Friday, September 13, 2019

A Throne Fit For A Slug

In 2014, Hasbro released literally the biggest figure up to that point for their Black Series line, one of the most notorious crime lords in the Star Wars galaxy, Jabba the Hutt. At the time of his release, I wasn’t completely all in on the line and was quite happy merely cherry picking my favorites. Although many would consider him a major character from the original trilogy, I wasn’t that big of a fan so he was an easy pass for me.

Friday, September 6, 2019

An Ewok-ening

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, toy collecting is a very slippery slope. It’s happened to me so many times wherein a single innocent and random purchase has led to me falling into yet another collecting rabbit hole. Such was the case when I bought my first modern ewok way back in 2012. This led to me buying even more ewoks to keep the first one company. The next logical step of course was to get myself an ewok village to house all my ewoks. Naturally, with the village came the need to spruce it up with a “golden idol” for the ewoks to worship, a couple of rebels to roast over the fires, a princess and of course an imperial speeder bike and AT-ST for them to commandeer. It’s a slippery slope indeed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Better After Broken

Nothing breaks a child’s heart like a broken toy.

Growing up in the die-cast robot boom of the 70s and 80s, I’ve had my share of invincible Earth-saviors get snapped somewhere along their plastic parts, often dealing a fatal blow to its play value. A snapped joint, a cracked panel, a detached head, anything that adversely affected the toy’s function was just too painful to look at. You could spend the whole day looking for a missing accessory or an “oh-no-where-did-it-go?” rocket punch; but a broken toy is its own circle of hell. I don’t know about you, but every time I broke a toy, I could feel its angry eyes burning into my soul just how carelessly stupid I was. Sorry about your windshield and roof, Transformers Gen 1 Bluestreak. Sorry about your leg Orguss Nikick. Sorry to all the toys I broke before, that I couldn’t do then what I could do now.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Doctor Lui Lui Lui

One morning, while waiting for my wife to finish up in the bathroom, I decided to kill some time and fiddle with my latest toy purchase. So I walked over to the shelf and grabbed my KFC King Gorilla to play around with. For someone who has been collecting Transformers for over 10 years, randomly transforming them from robot to vehicle and back shouldn’t be such a big deal. Unfortunately, when it comes to quality and stability, especially with 3rd party Transformers, not all toys are created equal.

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Best Of 2019: Second Quarter

So it’s that time of year again to revisit my ongoing top ten toys for 2019. Admittedly, there weren’t too many major toy acquisitions during the start of the year, which led to a relatively weak first quarter list. This second quarter though has brought in quite a lot of good stuff. So let's see how much my top ten has changed after three more months.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

It's Evolution, Baby!

So it’s been awhile since my last blog post. Almost 2 months. While I try my best to keep my blog regularly updated every month, I suppose writer’s fatigue is inevitable at some point. And for me it came this year. It’s also not coincidental that this block came at the same time as a major life event happened for me last month as well, which was the birth of my second child. And as anyone who’s had kids can attest to, with all the excitement and fanfare of having a new baby also comes endless sleepless nights and poopy diapers. Given that, it seemed like the perfect moment to step back and take a quick break from the storytelling.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Airing Out My Grievouses

However you may feel about The Star Wars Prequels, there is no denying how much they added to the Star Wars mythos in terms of characters, planets and new ideas. And most notably I really enjoyed the new villains we got. Episode 1 gave us the double lightsaber wielding devil horned Sith, Darth Maul. In Episode 2, we got the dark and evil Jedi turncoat Count Dooku. But for Episode 3, George Lucas decided to do something different for the new “baddie”. Instead of a force wielding Sith lord, we got an new general to lead the Separatist Droid armies, the mechanical monstrosity named Grievous.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Morlock Prince

In the Marvel universe, being born a mutant can be a mixed bag. If you end up looking like a supermodel or chiseled athlete and have cool flashy powers like superhuman strength, healing factor or weather manipulation it can be seen as a blessing. But if you are born a scrawny and slightly disfigured albino with large creepy yellow eyes and a more passive mutant ability, it can be seen more as a curse.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

It's Only Logical

Geek arguments have been around for as long as I can remember. From the more popular all encompassing ones like Star Trek vs Star Wars or DC vs Marvel? To the more specific ones like Batman vs Superman or The Juggernaut vs. the Blob. When I was in grade school, one particular debate that raged on in my class was who was the better Decepticon? Shockwave or Soundwave?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Ackbar Maneuver

For most kids under the age of 10, Halloween is one of the major highlights of the year. I mean what kid wouldn’t love a day where you go around outside and collect candies from all the houses in the neighborhood. Of course, the usual catch is that you need to dress up in a cool costume, something that is also fun for most kids...at least those with vivid imaginations and unlimited resources. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite the resourceful kid back then and so trying to figure out what to wear on this most important day was usually rather stressful for me.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Get A Holdo Yourself

I think it's fair to say that Star Wars Episode VIII, The Last Jedi is quite the divisive film. While I myself love it and consider it to be one of the best movies in the franchise, there are a lot of people out there who flat our hate it. Now it doesn’t matter whether I think their reasons are valid or not, everyone’s got different tastes and are entitled to their own opinion. But I do want to talk about a specific character introduced in the Episode VIII who just like the movie has her share of detractors as well.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Best Of 2019: First Quarter

It was fun for me. Was it fun for you? I really enjoyed building up my top ten list of 2018 throughout the entirety of the year. Updating my list on a quarterly basis really helped my get a greater appreciation of what I got and so it seemed like a no brainer that I do the same thing again for 2019.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Whip It Good!

As a kid, I didn’t have that many He-Man figures. Like Transformers, they were bigger and therefore more expensive. So to satisfy my Masters of the Universe cravings, I had to live vicariously through my friend, who seemed to always have all the latest He-Man figures in his possession. I remember specifically one time he called me up on the phone just to tell me he had this brand new figure that he wanted to show to me. The next day he came over proudly holding up his new toy...and all I could think of was...wow….that’s one really ugly dude.

Monday, March 11, 2019

TFCON 2019 Wishlist

What? Another wishlist? New York Toy Fair has come and gone and just like that, another major toy event is just around the corner. TFcon is currently the largest fan run Transformers convention. It originally was held in Canada but has grown so much that it now holds two annual conventions, one in Canada and the other in the US. And because it is not an officially licensed Transformers convention, for the past few years, TFcon has become the major announcement site for many toy companies that specialize in something near and dear to my heart....3rd party Transformers.

Monday, March 4, 2019

A Prime Choice

Around seven years ago, a then unknown 3rd party company called Fans Toys posted pictures of their upcoming project Acoustic Wave, which was their official attempt at a masterpiece styled Soundwave. A few months later Takara announced the release of their official MP-13 Soundwave and all of a sudden Acoustic Wave was nowhere to be seen. Fans Toys immediately scrapped their plans to release him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Little Bit Of A Primer

When it comes to Transformers, Optimus Prime is undoubtedly the most iconic and recognizable character from the franchise. Which is why it was a no brainer that when Takara launched their Masterpiece line way back in 2003, he was the first one out of the gate to get that "masterpiece" treatment.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

NY Toy Fair 2019 Wishlist

As we start a new year, the most likely thought on many toy collectors minds are what cool new toys will be coming out in the next 365 days that we can add to our collection. And in a couple days, we will get a partial answer to our questions with New York Toy Fair 2019 just around the corner. For toy collectors like myself this is a big deal. It is the first “event” of the year where most of the major and minor toy companies announce a good number of their upcoming releases for the new year.

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Deluxe Conversation

Last weekend I had a pretty fun online chat with a Transformers podcaster that I listen to regularly. Matthew “Deluxe” Baldwin is one of the hosts of a Transformers podcast called “Shattered Cast Uncut” and he also has his own YouTube channel. Aside from doing Transformer toy reviews (Hail Hasbro Reviews), he also has a series of “Around 30 Minutes with…” videos wherein he chats with various members of the fandom. While I am generally a shy person...and a sort of lurker online...I thought it would be a fun idea to come out of my shell and drop him a line to chat...fortunately he was more than happy to talk.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2018 Recap

In 2018, I did something that I should’ve been really doing from the start of my toy collecting hobby. I basically took note of every single toy that I bought that year, and it was quite the eye opener. I guess it applies to more than just toys, but it’s easy to lose track of exactly how much new stuff you accumulate in a given year. Recording every purchase gave me a greater appreciation of what I got, and so I’d like to finish off this whole “best of 2018” with a general recap.

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Best Of 2018 part 2

So it’s finally time to finish off this little experiment I started nine whole months ago when I set off to tackle my annual “best of” list in a new way. I have to say I really enjoyed building up to my best of 2018 list this way as it gave me a greater appreciation of everything I got in the past 365 days. I really hope it was as fun for you the readers as it was for me. So let’s get it on!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Best Of 2018 part 1

Another year has come and gone. And before we move on to 2019, it’s time to look back at my favorite toy purchases of 2018 and do the near impossible task of picking out my top ten out of all of them.

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