Monday, January 31, 2011

Iron Man Rolling Battle Headquarters (Custom)

Last year, at the height of the Iron Man 2 hype, Habro released the Iron Man Rolling Battle Headquarters. In a nutshell, it's an armed rolling one-man truck mobile base from which Iron Man can customize his armor and be launched into action. I liked it because it was reminiscent of the G.I. Joe Rapid Heli-Integrated Neutralizing Offensive Vehicle (RHINO) and the Rolling Operations Command Center (ROCC). I looked at it and saw its potential to become a custom Joe vehicle. 

The only problem was the Iron Man colors which was closer to colors used by Cobra then by Joes. Still I promised myself that I'd have to get it - not because I'm an Iron Man fan or collect Marvel toys that are that small, but because customizing it for my Joes was worth looking into. I waited quite a while though because I was hoping it would go on sale. So I was disappointed when it started to disappear from the local Toy Stores without having gone on sale. So I forked over the store price, bought a can of paint and a lot of masking tape and here it is. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Transformers Reveal the Shield: Optimus Prime & Megatron

Presenting: from the Transformers - Reveal the Shield line: Optimus Prime and Megatron. I came across this particular duo in SM Fairview. There was only one Megatron left so I had to grab the pair. This particular duo are in a line commemorating the return of the "Shield" to Transformers toys (Specifically movie line toys). This refers to the dark stickers that are common to most Transformers all the way from when the first line was released. When pressed or rubbed, these stickers reveal the emblems of either the Decepticons or the Autobots - therefore identifying the toy's allegiance. The movie-line Transformers did not have these stickers and now they're back. These "Legends" class figures each one cost PhP 325.75. They have yet to pop-up on the local E-bay, but another Legends-class from this line, Windcharger, retails there for PhP 700. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Snake Eyes (Wave 1)

Presenting: the G.I. Joe Pusuit of Cobra Snake Eyes (Wave 1) Aka, the 1st Snake Eyes whose eyes can be viewed while not dressed as a Ninja (Can you name the other Snake Eyes figurine where you can see his eyes? Clue: It's in the 25th Anniversary series). He looks like a freakin Spetsnaz Commando about to storm a Communist hideout. I'm particularly fond of this figure because it's one of the first times that Snakes Eyes is portrayed in a modern commando outfit with ninja trimmings - not the other way around. Commandos are real people, they get shot, they get hit by shrapnel, they don't jump around and appear spic-and-span clean at the end of the battlefield. This particular version of Snake Eyes is both realistic and cool at the same time.  He comes with everything you see in the picture to the right: stand, rail gun rifle, katana, katana scabbard, Timber the wolf, armored vest, visor and two MAC-11's (Instead of his traditional UZI) that are not depicted here. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Toys R' Us Troop-Builder Sale

Toys R'Us here in the Philippines is offering a wonderful Troop-Builder opportunity for all you serious Toy collectors out there. Two days ago they started distributing this: The G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra Attack on the G.I. Joe Pit Headquarters set which includes, Duke, Ripcord, A generic G.I. Joe Pit Headquarters soldier, a Neo-Viper Officer, A Neo-Viper and a Mole drill-Pod all for only PhP 800 (Roughly US$ 18). That's five figures, a vehicle and a plethora of weapons all for the price of two figures! 

Grab them while supplies lasts at Toys R' Us. There is also a Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow set for PhP 400 that comes with a collapsible plastic diorama which may come in handy for diorama builders one day. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Knock Off: Fortress Maximus

Presenting: Some cheap Chinese knock off of Fortress Maximus courtesy of some unknown Chinese sweat shop in some God forbidden corner of that part of the world. Okaaaay I'll keep this short. It's actually not bad for something that's only worth PhP 300! You definitely get what you pay for - which is a small glimpse of what the real thing must be like. It's not the world's most perfect toy and chances are you'll die of Lead poisoning if you keep playing with this, but if you're a heavy Transformers collector, then this replica of the original toy is a must have.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Transformers Classics: Jetfire

Presenting the Transformers Classics: Jetfire. Please forgive the photography on this one. I was lazy and thought that I would be able to fix most of it after - and failed. Still it delivers, so I guess we'll use it.

We all remember Jetfire back when he was a rip-off of a Macross VF-1S (Super Valkyrie) back when a small company called Takatoku went belly up and the toys it designed were sold to Bandai and Takara - including the original Super Valkyrie, triggering a legal battle over Jetfire - also explaining why the original Jetfire looked nothing like his toy.

Two decades later and Hasbro & Henkei release Jetfire in a new original mold that still slightly resembles a Super Valkyrie. The changes from the original 1984 Jetfire to this new one in 2006 can almost be considered cosmetic. I'm actually glad that they didn't modify it so much and retained the spirit of the original.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jan Calleja's Zeroman

I grew up with Jan Calleja. He was one of those really talented guys who always got his work displayed in the main lobby of Claret because he was just that good. Today he's one of the world's premiere Toymakers. Here's a great sample of his work, photos by Ian Pedarse - another Claretian whom I grew with.

Presenting: ZEROMAN - 1st of the DOGFIGHTERS series by Jan Calleja. DOGFIGHTERS is inspired by WWII's fighterplanes. All are one of a kind 7 inch CELSIUS customs. ZEROMAN is inspired by the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero and will be paired with it's nemesis the MAD HELLCAT (coming soon).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Avatar AMP Suit: Part 2.

Over the holidays, my wife and I came across an AMP suit in Greenhills - the armed version, so I just had to have it. Aside from the fact that it would make a great addition to my collection, I'd be able to compare it with my original AMP suit. Quite honestly, both are great buys. I know some may argue that having a GAU-90 30mm machine gun ups the value of this AMP suit; the olive drab of this AMP (Hereto-with referred to as the SecOps AMP - because it was obviously used by the mercenary Security Operations Unit on Pandora) suit is predictable, cold and military. One might call the paint job cold and unimaginative. So the blue green with yellow tacking of my original AMP suit (Hereto-with referred to as the RDA AMP - because it bears the markings of the Resources Development Administration, the group responsible for mining Pandora) in my opinion is better because it bears more imagination and creativity.

Personally if I could remove the GAU-90 from the SecOps AMP, it would be in the hands now of the RDA AMP - which I will probably try one of these days.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Wolf Hound

Presenting the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Wolf Hound.

Where did I leave the keys?

The box describes the Wolf Hound as something that "Combines the stamina of a tank with the handling of an off-road vehicle." In other words, it's a half-track. Not really sure why they couldn't just say so.

It's basically a re-issue of the original G.I. Joe artic half-track the Snow Cat. I'm not really sure why they felt the need to change the name as there are no discernible differences between the two save for the size of the foot pegs and the driver (The Snow Cat was driven by Frostbite, the Wolf Hound is driven by White Out). It might have something to do with how the word Snow Cat now refers to modern snow vehicles - specifically trucks or cabs that have substituted tracks for wheels - so I suppose they wanted something a tad bit more ominous.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My new Fan Art Page

I hope no one minds if I shamelessly plug my new blog: Denis del Callar: Fan Art. It will be a repository of sketches that I have made over the years. Do take the time to check it out.

I also have a Facebook page, please do like it. You can check it out here.

By the way, it's for Adults Only!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jacen and Jaina Solo

Jacen Solo and Jaina Solo, the ill-fated twins of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa-Solo. Older brother and sister of Anakin Solo who died turning the tide for the Jedi in the Yuuzhan-Vong war. Jaina would, sadly, later have to kill Jacen when he falls to the Dark Side - not everyday that a twin has to commit fratricide.

This particular pair is actually very hard to find and is the first time the twins were cast into action figures despite having been around for quite some time (Hell Jacen's dead already for crying out loud). It's actually quite surprising that these two have come quite late. Unsung members of Rogue Squadron and countless background Jedi were cast into figures before these two. Because of this they are very hard to find - even on Amazon where they retail each for  US$ 22.99 to US$25.99 from their original US$ 7.99. They're among the last figures of Hasbro's Legacy collection that was released in early 2010.

So when I saw them on Ebay Philippines, at that price I grabbed them for Christmas. They're extremely hard to find. If you chance upon them, and you're a Star Wars die-hard like me, it's well worth the black-market PhP 1,000.

RPG Metanoia

If you haven't seen RPG: Metanoia yet and are chalking it down as just "another cheap Disney ripoff with a lot of misplaced singing", please think again. It's honestly one of the best films I've seen and something all nerds, geeks and dark-side dwellers will be able to relate with.

If that still doesn't convince you, check out this hilarious "Please turn off your celphones" clip from the movie:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Abrams Tank (Woodland camo)

Presenting Blue Box International (BBI) Elite Force Abrams Tank, woodland camouflage edition. There's a lot to like and hate about Elite Force Products. 

You have to love their replicas: Modern detailed replicas that work almost perfectly with G.I. Joe Figures - or the rest of their Elite Force products. This particular Abrams weighs in at a very solid 3 lbs. All the wheels are free rolling and they roll easily despite the rubber threads. The turret rotates a full 360 degrees without popping out of the hull and the M256 Smoothbore elevates up and down.

You have to hate: The crappy plastic that they use for the smaller items such as the .50 caliber and 7.62 machine gun attachments for the Abrams that look like they were made in another factory altogether (somewhere in China where lead heavy fake toys are made). The same crappy plastic is used for their action figures. It's funny that BBI's vehicle bodies are made of sterner stuff. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Unreleased G.I Jose Rise of Cobra Ripcord

Presenting: the G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra Desert Battle Ripcord! 

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Supposedly it was never released. It's a factory re-call/reject. Yet here it is. No blister pack, no packaging. I got it loose. Yet it shouldn't exist. Hasbro is slated to release a figure named Skydive in March of 2011 which matches the gear seen here. But that has a different paint scheme and doesn't involve Ripcord. Also note the stand of Ripcord. It's the stand from the G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra figure line. The Pursuit of Cobra figure line uses a different stand. 

So I'm not sure what to make of this. 

Green Lanterns (Part 2)

After I posted my Green Lantern collection, I realized that I had not posted ALL of my Green Lanterns and I had actually left out one of the most powerful bad-guys in the universe, Parallax. So here is Part  2 of my Green Lantern Collection featuring Jade from Alex Ross' Kingdom Come (Look out for the much younger version in the Brightest Day release in August of this year), the Yellow Lantern Corp leader Sinestro, and Hal Jordan  as Parallax (From the DC Green Lantern series, art by Ethan Van Sciver). 

Monday, January 3, 2011

G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Alley Viper

Presenting the Cobra Alley Viper. The card describes the Alley Viper as "Urban Combat Specialists. They are armed with close-quarters battle gear including blast shields, anti-armor weapons and assault tonfas." The original file card of the toy read "Alley Vipers are equivalent to police SWAT units or British Special Air Service Commandoes. They are selected from the most brutal and ruthless among Corba's ranks. As part of their training regimen, Alley Vipers are "required to survive a full burst of machine gun fire across their frontal body armor, execute a thirty foot jump onto concrete with full combat load and run down a hundred meter gas-filled corridor without a mask"

My love for the Cobra Alley Viper goes all the waay back to my teens. In the old, old G.I. Joe: A real American Hero Comic books Scarlett had to battle them when they came for her and Snake-Eyes. I found the concept exciting. Urban combat troopers carrying blast shields fighting up close and personal in blood red armor. Their armor was so-high tech that instead of relying on their eyes, they relied on a sensor suite in their bullet-proof helmet. I always wanted one, but never got one.

But now it can be said: "You know you work for Cobra when they forget to provide you with ammunition."

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