Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Revenge of The Fallen Movie Toys Launch

I had the chance to wake up early on that fine Saturday morning (actually it was more of 'rudely' awaken by my neighbours' kids!) and went to the nearby TRU for the Revenge of The Fallen's toy launch. I didn't get much stuffs as I had put in mind that I'd probably skip the movie toy lines (well, probably getting a Leader Class Prime if it still exist on the shelves once I'm there). Let's see some pictures of the launching event as witnessed by a very sleepy individual (ehm..ehm):

At 8.32 am: Yup, I was technically late for about a couple of minutes or so according to my watch and already the crowd had build up like no tomorrow inside the store. From here, I'd already anticipated that there is no freakin' way I'll ever get a Leader Class Optimus Prime judging from the 'ballistic' crowd inside.

This is the actual snapshot of what went inside. Notice the shaky picture quality...I was actually being pushed aside by some people trying to shield off/cordon the area from late-comers. What selfish acts! It was like the Hasbro warehouse sale once again albeit smaller crowd this time. It would've been better if the Malaysian TRU management had some systematic order of allowing the crowd to get inside/purchase the toys like what my blogger pal Joshua had explained in his post. Very civilised and orderly manner indeed down south in Singapore!

This are the shelves where a bulk of the 'actual' ROTF toys enjoyed their very 'minimal' shelf-life...aka for about 2-3 minutes or so.

Again with the shaky picture quality. This was about the time when a couple of Hasbro guys came to replenish the shelves with some Voyager class figures. Naturally, some 'uncivilised' guys pushed me from behind (not those pictured directly in front of me tho') just to get to the Hasbro dudes.

This represents my 'entire' (heheheh...) collection from the ROTF movie toy line. Well, actually I'll be getting my Leader Class Prime from another toy store later in the month, although I'm yet to ascertain whether I'd want a Takara or a Hasbro....looked pretty the same to me. Voyager Prime was available in abundance, so I didn't do much shoving for that. The Fallen figure however, was acquired by some luck (yeah, it was gone from the shelves too the moment I stepped inside the TRU), when some indecisive dude hesitated and momentarily placed it back on the shelf. I was quick on my toes and immediately grabbed it from his hands....hahah! Later I found out that it was quite limited in stock therefore justifying my decision to purchase it.
The free poster that came with every purchase......

The flip side of the poster.......

A RM25 voucher given out by TRU, which was pretty neat too.....really was unexpected.....

For every RM80 and above purchase for the 1st 400 customers, TRU gave out one free juice drink....your choice, either an orange drink or an apple drink.....cool.....

This represents my real motive of going to the launching event.....an excellent ROTF character guide book......got it for every >RM200 purchase.

To cap it all off, TRU also gave out a free car sticker (with an Autobot emblem, not sure whether a Decepticon was available too) and the official ROTF movie banner car sticker together with the guide book above.

21st Century Breakdown: Green Day's NEW 2009 album....

This may come as a bit late, considering the album came out quite some weeks back. I just got mine, courtesy of my loving wife who discovered the album came with a limited special edition T-shirt. Knowing how much I loved to wear music/band tees, she hunted for one with the right size, since the last time she saw those were at a size M, a tad too short for my height. I was buzzing with excitement when the album hit the local shores, as the wait for the succesor to American Idiot took 4 years to manifest itself!
Front cover
Touted as a 'concept' album, all the songs are interwoven together as one complete story. Divided into an epic three acts; “Heroes and Cons," "Charlatans and Saints," and "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades," Green Day take us on a journey in time, through their various musical styles, telling the tale of a young couple, Christian and Gloria, through the challenge, promise and the chaos of the century so far.
Back cover
Viva La Gloria! and Last Night On Earth are both beautifully anthemic songs that displayed Billie Joe's vocal prowess with just a piano, a microphone, and the odd background sound, in a nod to their "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" road that they tread so well. A very ‘Warning-esque’ song comes in the form of Peacemaker. Last Of The American Girls is another track which delivers that trademark punchy sound that all Green Day fans would know only comes from Billie, Tre and Mike.
Inside layout
In my opinion, Act 2 - Charlatans And Saints - treats ‘old skool’ green day fans with the sound of those pre-American Idiot albums. Horseshoes And Hand Grenades pokes fun at the state of the military in the US. The gorgeous anthem, 21 Guns, sends a clear message to those confused over what the US military are fighting for these days with it’s simple and honest melody. Still a bit political if you ask me. Well, this time around the album does not slap the Republicans right in the face like American Idiot did. Hehehhe....
CD Design with tracklisting

I think most fans (or casual listeners) would definitely be happy with the 18 songs, coupled with the fact that it took them 4 years to continue their experimental approach of the 'Idiot album. Personally, as a fan who followed them since the days of '1039' and 'Kerplunk' (which happen to be my two most favourite 'Day albums apart from Insomniac), I am happy with the kind of evolution of sound the band has gone through. Simplicity at its best, marvellous play of melodies and poetic lyrical style, are now the hallmarks of a great Green Day album!

CD sleeve artwork sample

And here're pictures of the excellent limited edition....and did I mention FREE T-shirt? Seems like a no-brainer though, the 'CD-only' version was priced much expensive at RM47 while the one I currently have were bought at only RM40.....yet it came with the t-shirt....*confused*.......I love the bright/luminous green colour the t-shirt came in. This is a very surprising promotional item indeed for us fans! Thank you Warner Music....

I wonder if this is a Malaysian exclusive or are they available in other countries in Asia? Somebody care to shed some light to this?

Mine's a size "L"

T-shirt front design

T-shirt back design

Thank you boys of Barca!!!!!

Let me start by saying thank you to the Catalan boys for beating Man Utd 'soundly' and to put the issue of 'twas a tightly contested match/could've gone either way' to rest! Two perfectly executed goals from Eto'o and Messi on either halves sealed Man Utd's fate and condemned them to a night where they failed miserably with their one-striker strategy. They even failed to score a goal.....wow!
That was worth it.....one sleep-deprived night in exchange for Manyoo's downfall! :p Come on Manyoo fans....be a sport, even Fergie admitted his team were outplayed in the final! I can't understand some of their fans who kept saying that Barca's victory was due to Manyoo's defensive lapse/errors. Give 'em credit for God's sake!
'Nuff said.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009 UEFA Champions League Final

Tonight's gonna be the night when the football 'king' of Europe is gonna be decided. As a neutral fan (I am neither a hardcore supporter of neither, ESPECIALLY Manyoo!), I'd be rooting for Barca.....the prospect of Manyoo winning yet another major footie competition is kinda lame nowadays...blahh! Seriously, I hope Barca would give Manyoo a run for their money. Stupid mistakes and silly errors aside, I think Barca is capable of staging a fight tonight.
In my opinion, there are simply no 'anti-Man Utd fans' in the footballing world. There are only 'anti-MU-fans' fans! Why am I saying this? Well, to quote many views expressed on the internet, summing it up..."We can generally accept Man Utd's superiority and the team's sublime football skills...but what we can't stand is the arrogance of some (most?!) of their fans!". Well, I'm not sure how many people will agree with the statement, but I somehow agree with the notion that it is not right for any fan to brag about how their team deserves/has a God-given right to be consistently superior over other teams. I mean, there are other factors to be considered. Rich clubs vs small clubs for example. Of course you can't go and compare Manyoo, Chelsea or Liverpool with the likes of Burnley, Bath City or Swindon etc. That's what make any victory by the latter clubs over the former muchhhh sweeter if compared vice-versa.
Tonight however, will pit two equally strong and capable (both technically AND financially) clubs against each other in a highly-charged final! Now, fair comparisons can be made in this instance as these two teams are force to be reckoned with back in their respective leagues. Imagine if a less supported team made it to the final, say Bordeux, Reginna, Bochum or even Aston Villa for example, imagine the kind of verbal attack we'd be hearing from the Manyoo fans; when it's simply not on a 'level playing ground'. *Sigh*... sadly many of Manyoo fans failed to recognize this point.
Well, I've blabbered enough me' thinks. Let's wait for the match tonight and see whether Barca can silent the Devils.....or otherwise. Nuff' said.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

End of the line for Takara/TOMY Henkei series?!

Henkei Red Alert & Smokescreen
News have it that Red Alert (C-20) & Smokescreen (C-21) would be the last G1 Transformers to be produced under the Henkei banner.
Say it ain't so Takara! Say that you'd be continuing the line after ROTF's movie frenzy! There's so much to be done...so many characters yet to be produced...Wheeljack, Jazz, Brawn, Cliffjumper, rest of the Dinobots etc.....don't even get me started on the Decepticons! :(
Till then, us G1 fans would be in mourning.....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Toy-store scouting Down Under.....

I've been away for quite some time from updating my blog. In fact, the mini entry I did a couple of days ago was just to notify my blog that it has not been forgotten...hehe. Between being seriously tied down to work committment for the past couple of weeks, I've actually had the chance to go to a city in the Western side of the largest island country in the world a week ago for holidays. Never I expected to haul any toys from Down Under, but there was a definitely a tiny glimmer of hope that I'd randomly bump into some cool toy stores.
As I've been to the city a couple of times prior to this current trip, I vividly remember that there were no TRU stores in the smack of town (there was one during my 1st visit but has since relocated to the suburbs). Naturally, through the help of some family friend, on this particular visit, I was redirected to a TRU in one of the suburbs away from the city. Now this particular TRU reminded me a lot to the 'cool' TRU in Malaysia back when it first opened its' stores in the late 80's; back before they became the epitome of 'lame' of a toy store as it is now. Poor selection of toys, limited type of products and downsized floor space are among the main criticisms aimed at the local Malaysian TRU. I'm sure many of us missed the 'old TRU' before the franchising rights were sold to some relatively unknown company. But that's another story....
On to the review. As the store is electronically monitored as most stores were i.e. surveillance cameras are at every unsuspecting corners, I was unable to point my camera to my whims and fancy. Hence, all I managed was to snap the two pictures below of the Star Wars aisle. Since most of the other toys are pretty much the same as the TRU back home, I didn't even bother to take pictures of any of those 'generic' toys. These two pictures however, show the aisle where Star Wars model kits were. Boy do I miss those days when I could see model kits on sale back in in the local TRU....*sigh*!

And did I leave the store empty handed? Very unlikely since I came thousands of kilometers to visit the country.....hahah. My 'small' haul from this excellent TRU is as follows:

Imperial Shuttle & AT-AT model kits

Next, is a series of pictures showing 'hidden' shots of a collector toy store (no, I'm not gonna name it here...) that my wife and I accidently stumbled across during our foray into town. Yeah, I know I'm NOT supposed to snap pictures of business premises....bla.....bla...bla.....but hey, considering that I came thousands of kilometers to hunt for such an excellent store, I just couldn't help myself. Since I couldn't whip out my DSLR (the store clerks were watching like hawks!), I had to resort to using my trusty ol' 2 Megapixel handphone camera instead (hence the low clarity pictures). Excellent toy selection....even those vintage ones were selling at reasonable prices. By saying reasonable, I mean that after conversion to the local Malaysian currency, those were still ok compared to some of the price I've seen in some Malaysian toy stores.

Geek dream come true! I didn't want to leave, browsing thru 'em is already sheer joy! :p

My wife and sister as the 'candid' models! :)

The 3.75" Star Wars section. If you look on the above/upper cabinets, you can see Sideshow 12" figures, model kits, maquettes and mini statues on display (and for sale too I presume!).

Close up on some vintage 3.75" Star Wars figs.

The funny thing is, my wife and I didn't buy anything from this particular store. Instead, we went to its' sister store (yes, this toy store has ANOTHER outlet located just a couple of stores next to it!) which specializes in selling 'backdated' toys at insane low prices! Take a look at the pictures below. These were our haul from this 'discount' action-figure store. If you could 'zoom' in closely, you can clearly see that the price tag says AUD10 on each figure! I mean, it's a no brainer if you asked me! For clearer (and bigger!) view of these pictures, check 'em out at my flickr page. I still can't put it to my head that these toys costs just AUD10 (just about USD7) each!!!

Haul from down under: Commissioner Gordon, Ra's Al Ghul & Alfred

From the HUSH series, Commissioner Gordon, Ra's al Ghul & Alfred

Haul from down under: Pirates of the Carribean figures

From the POTC NECA series

Haul from down under: Gozer the Traveller

I'm particularly proud of my haul of Gozer, from the NECA Ghostbusters' movie line. At just AUD10 (about USD7) for that figure, it sure beats the heck out of the extorted price on eBay!

Haul from down under: Alex Ross' Supergirl

Alex Ross' Supergirl.....:D (finally found her at a bargain price!)

Haul from down under: 1st Appearance Riddler

DC Direct's 1st Appearance Riddler

Haul from down under: 1/6th Steve Irwin

And last but not least, my wife found this figure of the late Steve Irwin at a souvenir shop in town. We just had to have him, the man's a national treasure! :)

Not bad for 'accidental' purchases....:p

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's been a while...yeah, I know!

Truthfully, nowadays I've never really had the chance to sit and write any new entries as I was too bogged down with work and stuffs (picture below for illustration purposes only! Not my real desk tho'....heheh......)

When I decided to 'visit' my 'now-semi-abandonded' blog, I realised the horror that my last entry was in fact done in April! Gosh....that was so last month.

I'll be back writing some stuffs...soon....I hope!