Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014 to all!!!

Happy New Year 2014 to all!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Walking Dead & Game of Thrones' upcoming sixth scale figures!

ThreeZero Walking Dead and Game of Thrones Teaser

From what I've read, ThreeZero is the parent company to the 3A/Ashley Wood toy company. There are a lot of 3A enthusiasts out there and they can vouch for the many excellent sixth scale figures that they've produced thus far. To be honest, I was never really into their 'stylistic' PopBot and World War Robot character designs but when I first heard that ThreeZero was gonna do sixth scale figures of my two most favourite TV series' characters, I was immediately intrigued. Well, they did preview those Michonne Zombie pets not so long ago so it's only fitting that they show their 'humans' too this time around.

To tease collectors, ThreeZero had posted a photo from the work station of one of their sculptors. The photo holds several clues of what's coming under the two licences they hold:

• The Walking Dead – Daryl Dixon
 • The Walking Dead – Merle Dixon
 • The Walking Dead – Rick Grimes (head sculpt near top)
 • Game of Thrones – Tyrion Lannister (red and black outfit, head sculpt bottom left)
 • Ned Stark? (bottom left with Tyrion head)

ThreeZero Officially Announces Game of Thrones Figures

With this teaser poster, ThreeZero officially announced that they will truly be producing the TV series Game of Thrones sixth Scale Figures. Apparently teaser pictures will come our way sometime in early '14. Holy **** I think I just pooped in my pants out of excitement! My two most favourite TV series are gettin' their own sixth scale figures! Can't wait to see more reveals from ThreeZero soon.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry X-Mas & A Happy New Year!

blog greeting

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Star Wars action-figure shot of the day: Vintage Kenner box art wannabe!

Search for Luke Skywalker

Here's an attempt by yours truly to re-create a packaging art like Kenner used to do on their packagings back in the day. Problem is, I don't even know what this image was supposed to be promoting....it could have been a promo art for the Laser Tower or maybe that Hoth Han Solo & his tauntaun perhaps?

Tell me what you think about it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes (2014) Official Trailer!

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes (2014)


I have a confession to make. I'm such a sucka for the 5 original 'Apes movies (Roddy McDowall rocks!) and I do NOT think that the Mark Wahlberg movie sucked. James Franco's 'Rise was as equally good and is in the same rank as those I've mentioned before. In my opinion, each of them movies have their own strengths. I obviously went ape (pardon the pun) sh*t when I knew the sequel to 'Rise was coming next year. Now here's the trailer to quench our thirst for the meantime. I can't surely be the only one going all ga-ga over them 'Ape franchise now could I?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug quick recap...

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

SPOILERS ABOUND! Well, not THAT much but if you haven't seen this flick yet you might wanna skip this post altogether. Caught this y'day with me family and I can tell you the year-long wait was well worth it! Smaug's appearance alone was enough to justify your ticket admission price, this I can tell ya!

I was surprised that I was able to immediately recognize Peter Jackson at the very beginning of the movie. You might wanna keep watch on the carrot-munching dude from the Bree opening sequence. As per the LOTR trilogy movies and the 1st Hobbit movie, we are once again treated to a very visually stimulating experience as the serene and beautiful New Zealand sceneries served as the backdrop and doubled up as 'Middle Earth'. 

There is a familiar face from the LOTR alumni apart from the obvious Gandalf (and it's not Frodo this time I assure you!) so that would definitely add a sense of familiarity among the LOTR movie fans. I also loved the cameo appearance from Sauron (probably the best bit from the movie apart from Smaug's scenes). 'Desolation' picks up where we last saw the guys during the ending of the 1st Hobbit movie and surprisingly they made it all the way into Erebor and get to meet Smaug face-to-face (something which I had personally predicted them to only experience in the 3rd movie next year).

There is a scene where the party spent the night at a 'skin-changer' (shape-shifter)'s house but it was just a brief affair in the film where else it was such a big thing in the book. I guess there ain't much point to replicate 'word-by-word' the contents of the book when you can easily read those in the book yourself.

There was a similarity between the LOTR trilogy and the Hobbit films in the sense that there were bound to be 'corrupt' souls somewhere in the course of the movie(s). In LOTR, may fell to the evil lure of the One Ring's promise of power and in 'Desolation', we'd finally get to see how Thorin got corrupted by the power(??) of the Arkenstone. Whether he'd succumbed to the evils brought upon by the stone or not remained to be seen. The 3rd film will inevitably answer this.

It's interesting to note that Peter Jackson initially planned to do two instalments and later he changed his mind to do a trilogy akin to his previous LOTR effort. I thought that there was a particular scene that was a bit out of place and perhaps it belonged to the 1st film (?). I'm talking about the scene where Gandalf met Radagast and they began talking about the necromancer at the abandon ruins. I could be wrong about this though but one must remember that Jackson had already shot most of the scenes from the 1st film when he decided to do another two.

In my opinion, Smaug was pretty believable and scary as heck! With his sheer size, fire prowess and dark booming voice, it was rather easy to see why the good people of Erebor and Dale p***ed in their pants when he came to wreck chaos all those years ago. Smaug made Draco from Dragonheart sound like child's play. Bilbo's encounter with Smaug has got to be one of the most intense moment in cinematic history of recent times.

It was great to see an alumnus of Rowan Atkinson's Black Adder TV series cast ensemble in the movie. I think he did a pretty good job. His portrayal as the chief of the Laketown...errr.....town had a tinged of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor from ROTK.

There'd definitely be a bunch of disgruntled book purists who'll be dissing certain elements of the book. I'd like to give a special shout out to this one idiotic female audience in the cinema where my family and I caught the film. She practically yelped a very irritating "WHY?!" on the top of her lungs the moment the film closes with Smaug about to attack Laketown. She'd probably read The Hobbit some weeks ago and felt compelled to compare the book to the films. Well, my wife and I read Tolkien's LOTR & The Hobbit too but we decided to treat the films exactly like what they're meant to be.....Peter Jackson's interpretations. Following Tolkien's word-by-word account would be as 'predictably' boring as AMC strictly following Robert Kirkman's comic book pages for their TV adaptation of The Walking Dead.

Having said that, I love the inclusion of Tauriel. Again, book purists may go against this (boo!). But do remember this, while neither Legolas nor Tauriel were mentioned by Tolkien in The Hobbit book but there were mention of encounters with Woodland and Silvan elves in the book. I think Jackson did a bang-up job by introducing both into his movie interpretations of The Hobbit. It adds to the excitement and the drama (Kili's love interest towards Tauriel is just downright fun to watch!). I'd just have to say this to the hardcore purists...if you don't like any deviations then you'd be better off staying away from watching Jackson's movies. Enough said.

The film closes with a cliffhanger inevitably leaving the audience gasping for more. We all already know what's coming in the final chapter of the trilogy but the journey to get to the ending is what we're really looking for. This is what Peter Jackson does best. Again, if you're planning to come to the cinema and start to rant how the movies differ from the book, I guess you'd be better off staying at home and keep your unwanted comments to yourselves. Just enjoy the movie guys....that's all to it....pure popcorn fun ain't it?

This movie is a definite keeper on blu-ray and I can't wait to add this to the collection. Would I watch it again in the cinemas (and endure another 160 minutes)? Probably not but I'd give this film my thumbs up for its excellent cinematic value and pure fantasy fun! A definite recommendation for all!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Star Wars: The Black Series #14 Mara Jade - 3.75" scale figure review...

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

Now here's a Black Series figure that has been creating so much buzz in the cyber-space for the wrong reasons. Firstly, Hasbro's lack of sensitivity towards their often-criticized distribution system has left many collectors without most figures like Mara Jade here from the Black Series. We either end up paying a premium to scalpers or turning to eBay or amazon (also albeit hiked-up prices) to get what we want.That's just wrong Hasbro. It's just absurd for us fans to fight our way to get the figures that we want at retail. Why can't you make more of these high-demanded figures instead of flooding retail pegs with the unwanted Episode I VOTC figures? I was lucky enough to find her (twice for the record) at two separate TRUs as soon as the staff were re-stocking the shelves. I can't be counting my lucky stars forever now can I?

Secondly, this latest Mara Jade figure has been receiving constant criticisms from fans with regard to her hair. More on that later....but first let's take a quick look at the packaging before we scrutinize the figure.

Mara Jade

I've said it before. There ain't nothing really special about these packaging. They're basically...well...black. If you're a MOC collector then I feel sorry for you, we had the excellent VOTC packaging before this and now they're just so....bland. There was that plastic bubble dropping off the card back issue back then so if you're looking for that perfect MOC/MISB Mara Jade for your collection then you're in for a rough ride. 

Mara Jade

There's the silhouette image of Mara Jade at the back of the card with a brief bio of hers. Whatever...I'm ripping my figure off the packaging faster than you can say 'Hasbro's un-even distribution'.

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

Now a lot has been said about Mara's head sculpt. Nothing wrong with her facial features. I think she is one of the better female incarnations Hasbro has given us in recent times. She looks miles better than Shae Vizla for sure! It's just that 80s hairdo. It irritates many fans and in some way it doesn't really represent how she looked like as described in Timothy Zahn's novels. Heck, she even looked different from the silhouette image on the card back.

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

Even so, I had no issue whatsoever with her hair. It looks decent enough and it has a great flow to it. Some collectors even resorted to swapping the heads of the new Avengers Assemble Black Widow head sculpt or even Rise of Cobra's Scarlett's head sculpt with Mara's but I found those to be not-so-suitable. 

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

In the accessories department, Mara came with her ignited lighsaber, her un-ignited lighsaber hilt, her holster (which can be placed on her belt i.e. right hip or at the rear) and her blaster pistol.

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

Her black jumpsuit is gorgeously done and has a great shiny paint job to it to give us that leathery look. She almost look like some galactic biker chick to my eyes.

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

My main intention of getting her into my collection was always (of course) to pose her with the rest of the Thrawn Trilogy characters.

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

Mara Jade, just like the ROTJ Luke pictured above, does not have the much-needed hinged-hips so her fighting stance is pretty limited. I remembered when I was frustrated with Darth Malgus and Starkiller having the same problem. Well, here it is again!

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

THE REBEL'S VERDICT: The whole Black Series distribution in Malaysia is kinda crappy so finding the rarer figures sets our hearts pumping like crazy! Mara wasn't easy to find several weeks ago but I was lucky enough to have been at the right place at the right moment. Despite her shortcomings, she is essential to my collection as I look forward to dedicate part of my display area for the Thrawn Trilogy figures. If you're not too familiar with Zahn's books then I can understand why you could even give this figure a miss. For those drawn into Zahn's work then she is a must. Now if only Hasbro can give us a Joruus C'boath figure next eh? At the time of writing this, Mara's been re-stocked again together with wave 3 (yup, the Plagueis wave) and she's been popping out everywhere at retail again here in Malaysia. 

3.75" The Black Series Wave 2 Mara Jade

Monday, December 16, 2013

Some mid-Dec acquisitions...

mid-Dec feeble haul...

Here are some stuff acquired during the past couple of days. Actually I only got myself the Star Wars 3.75" Black Series Vizam figure and the rest were my wife's loot. I totally dig that Jetsons' space craft/vehicle and the Tomica Nissan GTR (as driven by the late Paul Walker) & the two Audi R8s (as per driven by Tony Stark in the Iron Man films).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale '13...

IMG-20131207-01901

It's that time of the year again. For those lucky enough to be in Malaysia during this time of the year would probably know that the annual Big Bad Wolf Book Sale takes place at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) from 6 - 15 Dec '13. The event is organised by Book Xcess, the leading discount book store in Malaysia/(asia/world?). They had like millions of books on sale over at MIECC with over 1 million titles for you to choose from. You can google it up on the 'net if you need more info on this. Many book enthusiasts look forward to this event as it represents a chance for you to pick up those pricey books that you've hesitated to add to your collection before. You see, you get to enjoy up to 95% discounts for regular priced books and some of these are still selling at full price at retail! You just gotta see them to believe it. I went to the sale last year and I was so hyped up to be here again this year.

IMG-20131207-01898

Here's an aerial view of the event hall. I'm not sure how big the whole hall is but you can more or less estimate the spaciousness of the hall when I had to actually snap 3 different angles of the hall......

IMG-20131207-01899

.....just to show you how big the huge hall is.

IMG-20131207-01900

Many of course, went frenzy over the fiction & non-fiction books on sale. They range from as low as RM5 (or USD1.60) to RM30 (USD10) depending on whether it's a paperback or hardcovers. But on average, they seldom go for more than RM20 (USD6.80). There's definitely something for everyone here. You just gotta brace yourself to complete browsing every single 'island/table' available in the hall and from the 3 pictures I posted here you just know it you're gonna have sore feet afterwards.

Best part is, the organisers mentioned on their fb page that they're gonna add new titles every day so that's motivation for you to continuously visit the venue every day till the last day of the event.

IMG-20131207-01889

I went a little ape-s*** last year when I bought heaps of comic TPBs and hardcovers with little on the 'actual' books section. This year, I conditioned myself to snag a few books/novels rather than comics. The moment I saw the comic/graphic novel islands (there were 4 of 'em but 1 was completely full of 'manga' TPBs), that hope evaporated into thin air.....LOL.

IMG-20131207-01892

Here's the scene at one of the island/table. Full of comic enthusiasts and casual curious passerby who're wondering why a barrage of funny-lookin' geeks gathered around religiously around the area. 

IMG-20131207-01896

Here are a couple of snapshots of the tables so you'd be able to have a rough idea of what's available for you to choose from. Remember, these are discounted TPBs and hardcovers so expect up to 95% discounts for the stuff you see here. You can can clearly see that story arcs as recent as 'Fear Itself' were available for sale. Sorry for the lack of pictures because as soon as I snapped these two, I immediately stashed my phone away (the other hand was already gripping my son's hand) and began to rummage through the pile. 

IMG-20131207-01897
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*Les dommages (the damage)*

Haul from Big Bad Wolf sale @ 7 Dec '13

Truth be told....I actually went to the sale TWICE in the span of 5 days. Here's our (my better half & son had their bounty too!) loot for the 1st day of visit. My wife bought 'real' books for herself but I succumbed to the lure of the cheap graphic novels!

Haul from Big Bad Wolf sale @ 7 Dec '13

My wife saw this Millenium Falcon 'manual' somewhere in the middle of the hall and picked this up for me. It was less than RM20 (or
BIg Bad Wolf sale '13 haul - Round 2

Here is our loot from the 2nd visit. As you can see, I finally picked up a couple of 'real' books this time around (I think you'd be able to recognize which ones are mine) but inevitably I had to make a quick pit stop to the graphic novel/comic section (ARRGH!) and (inevitably) I picked up another 3 to add to the pile I got myself during my 1st visit.

Anyway, if you're in town, the sale ends on Sunday, 15 Dec in Malaysia. I totally recommend you to make a quick stop over there to see for yourself the madness and unbelievable prices of the items on sale. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Star Wars action-figure shot of the day: K3-P0..

K-3P0

Here's the K3-P0 action figure from that Hoth 'Defense' figure set. He's really one of those under-rated droid figure from the trilogy. I mean, nobody gave a darn about a droid who only had a few seconds of screen time. But who knew that he held a high-ranking post in the Rebel Alliance Hoth base. 

K3-P0 didn't make it through the Hoth fiasco. It's true, here's a screen shot from the movie to prove it:

AndNobodyImportantWasHurt-ESB

Think that it was one of the Empire's laser blast that killed him? Wrong. He 'died' when he was hit by a tauntaun's flapping tail. Seriously. You can read all about it here.  You can say that nobody important died during the battle of Hoth.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Official Godzilla (2014) trailer!

godzilla 2014



Move over Pacific Rim! Here comes the 'original' monster!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie quick recap....

the-hunger-games-catching-fire

The Hunger Games (THG) is a series of book written under the 'young adult' banner similar to that of the Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyers. For the record, the Twilight books were miles better than the movies, as confirmed by many purists of the books (my better half is one of 'em!). But let's not even go there and go back to TGH's on-screen adaptation. I gotta admit, when I first watched the first movie of the trilogy, I had this tiny rotten feeling that it was gonna involve into a Twilight-esque love triangle thing when I learnt that Katniss had a better half back home in District 12 but at the same time acting it all out with Peeta on screen. When I finished watching Catching Fire, the 2nd instalment of the futuristic gladiator-esque trilogy last night, all that horrific thoughts about THG morphing into another Twilight disappeared into thin air.

Catching Fire picks up where we last saw Katniss and Peeta from the 1st movie. They were now worthy winners of the last games and were forced to go on a 'Tour' to exploit their victory but what they were really doing was to propagate the ideals of (the fictional futuristic nation) Panem's leader, President Snow. Unwillingly, Katniss had become a symbol of hope and many mini-riots took place in various districts spurred by the rebellious inpromptu speech made by her during her first ever tour stop.

They were soon forced to compete in yet another round of the 'human-hunt' survival games as the once-in-a-25-year Quarter Quell comes perfectly into its next cycle. Katniss and Peeta, together with some new-found allies, soon went head-to-head with a bunch of seasoned 'Reaping' event in the Quarter Quell before the big reveal at the end of Catching Fire of what's coming in the 3rd and final instalment of THG film. Revolution is coming! I must say, irregardless of whatever you may make of THG's book genre, the movie(s) is really turning out into something really cool and I actually look forward to the 3rd movie. The acting is top notch and I personally like how Donald Sutherland managed to bring the diabolical President Snow's character to life.

This is one of the must-watch movie of the year....no kidding. Go watch it now!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 mid-season finale recap...

The-Walking-Dead-Season-4-Episode-8

What a great mid-season finale it was to Season 4. The producers promised us an explosive ending for Season 4 part 1 and they didn't disappoint! We came to expect that 'heads will roll' in the episode but I didn't think that it was literally gonna be so! You see, there were bound to be deaths of major characters in Episode 8 as the Guv' riled up his Woodbury 2.0 team to attack Rick's prison camp. You might wanna stop reading now if you haven't watched the episode yet. SPOILERS abound!

It was kinda expected that both side of the fence was gonna lose somebody important but it was just the way they 'went' that crushed us emotionally. Poor Herschel met his maker ala Ned Stark public execution style in front of his daughters courtesy of the one-eyed psychopath we all love to hate. Subsequently ol Guv' got (deservingly) impaled by by a certain Michonne but I was left baffled to as why she didn't finish the job off. Perhaps she planned to leave him to be a 'zombie-buffet'? Ironically, Lilly, the new-found love of his life, was the one who finished the job 'off-screen'.

The most interesting aspect of the episode was perhaps the brilliant dialogues uttered by the protagonists. I like the part when Rick mentioned to the Guv' and his Woodburians wannabes that "If you walk through that gate...you're part of us...no one has to die...we can all live together" and "We can still come back from this...we're not too far gone". Real top notch emotional speech there by Rick. All of these were of course futile as the Guv' decided to slice poor Herschel anyways and thus kick-starting the prison invasion he dearly wanted. Kudos to David Morrisey for convincingly portraying one of the most cold-hearted TV villain we've seen in screen history!

It was kinda hearbreaking to see both Rick and Carl breaking down when they discovered Judith's baby carrier all bloodied. My guess is that Judith survived the attack and that whoever carried her to safety was injured and his/her blood got onto the carrier. I don't know, maybe them writers would want to add the 'baby Grimes is dead' story arc into the fold thus launching Rick into depression 2.0...who knows.

So what do you think? Is the Guv' still alive? Michonne should've finished the job she started but the writers of the series felt that it was probably the best for Lilly to do so. But did she? There is now a 50-50 chance that the Guv' had survived Episode 8 since the purported 'killing shot' was never really shown to us. Will all of them head back to Herschel’s farm to re-group? Exciting times await us on Feb 9 '14. Bring it on!!!