Sunday, March 31, 2024

Sonic Easter Series - AMY ROSE!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2.5" Series (Easter Wave) - Amy -  Jakks Pacific 2024

I think we can officially call the Holiday releases of the Jakks Pacific Sonic the Hedgehog figures a trend now. A surprise Christmas assortment showed up at Target back in December and sent me on a wild hunt for weeks until I found the sole female character, Classic Amy Rose in a red and white deco. There had been Advent Calendars released in 2022 and 2023 from Jakks that featured these figures (notable because some characters have unique accessories, like Tails' reindeer antlers), but these single-pack releases sported different decos. Soon after there were leaked listings of an Easter assortment, and I was excited as the prospect of this being a new seasonal trend to look forward to. This Easter deco of Amy Rose is easily the least "Eastery" of the group. The maroon and pink combo looks good, but doesn't make me think about Easter or Spring at all. I expected her to be decked out in pastels with an Easter egg deco or something.  Let's check out Amy below. Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Friday, March 29, 2024

Marvel Legends - HALLOWS' EVE!

Marvel Legends Vintage - Spider-Man Legends - Hallows' Eve - Hasbro 2024

Hallows' Eve was my favorite comic discovery of 2023. She was introduced as a new villain in the pages of Spider-Man the year before, but I didn't become a fan until her solo mini-series was released in TPB (appropriately during Halloween week 2023). Janine Godbe had been (an unpowered) character since the mid-nineties as the Scarlet Spider/Ben Reilly's love interest. A mere 29 years later during the Dark Web crossover event, she became the center of attention. Without spoiling too many origin details, her transformation involved the Goblin Queen, the demon S'ym, and the realm of Limbo. She now carries a bag full of traditional Halloween masks, that give her the powers and traits of that mask character. So when she dons the werewolf mask, she becomes a werewolf. But similar to The One Ring, the masks have corruptive qualities. For instance, the vampire mask threatens to completely overrun her humanity when she uses it. I think she's so cool and I can't wait to read more of her.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

MAFEX - Batman: Hush - POISON IVY!

MAFEX #198 - Batman: Hush (Jim Lee) - Poison Ivy - Medicom Toys 2023

2002 was an eventful year for me. I had graduated college the year before, but the world was in turmoil so my adult life was a little delayed. In 2002 I moved to a city, launched my career, had my first mature relationship, and once I accepted that my life was (somewhat) stable, I began resurrecting my old hobbies that I hadn't indulged since high school. I suddenly had access to comic book stores again and there was a bit of a renaissance happening. My favorite titles on the shelves that year were Darwyn Cooke's Catwoman, Mike Allred's X-Force, Olivier Coipel's Legion, and of course Jim Lee's Hush storyline in Batman. With a rogue's gallery as impressive as Batman's, it's shocking that no one had attempted a storyline that brought them all together before. Hush was special because, despite it's huge cast, each character truly got to shine. The writing, art, and complex character histories were a recipe for a perfect comic event. It was so impactful that we're still getting merchandise 20-plus years later.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Transformers Earthspark - Elita-1!

Transformers Earthspark - 1-Step Flip Changer - Elita-1 - Hasbro 2024

I love how every few years there is a reboot of the Transformers Universe animated for television. I rarely watch all of these, but I love the repercussions they have on the toylines - especially more modern series that don't shy away from including female characters. The current incarnation is Transformers Earthspark on Paramount+ and the show features at least five female Transformers that have received toys so far (nine figures total and two more on the way). The show includes original characters like Twitch and classics like Elita-1. I'm really glad Elita-1 had been rescued from obscurity. Her single episode appearance in 1985 could have been a one-and-done flashback appearance, but thankfully she was brought back as major character in 2020 War For Cyberton series, then again in 2022 for Earthspark, and I assume her role in the upcoming film Transformers One (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) will be significant. It's safe to say Elita-1 is now a staple of the franchise. Let's check out her Flip Changer below!

Saturday, March 23, 2024


Sonic Prime - The Grim (2.5" 3-Pack) - Rouge Trooper - Jakks Pacific 2024

Sonic Prime is the most recent animated incarnation of the Sonic Universe. It airs on Netflix and has the unique gimmick of having a multiverse (the Shatterverse) that contains alternate thematic variations of all the characters we know and love. It's basically made for toy merchandising. The darkest and creepiest alternate universe (imo) is The Grim. The Grim is devoid of life and features dark robot inhabitants. This 3-Pack features the generic clones of Rouge, Knuckles, and Sonic. This is essentially a troop builder set. Each character also has a single unique (Alpha) Grim version as well featuring a slightly different design than these troopers. Alpha Grim Rouge is this singular version of Rouge (easily distinguishable by her red eyes). As far as I know, we will only be getting toys of the troopers (I saw the 5" Sonic Trooper in Target today). I would love to display an Alpha Grim Rouge flanked by two Rouge Troopers, but alas, it's just not meant to be. Let's check out Rouge Trooper below!

Friday, March 22, 2024

A.T.O.M. Alpha Teens On Machines - FIREKAT!

Action Man - A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens On Machines) - Firekat - Hasbro 2006

When season two of Action Man: A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens On Machines) began in 2006, the villains got really interesting. It turns out that the villainous scientist, Janus Lee, Had been working on a secret plot to obtain DNA samples of each of the Alpha Teens in order to clone them into the genetically-altered Mu-Team. Each member of the Mu-Team has the hero's DNA spliced with specific animals. In the case of Firekat, she has Lioness' DNA merged with cheetah, lion, cougar, and tiger. She can run at super-high speeds and has razorsharp claws that can slice through metal. I'm a sucker for felinoid characters so this toy is what first attracted me to this cartoon and toyline. As far as I can tell, these toys were only released in Europe (but my only proof is that I have zero memory of them in stores and current eBay listings are rarely in the US). This Firekat toy is pretty rare these days, but still easier to find than Lioness. I'm glad I finally got her though, because she's awesome. Let's check out Firekat below!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

A.T.O.M. Alpha Teens On Machines - LIONESS!

Action Man - A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens On Machines) - Lioness - Hasbro 2006

A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens On Machines) was a French animated television series that ran for two seasons between 2005 and 2007. It was branded under the banner of Hasbro's former 12" Action Man toyline, but the connection was loose. In fact, it had many more similarities to M.A.S.K. (which Hasbro also owns).  The series features five teenagers gifted with prototype weapons and transforming vehicles. The animation style has a unique lineweight where the characters look like they're heavily outlined in black. It's an interesting choice and I kind of like it. The show aired on Toon Disney in the US, but was never as popular here as it was in Europe. I'm fairly certain these toys were only released in the European market, but that is difficult to prove outright. Catalina Leone aka Lioness is the token female of the Alpha Teens, and predictably, her action figure is notoriously the hardest to find of the dozens of toys released. It took me years to get her. Let's check out Lioness below!

Sunday, March 17, 2024

The New Batman Adventures - BATGIRL!

The New Batman Adventures - Batgirl (Standard Edition) - McFarlane 2024

This is a figure I never would have purchased if not for the inclusion of Platinum Edition chase mixed randomly into the assortments. I'm always a completist when it comes to Bat-Family figures, so when a figure is reissued, it's almost always guaranteed that I already own the original release (in this case I had purchased several). So unless there is a significant improvement, I skip the purchase. The intent of this 2024 McFarlane Batgirl from The New Batman Adventures is a straight-up re-issue. The sculpt, articulation, accessories, and color palette is identical. The only real difference is the figure stand, the packaging, and the replica animation cel. However, in my opinion, the overall aesthetic quality is a step backward. It's not a tragic step backward, but it's not an improvement (except maybe in the durability of the plastic). Like I said, if I wasn't trying to get the purple chase, I would have skipped this purchase. But since I have her in hand I figure she was worth a comparison post. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The New Batman Adventures - BATGIRL '66!

The New Batman Adventures - Batgirl (Platinum Edition) - McFarlane 2024

McFarlane Toys' Platinum Editions are a double-edged sword. On one hand, you can get really cool variants of your favorite characters. Oftentimes it's just a subtle repaint that isn't necessarily crucial for your collection but adds nice variety if you want to hunt one down. But on the flip side, if you do want to hunt one down, these chases can be extremely hard to come by. Interestingly, the Platinum variants that I have no interest in seem to show up everywhere. But on the scarce occasions when I want one, I usually have to resort to eBay and overpay. I received some insider information that this current TNBA wave won't be carried in many (if any) stores, but is readily available on most online shops right now. I ordered several but got no chases so I had to buy her directly from a reseller. I never would have imagined a Batgirl from The New Batman Adventures in a Batgirl '66 Yvonne Craig deco, but it's a really cool variant that I'm now obsessed with. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - GHOST-SPIDER!

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - 9" Supersized Ghost-Spider - Hasbro 2022

I've had this figure for years, photographed and everything, but am only getting around to posting her now. Back in 2021/2022 the new Spidey and his Amazing Friends show on Disney+ was a hit and merchandise was everywhere. A big trend in preschool toys at the time was jumbo figures of the most popular lines. Imaginext XL, Marvel Superhero Adventures, Power Rangers, and XL P.J. Masks figures could be found sporadically popping up in the toy aisles (the distribution was never consistent). And in the mix were these 9" Spidey super-sized figures. Getting Gwen was a no-brainer for me, but once I got her home and photographed her, I was already on the hunt for the 2.5" mini-figure (which I thought I would find any day) and I wanted to post them all together - and only two short years later my plans finally came together. Coincidentally these figures are showing up in stores again recently, re-issued with new packaging. But seemingly without Gwen. So the timing of this post of actually pretty perfect.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - GHOST-SPIDER!

Spidey and His Amazing Friends - 2.5" Ghost-Spider and Bike - Hasbro 2022

Back in 2022 I was going crazy checking all my discount store chains for a few important toys. The Transformers Authentics Arcee and the G.I.Joe Basic Series Baroness were being found at stores like Family Dollar and Dollar General and I was on the hunt. I remember spending one rainy day on vacation driving up the coast and hitting close to a dozen of these stores obsessively looking for these elusive toys. (Spoiler: I eventually found them months later at FiveBelow). But in the process of hunting I discovered this discount line from Spidey and his Amazing Friends (the popular new preschool show on Disney+) featuring mini figures of the two main male heroes paired with a motorcycle. I eventually googled them and saw a Gwen figure in the mix, but only on Australian websites. Finding her became an obsession. She's rather unimpressive. She's unarticulated and sloppily painted, but I stayed vigilant and finally found her two years later in one of those same Dollar Generals. Let's check out Gwen below!

Sunday, March 10, 2024


Spidey and his Amazing Friends - Ghost-Spider & TWIRL-E - Hasbro 2023

I'm glad the Spidey and his Amazing Friends cartoon and toyline are keeping things fresh by giving the main characters updated costumes each season. In Season 3 (I believe), Iron Man and Spidey invent these new communicator wristbands for Miles, Gwen, and himself which can activate their Web-Spinner Suits. The suits feature gold eyes, chest emblems, and other details and can enable the heroes to survive in extreme environments like inside a volcano, in outer space, and in the arctic. The suits also feature power blasters on the soles of the boots that let them fly. Like any toy line, I know the main characters need to be continually released in every assortment. I'm just really glad the source material features aesthetic designs that intrigue me enough to purchase Ghost-Spider again. The addition of her sidekick Spider-Bot TWIRL-E is just icing on the cake. I find this toy line to a be a lot of fun and I'm always excited to see who will be made next (Squirrel Girl and White Tiger please!) 

Friday, March 8, 2024

Disney Power Icons - GHOST-SPIDER!

Marvel Power Icons (Talking Action Figures) - Ghost-Spider - Disney 2023

I've been waiting for a female character in the Marvel Power Icons since they first started showing up in Disney Stores years ago. I know Marvel is inundated with A-List male characters so I usually don't get my hopes up too high for a female character early in the line. But that patience paid off because Ghost-Spider was finally released this past Fall and she's pretty great. The Power Icons line features well-articulated figures in a 9-10" scale with electronic features. Ghost-Spider has light-up eyes and a talking feature. And while not officially branded for the Spider-Verse movies, Gwen comes with a small unarticulated animation-style Spider-Ham attached to her (removable) backpack. Since Disney Stores are few and far between these days, the ShopDisney webstore is your best bet to get her (currently clearanced). The line seems to have slowed down significantly, but I would hope to see a Black Widow and Captain Marvel before the end. Fingers Crossed! Let's check out Ghost-Spider below!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Animorphs - RACHEL/LION!

Transformers Animorphs Deluxe - Series 01 - Rachel/Lion - Hasbro 1998

I think the biggest trend of the late 90s that I couldn't get behind was Animorphs. In five short years there were 54 books plus an assortment of ten companion books. They featured kids caught up in an alien invasion of body-snatching parasites (animal bodies to be specific) who are granted the power to take the form and abilities of any animal they touch for two hours. I won't lie, I would have been all over this concept as a kid. But alas, I was in my college years and way too cool for toys and YA adventures (that wouldn't happen until after graduation). A television series was made and ran for two seasons from 1998-1999 on Nickelodeon. The associated Hasbro toyline shared a lot of aesthetics and engineering with the Beast Wars lines on the shelves at the time, so a decision was made to have the Animorphs line under the Transformers banner, despite having no continuity overlap. The toys are.. interesting. They are clunky and a bit awkward, but definitely have a  quirky late-90s feel. Let's check out Rachel!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sonic Prime - BLACK ROSE!

Sonic Prime – 5” Action Figures Wave 3 - Black Rose - Jakks Pacific 2023

This has been crazy years for Amy Rose. This figure is her seventh in the last twelve months. (And there is possibly another coming out shortly, but no photos yet to know for sure if it's new). The 2022 Sonic: Prime series on Netflix played a big part in this Amy boom. The series uses a multiverse plot device wherein differently-themed versions of the main characters exist in each area of the "Shatterverse." This figure is the third variation of Amy we've gotten from Jakks so far - this time in her pirate motif from the No Place dimension. I don't normally love collecting "costumey" versions of classic characters, but something about these brings me joy. I just hope they play catch-up and give us more versions of Rouge. There will be a 5" Batten Rouge in Wave 4, but I greedily want them all. And I feel like any day we'll hear more news about the Sonic 3 movie and I'm hoping for some female characters finally. But in the meantime the Shatterverse variants are keeping me busy. Let's check out Black Rose below!

Friday, March 1, 2024

Flashpoint - WONDER WOMAN!

DC Multiverse Gold Label - Flashpoint Wonder Woman - McFarlane Toys 2023

I'm not always a fan of unique story-specific character designs. The way I display my collection is grouped by character and costume. I find it very aesthetically pleasing to see that color blocking on my shelves. So a one-off costume that strays pretty drastically from the classic look will rarely make the cut. But something about this Flashpoint Wonder Woman always caught my eye. At a glance, I always appreciate when a warrior actually wears armor. I know us comic fans perpetually overlook this, but a hero marching around in a glorified swimsuit isn't very logical, even if they're nearly invulnerable. I also appreciate historic themes so I find her Romanesque helmet very appealing. Her first DC Direct figure came out in 2011 and I always regretting not getting her. But this unexpected McFarlane figure certainly scratches that decade-old itch. Also notable is that this is a murderous evil version of Diana. The animated movie of this story was especially brutal. Let's check out Flashpoint Wonder Woman below.