Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And then this happened...

It will be interesting to see where toy licenses end up, and it will be interesting to see what kind of toy collaborations we'll be getting. Assuming it goes like last time, when Marvel was assimilated by Disney, we'll probably hardly notice it, and certainly not in a negative fashion. Anyway, continue with you daily tasks, and stay safe.

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to make tomato sauce

I believe this was the best option with the tomatoes I  got from a friend. They didn't taste enough to use in salad, but ended up being a decent sauce. 

Read on for how-to and pics. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Figure Friday: MorpHex, The robot that can literally transform and roll out!

I stumbled upon a fellow Norwegian, who has taken upon himself to make his own robots. This particular robot is called "MorpHex", and looks amazingly complicated to me, yet surprisingly elegant. I like this, because there is a thought behind both design and the way it's going to behave - design and function are complimenting each other.

There's obviously also the fact that it can transform - and roll out. I'm glad there are people out there making insanely cool creations like this on their spare time.

More information on the MorpHex and his other projects can be found on his site Robot-Kits.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What to do with Tomatoes?

A friend is growing his own tomatoes, and found himself having literally several tomatoes. He game a few to me, to use at my own discretion.

Now, obviously, I could just eat these as they are. Slice them up, use them in a salad, in a taco, or what ever. But I thought I would use the opportunity to make a completely home made tomato sauce. Not entirely sure where to start, but I'll figure something out. So unless anyone have any objections, these will be sauce by the weekend.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Masters of the Universe Artwork

Well, I caved - and pre-ordered Castle Grayskull. Extremely expensive, but hopefully worth it. It might not even get made at all.

Riding the high of opting to use insane amounts of money on a single toy, I took out my Classics figures. I still regret deeply that I as a foolish teenager sold my vintage collection of Masters of the Universe toys, but the Classics line gives me that nostalgic feeling - to a certain extent. And to be brutally honest, the vintage toys don't really hold the standards of today. The character designs are cheesy, but memorable. But the toys themselves were.. Well, let's just say that the guys over in Pawtucket, Rhode Island made far superior toys in the early 80s.

The old comics and cartoons are easily available today, and I find myself enjoying them a bit too much. They are awful, specially the cartoon. But I still sat through a couple of episodes without falling a sleep, or being distracted with something else.
It's not like it used to be in the 80s though, where we would rent He-Man on VHS and watch the tape (with four episodes) over and over the entire weekend.

So, the toys may be outdated and the comics and cartoons may cheesy. But there is one part of Masters of the Universe that absolutely holds up today:

The artwork.

Now, most of the pieces are easily available on the net today, so I'll not share them all. But I can say that every vehicle and playset in the line came with absolutely gorgeous art. The promotional posters and images were also nicely done. Here are two posters that are favorites of mine. They both came along with the US released comic magazine, and feature the heroic Roboto and the evil Hordak.

The Hordak piece is absolutely fantastic. It wasn't really clear from the She-Ra cartoon (where he was the main villain), that Hordak was a sorcerer. But this poster definitely shows that aspect of him. Also notice how cool Grizzlor looks in the back there. Will we ever see Modulok and Mantenna in the MOTUC line? Maybe?
The Roboto poster is equally cool, and reminds me a bit about Star Wars, with Tie-fighters coming in for an attack. Robot didn't really get a lot of attention when he got a Classics version. I mean, most people liked him, but there wasn't any big fuzz about it, like with some other releases. Fisto, Trap Jaw and Ram Man comes to mind.  I guess people don't like translucent plastic as much as me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Figure Friday: Weaponeers of Monkaa

I like being surprised.

While I did expect a certain amount of surprises from Spy Monkey Creations' new toy line Weaponeers of Monkaa, I had not expected to be blown away. And the surprise wasn't just that the toys were well made, and extremely versatile, but also that for an independent toy line, you're actually getting A LOT of toy for your money. 

I'd argue that when quality, price and play value are taking into consideration, this is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone and everyone. 

Read on for details and images. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MOTUC Castle Grayskull set up to fail

At New York Comic Con, Mattel dropped the bomb on us. They would consider making Castle Grayskull in the Masters of the Universe Classics line.

A modern update of the playset we all had and loved. 

Realize that fans have been dreaming about this moment ever since the line began. We've actually been asking for the castle from the very second we knew there would be a Classics toy line. 

And it's happening. Maybe. Because it seems Mattycollector are intentionally setting themselves up to fail. 

Consider these facts:

1. Matty is not going into production of Castle Grayskull unless they reach their minimum limit. 

2. They have set a final date of November 10th. That's less than a month for people to decide on this. 

3. The decision should be easy enough, right? It's our dream toy! 
Well.. This is the best and biggest image we have of the current design process. 

Basically we're buying blind. Again. Like we did with the Hoverboard (which turned out to be completely shit). 
Top it off with a $250 price tag. 

4. International shipping is $200. Clocking in at more than $500 after import taxes, I'm surprised if they get any international buyers at all. 

And we know we'll be blamed. I can hear Toyguru... 

"You, the fans, did not want this enough!"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Campfire Bread

This is a fun one, and I encourage you all to go hiking or camping while you still have the weather for it. Winter is definitely coming sooner than later. 

Today, we're making campfire bread. Bring a dough on your trips and make your own bread on the fire. 

Read on! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Figure Friday: The Small Minifigures

Let's get two things straight:

Smaller versions of, well.. anything, is cute. That's a fact. Do a google search for baby animals for evidence that even baby crocodiles, sharks and vultures are cute. In the right context, baby spiders can even be considered cute. 

The second thing is that the minifigure, with the word "mini" in it, is cute. After all they are small, smiling, colorful, with stubby hands and feet. Cuteness overload. 

But The Lego Group, wise people, thinks for themselves, "how can we make this cuter?" 
Well... By putting small feet on the minifigures. 

But not all minifigures are cute by default. I want to find out if the simple chance of pants will make them cute. So read on for a bit of experimentation. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How to Display Toys cont.

Well, as I'm moving to a bigger place, I'm also faced with a problem. How to display my toys. Obviously I can't find room for all of them in the open. And while I have a lot more room to fill now, I still can't have for instance massive glass displays like the museum that borrowed my G.I. Joe collection.

I'm definitely going to pick up a few Ikea Detolf - the universally accepted go-to cabinet for anything collectible. I've shown how delicate it can be done, while still filling them to the brim with toys.

But I also had the idea of displaying my toys in a really classy fashion. Think cabinets where you would find expensive china and lead crystal glasses. Except it's filled with Transformers and Masters of the Universe.

And the first step towards something like that was obtaining the coffee table Liatorp, also from Ikea.
I've seen this been used in similar way, with anything from the more safe items like colorful stones and coffee-table books to actual interesting items like watches and archaeological artifacts. I wouldn't mind having watches in one of the compartments myself, but my collection of time pieces is tiny.

I'm definitely not done putting toys inside it, and as you can see, I still have spare compartments. But you may get the idea. What do you think?

Ikea's Liatorp series also contains a gorgeous bookshelf/cabinet that would suffice for the bigger robots and assembled Lego sets. But when I can get 6-7 Detolf for the same price, it's difficult to justify.

Anyway, this is a good start, I'm enjoying this way of displaying toys, instead of how it used to be, collecting dust on a shelf.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Toy guns have grown a bit since the 80s

An acquaintance shared this picture on facebook the other day. He had been to a toy store and was baffled over the size of toy guns - which is actually surprising. Usually you're surprised over the fact that toys seem generally a lot smaller today, which is obvious. I've told the story about how the box to my Phantom X-19 seemed to tower me completely, when it honestly isn't that big in reality. It's all about perception of course. As a tiny kid, naturally you'll find a 50cm box big. And as an adult, it will go the other way.

But in this case, with the toy guns are in fact bigger today than they were when we were kids.

Awfully cool, I'd want that set if I was a kid. And I'd buy it for my kids if I had any.
Toy guns make kids violent you say? Needlessly protective parents can cause the same damage. Repressed emotions are scary and dangerous. I grew up with an arsenal of plastic guns, and I'd argue that I turned out ok. Most of us 80s/90s kids did, despite toy guns, army figures and violent video games.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Figure Friday: Lego 9500 Sith Interceptor Review

For all my Lego articles, I haven't really made any proper reviews. Well, that's not entirely true. But if we're talking about sets with a certain size, I have yet to do a review where I talk about the build, the parts, the design, playability and display quality. I'm not sure this will be such a review either, and honestly if you want that kind, do a search over at eurobricks.com. But I'll try anyway.

Read on for my thoughts on the Lego Star Wars 9500 Sith Fury-class Interceptor.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Girlfriend (tries to) make cake...

Right off the bat, let me just say she's a good girl with many skills and qualities. That being said, this cake was supposed to be her vengeance against me for calling her lazy. Apparently she reads my blog too.

She shows up at my doorstep with a whole bag of tools, and something that looks like meringue. It seems she'll make me a Pavlova. I've written about this cake before. It's decent, when done properly. But it's very dependent on the quality of the berries and fruit.

All pictures, except the last one were taken by girlfriend, among them a fairly decent shot of a kiwi.
Read on to find out how the cake turned out.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to make mashed potatoes

I expect my sister to let me know how potatos is spelled. I get a red line under the word "potatos", so I guess it's "potatoes", but that doesn't look right either. I'll stick to the one that doesn't set off the spell check. 

Mashed potatoes is extremely simple to make, and there's absolutely no need to use pre-fabricated stuff, that thing has the taste and texture of glue. Keep in mind, you can actually use potatoes to glue stuff, so it's not that surprising. 

But I digress. Read on for how to and pictures.