Thursday, December 31, 2009

It Came From 2009

Let me say this first: I'm totally ganking this idea from Phil Reed. On his excellent website he shared his Awards in a recent post. He ran through the stuff he had reviewed over the last year and picked a few favorites. Great stuff, Phil!

I'm not so much making this an awards presentation as I'm much as I'm just going to recap a few of my favorite things from 2009 that may or may not have appeared on this blog (These aren't necessarily all things made in 2009-- some are things I first encountered in 2009):


My Favorite Toy Company in 2009

Onell Design

Without a doubt, the best company out there yesterday, today, and tomorrow is Onell Design. Company owner Matt Doughty has worked extremely hard to make one of the best toy lines of all time and has worked even harder to make sure the toys are affordable as possible to collect. Great toys made by a great guy-- what's not to like?


My Favorite Designer Toy in 2009

RealxHead's Chaos Man II

With a face like that, how was there any other choice? Chaos Man II, a kaiju toy from RealxHead toys in Japan, is a really swell guy. He's huge, insanely detailed, and his paint job is top notch! These RealxHead toys keep getting better and better!!!


My Favorite Mainstream Toy in 2009

Bandai Creation's 12" Mechagodzilla

Standing 12 inches tall, this Mechagodzilla toy is still one of my favorite in-store purchases of the year. The big guy is priced at around 15-20 bucks at Toys R Us, and he's worth every penny. Seeing Godzilla toys on shelves again was such a treat. I fear this will be the last year we'll be seeing this unless something extraordinary happens.


My Favorite TV Series in 2009

Doctor Who

As much as I've loved Lost since day one and as much as I enjoyed the first 4 episodes of V, nothing has made me more excited than the last few episodes and specials of the latest Doctor Who series. David Tennant has brought an unusual energy to the Who franchise, and I am nervously awaiting the upcoming final episode on Saturday night. Sometimes change is good... that's a lesson Doctor Who has taught every generation that has followed it since day one.


My Least Favorite Movie in 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I can't really name my favorite movie of 2009, as I saw so few movies this year ( I liked Star Trek and Terminator Salvation quite a bit, but they really aren't all that good). However, I can tell you the movie that let me down the most. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen disappointed me in a way few movies ever have. I loved the first movie despite its flaws, but this movie just took those flaws and ran with it. It's like Beavis and Butthead teamed up with the Jackass crew and made a movie about transforming robots. It has seriously made me consider never paying to see a movie in the theater ever again.


My Favorite Comic Book Series in 2009

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is just a fantastic comic book series. It has been called "The best zombie movie never made." The scariest things in the book are not the zombies-- the humans prove to be much more horrible than the living dead. This book never lets you get comfortable long, and it makes me wonder how much farther writer Robert Kirkman can strain his characters' mental stability.


Favorite Website in 2009

The October Toys Forum

The October Toys Forum has become my most favorite place to hang out online ever. In the past year I have learned so much about toys and the people who collect them. The forum is run by those crazy kids from October Toys and Toy Break, George and Ayleen Gaspar. They are honestly some of the best folks around, and their love for toys and toy people is infectious!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Movie Night

Well, I had a movie night last night. After i got home from the big family Christmas get-together I put on two of the movies I received: Terminator: Salvation and Star Trek. Here are my thoughts on these films:

Terminator: Salvation

Not the best movie I have ever seen and not the worst by far. Some die-hard Terminator fans would have you believe the movie was worse than having a root canal performed by an elephant. It actually does a pretty good job taking the Terminator franchise out of the "let's run from disguised robots" theme and putting it squarely into the future war scenes we all liked in the original films. I've heard a lot of complaints that this movie doesn't match the look of the future war scenes in the older films, and these complaints are correct-- but this movie is set in the earlier days of the war with the machines and the machines haven't stepped up their game yet. There were some pretty good performances in the movie, and it seemed everyone took their roles seriously. One stand-out performance surprised me; Anton Yelchin in the role of a very young Kyle Reese really made me smile quite a few times in the film. His voice and mannerisms matched Michael Biehn's pretty darn well. I had heard some bad rumors about the ending of the movie, but I'm pleased to say that the rumors were false-- the ending kinda shocked me, but eventually unfolded in a satisfying (although predictable) manner. I'm glad I own it. Now... when Warner Brothers decides to quit being buttholes and release the extended cut on DVD instead of keeping it a Blu Ray exclusive, I'll be extra impressed with the film.

Star Trek

I wanted to hate this movie. Everything about it rubs me the wrong way. I hate remakes. I hate cocky characters. I hate directors who have little respect for a property they are handling-- but once the movie started I was glued to the screen. It is a spectacle... but it's more than that; it's a really darn good movie. It's a little too convenient at times; certain characters happen to meet up at improbable times way too often in the movie. However, I just looked past that because the movie has the same kind of heart that the original series had. They managed to create a Kirk and Spock that you could actually enjoy (even if you do want to beat the snot out of Spock throughout most of the film). The special effects were top-notch, but they really weren't overdone. The fan-references were pretty nicely done-- not the smack-you-over-the-head-with-it type of references in the Star Wars prequels. This was done pretty subtly, and I imagine people will be finding hidden fan-stuff in this film for some time to come. I'm glad this film came along... it made me eat my own words, but I got to enjoy a really, really good movie in the process.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ho Ho HOH CRAP! Christmas is almost here!!!

Well, I finished up my latest batch of commissions just in time to get ready for Christmas. I haven't done one bit of shopping, and I'm just getting my ornaments underway. I'm trying to tidy up the place because we have company coming.

IFC again. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer tonight. Why do I watch these things, again? This one at least had an ending. I saw it coming a mile away, but yeah. Better than the dude staring into a vent. Henry is actually a pretty good movie; disturbing and depressing but ultimately honest and well-done. The movie's pretty low-budget, but the director did a great job with what was available. The scene where Henry is cutting up a body had unbelievably realistic sound effects-- having helped my dad clean countless deer I'm quite familiar with the sounds that go along with the process. I was quite impressed.

The October Toys Forum members seemed quite receptive of my Kawaiiju designs, which is a really good thing. I hope this is going to be a fun project! I had a minor brainstorm as I drove to town to mail packages today... something extra to add to the fun of the Kawaiiju packaging!

Here's the sketch I posted on the forum of ideas I had for possible figurines:

Friday, December 18, 2009

IFC: A movie channel for people who hate movies

I honestly can't figure out why I keep watching IFC (The Independent Film Channel). Every once in a blue moon there's a decent film on there that they accidentally put on the play list, but mostly it's hyper weird stuff that's more artsy than enjoyable. Tonight I saw two movies that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. One was Buddy Boy and the other was The Secretary.

Buddy Boy is about the really strange guy who takes care of his insane, alcoholic mom-- his mom totally looks like the crossbreeding of one of those treasure troll dolls and a leather sofa. The whole time she's slowly driving him batpoop insane he keeps halucinating all this weird crap that isn't really happening-- or maybe it is. Who knows? Then it ends with him looking into a vent. Literally... he looks in the vent and blammo... credits. Oh yeah-- he wears a baby blue "Meat Is Murder" shirt through the whole darn movie. Who is going to take a guy serious when he doesn't even bother to change his shirt. Really!

The Secretary starts off weird and then gets bizarre. It's about Harvey Dent's girlfriend and she cuts herself and she winds up in a nuthouse-- then she works for David Spader and it turns out he's gorilla-crap crazy and he makes her set mouse traps and make coffee and stuff. There's a lot of typographical errors, spanking, a dead worm, and some awkward sex and then he makes her sit in a chair for 3 days during which I assume she pooped in her dress which happens to be the wedding dress she was wearing when she was going to marry the crazy scientist guy from Lost. Then he comes in and takes her home and gives her a bath and we see that Batman's ex has a rockin set on her. It was shocking, I guess. Boobs are boobs.

I find that every time I watch IFC I have to watch something calmingly normal like cockfights or snuff films afterwards. IFC is honestly designed for people who absolutely hate to enjoy movies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Darth Klehssius Strikes Back!

I posted a new custom figure auction last night. Click the pic to see more and read about the evil Darth Klehssius and his Battle Drone:

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Chaos, Man!

I got a package from a very good friend the other day. It was my Christmas present, although I had no idea I would be getting one so early (You sneaky devil!).

I had mentioned to him a while back that my "Holy Grail" toy was the RealxHead Chaos Man II figure. I knew it was out of my price range, so I figured the thing was pretty much an unobtainable.

Well... you can imagine my reaction when I opened that box and saw my Holy Grail looking back at me with his big buggy eyes. I couldn't talk for a few minutes. I just sat there looking the figure over like a goon. I sat him next to my Vader Grow and admired him. I posed him and turned his head different ways because, darn it... he looks so darn cool.

So thanks, buddy! You made my day, week, and year!

Now... let's look at this guy:

He's listed on the RealxHead page as being Chaos Man II. Some people have taken to calling him "Fly Man." I call him AWESOME.

He's obviously a tribute to Kamen Rider (I'm not sure which one, but I'm sure some of my astute readers can clear that up for me!) with his boots, gloves, and dashing red scarf. He's posed in a dynamic stance that really makes him look AWESOME!!!!!!!

He's more articulated than most RealxHead stuff; he has neck, shoulders, wrist, and waist joints, so you can pose him in all kinds of nifty poses.

His sculpt is pretty darn sweet, with all kinds of cracks and bubbles on his body and wrinkles on his gloves like leather.
His paint job is so good I can't stop looking at him. The paint is metallic and almost iridescent-- it catches the light in quite a nice manner from every angle.

He stands 8 inches tall, so he towers over most of my other vinyl pieces.

For fun I decided to see how parts of Onell Design's Armodoc fit with Chaos Man and vice versa. FUN TIMES!

All in all, I think this is one of, if not THE coolest toy I've ever owned. I keep Chaos Man and Vader Grow on my bedside table so I can see em before I go to bed and when I wake up. I guess they would scare a lot of folks, but I think they're pretty darn handsome fellows!

Thanks again for my Christmas present, buddy! I can't say that enough! You've been a great friend, and it wasn't necessary for you to get this guy for me, but it is MUCH appreciated! Thanks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hollywood Squares ZINNNNNGers

My sister just forwarded me this email filled with Hollywood Squares zingers from the old show's run (I know it's an old forward, but it's new to me-- I rarely read forwarded emails). I remember watching the show as a kid-- it was a LOT better then than it is now, but I find that to be the case most times. Thought I'd share:

These great questions and answers are from the days when 'Hollywood Squares' game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course...

Q. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?
A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!

(The audience laughed so long and so hard it took up almost 15 minutes of the show!)

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency!

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say 'I Love You'?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected!

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. When a couple has a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

Is it just me, or was Paul Lynde THE best thing about Hollywood Squares?

Mighty Mekk

This is the Mighty Mugg custom I did for the Mighty Mugg Custom Trade here on the October Toys Forum. It was the Duke Mugg from the GI Joe line. I used a glass candle holder for the head/cockpit. The little guy inside driving the mech was a pilot figure from the Air Raiders line of toys from the 80's. He had messed up hips, so I decided to use him as the pilot since he would be immobile in the glass cockpit. The missile launcher on his arm fires a projectile. I call him the "Mighty Mekk."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sandy Claws

I was Santa tonight. My church has an annual Christmas party, and we always have a Santa for the kiddies. This was the first time I've dressed up as Santa since I was in Christmas play in grade school. It was a lot of fun, and the kids loved it. I came walking in saying "HO HO HO!," and they went monkey-poop crazy!

I hope I was that enthusiastic about Santa when I was a kid. I was probably afraid of him. I was such a wimpy kid.

There were more kids there than it looks like in these pictures... these were just a few who hung around and had pictures taken. My dad was taking pics.

That Santa suit was unbelievably hot. It was an old suit that the church has had for years, and it was made of polyester-- I'm glad no one was burning candles! Check out the busted up beard there! It looks like Santa was chewing tobacco and dribbled a little bit!-- it was my real beard showing through the fake one! That thing has seen better days! If they want me to play Santa again I might have to see about making a better costume between now and then.

Fun stuff! Happy early Christmas, everyone!