Monday, April 30, 2018

Halo 12 Inch CORTANA!

Halo 12" Action Figures - Series 03 - Cortana (AI Construct) - Mattel 2018

I think Cortana is one of the most iconic video game females out there. Only Princess Peach and Lara Croft come to mind as more recognizable than this beautiful blue AI construct. Cortana appeared in the first Halo game (Halo: Combat Evolved) from 2001 and has had a significant role in every game in the franchise since. What I especially love about the specific design on this figure (from Halo 5) is that she is wearing a real outfit. Cortana has always been blue and always had a graphic pattern of geometric lines on her. But most of the time it looked like body paint on a naked body. In comparison to bulky armor of all the playable (mostly male) characters, this contrast always seemed silly to me. Especially since she's essentially a holographic narrator. But this figure looks like a living computer while also fitting in to the aesthetic of the game. I was really excited to see her included in this line. Hopefully she'll get a figure in the 6" line as well. Let's check out this 12" Cortana in detail below!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Bendy and the Ink Machine - ALICE ANGEL!

Bendy and the Ink Machine - Series 01 - Alice Angel - PhatMojo 2018

I'm loving the new video game trend of incorporating classic animation styles. Both Cuphead and Bendy and the Ink Machine are making a huge impact on the gaming world. And although I don't play video games myself, I'm kind of obsessed with them. Both games pay heavy homage to "rubber hose" style animation by greats like Max Fleischer and Tex Avery. What I especially love about Bendy and the Ink Machine is that it plays off the inherent creepiness of this early animation (at least I always thought it was creepy). In Bendy, you play a retired animator who is answering a mysterious call to return to his old animation studio - only to find that it is haunted and the old characters have come to life. Alice Angel is one of these newly-manifested characters. They each appear to have two forms, the original animated 2-D innocent style, as well as a second monstrous 3-D form where they usually look more realistic, but have deformities and are murderously insane. In Alice's case, half her face is melted and her halo is broken.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Marvel Legends - STINGER!

Marvel Legends Astonishing Ant-Man 2-Pack - TRU Exclusive - Hasbro 2018

Toys R Us has given us some amazing Marvel Legends exclusives over the years. Just in the past twelve months, we've got Mary Jane Watson, Dark Phoenix, five great figures in the A-Force box set, and the recent Shuri as Black Panther. I especially love them because the majority of the figures are characters we would never see in a big box store. The final two ladies, a Scarlet Witch redeco and this Stinger figure, are keeping up the high standard, but it's kind of a solemn affair knowing these are likely the last of their kind. When the description of this set was leaked several months ago, the description was "Scott Lang and Cassie Lang" and I think the collective nerd conscious instantly got excited for a Stature to add to our mix-matched Young Avengers lineups. Clearly, we were all mistaken, but I am super happy with her Stinger incarnation as a consolation. In the late 90s, the alternate universe of MC2 was created and featured the children of various heroes and villains all grown up and donning costumes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pirates of the Caribbean - CARINA & SILENT MARY!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - MiniFigures - SpinMaster 2017

I haven't seen a Pirates of the Caribbean movie since the original way back in 2003. I enjoyed it immensely, but whenever a sequel came out, I was just completely uninterested. The only one that really tempted me was On Stranger Tides because of my obsession with mermaids, but I never actually made any effort (besides drooling over the Legos). Most of the toys never really appealed to me either. They changed companies a lot over the years (NECA, Disney, Zizzle, and Jakks Pacific, etc), but I managed not to pick up a single item until these little Imaginext-like figures showed up for the Dead Men Tell No Tales movie. I'm a sucker for preschool-style action figures, especially when they're themed after more grown-up properties like movies and comics. The main female in the line was Carina, the headstrong altruistic astronomer. But the second female is actually the masthead from the haunted Silent Mary ghost ship. I haven't seen the movie, but I really hope she comes alive. Let's check them out below!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pacific Rim Uprising - SABER ATHENA!

Pacific Rim Uprising Select - Saber Athena - Diamond Select Toys 2018

This review is an interesting one. The Jaeger mechs in Pacific Rim are really non-sentient vehicles for the soldiers fighting the Kaiju. By definition, these Jaegers are genderless machines, but between the feminine sleek form and the name of "Sabre Athena", it's pretty much assumed that this is a female mech. I haven't seen the film yet so I don't know anything beyond what I've seen in the previews and what I've read on this packaging, but I'm excited to see this second film to see what she can do. Another thing I really like about this figure is the color. It seems silly but having a giant robot be an orangey-red color is a very weird and appealing to me. Considering the designs of the Pacific Rim Kaijus so far, I highly doubt we'll ever see humanoid female monster, but if there ever was I would buy that in a heartbeat. But until then, I'm glad to have some representation of this franchise in my collection with this Jaeger. Let's check out Saber Athena below!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Marvel Legends - X-23 (X-Force)!

Marvel Legends - Deadpool Wave (Sasquatch BaF) - X-23 - Hasbro 2018

I'll admit I've never been a big fan of the Uncanny X-Force comic. I always thought of X-Force as a colorful and fun team of second-string mutants. The roster changed a lot throughout the years and for the most part I enjoyed all the iterations. But when Uncanny X-Force rolled out with gritty plotlines, dark costumes, and major characters like Wolverine, Angel, Deadpool, and Psylocke, it just seemed off. I'm obviously a minority in this opinion because everyone I know loves it and it's been around for 10 years now. But one thing I definitely loved was that it propelled X-23 into the mainstream. Laura Kinney was a young runaway in the pages of NYX who turned out to be a clone of Logan. I thought she was cool, but I never expected her to become as popular as she has. I especially loved her run as the All-New Wolverine (and I really hope we get a Legends figure of her!) But in the meantime we get this awesome X-Force version which looks great (whether I liked the comics or not). Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Early 2018 Collection of MARVEL MINI-MATES!

Marvel Mini-Mates Series 74, Walgreens Wave 8, & Movie Exclusives - DST 2018

I could rant on forever about my love of Mini-Mates. If you can embrace the Lego-like blocky style, you will find this line to be the most collector-focused and thorough series out there. The obscure character selection and team-building rosters are like nothing I have ever dared wish for. I look forward to every interesting release and I can't wait to see what else the future brings. I have waxed poetic about Minimates over and over again, so I am just going to put my wishlist in writing. As far as spider-ladies, I would love Mania, Lady Spider, Scream, Madame Web, Madam Web (Hostess), Animated Anya Corazon, and Agony. Outside of the Spider-Verse, I would love Namora, Namorita, Jocasta, Skids (and Rusty), Hellcat, Sharon Rogers, Red She-Hulk, America, American Dream, modern comic Sif, Binary, Hebzibah, and a new Firestar. Whew. Now let's see how many of these come to fruition in the next few years. Most are a longshot, but so was Madame Masque, so there's hope. Let's check out the newest batch below!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Loyal Subjects - CHEETARA!

Thundercats Series 01 - Blind Box Action Vinyls - Cheetara - Loyal Subjects 2017

I'm always a sucker for anything Cheetara. There's something about cat-themed characters that has always appealed to me. Catwoman was the first one that caught my attention. But Cheetara was the first felinoid with actual cat characteristics. The theme is huge in comics and cartoons. Something about felines and females complement each other and make for intriguing other-worldly characters, and I think the sheer amount of female felinoids in the toy world proves that is a recipe that works. But with all the popularity of this character type, I think Cheetara will be always be my OG Cat-Girl. I can't see a piece of Cheetara merchandise without purchasing it. Luckily all the items I've picked up looked really good. Most of these Loyal Subjects females have questionable aesthetics to me. It's mostly the eyes that look more like Bratz dolls than their intended characters, but this Cheetara has an updated look that I think is terrific. Now my fingers are crossed for a Pumyra in the future. Let's check out Cheetara below!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bucky O-Hare - JENNY!

Bucky O-Hare - Series 01 - (First Mate) Jenny - Boss Fight Studios 2017

In the late 1980s I fell victim to a typo in one of my comic book price guides. I was an avid fan of Arthur Adams and used to hunt down all his work. One of the more obscure publications I tracked down (I was in elementary school mind you) was Echo of Futurepast #1. I was excited to get this issue, but was ultimately disappointed to find Art Adams had nothing at all to do with the comic (The names Arthur Suydam and Neal Adams had been combined in my price guide). But it wasn't all a loss, because the first story in this anthology was Bucky O'Hare by Larry Hama and Michael Golden. I quickly grew to love this green rabbit and his anthropomorphic crew. The art reminded me of Mike Mignola's Rocket Raccoon (which was my favorite comic) blended with Commander Toad (which was my favorite series of kids books I had outgrown years earlier). And I must not have been the only one, because 7 years after that premiere short story, there were solo comics, two video games, an animated series, and a toy line.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Kotobukiya ArtFx Plus - POISON IVY!

ArtFx Plus 1:10 Pre-Painted Statue - DC Comics Poison Ivy - Kotobukiya 2018

I'm really loving the new line of ArtFx+ statues from Kotobukiya. The face sculpts are beautiful and classic (sculpted by Keita Misonou). The older ArtFx+ statues from back in 2013-14 had great sculpts all around (sculpted by Atelier Bamboo/Goutaro Takeuchi) but the faces were much more stylized. I was a little bothered when the Harley Quinn statue was shown a few years ago with the new face style, thinking that it wouldn't look right with my existing Catwoman and Batgirl. But before I knew it they announced a new Catwoman as well as this spectacular Poison Ivy. I must say that this statue is one of my favorite pieces of Ivy merchandise I own. It has a real classic look. She looks seductive and wicked without resorting to skimpy clothing and ridiculous cleavage. To me, Ivy has always been one of those characters who oozes sex appeal, but doesn't need to beat you over the head with it. I think she's best when her personality tells the story, so I love this slightly modern take on her original costume. Let's check her out!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

DC Multiverse - BATWOMAN!

DC Multiverse - Clayface Collect & Connect: Batwoman - Mattel 2018

Batwoman is one my favorite Bat-Family characters out there. As fond as I am of Batgirl, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Huntress, etc, I have to admit that I haven't truly enjoyed reading any of their comics in a long time. I always give it a shot, but the storylines and character development just never grab me anymore. The two semi-recent exceptions are Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, and Batwoman. Batwoman's backstory is brilliant, her motivations are relevant, her personal life is actually interesting, her look is bold, and her fighting skills are amazing. I was so excited to see this figure revealed last year. It's been way too long since there has been some comic-styled Batwoman merchandise. But then the floodgates opened and suddenly we have an Imaginext, Vinimate, and Jada Nano figure coming this year as well. (And that not even mentioning the awesome Spoiler and Catwoman Multiverse figures down the road). I want a Bat-Lady in every wave! Let's check out Batwoman below!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Pinmates - An Assortment of Marvel and DC Characters - Bif Bang Pow! 2017

I'm kind of obsessed with these Pin-Mate figures from Bif Bang Pow! Throughout my childhood my home was littered with Fisher-Price Little People. My siblings and I had a ton. We had really old wooden ones and more modern plastic ones. But they were all in the simple peg-style of the time (not like the chubby vinyl things the line has morphed into now). And when we wanted to add more characters to our playsets, we would decorate one-piece wooden clothespins with markers and crayons to add to our ranks. When I first saw these PinMates, I half loved them and half hated them. But after I picked up a few and they continued to roll out cool characters, I'm definitely a fan. I have a handful of Bat-Ladies and Spider-Ladies, and now I want more. I've skipped a few cool movie-based characters (like Gamora, Nebula, Mantis, Hela, and Suicide Squad Harley Quinn) because I dig the retro and comic styles a lot more. But now I want Silk, Anya Corazon, Huntress, Poison Ivy, and a ton of others. Let's check them out below!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Arkham Asylum ViniMates - HARLEY QUINN!

Batman Arkham Asylum ViniMates - Harley Quinn - Diamond Select Toys 2018

I'm still kind of on the fence about ViniMates from Diamond Select Toys. I'm a longtime fan of MiniMates. They have earned a unique place in the collectible market by offering a consistent product for sixteen wonderful years. As far as team completion and obscure characters, their track record is unparalleled. So when DST unveiled this new, pre-posed vinyl line in a slightly larger scale, I was intrigued. Of course, as an action figure enthusiast, I will always prefer articulation, but with the promise of getting DC characters in MiniMate style I knew I was definitely going to pick up a few. The first comic style Harley was great, but I'll admit I am not the biggest fan of this second one. A big part of it is because it's my least favorite Harley Quinn design ever, but another reason is that for a line that touts dynamics poses, she is locked in a pretty boring position. SO why did I buy her? Because there are some awesome new characters on the horizon and I'm excited to be a completist for a while. Let's check her out below!