Monday, November 30, 2009

Over 1,000 posts and counting!

If somebody had told me that I would go on to post more than 1,000 entries on my blog at the very beginning when I started in July 2007, I would never have believed it. Well, as of today, I have actually gone beyond 1,000 blog posts and that's due a large part to all you readers out there who have been most supportive with your encouraging words and compliments. The written word is a very powerful tool, and well intentions and comments plus compliments make one's day, acknowledging and giving the writer/blogger (that's me) your stamp of approval at what I'm doing RIGHT, so a BIG thank you to all who have written or chosen to follow my blog (which has grown to 104 as at this post although the StatCounter shows an average 500 daily returning visitors :>)

I'd started my blog on one of my favorite subjects - BATMAN and that was pre-HOT TOYS days

And Batmobiles - I love me some Batmobiles and Batplanes; they are way COOL

Toy Biz MARVEL "Famous Cover" series offered authentic fabric costumes and articulation. And the Kubrick Marvels are a hoot!

And here are some action figures from the Captain Action line. Interestingly, Johnny Depp was slated to play Tonto in a new Lone Ranger film as (surprise! surprise!) Depp is part Cherokee Indian. After his turn as a pirate in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy, it would be fascinating to see his interpretation of Tonto.

And the new Green Hornet film is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2010. Starring Seth Rogen as Britt Reid / The Green Hornet and Jay Chou as Kato with Cameron Diaz as a reporter and Britt Reid's love interest, this movie should be rather interesting. Hope it doesn't pan out like "The Spirit (2008)" which was a commercial and critical failure in theatres.

Kato was made famous by Bruce Lee whose portrayal of this character popularized martial arts in the United States in the 1960s. In Hong Kong, it was popularly known as "The Kato Show" and resulted in Bruce Lee starring in the feature films that would make him a pop culture icon. Both Medicom and Enterbay have released 1/6 action figures of Kato but no Green Hornet is yet in sight!

The Phantom is an American adventure comic strip created by Lee Falk. While the Phantom is not the first fictional costumed crime-fighter, he is the first to wear the skintight costume that has become a hallmark of comic book superheroes, and the first to wear a mask with no visible pupils, another superhero standard. [ source: wiki ]

Dr Evil (who is Captain Action's arch enemy) as Kabai Singh. There were only two villian costumes for Dr Evil to change into, the other being Ming the Merciless.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Comparing HT DX01 Joker and HT 1st version Joker

For those of you who never bought the first release Hot Toys MMS 1/6 scale 12-inch Heath Ledger JOKER from "The Dark Knight" and only recently picked up the Hot Toys MMS DX01 Joker (which is essentially TWO jokers in one box, reviewed HERE), then I say, "Good for you!" For those of us (me included) who already have the FIRST version Hot Toys Joker which was released in August 2008 (see my post HERE) and also bought the latest DX01 JOKER, we want to know what's the difference with the costume/outfit since it is supposed to be the Joker's trademark/classic outfit/costume in the movie.

When we bought the first Joker, we didn't know that Hot Toys would be releasing the second Joker (i.e. Bank Robber Joker - pictures HERE) with much improved head sculpts (two head sculpts were provided, obviously one to replace the FIRST version head sculpt which seemed okay until the second head sculpt came out)

Everyone was expecting perhaps a third Joker figure, speculating that it could either be nurse joker or Gotham police joker so when it was announced that there would be a cop joker (previewed HERE), there was a resounding "YES" because Heath Ledger was so GOOD as the joker he practically carried the film.

But why another Joker costume/suit/outfit? Well, Hot Toys wasn't satisfied with the original/FIRST version so they decided to offer a improved and movie-accurate Joker costume. So let's see where the improvements are by comparing pictures of the FIRST release Joker (version 1.0) and the latest DX Joker.

This head sculpt is actually from the Bank Robber Joker set which I switched with the original as it's much better than the first. See my post HERE for Joker with Smith & Wesson M76 submachine gun. The first head sculpt was then used to kitbash a nurse joker (pictures HERE).

Hot Toys MMS DX01 Joker with P.E.R.S. (Parallel Eyeball Rolling System) - Reviewed HERE

First let's check out the shirt and tie...

The designs on the shirt of the DX version is sharper and brighter, and the tie, which is also far more accurate in terms of the pattern, fits much better around the neck and under the collar.

Instead of the brown leather belt which the FIRST version joker wears around his waist,

the DX version Joker has a very nice pair of suspenders with leather details which are fastened to the trouser waist band. The chain hanging from the right side is also different, supposedly it is of a much more accurate length.

The waistcoat or vest of the DX version has the full four pockets (version 1.0 had only two pockets): two with rounded flaps and two cut pockets. The vest is held shut by two snap buttons instead of the Velcro on the FIRST version.

Now we check out the sport coat and overcoat

The gray sports coat of the DX version is also better executed than version 1.0 and the DX overcoat has the additional set-up (rig) for attaching the five grenades, including a hook for the pull ring (see my last post). All very well produced, including the fine stitching - amazing work done for a 1/6 scale figure!!

Now to the pants / trousers...

The pants/trousers are a tighter fit on the DX Joker (almost like drain-pipe pants), and the pinstripes on them is more pronounced as compared to the first version.

Even the socks are different, with smaller squares on the DX version. There also seems to be more work done on the DX version shoes as compared to version 1.0

Overall, the materials used for the outfit and the cut of the entire 1/6 scale JOKER costume looks GREAT on the body as the many layers of clothing (overcoat worn over the sports coat worn over a vest/waistcoat worn over a shirt with tie, and pants with suspenders as well) do not cause the figure to look bulky or puffed-up and makes this collectible figure utterly believable and realistic. The same cannot be said for the Medicom version nor DC Direct version. Those do pale in comparison (What a joke they are! pun intended). Heck, based on them, Hot Toys first version Joker already beats them hands down.

So to the king of 1/6 JOKER goes the crown - Hot Toys is KING; Medicom and DC Direct are the clowns or posers! It's not even a close fight.

Earlier Reviews of Hot Toys DX Joker:
Review I - The Package
Review II - Gotham City Cop Joker
Review III - More Cop Joker: It's in the fine details
Review IV - New P.E.R.S. (Parallel Eyeball Rolling System) Joker
Review V - DX Joker with grenades

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hot Toys 12" King Leonidas collectible figure PREVIEW

Coming soon from Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Series MMS114: "300" 1/6 scale 12" King Leonidas collectible figure

This 1/6th scale Spartan Warrior collectible stands approximately 30 cm tall and will feature Hot Toys newly sculpted and developed muscled body with over 26 points of articulation. Dressed with a real fabric cape and harness, faux-leather belt, vambraces and greaves, this stunning piece will also come with the following accessories and weapons: Helmet features a real-like horsehair crest, Real-like wolf’s tooth necklace, Sword and faux-leather scabbard, Battle damaged Spartan shield with faux-leather hand hold and removable broken arrows, Spear, Two pairs of Interchangeable hands, Head sculpt with authentic Gerard Butler likeness as King Leonidas and customary Figure stand with 300 movie logo and King Leonidas nameplate

The pictures below are not screen shots from the movie but actual prototype product shots - 1/6 has moved up another notch. Forget statues cast in stone with their fixed poses and exorbitant prices, 1/6 is as real as it gets with its realistic skin tones, fabric and leather outfits, and finely crafted ultra-detailed weapons and accessories.

Artist info: Head Sculpt by GOX (Jae Sung Eom) and Head Paint by JC. Hong

Released date: Q1 2010