Wednesday, June 29, 2022

BendyFigs - CATWOMAN!

The Noble Collection - DC Comics BendyFigs - Catwoman - Noble Toys 2022

For the past few years I've been noticing this great new series of bendy figures from Noble Toys at places like Barnes & Noble or the electronics section of Walmart. Ten years ago I would have completely ignored these with a "these aren't even action figures" snub. But then I discovered two great characters who were only available in bendy form (yet could still fit in to my collection nicely with the aide of a figure stand): Inque and Angel Jones. Quickly followed by my discovery of NJCroce and their irresistible bendies of Batman '66 and BTAS. So suddenly I wasn't such a snob. Until recently, I only saw these BendyFigs for movie tie-in product. Their Wonder Woman 84 and Suicide Squad figures in particular always caught my attention. The quality and scale was a noticeable improvement over past bendy lines, but I didn't find the movie licenses tempting until this comic-style Catwoman. It's an iconic look at this point but gets almost no merchandise. Let's check out Catwoman below!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Snake-Eyes Movie - AKIKO!

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

I need to watch G.I.Joe Origins: Snake-Eyes again because I think I missed something about the character Akiko's role. There was a certain amount of mystery posed around her origins and throughout the movie, you would gain initial tiny insights into her past. I thought for sure she would be the long lost sister of either Snake-Eyes or Storm Shadow, but neither of those guesses panned out (at least I don't think they did... hence the necessary re-watch). Instead, Akiko was presented as one of the key members of the Arashikage clan, being the head of security, and a main point of contact between Snake-Eyes and the clan. She did not trust him, despite his blood ties to the Arashikage, and was constantly tailing him and keeping a wary eye. She was intriguing, but my high expectations may have sabotaged my perceptions. This is a very nice figure with a decent likeness of actor Haruka Abe. While martial arts figures aren't my go-to genre, she's a cool addition to my Classified shelf. Let's her check out below!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Snake-Eyes Movie - BARONESS!

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

I finally watched G.I.Joe Origins: Snake-Eyes last week after 11 months of dragging my feet. I truly planned on seeing it in the theatre last Summer, but I just had a gut feeling I wouldn't enjoy it. And I was correct. Despite several awesome female characters, a great cast overall, and lots of well-planned action scenes, it just didn't excite or engage me. Although, I was pleasantly surprised by Úrsula Corberó in the role of Baroness. I thought I would be disappointed in yet another live-action interpretation of the single most iconic animated villainess from my youth. But I found her performance rather enjoyable. Trying to mimic an over-the-top cartoon persona is generally a big mistake, but this portrayal had an original spin while still capturing the essence of Baroness. It's far better that the previous live-action attempt, and even better than some later animated interpretations honestly. This toy has become quite the shelfwarmer, but is a really nice figure overall. Let's check out Baroness below!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Marvel Legends - DOMINO!

Marvel Legends X-Force 3-Pack - Rictor, Domino, Cannonball - Hasbro 2021

I feel bad for Neena. No matter how popular and iconic her luck-focused alter-ego Domino has become, she is surprisingly unlucky in the merchandizing department.  Her first Toy Biz from 1995 figure actually wasn't bad at all. It was simple but captured the character nicely. Also her Mini-Mates figure from 2014 is pretty good. But the rest of them.. good lord. Why can't they seem to get her right? This newest attempt is the best so far in the Marvel Legends line, but it falls far short of my expectations. It should be easy to get a nice Domino because she has had many unique looks throughout her run in New Mutants and X-Force, and I would think any one of them would translate well into plastic, but they just don't. This newest version has droopy shoulderpads, flat hair, and awkward open mouth paired with dead eyes, and a problematic faceplate. I honestly never even noticed that Domino has an asymmetrical faceplate/tiara, with the left side being a microphone, but it's legit in the early run of X-force.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Sonic the Hedgehog - 2.5" Series Wave 7 -  Classic Amy - Jakks Pacific 2022

I've been hunting for this Classic Amy Rose figure in the checkout lines of stores for a few months. Little did I realize she would be packaged in the bubble-carded assortment that you find back in the action figure aisles. During my casual checkout-aisle hunting though, I found myself so being thrilled that there are so many cool toys regularly found near the cashiers now. When I was a kid in the 80s, there were typically some bags of green army men, some zoo animals, and the random assortment of yo-yos and playing cards. But then for years there was nothing but candy and magazines. Lately however, you can regularly find a slew of great toys: World of Nintendo, Disney Princesses, Marvel, Star Wars, and of course Sonic the Hedgehog. It's a fun new world for toy hunting. But as I said, this Amy is only in the official toy sections so far. Amy Rose wore this green and orange outfit in her first few appearances (starting in 1993). I love a good throwback design. Let's check out Classic Amy below!

Monday, June 20, 2022


Sonic the Hedgehog - 4" Series Wave 8 - Rouge the Bat - Jakks Pacific 2022

Almost exactly a year ago I was groaning about the disappointing gender diversity in the Jakks Pacific Sonic the Hedgehog line. At that point, the line had been constantly putting out product for two years without a single female character. There were two things about this that particularly bugged me: One, there are a ton of great females in the Sonic universe (most of which has never been made into toys), and Two, the product on the shelves seemed to be the same four (male) characters released over and over again. In short, I saw it as lame wasted effort for a potentially dynamic toyline. But then news came of a 4" Amy Rose for the Fall of 2021 quickly followed by this 4" Rouge the Bat in Spring of 2022. (Plus a Classic Amy in the 2.5" line and an upcoming 2.5" Rouge). It seems like they're making up for lost time. It's not just females either, the male lineup is finally adding some b-listers: Mighty, Espio, Vector and Ray. This Rouge is terrific. I've always loved her design and this figure captures her perfectly.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Astro Boy - URAN!

Tezuka Productions: Astro Boy and Friends - Uran - Heathside Trading 2022

In the past 10 years or so I've become a big fan of Osamu Tezuka. He is known by many nicknames, but I was always fond of "The Godfather of Manga." At over 150,000 pages and 700 volumes of manga in his brief 60 years, he earns that title easily. Interestingly, I think what finally turned me from a casual appreciative fan into a mega-fan was the launching of KickStarter and the almost immediate campaigns to translate various works of his into English. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I picked up the very first KickStarter-funded manga of his at my local comic shop and was instantly smitten. But way before I began obsessing over his manga, I was a big of the 1963 black & white Astro Boy anime (an adaptation of Tezuka's Mighty Atom manga from 1952). I had an  VHS with a handful of episodes and I was blown away by the quality. It's was lightyears ahead of American animation. I even played the exact same tape on a loop in my college years for background ambiance at parties, and it always got attention. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


Marvel POP! #927 - X-Men Polaris (GITD) - NYCC/GameStop Exc - Funko 2021

Late June is the time of year when I get really excited about Funko Pops. Any day now there will likely be a series of Summer Convention exclusive reveals (usually followed by a few random product leaks from Asia that end up being Fall Convention exclusives). The reason I get so excited is because there is a trend of having one single essential classic female character revealed each time. These are characters never seen in standard store assortments, but they are usually some of my favorite characters. In the past we've seen Spider-Woman, Huntress, Zatanna, Stargirl, etc. Maybe this year we'll finally see Firestar, or Hellcat, or Bette Kane, or Clea - anything is possible. The most recent was last Fall's Polaris in all her green Silver Age glory. She's an absolutely gorgeous Pop that is both an obscure yet quintessential character. The average MCU fan wouldn't recognize her, but any semi-serious comic reader would know her significance. Conventions are the perfect way to deliver these ladies to our collections.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Marvel Legends - SHADOWCAT!

Marvel Legends - X-Men Excalibur 3-Pack -  Hasbro Pulse Exc - Hasbro 2021

Kitty Pryde seems to be a character that is continually reimagined and designed in the comics. My first exposure to her was in her Sprite and Ariel phases in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends show. She was a regular feature in my older brother's Classic X-Men issues. And then she was the focal character of the Pryde of the X-Men animated pilot (which seemed to always be on TV). But I think her most prominent and iconic phase was her Excalibur years as Shadowcat. She presented as noticeably older in this era with a two-tone blue outfit, big hair, and even bigger sleeves. It wasn't my favorite look at the time, but it has stood the test of time moreso than any of her other looks. (Writing this is reminding me to catch up on my Marauders reading - where she is a central character and seemingly being reimagined all over again). I've been hearing requests for this Excalibur iteration in Legends form for years. I like the final result, but I realize her hair and sleeves fall short of (80's) expectations.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Marvel Legends - MEGGAN!

Marvel Legends - X-Men Excalibur 3-Pack -  Hasbro Pulse Exc - Hasbro 2021

Meggan is a character that has intrigued me from the first time I laid eyes on her. That first exposure was way back in 1989's Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem. At the time I would buy anything drawn by Arthur Adams and I was tangentially exposed to all of Excalibur with this book. Meggan was on the cover, and appeared in about 6 panels. She was wearing her yellow cow-neck outfit at the time and didn't really do anything. To me she was just a mysterious young woman with a massive amount of hair and elf ears. A couple years later she was included in second series of Marvel Universe trading cards and her bio explained her powers... sort of. It said she has the "power of metamorphosis", which I took to mean that she had abilities like Wolfsbane. And in subsequent exposures to her character, I saw her do a quasi-werewolf transformation. I still have never read Excalibur and she is largely a mystery to me, but still oddly iconic to my childhood. Let's check out this long-awaited Meggan figure below!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Mezco 5 Points - CATWOMAN!

Mezco 5 Points - Batman Classic TV Series Box Set - Catwoman - Mezco 2022

In the next 30 days I'm predicting the announcement of a Julie Newmar Catwoman from McFarlane Toys. And based on the Eartha Kitt figure we already got in that line, I'm expecting this to be the pinnacle Julie Newmar Catwoman toy. In the meantime, I would say that high honor belongs to the recent Mezco 5 Points Catwoman from the Batman Classic TV Series box set. This collection has an intimidating price point at $139, but I find it's very much worth the price. Included are seven 1:12 scale figures (six of which have alternate heads), a great Batmobile, and a detailed cardboard diorama of the Batcave (interior) and Wayne Manor (exterior). I picked up the whole set plus an extra Catwoman on eBay to display both heads. This figure easily has the best Julie Newmar likeness so far, although not perfect. But I have a hunch she has a face that's hard to capture. We should see how McFarlane fares soon enough. I'm very excited. Let's check out Catwoman below!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Legend of Vox Machina - VEX'AHLIA!

Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina - Vex'Ahlia - McFarlane Toys 2022

I love fantasy genres so much. I especially love the common trope of female elven archers. I watched the Amazon animated series The Legend of Vox Machina when it was released back in February. I had been looking forward to it because I follow Phil Bourassa and I was seeing his advance character designs for a while. The show is very different than I expected. The dialogue is very R-rated and crass (which I don't mind, but it honestly takes me out of the fantasy genre) but I still enjoyed the show and I'm excited for season two. I didn't realize the show's origins until recently. There is a live-action Dungeons & Dragons webseries called Critical Role where voice actors play out long-running campaigns. This animated series is the result of a Kickstarter to develop this show into an animated series. The toys were unexpected and very fast to market and I'm glad the elven archer Vex'Ahlia was one of the first characters released. She's gorgeous and exudes attitude. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion - SOYONA SANTOS!

Jurassic World: Dominion - Release n' Rampage Pack - Mattel 2022

I have tickets to see Jurassic World: Dominion next weekend and I'm very excited. Even if the plots aren't great, and even if certain (popular) unnamed actors annoy the crap out of me, as soon as I see dinosaurs on the big screen I am a kid again watching Godzilla and Ray Harryhausen movies. Surprisingly I didn't see the first Jurassic Park movie in the theatre back in 1993. Rather, I saw it a year or so later at a local auditorium in my hometown where they would play second run movies for free on a big screen, I instantly regretted not seeing it with the full sound and picture experience and vowed never to make that mistake again. This character of Soyona Santos is a mystery. There have been no images of her from the film; only this figure, and a Lego set. Even IMDb only included the character name recently. Dichen Lachman plays Soyona. I am unfamiliar with this actress but her roles in nerdy sci-fi shows is impressive (The 100, Altered Carbon, Supergirl, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Being Human, etc)

Friday, June 3, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion - CLAIRE DEARING!

Jurassic World: Dominion - Claire Dearing and Dilophosaurus - Mattel 2022

I love Bryce Dallas Howard. I first took note of her in The Village back in 2004 and she has been a favorite ever since. Every few years I see her in a performance and am in awe of her talent. She's definitely not just coasting on a family name. My favorite was the Nosedive episode of Black Mirror. She was just brilliant in that and I've watched it 10 times. I'm saying all this because I know most people might only know her from the Jurassic World franchise. And as a fan of both the actor and the movies, I can admit that these roles don't utilize her talent to the highest level and therefore she might be underestimated by the audience. But kudos to her for getting that franchise cash and taking on a role that gets you repeatedly immortalized in plastic. This is the third action figure of Bryce as Claire Dearing (plus one Imaginext figure). I know she technically had a figure in the Twilight line as Victoria the Vampire, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that figure was based off actress Rachelle Lefevre who originated the role.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Jurassic Park - LEX MURPHY!

Jurassic World: Legacy Collection - Kitchen Encounter Pack - Mattel 2022

When you watch Jurassic Park, it's easy to focus completely on the dinosaurs. But I was surprised to recently learn that there is only 15 minutes of dinosaur time in the entire movie. What makes the movie so engaging are the human characters. And when you think about those really iconic scenes like the raptors fogging up the glass, the Brachiosaur eating the tree, or the water rippling as the Tyrannosaur approaches, the young characters Lex and Tim are right in the middle of the action. That's why it is so surprising that we haven't seen these two characters in toy form until recently. Tim was released in a big set last year, but Lex just appeared for the first time last month - that's 29 years after the movie hit. On a side note, Ariana Richards plays the lead love interest in Angus, one of my favorite movies from my high school years, so I will always be a fan. The actor likenesses at this scale are never spot-on, but I think this figure captures the spirit of Lex well. Let's check out this long-awaited figure below!