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!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Big Hero 6 The Series - GO GO TOMAGO!

Big Hero 6: The Series (5" Action Figures) - Go Go Tomago - Bandai 2018

You know I was just reading over my reviews for the Big Hero 6 toys from the 2014 movie and I'm embarrassed to say I still haven't seen it, despite my excitement at the time. So today I checked all my streaming services (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGo - I'm kinda spoiled) but it's not available anywhere. So I'll have to go off what I know from the comics and have read online. In the comics, Go Go Tomago is an imprisoned gang member who is given a second chance at freedom by helping test a new exosuit (which enables her to turn into a ball of energy and move at hyper-fast speeds). In the Disney version, she is a high school tech-geek who develops her own suit featuring electromagnetic disks. Despite not having see the movie or the animated series, I just know Go Go will be my favorite character. I didn't even know the television series existed (it started October 2017) until I stumbled across these new toys in Target. They are significantly larger than the movie toys. Let's check out Go Go Tomago below!

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Outer Space Men - ASTRODITE!

Outer Space Men - Astrodite: The Woman from Venus - OSM/Onell Design 2018

There's nothing I love more than a good homage action figure. As much as I love wholly modern toys, I've lived just long enough to (almost) fully witness the genesis and evolution of action figures. So when a newer product hearkens back to the early days of the toy industry, I get that great sense of the hobby coming full circle. The original Outer Space Men were colorful bendy figures from the 1960s that pre-dated plastic articulated action figures by several years, but they had such a unique aesthetic with their colorful quirkiness and bizarre designs that they were just begging to be reborn into a modern toyline. This finally happened in 2010 when Mel Birnkrant, Four Horsemen Studios, and Onell Designs joined forces to create a line of 3.75" articulated (glyos) action figures based on the original designs. Unfortunately for us collectors of female characters, it was an all-male roster. But Mel had plans for several Outer Space Ladies and by 2012 we had three original female characters (with several more in the works).

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Marvel Legends Thor Dark World - SIF!

Marvel Legends - Marvel Studios the First Ten Years - Thor & Sif - Hasbro 2018

Hasbro has really made a lot of fans happy with their new Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years line. Similar to the DC Multiverse Signature line, Hasbro is making figures from the earliest MCU movies. This is giving collectors a lot of the characters that have been sorely missing from their collections for years. My favorite inclusion in this line is undoubtedly Jaimie Alexander as Sif. This character is special because she is one of the elite few who has appeared in both film and television. We know the universes overlap, but we rarely actually see it. I was upset that she didn't appear in Thor: Ragnarok but later interviews have indicated it was a scheduling conflict and not a case of a character being brushed under the rug. I really hope we see her again. And if not, I hope she at least gets absorbed into the Wonder Woman cinematic universe. She just has a great warrior vibe. This figure has a phenomenal face scan and armor details. My only gripe is her small scale (pics down at the bottom). Let's check out Sif below!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Funko Rock Candy - EVIL-LYN!

Rock Candy - Masters of the Universe - Evil-Lyn (Specialty Series) - Funko 2018

I never would have predicted that in 2018 we would be getting a deluge of Evil-Lyn product. As one of the most iconic bad girls of the 80s, we know she will always be around in one form or another. But I am still surprised that in the past eight months my Evil-Lyn collection has doubled. Funko gave us three pretty awesome figures since December and I picked up the Super7 ReAction figure at FYE just yesterday. Something I'm really impressed by is how amazing the Funko Pop and Rock Candy look. The Rock Candy is easily the best looking sculpt in the line. And I'm 90% confident that the Pop is one of the best as well... and that's saying a lot. The Funko Specialty Series is only available to small retailers. I see them at comic shops and mom & pop toy stores. This Evil-Lyn is the first Rock Candy included in the Specialty Series, but I hope she's not the last. My life will be incomplete until I get a Jem and Cheetara (Not to mention Teela and Sorceress which you know are coming).. Let's check out Evil-Lyn below!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Marvel Legends - TYPHOID MARY!

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

Of all the recent Marvel Legends releases, I can honestly say that Typhoid Mary was easily the one I was least excited about. When I was a young comic book reader in the 1980s there was a certain aesthetic for bad girls that was hard for me to get on board with. While my narrow-minded juvenile mind wasn't exactly demanding that my villainesses be vixenish bombshells like they tend to be today, I still had trouble with outlandishly punkrock characters with fishnets, facepaint, and scribbled hair. It was actually a common aesthetic at the time. Off the top of my head I can think of Batman's Magpie and Mime, Zarana in the GIJoe comics, Callisto in X-Men, and of course Typhoid Mary in Daredevil. As an adult I look back and see how these characters were a product of the time and truly appreciate them - impractical shoulderpads and all. But that growth to acceptance was a slow process. But thankfully she got this wicked makeover in the 2013 X-Men series, not that she needed it. Let's check her out!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Batman Missions 12" True Moves BATGIRL!

Batman Missions: True Moves 12" - Basic Series 01 - Batgirl - Mattel 2018

Ever since I started buying 12" action figures a few years ago I have been wishing for a Batgirl to add to my collection. I'm loving that her Burnside incarnation has made her a more popular character for the general public. I'm frankly surprised her role in the Batman Animated Universe didn't have the same effect, but I'm glad it happened eventually. Just walking around Target recently I saw Batgirl keychains, backpacks, t-shirts, water bottles, etc. There's a certain level of public awareness for a character before they get that kind of treatment, especially if they haven't been in a movie or live-action show in over 20 years. Sure, Batgirl has almost always had a presence in the action figure aisles, but until recently it was solely aimed at collectors. And as much as I love the fancy collector lines, I also want figures like this - with bright colors, minimal paint apps, and cheap price tags. There's also a 6" Batgirl coming (although I suspect she has a jetpack instead of a cape). Let's check out the 12" Batgirl below!