Friday, July 31, 2015

Marvel Legends SDCC Exclusive - MAGIK!

Marvel Legends: Book of the Vishanti - SDCC Exclusive 5-Pack - Hasbro 2015

One of the things I love about comics is the ability to have long drawn-out character development. I especially love it when there is a family legacy involved. Nothing can really top Marvel's Guthrie family in that particular department, but Illyana Rasputin was my first exposure to this kind of storytelling. Some of my earliest comic books were Classic X-Men issues which reprinted those early scenes of Colossus on his Russian farmstead with his little blonde sister running around in the background. Around the same time I was avidly reading the New Mutants and I was pretty giddy when Illyana appeared on the team as Magik. She proved to be quite a handful over the years. She was definitely the tempestuous, dark, and dramatic one of the group. And I must admit I haven't paid attention to her since those early days. This costume on this figure is completely new to me, as is her weaponry. But at least her hairstyle has stayed very consistent over the decades! Let's check out Magik below!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Marvel Legends SDCC Exclusive - HELA!

Marvel Legends: Book of the Vishanti - SDCC Exclusive 5-Pack - Hasbro 2015

Hela is one of the first characters in comics to ever inspire awe in me.  In the 1980s I was obsessed with the New Mutants and Hela made a few memorable appearances in that series. She is the Queen of Hel (the Norse underworld) who often tried to extend her rule over Valhalla.  She is the daughter of Loki and frequent foe of Thor. In the New Mutants, she became entwined with Danielle Moonstar when Dani became a Valkyrie during the Asgardian Wars. Her appearances were villainous, creepy, and impressive.  She made quite a memorable impact on me - looming in the clouds over her armies of the dead.  Now we get to add her to the growing list of amazingly unexpected Marvel Legends characters in our collections.  Of course this figure makes me want an Enchantress, Sif, and female Thor in Legends scale more than ever.  With Thor: Ragnarok in the theatres in 2017, we might actually see a few of these. Here's hoping for more Norse ladies!  Let's check out Hela in detail below!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Marvel Legends Comic-Style GAMORA!

Guardians of the Galaxy ML 5-Pack - Entertainment Earth Exc - Hasbro 2015

The success of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy film has rocketed Gamora into one of the highest-profile Marvel ladies out there. As much as I enjoyed the film, I must admit I wasn't thrilled with Gamora's look. The lack of her signature golden eye-patches and her magenta-tipped hair just didn't appeal to me. The popularity of that look, however, is the only reason we would ever dream of seeing a gorgeous comic-accurate figure like I'm reviewing here today. There are a few different comic versions of Gamora. Most notable is her classic green "snakeskin" look, and her more modern white spacesuit, but this version (I always referred to it as the "cloaked Vampirella") has always been my favorite. This figure is fantastic. She looks sexy, formidable, and pissed off... just the way I always imagine her. Mine has a few paint flaws, but I can easily overlook them (and try to repair them) out of sheer awe that I'm holding a Legends style comic Gamora. It's an amazing time to be a nerd. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Batman & Robin (Movie) - Deluxe Figures - Batgirl w/ IceStrike Cycle - Kenner 1997

Normally the 1990's trend of creating completely random variants of staple characters annoys the crap out of me. I've seen enough neon camouflage Batmen to last a lifetime (not to mention the current Iron Man and Spider-Man lines keeping up the tradition). But every once in a while a variant comes out of left field and actually looks cool (I'm thinking of Ice Armor He-Man and Mandarin Spawn in particular).  While this IceStrike Cycle Batgirl isn't as grand as those two, it certainly is a pretty great variant. The color palette is muted and the armor seems like something that could have appeared in the film.  Plus the entire figure has been redecoed with great little sculptural details. All in all she's a fantastic alternate to the original figure. It would not have been unheard of for Kenner to simply repackage the first figure with her motorcycle and call it a day, but luckily we got this really fun figure out of the deal.  I unfortunately don't have the IceStrike Cycle itself, but the figure is more than enough to keep me happy.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Batman & Robin - BATGIRL!

Batman & Robin (the Movie) - Series 01 - Batgirl - Kenner 1997

The 1997 Batman & Robin movie is pretty much universally accepted as a flop. At the time I didn't think it was exactly horrible, but I understood that it was taking huge step backwards in the "cool" department established by the other Batman films. But the introduction of a new Batgirl was always enough to keep me in line as a supporter of the film. I bought this movie on DVD a few years ago and I was surprised at how watchable it was. Removed from the pressure of the other films, I finally saw this script for what it was: a super-campy colorful action farce. The puns are ridiculous and the glow in the dark biker gangs are utter nonsense, but it's still fun. Alicia Silverstone was totally the it girl in 1997, so her casting was a great choice. The character changes were weird (She was now Barbara Wilson, the niece of Alfred), but the overall presentation was pure cheesy goodness. I love the toys made for the movie. They were some of the last "classic" style DC action figures made.  Let's check out Batgirl below!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Dorbz - NEBULA!

Guardians of the Galaxy Dorbz #020 - Nebula - Vinyl Sugar / Funko 2015

I'm pretty amazed that this is my favorite Nebula collectible from the slew of Guardians of the Galaxy products we've seen in the past year. I love the insane cuteness of the Dorbz style contradicting with her creepy cybernetic head gear. The metal pieces on the left side of her face look positively menacing with that innocent smile. I'm sure once we see a Marvel Legends scale Nebula that that figure will take first place, but in the meantime this creepy little lady takes the cake. Hopefully she'll play a role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 due out in 2017 because she's definitely a cool enough character to warrant more toys. I would love to see her in Hasbro's (already established) 2.5", 3.75" and 6" scales. I know it's a pipe dream unless she plays a major character in the sequel, but my fingers are crossed nonetheless. We all need more blue-skinned evil ladies on our shelves.  Let's check out the Guardians of the Galaxy Nebula Dorbz in detail below!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Dorbz - GAMORA!

Guardians of the Galaxy Dorbz #016 - Gamora - Vinyl Sugar / Funko 2015

I'm running out of things to say about Guardians of the Galaxy. One thing is for certain through, Marvel definitely has another unlikely female superhero to merchandise out the wazoo. People forget how much of a random choice Black Widow was for the Avengers roster. Sure, she had a legitimate place on the team, but she was far from the obvious choice for the sole female. Spider-Woman, She-Hulk, Wasp, or Scarlet Witch were much more prominent (and more super-powered) Avengers who were passed over for the role. But everyone loved her on the big screen and now she's one of the most merchandised Marvel ladies ever. Gamora (and the entire GOTG team for that matter) was a very unlikely candidate for inclusion into the Marvel cinematic universe. But the success of the film has been undeniable and there are plenty of green-skinned beauties on the shelves to prove it. Plus I'm sure we'll see another wave in 2017 when the sequel is released. I think it's inevitable. Let's check out her Dorbz below!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

KRE-O Transformers - NIGHTBIRD!

Botcon 2015 Exclusive "Earth's Most Wanted" 5-Pack - Nightbird - Hasbro 2015

Nightbird was the first real female character in Transformers. She appeared in episode #22 "Enter the Nightbird" in 1985 (Elita-1 and her clan of female Autobots didn't appear until episode #48). Nightbird was a robot created by the US Government that was swiftly captured and brainwashed by the Decepticons. She was a silent, non-transforming, ninja robot who was stealthily sneaking around and using her arsenal of weapons throughout the episode. I distinctly remember filling up notebooks drawing her as a child. I was totally obsessed with her. Not only was she the first female in the series, but she was seriously kick-ass. Both Optimus Prime and Megatron were fighting over her. I never expected to see any toys of her in my lifetime, but now we have three Third-Party figures, this Kreon, and a retooled Arcee being released this October from Tomy in Japan. It's so bizarre to be living in such a Golden Age of toy collecting. I feel like toy companies are reading my mind. Let's check out this Nightbird Kreon below!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Avatar - Movie Masters NEYTIRI!

James Cameron's Avatar - Movie Masters Series 01 - Neytiri - Mattel 2009

Avatar was one of my favorite movies of the last decade. I went to see it on a whim without any great expectations. It also happened to be the first modern 3-D movie I had seen. I was instantly swept into the story. It was a little Ferngully, a little Dances With Wolves, but mostly it was its own beast. I ended up seeing it about four times in the theatre, That's only happened two other times in my life: with Kill Bill and Lion King.  My favorite thing about Avatar was the forested moon of Pandora with all its alien flora and fauna.  At one point I had purchased every creature available in this line.  The were pretty big.  I had no room to display them except on my dining room table in my old apartment.  At one point my landlord had to come over for something and I was pretty embarrassed of the spectacle of it all.  Eventually I sold them all except my Neytiris, and I always kind of regret that.  Neytiri was an amazing character in the film, I'm hoping that she plays a major role in the sequels and gets more figures!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Star Trek (The 2009 Movie) - CADET UHURA!

Star Trek: Warp Collection - Cadet Uhura - Playmates 2009

2009's Star Trek movie was a perfect example of how amazing a well-done property reboot can be. It was exciting, funny, faithful to the original series, and I certainly left the theatre wanting to see more. For such a great movie though, the toys were pretty lackluster. In all my stores they just sat on the shelves for months collecting dust. I can't speak for everyone's reluctance to buy them, but I thought they looked awkward and sub-par to every other line out at the time. The character likenesses were way off-base. This Uhura doesn't look a thing like Zoe Saldana. The scale was another issue. If they would have been scaled to fit in with the DST Star Trek line, I would have definitely been more interested. But as is, we were presented with something very different than what the collector community was expecting. It's a real pity because a well-done toy line for this movie could have been very successful. This figure isn't horrible by any means, but it falls way short of its potential.  Let's check her out below!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The New Batman Adventures - Bendable HARLEY!

The New Batman Adventures - Bendable Figures - Harley Quinn - NJCroce 2015

Bendies bendies bendies. I'm becoming inundated with these little amorphous beauties. About an hour ago I was showing my collection room to a very excitable five year old and her favorite thing by far was the Batgirl '66 bendie (that I reviewed last month) -- "because it's the sparkliest." I would add that a major factor in her choice was probably its placement at her eye level, but that's just nitpicking. It is a stunning little figure. A few years ago I would have never ever considered including bendable figures in my collection, but the quality and character selection of these recent NJ Croce figures has completely changed my tune. I'm greatly looking forward to adding more of these ladies in the coming years. Animated Poison Ivy and Catwoman are the logical next contenders, but I'd buy pretty much anything honestly. This Harley is a nice placeholder for the upcoming BTAS figure from DCC. I'm dying to compare these two when she finally comes out. Let's check out this bendable Harley below!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Batman Dorbz Series 1 - HARLEY QUINN!

Batman Dorbz - Series 01 #29 - Harley Quinn - Vinyl Sugar / Funko 2015

I had an embarrassingly delayed realization that Dorbz is the current hip vernacular for adorable. I'm neither hip nor young nor internet savvy so that is my excuse. I like to pretend I'm young, but the moment some new verbal trend emerges my facade crumbles. So, yeah, forgive any previous "Dorbz are adorable!" repetitiveness. I get it now. I'm really excited about the future of this line. The simple designs and minimal decos lend themselves to a great collector line. I foresee a wide selection of characters and variations on the shelves in the next few years. There have been statements made that these won't see wide distribution like other Funko products, so hopefully the sales will be enough to bring future waves. So far I've only seen them at Hot Topic and FYE record stores. If anyone sees them elsewhere, let me know where I should be hunting. I'm expecting they'll show up at Barnes & Noble and Comic Shops eventually. (Poison Ivy and Catwoman should be out shortly!) Let's check out Harley below!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

UNKL DC Comics Heroes & Villains - HARLEY QUINN!

UniPo DC Heroes & Villains - Blind Box Harley Quinn - UNKL/Toynami 2013

My Harley Quinn collectibles hobby has been booming lately. It seems like every time I head into my comic shop or Hot Topic there is another little red and black jester taunting me. I first saw this UNKL Harley Quinn a few years ago in the Toynami booth at ToyFair 2013. For me it was an easy pass. I thought these figures looked like a bizarre cross of Funko Pop and Mighty Muggs with the facial stylings of Beavis & Butthead. Then I waited for her to show up in stores (just to solidify my criticisms in person). She never appeared. The preorder dates on websites kept being bumped later and later. I started getting mildly obsessed with finding her. Then finally a couple weeks ago I was picking up a few Dorbz at Hot Topic and I saw the UNKL blind boxes. There was a sale. It was destiny. I bought one with fingers crossed. It was my lovely Harleen. Now I'm kind of obsessed with this odd little addition to my collection. She's definitely ugly, but in a quirky way that I can get down with. Let's check her out in detail below!