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!