Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Masterpiece(s) MP-20 & MP-21: Wheeljack & ‘Bee in the house!


I remember the days when I subconsciously said to myself repeatedly that I’d never venture into the Masterpiece line. It’s partly because I won’t be able to mix and match these MPs with the rest of my Generations/Universe/Henkei  (GUH) bots due to the scale/size difference. However, as of late TomyTakara seemed to have been correcting the issue by introducing smaller bots to correspond with the smaller GUH bots. Here’s when I come in and made my first ever Masterpiece purchase(s). I picked up Wheeljack (MP-20) and subsequently BumbleBee (MP-21).


MP-20 Wheeljack

Wheeljack on its own (or assumingly with the rest of his MP buddies) looks in scale and one will certainly harken back to the days when the G1 cartoon used to occupy our TV airtime in the 80s. His design and colour stays true to how he looked like in that 80s cartoon series. I guess the scale issue bothered me as much as how Marvel Select figures don’t go well with Marvel Legends. It’s true that you’d have to ‘shorten’ him a little bit (you can do this by shortening his hips) so that he’ll look in place with the rest of his Autobot buddies.

MP-20', MP-21 & iGear Optimus Prime

If not, he’ll look astonishingly close to the height of my iGear Optimus Prime (sorry no comparison pics with the MP-10. I do not own one....yet).

I heard horror stories that some collectors complained that the 'Italia' word did not appear on their Wheeljack's left foot. Factory error maybe? Whatever it is I'm glad mine wasn't part of that statistics.

MP-20 Wheeljack

MP-20 Wheeljack

Aesthetically Wheeljack looks great. I love having him on my shelf. He is by far my most favourite Autobot from the 80s G1 cartoon series so buying him makes sense to me even though I’m haunted by the scale issue. He has effectively taken over the place of my Henkei Wheeljack on my Autobot shelf. He comes with the commemorative coin which I find useless but I really love the toolbox accessory.

MP-20 Wheeljack

MP-20 Wheeljack

Nice touch by TomyTakara there. Would’ve been much sweeter if we’re able to flip it open to reveal some non-removable tools inside? (I know...too much to ask already).

Let's move on to the 'Bee...

MP-21 Cybertron Espionage Bumble (Bumblebee)

Bumblebee here was actually my 1st planned MP purchase. I reserved him through a friend of mine who has a standing order (I think) on every MP release from a specialty toy store which supposedly offered the best prices in town (and they did!). This one’s actually smaller than the Universe/Henkei Bumblebee.

MP-21 Cybertron Espionage Bumble (Bumblebee)

Understandably, the idea here was to give the impression that Bumblebee is much much smaller than Prime and the rest of the Ark crew. If you’re that meticulous, you’ll realise that the ‘Bee only reaches the height of Optimus’ knees in the cartoon series. I think the ‘Bee here will measure up nicely against the MP-10 Optimus but I think he looks pretty sweet too standing beside my iGear Optimus. Not that small and puny but at just the nice height and size against the Autobot commander.

MP-21 Cybertron Espionage Bumble (Bumblebee)
I love it that we also get three sets of face plates (although I'd only be using the ones without the battle-face armor). TomyTak didn't have to do this but they did anyway. Brownie points to them!

Bumblebee here is exactly how we remember him from the G1 cartoon series. This is by far the best G1 Bumblebee in the market thus far, beating the likes of previous attempts e.g. Art Feather’s version. I love it that we also got Daniel in his exo-suit. It made me wanna re-watch the Transformers animated movie the moment I got my hands on the figure.

MP-21 Cybertron Espionage Bumble (Bumblebee)

Sure, it has its flaws and all. Heck, there are no distinctive facial features i.e. no eyes, no mouth etc. A bit creepy to my liking.Why can't we have a Spike figure instead eh?

Anyway, I'm glad I got these two. I'm not planning to get the MP-22 (Ultra Magnus) but I'll sure cave in when TomyTakara decides to do Ironhide/Ratchet or Mirage next!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hasbro’s 2008 Indiana Jones figures...

Temple of Doom el cheapo haul!

Hmm, I’ve been having some sort of good luck lately with finding cheap a** action figures/toys. Not complaining! I hope this streak of good luck continues through the year. I happened to be passing by a clearance sale held by a (get this!)....music & movie discs store. I knew they always had a bunch of random action figures on sale but I’ve never seen these Indy figures ever being on sale throughout their outlets anywhere. I’ve always been wanting to get myself these figures but I wasn’t too keen to pay the full retail price for them back in ’08 (they weren’t exactly high in my must-have list either). When I saw a pile of Indiana Jones action figures being stacked in one of the clearance bin, I jumped! Immediately I went into my scavenging mode and the image of me holding a Sean Conner...err I mean, Henry Jones Sr. action figure in my grubby hands suddenly came to mine. Alas, for poor me, I couldn’t find him. The bin was chock-full with figures from Temple of Doom, ‘Crystal Skull (Mutt Williams was everywhere) and only Indy from the ‘Crusade movie.


As they had the full ‘Temple figures (I think all 6 were there), I opted to grab these 4 figures for my collection. I was already imagining the various diorama scene possibilities as I picked these up to the checkout counter. So let’s see what comes out in the next coming weeks!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Star Wars action figures doing what they do best.....in ACTION!

Tusken Raiders...

Ok. I’m pretty hyped up with the recent influx of teasers/promo stuff that JJ Abrams put out to promote Episode VII. Apart from that we’ve also seen a bunch of retro-lookin’ trading cards that revealed the characters’ names. From the action-figure collector viewpoint, I’m quite overwhelmed by the fact that we would now have to choose between the 3.75” and the 6” Black Series products (if you have the moolah then by all means grab ‘em all I say!). It has been such a pain in the rear to find the 6” TBS figures and I had to rely on my ever-helpful Rebel crew members (my better half being one of them...LOL) to find me the latest TIE Fighter Pilot figures. It is simply not possible to find the popular ones (think Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Sandtrooper, Darth Vader, Chewie, TIE Fighter Pilot etc) out in the open these days (or any days for that matter!). I dare not imagine how it’s gonna be like when the upcoming Threepio or Stormie Luke & Han comes out in the coming wave.


Anyway, today’s focus is on a bunch of my 3.75” figures. I got inspired to shoot these pictures after getting bombarded by endless re-post of the Episode VII trailer on my fb page for the past couple of weeks. I think they turned out pretty cool. I have so many ideas for my future shoots but for now this’ll do while I find more time for this photography hobby of mine.

Jedi spirit Obi Wan Kenobi

Droids' day out...

Snaggletooth....

Rescuing Chancellor Palpatine

Meanwhile at Jabba's Palace...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Penguins of Madagascar Happy Meal toys....I’m loving them!

Cute & cuddly boys!

One thing I love about Happy Meal toys is that they’re relatively cheaper than most official merchandise toys out there in the market. Where else can you get official movie toys/action figures for a mere RM3 (that’s just under USD1 folks!) right here in Malaysia. Over the past few years, Mcdonald’s had given us some of the coolest Happy Meal toys I’ve seen in my adult collecting life. Among my favourite ones were those cool looking JLA Animated series character cases (I think I might have blogged about it too some time back) which looked absolutely great when displayed together on my display shelf.

Skipper

A few weekends ago my wife spotted these cool Penguins of Madagascar (PoM) Happy Meal toys at the McDonald’s we were having lunch at. It kinda bummed me out to know that these were in fact already out for some time so I was prepared to suck in the fact that we might not even get all 8 designs. I managed to get 6 out of the 8 PoM toys and it thrilled our son nevertheless. These look great for budget toys and one would’ve expected such quality coming from McDonald’s (I even heard that they even performed tests to see if these toys passed their stringent list of QC checklist, which is great really...think of the safety of those young kids man!).

Rico


Anyway, when it comes to getting toys/action figures for our son, I only have one rule. I get to photograph them first before the little man gets to do whatever he wants with them (usually newly acquired toys/figures get thrown almost immediately into his imaginary battle between good and evil...)! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year haul...

Last haul in 2014...

Well, technically these were my last acquisitions for 2014. I'm honestly trying to get my momentum back in blogging. I guess the evils (and convenience!) of other social media like instagram etc. has really taken the blogging steam for most of us as I've seen many semi-defunct/already defunct toy collector blogs out there. Here's hoping for the best for The Rebel Page! (LOL).

Anyway, I've snagged several items before 2014 closes its curtain. An eBay seller has graciously listed his items for peanuts and I took advantage of his kindness. Got myself the GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra Quick Kick and (surprisingly) perhaps one of my most important purchase of all time (dare I say it!) as an adult toy collector....Thunderhawk from M.A.S.K.! Sure it's missing the original bombs, but hey, this is ver.1 i.e. Matt Trakker came with the accurate on-screen Spectrum mask, what more at an unbelievably low price! I am a happy camper!

I've always wanted the Leader Class Transformers Generations Jetfire (or Skyfire for youse G1 die-hards!) but the Malaysian Hasbro retail price was such a turn off that I quickly took this off my 'want-list' some time ago. A few days ago, a friend of mine gave news that a nearby retail store was effectively 'clearing' Jetfire off their shelves via an unbelievable marked-down price. That was my cue! I'd like to give a shout out to my ever-loving better half for getting me this one before them scalpers came to swipe them all clean off retail! 

Lastly, as a Planet of the Ape classics nut, my latest bout of NECA 'Ape figure shall come as no surprise to those who know me well. I just hope NECA will come around to tease us with what's coming in Series 3 real soon.....coz I'm ready to go all ape-s*** into collecting their 'Ape 7-inchers!

On another note, talking about our arrival in 2015, how many of you are seriously disappointed that we didn't get to see a single hoverboard/flying car/holo-cinema advertising or any of those stuff Robert Zemeckis promised us in BTTF 2?!!

Hello #2015 ...can't seem to see anything I've seen in #bttf part 2. No hoverboards, no holo cinema advertising, no flying cars, no auto-drying feature embedded in my jacket in case I get wet. I am disappointed. LOL. #movies #geekshavethemostfun #backtoth

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Battle of The Five Armies....

Caught the last 'Hobbit movie last night already!

The Battle of the Five Armies was expectedly the expected good ending to the #hobbit  #movie trilogy. I wouldn't have #peterjackson done it any other way. Of course there are deviations from the book but that's what your trip to the cinemas is all about. I love Tolkien's book but I've always thought a lot of things weren't really explored thoroughly i.e them Mirkwood elves/end battle scenes and to this PeterJackson expanded them in his utmost creative ways. Even my 6-year old son enjoyed the drama/humour/fast-paced fight scenes.

Retrieving the Arkenstone...

Haters will be haters (their long list of grouses include the over-use of CGI and Jackson's disrespect towards the original source material from the book) but pay no attention to them. Go and enjoy the movie for what it is. Ain't no better way to close the year by watching an epic movie based on an even more epic book of our time.  Here's that same feeling we all got when we realised #returnoftheking was gonna be the last time we're seeing #middleearth on the big screen. Go and do yourselves a favour and read The Silmarillion & Unfinished Tales...we might see them being made next (*fingers crossed*)!
#jrrtolkien #thehobbit #movies #moviebuff #movienight

Monday, December 15, 2014

I miss them VOTC figures!

Meanwhile at Jabba's Palace...

Seriously. Black Series are a damn pain to find here in my part of the world. I miss the days where VOTC figures were stocked in by the bus load. One should never have to be made to embark on a merry-go-round/treasure hunt to look for Star Wars action figures. I'm beginning to lose my patience with the 6" Black Series too. It's kinda hard to find them in the wild (it's either that or prepare to buy a whole wave from specialty stores with REPEAT figures just to get that Stormtrooper/TIE Fighter Pilot). What has the collecting world come to?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New 6" Star Wars Black Series in da house!

New Star Wars 6" Black Series haul - Scout Trooper with Speeder Bike & Jabba the Hutt

But where the heck is Anakin and that Clone Trooper? Can't find 'em anywhere.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I am Groot...

Custom Groot minifigure...

Second #lego minifigure custom work for my son. The sculpting and paint turned out fine but I wasn't too happy with the tree line design. Little man was already happy with the result but I told him I'm gonna re-visit this again for sure....need to get a super-fine Sharpie for the job! Groot 2.0 coming real soon....
#ilhanology #geekshavethemostfun #marvel #guardiansofthegalaxy #groot

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hasbro's new X-wing is like a broken pencil.....POINTLESS!

What's the point of these I ask? Can't even open the bl***y cockpit fer God's sake.

What's the point of these I ask? Can't even open the bl***y cockpit fer God's sake. Lame.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Custom Rhino LEGO minifigure...

Custom Rhino LEGO minifigure.....

I received a special request from none other than my dear son to custom him a Rhino LEGO minifigure. My better half quickly identified the most suitable 'base' minifigure for this custom job. We immediately went and bought it from the #fleamarket over at #amcorpmall. My amateurish custom work took me less than an hour to complete. I think it turned out pretty good despite some minor flaws. Little man was ecstatic...and I sense more requests coming my way in the near future....LOL.
#ilhanology #lego #lamiafamiglia #marvel #comic #actionfigurephotography 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Michael Bay's TMNT...

Michael Bay's TMNT....

I swore at times the flick didn't feel like a Michael Bay film at all. Sure there ain't nuthin' new that we've never seen before...it's all been done before in previous TMNT live action films, but this movie succeeded like it's supposed to. Action-packed, humour, that 80s nostalgia all packed into one popcorn fun movie. There's also throwback to Superman, Star Wars and Harry Potter too...how about that for some geekiness trivia? Movie buffs should enjoy this flick. Haters....lighten up and give this movie a chance would ya? Ain't no way in heck you're gonna get a chance to direct a better one yourselves...LOL.
#movie #moviebuff #80s

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Red Five standing by!

Red 5 standing by! #starwars #actionfigurephotography #anewhope #episodeIV #kenner #geekshavethemostfun

An old electronic X-wing from the Kenner days of yore. Great lookin' piece of collectible but a bit out of scale to my liking.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Figrin D'an & The Modal Nodes....

Figrin D'an & The Modal Nodes

This one has been in my storage for some time now. I had these since forever but I realised that I should've opened them when they were more 'updated'. You see, 7-points of articulation action figures don't stand much these days as compared to the super articulated figures of today (except maybe for those crappy 5-POA Star Wars 'Saga Legends').

Anyway, being a sucka for anything OT, I still love these figures and the fact that no updated versions of them have been produced ever since. They came in that cool commemorative tin set which is already cool to be displayed on its own if you don't want to take them out ever.

Figrin D'an & The Modal Nodes

Figrin D'an & The Modal Nodes

Thursday, July 31, 2014

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) movie: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) movie: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) movie was the bomb! I mean, THIS is how them abysmal Star Wars Prequel movies were supposed to be made. Never had I thought that a bunch of B-grade Marvel characters could ever be realised so successfully onto the big screen. Kudos to the director, screenwriter and of course to the actors for the excellent work. This epic space-opera rivaled the likes of Mr Lucas' and Mr Abram's sci-fi flicks. Can't freakin' wait for the 2017 sequel and how Marvel Studio is gonna bring about GotG together with The Avengers. Also, thanks to Peter Quill's exquisite taste for old-school stuff....my wife, my son and I are back into listening to them retro songs. I...ABSOLUTELY...LOVE...THIS...MOVIE!!! A definite candidate for the movie of the year!
#movie #moviebuff #marvel

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hercules 2014!

Untitled

Saw this y'day. It was a fun movie altogether. Glad to see The Rock's acting skills getting better and better with his every movie. While the movie is not exactly in the veins of '300', it certainly has its moments. One of the better Greek mythology flick I've seen in recent times. Good ol' popcorn fun!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

NECA’s ED-209...

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

The original Robocop film was one of the landmark films that had graciously defined my childhood in the 80s. Paul Verhoeven’s classic has even received the ‘reboot’ treatment but it came nowhere near the original film’s pulling power. When you talk about movies where good guys get annihilated by them villains, it’s sometime understood that sometimes the villains too get immortalised in our memory banks at par with that of the good guys. Well, ED-209 or ‘Ed’ here does just that.

Hot Toys have also released two versions of Ed thus far, with the latest one released not too long ago (I think it was somewhere in April ’14). But unless you have a bottomless wallet, then the NECA 6”scale version would probably be your next best choice. I got mine at about USD60 (or RM200 at that point of time) which was what NECA’s recommended retail price was, so I guess I got a decent deal. By the way, when you talk about these items being made available at ‘retail’, then I guess the Malaysian market does not qualify at all to be called just that. You see, we collectors over here in Malaysia only get to buy these excellent NECA toys at specialty toy stores since none is available through TRU and other major retailers. Quantities are limited and one must be quick to spot any new NECA stock and usually split-second decisions are a norm when you hold these items in hand (“To buy or not to buy?”. Luckily there is this other thing called ‘pre-ordering’ beforehand, which is the wiser choice than stalking your local specialty toy stores every single day.

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie


NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

Right, let us start with the packaging. I find myself liking the packaging a lot. It has some interesting graphics and even shots of the toy itself together with Robocop in one of the panels (at the back to be exact). The box is the hard and sturdy kind, perfect for you to store Ed in case you decide not to display him out in the open. There is always fear of breakage and parts falling off the toy as it felt somewhat flimsy (more on that later) so you’d appreciate NECA’s effort to protect the toy as they made their way from NECA’s production plant and right into your arms.

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

Once you take Ed out of his packaging (and cut those blasted twisties off), you can always store him back into the box with great ease. But you’re not gonna do that now would you? This thing of beauty deserves to breathe and displayed out in the open!

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

Ed has some fair amount of articulations. I like it that he has waist swivel but it looks fragile and feels kinda flimsy. I have poignant memory of the machine trying to follow Robocop down the flight of stairs to no avail. Those who remember this scene well must know what I’m talking about. It’s the ‘toes’! Sadly, NECA probably skimped and omitted this feature out of their toy. So, no moving toes...bummer. It would have greatly helped us to better pose Ed in many different ways imaginable to the creative mind. But it wasn’t to be so let’s just get over that....*sigh*.

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

I love the way NECA sculpted his ‘arms’. You can clearly make out the various arsenal that his maker had given him. My only wish is for NECA to make his arm inter-changeable like the Hot Toys version aka the ‘battle-damaged’ ver. Staying true to the film, NECA had graciously given us a battle-damaged Robocop so why can’t they also give us a battle-damaged arm for Ed?

Of course, the most exciting feature of this toy is its ability to utter official quotes from the movie. My favourite is his ‘5-second’ countdown followed by the awfully long machine gun sound. I seriously do not know how long his batteries are gonna last but rest assured I am planning to take the batteries out if I decide to store this sucka back into its box....just in case of any leak.

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

Ed stands at just about the right height when compared to Robocop. He looks stunning and all of the details have been beautifully crafted by NECA giving you your money’s worth. He’s well worth the USD60 or whatever amount you’re paying/paid for it. NECA has been on a run with their movie-related characters as of late and Ed here is a testament to that!

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie

THE REBEL’S VERDICT: I don’t know, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that this ED-209 figure here is probably gonna be one of the strong contender for The Rebel Page’s Toy of the Year accolade come year end! I’m super ecstatic to have ED-209 in my collection and so looking forward to the next ‘deluxe’ machine/beast from NECA. The Queen Alien from ‘Aliens’ is up next and you can be sure it’s gonna join the rest of my NECA crew on my display shelf. If the ED-209 is any indication of all the goodness coming our way from NECA, then we’re in for a real treat!