Saturday, December 28, 2013

WWE Best of 2013 KAITLYN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/wwe-best-of-2013-kaitlyn.html
WWE Best of 2013 - Kaitlyn - Mattel 2013
 
Sorry for the lack of posts lately!  The holidays brought the typical hectiness - parties, shopping, end-of-the-year work stress - and on top of that I bought a freakin house!  (Well almost, the offer was accepted and the mortgage went though, but closing isn't until the end of January).  There goes my toy budget for 2014... seriously.  I actually made a deal with myself to only spend money on toys that I earn from selling other toys and comics on eBay.  I also made a release calendar of my must-haves for the year.  This will be the first time in forever that I'll be wishing for a weak turnout at ToyFair!   Anyway, I will be packing up my collection shortly and I honestly probably won't get around to unpacking it until late Spring.  Hopefully I can keep up with interesting reviews, but I have no way to predict what the next few months will be like.  On the bright side, my new man cave is going to be H U G E.  Seriously - at least 4 times the size of my current cave.  I'll try to post a picture below.  Anyway, enough of my crazy.  Hope everyone had a great holiday and got lots of toys!  Let's check out Kaitlyn below!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Marvel Select's Retro MARVEL GIRL!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/marvel-selects-retro-marvel-girl.html
Jean Grey as Marvel Girl - Marvel Select - Hasbro 2009
 
This costume of Jean Grey's is my absolute favorite.  I love the retro styling, I love the bright colors, and I love the overall simplicity of it.  This was actually the uniform that she wore when I was first exposed to the her (on the cover of Classic X-Men #43).  I was always into cartoon culture as a kid, but I didn't get bit by the comic bug until I was 10 and my family moved into the center of a small town with three active comic shops. It took me a couple of year to get hooked.  I started with properties I was familiar with, like G.I.Joe and Batman, but before long I was desperately seeking employment (which for a kid meant raking leaves and delivering newspapers) just to fund my newfound addiction.  This Marvel Girl costume brings me such a wave of nostalgia for that time.  She first donned the yellow domino mask in the iconic X-Men #39 from 1967 and kept it until Issue #101 when she became Phoenix.  This Marvel Girl has received a decent amount of merchandising, but I think this is the only piece I'll own (too many pricey statues).  I'll spotlight the rest below though.  Let's get on to the review!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Buggy Ladies of GLO FRIENDS!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/the-buggy-ladies-of-glo-friends.html
A Spotlight on my 3 Favorite Glo Friends - Hasbro/Playskool 1986-1988
 
I know a review like this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but the mantra of this blog is "Uniting All Women of Plastic", and that means all.  I'm aware that the vast majority of my readership is anchored in the superhero arena, but I'm hoping that there's just as much interest in the awesome nostalgic 80's properties out there as well - because I'll be sure to pepper reviews like this in every few months.  In 1982, Hasbro created a plush toy sensation in the form of Glo Worm.  The "Glo" brand immediately took off and soon spawned a series of books, cartoons, and a popular line of small glow-in-the-dark figures called Glo Friends.  I think every child of the 80's had at least one of these.  They were the default stocking stuffers for years in my family, but I eventually melted or destroyed them all.   In 1986, these figures hit the market under the new-ish Hasbro subsidiary, Playskool (although some of the packaging still lists the maker as "Hasbro Preschool").   There were 28 figures in all.  Let's check out my favorite three below!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Marvel's M2 1st Appearances AMERICAN DREAM!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/marvels-american-dream.html
American Dream: The Star-Spangled Fangirl  - M2 1st Appearances - ToyBiz 1999

Shannon Carter grew up idolizing Captain America.  Unlike most fans, however, she had a closer connection to her hero in the form of her Aunt Sharon Carter, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.  She even found herself being a tourguide in the Avengers Mansion.  She first appeared as American Dream in the pages of A-Next (in Marvel's alternate M2 Universe) alongside Spider-Girl, Thena, and Stinger.  After that series ended, she starred in a solo title, as well as Captain America Corps.  This action figure is the only merchandise ever produced of Shannon (Shocking that there hasn't been a Heroclix or Minimate at least).  It has all the standard pitfalls of 1990's ToyBiz figures (awkward proportions, weird pose, giant accessories, etc), but it's still a pretty fantastic toy.  Her super-iconic costume is recognizable to almost anyone.  Your non-nerdy friends will undoubtedly ask who she is (and if she was in the movie).  Let's check out American Dream in detail below!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bowen Designs BIONICA!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/bowen-designs-bionica.html
Bionica: The Bride of Metropolis - Bowen Designs 1999
 
Randy Bowen is a name synonymous with high quality products in the world of pop culture collectibles.  I think it's safe to say that most toy collectors have, at one time or another, splurged on a Bowen statue.   I have several busts in my collection and a handful of statues on my wish list.  He was the first superstar sculptor I ever became aware of.  He may actually be the pioneer of the character statues and busts that fill glass cases in every comic shop today (although that's hard to prove outright.. this man desperately needs a detailed wiki page!).  This figure is a nice surprise.  It's actually the only Bowen Designs action figure I've ever heard of.  Technically she is labeled as a "fully articulated statue," but c'mon, she's plastic and has lot of joints and accessories - plus she comes carded behind a plastic bubble - totally an action figure!  Bionica is an original creation by Randy Bowen himself (Bowen Designs employs many different artists, but this is all him) and is an amalgamation of Maria from Metropolis and Bride of Frankenstein.  Let's check her out in detail below!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

WWE Superstar TAMINA SNUKA!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/wwe-superstar-tamina-snuka.html
WWE Superstar #59 - Tamina Snuka - Mattel 2013
 
The end of 2013 has been a crazy year for female wrestling figures.  So much so that I'm losing my ability to randomly rant about characters I know next to nothing about (yet am somehow inexplicably drawn to the toys).  I first saw this toy at NYCC 2013 and in my eyes she was the standout figure of the huge WWE display.  Maybe it was the fact that she was at the top of the display, maybe it was her bold red outfit, or maybe it was the fact that her figure is just very attractive in general.  But either way she was the girl I had been hoping to find on the shelves during the past few months (I'm woefully ignorant of upcoming releases and street dates for the WWE lines).  But being ignorant of those things is actually something I've come to embrace with this one particular line.  For instance, if there's a new Catwoman figure coming out, I know six months in advance and am budgeting for, making shelf space, and planning my hunt (or online purchase) well in advance.  The whole process is fun in its own way, but overall it seems a little mechanical and less thrilling than finding someone unexpected on the shelf.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Women of Marvel Universe NOG'NZ!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/12/the-women-of-marvel-universe-nognz.html
Seven Marvelously Squished Ladies - Nog'nz Blind Bag Series 1 - Zag Toys 2012

For those collectors who have a strong visceral reaction to Chibis and other abstracted superhero forms, you're going to just love these little monstrosities.  I definitely had a similar negative reaction when I first saw these.  It took me about a year to warm up to them, and now they just make me giggle.  When trying to describe them to someone who has never seen them, I can't seem to avoid the imagery of a small caramel candy that has been pinched and prodded into a shape.  This is especially true for Rogue whose hair gives her the right coloring for my analogy.  A big perk for me was also the character selection.   The first (and only) series had 45 characters, including seven females - pretty impressive for a debut aimed at kids.  They are made from a really dense plastic that click and clack like dice when jostled together.  There are actually some games you are supposed to play with these - seems like a cross between craps and marbles. (The tag line on all the packaging is "Heads will Roll!")  Let's check them out!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Women of SPACE PRECINCT 2040!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/the-women-of-space-precinct-2040.html
Officer Took & Officer Castle - Space Precinct 2040 - Vivid Imaginations 1994

Gerry Anderson was the puppeteering genius behind the classic sci-fi series' Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Terrahawks (to name a few).  Space Precinct 2040 was one of his last big endeavors but was unfortunately plagued with problems.  The show began airing in 1994 and was cancelled after its first season.  Space Precinct was created for both US and UK distribution but was unable to find a tone to satisfy both markets.  It seems that there was a lot of sub-par work, exaggerations about funding, and inappropriate timeslots adding to its early demise.  There was even a documentary about the behind-the-scenes antics produced last year titled Space Precinct Legacy.  It's really a shame because underneath all the drama, there was a cool premise for a show that could have been a hit.  The series focuses on an NYPD Officer Patrick Brogan who is sent (along with a handful of other human officers) to serve as an officer on the far away crime-riddled planet of Altor.  They serve with other alien officers and solve crimes committed by aliens and humans alike.  Simple, weird, and Entertaining.  Think NYPD Blue meets Farscape.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Marvel Legends JEAN GREY (and Customization)!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/marvel-legends-jean-grey-and.html
Jean Grey (90's Style!) - Marvel Legends Racket Raccoon Series - Hasbro 2013
 
Jean Grey is the matriarchal guineapig of mutantdom.  She has been through more character upheavals than almost any other superhero I can think of.  We're not talking about the run-of-the-mill costume change every decade.  No.  Jean Grey has changed powers, names, costumes, allegiances, identities, and even mortality status with alarming regularity.  One of the most beloved iterations of Marvel Girl was the early 1990's Jim Lee & Chris Claremont version that we see here.  This look is not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination (it always seemed very illogical to be hanging out at the mansion in a uniform like that), but lately I've really come to appreciate the design as a relic of a bygone era of comics.  I'm frankly surprised we haven't seen this costume in 6" action figure scale before this.  And, noting that, it's a shame this didn't get put off a little bit longer until the new Moonstone body becomes the standard buck (which I'm hoping will happen soon!).  Let's check her out below!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mezco Mini Mez-Itz Keychain - HARLEY QUINN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/mezco-mini-mez-itz-keychain-harley-quinn.html
DC Universe Mini Mez-Itz Keychains - Harley Quinn - Mezco 2013

Harley Quinn is amazing.  I've always been a little biased towards the lady villains, but to me she is so much more interesting than her main man Joker.  I just picked up the introductory issue of her new ongoing comic series this week and I'm excited to see a new side of her (I haven't really paid any attention to her in the New 52 yet).  I'm really digging her new "rollergirl" look, but these classic court jester duds will always be my favorite.  I bought this keychain at NYCC 2013 from the Mezco booth.  I think it was a convention exclusive, but I can't verify that and there isn't any indication on the packaging.  As I've stated in past reviews, I always chop off the keychain apparatus right away.  I'm way too impatient to wait for the regular versions to be released.  This Harley Quinn Mini Mez-Itz is the first of two versions that will be made, the second version has a closed mouth with a winking eye and will be released in the DC Universe Blind Box assortments (already showing up on eBay).  Let's check out Harley below!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

WWE Elite TRISH STRATUS!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/wwe-elite-trish-stratus.html
WWE Elite Collection #24 - Flashback - Trish Stratus - Mattel 2013
 
I'm cheating and stealing this intro from Wikipedia:  Patricia Anne Stratigias (born December 18, 1975) is a Canadian retired professional wrestler, former fitness model, and a fitness guru, actress and television personality, better known by her ring name Trish Stratus. She is best known for her tenure with WWE.  After beginning her career as a fitness model, Stratus began working for the WWF, which was later renamed WWE. Early in her career, she was involved in sexually themed storylines, such as managing the team T & A and an affair with Vince McMahon. As Stratus spent more time in the ring, her perceived wrestling skills strengthened and her popularity increased. Because of this, she was made a one-time WWE Hardcore Champion, three-time "WWE Babe of the Year" and was proclaimed "Diva of the Decade". After nearly seven years in the business, Stratus retired from professional wrestling at WWE Unforgiven on September 17, 2006 after winning her seventh WWE Women's Championship, the most in WWE history.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DC Comics The New 52 - CATWOMAN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/dc-comics-new-52-catwoman.html
DC The New 52: Super Heroes vs Super-Villains 7-Pack - DC Collectibles 2013

I just realized how incredibly long it's been since we've seen a comic-styled Catwoman action figure.  Sure, all the video game versions have been pretty close to her modern comic costumes, but technically it's been over 5 years (Infinite Heroes).  This fantastic version of Selina was an exclusive to a very expensive 7-figure box set that was released yesterday.  I've known this for months and have been debating the purchase ever since, but as soon as I saw her in the store today I knew it was a no-brainer.  Now I just hope I can recoup some cash by selling the surplus figures on eBay.  This figure is awesome.  She's beautifully sculpted by Jonathan Matthews, her articulation is some of the best from a DC Collectibles female so far, and her paint apps are great (and an improvement over the overly made-up prototypes we've seen at conventions).  I'm super happy with this figure.  DC Collectibles is really coming back and filling the DCUC void.  I can't wait to see what the future holds.  Let's check out Catwoman below!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mezco Mini Mez-Itz Keychain - BATGIRL!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/mezco-mini-mez-itz-keychain-batgirl.html
DC Universe Mini Mez-Itz Keychains - Batgirl - Mezco 2013

Mezco Mini Mez-Itz are one of my favorite designer collectibles on the market.  There are so many good choices out there today; Funko POP, Lego, Mini-Mates, etc, etc - but these Mini Mez-Itz are really holding their own.  I secretly gauge the momentum of a toy line by the characters they produce - yes, I know every collector probably does this - but I base my judgement on willingness to produce multiple versions of the same character.  Usually this ends up being Catwoman.  Funko POP has two, Lego has two (almost identical), Mini-Mates has one, but Mini Mez-Itz has two with an additional two on the horizon.  The momentum is definitely impressive.  Plus the upcoming Poison Ivy and Harleys are really going to round-out the bat-family roster.  The only downside to these figures is that Mezco seems to have a pattern of initially releasing them as keychains at conventions, with non-keychain versions released much later.  I'm impatient.  But I dislike keychains.  Luckily I have an Xacto blade and a wide array of Dremel bits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Funko POP! Batman Classic TV Series CATWOMAN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/funko-pop-batman-classic-tv-series.html
POP! Heroes #43 - Batman: Classic TV Series - Catwoman - Funko 2013

I've loving all the Batman '66 merchandise this year!  This Funko POP vinyl figure is my fourth Julie Newmar item this year, but hopefully not my last (there are still some Mini Mez-Itz, a Moebius model, and a yet-to-be-revealed DST mini-bust on the horizon).  This Funko POP vinyl figure is pretty great.  I thought she'd be extremely similar to the Dark Knight Rises figure, but she's actually very unique.  There are side-by-side comparison pics below.  I normally have a distaste for glitter, but in this case it really works - you just have to be careful in picking a figure with a nice even cover of glitter (some I've seen have a really glittery torso with unglittered legs... and on some I've seen glitter clumping in the necklace area).    Funko always amazes me with their speed at getting their products into the marketplace.  I'll bet they are the first to get us some Yvonne Craig Batgirl items - I'm guessing a Wacky Wobbler followed by a POP.  I also love how their products are carried in such a variety of retail locations.  I never have much trouble finding the figures I need.  Let's check out Catwoman below!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Impact Wrestling MISS TESSMACHER!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/impact-wrestling-miss-tessmacher.html
Deluxe Impact Wrestling: Series 10 - Miss Tessmacher - Jakks Pacific 2013
 
I should have saved this star-spangled character for a patriotic holiday!  I'm always happy to get a wrestling figure that isn't wearing pink, white or black.  Although I shouldn't complain because most of my recent figures have definitely been straying from the repetitive color palette of the past.  An interesting thing about my purchase of wrestling figures is that I usually have no clue who the women are when I find them in the store, then in the preparation for a review I learn all about their careers.  I'm getting quite an education over the past few years, too.  I even seem somewhat knowledgeable when I catch an episode of Total Divas on E! now.  Miss Tessmacher has been in the wrestling world since 2006 and has worked for WWE, ECW, and TNA under various names: Brooke, Brooke Adams, Brooke Tessmacher, and of course Miss Tessmacher.  These Jakks Pacific figures are hit and miss for me.  Each one seems to have features I like and dislike.  This particular figure is more on the "miss" side for me with her oddly proportioned body parts, but she still packs quite a punch.  Let's check her out below!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Super Mario Bros TOADETTE!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/super-mario-bros-toadette.html
Nintendo Prize Collection - Super Mario Characters 3 - Banpresto 2007

Who would have thought there could a cuter mushroom person than the main man Toad?  I think this little pink lady might be giving him a run for his money.  Toadette first appeared in 2003's Mario Kart: Double Dash as Toad's sister, or friend, or sweetheart (it's been unclear) and went on to appear in at least nine other games since (mostly in the Mario Party and Mario Kart series) as both playable and non-playable characters.  I've been seeing this figure of Toadette on eBay for years but only recently caved and bought her - I shouldn't say caved actually, because she was extremely cheap.  Now I suddenly really dig this character and am hoping to someday get figures of her in smaller scales like PopCo and K'Nex.  Banpresto is a company that we don't often see too many collectibles from here in the US (although they made my absolute favorite Godzilla toy) but in Japan they are everywhere.  The prevalence of cheaper vinyl toys is another Japanese trend that is sorely lacking in the US.. but someday we'll get on board... someday.  Let's check out Toadette below!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Amazing SPIDER-GIRL!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/the-amazing-spider-girl.html
The Webslinging May Parker - M2 1st Appearances - ToyBiz 1999

Spider-Girl has always always been a hit-or-miss character with me.  She has all the surface-level qualities that I love in a Superhero (ie: She's a female version of an established male character, plus she has a cool origin).  May "Mayday" Parker was originally created for an issue of What If in 1998... ostensibly as a single-story character.  But she was soon given her own series as part of Marvel's M2 Universe.  This first series won Mayday the distinction of having the longest running Marvel solo title starring a female character - and that's not even counting her two follow-up series.  These comics had a huge fan base, but for some reason I just wasn't a big fan.  I kept trying to like the character over the years, but I never truly jumped on board until Anya Corazon (Araña) took over the mantle in 2011.  In 1999, ToyBiz had an awesome Previews Exclusive female-centric line based of the M2 Universe.  They have typical odd ToyBiz posturing and articulation, but all-in-all they're great figures.  Let's check her out below!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Character Spotlight on BATWOMAN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/character-spotlight-on-batwoman.html
Gotham Socialite Kate Kane as One of Gotham's Greatest Vigilantes
 
Batwoman's Modern incarnation is one of my favorite all-time developments in DC Comics.  I adored the original Kathy Kane Silver Age Batwoman, but she never quite evolved out the cheesy campy character whose sole purpose was to butch-up Batman.  I loved her, but I accepted her as a goofy figment of the past.  Then in 2006 we met this new version of the character.  There aren't really many parallels between the two characters aside from her title, real name, and penchant for red.  I personally feel that Kate got off to a rocky start.  Her first few years were pretty boring and clichéd.  There didn't seem to be any depth to the character beyond her sexuality, religion, and social standing.  But then she took over as the title character in Detective Comics in 2009 and suddenly she was awesome.  She suddenly had motivation, backstory, personal conflict, and believable fighting skills.  She was one of the very very few characters that was left unchanged by the upheaval of the DC: The New 52 revamps in 2011.  Kate Kane has received a decent amount of merchandising in her brief seven years, let's check, it all out below!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Injustice 3.75" CATWOMAN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/injustice-375-catwoman.html
Injustice: Gods Among Us - Catwoman vs Doomsday - DC Collectibles 2013

This is a weird one for me.  I love Catwoman.  She's one of my all-time favorite characters - not my absolute #1 favorite, but she's easily the most heavily merchandised of my top 10.   Because of her popularity, she gets tossed around a lot by designers trying to tweak her look for one reason or another.  In my experience, Video Games and live-action films tend to be the biggest blunderers in this "revamp" arena.  This design for Catwoman is definitely not appealing to me.  The funny thing is that I can't exactly pinpoint why.  She has all kinds of features that I like individually; the classic purple color, the utilitarian strappy outfit, the cat-eared cowl - but for some reason this combination is just off for me.  I'm curious to hear other opinions in the comments below.  You know, maybe if the eyes were covered with goggles it would change the figure completely for me.  Might be worth a custom (or at least a photoshop).  Let's check out our favorite purple feline below!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Marvel Universe DAGGER!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/marvel-universe-dagger.html
Marvel Universe Series 5 - No. 17 - Marvel Knights - Hasbro 2013
 
Marvel's own Lady of Light finally gets some love in the 3.75" Marvel Universe line.  Of course, she's super-hard to come by as a shortpacked variant of her partner Cloak, but at least she was made.  Ironically enough, I was unable to find Cloak in time to photograph the pair for this review.  I had seen him in the stores pretty regularly, but I wasn't going to buy him until I was sure I could get Dagger.  You know how it goes.  As soon as I found her, he was nowhere to be found.   Cloak & Dagger are such a classic superhero duo.  They represent duality, isolation, and the harsh side effects of drug experimentation (hey, it was the eighties).  Ty Johnson and Tandy Bowen were teenage runaways who were kidnapped for experimentation of a deadly synthetic heroin.  Tandy and Ty, however, were mutants (in the retconned version) and these experimental drugs triggered their mutations creating Cloak & Dagger.  Cloak controlled a dark portal that swallowed up anyone its path, and Dagger radiated light (and projected "daggers" of them) and because of this light could successfully navigate the dark portal.  Drug pushers didn't stand a chance.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Batman '66 Julie Newmar CATWOMAN!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/batman-66-julie-newmar-catwoman.html
Your Purrrfect Feline Fatale - Batman Classic TV Series 2 - Mattel 2013
 
It's hard to imagine a time when Catwoman wasn't an everyday name in pop culture.  Everyone knows her now.  Even my Mom knows her.  Girls who have never picked up a comic or watched a geeky movie want to dress like her for Halloween.  I have no solid proof that Julie Newmar is the woman who catapulted the character to stardom, but I'd be willing to bet my Catwoman collection she is.  Julie was definitely my first exposure to the femme fatale.  The 1966 Batman Television series was in heavy syndication all throughout my childhood.  So although I'm a child of the eighties, this sixties property is totally nostalgic for me.  This figure itself has made me very happy.  The original paint masters were unexpectedly stunning, but I honestly don't think anyone expected the finished product to really look like it.  And honestly, it doesn't come close.  But back at NYCC there was a production figure displayed that just looked disappointingly bland.  I was very very let down after seeing that sample.  But then I layed my hands on this figure this week and I am suddenly happy again.  Let's check her out below!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Super Best Friends Forever POISON IVY!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/11/super-best-friends-forever-poison-ivy.html
Animated Style PVC Figure - NYCC 2013 Exclusive - DC Collectibles 2013

Lauren Faust is the animator behind the huge cartoon hits Powerpuff Girls and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  In 2012, Lauren put her talents toward a series of animated shorts for the Cartoon Network's DC Nation show.  Super Best Friends Forever featured the mini-adventures of Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Girl.  Although there were only five shorts ever produced, they made quite an impact and the three main heroines were immortalized in an SDCC '13 Exclusive Box Set of PVC Figures (essentially plastic statues).  I was on the fence about these figures and still haven't purchased them (NOTE: They're being released individually with alternate heads in December).  But then they announced Poison Ivy as the NYCC '13 Exclusive (to which I was already going), and I knew they got me.  Poison Ivy only appeared for about two seconds in the second episode of SBFF.  Literally the entire short was about the girls racing to get to Ivy, then there's a couple closing shots of her just standing there.  So, needless to say, this figure came as a bit of a shock.  Let's check out Poison Ivy below!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

GamePro Presents: MISS SPELL!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/10/gamepro-presents-miss-spell_30.html
The Witchiest Gamer Ever: Miss Spell - JoyRide Studios 2002

Happy Halloween!  I have been saving this figure for a long time.  I ran out of time last year and didn't get to review her in time for Halloween.  GamePro was a video game magazine published from 1989-2011.  Like Wizard, ToyFare, and all the many great hobby magazines, it died in the face of the internet.  Apparently (I'm not a gamer!) the magazine had an assortment of original characters that would act as video game reviewers.  These characters were originally created as nicknames for the various editors, but eventually they took on their own personalities and eventually new reviewers would be writing under the pseudonyms.  In 2002, JoyRide Studios released a very cool (but random) set of action figures based on these characters as well as some actual video game characters.  This figure of Miss Spell is really well made.  JoyRide was folded into its parent company in 2007, but before that they had produced great figures of Halo, James Bond & Battlestar Galactica among others.  Let's check out Miss Spell!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Miniature Women of FILMATION'S GHOSTBUSTERS!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/10/miniature-women-of-filmations.html
3-Inch PVC Figures of Futura, Jessica, and Mysteria - Yolanda 1987

In the 1980s there was a bit of a copyright dispute over the name Ghostbusters.  In 1975, there was a live action children's show called The Ghost Busters about a team of "bumbling detectives who would investigate ghostly occurrences."  It lasted only 15 episodes and was largely forgettable.  When Columbia pictures produced the 1984 box-office hit Ghostbusters, they were unaware of the earlier Filmation property and had to pay 500K in licensing fees to Filmation.  During the process, Filmation wanted to gain the rights to produce an animated series based off the new Columbia film.  These rights were never granted, and instead Filmation went on to produce an updated animated version of their 1975 show.  Whether this was out of spite, or just taking advantage of the name recognition, who knows.  Eventually, an animated version of the Columbia movie was produced by DiC and named The Real Ghostbusters.  The Filmation Ghostbusters animated series was a quite a success.  It kind of had a Scooby-Doo meets the Addams Family vibe. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beetleborgs HORRIBELLE!

http://www.shesfantastic.com/2013/10/beetleborgs-horribelle.html
The Evil Crustacean Horribelle - Beetleborgs Metallix - Bandai 1998

The evil villain costumes are my absolute favorite thing about all the Saban-produced Japanese properties that were so prevalent in the 1990s.  The Big Bad Beetleborgs was an American television show from 1996 that used footage from Juukou B-Fighter, and later when the series evolved into Beetleborgs Metallix, it used footage from B-Fighter Kabuto (with original American footage for the non-costumed scenes).  The villains in these series are always very detailed and creepy-looking.  Usually in some kind of insectile or demonic armor.  In this case, all the villains are supposed to be crustaceans.  Well, at least they're called "Evil Crustaceans."  Horribelle is pretty clearly a Praying Mantis (they should really be the Evil Arthropods if they wanted to include insects, but we can leave my nerdy semantics out of this).  Horribelle looks fantastic.  A lot of times these 90's Bandai females look way too masculine, but she is definitely an exception.  Let's check her out below!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Identity Crisis ZATANNA!

The Resident Magician of the DCU - Identity Crisis: Series 1 - DC Direct 2006

When prepping this review for inclusion in my Halloween lineup, I had it in my head that Zatanna was a witch.  But then I realized that witches and magicians are very different things, even though the lines between the two are pretty blurred.  Even more interesting was the new tidbit I just learned; that Zatanna isn't necessarily even human, but rather a member of an ancient race called the Homo magi.  Zatanna first appeared in the pages of Hawkman in 1964 and has been a regular (and often understated) character ever since.  She also maintained a lot of her trademark costume details; the fishnets, jacket, and tophat to name a few.  There was however a stretch of time in the early-to-mid eighties when she donned a blue and white getup with a lobster-looking thing perched on her head.  It was a very weird look but I kind of loved it.  The costume was brought back in the 2004 Identity Crisis miniseries which luckily spawned this cool action figure.  Let's check her out below!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lord of the Rings GALADRIEL ENTRANCED!

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - Series 5 - ToyBiz 2005

One of my favorite scenes in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is when even the angelic elf Galadriel shows weakness when exposed to the tempting dark power of the One Ring.  No other scene in the films epitomize the power of the Ring than that short glimpse of its corruptive power.  It was brief, but really made an impact on me.  That's why I was really excited that ToyBiz produced a figure of her in this form.  Full confession:  I saw the trilogy for the first time about 3 years ago, and I only started collecting the toys in 2012.  I've been looking forward to including this figure in a Halloween review all year.  She doesn't necessarily look like Cate Blanchett, but she does look like your everyday spooky witchy spirit lady (the kind that might burst out of your tv at night).  The figure has a cool action feature of light-up eyes, but unfortunately those kind of battery-powered action features are a pretty short-lived novelty when left sitting on a shelf for eight years.  So, yeah, no cool light-up eyes for me...  Anyway, let's check out Galadriel (Entranced) below!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Character Spotlight: BLACK QUEEN (JEAN GREY)!

Your Favorite Brainwashed Dark Mistress of the Hellfire Club

Jean Grey seems to be the guinea pig for character transformations in the X-Men continuum.  She's been alive, dead, possessed, reincarnated, cloned, and everything in-between.  The impressive thing is that each new chapter in her dramatic life tends to create a wholly new character.  In the early 1980s and in the midst of the Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean was possessed by Mastermind and took on the role of the Black Queen in the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club (a clandestine group of evil mutants who liked to dress in inappropriate period costume).  The members were named after chess pieces.  The White Queen obviously being Emma Frost, the Black King being Sebastian Shaw, the White King being Magneto, and Donald Pierce being the White Bishop, just to name a few notable members over the years.  This possession of Jean Grey didn't last very long, but it definitely made an impact on the comic community and we've seen a small amount of merchandise released as a result.  Let's check them out below!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Women of DC Universe CHIBIS!

Adorable Miniature Collectibles - Wonder Woman & Supergirl - Bulls-i-Toy 2013

I'm a sucker for cute collectibles lately.  Maybe it's due to the rising cost of full-sized action figures.  Maybe it's due to the fact that I will always be able to find display space for figures that are only slightly larger than an almond.  Of course, it probably is mostly because I've been bitten by the blind-bag-bug like everyone else I know.  These DC Universe Chibis were a surprise to me.  I've have the Marvel Avengers Black Widow figure for a while now but I wasn't really a fan of that older Chibis style.  Then recently I discovered two additional Marvel ladies (Storm and Invisible Woman) who are in a style much more to my liking.  Luckily these DC figures are in the newer "dot-eye" style that I prefer.  I think we'll definitely see a series two eventually.  Catwoman is the most glaring female missing from the first wave.  But I'm sure Batgirl, Harley, and Poison Ivy would be in the running too.  Something I really liked about these specific blind bags is that there are three figures in each bag, which really limits the frustration of not getting the character you want.  Let's check out Wonder Woman and Supergirl below!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DC Universe VOODOO DOLLS!

String Doll Keychains of All Your Favorite DC Ladies - C & D Visionary 2013

I've been seeing these little guys pop up in my eBay searches for a while now and was never interested in the least.  I thought they were homemade, non-licensed fanart and was unimpressed.  Then I saw them in person (in a store) this week and I realized how odd and cute they were.  They were also on sale so I bought three.  Then by the next day I caved and bought three more.  It's really hard to tell what characters are even available.  For instance, Poison Ivy and Supergirl are basically non-existent on the internet, but I have them in hand.  I find it hard to believe there's not a Hawkgirl, and for all I know I just haven't found her yet.  The character selection is fantastic and the execution of the characters is both adorable and creepy.  I'm a big fan already.  Now all I have to do if find a way to display them in my collection (they look much cooler out of the packaging or else I would just keep them caged).  Let's check them out in detail below!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Girls of W.I.T.C.H.!

W.I.T.C.H. Action Figure Keychains - McDonalds 2005

W.I.T.C.H. is an Italian Magical Girl comic book created in 2001.  Like most magical girl properties, i.e. Sailor Moon, Winx Club, Angel's Friends, etc, W.I.T.C.H. was extremely popular and was soon bought by Disney and turned into an equally popular animated series by 2004.  The comics are currently being released in America in digest form and show up regularly at my lcs.  W.I.T.C.H. follows a typical magical girl premise of five girls (Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin - catch the acronym there?) being granted elemental powers to perform a task.  In this case, they are guarding portals to other magical realms.  Despite the popularity of the comics and cartoon in the US, there has been very little merchandising of the property here.  And frankly I find that a little surprising because the character design is very catchy - matching outfits, cool style, witchy stripes, and fairy wings... how can you beat that?  Well in 2005 McDonalds released a series of 6 figural keychains that I personally think top all the Italian dolls and Kinder figures on the market.  (After the keychain loops got chopped off at least).  Let's check them out!

Monday, October 21, 2013

NECA's CARRIE WHITE (Prom Queen Version)!

Your Favorite Tormented Telekinetic Prom Queen - Carrie - NECA 2013

I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, but not always the biggest fan of the movies based off his work.  Carrie was the first of over 100 film adaptations of his writings and is arguably one of the most acclaimed of the lot.  I was never the hugest fan of that original 1976 movie.  The climax was phenomenal, but I always felt the lead-up to that dramatic conclusion was a bit lackluster (I'll be watching it again later this week and may have a different opinion now however).  The 1999 sequel The Rage: Carrie 2 was interesting but forgettable.  Then there was a 2002 remake that had a lot of positive buzz at the time, but I have never seen it (again, give me a week).   This brings us to the current Carrie film in theatres now.  It's kind of funny that I've been seeing this toy for quite a while now, but had no idea there was a new movie.  My most recent realization is that the titular character is played by Chloë Grace Moretz who I love from Kick-Ass and 30 Rock.  I guess that says a bit about this figure's likeness to the actress.  That said, the Kick-Ass toys don't look like her either so maybe she has one of those difficult-to-capture faces.  Let's check her out!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mutant X - The GOBLIN QUEEN!

Madelyne Pryor's Demonic Alter-Ego - Mutant X: Previews Exclusive - ToyBiz 1998
 
Madelyne Pryor has a very confusing past.  Comic readers originally met her as a non-mutant Jean Grey lookalike who Cyclops met soon after Jean was killed during the Dark Phoenix Saga.  The writers' intentions were for Scott to rebound with Madelyne, retire from the X-Men, and move to Alaska to settle down and have kids.  But then the concept of re-establishing the original X-Men team as X-Factor was brought to the table and all those plans were scrapped.  Madelyne was dumped for the resurrected Jean and got really ticked.  Readers then found out that she was actually a clone of Jean created by Mr. Sinister in order to seduce Scott and produce the powerful Jean & Scott offspring that would have been difficult after Jean's original death (spoiler: they had Nathan Summers aka Cable).  During the Inferno storyline in the late 80s, Madelyne's Jean-like powers were unlocked and made susceptible to demonic forces (just like Jean was effected by the Phoenix force) to become the reality-warping Goblin Queen.  This incarnation has remained popular and still surfaces as an X-Men villain (or ally) every few years.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures - PINKY!

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures - Blind Bag Series 1 - K'Nex 2013

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a computer-animated re-imagining of the world of Pac-Man.  The animated series first aired in June of 2013 on Disney XD.  A basic run-down of the show is this:  Pac-Man is young and is the last of the yellow Pac-Worlders.  There are lots of other colors of Pac-Worlders as seen by his colorful assortment of friends.  Also, the Ghost Gang are now secretly his friends and help Pac-Man fight against the other ghosts.  So Pinky and her brothers (Blinky, Inky, and Clyde) are suddenly good guys -- plus Pinky is now a girl, and Purple Sue is non-existent.  There have been a lot of toys related to this series showing up in the video game aisle of TRU for the past few months, but I actually prefer these mini K'Nex blind bag figures.  They're small, they have more characters, and they're significantly cheaper that the larger Bandai figures.  Each Blind Bag actually contains two figures, too.  (The second figure is one of an assortment of generic bad ghosts).  Let's check her out below!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blackest Night WONDER WOMAN!

Black Lantern Wonder Woman - Blackest Night: Series 4 - DC Direct 2010

Blackest Night was a force to be reckoned with in 2009.  The Green Lantern-centric storyline dealt with the supervillain Nekron (the embodiment of death) as he reincarnated all the dead heroes in a Black Lantern army to wreak predictable havoc.  It was basically a great way for DC to jump on the zombie craze and it was extremely successful.  There were eight series of action figures, several coinciding Green Lantern waves, and three waves from the follow-up series, Brightest Day.  Wonder Woman briefly became a Black Lantern after she and several other heroes were "killed" by Nekron and instantly turned into lanterns.  Her role as a Black Lantern was very short, and since she wasn't dead for more than a split second, she's not one of the rotting gory lanterns, but rather the same old Diana with a creepy color palette.  This figure is excellent.  The Karen Palinko sculpt is beautiful and this dark version of Wonder Woman is a great addition to your Amazon collection.  Let's check her out below!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Photos From NYCC 2013!

My NYCC Opening Night Runaround Documented for Your Viewing Pleasure

Welcome to the photo documentation of my second annual trip to the New York Comic Con.  This year I waited until early September to get tickets only to discover they were almost all sold out.  I was able to get a single ticket for 3pm-9pm on Thursday the 10th.  I'm typing this introduction a couple days in advance so I can just upload photos easily from my phone.  The pros of me going early are the 1) it's cheaper, 2) it will likely be less crowded, and 3) it will be unlikely that exclusives will have sold out.  The negatives sides are that there's less going on (special-guest-wise, etc) and sometimes the big-brand exhibitors save reveals till the last day (ie Mattel showing the Huntress prototype last year after I had left).  I hope to see lots of cool stuff but I don't have too many expectations.  I'm actually more excited about shopping than seeing new toy reveals.  But I'm sure once I get there I'll be like a kid at an Easter egg hunt.  Everything past this first paragraph break will have been written during or after NYCC.  My fingers are crossed!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Real Ghostbusters JANINE MELNITZ!

Ghostbusters: Fright Features - Janine Melnitz w/ Tickler the Ghost - Kenner 1989

How could I have a Halloween month (however loosely based) without a Ghostbusters figure?  Last year I reviewed Gozer and Zuul, which are definitely the coolest ladies from the property, but Janine is arguably the most loved.  Originally played by Annie Potts in the original movies, the bored-and unfrazzled secretary saw a ton of character growth in the the later animated series The Real Ghostbusters (voiced by Kath Soucie) and Extreme Ghostbusters (voiced by Pat Musick).  In several episodes of these series, Janine would get pulled into the adventure and "suit up" in her own Ghostbuster uniform, often with a proton pack of her own.  Kenner produced a handful of Janine figures between 1986-1991, but this Fright Features figure has always been my favorite.  All the Fright Features figures had really cool dynamic action features (one of my favorite trends of 80's toys) and these gimmicks made them some of the most popular Ghostbusters toys ever.  Let's check out Janine below!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Superman/Batman CORRUPTED SUPERGIRL!

Apokolips Supergirl - Superman/Batman: Series 2 - DC Direct 2006
 
This one is even in Halloween colors!  The girls sculpted in DC Direct's Superman/Batman lines are some of the most criticized collector figures of all time.   The sculpts by Big Chief are really good and truly representative of the late Michael Turner's art.  Michael Turner's art, however, is exaggerated and ultra-sexy.  But those same exaggerations that work so well in two dimensions tend to lose their illusion when rendered in 3-D.  The lanky torsos (in both the male and female characters) look dynamic on the page, but positively deformed from the plastic perspective.  The version of Supergirl came about when Darkseid kidnapped the newly-arrived Kara Zor-El from Themyscira where she was being trained by Wonder Woman.  Kara was brainwashed to lead Darkseid's Female Furies and donned this "corrupted" look.  I wasn't a fan of this story when I originally read it, and I was even less of a fan when these toys originally came out.  When was I finally sold?  Read on below..

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Voltron: The Third Dimension - HAGGAR THE WITCH!

Voltron: The Third Dimension - Haggar the Witch - Trendmasters 1999

Sometimes there's nothing worse than a bad reboot of a property that you love.  Voltron: The Third Dimension was a CGI continuation of the 1985 animated Voltron series done in the style of ReBoot and Transformers: Beastmasters.  Maybe it's just early CGI that I have an issue with, because in researching this review, I discovered that this show received a decent amount of awards during its brief tenure.  I just have trouble watching it.  One positive note though was really cool character designs and some fantastic toys.  Just the Stealth Voltron and Voltrex the dinosaur Voltron were enough to win me over, let alone the human characters.  I loved how all the pilots now had cat-shaped helmets, and that Allura was now wearing blue instead of pink.  But most of all, I loved this toy of Haggar.  Haggar's look in the show seemed to be almost identical to the original design, but I figure at some point in the series she transformed into this "Sorceress of Doom."  I love the look of this figure and her cool face-changing action feature.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vintage Goodness: Voltron's HAGGAR THE WITCH!

Voltron: Defender of the Universe - Haggar the Witch - Panosh Place 1984

I can still remember my first reaction to Voltron like it was yesterday.  I grew up in the boonies with three staticy television channels.  One year we all spent the Summer with my Dad on an army base.  There we had an apartment with air-conditioning and cable (both were luxuries I didn't know existed).  I remember eating cereal on one of the first mornings there and my Mom turned on the TV in the middle of an episode of Voltron.  I was instantly intrigued.  Multi-Colored heroes who rode gigantic robot cats?!  A princess who is friends with a bunch of alien-looking mice?!  Blue-skinned bad guys in space?!  and.. wait.. what?  The lions are assembling?!  This can't be.  My 7-year-old mind was blown.  I became obsessed and was showered with Voltron toys that Christmas.  I won't even mention my reaction when I discovered Vehicle Voltron either.  Haggar was the typical cackling evil sorceress I had come to expect from my villainy.  Truly a classic 80s baddie.  Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - SHE-DEMON!

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - She-Demon (Stone Strike Tail) - ToyBiz 1996

Welcome to the first of my Halloween reviews for 2013!   I'm not going to stress out about finding a new vampy lady every day like I attempted last year.  But rather, I've been saving my creepier reviews all year for the month of October.  She-Demon was always my favorite monster from Hercules.  She's essentially a hybrid of Lamia and Medusa, but presented as a child of Echidna and Typhon.  Unlike this toy, the TV version of She-Demon looked like a supermodel (played by Nicky Mealings), with a really bad CGI serpentine tail.  I guess the CGI was actually pretty good for a mid-nineties television show, but looking back now it's kind of laughable.  I also loved how this character was seductive instead of outright malicious.  I always love characters like that.  The toy leaves a lot to be desired, but it also it pretty fun.  Anytime an expressive face finds its way onto a toy the results can be hairy.  But the more I photographed She-Demon, the more I appreciated her.  Let's check her out below!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Classic Batman 1966 CATWOMAN Wacky Wobbler!

Batman 1966 Julie Newmar as Catwoman Bobble-Head - Funko 2013
 
Wacky Wobblers have been around for 15 years, but for some reason I was never tempted to get one until now. This is most likely due to character selection, but also a bit to do with the silly nature of bobbleheads in general. I've definitely been breaking all my collecting rules in the past few years though so it's not surprising to me that I caved and picked up this figure. I was excited to pick up my first in a series of 1966 Catwoman collectibles (I passed on the Barbie), bit what really drove me to get here was a listing on BigBadToyStore of 1966 Batgirl Wacky Wobbler. This was listed on their website about 3 weeks before Yvonne Craig announced that she signed a licensing deal to use her likeness. So, at the time I thought the Wobbler would be the only TV Batgirl we would get (Assuming the photoless BBTS listing is legit). So now I'm kind of in love with this Julie Newmar bobble and I'm considering adding more. I'll have to check out how many Marvel ladies are out there. Let's check out Catwoman below!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - ATALANTA!

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Mt. Olympus Games - Atalanta - ToyBiz 1997

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys showcased many very cool female characters in its six years on the air.  Xena the Warrior Princess may be the most popular, but there were plenty of other formidable women that served as foes, allies, and flames for Hercules.  Atalanta was a recurring character and love interest for Hercules played by champion bodybuilder Cory Everson.  Atalanta was a Greek athlete and warrior based loosely of the Greek mythological character of the same name.  She was also a metalsmith which tied heavily into her role in the show (when Hercules met her while having nails made and later when she was possessed by Ares to forge swords).  In one of her appearances, the first Olympic Games are held and she wins the Javelin competition.  This figure is a little odd, but pretty nice overall.  It doesn't really capture the beauty or physique of Cory Everson, but the costume and weaponry fit in well with the rest of the series and make for a great addition.  Let's check her out below!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - XENA!

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Xena II (Warrior Disguise) - ToyBiz 1996
 
In 1995, the creators of the popular series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys set out to to create a secondary character to interact with the title lead.  Their creation was Xena: The Warrior Princess.  Xena was originally presented as an outlaw who teamed up with Hercules.  Her character was intended to die early on, but she tested really well with the viewing audiences and they decided to give the character her own series.  Xena: Warrior Princess lasted six seasons and eventually surpassed its predecessor with 23 more episodes than Hercules by the 2001 series finale.  The show was a cult phenomenon and had a huge fan following.  The title character was played by Lucy Lawless who portrayed Xena as a stubborn, strong, honorable, and fearless warrior.  She was amazing and totally unique, which is made even more amazing since she was a second choice casting.  Xena got plenty of love in the toy world.  She received two figures in the Hercules line and a separate line dedicated to her own show.

Friday, September 27, 2013

AMC's The Walking Dead ANDREA!

The Walking Dead (Television Line) Series 4 - Andrea - McFarlane Toys 2013

McFarlane Toys just keeps on impressing me.  Back in the day, I avoided this company like the plague.  I thought the figures were oversculpted, oversexed, and way too gory.  But lately I've changed my tune completely.  It's not just these modern figures like Walking Dead and Halo either, I've backtracked and now own plenty of vintage 90's figures that I love.  The Walking Dead season 4 is about to premiere in a few weeks and I am very excited, but not as excited as I was to find this second female at Walgreens this week.  Andrea was one of my favorite characters in previous seasons.  A lot of people really didn't care for her.  She made very odd decisions and it was always hard to tell where her loyalties were.  But overall I viewed her as tough, competent, and a very interesting character to be roaming around with the gang.  In the first few episodes she could barely hold a gun, but by the end of season three she was one of the most formidable people on the show.  Let's check out this great figure of Andrea below!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Walgreens Exclusive CATWOMAN Figurine!

DC Comics - Collectible Figurines Box Sets - East West Distributing 2013
 
Walgreens is no stranger to exclusive products.  I have many many hobbies occupying my limited free time,  And over the years I have often been on the hunt for Walgreens-Exclusive products.  Everything from Christmas Ornaments, to PEZ Dispensers, to electronics.  Lately though they've really been getting into the toy market.  Their toy aisle still looks the same as any other drug store (i.e. 5-10 ft of haphazard novelty products at the end of some random aisle).  But lately in the past few years they've had some gems.  I'm thinking specifically of the Justice League and Batman Squinkies,  The Super Hero Doll Collection, and the current Walking Dead figures to name a few.  This set of small plastic figures was an unexpected find for me a few weeks ago.  They are cheap, 2" tall PVC plastic figurines in display boxes for $6.99 a set (there are two sets).  The figures are all really well sculpted, but it might take you while to find one with a decent paint job.  I love my growing collection of little Catwoman figurines so buying this set was a no-brainer.  Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DC Universe Signature Series HUNTRESS!

Helena Bertinelli/Wayne - Mattycollector Exc - Mattel 2013
 
I had a lot of trepidations leading up to the release of this Huntress figure.  The last few DC Signature Series female characters have been a disappointment to me.  Between the sculpts, paint apps, and overall aesthetics, I had been left wanting.  Huntress is one of my favorite DC heroines and I hated the thought of her long-awaited DCUC-style figure suffering the same sub-par treatment.  All my worries were for nothing however because this figure is pretty great if I must say so myself.  My only criticism is a slight lack of paint apps on her eyes compared to previous Mattel figures.  Compared to the DCSH Batgirl, Helena's eyes look vacant and without detail.  That's a small complaint however, because the high level of paint masks required for this figure were carried off successfully and that was not something I expected to see at all.  Kudos to Mattel for ending their DC Infinite Earths run on a high note.  Let's check her out below!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Walgreens DC Comics SUPER HERO DOLLS!

DC Comics Super Hero Dolls Collection - Series 01 - The Marketing Store 2013
 
I'm really not a fan of dolls, but I really am a huge fan of DC heroines.  So obviously this set was torture for me.  The factors that led me to cave in and purchase the set were (1) the cheap price of $4.99 each and (2) The fact that I'm surrounded by a million tempting Walgreens stores.  But as it turns out, regardless of how many stores I may have near me, this set was extremely hard to complete  (I had been trying since early June).  It seems that only a few select stores even carry these dolls, and those that do usually only get two dolls in.  Just two.  Not a bunch of Batgirls and a bunch of Catwomen, no, just two lonely random dolls on the shelf.  On top of that, my region is swamped with Wonder Woman and Supergirls, but scarce on the Bat-ladies.   After my long Summer of hunting, I can begrudgingly admit that these dolls are actually pretty cool.  At the very least, they can keep my SDCC DC Polly Pockets company. Let's check out this frilly foursome below!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Marvel Universe ELEKTRA!

Marvel Universe: Wave 22 - Elektra - Hasbro 2013

Comic books need more ruthless female assassins.  Elektra Natchios first appeared as a Daredevil villain in 1981 and was originally intended to be a one-hit wonder character that would never appear again.  Fate intervened luckily and Elektra went on to became one of Marvel's most popular females (certainly one of the most merchandised).  she has been a villain, a love interest, an anti-hero, and of course, an assassin.  My favorite role for Elektra is that of the anti-hero - i.e. stalking and killing despicable people.  This was the general tone of the 2001 solo Elektra series, which I only caught the tail end of (when Robert Rodi started writing it) and loved every issue I picked up.  Maybe she had always been this type of character, but it seemed fresh and new to me at the time and I was instantly a fan of this character I so often overlooked.  It even seemed like the 2005 Elektra movie was based off the very issues I read (at least the first 15 minutes of the movie).  Anyway, back to this great little toy.. let's check her out!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Green Lantern's SORANIK NATU!

Green Lantern: Series 5 - Soranik Natu - DC Direct 2011

One sure-fire way to experiment with a female version of an existing character is to introduce a long-lost daughter.  We've seen X-23's popularity take off, May Parker was a surprisingly successful Spider-Girl for over a decade, and we're about to be fully introduced to the mysterious Joker's Daughter this month.  In 2005 this formula was used to introduce us to Soranik Natu, the daughter of Sinestro.  Natu was a very reluctant Lantern.  She and her entire race judge the Green Lantern Corps (understandably) by the loathsome actions of their own sector's Green Lantern, Sinestro.  Natu was a neurosurgeon who only accepted the power ring in order to save a patient's life.  It took time and convincing (plus a convenient flash forward in the "One Year Later" storyline) in order for Saranik Natu to evolve into the upstanding Corps member we all know and love.  This figure is beautiful - as were all the final DC Direct figures. Sam Greenwell's sculpt is very different from his typical style, but it still looks fantastic.  Let's check her out!