Thursday, November 30, 2017


Saga - The Will & Lying Cat (SDCC) and Hazel & Izabel (NYCC) - McFarlane 2017

I don't think anything has made me happier this year than the release of two more Saga action figure sets from McFarlane Toys and Skybound Entertainment. Despite the insane popularity of this property in the comic community, the wide-scale release of these figures might not fare too well on the open market. So releasing them as limited convention exclusive editions is a perfect marketing plan. I hope the initial three sets have been profitable enough to warrant many more. The Stalk and Prince Robot are the highest on my wishlist for next year, with a Ghüs and Friendo right behind. But honestly almost every character would make an incredibly cool looking action figure. But for now we get new figures of the bounty hunter The Will, the spectral babysitter Izabel, the fib-finding Lying Cat, and the catalyst of the whole amazing story, Hazel. These figures couldn't be more well made and I hope everyone responsible for their production knows that. Let's check out the new batch in detail below!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Marvel Legends Vintage - BLACK WIDOW!

Marvel Legends: Vintage (Toy Biz) Series 01 - Black Widow - Hasbro 2017

I'm not an in-package collector. I open everything and recycle the excess as soon as I possibly can. So that puts me in an interesting position when the coolest thing about a specific figure is the packaging. In this case, the vintage Marvel Toy Biz graphics are reinterpreted for modern 6" Marvel Legends figures. The only female of the first wave is Black Widow, which isn't a surprise, but is a little bit of a bummer because her costume is so plain. Black Widow's role in the Avengers movies have skyrocketed her to an A-list Marvel hero and coincidentally have led to a lot of toys. This one in particular is a little lackluster because she is way too similar to the recent Mary Jane figure. I'm fine with re-used headsculpts, but at least choose a character with a different color hair. The upcoming Black Widow with Motorcycle set has two unique heads and a non-generic body. So as pretty as this figure is, if you're not an in-package collector, I would suggest saving your money for the next release. Let's check out Black Widow below!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Transformers Legends - BLACKARACHNIA!

Transformers Legends Series (Japan) - LG-17 Blackarachnia - Takara Tomy 2015

It's pretty rare to get a good robot villainess in the toy world. I would say that without a doubt, Blackarachnia from the Beast Wars franchise of Transformers is the most popular and most merchandised evil female robot out there. Which makes it pretty surprising that there hasn't been a truly iconic figure of her made yet. A couple of her early molds were actually pretty groundbreaking as far as incorporating female body shapes (like the molds used for Crystal Widow and the Transmetals figure). But this Takara Tomy Legends figure seems to be the best one of the bunch (despite her awkwardly large translucent breasts). This figure is a retooled Transformers: Animated Blackarachnia (which imo is one of the greatest fembot figures of all time), but unfortunately that earlier figure was very stylized and didn't capture the classic look too well. It was very unexpected to see that mold get a second life in this well-deserved figure. Let's check out the long-awaited Legends Blackarachnia below!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

WWE Superstars - CHARLOTTE, NIKKI, and BRIE!

WWE Superstars (Girls' Line) - Charlotte Flair & the Bella Twins - Mattel 2017

The WWE Superstars line is a very interesting experiment in the action figure aisles. Women have been a rapidly increasing force in the world of WWE. There are female figures in almost every regular Mattel wave, the Total Divas reality show is in its 7th season, and even the popular Netflix show GLOW is highlighting the early rise of female wrestlers in the sport. So Mattel saw this popularity, as well as the success of female-centric toy lines like the DC Super Hero Girls, and created this WWE Superstars line aimed at girls. Similar to DCSHG, this line features 12" dolls as well as 6" action figures. The interesting thing to me is that most stores seem to stock them in the boy aisles, potentially missing their intended target audience. But fear not, they seem to be pretty successful so far and a second action figure series featuring Alexa Bliss, Natalya, and a new version of Charlotte Flair are already on the way. Let's check out the first series (Charlotte Flair, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella) in detail below!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

DC Collectibles Icons - SUPERGIRL!

DC Collectibles Icons #25 - Supergirl (Rebirth) - DC Collectibles 2017

Supergirl is a character I've always appreciated but never fully embraced. A lot of this has to do with the fact that her personality never seemed well established. Every time I would read a story with her, it felt like I was meeting a new character. But then the New 52 version of Supergirl came out and I was hooked. I read the first 40 issues and loved it all. Then the Supergirl show began, and again it seemed like a brand new character, but I loved this one too. The show is truly terrific and it doing a great job of propelling her character into the mainstream. And the great thing about going mainstream is that it provides an avenue to produce classic versions of the characters. While this Rebirth Supergirl is actually one of the most modern comic interpretations of her, it has a real classic look that I think can fit in with any era. It's a shame the Icons line is being phased out so quickly after its debut. (I'm still praying that we can somehow get that purple Catwoman figure released). Let's check out Rebirth Supergirl below!

Monday, November 20, 2017

BTAS Diamond Select BATGIRL Bust!

Batman: The Animated Series - Batgirl Bust - Diamond Select Toys 2017

I really love the mini-bust format. Although action figures are my preferred collectible, there is something I love about the uninterrupted sculpt of a true statue. But hobby statues are sooo expensive. I have an "if I ever win the lottery" wishlist of statues and it's already in the thousands of dollars. But mini-busts are much more affordable, efficiently sized, and remarkably compatible across manufacturers. Plus there has been a great variety of some of my favorite characters (namely Catwoman and Batgirl) and assembling a collection has been very fun. This latest Batgirl addition is practically perfect. I've had some minor qualms with paint apps on past DST busts, but the linework on these last few BTAS busts has been great. The only odd thing about Batgirl is that she is noticeably shinier than other busts in the line. Now my fingers are crossed for a whole series of TNBA busts to compliment these (but not before a Mystery of the Batwoman and Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman). Let's check out the BTAS Batgirl below!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Marvel Legends - MEDUSA (v2)!

Marvel Legends Inhumans - Medusa - Walgreens Exclusive - Hasbro 2017

As much as I appreciate the effort put into the two Marvel Legends Medusa figures we've seen so far, I must admit that neither of them really capture the essence of the character to me. When I think of Medusa, I either think of the classic Jack Kirby design with a broad face, a mature body, and large unruly hair or a more modern look with a regal almost goddess-like demeanor, a somewhat angry detached expression, and dynamic, intimidating hair. Both seem admittedly difficult to represent in plastic. But that doesn't stop me from having high expectations. This recent Walgreens Medusa (which is a retooled 2014 SDCC Medusa) has a nondescript face, a rather thin body, and hair that looks long and dynamic, but not necessarily powerful or prehensile. Don't get me wrong, these figures are pretty terrific, but I still think we're in need of a definitive Medusa. I'm thinking she would make a fantastic Marvel Select figure. Hopefully the Inhumans show has lasting power to give her potential merchandise more momentum.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Batman Classic TV Series - BATGIRL Bust!

Batman Classic TV Series - Yvonne Craig Batgirl Mini-Bust - Diamond Select 2016

There is something so spectacular about the bright purple and yellow Batgirl from the classic 1960's Batman show. I have fuzzy memories of what my first exposure to Batgirl really was. It was either random Super Friends merchandise (like coloring books or lunch boxes), back issues of Batman Family or Brave and Bold, or the lovely Yvonne Craig in syndication on TV. I tend to think the show was the actual first glimpse, but they all happened around the same time in the mid-80s for me who know knows really. As an adult, the purple look is definitely my most nostalgic though, and that exclusive feeling is amplified by the overall lack of Yvonne Batgirl merchandise. I first saw this mini-bust in the DST booth at NYTF several years ago (I was allowed to take photos of her, but I was asked not to share them online). And I've been pining for her ever since. I actually got her as a Christmas present last year, but I didn't open her till last week. I don't know why the hell I waited, but she's worth it. Let's check her out!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Transformers Legends - NIGHTBIRD SHADOW!

Transformers Legends Series (Japan) - LG-15 Nightbird - Takara Tomy 2015

One of the most nostalgic moments from my childhood was watching the Season 2 Transformers episode Enter the Nightbird. I was seven years old and this episode formed a lot of what I still love about sci-fi stories. Nightbird was a powerful ninja robot created by human scientists. She looked awesome and was mysteriously mute. The Autobots were asked to protect her, but the Decepticons crashed the party and stole her. Without any delay, the bad guys reprogrammed her, made her more powerful, and unleashed her stealth ninja skills on the Autobots. She broke into their base and stole all kinds of valuable information. And every time she was confronted, she kicked major butt. Her downfall only comes about because of typical Decepticon in-fighting. And then as she is sadly deprogrammed and being put into storage, she stirs and gives one last ominous stare. As a kid, this episode was positively Oscar-worthy. Nightbird has received a lot of 3rd Party love, a Kre-O, and now this beautiful TakaraTomyLegends figure.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

DC Bombshells - HAWKGIRL!

DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia #6 - Bombshells Hawkgirl - DC Collectibles 2017

One of my biggest collecting regrets is selling off a large Hawkgirl collection I had accumulated about 12 years ago. I had always been drawn to Hawkgirl's image. The Yellow, Green, and Red costume, the big wings, the beaked helmet. I loved everything about her design. But every time I tried to read her in a comic, I could never get interested. So as much as I loved her look, I was never emotionally invested in the character. The collecting angle had its own headaches. By nature of their bulky wings, displaying any large group of Thanagarians is a headache. They take up a ton of space, they often don't stand well, and when they topple they take a ton of neighbors down with them. I remember feeling good and decisive when I sold them, but almost instantly regretting it. Since then I've picked up about 4 or 5 new Hawkgirls and I'm always tempted to hunt down my old favorites, but for the most part I refrain. I was really surprised as how good this Bombshells figure looked in my LCS and just had to pick her up.

Friday, November 10, 2017

3.75" Marvel Legends - JESSICA JONES (as JEWEL)!

Marvel Legends 3.75" Series - Wave 5 - Jessica Jones - Hasbro 2017

It seems that whenever a Marvel-based movie or television show includes a character, no matter how obscure, Hasbro will find a way to produce a comic figure. When reading Alias almost two decades ago, I always thought a Jewel action figure would be awesome, but I immediately knew it was probably the most unlikely wishlist item I had. Jewel was created to be the cheesy embarrassing foray into heroics that the gritty no-nonsense Jessica Jones was trying to forget about. The original concept for Alias was to star Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman), but eventually evolved into an all-new character. I'm glad it did because the pink-haired flying hero in Jessica Jone's past is a key (contradictory) component to her morose detective life. Having a past life as Spider-Woman (who has always been pretty cool imo) wouldn't have had the same impact at all. But the thing is, I love cheesy bright characters, so it kind of backfired anyway. This toy is great. And I can't wait to get the 6" version next month. Let's her out below!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

DC Justice League Multiverse - MERA!

DC Comics Multiverse: Justice League - Mera (Amazon Exc) - Mattel 2017

I'm super nervous about the upcoming Justice League movie. Despite the amazing spectacle of the Wonder Woman film, I am not very confident that lightning will strike twice. I guess I will know for sure in a couple weeks. (The trailers are not helping though!) Despite my trepidations, one thing I am definitely looking forward to is the unexpected inclusion of Mera in the movie. Not only is it awesome to get an underused fan-favorite character in the cast, but she might have one of the best costumes of all the DCU designs. It feels very cinematic while retaining all the charm of her standard comic look. The Amazon-exclusive DC Multiverse figure was an unexpected reveal at SDCC this year and it was honestly the most exciting news for me of the entire show. I was so happy with the quality of the Wonder Woman Multiverse line, that I was hungry for more figures right away. Mera totally fits the bill. She even looks like an aquatic Themysciran with all that costume detail and metallic highlights. Let's check her out below!

Monday, November 6, 2017


Halo Universe Series: Wave 2 - Spartan Locus (Mjolinir Argus Armor) - Mattel 2017

I'm always trying to break up with you, Halo. Sure, it's always fun in the moment, but I know in the long run it's just not meant to be. I rehearse my internal dialogue "it's not fair to either of us. You won't ever fit it with the rest of my spandexy toys, you'll be lonely, and plus I've been around you for years but I still know next to nothing about you... and probably never will." We do our own things and I don't think of you for over a year. But then I find myself in a slight collecting slump. I wander into a store. I don't know why I'm there. I'm certainly not looking for anything serious. Then I see you hanging there all coy on your peg. Our eyes meet and I know I shouldn't but damn you're looking so pretty and no one has to know. Plus you're red now. I've never seen you in red before. Before I know what's come over me, I pick you up and take you home. I'm kinda skilled like that. So long story short, I start the cycle all over again. And I don't regret it for one second. More of our sordid affair below...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Iron Studios CATWOMAN Statue!

DC Comics 1:10 Polystone Statue - Catwoman (Ivan Reis) - Iron Studios 2017

I don't know what's coming over me but lately I've become more and more accepting of the 90's purple Catwoman outfit. At the time it was introduced, I hated this look so much. I was in love with the gray catsuit that preceded it in the late 80s, but that purple one looked all nude-illusion body paint with hooker boots, gritted teeth, and permed hair. I was in middle school when this look was unveiled and I just thought it was disappointingly lame. It was the first of many comic-based disappointments for me in that most-extreme-of-decades, but it was probably the one that hit home the most. But lately I've come to terms with this costume being represented in my collection (as long as I don't have to read those old comics). I think this statue from the Brazil-based Iron Studios is absolutely gorgeous. When I saw it a few years ago at a convention I knew I would have to budget for it. They had a great display at NYCC last month and I'm excited about future products from them. Let's check out this 1/10 scale Catwoman below!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Girls of MYSTICONS!

Mysticons - Piper, Em, Arkayna w/ Izzie, and Zarya w/ Archer - Playmates 2017

When I first read about Mysticons a few years ago, the proposed team consisted of boys, but then about two years ago I read an article and it was suddenly centered around four young girls. Then I soon heard that Playmates would be making toys and my excitement has been building ever since. The actual cartoon (which began airing on Nickelodeon in August) is not exactly my cup of tea. I'm just not the target demographic at all (but I'll give it another shot eventually). But these toys. These toys are perfect for me. Bright colors. Mythical themes. Not too cartoony. Fun translucent accessories. And best of all, amazing flying griffin steeds with battle armor! It's very rare to get a female character who rides an animal, let alone actual action figures of those characters and beasts. So yeah, this property thrills me and I hope it's successful enough to warrant many more toys. Queen Necrafa seems especially ripe for the action figure treatment. Time will tell. Let's check out the first round of basic Mysticons figures below!