Saturday, October 31, 2020

Castlevania - CARMILLA!

Castlevania (Netflix Series) Wave 2 - Carmilla - Diamond Select Toys 2020

Happy Halloween! I thought I might not have a good vampy character for a Halloween post this year, but I completely forgot about this amazing vampire queen Carmilla from the Netflix Castlevania Series. I unfortunately stopped watching the show before she became one of the primary antagonists of Season 2. But way back in the late 80s I was obsessed with the game Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and I remember her as a boss you had to battle. She was an extremely lame boss, basically a floating drama mask that was easy to beat, but it still made an impression. Her makeover for the animated series thrills me. She is a former general of Dracula and Queen of Styria, with all the wickedness and cunning typical of a good villainess. I always love a tall creepy vampiress. Something about the blending of horror and glamour just fascinates me. And her stark white skin and hair set her apart from her genre. Almost all the women on my vampy shelf have black hair and black clothes, so her pallor and her red and gold accents really pop (without being outlandish). I love her. Let's check out Carmilla below!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

World's Smallest - TEELA!

World's Smallest: Masters of the Universe - Teela - Super Impulse 2020

One of my favorite new obsessions is the Micro Action Figure sub-line from Super Impulse. These show up under two of their product lines: World's Smallest and World's Coolest, and include miniature action figures of the most iconic toy lines of all time like G.I.Joe, Transformers, Mego Horror, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and of course Masters of the Universe. These figures are roughly 1.25" tall in packaging that measures 2.25" by 1.75". They feature tiny accessories and several points of articulation (usually just arms and head). While I generally predict female characters to be scarce in lines like this, I was pleasantly surprised (read: ecstatic) to see Teela offered right off the bat. My only wish now if that there might be a second wave of MOTU Micro figures. TMNT and Power Rangers are licenses that could be reasonably be considered complete with only a single assortment, but having only four MOTU representative is just cruel. Let's check out Teela below!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Apex Legends - WRAITH!

Apex Legends: Season 1 - 6" Action Figures - Wraith - Jakks Pacific 2020

It's amazing how all the random videogame toys these days are of such high quality. I remember when these would be cheap merchandising grabs and the figures would only ever caught my attention when they employed almost fascinatingly retro construction techniques. Not out of nostalgia, but out of speed and cost. But in the last decade, the quality is usually on par with Marvel Legends or DC Multiverse. This Wraith figure from the new Apex Legends line is a prime example. These characters look amazing, the packaging is crisp, and the product placement is ideal (right next to Marvel Legends in Walmart). Apex Legends is a 2019 first-person shooter battle royale game and Wraith is one of the many playable characters (Legends) in it. Her unique powers deal with controlling inter-dimensional rifts - whether small like dodging attacks or big like teleporting a whole squad. It's a shame she didn't come with any power effects, but she's a gorgeous figure either way. Let's check out Wraith below!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Transform Element - BLACK WIDOW!

3rd Party Transformers - TE MM-01 Black Widow - Transform Element 2019

I've always been quick to note that the presence of a 3rd Party Transformers market doesn't hinder my purchases of official Hasbro or TakaraTomy product at all, and that the 3rd party presence actually deepens my interest in all Transformers products. However, I can think of one exception; this tiny 3.5" Transform Element Black Widow figure from last year. This figure was announced right around the same time as the official TakaraTomy Transformers Masterpiece Blackarachnia, which I was fairly certain I was going to purchase (although the $100+ price tag was keeping me at bay). To be fair, Beastformers aren't my favorite iteration of the Transformers Universe, so I'm much more likely to shell out big bucks for a vehicle mode than a robotic animal. But when faced with a the decision to add a large-scale, very expensive figure to my collection or this tiny, cheaper alternative, I chose the 3rd Party route. (And knowing me I'll eventually cave on the Masterpiece). Let's check out Black Widow below!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Marvel Legends - STORM!

Marvel Legends - Storm and Thunderbird 2-Pack - Target Exc - Hasbro 2020

The first female superhero I ever saw in an actual comic book was Storm. Sometime in the late 80s my older brother came home from a sleepover with a few tattered issues of Classic X-Men and I was instantly intrigued. A big part of that was because I remembered her fondly from the Pryde of the X-Men cartoon that aired continuously throughout my childhood. By the time I personally got into reading X-Men comics, she was depowered and mohawked, and shortly after she donned her 90's Jim Lee look. But I always loved her classic costume best and have been wanting a Legends figure forever. Especially since that teased prototype 13 years ago in Toyfare. Hasbro really went all out with this figure, giving her alternate heads, capes, and hands like a true deluxe figure. I'm really loving the retro focus on the Legends line. Along with all the ultra-modern MDU figures, there has a been a consistent flow of classic comic gems and I can't wait to see what's next. Let's check out Storm below!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Iron Factory - NIGHT ASSASSIN!

3rd Party Transformers - IF EX-16N Night Assassin (Nightbird) - Iron Factory 2016

I'm a little sad that this is the last of my Iron Factory mini fembots to review. From 2015 to 2018 there was steady flow of these little beauties. I got them all with the exception of some variants but I waited until very recently to finally open and photograph them all. They are 3" tall and very well articulated with fun anime-esque faces and great sculpts all-around. I'm very impressed with the quality and aesthetic. I don't know for sure that there won't be any more, but there's usually a ton of advance knowledge with 3rd Party Figures (often years) and I haven't heard a peep about anything new. The character selection was proving to be so interesting too. Windblade was the darling of the moment and Arcee was the classic. But then we got Elita-1, Slipstream, and Nightbird, which were very unexpected and exciting. Nightbird was a mysterious military ninja robot from the G1 Transformers cartoon - who coincidentally has been getting a lot of merchandise in the past decade. Let's check out Night Assassin below!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Transformers Earthrise - ARCEE!

Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy - Earthrise - Arcee - Hasbro 2020

Hasbro and TakaraTomy have been really impressing me with their constantly improving female robot designs. Of course, the cartoon versions of the female Autobots feature almost organic-looking bodies with soft curves and physics-defying transformations into blocky vehicles. In toy world, this typically means the ladies are shellformers with excessive kibble. This Earthwise Arcee is a prime example of this, but I still think she is undeniably the best official Arcee released so far. I'm just waiting for a slight redeco with some slight paint mods. A pale pink face, white feet, and some variation to the flat pink plastic would make this a perfect figure. Maybe a Japanese release in the coming months will offer some of these changes. Also the retooling of this buck for the upcoming Walmart-exclusive Elita-1 and the repaint for the Paradron medic creates an exciting precedent for more characters. I have a wishlist a mile long, but only time will tell (Beta! Nautica!). Let's check out War for Cybertron Earthrise Arcee below!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Hammer Films - COUNTESS DRACULA!

Hammer Glamour Masterpiece Collection - Countess Dracula Bust - Titan 2011

I love movies. I literally watch at least one movie a day and I find joy in almost all genres. But one of my favorite subgenres is classic (think 1985 and earlier) "horror" movies. I put that in quotes because my favorite ones are really hard to label as horror. I am especially drawn to films that features misunderstood monsters or (duh) vampy women. Countess Dracula is a 1971 historical horror from Hammer Film. The Dracula title is a bit of misnomer, because it's really about Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory and her rumored penchant for bathing in the blood of virgins. It stars horror icon Ingrid Pitt and despite its poor ratings, I find it quite watchable. My bootleg DVD won't play on any of my devices anymore so I was very happy to find it streaming on Amazon Prime tonight. I forgot how much boob kissing there was and how very little blood (which is odd considering the subject). I don't know how obscure the movie is, but I know I was shocked this bust got made. Let's check out Countess Dracula below!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Iron Factory - WINDSABER!

3rd Party Transformers - IF EX-05 Windsaber (Windblade) - Iron Factory 2015

Windsaber was the first of Iron Factory's 3rd Party 3" fembots back in 2015. At the time, I wasn't familiar with the world of 3rd Party collecting and the price really threw me off. She was around $25 at a time when similarly-scales Hasbro figures were only $5. I just didn't understand the appeal. But now that I'm a fully-indoctrinated fan, I can assure you that the sculpt, paint, plastic quality, packaging, and engineering is almost always top notch. The price is still an obstacle, but I can always budget for my must-haves. And coincidentally, my interest in 3rd Party figures has revved up my purchasing of official Hasbro and Takaratomy products more than ever before. A rising tide floats all boats as they say, and fan-made collectibles help raise my interest in fembots across the board. An interesting fact about this Windsaber figure is that, although unofficial, she is the second Windblade figure ever released. And considering how prolific she in the toy aisles these days, that's very impressive. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Deadpool - NEGASONIC TEENAGE WARHEAD!

Marvel Legends: Deadpool 2 - Negasonic Teenage Warhead - Hasbro 2020

I pride myself on knowing a lot about comic book characters. My social circle is decidedly not nerdy so when we all go to see the latest blockbuster, I'm the one getting questions whispered to me during the movie.. "Who is that supposed to be?" "Do they have powers?" "Are they good or bad?" I get over my mortification about theatre chatter and dip into my wealth of knowledge. But every so often I get completely stumped. The most recent example was Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 (2018). She had a great presence, an awesome look, and she seemed powerful, but I had absolutely no clue who this character was. I'm kind of glad I didn't either, because after some research, I think I like the cinematic interpretation way better that the original comic. With her cool name and edgy look, her sonic burst powers in the movies make a better match than her precognitive telepathic abilities in the comics. Plus I always dig a costum eover street clothes. Let's check out Ellie below!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Iron Factory - SHRIKE'S FEATHER!

3rd Party Transformers - IF EX-27 Shrikes Feather (Slipstream) Iron Factory 2018

One of my favorite genres of character is female gender-swaps of existing male characters. My obsession with all the bat-ladies and spider-ladies are a prime example if this. But I've been getting really into Transformers in the past few years and this gender-swapping is almost unheard of in this universe. The biggest example, however, is Slipstream. Slipstream is a female clone of Starscream introduced in the Transformers: Animated series. In that storyline, Starscream had made a number of clones of himself, but Slipstream really stood out. Not only was she the token female, but she was wicked and funny. Each clone had unique traits: cowardly, prideful, obsequious, etc. Most of these traits resulted in comic buffoonery, but Slipstream seemed like a genuine villain. She became really popular and has since appeared in comics, videogames, and other animated Transformers franchises. Plus she's gotten a lot of toys! Let's check out this 3" Iron Factory Slipstream homage, Shrike's Feather!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Iron Factory - ALLERIA!

3rd Party Transformers - IF EX-16A Alleria (Elita One) - Iron Factory 2017

One of my favorite discoveries of the past few years was the 3rd Party company Iron Factory's line of tiny and adorable 3" fembots. And the absolute best discovery within that line was this Alleria figure. She is a fantastic homage to the G1 Transformer Elita One, but she was a sneaky release. Iron Factory only made her available as a bonus figure included with preorders of IF EX-14 Ultimate Commander (an Optimus Prime homage... that was twice as tall as her). I don't know what her actual production run was, but it must be fairly small. She is a simple repaint of the Pink Assassin (Arcee) figure with a newly sculpted head, but she is honestly one of the best Elita One figures ever released. I've had this figure for a while, but I only recently opened her in anticipation of the upcoming War For Cybertron Elita figure that should finally be released in the next month or so. I'm very excited that the original female Autobot has finally been getting some long overdue plastic representation. Let's check out Alleria below!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Marvel Legends - SILK (VERSION 2)!

Marvel Legends: Fan Vote 2020 - Silk (Cindy Moon) Version 2 - Hasbro 2020

Spider-Women have come a long way in the last 15 years. For decades there was a few seminal ladies in the Spider-Verse, but starting roughly 15 years ago there has been a steady stream of new female characters: Mayhem, Ashley Barton, Ultimate Spider-Woman, Anya Corazon Spider-Girl, Mania, Lady Spider, Spinnerette, Spiderling, Spider-Gwen, and last but not least, Silk. While Silk may be slightly overshadowed by Spider-Gwen's popularity, I've always thought she has an equally cool design and a much better backstory. Her intertwined origin with Peter Parker was a stroke of genius. The original Legends Silk was released in 2016 and has become one of the most sought-after figures on the secondary market. Then she won the 2020 Fan Vote on Hasbro Pulse and in no time we got this great repaint. While I'm not always a huge fan on repaints, this new version has enough of a visual difference to easily earn her a spot on my Spider-shelf. Let's checkout Cindy Moon Silk below!

Monday, October 5, 2020

X-Men Movie - MYSTIQUE!

Marvel Legends: X-Men (2000) 20th Anniversary - Mystique - Hasbro 2020

I was obsessed with mutant comics for a most of my childhood so my expectations were always going to be high for the 2000's X-Men movies. I was mostly looking forward to seeing a live-action Storm, but despite Halle Barre's impressive acting chops, I found that character portrayal to be highly disappointing. In fact, with the exception of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, I found almost every character to be lackluster. The only real interesting reimagining of a character for me was Mystique. Her nude/scaly redesign made a lot of sense for her shapeshifting abilities, and her motivations suddenly seemed a lot more streamlined and understandable than in the comics. Casting the gorgeous Rebecca Romijn in a role that disguised her beauty was also an intriguing choice. I didn't realize how much I wanted a toy of this character until I was teased by the cancelled Jennifer Lawrence Marvel Select figure from 2014. It took another 6 years but we finally got a great one. Let's check out Mystique below!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Marvel Legends Vintage - STORM!

Marvel Legends: Vintage (Toy Biz) - 1990's Storm (Black Suit) - Hasbro 2020

I always tell myself I will resist buying simple repaints of action figures, but then a figure like this Storm is released and all my strict rules go out the window. My perception of Storm's 90's outfit, the color in particular, was always very fluid to me. My memories place her alternately in white, black, and silver versions of this same costume. In a similar fashion to two of my favorite DC heroines, Silver Age Batgirl and Golden Age Batwoman, the true colors of Storm's costume seem up for interpretation and present very differently depending on the inker and colorist. So given that unintentional variation in the comics, I was happy to add this black-suited Storm to my collection (a simple repaint of last year's white-suited version). Although I may hit the brakes before I purchase the inevitable third silver version. I only have so much room for duplicate characters. Especially ones that look best with space-hogging dramatic cape poses. Plus I hope to have the classic figure soon. Let's check out Storm below!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Little People - BATGIRL and WONDER WOMAN!

DC Super Friends Little People - Heroes 7-Pack - Fisher-Price 2020

If you think about, Fisher-Price's Little People is one of the longest running figurative toy lines out there. They started in the 60s (although rebranded in 1985) and have consistently been putting out product ever since. They were even inducted to the exclusive National Toy Hall of Fame in 2016. That puts it up there with the likes of Barbie, G.I.Joe, and Lego. It was only relatively recently that Fisher-Price started including licensed characters. I believe the first ones were actually DC characters in 2011, but since then they've includes licenses like K.I.S.S., the Beatles, WWE, Disney/Pixar, MOTU, The Office, Lord of the Rings, and Elf (among others). In the nine years since the first DC sets, the design has changed a bit, so it's nice to see this updated set hit the shelves for 2020. The figures now have a more slender body shape composed of a denser, heavier plastic as opposed to the older hollow squeezable bell-shaped bodies. Let's check out Batgirl and Wonder Woman below!