Monday, July 22, 2019

Halo - KELLY-087!

Halo Universe Series: Wave 1 - Kelly-087 (Crawler Snipe BaF) - Mattel 2017

I find it kind of amusing that McFarlane Toys stole Mattel's long-standing and lucrative DC Comics license this year when just a few years ago the reverse situation happened when Mattel nabbed the (rather iconic) Halo license from McFarlane. The Mattel Halo line started out with a lot of promise, but the momentum was squandered by poor distribution, and almost a complete lack of publicity. I'm pretty sure I've only seen these for sale at Toys R Us, K-Mart, Walgreens, and discount stores like Ross and Marshalls. Even the character lineups for different waves is really confusing to sort out (although I made a recent discovery that makes it all a lot more logical - I'll detail that in my next post (for Holly Tanaka)). I'm also having trouble finding out if Mattel even still has the Halo license. There hasn't been news of new product in a long time. And some of the announced figures appear to never have had a wide release (the Skeletor homage and several of the 12" figures in particular). Let's check out Kelly-087 below!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Ladies of TOP WING!

Nick Jr's Top Wing - Penny, Betty, and Shirley Squirrely - Hasbro/Playskool 2019

I have a real fondness for modern preschool toys. I don't normally get over-sentimental about these cute blobs of plastic, but when I walk down those toy aisles, I can't help but imagine my younger self seeing these selections and going wild. I may be exaggerating, but I feel like kid toys in the 80s were inundated by trucks, farm animals, and plushies. So seeing adorable articulated anthropomorphic action figures hanging on the pegs stirs up all kinds of (hypothetical) nostalgia. My current obsession is the Nick Jr property, Top Wing, which features a paradoxical group of bird pilots. I first noticed the puffin and penguin characters and I excitedly thought they would all be flightless birds ironically flying planes, but the Blue Jay throws that fun theme askew unfortunately. The character designs remind me of a throwback to 80's staples like Shirt-tales and the Getalong Gang, too. I especially got hooked when I started seeing non-bird characters like Betty Bat and Shirley Squirrely. Love some animal diversity! Let's check them out.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Character Spotlight on BIG BARDA!

A Small Collection of the Grand Dame of the Female Furies: Big Barda 2007-19

I wasn't always a fan of Big Barda. In my less-enlightened youth I thought all superheroines had to fit a cookie-cutter body type and wear a nondescript spandex costumes to be worthy of my attention. But as an adult I realize that this large woman in a glaringly bold costume is all-around awesome (and a terrific example of non-conformity). And to add to my infatuation, I just learned Big Barda's look was inspired by Lainie Kazan (who I will always adore as the mom from My Big Fat Greek Wedding). I also appreciate her classic Jack Kirby geometric designs and her bold primary colors (all the primary colors to be exact.. I love it!) She is also currently starring in the comic Female Furies, which is her first (sort of) lead role in her 48 years, so the timing of this Character Spotlight seems pretty appropriate. Her merchandise makes for a fun-looking collection, like an exploded box of crayons. It's been a few years since I've done one of these posts, but it's really fun and I'm already brainstorming my next one. Let's check out the Bardas!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Marvel Gallery - SQUIRREL GIRL!

Marvel Gallery PVC Diorama - Squirrel Girl - Diamond Select Toys 2019

I love it when a wacky character becomes legitimately popular. A character whose name, power, and team affiliation (The Great Lakes Avengers) are all clearly intended to be tongue-in-cheek typically wouldn't have much staying power, but when they do, they tend to be pretty great all-around. Harley Quinn and Gwenpool were both similarly meant to be one-and-done pun-based characters who have persevered and established themselves and standalone characters. And now the quirky Doreen Green is joining those ranks. Squirrel Girl may have been introduced more than 28 years ago, but only in the last 10 has her popularity skyrocketed. She has had two solo comic series (the current one is up to issue #46), appearances in numerous animated shows (and a movie), many videogames, and her merchandise is starting to trickle out. We have yet to see a true action figure, but stuff like this gorgeous Marvel Gallery PVC Statue is more than enough to tide me over while I wait for the inevitable Legends figure.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Kotobukiya ArtFx Plus - CATWOMAN!

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

If I ever upped my game and seriously started collecting much beyond action figures, I can guarantee I would become obsessed with the ArtFx+ line from Kotobukiya. They have a level of quality and a not-too-unreasonable price points that really captures my fancy. Plus the 1:10 scale can really blend well with most action figure collections. I haven't taken the plunge with the X-Men Animated statues yet, but every time I see them in a store I am super tempted. When I bought the first Catwoman ArtFx+ back in 2013, I immediately began wishing to complete the Gotham City Sirens. The villainous trio of Catwoman, Poison ivy, and Harley Quinn always captured my imagination like few other team-ups could. But the only other interesting figure in that first wave was Batgirl. Eventually there was a gorgeous Harley Quinn followed by Ivy, but they were in a different (better) style and I was upset my long-awaited trio wouldn't match. But alas, there was a new version on the horizon. Let's check out Catwoman v2 below!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Marvel Legends - SCARLET WITCH!

X-Men Legends - Family Matters 3-Pack - Amazon Exclusive - Hasbro 2019

I wasn't sure that I was going to like this updated Scarlet Witch figure. In the solicit images, it looked like her headsculpt was very different from existing Marvel Legends. It looks good, but almost as if they have a new sculpting team or maybe they're doing face scans of live (non-celebrity) models. If you compare her other comic-based Legends in the past five years, she just looks different. Also, her outfit looked metallic - which is a toy trend I really don't care for. But in actuality her outfit is a pearlescent plastic (like Moonstone) and her head looks so good that I don't care if she doesn't blend in. In fact, this figure reminds me so much of my favorite Wanda storylines from Young Avengers that it's reinvigorating my desire for updated figures from that team. Also, the fact that we got an updated figure within 4 years gives me hope that we might also get a redo of her sister Polaris (which I never thought was quite right). I'm not holding my breath, but I have a glimmer of hope now. Let's check out the new Wanda below!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Star Wars Black Series - DOCTOR APHRA!

Star Wars 6 " Black Series #87 (Comic Universe) - Doctor Aphra - Hasbro 2019

Before I bought this figure and researched her, I knew next to nothing about the character Doctor Aphra. A few years ago I noticed her featured on one of those "action figure variant covers" that Marvel loves to publish and I thought she looked like an interesting character. But upon reading her backstory tonight, I'm now super intrigued. Doctor Aphra was first introduced in the pages of Star Wars: Darth Vader from Marvel Comics in 2015. She was an archaelogist who originally worked for Vader, but eventually ended up running from him. She is an expert in droid and weapons technology and is notable for having the first solo spinoff title featuring a character original to the comics. She has swagger like Han Solo, charisma like Lando Calrissian, she makes a lot of poor decisions, she's essentially a villain (although not as bad as others), and she is the first gay character I can think of in the Star Wars universe. I'm now super excited to read her solo series. Let's check out Doctor Aphra below!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Marvel Legends - SHURI!

Marvel Legends - Black Panther (Hulk Build-a-Figure) - Shuri - Hasbro 2019

We know there is definitely going to be a second Black Panther movie and I'm really anticipating good things from it. The first movie wasn't my favorite. I wanted to see more of Wakanda, I wanted more Dora Milaje, and I wanted a whole lot less Erik Killmonger (Something about that character annoyed me *almost* as much as Lex Luthor in BvS). I think the second movie will embrace and expand upon my favorite elements and make for a better movie (IMHO). I'm also hoping we'll see an MCU Storm introduced. But one element I know we will see more of is Shuri. I never knew much about her other than her brief comic stint in the Black Panther mantle. But the recent movies have made me appreciate her on a whole new level. I personally work in the technology industry and the lack of females in STEM fields is a big problem. Role models like Shuri do a lot to encourage young girls to enter STEM careers. And aside from that, she is cool, competent, and confident - everything you want in a hero. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Transformers Siege - GREENLIGHT!

Transformers - War for Cybertron: Siege - Greenlight & Dazzlestrike - Hasbro 2019

For those not in the know, there was an iconic episode from the 2nd season of Transformers in 1985 called The Search for Alpha Trion that introduced female Autobots. As a young kid (in 2nd grade!), I was obsessed with this episode. And even the instant mythology of these characters thrilled me (apparently female autobots were thought to be extinct). We were introduced to Elita One, Moonracer, Chromia, Firestar, and two unnamed silent characters who we now know as Lancer and Greenlight. These ladies pre-date Arcee by almost a year. I have trouble putting into words how excited I am that we are getting toys of these obscure characters (that are inexplicably branded into my psyche). Seriously though, they appeared in a single 23-minute episode 34 years ago and only had a few seconds of screentime each. I never ever ever expected to add these to my collection. Someone at TakaraTomy is looking out for me. I can't wait for the inevitable Lancer to fill out the ranks! Let's check out Greenlight below!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Stranger Things - ELEVEN (MALL VERSION)!

Stranger Things Wave 4 - Eleven (Season Three) - McFarlane Toys 2019

I'm excited to dive into the 3rd season of Stranger Things today. I love that mix of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg aesthetics steeped in nostalgic 80's culture. I'm already anticipating the chills I get when the title screen fills up my TV (PS as a kid, I was obsessed with a book of my Dad's called Stranger Than Science by Frank Edwards. I swear the Duffer Bros must've had this book and been inspired by the logo). I've bought all the Eleven figures in the McFarlane Toys line so far, and I'll probably continue to do so, but this Season 3 version suffers from some pretty underwhelming paint applications. This happens occasionally (The Walking Dead Carol comes to mind), but it's still disappointing. The biggest issue is her eyes. They don't appear to have any lashes and the irises seem small and light (a big contrast to Millie's dark expressive eyes). I tried to darken her features a little and it helped, but I'm sure I'll try to touch her up even more once I start watching and get inspired. Let's check out Eleven below!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Marvel Legends - SPIDER-WOMAN (JULIA!)

Spider-Man Legends - Molten Man BaF Wave - Spider-Woman - Hasbro 2019

This Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman figure is one of my most-wished-for Marvel Legends. I've honestly never even read a Julia story that I enjoyed. Her real prominence was in the 1990s, and I always find that decade to be defined by dubious storytelling and art (at least where superheroes were concerned). But to me she will always be a super iconic Marvel heroine. Her costume is so cool that it even inspired Spider-Man's black suit. Marvel Legends has given us an insane amount of Spiders in the last five years, and Julia was glaringly absent (especially considering she's the second most noteworthy Spider-Lady). But the wait was worth it because this figure is perfection. She's a perfect blend of classic and modern (well, her hair is modern... thankfully). Now I need to re-assess my Spider-Man Legends wishlist... Mania, Agony, Lady Spider, Mattie Franklin, etc. I would love them all. But all the super important ones are now in my collection and i'm extremely happy about that. Let's check out Julia Carpenter below!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Marvel Legends - RESCUE!

Marvel Legends - Avengers Endgame (Hulk Build-a-Figure) - Rescue - Hasbro 2019

This Rescue Marvel Legends figure is a long time coming. Back in 2013, there was a third wave of Legends figures tied to the film Iron Man 3. It's pretty rare for a third wave of movie figures, so I wasn't totally surprised when the wave never hit the shelves. But the Pepper Potts Rescue figure that was supposed to be included was a major loss. But in 2016 we were given a fun bonus in a limited release of the figure as a Marvel Unlimited subscription exclusive. Unfortunately she didn't come with her alternate unmasked head (from the 2013 solicit), and the subscription to get her cost $100. So actually purchasing her proved difficult for the majority of collectors. But then earlier this year, Rescue finally made her MCU debut and I knew we'd be getting some awesome merchandise. It's also pretty impressive to get a Marvel Legends figure that has 100% new tooling. I've become so accustomed to seeing the same bucks over and over again that this was a welcome surprise. Let's check out Rescue below!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Beast Morphers - 12" YELLOW RANGER!

Power Rangers Beast Morphers - 12" Action Figure - Yellow Ranger - Hasbro 2019

I was nervous when word hit that Hasbro had usurped the Power Rangers license from Bandai. I don't doubt Hasbro's ability to create quality product, but I had become accustomed to the various figure lines Bandai would roll out with each new Power Rangers team. And we had only just started getting 12" figures with Dino Charge so I was afraid the torch wouldn't be carried. But sure enough, Hasbro knows the marketability of this scale with the success of their Marvel Titan Hero Series and we saw 12" Ranger and villain figures right away. My big hope now is that they show a little more commitment to the female characters than Bandai did. There aren't many marketable characters in Beast Morphers, so it will be an interesting test to see if they produce the second female, Cybervillain Roxy. So far she seems like the only one missing. Despite my feelings about the designs of the Beast Morphers Rangers (I think they look boring), I am really happy to have this 12" Yellow Ranger. I think it's a good sign of things to come.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Savage World - CHUN-LI (and VARIANT)!

Savage World - Street Fighter - Chun-Li (and Chase Variant) - Funko 2019

I'm on board for any Savage World figure Funko is willing to create. This surprises me because the "He-Man" style action figures aren't even that nostalgic for me. I never had any of the three vintage females originally produced in this barbarian style. In fact, I didn't even realized the Teela and Evil-Lyn figures existed until I was an adult. They were scarce in stores and none of my friends had them. (Sorceress, however, was actually a shelfwarmer in this random feed store my family frequented). But something about this line still has me really excited.  I think Savage World is a natural pairing with Super7's MOTU Vintage line and those figures (specifically She-Ra) won me over big time. Now I'm thrilled to see various other iconic properties get the vintage treatment. I have a wishlist a mile long, but I'm waiting for Funko to solve their QC issues and release their backlog (Cheetara!). But these Street Fighter figures don't seem to have any breakage issues, so we might be luck. Let's check out Chun-Li below!

Monday, June 24, 2019

DC Essentials - SUPERGIRL!

DC Essentials - Action Figure #16 - Supergirl - DC Collectibles 2019

I'm a relative newcomer to Supergirl fandom. When I really started diving deep into my superheroine idolatry, Supergirl was Linda Danvers. She wore a bare-midriff tshirt, white gloves, combat boots, a hairband, and an amost nonexistant skirt that looked like a glorifed belt. I wasn't a fan of the look, it was a weird blend of utilitarian and tarty. But I also felt that her personality was inconsistent. I made several honest attempts, but the character never stuck. The reboot of Supergirl in the New52 was the first time I fell in love with the Maid of Might. Then the TV show version captured me too and I realized I was likely a fan for life. When I first saw this DC Essentials figure is person I thought she looked odd. I thought her head was too narrow and her face looked too stern. But once I took her out of the package and started posing her all my hesitations went out the window. She's truly terrific. This whole line is filling me with joy. DC characters have been in desperate need of this. Let's check out Supergirl below!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

DC Essentials - CHEETAH!

DC Essentials - Action Figure #15 - The Cheetah - DC Collectibles 2019

Cheetah is a character that has always intrigued me. I loved the classic Priscilla Rich version, but I'm most fascinated by the felinoid Barbara Ann Minerva version. There are a lot of similar characters in pop culture (like Marvel's Tigra and ThunderCats' Cheetara), but Cheetah just seems more dangerous and feral than the others. The unfortunate thing is that there really hasn't been a great action figure of her before now. And boy did this figure make up for her lackluster merchandising history. I can't get over how gorgeous this figure is. Everything from the subtle color gradients, to the great spot details, to the overall sculpt and articulation is perfection. I wasn't surprised to see Sam Greenwell's name on the sculpting credit, he has a knack for creating stunning female figures. I have a feeling this figure will be the beginning of an avalanche of Cheetah product in advance of the Wonder Woman '84 movie. But honestly this one will be extremely hard to beat. Let's check out the DC Essentials Cheetah below!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

DC Universe Classics - MARY MARVEL!

DC Universe Classics - Wave 12 - Mary Marvel (Red Costume) - Mattel 2010

Mattel's DC Universe Classics (and its immediate predecessor DC Super-Heroes) was a game-changing line for DC fans. We finally had a product with the same far-reaching potential as Marvel Legends. And over its four-year run we saw dedication to obscure factions like the Metal Men, Doom Patrol, and New Gods. Not to mention an amazing homage to the vintage Super Powers toyline. The series brought me so much joy. However, it was not without its flaws. Specifically, the female buck was very oddly proportioned. The arms were always awkwardly short and thin. The faces always seemed to get flattened in the production process. The feet often seemed over-sized. And the shoulder, hip, and abdominal joints always looked too exposed. Despite having every single female DCUC figure in my collection, I have keep few on display. I count 37 female figures, but I only keep 8 of them out. But looking at them now with fresh eyes I definitely think several more will be gracing my shelves.. including this Mary Marvel.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Power Rangers Legacy Collection S5 - Dino Thunder Yellow Ranger- Bandai 2019

I'm really rather sad that the Power Rangers Legacy collection from Bandai has come to a close so quickly. In three short years, we got 10 pretty awesome female rangers in this 6" scale. It's a shame because I was really looking forward to getting some of the villains as well (which were hinted at during convention presentations). But instead I'm left wondering if the new Lightning Collection from Hasbro will ever contain any female characters and how they might look. I'm sure we will likely see one at SDCC next month, but I don't consider it a good sign that everything shown so far has been a total boys club. Dino Thunder aired in the US in 2004, which was right around the time I started seriously collecting toys as an adult. I remember being a bit disappointed because there was only one female ranger in this iteration, but I did think it was kind of cool that she represented another pterosaur like MMPR Pink (although I remember buying a toy of her back then that came with a yellow raptor.. hmm). Let's check her out below!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Pan's Labyrinth - OFELIA!

Guillermo del Toro Signature Collection - Pan's Labyrinth Ofelia - NECA 2019

I love the fact the NECA toys is making a line of action figures based on the films of Guillermo del Toro. I'm a big fan of his movies. Similar to Harryhausen and (early) Tim Burton movies, there is a wonderful sense of imagination and creativity in all his work... with an overarching aesthetic of creepiness. The only unfortunate thing for this blog is that there are very few female characters to expect. All of the super iconic characters, like Pan, Pale Man, and Amphibian Man (from Shape of Water) are decidedly male. So I was was surprised to see this figure of Ofelia as one of the first characters released. It's been more than 10 years since I've watched Pan's Labyrinth so the details of the movie are a bit fuzzy to me, but once I saw all the cool pack-in accessories in this set it all came flooding back. I had seen both this movie and Devil's Backbone within a few months of each other so my memories are a bit blended, but this toy is definitely making me excited to watch them both again. Let's check out Ofelia below!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fortnite - DARK BOMBER!

Fortnite Action Figures (Series 02) - Dark Bomber - McFarlane Toys 2019

McFarlane Toys has really been surprising me lately. For many years I didn't much like the aesthetic of their product. Hyper-detail and gore does not appeal to me. So it just wasn't a natural fit. But at the same time, I can't deny that I was super impressed by a few offerings in those early years (Danger Girl and Wetworks in particular). However, in the 2010s they really upped their game with very amazing figures for Halo, Assassin's Creed, and The Walking Dead. The articulation and character selection was better than most of their competitors and I found myself buying figures that I had no connection to just because they looked so good. That trend has continued, and the variety in figure types has expanded impressively. This dynamic Fortnite line makes me really excited to see what develops with the DC Comics license (and the upcoming Dark Crystal figures of course). This Dark Bomber figure is pretty stunning. The monochromatic tones and mix of metallic and flat paints looks great. Let's check her out!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

3.75" Fortnite - CALAMITY & DARK BOMBER!

Fortnite: 3.75" Figures Wave 2 - Calamity & Dark Bomber - Jazwares 2019

I must admit I was a little worried about the 3.75" Fartnite (I'm leaving that typo - you're welcome) figures from Jazwares. The first wave didn't move nearly as well as I had expected. I actually don't know any sales numbers, but the figures have been warming the shelves since before the holidays. Jazwares has a history of ending toylines too soon. Their Hanna-Barbera and Assassin's Creed lines showed so much promise, but only ever saw a single wave. And their Sonic line lasted years, but still ended abruptly. So I was expecting a similar pattern with Fortnite, but it turns out they definitely had a second wave in the works, as well as a surprise 6" line that just recently hit the stores (I can't wait to see if they include any female characters in the future). I don't totally love the execution of these two 3.75" females in this newest offering. Dark Bomber is a simple repaint of Brite Bomber and Calamity has a costume that creates a lot of bulk and immobility. But these issues seem kind of universal in this scale. Let's check them out below!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Masters of the Universe Vintage - TEELA!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 2 - Teela - Super7 2019

When Super7 announced their Masters of the Universe Vintage line, I was wholly uninterested.  I'm all about nostalgia, but I'm realistic (ie spoiled) enough to want to modern advances in sculpting and production. (I actually cringe a little when I see things like those boxy Transformers re-releases at Walmart). In my mind the Club Grayskull MOTUC figures are a perfect blend of vintage aesthetics with modern production, and these vintage rehashes are just... unimaginative. But then the first female offering in the Super7 Vintage line was a She-Ra that filled a huge void in my collection and suddenly I was on-board for anything they had to offer. This Teela figure from wave two surprises me by making me realize how inaccurate the original one was. The new sculpt captures all the Filmation details perfectly. I'm thrilled with how good she looks. Now i'm really excited to get the upcoming Evil-Lyn and Shadow Weaver (and even that weird ice blue Teela). Let's check out the Vintage Series Teela below!

Saturday, June 8, 2019


My Little Pony the Movie - Captain Celaeno - Walmart Exclusive - Hasbro 2017

I've made several serious attempts in my life to become a Bronie. It's a life I can totally see myself diving into. And all my friends (at least the ones who know about my toy obsessions) assume I already am one. But I just couldn't ever get into the show and the toys just haven't drawn me in the way I would expect. But every now and then I see an MLP toy that excites me and I'll hunt it down. This figure of Captain Celaeno from My Little Pony the Movie was definitely one of those. The unfortunate thing is that this Walmart-exclusive figure never really hit the stores. As far as I can tell she was only released in Canada... until a few weeks ago when I found her FiveBelow!  I mean, if you have to wait two years to find a sought-after toy at retail, that's definitely a satisfying conclusion to the hunt. Captain Celaeno is an anthropomorphic parrot pirate voiced by Zoe Saldana. I'm kind of obsessed with her design. The green plumage and crystal peg leg are so cool to me. Plus the overall sculpt is great. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Avengers Basic Series RESCUE!

Avengers Endgame - Basic S02 Iron Man and Rescue 2-Pack - Hasbro 2019

I really thought Avengers: Endgame was a terrific movie. Despite my love for comics and superheros, I often shy away from film versions of the genre. Especially when something is pitched as a huge blockbuster with an expansive cast.  I still always see these movies of course, but my hopes are never very high. I much prefer smaller-scale films with detailed character development. But Avengers Endgame surprised me. It really look advantage of the groundwork laid by the 21 (!) previous MCU movies and told a compelling, cohesive, and exciting story. And it may seem silly, but one of my favorite take-aways was the long-awaited cinematic debut of Pepper Potts in her Rescue armor. She only had seconds of screentime, but it really made an impression on me. And it appears the merchandising community too notice too because there is a flood of Rescue product coming. My first purchase was a Funko Pop, but this basic figure it the one I was really looking forward to. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

X Faction - IRON LADY!

Iron Lady (Unlicensed Pepper Potts Rescue) PVC Statue - X Faction Studio 2017

This was a figure I really struggled with. I've seen it popping up on eBay for a few years and I always been really intrigued. I love Rescue as a character. There have been so few female Iron "Men"  in the comics (Rhodey Stark and Antoinette Stark come to mind - but they are both one-and-done type characters). So when Pepper Potts donned the armor I finally thought we had one with staying power. And I have been proven right. The new movie has really solidified her in the public eye. And I really like the blue armor in the MCU. But it made me quickly nostalgic for the classic red armor (which I felt would be completely phased out in the blink of an eye). So I caved and bought this Iron Lady. There are two big moral problems with this figure. Firstly, she's unlicensed. I'm known to pick up the occasional bootlego, but in general I like to respect intellectual property. Secondly, there is some major dubious intent here. Be forewarned, this is an adults-only collectible. Let's check out Iron Lady below!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Transformers Titan Changers - SHATTER!

Transformers Bumblebee Movie - Titan Changers 12" - Shatter - Hasbro 2018

I never would have a expected to have a Titan-scale 12" Transformer that actually transforms. I thought the Quickshadow figure from a couple years ago was the best we would ever get. But then the Bumblebee movie products rolled out and they included this 12" Titan Changers Shatter. I pretty much only pay attention to female Transformers characters, so I realize transforming Titans may have been around for a while, but this is all new to me. So when all the Bumblebee movie product starting appearing on the shelves, I was eagerly hunting this figure. Unfortunately it never appeared anywhere that I could find. I ended up ordering her from the Walmart website last week before she disappeared forever. I'm glad I finally bit the bullet, too, because she's a pretty cool action figure. Her construction appears a little cheap upon inspection (most of her body is hollow from the back, like a jello mold). But the overall look, transformation feature, and low price point make up for it. Let's check out Shatter below!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rescue Heroes - SANDY O'SHIN!

Rescue Heroes - Series 01 - Sandy O'Shin (Water Rescue) - Fisher-Price 2019

Preschool toys have come leaps and bounds since my childhood. For some reason action figures were always reserved for older children, and the only ones we actually did get were blocky and rather boring. But kids these days have a ton of really fun options. They have aisles full of cutesy articulated animal characters, super heroes, and the most recent additions: the new Rescue Heroes from Fisher-Price. This line is a reboot of a pretty successful run with the same name from 1998-2004. However, these new figures incorporate the design aesthetics of the wildly popular Imaginext line with the larger and more durable construction of the original Rescue Heroes. The initial lineup of characters has been available on the Walmart website for a few weeks. There are seven different figures so far - all featured on a series of animated shorts on YouTube Kids. I'm eagerly awaiting more brightly-colored, punny-named heroes. Let's check out Sandy O'Shin (oh brother, that name) below!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rescue Heroes - SKY JUSTICE!

Rescue Heroes - Series 01 - Sky Justice & Hover Pack - Mattel/Fisher-Price 2019

When I started really getting into collecting Imaginext figures back in 2012, I was mostly excited about their DC Super Friends characters. But after a while I started diving deep into the history of Fisher-Price "adventure" toys and I discovered Rescue Heroes. These were larger scale figures (roughly 5-6" tall) featuring characters from various heroic professions: Fire fighters, police officers, lifeguards, etc. The line ran from 1998-2004 and had a ton of figures - including at least 19 females! But before you get excited, there were only three unique female characters, just with a zillion redecos. These figures themselves didn't really appeal to me, but I instantly had dreams of them being included in the smaller Imaginext line. Then in 2014, my dreams came true and handful of Imaginext Rescue Heroes were released (but it didn't last). Then there was nothing until this year's Toy Fair when Fisher-Price unveiled a whole new Rescue Heroes line in the original scale but with the Imaginext Aesthetic. Let's check out Sky Justice!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Marvel Legends - MICHELLE "MJ" JONES!

Marvel Legends - Spider-Man: FFH - Spider-Man & MJ Target Exc - Hasbro 2019

I don't usually collect action figures of civilian characters. Hell, I even hesitate when buying Black Widow figures because her outfits are usually so non-descript (aka boring). I want outlandish colorful spandex, ideally with capes and masks. But sometimes the execution of a figure is so nice that I gleefully push aside my snobbery and take my prize to the registers. In the Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home movies, the traditional role of Mary Jane "MJ" Watson is replaced with Michelle "MJ" Jones played by Zendaya. I liked the character and the actress in the first movie quite a bit, but she wouldn't have been on my list for a must-have Marvel Legends figure. However, once I saw her in person she was extremely hard to pass up. This is 100% due to the amazing face scans. Hasbro used an earlier incarnation of the technology for G.I.Joe Rise of Cobra products in 2009 with frightening results. The improvements are simply amazing (with the exception of the bafflingly bad Captain Marvel). Let's check MJ out!

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Shazam! - Series 01 - Mary Marvel (Standard Version) - DC Direct 2007

One of my favorite things about the 2019 Shazam! movie is that it rejuvenated my interest in Mary Marvel. I wasn't very familiar with this character before she became a regular character in the early 2000s in the pages of Infinite Crisis and 52. She somehow escaped my notice for most of my life. Of course, during this reintroduction period she was going through some major character arcs, changing outfits and allegiances every time I tuned in. But I also became retroactively aware of her amazing history as one of the first female costumed heroes (introduced in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 from 1942) and was really inrigued. But even still, I never went crazy trying to collect all her figures until I realized that she would be in the new Shazam! film (and we would even be getting a toy of her!) So, I've been going back and collecting a bunch of her merchandise and reading reprints of her classic stories - and needless to say she's become a favorite of mine. This DC Direct figure is my favorite so far. She's a classic beauty.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Beast Morphers - YELLOW RANGER & ROXY!

Power Ranger Beast Morphers - Yellow Ranger & Cybervillain Roxy - Hasbro 2019

Power Rangers Beast Morphers is the 26th iteration of the American Power Rangers franchise, but interestingly, it is based of the 36th iteration of the Japanese Super Sentai series from back in 2012. This is the first year that the US series is using a previously-skipped chapter from the Japanese show.  The themes are a mix of animal heroes and computer virus villains. At first glance, I was unimpressed with the designs of the Rangers. The Yellow Ranger, Zoey, is an avatar of a Jackrabbit. But I personally think the costumes lack imagination, and I really dislike the "sunglasses" features on all the characters. However, as soon as I saw the main female villain, Roxy, I was hooked. Cybervillain Roxy has one of the best Sentai villain designs I've ever seen. And learning that she was the first attempt at a Yellow Ranger that was essentially corrupted by a computer virus makes me like the main Yellow Ranger a lot more. (Now I really how we get a 12" Roxy figure as well). Let's check them out below!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Overwatch Ultimates - ANA (SHRIKE)!

Overwatch Ultimates: Series 01 Single-Pack Figures - Ana (Shrike) - Hasbro 2019

Of all the amazing figures in Hasbro's new Overwatch Ultimates line, I think this figure of Ana in her Shrike skin is the least impressive. While other characters are a colorful and fun blend of genres (mecha, fantasy, anime, etc), this one just looks dark and nondescript. That said, it's still a pretty cool figure. The teal, purple, and yellow details really add a lot of pop, but the overall look is still pretty shrouded and menacing. From what I can gather from my research, Ana is a character with many different skins. This Shrike skin is not her most iconic, so its inclusion left a lot of collectors flummoxed.  A cool skill I learned is that she can fire darts at her allies to heal them. Darts of healing potion is a pretty original concept for me. There was an announcement today of a GameStop 4-pack that includes (among other things) a new version of Pharah in a different skin. So I think it's possible that we might see an Ana in her classic blue-hooded look eventually. Only time will tell though. Let's check out Ana (Shrike) below!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Marvel Select - ROGUE!

Marvel Select - X-Men: Rogue (90s Jim Lee Version) - Diamond Select Toys 2019

I love a good villain-turned-hero. One of my first exposures to Rogue was her appearances in ROM: Spaceknight when she was my favorite member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. I also had a few random issues of Dazzler when she was being all villainous. All my comics in the mid-to-late eighties were from 25¢ boxes so I was living 3-5 years in the past. I didn't even realize she joined the X-Men until way late in the game. Then the double-whammy of the X-Men the Animated Series and the Lee/Claremont run in the comics launched her into superstardom. To this day I still run into people who aren't even into the genre, but if comics or X-Men come up, they inevitably start gushing over Rogue (and Storm). The Marvel Select line is really impressive lately. This Rogue figure is the second of four females due out this year (Psylocke and Captain Marvel are still coming). And the quality is getting better and better, so DST reveals at SDCC are something I'm really looking forward to. Let's check out Rogue below!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

DC Direct - VIXEN!

Justice League of America (Ed Benes) - Series 01 - Vixen - DC Direct 2007

I mentioned during my recent DC Multiverse Vixen review that I was suddenly inspired to collect all the Vixen figures ever made (there aren't many). This presented me with a bit of moral issue though because I specifically remember being highly disappointed with this 2007 DC Direct figure when it was released (and vowing not to buy it). Vixen had been around for decades but was just being launched into A-level status by being included in the new roster of the Justice League in 2006. This figure was meant to commemorate her new status, but to me she looked like an awkwardly failed attempt at over-sexualization. Her breasts are larger than her head and laughably exposed. Bared cleavage can be beautiful and provocative, but this is pure male titillation and impracticality. Her hips and thighs look unproportionally narrow compared to her shoulders and chest. And the odd articulation in her arms makes her look like she is in a permanent state of airing out her armpits. This figure's popularity has been a mystery to me for years.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Metropolis ReAction - MARIA!

ReAction Retro Figures - Metropolis' Maria (Standard & DCON Exc) - Super7 2019

I've been obsessed with Maria from Metropolis ever since I found myself in Suncoast Video in the early 2000s and bought a Reel Masters Silent Screamers Maria from Mezco Toys. I hadn't ever heard of this movie or character before, but I quickly learned I was surrounded by genuine fans and heard all about it. I honestly still haven't seen the movie, but I'm sure I'll see it eventually. The plot descriptions I have read paint the robot as a political pawn, used to mimic the likeness of Maria (an activist for the working class) and spark an uprising in Metropolis. The plot truly sounds a little depressing to me, but the design of the robot always caught my eye and I've been wishing for a decent toy for year (that Silent Screamers one was too stylized for me and the Bionica figure is a straight-up reinterpretation). But Super7 came to the rescue with this perfect little ReAction figure. I especially love she same with an easy-to-acquire exclusive variant with a dark paintwash. I love variety. Let's check out Maria below!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Overwatch Ultimates - MERCY & PHARAH!

Overwatch Ultimates: Series 01 - Mercy & Pharah Figure 2-Pack - Hasbro 2019

Even if you don't play video games and have no idea what Overwatch is (like yours truly), this Mercy and Pharah 2-pack is very difficult to ignore. Maybe I'm alone in this, but winged action figures seem to carry a certain weight that terrestrial characters just don't have. The flying character in a wave is almost always the most popular and the play-quality is leaps and bounds above the rest. So this 2-pack featuring two very different winged females is very special. Mercy looks like a typical angelic deity character while Pharah looks like a mecha warbird. The pair is is mind-blowingly cool (in my not-so-humble-opinion). Also, I said this in previous Overwatch Ultimates reviews, but these designs also hit a nostalgic nerve for me because they seem very reminiscent to Masamune Shirow's multi-genre art style that I was obsessed with in the 90's (until his work took a sharp turn toward the erotic and i got prudish). The quality of these figures is really top notch and I'm really hoping a second wave is announced soon.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Overwatch Ultimates - SOMBRA!

Overwatch Ultimates: Series 01 Single-Pack Figures - Sombra - Hasbro 2019

Sombra is a technological hacker character in Overwatch. Her most interesting skill is her "hack" which projects as a pink energy blast (with a skull motif) that will disrupt another character, especially if they have tech-based armor or weapons. Of all the toys I have bought from this first wave of Overwatch Ultimates figures, I will reluctantly say that Sombra is my least favorite. This is ironic because based solely on her design, I expected her to be near the top of my list. But in person, her head seems too small; her jacket and waistcoat seem bulky, awkward, and cumbersome; and her legs seem weak and gangly with oversized ankles (if they had proper paint apps, her ankles would look like the mechanical detail they are supposed to be, but without that paint distinction she looks like a poster child for Edema). This figure is still very stunning. Her hair is cool and her magenta and aqua color scheme with silver details is very eye-catching. But she's just got some stiff competition in this line. Let's check out Sombra below!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Marvel Titan Hero Series - VALKYRIE!

Avengers Endgame - Titan Hero Series: PowerFX - Valkyrie - Hasbro 2019

When Thor Ragnarok product started hitting the shelves a couple years ago I was very wary of this cinematic version of Valkyrie. I had always been fond of the tall busty blonde Scandinavian warrior from the comics, and the image of Tessa Thompson as a normal-statured woman of color with face paint and futuristic armor seemed like a huge departure from the classic Brunhilde. And when I finally saw the movie, I learned I was right. This cinematic Valkyrie was stubborn, technologically savvy, and often drunk. But I liked her. And I realized that a classic comic version would have been extremely awkward in that movie. Her presence in Avengers Endgame just solidified my newfound appreciation her. Seeing her sweeping across the screen astride Aragorn was one of the highlights of the movie for me. This Titan figure was leaked many months ago, but I feared she might never be released when she was absent from the first wave of Endgame product. But luckily she was just a part of the secret second batch.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Overwatch Ultimates - TRACER!

Overwatch Ultimates: Series 01 Single-Pack Figures - Tracer - Hasbro 2019

I don't play video games outside of the occasional app-of-the-moment phone distraction, so I often don't get pulled into action figures based on game properties. I would often be impressed by the character design, but the lack of connection to the property (plus the questionable articulation and price points) made it easy for me to resist. But when Hasbro announced their Overwatch Ultimates line, I had a gut feeling I would be plunging in deep. I had been noticing the Overwatch characters for a few years. Their bright colors and their Masamune Shirow-esque designs really intrigued me. Then I looked at the actual lineup of the figures and saw five females and four males. I can't not support a line with that kind of female representation. Plus Hasbro has not let me down in a long time in regards to quality and value. The distribution has been great as well. I've seen these figures stocked in Walmart, Target, and GameStop so far. And after seeing them in person, I really hope the line continues. Let's check out Tracer below!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Marvel Toy Biz - BLINK!

Marvel's Most Wanted - Marvel Collector Editions - Blink - Toy Biz 1998

I love to collect by character. To me there's nothing quite so appealing as having a cluster of figures of the same character, especially when that character has a unique and consistent costume and has been produced in a variety of product lines. Lately these little character clusters have been inspired by a new action figure, usually from the Marvel Legends or Multiverse lines. Then I will become obsessed with that character and hit eBay and all my local vintage toy shops to collect all their toys.  This method of collecting has the wonderful side-effect of re-exposing me to the various Toy Biz and Kenner lines of the 90s. I would see these figures in comic shops, Kay-Bee Toys, Sam Goody, and Tower, but I rarely bought any back then. When collecting modern figures, it's easy to look back at these older figures and sneer, but I'll be the first to admit I am pleasantly surprised by most of these figures. The sculpts are cool, the articulation is good, and the accessories are fun. True transitional relics. Let's check out Blink below!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Marvel Legends - BLINK!

Marvel Legends - X-Men (Caliban Build-a-Figure Wave) - Blink - Hasbro 2019

I stopped reading mainstream comics in 1993. Marvel and DC had lost a lot of great talent to Image Comics a few years earlier, and honestly the resulting Image titles were mostly show and little substance. I was then drawn into Indy and Manga for years. But I would still browse all the X-titles on the shelves every week... usually glad I no longer felt the need to shell out my hard-earned paper route money for hologram covers and bad (extreme!) 90's art. I have distinct memories of disliking Blink. I thought her appearance was far off-base for a mutant book. She looked like a reject from the Lodoss Wars or some fantasy video game RPG. But I kept hearing about her. For years my friends would rave about her and I would see fan art almost every month in Wizard magazine, but I honestly never thought much about her until I saw this action figure revealed. My childhood disdain somehow transformed into nostalgia and curiosity. Now I have some apologetic reading to do. Let's check her figure out below!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

McFarlane Toys - ARYA STARK!

Game of Thrones - Series 01 - Arya Stark - McFarlane Toys 2019

As uncertain as this final season of Game of Thrones is likely to be, I'm fairly confident that Arya is one of those characters that will be there until the very end. There have been a lot of characters that have been strong and resilient throughout the story, but there's something special about the tenacity of Arya. Maybe it's the fact that we first met her as a rebellious young (relatable) tomboy without many cares in the world. As  her life was turned upside-down, she persevered and we all rooted for her success and survival. And the young woman she's grown into has been surprising. She is skilled, determined, loyal, and often cold. But she still has a glimmer of that young girl inside her. It makes her very endearing. I'm excited to see how her story will play out. I'm predicting that she will lead the massive wolf pack into battle with her warg powers. I would love to see that. But considering the wolves have been all but ignored in the show lately, it's probably a pipe dream. Let's check out Arya's new McFarlane figure below!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Marvel Titan Hero Series - BLACK WIDOW!

Avengers Endgame - Titan Hero Series: PowerFX - Black Widow - Hasbro 2019

I'm excited to see Avengers Endgame this Friday. I have tickets for a 7:30 show (with some relatives who are likely to talk and text the whole time.. smh). I was honestly expecting to have more movie-related product to review before the premiere, but there have been surprisingly few female figures. I'm predicting that there will be a lot more toys known to us by this time next week. Think of how quickly the turnaround time was between us discovering the Titan Captain Marvel and finding her on the shelves - it was just a few days. So I'm predicting all the spoiler figures will be out soon. We've seen pictures of a Titan Valkyrie and a basic series Rescue, along with a slew of blurry teasers (including a few unknown characters I believe). And I think we'll see them all officially announced shortly. In the meantime I have my last figure from the first wave of products, this Black Widow Titan in her team suit. These suits are really growing on me (although I hope they aren't worn for the whole movie). Let's check her out below!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Toy Story 4 - BO PEEP!

Toy Story 4 - Poseable Action Figures Series 01 - Bo Peep - Mattel 2019

I'm excited that Bo Peep seems to be a focal character in the upcoming Toy Story 4 movie. I honestly was never much a fan of Jessie or Barbie in the movies, so the only female character that I really saw potential in was Bo Peep. Of course, her role was that of a secondary character who could be easily forgettable if you don't pay attention. However, I knew something was up when the first leaked toys from the movie showed has Bo Peep in a variety of product lines and scales. Then I saw images of her form the movie online and I realized she must be a major part of the movie. Suddenly she seems fierce and formidable - where in the past she wasn't much more than a damsel in stress and a love interest for Woody. I'm excited to see how her character is developed, especially considering that she is a porcelain doll (and therefore fragile by nature). Yet the pictures online look like she's battle-hardened and ready for a fight. Toy Story 4 comes out on June 21st so we'll all know soon. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Avengers Endgame - BLACK WIDOW & NEBULA!

Marvel Legends: Hawkeye & Black Widow 2-Pack - Target Exc - Hasbro 2019

When I first saw that all the heroes in Avengers Endgame would be in matching Team Suits, I was relieved and thought how these figures would be an easy skip for me. It's not that I don't enjoy matching suits, quite the contrary actually, but I don't like them when the characters already have unique costume designs established. But like almost every proclamation of resistance I make, when I saw them in the store I caved. But before that purchase, I had already decided that I wanted to support this merchandising tactic from Hasbro. This set comes with 5 different character heads that are interchangeable on the generic-suited bodies. I love this decision. And it seems suddenly very plausible that we might someday see other teams presented in the same way: New Mutants, Original X-Men, Hellions, Academy X, etc. Of course the unplanned by-product of my altruistic purchase is that I really like these figures. They are really well made and the face-scanning technology is amazing. Let's check this set out below!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Justice League 12" True Moves WONDER WOMAN!

Justice League: True Moves 12" - Basic Series 01 - Wonder Woman - Mattel 2019

One of the things I'm most sad about with Mattel losing the DC license to McFarlane Toys is the uncertain future of their 12" action figure line. In recent years they've rebranded this scale as "True-Moves" and the quality has been terrific. The sculpts and articulation are superior to their competitors at Bandai and Hasbro. I'm seriously shocked that the Marvel Titan Hero Series hasn't even attempted elbow or knee articulation yet. My only complaint about the True-Moves figures is that there hasn't been a diverse slate of characters yet. I have seven Wonder Women, Three Harley Quinns, One Batgirl, and One Mera. But over on the Marvel side we have Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Gamora, Wasp, Captain Marvel, Spider-Girl, and Spider-Gwen. Plus an upcoming Valkyrie and who knows who else (Nebula I'm sure). So, yeah, I was really hoping to see a lot more DC characters eventually. But at least they're going out with a bang. I assumed this new Wonder Woman would be a simple retool, but she is all-new and glorious.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


Game of Thrones - Series 01 - Daenerys Targaryen - McFarlane Toys 2019

Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Mother of Dragons, Queen of the Andals, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Queen of Mereen, Protector of the Realm, Lady of Dragonstone, the Unburnt. As a sit here beginning to watch the first episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, I'm reflecting on my first impressions of Daenerys Targaryen. In the beginning I thought she would be a pawn of other characters, especially her brother and the Dothraki. I viewed her as weak and a tool of male titillation.  I was very wrong though. Those early scenes of her standing bare and being traded like fine goods was an excellent way to illustrate her growth from a timid and voiceless girl into the powerful decisive woman that we just may see take the Iron Throne this season. I've very excited to follow her progress through this final chapter and I'm rooting for her and her dragons. I'm excited that McFarlane Toys is bringing us new action figures and I hope the line continues past the final episode. While the likeness to Emilia Clarke isn't perfect, It is recognizable and a very nice figure overall. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Marvel Legends - JUBILEE (90s)!

Marvel Legends - X-Men (Caliban Build-a-Figure Wave) - Jubilee - Hasbro 2019

I think one of the cruelest stunts pulled by Hasbro in the past decade was releasing a core character like Jubilee as an impossible-to-build BAF in the 2015 X-Men Legends wave. Of course, that figure was in her modern look with a black bodysuit, so demand for this classic 90's look was still at the top of everyone's list. And because this particular figure has been so in-demand, I am pretty critical of the final execution. I have several issues with this figure. Overall, she is great, but given the patience and high expectations of the collectors, I was kind of expecting perfection (which honestly most Marvel Legends figures these days are). I will detail all my gripes below. Jubilee was introduced in the late 80s as a youthful addition to the X-Men. She was basically an updated version of Boom Boom put into Kitty Pryde's old role. She was a well-received character in the comics, but her popularity really exploded three years later when she was a focal point of X-Men the Animated Series and she's been A-list ever since.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Avengers Endgame - Basic S01 (Single & 2-Packs) - Captain Marvel - Hasbro 2019

I'm loving the trend of quality basic series figures tying in to all the blockbuster movies lately. It wasn't too long ago when Hasbro's answer to this market was a thousand multicolored Iron Man shelfwarmers. Batman had the same representation and I always got depressed by the sight of those unimaginitive toy aisles. But now we get diverse characters, very decent sculpts, and impressive articulation (especially for the price point). Just like the Titan Hero Series figure I posted on earlier this week, I was upset when the Captain Marvel movie didn't get the full action figure treatment in all scales. But I had a hunch she would get representation in the Avengers Endgame products, and I was right. Better than right, because she got both a standard and powered-up version. And I'm especially excited because I predict several more figures in the line. The Rescue prototypes were leaked a long time ago, but I'm also hoping for Valkyrie and Nebula. I'll bet we see surprise product hitting the shelves soon after the movie comes out.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Marvel Titan Hero Series - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Avengers Endgame - Titan Hero Series: PowerFX - Captain Marvel - Hasbro 2019

I was really upset when all the Captain Marvel movie product was revealed and there were no Titan Hero Series 12" figures made. I feel like almost every MCU movie has had at least one token figure made.  But I knew we'd get one eventually so I was patient. And sure enough a few weeks later this figure was leaked. I'm beginning to think that Brie Larson didn't ever have her head scanned by Hasbro. In comparison to the super-high standards of actor likenesses exhibited in the past few years, the Captain Marvel products look nothing like Brie. They still look really good, albeit like a random person. I'm hoping we see a helmeted Titan figure and a green Starforce variation eventually. I also hope they do away with the new forearm port that is debuting with these Endgame figures. Titan figures have always had ports on their back to activate the backpack voice chips in their accessories. But these new figures have bulky secondary ports on their forearms and I think they seem awkward. Let's check out Carol below!