Sunday, 28 November 2010

Touch Ups #1: Transformers Universe Prowl

I like to think a little extra paint on some figures can go a long way or just repainting some minor details.

I used a Tamiya Silver Paint Marker for my Universe Prowl toy and coloured in his bland black/white weapons to make them more 80's G1-like and outstanding. I found the original scheme clashy to the actual figure paintjob.

Here's Prowl on duty...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Hasbro respond to public concern over Transformer name

Transformers communities all over the web went loud with mixed opinions and outcry in regards to the naming of an upcoming toy.

Hasbro have recentley broke thier silence and made a response through to address and respond to the many fan mails recieved.

"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to respond. The TRANSFORMERS brand intended no offense by use of the name 'SPASTIC' for one of its products which has not and will not be available via traditional retail channels in Europe, including the UK. Thank you once again for notifying us about your concern. As a marketer of children’s products, input from parents, families and fans regarding their experiences with our brands is extremely important to us. Our goal is to have all families who enjoy our brands feel good about their purchases and experiences."

On a side note. UK Press - The Daily Record have also picked up on the story. HERE

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Driller VS Zombies

More building-brick banter in today's blog. I messed around this morning with some Lego zombies I dug out from sorting through a pile of stuff.

This unsuspecting drller is from the knock-off 'click bricks' toyline. He obviosuly cant't hear the vastly approaching undead brickmen.

Captions please... :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Swop Em's Continued...

I got round to opening the 'Swop Em's' packet this afternoon.

Surprisingly enough, these are actually packs of 2 minifigures instead of 1. The figures are also a lot less dis-assembled than the real deal Lego men. At £1, this is a pretty good deal.

The leaflet (pictured) either side shows the run-down of collectables and assembley instructions. As these toys are compatable with Lego, they make potential 'army builders'.

Click Bricks Swop 'Ems

I found these in The Entertainer recentley. A direct bootleg of the popular Lego Minifigures. Click Bricks appears to be a copycat Lego brand with simular products and seem to mainly based around The UK.

These are half the price of the Lego figures at £1 a pop. Unlike the Lego series, these go by one set character theme.

I haven't opened this pack yet, but I am hoping I get the bank robber as he is probably the most characteristic of the lineup.

Unlike the Lego Brand, there isn't a second barcode to tell which 'mystery' figure is hidden in the packet.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Transformers Name Controversy

As if the revelation about the streaking Lego Santa was'nt enough of an eye-opener, I was brought to the attention yesterday of a very questionably named Transformers product.

That's not a 'photoshop', it's the packaging of an upcoming Stunticons homage figure.

Of course slang words in the US/UK differ from one another. I beleive the said name on the box is also offensive Stateside too. You have to question how much research the department at Hasbro put into thier Transformers names. I beleive they still own the copyrights to 'Menasor', 'Dead End' and 'Drag Strip'.

This is probably the most controversial name on a Transformer since the 80's when a certain fire-breathing triceratops hit the UK toy shelves. There have been other questionable Transformers names since, but never on this level. Let's hope Hasbro sorts it out.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

REVIEW: Toy Story 3, Twitch, basic asst

From: Mattel

Retail: around $7.99/£5.99

Accessories: None

First toy review in a long time… And this time round it’s not a Transformer! 

Toy Story 3 – the awesome threequel to the movie series introduced some very cool and well researched characters. The newer characters mainly consisted of Lotso-Huggin’ Bears gang. Even though they were the ‘baddies’ they had their individual charm and connotations that teased the viewer, (especially if they were a kid of the 80’s).

Twitch the insectoid warrior was the toy I wanted to rush out and buy after seeing the film. What did it for me was the cheesy Masters of the Universe homage and the fact that I actually owned a Buzz-Off toy back in 1984. Of course, the insectoid warrior theme has echoed in other toys I have owned – TMNT’s Baxter Stockman (1991) and Transformers’ Waspinator (2000). Pixar chose a good theme for a villain character in this.
What Mattel have done is genius, by making a movie accurate figure and within budget. The large and authentic-like Buzz Lightyear, Lotso, Woody, Rex etc are quite costly, but Twitch is only under 10 pounds sterling. Like a Blink Angel from Dr Who this toy only has to just stand there and look good. No gimmicks necessary!

I am aware of the other and more expensive versions of Twitch, but this basic toy suffices. A toy like this doesn’t need any more fancy detail than it already has. I think the basic figure itself based on a ‘basic figure’ in a film is satisfactory.

The first flaw that isn’t much of a throwback with me is the exclusion of the staff accessory. I can see that being an issue possibly, considering the staff is clearly illustrated on the box bubble illustration. It is like bad advertising and owning a 90% complete figure. Imagine He-Man without a sword or Popeye without a can ‘o spinach… The staff can easily be substituted for a twig or paintbrush maybe … . Still, a figure isn’t a bad figure because of a missing accessory..

The second flaw is the stiffness of the joints and lack of articulation. Again for me not a big deal as it takes me back 1984 when my Masters of the Universe figures were not exactly super-posable and a little stiff on the arms and legs. For me, this downer actually adds to the homage and makes this 80’s child quite happy. 2010 standards may not approve...

Twitch is a good all-round ‘accurate’ toy of the character represented in the movie Toy Story 3. He is tough, sturdy and lasting enough to survive the Caterpillar room of any Daycare centre. The stiff joints and omission of a staff weapon are a letdown, but not major flaws. Twitch does a good job of standing still and looking hard, just as he did in the movie. For us older collectors he is also a great desk ornament and workspace guardian.

There’s no messin’ with this musclebound mantis. Twitch RULES!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Power Rangers Samurai

Back in 2009 there was this amazingly ambient, artistic and explosive show called Sentai Samurai Shinkenger. The Sentai team of that year and into early 2010 were given a Samurai theme with a ton of Japanese cultural overtones.

Everything about that Sentai show was bliss and right; the gattai, the designs, the characters and stories etc. And best of all it was so quintessentially Japanese it was untouchable by western translation. (Or so I thought...)

An announcement came Summer of this year that Power Rangers was making a comeback in 2011 as 'Power Rangers: Samurai'. Oh dear...

Recentley Bandai unveiled pictures of the toys based on the show, and like the western dubs - these were lost in translation too. Non-show accurate toys for anything had just about got by in the 80's, but these days its inexcusable.

Again Bandai have laughably exaggerated the builds of the characters (the girls too) and made them look 'roided'.

I have not seen the cast for 'Samurai' yet, but I am guessing a few ex-Neighbours and Home & Away actors may be in the line-up. Still worth a chuckle on a rainy day.

Ta to Paul 'Logan Blaze' Anderson for the heads up.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Buttercup: Pegwarmin' Pony

It's probably me, but I've seen multiples of these from the basic figure assortment pegwarming everywhere.

Buttercup - the Moomin / Unicorn fusion is either unpopular, over produced or just unlucky to find owners. What do you expect from a lesser established character from the Toy Story-verse?

I've seen multiples of these at ASDA, Toys R Us, and Tescos. I may personally pick one up, especially if these end up reduced in Bargain-bin Pergatory. The Moomin homage is definitley a plus side.

Have a heart, give this Moomincorn a home.