Tuesday, February 27, 2018

DC Direct Green Lantern ARISIA!

Green Lantern: Blackest Night Series 03 - Green Lantern Arisia - DC Direct 2010

With the new DC Multiverse Jessica Cruz figure in my sights, I really wanted to finally review this older Green Lantern Corps member that I've had in storage forever. The Blackest Night and Green Lantern waves from DC Direct released dozens of Lantern characters in only a few short years (The Blackest Night line alone had eight waves and over 37 figures!) I wish there was a bat-family line with that kind of dedication (Hush was the biggest with 16). Over the course of the Green Lantern boom we got a lot of classic characters in plastic for the first time. Arisia was a Corps member first introduced in 1981. She is from Graxos IV where the inhabitants have golden-orange skin and elf-like ears. She's run the gamut of predictable storylines for a supporting female characters: death, resurrection, love interest for the title character, etc. I avoided this figure for a long time because I thought she looked like a scantily clad blonde meant for more titillation than substance, but she's grown on me. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Marvel Legends - GWENPOOL!

Marvel Legends - Spider-Man (Lizard BAF Wave) - Gwenpool - Hasbro 2018

Comedic characters are always a tough translation into plastic. Most companies excel at making stoic or angry faces for their figures. But the minute you try to add some whimsy or a sardonic grin, things start to get pretty wonky. Even the smirk on the recent Enchantress figures looked more creepy than mischievous. But this Marvel Legends Gwenpool figure nails it. The standard head with the big smile is great, but the alternate tongue-sticking-out head is simply fantastic. If you're unfamiliar with Gwenpool, she was originally conceived in a series of Gwen Stacy-themed variant covers as a mashup between Gwen and Deadpool. She became very popular with fanart and cosplayer communities and soon began starring in backup stories and special issues before getting her own title in 2016. She is unique because her character knows she's in a comic book.. which leads to her constantly breaking the fourth wall, cracking all kinds of comic in-jokes, and killing with gleeful abandon. It's pretty great. Let's check her out below!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Marvel Legends - SPIDER-WOMAN (Modern)!

Marvel Legends - Spider-Man (Lizard BAF Wave) - Spider-Woman - Hasbro 2018

Action figures have this funny way of making me appreciate character designs that I really don't care for on the comic page. My reaction to this costume was very interesting. Batgirl's popular Burnside costume was unveiled in December '14 and I loved the fun utilitarian look. It made sense with the non-powered Gotham characters and their gritty environment. But then five months later in April '15, Spider-Woman got a similar redeco and I was not so happy. I just don't expect characters with legit powers to don stylized street clothes over spandex. Jessica Drew's new costume also marked a big shift in the artistic style for the series. Similar to a lot of titles at the time (coincidentally like Batgirl), the new art direction was much more Indy, which is a style I love in Indy comics, but I always prefer a more traditional style with my superhero books. So overall I haven't really been impressed with this makeover, but then this Legends figure comes out and I suddenly love it. Go figure. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Funko Pop 8-Bit - BATGIRLS!

POP! 8-Bit: #02 Batgirl (Comic) & #21 Batgirl (Classic TV) B&N Exc - Funko 2018

I told myself I wasn't going to post a lot of full photo reviews for Funko Pops anymore. I find that they only get a small fraction of the page views that my other posts get and it's just easier to post a few simple pics on Instagram when I pick up the occasional Pop. However, these 8-Bit Pops are such an interesting shift in style that I felt a full series of turnaround photos would be appreciated. I've been buying the Jakks Pacific 8-Bit World of Nintendo figures for a few years so I'm already hooked on that style (FYI, Jakks showed off an 8-Bit Goomba and Bowser at Toy Fair). I think these Batgirl figures are especially cool because they look just like the original Pop Batgirls, just pixelated. It's also interesting that they are composed of solid plastic which makes them insanely heavy compared to the typical hollow vinyl figure. I'm curious to see what future characters they make in 8-Bit, but I wouldn't be surprised if these were the only two that make it into my collection. Let's check them out below!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Star Wars 6" Last Jedi - REY (ISLAND JOURNEY)!

Star Wars: The Black Series #58 - Rey (Island Journey) - Hasbro 2017

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. During NY Toy Fair week it seems that every time I sit down at my computer I end up Googling for new reveals or unauthorized photos for hours and before I know it I'm struggling to keep my eyes open. It's a frantic and obsessive few days for me and it's honestly getting worse every year. But alas, I'm back to normal now (until SDCC of course) and really itching to get back into regular posting. I picked up this new Rey figure in Target a couple weekends ago and I'm really impressed with the new face sculpt. I thought the Jedi Training Rey was really great, but in comparison it's honestly pretty weak. It should be really interesting to see if things improve even more when Episode Nine comes out. I wonder if we'll see Rey in a sleek all-black outfit like Luke wore in Return of the Jedi. I feel like her costumes have really paralleled Luke's in the original trilogy so far so it's not a crazy thought. This is the fifth 6" Black Series Rey so far, and it's definitely my favorite. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mortal Kombat X - KITANA!

Savage World (Retro 5.5" Series): Mortal Kombat X - Kitana - Funko 2018

I'm not a Mortal Kombat fan. I played it maybe three times in high school and it just wasn't my thing. That said, I've been looking forward to this figure and I am really excited by the possibilities presented by Funko's new Savage World line. The inaugural license under this brand is Mortal Kombat (and I suppose retroactively the Zorn figures were in this line as well) and they are all done in vintage 5.5" He-man style. I really just wanted to see the quality of Kitana in person and start daydreaming about future figures. My wishlist includes a lot of impossible properties like Crystar, Golden Girl, and Sectaurs. The Savage World line is one of the things I'm looking forward to most in all the Toy Fair reveals later this week. This Kitana figure is actually really nice. I only wish their first female figure was a character with an exposed face. Funko really nailed the proportions and articulation of vintage "warrior" action figures. I hope they prove popular so we can see more of what they can do. Let's check out Kitana below!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Transformers Power of the Primes - ELITA ONE!

Transformers: Power of the Primes - Voyager Class Wave 2 - Elita 1 - Hasbro 2018

I will never forget watching cartoons as an unsuspecting little kid when the Transformers episode The Search for Alpha Trion aired. I was blown away by the existence of female Autobots. I never questioned it before and just through my viewing experience I had assumed all Transformers were male. Suddenly there is a troupe of pastel robots who transform into sleek alien vehicles. I was smitten. The leader of these female Cybertronian renegades was Elita One. She was revealed to be Optimus Prime's long-lost partner and was the main character of the six new females introduced in the episode. I'm really surprised there hasn't been a real figure of her before this. I can think of two releases that shared her name, but were essentially just pink or salmon-colored redecos of existing characters. This figure actually seems to be a heavily retooled Starscream, but there are enough changes that I have no complaints. Now I'm excited to see Novastar at Toy Fair in a few days! Let's check out Elita 1 below!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Playmobil Ghostbusters - DANA BARRETT!

Ghostbusters Playmobil - Peter Venkman & Dana Barrett (9223) - Playmobil 2017

Playmobil is very nostalgic for me. But the funny thing is that I sometimes forget that I used to be so obsessed with them. At some point in my high school years a discovered a small Mom and Pop boutique in my hometown that had a small Playmobil display in the back. I remember my initial purchase of a glow-in-the-dark ghost, quickly followed by a mer-man, then a multi-kid, then a set with a unicorn. It was a slippery slope and for a few years it was my secret obsession. I gave my collection away to nieces and nephews and honestly forgot all about it. But every few years I pick up a new figure and it all comes racing back. When I saw this Ghostbusters set in Toys R Us back in December I knew without a doubt I had to buy it. I didn't even realize that Playmobil made licensed characters - only to find a retro halloweeny lady in the form of Sigourney Weaver's Dana Barrett. Plus she comes in a set with the two terror dogs (which I love) and Peter Venkman. It's a great set. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Marvel Limited Articulation BLACK WIDOW!

Marvel (Avengers) - Black Widow (Limited Articulation Figure) - Hasbro 2018

Hasbro has really been impressing me with their non-collector lines. The Titans Series and the animated-style basic figures have been great. I've been waiting forever for them to include a female figure in their limited-articulation Marvel line, and it finally happened. I figured the inaugural heroine would be either Gamora or Black Widow, and I was right, Black Widow started popping up on eBay and Instagram in January. These limited articulation figures are found at places like Dollar General, Family Dollar, Walgreens, Big Lots, and the checkout lines at Wal-Mart. They look similar to the main collector lines, but they are slightly smaller and they only have three points of articulation (Neck and Shoulders). Black Widow has been elusive. She is shown on the packaging in the Wal-Mart assortments, but she doesn't actually appear to be included. I drove myself nuts hunting for a week, before resorting to eBay. Black Widow looks amazing. The sculpt is really terrific and she will make a great addition to any collection.

Monday, February 5, 2018

MiniForce Rangers - LUCY THE FOX!

MiniForce - Miniforce Rangers - Mystical Magic Lucy - Sonokong Toys 2015

MiniForce is a Korean animated show starring four cute chibi-type animal heroes - Volt the Squirrel (Blue), Max the Beaver (Yellow), Lucy the Fox (Pink), and Sammy the Owl (Red). When they jump into action, there is a transformation sequence when they become human-like Rangers. When their Ranger skills aren't enough, their weapons can transform into Force Weapons. When that's not enough, they dispatch their Force Cars which race to the rescue. When the cars aren't enough, each car transforms into a Force Bot (in whose heads the Rangers are tiny pilots). When the robot fighting skills aren't enough, they can unleash these unique powered up weapons - Force Flash, Force Jet, Force Ring, etc - often requiring a combination of effort. Speaking of combinations, the Force Bots pair off to combine into Sammy-Lucy-Tron and Volt-Max-Tron. And predictably, these two can combine into the ultimate Force Giantron. It's a nesting doll of Eastern genres in an 11-minute preschool show and it's amazing.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

WWE Superstars - BAYLEY!

WWE Superstars Ultimate Fan Pack (Series 01) - Bayley - Mattel 2017

I really like these WWE Superstars action figures from Mattel. I was getting worn out on the standard series figures and their constantly re-releasing of characters and molds. In all honesty, I'll probably feel the same way about this girl-centric Superstars line eventually, but for now it's new and fun. I bought all the basic series figures as soon as they came out in August. But the Ultimate Fan Pack figures were twice the price and essentially contained plastic jewelry for the extra money. That's why I refrained on picking up this Bayley until recently when she was repackaged in a cheaper $15 offering. I'm glad I finally got her because she definitely has the most personality of the Series 01 figures. Having just opened her, I am suddenly very excited for Series 02 - which some websites are claiming will be available mid-February! I have included solicit pics of all the upcoming figures below. I love all the girl action figure lines filling the toy aisles lately, so hopefully this WWE contribution stays strong. Let's check out Bayley below!