Saturday, July 24, 2010

Check check check check it out

I want to direct your attention to my good friend Michelle Jones' new blog. She's a fantastic artist with a unique eye for the uncommon in common things. She's a beautiful person inside and out, and I owe her more than I can ever repay. She was a anchor when I was going through the horrible storm that my senior year was in college.

Be sure to check out her work, and give her a warm welcome to the blogging community:

She is just starting out, so she hasn't posted much yet, but keep an eye on her blog. She's one of my very favorite people, and a great artist as well!

Now, Michelle... you better start posting some of those kick-butt photographs I love so much!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Real Custom Head

So a friend of mine asked me to customize one of his RealXHead figures...

Now... I don't know if you know anything about RealXHead stuff, but it's a tad pricey. I don't think I'd have the heart to buy a 60 dollar toy and put paint on it. So when someone else has one and asks me to do it I consider it QUITE an honor. It's not every day that someone says "Hey, man, can you lay paint on my expensive plastic monster?" So I jumped at the opportunity. This is the first RealXHead figure I ever modified in any way whatsoever, so be gentle with me.

Thanks for looking, and thanks for the opportunity, man!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Clearing OUT!

I just got back from a trip to Columbia. I was house and puppy sitting for my brother. On the way home I stopped by a few places and picked up a few things.

Of course they were cheap... you all know me!!!

You may recall this Skull King figure I got when I was in Georgia...

Now... watch my monster GLOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!

How did I do this? I stuffed him with glow in the dark Airsoft pellets.

You can get a big bottle of 5,000 of them for 10 bucks at Walmart. I still have over a third of the bottle left. I wonder what I'll use them for.... mwaaaa haa haa haa!!!!!

I have so far resisted buying any of the Transformers RPM (Robot Powered Machines) toys from Hasbro. For one, they're really not that impressive. Second, they cost too much. Are they worth 3 bucks? No. Are they worth 2 bucks? Nah. One? Yeah!

I stopped at a Dollar Tree on the way home and snagged this Optimus for a buck.

They're basically Hot Wheels style vehicles of the Transformers movie characters.

On the bottom of each one there's a sculpted representation of the robot form. See Optimus looking at you from the bottom of the truck?

They had a TON of these suckers. The characters were Optimus, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Jolt, Megatron, Long Haul, Mix Master, and Sideways. If you dig 'em hit up your local Dollar Tree... you might get lucky! I already have a nice die-cast Optimus Prime vehicle, so I'll keep mine in the package... it's a swell looking package!

I grabbed a couple of civilian clothes Wolverine figures from the Walmart next door for $2.50 each to use for customs. They're really nice bases for regular dudes.

I was getting ready to head out on the long trip home when I heard a little voice in my head say "Go to K-Mart." K-Mart isn't exactly on the way home, but I decided to go anyway. Boy... I am so glad I listened to the little voice!

They were having a HUGE clearance sale. I don't know if this is a nationwide thing or not, but this one had all their regular clearance prices slashed in half! I grabbed some stuff I would never have paid full price for.

Here's the recent Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Goldar figure I had wanted when I first heard about it but changed my mind as soon as I saw it. It's a horrible, horrible toy if you pay 6 or 7 bucks for it. But when you pay the $2.50 I did... well... it's still a crappy toy, but it's a little bit easier to justify owning it.

See those shoulder pads and that skirt there? They're solid, hard, ABS plastic. That basically means that the ball jointed shoulders and hips are pretty much frozen in place. Sheesh! On top of that, he has no knees or elbows. He's pretty much a statue... a really static, neutrally posed statue.

The sculpt is not totally bad with some nice little details here and there, but this guy is still a horrible, horrible toy. I mainly bought it because it was Goldar.

See how good he looks with the other Goldars I own? OK, so he still looks bad, but I'm glad I found him!

Another toy I'd never buy at full price: The Wolverine Stasis Chamber.

It's basically the big glass box they used to put the metal in Wolverine's body. Right. More custom fodder. I dunno how much this thing cost originally, but it's freakin huge.

It has a wheel on the side that you turn, and Wolvie smashes the glass out. Sure. It's going to be dismantled and used for custom projects. It cost me $2.50. Yay, K-Mart!!!

Here are the other Wolverines with the derpy looking Wolverine that came in the stasis set. He has a nicely sculpted body... I might make a small He-Man with that body.

I'm not really a Pokemon fan-- I never have been. I find the show to be annoying and the cards to be vomit-inducing. What I do like, however, are some of the character designs. Let's face it... some Pokemon are just darn cute.

I picked this little guy up.

His name is Mantyke, and he is A-FREAKIN-DORABLE.

His retail price was 6 bucks. I paid 99 cents for him. Booyah.

I love how he has the option to display him on his big stupid water base or on a smaller transparent one. He was well worth the price. I dunno about 6 bucks, but 99 cents? Oh yeah, baby.

And then there's this guy:

I have been looking for a decently priced Optimus Prime Mighty Mugg since before they ever hit stores. I never was crazy about paying 10 and 12 bucks for these things, but seeing how hard it is to track down a regular Prime I would have been quite happy paying full price for him. When I saw him in the clearance section I literally yelped. There was a lady at the end of the aisle with her daughter-- she grabbed her by the hand and pulled her out of there faster than I have ever seen a human being move. I ran over to the price checker and this is what I saw on the screen "CHECK SHELF TAG FOR PRICING INFORMATION." Whaaaaaa? I hunted down someone in toys for some help but I couldn't find a soul (go K-Mart!). I brought the little guy up to the service desk and asked the lady to check the price-- I wanted it, but I'm cheap... sue me (don't! I don't have the funds!). She had to go find a manager who wouldn't answer the calls to the service desk (go K-Mart!), and told me that if I wanted to keep shopping she'd keep the figure at the desk until the manager surfaced. I went back and grabbed a few more things that I can't show here (Ooooo! Secrets!!!) and made my way up to the desk a few minutes later. I asked the lady how much it was, and she said the manager had priced it at 5 bucks. I almost yelped again, but kept it down this time. The best part of this whole deal? When she scanned it it automatically applied the clearance discount... that's right: I got it for $2.50 (YAY K-MART!!!)!

Looks nice standing there in my Optimus Prime collection, huh?


I love deals.

The moral of this story? Keep your eyes open right now... there's a lotta clearing going on!

Monday, July 12, 2010

And da winna is...

Let me say this first before anything else: This was a HARD decision. Every entry was astoundingly original and brilliant. Although I wasn't judging on the basis of artwork, each entry was superbly rendered-- I couldn't have asked for better entries!

That said... I had to pick a winner. This is always the toughest part of a contest, but that's the whole point. To me the entry with the most interesting and most thought-out design and story was the key to winning.

We have 2 armless characters-- one who uses his head as a weapon and the other who uses his torso-- the similarity in concept just shows me that great minds think alike. We have a cross-over from the Glyos universe, something I never would have thought of-- such a great idea! We have a saucy bachelor with an impressive... weapon-- Ralph, you always crack me up! We have a rotting corpse driven by bitter anger-- a kind of zombie juggernaut of destruction. Fantastic ideas all! I'd buy each and every one of those toys if Mattel would have put them out!

Ultimately I had to go with the characters of Hip-Nor and Octor by Jason Milsteed and Brian Lowe for the win.

The back story on these guys is just a perfect tie-in with the character of Brawlor and the gladiatorum and makes perfect sense in the scheme of things. I love the fact that Skeletor gave Hip-Nor his amplified powers and that He-Man and Brawlor took them away. As far as the figure design goes the idea of a big figure carrying a smaller figure on his back just makes me all kinds of happy! It would be easy to think of them as two characters, but the two depend on each other and function better as a whole. Congratulations, Jason and Brian! (email me your address, and I'll get the figure off to you ASAP)


Excellent work EVERYONE! I have enjoyed this contest so much, and I thank all of you for the hard work and great ideas! If you didn't win this contest don't fret... I am planning on having a contest regularly on here for customs and other stuff. Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for more chances to win my stuff!

The Six Sinister Foes of Brawlor!

As promised, here is the gallery of foes that you guys created for the Brawlin' With Brawlor Contest. 6 entries... 6 horrific threats to the mighty four-armed grappler. I'll pick a winner later on this evening, but I wanted to give everyone a treat by posting the entries here. This has been a very rewarding contest for me; I love seeing original creations from great artists. It is going to be so hard to pick a winner, because each entry has its own special charm. Some are creepy... some are funny... some are just downright scary! I can say with 100% honesty that I would buy each and every one of these guys if Mattel were to make them! Thank you so much for entering and giving it your best!

Tune back in tonight for the winner!

Now... enjoy the entries!

Note: some entries have been edited for size and clarity. Some pieces are works in progress, but I accepted them on the strength of the concept. All images can be seen in their full glory by clicking the thumbnails and enlarging them.

Bytor the Mighty Mangler of Men
by Spencer Morrison

In the darkest places of the land he waits. He waits for that
rare moment in your life when you are unwise and decide to
travel his black territory. After you've exhausted yourself from
pushing past knots of wild plants and traversing the slippery
mounds of mud you finally see the edge of this cursed land
and that's when . . . . . HE BITES!!!

BYTOR, the mighty mangler of men was a gladiator by choice
on the Dark Side of Eternia. During a battle with BRAWLOR
he bit off the enslaved gladiator's lower face, but lost his
arms when BRAWLOR removed them with a crystal axe.
Using dark magic BRAWLOR was able to attach BYTOR's
arms to his own body and since then there has not been
a hold that BRAWLOR could not free himself from. BYTOR
teamed up with SKELETOR's forces to have his body fitted
for the return of his arms and since then has been planning
revenge...revenge with a BITE!

Ches-Tor - Evil Master of Unarmed Combat
by Tom Freak

Although he was a normal human in Eternia Ed-Gar Torsus
was born without arms. All the other kids taunted him for
being different and Ed-Gar soon turned bitter. He started
training his body (what he had, anyway) and after nearly
killing one of his classmates he was spotted by one of the
Talent Seekers (evil little robots commissioned to
Tri-Klops) of the Gladiatorium. There Ed-Gar soon realized
that he just wasn't powerful enough to fight with the
greatest and decided to trade his loyalty in exchange for
a cursed living armor. With the aid of his armor (it has a
name but only Ed-Gar knows it) he climbed to the top among
the deadliest fighters in Eternia, when he reached his goal,
he changed his name to Ches-Tor. He then met Brawlor, a
being that had too many arms for his taste, fighting was
too easy for him so, in his mind, he was a fighter without
honor. When He-Man destroyed the Gladiatorium, and Brawlor
joined forces with the Heroic Masters, Ches-Tor found his
way to Snake Mountain and joined the evil ranks of Skeletor,
he doesn't always agree with his new master but he vowed to
beat Brawlor and that's everything that matters to him.

Hip-Nor and Octor
By Jason Milsteed and Brian Lowe

Hip-Nor the maniacal manipulator of minds

Hip-Nor is a Trollan the same race as Orko. His main
ability is to hypnotize subjects and bend them to his
will. He did this for a long time in the Gladiatorum,
running it's day to day functions and keeping the
slaves ready to do constant battle with one another.
This was all purely for his and Skeletor's benefit,
Skeletor in particular had come to appreciate the extra
income to keep his armies well supplied. Long ago
Skeletor had found Hip-Nor on the streets of the dark
side of Eternia running small street scams and hustles
usually involving some sort of street fight. Skeletor
saw the opportunity to bring in unrivaled income from
the small time hustler by building him a giant colosseum
which amplified his natural hypnotizing abilities.
Hip-Nor with his new found power quickly established a
fighting/gambling world unrivaled on all of Eternia. He
would use his only truly loyal slave (Octor) to help
keep the slaves in line. Any sign of resistance would
instantly entail a sound lashing from the beast before
Hip-Nor turned his gaze upon his helpless slaves. While
in power over the gladiatorum he lived a life of leisure
and comfort with many gaudy proclamations of his riches
about. With the gladiatorum destruction by He-Man,
Hip-Nor lost his ability to hold so many creatures to
his will or effect the moods of the audiences that had
surged to his brutal games. Skeletor angry and disgusted
with the loathsome self serving creature refused him any
help until he struck a major victory in the friendship
of He-Man and Brawlor.

Octor the eight tentacles of doom

Octor was a loyal soldier in one of Eternia's many
under sea kingdoms. Trained from birth on to be loyal
to only one commanding officer he enjoyed life among a
small group of his people all serving in a centuries old
war. It was during one of the many conflicts that Octor
was separated from his people and his homeland by a
terrible tropical storm. Washing ashore on the dark side
of Eternia he began to wander the area, lost and in a
daze. With no direction or real concept of the strange
culture around him he eventually found himself fighting
in an illegal tournament as a means for survival and some
purpose. During this time he ran into Hip-nor with his
hypnotized slaves who were fighting in the tournament.
Hip-nor meanwhile swindling bets his way saw a huge money
making scheme in the powerful Octor. Octor smashed through
the contestants ranks in quick order grabbing them with
his powerful tentacles and pulling them into his suction
cups where he held them prisoner as he beat them without
mercy. Hip-nor while watching realized Octor's needs for
a leader and direction and started putting suggestions
into his brain to take that place. As a team they started
making lots of money, none of which Octor felt a need for,
he was Hip-nor's perfect ally. The money making scheme
being so successful drew the attention of Skeletor and his
devious schemes. He quickly put the Gladiatorum into place
which boosted Hip-Nors natural abilities. Octor was put
into service as the main enforcer. He kept peace at the
Arena, made sure the other slaves stayed in line and helped
gather new participants. He had a clear mission with a
purpose and clear order. As He-Man and the escaped slave
Brawlor brought everything smashing around his head he
desired a new mission. A mission Skeletor and his beloved
Hip-Nor barely needed to seethe out of their mouths, the
destruction of He-Man and Brawlor.

MUTANOST: Traveler from the Otherverse
By Kevin Dufrene

Mutanost is a Traveler from another dimension known as the
Glyoverse to his people. In that place, he was known as
Phanost and was a great and mighty warrior. Upon escaping
the tyrannical rule of his former home, Metran, he crossed
over to Eternia’s dimension seeking power and a new life
with his personal bodyguard, Vixxorag, who is also known
as Brawlor now on Eternia. While Phanost was battling the
interdimensional being known only as the “Star Child,”
Brawlor set to work sabotaging Phanost’s ship. After
absorbing the Star Child and his powers, the new Phanost,
now calling himself Mutanost, after absorbing his foe,
faced a usurping and mutinous bodyguard. Battle ensued and
they crashed on the planet of Eternia with Brawlor escaping.
Having found his ship’s dimensional drive and engine
irreparably sabotaged and himself doomed to this planet, he
has vowed to seek out and destroy his old comrade, Brawlor.

Shlongdor: Evil Eternian Bachelor
by Ralph Niese

Shlongdor is an evil Bachelor commanding a league of
firewater drinking madmen but one helping hand he still
seeks to put a hand on something...something that has to
be dealt with a reckless abandonment like only Shlongdor
himself would do it. But having an eye on Brawlor he wants
this abandonment felt on his..something... FOUR TIMES!
Also with a striking similarity in looking like He-Man he might
achieve what he wants...

Thrax the Foul Scented
by Steven Patt

A gladiator on the dark side of Eternia, he was a ruthless
killer and fought for his glory. In a battle with Brawlor he
was slain with a piece of his own horn. Thrax was stripped of
his glory, laying dead beneath the crowd's cheers at his
mortality. Thrax's soul did not leave his corpse's side
awaiting a manner in which to return. Evilyn sent by Skeletor
to bring him the great warrior cast his soul back into his
rotting flesh.

Thrax is back-- dead, rotting, and bloodthirsty, with a vow to
regain his glory and slaughter the man who slew him.

And there you have it! Check back in later tonight when I announce the winner!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Georgia on my mind...

I was gone all last week. I went to my brother and sister-in-law's house in Georgia to visit with them a while. I had a blast going to the zoo and the aquarium, hitting all the stores we don't have here, and plundering the antique stores of Braselton. I also got to hang out with some good friends from the area. It was a pretty wicked awesome week.

While I was in Georgia I picked up a few things at Toys R Us, and I received a few things from my friends. Just thought I'd share the haul here:

This is the War For Cybertron Cybertronian Optimus Prime figure from Hasbro. It pretty much rules. He's based on the in-game character design from the Transformers: War For Cybertron video game.

It's a deluxe figure, which means it's about 6 inches tall and costs around 12 bucks. This is the first time in a long time I have felt like I got my money's worth in a Transformer this size. He's well articulated and looks pretty darn dynamic in just about any pose.

His weapon stores on his body when not in use, which is a big plus for me... I always dug it when they designed them to do that.

Prime has ball joints all over the place, so he's able to stand really well. The gun he comes with stores on his back...

...or on the back of his forearm. It folds up and is spring-loaded so that it snaps back into shape with the touch of a trigger.

There are several ports on the body that the pegs on the gun fit, so you have all kinds of options for storing/displaying the weapon. The ports are sized to fit classic Transformers weapons, so you can deck him out like crazy!

See what I mean by poseability? He looks so awesome!!!

The design of the figure is deceptive... you think he's going to be easy to transform... and then...


This is his alternate form... some kind of Cybertronian lowrider.

It's a really powerful looking vehicle with exhaust pipes and extra wheels.

The kneepads fold up to become the tail lights, which is kinda cool. I wonder if they blink when he turns left in robot mode...

It's nice to see the windshields through the armor there. It suggests slightly the big truck Prime would eventually become without being overly earth-vehicle-like in nature.

A very nice figure that's well-worth the price. Grab one while you can... these suckers are hot right now!

A few days later I found a figure I had been looking for since it came out, but I had always missed it in stores.

This is the Mighty Mugg Boba Fett. I'm not really crazy about Mighty Muggs, but I am nuts about Boba Fett. He's a cute little chubby guy, and he makes a great addition to my Boba collection.

I was kinda shocked when I saw him on the shelf. It's the old figure... the package had a fine layer of dust on it, which makes me think it had been in a store room or something. I got him for about half the price of a new one, so YEAH! Oddly enough he didn't come with a gun... that's pretty unusual in my book. I'll have to make him one.

I met up with some friends, and they had a few things for me. We always send stuff to each other because we're pretty much awesome. Yeah. They surprised the crap outta me when they handed me all this awesome stuff...

This is Dark Zagi, a character from Ultraman Nexus. I haven't ever seen any episodes of Nexis, but this dude just looks unbelievably awesome.

He's all armored and shiny black... what a cool looking guy! Evidently he's the master of dark evil or something. I bet Ultraman can whupp him!

This is Skull King. He's one of the Kaiju For Grown Ups from Wonderwall. Japanese artist Touma designed this wicked dude, and this version was released in an extremely limited quantity.

He has a really cool bone-like texture over his body, and he appears to be made of individual bones.

He has a very distinctive look that marks most of Touma's work. He has very sharp, curved lines and a saw tooth grin.

He stands about 8 inches tall and is clear blue rotocast vinyl. I have him stuffed with glow in the dark Glyos parts right now, but I'm going to replace it with glow in the dark Airsoft pellets as soon as I find some. It looks great glowing from the inside out!

This is Armada Optimus Prime. Another friend of mine gave me this this past week because he knows I dig Prime.

It's a really ruggedly awesome looking robot with nice, chunky body parts.

He has electronic features, but the button cell batteries are dead, so I'll have to get some new ones.

He comes with a trailer, but I forgot to get pics of it. Maybe I'll post those at another time. He's so cool looking!

My sister-in-law's son has grown out of his toys, so he let me rummage through his stuff and pull out what I wanted. I snagged this awesome 5 inch Goldar figure...

... and this pretty spiffy American Godzilla. I've never really liked the American Godzilla, but seeing as he appears in Godzilla: Final Wars I couldn't pass him up!

He has a whipping tail, moving jaws, and a roar sound effect. He actually looks really nice sitting with my other Godzillas!

This isn't all the goodies I got on my trip... I just thought I'd show the highlights! Hope you enjoyed it!