Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WWE Superstar - SUMMER RAE!

WWE Basic Series 50 - Superstar #35 - Summer Rae - Mattel 2015

This Summer Rae figure became a minor obsession for me this summer.  I first found her in Target many months ago but I had to pass because her hair wasn't attached properly.  Then every month I would spot another.. only to find a major defect on each one.  Eventually I found her in this small Mom & Pop Hardware store (where I happened to hit toy paydirt and felt really cool being the giddy nerd with a giant armload of toys while everyone around me was buying mulch and powertools haha).  So, yeah, I finally found a decent figure after much effort. The figure is unfortunately a little bland.  The likeness to Summer is off-point and the tasseled thigh-highs really hinder her poseability. In googling for Summer's bio I learned that she was a former football player for the Chicago Bliss team of the Lingerie Football League. This raised so many questions for me. It seemed way too sexist to be true.  Luckily in 2013 they overhauled their image, put on some clothes, and renamed it the Legends Football League.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lanard's Revamped FAIRY-KINS!

Fairykins (the Magical Pixies) 28 Piece Play Set - CP Toys - Lanard 2012

When I went to my first Toy Fair several years ago I quickly learned that a byproduct of that event is that you get on tons of mailing lists. Most of the catalogs filling my mailbox were way off-topic for my interests (swingsets, stuffed animals, etc), but one catalog had a Fairykins Enchanted Forest playset that really intrigued me.  A little research showed me that this was yet another Lanard property that had been around for many years (perhaps as a knockoff to Sea-Wees?) but had recently modernized a'la yesterday's Pony Tales review. I found that these small dolls were available in a variety of assortments: single packs, vehicle sets, giant playsets, etc. But unfortunately I couldn't find them anywhere at a decent price.  Then recently I discovered this CP Toys-distributed "all-in-one" playset on Amazon and I finally took the plunge. I think it was a very good purchase.  I love the design of these figures, and I'm obsessed with their firefly steeds. Let's check out the Fairykins below!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Lanard's Revamped PONY TALES!

Pony Tales - Once Upon an Adventure - Single Packs - Lanard 2014

I'm not a brony (despite the t-shirt I wear to cons ironically proclaiming otherwise). I actually tried to be one when the craze first hit but it just didn't take. That said, I love the Pony culture in the toy world. They're colorful, quirky, and they are icons of 80's nostalgia. My siblings and I never owned any My Little Ponies. But the presence of MLP was simply unavoidable in the 80s. And with popularity, of course, comes imitation. Lanard is known for making high-quality knockoffs of A-list toys (most notably Hasbro properties).  For years they have been producing Pony Tails, a passable replica of the vintage MLP designs. I was aware of them as I am aware of almost all toys, but I was utterly uninterested.  Then MLP was reinvented with Friendship is Magic, and before long Pony Tails morphed into Pony Tales. The sculpting, accessories, and themes of these figures are amazing. Even if this type of toy is totally not your thing, you can probably appreciate the aesthetics of this line.  Let's check them out below!

Sunday, September 27, 2015


The CORPS: Elite vs. The Curse - Wal-mart Exclusive 3-Pack - Lanard 2015

I always think it's fun to see how much of a variation you can get with a simple repaint of a mold. While most collectors would have been perfectly happy with Puma as the first and only female member of the Corps line, Lanard was gracious enough to offer us two. Snakebite is the good guy of the two ladies.  Their bodies are identical but have different heads and paintjobs. The two look very different in my opinion and I'm really excited to see future variations (if we don't get a brand new female sculpt of course). Snakebite is a member of the Corps (the Heros).  It's kind of amusing because she looks more like a villain than a hero to me.  If it wasn't for the logo emblazoned on her shirt (and the skull on Puma's leg), I would totally be assuming their allegiances were reversed. I feel like this figure is missing some crucial paint apps on her head (Customization at the bottom of the page), but otherwise she is a fantastic figure (and at a bargain price!) Let's check out Snakebite below!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The CORPS Elite - PUMA!

The CORPS: Elite - Triple Threat - Wal-mart Exclusive 3-Pack - Lanard 2015

This figure has been a long time coming.  Fans of G.I.Joe are undoubtedly aware of Lanard's 3.75" compatible knock-off line, "The CORPS."  I've been seeing them in stores for as long as I've been collecting toys. But for a company focused on making off-brand versions of A-list toys, Lanard's detail, paint, and articulation have always been surprisingly good. My only gripe with the Corps is that there have never been any females. I've been paying attention, too. They had a series of 3.75" females called the "WOW Action Girls" many years ago, but their Barbie-esque faces and doll-like accessories were a far cry from the militaristic themes G.I Joe fans wanted. Then several weeks ago I got an email from a reader (thanks Anthony!) asking if I was going to review the new Corps ladies.  I was completely unaware of them - but suddenly super excited to hunt them down.  I had them in my greedy hands within two days. Of course it took me until now to review them.  Sorry about that!  Let's check out Puma below!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Evolve - Funko Legacy Collection - MAGGIE!

Funko Legacy Collection: Evolve - #04 Margaret "Maggie" Lumumba - Funko 2015

Funko's Legacy series has some of the greatest potential of all the collector lines out there. I think this is because the assortment of properties is so random and unknown. When we hear news from Hasbro, the only surprise factor in in the character selection. But Funko seems to dabble in a little bit of everything. With all the billion and a half licences they have, the possibilities for future Legacy figures seems limitless. That potential of course depends on the success of the various random Legacy lines as they are released. I'm really hoping to see Dark Crystal and Fifth Element at the very least. This figure of Maggie looks pretty creepy. Something about her makeup and hair makes her look ruthless and crazy. I kind of love it.  Maggie is a hunter character alongside her pet trapjaw (i.e. a big alien beast) named Daisy. The figure itself is great. Her paint and articulation are practically perfect. I hope this series is successful! I'm a big fan of the two figures I've purchased. Let's check out Maggie below.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Marvel Legends - VALKYRIE!

Marvel Legends - Hulkbuster Wave - Fearless Defenders - Hasbro 2015

This year has been an absolutely insane one for Marvel Legends. The distribution, production quality, and character selection has been out of this world - and every new wave surprises me even more. When I first saw this Valkyrie figure at conventions and in solicitation images, I was unimpressed. There's no good reason for this, she just looked a little boring and her headsculpt seemed odd. But once again I eat my words because in person this is a pretty fantastic figure. She has one major design flaw which I'll mention below, but other than that, she's a surprisingly great addition to my Marvel Legends ladies. Of course, her inclusion in the line has made me realize how few Norse ladies we have in this scale. Where is Sif? Lady Thor? Enchantress? Not to mention how awesome it would be to get variants of Storm and Moonstar in their Asgardian gear. We have two more years until the next Thor movie. Hopefully we get a wave out of it with lots of these missing women. Let's check out Valkyrie below!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Marvel Legends - THUNDRA!

Marvel Legends - Hulkbuster Wave - Fearless Defenders - Hasbro 2015

To me, Thundra always seemed to be Marvel's attempt to create a Wonder Woman character with an extreme and gritty edge. She first appeared in the page of the Fantastic Four in 1972 as a time-travelling Amazon-like warrior seeking to defeat the Thing ("the strongest male warrior of all time") in combat and declare her dominance over all men. Thundra came from a future time when Earth was renamed Femizonia and the US is the United Sisterhood Republic. Men are subjugated and women rule absolutely. Thundra was genetically engineered and trained since birth to be a perfect warrior and she made the rounds in the Marvel Universe challenging other powerful heroes to battle. She's been a hero and an antogonist (I wouldn't say "villain" because her goals are never evil), and she's also notable for being the mother of Lyra. Lyra was conceived in the future from tissue samples of the Hulk, and for a while in the comics Lyra wore Thundra's outfit with only her green skin tone distinguishing Mother and daughter.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Evolve - Funko Legacy Collection - VAL!

Funko Legacy Collection: Evolve - #02 Valerie "Val" Wolski - Funko 2015

I want nothing more than for Funko's Legacy line to be long and prosperous. There are enough properties to go around and they have produced some pretty great figures already. The only worry I have is about their license selection. Game of Thrones and Firefly seem like no-brainers. But Fantastic Mr. Fox, Book of Life, and Evolve don't seem like especially profitable choices. Hopefully the outrageous success of POPs and the myriad of other Funko products can float this line until it really finds its groove. Evolve is a videogame released for Playstation and XBox earlier this year. I don't personally play games, but this one sounds really interesting. The game enables 4 players to be hunters on the alien planet Shear, then a 5th player is the alien monster they are hunting. It sounds as if the title comes from the ability of the 5th player to kill other monsters and animals and absorb their traits -- evolving it into a bigger, badder beast. It sounds fun (and I would always play the monster!). Let's check out Val below!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Marvel Legends - MISTY KNIGHT!

Marvel Legends Infinite Series - Rhino Wave - Heroes For Hire - Hasbro 2015

I find myself saying this a lot on this blog, but I know absolutely nothing about this character. My interest in "special-ops" type characters is pretty low. I prefer capes and ridiculous headgear over holsters and guns. That said, this Misty Knight figure looks pretty cool and badass.  She'll look great with my Black Widow and Maria Hill (come to think of it, I'll take a picture of that group and post it soon).  From my wiki research I learned that Misty is a former NYPD officer who lost an arm in an explosion.  Tony Stark fitted her with a cybernetic replacement that gives her superhuman strength.  She has a longstanding partnership with Colleen Wing (another who I know nothing about) and is a romantic interest for Iron Fist.  Her "Heroes for Hire" slot is in reference to the 2006 comic series in which she (and colleen) starred. Although the recent announcement that she will be a character in the upcoming Luke Cage TV series ties into that title as well.  Tricky tricky Hasbro.  Let's check out Misty Knight below!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Marvel Legends - WHITE TIGER!

Marvel Legends Infinite Series - Rhino Wave - White Tiger - Hasbro 2015

White Tiger is one of those characters that I've always wanted to know more about, but never really made the time to do so. I've seen her in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, in the Disney Infinity game, and on a bunch of comic covers (that I haven't read). The identity of this figure is a little confusing, because on the cardback it says her name is Angela Del Toro, but all my research tells me that this is actually Ava Ayala. Ava Ayala is the fifth White Tiger (Angela was 4th), but she definitely has had the most widespread popularity of the bunch. She's one with the toys and cartoon after all. Her powers come from her Jade Amulets that belonged to her older brother Hector (the first White Tiger from 1975). The amulets give her heightened speed, agility, senses, fighting skills, etc, etc, etc. (Pretty much the same as all animal-based characters with magic jewelry). White Tiger is yet another in the legion of characters I never expected to see in Marvel Legends. Hasbro is killing it lately.  Let's check out Ava below!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Star Wars 3.75" Series - CAPTAIN PHASMA!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - 3.75" Captain Phasma - Hasbro 2015

It's been a long time since I've been excited about 3.75" Star Wars figures.  My first foray into the Star Wars collecting was many many years ago when I decided to find every Twi'lek female.  There were a lot at the time and I eventually got them all.  But then I grew bored and sold that collection.  Soon I began assembling a rebound group of females that looked "like could have appeared in the original trilogy."  That was my only requirement to be admitted into my nerd cave... and all these years later the group is looking nice.  There are Mandalorians, Imperial Officers, X-Wing pilots, and a stormtrooper.  But now the presence of Captain Phasma is opening up a whole new world of possibility for more figures.  I won't be going overboard with this specific character persay, but just the fact that there's a main female character that's not a princess, a slave, or a prostitute is refreshing.  I think it bodes well for diversity in the future films.  At least I hope that's the case. Let's check out Captain Phasma below!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Star Wars 6" Black Series - REY!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Black Series 6" Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 - Hasbro 2015

Rey is shaping up to be the main female protagonist in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. She's featured prominently in the teaser trailers, she's in all the magazine photoshoots, there are Halloween costumes of her trickling into the stores, and best of all, she's already received (at least) four action figures! Yeah, so although not much in known about her, she's pretty much guaranteed to be the Leia/Padme of the new movies. This 6" Black Series figure was one of only two items I was able to snag on Force Friday. My version has pretty reprehensible paint masking - which unfortunately seems to be a common problem. It's especially noticeable along her hairline. By the end of this review, I had succumbed to temptation and touched up the hair with brown paint. It's a shame the Hasbro QC is so inconsistent. Marvel Legends has been practically perfect, but Star Wars and G.I.Joe has been sloppy. Hopefully things improve for future waves.  Let's check out Rey in detail below!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Star Wars Elite Series - CAPTAIN PHASMA!

Star Wars Elite Series - Die-Cast 7" Captain Phasma - Disney Store Exclusive 2015

I'm finally getting excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I tend not to get hyped about movies until the week before I see it. But then a friend suggested we do Force Friday for all the midnight openings. It was fun. The shelves were ripped bare in about ten minutes in wonderful geeky glory. We went to ToysRUs and Target. I bought a couple items, but I was mostly there as a spectator. But then the next morning I started getting texts telling me that there were Disney Stores exclusives that I didn't know about. Best thing was that they had a 6" Captain Plasma. I was able to snag one in the first store I hit. (Then I traveled to my other two local stores to try to find Rey, but with no success). Not much is known about Captain Phasma so far. But we know she leads the First Order Stormtroopers, she's clad in unique metallic armor, and she is played by Gwendoline Christie from Game of Thrones fame. She's getting a Hasbro 6" figure in Black line, but this figure is an early treat. Let's check her out!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - KARAI SERPENT!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Karai Serpent - Playmates 2015

All my Turtle education comes from the original animated series from the 1980s. So when I was researching females in the TMNT line about 5 years ago, I belatedly discovered this elusive daughter of Shredder. I was impressed, but I also was bummed because I couldn't afford the eBay prices her action figures were fetching. This version of Karai is from the 2012 Nickelodeon cartoon. They changed her character a lot in this series. Most notably is that she is now Splinter's daughter, although raised and brainwashed by Shredder. In a scheme by Shredder to turn the Turtles into snakes, Karai accidentally fell into the mutagen and became a serpent herself - while retaining the ability to revert back to human form at will (albeit with reptilian eyes). This figure was first teased a long long time ago. So long ago that I had given up hope to find her almost a year ago. Then a couple weeks ago I found her in TRU sitting randomly on a shelf in front of the Power Rangers. It was kismet. Let's check out Karai below!