Monday, November 18, 2019

Terminator Salvation - BLAIR WILLIAMS!

Terminator: Salvation - Blair Williams w/ Resistance A-10 Warthog - Playmates 2009

This action figure was a major mystery to me for a long time. I saw her once for sale on eBay in a loose lot and was instantly intrigued. With the absence of G.I.Joe in the toy aisles, I was kind of starved for new 3.75" ladies. The movie Terminator: Salvation was really under my radar. I never saw it, and I'm not sure I ever realized it had a toy line. But in true 3.75" fashion, there was a single female character made and she was rare and came exclusively packaged with a large vehicle (reminds me of Cover Girl and her Wolverine, Maria Hill with the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier,  or Uhura with the USS Enterprise bridge). In Salvation, Blair Williams is a pilot with the Resistance under John Connor who suffers from survivor's guilt and serves as a romantic interest for Marcus Wright. Her action figure comes packaged in a large deluxe vehicle set with her A-10 Warthog and seems to have been largely released in Europe with minimal (if any) release in the US.  Let's check out Blair Williams in detail below!

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Star Wars 6" Black Series #95 - Second Sister Inquisitor (& Variant) - Hasbro 2019 

When I first saw images of this Black Series Second Sister Inquisitor, I got really excited. Of course, that excitement was based on two big misconceptions and a subsequent errant theory. I assumed that this wave was all characters from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And I thought that her red lightsaber was the same one shown wielded by Rey in the teaser trailer for the film. This made me wrongfully theorize that this movie would show Rey fully turn to the dark side and don a costume similar to Kylo Ren's. This thrilled me. I love the idea of a character switching allegiances in a grand way. But of course I was mistaken on every front. This character is an antagonist from the new game Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. The Inquisitorius are an elite group of force-sensitive agents working for the empire. I forgot about the Seventh Sister Inquisitor which had a figure in the animated Rebels line. Maybe eventually we'll meet all the sisters? The game just released yesterday so I guess we'll see. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Star Wars 12" Solo - ENFYS NEST!

Solo: A Star Wars Story - 12" Action Figures - Enfys Nest - Hasbro 2018

I thought Solo: A Star Wars Story was an unexpectedly entertaining film. Before I actually saw it, I felt the previews looked uninspired, the casting seemed off, and many of the costumes seemed too modern to fit into the Star Wars Universe... especially for a story that pre-dates A New Hope. But once I actually saw it, all my hesitations went out the window. The story was fun. The casting was great. And the easter eggs were a'plenty. One of my favorite parts of the movie was the antagonist, Enfys Nest. This character was mysterious, dangerous, and just looked really cool. It's been several years so forgive the spoiler, but the surprise gender reveal at the end really shocked me and made me like the character even more. This is the first Enfys action figure I own. The Black Series and Galactic Heroes figures were both included with big sets so I held out for clearance. This 12" figure never really hit stores, perhaps because she's in a wider box and required a separate peg. But she's available on Hasbro Pulse or the Walmart website.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Marvel Legends - JEAN GREY (90'S JIM LEE)!

Marvel Legends - X-Men 3-Pack: Wolverine, Jean Grey, and Cyclops - Hasbro 2019

The 1990's Jean Grey design always seems a little problematic in toy form. On the page, it looks great and iconic. But giant hair, shoulderpads, and a thong-over-bodysuit design  often looks awkward in plastic. This new Marvel Legends figure is easily the best interpretation so far, but even still, from some angles she looks extremely awkward (in my humble opinion). I imagine a Marvel Select version will arrive at some point at the future to go with Rogue and Psylocke and hopefully she'll come with excessive power accessories. The 1990's nostalgia boom in the Legends line is pretty amazing right now. It honestly wasn't my comic favorite era as far as storyline and costume designs go, but back then I was as excited as anyone by the thrill of a fresh take on these characters. I bought every issue with gusto for a little over a year until the thrill wore off. Jean comes in a set unofficially called the "Love Triangle 3-Pack" with Wolverine and Cyclops (scandalous). Let's check out this long-awaited Jean Grey figure below!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Marvel Legends - POLARIS (X-FACTOR)!

Marvel Legends - X-Men 2-Pack: X-Factor Havok and Polaris - Hasbro 2019

This may be a very unpopular opinion these days, but I was never a huge fan of the 1991 X-Factor relaunch. Most of this had to do with my love for two of the main characters, Polaris and Wolfsbane, and my extreme dislike of their costumes and personality changes in this run. However, seeing these characters showing up on the shelves in toy form still hits me with a powerful wave of nostalgia. I remember buying and reading those issues like it was yesterday. I may even have to did out the old comics and give them another chance. At this point I'm probably going to have to hunt down a couple Madrox the Multiple Man figures then budget to build the Strong Guy build-a-figure next year. And of course I think we all expect to see a proper X-Factor Wolfsbane now. Plus the new furry arms and legs can be re-purposed for Feral, Tigra, and Hepzibah (And Squirrel Girl's tail for Hepzibah!). I'm imagining a fun few years for the Legends line. Let's check out the emerald-haired beauty in detail below!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Women of ROBOCOP!

Robocop - Nancy Miner, Anne Lewis, Lisa Madigan - Toy Island & Kenner 1988-98

I've been wanting to do this review forever. I literally took some of these photo 6 years ago, but am only now getting around to posting them. I was listening to a conversation lately about how many R-rated properties in the 1990s were turned into kid-friendly cartoons and TV shows with the express interest in selling toys to a younger demographic. It seems like a crazy notion, but it happened all the time. Robocop had three R-rated movies produced between 1987-1993, but spawned four different television series (2 live-action, 2 animated) between 1994-1998. Almost every version had a toy line geared towards kids. I find this amusing because my primary memory of the entire franchise is in the beginning of the first film when the ED-209 prototype malfunctions and obliterates the businessman in the most gorey fashion possibly. My brothers and I must have played that scene in slow motion a thousand times. Hardly a property I would expose kids to. Let's check out the ladies of the franchise below!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

MOTU Minis - SHE-RA!

Masters of the Universe Minis - Series 02 - She-Ra & Horde Trooper - Mattel 2014

Back in 2014 Mattel released a terrific series of Masters of the Universe Minis. There were 12 figures in the first wave, and if you purchased them all you could construct a mini Castle Grayskull diorama. At the time, a lot of fans viewed these figures as overpriced ($20 per 2-pack + Shipping), but I personally thought they were pretty great and would have jumped right on board... if they had included some females. The second wave showed a lot of potential and momentum for the line. It featured a Snake Mountain diorama and included the first female: She-Ra. Unfortunately the subscription numbers didn't support production so there was never an official release. But years later the 2-Pack of She-Ra and Horde Trooper started hitting Chinese sites like Aliexpress. I managed to snag a set and I adore it. It makes me want to pick up all the figures I've missed (you can often find them at GameStop). Or I can wait to see how many molds get re-released in the new 2020 blind box line. Time will tell!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Bendy and the Ink Machine - ALLISON ANGEL!

Bendy and the Ink Machine - Series 02 - Allison Angel - PhatMojo 2018

Bendy and the Ink Machine is part of a great new evolution of video games featuring realistic textural worlds come to life. In Five Nights at Freddy's a haunted pizza joint where the animatronic mascots come to life. In Unravel, the hero Yarny is a sentient string man exploring his world. In Cuphead you're immersed in the world of classic rubber hose animation. In Showdown Bandit, and classic marionette shows has come to life. And in Bendy, an animation studio is somehow giving life to all its insane characters. I love this trend. I feel that creativity was missing from the genre for years and suddenly it's on overdrive. I don't actually know who this Allison Angel character is. I made the mistake of Googling her name at work trying to learn more, and I'm expecting the call from HR any minute. Her namesake seems to be quite popular if you're into the blonde busty type. This figure is pretty awesome looking though. She's creepy without being overtly "horror." I try to avoid gore in my hobbies. Let's check her out in detail below!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Shape of Water - AMPHIBIAN MAN!

Guillermo del Toro Collection - The Shape of Water - Amphibian Man - NECA 2019

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. I'm breaking a big rule by posting a review of an ostensibly male character here on this blog. But to my credit, amphibians can have very ambiguous genders, and I honestly don't have any other outlet to post these pictures (I've pretty much withdrawn from the forum and message board scene). The Shape of Water was easily my favorite film of 2017. It combined all my favorite genres: forbidden romance, historical noir, science fiction, cryptozoology, archaeology, and of course a gill-monster. Apparently Guillermo del Toro watched Creature From the Black Lagoon as a child and had the same reaction I did: why doesn't the monster ever get the girl? I saw the Creature as a misunderstood romantic, and this new film tells the story I always wanted. The Guillermo del Toro collection from NECA is a line with a lot of potential. As far as I'm aware, there aren't any more figures on the horizon, but my fingers are crossed for Mimic and Crimson Peak. Let's check out the Amphibian Man below!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Universal Monsters - THE DAMSELS!

Universal Monsters Mini-Mates - The Damsels - Diamond Select Toys 2010-11

I'm pretty classically-minded. So whenever Halloween rolls around my fascination with the Universal Monster movies kicks into high gear. It wasn't long ago that I learned the beautiful Julia Adams had passed away back in February. The Creature From the Black Lagoon is easily my favorite monster movie and she was perfect in the role of Kay Lawrence. But this got me thinking about all the "damsels" of the Universal Monsters library, and then I had the realization that I already owned a bunch of them in Mini-mate form. Back in 2010 and 2011, Diamond Select Toys released a fantastic collection of Mini-mates based on these classic films, and in the process they included the oft-forgotten (at least in the merchandising department) ladies of Universal Monsters. All of these movies fail the Bechdel test miserably (a lot has changed in the past 60 years luckily), but these characters are still memorable in their own way and make really fascinating little collectibles. Let's check them out below!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Showdown Bandit - MISS UNDERTAKER!

Showdown Bandit - Action Figures Series 01 - Miss Undertaker - Phat Mojo 2019

Autumn is my favorite season and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but October is also a month that has become extremely busy for me professionally the past few years. I tried to get a series of Halloween-themed posts ready before the end of the month, but alas, it is now November. So bear with me as I extend my holiday celebrations a bit.  Phat Mojo is a really fascinating toy company. Something about their products reminds me of the toy industry when I was a kid. I keep finding colorful, simply-articulated action figures on the shelves that I was in no way expecting. Showdown Bandit is a horror videogame from the makers of Bendy and the Ink Machine. It's features a defunct television studio where a Howdy Doody-type show was once filmed. The puppets are all now sentient in true Bendy/Five Nights at Freddy's fashion. This action figure line was a perfect surprise find in the lead-up to Halloween. Lorelei Undertaker looks like a weird witchy saloon girl, and I'm kind of obsessed. Let's check her out!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Masters of the Universe Vintage - FROZEN TEELA!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 3 - Frozen Teela - Super7 2019

There's something about translucent plastic action figures that mesmerizes me. I remember having Blackstar toys as a kid and being obsessed with their translucent chests. Same with the Golden Pharaoh from Super Powers and all the Crystar heroes. My only caveat is that I like them to have a color tint, plain clear is not appealing for some reason. I didn't know the reasoning behind this Super 7 translucent blue vintage style Frozen Teela until after I bought it. There was a single episode in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Season 2 (titled "The Ice Age Cometh") where the new villain Icer touches Teela and she freezes. It's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but it sure translates into a cool variant of this fantastic sculpt. In the episode, when He-Man finds Teela frozen like a statue, he does the logical thing and punches her. In cartoon-trope-land, punching ice is apparently the same as thawing I guess. I've seen it a thousand times and it's always ridiculous. Let's check out Teela below!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

PJ Masks - ANYU!

PJ Masks - Action figure 2-Packs - Catboy and An-Yu - Just Play Toys 2019

I think the use of CGI in children's animation is making the genre explode. When I was a kid. There were very few new cartoons (aimed towards the preschool market). Most shows were syndicated classics like Looney Tunes and Smurfs. In the mid-80s there was a boom of cartoons seemingly intended to sell stuffed animals (Get-a-Long Gang, Shirt Tails, Monchichi, etc), but it was nothing like it is today. Nowadays, there's always something new on the TV and the preschool toys aisles appear to be in constant rotation with new product. Lately though, there have been two lines that seem to be withstanding the test of time: Paw Patrol and PJ Masks. The only issue with these toy lines is that they rarely introduce new characters. The core characters are the breadwinners and there's always a new wave of kids being freshly exposed to them. But every so often we get a gem like this AnYu the Dragon Girl. Her design is really fun and she adds some much needed diversity to this popular show. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Buzz Lightyear - MIRA NOVA!

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command - Mira Nova - McDonald's Australia 2001

There's something about Happy Meal toys that thrill me when they're made right. I feel like a majority of the time I only see weird gimmicky plastic contraptions or my favorite characters inexplicably in the driver's seat of a little car. But every so often you get these cool little action figures. Of course, the downfall is the best ones have an annoying habit on being Australian and very tricky to obtain on the secondary market. This Mira Nova figure is a prime example. The American Happy Meal line were little "launch vehicles", but the Australian set were four well-designed action figures. Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was a Toy Story spinoff from 2000. It expanded on Buzz's "fictional" life before ending up in Andy's toy bin. Mira Nova is a rookie Space Ranger and Princess of the Tangean people. She has telepathic abilities and can phase through walls. There were a number of toys produced for this cartoon, but Mira was always left out. Until Australian McDonald's swept in to save the day! Let's check her out below!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Batman Universe Busts - CATWOMAN '66!

Batman Universe Busts #28 - Catwoman '66 - HeroCollector/Eaglemoss 2019

Every time I see an image of a 1966 Catwoman I get overwhelmed by nostalgia. Whether it's Julie Newmar, Earth Kitt, or Lee Meriwether, there is something about the costume that sweeps me back to my childhood in the early 80s. I grew up without air conditioning or cable, and during the hot summer months my siblings and I would block out the shades, haul out the electric fans, make tons of juice pops, and settle in for long marathons of Godzilla movies, Star Trek the Animated Series, and the 1966 Batman show (all of which were in constant Summer rotation on our weird local stations). This was my first exposure to Catwoman and I was instantly entranced by her. I've loved almost every iteration of the character since, in both comics and movies, but I think I will always hold this version as the gold standard. It's only a shame that the likeness to the actresses are so consistently off-base. The merchandise doesn't look bad per say, but they certainly don't resemble Julie, Eartha, or Lee. Let's check out Catwoman below!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Batman vs TMNT - BATGIRL!

Batman vs TMNT - Batgirl & Donatello - Gamestop Exc - DC Collectibles 2019

Who would have expected that (1) there would be an animated Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, that (2) the movie would inspire a collector-grade toyline, and (3) that Batgirl would be included in the lineup?? I feel like this Batgirl figure has a very unlikely existence, but I'm so glad the stars aligned because she is such a great addition to my collection. A lot of recent animated DC movies have had styles that were a bit too cartoony, but this one leans a lot more toward comic styling. Plus the majority of Batgirl's Burnside comics were drawn in a more animated style, so this figure ends up being a surprisingly versatile design. (PS, she's voiced by Rachel Bloom). I haven't seen the movie, but I see from screengrabs and imdb that Poison Ivy and Harley also have roles.  I know it's impossible, but I would love to see them in this style as well, especially Ivy as she suffers from way too many cancelled or lackluster figures. Maybe GameStop and DC Collectibles will surprise us. Let's check out Batgirl below!

Monday, October 14, 2019


DC Super Hero Collection - BTAS Gotham Girls - HeroCollector/Eaglemoss 2019

Batman the Animated Series did wondrous things for the female contingent of the Batman universe. Sure, Catwoman was a pretty major presence in the comics at the time (She recently had her first self-titled comic mini-series and she starred in Batman Returns just a few months before the BTAS debut), but Poison Ivy was practically forgotten and Batgirl had recently been paralyzed. Then BTAS burst onto the scene and made them all major players again, and of course the cartoon soon introduced us to the iconic Harley Quinn. Not only did these characters suddenly have a higher public profile, but their personalities and relationships with each other were developed into the intriguing dynamic we still see today. I was really excited when Eaglemoss first started soliciting this BTAS sub-line of the DC Super Hero Collection, I had hopes to get all four of the main girls, and thankfully my wishes were fulfilled. (Now I will patiently wait for The New Adventures of Batman versions). Let's check out the ladies below!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Batman Universe Busts - BATGIRL!

Batman Universe Collector's Busts #10 - Batgirl - HeroCollector/Eaglemoss 2019

Burnside Batgirl was a really fun phase in the evolution of Batgirl. It's amazing that she's already mostly phased out after only 3.5 years. In 2011 when the DC universe rebooted into the New52 and Barbara Gordon re-assumed the mantle of Batgirl, I personally felt the comic was almost unreadable. Part of it could be that the main casuality in this shift was the amazing Stephanie Brown Batgirl (who was written out in the reboot). It would be hard for anyone to take the place of Steph, but even without that competition, the rebooted Batgirl comic was just a lackluster snoozefest. I wanted really really bad to like it, but it had no heart. The feeling must have been mutual because in a few short years (2014), Barbara was revamped into a younger, hipper, more independent Batgirl. She wore a very utilitarian version of the iconic costume and she was relocated to Burnside (essentially Brooklyn to Gotham's Manhattan). It was a breath of fresh air. And this bust is a great homage to her first cover. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Batman Universe Busts - BATWOMAN!

Batman Universe Busts #21 - Batwoman - HeroCollector/Eaglemoss 2019

Kate Kane as Batwoman is such a great character. Not only does she have a terrific costume, but her backstory and personality have natural depth and believably (at least once her run in Detective Comics started... the 52 stuff just wasn't fully fleshed out yet). Also, the mantle of Batwoman itself has a great political history. She and Bat-Girl were the original beards of the comic world, so Kate's sexuality is a brilliant reimagining. I think she is going to be a solid fixture in the Gotham scene for many many years to come (and hopefully her costume doesn't change, because it's honestly perfect). It should be really interesting to see how the new Batwoman TV show effects her popularity. At the very least we're likely to see more toys. Look how Supergirl's show has amplified her toy aisle presence in the past few years. (I'm not being facetious... we've seen several action figures and statues as a direct result of the show.. and I have the same hopes for Kate). Let's check out the Batwoman Eaglemoss bust below!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Batman Universe Busts - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS!

Batman Universe Busts #3 Harley, Catwoman #5, Poison Ivy #8 - Eaglemoss 2019

I have a backlog of Eaglemoss products I've been dying to review forever. Last weekend I finally unpackaged a ton of my hoarded busts and figurines and photographed them and now I'm excited to post them all. For sake of brevity I will be lumping certain ones into groups, and the most logical grouping to me is the Gotham City Sirens trio of Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. As much as this trifecta seems timeless, I did some research and discovered that Catwoman and Poison Ivy only ever crossed paths five times in the 27 years leading up to Batman the Animated Series (and I didn't actually read those five stories, but from the descriptions they seem like huge ensemble casts where it's very unlikely that the two even talked). Yeah, Batman books didn't really pass the Bechdel test until fairly recently. But once Harley was introduced, it wasn't long until these friendships formed and they haven't looked back. Let's check out Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn below!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Batman Universe Busts - BLUEBIRD!

Batman Universe Collector's Busts #35 - Bluebird - HeroCollector/Eaglemoss 2019

It's been a long time since a new Batman character has caught my attention. Something I've always loved about DC Comics is the long historical canons behind almost all of the heroes and villains. But something about Bluebird caught my eye and soon as I saw her suited up in the pages of Batman Eternal back in 2015. No, she didn't have an outlandish cape or some obscure tactile weapon that I crave. She wore utilitarian gear and carried guns. Plus she had a mohawk (I've known one too many folks with mohawks in my life, and they always end up a major disappointment.. so the haircut is now a red flag to me). But despite it all, the tempestuous hacker/engineer Harper Row in her new punky vigilante role quickly became an obsession for me. It was actually a few years until I realized her costume was an obvious homage to Nightwing, and that only made me like her more. This Eaglemoss bust is the first official piece of Bluebird merchandise and it's honestly a terrific debut. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Marvel Select - Captain Marvel (Movie) Starforce - Diamond Select Toys 2019

The Marvel Select line from DST has had an amazing year. This Starforce Captain Marvel marks the fourth Marvel Select female in 9 months. And I only hope the momentum continues. There's potential for so many more great figures. I know we're very likely to see a new Storm and Black Widow next, but I have hopes for so many more. This Starforce Captain Marvel figure is terrific. She's articulated beautifully and the sculpt is great. The only downfall is the unmasked head has pretty lackluster paint apps and looks almost nothing like Brie Larson. This same issue existed the with Marvel Legends figure from Hasbro. Maybe she has a tricky face to scan or a unique color palette that has to be precise to look right, but either way the problem seems to be consistent across multiple product lines. Luckily (for me at least), I could care less about unmasked alternate heads. If a character has a mask or helmet, that's always the way I will want to display her. And Carol's masked head is perfect. Let's check her out below!

Monday, September 30, 2019


Marvel Mini-Mates - Spider-Girl & Doctor Octopus - Walgreens Exc - DST 2019

It's been a long time since I've given a single Mini-Mate its own review. Instead, I stockpile them and review a whole bunch at a time. But over the years, my favorite personal theme in my Mini-Mate collection has been the vast assortment of Spider-Ladies. There have been so many, in fact, that I didn't even realize that my absolute favorite Spider-person, Anya Corazon as Spider-Girl, hadn't been included yet. (She is such a great iteration of the Spider-Girl mantle and I really hope she gets another solo series some day). I love that Diamond Select Toys does such deep-dives into character selection. I actually have faith that we will many more Spiders down the line: Scream, Agony, Mania, Lady Spider, Charlotte Ritter, Spider-Woman in her modern costume, and maybe even a Valerie Spider-Woman from Electric Company. If anything, DST has proven that the sky is the limit. I'm really excited to see what new product they will show in a few days at NYCC. I'll be there with bells on. Let's check out Anya below!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - DEET & AUGRHA!

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - Action Figures Series 01 - Funko 2019

Few things in pop culture get me quite as excited as The Dark Crystal. Back in 2016 when Funko released a slew of retail products and exclusives, I was in collector heaven. I never expected this iconic movie from my youth to get this kind of love from a modern toy company, and I couldn't have asked for more. But then the Netflix prequel series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was announced, along with even more action figures and Pops, and suddenly I realized my well-of-want could go a lot deeper. This first assortment of action figures is amazing, but the show was so vast that I want several more waves of toys at the very least. Hell, only two of the three main heroes are included, so at the bare minimum we need a Brea from the the Vapra Clan. But of course my actual (impossible) wishlist is dozens of characters long. Plus if we get another season, I will be completely insatiable. I can't wait to see what comes down the line in the next few years. Let's check out Aughra, Deet, and the rest of Wave One below!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Galaxy of Adventures - REY!

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker - Galaxy of Adventures 5" - Rey - Hasbro 2019

I'm unexpectedly ecstatic about this new Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures line from Hasbro. I am only vaguely aware of the Disney animated mini-episodes featuring an assortment of the most popular Star Wars characters. Last year I noticed the tie-in wave of 3.75" figures on the shelves in tubes with animated-style graphics. But the figures inside seemed like the same old style I had seen a million times. But then a couple days ago I came across this new 5" impressively articulated, adorably stylized series of figures at Target. I love how Rey has this mischievous grin and big ears. It's almost as if Hasbro was as let-down by the Toy Box Rey as I was and decided to give us an apology figure. I can't wait to see what future characters will be included. At the very least I know we'll see a Leia since she is featured in so many of the Galaxy of Adventures illustrations. I'm excited for what other surprise releases we'll see this time next week on Force Friday. I'm already planning out my hunting route. Let's check out Rey below!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Overwatch Ultimates - ZARYA!

Overwatch Ultimates: Series 02 Single-Pack Figures - Zarya - Hasbro 2019

I'm in love with this figure. I've never played Overwatch (nor any modern video game for that matter), but I've really been drawn to the character design in this Overwatch Ultimates line. Sometimes I feel like I have a stereotypical female aesthetic cemented in my brain. I'm naturally drawn to an hourglass shape and a pretty face on my collectibles, which is fine. But sometimes I worry that the characters that don't fit that mold get undeservedly ignored. This observation surfaces a lot with robots and Transformers, where a character that doesn't have exaggerated features doesn't register as female at all. But then a figure like this Zarya comes along and makes me think I'm not as close-minded as I fear. Her body is a powerhouse, she has a thick neck, huge biceps, a decidedly unfeminine haircut, and she sports tattoos and scars. But she still presents as a fantastic example of feminine masculinity. I think this might go down as one of my favorite figures of the year. Let's check out Zarya below!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

MMPR Lightning Collection - PINK RANGER!

Power Rangers Lightning Collection - MMPR Pink Ranger - Hasbro 2019

I was admittedly pretty bummed when Bandai lost the Power Rangers license and Hasbro took over the entire brand. Bandai's 6" Legacy Collection had just three years of releases from 2016-2019 but I really liked the style, scale, and execution. I'm not even a die-hard Sentai fan, but I still collected an assortment of ten female rangers that I love. Plus I knew from some past convention presentations that they were just about to start rolling out the villains. Such a shame we never got to see them. This Pink Ranger from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is the first female in the Hasbro line. She definitely has some issues, but she's pretty impressive for the first female in a brand new line. I think over time these will easily be on par with the Marvel Legends lines (which consistently knocks 'em out of the park). The real test will be to see which characters come next. But, again, Hasbro has a great track record for character selection, so my hopes are high. Let's check out MMPR Pink Ranger Kimberly below!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Marvel Legends - MIRAGE, KARMA, & WOLFSBANE!

New Mutants Legends - Dani Moonstar - Walgreens Exclusive - Hasbro 2019

My fondness for the New Mutants knows no bounds. It was the first Marvel comic that ever spoke to me. I remember my parents getting me Marvel Graphic Novel #4 for Christmas one year and I was obsessed for the majority of my childhood. The bond between the teammates was so real and their personal backstories (as diverse as they were) were so relatable to a weird little kid like me. A line of New Mutants toys has been on my wishlist forever. The ToyBiz line in 1998 was promising but only included a few characters. The HeroClix and Mini-Mates sets were wondrously complete, but didn't really scratch that "action figure" itch. So this Walgreen's exclusive Dani Moonstar (with unexpected Karma and Wolfsbane heads) is a very long-awaited figure. While this isn't the absolute perfect representation of the characters for me, they still thrill me. But now they have a major obligation to round out the team: Cannonball, Cypher, Sunspot, and Magma can't be left behind. Let's check out the first three below!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Marvel Legends - EMMA FROST!

X-Men Legends - Emma Frost (Marvel NOW!) - Walgreens Exclusive - Hasbro 2019

Until this Summer's X-Men reboot it had been years since I picked up a mutant comic. So when I see this Marvel NOW black-suited Emma Frost I really don't get the reference. With a name like Emma Frost (aka the White Queen), anything but her signature white garb seems odd. However, I actually really dig this figure (even though I eventually want a more classic version). The black look is very striking, and when paired with the classic bob-haircut alternate head, she's unmistakably Emma.. yet somehow even more wicked. Recently I've been obsessed with re-reading collected volumes of my favorite old comics and coincidentally Emma Frost is a major player in a ton of them: New Mutants, Generation X, and the titular Emma Frost series from 2003. I'm literally reading all of these titles in rotation right now, so this figure came at the perfect time. She's a little scarce in Walgreens right now, but if Sue Storm, Medusa, and Magik are any indication, she will be flooding the market before long. Let's check out Emma below!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Transformers - LANCER!

Transformers - Generations Select - Deluxe Autobot Lancer - Takara Tomy 2019

You know that feeling when you wait for a Netflix show all year only to binge it in a single weekend and then feel absolutely empty? This Lancer figure is triggering those feelings in me right now. When I realized my unfathomable dream of assembling Elita One's army was going to become a reality I was overcome with excitement and anticipation. The iconic Transformers G1 episode The Search for Alpha Trion was one of the highlights of my childhood. The fact the Hasbro and TakaraTomy have given us every female Autobot in that episode, even unnamed background characters like this one, still boggles my mind. I'm re-doing my transformers display and I've been inspired to backtrack and collect a bunch of old Transformers. But what's next to hunt? I can't help but think we're about to have a major fembot drought. The Nightbird due out next month is the only thing on the horizon and I'm a little bummed (but only because I've been so delightfully spoiled the past few years). Let's check out Lancer below!

Friday, September 13, 2019


Star Wars 6 " Black Series #75 - Princess Leia Organa (Hoth) - Hasbro 2018

I've had this figure open and photographed since I bought her way back in early December of last year. I've always found it extremely tricky to photograph characters with a lot of white on their costumes. So this Leia (and Storm from the last post) spurred me to dive deep and figure out the intricacies of my damn camera (as well as adjusting color balance in post-editing) to properly review these characters. I re-shot her and I'm much happier with the washed-out photo set I created last year. This Leia is actually one of my favorites from my 6" Star Wars Black Series collection. I always thought this was a great functional look that still stayed true to that classic Leia color palette and her hairdo is second only to the side-buns. We've received six different Leias in this line so far and I can only think of three more offhand (Cloud City Rust Gown, Endor Speeder Bike, and Endor long hair celebration look). And I hope we eventually get them all because it would make for a pretty awesome collection. Let's check out Hot Leia below!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Marvel Legends Vintage - STORM!

Marvel Legends: Vintage (Toy Biz) Series 03 - 1990's Storm - Hasbro 2019

It's really refreshing to have a female Marvel Legends figure that is definitely not going to be a shelf-warmer. As much as I beg for more diverse character selections and equal distribution. I can't deny that the mommy-shoppers never buy the female action figures for their kids - and as a result, my favorite heroines almost always end up clogging up the pegs. But this Storm has been out for months and she's always the first one snatched from the case. And she's worth it, too. Storm is easily one of the most iconic Marvel women and her role in the 1990's X-Men the Animated Series exposed her to a whole new generation of adoring fans. Although this white outfit is usually attributed to the cartoon, she was essentially wearing it in the comics for a year prior. Although in true comic fashion, the color of her costume could be interpreted as white, silver, gray, or black depending on how she was shaded and colored. And I'm not taking a side because I want one of each! Let's check out this long overdue Storm below!

Monday, September 9, 2019


Marvel Legends - Captain Marvel (Binary Form) - Walmart Exc - Hasbro 2019

It's been a really long time since I've been completely underwhelmed by a Marvel Legends release. I wasn't a huge fan of the unmasked Carol head from the the standard Captain Marvel from earlier this year. (For some reason it missed the mark and looked almost nothing like Brie Larson). Then this Walmart exclusive Binary version comes along and really features that unmasked head sculpt. Plus I normally love translucent effects (especially fiery orange ones), but I honestly feel the final result of this figure is just weak. The translucent effects don't read as that dynamic (and are just re-purposed effects from other figures) and her exposed neck is completely distracting to me. It doesn't help that the comic version of Binary is insanely awesome. This figure would be amazing if she were entirely translucent, or at least had some crazy (original) power effects.. trailing from her eyes.. a figure stand of energy flowing from her hands and feet (to be re-used on FireStar of course).. I have so many ideas. Let's check her out!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Marvel Legends - Boom Boom!

Marvel Legends - X-Force (Wendigo Build-a-Figure) - Boom Boom - Hasbro 2019

I have always had a fond place in my heart for Tabitha Smith. As a young comic reader, I was obsessed with The New Mutants. I loved the youthful, rebellious energy and smaller-scale storylines. Two great spin-offs of that comic were Fallen Angels in 1987 and X-Terminators in 1988. I adored both these mini-series and they both starred a young Boom Boom as a major character. In X-Terminators especially, we were introduced to a group of outsiders that I related to even more than the young Xavier students. Boom Boom's teammates were Rictor, Artie, Leech, Rusty, Skids, and Wiz Kid - all of whom went on to become semi-regular recurring characters in a handful of different books. But Boom Boom is the one that really took off. When Liefeld took over The New Mutants in 1990, most of the X-Terminators were present and I thought they would all become part of the team, but a year later when X-Force rolled out, only Tabitha remained. Her outfit and name have changed a lot over time, but the attitude is consistent.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Miraculous Ladybug - PUPPETEER!

Miraculous Ladybug Action Figures: Wave 03 - Puppeteer - Bandai 2018

I think it's super great when an obscure character is given the full action figure treatment. The Miraculous toy line from Bandai is full of fun, colorful, female-centric characters and is really unlike anything else on the market right now (it was similar to DC Superhero Girls, Mysticons, and WWE Superstars, but it appears all those other lines have failed). Miraculous has all but disappeared from US toy shelves, but there has been a steady flow of new releases in Europe (it's a French cartoon). I believe the Puppeteer only appeared in a single episode of the show as a child that Marinette was babysitting who gained powers and became the tantrum-driven villain for an episode. The fact that this character warranted an action figure speaks highly to the potential of this line. It's a pet peeve of mine when we just get endless redecos of the same main characters over and over. And while we still see some variation of Ladybug in each wave, the B and C-list characters are endlessly present. Let's check out Puppeteer below!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Marvel Select - PSYLOCKE!

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

I've always loved Betsy Braddock. There was something about her early appearances that really appealed to me. The lavender-haired, pink-garbed psychic never really got her proper dues. However, the Jim Lee / Chris Claremont run on X-Men in the early nineties changed her look (race), attitude, and costume and suddenly she became one of the most popular mutants out there. I was happy to see her finally get that well-deserved recognition, but it was a bit of a bummer that she had to transform so much to get there. But in the past few years her character has been reverting to her pre-ninja past in the comics. And in October I believe she is reclaiming the mantle of Captain Britain in the new Excalibur title. I do really love the 90's ninja look and all the toys we get of her, but for a character that has had many different looks over the years, I want some of that variety reflected in plastic. My fingers are crossed for a good retro figure. In the meantime, I think this Marvel Select Psylocke is the best so far. Let's check her out!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Miraculous Ladybug - QUEEN BEE!

Miraculous Ladybug Action Figures: Wave 04 - Queen Bee - Bandai 2018

I love Bumblebee-themed characters. I even did a week-long series of bee-lady reviews back in 2014 leading up to the release of Sweet Bee. There's something about the yellow and black color palette that I find very appealing (with the inexplicable exception of team colors in sports... on a jersey I hate this color combo). The occasional wings and stinger added to the look is just an added bonus. Something I find enjoyable about Miraculous is how the same human characters assume different costumed identities throughout the series. Chloe is Marinette's nemesis and has appeared in Ladybug's outfit, a color-swapped version named Anti-bug, then this Queen Bee costume (which I think is her most iconic look), followed by a color-swapped version Queen Wasp. Marinette's best friend, Alya, has been Lady Wi-Fi, Rena Rouge, and Rena Rage. And Marinette herself has been a number of characters, most notably Ladybug, Lady Noire, and Multimouse. I love this system. Let's check out Queen Bee below!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

DC Multiverse - STARFIRE!

DC Comics Multiverse: Batman Ninja Collect-n-Connect - Starfire - Mattel 2019

I've really been liking all the modern redesigns of Starfire. I know her New52 look got a lot of flak for being too provocative (and her having a sexually disassociative personality), but I liked it. I thought it was an appropriate adaption of the character, considering she was historically always making awkward sexual advances and basically wearing suspenders as an outfit. She's had two noticeable design changes since then. One was her solo series redesign by Amanda Conner, and the Rebirth design seen with this new DC Multiverse figure. I like that she always has the same consistent color palette with orange skin, reddish hair, and a purple and silver outfit. Starfire is one of those characters that will always be provocative, no matter how much flesh is being bared. So taking that into consideration, I actually much prefer the more covered version that we see here over her signature strappy getups. I'm glad we got a figure of her in this version since I'm sure it was change again soon. Let's check her out below!

Friday, August 23, 2019


Transformers: Unite Warriors - Megatronia Gift Set - TakaraTomy Mall Exc 2017

Assigning gender to robots is always a tricky business. I personally find myself drawn to characters with a typically feminine (aka hourglass) silhouette and a face with some feminine characteristics. However I cringe when those same features are exaggerated and we see gigantic metal breasts and pouty lips. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the stocky (and dare I say, masculine) characters like Strika, Manta Ray, and Override. I always have a lot of issues with these characters too. But it's not because I think femininity has to be confined to a certain aesthetic, but rather that my pessimistic side assumes the toy-makers were lazy and just wanted to re-use male parts. This brings us to the legs of the Megatronia combiner: Trickdiamond and Flowspade. I love one, and I hate one.  They both have short stocky bodies (that are indeed re-used male bucks), but Trickdiamond also has a great face and cool color scheme. Flowspade has an unexpressive ninja head and a stereotypically pink color scheme.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Transformers - MOONHEART & LUNACLUB!

Transformers: Unite Warriors - Megatronia Gift Set - TakaraTomy Mall Exc 2017

Every good military unit needs great soldiers. And with Megaempress' army, her Copter Twins (Moonheart and Lunaclub) are her first line of defense. Megaempress actually created the pair herself, so they are her most trusted protectors and always loyal to their creator. Moonheart has power over water and uses Blizzard Blade sword to freeze her enemies, while her sister Lunaclub has similar powers over fire and uses her Flame Sword to wreak destruction. The twins are repaints of Skyburst and Stormclash from the Victorion gift set a year earlier (who are both just a slight retool of Alpha Bravo). But again, there's something about these Megatronia re-decos that just really pops. It also doesn't hurt that this gift set gave us five female Decepticons and none of them are purple (let that sink in for a moment). An amusing thing I've noticed is that the Victorion (Autobot) figures have angrier looking faces that the Megatronia (Decepticon) ones. It's the paint around the eyes. Let's check out the Copter Twins below!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Transformers - MEGAEMPRESS!

Transformers: Unite Warriors - Megatronia Gift Set - TakaraTomy Mall Exc 2017

I just learned about this character so bear with me while I excitedly rant. Megaempress was made from Megatron's spare parts and became his love interest (think of a dysfunctional Optimus and Elita). She has the ability to manipulate and control male Transformers and is viewed as dangerous and untrustworthy by her fellow Decepticons. They even overtook her and put her in stasis for many years. When she was revived, Megatron had been reincarnated as Galvatron and she immediately began plotting her way into his regime. Also, she once had her sights set on Optimus Prime, but he was able to resist her powers by focusing on his connection to Elita One (awww). This toy is fantastic and makes the high purchase price of the Megatronia set worth it. She is a straight-up repaint of Pyra Magna from the Victorion set, which in turn is a retool of Hot Spot. But her coloring and backstory make her infinitely more interesting than Pyra Magna (imho). Plus, female Decepticons are severely lacking.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Legendary Comic Book Heroes - ANN O'BRIEN!

LCBH - Series 02 (Monkeyman Build-a-Figure) - Ann O'Brien - Marvel Toys 2007

There's a lot of 90's nostalgia happening right now in the toy world. Every time I tune in to Marvel Legends news there is some excited announcement about some 90s-specific costume making everyone giddy. But the funny thing is that this was the era when my escalating distaste for Marvel and DC comics was reaching its peak. For most of the 90s I was obsessed with Manga and Indy comics. And my absolute favorite thing coming from the US market was the Legend imprint from Dark Horse Comics. This imprint was following the footsteps of Image Comics with creator-owned properties, but the difference is that the caliber of creators. John Byrne, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Paul Chadwick, Mike Allred, Walt Simonson, and Arthur Adams all had seriously established reputations and all launched projects under the aptly named Legend banner. Where Image was all flash and entertainment, Legend was classic and artistic (and a breath of fresh air amidst the "extreme" style ruining mainstream American comics).

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Miraculous Ladybug - VOLPINA!

Miraculous Ladybug Action Figures: Wave 03 - Volpina - Bandai 2018

Foxes are really intriguing animals to me. As a kid I was always excited to see them mysteriously slinking around our land, but there always seemed to be a certain mystery and intelligence surrounding them that I couldn't pinpoint. As a teenager I learned about how Japanese culture holds them in a similar regard and my overzealous childhood imagination suddenly seemed justified. The movie Pom Poko, the anime series Inu-Yasha, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the comic Skeleton Key were all a big part of my teenage years and they all featured foxes as shapeshifting or generally magical beings. (Plus an recent episode in the first season of Love, Death, and Robots featured a Huli Jung, which is an almost identical Chinese version of the Japanese Kitsume mythology). Long story short, I now had backup for my fox obsession. When I saw this character Volpina in images for Miraculous, I knew she had to have an eventual action figure. And luckily my premonition was correct, this Volpina is gorgeous. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

DC Multiverse - KATANA!

DC Comics Multiverse: Killer Croc Collect-n-Connect Wave -Katana - Mattel 2019

I never thought I would have a Katana figure that really excited me. I always thought she was an interesting and notable character, but assassin types who fight with swords just always seemed a little unimaginative to me (as least in the over-the-top world of superhero comics). Her recent roles in Suicide Squad, Beware the Batman, and DC Superhero Girls made me realize that her popularity was quickly picking up steam, but I still thought her design was a tad boring. However, this Rebirth redeco changes her just enough to really intrigue me. It's barely any different - all the classic elements are present - but suddenly she reminds me of the designs from David Mack's Kabuki and a little of the Robin quasi-villain, Lynx (who I always wished had more staying power). I didn't realize how much I liked this design until I found this figure at Walmart last week. She's really stunning and it's a shame the Mattel is losing the licence after recently upping their game so impressively. Let's check out Katana below!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Miraculous Ladybug - LADY NOIRE & MISTER BUG!

Miraculous Ladybug Action Figures: Wave 05 - Lady Noire & Mr. Bug - Bandai 2019

I love a good gender-swap, and I like it even better when it's true swap and two characters reverse their gender polarities. I don't know the exact storyline behind these costumes, but seeing Marinette in a cat outfit and Adrien in a ladybug getup makes me really happy.  Miraculous products have all but disappeared from the shelves in the US. The first two waves were available everywhere: Target, Walmart, Kmart, TRU, etc. But waves three, four, and now five seem to only be released in Europe (France, Germany, UK) and Russia. The crazy thing is that the show's popularity seems to be picking up lately. I've had multiple friends ask me where to get Miraculous toys, specifically because their kids have (recently) become huge fans. I hope the US toy industry takes note and they bring them back. I'll be spending the next few posts catching up on the backlog of figures I've acquired. It was really fun to finally open them all. Let's check out Lady Noir and Mister Bug below!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Transformers Warrior Class - SLIPSTREAM!

Transformers: Cyberverse - Warrior Class Target Exc - Slipstream - Hasbro 2019

I think I could go out on a limb and say that Slipstream is my favorite female Decepticon. Blackarachnia and Airachnid are cool and all, but I'm a bit of a Transformers purist and I like my alternate modes to be vehicles and not oversized robotic animals. The organic nature of the animal modes also makes their robot forms look very aesthetically different that other characters. All the other robots have hard edges and a mechanical functionality that I find very appealing. But the beast-based characters, although cool, look more like alien androids than robots. I only discovered Slipstream when I picked up her Kre-O figure about 5 years ago. Slipstream is a female clone of Starscream introduced during Transformers: Animated. Because she is a clone, her merchandise is often just a repainted Starscream (despite her looking distinctly feminine in the cartoons). But luckily this Warrior Class Starscream buck is very gender-neutral so I don't mind the laziness. Let's check out Slipstream below!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

DC Direct - TERRA!

New Teen Titans - Series 02 (The Judas Contract) - Terra - DC Direct 2008

I always thought there were two true tests of a comic artist's skills: how well they draw animals and how well they draw kids. Both can be extremely difficult and I usually find most efforts cringe-worthy. I was a pretty decent fan of the Teen Titans when I was a kid, and the art by the legendary George PĂ©rez for the most part was fantastic, but one thing I always had issues with was the depiction of the young teenage character, Terra. She is the focal point of one of the most famous Titan stories ever (The Judas Contract), which I was unfortunately never able to finish do to my overly-judgemental artistic scruples. However, I always liked nature-based powers and when this action figure was released way back in 2008 I was impressed how well sculptor James Shoop was able to capture the artistic style that I found so off-putting in my youth. Looking back at that comic art now, I don't know what my problem was. But I also didn't like brussels sprout or the color pink, so what the hell did I know. Let's check out Terra below!

Monday, August 5, 2019

12" Fortnite - CUDDLE TEAM LEADER!

Fortnite - Victory Series (12" Figures) - Cuddle Team Leader - Jazwares 2019

I get ridiculously excited when I see new 12" action figures in the stores. Seriously, I make a fool out of myself. There are two factors that I attribute to this. Firstly, they are almost always unannounced. I usually find out about them on Instagram from someone discovering them in a store, and there is no wait time to start my hunt. Instant gratification. And secondly, I think the 12" figures give you the same scale perspective as you might have felt holding a 6-8" action figure in your tiny hands when you were a kid. There a kind of tactical nostalgia that's palpable. (If you haven't experienced this you need to go to five Below and pick up a random figure and try it). All my modern 12" figures are from Hasbro, Mattel, and Bandai, so when I stumbled across this new Fortnite line from Jazwares I was totally stoked that another player has entered the game. Even if the next few female offerings are just repaints of this Cuddle Team Leader figure (Panda Team and Spooky Team Leaders for example) I would be happy. It's a very quirky design and I gladly embrace any variants (within reason). Let's check out this 12"pink beauty below!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Marvel Legends Vintage - DAZZLER!

Marvel Legends: Vintage (Toy Biz) Series 03 - Dazzler - Hasbro 2019

While watching the latest season of Stranger Things, I keep reminiscing on my own childhood mall memories of the 80's and 90's. One of the highlights for me and my siblings (aside from Kay-Bee Toys of course) was the arcade. I spent countless hours there as a child running frantic loops on the day-glo patterned carpets trailing a string of tickets a mile long. Only a few actual video games made a lasting impression on me though. Namely Golden Axe, Simpsons, and Konami's classic X-Men game. True to my nature, I only ever played the female characters, Storm and Dazzler. I didn't actually know Dazzler from the comics too well, but her inclusion in the 1985 Pryde of the X-Men cartoon must have made an impression because I knew exactly who the the character was. I didn't notice her again until her appearances early on in Jim Lee's X-Men series in the 90s. Her costume has changed a lot over the years, but because of those early introductions, I will always prefer this blue starburst look. Let's check her out!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Halo Universe Series: Wave 2 - Spartan Tanaka (Grunt Ultra BaF) - Mattel 2018

I have always found the Mattel handling of the Halo property to be very confusing. However, I just finally wrapped my head around how different waves and character assortments work. So far, each Wave of figures has had two assortments. I have dubbed Wave One the "Crawler Wave." The first six figures allowed you to build the "Alpha Crawler". Then the second assortment for Wave One had two characters swapped out. These new characters had different Build-a-Figure pieces (Head & Shoulders/Back) which allowed you to build a slight variation, the "Crawler Snipe." Wave Two I call the "Grunt Wave." The first assortment allowed you to build the "Imperial Grunt." Then the second assortment swapped out a whopping four characters and allowed you to build "Grunt Ultra." If this roadmap was laid out for collectors, I never saw it. I would just see new figures in stores and get really confused. But I admit it was also exciting to stumble across unexpected characters like Holly Tanaka. Let's check her out below!