Saturday, February 28, 2009

Deep Sea Mission

From being on the sea to going below it. This is Action Man Deep Sea Mission by Hasbro which I got in 2001. It came with Action Man Aquanaut and a 1/6 scale great white shark which is the equivalent of a seven foot giant in comparison to the diver.

Action Man Aquanaut in his dive cage face-to-face with Dr X's great white shark!

Action Man's dive suit is black and he has "specialised sub aqua breathing aparatus", which essentially makes him an "aqua-man", a term which we are all familiar with since we read about the Justice League and watch the cartoons. However, in our local dialect, "aqua" means something else altogther, so we always got a few giggles when the topic "aquaman" was brought up. Action Man Aquanaut also comes with underwater steel cutters that turn into a missile launcher in case the shark comes a little bit too close. 

The great white shark was made famous by director Steven Spielberg in the 1975 horror thriller "JAWS", the first film in motion picture history to cross the $100 million mark. Jaws eventually grossed more than $470 million worldwide ($1.9 billion in 2008 dollars) and was the highest grossing box office film until Star Wars debuted two years later. [source: wiki]

This great white shark belongs to the evil villain Dr X and is made from rubber with a hole under its stomach, so that you can place your hand up its belly and move it like a puppet! Great fun for the kids.

Sea Warriors

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) recently conducted a two-day exercise with their new stealth frigates. This followed an earlier report of Singapore's Navy beefing up its arsenal with all new stealth warships.

Singapore navy's radar-evading stealth frigates demonstrating their potent firepower in the South China Sea (in other words, "don't play play!")

The frigates are equipped with the OTO Melara 76mm gun and fired live rounds as the stealth frigates were put on a "mission" to hunt and destroy enemy targets, and avoid being torpedoed in turn.

The deck crew preparing to launch a Super Puma helicopter as part of the stealth frigate's heli-operations. The S-70B Seahawk will be added by the end of the year.

A rigid hull inflatable boat being lowered from the ship's deck into the South China Sea. The 5.5m boat, usually used to transfer people and equipment between ships, can also be used to board other vessels at sea.

RSS Steadfast's Combat Information Centre where all the tracking and orders are given to hunt down and destroy hostile air and sea targets.

When night falls, the stealth frigates used red tactical lighting to keep from being easily seen and to ensure that crew do not strain their eyes when moving from a lit to a darkened area (a different kind of "red light district")

The Singapore Navy also deploys Protector unmanned vessels as surveillance boats as they use advanced sensor technology to gather real-time information and transmit it over secured networks to a remote user. Unmanned systems are an important part of the Singapore Armed Forces' push to transform itself into a more potent third-generation fighting force.

On another note, the RSAF has also received its first new early-warning aircraft, the Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning (G550-AEW) to replace the ageing E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. The new jet-powered planes will be used to detect, identify and keep track of targets in the sky. The new AEW can see farther, fly higher and stay in the air longer, and with three more being added, they'll be our new "eye in the sky".

With all these new and high-tech equipment, we'll be able to "cover mountain, cover sea" as we say it in local terms.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Louie, Napoli Gang

Louie from the Napoli Gang by Twilight Magic Works, Yamato Co., Ltd, 2000. Louie is part of the pair released by Yamato Co., Ltd, the other being Chicago gangster John (see previous post on the Prohibition Era)

He wears Navy Blue pin-striped suit with vest, shirt and tie plus hat.

He is armed with the Thompson submachine gun with a 20-round, 30-round and 50-round drum magazine. The Thompson was also known as: the "Tommy Gun", the "Trench Broom", the "Chicago Piano", the "Chicago Typewriter" and the "Chopper". The Thompson first entered production as the M1921. The Thompson achieved most of its early notoriety in the hands of Prohibition and Depression-era gangsters and in Hollywood films, most notably in the St Valentine's Day Massacre. It was often referred to as the "gun that made the twenties roar."

In 1938, the Thompson submachine gun was adopted by the US military, serving during World War II in the hands of the marines, as well as Army and later into the Korean War, as well as early stages of the Vietnam War.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Prohibition Era

Prohibition Era is the period from 1920 to 1933, during which the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol for consumption were banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Many social problems have been attributed to the Prohibition era. Mafia activities were restricted until 1920, when they exploded because of the introduction of Prohibition. A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Racketeering happened when powerful gangs corrupted law enforcement agencies. Chicago became notorious as a haven for Prohibition dodgers during the time known as the Roaring Twenties. Many of Chicago's most notorious gangsters, including Al Capone and his enemy Bugs Moran, made millions of dollars through illegal alcohol sales.

Cigar smoking gangster John from the Chicago Gang by Twilight Magic Works, Yamato Co., Ltd, 2000

Check out those shoes

John in cream pin-striped suit with vest, shirt and maroon tie, hat and shotgun

On March 23, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law an amendment to the Volstead Act known as the Cullen-Harrison Act, allowing the manufacture and sale of certain kinds of alcoholic beverages.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Public Enemies

Can't wait to catch "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp as legendary bank-robber John Dillinger who robbed 12 banks in two years and Christian Bale as his nemesis, FBI agent Melvin Purvis with Michael Mann as the director (he who gave us HEAT, bringing together on screen for the first time, Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino). This is HEAT with tommyguns in 1930s Chicago. Hope Hot Toys get the rights to make 1/6 scale 12-inch figures from this movie - Depp as the debonair heartbreaker with slicked-back hair, looking nothing like his other character, Captain Jack Sparrow. Not enough figures are made from this era.

We all remember Robert De Niro as Al Capone in "The Untouchables (1987)", a crime drama film based on Eliot Ness's autobiographical account of his efforts to bring gangster Al Capone to justice during the Prohibition era. It was directed by Brian De Palma with Kevin Costner as Ness, Sean Connery as Irish-American beat cop Jim Malone and Andy García as rookie George Stone.

Released in 2000 by Twilight Magic Works, Yamato Co., Ltd in Japan was this pair of 1930s style gangsters with their pin-striped suits and tommyguns. Supposedly based on "The Saint Valentine's Day massacre" - the name given for the execution of seven people as part of a Prohibition Era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago, Illinois, in the winter of 1929: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran.

More on Chicago ganster John (link here) and Louie from the Napoli gang (link here)

Check out this link for other men in suits

UPDATE March 27, 2010
: Heroic 1/6 scale Bank Robber REVIEW (Johnny Depp as John Dillinger)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Toymaster Men's Suits + War Journalist

Coming soon from Toymaster - Men's Suits: Black Suit consisting of 2-Button Single Breast Jacket, Slacks, White Shirt, Black Tie, Vest, Black Belt, Black Socks and Black High-Gloss Leather Shoes (Figure NOT Included)

Brown Suit consists of 2-Button Single Breast Jacket, Slacks, Black Shirt, Black Bow Tie, Vest, Brown Belt, Black Socks and Black High-Gloss Leather Shoes (Figure NOT Included)

War Journalist 1/6 scale 12-inch Action Figure with Black Sweater, Shirt, Vest, Pants, Oakley Boots, Pass Holder, Sunglasses, Bracelets, Camera Bag, Digital Camera Set, Watch, Pen, Notebook, Cell Phone, Bluetooth and Bottle of Water

For those who had missed out on the earlier War Correspondent by Chronicle Collectibles, released 2004

Here's an entry on Men in Suits - check it out :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

February 23, 1945 - on this day in history, the Battle of Iwo Jima (February 19 – March 26, 1945) or Operation Detachment was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the US flag atop the 166 meter (546 ft) high Mount Suribachi by five Marines and one Navy Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, which was larger (measuring 8 feet by 4 feet, 8 inches) and used to replace the smaller flag which was first raised atop the mountain to signify that Suribachi was secured. The picture became the iconic image of the battle and has been heavily reproduced.

Of the six men depicted in the picture, three (Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block and Michael Strank) did not survive the battle; the three survivors (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes) became celebrities upon the publication of the photo. "Flags of Our Fathers (2006)" depicts how the three surviving flag-raisers at the Battle of Iwo Jima were used as propaganda tools by the United States government to lift the morale of the American people, and raise money for the war effort. It also shows the effects of war on the veterans and how they suffered from memories of the war for the rest of their lives. The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred Ryan Phillippe (recently seen in "Stop-Loss" as SSG Brandon King) as Navy Corpsman John "Doc" Bradley, Jesse Bradford as Pfc Rene Gagnon and Adam Beach (last seen as Private Ben Yahzee in "Windtalkers") as Pfc Ira Hayes.

Dragon produced some fine World War II US marines and at the height of their popularity and reign, Dragon even tied up with the movie distributors to produce movie-related figures. A trio of these 1/6 scale 12-inch figures were from the movie "Windtalkers (200)"

Private Ben Yahzee, USMC Code Talker played by Adam Beach from the 200-piece limited edition "Windtalkers" boxed set and Sergeant Ox Anderson (played by Christian Slater)

Nicholas Cage as USMC Sergeant Joe Enders from the 200-piece limited edition "Windtalkers" boxed set and GI Joe USMC Marine Raider by Hasbro with M1 helmet, UCMC Pacific Theatre Battle Dress Uniform, ammo bandoleer, web belt with M1911 A1 .45 pistol with clip in holster, water canteen, toggle rope, backpack with five extra .55 cal magazines, .55 cal Boys Anti-tank rifle, socks and ankle boots.

Dragon USMC Iwo Jima Flame Thrower "Sonny" with M1 helmet with HBT camouflafe cover, USMC utility cap, green vest, dog tags, M1942 Herringbone Twill sage green shirt and trousers, Colt M1911 A1 pistol in M3 holster, web belt with first aid kit, two water canteens, K-Bar knife in scabbard, Thompson ammo pouch, double-clip pouch, Thompson 1928 sub-machinegun with removable magazines, grenade, Zippo lighter, cigarette, M2-A2 Portable Flamethrower, canvas leggings with ankle boots (items still in box). Beside him is the GI Joe USMC Navajo Code Talker with SCR-300 (Set, Complete, Radio) tactical radio with harness and speaks 7 different phrases in Navajo code and in English, including "Surabachi secured".

United States Marine Corps “Dusty Rhodes” outfit by Elite Force, BBI released in 2002 with M1 helmet with HBT camouflage cover, M1942 HerringBone Twill camouflage shirt and trousers, .30 cal ammo bandolier, belt with ten ammo pouches, shoulder suspenders and web belt with first aid kit, mug, opening water canteen and holder, M3 fighting knife and sheath, M1 bayonet and scabbard, M1 Garand rifle, four spare 8-round ammo clips, grenade launcher attachments with various grenade types and canvas leggings with ankle boots. Head sculpt of "Dusty" has George Clooney's likeness which I switched to kitbash George Clooney as Major Archie Gates in "Three Kings (1999)"

And GI Joe USMC Flame Thrower by Hasbro