Third times the charm

Armand Friday, November 28, 2008
Hi guys, I'm going down to Singapore on Saturday and i'll be there till Monday. As usual I'll be making a pit stop to CSC flea market on Sunday so if anybody's free we can meet up there aight? Hope to see some familiar faces on Sunday, hehe! Read on...

The Iron fist of capitalism

Armand Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Anybody getting the Ironman Mark 2? I just found out thru Sideshow Collectibles' website that they will be launching an exclusive version of this figure, with an extra standee of Ironman's chest plate. This extra goodie will not be included in the regular release from Hot Toys. SO the only way for you to get this exclusive figure is through Sideshow. WTF?

Full details haven't been released yet but from what I see from Sideshow's website it is only exclusive for purchases made through Sideshow. I went to check out Hot Toys' website to find out more but did not find anything explaining about this whole exclusive issue.

The only thing that will be shipped with the Hot Toys version would be the "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart" case. What's going on? Its not like Hot Toys to sell out to an American company like Sideshow just for a couple of extra bucks. I am infuriated that Hot Toys would do such a thing. 

I might be wrong. But please, If anybody knows more about this do share as I don't really want to jump to any conclusion just yet. 

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The Dark Knight Returns

Armand Sunday, November 23, 2008

The photos of my Hot Toys Dark Knight from my previous post didn't really do the figure justice. So I though I'd give it another shot and make this set a bit more dramatic, fitting for Batman.

I used only one light source for the shots, using a dimmer (which you can pick up at IKEA) to just soften the light source. Had to use the tripod to accommodate the low shutter speed and high aperture. Pictures turned out pretty neat if I do say so myself.

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Big Black Box

Got my new cabinet / toy display unit installed 3 weeks ago. I've been meaning to post some pics but it always slipped my mind. Dad was having some cabinets and wardrobes installed and he'd asked if I wanted one too for my room. He was kind enough to let me design and customize my own wardrobe.

I had this idea to actually incorporate shelves in the design and embedded them onto the side of the wardrobe complete with a glass panel. This would be my toy display unit. The first installation didn't go as planned. The installer who we were dealing with decided to change the design I initially gave him without consulting me or my Dad first. I wasn't happy with the changes so they appointed another installer and had to build the entire wardrobe again. So I had to wait for another week before they actually got it right.

I must say I'm pretty happy with the results. The new guys did an excellent job and followed exactly as how I had designed the wardrobe.

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Paper Magic

Last month Adrian had asked me if he could do a paper figure of The Pop Culture Junkie. I gave him my blessings and being the talented man that he is, after only a month he had made this 2D character come to "life" in full 3D galore. Without further ado I present to you Adrian's masterpiece; The Pop Culture Junkie!

I would just like to say that Adrian did an excellent job on this figure. He even went all the way to make a base for the figure which is an exact replica of my blog banner. This is pure craftmanship at its best. I am deeply honoured and humbled that Adrian made this figure based on The Pop Culture Junkie. Thank you again my man!

For more pictures of the Pop Culture Junkie figure and other cool paper figures from Adrian, visit his blog page here and here.
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The Dark Knight

Armand Monday, November 17, 2008
After almost 2 months of waiting and wondering, Hot Toys Batman Dark Knight is finally mine. Most of my collector buddies had already acquired theirs a while back so forgive me for being all excited about mine. No thanks to my pusher though. From now on I'll do all my preorders with XL Shop. Sam (of XL Shop) was kind enough to spare me one as he knew how much I wanted the figure. Thanks again Sam!

I passed the Original Costume version for this one since I already had the Batman Begins version from Takara Tomy (and also the fact that I was short on cash, heh!). Hot Toys' previous Batman figure was a bit off IMO compared to Takara Tomy's version but this time around Hot Toys got this one just right. The figure is well done and pretty movie accurate (to my naked eyes). It was smart of them to delay the release date to do the required corrections to the figure.

Pity they couldn't fix the beer belly problem. Its no biggie though, something I can live with. Just pose him with his chest outwards and he's good to go. Joshua mentioned to me that he read through a forum that the second wave would be beer belly free. I guess they were wrong. Beer belly is still intact. Probably some rival company trying to discredit Hot Toys seeing as they've been doing so well this past year or so.

The only thing that annoyed me about the figure is the cowl. It tends to fall off quite easily. They could have probably made the "clips" a tad bigger so it would fit snugly into those peg holes. But other than those minor problems, this is one pretty solid figure. Hot Toys seem to be on a role. The Ironman figure is gonna kick ass!

P.S : I know some of the poses seem really lame, thats cos I didn't want to risk tearing the suit or breaking anything by doing any weird stances on this one.

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Attack of the Hybrids

Armand Sunday, November 2, 2008

When Sideshow collectibles first announced they were doing a Stormtrooper figure, I was ecstatic and couldn't wait for the figure to hit stores. With a price tag almost half of what Medicom was offering with its Stormtrooper, the prospects of having 2 and posing them both side by side Darth Vader was just astounding.

As a teaser to probably one of the most anticipated figures from Sideshow, the good people at Sideshow collectibles decided to make an Obi Wan Kenobi figure, based on the hit cartoon miniseries "The Clone Wars' by Gendy Tartovsky which ran on Cartoon Network a few years back. First and foremost I would like to point out one thing; this figure is beautiful! I know I know it might not be perfect, it has its flaws here and there but IMHO this is probably the best Star Wars figure Sideshow has produced to date.

Okay, that aside. Sideshow has made some major overhauling with this one. The first thing you'd notice is the size of the box, which is smaller than the previous ones. Sideshow opted for a more economical/environmental friendly packaging for this one. Gone are the wasteful second panel where the accessories used to be. Now everything's packed onto one tray. As much as I like the older packaging which is way cooler (cos the figures and accessories are a different compartment, and the whole opening fold thing), I have no complains with this one. In fact I'm kinda all for the new packaging. Smaller packaging means less wasted space and less wasted space means more figures per box, which means they would save a lot on shipping which in turn keeps the price of the figures down. So everybody's happy.

Sideshow has really stepped up in the head sculpt department. The head sculpt, my god man! It feels like Sideshow somehow managed to clone Ewan McGregor and scale him down to size. The resemblance is so uncanny its scary. Kudos to Sideshow for the spot on accuracy. I've included pictures of Ewan Mcgregor as Obi Wan so you can judge for yourself.

I was a bit skeptical about the armour and how it would effect the articulation. I read from other collectors about their Medicom Stormtrooper limited articulation due to the armour. To my surprise the armour didn't really get in the way. The hips/torso joint was the only thing that was affected by the armour but everything else seemed to be okay. My only concern for the figure is the joints which are wobbly at times. This is where the figure suffers. The joints aren't as sturdy as Hot Toys bodies and tend to collapse at times if you try to do any deep stances. I would suggest using the stand if you plan to do so but other than than he stands well with the normal poses. The new body is definitely a huge improvement over the Art S. Buck body.

Another major change by Sideshow is the wrist swap. No more fumbling with the teeny weeny peg when trying to change hands. This one resembles Medicom's hand pegs. You can get quite a range of movement for the hands cos the ball joints (which are on the hands) can turn 360 degrees and move up and down. The same goes for the feet (which are detachable). It comes with 3 sets of hands (including the one already fitted on the figure). One set of hands included are for holding blasters, which is kinda pointless unless you have an extra Stormtrooper blaster lying around. Nevertheless it was nice of Sideshow to include them in case you DO have an extra blaster and want to pose him holding one.

All in all, to me this is one solid figure. If you're a Star Wars fan you should definitely get this figure. I can't hardly wait to get my hands on their Stormtrooper and Utapau Clone Trooper.

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