Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fans Hobby - WHEEL BLADE!

3rd Party Transformers - MasterBuilder MB-12B Wheel Blade - Fans Hobby 2020

This is a really fun exclusive variant. The Fans Hobby Athena (Minerva) figure came out earlier this year and I was immediately hoping the body would be reused for another fembot, but I wasn't expecting something so soon. I realize a flightless Windblade homage may seem a little strange, but if Arcee can be a motorcycle or giant spider and no one bats an eye, I think anything is possible. This figure was exclusive for the TFCon 2020 (a virtual event this year). It was limited to 800 numbered pieces and only available through The Chosen Prime. I've been ordering from The Chosen Prime for years (I've bought 16 figures through them!) I originally chose it because the price and stashing policy was the best (although nearly identical to TFSource if I remember correctly). But since then I've come to appreciate the company for their customer service and all-around good vibe. So I was really happy that an exclusive I specifically wanted was a joint venture with them. Let's check out Wheel Blade below!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Mortal Kombat - KITANA!

Mortal Kombat XI - Kitana (Edenian Blue Version) - McFarlane Toys 2020

For someone like me who doesn't play any video games, I get bizarrely excited for new Kitana figures. In the past few years I've picked up three very different versions of the figure. Each time, of course, part of the excitement is the (always unfulfilled) assumption that there will be more characters made. At the very least Mileena and Jade would make for an amazing trio. But, no, the recent lines all seem to produce no females other than Kitana. At least the old 90's lines would typically toss in a Sonya Blade. I have some faith that this newest McFarlane Toys line might be different though. For starters, McFarlane is well-versed at producing toys for video game properties, even if they're just adding a handful of new figures each year. Secondly, Mortal Kombat XI is loaded with cool characters. And 12 of them (of 37 currently) are female. I think we'll definitely see some more ladies in the line, and I honestly don't even have a preference for who is next - which is a refreshing position. Let's check out Kitana below!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Marvel Toybox - GHOST-SPIDER!

Toybox - Marvel Action Figures #24 Ghost-Spider - Disney Store Exc - 2020

I must admit that Disney's Toybox line has really been impressing me lately. When they first started rolling out back in 2017, I had pretty low expectations for character selection and overall quality. My first purchase was a Star Wars Rey who, at the time, was an overproduced character with chunky articulation and an odd face sculpt. I still loved the figure and I was still intrigued by the line, but I couldn't say I was necessarily excited. However, the next three years would see a steady (but slow) flow of new characters across a handful of licenses (Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and NBX). And the quality has steadily improved. The face sculpts alone are getting better and better - at least for Marvel and Star Wars (the recent Bo Peep looked creepy imo). Spider-Gwen aka Ghost-Spider was a character I knew would eventually come to the line, and she does not disappoint. She has a great sculpt and her sturdy build and articulation create undeniable sense of playability. Let's check out Ghost-Spider below!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Star Wars - PRINCESS LEIA (ENDOR)!

Star Wars: The Black Series 6" - Princess Leia Organa (Endor) - Hasbro 2020

My favorite of the original Star Wars movies is Return of the Jedi. It was one of the first movies I saw in the theatre and I became absolutely obsessed with ewoks. It actually started when choosing toys at Kay-Bee. My mom would say we could each pick one "Star Wars guy" (or a matchbox). We lived deep in the woods and I was a nature and animal fanatic, so Ewoks were a predictable choice for me. And of all the Star Wars movies, the forest moon of Endor had the most relatable setting to me. Imagine idolizing characters for two movies, then finally seeing them in an environment that looked like your backyard. It made me feel connected. And my jealousy when Leia first met Wicket was palpable. I was the weird kid who dreamt of discovering his very own bigfoot, mokele-mbembe, or E.T. in my woods. But I digress. I've been waiting for this version of Leia since the Black Series began. It's not the most glamourous or memorable look, but it is definitely the most nostalgic for me. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Impossible Toys - VALKYRIE!

3rd Party Transformers - TRNS-01 Valkyrie (Arcee) - Impossible Toys 2010

I'm a little sad that this Impossible Toys Valkyrie figure is the last of the 3rd Party Arcee homages in my fembot hunt. It's funny actually, because my first 3rd Party purchase ever was the TRNS-EX1 Ninja (Nightbird) back in 2011, and my lackluster impression from that figure (which was a simple retooling of this Valkyrie) caused me to steer clear of 3rd Party figures for years. My Ninja figure felt flimsy, with loose joints and seemingly fragile joints. So until I recently set out a goal to get all the main Arcees, I had written off this figure completely. But upon opening her last night, I was pleasantly surprised. She didn't seem so brittle anymore, her joints were tight, and her headsculpt was brilliant. Maybe I just had a bum Ninja. Or maybe the fact that it was a retool meant to molds had degraded. But either way, I was very happy to go out with a bang with this very impressive Arcee homage. And let's not forget, this was the first transforming G1 Arcee figure ever. Very impressive indeed. Let's check out Valkyrie below!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Marvel Vinylmation - SPIDER-LADIES!

Marvel Vinylmation Series 1 & Marvel Junior Series 15 - Disney 2013 & 2016

It's hard to deny the popularity of vinyl collectibles. These days, when you visit a collectible toy store, chances are it will be largely dedicated to vinyls (which can be unfortunate). While the Funko Pop line is the current industry leader, they weren't the first, and they won't be the last. But about a decade ago, it seemed like every single company took a shot on the fad.  One of the more prominent lines was Vinylmation from Disney. They started in 2008 as Disney park exclusives, but soon they were in every Disney Store and all over the secondary market. Vinylmation used the successful blind box formula of a standard quirky mold with unique paint designs. Bearbricks, Dunny, and Labbit had laid the groundwork, and Disney had a guaranteed hit with an iconic Mickey Mouse body and an endless supply of popular licenses to tap into. Of course, even successful toy lines rarely last forever, and by 2017 these were all but extinct. The Spider-Ladies were my obvious favorite. Let's check them out below!

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Mighty Ducks - MALLORY!

The Mighty Ducks - Mallory McMallard (Standard & Spin Attack) - Mattel 1996

One of the unexpected perks of running this website and associated social media is meeting so many like-minded collectors. And on rare occasions some of them even send you action figures (Thanks Peter!) I had been eyeing these Mighty Ducks Mallory figures for years, but I never got around to actually purchasing them. When they came out in 1996 I was on an exclusively retro 80s cartoon kick (Robotech and Hanna-Barbera Heroes), so the show should have been completely off my radar. But I had friends who were obsessed with the Ducks franchise; the movies, the NHL team, and the animated series. So I when I discovered this toy line (a few decades later), they got me all nostalgic about my old high school buddies, one of which I'm miraculously still close with. The cartoon is bizarre. Puckworld is an icy planet inhabited by humanoid ducks that skate around fighting an invasion of reptilian enemies. Mallory was the main female and got an action figure and a repaint. Let's check them out below!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Halo 12" - SPARTAN TANAKA!

Halo: 12" Action Figures Wave 1 - Spartan Holly Tanaka - Jazwares 2020

There's something about Halo toys that always grab my attention. I rarely play video games, and on the rare occasion when I do, it's never a first-person shooter. But I still feel a thrill when I see the kickass female Spartan Warriors all armored-up and fighting alongside their male counterparts. The only downfall is that the Halo license keeps changing hands. In the past five years the baton has been passed from McFarlane Toys, to Mattel, and now to Jazwares. And of course the scales never line up. But despite the good female representation across those three companies, there have been very few 12" figures. Holly Tanaka is an interesting character choice because out of all the female Spartans, she has the bulkiest and most gender-neutralizing armor, and nowhere on the packaging does it mention her full name or elude to her gender. So if a company is hesitant to take a gamble on an under-selling female character in a testosterone-laden property, Tanaka is pretty perfect compromise. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Marvel Legends - ROGUE (LEGACY)!

Marvel Legends: X-Men - Rogue and Pyro 2-Pack - Hasbro 2020

Here's my unpopular opinion for the day: I was never a fan of the iconic yellow and green 90's Rogue outfit. The aesthetic of a leather jacket over spandex was always a little silly to me. And the costume underneath looks boring without it. That's why I was so happy when her subsequent costumes all tended to hearken back to her original green and white. I'll admit that I had no real connection to the specific costume of this figure, but Rogue in a green and white is always appealing to me. After some research, I learned that this outfit is from the pages of X-Men Legacy from 2010 through 2012. It's a great looking outfit, and a decent improvement over the unreleased 2013 figure from the Wolverine line. My only wish is for this to have been one of her costumes with a hood. I may sneer and leather jackets, but I get giddy over a woman in a hood. The Marvel Legends 2-Pack offerings lately have given us some wonderful figures and I'm very excited to see what's next. Let's check out Rogue below!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Marvel Legends - GHOST-SPIDER!

Marvel Legends: Spider-Man VenomPool Wave - Ghost-Spider - Hasbro 2020

Some figures are just notoriously difficult to photograph. This Ghost-Spider figure is a prime example. Her deep hood and dark bodysuit cast shadows and obscure her (limited) features. I took more than 80 photos to get this handful of good ones. But despite those hassles, she is a gorgeous figure. The dark colors with the stark white and the pops of bright pink and blue are very dynamic in person. I only wish Marvel and Hasbro would embrace the name Gwenom. This figure is labelled as Ghost-Spider, which is now the name of Spider-Gwen (a name oddly stolen from the Ghost Rider Spider). So this figure is technically Venomized Ghost-Spider, but everyone refers to her colloquially as Gwenom. So if VenomPool is an acceptable name, I argue that everyone can get on board with Gwenom. Now, as cool as this figure is, I concede I definitely would have preferred another symbiote. Agony, Mayhem, Mania are all deserving of figures (and my Scream is lonely!) Let's check out Ghost-Spider below!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Marvel Legends - JOCASTA!

Marvel Legends: Avengers Joe Fixit Baf Wave - Jocasta - Hasbro 2020

This is the ideal type of Marvel Legends figure I like to see. I love (relatively) obscure characters, I love uncomplicated costumes, and I love 70's and 80's comics. It also earns a lot of points by using so many features of the Moonstone buck, which has a sturdy, strong build that looks and functions great. So many recent female Legends have had flimsy rubbery legs that wilt after a month of standing. This body, however, has already stood the test of time. Jocasta first appeared in the 1977 issue of Avengers #162 as Ultron's self-created mate. Her name has obvious oedipal connotations, but she's more of a Bride of Frankenstein type character. Ultron intended for Jocasta to house the consciousness of Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp), but Jocasta rebelled and fought against Ultron, eventually earning a spot on the Avengers. However, she retained some of the "psychic residue" from Janet which contributes to Jocasta's human persona. Let's check out Jocasta below!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Dragonball Evolution - BULMA!

Dragonball Evolution (The Movie) - Series 01 - Bulma - Bandai 2009

It seems like every time an anime series becomes a certified worldwide success, some genius decides to make a live action version which almost never holds up. Big ones that come to mind are The Last Airbender, Ghost in the Shell, and Alita: Battle Angel. These movies often have mixed reviews, but are usually far less successful than their source material. One of the most universally panned examples is Dragonball: Evolution from 2009 (with a dismal 15% on Rotten Tomatoes). I never saw the movie, but the consensus seems that the story was muddy, the characters weren't engaging, the CGI was inconsistent, and the movie overall was full of lame clich├ęs. The reviews are very entertaining, and they actually make me want to watch it. Bandai had high hopes and pushed out a toy line in 2008 with both 6" and 3.75" figures. The sole female release was a 3.75" Bulma (played by Emmy Rossum). Bulma is the token female typically portrayed as a brilliant scientist and creator. Let's check her out below!