Thursday, May 28, 2015

DC Collectibles - ROLLER GIRL HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics (New52) Super-Villains  - Harley Quinn - DC Collectibles 2015

Finally I have the big mystery figure of SDCC 2014 in my hands.  For the first time ever, the geeky fandom of the internet failed to leak photos when she was secretly shown to vendors on preview night last year.  I normally respect the "no photos" requests and won't scour the boards for toy paparazzi pics, but Harley is a major weakness of mine so I'll admit I engaged in an afternoon of frantic-but-fruitless googling.  This new "roller girl" design for Harley Quinn was such a relief to me when the first Amanda Conner drawings were shown.  Her previous outfits in the comics and games were just tacky and nonsensical.  Finally she looked tough, sexy, and quirky in an outfit that actually made sense for the storyline.  I think more female artists should be involved in handling costume design. Of course, in the latest comics, she hasn't really been playing roller derby so maybe her costume is changing yet again.  If it means for figures, I'm definitely down.  Let's check out Roller Harley below!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Game of Thrones - ARYA STARK!

Game of Thrones: Legacy Collection #9 - Arya Stark - Funko 2014

I fully intended on skipping this figure when I first saw her. I thought she looked too boyish -- which is pretty amusing since this is Arya in boy-drag as Arry (during her adventure from King's Landing toward the Wall). Eventually I picked the figure up on clearance after the holidays but I'm just getting around to writing her review now. I'm definitely glad I didn't pass on her because the more I have her in hand, the more I appreciate the execution of this figure.  While she doesn't look much like actress Maisie Williams, the likeness is still passable.  If this line continues I hope we see another Arya in one of her other (upcoming) transformations.  Who knows, I think she's a good candidate to sit on the Iron Throne at the end of the series.  My personal theory is that the remaining Starks will join together and use their suppressed warg powers to control Daenerys' dragons.  I think that has some clout. Only time will tell though.  (By this time next year we should have the sixth book.)  Let's check out Arya!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kre-O Transformers - BLACKARACHNIA!

Transformers Kre-O Age of Extinction - Series 2 - Blackarachnia - Hasbro 2014

Transformers Kre-O figures are some of my favorite collectibles of the last decade.  They're small, fun, and pretty prolific in the toy aisles.  Or at least they were.  The lackluster movie-themed waves from 2014's Transformers: Age of Extinction film kind of brought the series to a slow crawl.  This second series of Age of Extinction blind-bag mini-figures never even saw release in the United States.  I only hope the upcoming Robots in Disguise waves will offer some new life to the line.  I know I'll definitely be hunting down the Strongarm figure at the very least.  But in the long run, I desperately want more classic themed micro-changer waves.  Elita One and all the Cybertronian fembots would be amazing as Kreons.  I can only hope someone at Hasbro sees that, too.  At the very least there is potential for a ton of future convention exclusives in this format.  My fingers are crossed.  In the meantime, let's check out this elusive Blackarachnia in detail below!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cubix: Robots For Everyone - ABBY!

Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Abby and Dondon - Trendmasters 2001

Cubix was a Korean CGI-cartoon that was translated for English audiences in 2001.  The main character was a boy named Connor who lived in Bubble Town in the year 2044 when robots outnumber humans.  When Connor arrives to Bubble Town, he does not have his own robot, but soon he manages to fix Cubix, the "Unfixable Robot."  Cubix ends up having unexpected abilities and his relationship with Connor is the focus of the show.  Abby is Connor's nosy neighbor who shows him the ropes of the robot world.  They first met when she sent her robot pet Dondon to fly over and spy on him.  This action figure is a random acquisition for me.  I got her in an eBay lot several years ago.  She's not the type of figure I would ever make an effort to buy on her own, but for some reason never wanted to part with her.  When I realized she was made by the commendable, but defunct, Trendmasters (90's Godzilla, Voltron: 3rd Dimension, Mars Attacks), I knew I had to give her a proper review.  Let's check out Abby below!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Power Rangers Imaginext - RITA REPULSA!

Imaginext - MM Power Rangers - Goldar & Rita Repulsa - Fisher-Price 2015

Woohoo!  I didn't expect to start finding these figures so quickly.  About three weeks ago I was having an irrational craving for more Imaginext figures.  I had just found the Series 4 blindbags so I should have been satisfied for a while, but I instead found myself Googling for Series 5 pics like a lunatic.  It was a bust.  But then Eric over at Toyriffic sent me an email letting me know about the upcoming Rita Repulsa figure.  I was ecstatic.  Not only was it another in the growing family of  Imaginext females, but a witchy villainous one to boot.  I have a thing for bad girls. I expected them to show up sometime in Fall, but I surprisingly stumbled across a display at one of my TRUs this weekend (they only had a few different pieces, not the whole line yet).  After getting my hands on this figure and Goldar, I predict the Power Rangers line will be really strong in this format.  I fully intended on selling Goldar, but I'm pretty much obsessed with him.  Hopefully everyone else will be too.  Let's check them both out in detail below!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron -SCARLET WITCH!

Avengers: Age of Ultron - Basic Figures - Scarlet Witch - Hasbro 2015

I just saw the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie last night.  I was really lazy about getting to the theatres to see it because sequels always disappoint me, and Ultron was never a particularly thrilling villain for me.  Plus I'm a Scarlet Witch fan and the character designs I was seeing for her were just boring.  But after seeing it, I can say I was judging everything too harshly.  The movie was great and Wanda's character was handled really well.  Her non-distinct European accent and crimson power flares will remind you so much of Melisandre from Game of Thrones. Not to mention that the actresses totally look related.  Her powers and origins differed from the comics as I expected, but none of it bothered me.  The Quicksilver discrepancies between this film and Days of Future Past were much more bothersome.  I believe this figure is the first basic wave Marvel female we've seen.  It's amazing that it's Scarlet Witch and not Black Widow or Gamora.  Let's check out this movie version Wanda below!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mastermind Creations - EUPATORIUM!

Reformatted R-09 - Eupatorium (Warrior) - Mastermind Creations 2015

Finally we get to the figure that triggered my avalanche of 3rd Party Transformers figures this week.  Elita One is the basis all modern female Transformers.  Sure, through new backstory, we learn that Solus Prime is probably the originator of all the fembots, but way back in in 1985, a full year before we met Arcee, Elita One burst onto the scene in a blaze of pink.  The season 2 episode "The Search for Alpha Trion" blew my mind as a child.  I had never even contemplated female Transformers.  Then comes this mysterious episode loaded with females.  In the opening scene we meet Chromia, Firestar, and Moonracer on a clandestine mission to steal Energon cubes.  Eventually we meet their wise leader, Elita One and the backstory starts flowing.  The absence of females prior to this episode is briefly explained by the simple phrase "I thought they were all extinct."  We learn that Elita One was Optimus Prime's girlfriend back in the early days of Cyberton.  She and her tribe have stayed with me for years.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mastermind Creations - SALVIA PROMINON!

Reformatted R-10 - Salvia Prominon (Ancress) - Mastermind Creations 2015

Once again I am thoroughly won over by a 3rd Party figure.  This Salvia Prominion figure really confused me when I first saw pictures of her last year.  Basically this is because I had no idea who she was supposed to be.  After much reading on the numerous Transformer wikis, I discovered an interesting character called Solus Prime, one of the original 13 Cybertronian Transformers created to fight Unicron.  Solus was the only female Prime and was an expert weaponer.  Because of the historical deity-like flashbacks of the character, she is rarely shown in clear view. So with very little to go on, I think this MasterMind interpretation of Solus is amazing.  I never would have thought that lavender, gold, and translucent aqua would go so well together.  The Optimus-like faceplate adds a lot to the mysterious "Prime" status and the flowing details on her helmet and shoulders add a historic air to her design. She's surprisingly my favorite of the Reformatted fembots so far.  Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mastermind Creations - AZALEA!

Reformatted R-08 - Azalea (Avenger) - Mastermind Creations 2014

I've been struggling with the idea of plunging into 3rd Party Transformers for years. The major perk of 3rd Party figures (for me) is the fact that there is a lot of attention paid to female characters (at least in comparison to licensed brands), but the downsides are high prices and uncertain quality.  I say uncertain because you can't really ever browse these in a store, so you're really buying them blindly.  So last Autumn I found myself with a fully-loaded PayPal account and an itch to spend.  Fate would have it that this was the week that two new Mastermind Creations fembots went up for preorder.  This Azalea figure was already released at that time so after googling some reviews I felt very comfortable about the construction quality.  I pulled the trigger and all these months later I'm the happy owner of three gorgeous new fembots.  Azalea is the requisite Not-Arcee figure.  There are lots of 3rd-Party Arcees, but this one definitely appeals to me most.  Let's check out Azalea below!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

WWE Superstar - BRIE BELLA!

WWE Series #48 - Wrestlemania Heritage Series #21 - Brie Bella - Mattel 2015

Once again I will dive into the depths of my Wrestling ignorance to justify my buying another lovely Mattel Diva. I seriously have a problem. I am not buying a ton of WWE women, but when I consider all the awesome figures I'm passing up (like most recently the Sons of Anarchy Gemma), it's kind of crazy how these wrestlers slip through my budget blockade every time.  This is the second Brie figure in my collection - the first being from 2012's Bella Twins 2-Pack.  Those figures were a disaster in my opinion.  The costumes were bulky and the facial expression were odd.  So this second Brie Bella figure is a welcome repeat.  Then again, Brie Bella is gorgeous, and this figure makes her look just... cute.  Is a third figure in the pipeline?  For a character with a name like Pretty Cheese.. I mean Brie Bella.. I think she's deserving of it.  (I just had to squeeze a cheese joke in there somewhere).  Let's check out Brie below!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sushi Squadron Sharida - BENNY!

Sushi Squadron Sharida - S-04 - Benny - TakaraTomyA.R.T.S. 2014

Yes. Transforming robot sushi. The toy world is so cool sometimes.  There's something especially great when a novelty item - something ostensibly intended as a joke product - evolves into a great toyline.  These Sushi Squadron Sharida figures are awesome.  In sushi form, they are roughly lifesize.  Of course the illusion is broken a little by the abundance of seams in the shari (rice).  The robot forms stand roughly 3.5" tall and are pretty adorable. This figure of Benny/Beni is a standard salmon sushi and is one of ten awesome characters in two separate waves representing different sushi, maki and ikura.  I've seen other Sushi-themed toys in the past, but I believe this is the first female I've ever seen.  She's a quirky, cartoony addition to my growing fembot shelf and I adore her.  I feel like he name means something sushi-related, but I can't figure it out.  Benihana (the Sushi restaurant) means Safflower, but that's not much help.  "Bento Box" maybe?  Who knows.  Anyway, let's check out Benny Sharida below!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ultraforce - TOPAZ!

Ultraforce - Basic Series #8 - Topaz (Warrior Queen of Gwendor) - Galoob 1995

In the mid-nineties the Indy comic world was exploding.  Smaller imprints had been strong for years, but only in this time period did they start really encroaching on the superhero genres that had been cornered by Marvel and DC for decades.  I first discovered Malibu Comics with their freebie publication Malibu Sun that advertised all the new Image titles (Malibu was the initial publisher of record for Image).  These magazines soon introduced me to Ultraforce and the whole world of Ultraverse titles.  UltraForce is essentially the Avengers of Malibu's Ultraverse line.  All the main characters with solo books were teamed up for this title.  Topaz was a powerful warrior queen from the world of Gwendor.  Her homeworld was a matriarchal society where men were weaker and subservient to women.  This colored a lot her interactions with the other characters and gave her a fierce feminist slant.  Her mysterious blue skin and aggressive attitude always stood out to me.  Let's check out Topaz in detail below!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

DC Comics Kubrick - SPOILER!

Kubrick - Batman: Series 1 Secret (1:96) Figure - Spoiler - Medicom 2003

I never thought I would get my hands on this figure. As one of the only pieces of Spoiler merchandise out there, it's been on my radar for over a decade. However, being the rare "Secret" figure of Series 01 makes her especially hard to find. The Kubrick collectors are pretty thorough, too, so that doubles the competition trying to get their hands on lil' ol Steph here. You can almost always find her on eBay for around $100, but that was always far beyond my budget for a tiny, undetailed brick figure. Luckily I snagged her super-duper cheap recently and I'm ecstatic. Stephanie Brown was completely off my radar until she became Robin in 2005. Unfortunately that was a very brief (and tragic) stint. I didn't notice her again until she became the new Batgirl in 2009. Then I was completely hooked. I quickly backtracked and became obsessed with her earliest incarnations as Spoiler, daughter of Cluemaster who was dedicated to "spoiling" the criminal plans of her father and other Gotham villains. Then New52 got her. She was shockingly absent in comics for years, but thankfully re-emerged again as Spoiler in 2014. Let's check her out!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Arkham Knight HARLEY QUINN!

Batman: Arkham Knight - Wave 1, Figure 4 - Harley Quinn - DC Collectibles 2015

I really think the third time is the charm with these videogame-based Harley Quinn figures from DC Collectibles.  The Arkham Asylum "Sexy Nurse" Harley was a decent figure of an ill-conceived costume.  The Arkham City dyed-pigtails and baseball bat look was much better, but the figure was oddly-proportioned and overshadowed by nearly-identical Mattel figure.  I'm really looking forward to the Dr. Quinzel from Arkham Origins later this year, but in the meantime we got this fantastic early figure of the Arkham Knight.  This costume is by no means a favorite of mine.  It's kind of an odd blend of the first two Arkham outfits.  When I first saw images of it, I rolled my eyes.  (One of these days she better get a utilitarian costume.)  So, yeah, I wasn't thrilled in the beginning, but I have to admit this action figure is making me change my mind.  She's just gorgeous.  I'm so glad to have her in my collection.  Let's check her out in detail below!