Saturday, January 29, 2022

POP Rides - SHE-RA on SWIFTWIND!

POP! Rides #279 - She-Ra on Swiftwind (Walmart Exclusive) - Funko 2021

Sometimes I'm just a sucker for a vintage-themed product. Do I love this Funko Rides She-Ra on Swiftwind? No. Do I have any nostalgic connection to the vintage She-Ra toy deisgns? No. But can a resist a retro toy of fabulous warrior woman riding a pink flying unicorn? Of course not. There were a lot of design differences between the vintage She-Ra toys and the Filmation cartoon. I never owned any of the toys and my memories of them in stores are a pink blur. I actually have fond memories of them from various Christmas Catalogs, but that was during the era when all the horses were translucent. My most potent memories are from the cartoon. Swiftwind had a very stark difference. In the cartoon he was a white horse with a reddish mane and tail, pink armor, and rainbow-like wings with blue, yellow, and pink. The vintage toy design was a pink horse with pink mane and tail, gold armor, and wings that were gold, pink, and white. I like the pink, but all my fond memories are tied to the animated version.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Kamen Rider Agito - EL OF THE WATER!

Kamen Rider Agito - Soft Vinyl Figures - El of the Water - Bandai 2003

I bought this figure about 18 years ago when I was on a crazy Japanese Vinyl kick. Then just a couple years ago I photographed it for a review and quickly realized I had forgotten every bit of detail about this toy (other than that it was produced by Bandai). I had no frame of reference in my head and googling things like "shark woman bandai" returned zilch. Then tonight I researched hard (hours literally) and finally was able to identify her. In 2001 Kamen Rider Agito aired as the eleventh installment of the Kamen series. There were a lot of villains in this series including a troublesome trio called the El Lords. These three Lords controlled Water, Wind, and Ground. Technically El of the Water is a male entity and voiced by a male actor, but for the majority of her/his screen time in this series, they had possessed the 21 year old human character Masumi Sekiya. And while possessing Masumi, the El of the Water looked distinctly female. Something I love about Japanese villains on action television is the creative designs.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Super7 Ultimates - APRIL O'NEIL!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates - Wave 3 - April O'Neil - Super7 2021

Super7 has a lot of my money tied up in pre-orders. I literally have 19 Ultimates figures destined for my toy shelves (eventually). It will be a selection of characters from ThunderCats, Silverhawks, G.I.Joe, and 2001: A Space Odyssey - and I'm very excited to get them all. While I have a handful of Classics-scale MOTU figures from the company, I consider this April O'Neil my first true in-hand example of a Super7 Ultimates. And I must say, this makes me more excited than I already was. I was surprised by the toyetic quality of this figure. While a lot of modern collector figures have a dull rubbery texture and realistic paint details (which I love), this figure is shiny, simple, and nostalgic - and appeals to me on a totally different level than most toys. You could convince me that this was a toy made for a kid in the late 80's... but a rich kid and a toy company that pulled all the stops. I expect the other properties will be equally impressive (but in different ways). Time will tell. Let's check out April below!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Camp Cretaceous - YAZ!

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous - Yaz & Velociraptor Blue - Hasbro 2021

I've been hearing good things about Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous on Netflix since it first debuted back in 2020, but I just started watching it this week. I know it's intended for a young audience, but beyond the juvenile banter of the campers, it has some pretty mature and dark themes. The show follows a group of young teenagers at an exclusive camp on Isla Nublar. It seems to take place concurrently within the first Jurassic World movie. The campers are a diverse cross-section of modern youth: a nerd, a rich kid, a vlogger, a dino geek, an antisocial athlete, and an overly energetic cowgirl. Yasmina 'Yaz' Fadoula is the antisocial athlete. I'm only a few episodes in and I'm not yet sure what sport she plays (Track & Field I believe), but she always wears athletic duds, is formidable in the action scenes, and hates having her picture taken and has trouble communicating with the others. There are three female campers, and the other two should be out any day now. Let's check out Yaz below!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Temple of Darkness SORCERESS!

Masters of the Universe Origins - Sorceress (Castle Grayskull) - Mattel 2021

Master of the Universe Mini-Comics were included with all the vintage toys and added a lot to the He-Man lore. As adult collectors, there is a fun trend of using character designs from these books as color variants. If you see a yellow Tri-Klops, a blue Mer-man, or a red Beast Man toy, these are vintage comic variants. As far as the ladies go, pink Teela, Eternian Goddess (green Teela), and white Sorceress all trace their roots to these mini-comics.  The interesting thing is that these were likely all the result of bad editing or cheap printing processes. They never mention the color changes in the stories, the characters just visually appear that way for a single story and usually revert to normal for their next appearance. But if toy molds need to be re-used to be profitable, I'm glad there is this obscure vintage reference to give us some meaningful variety. In the 1984 mini-comic titled Temple of Darkness, Sorceress inexplicably appeared in all white. This is my absolute favorite of all the mini-comic variations.

Monday, January 24, 2022

A Trio of ROBLOX LADIES!

ROBLOX Deluxe Mystery Pack Series 01 - Flora, Diana, Rosalia - Jazwares 2021

Whenever a toy line really establishes itself in the toy aisles, I know I'll eventually have ot make a purchase to see what all the fuss is about. I have been noticing Roblox figures from Jazwares in stores for quite a few years now, and I honestly was never super tempted. They were blocky and simple with odd facial expressions. But on the plus side, the themes always seemed fun. I swear every time I glanced at the displays I would see a different mermaid character. I managed to avoid any purchases (not counting their non-blocky Imagination Collection) until a fateful day back in October when I saw three characters lined up: a mermaid, a centaur, and a spider sorceress. The assortment just made me happy and I finally brought a few of these figures home. Plus I was excited to add the first female centaur and first mermaid of color to my collection. And after playing with these figures and swapping parts, I get the appeal. I'm open to buying more if they call to me. Let's check out these Roblox ladies below!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

WWE Wrestling - SCARLETT!

WWE Series 120 - NXT First Time in the Line - Scarlett Bordeaux - Mattel 2021

When I picked up this Scarlett figure a couple months ago, it was my first standard WWE purchase in four years. Sure, I picked up a ton of the short-lived WWE Superstars line and a handful of the Masters of the WWE, but for the most part I was worn out from years of buying (gorgeous and inexpensive) figures of characters I knew hardly anything about. I made a vow to not buy any more unless they really called out to me. Then I saw this figure during the 2021 holiday season and I was super intrigued. I had never seen a WWE lady with a full-coverage unadorned bodysuit. Then her brilliantly white hair just made her pop all the more. In reality, this is a super simple figure for Mattel. There is zero deco and the buck required no new tooling, but she is still an impressive figure (that I imagine customizers will be hoarding). In a time when the female wrestling figure lineup on the shelves is dominated technicolor palettes, this stark design ends up being the true attention-grabber. Let's check her out below!

Friday, January 21, 2022

PJ Masks - OCTOBELLA!

PJ Masks: Underwater Heroes 4-Pack - Octobella - Hasbro 2021

The properties being taken over by Hasbro aren't contained to popular collector lines like Fortnite and Power Rangers. Long-lasting preschool lines like PJ Masks have also changed production. Just Play Toys had been making these toys for years and I had acquired a small collection. But when toylines like this (that I only sporadically collect) start over, I get a bit fatigued and rarely continue buying them. But a big exception occurs when they start off with inclusion of an amazing new character. And this Octobella is a prime example of that. I love aquatic characters, and tentacled ladies are especially intriguing to me. Octobella is a villain introduced in Season 3 but not fully featured until Season 4. She is specifically an antagonist to Gekko and I'm obsessed with her design. Her unexpected inclusion makes me hopeful for a Batarina (the purple bat hero) and Orticia (the punky plant villain). Fingers crossed we'll see them. Let's check out the "squiggly giggly octopus girl" (her words, not mine) below!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fortnite - LYNX!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series Single Packs - Lynx - Hasbro 2021

I wasn't sure how I felt about Hasbro taking over the license for 6" Fortnite figures.  We had two similarly-scaled lines from McFarlane Toys and Jazwares that had petered out rather quickly. Is third time really a charm? I had my doubts. But I must admit I have been converted. Purely going by quantity of female figures, the Hasbro line has already blown the previous two out of the water.  I now own four females in the Victory Royale series and it's only been two months on the shelves. In several years of producions, the McFarlane line only had three female sculpts, and the Jazwares line only had two. And this inaugural figure, Lynx, is really stunning. She looks sleek and mysterious with a futuristic sci-fi vibe. Plus I'm a sucker for any cat-themed characters. She's very different from the other Fortnite figures I've purchased. My Fortnite collection is mostly colorful and quirky, but Lynx has a dark serious aura. I think she's great and she makes me excited to see who's next. Let's check out Lynx below!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Fortnite - LYNX!

Fortnite - Lynx (Solo Mode) - 3.75" Series -  Jazwares Toys 2021

2021 was a very slow year for me as far as Fortnite toys purchases went. Previous years had a steady flow of 3.75 Fortnite ladies, but this Lynx figure is only the second I am reviewing (after Jules last January) in the whole year. Granted I bought a few more in multipacks that I haven't photographed yet, but even so it was a significant slowdown. But for the last figure purchase in a slow year, this Lynx is one of my favorites of the whole line. I typically fawn over the quirky onesie/plushie-type characters like Prickly Patroller or Cuddle Team Leader, but this lynx looks like a sinister futuristic Catwoman and I'm obsessed. I had been seeing this character design in print ads and random game images for a while, so I was excited to see her included in the line. And I was especially happy to see a version of her with some really colorful details added to her limbs. Her standard design appears to be solid black, and there is already a 6" version in that deco, so I'm glad this one is unique. Let's check out Lynx below!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Gremlins Mogwai ZOE!

Gremlins 2: The New Batch - Mogwai Series 5 - Zoe - NECA 2015

Gremlins 2: The New Batch was a far cry from its predecessor. I recently watched them both and I was surprised how creepy and dark the original Gremlins movie was. But in sharp contrast, the sequel was over-the-top and farcical from beginning to end. Suddenly that Key & Peele sketch is infinitely more funny. The movie is full of plot holes and gimmicks, and from a collector's perspective it looks like a merchandiser's dream. I personally love cute-but-formidable creatures in film, and Mogwai are a fantastic representation of that. The NECA Mogwai line has been a joy to collect. I'm only missing two (Lenny and George) and I'm ecstatic that NECA will be re-releasing them shortly (along with the new Mogwai from the Mountain Dew commerical). My excitement made me want to post this Zoe figure from 2015. The name leads me to believe this is a second female Mogwai (after Penny), but I can only speculate since these characters were unused concepts that didn't appear on screen. Let's check out Zoe below!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Netflix's Eden - SARA!

SuperVinyl Series - 6" Vinyl Figure - Eden (Netflix) - Sara - Super7 2020

This purchase is very unlike me. Although I definitely am known to dabble in anime, I rarely buy product product tied to the movies or shows (unless they are super classic/retro). But something about the Netflix original anime series, Eden, really captured my attention. So when I saw Super7 was releasing a line of Target-Exclusive products for the show, I knew I would at least have to pick up the main character, Sara. If you haven't seen Eden, I would definitely suggest it. It's only four short 25 minute episodes. I find the show especially intriguing because I can't tell who the intended audience is. It could easily be for kids, but it also deals with pretty dark themes.. flaws of humanity, apocalypse, greed, etc. It reminds me of a mashup of NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind and The Matrix with a somehow family-friendly vibe. I don't know if there will be a season two or not, but either way I think the cast of this futuristic world is pretty finite and these are likely the only toys we will see. Let's check out Sara below!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Stranger Things - ELEVEN!

Stranger Things: The Void Series - Season 3 -  Figure #1 Eleven - Bandai 2020

I just discovered that one of my favorite nephews has recently become a fan of Stranger Things. He's twelve and is often resistant to spooky things so this was a welcome surprise. For the holidays I bought him two Stranger Things graphic novels and gifted him a prized vintage vest from my closet that looks just like Will Byer's iconic outfit. I was thrilled to get him cool stuff for once. But what's most exciting is reliving my enjoyment of those initial seasons through his eyes. The show is a great mix of intrigue, suspense, horror, and comedy. All with a masterful ability to pull you into the environment of Hawkins, Indiana in the early 80s. As I get older, I find the setting of shows and movies to be one of the most important factors in my enjoyment. The setting has to be fully fleshed-out, unique, and adding something to the plot. And Stranger Things does it all perfectly. The 6" toy license appears to have recently shifted from McFarlane Toys to Bandai and this Season 3 Eleven is the first offering. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A Long Overdue 2019 YEAR-END REVIEW!

A Collection of 2019's Most Amazing Female Action Figures All In One Post

Who remembers 2019? It's easy to forget how different things were pre-pandemic. From my hobby perspective there's been quite a shift. I used to love toy hunting. I still do of course, but it's lessened now. I had 4 different commuting routes to my office and on any one of them I would pass multiple Walmarts, Targets, Walgreens, etc. But now I have to make an effort to put on pants and sacrifice my primo parking spot to feel that thrill. I also rarely ever preordered toys. But now I have a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. Comic Cons are still fun, but there aren't toy vendors showing off their products anymore. Instead we have product-reveal-live-streams. This new world isn't bad, just different. Looking back at all my toy purchases from 2019 floods me with memories of hunting and socializing with abandon. It was coincidentally a great year for toys. Movie years always inspire products and in 2019 we had Captain Marvel, Endgame, and Shazam. Let's check out the bounty of yesteryear below!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

DC Direct - URSA!

DC Comics - Superman: Last Son - Series 01 - Ursa - DC Direct 2007

I've made it a New Years resolution to purge my SD camera card and, with a timestamp of 2013, this Ursa was the oldest photoset there. I skipped this figure when she was released back in 2007. I didn't love her design or her pre-posed sculpt. But five years later I found her in a bargain bin and thought what the hell. My original criticisms still hold up, but I think the character has an interesting history so I like that this toy exists. Ursa was first introduced in Superman: The Movie (1978), but this toy represents her first comic appearance from 2007 (a storyline written by Richard Donner himself). I actually dig this costume, but I'm not thrilled with the hair, goggles, neck tattoo, and glum expression. I always expect Ursa to look wicked, cocky, and a little unhinged. This figure doesn't give me any of those qualities. I normally love sculpts by Karen Palinko, and I think she stayed very true to the source material, but the overall translation into plastic is a little lackluster in my opinion. Let's check out Ursa below!