Friday, November 3, 2017

Marvel Legends Vintage Series Black Widow

Oh yeah, finally got a Black Widow Marvel Legend. Came across the Vintage wave at Walgreen's today, and was stoked there was a Black Widow left cause she was the one I wanted most because I was never able to get a figure of her 'til now to complete my Avengers line up. Couldn't bring myself to ever buy the terrible looking 2004 Toybiz figure, and thanks to limited production and distribution of the 2010 two-packs I can never afford the far superior near perfect Hasbro version.

As is Hasbro current M.O. she just uses a standard adult female body cast in black plastic with only her belt and Stinger gauntlets make her definitively comic book Natasha Romanov. Her head is reused from the Toys"R" Us two-pack Mary Jane, but I think works better for Natasha, I do wish the the hair color was a bit lighter, and not sure why they tried this weird fade from lighter to darker wash on the hair though. She comes with two "Nick Fury" pistols as I call them instead of more real world looking hand guns, which I don't mind cause she has used them in the comics, but I might look in my weapons bin to see if I can arm her with something else.

I really hope they make another wave of these Vintage Marvel Legends, cause I really love the retro inspired blister cards, and gives use collectors a cool reason to pick up a repaint when they pull on the ol' childhood nostaltiga. Personally I can't wait to see if they make a bright green Hulk or classic costume Thor. Now I just need a Marvel Cinematic Universe Black Widow to join my movie Avengers, but also still need a comic version Winter Soldier, damn ultra rare two-packs.  


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gundam Unicorn 02 Banshee (Destroy Mode)

My long time good friend and fellow blogger Kajimaru got me this San Diego Comic-Con Bandai booth exclusive clear plastic model kit way back in 2012, and now in 2017 I finally got around to building him. He didn't take long to build, I finished him in just about under two days. He was a little unique in assembling when it came to the exposed Psycho-Frame pieces with the yellow under pieces, and then the small "moved/opened" armor pieces which made each limb very tedious.

Noticed for some reason I didn't put up a Real Grade Gundam Mk.II pic on the Gundam Model Kit Page, even though I did a full review, so pic added. Currently got 4 model kits waiting to be built: HG Turn-A Gundam, HG 1/100th Gundam Heavyarms Custom, HG Full Armor Gundam Thunderbolt, and a SD Heavyarms I've had for over a decade. I think I'm leaning towards building the 1/100th Gundam Heavyarms Custom, so look forward to step-by-step post of every time I work on him.



Friday, October 27, 2017

G2 Laser Optumus Prime Reprolabels

















Oh yeah, now here is my recently acquired Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime with the replacement stickers I got from Reprolabels. Definitely an improvement, and also hastily used a Gundam detail pen to fill in some panel lines. I could do more, but I think I'm gonna stop there before I go overboard and really regret it. I'll have to dig out my G2 Megatron and R.I.D. Scourge and take some more pics.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Vacation Toy Hunt Finds

Just came back from a week long vacation in the state of Indiana, and my idea of an awesome vacation was hitting vintage used toy shops every day in a different town. My first day was in Chicago, Illinois where I got to hang out with two favorite podcasters from Optimusprimecast, Dale and Eric, who showed me, and my wife around town, taking us to all the great toy shops in their area, except Quake Collectibles that sadly closes on Tuesdays which was the day I arrived.

Our first stop was Namaka Toys, this was an awesome place, not a vintage store, but dealed in high end pricey imports merchandise, mostly Japanese imports including Gundam model kits, and Takara Masterpiece Transformers which had me drooling. Didn't pick up anything for myself there, but did find an awesome birthday present for a friend.

Toy de Jour was where I got my first find. Dale, and Eric was digging through a box of recently acquired Transformers, and who is sitting on top the pile to which I had to quickly pick up, and examine to check quality, and completeness, but Transformers: Prime First Edition Voyager Class Optimus Prime complete with both weapons and virtualy no damage or missing parts. What puzzled us, and the store owner was that his head was not what it should of been of Optimus with his face plate up, but a nicely detailed plate-less face, so we were thinking perhaps it was customized or a foreign variant we didn't know about. To find out after some research later that the head is a third party part swap: Dr. Wu DW-TF06 Sage Maskless Face.









We also hit another toy shop called Rad Vintage, a comic shop, and a gaming card shop called The Dice Dojo, where I did find two Planeswalkers cards I was looking for a very price. With only a few hours to hang with Dale and Eric, and to roam around Chicago it was time to drive out to Indiana.



Our first stop in Indiana was D's Toys in Indianapolis where I acquired my very first Beast Wars Transformer figure with Transmetal Optimus Prime, he dosen't have his weapons, but is in superb condition. My other great finds there was loose McFarlane Toys Youngblood Die Hard with all his accessories, and found the first three brothers of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leo, Don, and Mikey, all in fantastic shape, and complete with their weapons fueling the need to find Raph in my continued hunting.

Stop #2 in Indianapolis was The Toy Pit, which after much digging and deliberation I only walked away with a carded Playmates WildC.A.T.s Grifter, starting me down the path of having to complete the team, but did find another great addition to go with my present for my friend I got at Nakama Toys the day before.


  

Kokomo Toys in Kokomo, Indiana I can only describe as Vintage Toy Heaven, this was the shop I was at the longest digging through pegs of loose bagged figures, and probably spent the most money. Very happily here was where I found the Raphael to complete my 2007 TMNT team. I checked off two rare-hard-to-find figures I was looking for off  my list with Marvel Legends Commander Steve Rogers, and DC Universe Classics Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, both complete with their accessories. Surprisinly also found the recently released Marvel Legends Death's Head II, loose with his extra hand just not in the official package, and paid less then retail, Score!










In Mishawaka I ran in to Tom's Vintage Toys, which i almost walked out with nothing until I came across a Playmate Star Trek: The Original Series Tricorder, but it wasn't until I pressed a button and heard that 60's tv show sound effect that I knew I couldn't leave without it.

Added another Playmates WildC.A.T.s member with Zealot at Corn Coast Comics in Huntington.




















My final hunting spot was the furthest to get to, but what I found there was truly worth the travel time, because at Sewer Lair Toys in Terre Haute I found one of my Holy Grail Transformers: Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime. He's not 100% complete, missing the disc launcher form the tanker, ripped stickers on the chest, the sword has part of the handle broken off, and some paint scraped off his hands, but damn did I pay a fraction of what I probably would of paid for a similar condition off Ebay. Just got to get some replacement stickers, track down a disc launcher,and hopefully maybe a replacement sword, and he'll look great along with my G2 Megatron.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Star Wars Episode VIII Title Reveal

-STAR WARS-
EPISODE VIII:
THE LAST JEDI 

I like it, they broke away from the old sci-fi serial sounding titles of the previous second entries. This title sounds more like a chapter in a book, which I say is kinda fitting for the second to last installment of the overall Skywalker saga. The title of course refers to the self exiled Jedi Master who was finally located at the end of the previous film, Luke Skywalker, who was referenced as such in Episode VII's opening crawl and a couple times in the movie.

I really loved that the teaser poster is nearly identical to the teaser poster from two years ago just with a different color logo and the new title, well done. Another great touch is the color red for the Star Wars logo, which to a lot of long time Star Wars fans is meant to invoke memories of 1983's Return of The Jedi which a great amount of it's advertising and merchandise feature an all red logo. A nice connection signifying that after the death of The Emperor Luke thought he could create a new Jedi Order, only to have tragedy strike once again making him The Last Jedi as Yoda told him he was before his death.

"When gone am I, the last of the Jedi you will be."- Master Yoda



 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DC Rebirth Batman & JLA Review

DC Universe Rebirth Batman One-Shot & Batman #1-6
At  first I wasn't gonna pick up this series cause I didn't know anything about the writer Tom King, but then I started hearing how good the the second story arc "I Am Suicide" was, and regretted not getting it from the start. So I hunted down the one-shot and the first six issues, and I have to say I really enjoyed it, it has a nice balance of action, drama, and humor, and David Finch's art wasn't too extreme as it's been in the past. All-Star Batman is still the superior Bat-book, but I can't wait to read the "I Am Suicide" arc, and see the return of classic worthy intelligent Bat-villain Bane.


Justice League of America (4th Series) #1-4, 6-10
Oh yeah!, I waited to read this storyline until I had every issue, and it was a wait, cause of delays there was months between issues, taking a year and a half to gather all nine parts of the arc. To me it was worth it, I love Bryan Hitch's work and I know he likes to do year long stories, and with how fricking good this story was; it would of killed me reading and waiting through the delays. By waiting I just picked up every issue as I finally saw it on the shelf and put it in a box cherishing the thought of one day reading an epic 12 part Bryan Hitch Justice League run, though in the end it turned out only to be 9 parts probably cause the story had to be changed to fit in with DC's Rebirth launch.

I really loved that the team was split for most for most of the story, and that there were parts in the past , present and future all happening at the same time with some issues just focusing on one member at a time. Sucks Hitch couldn't draw issue 10, but he was probably too busy starting to write the new Rebirth Justice League ongoing at the time. Solicitations still shows two issues, and an annual are coming out, so hopefully we'll still get those cause I love getting more League action with Hal Jordan still on the team.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Comic Reviews 12-31 Pt.2

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Pink #4-5
Boom Studios' second dose of MMPR love a month is the almost over, and like the main ongoing each issue keeps on rolling with more and more surprises. Issue #4 adds two more temporarily powered Rangers bringing Kimberly's team up to the standard five to battle Goldar, his human transforming monster, and his War Zord built out of previous destroyed Zords. What's great though is after Kim and her team saves the town and it's people in #5 there's still one more issue left and they have to go rescue Tommy and the main team, awesome. 

Suicide Squad #5-6-7-8
I don't use this word often, or even type it for that matter, but Uhg! It's becoming a real pain to read this comic, I almost threw issue #8 across the room. It takes alot for me to say I hate something, and I have been giving this writer a chance, but I'm gonna come out and say it: Rob Williams is a horrible fricking writer. This whole last eight issues reads like it was written by an 8 year old, which by me saying that is a disrespect to an actual 8 year old that I think could of actually written something better. 

Even worst is what was told in these eight issues could of been easily told in four, cause each issue is only half the pages with the other half being a back-up solo story, way to stretch it out there Rob. I really hope we get another writer soon, cause I hate giving DC my money and they thinks I actually like the writing when I'm only buying it for Jim Lee's art and Romita Jr.'s art when he comes on board. It truly pains me too, seeing Lee drawing out William's most likely badly described so called "action scenes", I know William's narrative is severely hindering Lee's great potential.

Supergirl #3-4
Giving this series a chance to see where it goes after the Cyborg Superman incident, I'm still getting use to Brain Ching's artwork too, I don't hate it, it's just a little wonky to me. I hoping to see more of the angry Kryptonian Kara for the start of the new 52, I don't want her to instantly become the cheery, hope filled innocent minded Supergirl, I would like to see her struggle with her anger and gradually become a more clear minded hero. Can not wait to see how she defeats Cyborg Superman and his legion of techno-zombies, hopefully it's a good brutal showdown.

 Superman #9-10-11-12-13 & Annual #1
I'm really digging these quick two part story arcs, of course the Superboy and Robin story was goddamn great, teasing you what the Supersons ongoing is going to be like. The Annual was a great tale of Superman encountering Swamp Thing and them dealing with Superman not being from this Earth and how his very presence is actually harming it, setting up great narratives for future story arcs coming up. My favorite Rebirth title, still going strong, fun fun read.

  Trinity #2-3-4 
Francis Manapul's tour through the three heroes past and psyches is really really good. You can really tell this series is were these three are gonna come together and become the close friends who know each other extremely well and are the trusted teammates who form the heart of the Justice League. Holy shit! Mongoul, I know he's pop up a couple times in the New 52 so far, but this the first I've seen him since 2009, it's gonna be great to see the Trinity take him on.

Comic Reviews 12-31 Pt.1

All-Star Batman #4-5
The last two issues with artist John Romita Jr. concludes the "My Own Worst Enemy" story, it's sad to see Romita leave after only 5 issues, but that's why they're calling this series All-Star cause it's going to have rotating All-Star artist for every story arc. Romita is going over to Suicide Squad next, and our next All Star artist is Jock, who worked with Snyder on a run of Detective Comics before Flashpoint that was damn good. I know I haven't said anything concerning the actual comics, but I really don't know what to say that I didn't already say about #1-3, it's Snyder's great character driven writing, and fricking incredible Romita Jr. artwork, it is awesome. Perfect Batman tale in every way, period.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #6-7-8
Oh thank Thanos issue #6 was the last tie-in issue with Civil War II, no more unnecessary filler that didn't move the story along, and what's great is #7 picks up right where #4 ended like you didn't need #5 & 6 at all. I call this book my "Hydra-Steve Crack", it kills me waiting a month between issues, it's so good, every flashback of Steve's altered memories just keeps getting grander and grander. I hope this storyline goes on for a while, I can't wait to see what he does with Baron Zemo, who now in his memories was childhood friends with, and the upcoming showdown with Taskmaster, and how this is all going to end. 

Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad #1-2
I'm really enjoying this, it's so refreshing to read Suicide Squad written by someone other the horrible hack that's writting the main series right now, but more on that later. Enjoying and can't wait to see where Maxwell Lord and his Nightmare Army go, and what they know of the pre-Flashpoint timeline and see if we start to see more Watchmen connections. Loving the weekly release of each issue and that it's a contained story in the mini-series and not having to pick up Justice League or Suicide Squad with each comic being a different part.

DC Rebirth Justice League One-Shot & Justice League #1-2
Started picking up the new Justice League to get some more Superman action, really loved the one-shot with Superman finally deciding to join the League officially cause the League and the world need's a Superman. I loved Bryan Hitch's JLA run, and really glad he's still writing the team even  though he couldn't write and draw this time cause of the new release schedule. Glad to see the team is split up all over the world fighting the threat, what a group book done right can be, instead of eight heroes throwing all their powers at one focus we see individuals and pairs working towards the same goal.

Mighty Morhpin' Power Rangers #8-9-10
This comic right here along with Superman and Captain America is the main reason I have started going to the comic shop weekly again. Each issue just keeps on getting better and better, and with issue #9's reveal of who was behind the Black Dragon being an evil alternate timeline Power Ranger (most likely Tommy) was fricking mind-blowing. Again Higgins' add something to the Power Ranger mythos with out altering anything we already held as fact in #10 with Billy struggle to be a better Ranger with staying Morphed under his clothes minus the gloves and helmet, never thought of that before, amazing.

Part 2 with five more reviews coming up next...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

R.I.P Carrie Fisher

Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956-December 27, 2016)

The world has lost a bright light this day, and is truly dimmer for it, as today we lost the ever beautiful and talented actress and writer Carrie Fisher. I don't have to tell you who she is most famous for portraying on the silver screen, I just want to say that I, and her billions of fans send out our deepest condolences to Fisher's friends and family at this emotional time. The World for generations and generations to come will never not know you and adore you, goodbye Your Highness... Your Majesty... Your Worship... Princess.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Star Wars: Rogue One Review

SPOILERS! WARNING! SPOILERS!

Disney owned Lucasfilm kicks off the very first stand alone Star Wars movie, and by The Force was it awesome, and dare I say damn near perfect. Now why not perfect? Well, the very first point on my very small list of nit-picks is that the actual finished movie we saw in theaters is almost a completely different tone of narrative then the trailers we've been watching for the last 8 months lead us to think we were going to see. The most jarring issue being footage and lines seen and heard in the trailers, but not in the released movie giving the appearance of either a re-edit after re-shoots or parts filmed specifically for the trailers to build anticipation, to which I say hopefully we'll get an extended cut on Blu-Ray in a few months.

Granted, yes it happens all the time, stuff seen and heard in trailers doesn't always make it in to the final cut of movies these days, but the trailer's ensemble of bits gave a sense of a young woman finally finding her place in the galaxy in an alliance of underdogs against an imposing regime, but the actual story is darker and bumpier. She doesn't immediately want to help the Rebellion, and sees she is just being used to find her father, and then has to fight for the leaders to listen to her father's gambit and, in the end her determination inspires only a small group to help her to which then only after when that group calls for reinforcements does the rest of the Rebel Alliance go to war. So what I'm saying is I would of liked Jyn inspiring and lighting a fire under the Rebellion's ass as a whole instead on the slow trickle chain reaction we got.

On to characters, I didn't know what to expect from K-2SO, but I'm glad they didn't put many of his line in trailers cause every time he spoke he stole the moment, Alan Tudyk did an extraordinary job. I really liked Diego Luna's Cassian Andor, as a lover of realistic spy and military movies he was a welcomed rendition to the Star Wars galaxy, and can't wait to see what kind of books writers can write about his earlier missions. Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen was superb casting as Chirrut Îmwe, and Baze Malbus bringing something I find very lacking in alot of Star Wars material; those who can't use The Force, but believe in The Force; something I always was lead to believe was like a religion in the Star Wars universe from how it was talked about in the original trilogy.

I have to say Director Krennic played by Ben Mendelsohn was not the Imperial officer I thought he was going to be, and I liked it, he was more of a sniveling bureaucrat and crooked businessman, but at the same time knew how to do things better then the career military officers around him. I really hate that he was a victim of the re-editing and re-shoots I would of love to have seen him do more in the movie. Speaking of doing more in the film, holy shit was Grand Moff Tarkin in a big chunk of the film, as a CGI resurrected actor over body double I thought we would only seen once quick scene with him in the shadows, but damn was he a major part of the story, I applaud you Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic, very well executed. 

I think I have to say I like Rogue One a bit more than The Force Awakens, and it's because of the direct connection to the original trilogy, where as The Force Awakens tried to pander to OT fans, fans of the prequels and to mass audiences giving it an uncohesiveness in overall tone. Oh boy does this movie rev up my love for the original trilogy with it's ending leading directly in to he opening scene of A New Hope by perhaps mere moments, perfection. That final Darth Vader hallway scene was a masterpiece of cinema and a treasure to behold, the greatest scene on the big screen in 2016 hands down. 

Disney/Lucasfilm whatever you got penciled in for your third anthology movie scratch it out, and make an entire Darth Vader movie showing us that same Dark Lord of The Sith portrayed in that final act: the feared, powerful, and merciless Jedi killer we have all been waiting to see for decades that end of the prequels denied us, please.