Monday, October 31, 2022

Neca Ultimates - ELVIRA!

NECA Ultimates - Elvira Mistress of the Dark 40th Ann - NECA Toys 2022

I need a neverending supply of Elvira merchandise in my life. I grew up after the time of Vampira, the Munsters, and even the Addams Family (before they all came back in my teens) so my first exposure to a vampy female character was the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. The interesting thing is, I can't even remember how I first saw her. I grew up with four staticky television channels, and I can't imagine any of them playing horror shows or her movie. Yet somehow I was very aware of her. I credit her with getting me over my squeamishness of all this dark and creepy. She was bubbly, and funny, and was a great gateway into a genre that I likely would have avoided otherwise. Until a few years ago, I only had a single Elvira figure in my collection, but Funko and NECA have really stepped up and suddenly I have seven. Now she has proper representation in my collection alongside Bride of Frankenstein and Lily Munster. This Ultimates Elvira is pretty great, but I still want more. (I looking at you, Super7).

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Arthur Adams Busts - VAMPIRELLA!

Women of Dynamite - Vampirella Resin Bust - Dynamite/Brewing Factory 2017

Vampirella is truly an iconic character.  Her design is simple, yet unique (and overwhelmingly provocative). As a child I always felt I shouldn't be looking at her, or at least that I must hide her image from my parents. But as an adult, I find comfort that her costume was designed by comic artist Trina Robbins, who among other accolades was the first female artist to illustrate Wonder Woman comics. Knowing that her barely-there costume was designed by a woman somehow allows me to more easily admit that I really like it. My first in-depth exposure to the character was through my obsession with the art of Arthur Adams. I picked up his Creepy Fearbook #1 and Vampirella Summer Nights and I was mesmerized. I was over the moon when Dynamite Comics announced their series of Arthur Adams'-designed busts (featuring Vampirella and Red Sonja). But that kicked off years of frustration with sold out products, variants being more prevalent than standard versions, and secondary market inflation. 

Friday, October 28, 2022


TMNT vs Universal Monsters - April O'neil as Bride of Frankenstein - NECA 2022

I get really overwhelmed with the amount of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles products coming out these days. Between NECA, Super7, and Loyal Subjects, I am constantly seeing new figures and it's hard to keep track of them all. Thankfully (for me) there are very few females in the mix so I'm not nearly as tempted as the average collector. In the 90s, Playmates Toys created countless thematic variations of the TMNT gang: Samurais, Cavemen, Farmers, Surfers, Troll Dolls, and even Star Trek. I would be willing to bet, however, that the most popular was the Universal Monsters line. Even as a non-collector, I was very aware of these toys. That's why when NECA announced it was producing the same mashup, I knew it would be a hit. And their decision to base the aesthetic off the movie sculpts was very smart. I have no recollection of the TMNT movies personally, but the realism of these sculpts works very well with a Universal Monsters mash-up. Let's check out April below!

Thursday, October 27, 2022


Universal Monsters 6" Series - The Bride of Frankenstein - Jada Toys 2021

I never would have predicted that Jada Toys would enter the action figure market - and so strongly at that. After five years cornering the diecast market with their stylized Metals figurines, detailed vehicles, and (my favorite) Nano Metalfigs, they surprisingly branched out into articulated plastic. In Fall of 2021 they released their Universal Monsters and General Mills Monsters figures and I was immediately impressed by the quality. Of course, I got my first four figures in the midst of a house move and they promptly got buried in a closet. But I finally unboxed them last week and my original (boxed) assessment still holds true. They're really well made and it's exciting to have another company with product on the shelves (Street Fighter is next!). It's been a while since I've picked up a new Bride of Frankenstein figure so this was especially fun. I know there's a NECA one coming eventually that will probably overshadow the competition, but in the meantime this one is perfect. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Fortnite - SKULL SQUAD!

Fortnite - Skull Squad - Skull Squad Leader and Bone Ravage - Jazwares 2022

As long as I can remember I've had an obsession with skeletons. My favorite special effects movie growing up was Jason and the Argonauts. My favorite arcade game was Golden Axe. My favorite toy was the Pocket Power Glow Bones. I loved the skeleton costumes in Karate Kid. And in high school my big comic obsession was Andi Watson's Skeleton Key. All feature skeletons heavily. And on an amusing note, I never recognized this pattern until a few years ago when someone pointed out how many skeletons I have in my house (year round). Fortnite has always had a good track record with skeleton-themed characters. From the very beginning, Skull Ranger was a major player. And thankfully all the other characters are slowly getting skeleton repaints. This Skull Squad 4-Pack is my favorite multipack so far. The uniform deco is super appealing to me and make another great addition to my Halloween series. Let's check out Skull Squad Leader and Bone Ravage below!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Mythic Legions - ILLYTHIA!

Mythic Legions - Illythia's Brood - Illythia (Deluxe) - Four Horsemen 2022

When I think of great toys to post reviews for leading up to Halloween, my mind instantly goes to the Mythic Legions line by Four Horsemen Studios. Sure, there are a lot of knights and vikings in the mix. But the standout figures for me are the creepy characters: mainly the vampires, demons, orcs, and skeletons. It's so rare to get a female figure like this that's not a bikini'd swimsuit model with fangs. And, yes, I'm aware that some of the Mythic Legions ladies have been exactly that. But most of them are well thought-out, strong-looking characters with amazing detail. And Illythia is a prime example. I don't pay attention to the overall mythos of Mythic Legions, but considering this Illythia character has a whole faction named after her (Illythia's Brood), I assume she's a pretty big deal. When I ordered her, I assumed the extra arms implied some spider-like qualities, but in person, it seems more of a demonic aesthetic. Either way, it's great for Halloween week. Let's check out the deluxe Illythia below!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Percy Jackson - MEDUSA!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Medusa - Jazwares 2010

The Percy Jackson films were a hard pill to swallow. My coworker was a big fan of the books and insisted I give them a shot. I listened to the first 3 or 4 on audiobook before I heard the news that it would be hitting the big screen. I was genuinely excited for what I assumed would be the next Harry Potter. I was even already a fan of Logan Lerman from his role in Jack and Bobby (a highly underrated show IMO). But I sat there in the theatre baffled by the interpretation I was seeing. Everything was just off. And cheesy. I can't pinpoint any one thing that was wrong, but my disappointment was palpable. I disconnected from the franchise and never even acknowledged the toys until I stumbled across Medusa this Summer. I was impressed at the quality of her sculpt and I always love a gorgon. She doesn't look much like Uma Thurman, but I always have low likeness expectations at this scale. Looking forward to the new show in 2023 and hopefully some new toys. Let's check out Medusa below!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

LooseCollector - LADY DEATH!

Legacy Series Lady Death (Coffin Comics) - Exec Replicas  LooseCollector 2020

The 1990's was an interesting decade in comics. The popularity of Indie comics skyrocketed, everything got an extreme makeover, and overpriced cover gimmicks drained our wallets. An interesting subgenre of the creator-owned comic movement also emerged: Bad Girl Comics. Sure, there had been examples of Bad Girl Comics for decades (Vampirella is a prime example), but in the 90's it exploded and was given a name. The formula was pretty simple: minimal clothing, dark powers or large weapons (or both!), and dubious morals. There were hundreds of these characters in a blur of big hair and thongs. I wasn't a huge fan I must admit. But I have found it interesting to see which select few have stood the test of time. And I think that Lady Death wins that category hands-down. Most action figures of Bad Girl characters were pretty horrendous with awkward proportions and often frightening paint, but Lady Death always stood out for having terrific toys. First from Moore Collectibles and later from Art Asylum. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Gargoyles - DEMONA!

Disney's Gargoyles - Ultimate Action Figures - Demona - NECA 2022

NECA has a knack for taking properties that I always peripherally liked and appreciated and making me absolutely obsessed with them.  Did I ever expect that the adult me would be clamoring for Defenders of the Earth or Gremlins 2: The New Batch toys? Absolutely not. But here I am shelling out extra money to get the figures a week sooner than my preorders would get them to me. I'm similarly surprised by my reaction to their Gargoyles Ultimates line. Thematically Gargoyles seems like a show I would love. It's dark, mythological, and has great character design. But it came out when I was in the throes of high school and it was simply off my radar. When the figures were first announced, however, I started watching the show on Disney+ and I feel like I'm finally having the full experience I should have had back in the 90s; great cartoons and toys on the shelves. Demona is the primary female character in the show and I'm glad she was released so early. She's a magnificent figure. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Legend of Vox Machina - KEYLETH!

Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina - Keyleth - McFarlane Toys 2022

I love a good fantasy figure. I've never been into playing Dungeons & Dragons or reading Dragonlance books like all my gradeschool friends, but the fantasy genre still grabs my attention like few others can. This is especially true where there is a heavy nature-inspired aesthetic. I first became of The Legend of Vox Machina via the animated series on Amazon. I can admit it took me a while to get used to the crude R-rated dialogue (not because I was being a prude necessarily, but rather because it seemed too modern for the fantasy setting). But while I was acclimating myself to all the lockerroom talk, the one thing that kept me binging was the character design... and Keyleth was my favorite of them all. Keyleth is a half-elven druid (played by Marisha Rey in both Critical Role as well as The Legend of Vox Machina). She is decked out in green woodland warrior garb with antlers and a magical staff. She is pretty much the epitome of everything I love about fantasy. Let's check out Keyleth below!

Monday, October 17, 2022

Black Adam 12" - CYCLONE!

Black Adam (Movie) - 12" Action Figure Series - Cyclone - Spin Master 2022

I've said this a thousand times on this blog, but I think modern 12" action figures are amazing. When I hold them in my hand it gives me this childlike sense of wonder that's oddly more palpable than other toys (even figures from arguably more nostalgic properties). A friend once theorized that it's because these are scaled in a way that replicate our once tiny hands playing with our seemingly oversized ThunderCats and He-Man figures at the time. That tactile sense of holding on to a larger figure makes a ton of sense. Lately I've been overwhelmed with new 12" figures: Wakanda Forever, Halo, Power Rangers, and Black Adam all have new figures hitting the shelves right now giving me seven new female figures. Plus my fingers are crossed for sneaky late releases of another Shuri and Isis after the movies are released. Of the Cyclones I've bought to far, this is my favorite.  The colors are bright, the articulation is decent, and the overall playability is just all-around better. Let's check out Cyclone below!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Black Adam - CYCLONE!

DC Multiverse - Black Adam (Movie) - Cyclone - McFarlane Toys 2022

The majority of female DC characters released by McFarlane Toys are truly great and I have no complaints. However, I honestly can't say the same for their movie-based releases. So far there have been several cinematic figures for Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman, and unfortunately none of them are especially good likenesses. This Cyclone is played by an actor who is largely unfamiliar to me (Quintessa Swindell), but even from the brief glimpses I've seen, this figure does not do them justice. The facial expression is very glum and appears significantly older than the youthful 25 they are. Additionally, the other toys and images I've seen incorporate a ton of bright purple in the costume design. In this figure most of those bright colors have been swapped out for black. I'm leaning heavily towards the likelihood that this figure was created from earlier concepts. It's not a bad figure overall, but it just pales in comparison to the quality of recent comic releases. Let's check out Cyclone below!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Black Adam 3.75" - CYCLONE!

Black Adam (Movie) - 3.75" Action Figure Series - Cyclone - Spin Master 2022

I'm pretty excited to see Black Adam in theatres next week. I don't know much about the title character at all, but seeing Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and Atom Smasher on the big screen will be amazing. The big mystery character for me, however, is Cyclone. I honestly only knew this character from her Kingdom Come DC Direct action figure and her self-explanatory powerset, but until a few weeks ago I had never read a story with her. That first comic I picked up was a movie tie-in titled Black Adam: Justice Society Files - Cyclone #1 and featured an introduction to the DCEU version of the character, which from everything I've read is pretty different from her comic version. For starters, the DCEU version seems to have nanobot-driven powers as a result of a lab accident, whereas the comic version seemingly inherited genetic powers from her grandmother, Ma Hunkle. Who knows how this new character will be portrayed. By next week we should have a lot of answers. Let's check out Cyclone below!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Batman Family Multipack - BATGIRL!

DC Multiverse Multipack - Bat Family 5-Pack (Amazon Exc) - McFarlane 2022

Batgirl is my favorite comic character to see in action figure form. She has a few classic trademarks: red hair, a big bat emblem, and the ears and cape of her namesake. (She also tends to incorporate yellow into every design). Yet with this formulaic set of design traits, the toys still manage to look surprisingly distinct from each other. McFarlane Toys has produced three Batgirl figures so far, and my favorite by far has been the Three Jokers version from 2021. Surprisingly this repaint of that figure (in her classic Bronze Age color palette) is the first of the three molds to see a re-release (aside from those unpainted gray figures they make). Other figures have been released many times with paint variations or a retooled head, but the one character I would be actually excited about has managed to escape this treatment before now. But this one was worth the wait. I know McFarlane will always lean towards modern gritty storylines, but I will always find classic looks more appealing. Let's check out Batgirl below!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Marvel Legends - IRONHEART!

Marvel Legends - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Ironheart - Hasbro 2022

Riri Williams has had a lot of interesting armor configurations since her debut in 2016. Her first was a bulky suit made from pieces of Iron Man's armor that she scavenged and reverse engineered. When Pepper Potts insisted that her genius (and heroics) be acknowledged, she quickly acquired the resources to upgrade to a sleek classic-looking "Iron Man" suit (this was my favorite iteration so far). After a few years she got a redesign into a pink/magenta suit with a subtle heart motif and a clear visor. This wasn't my favorite look, but it was very original (not derivative of Tony's look) and the stories were still great. When her solo series ended, I lost track of her development. But now her upcoming appearance in Wakanda Forever has me energized to fill in the gaps. This cinematic design looks like a great blend of the two main comic looks. I love that she's starting off with a unique design, easily distinguishable from Tony and Pepper. Let's check out Ironheart below!

Monday, October 10, 2022


Marvel Titan Hero Series - Wakanda Forever - Ironheart (x2) - Hasbro 2022

I have known that there was an Ironheart television series coming out on Disney+ for a couple years now. This character is one of my favorite things to come out of modern Marvel comics so I was pretty excited for this show. But I was completely unaware that she was making her live-action debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever until I saw a blurry leaked photo of this Marvel Titan Heroes Series figure in Wakanda packaging. But this actually makes sense since Shuri was a major character in the second story arc of the Ironheart comic (fingers crossed Silhouette makes a cameo!) But another surprise came when two versions of this figure were released simultaneously. There are some significant differences, but my favorite version is actually a combination of the two so I thought it best to post a joint review to explain my reasonings. I also understand that Riri has at least two additional costumes in this movie so I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of her in the toy aisles. Let's check out Ironheart below!

Sunday, October 9, 2022

G.I.Joe Basic Series - BARONESS!

G.I.Joe Limited Articulation Basic Series - Baroness - Hasbro 2022

To me G.I.Joe product has always been firmly anchored in Hasbro's 3.75" action figure line that began in the early eighties and continues to this day (with just a few gaps along the way). But in the past few years there have been a handful of new product lines that can not be overlooked: The 6" Classified line is one of the most popular collector lines out there; the Super7 Ultimates look amazing and I can't wait to get the first wave in hand; the ReAction figures are giving us great animation-accurate sculpts in a retro toy style; and finally this Limited Articulation line (at stores like CVS and FiveBelow) is giving us the discount evergreen solution that all the other big licenses seem to get, but G.I.Joe has always missed out on. These figures aren't for everyone. They only have three points of articulation: shoulders and neck. And they have weapons permanently sculpted into their hands. But the designs are fun, they are very inexpensive, and they display well. I can't wait to get more. Let's check out Baroness below!

Monday, October 3, 2022

Marvel Legends - QUAKE!

Marvel Legends - Controller Build-a-Figure Wave - Quake - Mattel 2022

A few years ago I started watching Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and became obsessed right away. I was behind the times and had many seasons to catch up one. I ranted recently about how I typically find military organizations in superhero books to be boring (I much prefer individual superpowered villains). But this show exposed me to the storytelling potential of these groups. Of course, I still managed to find the most superhero-like member and focus all my adoration on her. Daisy Johnson aka Quake was the standout character. She has the power to control vibrations and has to wear special gauntlets to avoid damaging the bones and capillaries her arms. I wrongly thought she was a new character for the show, but she had been appearing in comics for nine years when Chloe Bennet took on the role and launched her into A list (maybe B list) territory. A great thing about this figure is generic body which can become almost any female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with a simple head swap. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Marvel Legends - MS. MARVEL!

Marvel Legends Disney+ Series 2 (Infinity Ultron) - Ms. Marvel - Hasbro 2022

I just finished watching the Ms. Marvel series a couple weeks ago. It was a lot of a fun and a really unique take on the character. I didn't read all of the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel comics (although I feel I read around 30% of them), and to me the fangirl angle in the show seemed like a new twist, but a fun way to introduce a new character figuring out her fledgling powers - especially since her fandom is steeped in the MCU world (which I can only assume most of the viewing audience is a fan of as well). This figure looks pretty great. And although the face bears a great resemblance to actor Iman Vellani, the body proportions conform to a more generic Hasbro buck. In the show, Kamala is a short young woman with realistic curves. This figure looks noticeably elongated in comparison. But most MCU figures seem to have a similar generic body representation, it just happens to be more noticeable with this one. Overall it's a great figure and a great addition to my MCU shelf. Let's check out Ms. Marvel below!