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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Godzilla vs. Father Time

Let me tell you a story. The story of a proud ink that refused to die. See, I bought this Godzilla stamper from a thrift shop in 2008.



It was produced in '98 to promote "Mr. Godzilla Goes to Manhattan", and stayed factory fresh until I promptly ripped it open and breathed in that fresh, Pokemon infested late 90's air. That was four years ago. Today the urge washed over me to dethrone the king of monsters and go to town on some Innocent paper. This was the result:

Holy. God. That ink has been around since before I hit puberty, and looks fresh as a daisy. THE POWER OF THE ATOM! And excuse me for not being up to snuff on the last ten years of stamp technology, but that looks pretty damn cool. I remember when you got a malformed smiley face if you were lucky. Look at that! He has shading!


I think I'm going to have my name legally changed to that stamp. "What's that? Sign your petition? BAM Godzilla stamp! Gonna' crush and destroy some unhealthy lunchroom food!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cheetah Can't Change it's Spots

I finally managed to track down some Thundercats goodness! The distribution on this line is ridiculous, one store out the six that are in the surrounding towns here. Really?  
I picked up Cheetarah. Man, I love the new Cheetarah design. If it weren't for Kevin Micheal Richards Panthro goodness, she'd have the top character slot, no contest. I mean for a female character designed by a Japanese animation studio, she's even more muscular and powerful than most western characters. That's pretty damn impressive.


Fortunately, this figure does a good job of capturing her likeness. I was more than a little suspect when Bandai America got the license, but they've done the 'Cats justice so far. One problem with Bandai: They adamantly avoid doing female figures. UH-OH. 



Yeah, she's not quite as good looking from the side. by which I mean she freakin' disappears when she turns sideways. That wouldn't be too bad, if it weren't for the magnet gimmick. Tiny feet don't mix with heavy magnets, and she has a hell of a time standing. Sad kitty :c. She has peg holes in her feet, but they're an odd size and none of my Hasbro 3 3/4" figure stands had big enough pegs.

Some people have complained about the three way swivels she has at the hips instead of balljoints, but I haven't had any problems getting her into "I'mma smack you in the face with mah stick" poses. It's just getting her to stand up in them that's the issue. Once you track down a nice base, she may not be on the Kung-fu grip G.I. Joe side of the articulation chart, but she holds her own. 

...Okay, are the nit-pickers gone? Yes? Good. THIS FIGURE IS FUUUUUUUUN! I haven't stopped fiddling with her (oh HO!) since I popped her bubble open. (BO HO HOOOO!) She looks good, moves well enough, and is just all around a nice desk toy, once you figure out how to keep her standing. And she apparently plays well with others, because sometime in the past week she picked up a pet. One of my Halo Mega-Bloks Hunters hasn't left her side. Don't ask, my desktop is an oasis of plastic debauchery, and what happens there stays there. Like Vegas. 40's and 50's Vegas. Good Vegas.

Speaking of which, I've got some lurid erotic fan-fiction to write...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

20,000 Pixels to Hell

Ever thought to yourself "I like Minecraft, but I just hate the 3rd dimension!" ? Then have I got a game for you! Terraria!
Okay, in all honesty this game is only about 20 percent Minecraft and 80 percent Castlevania. You'll be doing alot more item gathering and monster slaying than mining, and that's A-okay.

A nice little touch I didn't expect was character customization. I am, of course, the fine lady of color (that color being green). Yes, there is both mining and crafting, but your goal is less "shape this world to be my grand masterpiece" and more " I will crush and conquer this land with SCIENCE!" The better the materials you gather, the stronger you get, but so do the monsters you have to fend off. There are TONS of secrets to uncover, and more are added with every update
.

Now, let's talk about the crafting. The crafting is a bitch. But that's by design, and part of what makes the game so fun. It's less harvesting a living from the land, and more like an rpg weapon crafting system. As an example, here's what you need to make a healing potion: First, you need wood for a crafting table. Then more wood for a normal table. Then stone and torches to make a forge. Then sand to make glass. Then you turn the glass into bottles, and put one on the table to make a alchemy table. Then you need goo from a slime. AND MUSHROOMS. RAUUUUUUUUGHH!!!! But that's kind of the point, the harder you work to find things, the easier it becomes to get those things, but there is always something better on the horizon.

And then there's the meat and potatoes, the combat. This is what it's all about, slashing zombies, farming rare drops, and upgrading DAT EQUIPMENT. There are alot of enemies, from skeleton miners and sharks, to bosses like the Eye of C'thulhu. And then there's the Blood Moon. The damn Blood Moon. Imagine your just mining away, 5,000 feet away from your house, and suddenly OOPS BLOOD MOON, THE FLOOR IS NOW ZOMBIES. Zombies, zombies everywhere. More zombies than people who were ever alive. That. Damn. Blood. Moon.

There's also a great Multiplayer mode. Nothing like dropping dynamite down the mineshaft your loyal companion spent three hours digging. Did I do thaaaaaat?

You can pick up Terarria on Steam, and I suggest you do so before it blows up, 'cuz there's a steady stream of updates and the game just keeps getting better and better.

To all of you loyalists, don't worry. Minecraft is still lord of it's domain. Terraria just has a little fun with a few things borrowed out of it's toybox.

Friday, November 4, 2011

CoH part 6: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

SO after being raided by Arachnos twice wheels finally started turning. Why would Arachnos care so much about the underwear of one tiny unknown superteam in the middle of the safest place in the city? It's like they weren't after panties at all!

 I brought up my concerns to Dillo, and we discussed it while pondering the vast mysteries of vending machines. I mean, why does one Mrs. Feild's cookie cost more than a bag of bugles? What was I doing? Oh right, the greater good. I should go talk to Grymm.
 The important thing about talking to Grymm is maintaining eye contact for at least an hour beforehand.You have to assert dominance. And no sudden movements, or he'll eat your face. He told me to go talk to Flambeux. Awww, do I have to?
 Flambeux gives me some crap about her hair being perfect, and just keeps saying stupid things. That I can deal with. Then she calls me stupid. OHOHOHO No, my friend. Did you know that a Yeti can slap the paintjob off a tank? Flambeux does.
 Apparently I knocked some (very little) sense into her, because she tells me about some arrows she found the last time Arachnos invaded the base. The arrows belong to Manticore. Manticore is this world's answer to Batman. Dear god. 


Clearly Arachnos has taken him hostage! I gather up the group, and we storm the gates of Manticore's mansion on the outskirts of town! The group meaning me, since I'm the only one capable of getting things done. Oh my yes, quite luxurious. And empty. Nothing bad ever happens in abandoned mansions. Never. 

What the...Grymm? GRYMM! NOOOOOOOOOOO wait this thing is dated 1776. Never mind, then.

Oh look, thugs. SO MANY THUGS. You can't toss a doomsday device without hitting a friggin' thug. I reaaally should have brought help. Like a SUPER-TEAM, maybe. Too bad I'm not a member of one of those.

After wading through a sea of cannon fodder, I finally find the big guy. THE KING HAS RETURNED! And apparently he was behind this all along! It was all just a test! Of course it was, this guy is basically Batman in a fluffier suit. Dickery comes with the territory. But the good news is, he approves, and better yet, wants to join the team! You mean someone competent AND rich?! Yes, please!
I asked him where all the panties went, but he had already vanished. Damn Batman types.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bi-curious

Free toys are the best toys. My mother gave me a mystery figure out of her yard-sale spoils the other day. Of course, being the Grand Warlock of plastic novelties, I knew exactly what it was...THE FREAKIN' BI-BEAST!!

He's like the third most well known Hulk villain! Unfortunately, that's like saying the third most black rock in a fire. Nobody knows who the hell Bi-Beast is, so don't feel bad. That's why I'm here, to fill that little head with the mental equivalent of dryer lint. 



Yes, you are correct, he has a two-story head. Why? Who the hell knows. Apparently he's an android made by a race of bird aliens to protect a temple or something. So why does he look like a horribly mutated inbred bubba-hulk? It was the 70's, and cocaine is a hell of a drug, that's why. This figure is based on his re-design from the movie video game, and thank god for that. I don't think I could take owning a two-headed man in a speed-o. 


He's got nice joints in all the right places... except the shoulders. Unfortunately he's been saddled with a gimmick: He's got the robot windmill punch going on. You know, when you whip your arms around and make a complete ass of yourself? Still I can't really complain. It's not like there's ever going to be another Bi-Beast figure ever again, and this one does him more justice than I could ever ask for. An okay figure is like a golden masterpiece to the brave souls like myself who fight for the ridiculous little characters of yore. Keep on punching Bi-Beast, you'll beat the Hulk someday...I j-just know it... *sniff*