Powered By Blogger

Thursday, February 28, 2013

League Assignment: The Oscar Goes to...

Honestly the last time I cared about the Oscars was around the time Fargo, L.A. Confidential and Good Will Hunting were major contenders...as of now, the "it" crowd in Hollywood just seems like an unjustifiably overprivileged group who throw this annual shin-dig to further line their pockets, stroke their egos and give themselves prizes for existing...cynical, no?  Seriously...each nominee gets 47,000 dollars worth of Swag???? and that is a major drop from the 103,000 worth they received 2 years ago!  I guess 20 mill a picture just isn't enough...

Honestly, I think back to my high school years when there just seemed to be a whole lot more movies worth seeing coming out...maybe that was because tickets were 4.90 a piece and my friends and I saw like 3 movies a weekend no matter how shitty.   Even the first years of college had some stuff that was really worth seeing in the theaters, Fellowship...Memento, Snatch, the Royal Tenenbaums

It was such visceral experiences seeing those now formulaic war, action and graphic styles that seem to be everywhere when you caught Saving Private Ryan, Sin City, 300, Saw, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill for the first times.

It pissed me off the year No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood were big winners and everyone called it the "downer year"...sorry that the filmmakers were out of sunshine and farts for the shiny,happy crowd.

Eh, stuff like this just makes me a crabby bastard so I'll just level off with some Oscars I do like...

Oscar Wilde, Oscar Madison and Oscar Barret


League Assignment: Things I love

Write a stream of conscious post listing the things you love and hold dear. 

Things I hold dear... (in the respect of all things nerd)

I love...

Finding an unpunched figure on a toy shelf which just happened yesterday!

Completing a kitbashed vintage vehicle with that final perfect piece

Finding a long-lost missing lego and/or weapon to complete that long incomplete toy

Putting up a new display shelf

Getting an NES game to work without blowing in it.

Rearranging the collection

Perfect paint and tight joints on an action figure

Getting my wife to watch any Star Wars film

Dropping a nerd reference on my classes and having a student "get it"...they very often don't.

Putting fresh decals on a G1 Transformer

Finding out any classic kid property is getting a reboot AND finding out the reboot is awesome (Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles / GI Joe Resolute are nice calls)

Getting a really good nerd series in its entirity on a snow-day with the wifey...Spaced, Lord of the Rings.

Christmas specials

Watching On-Demand episodes of Clone Wars and Adventure Time with the son during 3 AM feedings.

Positive feedback on ebay

Fixing an O-ring on a broken Joe


Featuring: Josh Bressi photographer

 A good buddy of mine and hell of a grand photographer has been shooting some various nerd properties and I must say they are pretty damn professional...Just want to spread some love and talent to the rest of my fellow readers...any feedback is welcomed as I'm sure he's always willing to hear how awesome he is. :)

"Ice to meet you"
If you didn't want to collect Lego Batman, you do now.

So, that's what all the hype on the weather report was about...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Toy Review: Lego Lord of the Rings / Mines of Moria

I have been having an on and off rekindling of all things Lego lately.  Mainly through my refound interest in the Clone Wars Cartoon Network series *midnight feedings have given me a perfect excuse to catch up on all of my on-demand shows the wife can't stand including TMNT, Adventure Time and Regular Show which I freaking love!* and my seeing "An Unexpected Journey".    Ironic because my wife already gave my Lego collection two previous kick-starts which stupidly I have since sold off and am kicking myself for....why did I sell that AT-TE that's reselling for 200 bucks these days?

I've been slowly picking up various Hobbit and Star Wars Lego sets within my price range...which has since shrank dramatically since the baby boy came about 4 weeks back.   But this set goes back a week before the delivery that I miraculously found on a Wal-Mart clearance shelf for 50 bucks priced down from I think 80 or so.  Score and a half, I'd say.

This is the LOTR: Mines of Moria construction set.  I gotta say, it was a blast to build although I kinda hate that Lego spoon feeds their sets anymore through the smaller numbered bags.  Screw that, I remember when it was luck of the draw with no tips at all.  Just you and your building skill all weekend. 

The set itself is a nice sectional rendering of the Moria scene; you get a Tomb of Balin with book and skeleton, a well with quick-drop feature along with skeleton attached to a chain and bucket for your two smaller pieces.  For the big "set-pieces", you get the gated doors with collapsible wall, torches and ax to jam the door and you get a columned, bi-level wall section with decals, hidden treasure and nice details.  The sets for the Hobbit can only do so much since they are trying to recreate ruins like Weathertop or the crumbling walls of Helm's deep so they don't have that "shiny" newer feel that the older Castle System sets have.  Lego is going for realistic so that is why the set seems to be a little lacking which I'm still a bit disappointed with.  Granted, I understand that costs are up and they can't build you a whole room but really, I remember 80 dollar Lego sets as a kid building you a 3 story castle with multiple rooms, features and passageways.  You just gotta swallow the pill that times are a changing and I love LOTR so it shall pass.

The minifigs are where a lot of us are compensated...you get some awesome staples including Legolas of the Woodland Realm, Gimli son of Gloin, Boromir of Gondor, Pippin Took, two Moria Goblins and a Cave Troll along with two skeletons for ambiance.  Along with a plethora of orcish weapons you can mix and match and a chain to harness the Troll who also get a nice smashing club.  You get a lot of options with the figs but I'll say articulation takes a back seat...examples are that halflings legs cannot move, the Troll is pretty off balance beyond one or two static poses and the hairpieces for Legolas and Gimli make their heads immobile but you do get the option to change the facial expressions on Legolas, Pippin and the Goblins which is a feature I love.

The action features are nice touches if not limited...you get a sliding treasure chest (filled with jewels) that can be hidden under the bi-level tier, the doors are movable. and the archway has a level which can knock down the wall section and the two pillars have levels in the back that can smash them down to recreate the Trolls mayhem from the movie.  This stuff really isn't for me but I do give Lego credit for being so true to the film.  The stickers are really well made and add a lot to the backgrounds and the ability to recreate the shattered stonework without making it look like a broken set is a feat within itself...(they also do this really well with the monster hunters sets)

Anyway, I like the set.  It makes nice vignettes and has great figures but I'm also really glad I got it for nearly 40 percent off.  If your a LOTR fan, you probably already have this one, if not but want to start a collection, I'd hold out for the newer sets coming in March/April like the Black Gate of Mordor or Council of Elrond.

"Throw yourself in next time!"
"I think I'm getting the hang of this!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

League Assignment: Pirates / Toy Review Forbidden Island Lego Pirates

This week’s assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:


Spacemen, Spies, Cowboys and (by popular vote) Pirates! (I picked soldiers but whatevs)

For this assignment, I took a trip to the attic and dusted off the only vintage Lego Pirate set I still had.  Granted, I still have the Caribbean Clipper but I went along with the true 'pirate' Pirate set named Forbidden Island.  This seemed like a pretty standard issue set when it was released in 1989 and I along with many of my friends who played with Lego's all appeared to have this set.  The pirate sets in particular made me think of how much the price of Legos have inflated since this set was about 25 bucks and the Clipper was 30 on sale at K-Mart when I managed to get my hands on them.  I had a whole mess of smaller sets like the Renegade Runner or Shipwreck Island but my parents (the major purchasing partners in my household) really wanted me to just stick with one collection of legos which was the Castle System.

For the relatively cheap price, this seemed like a must have when you looked at it.  It possessed nearly every mainstay quality of any lego pirate set.  You got the treasure, the raft, oars, plenty of weapons, a captain with hook and peg leg, barrel, dungean, crow's nest, monkey, big pirate flag!!! phew! This is amazing with all of the beautiful touches this relatively simple set possessed.

I can't tell you the amount of play time and fun I had building (and rebuilding) this set.  Your minifigures were absolute musts for any pirate collector.  During this era, you didn't have many options for pirate minifigs.   You get the mustashed doo-rag figure, the first-mate tri-corner hat figure and the red-beard captain figure with swords, pistols and rifles galore.  You also get (not pictured) an imperial guard with backpack, shoulderboards and musket.  On top of this you get a parrot and monkey along with a complete weapon barrel and treasure chest complete with gold dabloons and a palm tree! 

The set itself is a quick build and resonates the feel of a makeshift, pirate fort from old ship parts and riggings with a crow's nest lookout along with overgrown palm dressings, a trap door covered jail and crumbling walls...it truly is a great set and captures the pirate collection wonderfully, just watch out for the shark!

The scalawags mixing it up with the royal navy