Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comic Book news, Week of October 24, 2011

Presenting my take on the some of the comic books released this week. I didn't really pick up that many comic-books this week, but I have to ay that three particular books stood out. The first is the much anticipated Wolverine and the X-Men - which is a part of the on-going Regenesis series that follows the closing of Uncanny X-Men with issue #544 (Sep 1963 to Oct 2011).

Dead after almost 48 years. You'd think that Marvel would have at least let it hit year 50. My personal guess is that the new Uncanny X-Men comic book which will chronicle Cyclops' X-Men and their attempts at global conquest, will eventually revert back to issue #545 when the time is right (Which is a tactic that both Marvel and DC have used several times in the past with Wonder Woman's reboot being the most recent if I'm right.)

The other two nice comics I picked up this week were Ultimates (Book 4) #3; and Vampire: The Marvel Undead # 1 - which is basically the Marvel Universe encyclopedia chronicling this time just the vampire nation.

G.I. Joe Renegades: Firefly

Presenting the Firefly from the G.I. Joe Renegades cartoon line shown here trying to sell you a brand new celphone (Detonator) - or he'll kill you (Eh! He's crazy so he'll probably kill you anyway).

Renegades Firefly in the new G.I. Joe Cartoons literally is crazy. He's a pyromaniac - which, if you follow popular psychology, will tell you that he's also a rapist and a bed-wetter - who covers himself completely to hide the hideous burn scars that cover his body (What do we say about those who play with fire?). So far he's only appeared in one Renegades episode where he eludes both Snake Eyes and Duke and comes to blows with, of all people (enjoy the irony), Barbecue in a crashing helicopter. Roadblock got Barbecue out before the chopper could crash leaving Renegades Firefly presumed dead - for now.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yahoo's Most Valuable Action Figures

Part of being a toy-collector is picking through other people's so called "trash" during garage sales or through sites like e-bay or But chances are quite good that you may pass up on an item of true value simply because you don't know the history of the item or it.... face it.... looks like crap even in mint condition.

Happily Yahoo came up with a short summary of the "Most Valuable Action Figures" (Note: Action Figures, not toys. Toys is simply too broad a topic).

Among the collection is this scantly clad Barbie doll. Yes that's a Barbie doll. But it's no ordinary Barbie doll! For one thing her boobs look smaller; Second, she's a brunette, and; her dress is encrusted with 160 genuine diamond and that is real gold!  Her estimated value if you have a complete one in mint collection, then you have something worth around US$ 85,000.  I have to wonder, if all the jewelry is in her clothes, what's the Barbie worth alone? What are her clothes worth alone?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dark Lord Dungeon: INVADED BY ANTS

The Dark Lord's Dungeon was recently invaded by ants. I'm quite particular about what chemicals or sprays I use on my toys. Last night, I noticed a small trail of ants winding it's way through the Dungeon's shelves, past the Fair Lady Tower's Snowglobes and on to the dinner table.

So I started spraying a very powerful - but happily material friendly - organic - yes organic - insect killer along the line. When I reached this particular point, where Renegades Duke and Renegades Snake Eyes were displayed (not shown, they're being washed), I received the shock of my life when ants bearing tiny little ant-eggs started blossoming - literally billowing - out from under both Duke and Snake Eyes. Apparently the ants figured out that the hollow bottom of the stands of both G.I. Joes made for great homes.

Moral of the story: Not really sure.

Monday, October 24, 2011

TRNS-01 Valkyrie - Transformers Arcee

Presenting TRNS-01 Valkyrie also known as the illegally produced version of the Transformer Autobot Arcee.

It's always bothered me why Arcee was never made by Hasbro after all these years. They clearly own the design, and Impossible Toys - the makers of TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) have shown that the transformation is possible. So why have they neglected this key figure in Transformers lore?

My personal take on the matter is that, till today, there is debate as to why robots like the Transformers should have genders to begin with. And, if they do have genders, then do they reproduce sexually? Personally I don't care if they do or do not. What matters to me is the character and you cannot possibly be a Transformers fan without giving a nod to Arcee, arguably the most popular female Transformer of our time. So when the opportunity to acquire a TRNS-01 Arcee (Valkyrie) came by, I had to grab it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Comic Book news, Week of October 17, 2011

Marvel's "Fear Itself" is winding to a close and here's what I've learned in this week's comic book stash:

First off by now you all know that Captain America's shield was destroyed by Odin's brother The Serpent, God of Fear. I have to say I really enjoyed how The Serpent destroyed Cap's shield. He just raised it over his head and snapped it. It left Captain America totally flabbergasted. All he could say was "You can't" and other incoherent sentences before getting knocked out.

So it says a lot about his character to have bounced back and gone back to battle without his shield and opting for conventional rifles and firearms. In fact it reaches the point in Fear Itself number 7 - the last one - where we find Cap standing alone against the army of the Serpent using shotguns and automatic rifles - and actually holding the line.

He's standing alone because all the other Avengers are hiding in Broxton  - in the remains of Asgard - waiting for Iron Man to return with Asgardian blessed weapons. He finally does accompanied by a newly armored Thor bearing Odin's sword Ragnarok. He gifts eight Avengers - counting himself - with eight weapons that enhances the power of the Avengers making them a match for The Serpent's chosen - who are by then down to 6 what with the Thing having been reverted and the Hulk having lost to Dracula. Iron Man didn't bother though making something for Captain America because, well he had his shield. Tony didn't realize that the shield was gone.

So the Avengers Assemble and go to war.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Transformers Reveal the Shield: Mindset

Presenting the Autobot Mindset from the Transformers Reveal the Shield series. I don't actually know much about the Autobot Mindset. I'm quite sure that he wasn't in the movie and I definitely haven't seen him in any of the cartoons. 

In fact if you bother googling him, you'll most probably end up on looking at the Decepticon Mindset - who was fathered by Onslaught (One of the Combaticons that form Bruticus) through budding (Think of it as a pimple that explodes from your chest and gains sentience) and goes on to be killed by "The Swarm" (Which was nothing more than a killer pimple gone mad) which will also lead you to the Autobot Mindset, but there's not much there. 

Personally, I think the Decepticon Mindset - which also transforms into a Multiple Lauch Rocket System (MLRS) is a lot more intriguing as a character and at least has some link in Transformer lore. To make things worse, the AUTOBOT Mindset, is a re-deco of the Decepticon Hailstorm, who is a character based upon the mini-con Hailstorm who transforms into a missile launcher. Why Hasbro just didn't create Mindset as a Decepticon is a mystery. 

Anyway, I bought the Autobot Mindset because I have a soft spot for MLRS launchers. I've always thought that multiple-rocket launchers were cool ever since the Russians started using the Katyushas - Stalin's Organ (No dirty minds please). The MLRS is a beautiful step up. 

And he was on sale. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Toys R'Us BGC

Toys R Us is opening a new branch at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Check out its opening tomorrow, Oct. 22, and avail of 10 percent discount on private levels and selected brands.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pinoy Gaming Festival 2011

If you're looking for a fun way to spend the long holiday and you're here in the Philippines, why don't you drop by the "Pinoy Gaming Festival" happening from October 28 to 31 at the 4th Floor Cyberzone of SM North EDSA.

Among the Pinoy Gaming Festival's highlights will be the first ever Planking Competition and on-site photo contest - the most fun you can possibly have lying down :) and a Cosplay contest with special guest, Philippine Cosplay Queen Alodia Gosiengfiao.

Other highlights incldude the grand finals for the MPGL DOTA league - for those of you who don't sleep but instead breath war-axes. AND, the Starcraft 2 World Qualifier! (Get to take on the Koreans! Good luck! You'll need it).

Check out the event schedule and the Pinoy Gaming Festival video after the jump

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

X-Men Schism

Marvel's X-Men Schism story line is winding down with perhaps the biggest casualty being the closing down of one of Marvel's longest running comic books: Uncanny X-Men.

Of course they're just rebooting the comic book and so expect Uncanny X-Men # 1 to hit the shelves soon.

Written by Jason Aaron and sketched by a plethora of artists including Adam Kubert, Carlos Pacheco, Frank Cho, Daniel Acuna and Alan Davis, X-Men Schism chronicles a split in Cyclops' Grand Army of Mutants sparked by - oddly of all people - Wolverine - who wants to see the fulfillment of Xavier's dream of peaceful co-existence, versus Cyclops' new militant-mutant survival of the species philosophy that has isolated the X-Men on the island nation of Utopia.

Towards the end of the series, Wolverine and Cyclops come to blows and quite frankly I'm disappointed that Wolverine was so lame when the two went toe-to-toe. It was almost as if Wolverine, despite losing his entire face to Cyclops' Optic Blasts, was still holding back.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Transformers Dark of the Moon: Arcee

Presenting the Autobot Arcee (Target Exclusive Cyber-Tattoo version) as she appears in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - though Arcee is credited as part of the Transformers Dark of the Moon line (A movie she did not appear in)

There's a lot of continuity issues when it comes to DOTM Arcee - or the movie line Arcee - thanks in part to the fact that she was written out of the 1st Transformers movie and IDW (Idea + Design Works) Comics ran a comic book like in between the movies which involved Arcee (Whom a lot of people assumed to have perished in Revenge of the Fallen), and the novelization of the movie.

Then of course there are her sisters Elita 1 and Chromia. If you buy the individual toys, you'll note the different personalities at the back of their blister cards - I know I have a Chromia here somewhere (Hmmmm. Must be in storage). But if you follow the novelization of the movie - and even IDW's comic books, then you'll note that Arcee's two sisters died and they were animated only by a crazy Decepticon (Flatline) who wanted to create a new breed of what we call a "tripartite Cybertronian" - or Transformers that can operate separately but more or less have the same personality or combine - much like that camera guy Reflector. As a result the movie versions of Elita 1 and Chromia are supposedly nothing more than extensions of DOTM Arcee.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eau de Cobray - Because we can

Presenting Eau de Cobray a spoof of our recently reviewed G.I. Joe Renegades Cobra Commander that we found to be juussssst a tad bit too effeminate for our tastes. Check out the larger image and credits to the Renegades Cobra Commander spoof after the jump.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Steve Job's Wall-E

Presenting Steve Job's Wall-E from the animated film of the same name. I loved the movie. Wall-E is one of those movies that nearly brought me to tears so when the toys were released I had to get a Wall-E and an EVE--which I did.

But this great character and toy would not exist without Steve Jobs, who was one of the founders of Pixar Animation Studios. When Pixar was eventually acquired by Disney, Steve Jobs went on to becoming one of Disney's Board of Directors.

Why am I writing this? Well I don't own a MAC or any Macintosh product although my wife uses an iPad. I'm one of the few people who started their careers working with a Macintosh--back when they were stubby blocks--but decided that PCs were better (Yes, I said it! Live with it!). Till today, I still prefer PCs. But I have to acknowledge Steve Job's contribution to the field of animation, which most people seem to overlook while taking the time to praise their iPads, iPhones and iMacs. I think that give it a few years, this technology will be obsolete and fade from memory replaced by better devices with catchier names. But Wall-E and Pixar's other classics? These will go on for as part of our cultural lore forever. That Steve Jobs was a part of that will and should be a part of his Legacy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

G.I. Joe Renegades: Cobra Commander

Presenting new Cobra Commander from the G.I. Joe Renegades line. The G.I. Joe Renegades cartoon borrows and modifies a lot of the story line from the G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra movie.

First off is Renegades Cobra Commander's name. In the ROC movie, Cobra Commander was Richard "Rex" Lewis. His sister, was the Baroness deCobray (Through marriage). In the cartoon, Renegades Cobra Commander is Adam deCobray.

Renegades Cobra Commander keeps the pasty-white skin of Rex Lewis and even the facial deformation that Rex had in the movie - which is why Renegades Cobra Commander covers the lower and left-side of his face with armor. Except Renegades Cobra Commander is bald. Sometime later in the Renegades series, Renegades Cobra Commander comes down with a mysterious disease that forces him to wear the full face mask to help him breath.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Toy News: The Gauntlet has been thrown.

I personally don't know who took this photo - but thanks whoever you are - or where this challenge was declared, but seriously? GAME ON!!!!! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

He-Man and Thundercats fans combine forces to raise money for Children Affected by AIDS

Last weekend’s groundbreaking Power-Con / ThunderCon convention brought fans of He-Man and the Thundercats from around the world to celebrate the beloved properties. The inaugural event also raised over $3,500 at the first ever “Power and Thunder” auction with proceeds going to the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

Original Artwork, Custom Toys, and other limited pieces were available to convention attendees, with online bidding services for those unable to attend provided by internet auction company Nearly 50 lots of art and merchandise were donated by professional and fan artists, vendors, and supporters. At the end of the night, a grand total of $3515.00 was raised to benefit Power-Con and the CAAF.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Transformers: SDCC 2011 Exclusive Optimus Prime (Matrix Prime)

Presenting the new Animated Optimus Prime from the recently concluded 2011 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), AKA the Matrix Prime. The SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime is the precursor of the new line of Animated Transformers toys that are supposed to be released in the market  in December of this year - following the year long expansion of the animated mini-series Transformers Prime from a simple mini-series to a full fledged animated series with already 2 full seasons in release.

Basically Hasbro wanted to further hype the release of the toy-line by giving a teaser of the good things to come in December. The toy has gained the moniker "Matrix Prime" because of it's packaging. SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime comes in a box; inside the box is a replica of the Animated - not the movie - Autobot Matrix of Leadership (The one we've all grown to love and adore, especially if you enjoyed watching Ultra Magnus blow up like I did); inside the Matrix, is Optimus Prime. Hence the moniker "Matrix Prime"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thundercats: Cheetara (2011)

Presenting Cheetara from the new Thunrdercats Animated series (2011). Admittedly I have mixed feelings about the reboot of the Thundercats. Personally I feel that people should never touch iconic classics because you'd end up with people comparing the original to the new version.

And I can't help but do so in this case.

This toy incarnation of Cheetara from Bandai stands 4 inches tall - she is designed to electronically interact with the new Bandai Thundercat vehicles hence her smaller size. I purchased her on the black market in Greenhills here in the Philippines and she was the only Cheetara I saw in the entire commercial area so I thought she was a steal at PhP 695 (Around US$ 16). Unfortunately, her retail price in Amazon is already dropping from US$ 9.95 to U$ 9.52 plus shipping. I'm not so sure if this is because of the problems with the toy itself or the aforementioned problems with comparing a classic icon with its modern incarnation. Which is sad because Cheetara is not even available on the local E-bay which makes her quite rare - as most female action figures are.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Transformers Dark of the Moon: Darksteel

Presenting Tansformers Dark of the Moon's Darksteel. DOTM Darksteel obviously did not appear in the movie. In fact what he is is a repainted DOTM Sideswipe - the DOTM version so this is the top-down Corvette Stingray version of Sideswipe - with the repainted head of a Deluxe sized Starscream - yes Starscream, just look at that lovely kisser.

Normally I'm not a fan of repaints, but being a DOTM Sideswipe fan, I just could not resist getting a "Black" - Nemesis Universe like - version of him (Even if DOTM Darksteel technically isn't a Nemesis character and supposedly exists in the same universe as DOTM Siwdeswipe.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Toy News: COLLECTICON 2011

COLLECTICON 2011 will be happening this weekend, October 8 & 9 at the Robinson's Midtown Mall Atrium at Ermita, Manila, Philippines from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.  Admission is absolutely free so come on by and enjoy this two day exhibit of private collections and life-size displays marked by raffles, contests and hours of toy hunting and bargaining.  

COLLECTICON 2011 is brought to you by Hobbiworx, Pinoy Toy Kolektor, Robinsons Place Manila, Toys R' Us, MaxiCollector and whoever Araujo Art Diseno Grafico is. 

Visit for more detail

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Toy News: Takara Optimus Striker DA28

Takara will soon be releasing the Optimus Striker DA28! Good things do come from Takara. First was that movie accurate Jetwing Optimus Prime which is miles, miles MILES better than Hasbro's Ultimate Optimus Prime; and now comes the Optimus Striker DA28.

If you watched Transformers Dark of the moon then you'll recall that when Optimus Prime first fought Shockwave (Well he actually fought him first in the DOTM video game which was a prequel of the movie but now everyone knows that), then you'll recall that Optimus Prime's trailer transformed into a weapon's storage ring. Optmus Prime drew a shield from that ring and Takara is finally giving it to us.

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