Friday 17 June 2016

FEATURED: Access All Areas Music Batman & Adventure Time Ukuleles

My Shiny Toy Robots may be a website dedicated to toys, toku, anime and of course robots, but every so often something particularly cool comes along that's a little bit different. This feature is one of those times, as UK music distributor Access All Areas gave us the opportunity to take a look at two pieces in their various comic/cartoon-inspired instrument line. These are the Batman Rooftops Ukulele as well as the Adventure Time Oookulele. Both instruments are officially licensed and real musical instruments, retailing for around £34.99 each.

Since I'm not much of ukulele player myself I've also teamed up with my partner in crime Bethanwi and her Youtube account for some additional video content, which can be found embedded just below.

Both ukuleles come in simple but well executed cardboard packaging, featuring some nice graphics as well as all the relevant series/distributor logos. One thing I noticed about the Batman box in particular was that the general aesthetic matches the various other bits of weird and wonderful official Batman merchandise that's been released in the last few years, so clearly Warner Bros/DC Comics are going for some sort of recognisable branding there. The packaging keeps the ukuleles nice and secure, even when the instruments have been taken out of their protective plastic sleeves.

If I had to pick between the two, I would definitely say the Adventure Time Ookulele is my favourite. The graphic is superb and features almost all of the major characters from the show (though sadly no Ice King or Lemongrab), with Jake wrapping nicely around the top of the sound hole. The head sports the Adventure Time logo, and it's also featured on a sticker peeping out from inside.

That isn't to say the Batman one doesn't look great too though! This one depicts a rather traditional-looking (as in, not based on any of the character's newer costumes or the movie versions) Batman surveying Gotham City from the Rooftops. The head of course features the Batman emblem, which is also printed on a sticker inside. Both paint jobs are exceptionally high quality with really sharp graphics, which helps sell them as proper instruments as well as cool little novelties.

For players though the important thing about these instruments is going to be the quality. Both are soprano ukuleles with nylon strings and metal frets, and play very nicely for their price point. Like most new instruments they do require regular tuning, but hopefully this is something that will lessen with constant use. Plus they're easy to tune (particularly in the age of online tuner assistants), and with only four strings a good beginner instrument or simpler alternative to the guitar.

So if you're looking for a ukulele with a bit more flavour to it, than these are definitely worth the time of Batman and Adventure Time fans alike! Thanks again to Access All Areas for giving us the chance to take a look at these, and we'll be back again soon with the usual array of toy, toku and anime reviews.

If you've checked out the video you'll have also seen that what makes this post so extra special is that we're also running a giveaway alongside it! Access All Areas have very kindly donated a third ukulele as a prize, so one lucky winner will be able to pick whichever one of these two is their favourite. There are three ways to enter (thus giving you three chances to win as well!), which are:

1) Like & leave a comment on the Youtube video above
2) Follow the My Shiny Toy Robots Twitter account and retweet the competition tweet
3) Like the My Shiny Toy Robots Facebook page and share the competition post

Unfortunately due to licensing restrictions we can only offer this prize to UK entrants, so non-UK residents please accept my apologies and I promise I'll have another giveaway coming up soon! To everyone else, good luck and thanks for reading!

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