Sunday, July 30, 2017

Kulipari - STRAWBERRY BULLFROG RANGER!

Kulipari: An Army of Frogs - Ranger PVC Figure - Mattel 2015

There aren't nearly enough anthropomorphic toys in my opinion. Sure there have been extremely cool toylines like ThunderCats, Biker Mice from Mars, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that gave us some cool product. But female anthropomorphic action figures are still a rarity despite the genre's popularity. Earlier this year I was perusing Netflix and discovered this Netflix Original cartoon called Kulipari: An Army of Frogs. The cartoon has a pretty self-explanatory title, and while I enjoyed the character design and concept of the series, I am just not in the target demographic and didn't love the actual show. However, I was intrigued enough to look into any toys based on the property. Surprisingly there was a set of small 2.5-3" figures released by Mattel in 2015 (they may have been exclusive to Amazon).  The specific frogs themselves are unrelated to the cartoon, but I just couldn't resist adding a pink frog girl to my collection. I'm going to seek out more amphibious characters now. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Amanda Conner - HOLIDAY HARLEY QUINN!

DC Designer Series: Amanda Conner #4 - Santa Harley Quinn - DCC 2017

Merry Christmas in July! When I was in college 17 years ago (God that makes me feel old), I was taking some extra Summer classes and signed up for a day trip to the beach one July day. None of my friends could join so I went alone on the bus. I promptly fell asleep on the beach (as I'm prone to do) and was awakened hours later by a raucous scene. Parked ten feet in front of me on the sand was a pickup truck full of lifeguards in red swimsuits, sunglasses, with Santa hats and beards. They all had brass instruments and were trumpeting Christmas carols. Then another scantily-clad Santa approached and gave me a candy cane. They soon went on their way and I was left bewildered on a mostly empty beach thinking I had hallucinated. It wasn't until later that evening back on campus when I heard about this crazy thing called Christmas in July. It was quite a dramatic way to learn of the holiday. I was planning on holding off on this Harley post until December, but luckily I remembered good ol' July 25th!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Strange Friends - MAGGIE SQUIRREL!

Strange Friends Series 01 - Maggie Squirrel - Archie McPhee/Accoutrements 2016

I've always had a fondness for Accoutrements toys. When I first moved to my city from the boonies 15 years ago, there was a real boom of novelty gift shops happening. I swear there were greeting card and souvenir shops on every corner and all these shops had an assortment of Accoutrements products. The big action figures at the time were the Avenging Unicorn sets and all the quirky historic figures like Edgar Allen Poe, Jesus, and Jane Austen. I highly enjoyed them all, but the only ones I ever purchased were the historic ladies. Then recently I was checking out Archie McPhee (the website for Accoutrements) and saw these amazing Strange Friends figures. This is the same company that makes the rubber animal masks (that are all the rage these days), so these toys are a perfect cross-marketing scheme. I also have a serious obsession with animal-headed humans. My own art involves a lot of this imagery, so naturally this Maggie figure needed to be mine. Let's check out the Strange Friends below!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Marvel Chess Collection - THE SPIDER-LADIES!

Marvel Chess Collection - Anya, Jessica, Cindy, and Gwen - Eaglemoss 2016

I hope Eaglemoss never stops making comic figurines. They started with the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection in 2007 and soon launched their DC Comics equivalent the year after. When both series ran their course, they began making Chess Pieces of the characters and the series continued. I count about 600 unique figures between DC and Marvel, and they're still coming. I thought I was showing great restraint with this line by only buying my favorite-of-favorites. But I just counted and I somehow acquired 37 over the years (including a purchase this afternoon - Hela). One of my greatest Eaglemoss joys came last year when there was a Spider-Man themed Chess series and they released four awesome modern Spider-Woman: Spider-Gwen, Spider-Girl (Anya), Silk, and a modern Jessica Drew Spider-Woman (which I think is the only representation of this look in plastic so far.. not even a Heroclix or Minimate). Eaglemoss has a knack for reading my mind when it comes to character selection. Let's check them out!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

World of Nintendo 2.5" - SAMUS!

World of Nintendo 2.5" - Series 2-2 - Metroid: Samus - Jakks Pacific 2016

Ahh.. yet another 2.5" lady in my collection. The funny thing is that I kept seeing this figure in stores for the longest time and it just didn't don on me that I would want her for my collection. That's probably because I had no clue Samus was female until relatively recently and I still have to remind myself that fact when I see her in her armor. So by the time I decided I needed this little figure a few months ago, she was already pretty scarce in the stores. I eventually found her hiding in the back of a peg in Target and quickly snagged her. I'm excited for future releases in the World of Nintendo line. I'm hoping that 2017 SDCC Exclusive pixelated Princess Toadstool will see a regular release. And Princess Rosalina, Princess Daisy, and Wendy Koopa seem like obvious choices in the coming years. But of course I also want the less likely ones like Toadette and Krystal from Star Fox. And I know I could never resist a gender-bending Birdo in my collection. Hopefully there will be some cool reveals this week! Let's check out Samus!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Aliens Day - Space Marine VASQUEZ!

Aliens: Space Marine Vasquez - Aliens Day Exc Kenner Repaint - NECA 2017

As much as I enjoy all aspects of pop culture - especially pop culture nostalgia related to my childhood in the 1980s - I usually shy away from the grittier properties when it comes to my action figure collections. When I look at my toys I want to see bright colors, ridiculous costumes, and upbeat properties. So militant characters with guns and dour faces rarely make the cut. I've made a few exception recently when it comes to the Aliens line by Neca. The main release figures look great, and I really appreciate looking at them in the stores, but the gimmick that pushes me over the edge and gets me to open my wallet are the fun Alien Day repaints in bright classic Kenner colors. Last year we saw Ripley in her purple shirt and yellow boots, and this year we get Vasquez in her blue bandanna and bright red shirt. But where Ripley was sold at TRU, this Vasquez is exclusive to thenecastore.com. She may still be available, but on some screens it says she's sold out. Hopefully everyone got her. Let's check out Vasquez below!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rock Candy - WONDER WOMAN & DIANA!

Rock Candy - Wonder Woman (Movie) - Amazon & Costumed Diana - Funko 2017

I tried to go back to the movies to see Wonder Woman for a second time this past weekend but the showtimes just didn't work out for my schedule. I'm still reeling over the fact that there was a really great DC movie. And that is was a female-led movie is just icing on the cake. I don't want to count my chicks before they're hatched, but I'm super excited for the Gotham City Sirens and Batgirl movies now. They could be equally great if given the same creative respect as this film had. After I left the theatre opening weekend, I really had to limit myself with Wonder Woman movie collectibles. It's my collecting impulse to horde plastic representations of all things I love. But I really restrained myself and limited my purchases to the Mattel Multiverse and these Rock Candy figures. I think I'm going to be a completist with DC and Marvel Rock Candy. I'll skip necessary repaints, but original sculpts are too tempting for me to pass up. These two figures are gorgeous and do not disappoint. Let's check them out below!

Friday, July 14, 2017

World's Smallest BARBIES!

World's Smallest: Barbie 1959 & Barbie 1971 - Super Impulse Toys 2017

I come from a family of collectors. My Dad Collects Coins and Bank Notes, My Mom and sister collect dolls, my younger brother collects Peanuts and Classic TV, and my older brother is into Star Wars and Rock and Roll. (I put them all to shame though with my myriad of collecting obsessions. I only dwell on the action figures here, but I have an abundance of unrelated collections active right now. But I digress). This past Christmas I was back home and my Mom was sharing her newest obsession, World's Smallest. For those unaware, World's Smallest is a line of tiny collectible miniatures of classic toys. She had a handful of nostalgic Fisher-Price toys, each about the size of a quarter, and we were all very enthralled and ready to all start our own collections. Since that first exposure I see them everywhere: Toys R Us, Target, Cracker Barrel, and every little novelty store I come across. There are even blind boxes at Claires! But I wasn't too tempted to buy any until I saw these two Barbies in TRU a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Amanda Conner - SUPERHERO HARLEY QUINN!

DC Designer Series: Amanda Conner #3 - Superhero Harley Quinn - DCC 2017

Harley Quinn has had a lot of costume designs in recent years. Video games were the biggest catalyst for the changes and most of them seemed like awkward misinterpretations of the character rather than a true evolution. The Roller Girl revamp of 2014 was the first time a Harley redesign felt right for me. It wasn't too long before the movie version became canon and now she seems to alter her looks quite often (and I'm mostly okay with it). Squeezed into those early post-rollergirl changes was this Superhero costume which she donned in order to team up with a brainwashed Power Girl, convincing PG that she was her trusty sidekick to enjoy all the perks of superheroics. It was a fun storyline that eventually spun off into its own title Harley Quinn and Power Girl (which only lasted for six issues, but was great). This figure is one of those gems I never expected to see but makes a really quirky addition to an already insanely-quirky Harley collection. She's my favorite of this series. Let's check out Superhero Harley below!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Rescue Bots 12" QUICKSHADOW!

Transformers Rescue Bots - 12" Quickshadow - Playskool Heroes/Hasbro 2017

I was really shocked recently when I saw a post on TFORMERS about how Walmart was getting a special Rescue Bots display featuring a 12" Quickshadow figure. When this character first appeared in the Transformers: Rescue Bots cartoon last year, I was really excited. She had a cool name, a cool color scheme, and she transformed into a racecar (which seems like a trait typically reserved for the alpha males of the robot world). But my hopes never got that high, because I was well aware of what the action figures for this line looked like. They are blocky little monstrosities with minimal moving parts. It is a preschool series after all. And sure enough, when the first Quickshadow figure was released last Fall, she was just another androgynous brick. Now this new 12" figure isn't a super great representation of the character either, but it is definitely a huge leap in the right direction. Compared to the other 12" Rescue Bots toys, she looks like a bona fied Jessica Rabbit. Let's check out Quickshadow below!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Rock Candy - WOMEN OF MARVEL!

Rock Candy - Capt. Marvel, Thor, Spider-Gwen, She-Hulk, Mystique - Funko 2016

I've had this group of Marvel Rock Candy figures forever but have been delaying posting them out of sheer laziness. I'm really impressed with this line overall and I'm so glad to see it growing in leaps and bounds. It seems like every few weeks there's a new announcement, and I'm already finding myself being very selective with my purchases. If I manage to find the exclusive Gwenpool and Red She-Hulk Rock Candys in the next few weeks I'll want to post on them right away and I didn't want to be caught too far behind with this first Marvel wave. The Rock Candy line started a little over a year ago with a DC Wave and was followed up several months later with this first batch of Marvel figures. I was a little bummed when I realized that, yet again, the Marvel figures must be bobble-heads. But I found that by jamming some tissue up in the head you can make it stay still in a normal position and overall I'm very happy with this group. (I'm still shocked there wasn't a Masked Captain Marvel variant though). Let's check them out!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Splatoon's INKLING GIRL!

World of Nintendo - 4" Series 2-5 - Splatoon's Inkling Girl - Jakks Pacific 2016

It takes a lot to get me interested in modern Video Games these days. I've been over first person shooter games since Doom. I don't have the hand coordination for all the new buttons. And all the new legacy games like Mario, Zelda, and Final Fantasy pale in comparison to the originals (imo). So my fascination with Splatoon is pretty special indeed. Splatoon is a 2015 3rd person shooter team game featuring these cool Inkling characters. They're little elf-like creatures that can morph into squids and blast each other with colorful ink (paintball-style). The Inklings have a variety of different appearances, but they all have domino masks, punky clothes, and cool hair. I especially love when their hair has squid tentacles like this Inkling Girl figure. Another cool aspect of the game are the teams. I'm always a sucker for monochromatic themes so seeing a group of blue, green, pink, or oranged-hued characters all together satisfies some deep aesthetic impulse within me. I love it all. Let's check out Inkling Girl below!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Walking Dead's SASHA WILLIAMS!

AMC's The Walking Dead: Series 10 - Sasha - Walgreens Exc - McFarlane 2017

With the advent of McFarlane Toys' new Color Top series, I fully expected my Walking Dead collection to grind to a halt. Coincidentally this revelation came to me at just about the same time that I stopped watching the show so I wasn't terribly upset. But at the same time, there were a couple great characters that I felt deserved inclusion in the line before it ended: Rosita and Sasha. There was a digital sculpt of Rosita floating around the internet (which I have a gut feeling will never see the light of day), but I honestly thought Sasha was a lost cause. Then McFarlane surprised us by announcing this awesome figure as an exclusive addition to Series 10 available only at Walgreens. The figures in this series have been hit or miss as far as character likenesses go, but it's befitting that possibly the last female turns out to be one of the best. They are really going out with a bang. Sasha first appeared halfway through the third season and I instantly knew she was a strong and formidable character. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Justice League Action 4.5" - WONDER WOMAN!

Justice League Action - Power Connects Series 01 - Wonder Woman - Mattel 2017

It's been a while since there has been a Justice League cartoon on television, and similarly a long time since there have been animated JLA toys in the aisles. When I started seriously collecting toys, I really took for granted that there was always JLA/JLU figures around. I never collected that line myself (because none of the females could stand properly). But now that this new Justice League Action series is hitting the stores I'm realizing the lengthy absence of toys like this. I think the modern age of superhero movies and their merchandise had distracted me. Not to mention the various animated Batman lines. These new figures are pretty great though. The articulation level is unexpected for cartoon tie-ins. And the design is stylistic, but more realistically-proportioned than past efforts. I hope the cartoon and toy line prove to be a success because I would love some obscure secondary characters. I know there have been awesome guest appearances so far. Let's check out Wonder Woman below!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Marvel Legends - DARK PHOENIX!

Marvel Legends - X-Men Dark Phoenix & Cyclops 2-Pack - TRU Exc - Hasbro 2017

I had honestly given up on the idea of a good Jean Grey action figure. I don't know why her character always seems to get second-rate treatment in the toy world. Even her inclusion in last year's (beautiful) X-Men Legends wave inexplicably got a salvaged head from a figure rejected three years prior. It was a dud compared to the newly-sculpted Rogue and Kitty. She just can't seem to win. Now this Toys R Us Exclusive Dark Phoenix has hit the shelves and she looks great. A huge added perk is the surprise inclusion of two alternate heads. I might be wrong, but I think this is the first time a Marvel Legends female has ever come with two heads. And the great thing is that two of those heads happen to look fantastic on last year's green Phoenix. So it's as if we're getting two great Jean Grey figures at once. This makes me very excited for any SDCC reveals in a few weeks. With all the love given to the classic characters lately, I think there could be some awesome surprises. Let's check out Dark Phoenix below!