Saturday, May 30, 2020


3rd Party Transformers - MGT-01 Delicate Warrior (Arcee Homage) - iGear 2010

A few years ago when I decided to dive deep into collecting 3rd Party Transformers figures (and specifically to get every homage to Arcee), I read everywhere that iGear's Delicate Warrior was the one to get. Unfortunately by the time I was interested, she had been sold out for eight years. And honestly, when I saw pics of her, I thought she was just okay-looking. But then last month I finally purchased her for myself, and now I totally get the hype. She looks really great in person and she's just fractionally larger than a modern deluxe-scale fembot. But I really start to appreciate her when I realize her historical context. Delicate Warrior was released in 2010, a full four years before the Generations Arcee. At the time, the best official Arcee was the highly-stylized figure from Transformers Animated. And the previous 3rd Party attempts were several steps less advanced. So for four years, this figure held the crown as the best G1 Arcee out there, and that's an impressive feat. Let's check out Delicate Warrior below!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

DC Club Infinite Earths - ICE!

DC Universe Signature Collection - Ice - Mattycollector Exclusive - Mattel 2014

I think I avoided reviewing this figure for so long because I was so disappointed at the end of the DC Universe Classic line. This final wave was technically part of the subscription-only Signature Series as they were trying to squeeze out a final few fan-demanded characters. I've had Ice sitting unopened on the shelf under my coffee table for six years. I would pull her out like I was going to finally open and photograph her, only to sigh and tuck her away again.. like a time capsule of a time when I had awesome subscription toys coming every month. But I finally followed through a few weeks ago and now I'm excited to set up a Fire and Ice shelf. While this figure has a number of flaws, I still find her utterly charming. Her face, hair, and neck seem oddly contorted and her ab crunch joint is very distracting, but her arms look good (not the spindly appendages most DCUC females got), her colors are vivid, and it's just a really fun toy overall. Unfortunately, I think the days of C-listers is over. Let's check out Ice below!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

12" Spin Master - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Universe - 12" Justice League -  Wonder Woman - Spin Master Toys 2020

With all the movie-themed Wonder Woman products hitting the shelves in the past few years, I didn't realize how much I was missing some brightly-colored comic-style Diana in my life. Granted, this costume definitely resembles the cinematic version in sculpt, the face and bright colors definitely seem like they are intended to represent a more generic Wonder woman design. It's funny that of all the new DC lines coming out this year, the Spin Master 12" figures are my favorite. The McFarlane releases and the 4" Spin Master toys may be a lot more prolific with female characters so far, but for some reason I'm most excited about the future of the 12" line. I fantasize that the 12" character roster someday matching their 4" and capsule toy lineups. Meaning we might see Batwoman, Catwoman, and Huntress eventually. Not to mention all the other characters I haven't even considered yet. I hope Spin Master still shows off product during SDCC week because NYTF is far too long. Let's check out Wonder Woman below!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

DCUC Wonder Twins - JAYNA!

DC Universe Classics - Wonder Twins: Zan & Jayna - SDCC Exc - Mattel 2009

I think this Wonder Twins set exemplifies the perfect type of convention exclusive toy. They are very cool and very original characters, but they won't appeal to a large portion of collectors. They weren't difficult for me to obtain, and that's probably because the demand wasn't super high across the collecting community. What drove people bonkers though was the exclusive polybagged Gleek figure that was only available in person at SDCC and still demands a super high price. Luckily I was always indifferent to him, so no skin off my back. Zan and Jayna were the second iteration of sidekicks in Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends cartoon series. In 1973, the non-powered human sidekicks Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog debuted alongside the traditional Justice League lineup. They only lasted one season and were replaced by the extraterrestrial shapeshifting Wonder Twins and their blue monkey, Gleek, when The All-New Super Friends Hour debuted in 1977.  It was a major improvement! Let's check out Jayna below!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Golden Armor WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse - Wonder Woman 1984 - Golden Armor - McFarlane Toys 2020

I wasn't always a fan of Wonder Woman's Golden Eagle Armor. When it debuted in the Elseworlds classic, Kingdom Come, way back in 1996 it represented a side of Diana that I hadn't been exposed to before. When she donned the armor, she became violent, aggressive, and ready to wage war. I never thought of myself as someone who needs their heroes to have monk-like morals, I enjoy the antics of Gwenpool and Huntress as much the saintly heroes. But seeing Diana pull a 180° like that had a weird effect on me. I think this was because I could actually see her character making that turn. It wasn't a case of bad writing or a core misunderstanding of her nature, but it was a drastic and believable morality shift under extreme circumstances. Anyway, for a long time, the visual association of this armor made me uneasy. But eventually I got over it. So when I saw Gal in the armor I got genuinely excited. I'm so curious to see how it plays into the plot of the movie. Let's check out Golden Armor Wonder Woman below!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

McFarlane Toys - WONDER WOMAN 1984!

DC Multiverse - Wonder Woman 1984 - Wonder Woman - McFarlane Toys 2020

I'm very excited to see the Wonder Woman 1984 movie when it (supposedly) will be hitting theatres this August. By that stage of our pandemic (three months from now), I will have attempted a family vacation, potentially traveled to a wedding, perhaps have gone back to the office, and I think I will be open to experiencing a theatre outing. It will actually be my birthday week as well, so I'll be feeling social. While I'm not opposed to the home-release of movies like Trolls and Scoob, Wonder Woman 1984 is definitely the type of movie I want to see on the big screen. The action and music in the trailer just gets me all revved up. The toys are adding to my anticipation as well. It's weird how all the standard-release Wonder woman figures so far have been unable to capture Gal Gadot's likeness. I've seen high-end items that look great, but this McFarlane figure is easily the best one in the $15-30 range. I'm holding out hopes that there will be a surprise release of Cheetah closer to August. Let's check out Diana below!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Age of Apocalypse - JEAN GREY!

Marvel Legends - Sugar Man BaF - Jean Grey (Age of Apocalypse) - Hasbro 2020

I skipped a whole lot of superhero comics between the mid-nineties and the early oughties. Across the board, the art style had become very loose with exaggerated anatomy and facial expressions. Costumes got way too complicated/busy for my liking. And the general aesthetic was extreme. It was an era of gritted teeth and pouches. My general dislike of this era has led to some major gaps in my comic repertoire. I don't know anything about Knightfall/Azrael/Bane, the Rebirth of Superman is a blur, and any X-books past the marriage of Scott and Jean in 1994 is a total black hole of my (normally encyclopedic) knowledge. In fact, it's no joke that my only connection to a good decade of comics is the toys that they inspired. This Age of Apocalypse Jean Grey is a great example. The first time I ever saw this costume was in a 2010 Minimates box set. While not my favorite design overall, it has a certain 80's glam-rock look that I dig. (The shoulderpads are spectacular!) Let's check out AoA Jean Grey below!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Mythic Legions - XYLONA!

Mythic Legions: Advent of Decay - The Legendary Xylona - Four Horsemen 2018

Of all the action figures in my collection, I think this Mythic Legions Xylona figure may possibly be the most unique. I go through phases where I love her, and others when she irks me. While her body is a standard female buck (although dressed in a leafy/foliage design) paired with the hoofed legs that we've seen on several creature figures, it's her head and neck that draws all the attention. She is a adorned with a large nondescript cervid head, which is turn is crowned with a massive set of antlers. They're so high that they add 50% to her height (I measured). The proportions are inhuman and are part of the reason I find her unsettling. Normal human proportions tend to place a vertical midpoint at the waist, but the midpoint of Xylona is her chest. When I imagine her at my scale, I think she's terrifying my eyes don't know where to go. That said, she is magnificent, utterly original, and perfect for the fantasy Mythic Legions line. I'm extremely curious to see this mold repurposed too. Let's check out Xylona below!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Marvel She-Force - TIGRA!

Marvel Superheroes: Marvel Hall of Fame - She-Force - Tigra - ToyBiz 1997

I love buying inexpensive action figures from the 90s and opening them fresh. It's like a time machine to the infancy of the toy collecting hobby. I really wasn't into superhero action figures back when these were coming out (I was really into collecting monster toys!), but honestly I'm kind of glad all these Marvel figures were off my radar, because I don't think I would have had easy access to actually buy any of them. I had three comic shops in my little town when I was a kid, but by the late 90s they were struggling (if not closed already). Same with the Kay-Bee Toys at the local mall. And I didn't discover eBay until 1998. Plus, my taste in superheroes was probably suspect. I think Tigra is awesome now, but back then I just knew her as the cat-girl that was always in those weird Marvel Swimsuit Special magazines. So all-in-all, I'm glad I unintentionally waited 23 years to start collecting them. The timing lets me overlook the aesthetic and engineering faults and just focus on the fun. Let's check out Tigra below!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Mythic Legions - LUCRETIA!

Mythic Legions: Advent of Decay - Lucretia (Illythias Brood) - Four Horsemen 2018

I love vampire lore. It's pretty rare when there is a vampire story on television, on the silver screen, or in books that I don't appreciate on some level. I like everything from the scary and monstrous to the eye-rolling and romantic. And female vampires get even more love from me, but they are predictably much less prevalent. Up until this Mythic Legions Lucretia figure, I don't think I had ever seen a female vampire in the style of Count Orlok (from Nosferatu 1922); a more demonic, inhuman looking design. Females are usually vampy, goth, gorgeous, and ultimately human-looking which I certainly don't mind, but I never realized how awesome a demonic-bat character could look. She's quite possibly the most wicked-looking figure in my collection. And just imagine how epic she could look with white demon/dragon wings! I'm becoming very obsessed with these Mythic Legions figures. I still can't believe it took a quarantine to finally convince me to crack them open. (Sooooo many more to go). Let's check out Lucretia!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Genseishin Justirisers - RISER KAGERI!

Konami Real Great Model Series - Justirisers S03 - Riser Kageri - Konami 2005

Genseishin Justirisers is the 2nd installment in the Chouseishin Series, a tokusatsu TV Franchise in Japan created by Toho in 2004 to rival Toei's Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series. This series is a big departure from its predecessor, Chouseishin Gransazer, which was notable for having twelve main heroes, by instead only having three. Each of the 3 characters has a dizzying number of themes. Riser Kageri is the token female and embodies the themes of : Virtue, Ninja, Tiger, and Wind. Riser Glen, the red male, embodies Courage, Samurai, Phoenix, and Flame. And Riser Gant, the male in black, represents Wisdom, Monk, Tortoise, and Thunder. I honestly had trouble deciphering it all visually until I was researching for this post. The symbolism in these designs is what I have grown to love most about them. Researching all the new properties that have emerged since my interest dwindled a decade ago has been a fun quarantine pasttime. (There have been a lot!) Let's check out Riser Kageri below!

Friday, May 8, 2020


Konami Real Great Model Series - Chouseishin Gransazer - Konami 2004

In the mid-aughts, I was obsessed with Japanese tokusatsu vinyl figures. Besides some vague exposure to Power Rangers and Beetleborgs, the genre was basically unknown to me. I spent a lot of time back then browsing Japanese auction sites (for other non-action-figure hobbies of mine) when I first came across the trend of 1:12 vinyl figures. I was fascinated by these inexpensive and bountiful collectibles. Just when I had written off Japanese pop culture as only schoolgirl uniforms and cat ears I discovered this world of colorful armor and intricate design themes. The vast majority of these figures were produced by Bandai, but this amazing Chouseishin Gransazer is apparently made by Konami (I say apparently because despite the copyright stamped on the figure and the logo on the packaging, I can't find solid proof that Konami ever made toys). I especially like this group because there are a whopping twelve main characters including four females. Let's check them all out below!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Terry Dodson WONDER WOMAN!

DC Comics - Wonder Woman Series 01 - Wonder Woman - DC Direct 2007

I can't believe it's taken me thirteen years to photograph and post on this amazing figure. I believe most Wonder Woman collectors would claim this is their favorite representation of the character in plastic, and I definitely agree that she is spectacular. She was released in line with the the rebooted Wonder Woman comic from 2006 with art by Terry Dodson and writing by Allan Heinberg (the man behind Young Avengers and the screenplay for the 2017 Wonder Woman movie, among other things). The first story arc of the 2006 series is constantly reprinted in collected form as "Who is Wonder Woman?" and is probably at your LCS right now. I just picked it up a few months ago and it's still a great read with beautiful art. This figure is indeed gorgeous, but it doesn't exactly look like Terry Dodson's art. In fact, I think the Adam Hughes figure I reviewed earlier this week looks more like Dodson's art than this. But despite that you can't deny the perfection of this sculpt. Let's check her out below!

Monday, May 4, 2020


DC Comics Justice League of America Boxset - DC Direct 2009

Wonder Woman is a sticky situation for us collectors of female action figures.  I will go out on a limb and say that she is the single most merchandised heroine of all time, and I seriously doubt any ladies will be stealing that mantle from her anytime soon.  I don't dislike Wonder Woman, but I pointedly ignore the standard monthly solicitation of yet another Diana figure or statue.  I am an obsessive collector so I have to put my blinders on or I will be penniless and living in a star-spangled hovel.  A few years ago I started reading the revamped Wonder Woman comic with art by Terry and Rachel Dodson and I suddenly had a renewed interest in the character.  I made it a goal to find the single best figure I could find of her and limit myself to that one piece.  Of course I now have a small handful of Dianas, but they entered organically into my collection, because each time I made a purchase I truly thought I was replacing my existing perfect figure with a newly-produced superior version of that single perfect representation.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Dx9 Toys - COCOMONE!

3rd Party Transformers - DX9-D03C Cocomone (Go-Bots Crasher) - Dx9 Toys 2015

I think Crasher is forever doomed to get toy representations that are just re-decoed male characters. But considering that her character is literally developed from a repurposed genderless (but male-presenting) Machine Robo toy, I give her a pass. When I think back to my various childhood traumas, a surprisingly high number of them center around animation. The flying skeleton girls from Return of the King, everything about Rikki Tikki Tavi, and the frighteningly insane cackle of Crasher from Go-Bots. The way she would stomp around was equally scary. Yet you could always find me glued to the TV waiting for a glimpse of her.  As one of the most iconic Go-Bots characters, I'm surprised there hasn't been more merchandise for her. The vintage Go-Bots toy is the only official item (with some variant re-releases), followed by the Transformers Fracture homage, and finally this 3rd Party Cocomone figure. I'm still waiting for a perfect representation (ideally an original sculpt!) But until then this Cocomone is pretty terrific.