Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Current food situation

The kitchen in my new apartment is a mess. It's difficult to make anything elaborate yet. It will end up a nice, but small kitchen, even though I will deeply miss the induction oven, and the stone bench. But right now, all I can do is make tea and heat prefabricated food. Not healthy, not really up to my preferred standards, but it will have to do for now. At least I can drool over past meals and other food related pictures... 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Eulogy for an old friend

Moving never comes cheap, and something is bound to break. Renovating a home increases the chance of something being damaged. I expected casualties, I just didn't think it would be my favorite piece of furniture.

Needlessly dramatic? Maybe so, but I like things. Not the same way I like people. But I like my stuff, I take care of my various items.
And most importantly, I really appreciate more or less anything that is well crafted.

Ikea Benjamin.

You were the best chair/stool/table/shelf a person could have. Versatile, not ugly, ridiculously cheap, and sturdy as fuck (up until a point).
You were with me in every apartment over a ten year period. You held me up when I reached for the stars, you comforted me when I was at rock bottom. You gave me support through literally thick and thin.
You started out pretty, but had various stains from daily use, but you still had potential. Just days before you met your end, I was even talking about giving you a face lift through a paint job, I even considered covering you in comics.

You will be missed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Figure Friday: Transformers Box Art part 2

No internet, no kitchen, all toys packed in boxes. It's not sad, but it is a bit annoying. I'm not sure when I'm back with the regular schedule, but I can assure you I have some cool stuff on the way, both when it comes to displaying action figures, and recipes.
Today, I'll share some more Transformers box art, mostly from Japanese releases. So step in for the robots!

Monday, August 20, 2012

What's for supper?

Renovating a house becomes a lot easier when supper looks like this...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Figure Friday: Trash Bag Bunch

A short article today, as I'm moving. Just a few words on the deliciously disgusting Trash Bag Bunch!

I've wanted to mention these for a long time, it was a toy line sold in the early 90s. Your basic blind packed static 2 inch figurine (robots, monsters, aliens, humanoids) packed in a bag that would dissolve in water. It's a rather obscure toy line, but most people around the age of 30 recognizes a few of them, and at the very least the way they were being sold.  I see there are toy lines similar to the Trash Bag Bunch in the stores these days, so kids: here's how it started.

Now, I don't actually know a lot about this toy line, other than the basics. But I found this wonderful resource page on the line, and was actually able to identify a couple of the figurines I owned as a kid.

Really worth the read. The two guys pictured are ones I vividly remember owning. Fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Decorate a House (when you own literally a ton of toys)?

I'm moving these days.

As usual, I'll not be able to display all my toys in my new apartment, and I actually prefer to do it a bit more delicate and tasteful than I've done before.
The question is, do I go with glass cabinets?
Do I place toys next to more common stuff like vases and flowers?
Will I spread the chosen few toys around in my apartment, or will I dedicate a single room for them?
Will the toys on display be there for a longer time period, or will I have more of a rotating exhibition.
And the big question, what makes the cut, and what goes into boxes, into closets?

I've shown this picture before. I like the idea of displaying toys in glass cabinets, and I like this because it's a rather varied bunch of toys, all in great condition. Some really well known, some obscure. Mostly old, but some new.

Feel free to chime in with suggestions, and pictures of how you display your toys.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What is Best in Life?

You've seen the movie, or at the very least the scene. Conan the Barbarian sits with fellow warriors and questions the meaning of life. The chief asks his men what the best in life is.

This is relevant. After all, the tag line of this blog is "the good things in life". Do I think that cool toys and great food are the best things in life? Well, if I claimed toys to be the best thing in life, I would be very materialistic. But at the same time there is a certain truth to it. Opening a cool action figure, building Lego, looking at massive collections, reading up on the history of toys, talking about toys with others. All this makes me happy, as any hobby would to an enthusiast.

Food, on the other hand, is necessary for a life, and good food makes a good life.
For instance a decent, spontaneous barbecue. Chicken, sausage bits, meatballs, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, all drenched in a mix of barbecue sauce and hot chili sauce. Grilled out in the open.

Good food means a good life. I would argue that this is universal. At least it goes hand in hand. A good life will give opportunities to obtain, cook and eat good food, and good food will for most people improve life quality.

Conan, though, is not most people. The other, lesser warriors try to give a valid answer to what is best in life, and ramble on about riding horses and watching the ocean. The chief denies them, and lets Conan give the correct one. To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women. That is best in life.

Now, obviously I don't condone the act of killing your enemies, but then again, Conan never says a word about killing. I get where Conan is coming from, and I absolutely agree that there is an intense satisfaction in defeating your opponents. There are many ways in doing so. It could be in sports, simply defeating the opposing team or athlete. It could be proving those who never believed you wrong. It could be defeating your own doubts in yourself. Am I reading too much into a quote from an old movie? Maybe, but people are reading a lot more into lesser mediums than Conan the Barbarian (1982). Finally, to witness crying women is not my thing, but I can't fault Conan for taking pleasure in such things.

I still maintain my initial perspective though. The best things in life are cool toys and great food... among other things.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eternia Poster

I'm on another vacation, and won't be able to make a proper update until next week. So for now, look through the various articles already published by way of the labels/keywords. You'll probably find something of interest. My favorite is "robots".

Just for show, I'll also share this fantastic poster of the Eternia Palace from the original Masters of the Universe toy line. We'll never see this monumental palace in the current, Classics line, which is a sad thing. The Eternia playset stands as one of the best in the line, which isn't a small feat, in competition with Fright Zone, Slime Pit, Snake Mountain and Castle Grayskull.

The poster of the playset also featured many of the contemporary figures from late in the line. We see Two-Bad, Ninjor, Rio-Blast, Extandar, Tung Lashor, Rokkon and Stonedar. It will be interesting to see if we'll ever get these in the Classics line.

Enjoy your summer, people!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Figure Friday: Play Features in Masters of the Universe Classics

The line is in danger, should we believe Toyguru over at Mattycollector. Obviously we shouldn't, because history clearly has shown us that he's not to be trusted. But the sad part isn't that Toyguru once again tries to scare us into buying the subscription for Masters of the Universe Classics - and in turn signing up to get a bunch of figures we haven't even seen, and potentially don't want. The sad part is that they blame the customers. The rhetoric used is that "if the line fails, it's because lack of interest from you, the collectors!".

No. Just no. 

If the line is failing, it's because we collectors aren't allowed to collect these toys the way we ideally should. We don't like to buy figures blindly, no one does. Toyguru should have shared with us the schedule for the entire year. But that's not all. We also have to suffer an endless array of bland variants, obscure characters we don't really care for, and new characters that are downright awful.
Pair this with horrific customer service, increased prices, iffy quality control and the constant condescending feedback to the community... Is this really on us collectors?

But I digress, I really do. Because today, I want to show two highlights from 2012. These two figures were Mattycollector doing it right! One was a variant that hit absolutely all the right buttons, without maintaining what made it interesting in the 80s, the other was an absolutely brilliant figure, that not only kept its play feature, but also came with a ton of display possibilities.

Read on for Mattel doing it right.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer burger

Most people are aware how easy it is to make a burger, and  I like the fact that you can put basically anything into the burger. Both between the bread, and inside the actual burger mixture. Summer is the season for barbecue and burgers. Here's one way to do it...