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!