Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The New Batman Adventures - Bendable BATGIRL!

The New Batman Adventures - Bendable Figures - Batgirl - NJCroce 2015

NJ Croce is having a killer year with their Batman novelties. These bendable figures are the perfect thing to fill the doldrums in the weeks leading up to SDCC.  They're bright. colorful, well-made, and inexpensive.  I've never been much of a fan of bendies, but in a few short years I've acquired six and I must admit I think they're pretty cool. Batman the Animated Series (and all its subsequent iterations) are getting a lot of love this year.  There is an awesome New Adventures Batgirl action figure due out next month from DC Collectibles.  And Diamond Select showed a BTAS mini-bust and PVC statue at Toy Fair in February.  Up until this point I've actually had very few animated-style Batgirls in my collection (I used to be a "comics-style" purist until a few years ago).  But now I welcome them with open arms.  I don't want to backtrack too far though because collecting all 2 billion Kenner variants will kill me.  I'm fine with this glorious bendie for now.  Let's check her out below!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Age of Ultron (Miniature) SCARLET WITCH!

Avengers Age of Ultron - Miniature Scarlet Witch vs Sub-Ultron 008 - Hasbro 2015

I have a recently rekindled love for 2.5" scale action figures. I've been Googling all these great long-forgotten (for me anyway) eighties toy properties since I posted on Gamora a few weeks ago. I now have a lot of tiny eBay packages due on my doorstep, and I've been obsessively hunting for this Scarlet Witch figure. I finally found her at Target this week. That find has been kind of bittersweet though. While I'm ecstatic to have another tiny lady in my collection (she makes 8!), I was pretty bummed that she was so out-of-scale with the Guardians of the Galaxy figures. I was imagining a whole line of Marvel heroines; one per movie.. Black Widow, Wasp, Sif, Captain Marvel. It was a pretty potent fantasy. But unfortunately the first two offerings are out of sync. It doesn't mean I don't still love this perfect little toy, but I'm just disappointed that Hasbro didn't have the foresight to tie their lines (and their future lines) together. I'll be okay though.  I just need time to sort out my feelings. Let's check out Wanda below!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Batman Dorbz Series 1 - BATGIRL!

Batman Dorbz - Series 01 #027 - Batgirl - Vinyl Sugar / Funko 2015

I think Dorbz are going to be a major problem for me. In the past week I've bought four of these cute little figures and I'm sure there will be more in my future. When these figures were first teased before Toy Fair this Winter, I was apprehensive about their size and cost. The Vinyl Vixens series turned me off a bit when I saw how large and pricey they were. And these Dorbz had the potential for the same disappointments. Then at Toy Fair I saw the size first hand and I really liked it. They stand about 3/4" shorter than a POP figure with heads just slightly larger than a golf ball. The price was still a mystery to me, but luckily now that they're showing up in stores, I know that they're anywhere from 8 bucks (DC ones at my record store) to 10 bucks (Guardians of the Galaxy at Hot Topic). So, yeah, I'm hooked. I'm excited for the upcoming Catwoman and Poison Ivy (as well as Mystique and Scarlet Witch). And I'm predicting tons of variants. Black-suited and '66 TV style Batgirls will be a welcome addition. Bring them on!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Batman '66 Bendable BATGIRL!

Batman: Classic TV Series - Bendable Figures - Batgirl - NJCroce 2015

This little beauty was one of my favorite discoveries at Toy Fair '15. Ever since I stumbled across the NJ Croce booth in 2013 and saw the very cool JLA New Frontier bendable figures, I have made it a point to stop by each year to see what new offerings they have. They have yet to disappoint me. Last year they had a Julie Newmar Catwoman. Then this year they wowed us with a BTAS Harley Quinn and Batgirl, as well as this Batman 1966 Classic TV Series Batgirl. I honestly already have low hopes for 2016 because this year will be a tough one to beat. I supposed a BTAS Poison Ivy or Catwoman is possible (and a Mystery of the Batwoman figure would make me faint). But this Batgirl '66 figure is something special. I believe this is the first official piece of merchandise featuring the Yvonne Craig Batgirl on the market. We have 2 Statues (Tweeterhead & DST), a Bust, and an action figure due out later this year, but I think this is the first. Hopefully this is only the beginning. Let's check out Batgirl below!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Funko POP! Guardians of the Galaxy NEBULA!

POP! Marvel #76 - Guardians of the Galaxy - Nebula - Funko 2015

Nebula was my favorite character from 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  I thought she had a very cool look, and she seemed to differ greatly from her comics counterpart (who I was never truly in love with).  In the movie she was Thanos' adopted daughter and had a major sibling rivalry with her sister Nebula. This tension exploded in the final scenes of the movie giving her tons of screentime. She was played by Karen Gillan, known to most Geekdom as Amy Pond from BBC's Doctor Who (although others might know her from the failed 2014 ABC sitcom, Selfie).  I actually can't remember if she survived the GOTG film or not, but hopefully she'll be in the sequel.  I heard somewhere last year (I believe at SDCC) that there would be a second wave of Marvel Legends for the movie.  A Legends-style movie Nebula would be awesome.  Fingers crossed that she shows up in a future movie wave.  This Funko POP! figure showed up in stores a few months ago, so I think another wave of delayed merchandise is a definite possibility.  Let's check out Nebula below!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Imaginext POWER RANGERS!

Imaginext Power Rangers - Pink & Yellow Rangers - Fisher-Price/Mattel 2015

Fisher-Price's super-popular Imaginext line has a knack for incorporating cool character licenses into its products. While the majority of their products seem to be original themes (like Castles, Dinosaurs, and Space), I think the most popular figures and playsets in recent years have been their DC Super Friends line. Other media tie-ins have included Spongebob Squarepants, Monster's Inc, and Toy Story, but DC  has outlasted and outshone them all. The first real competition in my opinion is the new Power Rangers theme. In a few short weeks on the shelves, I think these figures have completely won over all the Imaginext fans out there. For a property that is inherently vehicle-driven, it's surprising that there hasn't been a smaller-scale action figure series before (with corresponding zords of course). These toys are more playable and fun than any Power Rangers products I've ever seen. Now the test will be to see if the line can continue. There are pictures floating around of a second assortment, so it's looking good!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Marvel Legends - WASP!

Marvel Legends Infinite Series - Ant-Man (Ultron Wave) - Hasbro 2014

Woohoo lookee what I found yesterday!  I wasn't paying attention to release dates for the Ant-Man wave (or any of the upcoming ML waves for that matter), so when I went into Toys R Us yesterday afternoon and saw this I thought I was hallucinating.  Buried there amongst the overstocked Avengers and Spider-Man figures was this lone Wasp. There wasn't another Ant-Man figure in sight.  I snatched her up and immediately started looking over my shoulder in paranoia as if her appearance was some mistake. But alas, she was real.  Janet van Dyne first appeared as the Wasp in Tales to Astonish #44 in the Summer of 1963 as a partner to Ant-Man.  Within a few months she would earn her permanent place in the Marvel universe by becoming one of the founding members of the Avengers in Avengers #1 1963.  I was a little upset that she wasn't included in the two previous Avengers movies, but then again I never thought there would ever be a solo Ant-Man film.  It makes sense that they saved her for this movie.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Fifth Element - DIVA PLAVALGUNA!

ReAction Figures - The Fifth Element - Diva Plavalguna - Super7/Funko 2015

The 1997 French film, The Fifth Element blew my mind when I first saw it.  I knew nothing about the movie, but just blindly went along with friends to the theatre.  I was totally unprepared for the spectacle I would behold.  It reminded me of a cross between all my favorite sci-fi/action movies.  There was a little Stargate, a little Star Wars, a little Indiana Jones, a little everything.  And it was funny, but not in a way that would distract you from the action or the plot.  Writer, Director, and Producer Luc Besson is the brilliant man behind such classics as La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Transporter Series, and District 13 (to name a few).  And costume designer Jean Paul Gaultier is the epitome of a fashion celebrity (I just learned he designed many of Madonna and Marilyn Manson's looks).  All the brilliant creativity converged into a beautiful film that still seems as fresh today as it did back then.  So, yeah, this series of figures from Funko has been a long time coming.  Hopefully this is only the beginning.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Imaginext WARRIOR QUEEN!

Imaginext Blind Bag Series 5 - Warrior Queen - Fisher-Price/Mattel 2015

If you would have told me five years ago that one of my biggest obsessions would be a Preschool toyline by Fisher-Price I would have called you mad. But after I bought my first Imaginext figure (Catwoman - way back in the Summer of 2011), I was kind of hooked. I think a major proponent behind my building anticipation for this line has been the extremely slow incorporation of females into the character lineup. There have been only one or two Imaginext females released each year since Catwoman. Of course, 2015 is shaping up to change all that. The blindbag Series 4 included two females, and now this surprise Series 5 contains another. Then there are three Power Rangers Ladies and an upcoming Cheetah in the Super Friends theme. That makes seven and it's only June. I'm guessing they'll be at least three more. The Woodland theme is just begging for a female elf or faerie, and the Rescue Heroes have yet to make Ariel or Maureen into figures. I can hope. Let's check out the Queen below!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Funko POP! Guardians of the Galaxy GAMORA!

POP! Marvel #51 - Guardians of the Galaxy - Gamora - Funko 2014

I'm finally getting around to posting all my Guardians of the Galaxy products from last summer.  So bear with me.  I often avoid movie figures because they tend to have boring "real world" costumes, they're usually in a slightly different scale than comic or cartoon themed figures, and they almost always end up saturating the toy stores and becoming shelfwarmers... and eventual clearance items.  One thing that can always get me to crumble under the pressure though is some wicked green skin.  So, yeah, I now have a cluster of Gamoras now gracing my shelves and I'm excited to gather more as sequels come out.  Half my reason for wanting to get these figures reviewed now (besides the fact that I have had them photographed for over a year) is that I'm super excited about the classic Gamora figure coming in the Entertainment Earth Exclusive set this Summer.  She's already pre-ordered with a spot reserved on my shelf.  Patience is a virtue that I have in short supply.  Let's check out this Gamora POP below!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

WWE Elite Collection - PAIGE!

WWE Elite Collection: Series 34 - Paige - Mattel 2015

Paige is an English WWE wrestler who started her career at the shocking age of 13. She is the daughter of English professional wrestlers, Sweet Saraya (later Saraya Knight) and Ricky Knight.  In 2003, her father began a wrestling training school where Paige first began to experiment with the sport.  (Her brothers also fell into the famly business as the Zebra Kid and Zac Zociac).  In her first 6 years wrestling she traveled across Europe competing in a tremendous number of leagues and championships including WAW, WAWW, W3L, HEW, RDW, RQW, & PWF. She would win some, lose some, and often compete against her mother in the ring (inheriting her titles in the process). In 2011 Paige made her American debut with Shimmer Women Athletes and within a year was signed to the WWE. She has gone on to win numerous titles since them including WWE Divas Champion and NXT Women's Champion. For many fans, this figure was a long time coming.  Let's check out Paige's inaugural figure below!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Kidrobot HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics - Mini Series: 1 - New 52 Harley Quinn - Kidrobot 2015

I remember the first time I walked into a Kidrobot store.  It was in the early 2000s and I was spending my New Year's holiday in San Francisco.  Before my trip, a friend from Texas told me to check out the store.  I had no idea what to expect, but when I did the requisite touristy stroll through Haight-Ashbury I was immediately drawn into a wonderland of design and color.  Vinyl art figures were never really my thing, but this store totally won me over.  Not that I could afford a single thing in the store at the time.  Actually, the store outpriced me for many years, but I still always found myself wanting to browse whenever I found myself near a location.  It wasn't until a few months ago when I made my first purchase.  This of course was only a set of keychains, but it was a first tentative step down a slippery slope.  This first series of DC Minis are blind-boxed and stand about 3" tall (just a tiny bit shorter than Funko Pops). Hopefully we see a series two, or at least some more keychains.  Let's check out Harley below!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy (Miniature) GAMORA!

Guardians of the Galaxy - Miniature 2-Pack : Star-Lord & Gamora - Hasbro 2014

I took these photos almost a year ago but I'm just getting around to posting them now.  I was a little worn out by Guardians of the Galaxy products last summer, but that definitely didn't stop me from buying them.  These 1:28 scale figures are usually total shelfwarmers in most shops I frequent.  In the past, figures of this size (roughly 2.5") would be cheap sloppy toys created solely to provide a pilot for a vehicle.  But in recent years there has been major advancement in the quality of these tiny little wonders.  They suddenly look really really good.  I can honestly say that this is the best-looking Gamora figure in my collection, but I know she's often overlooked in the toy aisles.  I've mentioned in past reviews how this scale is very nostalgic to me.  When I hold one of these figures I am instantly reminded of Dino-Riders, M.A.S.K., Starcom, Eagle Force, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, etc, etc.  Some of my absolute favorite 80's properties.  Let's check out this awesome miniature Gamora below!

Monday, June 1, 2015

DC Collectibles - NEW 52 POISON IVY!

DC Comics (New52) Super-Villains  - Poison Ivy - DC Collectibles 2015

Of all the new character redesigns that came about in 2011's New52 reboot, Poison Ivy was the one that I had the most mixed emotions about.  At first glance, I absolutely hated it.  I thought she looked like a boring spandexed superhero and nothing like the elemental goddess she was.  But then I started reading Birds of Prey and I started to really like the new look.  I know the previous Jim Lee green-hued Ivy was a fan favorite, but I always thought she looked ridiculous.  The one-piece swimsuit design, "sexy" hair, and how she was always standing tiptoed didn't really seem like qualities the detached-from-humanity villainess would care about. So I was definitely open to a change.  Her New52 character was really cool.  For a while she was the creepy member of Birds of Prey that the rest of the team begrudgingly accepted into the ranks.  But it wasn't long before Ivy showed her true colors and betrayed them all.  Now she seems more like her old self in the pages of Harley Quinn.  Let's check out Ivy below!