Monday, December 31, 2018

Transformers Bumblebee SHATTER (Car & Jet)!

Transformers Bumblebee - Energon Igniters - Shatter (Jet & Car) - Hasbro 2018

I just saw the Transformers: BumbleBee movie today and one of the major highlights for me was the original female Decepticon, Shatter. I read online that she was inspired by the G1 character Nightbird, and I guess I can see that in her face, but otherwise she seems like a wholly unique creation. Shatter and Dropkick (voiced by Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux) formed a classic brains vs brawn that I loved. If the movie had used classic well-known villains, I would have spent the entire two hours nitpicking the performance. But as it was I could just sit back and enjoy the movie. These initial two toys aren't a great example of modern Transformer engineering, but I wanted to celebrate this character so I picked them up. There is a 12" Titan and a Deluxe Movie figure coming out soon that should hopefully make up for them. Overall I'm just glad there was finally such a significant female presence in the TF cinematic universe. Let's check out these first two Shatter offerings below!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Long Overdue 2017 YEAR-END REVIEW!

A Collection of 2017's Most Amazing Female Action Figures All In One Post

I kind of love my new tradition of doing an annual review a full year later. While all the other blogs are posting their top picks for 2018, I'm flashing back to the yesteryear of 2017. It started because of pure laziness. For example, right now I have a stockpile of 2018 toys that I haven't even photographed yet (and won't get around to for a while). But a major unexpected perk is the chance to really look back with a bit more perspective than you get with the immediate year. I had to doublecheck so many dates while preparing this post, because it honestly feels like I was buying the A-Force set and the Wonder Woman movie figures this past year. But no, they were all in 2017. It's also nice to prepare a giant post where all the photos are already finished. The unspoken timesuck of having an active blog is photo editing - rotating, cropping, resizing, and retouching - it takes a lot of time. (Luckily I find it relaxing and I'm a pro multi-tasker). Alrighty, without further ado here are 172 images of my favorite 2017 action figures.

Friday, December 28, 2018

DC Multiverse LYNDA CARTER WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse Signature Collection - Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) - Mattel 2018

I exclaimed last week how the vintage-style She-Ra figure was a long time coming. It's easy to say that any new figure you really enjoy is long overdue, but it's rare when it's so undeniably true (like that She-Ra and this Lynda Carter Wonder Woman). From the mid-2000s thru 2011, I was a pretty active member on the official DC Comics message boards (which were eliminated around the time of the New52 reboot). On those forums, a Lynda Carter action figure was absolutely the number one most requested figure. I swear every hypothetical wishlist posted by one of the members included her. I thought we might eventually see one from DC Collectibles or NECA, but I am honestly shocked that Mattel is the company to finally follow through. And the quality of this figure is teriffic. The paint apps and likeness are honestly beyond my expectations. I know we haven't heard much more about this Signature Collection sub-line, but I have an extensive wishlist (Pfeiffer Catwoman!) Let's check out Lynda below!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Aquaman Movie 6" Basic - MERA!

Aquaman Movie 6" Basic Figure - Series 02 - Mera - Mattel 2018

I saw the Aquaman movie this weekend and found it really entertaining. The visuals and costumes were great. I especially loved the different races/species depicted among the seven undersea kingdoms. And who knew the cheesy seahorse steeds could be so badass?! I only had two issues with the film. Firstly, Black Manta seemed shoehorned into the story. He probably should have been the spotlight villain in the next Aquaman movie and let Orm take center stage here. (Although if they're prepping for a Legion of Doom storyline, they probably needed to get him on screen asap). My second complaint was a lot of weak dialogue. There were "serious" points where the movie morphed into a poorly written soap opera. Don't get me wrong, I liked the story, it was just the dialogue that was weak. I felt that Amber Heard as Mera looked phenomenal, but as an actress I felt that she did the best she could with the words she was given and the end result is a commendable, but not terrific performance.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Masters of the Universe Vintage - SHE-RA!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 1 - She-Ra - Super7 2018

One of my biggest childhood disappointments was the She-Ra toy line in the 1980s. I was a sucker for all those cartoons that were nothing more than commercials for toys. But my only caveat was that they had to resemble the cartoon. Most did a decent job at this, but She-Ra was a total miss in my opinion. The toys looked good, but nearly every aspect was different from the filmation style. She-Ra's outfit, Swiftwind's entire color palette, and even the Power Sword was completely different (they just could have used He-Man's sword and been a billion times more accurate). So when this new vintage Filmation style figure from Super7 was announced I felt satisfied on so many levels. And the figure execution is practically perfect. Yes, she's a little shiny, and yes, she's a little taller than her vintage sisters, but I adore her. I can't wait to see what other characters come out in this line. I know Teela is next, but I'm hoping for more unreleased characters to fill in gaps like this She-Ra does. Let's check her out below!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Transformers FRACTURE (aka GoBots CRASHER)!

Transformers (2007 Movie) - Allspark Power - Fracture - Walmart Exc Hasbro 2007

Few villains scared me as a child quite as much as Crasher from GoBots. She was erratic, psychotic, and she stomped around in a thunderous rampage. Truly frightening. I feel like a lot of villains in my childhood cartoons were simplified with comic buffoonery, making them much more palatable for their young audiences. But Crasher wasn't pulling any punches. I always wanted there to be a great action figure of her. The vintage figure was blocky and nondescript. Then nada. But in 2007, Hasbro released this Generations Mirage repaint as a Walmart exclusive named Fracture in their products from the first live-action movie. While this not a perfect representation, she was still a terrific first attempt. Since then there was a decent 3rd Party homage to her (again, a repainted male body), but I still have high hopes for a perfect version eventually. She's too iconic to go unrepresented forever, even if the licenses are in locked down in obscurity. But in the meantime, I'm happy to make due with what we have.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ralph Breaks the Internet - VANELLOPE & CALHOUN!

Wreck-It Ralph 2 - Action Figures Series 01 - Vanellope & Calhoun - Bandai 2018

I'm slow at a lot of things. It's just my nature not to rush things or show up anywhere early (which is amusing considering my overwhelming desire to hunt down toys the second they come out). Another odd time contradiction is how much I love Pixar movies, but how extremely slow I am at actually watching them. I honestly just watched the first Wreck-It Ralph a few months ago (6 years after it came out). So at that rate who knows when I'll actually see Ralph Breaks the Internet, but I might make an extra effort just because I'm so excited about all the cool new female characters. Vanellope is an obvious carry-over from the first movie, and the "comfy Princesses" brand has a ton of potential, but I'm more obsessed over the new video-game-inspired characters like Yesss, Shank, and of course Calhoun. I love that Bandai is giving all of these characters action figures right away. Then again, I'll probably be clamoring for the other main Sugar Rush racers. I'm never satisfied. Let's check out Vanellope and Calhoun below!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Aquaman Movie 12" True Moves MERA!

Aquaman Movie: True Moves 12" - Basic Series 01 - Mera - Mattel 2018

I'm in the process of revamping my toy room right now and one of the focuses will be to better accommodate my booming 1:6 scale action figure collection. I know there have been 12" action figures for decades, but in the past they almost always have had removable clothing and high price tags and they blurred the lines between dolls and action figures. I have nothing against dolls, but I've limited myself to not collecting them (strict parameters are very important for a compulsive collector like me). But then back in 2016 I first started paying attention to a new trend of lower-cost, fully-sculpted 1:6 action figures. They had been coming out for a while, but female characters weren't included until early 2016 (Wonder Woman and Black Widow). Now this scale seems to be a staple product for most comic-based movie merchandise (I'm eagerly awaiting the inevitable Captain Marvel figures). In a few short years I somehow assembled 25! This newest Mera one is probably the best yet. Let's check her out below!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Spotlight on RITA REPULSA (Movie Version)!

A Collection of Rita Repulsa Figures from the 2017 Film - Bandai & Funko 2017

I apologize for the long hiatus in my postings. I've be re-doing two rooms in my house and my workload at the office has literally doubled (temporarily while coworkers are on leave). And on top of all that, I'm getting a new computer next week.. and I predict a rough transition unfortunately. But I haven't stopped toy hunting (follow my Instagram!) and I have such an exciting backlog of toys to photograph (which I will be starting in a few hours). And at the same time, I have stockpiles of older reviews I've been intending to post. This Character Spotlight on Elizabeth Banks' version of Rita Repulsa from the 2017 Power Rangers movie has been a long time coming. It was urged on by the fact that I finally watched it for the first time on Tuesday. I really enjoyed it and I'm glad to hear that Hasbro is developing a sequel. I loved how they had a backstory where Rita was a former Green Ranger (with Zordon being the Red Ranger). It was a fun twist. Let's check out all the Ritas below!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

DC Primal Age - WONDER WOMAN!

Funko Savage World: DC Primal Age - Wonder Woman - Funko 2018

I'm loving the Savage World line from Funko. I never would have guessed that 35 years after the heyday of barbarian-style toys I would be so excited to see a throwback line. I never actually owned any Masters of the Universe figures (nor any of those Remco toys in the same style), but their impact on the action figure world is undeniable. So when Funko started producing these retro 5.5" action figures, I instantly saw potential. The first offerings were from Son of Zorn soon followed by Mortal Kombat X. Then at NYTF 2018 they officially showed the first few waves of product under the collective Savage World umbrella. (ThunderCats, Horror, and Conan). The doors had opened and my fantasy wishlist began (Sectaurs, Golden Girl, and Crystar are at the top of my list). Then Funko unveiled this surprise DC Primal Age line featuring classic DC character reimagined in a barbarian world. It's a really fun concept to get some A-list characters into the line. Let's check out Wonder woman below!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Batman Missions BATGIRL!

Batman Missions - 6" Basic Series 02 - Batgirl (Batgirl of Burnside) - Mattel 2018

I'm really loving this new evergreen Batman Missions line. There have been lots of basic Batman series in the past, but so far this newest incarnation has the best looking figures with the most comic accurate designs. I only hope we get a lot more characters. I actually think the upcoming live-action debut of Batwoman makes her the frontrunner for the next female in the line. This figure is basically a Batgirl of Burnside design (with the exception of her unique chest symbol and her solid black cape). What's nice about getting one last figure in this style is that Babs just debuted a new costume in September and this 2014 utilitarian look (which I love) may be no more. I'm not the biggest fan of the new costume so far, so this figure's notability of (possibly) being the last standard retail product in this style is pretty bittersweet. (The upcoming DCC Essentials Batgirl is coming too of course, but likely only to specialty shops). Let's check out the Batman Missions Batgirl below!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers - GADGET!

Disney Afternoon - Series 02 - Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers - Gadget -Funko 2018

Sometimes I forget how influential certain cartoons were to me in my youth.  Every day after school I would tune into the Disney Afternoon and dive into the worlds of Gummi Bears, Duck Tales, TaleSpin, and of course Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers. After buying this Gadget Hackwrench action figure I started Googling and reminiscing about those formative years of mine. I specifically remember Gadget's inventions fascinating me. Her Rube-Goldberg-esque contraptions inspired me to create all kinds of weird do-dads out of rubber bands, paperclips, balloons, etc. Seeing some screenshots of her vehicles and weapons is like a blast from the past because I remember trying to duplicate them in real life. Gadget was an inventor, mechanic, and pilot for the Rescue Rangers, and I think she needs to be given credit as an early role model for the girls-in-STEM movement. It was pretty rare to have such a smart, creative, and independent female character in cartoons back then. Let's check out Gadget Hackwrench below!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Fortnite - CUDDLE TEAM LEADER!

Fortnite Action Figures (Series 01) - Cuddle Team Leader - McFarlane Toys 2018

This Summer I was on vacation with my family... including my eight nieces and nephews... and I was schooled on Fortnite.  Every year it's something new: Minecraft, Pokemon, etc. But this year was all about Fortnite. I honestly expected to dismiss the fad (like I dismiss most video game properties) until I saw the character skins. In the past few years I've secretly become a big fan of animal hoodie pajamas. I look forward to Friday nights when I stay in, order food, and watch a movie in these ridiculously comfy outfits (my current one is a mountain ram). So anyway, when I saw that multiple player skins were cute-but-battle-damaged animal costumes I was smitten. Cuddle Team Leader as the ratty pink bear is just amazing. But I'm also hoping for figures of Tricera Ops and Bunny Brawler. Actually any female onesie or animal costume will thrill me. I know the only female in Series 02 will be Brite Bomber, but hopefully Series 03 will have some more anthropomorphic options. Let's check out Cuddle Team Leader below!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Star Wars - PRINCESS LEIA (BESPIN ESCAPE)!

Star Wars: The Black Series (Target) - Leia (Bespin Escape) - Hasbro 2018

I'm loving how the Star Wars 6" Black Series is on a roll with getting us all the Princess Leia variations. I was always overwhelmed by the Leias in the 3.75" collection so I never even attempted to get them. But with the 6" series, I am getting in on the ground floor and I'm excited to see how far the line goes. I'm not even completely aware of all the outfits she appeared in, but my favorite movie was always Return on the Jedi so I'm looking forward to her camouflage Endor outfit, her long-hair Ewok festival outfit, and her award ceremony gown. And I think in time that we'll see all of these. Unfortunately we now deal with an issue of the first two Black Series Leias being awkwardly out of scale: Slave Leia being too small and Boushh Disguise Leia being too large. I would love apology figures someday, but not before exhausting the variations we haven't seen yet. Then again, the Padme Amidala wardrobe could completely derail the current Leia momentum. Time will tell. Let's check out Bespin Escape Leia below!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Predator Series 18 - MACHIKO!

Predator - 7" Action Figures Series 18 - Machiko Noguchi - NECA 2018

I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this figure for over a year. A few release dates have come and gone in that time so my fears for an outright cancellation were palpable. But alas, I have her in my greedy little hands and I love her. In my middle school days I was obsessed with both Aliens and Predator comics from Dark Horse. I loved how dark and mysterious they were. I can admit the storylines were mostly over my head at the time, but the graphics alone had a huge impact. When the two properties united in Aliens vs Predator in 1989, my young mind was blown. I remember the human character Machiko whose planet was caught in the crossfire of the Aliens vs Predator war. She was fiercely protective of her people and earned the respect of the Predator leader, eventually being brought into his clan. She was memorable, but I'm pretty sure she didn't have this cool Predator armor until years later. I've wanted a toy of her since the Hot Toys figure ten years ago. Let's check out Machiko below!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Transformers Warrior Class - WINDBLADE!

Transformers: Cyberverse - Warrior Class Wave 2 - Windblade - Hasbro 2018

I'm really excited for the Transformers: Cyberverse line. It's only been hitting the shelves three months, but I already have several great new animated-style female figures (Ultra Class Shadow Striker, Scout Class Windblade, and this Warrior Class Windblade), plus two more on the way (Scout Class Shadow Striker and an Ultra Class Slipstream). The only unfortunate thing is that there has only been one female character announced in this Warrior Class scale so far. This scale is the ideal version in my opinion. It's large enough to have great details and articulation, but small enough not to be clunky (like the larger scale animated figures tend to be). They also fit in very nicely with the typical "Deluxe" Transformers scale. I'm really hoping that the two remaining first-string female characters (Shadow Striker and Slipstream) get the Warrior Class treatment eventually. As seen in the group pic below, Windblade has really become an A-list character in the Transformers world. Let's check out this newest incarnation below!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Stranger Things - ELEVEN (PUNK VERSION)!

Stranger Things Wave 3 - Eleven (Season Two) - McFarlane Toys 2018

I had my bubble burst last week when I realized Stranger Things Season three wasn't coming out at Halloween like the previous seasons had. Instead we have to wait until some time in 2019 (but luckily Netflix released the insanely creepy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to tide me over). These McFarlane Toys Stranger Things action figures keep getting better and better. This Season Two Eleven in her punk rock look is vastly superior to the first version. The face and body just have a more refined look to them. All the other characters look great as well (I picked up an Upside-down Will Walmart Exclusive and he's fantastic). Now I find myself hoping for more figures. I think Season Two Max would make a great toy (Although I can't picture a single iconic outfit for her). Also Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers seems like a given. McFarlane figures always seem to come out at snail's pace though so I have a feeling we'll have to wait a long time before we get news of product. Let's check out Eleven below!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Marvel Legends Vintage - THE WASP!

Marvel Legends: Vintage (Toy Biz) Series 02 - The Wasp - Hasbro 2018

I was a little bitter when this figure was announced. I'm a sucker for classic impractical costumes and I thought for sure the rumored vintage series Wasp would be her red and black helmeted original Avengers costume. But instead we got this obscure blue outfit that she only wore in two issues in the early 2000s. I'm fairly certain the only reason fans really love it is because this was intended to be a variant in the 2006 Marvel Legends MODOK wave. That variant was never released, so she instantly became a holy grail for most collectors. Personally, I couldn't stand female Marvel Legends figure back then. They were gangly and awkward and I always found them so disappointing. So, I literally viewed the cancelled variant as one less sub-par figure to be tempted by. My opinions are pretty harsh, but at the same time I am a little jealous of the enthusiasm everyone else seems to have for their ToyBiz nostalgia. But in the end, this figure ended up looking so great that I don't even have to pretend. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Stranger Things - BARB!

Stranger Things Wave 3 - Barb (GameStop Exclusive) - McFarlane Toys 2018

I have pretty vivid memories of watching the first episode of Stranger Things. I loved it from the very start. My formative years took place in a small rural town in the early 1980s. So the the setting, the clothes, the slang, even the exact VHS storage cases in the living room were ripped right out of my childhood. But my strongest reaction was when Barbara Holland first stepped on screen clutching her Trapper Keeper against her ruffled shirt. I knew her, I knew a dozen Barbs. It wasn't just the physical look either. It was the shy confidence she exuded. Quiet but assertive. I surround myself with people who can occupy opposite ends of a spectrum, and Barb does just that. It seems like everyone loved her as well, as actor Shannon Purser has become a fan favorite with roles in Riverdale, Rise, and the starring role in the Netflix film Sierra Burgess is a Loser (which I've watched twice and adore). I was so glad when McFarlane Toys announced this figure. It's not a perfect likeness, but it's instantly recognizable as Barb.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Disney Junior's VAMPIRINA!

A Collection of  Disney Junior Vampirina Action Figures - Just Play Toys 2017-18

Vampirina is a Disney Jr cartoon about a young vampire, her vampire family, and all of her friends (human and monster alike) as they run the Scare Bed & Breakfast in Pennsylvania. I always love it when child and adult genres are mixed like this. When I was a kid most monster stuff was too mature for me, so when I see new properties like Vampirina I am hit with a mix of nostalgia and jealousy for all the cool options that kids today have. I've been eyeing the Vampirina toys since they first hit the shelves back in October of 2017. However, I never planned on buying any until I found the new Scream Girls box set featuring the titular character and her three awesome bandmates. Suddenly I had to have them all. Now I'm looking forward to scanning the Disney aisle for future characters. There is a gill-girl and ghost character in a picture below that I would love to see. Although they are unnamed extras from a music video, so that's pretty unlikely. Let's check out all the cool Halloweenie girls below!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Women of GHOSTBUSTERS!

Ghostbusters Select (Movie) Series 2-4: Dana, Janine, and Gozer - DST 2016-17

I always think it's odd how neglected the female characters from Ghostbusters were for the longest time. Considering how iconic Dana Barrett and Gozer the Gozerian were, it's shocking that they didn't have any toys made until 2004. Sure there were a handful of cartoon-based Janine Melnitz figures, but true movie figures just never made it into consideration back then. In 2011, Mattel took a shot and released an oddly unarticulated Dana, but no Gozer. But then in 2016, Diamond Select Toys thankfully took up the reigns and released their line of Ghostbusters Select figures. The sculpts and production aren't perfect, but I am very happy to have all three main characters (Dana, Janine, and Gozer) in the same scale finally. There is also a figure of the Library Ghost, but I never picked her up. I've had these figures since they came out, but I only opened them now in anticipation of a few Halloween-themed reviews I'm planning. I can't believe I was able to resist so long. Let's check them out (finally) below!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Call of Duty - SERAPH!

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Series 01 - He Zhen-Zhen Seraph - McFarlane 2018

Considering I'm not a fan of Wrestling or Video Games, you would think I could pass by whole sections of the toy store without batting an eye. But McFarlane Toys' video game offerings over the past few years have been really hard to resist. I'm always drawn to racially diverse non-sexualized female characters, and surprisingly the best place to find such toys recently has been in the video game aisle. I'm still adjusting to the fact that video game women actually wear respectable levels of clothes now. The days of Mika and Kitana may be over, folks. Seriously though, McFarlane Toys has given us some amazing toys recently: Ikora Rey, Clementine, and Aveline de Grandpr√© are some of my favorite non-superhero toys in my collection. And although this Seraph figure is more militant than I usually am drawn to, I'm still really smitten over her. She looks tough and intimidating and I love her hair. Now I'm hoping there's a second wave with Battery so she's not all on her lonesome. Let's check out Seraph below!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Jurassic World - CLAIRE DEARING (v2)!

Jurassic World - Series 02: Claire Dearing & Stegosaurus - Mattel 2018

With my recent long-awaited purchases of the Maisie Lockwood and Zia Rodriguez Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom figures, I realized that I never posted my pictures from this second version of Claire Dearing. This figure is very similar to the original release (the Deluxe Pack with Gyroscope), except that she is wearing a different coat. The coat is repainted yellow and noticeably longer than the previous version and the yellow sleeves are not pushed up like before. I've only seen the movie once (so far) and as far as I can tell she only wears this coat in one brief helicopter ride, but it's a fun variation and I'm glad we got a toy of it. I normally avoid subtle retools, but I think when compared side-by-side, the two variations look significantly different. Plus, I like supporting this line because I would love to see more product. I'm curious to see if we might get some additional figures from the older films now. Sarah Harding, Amanda Kirby, and Kelly Curtis would all make great additions to the line. Let's check out Claire (v2) below!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Transformers Scout Class - WINDBLADE!

Transformers: Cyberverse - Scout Class Wave 2 - Windblade - Hasbro 2018

I love little tiny Transformers. These Cyberverse Scout Class figures are so little and cute. They are slightly larger than the Legion Class figures and slightly smaller than that Strongarm from the Battle Packs. She's actually the same size as the Power of the Primes Legends figures (Slash and Cindersaur), but the animated style makes them look different. The scale lends to good articulation and detailed sculpting, and they display very nicely. That's one problem I'm currently having with my burgeoning Transformers collection. They are generally bulky and tricky to display (especially the winged characters like Windblade). I really enjoy this scale and I'm excited to get the upcoming Shadow Striker Scout Class. There is a Slipstream in this same wave with Windblade, but she is literally just a purple and teal Starscream repaint. I was really disappointed that the first real Hasbro release of Slipstream was such a cop-out figure. Hopefully she gets a better figure down the line. Let's check out Windblade below!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

WWE Superstars - BECKY LYNCH!

WWE Superstars (Girls' Line) - Basic Wave 3 - Becky Lynch - Mattel 2018

Becky Lynch is an Irish professional wrestler and actress. She began wrestling in Ireland and throughout Europe in 2002 on the independent circuit, working regularly for the Queens of Chaos (France) promotion, where she won the World Queens of Chaos Championship in 2006. She also wrestled for One Pro Wrestling (England) and German Stampede Wrestling. She competed in the SuperGirls Wrestling (Canada offshoot) where she was the inaugural SuperGirls Champion. She also appeared at ChickFight III and the all-female Shimmer Women Athletes promotion where she was involved in a series of acclaimed matches with Daizee Haze. In September 2006, Becky suffered a head injury and next returned (to Shimmer) as a manager 5 years later. She signed with WWE in 2013 and arrived on the main roster in July 2015, where she soon became the inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion at Backlash (in September 2016), and again at Hell in a Cell in September 2018. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Monday, October 15, 2018

WWE Superstars - NAOMI!

WWE Superstars (Girls' Line) - Basic Wave 3 - Naomi Knight - Mattel 2018

Naomi is an American wrestler, actress, model, dancer and singer. In August 2009, she signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was assigned to its past developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where she was the inaugural FCW Divas Champion. In August 2010, she competed in the all-female third season of NXT, where she came in second place. In January 2012, she made her main roster debut alongside Cameron, forming The Funkadactyls. Since July 2013, Naomi has appeared as one of the main cast members of the reality television series Total Divas. In February 2017, Naomi won the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship at the Elimination Chamber event, becoming the first African-American woman to capture the title. After vacating the title due to injury, Naomi regained the championship two months later at WrestleMania 33 and became the inaugural winner of the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal at the following year's WrestleMania. (Thanks Wikipedia!)


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Female Character ACTION FIGURE COMICS COVERS!

The Coolest Variant Cover Trend of Recent Years - Fantasy Action Figures

This is the first post I've made on this blog that doesn't have to do with real action figures or statues. Comic Book cover variants are a major trend in the hardcopy comic world. Back in the day, variants would be rare incentives for some super-special issue. But now it's actually rare when and issue doesn't have at least one variant. Different companies will have themes, like Lego covers or Women of Power. But my favorite by far has been the Action Figure covers. There are a few early examples of this kind of cover, but I believe the current trend was kicked off by the various Marvel Star Wars comics from Spring of 2015. There were tons of action figure variants across all the Star Wars titles at the time. Then later that Summer, Marvel's Secret Wars event used the same tactic and its momentum has only grown since then. There are usually a few Marvel Action Figure Variants each week now. And other publishers are picking up on the trend as well.  Let's check out a slew of these covers below!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Kingdom Builders - LADY TWIST!

Kingdom Builders - Series 01 Action Figures - Lady Twist - Little Tikes 2018

When I think back to the preschool toys that lined the shelves when I was a little kid, I have trouble thinking of many female action figures. Sure Fisher-Price's Adventure People had a decent number of women, but their roles were hardly adventurous (at least compared to their male counterparts). I can remember seeing a cavewoman from the Definitely Dinosaurs line in the Christmas catalogs, but never actually seeing her in a store. That lack of female presence among preschool action figures is why I got so excited over this new Lady Twist toy from the Kingdom Builders line by Little Tikes. Even that brand name hearkens back to my childhood (I honestly didn't even realize Little Tikes still existed). Kingdom Builders is a medieval fantasy line where (most of) the characters transform into actual tools that can be used to dismantle and reform the playsets. There is also a CGI animated YouTube series to promote the toys. It's a really fun concept and I hope it proves successful. Let's check out Lady Twist below!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DC Multiverse Rebirth HARLEY QUINN!

DC Multiverse (Lex Luthor) Walmart Exc Gotham Girls - Harley Quinn - Mattel 2018

At some point I'm going to have to stop buying Harley Quinn figures. It seems like every time I blink there is a new one tempting me and my Harley shelf is positively overflowing. So far though I can only think of a single one that I intentionally skipped (and I won't mention the exact one since I'm friendly with the sculptor). But most figures, including this comic style Rebirth one, are so unique that I feel I need to have that version represented in my collection. Plus I am very impressed with the direction that the DC Multiverse figures have been heading recently and I want to support the line to ensure this momentum continues. The upcoming Vixen, Hawkgirl, and Starfire look especially good and I can't wait to see what is next. These recent Harley comic designs are interesting because they incorporate pieces from Suicide Squad and the Arkham Series games while also seeming to retain a style all their own. But we all know she will change her look again, so it's just fun to sit back and observe her evolution unfold.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

DC Multiverse Stephanie Brown as SPOILER!

DC Multiverse (Lex Luthor) Walmart Exc Gotham Girls - Spoiler - Mattel 2018

Stephanie Brown is one of those comic book characters that I just can't get enough of. She first appeared as a secondary character in the pages of Robin. She was a vigilante with the single-minded purpose of "spoiling" her villainous father's (the Cluemaster's) plans. I honestly didn't really like her costume back then, so I didn't grow to appreciate her until much later when she briefly became Robin. Like all "brief" Robins, she was killed. But also like all slain Robins, she came back - this time as Batgirl in a fantastic run from 2009-2011 until the New 52 reboot happened and Barbara Gordon reclaimed the cowl. She was then off the radar until 2014 when she reappeared as Spoiler again in the pages of Batman Eternal with this great new look (which is a hybrid of her previous costumes). She is quite a survivor and her stories are always smart, fresh, and fun. But I was frankly shocked when she was announced in the Multiverse lineup. Considering her fan-favorite status, she never gets much merchandise.

Friday, October 5, 2018

MOTUC Filmation Style - SORCERESS!

MOTUC - Club Grayskull (Series 2) - Sorceress - Super7Store Exc - Super7 2018

Despite all my obvious obsessions, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is not a property I naturally would have gravitated to as a child. Warriors and swords were just a genre I had no connection to. My interests were completely focused on animals. I grew up on a mountain in the middle of nowhere without a neighbor for miles, only three fuzzy TV channels, and parents who trusted us to roam free. Animals were literally my entertainment. I knew where to hide to catch glimpses of fox, rabbit, and deer, I knew all my bird calls, and I collected (live) insects. I was pretty single-minded so all my cartoon favorites were loaded with animal lore. I liked Voltron for the robotic cats, I liked G.I.Joe because the villains were all snake-themed, I liked Transformers because of the Insecticons, ThunderCats, SilverHawks, and TigerSharks are obvious. And of course I loved this little show called He-Man and the Masters of the Universe because the title sequence featured a feather-clad woman who transformed into a falcon.

Monday, October 1, 2018

MOTUC Collector's Choice - GRANITA!

MOTUC - Collector's Choice (Series 2) - Granita - Super7Store Exc - Super7 2018

For many years my number one wish for the Masters of the Universe Classics line has been Granita, the always-neglected member of the Rock People from two episodes of She-Ra. I've always been obsessed with her design. The monochromatic green skin and hair combined with the red and pink outfit and pupil-less eyes is the recipe for a character tailored to my tastes. This figure is a welcome relief from the somewhat problematic ladies released in the past few years, because there is really very little wrong with her (of course I will nitpick a few things that are detailed below). Now that we have this beauty I'm a little unsure what unreleased characters are still on my wishlist. Kittrina, Enchantress, and Garth and the only ones I can think of and at this rate I think it's a fair chance were might see them. Hopefully we'll see another female reveal at NYCC this week. (With this body they could easily make a redeco into Robowoman or Facet). Let's check out Granita the Heroic Comet Combatant below!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Aquaman Movie Multiverse - MERA!

Aquaman Movie DC Multiverse - Trench Warrior C-n-C - Mera -  Mattel 2018

I'm pretty excited about all the comic book movies coming out in the next few 6-8 months. Aquaman, Venom, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. None of these are top-tier movie choices for me, but there is something about each one that has me excited. For Aquaman, I'm obsessed with the aquatic monsters like the Brine King and the Trench Warriors, but I can't deny how excited I am to see Mera on the big screen again. I barely remember her from Justice League (I don't remember much from that movie honestly). But the character is so classic and underused that she deserves a more memorable role. I'm shocked that Mattel gave us a brand new figure to be more accurate to her new look, when characters like Wonder Woman were just getting minor repaints. And honestly, the Justice League figure looked great and would have really benefited from a repainted release (she had a lackluster face). But I'm not complaining, just observing. Let's check out the Aquaman movie Mera below!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Spider-Verse SPIDER-GWEN!

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Series 01 - Spider-Gwen - Hasbro 2018

I'm very excited for the Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse movie. I've appreciated comic-based animated movies in the past, but none of them have had the theatrical quality that this one seems to. I know a character like Spider-Gwen is very unlikely to show up in a live action Spider-Man movie anytime soon, but I think both she and Peni Parker will have very influential roles in this one, and I chalk that up to the fact that it's animation. I could foresee future movies like A-Force, Generation X, or Alpha Flight in this style and I'm very hopeful that Spiderverse is successful and more projects get greenlit. I was very nervous about this figure since she looked so stiff and awkward in the solicit photos, but in person she is really fun, despite being essentially a "basic" figure. All the product showed up this past weekend at Walmart. I was impressed to also see a Peni Parker and SP//dr set that was previously unannounced (I didn't not buy it, but I posted pics on Instagram). Hopefully there is more product coming as well!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Transformers - SHADOW STRIKER!

Transformers: Cyberverse (Ultra Class) - Shadow Striker - Hasbro 2018

I love a good villainess. And there's something especially great when they're in the Transformers family. This is probably because Crasher from GoBots terrified me as a child and I've always though there was something wonderfully wicked and detached about evil fembots ever since. I was really excited at all the new SDCC reveals for the new Transformers: Cyberverse cartoon showcasing four new female figures. Two of these were decepticons (Slipstream being an unfortunate Starscream repaint) but the Shadow Striker immediately thrilled me. While her face and color scheme seem very similar to recent animated villains like Blackarachnia and Airachnid, she is actually a reboot of a Decepticon from the early 2000s (who coincidentally had a twin sister, the Autobot Roulette.. who I really hope gets a toy as well). This toy is a little less than ideal, but I hope the character proves popular enough to get a more traditional release. Let's check out Shadow Striker in detail below!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

DC Universe Busts - STAR SAPPHIRE!

Women of the DC Universe Busts - Series 3 - Star Sapphire - DC Direct 2011

I really miss the days of regular DC Direct product. The variety of action figures was unprecedented. You could rely on a unique Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman figure every month. I know the repetition of characters and the inconsistent scales drove fans nuts, but I loved it. Occasionally a favorite character of mine would get that A-list treatment and I would be on cloud nine (2007-08 were spectacular for me). But beyond the action figures, I really was obsessed with the Women of the DC Universe Mini-Bust line. Each series (there were three) had roughly 12 busts all designed by an iconic artist: Series 1 Adam Hughes, Series 2 Terry Dodson, and Series 3 Amanda Conner. At the time I was very selective with what characters I would purchase, but as the years have passed I have backtracked and I'm sure I'll eventually have them all. I've always loved the look of the classic Star Sapphire and this bust is the nicest looking representation of her in my collection. Let's check out the Star Sapphire mini-bust below!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Robotech - LYNN MINMEI!

Robotech - Action Figures Series 1 (Macross Saga) - Lynn Minmei - Toynami 2018

I really love animation. Especially properties from the 1970s and 1980s. And even if a movie or show is terrible, I still usually find find some silver lining and appreciate the overall effort. Consistently though, my biggest issues have revolved around music. Specifically when a character or characters sing an irritating song. My number one example is Rankin and Bass's Return of the King from 1980. The music makes that film (almost) unwatchable for me. A close second is Lynn Minmei's song stylings in Robotech. In the show she is a beauty pageant contestant and pop star in Macross City.  The memories of those songs still make me cringe. Although I must admit I recently rewatched the whole series on Netflix and for the first time I was able to sit all the way though her performances. Minmei is the only figure from the 1985 Matchbox line that I never picked up, so I'm super glad we got this great updated figure in the first wave. And she's actually wearing my favorite outfit of hers. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Robotech - MIRIYA!

Robotech - Action Figures Series 1 (Macross Saga) - Miriya - Toynami 2018

Robotech is one of those 1980's properties that was just way ahead of its time. In fact, I honestly didn't appreciate it until the mid-90s while it was in heavy syndication on the SciFi Channel (and later Cartoon Network). Robotech is composed of three independent Anime series edited into once long multi-generational space odyssey - which is blasphemy for anime purists, I know - but it was my first real exposure to Anime so I will always adore it.  In the mid-80s there was a commendable toy series from Matchbox and Harmony Gold. It was missing tons of core characters, but it included at least five females from across the three chapters. The problem is that all the figures had really weird headsculpts. They made early GIJoes look like masterpieces. Surprisingly it took 33 years to get new action figures, but they are gorgeous so it was worth the wait. Now I just want a Lisa Hayes and Claudia (Not to mention all the characters from the Masters and New Generation). Let's check out Miriya below!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

PJ Masks Wolfy Kids - RIP!

PJ Masks - Wolfy Kids - Rip and Owlette (Power Up Accessory) - Just Play 2018

PJ Masks is a super popular Disney Jr show featuring three young friends who become nocturnal animal-themed superheros when they don their pajamas. I've actually never watched the show, but I'm a sucker for animal-themed characters and I think the main female hero, Owlette, is so cool. I was taken aback a few weeks ago when I found a new series of figures at Target. Each of the main heroes now comes repackaged with extra accessories and a figure of one of the Wolfy Kids - the werewolf-themed villains from season two. I never would have thought to pair the most obvious nighttime monsters with a trio of nocturnal heroes, but it seems so obvious and perfect. I'm glad they got the greenlight to get action figures so quickly. It made me look into all the other potential characters in the series to see what future toys we might see. The only good candidate I discovered was Flossy Flash, a (grownup) comic character that Owlette idolizes. Fingers are crossed we see her someday. Let's check out Rip the Wolfy Kid below!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Funko Bat-Family DC BOMBSHELLS!

A Variety of Bat-Family Products: Dorbz, POP, and Rock Candy - Funko 2017-18

The amount of DC Bombshells merchandise that has come out over the past year has been a little overwhelming. The majority of these products have been from Funko.  They have released tons of products from their Pop, Dorbz, and Rock Candy lines (Plus the first Vynl figures have been solicited and I'm sure Mystery Minis and Pint Size Heroes will come eventually). With all that glorious product hitting the shelves, I defaulted to my standard cost-saving methods and limited myself to only Bat-Family characters. But as you'll see in this post, that still left me with a ton of characters to collect. When the Bombshells designs first appeared five years ago I wasn't instantly sold (I have hangups over the historical objectification of pinup girls vs their cool modern reinvention). But after about three years I caved and bought my first DC Bombshells item (a Harley keychain from Elephant Gun). Well then the dam broke and I have almost 30 pieces (with more on the way). Let's check out the current roster below!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Marvel Legends - DAGGER!

Marvel Legends - Spider-Man (SP//dr BAF Wave) - Dagger - Hasbro 2018

When I started buying comics in the late 80s, there was a major trend of having male/female heroic duos starring in their own titles: Hawk & Dove, Vision & Scarlet Witch, Kitty Pryde & Wolverine, Hawkeye and various heroines in Solo Avengers, and all the odd pairings on the covers of Secret Origins. But I think the ones that caught my eye the most were Cloak and Dagger (both in their solo series and their starring role in Strange Tales). Tandy and Tyrone were teenage runaways who were abducted and given experimental drugs that gave them powers over light and dark. You might think this would glorify drugs in young impressionable minds (which it kind of did), but they balanced that out by making it their mission to wage a war on drugs. While never becoming A-list heroes, they have had a constant presence since they first appeared in 1982. Their new Netflix show is undoubtedly the reason for new Legends figures, but I know they would have gotten them eventually even without it. Let's check out Dagger below!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Marvel Mini-Bust - MYSTIQUE!

Marvel Mini-Busts - Mystique (Classic Comic Version) - Bowen Designs 2005

The recent announcement of a new classic-styled Marvel Legends Mystique in 2019 inspired me to snap from photos of this gem from 2005. I've always loved this character. Her blue skin and subtle voodoo decor honestly frightened me a bit as a kid, but back then things were a little more black and white. The heroes were good and the villains were bad. I don't think she really morphed into the standard modern antihero until Brian K Vaughn's amazing 2003 solo series. But back then she showed up in all my 25 cent bin treasures. I remember her in Avengers, Ms. Marvel, Dazzler, and even ROM. She eventually became an exclusively X-Men-oriented adversary, and I think she's actually the first serious mutant female villain (she predates Emma Frost by two years). She's had a decent amount of merchandise made, but honestly most of it wasn't super great. This bust and the 1996 ToyBiz figure are the only good ones in my opinion. That's why I'm so excited for the new Hasbro release and already celebrating!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Transformers - NOVASTAR!

Transformers: Power of the Primes - Deluxe Wave 4 - NovaStar - Hasbro 2018

NovaStar is the newest addition to the unprecedented barrage of female Transformers we've seen in the past few years. All my collecting life, Transformers was easily the least gender-diverse toy property out there. I think all the fans gleefully accepted Arcee as the token female of the show, but the lack of toys seemed to be accepted as a "never gonna happen" situation. I was in this same mindset. Transformers toys were always blocky and almost featureless representations of their cartoon counterparts. But making a robot appear specifically feminine in the cartoons seemed to be all about subtle (and not-so-subtle) detail differences. I think we all assumed the toys would miss the mark. And this was generally true. The first ones to really look good (in my opinion) were the ladies from the the Transformers: Animated line in 2008 and 2010. But now fast forward to 2018 and we've been given a true treat with perfect renditions of the original female autobots from the iconic 1985 episode: The Search for Alpha Trion.

Friday, August 31, 2018

DC Comics ViniMates - CATWOMAN!

DC Comics ViniMates - Selina Kyle Catwoman - Diamond Select Toys 2018

About an hour ago I got into a drunken conversation about who played the best Catwoman (and I swear I didn't even have to initiate this topic). The general consensus was that Michelle Pfeiffer's 1992 performance in Batman Returns was the winner. But that brought up a whole conversation about how there really hasn't been a terrible Catwoman. Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether, Michelle, and Anna Hathaway each brought their own flavor to the role. (Since Halle Berry was technically a different character I exclude her). But that makes we worried about the future Gotham City Sirens movie since one character can only have so much good luck. For a few years there, we saw a constant flow of Selina merchandise. But in the past few years it has slowed to a trickle. This DST Vinimate is a great addition to my growing collection (I now own six!) and it's especially nice since seeing Catwoman on the shelves lately has been a rare occurrence. Now we just need Poison Ivy and Huntress! Let's check out Selina below!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

DC Comics ViniMates - BATWOMAN!

DC Comics ViniMates - Kate Kane Batwoman - Diamond Select Toys 2018

This year has been absolutely wild for fans of Batwoman. It had been so long since we had seen any new Batwoman merchandise so the fact that we suddenly got a Multiverse figure, a Lego minifigure, an Imaginext figure, a Jada Toys Nano, and this Vinimate (Note to mention Bombshells stuff: Pop, Dorbz, Rock Candy, DCC Action figure, and various Cryptozoic stuff). I don't know how long it has been known that she will be a part of the DC/CW Universe, but I feel like that must have played a part in this flood of toys. I love everything about the character Batwoman. Her first incarnation was nothing more than Batman's beard as a reactionary measure to my favorite piece of literary McCarthyism, Seduction of the Innocent (and of course Bat-Girl filled the same role for Robin). So in my favorite comic-related turnabout, in 2006 DC resurrected this forgotten character as a kickass lesbian with compelling and relevant stories. She's been a consistently strong member of the Gotham nightlife ever since.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Big Hero 6 The Series - HONEY LEMON!

Big Hero 6: The Series (5" Action Figures) - Honey Lemon - Bandai 2018

Bandai has always had the ability to make me feel like a little kid again (in the best way possible) when I buy their products. I'm not talking about their high-end import toys, but rather the random cartoon properties aimed at kids and moms. There's something about their cartoony designs and bright plastic that is just fun. In the past, Power Rangers, ThunderCats, and Ben 10 have all coaxed that childlike reaction from me. And currently it's Miraculous, Zak Storm, and of course Big Hero 6. There is a new Big Hero 6 series on DisneyXD (which started in October) that I didn't even know about until I stumbled across these new toys in Target. They are a significant improvement over the 2014 movie figures with a larger scale, more articulation (with Honey Lemon at least), and more thoughtful paint apps. The only bad thing about Bandai is that there is typically an initial burst of product, then nothing but restocks. But I hope we get a second wave here because a High Voltage 2-pack would rock. Let's check out Honey Lemon below!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Marvel Gallery - ALL-NEW WOLVERINE!

Marvel Gallery PVC Statues - X-23 as Wolverine - Diamond Select Toys 2018

I'm always torn on my opinion of PVC statues. I have always been reluctant to buy larger collectibles (for display reasons) and a good deterrent has always been the price. Then a new trend of PVC/Vinyl statues began and that price factor was eliminated. The first offerings I remember were the DC Direct Ame-Comi statues. While I appreciated those designs, all my purchases suffered from poor engineering - namely unsupportive ankles. Later efforts at PVC statues had overall designs that I just wasn't thrilled with (weird poses, face sculpts, etc). This includes the Bishoujos, Femme Fatales, and various DST lines (They're all decent products of course, I'm just picky). But the one line that I can't seem to resist is Marvel Gallery. I love the character selection, I love the statuesque poses, and I love that they get some heavy-hitter sculptors on the payroll. I always love a Sam Greenwell sculpt and this Laura Kinney Wolverine is no exception. Let's check out the glorious All-New Wolverine below!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Marvel Legends - SCREAM!

Venom Legends: Wave 1 (Monster Venom BAF) - Scream - Hasbro 2018

I'm really obsessed with this new Marvel Legends Scream figure. My infatuation is likely due to the fact that I just spent weeks frantically hunting her down... and she'll now circumstantially have the rank of "Newest Marvel Legends" in my collection until sometime in 2019. But regardless of that, she is legitimately a great action figure. The yellow and maroon color scheme contrasts very interestingly with my other Spider-ladies and it's nice to get a villain in the group. With all the potential female characters that still need inclusion in the line (Julia Carpenter anyone?), Scream seemed like quite a random choice. Of course, since her first reveal, we've learned that she will be a character in the Venom movie played by Michelle Lee. Hasbro never seems to miss an opportunity to sync-up their character selections to the newest movie tie-ins. Of course having just one female symbiote won't do. I think we need an Agony, Mania, and Bride of Venom at the very least. Let's check out the Marvel Legends Scream below!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Marvel Toy Biz - SCREAM!

Marvel's Spider-Man - Venom: Planet of the Symbiotes - Scream - Toy Biz 1996

This original Scream figure from ToyBiz was honestly one of my first big disappointments as a young collector. I love how (relatively) obscure she was and I was very excited to get a toy of a female character who was never intended to be pretty. But when I actually got her I found her to be oversized and cumbersome. Don't get me wrong, I never even considered parting with her, but at the same time I disliked her so much that I've never had her displayed for more that a couple days before hiding her away again. But in celebration of the new Marvel Legends Scream, I wanted to bring her out and try to appreciate her for what she is. It turns out she's a lot more photogenic than I gave her credit for. I still have the same criticisms of her, but my initial teenage disappointment has dissipated quite a bit. Maybe I'll give her a spot on my ever-expending spider-lady shelf, back row, but still a spot. Let's check out the original Planet of the Symbiotes Scream figure below!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

DC SuperHero Girls - CHEETAH!

DC Comics Super Hero Girls - 6" Action Figure Series - Cheetah - Mattel 2018

I'm really sad about how much the DC SuperHero Girls action figure line has slowed down. After the initial release back in 2016, there have only been four new characters released: Katana in late 2016, Hawkgirl and Starfire in 2017, and finally this Cheetah in 2018 (and of course the unexpected Beast Boy). It's really been a slow trickle. There have been rumors of the brand being rebooted for over a year and then this Summer the Lauren Faust redesigned series was unveiled. I really like her designs, but I question whether they will be as toy friendly as this initial line. Some additional information came out saying that the new design and cartoon is in addition to the popular Web Series. So maybe there is hope that we might see some additional characters in this series. I feel like Catwoman, Jessica Cruz, Killer Frost, and Star Sapphire are a glaring absence. But if this Cheetah does happen to be the final character in the line, at least it's going out on a major high note. She is just a terrific figure. Let's check her out below!