A Tron Re-Watch

There are a few movies that I remember well from when I was a kid. Transformers: The Movie (1986), Conan the Destroyer (1984), Labyrinth (1986), and Top Gun (1986) are a few of those that make up huge portions of the nerd soup flowing through my brain. No matter how badly these films are panned by critics, they really colored my perception of the world.

Tron (1982) was a little before my time, but I remember watching it when my parents let me stay up late. It combined so many of the things that I loved as a kid. Science fiction, video games, Saturday morning cartoons, girls in tight clothing… I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. It was a hodgepodge that was tailor-made for young nerds to geek out on; a veritable nerdgasm.

Autobot Topspin

The release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon was about 8 months ago, but I’m only reviewing the majority of the figures now that they’ve hit the bargain bin. I really only bought 3 Dark of the Moon toys at suggested retail price: Skyhammer was the first. Then Roadbuster. Then I got this guy.

Autobot Topspin.

WORLD OF HEROES 2011 This Weekend!!

We've got an update from our friends at Cybertron Philippines about the Superhero Event happening this weekend at Robinson's Ermita!

This is going to hurt!

Marvel Universe Gladiator

 Ugh. Backlog.

It was April or May of 2011 when the next few figures I’m reviewing were released. It is now August. Where does all my time go?

Wave 13 (or Wave 2 of Series 3 depending on how you’re counting) of the Marvel Universe toy line was largely meant for X-Men collectors no matter how you look at it. All 6 of the figures (Cable, Wolverine, Apocalypse, Cyclops and Gladiator) are all characters that were part of the cast of the X-Men books at one time or another. Predictably, Gladiator and the First Appearance Wolverine were the ones that clogged up pegs and for sale threads.

Conan: The Barbarian (2011)

Let me just say this up front: I don’t really know squat about Conan.

My experience with the character is mostly from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies in the 1980’s and from Frank Frazetta’s artwork for the Robert E. Howard books. I remember having one Conan book in my library and I never got through the whole thing. This was back in elementary when I had the attention span of a dust mite. Choose Your Own Adventure was more my speed. Probably the only reason I owned it was the girl in a fur bikini on the cover.

Giant Size X-Men Box Set

The Giant Size X-Men box set from Hasbro was one of the items I’d been waiting for this year. Being an 80’s baby, my X-Men aren’t Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Iceman and Beast. Mine were the Claremont era X-Men, which really got their start with the special 1975 issue when the core team of Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus came on board.

I started reading X-Men relatively late in Claremont's run, around the time of The Fall of the Mutants, and had to back read towards X-Men #94. I eventually got hold of a copy of the reprint of Giant Size X-Men and gratefully added that to my collection (no way I could afford the price for an original copy of the issue which runs for about $2,500.00 today). Some of the ideas in the book are campy as hell (a living island? Come on!) but the idea of an international team of mutants went so well with the spirit of X-Men that it became one of my favorite stories.

So despite various reports that the box set was an easy pass, I still got myself one when I could.

Staff Strike Sif

Although I liked the Thor: The Mighty Avenger toyline, I’ll admit that alone the figures aren’t that impressive. The soft, rubbery plastic, the unfeeling look of the figures, silly accessories, and uninspired paint are all points against the figures. But Battle Hammer Thor, Secret Strike Loki, and the Warrior’s Three are all still keepers in my book because I was so impressed by the movie that I wanted representations of the characters in my collection.

Because of that, it’s no surprise that the decision to make picking up a Staff Strike Sif a priority was one that was made pretty fast. As soon as I saw that procuring one around my area was a lost cause (Ortigas malls are among areas that re-sellers have staked out in case of new arrivals), I let it be known that I was looking for it. The reply came pretty fast and I was able to get one at retail price in a set with some G.I. Joes (Thanks, man!).

Leader Class Brawl (Transformers the Movie)

Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Jan 23, '09

There are times where all the work entailed in toy hunting isn't worth the trouble. When all the lurking on Philippine toy boards, daily checks at Toy Kingdom Mega and Podium, back and forth trips on the MRT from Makati to Trinoma, and fruitless visits to Marikina and Taytay, just doesn't seem to be worth the effort.

My quest to obtain a Leader Class Movie Brawl at sale price is one of those times.

Geek Out!

Well, it looks like Comicology is dead.

After finding out about it back in January of 2009, I immediately bookmarked it and it became one of my favorite local sites. I regularly checked it in to see what The Bim was writing about; games, gadgets, comics, and toys were the subject for the most part, so the guy had a lot of fodder to feed the blog.

Another Superhero Toy Event coming in September!

According to friends at Cybertron Philippines, September will be starting off with a bang with another Toy Event at Robinsons Ermita mall.

Details are scarce right now but if the most recent events I attended (the Captain America and Thor movie toy launches as well as the Transformers: Dark of the Moon launches) are any indication, there are a lot of toys waiting to be shelved. There was a recent distribution of G.I. Joe Sky Strikers and Hasbro’s Masterpiece Rodimus Prime, so we might see some of those at the event.

Wolverine and the X-Men's Colossus

Wolverine and the X-Men was an excellent cartoon. While most kids of the 90's revere X-Men: The Animated Series, I always found the animation ugly compared to the stuff I was used to and it didn't seem to have the same punch as the comics I was reading at the time.

Wolverine and the X-Men on the other hand felt much closer to the source material in tone, if not strictly following the timeline. I was bummed when I learned they'd cancelled the second season because of issues with Marvel's financial partners at the time.

While I loved the series and it's aesthetic, I don't think it translated too well to the toys. Wolverine and the X-Men arrived on Toy Kingdom shelves with no fanfare, and remained on shelves until they were marked down to 50% off  (P250.00 or about $5.50 US). Even in the bargain bin, it was a hard sell since the cartoon wasn't on air on local stations and there were so many other better looking Wolverines in the Marvel Universe line.

Cosplay Mania 2011!

Oct 1 and 2, 2011
SMX Convention Center (map)
Function Rooms 3-5
SMX Convention Center
SM Mall of Asia Complex
Pasay City, Philippines

Marvel Universe Fantastic Four Box Set

I should probably have continued my Marvel Universe Super Hero Team box set reviews with the X-Force 3-pack, but found myself less interested with that set than I was with the Fantastic Four box set that came out about a month after the first two.

Having seen the solicitation photos a while back, I knew that this Fantastic “Four” wouldn’t have the Johnny Storm figure. Hasbro instead replaced him with an un-articulated H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics) figure. Personally, I would have preferred it if they just included another Franklin Richards miniature.

Cyberverse Guzzle

The Transformers Cyberverse is in strong competition with the Human Alliance Basic figures for the top spot on my new favorite Transformer line. While the Classics (Henkei, Universe, Generations) figures are awesome, I love the little Transformers the best. Limited as to the number of figures I can pick off the shelf right now, I've mostly gone with the Commander Class figures because of the Generation One (G1) homages included in the assortment and the fact that they've got standardized weapon sizes and great articulation (so far).

Like Powerglide, Autobot Guzzle was an impulse buy. I was at Toy Kingdom Megamall just checking stuff out after meeting a guy who bought some toys from me, and I saw a single piece on the shelf when I was about to leave.

War Paint Sokka

I recently started re-watching the original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon and it's still as good as it was the first three times I went through it. The high adventure, the sense of culture, the larger world you can infer from the story of Aang, Katara, and Sokka is just magical. I don't think there's a single episode I was bored by, or a character that felt unneeded in the entire run. I'm eagerly awaiting the start of The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra, the sequel to the series. It sounds bonkers, set in a steampunk city with metalbending cops, revolutionaries, lemurs, flying bison, and polar bear dogs.

Every time I read that Wikipedia article, I start salivating.

Collecticon: The Nuvali Collector's Fair in September!

Looks like there's a new toy event to look forward to next months for those of us in the South of Metro Manila. I've only been to Nuvali once, and though it's nice, it's way too far for me to visit.

If you guys go, get us a T-shirt, all right?

Play Arts Kai Super Street Fighter IV is Coming!

And they just kicking me while I’m down.

This time around it’s Play Arts that’s taking the shot at my resolution to cut back on toy expenditures. Up till now, I’ve been successful at not buying into their recent Play Arts Kai upgrade, stopping at the Final Fantasy XIII Vanille, Lightning, and Snow, 3 figures that I thought would still go with my old normal-sized Play Arts figures. After realizing that the sheer size of these Brobdingnagian action figures would kill my display area and my wallet both, I discontinued the line.

But Square Enix keeps pulling me back in!

McDonald's Happy Meal Papa Smurf

Thanks to a resolve to cut back on my toy spending, I was successfully able to not give in to the completist urge and collect all the figures in the current Happy Meal set. McDonald’s is now offering Smurf movie toys with every Happy Meal you buy, and they seem to be quickly running out, despite what looked like a slow start.

Mortal Kombat's Scorpion

Jazwares seems to want to play in the big leagues, but can’t seem to pull it together. They’ve obtained a few choice licenses in recent years (Astroboy, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the A-Team), but only their Robot Chicken toys really stood out  (and I feel that’s something of a cop out because those toys are really meant to be display pieces for adult nerds, rather than actual action figures). Back in February at the New York Toy Fair, they revealed that they also scored the Mortal Kombat license. Last month, we finally got to see what the final product looked like as the first assortment reached Philippine shores.

Toys and Collectibles Christmas Toyfair 2008

Originally posted at slangards.multiply.com on Dec 22, '08

I got started toy collecting slowly; after consciously deciding to collect, the first one I got was an overpriced Hulkbuster Iron Man at 2Rats. It was P800 at the time, though I probably could have found one on PinoyToyKolektor for half that. Most of my early purchases were much the same, from specialty market stores in Megamall or St. Lucia in Cainta. I had yet to try Greenhills or meetups with fellow collectors, which is where I get most of my big ticket items now. I went to a few conventions. The first one was the Philippine Toycon during summer, and then I remember passing by the Hataw Hanep Hero con as well. Great pictures, but I didn't buy anything. The one that won me over though, was the December Toyfair at SM Megamall.

Real Steel Toys Are Coming!

Oh my gawd, I want these so hard!

JAKKS Pacific, the toy company that used to have the WWE license and still holds the UFC and TNA licenses, is coming out with toys from the upcoming movie Real Steel! The movie is about a down and out boxer gets himself a one ton robot to duke it out for him in the ring.

Robots. Fighting.

Transformers: Generations Swashplate

I never really understood the appeal of Mini-Cons. The series where they first appeared (Transformers: Armada) aired during the time when I was unaware that the franchise had even continued beyond the second season of Generation One. Afterwards, when I’d gotten back into collecting, the idea of “human-sized race of power-enhancing transforming robots” (source) was kind of goofy. I mean there were the Micromasters, but those were kind of their own thing.

Spike Witwicky & Backfire

B-F-G //bē'ēfjē/

Abbreviation: an acronym for "Big Fucking Gun". A weapon found by players in id Software games like Doom and Quake. It fires a large green ball of lightning which, upon impact, releases a huge spread of energy.
The above definition is a perfect description of the best thing about the Human Alliance Basic figure, Backfire. He turns into a big fucking gun that works with the semi-standard 5mm holes that many Transformers have. I bought him a while back after reading a review that showed off this mode. Despite my misgivings about his other forms, the very idea of a huge bazooka for my Deluxe Class bots was something I couldn't pass up.

Major Sparkplug & Autobot Whirl

I’ve read a few articles that say that Hasbro got it all wrong with the new Human Alliance figures. The first Human Alliance figures were 1:24 scale Transformers that were similar in size to the popular Transformers: Alternators (Binaltech in Japan) toy line which started with real world cars and designed Generation One characters into them. According to the naysayers, the reason that the Human Alliance line sold was because they could be considered a continuation of Alternators. The little human figure that Hasbro included in the package had nothing to do with the sales of the line.


U.S. Agent

I went all out when I finally decided to get the Captain America line, getting not only the big draws like the Super Combat Captain America and the Heroic Age Captain America but also some of the less popular toys. Despite their status as peg-warmers right now, I really felt that Hasbro had put out some pretty great toys and wanted to collect the set (minus the silly concepts like the Jungle Trooper, Night Mission, Desert Ambush and  Winter Combat Captain Americas of course).

One of the first ones I picked out was U.S. Agent.

DCUC Martian Manhunter

I’m not really a big DC fan.

I was grew up on X-Men and the Hulk and only knew of the broad strokes of the competition’s canon. It wasn’t until Bruce Timm began to build up the DC Animated Universe (DCAU) that I really began paying attention. Now the DC superheroes didn’t seem like such dweebs to me. I could finally relate to all those hardcore geeks who held up Superman as the paragon of the comic book protagonist.

Captain America

Man, Marvel Studios is on a roll!

I'll admit, I'm a sucker for comic book movies. I've enjoyed The Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, hell, even Dolph Lundgren's version of The Punisher (though I drew the line at Thomas Jane's version with Travolta). As long as it's based on a comic book, I have an abnormally high threshold for stupidity. But Marvel seems to have finally gotten it's act together and is putting out hit after hit, surpassing themselves each time.

Astonishing X-Men Omnibus

The last comic I bought was the hardcover collection of The House of M story arc; an 8 issue mini-series by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel where the Scarlett Witch went bonkers and changed the entire world, giving everyone their heart’s desire so that they would leave her and her family in peace.

It kind of sucked.

DC Superheroes Knight Shadow Batman

Before Mattel debuted their DC Universe Classics (DCUC) toy line in 2008, there was the DC Superheroes (DCSH) line. Because Mattel only had the rights to the Superman and Batman catalogs at the time, the line consisted of characters from those books. Naturally, by Series 7 they were already running out of Batmen to include in the assortments.

Knight Shadow Batman is what they came up with to include in the wave along with Camouflage Bane, Batgirl, and Two-Face. If can’t tell you if this guy is canon or not since I can find no mention of a comic arc that explains his existence. It could be that he’s just a creation of Mattel to fill out the line. If that’s the case, I’m of the opinion that it’s far superior to something like “Bouncing Battle Batman”.

Disqus for Joint Junkie