Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Batwheels - BATGIRL!

Burger King: King Jr Meals - Batwheels - Batgirl (Cass Cain) - Burger King 2023

In late 2022 a new animated show debuted on HBO MAX called Batwheels. I was intrigued because I am drawn to all things Gotham. But I knew it was completely geared towards kids and wouldn't become a true obsession of mine - and I was mostly right. The show has a great concept: essentially mashing together the worlds of Disney/Pixar's Cars with the Batman Universe. There are so many outlandish character-themed vehicles in Gotham, it doesn't seem that crazy to actually give them voices and fully flesh out their personalities. I found it very clever. But I wasn't expecting to be so drawn to the human characters. They have really fun designs and the roles are filled by interesting characters - namely Duke Thomas as Robin and Cassandra Cain as Batgirl. I've been wishing for action figures, but all the official toys have been (predictably) vehicles. But then I was surprised by some Burger King figures from December that totally scratch that itch. Let's check out Cassie Batgirl below!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Mirrorverse - MULAN!

Disney Mirrorverse - Gold Label 3-Pack - Mulan (Melee) - McFarlane Toys 2024

Mulan (1998) is easily my favorite animated Disney movie. Most animated Disney movies feature a strong female lead. But Mulan was explicit in highlighting gender roles and cultural stigmas (which, although were presented as specific to an unspecified dynastic era of China's history, had many relatable modern parallels). I genuinely love the story and the music. I also love the respectful handling of the music, with no songs played after the discovery of General Li's fallen army. This movie arguably dealt with the heaviest subject matter of the theatrical animated Disney movies - others technically had a higher death rate, but in Mulan the setting was relatable historical fiction and we actually saw the deaths. It required a tactful mix of playful music and solemnity. I have always wanted to add Mulan to my collection. Someday I might dive deep into the 1997 Mattel line. But in the meantime, this McFarlane Disney Multiverse figure from the Amazon-exclusive 3-Pack is a great first figure. Let's check out Mulan below!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Mirrorverse - BELLE (FRACTURED)!

Disney Mirrorverse - Gold Label 3-Pack - Belle (Fractured) - McFarlane Toys 2024

Mirrorverse is a 2022 mobile game featuring a large assortment of Disney characters in battle scenarios. One of the coolest things about the game (IMO) is the faction of The Fractured. The Fractured are a legion of twisted evil versions of the main characters. They were created by Maleficent when she broke the Dark Mirror and gave life to the distorted reflections of all the heroes. I'm a sucker for monochromatic designs and all of the Fractured are multi-hued purple. I'm a bit obsessed and I hope all the figures get this redeco eventually. (Although I wish Belle's face was purple as well to complete the look). This figure came in an Amazon-Exclusive 3-pack with Ariel (Melee) and Mulan (Melee). The line has been pretty quiet since this set was announced back in early July, but I really hope we see some new characters. Rapunzel and Merida seem like pretty prominent game characters who haven't appeared in the toy line yet. Fingers crossed for more. Let's check out Fractured Belle below!

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Mirrorverse - ARIEL!

Disney Mirrorverse - Gold Label 3-Pack - Ariel (Melee) - McFarlane Toys 2024

Ever since I started collecting toys as an adult, I have wanted well-made modern action figures of Disney characters. I was always hoping S.H.Figuarts or Mafex would get a license, but it never came to be. The Super7 Disney Ultimates were a promising start, but they never produced a character I was particularly interested in (I feel like Maid Marian would have happened soon if the line wasn't cancelled). But the main characters I always imagined in highly-articulated action figure form were Tinker Bell and Ariel. While this Mirrorverse Ariel from McFarlane Toys is definitely a stretch from her classic design, it's still pretty amazing. Mirrorverse is a 2022 mobile game featuring a wide variety of Disney characters in combat scenarios. Ariel is in Melee armor with a trident. I think she looks awesome. Ariel came in an Amazon-Exclusive Gold Label 3-Pack with Belle and Mulan. This set really renewed my interest in the line and I hope it keeps going. Let's check out Melle Armor Ariel below!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


Power Rangers Lightning Collection - Lost Galaxy Yellow Ranger - Hasbro 2023

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy is the seventh season in the Power Ranger franchise from 1999 (based on the 22nd Super Sentai series, Seijuu Sentai Gingaman). The series is notable for having the first sentient Zords in the franchise. Each Ranger is paired with a Galactabeast from an unnamed wild planet that the Rangers rescued from captivity. Galaxy Ranger Yellow's Galactabeast is a large yellow wolf. A key weapon for each of the Rangers are the Quasar Sabers. They were all hidden on the planet Mirinoi, a seemingly peaceful and simple planet (perhaps void of technology?). The Sabers were embedded in stone there until retrieved by the the Rangers when they arrived to the planet and removed them Sword-in-the-Stone-style. Maya was a native Mirinoi girl who withdrew the Quasar Saber Yellow and became the Yellow Galaxy Ranger. This figure was a Gamestop exclusive in 2023 and continued to tradition of Gamestop filling in team gaps with missing female Rangers. Let's check out Lost Galaxy Yellow below!

Monday, January 22, 2024

MOTU 1987 Movie - EVIL-LYN!

Masterverse Wave 11 - Masters of the Universe Movie - Evil-Lyn - Mattel 2023

I think one of the first movies I was ever disappointed by was Masters of the Universe (1987). As an eighties kid, I was intimately familiar with the lore and universe of He-Man and Eternia. The show had technically ended two years earlier, but She-Ra was still airing and was typically paired with a syndicated episode of He-Man. The movie seemed like it would be a mature evolution of the show we had all been raised on. I, for one, was very excited. But the movie was vastly different from what I expected. It was chock full of new characters (most of which I found very annoying), it took place on Earth, and there was no transformation sequence. I was flummoxed. The bright spot for me was Evil-Lyn. Of all the characters, she seemed to stay the most true to her cartoon origins. She had a cinematic redesign and there were a lot of differences, but the essence of Evil-Lyn was still there. There have been a fair amount of action figures from the movie over the years, but Evil-Lyn was always a glaring omission.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

12" Spin Master - HARLEY QUINN!

DC Universe - 12" Action Figures - Harley Quinn (Future State) - Spin Master 2023

Harley Quinn seems to get a totally new costume design every few years. I will always be loyal to her original bodysuit with jester hat, but there is something still unique and fun about each new version. I think Harley will always be handled by artists and writers that love and respect the character. Because of this the essential "Harley" elements will always be present. There obviously needs be a lot of black and red, and there needs to be a clear left-vs-right division of colors or patterns. Her modern trend of having pink and blue hair used to really bother me as straying too far from the original design. But a few years ago I made the realization that often when people try to home-dye their hair bold colors, they can easily end up with a much more pastel result. I now imagine this look as Harley attempting a red and black dye job with lukewarm results. This surprise 12" figure from Spin Master features Harley's new design from 2021's Future State comics. Let's check out the 12" Harley Quinn below!

Friday, January 19, 2024

Power Rangers - LOST GALAXY PINK!

Power Rangers Lightning Collection - Lost Galaxy Pink Ranger - Hasbro 2023

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy is the seventh season in the Power Ranger franchise from 1999 (based on the 22nd Super Sentai series, Seijuu Sentai Gingaman). The series is notable for having the first sentient Zords in the franchise. Each Ranger is paired with a Galactabeast from an unnamed wild planet that the Rangers rescued from captivity. The Pink Ranger's Galactabeast is a large pink alien wildcat whose design I love. This series is also notable for having the first Ranger "death." The first Pink Ranger (Kendrix Morgan) was killed while saving her fellow Rangers. The actor, Valerie Vernon, had to leave the show to be treated for leukemia. The treatment was a success and she returned for the finale. This figure represents the first Galaxy Pink, Kendrix. The second Galaxy Pink was Karone, the brainwashed villain Astronema (for which we've seen two figures so far). I don't know why this toy, of all toys, doesn't contain a second head representing Karone. Let's check out Galaxy Pink below!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Power Rangers - DINO FURY GREEN!

Power Rangers Lightning Collection - Dino Fury Green Ranger - Hasbro 2023

Power Rangers Dino Fury is the 28th-29th season of the Power Rangers franchise (using footage from Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, the 43rd Super Sentai series). It also continues into the 30th season with Power Rangers Cosmic Fury. Izzy Garcia is my favorite character of the season as the Green Ranger. Beyond the notoriety of being a female Green Ranger in the main team lineup, she also represents the LGBTQ community in a way this franchise hasn't embraced before. In fact, her girlfriend Fern becomes the Orange Ranger in Cosmic Fury. (I would really love some toys of her to add to the spectrum!) One of my favorite Izzy scenes is when she gets frustrated with her costume mid-battle and tears off her skirt. It's a pretty iconic moment and an interesting commentary on the ranger skirt trope. The toys for this line seem to have slowed down a lot. There are figures left unproduced or totally missing. Hopefully Cosmic Fury pushes more toys to finish the lineups. Let's check out Dino Fury Green below!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Power Rangers S.P.D. - YELLOW RANGER!

Power Rangers Lightning Collection - S.P.D. Yellow Ranger - Hasbro 2023

Power Rangers S.P.D. (Space Patrol Delta) is the the 13th season of the US Power Rangers franchise based on Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, the 28th Super Sentai series from 2004-2005. For a long time, this season was my least favorite by a longshot. When there are themes of mythical creatures, wild animals, dinosaurs, and other toyetic individualized avatars, the idea of space police just seemed boring. Plus the large numbers emblazoned on their torsos (Yellow is 4) just seemed unexciting. But these Lighting Collection figures have really made me appreciate the designs on their own merits. Also, I learned that all the Rangers have genetic powers in addition to any abilities gained through Morphing. S.P.D. Yellow, aka Elizabeth "Z" Delgado (played by Monica May) has the ability to duplicate herself. Also, I love that the main Ranger roster here is the "B-Squad" and the original "A-Squad" have been corrupted and are antagonists of the series. A very cool plot twist. Let's check out S.P.D. Yellow below!

Monday, January 15, 2024


Power Ranger Lightning Collection - Alien Rangers of Aquitar Box - Hasbro 2023

Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers was the second series in the US Power Rangers Franchise, beginning right after the 3rd season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in 1996 (although the footage was from the 18th Japanese Super Sentai series). The team is known as the Alien Rangers of Aquitar (notably the first team and only series to not use the word "Power" in the official title). The Alien Rangers are from the planet Aquitar and are summoned to Earth to help when the original MMPR team is rendered unable to morph and fight. The Alien Rangers series is only 10 episodes and acts as a transition between MMPR and Power Ranger Zeo. The White Alien Ranger of Aquitar, Delphine, is the leader of the team. She is notably the only full-time female leader of a Ranger team. Other female characters have become temporary leaders, or end-of-season promotions to the role, but Delphine was the leader from the start. I'm really glad she made it into the Lightning Collection. Let's check out Delphine below!

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Transformers - WINDBLADE!

Transformers Legacy United - Windblade (Cyberverse Universe) - Hasbro 2023

I just realized that it's been five years since we've had the last official Windblade figure. Since her debut in 2014, she was quite the fan favorite. In four years she had eight action figures, appeared in several animated series and games, and was the titular character in two different comic mini-series. She was just everywhere. She was so prevalent for so long that I didn't even notice that she was taken a step back until right now when I realized her last official figure was in November of 2018. The current Transformers Legacy line (and all its sub-groupings like Evolution and United) combine characters and designs from various chapters in Transformers history under a unified style. I can admit I was a little hesitant to get behind this idea, but after the recent Strongarm, Shadow Striker, and now Windblade, I can really see the appeal. I'm really curious to see who might be next. It seems like the sky is the limit and there are a ton of cool potential characters. Let's check out Windblade below.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Transformers - ANTAGONY!

Transformers Legacy Evolution - Antagony (Voyager Class) - Hasbro 2023

Antagony is one of the many fembots who owes her origins to Botcon, the Transformers convention held annually from 1994-2016 and gave us over 150 exclusives during that run. Many of these exclusives were original female characters (Nightracer, Drag Strip (animated), Glyph. Flareup, and Flamewar come to mind). Antagony was a 1998 repaint of Inferno (the red fire ant Predacon). Over the years, her origins have been established and re-established. My favorite interpretation is that she is an ancient Predacon who can't feel pain and therefore has a maniacal penchant for inflicting it on others. Whether the motive is curiosity or jealousy, it's frightening. This new 2023 Antagony is (predictably) a repaint of the 2022 Inferno. I would have loved an original sculpt with less masculine traits. Or maybe even a Blackarachnia retooling like her modern appearances in IDW comics seem to show. But this figure still captures a certain unhinged maliciousness that I am drawn to. Let's check out Antagony below!

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Marvel Legends - POWER PRINCESS!

Marvel Legends - Void Build-a-Figure Series -  Power Princess - Hasbro 2023

Something I love about the DC vs Marvel rivalry over the years is the constant reinterpretation of each other's ideas. Regular comic readers could list dozens of storylines and characters with blatant similarities between the two companies. Sometimes these can seem like a competitive swipe, but othertimes they can be a respectful homage. I've always viewed Marvel's Squadron Supreme as the latter. Debuting in the pages of Avengers in 1971, Squadron Supreme was an alternate interpretation of the Justice League. The Wonder Woman of the team, Power Princess, wasn't introduced until 1982 (although Warrior Woman was technically introduced in 1975, she wasn't reimagined and intertwined with Power Princess until modern times). The current Power Princess we see in this action figure seems to be based on her design in the 2021 Heroes Reborn series, which is even more of a blatant Wonder Woman parallel than any of her previous looks. She looks great though. Let's check out Power Princess below!

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Marvel Legends - NAMORITA!

Marvel Legends - Void Build-a-Figure Series -  Namorita - Hasbro 2023

Marvel Legends has a knack for releasing an in-demand character in the wrong costume. I've been predicting a Namorita figure for several years now. The original New Warriors lineup from 1990 is iconic and several characters have already been released. When this Void wave was announced, we already had 3 of the 6 members (plus the brown Nova on the way). So suddenly we got the final two, Namorita and Marvel Boy, announced. But Marvel Boy was in his 2014 costume and Namorita was in her blink-and-you-miss-it 2005 design that she only had for six issues. The saving grace is that both costumes are cool. To be fair, I always hated this Namorita design, but this figure makes me appreciate it in a new light. She's quite a stunning figure. The last few comic-based females in this line have been exceptionally and surprisingly beautiful (Clea and Daredevil Elektra come to mind). And the nice thing is that this sculpt will almost certainly be repurposed for her classic look. Let's check out Namorita below!

Thursday, January 4, 2024


Masters of the Universe Origins - Lady Slither - Mattel Creations Exc - Mattel 2023

An amazing thing about a property as rich and celebrated as Masters of the Universe is the occasion to infuse the lore with new characters and stories. A whole arena of Eternian mythos that never quite appealed to me was the Snake Men. I remember the vintage toys being all the rage among my young peers. And I know the 200x series thrilled those same fans years later with further reptilian exploration. But I think the lack of female characters in the stories just kept me at bay. But then about ten years ago in the height of MOTU Classics, there was a mysterious new character introduced in the mini-comics: Lady Slither, the Queen Empress of the Snake Men. She was surprisingly the only MOTU character to have a serpent's lower body (a design choice I thought would be a given for a diverse reptilian race). The brief glimpses of her created buzz and the fan demand for an action figure was immediate. It took ten years and a new toy line, but we finally have her. Let's check out Lady Slither below!

Monday, January 1, 2024


Masterverse Wave 11 - MOTU Revolution (Netflix) - Sorceress Teela - Mattel 2023

One of the most satisfying things in Masters of the Universe: Revelation was the long-awaited ascension of Teela to Sorceress of Grayskull. I had personally been wanting to see this since the original series in the 80s when her path was foretold. But if she had become Sorceress back then, I would wager she would have been designed exactly like her mother, Teela-Na or Kuduk Ungol. But thankfully Teela's story didn't unfold until now so she got the benefit of a unique design reflective of her personality and heritage. This design was only presented at the very end of Revelation back in 2021. But (judging from the trailers) we will be seeing a lot more of it in the follow-up series Revolution that debuts in a few weeks. I am also personally excited that Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) is providing Teela's voice. I like her a lot. Sarah Michelle Gellar was great as Teela in Revelation. But I won't lie and say I wasn't constantly pegging that unique SMG voice. Someone more non-specific will be nice. Let's check out Teela below!