Showing posts with label Stormtrooper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stormtrooper. Show all posts

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!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Star Wars: The Modern 12 Back Part III

Part III
Here are the final four entries to round out the best modern 12 back Star Wars action figures. If you’re late to the party Part I is here, and Part II is here.

Darth Vader

At the time of A New Hope you’d be forgiven for thinking that Darth Vader was the big bad of Star Wars, but as the saga progressed that title went to the Emperor, and Vader’s redemptive arc gave Return of the Jedi the emotional push it sorely needed and became the fuel for the Prequels. I still get shivers down my spine when watching his revelation in The Empire Strikes Back, and I must have seen it hundreds of times. It’s easily my favourite moment of cinema.

This version of ol’ Darth is from The Anniversary Collection of 2007, and originally came packed with Obi Wan’s vacant cloak, following their lightsaber duel at the end of A New Hope. This figure was far better than the VC08 version I recently sold, but I wouldn’t consider this the current definitive Vader – for that honour goes to VC93.


The nicest thing about looking at these A New Hope figures in isolation is that the story starts and stops there. With the original 12 backs there weren’t even sequels, let alone prequels, and that’s why this Stormtrooper, from 2004’s Original Trilogy Collection is the definitive version for me.

Rocking 14 points of articulation, an excellent sculpt and an appropriately sized blaster, the best bit about this guy is that if you remove the helmet, all you get is a ball joint. Maybe the helmet is a bit on the small side, but the less that clones infect the OT the better.

Ben Kenobi

After having half a film to shine Obi Wan Kenobi gets relegated to an expositionary role for the rest of the OT, but by then his work is done – Luke has been more or less sufficiently mentored, and his final sacrifice allowed the Falcon crew and Princess Leia to escape. He may have been old, but he went out like a champ!

This Obi Wan is also from the A New Hope Blu-ray Commemorative pack, and is based on the 2008 Legacy Collection release. It’s a very good iteration, capturing his wizened look rather well. The force-using finger pose makes him slightly awkward holding his lightsaber and the cloak is extremely billowy, but those are the only cons on an otherwise fine figure.


Finishing off the original 12 backs was the diminutive Jawa, the desert scavengers that bought the droids back together and got slaughtered for their efforts. The character of these guys, by which I mean their seeming enthusiasm and peculiar language, really helps bring Star Wars to life. These are the first aliens/indigenous life forms that we encounter, and their successful appearance is the springboard needed to completely sell the film. By the time Luke arrives at the droid sale, we’re already invested in the world.

This Jawa is an incomplete version of the 2009 Legacy Collection edition. It should come with a blaster for the bandolier holster, but sadly that was lost by the original owner. However, in its original condition this is still the finest Jawa you can find.

And so the Jawa wraps up the modern 12 backs. It's been fun photographing and profiling these figures, and with this set it also marks the first time that I've actually fulfilled a collecting focus. Other than maybe getting all the accessories, and the VC93 Vader, these figures are all I need as far as A New Hope collecting goes. It's nice to be able to say that this collection is finished.

This series couldn't have been made without the amazing review database over at Jedi Temple Archives - be sure to go take a look for yourselves, and thanks for reading! 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Bargain Hunter

I went on a food shop to Sainsbury's today, where last week I'd picked up a TVC Naboo Royal Guard for about three quid (review to follow!). As always I went straight to the toy aisle, only to be met by an empty shelf where the vintage figures were and a price tag showing them at the further reduced clearance price of £1! I was so gutted I missed this deal that I went well out of my way to the nearest B&M, where I was lucky enough to find a freshly stocked load of 2010 Saga Legends. 

I hadn't found anything at this B&M before then, so it was a complete stab in the dark, but a happy end to my mission. I picked up a Stormtrooper and Hoth Han Solo for £4.99 each, filling two massive gaps in my collection and instantly fuelling new diorama ideas. Of course, I should finish some of the dioramas I've already started first...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Un-Boxing Day

I hope you've all had a great Christmas! In particular I hope you've managed to spend time with family and loved ones, as that's what it's all about. And if not this time, then there's always next year...

This is just a quick post to say hello, offer my seasonal regards and to highlight how much toy blogging I need to catch up on following an insanely busy December. To provide a quick visual snapshot, here are all the toys I have to photograph and review. At the time of this photograph (roughly 40 minutes ago), they weren't even opened!

What? No Transformers?!
Okay, so the Landspeeder had been opened. But as I've had no time to use it for anything over than a handful of photos, and needed the space for normal people things, it's since been boxed back up and left untouched. The Stormtrooper is my latest 'Vintage 12' appropriation, and the Turtles, well... Entertaining cartoon, stylish toys, and a mighty ten on the nostalgia scale - these have been a must-buy since I first saw them earlier this year. Only a Donny and Raph required to complete the four!

Told you I'd be coming back to these guys...
And so (roughly 30 minutes ago), that's Leonardo out of the box. Immediate first impressions are decent articulation, great sculpt and a fun figure, but I'll be back with a full review in a few days. As I now have a (slight) break from Uni for the next few weeks, I'm pretty hopeful the others will follow suit in the new year.

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Streets of Mos Eisley: Re-made!

Following the incident at the Cantina, the Droids aren't the only ones wanted by the Empire...
I'm working on a new display piece for my many Tatooine figures. The moisture vaporator is a key prop, although the 30th Anniversary Luke Skywalker it came with isn't as good as the one in the picture, which comes from the Blu Ray Commemorative A New Hope set (same as Obi Wan Kenobi, in fact). That's what I love about coming a bit later to the Star Wars party; at this point I can pick and choose the best versions of each character...

Ain't no-one taking Palpatine's moisture... *shudder*
The moisture vaporator is the one diorama piece that instantly makes a set indisputably Tatooine, and you could argue that it's not even convincingly Mos Eisley (or Anchorhead, or even Mos Espa) without it. Of course, a few more Sandtroopers, Droids, Aliens and Landspeeders wouldn't go amiss either, but everyone has a budget, which I've certainly blown for a few months with my latest haul (not the vaporator - exciting news to follow, pending shipping :D)! This set is still very much a work in progress; but I have plenty of photos for a making-of when it's finally done. Just a shame I still can't decide for sure between set-building for photography, and diorama creation for display...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Unlucky for Some...

"We've tried several techniques, my Lord, but the Rebel isn't talking."
Sometimes I'm trying to achieve something with these shots, be it recreating a film scene, or showcasing different figures. Other times though, I just like playing with the toys and seeing where it gets me. :D

"Leave that to me, Commander..."

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...'

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Darth Vader

Darth Vader (TAC) is my most recently acquired modern loose figure. I gotta say that given the sculpt, posability and sheer fun of this guy, it's a wonder that I didn't get into the super-articulated figures sooner. Whilst I still work out the best way to light photographs the detail might not quite come across, but rest assured, it's there!

There's another reason why this figure is so good - remember the POTF2 Darth Vader with removable helmet? Well, that seems to come as standard now:

Look at that scarred mug and tell me Obi-Wan isn't badass...

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