Unofficially Yours

The first draft of this review read like a fan letter to Cathy Garcia-Molina and John Lloyd Cruz so I decided I better stop and rethink it. You see, I enjoyed Unofficially Yours more than any heterosexual male probably should. While the movie does boast of sex scenes, it’s still rated R-13 (can someone please tell me who came up with that rating and why?). Pervs who were thinking there’d be nudity (raises hand) are going to be shit out of luck.

Unless they’re looking forward to John Lloyd frolicking.

Anyway, though I enjoyed the movie as a romantic comedy fan, on the whole, I left the theater still bothered by the way the story was built. There were things that really bothered me about the plot and the themes of the movie.


It bothers me that movie audiences would rather see Twilight: Breaking Dawn than a movie like Martin Scorsese's Hugo.

As of February 20, 2012, the film has grossed a little over 67 million dollars in North America and another 40 or so overseas. That against an estimated 150 million budget, officially makes it a flop.  In contrast, Twilight: Breaking Dawn grossed just under 140 million dollars on its first weekend of release. How’s that for a sad commentary on the state of the human race.

Then again, I think it’s partly due to the fact that Hugo didn’t seem to have a proper marketing hook. I mean, after seeing the trailer, could you say what this movie was about?

Taikongzhans Dian Ying Ban Di San (Ironhide)

Remember that Power Robot 1 that I reviewed several months back? Well, this is his big, black brother. Instead of Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime, the bootleggers over in China have taken the mold for Dark of the Moon's Leader Class Ironhide and done it again. And guess what? It's even better than the last one!

I actually got this figure before I found my Leader Class Ironhide. A friend of mine was able to pick one up for me at 168 Mall in Divisoria and haggle the price down some. Usually they go for Php 3,000-3,500 in Greenhills according to the scuttlebutt on the forums, and I'd have paid that much (I'm no good at haggling - I just don't have the patience or the EQ for it) but he was able to get it for Php around Php 2,500. Slightly more expensive than the Dian Ying Ban Di San 1 figure, but still below the suggested retail price of the original Leader Class figures.

There haven't been any changes with the box since the first figure was added to my collection. It's still as unwieldy as it is impressive. Since they copied the graphics aesthetics (not to mention ganked the photos and art) from the original Hasbro Dark of the Moon line's boxes, it's really not all that fascinating except for it's size.

The box's size, however, is remarkable. Check this out:

Yup, that's a Leader Class Ironhide right there next to it. It's easily 3 times as big, maybe more.

The package has all kinds of phrases over it like:

  • 3 modes!
  • Biggest Power Robot Toy!
  • Glowing Weapon Lihgts!
  • Blasting Battle Sounds!
  • Ultimax Super Cannon Flips into Action!
  • Any Meng Lie Weapon Works with Power Robot!

Most of these are actually true, with the exception of maybe the first and last, but we'll get into that in a bit. First let's just wallow in it's magnificence for a moment, shall we?


This thing is a beast! It's noticeably heavier than the Dian Ying Ban Di San 1 toy, and seems to be in a slightly larger scale. And guess what? Unlike Hasbro (who keep devolving their toys), these particular bootleggers seem to be improving from release to release. This guy's got almost all of the original's joints and action features (as opposed to the first one that was missing all of them plus his knee joints). The only one that I halfway missed was the moving face plate and the secondary actuation lever at the back of his head.

First off, he's got both his arm cannons, and they look and work exactly the same as they do on the Leader Class figure: Pull his smokestacks back and they pop out. They even got the colors one each of them right, with the blue plastic and the gold highlight.

Unfortunately, quality control isn't perfect, as with all bootleg toys. In this case, it's missing the bar that connects the blaster on his left arm with the panel that covers it. The bar is what allows the smokestack mechanism to work, pushing the panel up. Without it, you need to open the panel manually and then pull the lever. Oh, well. At least it's not an obvious flaw.

He's also packing heat in his pants. He's not just happy to see you.

Like the cannons, the knife in his left leg is functional, detailed, and painted. The trap door mechanism works and the pegs fit securely into the holes on the blade. The handle also fits perfectly into his fist. It's just as awesome as the official release, only he's bigger.

His right leg houses a removable missile launcher. This one of the pieces you need to be careful about. Like the Leader Class figure, the launcher isn't secure in it's place. If you nudge it, it will fall. If it falls with the release lever down, the missile will rocket out of the launcher and under the nearest piece of heavy furniture. This is an invariable constant of the universe and steps must be taken to prevent the said event.

If you do decide to remove the thing, you can also place it in his hand as a kinda-sorta-not pistol. He also comes with a bonus that was not available with the Leader Class figure: an up-sized version of the Dark of the Moon Voyager Class Ironhide's Mechtech weapon!

It sounds more exciting than it really is.

It doesn't really add anything to the proceedings. The thing's too blasted big for his arm, so it's hard for him to hold the weight. The construction of the weapon doesn't match the construction of his arm, so he can't really hold it in a decent position. And don't forget... It's ugly.

The action feature, however, does work.

Speaking of action features...

Ta dah! His Ultimax Super Cannon!

I mentioned on my review of the original that the chest cannon refused to stay open. Well, that's not really a problem here. I just wiggle around the button or lever awhile and presto! Something inside gets stuck and I've got a robot with a chest-mounted Gatling gun.

To be frank, the fact that it stays open is probably just a fluke of quality control, rather than an intuitive re-design on the part of the bootleggers. And there's a trade-off.

Not only did they scrub off any Autobot and GMC symbols from his chassis, they also cleaned out his mouth. Instead of "Ironhide here!", the guys in China had to use some generic sound effects to skirt copyright laws. Now all he really says is "Let's go, Dangers!"  or something to that effect. The rest of the playbacks are things like ricochets, laser blasts, swords clanging, etc. There's even an alarm clock ringing. I shit you not.

The transformation process from robot to vehicle is exactly the same as the original Hasbro toy.

You'll notice the biggest difference right away. They've replaced the General Motors' GMC with a red EWD. What does that mean? "Extremely Wise Dork?" "Explosively Wet Diarrhea?" "Early Wombat Defense?"

I really don't know.

They've also removed the "Road Armor" logos and any Autobot insignia. However, there's still that silver paint on the front, a see-through windshield, clear headlights, and translucent turn signals. Not bad for a fake!.

You only really understand the size of this bastard once you get him next to the real toys. Here it is next to both the Leader Class and Voyager Class figures:

It's HUGE!

He is a little shorter than the Uber-Optimus though.

If I had to choose though, I'd say Ironhide was the one to get. Not only does he not have as many quality issues and sacrifices as Prime did, he's also made in a bigger scale! Because his vehicle mode is smaller than Prime's, but the plastic available to make him is still the same amount as the first toy, Ironhide is the one that is closer to 1/18th scale.

What does that mean? Well it means that he's the right size for G.I. Joes!

What's better is that he has a hole on his roof the original doesn't have to accommodate the Mechtech gun. You could probably use it to mount some proper chain guns up there. Sweet!

There's really nothing about this figure that can make me feel anything but glad that I bought it. It really is worth the money I paid (and more). If Hasbro had made it, I probably still would have gotten it. I'd have cried and eaten sky flakes for about 3 months, but it really would have been worth it.

Transformers Cybertron Con Singapore!

I'm probably not alone in wishing I had more money to spend. Times like this I wish I could travel more. Like to Singapore. For the Transformers Cybertron Con.


Transformers Cybertron ConDate: March 11-14,2012
Venue: Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
Also, experience Transformers the Ride (The Ultimate 3D Battle) now open at Universal Studios in Singapore.

If you guy's do have the means to visit, do us a favor and take lots of photos. We like to life vicariously through the internet.

News courtesy of Cybertron Philippines

Leader Class Ironhide

Being a Transformer nut has it's ups and downs. On one side of the coin, the franchise is enjoying a fairly good run after Michael Bay's reboot movies (the last of which was Dark of the Moon) and we've seen a resurgence of product coming out of the Hasbro factories these past few years. On the other hand, it also means that there's a lot of product left on the shelves after the hot ticket items are swept out by the consumers. Distributors are finding it hard to give Deluxe Mudflaps and Leader Class Bumblebees away.

Another downside is the fact that you've got to compete with a lot more people to get at those hot items. You're not only up against kids, but collectors and those wily re-sellers as well. If you hear about one of these HTF (hard to find) items showing up somewhere in the metro, you had better drop what you're doing and high tail it to whatever corner of Manila your source pointed you to. Chances are, if you're not there within the day (sometimes, within the hour), your shit out of luck.

Tamashii Stage Act 5 Mechanics Base Stand

I’m not a big collector of Japanese import toys. It’s not that I have anything against them or that I’m blindly biased towards the more western oriented Hasbro. It’s just that they’re so damned expensive.

Take Bandai’s Super Imaginative Chogokin, or S.I.C., line. This is a group of figures that depict characters from the Kamen Rider franchise (a weekly staple of Japanese television since 1971). In 2001, Bandai took the S.I.C line switched from boring mini statues to fully articulated figures. Since then, they’ve produced over 50 figures.

Since the iconic Rider is usually depicted in the show as having unsurpassed martial prowess, it behooves Bandai to include stands that allow you to pose your Rider in those eponymous poses. Hence the Tamashii Stage series of figure stands.

Terra Nova

Back when I was a kid, I was the nerd who loved dinosaurs. I would spend hours in our local library with my nose buried deep in The Dinosaur Dictionary just looking up creatures like diplodocus and styracosaurus. Though I could never find the toys at my local toy store, I loved the cartoons Dinoriders, Dinosaucers, and Denver the Last Dinosaur (the Denver theme song is going to be playing in my head for the next few hours now that I’ve mentioned it). I can’t express how much I loved The Land before Time and later, Jurassic Park when they came out.

Today’s generation doesn’t seem so interested in the past as much as it is in the present, and I don’t really see dinosaurs in popular media much anymore. You see the occasional documentary on the Discovery or History channel, or get the odd show like Jurassic Fight Club, but on the whole, interest of these prehistoric beasts is down.

This is why I’m so glad we now get to watch TV series like Terra Nova.

Underworld: Awakening

Underworld and Underworld: Evolution are two of my favorite movies. Not only are they movies about vampires and werewolves, they are movies about a war between vampires and werewolves. Not only are they movies about a war between vampires and werewolves, they are movies about a war between vampires and werewolves who are organized and use guns and have a thing for skin-tight leather and trench coats.

Plus, they both have Kate Beckinsale in the starring role that requires her to wear the aforementioned skin-tight leather.

Summer Komikon 2012!

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