Monday, May 23, 2022

Transformers Legacy - ARCEE!

Transformers Legacy Deluxe Wave 1 - Prime Arcee - TakaraTomy/Hasbro 2022

I may be biased, but I think Arcee had the most interesting redesign in Transformers: Prime. All the other characters were stylized in a standard way (which I love), but Arcee went further by changing colors, face shape, and vehicle mode. She essentially a new character with a classic recognizable name. I've always really appreciated it though. Something about a pink Transformer seemed unrealistic. I personally haven't seen a pink vehicle in years, so blue was a much more natural color. The Transformers Legacy series is intended unite different eras of Transformers media under a common design aesthetic. The tall and lanky Prime designs are made more blocky and squat to blend in with less stylized iterations of the franchise. I love the concept - and I instantly start imagining Rescue Bots characters like Quickshadow or Whirl in this style - I would love that. This Arcee reimagining is great. Her face is a perfect blend of Prime and G1 design. (The quality of the figure is another story). Let's check her out below!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Nintendo - ROSALINA!

World of Nintendo 2.5" Figures Wave 36 - Rosalina - Jakks Pacific 2022

Rosalina was a non-playable "Princess" character in 2007's Super Mario Galaxy. She was living in the Comet Observatory with her adopted lumas (creatures that look like plump Power Stars). Bowser attacked the observatory stealing all her Power Stars and she pleads with Mario to help retrieve them. I loved her design from that early introduction. She had a unique look but fit right in with Peach and Daisy. Her impact on fans must have been great as well because she has since appeared in more than 20 other games. Her appearances range from a fully playable character to a mere cameo, but her presence has been constant and I knew she would eventually have to be included in the World of Nintendo toyline. What I wasn't expecting was the surprise rapidity of both the long-awaited Daisy and Rosalina released within a couple months of each other. Of course, all these ladies makes the absence of a Pauline figure pretty glaring. I'll bet we see her in the line soon. Let's check out Rosalina below!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Nintendo - PRINCESS DAISY!

World of Nintendo 2.5" Figures Wave 34 - Princess Daisy - Jakks Pacific 2022

I've surprisingly never played a single game that featured Princess Daisy as a character. Although I've eschewed the majority of video games as an adult, the late 80s and 90s were a completely different story. Back then I spent nearly every waking moment glued to my Nintendo or SNES. It was my obsessiveness that created the new family rule, "no Nintendo on weekdays." Mario games were always a go-to, but I didn't ever own a GameBoy, so Daisy's sole appearance in the 80s and 90s, Super Mario Land for GameBoy, was unknown to me. It took me a while to research her design and color scheme, because in the gameplay she was grayscale, in the manual all characters were pink and black, even in the later GameBoy Color, she was a nondescript pink coral color. But then I discovered her hiding on the box art of the original 1989 game, a simple orange and brunette recolor of Princess Peach. She finally got her modern/classic look when the GameCube was introduced in 2001. Let's check her out!

Monday, May 16, 2022

He-Man Animated Series - RAM MA'AM!

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (Netflix) -  Ram Ma'am - Mattel 2022

I don't think anything about Netflix's CGI He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series has impressed me so much as the creation of the character Ram Ma'am. Upon first hearing the name, I can admit I scoffed and rolled my eyes. Her name is ridiculous, but in retrospect, it's classic MOTU brand to have laughable names. And upon watching the show, I concede that she is a shockingly awesome character. Ram Man in the 80s was very popular, but he just annoyed the crap out of me. His dim-witted (supposedly comedic) dialogue and the boing-boing noises as he bounced around took me out of the fantasy aspect of the show instantly. But Krasstine, aka Krass, aka Ram Ma'am, aka Rampage was anything but. She had depth, demons, and visually cool powers. If you haven't watched the show, the major gimmick is that all the heroic "Masters" get powered up by the Power Sword, not just Adam. So they all have transformation sequences and a chance to shine. Especially Krass. Watch the show, it's fun.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Marvel Toybox - GAMORA!

Toybox - Marvel Deluxe Box - Guardians of the Galaxy - Disney 2021

This blog has become a sort of journal for me. When I got this Gamora Toybox figure in the mail this week, I knew I had been wishing for her for a while. And sure enough, four years ago when the first Marvel lady was released, Black Widow (of course), I was already writing here about my hopes for a Gamora. So far all the female releases have had direct movie or television tie-ins, so I'm guessing the next options will be America Chavez, Kate Bishop, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel. But time will tell. This Gamora is the first figure in a while to go back to the original Disney Infinity video game designs (the aesthetic basis for this toy line). Recent releases like Scarlet Witch, Wasp, and Captain Carter were new designs (since the MCU costumes hadn't been created yet). I'm glad they broke out of Infinity library of characters since they would be limiting themselves and not keeping current with the MCU, but I also appreciate this more simplified Gamora over her MCU version with layered clothing and facial markings. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Marvel Toybox - CAPTAIN CARTER!

Toybox - Marvel Deluxe Box - Captain Carter & Hydra Stomper - Disney 2021

Spoiler Warning. I know this is broad, but if you don't want anything about anything nerdy spoiled right now, just skip ahead to the pictures. I say that because if I mention what the spoilers are about, that is the spoiler. (I'll get to the actual spoilage in a few minutes). The Disney Toybox line continues to impress. Each figure seems to be an improvement over the last both in aesthetic and construction. I got this Captain Carter and Hydra Stomper two-pack back in October when I was all packed-up for a November move. By the time I was all settled in my new home and began taking photos again in January, she was the oldest of my new toys and kept getting pushed to the backburner. But then yesterday I got the new Gamora figure and was inspired to finally dig her out of the back of my closet. She is amazing. I love it when a long-standing civilian character gets powered-up and takes center stage like Spider-Gwen, Pepper Potts Rescue, Jane Foster Thor, and now Captain Carter. It's a trope that I can get behind.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

MOTU Revelation - TEELA (v2)!

Masterverse Series 4 - Masters of the Universe Revelation - Teela - Mattel 2022

The development of Teela's storyline in the Masters of the Universe Revelation series was nothing short of epic. For the majority of the show, she was a disillusioned marauder roaming the Eternian countryside with Andra and harassing random baddies like Stinkor. This marauder version was quite scandalous in the fanboy community (how dare she have covered legs and a militant haircut?!), but I loved it. That said, I was still very appreciative of the classic Teela look we got in the beginning of the story and flashbacks. But considering they released a toy of the marauder look first, I'm shocked they backtracked and gave us this classic version. She is a great figure and I really love seeing the details of the modernized outfit (it flashes by pretty quickly in the show). If you haven't seen the Revelation yet, she has a third major transformation that is awesome and better get a toy as well. (Also, a Revelation Sorceress in her classic orange plumage is definitely needed in this line). Let's check out Teela below!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

POP Funko - BLACK ORCHID!

DC POP! Heroes #435 - Black Orchid - Earth Day Walmart Exc - Funko 2022

I don't think I've ever been so excited for a Funko Pop as I was for this new Black Orchid exclusive. Other Pops have been great but it's really rare when one of my favorite comic characters gets made in plastic for the very first time. Back in the day when there were official DC Direct message boards, I was the nerd constantly begging for an action figure of her. Black Orchid first appeared in Adventure Comics in 1973 followed by several years of solo backup stories in Phantom Stranger. A typical early story involved some evil businessmen being horrible for several pages, then in the final few panels, the quiet unassuming secretary would reveal herself to be Susan Linden-Thorne aka the Black Orchid and the story would be over. It was pure camp with an amazing costume. In the late 80s she became a member of the Suicide Squad before getting a Vertigo revamp for most of the 90s, then a reimagining in the New52. She's been a consistently wonderful C-lister who finally gets a toy. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

POP Funko - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

Marvel POP! Covers #03 - Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) - Funko 2022

One of the most visually iconic characters of the 1980s to me was Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel. I admit I don't think I actually read any of her stories back then, but I would see her on comic covers and was always intrigued. In a world of bright colorful costumes that were getting more detailed and complex every year (culminating in the 90's explosion of pouches and warpaint), this character stood out for having a stark black and white costume with a simple but striking design. Her legacy has endured and thankfully her roles in Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and the upcoming Marvels is finally making her a household name. I only hope she gets suited up in some version of her classic costume. This Funko Pop was very unexpected but very very welcome. It was my first Funko Comic Covers purchase and it came with a few surprises (which I will detail below) but I am ecstatic to add her to my collection. And maybe this will prompt a Marvel Legends figure soon. Let's check her out below!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Hallmark Batman '66 - BATGIRL Ornament!

Batman Classic TV Series - Batgirl Limited Edition Ornament - Hallmark 2019

I often find myself speculating why Yvonne Craig Batgirl merchandise is so elusive. We've heard tales that her estate is very restrictive with likeness rights, but it makes me wonder why even when we do get product, it usually only vaguely looks like her. I personally think this Batgirl Hallmark ornament is stunning. The costume details, especially the treatment of the different purple fabric sculpts, is perfection. But the face, although beautiful, is pretty generic. The only Yvonne Batgirl product I've seen that actually looks like her is the Tweeterhead statue, but that's way over my budget. The rest of my collection is just vaguely reminiscent of the actress. It's possible Yvonne just had one of those faces that doesn't translate well when sculpted, but my suspicious side makes me think they might be intentionally/legally generic. If we ever get a McFarlane figure we will see. In the meantime, this Hallmark ornament from 2019 is the best looking Yvonne Batgirl in my collection. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Hallmark - EARTHA KITT CATWOMAN Ornament!

Batman Classic TV Series - Eartha Kitt Catwoman LE Ornament - Hallmark 2021

I had a really frustrating couple days this past Fall trying to get the new Eartha Kitt Catwoman ornament. From the moment she was announced the April before, I put the release date (October 16th 2021) on my calendar and blocked my morning to go pick her up. Back in 2016 I casually walked into a Hallmark one afternoon during lunch and picked up the Julie Newmar (I didn't even know she was coming!) Then in 2019 I took note of the Batgirl ornament release date and went in the morning to pick her up - no issues. But something happened in 2021. I showed up to one of the bigger Hallmark stores in my area right around opening time, only to find out they had opened an hour early (completely undocumented online) and there was apparently a line of 25 people waiting for the doors to open. In the next hour I check three more stores and got the same story. I gave up and paid scalper prices on eBay and called it a day. Luckily this is likely the last lady in the series. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Batman Classic TV Series - CATWOMAN Bust!

Batman Classic TV Series - Eartha Kitt Catwoman Mini-Bust - DST 2017

The curious case of the missing review. I bought this Eartha Kitt Catwoman Bust when she was released five years ago. I photographed her and have distinct memories of editing the photos. I even found three 'unused' photos still on my camera, proving these memories. But when I created the post for the new McFarlane figure earlier this week, I discovered that I apparently never actually created a review. And a quick glance at eBay let me know that she sells for a ton of money now and therefore turnaround pics are a good thing to have on record (since she would be a significant investment for a collector). It looks like a similar situation happened with the Julie Newmar bust, but Eartha seemed more urgent since the McFarlane figure has me so excited. These Diamond Select busts aren't the greatest thing ever. The likenesses are there, but somehow a little off. But I love collecting mini-busts, especially Catwoman ones, and my collection would be incomplete without these. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Batman Classic TV Series - CATWOMAN!

Batman Classic TV Series - Catwoman (Eartha Kitt) - McFarlane Toys 2022

A few times a year an action figure pops up in the toy aisles that shocks me by its very existence. Since 2013 there has been a surprising amount of Batman '66 product made: Mattel, Funko, Hallmark, DST,  Mezco, and now McFarlane. The female characters have been predictably scarce, but none so much as Miss Eartha Kitt as Catwoman. I realize that she only appeared in five episodes of the show, and all in the final third season. Yet somehow she made a huge impact on me as a child. Sure, I loved Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether in the role, but I tend to think that Eartha had the most fun with it. She took those previous purring performances and ramped it up by 100. I thought she was great. And I am beyond thrilled to finally have a traditional action figure of her in my collection. And honestly, I'm glad we never got a Mattel Eartha because those bodies were too tall and lanky, and the faces were hit or miss. But this McFarlane figure is near perfection. Let's check her out below!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Tom & Jerry - TOOTS!

Tom & Jerry the Movie - Friends & Foes 4-Pack - Toots -Moose Toys 2020

Tom & Jerry has a very nostalgic place in my heart. It's not necessarily because of the cartoon either. Sure, the episodes were perpetually on TV and I watched my fair share as a child, but my stronger connection comes from one of my first collecting hobbies, PEZ dispensers. I started collecting PEZ dispensers when I was a little kid in the late 80s. The rush of collecting was incredible, because they cost 75 cents and they were everywhere. And with no internet or news sources, everything was a surprise. You'd walk into the drug store and find the Flintstones, then go to the supermarket and find the Smurfs, even the arcades and stationary stores would carry them. It was heaven. Eventually I got a PEZ book and discovered that PEZ USA had different dispensers from the rest of the world (PEZ Int'l). And the current popular line just North of me in Canada was MGM characters like Tom & Jerry, Droopy Dog, etc. It took me years to get them and they are burned into my psyche as rare and desirable characters.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Marvel Basic Series - THOR!

Thor: Love and Thunder - Basic Series 1 - Jane Foster Thor - Hasbro 2022

It's crazy how two figures in the same assortment can have such wildly different production aesthetic. I reviewed the Basic Series King Valkyrie earlier this week and she was a cool, no-nonsense figure with a good sculpt, and simple, but workable articulation. Yes, she had weapons molded in her hands, and yes the action feature was gimmicky, but she displayed nicely and was a great basic figure overall. Then I opened this Thor figure and was surprised at how different it was. The standard pose is awkward with jutting elbows. The overall sculpt seems bulky. The sculpted hammer dominates the figure and becomes an awkward focal point. And the action feature is chaotic - by squeezing her legs together, her hammer-wielding arm rotates fast at the elbow. It looks painful and doesn't make anatomical sense. With the new plastic-free packaging, I didn't know exactly what I would be getting, and honestly I probably would have skipped this one if I had better insight to the actual product. Let's check out Thor below!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Marvel Legends - KING VALKYRIE!

Marvel Legends - Thor: Love and Thunder - King Valkyrie - Hasbro 2022

Since the last time we saw Tessa Thompson on screen as Valkyrie, an interesting thing has happened. She became one of those rare cinematic characters who inspired a new comic character. Sure, there have been other "Valkyrie" characters in the history of Marvel Comics, but the MCU version had zero connection to them (other than name). But in 2021, a new Valkyrie character was introduced in the pages of Mighty Valkyries #1 who was a direct interpretation of Tessa's character. Of all the MCU heroes and villains seen so far, the one character always leaving me wanting more was Valkyrie, and I thought this comic would be the only chance for detailed storylines. But then the toys for Thor: Love and Thunder were revealed and suddenly we learn that she has become King Valkyrie and is the ruler of New Asgard on Earth. I can speculate a lot from two toys and a 26-word blurb on the cardbacks, but I think it's fair to assume we are going ot see a lot of Tessa in this movie. Let's check out King Valkyrie below!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Marvel Legends - THOR!

Marvel Legends - Thor: Love and Thunder (Korg Wave) – Thor - Hasbro 2022

When I first heard that the successor to the wildly popular Thor: Ragnarok was titled Thor: Love and Thunder, I knew it meant Natalie Portman as Jane Foster would be wielding Mjolnir as the new Thor. I was super excited and immediately started explaining how great this storyline could be to all my MCU fanatic friends. When Jane took over the mantle of Thor in the comics I was thrilled. Not only does the costume look great on her, but the fact that Jane is proven worthy says a lot about a character who typically doesn't get a lot of story outside her role as a love interest. Without spoiling too much, I loved how the hammer had additional importance to Jane beyond a simple symbol of power. And Jane as a hero opened up a whole new world of possibilities for a character who had relegated to civilian life for 52 years of comics... and I've loved her journey ever since. I can't wait to see the story played out on the big screen. I hope it stays true to the comics, but only time will tell. Let's check out Thor below!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Marvel Basic Series - KING VALKYRIE!

Thor: Love and Thunder - Basic Series 1 - King Valkyrie - Hasbro 2022

Basic figures are improving with every movie cycle. Years ago they looked like glorified dollar store toys, but lately they're just slightly simplified versions of Marvel Legends. The big advancement this time is the addition of an action feature. Of course the prices are also increasing. These ten dollar toys are suddenly fifteen (but Legends are now $25, so it's still significantly cheaper). But the sculpting is great, and they fill an interesting role of typically being the first movie product on the shelves. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Tessa Thompson's character is now apparently called King Valkyrie. I guess we won't know the context until July, but her costume is not too drastically different from her two previous looks. I was hoping for something more distinctive, maybe with some head ornamentation. But who knows, maybe we'll get a mid-movie costume upgrade like she had in Ragnarok (and then we won't get another figure of her for two years). Let's check out the basic series King Valkyrie figure below!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Super Pets - WONDER WOMAN (and PB)!

DC League of Super-Pets - Wonder Woman and PB - Fisher-Price 2022

Fisher-Price 6" action figures have been largely absent since the 1999-2009 era, when this was a standard format in the preschool aisle. My favorites back then were the Planet Heroes and the DC Super Friends Hero World. The Hero World line (a larger pre-Imaginext line) never included any females so this new Wonder Woman feels like a long lost apology figure. The DC League of Super Pets movie will be released at the end of July. According to the trailer, it features Superman's dog Krypto encountering a group of rescue animals who get exposed to a crystal that gives them powers and abilities reminiscent of the Justice League (except for PB who changes size). The pets mostly seem to pay homage to the comic pets (Ace, Ch'p, Merton, etc) albeit with new origins and no initial connection to the heroes.  I noticed that Jessica Cruz Green Lantern is also in the movie. Hopefully gets a figure! Superman and Batman are the only other humans so far. Let's check out Wonder Woman and PB below!

Monday, April 18, 2022

McFarlane Toys - SHE-SPAWN!

Spawn Universe - She-Spawn Deluxe Box Set - McFarlane Toys 2021

I've always strongly resisted buying Spawn toys. I'm naturally drawn to the bright, uncomplicated costumes of my childhood heroes. So spikes, guns, and grimaces were far from appealing to me. But when female characters started to be introduced, they were still tempting because they almost always had a strong Norse vibe that I generally obsessed with (Angela, Tiffany, Domina, Valkerie, etc). The only early character I was definitely not drawn to was She-Spawn. I remember thinking her demon-skull bra was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. Over time, her design changed (and became a lot less 90s). In fact, this new figure is actually her sixth release. She still has leather, spikes, absurd guns, and bandoliers of bullets, but suddenly she seems like a blend of the spandexed superhero I wanted and demonic biker chick she always was. Really curious to see if other Spawn females get a similar redesign. (We know Angela is off the table, but there are others). Let's check out She-Spawn below!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Camp Cretaceous - BROOKLYNN!

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous - Brooklynn & Monolophosaurus - Hasbro 2021

When I first started seeing graphics for Netflix's CGI animated series Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous, my eye was always drawn to the pink-haired girl in the background. It's interesting that among all the various human characters introduced in the Jurassic franchise, no one has ever sported an alternative look. I guess they don't want the pesky humans stealing attention from the dinos. Not that Brooklyn is even alternative, she just has unnatural hair, but I'm here for it. Brooklynn is a peppy, social-media-savvy travel vlogger. Animated characters that fill those modern 'celebrity' roles are often my least favorite. I don't personally relate to a relentless quest for fame so I find most of the antics and self-absorption annoying. But Brooklyn isn't too bad. Plus I know the intended audience of this show is obsessed with YouTuber (now Tiktok) culture and she's very popular. This figure marks the 8th female from the modern JW line.. and there are 5 more on the horizon! I can't wait. Let's check out Brooklynn below.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Camp Cretaceous - SAMMY!

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous - Sammy & Velociraptor - Hasbro 2021

Who would have thought the Jurassic Park franchise would translate well into a kid's cartoon? I was certainly caught off guard. But when you consider the endless appeal of dinosaurs to young audiences, it doesn't surprise me that the JP/JW license would take the reigns. Plus the dinosaur market for the gap age range between preschool and teenager has been inexplicably underrepresented. Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous features a group of kids on special VIP visit (think Willy Wonka's golden ticket) to Isla Nublar, when the events of the movie take place and chaos ensues. It's a great adventure series with diverse characters and a lot of science. On the surface, Sammy is a camper who is super enthusiastic to be on this adventure. But you'll have to watch to see where her story arc goes. She's one of the most interesting campers. I'm excited that Mattel is making all the main characters in their 1:18 line. It's an unexpected but welcome surprise. Let's check out Sammy below!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Halo 12" - SPARTAN PALMER!

Halo: 12" Figures Wave 3 - Spartan Palmer (Dual Magnums) - Jazwares 2021

A couple weeks after I made the surprise discovery of Wave 02 of Jazwares 12" Halo line, I was in a Ross store (seeing if I could spot those Marvel Legends vintage figures everyone seemed to be finding) when I stumbled across Wave 03 featuring Commander Sarah Palmer. Again, this assortment was completely unknown to me. It's great timing too because I just started watching the Halo series on Paramount and I'm obsessed. They took what I thought was a confusing overly-militaristic action genre and made it mysterious, insightful, and intriguing. The gender dynamic is amazing, too. I don't know the actors names, but there are at least five female characters I am in love with. And that's not even including the two female Spartans I've noticed so far. I'm excited to follow this season each week, and it's renewed my interest in the toys I already own. My Halo purchases have always been based solely on aesthetics, but now I have an awesome narrative to back it up. Let's check out Spartan Palmer below!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Halo 12" - SPARTAN VALE!

Halo: 12" Action Figures Wave 2 - Spartan Vale with SMG - Jazwares 2020

I randomly walked into a FiveBelow on a snowy day last month and was elated to discover this 12" Spartan Vale figure. My first thought was that this was my long sought-after 2017 Mattel Vale that took me three years to track down (and begging some favors from international friends). But, no, this was a brand new Jazwares version that had gone completely under my radar. In my local Walmarts and Targets, Series 01 was still warming the shelves and despite my obsessive perusal of toy news sites, I had no idea there would be a Series 02. The interesting thing is that about four weeks after my discovery, this wave started hitting Walmarts full force in my area. But nothing beats walking into an unassuming store and finding a toy you love, but didn't know existed. That is a rare gift in this hobby. These 12" toys are a ton of fun. And surprisingly the smaller companies like Spin Master and Jazwares produce much better ones than the big guys like Hasbro. Let's check out Spartan Vale below!

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Fortnite - TNTINA!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series Deluxe - TNTina & Glider - Hasbro 2022

Okay. As much as I've been really enjoying the various Fortnite toys coming out over the past few years, there seems to be a trend that might turn me off the property. Moreso than any other property I can think of, the Fortnite females seem to consistently come in large, expensive deluxe sets. It's not that these sets are a ripoff or that you aren't getting your money's worth, but currently it will set you back roughly 40 bucks to get a 6" female figure from Fortnite. It adds up real fast. In the recent case of Siona and Deo, I didn't mind at all since you were getting two connected characters that look cool together. But to get this TNTina figure, you are essentially forced to buy a $20 glider (that doesn't even fit on any of my shelves). The occasional deluxe figure is great, but lately it's been every one. And as someone who isn't really into vehicles or industrial-looking accessories, I find this trend to be rather off-putting. That said TNTina looks awesome and has a hilariously awesome name. Let's check her out below!

Friday, April 8, 2022

Fortnite - SIONA!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series Deluxe - Dio & Siona - Hasbro 2022

There's something special about astronaut action figures. When I was a kid, there were certain toy archetypes that were always present: The soldier, the farmer, the fireman, the policeman, the ninja, and of course, the astronaut. And of all these, the astronaut is the only one that doesn't imply labor or violence. As a nerdy curious kid who eschewed chores and fighting, there was only one choice for me. Unfortunately there have been very few female astronaut toys over the years. That's why when I saw this Fortnite Deo and Siona 2-pack I just had to have it. These figures combine a lot of the traditional astronaut visual cues: domed helmet, white bulky body suit, and a series of tubes or harnesses wrapping around them. But then they have the Fortnite twist with bright green hair and orange costumes details. The fact that they are both Indian in origin only adds to the appeal. As infrequent as female astronauts are, women of color as astronauts are exponentially more rare. Let's check out Siona below!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Fortnite - JULES!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series Deluxe - Jules & Ohm - Hasbro 2021

Fortnite toys continue to impress me. Despite having no connection to the actual games (or concepts even), the pure fun aesthetic of the character design has pulled me in and made me a fan for life. I enjoy thinking about the younger generations today and the toys that will fuel their adult nostalgia someday. Do I think it will be all the modern He-Man, Power Rangers, DC, and Marvel toys piggybacking off the parents' fond memories? No, I can admit that those brands likely won't be as potent as we wish they would be. But then I see the Fortnite section in the toy aisle and it falls into place. Where we had cartoons and comics to further our action figure narrative, today's kids have video games. (And the Fortnite brand seems far more toyetic than Minecraft or Roblox). The characters are fun, diverse, well made, and plentiful. I really enjoyed the 3.75" version of Jules from last year, but this 6" Amazon exclusive figure is even better. She looks tough, beautiful, and intriguing. Let's check out Jules below!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Endless Winter - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse - JL Endless Winter - Wonder Woman - McFarlane Toys 2022

It seems like the barrage of Wonder Woman variations from McFarlane Toys won't be slowing down anytime soon. Despite Todd's apparent aversion to female action figures, he sure does seem to pump out a lot of Dianas. So far there have been six unique Wonder Woman figures plus at least three variants in just two years. This most recent figure is from the 2020 crossover storyline Justice League: Endless Winter wherein the Frost King attempts to throw Earth into a.. well.. endless winter. Of all thematic storylines I come across in comics or TV, I'm always especially drawn to the wintry ones. I think whites and blues are visually dynamic and I love bulky clothing and furs. It makes everyone look a little more viking-like and more interesting. I'm glad she has her traditional color scheme in muted tones and a fur cloak. It is quite possibly my favorite non-traditional Wonder Woman outfit so far. Maybe they'll make a mermaid one next! Let's check out Endless Winter Wonder Woman below!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Power Ranger - MIGHTY MORPHIN PINK!

Power Rangers Lightning Collection - Pink Ranger 2-Pack - Hasbro 2021

I normally get very angry when us toy collectors are forced to re-buy figures in multipacks in order to be completists. But in this case, I was happy to get a second Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink Ranger. I know this is technically Kat, the second MMPR Pink after Kimberly, but I don't display unmasked heads, so in essence this is a duplicate figure. But the Kimberly figure was the first Lightning Collection female and I always felt she needed some tweaks. My Kimberly had oddly misshapen upper arms and multiple tones of pink plastic that looked distracting. At some point, these issues were fixed and this Kat version of MMPR Pink looks great. It was a smart idea to include her in a 2-pack with Zeo Pink. Having both versions of Kat together gave collectors a fun opportunity to swap unmasked Kat heads back and forth, giving us a reissued MMPR Pink, and including a Zeo Pink when there are several other single-packed Pink Rangers (Dino Charge, and In Space) currently on the shelves. Let's check out Kat below!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Funko Pop - BATWOMAN!

POP! Television #1218 - Batwoman (Ryan Wilder) - Funko Shop Exc 2022

Batwoman is a character I've been obsessed with since I was very young. I had backissues of Batman Family and Brave and the Bold featuring the yellow-clad Kathy Kane and she intrigued me greatly. She was more serious and stern than Batgirl, she had romantic tension with Batman, and she had an outlandishly colorful outfit that didn't make any sense for crimefighting. She was also in the twilight years of her presence in the comics. By the mid-80s she was phased out completely. Then roughly twenty years later she was re-introduced with a vengeance. This new Kate Kane character thwarted the characters homophobic origins and gave her a gritty and believable backstory. I was thrilled. But when the CW show was announced I was cautiously optimistic. Modern Batwoman comics seemed so cinematic, there were perfect scripts with perfect storyboards already laid out. The most successful comic adaptations honor those illustrated panels as the perfect blueprint they are. It seems like a simple recipe.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Galaxy of Adventures - AHSOKA TANO!

Star Wars - Galaxy of Adventures 5" Series - Ahsoka Tano - Hasbro 2020

Of all the recently-introduced Star Wars toylines, I think Galaxy of Adventures is my favorite. Unfortunately, I also suspect it is also dead in the water. The animated series was a short-lived webseries in 2018 and since the toy line's debut in 2019, there have only been about 20 releases, with only one in all of 2021 (an exclusive Mandalorian set). This Ahsoka Tano figure was released in 2020, but I didn't find her until almost a year later when Walmart did a holiday restock with big assortments of Galaxy of Adventures toys. But even so, there was only one Ahsoka in a giant shelf display of 40+ figures (in my experience at least). And it's a shame because this is a really great toy. My favorite part is the elfin-like face sculpts. They are adorable and quirky, but oddly enough they don't look too juvenile or cartoony. It's a lost cause, but it would be awesome to see Princess Leia made. (She is the only other notable female I remember from the show). Let's check out this adorably awesome Ahsoka Tano below!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Super7 ReAction - SCARLETT!

ReAction Action Figures - G.I.Joe Wave 1 - Scarlett - Super7 2021

Shanna "Scarlett" O'Hara is quite possibly the most difficult of the Eighties Ladies to represent visually in toy form.  She was a regularly featured character in the G.I.Joe cartoons, so we all have a strong feeling for how she should look. But something about the final toys never looks quite right. The color blocking of her outfit is very crucial, but even moreso is the bizarre shape of her hair.  In the cartoon it looked like an unformed mound of clay that changed shape from angle to angle, but simplistic designs like that are often the hardest to represent in plastic. Until this ReAction figure from Super7 I have never seen it done well. Sure, there have been decent Scarlett toys, but I always end up making a statement like "well, it's definitely a ponytailed redhead with a crossbow, but it doesn't seem like Scarlett." But now I know it can be done properly. Super7 was able to figure it out after 40 years of near-misses. And now I'm super stoked for her Ultimates figure. Let's check out ReAction Scarlett below!

Friday, March 25, 2022

Super7 ReAction - LADY JAYE!

ReAction Action Figures - G.I.Joe Wave 2 - Lady Jaye - Super7 2022

Lady Jaye is my favorite Joe. I like that she dresses in traditional military greens, but she has a super-unique arsenal of weaponized javelins. She also is super tough and no-nonsense (dare I say butch?). I feel like her relationship with Flint was exaggerated to soften her sometimes abrasive demeanor, but it didn't detract from her heroics, rather it gave her more depth and made me like her even more. My problem lies with the fact that so many of her toys are wearing a hat. Hats are fine. I wear hats all the time. But I've never seen Lady Jaye wear a hat in the cartoon, so this bothered me immensely. I can handle discrepancies between cartoon and toy with costumes and accessories. It's just inevitable. But when you mess with the head and hair, it's really hard for me to overlook. This Super7 ReAction figure perfectly captures her animated look and is probably is the best looking Lady Jaye figure ever produced. But I expect the upcoming Ultimates figure will steal that title. Let's check out Lady Jaye below!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Super7 ReAction - BARONESS!

ReAction Action Figures - G.I.Joe Wave 1 - Baroness (Sunbow) - Super7 2021

There is something powerfully nostalgic about the blue-suited Baroness with the green glasses to me. My first exposure to Baroness was in her signature black suit with the red Cobra symbol emblazoned on her chest, but in my heavy rotation of syndicated after-school viewing, I eventually saw this original blue outfit and was really intrigued. When the G.I.Joe cartoons began airing in 1983, they were composed of two 5-episode mini-series (before becoming an ongoing series by 1985). The first of these mini-series (now known as The M.A.S.S. Device episodes 1-5) featured Baroness in this uniform. Interestingly enough, she barely appears on screen wearing it. The first introduction to Baroness has her disguised in military greens. And her second scene has her in red scuba gear. But still, the few scenes of her arguing with Destro and Cobra Commander in this getup made an impression on young me. I love that Super7 chose this as the first Baroness deco for both the ReAction and Ultimates releases.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

DC Multiverse - CARRIE KELLEY!

DC Multiverse - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Robin - McFarlane 2022

It's amazing how much love Carrie Kelley has received in the past 5-6 years. For a character introduced in a 1986 standalone story (originally), she suddenly has a ton of amazing product, 90% of which was released since 2016 (thirty years after her debut!) This newest DC Multiverse version is the best one I've seen by a long shot. The sculpt, paint, articulation, and price point on this one can't be beat. After getting this figure, I instantly created a wishlist in my head for Carrie Kelley's two other alter-egos: Catgirl (The Dark Knight Strikes Again) and Batwoman (The Dark Knight III - The Master Race). And since her popularity is due to increase after the new Gotham Knights CW show airs, this isn't as far-fetched of a wishlist as you might think. It's pretty amazing that two men with such deeply rooted misogynistic views on women (Frank Miller and Todd McFarlane) could create such an enduring character and such a fantastic figural representation of her. Let's check out the Carrie Kelley Robin below!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Mafex - CARRIE KELLEY ROBIN!

MAFEX No. 139 - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 2-Pack - Medicom 2021

Hyper-articulated import action figures really intimidate me. Lines like S.H.Figuarts, Figma, MAFEX, and Amazing Yamaguchi are super appealing to me. Despite their high price point, I find myself picking up a few each year. But the amusing thing is that I rarely ever open them. All the little accessories, the pressure to find the perfect pose, and the anxiety of doing a neverending photoshoot all lead me to delay opening for some future day when I'm feeling more brave. This Carrie Kelley is the 5th or 6th MAFEX figure I've purchased, but she's the first I've ever opened. She broke through my wall of hesitation because I wanted to add her (and the new Multiverse figure) to my Carrie collection (and I wanted to eBay the Batman figure she came with). I'm glad she snapped me out of my pattern. She is really fun to pose and has a terrific sculpt. I'm curious to see if her role in the upcoming Gotham Knights show alongside Bluebird and Duela Dent will increase her popularity. I hope so. Let's check out Carrie below!

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Placo Toys - CELESTRA!

Celestra: Queen of the Transforming Dolls - Celestra -  Placo Toys 1986

When I first started collecting toys as an adult, I found myself combing over toy database websites and imagining what direction my fledgling hobby would take. A lot of the female-centric sites naturally focused on dolls. I knew early on that soft goods costumes and rooted hair were too much for my OCD brain, but a few properties still managed to intrigue me. One of my favorites was Celestra: Queen of the Transforming Dolls. This is quite possibly the most earnest attempt I've ever seen to merge the "boy" and "girl" aisles that were so hopelessly separated back in the 80s. This line is literally tiny dolls that "transform" into robots, cars, and spaceships. The execution isn't perfect; the faces and hairlines are a tad frightening, and they are essentially simple shellformers. But I love the effort and the unique snapshot of mid-80s toy politics. Bionic Six, She-Ra, Golden Girl, Robotech, etc were all working to blur those gender lines and it was terrific. Let's check out Celestra below!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Birds of Prey - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Multiverse - Harley Quinn (Birds of Prey Jumpsuit) - McFarlane Toys 2021

This Birds of Prey Harley Quinn in her bright gold jumpsuit is a figure I thought for sure had been cancelled. More than two years ago in January of 2020, the very first waves of McFarlane Toys DC Multiverse figures were hitting the shelves. And one of the "coming soon" images on the backs of all those boxes was a photo of Margot Robbie in this getup. But after 18 months with no mention of her, I think the entire toy community assumed McFarlane had missed the wave of movie popularity and she'd never be produced. But then around Thanksgiving of this last year she miraculously hit the shelves. I assume she was actually sculpted and tooled several years ago when those first waves were teased, because she seems slightly inferior to the recent Suicide Squad Harley. (Her face is more generic and her posture is a little slumped and awkward). It's amazing the improvements McFarlane has made in a few short years, but she's still a great and quirky figure. Let's check out Birds of Prey Harley below!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Marvel Legends - KAMALA KHAN as SPIDER-GIRL!

Marvel Legends - Marvel Unlimited Exc - Spider-Ms. Marvel - Hasbro 2020

Marvel Unlimited is a digital comic book subscription service. As a customer incentive, they have been producing an exclusive Marvel Legends figure each year as a bonus for an annual subscription. With the exception of Rescue in 2016, all of these figures have been simple repaints. In general, they don't appeal to me; a gray Captain Marvel, a purple Deadpool, gold Ultron, etc. They are often simple and uninspired changes that I just don't find too tempting. But in 2020, the exclusive figure was a Ms. Marvel figure repainted in a Spider-Man deco. I had no idea what the reference was, but I love both Kamala Khan and Spider-ladies, so I knew I would have to eventually hunt her down on eBay. In the time it took to procure her cheaply, I discovered the reference. In 2019 the cover of Marvel Team-Up #2 featured Kamala and Peter Parker wearing each others' costumes. It has nothing to do with the story inside, but the image was apparently enough to inspire this figure. Let's check her out below!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Marvel Legends - BINARY!

Marvel Legends - Walgreens Exclusive – Carol Danvers as Binary – Hasbro 2022

When I was a young comic reader, I don't think there was a character who ever had more dynamic covers than Binary. Of course, I was biased towards elemental-powered-women even then. I first spied her on Uncanny X-men #164, and then later in Starjammers and X-Men Classic. I'll confess that her cosmic storylines were too complex for my young mind, but I was still absolutely captivated by this flaming inferno of a character. Because those stories were over my head, I can also admit that it wasn't until relatively recently that I realized that Binary was actually Carol Danvers. Ms. Marvel was on my radar back then, but to me she was just a silly character with "mom hair" that fought in a swimsuit with a scarf. I didn't warm up to Carol until I was an adult, and I didn't make a connection between the two characters until shortly before the Captain Marvel movie (which incorporated such a lame interpretation of Binary). But I'm over the moon that Hasbro gave us this comic figure. Let's check her out below!

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Batman - CATWOMAN (UNMASKED)!

DC Multiverse - The Batman - Selina Kyle (Unmasked) - McFarlane Toys 2022

For the time being, this is my last Catwoman post from The Batman. I'm sure there will be additional product hitting the shelves eventually, but for now I'm skipping the mud-splattered variants and Funko Pops. I showed a lot of restraint only buying four figures. (Although I would definitely be super tempted by a Mafex figure if they made one). This unmasked McFarlane variant is surprisingly my favorite of the group. I say surprising because I typically opt for the masked versions. But until I saw this figure in Walmart last week, I didn't realize she had a hybrid mask situation going on. The face sculpt is compelling but she also has the cat ears visible on her folded-up mask. So for me it is the best of both worlds. I'm still lukewarm over the oddly-cut ski mask, I don't hate it, but I haven't fully embraced it yet. But Catwoman without ears always seems lacking. The funny thing about this figure is that she seems like she's seven feet tall, when Zoë Kravitz is actually the shortest Catwoman yet. Let's check out Selina below!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

12" Spin Master - CATWOMAN!

DC Universe - 12" The Batman (Movie) -  Selina Kyle - Spin Master Toys 2022

DC 12" figures are arguably the best on the market. They have better articulation than the Hasbro lines (Marvel, Fortnite, Power Rangers, etc) and they release a lot more figures than the random one or two per movie like the Titan Hero Series. There always seems to be a decent selection of the current DC Spin Master line in the toy aisles with a good mix of comic and movie stylings. I have been waiting for a Catwoman in this line since I bought my first figure (a Mattel Wonder Woman back in 2016), but it took until 2022 to finally get one. And although I highly enjoyed The Batman and Zoë Kravitz's interpretation of Selina, I still want a masked Catwoman figure in the scale - either movie or comic based, I'm not too picky. This version, although quite stunning, doesn't scream "Catwoman" to me. Without a mask or whip, she blends in with the plethora of black catsuited femme fatales like Emma Peel, Eva Kant, or even Selene from Underworld. In short, I'm super glad to have this lovely figure, but now I want one with ears!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Spin Master - CATWOMAN!

DC Comics - The Batman (Movie) 4" Series - Selina Kyle - SpinMaster 2022

Did you ever lose a toy you just bought? That's what happened to me this past week. I bought this 4" Spinmaster Catwoman last month and was very excited to photograph it in conjunction with seeing the movie. I also wanted group shots with the 12" figure and the McFarlane release. But last week when I sat down to do it, she was nowhere to be found. I literally spent about five hours over three nights trying to find her to no avail. Saturday morning I went out and bought a new one before I saw the movie that evening, but then my momentum was gone. But I finally have them all photographed and edited, just five days later than I intended. I really enjoyed The Batman. Zoë Kravitz gave Selina a younger, slightly more naive and reckless vibe than we're used to, but I enjoyed her performance immensely. I need to re-read my 1989 Catwoman miniseries and Batman: Year One because I think there were several direct references. This Spinmaster figure is a great first product to represent the character.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Gotham Knights - BATGIRL!

DC Multiverse - Batman: Gotham Knights - Batgirl - McFarlane Toys 2022

I love Batgirl. She's arguably my favorite character (but don't hold to that the next time I say the same thing about Catwoman, She-Ra, or Cheetara). And McFarlane Toys has surprised me by producing some amazing Batgirl figures. However, this particular figure is the first one in years that I'm not a fan of. Her colors are great, and I enjoy the face sculpt and general design a lot (fyi Gotham Knights is a video game that will be released later this year). But the overall proportions and posture are distractingly awkward. She looks 8-feet tall with insanely long arms. Her back and shoulders are hunched in a way that makes her look meek. And although I love the colors and they appear to be game accurate, the yellow boots and fully-yellow cape (as opposed to just lined in yellow) is illogical and looks very odd in toy form. It's a shame because the torso and head look very good, but this figure as a whole is lacking, especially when compared with the last two (amazing) McFarlane Batgirls. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Masters of the WWE - CHYNA as SHE-RA!

Masters of the WWE Universe - Wave 08 - Chyna as She-Ra - Mattel 2021

In the past two years I've become a big fan of Mattel's Masters of the WWE series. Who would have thought that wrestling toys and He-Man toys would provide such a great mashup? I've eagerly looked forward to each new female in the line. And I'm pretty sad that this 8th Wave will be the final one. But for a final female figure, Chyna as She-Ra is quite a high note to go out on. As the most recognizable female wrestler, the late Chyna was an unexpected but fitting choice to become the Princess of Power. The tiara accessory in particular made me very excited for a future Filmation-style She-Ra, and also to attempt a kitbash version myself. (Although this proved very difficult... details below). But this Chyna figure on its own is great. The purple and silver deco is a rare combination for a hero, but it looks terrific and makes a great addition to my MOTUO collection. It's a bummer my prediction of a Charlotte as Sorceress figure (in a peacock feather deco) will never happen. Boo. Let's check out Chyna below!

Monday, February 28, 2022

The Land Before Time - RUBY!

The Land Before Time - Earthshakin' Mountain Playset - Playmates 2007

I have very fond memories of The Land Before Time. I was a little old for it when it came out in 1988, but even then I could appreciate a good juvenile adventure story like An American Tail or the Rescuers Down Under. And I thought The Land Before Time was the best of them. It's no surprise to look back and see that Don Bluth, George Lucas, and Stephen Spielberg were all involved. I knew that there had been a lot of sequels and spin-off projects. I worked in a video store all through the late 90s and there was literally a new direct-to-video movie every year. The fourteenth (yes, fourteenth) movie came out in 2016 - which must have set some sort of sequel record, but I can't prove it. Typical of most kid-focused properties, there were just two token females for the majority of the series, Cera and Ducky. Although both iconic and memorable characters, I never felt the need to get toys of them. But recently I discovered this new character, Ruby. I'm always a sucker for pink dinosaurs and dragons.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

MOTU Minis - SORCERESS!

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (Netflix) - Eternia Minis - Mattel 2022

The Eternia Minis line thrills me. Something about collecting them reminds me of those miniature ThunderCats PVC figures with removable weapons that I loved as a kid. They are so tiny and fun. And I love that they are now branching out into new iterations of the MOTU franchise. The original Mattycollector line had Vintage He-man, She-Ra and 200x designs. The modern store versions also incorporate both vintage and 200x, as well as Masters of the Universe: Revelation and Netflix's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (hopefully She-Ra gets included soon!) They keep adding random additional characters with no preamble. I just ordered the CGI Evil-Lyn on BBTS yesterday. According to the cardback, Evil-Lyn is a single 4th addition to the CGI lineup. Which to me seems odd - having 3 additional characters then two months later adding a 4th. But it keeps me on my toes and I'm always googling to see what's next. (C'mon Princess of Power!) Let's check out Sorceress below!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Marvel Titan Hero Series - SCARLET WITCH!

Marvel Titan Hero Series - Doctor Strange & Scarlet Witch - Hasbro 2021

This Titan Hero Series figure was the first toy I bought from the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness product line. I'm excited about all the various rumors connected to this movie. I imagine that exposing a variety of alternate universes is the perfect way to bring together the best characters and stories for future MCU films. My imagination is running wild, but I'll save speculation until May when it hits theatres. The Titan Hero Series is often the first movie product to hit the shelves, but usually only a couple characters from each movie are included, so I get pretty excited when a female character gets one of the slots. I'm thankful that Wanda's Multiverse look appears so similar to her WandaVision costume so we don't have to buy two. This is also the first time I noticed that Hasbro now uses the Photo Real face printing process on 12" figures. You can tell because all of Elizabeth Olsen's beauty marks are represented on this toy *a level of detail not usually seen in this line). Let's check her out below!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Marvel Select - SCARLET WITCH!

Marvel Select - WandaVision's The Scarlet Witch - Diamond Select Toys 2021

Marvel Select makes me really happy. In my collecting, I love focusing on a specific character in a specific costume and then collecting every piece of merchandise I can find. Everything from mini-busts to Heroclix (I'm selective with statues due to space reasons). In these mini-collections, Marvel Select fills an interesting role by providing a unique scale. Most DST figures are noticeably larger than Marvel Legends at around 7" tall and give me the height variety I want in my collection. The production level is much slower than other companies - There were only 8 females in the Select line in the past five years. Meanwhile Hasbro has had more than that since November. But every DST character released is definitely one I need for my collection (so far at least). I also love that I get to run to my comic shops on release dates to pick these up. I miss the days of DC Direct and Collectibles releasing to specialty shops. This Wanda is the first Select lady in more than two years, but she's a good one. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Marvel Legends - CALLISTO!

Marvel Legends - Wolverine 5-Pack (Amazon Exc) - Callisto - Hasbro 2021

I'll be the first to admit that Callisto was easily my least favorite character from the X-books in my youth. My favorite characters always had bright outlandish costumes, powers that fueled my imagination, and quirky banter that made me want to befriend them. Callisto was the polar opposite of all this. As leader of the sewer-dwelling Morlock community, she was pretty grim and serious. Her clothes consisted mostly of black leather punk duds, but boring. And her powers still confuse me. As far as I can tell she's just good at knife fights, stamina, seeing in the dark, things like that... not things that are easy to visually represent in comic panels or stand out among the ridiculously cool mutant powers held by other characters. Her dynamic enemy/frenemy relationship with Storm is the only thing that kept me interested. I recently re-read the original New Mutants series and her appearances didn't have the same negative reaction for me as they did in my youth. I guess I'm maturing or something.