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!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Shazam! Movie - MARY MARVEL!

Shazam! (Movie) - Power Slingers Basic Series 01 - Mary Marvel - Mattel 2019

I saw Shazam! this weekend and I really liked it. I'm going to discuss the movie so consider this your spoiler alert. Although if you have read his New52 comics or walked down a toy aisle in the last month, you won't be learning anything new. At the end of the movie, just like in the comics, Billy chooses to split up his powers among his family. Suddenly there is a rainbow-hued Marvel Family fighting off the Seven Deadly Sins. Some of the heroes have very clear powers; Darla: Speed, Freddy: Flight,  Eugene: Lightning, and Pedro: Strength. But Mary's aren't obviously announced (possibly because she has them all, or possibly because she has one of the non-physical powers like Wisdom). But either way, her presence in the final scene was lackluster. She didn't get any good battle moments like the rest. Mostly she was seen locked in static struggle with different Sins in the background. I was disappointed in that small aspect, but pleased with the rest of the movie. Here's hoping for a sequel (with more Mary)!