Friday, 12 September 2014

Spotlight: Old Friends

Last summer I spent quite a bit of time in Sheffield, and was fortunate enough to get to visit Weston Park Museum with my baby nephew. The museum covered a lot of 20th Century culture, and whilst there I ran into some real old timers keeping guard in a display case...

Inferno Optimus Prime G1 Generation One G1 Transformers Takara Hasbro Sheffield Weston Park Museum
Robots Half Disguised

This is Inferno pretty much as I remebered him; fistless and awesome. He was actually the best G1 Transformer I owned and accompanied me on many otherwise boring trips away - which is no surprise considering how all-around excellent he is. Optimus Prime (half-transformed on the right there) may be more iconic, but Inferno is the better toy. And after all, didn't ol' Convoy just end up copying the fire truck alt-mode?

He-Man Skeletor Vintage MOTU Masters of the Universe Sheffield Weston Park Museum Mattel Mos Espa Collection The MEC
Who Will Win?! WHO?!!
There's a teasing glimpse of a certain Horde leader on the left of the top picture, but the main event is right here: peerless good versus evil incarnate for the title of Master of the Universe... It has to be He-Man and Skeletor. 

After Thomas the Tank Engine these are the very first characters I had any conscious engagement with, and both He-Man and She-Ra became huge parts of my childhood experience. Oddly for someone as backwards looking as myself I've not really gotten into any of the modern Eternian revivals, but that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed looking at some of the fantastic 2002 and MOTUC figures in recent years.

It was a real treat to see these fine vintage on display, and if you're in the area I recommend checking the museum out. There's a lot more great stuff to it than just toys as well, but hey - a blog's gotta eat, right?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 8 September 2014

On Topic: Hello Again!


It's been a little bit too long since I've been able to break out the plastic crack, but then I never consider being busy a problem. Regardless, I have been neglecting the world of robots (at least as far as this blog goes, anyway), and that's something I've needed to rectify!

Generations Springer and Fansproject Quadruple U are the latest additions to the collection, but despite having had them for a few months I've not yet had the time to review either; a situation I'm hoping to change in the next few weeks. Short form is that they're both great, but we'd all like to see more pictures of them in action, right? Watch this space, true believers...
Current Eye-Feasts.
Other than Transformers I've been enjoying Gundam Wing, and also getting quite heavily into the Halo mythos (been playing X-Box a bit more recently, which has been a bit of long overdue irresponsible fun). I'm hoping that both of these franchises will make an appearance up here in plastic form at some point in the near future.

Finally there's the small matter of the Film Northants contest... A massive thank you to everyone who supported us; click here to find out how we did.

I'll be back with some proper action figure goodness soon. Until then, thanks for reading!

JB

Friday, 8 August 2014

Seriously Off-Topic: Please Help!


Hey everybody! As you may or may not know, outside of collecting figures I'm an aspiring filmmaker, with delusions a single minded goal of working on a Star Wars film in the near future. In respect of that a short film I recently wrote and directed, Beneath the Wormwood Trees, has been shortlisted for the 2014 Film Northants contest, of which the result is partly determined by audience vote.

I imagine you can see where this is going...

Please, I implore you, take a minute out of your day to vote for Beneath the Wormwood Trees right here. It'd mean so much to me to be able to repay the cast and crew with a little bit of success for their endeavours, and it'd go a long way to getting everyone involved the next step along in their careers.

For those of you with five minutes to kill, here's the film in all its glory...


Help me, readers of the MEC. You're my only hope!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Spotlight: Head Off!

Transformers Voyager Springer Hasbro Autobot Fansproject Weirdwolf Quadruple U Monzo Decepticon Headmaster
Not-Monzo makes a break...
Let's face it, it doesn't matter how gnarly your colour scheme, how awesome your alt-mode, how 'second-in-command' you are of the Decepticon Headmasters... When Voyager Springer comes swinging at you with his massive sword, you're not going to stand much of a chance. Monzo knows this. That's why he's getting out of there...

Catch you later, Quadruple U. Best of luck!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Doing The Rounds

Comic Shop Leicester
Enter, ye pilgrim, and browse silently...
This week the Emcat and I took a trip out of town, and as always when we end up anywhere other than here I was spoiled by the selection of geek wares available to purchase. This amount of capitalist envy may necessitate yet another move in the near future…

To begin with we stopped in at one of my favourite stores, Leicester’s Forbidden Planet International. I’m a big fan of both FP chains, and I always try and drop into them when I can (FP Coventry served as my LCS from Civil War through to NYX, and it was somewhere I always enjoyed going). The Leicester store is no different and over the last three months they’ve sold me plenty of Transformers, TMNT and Spider-Man comics and TPBs. This was the first time I’d been out this way since May, and there were a few standout items that really caught my eye this time around:

Last Stand of the Wreckers, Gypsy Danger, Play Arts Kai Robin
Yes please!
Here we have IDW's Last Stand of the Wreckers, Play Arts Kai's Arkham City Robin, and NECA's Gypsy Danger from Pacific Rim (something I had little interest in until actually seeing it on the shelf). Unfortunately at the minute these are all consigned to the ‘one day’ list – but given that I started my new job today, that’ll hopefully be one day soon!

A brief sojourn into the Disney Store scored me a look at the rest of the first wave of Star Wars 12” talking figures, and whilst I’m not sure about Luke, Han Solo and the Stormtroopers look as good as the Darth Vader. Given the size, great sculpting, poseability and action features on these guys, it’s actually criminal that Hasbro is selling the 6” Black Series at the same price point. Something is going to give there, and soon.

Leicester City Centre Shopping
The standard attractions...
We saw a few other cool sights as well, including a market place which was trying its hardest to entice me back to vintage video games, which reminded me that I’m interested in Titanfall and led directly to a look around Game. Verdict: I have no time for video games. This makes me feel sad on one level, but productive and ever-so-slightly ‘adult’ on another…

Of course, all these boasts of adulthood were undone with a follow up trip to Northampton’s Toys ‘R’ Us, the finest purveyor of Transformers toys that I’m aware on in the Northants area. This is in large part because other than the supermarkets there’s nowhere else to actually buy the things, of course…

Transformers 4 Age of Extinction at Toys R Us Northampton
The state of brick and mortar today...
I’ve not really been too smitten with the AOE line, but I think that Scorn looks quite nice. This trip also gave me my first glimpse of Evasion Mode Optimus Prime ‘in the plastic’, so to speak, and I have to say that it looks even better in real life than it does online. I’m still not convinced that it’s the Prime for me though, although I’ll reserve my full judgement until I see the Evolutions two-pack version up close. It’s a definite case of facemask FTW.

Transformers 4 AOE Age of Extinction Optimus Prime Evolutions 2 Pack Evasion Mode Faceplate
Double Optimus!

So there you go; in the world of ‘If I Had Money’, these are the kind of products I’d be coming home with after a Saturday afternoon out. The thing is that even with all this brick and mortar love, I know that online shops provide a much wider selection at highly competitive prices – sites like the excellent Kapow! and Star Action Figures bear me out here – but I maintain that there’s nothing like seeing an item in hand and weighing it up before committing to buy it, and that’s where TRU, with its FOC Generations Deluxes and Voyagers gathering dust, holds the slightest of advantages.

This is an area where I struggle with buying 3rd Party products (as opposed to any moral/copyright concerns). I’ll caveat that by saying that I own Fansproject’s Quadruple U and I’m really impressed with the build quality; but that was a purchase I had weighed up for a long time before going for it. Maybe it’s the case that it is worth waiting on those pre-orders until the figure is in (someone’s) hand, with the trade-off being that you just pay a slightly higher price later down the road for a figure that you know is worth the cost?

So anyway, there’s that idea… And then FP comes along and teases Classics style not-Dinobots.

FP Columpio Derpan Dinobots Sludge Snarl Swoop Slag Slug Grimlock G1 3P
Targetmaster Dinobots!

Well, there goes that resolve.

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