Monday, December 30, 2019

Batman the Animated Series - POISON IVY!

Batman the Animated Series #49 - Poison Ivy - DC Collectibles 2019

One of the biggest disappointments in my adult collecting life would have to be the release of the 2017 Batman the Animated Series GCPD Rogues Gallery 5-Pack. This deluxe set retailed for a prohibitive $175.00 and featured the final figure I needed for my personal favorites collection: BTAS Poison Ivy (and as an added insult:  $175 ÷ 5 = $35, which was noticeably more than the single release figures at the time). I almost caved a dozen times over the years and bought the whole set. And on eBay the single figures were almost always over 80 bucks. But I had faith that DC Collectibles would eventually re-release her in a single, or at the very least a Gotham Girls set. It took a little over two years, but I finally have her in my greedy little hands. And while this particular animated likeness isn't the strongest in the line (the face and hair from most angles seems a little off), it's still very good and I'm ecstatic to finally have her in my collection. Now I'm wishing for a Huntress in the JLA line! Let's check out Poison Ivy below!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Chronicle Collectibles - ALL-STAR BATGIRL!

Batgirl (Jim Lee) Statue - ThinkGeek/Gamestop Exc - Chronicle Collectibles 2019

All-Star Batgirl is an interesting iteration of the Barbara Gordon character. All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder was a limited series created by Frank Miller and Jim Lee from 2005-2008 (ten issues in 36 weeks.. sheesh). The title quickly became notorious for being over-the-top with story and dialogue. I'm not a huge fan of Frank Miller simply because I feel he bases his modern storylines on shock value (but I guess you need outrageous headlines to spark interest when the release schedules are so dragged out). The scandal-of-the-issue for Batgirl's first appearance (in Issue 6) was a bunch of dialogue that DC had to redact. It was a stunt worthy of a huge eyeroll (especially considering you could read the words through the redactions, which felt super intentional and cheesy). But that said, seeing a young energetic Barbara Gordon as Batgirl was really exciting. Cassie Cain was great, but our favorite redhead hadn't been in costume in so long. This statue was a welcome and nostalgic surprise. Let's check her out!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Power Rangers - PINK RANGER!

Power Rangers - Playskool Heroes Mega Mighties - Pink Ranger - Hasbro 2019

I find it amusing that before the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toy reboot in 2010, I didn't own a single Power Rangers figure and I was basically indifferent to the property. But those new toys in 2010 were inexpensive and fun and I soon found myself hooked. I even found myself as an adult actively watching Power Rangers Dino Charge every week. Now it's a full blown category of my collection (even though I still have never seen a single episode of MMPR). This Mega Mighties Pink Ranger was quite a surprise when I found her at Target a few weeks ago. Especially considering how often the ladies are excluded from the toylines (especially the preschool lines or toys with action features for rough play). But it seems like quite possibly Playskool is turning a new leaf recently with this Pink Ranger and the Captain Marvel hitting shelves at the same time. If this trend continues the next year could be very exciting. I can imagine Rey, Spider-Gwen, Yellow Ranger, and Black Widow. Let's check out Pink Ranger below!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

3.75" Fortnite - GINGER GUNNER!

Fortnite: Gingerbread Set - Ginger Gunner & Merry Marauder - Jazwares 2019

Merry Christmas! I was holding out on posting this review because it's the only holiday-themed toy I think I've bought this year. There is something about this Target-exclusive Fortnite Gingerbread Set that thrills me. Gingerbread men are such an iconic Christmas theme, but I almost never see them used in fun ways. So when I see two gun-toting murderous action figures with this wholesome holiday decor, I am just hooked. I kind of want to pack them away with my ornaments and give them a spotlight in my annual trimmings (along with my Funko Miser Brothers!) Fortnite is known for combining cute and savage characteristics, and I think that's one of the reasons the brand is so popular. I really hope we see Ginger Gunner in different formats. A 12" and 6" version would be amazing additions to the line. And the best part about it is that new figures usually just show up on the shelves with little or no advance notice to us collectors - so there is always hope for the unexpected. Let's check out this festive little freak below!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Star Wars - JANNAH!

Star Wars 6" Black Series #98 - Jannah (Rise of Skywalker) - Hasbro 2019

I thought Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was fantastic. The story was solid, the characters were on point, and it was surprisingly funny. My biggest gripes with movies like Star Wars are when certain scenes defy the laws of physics. I can suspend my disbelief for the moment but my sciencey brain scoffs (usually laughing out loud in the theatre). But these impractical scenes never ruin a movie for me. I'm saying this because the scene that make me guffaw the most in Skywalker featured this new character Jannah. I don't want to give away any spoilers for the movie, so I'm just going to talk about my impressions of this toy. I'm always impressed by the new focus on racial diversity on the Star Wars franchise, and I especially love seeing kickass women of color. I also have a fascination with archery and crossbows, so this character is a natural draw for me. Naomi Ackie is a new actor to me, but I was excited to see that she was cast in that unaired Game of Thrones prequel pilot. Let's check out Jannah below!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Super Hero Adventures - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Marvel - Playskool Heroes Mega Mighties - Captain Marvel - Hasbro 2019

Playskool has been such a disappointing company since Marvel Super Hero Squad era fizzled out a decade ago. They've managed to release only a handful of female characters since then. Their Star Wars line has the most with two Reys, Phasma, Rose, and Enfys Nest.. yes, only five. The Marvel line has two different Black Widow sculpts and a Spider-Gwen. The fact that Gamora, Hela, Scarlet Witch, or Captain Marvel haven't been included yet are sinful (I didn't list Wasp because I still have hopes they'll released the cancelled figure). But in the past two weeks I've found two surprise female additions to the oversized Mega Mighties line. These figures are 10" tall with 6 points of articulation at $9.99 price point. I must admit I wasn't always sold on these figures, but these ladies are kind of winning over (only kind of). They're still big and weird to me, but I still found myself excitedly googling to see if there was a Spider-Gwen coming (I don't think there is). It's going to be a slippery slope. Let's check out Carol below!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Batman Returns ViniMates - CATWOMAN!

DC Comics ViniMates - Batman Returns Catwoman - Diamond Select Toys 2019

There are far too few representations of Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in my collection. I still maintain that this was the best representations of a female comic character on screen. Every so often I find myself searching YouTube for that iconic "Meow" scene and every time it's just as good as I remember. When the ViniMates spinoff line of MiniMates was first announced, I wasn't too impressed. I love the blocky tiny MiniMate line so much, but these larger, unarticulated cousins just didn't make much sense to me. But then they started rolling out amazing DC characters in a variety of different eras, and I was hooked. It had been 10 years since the original DC Mini-Mate line had fizzled out and I didn't realize how much I was missing it. This Michelle Pfeiffer figure is absolutely perfect. Now I have an expanded wishlist for Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt versions. Not to mention other cinematic ladies like Alicia Silverstone Batgirl and Uma thurman Poison Ivy. I want them all! Let's check out Catwoman below!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Bendy and the Dark Revival - INK AUDREY!

Bendy and the Ink Machine - Series 03 - Ink Audrey - PhatMojo 2019

PhatMojo has a way of surprising me with new action figures just appearing out of nowhere in the toy aisles. I actually think every wave of toys so far has been a surprise to me: Bendy waves I and II, Showdown Bandit, It, The Office... the only one I guess I was expecting was DuckTales (and I'm still eagerly awaiting that second series). This Ink Audrey figure is apparently the protagonist for the upcoming Bendy and the Dark Revival game due in January 2020. You will actually be exploring the Bendy world as Audrey. I'm assuming we'll witness her slow transformation into the ink monster we see here. Many of the Bendy figures from Series I and II come in both the black and white and yellow and white versions. I've always been jealous of the yellow ones because I think they look very striking. But this Ink Audrey is the first female figure in a yellow and black deco. I especially love the darker yellow eyes. These figures are also improving greatly with every wave and I'm always excited to see what they'll do next.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Fortnite Legendary Series - VALKYRIE!

Fortnite - Legendary Series (6" Action Figures) - Valkyrie - Jazwares 2019

I'm very excited for this first female character in the 6" Fortnite Legendary Series from Jazwares. We've seen a lot of high-quality product from Jazwares over the years, but this is the first time we've seen a Marvel-Legends-type line from them (if you exclude that Hanna-Barbera Space Ghost from 2012). Fortnite shows a ton of potential and will hopefully earn Jazwares all kinds of new licenses in the coming years. I'm generally just excited to see a new big player in the action figure aisles. I don't know much at all about Fortnite except that I find the toys very exciting and quirky. That's why I'm so intrigued by this Valkyrie figure. She's quite possibly the least quirky character I've seen in the line, but she's absolutely gorgeous. I'll probably end up displaying her with my Magic the Gathering or other sci-fi fantasy figures. The pajama party aesthetic of the property is absent in this one. Also, in researching Valkyrie I kept seeing images of a fire variant. I certainly hope we see that in plastic. Let's check out Valkyrie below!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Star Wars - CARA DUNE!

Star Wars 6" Black Series #101 - Cara Dune (The Mandalorian) - Hasbro 2019

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about The Mandalorian when it was first announced. Growing up, my older brother was obsessed with Boba Fett but I just didn't see the fascination. Considering that I never watched a Star Wars television series before (there have been so many!), I thought this would be yet another skippable show. But then the baby Yoda memes started surfacing and I was super intrigued. Then last weekend I borrowed a Disney+ password and I dove right it. And as much as I love baby Yoda, I'm actually more intrigued by the Mandalorian himself and the mercenary Cara Dune. I've only seen one episode with Cara so far (directed by Bryce Dallas Howard!), but considering she has a toy and posters, I'm assuming she'll be a regular character. Cara is played by Gina Carano, the MMA champion who you might know from Deadpool and Fast & Furious. She exudes strength, beauty, and a no-nonsense personality that is somehow very quirky. Let's check out Cara Dune below!

Friday, December 13, 2019

12" Fortnite - PANDA TEAM LEADER!

Fortnite - Victory Series Squad Mode Box - Panda Team Leader - Jazwares 2019

Surprisingly there aren't many panda-themed action figures out there. As one of the most universally recognizable animals, they somehow never get the same anthropomorphic-action-figure attention as the big cats, reptiles, and birds. Besides the obvious Kung Fu Panda product, I can't think of any. This Fortnite Victory Series 4-pack appears to be exclusive to Sam's Club exclusive (I don't believe they have been found anywhere else), and at first glance you might think they are all simple repaints of the single-pack figures. However, this Panda Team Leader has several sculptural differences from Cuddle Team Leader. The most obvious change to me is the chest piece: Cuddle Team Leader has armor while Panda Team Leader has sculpted fur. Also, Panda is now missing Cuddle's trademark facial scar. I feel like every day I'm hearing about new Legendary or 3.75" figures, but the 12" Victory Series isn't getting much press. I would love to see more. Let's check out Panda Team Leader below!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Marvel Legends - TIGRA!

Marvel Legends - Nemesis B-a-F Series - Tigra - Walmart Exc - Hasbro 2009

I had a conversation with a friend the other week and he started scoffing at this old Tigra figure. I agreed that it wasn't terrific, but that it's also not that bad. The sculpt is decent and I have no complaint about the paint application. The only problems are a bland facial expression and the awkward articulation (this was about 5 years before Hasbro perfected the female Marvel Legends buck). So I thought I would dig out my figure and give her a little love with a photo shoot. Especially since I have a hunch we'll be getting an updated figure very soon. She's definitely one of the Marvel characters most deserving of an update, and the recent Tigra: The Complete Collection TPB (that was released today!) is a definite sign that the character has something brewing. It would be especially interesting to see her get some attention at the same time that Cheetah has a starring role in Wonder Woman 1984.  It could be a clash of the felinoid women, and I would love every second of it. Let's check out this 2009 Tigra below!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Masters of the Universe Vintage - EVIL LYN!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 4 - Evil Lyn - Super7 2019

Oh Evelyn Morgan Powers, I was always rooting for you to wrest power from Skeletor and lead the Evil Warriors of Eternia. But alas, those annoyingly perky heroes would always win. When this Vintage-Style Evil-Lyn figure from Super7 was announced, I was a little bummed that they weren't using this platform as a pathway to get us characters that never before had MOTU-style vintage figures (like She-Ra and Shadow Weaver). I would have loved to see Scorpia, Queen Marlena, or Delora before re-hashes of Teela and Evil Lyn, but once I had them in hand, I realized how vastly different the Filmation designs were from the vintage toys. So it's nice to have a proper update, especially since He-Man and all the boys were getting them. Of course, now I will lament that we will never see a Sorceress in this line since she is that only remaining MOTU female without a refreshed action figure. (I only hope Mattel's Origins line does the brand justice and give us lots of characters). Let's check out Evil Lyn below!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Masters of the Universe Vintage - SHADOW WEAVER!

Masters of the Universe Vintage Wave 4 - Shadow Weaver - Super7 2019

Shadow Weaver is one of the most iconic vampy women from my childhood. Her shadowed face and raspy voice actually made her one of the scariest characters in the (expanded) MOTU world. All the other bad guys got silly very quickly and devolved into outright buffoonery, but Shadow Weaver was always sinister. Of all the characters from the Filmation series, it was always a shock that Shadow Weaver never got an action figure made. She appeared in a whopping 52 episodes, while "main" characters like Mermista, Frosta, and Queen Angella were only in a handful. But somehow we haven't seen a vintage-style figure until now. Although when I imagine what a vintage POP Shadow Weaver would look like, I cringe. She would probably be pink and glittery with sparkly gemstones and gauzy fabric. So I'm actually glad it took so long. It's a shame this wave appears to be the last of the Super7 vintage line, because there are so many more characters deserving of this treatment. Let's check out Weaver below!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Two Years of DC Heroines from IMAGINEXT!

An Assortment of Imaginext DC Super Friends Ladies - Fisher-Price 2018-2019

I love Imaginext so much but I get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of figures I've collected over the years. So this post is collecting 23 amazing DC Super Friends ladies I've assembled over the past two years (and there are at least two I couldn't locate amidst my clutter to photograph).  I'm exhausted from editing 214 photos, but giddy about having them all unpackaged now. Way back in early 2012, the release of the Imaginext Catwoman was the push I needed to start this blog - which is funny because I never ended up reviewing that particular figure. But every time there is a new release I feel a nostalgic sense of excitement. The presence of female characters in the line is increasing at a shocking rate, and the two female-centric 6-packs in 2018 is a perfect example of Imaginext's new focus on gender inclusion. It was a very slow trickle for may years, but lately it's been an absolute flood (and I couldn't be happier about it). Let's check out two years of DC Imaginext ladies below!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

SDCC Metropolis ReAction - MARIA!

ReAction Retro Figures - Metropolis' Maria (SDCC Exc) - Super7 2019

Smaller toy companies have a leg up on the big guys for one crucial reason: they're almost always geeks like us. That scenario tends to give us great character selection, attention to detail, and amazingly nerdy easter eggs. Hence this truly fantastic SDCC exclusive Maria figure. Maria is the iconic robot from the 1927 film Metropolis, one of the earliest science fiction films ever made. That setup would normally be plenty to excite us collectors (and it did, with the two previous releases of this figure being very popular). But then we add in the super-cool trivia that Maria was the design inspiration behind one of the most popular Sci-Fi robots of all time, Star Wars' very own C3PO (specifically the originally Ralph McQuarrie concept designs), and our collective heads can explode. So in homage to this connection, this Super7 exclusive Maria is deco'd in super shiny gold (complete with a silver leg!) and packaged in classic Kenner style with a retro collectible coin. Maria is totally the droid we've been looking for!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Justice League International - FIRE!

Justice League International - Action Figures Series 02 - Fire - DC Direct 2009

My first exposure to Beatriz da Costa was in the pages of Super Friends when she went by the name Green Fury. I was always drawn to monochromatic characters, even at such a young age. But on the flipside, I was also so young that the idea of fire that wasn't red or orange baffled me. That's honestly why I remember her so well.. because her powers confused me. I didn't even realize she was she same character as Green Flame and Fire until very recently. When she was Green Flame in the Global Guardians, she first started being paired with Icemaiden. And when Icemaiden was re-created as Ice in Justice League International, Green Flame followed suit and shortened her name to Fire. I really don't know much about the pair, except that they seem so iconic - like a female Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. There have been a handful of good action figures of this pair, but I personally think these DC Direct Justice League International versions are the best. Let's check out Fire below!