Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A quick look on the MEZCO One:12 Collection’s Punisher!!!

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

Let me start today’s post by mentioning that I’m a huge Punisher fan for as long as I can remember. I remember immediately riding my bicycle through the rain during my younger days to get to the comic store just to get the latest Punisher War Journal & War Zone comics after receiving a call from the comic store owner. I even recall re-watching the Dolph Lundgren Punisher flick every now and then on school nights(!); and endless playing of that sweet ‘Operation Wolf-like’ 90s Punisher 1st person shooter game from NES/LJN (I still play this game with my son on our retro game console at home) . Good times! 

And of course being an action figure enthusiast I try to get my hands on every single Punisher action figure there is. I used to own the 5” Toybiz’ Marvel Superheroes Punisher which I may credit as among the earliest action figure that got me interested to become the action figure curator that I am today. Sadly that piece of pre-Marvel Legends collectible was lost/misplaced sometime in the mid-90s when I was in a very confused state of my life. 

Anyhoo…. 

Back when the Marvel Legends 6” line was launched in the early 90s I knew I was destined to own a Punisher in a matter of time. That came in the form of that sweet Series 4 Punisher action figure. That action figure was the first of the many Punishers that would eventually join my growing collection of stuff in my man cave with the exception of the camouflage Punisher that came in the Nemesis ML Series (this Series/Wave never reached retail here in Malaysia. What a bummer!). The recent Jon Bernthal Netflix Punisher is also a good action figure IMHO but he just doesn’t scream ‘comic Punisher’ in my books (I do have him for my collection but I still haven’t gotten around to open nor review him yet so let’s just leave him there). 

So before I digress even further…. 

Today I would like to share my joy of successfully getting my hands on the holy grail of my Punisher obsession (there WAS that Ray Stevenson sixth scale Punisher figure that I really wanted in 2014 but alas I skipped it for some reason)……MEZCO’s One:12 Punisher!!!!!! 

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

Let me just say a huge thank you to the collector who parted ways with this excellent piece of collectible at a lower-than-retail price. Your loss is my gain my good fellow! As fate had intended it to be, this gentleman had lost interest to collect any further MEZCO’s ONE:12 action figures in favor of a new line of collectibles so he had listed whatever he had on a collector’s forum page online. He had barely displayed or played with his ONE:12 figures due to his hectic work schedule so it made his decision to part ways with them so much the easier. A few exchanges of messages and negotiations later saw an agreement made between us and the rest is history. 

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

I remember drooling over the preview pictures almost 2 years ago and I attempted to place a pre-order with one toy store for this Punisher. I was told that stock was expected to be in abundance since MEZCO had learnt their lesson with their under-stocked TDKR Batman released earlier. It turns out to be untrue as MEZCO still only produced their ONE:12 figures according to the number of actual orders received from wholesalers. Can’t really blame the toy store owner for telling me something he wasn’t sure of since I hadn’t done my own checking back then as well. No matter, this action figure has now safely arrived in my hands. 

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

It’s such a relief to finally found a private collector who was willing to let this one go below the RRP! I mean looking at crazy secondary prices for this baby makes you even wonder about the prices people would pay for a 6” scale action figure. As good as this action figure could be, I find it VERY hard to fathom Hot Toys-level price points for a 1/12 scale action figure. For those not familiar with the ONE:12 line, what MEZCO had done here was simply giving their 6” action figures the kind of quality that we’d normally see in a Hot Toys action figure i.e. the cloth attire, superb articulations, a smorgasbord of highly detailed accessories and a killer head sculpt (or 3 head sculpts in Punisher’s case!). 

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

I had previously remembered MEZCO only as the toy company that had produced one of my most beloved action figures of all times i.e. the comic & movie Hellboy action figures. Those were also hard to find at the time so I guess that MEZCO kinda like to ‘under produce’ their offering for some reason. 

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

Coming back to the Punisher, I can truly see why so many collectors had placed this so high on their want list once I have this on hand. You get three superb head sculpts and IMHO these alone makes your purchase of this action figure set worth it! And mind you this is at the 1/12 scale! I wonder if MEZCO could truly kill it in the 1/6 scale with these kind of sculpting prowess. 

MEZCO Toyz ONE:12 Collective - Punisher

Frank also comes with heaps of weapons/accessories. These are insanely detailed and I guess a bulk of work was dedicated by them MEZCO guys in this department alone next to the crazy head sculpts shown earlier. Most people like the inclusion of the gunshot blast effects but I am not too crazy about them as I prefer to edit the gunshot effects in during the editing of my shots. To each his own eh? 

Some of the most repeated criticism is how his clothing seems to be a bit ‘loose’ and not snug as one would like it to be. Let me just reiterate that this is a 6” scale we’re talking about and Punisher here isn’t as bad as his other ONE:12 peers to say the least. I’ve seen the others and I can say that there are some with even more loose fitting looking clothing on them (with the exception of the TDKR Batman). 

I understand that I currently own the ‘standard’ version and there are two (2) other versions that exist for youse who’d want the variant look of ol’ Frank. One is the Toy Fair deluxe release which is rather impossible to own if you don’t own a toy store and the other is the classic ‘white boots and gloves’ version. Some extra accessories would be the differences between this standard release and those special editions. One similarity between all versions is that they are currently being scalped to death on eBay and other online selling platform so ultimately I’m happy to get my hands on one. 

Maybe a full review on this figure will come very soon from me. Or not.

Till next time. 

Excelsior! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi…. so what do we know so far?

 
Today I was greeted by the news that both Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill (that’s the Episode 8 director and the obvious dude who played the titular farm-boy character in the original Trilogy for the uninitiated) want the fans to completely avoid any marketing activities and merchandises for the TLJ movie if they wanna keep clear off subtle spoilers and such.
 
Oh come on. Is that even possible? Whatever happened to the joy of grabbing every single Star Wars merch off the shelves before the movie opens at the big screen? Me avoiding Star Wars merchandises is like a cat deliberately avoiding a bag full of catnips. Anyway, the fans can’t possibly be blamed if subtle spoilers are indeed being leaked through these merchandises and marketing materials. That’s a tell-tale sign that some people (or a whole department for that matter!) over at Disney should get the boot… innit?
 

I haven’t picked up the new Entertainment Weekly Star Wars; The Last Jedi Special Edition Double Sized Issue either but thanks to the power of social media, we can now safely say that most of the contents in that issue can be found splattered all over the internet. There are a number of images off EW that seemed to have rocked everyone’s world right now but that’s not what really intriguing me for the moment.
 

Sure, some new faces/characters were introduced. That supposedly cute Porg creature is now being feared by many fans to be a repeat of Jar Jar Binks but to be fair let us watch the film first and judge later (although I also suspect that this could be a clever ploy by Disney to sell plushies of the characters to the kids). Honestly Jar Jar didn’t bother me that much. He was a comic relief and that’s that. I loved how the Ewoks turned out too in ROTJ. Haters please reserve your comments…..hahahah.
 

My favorite thus far has got to be those Praetorian Guards. I’m pretty sure many would be very impressed with their armor design and not to forget that these guys are probably the kick-ass successors to the Imperial Red Royal Guards that Palpatine once had flanking him. Unlike the Royal Guards who looked more like ceremonial figures, these Praetorian dudes actually look like they're ready to pounce if Snoke ever gets threatened. I bet Luke and Rey's gonna have some fun going through these Praetorians to get to Snoke!
 
 
So what really intrigued me?
 
The endless previews of TLJ merchandises have inadvertently/intentionally revealed so many hints/spoiler bits off the movie itself. A printed advertisement (can’t recall if it was a brochure or otherwise) shows Snoke having a ‘Death Star’ base?  While many weeks ago we were also treated to the leaked images of the 3.75” action figure line which also revealed lack of new characters in TLJ. Let’s not forget that long before the official blue-eyed image of Supreme Leader Snoke was revealed, LEGO had the pleasure of being the first to show Snoke in a Jedi-like robe with the confirmation that the dude was almost certainly a human/humanoid rather than an alien that resembles a human being.
 
My money is on the fact that Disney had intentionally asked their marketing team to fire all cylinders and kick off every single promotional merchandises and whatnots to fully capitalize on the franchise’s popularity to recover the huge sums of moolah they paid to bring TLJ into fruition as fast as possible. It’s all about Return on Investment (ROI)….whay can’t the fans simply understand that…sheesh (*sarcasm at its best*. It’s funny how both Johnson and Hamill are now playing the role of the good guys and basically telling everyone that they aren’t able to stop Disney’s barrage of marketing attacks. So if you wanna keep the info safely intact till you see the movie in December ’17, you gotta lock yourselves in a cave with no internet connection whatsoever and please stop buying the gosh-darn magazines too!
 
Anyway, the real question now is whether Rian Johnson can pull off something cooler than JJ’s film or are we gonna see another rehash ala A New Hope/The Force Awakens? I hope not. I sure ain’t gonna avoid any TLJ merchandises till the movie premiers in December too. Personally I think that it’s absolutely great to get bits of information and leaks prior to the movie itself. Apart from fueling endless fan theories those could also be a source of great relief if they are proven to be otherwise (red herring!) when we finally get to see the movie 4-months from now.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

SDCC 2017's Star Wars The Black Series Grand Admiral Thrawn

SDCC 2017 Grand Admiral Thrawn

Getting my hands on SDCC exclusives were mere dreams for me in the past as I ogled through endless pictures on social media posted by those lucky enough to attend the geek event held in San Diego. I've been quite the lucky one for the past few years as I had the chance to be inducted into a 'secret' collector society on FB where members will get the chance to get our grubby mitts on SDCC stuff as soon as the event wrapped up.

I'm especially happy this year to get the Grand Admiral Thrawn deluxe set despite the ridiculous price point. Factor in the shipping cost (which was low by the way as my regular toy-pusher buddy bough these in bulk) and ya get yourself a premium price point. One can't really complain since this was only available via SDCC or was it also available temporarily on Hasbro's online website in the States? Whatever. It's here now in my hands.

20170730_153120-1

Love the huge packaging!

There is also a bio of Thrawn at the back of the packaging but I rather not show that here as I actually prefer his backstory from Timothy Zahn's Thrawn's Trilogy books.

20170730_153458

Thrawn comes with an array of museum worthy collectibles. I was told that this was how he was portrayed in the Star Wars Rebels TV show, a collector of stuff. He even has Commander Gree's helmet (hopefully not with the severed head/skull inside!) and Indiana Jones' chalice (?!) in his collection. Not sure what Hasbro is trying to achieve here. Indiana Jones and Star Wars exist in the same universe? Well, there was that Darkhorse comic where Han and Chewie went to earth due to some unexpected event and found themselves during Indiana Jones' timeline in the 1930s. Anything's possible these days I guess. Disney better have some good explanation for this.

SDCC 2017 Grand Admiral Thrawn

I'm not really sure if Thrawn is goin to be re-released in normal format i.e. The Black Series normal wave release but I was never going to take the risk. He is coming home with me to be displayed on my Star Wars display shelf in my man cave. That's that!

SDCC 2017 Grand Admiral Thrawn

Will we see a Noghri to go with our favorite blue Admiral? I doubt that's gonna happen anytime soon because Disney has plans to not follow any more details from Zahn's books. That's no Noghri figure in the picture above. Maybe someone can correctly guess what the figure is/which line does he belong to?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Reality check…



Last time I was here, I was already questioning the relevancy of still having a blog when there are countless other social media platforms that are deemed more active. I am however, guilty of neglecting my blog which I have religiously cared for since its inception in 2008. My last posting here at The Rebel Page was sometime in February ’17. A good 6 months ago.


So what’s up with The Rebel you may ask?


A lot of things had happened since obviously. Since this blog was set up to talk mainly about geeky stuff I’ll try to talk about the subject matter (or things related to it) and not veer off from it (that much!).

Ok. Here’s what I can say about myself after a long hiatus from this ol’ blog of mine:

 
1)      I no longer have the time to do long reviews and extensive photo shoots for my action figures/toys – The collecting/toy review days of yore is behind me now as I usually prefer one or two or a few ‘definitive’ action figure shots rather than a whole bunch of pictures from every known photographic angle known to mankind. I’ve decided to stop doing ‘product shots’ and go for the killer shots that’ll define the toy and bring it to life through dynamic poses and stuff. Gone are also the long-winded talky reviews that I used to do for each action figure that enters my collection. Not because I lost interest to do so but because I can’t seem to find the time to do so these days. These days I usually give a one-paragraph review if any at all.


2)      I’m more active on Instagram than on the blog-o-sphere – Really. If you’ve been living in a cave for the past 5 years or so then I believe you’ve heard of this platform called Instagram or IG as the popular masses call it. I find that I’ve amassed more followers there much faster than I ever did on my blog within a few short months of signing up. Not ain’t that a no brainer since my intention was always to reach out to as many other geeks out there in the cyber world in the shortest time possible? If any of you still check out my blog then I‘d like to invite you to head over to IG and search for rebel_toys_and_stuff to follow my account over there.

 
3)      I’ve really really tried to steer clear from those darn one sixth action figures – Seriously, with the prices of 1/6th scale action figures on the rise, one cannot possibly fathom the possibility of maintaining to purchase one (let alone many/several) of these highly detailed collectibles for one’s collection. But old habit dies hard or so they say. That is why the Mr Optimistic in me said that it’s probably safe to say that I’ll only get ONE 1/6th scale action figure per year because just like a bad flu, the urge is never gonna go away. So far I’ve only snagged the Hot Toys Batman figure from BVS but you never know as the year is still half way through and the evil geek in me is constantly screaming for me to get more! *must….resist!*


4)      I geek out whenever I see anything that has the word ‘Star Wars’ imprinted on them – It used to be strictly ‘action figures’ only. I even chucked a whole bunch of random Star Wars related items into a storage container because they had no place on my display shelves. But these days I seemed to have found a newfound interest in them. Cereal freebies, notebooks, small knick knackery, keychains, whatever….as long as they have that wordings with that iconic font on them, they’ll go on my display shelves whenever space permits.


5)      I made more geeky friends over the cyber world – Naturally when you’re active over social media you tend to attract the same kind of crowd, more so often through IG and FB. I love hearing the different opinion and views on action figures and collectibles from all walks of collectors. Some may have a totally different take altogether and can give you that angle which you may have missed. It’s fun to be talking to collector folks from all over the world and to think that a common interest unites us all regardless of ethnicity and physical appearances.


6)      I may be embarking on a new career in life – Ok. I did say that I’ll be talking mainly about geeky stuff but hear me out here. My new found ‘career’ may allow me to be very very flexible and spend a huge chunk of my day at home on my laptop/tablet rather than at a desk in office. I am of course a full time corporate slave for the moment so definitely this prospect of spending time working at home (in my man cave perhaps?) is both exhilarating and exciting to this pop culture geek. Do pray for me as I inch closer and closer to my dream of earning my living from inside my own man cave!

 
7)       The Rebel Page may be my channel to rant about….anything – I have been giving this a serious thought while I was away overseas for work last month. Something reminded me of my semi-defunct blog while I was in that foreign land. It reminded me about the very basic reason why The Rebel Page was set up in the first place. You see, when I first sign up for this blog page I made a pledge to talk and review the toys that I’ve bought but naturally that intention did not really stay on track due to so many factors i.e. laziness, lack of free time, ok….mostly laziness! I would love to still be able to pour out my views on stuff although it may not be solely on toys or collectibles exclusively. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. For now my immediate focus would be to get this page up and running again with constant writings every now and then.


Hmm, what do you think? Not bad for a comeback post after half-a-year huh? Haha…
 
I’ll probably get some posts out in the next couple of days, ya  know…..just to kick start things again. Till then fellow Rebels!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My son's pretty fired up for The LEGO Batman movie!


*Cough....cough*....excuse me while I dust off the cobwebs from this old blog of mine. It has been quite some time since I had some decent postings....errr...any postings whatsoever over here at The Rebel Page. I'm really tempted to give you readers some cliche reasons for my hiatus but let's just not do that. Just wanna say that I'm still alive and well. I am still interested to keep this blog moving although not at the rate I had going for the past several years or so.

Right then.

Just to kick start things again, I'd like to say that the upcoming LEGO Batman Movie had really built up quite some anticipation among us Bat-fans and LEGO-fans alike. Technically one can already watch the movie in several selected cinemas here in Malaysia despite the official release date being set on 9 February '17. Not for me and my family though. We're gonna behave and wait for the official screening date to catch the movie. Well, mainly because the early screenings fall during school/work days and we just don't wanna rush things and stuff. Thursday is also a national public holiday here in Malaysia so go figure. Ain't a better time to catch the movie with the fam!

I'd just like to say that my son is pretty fired up for the LEGO Batman Movie and he's been accumulating quite some merchandise to whet his appetite for the upcoming flick. Mind you, some of the following items were given to him as presents (before you start to ask me if my wallet had been burnt after all of these purchases?)...

He's been dedicating a small section of his room building a shrine-like display for these:

LEGO Batman Movie DK Books

These DK books are perfect companions for you to digest all information pertaining to the movie before you watch it.....

LEGO Batman Movie -McDonald's Happy Meal week 1

McDonald's Happy meal will come with several LEGO Batman toys for the next several weeks. So far we've gotten week 1's Batman & Batgirl's spectacle cowls....

LEGO Batman Movie sets - Joker's Notorious Lowrider, Catwoman's Catcycle Chase & Joker's Balloon Escape

Ask and ye' shall receive! My son prayed hard for these and he got them! (and he's still praying hard still for the Arkham Asylum set when it finally gets released some months from now!)...

LEGO Batman Movie sets - Joker's Notorious Lowrider, Catwoman's Catcycle Chase & Joker's Balloon Escape

The Joker's Lowrider is one sweet pimped up ride!


LEGO Batman Movie sets - Joker's Notorious Lowrider, Catwoman's Catcycle Chase & Joker's Balloon Escape

Admit it, most people will buy this set for that googly-eyed Robin alone! That Catwoman is pretty sweet too me thinks!


LEGO Batman Movie sets - Joker's Notorious Lowrider, Catwoman's Catcycle Chase & Joker's Balloon Escape

I can see why this set is among the most popular ones. Them balloons!!!! I personally dig that hazardous factory-like contraption that comes with the set......and yeah, Batman comes with a separate belt piece....first time ever!

LEGO Batman Movie - minifigure blind bag collection

As them minifigures were priced at USD5 each, they were at a staggering RM19.90 each here in Malaysia. Crazy! As such, we only got what we really wanted and opted not to get the whole set. 

LEGO Batman Movie - minifigure blind bag collection

LEGO Batman Movie - minifigure blind bag collection

So far my son is rather excited to already have 3 different versions of The Joker.....
.
.
.
.

Bring on the LEGO Batman Movie!!!!