Friday, November 29, 2013

The Women of SPACE PRECINCT 2040!
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)!
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!
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 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!