Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hot Toys SDU all cracked up: Peril of seamless muscle bodies

Remember my concerns about CMToys' Rome Gladiator "Spartacus" 1/6 scale figure with the new 12-inch muscle body (see my post HERE)? How rubberized bodies are prone to tearing over time and my issue with a no-name start-up company selling an unproven, untested rubber seamless body?

My Hot Toys 1/6 scale SDU (Hong Kong's Special Duties Unit) Assaulter 12-inch figure took a tumble the other day (more like a dive!) :( You know what they say, "The higher they are, the harder they fall!" This figure was perched on the highest rung of my display cabinet and when I opened the cabinet door, it just fell head first and broke both its hands. This was most likely due to the top heavy body and the figure trying to break its fall with its hands but they just couldn't support the BIG chest that comes as part of Hot Toys first generation 12-inch muscle body. I was surprised the rubberized muscle body didn't bounce right back up haha. Of course this could have been prevented if it was on a figure stand but I just prefer displaying my figures without them as it adds to the realism. A lot of my 1/6 scale 12-inch figures has been standing for more then 15 years and they have never complained that they are tired nor decide to fall over in protest. All except this particular figure.

Just like Humpty Dumpty, you can't put him back together again BUT all the parts and accessories can still be salvaged and re-used to kitbash another SDU 12-inch figure. Amazingly there aren't any other major damage to the gear and accessories apart from the body. This 12-inch muscle body has already suffered cracks to its arms for some time. This is a major problem with rubberized muscle bodies. Scroll down to see more...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Look at what I got in the mailbox :)

I received a nice package in the mailbox today :) It's always nice to receive gifts and this is no different. It's a picture taken by Marcos "Mark" Minuchin of "The Secret Life of Toys", developed into a print and mailed across the globe to me. THANKS, Mark! The picture is even better as a print and I love it!

Click on the picture for a larger view :)

Remember the entry I posted not too long ago on Marcos Minuchin, self-taught photographer and avid toy collector? You can check out the post again HERE. Well, Mark was most kind to send me this print. It's called "Arizona Profiling" and it's on his site "The Secret Life of Toys". Check out his site for MORE pictures. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Playhouse U.S. Army Special Forces (CJSOTF-A) Preview

Just when you thought 1/6 scale 12-inch military figures couldn't get any better, Playhouse comes in and shakes the house / industry with their newest offering: Playhouse 5th Anniversary Edition - U.S. Army Special Forces (CJSOTF-A) - that's Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan. This latest figure being released by Playhouse will rock the house and bring it down; and set new benchmarks for the other companies to follow after. Don't believe me? Scroll down for the pictures (click on them for a larger and better view) and ENJOY :)

Apparently Woodland Camouflage is still in fashion up there in Afghanistan, in certain parts where woodland threads seem to blend in better with the terrain and environment. U.S. Army Special Forces is taking the lead and the Marines might soon follow suit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

CMToys: Rome Gladiator coming soon

"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is a Starz television series that premiered on January 22, 2010. The series is inspired by the historical figure of Spartacus (played by Andy Whitfield), a Thracian gladiator who from 73 to 71 BC led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. A gladiator (Latin: gladiator, "swordsman", from gladius, "sword") was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals.

And from CMToys will come this 1:6 scale Roman Gladiator 12-inch figure, inspired by "Spartacus: Blood and Sand". The figure has Spartacus's wife's purple fabric wrap on his arm, which is a dead give away.

Although an unofficial Spartacus figure, it does have the Andy Whitfield as Spartacus headsculpt. The problem with rubber bodies is that they are infamously known for being tacky, dust attracting and prone to tearing over time. What's more, this release seems to be by yet another no-name start-up company selling an unproven, untested rubber seamless body. Who's going to take the first bite?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sideshow Collectibles 1:6 scale 12-inch Clone Troopers

So far I have 3 of Sideshow Collectibles 1:6 scale 12-inch Clone Troopers from the Star Wars franchise (Phase II troopers only appeared in "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith") - Imperial Shock Trooper (REVIEW here), 501st Legion: Vader's Fist Clone Trooper (posted earlier HERE) and Clone Commander Cody (most recent addition - more pictures HERE). As I'm building my own little Clone army, I thought it'll be nice to take a few pictures of the three of them together, so here goes :)

Having seen most of the 12-inch armored troopers from the six Star Wars films released by various 1:6 scale manufacturers - Hasbro has the honor of having released the first version of these 12-inch troopers; then there's Marmit and Medicom before Sideshow stepped in - I have to say Sideshow Collectibles Star Wars armored troopers from their Star Wars Military Series are the best by far, especially their version of these Clone troopers. If you have been following my posts, you'll know that I'm not particularly fond of the Phase I helmets and did not purchase any one of the Phase I clone troopers from Sideshow or Medicom at all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hot Toys City Hunter: Saeko Nogami Collectible Figure PREVIEW

continued from previous post...

City Hunter (シティーハンター, Shitī Hantā) is a hardboiled manga series written and illustrated by Tsukasa Hojo, published by Shueisha in the Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1991. The series follows the exploits of Ryo Saeba, a "sweeper" or private detective who works to rid Tokyo of crime, and Kaori Makimura, a tomboyish girl who manages Ryo's business affairs. Their "City Hunter" business is an underground jack-of-all-trades operation, contacted by writing the letters "XYZ" on a blackboard at Shinjuku Station. [source: wiki]

Saeko Nogami (野上冴子, Nogami Saeko) is a Tokyo police detective who often uses the City Hunter team to do her job for her. Saeko is the daughter of the chief of police.

Hot Toys City Hunter: Ryo Saeba PREVIEW

This is Hot Toys Comic Masterpiece Series CMS02 City Hunter: 1/6th scale Ryo Saeba Collectible Figure. Product Specifications: The 1/6th scale Ryo Saeba collectible figure specially features: Authentic and detailed realization of the Ryo Saeba character from the City Hunter manga series with Newly developed head sculpt, Detailed hair sculpture, Interchangeable head with Ryo Saeba’s Mokkori laughter, TrueType body with 30 points of articulation standing approximately 30 cm tall and come with Eight (8) pieces of interchangeable palms including: One (1) pair of “Ippatsu” pose, One (1) pair of palms for holding bra, One (1) right palm for gun holding, One (1) left palm for gun supporting, One (1) left palm for recharging bullets, One (1) left relaxed palm. Each head sculpt is specially hand-painted.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Soldier Story USMC 2nd MEB in Afghanistan's Helmand province PREVIEW

Soldier Story will be releasing another 1/6 scale USMC 2nd MEB (Marine Expeditionary Brigade) 12-inch military figure, supposedly based in Afghanistan's Helmand province but you could easily mistake it for USMC Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz from the movie "World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles", a 2011 military science fiction war film directed by Jonathan Liebesman, and starring Aaron Eckhart as USMC Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz, along with Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Peña, Ne-Yo, Ramon Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan. The film is set in modern day Los Angeles and follows a platoon of U.S. Marines during a global alien invasion, who are joined by an Airman and some Army infantry.

Having missed getting the first released Soldier Story USMC in Afghanistan: 1st Battalion 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade 12-inch figure - see PREVIEW pictures HERE (you can only have so many Marines), I tried kitbashing a 1/6 scale Aaron Eckhart as USMC Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz 12-inch figure (see my post HERE) but I think Soldier Story did a GREAT job here and I'm not going to let this one go again. In fact, I much prefer this later version.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New from Scale Store: 1/6 Over There

Another diorama set from Scale Store: 1/6 Overthere (Made of Resin Material). A rather interesting title / product name. "Over There" was an action / drama / war television series that aired on FX. The series followed a unit of the United States Army's Third Infantry Division on its first tour of duty in Iraq, and chronicled the war's effects on the soldiers' families in the United States. The Iraq sequences were filmed in the California desert, while the homefront scenes are shot in and around the Greater Los Angeles area.

This 1/6 Over There diorama set by Scale Store features a fence with pavement and four (4) interchangeable signs: Caution - Radioactive Material, Danger - Biohazard, Halt! Stop! and District 9 sign (No Humans Allowed).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hot Toys 1/6 Captain America: The First Avenger PREVIEW

Hot Toys is proud to present their MMS156 (Movie Masterpiece Series) 1/6th scale Captain America Limited Edition 12-inch Collectible Figurine from the upcoming summer blockbuster "Captain America: The First Avenger" movie. The movie-accurate collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Chris Evans as Captain America in his hero costume in the movie, highlighting the newly developed head sculpt, highly detailed costume and weapons.

The 1/6th scale Captain America Limited Edition Collectible Figurine specially features: Authentic and detailed fully realized likeness of Chris Evans as Captain America in his hero costume in the "Captain America: The First Avenger" movie, is approximately 30 cm (12 inches) tall, Helmeted head, Muscular body with over 30 points of articulations, Movie-accurate facial expression with detailed wrinkles and skin texture, Nine (9) pieces of interchangeable gloved palms including: One (1) pair of palms for holding shield, One (1) pair of palms for wielding shield, One (1) right palm for holding gun, One (1) pair of relaxed palms, One (1) pair of fists. Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted

O is also for Oa, Green Lantern Corps HQ

Oa is a fictional planet at the center of the DC Comics universe, home to the Guardians of the Universe and headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. The Green Lantern Corps was created by The Guardians of the Universe as an intergalactic police force. The Green Lantern Corps exists to promote order and justice throughout the universe.

The Green Lantern Corps home base of Oa is also featured prominently in "Green Lantern", the 2011 superhero film which just started screening in cinemas. So we cannot mention Oa without mentioning the Green Lanterns. And since no toy of the planet Oa is available, I'll do the next best thing and cover the Green Lanterns instead ;p

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sideshow Commander Cody REVIEW III "Execute Order 66"

Palpatine to numerous clone commanders: "The time has come. Execute Order 66."

Order 66 was one of a series of contingency orders that the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic were trained to prepare for during their growth. The order branded the Jedi as traitors of the Republic and called for their immediate execution without question. Its issuing by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine marked the formal beginning of the Great Jedi Purge, starting the rise of the Galactic Empire, and it was chief among the atrocities that led to the Galactic Civil War.

Clone Commander Cody was ultimately subservient to the orders of the Republic, and when Order 66 was enacted -- branding Kenobi an enemy of the state -- Cody willingly carried out the command to open fire on his former friend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

This is a Job for Steve!

Preview pictures of 1/6 scale Steve Jobs Limited Edition 12-inch Collectible Figurine which will include a 1/6 scale Steve Jobs head sculpt and 12-inch figure body plus 1/6 Scale items such as the iMac, Magic Mouse, keyboard, iPhone 4, iPad 2, Desk, Chair, Steve's outfit (New balance 992 sneakers, black T-shirt and jeans). Price? US$160 not including shipping. Guess they price it the way APPLE products are priced: HIGH!

UPDATE August 22, 2011: Kitbash 1/6 Steve Jobs "iQuit" therefore iJob-less 12-inch Figure posted HERE

New from Scale Store: 1/6 Field Meeting set

Scale Store has released pictures of their new 1/6 scale object series - it's a 1/6 field meeting set consisting of 1/6 scale benches (2) and table set with Map board and charts for conducting a meeting out in the field. The items are made from wood and looks rather authentic, great for WWI and WWII dioramas. You can create a scene of an officer giving orders or carrying out a briefing with the maps and charts provided as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

N is also for Nemesis

Thomas Andrew Tresser is a vigilante, turned operative for the U.S. government and a master of disguise. His default costume is a black turtleneck sweater with a balance as a chest symbol and a chest holster.

Thomas Andrew Tresser was an applicant to an unnamed government agency whose brother Craig was an undercover agent infiltrating a criminal syndicate called "the Council". Craig was brainwashed into killing their family friend Ben Williams and was subsequently killed in self-defense by fellow agents.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hot Toys 1/6 Captain America Teaser

From Hot Toys:
This summer, Marvel Studios will be launching a highly anticipated superhero blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger movie! Fans may have already known that we have participated in the projects of Iron Man and Thor already. So here comes the collectible of the next superhero Captain America, who is also one of the Avengers!

Fans, please be ready to catch the shield from the star-spangled Avenger before movie launches!

REVIEW II: 1:6 Commander Cody 12-inch Figure by Sideshow Collectibles

Clone Commander Cody, also known as unit 2224, was a loyal clone trooper serving the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. Cody was often under the command of General Obi-Wan Kenobi, and served with him and Anakin Skywalker during a nearly disastrous campaign on Cato Neimoidia.

This is the Sideshow Collectibles 1:6 scale Commander Cody 12-inch figure with Phase II helmet (as seen in "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"). The film takes place three years after the onset of the Clone Wars. The Jedi Knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a massive clone army in the war against the Separatists. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I much prefer this helmet over the Phase I (Episode II) version. There are so much more details with this later version and the design is WAY WAY better looking than the ugly Phase I helmet which I have a strong dislike for.

Cody's Phase II armor had a slightly different orange striped paint job, as well as two gray stripes coming down the sides of the top of his helmet. This set of armor also had a small tool attached to the upper arm piece, only one antenna on the shoulder pads with one on the back of his helmet, and a smaller, oval shaped jetpack. Also, Cody has Imperial-like rank markings adorning the left side of his breast-plate.

Friday, June 17, 2011

M is also for More JLU Haul

What can I say? After my recent JLU Haul from Toy Carnival @ L2P (check out my post "H is also for Haul of Justice" HERE), I was on the lookout for some more JLU action figures and managed to score these last week. I'm pleased as punch with this grab as I've been looking out for these figures for sometime.

I really enjoyed the Justice League animated series and love the style in which they were rendered. Animator Bruce Timm, having successfully adapted both Batman and Superman into animated television programs in the 1990s, took on the challenge of adapting the Justice League comic book and turning it into an animated sequel to his two former animated series.

Click on this picture for a bigger and better view

This new animated TV series brought all sorts of new characters. Ignoring the sidekicks, pets, and other elements of the earlier Super Friends show, the line-up of this new Justice League of America (JLA) adaptation was created with two things in mind: to pay tribute to the original line-up of the JLA while also reflecting racial and cultural diversity. After its second season, it became Justice League Unlimited, and ran an additional two seasons.

Fotolia - Great Resource for images

Fotolia is the first worldwide social marketplace for royalty free stock images, allowing individuals and professionals to legally buy and share stock images and illustrations. Fotolia offers the largest image bank of free and affordable royalty free photos and illustrations perfect for any medium, web or print. Photographers and designers constantly update Fotolia with thousands of new photos and illustrations each day, while photographers and designers receive commission from each photo sold and revenue from advertising on the free section.

You can find photos based on a concept, emotion or theme. You can find people doing interesting things and simple single objects that are ready to use. Below are some images I found on Fotolia which I thought were interesting and relevant to my blog.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sideshow Collectibles 1:6 Commander Cody 12-inch Figure REVIEW 1

Commander Cody was part of an advanced training program of clone commanders led by the ARC trooper identified as Alpha. Unlike standard Kaminoan educational protocols, this training regimen did not de-emphasize individuality and outside-the-manual thinking. Cody's tour of duty included campaigns on Rendili, Koorivar, Cato Neimoidia, Maramere and Boz Pity. He led the 212th Attack Battalion and was comfortable both leading large units and commanding small attack teams. Often, Cody would employ a rocket pack, leading his elite units through individual aerial maneuvers.

Clone Commander Cody, also known as unit 2224, was a loyal clone trooper serving the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars. Cody was often under the command of General Obi-Wan Kenobi, and served with him and Anakin Skywalker during a nearly disastrous campaign on Cato Neimoidia.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

L is also for Lex Luthor (again)

Not the same Luthor as the earlier post: L is for Lex Luthor. The earlier version I posted is not at all identical in sculpt to any of the other JLU (Justice League Unlimited) Lex Luthor action figures. This Lex Luthor has the more common head sculpt seen with the other Lex Luthor figures that have been released.

This particular JLU Lex Luthor 3.75" figure was released as a Supervillain 3-pack together with the Copperhead and Mirror Master action figures.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ThreeA Popbot: Pathfinder Oya TK Ono (BBICN Exclusive) Pre-order

China-based 1/6 retailer BBICN is offering a ThreeA Popbot exclusive action figure: the PATHFINDER OYA TK ONO from "The World Of Popbot", featuring a Tomorrow King Oya in a heavily weathered camouflaged jacket and double katanas.

Tomorrow Kings are male clones, from the Popbot Universe who were created by Luthor Bean Jr. originally used for corporate takeovers. These "Elvis ronin" were created to slay all monsters & ghouls with Luthor Bean Sr.'s Ion Engine that escaped Earth. They are also used to fight the Mortis.

Made for war against robots. Genetically bred autistic warriors who cannot dress themselves, but can shear off a robot's head with nary a thought. Alone, even though their brothers number in the millions, yes we are doing fine, like the last time, like the last time. They face death from steel, but do not know how to say hello. Today's Princes, Tomorrow's Kings.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hot Toys Green Lantern coming soon!

From Hot Toys: "We are proud to present the license of the upcoming superhero action adventure movie Green Lantern by DC Comics and Warner Bros Pictures!

The Green Lanterns, protectors of peace and justice, are granted with rings that are bestowed with superpowers. But when a new enemy threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of the Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit - a test pilot who may soon prove to be the greatest Green Lantern of all!

In Brightest Day. In Blackest Night.
In Our Darkest Hour, There Will Be Light.

The movie will be hitting the 3D and 2D theatres on June 16!
The collectible of this movie will be coming! Stay tuned!"

New from VeryHot: Sniper Preview

Another sniper will appear on the 1/6 scale market pretty soon and this one is by VeryHot. Just a gentle reminder that VeryHot usually just produces the uniform sets, so no 12-inch figure will be included. That means no head either. Just the clothes that maketh the man.

A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

K is also for Kilowog

In the DC Comics, Kilowog is a former geneticist and the main drill instructor of the Green Lantern Corps, training hundreds of Lanterns over the years, including John Stewart, Katma-Tui, and Hal Jordan.

Like all Green Lanterns, Kilowog wielded a Power Ring that enables him to create hard-light constructs from thought. He was also immensely strong and powerful.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Head Play 1/6 head sculpts

continued from my previous post...

These are some of the other HeadPlay 1/6 scale head sculpts (some are up for pre-order and some have already been released into the market and available at TFH). There are altogether 50 heads listed to date, not counting those in the earlier post.

Christian version. The HeadSculpt HS is supposed to resemble Christian Bale, an English actor who first caught the public eye at the age of 13, when he was cast in the starring role of Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun". He played an English boy who is separated from his parents and subsequently finds himself lost in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

Most recently, he is notable for portraying Bruce Wayne in the Batman films "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight". He also played John Connor in "Terminator Salvation" and FBI agent Melvin Purvis in Michael Mann's "Public Enemies".

Friday, June 10, 2011

HeadPlay 1/6 Head Sculpts: Ian, Ben, Sean, Gene, OBL & Gaddafi

HeadPlay has been churning out quite a bit of 1/6 scale head sculpts lately, mostly of famous people (by that I meant actors because almost everyone who has watched Hollywood-made movies will know these actors. Plus some Asian ones too). While some are hits, quite a number of them are also misses i.e. you can't tell who the head sculpt is supposed to resemble as there is hardly any likeness to the actual person / actor at all. But still the heads keep rolling (pun intended haha) and here are a few of the latest previews. Enjoy!

First up: Ian McKellen: actually Sir Ian Murray McKellen (He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979, and knighted in 1991 New Year Honours for his outstanding work and contributions to theatre)

I only know him as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto in the X-Men movies and Gandalf the Grey in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" before he became Gandalf the White in the last two "Lord of the Rings" films. Check out Sideshow's Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings HERE and also HERE as part of my 2008 Top Ten list.

This time around, the sculpts are looking very cartoony. Several of them seem to be drifting into Caricature territory. Almost political cartoon, caricature. Although they show promising and great paint apps, some of them just look comical to me.

J is also for the Joker

The Joker was a supervillain who considered himself the archenemy of Batman. He was described as a homicidal maniac by both Batman and Batgirl, and was admitted into Arkham Asylum many times. He was one of Batman's most dangerous enemies and a dangerous one of the Justice League.

The man who would become the joker was a crook that fell into a drainage vat of chemical waste that washed him out into the river. The chemicals had an adverse effect on him: they dyed his hair green, his skin was bleached white, and his lips were permanently stained red, giving him the appearance of a clown. All this snapped the crook's already twisted mind and sadistic nature, giving birth to the Joker.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New from Scale Store - 1/6 scale Metal Cabin

Just what 1/6 scale US Navy SEALs need ;p a 1/6 scale metal cabin - to make dioramas all the more real, especially for those of us who do not have the skills or expertise to make one ourselves. This is actually more than a cabin as a cabin or berthing is defined as an enclosed space generally on a ship or an aircraft. This 1/6 scale metal cabin by Scale Store looks like the deck on a ship. Heck, it's multiple decks with stairs and a walkway even. So many possibilities (or you can also say pose-abilities) with this diorama set by 1/6 Scale Store :)

This looks to be the ultimate diorama set to get because there are so many different scenes that can be created from this one piece alone. Check out the pictures that follow to see what I mean.

Possibly last photos of Space Shuttle in space

NASA has released photos of Space Shuttle Endeavour docked at the International Space Station (ISS). These are are the first ever images taken of a space shuttle while still attached to the orbiting lab complex from the perspective of a crewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Click on the picture for a bigger and better view :)

The breathtaking digital images were captured by Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli on May 23 through a window inside the Soyuz TMA-20 vehicle as he and two crewmates were departing the ISS for their return trip to Earth.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hot Toys "Iron Man 2" Mark IV Toy Fair Exclusive PREVIEW!

This is going to be the Hot Toys "Iron Man 2" 1/6th scale Mark IV Limited Edition Collectible Figurine (Secret Project) (2011 Toy Fairs Exclusive). This makes the previous Gunmetal Gray Iron Man pale in comparison. You can now expect this 12-inch figure to be exclusively sold at all Toy Fairs, including STGCC 2011 in August.

Hot Toys is proud to present their MMS (Movie Masterpiece Series) 1/6th scale Mark IV Limited Edition Collectible Figurine (Secret Project) from the Iron Man 2 movie as the 2011 Toy Fairs Exclusive item. Hot Toys has specially painted it with grey color with battle damaged scratches finishing, making it a great collector’s item.

This Hot Toys Iron Man 2 Mark IV has already been released in the movie accurate red and gold version (see my Review HERE) but this secret project Gunmetal Grey version certainly looks COOL ;p

The End of an Era - Space Shuttle to be retired from service in 2011

This was the 1997 Matchbox Mega-Rig Space Shuttle Transporter Playset I got for Javon (my youngest son) when he was a wee bit old and really into vehicles. I got this playset and others like it rather cheap at the Clark Quay flea market held on Sundays way back then and although the flea market has now moved to China Square Central, it's just not the same anymore i.e. no more such good deals to be had. Nowadays, it's usually more of the same from stall to stall.

I remembered reading about the Space Shuttle program in my school's library back when I was in St Gabriel's in the late 70s. The Space Shuttle is a reusable launch system and orbital spacecraft operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for human spaceflight missions. The system combines rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons. It really fascinated me because the Space Shuttle is the first orbital spacecraft designed for reuse. The first of four orbital test flights occurred in 1981 leading to operational flights beginning in 1982, all launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Return of Fan Favourites at STGCC 2011

STGCC, which will take place on 20 & 21 August at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, is a popular culture convention showcasing the latest and greatest from the fantastical worlds of toys, games and comics. Co-produced by Reed Exhibitions Singapore and ReedPOP in the USA – the creators of the annual New York Comic Convention (NYCC) – STGCC shines a spotlight on what is hot and new from around the planet.

The fourth edition of STGCC will include familiar faces and new names from Marvel Comics, DC Comics and the Eastern pop culture space that fans will be eager to meet, and STGCC is proud to reveal that C.B. Cebulski and Simone Legno will be returning to Singapore.

Cebulski (Marvel Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Creator and Content Development) will be back this year to speak more on Marvel's heroes and its upcoming books – and spending more time to meet with local artists and review the portfolios of aspiring creators. Cebulski scouts for talent on an international level, travelling the world on the hunt for the best and brightest new artists.

Up close & personal with Marvel's C.B. Cebulski

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Look What The Postman Brought

I received a very nice package last week from Adrian, he of Little Plastic Man fame :) If you recall, Adrian recently made a a STGCC 2011 Paper Toy which was a 3-D interpretation of the new STGCC 2011 logo I'd re-designed (see my post HERE) and he was kind enough to send the paper toy to me - THANKS once again, Adrian; Daisy's really pleased with it.

I thought it'll be nice to do a little reenactment of the little guy's journey from Little Plastic Man to Toy Haven. Any resemblance is purely coincidental and "Cube-e" is only too happy to help out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I is also for Invisible Martian

J'onn J'onzz has the ability to alter his density at the molecular level, which in practice allows him to become invisible, pass through solid objects (and vice-versa), or become invulnerably solid. An increase in his density results in a blue aura that increases his strength and invulnerability on par with that of Superman. This also allows J'onn to fully recover after sustaining severe physical damage, such as being torn apart.

In the comics, J'onn was a Manhunter, a Martian law officer and the (presumed) sole survivor of an engineered telepathic plague that wiped out the Green Martians. But this is not the case in the DC animated universe where J'onn J'onzz was the last Martian and one of the founding member of the Justice League. Check out J'onn J'onzz's natural Martian form HERE.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hot Toys Spider-Man 3: New Goblin Collectible Figure PREVIEW

From the Green Beret (see previous post) to the Green Goblin, lots of green in the previews this week... actually, this is the New Goblin from "Spider-Man 3", played by James Franco in the movie. James Franco was most recently seen in "127 hours", a 2010 biographical adventure film co-written, produced and directed by Danny Boyle. The film stars James Franco as mountain climber Aron Ralston, who became trapped by a boulder in Robbers Roost, Utah in April 2003.

The son of Norman Osborn and Peter Parker's best friend, Harry Osborn believes Spider-Man murdered his father. After learning Peter is Spider-Man and that Norman was the Green Goblin, Harry becomes the New Goblin to battle his former friend directly.

Hot Toys is proud to present their MMS151 (Movie Masterpiece Series) 1/6th scale New Goblin Limited Edition Collectible Figurine from the "Spider-Man 3" movie. The movie-accurate New Goblin collectible is specially crafted based on the image of James Franco in the movie, highlighting the authentic head sculpt, highly detailed costume, weapons and accessories.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Toyscity: U.S. Army Green Beret - ODA721 Preview

Yesterday was the preview of Virtual ToyS (VTS): 75th Ranger Regiment Chalk Leader of Task Force Ranger from Operation Gothic Serpent circa Somalia 1993 (see previous post), today is the preview of ToysCity U.S. Army Green Beret equipped with the latest gadgets for modern warfare although with the rate of advancements in technology, nothing stays current for very long.

ToysCity has been announcing new figures pretty quickly and releasing them almost as quickly of late. They seem to be upping the ante and their quality overall seems pretty good and getting better.

Green Beret Motto: De Oppresso Liber "To Liberate the Oppressed"

Thursday, June 2, 2011

VTS 75th Ranger Chalk Leader, Somalia 1993 PREVIEW

These are preview / prototype pictures of the upcoming release by Virtual ToyS (VTS): 75th Ranger Regiment Chalk Leader of Task Force Ranger from Operation Gothic Serpent circa Somalia 1993.

Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation conducted by special operations forces of the United States with the primary mission of capturing warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The operation took place in Somalia, Africa from August to October 1993 and was supervised by the Joint Special Operations Command. As part of the operation, the soldiers were deployed in a mission to arrest two of Aidid's lieutenants. The result of that mission – executed under the command of Gothic Serpent – became known as the Battle of Mogadishu, or "The Battle of the Black Sea" to those who fought in it. [source: wiki]

One of the key events is the downing of a UH-60 Black Hawk and the subsequent attempt to rescue its crew. As a result of the Black Hawk Down, the raid quickly became the most intensive close combat in the military history of the United States since the Vietnam War. The events of the raid were later renamed the Battle of Mogadishu by international media, as opposed to the operation's name of Gothic Serpent.

Mark Bowden wrote a book about it and it was then adapted into a film directed by Ridley Scott and released in 2001, aptly named BLACK HAWK DOWN.

Geared for Battle with the Terrex

The Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) first motorised infantry unit became operational on May 31st 2011 with a show of force at the Murai Urban Training Facility. Troops from the 2nd Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR) conducted a mock battle with the SAF's latest war machine, the Terrex, made in Singapore and developed jointly by the SAF, the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and ST Engineering.

The souped-up battlefield taxis provide added combat power alongside tanks and support fire from artillery units, with the strikes against enemy targets coordinated with the aid of combat min-robot sand laptops that soldiers carry in their backpacks.

Click on the picture for a bigger and better view of the Terrex :)

First introduced in 2009, the armored Terrex transports and protects troops, and its advanced networking system allows it to connect with Army HQ, air and land fighting machines, as well as soldiers on the field. The SAF currently has 90 Terrex vehicles, with another 45 of these eight-wheelers to arrive and a second Army unit to be trained on them.

I'd posted an earlier post on the TERREX Infantry Carrier Vehicle last September HERE.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

FigureHero Alien Killer Accessories and Weapons Set Version 3 Preview

Exactly what a USCM (United States Colonial Marine Corps) Marine needs to kill xenomorphs (lit. "alien form" — from Greek xeno- or "strange" and -morph, shape) as seen in the film "Aliens", the 1986 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton.

This is the FigureHero Alien Killer 1/6 Scale Accessories and Weapons Set (Version 3). Of the 3 sets seen so far (2 sets have already been released), this is definitely the best one BUT there is still no armor in this set. The company obviously knows that many 1/6 scale collectors are very keen on the Hot Toys 1/6 scale USCM 12-inch figures and they have released the camouflage uniform in the first two versions. Now we see the weapons set. So will version 4 be the USCM protective armor and helmet as worn by Michael Biehn as Corporal Dwayne Hicks and PFC Jenette Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein)? One can only hope.

The weapons used by the Marines of the United States Colonial Marine Corps (USCM) were based on real, fully functional weapons. British armorers used guns they found to be the most reliable when firing blanks and those which looked futuristic. The M41A pulse rifles were created from a Thompson SMG, with an attached forend of a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun and a Remington 12 Gauge Model 870P receiver with barrel.