Thursday, June 30, 2016

Suicide Squad Pocket Pops - HARLEY QUINN!

Suicide Squad - Pocket POPs! Keychain - Harley Quinn - Funko 2016

I never quite understood keychain culture. I wasn't one of those kids in school with a jingling collection of pop culture references dangling from my backpack. I wasn't one of those kids who bought a keychain for each of my friends at every vacation gift shop. Even now, my keys are a utilitarian jumble of metal with nothing decorative whatsoever. That's why I find it so interesting that in the past few years I've been compelled to buy so many keychains. The simple reason is that a lot of my favorite collectibles release miniature versions in this novelty format. Mini Mez-Itz, Lego Flashlights, Fast-food premiums, and of course Funko's Pocket Pops have all weaseled their way into my home. I usually have a hesitation about altering a collectible from its original form (some lofty notion about preserving the integrity of the hobby), but for some reason I have no qualms at all about de-keychaining these guys. Let's check out this de-chained Pocket Pop Harley below!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Suicide Squad Mystery Minis - HARLEY QUINN!

Suicide Squad - Mystery Minis Blind Box Assortment - Harley Quinn - Funko 2016

I'm really trying to keep my Harley Collection in check these days. Though it's kind of hard with the massive amount of product hitting the shelves in advance of the Suicide Squad movie. For that reason I've decided to only buy figures in lines that I've previously starting collecting. Luckily I already had three Harley Mystery Minis in my collection, so this little gal was a shoe-in. Funko's Mystery Minis have exhibited a variety of styles over the years. My favorites by far have been from the Arkham Series with the sculpted facial details and white eyes. These Suicide Squad figures have flat decal'd faces with big pupils that frankly I find a little off-putting. The same general style is used for the Disney Mystery Minis, but in a much more successful execution. I photoshopped this Harley with white-out eyes like the Arkham version, but it just looked bizarre. So, all-in-all, I think this is a cute figure that I'm happy to have in my collection, but the aesthetics of the face isn't my favorite. Let's check her out below!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dark Knight Returns CARRIE KELLEY ROBIN!

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Series 01 - Robin - DC Direct 2004

I have a love/hate relationship with the Dark Knight Returns. I recognize and appreciate its impact on the evolution of Batman; It added a grim and gritty element where previously things were pretty PG. However, I just never liked the story. I find it boring. The one thing I did love though was the unique and unexpected introduction of Carrie Kelley as a female Robin (despite the weird and disappointing treatment of Catwoman). Still, the first female Robin will always be iconic. This DC Direct figure from 2004 was one of only two pieces of Carrie merchandise (the other being an expensive statue) for many years. However, in the next 9 months she is getting a 6" Multiverse figure, a BTAS-style DCC figure, an Eaglemoss Figurine, and a Funko Pop. This is likely due to the DKR 30th Anniversary this year as well as the animated adaptation. Whatever the reason, I was so excited about the prospect of a small Carrie Kelley collection that I finally hunted down the original. Let's check her out in detail below!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Long Overdue 2015 YEAR-END REVIEW!

A Collection of 2015's Most Amazing Female Action Figures All In One Post

Sorry for the insane delay with this post. I did my first year-end review last year (for 2014) right after New Year's Day, and in that post I wrote that it had been a surprisingly gratifying process that I wanted to do annually. I still fully intend to do that, but this year so far has been a whirlwind and this post took a long time (there are 115 images and links). I'll try to be more on top of things for next year I swear. I like doing these posts because it can be so easy to "horde and forget" - there's always something new around the corner and it's easy to grumble about missed exclusives, cancelled items, and things as trivial as a not-quite-right paint color. But I like to put on the brakes every now and then and look back at what twelve brief months have added to my burgeoning collection. We truly are in the middle of the Golden Age for collectibles, but it's easy to lose sight of that in the rush to get the next new thing. Take a gander at this selection (by no means complete) and realize how lucky we are. Sermon over :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

12" Suicide Squad - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics Multiverse - 12" Suicide Squad - Harley Quinn - Mattel 2016

I love those rare occasions where collectors are surprised by a final product being nicer than the solicitations. I had absolutely no intention of buying this 12" Harley Quinn Multiverse until I found her in Toys R Us today and fell in love with her. The images previously shown of her had looked awkward and cheap. But in person she's practically perfect. I was trying to scrutinize the face to determine if she had been resculpted, but I think her extreme makeover is solely due to better paint apps. This is now the fourth 12" figure in my collection. The Multiverse figures are roughly 3 times the cost of the Batman Unlimited figures which share very similar bucks and articulation (knees and waist articulation is new). The extra money comes into play with elaborate costume details, excellent face sculpting and paintjobs, and of course accessories. I actually think it's a good value considering the quality of the figure. I'll definitely be picking up more in this scale. Let's check out the Suicide Squad 12" Harley Quinn below!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Green Lantern Corps - FATALITY!

Green Lantern: Series 02 - Fatality (Yrra Cynril) - DC Direct 2002

The early days of DC Direct were pretty great. The character selection was very interesting and the sculpting was usually top notch. I had a long hiatus from toys and comics in the late nineties and was only getting back into the groove in 2002 after I landed my first post-college job. I remember seeing this Fatality figure hanging in my local comic shop and thinking she was awesome, but I had no budget for toys back then (plus I lived in a house with a bunch of strangers I met on Yahoo Roommates and I wanted them to think I was a lot less geeky than I was). Then years later when I let go of all pretense and let my nerd flag fly, she was commanding a high eBay price and I still couldn't afford her. Luckily she's relatively easy to come by now.  I still don't know anything about the character, but her design is awesome and I love her pointy ears. I also noticed that she became a Star Sapphire at some point because they made a toy of that costume in a Blackest Night boxset in 2011. Let's check out Fatality below!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Character Spotlight - DOVE!

A Collection of DC's Beautiful Avatar of Peace: Dove (Dawn Granger) 2011

As enjoyable as it is to bask in all the Liefeld vitriol on the internet, I never take it too seriously. I'm secretly a fan. That's because in the late eighties I was obsessed with Rob Liefeld and his first Hawk & Dove miniseries. Those five issues are some of the most nostalgic pieces in my unwieldy comic collection. Traditionally Hawk & Dove was composed of the brother duo Hank and Don Hall as the avatars of war and peace. Shortly before the 1988 miniseries, Don was killed and a new female Dove named Dawn (a rather confusing homonym) took his place. I was pretty young and such a self-explanatory yin/yang type dynamic for a comic series was perfect for me. Add in the bird theme and I was hooked. I followed the subsequent Hawk & Dove ongoing series for years, got ecstatic when they briefly joined the Birds of Prey, and even found the 2011 New 52 reboot very enjoyable. I especially enjoyed those couple issues of Teen Titans that Liefeld drew which featured Dawn with her sister Holly as Hawk.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DC Comics Icons - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics Icons #13 - No Man's Land Harley Quinn - DC Collectibles 2016

Sometimes I forget how much Harley Quinn has evolved from her first appearances. When she first made the leap into the "real" comics world (ie, not BTAS spin-offs) I was just not a fan. She was kind of dark and grim, and I thought her humor was more sadistic as opposed to her quirky irreverence we all love today. Her first big non-animated story arc was 1999's No Man's Land, which is the basis for this specific Harley figure. It wasn't until December of 2000 that the first Harley Quinn solo series started. I feel like that series is where we started to see the the modern Harley start to evolve, but this figure is the precursor to all that. The Icons series is meant to be an unofficial continuation of Mattel's DC Universe Classics. They are a smaller scale than previous DC Collectibles figures and have a completely different body style. The really are like really high quality cousin of DCUC and it makes me super excited for the Burnside Batgirl in November. Let's check out No Man's Land Harley below!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rock Candy - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Comics - Rock Candy - Series 01 - Harley Quinn - Vinyl Sugar/Funko 2016

With all the hype we are already starting to hear about Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, I really hope there will still be a presence of the Classic Harley in the merchandising world. I think there will be. Between this Rock Candy figure and the recent 12" Mattel Harley, I think the popularity of Dr. Quinzel is already creating many ripples throughout the collectible world. This Harley Quinn Rock Candy figure is pretty adorable. I'm really digging the style of these figures and I'm really hoping we get more. A movie version of Harley is probably a given, but I also think Poison Ivy and a couple versions of Catwoman are highly likely.  Who knows, even less popular Bat-ladies like Huntress and Batwoman could enter the mix. I'd buy them all honestly. I've seen these figures at the variety of prices, but they're usually just under the ten dollar mark. Funko definitely has a knack for producing inexpensive but high quality products. Let's check out this classic Harley Quinn vinyl figure below!

Monday, June 13, 2016


DC Comics - Rock Candy - Series 01 - Batgirl (Classic) - Vinyl Sugar/Funko 2016

Batgirl's classic look is one of the most nostalgic costumes for me in all of comicdom. In the late eighties I lived in a small town with three thriving comic shops and even a baseball card shop with a few long boxes of back issues in the corner. In all my hours spent flipping through backissues, my biggest treasures were always old copies of Batman Family. These comics were about 50 pages each (a major bargain in dollar bins!) and included original stories as well as reprinted silver age stories. As the name Family in the title suggests, these stories all seemed to feature the secondary characters in the Batman universe. This version of Batgirl was a major presence in these issues and I was smitten over her. Of course, in the present-day comics on the the same time, Batgirl was being crippled by the Joker, so my discovery of her coexisted with my first bouts of nerd rage. Still, my memories are mostly fond ones, and this Rock Candy vinyl figure brings all those nostalgic feelings racing back. Thanks Funko!

Sunday, June 12, 2016


DC Comics - Rock Candy - Series 01 - Batgirl (Burnside) - Vinyl Sugar/Funko 2016

Vinyl Sugar has a lot of interesting product lines in the Funko arsenal. Up until now, the only ones I have been buying are Dorbz, but the Vinyl Vixens were always very tempting to me, basically because the character lineup seems specifically tailored to me. All my favorite Bat-family characters in one female-centric collector line. However, the design of those figures is very off-putting to me. The scale and proportions reminded me of Bratz a little too much. Not to mention the eyes with their creepy sexy gazes (imo). I would always stop and look at these figures in stores but would walk away wishing they were smaller, had more proportionate heads, and looked cuter. I honestly never expected such a product to exist, but then a year later here we have Rock Candy, the smaller, cuter Vinyl Vixens. While this is still not my ideal collectible, I am really excited about this line. I'm especially impressed that the first wave has two distinct Batgirls. Let's check out the first official Burnside Batgirl product below!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Gotham Mini-Mates - SELINA KYLE!

Gotham "Before the Legend" Mini-Mates Box Set Series 02 - Selina - DST 2016

And here we thought we would never see DC Mini-Mates again!  Gotham, Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow all have the potential to bring us unexpected DC merchandising in the coming years. And I'm really hoping Mini-Mates are a part of that equation because these are some of my favorite collectibles out there. We got some great DC minimates with the C3 line in 2004 and again with the main line between 2007-8, but when you compare that to Marvel's 13 years of figures you can imagine all the missed potential. It's amazing to me that I have 5 different MM Psylockes, but this is only the second Catwoman. We should have a figure for Selina in every outfit she ever considered wearing. I've never known a character to have so many diverse yet iconic looks. But I digress. Gotham seems to still be going strong, but I'm not sure how much merchandising we'll continue to see. Seems like we get one more wave of Minimates and Select after this, then who knows. Fingers crossed for more!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Funko POP Suicide Squad HARLEY QUINN(S)!

Suicide Squad POP! Heroes - Harley Quinn (and Two Variants) - Funko 2016

I had a crazy day yesterday hunting down all the Harley Quinn variants before they became impossible to find. I'm officially limiting myself to sculptural variants (metallics and black & white repaints are just taking up too much space). I was in Target yesterday afternoon when I randomly stumbled across the standard Suicide Squad Harley Pop. I was ecstatic because I didn't expect her until later in the Summer. Then I looked on the back of the box and saw that there were two variants available as well. As soon as I got back to work I discovered that these were exclusive to Hot Topic and GameStop (I and *just* discovered a second ago that there's a Walmart Exclusive Dr. Quinzel-- arghh!). Anyway, it took some store-hopping, but within a few hours I had them all. The GameStop ones had showed up last Friday and were already hard to track down, but the Hot Topic ones were newly delivered and were in abundance. Let's check out this growing Harley Pop collection below!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Marvel Mini-Busts - SPIDER-GIRL(S)!

Marvel Universe Mini-Busts - Spider-Girl & Symbiote - Bowen Designs 2010

Six years ago I was in a totally different place collection-wise. I was extremely streamlined, I had many rules and guidelines, and I had a much more restrictive budget. But that doesn't mean I didn't crave lots of product that was hitting the shelves back then. Missing this Spider-Girl 2-Pack was one of my big regrets. At the time the only statue had ever let myself buy was a clearanced Firestar bust from a store that was going out of business, but I wanted these two Spider-Girls so bad. Years later I finally own the set (at a fraction of the original price I might add). And it's just in time for my burgeoning Spider-Lady collection. Within a month or so we'll be getting Silk and Ashley Barton Marvel Legends figures and I'll be dedicating a whole shelf to the collection. As much as I enjoyed the character of Spider-Girl, I never took a liking to her comics. So these busts were the first exposure I had to the black symbiote Spider-Girl. It's a very cool look and I'm glad to have it represented in my collection finally.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Star Wars 6" Black Series - AHSOKA TANO!

Star Wars: The Black Series #20 (Rebels) - Ahsoka Tano - Hasbro 2016

Ahsoka Tano is exactly the type of figure I was hoping for when the 6" Black Series was announced all those years ago. As much as I love Rey and Leia, they aren't the most visually exciting characters. My favorite thing about the Star Wars universe is the various alien races. And there are tons of great alien females that I would love to see in this style (Hera Syndulla, Aayla Secura, Shaak Ti, Asajj Ventress, Luminaria Unduli, Taun We, etc.), and Ahsoka Tano is a great start to the roster. Ashoka first appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a Padawan apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. She was one of the central characters in that series, as well as in the current series Star Wars: Rebels. I think it's great to see an animated character stylized in a lifelike way to fit in with the movie lines. I know they are also doing this with the upcoming Sabine Wren, and I hope the trend continues. Mostly because the expanded universe incorporates many more alien females. Fingers crossed! Let's check out Ahsoka Tano below!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Mini Mez-Itz Batman Returns CATWOMAN!

Mini Mez-Itz Batman Returns Box Set - Catwoman - Mezco 2016

I love Mini Mez-Itz. The only trick to collecting them is harnessing your inner patience. It seems like the average figure gets delayed multiple times - sometime years late. But they almost always come out eventually (the only exception has been a few minor variants, like the unmasked Batman '66 Catwoman and Riddler). This Batman Returns Box Set was originally slated for last September, and honestly a delay of eight months is not that bad compared to previous waits. This is now the 4th (distinctly) different Catwoman Mez-Itz released (I say distinctly because there's a slightly redecoed comic-version Catwoman out there that I don't count). I'm hoping now that we'll get a BTAS version next. The only remaining Bat-lady on the horizon is a Suicide Squad Harley Quinn due out this Summer (supposedly). Although with the deadline of the movie's opening date, they may actually make it out on time. In the meantime, let's check out this awesome Batman Returns Catwoman Mini Mez-Itz below!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Imaginext Blind Bag - CATWOMAN!

Imaginext DC Super Friends Series 01 - Catwoman - Mattel/Fisher-Price 2016

I love Imaginext so much. I really do. But I must admit they can be some of the hardest toys to find. The Target exclusive Cheetah and Sinestro set is impossibly scarce and the Batgirl figure disappeared from the shelves in a flash. As far as I can tell, this DC Super Friends blind bag series only ever appeared in UK grocery stores. I was trying to be patient, but I caved and ended up getting Catwoman from eBay. I hope they show up here in the States eventually because I would love some of the others (1st Appearance Batman is my jam). Plus that "Series 1" on the packaging fills me with a great hope for future waves. I both wish for this possibility and fear the frustrating toy hunts it will mean for me. But they're so cool and inexpensive that I'll still be on the hook for whatever they release. At the very least I think a Supergirl and Hawkgirl must be in our future, not to mention all the random non-licensed blind bag figures yet to be unveiled. I can't wait. Let's check out this purple-painted femme fatale below!