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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Current Events

The last few months have left me pressed for time, and when I look at the date of my last post. It's hard to believe so much time has passed..


Still ongoing. I have several large boxes of items still to sell. Things have slowed down, and I still have items on my shelves I will probably add to the pile. But the house is old, and drafty. And I think I am done until spring. When I will do a re-inventory of everything that didn't sell. And make another drive to clear it all out.

As for collecting, I think I am mostly done with it. It never ends, and retail is just absurd. I have yet to see a Vehicon the shelf. Or anything from that wave. And having to buy online and the prices being higher with shipping. I am now in the camp of whether it is any cheaper on gas or time.. But when they don't even show up on shelves there isn't any real choice.

But so much of the new stuff just looks bad (Like the new Prime Smokescreen) and I bought so many pieces that looked interesting, but not good. And I had no real personal attachment too.

So I think I will be holding to my G1s, Beast Wars, and Car Robots items. And I have yet to decide on Prime and the 3rd Party items I still have.


My current hobby dollars have gone from Toy Collecting to getting back into Warhammer and tabletop wargaming. Having a local group makes a big difference. And getting out of the house is always a good thing (tm) and I can't support two expensive hobbies at once.

And already having a large Space Marine force in the basement for the better part of 14 years helps. Even when I didn't even end up playing with them much. Too many people still play Marines.

Battlestar Galactica

Just finished watching the new series for the second time. This time straight through, and what a fantastic job they did with this show. Holds up very well. And I dare say I feel like going back to the first episode and watching it all again. Except I have too much else to keep up with.

Comic Book Men

Another fantastic show, funny and entertaining for the geek crowd. Although I wish it was more of the banter among the cast in the store and their antics and less Geek Pawn Stars. But at least it's only a couple times an episode.

Highly Recommended

World of Warcraft: The Mists of Pandaria

So far looks like the best expansion to date. The commercials are telling the truth it seems. Very nice terrain, and lush environments. Blizzard continues to improve quests and presentation and mini game quests.

Haven t played the Monk much. Maybe it gets better later on, but so far doesn't impress me. But then I played a Monk in EQ1 and this is very different. But then a lot of classes don't get going until 30 or more.

So much has changed since I last played, its almost like starting over.

Guild Wars 2

Played the free weekend trial that just went by. A lot to like, but the graphics being nice, look so much like GW1. And like GW1 there is just that something that doesn't hook me. And I only play it less than casually. And that's not worth the price of admission right now.

Maybe down the road if I can pick it up for $30. But WoW MoP is much better at the moment.

One thing that sounded fantastic on paper was the Siege PvP warfare. Right out of Dark age of Camelot it sounded. If its true, and as good as it sounds. It should be awesome. And something Blizzard should be ripping off right this second.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


News broke this week about the Encore we all wanted, but dared not believe would ever happen. Fortress Maximus. And not only that but apparently the Japanese version with the huge sword.

I admit I am a little tempted, between my downsizing still ongoing and already having a Brave Max with all
the goodies I won't be biting on this. And as much as I like having an original Takara version with all the original and repro goodies from Fort and Grand I'd be lying if I hadnt said where was this 7 months ago?? I'd rather have paid the $350 for this and kept the change than what BM cost me. But at least I have the satisfaction of a near mint original with all the add ons.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Legend of the Seeker

I ended up watching this after a recommendation. One of which I sat on for about a week or more, since what little I saw of it reminded me too much of the old Hercules and Xena. And once I knew Raimi was involved, it was like no..

But I was bored enough, and both season were on Netflix so I started watching it. And it's shame that the show was cancelled. I have never read or even heard of the books before now. But the show is your typical fantasy romp, and nothing too complicated. But I can say that it pleasantly falls into the category of being the best of the Hercules and Xena 'Mold'

The show isn't too campy, funny or silly. And strikes the right edge. And the casting turned out to be quite good. I especially liked the 'Train Man' from the matrix. He made a fantastic wizard, and the icing on the cake was the fact they actually spent some money on FX and he could cast more than 1 spell. And they weren't shy about throwing around some lightening and fire in this series.

I would heartily recommend it to anyone who didn't mind the Hercules and Xena style, but a little more serious. I have no idea how it reflects on the books. And being cancelled after two seasons, they still manage to end the show without too much feeling unfinished.

4 Stars out of 5

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Being pressed for time working on my Downsizing, and panting for stepping back into Warhammer. It's been awhile since I managed a media related piece.

Well, I went to catch an afternoon show of the remake of Total Recall. Two days after it opened, and the theatre was damn near empty. That was odd, even for an afternoon. But it meant a quiet and peaceful experience with no interruptions, cell phones or any other annoying occurrences.

I will say right off the top, that the movie was decent. But not great, could have been better. I will lay the blame right on the script. I found the movie had a lot of just head scratching logic associated with the technology of the world in which they set the movie. It all moved along nicely enough, and I liked the casting. They had the bucks for all the effects and stunts. But the world that they laid the story out in just broke suspension of disbelief for me.

I mean, if you had the tech to build a skyscraper sized building that travels in a tunnel through the center of the earth from Great Britain to Australia in no time at all really, Android Police Officers and 90% of the planet is uninhabitable wouldn't you just build a colony on Mars instead?? It would be easier. Or the Moon even. Since for the purpose of the story you needed two locations.

Rekall itself just seemed to be an afterthought, it seemed to be more central in the original. More part of the plot. Here it just seemed to be minor stop along the way to tip off the plot. Which really was it's purpose, but it just didn't seemed to have enough weight. And seemed like an underground operation, rather than the recreational vacation company I felt it was in the original.

The best part for me was the throw back to the 1990 one in customs. You'll know when you see it.

I'm going to have try and see the 1990 version again soon, it's been a long time since I've seen it. But I fully expect it to be the better of the two.

3 out of 5 stars

Adventures in Downsizing

I've been working on pruning my collection, and getting a sales list together. The heatwave here the last couple weeks has put a damper on that. I don't imagine anyone wants anything with bonus sweat. So, beyond my original list. I only pulled some of the larger pieces.

With those, according to Ebays completed auction listing they sometimes sell for stupid amounts. So instead of risking insulting my fellow collectors I decided to list them on Ebay and see how that goes.

Let us just say that Ebay has a reputation, and it is well earned. As a buyer things couldn't be better usually. But as a seller it is a whole other ballgame. After learning my way about the system having never sold anything on there before I listed a half dozen items.

Nothing has sold, I still have a few remaining. And no matter how many watchers I doubt they will either. And it's not that I didn't price them competitively because I did. But probably because shipping is just too high. Canada Post does me no favors in that regard. And neither does Paypal if I want to protect myself by adding some stipulations to how I can ship and keep that protection.

But, getting back to Ebay again. I was very careful in how I setup my auctions. Shipping only in North America. USA & Canada. I excluded everywhere else and PO Boxes. And stated it in the auction. And yet I still get bids from Chinese buyers with Ebay accounts only 2 months old and almost 1000 purchases (Insane) but in all fairness maybe legit. I cancel those bids, and find out I missed a loophole buried in my control panel. So I close that loophole. And said Chinese bidder still get though, so I cancel his bid again and ban him. And I have one remaining bidder. He wins, which was great. And when I get payment I find out from the Paypal info that he is another Chinese bidder, shipping through Los Angeles to an unconfirmed address.. Here we go again. Opening a case with Ebay, refunding the money through Paypal and several hours later I'm back where I started.

Almost a month into this, and the only sales I have made are a handful to my fellow Canadians through the TF Community. Which is very appreciated. But I have a lot more I want to get moved. Once these last auctions come down, I may cross post my sales over into TFW2005. Members in the community seem to be a lot more understanding of what shipping is like. And there a lot more US members than Canadian ones.

But in the end, Ebay seems like a great waste of time and aggravation. I agree with all the complaints I've ever heard about. And I don't know how anyone makes any money on there with small ticket items with all the fees.

In other regards at present I am mainly keeping my G1s, Beast Wars / Machines, CHUG, RiD, Prime and Animated stuff. So that means I am mainly clearing out all the doubles, and movies stuff I shouldn't have bought. And any figures I bought for the 'Coolness' factor but have no real attachement to. Which means some third party figures.

Going forward I'm not sure. I'm thinking about staying with G1 / Masterpiece. And filling a few holes I have missing. And finish Prime since I'm half done or better now anyway( And how is Hasbro messing that up??). But I know one thing, I feel better without the weight of all the new releases on my shoulders (I was far from a completist. But I liked too much of what was coming all the time) And the flood of items that never seemed to end. There has to be a limit somewhere. The hobby is too broad and deep otherwise. Or else you need very deep pockets. Because you can't afford to do anything else if you don't.

Once I get the bulk of items moved that I cleared in the first passes I will go back and decide what else is staying. I have duplicate Cyberverse, Deluxe and Voyager stuff. Clear out the Cyberverse versions?? Keep the voyager versions?? I will need to decide that once I've sold most of what is waiting to go now.

And too add to the aggravation.. Paypal is being a real pain.. I setup an account to link for selling purposes. And PP stated that if the account held too few funds to cover a purchase it would go to the CC attached instead. Well, for the record they don't. They like to overdraft the account and not go to the CC as they are supposed to. Something that needs to be watched carefully. I feel like changing my sales to EMT only.. But I know too many people use PP and have money in their accounts. But once I'm done selling, I will be closing that account and removing it from my PP account. I don't want to have to go into my accounts and transfer funds to cover purchases every time I buy something because PP doesn't go the CC when it's supposed to.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Refocusing & Downsizing

I find myself at a crossroads of sort, ever since I got my hands on RiD Brave Maximus and all the little accessories from most of his mold mates, authentic or repro I've been over the top of the mountain, and sliding down the steep slope of the other side.

I find other things attracting my attention, and I only have so many hobby dollars I can split up. So I find myself re-evaluating my collection. Unfortunately for my wallet, a lot of what comes out I find appealing. But that has become too expensive to maintain. And now I need to focus my collection on the items I really really like, rather than just everything that I like or looks cool.

Do you limit yourself to Masterpieces, G1 Characters (In my case, what I grew up on)etc etc..

I had already resigned myself to begin exiting the third party bandwagon, it has just exploded and become more and more expensive. iGears Miniwarriors were looking like the last of the 3rd Party for me along with Fans Project Assaulter.

And I find as much as the movie stuff had it's appealing designs, I'm eying up that shelf for liquidation. Which, isn't going to be easy when a large chunk of it is still shelf warming in most locations.

In the end when I look over all my shelves the pieces that I find I like the most, are the G1s, G1 inspired (Classics / Generations / Universe) and Robots in Disguise. Followed closely by Beast Wars / Beast Machines, Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime. With a little dash of Armada / Cybertron and Energon.

And when it comes to the new stuff, even though the Cyberverse stuff coming out is very cool, do I really need 3 different versions of Prime?? Cyberverse, Deluxe and Voyager?? No, not really. Not too mention I was looking forward to the Energon Driller and the 'Hammer. But as cool as the playsets look. I have The Ark from DOTM and it doesn't really fit in anywhere. So I have to look at the fact that here will be cool pieces that come out, but don't really fit into my collection.

I thought about scaling back all the way to Masterpiece alone. But as few as they are, and cheap on a yearly basis. The line doesn't represent much of the series as whole. And likely never will. Even though we are supposed to get like 5 this year.

So as I have read and heard from others over the years. Wait for deals, patience is key. Don't buy assortments of 4 figures just to get 2 you want. Because you will need to sell those other two, and that takes time and you probably will be lucky to get your cost back out.

Only collect the ones you really want. And you don't need to have every version of every character. Just get the best representation to you. And don't be afraid to downsize if it's needed. That cash can go back into the collection, or to some other hobby you've been neglecting. Which is what I plan to do now that there is a budding Warhammer league here. I always liked the modeling aspect of the hobby as well as playing. But I didn't like the idea of doing one, but not the other. And it's been almost 16 years since I was into that.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hotwheels - Another collection..

So not too long ago, maybe a month or so I was browsing the isles at Walmart and seeing nothing new for Transformers like usual. We're still stuck on wave 1 of PRID. And not every store here even has that.

I walked past the Hotwheels section, and the 1966 Batmobile just jumped out at me. I'm not entirely sure why that was. But I took it down to look at it, and I remembed that as a kid I had a much larger metal version of this one that came with little Batman and Robin figures that sat in the seats. It also had a red plastic flame in the back and a movable metal saw on the front bumper.

Anyway, I ended up leaving Walmart with like 5 versions of the Batmobile and the A - Team truck. And when I got home I checked out Ebay and picked up a Ghostbusters Ecto-1, Back to the Future Time Machine and another Batmobile.

Now, I don't have much of an interest in cars in general. I don't know much about them. And I don't see that changing much anytime soon. But there are some cool looking Hotwheels cars outside of the TV and Movie ones. But the ones that really interest me are those. And the majority seem to be Batman. But I find myself eying up some of the others. Like the Breakfast cereal ones of Count Chockula, The Flintstones and the new SDCC 2012 Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. I would really like that Mystery Machine, but I don't yet see myself paying $50 it seems to be asking for on Ebay for a little Hotwheels car. But this is the same thing I said about Transformers when I started that. And now I have some very expensive pieces.

So it would seem that that one little 1966 Batman Batmobile, has managed to slightly spark onto something I remember from being a kid much farther back than my mid 80s transformers days. The sub 10 year old days of playing in the dirt with my 'Dinky', 'Matchbox' and 'Hotwheels' cars.

Now unlike the Transformers, which unfortunately has sprawled more than my Wallet would like. I favor quite a few different lines. I think I should be able to keep the Hotwheels limited to the Movie and TV varieties. And coming in at about $1.33 here when I see them. They are absolutely cheap. Even with Ebay they are usually only been a few bucks.

Of course the dark side of the coin is that in almost 5 years of TF collecting I have only run into other 'mature' collectors a few times. And none were clearing the pegs like I heard about. In the last three weeks or so since I bought that first Batmobile I've seen it twice with Hotwheels.. in two different cities. Men older than I am, just going through the pegs and dumping stuff into the cart at their feet. So I guess it's true and this does happen.

And when I think about it, I guess it should be all the more common with little Die Cast cars. Since so many are licenced and exact little duplicates of real world cars. Which makes me wonder if the in-laws and such would be so different in their outlook if I had a large miniature car collection, or of military planes and vehicles instead of robots. I think every TF collector knows the answer to that one.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

KO City Commander & Shadow Commander Add on Kits

Picked these two up a couple weeks ago now. They came in a plain bubblewrap with no paperwork, or anything at all. The plastic quality on them is quite nice, feels like a real thing.

Got the two shoulder launchers and rifle. The colors are matched up to suit the City Commander and Shadow Commander color schemes. My displayed City Commander is a KO Armor with a KO Ultra Magnus. And they plug in tightly. And the rifle is also snug in the hand. The missiles themselves have a little spring to them, makes them feel spring loaded. But they don't seem to launch.

The Shadow Commander is also a good fit, mine is also a KO Shadow Commander Armor with a KO Nemesis Prime.

So overall these are great quality, and the price was fair. And shipped from overseas they arrived really fast.

They complete the look of my Commanders. And allows me to keep my authentic CC in his box. I'm far from a MISB collector. But the real valuable pieces I hesitate to open.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Well, a little over a month ago after a year of watching prices and even twice I tried to bid one for a decent price on Ebay I finally sprung for and bought a Robots in Disguise Brave Maximus.

None of the two Ebay attempts panned out for me. They always ended up getting bid up too high for my blood. Certainly with the nature of Ebay I wasn't comfortable with such an expensive purchase should there be anything wrong with it, or not as described. I could only imagine the nightmare of having to try and return something of that size and weight. And the headaches increase.

So I got a line on one from a reputable source. And he was supposed to be in very good condition and complete. Box and all accessories. The price was a little more than I would have liked. But the shipping was good, and the security and peace of mind was worth it.

So he came with his box, insert and all of RiD BM original accessories. And since he was such a crown piece for my collection. I decided to hunt down some repro parts from Fortress Maximus to kit him out. So I managed to get FM two guns. The FM Twin Blaster and FM large Photon Rifle. As well as Cog who forms two small tanks and a larger robot. So all I am missing is the repro gun for Cog. I find when it comes to the FM guns the dark blue color seems to go well with BM. Rather than the more appropriate repro color matched to BM. Although I do think that Cog would look better if he was color matched to BM in red and black. I'm thinking about painting him myself but I haven't yet. And I even grabbed the Crazy Devy Massive Sword since it was on clearance. And it's just about as tall as BM himself is.

The last thing I picked up was the Headrobots Courageous Headmaster kit. It was also a little pricier than I would like. But it was supposed to be limited to 200 pieces. Not that that made it any cheaper. But, that gave me two nicely detailed Headmaster heads and a nice translucent blue sword.

Over all BM was somewhat dusty when he arrived. Nothing that a dry cloth and a can of air didn't mostly fix. And to my surprise it seems that all of his stickers are in excellent shape. None seemed to be faded, scratched to coming loose at all. I found that to be amazing really. I've transformed him once, from robot to city mode and back again. His joints seem to be tight and in good shape. All in all I couldn't be happier with him. It's fun just to look at him. And being the largest transformer ever made is a fun fact. And I prefer this color version of Fortress Maximus to the other two version. The colors as was mentioned somewhere else, looks fantastic as a city at night with the lit up windows.

And a reminder of him being from a bygone age in toys, the plastic he is made of, is of just a better quality than you see with Hasbro today. And maybe even Takara. It just feels sturdy, and not cheap or fragile at all. The heft of the whole figure is surprising. This thing is heavy.

And one last surprise I had when I got looking at the box and little details. It seems that I ended up with a Takara release of Brave Maximus. I had assumed that it would have been the Korean release. So that was a nice cherry on top. From everything I checked out it definitely seems to be the Takara version.

RiD is becoming one of my favorite continuities in Transformers. And is starting to rank up there with G1 as far as I am concerned. There just seems to be a lot of nice figures, and good quality materials in the line. And there is a handful of figures I still want to get from the line. It's too bad it didn't go on even one more season than it did.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Headrobots Courageous

I receieved the Headrobots upgrade / replacement kit for Robots in Disguise Brave Maximus recently.

The set consists of two heads, one with the typical face plate and the other with nose and mouth. As well as a transparent blue sword. I've read in other reviews of the set that the reds didn't come out well, and didn't go well with Brave Maximus. I didn't find this to be the case at all. They are not an exact match, but they seem quite close to me. An don't look bad at all. They also both come with the headmaster attachment while in head form.

If you have ever seen or handled a Headrobots release before than there is nothing really new about these two bots but for the colors, and the design of the heads.

This was an exclusive set from Megatoyfan limited if memory serves to 200 pieces. If Brave wasn't going to be my giddy big bad boy of my collection I don't know if I would have been able to justify the cost. But I had some money I could spare on it, and I want my BM to have all the pieces and upgrades to make him 'Complete'

So in the end I would have to say the choice is yours if you think you would want it for yours.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Classics Bumblebee Upgrade Kit

I decided that since I liked the original Beezleboss Devil Horns upgrade kit for Classics Cliffjumper that I would get the Growing Pains kit for my spare RTS Bumblebee. I didn't know how well it would look since I didn't have a United Gold Colored version of the mold. But figure I would try it anyway.

The kit came in a tiny little box, which is of no real surprise since all it is is a head and two pistols. I kind of wish the guns were a little heftier, but they are pretty cool. And I like the head sculpt just fine.

The plastic seems to be of pretty good quality, and the details are nice. No complaints there.

The only thing I could see is I do wish it was a little cheaper, by around $5 to $10. It would have been a lot nicer to have the kit be around $20 to $25 instead of $29.99. But over all, I am satisfied with it. And my new Goldbug looks very nice with the upgrades.

Installation was simple, just one small screw to change out the head and it's all done.

Here is the picture of him alongside my classics 'Bee with his FP Pistol from the G3 Trailer.

Monday, April 30, 2012

RiD Scourge

Today I received my latest figure, a Robots in Disguise Spychanger Scourge. I won this one on Ebay about two weeks ago from a seller in England. I was the only bidder, I didn't expect to win it. But no one else wanted it, or maybe I flew under the radar.

He arrived today in small little box. And except for a little dust his joints are tight, and everything seems to be in order except for a small scuff on his chrome bumper.

I really like the Spychangers, they remind me a lot of the old G1 minicars, of which I had quite a few when I was a kid. I picked up a bunch of them last year second hand. And they all have simple transformations, and that suits me fine. And after watching all of RiD recently the series has become one of my more favorites of the available transformer series.

Scourges robot mode is nicely detailed, espeacially his head sculpt. And frankly he looks just like a small exact replica of what I presume is his more articulate and detailed big brother.

So in the end to sum up, a great little figure. Not very articulate, but nicely sculpted and detailed. A great addition to my other Spychangers and G1 minibots on my shelf.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Post Wrestlemania 28

It has been a week now just about since the biggest wrestling extravaganza of the year. And I have to say that I wasn't as impressed with it after I've seen it than I thought I would be going into it.

The opening match was one that I was interested in seeing. And should have been a great match. And then I sit down to enjoy a great start to a four hour show and see it end in roughly 18 seconds. What.the.hell.. This wasn't a good way to start. I like D Bryan as Booker would put it. And if they wanted him to drop the belt to Shamus then that was fine. I liked him before he became the 'Great White' back when that was actually an insult to him.

And things on the card didn't go a whole hell of a lot up from there. At least with the exception of the Hell in a Cell match. I need to see that one again. But, we did have three veterans working that match. And they all knew what they were doing. I found this one to be much more entertaining than last years. Which I would have to give the credit to Michaels for adding that level of uncertainty to the outcome. Although I was very very doubtful that Undertaker was ever going to lose this thing. Hopefully he will retire undefeated at Wrestlemania. Seeing I don't find anyone worthy of the rub, and with the pace of things these days it would be forgotten in weeks anyway. But if they must, I would love to see someone like Ziggler get it.

Anyway as the card wore on things didn't get much better. The Punk and Jericho match didn't thrill me either. And I know both men can work. Maybe it has something to do with the storyline. Which doesn't interest me at all. And the tag match was tossed to the dark. I've seen good womens matches, and most of them seem to be over in TNA / Impact these days. And The Rock and Cena didn't work well for me either. I was disappointed in Team Teddy losing, but maybe this will provide an opportunity to do something with Teddy. He is miles more interesting and likeable than Johnny Ace.

We get to RAW and Smackdown! and things for me just get worse. RAW was good with the Rocks promo and all downhill from there till we end with Lesnar. What anyone sees in him I will never know.

I've been watching the Wrestlemanias starting at #1 this past week. And it's going to take awhile. But so far I'm up to number six and they have all been much better than what I watch now. Maybe it's because I'm a product of the 80s and that's what I grew up with. But maybe they just did it better then. You know, they don't make things like they used to. A good example being this weeks ref reversing a decision on (Smackdown! was it??) over an incident he didn't even see.. I just saw two WM in a row where Jesse was complaining and praising the fact that the heels cheated well, and kept things hidden from the ref. And they didn't go around changing the decison for things they thought they saw.

I guess alot of this boils down to something I probably said before. Modern wrestling is now so totally shifted to the entertainment (WWE at least) that they don't even pretend to be a sport anymore. Or even act like there are rules and this is supposed to be an atletic competition. And it shows. From what I have been told I should be watching Ring of Honor. Or maybe I need to watch more Impact. But Impact has a lot of failings in other areas. But they do have some good talent.

I have quite a few WMs to get through, and it will be interesting if the decline hits your like a brick wall once I get past the Attitude Era into the PG era and rise of Cena. Maybe it's a gradual thing. Should be interesting to see..

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wrestlemania 28

It's that time of year again, time for Wrestlemania.

Now I haven't been too excited in recent years, the PPV events just don't seem to be all that grand and dazzling anymore. Compared to my memories of the early years, they just seem like extended episodes of RAW or Smackdown! Maybe returning to an outdoor arena. With the large setup might give it back some sense of atmosphere. I really need to go back and watch the old 'Manias. I remember when the WWF/E released the big boxset of all of them. I wish I could have found it for a good price. After that I would have loved a set of the Rumbles. Even if it was just a set of all the Royal Rumble matches themselves.

But oddly I am finding myself getting a little excited this year. Even though I had said I wouldn't be. After all, I saw HHH and Undertaker last year. But I am interested in seeing them now in a Hell in a Cell match, with Mr. Wrestlemania as the guest referee. And Punk and Jericho along with Rock and Cena. Against my better judgement I'm looking forward to Sunday night.

I'm even interested in the 12 man tag match, hopefully team Teddy wins.

So here we are at another Wrestlemania, one I said I wouldn't be excited about. And yet I find myself drawn to it. We shall see how it all goes by Monday night.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dark of the Moon : Darksteel

Picked this guy up at TRU last weekend. They were having a $10 sale on the deluxes. And until I heard that he was a Beast Wars homage to Quickstrike I wasn't much interested.

But once I got him transformed into robot mode and put his weapons into his hands. He actually does look really cool. The head especially, and with the weapons in hand they resemble claws / blades.

The mold looks like a repaint and tooling of DOTM Sideswipe.

If you liked Quickstrike I'd say you should grab this guy while you can. If not, I wouldn't bother. Since he's just another 'Sideswipe' and I actually already have two versions of movie Sideswipe already. But this one is more than different enough to fit in for me with my like of Beast Wars.

Thanks to the WTF@TFW 2005 podcast and Vangelus or I would not have known he was a Quickstrike BW homage.

3.5 out of 5

MMOs and Gaming

And the pendulum swings and I find myself returning to PC gaming. With the closure of Blockbuster and the Rogers outlets. I no longer have any good alternatives for renting. This has mostly ruined what was a good deal several years ago when I had swung into console gaming to play all the cool titles I was missing. But at $70 a title that lasts usually no longer than two weeks buying isn't a choice. I sold off my Xbox 360. And am content to hold onto my PS3 since the media capabilities of it are fantastic. And it's also my Bluray player. I don't see myself going into the next generation. I can further beef up my PC instead. And play some of these games a year or more down the line on my PC that still works. And not have a bunch of games that have no value and can't be used once their console system has been put out to pasture.

So, now I am back to PC gaming. I was enjoying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. And Diablo 3 is right around the corner. But predominantly I find that MMOs are the titles that I usually get the most out of. Been playing them pretty much since 1999. But I find myself once again returning to Azeroth and World of Warcraft. I have always like Blizzard as a company. And maybe that is part of it.

I've been away from the game for must be at least six months or more. And in the interim I played the F2P versions of City of Heroes, EverQuest 2. As well as played the beta and launch of Star Wars The Old Republic. Which I left once I hit the cap and there didn't seem to be much left for me to do. I would say that SW needed another 6 months or so to fill out. And CoH and EQ2 even when they were pay subs didn't hold my attention that long. I would have to say looking back, that EQ1 and WoW were the two MMOs that I've played the most. Everything else were short diversions. I even played DC Universe Online on PS3 and it was only fun for a few days.

But I received one of the new super turbo charged Scrolls of Resurrection and it lured me back in. At first I played a couple hours and didn't have much fun with it. I was bored. Which was why I left in the first place. I had one 85 and several 80s and nothing I felt like doing. But now I was able to bring my Mage over from another server. And get a boost to level 80. And now I've been taking it easy fishing with my 85 and doing low key stuff. While with my newly minted 80 Mage (Who was 73 before) I find some more fun coming back. I don't find I have the time or the patience for Raids or even groups usually. Maybe with a guild dungeons wouldn't be so bad. But PUGs never seem to go well. And as a Mage my role is pretty simple. DPS. I don't have the pressure of healing or tanking. And back in the beginning days of WoW my Mage was into all the dungeons and raiding. But when I went horde I didn't recreate my Mage since I don't like to do the same things over and over. I didn't want to have to level a Mage a second time. Although it took me about three times to get a Shaman past 24.

And I guess with the single player games I have this sense of being alone, playing against a machine. And again I tend to get bored. With MMOs they seem to be like a pseudo sand box. And there are always other people around. Whether I choose to interact with them or not. I can buy, sell, trade and still feel like I'm part of something persistent. So even with my lack of interest in the main social aspects of the games (Grouping and Raiding) it still seems to be mainly a social atmosphere. This 'it' factor that single player games seem to be lacking.

So with my play style I tend to solo the game and play Battlegrounds. And this generally seems to be enough of a social interaction to keep me interested. Where single player games don't. At least when I'm not suffering MMO burnout.

But I knew that I would in all likely hood be buying Mists of Pandaria this fall. So a few months to finish up some levels and skills before that would be good. And I will be ready to dive into the expansion. And it looks like they are adding a lot of stuff to do with the 'Pokemon' aspect besides grind out another five levels. And I've been missing a Monk class since the game launched. They were one of my favorites in EQ 1 back in the day. And I still wish I had of come back for two months last fall for Brewfest and Halloween events.

Anyway, I better stop. Since this is turning into a large wandering post.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Transformers Prime Legion Class Vehicon

Prime figures have finally started to appear in my area. I picked up the Legion class Vehicon.

What a fantastic little figure. He looks great, has knee joints, unfortunately he could have really used an elbow to help pose and aim his weapon.

He is mainly black, with grey tires and silver head and some purple highlights. He also sports the cyclon red visor. Transformation is nice and simple. And his weapon is made from some kind of soft type plastic. Also purple.

Over all I am very pleased, he looks great in both modes. If I had to complain about anything it would be the lack of an elbow joint, and I would have preferred his weapon be a gun. And not a gun / sword type thing.

If this is a preview for the deluxe version. Than I am going to want more than one..

4 out of 5 stars

Great figure.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

iGear Rager and Spray

I'm kinda doing these comments / reviews in reverse order. Or maybe I should have done one big one.

I got my Spray last week, and Rager after him. iGear has had some things I was interested in before. Namely the Masterpiece Seekers but I wasn't going to pay those prices. And I really don't have the space. I already have the Hasbro MP Starscream and Skywarp. And I would rather have Takara Thundercracker or by some miracle a Hasbro one. But with the prices of the Takara Tcracker and the new mold coming I doubt we'll see a Hasbro TCracker, but that's another story.. Not too mention I'm not as attached to the Coneheads as the original Seekers..

But on to Spray..

I'm quite happy with him. I love the shade of blue they used for him. And he just seems to be the right size. Not too big, but not too small either. Transformation was simple. No problems. He's nicely posable. And his plastic quality seems to be good. He has a small amount of paint, his face and hovercraft windows. And he even comes with a spear gun. Which was fantastic. And I was impressed with the laminated sparkly bio card he came with. And unlike the Maketoys version he did not come with any instructions. If I had to complain about anything with him, it would be he suffer a little bit of having large pontoon feet. And some rather obvious gaps in alt mode. But it's not enough to bother me.

Over all I am quite pleased with Spray.


Much the same as Spray. Transformation was simple, no popping out of place ball joints. Nice colors, and good pose ability. He comes with two pistols, which was cool to have some accessories. And his head even seems posable, but I can't quite reach in to move his head. As with Spray he's just the right size. And his quality seems good. He also comes with a nice laminated sparkly bio card. But no instructions.

If this is what we can look forward to with iGears Miniwarrior line. Than sign me up. At around $18 to $20 each depending on where you buy them, won't break the bank like a lot of third party items unfortunately. I can't wait to see Cosmos and the rest of the line.

It's kind of sad when I think about it, but it seems more and more these days third party are making more exciting products than Hasbro and Takara themselves are. And I am very interested in the Prime line. Maybe it was the over saturation of the movie toys for the last 5 years or so. But then they release the Prime FE and we find out they get cancelled. And the main RID line with duplicate molds are inferior in some respects.. Come on Hasbro. Maybe it's my nostalgia. But it's kind of sad when I look back to toys from 30 years ago and I still like them better, and they have better quality than modern designed stuff. And it takes third party to give these stuff back to us with faithful modern adaptions. Not to get too long winded on this, thankfully we got the Classics, Generations and those lines. Those were fantastic. Then I see FOC Bruticus and hope he's mistransformed =)


iGear Miniwarriors

Spray 3.5 out of 5
Rager 3.5 out of 5

Maketoys Hover & Bomber

Ok, so I finally got my box with Maketoys version of the minibots Hover (Seaspray) and Bomber (Powerglide) this morning.

And I have to say, that over all I'm not all that impressed with them. And I will be looking forward to iGears forthcoming Cosmos and the rest of their line predominantly.

The design of Hover and Bomber just seem to be off. Visually they look nice, in both modes. I find that Hovers blue is a little too dark. And I Also find him and Bomber to be a little bit on the short side. Just a little bit taller would have been nice. Rager and Spray aren't that much bigger. But I like their size better.

But my problem with how they were designed I guess mostly applies to bomber more than hover. With bomber the transformation was simple enough, but even so they seem to have some ball joint problems. His fore arms like to pop off, and in 'bot mode he can't raise his fists up without turning them palms up to do it with how they were designed. And the small flaps on the back of the engines on his legs like to pop out of their notches. And they don't like to clip back in place too well. They just fit into little notches. It seems like the friction will hold them into place. Unless they get worn over time by transforming. But I don't tend to transform my figures very often. So it probably won't be much of a problem for me. I've also had some minor problem trying to pose them, as their joints like to slide back to their original positions. And neither of them come with any accessories. A few spots on Bombers ball joints look to be thin plastic, so I would be careful with him transforming.

As mentioned though, they both look nice in robot and alt mode. I almost like Hovers face better than Spray. And they have a little bit of paint. But it seems to accentuate them well. Bomber with yellow eyes and some black on his chest. And Spray with his face, chest and Hovercraft windows.

So, in the end I guess I am a little disappointed in them. The iGear Spray and Rager are much nicer. A little bit bigger, and both came with accessories. Not too mention a cool sparkly, laminated bio card. And were sold separately for around $18 about. Where Hover and Bomber came as a two piece set. I only wanted to get Bomber, but had to get the pair. Figuring I would sell off Spray. And I may do that still.

So I would say go for iGears Rager and Spray and try and get a loose Bomber if you want Powerglide for the new minibots. Unless iGear releases him down the line. The only one I know of coming up is Cosmos. And I'm looking forward to him. I love the minibots, and had a bunch of them when I was a kid. And it looks like iGear really has something I like going with their line.

Maketoys Bomber and Spray

Bomber 2 out of 5
Hover 2.5 out of 5

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Woman In Black

Seen this one yesterday, and it's a great old school horror movie.

No reliance on gore, or violence that you seen in what passes for horror in the modern movies. This is old school creepy. Like Paranormal Activity. Darkness, shadows, moving things in reflections, opening doors, noises..

For a first outing by former Harry Potter the only issue I have is, that he looks almost too young for the role. But the addition of some stubble, and such does go a long way to fixing that.

It's a period piece, which I was very pleased with. The village he arrives at to do his work has one car. And the local are mostly scared of it. No telephones.

And I have read that some reviews found that since he was in no real personal danger since the woman in black preys on children. Removed any tension we the audience feels since we know nothing will happen to him. I didn't think so. I liked following him along through the mystery.

And even though I knew only children had died. I still wasn't entirely sure that something wouldn't happen to him.

Irregardless I enjoyed this movie, and I hope that the horror genre is finally swinging back from blood and gore, and what has been labeled as 'Torture Porn' and is coming back to old school scares and creepy. Less is more people.

Performances were good, Especially Sam if I remember right. The richest man in the county who owned the car. I've seen him in many movies, but I especially liked him here.

4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Star Wars The Old Republic

This post was much longer that it is now, but it turned into a bit of a rambling take on the state of modern MMOs compared to the early days of EQ1 and DAoC. And how the social aspects with groups were so much better than today. Which doesn't really say much about TOR in general.

So, I've been playing since early last fall when I got into beta. Just got billed for my first cycle. And I imagine it will be my last once.

I played a Commando in beta. And went back to it in release. And a couple weeks ago made level 50. And had the feeling of being done wash over me. I just don't much feel like playing now. My storyline is done. Which was the fantastic thing about this game. It was as someone else has mentioned WoW with lightsabres. And Knights of the Old Republic 3. And then when you hit level 50, the whole game just spins and lands on it's head.

You are once again just like any other MMO (Wow) and no, I don't really have any suggestions on what Bioware could do differently. All I am left to do is Raid, PvP or finish up some side quests I have left.

I had to spend a metric ton of cash to catch up on skills, and work on Armstech. And it seems like most MMOs crafting is basically worthless. I'm not seeing how I would generally make any cash. Not much seems to sell well at all on the Auction House. There just doesn't seem much for me to do.

Now, all 8 classes have their own stories. And I did start a bunch of alts of various levels 6 to 22. And beyond their class / story quests most of the side quests are the same as the ones I already did with the Commando. And the same planets, so that has been boring me. Hopefully down the road they will get a chance to expand the number of planets. And give some alternate choices for the different level ranges to quest in.

Space Combat was fun, rails or not. The trouble I had with it, was that a lot of them looked the same. But even so it was a fun arcade shooter quality. And I liked flying them. Again, hopefully they get some more variety added in.

I'm still having some quests that become buggy for one reason or another. And I can no longer complete them. And I can't abandon them from my log.

And the companion system is fantastic. You never have to adventure alone. And you end up with a companion to fill in the various roles for Tank, Healer, DPS..

So maybe it's not so much that the game turns on its head at the end. Just so much that it's really Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 3 in a persistent environment. With NPC compantions you can quest with. And it's just a different game at 50 than the one you played for a month or so before that.

In the end if you like Science Fiction and MMOs you have to give it a try. It's well worth that. The game has a strong story element to it. And was great fun one time through. Just that the path is too narrow for me to apparently make it through more than once.

3.5 Stars our of 5.

Monday, January 23, 2012

DOTM Autobot Guzzle & Extras

Finally managed to find one at the local grocery chain of all places. First and only time I ever managed to see one in person. And the price wasn't so bad either.

He is a fantastic little figure. Alt mode is a great looking little battle tank, with removable guns on the roof. Too bad that the turret doesn't move. But no surprise seeing how he transforms.

In robot mode, he has kind of a wide stance with large shoulders and long arms, almost a ape like stance which doesn't look bad. The green and yellow colors seem to work well, and a metallic blue face.

I'm quite pleased with him.

Today I also got in the mail an ebay purchase from the U.K. a set of black and grey guns as well as the large robot head to complete my G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime. And a animation cell of Lio Jr from Beast Wars 2 that looks great in a glass frame I picked up for it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

E Readers

Here is something I would have never thought I would end up buying. I like having a physical book to read. Flip through the pages, and heft when I'm reading. There was just something satisfying about it. Even though the larger books would sometimes make my wrist sore holding it up just so I could keep reading.

After a short couple weeks reading up on them, having only really having any brand awareness about the Kindle and the Kindle Fire. I ended up with a Kobo Touch. Once I found out that it was essentially 'Region' free there was little other choice.

I certainly didn't want to be locked into any formats. And the Kobo would read the current comic book formats. As it has turned out, I am almost done reading my second novel on it. And won't be reading any comics I don't imagine.

The screen is fantastic, bit of a matte finish which is awesome, I was concerned about the visibility of fingerprints like my iPod Touch. And that is not a problem. And the look of it is just like paper. It's rather amazing how they have made it look just like a book page. It's light weight, and has a rubber coating on the whole thing to make it easy to grip and hold onto. The only real gripe I had, and it pretty much vanished once I got used to it. Was the slight delays with the touch screen. It messes me up still when typing, but now that I have gotten used to it. It's not a problem flipping pages.

It has 2GB of ram, only 1GB available to the user. I installed a 4GB Micro SD card and will be plenty since I won't be carrying my comics around. The problem with them is that they don't display as they would on the PC. You can zoom in, and scroll about the pages. But I find the text hard to read, and would have preferred it to operate the way the PC readers do. Displaying each page in halves, zoomed in. So when you flip pages it just goes from the top of the page to the bottom. So each comic page is presented as two full screen pages. This is something I would think could be address in an update if they so choose.

A great part of my satisfaction with the device I don't doubt is the Targus Black leather case I got for it. It makes the kobo look and feel like a real leather bound book. It has pockes for cards inside, and has two bands and a slot / pocket at the bottom to hold the device. And with the rubberized exterior it just kinda sticks in place. The case was originally designed for the Kindle. But is great for the Kobo. If I didn't have a great case for it, it would probably stay on my desk. And I would never carry it around or get any use out of it.

So it has been a surprisingly good purchase. And if I finish the other half dozen or so books I plan to read in the short term. It will have been worth the cost to get into.

4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Transformers Prime Wave 1 and 1.5

In probably the easiest launch for me to date. I was able to get all of the Prime wave one items at retail. Even Voyager Bulkhead. And right through the holidays I seen them all on the shelves.

I am quite pleased with them. They look fantastic, reminds me a lot of Animated. The figures look very much like the on screen characters that they represent. I know that there are some small details with the figures that don't quite match up. But over all they look great.

There is one exception, however. Deluxe Bumblebee.. He looks good in both modes, but transforming him into robot mode was 'fussy' and his chest and upper torso just seems to be a floppy, jointed mess going on. And I have a difficult time getting him to pose half decently. If memory serves both him and Cliffjumper are getting a new mold in the main line this year. So I hope they get him fixed up.

Megatron and Starscream look like they walked out of the screen. Very nice. Voyager Prime is far and away much nicer looking than the deluxe version. And Cliffjumper as well looks awesome. I especially like the dual hidden blasters in his arms. I wish Prime and 'Bee would have come with two guns. As well as a set of guns would have been nice for Arcee.

Overall, a fantastic start. And I look forward to seeing the Vehicons, Soundwave, Wheeljack and the others. Hopefully with staggered release. After 2011 my wallet could certainly use a break.


I figured out Bumblebees mess of a chest.. The two sections do clip and become a lot more solid. But you end up covering up the Autobot symbol on his chest when everything is clipped together right. And this way the doors on his back fold out properly as well. He is much more stable this way, but you can't really see his Autobot symbol on his chest any longer.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

After hearing about the books for months, the original language edition of the movies came and went. And then the weirdly bizarre and interesting trailers for the American verions (Not too mention the Muppet version). I finally went to see the movie.

I knew going in that I would like the cast. Especially Craig and Plummer. Althought, it was too bad that Plummer fades away and doesn't get to make a re-appearance until the end of the film.

But I will say that this was a great movie. I am glad that Fincher was apparently uncompromising when making the film. I think that some movies need to be 'R' rated movies. And shouldn't be watered / dumbed down just so they can wring a few more bucks out of them with a wider audience.

I enjoyed the investigation and mystery of the movie. Even if I did see where big points were going miles away. It was still enjoyable to follow through the case with the characters and see where it was all going.

I plan to now read the books, since I don't want to wait for the rest of the movies. Not too mention, that it seems Fincher isn't locked in and may not return. Not too say that the next two could be worse or better. But it would be nice to have the principals all involved again.

4 stars out of 5