Thursday, August 31, 2023


Masterverse - Mattelcreations Exc - MOTU Revolution - Motherboard - Mattel 2023

Few things are as gratifying to me as when old lore is expanded upon in a smart and creative way. Especially when it fills in some story gaps. Flashback to a young me in 80s expaining Zoar and Screeech to my younger brother. "Who's this?" "That's Zoar, a magical falcon that turns into this character, the Sorceress." "Cool. Who's this?" That's Screeech, the evil version of Zoar." "Cool. Who does Screeech turn into?" "No one. Screeech is a robot." "Oh." Flash forward to this Summer when that old dead-end storyline gets new life. Meet Motherboard, the female form of Screeech. As we saw in Revelation, Tri-Klops had formed the Cult of Motherboard, a group that worshiped technology with a religious fervor. Whiplash, Trap-Jaw, Blast-Attak, and a slew of Skelecons were in the cult as well. The upcoming second series of Netflix's MOTU series called Revolution will apparently show the cult successfully summoning Motherboard, a sort of techno-Sorceress. Information is scant so far, but I'm very excited to see her.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Boss Fight Studio - LIME CHIFFON!

World of Strawberry Shortcake - Lime Chiffon w/ Parfait - BFS 2023

In the world of geeky pop culture we are often exposed to the design theme of a group of similar characters in different color motifs. The Magical Girl genre comes to mind with Sailor Moon, Glitter Force, and Magical DoReMi. Each featuring stylistically similar characters with differentiating hair color and outfits. But action genres had it too with Power Rangers, Power Pack, and Voltron. Not to mention kid properties like Teletubbies and the Wiggles. But my very first exposure to this spectrum-of-characters concept was Strawberry Shortcake (and a few years later rather literally with Rainbow Brite). I remember rummaging through bins of donated toys in a church basement when I was about six years old and finding a slew of small Strawberry Shortcake dolls scattered around. I had never seen these characters and quickly became obsessed with finding them all and lining them up. When my sister approached and informed me they were scented, my mind was blown (and I became a fan for life). 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Boss Fight Studio - ORANGE BLOSSOM!

World of Strawberry Shortcake - Orange Blossom w/ Marmalade - BFS 2023

One of my favorite Strawberry Shortcake characters as a kid was Orange Blossom. I was always drawn to the color orange (except I never wear it) and oranges have always been my favorite fruit. Add to that her artistic characteristics (she is often depicted with a paintbrush in hand) and her pet being a butterfly, and I was hooked (one of my many hobbies is raising butterflies and moths from eggs found in the wild - for release after metamorphosis). Plus, even as a kid I was aware of race and gender representation, or lack thereof, and I knew Orange Blossom had yet another reason to be unique in the 80s toy landscape. I'm really glad she was chosen for the first wave of the BFS Strawberry Shortcake line. Because there's always a chance for cancellation before wave two, but Orange Blossom was high on my wish list. Luckily Wave 2 has been revealed with Lemon Merinque, Raspberry Tart, Apple Dumpling, and Blueberry Muffin - so she'll have plenty of friends soon. Let's check out Orange Blossom below!

Monday, August 28, 2023


World of Strawberry Shortcake - Strawberry Shortcake w/ Custard - BFS 2023

I have a great appreciation for the doll lines of the 80s. A significant portion of my toy nostalgia is based in Jem, Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, and She-Ra. But I have these OCD tendencies that make me shy away from rooted hair and soft goods clothing. It's problematic enough that the anxiety I get over maintaining a doll overshadows the actual enjoyment of owning it. Because of that, I always assumed there were huge swaths of 80s licenses that would never have representation in my collection. Sure, some of the these brands are action-figure-esque, like She-Ra and Jem. But I had assumed the majority of 80s dolls were a lost cause. But then Boss Fight Studio announced this Strawberry Shortcake line and some new doors opened up. Finally an action figure with all the design elements of the "girl toys" and the playability of the "boy toys." I can't wait to see if all my other beloved brands get similar treatment in the coming years. Let's check out Strawberry Shortcake below!

Saturday, August 26, 2023


POP! Heroes #456 - Star Sapphire - NYCC / Entertainment Earth - Funko 2022

Star Sapphire is a character that has undergone a lot of characters transitions. Her costumes, human hosts, allegiances, and power sets get revamped and retconned every few years. I always enjoyed this character as a cool pink female version of Green Lantern, but I honestly never fully invested in her because I thought the costume was embarrassingly skimpy and clearly catering to the lustful male gaze. Scantily clad female superheroes, especially when their outfits defy the laws of physics, rarely make it into my collection. I had accepted that Star Sapphire would always find herself excluded. But one of the great things to come out of 2011's New52 reboot at DC was that Star Sapphire finally had a costume that both looked cool and wasn't composed of hot-pink pasties.  Aside from a couple Heroclix pieces, this NYCC Exclusive Funko Pop is the first time we've seen this costume in plastic. I hope McFarlane is taking notes and prepping a Multiverse figure as we speak. Let's check out Star Sapphire below!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Gargoyles - ELISA MAZA!

Disney's Gargoyles - Ultimate Action Figures - Elisa Maza - NECA Toys 2023

A common staple of a fantasy-based story is to have a touchpoint character to lead the audience into an unworldly tale. This character has to be both relatable and unique enough to remain interesting as a main character. This character in Disney's Gargoyles was Elisa Maza, a Detective with the 23rd precinct in Manhattan who first discovers the Gargoyles and ends up being their main contact to the human world. She is a strong and competent character who protects the Manhattan Clan from the humans who would fear them. Her Native American and African American heritage plays a role in her character development throughout the series and makes her even more interesting. I often shy away from buying action figures of plainclothes characters, but something about the sculpt and presentation of this figure drew me in and I had to get her. Plus it helps that she wore this outfit very consistently so it's pretty iconic in its simplicity. I can't wait to see what this line gives us next. Let's check out Elisa!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Marvel Legends Vintage - ELEKTRA DAREDEVIL!

Spider-Man Legends Vintage - Elektra Natchios as Daredevil - Hasbro 2023

When I started collecting Marvel Legends (my first purchase was Captain America from Wave 1 in 2002!), I had this dream of collecting three versions of all the main heroes. I wanted a classic modern version, a 1st Appearance version, and (this is a stretch) a female version. This meant having a modern Captain America, 1st Appearance, and maybe an American Dream or Miss America. Or a modern Thing, 1st Appearance Thing, and Sharon Ventura as She-Thing. Clearly the female wishes didn't pan out at first. But over time they kind of did. I have She-Hulk, Jane Foster Thor, Mayday Spider-Girl, Pepper Pots, Shuri as Black Panther, Kate Bishop, Laura Kinney as Wolverine, etc. It's pretty impressive. But the one roadblock was always Daredevil. We have had many iterations of Matt Murdock, but there just wasn't a female version of the character. Then in early 2021, my prayers were answered. Matt Murdock was in jail, and who would step in to protect Hell's Kitchen other than Elektra Natchios. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Marvel Legends Vintage - SPIDER-WOMAN!

Spider-Man Legends Vintage - Jessica Drew Spider-Woman - Hasbro 2023

In the 2013-2015 timeframe, Hasbro's Marvel Legends line made some major advancements in the quality of their female figures. Prior to this, the females were all rather unfortunate-looking. They had spindly limbs and waists, with oversized heads and hands, and had an overall spider-like appearance. But then the Moonstone (2013) figure unveiled a new female sculpt and the awkward phase was over. One of the best early uses of the buck was a classic Jessica Drew Spider-Woman. So flash forward 8 years and I'm excited to see this modern redeco of the same wonderful sculpt and it brings back lots of great memories. Jessica Drew began wearing this costume in the 2020 reboot of Spider-Woman (technically volume 7), and wore it for about ten issues before reverting to her classic red. It was a brief blip in the grand scheme of things, but is easily my favorite Jessica variation and was definitely deserving of a figure (and a fun chance to see this sculpt again). Let's check out Spider-Woman below!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Transformers Earthspark - ARCEE & HASHTAG!

Transformers: Earthspark - Tacticon Mini Figures - Arcee & Hashtag - Hasbro 2023

Nine years ago I was just starting to dabble in Transformers and the Generations Arcee was a gamechanger figure for me. As the first official G1 Arcee figure, she opened the pink floodgates and nine short years later I have 20 official Arcee figures (and 12 unofficial 3rd Party figures). After being unmerchandized for her first 28 years, that is an amazing shift. Of course, with all the fancy deluxe figures, there are also a fair share of more generic offering. But I love them all no matter what. These Tacticon Mini Figures are tiny toys with simple transformations. They can stand freely, but also function as finger puppets (as shown on the packaging front). They have a quality similar to a fast food toy, but a good one. I was excited to get an Arcee and was happy she has such a great facesculpt. This is the first product of her from her Earthrise design. It's also awesome to see Hashtag merchandized. I don't know much about her but she's a cool looking character. Let's check out Arcee and Hashtag below!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

D&D Mini-Mates - SHEILA & DIANA!

Dungeons & Dragons: The Animated Series - Set 1: Heroes - Diamond Select 2023

As the releases of Diamond Select's Marvel Minimates line has slowed in recent years (due to sheer character exhaustion imo), I'm so happy to see so many other popular licenses now getting the Minimate treatment.  It started with the ThunderCats way back in 2012. But since then it's been a growing roster of classic properties like Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I.Joe, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Transformers. But my favorite of the non-Marvel properties has easily been the Dungeons & Dragons Animated Series set(s). This cartoon was an iconic, but underrated and under-merchandized staple of 80s animation. Due to the 2023 live-action D&D movie, there was a burst of popularity for the vintage show which gave us the first real action figures for these amazing characters. Between the Iron Studios statues, the Hasbro action figures, and these Minimates, I am extremely happy. Now the DST Venger statue opened the door for even more. Let's check out the D&D minimates below!

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Marvel Legends - TIGRA!

West Coast Avengers Box Set - Tigra (Greer Grant Nelson) - Hasbro 2023

Once again, I must sing the praises of the West Coast Avengers Marvel Legends box set. A little under two years ago we got a long-awaited modern figure of Tigra in the Marvel Legends Vintage line. While not the most A-list of characters, she has an iconic look and has been a regular feature in various Marvel titles since the mid-70s. The 2021 figure was beautiful and amazing, but not perfect. The color was distractingly vibrant and the hairsculpt on the calm-faced head looked good, but didn't really capture her comic look. For all we know, those design decisions might have been meant to reflect the Tigra & Dazzler (2020) animated series that was cancelled by Hulu before it was ever produced. But either way, I was satisfied, but secretly hoping to get a first appearance redeco with lighter hues and black hair with a widow's peak. While that version hasn't been made (yet), this updated figure presents her classic comic look with lighter yellow-orange fur and skin and long reddish-brown hair. She looks amazing.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Marvel Legends - MOCKINGBIRD!

West Coast Avengers Box Set - Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse) - Hasbro 2023

This West Coast Avengers boxset has been providing me more joy than I would have expected. I was never a huge fan of this team. I have picked up a few random issues here and there, but they never stuck. But since those days I have developed an immense appreciation for several of the team members on an individual basis. When I think of a team-based boxset, this is exactly the composition I would expect: a majority of female characters (because the figures regularly left unproduced for a team roster are almost always female), simple retools of a existing characters as a cost-saver, and an overall unlikely assortment (from a retail-demand perspective at least). This set was very unexpected but easily gave me my top three favorite female Legends for the year (so far). The Julia Carpenter redeco is wonderful. Same for Tigra in muted colors and a new head. But the standout of the whole set is Mockingbird in her classic domino mask and puffy sleeves. She's perfect. Let's check out Mockingbird below!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Marvel Legends - SPIDER-WOMAN!

West Coast Avengers Box Set - Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) - Hasbro 2023

When we got the first modern Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman Marvel Legends figure back in 2019, I was very happy. I thought it was the best Spider-Lady figure in the line so far. But at the same time I had a hunch we would see another release of her before too long. My prediction was only partially right because I assumed we would see a purple repaint from the 1994 Iron Man animated series. But I should have guessed that a "first appearance" design was an even more likely option. The Julia Carpenter version of Spider-Woman first appeared in Secret Wars #7 (1984) wearing stark black and white spider outfit that was instantly iconic (and soon plagiarized by Peter Parker himself). By the early 90s she had joined The West Coast Avengers and become a staple character. Her popularity may boom next year due to her role in the upcoming Madame Web (2024) film played by Sydney Sweeney, so I guess an updated Julia figure was inevitable. She looks great. Lets check out Spider-Woman below!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Transformers - AXLEGREASE!

Transformers Legacy: Evolution – Axlegrease (Deluxe Class) - Hasbro 2023

When rumors started late last year that a female Junkion figure was coming to the Transformers toy line, I was super excited. I assumed this had to be Nancy from the 1986 episode The Big Broadcast of 2006. As the only female Junkion in the original cartoon (and maybe ever?), I didn't even consider another possibility. Plus I always assumed the 2019 Siege Chromia would be retooled for Nancy. But when the official announcement finally came, I think we were all surprised two-fold by a brand-new character in a brand new Decepticon faction of Junkions. Junkions always seemed to be their own independent race with no specific allegiances (although Autobot-leaning), yet the establishment of a villainous group of Junkions somehow still made sense. I also like the concept of a new color palette of purple, navy, and silver for the bad guys. I'm assuming we'll be seeing more original characters now, but I'm hoping they find a way to get Nancy into the mix somehow too. Let's check out Axlegrease below!

Friday, August 4, 2023

Quantumania - CASSIE LANG!

Marvel Legends - Cassie Lang (Ant-Man & Wasp Quantumania BaF) - Hasbro 2023

One more glorious step towards the Young Avengers in the MCU! The Young Avengers comic is one of my favorite superhero team books of all time. In the story, the Avengers were missing and Vision initiated this failsafe protocol where a group of backup Avengers were gathered to form a replacement team. They are all young versions of the classic characters, often with some familial pedigree. Cassie Lang, the daughter of Scott Lang, joined the team as Stature. In the MCU and Disney+, there have been 8 or 9 Young Avengers characters introduced so far in unrelated projects. So, in my mind, a Young Avengers series or film is definitely coming. Cassie Lang has made a handful of MCU appearances, but it was in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania that we first met her as a young woman in a costumed role. She never adopts a codename in the movie, but in the comics she has been: Stature, Stinger, Ant-Girl, and Giant-Girl. I kind of hope she gets a new name to add to her collection. Let's check out Cassie below!

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Quantumania - WASP!

Marvel Legends - Wasp (Ant-Man & Wasp Quantumania) - Hasbro 2023

Sometimes I think I'm the only collector in the world who doesn't like metallic paint decos on my toys. Sure, in cases like Silverhawks or or Silver Surfer, it makes sense. But for the average superhero toy, I much prefer bold non-metallic colors. This Wasp figure is a great example. With MCU movie characters, I'm a bit selective. I don't need every iteration of Black Widows' costume in my collection. And honestly, Wasp's costume isn't a groundbreaking redesign in Quantumania. Yes, the helmet is sleeker and her torso patterns are more hornet-like, but the big change for me is that her coloring went from Gold and Red to bright Yellow and Blue. I love the change and now she pops so much more in my MCU display. Her overall look is suddenly more insectile too. The metallic deco and bulkier helmet on the last figure gave a distinct robotic/mechanical vibe (and was a little less threatening because of that). While this new design is like a warning that you are about to be stung. Let's check out Wasp below.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Transformers - ARIEL!

Transformers Legacy Evolution - War Dawn Erial & Dion (SDCC) - Hasbro 2023

In the Winter of 1985, just six short weeks after we were introduced to the concept of "female Autobots" in Transformers episode The Search for Alpha Trion, we got a surprising backstory of Optimus Prime and Elita One in the episode War Dawn. In this story, the Aerialbots travel back in time and discover a peaceful Cybertron before the war between Autobots and Decepticons had begun. They meet Dion, Orion Pax, and his girlfriend Ariel (voiced by Samantha Newark, aka Jem). A surprise attack by Megatron and his Decepticon warriors catches the pacifist trio offguard and they sustain serious injuries. The Aerialbots search for help and find a young Alpha Trion in a workshop/lab trying to make defensive warrior robots as he predicted that violent conflict was inevitable. They convince him to help their wounded friends and soon we learn that Alpha Trion has completely rebuilt Orion Pax into Optimus Prime. Then he mentions that Ariel will become Elita One next (but we never see her final form).