Friday, September 29, 2017

Transformers Legends - SLIPSTREAM!

Transformers Legends Series (Japan) - LG-16 Slipstream - Takara Tomy 2015

Sometimes posting reviews of Transformers stresses me out. I have anxiety about breaking figures as I transform them, the posing is very different from standard action figures, and they often have metallic paints which are tricky to photograph. So all that is my excuse for waiting two years to review this figure. I summoned some motivation and opened/photographed five Transformers last night that I have been procrastinating on forever. My main motivation was seeing Slipstream in robot form and she did not disappoint. Slipstream is a female clone of Starscream that was introduced in Transformers: Animated. Starscream made a lot of clones of himself in this series, but Slipstream had the most staying power. This is actually the third figure of her. The first being a weird Botcon repaint of Starscream (with lips) and then a small Kre-O block figure. This Takara Tomy Legends is by far the best one though. She is a retooled Windblade with a new head and torso, but the smirky face and bright colors make her feel wholly original.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Star Wars 6" Black Series - GENERAL LEIA ORGANA!

Star Wars: The Black Series #52 - General Leia Organa - Hasbro 2017

This was the first figure I grabbed off the shelf on Force Friday. I was the 6th person in the TRU doors at midnight (they only let ten people in at a time) and luckily all the other fans in that group were after 3.75" figures, so I had the 6" section all to myself. In Force Awakens, I thought General Organa was the most interesting carry-over character from the original trilogy. Han Solo, Chewie, Tarkin, C3PO, etc. were just continuations from their previous appearances. They hadn't evolved the way you would have expected in a world rebuilding after the fall of the Empire (Luke obviously has been through a lot, but we barely saw him). But Leia took the cake as far as cool character advancement. The leadership skills and tenacity shown throughout episodes IV-VI culminated in Leia becoming a General in the Resistance. Her powerful and authoritative presence in the movie seems like such a natural progression. I'm excitedly yet solemnly looking forward to seeing her final role in The Last Jedi this December.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Star Wars Elite Series - REY (JEDI TRAINING)!

Star Wars Elite Series - Die-Cast 6" Rey (Jedi Training) - Disney Store Exc 2017

I am really growing quite fond of the the Disney Store exclusive Star Wars: Elite Series die-cast action figures. I'm sure they don't sell a fraction as well as the similarly scaled 6" Black Series toys from Hasbro, but that doesn't seem to stop them from being produced. I got scared when I saw a ton of Elite figures (mostly Rogue One) on clearance for just $5.99 earlier this Summer, but sure enough they still pushed out a Last Jedi line for Force Friday. I hope the line stays successful because I would love a Leia or two and some Ewoks, if not a whole slew of Expended Universe female Jedis. (Also, I think a Marvel line like this would sell like hotcakes). This Rey figure is a major improvement over the Force Awakens version. The face in particular looks a thousand times more like Daisy Ridley then the first figure. I wonder if they are using the same new face-scanning techniques that Hasbro is now employing. Whatever they're changes have been, it's working. Let's check out the Elite Series Rey below!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Batman & Harley Quinn HARLEY QUINN!

Batman & Harley Quinn - Blu-Ray Best Buy Exc Figurine - Warner Bros 2017

I really love the trend of deluxe DVD/Blu-Ray sets including little figurines. The first one I remember was the 2009 Wonder Woman animated movie. This included an awesome animated-style Infinite Heroes figure of Diana. The trend soon moved away from actual action figures to stationary figurines. The next one that caught my eye was a Catwoman figurine from the Batman: Year One movie, soon followed by another Catwoman with Dark Knight Rises and a Harley Quinn from Batman: Assault on Arkham. Then there was a brief period where Schliech took over the figurine production. But now it seems like the tried and true Gentle Giant have taken over the duties. This new Batman & Harley Quinn movie is written by Bruce Timm and drawn in The New Adventures of Batman style. Even Batman and Nightwing have the classic voice actors. It's a very entertaining movie and I highly recommend it. And while you're at it, get the special edition with the cool figurine. Let's check out Harley Quinn below!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Star Wars 6" Black Series - MAZ KANATA!

Star Wars: The Black Series #49 The Last Jedi - Maz Kanata - Hasbro 2017

This is by far my favorite Star Wars figure in a long time. In my humble opinion, Maz Kanata was one of the biggest highlights of The Force Awakens. As a sort of Yoda for the new generation, Maz is wise, cantankerous, and resourceful in the best ways possible. When word came out about a major CGI character, I think a lot of us feared another Jar-Jar or a remastered Jabba, but the effects were perfect and Maz stole her scenes. I hope she plays a role in the upcoming movies, although honestly I can't imagine how. This action figure is just great. The details, texture, and paint apps are completely solid, and her articulation translates very well onto a unique buck. And it may be because this figure is the first truly alien-look Star Wars Black Series figure I've bought, but I think the likeness is spot-on. It's been a while since I've done this, but I literally carried her with me to and from work for a few days so I could keep playing with her. I like to think my coworkers were very impressed. Let's check out Maz below!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Star Wars 6" Black Series - REY (JEDI TRAINING)!

Star Wars: The Black Series #44 - Rey (Jedi Training) - Hasbro 2017

If you asked me a month ago if I was going to dive deep into the Last Jedi merchandise, I probably would have said no. But then a few more interesting figures were slowly announced and my interest stirred up a little. Then the final nail in the coffin was my friend Brad wanting to do Force Friday midnight shopping. For those of you who haven't partaken in the event, it's like Black Friday for nerds and it's wonderful. I love Star Wars as a property, but I have never been fanatical about collecting the toys. Yet if you get me lined up outside a store at midnight with a bunch of fans, you will see how quickly I assimilate and fill my shopping cart with cool stuff. I was honestly planning on skipping this Rey - mostly because I thought she looked too similar to my Force Awakens figures, but in person I could see the differences and improvements and couldn't resist. Now I must put the brakes on before I double my Rey collection, but it's really hard when you see the quality first hand. Let's check out Last Jedi Rey below!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Transformers Limited Articulation STRONGARM!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise - Strongarm (Non-Transforming) - Hasbro 2017

I've been stalking Walgreens like crazy lately looking for the new DC Imaginext Series 3, Marvel Legends Medusa, all the exclusive Marvel Mini-Mates, and a million other goodies. I'm pretty lucky to live in an area where I have 24 Walgreens in a pretty small radius. (I just discovered one 12-mile stretch of road where there are 6 Walgreens evenly spaced in a row). Anyway, in all my recent hunting, I made a handful of really cool discoveries including this limited articulation Strongarm figure from Hasbro. I've seen DC figures, Marvel figures, and Star Wars figures in this inexpensive format, but it's rare to find a female character. I see them in stores like Family Dollar, Big Lots, Boscovs, and now Walgreens. I don't have high expections for future females in these lines, but I think at the very least we might see a Black Widow, Gamora, or Wonder Woman eventually. It's tricky because figures like these aren't advertised anywhere.. they just kind of show up in stores. But I'll be looking. Let's check out Strongarm below!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Marvel Select - LADY DEADPOOL!

Marvel Select - Lady Deadpool (Deadpool Corps) - Diamond Select Toys 2017

Lady Deadpool is one of those characters that perfectly epitomizes the type of heroine I obsess over. I love when an established male character suddenly gets a female counterpart. I know this isn't the most progressive viewpoint to have, and you have to look past the whole "male derivative" angle, but I love seeing how much more interesting a female hero or villain can be when there is a well-known male character to directly compare to. That said, I don't really know anything about Lady Deadpool. I know her name is Wanda Wilson and she is the Deadpool of another reality who teams up with all the other weirdos (Kidpool, Headpool, Dogpool, etc) as the Deadpool Corps. But basically I just think she looks cool. I've tried several times to start building a small Lady Deadpool collection, but most of her previous products are higher end and expensive. This is her first piece of merchandise that I've really liked. Marvel Select has come a long way and I'm really looking forward to more. Let's check out Wanda below!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

3.75" Batman Classic TV Series - CATWOMAN!

Batman Classic TV Series Action Figures - Julie Newmar Catwoman - Funko 2017

It's hard for me to make a simple declarative statement about who my favorite comic character is. But more often than not my gut reaction will be to respond with "Catwoman." As a kid I think the theme of a cat-person who stole things and talked in purrs was too intriguing to ignore. I didn't hurt that I was one of those kids that was always pretending to be some kind of wild animal. My first exposure to Catwoman was from the old '66 Batman show (in syndication in the 80s). I honestly can't remember if my very first impression came from Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, or Lee Meriwether, but collectively they painted my first memories of her. We have several Julie Newmar products already, but my hopes are high that this line will give us the first Kitt and Meriwether figures. (Plus I have always wanted a green variant like the cover of Batman #197). I've only seen these at TRU and FYE so far, and luckily I've been able to snag both chases in stores. I can't wait for more!  Let's check out Catwoman below!

Friday, September 15, 2017

3.75" Batman Classic TV Series - BATGIRL!

Batman Classic TV Series Action Figures - Yvonne Craig Batgirl - Funko 2017

My absolute favorite reveal from NY Toy Fair 2017 was the Batman '66 3.75" action figures from Funko. Beyond the fact that I just love this nostalgic property, the character choices of the first wave blew my mind. With any other line, I would have expected an assortment of the heavy hitters. The fact that Joker, Riddler, and Penguin were absent, but characters like Bookworm and King Tut were present in all their glory makes me think there are definitely a few more waves coming out. Egghead, Mad Hatter, False Face, Marsha Queen of Diamonds - they're all fair game at this rate. These figures are more articulated than the similarly-scaled ReAction figures, but they kind of have the same feel. The character likenesses are more like caricatures than true representations, but there's no doubt who they all are, especially in the case of the Otto Preminger Mister Freeze and the Eli Wallach chase. Makes me very excited for variant Riddlers and Catwomen in the future. Let's check out Batgirl below!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Marvel Legends - LADY LOKI!

Marvel Legends - TRU Exclusive A-Force 6-Pack - Lady Loki - Hasbro 2017

I've come to the last of the A-Force reviews. This group is kind of unprecedented so I've been taking it slow. We all see female Legends figures sitting unsold in stores, and every time I see three Beetles collecting dust on a peg I fear that it will not bode well on the future of female characters in the line. But then Hasbro assuaged my fears and made this amazing all-female exclusive. It's a wonderful set, but Lady Loki is probably the figure with the most glaring issues of the group. Her accessories make her bulky and clumsy to pose and her hands are humorously unproportional. But even with those detractors, I can't deny that she is still a really great looking figure. Her headsculpt is gorgeous, the paint apps are very detailed (the metallic green scallops look great), and the overall look seems very complete. I don't think anyone expected Lady Loki to ever get a toy, especially considering she was overshadowed by the more popular kid-Loki successor. But I'm not complaining one bit. Let's check out Loki below!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Imaginext - SERPENT QUEEN!

Imaginext: Treasure Hunters - Serpent Queen & Camel - Mattel/Fisher-Price 2017

For years now I've been wishing for an Egyptian-themed Imaginext figure for my collection. I expected a regal Cleopatra-type, but I have to admit I am much happier with this evil-looking Serpent Queen instead. I love a good animal-themed character, especially when it's a villainess. And the great thing is that this figure will very likely be re-released as a more-human looking variation. The sole required change would be the scaly reptilian hands. The only predictions I've made for this line that haven't come true now are a Statue of Liberty and a Rosie the Riveter. I'm hoping to see them in a couple years at this rate. For those unaware, Imaginext had some major DC reveals last week. We're getting Huntress, Batwoman, Star Sapphire, Katana, Killer Frost, Donna Troy, Artemis, Black Canary, Jessica Cruz, and a new Harley. My mind is blown. After this new wave is released I don't even know what figures to wish for (beyond Supergirl). It seems like the sky is the limit now. Let's check out Serpent Queen below!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Marvel Legends - ELSA BLOODSTONE!

Marvel Legends - TRU Exc A-Force 6-Pack - Elsa Bloodstone - Hasbro 2017

Elsa Bloodstone has really surprised me by being one of my favorites of the A-Force boxset. When I first saw this solicitation I had no clue who she was.. or rather I couldn't remember who she was. I had read Nextwave when it first came out, but these figures inspired me to go out and buy the trade to read it all again. It is such a good series. If you haven't read it, imagine a cast of Marvel's lesser-known hero going on clandestine missions in a story steeped in Deadpool-esque humor. It's written and drawn very well and the 12-issue run is kind of a perfect length. Someone at Hasbro must love this series because so far we've received Monica Rambeau, Elsa Bloodstone, and Dirk Anger in the Nextwave outfits. Plus an unexpected Machine Man (albeit in his classic comic look). Elsa is a monster hunter with a Van-Helsing-ish family legacy. I thought the solicit images of this figure looked really boring, but in person she is pretty striking. Her red hair, olive complexion, and orange bodysuit really work well together. Let's check her out!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Women of UCHU SENTAI KYURANGER!

Uchu Sentai Kyuranger - Vinyl Figures - Hammie & Raptor 283 - Bandai 2017

Every iteration of Super Sentai these days impresses me by breaking boundaries of some sort. With the recent Dino Charge series, I was wowed by the sheer number of Rangers introduced over the span of the show, including many new colors (and a prominent Purple female Ranger). This most recent show, Uchu Sentai Kyuranger, premiered earlier this year in Japan (and will probably be reconfigured into an English show eventually). It is the 41st entry in the Super Sentai series and is notable for introducing nine Rangers right from the start. These theme for the series is Constellations (but honestly they aren't the typical Greek-based constellations that I recognize). The two females are a Pink bird of prey named Raptor 283 and a green iguana named Hammie. What impressed me most about this series is that Raptor 283 has wings. It's rare for a Ranger to have a distinct silhouette like this. I used to collect these vinyl figures like crazy, but these are the first I've bought in years. Let's check them out below!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Marvel Legends - MONICA RAMBEAU!

Marvel Legends - TRU Exc A-Force 6-Pack - Monica Rambeau - Hasbro 2017

It's rare when a character changes names as often as Monica Rambeau yet still manages to always wear a recognizable outfit. When I first became aware of her in the 1980s, she was Captain Marvel, next she was Photon, then she was Pulsar, and most recently Spectrum (and somewhere in there she briefly adopted the monikers Sceptre and Daystar). Most people seem perfectly comfortable referring to her as Monica Rambeau though. I had honestly completely forgotten about this character until 2009 when I saw the Secret Wars Mini-Mates boxset (including Photon) in TRU. It brought back all these 80s memories. Since then I went back and read a lot of key stories and became a big fan. My favorites are Nextwave, Marvel Divas, and Captain Marvel #1 (1989). This figure was a long time coming. Although my perfect Monica would be in her classic 80s outfit, this modern version is a great second choice. A consistent color palette and chest emblem go a long way. Let's check her out below!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Ladies of the BEAT BUGS!

Netflix's Beat Bugs - Fab Figures Series 01 - Lucy, Kumi, & Buzz - Blip Toys 2017

Beat Bugs is a Canadian/Australian animated series that is exclusive to Netflix in the US. Similar to Yo Gabba Gabba, this show is heavily focused on music - specifically music that parents will actually enjoy hearing... on repeat... alllll day. In the case of Beat Bugs, every 12-minute mini-episode is based on a Beatles song and usually culminates with a guest character (voiced by a famous musician) singing the title song in full. So far the show has starred P!nk, Sia, Rod Stewart, James Corden, Robbie Williams, Eddie Vedder, Regina Spektor, and Jennifer Hudson among others. This is totally going to be my go-to timekiller next time I'm stuck babysitting. The toys surprised me this Summer when I saw them in a collectible toy shop while on vacation. I had never heard of the show before, but I'm a sucker for insect-themed cartoons. They were overpriced, but I splurged and bought the Dragonfly. Luckily Target got them soon so I was able to get the other girls soon. Let's check them out below!