Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Copied by a bigger blog. Should I feel honored or insulted?

I checked one of my favorite blogs yesterday, and my jaw dropped. It's been exactly two weeks since I posted my list of "Top 10 Collectible Lego Minifigures". So imagine my surprise when I clicked into Topless Robot to find this.

Now, this could be nothing but coincidence, had it not been for the fact that I know the TR people read my blog.
Sure, the author of that list has made adjustments (top 21 figures instead of 10), and has used the digitally drawn pictures from TLG instead of using their own figures and pictures. I also know the author already has written a few pieces on Lego....
But really... who hasn't?

Admittedly, the nature of my original list is not very original, but the time frame, the way it's written, the way it's presented makes it just too apparent.

This is no coincidence.

It is normal procedure among bigger bloggers to steal from lesser known ones. We see it every day. And it had to happen to me (it probably already has, I just haven't seen it until now). So when it finally happens, I guess I should feel honored. But at the same time it's damn annoying to not at the very least be credited for inspiration.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cucumber trick

Is your cucumber going limp? Has the juices stopped flowing in your vegetable? Let me share some knowledge.

Let's say it looks like this. Clearly, this has been lying unused for far too long. But it's not rotting, it's just drying up. Fear not, it's not all lost.

Trim it a bit, you want to remove the dry crust. Prepare it for the water.

Put it in a body of water. Could be cool, could be warm. Doesn't really matter. It's the liquid you want. Let it sit there for a while. Don't rush this. Take it slow.

Your cucumber is now juicy, rejuvenated and ready for more action and adventures.

For instance being consumed.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Figure Friday: G.I. Joe Desert Fox

Desert Fox was my favorite vehicle in the G.I. Joe line. And that's as personal as I'll get this Friday. Sure, I can come with arguments to why I liked it, but I find it rather universal. No one can not appreciate the way this armed off road car was presented.

I'll explain inside...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


There's a chance this could turn into a Figure Friday styled article, but if you're reading this, you don't mind.
Soundwave - quite possibly the only Transformers character everyone likes. There's something universal about him, and there's something archetypal "Transformers" about him. I'll explain what I mean inside, but what I can say is that when Takara now releases their Masterpiece version of Soundwave, it's about time. Because more than any toy, Soundwave really did work as a "robot in disguise".

Step on in for more on Soundwave!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pavlova (another meringue-based cake)

Apparently, it's the season for birthdays, and coincidentally, the season for cakes.

This is slightly similar to the one I showed from my own birthday. It's a dessert called "Pavlova", named after a Russian dancer, I was told. I like that. I like cakes - any dishes really - with a certain history attached to it. It's a conversation starter for sure. I know little about Anna Pavlova, nor do I know how to make the cake. But it looks simple enough, and I appreciate the original idea of the cake as well as the way it was presented to me today.
Crisp meringue bottom, whipped cream in the middle and fruit or berries on the top. This one had the vanilla custard added to the whipped cream too. Delicious.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Figure Friday: Expensive announcements

I'm on the road, and unable to write something major. But take comfort in Wednesday's article on Top 10 Minifigures.

Yes, Takara announced Masterpiece Soundwave. The upcoming MP versions of Sideswipe, Red Alert (and hopefully Sunstreaker) already has Transformers fans - me included - drooling. Admittedly, I have passed on several of the Masterpiece robots, for various reasons. I do have the MP04, which is Optimus Prime with trailer, and I have a couple of the Seekers - Thundercracker and Skywarp. Why I never got Starscream, I couldn't tell you. Maybe I'm just not into repaints costing $100-200. MP Megatron has a rumor for being extremely difficult to transform, and very fragile, so I have passed. MP Rodimus/Hot Rod looks amazing, but it never was a favorite character of mine.

Soundwave on the other hand. I'm sold. The prototype pictures show us an extremely detailed sculpt, yet it's remarkably close to the G1 design. Obviously he's bigger, has more articulation, and looks a lot closer to his cartoon/comic version in robot mode. There are already pictures floating around the internet of a painted version shown in a Japanese toy show. But the high resolution pictures of the prototype can be seen on Seibertron.

He looks to be coming with Lazerbeak. Expect more cassettes in the future. We can also assume there will be a Soundblaster repaint.

In other news, we also saw Hot Toys release an images of their stunning Black Widow. We have already seen Loki, Thor, Iron Man, Nick Fury and Hawkeye. For those of you who don't know, these are extremely detailed 12" action figures. Hot Toys is famous for getting the face sculpts right, and for being expensive. But most fanboys out there would say they are more than worth their price at around $200.
What do you think?

Masterpiece Sideswipe/Red Alert/Sunstreaker, Masterpiece Soundwave.
Hot Toys Avengers.

It will be an expensive fall for a toy collector.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Top 10 Collectible Lego Minifigures

Check out the new, updated list: Top 35 Collectible Minifigures! 

It's been an awesome ride so far. Series 7 is out already and more are planned. The collectible, "blind-packed" minifigures from Lego is one of the coolest toy lines today. Seeing as we currently have over hundred different minifigures, a top 10 list is more than appropriate.

Unlike the 100 best G.I. Joe figures, which you can take for gospel, I have to admit that this list will be very  subjective.
I would love to hear your opinions, so leave a comment below with which minifigures you like best, and how your list would look like!

Read on for the ten best collectible Lego minifigures!

But be warned, the list doesn't start right away.. Scroll down a bit if you just want to see the list.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sugar Roasted Nuts

Ok, maybe not "roasted", but this is a nifty little trick that can come in handy.

Read on!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lego 10228 - Monster Fighters Haunted Mansion

A weekend update... I don't really do the news stuff, but I had to comment on this one. I also suspect I'm one of the first to share these images. The 10228 Haunted Mansion looks to be coming out this September, at $180, and it looks to be amazing.

Undead chef, retro styled glow in the dark ghosts, boarded windows, modular building by the looks of it, and I hope it will match the other modulars. You can at least fold it open from the middle. This is just a massive amount of awesome. Notice the top of the pillars... Nice detail!

Lego, take all my money!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Figure Friday: Battle Force 2000

Stepping just a bit too far out of bounds when it came to the quasi-futuristic theme of G.I. Joe, the sub-team Battle Force 2000 is slightly controversial among collectors. I love them of course, and as you saw in in my list of the Top 100 Joes, BF2k ended up in the top 50.

But I never had the full team, until now...

Read on for Figure Friday on the unfortunate Battle Force 2000!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Geek culture, nerdery, geekdom, fanboyism. Call it what ever you want, we all know what you're talking about. It's sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, video games, movies, books, tv-shows, comics, toys, gadgets, technology, collectible everything, enthusiastic about anything.

I collect comics, among other things. What does that make me, but a comic book collector?
I like that last word: Enthusiastic. A person needs a passion or two. Not excessive passion, which can be unhealthy. But I prefer to be around people who are passionate and enthusiastic, almost regardless of what the subject is. A person who collects vintage tea spoons? I love it! A person who's heavily into paranormal activity? Awesome! A person who watches obscure Italian sci-fi movies? Tell me more!

The last years, Nerd Chic has become a thing, a fashion, being a nerd has become cool - to a certain point.
Not too much, just enough to be in the loop with the most mundane terms and the absolute basics of the culture.
You totally recognized Thanos. Show some enthusiasm!
And I'm not sure why, but it rubs me the wrong way. It's popular to ironically associate with enthusiasts such as myself, but these "hipster geeks" only scrape the surface of what they consider to be the fanboy/girl culture.

In essence, the term "geek" has become cool, but only for extremely popular aspects of the culture (reading Lord of the Rings = cool. Reading amazing comics like Smith's run on Green Arrow = Lame), and threading past those limits (like LOTR cosplay) are still considered "lame". Maybe I'm a bit indignant over the fact that the hipster geeks doesn't dare to show their true colors.

So you went and saw The Avengers, and laughed ironically afterwards over what you described as a "kid's movie"? No. You loved it. Now go home and dig up your old comics.

Don't get me wrong, my best friends are all collectors, gamers or true enthusiasts of some sort, and the girls who are legitimately into "geekdom" can be cool. 

But every once in a while, I run into people like the "Idiot Nerd Girl".

I get the idea of labeling yourself, it's an important part of identifying with specific groups of people.

But more often than not, it's painfully obvious that the self-diagnosis is a way to ironically distance themselves from being who they truly are, and being legitimately proud - and most importantly - relaxed about their interests.

So, I'm sorry, but if you read Harry Potter you're not a nerd. You just happen to read an extremely popular fantasy book. If you like Star Wars, you're not a geek, you just happen to like the most popular movie franchise ever. You played a video game? Good for you, but does it really make you a geek? Are you sure now? 
You think toys are only for kids?

Anyone who are even remotely into Lego - or superheroes - should have these sets and be proud. You won't get a label from me, apart from "awesome!"
I must admit, I don't like labels, because we all have such a specific set of interests. But for all I know, "geek" may have a completely different meaning than the connotations that seem to be the consensus.
I guess people can call themselves what ever they want. But I'm not impressed by the guys and girls out there who are simply following the latest trend, instead of being honest about their interests and what they actually like.

A good example of that honesty is my sister. She's heavily into novels (books without pictures!) and movies, she likes the occasional superhero and watches an imperial ton of British TV-shows. She doesn't make a fuzz about her enthusiasms, nor does she brag about being a geek, even though I assume she would be considered one. Why would she? She's just a girl who loves cool stuff. I categorize her as enthusiastic, with a healthy amount of awesome interests. Does she engulf herself in very particular subjects from time to time? Oh yeah, but it's usually a phase.
She's proud of her passions and regularly share her enthusiasm for her - as well as others' hobbies.

For my birthday, recently, my sister finished some needlepoints for me. I had drawn the pattern, and she uhm.. stitched them. I'm really pleased with how they turned out, and I'm going to frame them individually. I'm sure she would argue that this is something out of the ordinary, that anyone making – or owning such needlepoints has to be enormous geeks, but it really isn't so. There are few guys my age in the western world who doesn't recognize these symbols.

Finally, do I consider myself a nerd or a geek? Well, let me put it this way, I barely even know what the words mean, what the difference is, of if there is a difference. Read through my blog and you'll probably have a better idea of who I am than I do myself.
I'm consider myself an enthusiast. I have many interests, all which are awesome. (And my sister is kind of awesome too for making me Transformers needlepoints)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Figure Friday: Remember Dino Riders?

I had a couple of Dino Riders toys back in the day, and I remember them fondly. I'll see if I can find them some day.
They were very similar to M.A.S.K., with that two inch figure size, and transformable vehicles. Except the vehicles were dinosaurs. Dinosaurs with lasers and rockets. Piloted by lizard- and insect men. How awesome is that?? I believe they were, like all 80-90s toys, accompanied by a cartoon, but I've never seen it.

Made by severely underrated toy company Tyco, the dinosaurs were so well made they ended up being repacked (without weapons and creepy insect warriors) and sold in various historical museums. The biggest dinosaurs had battery driven motorized motion.

Like I said, I'll dig up my old ones some day, if I can find them. But today, I'll simply share this delicious promo poster.

Enjoy your weekend!