Monday, March 25, 2019

The Ladies of STAR WARS RESISTANCE!

Star Wars Resistance - Wave 1 - Synara San & Torra Doza - Hasbro 2019

I've always tried to limit my collecting of 3.75" Star Wars figures. I mean, I still have dozens (mostly Ewoks), but without setting limitations I would easily have hundreds. However, one thing that always draws me in are the figures from the new animated shows. I love the way they incorporate lots of classic cinematic elements but with bright colors and simplified designs. They really appeal to me on a base level. The newest entry in the Star Wars animated universe is Star Wars Resistance on Disney XD. This series takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and deals with a cast of characters (mostly pilots) who are spying on the New Republic to see who might secretly be siding with the New Order. I have only watched small portions of this series so far but I'm excited to dedicate some time to binge the entire season. I like how there are real tie-ins to the films, especially the characters like Poe Dameron, BB-8, and Captain Phasma. Let's check out Synara San and Torra Doza in detail below!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Transformers Siege - CHROMIA!

Transformers - War for Cybertron: Siege - Deluxe Wave 2 - Chromia - Hasbro 2019

Chromia has surprisingly become one of the most popular female Autobots in recent years. For only appearing in a single episode of the original cartoon, she sure gets a lot of attention. I just watched her episode again (The Search for Alpha Trion) and she is indeed a pretty impressive character. She appears to be the field leader for the female autobots; giving out orders and keeping a level head the whole time. I also think the fact that Elita One has such a similar palette to Arcee pushed Chromia to the forefront when Hasbro was looking for another female to promote in the toylines (and her cool name didn't hurt her case much either). This is the second unique G1-styled Chromia action figure in the last five years (and I somehow doubt she'll be the last). But in the meantime I'm hoping this body mold will be re-used for a few additional characters, too.  I can imagine a Beta, Nautica, and a long-overdue Deluxe-scale Elita One coming in this sculpt down the line (at least I hope so). Let's check out Chromia below!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power - SHE-RA!

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power - Battle for Etheria - She-Ra - Super7 2019

I loved the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power reboot from this past Fall. My initial reaction to the art style was a little hesitant, but once I saw the actual episodes I was hooked. One of my favorite design choices was how Adora grew to giant proportions when she changed into She-Ra. I always like when a character's stature changes in proportion to strength. I feel that there is so often an obsession with females being petite they rarely get a chance to Hulk out. Of course She-Hulk grows, Fairchild from Gen13, and Ann O'Brien from Monkeyman and O'Brien, but it's pretty rare, and almost never to monstrous proportions like Mr. Banner himself. But a good 12 inches in height and 50 pounds of muscle is fine for me. This figure from Super7 is great. The sculpt and detailing is a perfect representation from the show. I only hope this first couple figures are popular enough to warrant more. The character designs were so colorful and diverse that I'd love to see them all. Let's check out She-Ra below!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power - CATRA!

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power - Battle for Etheria - Catra - Super7 2019

Everyone loves Netflix for a number of different reasons. But my favorite aspect has been their amazing original animated programs. I have always loved cartoons, but a lot of modern properties have a tone and style that I can't get into. Before Netflix, the last show I really loved was way back in 2011 (ThunderCats). But now I have several shows that I adore: Voltron: Legendary Defender, The Dragon Prince, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. These cartoons combine the themes I love from my childhood with the more mature storylines I crave as an adult. It makes me feel like a kid again having numerous cartoons on my watchlist. My favorite part of the new She-Ra show was the complex relationship between Adora and Catra. There was nothing like this in the original series. We all know Adora started out as a Horde Force Captain, but the original series never delved into that Horde-to-Rebellion transition. It really is a great show and I can't wait till Season 2 (April 26th!) Let's check out Catra below!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Marvel Select - THE WASP!

Marvel Select - Ant-Man and the Wasp: The Wasp - Diamond Select Toys 2019

This year is set to be a record-breaking year for female figures in the Marvel Select line. Between now and June we should have a Captain Marvel, Psylocke, and Rogue in addition to this terrific Wasp. Up until now, the most females we've seen in a single year has been three (in 2005 & 2017). And considering the 17-year run of the line, 6 years had no females, and 7 had only one. So having four figures in the first six months is a great sign. It's also pretty amazing how far the quality of these figures has come. Back in the day they tended to be fairly pre-posed with limited (and often awkward) articulation. But now they are right up there (and sometimes better than) Hasbro's Marvel Legends. This Wasp figure is great. The Legends figure was pretty terrific so I wasn't particularly eager for another. But in all honesty, I like this second one better. The wings are nicer, the body seems more cinematic, and I love how smooth the ribcage articulation is (it makes for really dynamic poses). Let's check her out below!

Friday, March 15, 2019

MOTUC Filmation Style - SHE-RA!

MOTUC - Club Grayskull (Series 3) - She-Ra - Super7Store Exc - Super7 2018

I have been waiting for this toy for a long long time. When the Masters of the Universe Classics line first began in 2008-2009 and gave us Teela and Adora, I was immediately excited for a She-Ra. But when we finally got her (a speedy 6 months later), I was really disappointed. To me, this figure looked like the (beautiful) Adora sculpt with sloppy play-doh add-ons. It was the first figure in the entire line, male or female, that I thought was lackluster. And for such an iconic character I thought that was unacceptable. I wanted an instant apology figure. Well, it took nine years, but we finally got a true Filmation-style She-Ra and I'm in love with the figure. I actually ordered 4 of her because I was so nervous about QC problems, but they honestly all looked great. I know Super7 has had a variety of technical problems with this line, but in my eyes the figures just keep getting better and better. I'm excited for the Kittrina and Shadow Weaver and any other great figures coming after. Let's check out this long-awaited She-Ra below!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Star Wars Black Series - VAL!

Star Wars 6 " Black Series #71 (Solo Movie) - Val (Vandor-1) - Hasbro 2018

This is one of those figures I've had for a while now but just never got around to posting on. Thandie Newton's portrayal of Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story was one of my favorite parts of the film. She always struck me as an actor who focused on award-caliber films, and not necessarily taking the roles that would get her made into an action figure. But now between Westworld and Solo, we're likely to see several figures of her in a short time. I always think that if I were an actor I would strive for roles that would get me immortalized in plastic. Johnny Depp is that actor who has played the most characters deemed worthy of action figures, and I would love to see Thandie head down that same path. This figure itself is great. I never realized how much I liked her outfit while watching the movie. I remember thinking the exact opposite about Qi'Ra (disliking the outfit on the toy, but thinking it looked cool with all the cinematic filters toning it down). But I think Val looks like a funky stylish aviator and I love it. Let's check her out!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Star Wars Black Series - VICE ADMIRAL HOLDO!

Star Wars Black Series #80 - Vice Admiral Holdo (The Last Jedi) - Hasbro 2019

I thought one of the most intriguing characters from Star Wars: The Last Jedi was Vice Admiral Holdo. I had always liked Laura Dern's work, but it was her role in 2017's Big Little Lies that finally made me realize how great she really is. Then, in true karmic fashion, she has a pivotal role in the Star Wars movie later that same year. I don't really pay attention to Star Wars fandom, but apparently her character was met with very mixed reactions. But I had no such issues. I liked her aggressive authority and her mysterious history with General Leia. I even liked how her elegant style was so incongruous with the rest of the Resistance. This Black Series figure was very unexpected for me. For some reason I never expected her character to get the figure treatment, regardless of how much I liked her. I'm not super keen on her soft goods gown, but the draped scarf  that is sculpted down her back balances out the frumpiness of the cloth. Hopefully Hasbro will ditch the cloth one of these year. Let's check out Holdo below!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Shazam! Movie - DARLA DUDLEY!

Shazam! (Movie) - Power Slingers Basic Series 01 - Darla Dudley - Mattel 2019

I'm super excited for the Shazam! movie now. The character of Captain Marvel himself has never really spoken to me, and even Mary Marvel just never sparked an interest in me. But in the early 2000s, the Flashpoint storyline rewrote the history of Shazam. Suddenly there was a group of six friends (and family) of Billy Batson that each gained a single unique power from the wizard. Those six friends could then combine to form the ultimate hero, Captain Thunder (aka Shazam). Darla's power was the Speed of Mercury. The trailers for the movie seem to show the traditional billy-centric origin, but this basic assortment of figures contain Darla, Freddy, Pedro, Mary, Eugene and Billy and make me think the newer origin story is a big plotline of the movie. I know it's a pipedream, but I would also love for more Darla (and Mary) product in different scales. The 12" and Multiverse lines for this movie were pretty short on character assortment (only Billy and Dr. Sivana included). Let's check out Darla below!


Thursday, March 7, 2019

DC Essentials - BATGIRL!

DC Essentials - Action Figure #10 - Batgirl - DC Collectibles 2019

I don't think I will ever get enough Batgirl action figures. I feel for the longest time she was absent from the action figure world. Sure, there were some animated toys and some weird stylized ones (the Legends of the Dark Knight one was especially trippy), but I feel like the first true Batgirl action figure didn't come out until 2003 - which was long overdue. And ever since then I've been hooked. I especially long how the Burnside Batgirl revamp has given her a lot of new momentum. This DC Essentials figure is the fifth figure in this design in the past two years. And I especially love that this design features a purple and yellow color scheme so reminiscent of Yvonne Craig. Of course her current comic costume is already vastly different and I expect a few figures in that style soon. And I'm not even diving into my excitement over the DC Essentials line as a whole. I'm really impressed so far and really looking forward to the inevitable Catwoman (and wishes for Huntress, Ivy, and Batwoman). Let's check out Batgirl below!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Star Wars Black Series - PADMÉ AMIDALA!

Star Wars Black Series #81 - Padmé Amidala (Arena Battle) - Hasbro 2019

I'm a big fan of Star Wars, but like a large faction of the fandom, I did not enjoy the prequels. They had a lot of good storybuilding, but they lacked the charm of their predecessors (and recent successors). But the one thing that I credit those movies for is introducing me to Natalie Portman. Despite her rather robotic line delivery in these movies (which I credit 100% to art direction, not her talent), I found her very engaging and always made it a point to see all her work since. This is actually only the second toy I've ever purchased from Episodes 1-3 (Zam Wesell being the first), but I'm expecting there will be a lot more in the Black Series line - even it's it's just more Amidala figures in different costumes. Similar to Leia in Episodes 4-6, Amidala is known for a numer of iconic looks. Luckily this one (from the Arena Battle in Episode II: Attack of the Clones) is my favorite. It's most reminiscent of the original movies and it's the most practical one in her wardrobe. Let's check out Padmé Amidala below!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Marvel Legends - CAPTAIN MARVEL (STARFORCE)!

Marvel Legends - Captain Marvel (& Minn-Erva) Starforce - Target - Hasbro 2019

I'm very excited to see the Captain Marvel movie this week. Beyond the fact that we'll be a seeing a kickass female superhero take center stage, I'm now super intrigued to see how her blue-skinned Starforce teammate, Minn-Erva, is portrayed. I actually just learned about this character this week. I have some fuzzy memories of her on a cover of Quasar when I was a kid, but mostly she's brand-new to me. She was introudced around the same time as Carol's Ms. Marvel debut, but she was a villain to the male Captain Marvel. I'm guessing that Carol's Starforce teammates will be unhappy with her defecting to become and Earth hero. And I'm really looking forward to that conflict. This Target-Exclusive Starforce Captain Marvel comes with an assortment of accessories to make a Minn-Erva. Kudos to Hasbro for this collector-friendly bonus. The leaked Endgame 2-pack with pieces to make 5 characters shows a continuation of this trend and I couldn't be more excited (C'mon New Mutants! Hellion! Original X-Men!).

Saturday, March 2, 2019

DC Essentials - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Essentials - Action Figure #13 - Harley Quinn - DC Collectibles 2019

I'm really excited for this new DC Essentials line from DC Collectibles. There have been a lot of all-encompassing toy lines developed for DC properties over the years. DC Universe Classics and the more recent (but short-lived) DC Icons line come to mind as two stand-outs. But even after only seeing one female figure from this new DC Essentials line, I already love the body structure so much more than the previous attempts. I had gotten so used to those gangly arms and gaudy joints that I was blindly accepting them instead of demanding something better. So seeing this strong, well-proportioned buck is a breath of fresh air. I'm already excited for the Batgirl, Cheetah, and Supergirl figures coming out this year, and I'm eagerly anticipating future characters like Poison Ivy and Catwoman (They seem to only be A-List heroes and villains for now). I think the quality, price point, character selection, and character design is all finally in balance and I hope this line will have years of momentum. Let's check out Harley below!