Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009, everyone!!

The last day of 2008 is here and the year is coming to a close. The year has passed by very fast and I've met many wonderful people through my blog and found many like-minded people who share my passion and interest for 1/6 scale figures and movie-related collectibles. The year did end with a bang with the release of Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Batpod and I'm definitely looking forward to an even greater 2009 with so many yet-to-be released figures on the horizon. We've gotta do our part to keep the economy going.

So here's a bunch of guys who want to say, "See you all in 2009!" I haven't been able to post about them yet (they and a lot more) but hope to do so in 2009, along with all other new purchases ;p

HAPPY 2009 to all friends, fellow bloggers and visitors - may we all have a GREAT YEAR ahead!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Batman rides Batpod

Having reviewed the Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece 1/6 scale Batpod (what a jaw dropping, drool inducing piece of beautiful machine), it does look lonely without its rider. Batman "The Dark Knight" gets ready to ride his Batpod.

Notice the new cape and attachment (cape holder) on Batman. These came with the Batpod

Batman getting onto the Batpod sans cape

Top view of Batman on the Batpod without his cape to show the riding position

Now with flying cape for dramatic effect

TDK Batman riding the Batpod. Thanks to the new costume, he is able to lift his head to look forward instead of down - that would've been rather odd

The rider shields (forearm guards) of the Batpod are not symmetrical in design, nor are the handlebars - nice touch

It was quite a challenge to pose TDK Batman onto the Batpod, even though he's supposed to be a poseable figure. I discovered by accident that the spikes on his gauntlet is removable, just like when Batman shoots them at The Joker in the climatic battle. But you gotta admit, the flying cape effect looks nice for posing and displaying Batman on his Batpod.

Another view of TDK Batman on his mean machine

Another angle shot of Batman, the right shield and difference in the handlebars

TDK Batman with his knee and feet placed on the knee rest and pedals

TDK Batman on his Batpod with lights flashing and guns blazing (nope. no sound effects available)!

Close-up of Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece TDK Batman on his Batpod

Place this shot on the right background image and you can be mistaken for thinking it's a movie still. That's the beauty of Hot Toys craftsmanship - the realism they are able to achieve with their 1/6 scale poseable figures in terms of sculpting, skin tones and poseability. It has been a GREAT year for collectors!

The Dark Knight riding off into the night, ready to take on Eddie Murphy as The Riddler and Rachel Weisz as Catwoman with the help from Robin (to be played by Shia LeBeouf) in the next Batman movie.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 No. 1 - BATPOD

The most exciting collectible for me this year isn't even a figure, it is the most talked about 1:6 scale vehicle to hit the mean streets of Gotham City. From "The Dark Knight", I give you the BATPOD - one of the best Christmas present a man could have, thanks to my most wonderful and totally supportive WIFE :)

The outer box that holds the Batpod, much like the outer sleeve of Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece figures, is plain black. When I first saw the box, I was a little disappointed as Hot Toys had always produced nice packaging. Box measures 60cm in length, 25.5cm in height and depth. Phew! Wasn't as big as I imagined - wait till the Batmobile comes out - that'll be a whopper!

The main box is the main attraction! This was what I'd been expecting - nice graphics and pictures. It kind of makes you drool with anticipation.

Batpod box rear shows pictures of the actual product

The very sturdy packing that holds the Batpod - no way this thing is going to get damaged during shipping.

The additional cape that comes with the batpod for action poses when displayed with Hot Toys "The Dark Knight" Batman. This is because it has stiff wires running along the edge for you to manipulate to achieve your own desired flying cape effect.

It includes this contraption (cape holder) that goes onto Batman's back where the end hooks (four plastic clips) on the long flexible rod catch onto the cape for that soaring look. Comes with instructions.

The Batpod assembled and ready to roll. The assembling required is in fixing the handlebars together with the rider shields to the steering arms of the batpod as these are packed separately during shipping to prevent breakage. These handlebars with rider shields are quite challenging to fix as they don't seem to want to stay in place at all. It is sad to see the Tumbler destroyed (it is one of the best batmobiles to have been thought up and built, with obvious inspiration from Frank Miller's Dark Knight comic). Hence the Batpod, being like an escape pod from the battle-damaged Tumbler and NOT a batbike like the one Batgirl rode in the campy TV series - thank goodness!

The details are simply STUNNING! I doubt you can achieve this with smaller scale figures which is why 1/6 scale is the most ideal for getting the super details possible, be it with accessories, vehicles or weapons. The front guns of the Batpod are very well executed, with vented barrels for releasing the muzzle exhaust during firing. To ensure safe displaying, both the front and rear wheels have red locking pins which ensure both tires stay in a fixed position and don't roll off without warning.

The handle bars can move slightly at the pivot point to allow Batman to be posed on top of the Batpod. The Batpod has a basic metal frame with plastic components added, all in black and metallic grey to achieve the desired look.

Batman's seat on the pod

The rear wheel of the Batpod from another perspective. Wheels are made of rubber with very detailed tyre tread.

The knee rests for supporting Batman's knees when he rides the Batpod

Another look at the handlebars with the forearm guards

Side profile of the guns and front wheel of the Batpod

The engine compartment of the Batpod

The knee and foot rest/pedals

The rear wheel again

Top view of the Batpod's engine compartment

The cover and Batpod seat is removable to show the engine block details

The engine block is removed to reveal the battery compartment - two 3AAA batteries required

Batpod with lights switched on, ready to take down the criminals of Gotham City!

Another great thing about the Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Batpod is that being a licensed product and given Hot Toys amazing attention to detail, this is as close as you can get to the actual thing! Other than looking at blueprints or visiting the set, you cannot appreciate the amount of detail and intricate work that went into making this 1/6 scale Batpod. With this beauty in your hands, you can just sit back and examine every beautiful detail and go through it with a fine tooth comb. Remember to wear a bib first to soak up all that drool - LOL!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Top 10 Toys - No. 2

My second favorite toy on the 2008 Top 10 favorites list is purely sentimental. Since "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" was shown in cinemas in 1981, it has been such a ride. Every movie was entertaining (except the last one, of course) and sometimes you just want to own something related to the film for nostalgic reasons. So when I started collecting 12" figures way back then, the hunt was on for a 12" version of everyone's favorite adventurer, the man with the hat and whip - Indiana Jones.

My first Indy was Kenner's 12" Indiana Jones which basically had their Star Wars Han Solo head sculpt and body but with a new wardrobe/attire. The hat was HUGE and the whip was "bleh". But that can be forgiven as this Indy was released as a toy then. There wasn't such a thing as a collectible.

Then came Toys McCoy's Indiana Jones in 1999. This Indy was very nice in the box because you just couldn't bring yourself to tear open its sealed contents. Next best thing was to slap on some knock-off accessories from "Relic Hunter" and you can still get a decent Indy.

Thanks to "Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", the fourth Indy movie which was released this year, we were bombarded by 12" Indiana Jones figures left, right and center. First to jump on the bandwagon were Hasbro's "Talking Indiana Jones" and "Whipping Indiana Jones".

Then came Medicom Indiana Jones and Sideshow's Indy arrived last. So here we have just four of the Indys lined up, just like the usual suspects. For a full and complete line-up of all the Indiana Jones, check out the link here.

From left: Medicom Indy, Sideshow Indy

Toys McCoy Indy and Hasbro's whipping Indy

And the winner is.... Indiana Jones i.e. Medicom Indiana Jones. Sideshow's Indy somehow has a blank stare like he's not that together, still thinking about the Holy Grail perhaps.

The other great thing about Medicom's Indiana jones is that Indy comes with his father (or as we call it here "Lau Peh") Professor Henry Jones Sr

Now where's that German motorcycle with sidecar?