Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rollin, rollin, rollin!

So recently Tenacious Toys and artist NEMO put out a call for artists to submit pieces for a show at the graffiti supply boutique All The Right. The show was called The Rollie Show, and the idea was to make unique toys out of cheapo roll-on deodorant bottles! Such a cool, economical idea for a show!!!

So I made this little guy here which I named the Hell Roller:

He's mounted on a light-up base so you can make his flames glow!

Tenacious Toys posted a Flickr album today with some pics from the show!

Here is the full display with over 40 customized rollies! Look at all that talent gathered there!

Here's my piece next to an awesome Ganesha and a little guy putting on ROLL-ON DEODORANT!!!

Be sure to check out the Flickr Album here for more great pics!!!

Thanks Tenacious Toys, NEMO, and All The Right for allowing us all to have this opportunity!!!

Godzilla gets his nails did.

Regular readers will recall that I recently purchased a bootleg Bandai Godzilla figure.

I was torn about the figure: the vinyl color and the paintjob were goofy and very "bootleggish," but the sculpt was exceptional. If it had a goofy looking sculpt, I would have kept it as is for the LOL factor. As it was, I couldn't stand to see such an awesome sculpt go withought a better paintjob. So... well... here ya go:

I tried my best to bring out the sculpt with some drybrushing and washes. I hope I did the Big G justice.[/quote]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Godzilla's big, "special" brother...

So I went to the mailbox today, and jammed into the box was a manilla envelope that was tied shut with a string.

A string. You heard me correctly: a string.

No adhesive on the flap.

Minimal padding inside the envelope.

Nothing but a badly beat-up envelope with something I have been waiting three weeks to get.

Let me backtrack a bit. Three weeks ago I found a seller on Ebay who was selling 8 inch (standard size) Godzilla figures. He had a lot of them, and they were CHEAP. That only means one thing: BOOTLEGS!!! I did some research and figured out that this was a rather common bootleg that has been popping up now and again from China. It is based on the Godzilla from Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, the movie where he has a rematch with Mechagodzilla and fights Mothra in the process. Great flick. Great Godzilla design. You can tell it's that specific one, because he has the scarred-up chest from his first battle with Mechagodzilla in Godzilla against Mechagodzilla. Anyway, I'm not really a stickler for things being authentic as long as they look pretty decent, and there's no way on earth I'm going to pass up a standard scale Godzilla toy for 13 bucks (with free shipping).

Flash forward to today. Manilla envelope. String. No padding.

I'm honestly lucky I got my figure.

On to the actual figure itself: It is.... FANTASTIC. The mold is the exact same as the Bandai mold, so it's a really good-looking figure. When I got it out of the package it was flat. Flat as a fritter. Evidently the package had been under some boxes during its trip here. I wasn't too worried, because I had heard horror stories about warped vinyl and how to fix it. I whipped out a hair dryer and within about 20 minutes I had a fully restored Godzilla. He was packed in three pieces: the main body and two tail sections. I had to heat those up as well to make them fit the body. The first thing I noticed after getting him was that he was really freakin heavy! He's made out of hard vinyl, which I was not expecting at all. It's rock-hard-- a lot more firm than anything I've ever had. I have an older authentic Godzilla from Japan, and he's pretty stiff, but this guy is like a hammer. It might be crappy vinyl, but I'm not overly concerned. That just makes him more dangerous!

He stands 8 inches tall and is 17.5 inches long from the tip of his nose to his tail. He's pretty darn impressive looking next to my 6 inch Godzilla figures.

He's articulated at the neck, the shoulders, the hips, and the tail. He has the standard side to side arm articulation that my friend Krakit likes to call, "Wiping the bar off." articulation! Hee hee!

The paint is just horrible. He's molded in a mint green colored vinyl and he has a VERY sloppy spray of Pepto-Bismal pink on his dorsal fins. His eyes are not as sloppy, but he has a bit of the Marty Feldman look going on. He has yellow teeth which are painted fairly well. His fingernails and toenails are sprayed bright white. He's so horribly cheap looking that I have to love him. I'll probably wind up painting him how I want him to look, but that's half the fun!

I love the figure, but I'm not very fond of how the packaging and shipping was handled.

I don't think I'll post the name of the seller on here, but if anyone wants to know who to avoid, ask me and I'll give it to you. The figure may be great, but it's a minor miracle I actually got it.

There are some more folks selling these bootlegs on Ebay in case anyone wanted to get one, as it's a very nice figure... with some work.

What's up, Armodoc?

What is an Armodoc exactly? This is an Armodoc. It is the latest release from Matt Doughty's toy company Onell Design. It is a roughly 5-inch-tall, soft-vinyl action figure that was first released in limited quantities at this year's San Diego Comic Convention. The first run of these guys was something of a smash hit-- not surprisingly, as the fanbase for Onell's Glyos series grows more and more each day it seems. When Matt made the figures available for the internet crowd they sold out within an hour or so. I know, because I watched the thread on the October Toys Forum and wept bitter tears. I was, as usual, broke, so I couldn't get one of these wondrous beasties. Priced extremely affordably for a limited run vinyl collectable of this size, the Armodoc sells for $25. The inaugural run of the figure had a little extra surprise for the dedicated fans. I'm not sure if it will be included with the upcoming release, but it was packed in as an extra. At any rate-- the cost of the Armodoc is quite justified without it.

I got mine in a trade with a friend from the October Toys Forum-- a trade for something that followers of this blog will get a chance to see step by step as I work on it. I think it will serve as the biggest custom I have ever made to date. Keep watching this space for something... BIG.

Cute little goon isn't he? Matt always packs a ton of personality into each one of his creations, and this one is probably one of the coolest I have been lucky enough to obtain so far! He's a stocky cuss, and he is a smidge wider than he is tall! This guy is one chunky little dude!

The figure is made up of 11 individual interlinking pieces, and it offers a world of possibilities for building crazy junk. For some awesome stuff Matt has built with the Armodoc, check out his blog! That man never ceases to amaze me with the way his mind works. I'm lucky if I can snap two pieces together!

The figure has 10 points of swivel articulation, but most of the pieces are cut at an angle, so you get a wide range of movement from each. You can pose him all kind of ways, and he looks great in any pose.

Since this is one of the first release figures it came with a bonus extra figure. If you play the Passcode game that is on the Onell site, you will see this shadowy, ghost-like Pheyden appear briefly when an Armodoc is destroyed. According to Matt's story, the Armodoc is a creature or robot that is tasked with capturing every Pheyden in the multiverse. When it finds a Pheyden, it defeats him and absorbs him into itself. The result are these burnt out husks of Pheydens. Pretty darn cool extra, if I do say so myself!

As I mentioned before, the Armodoc figure is made of soft vinyl, so it is quite easy to take it apart and build with it. A standard Glyos figure fits nicely inside the chest of the figure, and I'm sure someone with enough skill could make a spaceship out of the body parts that a Glyos figure could drive.

One of the coolest things about the Armodoc is its compatability with the Glyos system parts. The sockets in the Armodoc fit the ball portion of the Gobon blaster like a glove! Once you discover this little tidbit, your building possibilities go up even more!!!

The Gobon is still my favorite Glyos figure, but the Armodoc is definately my second favorite! This is one cool-looking, chunky little guy! He looks good standing next to my Glyos figures, and he's super fun to goof around with. He's very, very, VERY well-made, and, as with all Onell products, he is quite durable and play-ready!

Keep an eye out on the Onell Design store, because the new wave of figures, including several new colorways of the Armodoc are coming VERY soon!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cardboard Creation

One of the best sites ever, Toy Break, is running a contest for the Large Martin toy from 3A toys, and all they require you do is submit an original robot made out of cardboard. I just turned in my entry and figured I'd post it here as well:

He stands a bit over 2 inches tall and has articulation in the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. I named him CBHG-5.5. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

He say you Brade Runnah!

Just finished up a new figure. Rick Deckard from Blade Runner:

Click the pic to see the auction and more pictures.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

20 Steps to Improve Star Trek

I have yet to see the Star Trek movie that came out earlier this year. I guess I will when it hits DVD. I was going through some old text files tonight and ran across this conversation I had with Doug on AIM. I figured I'd share it:

Doug: I've got some ideas that'll change the star trek universe forever...

Me: oh?

Me: lemme guess.... better stories?

Doug: #1 How about don't put anything explosive in control panels

Me: ha ha ha ha ha

Doug: #2 Seatbelts

Me: ha ha ha ha

Doug: already, right there we've cut 3/4th of the deaths on the show


Doug: #4 If you going to war, wear armor. I know you're really proud of your pajamas and all, but this is the friggin future. You can carry more tech than a pin on you shirt and a fancy calculator

Doug: I mean it's good enough for the klingons right?

Me: #5 it's ok every once in a while for the aliens to not look like people

Doug: but not ok for the budget

Doug: they have to spend like 20 dollars for a make up guy for another hour

Doug: I mean thats crazy

Me: yup

Me: oh look.... i'm clearly an alien... i have a bump on my nose

Doug: #6 You have transporters...theres no need to go runnin the endless halls of your ship when someone isn't suppose to be there


Doug: #7 Again future, ever hear of automated defenses...I mean they have solid Holograms that can create and shoot guns and lasers, how about use those sometime

Me: #8 it's not necessary to sleep with everyone you meet if you are a captain

Doug: actually, I think that's in the contract

Me: maybe so

Doug: #9 enough with the time travel, we stopped friggin caring when kirk went to fetch whales

Me: #10 whales taste GREAT

Doug: we don't want to watch people in modern times, otherwise we'd be watching WB

Me: ugh

Me: no crap

Me: and NO ONE watches that

Doug: heheh

Doug: nope


Doug: always

Me: and this time, for god's sake put him under a sun lamp so he can at least move a bit faster

Doug: #12 The Holodek...WILL BREAK

Doug: Historical figures will always turn evil and try to kill you

Me: excuse me... were you suggesting we should break Will Crusher?

Me: because that's a good suggestion

Me: or maybe you were suggesting that in the holodeck Will becomes mutated like the Hulk and breaks things saying "WILL BREAK!"

Me: either way... we're good with that

Doug: #13 You know, evasive manuevers should mean a little more than sitting in place and firing

Doug: #14 Its space, not all the ships you meet will be right side up, also space is in three dimensions, you can go around things

Me: #15 more borg, less ferangi

Doug: #16 We have guided missiles now, so why can't their torpedos do anything other than go in a straight line?

Me: #17 next time you find people frozen in an ancient ship.... LEAVE THEM FROZEN

Doug: #18 Stop naming every planet the same name as the people...humans, from humanlon, from the human home world

Me: ha ha ha

Me: yep

Me: #19 more half-nekkid green chicks

Doug: #20 Would someone for once go outside the ship and give it a new paint job when "repairs are underway?" since when can you fix everything about you car by messing with the radio control panel?

Doug: ok, thats it for me, all that from just having seen one episode.....

I think everyone will agree that Doug and I clearly should have been top choices for the creative team to make a better Trek movie. CLEARLY.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slice like a ninja

I'm going to ramble a bit, but I promise there's a point to this madness. If you don't feel like reading me gripe about comics, movies, and other things, skip on down to the toy review.

During the Christmas season of 2004 I worked at the Toys R Us on Harbison Boulevard in Columbia, SC. One day after work I drove over to Heroes and Dragons, a pretty awesome comic book and toy shop in the area. They were having a sale on their backissues for $1 a piece. Buck comics rate pretty highly with me. I completed a lot of runs of books and started collections of others that I still haven't finished-- I don't like to spend much money (anyone who knows me will attest to this fact), and finding comics for a buck is rare anymore.

One of the series that I started collecting on a whim was G.I. JOE: Reloaded from Devil's Due Press(DDP).

G.I. JOE: Reloaded was an experiment in gritty military fiction written by a guy who knows about as much about the military as I know about nuclear physics. John Ney Rieber started writing the series, but was clearly... distracted. The individual plot lines were very clouded, his artistic direction to the various artists of dissonant talents was confusing, and the overall direction of the series was just poorly planned. Then... suddenly... in the middle of a story arch... Rieber decided that he was a pacifist and would never write a military comic book again (he's been writing military books ever since then, so go figure). Thanks, John! I read several of the books you wrote for DDP, and I am certainly glad you stopped writing when you did. Transformers/G. I. JOE? EUGH. EEEUUUUUGH! What a miserably confusing clusterpuke of a comic book.

Around issue # 9 of Reloaded it was announced that Chuck Dixon would take over the book. Dixon attempted to pull the book up from the nose dive it had been put into, but it was too late. The title lasted 'til issue 14, which was wrapped up about as quickly and clean as could be managed with the short timeframe. It was really depressing to see the book plummet, head back up, then get cut off just as it was gaining ground.

Now, I say all this to make a point. I started collecting the book from the starting block... I was there for the issue before the first issue that kicked the whole thing off. I collected it past the $1 sales stuff and into the "3 bucks-an-issue" territory and even into the "let's-pay-8 bucks-for-rare-backissues-online" territory. The series was bad. No... BAD. Horrible. Terrible. Gag-inducing. But I kept coming back for more. Why? Well... it's as simple as one character: Snake Eyes. Rieber took an interesting route with the silent ninja/commando: he was freaking nuts. It was never revealed what did it, but something in Snake Eyes' past had driven him quite beyond the point of sanity. He had become a killing machine, pure and simple. Emotionless, cold, deadly. It was suggested (somewhere in the senseless babble that Rieber chose to call a comic book script) that Snake Eyes had worked for Cobra Commander at some point. He had decided, for some unknown reason, to be a good guy, but he sure didn't work like a good guy. He was a shark trapped in a man's body. Rieber has said that his favorite character to write was Snake Eyes, and it shows.

I say all this to make a point. I promise I'll get there in a minute.

When Reloaded was shelved, I was pretty sad, because no other book or cartoon had characterized Snake Eyes quite like that book had.

Then... I saw this:

Whaaaaa? Bloodthirsty, butt-kicking, killing-machine Snake Eyes? How dare they????

G. I. JOE: Resolute was an 11 episode mini-series that aired in 5 minute installments on Cartoon Network. It was written by Warren Ellis, an actually talented (GASP!) comic book writer. It kicked all kinds of butt all night long, Sweet Suzie. I could go on and on about it, but let's just say that Snake Eyes was the main reason almost everyone watched the thing. He did NOT disappoint. He was a brutally efficient killer, and he showed almost no emotions doing the dirty work he did. He had a driving force behind his violence, but there was no super-well-defined origin for it. They showed his youth in training with the Arashikage ninja clan briefly, but never went into anything else.

I then heard there was going to be an action figure line... YEAH-YUH!

Then I heard the Resolute figure line had been cancelled due to Hasbro's promotion of the live action movie. I will not get into the many ways and reasons for my hatred for that movie, but let's just say that killing the Resolute line did NOT help things.

But... BUUUUUUUUT... there was a bright shining star in the field of turds that fell out of that movie (the action figure line from the movie is actually a really, really, REALLY nice toy line-- I just hate the movie): They were going to release the Resolute Snake Eyes in the movie series! Oh yes. OH... YES...!

Well... I found him tonight. I now hold in my hands little Mr. Slashy McStabbington himself!

How is the figure? Read on:


One thing I can say about the G I JOE movie line packaging is that it is very pretty. No different here. The figure and accessories are showcased quite well, and there is tha standard JOE filecard on the back. One thing that really made me smile is that they didn't even bother trying to make the character picture on the card look like the movie character. This is a totally different kind of character, and he deserves to be spotlighted as such. It's really weird seeing the Resolute Snake Eyes in the movie line, but I'm happy as a hog in crap to have him.

Sculpt, articulation, and paint:

Simply beautiful. The guy is ripped, but lean enough to look like he's capable of killing ten men in ten seconds. He has some nice gear sculpted on his belts and the cartoon's aesthetics are translated into 3D quite well.

He's articulated out the wazoo, much like all the figures in the 25th Anniversary and movie lines. He has what appears to be 22 points of articulation. Not too shabby for a 3.75 inch tall figure. All of his joints are really well made and durable. His ankles are VERY tight, and I've been having to deal with getting them just right to keep him standing. I'm sure it has more to do with the newness of the figure to me than the actual articulation. I'm still learning how to best pose him for stances. Each figure has its own little quirks, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here.

The paint is just fine as well. Little to no slop and clean lines. Mostly he's molded in plastic that matches the color of the character, so that cuts down on paint wear and excess paint applications. I'm usually not find of gray Snake Eyes figures, but there's something about this one that just works. It matches the look of the character in the cartoon, so I'm very happy.


One thing that can be said about the movie line: they come with a LOT of stuff. Each figure I've purchased from the movie line for custom fodder has come with a crapload of accessories-- way more than any of the 25th Anniversary line came with and way more than you get with almost any other figure of similar scale. Snake Eyes here comes with 11 accessories:

1 backpack
1 climbing harness
1 sword
1 sword sheathe
2 assault rifles
1 pistol
1 knife
2 ice boots
1 stand

The climbing harness is kinda junky and unneccesary. However, it is well-sculpted and I'm sure kids will love it.
All of the accessories fit his hands perfectly, and the sword fits nicely in its sheathe. One really nice feature is the fact that the sheathe REALLY attaches to the belt... I mean I had to pry that sucker out after I put it on. I think it's going to stay there from now on-- but it's nice to have an accessory actually stay put on a figure for a change.

One annoying thing about the accessories is that there aren't really any places to store them on the figure. It's not a huge issue, but if a figure is going to come with 5,000 guns and sharp things it helps for him to carry them on his person. It doesn't really matter... his sword is on his back and he can double grip his rifle, so I'm good.

I guess I've talked enough. I'll let the pictures do the talking for me:

City Strike Snake Eyes is a REALLY nice figure with a load of articulation and accessories. Kids should dig him and adults should adore him. He's easily the coolest Snake Eyes figure I've ever owned.