Tuesday 28 April 2009

Custom Figure: Classics Bludgeon, Landmine (Lander) and Waverider (Diver)

A 3 figure G1 Pretender extravaganza of customs to show off this time round, with a custom Bludgeon made from a Cybertron deluxe class Unicron, and the first 2 of my big project to create classics versions of the whole cast of Masterforce (well, second and third if you want to be precise, since I did already do Blackzarak...)! Lander is made from a Movie scout class Hardtop and Diver is made from a Movie Scout class Storm Surge.

As before I'll give you an image of the original G1 figure first so you know what I was going for. Enjoy!

Saturday 25 April 2009

Movie REVIEW: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann The Movie: Guren-Hen

Although technically not a "cinema release" post because it was a japanese only cinema release that has just got its dvd release over there (and therefore fansubs are now availible) I'm going to review the first movie of one of my favourite anime series' of all time - the heaven shattering, drill piercing epicness that is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Movie: Guren Hen (or Crimson Chapter if you prefer the translation) is basically a retelling of episodes 1 to 14 of the original series, which revolves around lead characters Kamina and Simon breaking through to the surface after humans have been forced underground by beastmen with giant mecha known as 'gunmen'. Along the way they meet Yoko and a cast of other rebels, and gain the titual mecha 'Gurren Lagann'. However the movie also omits some details from the series and adds a lot of new things toward the end too. These include (SPOILERS to follow)

* Opening footage of Lord Genome (the spiral King)'s backstory and the original battle with the antispirals
* Footage of Yoko stuying and Leeron attempting to tutor Simon, Gimmy and Darry
* Brand new ending including
- All 3 remaining generals (plus Viral) generals fighting the Dai Gurren Dan at once
- Simon epicly climbing Cytomander's Shuzack armed with only a drill to rescue Nia
- Viral's new giant Gunmen - the Dai Gunzen 2
- General's giant gunmen can combine
- Yoko vs Adienne (a personal favourite of mine)
- Yoko's gunmen! (basically a pink Dayakkaiser, which is awesome)
* A post credits scene with Lord Genome awaiting the Gurren Dan's arrival at Teppelin

Despite me being a die hard Gurren Lagann fan, there are little nitpicks I could make with the film. The montage sequence about 1/3 into the film where Kittan and his sisters, Rossiu, Gimmy and Darry are introduced seems a little rushed and may confuse viewers who are not familiar with the series, especially as Kittan and Rossiu will become so prominent later on. Also the same sequence involves clips from the episodes the film barely covers (such as episode 6's visit to the Bath house). While these clips were certainly enjoyable to me, a fan, they might leave others wanting a bit more (but then I suppose they can go away and watch the series if they're that interested!).

Regardless, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Guren Hen is a fantastic movie and I couldn't recommend it more. Despite watching over an hour of material used in the series it's more than worth it to see the new ending as its over an hour of FANTASTIC material. If they put this much effort into the new footage of the second film - Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Ragan Hen I'll be a very happy man.

In short. If you're a Gurren Lagann fan, you'll have already seen this. If you're an anime fan, you NEED to see this. If you're neither, watch this anyway! Download this now.

Now is the time of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Long may it reign.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Custom Figure: Transformers Classics/Universe Blackzarak

Though not my first custom, here's the first one thats gonna go up on this blog! *applause*

Not alot done to this figure actually, I just took a Cybertron series Dark Scorponok (which I got damn cheap in TK Maxx last year)- which is already a blatent homage to this character, and got painted over the horrid sky blue plastic that was ruining the figure's deco. For the horns I took the figure's visor, cut it up and superglued the horns to the side of the head, then painted over them to match the helmet.

Just so you're in the know, Blackzarak was one of the big bad guys in the japanese exclusive Masteforce G1 series (the first pic). Then theres a pic of the unmodified Dark Scorponok...so you know what I had to begin with! And finally there's the finised product.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Animated Skywarp

"Skywarp wouldn't call himself a coward. He'd call himself smart. So what if he runs away from combat? Fighting is dangerous! All those missiles and lasers could really hurt someone! As a clone of Starscream, he's got all the power and skill of the leader of the Decepticon air forces, but none of the courage or ambition. He could easily be one of the most dangerous Decepticon of all time, but since he screams and runs away the second a shot is fired, he's mostly just a joke."

Here is my first toy review! Transformers Animated voyager class Skywarp! The most obvious place to start is that this figure is a repaint of the Starscream mould, so other than colour it bears no difference to the original figure whatsoever. But anyway, I'll take you through it as if this were brand new...

The figure transforms into a futuristic style jet, and the black and purple deco works very well. In fact, I'd say its even nicer than Starscream's. The toy also features two firing missiles that can be launched from underneath the jet.

The transformation from vehicle to robot is pretty simple, in fact most of it is done automatically! The first step is to bring the legs down (GERWALK MODE!!!! Lulz), which pushes in the nosecone. Next, bringing the torso into its frame and legs activates the figures automorph, and the arms move down and wings fold backward, leaving simple positioning of the arms left and folding back parts left. And there you have it! Robot mode Skywarp!

I wouldn't say the figure is hugely posable, but its good enough for me. The arms and legs each featuring hinge, swivel and ratchet joints. Bringing his null rays forward on his arms opens up two hidden panels (not quite sure what they are exactly for though!) and his thumb and figure sections are posable (one is loose on my figure though, grrr...). The figure looses points for having the same smirky face as Starscream did, instead of the face of a true coward, but to be honest its a minor nitpick I knew wasn't going to happen anyway.

I HIGHLY recommend this figure, but then I'm a huge fan of the Animated seeker mould. I vastly prefer it to the deluxe universe one (although I will admit that is half the price!). It might not be as appealing to you if you own the original Starscream figure, unless you want every clone you can get your hands on (I know I do!).

But you don't have to take my word for it of course. One picture can say more than I ever will, so here's 7!