Monday, May 26, 2014

Weekend at a local games con

This weekend, me and the girlfriend went to a local games con, as exhibitors, sellers and enthusiasts. We had a great time, met lots of great people, sold some stuff, talked old toys, and saw a bunch of really amazing collectibles.

My booth the first day

Read on for a short report and tons of pictures!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

SDCC 2014 Infinity Gauntlet Set

Once again I'm not heading to San Diego for the annual comic convention. Of course, at this point it's pretty much pointless attending SDCC, as it has grown too big for it's own audience. And it's certainly not worth my time travelling to the states just to stand in lines, endless lines. I don't have patience for that.

At the very least from an outsider's point of view, SDCC has gone from being a pure comic convention - where like-minded came and celebrated comics - to being a showcase for movie and media. There's nothing wrong in that, but watching panels with movie stars, and hearing the latest toy news, I can really do that just as comfortable from my chair at home.   

That said, there is something special about attending conventions, the atmosphere, meeting other fans, watching cosplayers. If you've ever been to a con, you know what I'm talking about. 
I'm sure you can still get all this at SDCC - it's just that you have to stand and walk in line at all times. 
This very weekend, I'm heading to a small, local games-con. I'm excited, and hope to get that "con-feeling". 

For the bigger cons, there's always the allure of goodie-bags, con exclusives and freebies. 

Hasbro has had a monstrous streak of incredible exclusives, ranging from their back-to-back Transformers cassette players (2009-2010), to their Star Wars Death Star set (2011), their Transformers/G.I. Joe collaboration 2011-2013) and the simple, yet excellent 6" Boba Fett with Han Solo in carbonite (2013). 

This year, they hit a home run for me with the Infinity Gauntlet set, within their 3 3/4 Marvel Infinite line.

I'm a sucker for everything from Marvel's cosmic heroes, and I've been reading their epic space comics ever since Secret Wars. Naturally the Infinity Gauntlet series is one of my all time favorites. Author/artist Jim Starlin and artist Ron Lim had an insane run where they, among other stories, told the tales of Thanos, the mad titan, in his quest for scoring with Lady Death. 
And now, this weird relationship is being captured in toy form. The set includes Thanos, his brother Starfox and Lady Death (whom I think is a first-timer in toy form). 
In addition, we see Thanos' on/off associate, Nebula. She will be a major character in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but in this set they all have their comic appearances. 

And finally, the set comes with a wearable Infinity Gauntlet - complete with all six infinity gems, that will let its wearer control everything in the universe. Except lust for something you cannot have - lust that will eventually make you screw up, and let yourself be defeated. Again. 

This set would have been truly monumental had they included a vintage-appearance Adam Warlock. I'm not saying the asking price of $75 is too high for just four figures and a rubber gauntlet - but standing hours in line, you'd hoped to get at least one more figure. 

I want one. 

Yup, it's clear that Marvel is really taking it's cosmic "universe" seriously. Their six inch SDCC set is also cosmic related, with Black Bolt, Gladiator, Star Lord in the mix. Pair these sets with the Guardians movie this summer, and we almost have our dose of superheroes in space. Almost. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4th

Normally, I try to avoid these "days". I haven't posted waffle recipes on the international waffle day, nor have I regularly posted Halloween articles on Halloween (all though it has happened once). I usually don't make a big deal about holidays.

The fourth of May is as nonsensical a holiday as they get. But at the same time, these are exciting days to be a Star Wars fan. The action figures are as good as ever, with the 6" Black Series. The Lego sets are incredible, and the new Sandcrawler 75059 is truly monumental. And of course, the upcoming seventh movie already looks more promising than any Star Wars movie the last 30 years.

So here it is: May the fourth be with you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Episode VII Cast

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lego Ice Planet Artwork

Reminiscent of when I wrote an entire article around an art piece based on Lego Spyrius, this artwork based off Ice Planet just had to be featured.

Made by artist "Mr--Jack" - real name Luke Mancini, who posted this on his DA account. He has also done some amazing work for game company Blizzard's properties, like Arthas from World of Warcraft, Tyrael from Diablo and Tychus from Starcraft.

But this work from Lego Ice Planet sticks out to me. There's something awesome and fantastic about the idea of making a Lego theme more realistic, because to a kid, this is exactly how it feels. In a way, Mancini has tapped into the very nature of playing - the act of pretending and imagining to expand what is already there.

Very much true to the theme of The Lego Movie, the ability to imagine seems to be easily lost as kids grow into adults. We loose desire or skill (or both) to see more than there actually is.

But it's not difficult to get back into the habit of imagining, and in other ways than playing with Lego, adults are just as creative as kids. And of course, we have people like Luke Mancini, who are both creative and skilled enough to articulate his imagination, and gift us with amazing artwork based of a Lego sub-line.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

I have this feeling that Marvel is continuously trying to better themselves, and are learning from their mistakes. Now, I don't really mind any of the movies from Marvel Studios, but there are obvious quality differences, with Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers and Iron Man 3 in one end, and The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The First Avengers in the other end.

The first Captain America movie wasn't bad, rather than flawed. The movie didn't feel like a fluid piece. It's difficult to make the origin story look good in the movies. Now, we're past this. The movie universe knows Captain America. The movie audience knows Captain America. We can be treated to a story that stands on its own. Expectations were surprisingly high, after seeing the various trailers, and trying to figure out the plot line without getting too much of the movie spoiled, I found myself unusually excited.

Expectations were met, it was a complete blast. Now, the part I was looking forward to the most, didn't exactly pan out how I had hoped, but it didn't really matter, as I was fully enthralled to the very end.
A thoroughly fun movie: Interesting characters and character interaction, impressive battles, well-paced story, and lots of goodies for the Marvel enthusiast.

Read on for a complete review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And beware, there could be some spoilers.