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 Select (Animated Series) #003 - 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.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Dungeons & Dragons - DIANA!

Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Classics - Diana the Acrobat - Hasbro 2022

There were a lot of iconic cartoons in the 1980s. Anyone growing up at the time was faced with an onslaught of addictive animation, often with the sole intention of selling toys. I can admit that most of these cartoons are unbearable to watch as an adult. But something was always different about Dungeons & Dragons. The pacing and storytelling was more engaging (and less annoying) than other shows at the time - and I'm happy to report that it's still very watchable today (I'm binging it as I type this). The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was created nine years earlier in 1974 and was continually plagued by criticism and controversy. Conservative groups claimed the game was a satanic and corrupting influence. A widely publicized suicide by young gamer added to the hysteria - and was even the subject of a fictionalized made-for-TV movie called Mazes and Monsters in 1982 (starring a 20-something Tom Hanks). In summary, the game was popular and successful, but was facing a PR nightmare.