Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sayin’ goodbye to Harold Ramis.......

egon 08

I don’t usually post obituaries on my blog but there are certain exceptions to this rule, especially when the individual in question had indirectly defined my childhood.  Harold Ramis passed away yesterday due to some rare blood vessel disease (gotta thank my wife for this piece of info!). Ramis was not only a reputable comedy writer with hit films such as Ghostbusters, Stripes, Animal House and many more under his belt, he was also a director, having directed Groundhog Day and acted in many of these movies himself.

But to me, he was always (and still is) the great Egon Spengler. Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II left such a big impression on me during my childhood that I even dreamt of becoming one for real! I’m sure many kids had the same dream then (and we ALL still do!!!). Egon Spengler is my favourite character out of the four guys.....geeky, Mr Know-It-All and had even taught us that it is in fact fun to collect spores, molds and fungus.

Director/producer Jason Reitman summed it up perfectly when he said that “It’s as if we’ve just lost a Beatle...” ....True dat.

The burning question in every fanboys’ mind is this....what is the fate of the planned ‘Ghostbusters 3’ now? Bill Murray has been initially quoted as being ‘50-50’ towards the project but in recent years he had lost interest altogether. Ramis and co-stars Dan Aykroyd & Ernie Hudson had in fact planned to do a ‘Venkman-less’ sequel but now that Egon has left the scene it is very unlikely that the highly-anticipated second GB sequel will come to fruition at all. That’ll most probably put an end to the long mystery surrounding the proposed film. GB:3 can’t possibly proceed without Egon...plus Ramis was one of the writers. Such a sad and bleak day for Ghostbusters fans everywhere.

Bye-bye Egon...thanks for the memories.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Batman's rogue gallery....

Arkham Asylum: Batman vs Bane 2-pack

Sorry guys. I've been on a massive writer's block mode for these past couple of weeks. The consolation is that I've still taken heaps of action figure shots and posted them on my flickr page. My son suggested to do close-up shots of the Batman villains earlier in the month and we spent the night taking these shots. Till I get my writing groove back, do enjoy the pictures....

The Joker

Harley Quinn

The Penguin

Bane

Ra's Al Ghul

Poison Ivy

Two-Face

The Riddler

Monday, February 10, 2014

The LEGO Movie...some brief thoughts.....

the_lego_movie

Ok, before I start my brief review on this movie, let me just remind some of you that this IS a movie based on a toy-line after all. A comedy to be exact. I've heard people saying that this movie isn't worth watching and it's just one big mess of a lame attempt by them LEGO folks to be funny etc. My wife and I are both hardcore fans of the LEGO PS3 series of games and I can tell you we were ecstatic to know that a LEGO movie (aptly titled 'The LEGO Movie'!) was in the works. Anyhow, if you haven't played any of the games prior to watching the movie, you should more or less expect a wacky and crazy ride....so based on that notion alone, just sit back and enjoy the movie folks!

Oh yea....here comes that customary warning about any (brief)*SPOILERS*....abort this post now if you haven’t watched the movie yet.

This movie is silly fun! Let me just get that straight. I love the plot on how the little ‘human’ boy referenced his father (the ever funny-man Will Ferrell) as the titular bad guy Lord/President Business. One can even relate to the paranoid geek-father who wants to keep every single one of his LEGO sets the way there are with no variations or deviations from the instructions whatsoever. Of course viewers would only get to know all of these towards the end of the movie. But right from the start, there was always the mundane, routine, humdrum and repetitious monotone played out and experienced by Emmet, our hero of the story. Seriously, I think most of us can relate to that.

There was no limit to the humour since this is an animation flick so with that you can expect endless wacky slapstick fun from the moment you’re introduced to Emmet. I love the message conveyed by the movie writers that even a ‘regular joe’ can change the world if you believe in yourself (a 'motivational' cat poster will greatly help too!). I particularly love the very-brief appearance of a Star Wars vehicle and its crew members! I just wished they had more screen-time. It’s a bit disappointing that no Marvel characters made their appearances in the movie despite them appearing in promo trailers.

The mostly all-star voice cast was great. One can almost immediately recognise the unmistakably familiar voices of Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett and many more. These star attractions alone should have been a big enough factor for anyone to be curious about the movie. This movie is absolutely fun (have I mentioned this enough already? LOL) and if you’re looking to have a laugh and to blow off some steam then I suggest you to watch this now....and take your kids along, they’ll love it!

There, didn’t I mention that this was gonna be a brief one! 



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Robocop 6" action figures from Jada Toys....

Robocop 1.0 & 3.0

I've actually bought these action figures way before I watched the new Robo movie a couple of days ago. Guess I purposedly waited to watch the movie first before I decided to review the action figures! Jada Toys gave us two scales i.e. the 3.75" and 6" scales. The 3.75 inchers weren't that bad too but in light of my recent decision to stick to the 6" scale it was pretty much decided for me between the two. Unfortunately, Jada Toys only produced the two versions of Robocop i.e. 1.0 and 3.0 out of the movies. I wished that they could've given us some bad guys to go along with these two but there might be some flicker of hope that we'd get them in wave/series 2 perhaps (???). It'd be sweet if we could at least just get the 'new' ED-209!

Anyway, let's just cross our fingers till then and move on onto the subject of today's discussion.

Ok, let's start off things by looking at their packaging. The front part of the packaging has a nice picture of Robocop himself (who else?). They're pretty generic as both has the 3.0 version on them. You are also able to test out the 'Light Action' feature on both figures. They basically light up his visors (more on that later). I had a good selection of Robo to go through before I arrive at these two as when my son first discovered these at a nearby retail store, the movie was a couple of weeks away...so plenty of stocks everywhere for us to go over. Currently, stocks are depleting fast for both the 3.75" and 6" action figures (those electronic 12" ones and the motorbike versions are still there though) ever since the movie came out over here in Malaysia.

Robocop (2014) 6" - 1.0 & 3.0

The packaging is so generic that both figures even share the same card back info. Here you can see that apart from the 'role-playing' items i.e. Robocop's helmet and chest armor, that is basically everything you'd get from Jada Toys for now. I'm not even sure whether they'd come around for wave/series 2?

You’d also get to try the ‘light-up visor’ action feature on both 1.0 and 3.0 Robocop through a small opening right in front of their chests i.e. where you have to press a button to light up his visor.  A bit of a letdown really. I was hoping that the visor could light up by itself via a single touch of the button without us keeping our finger on the button to do so. I’d get to his light-up feature later.

Robocop (2014) 6" - 1.0 & 3.0

Ok, let's take 'em out of their packaging. Let's take a look at Robocop 1.0 first....

Let’s start by looking at the accessories each Robocop gets. Basically both versions come with the same types of weapon i.e. his hand gun/sub-machine ‘pistol’ and an even bigger machine gun for his left arm. In case you haven’t watched the movie yet and wondering if Robocop does indeed uses two (2) weapons at the same time, the answer is yes, well at least during his training sequence. I would’ve definitely preferred it if we could get an alternate head to show a ‘visor-less’ Alex J Murphy head sculpt to give us a different display option.

Robocop 1.0

Basically Robocop 1.0 is a head-on throwback to the original Robocop '87 suit. It's silver with some black on it. It screams 'Peter Weller Robocop' through and through albeit a more sleeker design.

Robocop 1.0

Technically, both 1.0 & 3.0 Robocop have the same amount of articulation. He's got  swivel head, ball-jointed shoulders and hips, and molded elbows and knees.  I'm not saying that it's pretty darn limited, but wrist or ankle joints would have been very helpful too considering that this new Robocop actually moves very fluidly on-screen.  Simililarly, the limited neck movement and lack of torso articulation is a bit of a letdown. Having said all that, the action figures can’t really be posed in extreme poses as the armour gets in the way and restricts his arms and legs. I for one, feel that the figures could have benefited more if Jada Toys had given them waist, wrist and hips articulation. Still, you’d be able to pose him in a fair amount of ‘action’ poses and he is still technically better than the Saga Legends action figures Hasbro had graciously put on the shelves for us in recent times.

Robocop 1.0

I can’t believe that I initially only wanted to purchase the 3.0 version and totally wanted to ignore the 1.0 (“Nehh, it looks way too much like the classic one anyway!”). I was adamant with my decision to do so right until my better half pointed out that both figures are in fact, having two different armour sculpt. So thanks to my wife’s good eye on such differences, I changed my mind and grabbed both. I know I’ll regret it much later when the 1.0 completely disappears from the shelves. At the time of writing this, we’ve noticed that the 6” Robocop figures were fast disappearing from shelves everywhere, especially version 1.0.

Robocop 1.0

It’s a nice touch by Jada Toys to ensure that both versions have different armour sculpt on them. It kinda makes you feel that you’re getting your money’s worth here. They are not just straight re-use of the same mould. 

Robocop 1.0

On the bright side, both Robocops have flawless paint applied on them. You can hardly see any paint bleed or any paint anomaly throughout the figure except on the mouth area. You see, I think the paint department over at Jada Toys must’ve ‘over-applied’ the flesh coloured paint onto his mouth area and practically covered his mouth slit. It’s particularly worse off on my 3.0 where you can barely make out where his mouth is. I took the liberty to manually slit over the part where I think his mouth is (i.e. over the slight ‘bump’) with a blade.

Robocop 1.0

Robocop 1.0

Robocop 1.0

Robocop 1.0

Robocop 3.0

Robocop 3.0

Robocop 3.0

Robocop 3.0

Robocop 3.0

Robocop 3.0

While it is very unlikely that Jada Toys will give us matching (in-scale) ED-209s to go with their Robo figures to battle out, you could also get NECA’s classic ED-209 figure to go head-to-head with your Robocops. It’ll be nice too if we could get some villains in future wave/series (is there even a wave/series 2??) perhaps?

Robocop 3.0


These Robocop figures, although marketed as 6” action figures, are a bit on the smaller size if compared to the many 6” figures out there e.g. Marvel Legends and such. NECA’s Robocop, at the 7” scale, towers over Jada Toys’ Robocops by almost an inch.

Robocop 1987 vs Robocop 2014

Robocop 3.0

"Your move.....creep!"

robocop 1.0 and 3.0 light up visors

When you talk about his ‘light-up visor’ feature, one must surely notice that the red visor lights were anywhere but ‘bright’ enough for our liking. They look ok if you light ‘em up under low lightings but in broad daylight they are barely visible. Like I said before, I get further irritated to learn that I’d have to keep my finger on the chest button to keep the visor lighted up. These figures could’ve given us much  much more had the visors had the capabilities to stay ‘lighted’ with a single press of the chest button.

THE REBEL’S VERDICT: Despite the many flaws and shortcomings, I still think that these new 6” Robocop figures are essential to your display shelves. If you’re a fan of the original movie, you might have some reservations on the new armour designs and such but believe me they look good enough to rival the original Robocop design. Now that the movie is officially out in cinemas, the action figures are flying off retail shelves too. As expected, collectors go for the 6” figures first rather than the 3.75" figures and given that Robocop 1.0 is short-packed (so I’ve heard), you might wanna grab him first if you see him anytime soon. So run over to your nearest retail outlet and pick one (or two) today. Your move.....creep!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Excellent Kevin Spacey head-sculpt likeness!

Kevin Spacey - Lex Luthor

Honestly I forgot I actually bought this for my son last year (or was it a couple of years ago?) on the cheap. This was actually the 'Kryptonite Armor Lex Luthor' action figure released in conjunction with the release of 'Superman Returns' way back in 2006. As the name suggests, Lex has that Kryptonite-infused armor/vest that he uses to ....err...attack Superman. He's not pictured with it in these pictures today. I'm more interested to show you the 'killer' likeness of the head-sculpt to Kevin Spacey, who played Lex Luthor in the movie. Boasting a measly 7 points-of-articulations, there's nothing much to shout about in the articulations department but that superb head-sculpt was (and still is?) the best representation of Kevin Spacey in action-figure form, even by today's standards.

What do you think? Was it a stand-out release for its time? Heck, he even looks better than the titular protagonist's action figure itself!

Kevin Spacey - Lex Luthor

Kevin Spacey - Lex Luthor

Kevin Spacey - Lex Luthor

Sunday, February 2, 2014

In anticipation of the upcoming LEGO Movie!

My 6-year old son's latest book pick...

My son is really all hyped up about the soon to be screened 'The LEGO Movie' that he picked these two LEGO books up the other day. The movie's popping out in cinemas on Feb 6 over here in Malaysia.

Seriously, I can't wait to watch it either! 


Saturday, February 1, 2014

NECA's upcoming Planet of The Apes action figures!

NECA Gorilla Soldier.jpg-largeNECA Cornelius.jpg-largeNECA Dr Zaius.jpg-large




This is probably old news to some but I've only recently got to know this important piece of news. I'm such a sucka for the original Roddy McDowall 'Apes movies so technically I went ape-sh** (pardon the pun) when I knew NECA was gonna make the 6" action figures from the original movies.

Oh yea, they've also previewed the Caesar figure from the upcoming 'Dawn movie. But it's really the 'classics' that got everyone jumping off their seats in excitement.

I hope NECA comes around to make Taylor and Zira too.

They're all due to come out sometime during summer this year. Bring them on!

NECA Caesar