Thursday, September 30, 2021

Marvel Legends - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Marvel The Infinity Saga - Avengers: Endgame - Captain Marvel - Hasbro 2021

I really disliked Captain Marvel's appearance in Avengers: Endgame. The color blocking of her outfit had the red and blue swapped, much like the Mar-Vell wore in the comics. While I always liked this coloring on the male costume, I didn't look right on Carol. Then the hair. I really really dislike this haircut. It looks like they intended to create her cool shaved-side fauxhawk look, but wussed out and gave her a mom 'do. It also stayed way too styled and coifed during the battle (no helmet-hair at all). It actually made me laugh in the middle of that awesome battle scene, which was a shame. But then this toy was announced and I decided, what the hell? The face sculpt is significantly improved over the Captain Marvel Movie wave. And the hair looks way more natural in plastic than it did on screen (that's a first!). Plus the maskless look makes me appreciate the color-blocking of the suit more than I expected. Overall it's a surprisingly great addition to my MCU collection. Let's check out Carol below!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Super7 ReAction - CHEETARA!

ReAction Action Figures - ThunderCats Toy Variant Exc - Cheetara - Super7 2021

Super7 gave us a real gift a few weeks ago when they released this "Toy Color" variant of their Cheetara ReAction figure. What I especially love about it is that I honestly never noticed the animated Cheetara color palette varied so much from the vintage LJN toy. I saw the previous ReAction Toy Color releases of Lion-O and Panthro, and I just didn't see the change as drastic enough to warrant an additional purchase, but when I got the email from Super7 announcing this Cheetara variant, I had the sudden donning realization that she has two distinct colorings. Where the animated version can be interpreted as varying shades of muted browns and oranges with a pale skin tone, the vintage LJN toy had a bright red and orange outfit with a distinct yellow-ish skintone (a true Autumn vs Summer palette). The variation excited me to the point where I bought the (seemingly) lackluster Lion-O and Panthro, and suddenly I'm eagerly anticipating a Tygra variant - and the missing 'cats of course. Let's check out Cheetara below!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Funko Pop - SCARLETT!

POP! Retro Toys #74 - G.I.Joe - Shana Scarlett O'Hara Vinyl Figure - Funko 2021

The Funko Pop Retro Toys theme is just awesome. This G.I.Joe Scarlett figure is my fourth purchase from the line (after She-Ra, Evil-Lyn, and Baroness) and I'm beyond thrilled with all of them. I was very close to ceasing my Funko collecting for various reasons, but this theme with all its perfect nostalgia has rejuvenated me. While my ideal version of every 80's character would be their animated designs, the vintage toy stylings represented here offer a different angle of childhood lore. Not bad, just different. Sure, She-Ra has a weird golden sword, Evil-Lyn is capeless and jaundiced, and this Scarlett is missing her signature ponytail. But these designs have just as much of a place in retro 80's mythos as anything else. In fact, I personally know a ton of collectors who much prefer toy designs to animation, so I'm glad Funko is catering to both audiences because I am on board for both. Fingers crossed for SilverHawks, TigerSharks, and ThunderCats! Let's check out the retro Scarlett Funko Pop below!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Nintendo - CAT PEACH!

Super Mario 3-D World + Bowser's Fury - Princess Peach Cat - Jakks Pacific 2021

It's been a long time since Jakks Pacific has given us a female character in their World of Nintendo line. My last purchase was a Samus figure back in 2016, and since then it's been crickets with an occasional resissue. While my ideal candidates for the action figure treatment in this line would be Daisy and Rosalina, this Princess Peach in her Cat outfit is a really fun surprise. Cat Peach first appeared in Mario Kart 8 in 2014 with no real backstory or explanation, just a fluffy pink cat costume and matching kart. This figure is is specifically from Nintendo Switch Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury game from 2021. This game is a classic Mario adventure (as opposed to the Kart series) and all the playable characters can don cat costumes and gain cat abilities when they get the Super Bell power-up. Peach Cat can climb walls and perform swipe and dive attacks. She's also referred to as Cat Peach, Gato Peach, and Peach Gato (the packaging is conveniently unlabeled). Let's check out Peach below!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - DOC OCK!

Disney Jr - Spidey and His Amazing Friends - Doc Ock - Hasbro 2021

In recent years I've become obsessed with female characters in the Spider-Man Universe. It started with Ultimate Spider-Woman back in 2006 and has branched out since then. It's amazing that I thought Jessica Drew was boring for her first 30 years, but now I'm a superfan. Most of these female characters are spider-based heroes, but equally intriguing are the gender-swapped members of the Sinister Six. Besides a few Heroclix and Mini-mates, this Doc Ock from the preschool Spidey and His Amazing Friends line is the first true action figure of any of them. I think a Francine Frye Electro or Tiana Toomes Starling would make amazing Marvel Legends figures, and with the frequency of Spider-Man waves released I think there is actually a decent potential for them. I don't know if this animated version of Doc Ock has a civilian name in the cartoon or not, but she seems like a unique incarnation of the character to me. I'm really excited to see what this line gives us next. Let's check out Doc Ock below!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Gargoyles - DEMONA!

Disney's Gargoyles 8" Vinyl Figure Series - Demona - Applause Inc 1995

The upcoming NECA Demona figure has inspired me to finally review this old vinyl figure from the mid-nineties. This line was unknown to me at the time, but I discovered them on eBay in the early 2000s and I heard rumor that they were originally exclusive to the Disney Store (but can't exactly prove that). They are impressively large and well-sculpted. I only own Demona and she is not articulated, so I assume the rest similarly stationary. They have a quality of that reminds me of supersized PVC figures like the little ones that were so prevalent throughout the 80s and 90s. Demona has odd coloring that is more reminiscent of her daughter Angela. Angela has black hair and very dark wing-membranes. Demona has red hair and light purple membranes. But the sculpt with the crown, belt buckle, armband, and single shoulder strap are uniquely Demona.  It's a rare enough of a figure that I'm not comfortable painting her hair, however tempting that may be. Let's check out the 1995 Applause Demona below!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - MS. MARVEL!

Disney Jr - Spidey and His Amazing Friends - Ms. Marvel - Hasbro 2021

When I think of Marvel characters that would be well-suited to a preschool audience, Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel is a top contender. She's fun, colorful, diverse, and her powers are very cartoony. I'll admit her powers aren't my favorite, but I still really enjoy reading her comics and I'm excited about her Disney+ show later this year. This Spidey and His Amazing Friends toyline came out of nowhere, but I'm really enjoying it. The costumes are comic accurate, the toy proportions are unique and fun, and the overall property is just very eye-catching. So far, this Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel figure only comes in the Team Spidey and Friends Figure Collection 7-Pack (which I believe may be exclusive to Target). She tends to have some paint issues around her eye mask, so keep that in mind when selecting one in store. I expect we might see a single-release of her in the future with an extended limb accessory, but there's no word on any product beyond this initial burst of figures. Let's check out Kamala below!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Nano Metalfigs - AGONY!

Marvel Comics Nano Metalfigs - Series 6 - 20-Pack - Agony - Jada Toys 2021

It's not often that I would create a whole post to highlight a tiny 1.5" metal figurine, but it's pretty rare in this age of collectors that a character gets merchandised for the first time ever after 28 years. Agony is a symbiote in Spider-Man comics that first appeared in 1993; the same issue that debuted Scream, Riot, Phage, and Lasher (the entire Life Foundation), Venom: Lethal Protector #4. Agony was always my favorite with her multi-hued purple and her acid-spitting powers. But for some reason, she never had a toy made. She was notoriously absent from the 1996 Planet of the Symbiotes ToyBiz line when the rest of her team debuted. And she's never received any merchandising since. Not a single HeroClix, Mini-mate, or Funko Pop. Until I recently discovered her in this huge multipack. Yes, I'm aware she is simply a repaint of the Scream we got last year, but I'm still ridiculously happy to own this. And hopefully it will inspire that long overdue Legends figure. Let's check out Agony below!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - GHOST-SPIDER!

Disney Jr - Spidey and His Amazing Friends - Ghost-Spider - Hasbro 2021

It's been a long time since there's been an excited preschool Marvel line. The Super Hero Squad line was amazing, but it petered out back in 2013. The follow-up Super Hero Adventures line finally had articulation, but the character assortment was dismal. It was year after year of the same characters with slightly modified decos - and the female inclusion was predictably lacking: only two different Black Widows and a Spider-Gwen. But then this surprise Spidey and His Amazing Friends line appeared in stores out of nowhere and there were three ladies right off the bat. The scale is a lot larger than previous efforts and the designs have a very "animated" quality to them, but they are a ton of fun. The show premiered on Disney+ in early August and is already renewed for a second season. They pretty much made toys for all the costumed characters (except Rhino) already, so I'm curious to see new heroes and villains next year. I would die if they would include Firestar. Let's check out Ghost-Spider below!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Robotech - LISA HAYES!

Robotech - Action Figures Series 2 (Macross Saga) - Lisa Hayes - Toynami 2021

Being a Robotech fan and collector can be really problematic for me. I loved all three chapters of the Robotech Saga so much. I love that the story spans generations, three different alien invasions, and introduces us to tons of unique and interesting characters. Those characters are what make it for me. Without them it would just be like Top Gun in space. And I think a lot of fans would agree. But when it comes to the toys, it seems like 90% of the focus is on the transforming planes and motorcycles. In the show, these vehicles create a great dimension to the battle scenes and are very cool in their own right, but when that becomes the focus of all the toys, especially in lieu of the human characters, I get bored quick. There as been a pretty steady flow of Robotech merchandise over the years, but this current Toynami series is the first to focus on humans in more than 30 years. It's long overdue. Lisa Hayes is the Commander of the SDF-1 Battle Fortress and a very deserving of more toys. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Robotech - CLAUDIA GRANT!

Robotech - Action Figures Series 2 (Macross) - Claudia Grant - Toynami 2021

When the first Toynami Robotech 3.75" action figures came in 2018, I immediately developed a huge wishlist in my head. I'll admit the top of my list was characters from Robotech: The New Generation, but with the hunch that they would stick to The Macross Saga, my number one wish was Claudia Grant. Claudia was an impressive character. She was third in command of the SDF-1 Battle Fortress under Captain Gloval and Commander Lisa Hayes. Lisa was rather stiff and by-the-book, but Claudia was more relaxed and confident and all the other women on the bridge looked up to her. She wasn't all business though. Claudia had an intriguing relationship with bad-boy pilot Roy Fokker. It was also very rare to see a woman of color in action-based animation back in 1985. I can only think of two others: Astrea from Space Sentinels and Lt. Uhura from Star Trek the Animated Series (FYI Netossa come in 1986). Overall she was a standout in a huge cast and it's amazing she finally got a toy. Let's check out Claudia below!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Macross - CLAUDIA LA SALLE!

SDF Macross - Character Figure Collection - Claudia La Salle - Banpresto 1998

One great thing about the trend of American media in the 80s and 90s co-opting Japanese properties for an English-speaking audience is the chance for us to double-dip into two collectible markets. Transformers, Voltron, Robotech, and Power Rangers all have distinct American and Japanese toylines, and avid collectors like me eat it up. The first season of Robotech (US) was a re-edited Super Dimension Fortress Macross. The US action figures of the human and Zentradi characters weren't the best, even by 80s standards. And until recently most characters have gone completely without representation in plastic. But the Japanese market continually revisited the property with interesting product. These 1998 mini PVC statues from Banpresto gave us what I believe is the first Claudia figure ever. Note that her name was changed to Grant for the US market. I have had this in storage forever, but the recent Toynami figure inspired me to finally open her for review. Let's check out Claudia below!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

HealeyMade - THE ASSASSIN!

Designer Action Figures: The Assassin (R-Complex) - HealeyMade 2021

Anthropomorphic action figures are pretty much my favorite thing in this toy-collecting hobby. I tend to group them into four main categories: Felinoids are the most popular, Reptilian is second, followed by Insectile and Avian. But in general it's pretty rare to get female figures of any of them. That's why I was super stoked to get this Assassin figure from HealeyMade. I've been paying attention to the designer toy market for years. The genre is 99% male characters, but I keep tuning in to see if the next drop will be of the female persuasion. The few times over the years where the stars aligned, I was an hour or two late and missed the brief on-sale window. But a few weeks ago I was in the right place in the right time and snagged this amazing Assassin in all her green reptilian glory. For a first designer toy purchase I think I got really spoiled. The sculpt, paint, and plastic quality are all top notch. I'm excited to see the obligatory color variants in the future. Let's check out the Assassin (R-Complex) below!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Ghostbusters Afterlife - LUCKY!

Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Plasma Series Wave 1 - Lucky - Hasbro 2021

I'm very excited for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Something about the tone of the trailers thrills me. I had high hopes for the 2016 Ghostbusters movie, but I didn't enjoy it at all (in my opinion they got the comic ratio wrong... four comedians is just too much. They needed two comedians and two stiffs to get that right dynamic. Even when not telling jokes outright, something about comic actors always seems farcical and changes the tone. End rant). Afterlife, however, seems very different. The rural setting alone is major shift. Not to mention the youthful characters. With the movie still months away from release it's hard to speculate too much, but my anticipation is high. I think this Lucky figure is a bit of a spoiler in itself. Before this toy, I had no idea she would be wearing a uniform. All promotional materials and trailers (lightly) imply that she's a love interest to Trevor and is only ever seen in street clothes and a fast food uniform. But even if this is a spoiler, it just makes me more excited for the movie.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

12" Power Rangers - YELLOW RANGER!

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - 12" Series - Yellow Ranger - Hasbro 2021

Hasbro is pretty tricky with their non-collector toylines sometimes. When it comes to stuff like Marvel Legends and Power Rangers Lightning Collection, we usually know at least six months in advance exactly what we will find on the shelves. But every other line toyline that isn't geared toward us collectors  gets almost no promotion. I personally think this is thrilling. I love toy hunting, and I love being surprised. 12-inch "Titan-style" figure tend to be especially surprising. I remember discovering Spider-Girl, Quickshadow, and Cuddle Team Leader and being totally caught offguard at their very existence. This MMPR Yellow Ranger isn't quite the same scenario because after MMPR Pink was released last year, I figured would very likely get a Yellow. But I occasionally search for expected figures like this and this particular search always came up fruitless. But then two weeks ago I walked into a calendar store in the mall to check out their toy corner and boom! A gorgeous 12" Trini. Let's check her out below!