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 - DINO THUNDER YELLOW RANGER!

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 - CAPTAIN CELAENO!

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!