Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pop Culture League Challenge: Olympic Medal Winner

Here’s another challenge from Cool and Collected. What am I really really good at they might ask?

Hmmm….well.

If procrastinating was an Olympic sport, I’d have a gold medal around my neck.

Seriously, it’s not like I like to delay things or love to put off certain things in life but sometimes it does keep me on my toes knowing that I live on the edge. Weird, I know.

I do remember stuff and how crucial it is to get things done but sometimes the thought of doing it ‘later’ or ‘there’s plenty of time left to do it’ overwhelms me.

When it comes to my pop culture collecting habit, I often get a lecture from my better half on how I’d like to wait until the collectibles that I really want for my collection are wearing thin at retail shelves before I finally take the plunge to buy them. How about that for some cheap thrills? Hah.

Head on to the Cool and Collected blog for more postings by other bloggers.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pop Culture League Challenge: Shelfie



Some time back there was this super-cool league of extraordinary bloggers headed by the equally cool Brian from the Cool and Collected page. The league went on an indefinite hiatus so I was obviously surprised when Brian announced its return albeit a slightly different name. I like the more simplistic name now (doesn't roll off the tongue! hahah...).

Anyway. I'm kinda late with my posting. The assignment was given about a week ago. But I guess better late than never eh?

The first official assignment for the PCL is to snap a picture (or pictures) of your favorite toy shelf/shelves. This is something I can really do right now since my man cave is currently under yet another round of re-arranging exercise. I have a shelf or two that is untouched so those are the ones I'm gonna show right now. I love all of my toy shelves but sadly these are the two I can proudly show off right now...haha.


This is where (most of) my Marvel Legends end up being displayed. Many more are still lingering around my work table...waiting to be slotted somewhere inside the already congested ML shelves here. Pardon the Hellboy and The Walking Dead figures at the bottom right...they're due to be moved somewhere else after this.,...heheh.


This is my The Force Awakens shelf. I think I may have several more unopened 3.75" action figures of the movie somewhere. But until I have time to free them from their plastic cells these would be my current view of my TFA shelf.

Check out the rest of the entries from other bloggers HERE.

Monday, August 8, 2016

My quick thoughts on the Suicide Squad film…(may be spoilers, so beware!)


Ok, just to kick off things, let me just say that for those of you who loathed the Suicide Squad movie by just reading Rotten Tomatoes’ review or by those people who have nothing to say but negative things about it, I strongly suggest you to watch the movie first before you pass any similar comments. 

Face it, if you still have the same opinion AFTER you watch it, it’s highly probable that you had that mountainous expectations that the movie would at least match the previous DC flicks from Zack Snyder or Christopher Nolan. Well, it didn’t. Suicide Squad wasn’t exponentially great but it was one heckuva’ fun popcorn movie to watch. 

So much potential i.e. the characters’ backstory needed to be explored further and more subplots are needed to clarify certain things etc. but in my opinion, Suicide Squad is by far the BEST modern DC movie to date. It was entertaining (not Marvel-type entertaining but it’s pretty close) and much more engaging than the recent DC movies as of date. 

Personally, I think Zack Snyder tried too hard to maintain the grittiness of Nolan’s Bat-bale trilogy style that he forgot how to make movies fun for the audience. I love Dawn of Justice (maybe because of Batfleck) but on a comparison basis I’d say ‘Squad was a better film overall for me. Your mileage may vary. 

I find it funny/ironic too that there were no real threats to the world until a ‘proposed’ member of ‘Task Force X’ went rogue and became the villain herself (ooops, did I say ‘herself’? Hope I didn’t give anything away…haha). 

I think Will Smith and Margot Robbie absolutely stole the show for obvious reasons. Jared Leto wasn’t that bad as The Joker. I wish people would stop comparing him with Heath Ledger because their interpretations on The Joker were different. Ledger’s Joker was a total psychotic dude (as my wife like to say it) while Leto tried to bring the comic version of the clown prince to life in Suicide Squad. I love that split second screen time of Harley Quinn dancing in her jester suit with The Joker. That was a definite nod to comic book painter-artist Alex Ross. 

The post-credit scenes didn't do much for me. We all know what's coming next already by watching Dawn of Justice.

Overall, it was a very fun movie (notice that I’ve used the word ‘fun’ several times now) and those who say that Marvel movies are way too ‘colorful’ or too ‘happy’ must realize by now that they were generally more accepted by movie fans and Suicide Squad is just starting to do just that. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dear collectors, Nothing haunts us like……..



Nothing haunts us, like the things we didn’t buy.

I saw these words of wisdom on the front wall over at a book store the other day and I immediately said to myself that this would be a good discussion topic for my blog. As a toy collector, I can totally relate to this (in fact, my wife still hasn’t forgiven me for not picking something up on the cheap many years ago despite having the chance to do so) and I’m sure MANY more of you can too.

So what I’m gonna do is list down some stuff, as far as my memory permits me, that eluded my collection due to my reluctance/spur of the moment inability to spot a gem/plain stupidity/sheer ignorance. These may not mean much to some but as of date these are still part of that hole in my collection.
   

   1) Kenner’s Jedi Spirit 3-pack (Obi Wan, Yoda & Anakin) – this deserves top spot simply because this was THE item that sparked my interest to start this article in the first place! And yes, my wife still haunts me about them every time I talk about hard-to-find collectibles. To further add salt to my injury, it was then only RM20 or a mere USD5 by today’s forex rate. It was the ONLY Jedi Spirit set amongst a sea of Jabba’s Skiff Guards set but I somehow chose to pick up something which was not only in abundance but obviously a per warmer. Years later, the Jedi Spirit set remains a favourite among collectors despite the Power of the Force action figures being totally outdated and laughed at due to its funny body proportions and cartoony face sculpts. I often get reminded of that moment in time every single time I reach the end of Return of the Jedi i.e. that Ewok celebration scene on Endor. Hasbro has yet to re-visit the Jedi Spirit set and thus the PoTF version still holds its relevancy till today. Yup, I'll never hear the end of it.
   2) Coleco’s Starmax Bomber – This is probably my biggest toy regret back in the 80s. I was a huge Starcom fan back in the day and this was naturally a must-get for any fanatic of the cartoon show. Many of my friends at the time had already gotten their mitts in the uber cool Space Marine vehicle piloted by that even cooler Capt Rip Malone but I was struggling to find one at my local TRU. After a couple of failed search attempts due to unavailability of stock, my late dad (God bless his soul) asked me if I’d want to give the TRU store another chance during the weekend. Being the impatient little man that I was, I declined the offer and bought myself a Starwolf instead (That’s the little foldable aircraft that fits into the Starmax’s cargo hold) and a bunch of other random stuff which incidently amounted to what the Starmax would’ve cost anyway. Not one half an hour later we made our way to another retail store in the same shopping complex (OMG I totally forgot it exists!!!!!!) and there in their crowning glory were endless stacks of crisp Starmax Bombers boxes. I knew I couldn’t get another toy until the next weekend but guess what? All of those stocks of the ‘Bomber was gone too by the time we made the visit the following weekend. I never got to own a Starmax Bomber despite it being so high up on my want list until today.



   3) The Real Ghostbusters: Firehouse Headquarters – The year was 1987 and Kenner had just released the huge Ghostbusters HQ for your cartoon versions of Peter/Egon/Ray/Winston. My late dad (again) played a monumental role in almost getting me possibly one of the coolest toy playset ever that came out from the 80s. When I said ‘almost’ I meant to say that I had the chance to own this but seeing that I was very much into M.A.S.K. and G.I. Joe at the time, I chose to get some other things instead (totally forgotten what they were) because everybody else in school has had most of the latest M.A.S.K./Joe toys already. I can vividly remember the Firehouse sitting pretty at retail and I think they stayed there for a considerable amount of time since most boys were venturing into other adventure-type of cartoon series by then and the toys from the likes of Thunderhawks/GI Joe/Cobra/Centurions etc. My dad offered to get the Firehouse for me (I’m assuming now that it was on some sort of sale) but I simply fell into buying what was popular and widely available at the time. Stupidest decision ev-er!



So, what about yours? Would be great if you could list down your ‘regrets’ and link them up in the comment section below.

Terminator/Skynet/Genisys prophecy coming true?



I certainly did not play any Pokemon digital/virtual/trading card games whatsoever when I was younger although I was guilty of helping my little sister (then) to take care of her endless Digimon virtual pet devices. That’s the extent of my adventure when it comes to these Japanese media franchise.

Recently, I tried very hard to ignore the global phenomenon that is Pokemon Go but it was hard considering that almost every single media, electronic especially, had something to say about the matter. I know that the ‘augmented reality’ settings allowed users/players playing it on their androids or iOS systems to search for monsters in the ‘real world’…that much I know and I do not have any further plans to go deeper to find out more.

Today, we read about how the game is finally released in Japan (yes, where it all originated from) after seeing releases in most parts of the world first:


Fans of the virtual game were actually jumping for joy as they downloaded the game into their smartphones. Inevitably, it creates more zombie-like humans whose eyes get glued to their screens for most part of the day and proceeded to put the game as their main priority in life.

Some dude on the internet just declared that he won’t be able to concentrate on his office work/social life now that he has the game on his android device. Many other outrageous twitter/fb statuses seemed to confirm this solidarity pledge.

Now, this is just sad:


Nobody said you can’t enjoy the fruits of life in whatever form that they may come in but please be reasonable and stay safe guys.

But I digress. As always.
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I wanted to say that the whole Pokemon Go phenomenon reminded me a lot about how people in Terminator Genisys were highly anticipating the Genisys system. Once it goes live it will be EVERYWHERE and UNSTOPPABLE. Perhaps there is some degree of truth from the Terminator film franchise, that one day machines will completely ‘take over’ our lives. They already have their headstart when smartphones were invented.
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Pokemon Go is the next level in achieving the prophecy set out in the Terminator movies…..ain’t it? Your thoughts?


Footnote: The cool image above is not mine. It was taken randomly from:  http://newsthump.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/pokemon-go-terminator

Monday, August 1, 2016

Reflecting on the life of a toy collector….




Here are a few thoughts I had on my hobby and life-long interest while I took the train to work this morning. 

Sometime back, during one of my end-of-year rant, I made myself a promise that I’d reduce my purchases of the higher end collectibles and limit myself to only buying action figures from the 6” scale aka my favorite scale. This resolution is not only more economical to a typical wage-earner like yours truly but it just made much sense for my toy habit in the long run. Today I am proud to tell everyone that I only buy a sixth scale figure eg Hot Toys and such, once in a blue moon. 

On the hindsight, I suddenly find myself buying 6” action figures on a consistent basis these days. Too frequent I should say! Ain’t my fault really. There are simply too many cool stuff available for me to choose from right now. Hahah. 

Which brings me to the subject of toy blogging. 

Gradually, my blog postings have become more regular these days. Not as regular as the days of yore but it is making me write every other day so that’s a positive sign. I kinda got inspired the other day when I read an excerpt of an interview with Stephen King that he makes it a point to write every single day. He does it religiously even if the writings do not make sense or eventually make their way to the dustbin. Go figure. 

I write almost anywhere. Sometimes I do it when I do my business in the cubicle, or when I decide that I’m too lazy to go out for lunch at the office, but these days I find myself writing mostly during my late night coffee rendezvous at home or on my android writing app during my home-to-office to and fro train trips. 

But I digress. This isn’t a post about ‘writing 101’. 

Some of you may say that the blog isn’t updated as much as I say it should be and that is true as well. You see, I have several posts ready already but I don’t seem to have much time these days to actually post them and upload the corresponding pictures for them. 

On another note, I will soon have another guest writer for the blog. This has been in the works for quite some time now. What’s unique about this upcoming writer is that he’d be writing about his toy experience from down under i.e. from the Land of Oz! The “Rebel Legion of Writers” is gonna hit full swing soon (yup I know, 2 writers do NOT make a ‘Legion’ but I am trying my best to get more writers contributing their piece on the blog soon so keep an eye out for that). 



Till then. 

My quick thoughts on Star Trek Beyond (wee bit spoiler…haha!)


My family and I saw the latest installment of the post-JJ Abrams Star Trek movie the other day and I must admit that I was pretty excited to watch a Star Trek film as much as I anticipate any other Star Wars sequel. I was an ardent fan of the original Shatner/Nimoy films and TV series and I was mighty impressed with the way JJ Abrams rebooted the franchise. With all of these in mind, I was expecting a heck of a ride from Star Wars Beyond. 

Let me first start by saying that I was rather excited to hear that Simon Pegg was one of the writers for ‘Beyond. I’ve always imagined him as the British Kevin Smith and in my opinion it was a matter of time really before he gets to write the screenplay for either Star Wars or Star Trek. There’s the thing. When you rope in a funny man to write a screen play there are bound to be some humor and light-hearted moments in the film. This is fact. 

For instance, the beginning of the film reminded me a whole lot of Tim Allen’s Galaxy Quest which coincidently is a parody of the whole Star Trek film franchise. Seriously I refrained myself from laughing (too hard) when I saw that the ‘threatening’ alien-monsters were actually minnow in size compared to Kirk. 

Almost immediately after being saved from the ‘monsters’ James T. Kirk went into his usual inner monologue mode and began talking on how their 3rdyear from a 5-year journey into space had become more like ‘episodes’ from a sitcom i.e. repetitious/monotonous routines in their daily lives on board of the USS Enterprise. This act of breaking the 4th wall is evident when Kirk commented on how he had to wear the same yellow-colored shirt every single day in space. 

On a more serious note, Kirk began questioning his life motives and began mulling with the idea to leave the helm of the Enterprise for a (get this)…..desk job? Now, that’s some serious career changing decision he’s got there! I think the producers did a good job in portraying Kirk’s more sensitive side here. 

The mind-boggling alternate universe/timeline first introduced in the first Abrams-led film continues where we got to know of the death of Ambassador Spock (compete with a Leonard Nimoy image eulogy) I like the part where they showed a picture of the ‘alternate universe’ crew of the USS Enterprise in a photo from the ‘alternate’ Spock’s stash of personal belongings. Nostalgic feeling evoked. Checked. 

I like it that Chekov gets more screen time in ‘Beyond. His longer than usual survival-mode screen time on the planet with Kirk serves as a touching tribute to Anton Yelchin and there was that tribute at the end for him. Sad news indeed because we just got to see how Chekov’s character develops in the movie and we shall never get to see how Chekov is going to turn up in the next (confirmed) sequel of Star Trek. I’d like to see where the producers take the character next. Will they kill the character off or would they take another actor to replace Yelchin? We’ll find out sometime soon. 

Great to hear a ‘classic’ track in the form of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage playing in the movie. Wonder if they’ll continue to use more ‘classic’ tracks in the upcoming movie? 

One more thing before I sign off, is it just me, or the character Jaylah felt like Abrams’ ‘Rey’ for the Star Trek universe? A lone female, surviving and wandering alone on a deserted (albeit not a desert) planet? The similarities are there I tell ‘ya. 



Overall, I think Beyond was a tad better than Into Darkness although many fans of Benedict Cumberbatch might sneer me for this statement. It was a blend of good ‘ol Star Trek goodness and some good fun humour courtesy of Simon Pegg being one of the writer for the film. Will I watch it again? Yes but I’ll probably wait till the blu ray comes out. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars: Rebels Season 3


I won’t lie. I was pretty shocked to see the animated image of Grand Admiral Thrawn strewn everywhere across the cyberspace in the aftermath of the reveal made during Star Wars Celebration 2016 that the blue-skinned/red-eyed humanoid was gonna appear in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels. I was shocked to my core because we’ve read countless times on Disney’s insistence that they won’t take any further elements/characters off the Expanded Universe (EU) and put them inside the main ‘canonised’ movie universe. 

I guess it’s a whole new ballgame when you practically own every single thing that exists within the Star Wars banner. You get to change your decisions at will and pretend that any past less-favorable decisions will eventually be forgotten by the fans. Disney can practically do whatever they want with Star Wars and this was what they just did with Thrawn. For those who didn’t know, Disney has re-classified the bulk of the EU books/novels as ‘Legends’ which mean that they exist but not necessarily be considered part of the main canon or simply put, having any sort of tie-ins into the movies we’ve seen thus far. 

I remembered that a faction of fIan used to petition for George Lucas to use Thrawn inside his supposedly Episode VII-VX films but even then George simply brushed the notion aside and even said that he haven’t really read any of the novels himself. With George our of the way (when Disney purchased Star Wars for themselves) Disney was free to do anything as they please although the EU storyline/characters were still kept behind closed curtains. 

Now, I understand that the author of the Thrawn Trilogy (which I’ve read many a times already since the mid-90s) is currently in the process of writing a new book on our favorite humanoid Admiral in order for him to get some backstory in the upcoming Rebels series. So why go through all the trouble when you already have Zahn’s books to refer to? You see, apart from the ‘Legends’ status of the books, it is simply not possible for Disney to rely on Zahn’s Trilogy. Firstly, Star Wars Rebel Season 3 happened before Episode IV where else in the books, Thrawn came into the picture AFTER the events of Return of the Jedi, I think about 5 years after. Therefore, some sort of re-telling needs to be done by Zahn to assimilate the character into the canonised timeline. But how different is different? Only time will tell. 

I love the Thrawn Trilogy books. That was THE expanded Star Wars material to go to prior to us getting The Phantom Menace in ’98. I do however like to know if Star Wars Rebels/the upcoming Thrawn novel from Zahn would maintain the following elements from the book: 


1)        The Noghri – these race of humanoid served as bodyguard to Thrawn until one of them turned traitor 
2)        Jorrus C’baoth – mad Dark Jedi/clone of a Jedi that serves Thrawn 
3)        Abregado System – sound a lot like the word ‘thank you’ in Portugese but this is where most of the Trilogy action took place 
4)        Ysalamiri – the animal that Thrawn carries in a harness behind his back/lower back head to thwart off any Force attack from his enemies 


Confession: I still haven’t watched any episodes off Star Wars: Rebel - Season 2. I guess now is a good time to play catch up before we get to see Thrawn later in the year in Season 3. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New poster for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


First of all, I’m rather confused here. When they say ‘new’ poster does that mean that this would be ‘the’ official poster for Rogue One? I, for one, do not really mind that a film from my favorite franchise brand looking like a promo leaflet for a tropical Club Med vacation village spot as long as the story kicks ass when I get to see it later in December ’16. 

Anyway…… 

I guess it’s time to turn to an equator-tropic-climate like planet for this installment of Star Wars. If you haven’t noticed already, Star Wars films are laden with single-climate planets so I’m gonna go out on a limb here when I say that ‘I bet that the whole darn planet looks like a tropical Club Med-like (think Kamino=water, Mustaffar=lava, Tatooine=sand, etc.) tourist destination’ because the poster is screaming just that. 

If you take the time to properly look at the poster, you get to see that silhouette of the huge Death Star towering over everything else (we get it, Rogue One is about the metal planet). I personally love the image of the Stormies running through the sea water from the other side of the gulf (?) as they’re about to collide with the Rebel forces running on the beach towards them. 

Nevertheless I think those X-Wings flying in the sky above (presumably they were the ones who caused the fire at the right-hand corner of the poster?) needs some TIE Fighters to go along with them for balance. 

I think in its simplicity, the poster does its job well. Would I want this on my wall? Now that is a different question altogether because truthfully I’d rather have a poster with a mixture of visual between the main characters and perhaps some space vehicles flying at the top with the Death Star looming eerily at the background. 

What are your thoughts?

#starwars #rogueone #deathstar #xwing #rebel #rebellion #theempire #imperial #darthvader


Sunday, July 17, 2016

My thoughts on the new Ghostbusters film....


Despite the many pre-criticisms I've heard from the many sexists/male chauvinists, my family and I were determined nonetheless to watch the new Ghostbusters flick.


And so we did. Good news....the movie didn't suck at all. All those arguments about the new movie destroying your childhood memories on the original films were baseless after all. To those concerned, SHAME on you to depend on Rotten Tomatoes or some other biased reviews before you even see the new film.

There were cameos from the old cast members (barring Rick Moranis who had long since retired from making movies and Harold Ramis for a very obvious reason, although there was that nice tribute to him at the very end of the film) throughout the film but I won't tell who's playing what here because that would just mean that I'd be a jerk and spoil things for those who still haven't caught the film yet at this point.


There were also numerous throwbacks to the original films in the dialogues and these should keep fans of the original films happy enough. Sure, there were similar elements from the original films but I kinda like how Paul Feig/Dan Aykroyd gave those new twists (that's the director and the executive producer respectively for the uninitiated).  Similar to the barrage of criticisms poured on The Force Awakens, there are bound to be a certain faction of fans that are gonna cry foul on how 'recycled plots' are used throughout the new GB flick. 


Face it boo boys, the all-female cast were funny as heck (also alumni of Saturday Night Live similar like the original '84 cast) and the fact that the new film is executive-produced by Dan Aykroyd tells you that the original GB team gave their thumbs up to this reboot film. Oh and did I tell you that the late Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman also had a hand in the drafting of the script and plots?

It means that the haters are just a small niche of people who just can't accept that they aren't gonna see the classic Venkman-Stantz-Spengler-Zeddmore lineup doing their 'thang' on-screen anymore. While that is technically impossible now that Ramis is no longer with us, I applaud Aykroyd and co for taking the franchise into a new direction. My family and I had no real complaints about the new film except for a few nitpicks which we deemed to be too trivial to talk about anyway.

We got goosebumps when Ray Parker's theme song first played at the very beginning of the film. It brings us back.


Now here are some of my quick observations on Ghostbusters 2016:

1) I like Holtzmann the best. She's kinda like a modern Egon Spengler albeit a crazier personae. And those gadgets.....wow. just wow.
2) Chris Hemsworth character made Janine Melnitz look like a professional.
3) Wonderful use of 3D effects. They didn't look too over-CGIed and out of place.
4) The chemistry between the main cast are absolutely wonderful. 
5) There are no connection whatsoever between the film and the original films despite cameos from the original cast members.
6) Slimer is a total bad-a** and a rebel rouser in this new movie.
7) DO STAY TILL THE VERY END aka for the post-credit scene. My family and I were the ones left in the cinema as we waited fot the end-scene. Let me tell you that it's worth the wait. It's something that'll make even the original diehard fans scream in delight. The post-credit scene tells us exactly what's exepecting the GB gals in the sequel.

Kudos Dan Aykroyd and team. Thumbs down for the haters.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bring on the new Ghostbusters movie!

Entertainment Weekly 24 June, 2016 - Ghosbusters 2016

The upcoming Ghostbusters reboot movie has been receiving so much flak by those who still haven't watched the movie (talk about being prejudiced to the max!) on the grounds that their childhood memories of the original movies were being destroyed by Paul Feig's version of the film. I loved both original movies. Some 'fans' even dissed the 1988 sequel (and some as far as labeling it as non-canon) but I simply love the whole river-of-slime/Vigo story arc...so sue me.

I had endless re-watching of both films on my VHS when I was still in school...so much so they became too worn out and my parents had to re-purchase them again for me.

I was also a devout follower of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series and I love the continuity from the movies into the weekly cartoon episodes. Don't even get me started with the toys/action figures that I had in the 80s.

If all of this doesn't qualify me as a hardcore fan of the Ghostbusters franchise, then I don't know what will.

I for one, will not 'pre-judge' a movie until I get to see it with my own two eyeballs. I have no problem whatsoever with the all-female line up and I can also live with the fact that we're never ever gonna see the classic Murray-Aykroyd-Ramis(obviously)-Hudson line-up bustin' together on-screen again. As much as I love to see that happening, well at least three of the original members are still there, it is now time to move on. Let our memories of the original film stay the way they should be.

Personally I can't wait to see how the new movie turns out to be, as cliched as the teaser trailers have shown us, and the direction that the new film will bring for the franchise. 17 July can't come fast enough for me over here in Malaysia!

On the geek front, I've been prepping myself for the release of the new movie by snagging these GB 2016 collectibles....

Mattel 6" Ghostbusters 2016 action figures

LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 & Ecto-2 - 2016 Movie

I'd probably get around to review them after I watch the movie sometime later this week......till then.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Marvel Legends 6” Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

When I bought myself that ML movie Black Panther the other day, I kinda broke my own oath to myself of never buying another Marvel Legends figures ever again as long as the great Hasbro of Malaysia does not mark down their price point. It’s maybe because I have finally come to accept that maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to complete any more build-a-figures (BAFs) unless I really really want the particular character so bad that I’ll lose sleep because of it (re: case in point = The Giant Man BAF). I’m still thinking about completing my Giant Man wave (technically speaking I only still have ONE figure, the ‘Panther, from that wave so I’m pretty far off right now) or perhaps I’ll just settle with purchasing Nick Fury and I’m done with the wave. 


Whatever it is, I’m back into the Marvel Legends game. Sort of. More like a cherry picker now rather than the days of snagging figures by the waves, back when the cost of action figures costs you next to nothing. Those days are long gone. I doubt that we’re ever gonna see such price points again given the attitude of most capitalist profiteers these days. 



Anyway. 



I’ve been eyeing the Marvel ladies from the Onslaught BAF wave for quite some time now. That wave is considered a thing of the past now and one must surely thought that it would be impossible to find them out in the wild now, right? Well, not quite. That is certainly not the case here in Malaysia. Eventually these ML figures will get picked up by scalpers and such but generally they tend to stay longer on retail shelves because of Hasbro Malaysia’s hiked-up prices. So when I saw both Sharon Carter and Mockingbird just now during my lunch time walk about, it took me probably a few seconds to decide that I want Mockingbird to come home with me first (I would totally snag Sharon too if not for the obscene/rude price but I’ll come back to get her soon. I hope). 



So what’s so special about Mockingbird you ask? 


You see, I grew up with a steady dose of Marvel Comics in the 80s and one of those which wildly captured my imagination was the West Coast Avengers (WCA) run. 



I had tones of the WCA comics right up till the early 90s (both images above show what WCA comics I know I still have within my pile of vintage comic collection) but I can’t seem to find most of them when I had that temporary lost of interest towards the world of pop culture when my dad passed away in ’93. I might have to launch a treasure hunt in my comic pile soon.

And we had re-runs of the great Avenger cartoon from the 60s to end our lazy afternoons! Sure they were cheesy and full of characters having no inner monologues (often talked to themselves before committing to an action!) but they were instrumental in shaping my formative years as a pop-culture enthusiast. 
Yes, we had this: 



Before we had this! 

Ok, I think I’ve made my point. I am a Marvel comic fan and the Avengers/West Coast Avengers were a staple in my literary/visual media diet. 
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But I digress. 

Let’s get back to the topic of today’s blog post. We’re supposed to talk about my recently acquired Mockingbird action figure. 

So here she is in her packaging. Nothing much to shout about. It’s the normal modern Marvel Legends stuff. If you’re a MISB collector then you’ll be happy with the window style but for me they get immediately thrown into the recycle bin as 99.9% of my Marvel Legends get displayed on my display shelves anyway. But let us Marvel on the packaging art first before doing so. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

As you can see, Mockingbird came together paired with Sharon Carter in the Ant-Man wave. When I say paired it means that they share the same packaging...not coming together in a 2-pack....hehe.

I love simply love the side box art....

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

And here it is, the West Coast Avengers line-up (almost everyone) shot I’ve been waiting to do once Mockingbird gets produced by Hasbro under their Marvel Legends line. I’m still missing Tigra since it was near damn impossible to get figures from that Nemesis wave back in ’09. Still hoping for Hasbro to re-issue that one. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Seriously, while we’re on the subject, I think Wonder Man is long overdue for a new sculpt. Can ya hear me Hasbro?!! 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird


For youse long-time Avengers comic readers will probably know that the founding members of West Coast Avengers were Hawkeye, Mockingbird, War Machine, Wonder Man & Tigra. Tigra’s absence is sticking out like a sore thumb here….dammit. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Mockingbird aka Barbara Morse (later Barton) was a SHIELD agent whose job was to expose corrupt SHIELD agents (where the heck was she during the second Captain America movie? Boy, could she weed out those HYDRA scums!) who later got married to Hawkeye aka Clint Barton. She was instrumental in helping Hawkeye to form the West Coast Avengers core team. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

She is an excellent gymnast, martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant just to name a few. Her action figure here comes with her signature steel-alloy poles or ‘Daredevil sticks’ as we Layman like to say it. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

I kind like her without her glasses/goggles on. Although she looked kinda 'angry' but she is definitely one of the most beautifully sculpted female in the modern Marvel Legends line.

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Later Mockingbord and Hawkeye became estranged with each other due to some clash of ideology on Mockingbird’s decision to let a villain die. They somehow reconciled sometime later and fought alongside each other although they never remarried. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird

Mockingbird is a great addition to my long-list of female Marvel Legends action figures (below is a picture of 'Bird with some of my favorites). Now if I only can tempt myself to also get Sharon Carter into this line-up….. 

Marvel Legends - Mockingbird






Friday, July 8, 2016

The lost art of blogging...


This may come as a senseless rant to some but I feel like saying my piece on the subject. You may abandon reading this article of mine if you wish to do so but for those who are intrigued enough may stay on a bit longer for my quick rant.

I came across several writings already for the past couple of months which touched on the subject of 'blogging'. Yup, you read it right. The art of blogging which is slowly dying a natural death in the wake of many other social media i.e. facebook, twitter, instagram and such. I must admit, I have also been sucked into the worlds of IGs and FBs as of late thanks to my better half's persistence that I keep up with the modern world. So where exactly am I going with all of these you ask? Well, I've taken the liberty to break my arguments/opinion into these 3 points for easy digestion below:

1) I used to have heaps of comments and active participation in this blog - yup, that's right. Not long ago I used to dedicate a fair share of time responding to the many comments and queries posted at the very end of each blog posts. These days I'd be lucky if there are even one comment for each post. You see, based on the view statistics, I can say that there were definitely people who dropped by to read my posts (one of my recent posts even garnered close to 200 views) but the comments weren't there anymore.

2) Facebook, twitter & instagram are the shiznit right now - without any doubt, people are simply spending more time on the newer social media and spending less time discussing their opinion on personal blogs these days. I totally understand this as I am also as guilty as most. FB and IG allows you to have active participation with hundreds/thousands others as opposed to being on one blog at a time.

3) Do blogs ultimately allow you to have complete creative control over your contents? - True. Blog pages allow you to have (almost) total control over your layouts, designs and contents but are all those worth it as opposed to getting instant reach to hundreds/thousands (millions perhaps?) over at FB/twitter/IG? This is probably THE one thing that keeps most blogger still pushing on with their blogs but I may be wrong here.

I doubt that I'd get active responses (worse still, ANY response at all) here on the subject. But for those who are kind enough to read this, do pray tell, what do you feel about the future of blogging? Would blogs be eventually phased out completely one day and surrender to the might of the more modern social media?