Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Marvel Legends - (A-FORCE) SHE-HULK!

Marvel Legends - TRU Exclusive A-Force 6-Pack - She-Hulk - Hasbro 2017

This Jennifer Walter She-Hulk figure is surprisingly my least favorite of the entire A-Force box set. Considering how great Hasbro has been with releasing a variety of different body types lately, I'm really disappointed at how off-base this one seems. The ironic thing is that this buck was used on the 2013 Red She-Hulk figure, which I still think is a fantastic toy. But for some reason it seems like a dud on Jennifer. Maybe it has to do with the fact that her skull size is the smallest of the set, or maybe that she has the most bored vacant stare, or maybe it's that all the other figures are using much newer bodies (that are vastly superior in direct comparison). Some other gripes are that her eyes are sculpted too flat and tend to reflect light like a mirror from certain angles (I think this is the Betty Ross head with new hair), and also that her skin tone is a few shades too dark. It's just a bummer all-around, but only because my expectations have been so high lately. She is actually a perfectly decent figure. Let's check out She-Hulk below!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Justice League Action 12" WONDER WOMAN!

DC's Justice League Action - 12" Series 01 - Wonder Woman - Mattel 2017

I suddenly have a lot of 12" Wonder Woman figures in my collection. Considering a few years ago I didn't like this scale at all, this is quite a shift. This figure also made me finally identify with doll collectors. I've never been a fan of rooted hair and cloth outfits (and I probably never will be), but I've also never understood the fascination with the scale of Barbies, Tonner, Sideshow, etc. But for some reason while holding this figure I finally got the appeal. Now I just need to be cautious with my collection because I literally don't have space for a ton of these. At the same time though, I would love some Spider-Ladies. With Spider-Gwen and Anya Spider-Girl in the new animated series, this is actually a possibility. So now I'm actively hoping for yet fearing the announcement of a 12" Mera, Hela, etc. because I know I won't be able to resist a purchase and I'll eventually have to buy a new house to accommodate them. But us collectors will always find a way. Let's check out the Justice League Action Wonder Woman below!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Marvel Legends - Warrior Goddess SIF!

Marvel Legends - TRU Exc A-Force 6-Pack - Warrior Goddess Sif - Hasbro 2017

This is the figure that thrilled me the most when the A-Force box set was revealed back in February. Before Jane Foster Thor, Thor Girl, and Storm as the Goddess of Thunder, Sif was the Asgardian Warrior I wanted to see take center stage more than any other. She's received a fair amount of attention from her appearances in the Thor movies, and although I like that they retained the general color scheme (and Jaimie Alexander is awesome), I always think a good Norse warrior needs a headdress of some sort - specifically the "winged headpiece" type worn by Thor and She-Ra. I also really loved Sif's bright red and white color scheme with her stark black hair. So, yeah, I've been waiting for this figure for years. You can always trust that a classic comic style figure is on the horizon when the character appears in a movie. It may take six years, but it will eventually happen if you're patient. Now we just need a proper movie version. (It's surprising we're getting a Valkyrie first). Let's check out Sif below!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BTAS Funko POP! - CATWOMAN!

POP! Heroes #19 - Batman: The Animated Series Catwoman - Funko 2017

Funko is finally catching up with their Catwoman POPs - but the process is pretty slow. Considering she is the second most recognizable female comic character of all time, this is the only the fifth Catwoman POP released so far (DKR in 2012, Batman '66 in 2013, Gotham in 2015, and Classic Comic look in 2016). Considering a much newer character like Harley Quinn has 13 unique sculpts in the line (and an additional 10 if you count color variants - weird) there is a lot of catching up for Selina to do. (Coincidentally Wonder Woman has the same as Harley: 13 unique sculpts and 10 variants). I'm awaiting a modern comic Catwoman and an Arkham version at the very least. And the Gotham City Sirens movie will probably flood us with products. But in the meantime I'm really appreciating the slow trickle of Catwoman product. These BTAS POPs might be the coolest and well produced vinyls I have ever seen. The bright colors and crisp lines have been amazing and Catwoman is no exception. Let's check her out below!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Marvel Legends - SINGULARITY!

Marvel Legends - TRU Exclusive A-Force 6-Pack - Singularity - Hasbro 2017

Hasbro is pretty good at surprising me, but I can honestly say I never expected to see a Singularity figure in my lifetime. One of my favorite comic book tropes out there is the "mysterious stranger." I always get obsessed with these characters. Especially when they are timid (but suspiciously powerful) females. In Alpha Flight, I got hooked on Marrina; in Generation X, I fell for Penance; and in Legion Lost, I was obsessed with Shikari. That's just naming a few off the top of my head (let me know if you have others!) Singularity is the mysterious stranger who first appeared in 2015's A-Force #1. She is initially distrusted (as is always the case in these stories), but she proves to be a powerful ally. Singularity is a living pocket dimension. She is able to teleport herself (and others), make things disappear into a void, and track people psionically (just like Shikari from above!). I'm really excited to catch up on my A-Force reading now - I'm so behind. Hope everyone had a great Eclipse day! Let's check out Singularity below!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Funko Rock Candy - SHE-RA!

Rock Candy - She-Ra Princess of Power - SDCC Exclusive LE 1250 - Funko 2017

Every convention lately seems to have one exclusive item that I can't live without. Last year I went crazy over the NYCC  Dark Crystal Kira and Garthim box set. It was limited to 500 and seemed impossible to get. But I somehow lucked out and snagged a set at the show. This years must-have item for me was the She-Ra Rock Candy vinyl figure from Funko. She was frustratingly limited to 1250 pieces and wasn't offered as a shared exclusive anywhere. I ended up paying a pretty penny for her, but I don't regret it for a second. When the Rock Candy line first started coming out, I had a vision that they would release a She-Ra, Cheetara, and Jem. I would love that lineup and we're already a third of the way there! Of course I wouldn't complain about some more She-Ra characters either. Glimmer and Frosta would be awesome. Plus I realized when taking photos of all my Funko She-Ra product that a MOTU Mystery Mini set seems like a given (if the Loyal Subjects license isn't prohibiting that). But I have hopes!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Marvel Legends - (Netflix) ELEKTRA!

Marvel Legends: Marvel Knights (Man-Thing Wave) - Elektra - Hasbro 2017

Someday I'm going to watch the rest of Daredevil. I started watching it a couple years ago but I got distracted and never picked it up again. I definitely will though because I've been a big fan of Charlie Cox since Stardust and I have a real soft spot for Elektra. In researching this post I read a pretty scathing review of the character (on Screenrant of course). Apparently her overall characterization and origin are way off base. But I'm still interested in seeing it and judging for myself. I know fans weren't too thrilled with the Elektra movie from 2005 either, but I personally love it. That solo comic series from the early 2000s was pretty great too. Despite her popularity and perseverance as a major Marvel character, Elektra really hasn't received many good action figures. The best one was the the Marvel Legends 2-Pack from 2008, but she has that spindly old body style. So although this Netflix version isn't a classic look, I would definitely say it's the best Elektra figure so far (in my humble opinion). Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Marvel Legends - JESSICA JONES!

Marvel Legends: Marvel Knights (Man-Thing Wave) - Jessica Jones - Hasbro 2017

Fun fact: Krysten Ritter and I were born in the same small little town and went to High Schools that were about 20 minutes apart (but I'm 3 years older). I've never met her, but I'm sure we had to be in close proximity quite a bit. There was nothing really to do in the boonies, so between the mall (I was the cool guy at the popcorn stand!), football games, the county fair, and the local amusement park, I think I'll go ahead and officially name us besties. When I first heard she was cast as Jessica Jones, I'll admit I was a little nervous. I was afraid that she couldn't embody that tough grittiness that I loved in Alias. But after the first episode I was hooked (and in all honesty, that's when I googled her and discovered the hometown connection). She really does a fantastic job portraying a very difficult character. I'm assuming this figure is utilizing the same new face scanning technique that debuted with Gamora in June, because this figure looks just like my buddy Krys-krys. Let's check out Jessica Jones below!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

WWE Superstars - SASHA BANKS!

WWE Superstars (Girls' Line) - Ultimate Fan Pack: Sasha Banks - Mattel 2017

I talk a lot about the great transitional period we're in when it comes to action figures marketed towards girls. For the first time there is a real movement in the works. We've seen I Am Elemental from Rebel Elements, DC Superhero Girls from Mattel, and Miraculous Ladybug from Bandai (not to mention that awesome-looking Mysticons line coming soon from Playmates). But then we got a nice surprise earlier this Summer when Mattel announced a new WWE line aimed at girls (featuring both dolls and action figures). I think this is brilliant. I had just been binging GLOW on Netflix and thinking about the untapped market of young female wrestling fans. Then a few days later Idlehands posted the Mattel solicitation images, and then just a short month or later they appear on the shelves. I love a quick turnaround like that. The big Ultimate Fan Packs showed up first and this Sasha was my first exciting purchase from the line. I already have a handful more that I will be posting soon. But let's check Sasha out first below!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Batman the Animated Series - BATGIRL!

Batman the Animated Series #41 - Barbara Gordon Batgirl - DC Collectibles 2017

Batman the Animated Series is loved for many reasons. It kept Batman on the forefront of non-print media (between films) in the 1990s, it developed many under-used characters like Mister Freeze, Ventriloquist, and Poison Ivy, and it introduced the powerhouse character Harley Quinn. But one of the things I was most appreciative of was the re-introduction of Batgirl to the Batman universe. Several years earlier she had been shot and crippled by the Joker in the comics and I was young enough to think the character was just gone forever. So when she started appearing in BTAS I was very very happy. Despite never really watching the show in it's first run, I was just ecstatic that she was out there somewhere. When the DC Animated Universe figures started coming out three years ago, this figure was one of my most wanted. I thought it would be difficult to get a good likeness because her (face) design seemed slightly different every time she appeared. But overall I'm very happy with the final result. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Justice League Basic Series - WONDER WOMAN!

Justice League (Movie) - Basic Series 01 - Wonder Woman - Mattel 2017

I honestly wasn't sure if I would be picking up any Justice League movie figures this year. Thankfully, the Wonder Woman costume appears to be identical to her look in the solo movie from earlier this year, and the main Multiverse figure seems to be a re-release of the previous TRU exclusive. Frankly, I would have been very annoyed if there would have been some minor variation to hunt down. Then I saw the talking Justice League figures and was equally uninterested. I just have no need for gimmicks like that. What I didn't realize (but should have) is that there would be a "Basic Series" of figures in a smaller scale and pricepoint. And to my surprise this figure turned out to be gorgeous. The sculpt and articulation is impressive and it has me wishing for a small Mera to go with that upcoming Multiverse figure. Who knows what extras they will sneak in between now and November 17th. My hopes are high that this is just a small example of overall increased quality at Mattel like the last few Multiverse waves have shown.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Marvel's Spider-Man - Anya Corazon SPIDER-GIRL!

Marvel's Spider-Man (Animated Series) - Spider-Girl - Action Toys/ZD Toys 2017

Anya Corazon is my favorite Spider-character ever. I have re-read the Spider-Girl: Family Values TPB a dozen times and it never gets old to me. There was something about her personality, combined with the great writing and art, that just made me fall in love with the character. I often preach about my observation that Batgirls and Spider-Girls parallel each other; Cassandra Cain and May Parker came out at roughly the same time, same with Burnside Batgirl and Spider-Gwen, but my two favorite parallels were Stephanie Brown and Anya Corazon. It's not too coincidental that Steph will be in the new season of Young Justice, just as Anya is announced to be a character in the upcoming Disney XD show Marvel's Spider-Man. I expect we'll see retail release Hasbro toys from this show eventually, but in the meantime we get these mysterious Chinese figures to tide us over and create nerdy intrigue. I'm super curious to see what else this company makes in the future. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled. Let's check out Anya below!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Marvel's Spider-Man - Animated SPIDER-GWEN!

Marvel's Spider-Man (Animated Series) - Spider-Gwen - Action Toys/ZD Toys 2017

I was very excited back in June when several news sites lit up with images of a mysterious set of Spider-Man figures showing up in China. These figures are based off an upcoming animated Disney XD show called Marvel's Spider-Man (August 19th premiere). When these images came out, not much was known about this show and these figures are probably the first real glimpse into the cast. The big question though is if these are licensed figures or straight-up bootlegs. The company name is pretty generic. It translates as "Action Toys" or "Moving Toys," their feet are embossed with "ZD Toys", and an accepted online colloquial title is Amitoys (but I can't figure out where that name came from). Last year this same company released a mysterious Marvel-Legends-like set of Avengers toys and currently they also have a few Guardians of the Galaxy figures trickling out. The figures are nicely made, inexpensive, accurate to the properties, and have original sculpts (and scales). These are very fascinating toys.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thor Ragnarok - JANE FOSTER THOR!

Marvel Legends - Thor Ragnarok (Hulk Build-a-Figure Wave) - Thor - Hasbro 2017

This is one of those Marvel Legends figures that I've been dreaming of for a long time. One of my favorite themes in comics is when an established bedrock character gets re-imagined as female. This has been happening a lot in recent years, especially in the Marvel Universe, and when Jane Foster picked up Mjolnir back in 2014 and assumed the mantle of Thor, she became one of my favorite examples of this gender-flip. Now of course I have a reignited desire to see characters like Laura in the All-New Wolverine costume, Riri as Ironheart, and America Chavez (ideally in her America #1 shield-shirted costume that was an homage to the Madeline Joyce Miss America of the 1940s). Who knows, with the movie buzz we may even see a Shuri Black Panther in the next year as well. This Thor figure is simply gorgeous. The detailing of the costume and the paint apps are perfect. I'm super excited to get an A-Force set and photograph all the unlikely Asgardian ladies together. Let's check out Jane Foster Thor below!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Thor Ragnarok Marvel Legends - HELA!

Marvel Legends - Thor Ragnarok (Hulk Build-a-Figure Wave) - Hela - Hasbro 2017

Today was a great day for a toy hunt. August 1st was the street date for all the Thor Ragnarok toys as well as all the Justice League merchandise. It didn't hurt that I happened to be home sick so was able to be at the stores as they opened. (And it's nearly impossible to find a silver lining in having a cold in Summer). So I was home by noon with my bounty (I had to go to 3 TRUs and two Targets to get everything I wanted) but then I was too exhausted and sick to photograph them until late this evening. Under normal circumstances I would have just waited, but I was too impatient and wanted to free this beauty from her box. Marvel Legends has just been making perfect action figures recently. Maybe I'm foggy from meds, but I have no criticisms of this figure whatsoever. When I first saw the imagery of Cate Blanchett as Hela I was not impressed (I thought it looked like the movie Rita Repulsa), but over the months it has really grown on me and now I can't wait to see her on the screen in November. Let's check out Hela below!