Saturday, 29 December 2012

Happy Holidays 2012

Hey all. Things have been busy down here at Figured Out with Christmas season and all.

I wanted to post a lot of holiday related fun and antics, but a bereavement in the family set me back a fair bit and Christmas Day was knocked for six.

However, I've tried to enjoy this fun time of the year the best I can and make the most of the good things and look forward to the prospects ahead. I may spam this blog with Christmas stuff throughout January anyway.

'Santa Claus' left me a new camera and its a sharp DLSR that takes rather nice in-depth imagery, like the one in this post. My daughter was given a set of Alvin & The Chipmunks to play with and she loves them lots!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Figure Review: Ghost Rider (Hasbro Marvel Legends Series 1)

As far I know, Hasbro has been recently revamping its Marvel Legends line for the sake of making their figures more comic book accurate. These figures do not include comic books like the Toy Biz Marvel Legends did, but I heard that the next wave will. Hasbro is continuing the build-a-figure tradition, though, which is cool for the collectors that wish to build Terrax. The Terrax series was released earlier this year, which I thought I'd give a try by purchasing the Ghost Rider figure from a local toy show in my area. I have a Ghost Rider figure from the '90s Toy Biz series, but I lost him and he didn't stay together very well due to his action feature, so I am glad to have picked up a more modern version of Ghost Rider.

Let's get on to the review...

Sculpting - 9/10

Ghost Rider is a very nice representation of his comic book counterpart. Nothing seems off to me in terms of the sculpt, which works because it's not bulky or skinny. I like how the shoulder pads, the forearm pads, and the knee and shin pads have their own textures, which are well-complemented by their respective spikes. Heck, even the textures on the figure's lower body look great. The flames look cool too and they're all the right size.


Paint - 9/10

There's not a lot of color on this figure, but I still think that the paint came out great. He has nice tints of blue on the front of his jacket, which I guess is sort of like a tuxedo jacket. There are also blue shades on his shoulder pad, which kind of have a cool pastel look to them. Another thing that stands out to me about the paint is the fact that the flames have a kind of white/clear steak to them on the bottom half. That affect kind of goes from bottom to top throughout the flames since there are some patches of tints and hues for variety's sake. The only problem I have to be with the paint job is that there appears to be some minor smudges on the chains.

Articulation - 8/10

From what I gather, the figure has about thirty points of articulation...

  • ball jointed neck
  • ball jointed shoulders
  • rotating biceps
  • double jointed elbows
  • ball jointed wrists
  • hinged torso
  • rotating waist
  • ball jointed legs
  • double jointed knees
  • ball jointed ankles
The articulation is a little less than a typical Toy Biz Marvel Legends figure, but it's still decent. I guess that happened as a result of Hasbro's revamp. The good part is is that the figure's jacket and pockets don't really hinder movement all that much.

Accessories - 1/10

The figure is rather lacking in the accessories department. Sure, his jacket can be unsnapped, but it would've been nice if it were easy to remove so that way an extra -- perhaps battle damaged jacket -- would've provided another option. It also would've been great if Ghost Rider's signature chain weapon was included since the figure's right hand looks like it can hold it. He does come with both of Terrax's arms and a piece of paper with information about Terrax (not pictured), but I wouldn't count those as accessories.


Overall - 8/10

Despite the fact that this figure doesn't offer much in terms of accessories, he's still a great figure that is sure to please any Ghost Rider fan. There is a variant that has red and orange flames, but from what I've seen, that one doesn't look as nice as the regular version. From what I gather, both versions are on Amazon and could probably be found on eBay. If you prefer to pick up the figure from you local comics shop or any conventions in your area, you'll probably spend between $15 and $20. Regardless of your method of purchasing the figure, you'll be happy with him since he stands out in any collection.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Cowabunga Christmas Promotion

I spent some time over August and September assembling a TMNT Christmas Promotion featuring a series of custom tree ornaments.

Cowabunga Christmas is the follow-up to Festive Fury which I produced in 2008, but a little more widespread.

These have been shipped out worldwide (especially the US) as early holiday greetings to friends, fans, and followers and have been greatly received. It is really rewarding to see my custom work displayed on Christmas trees around the globe. I hope to do something in 2013 to top this.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Wreck-It Ralph Christmas Promotion

Despite this film held back until February 15th 2013, it is still being promoted quite well. Courtesy of Showcase Cinemas for the Holiday Season are these fantastic Wreck-It Ralph Advent Calendars.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Friday, 23 November 2012

2012 Early Christmas Card Design

One of the concept designs I have come up with.

The other features my daughter in a Santa dress from last December accompanied by a 'makeshift' reindeer. A third I've done features a bit of time-travel... 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Holidays are comin'...

Based on the Catholic 'Kneeling Santa' imagery from models and greeting cards.

The Kneeling Santa Depicts Santa Claus/Father Christmas paying Baby Jesus a visit (obviously with the aid of a Time-Travelling sleigh) and paying respect to the child who started Christmas. Of course a Lego figure can bow rather than kneel, so this skit photo was a little improvised....

More Festive fun on the way.. Enjoy.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

6th Doctor

Was watching Attack of the Cybermen and got a little inspired. The background was made purely by accident from another project.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Figure Review: Daredevil (Spider-Man Classics)

In the year 2001, Toy Biz launched its Spider-Man Classics line, which lasted for two waves. These figures would pave the way for Toy Biz's Marvel Legends line in terms of attention to detail and articulation. I bought this figure from a toy and comic convention I went to this past weekend. In a way, I still have a soft spot for Toy Biz's Marvel figures, particulary the Spider-Man Classics, so I thought I'd pick it up. That and I've gotten into Daredevil a few months ago and didn't have a figure of him already.

For those who are not familiar with Daredevil, basically the story goes that a young Matt Murdock was rendered blind after coming into contact with a radioactive substance spill while trying to save a blind man from being hit by an oncoming tuck. He ended up gaining heightened senses as a result. His father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, supports his dreams to become an attorney. Later on, however, Jack is killed by a group of gangsters after refusing to throw a fight. With his own brand of blind fury, Matt takes on his father's killers to avenge his death. Attorney by day and vigilante by night, the Man Without Fear makes sure the streets of Hell's Kitchen are safe for even the most simple of citizens. Anyway, onto the review...

Sculpting - 8/10

Daredevil's sculpt, for the most part, is quite decent. From what I gather, it's based off of Joe Quesada's representation of Daredevil. As I've said in my Spider-Man 2099 review, I like how the muscle folds on the back aren't just drawn on, which applies here. He may look a little skinny to some, but I don't mind that since it's only a minor issue. There's not a lot of detail on the figure, but I do like the stretch lines on the mask as well as around the mouth.  That shows to me that his mask is being pressed against by the figure's frown. The billy club holster is a nice addition as well. My only complaint is that in the lower leg area, there are some blemishes that look as if the plastic had been grinded down resulting in some flat yet circular spots. There are also similar spots on the figure's forearms and left half of the neck, which kind of show up in the side view pictures.

Paint - 9/10

Being mostly red, the figure's paint job looks pretty good. Since Toy Biz was limited with what it could it do at the time, I like the fact that the belt and the billy club holster strap are painted on with a different shade of red. I think if the belt and strap were part of the sculpt, they would've looked too bulky, so in my mind, Toy Biz made the right decision. The only minor issue is that near his nose, some of the red paint from mask seems to have gone over onto his face a bit, but it's hard to notice anyway.

Articulation - 9/10

From what I gather, the figure has thirty points of articulation...
  • hinged toes
  • hinged ankles
  • rotating calves
  • double jointed knees
  • rotating thighs just below the hips
  • ball jointed legs
  • rotating waist
  • mid-torso joint
  • ball jointed arms
  • double joined elbows
  • rotating wrists
  • hinged wrists
  • hinged fingers
  • rotating neck
  • rotating head
Taking into account what Toy Biz was able to do in terms of articulation, since Toy Biz had its limits, I think the articulation is still pretty good by today's standards. I imagine I could up with a few poses for the figure if I really took my time. I like the fact that the figure's fingers are hinged so that way the figure can hold his billy club.

Accessories - 8/10

The figure comes with a billy club, a wall mountable display base, and a reprint of Daredevil #241. The display base, from what it looks like to me, is a "stained glass" church window. There's some nice detail on it and even the decal windows look decent. I don't have any complaints about the billy club, but in regards to the waist, I don't feel like it was necessary to include the waist clip since I probably won't display the figure on the wall with it looking like he's jumping or falling off the ledge. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

 Overall - 9/10

I would highly recommend this figure to any Daredevil fan or anyone who is just looking to get into one of Marvel's more underrated characters. You could probably find this figure at your local comics shop or at any toy or comic conventions in your area. If you're looking to buy online, Amazon is probably your best bet.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Knockoff Transformers "Air-Force"

Bootlegged version of G1 Air-Raid found in Minehead. The KO line also advertises other smaller Aerialbot figures.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Knockoff Transformers "Power Warriors"

'Transformers' 2-packs found in Poundstretcher.

Both the robots resemble bootlegged versions of Legends class Bumblebee .

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Jake & Finn

Adventure time,
C'mon, grab your friends,
We'll go to very distant Lands
With Jake the Dog,
And Finn the Human,
The Adventures'll never end,
It's Adventure Time!

Monday, 9 July 2012

REVIEW: Shredder, (TMNT 2012, Basic)

From: Playmates
Retail: Variable
Accessories: Katana blade, 8 pronged Shurikens

I was really pleased to come into possession of a Nickelodeon Shredder in the early draft of the 2012 TMNT toys release. These toys were hard to come by to say the least!
Being the most notorious antagonist of Splinter and the TMNT, Shredder is an important character to be done right in the plastic. Whatever the interpretation, Shredder has to look the business! Nick Shredder delivers on most aspects!

This Shredder based on the Nickelodeon show succeeds in being a subtle blend of being sharp and pointy, but looks like he can move about freely. Scale-wise, he stands taller than the 4 Turtles as he should do and is not physically over exaggerated. Oroku Saki stands tall, strong and unrestricted - unlike the static battle poses some past Shredder toys have suffered from.

Arsenal-wise: Shredder is equipped with a nifty looking Katana which the figure can hold with authority. The other 2 items are a pair of small 8-pronged throwing stars that could easily end up inside a vaccum bag if not careful! The main 'arsenal' of course is Shredders moulded on armour, featuring his usual arm/shoulder/leg blades and scary helmet. The dragon scale motif chest plate is what defines this Shredder different from past incarnations.

Sadly, this Shredder is let down by a couple of design flaws and choices. Firstly the figure has no articulation in the knees like the Turtle brothers do, but he does have a swivel-waist!. Secondly the colours lack in places such as strapping on the back and in particular – the eyes! Shredder's illustration on the packaging shows he has a major case of 'pink eye' or otherwise lost an eye from a previous battle. The toy does not replicate this for whatever reason, and he is instead represented with clear white eyes with faint pupils which otherwise could have been coloured in. The white eyes do let the figure down when viewed from particular angles, because they just don't stand out very well.

The colour-scheme overall for Nick Shredder has strong points, in that he bears more of a real world palette. The very dark brown/purple work well and help show up depth in the design. This is less lazy than going down the clich├ęd black route. The grim-penny coloured armour is also an excellent choice and puts across a great dirty metal look. Certainly a milestone achievement since the original skinny, 'bare-chested', blue armoured Shredder release from Playmates.

This is also one of two Shredder toys in the first wave of Nick TMNT. It should be noted that a second 'Sound-FX' version of the Foot Clan leader depicts him a little stockier, bears longer arm blades and has a cape. Aside from these differences, both Shredders look pretty much the same as the TV show design.
I've come across many a Shredder toy in my 20+ year experience of TMNT figures. Some are reasonably good, and some are pretty bad as a basis of comparison. Despite certain setbacks, this one is a keeper. It is not 100% perfect, but it has succeeded in pushing the envelope a little further in how Shredder as a figure should be made.

A further step up the ladder has definitely been taken. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Power Ranger Torture 1998

Had a look through old archives and came across this old gem from the July 1998 Transmasters UK meetup.

This occasion was witness to the graphic torture and destruction of a Power Rangers toy. For it was club tradition back then for Transformers fans to give Power Rangers toys the 'pinata' treatment. A Megazord or a Ranger would mark as a sacrificial lamb of sorts.

Don't Try This. 

Obviously, we've all done a lot of growing up since then and learned to respect and tolerate other fandoms :).

Friday, 27 April 2012


I recently stumbled upon this marvelous photo documentation of the classic Box Monster booby trap.

The Monster is simply constructed from using a coat hanger, a shirt, a box for the head to draw a face on, mounted hooks and plenty of string. The photos show how the trap works and gives an idea what the poor victim is in store for,

The original trap I made in the late 80’s was set up inside a Wardrobe, using the same mechanism and the clothes rail inside instead of hooks.

Not for the feint of heart, but do try and copy this and give it a go if you know of somebody to prank. Hahaha.