Saturday, July 20, 2024

Legends of Dragonore - NIGHT HUNTER PANTERA!

Legends of Dragonore - Series 1.5 - Night Hunter Pantera - Formo Toys 2024

Legends of Dragonore is a retro-MOTU-styled line of sword and sorcery action figures from Formo Toys. The first wave was released last year with two great female characters in the lineup: Pantera and Yondara. And there is a second wave in production, with pre-orders still active on Formo Toys and BBTS, incuding another two female characters; Horri-Dame and Venatica (and an awesome Greenman homage, Arboryous). I can't wait to get them. But to tide us over before Wave Two is released, we got a surprise Wave 1.5 of repaints. Considering the swappable-parts construction of this line, this adds a ton of great fodder for kitbashing. But I personally like the redecos on their own merit.  This Night Hunter Pantera figure swaps the pink armor and blue fur for black fur and metallic bronze armor. I think she looks stunning and I'm excited for a potential Wave 2.5 with redecos of all the new figures. There is a lot of fun potential in this line. Let's check out Night Hunter Pantera below!

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Mike Allred's IT GIRL!

AAA Pop Atomic Action - It Girl - Ace Toys & Fresh Monkey Fiction 2024

There have been a lot of great characters to spin out of Mike Allred's Madman universe, but I think the most iconic is It Girl. The team of superpowered humans now known as the Atomics started out as foes of our misunderstood hero, Madman, but eventually became his closest allies. The token female of that group was It Girl, who had been infected with alien spores that gave her the ability to absorb the powers and characteristics of any person, animal, or material she touched. Think of her as a combination of Metamorpho, Rogue, and Beast Boy delivered in Allred's signature mod/campy style. It Girl had her own solo one-shot in 2002, and in 2012 she led the 12-issue It Girl and the Atomics series. This figure was part of a 2023 Kickstarter collaboration between Ace Toys and Fresh Monkey Fiction (that also gave us a Madman and Madwoman figure). I hope the campaign's success inspires more figures because these are great, but they barely scratch the surface of the AAA Pop roster. Let's check out It Girl below!

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Mike Allred's MADWOMAN!

AAA Pop Atomic Action - Madwoman - Ace Toys & Fresh Monkey Fiction 2024

One of my favorite indie comics of all time is Madman. I first discovered the comic in 1994 when it became a part of the amazing Legend imprint under Dark Horse Comics. Legend was home to such pop culture hits as Hellboy and Sin City, but every single property (there were only 11) was a gem by true icons of the comic industry. I was immediately smitten with Madman. The story follows the enigmatic amnesiac science experiment, Frank Einstein, as he ponders life and love and has zany adventures. I find the book refreshing, quirky, poetic, and beautifully drawn. The primary female of the series is Jo Lombard, Frank's love interest who was a complex and fully-realized character from the start. She was such a constant in the stories that I was completely blindsided when she became Madwoman years later in the 2008 issue of Madman Atomic Comics #12. This figure was part of a Kickstarter campaign in 2023 by Christopher Irving and Fresh Monkey Fiction. Let's check her out below!

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Delta-17 - DEATH SPARROW!

Delta-17: War in the Shadows - Death Sparrow (Retrograd Leader) - 5by5 2024

There's something very iconic about a short-haired blonde Eastern European villainess. This Death Sparrow figure from the new O-Ring Delta-17 line reminds me of several memorable 80's characters: Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones, Sgt. Callahan from Police Academy, and Baroness from G.I.Joe. Death Sparrow is the Commander of the Retrograd mercenary army in employ of the Shadow Dragon and his Dark Shadows. Her name also intrigues me because of my fascination with the mythology around Psychopomps, in which animals or deities act as guides or harbingers of death. And these are often represented as flocks of sparrows. So the name Death Sparrow instantly brings that lore to mind. I hope this line expands because these figures are really well made (dare I say better than the last few official G.I.Joe O-Rings I purchased). I have a feeling SDCC next week will unveil more O-Ring product for us, and I can't wait. Fingers crossed for some ladies. Let's check out Death Sparrow below!

Monday, July 15, 2024

Delta-17 - KESTREL!

Delta-17: War in the Shadows - Kestrel (Delta-17 Grenadier) - 5by5 Toys 2024

I sometimes forget how special O-Ring figures were. This construction style was revolutionary in my childhood with the G.I.Joe line. Compared to the previous 1:12 lines like Star Wars and Mego Superheros, these were lightyears ahead in style and playbility. But looking back, there were actually very few O-Ring toylines produced. But in the past few years there has been a resurgence in the nostalgia for them and several companies have new figures available or in the works. The first modern line to include female characters is this Delta-17: War in the Shadows line from 5by5 Toys. It is a military-themed property with several factions of good vs evil character. This Kestrel character is my favorite. She reminds me of a female version of Falcon (complete with a bird of prey codename) paired with a color scheme reminiscent of the rare Canary Ann figure. This figure has me excited for the new Super7 Cover Girl O-ring as well as any new reveals at SDCC in a couple weeks. Let's check out Kestrel below!

Sunday, July 14, 2024

SilverHawks Ultimates - STEELHEART!

SilverHawks Ultimates - Wave 4 – Steelheart (Toy Version) - Super7 2024

Every so often I get my hands on an action figure that reminds me exactly why I'm in this glorious hobby. To me, there's a seemingly simple recipe of nostalgia and aesthetics that makes for a perfect toy. Yet for some reason, the balance is usually off. But this Steelheart toy color variant figure fills me with so much joy. Right off, the purple chrome finish is beautiful. The vintage toy was more of a dark violet metallic, while this is more medium lavender, but I like the new color better. I thought the face sculpts and paint of the first (animated) release was perfection, but this version has slightly more simplified and stark facepaint, and it's even better. I was nervous about her metallic paint chipping or scratching so I was pretty gentle with posing and swapping her parts, but I had zero issues. She has me excited for potential new figures to add to my Ladies of the 80s collection. Fingers crossed for Octavia from Tigersharks, Nightshade from C.O.P.S., and Shaya from Power Lords. Let's checkout Steelheart below!

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Super7 ReAction - TRON'S YORI!

ReAction Action Figures - Disney Parks Exclusive Tron Series - Yori - Super7 2023

Tron is such an iconic movie from my childhood. In a decade of amazing barrier-breaking movies, I always thought that Tron (1982) was the most visually inventive of them all. The backlit animation and film overlay created an effect that still mesmerizes me today. I find of fell into collecting Tron figures by accident. I was working on some customs about 15 years ago and needed 3.75" translucent bodies. At the time you could get beat-up vintage Tron figures cheap on eBay. But when I got them I found I liked them more than I expected and became a fan. A glaring omission from the major toylines was the token female character, Yori. (She had a Kubrick block figure released, but that was it). This ReAction line is really great. They fit in well with the classic figures, but have a cinematic deco that differentiates them from all the candy-colored transparent figures before. The issue is they are hard to get and prohibitively overpriced (like everything at Disney parks). It took almost a year for me to get her at a decent price.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Fraggle Rock - COTTERPIN!

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock - Architect Doozer & Cotterpin - BFS 2024

In 2022, Apple TV+ premiered Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, a faithful reboot of the amazing 1983 Jim Henson series, Fraggle Rock. I love this new series. Some of the character designs have been tweaked, mostly for the better. For instance, a lot of the puppets in the original series had thin wispy hair and dull colors. But in the reboot it's as if the material limitations of 1980's puppetry have been overcome. It honestly looks the way I imagine the 1983 series looked in my memory (but am always critical of when I actually watch the vintage episodes). Cotterpin is the main Doozer character from both series. She is a young Doozer from a long line of hard-hard-wearing construction Doozers who wants nothing more than to be a Fraggle (so she can dance her cares away). This updated design of Cotterpin has fuller hair, brighter colors, and now she appropriately wears her namesake cotter pins in her hair as barrettes. The Boss Fight Studio Fraggle line is very impressive. I can't wait to get the rest.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Marvel Select - LADY DEADPOOL!

Marvel Select -  Marvel Comics Lady Deadpool - Diamond Select Toys 2017

This post is an interesting one because I have already written it. Longtime readers might even have slight deja vu. In September of 2017 I purchased this figure and promptly photographed and reviewed her. There's plenty of evidence to support this, including hotlinks on other blog posts made years afterwards (which are created directly from the existing post). But at some point it got deleted. I don't know how that could have happened, but for years now I would notice the missing post and dead links. The photos were still uploaded and present, but no actual content existed. So I'm finally re-treading old territory for consistency's sake. I remember when this figure came out and my excitement at her quality and scale. A lot of previous Marvel Select ladies looked stiff and awkward to me, but this figure marked a turning point. She blends in with Marvel Legends scale-wise and her sculpt seems a lot more natural than previous figures like Gamora and Black Widow. Let's check out Lady Deadpool below!