Saturday, December 28, 2013

WWE Best of 2013 KAITLYN!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 #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!
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!