Friday, February 26, 2021

Top Wing - BEA!

Top Wing - Academy Collector Pack (Full Cadet Collection) - Bea - Playskool 2019

My fascination with preschool action figures started with Imaginext and all their DC heroes. In fact, the first Imaginext release of Catwoman was a major factor in me starting this blog. I was thinking how it was a shame Catwoman wasn't included in the line yet when I found a blog reviewing her. I was floored she existed. I became a big fan of the site, and after a few months I was inspired to launch my own. And my fascination with preschool toys has remained, but I often opt to only post the more collector-focused figures. A few years ago, Top Wing was a significant presence in the toy aisles. It features a cast of anthropomorphic birds who illogically fly planes. I think the designs are colorful and fun, but the toy line dwindled before this last set featuring the parental figure and technician, Bea, hit the shelves. She was seemingly only released in Canada (always out of stock on the Walmart Canada website and never on eBay). But then I found her in December at a discount store (Ollie's) in the US.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Star Wars - REY (DARK SIDE VISION)!

Star Wars 6" Black Series: ROS #01 - Rey (Dark Side Vision) - Hasbro 2020

One of my biggest theories for the recent Star Wars trilogy was that Rey would turn to the dark side and become a Sith lord. I love storylines where characters change their allegiances. My favorite Marvel heroes (Spider-Woman, Firestar, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, etc) all started out as villains. Even Polaris spent most of her early adventures on the wrong side of heroics (albeit through mind control). Going from good to bad is more rare, but in some ways it's more exciting. I just had a hunch when we first met Rey that she might go bad. Then in the lead-up to The Rise of Skywalker, two things happened that seemingly solidified my theory. First, the Second Sister Inquisitor figure was teased, and I thought it was Rey in Kylo-Ren-esque armor (but alas, it wasn't her). Second, a trailer showed Rey in a dark cloak with red light saber. I was so excited. Of course, we all now know that was a pretty misleading dream sequence. But either way she makes for a cool toy. Let's check out Dark Side Vision Rey below!

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Rise of Skywalker - REY!

Star Wars 6" Black Series #91 - Rey & D-O (Rise of Skywalker) - Hasbro 2019 

I have had this review sitting as a draft for about 14 months. Back in Fall of 2019 when I purchased and photographed this Rey, I was a little burnt out on Star Wars figures, especially Rey. Don't get me wrong, I loved all the new movies and I adore Rey, but I have posted a lot of reviews for this character. And although this specific figure was a big technical improvement over most of its predecessors, the articulation was identical to other Black Series figures and this costume was already the subject of 9 Rey posts (of 14). But some real incentive came today when I was editing pics for an even newer Rey figure (the Dark Side Vision version) and I saw this old post still sitting as a draft. I'm a little obsessive about having posts like these be in the correct order so there was no more procrastinating. This Rey is mostly notable for her face sculpt. Hasbro is constantly upping their game with face scanning/printing technology, and this is easily the best Daisy Ridley likeness so far. Let's check out Rey below!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Jurassic World Imaginext - MAISIE!

Imaginext – Jurassic World – Indoraptor and Maisie – Fisher-Price 2020

There was one delayed release from 2018's flood of Jurassic World products that I was worried I would never get. I'm a big fan of Fisher-Price's Imaginext line, but I must admit distribution of final assortments can be dicey. I had chalked up this Maisie and Indoraptor set as being lost to the abyss of missed-movie-momentum. But then in Spring of 2020, right as the pandemic lockdown began, she started showing up in discount stores like Big Lots. What was really special about this Maisie figure is that she is the first female Imaginext on a smaller juvenile body. The Indoraptor is also a sought-after toy. The original Indoraptor in the Imaginext Jurassic World line was a big complicated contraption with wheels and posts to simulate a walking action. So this smaller free-standing versions was much more conducive to imagination play. So the rarity of this set, the unique body for Maisie, and the desirability of the dinosaur all convinced me that this set was worth of a post. Let's check out Maisie below!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Music Video Series - BILLIE EILISH!

Music Video Series: Billie Eilish (All the Good Girls Go to Hell) - Playmates 2020

This figure had me really conflicted. Overall, action figures that are intended to be dark or spooky do not appeal to me at all. Another aesthetic I avoid is bloody, melting, or dirty designs. There's a visceral quality involved that doesn't mesh with my weak stomach. But on the other hand, I love love love character with wings. I am always intrigued by new construction by a reputable company (like Playmates). And I'm a genuine fan of Billie Eilish. So despite the creepy factors keeping me away, my overall curiosity got the better of me. "All the good girls go to hell" is a song and music video from her debut studio album. The video features an "angellic" Billie that falls into an oil spill and transforms into a dark angel in a world on fire. Playmates made a line of Billie Eilish themed products in 2020. Mostly larger dolls, but also this single action figure. The packaging is an event. There are instructions on the box to unfold it all into the large flaming set of the music video. Quite a feat. Let's check Billie out below!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Fortnite - BLAZE!

Fortnite - Choppa Helicopter (w/ Blaze) - 3.75" Series -  Jazwares Toys 2020

One thing that is really impressing me about Fortnite toys are the inventive color palettes of the figures. It's seems like a silly detail to be obsessed with, but I love outlandish costume designs and I definitely notice when something is breaking new territory. Back in November, I was waxing on about how Singularity's turquoise, dark teal, and maroon blew my mind. And now this Blaze figure mixing bronze, lavender, and yellow. It looks so good, and I'm mostly impressed because I would never have come up with that combination on my own. Kudos to the Fortnite designers. I'm always excited to see what they'll do next. Blaze seems to be a fire-wielding character (who unfortunately comes with a boring gun instead of a flame accessory). She also comes with the giant 17" light-up Choppa Helicopter. I personally never buy toy vehicles unless I have to. In fact, they are usually a major deterrent for me, so that should tell you how impressed I was with Blaze. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Farscape - ZHAAN!

Farscape - Action Figures Series 01 - Zhaan (Delvian Pa'v) - Toy Vault 2000

Farscape was a science fiction space adventure series that aired from 1999-2003. This was a time period in my life that was essentially a television blackout for me. In late college and early career time, I never had cable. Just a television and a VHS collection. But I was still very aware of Farscape. It seemed like a no-brainer that the Jim Henson Company should be involved in a space adventures series. Stargate SG-1, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, and the various Star Trek spinoffs were a television staple for a solid decade. And right in the middle was the oddity of Farscape. The creature puppets and makeup made it stand out from the pack. I had a roommate who watched it when back home for holidays and I would get all these action figure junk mail catalogs (remember those?) that featured toys based on the show. I only started watching the show this past Fall and coincidentally one of my favorite local collectible shops just got a bunch of the old toys. Perfect timing! Let's check out Zhaan below!

Friday, February 12, 2021

POP Funko - SHE-RA!

POP! Retro Toys: MOTU #38 - She-Ra (Specialty Series GITD) - Funko 2021

I am one of the fortunate collectors who nabbed the original She-Ra Funko Pop back in 2013. To this day, the one I personally bought (on the fateful morning I hunted her down as my lcs was opening) is the only one I've seen with my own eyes. And for the crazy prices she brings in, she's got imperfections. Mine had issues like a bent sword and a head that's permanently cocked at an angle. Plus her hair color in person has an almost fluorescent quality to it. But this new version is amazing. The detailing and pose is a great improvement. And I'm personally never a fan of She-Ra toys having gold paint on them. Although I think the intention of the animation was to have gold accents, on screen it read as a darker yellow/orange, and that's what I've always wanted on my toys. It's interesting that her head and upper body is Filmation, but her belt, skirt, shield, and sword are from the vintage toy. The Specialty Series release (only available at small independent retailers) has GITD armor. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Roblox - LUNA GALACTIC POPSTAR!

Roblox Imagination Collection - 4" Figure Wave 03 - Luna - Jazwares 2021

When I see this new Roblox Imagination collection figure of Luna the Galactic Popstar, I can't help but think how much she reminds me of Tallstar from She-Ra. The bright colors, pink hair, and gold stars are a visual connection I just can't unsee. The Imagination Collection from Roblox and Jazwares is a series of characters that I presume are designs by fans/players of the game. It's my understanding that the Roblox game features a massive library of elements (bodies, hairstyles, clothes, etc) that let you create your own characters. This toys series seem to feature some of these creations (the cardback says Luna was designed by bunpunk). Seeing the crazy variety of characters in this collection lately makes me think I should start playing this game. Who knows, maybe I'll be awesome and they'll immortalize my work in plastic. In the meantime I will keep my eyes and ears open for news of upcoming figures (they tend to pop up out of the blue with no advance notice). Let's check out Luna below!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Roblox - AVEN THE SILVER WARRIOR!

Roblox Imagination Collection - 4" Figure Wave 03 - Aven - Jazwares 2021

When I was young I was obsessed with collecting and reading backissues of Batman Family. This was a deluxe anthology comic series featuring both reprints and new material starring the entire cast of the Batman universe. As a kid with a meager allowance ($1.50 a week) augmented by a paperboy salary (that was equally insignificant), Batman Family was easily the most value for my money. One issue in particular stood out to me. It featured Duela Dent and a band of female "daughters" of the key Batman Villains: Penguin's Daughter, Riddler's Daughter, and the only one with a unique name, Scare-Crone. I loved the idea of a scary female Scarecrow so much. And all these years later that's exactly where my head went when I saw this Aven the Silver Warrior figure from the new Roblox Imagination Collection wave. She looks nothing like the Scare-Crone, in fact she looks more like a Tin-Man and Scarecrow mashup from Wizard of Oz, but either way I think she's awesome. Let's check out Aven below!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Roblox - SKYLAS!

Roblox Imagination Collection - 4" Figure Wave 03 - Skylas - Jazwares 2021

I love how quirky and weird video game toys are getting these days. I feel like all of my life, this genre was mostly composed of either cartoonish animals or gritty military. Neither of which ever tempted the collector side of my brain. But a few years ago  Fortnite hit the toy shelves and changes everything. Suddenly there were militant character dressed like cartoonish animals? I guess two negatives really do make a positive because I was hooked right away. The teddy bear pajamas are what lured me in, but the plethora of other colorful characters are what kept my interest. And now the imitators are giving chase and I'm here for it. Roblox was historically a block-design game (kind of a cross between Lego and Minecraft) but at some point it morphed into a human-proportioned characters with diverse and playful designs. And the toys it has been inspiring are so fun. They are honestly one of my favorite properties right now because they are so unexpected and weird. Let's check out Skylas below!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Bucky O-Hare - MIMI LaFLOO!

Bucky O-Hare - Figure #12 - Captain Mimi LaFloo - Boss Fight Studios 2021

Bucky O'Hare is very visually nostalgic to me. Something about the comic covers with their ultra-busy illustrations and bright colors made them really stand out on the comic shelves. Even the small Continuity Comics logo on this figure packaging takes me back to my many hours spent in comic shops as a youth. Something else very unique about the Bucky O'Hare comics was the way Michael Golden would draw eyes. Nowadays, giant irises with color gradients are commonplace, but back then it was very unique. Mimi LaFloo was a mystery to me when Boss Fight Studios first announced her. But I quickly realized that was because she was introduced in the 90's Bucky O'Hare cartoon which I didn't even know existed until recently. But I have a thing for anthropomorphic animal toys, especially foxes, so I was thrilled to get her. In preparing for this review I watched some old episodes and I was happy to see other female characters for BFS to potentially sink their teeth into. Let's check out Mimi below!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Into the Spider-Verse - GWEN STACY!

Marvel Legends: Spider-Man Stilt-Man Wave - Gwen Stacy - Hasbro 2021

I remember the first time I laid eyes on Spider-Gwen. I was on vacation with my family and catching up on a backlog of comics. In the back of one random Marvel book, there was a small picture of her advertising the Spider-Verse storyline. I was so behind in comics at the time and assumed I had missed a big introduction. But the internet failed me and told me nothing. Spider-Gwen wasn't officially revealed for a few months in Edge of Spider-Verse #2, but I was hooked from that first teaser image. Having her be an other-dimensional version of a legacy character like Gwen Stacy just added to her allure. I'm so happy that 2018's Into the SpiderVerse film has launched her into wide popularity. My rube coworkers even know who she is because their kids love her. This Gwen figure is a perfect representation of her from the movie. The unmasked head is extremely impressive. Now I'm excited for her future animation roles, especially the rumored female-centric Spider-Women movie. Let's check out Gwen below!