKR, one of my first thoughts was "Awesome! They'll definitely make a bust of that!" ..and I had the same thought when I read rumors of a Catwoman solo movie yesterday (Hopefully with an updated costume if it happens).  I have my fingers crossed that the same marketing logic that brought us the Reeves Superman, Carter Wonder Woman, and Keaton Batman busts will someday provide me with Pfeiffer and Newmar Catwomen.  This DKR Bust marks the 5th Catwoman bust in the DC Direct/Collectibles roster, and I'm sure it's not the last.