Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Top 24 G.I. Joe Figures... From the 90s!

This is a guest article written by my little buddy, Al. He's a fan of G.I. Joe himself, and was let loose on my collection. I gave him the task to find his favorite figures among the later ones, the ones from 1990-1994. There's a lot that could be said about the demise of the original G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero toy line, and the way it ended was down right sad. But, as Al points out, there are a lot of gems here. Surprising ones even. 
The entire article is written by Al, and he has also taken the pictures. So, not a lot of work done by me. Which, honestly, is just the way I like it. 

Read on for the list of the top 24 G.I. Joe figures from the 90s!

Hot Toys DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future

At this point, we've probably already pre-ordered the Marty McFly 1/6 scale action figure from Hot Toys, and we kinda expected the DeLorean to be made as well. And we knew it would be awesome. And it is awesome. Expect the pre-order from various online retailers to be up any time soon.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dinner Suggestion: Club Sandwich

Some days you just don't have the time to make a proper dinner, some days you simply don't want a proper dinner. In fact, I hate the term proper dinner. What really defines a dinner? Well, Wikipedia claims that it's the "significant meal of the day", and in that case, my club sandwich is dinner more than anything else I ate today.
Well, either way, let us say you didn't feel like mashing potatoes, or boiling rice. Here's how you make an extremely simple, yet awesome club sandwich.

Cut a chicken fillet in thin slices, 1/3 inch or 1 cm thick tops. Salt it before you fry it. I also use lots of black pepper. Fry it on medium high heat. Fry some smoked ham. Cut up half an avocado. Use good bread, add butter and crispy lettuce. It's really simple, and perfect for those days. You know those days... When you have lots of work.

Or those days you just want to sit at your computer and play Hearthstone.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hot Toys Black Widow from Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Just a year ago, I argued that I preferred quantity over quality, when it came to my superhero toys. Of course, today, things are very different. With a dozen of Hot Toys figures from Marvel's cinematic universe, I can admit to being hooked.

I've been talking about Hot Toys Black Widow for a few years now. Ever since she was announced as part of the Aveners wave, she had my attention, and I still regret not picking her up from Forbidden Planet in New York. But that was then, and I'm actually glad I waited. First of all, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an impressive movie, and honestly, better than The Avengers. Secondly, this is a better toy than the previous version. Yes, the head sculpt may be just as reminiscent of Natalie Portman as it is Scarlett Johansson, but the details on this figure is out of this world. The fabric in the clothing, the incredible details on her belt. It's all very subtle, and all extremely impressive.

Anyway. Pictures.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sneakers and Toys

I have several hobbies, and every now and then they overlap. Like for instance when Lego said they would make a watch for adult fans of the bricks. Or when I got my hands on the Tea Robot.

I have always been into sneakers, training shoes, or shoes in general. I don't know why, but I guess I like the aesthetic, the culture around collecting sneakers. I also both play and follow basketball, where the shoe game is a big thing.

So naturally, I pay extra attention when the sneaker brands release shoes based on toys and action figures. This happens from time to time, but not nearly as often as one should expect.

The most recent was a basketball shoe from Fila, inspired by the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm a big TMNT fan, but haven't gotten around to see the new movie. I expect it to be a bad movie, but eventually, I know I will see it.

This isn't the first time Fila has made TMNT sneakers, and I actually own the previous release, from late 2012. The FX-100 Fila x TMNT is an awesome sneaker. Premium materials, lots of cool details. Even the box is TMNT-themed, with the sewer lid. And the pair came with option to switch out the strap to match your favorite turtle.

Like with toy collecting, you really need to keep up, and get the new releases when they drop, or else you may find yourself paying extreme prices. Back in 2009, Nike dropped a pack of 6 pairs nicknamed "Nike x Hasbro". Three pairs of G.I. Joe-inspired sneakers, and three pairs for Transformers. They all came packed in amazing windowed boxes, with the original toy art. You'd think this was something for me... Yes it was. Yet I still didn't pick it up when prices were still manageable.

Another mighty sneaker pack inspired by toys is the Reebok x Voltron from 2008. I have never been a big Voltron fan, but these five sneakers are delightful. Look at those colors. Each pair came with a lion robot, so if you got all five pairs, you were actually able to form Voltron.

We have seen many sneakers vaguely inspired by toys, and you are probably able to find action figures to match most of the colorways that drop. This pair of Nike SB Dunks are nicknamed "Skeletor" for a good reason. It's a perfect match.
Of course today, the big sneaker brands lets you design your own shoes. So there's really nothing stopping you in getting those Battle Cat styled LeBron 11s you always wanted...

And finally, a pair I do own. I know Star Wars isn't technically a toy line, but these sneakers are definitely toy inspired, as they came packed in a bubble, on card back, just like the vintage action figures.

If you want a more thorough article, I wrote a more lengthy piece for a sneaker blog. Read it here:
The Greatest Sneakers in the World... and the Toys that Inspired Them!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Weekend at a local games con

This weekend, me and the girlfriend went to a local games con, as exhibitors, sellers and enthusiasts. We had a great time, met lots of great people, sold some stuff, talked old toys, and saw a bunch of really amazing collectibles.

My booth the first day

Read on for a short report and tons of pictures!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

SDCC 2014 Infinity Gauntlet Set

Once again I'm not heading to San Diego for the annual comic convention. Of course, at this point it's pretty much pointless attending SDCC, as it has grown too big for it's own audience. And it's certainly not worth my time travelling to the states just to stand in lines, endless lines. I don't have patience for that.

At the very least from an outsider's point of view, SDCC has gone from being a pure comic convention - where like-minded came and celebrated comics - to being a showcase for movie and media. There's nothing wrong in that, but watching panels with movie stars, and hearing the latest toy news, I can really do that just as comfortable from my chair at home.   

That said, there is something special about attending conventions, the atmosphere, meeting other fans, watching cosplayers. If you've ever been to a con, you know what I'm talking about. 
I'm sure you can still get all this at SDCC - it's just that you have to stand and walk in line at all times. 
This very weekend, I'm heading to a small, local games-con. I'm excited, and hope to get that "con-feeling". 

For the bigger cons, there's always the allure of goodie-bags, con exclusives and freebies. 

Hasbro has had a monstrous streak of incredible exclusives, ranging from their back-to-back Transformers cassette players (2009-2010), to their Star Wars Death Star set (2011), their Transformers/G.I. Joe collaboration 2011-2013) and the simple, yet excellent 6" Boba Fett with Han Solo in carbonite (2013). 

This year, they hit a home run for me with the Infinity Gauntlet set, within their 3 3/4 Marvel Infinite line.

I'm a sucker for everything from Marvel's cosmic heroes, and I've been reading their epic space comics ever since Secret Wars. Naturally the Infinity Gauntlet series is one of my all time favorites. Author/artist Jim Starlin and artist Ron Lim had an insane run where they, among other stories, told the tales of Thanos, the mad titan, in his quest for scoring with Lady Death. 
And now, this weird relationship is being captured in toy form. The set includes Thanos, his brother Starfox and Lady Death (whom I think is a first-timer in toy form). 
In addition, we see Thanos' on/off associate, Nebula. She will be a major character in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but in this set they all have their comic appearances. 

And finally, the set comes with a wearable Infinity Gauntlet - complete with all six infinity gems, that will let its wearer control everything in the universe. Except lust for something you cannot have - lust that will eventually make you screw up, and let yourself be defeated. Again. 

This set would have been truly monumental had they included a vintage-appearance Adam Warlock. I'm not saying the asking price of $75 is too high for just four figures and a rubber gauntlet - but standing hours in line, you'd hoped to get at least one more figure. 

I want one. 

Yup, it's clear that Marvel is really taking it's cosmic "universe" seriously. Their six inch SDCC set is also cosmic related, with Black Bolt, Gladiator, Star Lord in the mix. Pair these sets with the Guardians movie this summer, and we almost have our dose of superheroes in space. Almost.