Showing posts with label Endor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Endor. Show all posts

Friday, 4 April 2014

They Call Them... Space Trees!

The Ewok Treehouse
Bright Tree Village
Perhaps it's due to my generally left-leaning politics, or maybe it's just because I selfishly want to see a good range of products from licenses I like get made, but either way I'm a big fan of third party manufacturers and the products they bring to the table. Case in point is this new offering from Twelth Parsec, 'Star Wars Inspired Space Trees' (click through to the Indiegogo campaign page). 

Third Party Ewok Hut
Scale Wars
These Space Trees are decent looking modular display sets that offer collectors the chance to build anything from a sole Ewok outpost to a fully connected Bright Tree Village, and they offer a significant chunk of play value as well (usable huts, rope ladders, AT-ST ending log swings); in short, they're offering pretty much exactly what fans, myself included, have been pestering Hasbro about for years. The campaign has already hit its target but has set stretch goals for the next five days, so be sure to at least check it out if you haven't already and see if you could maybe find a place for one of these in your collection...

http://www.rebelscum.com/episodeItheedgenerator.asp
Image from Rebelscum.com
I know there's some collector unease about third party products, at least with some well-informed Transformers fans I've spoken to about the subject, but I think that Hasbro only have themselves to blame for the recent proliferation of non-official Star Wars 'inspired' playsets and displays. Whilst the big H has continually claimed that playsets don't work and won't sell, they're basing that on the performance of the lazy, uninspired designs they put out to cash in on the Prequels. Junk like the Theed Generator Complex (above) didn't sell because it's poorly made, cheap and barely resembles the film set it's based on. I can think of two playsets that Hasbro did get right, the Endor Attack Bunker and the Detention Block Rescue - and both of these look somewhat how they're supposed to, and still command a fair to high secondary market price. The demand is there.

Third Party Cantina Booth
The last booth he ever used...
I'm in no position at the moment to afford any Space Trees, but I wish Twelth Parsec the best of luck with their endeavour. For what it's worth I already have a custom 'Hero Booth' Mos Eisley Cantina display from the hugely talented Boutros77, and would definitely buy something of that standard again in the future - be it from Hasbro or otherwise.

So, are third party companies good or bad? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks to Star Wars Collector for the heads up, and thank you for reading!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Return of the Toy Photographer...

Strange Trophy
It's been a while since I last posted anything, hasn't it?

I'm pleased to report that everything is going well here at the Collection HQ, but I've been insanely busy finishing off my uni course over the last few weeks and haven't had much time to do anything beyond filming, editing and writing essays. And yes, that includes eating and sleeping! With all of my big deadlines finally out of the way however I thought I'd unwind today with a bike ride and a spot of action figure photography...

Somewhere along the line, Teebo from POTJ has become one of my favourite figures to photograph, and today was no exception - I wasn't even planning to go anywhere that wooded, but still bought him along just in case and was rewarded when I found a very cool spot along an abandoned railway track. 

I tried something a bit different today and left my Canon 600D at home and instead took out my old PowerShot A530, a point and shoot I was using way back when I first got into this hobby. I found I was focusing a lot more on composition of the shots than anything else, and whilst the auto focus led to a lot of blurry takes I was able to get a reasonable amount of usable pics. It was a lot of fun and a lot easier than carrying around my bigger camera, so I might be using it a little bit more in the future...

*
This old chestnut...

On another note, the Emcat and I are moving house! We're downsizing to start saving for the future, which means we're doing a lot of sorting and clearing out. Toys will be sold amongst the shedding, but at the end of it I'm going to have the kind of streamlined, focused collection I've been after for a while now - as well as also having the space and funds to add to that collection further down the line. Whilst all this is going on there'll probably be another absence of posts, but hopefully for nowhere near as long as this last hiatus - more than anything, I'm looking forward to finding a whole host of new locations to explore and share...

Man, it's good to be back. To those of you still out there, many thanks for reading!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Instagram Man

The Sanctuary Moon!
I tried the latest beta test of Flickr last week and found it to be painfully lacking - it's actually a far worse user interface than the last major 'upgrade' earlier this year, and so, given the direction that the site seems to be taking, I've jumped on to the Instagram wagon...

Biker Scout (Sans Bike)
It's been a good experience thus far as I've connected with loads of Star Wars and film enthusiasts from around the world, and there's tons of funny, interesting and highly creative content on there. It's also given me the opportunity to use some phone camera shots that I've been sitting on for a while; subsequently today's pictures are bought to you by my HTC Desire S. And filters. Don't forget the filters!

Feel free to check out my pictorial ramblings, and maybe even follow:

http://instagram.com/tjapes
@tjapes

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

VC26: Rebel Commando (Version II) Review



At B&M, a most excellent discount chain here in the UK, I recently picked up the variant Rebel Commando for £4.99. I had gone in for a B-Wing Pilot I’d seen the week before, but when I saw this guy I knew it was best to snap him up quick, especially for that price. Was it worth it? Read on to find out…

Kitted Out.
I’m a big fan of all the Endor action in ROTJ (growing up near an expansive woods does that to a lad), but this is the first Forest-Camo Rebel I’ve owned. My first impression on cracking open the card was of how many accessories this guy comes with; he's packed with:

  • A Helmet
  • A Coat
  • A Backpack
  • A Rifle
  • A Handgun
The grenade belt over his torso might even be removable as well, but I’ve not wanted to risk breaking it to find out. Anyway, for a regular army builder that’s a heck of a lot of extras, and it really adds to the value.

Takedown!
Other than T-joint hips, this guy has all the articulation you’ve come to expect from the Vintage Collection, so I’ll leave that there. After General Grievous this figure has my favourite soft-goods from the modern line. The coat is dyed effectively, and feels quite sturdy and hard-wearing. The proportions are spot-on, with outer pockets that sit at the right height and a collar that folds correctly. There’s a hole in the back of the coat (barely noticeable) through which the backpack plugs. 

The backpack itself is a cool looking survival/comms unit reminiscent of the POTF2 Rebel Commando, with a camo paint app that stands out from the jacket but doesn’t clash. The removable helmet looks exactly like the kind Luke wears (so there’s crossover potential there for any customizers not fortunate enough to own the Saga Endor Luke), and sits a little low on the head for my liking. It looks cool in general, but thanks to the ball-jointed head not having a great up-down range, the peak obscures the face quite a bit. As such, it’s my preference to have him with his hat off.

Backpack/Rifle
The rifle looks fantastic, with the gun itself a matte black, but the strap a leather brown. It’s a simple touch that’s really effective in conveying the realism of the weapon, and loads better than the cast black equivalent rifle that came with the Movie Heroes Clone Trooper. The handgun sits snugly in the on-belt holster, another little detail that serves this figure well. Credit where it's due, if there’s one thing Hasbro can do consistently well with the Star Wars line now (in my experience), it’s holsters and weapon ports!

Leading the Way
What this range of accessories means is that the Rebel Commando can be displayed in a multitude of ways – should you get a couple of these guys and some different heads, you could feasibly build a small unit of Rebel saboteurs for taking down any nearby shield generators. Or, y’know, sitting on your shelf; however you use your figures is fine with me!

Checkpoint Secure
Overall this is a really solid army builder, loads of play value, excellent to display, and generally fun. I recently sold off a few of my background figures, but this guy earned his place - and that’s because he’s a solid five stars.

*****

NB: You may have noticed I'm quite generous with my figure reviews - in fact, it's because I only tend to review the toys I really like. As I do more reviews in the future, I'm sure that average will drop. Although obviously, I'd rather it didn't!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Setting the Trap


The Rebel Commandos captured, C-3PO does something quite rash for a protocol droid, and draws the Imperial's attention. Within a moment, the Stormtroopers have the driods captured...

Today marks the 29th Anniversary of the UK release of Return of the Jedi; still my second favourite Star Wars film featuring Tatooine!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Bunker Command


Lieutenant Renz and the troops of Tempest Force had killed nearly 300 Ewoks and other such life-forms on Endor's Sanctuary Moon since the construction of the shield generator, and the sport had started to become tiresome. 'If only', thought Renz, 'the locals would fight back with a bit more spirit...'

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