Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Toyworld’s TW-01B Hegemon figure!

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

While I’m technically a Generation 1 (or G1) Transformers (TF) nut, I’ve always avoided any other scales apart from the deluxe/voyager and the occasional leader class scales. My G1 TF collection has always been centred along the main characters that I’m familiar with when I grew up as a kid in the excellent 1980s. Having said that I’ve only recently ventured into a new ‘scale’ i.e. the Masterpiece scale with my recent purchases of MP-20 and MP-21 respectively (see my previous post on this) and that was only because the MP-scaled Wheeljack and Bumblebee were so gosh-darn perfect I almost forgot I loathed the scale difference issues altogether!

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

So with that in mind, I was always in the hunt for the so-called ‘perfect’ Optimus and Megatron to grace my TF display shelf so that they’ll look good standing amongst the rest of my collection. I was never into the MP Megatron. He looks rather frail/flimsy to me and does not give justice to the menacing leader of the Decepticon as we came to know him in the cartoon series (those who have him will know exactly what I mean). For the record, I sold off both my Henkei (TomyTakara) Convoy/Optimus Prime and (NERF) Megatron figures because I wasn’t really happy on their aesthetics. I mean....a NERF gun/Megatron with ‘wings’ & an odd-ly shaped truck cab that doesn’t scream ‘classic flat-front’ design weren’t really interesting to me. Still I held on to them until I got to know that 3rd party companies were actually producing our beloved ‘Bots/’Cons almost exactly how they appeared in the classic cartoon series.

I got myself iGear’s PP-01 Faith Leader (Optimus Prime) a couple of years ago and he is by far the best G1 Optimus Prime outside the Masterpiece scale. I have my grouses with him (recently I got really annoyed with its plastic brittle issue) but he’ll do just fine standing amongst the Autobots for now. I don’t even transform him anymore into his cab mode in fear of involuntary disintegration...LOL.

Right. With an almost perfect lookin’ G1 Optimus Prime leading my ‘Bots, I got to find an equally good Megs to lead my ‘Cons! I missed out on the 1st release of Toyworld’s Hegemon, therefore I jumped when I first heard that a 2nd version (albeit supposedly without an accessory from the 1st release) was coming our way.

3rd party releases are notorious for being pricey (hey, nobody’s regulating the whole darn unlicensed ‘independent’ releases anyway!) so you know what you’re getting yourself into here. Sub-par paint job, risks of plastic brittle (I can vouch for it!) AND odd random names slapped onto the releases e.g. Faith Leader, Uranus, Warbot, Hercules...Hegemon; are just part of the deal. But knowing that Hasbro would never (or slow) in responding to fans’ demand for screen-accurate TF toys will probably persuade you to give these 3rd parties a chance anyway. I personally like the Hercules (Devastator) for its sheer size and design but I’ve always held back from splashing more than USD400 (or RM1500++) for the set. Hegemon’s here was no exception. I sold off a couple of unwanted items through eBay to get him. Pricey....yes, but I finally have the Megatron I’ve always wanted for my TF display.

So how does he fare? Let’s take a look.

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

The packaging is rather simple. I think I like how my Faith Leader (Optimus) was packaged over this one. This one feels cheap with its thin cardboard box as opposed to Faith Leader’s thick ones. Nevertheless it gets the job done. I took Megs and its contents out from the box (let’s just call him that shall we? Hegemon sounds so....weird) and immediately chucked the box away.

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Hmm...as per the 1st release, I wasn’t too happy with the colour scheme. Here’s a toy which has been cast in grey plastic and that represents the main color scheme of ol’ Megs. The leader of the ‘Cons was supposed to look metallic or silvery to say the least. I wasn’t gonna let the drab ol’ shade of grey dampen the look of the mighty Megatron! And so I applied some Citadel paint on him. I wanted a silvery look but I wasn’t too keen on an overly bright silver tone hence I avoided all the bright ones. I think he looks just right with the medium silver grey tone that I picked for him. He looks way better now than how he did when I first took him out of the packaging.

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Megs here came with two accessories. First is an alternative black helmeted head. I’m guessing that this is how he looks in some comic version of him. Cool addition but I don’t think I’ll be ever swapping the head. I like my Megatron’s head the way it is right now. It reminds me a great deal of the G1 cartoon series already. I wouldn’t want it to look any other way.

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

The second accessory is the laser-mace, complete with chain. Unfortunately for me, the chain snapped away when I tried to pry the mace from its handle. After about a couple of seconds cursing my bad luck the feeling immediately went away as I realised that I’d probably stow it away because i prefer not to display Megs with it anyway. So that’s that.

I don’t really want to talk about his alt mode. He transforms into a Walther (or Luger?) hand gun. Everybody knows that. But he is such an a** to transform. I did it once with some help from my son and that’s probably the last time I’m gonna do that....LOL.

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Let’s get him back into robot form shall we?

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

So how exactly does he fare against the Generations/Universe/Henkei (GUH) figures? Well, as a start, he looks in scale enough when he’s with his fellow ‘Cons. He towers over everybody inside the picture above except for that Soundwave (that’s not even a G1 version of ol’ mono-eye but I put him there anyway).

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Perhaps the most disappointing (and annoying) issue I have with the figure is that he is noticeable shorter than the Faith Leader/Optimus figure. I mean come on....they’re both supposed to cater for the GUH scale but why in the world would they even be taller than the other? I can understand iGear and Toyworld NOT talking to each when they each embarked on their respective projects but at least Megatron here should be at a ‘voyager-class’ height, right? I’ve seen some customisers adding some height via some extensions underneath his feet but that ain’t just my thing. I’ll just have to be content with Megs and maybe play around with camera angles to make him look alright when paired with my Faith Leader.

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Toyworld TW-01B Hegemon (Megatron)

Well, with that I’d like to end my short review on the figure. He really is a dream come true for most. Like I’ve said before, we haven’t gotten a decent Megatron to go with the rest of our GUH figures. The height anomaly bothers me but I can live with it. Right now I’m rather anxious and curious to see if Hasbro or TomyTakara’s gonna retaliate and give us an official Megatron in the GUH scale any time soon. So far they have been keeping quiet so it seems that Toyworld’s version is by far the best Megs out there for us. If you have the moolah to spend on a 3rd party TF toy then this is one of those surely to be in your must-get list.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Star Wars 6” The Black Series display shelf...

Star Wars 6" The Black Series display shelf... #geekshavethemostfun #actionfiguredisplay #starwars #starwarsmalaysia #theblackseries

I finally took the trouble to get my 6” TBS figures out in the open over the weekend. They were always taken out of their packaging and thrown into my TBS plastic container for safekeeping. I guess all action figures deserve to be out in the open and not being left in boxes/containers to brittle or disintegrate over time. Besides, they accumulate that nasty oily feeling over time and you wouldn’t want to clean each and every nook and cranny of each figure once that starts to happen.

Anyway, back to them 6-inchers TBS figures...

We’ve received confirmation that a whole bunch of ‘em are coming our way soon. Bossk, Emperor Palpatine, Stormie Luke & Han, IG-88, Boussh (plus several other prequel characters....eww) and also deluxe sets i.e. Han with tauntaun & Luke with Wampa. I have no issues with Hasbro spewing out characters from the prequels but I like to see more original trilogy characters first or at least dedicate 3 out of 4 figures (per wave) to the OT. With Episode VII on the horizon (are we still calling it that?....or ‘Awakens?) I bet we’re gonna have an influx of characters from the movie too in between them OTs and PTs soon.

There’s another thing that bothers me. Why are we still being charged full price for half a character? I thought we had it bad when Artoo was at the same price point as the rest. When Yoda came I knew that Hasbro didn’t really give a hoot to what collectors had to say about the issue. I know some would argue that it’s always been that way anyway for the 3.75” line. But at a USD20 (or USD24 for us Malaysians) price point, I think we should only be charged anywhere between USD12-15 tops! I mean come on....half a figure at full price? Ridiculous.

Well, what you see above represents my only display options for the moment. Basically I’m quite happy with the limited space I have right now for these TBS figures but I’ll have another bout of headache when the next wave hits retail soon. You see, they’re already packed to the brim and I can barely squeeze in another 6-incher anywhere inside that display area. Boy, where am I gonna put the upcoming figures?!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spidey’s back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

The Amazing Spiderman (Andrew Garfield)

I’m sure by now many have heard that Fox has finally allowed Spiderman to be featured in the MCU films. This would inevitably mean that ol’ web-head’s gonna appear in upcoming Avenger films but Andrew Garfield would not be donning the red-blue suit for MCU. I think the whole issue on character rights was pretty stupid to begin with. It’s absolutely absurd to know that Marvel could not even house every each of their ‘movie-verse’ characters under one roof unlike DC Comics (all of them appear or will appear under Warner Films). That’s intellectual property rights for ya. It sucks.

For the record, Tobey McGuire’s trilogy will always be special to me. Just when I’m starting to warm up with Garfield’s version of Spidey, we’re gonna see a new actor taking up the suit real soon. Word is that this new actor’s gonna be on board before Marvel Studios commences shooting for the Avengers: Civil War movie.

I’m excited to say the least to know that Spidey’s finally gonna have a chance to share screen time with the likes of Hulk, Iron Man and his fellow Avengers but the whole Fox-Marvel Studios hullaballoo still bugs me. Now that Spidey’s been given the green light to roam into MCU I guess the next best thing now is for FOX to allow the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters to cross-over too before the next Marvel ‘big’ movie starts to shoot. Yes, I’m talking about the Infinity War movies planned for a 2018-2019 release.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Walking Dead - Season 5.2 Episode 9

tyreese TWD

What an ‘expected’ shocker it was watching the start of the second half of Season 5 of AMC’s TWD. I’ve been building up the expectations by reading countless rumours and hints dropped by the AMC team on the rest of Season 5. I’ve always anticipated that a major character was gonna be given the boot but my prediction was off. I never expected Tyreese to exit the show so soon even though his character kicked the bucket a long time ago in Kirkman’s comic pages.

A lot of speculations have been brewing in the cyberworld as to why the producers decided to end Tyreese’s involvement in the TV series but the best (and most logical) explanation came from the very actor who played Tyreese himself, Chad Coleman. Coleman went on to explain his theory (and by Kirkman’s beard he is right!) that technically both Tyreese and Daryl can’t appear concurrently in AMC’s TWD series. You see, in the comics, Tyreese is rick’s right-hand man while Daryl, who was created specifically for the TV series, seems to be holding on to that title in AMC’s show. So there’s the sad truth about Episode 9 for ya.

I dig Daryl’s bad-a** attitude and what he adds to Rick’s gang but I personally didn’t want to see the muscle of the gang to exit so soon.

You will be missed Tyreese. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Rebel Page’s BEST OF 2014!

Coffee-holic Anonymous here I come! #cupofjoe #hangingout

I've been holding out from blogging on this subject for quite some time now. I remembered that for last year’s edition (Best of 2013), I had prepared the draft way in advance sometime in mid-Dec 2013. But that’s life. One moment you’d be constantly updating your blog and the next moment you could even forget that you even have one! I came across Michael Crawford’s page the other day and as usual during early January you’d be invited to cast your votes for the best pop-culture collectibles for his Poppies Award (I’ve already cast mine by the way) which would normally be posted sometime later in early Feb I think. So with that in mind I immediately set my goal of getting my ‘Best Of 2014’ out before the 2014 Poppies Award results come out!

Technically 2014 has relatively been a ‘slower’ year for The Rebel than 2013 in the collecting sense. I’ve actually achieved what I promised myself to do in 2014, which was to slow down on my 1/6 figures and to selectively cherry-pick MOTU Classics figures. I’ve basically bought most of the stuff I wanted to get and was even surprised to get an item which I thought I’d never get (due to budget and space constraint!).

Thereafter, I’d also share with you what I think were the best movies last year and not to forget some disappointments and low-points of 2014. Again, these are subjective and you may have your own different opinion altogether.

Let’s take a look at the best ‘plastics’ first...

What are my criteria?
As per previous years’ guideline, I’d like to say again that my Top 10 choices of best pop-culture items/collectibles were guided by several simple rules. First, price alone should not be the determining factor for determining an item’s standing in the Top 10 list. In fact, I feel that a toy should NOT be deemed as ‘THE Best’ simply because you had to sell your internal organs to get it into your collection! Secondly, ease of finding and equal distribution should play an important part in influencing entries of items into the list....but hey, we’re not living in a perfect world. Most of us collectors had to tolerate major bulls**** played out by major toy companies like Hasbro (their distribution is as efficient as the Dodo bird trying to avoid extinction!). Thirdly, I might even list a whole toy line/series/group of action-figures as among the best...it simply means that I can’t decide which of the figures inside a particular line/series/group is best among them all. Lastly, I have to actually own a particular toy before I can consider it to be part of my list.

In no particular order, here are The Rebel Page’s Best Action-Figures of 2014:

Sideshow Sixth Scale Darth Vader Deluxe

     1)   Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 scale Episode VI Darth Vader – I sold off my Episode VI Darth Vader to get this one. This is an obvious improvement from the earlier ‘taller’ version of the Dark Lord. I can’t imagine any Star Wars action figure enthusiast not wanting this one to replace the earlier version. This one came with a bunch of features that will make you drool with delight. Sure, if you’re particular on getting both versions (Ep IV and Ep VI) then by all means get both. Just remember that down the line Sideshow (or Hot Toys for that matter) might make an ESB version! Hot Toys had in fact just opened up their pre-order for the Episode IV Darth Vader. Anyway, coming back to the Ep VI Vader, I think he is a no-brainer for any Star Wars collector. He comes with a light-up base and a removable 3-piece helmet. Oh, didn’t I tell you that you could also make all his greeblies and buttons light-up just like in the movies! These three factors alone were enough to persuade me to get him....the Ultimate 1/6 Darth Vader!

The Shredder

     2)      Playmates TMNT Shredder– Sure. Call the movie what you want. ‘Bay-turtles’ might not sit well with many just like those awful ‘Bay-formers’ flicks. Now here’s the thing, my better half and our son loved the movie. For a moment there it almost didn’t feel like Bay had any hand in it. Almost. Anyway, I tend to agree that the radical re-design of the four brothers weren’t really in favour with most fanboys but if there’s a positive from the movie it’s gotta be the new Shredder design. While the action figure didn’t really 100% capture the look of the character as how he had appeared on-screen, he looks mean enough to trounce even the original Shredder toy. I did a bit of custom painting on the figure as my son complained that he didn’t look metallic enough like in the movie. This is one Shredder design that’s gonna knock your classic Shredder off your TMNT display shelf.

Rick Grimes & Shane Walsh

       3)      McFarlane’s The Walking Dead (TV Series) figures – I’ve been a devout collector of the line since I got my hands on Series 2 (Series 1 was virtually freakin’ hard to get back then). I love Robert Kirkman’s comics and AMC’s TV adaptation although the later seasons tend to go a bit long-winded. I tend to give credit where it’s due. If you’ve been following the line closely, you could probably see that McFarlane actually improved a whole lot on the sculpts and the articulations of these TWD figures as the Series progressed. We’re into Series 6 now (a bit unfortunate I still haven’t got ‘em shipped from the States yet) and I love to see McFarlane giving us most (if not all) of the core characters in plastic form, even those annoying ones too...*cough*Dale*cough*.

TIE Fighter Pilots

      4)      Star Wars 6” The Black Series – This line has effectively taken over my interest in the 3.75” line. As a matter of fact, I’ve not been seeing many of them around anymore lately save for some re-release figures i.e. Malgus, Starkiller, ESB Yoda etc. There were even a few ‘missing’ 3.75” wave so I think most Malaysian collectors are irritated beyond belief by now as result of our frustration. Come to the think of it, I think it’s all part of Hasbro’s devious plan to divert everyone to collect the 6” figures! But then again it is such a pain in the a**to find them out in the open. There are a few figures from the line that can be considered as mere myth because you simply can’t find them on aisle anywhere unless you bring a live Leprechaun along with you! Anyway, all the negativity aside, I’m really liking the 6” Star Wars figures even if some disgruntled fans always have bad things to say about them. I’d like to give a special shout out to the TIE Fighter pilots figure....these are bad a** and has got to be my favourite figure from the line thus far!

 Agent Venom
Guardians of the Galaxy #movie #moviebuff #marvel #geekshavethemostfun #actionfigurephotography

      5)      Marvel Legends Agent Venom and the Guardians of The Galaxy (GOtG) wave – As per the Star Wars 6” Black Series figures, getting your Marvel Legends figures into your collection is equally hard. Scalpers will try to beat you to the rarer ones first. But then again I totally blame Hasbro for their un-equal case distribution system. Why not try and make more of the popular ones or at least ensure all case to contain equal number of characters? This was the ‘case’ (pardon the pun) for the GOtG wave. Everybody was trying to scalp Nova for obvious reasons thus leaving many collectors unable to complete their Groot BAF. What a bummer. We Malaysians can’t even find Agent Venom at retail over here in Malaysia as we don’t have any Walgreens. Great figures by Hasbro...but only if you can find them first!

Madam Razz: Magical Witch of Whispering Woods
Rio Blast: Heroic Transforming Gunslinger
Two Bad: Double-headed Evil Strategist

       6)      Masters of the Universe Classic Madame Razz, Rio Blast & Two-Bad– It’s no secret that Mattel tries to push the MOTU Classic franchise to go beyond 2015 by producing a whole bunch of lesser demanded characters first as opposed to completing the core character line-up. It’s all part of their marketing strategy. But on the hindsight it creates more cherry pickers because I believe many are just trying to complete their core line up before the demise of the line. I’ve pulled the handbrake quite a bit too with these MOTU Classic figures but these four figures were done exceptionally well and are my favourites from the whole lot in 2014.

 NECA Planet of The Apes Classic Series 1

       7)      NECA Classic Planet of the Apes (POtA) line – This is one of the most highly anticipated line in 2014 for me. I resisted to get the ‘new’ Apes figures because I knew that once NECA offered us the ‘Classics, there’d be no turning back for me! Great sculpt, excellent accessories and the packaging alone is mighty impressive too. I’m so gonna collect every single figure from this line. No POtA fans should go without these. Imagine yourself holding on to these action figures while you re-watch the classic movies on your blu-ray....bliss!

NECA ED-209 - Robocop movie
NECA 24" head-to-tail Electronic Godzilla

         8)      NECA ED-209 & the 24” Electronic Godzilla – Take one of the most iconic bad ‘guy’ from a classic movie and leave it to NECA to turn him into toy form. What do you get? A superbly designed toy that sits great on your display shelf AND has great playability factor too. ED-209 has always been a must for me. Robocop’s been pretty lonely on his own and now he has a worthy opponent. I love this figure. NECA gave us a pretty spot on plastic form of ‘Eddie’ which is thankfully in scale with Robo. He comes with recorded phrases from the movie too so that’s a bonus. Coming in together with Eddie is another highly anticipated release from NECA, the huge a** 24” (head to tail) Electronic Godzilla. My son loves this. It’s freakin’ huge and his electronic roar will rock your socks off! Looks great as a centrepiece for your display shelf.

Hasbro Generations Leader Class Jetfire...or Skyfire (your mileage may vary!)
Transformers Generations Deluxe Class Arcee

        9)      Hasbro’s Transformers Generation Leader Class Jetfire & Deluxe Class Arcee – One could never complete his/her best action-figure list without sneaking in at least one Transformers figure. Being a hardcore G1-only collector, I couldn’t care less about any other genre or TF sub-lines. Naturally when Jetfire and Arcee was announced I was ecstatic. Some say that Arcee is virtually impossible to find out in the open due to her popularity (I think it’s the same in the States too?).  I restrained myself from getting Jetfire too initially. But when a nearby retail store slapped a major discount on it (practically was on clearance!) my dear wife snagged me one! These were the two best TF offering from Hasbro in 2014....hands down!

MP-21 Cybertron Espionage Bumble (Bumblebee)
MP-20 Wheeljack

     10)   Tomy Takara’s MP-20 (Wheeljack) & MP-21 (Bumblebee) – My first foray into the Masterpiece line. I’ve blogged about how awesome these figures are a couple of days ago. You might wanna check that one out here.

Honourable mentions:

Matty Collector’s Castle Grayskull – My better half surprised me with this one. A real shocker for my birthday in Dec last year!!! How can a hard core MOTU Classics collector go without this one in their collection! I didn’t plan to get this one but my love of my life secretly saved up to get me this one. Awwww! This one doesn’t qualify to be in my 2014 list as this is a 2013 release (but who really cares anyway right?).

Lego movie’s President Business Evil Lair – I love this set. My son had a blast with this one. There’s just so much stuff goin’ on with this set.

Lego The Simpsons – It’s a pity that they only made one wave. One wave isn’t even enough to give us a fraction of the denizens of Springfield!

Marvel Legends’ Rocket Raccoon Wave – There were just 3 figures in the wave but by Odin’s beard they are 3 perfectly executed action figures I’ve seen from the ML line in recent times! Oh and gettin’ a comic-version Rocket Raccoon is just an icing on the cake. Sweet!

Hot Toys’ Man of Steel Superman – The eerie resemblance to Henry Cavill is so evident that it gave me a headache to decide which Hot Toys Superman likeness I like best (Reeve vs Cavill). My son loves this Supes over Routh’s version too and these alone gave me enough reasons to get this into my collection.

The Rebel’s pick: Best Movies in 2014...

After several rounds of debating over coffee, The Rebel Page crew finally agreed on the following movies to be the outstanding ones in 2014:

Guardians of The Galaxy, The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Amazing Spiderman 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Maleficient

I should’ve made the time to watch these in 2014...
Birdman, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, The Maze Runner, A Million Ways To Die in The West, Interstellar, Dawn of The Planet of the Apes, How to Train Your Dragon 2, John Wick, Lucy, Edge of Tomorrow

Some disappointments in 2014.....

I’ve talked about this in last year’s edition....I’m still bummed out with Hasbro’s ‘efficiency’ in managing their distribution of toys. Hence I still have the same wish this year. It’s for Hasbro to practice the same method of putting their action figures on the shelves throughout all retail stores. It’s not cool when you can’t find the latest wave of the Black Series at one store but it’s already been stocked to death at another. I think most will get me here.

I should’ve done more blog postings in 2014. It was by far my most un-productive year with regard to my writings on this blog. I want this to improve in 2015....Godspeed!

A few parting words....

I’m setting a personal goal of going back to the purchases I’ve made throughout 2014 (some even stretching as far as 2013) of which I’ve done no reviews whatsoever on them. Those are gonna get reviewed soon on this blog. I know that most bloggers (yours truly included too) are guilty of spending way too much time on other more ‘convenient’ social media such as instagram, flickr or even fb these days hence neglecting their blogs.  I still hold a special place for blogs in my heart because this was where I made many friends from all over the globe before I went all out with my instagram and flickr.

You might also notice that I still haven’t watched some of the supposedly good movies in 2014. Again my Top pick movies for 2014 might’ve been different altogether. But let’s not dwell too much on that. You’ll have your own preferences too.

At the end of the day, you might have your own versions of your Top 10’s. You might even disagree with some/completely with what I’ve laid out for you as the best among the best for 2014. These are purely The Rebel Page’s opinion (and The Rebel Crew chipped in their 2-cents’ worth too in coming up with the lists) and I’d love to hear how yours might turn out to be.

Do share your links over at the comments page so I can take a look into what yours would look like.

Till next time....excelsior!

Maintaining your passion for collecting...

Marvel Legends nostalgia

I’ve been inspired to write this piece as a response to the article written by a blogger buddy of mine, Brian on his blog

He mentioned that money, space and passion are the deciding factors in determining whether one should continue his/her collection of any particular toy line or series of pop-culture items. I thought that this is a great topic for discussion especially for those who have been collecting religiously for years. The topic couldn’t have come at a more timely manner as I had recently taken a good look at my whole collection and re-assessed whether I should let some of them go to better homes or someone who’d appreciate them more than I do.

In order to response to the various issues raised by Brian, I have systematically broken down the questions at the end of his article so that I’d be able to address them accordingly:

I’m curious to know how you feel about the current state of your collection.
Well, firstly to put things into perspective, I am starting to feel that I do sometimes have too many lines going on at the same time. Having said that I’ve actually shaved off a couple of lines at one go (no kidding) in the past several months. I’m kinda OCD in a way that I can’t stand to see a ‘stray/loose’ figure standing on my shelf when the rest of his buddies have been sold off on eBay or through the flea market. I do have lone figures in my collection but those are the ‘one-off’ purchases which I feel can stand alone and look good on their own anyway. Oh by the way, I am very lucky indeed as my better half shares the same passion in collecting, so technically what I have now is a combination of what the both of us had amassed for the past 15 years or so.

Back to the question on the state of our collection, I’m quite happy with the limited range of our collection now as opposed to what my wife and I had when we first started out serious collection way back in the late 90s. Back then we collected almost anything and soon after, the 3 deciding factors mentioned by Brian above began to kick in.

We have more or less stream-lined what we really want to collect and we are no longer those trigger-happy collectors who buy everything that we see at retail. Our collection is pretty much skewing towards the nostalgia factor i.e. the good times we had growing up as kids in the 80s hence explaining our diverse 80s-themed collection ranging from properties from Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, Marvel, Star Wars, TMNT, Transformers as well as a number of other genres like Lord of The Rings and various movie-related characters.

Space wise
I guess I agree whole-heartedly with the notion started by The Toy Box, that we have some sort of a ‘virtual display’ going on through our flickr account. Space IS a constraint currently and this could only be resolved once we’d move out to a place that allows us to devote more space to display our beloved collectibles. But make no mistake, lack of space isn’t a reason for us to slow down!

Do you still enjoy it? Passion?
Hell yeah! I don’t see any of us slowing down nor stopping anytime soon. Everybody needs a good hobby to wind down from the various stress of life.

I had my hiccup some years ago due to unemployment (sold off some high-end collectibles too during the ‘dark times’ to make ends meet, God bless those items!) but we are now back on track. Of course there are always important things to consider before splurging on items like the need to eat, fuel for the car, schooling expenses for our boy etc.

Now that we’ve successfully trained our young padawan to embrace geekdom, it warms our hearts to know that the next generation is ready to take over the management of our toy-vault when the both of us retire.

Has it ever become a financial or emotional burden on you?
We all had our moments. Apart from the unemployment episode of my life some years ago, I had a phase where I went crazy into collecting 1/6 figures and I mean crazy! It was all 12-inchers for me and regrettably I missed a whole bunch of other scales at the time. This was a time when I’d usually run short of moolah by the middle of the month as I’ve committed to purchase those pricey 1/6 figures on a monthly basis (sometimes as many as 2 per month).

But all of that is in the past now. I’ve successfully reverted back into collecting action figures in my favourite scale i.e. 6”. Action-figure Anonymous (AA) confession: my last 1/6 purchase was over 6 months ago....and I’m proud of that!!!

I think if you get too carried away with your hobby, whatever that may be, you’d soon find that you’ll be over your budget in no time. And when the finances crumble, that’s when the emotion will start to crumble too. So in a way these two factors go hand-in-hand. Take care of your budget guys and know what’s really important to you first before you nose-dive into your passion. Prioritize!

Have you ever lost interest/passion in your collecting pursuits? How did you handle that?
Not yet thus far. Maybe we had a tinge of regret every now and then after making large purchases but they soon dissolve afterwards when we get to hold the items in our grubby hands!

So that’s it. I would love to hear what others have to say to the questions posed above too. Till next time.....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Some humble acquisitions in Jan & Feb....

The year has been rather slow for me in terms of the inflow of pop culture collectibles going into my collection. Still, I’m pretty thankful that I’ve been able to get the stuff pictured above that I really wanted since they were first announced way back sometime last year. I’m kinda hesitating to purchase another ‘large’ item but I’m still holding out from getting that particular collectible due to the ‘large’ cost associated with it. We’ll see how things go in the next couple of days (or if I crumble and succumb to my inner evils!).

Anyway, let’s go briefly into the stuff I’ve snagged recently.

ToyWorld Hegemon TW-01B - 2nd Edition  This one’s been sitting pretty high up in my ‘want list’ for quite some time. I missed out on the 1st edition but I jumped when the pre-order opened up for this 2nd edition/version/release. It’s supposedly missing an accessory from the 1st release (for the love of me I can’t remember which one!) but it doesn’t bother me that much really. This set comes with an alternate Megs head (black-colored; as homage to his comic appearance I think) and his laser-mace thingy (if there’s an accessory that I want that’s similar to the one included with the Masterpiece Megs, it’s gotta be Kremzeek!). Finally my voyager-class G1 Optimus Prime (iGear’s Faith Leader) has a worthy nemesis to go with him on my display shelf. I’ve been doing some basic touch up i.e. applying some paints on him ever since I got him but I’ll get to that later during my review on him.

NECA Aliens’ Bishop – I have an obsession with James Cameron’s 1986 flick so much that sometimes I even forgot that the 1979 film by Ridley Scott actually existed prior to it! Bishop’s here has been a dream come true for many collectors/fans of the Aliens franchise as it brings us a step closer towards completing the Marines line-up. While Ash scared the heck out of most of us, Bishop’s here has been such a relief and restored our confidence in trusting Weyland-Yutani’s manufactured sapiens (?). This is hands-down the best Lance Henriksen likeness we’ve ever seen (has there been any figure made based on him before I wonder?). NECA is really on the move with their Aliens license. Now give me Vasquez and Drake next (complete with their huge-a** machine guns) please!

Hasbro’s Transformers Combiner Wars’ Silverbolt – Ok, who doesn’t want these Combiners...please raise your hands! I wanted to get the whole lot (yes, inclusive of that oddly placed Dragstrip in the Aerialbots wave too) but I’m kinda short of moolah right now. So I decided to buy the leader of the ensemble first seeing that he’s the fastest selling figure of the bunch (naturally).  I’m gonna want to complete Superion and later Menasor too. But the most exciting news I’ve heard yesterday was that a Devastator(Construction) is coming our way too this year! Goodness. I’m guessing the rest of the combiners are coming too at some point. I’m already imagining Superion, Menasor, Devastator, and the likes of Defensor, Predaking, Bruticus, Computron and many more gracing my display shelves! Finally, official AND affordable combiners from Hasbro!

Monday, February 2, 2015

LEGO Gah-lak-tus in da house!

“My power is infinitely greater than your infinitesimal mind could ever possibly grasp, human !”

Ok, I don't even know if there is an official LEGO Galactus figure out there. I bought this one for my son over the weekend because it looks so damn outright good! I know that Galactus appeared in that Marvel Super Heroes video game some time ago...but was there any actual LEGO mini-figure made?

I originally wanted to pose him with the Silver Surfer mini-figure I got for my son not too long ago but there're always gonna be the scale issues so I scrapped the idea. I'm not really too bothered if LEGO never comes around into making these excellent comic characters since them bootleggers are always pro-actively coming up with those characters you'd probably never seen being made into brick form. Now can we please have Thanos next guys? =p

Sunday, February 1, 2015

6" The Black Series: TIE Fighter Pilots...

TIE Fighter Pilots

One of the most memorable scenes from A New Hope to me was the moment when Darth Vader instructed two of his trusted wing men to accompany him to take out the Rebellion threat attacking the Death Star. Who can forget the dark visage of the helmeted (and identity-less) pilots as they followed the Dark Lord to their impending doom (one eventually hit the sides of the Death Star equator and the other blasted by a certain Mr Solo...if I recall correctly off the top of my head). I've always been fascinated by the bad guys what more those who were as imposing as these pilots. Finding these 6" Black Series figures however wasn't a walk in the park.I just wish that Hasbro could've made more of the highly demanded figures instead of dumping the endless Obi-Wans and Han Solos on our shelves.