Thursday, May 30, 2024


POP! Heroes #505 - Batman: Joker War Zone - Stephanie Brown - Funko 2024

Stephanie Brown needs so much more merchandise. I have high hopes we'll be seeing this new design in the McFarlane DC Multiverse line soon. The recent Cassandra Cain Target Exclusive figure was branded with the Batgirls comics title (which is a current ongoing series featuring Cass and Steph patrolling the city with Babs in their earpiece). So my hopes are high. But in the meantime, Funko has graced us with both ladies in their Pop line for Batman: The Joker War Zone (a 2020 comic that first focused on these two teaming up). Having Cass and Steph in Pop form really expands the Funko Bat-roster. My wishlist is now only an unlikely Kathy Kane Batwoman, Bette Kane Bat-Girl, Helena Wayne Huntress, and Bluebird. And that's a very short list for me. This design of Spoiler is an interesting blend of her traditional Spoiler costume with her Batgirl uniform, but I like it a lot. FYI In the Batgirls comic, Steph (wearing this same outfit) now goes by Batgirl. Let's check out Spoiler below!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024


POP! Heroes #501 - Batman: Joker War Zone - Cassandra Cain - Funko 2024

It has been five long years since Funko has had a new comic-based DC Bat-character that got me excited. Back in 2019 they released a Batwoman and Huntress that gave me high hopes that we'd finally start seeing all the cool Bat-family characters that had been ignored up till then. But my hopes were dashed. There was nothing for years. I was still happy to get live-action versions of Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Batwoman, but the comic stuff was always my favorite. In 2020 there was a comic (that I haven't read yet) called Batman: The Joker War Zone that featured Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown teaming up on a side adventure. I always liked their friendship dynamic ever since Cass handed the Batgirl mantle to Steph way back in 2009. And I've been enjoying the current ongoing title, Batgirls, featuring Steph and Cass patrolling the city (with Babs in their earpieces). But this Joker War Zone story is what cemented their adventuring partnership and inspired these long overdue Funko Pops. Let's check out Cass!

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Marvel Legends - WOLFSBANE!

Marvel Legends - Zabu Build-a-Figure - Wolfsbane (X-Factor) - Hasbro 2024

For at least four years now, this X-Factor Wolfsbane has been a recurring figure on my annual pre-convention wishlist. Not so much because I love this version of the character or costume, but rather because I'm a sucker for team completion. (For the record, my other wishes are for an X-Factor Marvel Girl, Rachel Summers Phoenix, Marrina, and Feral - all are needed as the final members to complete their respective core teams). In 1991, the X-Factor roster was revamped for the first time in issue no. 71, ditching the original premise and lineup (which I had loved). Polaris and Wolfsbane are two of my favorite mutants so I was initially excited, but I can admit I didn't love the eventual re-characterization of these characters or the matching costumes. But there is still something very nostalgic and appealing about this era of Marvel Comics immediately preceding the Image exodus. Since 2020, Wolfsbane was the single glaring omission from this team in Marvel Legends. Let's check her out below!

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Gods of Ancient Egypt - BASTET!

Figura Obscura - Gods of Ancient Egypt - Bastet - Four Horsemen 2024

I have been wishing for a good line of action figures featuring Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses since I was a young child. I was obsessed with Egyptian culture, religion, and treasures since I got my first library card at the age of seven. Even at a young age, I could see the toyetic potential in the pantheon of animal-headed gods adorned in colorful beads and gold. ThunderCats touched on it, and a few episodes of G.I.Joe teased me, but I went largely unsatisfied. In the late 90s, I was in college and missed an Egyptian Renaissance in pop culture. Mummies Alive! from Hasbro and Ramses the Golden Pharaoh from Giochi Preziosi were both too scarce and expensive to collect by the time I discovered them. But this new theme, Gods of Ancient Egypt, in the Four Horsemen's exclusive Figura Obscura line is the perfection I've always wanted. I couldn't be more happy. Bastet is easily my most wanted, but my mind is reeling with future potential: Hathor, Isis, Selkhet, Ma'at, etc. I can't wait to see who is next.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Marvel Legends - JEAN GREY!

Marvel Legends - X-Men '97 Disney+ Vintage Wave 2 - Jean Grey - Hasbro 2024

I just finished watching X-Men '97 and I am quite the fan. There was always something a little off about the original X-Men the Animated Series to me. I always had trouble taking it seriously. But this 27-years-later continuation is what I always wanted that show to be. Everything is a little elevated: the drawing style, the storytelling, the voicework, and the overall feel is more polished. My only issue is that way too much happened in 10 episodes. It buzzed through Inferno, Zero Tolerance, Trial of Magneto, and E is for Extinction storylines in rapid pace. It presented well, but the source stories are great and could have been expanded upon. Jean Grey got a decent amount of screentime, which was expected. But what I didn't expect was to get the nicest Jean Grey Marvel Legends figure to date from it. This 90's costume can be a little awkward in toy form, her shoulderpads and face-cropping headgear doesn't always translate well into plastic. But this one got it right. Let's check out Jean below!

Sunday, May 19, 2024


ReAction Action Figures - Willow (1988 Film) - Sorsha Tanthalos - Super7 2023

There's something I love about a Princess character that bucks the stereotype - especially when she picks up a sword and becomes a warrior. This isn't a rare theme anymore, but I always appreciate it. Osamu Tezuka's Sapphire from Princess Knight and Eowyn from Lord of the Rings come to mind (although Eowyn is technically just a noblewoman). But Sorsha is a classic example. Princess Sorsha is the daughter of the primary villain, Queen Bavmorda in the 1998 George Lucas and Ron Howard fantasy, Willow. Sorsha initially mimicks her mother's ruthless and cold outlook, but has a change of heart as she meets our heroes (and eventually falls for the mercenary swordsman, Madmartigan). She ended up being the savior of the infant Elora Danon, who she was originally hunting at her mother's command. Her character was further developed in the Chronicles of the Shadow War novel trilogy (by Chris Claremont) and in the 2022 Willow TV Series on Disney. Let's check her out below!

Saturday, May 18, 2024


ReAction Action Figures - Willow (1988 Film) - Queen Bavmorda - Super7 2022

Willow (1988) is a classic fantasy movie by George Lucas and Ron Howard. It took years to develop and evolved quite a bit, but it's an oft-spoken piece of trivia that Lucas approached Warwick Davis about the movie when David was just 12 years old and filming Return of the Jedi as Wicket. I saw Willow when I was a kid, and honestly I  found it confusing. But I've been exposed to it again as an adult (by some rabid fans, and I even briefly knew a cat named Elora Danon) and I have come to really appreciate it. It has some classic story homages, like The Hobbit with an unlikely diminutive hero going on a grand adventure, or the story of Moses where a young child with a predestined path washes up on the banks of a river. Or my favorite, Snow White, where an evil queen hears a prophecy that a young girl will usurp her power. That insecure evil queen is the iconic Bavmorda of Nockmaar played by Jean Marsh. To me, she was always the standout of the film, but I am always partial to a wicked sorceress.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

MAFEX - Batman: Hush - HARLEY QUINN!

MAFEX #162 - Batman: Hush (Jim Lee) - Harley Quinn - Medicom Toys 2022

Harley Quinn has become one of the most popular characters in the DC Universe. From her humble beginnings as one of Joker's henchmen in Batman the Animated Series to her leap to mainstream comics, a solo title, then to video games, the silver screen, and then back to animation with her own show, she has run the gamut of pop culture. Despite all her changes and evolutions, I will always hold her appearances in Batman: Hush (2002-2003) to be her most iconic. At this stage, she still retained her classic jester design, but she was showing her more sadistic and unhinged side underneath the wacky antics. I know her comic persona was developed greatly in her solo series since 2000, but Hush was just different. She was suddenly darker and more formidable, but still with that zany edge that makes her so unique. I think this Mafex figure from 2022 is the best representation of her from this era. Previous attempts have all been a bit off, but this just captures her perfectly. Let's check out Harley Quinn below!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - ARCEE!

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - Model Kits - Arcee - Bloks/Buluke 2023

It's a sad state of affairs that toys, for me, have become a purely aesthetic venture. I unfortunately no longer play with toys and my enjoyment comes solely from admiration, nostalgia, and the thrill of the hunt. However, the recent trend of action figure model kits is the remedy I needed. Sitting down for hours as you sort and assemble dozens of tiny pieces and slowly assemble an articulated action figure is the perfect kind of adult play for me. Plus, as a bonus, I have gained a whole new respect for the engineering that goes into modern toys. This Arcee from the Rise of the Beasts movie is the least expensive kit I've purchased (my fourth) at under $18, but it's impressive for having a battery-powered feature with light-up eyes and chest. She isn't my favorite Arcee figure proportionally; her head and chest seem slightly enlarged in relation to her limbs. But looking at other kits from this brand, it seems to be the style. But overall I think she's great and fun addition to my Arcee shelf. Let's check her out below!

Sunday, May 12, 2024

G.I.Joe Classified - SCARLETT!

G.I.Joe Classified Retro Card Series - G.I.Joe Scarlett - Hasbro 2024

This Scarlett figure is the one I have wanted since the G.I.Joe Classified line launched four years ago. The first Scarlett, and even her repaint, just looked a bit off. The recipe of a red ponytail, crossbow, and some yellow-ish costume elements were all present, but somehow it just didn't look like Scarlett. The movie figure in 2021 looked a lot better, but of course she was in a dark cinematic costume. But then this surprise retro-carded figure was announced and finally gave us the iconic Scarlett design, seemingly with an all-new sculpt. This might be setting a good precedent for apology figures and/or massive retoolings in the retro line. Plus the cardback on this figure is super thick and durable like the Marvel Legends Vintage line (unlike the flimsy packaging of the first few releases). I admit I've been more excited by the Super7 Ultimates figures because I prefer classic animation aesthetics, but this figure has me very excited for the future of the Classified line. Let's check out Scarlett below!

Friday, May 10, 2024

G.I.Joe Classified - LADY JAYE!

G.I.Joe Classified Retro Card Series - G.I.Joe Lady Jaye - Hasbro 2022

Lady Jaye is probably my favorite G.I.Joe character. Even though I love outlandish costumes and gimmicks in my adventure properties, Lady Jaye stands out as being one of the few characters in a military unit that is actually wearing army greens. Typically I would find this boring, but like me and my lack of tattoos, the normalcy makes her a standout among her edgy peers. I also love that she's butch. I feel like they amplified her relationship with Flint and even had a full episode of her running around in a pink frilly nightgown just to soften her, but you couldn't disguise how tough she was. She also managed to convince me that exploding javelins were a standard weapon like the guns, crossbows, and swords the rest of the characters were wielding. She was iconic. This Retro Card repaint of her Classified figure is a nice variation. Her green outfit is a brighter hue like her vintage toy and her face paint is better. Her missing hairpiece is the only real downside. Let's check out Lady Jaye below!

Thursday, May 9, 2024

G.I.Joe Classified - BARONESS!

G.I.Joe Classified Retro Card Series - Cobra Enemy Baroness - Hasbro 2022

The G.I.Joe Classified Retro Carded line had issues from the very start. In theory this was a great idea; vintage redeco'd homages on giant retro cards. The nostalgia potential was very high. But in actuality, we got re-released figures with very minimal changes (just fewer red and gold highlights in the case of Baroness), and a fraction of the accessories. So the main appeal would be the cardback display. But the original releases used the flimsiest cardboard. They were about as as sturdy as a cereal box and looked pretty banged-up and raggedy on the pegs. And if you pre-ordered them from Walmart, they likely arrived tattered in a soft mailer pouch (Note: later characters were on very sturdy cards). If my Walmarts are any indication, I think the Baroness and Lady Jaye Retro figures are the greatest shelfwarmers of my adult life. That, said, I actually prefer this Baroness to the elusive first release. Her skin tone and paint apps are better, and the simplified paint details look sharper and truer to the character.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Marvel Legends 3.75" Retro - SPIDER-WOMAN!

Marvel Legends 3.75" Retro Series - Wave 8 - Spider-Woman - Hasbro 2023

I've been delaying making a post about this figure because I find it so depressing that this was the final release in the amazing Marvel Legends Retro line.  It was a short-lived line from 2021-2023 but managed to give up nine awesome female figures, all in a nostalgic "Secret-Wars-esque" style with costume and character choices specific to the late-70s-to-early-80s era. In my mind, Dazzler, She-Hulk, and Mystique would have been among the obvious next releases. But even if we would be destined to only get repaints, Julia Carpenter, White Elektra, and Mary Jane Watson (from Black Widow?) would have been welcome additions. I just saw so much potential in this line and was so sad to see it unceremoniously come to an early end (or "pause"). But luckily the final two figures, Firestar and this Jessica Drew Spider-Woman, were my most wanted figures, and they are pretty perfect. Few characters embody the Marvel gender revolution of this era like Spider-Woman. Let's check out Jessica below!

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Apex Legends - WATTSON!

Apex Legends - 6" Action Figures Wave 7 - 19 Wattson - Jakks Pacific 2023

Wattson is the most recent addition to the fun line of 6" Apex Legends figures from Jakks Pacific. I have never played this game, nor do I know much about it. But the action figures really appeal to me with their diverse designs and genre-mixing characters. Wattson is a technology-based character who is an expert in electricity. She seems to be wearing an insulated uniform with large conductors on her back. Her role in the game is largely to set up protective electrical perimeters as a defensive measure against your opponents. Jakks Pacific does a great job with human-scaled figures. The vast majority of their product seems to be for Super Mario Bros or Sonic the Hedgehog, so it's a treat to see them work on non-cartoony humans. The last line I remember them doing like this was for the World of Warcraft movie back in 2016. Wattson was released way back in March of 2023 with no word of new figures since. But I am certainly hoping for more soon. Let's check out Wattson below!

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Marvel Legends - WASP!

Marvel Legends - Avengers Classic Giant-Man and Wasp 2-Pack - Hasbro 2024

Way back in 2010 when the Avengers (2012) movie was first announced and rumors started to fly, I was very excited at the prospect of seeing Janet van Dyne as the Wasp on the big screen (and of course getting lots of cool toys). Janet was one of the original Avengers from 1963 so I (wrongfully) assumed her presence would be a given. But no, in her place was Black Widow, a non-powered espionage-based character who didn't join the Avengers until 1991. I was baffled and upset. I eventually grew to really like the MCU Black Widow, but Wasp was a glaring absence to me. The character eventually appeared in the Ant-Man movies (not donning a costume until 2018) but as a new character, Hope van Dyne, the daughter of Janet and Hank. Janet eventually appeared in the MCU played by Michelle Pfeiffer and got decent costumed screentime in Quantumania (but almost no merch). In the time, a classic helmeted Wasp figure rose to the top of my most-wanted Legends list. It took years but she is perfect.