Saturday, December 24, 2011

God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen

The Eve of Christmas is upon us! Most of you are probably balls deep in presents at the moment, but I've prepared a short video presentation to express my love for each and every one of you holly jolly bastards!


You know what to do next, put on Rudolph (or mst3k's Santa Clause if you have good taste) and hold your breathe till the fat man comes to call!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's a Summophlange?

Can you feel the magic? CAN YOU HEAR THE ROAR?! IT'S PANTHRO TIME!

Oh yes. As soon as we saw the promo artwork for the new show, I knew I was going to love Panthro. When you take an already strong character, mix in one part Hellboy, and blend well you get one badass smoothie. And then Kevin Micheal Richards stepped up to the voice-acting plate and knocked it out of the park. That man is the living embodiment of the hard-ass with a heart of gold, my favorite character archetype ever. The fact that Panthro had a very well-written intro and story arch is just the cherry on top of that smoothie. It probably tastes like blueberry.


With Panthro being a man (O-HO SEXISM) he gets much better articulation than Cheetarah. It's only a balljointed neck and waist joint shy of Hasbro toys, and ample movement for any super-duper kung-fu nunchaku poses you'll need. You get his Nunchaku all ready to bust some domes, and a folded pair to tuck in his belt for when he's just workin' on his baby. Gotta be gentle with that 30 ton death tank. 

Only real complaint is that there are several missing paint apps. Surprise, it's made by Bandai! The Nunchaku should be red and blue, but Bandai never paints weapons, ever so no big deal. The main problem is around his nose, his nostrils should be the same light blue of the rest of his face. Without it he has serious old man nose going on, and looks about 20 years too old. Oh well, easy enough to bust out the brushes for a little touch up!


Man does he have some massive hands. I mean that in the most gloriously praising way possible. Those things could crush cinder blocks. A nice side effect of his elephantiasis is that his mitts are just the right size to hold Transformers tools, and Wheeljack has just the right kit for a fellow mechanic. Speaking of cross-franchise cooperation, He and Agent Helix have taken quite a liking to each other. I think it's their shared interest in massive death dealing engines of war.
If you only get one T-cats figure (and you hate Lion-o...you meanie.) then get Panthro. He's big, bulky and definitely gives you your money's worth, considering Wiley-kit is sold for the same price. And can you really put a price on holding a tiny Kevin Micheal Richards in your hand? Yes you can. It's $7.99.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Miracle on Orc Street



It's that time of year again in Azeroth: Winter's veil! The streets of Orgrimmar are choked with festive goblins and EVERY PLAYER ON THE SERVER JUMPING AROUND AND LAGGING YOUR COMPUTER TO DEATH. Let's go see merry old Great Father Winter!

Screw you Great Father Winter, you fat extortionist! He won't give me a thing until I bring him five gingerbread cookies and a glass of milk. Sunova- fine, I've been leveling my cooking anyway. I need five eggs, which I can get from the blood elf starting area. TO UNDERCITY! 


Oh GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!? Yeah, thanks Blizzard for signing a deal with Mr. T. Now I'm stuck with this wretched abomination crying it's eyes out the entire flight to the Eastern Kingdoms. 


You know, this is a long ass trip through three cities on two continents for five freakin' eggs. Fatty better give me a pony. At least the Forsaken are in the spirit of things. Get it? Spirit?  Cuz they're dead!...Let's just bake these damn cookies. 



Alright, I've merrily slaughtered three helpless dragonhawks and taken their eggs, all in the name of one fat semi-mythical saint's afternoon snack. Their blood is on your hands, father Winter. And probably in these cookies. I'm an adventurer, not a chef.





Ooooooh goodies! Let's rip it open and...it's leather. Just freakin' leather. I don't even use leather. Maybe if you laid off the ale Mr. Father Winter... at least I've got some milk and cookies left. Here's hoping my  actual Winter's Veil gift is better. I mean it has to be right? C'MON, PONY!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Kolor of Kristmas is RED

KOMMRADE KRACKER!


CAPITALIST PIG WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE IN SOVIET RUSSIA NUT KRACKS YOU. THIS IS LIE. IN WORKERS' PARADISE, EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD ALL CRACK ONE (AND ONLY ONE!) WALNUT. NO ONE EATS IT. THUS IS LIFE IN RUSSIA.

KOMMRADE KRACKER GIVES ONLY ONE GIFT TO EVERY PERSON IN WORKERS' PARADISE: A BOOT TO THE ASS. ONE EACH. 

ANY MAN WHO GIVES A GIFT WILL BE EXECUTE. UNLESS IT IS VODKA. THEN YOU WILL BE EXECUTE, AND VODKA GIVEN TO BEARS. GOOD SOVIET MAKES HIS OWN VODKA, AND ONLY VODKA TO FEED HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. THUS IS LIFE IN RUSSIA.

KOMMRADE KRACKER!

Monday, December 12, 2011

WHO WILL RULE NEW URTH?!

Fueled by a wave of Christmas high, and inspired by X-E Matt's list of the best Yetis (that man...I swear if I were a woman) I realized it's as good a time as any to take a look at an old friend: BLIZZARD!

 

Primal Rage may not have been the best game, but you can't argue with the concept: Giant Gorillas that spit ice fighting fire breathing dinosaurs? HELL YES! And all of the animation was done the good ol' fashioned way: vinyl stop-motion puppets! Now imagine five year old me stumbling across this treasure trove of dinosaurs and monsters. Oh, I flipped my shit. HARD. I had to have a toy Blizzard, and thank god for Playmates. Not only were there toys, they were good toys, based directly off the puppets used in the game. If I never forget one event in my measly, tiny, dirty little life, it will be the day I woke up with a pointy box in a wal-mart sack poking me under the covers. Being an astute lad, I assumed it was a beer box, until I ripped away the sack and gazed into the eyes of that glorious blue visage. Blizzard instantly became the king of all toys, and remained uncontested until the Pokemon uprising of 2001.


All right, the Primal Rage nerds (all 4 of them) are clenching so hard right now, and I admit it: This isn't how Blizzard came factory stock. This is what he used to look like, and as you can see he's had a little work done. See, we had many glorious campaigns of conquest during my youth, chock full of perilous adventure. Perhaps a few too many said adventures involved bath tubs and swimming pools, however, as up until a year ago he looked a bit worse for wear. His majestic white fur was tarnished pee-stain yellow, and his sweeping mane was less Fabio and more Don King on a sweaty summer day. Even at his worst I stood by his side, and when the time came and my skills were sufficient, I retored my old friend to his former glory. LONG LIVE THE KING!


Whenever Old Saint Nick starts making his jolly rounds, my mind always drifts to Lord Blizzard. Maybe it's his icy theme, or the fact that Yetis and Christmas are like Pineapples and peanut butter to me (blame the bumble), but I think it's something else. He may not have been a Christmas present, but I think Blizzard is the best gift I've ever been given. That morning when I woke up, I had no idea that six inches of plastic gorilla were about to be in my hands, and it wasn't even a holiday. I can't even remember asking for him, he was just there, and the Universe was as it should be. 

I've tracked down a few of his friends in recent years, and I will finish this line if it's the last thing I do. Now Mr. Peter Jackson, you know what you must do. Finish the Hobbit, then it's time to RAGE OVER NEW URTH!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

House on Hangman's Hill

Finally! A childhood quest completed! Ages ago, when I was a wee lad, I caught the last 30 minutes of a movie on the local stations "Mid-day Matinee" type excuse to show cheap old movies nobody cares about in the slow daytime hours. I had no idea what was going on, I just knew I was seeing baby pterodactyls and caterpillar dogs, and a absolutely freakin' terrifying skeleton gunslinger on a dead horse. I loved it. Now, after years of wondering what the hell I had watched, I stumbled across the golden treasure on Netflix! Destiny, thy name is House II.

So, is it everything I dreamed it would be? In a word: yes. Now, let's get something straight: this is not a sequel to House. It never was, it never will be, and god forbid you suggest such to a fan of the original. In fact, that's why this movie gets so much negative press: the only people that watch it are fans of the original, and they of course hate it with the passion of an angry god.The main problem is that this isn't a gory cheese fest like the original or Evil Dead, it's a whacky adventure more in the vein of Gremlins or Weird Science. And the the thing is, it's a GOOD one. 


The story revolves around a struggling artist that inherits a giant Aztec themed house that is rumored to act like a dimensional portal when a crystal skull ( bear in mind this was made in the 80's. I had no idea this myth had been around that long. Suck it, Lucas!) is put in the mantle. So after digging up his great great grandfather's grave, he finds out that not only does grandpappy have the skull, he's still alive and well. Well, for a zombie. And the hi-jinx begins! 


The main character and his comic relief sidekick have to chase down the skull in different time periods, including prehistoric, and let me tell you, this is the least historically accurate depiction yet. Jurassic Park fanboys, get your diapers ready, 'cuz your pants are gonna' be so full by the end of that scene. As for me? I loved the hell out of it. Barbarian cavemen, giant cat dinosaurs, and furry pterodactyls ahoy! I'm a huge sucker for puppets, and this movie makes damn good use of them. From the cute sidekick animals to the horrifying skeletal horse, traditional effects are the driving force behind what makes this movie so damn fun. 


So, the the undead cowboy isn't nearly as terrifying as I remember, but that's okay. That skeletal horse on the other hand? Screw that damn thing. Nightmare fuel for everyone! And one super pleasant surprise? The dumb boring brunette that the main character is shacked up with at the start predictably pulls the whole "oh my god, your acting weird, you have to be cheating on me!" crap, and leaves with the sleazy producer guy (played by Bill Maher) who's been horn-dogging on her the whole time. Does the main character whine and chase after his "one true love" for the rest of the movie? Hell no, he forgets about her dull ass and hooks up with the awesome Aztec princess they meet half way through the adventure! Finally, now that's an ending I can get behind.

If you've got an hour and a half to burn, and some witty friends with a good sense of fun over quality (and possibly a little liquor in them) give House II a shot. At the very least, it's a nice escape from the overly dramatic (or overly stupid) movies we get today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Assault on squad 45

By request, here are all three parts of Mega Bloks in-house stop motion Halo series, "Aussault on Squad 45":



Whoever the animator of these is, I'd love to see what he could do with some good old fashioned vinyl armature puppets.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Go Blue Team!

Is it true? Can it be?! The curse is lifted, my Target finally has the stock they should have had in August! It's been a hard, long wait but the exclusive Halo Mega-bloks blue team weapons pack is in my skeletal fingers! 


This is the first of the new Elite mold that I've had the chance to molest, and man was it worth the wait. "Improvement" doesn't even begin to describe how much better this sculpt is than the last, and the old one was a solid figure to begin with. The new torso has a much needed weapon plug on the back, and the sculpted mandibles on the new head are menacing as hell.

The kit load out is as such:

1x Carbine

1x Plasma Pistol

2x sexy painted Plasma Grenades

and the gooey glaze on this alien death-dealing donut

2x painted Needlers!

That's right, not one but two of the brand new needlers and they're both painted. Just the right amount for some good ol' fashioned dual wielding. What's that Bungie? Dual Needlers too powerful? Not fair? On the Deskscape, there is no "fair" only pink exlposive DEATH.

You also get one of the nifty new Covenant weapons crates to stash the extra munitions in. Oh, and you get the best display base ever. It's a super tiny chunk of jungle! There's a little rock and plant that you can slap down wherever you want to make this little spit of the Congo feel like home.


And it's versatile! take out the Halo elements and you've got a very different display. I love you Lego, we grew up together, but when it comes to display bases I have to rule in favor of big man Mega. Just imagine how great these little bits of land will be when the World of Warcraft line hits shelves, and you've already got a little piece of Un'goro Crater to loot and pillage!


For six bucks you just can't beat this set. Nearly every piece in it is new, and the few that aren't are painted up all nice and sexy. This is without a doubt the best weapons pack yet, and hopefully a sign of things to come. Now if only Target had stocked his crimson arch nemesis...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eco-rapist 5000

Can you believe it's almost been two years since Avatar was in theaters? It seems like just yesterday Pandoran death cults were making headlines, but there hasn't been any talk of a sequel since October of last year. Love it or hate it, you have to admit Avatar had a pretty damn impressive toyline, chock full of big vehicles and beasts, and topped with the sweetest cherry of all: The AMP Suit


I just rekindled my mad, dirty lust for this mecha-beast a few days ago, and haven't stopped touching it since. Looking for all the world like the loading Exo-suit from Aliens on steroids, this guy towers over 3 3/4 inch figures, and pretty much anything else shy of a Leader class 'former. And dear god is he poseable, way more poseable than this blocky design has any right to be. Stick a good figure in the cockpit, and you've got a Russian nesting doll of sexy plastic goodness. That's the true meaning of love, children: joints in your joints so you can pose while you pose.



And as for tools of wanton death-dealing, he packs a massive rifle and a nifty little machete tucked away in a sheathe just under the cockpit. Tiny problem with the BFG: it's so heavy that he has trouble holding it up. But is that really even something to complain about? The giant robot's gun is too big?





And the M. Night Shamadalamammamamammal twist? I don't even own any of the human figures from Avatar! The little lady in the photos above? Agent Helix from the G.I. Joe movie line, who just so happens to be the main person I bought this for. What can I say, lady likes her some firepower. In fact, pretty much any slender (sorry Thanos) 3 3/4" scale figure can fit snugly in the cockpit if you take the time to fiddle with it a bit.

The Avatar toyline was a rare bird that you just don't see anymore. Not since the Jurassic Park toys came and went had that perfect mix of crazy awesome creatures and bulky, fun vehicles been achieved. If you collect small scale figures, look into this line regardless of your feelings on the movie, 'cuz this is the best use of the scale in ages. I haven't checked the Ebay prices lately, but if you can get an AMP suit on the cheap, jump on it. You just can't put a price on 12" of pure metal ass-stomp.

Now let's just hope that when Cameron cranks out those sequels we get a hell of alot more Mechs and Monsters!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Suffer Not the Fowl!

The Solstice feast is upon us! Pick up your quadra-spears and pillage and devour like the pilgrim war-lords of old!

Most of you are probably already among your clans fighting for choice vitals (or at the strip club...fighting for choice vitals) but for you antisocial types, I'll leave you with a thanksgiving tradition I've celebrated for the past few years: Thanksgiving Lanterns! Imagine the leaders of every Lantern corps, having Thanksgiving together. HILARITY ENSUES. Just read a few Atrocitus ones and let all those feelings of holiday RAAAAAAAAGEEEEE DON'T STICK YOUR FINGER IN THE GRAVY FUUUUU- just slip awaaaay...

UPDATE: Pikachu spotted. The world is at peace.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For the Love of Pika

Turkey day is on the next horizon, and you can bet your bippy my ass will be up way to damn early listening to Al Roker try to talk over five billion marching bands. Why would I willingly watch the parade? Two words: Pikachu. Float.



Every year since I was eight I have witnessed this titanic electric mouse plow it's way through the streets. I couldn't even tell you why. I just have to I JUST HAVE TO! The universe would be out of alignment if once a year there were no latex Pika-blimp meandering too close to skyscrapers.




And hey, this year Sonic is back too. And Po from Kung fu panda, Tim Burton designed a float, too. So you know it won't be all bad. Oh god... you just know Danny Bonaduce is gonna do a musical number. Damn my cursed love for you Pikachu balloon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Green Lantern Animated Series Premeire Thoughts

Apparently the new Green Lantern show, one I've been looking forward to, had a nice big hour long preview last Friday. And I completely missed it because I'm a complete tit (at least that's what the British tell me!) 


Now that I've finally seen it, my thoughts:

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRR!!!!

I went in expecting a watered down child friendly GL, and what I got was a classic sci-fi flavored punch to the face. One of the major complaints leveled at this series' head was that it was a cheap cash-in to promote the movie, and would be a wacky romp in cartoon land.

Let me describe the delightful opening scene for you: Two red lanterns have captured a green lantern hostage, and have a lovely discourse on the subject of what to do with him. They come to the wonderful conclusion that if they kill him, his ring will find a new host, and they can kill them too!
Fun for the whole family!


Speaking of the red lanterns holy crap the red lanterns are the main villains! I mean, I expected to see the Sinestro corps. later in the season or something, but no, one of the cool new corps. from war of light are the main antagonists! Zilius Zox is in the first episode, and I can't wait see more of their members. Like Bleez. Or Dex-starr. There damn well better be Dex-starr. Meow bitches. 

Let's talk mister big red RAGE himself, Atrocitus. His new design is...weird. Not bad, but not really what you expect Atroc-y to look like. Then again this is on Cartoon Network, and I can't imagine a character that looks like a skinned human head that constantly spews up boiling blood is going to win over soccer moms any time soon. That said, this guy is definitely the big ol' hate machine we know and love. The first thing out of his fanged maw is a spiel about how the guardians will pay for destroying- well Skaar is what they call it in the show. Again, don't think a red devil spaceman yelling about Sector 666 would go over too well with the Christian Alliance.
And the GL roster is no disappointment either, with Kilowog, Salaak, and Ganthet being a bro as usual. Man I love Kilowog, and I really dig the unique costume he's got this time around. He also has a Brooklyn accent exactly like the Thing. Weird, but I love the Thing. I am okay with this.


The show starts off light-hearted and fun, so I can understand why people would write it off, but by the end of the second episode, some seriously heavy stuff has hit the fan. Holy character development, Batman! They actually bring up Kilowog's past, explore the emotions of one of the red lanterns, and even explore the family life of  an average Green Lantern. Some really rich stuff here. 

And Hal. Oh, Hal. I've already seen people complaining about this version of him not being accurate. At one point he seduces a female version of Hal 9000. That's pretty much Hal in a nutshell. Thick, womanizing, and exactly who you want by your side when Darkseid starts playing musical chairs with doomsday devices. 
The art direction is extremely minimalist and cartoony, it looks exactly like a 3d version of the Bruce Timm DCAU art style. This is pretty much the opposite of Transformers: Prime and The Clone Wars, and I dig it. It shows the kind of range that CGI animation can have, and the more versatile an art form the better. The minimalistic set design also gives  space and the planets a real 50's Buck Rogers/Star Trek feel. It really keeps the series from being Clone Wars light, and it's a look that really suits the campy space opera action feel that the Green Lantern story thrives in.

Speaking of space, the show may look simple but it still is packed with little details. For example, every time a lantern is in space they are covered in green light to show that the ring is protecting them from the vacuum. Nice little bit, that.

This is definitely a series to keep an eye on, and early next year it'll be coming on after Thundercats so you know damn well you'll be there anyway.

Now. Larfleeze. Doooooo iiiiiiiit...

Friday, November 18, 2011

One and a Half Pack

The Tolkien-fest continues! The first set of Lord of the Rings figures I ever bought was the Gimli and Uruk-hai two pack Toybiz released during Fellowship. It retailed for fifteen or so, but I stumbled across it and the Frodo and Sam two pack on a school trip to the mall, in K B Toys for six freakin' bucks each! Man, that was one loooong awkward bus ride home. Never has buying toys been so humiliating yet so so satisfying. I miss K B Toys :(




I was going to use ye' olden lightbox for this review, but when you look at these guys they just beg to be taken outdoors! Just look at the details in the sculpts, and the crazy amount of paint apps. Can you believe these were ten dollar Wal-mart toys at one point? Now days Neca and Mezco are the only guys who can even approach this quality, and you'll definitely be paying for it. Damn you, economics!

Ten years ago was a much different time in the toy industry, and Gimli shows it. He looks absolutely fantastic, has a working holster for his axe on his belt, and you see those black spots on his armor? Orc blood. That's right they painted splattered ORC BLOOD all over him. Holy crap. It's like holding a tiny clone of John Rhys Davies in your hand. And who doesn't want that, am I right ladies? If you saw a figure that looked this good today you'd think "Man, he must be able to move like a beast!" 



He's basically a really pretty 90's X-men figure, only moving at the hips and shoulders. He also has a barely functioning spring loaded axe throwing gimmick, yay. It really drives home that these were meant for kids. That makes how damn good he looks that much more impressive. And when you look this good, does it really matter that you can't moon walk? He's a dwarf, axe-ing things in the face is all he needs.


Oh man the Uruk-hai. I love Uruk-hai more than I could ever express. If I were rich, I would fill an entire room with a massive rank and file Uruk army and go all Sarumon on that ass. And considering how good this figure looks, it'd be worth it. You've got eyes, you can see all the details in the pictures, but here's something that can't be portrayed in photos. That shield? It feels like rough brazen fire-forged steel, and you'd swear it was made of metal if you didn't know better. I have never seen another toy achieve that. Again, children's toyline. Mind blown.

He's got a leg up on Gimli (HO HO 'cuz he's a Dwaaaarf!) in the articulation department with elbows and knees and the ringer: ANKLES! That's plenty for all the snarly sword-slappin' poses you'll need. Unfortunately, no wrists. awwwwww...

He has a vaguely-sword-waving gimmick too, but one thing Toybiz did right (you know, on top everything else they did right) is ratchet the shoulders so that they're still pose-able. 


These two are still my favorite LotR figures I've got, you just can't beat two nice looking figures loaded with great looking accessories. Articulation picked up and gimmicks went down as the line progressed, but these two still stand up to the later entries, and if you ask me this is the best Gimli made. Now I just need Lurtz, a berserker, and a crossbowman and I'll have a decent Uruk raiding party...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Mold to Rule Them All

The Hobbit is creeping closer and closer, and Peter Jackson's production video diaries have got me strapping on the hairy feet and elf ears again. I've started dragging out my Lord of the Rings stuff, and suddenly remembered the LotR Minimates set I bought on Free Comic Book Day earlier this year.

It was during my last Minimates buying frenzy, and I stumbled across a single Boromir and Merry set rotting on the pegs at Hastings for ten bucks. I'd just finished Lost, and Charlie was one of my favorite characters so there was no way in hell it wasn't getting bought. These were made almost ten years ago, and I don't think this thing was touched since. I tried blowing off the dust and instantly got black lung. Organ transplant costs aside, it was totally worth it 'cuz these figures are really damn nifty.






They're Minimates, so you know what to expect, but they still have a few surprises up their cylindrical sleeves. They both have working sheathes for their tiny swords for one thing. There are six inch figures who can't say the same. One tiny little disappointment is that in order to pull off the height difference between Hobbits and Elves they built the Hobbits on the basic Minimates body, and everyone else on the original 2.5 inch body. No spiderman/Frodo team-up extravaganza :(
That is, unless you want to recreate "Attack of the Mega-Baggins!"




Considering he has no nose, Merry manages to look alot like Dom Monaghan. The sculpted cloak and over-shirt capture that unique LotR feel really well for a block figure, too. And look at those tiny little hairy feet! He only gets a sword and sheathe for accessories, but considering it's Merry what else could they give him? Besides some nice, crispy bacon that is. 

His sword is another victim to plastic packaging, though. Just look at that massive bend, I don't think being sat under all the books in the world can undo ten years of that.



Boromir got all the accessory love in this two-pack, with his sword and shield and the Horn of Gondor. He doesn't look quite like Sean Bean, but there's no way in hell you don't know who this is. Fortunately his sword is made of sterner plastic and doesn't lean to the left like Merry's. (DO HO HO!) Also, ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY BLOCK INTO MORDOR!

Now I need a tiny Frodo for him to terrorize...

 
I usually never keep packaging, but just look at this! It's a tiny Bag end! There are even tiny windows on the sides. And the cardboard backer is the middle-earth map! You can tell these were made in the golden peak of the toy industry, before oil costs beat the "fun-budget" out of it. 

These little guys are great, and it's too bad the line ended after the second wave. A third wave was planned, but never made it to shelves. If they were more readily available you can bet your ass I'd be building a tiny orc army to pillage and plunder the Desk-scape! If you happen across these in a local shop and the price is right, go for it, especially if you want a tiny taste of Tolkien on your desk to waste time messing with.  Now, time to break out the Legos. My kingdom for a tiny block Shire...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aggressively Green

Ever since Skylanders was shown off at E3 this year, I knew it was gonna' be special. I mean, combining toys with video games has been tried before, but Freaky Creatures didn't have the benefit of being developed by Activision for major consoles (or being good figures).



I tried to resist the urge, but as soon as I laid eyes on Stealth Elf, I knew she was getting bought waaay before I could ever afford the game she's an add-on to. I mean, color her purple and she's a super-deformed Night elf that dual wields fangs. Not knives, fangs. Think about that.
Seeing how well other "Smart Toys" had come out ( Why Freaky Creatures? Why do you look so terrible and cost so much?), I was pretty damn wary about the quality of these figures. I am so sorry for ever doubting. I expected Activision to partner up with Bandai or Mattel, but they tapped Toys For Bob, who oddly enough have never made toys before. Man am I glad they did 'cuz they knocked it out of the park.



The paintwork and sculpting is nice. She reminds me of an up-sized tabletop gaming miniature, and I mean that in the best way possible. Eight bucks may seem steep for a paper-weight, but the paint alone is worth it, I mean look at the highlights in her hair! And speaking of paint, she glows in the dark! Apparently one of her special abilities in the game is to turn invisible except for her glowing eyes, and the toys mimics that perfectly. Hold her up to a light for just a second, and her eyes will blaze at you from the darkness. She's like a glowstick! 

After I discovered that little gimmick her value just doubled. TFB really understands that a collectable figure game has to have figures worth collecting. Bravo sirs. And the packaging! It's like a tiny shrine to the character inside, with massive splash art and a wraparound bubble that practically puts the figure inside on a pedestal. I haven't seen packaging this good from the big guys in years. Tapping an out of the loop company was probably the best decision possible. "Cost effectiveness? To hell with that, Glow in the dark paint and Mini-shrines!"



And even if you don't own the main Skylanders game, you can still tap into the E-frontier action figure 2.0 FUTUUUUUURE! On the Skylanders homepage there is a simple MMO game that you can use a code included with the figure to play. And the code is specific to your figure, so all of your stats and progress are for the figure that's in your hand. That's pretty nifty. There are lots of mini-games to play using your Skylander like...Angry Birds. Yep. Loooooots of Angry Birds.


The Skylanders console release is getting good reviews, and there are 36 characters to choose from so you're bound to find one that floats your boat. If you happen across one of these little buggers that just tickles your fancy, go for it. The price isn't bad and the figures are definitely up to snuff. Just consider it an investment in your future, because you know once you buy one you're damn well going to get the game. I'm probably going to end up with at least two more, these figures are just that well made.

Protip: Look for these in Electronics rather than toys. And don't even bother asking for help, unless you want the inside of a Wal-mart employees head all over your new shirt.

Special thanks to the cashier at the Game Stop in Russelville, AR for exploding with enthusiasm as soon as I sat Miss Elf on the counter. Now I know exactly which talent tree to take months in advance, AND which stores have exclusives. Seriously, pay this guy as much as possible, he deserves it. Best wishes to you and Brighteyes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Azeroth in Still Life

I happened to look in my World of Warcraft folder, and realized I have a massive glut of screenshots I've taken since I started my first character. Let me take you on a maaaaaaagical journey:





People always say that WoW players are addicted to the grind. The truth is, it gets rough no matter what epic loots your desperately farming. But if you scroll out and turn off the UI, there's always something great to remind you why you stay in the land of a thousand Orcs.