Friday, February 28, 2014

Kre-O Dungeons & Dragons - VANSI the Orc!
Dungeons & Dragons KRE-O - Kreon Warriors Collection 1 - Hasbro 2014

Kre-O keeps rolling out some pretty cool products.  I still haven't fully absorbed all the Transformers and G.I.Joe Kreon reveals from ToyFair last week.  Overall, I only have a handful of Kreons in my collection so far with a handful more on the horizon, but I see so much potential in the series. Dungeons & Dragons is the sixth Kre-O series and is off to a good start.  In TRU today, I saw several large building sets, the first series of blind bag army builders, and several "Kreon Warriors" packs like the figure I'm reviewing today.  D&D strikes me as a property with a huge pool of great characters to draw from.  There is an entire untapped fantasy world waiting to be made into plastic.  As far as I can tell, this character Vansi is the only female in the line so far.  I haven't taken a good look at all the building sets yet, but I'm pretty sure she's a loner for now.  Hopefully there will be more in the future.  I would love some elves, sorcerers, and barbarians.  I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.  In the meantime, let's take a closer look at Vansi!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MOTUC The Great Rebellion's GLIMMER!
Masters of the Universe Classics - Glimmer - Mattel/Mattycollector 2014 is about to make a lot of She-Ra fans very very happy.  With their announcement of the Club Etheria mini-sub, the ranks of the Great Rebellion and Horde will expand exponentially.  We've already seen Double Trouble, Entrapta, Madame Razz, Broom, Light Hope, and a teaser for Sweet Bee.  Not to mention the Scorpia and Flutterina that are included in the main Club Eternia subscription.  Glimmer is the first lady of the year and she does not disappoint.  Glimmer is the Princess of the Royal House of Bright Moon, daughter of Queen Angella, and a warrior in the Great Rebellion.  Aside from Adora and She-Ra, Glimmer is probably the most important member of the Rebellion.  She appeared in 45 episodes.  To put that in perspective, Castaspella appeared in 9; Frosta 8; Flutterina 5; Mermista, Netossa, and Peekablue 4 episodes.  Mattel was pretty smart to hold out on her.  She makes an excellent long-awaited anchor for POP fans.  Let's check out Glimmer in detail below!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Game of Thrones - Legacy Collection DAENERYS!
Game of Thrones: Legacy Collection #5 - Daenerys Targaryen - Funko 2014
Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons!  Daenerys really shines out among the amazing ensemble of characters in HBO's Game of Thrones.  She is introduced as a meek and feeble highborn girl who is being traded into a political marriage by her domineering brother. Throughout the course of five (massive) books and three seasons of the show, we've seen her grow into a powerful character.  She is strong-willed, intelligent, deceptive, compassionate, and angry.  The mainland of Westeros is basically unaware of this young girl a continent away amassing a huge army and raising three dragons in order to invade and reclaim her throne.  Her storylines are some of my favorites amidst the complex web of characters in the series and I can't wait to read what happens next.  Funko made a huge leap with this introductory Legacy Collection.  While I had some technical issues with this figure, the detail and execution is admirable.  It's very exciting to have a new company in the action figure arena.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Marvel Legends Infinite Series - SPIDER-GIRL!
Marvel Legends Spider-Man Infinite Series - Skyline Sirens - Hasbro 2014

Woo-Hoo!  It's not often that a character you love, specifically a C-Lister, gets made into a perfect action figure.  I never, ever expected to see Anya Corazon in the Marvel Legends line.  I loved this version of Spider-Girl from the moment she donned the costume (I was never a fan of her previous AraƱa look).  Her 8-issue solo series from 2010 got me hooked (pick up the Family Values TPB), but then she kind of faded away into obscurity.  That is of course until she recently reappeared in the pages of Avengers Assemble with all her old charm and wit.  Hopefully this action figure is an indication of a more prominent role for her in the Marvel Universe.  This figure utilizes a brand new teenage buck. It's amazing. Now I'm wishing for some Young Avengers, Pixie, etc etc.  Spider-Girl is a variant figure in the Skyline Sirens slot shared with Black Cat.  The variant figures in Marvel Legends have a nasty habit of never hitting the shelves, but luckily she made it safe and sound to my local Target this week.  Let's check her out below!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Character Spotlight on STAR SAPPHIRE!
A Collection of Various Violet Lanterns - DC Direct & Mattel 2001-2012
I really tried to get this post completed in time for Valentine's Day but the fates were against me.  Star Sapphire is a longtime villain in the DC Universe first appearing in 1947.  Originally she was a foe of the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick (although this early character was much different than the scantily-clad pink ladies we see today).  The most popular character to hold the mantle was Carol Ferris, the girlfriend and boss of Hal Jordan.  Back then, the role of Star Sapphire was granted to women who resembled the Zamaron Queen (the Zamarons are basically an alien race of Amazons).  In the mid-2000s, the history of the character was revamped to be a title embraced by an entire corps of Violet Lanterns.  Their role in the "emotional spectrum" was love.  This led to a notable interlude when Wonder Woman became a Star Sapphire as well.  There has been a lot of excellent merchandising of this mantle in recent years.  I certainly don't have them all, but the ones I do have are great (of course I stole eBay pics to fill in all the gaps).  Let's check them all out below!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Imaginext: King Arthur Adventure - Wizard's Duel 2-Pack - Fisher-Price 2005

A second amazing female in the early Imaginext line!  The King Arthur line featured many of the standard Arthurian characters: Lancelot, Mordred, Sir Galahad, etc.  Luckily no Arthurian setting can be complete without the magical element.  That's where Imaginext's Wizard's Duel 2-Pack comes into play.  This pack contained Merlin the Magician and Morgana le Fey the Sorceress.  Sometimes Morgana is portrayed as being a non-partisan magical character, but more often than not, she's presented as an antagonist against Arthur and Gwinevere (and of course their magician Merlin).  Amazing that almost all of the Imaginext females so far are villainesses (not that I mind).  I think the only two "good guys" are Wonder Woman and Jessie from Toy Story.  Morgana is essentially the same sculpt as yesterday's Enchantra figure, with the exception of long hair and a tiara.  A wholly new sculpt would have been nice, but beggars can't be choosers.  Let's check out the famed fairy witch below!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Imaginext: The Dragon Adventure - Enchantra - Fisher-Price 2004

With all my high hopes about potential females in the future of the Imaginext line, I thought it would be fun to skip back in time and visit the very first lady produced.  Back in 2004, Imaginext was entering its third year and released the third wave of their Medieval theme: The Dragon Adventure (after The Castle Adventure (2002) and The Forest Adventure (2003).  This Dragon Adventure series introduced the very first female after 4 waves of exclusion (there were 2 pirate waves released prior to this series as well).  Enchantra (not to be confused with She-Ra's giant swan Enchanta) is similar to a stereotypical Medusa character, but with additional shape-changing abilities.  The figures back in 2004 were smaller in scale than modern Imaginext, but her giant head of snakes adds a lot of bulk to the figure and closes that scale gap quite a bit.  I love this figure.  I have a soft spot for villains, I love animal themes, and I'm a mythology nut.  She's basically perfect for me.  Let's check out Enchantra below!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Walking Dead's MAGGIE GREENE!
AMC's The Walking Dead: Series 05 - Maggie Greene - McFarlane Toys 2014

In honor of new episodes starting up again this past Sunday, I wanted to review the third amazing lady in the McFarlane Toys The Walking Dead (TV Series) line so far.  This show has a surprising amount of fantastic female characters.  My future wants are Carol and Sasha.  And judging by the momentum that show and toy line is currently holding, I think there's a very good chance we'll see both of them in the next few years.  Maggie Greene is the tomboyish farmer's daughter (of Hershel) introduced early in Season 2.  I was instantly intrigued by her character.  She was strong, self-sufficient, a bit rebellious, and smart.  Over the course of the next few seasons we've seen her grow into one of the most formidable characters on the show.  If I had to pick a crew for a supply run into walker territory, Maggie would definitely be on my list.  McFarlane has hit yet another figure out of the park.  While the likeness isn't perfect, she's still instantly recognizable to any fan of the show.  Let's check out Maggie below!

Monday, February 10, 2014

DC Super Friends Imaginext POISON IVY!
Imaginext DC Super Friends - Scarecrow & Poison Ivy - Fisher-Price 2014

Fisher-Price and their parent company Mattel are amazing.  The Imaginext line is going to soar to new levels in 2014 with a commitment to second-tier superheroes and even cool collector-friendly (non-superhero) blind bags.  I think all fans of this line were nervous about the limited presence of female characters.  For the longest time it seemed like Catwoman would be the only lady produced.  Then a year later we were all surprised by Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman figures.  Now yet another year goes by and we get this green-skinned beauty to balance out the Gotham City Sirens trio.  Now I'm holding my breath for future announcements.  I suspect we'll see Batgirl, Hawkgirl, and Zatanna eventually.  Cheetah would be awesome, too.  I'm excited for the future of this line and it seems like the designers are, too.  The variety of the characters released so far and in the future is nothing short of inspiring.  Let's check out this latest addition to the line below!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

DC All-Stars Jim Lee BATGIRL!
DC All Star Action Figures: Series 01 - Batgirl - DC Direct 2008

I think one of the hardest aspects to portray in an action figure is youth.  It never seems to come across quite right.  More often than not these figures feature inaccurately scaled-down adult features.  It's not just the toy design either; youthful characters in comics are often cringe-worthy.  2005's All Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder was the long-awaited return of Jim Lee to the Bat Universe since his wildly successful Batman: Hush run in 2002.  The new series was written by the infamous Frank Miller.  Miller's rather warped sense of these characters became a point of ridicule across the internet;  Batman cursing at Robin, Wonder Woman as a man-hating tyrant, and Batgirl as a silly ineffective hero (with lots of vulgarities thrown at her.. so much so that DC officially redacted the words on the pages.  Jim Lee actually did a great job portraying this version the character, as did sculptor Karen Palinko, but this version of the character on her own is just underwhelming (In my humble opinion).  Let's check her out below!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

DC Direct's Alpha Lantern BOODIKKA!
Blackest Night: Series 01 - Alpha Lantern Boodikka - DC Direct 2009

I always felt that the Green Lantern family didn't have enough female characters.  For years the only females I was aware of were Jade and Star Sapphire.  Little did I know there were a ton of great characters who have been around for decades.  The Green Lantern-centric Blackest Night storyline of 2009 really made me take notice of the Corps for the first time.  And luckily DC Direct seemed to take notice, too.  There were an impressive 8 females released across their multiple Blackest Night waves.  Boodikka is an alien warrior from the planet Bellatrix who first appeared in 1992.  Her bio is very confusing.  But in general, I gather that she could never quite separate her fierce warrior past with her heroic peacekeeping role in the Corps, which led to a lot of character-building conflict.  This action figure is very striking.  I had no clue who the character was when I first saw her, but I knew I had to have her.  She was actually the first of all my lady lanterns.  Let's check her out in detail below!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Women of THUNDERCATS Mini-Mates!
Your Favorite Lady Thundarians - Icon Heroes / DST / Art Asylum 2012-2013

I've know ranted about this before, but Mini-Mates have definitely earned the #1 spot for team completion in modern pop collectibles.  Traditional action figures always fall a few figures short, Funko Pop shows crazy potential but needs more time, and HeroClix does a fantastic job, but all too often there's one modern costume in a retro lineup or vice versa - plus they're really tiny with varying degrees of detail.  Mini-Mates, however, having been proving their commitment to collectors for years.  I've completed New Mutants, Alpha Flight, Excalibur, the original X-Men, the 90's X-Men, and the original X-Factor with ease.  And, no, it's not only Marvel that gets this treatment.  In a few short years, they have created an extremely complete ThunderCats lineup.  I love every single cat they've produced, but I'm only focusing on the three ladies here.  Cheetara, WilyKit, and Pumyra are representative of one of the greatest 80s properties out there.  Let's check them out in detail below!