Sunday, September 23, 2007

Episode I - The Phantom Collection

So, I've had in my mind the idea to post pictures of my entire collection as it is displayed, a sort of quick virtual-tour so I could show people everything at a glance, as though they were visiting my lair - not having to view each item individually on the reviews, and I've wanted to sort of do a parody on the Star Wars Saga titles. So I've finally gotten around to doing so, so without further ado I present:

Episode I: The Phantom Collection

Turmoil has engulfed my Collecting Republic. The taxation and shipping charges of getting toys to outlaying collecting towns has limited the funds available for spending. Hoping to resolve the matter by paying off my credit card I've stopped buying toys and other collectibles and the Post Office has stopped shipping toys to my home in the small town in Utah. While my wife and I endlessly debate this alarming spending habit of mine I've decided to take pictures of my collection and post them on this blog in order to curb my desire for more toys and awaite the settling of the conflict.... (click images for a much larger version)


In a half-hearted attempt to somehow correlate the title of the post with the photos I'll start with Batman, because he's kinda like a phantom, or at least a scary shadow, right? A couple of these figures are actually some of the first action figures I ever bought myself, and some are much more recent. On the top, left to right, some holographic card of Batman from the Batman Forever era, some Batman Beyond figure, some Batman Begins figure, Flightpak Batman, some Batman figure with techno-bat wings and claws and Azreal from a very recent toyline Select Scultps. The vehicles on the top row are the Hotwheels (I think) die cast Batmobile (from the first Michael Keaton film), a plastic Batmobile (from the Batman and Robin Adventures animated series) - it hides a toothbrush inside, the Batman Forever Batwing from some Micro Machines mini playset, then some misc Star Wars micro machines. Batman items on the bottom shelf are some version of Azreal as Batman, and a newer, unopened version of Azreal as Batman, or AzBats. Obviously, I need to do some research so I actually know what figures they are.


As a transition from Batman items to my swords, I've got a Batman styled knife. It uses the Batman & Robin style logos.
The only swords I have that are worth taking pictures of are the Official Highlander Swords. These swords are decorative only, they have stainless steel blades, with a negligible edge to the blade. They are rather pricey from the official store, so I acquired two via eBay, and two on the Replica Prop Forum (which is a forum filled with intelligent, creative, talented and skilled people with too much time on their hands - because they do things like build, from scratch, prop replicas and costumes from various movies/tv shows (mostly sci-fi type), often spending weeks and months researching everything, trying to find the exact part used for the original props, or sculpting/molding props themselves. Well, that was fairly tangential to the actual subject at hand, wasn't it?) So, the first sword pictured is Duncan MacLeod's Duende Rapier, 20th Anniversary edition - which means that it is a limited edition (only 3500 were made), and it has engraved upon the blade a quote from the episode wherein the blade was featured. This type of sword is commonly called a swept hilt rapier. Strangely, the official prop replica doesn't actually match the prop used in the series (or so I'm told). The one used in filming is an actual sword, carbon steel blade and everything. In fact, I'm also told that this is the one used for the show. As in, they used an off-the-shelf product in filming. The prop replica has a gold hilt, and yellow cream grip, as opposed to the silver and off-white cream of the actual sword. Considering the Official Prop Replica retails for $300 and the actual prop used is only $200 (and was actually on sale for $150 when I originally ran across it) I should have purchased the real sword. Seeing the price now, I do, in fact, rather regret that, but I did get the Official Replica for only $140-ish. The other three swords pictured are, from top to bottom, The "Original" Duncan's Katana, The Sword of Connor MacLeod, and The Sword of Duncan MacLeod. You may notice that two of the swords are listed as belonging to Duncan. The story goes (again, this is all hearsay) that when the series began they were using the "Original" Duncan sword which was nothing more than an off-the-shelf katana with a faux-ivory handle (made by the Spanish company Marto) with a dragon head attached to it. This is the same method (and the same sword) used in Highlander the Movie. Sometime during production of the series someone was asked to produce a sword for Duncan, and the design of the third sword came about. However, Adrian Paul (Duncan MacLeod) didn't like how the sword felt in his hands, so he never used it in the series. I like the feel of it the best of the three, but I'm no swordsman either, so I'm not going to argue with Adrian.


Attempting to return to the theme of Phantom collection (it wasn't really a great idea to follow the title themes, was it? I'll skip that on subsiquent episodes) this is stuff that feels like it's not actually part of my collection, because it's all stuffed into a box waiting for me to have time to open it, and find a place to put it - strangely, it felt like more stuff before I got it all out. On a previous entry here, Gillian asked how the cabinet from Ikea is working out - well, it's really great at sitting unopened in a corner because there's too much junk on the floor that I need to go through before I'll have room to set it up. But once I get it set up I'll have room to shuffle stuff around and put this stuff on display. I'd tell you what all that is, but I bet most of you don't really care and are only reading this because you are family and you have to be nice to me.

To Be Continued...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Orange you glad you looked at this?

Okay, that was a really lame attempt at a clever title. :(

Anyway, this is just a quick post to compare Gentle Giant's poor first attempt at painting something orange—the 2006 Utapau Clone Trooper mini bust—and their second attempt—the 2007 exclusive Commander Cody mini bust.

Also, to show off the very cool light-up effect of the Cody mini bust.

Not entirely the most impressive color matching display, is it?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

I am in the 501st Legion!

On Aug 29th my membership in the 501st Legion was approved, I am now TR-5283, Royal Guard to the Emperor. I've been out trooping twice, and will be going again on Saturday, for an awareness walk for kids with Down Syndrome.

Some pics from last Saturday's event - a carnival for kids with Autism. Photos taken by my lovely wife, who came along to see what all the fuss is about.

My daughter, Katie, sitting there being cute, playing with the dog somebody brought. Unfortunately, by the time we started taking pictures, she was already tired, so she wasn't smiling a whole lot - she's even cuter when she smiles. :D


For the first hour or so it was just me and the Officer.

Then Chewie showed up with his wife - a TIE Pilot, his two sons - a Rebel and Boush, and his daughter - a jawa.

The kid in the green shirt hugging Chewie eventually got that friendly with everyone else and WOULD NOT STOP HUGGING US. It got a little weird - he was a little too friendly, in my opinion, but I think he was a fairly severe case of autism. But, he was happy, which is why we do this.

Finally, for the last 45 minutes or so a couple other guys arrived (they'd been at a parade in another city).

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Keep off the Grass!

What do you know? A non- Star Wars, non- Collecting related post, wow!

My back lawn finally got to the point that I needed to mow it. Once it starts eating cats and small dogs for nourishment you know it's time to cut it. Not that I mind if it eats a few dogs or cats - I just don't want it to get my 15 month old daughter.

Since it's been, oh I don't know, 3 months or so since I last mowed it, I decided it was time to take time out of my busy schedule - the one where I stay up late playing Tiberian Sun, and Neverwinter Nights - and ran over the back yard with a mower. Now, instead of looking like the jungle fauna from Jumangi, it looks like it was mowed by a deranged, blind, one-armed barber. Apologies to the blind, the one-armed, barbers, and the deranged.

Once my mower returns from visiting my parents house (whose mower is in a coma) I'll run over it again and make it look nice. I may even cut the front grass too, though it's only been 3 weeks since I did it last.

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