Wednesday, June 30, 2021

MOTU Origins - EVIL-LYN (v2)!

Masters of the Universe Origins - Evil-Lyn (200x Version) - Mattel 2021

Evil-Lyn is one of those rare characters that I've genuinely loved every iteration of. I love her vintage toy in bright garish yellow. I love her blue and purple caped Filmation design. I actually didn't hate the live-action movie costume. The black and purple 200x look is glorious. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to love the upcoming Revelations style. This 200x repaint of the Masters of the Universe Origins Evil-Lyn is terrific example of how translatable her different color palettes are across different era designs. I hope this means a Filmation variant will be coming too. Speaking of Filmation, this figure forced me to finally distinguish between her main two animated looks. I honestly thought this was a Filmation repaint until I saw the logo on the package. To sum it up, 200x Evil-Lyn has overall darker colors but paler skin. Filmation has a distinct blue and brighter purple. I truly expect the third deco to come out before the end of the year, along with pink Teela and Sorceress. Let's check out 200x Evil-Lyn below!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Transformers - SCYLLA!

Transformers Generations Selects TT-GS10 - God Neptune - Takara Tomy 2021

The Seacons were a group of aquatic-themed antagonists in 1988's Super-God Masterforce. They shared a pink and teal color palette and could combine to form Piranacon. The team was impactful but didn't stay around too long. In 1997, their designs were re-introduced in Beast Warriors II as the Space Pirate Seacons in a white and gold palette. They were technically all new characters with new names and personalities, but the designs were identical... except for Scylla who replaced the deceased Tentakil. From all the episodes I've seen, Scylla is largely present for comic relief in the form of unwanted flirtation, and of course to form a leg of God Neptune. The vintage Scylla figure was just a repaint of the male Tentakil, but in this newest TakaraTomy release she gets a massive retooling using a mashup of Moonracer and Tentakil parts (plus a brand new torso and head). The God Neptune set was a Pulse Exclusive for preorder in 2020, but just released a few months ago. Let's check out Scylla below.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Women of the DCU Busts - DONNA TROY!

Women of the DC Universe Bust - Series 01 - Wonder Girl - DC Direct 2007

Sometimes it takes a single collectible or piece of merchandise to make you really appreciate a character. For some reason, Donna Troy as Wonder Girl just never appealed to me. On the surface, she has all the trademarks of a character I would love: a long history, a colorful costume, and a direct familial link to an A-list hero. But it took this 2007 Women of the DC Universe bust to really make me stop and pay attention. This is especially ironic because my single favorite comic issue of my childhood was The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans team-up special. While her character was essentially drowned out by the huge roster in the issue, her image on the cover is a fixed memory for me. Of all the product lines that went away with the dissolving of DC Direct, the Women of the DCU mini bust series is one of biggest losses to me. Dedicating each series to the unique designs of a single artist made for a very cohesive aesthetic. This Wonder Girl was from the first series by Adam Hughes and John G. Mathews.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Disney/Pixar's Brave - MERIDA!

Pixar 7" Action Figure Series - Disney's Brave: Princess Merida - Mattel 2021

I rewatched Brave before this review because I hadn't seen it since 2012 and I only had fragmented memories. I remember her wild red hair (especially how well it was animated). I remember all the scenes being saturated in green like an Alfonso CuarĂ³n film. And did the mother transform into a bear or something? (or was that Brother Bear?) I definitely needed to give it another viewing. The movie holds up well. I actually enjoyed it more this time than the first go-round. Merida is a classic anti-princess. She rejects the formalities and privileges of her birthright and instead prefers adventure. Her real rebellion kicks off when she enters the contest of princes vying for her hand in marriage and defeats them all to become her own suitor, and this sets up the main conflict of the movie between traditional mother and rebellious daughter. And, yes, there is indeed a bear transformation. I always love a fiercely independent character - especially if she's an archer. So Merida was a must-have. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Incredibles - ELASTIGIRL & VIOLET!

Pixar 7" Action Figure Series - Incredibles: Elastigirl & Violet - Mattel 2020-2021

I have a lot of mixed feelings about The Incredibles. When I first saw the film back in 2004, I walked out of the theatre thinking that Disney blatantly stole the plot of The Watchmen. This wasn't a new concept for me. I thought Kimba the White Lion and The Christmas Toy clearly "influenced" Lion King and Toy Story. The flipside to my initial criticisms is that I adore Brad Bird (Iron Giant is one of my favorite animated movies, right up there with Studio Ghibli). And if he claims he never read Watchmen, I 100% believe him. So then I had to watch it again with an open mind, which was difficult because I had a stubborn sort of grudge about it. But I did enjoy it, and I liked the sequel without any hesitation. I never really considered adding Incredibles actions figure to my collection, but when I stumbled across this Pixar line in Target earlier this I just had to get them. They are an interesting scale, decently articulated, and amazingly sculpted. Plus they're inexpensive. Let's check out Helen and Violet below!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Wildstorm Gen13 - Caitlyn Fairchild - Wizard / ToyFare Exc - D-Boy Inc 1998

Most of 1990's comics were a blur to me. I never jumped on board the extreme train, and expensive cover gimmicks just made me angry. But one shining beacon among the  flood of new superhero books was Gen13. The comic was young, fun, sexy, entertaining, and beautifully drawn. Other comics at the time (even related titles under the Wildstorm banner) failed to combine all these traits in one book. The main team consisted of two young men (Burnout and Grunge) and three young women (Freefall, Rainmaker, and Fairchild) - an impressive ratio even now. Fairchild was the muscle, brains, and leader of the group. The cool costume designs and extreme popularity of the book would make you think there would have been a lot of toys, but you would be wrong. There were 12" clothed action figures, but they only made 4 characters, and the 6" action figures only saw Caitlyn and Caitlyn variants. I think a full roster of toys is long overdue (but for now I must settle for Heroclix). Let's check out Fairchild below!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Marvel Legends - LADY DEATHSTRIKE!

Marvel Legends: Xenmu/Villains Series Series -  Deathstrike - Hasbro 2020

I have many unpopular opinions in life, and one of the biggest ones is that I just don't care for the character Wolverine. He was always so gruff and predictable. His consistent bull-headedness would always be counter-balanced with a softer side, like befriending Kitty or Jubilee. But I always viewed these relationships as formulaic. Even his romantic interest in Jean seemed forced and without depth. Plus he was the go-to character in my youth that everyone claimed was their favorite and he always gets the story focus in movies, cartoons, and comics. All these factors combine to me just ignoring most of his storyline. The downside is that interesting side characters also get ignored. Yuriko Oyama is the daughter of the scientist who created the adamantium-grafting process that we know so well from Logan's backstory. Yuriko, with the help of Spiral, underwent similar adamantium grafting (and other cybernetic enhancements) to become the mercenary assassin Lady Deathstrike hellbent on killing Wolverine.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Iguana no Musume - IGUANA GIRL!

Fewture Comic Character Series - Iguana Girl - Art Storm/Fewture 2002

In 1992, a unique 51-page manga called Iguana no Musume (Iguana Girl), written and drawn by Moto Hagio was published in the manga magazine Petit Flower. It's a bizarre little tale about a young girl named Rika whose mother sees her as an Iguana. Other characters see Rika as a normal, albeit plain, young girl. But in her mother's eyes, she is a scaly beast in a dress. Her mother treats her very poorly, especially in comparison to her fair-haired perfect little sister Mami (whom the mother adores). The story follows Rika from birth to adulthood and illustrates how deeply she is affected by her mother's behavior. She is plagued by low self-esteem and fear of falling in love, believing that she actually is an Iguana inside and will only bring hurt to those around her. The story is insightful with a fairy tale quality that I adore. I personally exhibit a few adult character traits that are a direct result of my parents' perception of me as a child. So I have always found this story to be a unique, poignant, and universal tale. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Marvel Legends - SCARLET WITCH!

Marvel Legends - Disney+ Wave - WandaVision Scarlet Witch - Hasbro 2021

I'll be the first to admit I was never very impressed with the MCU Scarlet Witch in the movies. She always seemed a little dull, plainclothed, and her powers and origins were muddy. And I wouldn't have cared if I didn't happen to be such a fan of Wanda. It seemed like a waste of a dynamic and interesting character. But then WandaVision came out and changed everything. Her costume (by the end of the series) was an awesome blend of comic and hollywood, her origins were expanded upon, her powers were highlighted in a grand scale, and overall she just became infinitely more interesting. And moreso, she instantly became a household name. My boring coworkers even know her! Then comes this Marvel Legends action figure perfectly representing this turning point in her popularity and all is complete. I honestly don't think I've seen a better movie figure. The paint, sculpt, and styling is perfection. Now I'm curious to see if the look will be altered for Dr. Strange. Let's check out Scarlet Witch below!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Marvel Collector's Club - X2 Movie Bust Set: Mystique & Wolverine - NECA 2004

I only recently discovered that NECA Toys has produced Marvel items in the past. The collectible toy industry is chock full of Marvel products, but it's always been from Toy Biz, Hasbro, or DST - with very few exceptions. But for early Marvel movie properties it makes sense that NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association) would have an iron in the fire. Most other companies didn't focus on realistic movie merchandise back then, but it was NECA's specialty. Starting 2003, NECA ran the Marvel Collector's Club which offered unique Marvel statues and busts. An interesting note about this line is that I believe it offered no packaging design. Pictures online seem to indicate they all came in nondescript brown cardboard boxes, and this two-pack of mine continues that tradition. The Mystique and Wolverine set was released in 2004, about a year after the theatrical release of X2: X-Men United. The quality is terrific and I'm surprised I only recently discovered it. Let's check out Mystique below!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Death Metal - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse - Dark Nights: Death Metal - Wonder Woman - McFarlane 2021

I still haven't read any of the various Metal books that seem to be dominating the DC Universe storylines lately. To me, they seen like in-canon Elseworlds stories that just don't hold a lot of appeal. However, I'm really starting to enjoy the otherworldly-designed Wonder Woman figures that these books are inspiring. I mean, ideally McFarlane Toys would be giving us different classic comics versions in a variety of characters. But for anyone who has been collecting McFarlane products over the past 30 years would know that this is the expected business practice and gritty aesthetic. Death Metal is the most recent story that just concluded in January. So the turnaround time for this figure is pretty impressive. Wonder Woman looks like a member of the Female Furies. And for all I know, she might be - considering the Darkfather/Darkseid Collect-to-Build figure. Her blue hombre hair and gold headdress is very cool. Now I just want to see Harley or Batgirl get the same treatment. Let's check out Wonder Woman below!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


The Krofft Superstars - Tooned-Up Mini Busts - Electric Tiki Design 2005

In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, sibling duo Sid and Marty Krofft carved out a very interesting niche for themselves in the children's television market. They had a background in puppetry and special effects from Vaudeville and Ringling Bros / Barnum and Bailey Circus. Their television work is notable for its inventive puppets (often creepy and psychedelic), low budget special effects, complex plots, and drug culture innuendo. The Banana Splits, Land of the Lost, H.R. Pufnstuf, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters are some of their most notable works. Although their influence (and lawsuit) over the McDonaldland characters might have the most resonance with today's audiences (search youtube for videos on the Krofft/McDonalds connection - it's fascinating). In the first season of their 1976 The Krofft Supershow, there were 16 segments featuring the live-action adventures of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (starring a 29 year old Deidre Hall!). It's like a merging of Lynda Carter and Adam West.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Super7 ReAction - JEM & PIZZAZZ!

ReAction Action Figures - Jem & the Holograms - Jem & Pizzazz - Super7 2021

These two latest ReAction figures have thrilled me more than you can imagine. Jem and the Holograms was an iconic part of my childhood. I was always very multi-faceted with my interests loving everything from girly properties to sci-fi, to action, to horror. There was a weekend cartoon block called Super Sunday which seemed perfectly catered to me. It contained cartoon shorts of Inhumanoids (a scary demonic cartoon), Robotix (a sci-fi robotic fantasy show), Bigfoot (a (boring-by-comparison) vehicle-based action cartoon), and of course Jem (the music-filled pop extravaganza). I loved them all. As I became an adult collector, I have desperately wanted to include Jem in my collection. But my aversion to soft-goods dolls and my loyalty to cartoon-accurate designs have kept any products from making the cut. My (impossible) ideal would be MOTUC-style figures. But  as the ReAction line picked up, I knew this would be the line to eventually include Jem, and I'm so happy I was right. Let's check them out below!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Masters of the Universe - SNAKE TEELA!

Masters of the Universe (SnakeMen) - Snake Teela - ToyFare Exc - Mattel 2003

The 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series really focused on the evil SnakeMen factions on Eternia. They were a favorite among fans of the vintage cartoon and toys, but they were criminally underused. The 2002 series really fleshed out their mythology and even titled the entire second season "Masters of the Universe vs The SnakeMen." The later waves of action figures featured lots of repainted figures, with snake-themed accessories, and green SnakeMen packaging. But this ToyFare Exclusive Snake Teela figure is special. She is the only repainted figure with reptilian skin as seen in the episode Second Skin. In the episode, King Hssss found the ancient Serpent Ring artifact that could transform anyone into SnakeMen. Only a handful of heroes were changed: Man-at-Arms, Mekaneck, King Carnivus, and Teela. But only Teela's transformation got the toy treatment. The great thing about this is the big nod to Teela's association to the vintage Snake Goddess character. Let's check her out!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Masters of the Universe - TEELA!

Masters of the Universe (Modern Series) - Heroic Wave 1 - Teela - Mattel 2003 

The 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series did a lot of great things. It re-introduced the whole He-Man mythos seventeen years after the original series concluded (and more than a decade after the New Adventures ended). It inspired a toyline that had more figures than the vintage line (if you count the NECA Stactions). And, as a toy collector, my favorite thing is that it cemented the bond between Four Horsemen Studios and Masters of the Universe that has literally given us hundreds of amazing toys. The cartoon itself was more modern and serious than the 80's series and still holds up today. I highly enjoy it, but I haven't watched it in years. However, one thing I never cared for was the design of Teela. The long ponytail, blue shoulderpads, and snake staff all seemed like really off choices. Luckily the coloring of the action figure was more in line with the vintage figure and her hair was less cartoony. They took a lukewarm design and made a great figure. Let's check her out below!