Wednesday, November 28, 2012


DC Super Friends Imaginext Joker & Harley Quinn from Fisher-Price 2012

Who would have guessed I could get so excited over a children's toy?  Fisher-Price and Mattel have given us good reason to start scoping out the preschool aisles lately.  The DC Super Friends brand has made its way into such products as Little People, Hero World, TRIO, GeoTrax, and last but not least, Imaginext.  I think the Imaginext line appeals the most to adult collectors because the sculpts aren't overly-childish and the costumes tend to stay true to the classic look of the characters.  The other toy lines are usually too cutesy or overly accessorized, but Imaginext has that indescribable quality that I've come to recognize in Superhero Squad and Mini-Mates as "conscientiously stylized."  I only wish some of the overly-merchandized acton figures (like most movie lines) that clutter up the aisles took the time to blend the needs of collectors and Moms like Fisher-Price does. They would sell so much more product that way.   Ack - enough intellectualizing.. on to the cuteness!


DC Super Friends Imaginext Superman & Wonder Woman from Fisher-Price 2012

Egads these figures are adorable!  Fisher-Price is pretty sneaky with it's product information.  I feel like I've read multiple customer inquiries over the past year (to both Fisher-Price and parent company Mattel) asking about any additional females in the Superfriends line.  The answer has always been a gentle no:  "Nothing in the works at this time" etc etc.   Needless to say this Wonder Woman figure (and the Harley Quinn I will be reviewing tomorrow) have definitely been in development for some time.  They are amazing and I am overjoyed.  This reveal came out of the blue when I read last week's Harley Qwednesday post on Toyriffic.  Now 6 days later I have them in my greedy little hands.  The only female in the line up to this point was the Catwoman figure from early 2012.  I can't wait to see what else sneaks up on us.  I'm thinking a Hawkgirl and Batgirl are definite possibilities.  Poison Ivy would make my head explode but I somehow doubt we'll see her in a kid's line.  On to the review!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog's BLAZE THE CAT Revealed!

Your Favorite Other-Dimensional Pyrotechnic Feline Princess from Jazwares 2012

Jazwares surprised us with a long awaited reveal on Thanksgiving day as they finally posted a completed image of their 3" Blaze the Cat figure (which was announced eons ago.. correct me if I'm wrong, but I think she was first mentioned as an 'upcoming' figure back in 2010).  This past summer they posted an unpainted prototype that let us know she was finally in the pipeline, and now, just a few weeks before she will supposedly hit the shelves, we see a true confirmation.  I think she looks great.  I love these Sonic figures.  They have great character design, great articulation, and all-around great execution as a toy.  Blaze debuted in the 2005 game Sonic Rush and became a pretty popular new character, continuing on to appear in a total of 8 games so far.  The next female Sonic character we've been teased with is Rouge the Bat.  Hopefully we'll see a Cream the Rabbit in this style as well.  Check out my previous review of Wave the Swallow.  On to the pics!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

DC Comics New 52 BATGIRL Bust!

The Newly Returned Barbara Gordon Makes Her DC Collectibles Mini-Bust Debut

While I may be a little upset that the new incarnation of DC Direct, DC Collectibles, offers so few action figures, this new bust definitely reaffirms my faith in the company.  The initial unpainted prototype had me very excited.  I'm a major sucker for the mini-bust format, but I'm picky with characters.  So another variation on Batgirl is right up my alley.  But then at NY Toy Fair 2012, the first fully painted versions were displayed and I honestly thought she was a little lackluster.  But the final product really delivers.  The face paint is much more detailed and expressive than the NYTF version.  The sculpt is dynamic and beautiful.  The paint is well-applied with only a few minor issues (her hand grabbing the batarang is sloppy and the dark yellow wash on her forearms is uneven on mine... both easily remedied).  My only wish is that she fit in scale-wise with the Women of the DCU busts, but I actually wouldn't want to sacrifice the awesome Jim Maddox sculpt to make her conform.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Marvel Universe JUBILEE!

Marvel Universe Series 4 Jubilee from Hasbro 2012

Quite possibly the quintessential 1990's X-man, Jubilee literally burst onto the scene in Uncanny X-Men #244 as a spunky mutant mallrat that shot fireworks out of her hands.  Her popularity exploded (i won't stop!) when she became a lead character in the 90's X-Men the Animated Series and later the Marvel vs Capcom Arcade game.  Jubilation Lee may also have the distinction of being one of the first X-Men of Chinese descent - please correct me if I'm wrong.  I kind of love this action figure.  Maybe it's been awhile since I've paid attention to the the MU line, but this figure is incredibly well articulated with double-jointed knees, rocker/swivel/pivot ankles, ball-jointed neck, etc etc.  She's kind of perfectly articulated, beautifully sculpted, and well-detailed.  She honestly has never been my favorite character (Boom-Boom always had my vote), but she has become hugely nostalgic for me as a staple in the X-Universe throughout my teens.  On to the figure review!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Nikki and Brie Bella WWE Battle Pack from Mattel 2012

These beautiful Mexican-American Sisters have been major players in the WWE circuit since their 2007 debut.  But in truth, they only really "made it" then they were awarded the action figure treatment this year.  I can only assume that this honor is more humbling than a simple championship belt.  While I would kill to be immortalized in plastic, I feel kind of bad for the Bella Twins - because although these figures do capture a certain appeal, I don't think they really resemble the girls themselves.  They look more like a Jersey Shore castmembers than the gorgeous women they are meant to portray.  Also, these are the first WWE figures I've purchased that suffer from thick rubber clothing.  I see this a lot in this line, and I usually avoid figures for just that reason, but something about their being twins yet having unique headsculpts really appealed to me.  These are the first Mattel WWE ladies I've had any real criticism for (See this & this review) - but there has to be a balance somewhere, no line is perfect.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The Tiniest Bat-Ladies Ever from Kenner's Micro-Machines MicroVerse Line 1997

These little gems were under my radar until a few years ago, and it's taken me quite a while to get them all at a decent price.  This is the kind of crossover collectible that creates a lot of secondary market inflation.  Micro-Machines collectors are a force to be reckoned with, and we all know how crazy we superhero fanatics can be.  So if you're hunting for these figures, just be patient, you'll find them cheap eventually.  These figures came spread out across three sets.  The Batman & Robin Heroes and Villians Collection (from the movie) came out in 1997 and gave us Poison Ivy and Batgirl.  The Batman & Robin Rogues Gallery (from the Adventures of Batman & Robin cartoon) gave us Catwoman and "arm up" Harley Quinn.  The final set was The Joker's Battle Headquarters (from the New Batman Adventures cartoon) and comes with "arms down" Harley.  I'm not sure exactly when these last two sets came out, but the Joker sets seems to be exceedingly rare.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Eaglemoss Chess BLACK BAT Revealed!

DC Chess Collection #28 White Pawn - From Eaglemoss Publications

Geez I take my eyes off the internet for one split second and I miss the reveal I've been waiting almost a year for.  Thankfully a thoughtful fan (Thanks Tommy D!) clued me in, because I would have surely been unaware until after my forthcoming turkey haze lifted.  Cassandra Cain has been such a great addition to the Batman family.  I reviewed all her various toys in a Character Spotlight from this past July where you can read a few quick tidbits about her history.  This incarnation of Cassandra, as Black Bat, is relatively new and definitely has some awesome potential.  It's such a coincidence that I first saw this solicit image today, because just a few hours ago I happened to order the Black Bat Heroclix piece - which will be the first version of this character in plastic released.  Heroclix fogires leave a lto to be desired however, so I'm deifnitely looking forward to picking up this gem.  On to the full-sized images!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Graphitti Design's CHRISTINE SPAR as GRENDEL!

Matt Wagner's Metaphor for Aggression - Graphitti Designs - Big Blast Series 2000

Christine Spar is actually the second incarnation of Matt Wagner's seminal Assassin turned Mob Boss turned Vigilante (after Hunter Rose).  Christine took up the mantle of Grendel in the first twelve issues of Comico's 1986 Ongoing Grendel series.  There have been numerous people under the mask over the years, but I think Christine Spar had a certain flair which set her apart from the rest.  Her original 12-issue run in the 80's was reprinted several times; First as collected edition in 1989, then as a newly-recolored miniseries (from Dark Horse) in 2001, then as a second Collected edition of the updated work.  I tried my hardest to find the release date of this action figure.  The closest I could find was an article announcing its future release dated December 1999.  The Big Blast action figures were a great line of 8" collector toys featuring such indie great as Madman, Mage, Hellboy, The Spirit, and Grendel (both Hunter Rose and Christine Spar).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Egyptian Star of TV and Comics, ISIS!

The 70's TV Star Makes Her Long Awaited Plastic Debut from DC Direct 2007

Isis has the notoriety of being the first female action heroes to star in her own live action TV series in the US.  She pre-dated Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman with her 1975 live-action television debut.  Isis was the creation of Filmation, the same company behind some of the greatest fantasy properties of the 80's; He-Man & She-Ra.  Her live-action origins in 1975 quickly evolved into comic book and cartoon appearances which carry on today.  Her origin is the typical superhero story; Andrea Thomas was a science teacher who found an ancient Egyptian amulet during an archealogical dig that imbued her with the power of the Egyptian Goddess Isis (basically a female Shazam).  After the show, she made a few appearances in the Shazam comics and soon had a solo title by 1976.  In 1978, she made her animated debut in Filmation's, The Freedom Force.  This action figure is based on one of her most recent incarnations in DC's 2006 series "52" and was released in DC Direct's 2007 series "52 - Wave 1."

Friday, November 16, 2012

New 52 Justice League WONDER WOMAN!

The Revamped Amazon Princess from DC Collectibles 2012

I think there should have been a true vote on the pants issue.  I wanted pants!  I thought she looked so sexy and tough in all the solicit images.  But I guess some fanboys just need their bare thighs.  But I digress.  The new look is pretty cool.  It's not a major departure from her classic duds (All my non-comic book friends still know who it is after all), but it's a pretty cool variation.  I wasn't sure if I would be picking this up or not but when I saw it in the store I was hooked.  The sculpt, paint, and skintone are all great.  Mine has a slight paint rub on her hip, but that's pretty much the only production flaw.  My only disappointment in the design is the lack of articulation that we've come to expect in the past 5 years or so.   This figure would seriously benefit from (1) wrist swivels, (2) a leg swivel hidden at the boot cut, and (3) some kind of torso rotation.  She seriously has the articulation of DC Direct 10 years ago, which wouldn't bother me if she didn't cost 22 bucks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Your Favorite Space Age Maid, ROSIE!

The Jetson's Maternal Robot Housekeeper from Jazwares Hanna-Barbera Series 1

Who doesn't have a softspot for Rosie?  The loveable outdated housekeeper for the Jetson family was a constant prescence in my childhood. (Interesting fact: She was only in 2 episodes of the original 1960's series, but was a regular in the 1980's series).  I never ever thought I would be buying an action figure of this character.  She's one of those background characters that you don't realize you adore until you really think about it.  Kudos to Jazwares for including her in their first lineup.  With all the uber-popular Hanna-Barbera characters out there, it pretty surprising to see her so soon.  I can't see what the future holds for this line, I predict great, great things.  The articulation on this figure is so much better than you might assume.  She can hold just about any pose you can imagine her cartoon counterpart doing.  The only downfall with the figure is that she absolutely cannot stand up on her own.  I made a little ring out of a packaging tie to balance her for this photo shoot, but that's a temporary solution at best.  I'm not usually a fan of using poster putty to anchor figures, but I may resort to that if I can't find a better method.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WWE Canadian Superstar NATALYA!

WWE Wave 20 - Global Superstars - From Mattel 2012

Mattel's WWE lines never cease to amaze me. I did I review back in March highlighting a few of the figures I've picked up over the years. The quality and pricepoint of these figures surpasses all the other Mattel brands out there (in my humble opinion). The plastic, paint, and articulation is always consistently top-notch and the sculpts always look really great. I only wish I cared about wrestling one iota. If the ladies produced in the DC Universe line used these bucks instead of the waifish toothpick-armed heroines we are bombarded with, I would be ecstatic.  I'm sure I mentioned this in my previous review as well, but this line is literally the only series that can successfully pull off expressive faces on its figures.  The stoic-faced standard can fit just about any character out there - and the thought of a smiling or winking sculpt usually makes be cringe in aprehension - But all of these figures are infused with a personality and quirkiness that is unparalleled in the action figure world.  That is why I am glad to buy these scarce ladies whenever I see them.  The fact that they still retail for 10 or 11 bucks is just an added bonus.