Tuesday, September 25, 2012

3AA Rehel - Dragos Cloven Heart Version

As the 1/6 action figure market spirals out of control with ever increasing and unsustainably high pricing, I've started to turn my back on the hobby.  I've already stopped all Hot Toys purchases for the foreseeable future, and am starting to scale way back on even my core interest, Modern Military.  

What has kept a spark glowing in my collecting habits are the offerings of designer toy company ThreeA, which is co-owned by Australian comic book and graphic novel artist, Ashley Wood.

While 3A (as they are also known) hasn't been immune to the rising costs of plastic either, they've kept my attention thanks to their creative and imaginative subjects as well as their unique take on action figures.

I must admit, I was not impressed with the toys at first--I was hung up on realism and Ashley Wood's art tends to be highly stylized and sometimes over-the-top in design.  Yet, when Hot Toys decided at the height of their popularity that they could get away with increasing their prices with every single new release, it became clear to me that I was going to get left in the dust sooner rather than later, and I had to re-evaluate the hobby entirely.

Enter the Adventure Kartel!  Created by Ashley Wood and TP Louise, the AK was a group of odd adventurers brought together to fight all manner of monsters and robots.  Their story is told in short, vague comic strips included with the figures, leaving the rest of the adventure up to the toy's new owner.

Wow...how simple!  It's what got me into collecting G.I. Joes and other themed-toys in the first place.  Give me some characters and a little backstory and now I'm 10 years old again, excited to crack open my new action figure fresh from his (or her) plastic card and get them posing and beating the crap out of each other!

Today's review is of the 3AA version of the Adventure Kartel's newest member, Rehel.  In his spare time, Rehel is apparently quite the musician as he fronts a "Christian Devil Worship" band called Cloven Heart.   Under his stage name, "Dragos Eraphis", Rehel rocks out with his dark hooded sweat jacket, metal T-shirt bearing his band's name, and punk'd out hair.  Despite his rock god attitude, it seems like everyone in the Adventure Kartel except his buddy Tommy Mission thinks he looks a lot like a zombie!

"Who says I look like a zomb???"
 This is just a fun figure.  At first glance, he's pretty ugly, but upon closer inspection, you can see a lot of the details that make threeA toys enjoyable.  He's got great paint apps, especially with the natural weathering in his clothes and face.

He also has superb articulation, with tight joints and a wide range of motion. Check out the flamingo poses he can do on just one leg:

No wires, no leaning, no stand...just tight joints and balance.

The goofy look takes away some of the sting of Dragos' terrifying appearance, and the figure just ends up begging to be played with and put into funny situations.

Give him a 1/6 instrument, and he's ready to party!  Even a slightly underscaled bass guitar might work.

Maybe it's a violin?  A metal violin!
All in all, a great fig from threeA!

Rock on!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crazy Dummy One Year Anniversary: US NAVY SEAL TEAM 8 GUNNER WITH MK48 MOD1

Today, I'm featuring a great military figure set from CrazyDummy (CD).  The "Anniversary" edition SEAL Team 8 gunner features a highly detailed MK48 Mod1 with desert camo and real metal parts.  CD invested a good bit of time and money on their own MK48 series and while their efforts have lead to a rather large glut of the guns on the market, seeing it included here is not such a bad thing.

Honestly, there are a number of good things in the box, starting with the HS.  While some might bemoan yet another 1/6 representation of actor Brad Pitt, CD did a nice job of sculpting his likeness and the paint apps are solid with clean execution and realistic tones overall.  The gear is solid as well, with very little QC or general quality complaints at all from me.  The AOR works well to me, especially if you use the included "RealTree"-style camo jacket, which really rounds out the look of the BDUs and makes it stand out from other modern desert unis released recently.

Perhaps the only thing that didn't quite work for me was the tan Oakley sunglasses.  While I appreciate it as an added value accessory, I don't think it looks right with this set.  I ended up using my own shades and will keep the Oakley's for another bash.

Overall, another winner from CD, who continue to crank out nice Modern soliders to keep Soldier Story and Toys City on their toes.

The camo jacket is great IMO!

I left off the drop down and some other bits for this shoot.  The MK48 is, like the other CD MK48s, very good.

Yes, another rendition of Mr. Angelina Jolie, but it's well done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 Star Wars Clone Wars Commander Bly

SSC continues it's Clone Wars line with Commander Bly, who most notably served under Jedi General Aalya Secura in the Star Wars prequels and Clone Wars animated series.

As with other Phase I and II clones in the series, Bly comes with a huge assortment of accessories, including a number of different posed hands, both styles of clone helmets, as well as an unhelmeted portrait.  There isn't too much to say about the figure itself beyond the fact that it is a generally well-made, and well-designed set with high production values, as are pretty much all the clones that Sideshow has released so far.  The bodies and some other technical aspects were partly done by Hot Toys through both companies' mutual design and distribution partnerships, and this shows in the great articulation and posability of the figures despite the armored nature of the costume.  As far as accuracy to the films and media, SSC has done a pretty good job of keeping with the look of the character, giving him his unique features like flip down visor/HUD and distinct armor colors and insignias while staying mostly within the molds and template of the clone figures.

If you're into Star Wars Clones, you're going to get this for your collection and likely won't be disappointed.

I chose to use the Phase II helmet, but you can also select from a Phase I, if that floats your boat.

Flip down visor and long rifle...check.

Can't really blame him, he was just carrying out orders.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Project BM Medicom Gokaiger Red No. 62

The original Go Rangers from 1975!

I picked up this "web store exclusive" version of the Classic Red Ranger from the old Japanese children's TV show, "Go Rangers" (which was a precursor to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers).

These special editions are on the high end of 1/6 collectibles, so I'm a bit afraid to take this guy out of the box, lol.  I did manage to snap some pics though.  Maybe when I'm feeling a bit more confident, I'll put him in the display shelf...

When I first saw this, I was so bummed it was only available through the Medicom Japan website.

Honestly, my favorite Ranger was the Green (Midori) one, but beggars can't be choosers for a  show that came out 37 years ago!

Not a lot of accessories, but a good-looking figure IMO.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Femme Fig Photoshoot of the Day

Just a few pics of my Resident Evil Extinction Alice kitbash.  It's the Afterlife Alice head on a TTF body with Brother Production Zombie Killer clothes.  Just need to add the holster, weapon grip hands, and give her a few weapons.

Still missing some bits.  I'll add later and update.

A shot at a different time of day.  Whoa it's bright out there.

Light glamour pose.  :p

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hot Toys DX09 1989 Batman

Hard to believe for old timers like me, but Tim Burton's Batman came out almost 23 years ago!  At the time, it was quite a revelation.  The film was arguably the first true successful comic book-to-movie adapation that wasn't aimed solely at children, earning both critical acclaim (including an Oscar) and box office gold.

Fast forward to 2012, and Hot Toys is ready to honor the movie with it's own MMS DX figure set!  This one features the PERS movable eye system that allows users to change the angle at which the figure is looking for even more dynamic poses.  While there aren't too many accessories with this particular DX, it does also include the interchangable face plate system that allows you to change the expression of the mouth from a more passive look, to a scowl, to a battle-damaged look with some blood trickle at the mouth corner.

Perhaps the most impressive feature IMO, is the cape.  The cape has a couple of black rods that can be placed in the character's hands to allow some interesting poses of the cape unfurled and spread open, just as Batman did in the movie to intimidate his foes.

The set also includes a grappling hook attachment that fits onto the arm and fist, as well as some different hands and a heavy base.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this figure and would recommend it to fans of the film.

Solid packaging as per the Hot Toys DX series.

Upon opening, you will see the figure along with the hands and 3 swappable mouths.

Underneath, you'll find the cape, base, and accessories.

It looks great, even in static poses.

Kind of looks stiff, but Keaton's suit was the same way in 1:1 anyways.

Nice job by HT of capturing the actor's likeness, even in the costume.