Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is our Army made (maid) of these? Tsk Tsk

This photo of a Full Time National Serviceman (NSF) making his maid carry his backpack has been making its rounds online and stoked a heated response from many netizens. The NSF was photographed SMSing away, while his maid walked behind him carrying his field pack.

Most were critical of the soldier, calling him “lazy” and “spoilt”. Some even said he “tarnished the image of Singapore”. Another commented: “It’s hard to believe that a grown man who is supposed to be serving the nation is making his female domestic help carry his backpack. He’s a disgrace to the army and makes Singaporean men look bad.”

I have my own words to add but I'm afraid they cannot be published; after all, this is still a kid-friendly blog / website and I won't let my emotions get the better of me. Having done my part for the Nation's Defense in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) - served six years from 1983 till 1990 and then another 12 years (1991 to 2003) as an Operationally-Ready National Serviceman (NSman) (the equivalent of other militaries' reservists),  I can only say that this disgusting act is an utter disgrace to the uniform of the SAF!

A Ministry of Defence spokesman has also spoken out: “The SAF takes a serious view of the conduct of its servicemen in public.” She added that the SAF is looking into the matter and will take appropriate action. I hope that means they'll hang him out to dry / fry -  even better if they publish his profile shot so that everyone will know who the lazy spoilt child is!

And in today's papers: apparently someone tried to rescue the situation by claiming that the picture was fake and another picture was produced showing the said sorry excuse for an NSF carrying his own field pack.

But it turns out that the original picture is the real deal and the other one was doctored (photoshopped).

I am just thankful that this is more of an isolated incident than the norm and that our soldiers are made of sterner stuff than that!

Playmobil #4675 Firefighter

And this is the latest firefighter to join the bunch (shown in the earlier post) - Playmobil 4675 Firefighter (another one of the SPECIALs). While the previous three wore ash gray firefighter's turnout gear, this one spots a blue turnout instead although he still has the reflective tape detailing.

As mentioned, this is also one of the Playmobil Specials and the fourth Playmobil Firefighter to join the Home team. The Home Team is a term coined by the Singapore Government's Ministry of Home Affairs where all the departments and statutory board under the Ministry come under a single manner for a single purpose - Homeland defense. The Fire Department comes under the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) which is a part of the Home Team.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Playmobil Firefighters

We've seen the 1:6 scale 12-inch tall Firefighters in the previous post, so now let's turn our attention to these minuscule firefighters from Playmobil.

PLAYMOBIL (pronounced play-mo-beel) has been a favorite among adult collectors even though it was designed for children and has been around for more than three decades. The cornerstone of all PLAYMOBIL activities is the 2.95 inch (7.5 cm) tall figure (i.e. 1:22.5 scale) which can bend, sit, stand, turn its head, and move its arms. The hands, which can grasp, rotate and carry accessories, are what make "realistic" play possible.

This was a 2002 released Limited Edition PLAYMOBIL® #3354 Special Commemorative Pack FDNY Firefighter figure that was created to commemorate the FDNY (Fire Department, city of New York) Fire Fighters who sacrificed so much during the 9/11 attacks.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where there's smoke, there's FIRE! Presenting 1:6 scale 12-inch Firefighter figures :)

These are some of the 1:6 scale 12-inch Firefighters that I've collected over the years. Firefighters (historically, firemen) are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, the English word "firefighter" has been used since at least 1903. In recent decades it has become the preferred term, replacing the older "fireman", since many women serve as firefighters, and also because the term "fireman" can have other meanings, including someone who sets or stokes fires - exactly the opposite of the firefighting role. [source: wiki]

First up is the Hot Toys released Modern Firefighter in 2002 and IMHO, the most detailed 1/6 firefighter ever produced. Hot Toys would go on to release two more firefighters much later and they came with the likeness of John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix from the movie "Ladder 49 (2004)" and these would be the version 2 firefighters.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Marcos Minuchin, Photographer (The Secret Life Of Toys)

Blogging connects us all to the world and makes me realize that the world isn't as big as it seems and the internet has become one of the greatest innovations because everything you can imagine can be obtained from the world-wide web (well, almost everything).

I started my toy blog as a means to catalog my toy collection. I wanted to take pictures of my toys and put the images on my blog to know what I have collected over the years. Little did I know then that "Toy Haven" would connect with so many like-minded kindred spirits all over the world. For that, I have to thank all my visitors for your continued support and feedback (via email and putting comments on my posts); it has been most encouraging :)

"You Made Me Ink"

One of the many privileges of blogging is meeting new people and making new friends, most of whom I've never met in person but have had a connection with immediately because of our common interest - TOYS!

Marcos Minuchin is one such person. He is a self-taught photographer and avid toy collector, who one day decided to buy a camera, read its manual 5 times over and start taking pictures. The result: The Secret lIfe Of Toys.

"What a Trooper"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"BATs All, Folks" - Mego style Batman Gallery

Continued from the previous post (The Crook, the Bat and the Ugly)...

These are some of the smaller scaled Batman figures in my toy collection. By smaller scale I meant that they are shorter than 12 inches which is the height for 1/6 scale figures. These are all cloth costumed Batman figures too, meaning that they are all wearing a fabric costume over an articulated body as well as cowl, cape, belt and boots, unlike the smaller plastic molded Batman figures which I also collect and have shown in my previous posts (click on the BATMAN label on the left side-bar to view my humble Batman-themed collection). Of course Batman is not complete without his Boy Wonder sidekick Robin, the pair making up the Dynamic Duo, also known as the Caped Crusaders.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Crook, The Bat and The Ugly

I just love me some group shots of figures posed together (even if it means they're just standing; there's something about strength in numbers) and these Mego styled and Retro-Action DC Super Heroes and Villains are no exception :) This blog post is aptly named "The Crook, The Bat and The Ugly".

The Crook would be The Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot), one of Batman's oldest foes, and an eccentric criminal mastermind, known as much for his love of ornithology and trick umbrellas as for his already shady business dealings. In most incarnations, the Penguin is a short, chubby man who wears a tuxedo, top hat, monocle, white gloves and spats. The vintage Mego Penguin 8" figure stays true to this incarnation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New from Triad Toys: Triad Legends - Jason 12-inch figure

"Jason and the Argonauts" is a 1963 Columbia Pictures fantasy feature film starring Todd Armstrong as the titular mythical Greek hero in a story about his quest for the Golden Fleece. Directed by Don Chaffey in collaboration with stop motion animation expert Ray Harryhausen, the film is noted for its stop-motion monsters.

The picture below is one of the scenes I remembered when I watched "Jason and the Argonauts" many many many years ago. Jason and his men battle armed skeletons in a famous four minute stop motion sequence that took special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen four and a half months to produce.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shiver me timbers, it's Hot Toys POTC4 Jack Sparrow DX Figure

Hot Toys "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" DX (DeluXe) Jack Sparrow 12-inch collectible figure sneak peeks

New from Art-figures: Navy Seal Special OR Lt A K Waters (Bruce Willis) 12-inch Figure

"Tears of the Sun" is a 2003 American war film, depicting a United States Navy SEAL team rescue mission amidst a civil war in the West African country of Nigeria. Lt. A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) commands the team sent to rescue U.S. citizen Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks (Monica Bellucci) from the civil war en route to her jungle hospital.

And now coming from Art-figures will be this 1/6 scale Navy Seal Special Forces 12-inch figure that bears a strong resemblance to Bruce Willis as Lieutenant A.K. Waters as he appeared in the film, including the attire he wore i.e. Woodlands camouflage outfit plus gear and accessories.

Mattel Retro-Action Two-Face 8" Figure REVIEW

From one Two-Face (see my earlier post) to another...

Harvey Dent was Gotham City's district-attorney and one of Batman's strongest allies until Sal "Boss" Maroni threw acid in his face, hideously scarring him. It also fractured his mental state, causing him to become Two-Face, a schizoid criminal-mastermind obsessed with the number two.

This is the Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Two-Face 8" figure from wave 2 and this post follows after my earlier post on the Batman figure with removable cowl and cape (reviewed HERE and HERE)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sideshow Collectibles 1:6 General Hawk 12-inch Figure PREVIEW


When the G.I.JOE team was being formed, Brigadier General Clayton Abernathy became the team's first field commander under the code name HAWK. After leading the G.I.JOE team on several successful missions, HAWK received his first general star.

For most generals, this new-found responsibility would require them to stay well protected away from battle so as to properly command their teams. HAWK chose not to follow this path. He earns his experience on the battlefield like the rest of his team, and he makes absolutely certain that he doesn't dole out orders and assign missions that he wouldn't be willing to carry out himself. It's that kind of attitude that inspires his troops, knowing that the one in charge is still one of them. YO JOE!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kitbash USMC Staff Sergeant Nantz from "World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles"

This is my attempt at kitbashing a 1/6 scale Aaron Eckhart as USMC Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz 12-inch figure from the current movie showing at the cinema theatres here and in the United States, "World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles".

This is one of the great things I really like about this hobby of collecting 1/6 scale figures. You can customize figures and make them your own by switching heads, uniform / outfits, gear and accessories plus weapons. This isn't possible with statutes or plastic molded figures because they come as they are and it takes a lot more work to change the look. Not so for 12-inch figures because everything is removable and replaceable. That's the beauty of 1/6; the endless possibilities.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New from Phicen: LAURA (inspired by Lara Croft)

Coming soon from Phicen: a 1/6 Scale Deluxe Collector Figure "LAURA" with Large Breast Seamless Body and 33 Points of Articulation, height: 29.50cm. LAURA is obviously inspired by Lara Croft from the 1996 video game "Tomb Raider" and portrayed in two feature films by Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" in 2001 and "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" in 2003.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Playmobil #4693 SWAT Police Officer Figure

Came across this Playmobil figure the other day and just couldn't resist not getting it. This is one of those Playmobil Specials that start at a very good price point. The boxed sets are a different thing altogether and can set you back an arm and a leg if you really were to go down that road. As for me, I'm just happy to get my hands on this.

The interesting thing is, this Playmobil #4693 SWAT Police Officer Figure is pretty much a stand-alone figure i.e. there are no box sets or other figure like it. All the other SWAT figures in the series are "dressed" differently from this particular figure.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New from Wild Work: 1/6 Darkness Cop Figure

"Edge of Darkness" is a 2010 film adaptation of the 1985 BBC television series of the same name. The film stars Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone, and is directed by Martin Campbell and produced by Michael Wearing, who also directed and produced the series respectively. This film is Mel Gibson's first screen lead since "Signs" which was released eight years earlier in 2002.

"Edge of Darkness" follows a detective (Gibson) investigating the murder of his activist daughter (Bojana Novakovic), while uncovering political conspiracies and cover-ups in the process.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New from Zy Toys: Sniper Uniform Set

The Zy Toys: Sniper Uniform set includes a short barrel Barrett M82A1 Sniper Rifle, modified RAID style desert fatigues, modified DCU camo sniper boonie hat, DCU camo Army field cap, tactical belt, "leftie" drop down holster with pistol, range finder, and hand held GPS. The coolest items are the Practical Tactical/HSGI PT-03 Mesa Vest (with an assortment of various pouches) and the Tactical Concealment Viper Sniper Hood.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

FoxBox Studio "God Complex: Hermes" 1/6 Figure PREVIEW

A new company called FoxBox Studio is coming up with a new concept 12-inch figure: the "God Complex: Hermes" 1/6 Scale Collectible Figure (Limited to 100 pieces worldwide).

In Greek mythology, HERMES is the god of travel, messengers, trade, thievery, cunning wiles, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry. He is the messenger of the gods, and the son of Zeus and Maia. His attributes include the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap. The Golden Age Flash (Jay Garrick) costume is most likely inspired by Hermes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Captain Action Captain America & Spider-Man Costume Sets SOON

Captain Action costume sets of Spider-Man and Captain America will debut in the fall of 2011 at Toys ’R’ Us and other specialty retailers (in the US) for the first time in over 40 years since the original Captain Action line was launched.

The original 1/6 scale Captain Action Figure, created by G.I. Joe designer Stan Weston, was released in 1966 and had uniforms for a variety of licensed characters that allowed Captain Action to become Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Lone Ranger and a host of other characters.

The pictures released are actually computer generated mock-ups to give us an idea of how the final product will look like. I guess they don't have the final prototype pictures yet.

Two buddies having drinks - 8 cans, 2 bottles & 2 cases (ALL 1:6)!

Here's a picture of two buddies having drinks at the table after a hard day's work. What are they discussing about? Your guess is as good as mine. Buddy 1 (on the left) is Toymaster 1/6 scale War Journalist 2.0 [Battlefield Hero] - previewed earlier HERE and buddy number 2 is Dr Figures CIA Field Operator (previewed HERE). More on these two 12-inch figures later. This post is about the stuff on the table - mainly drinks.

The two of them could be catching up on the latest gossip. You may have seen or heard some of the funny Charlie Sheen quotes that have come from his most recent publicity. One of them is "Can't is the cancer of Happen" - what?!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hot Toys 1/6 Bruce Lee Collectible Figure (In Suit) PREVIEW

Paying tribute to the 20th century’s most influential martial artist in the world and his one-of-his-kind philosophy, Hot Toys is proud to present the 1/6th scale Bruce Lee Collectible Figure (In Suit) specially crafted based on his image in the 1970s, highlighting the newly developed authentic head sculpt, muscular body, detailed costume (outfit - it's a suit!), sunglasses in his iconic style and director’s chair as accessories.

Hot Toys 1/6 Bruce Lee Collectible Figure (In Casual Wear) PREVIEW

Paying tribute to the 20th century’s most influential martial artist in the world and his one-of-his-kind philosophy, Hot Toys is proud to present the 1/6th scale Bruce Lee Collectible Figure (In Casual Wear) specially crafted based on his image in the 1970s, highlighting the newly developed authentic head sculpt, muscular body, casual wear and sunglasses in his iconic style, as well as beach chair as accessory.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mattel Retro-Action Batman 8" Figure REVIEW II

continued from the previous post...

Here's Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Batman 8" Figure with cowl and cape. I'm not particularly fond of the extra rubber chin on the cowl as it makes Batman look like he's wearing those neck sprain collar instead of a cowl or mask. But overall, a nice figure :) check out pictures of the full Batsuit below

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mattel Retro-Action Batman 8" Figure REVIEW 1

This is the Mattel Retro-Action DC Super Heroes Batman 8" Figure with cowl and cape removed, showing the man behind the mask: Bruce Wayne. The head sculpt cannot be compared with Hot Toys standard but given the price point and that these aren't marketed as collectibles but TOYS, it is what it is - FUN!

Like I said in my earlier post "The Postman Cometh", these Mattel figures are meant to bring back the memories of the Mego 8-inch (200 mm) scale action figure days (hence Retro-Action) and I cannot resist these articulated and clothed superheroes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New from MWtoy & Crazydummy: WWII Defence Of The Reich Fighter Pilot

This is an upcoming release by MWtoy and Crazydummy: WWII Defence Of The Reich 1/6 scale Fighter Pilot 12-inch figure.

The 1/6 scale 12-inch Luftwaffe (German Air Force) pilot figure will come with PVC head, articulated body, Luftwaffe Officer's Visor Cap, Neckerchief, Flying.Jacket (Imitation Leather), black tie, blue shirt, Officer's Shoulder Boards (Hauptmann / Captain), Luftwaffe Breast Eagle, Luftwaffe Day-Fighter Operational Flying Clasp in Gold, German Iron Cross 1st Class Badge, Luftwaffe Pilot Badge, Silver Wound Badge, Brown Leather Belt (Genuine Leather), Compass, M37 Femaru Pistol Handgun, M37 Holster (Genuine Leather), Flying Helmet (Genuine Leather), Luftwaffe Flight Goggles, Flying Gloves (Imitation Leather), Flying Trousers, Flying Boots (Genuine Leather), Life Jacket, File Folder (Genuine Leather), PVC pipette, ABS oxygen cylinder and Map

Friday, March 11, 2011

New from Brother Production: The Vigilante "CHARIES" 12-inch figure

Coming soon from Brothers Production: 1/6 scale The Vigilante "CHARIES" 12-inch figure. The figure is obviously meant to be Charles Dennis Bronson (November 3, 1921 – August 30, 2003), an American actor best known for his "tough guy" image. Bronson starred in films such as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Mr. Majestyk, The Mechanic, and the popular Death Wish series.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot Toys 1/6 Odin Collectible Figurine PREVIEW

Following the launch of the Thor Limited Edition Collectible Figurine, Hot Toys is proud to present the collectible figure of another character from the Marvel Studios - the 1/6th scale Odin Limited Edition Collectible Figurine from the upcoming "Thor" movie. The movie-accurate collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Anthony Hopkins as Odin in the movie, highlighting the newly developed head sculpt, highly detailed costume, accessories and weapon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Postman Cometh (Retro-Action DC Super Heroes)

I've not bought stuff from overseas in a long time as I've been getting all my fix from the local store but I recently ordered my new fix from America and it arrived last Saturday via USPS (United States Postal Service) and SingPost. It certainly brought a BIG smile to my face as I'd ordered these about a week or so back and had been eagerly anticipating its arrival.

Growing up I remember seeing quite a bit and getting one or two of the old Mego 8-inch (200 mm) scale figures. Mego released the very first ever comprehensive line of DC and Marvel character action figures and coined the term "World's Greatest Super Heroes!" to umbrella the name for all the figures released in this line. The popularity of this line of 8" figures created the standard scale for the 1970s and featured several popular superhero and villain figures. In my family, we never keep stuff :( everything was thrown out as we moved from house to house. Needless to say, all the toys were gotten rid off the moment I grew out of childhood.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"From Boys To Men: Every Singaporean Son" premieres on National Geographic at 9.30pm

From tonight on National Geographic channel (StarHub channel 411) at 9.30pm, "From Boys To Men: Every Singaporean Son" will be shown as a six-part weekly series. This document series is a authentic portrayal of the National Service (NS) experience and will be focusing on recruits going through the Singapore Basic Military Training or BMT which is a nine-week-long military training on Pulau Tekong.

Mindef (Ministry of Defence) had uploaded 18 clips onto YouTube last year to create an awareness and boost its cyber presence. The online episodes were six to seven minutes long and titled "Every Singaporean Son". National Geographic has now repackaged them into a six-part weekly series which will be content-driven and not like conventional reality shows where it hinges on the personalities. Mindef says it is the most detailed programme of BMT.

So for my family (Jared and Javon will have to go through this experience in a few years time) and I, you know where we'll be tonight at 9.30pm

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hot Toys USCM CPL Hicks & PFC Vasquez

continued from an earlier post...

In the movie "Aliens (1986)", the United States Colonial Marine Corps (USCMC) or USCM, commonly known as the Colonial Marines, is the successor to the United States Marine Corps and their "force-in-readiness", who are at all times ready to operate in environments far from home. The primary duty of the Colonial Marines is to maintain the security of the United Americas signatories and colonies, and serves as the vanguard of any major problem.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Geared Up for War Games

I saw this picture in the papers the day before and it prompted me to search for more images on line. This is a picture of American 2nd Infantry Division soldiers in gas masks and anti-chemical gear checking their kits during a joint United States-South Korean chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection and response drill north of Seoul on Thursday, March 3, 2011. South Korean and US troops kicked off the annual exercise on Monday, with North Korea quick to slam them as a rehearsal for an invasion that could trigger nuclear war on the divided peninsula.

I've not seen pictures of this type of gear before (check out what I think is the backpack oxygen tank with breathing tube connected to the mask) and it certainly looks BADA$$. Also interesting to note is that the overgarments are still the Woodlands camouflage type.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Collecting on a BIG scale posted by Ian

Recently I was approached by Ian O'Neill from "Toy Collector" for an interview for a write-up on their site. I'd come to know Ian through my blog (our first correspondence was May 26, 2010) and felt honored that he would ask to do an interview with me.

The write-up is now up on their site and I'm glad to be able to share it here. Just click on the picture below or on the LINK here. Happy reading ;p

Once again, I have to say a BIG THANK YOU to all my friends, fellow bloggers and visitors for making all this possible. Without your continued support, none of this would have happened and I would never have found so many like-minded kindred spirits to share my passion with :) CHEERS

Friday, March 4, 2011

New from FIGUREHERO: ALIEN KILLER - 1/6 Accessories and Weapons Set

From the cute (see previous post) to the downright UGLY...

This Figure Hero 1/6 scale Alien Killer set will come with Camouflage uniform (it's the USCM  - Colonial Marine's camouflage from the "Aliens" franchise), Tactical boots, M12 rifle, M12 rifle drum magazine, Red shotgun shells x 7, Blue shotgun shells x 7, Black bullet carrier & rifle belt PLUS Chestbuster x 3.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Weird and Wonderful

This article appeared in the papers recently documenting Nature's Weirdest creatures. From newly discovered deep-bottom dwellers to mammals that resemble rodents, nature has unraveled some outright weird-looking creatures. They certainly reminded me of some of the toys Jared and Javon used to collect when they were much younger. Scroll down to see what they are :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just in CASE - GoGoGo 1/6 Military Supply Case

Here's a case you can't do without if you're into 1/6 scale 12-inch figures, especially if you like military figures. GoGoGo will be releasing these 1/6 Military Supply Cases for all your military accessories. Yay! No more loose items thrown everywhere. Now they can be all well organized and stored away until they are needed or when the 1/6 army gets mobilized haha

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New from Cal-Tek: French Infantryman May 1940

CalTek has collaborated with Soldier Story on quite a number of military figures in the past and now it seems that they have gained enough experience to go it alone. Cal-Tek will be releasing a 1/6 scale French Infantryman 12-inch military figure from the French campaign of the Second World War during May - June 1940.

This figure seems to be inspired by Kirk Douglas in "Paths of Glory", even though the film took place in WWI. That is because the French didn't really change the look of their military since 1918. When the French army was mobilised in September 1939, the men of the infantry looked like they had just walked out of a 1918 photograph, the only difference being khaki instead of horizon blue but in black and white pictures, they would probably look the same.