Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WWE RAW Super Show - EVE TORRES!

WWE Superstar #11 - Raw Super Show - Eve - from Mattel 2013

So far 2013 has been a crazy year for me finding WWE ladies on the shelves.  I'm not a big enough fan of wrestling to go out of my way to hunt any of these girls down, but when I see then, I can't resist their charms.  I've said this many times before, but the sculpting. construction quality, diversity of body types, and overall pricepoint make WWE easily the standout line in Mattel's current roster.  Sure, the MOTUC girls are amazing, but their only detraction is they don't fit in with other figure lines.  The DCU girls are getting a little boring with their spindly arms, too-tiny hands, bowed-legs, and sloppy QC.  The WWE lines, on the other hand, are consistently great.  I originally started buying them as potential custom fodder (since, again, I'm not an avid wrestling fan), but once I had my first figure in my hands, a Series 6 Kelly Kelly in pink, I was hooked.  Eve Torres recently retired from the WWE world, but not before winning an unprecedented three WWE Divas Championships.  Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DC Direct's WONDER GIRL!

Cassandra Sandsmark from Teen Titans Series One - DC Direct 2004
 
I really miss the old DC Direct.  As a company, they put out an impressive array of beautiful action figures every month for more than a decade.  In my personal opinion, they produced the best looking superhero action figures of all time (I am not counting super high-end companies like Hot Toys).  This Wonder Girl figure has an absolutely stunning sculpt by the amazing Jonathan Matthews.  You would be hard-pressed to find anything like this today for under $25, but back in the heyday of DC Direct, this quality was commonplace (and honestly overlooked).  The Cassandra Sandsmark version of Wonder Girl has gone through a lot of great character development since her debut in 1996.  She started as a nerdy wannabe hero with powers derived from different magical objects, only to grow into a fierce, beautiful, courageous hero with self-contained powers bestowed by Zeus himself (who happens to be her father).  Cassie survived the New52 reboot and still has a solid place in the Teen Titans, however her powers have backtracked and are now back to magical bracelets, a bit of a downer in my opinion.   Let's check out this gorgeous figure below.

Monday, February 25, 2013

WWE Diva of the Year AJ LEE!

WWE Series 24 - AJ the Geek Goddess - from Mattel 2013

WWE's self proclaimed geekgirl makes a great addition to the prolific number of great females in the Mattel line.  This is a really interesting figure.  At first, I didn't like the face sculpt, thinking it looked goofy and the smile looked weird, but she has really grown on me.  One thing I especially like about the figure is her body sculpt.  Mattel's wrestling figures have this amazing systems of interchangeable body parts to re-create the physique of almost any wrestler.  AJ is different because she is so much smaller than the other in my personal collection.  This makes her seem.. cuter.. than the rest.  Which, in turn, makes the goofy face fit right in.  Some of her claims to fame are winning the 2012 Diva of the Year Slammy award and her distinction of having a genuine love of comics and video games, hence the "Geek Goddess" nickname (Apparently she's obsessed with Jean Grey).  The yellow of her outfit really makes her stand out from the bunch, too - I never realized how much pink, white, and black the Divas rely on.  Let's check out the figure below!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

G.I.Joe: Retaliation's LADY JAYE!

G.I.Joe's Covert Ops Specialist, Lady Jaye - from Hasbro 2013
 
Lady Jaye has always been my favorite female Joe. She was consistently just as tough as the boys, she threw exploding javelins, and her outfit was much less "costumey" than most of her teammates. She also had a secondary talent as a master of disguise (which according to the blurb on the cardback, it looks like she utilizes in this upcoming film). What's not to love? In the movie she is played by Adrianne Palicki, who most of geekdom knows as Wonder Woman from the cancelled 2011 NBC show. I'm excited to see her take on the character. She looks very different from her cartoon counterpart, but not in a bad way, just different. This action figure is pretty decent. She comes with tons of accessories (but no stand), she re-uses the body of Renegades Scarlett (which is an amazingly articulated figure), but unfortunately the head suffers from an odd sculpt and overly-simplified paint. This is a shame since most (if not all) of the accessories are re-used and the body is a straight-up repaint of Scarlett. So the head is the only thing they needed to put effort into. Let's check her out in detail below.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Power Rangers Jungle Fury EVIL MELLE!

Your Favorite Evil Space Alien, The Evil Melle - from BanDai 2008

The Power Rangers franchise has had a lot of cool villains over the years.  With the relative similarities between the five heroes over all the numerous iterations, the villains are what really provide variety and excitement season after season.  The female Evil Space Aliens usually tend to look like humans with witchy outfits and crazy headgear.. honestly a little lackluster compared to the males with their awesome suits and fighting abilities.  That's why I love Melle.  She has an amazing design that is quintessential Super Sentai with tons of great detail and a thematic design.  In her case, a Chameleon.  She actually has my favorite costume in all of Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Metal Heroes, and Ultraman combined.  The colours are great, the Chameleon details are consistent and fun, and the fact that they made her into an action figure is just icing on the cake.  The figure itself is extremely well made.  She is very detailed, well-articulated, and even has a "swatting" action figure.  Let's check her out below!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arkham City TALIA AL GHUL!

Talia Finally Arrives in Arkham City Series Four - from DC Collectibles 2013

My first exposure to Talia was a very startling experience.  For Christmas one year, my Aunt bought me the Batman: Son of the Demon TPB.  I was nine and way too young to see Batman getting it on.  In my young mind Talia was a homewrecker there to spoil the pristine bachelorhood of my favorite hero.  Since those early "ewwww"s, I've grown rather fond of this character.  From comics, to the cartoons, and finally to this past Summer's Dark Knight Rises, she has become an amazingly deep and provocative character (despite having no defined costume!).  Not to mention her role in the world of video games.  Talia has been one of those characters that the Batman collectors have been pleading for since the hobby market really took off in the late 90s.  Sure, we got an animated version, but that wasn't likely to satisfy everyone.  Even this figure may still be a far cry from the comic version many envision.   But I honestly think this figure is a great representation of all her many incarnations and I'm so glad to add her to my bat-shelf.  Let's check out the review!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gladiators UK - INFERNO!

The Gladiators UK Revival's Fiery Flirt, Inferno - Character Options Ltd 2008

There have been many attempts to revive the success that was The American Gladiators in the late 80s.  One of the more recent attempts was Gladiators UK which aired on Sky1 in 2008.  The US, UK, and Australian versions of the show were all revived that year, but I believe UK was the only one that had a toy line made to celebrate it.  Inferno, played by model/wrestler Jemma Palmer, was one of an impressive nine female Gladiators on the show, and obviously had some major appeal since she was the only one made in plastic.  Too bad the figure itself doesn't do her justice at all, because she is a beautiful woman.  These figures, made by Character Options Ltd, are actually pretty impressive.  They have very unique articualtion and scale, it's just unfortunate that the face sculpt is a little homely.  This may actually be a fun one to attempt to customize - if only she weren't so hard to get ahold of here in the US (I like to have a spare if I'm going to potentially ruin a toy).  Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Go Speed Racer Go - TRIXIE!

Speed Racer's Main Squeeze, Trixie, from ReSaurus 1999

I never would have thought I would be so enamoured by an awkwardly-dubbed Japanese cartoon about cars.  But like most geeky guys I know, I caught an episode once in my adolescence and was instantly hooked.  I think a key factor in appreciating the show is being old enough to realize how goofy and weird it is, but not so old that you overlook it completely.  Speed Racer was bestowed with repetitive plots, laughably fast dialogues, and completely charming characters.  Trixie was the girlfriend of the main character, Speed.  The "M" on her shirt is the initial of her original Japanese counterpart's name, Michi (Likewise, the "G" on Speed's shirt is for his Japanese name, Go).  Trixie was a feisty rich girl who could hold her own in a fight, and conveniently owned her own helicopter with which to follow Speed's races with an eagle-eye view to report all the predictable traps, fallen bridges, rockslides, and oil slicks.  ReSaurus did a great job capturing the characters, although Trixie is a bit too pre-posed if you ask me.  Let's check her out below!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brazilian Toy Arts BATGIRL!

 
Brazilian Fast Food Chain Bob's Exclusive DC Toy-Arts do Mini-Figure 2013
 
Brazil seems to have the best fast-food exclusives.  I'm currently hunting down at least three different ones on MercadoLivre.. although "ebay-prices" seem to be a phenomenon on all sorts of commerce sites, not limited to ebay itself... *sigh.*  This current line of five Batman figure is a follow-up to 2010's Justice League (Liga da Justica) which was a rather obvious knock-off of Hot Toys' Cosbabys.  This Batman is a distinct departure from the Cosbaby-style, but there are still more similarities than differences.  These figures are unarticulated 2.75" PVC figures with non-removable bases.  They are cheaply constructed, but don't necessarily look it.  Plus they make a great addition to any super-deformed or vinyl hero collection.  I'm eagerly waiting to get my hands on a Catwoman.  I only wish they made cool fast food exclusives here in the USA.  It's been way too long since I've had a reason to go to Burger King.  Let's check out Batgirl below!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

B-Robo Kabutack's TENTORINA!

The Pinkest Ladybug Robot Ever - from BanDai 2007
 
Happy Valentine's Day!  I've been saving Tentorina for this day all year (since she's my favorite of all my pink toys).  B-Robo Kabutack is the 16th installment of Toei's Metal Hero Series.  The Metal Hero Series had a similar role in Japanese popular culture as other serials like Super Sentai (aka Power Rangers) or Kamen Rider (aka Masked Rider).  These series usually reinvent themselves every year while sticking to a general theme,  The Metal Hero Series typically involved robots or heroes in robotic suits who combat evil technology with good technology.  Often the storylines involve "space police"-type genres.  B-Robo Kabutack is unique in that it's the first in the series to be totally geared towards children.  The basic plot involves a scientist who creates a bunch of robots to help him find these magic "star pieces" scattered across the planet.  Some of the robots had incomplete programing and start being bad.  Tentorina is a pink humanoid robot (on the good side) who is styled after a ladybug.  I love her design.  One of my favorite fembots ever.  Let's check her out below!

TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - PRESS PHOTOS!


 Mattel - Hasbro - DC Collectibles

TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - OTHER BRANDS!


Bandai (SHFiguarts) - Toynami - NJCroce - McFarlane - Little Mates

Monday, February 11, 2013

TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - MONOGRAM!


 DC Figural Erasers, PVC Figurines, and Paperweights
 

TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - SQUARE ENIX!


 Play Arts Kai (Arkham City, Dark Knight Rises, DC Universe)

TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - FUNKO!

Funko POP! Vinyl   -  DC Mystery Minis


TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - MEZCO TOYS!

DC Mini Mez-Itz  -  Mega-Scale ThunderCats


TOY FAIR 2013 Coverage - DC COLLECTIBLES!

Cover Girls Statues  -  New 52 Figures  -  Aardman Figures
 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Harmonix Collection from WINX CLUB!

The Second Wave of 3.75" Winx Club Figures from Jakks Pacific 2013

The Winx Club is an Italian Magical Girl series about a group of young girls at a school for fairies.  The series incorporates a lot of themes popular in young adult genres.  The various competing schools (Fairies, Witchcrafts, Heroics) is very Harry Potter;  The transformation sequences are classic Magical Girl;  And the way the main characters graduate to different levels of power each season is very Power Rangers.  I first discovered Winx Club when I saw a small advertisement for the first series of 3.75" action figures online.  I picked one up at Target on my lunch break that day and pretty much got hooked.  I guess it's natural that I would be drawn to a series like this, but my dislike of rooted hair and cloth outfits has always kept me at bay from similar properties.  I eventually started watching the cartoons online and now I must face the fact that I'm a fullblown fan.  This second series of action figures from Jakks has the girls in their underwater Harmonix forms from Season 5.  Check them out below!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mini-Mate Women of SPIDER-MAN!

Foes, Friends & Family of the Famous Webhead - DST/Art Asylum 2003-2013
 
Spider-Man has one of the best rosters of supporting female characters out there.  There's the lovable family characters like Aunt May and Mary Jane, awesome "copycat" heroes like Spider-Woman and Spider-Girl, and of course a few villainous vixens like Black Cat to add some spice.  DST and Art Asylum have just about the world's best character production out there.  It's between them and heroclix and someday I'll make an in-depth comparison.  Over the years we've received Mini-Mates of almost every Marvel character I can think of.  It's amazing what they've been able to accomplish in ten years.  The best part is that they always surprise the fans with something new and unexpected.  I'm excited to see what they have displayed this weekend at Toy Fair (I'll be there reporting by the way).  I'm hoping to see Young Avengers, New Warriors, and Guardians of the Galaxy (classic) - and I love the fact that there's a legitimate chance I'll see some of those.  This review is huge so I'm skipping the in-package shots.  Let's get started!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quest for Camelot's KAYLEY!

Your Favorite Arthurian Heroine, Quest for Camelot's Kayley - Hasbro 1997
 
Quest for Camelot is a classic tale of a young girl who dreams of big (boyish) adventure.  In this case, Kayley wants to be a Knight of King Arthur's Round Table like her father Sir Lionel.  She gets her adventure when Excalibur is stolen from King Arthur by a griffin and accidentally dropped deep in the Forbidden Forest.  This plot sets the scene for an adventure where brains and wit win over brawn any day.   I always like to point out how movies come out in pairs (Someday I may even figure out why), and this is prime example.  Warner Bros released Quest for Camelot in 1998, the same year that Disney released Mulan.  Both movies feature young girls who emulate their warrior fathers and run off (without parental consent) to have an adventure.  Both win out by using everyday skills and cunning, often finding unexpected solutions to seemingly impossible tasks.  Both are very good movies, but Quest for Camelot got the better toys out of the deal.  Hasbro did a great job capturing the animated quality of the characters.  Let's check out Kayley below!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles MONA LISA!

TMNT's Lovely Lady Lizard, Mona Lisa - Playmates 1993

Mona Lisa is a prime example of the type of toy I wanted to review when I first created this website.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a staple of late 80s/early 90s kid culture and was a total boys club.  The titular characters were four boys, all the villains were boys, the sage master was a boy.. the only girl was April O'Neil, who was definitely an important character in the series, but compared to the rest of the colorful anthropomorphic cast, she was just boring.  Then comes Mona Lisa.  She was a salvaged attempt by the TMNT creators to make the first female turtle.  That idea was scrapped, but they tranformed the character into a lizard.  The reason I love characters like Mona Lisa is the fact that she isn't a sexy add-on character or a damsel in distress, she truly is a female version of the main characters.  I think her design is great.  It's cute, fun, and totally fits in with the rest of the cast.  It was 5 years later until we got a Venus de Milo toy, but Mona totally filled the cool female quota in the meantime.  Let's check her out!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Vintage Goodness: The Women of BIONIC SIX!

Helen, Meg, and Madame-O from Bionic Six - LJN Toys Ltd 1986

It's amazing how well a family theme can work in a superhero genre.  The Fantastic Four and Power Pack have proven that it's a recipe that can work, yet somehow it's rarely ever explored.  The Bionic Six is yet another of the great 1980's toy-centric cartoon properties.  The general premise is that the Bennett family (Mom Helen, Dad Jack, Biological kids Meg and Eric, Adopted son J.D., and foster kid Bunjiro) are all exposed to dangerous alien radiation and must undergo bionic enhancements to save their lives.  This treatment gives them each unique super-powers and inspires them to form a superhero team, the Bionic Six.  The main villain, Dr. Scarab is the brother to Professor Amadeus (who had infused the Bennett family with their bionic enhancements).  LJN is a company that had some of the coolest licenses in the mid-80s: ThunderCats, TigerSharks, Photon, Dungeons & Dragons, etc, etc.  They definitely did a fantastic job with their Bionic Six line.  Let's check out the figures below!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Kreon Micro-Changers AIRACHNID!

TransFormers Kre-O Mini-Figure - Airachnid - Hasbro 2013

I love a good evil fembot.  Airachnid is a villain in the CGI animated Transformers: Prime series.  She's essentially a new iteration of Blackarachnia, but with a different personality and backstory - plus she has an additional vehicle form of a helicopter (in addition to her spider beast-mode and robot form).  Apparently the Airachnid in the Kreon Micro-Changers (Blind Packs Series 1) is intended to be a new character altogether.  This Airachnid is a Predacon with a spider mode.  I frankly don't see much of a difference besides the missing chopper form, but oh well.  Kreons are the Transformers of the Kre-O universe, which in turn are Hasbro's attempt at a competitive brand for Lego and Mega-Bloks.  This Airachnid figure is the first Kre-O figure I have bought (but not the last.. the GI Joe sets are on the horizon!) and I think it's pretty great.  For now, the blind packs have an easily-decipherable code so there's no true blind luck involved.  Hopefully we'll see an Arcee in the future waves.  Let's check out Airachnid!