Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Friday, August 30, 2013

NA He-Man's Slush Head....

Slush Head: Scaly Goon Squad Thug

As a Masters of The Universe fan, I can't tell ya enough how frustrating it was when the original cartoon series (He-Man & The Masters of The Universein the 80s was cancelled due to poor ratings (*yeah right*) and many other 'corporate excuses'. Some blamed the spin-off She-Ra series as being the catalyst for its downfall. Since then, Mattel had attempted to revive the franchise through a couple of 'new' series, namely the New Adventures of He-Man (or simply 'NA') in 1990 and the 2002 series of the same name (or better known as the 200X series among fans). Let's just forget about the 200x series. Today, I'd like to bring your attention to one of the characters off the 1990 series. In that continuity, He-Man is no longer on Eternia and he has been summoned to a futuristic planet called Primus to battle a group of Space Mutants, who were later joined by Skeletor, He-Man's long-time adversary. I've actually skipped the first Space Mutant Optikk action figure some time ago but when I saw Slush Head's preview pictures, I knew just had to have him for my collection! So let's see if he's up to the mark.

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End Aug haul....

end Aug haul
Here are a few stuff to close August with....wonder if I'll actually have the time to review any of them anytime soon...heh.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NECA's Aliens Series 1....

aliens series 1

Let me just start today's toy review by saying that James Cameron's 1986 'Aliens' flick is one of my most favourite movie of ALL time.....period! I knew that someday we were gonna get 'quality' action figures from the movie. The McFarlane Hicks figure was such a disappointment that most of us wished that it should never had happened! Well, NECA has answered us. Unfortunately, NECA Aliens Series 1 proved to be such a hard set to come by here in Malaysia, especially if your local TRU isn't as good as those...say, in the States. Let's face it, the Malaysian TRUs do not have MOST of the stuff you'd find in other countries' TRUs. Anyway, back to the subject matter, again and again most of us here in the other side of the globe had to resort to the specialty toy stores (thank God!) for our NECA fix. I managed to get my set here at a nearby specialty toy store and amazingly I got them at slightly below retail price! It's currently going for about 20 bucks (equivalent) here in Malaysia but I got 'em for lower than 19 bucks each (plus/minus forex!).

So sit back, do yourself a favour by grabbing a cup of coffee or something cause this is gonna take some time and not to mention there's a whole lot of pictures for you to feast your eyes onto! Got your cup 'a Joe already? Good....let's begin!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

NECA's Jungle Disguise Dutch...

 Jungle Disguise Dutch

I've actually reviewed the Jungle Patrol Dutch (JPD) some months ago. The Jungle Extraction Dutch (JED) came in the same wave too if you can recall. You see, today's Jungle Disguise Dutch has the exact same body mold/buck as those two but this scene-specific incarnation of Dutch has one noticeable difference I think even a 2-year old child can quickly identify. For those familiar with the Predator movie, then I think you already know what I'm talking about. For those uninitiated...well, Arnie's figure over here is covered with mud. He's even called 'Muddy Dutch' by some fans/collectors already. Ya can't get any more obvious than THAT....LOL. For the record, I had this on my list for quite some time now but I never really took the leap and purchased him for my collection. I'd like to give a shout out to my fellow good friend and toy collector Darth Sob for lending me his for today's edition of toy review (actually he was just right next to me during the photo shoot to see whether I'd put a ding or scratch onto his Dutch figure....LOL). So is this version of Dutch worth getting? Read on dear Rebel readers!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Affleck is the NEW Bats!


Here's one geek-worthy news that will rock your socks off today. Ben Affleck has been identified as the new Batman! He's replacing Christian Bale who has clearly stated that he won't be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/The Dark Knight after the 3rd Nolan Bat flick. Affleck will don the Bat-suit in the upcoming Cavill-Supes movie sequel planned for a 2015 release. Zack Snyder will continue to helm the next Superman movie.

Here's what Snyder has to say about his latest star:
"Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry's Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can't wait to work with him."

I kinda understand many skeptics are doubting Ben's superhero acting capability since his last outing in Daredevil didn't really impressed anybody....really. But remember, his directorial-acting stint in Argo cemented him as one of the best Tinseltown has seen in recent years. Besides, I love the man in Chasing Amy and he did give a rousing performance as George Reeves in the bio-pic Hollywoodland, THE original actor that played the TV Superman in '06. I feel Ben Affleck even look the part nowadays and can definitely bring a grittier and mature take to both Bruce Wayne and Batman's characters.

Hey, come to think of it, casting Ben Affleck as one of the most iconic superheroes of our lives is not so bad after all. At least he's not Nicholas Cage!

The second Man of Steel film is slated to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Random action figure shot of the day!

K-Mart AT-ST
A flicker buddy of mine over in Indiana helped to procure this excellent K-Mart AT-ST the other day fr just 8 bucks. Gotta love those clearance bin! I already have the '09 Legacy AT-ST in my collection but I can't resist an 'Endor-specific' version complete with blast marks, muddied feet and all!
Now if only my local TRU would mark down the exorbitant asking price for that darn Endor AT-AT!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Marvel Legends Iron Man Series 1 & Iron Monger BAF...

Comic Iron Monger BAF

 For the record, the Marvel Legends Iron Man Series 1 action figures has got to be one of the most 'annoying' ML wave ever for most collectors to complete. I'd say Hasbro has really outdone themselves this time around by testing our patience and perseverance to the max by making us wait over 3 months to complete the Build-A-Figure (BAF) 'Comic' Iron Monger. As usual, being a South Asian collector, I had prepared myself for the worse to see whether there'd be any hiccups for us to get the second half of the figures needed to complete the BAF and man I was right! Turns out retail stores in Malaysia did NOT carry any of the Mark 42s/Rhodey Iron Patriots/Ultrons needed to complete Obadiah's figure....and as of writing this, I still haven't found any on retail pegs anywhere. Thank God for specialty toy stores. So without further ado, let's see if the whole wave and the BAF were truly worth all the trouble....

MOTU Classics is a GO for 2014! Thank God!

MOTU Meter @ 20 Aug '13
Matty is famous for making us Masters of the Universe Classics fans quiver and tremble till the very last minute. The fate of the line depended on how many people actually subscribe to the line thus ensuring that Matty meets the budget cost bla, bla, bla...I don't wanna bore you with the financial stuff. I'm just glad that the MOTU Classics line (i.e. Club Eternia) is safe for (at least) another year, thus would enable us to get some of the last few core characters needed for our collection. Yes, I'm looking at you Two-Bad, Rio Blast, Extendar etc. Seems that the line was purportedly oversubscribed by 15%, bringing the total subscription for 2014 to 115%. Great news indeed.
Honestly I don't really give a jack about that DC subscription (they didn't make it either at just 63% but Matty is still gonna produce those DC figures at quarterly intervals it seems) but I'm kinda bummed the Ecto-1 didn't come to fruition (it didn't even reach 40%...*boo!!!*). Man I was really looking for that hearse for my Ghostbusters shelf! Oh well, guess you just CAN'T win 'em all with Mattel!

Some end-August haul....

end Aug haul....

Managed to score some pop culture stuff at rock bottom prices this past week:
1) Some Star Wars haul from Fort Wayne, Indiana sent by a friend. These were lingering in discount bins over at the Walmarts and K-Marts over in the States. Now thanks to modern technology (the Internet) and speedy international postal service (USPS) I'm able to reap the wonderful benefits of crazy marked down Star Wars toys too!
2) The Hobbit movie Visual Guide: Got this for only RM7.90 (or approx 2.50 American bucks)....local bargain book store had these on clearance...sweet! Always wanted this but wasn't prepared to pay the original asking price of 25 bucks.
3) MOTU Classics haul: Clamp Champ (hoo-ray!) & 'New Adventures' He-Man! Ok, technically these still cost us an arm and a leg but Clamp Champ wasn't available on Matty's 'Day-Of-Sale'....so he's pretty limited out there. Unless you're a subscriber or knows any subscribers who have extras then you're in for a difficult time in tracking him down.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters...brief thoughts on the film...

Alright folks. Time for another brief movie review. Caught the 2nd Percy Jackson film with the family and some friends on Tuesday. The movie's called Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and it's a follow-up to 2010′s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief . These series of movies are big screen adaptations of Rick Riordan’s five part Percy Jackson book series. Think J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and you'll get the drift. This is not a direct rivalry to the Hogwarts' books but one definitely can't ignore the similar feel about Riordan's demi-God tales to Rowling's wizardry stories.
The story kicks off where we left our heroes after the events of the 1st movie. As Percy Jackson struggles with his so-called 'one-off' glory in saving Olympus, he is now forced to become second fiddle to another 'champion' in Camp Half-Blood. The security of the camp is soon threatened by a familiar recurring good-guy-turned-villain from the 1st movie and our group of heroes (Percy & his ensemble) were forced to locate and retrieve the Golden Fleece in the Sea of Monsters or Bermuda Triangle (to us humans) to re-inforce their camp's security. Oh yeah, all that and Percy discovered that he has a cyclops for a half-brother.
Honestly, as a cryptozoology fan, I was rather disappointed that the movie didn't really lived up to its name. I mean, where the heck were the 'sea' of monsters? Sure, there was that giant 'ocean-Sarlacc Pit' Star Wars nod and that sea-horse...but those were it. Really. I thought there was gonna be a barrage of mythical sea creatures and stuff...aww dammit, there weren't any except for those two. Nathan Fillion's cameo didn't do much either. He's a 'fan favourite' it seemed but to me his part was just ....*meh*...forgettable.
I'm not really sure whether the movie succeeded in building up audiences's expectations for part three, The Titan’s Curse. While the 1st movie felt a bit comical and humourus, Sea of Monsters had a bit more serious undertone feel to it (or at least they tried to be!). But we shouldn't be analysing these things too much now should we?. In the end of the day, I felt that it's probably best to just enjoy the movie for what's its supposed to be....good ol' popcorn fun flick that it should be and you're all ok.

I  dig the introduction of Kronos and how Percy eventually discovered that the 'prophecy' predicted might not even be referring to him. A 'miracle' that happened towards the end of the movie suggests that Percy might not even be the 'Special One' as everyone had envisioned as a result of his exploits from the 1st movie.

You want a fun ride of a movie? Do you miss the 'feel' from the Potter movies? Love the Greek mythos? Then go and watch the movie without being too critical about it....seriously.
There, I did say 'brief' review, didn't I? Over and out.

A bit of mid-August haul....

haul mid-August '13

It's been a relatively quiet August for The Rebel as he slogs and plods his way through a temporary phase of writer's block on his blog. You just know that there's something odd about yourself when you start to refer to yourself in a 3rd party kinda way ain't it now? Haha. Anyway, I got myself a couple of stuff I've been eyeing since the beginning of the month.
I finally caved in and bought myself the Star Wars 3.75" Black Series Biker Scout. Truthfully I was still on the fence about this one amidst some 'not-so-favorable' reviews by some of the top Star Wars review sites out there on the 'Net. But the discount given by the retail store in which I visited the other day was too much to resist. Heck, now I'm even thinking of getting another one 'cause once you have him in hand, you'll soon realise that this could be the definitive Biker Scout/Scout Trooper for your collection  ...no joke!
Next up, I managed to find the ever-elusive Marvel Legends Hawkeye! You see, we Malaysians have NOT been getting any new ML stocks since Hasbro Malaysia decided to stop bring in any new 'Legends figure into retail stores here since the Arnim Zola wave. When I saw ol' Clint being offered (individually!) on-line by a local specialty toy store, I knew I just have to snag him....especially at just 20 bucks! The 3rd and final figure in the pic above actually belongs to my dear 5-year old who happens to be a huge 'Nick TMNT fan. Having snagged the 'interactive' Shredder the other day (hmm, maybe I'll get that posted on this blog sometime soon too) he was really looking forward to Dogpound and Leatherhead. The little man grabbed Dogpound here the moment he saw him on the shelf.
That's it for mid-August....over and out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Black Widow: Hot Toys Sixth Scale Movie Avengers figure review....

Hot Toys Sixth Scale movie Avengers Black Widow

Man oh man oh man. Am I really bogged down by endless backlogs or what? I actually bought Black Widow here sometime late last June! I have even received another Hot Toys figure after her so what's with the delay you might ask? Well, honestly my faithful camera broke down after years of service (may the 'DSLR gods' have mercy on its soul!) some time back and I had to borrow one for my photoshoot ever since. And since I didn't have the will power to shoot continuous photo sessions in any one night, I often overlooked the one sixth figures in favour of other smaller scale figures given that more planning is needed to prep these 12-inchers for their shoot. Nevertheless, I finally got around to do a proper shooting session of Black Widow the other day so let's see what this figure is all about, shall we?

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dream TOMICA from Takara Tomy

I don't normally collect miniature vehicles. My better half is the expert in that department. Her collection spans from your everyday Hot Wheels and the movie-specific vehicles in various scales from other toy companies. But when I heard Takara Tomy was to produce the 'Dream TOMICA' series of vehicle and that TWO Batmobiles were planned for the series, I knew I had to take a peek and was rather surprised to find that two Transformers vehicles were also in the series. These vehicles however, costs double the price of a normal TOMICA vehicle. Typically the 'normal' vehicles will cost ya about USD3.30 over here in Malaysia but any one of the 'Dream vehicles is priced about USD6+ for us in this part of the world. A bit pricey if you ask me but then again, the Retro Hot Wheels series were priced at about the same price point too. So let's take a look at these vehicles and see if they're up to the mark and worth paying >USD5 for.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Random action figure shot of the day!

Superhero Squad Avengers!
Borrowed these from my son's collection for a quick snapshot! I've always thought that the 3.75" Quinjet looked better with them Minimates rather than the 3.75" scale Avengers figures themselves. Since I don't have any Minimates in my toy vault, I guess these Superhero Squad Avengers will do!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Wolverine: Brief thoughts on the film....


Caught this over the weekend with my wife and kid. I must say, my expectations weren't really that high since most sequels tanked at the box office (save for films like Back to The Future 2 or The Empire Strikes Back etc). My son was eagerly anticipating to watch the flick when he was first told that the Silver Samurai was making his appearance. He loves Marvel Comics' characters and ninjas/samurais and that was just what The Wolverine gave us. Perfect.
For the record, I personally love the whole back story of Logan/Wolvie's past. But my immediate question to my wife upon watching the opening scene of the film was..."Where the heck is Sabretooth?". If you can recall the Wolverine: Origins flick, you'd probably remember that after making a run from their family, both Logan and Victor (that's Sabretooth's real name by the way) made it through all kinds of different wars TOGETHER since the Civil War, World War II included. Small complaint but I felt that they should've explained his absence, perhaps just a hint or nudge on his whereabouts during the time would be sufficient.
There were familiar faces adapted directly from the comic pages namely Yukio, Mariko, The Silver Samurai, Shingen Yashida and the villainess Viper. So fans of the '82 comic series of the same name would feel at home immediately with them. Even if you haven't read the comics before, you'd be able to enjoy this film since the film started rather at a slow pace building up on the back story explaining stuff as the movie progresses. The 'cameos' of Jean Grey added even more drama into an already emotional ride faced by Logan as he dealt with Jean's death in X:3.
At well over 2 hours of run time, The Wolverine had ample time to do back story and stuff. Although at times the movie felt a bit draggy and long-winded, those are essential build ups before its big finale at the end. I would love for FOX and MARVEL STUDIOS to explore more back story of some of their characters now that they've set a high bar with The Wolverine.
***WARNING...SPOILER ALERT!*** (don't proceed if you haven't watched the movie yet!)

Star Wars: The Black Series #05 Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony) - 3.75" scale figure review...

Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony): Star Wars The Black Series 3.75" Wave 1

By now every collector in town would've known that Hasbro has ended the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection (VOTC) line to pave way for the Black Series line for both the 3.75" and the all-new 6" line. These new Black Series packaging is a departure from the retro VOTC look and now we get the action figures packed in a black/orange-ish package design. Well, technically these are still an extension of the VOTC figure line but what in God's name was them folks at Hasbro thinking when they opted to shelf the VOTC style for such a modern look? I thought every single Star Wars collector were content with the VOTC run and none wanted Hasbro to change the retro look to the 'black' packaging? I guess the marketing guys at Hasbro know something that we don't.