Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hunger Games Event – After Show

The Hunger Games party was a lot of fun.  Lots of activities for people to play.  They had Capitol make-up studios, knot tying, shooting (with a wii), an obstacle course, and lots of other activities.   They also had two reaping ceremonies where the kids and adults faced off in events, with the winners of each game facing off in a trivia battle for the ultimate winner.  They had some food as well.  I am sure it would not surprise you HG fans to know it was mostly bread and cheese… a main staple of District 12 folks.

My costume went over well.  I had a few people tell me that I looked like I belonged at Disneyland.  My wife, who dressed up as Katniss, told me that she dressed up like Katniss, while I was actually a coal miner.   That felt good to know my hard work was appreciated.  And now for the pictures.

I added the stripe and #12 to the jumpsuit to try and sell the idea that I came from District 12, though I did not need to sell the idea that much. People really appreciated the work on the suit. The black on my face is actually charcoal, the same as I used on my helmet. It was quite hard to get off after the party.

The back of the jumpsuit. Masking off the 12 for the back was a little tricky, but it was SO worth the time and effort.

Hat to toes. We were watching a lady show us how to make a braided cord bracelet to use as survival gear.

What a fun event.   Now I am looking for my next event to make a costume to.  Halloween is too far away.

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Hunger Games Cosplay

Tonight my wife’s library system will be having a party in honor of the movie release of the Hunger Games.  It should prove to be quite an eventful night.  The last time they ran something, it was for the final Harry Potter movie, and there were people crawling all over the place.

Many of my friends will be there tonight, and they tend to enjoy dressing up.   I could not stand by and see this, so I had to at least match them, if not best them.  In my attempt to make a unique costume, I created a District 12 coal miner.

Here is a sneak peek of my helmet.  I equipped a standard hardhat with a light on the front.  Along with painting it silver (seems to be a typical color for coal miner helmets), I added the #12 (for District 12) as well as charcoal dust for that aged look.   I also created a “uniform” by adding the #12 to the front and back of a blue mechanic’s jumpsuit.  It has a similar appearance to a prison uniform.  My little symbolism of being held down by “the man.”

I hate pictures that people take of themselves in the mirror, holding the camera, so I am going to forgo that picture and promise to share a photo later, after the event is through.  For now, I am off to the Games.


Flashpoint Wonder Woman

I am taking a little break from the Transformers to show off a great single figure I picked up at the San Jose Toy Show earlier this month, Flashpoint Wonder Woman.  I did not even know about the Flashpoint storyline until I got the same version of Wonder Woman in Action League design.  Wondering around the Toy Show with my friend Ann, we spotted this figure on a table of a place I like to frequent each time I go to the show.  They are usually good for a single figure outside what I usually get.  And come to think if it, they are usually DC figures.

As this line was unknown to me, I did not know what to expect.  I was taken by the really great design of the costume.  Then on closer inspection, I saw that fabulous helmet.  The design of the helmet was great, but the details really made it stand out.   All of the scratches and dents are very appealing.

As you back up and look at the figure as a whole, the colors really work well together.  There are so many details on her armor, and the slight color variations in the metallic colors are really nice.  Silver to dark silver, with some blue silver mixed in.  Stylize the WW for her breast plate, and you have something going there.

Man, oh man did they do a great job with that hair.  Usually her hair is falling down her back, killing any ideas people might have of having a turning head.  Not this time.  They blew the hair out to one side.  That allows the head to turn one way much further than the other.  People with multiple Wonder Woman figures will be happy that at least one will not have to be standing in a static pose.  (I was a little bummed to find the paint scraped off at the bottom of this side of the helmet)

The other side shows just how far the hair blows out.  Nice details to boot.  Gone are the days of blobs of plastic that resemble something that may or may not be hair.

Her nice long cape gives a very regal appearance to her overall look.   She is in charge of this army.

Unpacking her, I was really excited to find that she has quite a bit of articulation.   Way back in the day, the DC figures went the route of style over articulation, while the Marvel figures went the way of articulation and crapped on style.   It appears that DC has really gone to a lot of trouble this time around and really got the articulation thing down pat.   There are a bunch of places, 15 by my count.  Neck, shoulder (pivot and ball), elbow, wrist, hip, knee, top of shin, ankle.  We did not get waist articulation, but I figure that is a good call since it would have broken up the great armor.  I don’t want to forget that the elbow has an armor cover that is also articulated, and can move freely over the elbow.

In all, a fantastic figure.  She really stands out on the shelf.   No other WW like her in my collection.  The details are the best I have seen.  Hopefully the future of the DC lines.


Transformers: Prime, Deluxe Class Series 1, Arcee and Bumblebee

The Series 1 figures have been coming in slowly but surely.  Generally a ton of Bumblebees, and a few other figures thrown in there. Generally Cliffjumper seems to be second most prevalent.  I was excited to get my hands on Arcee to see if she was as great as the First Edition version. And, not thinking Bee could be better, I waited a long time before I picked one up.  Today I am going to look at the two figures, look at how they hold up on their own, and how the compare to the First Editions.

Arcee:

Arcee comes in a blue color with some silver details.  She comes with a gun and a blade that can be attached together or used separately.  Her wheels spin freely, something cycles have trouble doing, especially when the wheels come apart, as the back one does.

She is much lighter in color than the First Edition, to the left.   Her basic design is pretty similar, with only a few minor modifications.  It is interesting that they were able to keep the two motorcycles so close, being that they have few to no parts that transform the same.

In robot mode, she is very much Arcee.  Her transformation is really straight forward, with a lot fewer parts to change to get her to robot mode than the design of the First Edition.  Her “wings” stick out quite a bit further than her cartoon version.

That is quite a gun they gave her.  Nice to see her trademark blade this time around too.

Version 2 is almost a head shorter than the First Edition.  She does not have anywhere near the articulation either.   There are a lot more details on FE Arcee as well.

If you were not lucky enough to get your hands on the First Edition of Arcee, the newest Arcee will be fine.  She is a good design and a solid robot.   If you already have FE, you will probably not be nearly as happy with the new version.

Bumblebee:

I HATE this version of Bumblebee.  And this is coming from someone who LOVES Bumblebee.  Look at that picture.  They used a blue-clear piece of plastic to make the roof and door sections, and then painted it.  It does not even kind of match the rest of the car.  At least the stripe is in the right place.  And those wheels.  AHHHHH!!!!  Black with metal posts holding them on.  Really?  You guys couldn’t go with silver paint for the rims?

The only redeeming quality of the robot mode is that most of the horrible paint is hidden on his back.  There are so many things visually wrong with this figure that it is not even funny.  He has giant gaps at his shoulders so you can see to the inside of his body.  His head just sits up there on top, out of place (at least it swivels).  His feet look like they were added on later and don’t really connect with his legs.  And I love me some big feet to make a sturdy robot, but come on!  That is ridiculous.

If you have the chance. Get the First Edition.  He will be worth it.  Everything is better.  Details, filled gaps, stance, wingspan.   He is so much closer to the cartoon version.

 

Coming up next, a look at a guy that seems to really be keeping a low profile in the toy market, figure 004, Soundwave.  He does not disappoint.


Captain America – WWII or Avengers

Marvel put out some new photos of the Avengers team.  I don’t think I can approve of this outfit for Captain America.   Dude, there is a zipper in the front to the left of the center red stripe.   I have to say, I am much fonder of the outfit he had in The First Avenger, when he was running around looking Nazis in his leather.   Maybe it will be better in the actual movie, and not in still shots.  Only time will tell.


Going Pro

On Flickr anyway.  I just passed two years of blogging with 252 posts.  Since this is a toy blog, I take LOTS of pictures of the toys I buy and share.   In Flickr you get 200 pictures and then the rest are sent off into Never-Never Land.  I knew they were still in the system since they keep showing up here.  Well, I wanted to see the pictures, not just know they are out there, and I did not want to be limited in my scope of what I upload.  I cannot of course show every picture I take on a blog page, or people would be scrolling for days.   So, I bit the bullet and went for it.  I bought a year subscription to Flickr.  Now I have all of my pictures back, and there is a whole world of possibilities.

So if you are finding yourself with time on your hands, with nothing better to do, I have 1,355 pictures for you to peruse.  I am having fun looking all the way back to 2010.  How Fun.  Plus it is good to see that I am actually getting better as a photographer.   😉  Cheers!

Oops, I forgot to mention.  You can get to my Flickr Page somewhere down the line to the right.———>


The Hunger Games: A review

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I went to see the Hunger Games over the weekend.  WIth an estimated $155 million opening weekend, I am not alone in seeing it.  

Through peer pressure from my wife and friends to read the book, I finally did at the end of last year.   I enjoyed to book very much.  I find great enjoyment, reading books about dystopian societies.  Maybe that is due to growing up in the 80s with books like 1984 being popular, and movies like Mad Max being the hero of choice.

The movie itself was well done.  I think the writers did a very good job of transferring the movie from the page to the screen.  It helps having Suzanne Collins (the book’s author) as one of the screen writers.   I think more book authors need to make sure they are on board with the screen writing to keep the movie story the way they want.

The choices for characters were really well done.  I think the choice of Josh Hutcherson was not the best.  I imagined someone bigger and stronger.

One real issue I had with the movie was the cinematography.  They went with the handheld shaky cameras to give the sense of being there, or a sense of action.   All it did was make me sick.  I went with  5 other people to see the movie.  4 of us were barely holding it together.  I want to see it again when it comes out on DVD and see if I do any better.  That is the same thing that happened with The Borne Identity.  Much better on TV.

Overall a good movie.  True to the book, and a great start to the series.   Third top grossing opening weekend ever, and it is the top for a non-sequel. The other movies that have raked in that much are all sequels.  This could be a multi-billion dollar series when all is said and done.

If you saw it, what did you think?  If not, why not?  


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