Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 7 recap...

TWD S4 E07 Dead Weight

Man oh man oh man....I can't believe that we're fast approaching the season finale for Season 4 next week! It was just like yesterday when we got to quench our insatiable zombie action thirst when Season 4 started way back in October. Episode 7 is titled 'Dead Weight'...though I'm not exactly sure why it is called so. But whatever 'hope' you had for The Governor in previous episodes seemed to vanish by the time you're halfway through Episode 7.

When a 'reformed' Governor/Phillip/Brian/whatshisface displayed his fatherly/husbandly attributes when he stumbled across the Chalmers, many had thought that there is indeed hope for the man who coldly eliminated whoever who opposed him (including his own Woodburians!). God we were wrong...so wrong! Ol' Guv's back to doing what he's supposed to do best in this latest episode. Heck, even Martinez wasn't spared...and to think that Martinez was the one who took him into the new camp...sheesh...talk about gratitude.

Ol' Guv has somehow weaseled his way up as the leader of this new camp of survivors (Woodbury 2.0 anyone?). They even have a tank! So you just can't help but to feel a bit sorry in advance for Rick and co. as we've already seen the preview for Episode 8 (they brought the tank to the prison camp...holy s***!). Our one-eyed baddie is gonna get his revenge after all huh?

I don't have much to say on Episode 7 but I gotta admit....pulse is racing in anticipation of Episode 8! 

Hot Toys Bruce Banner & Hulk sixth scale figures set.....

Hot-Toys-The-Avengers-Bruce-Banner-and-Hulk-Collectible-Figures-Set-Regional-Premium-Edition_PR3

You just gotta applaud Hot Toys for listening to their fans. You see, there was a strong shout out for them to produce a Bruce Banner/Mark Ruffalo sixth scale figure since they first announced their Hulk figure. There was an initial uproar when Hot Toys announced over at their facebook page that they'll be releasing both the Bruce Banner figure together the (re-cyled) Hulk figure as the 'Regional Premium Edition' set. I guess this would only be available in certain regions of the world....(my money's on HK ONLY....as usual) thus continuing Hot Toys' policy of alienating their collectors from the rest of the world. You'd probably have a a decent shot of getting the set if you're willing to pay premium prices for it though. I've read somewhere that we'd also get the chance to buy Banner separately if you're not keen to get the Hulk, especially if you've already purchased the MMS 186 figure. I'm patiently waiting to see whether this is true or otherwise. I won't be buying the set just to get Banner/Ruffalo. If he's not available on his own then my Avengers line-up won't have a Bruce Banner....it's simple as that.

What say you guys? Are you willing to buy the set (and get the Hulk AGAIN if you've already bought him) just to get a sixth scale Bruce Banner?

Hot-Toys-The-Avengers-Bruce-Banner-and-Hulk-Collectible-Figures-Set-Regional-Premium-Edition_PR1

Sunday, November 24, 2013

El cheapo Minions get some make-over...

Despicable Me minions

I bet almost everyone remembers the craze on them minions not so long ago. When Despicable Me 2 was released in theatres in Malaysia some months ago, McDonald's Malaysia released the Happy Meal toys which cost us next to nothing. But it was the ridiculous long-line to get those that really baffled us. It was so bad (many scalpers even resorted into buying multiple sets of the Happy Meals just to get a handful of those minions but the food ended up in the trash bin....how sick can they get?) until McDonald's had to limit the number of Happy Meal sets that a person is allowed to buy at any one time. Anyway, I'm not gonna talk about that again, I think I've said my piece already on the matter in one of my post. Today I'm gonna show you how those cheap Happy Meal toys can be further improved with some paint. I've painted them goggles silver, added black colour to the shoes, added details to their buttons and the 'G' insignia. They look so much better now I think.....well, to me at least. Thought of sharin' some pictures of my quick custom work on these guys.

Despicable Me minions
Despicable Me minions

Despicable Me minions

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 6 recap....

The Walking Dead S4 E6: Live Bait

Episode 6 of Season 4 ('Live Bait') has got to be one of the most heart-warming episodes ever to have graced the whole entire 4 seasons thus far. Seriously speaking, I had not seen this coming, especially when it actually does NOT involve any of the main 'good guys' i.e. Rick and co at the prison.

I've read the Rise of the Governor (2011) book and I enjoyed it very much. It provides the much needed backstory of ol 'Guv before we even saw him on AMC's TV series even though there were few differences here and there. I wish I could say the same about the sequel, Road to Woodbury (2012) but I think I prefer 'Rise' better anytime, anyday. Well folks, Episode 6: Live Bait is a direct way of alluding that the 'Rise' novel was in fact 'cannon' to the whole TV series story line. Before I confuse you any further, let's just say that the 'Guv is not always who he claims to be.

In the 'Rise' book, he's Brian Blake but kinda 'adopted' his brother's name (Phillip) and Penny was in fact his niece (Phillip's daughter). But in the TV series, he randomly introduced himself as Phillip while implying that Penny was his daughter. In this latest AMC TWD episode, the name Brian Heriot was scribbled on a barn and he decided to adopt the name? Was it a reference to his real name? Or did he feel that it's a common name that no one would question? The mystery lingers on.

It's great to see that the writers gave a huge nod to the 'Rise' book and introduced Lily (April in 'Rise') and Tara into the fold. The Guv's soft heartedness saw him taking a liking to Lily's daughter Megan and inevitably memories of his late daughter (niece?) Penny comes to his mind. He also had an intimate moment with Lily while they spent the night in a food delivery truck in the open. This reminded me a great deal to a scene in David Moody's zombie book i.e. Autumn: The City involving the two main protagonists. Coincidence?

The teaser for Episode 7 also implied that ol 'Guv is gonna round up a new gang and attack the prison and ultimately giving him the much-desired revenge he yearned for since Rick and co dismantled his 'governor-ship' in Season 3. I take it that Episode 7 is gonna be a whole new beginning for the 'Guv as he prepares himself to exact a payback to the people who left him with no people to govern anymore. Good stuff from them writers this week!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Movie Avengers Hulk...

Hot Toys Sixth Scale Movie Avengers Hulk

I finally picked this monster up last week amidst some mixed feelings about my recent decision to pull the handbrake on my 3.75" Marvel figures buying habit (hahah...I guess I still haven't gotten over it yet at that point of time!). I've always had this intention to add more sixth scale as well as 6” figures into my collection and less 3.75-inchers after the glorious return of Marvel Legends in ’12. There was a time when I was rather distraught by the fact that the Marvel Legends line was taking a backseat in favour of the smaller scale counterpart and that was when those darn Marvel Universe figures provided some solace to my collecting habit. I had fun collecting them MU’s but I felt that it was time to return to collecting my favourite scale. Furthermore, I was rather low on cash in hand when I was informed that my pre-order of the Hot Toys jolly green gamma-giant had arrived and ready to be picked up. Fate intervened and a collector offered me quite a sum for my humble MU collection (I only had about 60 of them) so I finally took the leap and off-loaded my entire collection in favour of getting my Hot Toys Movie Avenger Hulk figure. Plus, I even had some extras left for some repair works on my car etc. (yes, there is this OTHER thing called ‘reality’ I had to adhere to....*shucks*).

So yeah...that’s how I start my toy reviews. Endless ramblings about stuff not relating to the actual toy in review itself....LOL. Let’s take a look at this 18” Hulk now shall we?

Some early Nov haul....

haul early Nov

My early November list of haul has been nothing but victorious in many ways for me. I received the two 'walkers from McFarlane's AMC The Walking Dead Series 4 line up courtesy of a buddy of mine in the States who had relentlessly roamed every single toy aisle in his area for me. Those were hard to find even in the States so I'm one happy camper. Next, I managed to get hold of the ridiculously under-produced MOTU Classics' Mantenna and the Horde Troopers 2-pack. Ok, so Mantenna wasn't that limited in quantity but there is a global shortage of the Horde Troopers set. Way to go Matty, another one of your brilliant marketing ploy? It's even more astonishing when you simply REFUSED outright to do a second run! Inconceivable. I need at least another 2 sets for army-building and there are many collectors who weren't able to secure a single set...now how about that for 'we always put the fans first'? Bloody unbelievable.

I found the #70 Power Girl and #65 Brainiac Eaglemoss lead figurines at a leading book store in town (they were the ONLY ones left and I had to battle it out with another collector for them!). These were found in abundance when they were first released some time ago here in Malaysia but they soon dwindled in numbers as many stores do not carry them anymore save for certain big book stores around town. Really frustrating to find these lead figurines so I hope things will get better eventually when they release the Marvel collection soon.

My 5-year old son is really into collecting Eaglemoss' Official James Bond car collection. We're into issues #3 and #4 and at the point of typing this he's already asking about the release date for #5! Talk about passion. He even picked up the Joker LEGO minifig from a local flea market trader and my guess is he'll probably ask his dad/mum to find him more 'superheroes' for his collection. 

MOTUC Horde haul!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Movie Masters Man of Steel Supes vs Zod...

Man of Steel vs General Zod

I’ve wanted these Men of Steel figures since way before the movie was even released in the cinemas. Again, ridiculous retail prices deterred me from picking them up through the conventional brick & mortar retail shelves. This phenomenon is no longer strange to us collectors in Malaysia. First, we had to put up with Hasbro Malaysia’s crazy out-of-this-world pricing on their Star Wars products (refer to my previous rant on the Republic Gunship) and those collecting Mattel’s Movie Masters line faced a similar shenanigan when we are forced to cough up RM99.90 (that’s almost 32 American Dollars folks!) of our hard earn pay for them. How is that so Mattel? Why do we have to pay a different/higher price than what those are going for in the States? I’d be happy to pay the USD18-20 price tag slapped for them in the States. Paying another 50% on top of that made me feel like a sucka....as I am already ONE for paying such exorbitant prices for Mattel’s MOTU Classics action figures. Anyway, enough grouses. I found a local seller that’s willing to sell me MOC Supes and the ‘Shackled’ Zod for RM40 (or approximately USD12.50 a piece) and I knew that was my calling to finally get these for my collection. Let’s take a look at ‘em....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 5 recap....

The-Walking-Dead-S4E5
 
Undeniably, Episode 5 is Hershel's show! The man's a living proof in an 'un-dead' world that with a little faith, nothing is impossible. Hershel's been attending to the sick without any regard to his own health but the man has been nothing but 'untouched' by the deadly flu outbreak. Now that's courage and real heroism to me. The world as we know it may be infested by obvious gruesome terror i.e. the walkers and a certain one-eyed terrorist but the internal threat is the one's that been keeping us on our toes in Season 4 thus far.
 
It's really stressful to watch Glenn finally collapsing due to the flu and we immediately get reminded that even Robert Kirkman himself constantly saying that no one is safe in the series. That got many hearts pumping I bet! But he survived nonetheless due to an intervention by his better half Maggie (Hershel's pretty grateful that his daughter broke into the quarantine area too despite his warnings).
 
What I love next from the episode is the family bonding time between Rick and Carl via their trigger happy session during the night. You just can't deny that look in Rick's face when he realised that he was wrong all this time and he should've let Carl be that responsible person that he's grown into. I'm looking forward to more 'gun action' from the two in future episodes. They look like they're having a fun quality time together. They really do.
 
Daryl and gang timely arrival from ther medicine run proved crucial to stop even more deaths in the prison. This is one of the episodes where we didn't get to see action from the regular 'tough guy' characters aka Daryl or Michonne but instead the writers chose to explore Hershel's character development (how he emotionally lost a fellow medicine practitioner during the episode) and the great bonding of a father and his son.
 
The episode closes with a teaser of what's coming in the following episodes and I bet this is what most fans have been waiting for all season long. It's great to see the bad guy returning albeit a few brief seconds in the end but the teaser trailer of Episode 6 sets the mood of a triumphant return of the Guv'. I even read somewhere that the writers are gonna do a back story for him as per the 'Rise of the Governor' novel. I think that's a brilliant move. Bring on Episode 6 and beyond!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Star Wars Episode VII...comin' to us on Dec 18, 2015 y'all!

Star Wars Episode VII...comin' to us on Dec 18, 2015 y'all!

Star Wars Episode VII to open on Dec 18, 2015. Filming is only due to begin in Spring 2014. Will Lucasfilm make it on time? 

I am so hyped up for this film. It's gonna be the first one under the Disney banner. Let's see if there's any disturbance in force (I ain't looking forward to see any 'hidden Mickey' in the movie!).

Some haul for October....

haul end Oct

Hauled in some stuff late last month but I was seriously caught up with work (both officially and 'un-officially') that I forgot that snap some pics of them. In fact I only had this up on my flickr page on Nov 4 and that was only because my better half asked me about 'em. LOL.

I guess my main purchase this month was the sixth scale Movie Avengers Hulk from Hot Toys. You see, the store from which I pre-ordered him from only got their stock of the green giant only recently, well after the rest of the world received them. Better late than never I guess....or something like that....*shucks*. 

I've also picked up my MOTU Classics Castaspella but it's really Mantenna and the ridiculously under-produced 2-pack Horde Troopers that I'm really waiting for. That's gonna come sometime mid-Nov I reckon (thank you snail-mail!).

My wife picked up that two Hot Wheels but it's really that '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser that caught my attention.

Last but not least, a local book store near our place had some sort of a 'hardcover comics clearance' thing going on. They had two cabinets of Marvel TPBs on major discounts so my wife picked those 3 up. They were just RM25 - RM30 (or approximately USD 8 - USD10) each.

That's pretty much it for Oct.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 4 recap...

The Walking Dead-Season 4-Episode 4

You know how some people often criticize how AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series seemed more like a soap opera/human drama than the zombie-bashing fiesta that it’s supposed to be. This had in fact led to many fans of Robert Kirkman’s comic books dissing the TV series altogether. I tend to sometime agree with that notion but in truth the producers have done a great job in meshing the two elements together on TV. Episode 4 of Season 4 does just that when we get to see the writers going deeper into some of the characters inner thoughts and back stories. It’s all about character development this time around and less time was spent at the prison where the sick occupants desperately await the return of Daryl and gang with the much-needed antibiotics.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thor: The Dark World...brief thoughts on the film...

Thor: The Dark World merchandise - MBO Cinemas

Caught this last Saturday (Nov 2)  with me wife and kid amidst some good reviews by those who caught the premier show last Thursday. In a nutshell, I totally LOVE this sequel and it's definitely better than the first film. Thor had longer hair than the first movie and there is a slight variation on his suit (it's hardly noticeable too so one might've thought that he's wearing the same one from the Avengers flick). The opening sequence gave a LOTR-esque-sci-fi vibe with all that 'medieval' fight scenes with space crafts decorating the skies. There is also a 'cameo' from one member of The Avengers...my favourite part of the movie really! The plot is pretty solid and overall the movie is superbly executed with top notch acting from the actors/actresses. It's nice to see Loki finally making amends to all the evils he's committed by collaborating with Thor to defeat a common enemy but I must admit I'm still unsure whether he has repented or otherwise. To those who plan to watch the movie anytime soon, please be patient to watch BOTH end credit scenes. One is definitely a build up to Avengers 2: Age of Ultron....and the second one (after the credits ended) will pretty much tell the audience how the 3rd flick's gonna be...well, at least what direction our favourite God of Thunder is going to take now that he's decided to 'relinquish' his birthright. Ok, enough with them mini-spoilers....go watch the movie already. Recommended!

Thor: The Dark World merchandise - MBO Cinemas

Random action figure shot of the day....

The Dark Knight
  
This one's actually an idea put up by my 5-year old geek son. He's always wanted to see them movie Bat-villains lining up together in a back alley setting and he finally got what he wished for. Turned out pretty good I must say! You're most welcome to see the rest in the series over at my flickr page.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sayin' goodbye to Marvel Universe....

Best of Marvel Universe

More of a goodbye group picture really this is. After a long and hard thought, I finally decided to sell off my whole Marvel Universe (MU) action figure collection last weekend. The above represents the 7 best (ok I know there are 8 figures but two of them are the same really i.e. Gladiator Hulk and the modern Hulk...they share an identical body buck) Marvel Universe action figures I ever had since I jumped into the line way back in April '10. It has been such an interesting 3-year plus ride, especially when you factor in the crappy distribution by Hasbro Malaysia and the constant ever-present threat of profit-mongering scalpers scouring retail shelves everywhere. It was such a pain in the *** to track these 3.75" action figures down in the wild but they were worth the hunt nonetheless. Some of them were really good representation of the Marvel characters they are supposed to resemble (I'm saying SUPPOSED because some of the figures did not look like the ones they're supposed to look like at all....*cough*...Mary Jane....*cough*). But to be fair, some of these MU figures could put some of their 'Legends counterpart to shame. Take a look at Scarlet Witch here and compare her to the abysmal Marvel Legends' version.

Best of Marvel Universe

I'd like to give a shout out to my wife and a couple of collector buddy of mine for constantly being on the lookout for new MU figures at retail for me. Parting is such sweet and sorrow so I think I'll end this little adventure of mine by sharing with you a picture of what I honestly think were the best figures for me in terms of sculpt and design that came from the Marvel Universe line:

In no order of preference....Astonishing Wolverine, Hercules, Jim Lee's Cylops, The Vision, Dr Strange, Scarlet Witch, World War (Gladiator) Hulk & Modern Hulk.

Thank you Marvel Universe....it's time for me to go back to my 'Legends collection now!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 recap...

TWD S4 E3

Episode 3 is aptly titled 'Isolation' and viewers can pretty much guess what's in store for our favourite group of survivors in this episode. We start the episode with a reminder of what the previous episode had done to the gang and how an incensed Tyreese copes with the death/murder of Karen and some unknown dude called David. Hershel made the ultimate sacrifice this week by attending to the sick without any real care of his own health. I think most viewers were moved by his response to risking his life by attending to the infected survivors.... "Nowadays you breath and you risk your life. You don't have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you're risking it for..."

The best bit this week apart from the detective work done by Rick to uncover that Carol was the cold-blooded murderer responsible for the deaths of Karen and David was the little road trip by Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyreese to find a nearby veterinary college 50 miles away from the prison to gather the much needed antibiotics for their sick. You see, we got to see the largest herd of walkers ever on the show thus far! And whose voice was it that them four guys heard on the radio before they stumbled onto the stampede of undead? Interesting time indeed. I'm not too sure whether it's the Guv....or Morgan. It could be another group of survivors or perhaps the existence of another 'safe area' (beside Atlanta's CDC) wasn't a myth after all? Let's see how the writers come up with the twist to this.

TWD S4 E3_Large Walker Herd

It's also great to see the writers giving a nod to Tyreese' lone enraged fight against the walkers. If you read the comics, you may remember him being trapped in the cafeteria in the prison but somehow managed to ward off a large group of walkers and this scene has been replicated in this episode much to the delight of the comic fans! Can't wait to see what the writers have in store for us next week.