Friday, December 29, 2023

Invincible - MONSTER GIRL!

Invincible Select (Animated Series) #007 - Monster Girl - Diamond Select 2023

Monster Girl is one of the more interesting characters in the Invincible Universe. At first glance, she has very typical Hulk-like powers transforming from a non-threatening human into a large monstrous brute. And the fact that she is a young girl just adds to that contrast. But as you get to know young Amanda, you quickly realize she is not all that she seems. Her abilities are the result of a curse and the tricky part of that curse is that, each time she uses her monster form, her human form gets younger and younger. She has the surly world-weary attitude of a wrongfully-cursed 24 year old trapped in the body of an adolescent, and the frustration of that reality comes out in pure ferocity when in her monster form. This Deluxe Monster Girl set was very unexpected, but makes a great addition to the Invincible lineup. I don't even mind that the human form has such limited articulation. She is still able to achieve the squat "ready for action" poses I would want her in. Let's check out Monster Girl below!

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Invincible - DUPLI-KATE!

Invincible Select (Animated Series) #005 - Dupli-Kate - Diamond Select 2023

The Invincible Select action figure line from DST is very impressive. When it started a few years ago I expected there to be a handful of core releases before quietly fading away. (I'm a little jaded and scarred by past toy lines based on indy comics). But after just a couple years there is already an impressive assortment of characters with at least two more on the way (Rex Splode and the Mauler Twin (single figure with alternate heads)). This Dupli-Kate figure gives us a similar multi-figure purchase. By giving us alternate heads and swappable chest numbers, we can army build as many Kates as we want. Dupli-Kate is a homage to Triplicate Girl of the LOSH with the ability to create (seemingly endless) copies of herself. But in an interesting secondary homage, Kate has a twin (evil) brother named Multi-Paul and together they visually remind me of the Wonder Twins. In the cartoon, Paul is incarcerated and will likely never get a toy though. But I can't wait to see who is next. Let's check out Dupli-Kate below!

Monday, December 25, 2023

Nightmare Before Christmas - MRS. CLAUS!

Nightmare Before Christmas Select Series 10 - Mrs. Claus & Choir Elf - DST 2021

The Nightmare Before Christmas toylines are always pretty amazing. All the characters have great designs and are naturally very toyetic. But what is especially great is how both the older Neca line and the current Diamond Select line don't shy away from obscure characters. This Mrs. Claus, for instance, only appears in the background of one scene for a few seconds. Most toy lines would never consider a character like this for the full action figure treatment. But here she is, in all her weird Burton-esque glory. I actually own quite a few Nightmare Before Christmas figures, but this is the first one I have opened and photographed for a review. This is mostly because I always intend to save them for Halloween each year, but then my Septembers and Octobers get insanely busy and I never have time. But hopefully this review will break the seal and I'll finally review the rest soon (their large boxes take up a lot of real estate in my closet!) Plus I'm excited to put them on display. Let's check out Mrs. Claus below!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Sonic Holiday Series - AMY ROSE!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2.5" Series (Christmas Wave) - Amy -  Jakks Pacific 2023

Merry Christmas Eve! I'm staying at a friend's house and today I got a cold so I've been isolating and napping all day (covid negative luckily). Now everyone is in bed and I'm bored and sleepless so I'll be posting a few Christmas-themed items I prepared earlier this month. The Jakks Sonic line has been super prolific this year. Prior to 2023, I had thirteen (female) Sonic figures in my collection. But 2023 added NINE more (and I'm still hunting one additional figure). One of my favorite surprises was this series of Holiday releases I found on an endcap in the Target Seasonal section. They are all repaints of the figures released in last year's Sonic Advent Calendar. But in Amy's case, her advent figure was just the standard Classic Amy with no "holiday" alteration at all. So this simple repaint is very cute and stands as a nice apology. Plus, in researching this figure I learned that there will also be an Easter assortment including Amy. (I'll bet it's a repaint in an Easter egg motif). Let's check out Holiday Amy Rose below!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

ThunderCats Ultimates - CHEETARA!

ThunderCats Ultimates - Cheetara (Super Speed Glow) Exclusive - Super7 2023

I have a feeling that 2024 will be an exciting year for ThunderCats fans. In February, there will be a new comic from Dynamite released (it has been six years since these characters have been in print). And if Dynamite gives this license the same treatment as they gave Gargoyles in 2023, we are in for a treat. But I also have a completely unsubstantiated hunch that we will hear more ThunderCats news. Like a new show or movie. Again, just a premonition. But in the meantime I am pleasantly surprised by this Super7 Ultimates Super Speed Glow Cheetara (a Super7 store exclusive). When she was first shown back in May, I was intrigued, but not obsessed. I generally love GITD toys, but a multi-hued yellow redeco of Cheetara got a lukewarm initial reaction from me. But all the other ThunderCats always seem to get cool variants, so it's nice to see her getting her turn. In-hand I think she's really fun. The copper-colored details and cheetah spots look especially great. Let's check out Cheetara below!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


DC Comics 9.5" Basic Series Heroes - Wonder Woman - Spin Master 2023

I find there to be something really thrilling about basic non-articulated figures in the last ten years. I theorize that the big companies with the prime character licenses realized there was an untapped market in the low-budget, low-articulation toys. In my youth, these would have been knockoffs and bootlegs. But what we end up getting today is quality sculpts and production (no sloppy paint or excessive plastic flashing), and the toy companies get to squeeze a few more bucks out of their digital sculpts. Oftentimes these basic figures have identical sculpts to their deluxe products, but they are re-scaled and simplified to give us a sort of "officially licensed bootleg." I've bought these figures from most of the big companies, but this Wonder Woman is my first basic figure from Spin Master. I found her at Kohl's last month and she was a complete surprize. I'm still not 100% sold on this 8.5"-9.5" scale. It's an in-between size that only matches other basic lines (mainly Hasbro). Let's check out Wonder Woman below!

Saturday, December 16, 2023


The Coolest Variant Cover Trend of Recent Years - Fantasy Action Figures

This is the first post I've made on this blog that doesn't have to do with real action figures or statues. Comic Book cover variants are a major trend in the hardcopy comic world. Back in the day, variants would be rare incentives for some super-special issue. But now it's actually rare when and issue doesn't have at least one variant. Different companies will have themes, like Lego covers or Women of Power. But my favorite by far has been the Action Figure covers. There are a few early examples of this kind of cover, but I believe the current trend was kicked off by the various Marvel Star Wars comics from Spring of 2015. There were tons of action figure variants across all the Star Wars titles at the time. Then later that Summer, Marvel's Secret Wars event used the same tactic and its momentum has only grown since then. There are usually a few Marvel Action Figure Variants each week now. And other publishers are picking up on the trend as well.  Let's check out a slew of these covers below!

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Planet of the Apes - ARI!

Planet of the Apes (Tim Burton Film) - Ari w/ Battle Flag - Hasbro 2001

I love the Planet of the Apes franchise. I love all five of the classic movies (yes, ALL of them). I love both the animated and live action television series. I love all the modern reinterpreted movies. The only thing I don't love is the 2001 Tim Burton remake. This is ironic because I was a huge fan of Burton and was obsessed with each of his movies up until this point. I expected a quirky imaginative experience with that unique Burton-esque atmosphere. Planet of the Apes and Tim Burton seemed like a match made in heaven. I can still remember the amazing movie I imagined. But the actual movie lacked all charm for me. Sure, some of the apes had much more personality, and the masks were improved. But the humans were distracting. They were awkwardly attractive... and they could speak. Language is such an important part of both the original and modern movies, but's not even mentioned here. Ari is an open-minded chimpanzee played by Helena Bonham Carter and to me is the highlight of the film.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Youngblood Bendems - VOGUE & RIPTIDE!

Image Comics Youngblood Bend-ems - Vogue & Riptide - JustToys 1995

The news this week that LooseCollector will be producing action figures from Rob Liefeld's Extreme Universe has me very excited. In the late 80s and early 90s I was a huge fan of Rob Liefeld. His work on Hawk & Dove, X-Factor, New Mutants, and X-Force is some of the most nostalgic comic art of my adolescence. (I still read both his Hawk & Dove runs every few years). When the Image exodus happened in 1992, I was immediately obsessed with Youngblood. The characters were colorful and seemingly pulled inspiration from every trendy comic trope at the time, but with that signature Liefeld flare that embodied the era. The issues were beautiful, but sparse. The release schedule was very slow and the story was forgettable, but the character design and lore of this world still has my attention 30 years later. I have always wanted true action figures. Previous attempts have been almost entirely male-centric. Hopefully the Extreme Universe includes Youngblood or some other costumed heroines.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Sonic Prime - RUSTY ROSE!

Sonic Prime - New Yoke City (2.5" 3-Pack) - Rusty Rose - Jakks Pacific 2023

I've always avoided technology-based characters in my collecting. I just naturally lean towards superhero, fantasy, and natural characters as opposed to military and cyborg designs. This Rusty Rose figure presents a conundrum though because she is a variation of a character I already love in a new aesthetic that I typically avoid. Overall I think she's very fun though. The new Sonic: Prime show on Netflix features a fractured series of multiverses with various themes (pirate, feral, and robotics seem to be the main three universes). New Yoke City is one of these Shatterverses that features futuristic post-apocalyptic cyborg versions of all the main Sonic characters. (Although Rebel Rouge in this universe is mysteriously dressed like a guerilla freedom fighter). But Rusty Rose is decked out with an intimidating robotic eye and rusty hinged limbs. I especially like this design because it reminds me of a female counterpart to Metal Sonic. I like equal opportunity variants. Let's check out the 2.5" Rusty Rose below!

Friday, December 8, 2023

Sonic Prime - BATTEN ROUGE!

Sonic Prime - No Place (2.5" 3-Pack) - Batten Rouge - Jakks Pacific 2023

It's funny to think that a few short years ago, Rouge that Bat seemed to be one of the most fan-demanded Sonic characters for inclusion in a toy line. The Jazwares line from 10 years ago often had rumors of a Rouge, but nothing ever materialized. So instead it was the elusive 2005 Toy Island figure that became a grail for collectors and fueled the demand for an updated version. But since last year, Jakks Pacific has been answering our prayers and has given us two classic Rouge figures (in both 4" and 2.5" scale) as well as this 2.5" pirate-themed Batten Rouge from Sonic: Prime. Plus there is at least one more coming soon (a 5" version of this design). I'm personally hoping for a Prim Rouge figure with her cool leafy design from the Boscage Maze portion of the Shatterverse. But I'm thrilled with anything. It's a shame that these 2.5" figures from Sonic: Prime only seem to be coming in multipacks. But so far my excitement over the characters has overtaken my frugal nature. Let's check out Batten Rouge below!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Sonic Prime - RUSTY ROSE!

Sonic Prime – 5” Action Figures Wave 2 - Rusty Rose - Jakks Pacific 2023

I still haven't watched Sonic: Prime yet, but over Thanksgiving my young nephew talked my ear off about it. (FYI he gives it rave reviews).  I am personally a fan just for the sheer amount of cool toys we're getting from it. With both Rouge the Bat and Amy Rose as main characters, and the thematic multiverse-type premise of the show, we are getting a ton of variations. I already reviewed Thorn Rose, the feral version of Amy from the Boscage Maze (the jungle-themed branch of the Shatterverse). And here we have Rusty Rose, the cyborg Amy from New Yoke City. The third version is Black Rose the pirate Amy who will be in Wave three next year (follow by the pirate Batten Rouge in Wave four). I'm assuming all the versions will eventually be released in the 2.5" line as well (I have two so far). I will always be a purist for these characters' original video game designs, but I can't deny how fun these variations are. Very excited ot add them all to my Sonic collection. Let's check out Rusty Rose below!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Long Overdue 2020 YEAR-END REVIEW!

A Collection of 2020's Most Amazing Female Action Figures All In One Post

I think 2020 was an interesting year for everyone on the planet. Purely from a collecting perspective, everything was different from the previous year. People were stuck at home, stores were closed, factory production was halted, shipment routes were congested, and mail order became commonplace. Before this, I almost never ordered new toys online if it could be avoided. I much preferred to find things in store and select the best paint jobs. But suddenly the shelves were sparse and production quotas were determined by preorders. That didn't mean it wasn't a landmark year for action figure collectors though. Three of the most popular toylines in the stores today were launched in 2020 (DC Multivese by McFarlane, Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel, and G.I.Joe Classified by Hasbro). I really like posting these summaries of all the figures I reviewed from a certain production year. And I like the fact that I'm way behind because it provides a great look back. Let's look back to the amazing ladies of 2020!

Monday, December 4, 2023

Marvel Legends Vintage - SPIRAL!

Marvel Legends: Vintage (X-Men Toy Biz) Series - Spiral - Hasbro 2023

While the majority of the releases in the Marvel Legends Vintage carded line seem to be simple redecos or even straight-up re-releases, every once in a while they knock it out of the park with a wholly original character. I realize there was already a Marvel Legends Spiral made back in the Red Hulk wave, but that was already fifteen years ago (but light year's away in terms of sculpt and production quality). Spiral was introduced in the 1985 issue of Longshot #1 created by Arthur Adams and Ann Nocenti (two of my very favorite 80's talents). She soon left the Mojoverse and entered the main X-Men universe as a member of Mystique's Freedom Force. Given her extra arms and arsenal of blades, she is often downplayed as a simple swordwielder. But what always intrigued me about Spiral was her mystical spellcasting abilities, usually accompanied by a dance and a blur of elaborate hand gestures. She is a fascinating character with a sympathetic backstory. This figure is an unexpected but fantastic representation of her.

Saturday, December 2, 2023


Secret Files Series 3: Batman Rogues Gallery 2 - Poison Ivy - DC Direct 2008

When I was reviewing the recent Uma Thurman Poison Ivy earlier this week, I was surprised to realize that I had never made a post on my all-time favorite Poison Ivy figure. It's possible that the new McFarlane figure might take that title, but I'll have to reassess when the newness wears off. But without a doubt my favorite Poison Ivy figure for the past 15 years has been this 2008 DC Direct figure based on her iconic Brian Bolland cover. I often feel that toys of Poison Ivy fail to capture her essence. Usually they look either too sexy or too bland. I think the perfect recipe is to have her looking stern and statuesque... with a touch of indifference and vindictiveness on her face. The overall result is indeed sexy, but not because of exposed skin or pouty lips. Ivy's seductive appeal was always in her voice, body language, and coldness. Brian Bolland captured this well on the cover of Gotham Knights #15 (2001) and the brilliant Jack Matthews translated that image into plastic. She's gorgeous. Let's check out Poison Ivy below!

Friday, December 1, 2023

Legends of Dragonore - YONDARA!

Legends of Dragonore - Series 1 - Yondara (Heroic Chieftan) - Formo Toys 2023

The Legends of Dragonore is the inaugural line of action figures from newcomer, Formo Toys. Modern action figures constructed in a vintage Masters of the Universe aesthetic is nothing new. Funko had a barrage of Savage World products five years ago, Super7 had a terrific MOTU Vintage line, and of course Mattel has been running with the concept for several years with MOTU, WWE, and now TMNT licenses.  But this Legends of Dragonore line seems different. You can tell they spawn from the art toy world and are passionate about the design aesthetic and production quality. Plus when you have a named talent like Emiliano Santalucia working Creative Design, you know the toys will be great. His passion for MOTU helped launch the modern revitalization of the brand. These figures are really fun and colorful and gave us a wholly original set of characters for our vintage collections. Formo has already showed off Wave 1.5 and  2 and I have a feeling we'll see a lot more in the future. Let's check out Yondara below!

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Legends of Dragonore - PANTERA!

Legends of Dragonore - Series 1 - Pantera the Silent Huntress - Formo Toys 2023

I'm very excited to have a new designer toy company in the market. Especially one that embraces a retro vibe and doesn't shy away from female characters. By the time I actually got my first Legends of Dragonore figures in hand a few weeks ago, Formo Toys had already announced a Wave 1.5 of redecos and an original Wave 2, giving me four more female figures to look forward to. And I predict we'll see a female or two in their next set of convention exclusives. I'm a big fan of modern figures produced in a vintage aesthetic. Super7 ReAction, MOTU Origins, and the new Sectaurs from Nacelle are all great examples. The MOTU-inspired figures seem to have the most momentum in pop culture and I love going ot event like ZoloCon to see all the art toys in vintage MOTU style. But it pretty rare for these toys to get mass produced at an affordable price. But Formo Toys has achieved this and I couldn't be happier. The production quality and design aesthetic is amazing. Let's check out Pantera below!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Sonic the Hedgehog - 4" Series Wave 14 - Blaze the Cat - Jakks Pacific 2023

This 4" Sonic the Hedgehog line is really thrilling me. It seems like every few months there is a new exciting figure to hunt down. The 2.5" line and all the Sonic: Prime products are great as well, but this 4" core line is my favorite and I hope it continues for a long time. This newest figure, Blaze the Cat, is perfect. I first learned of her character in 2012 when the Jazwares figure came out and was highly sought after. I was drawn to her because, similar to Rouge the Bat, Blaze wasn't very cutesy like the majority of Sonic females. Instead she was formidable and serious with a regal air befitting her royal (princess) status. I love the executions of this figure with her multi-hued purples and pinks and model-accurate sculpt. If Jakks happens to make a Wave the Sparrow next, then they will have produced an updated version of every female Sonic character ever merchandised in previous lines. Then they can tread new territory with brand new additions like Sally Acorn and Tikal. Let's check out Blaze the Cat below!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Batman & Robin - BATGIRL!

DC Multiverse - Batman & Robin (Mr. Freeze CtB) - Batgirl - McFarlane 2023

When Batman & Robin (1997) came out, I was very disappointed in the Batgirl costume. Batgirl had been an obsession of mine since childhood and I had high expectations. My biggest problem was the domino mask in place of the full cowl. Of course I learned later that the full cowl was part of the design but was literally pulling out Alicia Silverstone's hair. But the toys had been misleading and I felt cheated. I also loved Alicia Silverstone. It was hard to be a child of the 90s and not be obsessed with her. But casting a non-redhead in such an iconic role was also upsetting. But over time I grew to see this design as iconic. And the Barbara Wilson backstory worked for me. I've been wishing for a proper action figure of her since I started collecting toys as an adult. It was one of those pipe dreams I never expected to actually have come true. But here she is and she is pretty terrific. The likeness to Alicia is not right, and her costume is missing some details (both of which I attempted to correct below), but she is great.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Batman & Robin - POISON IVY!

DC Multiverse - Batman & Robin (Mr. Freeze CtB) - Poison Ivy - McFarlane 2023

Batman & Robin (1997) was a unique theatre experience for me. This was the first movie I ever saw that got a horrible public response that I just didn't understand. I thought it was fun. Sure, if I went in expecting a darker moody film like Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), I would have been very confused. But Batman Forever (1995) signaled the shift to a campier, more colorful tone. So Batman & Robin met (exceeded?) my expectations. I was excited to see Batgirl and Poison Ivy on the big screen, and was pleasantly surprised by additional characters like Floronic Man, Bane, and even an obscure Scarecrow cameo. I think Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy stole the show though. She was so over-the-top with witty entendres and a Mae West vibe. Plus she had a ton a screen time and several iconic costumes. Frankly it's shocking that she hasn't had a proper action figure before now. The Funko Pop from 2020 was the frontrunner before this McFarlane perfection. Let's check out Poison Ivy below!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Marvel Legends - MANIA!

Marvel Legends - Venom Space Knight and Mania 2-Pack - Hasbro 2023

I always wanted a female version of Venom, but I never loved the 90s Bride of Venom figure. When I became aware of Mania in Venom #40 (2013), I thought she was perfect. The Mania symbiote was introduced nine years earlier as a clone made from a piece of Venom's tongue. By 2013 she had found her newest host, Andrea (Andi) Benton, and became a very buzzworthy character. Andi as Mania was young, punky, had a cool look, and best of all she was based in my city of Philadelphia. Besides an amusing interlude of Cyclops eating a cheesesteak a few years ago, this Venom storyline and modern Shazam books are the only mainstream superhero comics I know that is based here. In 2014 when the Anya Corazon Spider-Girl figure came out, I bought a second with intentions to modify her into Mania. Those plans never materialized, but she's always been on my wishlist.  It's exciting to finally see her in plastic all these years later. And the execution of this character is perfect. Let's check out Mania below!

Friday, November 24, 2023


Star Wars: Ewoks (TV Series) - Wicket and Kneesaa 2-Pack - Hasbro 2023

It's hard for me to put into words how impactful Ewoks were in my childhood. I was very young when Return of the Jedi came out (I believe it was my first movie in the theatre). I was never into kid genres focused around vehicles, martial arts, or fighting (which eliminated most properties aimed at my demographic). But things like fantasy, nature, and animals were an absolute obsession for me. Star Wars was all the rage in my house and in the toy aisles, but my focus was 100% on the Ewoks. While my siblings were desperately fashioning light sabers out of brooms, I was in the woods making weapons and tools out of sticks, rocks, and packaging twine. I was kind of awesome like that. Ewoks became very popular. They received eight vintage action figures from ROTJ (more than any other "faction"), two spin-off movies in 1984 and 1985, and a two-season animated series. I both loved and hated this cartoon. I hated it because it was childish, the Ewoks spoke english, and the villainous Duloks seemed like Grinch knock-offs.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Sectaurs - STELLARA!

Sectaurs: The Warriors of Symbion - Wave 1 - Stellara - Nacelle Co 2023

For years Stellara has been an unobtainable holy grail for me. I have seen prototypes of her unreleased vintage figure pop up for sale numerous times, mostly in the range of several thousand dollars. (Although once I learned of a completed eBay auction with her just listed as "unknown purple girl" - the lucky bidder had major bragging rights for that score). She seemed unobtainable but not necessarily out of reach (if that makes sense) which made her all the more desirable in my eyes. Sectaurs was one of my favorite 80s properties. Nature and fantasy were my favorite genres and it was an added bonus that all the characters looked somewhat creepy with their stern faces and large insectile eyes. When Nacelle announced this figure I quite literally shrieked. I would finally add this elusive member of the Ladies of the Eighties club to my collection. She is perfection to me. Her articulation and sculpt is modernized, but in a way that is a love letter to the classic line (similar to the aesthetic of MOTU Origins). 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Marvel Legends - STORM!

Marvel Legends - X-Men '97 Disney+ Vintage Wave - Storm - Hasbro 2023

One of the things I'm most curious about for the upcoming X-Men '97 show on Disney+ is the representation of Storm. In the original X-Men the Animated Series, her voice was so booming and theatrical that it was both humorous and iconic. In the end, I loved it. And I think it played a part developing her later comics persona as well. I kind of hope this characterization continues in the new show, but I expect that they will tone her down a bit for modern (more critical?) audiences. I don't think I've ever seen Storm in the combination of her white costume with her mohawk hairdo. Overall, I like it. It's a fun distinction from her previous appearances without doing something too far out of canon. I'm hope we get more Marvel Legends figures from this series. Beast, Jean Grey, and Jubilee are contenders. But until the show airs in early 2024, we don't really know the full roster. Perhaps some interesting villains alongside Magneto. (This could possibly be how we finally get Destiny!) Let's check out Storm below!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Marvel Legends - ROGUE!

Marvel Legends - X-Men '97 Disney+ Vintage Wave - Rogue - Hasbro 2023

I've always liked Rogue. From the first time I noticed her in 80s back issues, she intrigued and fascinated me. But X-Men the Animated Series launched her into a superstardom I never would have predicted. I wasn't the biggest fan of the show honestly. Don't get me wrong, I taped most episodes and watched them dozens of times. But even at that young age I found myself very critical of the tone and characterization and soon my interest waned completely. Now, as an adult, I have had a certain sentiment expressed to me surprisingly often. It usually happens when someone is viewing my toy collection. I hear "My favorite toy in my childhood was Rogue. She was awesome. I loved that show." I hear it from men and women of a variety of ages and it's been said upwards of a dozen times. I actually plan to watch the show before X-Men '97 (a direct continuation of the original series) debuts on Disney+ next year and I hope to finally share their awe. Let's check out X-Men '97 Rogue below!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Dungeons & Dragons - DORIC!

Dungeons & Dragons - Golden Archive Series - Doric (Tiefling Druid) - Hasbro 2023

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was such a surprising movie to me. It managed to satisfy the the diehard fans as well and the unindoctrinated. I personally fall between the two extremes, so I knew enough to notice a ton of Easter eggs, but not so critical of an eye to get annoyed at any inaccuracies. My favorite character was Doric (played by Sophia Lillis who I loved in It (2017)). Doric is a Tiefling Druid with wild change abilities that enable her to take the form a variety of creatures. This is the source of the largest fan gripe about the movie - her ability to transform into an Owlbear. The Owlbears are monstrosities (unnatural creatures) that she should not be able to turn into. But for the sake of cinematic impact, they had her doing this quite often. (Explained away by her theory that Owlbears are mislabeled as monstrosities and actually natural creatures). The toyline for the D&D movie is pretty fun, but the facial likenesses all seem a tad off to me. I still bought several though. Let's check out Doric below!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


Marvel Legends - S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent & Hydra Trooper 2-Pack - Hasbro 2023

Trooper Builders are a pretty great modern trend geared towards collectors. Typically only the A-list characters get the action figure treatment and presence in the toy aisles. And lately we've been luckily enough to get a steady flow of B and C list characters too. But unnamed soldier characters never seem to make the cut. Until, of course, companies like Hasbro started releasing them as online exclusives. Collectors could suddenly build armies of their favorite factions. I enjoyed seeing this trend, but I was never too interested since female characters weren't invited to the party. Until this year. G.I.Joe Classified had females introduced in three different two packs (Blue Ninjas, Steel Corps, and Cobra Valkyries). And now this amazing Marvel Legends set with a female S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent and Hydra Trooper (plus multiple alternate heads) to build out the two most popular Marvel factions. I'm excited to see what the next Hasbro set might be. (Fingers crossed for Star Wars female Storm Troopers!) Let's check them out below!

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Marvel Legends - MS. MARVEL!

The Marvels - Totally Awesome Hulk BaF - Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel - Hasbro 2023

I'm not able to go see The Marvels until next weekend, but I'm pretty excited to learn more about Kamala Khan. I have read a lot of previous Ms. Marvel comics starring Kamala and I'm quite a fan. (Although I'm not current with my reading and I gather her origins and powers have changed a bit in the last year). I watched the Ms. Marvel show on Disney+ but wasn't a huge fan. I liked Iman Vallani's performance and I liked the fangirl angle, but I think this was just a case of me being a bit too far off the target demographic audience. The attempts of the show to skew younger just alienated me - which is a shame because I consume a lot of youthful media that I relate to just fine. But something about that show was just too hyper and erratic for my old brain. I'm hoping her presence in an ensemble movie like The Marvels will develop her into more of a Kamala I can relate to (not just a "this is awesome!" character). This figure is a great likeness and the new costume is cool. Let's check out Kamala below! 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Marvel Legends - CAPTAIN MARVEL!

The Marvels - Totally Awesome Hulk BaF - Captain Marvel - Hasbro 2023

I'm really excited ot see The Marvels in the next few days. I haven't made specific plans yet, but I'll definitely be seeing it in the theatre. While my most anticipated part is honestly going to be the further development of Monica Rambeau in the MCU, I'm also looking forward to seeing Carol grow into a more well-rounded character. I feel like our MCU exposure to Carol so far has always been in unique circumstances and also rather early on in her superhero life. I like Carol best in the comics when she's doing some classic superhero'ing (not necessarily saving the universe or learning about her powers). And I think The Marvels will give us more of the funny quippy Carol that I love. I was pretty unhappy with the unmasked Brie Larson headsculpts from the 2019 movie figures, and for a while I thought she likely had a likeness that just didn't translate well into plastic. But this figure is pretty great. The updated face scan and the Photo Real face printing is pretty impressive. Let's check out Carol below!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Star Wars: The Bad Batch - OMEGA!

Star Wars Black Series The Bad Batch #10 - Omega (Kamino) - Hasbro 2022

I still haven't seen any episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, but all the young kids in my life seem to love it. When I first saw this Omega figure, I honestly thought it was a adolescent male character, but I was happy to leard that she was female because I was super curious about a smaller youthful sculpt in the Black Series line. Omega is a clone of the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett (supposedly a pure replication of him). She stayed on Kamino during the Clone Wars, but when the main conflict was over, she became intrigued by Clone Force 99 (aka The Bad Batch) and eventually joined them. the Bad Batch were a group of Mandalorian clone with specific mutations that granted them individual enhanced abilities (like sight, strength, or intelligence). The mutations had an unforeseen side-effect that allowed the clones to disobey Order 66 (the programmed directive to view all Jedi as enemies). It's a great plot for a show and make me excited to watch it someday. Let's check out Omega below!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - NIGHTBIRD!

Transformers Studio Series #104 - Rise of the Beasts Nightbird - Hasbro 2023

Nightbird was a very interesting choice for a villain in the 2023 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts movie. The mute female robot was introduced in the 1985 Transformers episode Enter The Nightbird as a creation of human scientists. She was quickly stolen by the Decepticons and used as a weapon against the Autobots. I was obsessed with this episode as a kid and am so shocked that this single-episode character has had such a legacy. This is actually my tenth action figure of her (mostly third-party homages though). In Rise of the Beasts, she is quite reimagined. She is a Terrorcon under Unicron who transforms into a muscle car and tries to thwart the Autobots and Maximals. I honestly don't remember her talking in the movie, but she is voiced by MJ Rodriguez, so I guess she is no longer mute. I had some issues with the cinematic redesign initially, but it has really grown on me (although the copper-colored details still baffle me). Let's check out the Studio Series Nightbird below!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Marvel Legends - CLEA!

Marvel Knights Legends - Mindless Ones Build-a-Figure - Clea - Hasbro 2023

About twenty years ago I saw a sketch by Arthur Adams (my favorite comic artist) of a character I had never seen before. She had bizarre antenna-like curls of hair, an outlandish collarpiece, and leggings with an overlapping circle pattern. I was intrigued, but completely clueless. The image was black and white, so I didn't know her clothes were purple or her hair was white (which would have been helpful clues in my search). But as it was, I didn't discover her name until a few years later when she appeared in New Avengers: Illuminati in 2006. Then I was off to the races. I never read much Doctor Strange so it made sense that I never knew her. But I quickly read all about her and became a fan. She was introduced back in 1964 and has been a consistent supporting character ever since (even though she didn't have a name for two years). But I've enjoyed seeing her prominence grow, culminating in her becoming the Sorcerer Supreme in 2021's Strange. This figure is unexpected, but absolutely gorgeous.

Friday, November 3, 2023


DC Multiverse - Target Exclusive Supergirl Rebirth - McFarlane Toys 2023

It seems to be very difficult to get a good, classic-looking Kara Zor-El Supergirl. I have quite a few in my collection, but there just always seems to be something slightly off about them. Luckily Supergirl always tends to sport a pretty classic costume. She goes through eras with a slightly tweaked costume, but it consistently comes back to the basic look. I personally think this newest Target Exclusive DC Multiverse Gold Label figure is the best Supergirl in my collection. Sure, she has a couple problems. Firstly, her eyes are often overstamped which makes her look a little angry (it you're patient you can find one with better eyes). And secondly, her thigh-high boots have been swapped for red leggings. I didn't even notice this  detail until I got her home. It honestly doesn't bother me too much (because thigh-high boots are impractical in battle), but it's baffling that McFarlane skipped this detail, especially since she has no special accessories. Either cost-saving cuts or simple oversight. Let's check out Supergirl below!

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

World of Springfield - VAMPIREDNA!

Simpsons: World of Springfield - TRU Bongo Comics 3-Pack - Playmates 2002

Happy Halloween! I've wanted to purchase and review this figure for many years. I first saw this Edna Krabappel as Vampiredna at a vintage toy shop about a decade ago, but the shop owner wanted a ridiculous price for her. (Flash forward to 2023 and you can get her on eBay for ten bucks). The Simpsons were a major staple of my childhood and young adulthood. But the World of Springfield action figure line from Playmates, as beautiful and perfect as it was, was completely overwhelming for me. I steered clear. But one sub-genre I always thought about collecting was the Treehouse of Horror figures themed on the annual Simpsons Halloween episodes. The character designs from these episodes are always zany and fun. So when I saw this Edna figure, I knew she would be my first WOS purchase. But I actually didn't recognize her. It turns out she is from a 1993 issue of Bartman by Bongo Comics (which has seemingly been collected and reprinted several times). It's a shame she never appeared on the show.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Super7 ReAction - VAMPIRA!

ReAction Action Figures - Vampira (The Queen of Goth) - Super7 Boodega 2023

Super7 ReAction figures just keep getting better and better. This is one of my favorite toy lines out there. I love how there is a consistent retro format across lots of different licenses. And that "consistent" style has evolved to state where it can have subtle variations to best represent different genres. The G.I.Joe line perfectly captures a vintage animated look, while pulpy live-action characters like this Vampira have more realistic proportions and details. This figure is also noteworthy for being the most curvy female ReAction figure so far (which is ironic considering they made a Jessica Rabbit in 2022). Vampira is a classic TV horror host from the 1950s who inspired characters like Maleficent, Elvira, and even the 1964 television incarnation of Morticia Addams. She has been largely unmerchandized until this year, but within a month we got both a Toony Terrors figure and this ReAction. I hope it's not the end though because a 1:12 figure from NECA or Super7 would be amazing. Let's check out Vampira below!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Super Mario Bros Movie 2.5" - PEACH!

Super Mario Bros Movie - Peach Pull Back Racer - Jakks Pacific 2023

This figure was the first product I found in stores for the Super Mario Bros Movie earlier this year and it got me really excited. I've been buying Jakks Pacific toys of Nintendo/Super Mario and Sonic the the Hedgehog characters for years, and the 2.5" lines were always the consistent standouts for character diversity and sheer numbers of a figures. But the drawback was always severely limited articulation. Most of my 2.5" Jakks figures only have three points of simple swivel articulation (not that I ever complained). But this Movie Peach in her Mario Kart outfit has a surprising six hinge-and-swivel joints as well as a ball-jointed head. She's very tiny at just under 3" tall, so this is very impressive (especially for the price point). She is really great and so are all the other racer characters. Hopefully this isn't just a one-time experimental line though, because I would love to see more in this style. I guess we'll have to wait until the next Mario or Sonic movie to see though. Let's check out Mario Kart Peach below!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Super Mario Bros Movie 5" - PEACH!

The Super Mario Brothers Movie - Series 2 - Princess Peach - Jakks Pacific 2023

When the product for the Super Mario Bros Movie hit the shelves earlier this year, I honestly thought the initial wave of products would be the only items we would see. All the main characters were represented right off the bat. I hadn't seen the movie yet, or even really paid attention to the trailers in great detail. But considering this deluxe 5" series started out with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and Bowser, I think most collectors assumed the line was complete. But right around the time the first street date hit, images of Series 2 surfaced showing popular character variations like Tanooki Mario, Cat Mario, and this Mario Kart Peach. Peach donned this costume when she was returning to the Mushroom Kingdom to confront Bowser. Mario drove a gocart, Toad was in a monster truck, and Peach had a motorcycle. They travelled on the Rainbow Road and had a whole Mario Kart homage on the journey. I honestly would have expected a simple Fire Peach repaint before this new sculpt, but I'm very happy.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Super Mario Bros Movie 5" - PEACH!

The Super Mario Brothers Movie - Princess Peach - Jakks Pacific 2023

It's amazing to think that it took 38 years to produce a Super Mario Bros movie (that actually resembled Super Mario Bros - I don't count the 1993 movie). With such a strong collection of characters and an environment custom-made for adventures, it seems like an obvious money-maker. There have been several animated series produced over the years, but the full movie treatment didn't happen until 2023 - and, not surprisingly, it was a big hit. My favorite things about the movie was that all the characters looked video game accurate, and that Princess Peach was such a boss. With her origins firmly rooted in the damsel-in-distress role, it was great to see her take on a more independent persona. This deluxe toy line is a new scale for Jakks video game figures. Previously the largest ones were 4", but this line (and the new Sonic Prime figures) are now 5". The eyes have a glass effect that is both interesting and creepy, but it is a cool new feature that I haven't seen before. Let's check out Peach below!

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

LooseCollector - DARNA!

Darna - 1:12 Scale Action Figure - Executive Replicas LooseCollector 2020

When this figure first showed up in my social media feeds back in 2020 I was immediately covetous. I had seen imagery of this character seemingly all my life, but didn't know her name or anything about her. I went on a googling spiral and became obsessed with getting this toy. Unfortunately I was seeing pics of collectors actively receiving their preorders and she had been sold out for months. But after a few years she popped up on the LooseCollector again in very limited quantities and I finally snagged her. Darna is the most famous of the Pinoy comic superheroes. She was created in 1950 created Mars Ravelo with inspiration from Superman comics brought to the Philippines by American solders during WWII. She is a kind of mashup of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Shazam. She has since transcended the comic world and has appeared in fourteen films between 1951 and 1994, four television serials, and several animated TV shows. Truly an iconic character. Let's check out Darna below!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Marvel Legends - LADY BULLSEYE!

Marvel Legends - Mindless One Series - Lady Bullseye -Hasbro 2023

In 2008, a new adversary was introduced in the pages of Daredevil. Lady Bullseye was inspired by the Lady Snowblood manga from 1972 (which also inspired Kill Bill), but firmly rooted in Daredevil lore since the character modeled herself after Bullseye. When Maki Matsumoto was a young girl in Japan, she was imprisoned by the Yakuza and faced a grim and dire future. On an unrelated mission, Bullseye entered the Yakuza stronghold and slaughtered her captors. That vision lit a spark in her. Flash forward to adulthood, and Maki is the assassin Lady Bullseye working with The Hand and living a civilian life as a lawyer working in close proximity to Matt Murdock. The first time I heard of this character is when a Marvel Legends prototype of her was displayed at conventions in 2009. But I didn't really embrace her until a picked up a TPB (Daredevil: Lady Bullseye) about 10 years later collecting her first story arc. She's an interesting character that I'm glad finally got a figure. Let's check out Lady Bullseye below!

Monday, October 23, 2023

Wild Republic's SISTERS OF THE SEA!

Sisters of the Sea: Mermaids - 6" Action Playsets - Wild Republic 2014-2023

Mermaid action figures are very hard to come by. As common as mermaid dolls, mermaid plushes, and mermaid figurines may be, articulated action figures are extremely rare. I first discovered these Wild Republic mermaids back in 2014 when the first Sisters of the Sea figure showed up at a beachside 5&10 shop while I was on vacation. Then I quickly found a color variant and I knew I'd be obsessing over this line for a long time. The newer figures have swapped out the catchy "Sisters of the Sea" name for - ahem - "Mermaid Moveable Playset" but the colors and wow factor just keep improving. This line is notoriously hard to find. I suggested your zoo, aquarium, and museum gift shops, and any beachside novelty shops. I check all my locals places obsessively, but it's worth the effort to score a well-sculpted (yet inexpensive) mermaid. They are not collector toys. So, yes, the paint can be sloppy, and yes, the joints can be loose, but I love them anyway. Let's check out the Sisters of the Sea below!

Sunday, October 22, 2023


Gormiti: Elemental Fusion - Jessica (The Air Lord) - Giochi Preziosi 2008

Gormiti is one of those properties that is a perfect recipe for great action figures. The characters are brightly-colored, creatively-designed, and nature-themed with great elemental factions. The television portion of the franchise essentially reboots every few years with a new assortments of characters, and I always scour the internet to check out the new toys. The main distribution is in Italy with availability across Europe, but here in the US we barely see any. I always wish for more female characters that can get merchandised, but it would also be a double-edged sword because they're really hard to get. As for now, there is only one merchandised female character, Jessica the Air Lord, who got three action figures between 2008-2010. This Elemental Fusion version is a repaint of her first figure with less (no) accessories but with an added voice feature. She was exceptionally hard to get (not because she's valuable, but because overseas shipping is out of control). Let's check out Jessica below!

Monday, October 16, 2023

Marvel Gallery - LADY DEADPOOL!

Marvel Gallery PVC Statues - Lady Deadpool - Diamond Select Toys 2016

For a few short years, Wanda Wilson was a pretty regular character in Marvel Comics. Wanda was Earth-3010's version of Deadpool. Known as Lady Deadpool in our world, she first appeared in 2010 and was instantly pretty iconic. Sporting a costume almost identical to Wade Wilson Deadpool except for a long exposed ponytail, she is the epitome of a reductive gender-swapped hero. There is nothing really new or reimagined about this character, but I personally felt drawn to her. And when the Deadpool Corps was established, she firmly establish her unique place in the comic universe. And she was pretty popular in the merchandise department as well. In three short years, she had three action figures, a mini-mate, multiple figurines, a Funko Pop, Heroclix, and several statues. By 2013, she was killed off, and by 2015 Gwenpool was introduced to fill the "female Deadpool" void, and Wanda was left in the dust. This Marvel Gallery statue is one of the nicest representations of her.  Let's check her out below!

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Moore Collectibles - VAMPIRELLA!

Harris Comics & Clayburn Moore - Vampirella - Moore Action Collectibles 2000

When I first started collecting action figures seriously as an adult (roughly 25 years ago), there was a very interesting trend happening in the collectible market. There were toys of scantily-clad women everywhere. Oddly enough, they weren't in big box stores, but rather record stores, video stores, comic shops, etc. I personally found the vast majority of these to be garbage with awkward sculpts of tarty, forgettable characters. But Moore Action Collectibles stood out from the pack with beautiful sculpts and popular licenses. Fathom, Witchblade, Kabuki, and Lady Death were just a few of the offerings. But my favorite was always the classic Vampirella. She came in variations (Black or Gold outfit) and also an alternate Julie Strain headsculpt. But this traditional version is arguably the best. Her iconic barely-there costume and expressive face are hard to deny. I never bought her until recently, but 23 years later she's just as stunning as I imagined all those years ago. Let's check out Vampirella below!

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Transformers EarthSpark - NIGHTSHADE!

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

I really dig the designs of the new Terran characters from Transformers EarthSpark. The Terrans are five (so far) Transformers that were born on Earth from Quintus Prime's Emberstone. When they first appear, they lack a lot of detail don't develop a lot of features until they define themselves and their alternate modes. Nightshade chose the alternate form of an owl inspired by a character in Alex Malto's favorite book, Winged Sentinel. I personally love when a Transformer has a bird as an alternate mode. It reminds me of Hoot from the Convertors: Avarians toys I had as a kid. Plus the name Nightshade has always appealed to me. I love the word itself and it's representation of deadly plants. Plus the villain Nightshade from C.O.P.S. and the teleporting DC Comics/Charlton character were both favorites. So this Earthspark figure was a definite must-have for me. The colors and design look great. I especially enjoy the large bat-like ears - very unique for a Transformer. Let's check out Nightshade below!

Sunday, October 8, 2023

LooseCollector - VAMPIRELLA!

Vampirella -  1:12 Scale Action Figure - Executive Replicas LooseCollector 2023

I'm loving the character selection that LooseCollector has been producing. There are a lot of female comic and animation characters that are hypersexualized and not lumped into any large licensing group. Big toy companies won't bother with these ladies. Rather, they secure license deals that include hundreds of characters (not just one or two) and they have to stay pretty tame in order to market to big box stores and conservative audiences. This has left a whole genre of characters virtually unmerchandised for the collecting community. Vampirella is a prime example. Originally designed by Eisner-Award-Winning Trina Robbins in 1969, Vampirella has been oozing sexuality and dark vengeance for over five decades. But you would never see this costume in the Walmart toy aisles. But thankfully LooseCollector is on the case and is giving us great figures that blend in nicely with our 1:12 figures collections. (And I'll wish for it again, give us an Aeon Flux please!). Let's check out Vampirella below!

Friday, October 6, 2023

Poppy Playtime - KISSY MISSY!

Poppy Playtime - 12" Figures Series 1 - Kissy Missy - Phat Mojo Toys 2023

This is the figure that made me excited to start buying the Poppy Playtime figures that were hitting toy aisles this Summer. I always love modern 12" scale figures, but it seems that only a few toy licenses ever get that treatment: DC from Spinmaster, Marvel and Power Rangers from Hasbro, and Halo from Jazwares. (Plus the random one-offs like Lightyear from Mattel). But to see a new manufacturer with a new license like PhatMojo with Poppy Playtime is exciting. It's also cool to see a whole new genre (horror/horror gaming) in 12". This figure of Kissy Missy is appealing to me because her long limbs are inexplicably creepy and I love the simple gimmick of a spin-around head with a different facial expression. She is also surprisingly heavy and dense which is a far cry from the hollow plastic you typically see in this scale (and it allows her to stand firmly without fear of toppling over). I never saw this figure in stores, but she was readily available online. Let's check out the 12" Kissy Missy below!

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Poppy Playtime - MOMMY LONG LEGS!

Poppy Playtime - 5" Figures Series 1 - Mommy Long Legs - Phat Mojo 2023

I legitimately think the most terrifying living toy in the Poppy Playtime game is Mommy Long Legs. This action figure seems so innocuous and sweet, but the few gameplay videos I've watched have changed my view of her completely. When you first meet her, Mommy Long Legs seems childlike and maternal. But throughout the game she becomes more unhinged; delivering the same mommyisms ("Play nice, now") in a more sinister tone and running in a spider-like fashion with her stretchy arms and legs. She has a "furious mode" where her skin becomes mottled and withered and her mouth forms an angry frown. But I personally find her "deranged mode" more scary. In this mode, she looks essentially the same as her happy appearance but her eyes are fully dilated and she acts and moves erratically. That juxtaposition of innocent appearance and unpredictable demeanor gives me chills. She's essentially a demonic Betty Spaghetty. Let's check out Mommy Long Legs below!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Poppy Playtime - KISSY MISSY!

Poppy Playtime - 5" Figures Series 1 - Kissy Missy - Phat Mojo Toys 2023

Poppy Playtime is a 2021 horror video game featuring an abandoned toy factory whose entire staff mysteriously disappeared ten years earlier and was shuttered. The factory is now in fact full of living malicious toys. You play a former employee who was lured to the factory with a letter from one of their missing coworkers. You try to escape the factory in maze-like corridors, being chased by the creepy toys and occasionally solving puzzles. I especially like the character design of the toys because they initially appear adorable, only to expose an extremely creepy or downright scary side. Kissy Missy is the pink female counterpart to the main male character, Huggy Wuggy (he looks like Kissy Missy but blue and no eyelashes). PhatMojo has definitely found a niche in the horror video game genre. Hopefully the Poppy Playtime line is as prolific as Bendy and the Ink Machine was because there are a lot of characters who would make great toys. Series 2 is already announced. Let's check out Kissy Missy below!

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Toony Terrors - VAMPIRA!

NECA Toony Terrors Series 8 - Vampira (Maila Nurmi) - Neca Toys 2023

I thought I would kick off Halloween month with my favorite recent purchase, the NECA Toony Terrors Vampira. In 1954, model and actress Maila Nurmi found her niche in Hollywood and became the first late night horror host as Vampira. Her look was modelled after Snow White's Evil Queen, Dragon Lady, and Charles Addams' macabre matron (later named Morticia Addams in 1964 - who ironically by then was taking cues from Vampira). Vampira was also the character model for Maleficent in 1959. And obviously, she was major inspiration for Elvira in the 80s. However, for me Vampira was a character that only existed in static imagery. But just last month I watched Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space for the first time and was mesmerized by Maila and her famous character. My fascination with Vampira was piqued and literally the next day I found this figure. She has had very little (if any) merchandise produced but NECA and Super7 are making up for lost time. Let's check out Vampira below!