Klingon Bird of Prey, by Micro Machines.
Remember Kids: If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand. - Lt Cmdr Worf
A place for my video reviews and toy collecting pics.
I currently collect: Mythic Legions by The Four Horsemen, Marvel's Avengers and Star Wars lines of SH Figuarts, and the occasional Kamen Rider.
I do a little Metal Build Gundam, and the odd Master Grade.
I still have Transformers and related 3rd Party Figs, DC, Star Wars, Statues/Busts and a few other items, but I am cutting back.
Really, I am.
Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, in his original costume, by DC Direct.
Kyle is my favorite Green Lantern.
Remember Kids: In the heat of battle, heroes emerge, sometimes from the most unlikely of sources.
Romulan Warbird, Micro Machines by Galoob
As much as I love the Enterprise (the E in particular), this is my favorite ship from Star Trek, as seen in The Next Generation.
Remember Kids: We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!
I love Star Wars. I love the characters, I LOVE Clones, I LOVE the Sith. I collected Star Wars toys heavily for over two years. I indoctrinated my daughter to love Star Wars by giving her some of my toys, and playing LEGO Star Wars with her.
But I haven't seen the movies since before she was born, over two years ago. I guess I got into collecting it so much that I didn't need to see it for a long time. Also, while initially I loved Revenge of the Sith subsequent viewings made the flaws I ignored at first, too hard to continue doing so.
But this year I decided Katie was old enough to really watch the movies. So we sat down and watched them. My Original Trilogy bias shined through as we started with Episode IV, A New Hope, and actually I don't know that I will bother showing her the Prequel Trilogy anytime soon.
Anyway, we finished Episode VI, Return of the Jedi tonight.
ROTJ is a fantastic movie. Obviously, I knew what was going to happen, I know the plot and all the lines. But it's been so long since I've seen it, that I actually forgot how Good it actually is.
My cousin Derek, who's big into movies and such, and is old enough to have seen ROTJ in the theaters tells me that there are people who don't like it. They think it's the weakest of the Original Trilogy, but beyond that actively dislike it.
Those people are stupid.
Sure, I don't really care for the Ewoks, but they were supposed to be wookies, and that really would have sucked. Yes, I admit it, I don't like Chewie. It's really only because he was so freaking useless in the first movie, I don't mind him at all in the others. But that first movie really sours me on him. And don't get me started on Revenge of the Sith, what the hell purpose did he serve in that film? Useless, overgrown monkey.
Back to Ewoks. What really bothers me is that they defeated a Legion of Imperial troops. What good is that fancy white armor, if it can't protect them from sticks and stones? That is really the only thing that bothers me about Return of the Jedi Everything else, is awesome.
Emperor Palpatine is pure gold. He's the best part about the film, in my opinion. Every line is delivered perfectly, and makes you hate him. Take for example, the absolute best line in the entire movie, "Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when you're friends arrive.".
Holy Hanna Montana, that is the most perfect delivery. It conveys so much about the Emperor, his complete confidence in victory over the Rebellion, and his enjoyment at taunting Luke. You can't tell me there's a better line in the entire Star Wars Saga.
Again, back to my real point. I enjoyed this viewing probably more than any other time I've seen this movie, and specifically, the last 45 minutes, which are what we saw tonight. In fact, I guarantee I have never gotten envolved in the conflicts as much as I did this time.
When the Ewoks attacked the Stormtroopers, I was excited, when they started losing, and the music got all sad, I actually started getting sad. When Vader taunted Luke about turning Leia to the Dark Side (one of the lines I always quote when watching it), I choked up on the lines and couldn't say them. When Chewie turns the tide of the land battle, I cheered as the Ewoks defeated armored Stormtroopers. When Vader tells Luke that he already saved him, and then dies, I teared up. And I celebrated with Lando and Nien Numb (or whatever his name is) when they barely escaped the exploding Death Star. It was really strange to have gotten so caught up in the emotions of the film, to realize I sympathized with the good guys, which in Star Wars I almost never do, because the bad guys are cooler, and good is dumb. But tonight, I was glad the Rebel Alliance won.
And Katie. I wonder if I got into them so much because she did. She loved these movies. She didn't like the Emporer, she was scared of the Ewoks at first, but warmed to them as Leia befriended Wicket, and she loved the baby Ewoks. She got very concerned when the Ewoks were dying, and she was even more so when the Emperor did the coolest thing ever and shot lightning out of his hands to zap Luke with. I think she thought Luke was going to die, and she liked Luke.
I kid you not, when Vader grabbed the Emperor and threw him over the balcony, she said, "Yay! I like Darth Vader, he's a good guy." I think she decided right then that he was the hero of the film.
It was really fun for me to see her enjoy the movies so much, and really get into them. I do think that it helped me enjoy them more.
We were watching the 2005 DVD version, the enhanced Special Edition, or maybe the Special Special Edition. I like the SEs. I'm just young (or grew up sheltered) enough to prefer them to the origial theatrical version. Sure, there are a couple of changes I would prefer to have left, but really, they don't bother me too much. Except for one. Freaking Hayden Christiansen at the end of ROTJ. Bring back Sebastian Shaw dammit!
I understand why George made the change, but I disagree with his conclusion. Presumably he wanted to tie the two trilogies together more, especially for kids, so when they saw young Anakin at the end of Ep VI, they recognized him from Eps II and III. I didn't show Katie Eps II and III, so when the force ghosts showed up, she said, who's that? She would have recognized old man Anakin.
Remember kids: Your overconfidence is your weakness.
Bizarro, by DC Direct, based on Ed McGuinness art from Superman/Batman: Vengeance
Remember kids: Christmas is a time for family, and since I don't have one of my own, I decided to steal one. - Joker
Darth Maul - vinyl model kit by Kotobukia
The Koto statues are great. They're nicely detailed, usually have great poses, and they're sixth scale (12"). Okay, the more human characters' faces don't always look quite right, but the troopers are freaking awesome, and the aliens (such as Darth Maul) turn out great too. They're a bit pricey, but most of them can be found online for around half price with patience. Darth Maul was one of the more expensive when I got mine, but I was lucky enough to still get him for a great deal.
Remember Kids: At last, we will have our revenge!
Sandtrooper Sergeant Deluxe Mini Bust by Gentle Giant
As great as the Stormtrooper design is, I prefer the additions the sandtroopers got. This is one of three Sandtrooper busts Gentle Giant released. The second is the Squad Leader, with an orange pauldron instead of white, and a con exclusive Corporal with a black pauldron. The Squad Leader and Sergeant are Deluxe Mini Busts, with interchangeable arms to allow variety in the poses. They're identical except for one arm - the Sergeant with the droid piece as pictured here, and the Squad Leader with the super extra large gun that some of them carried. I'm sure I'll put up a picture of it someday.
Look sir, droids!
Darth Vader's Sith Starfighter - Star Wars Transformer by Hasbro.
This ship is a modified version of the Jedi Starfighters seen in Episode III Revenge of the Sith, from a book called Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader.
I really like this ship, it's got a nice black and gray paint scheme, and came out long before Hasbro went shadow-happy and flooded the market with black painted vehicles and characters. I also really like the design of the ship, it has elements that harken back (or forward) to the TIE Fighters of the Original Trilogy movies, and a few ideas left over from the Jedi Starfighters of Episode II.
Also, it transforms into a giant mecha-Vader. Yes, I used to buy the Star Wars Transformers. But I get them for the vehicle mode, as they're a nice scale, around 5-6 inches long, and are reasonable representations of them, and the only ones in this scale. I don't buy them currently, due to lack of funds, but there are several that I will be hunting down once I can afford to get to them.
Remember Kids: It is useless to resist, don't make me destroy you...
Darth Tyrannus' Lightsaber, mini saber replica by Master Replicas
This has the distinction of being one of the few items I have in a display case, and therefore the only item so far featured in the Pic of the Day that I haven't had to dust before taking the picture.
Master Replicas made some fine prop replicas back when they had the Star Wars license. Specifically, they made fullscale lightsaber hilts and helmets. I always wished I could get into the saber hilts, sure they're just glorified paperweights, but they're VERY glorified. Supremely constructed and absolutely accurate, but oh so expensive.
Luckily, they foresaw that not everyone would be able to collect these pieces, and so made a smaller scaled line of saber hilts. These mini sabers are .45 scale, which works out quite nice both in price and size (size is important, as the fullscale hilts do take up a lot of room, and the helmets are much, much worse. I believe they released more mini sabers than full size sabers, but I could be wrong.
I have most of the mini sabers, but do have a couple of glaring holes in my collection, but I also have a couple of the much harder to find hilts, like Obi-Wan's saber from Attack of the Clones, but that's a picture for another day. I do wish they would have started the mini helmets sooner, so I could have bought more of them before I instituted tighter constraints on my spending.
Remember Kids: It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force... but by our skills with a lightsaber.
Snowtrooper, from the VTSC line by Hasbro.
Wow, I'd not really noticed before just how much the helmet does not match the rest of the figure. It's still a great figure though.
Remember Kids: The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.
Clone Commander, 3-3/4 inch figure by Hasbro.
This is the clone trooper that started it all. I think. Probably. Either this one or the green variant. It's from the 2005 Revenge of the Sith line, and is what really got me on the path of serious collecting. When I realized Hasbro was going to make all the clone variations that we saw in the film, I knew I was doomed. And I loved it.
This has always been one of my favorite clone designs. I love the targeting visor, the skirt with holsters and twin blaster pistols. Plus in this case, red deco, awesome.
Remember Kids: Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances!
And thus ends Star Wars Week 1. My wife suggested a picture showing the sizes of the items pictured this week, but I wanted to get in the Gentle Giant Royal Guard statue, so I found a compromise. I'd also meant to have something slightly different this time, and shoot the special Royal Guard version of the TIE Interceptor, but that'll have to wait for another day.
For those interested, the tallest item is the aforementioned GG Statue, presumably 12 inches in height (I'm going to guess without the stand), since it's a 1/6th scale statue. The VCD from earlier this week is in a 9" scale. I believe the Kubrick is 2 inches tall.
My wife wanted another Star Wars week, or a Super Heroes week, but since I have so much more Star Wars stuff than anything else, we'll do that before moving into the Super Heroes. Since the bulk of my Star Wars collection focused on Clones you can expect to see a couple of those in the coming days..
Remember Kids: Land your troops beyond their energy field, and deploy the fleet, so that nothing gets off the system.
Mattel released official pre-sales photos of wave 9 of DCUC, so I'll go ahead and join everyone else in the world and post those pictures. I stole these images from Poe Ghostal's Points of Articulation site. Thanks, Poe.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I think I'm most excited for Deadshot, he is the character I'm most familiar with in the comics (particularly from Bruce Wayne: Murderer?), and he's definitely a well designed charaters.
Robo-Mantis is probably the next most exciting, I remember having the Super Powers figure as a kid, and I always thought it was great, a robotic-insect dude, what could be neater? Well, a newly updated figure sculpted by some of the best sculpters in the business, that's what.
The Collect & Connect figure, Chemo, is looks great, and I'm really excited for him as well. DCUC has really had great C&C figures. I initially was going to skip wave 1 entirely, until seeing Etrigan at Target convinced me to buy him, and then examining the Metamorpho piece I realized I'd really like him, and so ended up with all the figures from that wave, except classic Batman. Grodd isn't a bad figure either, except the lack of leg articulation, I'm just not a big fan of apes; he's definitely my least favorite of the C&Cs.
Solomon Grundy was the best C&C of the first four waves, and the one I looked forward to the most for a long time. Unlike many toy collectors that whined about his large size, I was perfectly happy with the mistake the factory made in not shrinking him down as much as was planned. He's a perfect fit for Grundy from The Long Halloween (by Jeph Lobe, art by Tim Sale) or Justice League: The Animated Series, so I love him to death.
As I have been saying, and will continue saying about these C&C figures, Despero was another great choice. The bandolier looks great, the weapons are great, his size is great. It seems like I didn't get a lot of time to enjoy him though, because Grundy was still eclipsing him from wave 3, and then when the Walmart wave was announced, Metallo began eclipsing Grundy.
Metallo is awesome. It's too bad that more people haven't been able to enjoy him, due to the difficulty in finding wave 5 in some areas. I was really quite lucky to get the set myself, as neither I nor my cousin ever saw a complete set locally, plus there was the mishap with an online retailer that stole $80 from many, many toy collectors. Thankfully, a helpful member of the Fwoosh.net forums found several extra sets, and I was able to purchase one from him. And Metallo was every bit as great as I hoped he would be. Hopefully, this year's Walmart wave will be easier to find.
Wave 6 brought us yet another of my most anticipated C&Cs - Kalibak, Darkseid's second son. I have a great fondness for Kalibak from Superman: The Animated Series (he's voiced by Michael Dorn, probably better known for his role as Lt Cmd Worf, in a Star Trek tv series and 4 films). Kalibak looked absolutely perfect to me, like he was based on the animated series (where in reality that design was based on a common look in the comics), and he fights with Metallo for my favorite C&C so far.
Wave 7 is soon to bring me Atom Smasher, who frankly is somewhat boring to me. He's not quite as boring as Grood, I think, maybe. Maybe he is. I'm just not a huge fan of extra large people. Grundy is great, because he's a huge zombie. Atom Smasher is just a huge guy. Not that exciting to me, not is Giganta from waave 8, but at least she's a female, and everybody knows this line needs more women in it. It doesn't help that I'm not familiar with Atom Smasher at all, and Giganta only marginally from one episode in Justice League: The Animated Series.
Which brings us back to Chemo, who will be one of my favorite C&Cs, despite only having read of him in one Supergirl comic, and he didn't even do much more than agonize over his existence, "Am I alive?" to which Supergirl said, "No, you're a freak of nature." But he's going to be big, and he's translucent. Awesome!
Now, you may have noticed I'm not terribly familiar with most of these characters, and yet the C&C aspect is one of my favorite things about the line. They're such well executed figures, that I love them. Contrast that to the Marvel Legends line, and their Build A Figures - Mojo is nasty looking, a disgusting blob, and I have no desire to own such a thing; MODOK freaks me the hell out, and were someone to pay me to own the figure it would mysteriously find its way between a hammer and the sidewalk. Giant Man is just some really tall guy, and as we already established about tall guys, who cares? Onslaught was an interesting design, and yet shortly after completing that figure, I sold it to buy something more interesting (Specifically, the DCUC Metallo wave). Apocalypse, I still have the black variant, but like Onslaught I sold the blue one for Metallo. The giant, mutant-killing Sentinel robot is the only one that holds any true interest to me, and karmicly one of the most difficult to complete nowadays, as the head/torso piece that came with Spiderman is difficult to find and therefor expensive on eBay.
My point is, I would have had to be a fan of these characters to be interested in their figures, and DCUC requires no such thing for me. Conversely, the figures are so great I want to learn more about the characters, and thus I've bought many comics in the last few months. Just more reasons why DCUC is the best toyline ever.
Remember Kids: Crazy robots...crazy robots everywhere!
We've finally gotten a good look at DCUC Wave 9 Deadshot, and he is now my most anticipated figure from the wave. More than Black Canary and Green Arrow, more than the robotic Mantis, and even more than Chemo, I cannot wait to get Deadshot.
Remember Kids: If you're leaving scorch marks, you need a bigger gun.
Senate Guard mini bust by Gentle Giant, and Senate Guard Kubrick. Both are chase variants of the Royal Guard version, though the GG mini bust was available in much higher quantities.
Remember Kids: Toy manufacturers and retail outlets hate you.
Royal Guard, by Hasbro, from the Unleashed Battle packs, the set with Anakin and Emperor Palpatine (I think).
Remember Kids: It's an empty journey to Triumph if you don't plant the seeds of Catastrophe along the way.
Royal Guard VCD
It's Star Wars Week for the Pic of the Day feature here at A Clone's Paradise. Since this blog was started for the purpose of talking about my Star Wars collection, I think maybe I'll do that this week. This week will be all about my favorite Star Wars character, the Royal Imperial Guards! Read on to learn more.
These robed warriors are the best of the best, the elite of the elite, the very finest the Empire has to offer, other than the two Sith, of course. They are the personal bodyguards of Emperor Palpatine, and occasionally accompany Vader.
I've always loved the look of the guards, the nice, deep, solid red. They're mysterious, all covered in robes, they have an intriguing weapon of unknown function, and they do absolutely nothing in the films. And yet, I love them. I owned a Royal Guard costume for a few months, and joined the 501st Legion, though shortness of funds required that I sell the costume, and shortness of time, uncomfortableness of wearing the costume, and caring about others in general caused me to stop trooping with the Legion. But it was fun while it lasted, I have a couple of pictures of myself in the costume, and my daughter Katie still says, "Look, it's Daddy!" when she sees a guard, so that's cool.
The above images is from Sideshow's Vinyl Collectible Doll series of Super Deformed figures, and cost way more than it should have, but I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
Remember Kids: Hey Crayola! Help me shut this vent. Yeah, reach up there with your Staff of Ra... - Robot Chicken Star Wars Special 2
I don't just collect toys, I've got a growing collection of comic trades. Green Lantern has always been a favorite super hero of mine, way back when I was a kid I probably heard of him through the Super Friends show, and didn't know much about him. I've since learned that Hal Jordan was really lame before he became evil.
Evil Cousin Derek and I have discussed how we really are interested by stories where the good guy eventually becomes the bad guy, so naturally, the story in which Hal Jordan goes a little crazy and decides to kill or de-power all the Green Lanterns, and kill the Guardians of the Universe and absorb all the Green Lantern energy was something I was interested in.
Also naturally, I really like Hal's replacement, Kyle Rayner. I don't have any of the hate that many Hal Jordan fans have (you know, seeing their favorite hero become a mass murderer and be replaced by some two-bit comic artist), and in fact he's still my favorite Green Lantern, though I also quite like John Stewart from his Animated Series' appearances, and Hal got much more interesting once he embraced his darker side and became Parallax and tried to reform the universe in his image, was stopped, was convinced (by Kyle) to try to stop the sun-eater, subsequently died, became the host for the Spectre, and was eventually resurrected and reinstated as a Green Lantern, apparently he went all Red Lantern (Rage) for a little bit, and then put on a Blue Lantern ring (Hope). I don't think he's been Yellow or Orange or Pink yet (Fear, Envy and Love, respectively), but hey, he was dead, maybe he can still be a Black Lantern (Death).
Anyway, it's a good story about Hal rejecting the rules and regulations of the Guardian and using the ring's power for entirely selfish reasons, and consequently becoming one of the most powerful villains ever (and getting a much cooler costume, but I'm always a sucker for armor), and the calling of a new Green Lantern, the first to have no yellow weakness (which was eventually given to all GL Corps members, once the GLC was reinstated), and the first to have to train himself, there being no Green Lantern Corps left to train him.
Okay, I'll stop talking now. These posts are supposed to be about the picture, with little commentary, but obviously I failed on this one.
Remember Kids: Thinking about things isn't the same as doing things. Otherwise everybody would be in jail. - Scary Go Round
As the long wait for DCUC 7 continues, I struggle to save my money to pay for my pre-order. However, I got such a good deal offered me a couple weeks ago on The Fwoosh, that I had to take it, and I also saw too good a deal to pass up last night at Walmart.
Lets start with Walmart. I found more of the Marvel Legends Ares wave figures last night, and though I already have Ares (and sold off all the figures but Iron Man and Crossbones) I had to buy Human Torch. Sure, it's not the variant I prefer, but it's still a really good looking figure, and the best part was the price. Check the picture below.
Click it for a larger view. Can you make out the price tag between Joker and his thug? It's $2. Yeah, I'll take it at that price. Heck, I'd buy all of them again at that price, but this was the only one I found.
The loose figures came from the Fwoosh deal, the remaining Movie Masters figures I couldn't afford to buy at full price, Scarecrow, Joker and Gotham Thug. I look forward to the next wave, which will hit sometime this summer, but I doubt DCUC will let up enough for me to get any of them. Also present is Commissioner Gordan from the Dark Victory line, missing his glasses, but he was thrown in for free, so who cares. He came with a much needed gun for Joker's goon. Also, DCUC 4 Ares, to replace the one I bought that has a melted forearm.
The second part of the Fwoosh deal was some Batman comics. The last bunch of Batman comics I got was from this same guy, and these are the ones I had to pass up because of insufficient funds. I wish I would have passed on all of them and waited until he gave me this super great deal, because they were all about $1 each. For trades that retail for $12-$20. Total cost for the figures and trades: $20. Super killer awesome deal, wish I could find more like that.
On the off chance that anybody cares (or for my own records, the comics are:
Remember Kids: Sure, it's just stuff. But it's MY stuff.
Connor MacLeod, Sideshow 12" figure.
Remember Kids: There can be only One! Not counting the ones in space. And the one that was trapped in a cave for a few hundred years. Or your cousin. And the hundreds of Immortals that paraded through his TV series and movies. But aside from them, there can be only one.
I've been a big fan of New Order for many years. I've put some of my favorite songs on the music player, so you can all enjoy some good music. Music taken from the following recordings.
Low-Life is one of my all time favorite albums, so narrowing down to only two songs was pretty tough. I strongly recommend this album to everybody.
Republic is also one of my favorite albums, but I don't have nearly as hard a time singling out a favorite, specifically, Special, an all time favorite track.
Waiting for the Sirens' Call, New Order's most recent album (and possibly/probably their last) is my favorite of all their work. I could not choose only two tracks, so I put all the entire album up, excluding one song that I just don't like much. When this CD was released New Order said they had recorded enough tracks for a second album, which was supposed to be releaesd in the following year, but it never was released, and at this point I would guess it's not ever coming out. And I think that is a great shame, as I think this is their best work, ever song is solidly great, and I would love to see the sequel album released someday.
Remember Kids: No one dares disturb the sound of silence