Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boba Fett: Booty Hunter (SDCC Haul II)

Hi boys and girls, it's me, Uncle Freak after almost two weeks of shooting a TV series I finally return to the blogosphere to talk about toys and to talk about what I got in San Diego. It's a good thing that I never claimed to reveal or even keep a posting schedule, but I'll never leave you my friends.

I'll stay with you like Boba Fett on Han Solo's trail, even if the world becomes a prequel of itself I'll still be with you. Only that it's not going to be me, it's probably going to be the guy they cloned to get me. Or something.

Why are you still listening to me? We need to talk about toys.

One of the weirdest things I got in the con was a limited vinyl figure of Boba Fett holding a BoomBox. It really doesn't have a name: This is the card that came with the figure.

But screw this, I like my figures to have names, so I named him Roger. But then on a whim I changed his name to Boombox Fett. I think it suits him better.

It was done by an artist called Motorbot for a T-Shirt company, I'm pretty sure about it. But that's one of the greatest things about Comic Con, I just saw this one day and bought it, mainly because it looks cool, maybe because it's silly, might be because I have a soft spot for John Cusack (or was it Joan Cusack?) but mostly because it's Boba Fett holding a Boombox.

Boombox Fett was limited to 20 pieces, if you want to see some of the amazing toys Motorbot has done, check his Flickr.

I won't have to take unexpected trips for a while, so I think I'll be able to keep posting regularly. But if you ever miss me, just remember that moment in Say Anything when Boba Fett holds the Boombox up and the Imperial march starts playing. It always makes me smile.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What's up, Duke? (SDCC Haul I)

And now some trivia you may not know about me: I am a David Bowie fan, I have all his albums, I've seen Labyrinth a couple million times and I even own a copy of The man who fell to Earth, the movie that started one of Bowie's many eras, the one where he was called the Thin White Duke.

(So, if you were wondering, the Duke in the title is Bowie and not John Wayne or Jo, or Luke and certainly not Daisy)

What does this have to do with San Diego Comic Con? Well, what if you could have a way to unite your obsession with toys, your enthusiasm for cuddly animals and your passion for the one and only Ziggy Stardust? Now, that would be cool, right?

Artist Jermaine Rogers gave me that when he did a print called Aleppin Sane that was later turned into a toy by a company called Plastic City.

The result was this awesome, huge (and incredibly light) vinyl piece:

For references regarding the size of this bust, you can check last post, for accuracy regarding the cover of David Bowie's album Aladdin Sane you can check this pic:

The bust is of course not articulated, the sculpt and colors are incredible simple and very effective. The fur is very nicely done. As I said before, since it's a piece of hollow vinyl the bust is super light despite it's massive size.

It now has a place of honor in one of my DVD shelves in my living room.

And the best part? One in ten boxes had a very limited signed and numbered print in it. And guess who got one?

"Me", the right answer was "Me" (no, not you). Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries before I could snap a pic of the print. But it is there, I'll post a pic when I show you more stuff I got in the Con.

There's more to come.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back from SDCC!

Hi, boys and girls, I'm back from the happiest (weirdest, awesomest, geekiest, busiest) place on Earth. San Diego Comic Con (or as they call it now Comic Con International, or something like that).

I've met some great friends (like Reis from Hey! Look at my Toys!, http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifFishMilkSakehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif from the AFB Forum and George from Toybreak), saw some incredible cosplays, bought some pretty cool comics, found outstanding artists and got angry at Mattel (like I always do) because they messed up (like they always do).

And I'll try to cover all of that in my blog, but we all know what you want to see. Actually, I don't know what you want to see, but I certainly do know what I want to show you: The toys I got!

Part I

From left to right: SCUD the disposable Assassin (Shocker Toys), Superboy in the cloning pod (Young Justice - Mattel), Glo-Mancer (Bootleg by the Super Sucklord), Ty-po custom dunny (by Ryan the wheelbarrow), Bat-Baby Sharky (ToyQube exclusive), Bearbrick Green Lantern's Lantern (for a friend), Outer Space Men Waves 1 & 2 (by the Four Horsemen), Super deformed Bender (Toynami), Blazing Sword Voltron (Mattel), Glyos (from Onell design, met Matt Doughty too, awesome guy!), Angle Man, Killer Frost, Amazo, Vixen (the one I have doesn't stand at all and doesn't have a peg hole in her foot) and Goldface (JLU - Mattel), Skull-Pumpking-Octopus (or "Zeke" sculpted by George Gaspar) and an Isz (came with SCUD - Shocker Toys).

Part II

Boba Fett with a Boombox (maybe, I made the name up, by Motorbot), Heatwave (JLU - Mattel), two Z.O.M.B.I.E.S. (October Toys), Allepin Sane (by Jermaine Rogers - I also got the signed print that came in one out of ten boxes, score!), Robot Smorking Labbit (signed by Frank Kozik), Killer Star (JLU - Mattel), Those tiny ones in the front are B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S. by Triclops Studios, another Labbit, Swamp thing (Mattel), Lion-O Spiki (Rotobox, the chase was Tygra, I didn't get it but I want it so baaaad), Ninja Agent P (blind box series from Phineas & Ferb), one of the Popaganda mini figures by Ron English, The Unmen (came with Swamp Thing - Mattel), Plastic Man (lead figurine by Eaglemoss), Daredevil (Super Hero Squad - Hasbro), Lucha Libre Agent P (same as before) and Professor Zoom (DC Direct exclusive - for a friend).

Part III

Mattel free wrestler guy (it was free, they gave one to my wife, I don't really know anything about it... Help?), Skin Deep Dunny by MAD (Kidrobot from the 2010 series), Black and white Mickey (Funko), Green Lantern Kilowog (deluxe lead figurine by Eaglemoss), Tuxedo Agent P and Boxers Agent P (Same as the same as before), Record Store Day Blind boxed guy from Frank Kozik (it was my least favorite design from the four guys, but Frank signed it and it's still kinda funny).

Well, mates that is all, my first SDCC, I saw a million things and I have missed two million more. My feet are killing me (and after the very long flight back home, my ass too), I spent a lot of money and I think I gained a couple of pounds because of all the junk food...

And all I can say about it is:

I can't wait to go back!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This is goodbye, for a few days

Well guys I'm off to San Diego. I'll try to post some pics of the things I see and the people I meet. I'm still not sure what Internet access will I have so, I don't know how much will I be able to post.

I'll also try to upload stuff on twitter, you can check it out @studiofreak

Take care and, as Colin would say it, play with toys and have fun.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm telegraphing today's post...


Because it's about nostalgia - STOP - Because it brings me back memories from a distant past - STOP - Because it's about a figure I should have posted a long time ago - STOP - And basically because I have little time today - STOP

Today's figure - STOP STOP STOP (those are suspension points, I have no idea how to make those in Morse code, sorry) - She-Ra from the Masters of the Universe Classics line - STOP

And she's many figures in one - STOP

Let's look at several possible She-Ras -STOP / STOP (that's a colon, again, sorry)

With this head - STOP - Is the best toy representation of the character - STOP - Ever - STOP - The first She-Ra was quite ugly and the 200X was completely different from the rest of the line - STOP - I mean, she had hair - STOP - HAIR - EXCLAMATION MARK - The rest of the characters didn't - STOP -

I don't like doll hair on my toys - STOP - Makes them feel all girlie an stuff - STOP - Oh, I'll comb it, sure - STOP - But I won't be happy about it - STOP

With this head - STOP - The figure just looks stupid - STOP - With the shinny tiara - SLASH - mask she looks odd with the rest of the line - STOP - Other than that, is the same figure - STOP - Without the tiara comes the horror - DUN DUN DUN (that's for the dramatic effect, and no, it doesn't work in a non telegraphic post either...)

That's a fucking hole in her head - EXCLAMATION MARK - At least I could finally reenact South Park with MOTUC figures - STOP

As you may have guessed, the hole head goes right to the accessories box - STOP - Until the day I want to customize a zombie She-Ra - STOP - Hey, that may not be such a bad idea - STOP - Right - QUESTION MARK

By the way, in case you didn't noticed, I cheated, I used commas - STOP


... - .- -.-- / - ..- -. . -..

(That should say "Stay tuned" in Morse code, man, I hope that online translator was telling the truth)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When you are a collector, you can never dodge THAT bullet

The first time I saw the Pop Heroes line from Funko was on a pic on a screen and I thought that they were cute, but not cute enough to be an instant addition to the Compulsive Collector Shop List, you probably have one too.

Mine is color coded and I have it online, you can arrange it by price, size, company, line, availability, fun factor and type of material used to make the figure. I mean, just like yours, right?


The fact is, Funko's line didn't grab my attention in online pictures. And I thought to myself "Wow! I dodged that bullet".

But seeing them in person is different, a couple of days ago I was visiting my local scalper...

(That's right, we don't have Toys R' Us in Argentina, we have friends who buy toys to sell and bring them to the country in very large boxes, usually to pay for their own toys and not to make a profit, maybe I should write a book called "My Scalper and me", what do you think?)

Anyway, I went to his place to get some stuff he had for me and then I saw a couple of Pop Heroes on his shelf... And by a couple, I mean the whole damn line! My Scalper has problems too.

And no, I tried, but as a collector, you can never dodge that bullet.

I got Batman and Joker, I still don't know if I'm going to get them all, but there are some characters I just need to have. The Flash and Riddler, for example. We'll see about the rest, for now, let's talk about these.

These figures are simple, silly and rely on the belief that a cute sculpt can overcome the fact that they are squatting and in an awkward position. They have almost no articulation, except for the head, and they'd kick Blammoids' sorry square asses in a heartbeat.

The paint apps were OK, and the weight and feel of the figure is pretty decent.

Of all the figures, Joker is my favorite so far (they only released two waves: Batman Family characters and Main DC Universe Heroes) I just love the sculpt of the head and the decision to make him with those crazy spirally eyes.

Fun Fact: Spirally eyes are a symbol of craziness or mental instability in kindergartens almost everywhere in the world. It is also used to depict a drunken person, at least that's the way I used to draw my uncle... Oh... Repressed memory flashback. That wasn't apple juice...

Anyway, my mind is not blown away by these little guys, but they certainly cheer me up when I see them. Nicely done Funko, nicely done.

More to come. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Too good to be true

If you think that the title of this post is talking about the fact that I'm making two posts in a row, well Ha Ha! Mr. Funny guy, but it's not. Also, screw you! How dare you make fun of me that way...

OK, OK, forgive me, some pre-trip tensions... Good news in the toy world today, thanks to the very opportune advice from my friend Ben aka Fishmilkshake, I was able to buy some Mattel exclusives online today, and I'm pleased to say that everything worked out great, no screens of death, no refresh nightmares, and the voucher arrived and everything. Incredible.

If you think that the title of this post is about the fact that Mattel didn't screw up in an online sale. Well, it certainly might be, but it's not.

Today I'm talking about the awesome art of one Jared Cain also and perhaps better known as Nikejerk. I saw Jared's work online and he was one of those artists that stand out so much I just had to send him a message congratulating him on a custom set of ninja turtles using Dunnys as the base.

I was so amazed by those that I asked him if he could do a set for me. But he said he was sorry, that he never repeated commission customs. That way he ensured the uniqueness of the piece for the collector.

I can't really argue with that logic, so I thought about something else I wanted and I ended asking him for two of my favorite comic book characters made in Dunny form.

And he even made custom boxes for these!

After all this introduction, maybe you are a bit anxious to see them...

So here they are:

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold in all their Dunny goodness.

I just love Nikejerk's style, the bold black lines, the sculpted bits and the colors just seem to fit, even when using a platform that forced him to work around a couple of big, annoying bunny ears.

Booster Gold is great, the goggles and the hair are sculpted and the face (Jared told he worked on several facial expressions until deciding to go with this one) is just great. I love this character, ever since I started reading superhero comic books, he will always be one of the greatest for me, and I love all the attention he's getting recently.

Blue Beetle is also a great representation of the character, and this version of him does work better with the base, since Dunnys are chubby creatures and BB had a few extra pounds in those days.

And if you were wondering what he's holding.

Jared went all the way and made a removable BB Gun. In a word? Awesome!

If you like to see more of Nikejerk's work, you can see it here.
And if you want to ask him for a commission, tell him Tom sent you, but you can't have another Booster and Beetle Dunnys, 'cause those are all mine!

Just kiddin'.

But seriously... Mine!

Another post tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The inevitable return of the Great White Dope!

Hey guys and girls, It's been a while, this last month I spent away from this blog was really crazy with work, and incredible with some pretty cool news, for example, on July 30 I'll do a reading to present my book that was printed some time ago. But before that I'll be going for the very first time to San Diego Comic Con, a tradition that perhaps will remain in the future if my wife doesn't kill me first.

But why should she? Going to SDCC was actually her idea, oh yes, all hers. To honor that incredible fact I'm going to talk about relationships instead of toys in this post (and of course it will be very toy related at some point, 'cause our partners must endure our collecting habits in order to be a fully happy functional couple, right? Right?).

As an example of this, here's a little story: I had several girlfriends in the past, serious relationships that may have ended in serious commitments, but none of them were THE one. How did I know this? Easy, because of the Conan test. Let me clarify, with each of my girlfriends, eventually, the question "Is Conan a classic film in the history of movies?" was asked. And all of them but one (the last one) replied "no".

My actual (and future) Freaky wife just gave me a blank stare and said "well, duh! Of course it is". And then we watched Conan the Barbarian AND Conan the Destroyer on DVD.

Things like that, the idea of going to SDCC and a super awesome incredible birthday present I got from her on june tells me everyday I was ever so right to apply the Conan test.

When will this post start to be toy related you may ask, well, here, 'cause she gave me these kick-ass new stands for my toy shelves:

Isn't that amazing?

Since I've been such a lazy ass in the past month I'll try to make a post everyday before going to San Diego (next saturday).

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All hail our (Victorian) Robot Overlords!

OK, OK, So, I can't really pick up a theme after almost three weeks of not posting shit. But, hey, the Internet is a free country, of some sorts.

Anyway, I feel I have to explain my sudden absence, I have been really swamped with work lately, so much I couldn't even finish a custom piece for the awesome AFB custom challenge. So incredibly swamped that I couldn't even think stupid jokes to go with my toy posts. I'm sorry, but now I'm back.

And I'll pick up where I left and do a last post about robotic toys (I have more, but let's stop here for a while). With something a little bit different.

I've talked about Doktor A before, this awesome British artist that does Mechtorians (AKA Victorian robots), and this post is exactly about that: Mechtorians - mini figures - series 1 (and so far, the only one) from Mindstyle.

A total of six characters done in vinyl with the great detail and design you can expect from this artist. Of course, you can't just walk into a grocery store in Argentina and ask for some Mechtorians (or any other vinyl toys for that matter, actually I think there are a couple of sex shops that work with some vinyl stuff... But I don't really want to go down that path), I was able to get these toys thanks to the help of my awesome friend Connor (You should totally check his blog, here).

Since Doktor A has a great imagination and an awesome sense of humor, I'll let him describe each character. Also, I'm a lazy bastard and I'm all for copy/paste.

Sir Shilling CopperpennyManager at the Bank of Retropolis. He has deep pockets and short arms. Although his heart is large (some would say just old fashioned) he loves his coin collection above all else... he has even toyed with the idea of having his beloved coins fashioned into a spouse.

I love this guy, reminds me of the bankers in Mary Poppins, kinda. The little legs and arms and the drawers in his chest make him look like something Salvador Dali would have painted. Amazing.

Stephan LePodd
In 1890 the French explorer Stephan LePodd lost his arms, legs and one lung in an unfortunate miscalculation whilst on a trip mapping new Volcanoes in the south Pacific. Luckily, due to his huge family wealth and favorable connections within The Ministry's department for cyber-steam development, he was able to attain the use of a prototype Self Ambulatory Environment Protection Suit initially intended for deep-sea divers. After a trip to his tailor to make the thing "Look respectable at dinner parties and the theatre" he successfully re-entered polite society. Stephan is one of the few part biological members of Retropolis's society. He made the move as he felt his new found longevity would seem improper around anyone but that peculiar Dorian fellow.

So, Retropolis is a place that exists at the same time as human cities. Very interesting. Also is the mention of Dorian Gray. These figures are small (as I said, they are mini figures), but there's also a 6" Stephan Lepodd that I will eventually own. Mark my words!

Scuttler the Butler
One of the very first mechanical servants built by professor Whistlecraft. More of an ambulatory tea tray than a real butler. He has trouble opening doors or moving objects due to his lack of arms or indeed lack of a prehensile moustache, a feature found in later models of Mechtorians. He also has a terrible memory and bad sense of direction, resulting in him often getting lost in large houses and arriving after such a delay that the teapot has grown cold. He valiantly attempts to fulfill his role in life. But is mostly kept around for sentimental reasons.

What a useless piece of awesome crap this robot is. He can bring tea, but not pour it, he gets lost and can't open doors. I love this bio, for two reasons, first, the concept of a prehensile mustache, I want, no... I NEED ONE so badly! Second, the mention of professor Whistlecraft, a hint on Doktor A's true identity. Also the tea cups and pot are removable.

Sentry WheelOne of the city gate guards. Though independent in motion their bodies, when in place, form part of the mechanism required to open the main access way to Retropolis. If they decide you are not coming in then there is little you or anyone else can do about it.

A guard that is also the only way to open the door. Love the idea, now I really want a Retropolis movie.

D.J. Gramo
Entertainer and celebrity. Dermot Joshua Gramo spins the tunes in the most popular of night spots. His personal collection of 78's is legendary, the largest in the world they say. It has to be noted that his rise in popularity has put pay to the careers of a great deal of the city's wax cylinder hawkers and peddlers. Everyone wants the new flat disk records these days. It's what's hip don't you know.

I like his story, not so much the figure. Is the most simple and less "robotic" one, looking more like an object, but hey, not all can be winners. I do love this last though...

Mr. Head
Philosopher and thinker extraordinare. Responsible for the big ideas in Retropolis. Advisor to royalty, big business and the lay-mech alike. His thoughts are wonderful, colourful and huge in scope. Though he is a tad forgetful and so makes endless reams of unintelligible notes on napkins and envelopes. Not a great dinner guest as he tends to mutter to himself constantly.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

A bunch of eyes, a huge head, legs and a massive mustache, what else is there in life I ask you.

For what I know there's a second series of mini figures since these are from 2009 I'm not sure if they are still coming or not, I sure hope they are since the designs for the second series are even better than these. You can check out more mechtorians and other stuff in Doktor A's site.

C'mon Dok, make it happen!

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All hail our new Robot Overlords - Part II

OK, OK, so apparently nothing happened in the date the movies gave and Skynet is not the ruler of the world... But hey, I'm didn't get to be the self proclaimed minister of Human/Robot relations by jumping to conclusions to fast. Not at all.

So I'll play it safe and keep saying that robots are awesome for some time, before shamelessly switching sides.

This time is the turn of the very cool MOTU Classics Roboto!

Since Roboto's pretty old and everybody did a review of already I'll just go through some basics:

1) Roboto is super cool.
2) His shoulders are reversed, I don't really care.
3) He's wearing purple underwear.
4) The gears on his chest rotate when you move his waist, his mouth doesn't open.
5) He comes with four hand attachments, a gun, a claw, an axe and a regular hand.
6) Purple underwear!
7) You can't store the attachments in his body. Lame.
8) He's got a heart-shaped chip in his chest to reflect his He-Man mini comic appearance.
9) Some parts are reused but there's enough new tooling to keep me quiet.
10) He's got purple underwear! Why are you ignoring this? This cannot be ignored! The robot is wearing PURPLE UNDERWEAR!!!
12) The paint apps were pretty precise with some minor bleeding hre and there, nothing important.
11) He looks great despite the choice color of some of his parts.
12) They are purple.

And that's about it. But let me explain why I love Roboto. As a little Freak, and a MOTU enthusiast, Roboto was the one that got away. I never owned one, but a friend of mine did. And I hated that bastard! At that point I wasn't that much into magic anymore, but was getting really into Science fiction, the literary genre my dad loved the most and the one he taught me to love.

Roboto was the perfect combination of my past and my present at that time and I really wanted Roboto. He was sooooo awesome. But I didn't have one. So I grew up bitter and twisted and never played with toys again.

Not really.

Actually I grew up as a toy loving geek and made sure to get every version of Roboto ever! Ha! Take that Universe!

That's a life lesson right there...

And sepaking of Robot parts, Stephen, the winner of our Bionic contest got his prize (a Bionic Bjoern from Hauke Scheer) already and he's showing off too! Hate him here.

Until next time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

All hail our new Robot Overlords

According to my calculations (based on solid empirical facts) Skynet gained consciousness a couple of days ago and yesterday launched a devastating nuclear attack...

So for you poor helpless survivors I'll start a series of posts so you can recognize and praise our new Robot Overlords.

Like this one:

This is Mecha Sad Bear by artist Luke Chueh, done for the series called Kaiju for Grown Ups. That series, started by the Japan based company called Wonderwall, got several artists to create (or recreate) Kaiju monsters.

My good friend Reis actually owns the Woodlands Monster and the Mothman reimagined by David Horvath, creator of Uglydolls.

Luke Chueh is one of the most interesting artists out there. His take on a terrible reality using mostly bears and bunnies is incredibly disturbing and at the same time quite funny.

This is one of my favorite pieces done by Luke:

It's called "Soundtrack to my life". I just love it. I'd love to have several of his prints to frame on my house.

Anyway, Mecha Sad Bear was released in 2008. Is 6" and has five points of (very limited) articulation. There are six colorways, the silver version that I have (because is the one that makes more sense to me) was limited to 200 pieces. But you can also find it in gold, black, clear, glow in the dark and, if I'm not mistaken, orange.

I'm starting to build a small collection of toys by Luke Chueh and Mecha Sad Bear is one of my favorites so far.

He also gave me an idea, a stop motion animation show like celebrity death match but with all the giant monsters from popular culture...

It's genius! Don't you think Skynet?


OK, OK, I'll shut up now.

Until next time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Now I know my ADD... No, wait... ABC, I know my ABC

Several toy bloggers decided to make a challenge in April called the A to Z challenge, meaning one toy for every letter in the alphabet before the month ends. I really don't know who started it, but I think it's quite cool.

I decided to enter too, but unlike some of my fellow bloggers (like Adrian from Little Plastic Man, Alex from Toy Heaven, or Leon from Open the Toy) who are making a terrific job covering one toy and one letter at a time with reviews and posts, I decided to go for the whole alphabet in just one sitting.

Trying to pay a little homage to the work of Edward Gorey, this is Freak Studios' Toy Alphabet.

Until next time.