Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Guardian of Castle Grayskull Makes Her Long-Awaited Debut from Mattel
The Sorceress is one of the most iconic women of 80's cartoon/toy culture. She was always mysterious, protective, powerful, and wise, guiding the most powerful men and women in the universe toward victory time and time again. I remember going to this feed store where I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and seeing the original Sorceress action figure having on a peg in their shabby toy aisle (I believe it was the last 5 feet of the birdseed aisle). That figure was actually quite a shelfwarmer there because I would love to go "visit" her and beg unsuccessfully to have her purchased for me. She must have easily been there for a year, collecting dust and being ignored by all the other country boys. It was twenty years before I finally got my vintage Sorceress, and another five before I got my hands on this wonderful toy. A long wait, but well worth it.
Mattel's 2012 Club Eternia Exclusive Figure - The Evil Horde's Shadow Weaver
It was a very tricky thing on Mattel's part to to make such an important character in the She-Ra/Princess of Power Universe such a hard-to-get figure. For those unaware, the only way to get Shadow Weaver was to join their Club Eternia subscription program wherein you essentially agree to buy any and all MOTUC products that Mattel will produce that year, sight unseen. The perks are that you're guaranteed to get every toy released and you get this awesome exclusive figure. The cons are that you're spending a LOT of money on products that haven't even been announced yet. This is my first year subscribing so I'm still testing the waters. Previous years have had interesting (but non-essential) characters as the Club Eternia Exclusive. Shadow Weaver is anything but non-essential though. She appears in almost every episode of She-Ra and was always a fan favorite and a constantly formidable foe to the Great Rebellion.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Knock-Off G.I.Joe-Type Figures from Lanard, Olmec, and Berchet
I had originally planned to do a separate review for each of these three figures individually for my series of Black History Month reviews, but time is short and they work so well as a group, so here they all are together. We all know that black female characters are a rarity in boy-centric toy lines. For some reason, even properties that have tons of female characters and tons of black male characters will rarely (if ever) combine the two minorities. I did a review earlier this month on the lone African American G.I.Joe figure, Carla "Doc" Greer, but now I will focus on some cool bootlegs that have been released over the years to give us some sorely needed diversity in our 3&3/4" collections.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
1988 G.I.Joe knock-offs from Berchet of France
I first discovered Mission Medecins San Frontieres ("Doctors Without Borders") on yojoe.com many years ago in their "Not G.I.Joe" section. The information on that site was basic, but it prompted me to do some research and discover the rest of the line. It was a LONG time before I finally was able to get the two females of the set. I didn't pay much for them, roughly $2.00 each (plus crazy shipping from France), so I don't think they're excessively valuable or anything, but I rarely see them on ebay. If you're into G.I.Joe bootlegs, especially ones with original sculpting details, this is definitely a series you should be hunting down.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
JLA, Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey - Meet the African Queen of the DC Universe
It always surprised me that the DCU has so few black female characters. Vixen was introduced in 1981 in the pages of Superman's Action Comics and was slated to have her own title early on. This would have made her the first titular black female character in DC history. Unfortunately this title was axed before it ever saw print, but the character has stayed strong and has been popping up as a regular character in a multitude of comic titles ever since. Vixen has the power to mimic any wild animal, adopting the senses, abilities, and strengths of that creature. In the past few years we have seen a handful of nice figures representing the character. I actually don't own any of these items, but they are all on my radar. I felt that Vixen needed a place in my series of Black History Month reviews, so I hit the internet for images of all the figures.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
DC Direct's Batman Family Multi-Part Statue
I don't do customs too often. I usually only attempt them to make a figure better (as opposed to making an entirely new character). And this motivation usually only happens when I make an excitable purchase but am disappointed in some details of the product. This was the case with the Catwoman figure in the Batman Family Multi-Part Statue from DC Direct in 2010. Now, I purchased this entire statue with the full intent of breaking up the characters into individual statues (Specifically to add the Huntress figure to my Cover Girls collection). Huntress, Commisioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin were all great, but Batwoman, Nightwing, and Catwoman all needed some tweaking in my opinion.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Diamond Select 2007 San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive
I was hard-pressed to select a single piece of Storm merchandise to review this month. There was no way she could be excluded from my series of Black History Month reviews, but she's had so many action figures and statues that it was hard to choose. If I had more, I would have featured her in a Character Spotlight, but unfortunately my personal collection is a bit lacking in the Ororo department. I chose this bust because it has a very nostalgic connection for me. I am and always have been a huge fan of Arthur Adams' art. My first exposure to him was in the epic Asgardian Wars storyline of 1985. I would carry around New Mutants Special #1 and X-Men Annual #9 with me whereever I would go (just in case I required an emergency dose of mutant fantasy). In the storyline, Storm temporarily takes over the role of Thor and becomes the Goddess of Thunder which is the inspiration for this bust. I only discovered the existence of this bust last year, somehow it slipped completely beneath my radar.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Batman: Legacy - Series 3 - Two-Packs - from Mattel 2012
I've been waiiiitttiing for a girl like you to come intooo my life. Seriously though, it's been a LONG time since we've had a decent modern Catwoman figure. DC Direct's Hush Catwoman came out EIGHT years ago in 2004. And even that awful DC SuperHeroes version was in 2008. And I say awful because the goggle tooling and weird face paint applications ruined it in post-production, which is such a shame because the prototype 2-Up of that figure was beautiful. Anyway, this figure is just awesome. I have so few criticisms that this review is going to be be mostly pictures. Or maybe I will ramble just a little about how this is going to be an awesome year for Catwoman fans. This is the second and third Catwoman action figure so far this year. We have the DC Direct version of this figure coming up next month, then a Mattel Movie Masters figure, and potentially a DC Direct DCU Online figure. Plus I'm sure we'll see something for DC New52 eventually. It's a virtual flood of Selinas!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Batman: Legacy - Series 3 Singles - Arkham City Harley Quinn
While I will always prefer Harley's classic look, this Arkham City style is definitely growing on me. I don't mind the fact that she looks like she accessorizes at Hot Topic or that the dye isn't staying in her ponytails like she planned. I absolutely despised the Arkham Asylum "slutty nurse" looks that preceded this incarnation. Perhaps it was that distaste that made me resist this version so long. In fact, the first time I appreciated the re-design was when I first saw the DC Direct Arkham City Harley last month. She still doesn't really fit in with the rest of my comic heroes -- looking more Spawn-Family than Bat-Family -- but i've officially caved and integrated her into the collection.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
DC Direct's 2004 Mini-Bust from the Ill-Fated Catwoman Movie
I know. I know. I've seen the movie. I've shared in your pain. I didn't like the plot. I didn't like the costume design. I didn't like the total-reimagining of such a great character. HowEVER, I love Catwoman. And I like to have some representation of all versions of her in my collection. She's taken a lot of different forms over the years, most of which I've really liked, but several others which I really didn't. The 2004 movie version is probably my least favorite look for the character. I've analyzed what bothers me most about this looks, and for me, it's the gimmicky sex-appeal details combined with the non-functionality of the costume itself. My least favorite parts are the cat-slashed leather pants and the ridiculous stillettos. Seriously, if she were wearing plain leather pants and functional boots, this outfit would not be nearly as despised as it is.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It's a She's Fantastic Pink Party!
Join Allura, Sassette, Jewelstar, Arcee, Amy Rose, Betsy Braddock, Bashful Bug, Pink Ranger, Star Sapphire, Tentorina, MomoRanger, Ballerina Husky, Sara Aspen, Mokey, Spartan Air Assault, and Lady Command Ai in celebrating the pinkest of days.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
G.I.Joe 2007 Convention Exclusive from Hasbro
This version of Doc was included in the G.I.Joe 2007 Convention Exclusive Boxset "Tanks For The Memories." Carla is introduced as the niece of Carl Greer, the original Doc. Having never appeared in the TV Series, and only having a few scattered comic book cameos (starting in 2004), she was essentially an unknown and non-canonical character until she received this figure and associated filecard bio - which established her relationship with the original Doc. Being the only African American female action figure released in the G.I.Joe line (among over 26 unique female characters, and more than 75 female action figures - including all variations of those 26 characters), this Doc figure should be a necessity of any G.I.Joe collection, if for nothing else than to provide some realistic diversity.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
McFarlane Toys - The Walking Dead - Comic Series 1 - Michonne
I feel like I've been writing a lot of reviews lately about characters and brands I know nothing about. I have never watched The Walking Dead nor read any of the comics. What I do know is that I've been spying this beautiful action figure on the shelves for a couple months now and when I found her at a liquidating Toys'R'us, I couldn't pass her up. I need to do some serious research into what McFarlane Toys has been up to the past few years because this is the second time they've impressed me so far in 2012. (And this is after many many years of being quite the opposite of impressed). It's always surprising to me how few female action figures are produced, and even more surprizing how few African American females are produced. This fantastic figure has inspired me to create a series of posts dedicated to Black History Month. I honestly don't have enough figures to do a daily themed post, but I have some really interesting figures I will be reviewing. (Click Black History Month (BHM) in the post labels to see them all.)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
DC Direct Justice League of America Boxset 2009
Wonder Woman is a sticky situation for us collectors of female action figures. I will go out on a limb and say that she is the single most merchandised heroine of all time, and I seriously doubt any ladies will be stealing that mantle from her anytime soon. I don't dislike Wonder Woman, but I pointedly ignore the standard monthly solicitation of yet another Diana figure or statue. I am an obsessive collector so I have to put my blinders on or I will be penniless and living in a star-spangled hovel. A few years ago I started reading the revamped Wonder Woman comic with art by Terry and Rachel Dodson and I suddenly had a renewed interest in the character. I made it a goal to find the single best figure I could find of her and limit myself to that one piece. Of course I now have a small handful of Dianas, but they entered organically into my collection, because each time I made a purchase I truly thought I was replacing my existing perfect figure with a newly-produced superior version of that single perfect representation.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Cover Girls, New 52 Busts, Dark Knight Rises Statues & Busts
This information was all over the toy blogs in the past few weeks, but I had to put my two cents in and join in on the excitement. DC Direct released a flyer to distributers soliciting all sorts of products throughout 2012. It's mostly Dark Knight Rises products, but there's a peppering of DC New 52 stuff as well. I'm getting more and more excited for Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Catwoman in the upcoming movie every day. The products keep rolling out and I am seriously strategizing on how many shelves I'll be dedicating to Ms. Kyle before the year is through.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Mattel's DC Universe Classics (Final) Wave 20 - Dawn Granger as Dove
Of all the classic DC properties to make a comeback in the past few years, one of my favorites is definitely Hawk & Dove. I am secretly a big bird fanatic, and I also love allegorical characters, so we were a natural fit from the start. I think I'm one of the few readers out there who is really enjoying the new series and who is really sad to see it come to an end in April. All those great new secondary characters (read: more symbolic-bird-people for me :)): Condor, Swan, Osprey... but I digress. It's ending and I understand why, but I'm still sad. With all the new attention we've had a ton (okay, a few) Dove items released in the past year. This will be the second action figure, plus there was a Bust, an Eaglemoss Figurine, and a HeroClix gamepiece. Considering Dawn's version of the character has been around since the 80's, it's crazy that we JUST started getting merchandise in 2011.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The Gotham City Sirens return to the Lego universe with revamped designs for 2011
I've been kicking myself for years for not buying these three ladies the first time around. I would see them in Toys'R'us years ago and put heavy consideration into buying a whole building set for one little minifig. I always walked away empty-handed and these tiny vixens have become "the one(s) that got away" for me ever since. That said, I was very excited when they announced a new LEGO DC Universe license at SDCC this year. I was a little let down that the one bat-female they showed seemed to be an identical Catwoman to the original (I always thought the mask could be tweaked to look better) but I was happy to get the chance to get them again at a reasonable price.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Dark Knight Rises - Funko POP! Catwoman
Finally! I have a confession. I have been googling "+funko +pop +catwoman -plush" nearly every week for a year. I love my two Batgirl Pops (regular and black SDCC version -- tho I passed on the metallic repaint) and I've been pining for more bat-ladies to add to the roster. I'm frankly surprised we haven't seen a classic comic version yet. Funko seems to love easy repaints and selina is a prime target for variations; Purple, Black, and Gray versions of her costumes will always be in style. Plus we've seen that Funko Pop Plush Catwoman in the stores for a couple years now, so we know the character is on their radar.
G.I.Joe 30th Anniversary Wave 2011.3 - Renegades Scarlett - from Hasbro
The leading lady of the Joe's returns with her NINETEENTH(!) figure since her humble/awkward toy beginnings in 1982... and honestly she hasn't aged a day. [Check out all her previous incarnations at the go-to place for G.I.Joe info, www.yojoe.com] In case you're not aware, G.I.Joe Renegades is the newest Joe cartoon; currently being aired on The Hub. I haven't watched it yet myself, but I loved the last show (G.I.Joe Resolute), and it looks like Renegades is cut from that same cloth. While this character doesn't fully embrace an animated style, it's definitely a slight departure from the typical 30th Anniversary look. Of course, this could just be the packaging swaying my opinion, because sitting here looking at the thumbnail I just posted, she looks less stylized/cartoonish than many of her recent 30th Anniversary predecessors.