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 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


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!