Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Marvel Legends Black Panther (Ant Man BAF wave)

Marvel Legends 6" movie Black Panther (Captain America Civil War wave)

Marvel Legends 6" movie Black Panther (Captain America Civil War wave)


Two things.
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1)        I usually don’t give a hoot about ‘movie’ action figures except when it’s an absolute must have version (there would be rare occasions when movie versions trounced comic versions) or when there aren’t any choices left for my display shelf. You see, when my OCD kicks in then there’d be no stopping me from getting my hands on the ML figure that I want, even if it’s indeed a movie action figure. Black Panther here falls into both categories. I have the previous Toybiz and Hasbro versions but most people will realize that the new ‘Panther figure just screams pure awesomeness in all its simplicity therefore you just gotta have him. Plus you’d get two headsculpts!


Yup, cool figure….provided that you’ve successfully track him down first.

To make things worse, in Malaysia we have the evergreen problem of scalpers picking up the high-demanded/most-wanted figures clean off retail shelves before any of you real collectors could even step foot inside those particular shipping malls. Hasbro Malaysia has also taken the liberty to slap a ridiculous price point on the ML figures these days. One Marvel Legends figures in Malaysia will set you back for RM139.90 or approx USD35 at retail. Some say that Hasbro is not at fault here because of the forex turbulence and stuff like that but I just don’t buy it. Sad to say that I’d never complete that sweet Ant-Man BAF anytime soon because I’m not in any hurry to part with that amount of money for ONE 6" action figure.

Only my THIRD #marvellegends #blackpanther #sixinchscale #actionfigure in my collection. Do I even need another one then? ....#heckyeah ...this movie version rocks! The headsculpt is pretty awesome too. #hasbro #avengers #captainamericacivilwar #movie

2)        This marked my first Marvel Legends purchase since…….err…..some time ago. Apart from the exorbitant price point I’d say that the unavailability of these ML on a widespread basis here in Malaysia really dampened my spirit to continue.


Having said all of the above, I think I made a right decision to purchase ‘Panther even though I might also go back to get Nick Fury later. Darn, I hope I don't get sucked into buying the whole wave.....*shucks*

LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

Yea I know, I’m pretty late into the game. Most LEGO/Ghostbusters fans have probably snagged the humongous LEGO Firehouse set by now with their Ecto-1s safely in their collection eons ago. The Ecto-1 set, which was originally released way back in June ’14, was a constant favorite of them ruthless scalpers. In Malaysia, we get to sporadically see the set popping out every now and then at LEGO stores where they literally enjoy a shelf life of mere minutes if not seconds. That was the game for (almost) the past two years. Knowing that the Ecto-1 set was a must-get for most true fans of the Ghosbusters franchise, scalpers took advantage and cleaned LEGO stores nationwide.

Until recently I realized that the LEGO stores over here were starting to bring in the set in droves together with the equally high-demanded The Big Bang Theory LEGO set. So I said to myself…..this is the chance I’ve been waiting for! The set is still being pushed through our local eBay at premium prices so I wouldn’t want to miss buying it at retail price now, would I?

Why so much hype over the LEGO Ecto-1 set you ask?

You see, a couple of years ago Matty Collector ran an online survey on how many Ghostbusters fans were actually willing to buy a 6” scale Ecto-1 (they had that stupid meter that supposedly tells them whether it is economically feasible for their company to go ahead and produce the iconic vehicle for collectors). When the survey yielded a less than favorable result, Matty decided to scrap the idea despite already having sold multiple versions of the main characters off the movie(s) to us collectors. Giving us a 6” scale Ecto-1 made perfect sense since we already have the four boys to fill it in with but apparently it wasn’t in the cards for Matty. Major bummer.

And oh yeah, did I ever tell any of you guys that I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan? Both movies and the whole Real Ghostbusters thing. So getting an Ecto-1 for my collection in my man-cave is a no-brainer. Since Matty never gave us one in 6” scale and the Hot Wheels version was way out of my budget I guess the next best thing is the LEGO version!

Let us start with some background of the set. The Ecto-1 set is actually part of the LEGO Ideas sets, formally known as Cuusoo, a Japanese LEGO affiliate company who worked on getting community-produced LEGO sets to be produced officially as a LEGO endorsed sets. Apparently if your submitted ideas garner 10,000 (formerly 1,000) supporters or approvals, then LEGO will consider it to be released as an official LEGO product. This Ecto-1 set, which was an original set, built by a Mr Brent Waller was submitted to cuusoo’s website and garnered 10,000 supporters in mere couple months. There you go, you just have to somehow thank this man for making our dreams come true.


LEGO Ghostbusters

LEGO Ghostbusters

All of these community submitted sets will have the “LEGO Ideas” imprinted at the front of the box. The box design and the manual inside are mostly in black to differentiate it from other LEGO sets.


LEGO Ghostbusters

This set originally came out in June 2014 but like I said much earlier, many collectors still couldn’t get theirs way back then unless they proceed to deal with devils themselves (those unscrupulous scalpers) and pay premium prices. Glad that LEGO Malaysia somehow re-stocked the set.

The minifigures


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

The four guys are given crazy details on their uniforms and you can’t help but be impressed by the design of their proton packs. Unfortunately due to the weight of the packs, the minifigures can’t stand on their own so you kinda rely on the hose that connects the neutrino wand to the proton packs to enable them to properly stand (or you can just use a stand!).
Reportedly the original set produced by Mr Waller had a hairpiece that totally resembled Bill Murray’s (already) receding hairline at the time but unfortunately it didn’t end up in production.  I like it that you can clearly see the surnames of our heroes imprinted on their uniforms just like it was in the movies.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

I would’ve loved it if LEGO had included the Slime Blower tanks and ..err…guns as alternatives to Winston’s and Ray’s proton packs. I’m guessing LEGO is keeping that option should they ever decide to produce Ecto-1A sometime in the future.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

My grouse? Where the heck is Slimer? One would have thought that our favorite green slimy friend could’ve somehow be squeezed into this set. You can, however, get Slimer if you purchase the GB Firehouse set.

Ecto-1


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

There is a LOT of parts to build this iconic vehicle. And I mean a lot. This ain’t your regular Creator set so you might want to assemble this yourself rather than letting you kids you do it (my son gave up the moment he saw the thick instruction manual!). To be frank, my wife built the Ecto-1 while did something else at that point of time and she can vouch on how strenuous it was building all of the parts together before you end up with the finished product.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

Waller’s Ecto-1 is also slightly bigger than what LEGO had given us. Minor nit-picks aside, I think LEGO had done a fantastic job in getting this iconic pop-culture vehicle into our hands.
What I like about this set is that it does not come with tones of stickers. In fact it came with none! We got printed tiles instead and they are far better in terms of surviving the test of time. Stickers get peeled off after a while especially after enduring heavy play but printed tiles may survive longer with proper care.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

The roof of the car is connected loosely so that you can remove it anytime you want to place whoever you like inside it (remember that you can only place 3 at a time so it’s your pick on who gets to sit on the roof!). Remember to remove the minifigures’ neck bracket before you do so or else they won’t fit.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

I love the random greeblies that stick out from the roof of Ecto-1 (I’m sure they have some sort of ‘real’ functions in real life) including that bright blue pneumatic tubing that sticks out at the left side of the vehicle.

I wish that the doors can be opened instead of us having to remove the roof to place or remove the GB boys. The upcoming LEGO Ecto-1 from the new Ghostbusters (2016) movie will have fully functional doors. Now why can’t they do that for the classic set?


The Rebel’s verdict

This is still a very popular set despite being released almost two years ago. Kids of today might not relate as much to the franchise as much as those who lived through the 80s like yours truly. My son is one of those lucky few who got exposed to the beauty of pop-culture of the 80s & 90s so he’s pretty excited about this set too. If you’re a Ghostbusters fan, then you need to have this on your display shelf. If you see it the next time you stop by a LEGO store, get it!  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Geeks read too ya’ know!

Honest to God I can’t even remember how long ago did I last talk about printed materials here on The Rebel Page. The family and I hit a local book fair the other day and we obviously didn’t come back empty-handed. I think sometime back I made myself a promise that I would also talk about books and stuff apart from the usual toy rants…you know, just to balance stuff and not to talk ONLY on toys! (Haha…yea right).
Anyway, the real reason for me wanting to share my spoils of war this time around was that I got these excellent pop culture materials at astounding prices. And when I say ‘astounding’ it means that I do not think that they will go down any lower than they already are. These were brand new still inside its plastic wrapping dirt-cheap books ladies and gentlemen… and I just love great deals!


2 bucks for this #captainhaddock book? Why not eh? I'm a bit of a #tintin fan myself.... #egmont #egmontbooks #herge #lesadventuresdetintin

Tintin character series : Captain Haddock – I’m sure there are more from where this came from. From what I’ve discovered, Egmont (that’s the publishing house that did those Tintin books) published a whole lot of these ‘character-focused’ books but somehow only Haddock’s appeared at this particular book fair. Nevertheless for a mere 2 American bucks no one can really give this a miss now could we? I love Tintin and this was an instant addition into my Tintin library.

Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide - Episode 1 to 20
Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide - Episode 1 to 20

Simpson’s World: The Ultimate Episode Guide Season 1 – 20 – This is a massive and heavy hardcover book that even has its own protective slipcase. Now how about that for a very regal-looking coffee-table book? Let’s not start about all the wonderful Matt Groening art and the endless info/trivia within. Weighing in at 4kg (or 8.8lbs), this must not be confused as a blunt weapon of destruction. I think currently The Simpsons is on their 28th season so far. Fans who want to know more about their earlier seasons up till 20 shouldn’t give this a miss. This beauty of a book originally came out in 2010 at a staggering retail price of USD150 (or 95 pounds in the UK) but I’m happy to have snagged it for just 20 bucks.

DK Spiderman Chronicles

DK Books Spiderman Chronicle: Celebrating 50 years of Webslinging – Another heavy book (although not as ‘killer’ as the Simpsons’ above) to have entered my pop-culture library this week is the excellent ‘anthology’ hardcover book on our favorite Spider dude. Comes in with its own slipcase and weighing in at 2.5 kg (or 5.5 lbs), this book shows us Spidey’s origin, his villains and whole lot of other stuff right from his very beginning in Amazing Fantasy #15. I gave up 15 bucks of my hard-earned money to bring this home with me. This was a steal considering that it has only just been released a couple of years back at 35 bucks.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A visit to a mini geek con…

Stumbled across a banner that promoted a ‘charity fundraising’ event in the guise of a ‘geek con’ recently. I was immediately intrigued and decided to do some fact-finding about the organizers because I sure heck haven’t heard of them before in my geek life here in Malaysia. What the heck is ‘A.C.T.’ anyway? A quick consultation with Dr Google revealed that it stood for ‘Awareness & Care Together’. Suddenly an epiphany hit me as I began to have imageries of cool random rare el cheapo stuff being sold by unsuspecting people. Right, maybe it’s worth to check the event out.

As usual the family and I would hit our favorite Sunday flea market haunt first before we decided to go anywhere else. Managed to get some flea market finds (more on that later) and then we collectively decided to pay that ‘ACT’ event a visit.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

The ACT geek con (wasn’t even called that in their banners but I’d like to call it so for easy reference….charity event sounds so bland to my ears) was held in a new shopping mall in town. We parked our car and literally ran up to the venue anticipating lots and lots of cosplayers and such running about with their costumers and such. But really, the con was really more towards hosting an anime/manga singing contest so the booths were playing more of accompanying roles rather than the main attraction.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A male fan in a female anime suit with skirts (for the love of God I don’t even know any of the characters) was crying his/her heart out to belt a supposedly fan favorite anime song judging from the thunderous applause. Notwithstanding the very noisy atmosphere we decided to troll along the booths hoping to find some decent stuff at reasonable prices.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

The booth participants were a mix of action figure sellers, a comic book seller, a couple of Star Wars cosplaying clubs and a slew of sellers selling Gundams and other anime-related stuff. You probably can guess on where I’d spent most of my time here.....

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

Yup, the comic booth. I kinda know the booth owner as he previously set his booth at another flea market before. The dude reiterated that he could recognized me a mile away as he can instantly recall me rummaging through his stash of comics back then.

Hey, some Star Wars cosplayers! Cool.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

Plus some.....err....Power Rangers...

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

I kinda like the upgraded LEGO Ghostbusters Firehouse HQ.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

I find more Marvel Universe figures than my preferred 6" scale Marvel Legends on sale. There's this one particular booth manned by a very enthusiastic collector/seller who pretty much resembled the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. I regretted not taking his picture.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

Can’t say that I was really stoked with this event as I didn’t really find anything that sparked any real interest in me. I’m sure that some people might find this event much better than I did. The organizers did a good try though to mask the very anime/manga-heavy event by inviting people from other walks of geek faiths to open up their booths.

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16

A.C.T. Charity Geek Con - 26 June '16


The damage:

Small weekend haul....

Alright. Confession. I only got that Gotham Central issue #13 from the comic seller dude and the rest was snagged from our usual Sundayflea market. But you get the drift. These are the kind of Sundays that mark a very good ending nonetheless to the week. Finding cool stuff at dirt cheap prices. Heh.


What do I think of the event?

Good effort A.C.T.   but I'd probably give you 2 and half stars (out of 5) for the event. I think it can be better the next time around.




Friday, June 17, 2016

Geeks Gone Otaku! - Tokyo Trip 2016



Recently the family and I went up to Tokyo, Japan for a holiday. Inevitably everybody knew what that would mean for a family full of geeks. Yes, Tokyo is the ultimate geek haven or the plenitude of ‘otaku’ culture. Otaku is simply a term used by the local Japanese to describe someone who is overly obsessive with any particular anime or manga character(s) but somehow the term has now been loosely used to describe those with deep interests in other branches of geekery elements. For yours truly, that encompasses my profound fascination with the worlds of Star Wars, Marvel/DC comics and other American pop-culture goodness.

Being the OCD travelers that we were, we actually charted the places that we wanna visit in Tokyo on our google map. Although we were planning to also do ‘non-geeky’ stuff in Tokyo i.e. visiting ninja shrines, eating godly sushi dishes at the famous Tsukiji market and the whole lot, we’ve also done research on the must visit geek places in Tokyo weeks before we boarded the plane. Frankly, we did not exactly know what to expect and whether we’d manage to visit all those places we’ve listed down but by the end of the trip, I think we’ve managed to get more than what we’ve bargained for!

I understand that I may get carried away while I talk about these places therefore I’m gonna break my reviews into several parts. Please do note that I may not have visited all of the geeky places that some of you might be familiar with in Tokyo but I can assure you that I have visited most of the important ones. As a teaser, these were the places which we’ve visited and along with it I’d also share some mouth-watering pictures to whet everybody’s insatiable geeky appetite:

1)        Star Case @ Koenji, Suginami
2)        Nakano Broadway @ Nakano
3)        Tokyu Hands @ Shibuya & Shinjuku
4)        Kiddyland @ Harajuku
5)        Blister Comics @ Akihabara
6)        Star Tours, Tokyo Disney @ Maihama, Urayasu
7)        TRU Aqua City @ Odaiba
8)        Diver City @ Odaiba
9)        Village Vanguard @ Odaiba
10)        Yamashiroya @ Ueno
11)        Kotobukiya @ Akihabara

Aaaand….we were gonna do all these using the super-efficient train services. Seriously, nobody really needs to drive or take the cab over here in Tokyo. Just take a look at the web of train lines! After a while you’d get the hang of it but make sure you prep yourselves to brave through the mad rush hour crowd if you’re planning to travel during the peak hours.




Stay tuned for Part 1 of my Tokyo Toy Travelogue…..

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Quick review on TMNT: Out of the Shadows….



Before any of you starts to spill your inner most disgust towards Michael Bay’s handling of the Transformers franchise, let me tell you this… I think that his version of TMNT did hit some right notes among hardcore fans of the franchise. The first movie was kinda *ok/meh/so-so* but still I enjoyed it to a certain extent. Out of the Shadows (OOTS) however did invoke some childhood memories which would make even the most hardcore fan of the original cartoon series weep with joy. Even though Michael Bay no longer helms the director seat (David Green now does), you can’t help but notice that his influence still lingered on throughout the movie.

I’m way past complaining how the new Bay-Turtles now look. I guess in the real world, the character design from the classic cartoon series just doesn’t work. Just like how Michael Bay rationalized how the red blocky Peterbilt truck design won’t work for the on-screen Optimus Prime. The new character designs are starting to build on me and I love how they differ in sizes to denote the age gaps between the four brothers.

There are still many elements lifted from the new Nickelodeon TMNT series but fans of the original 80s cartoon series may still jump for joy for there were many nods and cues taken off the classic TV series. More on that later. Let me just start with the obvious ones. Both Baxter Stockman and Casey Jones were clearly from the new Nick TMNT series but I wasn’t too concerned on them. My son was disappointed that Casey spent just minutes in his supposedly signature hockey mask for the entire movie. The little guy loved the original 1990 TMNT motion picture so he was a bit gutted that the new Casey Jones weren’t as crude as the one played by Elias Koteas.

My favorite character from Bay’s Turtles flicks is STILL Vernon Fenwick by the excellent Will Arnett. His performance as the ‘Falcon’ (that packing of the Falcon breath scene is darn hilarious!) totally did it for me! In the 80s cartoon series, Vern was a reluctant ally of the Turtles and it’s good to see that they maintained his character yet developed him into someone more narcissistic in the new movies.

Master Splinter is back to mentor the Turtles; April O’Neill continued her exploits as the nosey reporter for Channel 6; Shredder is also back to exact his revenge…. so I guess everyone’s accounted for…right? Well, actually no. OOTS introduced three fan favorite characters from the classic 80s series and that fact alone shall make many fanboy squeal in delight. Frankly I was super hyped up to see how Rocksteady, Bebop and Krang (dang it! It’s KRANGGGG finally!!) turned out on the big screen and I can tell you they didn’t disappoint.

Both Rock and Beebs turned out great even though you just know that it’s the CGI doin’ most of the work. Krang however was the best of them all. I am really glad that they went with the classic character design & back story instead of Nickelodeon’s. And that Technodrome…..I was lost for words. The last act of the film just screamed ‘80s goodness’ to me.


Well, I can understand that many of you may have different opinion about OOTS but to each his own eh? I personally like the movie so much so I am willing to cast aside my doubts and prejudice towards Michael Bay’s direction for the new Turtles. ‘Nuff said.