Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reading will make you a better person

I've read a few books in my life. In fact, I would argue that I read a lot. At least if you include comic books.

Pictured: "High literature"
My parents and my sister read significantly more than me, and they would probably say that reading novels and other types of literature are their hobbies, and if you include comics - mine as well. It's a weird thing, my closest family read a lot, and I feel the effect of this. They are smart people, with many interests. I've said so before, and it's worth repeating: People with interests are usually interesting. You can't attribute everything to the act of being able to read texts longer than newspaper headlines, but there's no question that a person who likes to read will accumulate more knowledge than a person who only skim through the pictures in gossip magazines.

And I'm glad I've been raised in a family where reading has been encouraged, and both books and comics have been in available in abundance. I'm lucky, as I believe an interest in reading has ultimately made me more creative, curious and reflected. The broader family, with aunts, uncles and what not, have with just a few exceptions no interests in reading.

Of course today, you cannot simply use the lack of a bookshelf in a home as an indication of people who have haltered their own potential (all though in many cases this is true). Times are different. Bookstores and publishers are struggling. But that doesn't mean people will stop reading, it just means that our reading habits have changed.

I had my sister and my nephew over for a visit the other day, they spent the weekend. I have personally avoided the Lego Lord of the Rings sets, as well as the absolutely fantastic sets based on The Hobbit. I can't collect everything, all though I wouldn't mind the 79003 set, "An Unexpected Gathering". My nephew, on the other hand, is a die hard fan, and wants all the sets. Only 8, he has yet to read the books himself. I seem to recall that when I was at his age, I tried reading The Hobbit on my own. Of course, it was best when I got read to.

The weird thing is how my nephew prefers to obtain these stories: Through Lego, and the Lego video games. It's not unheard of to get good stories from a video game, but this just has to be a new way of experiencing the classic stories. It's an adaptation, first through Lego, then through a game.

Now, I'd argue that The Hobbit in its original form of a novel already is the optimal way an 8 year old could experience the story. But what ever makes the kids these days "read" quality material, right? For other, more mature books - like the Lord of the Rings trilogy - maybe a Lego-adaptation is the optimal way?

And if that in turn sparks an interest for actual reading, then the video games have absolutely served their purpose.

Anyway, Lego sets were bought, opened, assembled and played with. Pictures were taken, and articles were eventually written.
The sets were 9470 "Shelob Attacks" from Lord of the Rings, and 97001 "Escape from Mirkwood Spiders" which is a preview set for an upcoming part 2 or 3 of The Hobbit.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The evil of foods is a master of deception

And it should come as no surprise. It's called the "eggplant" after all. Disguised as the best thing in the world, all the while being the worst thing you can imagine.

Here's a picture of the evil vegetable while still infants. Why people don't just let them rot, I can't understand. But then again, people are weird and on a general basis have extremely poor taste.

In more cheerful news, the summer is gradually making its presence known, and I encourage you all too light up that meat, and enjoy an eggplant-free barbecue season!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bootleg Metrotitan Upgraded

Oh wow, have I been slacking? Missed out on two regular updates. I not sure you readers really care. You'll check in from time to time, and if there's an update, you'll read it (or just look at the pictures). But I care. I want consistency. I want to be able to produce two days a week, and that's really just a minimum of what I should be capable of doing. But then there is the real life, the one where work, house, bills, family, friends and all that stuff comes into play, and blogging about toys and food absolutely takes a back seat. I can't ignore that.

But here it is, the apology for no Tuesday update, and lack of proper content last week. And here it is, a regular Thursday update. And since this is blog post #250, I went the extra length and took some pictures. Here it is, an article I promised literally a year ago. The upgraded Bootleg Metrotitan. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good job Mattycollector

This is the right way of causing a figure to be attractive. By admitting that it's a chase figure, by actively making sure it's limited - all the while making sure it's not really a character anyone needs in their collection. And all for the reason of creating hype around the line, and the store that sells these toys,

What was the deal you ask? Well, last Wednesday, a random icon picturing the Horde symbol popped up on The link led you to a normal shop page, like the one we have become used to, and from there we could order "Spirit of Hordak", a translucent red version of the standard Hordak figure. This was completely unannounced, and fans completely lost their shit. Like seriously. Within an hour, the buzz was all over the internet, and "the org" ( had a 20-page thread on candy red Hordak. As usual, the MOTUC community acted like idiots and started complaining. Keep in mind, I have done my fair share of complaining over this line, so I guess I'm one of them as well. But the difference this time was that people were complaining about not being prepared for the release of a figure (one guy even complained he didn't have money), and that makes no sense to me. That was the entire purpose of the figure, to be a surprise.

As expected, roughly an hour into release, Hordak "went back into hiding", and people who weren't logged in to at that moment subsequently missed out on the figure. Even prolific toy reviewer Pixel Dan was unaware that this would go down, and missed out as well, all though I'm sure someone hooked him up.

KYZEH shares photos of his Spirit of Hordak.
Keep in mind that this is a character we had heard nothing about. Yes, we had heard nothing about action figure, but the character was new to us as well. So there was no desire to own this one before he was released, unlike several other toys we've seen become rare and expensive (SDCC exclusives come to mind).
So no one could claim that they actually needed this in their collection, claiming it was unfair to release Spirit of Hordak as a chase figure. Yet, as usual with translucent toys, it was a cool enough toy for everyone to want. It also helps that Hordak is a cool character, and every variant will become somewhat attractive.

Completists may have a legitimate reason to complain, but then Toyguru went out and said that Hordak actually didn't sell out, but would continue to randomly pop up in their store.
How brilliant is that? They're making sure to always have collectors check their store, instead of checking in monthly like we're used to. From a marketing standpoint, I can't praise this enough. Of course, this doesn't make up for the fiasco that was the Hoverboard or Castle of Grayskull. But it's a start. Continue to positively surprise us, Mattycollector.

Org-user KYZEH was one of the first to receive Hordak, and was cool enough to share pictures. He looks magnificent.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Figure Friday: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A rare return for the Figure Friday article, it just worked that way this week. The brother of my girlfriend was eager to show me some of his old toys, and pulled out a nice little collection of 2003s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I grew up with the first wave of Turtles figures, the ones from the early 90s, and I vividly remember playing with an insane line-up of wacky toys.

These ones, which I guess can be considered the second wave, look to be similarly wacky. I like this. It's fun, cool, just like action figures should be.
What's even more cool is the impressive play set, the Sewer. The contemporary TMNT toy line also has a great looking playset, released last year, and it goes to show, we shouldn't have to pay $500 for a lackluster play set, when awesome ones are >$100.

Either way, hop on in for many pictures.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Outdoor Wieners

Title may be silly, but the winter has been long, and why not celebrate it? The first barbecue of the season may have been extremely simple as you probably can see, but it was non the less relieving.
So yes, to celebrate that the snow was gone, me and the girlfriend went out in the woods and cooked wieners.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Vintage Lego Space Minifigure

In relation to the upcoming May 4th, as well as Star Trek hitting theaters soon-ish, here's some Space Lego minifigures!
Lego was never one to shy away from trends, and what was more relevant in the late 70s and early 80s than family-friendly sci.-fi? 

And they have kept at it ever since. The guys below can be dated from early 80s to the early 90s. Notice how the logo evolves from the earliest (yellow, far right), to the blue one. The yellow one didn't actually come with the motorcycle styled helmet. He came with the one that more closely resembles a bucket. But at some point in history, Lego lost the mold to that helmet. And when ever they re-issue the vintage space guys, you'll see this new styled helmet.

The old helmet can be seen on this awesome little guy: