Animated Batman -mission masters
Concept was that BM had gear specific suits and gear for every villain mission he may encounter.
The Mission Masters series with Cave Climber Batman hit pegs around 1999 (says here). I’m fascinated both by the fact the base figure had new tooling - which I assume didn’t happen very often in Batman lines - and that internet photography can’t decide if the toy is yellow or cheeseball orange. Must be one of those colors that doesn’t photograph well…
Legend of Batman
Hit shelves as “The Laughing Man Joker,” which seems to explicitly tie the toy into DC’s 1994 all-Elseworlds Annual event. Detective Comics Annual #7 featured an alternate universe where Captain Leatherwing (heroic pirate Batman) fought against The Laughing Man (evil pirate Joker).
Funny enough, the design here looks more like the comic incarnation than the finalized toy, which sported shorter hair and a giant grinning belt-buckle. Both the comic look and the final toy should be viewable with this Google image search.
Knightforce ninja riddler
Looking up photos of the toy (which came out as Tornado Blade Riddler), I forgot his spinning arm mechanism was made of gold plastic. I can’t remember where I put mine, but I hope it’s not the kind of gold-flecked plastic that’s susceptible to crumbling…
Unproduced Beast Wars Neo (Ultra Class, roughly?) version of Unicron. Images taken from the Japanese patent office website.
Final portion of “The Story of She-Ra,” the first Princess of Power mini-comic. Before anything else: Swift Wind’s unicorn horn looks so incredibly sad. Like the little ball at the end is some kind of overboard child protection measure. Don’t gore children, Swift Wind.
I wonder how we’re supposed to take He-Man’s initial dialogue to Catra on the first page. It feels really sarcastic, but there’s no way He-Man can know Catra is a villain since he literally just fell out of the sky in a blaze of rainbow colors and ran into her, so he may be acting genuinely polite there? Nothing says he can’t be The Most Well-Mannered Man In The Universe.
On a different note: I didn’t comment on this when Adora actually turned into She-Ra in the last set of pages, but… not only is the change between her two forms practically non-existent from a reader’s perspective, but Catra mistakes She-Ra for Adora in-story. Your ARCH-ENEMY can’t tell the difference between your secret identity and your superheroic self! That… that is a failure of the entire concept of secret identities! Mind, I am on-record as thinking alter egos for the Masters of the Universe protagonists are dumb anyway, and it’s not like the horse-riding blonde in the white dress exiting the Crystal Castle isn’t gonna be the horse-riding blonde in the white dress who entered the Crystal Castle a few moments ago, but… but… gah.
Anyway. With the entire raised-by-bad-guys plot point from the Secret of the Sword movie dropped (and not replaced with anything else), the story concludes with He-Man and She-Ra’s first - and only - meeting in She-Ra’s own comics. After this one, the focus is entirely on She-Ra and her allies facing off against Catra (and Entrapa), with no external MOTU references except apparently some Horde Troopers showing up in the final mini-comic… which I don’t own. I do have some of the other She-Ra mini-comics, though, and might scan them up if I can remember where they are…
(If you’re wondering why the Sorceress’ dialogue is suddenly red for one word balloon, all the She-Ra mini-comics have the moral of the story highlighted in red. Ehn.)
In closing, don’t stare at that final panel with She-Ra for too long. Her expression gets creepier the more you look.
Part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.
Side 1 of a Bandai Mighty Morphin Power Rangers pack-in catalog from 1994. Got this with either the Auto-Morphin Green Ranger or the blue Thunder Bike, I think.
Of note here is the Power Claws vehicle, which a quick search I did suggested didn’t actually hit stores… also, the red “lips” on the Lord Zedd art, which manage to make him look even creepier than normal. Plus there’s the awful layout of that final page, I guess. (Wouldn’t sticking the photo in the middle there have made more sense?)
Side 2 coming soon.
Second portion of “The Story of She-Ra,” the first Princess of Power mini-comic.
So in the Secret of the Sword movie, Hordak and Shadow Weaver raise the kidnapped baby Adora, who grows up to be a captain in the evil Horde (without her ever realizing the Horde is in fact evil, but apparently she was pretty sheltered). It takes the events surrounding He-Man’s arrival on Etheria for Adora to renounce the Horde, become She-Ra, and take up with the Great Rebellion. Here, um… Adora’s deal is that she’s heroically guarding the Crystal Castle from Catra as an adult, despite the interdimensional kidnapping still being part of her backstory. How does that work? Did someone on Etheria kidnap baby Adora from the Horde and raise her for the job? It seems to undermine the gravity of Mini-Comic Hordak’s plan if his abductee is outside of his control and doing good when we first meet her. The plot point shift isn’t explained in the final portion of the story, either…
(Also, apparently Spirit the horse is female in this universe, since a caption box calls him a filly.)
(Also also, the Crystal Castle really looks like a repainted Castle Grayskull in that long-shot, but that might just be me.)
Part 2 of 3. Part 1 is here.
EDIT: part 3 is here.
“The Story of She-Ra,” the first Princess of Power mini-comic. The opening pages sort of follow the opening to the Secret of the Sword movie, but as you’ll see, it quickly goes off that established path. Also, for some reason, the Sorceress is consistently colored pink here, which might be unique to this book.
Part 1 of 3.
EDIT: part 2 is here and part 3 is here.