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!