Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Singapore Toys Games and Comics Convention 2013 (STGCC 2013)

5 month-old Man of Steel (comes with Mom)
This year's STGCC a month ago was a big surprise for me, really--I just wasn't expecting that many people to show up! Lots of people dressed up too--I could hardly turn here nor there without a glimpse of a superhero, a cosplayer, or a Stormtrooper.

Hot Toys Man of Steel (Mom not included)
Also, I have been rather out of the loop about new toy releases. Sure, I've kept up with the usual Hasbro Marvel Universe and Star Wars offerings, and even the occasional DC and Masters of the Universe piece of news, but Hot Toys, Play Imaginative (Super Alloy series) and some of the local stores threw me for a curve--and it was a good thing.

So just how impressive were they?  Let's see!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Walking Dead: 5" Comic Series Officer Rick Grimes (Series 1)

Otherwise known as "The Man" in the TV version of the Walking Dead, Rick Grimes is the everyday sort of guy who starts out as an average Joe but is forced by circumstances to become a survivor, a leader and eventually, a hero.  He's the sort of guy you can relate to, a person we can all see ourselves becoming because he's got very human weaknesses and strengths.  In other words, he's the perfect sort of guy to be the centre of a zombie apocalypse story.

In toy terms, that means if you have a zombie action figure collection and need a dude to complete a display, Rick Grimes is your man.  This also means that if you have friends over, they'll easily recognize Rick in all his bloody glory because who hasn't seen the Walking Dead, right?  well, that's the irony--the TV version of Rick is not the one I'd recommend: poor articulation, a fixed pose (think NECA's Harry Potter range in terms of these two things), a not-so-accurate likeness and average paint render him more of a staction figure.  It would also be so easy to cast this Comic Series version in the same light because of the bad rap of the movie figure.

Well, I'm here to say that's entirely untrue!

I've not read the graphic novels, but my wife has and she's rarely reads stuff unless it's worth it.  We bought the super-fat 1st compendium that contains the first eight books and let's just say she devoured it like a Walker on fresh human flesh.  I've yet to get to it, though it's on my to-do list, and it remains one of the few properties my wife actually knows more than me about.  So yeah, when it comes to zombie knowledge, I am the suck compared to wifey...for now, Dear, for now. ;P

So what do I know about comic series Rick Grimes?  Not much.  I do know I love the on-screen Rick, though there's no doubt he's probably a slightly different character from the books.  In terms of this action figure though, he's probably similar enough at this point of the story.  It's do-or-die time, grab-a bag-of-guns-and-get-into-the-big-city-looking-for-other-survivors moment.  I'm sure it happens in the graphic novels, just like it happened in Season 1 of the TV series.

And here's rick Grimes, with that famous bag of guns!

(Oh, and sorry for the lack of package pics.  I'm sure I took one before I ripped the guy open.  But I can't seem to find it!  Lol.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Contest Time!

Hey guys, it's been a good, albeit unscheduled, month off (where did the time go?).

So time to get back into the thick of things!  And what better way to do it than with a contest?

Well, I can't take credit for this next giveaway, because our friends down at DASH Collector-Action Figures are behind it!

What can you win, I hear you ask?  Let me let them tell you how!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transformers Classics Generations Hot Spot (Voyager Class)

It's been too damn long since I last reviewed a Transformer.

No, it isn't because I like them any less, nor is it the because there's been too much great stuff from Marvel and DC. (There has been but that's not the reason: a toy that gets me excited will get me raring to review it no matter what.)

The real reason is that I'm a real G1 fan.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not staunchly "only G1 toys."  In fact, I think those toys are dated.  But I think their designs are timeless.  Clean lines, very human-like faces, yet on the whole very much robot.  And I love it when they take it back to the drawing board and give us a brand new toy with all the bells and whistle but with and update on the classic look.

That's why I love my Henkei Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Cliff Jumper, Generations Hot Rod, etc.

And that's why I love Hot Spot.

This guy and me go a long way back.  After Optimus Prime died in the Animated Movie, Hot Spot was my new favourite.  He kinda looked like Prime, was the leader of the Protectobots, and had a posse that would have his back no matter what.  If things got rough, they could even merge and form Defensor!  Needless to say he was my favourite combiner.

So when I saw thins guy n the shelf, I didn't hesitate.  I knew he was in short supply, since I saw one of him to every three Megatron and Power Dive.  To find out they are all part of an Asian exclusive line just make me think how lucky I am to be living in this part of the world!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Marvel Universe 3.75" Masters of Evil 3-Pack (SDCC 2012 Exclusive)

I thought I'd see this set a lot more here in Singapore despite the fact that it was an San Diego Comic Con 2012 Exclusive.  We're lucky down here because we usually see SDCC Exclusives as store exclusives somewhere down the road.  And even if they don't show up in your regular department store or Toys R Us, they usually make it to the local weekend toy "flea market," though it's at "collector" prices.

But there was no sign of the Masters of Evil here, no sign until STGCC 2012 and Toyrealm had brought a few sets in as their "Exclusive".  Okay, so they didn't call it as such, but Vincent was the only one who'd bought it in.  Despite the rather hefty price, I didn't want to miss out on this box set because it was one of the few Exclusives at SDCC 2012 that caught my eye.

Now I don't particularly like any of the Masters of Evil guys as individuals, but as a group, I think they're more than worthy adversaries for the Avengers.  After all, they did form up for that purpose--to take on the good guys. 

The list of characters on the Masters of Evil roster is almost as long as that of the Avengers'.

In Marvel Universe 3.75" figure terms, this is the list of made characters so far :

Absorbing Man
Wonder Man
Whiplash (Iron Man 2 Comic Series)
The Wrecking Crew:

Toastin' it the way only bad guys know how to...
That's about 10% of the villains on this list and not nearly enough to make a formidable force on the toy shelf!

Thankfully, we can add a couple more members to the roster, as well as their dreaded leader!

Enter Baron Zemo, Radioactive Man, and Tiger Shark!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Avengers: Original Avengers 3.75" 4-Pack! (Concept Series)

As a result of a massive backlog of reviews I want to take on, I realize that not only do I have tons of unopened toys, I have tons of them in boxes.  Which ones, you ask?  Well, I have too many to name, so let's just call 'em a surprise for now.  (Yeah, ok.  I don't know myself.  Lol.)  For now, I'm determined to rid my collection of needless cardboard, so I'm hereby declaring October The Month of the Box right here on Chase Variant!  (I'm sure you wouldn't mind if the occasional carded or loose figure review slips in.  Right?  Or am I right?  Right, I'm wasting time...)

So to kick it all off, I'm gonna start with my newest boxed acquisition: The Avengers: Original Avengers 3.75" Toys R Us Exclusive 4-Pack!

I walked into one of my local TRUs last Sunday and I see this very set that I'd never seen, heard or read about it before.  So it was a very pleasant surprise when I find one of them, face down amid some non-movie Marvel Universe figure 4-packs.  Then the wife points out that that's not the only one there, because right above us on the shelf are about six or seven of them.  You can imagine my amazement when I had a good look at Loki--I'd never thought I'd see them re-use the Thor movie sculpt again!

Then I saw Iron Man--a brand new figure!--or at least a new armour.  I couldn't tell right off if it was made from older parts but it looked like a new sculpt and I dig bulky armour, so I was at least 50% in.

As for Captain America and Thor, I already have these very sculpts when they were originally released.  Both are great figures from their respective lines, so I didn't mind taking home some repaints...for now.

Yes, they look great in the box, but I hear you ask if they're just as good outside.  Well, let's find out! ;)

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman Movie Series 6" Lizard

First up, apologies to the Rangerlord!--I saw this figure for the first time when I was on vacation in Malacca and had never seen before in Singapore.  There was one him and Ultimate (Miles Morales) Spiderman for S$28 each, so I grabbed them both!  At that price, I was thinking it was a steal compared to the Marvel Legends retail price of S$39.90 back home.

The Rangerlord was game for Miles and I was so-so, so I handed it off to him for what I had paid.

But of course, I then start seeing these everywhere retailing for S$24.90 in Singapore.  I felt really bad that he had to pay a few extra bucks for them, but the price was too good to resist.

So I picked up Miles.

I also picked up movie series Spidey for just under S$20 at a Metro department store sale a few days later.

The moral of the story?  For every good deal you find, you're likely to make a bad one too.  Of course, it's not entirely terrible paying a few more dollars in this case, but it was for someone else.  I guess on my part it pays to be patient.  Then again, you can end up being too patient and miss the boat altogether. (Memories of Marvel Universe Vision come to mind...)

On to the subject in question:  The Lizard!

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