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Transformers: Generations
Warpath

"BOOM! KA-POW!"

No, that’s not me looking for a new expletive to replace “awesome”. That was two of the catch phrases that the Generation One Transformers character, Warpath used during the cartoon’s initial run. It was his trademark. Like Seaspray’s gurgle, or Sky Lynx’s pompuous English accent, or Starscream’s penchant for inept coup attempts that end in his getting bitch slapped by Megatron.

Warpath was one of the Autobots that arrived on Earth with Optimus in the first season of the show. He was prominently featured in the episode, “A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur’s Court” and is a guy who loves his gun. You can imagine him rolling along, chanting Gny. Sgt. Hartman’s cadence call “This is my rifle, this is my gun! This is for fighting, this is for fun!

The package is the same as all the recent Deluxe Class figures; a carded bubble. It’s a great way to showcase the toy and protect it at the same time. The back of the card has some prototype shots of the toy. The lighting of the studio shots really is misleading, making you think that the toy would have some shiny paint applications, but flip it over and you’ll see that it’s cast in color with a few tampographed graphics.

Does it suck that it’s not painted in shiny metallic red?

Yes and no.

Ambiguous? Visit http://slangards.i.ph/ to clarify.

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Ozine Fest: Day 1 and 2 

So I’ve spent two days at this year’s Ozine Fest and I’m happy I took the time to visit another convention. I may not be the ideal demographic for this particular event, but from what I could see, the crowd was having a good time. The lines alone this morning was enough to tell me how popular Ozine Fest is.

I was there around 6PM Yesterday, in time to see the first half of the KPop dance challenge. The audience was pretty excited about that one (not a big fan so don’t ask me to name any of the songs) and it looked like a lot of the groups dancing had a following.


I spent most of my first visit looking at the toy displays, though. Since I can’t afford to collect all the lines I really want too, the SHFiguarts, Figma, Play Arts, Gunpla, and Anime Statues displays really made me drool.



















Both days also featured the Gundam Model Contests. I initially thought that the contest was judged on speed, but that’s my mistake. Apparently, the entries are judged on the quality of the work and the detailing of the marker work. Honestly, I don’t envy the judges job, since examining 30+ entries a day for the better cut work, cleaner paneling, etc. The models used seem to be the 1/144 scale so they are relativly tiny. Competitors are given about an hour to finish the identical snap built kits.

I was there for the start of the second day’s contenst and it looks like this particular event is very popular. They ran out of kits by 11 am and the line was pretty long for people waiting for a spot at the building tables.


There are also booths at the event. The maid cafe and the host club are basically the same thing, fan service, just gender specific; the former is a cafe where guests are served by girls in French maid outfits, while the later is a club where girls are entertained by cute guys. I don’t pretend to know how these came about (look it up on wikipedia if your interested), or why they’re so popular with the otaku crowd, (all right, I’ll cop to having a slight French Maid thing), but they’re certainly a novelty for the dilettante.

Of course, the line for the maid cafe was much longer than the host club’s.

There were a few other things going on as well. There’s a small photo backdrop, a “Horror Booth”, Art Contests (and artists doing commisions on the spot), food booths, something that I’ll assume is the “festival booth, and of course the vendors, who included Wasabi Toy Store and 2 Rats, convention regulars.





Of course there’s always the cosplay to keep you busy when you’re bored.

Anyone who has enough geek blood in him to parade around in full armor in the middle of a mall has got my respect. Also, girls in school girl outfits and kneesocks are full of win. I couldn’t stick around for the competition, but there were some doozies this year. I drafted someone to help me get their photographs.







So it’s been a tiring 26 hours, but I had a lot of fun. Here’s hoping the next convention is as great. If you didn’t get a chance to go, there’s still tomorrow (Sunday, April 10, 2011) to get to Megamall. The event starts at 10am (you’ll probably be in line till 10:30, though) at the Megatrade Hall and it’s Php 100.00 per ticket. Tomorrow is the Individual Cosplay Contenst, so stay after lunch so that you get to see that.

 Once you get out, maybe you can help me figure these out:

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Transformers: Reveal the Shield
Wreck-Gar

One of the images from the 1986 animated film Transformers: The Movie that really stuck in my head was the face of the Junkion (a native of the Planet of Junk, duh) leader, Wreck-Gar, with starlight glinting in his eye after he says “You check in, but they don’t check out.” It was during the “Junkions Attack” scene and was set to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Dare to Be Stupid.” Right after he says it, he whips his tire shield at Springer. It was mind-bogglingly awesome to my 7 year old brain.

The Junkions (who were made out of junk, duh), are easily knocked down, but they get right back up again, and there are thousands of them. Plus they talked “TV”. It’s sort of like lolcat, but without the appalling grammatical errors and horrendous spelling.

So it’s no surprise that I really wanted the Transformers: Reveal the Shield Wreck-Gar once it was released here.

Like Special Ops Jazz, he comes in the orange Reveal the Shield packaging. It’s a simple carded bubble that is easy enough to open and protects the toy well. The bubble gives a good view of the toy in its vehicle form, with a character portrait in the corner. In the back are photos of the two modes, dirt bike and robot, with explanations about the features of the toys, a short bio, and the location of the “rubsign”, the heat sensitive decal that gives the sub-line its name.

It also lists it’s conversion as level 3, Intermediate. *coughs and says “bullshit” under his breath*

 
   

 Read the rest of the review and see Wreck-Gar transformed at http://slangards.i.ph/

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McDonald’s Happy Meal
Rio Toys

Whee!

I’ll admit to being bummed out when I first found out that McDonalds and Disney had dissolved their decade-long partnership in 2006. That meant those great Happy Meal toys from 101 Dalmations, Tarzan, Atlantis and all the other great giveaways. But if that never happened, we never would have gotten the Spectacular Spider-Man set, or those sweet Marvel Superheroes toys, or those crazy fun Monsters vs Aliens! figures.

Because McDonalds wasn’t locked into an exclusive agreement with The Mouse House, they were free to partner with Dreamworks on properties like Kung-Fu Panda (still kicking myself for selling those), and Lego with the Lego Batman toys (still need to find a way to get these).

Right now, the Happy Meals include another picture from Fox’s CGI division Blue Sky Studios, Rio.

As you can probably tell from the solicitation piece above, Rio is the story of couple of birds. Specifically, the last pair of Blue Macaws in the world who get stuck together in Rio de Janeiro, running from people who want to sell them for big bucks on the black market. The birds look to be based on the Spix’s Macaw, another species that’s extinct in the wild, but with a small captive population.

The main protagonist is Blu, a male macaw whose owner lives in Minnesota. As expected, his looks to be the first figure in McDonalds’ line up to vanish from the toy bins.

So let’s save that one for last. Hehehe.

First up is Blu’s love intrest, Jewel.

Jewel is one of the figures that takes up the most space. It’s not that she’s particularly massive, but she’s sculpted with her wings fully extended. Makes her quite the space hog on the shelf, but it looks great.

Like most figures from Happy Meals, there are some action features. What are they? Read the rest of the review at  http://slangards.i.ph/

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Revoltech Predator

It’s been some time since I last bought a Revoltech figure. I started with Danboard but quickly moved onto the Fräulein Revoltechs, including the TV and Movie versions of Gurren Lagann’s Yoko, Pocco, among others. After I got completed the four Transformer figures (Hot Rodimus, Starscream, Megatron, and Convoy) I stopped the line. I had gotten most of the characters in the line up at that time that I knew, and since prices were going up it was time to drop it.

But then they had to go and pick up all sorts of new licenses and drag me back to the toy store. Damn you, Kaiyodo!

Now aside from their outstanding line up of Mecha, Super Robots, and other Anime characters, they’ve also got characters from some of my favorite movies. Kaiyodo’s Tokusatsu Revoltech line covers various characters, usually superheroes, from live-action films and television series that are heavy on the effects. Things like kaiju monster movies, superhero TV serials and mecha dramas are dumped into this sub-line, but there are also figures from various American Sci-Fi and Horror movies.

So far there are 25 figures, including 3 Xenomorphs from Alien, Batman from The Dark Knight, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, and Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean. Number 22 on that list is the Predator from, duh, Predator.



The box is about twice the size of the old Fräulein Revoltechs’. Most of the newer toys are packaged with more accessories and interchangeable parts, so the increase in size is understandable. However, this particular piece had surprisingly little inside the carton.

If you open the front flap of the box, you’ll see the figure, a few extra hands, the face mask, a plain round stand, a small, transluscent orange box to hold those pieces, and a tiny little nameplate. Oh, and a little plastic coin worth 10 Revoltech points (I not really sure what they’re actually called, but it looks like you could trade them in for freebies IF you lived in Japan).

There are also some catalogs that describe the rest of the Sci-Fi Revoltech line up. Brings me back to the 80’s when I was intent on collecting all the Robot Pts I could so I could get me a set of OMNIBOTS! and reinforce my Autobots against the Decepticon onslaught!

Anyway, the number of accessories in the set makes this one of the poorest figures in the line. He really should have some weapons (SPEAR!) or a better stand that allows for jumping positions (the one included is absolutely useless).

He comes already assembled, but I went to the trouble of taking him apart so you could see exactly why these toys aren’t for kids. Like Zombie Kong and Cyborgic Rex, there are far too many tiny parts that fit too easily in young mouths.

 

Think he looks delicious? Read the rest at  http://slangards.i.ph

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Pursuit of Cobra
Shock Troopers

It’s been awhile since I first started with the G.I. Joe: Pursuit of Cobra (PoC) line, but since then I’ve collected quite a few figures. During the Thor Movie toyline launch (I know I’ve mentioned this in the past 4 reviews, but I got a butt load of toys on that day), I lined up for one of the sets of PoC figures that included the following:

  • PoC Storm Shadow (Wave 1)
  • PoC Snake Eyes (Wave 3)
  •  PoC Conrad “Duke” Hauser (Wave 3)
  •  PoC Alley Viper
  •  PoC Shock Trooper

This was great since I missed the last distribution event where the PoC line was introduced to the market, and because I wanted at least 3 of the “army builder” bad guys. I’d already gotten 3 Jungle Vipers and 1 Shock Trooper from a buddy at PinoyToyKolektors and with the set I got from another collector that included a second Storm Shadow, Duke, Alley Viper and Shock Trooper, I was done with the riot troops as well. Awesome.

As with the PoC Snake Eyes (Wave 3), the packaging of these figures is very nice. The cards are relatively small and simple, no odd shapes or overly crazy angles. The figures and accessories are all packed in securely with a minimum amount of tape and rubber bands and the volume of the bubble is just enough to protect the toy.

What does that mean to a collector? Easy display and storage if you’re a “Mint on Card” guy, and easy to get the figure out for us openers. Best of both worlds.

Once you’ve opened it, there are all kinds of goodies inside.

 

Read the rest at  http://slangards.i.ph/

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Metro Comic Con 2011 

Another Con! Looking forward to this one. It’s usually a much smaller event without the ancilliary stuff going on, like cosplay and gaming events. That means a more relaxed environment to actually browse through comics…

 

Details at  http://slangards.i.ph/

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Savage Frost Giant and Loki

To cap off our unofficial Thor week here (I’ve reviewed Marvel’s Destroyer and the 4” Frost Giants so far) I’ll be taking a look at the new Marverl Universe Giantic Battles set, Savage Frost Giant and Loki.

It’s been awile since Hasbro’s last assortment of Gigantic Battles figures, and I honestly thought we’d never see any new 12” figures when they cancelled the Marvel’s Icons line. Thankfully, they’ve been gearing up in preparation for the huge merchandising opportunity posed by the new movies coming out this year and in 2012. With the Thor film due out next month and the Captain America one right on it’s heels, Hasbro’s bound to be cranking out a ton of product in the coming months. This 2-pack was probably the biggest single purchase I made at the Thor Movie toyline launch last weekend, and one of the most popular items at the event.

The box hasn’t changed from the first wave of Gigantic Battle sets. It’s a rectangle with the corners chopped off. It’s sturdy, easy to open, and totally re-useable. Perfect for Mint In Box collectors. Hasbro continues to use the new paper strings to secure the figures inside the package, which is welcome since it’s so easy to cut right through them if you’re an opener like me. A few quick snips and you’ve got both Loki and his pet giant out of the plastic trays.

The back of the box has the standard Marvel product photography on it, as well as a little image of the other figure set in the line, Goliath and the Clone Thor (also availble at the event, but not nearly as popular). It’s odd how Hasbro puts such little effort into these photos when the comic included (a reprint of a classic Thor issue where Loki invades Asgard with an army of monsters) has examples of what they can do with dioramas when they really put their mind to it. There are ads for both the Iron Man 2 line and the Marvel Universe line, the latter featuring the Galactus figure, that scream “buy me!” to any half-way interested party. Those are the images I’d like to see on the backs of boxes.

 

Want to see more? Visit  http://slangards.i.ph

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Marvel’s Frost Giants

When I attended last week’s launch of the Thor Movie toy line, I went a bit nuts:

Among the things I piled into my goodie bag were several of the Thor toys that were available at the distribution tables. I reviewed the 8” Marvel’s Destroyer toy a few days ago, but there were loads more. Because I collect so many lines and scales, I had to cherry pick among the 4” Asgardians. I chose to get the 2 Frost Giants that were available that day.

There are 2 available in the first batch of figures from Hasbro; the regular “Invasion Frost Giant” and the deluxe “Ice Attack Marvel’s Frost Giant”.

The deluxe figures are just re paints of the regular 4” line with extra accessories. In this case, the darker Frost Giant gets an ice axe and two spring-loaded missile launchers. With a price tag that’s 40% more than the regular figures, the value of these deluxe figures is dubious.

Still, I can’t resist a good repaint.


 

Pass or must buy? Read the rest at  http://slangards.i.ph/

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Marvel’s Destroyer

Now that the X-Men mania has died down and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man are done, we’ve got other Marvel franchises to keep us up to our ears in comic book geekiness. First up is Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, starring Chris Hemsworth coming up in May.

To whet our appetites, Playkit, Hasbro, and Toy Kingdom decided to launch the Thor movie toy line a bit early. These babies have been out in the States for a few weeks, but I’m glad to see them on shelves here. Unfortunately, there’s quite a lot more miss than hit for me, and looking at how many Thors were clogging the pegs at Megamall last Saturday, I’m not the only one.

There isn’t anything wrong with the design of the movie, which from what I can tell from the trailers is really great. It’s more of an issue of porting those ideas into plastic form. The new figures just look kind of… dull.

There are several subsets in the new line, from roleplay toys (probably the best bet if you have a kid) to a 3.75” line of figures which seems to be plagued with issues (more on that in a later review). Until the 6” figures arrive, the only one I was gunning for was the 8” Rotocast figures.

There were 3 figures from this line at the event last weekend; two Thors whose only real difference was one lit up and the other didn’t, and Destroyer.

Destroyer was the one I was really looking forward to. At 8”, he’s a nice height to pit against my 6” Marvel Legends Asgardian.

He comes in a pretty nice package that displays him well, but since it’s an open box, he’ll take a lot of abuse on shelves. It’s probably a good thing these kinds of toys don’t stay too long there. Remember the 8” Rotocast War Machine that dissappeared from shelves in the span of one morning? I’ve got a feeling that these will be the first to run out, especially since Playkit doesn’t stock many of them.

 Want to see it open? Visit http://slangards.i.ph/

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