Monday, March 27, 2023

Marvel Legends - VERTIGO!

Marvel Legends: X-Men Villains 60th Anniversary Set - Vertigo - Hasbro 2023

Vertigo is a Savage Land Mutate who first appeared in the pages of Marvel Fanfare #1 (1982). The mutates were not true mutants, but rather genetically-altered humans given powers through science. Vertigo is one of those great characters with a name, power, and costume perfectly themed for her role: dizziness. I first noticed her eight years later during the Inferno storyline in the late 80s. By that time she was a Marauder being led by Mister Sinister to massacre the Morlocks whom Sinister deemed genetically disposable. She wasn't a main character and it was hard to pick up details about her in big group scenes. Honestly I thought she was (yet another) reimagined Polaris due to her green hair. But I soon figured out her name and powers. Her story, however, is very confusing. She is one of those characters who has been killed and cloned numerous times and doesn't even have a real name. But the swirly green outfit and cool name is enough for me to be a fan. Let's check out Vertigo below!

Saturday, March 25, 2023


APCToys Night Countess (3rd Party Prime Airachnid) - APCToys 2022

The inspiration for my dour review of the Transformers: Prime Airachnid figure Thursday was this newly-produced Masterpiece-Scale "Night Countess" 3rd Party figure from APCToys. This figure succeeds in every place that the Hasbro version failed. Her sculpt has personality, dexterity, and just looks great overall. I am not a collector who just buys a single version of a character. If I did, I can imagine how people might think 3rd Party figures are harmful to brands and the toy industry. But, no, I will literally buy every version of a character I love (if I can afford it). And I think we all know that Hasbro would be very unlikely to revisit a character who has essentially been retired from Transformers media for years. So this is when a 3rd Party company can step in and offer a desperately needed new take on a figure. And I can't think of a more deserving character than Airachnid. She is sinister and vampy, which is an aesthetic I love. I also appreciate the Maleficent vibe. Let's check out Night Countess below!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Transformers: Prime - AIRACHNID!

Transformers: Prime - Deluxe Class Series 01 - 012 Airachnid - Hasbro 2011

One of the most surprising Transformers disappointments to me was this Airachnid figure from twelve years ago. I'm often disappointed with female Transformers, but it's often for expected reasons (like repainting a male sculpt pink and expecting us to appreciate the effort). But in the case of Airachnid, they had this awesome character and gave her a totally unique sculpt, but still somehow ended up missing the mark completely. The figure is stiff and awkward and is a major aesthetic step backward from the previous Prime and Transformers: Animated ladies. This is especially shameful since the character is so intriguing. Airachnid is a former Decepticon who is now independently evil. She transforms into a helicopter, but uses the blades in a spider-like fashion to propel when in robot mode. She is a little like a reimagined Blackarachnia, but with a heavy dose of Maleficent thrown in. Oh, and she has the power to control Insecticons. A new 3rd Party figure inspired me to finally post the original. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Busy Year of DC Heroines from IMAGINEXT!

An Assortment of Imaginext DC Super Friends Ladies - Fisher-Price 2022

The DC Super Friends Imaginext line from Fisher-Price is still going strong eleven years after I bought my first figure (Catwoman). I don't often post about these figures when I acquire them, but trust me I am quite the completist. There are new sculpts released occasionally. But for the most part, the line subsists on clever (and sometimes not-so-clever) re-use of existing sculpts. For instance, there is a newly sculpted Man-Bat hitting stores right now, but 99% of the figures on the shelves (including all 10 in this post) are simple redecos. The big gimmick in 2022 was the use of transparent plastics (aka "Bat-Tech"). The figures utilize light wells, often with holes cut in their capes, and accessories or playsets with pinpointed light sources to illuminate your figures from behind. It's a fun upgrade that has given us a handful of color variants (which I gladly purchase). I'm personally most excited about an upcoming Stephanie Brown redeco of Batgirl, a character who is shamefully underrepresented in plastic.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Transformers - ARCEE as CHUN-LI!

Street Fighter II x Transformers - Hot Rod (Ken) vs Arcee (Chun-Li) - Hasbro 2021

Funny story about my acquisition of this set. I was mildly intrigued at a Chun-Li version of Arcee when I first saw the solicitations way back in 2017. But when they were released years later (2019 I believe), I passed. Then as soon as she was unavailable, I suddenly wanted her, but the inflated prices on eBay were just not doable. Then in 2021 they announced a reissue (FYI, the box specifically says 2021 so I used that date on this post). When I finally saw the box in person on Black Friday 2022, I experienced sticker shock at the $75.99 price. I was at the self checkout already and a temporary (holiday) employee asked what was wrong - I was literally shocked and probably looked it. I said "oh, nothing, I just thought this was more like $49.99 but it's ringing up $75." Then the kid said "no problem, let me change that price for you." I protested, but they insisted. I used to shoplift as a kid so I'm very sensitive about any perceived theft on my part. But it was out of my hands and now I have my own discounted Chun-cee.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Dino Ranch - MIN & CLOVER!

Dino Ranch - Dino and Rider 2-Packs - Min and Clover - Jazwares Toys 2022

When I was a kid I had a true obsession with dinosaurs. I know this is a very common theme for children in modern times. But when I was young it made me a weirdo. Don't get me wrong, there were still dinosaur books and toys catered to me, but they were a very small fraction of what we see today. And everything I did see back then was factual and scientific. There weren't any fun fantastical properties until a little later with the introduction of Dino-Riders and Dinosaucers, so I just had to create my own fictional worlds with my museum-quality replica toys. When these preschool toys for the Disney+ animated series Dino Ranch started showing up early last year (initially only in CVS of all places), I was really intrigued by the property. They were quite literally a cartoony version of a concept my young brain had invented decades earlier. I wanted dinosaur pets and dinosaur steeds more than anything else in the world. I still haven't seen the show, but the nostalgic pull of these toys was impossible to resist.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Super7 ReAction - COVER GIRL!

ReAction Action Figures - G.I.Joe Wave 4 - Cover Girl - Super7 2022

The first five episodes of G.I.Joe in 1983 were a mini-series (now) known as The M.A.S.S. Device. Beyond being our introduction to the world of G.I.Joe and Cobra, and beyond being one of the fan-favorite storylines of the entire series, the first five episodes were notable for having a few unique character designs. The images of Baroness in a blue outfit with a yellow and green glasses are isolated to this mini-series. The same goes for the blue Snake-Eyes with the purple visor. But to me the most dramatic change is Cover Girl in long blonde hair and green fatigues. This design has almost no connection to the later look of short reddish-brown hair and a brown bomber jacket. If both versions didn't happen to be the drivers of the Wolverine tank I might not have realized they were the same. But I really like both variations. And surprisingly this ReAction figure is the first time we are seeing the original design in plastic. And she's perfect. Of course I also need the other version now too. Let's check out Cover Girl below!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Halo - KELLY-087!

Halo Infinite: The Spartan Collection Series 5 - Kelly-087 - Jazwares 2022

Kelly-087 was one of the first female Halo characters I was ever made aware of. I had seen imagery of Cortana and I had seen some Spartan toys in stereotypically feminine colors. But Kelly-087 was the first female character with a real name and backstory. Back then, she always wore darker gray armor and really blended in with the grimy aesthetic of Halo. But at some point her armor changed to this brighter white look. White armor seems pretty illogical in a battleground scenario, but I love the simplicity of her design and how she stands out from the other Spartans (and the others on my toy shelf specifically). Plus the chromed helmet was a nice surprise that really pops (even the graphic on the packaging looks like simple metallic paint). Granted, that improvement make the previous KAT-B20 and Spartan Palmer look a little lackluster (literally).  But an interesting tradeoff is that she doesn't included the unhelmeted head that previous figures always had, but I don't mind. Let's check out Kelly-087 below!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Halo 12" - KELLY-087!

Halo: 12" Figures Wave 4 - Kelly-087 (With Shotgun) - Jazwares 2022

I find the Jazwares Halo line oddly exciting. I say "oddly" because I've never played the games or read any of the comics. In fact, until the recent show on Paramount Plus, I had no reference other than the toys. And the toys are very unlike the rest of my collection; they are militaristic characters with (nearly) genderless armor and not many distinguishing details. These figures look very out of place next to the spandex-clad heroes that populate my toy room, but I'm still obsessed with them. In fact, I got distracted in the middle of typing this to obsessively Google to see if there are any upcoming waves to get a excited about. FYI, there's an Alice-130 in Wave 7 of the 6" Halo line, but unfortunately no news on a Wave 5 in the 12" line. But the last three waves just showed up in stores with zero advance knowledge, so I'm always keeping my eyes peeled. Ross, Five Below, and Go Calendars were surprise first locations of the previous waves, so they could show up anywhere. Let's check out Kelly-087 below!

Thursday, March 9, 2023


Sonic the Hedgehog - 2.5" Series Wave 10 -  Rouge the Bat - Jakks Pacific 2022

In my experience, Rouge the Bat has always been one of the more obscure Sonic characters. As a non-gamer who instead monitors merchandise like a superfan, I've been aware of her since shortly after her first toy in 2005 (she debuted in Sonic Adventure 2, 2001). As the second Sonic female to be immortalized in plastic, and as one of my favorite animals, I have often proclaimed her as my favorite. But casual fans (and even some frequent players) of the Sonic franchise have looked at me blankly when I speak of her. But I just saw images of new product for the 2022 Sonic Prime show on Netflix and it looks like Rouge is a core character. Granted, her initial toys have her in a black bodysuit with a beret (and perhaps going by the name Rebel Rouge), it still looks like she will be decently featured in the toy aisles for the next year or so. This 2.5" classic Rouge essentially seems like a scaled-down version of her 2022 version (with new hands), but I think she's great. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Nintendo - WENDY O KOOPA!

World of Nintendo - 4" Series Wave 30 - Wendy O Koopa - Jakks Pacific 2023

I just realized that Wendy O Koopa is a turtle. Sure, Bowser and all the Koopa kids have prominent turtle shells on their backs, and they rule over all the Koopas, which quite literally look like turtles, but I for some reason always thought they were dragon-type creatures. I know Koopas aren't technically turtles, same as a tanooki isn't a raccoon, but for my simple analysis, my revelation holds true. This Wendy from the 4" World of Nintendo line is the first figure that looks a little goofy to me. It doesn't help that this character's design is very odd - with potatohead-like feminine details stuck on her like an afterthought. But this larger figure somehow looks more absurd than her previous 2.5" version. I think her head looks more inflated than we are used to and her leg articulation doesn't allow for her signature ballet-like pose. Still, it's very exciting to see her in the 4" line. We still need Daisy, Toadette, Birdo, and Rosalina, but I'm fine promoting Wendy to the front of the line. Let's check out Wendy below!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Nintendo - BIRDO!

World of Nintendo 2.5" Figures Wave 39 - Birdo - Jakks Pacific 2022

Super Mario Bros II was quite possibly my favorite game of my childhood. It stood out with the softer organic graphics, calliope-type music (mixed with the classic Mario tunes), the varied abilities in the playable characters, and especially the fact that the enemies don't instantly kill you - rather you can jump on them, heave them up, and toss them. My most tangible memories of this are fighting the Birdo bosses. Birdo was presented as a species, rather than the individual character we think of now (similar to Yoshi). The Red Birdos and Pink Birdos spat eggs through their cannon-like mouths, which you had to jump on mid-air to throw back at the boss. I can still hear that hollow "thwoop" noise as the eggs launch. I know there is a lot of discussion of Birdo's gender, but I've always viewed the pronoun inconsistencies as a figment of the Doki-Doki conversion that Nintendo wouldn't correct and instead dug in deep with an elaborate story about "he thinks he is a girl" and would "rather be called Birdetta."

Friday, March 3, 2023

The Princess Bride - PRINCESS BUTTERCUP!

The Princess Bride - Princess Buttercup (Red & Wedding) - McFarlane 2021-22

The Princess Bride is an iconic movie. It's very rare to get an all-ages original fairytale movie that is instantly timeless. Think about it. I saw the movie within a year of its release and knew right away I was partaking of a classic. Years later we even studied it in a writing class, breaking it down into all the story elements. It was pretty amazing that there was never any real merchandising. There was a Neca Dread Pirate Roberts figure in 2005 then some bobbleheads in 2012. But the real surge happened in the past five years with Funko Pops, Keychain, random vinyls, and of course this amazing line of figures from McFarlane. I have a gut feeling that the line may be over since we've had two waves with all the core characters (including variants) and no further news. But I would love another wave with Humperdinck and Miracle Max. None of the character likenesses are perfect, but as an ensemble of figures they are instantly recognizable. Let's check out Princess Buttercup (both versions) below!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Lightyear 5" - DARBY STEEL!

Lightyear - Standard 5" Series - Space Ranger Alpha Darby Steel - Mattel 2022

One of the most surprising and enjoyable (for me at least) revelations in the movie Lightyear was the introduction of Darby Steel. I can admit that from the promotional images and early toy reveals, I completely thought this was a male character. But, no, Darby is a cranky and cantankerous ex-con who has a Suicide-Squad-style agreement to shorten her sentence by joining Izzy and the Junior Zap Patrol. For the majority of the movie she is wearing the hodgepodge dented and reclaimed armor that the rest of the resistance group are wearing (not the most visually appealing design for my collection). But by the end of the movie, she gets the full Star Command Space Ranger uniform - and thankfully she got a toy in this look. I never saw this figure in stores, but she was readily available online. Darby's specialty (i.e. criminality) in the movie was her MacGyver-like ability to turn anything into an explosion. She's so fun and unexpected for a saccharine Pixar property. Let's check out Darby Steel below!

Monday, February 27, 2023


Power Rangers Lightning Collection - Mighty Morphin Ninja Yellow - Hasbro 2022

Aisha Campbell was the second Yellow Ranger in the American Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise. halfway through season two, three of the original Rangers left the show (rumor has it they unsuccessfully demanded more money). In the show, the three characters left for a peace conference in Switzerland, and three replacements were introduced. The original Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan, was in 88 episodes, but Aisha Campbell (played by Karan Ashley) appeared in a not-too-shabby 65. She started as the typical sabertooth-themed Yellow Ranger, but her story arc eventually had her become a Ninja Ranger (along with all the others) in Season 3 and in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie. Technically in the movie they were Ninjetti, which had slightly different costumes, but luckily these Lightning Collection figures contain all the costume variations in a single purchase. I truly appreciate the variety and economy of that decision. Let's check out Aisha Campbell and Ninja Ranger Yellow below!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Star Wars Retro - REVA (THIRD SISTER)!

Star Wars Retro Collection: Obi-Wan Kenobi - Reva Third Sister - Hasbro 2022

One of my favorite trends in modern collectible toys is the Retro Kenner-Style aesthetic being applied to every property under the sun. The simple five points-of-articulation and simplified details are both cost-effective and extremely nostalgic. The amusing thing is that I always avoided collecting 3.75" Star Wars figures from the Vintage Collection because I thought it was an overwhelming undertaking (and I would feel compelled to dive deep), but when the lesser-articulated "Retro" line started back in 2000, I didn't hesitate because I knew they would be released at a manageable pace. So far, there have been only eight females with no signs of speeding up to the seemingly frenzied level of the Vintage Collection. I especially like that the Retro line seems to focus on producing the modern Disney+ characters, which I view as a way to retroactively include them in the vintage canon. Boushh Disguise Leia and Fennec Shand are coming, but I'm excited to see who is next. Let's check out Reva below!

Friday, February 24, 2023


G.I.Joe - 50th Anniversary "Special Forces" 3-Pack - Jodie Craig - Hasbro 2016

I've had this figure in my collection since she was first released back in 2016, but only opened her recently. She marks a sad phase in my collecting hobby because she was the last female 1:12 G.I.Joe I ever bought at retail. I say "sad" because G.I.Joe is what got me started collecting. I owned a vintage Baroness that I had convinced my older sister's boyfriend to sell me in the early 90s. Then flash forward to my post-college years living in my first adult apartment, and I pulled out this Baroness and suddenly realized I could go on eBay and easily get Lady Jaye, Scarlett, Cover Girl, and all the others. It was a simple revelation that has seriously brought so much joy to my life. But around the time this Jodie Craig figure hit the shelves, I was becoming very disenchanted with the numerous convention and FSS exclusives that instantly sold for hundreds of dollars. Even this figure, that was quite a shelfwarmer at TRU, now sells for a 100 bucks. It's a competitive market out there. Let's check out Jodie below!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Funko Gold - TLC!

Funko Gold: TLC - T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli Vinyl Figures - Funko 2022

Funko has a lot of product lines that are completely off my radar. At times it's been pretty overwhelming. The current line that I keep seeing and overlooking is the Funko Gold line of vinyl figures. They are unarticulated, stand about 5" tall, are pretty naturally-proportioned (for Funko), and they feature a blocky aesthetic in the facial features and hands. The reason I didn't pay attention, though, was because of the subject matter. The figures all seemed to be of celebrity athletes and musicians. There are very few real people I would like to have represented in my collection - I steer towards ridiculous characters with outlandish costumes. So I knew in the back of my head that I could potentially partake in this line with the right female musician with the right iconic look. Then after a few years I spotted these TLC figures from their Waterfalls video. I have a personal connection as I jokingly sing this sing with the wrong lyrics more often than I care to admit. I think it's funny, but I'm probably being very annoying.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Final Faction - AMARI!

Final Faction - Alpha Team 1 - Specialist Amari - Greenbrier International 2022

In a time when the price of toys is skyrocketing and the exciting toy solicitations are hampered with financial trepidation, there is a surprisingly fun and well-made action figure line easily found at Dollar Tree. For the low price of $1.25 (no, not everything at Dollar Tree is $1), you can get these great 3.75" action figures with five points of articulation, accessories, and graphic cards. And impressively, the Final Faction line has had multiple wave of figures, variants, accessory packs, and vehicles (at Family Dollar and Dollar General). Plus there is a very well-made animated series on YouTube to add to the mythology. This figure came out almost exactly one year ago but it took me until now to photograph her, and coincidentally a few days ago I found a new wave (featuring a gold repaint of Shift). I hope this line continues for a while. There is a ton of potential and a quick Google search illustrates the large fanbase that already exists. I would love see see a female alien in the mix. Let's check out Amari below!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Marvel Gallery - STORM!

Marvel Gallery PVC Statues - Storm (First App) - Diamond Select Toys 2021

I am infinitely impressed by Diamond Select's Marvel Gallery and DC Gallery series of PVC statues. The funny thing is that I don't really pay attention to them in the convention and solicitation areas. Rather, whenever I walk into this one local comic shop of mine, a store that seems to stock every single Diamond Select product, I see a new Gallery statue that I can't live without. I restrain myself and only buy one at a time, and this store is on the other side of my city (and they never order TPBs) so I only go there every few months. And this is a great thing because these statues only fit on the top of my shelves and a windowsill, and I'm quickly running out of room. My newest "must-have" is this very classic looking Storm. I saw it for a first time a few weeks ago (despite visiting the DST booth at multiple conventions since it was released in 2021). The sculpt is perfect and the pose is streamlined and dynamic (and not to overuse the word, but she is statuesque). Let's check out the Marvel Gallery Storm below!

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Batman - CATWOMAN!

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

Yet another McFarlane Toys variant that should have been the original figure. As much as I have appreciated McFarlane's DC Multiverse efforts, the blatant cash grab of the figure variations is a little frustrating. It seems like every other toyline or company has no issue including an alternate head when appropriate (and oftentimes when it's not), but McFarlane releases a feature like that as a new limited variant, makes it an exclusive, and suddenly you're re-buying a figure. It's kind of genius from a business perspective, but I predict it's going to make me give up on the line in exasperation eventually. This Gold Label Catwoman should have been the first one released. It has a movie-accurate headsculpt which looks great. The first release had a full skimask that (as far as I can recall) never appeared in the movie. But at the time it was the best movie representation. It's surprising how much I love this Gold Label version considering the difference is so minor. Let's check out Catwoman below!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Lightyear 12" - IZZY HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Deluxe 12" Series - Jr. Zap Patrol Izzy Hawthorne - Mattel 2022

My final Lightyear post for this week. Thanks for humoring me as I had a serious backlog and was suddenly inspired by Black History Month to finally open and photograph all these Izzy and Alisha toys. (There will be a Darby post at some point in the future). I mentioned before that the 12" Alisha figure was my favorite of the entire product line. And while this Izzy figure isn't my favorite design, I love that she is the same scale as my favorite Alisha so she's not so lonely in the display. Additonally, there may or may not be a 12" figure of Izzy in her Star Command Space Ranger design coming. It's kind of blanked out on Amazon and Entertainment Earth has her listed with an ever-changing release date. It could easily me a simple swap of this Jr. Zap Patrol head with the Alisha body, but the solicit pics show full Buzz Lightyear wings. I guess time will tell if it ever gets released. In the meantime, I'm very happy to get at least one 12" figure of Izzy in the line (actually there are two.. see below). Let's check out Izzy below!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Lightyear 5" - IZZY HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Crystal Grade 5" Series - Space Ranger Alpha Izzy - Mattel 2022

It's amusing to me that my favorite part of the Lightyear movie is when Izzy finally donned the Space Ranger uniform at the end. I think a childhood full of shows like He-Man and Voltron that dangled transformation sequences in front of us as the pinnacle of awesomeness has effected my adult perceptions. Without any advance knowledge, I knew that Izzy, Mo, and Darby would get official uniforms eventually (these toys weren't shown until well after the movie debuted) and I watched the entire movie in hopeful anticipation of a simple costume change. The second wave of the Crystal Grade series (I think it was exclusive to Walmart) finally gave us a single poseable figure of Izzy in this design. There was a cumbersome action-feature-laden version and several included in large multipacks, but this was the most readily available. I keep finding new products every time I Google and it's honestly a little overwhelming. Still waiting on an Alpha Class in this design, but oh well. Let's check out Izzy!

Friday, February 17, 2023

Lightyear 6" - IZZY HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Alpha Class 6" Series - Jr. Zap Patrol Izzy Hawthorne - Mattel 2022

An interesting thing about collecting a variety of different products from a certain toyline, especially when all produced by the same company, is that you can really see a diversity in quality. I actually think all the Lightyear products have been of good quality. Not a single piece is something I would write off as junk. But what does stand out from this comparison is Mattel's more premium product offering, the Alpha Class line. Right away, the scale is impressive. While all the cheaper, playable figures are in a 5" scale, this line is 6" which instantly has more appeal to the collector community since it matches the scale of the most popular toylines. The packaging is more display-ready (for those that like that), the articulation is greatly improved, and the accessories are detailed and smart. My highest indicators of toy quality though are paint application and the plastic itself.  This Izzy is constructed with very durable high quality plastic with an impressive texture and paint to match. Let's check out Izzy below!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Lightyear 5" - IZZY HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Standard 5" Series - Jr. Zap Patrol Izzy Hawthorne - Mattel 2022

Izzy Hawthorne is the main female character in Lightyear. As the granddaughter of Buzz Lightyear's former partner, Alisha, the time-displaced Buzz finds a touchstone in the young rebel leader. Izzy was leading a ragtag trio of cadets (along with Mo and Darby) on a perilous mission to destroy a large cruiser containing Zurg's robot warriors when Buzz appeared and joined the fight. When I first saw Izzy's armor, I had mixed feelings. I expected everyone in the classic Star Command uniforms, but I could tell from the merchandising that this post-apocalyptic rusty-colored armor would be the Izzy's primary outfit. I didn't love the design at first, but I eventually realized that it reminded me of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Not a specific character persay, but rather a general feel. Especially the rivets on her shoulderpad and her Ohm-like helmet. It may be a stretch, but the correlation got me over my initial disappointment and made me really appreciate this look. Let's check out Izzy below!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Lightyear 5" - ALISHA HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Deluxe 5" Series 2-Pack - Hostile Planet Pack - Mattel 2022

Yet another Lightyear toy product that only showed up at Kohl's. When I first learned of this figure set I didn't know much about the movie yet and didn't realize Izzy and her Grandmother Alisha were different characters. All I knew is that I was obsessed with this woman in the Star Command suit (and in some promotional material she was just referred to as Commander or Cadet Hawthorne, further confusing me). But by the time I learned more and finally saw the movie, my favorite part was the Grandmother/Granddaughter generational dynamic between the two female leads. Of course they don't share any scenes, but their individual relationships with the time-skipping Buzz are the heart of the movie. This two-pack features their struggles on the wild planet of T'Kani Prime where they are constantly attacked by living vines and aggressive insects (and subsequently stranded). I love when an antagonist in a film or show is unbridled nature so I really appreciate getting these accessories. Let's check out Alisha below!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Lightyear 12" - ALISHA HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Deluxe 12" Series - Space Ranger Alpha Alisha - Mattel 2022

One of my favorite tropes of modern character creation is when an established male design is applied to a new female character. The Buzz Lightyear costume debuted in the first Toy Story movie way back in 1995 and is probably the last design I expected to be applied to a female character, but 27 years later we get the movie Lightyear and a ton of characters wearing the classic Space Ranger uniform, including three prominent females. This 12-inch-scale figure of Alisha Hawthorne is my favorite figure of all the Lightyear products. It is well articulated, a perfect likeness of the animation model, and very playable. The downfall was that she was next to impossible to find. Only a few weeks ago (roughly 8 months after the theatrical release) did she seem to show up in wide distribution at places like Walmart and Target. Before that, she only sporadically appeared in places like Kohls. If you're going to add any single Lightyear figure to your collection, this should be the one. Let's check her out below!

Monday, February 13, 2023

Lightyear 6" - ALISHA HAWTHORNE!

Lightyear - Alpha Class 6" Series - Commander Alisha Hawthorne - Mattel 2022

Lightyear was an interesting movie. Of all Toy Story characters that I would want to see an entire animated universe developed for, I never would have guessed that Buzz Lightyear would be the one to see. Back in 2000 he had an animated series called Buzz Lightyear of Star Command that I understand had a decent following (I reviewed the Mira Nova Happy Meal toy from that show). So I can understand the precedent for producing a full-fledged theatrical movie based off the character. My favorite part of the movie was the Grandmother/Granddaughter roles of Alisa Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) and Izzy Hawthorne (Keke Palmer). The trailers already spoiler this aspect, but Buzz spends time in a world where time proceeds differently and returns to find his world has moved on. In place of his trusty partner, Alisha, is her feisty granddaughter, Izzy. Both really great characters that each had tons of product made. I'll be reviewing seven in the next seven days. Starting with Alisha in her Commander uniform.

Thursday, February 9, 2023


Star Wars Black Series - Obi-Wan Kenobi 03 - Reva (Third Sister) - Hasbro 2022

One of my favorite types of characters is an insolent villain who doesn't follow orders and undermines their leaders. This can only really work when the antagonists are part of a larger militaristic organization. The best part about G.I.Joe is how the Cobra leaders are always crossing each other and pursuing their own agendas - if they could just unify under one strategy they would be unstoppable, but that in-fighting is what makes a great story. Reva is a member of the Inquisitors, the Empire's elite group of Jedi-hunters. Right away, it is clear she fits this role of not respecting authority. In fact, some of her main goals include becoming the Grand Inquisitor and killing Darth Vader - obviously neither on the Empire's agenda. In the first few episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, I admit I wasn't immediately a fan of this character. Despite liking Moses Ingram (she was great in The Queen's Gambit), I felt that character just wasn't creepy enough. The other Inquisitors were visually chilling and conveyed an alien sense of evil. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Star Trek: Discovery - MICHAEL BURNHAM!

Star Trek Universe - Science Officer Michael Burnham - Playmates 2022

I started watching Star Trek: Discovery when it first came out in 2017. I loved it, but I had to drop it because I couldn't pay attention to the subtitles. The first story arc was dealing with a large inter-Klingon power struggle (all subtitled) and I needed to multitask while watching and was losing the story. But during the pandemic I started watching again and gave it my whole attention. It's a great series from beginning to end. That standout star is definitely Michael Burnham played by Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha from The Walking Dead). The character goes through a tremendous story arc from criminal to science officer, to captain (and many other iterations along the way). And Sonequa's performance is engaging the whole time. There has been a decent amount of product for this character already: a Funko Pop, Mini-Bust, Mego-style figure, even a Hallmark ornament. But I have been waiting for a traditional action figure for a long time. Let's check her out in detail below!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Jurassic World Dominion - KAYLA WATTS!

Jurassic World: Dominion - Kayla Watts & Pyroraptor 2-Pack - Mattel 2022

I really enjoyed Jurassic World: Dominion. I think the franchise has gotten to the point where every viewer has their own specific recipe of expectations for these films that are impossible to live up to. I have several diehard Jurassic fans in my life and they were all highly disappointed, but I was happy. I thought the energy good, the story was engaging, there was a great variety of dinosaurs, and none of the actors (except for Chris Pratt imo) were annoying. That sounds like a successful Summer blockbuster to me. My favorite of the new characters was Kayla Watts. she is an ex-Air Force pilot who now specializes in dino transport. She doesn't have strong allegiances initially but gets pulled into helping Owen, Claire, and Maisie. I recently read that her character was inspired by Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Sarah Harding - and that totally makes sense and explains the appeal. I wouldn't hate it if she was the lead character in the next movie. She certainly has the screen presence to pull it off. Let's check out Kayla below!

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Apex Legends - LIFELINE!

Apex Legends - 6" Action Figures Wave 6 - 18 Lifeline - Jakks Pacific 2022

I started this blog on Jan 19th 2012 and I was initially very excited about planning different themed groups of posts like I had seen on other blogs. My themes have gotten pretty obscure and specific in recent years (like a week of mermaid figures or bee-themed figures), but back in 2012 I had just picked up the first Walking Dead Michonne figure right at the beginning of February and my first theme became an impromptu celebration of Black History Month. I've tried to replicate that in subsequent years, but figures of black female characters can be pretty scarce. Plus it always seems weird to delay any reviews of new figures until February. So I've made it a habit to tag any of these posts with "BHM" so they can be searched and celebrated year-round, regardless of the month. Lucky for me though, I (unintentionally) have a backlog of quite a few diverse characters that I'm excited to post this month, so I get to relive my original journey into toy blogging. Lifeline from Apex Legends is first. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Fortnite - RAGSY!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series - Ragsy - Hasbro 2022

The great thing about Fortnite is the seemingly endless supply of interesting skins you can acquire (purchase) to play as different avatars. The first character type to attract me to the Fortnite franchise was the pink teddy bear character, Cuddle Team Leader. It was such a wonderful contradiction to see a playful and adorable costume suited up with tactical accessories and big guns and axes. But that's the whole aesthetic unique to Fortnite and the reason I will always pay attention to this brand. Ragsy is the third figure I have featuring a decayed or zombified version of Cuddle Team Leader (Spooky Squad Leader and Skull Squad Leader). While zombie-type versions of toys are my second least favorite gimmick (after "bloody" variants) for some reason I don't mind it when the disarray is mostly made up of popped stitched and leaking stuffing. It's actually pretty adorable. I'm always looking forward to what will come next in Hasbro's Fortnite line. There's an endless supply of cool characters. Let's check out Ragsy below!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Legendary Heroes No. 48C - G.G.I.D. Commander Christine - NewAge 2022

I am going to go out on a limb and say that this Commander Christine from NewAge Toys is the best Elita-1 figure in my collection. The sculpt, proportions, and coloring are all perfection. The only downfall is that I wish she were scaled larger. As a small 1:18 scale figure, she doesn't fit in with the bulk of my fembot collection. However, if the third party market has taught me anything in the past few years, there is a decent chance that some other toy entrepreneur will release an up-sized version of her. I now own four upsized 3rd Party figures (Generations Arcee, Iron Factory Windblade, Kingdom Airazor, and Blue Bolt). It's a great trend that I hope Christine falls victim to. You'll see in the final picture of this post how she compares to all the other Elita figures. There something about her that is more reminiscent of the original cartoon than her predecessors.  The white parts of her body appear soft and organic while the pink and coral parts look hard and robotic. I always liked that dichotomy in the original fembots. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Dr. Wu - AMIE!

Dr. Wu No. DW-MS30 - Amie (3rd Party Arcee) - Mechanic Toys 2022

Hot on the heels of yesterday's review of the Maschinenmensch figure from NewAge comes this eerily similar Amie figure from Dr. Wu/Mechanic. Both figures are well-designed and of very high quality, but it was just surprising to see two 1:18 scale Arcee homages released from different companies within a few months of each other. Another great thing is that each company announced five retooled variations of their respective molds to give us collectors a ton of options. Each company included an Arcee, Nightbird, and Paradron Medic, but the other three for both companies were unique. I'm also very excited for the Elita One homage from Dr. Wu shown in convention slideshows this past Summer and I hope this trend of retooling continues. I'm always surprised that these 3rd Party companies don't see the potential in a Chromia, Firestar, and Moonracer trio. Elita often gets some attention, but if for nothing else other than color variety I would hope the others would be considered. Let's check out Amie below!

Sunday, January 29, 2023


Legendary Heroes No. 48 - G.G.I.D. Warrior Machinenmensch - NewAge 2022

2022 was a pretty crazy year for 3rd Party fembots. My count may be off, but I think there were around 16 new figures in twelve short months. I personally purchased ten and had a lot of difficulty choosing which variants to buy. NewAge Toys created this fantastic Arcee mold (named Maschinenmensch) and promptly announced five additional releases using the same general buck. The name Maschinenmensch is German for 'robot' or 'machine man.' I'm familiar with this word because it is often tied to the robot Maria from the 1929 German film Metropolis, which to the best of my knowledge is the first representation of a female robot in popular culture. So giving this name to an Arcee homage seems very appropriate, even if it's a mouthful. The NewAge mold is very impressive and has great proportions. Legs and arms in particular tend to look off at this 1:18 scale, but you could easily convince me that this was a deluxe or masterpiece sculpt. Let's check out Warrior Maschinemensch below!

Friday, January 27, 2023

MOTU Origins - TEELA & ZOAR!

Masters of the Universe Origins - Teela (200x Version) & Zoar - Mattel 2023

I get nervous about the future of the Masters of the Universe Origins line. When it first launched a couple years ago I was excited and hopeful about all the good characters that could finally get the vintage treatment through this line. At the very least I thought we would see Queen Marleena, but I was secretly hoping for a whole Princess of Power lineup. But instead we keep seeing the same four molds used multiple times: Teela, Evil-Lyn, Sorceress, and She-Ra. Don't get me wrong, I love every figures I've bought in this line so far, I just can't help but feel to the potential of this line is being squandered to save money on new molds. This newest Teela figure is exclusive to Big Bad Toy Store and features Teela in a 200x-inspired deco. This figure is surprising because she actually has a retooled head with a ponytail and a different tiara. It's a subtle difference from the 2020 Teela, but it really give her that extra 200x feel. Zoar, on the other hand, in 100% vintage toy inspired. Let's check out Teela and Zoar below!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Transformers Earthspark - SKYWARP!

Transformers: Earthspark - Warrior Class Figures - Skywarp - Hasbro 2023

I love the inclusion of female Seekers in the Decepticon ranks. For quite a few years, we only had Slipstream, but in the past few years we were introduced to the newly gender-inconsistent Nova Storm and Skywarp. And in the new Transformers: EarthSpark series, they are both decidedly female. Unfortunately, these characters will rarely get a unique sculpt so they have historically mostly been simple repaints of Starscream. And this new Skywarp is no exception. So I made a quick edit to this figure. To me one of the most prominent features of Skywarp in EarthSpark is her dark lips and wicked grin. There is also a precedent for giving this (male) mold a darker lip to feminize it. The Slipstream figure from a few years ago used the same Starscream mold but had a slightly red lip and looked great. The sculpt itself it pretty androgynous, so the tiniest detail can make a big difference. I took my smallest brush and darkened her lip and suddenly she looked like Skywarp from the show. Let's check her out below!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Transformers EarthSpark - ELITA-1!

Transformers: EarthSpark - Warrior Class Figures - Elita One - Hasbro 2023

I love that Elita-1 is an established character in the Transformers: EarthSpark cartoon on Paramount+. Her role in 2020 War For Cybertron series on Netflix propelled her to the forefront of Transformers lore. I had been a fan since her first appearance in 1985, but then she spent 35 years in relative obscurity. Arcee was simply a more popular character with a color scheme that was too similar (and God forbid there be two pink fembots). But Elita had a certain provenance and natural leadership in her character that couldn't be hidden forever. She's had modern appearances in cartoons and comics and in the past five years she has had four unique action figures made (unlike previous toys that were "Elita in name only"). Her role in Earthspark isn't super prominent. I believe she only appears in two episodes, but even in those brief scenes she was true to the Elita I became obsessed with as a kid. I'm glad the licensors saw fit to make a toy of her, even if it is a simple Warrior Class. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Transformers EarthSpark - TWITCH!

Transformers: EarthSpark - Deluxe Class Figures - Twitch - Hasbro 2023

I've been watching Transformers: EarthSpark on Paramount+ for a few weeks now and it's pretty impressive for a number of reasons. The premise of the Terrans, essentially "raw" Transformers that are neither Autobot nor Decepticon, is a great concept. I'm not too far into the series and I still wonder which of the new characters will be good or bad. Another amazing thing about the show is the number of female Transformers. The modern Transformers TV shows typically have a token female Autobot and/or Decepticon, but Earthspark features seven in the first season: Elita-1, Arcee, Skywarp, Nova Storm, Frenzy, Hashtag, and of course Twitch (there's also the first official non-binary Transformer, Nightshade, who will have a Deluxe toy in the next wave). Twitch and her brother Thrash are the focal point of the series along with their human friends Mo and Robby.  Twitch in particular stands out for what I see as a (wonderful) retro design reminiscent of Orbots or GoBots. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, January 19, 2023


The Noble Collection - DC Comics BendyFigs – Harley Quinn - Noble Toys 2022

With all the popularity of Harley Quinn in the last decade, keeping up with her merchandising can be an unsurmountable task. There are so many versions of her costume now it's hard to keep track. Even this Bendyfig line from The Noble Collection has three very different Harleys in production. One positive side-effect of oversaturation though is that it forced me to pick a favorite look. And that is without a doubt her original jester costume. I didn't watch any of the Batman cartoons in the 90s so I was pretty unaware of her charms until I started reading her first solo comic series from 2000. Needless to say I was hooked. She was quirky, dangerous, unpredictable, and all-around fun. Plus I give her major credit for re-introducing me to Poison Ivy, who was a character I was very lukewarm about from her comic appearances in the 70s and 80s (but is now one of my favorites). This Bendyfig was my first classic Harley product in a long time. Let's check her out below!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

BendyFigs - BATGIRL!

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

I find it very interesting that the "Burnside Batgirl" design has seemingly taken over as the evergreen version of Batgirl. It makes sense since it's a very utilitarian costume with clothing components that are believable for a young hero to have acquired. Plus it has all the classic Batgirl trademarks: Bat-cowl, red hair, height yellow bat symbol, and of course bright boots and gloves. What isn't always so standardized (but much appreciated) is the purple-hued color palette. We first saw Batgirl in purple in the 1966 Batman TV show, but then we didn't see Barbara wearing the color until The Batman in 2004 followed by the 2011 Batgirl comic reboot (and that was only a purple cape). But since then, the majority of her costumes have incorporated the color and I'm very happy. I like pretty much all Batgirl's costumes over the years, but I always prefer things on the colorful side. I don't normal buy bendy figures, but I somehow always end up buying these the Noble Collection Bendyfigs. Let's check out Batgirl below.

Sunday, January 15, 2023


Australian DC Reprints that Predate the Modern TPB - Murray Comics 1980-83

K. G. Murray Publishing Company was an Australian company which was well known for reprinting American comics for the Australian market. Most of these were straight-forward reprints without significant editing or curating. But for a brief period from 1980-83, they rebranded as Murray Comics and started to do some interesting things. They created what I believe to be the first character-centric collected editions, predating modern TPBs by 10-20 years. Of course these were very different -- magazine-sized inexpensive black-and-white reprints -- but the curation of the content is the unique thing here. For the first time, characters like Zatanna, Hawkgirl, and Black Canary had their "own title" composed of their various features and backup stories. As someone who is endlessly curious about the development of the female superheros in popular culture, these books are a crucial turning point - exemplifying the shifting of public focus toward these often neglected "secondary characters" since the late 70s. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

MOTU Revelation - EVIL-LYN!

Masterverse Series 7 - Masters of the Universe Revelation - Evil-Lyn - Mattel 2023

My favorite part about Masters of the Universe: Revelation was the character development. In the vintage show, most characters ended the series the exact same way they started. But Revelation took us on a journey - and not just and internal one. My two favorite characters in the series (Teela and Evil-Lyn) each had several significant design changes as the series progressed. And my absolute favorite was when Evil-Lyn temporarily became the Sorceress of Grayskull and (as opposed to Teela-Na being adorned in a wholesome falcon motif) she was suddenly wearing this diabolical bat outfit. It looks awesome. Of course, it also raises the question of whether or not she had a "Zoar" form. I don't remember a bat from the cartoon or comics, but I'm intrigued enough to investigate later tonight. When I watch the series on Netflix, this was instantly my most wanted design for the Masterverse line. I'm glad we got her so quickly and that she is so well executed. Let's check her out Sorceress Evil-Lyn below!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Princess of Power Masterverse - FROSTA!

MOTU Princess of Power - Masterverse Wave 7 - Frosta - Mattel 2023

The Masterverse line from Mattel continues to surprise me. One of the earliest obscure character leaks last year was Frosta. This figure was shown on secret product lists and was even accompanied by a super low-res photo. This was before Catra was mentioned and before She-Ra was anything more than a teaser about the "possibilities" of the Masterverse line. So seeing Frosta so early was both confusing and exciting. "Confusing" because she didn't seem like an obvious choice for the first Princess of Power release. But "exciting" for exactly the same reason... this line wouldn't be shying away from 2nd-tier characters. Of course, by the time she rolled out to stores, she would be the third POP character which makes a lot more sense. Frosta really sootf out in the original she-Ra cartoon for her stark blue coloring and her memorable elemental powers. She was also known for aggressively hitting on He-Man, to much comic effect. It's hard to rank my favorite POP characters, but she's definitely up there for me.

Monday, January 9, 2023


Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series - Lexa (Mechafusion) - Hasbro 2022

When I think of Fortnite, my mind immediately goes to quirky tongue-in-cheek murderous pajama-party-type characters. That is the aesthetic that sucked me in (to buying the toys at least). And I still adore that for its unique place in pop culture. So when this Lexa (Mechafusion) figure was released I was pleasantly surprised. To my mind, this is a departure from previous character styles, but I am thrilled with it because I am equally intrigued by robotic-type characters. Lexa originally appears as an unarmored anime-style girl with silver hair and large metal gauntlets. In her Mechafusion form she appears like a futuristic/robotic onna-bugeisha (female samurai) and I am obsessed with her. She reminds me of the M-66 Battle androids from Black Magic M-66, an anime movie I was obsessed with in high school. She is a really fun addition to my collection and it's a shame her windowless box illustrations don't do her justice. She looks a little cartoonish and boring on the boxart. Let's check out Lexa (Mechafusion form) below!

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Fortnite - LYNX (RED)!

Fortnite Victory Royale Series - 6" Series - Lynx (Red) - Hasbro 2022

I don't often pick up a figure that a straight-up repaint of an existing toy, especially if it's a recent one, but something about this Red Lynx from Hasbro's Fortnite Victory Royale Series just spoke to me. Felinoid characters have a core-level draw for me. If I were alive in ancient Egyptian times I would 2000% have been an acolyte of Bastet. Cat-themed characters in any genre intrigue me. As an adult, that mostly means that I buy any comics and toys where the character has ears and a tail - I'm pretty predictable. Red Lynx is one of the many Lynx skins available in Fortnite. The base levels are a young woman with cat-eared hoodie, but after a few tiers, she dons this armored cat outfit and the remaining upgrades are color variations of that suit. She must be a popular character since I already have four figures of her in three different skins. I think I want to limit myself, but if the blue version were made I would find it hard to resist. But for now I find this multi-toned red quite striking. Let's check out Lynx below!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Apex Legends - LOBA!

Apex Legends - 6" Action Figures Wave 5 - 13 Loba - Jakks Pacific 2022

Once again I have purchased a figure that I know nothing about, but love her design. Apex Legends is a battle royale video game introduced in 2019 where you form squads from existing characters and compete in both open world and arena battle. If builds off the popular Titanfall universe from 2014 so the game began with a built-in fanbase. From what I gather, Loba is a very popular character in the game. I've bet two young players in the last year who said Loba in their favorite character to play. She is known as a "Translocating Thief" meaning she can teleport short distances and is adept as stealing weapons and treasure. she also has the ability to see loot through walls. I personally and drawn to her for her costume. It is an interesting blend of saloon girl, ringmaster, and warrior. Her braided hair and facepaint adds a certain toughness to her overall look as well. Plus her name literally means She-Wolf which is awesome. The Apex line from Jakks continues to impress. Let's check out Loba below!

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Invincible - ATOM EVE!

Invincible (Animated Series) Wave 2 - Atom Eve - Diamond Select 2022

Invincible was one of the small handful of superhero comics that I credit with re-introducing me to the genre in the early 2000s. Like a lot of people, the 90's "extreme" comics turned me off. I potentially would have ditched comics all-together, but I discovered manga and indie imprints that kept me nerdy. Then in short succession in the early 2000s, I started reading Darwyn Cooke's Catwoman, Coipel, Abnett, and Lanning's Legion of Superheroes work, and Invincible from Image Comics. I was so happy that superhero books were suddenly enjoyable again. Invincible was refreshing. The characters were likeable, the costumes were colorful, and the storylines were simple (yet mature). I was hooked from the very start. For a while, Atom Eve was the token female in the comics. I remember loving her character, but hating the pink outfit with her red hair. Of course now I love it and would throw a fit at any costume change. The Invincible Amazon series premiered in 2021 and is an amazing translation of the comic.