Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Robots in Disguise Deluxe WINDBLADE!

Robots in Disguise - Deluxe - Mini-Con Weaponizers - Windblade - Hasbro 2016

It took me a long time to realize that this Windblade figure is completely different from all the Windblade figures we've already seen. I'm so used to seeing repaints in the Transformers line that I barely even glanced at the solicitation images. It was only when I saw an early review of the 2016 SDCC Transformers Titan Force Boxset and noticed that the gray Windblade was a completely new figure. It's funny that the variant was released months before the standard version hit the shelves, but she was worth the wait. I like these animated-style Transformers. My aesthetics always trend toward more simplified designs and brighter colors. Plus these are significantly easier for me to transform. I don't watch the Robots in Disguise cartoon, but I just researched the characters and discovered a few really cool females that would make great toys: Glowstrike, Filch, and Zizzo especially. Plus a random Decepticon that looks like a yellow Arachnid. I'm hopefull! Let's check out Windblade below!

Monday, September 26, 2016

World of Nintendo - PRINCESS ZELDA!

World of Nintendo - Series 2.2 - Princess Zelda - Jakks Pacific 2016

I grew up in the eighties and nineties but somehow managed to avoid playing a single Legend of Zelda game. In fact, I just was totally blown away by that fact that there have been 18 games in the franchise. But my lack of familiarity with the series doesn't mean I haven't been wishing for a Princess Zelda action figure over the years. I've always been very fond of the character designs and I like having representations of all the classic Nintendo characters in my collection. I didn't have any idea this figure was coming out when I found myself killing an hour in a K-Mart in the middle of nowhere over Labor Day weekend and discovered a shelf full of her. She's pretty much exactly what I have been hoping for. This is even the design I like best for her (from 1998's The Ocarina of Time game).  Although I secretly hope they release other designs as well like they have been with Link. Hopefully this line continues with such cool character selections in Mr. Neitlich's absence. Let's check out Zelda below!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Arkham Knight - HARLEY QUINN (Version 2)!

Arkham Knight Series Five #14 - Harley Quinn (Classic) - DC Collectibles 2016

I have a lot of Harley Quinn action figures. I'm emarassed to actually count them, but I pretty much have them all (except that weird one of her in pajamas). So, please take my first hand experience into consideration when I tell you that this new Arkham Knight Harley is the absolute best Harley I've ever seen. The sculpt by Joe Menna is perfection. Her face is gorgeous - she looks sweet with a touch of menace. Her body proportions are idealized without being gratuitous. And her costume has realistic wrinkles and details which bring it all to life. Then DC Collectibles knocked it out the park with amazing articulation and perfect paint. I can't get enough of of this figure. The solicitation pictures look slightly different than the final product. Even the pictures from Toy Fair look different. I can't tell if her face was resculpted or the production version just has a superior paint job, but the end result is great. It's so rare when the final product surpasses the quality of the prototypes. Let's check out Harley below!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


POP! Heroes #136 - DC Comics Super Heroes - Batgirl (Burnside) - Funko 2016

This Batgirl resculpt is long overdue. As the third Funko Pop ever, Batgirl's original mold has been released in eight repaints over the years (4 in the past 11 months), but having only one sculpt for such a popular character is odd. Harley Quinn has nine unique sculpts, Batman has thirteen, Wonder Woman has four (and those counts aren't even including the Domos, Conans, Teen Titans, and Freddie Funkos). Anyway, I've been hoping for a new one for years and a few months ago this amazing Burnside sculpt was unveiled. I think she's gorgeous. And as a crazy unexpected bonus, there is a third new sculpt of "classic Batgirl" being released as a NYCC exclusive. I keep saying that I need to scale back on my Pop purchases (27 new additions to my collection in the past couple months... sheesh), but Funko is making it nearly impossible for me to do that. I guess as long as they keep making my core favorite characters, I'll be a loyal customer. Let's check out Burnside Batgirl below!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marvel Legends - NICO MINORU!

Marvel Legends - Dormammu Series - Mystic Rivals - Nico Minoru - Hasbro 2016

In 2003 Marvel Comics created an experimental imprint called Tsunami. I think the original plan was to establish a line of titles to appeal to manga fans, but it ended up being quite a diverse collection of properties. My favorite Tsunami series were Mystique, New Mutants, Namor, Emma Frost, and of course the fan-favorite Runaways. Runaways was written and created by the amazing Brian K. Vaughn (Saga, Y: The Last Man, Pride of Baghdad, Mystique, etc.) The series focuses on a group of six exceptional kids who discover their parents are all super-villains and... well.. run away. It's a fantastic comic which was just recently announced as an upcoming Hulu Original Series. Of the main characters in the book, Nico Minoru (aka Sister Grimm) has had the most staying power. She has appeared in several Avengers titles, the Mystic Arcana storyline, and most recently A-Force. She is an unexpected but welcome addition to the Doctor Strange Legends assortment. Let's check out Nico below!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Miniature Classic WASP!

Marvel: Original Avengers Box Set - Classic Janet Van Dyne Wasp - Toy Biz 1999

I have a real fondness for "First Appearance" versions of comic heroes. I love retro styles, I like character histories, and I have great respect for the original visions of the artists and writers behind the heroes. I didn't even know this figure existed until I watched Ant-Man for the first time a few months ago (I'm always really behind on my superhero movies) and I was trying to explain to my better half who the Wasp is and how she was an original Avenger, etc, etc. Anyway, I couldn't think of any action figures of classic Janet until I discovered this little beauty. And it's a total bonus that she fits right in with my growing 2.5" action figure collection. I've been waiting for Janet to get some screentime ever since she was subbed out for Black Widow in the first Avengers movie. I'm hoping that 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp film will give us a handful of classic and modern figures like the male-centric movies seem to do. In the meantime though, this figure totally fits the bill for what I was looking for. Let's check out Wasp below!

Friday, September 16, 2016

WWE Elite Collection - LITA!

WWE Elite Series 41 - Flashback -  First Time in the Line - Lita - Mattel 2016

One thing I have been a little disappointed by in the past with Mattel's WWE line is the bulkiness of the "add-on" clothing (ie, not the sculptural elements of the unadorned buck). For a line that consistently strives for realistic body proportions and facial likenesses, clothing that looks like it's composed of the wrestling mats themselves really ruins the aesthetic. I'm not an expert on the WWE line, but I'm pretty sure this Elite Lita figure is the first time a female figure has come with interchangeable clothing options, and it might also be the first time we've seen cloth accessories. I'm glad to see that things are still evolving and improving. Lita is a retired WWE wrestler who was active from 2000-2006. During her tenure she won the WWE Women's Championship four times. She still works for the organization as an analyst but is no longer wrestling. She also fronted the Atlanta-based punk rock band, the Luchagors, which disbanded in 2014. Let's check out this Elite Series Lita in detail below!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NXT Wrestling - BAYLEY!

WWE Series 58 - NXT First Time in the Line - Bayley - Mattel 2016

I've had this figure photographed forever but never got around to posting a review. I keep saying I'm going to stop buying WWE figures, (since I'm running out of room and I don't even watch wrestling after all), but then I see a figure that makes me cave in and I'm back in the habit. This Bayley figure got me because she is so weird. First of all, she has a side-ponytail. I never expected to see hair like this on an action figure. Then she has a headband with a cute little bow. Again, I never thought I'd see it. And finally, she has a cartoon triceratops on her pants. I am obsessed with the oddness of this. Bayley is a former NXT Women's Champion who is currently wrestling under the WWE's RAW brand. She has been wrestling professionally since 2008 with Big Time Wrestling and Shimmer Women Athletes. By 2012 she signed with WWE and began under NXT (WWE's developmental territory) before recently joining RAW in August 2016. Thank wikipedia for all that knowledge. Let's check out Bayley below!

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Aliens - Space Marine Lt. Ripley - TRU Exclusive (Kenner Repaint) - NECA 2016

I always struggle with buying detailed movie-based action figures. I love pretty much every pop culture franchise out there, and it seems natural that I would want to include action figures from them in my collection. But from an overall aesthetic, my collection is 90% bright and colorful superheroes. And movie figures are almost always dark and gritty with an attempt to have lifelike details that really contrast from my She-Ra and Harley Quinn shelves. I have really struggled with all the awesome Ellen Ripley toys that have been coming out in recent years for just these reasons. But then NECA announced a Toys R Us exclusive repaint of Lt. Ripley from Aliens in the brighter "Kenner" colors and I knew this would be the one for my collection. The original Kenner action figures from the early nineties looked nothing like the movie characters, but I have a soft spot for that particular phase of the hobby. Thank goodness the fine crew at NECA has an eye for nostalgia as well. Let's check out Lt. Ripley below!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Imaginext - Streets of Gotham CATWOMAN!

Imaginext - Streets of Gotham - Catwoman & Cycle - Fisher-Price/Mattel 2016

Fisher-Price pulled one of their classic moves and released a series of DC Super Friends Imaginext redecos with no preamble whatsoever. I personally love this. Knowing about upcoming action figures a year in advance is nice. It lets you budget your purchases, it lets the anticipation and excitement build before the release date, and it lets you know that the toy companies are hearing your suggestions. I prefer this route for the majority of my collecting interests. But the fact that you usually don't hear about new Imaginext until they are on the shelves is thrilling in its own way. I can't tell you how many times I ran off in a spur-of-the-moment hunting tizzy because some random new figure showed up on eBay in Iowa or something. Before all the internet toy news sites really got into the groove, these hunting blitzes were a regular occurrence for me. So essentially Imaginext hits me on two nostalgic notes, toys of my youth and toy hunting in the nineties. I love these guys. Let's check out Catwoman below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Galactic Heroes - REY (RESISTANCE OUTFIT)!

Playskool Heroes - Galactic Rivals 10-Figure Boxset - Hasbro/Playskool 2016

For some reason this little figure made me very excited for the next sequential Star Wars film due in 2017. Rogue One looks like it will be a great movie which will totally tide me over, but I'm itching to know what happens next with Rey, Finn, Poe and BB-8. This second Galactic Hero version of Rey features her Resistance outfit that she wore at the end of Force Awakens. It's nice to see that Playskool is continuing to produce new figures after the initial burst of products last fall and winter. In fact, I just saw images of a new (Unhelmeted) Poe and BB-8 2-Pack due out soon. In the meantime though, the only additional female figure on the horizon is a Hera Syndulla (due out any day now apparently). But that's not to say there won't be more unannounced additions. That has kind of been the pattern with recent collectible preschool lines. Maybe we'll get a random Leia and Ahsoka Tano. And then maybe the Marvel line will get on board and we'll finally see a Gamora or Scarlet Witch. I can dream. Let's check out Rey!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Spotlight on Adventure Time's FLAME PRINCESS!

A Collection of Little Orange Oligarchs - Funko & KidRobot 2015-2016

A great thing about being a collector is that sometimes you can let yourself be compulsive and buy things just because they're pretty - and no one in your life will think to question it. I've never seen a single episode of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time (despite years of friends pleading with me to do so). One thing I appreciate about the show though is the abundance of princesses. Princess Bubblegum, Marceline the Vampire Queen, and the Lumpy Space Princess are just a few of the colorful regular characters. My favorite visually was always Phoebe the Flame Princess. There's something about a monochromatic color scheme that just thrills me. Especially when it's applied to an elemental character like water, plant, wind, or fire. These Funko and Kidrobot products actually make the Flame Princess looks even cooler than her cartoon self. I bought the first one as a random item when trying to fill up a shopping cart to the free shipping threshold. But once I had her in hand I needed more orange goodness.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy Animated GAMORA!

Guardians of the Galaxy (Animated TV Series) - Wave 01 - Gamora - Hasbro 2016

With all the animated-style figures filling the toy aisles in recent years, it's been a real disappointment to see the almost total exclusion of female characters. I would have expected the Spider-Man Web Warriors and Batman Unlimited lines to at least throw in a Petra Parker Spider-Girl or a Batgirl/Harley/Catwoman option. But after all these years, it's nice to see the the inaugural female is a cool one (I'm getting a little bored with Black Widow as the token Marvel heroine). Gamora is a very welcome sight. With her green skin and fuschia hair she really stands out. Plus this animated costume with burnt orange and silver is a surprisingly cool/clashing combination. I hope the cartoon continues because I would love to see more characters make it onto the shelves. I know Mantis, Angela, Nebula, and Medusa all made appearances in season one. Perhaps it won't be too long before we see them included as well. I won't be holding my breath though. Let's check out animated Gamora below!