Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Geeks Gone Otaku! - Tokyo Trip 2016



Recently the family and I went up to Tokyo, Japan for a holiday. Inevitably everybody knew what that would mean for a family full of geeks. Yes, Tokyo is the ultimate geek haven or the plenitude of ‘otaku’ culture. Otaku is simply a term used by the local Japanese to describe someone who is overly obsessive with any particular anime or manga character(s) but somehow the term has now been loosely used to describe those with deep interests in other branches of geekery elements. For yours truly, that encompasses my profound fascination with the worlds of Star Wars, Marvel/DC comics and other American pop-culture goodness.

Being the OCD travelers that we were, we actually charted the places that we wanna visit in Tokyo on our google map. Although we were planning to also do ‘non-geeky’ stuff in Tokyo i.e. visiting ninja shrines, eating godly sushi dishes at the famous Tsukiji market and the whole lot, we’ve also done research on the must visit geek places in Tokyo weeks before we boarded the plane. Frankly, we did not exactly know what to expect and whether we’d manage to visit all those places we’ve listed down but by the end of the trip, I think we’ve managed to get more than what we’ve bargained for!

I understand that I may get carried away while I talk about these places therefore I’m gonna break my reviews into several parts. Please do note that I may not have visited all of the geeky places that some of you might be familiar with in Tokyo but I can assure you that I have visited most of the important ones. As a teaser, these were the places which we’ve visited and along with it I’d also share some mouth-watering pictures to whet everybody’s insatiable geeky appetite:

1)        Star Case @ Koenji, Suginami
2)        Nakano Broadway @ Nakano
3)        Tokyu Hands @ Shibuya & Shinjuku
4)        Kiddyland @ Harajuku
5)        Blister Comics @ Akihabara
6)        Star Tours, Tokyo Disney @ Maihama, Urayasu
7)        TRU Aqua City @ Odaiba
8)        Diver City @ Odaiba
9)        Village Vanguard @ Odaiba
10)        Yamashiroya @ Ueno
11)        Kotobukiya @ Akihabara

Aaaand….we were gonna do all these using the super-efficient train services. Seriously, nobody really needs to drive or take the cab over here in Tokyo. Just take a look at the web of train lines! After a while you’d get the hang of it but make sure you prep yourselves to brave through the mad rush hour crowd if you’re planning to travel during the peak hours.




Stay tuned for Part 1 of my Tokyo Toy Travelogue…..

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Quick review on TMNT: Out of the Shadows….



Before any of you starts to spill your inner most disgust towards Michael Bay’s handling of the Transformers franchise, let me tell you this… I think that his version of TMNT did hit some right notes among hardcore fans of the franchise. The first movie was kinda *ok/meh/so-so* but still I enjoyed it to a certain extent. Out of the Shadows (OOTS) however did invoke some childhood memories which would make even the most hardcore fan of the original cartoon series weep with joy. Even though Michael Bay no longer helms the director seat (David Green now does), you can’t help but notice that his influence still lingered on throughout the movie.

I’m way past complaining how the new Bay-Turtles now look. I guess in the real world, the character design from the classic cartoon series just doesn’t work. Just like how Michael Bay rationalized how the red blocky Peterbilt truck design won’t work for the on-screen Optimus Prime. The new character designs are starting to build on me and I love how they differ in sizes to denote the age gaps between the four brothers.

There are still many elements lifted from the new Nickelodeon TMNT series but fans of the original 80s cartoon series may still jump for joy for there were many nods and cues taken off the classic TV series. More on that later. Let me just start with the obvious ones. Both Baxter Stockman and Casey Jones were clearly from the new Nick TMNT series but I wasn’t too concerned on them. My son was disappointed that Casey spent just minutes in his supposedly signature hockey mask for the entire movie. The little guy loved the original 1990 TMNT motion picture so he was a bit gutted that the new Casey Jones weren’t as crude as the one played by Elias Koteas.

My favorite character from Bay’s Turtles flicks is STILL Vernon Fenwick by the excellent Will Arnett. His performance as the ‘Falcon’ (that packing of the Falcon breath scene is darn hilarious!) totally did it for me! In the 80s cartoon series, Vern was a reluctant ally of the Turtles and it’s good to see that they maintained his character yet developed him into someone more narcissistic in the new movies.

Master Splinter is back to mentor the Turtles; April O’Neill continued her exploits as the nosey reporter for Channel 6; Shredder is also back to exact his revenge…. so I guess everyone’s accounted for…right? Well, actually no. OOTS introduced three fan favorite characters from the classic 80s series and that fact alone shall make many fanboy squeal in delight. Frankly I was super hyped up to see how Rocksteady, Bebop and Krang (dang it! It’s KRANGGGG finally!!) turned out on the big screen and I can tell you they didn’t disappoint.

Both Rock and Beebs turned out great even though you just know that it’s the CGI doin’ most of the work. Krang however was the best of them all. I am really glad that they went with the classic character design & back story instead of Nickelodeon’s. And that Technodrome…..I was lost for words. The last act of the film just screamed ‘80s goodness’ to me.


Well, I can understand that many of you may have different opinion about OOTS but to each his own eh? I personally like the movie so much so I am willing to cast aside my doubts and prejudice towards Michael Bay’s direction for the new Turtles. ‘Nuff said.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Quick review on X-Men: Apocalypse….



Let’s be honest here.  A lot of people got really pissed off with how Fox totally messed up the timeline of the X-Men events. I, for one, was rather irritated on how the years haven’t really aged the characters (come on, did you see how the likes of Havok or Magneto never really wrinkled despite having transitioned from the mid-60s to the 80s?). Don’t even get me started on Jean Grey and how confused I am with Wolverine’s timeline at this point of time!

I have a solution for this predicament of ours (yeah, I know…1st world problem). Let’s just treat these X-Men films by FOX as stand-alone films shall we? They’re just a big mess if you start watching right from the first X-Men movie right up till ‘Apocalypse but on their own, they’re just stellar! This is where I’d stop criticizing the movie and I’ll move on to the positives….

The good? Well, for a start, let’s just say that as a comic fan I was super stoked to know that one of the greatest comic storyline finally hit the big screen. Not exactly as I remembered it to be but that’s the whole point now, isn’t it? Would we watch something that we already know about from the comic pages? Maybe for some but it’ll be rather predictable for most of us which will ultimately hamper down ticket sales for FOX.

Well, here are some quickies from yours truly:

  • A rather pleasant surprise was when a Metallica tune was used during the scene with Angel/Archangel. A favorite of mine at that!
  • We finally have an on-screen Apocalypse. How cool is that? Although I’ve seen a better version of the character done by a cosplayer recently. Yup, that’s right….a freakin’ cosplayer.
  • Finally, an X-Men movie that can excel without Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (wait, haven’t we gotten that already with X-Men: First Class?)
  • That freakin’ DANGER ROOM! Who doesn’t love the Danger Room? With the return of the Sentinels at that too…
  • Mystique as the un-official leader of the X-Men? I don’t really see this working in the long run. Perhaps just a ploy by FOX to cash in on Jen Lawrence’s popularity maybe?
  •  Cyclops here is better than the one in the original trilogy (sorry James Marsden!
  • Moira MacTaggert’s appearance means that….we’re gonna see Proteus/Mutant X anytime soon on-screen. Right??! Doncha’ just love the comic continuity?
  • Essex Corp….equals MR SINISTER! Nuff said.

I    I’m rather excited to see how and where FOX takes the X-Men next. But it’ll be super cool of them to stick to the timeline and be consistent the next time they produce an X-Men movie. That wouldn’t hurt too now ain’t it?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hey everyone...have you guys seen that OLD movie, The Empire Strikes Back?

"Hey everyone. Have you guys seen that old movie, #theempirestrikesback ?"  Sorry. Still in #captainamericacivilwar mood....haha. #starwars #tomhollandspiderman #avengers #teamironman #atat #hoth #marvel #marvelcinematicuniverse

*A bit of a spoiler from the Captain America: Civil War movie.....turn back now if you haven't seen it yet. You have been warned...haha*

It's nice of Spidey to have referred to ESB in the middle of that battle scene at the airport. I guess since Disney kinda owns everything (Marvel + Star Wars), they can freely cross-refer stuff from one universe to another. It makes sense too because taking down Giant-Man is as fun as the Snowspeeder taking down that AT-AT in the opening battle scene in ESB.

When a movie from my childhood is finally referred to as 'OLD', then you ARE old. 'Nuff said.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

No spoiler quick review - Captain America: Civil War rocks!!!

Captain America: Civil War rocks!!!

Captain America: Civil War should've been Avengers 2 instead of Age of Ultron! Reminded me of a very Tom Clancy-like thriller once again akin to Cap America: The Winter Soldier.

It's interesting to see how #dccinematicuniverse is gonna react to this. One big brownie point to #marvelcinematicuniverse for successfully orchestrating the biggest superhero showdown ever thus far.

Luckily I don't label myself to be partial to only one camp i.e. #teamdc or #teammarvel ... I loved Batman vs Superman - Dawn of Justice and I certainly love what I saw just now in the movie ...both DC and Marvel rock!

Please wait till the very end people. There are TWO post-credit scenes, something synonymous with Marvel's movies these days. Do not be the uncool ones who walked out even BEFORE the FIRST scene was shown.

I have the coolest #geekwife ever. She did everyone justice by requesting the cinema workers to keep the lights switched off as the whole lot of us waited till the very end post-credit scene. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

That ain't BA Baracus!

Hmm...that is certainly not #babaracus behind the wheels... #theateam #80s #hannibal #faceman #howlingmadmurdoch

That is most certainly not BA nor any of the A-Team guys behind the wheels.....

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Some geeky stuff acquired throughout the weekend....

Work commitments kept me from attending a local collector toy fair yesterday. I knew I had to go all out on Sunday to make up for loss time on Saturday.....haha. Seriously, my son did me a great deal of help when he recognizes the new TMNT movie toys from a mile away (figure of speech) aka some distance away from the TRU entrance. Already have the Turtles from the first movie so I skipped them this time around. Shredder was some wimpy dude in black pyjamas (where the heck was his armour/spikes???) the foot soldier was....*meh* so these two was an easy pass. But I couldn't pass up the chance to snag possibly the best Kraang made for the 5" scale line. Bebop and Rocksteady were kinda a 'must' purchase since Kraang was comin' home with me. Casey Jones....well, do you really need any reason to get Casey Jones?!

#tmnt #teenagemutantninjaturtles #outoftheshadows #actionfigures #bebop #rocksteady #caseyjones #kraang #playmatestoys #geekshavethemostfun


To be clear, I am foremost a Star Wars fan first rather than a fan of Disney or Hasbro. Call it whatever, but when a good bootleg Star Wars merchandise pops up once in a while you just can't ignore 'em. Gotta thank my future bro-in-law for getting these during his working trip overseas recently. I love the designs. Simple and very cleanly done I must say! 'Nuff said.
#darthvader #stormtrooper #keychain #starwars
Got those 5" Batman and The Joker from the Batman Animated Series line. As the series took place sometime during the early 90s, these are now considered vintage. You can imagine the look on my son's face when I told him that the pair were probably more than 20 years old and they were surprisingly offered at a low price (okay so we kinda know the store owner at this particular flea market!) to my son. Later we almost purchased a used Batmobile from the same toyline from another favourite toy-pusher of ours but I managed to refrain myself, citing that I'd need more time to commit into such a pricey affair (hey, it's a 20-year old vintage). 

I got myself a brand new Earth One: Batman tradepaperback from a bookstore (finally) after only finding the hardcover version on their shelves for the past several months. Used up my accumulated loyalty points which I completely forgotten about so all in all I only had to pay a fraction of the retail price. Good deal indeed.

Son is happy. Father is happy. What a great geeky day!

#todayshaul at the #fleamarket #batmantheanimatedseries #batman #joker #geoffjohns #earthonebatman #tpb #geekshavethemostfun

Some cool marketing ploy....

#wallawalla #lemon #fruitjuice by #CTRL+a at #foodmania2016 #petalingjaya #malaysia

It's no secret that I'm such a sucka for these gosh darn 'cool-I-just-gotta-have-em' beverages that are strategically packed into those designer containers. What clever marketing ploy they employ....filling up your everyday normal beverages into those classic/vintage lookin' glass bottles. I swear that I was looking at some slick hair tonic formula when I saw these at a food fair this morning.

#blackcoffee by #citarasaborneo at #foodmania2016 #petalingjaya #malaysia

#chocolatemilk by #kopihipster at #foodmania2016 #petalingjaya #malaysia



Annnnnd, probably my favourite from the lot would be these...

My son wanted these because they remind him of zombies and vampires!

Yet another last minute grab from #foodmania2016 .... cranberry and lime juice packed in 'blood packets'. My son #ilhanology wanted these

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stuff from yesteryear...




When I rummaged through the store room at my mom's place some time ago, my immediate focus was to grab hold of a storage bin that was used to store a jumbled up mix of toys and greeblies from my childhood. My brother used to own half of these but I can safely say that he had lost interest on toys sometime before the start of the new millenium after he got so distracted with other stuff like nu-metal and football (soccer for youse in the States). With that out of the way, I don't think he'd miss any of those items I might find in the legendary storage bin.

I remembered back then that I had asked a friend to come along and helped me sort out the storage bin. Being a classic toy enthusiast himself of course he agreed without hesitation. Regret to say that after pouring the contents of the bin out in the open, I still can't find the truckload of my favorite toys that I know were kept safely in a large plastic bag way back when I started to put my toys aside in favor of comic books (what exactly these toys were? I'll get to that in future postings).

What I did find were mostly random incomplete stuff but nevertheless they brought a smile to my face as I reminisce all those time spent playing vigourously with them whenever I could. You see, my late dad had several simple rules when it comes to playing with our toys and switching on our NES game console. One of them is to never do these things on school days/nights. While I managed to stay away from the NES (ooh the torture of waiting for the weekend to resume my Super Mario adventure!!), I could never take my hands off my action figures. I really love my action figures hence the battered condition that they are in now.

Anyhoo, I had this idea of posting some pictures of the decent stuff I managed to find from the pile. When I say decent it means that they are in an acceptable condition to be sold to most. There are some incomplete pieces too so let's see if you're familiar with those. Yes, I am planning to sell some of these and maybe keep some (I'm still sour for not being able to locate that fabled plastic bag with all that favorite stuff of mine from the 80s!).

Let us start with several. These were cleaned up and posted before in this blog some time back (reposted here again to kickstart this post). In fact, one of 'em has actually found a new owner some months ago. It's always good to look at vintage stuff and recall the good old days eh?


Classic Toybiz X-Men action figures (I'm pretty sure there were more e.g. Iceman and Magneto, but those are still MIA). These are up for sale through my buddy's stall during our usual flea market on weekends as I prefer Marvel Legends these days.



Thanks to my toy buddy's extensive knowledge on Transformers, I found out that this is in fact a G2 Slag. Pretty cool eh? He transforms well too. This one has gone to a better home already (bought by a disbelieving vintage Transformers collector some time back).

Here's something that is a 'sure fire' for me to keep. A vintage 1977-made Chewbacca action figure that has somehow survive all those years of rough playing when so many of his vintage SW comrades have gone missing.


Ok, those are the 'decent' ones so how about the incomplete ones? Let's take a look....



Errr well....not really organized (still) at this point of time, but you get the drift. Anyway, at one glance, how many of these stuff can you immediately recognize? 

I'd probably get into cleaning them and dissecting into what these parts used to be part of sometime real soon. Till then...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How about some PEZ for the collection?

#batmanvssupermandawnofjustice #pez #batman #superman #wonderwoman #batfleck #benaffleck #henrycavill #galgadot #dccomics


I can safely say that almost anyone that is interested in pop culture collectibles would definitely be aware of the infamous candy dispenser contraption that is PEZ. Funny thing is, PEZ actually prefers to be known as a candy producing company even though they’re most likely to be more recognized for their variety of candy dispensers. I mean, who gives a hoot about those PEZ candies right? Is there anyone that actually cares about the candy that came with the dispensers? I’m sure there are gonna be people who do consume the brick-shaped candy, but that’s not why we’re here today folks!

I had successfully resisted these PEZ throughout my collecting life although I came mightily close to snag a few during the last couple of years (those Simpsons PEZ were really really tempting!). My son finally caved in and decided that he’d want to start his own PEZ collection. As you can see, he’s purchased quite a few to kickstart his collection. I’m all for it since it had also been my ambition to one day start this collection myself:

#batmanvssupermandawnofjustice #pez #batman #superman #wonderwoman #batfleck #benaffleck #henrycavill #galgadot #dccomics
Naturally, many had expected PEZ to churn out characters off the new Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice film and so they did! I personally like how the characters' resemblance here is pretty close to the actors/actress themselves. My favorite is Batfleck! No matter how you turn him at every angle, he still looks uncannily like Ben Affleck. 

Ok, I gotta confess. I personally chose The Hulk over here and added it to my son’s haul (dammit son, I can’t resist a 70s-lookin’ Hulk!!!). I might go back to get Spidey and IronMan later. MAYBE. 

70s-lookin' PEZ Hulk!


These PEZ have definitely cemented their place in pop-culture history as one of the most collected item in the history of ....err...collecting. I've seen some great PEZ collection by some of youse long time collectors and I kinda understand the satisfied feeling of seeing so many PEZ dispensers all lined up on your display shelves. It's interesting to see where would my son's PEZ collection go. At this point of time, I'm for it. Bring on more PEZ designs for us to collect! 

For the time being, here is how we're gonna display our small PEZ collection. A DIY display option while I scour the 'net for more suitable display methods.


My boy is starting a PEZ collection!

My thoughts on Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice....

MBO Cinemas' Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice special edition membership card
*This post originally appeared in Batman Fans Malaysia Facebook page as a response to several backlash towards the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice film. Reproduced here for the benefit of the readers of this blog =p)

This represents my view and I understand many others will have their own....and that's ok (freedom of speech everyone...ehm) 
😊
*Bits of spoiler every now and then so if you haven't seen the flick turn back now...heheh*

Having said that, by no means I am saying that Dawn of Justice/Batman vs Superman (DoJ/BvS) is perfect let alone flawless. It has its weaknesses here and there. But I'm not gonna talk about that here. You can read those from the countless hate reviews on the net yourselves ....hahah.

Recently, I was pretty dumbfounded with a 'review' posted by a local Malaysian fan the other day (my wife showed me the 'mouthful' review posted on this particular person's FB account). This person mentioned that since a lot of 'hardcore DC' fans hated DoJ , therefore it IS bad, beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. Such immature/amateurish deduction was further compounded when he proudly proclaimed that to qualify as a 'reviewer/commenter' of the new DoJ movie you must first be a DC action figure/toy/collectible collector (comic fans can also qualify but only second next to the 'collectors'). Unbelievable.

As a long time collector/comic fan myself, I have/will never post such ludicrous absurd provocation. Not everyone of us have the means to splash our money around to get those sweet collectibles onto our display shelves (people have this other thing called responsibility/life and I can relate to that). In fact, one need not be a collector or a comic fan at all to entitle them to churn out views of the DoJ movie, although it helps. Let's just leave it to that.

Anyway, back to the DoJ flick, I too agree that the movie starts off rather slow paced and can be draggy at times. It is however better than Man of Steel in so many aspects. I can understand Zack Snyder's effort to lay down the foundation for the upcoming JLA movie (love the future JLA members cameos!) and the obvious teasers for Darkseid and Bizarro(?!) during the Knightmare sequence. Bloody brilliant.

To call the movie sucky or terrible depends on one's point of view me thinks. As I've said before, Snyder is doing a great job in building up the story arc for JLA although the movie does feel like rushing up things and draggy at times. But I suppose DC will make it up by giving us solo movies like the upcoming Wonder Woman movie next year and eventually for the rest of the JLA members (hopefully) to explore every each of their individual lives, if that's your cup of tea.

If there's any positive you can draw from DoJ, it's definitely the fact that Zack Snyder is a true-blue comic book geek and we know he has tried his utter best to incorporate as much source material i.e. from Frank Miller's TDK Returns and Dan Jurgens/Jerry Ordway's Death of Superman graphic novel/TPB into DoJ. I love his interpretation of the Watchmen flick and I believed he has poured his heart out for DoJ too. It could have been MUCH MUCH worse had DC given the job to a 'non-fan' ...*ehm...Michael Bay/Transformers movies....ehm*

Speaking about Frank Miller's TDK Returns, I think Ben Affleck has done a kick a** job in his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I totally dig his performance as he nailed how Frank Miller had envisioned Bruce/Batman should look/act/feel/be like in his award winning TDKR graphic novel. All is forgiven Ben, we shall not haunt you anymore for your Daredevil fiasco....LOL. Best on screen Batman after Michael Keaton (sorry Bale fans, Batbale has his moments, but he is nowhere near this sublime Miller-esque Batfleck performance....me likey! And that Batsuit....is to die for!)

Cavill does a good job as Supes. Different than Reeve ever was but he gets the job done. Amy Adams however is a great Lois Lane and she blows the previous Lois from Superman Returns out of the water.....hands down.

How about Wonder Woman/Gal Gadot you ask? I need not say much on this except for....GREAT!

I'm however a bit gutted that there were no glimpse of J'onn J'onzz nor Hal Jordan anywhere during the cameo scenes. Damn.

Lex Luthor was creepy but he's turning out to be that annoyingly evil villain we all knew from the comic pages. It's interesting to see how Lex will evolve in the next movie.

Lastly, something for the critics to ponder... as of late March, DoJ has already surpassed the half-billion dollar global ticket collection mark. So how about that....negative Rotten Tomatoes review ain't got nothin' on DoJ!

That is all folks. Feel free to comment. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

That's no MOON!

#deathstar #theempire #imperial #starwars #starwarsmalaysia #starwarsmalaysiafanclub #thatsnomoon #episodeiv #anewhope  #rogueone

Everybody loves the Death Star(s)! 

Love 'em POTF Star Wars figures!

Star Wars Power of The Force - Kabe & Muftak (1998)

Despite its many shortcomings, many of which revolved around the Power of The Force's (POTF for short) lack of articulation points, did not change the fact that the line had given us some of the most sought after action figures from the Star Wars universe. Generally, apart from the abysmal POA, these mid-late 90s POTF line will forever be ingrained in our minds as the Star Wars line that gave our beloved heroes/villains body builder bodies. The earlier POTF figures seemed to suffer the most as they mostly look like they've been on steroids. I still have some of those figures in question and I can tell you that they're nowhere near my display shelves...LOL.

Luckily for collectors back in the day, the POTF line gradually improved towards the end of the line. Well, by saying 'improved' I meant to say that they line practically had better designs before it gave way to the highly anticipated 'The Phantom Menace' toyline that had its run from 1999-2001..Take this Kabe & Muftak 2-pack deluxe set for instance. This was one of the better POTF release we've ever seen at the end of the line but many would rue the chance to actually own one back then as this set was an internet exclusive in 1998. This means that this was highly sought after back then as collectors scrambled to get the set to complete their Cantina diorama. A quick check today revealed that you can easily track this set down on eBay for as low as USD10 (at least ONE seller listed it at 10 bucks).

I'm quite impressed with the character designs and the paint seemed flawless from the window view. Ok I admit that I've yet to tear them open from their blister card packaging (yes, blister packaging underneath that outer box!) but it's only because they look so darn good in their packaging....and I am for one, not known for keeping my Star Wars action figures trapped, except for those darn VOTCs that is.

Something about that green-on-black motive plus the Darth Vader head on the POTF box that gives me the nostalgic chill....

And if you can recall how cool the character bio is at the back of each POTF card/packaging.

Star Wars Power of The Force - Kabe & Muftak (1998)

So tell me, what is YOUR favorite POTF figure(s)?

A small nook for The Beatles...

A small nook for The Beatles....

I'm a little bit of a fan of #thebeatles myself. I dedicate a small nook in our library (well, more like two shelves) for my small collection of printed materials about the band. Essentially, one who calls him/herself a devout fan of #thefabfour must surely have #thebeatlesanthology book in their collection. The icing on the cake for me was when I received those original 60s-pressed #beatleswhitealbum and #beatlesabbeyroad vinyls as gifts some years back from a family friend in #australia 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Small haul over the weekend...

#geekyweekendhaul #pez #batmanvssupermandawnofjustice #hasbro #starwars #lukeskywalker #hoth #empirestrikesback

Ya can't really go out on a weekend and not come home with something geeky now can you? My son got himself the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice's Pez candy dispensers i.e. the three (3) characters off the movie (no, there ain't any Lex Luthor or Lois Lane!). Yours truly came home with a Star Wars figure that I've always wanted to complement my lonesome Wampa figure on my display shelf.

#batmanvssupermandawnofjustice #pez #batman #superman #wonderwoman #batfleck #benaffleck #henrycavill #galgadot #dccomics

Upon releasing the Pez dispensers out of their packaging, I immediately noticed that they have striking resemblances to the on-screen actors/actress. Pretty awesome considering that these are mass release collectibles. I especially like the Batfleck Pez, his chin is unmistakable!

#batmanvssupermandawnofjustice #pez #batman #superman #wonderwoman #batfleck #benaffleck #henrycavill #galgadot #dccomics

As I've mentioned  before, I just had to get this particular piece of Star Wars action figure. It's a 2003 Hoth Luke Skywalker figure that was designed to be displayed/combined together with its corresponding Wampa figure/base set. I don't really care much about the figure as I've already acquired the excellent VOTC Hoth Luke some years ago. I guess this Hoth Luke will most probably spend most of his time hanging upside down from the icicle diorama base. I'll post some pictures of that too (I hope) sometime soon.

Hoth Luke Skywalker (The Empire Strikes Back) - 2003


My brief thoughts on The Jungle Book (2016) film

#junglebookmovie was quite good. I pity those who left their imagination at home while they watch this excellent on-screen intepretation of #rudyardkipling 's work. #geekgoestothecinemas #moviebuff

It was a fun movie. Far better than I have come to expect it myself. To be honest I was kinda expecting Baloo the Bear to sound like John Goodman (he DID voice Baloo in the sequel to the original 60s animated film). In fact, I think Bill Murray did a splendid job voicing Baloo, so much so, I am of the opinion that he was the star of the show, surpassing even Mowgli himself!

Just when I thought that there won’t be any singing, came ‘The Bare Necessities’ song (or was it ‘Bear’ Necessities???? Whatever). It was ok, given that it wasn’t really a full-blown musical like the animated film was. I tend to ‘drift’ away during singing scenes during movies. My wife knows me very well. Haha.

I didn’t really notice that Christopher Walken was inside the movie although during the show my suspicious ears told me that this mafia-sounding ape was beginning to sound like Max Shreck from Batman Returns. Scarjo’s in it too although her scene was a very short one. She was that reptilian who turned out to be female after all and not a male like we used to know from the original animated film.

I pity those who said that the Jungle Book film was boring. I think these people didn’t really enjoy the original animated film or they’re just not that into Rudyard Kipling’s imaginary world. Jungle Book was not bad but some may not like the way it was translated onto the big screen, for whatever reasons. Nonetheless, my wife loved it. My son loved it. We all came home happy. ‘Nuff said.

Friday, April 15, 2016

End-March haul....


This month's humble haul....

Yea....yea I know it's already April. I've been behind so many stuff lately. I hope I can keep up. Ya know what they say....better late than never. Whatever  =p

I've been very very selective lately about stuff that comes into my action figure collection. Gone were my days of running amuck with monthly multiple purchases of MOTUC figures (I've since opted out....have you seen how ridiculous the line-up is these days?) or impulse random purchases of literally any cool stuff that I lay my eyes on at my weekly flea market run. But there are stuff that really calls out to you and you just know that these gotta make their way onto your collection/display shelves once you've seen them.

For the record, all of these cool stuff came from the States courtesy of a buddy of mine who scours his Walmarts/TRUs/Targets religiously. God bless him!

Let's see what them nice postal guys brought for me this time around:

1) Star Wars 6" The Black Series First Order Stormtrooper x2 - got these during the Force Friday hullaballoo (yes, it was that far back when it was still rare). These days, the FO Stormies are crowding display shelves everywhere here in Malaysia...*shucks*

2) McFarlane's 5" TV Series The Walking Dead Morgan & Dale - for those who follow the McFarlane toy world updates, you may have heard that they are planning to scrap the 5" line in favor of a 'new' Marvel Legend friendly scale i.e. 6". I'm not too keen to start all over again therefore I will get whatever characters from the 5" line while I can....and then I'm out.

3) Star Wars 3.75" The Black Series Finn & Rey (Jakku) - while the super-articulated 3.75" line is sold at a ludicrous price point here through TRUs in Malaysia (they're at a staggering RM132 or USD33 each...MIND BOGGLING!!) my buddy managed to find these at about USD13 each at his Walmart. Ahh the challenges of getting super-articulated Star Wars figures! I miss the VOTC line.

4) 6" NECA Christopher Reeve Superman - finally after a long wait, he's finally here to join my legions of Supermen. Best...on-screen....Supes....ever. 'Nuff said

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Did ya see that amazing Rogue One trailer?!

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

Seriously, I can’t possibly be the only fanboy being all giddy about the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer MORE than most of the The Force Awakens trailers combined? “It must be the age factor!” says my wife. Can’t really argue with that fact since most of the fanboys that went all ga-ga were those who actually lived through the time of the original trilogy films (okay so I wasn’t technically around during the premier of A New Hope and too small to go into the cinemas for ESB but I did watch ROTJ on the big screen in ’83 so go figure!).

Maybe it’s the sense of familiarity and nostalgia that endeared me to the fact that we’re gonna see all the classic characters, locations and vehicles once again on the big screen. I froze the moment I saw the AT-ATs, the classic Incom T-65 X-Wings, those mean lookin’ less-than-shiny white Stormtroopers (although the now-canon-ised Shadow/Death Troopers looked pretty bad-a** too), the red Imperial Guards and the possibilities that we’re gonna get to see Darth Vader and Palpatine again etc.…oh man oh man oh man!

How about the theory that Grand Admiral Thrawn’s gonna make an appearance? There is that white-suit with cape dude who stood proudly in his Imperial garb but if memory serves me right, Lucasfilm wasn’t really interested to incorporate many elements from the Expanded Universe into their cinematic films (with the exception of that certain cough-wheezing Separatist General that is!) so there goes our hope of getting Timothy Zahn’s main antagonist from his Thrawn Trilogy books onto the big screen. I personally think it could be Admiral Yularen (re: Clone Wars animated series and that Death Star briefing scene in A New Hope). It’s interesting to see if my feeble theory is correct or otherwise…heh!

Great to see ‘Ip Man’ in Rogue One although I shudder at the fact that his TMNT Donatello-esque style might not see him survive long enough against the might of the Stormtrooper E-11s and DLT-19s blaster/rifle. I am intrigued however at whatever role that Mr Forrest Whitaker might play although I suspect that he’d probably be some dude who plays an important part in getting out Rebellion heroes the vital information or where about of the Death Star plans...any other theories?

Let me make it clear. The Death Star rocks!!!! I love both Death Stars (Starkiller Base ain’t got nothin’ on these two metal moons!). Seeing the Death Star fully operational (ooooh that retractable laser dish-thing that casted a shadow over that passing Star Destroyer!) makes me weak in the knees. I’d buy both Death Star kits in a heartbeat should Bandai produces them in a ‘soccer ball’ scale for my Star Wars shelf (or have they been planning already???).

Anyway…..

To think that they are fans who complained endlessly about how The Force Awakens recycled the plot from A New Hope, it is interesting to see whether these same fans will complain how Rogue One will either be …a) too similar/having some sort of a recycled plot to one of the OT movies ….or b) too different than the OT movies with no real connection to the classic fan base. Personally, I’d say that I probably want the movie to fall somewhere in the middle of those two(2) scenarios. Ya get something familiar yet there are new twists and plots that are good enough to keep you excited throughout the movie. Fair enough?

December can’t come fast enough!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile deluxe set comin' our way!

#batmantheanimatedseries #batmobile #deluxeset ...ya get that awesome big a** Batmobile from the early #90s cartoon show, the dynamic duo of #batmanandrobin as well as an exclusive batsignal. I.....WANT

The current animated action figure series by DC Collectibles had many collectors/fans of the early 90s TV series clamoring to their respective hobby stores to find the characters that they hold so dearly to their geek hearts. Inevitably when Batman and Robin were a sure starter in the line up, many knew what will come next i.e. the almighty Batmobile itself! The Batmobile was already released some weeks ago and personally I have NEVER seen it at hobby stores/toy specialty stores/retail shelves anywhere here in Malaysia. Heard that scalpers did everyone a favour by swiping every single unit clean off from hobby stores/retail.

I wasn't that keen to collect any figures from the line but somehow rather my son managed to coax me to get him the bulky-sized Bane figure for his DC villain collection. Well, my non-interest kinda stopped when I first heard that the deluxe set is coming sometime in August. By the time my interest started to build up, many of the action figures from the series have already been snapped up at retail.

I guess the execs at DC Collectibles heard the plight of the many unfortunate collectors when they finally announced that the Batmobile's gonna be re-issued albeit a better paint job complete with metallic finish. In this deluxe also comes the dynamic duo (great, I won't have to hunt them individually!) and a special edition bat-signal that will surely get every fanboy (and inevitably scalpers!) standing up from their seats. I'm betting that there'd be an influx of the earlier issued Batmobile on eBay real soon as these scalpers look to offload those in favour of the upcoming deluxe set. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dawn of Justice's Epic Strike Batmobile!

Finally caved in and bought #ilhanology his #dawnofjustice #batmobile I must say I'm pretty tempted to give it a repaint but it already looks cool without one, so yeah... #batmanvssuperman #dc #dccomics #batfleck #batman #superman #tellmedoyoubleed #matte

I finally crumbled and purchased the DoJ Batmobile for my son today. As it has been increasingly hard to find one at retail, I opted to snag one during our weekly flea market run (it was however brand new mind you) at a slightly lower price than one would have paid for at retail. A friend told me that stocks were aplenty at where he resides now in Australia but it ain't the case here in Malaysia. Whatever it is it's finally in my son's collection and....*ehm* by saying my son's collection it also implicitly imply that daddy has first dibs in fiddling with the toy.

Great looking Batmobile. I'm already liking this better than the Nolan-esque tumbler. I'd probably go into the simple features in the coming weeks. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Unboxing of Hot Toys' Batman & Bruce Wayne from Batman Returns....

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

Ain't nothing more satisfying than to finally get that piece of collectible taken off a particular movie that practically defined and shaped your childhood. Yes, my Hot Toys Batman Returns: Batman & Bruce Wayne Deluxe set has finally arrived! Batman Returns together with Batman ('89) and Batman Forever (Kilmer Bats!) are my favourite Bat-flims of all time. My son agrees with me too. These films even blow Nolan's Bale-Bats flicks out of the water. I dunno, something about the classic feel of Batman which I find lacking in Nolan's films. They were good, but not good enough as compared to Burton's two films and Schumacher's 'Forever film in my books. Anyway, to each his own.

Today I'm just gonna walk you through as I unbox the Deluxe action figure set. When I say unbox it simply means I'm just gonna fiddle with it without actually going into detail. That's gonna wait until later. But for now let us quickly see what goodness comes with the deluxe set.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

I love the packaging art. It depicts the actual figures that we're gonna get inside and not movie stills from the...err...movie. I believe the stand-alone Batman-only figure set has Batman staring straight at you as opposed to this one where you get to see both Bats and Bruce Wayne looking in different directions against a backdrop of Gotham city.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

You get to read all sorts of information as you make your way through the packaging layers. Lotsa stuff and info on the Hot Toys team that had proudly produced the action figure for you. The usual stuff.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

Behold! As soon as you remove the protective plastic cover, you'd be immediately presented with a breathtaking view..... 

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

Taking its cue from the DX-09 '89 Batman figure set, this one comes with 3 interchangeable mouth piece too and the extra two were placed at faux Batman heads just to keep the in place. Talking about 'DX', I think it's kinda funny that this box set isn't one despite it coming with a Bruce Wayne figure. I think this is Hot Toys' ploy to give us even more variations of Keaton Bats in the future. Doncha' think? Or we might completely wrongly predict stuff and this might be your only chance to own a Batman Returns figure at retail price?

Whatever it is I'm not gonna wait to find out.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

We get a smorgasbord of extra hands, both for Bats and Bruce Wayne.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

And the accessories.....don't even get me started on them! You get the grappler/zipline gun, remote batarang, the remote control for his Batmobile and some other stuff that I can't really recall....hahah. Time to whip out that blu-ray again.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

One thing I like about the inclusion of the PERS function is that the opening is not really noticeable as we've seen on the first Batman '89. I don't have that figure but I have seen those up close to tell you that Hot Toys has improved that aspect of the figure. To control the eyeballs you'd have to use the simple contraption as picture below as the lever sticks are a bit out of reach especially if you have fully grown man-fingers.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

Take really good care of Batman's ears and the spikes on both his gauntlets! I have read reviews from those who accidently broken these things off especially the gauntlet spikes. And they are mighty sharp too so don't get yourselves poked! Real hazard these two things are!

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

The inclusion of the torn off cowl and neck/chest piece is probably the most interesting piece of accessory in this deluxe set! Cool...now I can recreate that end scene ("We're the same split, right in the center"/"Bruce Wayne...why are you dressed up like Batman?" scene)...but I need Catwoman/Selina Kyle and a Christopher Walken sixth scale figures!

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

I love the PERS function! Obviously the headsculpt (or half-sculpt...whichever way you look at it) looks way more like Michael Keaton as compared to the '89 version here. I still haven't gotten around to change his lower facial expressions yet. Maybe later.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne

To wrap up my brief review today, let's take a look at Bruce Wayne's sculpt. Hot Toys have their hits and misses through out the years and I kinda agree with many when they say that the headsculpt doesn't really scream 100% Michael Keaton. It's 90-95% percent there but I don't agree with some that say that this one looks a tad bit like Mark Ruffallo. This is Michael Keaton...with a twist of Bruce Willis! Haha.

Hot Toys - Batman Returns: Sixth scale Batman & Bruce Wayne


Stay tuned for more Hot Toys Batman Returns real soon!