Monday, November 30, 2015

Masters of the Universe Classics - VEENA!

MOTUC Club Eternia - Queen Grayskull - Mattycollector Exclusive - Mattel 2015

He-Man's 2002 reboot was definitely not my favorite iteration of the Masters of the Universe property.  I tried to get into it, but it just never took root.  One of the biggest disappointments for me was the redesign of my favorite character, the Sorceress.  Instead of the original orange and blue feathered falcon garb, she now wore a gold and teal Egyptian-themed outfit that I always felt looked out of place (I thought it was very Stargate-ish to have a Egyptian-like culture on another planet). Years later I learned that the "Ra" in She-Ra was actually in reference to the Egyptian God of the Sun, but that didn't make me like the 2002 Sorceress any better. This figure is of Veena - or Queen Grayskull - who is a Preternian predecessor of the modern Sorceress.  She helped create the Power Swords and guarded Castle Grayskull after King Grayskull's death.  Her design is a nice median between the classic Sorceress and her 2002 redesign.  It's not overtly Egyptian, but definitely holds to the 2002 style.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Batman: The Animated Series - HARLEY QUINN!

Batman: The Animated Series -  12 - Harley Quinn - DC Collectibles 2015

This Batman Animated Universe line is like crack. The character selection has been amazing and the production quality, for the most part, has been spectacular. I can't wait to get my main four characters: Batgirl, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy in both BTAS and TNBA form. I never expected to see this old style, regardless of how classic it's become, make a resurgence in the high-end collectible market. I thought we would be relegated to the old 5-POA Kenner and Mattel mass market figures from the 90s. Don't get me wrong, those are classically awesome figures, but these new ones just blow them so far out of the water they aren't even in the same league. This Harley figure is the first in the line I've ever had QC problems with; The paint masking around her white neckpiece was sloppy on every figure I saw, and so was the linework around her mask.  Then her ankles are also misshapen from the plastic ties. It's unfortunate, but not a deal-breaker. Let's check out Harley below!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

GameStop Exclusive Funko BATGIRL POP!

DC Super Heroes - POP! heroes #3 - Batgirl - Funko 2015

You can probably guess what I was doing on Black Friday. For the first time ever, there were Black Friday exclusive Funko POPs at GameStop and Hot Topic. As far as the ladies go, there was a Black-suited Batgirl using the 2010 mold (along with a 1:8 Gold Chase variant) at GameStop and a Black & White Harley (w/Mallet) at Hot Topic.  The Hot Topics around me were sold out before Friday so I didn't have a chance. But luckily I was able to snag a bunch of GameStop Mystery Boxes and got two Batgirls. It's been many years since this Batgirl has been released so getting a repaint was a welcome addition to my collection. Unfortunately her quality control is pretty low in my opinion. She's the worst of my four Batgirl POPs by far (and I don't even like the old metallic variant). Both my Batgirls had pretty unfortunate paint issues.  I think her production was rushed and some quick decisions were made, leading to a sloppy product. I guess I expect higher standards for exclusives. Let's check her out below!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Marvel Mini-Bust - TIGRA!

Marvel Mini-Busts - Tigra - Bowen Designs 2006

Tigra is one of the characters most deserving of a modern Marvel Legends treatment in my opinion. All she needs is a cameo in one of the Marvel TV shows and I'll bet we get her within the year. Greer Grant started her career as The Cat in 1972.  Back then she wore the yellow and blue costume later adopted by Patsy Walker as Hellcat.  After a few years in that original costume, Greer was mortally wounded while protecting the Cat People from Hydra. They saved her life by transforming her into Tigra, the mantle of their legendary protector. She has gone on to be an consistent, but underutilized hero in the Marvel Universe. She has been a member of the Avengers and teamed up with the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-man, etc.  She's received a decent amount of merchandise over the years, but in my opinion this mini-bust is the best.  Her Marvel legends figure from several years ago was passable, but I think a new one with the new female bucks would be amazing.  Let's check out the Hellcat bust below!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Total Heroes - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Comics - Total Heroes - Wonder Woman - Mattel 2015

Just like the late-stage release of the Brave and the Bold Wonder Woman in 2013 (rebranded as Justice League All-Stars) ushered in the end of that line, this Wonder Woman figure seems to be the swan song of the Total Heroes line.  She was shown at Toy Fair back in 2014, but then was seemingly forgotten.  I think she's unlikely to ever show up in stores, but luckily Amazon now stocks her at a fluctuating, but usually reasonable price (right now she's $11.99.. sometimes she jumps up to $39.99 though). This toy is really great and it's a shame that once again we are unlikely to see any other females in this line.  A Batgirl and Catwoman would have fit in so nicely.  But alas, this is the plight of the female super hero. It will be interesting to see how much female merchandise we see for the Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman movies.  I may have to set limitations on myself to avoid a star-spangled explosion in my toy cave.  Let's check out this long-awaited Total Heroes Wonder Woman below!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Funko POP! Arkham Knight HARLEY QUINN!

POP! Heroes #72 - Batman: Arkham Knight - Harley Quinn - Funko 2015

Funko loves Harley Quinn.  In a few short years they've put out more Harley merchandise than DCC and Mattel combined. I count 8 POPs, 1 mini-pop, 5 Mystery Minis (including the just-announced Arkham one), 1 Mopeez, 1 Fabrications, 1 Vinyl3, 1 Dorbz, and 1 Vinyl Vixen.  That's 19 Harleys (including variants) in two short years.  Plus you know there's going to be product for the Suicide Squad movie as well.  This Arkham Knight design for Harley Quinn has really grown on me.  The first time I saw a graphic of it a few years ago it made me groan with its impracticality.  But now I'm really warming up to it.  The one thing I've come to accept from the video game character designs is that they don't last too long before a new game and new outfit emerges.  I just hope one of these future games uses the Arkham-centric design from Assault on Arkham DVD.  That look was amazing and was way too cool to only be used in two brief animated scenes. Let's check out this Arkham Knight Harley below!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Miles From Tomorrowland - LORETTA & PHOEBE!

Miles From Tomorrowland - Loretta & Phoebe Callisto - Tomy 2015

Kid toys have been getting steadily better and better over the years.  Mattel's Fisher-Price and Hasbro's Playskool have really taken a cue from their parent companies and developed these fantastic lines of little action figures -- that I would have been absolutely obsessed with as a child. (And now as a discerning adult, I'm only slightly less infatuated).  This Miles from Tomorrowland series is one of the first times we've seen Tomy enter the preschool action figure market (although the John Deere Gear Force figures were probably the very first). Miles is a CGI-animated show on Disney Junior based on the Tomorrowland attraction at Walt Disney World.  I can only assume this was meant to tie into the high-budget live-action film from last Summer. The show focuses on the Callisto family who live on a spaceship and work for the TTA (Tomorrowland Transit Authority).  Reminds me of the the Fantastic Four vs Parking Wars. I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds really fun.  Let's check out the toys!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

WWE Superstar - NIKKI BELLA!

WWE Basic Series #52 - Superstar #46 - Nikki Bella - Mattel 2015

I've been randomly yet compulsively collecting WWE ladies for about 5 years now.  My first figure was Kelly Kelly from Series #6 which I believe was on the shelves in Fall of 2010.  Since then I've excitedly bought every figure I've ever seen in the store. The only purchase I have ever had doubts about was the first Bella Twins 2-Pack from 2012. The figures of Nikki and Brie Bella in that set looked very odd.  Their outfits were bulky, their expressions were awkward, and overall the set was just very lackluster.  But luckily Mattel is offering resculpted versions of the Bella Twins which more than make up for the forgettable first attempt.  Brie Bella was released earlier this year and blew her previous version out of the water.  This Nikki figure has the same effect.  Her new headsculpt, her cool hat accessory, and her lack of any add-on bulk clothing makes this a fantastic apology figure.  Now if all the other toy lines would get in line with this kind of fan demand!  Let's check out Nikki Bella (Version 2!) in detail below!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Funko POP! Marvel - LADY THOR!

Marvel Collector Corps Exclusive - Marvel #97 - Thor (Secret Wars) - Funko 2015

All the Funko Exclusives are getting to be confusing. I wish there was one consolidated source to let us know what POPs were coming out (including exclusives and Pop Asia). But I think the trend of the mystery subscription box has put an end to that dream. There are now subscription clubs for Marvel, DC, Star Wars, LootCrate, and probably a ton more I'm not aware of. I first found this Lady Thor POP when it randomly showed up in one of my eBay searches. I had a mini nerd-fit where I was completely indignant about Funko's sneakiness. But then a friend who had two subs offered to sell me one cheap. Marvel has been going through quite a gender-balancing spree with their solo titles. In the past few years we've seen popular solo titles from Spider-Woman, Captain Marvel, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Angela, Storm and of course Thor. Her title had an interesting approach because the readers did not know her identity until issue #8. I find her to be a great character with an awesome design. Let's check her out below!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Avengers Miniature Figurine - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Marvel Avengers Figurine Set - Disney Store Exclusive - 2015

For years I've been noticing these Marvel Figurine Sets at the Disney Store.  Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, and Black Widow have all made appearances in these sets over the years, but the high price ($20-25 range) and the good-but-not-great sculpts kept me from actually buying any. Then on Force Friday when I was standing in line in the Disney Store I took notice of this Captain Marvel figurine included in the new Avengers set.  For once the sculpt was terrific, the paint was on-point, and the price was totally justified.  Another thing that kept me from buying the other sets is that the female characters always had goofy bases; Spider-Woman was clinging to a brick wall, Ms. Marvel was floating on a cloud, etc. I'm not a fan of that aesthetic personally.  The simple black flight stand that Captain Marvel is on, however, is perfectly acceptable to me. This looks like a miniaturized Bowen statue and I think it's simply gorgeous.  Let's check out Captain Marvel below!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Walking Dead's MICHONNE (Comic Style v2)!

The Walking Dead - Comic Series - Skybound Exc - McFarlane Toys 2015

I still haven't read any of the Walking Dead comics, but the show is absolutely one of my favorites.  Michonne seems to be a fan-favorite on both the AMC show and the Image comics.  This is the third unique action figure we've seen of this character (not including variants and figures re-released with new accessories). I don't really know much about the rest of the toy line, but I think Rick might be the only other character with that many toys. This new comic version is a great improvement over an already fantastic figure.  She looks much more like the comic art now, but in a realistic 3-dimensional way that lets her fit in nicely with the AMC versions. She's available at Skybound in a full color version as well as gray-scale with blood spatter. I feel like this figure wasn't heavily advertised. I stumbled across her when I accidentally clicked the Skybound bookmark I had made last winter when I was hunting Clementine.  I'm glad I did though because this figure is gorgeous.  Let's check her out below!