Sunday, October 31, 2021

Toony Terrors - ELVIRA!

Toony Terrors Series 6 - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark - Neca Toys 2021

I made a disturbing discovery lately. None of the younger generation of my family know who Elvira is. Nine Nieces and Nephews ranging from 5 to 19 have had no exposure. After appropriately shaming my siblings for this educational neglect, I immediately set to correcting the problem. And I think I successfully created a small legion of fans. Elvira was an absolute staple of my childhood. She made me realize the campy nature of spooky movies at an age when I would have run away in fear. As I became an adult toy collector, I have always had a portion of my collection dedicated to vampy women. This can span from Disney witches to Vampirella and everyone in-between. Needless to say, Elvira has always has a place of prominence among the group, and I'm always super excited to add a new representation of her. This Toony Terrors figure is amazing. I think she will quickly be overshadowed by the upcoming Neca figure, but she really looks great and deserves a purchase. Let's check out Elvira below!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Toony Terrors - THE GRADY TWINS!

Toony Terrors 2-Packs - The Shining: The Grady Twins - Neca Toys 2021

I love Stephen King. I've read over 60 of his books and there has only been a couple I didn't like. The Shining is a classic. The funny thing is that I didn't read the book for a long time because I wasn't a fan of the 1980 Kubrick movie. His writing has a sort of creepy nuance that I didn't get from the movie at all. It seemed like a series punctuated shock scenes connected by the barest thread of a story. When I eventually read the book I was amazed at how good the movie could have been with minimal changes. Even still, I watch the movie every few years since I get more open-minded as I get older. It's still a pale comparison to the book, but I can say that about most adaptations. In the book, the Grady girls (not twins) are only briefly mentioned as victims of their father's murderous rage (a previous caretaker of the Overlook Hotel ten years prior). But in the movie, they have an iconic presence that still resonates today. They are by far my favorite part of the film. Let's check out the Grady twins below!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Mythic Legions - XARRIA!

Mythic Legions: Advent of Decay - Lesser Demon Xarria - Four Horsemen 2018

I still have an insane number of unopened Mythic Legions figures from the 2018 Advent of Decay Kickstarter. I realize now that when I buy a ton of figures all at once, I quickly get overwhelmed and end up putting them all in storage. But in the case of these Mythic Legions ladies, I now think it's kind of nice that I review a new one every few months and really give each figure its proper focus. Right from the very beginning this Xarria figure was one of my most anticipated characters from the line. She looks like the Lord of Darkness from Legend and she also reminds me of the cancelled red devil lady from Gothitropolis line (that I'm still pretty sore about). Considering how often we see devil lady imagery on mudflaps, air fresheners, and tattoos, there is a surprising lack of toys with this design. Beyond a handful Purgatoris, I can't think of any. But that doesn't really matter because this Xarria figure is devil-lady perfection. She has the perfect combination of strong, sexy, and sinister. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Marvel Legends - SHRIEK!

Spider-Man Legends - Armadillo BaF Series - Shriek - Hasbro 2021

My fascination with Spider-Verse characters is relatively recent. In 2006 I started to get intrigued with Jessica Drew in The New Avengers, then by 2010 I was obsessed with Anya Corazon in Spider-Girl...and before I knew it, I was a fan of the whole spider-genre. Considering I had been an avid comics reader since the 1980s, I consider 2010 recent. And this new intrigue required a lot of catching up on old issues. But one character I still missed out on was Shriek. In fact, the first time I ever heard of her was from DST's Minimate in 2018. Shriek debuted in 1993 as a love interest to Carnage. She had been trapped in Cloak's Darkforce Dimension which triggered her latent mutant powers. Very similar to Black Canary, Shriek has the ability to manipulate sound. It can be used as a concussive force, sounds waves for flight, or subsonic frequencies to manipulate emotions. She appears to be quite a fan favorite, and I'm excited to see she makes such a striking Legends figure. Let's check out Shriek below.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Battle Beyond the Stars - VALKYRIE SAINT-EXMIN!

Battle Beyond the Stars - Valkyrie Saint-Exmin - Shout! Exc - NECA 2021

Yet another thing I love about toy collecting are those rare occasions where a new action figure exposes you to a piece of pop culture history that you knew nothing about. When I first saw this Neca Valkyrie Saint-Exmin figure making rounds on social media this past Spring, I loved her look. She was a perfect pulpy, retro character that I just had to learn more about (plus my single favorite comic issue of my childhood saw New Mutants Special Edition #1 which sparked a lifelong obsession with feathered Valkyrie headdresses). Battle Beyond the Stars was an epic sci-fi adventure movie from 1980 that had somehow flown completely under my radar. Luckily it's streaming on Amazon Prime so I wasted no time experiencing the wonder of this film. In nutshell, it deals with a pacifist planet under attack and a scramble to assemble a ragtag group of warriors to defend them. It's quirky, colorful, and entertaining.  And I'm so glad I picked up this figure. The "Mego" styled retro figures typically aren't my thing, but I love her.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Marvel Legends - CAPTAIN CARTER!

Marvel Legends What If...? (The Watcher Series) - Captain Carter - Hasbro 2021

A staple trope of superhero comics from the very beginning has been Patriotic characters. We all know Captain America and Wonder Woman. But there have been tons: Miss America, Patriot Pat, Miss Victory, Yankee Girl, etc, etc. But despite the prevalence through comics' history, there have been very few toys. For the record, I consider any character emblazoned with a flag motif, regardless of country, as patriotic. I have long wanted a female Marvel Legends figure that could be a stand-in for Captain America. And despite her British allegiances, this Captain Carter fits the bill perfectly. She's an established non-costumed character suddenly in a heroic role. The figure's buck is tall and strong, her hairstyle is delightfully retro, and her costume is instantly iconic. As far as I know she has only appeared on the single debut episode of What If...? on Disney+, but she already has at least five toys that I know of. I think that momentum must mean we haven't seen the last of her. Let's check out Captain Carter below!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Miraculous - QUEEN BEE!

ZAG Heroez - Miraculous - Series 01 - Queen Bee - PlayMates Toys 2021

I love Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir toys so much. I've tried to watch the cartoon but I'm too far removed from the target demographic to fully embrace it. But these action figures just thrill me. Colorful female characters with animal themed costumes makes for a toyline seemingly custom-made for me. Plus, I always take notice when an action figure line is catered to a young female audience. It's surprisingly rare for there to be product beyond dolls. But Miraculous has never shied away from true articulated plastic action figures, and I adore them for that. Recently the toy license has shifted from Bandai to Playmates and the core characters are slowly being re-released in a slightly smaller scale and greatly improved accessories. It's a very well-made line, but the distribution is extremely spotty and only the five original figures shown have been released. I certainly hope there will be more, but only time will tell. There are tons of characters deserving of figures. Let's check out Queen Bee below!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Power Rangers - DINO FURY GREEN!

Power Rangers Dino Fury - Ranger Team 5-Pack - Green Ranger - Hasbro 2021

I love when there is a big fancy product that is essentially selling one or two new figures. In the case of this Amazon-Exclusive Multipack, the purchase incentive is two new characters: Dino Fury Black and Dino Fury Green. When I first reviewed Dino Fury Pink last Spring, I wished for this Green Ranger. There have been so few Green females in the Super Sentai universe. But at the time, I had only seen her in photos and didn't know anything about the character. Since then I've become a little obsessed with Izzy Garcia. First there was the iconic battle scene where she tore off the restrictive skirt on her costume and stormed into the fray. And then there was a recent episode where she she grabbed Fearne's hand and finally established herself as one of the few Rangers in the LGBTQ+ community. It stinks that you have to re-buy Dino Fury Red, Blue, and Pink to get this figure, but Izzy is worth it (plus they all come with new Chromafury Saber accessories). Let's check out Green Ranger below!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

DC Multiverse - BATWOMAN BEYOND!

DC Multiverse - Batwoman Beyond - Target Exc - McFarlane Toys 2021

One of the greatest DC Comics thrills for me recently has been the introduction of Elainna Grayson as Batwoman in the pages of Batman Beyond. Elainna is the daughter of Mayor Richard Grayson (Robin) who stole Terry's bat-suit when he went missing (and had amnesia). I don't think it ever addressed in the comics who her mother is, but I assume it's not Barbara since she is a major character (the new Commissioner Gordon) and her history is pretty well documented. When Elainna wore the suit (first worn in Batman Beyond #37, Dec 2019), I was thrilled. The suit looks great on a female body. In fact, I always thought the Kate Kane Batwoman (which was inspired by an unused Alex Ross Batgirl design) was so great because it reminded me of Batman Beyond with the stark red on black. So this character was guaranteed to be a hit for me. It also provided a fresh starting point for me reading the Beyond universe. I never expected an action figure of her and I'm ecstatic. Let's check out Batwoman Beyond below!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Halo - SPARTAN PALMER!

Halo Infinite: The Spartan Collection Series 3 - Spartan Palmer - Jazwares 2021

When the Jazwares Toys Halo KAT-B320 came out this time last year, I only bought her out of boredom and one too many fruitless toy hunts. Despite never having played a Halo game in my life, nor even watched someone else at the controls, I had somehow managed to a collect a decent amount of Halo toys across numerous companies and scales. And there was just something about that Kat figure that seemed the least impressive of them all. But I still got her. Partially to compare the scales and quality and partially to support smaller companies like Jazwares who often get overshadowed. But then a few weeks ago I was at Target and spotted this Spartan Sarah Palmer (which I didn't even know was in the pipeline). Right away I felt this figure was a major improvement over Kat. The face detailing alone was a thousand times better that the near featureless first attempts. I have high hopes now for who else we will see in the line. Let's check out Spartan Sarah Palmer in detail below!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Snake-Eyes Movie - SCARLETT!

G.I.Joe Origins: Snake-Eyes - G.I.Joe Classified Series - Scarlett - Hasbro 2021

I haven't watched Snake-Eyes: G.I.Joe Origins yet, but my biggest incentive to do so is to see Scarlett on screen again. It's hard to believe it's been twelve years since 2009's G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra was released starring Rachel Nichols as Scarlett. I like Rachel, and it was fun to get an actress so familiar to the geek genre (Alias, Star Trek, Conan, Titans, etc) in the role. But that movie was forgettable and the characters were written oddly. This time Scarlett is played by Samara Weaving (The Babysitter movies), and I'm excited to see her portrayal. But in the meantime, we can enjoy this great action figure. Hasbro's face scanning and sculpting technology gets better and better every year. While this face doesn't perfectly capture Samara's unique features, it still looks like a great real-life version of Scarlett. I was very happy to stumble across this figure in Target well in advance of her original release date. I think she's stunning. Let's check out Snake-Eyes Scarlett below!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Marvel Legends - PEPPER POTTS RESCUE!

Marvel The Infinity Saga - Avengers: Endgame – Rescue Armor - Hasbro 2021

Back in 2013 the collector world was teased with images of a Pepper Potts Rescue figure (with an unmasked head) as part of the third wave of Marvel Legends figures for Iron Man 3. This wave was cancelled and I was very upset about it. I had goals at the time of assembling an all-female Avengers lineup. And I honestly thought Rescue and American Dream were extremely unlikely to ever be made. But then three years later in 2016, the cancelled Rescue figure was made available as a Marvel Unlimited subscription exclusive. I was thrilled. But many collectors were not since this new version did not include the alternate unmasked head. When the Gweneth head was released with the odd shoeless sports bra figure, I saw a lot of kitbashes trying to fit it on the original Endgame figure (they never looked right). But finally this new Infinity Saga 2-pack gave us multiple Pepper heads. Unfortunately the head I was looking forward to most (the raised visor) is plagued with a horrible paint job. You can't win them all.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Mirrorverse - BELLE!

Disney Mirrorverse - Series 01 - Beauty & the Beast Belle – McFarlane Toys 2021

Disney Mirrorverse is an upcoming game that puts a wide variety of characters from under Disney's wide umbrella. On the surface it reminds me a bit of Kingdom Hearts. I don't know much about the game itself. Even the platforms it will be released on is confusing. But there are gameplay trailers and it seems like a cool battle game between stylized Disney characters. Most of the details I'm aware of come from this amazing new toy line from McFarlane Toys. When looking at the lineup of Disney Princesses in the game, Belle stood out as the coolest design. With her heavy winter cloak and staff with the enchanted rose, they found a great way to take a non-combative character and make her look like a formidable Mirrorverse Guardian. The other Princesses look cool, but not necessarily battle-ready. The Belle figure has a lot of articulation restrictions, and her scale is smaller than I expected at around 5", but the sculpt is so great that it's easy to forgive. Plus she's relatively inexpensive. Let's check out Belle below!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Marvel Legends Vintage - TIGRA!

Marvel Legends Vintage (Toy Biz) - Tigra (Greer Grant Nelson) - Hasbro 2021

This is proving to be an insane year for classic Marvel Legends figures. Several of my most-wanted figures have already been produced. Firestar, updated White Queen and She-Hulk, Silver-Age Jean Grey in her green costume (short legs and all), and of course Tigra have all entered my collection (as well as amazing modern characters like Ironheart and Captain Carter). This Tigra is surprisingly stunning. Her face sculpt and all the fur details on her body are terrific. The potential for the fur-textured limbs alone make me giddy with anticipation of who we will see next (Wolfsbane, Feral, and Hepzibah in 2022, please!) The only potential issue with this Tigra figure is that her coloring is super-saturated and bright. I wouldn't mind a redeco someday with lighter yellowy skin, dark orange stripes, and the classic voluminous black hairdo with pointy bangs. FYI There was a highly enjoyable Tigra: The Complete Collection TPB (2019) that collected 424 pages of her classic stories. Go read that then buy this toy!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Todd McFarlane - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse - Wonder Woman: Designed by Todd McFarlane - McFarlane 2021

I knew it wouldn't take long for Todd McFarlane to start applying his personal aesthetic to the DC Universe after McFarlane Toys got the DC Multiverse license. After decades of his own creations being made in plastic, we all have a general feel for his designs. His female characters especially seem to all share a few key elements: winged, valkyrie-like headdresses; very detailed armor (especially around the breast, shoulders, forearms, and shins); and oversized unwieldy weapons. This Todd McFarlane-designed Wonder Woman captures those elements in every sense. The only McFarlane trope missed is facepaint. However, I must admit this figure doesn't immediately read as Wonder Woman. I think the culprit is the paintjob. The even mix of gold and silver metallic armor and the predominantly blue torso are distracting. It comes down to color blocking. When you have an iconic character like Diana, you should be able to squint or see a blurry image and immediately know it's her. I predict a repaint.