Sep 28, 2010

I must break you

Yes I'm going to make a small tribute to one of the greatest action stars of my Generation. It's not Conan the Barbarian, it's not John Rambo, it's not Nico Toscani, John McClane or Scott McCoy, but The one The only IVAN DRAGO... played by the Amazing Dolph Lundgren.

Now that's one Hell of a Gym. He killed Apollo Creed but lost to Balboa... Still He was so awesome when he said: "I must break you."

See? I told you so.

Yeah, like I was going to miss an opportunity to give MOTU a shout out. Dolph was He-Man the King Grayskull toy looks a lot like Dolph... Hmmm!

Dolph Lundgren also played The Punisher and now here's one clip that weirded me out ever since I saw this movie...

Wait what!? Brandon Lee you bastard! You have scarred me for life with that.
There is no way that Dolph can upstage the WTF factor...

I stand corrected... Dolph is also on the 80s movie star tribute... The Expendables.

He-Man killed Apollo Creed Punishes evil and wants to do bad things to my unicorn with his... you get the idea... Will you allow it? DENY! DENY! DENY!!

This is what happens When you allow Dolph to manhandle your unicorn. WTF Norton!? First the Hoff, Now Dolph!? I'm waiting for the Justin Bieber ad...

Short story long, Dolph Lundgren kicks ass in so many levels. He can scare the living $#!+ out of criminals who invade his house... well his family pictures did.

Sep 26, 2010

Dumbification of siblings, parents, etc.

What is it with TV shows and turning characters into caricatures of themselves, dumbing them down to the point that it's beyond ridiculous. Before anyone points out that dumbification is not a word... I KNOW! I just didn't want to have dumb down in the title.

First on this list is the lovely Hilary Banks: from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
She used to be a snobbish rich girl who spent time fraternizing with celebrities in trendy and shallow environmental charities. She was a bit of an airhead, but not to the point she was dumbed down in later seasons. (As you can see on the link on Hil's name.)

Our next victim is: Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World

Ah! Poor Eric! From Cool Older Brother to... a buffoon with a weird Feeny Call!
Here's the guy who gave Topanga some sound advice on relationships when she had a crush on him turned into an idiot who can't even play with sparklers. He was the first character I thought of when I asked myself: "Are there any other characters dumbed down worse than Hilary?"

Next on our list is what started out as a Paris Hilton parody... give it up for London Tipton! from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and its spin-off Suite Life on Deck.

As I said she started as a Paris Hilton parody, but progressively became dumber and dumber... (another victim of bad writing syndrome) While the character has layers (The rest of the characters would like to add of Dumb), she is mostly played for laughs on how dumb she is.

Next on our Mostly Disney list... Starting to notice a pattern here... Is a youngest sibling. Give it up for Max Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place.

He is the youngest of the Russos but as he grew up he's become dumber than he was on season 1... or is it that he hasn't become any smarter since then? Whatever the case, my point still stands. Those antics are cute when you're 10 but not so cute when you're 13... Keeping him down is not a sign of great writing.

Next on my list is one famous cartoon character whose catchphrase is well known... D'oh!

I mean come on! They HAVE dumbed him down over his 20+ years on TV... I rest my case.

I know that most of these are kids shows, but that does not excuse them from bad writing. taking a 3d character and exploiting one quality turns them into a 2d caricature. (Problem is that this tends to happen to secondary characters. Homer's case is strange because he was dumbed down around the time HE became the star of the show... and he's a 2d caricature... D'oh!)

Peter Griffin did not make this list because his stupidity was there since the beginning...

Sep 20, 2010

Action Figure Woes: Anime Hyper Detail

Mattel is hellbent in erasing 200X from MOTUC that it's ridiculous. I feel bad for Scott Neitlich sometimes... since he's a 200X fan and he's got to repeat the "Anime Hyper Detail" speech.
I talked a bit about my beef with "Anime Hyper Detail" on the accessories rant and I've dropped off hints about the 200X head ban in other posts.

Here's the thing: I love MOTU Classics, but the figures that I enjoy the most are the ones that are not 100% faithful updates of the Vintage toy.

Man-at-Arms is pretty faithful to the vintage toy until you check out his back. He now has a space to put his weapons when not in use. His mace, sword and gun fit neatly on his back. Neither the vintage figure nor the 200X have this. Adding the alternate Mustache head to the mix and you can make a "200X" Man-at-Arms, or a "Filmation" Man-at-Arms (After a little paint of course) instead of just having the "Vintage toy" shaved head...

Webstor has the cool 200X spider legs.

Triklops has the mini kunai on his back AND a Doomseeker accessory.

King Randor got himself some armor that is NOT a repaint of Jitsu's Armor...

All of these are improvements that deviate from the vintage toy look.

As I said on the Whiplash ICftTC... I'm not too fond of having the Vintage toy redone with better articulation, that's the reason why I'm using the 200X head. I went even farther and repainted Whippy in a "200X" color scheme.

Next Month MOTUC will have Roboto who is pretty much the Vintage toy with an additional right hand. While I'm excited about Roboto coming so soon with his Vintage Action feature... His gears WILL ROTATE! The lack of an updated look is killing some of that joy.

It seems that I've gotten a bit off track here... Mattel claims that Whiplash is the ONLY 200X head in MOTUC. I've said before that this is not true. There have been other "200X" heads in MOTUC.
-Man-at-Arms has a black mustache on his alternate head (a 200X element since in most 80s media the stache is brown)
-Merman's Cardback art head was used in 200X. While it has origins in the 80s it looks as "Hyperdetailed" as Whiplash's 200X head.
-Mossman's alternate head is the 200X head without the moss goatee instead of the repainted Beastman head from the 80s.

Heck! January's MOTUC Bow has a Tiara on his "Vintage Toy" head that is extremely "Hyperdetailed" yet Mattel is not complaining about it.

Even if I don't use ALL the heads, I am glad to have them. It gives the costumers OPTIONS on their figs. Funny thing is that almost all my MOTUC figs with multiple heads are NOT using the "Vintage toy" head.
-Merman: Cardback head (like the 200X toy)
-Man-at-Arms: Mustache head (Repainted in Filmation-esque Reddish-Brown)
-She-Ra: "Filmation" Head
-Optikk: Orange Eye
-Prince Adam: Smiling head
-TrapJaw: TJ head except when posing him as Kronis
-Whiplash: 200X head (Which is LESS detailed than the "Vintage" head...)

I remembered where this was going. Someone asked Toyguru (Scott Neitlich, the Brand Manager of MOTUC at Mattel) about He-Man's hairstyles and which were doable in MOTUC.
This is what he said:
Think of it this way. You have a machine. On one side you place a vintage MOTU figure in. Then you have two buttons: "200X style" and "Classics style". When you put He-Man's original vintage hair into the machine and press "200X style" you get the flared "anime, McFarland" hair. When you press "Classics style" you get the current MOTUC head. The 200X hair style is just the 200x interpretation of the vintage hair cut with longer curls and flared style. The Classics style is also based on the vintage look, but just with a different style. This is why you will not see the '200X" hair style for He-Man in the Classics line. The others are much more possible as they are unique vintage designs that put through the "machine" and applied with "Classics style" would yield unique result.
I despise this explanation because it's wrong in so many levels.
According to Toyguru If we add the 200X He-Man hairstyle, we get the Vintage Hairstyle.
When the same train of thought is applied to the Keldor Blades we get the vintage power swords. Funny thing is that this very same train of thought can't be applied to He-Man's 200X Power Sword... or Whiplash's Spork of Doom.

On He-Man's Mullet: That is the only hairstyle that has been through ALL the Eras of Masters of the Universe. It's not the most remembered hairstyle, but it's been there all along.
-Vintage: Laser Power He-Man has a Mullet. He's the ONLY He-Man figure to have the Mullet.
(There is a variant with the traditional He-Man head, but that's not the case.)
-1987 Live Action Movie: The Mullet was Dolph's Hairstyle for He-Man.
-New Adventures: The first He-Man figure had a Mullet. Later Figures added the Ponytail from the cartoon.
-200X: He-Man's hairstyle was a stylized Mullet.

The weird and most alarming part of TG's post is the following:
as they are unique vintage designs that put through the "machine" and applied with "Classics style" would yield unique result.
It seems that Mattel will stick to Vintage as THE only source for the characters looks. There are characters that would benefit form a 200X inspired head, but now they're stuck with the Vintage head thanks to this silly ban.

Guess what won? People WANT OPTIONS, but Mattel doesn't get that.

Sep 15, 2010

It came from the Toy Chest: No it's not Mickey Rourke.

Quickie review here! It's MOTUC Whiplash.
He's pretty much new sculpt except for the loincloth and the biceps. We will see lots of reuse of this body with Buzz-Off and Clawful. He's also the "only" Character to have a "true 200X head". Or so says Mattel... (Ignoring Mossman, Marzo, Keldor, Kronis, Merman, Man at Arms, etc.) and that it will not happen again... I gotta do a rant on that later on... using another topic.

He's Basically a reproduction of the 80s Figure with a 200X head and the 00X Spork of Doom added on.
He's got pretty much the same Articulation of a Standard MOTUC figure, plus the Single Articulation point on the tail... Which is not made of Soft plastic with bendy wires inside. Thank Goodness!

He does not have peg holes on his feet, a mistaker that "will be fixed" when Buzz-Off is released on December.

Now for the rating: As always 1= Back to the drawing board since this toy is a waste of plastic so big that it makes the Atari E.T. games look like gold. 5 = The holy grail of Action Figures.

Articulation: 4.5 Same as a standard fig + 1 PoA on the tail. Kinda wish it was more Articulated, but its OK.
Paint/Sculpt: 5.0 as I said the figure only shares 2 parts with previous figures. The Torso is scaly and so are the shoulders. The scaly effect is gently diffused on the shoulders (To allow the smooth bicep piece to be reused.) The boots are scaly (Which I don't understand since they have holes for his toenails to poke out... I still don't get the whole boots with the toenails poking out of them. Is it some sort of evil sandal?) The paint has various shades of green that justify the color scheme on whiplash. (Dark green from his torso changes to light yellow green in a subtle way. The "Vintage" head looks small and "pinhead" like. I do not like it since he looks like a pinheaded Emo Lizard with Bushy Eybrows. The 200X head on the other hand looks a bit too large for his body. It is not too big, it's proportionate to his body. The only problem is that 200X Whiplash is supposed to have a MASSIVE body and a small head. So the MOTUC "200X" Whippy looks like it's using Trim Spa, baby!

Accessories: 3.0 Whippy comes with his Vintage Spear and his Spork of Doom.
How the heck the Spork of Doom can be made when Keldor can't get his frigging swords!?
-Let it go Nefty, let it go...
The Spear is an updated version of his spear... (The one that should've come with BK Randor...)
The Spork of Doom is a less detailed version of the 200X Spork of Doom... Which can only bve used by the following characters:
-1st issue Skeletor
-Trap Jaw

Why only them, because it has an annoyingly thick handle. Whippy drops it every now and then. Another Spork is coming on the 2nd Weapons Pack... (Guess it'll go in my spare parts baggie.)

Overall: 4.17 The lack of usability on his Spork is the biggest culprit here.

Sep 7, 2010

It came from the toy Chest... Special Sidekick Edition

No it's not Bow, She-Ra's "Special friend"... What does "Special Friend" Mean? is he a *Bleep* Buddy? or is he "Special" as in a bit slow kind of Special?

I should have a written rating on both Lola and Lilly, but they're exactly the same thing.
Overall a 3
Why? The awkward elbow Articulation makes her lose some points
but the partial likeness to Emily Osment helps her.

Sep 5, 2010

Flinging Pop Corn: Twilight Parody Edition

The Twilight Saga is popular enough to get a parody in the form of Vampires Suck.
Before I start I must remind everyone that this movie was made by the same people who brought us: Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie. Now with that out of the way I expected UTTER CRAP. Instead I got a semi decent movie that followed Twilight AND New Moon pretty closely. Unlike Disaster Movie or Meet the Spartans, VS is actually watchable and keeps the pop culture references bearable and kinda related to the theme... (unlike Certain 300 Parody...)

As I said before The movie followed the plot of the first two twilight movies pretty closely and adding jokes varying from funny to lame. (Humor is a fickle thing with people). To some it will make the movie dreadful. To others it'll be an improvement over the ACTUAL Twilight films.

Jenn Proske makes a magnificent "Little Miss Keanu" impression and Matt Lanter does a nice "Cedric Diggory just smelled a bag full of vomit and poo while getting kicked in the gonads" impression... in other words the Perfect Bella and Edward outside of Kirsten Stewart and Robert Pattinson. I'm surprised on the amount of people involved in this movie that I've seen before...
There's David DeLuise (Wizards of Waverly Place) playing the Fisherman who gets killed on Twilight. He could play a decent Older James Tiberius Kirk in a Star Trek Sequel.
there's Anneliese Van Der Pol:

From That's so Raven... I thought she was dead or something before Vampires suck. She's palying the Amalgamated Jessica/Lauren from the Twimovies
That's TWO Disney channel people in here...
There's Diedrich Bader (Known to most of you as Jethro Clampett... I know him as Batman.) he's Bella's dad.

There's Arielle Kebbel (American Pie: Band Camp... She also was in an Episode of The Vampire Diaries AND True Blood...) as the Victoria character.
The biggest sour note on the cast is Ken Jeong... once again he's playing the SAME character he's played in the last two movies I've seen him. (Role Models and The Hangover.) It's becoming Samuel L. Jackson Tiresome...

Not going to go in deep with the review because the movie is mostly forgettable and it's basically a rehash of the first two Twimovies, so in a scale of one to ten with 1 being utter crap and 10 being the best movie of the year I have to give it a 4.5

Why a 4.5? Mostly because it's forgettable, follows the same pattern of Friedberg and Seltzer of copying one story and trying to add as many pop culture references and jokes that makes Family Guy look like one serious and 100% coherent show.
Diedrich Bader, Jen Proske, Matt Lanter, Anneliese Van Der Pol, and David DeLuise stole the show for me. Almost every scene with them made me at least chuckle...