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!