Friday, April 28, 2017

Action Figure Review: Diana of Themyscira from DC Comics Multiverse: Wonder Woman by Mattel

   Care to spend your Friday with Wonder Woman? Yep, I'm back with another review of a figure from Mattel's Wonder Woman inspired DC Comics Multiverse line and this time it's Diana of Themyscira, AKA a pre-Wonder Woman version of Princess of Diana. Diana is the third figure in the series of four (along with a Toys R Us exclusive standard Wonder Woman and an Amazon exclusive Menalippe that just went on pre-order this week) and the second Wonder Woman variant available in the 6 inch line. I'm digging her outfit and this new headsculpt, and it seems like a lot of other folks are, too. I think Mattel definitely made some improvements with this line, especially in regards to the headsculpts, but they still have a ways to go to make Multiverse feel like it's in the same league as other comparable retail lines such as Hasbro's Marvel Legends and Star Wars: The Black series or even Mattel's own WWE Elite Series. Fortunately for Mattel, I'm a pretty serious DC collector and I'm more willing to give these a shot than others might be. Let's take a closer look at the mighty Princess Diana of Themyscira and see how she stacks up to other figures in this line!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Action Figure Review: Steve Trevor from DC Comics Multiverse: Wonder Woman by Mattel

    Today I'm looking at Steve Trevor from Mattel's Wonder Women themed DC Comics Multiverse line. Not only is Steve a new figure from the upcoming Wonder Woman film but he's also the first Steve Trevor action figure since the 1976 Mego line and the first in the 6-7 inch scale. Played by Chris Pine in the upcoming film, Steve Trevor is a long time secondary player in the DC Universe and it's pretty cool that we're getting an action figure of him in the line. While DC Comics Multiverse has been fairly uneven with some highs, some lows, and lots of just average figures, the selection has been pretty diverse. Though the Wonder Woman line only includes four standard figures (there seems to be one or two retailer exclusives coming, too), it does offer a fairly decent sized Collect & Connect figure across the series. Steve comes with three build-a-figure pieces to help construct Ares which really offers a bit more bang for your buck. That's something, too, because Steve needs a bit of help. read on and find out why after the break...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Action Figure Review: Wonder Woman from DC Comics Multiverse: Wonder Woman by Mattel

Wonder Woman comes out on June 2nd and, hopefully, it will be a success both critically and financially. I've enjoyed the DC films but they definitely need another movie in their repertoire that doesn't prove to be insanely divisive. Wonder Woman could be that hit as it has a lot going for it. Gal Gadot absolutely owned BvS as Wonder Woman and giving her a whole film to do her thing sounds like a pretty good idea. I'm also always a fan of the fictional history World War II era story lines presented in films like Captain America, The Rocketeer, and the Indiana Jones franchise, so Wonder Woman seems like it could capture the same feeling with a fresh take due to it's 's World War I setting. Today I'm looking at the first figure from Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse: Wonder Woman subset which features four standard figures, along with some upcoming exclusives. Today I'm looking at the main Wonder Woman figure from the line which is a bit odd as she's not a standard looking Wonder Woman (that appears to be a Toys 'r Us exclusive). Let's take a closer look at this figure after the break...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Action Figure Review: Deathstroke (The Judas Contract) from DC Comics Icons by DC Collectibles

   This could very well be my last DC Icons review for quite a few months, as DC Collectibles seems intent on cancelling nearly every figure that I've had preordered for almost a year. I'm most upset about Etrigan, Deadshot, and the Jim Balent Catwoman, so let's hope this newest series of Icons sell better than previous ones to give DCC some more faith in the line. They've definitely improved over the past year or so and the series, while somewhat oddly scaled, has seen some really good releases. One of the things I really like about this series is that while the characters are typically based on their design in a particular storyline, they're all rendered in a standard style that gives them a cohesive appearance. DC Collectibles and DC Direct before them have never been big on offering action figures in cohesive styles and, while I like artist specific figures, there is absolutely something appealing about building a diverse collection in one unified style. While the design of this figure is clearly Deathstroke from the early 1980s Marv Wolfman and George Perez era of Teen Titans, the style doesn't set him apart from any other DC Icons figure. DC Collectibles must like Deathstroke as they've released multiple figures of Slade Wilson over the past few years.  I own a few of them and, let me say, this one might be the best. More Deathstroke coolness after the break...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Action Figure Review: The Punisher: Fully Loaded from One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco

 It's been a frustrating road filled with me having multiple preorders cancelled from various e-tailers and shelling out a bit more money than I originally planned but, finally, I have the Previews exclusive One:12 Collective version of The Punisher: Fully Loaded in my hands. And he's pretty darn impressive. While I really haven't been too tempted by any of the Captain America or Daredevil variants, the Punisher is just unreal in terms of how much stuff he comes with. If you count the interchangeable heads and hands, along with the magazines included with each weapon, I count 51 accessories plus the metal storage box and accessory bag. That's insane! If you pick this guy up at the retail price of $129.99, you're still getting your money's worth. I had to pay a bit more, unfortunately, and while I hemmed and hawed over the initial purchase, once the figure arrived I forgot how much I'd spent. This is a pretty amazing package! Let's take a look at this very deluxe version of Frank Castle after the break, shall we?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Action Figure Review: Swamp Thing (Dark Genesis) from DC Comics Icons by DC Collectibles

A week or so ago I read the excellent Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death by Amy Chu and Clay Mann which features an appearance by Swamp Thing near the end of the book. That evening I ended up at my local comic shop and stumbled upon this new Swamp Thing action figure from DC Collectibles' DC Comic Icons line. I decided to pick him up both as I don't own a Swamp Thing action figure and this one seemed pretty cool. I had lots of Swamp Thing action figures from Kenner's cartoon based line when I was a kid, but those ended up getting sold/ traded away during my younger and dumber years. I was glad to see this guy on the shelf, particularly due to the weird place that the DC Icons line is in right now. DC Collectibles has cancelled a number of single cared upcoming figures such as Deadshot and the amazing looking Etrigan with an intention of focusing on multi-packs and diorama like two-packs. Just this past week, however, they have announced single packed releases of Batman and Superman. Does that mean good things to come with this line or does DC Collectibles just know that Supes and Batman will sell? Who knows! We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, let's check out this new figure of Swamp Thing, shall we?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Action Figure Review: Imperial AT-ACT Driver from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 Hasbro has a great showing for Star Wars: The Black Series last weekend at Celebration, something that was desperately needed as the line has had some fans concerned. While we have some great things to look forward we're currently seeing a mixture of cool stuff and some pretty simple repaints/ repackages. Today's review is one of those simpler repaints that is currently a Target exclusive: The AT-ACT Driver. I haven't picked up Rogue One on Blu-Ray yet, but from everything I've read and everything I can recall from seeing it in theaters, the AT-ACT Driver doesn't actually appear in the film. The AT-ACTs certainly do, but I just don't think the driver was actually shown. There's a small image of the helmet in the Visual Guide, so the character certainly does seem to be something legitimately from the film. He's a creative mixture of two different previously released figures but that seems pretty accurate to the source. He was pretty easy to find, unlike some of the other Black Series exclusives. Let's take a closer look at him after the break...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Action Figure Review: Bombshells Batwoman from DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia by DC Collectibles

 Today I'm checking out Bombshells Batwoman, the fourth and final figure in the first series of the Ant Lucia inspired action figure from the DC Designer Series. I'll readily say that Batwoman is tied with Hawkgirl as my favorite Bombshell design and statue. It might come off as a bit "punny" but I love the idea of Kate Kane running around as a literal "Batwoman," both as a 1940's era baseball player and a baseball themed vigilante. Kate plays a pretty big role in the Bombshells comic (which is really quite good) and is a just a stunning design, so she's really a figure to not miss. While I'm a bit aggravated that DC has released this figure before a true modern Batwoman action figure (Batwoman probably had the best costume of the New 52 and I'd tie her with the Snyder/ Capullo Batwoman as the most consistently wonderful book), that's totally on DC Collectible's often bizarre practice; this is a solid figure who just oozes moxie. Check her out after the break...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Action Figure Review: Bombshells Poison Ivy from DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia by DC Collectibles

 I'm on a roll looking at the DC Comics Bombshells action figures from the Ant Lucia inspired DC Designer Series! Last week was Wonder Woman, yesterday was Harley Quinn, and today is Poison Ivy! I'm a huge Ivy and I'm loving this take on her. In some ways she's the plainest of the Bombshells as she's just wearing some fancy 1940's styled lingerie. Of course, she's also still Poison Ivy, so the bright red hair, green skin, and intricate vine designs help to add some more excitement. Poison Ivy was the third character released in the DC Comics Bombshells statue line (October 2013). This action figure is incredibly faithful to her statue and art origins, so let's jump in and see how well she translated, shall we? More pin-up Poison Ivy goodness after the break...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Action Figure Review: Bombshells Harley Quinn from DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia by DC Collectibles

   Ready for another review of a DC Comics Bombshells item? Then how about we move on to the second figure in the series: Harley Quinn! The DC Designer Series has been a pretty solid line but I definitely think the current Ant Lucia inspired subset is the best yet. Wonder Woman was incredible and folks, let me tell you, Harley might be even better. Harley Quinn was the fourth character to appear in the Bombshells statue series and she definitely represented a somewhat different style for the line; while Wonder Woman is very "true" to a classic 1940's pinup style, Harley has more elements that, to my eyes anyway, come across as more rockabilly. She's not sporting the tattoos that some of the characters have but she definitely has more of a modern feel. I'm cool with that, though, as the style and inspiration is still there. I really just dig the Bombshells aesthetic and it seems I'm not alone. Let's take a look at this insanely cool Harley Quinn figure after the break...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Action Figure Review : SDCC 2011 30th Anniversary Set from Indiana Jones by Hasbro

 Recently I acquired something I've wanted for a few years but haven't been able to get my hands on until now: The lost Indiana Jones wave from Hasbro's 2008 action figure line. Released as a SDCC exclusive in 2011 for the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the set contains five action figures from Raiders of the Lost Ark that were originally intended to make up the 5th series of figures released by Hasbro (and another basic Indy tossed in for good measure). Unfortunately, the line ended before these ever made it to production (even the fourth series was fairly tough to come by) and thus it seemed like they would be lost to fans. For being as successful and as well loved of a property as it is (Raiders ties with Ghostbusters as my favorite film of all time) it's amazing how few Indiana Jones toys have been released over the years. Hasbro's series is the only toyline cover all four films and feature a wide variety of characters, so it was already streets ahead of the others. While it's far from a perfect toyline with its odd articulation scheme and some questionable likenesses, I absolutely love it. It's one of my favorites and I'm thrilled to finally have a "complete" collection. Let's take a closer look at this 6 pack after the break...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Action Figure Review: Bombshells Wonder Woman from DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia by DC Collectibles

 As some of you may (or may not know) I went a few weeks without a camera capable of doing solid macro photography. Well, that has changed and I'm now back and better than ever. Well, in my mind, anyways. Yesterday's review of the Mezco One:12 Collective Flash was the first to use my new Canon EOS M10 with a specialized macro lens but today's starts a set of reviews I'm extremely excited to look at and photograph: The DC Bombshells action figures! Technically this series is titled DC Designer Series: Ant Lucia and it's part of the long running series that has featured action figures rendered in the styles of a number of great DC artists. It's no understatement to say that Ant Lucia's DC Bombshells have been one of the most successful DC properties we've ever seen. Starting as only a line of beautiful statues (still ongoing, FYI), Bombshells has evolved into it's own entity with an ongoing comic, merchandise, clothing, costume patterns, Funko POP! vinyls, and now action figures. First up I'm looking at Wonder Woman. Not only is she #1 in this series but she was the subject of the first statue released under the Bombshells banner in September 2013 and she's the first lady of DC Comics. Let's take a closer look at the Bombshells Wonder Woman after the break...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Action Figure Review: The Flash from One:12 Collective DC Universe by Mezco

 I really believe that the Super Powers versions of the Flash and Hawkman were the first two DC Comics action figure I ever owned. Sometime around 1987, when I was probably only around 4, my family attended a church that had a treasure box of goodies you could get for various accomplishments. The goodie box included various action figures (I also ended up with a boxed mail-away version of Emperor Palpatine), so you know I was hooked. Come to think of it, we lived right outside of Cincinnati, Ohio during that time, so it's possibly someone at the church worked for Kenner (headquartered in Cincinnati) and had access to promotional items and such. Anyways, I've always had an affinity for the Flash's costume and used it as an inspiration for the design of the protagonist of my 3rd grade Young Authors entry, Flamefighter! Couple my love for the Flash's costume, my love of the DC Universe, and my affinity for Mezco's One:12 Collective line and getting the Flash was inevitable. He showed up at my house on the same day as Professor Zoom with Zoom arriving a bit earlier through a different shipping company, so in that instance the bad guy won. Who will win the contest of being the better figure? Let's find out after the break...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Action Figure Review: Zoom from One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco

 I held a little race last month: I ordered the Mezco One:12 Collective Flash and Zoom (AKA Reverse Flash) from two different sellers and waited to see who would arrive first. Guess what? Zoom managed to arrive just a few hours before Flash due to him arriving via one shipping company and Flash another. Still, arriving the same day was pretty close right? Well, guess what else is close? The Flash and Zoom. Zoom is the first Previews Exclusive figure we've received that is actually a completely different character from the standard release, as Zoom is really the variant of Flash. I wasn't planning on picking Zoom up, but then I started thinking about how cool these two would look together on the shelf. Usually I'd review Flash first since he's the default figure, but you know what? I'm going to honor the results of the race and give Professor Thawne the first go. Let's take a closer look at Zoom after the break...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Action Figure Review: Yondu from Marvel Legends: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by Hasbro



   I'm really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 and, fortunately, Hasbro's Marvel Legends offerings for GOTG2 appear to be quite a bit more robust than their offerings for the first film. While we received the main Guardians of the Galaxy heroes in that line, that was it; no Nebula, no Yondu, and no Ronan the Accuser. Hasbro has been really weird about not making villains from many of the Marvel films, haven't they? Fortunately, this new series already has some other characters like Mantis, Ego, and Nebula revealed and Yondu was released as part of the first series. Michael Rooker always stands out in everything he is in and his role as Yondu, the father figure who see his decision to not eat a young Peter Quill as something to brag about, was a highlight in a film that was chock full of highlights. Hasbro has released a 1/18th scale Yondu in their smaller Marvel "Universe/Legends/ whatever they're calling it these days" line, but I'm looking at the 6 inch Yondu. Let's check him out after the break...


Friday, March 24, 2017

POP! Review: Darth Maul #165 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

 It's time to check out the 3rd vinyl figure from the Rebels inspired Smuggler's Bounty Crate from Funko: Darth Maul from Rebels. Sorry for the spoiler, but Darth Maul is still alive and kicking on Rebels. Well, the last time I saw him anyways. Who knows what has changed recently, huh? Anyways, I'm always a sucker for Darth Maul stuff and I was pretty thrilled to know that he was going to be included in the crate. Let's check him out, shall we? More Darth Maulness after the break...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Toy Review: Chopper (Black) from Hikari Minis: Star Wars by Funko

    The March 2017 Smuggler's Bounty crate from Funko turned out to be one of the best they've ever offered. Not only did it include two Rebels themed POP! vinyls (Captain Rex and Darth Maul) but it also includes a Hikari Mini. This time it's Chopper and he is the second Hikari Mini I've owned (I reviewed my first Hikari Mini back in November of 2016) and while I'm not actively collecting them, I kind of like getting them in these crates. They kind of remind me of oversized, Star Wars shaped gummy bears. I think they're intended to pay homage to the Japanese Sofubi styled figures, meaning they're made from a softer vinyl than your average POP! vinyl figure. They also come in multiple colors packed at random. I've heard there is also red, orange, clear, and... yellowish? I received black, which looks really cool. Orange may have been the coolest, since Chopper is overwhelmingly orange, but I'll settle for this one, too. Let's take a short look at this guy after the break...

Monday, March 20, 2017

POP! Review: Captain Rex #164 from POP! Star Wars by Funko

I just received my March 2017 Smuggler's Bounty crate on Saturday so I'm jumping right in to look at some of the cool stuff it included. Being a big fan of Star Wars: Rebels, I was pretty excited for this box. After opening it, I really think this might be the best crate Smuggler's Bounty has produced yet. It includes a Rebels t-shirt, a Sabine Wren pin, a Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios patch, a Darth Maul POP!, a Chopper Hikari vinyl, and the Captain Rex POP! that I'm looking at today. That's a lot of really good stuff for $25 bucks! Funko had advertised the Darth Maul POP! but Captain Rex was quite a surprise, and a good one at that. Rebels is absolutely one of my favorite Star Wars things ever and the reappearance of Captain Rex and his comrades is just one of the many reasons why. Today, though, we're just talking about the toy, so let's take a look at Captain Rex after the break...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Action Figure Review: Villager from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

 Today I'm checking out another World of Nintendo figure from series 2-3 which, with series 2-4, sneaked out at the end of the year and has just started to saturate the market. Well, as much as World of Nintendo figures can saturate the market, anyways. The Villager is from Animal Crossing and, like yesterday's Inkling Boy, it's another Nintendo game I've never played. I'm only passingly familiar with it and it's never quite seemed like a game I'd spend much time with. Being a huge fan of this series of figures, though, I was happy to give the Villager a home due to his Mii-styled vibe and his cool Nintendo t-shirt. He's a completely unique sculpt, so that's worth a look at least, right? Let's check out the villager a bit more closely after the break...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Action Figure Review: Inkling Boy from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

 My guess is that most collectors of Jakks' World of Nintendo line grew up with Nintendo's characters on their classic consoles. Nintendo definitely tends to rely on their classic characters like Mario, Link, Samus Aran, and Donkey Kong, so it's interesting to see what they come up with when releasing a new IP. I'm not very familiar with Splatoon, but it seems like an interesting game. The Inkling Boy I'm reviewing today is one of the protagonists of the Splatoon series and is some sort of a human/ squid hybrid. He's part of the recent series 2-4 and is the only completely new sculpt in the series. Let's take a closer look at the Inkling Boy after the break...

Friday, March 10, 2017

Action Figure Review: Star-Lord from Marvel Legends: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by Hasbro

  Star-Lord has become one of my favorite superheroes/ sci-fi characters and I'm always a sucker for a cool Star-Lord toy. Fortunately, Hasbro has went all out and produced one of the best mass market action figures we've ever seen for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I really do not think I'm exaggerating when I say that looking at Hasbro's work here, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to complete dominate the 6 inch market, as both headsculpts included with Star-Lord are as good (if not better) than what I've seen from more expensive companies. Let's take a closer look and see if you agree that Hasbro has just raised the bar for both themselves and others with this release...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Action Figure Review: Groot Evolution from Marvel Legends: Guardians of the Galaxy by Hasbro



   If you want to talk about a success story for introducing new comic characters to audiences, look no further than 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. Featuring a group of characters that at the time were Marvel C-listers (at best), the combination of an incredible cast, a seriously fun film, and one of the greatest soundtracks ever elevated the eponymous Guardians of the Galaxy into the spotlight. Remember when everyone was saying Guardians of the Galaxy was going to flop? As Rocket might say: Hahahahaha. Anyways, today I'm looking at the current Marvel Legends Toys 'R Us exclusive which features three versions of the insanely popular flora colossus Groot. If you meet someone who doesn't know who Groot is, you've probably met someone who has been living in a bomb shelter since at least the 1980s. The guy became a pop culture phenomenon overnight and Hasbro is absolutely capitalizing on his popularity in their merchandising for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While Groot was a build-a-figure in the Marvel Legends tie-in series from the first film, now Hasbro is releasing him on his own. I found this guy the other night and I'm pretty thrilled, as I anticipated him being pretty hard to get my hands on. Let's take a closer look at the Groot Evolution set after the break...

Monday, March 6, 2017

Action Figure Review: Drax from Marvel Legends: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by Hasbro

 While I'm largely getting out of the Marvel Legends game thanks to my recently found love for Mezco's One:12 Collective line, I was absolutely willing to make an exception for Hasbro's new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 figures. I love the Guardians and these new Marvel Legends are largely better than the ones from the first film. Except for Drax. Drax is still incredible but, so far as I can tell, he is the only figure that reuses parts heavily from the original release. Of course, that was a darn fine figure and it still holds up well. Considering the paintwork is redone and Drax has a new headsculpt and a new accessory, I decided he was worth a buy. He's part of the first series of 6 figures which also includes Yondu, Vance Astro, Angela, Darkhawk, Nova, and Star-Lord which include the build a figure parts for Titus, a character I know nothing about. Actually, this set includes quite a few characters I know little to nothing about (Vance Astro, Titus, and Darkhawk). Drax, though, I'm absolutely familiar with. Let's take a closer look at this super cool guy after the break...

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Minifigure Review: Crayboth Esedeth Mobile Patrol Scout from Glyos by Onell Design

 Here's a really short look at the last Crayboth I picked up at the 2017 Charlotte Minicon: Crayboth Esedeth Mobile Patrol Scout! Released in early 2016 as part of Glyos Wave 52: Esedeth Mobile Patrol, this little guy features a very cool tan and red color scheme. Since this guy is a repainted version of the standard Crayboth that has been released over and over again, I'm going to be pretty brief. More Crayboth madness after the break...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Minifigure Review: Craboth Marezioc from Glyos by Onell Design

On Sunday I showed off the Flesh Crayboth, one of the three Crayboths I picked up at the Charlotte Minicon in January. Today I'm showing off the second Crayboth I picked up: Crayboth Marezioc. Crayboth Marezioc showed up in June of 2016 as part of Wave 56: Chariot's Keep. I had no idea Onell Design had released so much stuff! Since this guy is exactly the same as the Flesh Crayboth I reviewed earlier this week, I'm really just looking commenting on the new color scheme. A few more pics and some words after the break...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Action Figure Review: The Joker from One:12 Collective DC Universe by Mezco

 Mezco just released the Joker in their One:12 Collective range of action figures, making him only the second superhero baddie to be released in the line (the first being the Mutant Leader). Sneaking out at the tail end of February, the Joker was the last release in what turned our to be a very busy month for One:12 Collective. I'm not sure the line has ever been hotter and more and more collectors are starting to pay attention to this line. It's a crucial time for the line right now and while figures like the Punisher and Daredevil demonstrate how perfect this line can be, the Joker is an example of a few of the pitfalls this line needs to avoid in the future. Let me temper that comment by saying that the Joker is a gorgeous figure with two of the most amazing (if not the two most amazing) Joker headsculpts I've ever seen; it's just that it also has some odd decisions, particularly in regards to the alternate hands and the accessories, that kind of make you think twice about this one. Let's take a closer look at Mezco's take on the clown prince of crime after the break...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Action Figure Review: Baze Malbus from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

 Near the beginning of last month I reviewed Chirrut Imwe and now I'm finally getting to review his fellow Guardian of the Whills, Baze Malbus! At this point, Baze Malbus is the final member of the Rogue One crew to be announced by Hasbro. What sucks is that probably means we're not going to see Bodhi Rook at all. How in the world did Hasbro miss out on that character? Anyways, now that I have Baze in hand I have to say that I'm very conflicted by him. There are some really good things about this figure, but also some very negative aspects, too. I'm disappointed by those as Chirrut was incredible and he, along with Baze, were probably the two most memorable characters in the film, so I really wanted some incredible figures of the pair. There is a book about these guys coming out by Greg Rucka (titled Guardians of the Whills) , so hopefully we'll continue to see tales of their earlier exploits. For now, let's look at how Hasbro translated actor Jiang Wen's awesome character into plastic. More after the break....

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Action Figure Review: Harley Quinn from S.H. Figuarts Suicide Squad by Bandai

 I've been a fan of the Academy Award winning film Suicide Squad ever since it's release. While you film snobs are just now recognizing the brilliance of this movie about a bunch of prisoners heading into a city to stop an archaeologist possessed by an ancient witch and her brother (that also features appearances by Batman and the Joker), true fans have known what's up for at least the past 6 months. OK, I kid, I kid. Yes, Suicide Squad did win an Academy Award (for best make-up and hairstlying), but I know that's not causing anyone to re-evaluate the film. Still, I loved it and I don't think anyone will dispute the fact that Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is the best part of the film. Toymakers certainly believe that as we're seeing Harley Quinn stuff left and right. Today I'm looking at the S.H. Figuarts Harley Quinn from Bandai. Yes, the same people that make the horrible Power Rangers stuff sitting on shelves right now. Bandai's S.H. Figuarts range of product puts out some incredible product for collectors, though, so you can't paint all of their stuff with the same brush. Harley came out over the last month or so and I've had mine sitting around just waiting for her big Academy Awards win. Let's take a closer look after the break!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Minifigure Review: Crayboth Flesh from Glyos by Onell Design

 Last month I went to the Charlotte Minicon and while I had fun, I was a bit disappointed with the toy vendors at the show. It seemed like there were far fewer vendors than they normally have (some of the side rooms at the convention center which are usually open remained closed this year). Usually I come home with a decent pile of loot but this year I only came home with a pocket full of minifigures. Three of the five minis were Crayboths from Onell Design's Glyos line. I've reviewed a couple of Glyos compatible items before but this is the first true product from Onell that I've purchased. The first minifigure I grabbed is, I believe, Flesh Crayboth from Wave 50: Union of Exiles. I always prefer to grab the classic "flesh" colored minifigures first since I've been conditioned to their coolness thanks to M.U.S.C.L.E. Let's take a closer look at Crayboth after the break...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Top 10 Star Wars: The Black Series Figures of 2016





    For the past 3 years I've created a list of my top 10 (and bottom 5) Masters of the Universe Classics figures of the previous year. This year, though, MOTUC didn't make the list of my top ten lines, nor did I buy much of what was released. Still, I've decided to continue this tradition of picking my 10 favorite releases (and sometimes my bottom 5) from other lines on my Top 10 Toylines of 2016 list. Here's the criteria for a line to warrant a list of it's own: It had to make my Top 10 Toylines list, there had to be at least 10 releases, and I had to purchase at least 75% of the releases from that year). Last week I looked at my favorite (and least favorite) releases from Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse. Today I'm looking at Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series! Join me for my ten favorite figures after the break...


Friday, February 24, 2017

Action Figure Review: Daredevil from One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco

   Dang! Mezco hit us pretty hard this February, didn't they? Shortly after Green Arrow's late January release we received the Punisher and Daredevil, and now the Joker is on the way! Today I'm going to check out Daredevil, another superhero who has had a very good past few years thanks to an excellent television show. While I haven't watched much of DC's television universe, thanks to Marvel going with Netflix to distribute their series I've had the chance to watch both seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones (I need to get around to watching Luke Cage; I'm a slow TV watcher). While Mezco is planning on releasing a Charlie Cox styled Daredevil sometime later this year or early next year, this version of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen is based on Mezco's own unique blend of various looks. Like with Green Arrow, you could probably look at this figure and see elements of multiple different costumes throughout the years from both comics and live-action sources. Mezco also has released one variant (an exclusive Shadowland Daredevil) with a Previews exclusive First Appearance Daredevil on the way, but I opted for the classic red costume. Let's check out Mezco's One:12 Collective version of the Man Without Fear after the break...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Action Figure Review: The Punisher from One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco

   I'm always a sucker for action figures of the Punisher. What can I say? The just makes for a really cool toy. I'm pretty sure that the Toy Biz series 4 Punisher was the first Marvel Legends figure I ever bought and the Punisher was the first Marvel Select Punisher I ever bought. I've also grabbed plenty of other figures of Frank Castle over the years since I can't turn a toy of a mean guy dressed in black and sporting a whole mess of guns. When I saw that Mezco would be releasing a One:12 Collective Punisher, I knew I'd have to buy this guy. I originally planned on just picking up the Previews Exclusive version of the Punisher but after seeing a few reviews of this guy from other sources I knew I had to have him, too. He's the standard version and he just started shipping in early February. Let's check out this really cool figure after the break...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Action Figure Review: Green Arrow from One:12 Collective: DC Universe by Mezco

 Today I'm reviewing the first non-Batman related DC Universe figure from Mezco's One:12 Collective line: Green Arrow! The Green Arrow has had a tremendous surge in popularity over the past few years thanks to the TV series Arrow so it's possible that Mezco wanted to benefit from some of that momentum. Of course, this version of Oliver Queen isn't based on any particular iteration of the character's appearance; instead, it's a melange of elements from various looks over the years. Look closely and you'll see elements from classic, modern, and the Stephen Amell version of the character. This medley of various seems to be the driving aesthetic in both Mezco's Marvel and DC Comics designs and I'm really liking it. It's kind of refreshing and actually feels new and exciting. Let's check out this high-end toy of the Emerald Archer, shall we?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Action Figure Review: Mario (2-4) from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

 I've recently acquired a number of figures from series 2-3 and series 2-4 of Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo. These all came out near the end of 2016 but they're just starting to hit the saturation point where they can be more easily found. Between the 10 figures from 2-3 and 2-4 there have only been three all new sculpts (Inkling Boy, Villager, and Peppy) compared to 6 repaints. And then, there's Mario here. Mario was originally released back in late 2014 and while variations of the main man of gaming have been prevalent in the line, if you wanted a straight up Mario you might have to look around a bit. It seems that Jakks definitely wanted to get Mario back on shelves and they took an interesting route: This Mario not only features a new accessory but also a new headsculpt and new hands. He's more of a retool or a true "version 2" than a repaint. I considered skipping him, but the newly sculpted parts, the cool new accessory, finding him for retail price won me over. What can I say? I'm a sucker for this line! Let's check out the series 2-4 version of Mario after the break...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Top 10 (And Bottom 5) DC Comics Multiverse Figures of 2016


 

   For the past 3 years I've created a list of my top 10 (and bottom 5) Masters of the Universe Classics figures of the previous year. This year, though, MOTUC didn't make my top ten lines, nor did I buy much of what was released. I've decided to continue this tradition with other lines on my Top 10 Toylines of 2016 list, though. Here's the criteria for a line to warrant a list: It had to make my Top 10 Toylines list, there had to be at least 10 releases, and I had to purchase at least 75% of the releases from that year). First up is DC Comics Multiverse by Mattel.

   As a collector of pretty much anything Batman related in the 6-7 inch scale, I was really happy to see Mattel return to toy aisles with the DC Comics Multiverse line. I enjoy picking these up although, I must admit, the line was a real mixed bag this year. There really was a mix of very good figures and some extremely weak ones with a lot of average ones in between. I know these are a mass market line, so I'm not expecting DC Collectibles or One:12 Collective quality, but I did hope for a little more. Oddly, the line features dozens of original sculpts, but the sculpts were often underwhelming with some useless articulation. Still, there were some gems. Here's my list of the top 10 DC Comics Multiverse figures from 2016 along with some commentary from my original review, after the break...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Action Figure Review: Captain America from One:12 Collective Marvel Universe by Mezco

 I am absolutely impressed by Mezco's One:12 Collective line and I'm getting ready to begin a string of reviews for some of the most recent figures, but first I want to look back at one of last year's releases that I just picked up: Captain America. Mezco has released three versions of Cap (this one, a deluxe Classic con exclusive version, and a Previews exclusive Commander Rogers) but this modern version was the one that jumped out at me due to the more subdued, yet classic, color scheme. He was a 2016 release and is my first One:12 Collective figure in the Marvel Universe series. Had I picked him up last year there is no doubt he would have made my Best of the Rest list. Let's jump in and take a look at what was one of the coolest release of last year! Join me after the break...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Action Figure Review: Blue Yoshi from World of Nintendo by Jakks Pacific

 Today I'm looking at Blue Yoshi, one of the repaints in series 2-4 of Jakks Pacific's World of Nintendo line. Series 2-4 features quite a few redone characters including another Samus repaint (Phazon Suit) and redone versions of the basic Mario and Wind Waker Link (the only "new" figure is the Inkling Boy from Splatoon). I'm hoping that we see some more interesting releases at Toy Fair 2017 this coming weekend but, for now, I'll talk about the most interesting figure in this series for me: Blue Yoshi. The Mario figures are definitely my favorites and now I'm finally reaching a point where I want to own every different color of Yoshi. Considering the seemingly limited distribution of this line, I know Jakks has gotta make some money back and I'd much rather have an army of colorful Yoshi's than other repaints. Jakks is calling this guy Blue Yoshi, but, to be honest, he's actually not. He's Light Blue Yoshi. They are two separate characters and, considering Jakks made a legit Blue Yoshi in the 2.5 inch line, this was an odd mistake to make. Still, this guy's a good figure and clearly Light Blue Yoshi (he has the purple shoes), so let's take a closer look at him after the break...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Action Figure Review: Finn Balor from WWE Mutants by Mattel

 Today I'm looking at the second figure from the WWE Mutants series that I picked up: Finn Balor. Unlike the other characters in the WWE Mutants series, Finn Balor actually does dress up in an elaborate costume, thus giving Mattel something to shoot for when designing a mutant version of the character. Finn Balor takes on the persona of the Demon King, coming to the ring in a slow, walking crawl with some incredible music setting the proper mood. What Mattel has done here has taken Finn's bodypaint and style and imagined them as an actual creature. It's actually a really cool concept; this is probably how Finn is "supposed to appear" to his opponents. Let's take a look at this very unique wrestling figure after the break...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Action Figure Review: John Cena from WWE Mutants by Mattel

 Tonight is Elimination Chamber, only on the WWE Network, and we're going to see if John Cena can defend his WWE Championship against AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Baron Corbin, and (my favorite) Bray Wyatt. While I'm hoping Bray takes it, setting him up to face off against current Royal Rumble winner and his current family member Randy Orton, there are quite a few big draws in this match. That's neither here nor there right now, though: What you're really here to see is a metallic mutant John Cena. Like last year's WWE Zombies, Mattel's WWE Mutants does something different with the WWE Superstars by forgoing their usual athletic appearances and turning them into something extreme. Mutant Brock Lesnar has fours arms (a Brocktopus?), Sting is a literal scorpion, Finn Balor is a literal demon king, and John Cena here is made of metal. A robotic mutant John Cena. There is no way I could pass this toy by as it is so ridiculous I just had to own it. Just look at that card art above: That card art sold me on this guy. It's just so...crazy. If Saban were making a WWE show, that's what Cena would look like. Let's take a look at the interFace that runs the place after the break...


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Missing in Action! Toylines that Didn't Make the Cut in 2016.

 
 
   Last year I started a new "end of the year list" called Missing in Action. While my other lists recognize my favorite toys and toylines from the previous year, Missing in Action does something a little different: It looks at the toylines that made my top 10 list the previous year that failed to show up again for the current year. There are toylines that make my top 10 list one year that fail to show up again the next year for various reasons. Sometimes a line has a sudden decrease in quality. Other times a line ends or has a significant drop in releases. Of course, there are also always lines I lose interest in and lines that just got beat out by something better. So, why do this? For me it's simply interesting to look back and figure out how my collecting habits change from year to year. Let's check out 7 toylines that went Missing in Action this past year!

Friday, February 10, 2017

POP! Review: Greedo/ Hammerhead/ Walrus Man 3 Pack from POP! Star Wars by Funko

  A week or two ago I was walking through my Wal-Mart and was absolutely amazed to stumble upon the very cool Greedo, Hammerhead, and Walrus Man 3 pack from Funko. Sometimes the Funko POP! exclusive sets are a real pain to find and I didn't have high hopes of ever seeing one. I'm a fairly casual POP! collector with the only series I've ever made a real effort to track down being the recent Resident Evil POP! vinyls, so I kind of anticipated I may never see this set. I'm glad I was wrong! For the uninformed, what's really neat about this set is that these POPs are actually based on action figures from the vintage Kenner Star Wars toyline rather than on the film characters themselves. Rather than use the now canonical names for Mamow Nadon and Ponda Baba, Funko also went with the Kenner designations of Hammerhead (a name that is in fact very offensive to Ithorians) and Walrus Man. I'm sure that most Star Wars collectors own these vintage figures (they were part of the 1979 series, although mine came from an antique shop many years later as I wasn't born until '83) and will probably get a real kick out of this set. Let's take a look at three of Kenner's Cantina Four after the break...


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Action Figure Review: Chirrut Imwe from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

   I received the Funko POP! Chirrut Imwe for Christmas but I absolutely still needed this Black Series version of the Guardian of the Whills, too! Chirrut comes packed in the newest series of figures along with Baze Malbus and four repacks. Four! Hasbro, what in the world are you doing? Fortunately, Chirrut and Baze are shipping in solid cases (meaning 8 Chirruts or Bazes) in one case, so hopefully e-tailers won't get hit up with lots of unsold product and can offer these guys at reasonable prices. Chirrut is the first Black Series figure I've picked up in 2017, a year that I'm hoping is very good for this line; not only should we get a 40th anniversary series but we will also get figures from Episode VIII: The Last Jedi! Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though, as it's time to check out Chirrut Imwe. More details after the break...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

POP! Review: Tyrant #159 from POP! Games by Funko

 While it's only February, I can absolutely say that Funko's Resident Evil POP! vinyls are already one of my favorite things about 2017. Being a huge Resident Evil fan I've been a bit dismayed over the past few years that no company has released a Resident Evil toyline that got anywhere beyond just a  few characters. While POP! vinyls aren't your typical action figures, I'm really hoping that they manage to go deep and wide with this line. So far we've received characters from four different games, which is a nice start. We've also received some oversized 6 inch POP! figures with the GameStop exclusive Hunter and now the Hot Topic exclusive Tyrant. The Tyrant was the final B.O.W. faces in the original Resident Evil and he's a pretty intimidating guy, perfect for a 6 inch POP!. He's also available as a Target exclusive that glows in the dark. The Tyrant never glowed in the dark, though, did he? That's why I opted for the Hot Topic version. Let's take a look at this big, mean monster after the break...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

POP! Review: Hoth Han Solo with Tauntaun #125 from POP! Star Wars by Hasbro

  January's Smuggler's Bounty box arrived from Funko a week or two ago and, as always, it was really fun to open it with my little one. Between her and I (and sometimes my wife), every Star Wars item in the set always finds a home. This month's theme is The Empire Strikes Back and features a variety of items from Episode V including some Darth Vader and Stormtrooper adorned socks, a Lando Calrissian pin, a Yoda patch, a stuffed Wampa (which my daughter claimed, meaning she now has 4 differently sized stuffed Wampas sitting on a chair in her room next to a very nervous stuffed Tauntaun), and this very cool deluxe POP! vinyl featuring Han Solo riding a Tauntaun. This is an incredible item and well worth checking out. Let's take a closer look after the break...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Minifigure Review: Pack D from M.U.S.C.L.E. Street Fighter II by Super7

 Today it's time for the fourth and final look at the newest series of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures from Super7: Street Fighter II Pack D! This set includes the final group of the original world warriors from the original game, Zangief, Chun-Li, and E. Honda, and it's as good as the previous three sets. I liked the Masters of the Universe sets and the Alien sets, but with this series it feels like Super7 has truly managed to nail the M.U.S.C.L.E. aesthetic. These little guys are just stylized enough to pair well with the vintage line while having their own, distinctive appearance that makes these absolutely recognizable as the Street Fighter II characters they are. Let's check out this last pack after the break...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Minifigure Review: Pack C from M.U.S.C.L.E. Street Fighter II by Super7

 Today I'm looking at Pack C, the third pack of Street Fighter II minifigures from Super7's M.U.S.C.L.E. revival. Dang, these guys are really cool, aren't they? Just look at them makes me really want to turn on my SNES and dig out Street Fighter II. These little guys are totally hitting all the right spots for me so far as minifigures go. Let's take a closer look at these ones after the break, shall we?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Best of the Rest: My 10 Favorite Individual Action Figures of 2016


   When it comes to creating my top 10 lists for the year I always do one featuring my 10 favorite lines as a whole and one that features individual figures. Sometimes a toyline is so small, possibly consisting of only a single release, and it just doesn't make sense to place it in the list of my 10 favorite toylines. Other times there's a figure which ends up being a real gem in an otherwise ho-hum line. Of course, there are also times when I only wanted one figure from a larger line and I was impressed by what I picked up. That's where this list comes in.
    
     Like in my previous top 10 individual figures lists, remember that individual taste really determines what ends up winning in my awards. While I do try to include figures that are objectively really well done (detailed sculpted, neat paintwork, functional articulation, no issues with breakage), character selection and style play a huge part, too. To put it simply, I like what I like. One thing I do really make an effort to do is to look at a wide range of product. On this list you'll figures from low-end lines and high-end lines. You'll see standard mass market lines and lines you might have never heard of before. For this list, these winners are simply in alphabetical order.

   Second, action figures from lines in my Top 10 Favorite Toylines of 2016 list are ineligible. There are some lines that could just come in and dominate half the slots on this list. That wouldn't be any fun, would it?

Ready for the fun to start? Then let's get going after the break:


Friday, February 3, 2017

Minifigure Review: Pack B from M.U.S.C.L.E.: Street Fighter II by Super7

 Today I'm looking at the second pack from Super7's Street Fighter II subset of their M.U.S.C.L.E. revival, which contains Balrog, Dhalsim, and Ken. I reviewed the first set yesterday and gave some general thoughts on the popularity of Street Fighter II, so today let me begin by saying how much I really appreciate how Super7 is handling the products they're releasing. I can't think of any company producing product who makes things easier to buy than Super7. They sell their product directly, have pretty decent prices for being a fairly small operation, and they always seem to have enough to go around. They're doing great things and I'm excited to see how their work on Masters of the Universe classics turns out. For the meantime, though, I'm enjoying their work on M.U.S.C.L.E. Let's take a closer look at Pack B after the break...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Minifigure Review: Pack A from M.U.S.C.L.E.: Street Fighter II by Super7

 M.U.S.C.L.E. and Street Fighter II are two great tastes that absolutely taste great together. I'm a huge fan of Super7's M.U.S.C.L.E. revival (it made the Top 10 list of my favorite toylines of 2016) and while I love me some Alien and Masters of the Universe, I think Street Fighter II is the best fit for the M.U.S.C.L.E. aesthetic yet. It's just perfect, really. While I've never been a huge fan of fighting games, Street Fighter II totally won me over years ago on the Super Nintendo. I have fond memories of not just the game but also of the Street Fighter subset of G.I. Joe figures and of the 1994 masterpiece starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia. You heard me right; that film is a flippin' treasure. I still watch it pretty regularly. Street Fighter II really felt like one of the first games that transcended it's origins and expanded itself beyond just what was on the screen. Comics, toys, an anime, and even Spin Fighters tops helped fans to immerse themselves in the world of the World Warrior. Now, years later, we have Street Fighter II M.U.S.C.L.E. figures! Let's check the first set out after the break...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Action Figure Review: Elsa from Figma: Frozen by Good Smile Company

 One of the many cool things about having a child is that you get to share things that you love with them and they get to share things they love with you. While my daughter has become absolutely obsessed with Star Wars, superheroes, werewolves, the Super Mario Bros., trolls, yetis, and the like, I'm now a pretty big fan of Frozen. It's certainly not my favorite movie of all time, but I'd definitely say it's my favorite non-Pixar Disney film (though, full disclosure, I've never been a huge Disney fan). Heck, it very well could make a list of my top 50 movies. It's a darn good story with some excellent characters, great music, solid action, and humor that I really enjoy. It also has Queen Elsa, who has one of the best character designs I can think of. I love her story arc in this film and the "Let it Go" sequence is absolutely fantastic. I know it's been around for awhile, and lots of folks are probably tired of hearing people belt it out, but my gosh does it work in that film. When I found out that Good Smile Company was putting out an Elsa in their Figma range of figures, I was actually pretty excited. I've never owned a Figma product before, so this was a chance to try one out. Mine arrived a week or so ago (unfortunately after a pretty substantial snow storm) and I've been enjoying it for a few days before sitting down to right a review of it. Not only does the set include Elsa, but you get Olaf, too! Pretty cool, right? Let's open up the gates and check this one out!