Mario Block Box

Posted in box, craft, Game Related, mario brothers, mushroom, plush, Prop / Replica on December 18th, 2011 by VitaminZinc

I had the idea of making a gift for someone. This person hasn’t seriously played a game since the days of the N64, but is really into retro things. While my mind ran through ideas of games to make something from, I thought of different icons from retro games. While some ideas were great, they would have required much more time than I had. Finally, I settled on the idea of a Mario Block. But, that’s boring, so I thought– Hey, I can make it a box to store things in. Awesome, and functional. Woo

The first task was the decide how to construct this box. I decided on corner trim from Lowe’s. It was already in the right shape ( L-shaped) so I just had to miter-cut the pieces to the correct length and angle to make them fit together. I then glued the panels in place. Voila! A box!

Inside the box.

Primed the box and sanded it down a bit for paint application.

Painted yellow with gloss enamel paint from Lowe’s.

The question marks were cast from one question mark that I cut from styrene and glued together to give a 3D effect.

The box, sitting in my workshop, drying with some clear-coat polyurethane. 

 The lid. Each side of the cube has 4 1cm squares cut, painted, and glued to the surface.

 A plush mushroom inside. Surprise!

The completed box!

Where did all my time go?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13th, 2011 by VitaminZinc

I have all of these pictures taken and ready for stuff to be reviewed. I’ve just lacked the will to do so for the last… year or so. Feels bad, man. I’m going to try and fix that in the coming weeks, though. I have a pile-o-loot coming from BBTS which includes much of the Not-Devastator Third-Party set, as well as the latest Armor-Plus Ronin Warrior figure, Rowen. He was my favorite character, so I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Oh, and I’ll have some prop pictures up soon. Working on two awesome pieces that I’m doing as gifts. And sadly, I’m still not done with the gift I wanted to give to a friend last year. I’m still working on perfecting it. Ugh. Either way, this blog will have props soon enough! Yeargh!

FansProject Crossfire – Bruticus Add-On Sets: Munitioner and Explorer

Posted in add-on, Bruticus, Fansproject, review, Toy Reviews, Transformers on October 8th, 2010 by VitaminZinc

This toy is awesome. If you have the Return of the Fallen Bruticus then you HAVE to get these add-ons. No, really. You have to. If you don’t have it, you might even owe it to yourself to buy a Bruticus and get these anyway. Of course, even without the original Bruticus it’s still worth it just because FansProject did such an amazing job on Munitioner and Explorer. Now, to avoid infringement they were called this. Munitioner is supposed to be Swindle, and Explorer is Blast-Off.

It’s way bigger than the Superion Add-on that came out last year. Head-to-head, I’d sat there’s about an 1.5 inches difference in them. If we’re talking about the whole figure there’s a huge difference due to the cannon on Bruticus’ back. It also seems way more poseable and versatile than Superion. Of course, that makes sense since this add-on kit costs $100 (between the Munitioner and Explorer) opposed to Superion’s $50. Even the hands on Bruticus are poseable. Each individual finger has joints.

It comes with an arsenal of weapons. Each individual figure gets heavily armed. And pretty much all of these weapons fit into the alt modes, as well as the combined mode in some way. It’s pretty ingenious how they did it.

Perhaps the only drawback of these figures is the fact that individually they’re so much better than the Hasbro ones that it makes you kind of wish that FansProject had redone all of the figures–Price be damned.

Cutting this review a little short, but once again, FansProject has made a topnotch add-on set that certainly doesn’t disappoint in the least.

Pros:

  • Great upgrade set to make Bruticus into an amazing awe-inspiring G1 tribute figure.
  • The individual figures made by FansProject are better than the Hasbro ones.

Cons:

  • Cost. $50 per piece ($100 total)
  • Getting a Bruticus set in the after-market is expensive.

Revoltech Queen’s Blade, Echidna & Alleyne Review

Posted in alleyne, echidna, queen's blade, review, Revoltech, toy, Toy Reviews on September 22nd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

So, with as much fun as I had with the Trigun Revoltech figures, I had about the opposite experience with the Queen’s Blade figures. Not that they weren’t amazingly poseable and all that! I saw the figure of Alleyne and thought, “Oh, a figure of a cute elf girl who fights. That’s kinda neat.” And then I watched the show. Being an old man of nearly 30, watching anime is kind of hard now-a-days. Watching this show actually pissed me off. I had heard it was a mostly T&A kind of show, and I was okay with that, cause Japan is a fucked up country. During the first episode, I threw my hands into the air with disgust and rolled my eyes enough to probably convince people I was having seizures. There is so much unnecessary nudity for a show that isn’t inherently pornographic. And there’s not enough plot for it to be taken seriously. The show is like softcore porn, really. I’m too old to enjoy it and not old enough to enjoy it–if that makes any sense at all. (To further explain, I’m not a teenager, and I’m not a dirty old man)

So, that’s enough about the SHOW. The figures that I purchased cause I thought they looked cool are actually kind of neat. They’re very poseable and have their weapons from the show. And they even come with nice stands. These stands are much better than the crappy ones that came with the first few Fraulein line figures from Revoltech. They allow for more dynamic poses, and it pegs into the back of the figure so they don’t have a clip around their waist.It also allows them to have their feet on the ground, so they’re not in a constant state of hovering like my Evangelion Revoltechs.

However, I’ve never felt more awkward holding a toy in my life. The Alleyne one is pretty innocent… She’s an elf with a staff, and has a cape. But, there’s a catch to this innocence. You get the T&A features on the toys, too… Yeah, that’s right. Every bit of clothing on her torso can be removed. While there’s not a lot of detail on those areas, you can definitely tell the figure is meant to be stripped. Oh, and it doesn’t help matters that the changeable face she has is a damsel-in-distress look, as if she’s being violated or something. The Echidna one is hard to even want to display. She has a snake around her waist which doubles as panties. Yeah, that’s right. She uses a snake companion as underwear. It can be removed. Not to mention she’s showing off her ass anyway. I didn’t take any pictures of the “oh no, violated” expressions that both of these characters come with–but plenty of people have. You can search the googles if you need it to see it for yourself. Or, if you want a PG-13 idea of it, just check out the pictures of the back of the boxes. =P

The figures themselves are some great works of engineering. But it just seems wrong to have some of the features these have. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll like them. I don’t think I could recommend this to someone as just a casual display piece, though. It’s a bit too perverted for my tastes.

Pros:

  • Cool stands!
  • Very poseable and show accurate.

Cons:

  • a little TOO show accurate, if you get what I mean…
  • Not suitable for minors and impressionable minds!
  • Possible mockery from your peers for having pervy figures.
  • wtf Japan?

Revoltech Trigun, Vash & Wolfwood Review

Posted in reveiw, Revoltech, stampede, toy, Toy Reviews, trigun, vash, wolfwood on September 22nd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

I actually have quite a few Revoltechs left to review–if I do them one at a time. But I had this great idea to do them in duos because it works out great that way, and I can have slightly longer reviews that are less repetitive that way. So, first up is Vash the Stampede and Nicholas Wolfwood from Trigun fame.

Hearing these two figures were getting updates from their original Kaiyodo releases made me extremely happy. I really liked the Kaiyodo figures (Kaiyodo actually makes Revoltechs, but that’s beside the point), and actually have all of the original version of the figures. BUT they weren’t exactly ideal. For one, Vash had NO mobility in his legs. Yikes. Wolfwood was a great figure, but hey… if they’re remaking Vash they might as well redo Wolfwood and make some cash, right? Well, that’s how I figure they were thinking. Worked out great, imo.

These two are amazing! Super posable, and come with awesome accessories. The bases that they have to stabilize them looks like a puff of dust coming from the ground. It makes it very unnoticeable. And they come with fire effects for the gun. So, it looks like they’re mid gun battle with whatever pose you choose. It really makes the figures pop aesthetically.

They cost me about $33 a piece, so it’s a bit on the high side for the average consumer, but on the reasonable side for Revoltechs.

My only problem with them is perhaps Wolfwood. His cross is a heavy accessory, and it took me quite a long time to find an action pose to put him in that he could stay in for longer than 10 minutes. Sadly, the one I took pictures of is not that pose. He also comes with cigarettes, so you can pose him killing his lungs (not like it really matters, though, right? RIGHT?!)

Vash is pretty accurate with his accessories. He comes with a folded out gun arm that you can switch out with his normal one. And he has his “peace” fingers, so you can put him in his crazy-“love and peace~!” poses.

Not really a lot more to say about these guys. I had a ton of fun playing around with their various accessories and putting them into fun action poses. They’re a great addition to my collection-o’-shit, and my pile-o’-debt. =P

Pros:

  • Very poseable.
  • Accurate representations.
  • Good accessories.

Cons:

  • Weight of Wolfwood’s cross.
  • Price, maybe.

Revoltech Jack Skellington Review

Posted in jack skellington, nbx, nightmare before christmas, review, Revoltech, Toy Reviews on September 22nd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

I seem to keep getting behind on my reviews. Anyway, I saw that Revoltech was making a Jack Skellington figure and I had to get it. Of course, after that, I heard that PlayArts was making a figure as well. I went with the Revoltech one because it came out first, and I’m not completely sold on the PlayArts stuff. A lot of their stuff has been hit-or-miss. The Resident Evil 5 figures were some of the ugliest molds I’ve ever seen. And some of the joints they use make the figures look like they broke an arm–ie: Fullmetal Alchemist’s Roy Mustang.

Enough about PlayArts, though–this review is about Revoltech. The box for this is pretty nice. A definite upgrade to the first Revoltech boxes which were pretty small, and had all the accessories in a bag inside the box. We now get a little box to hold the spare hands/heads in. The Sci-Fi Revoltechs also come with a little prop scenery to place them in. Jack comes with a gate and a spooky tree. And some pumpkin things to put around.

As far as the figure itself goes, it’s what you’d expect from a Revoltech. It’s super posable, and lots of options for faces and such. He comes with 5 heads. You get a neutral, scary, surprised, confused, and happy faces. My only complaint with the figure is that as per the character’s design he has very tiny little feet. I haven’t been able to figure out how to balance him without leaning him back against something. It’s kind of a downer, but at the same time, it’s to be expected.

Pros:

  • Nightmare Before Christmas?
  • Revoltech
  • Variety of accessories

Cons:

  • Can’t stand up by himself.
  • No other announced figures to go with him.

CrazyDevy Devastator ‘Construction Brigade Power Parts’ Add-Ons

Posted in add-on, Construction Brigade, CrazyDevy, Devastator, Power Parts, review, Toy Reviews, Transformers on September 3rd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

So, I ended up with some store credit at BBTS because I canceled an order. I needed something to waste that credit on because hey!–I can’t wait for it to go toward my other orders, right? I had been looking over the CrazyDevy stuff cause I liked what they were doing with the G1 Devastator. Awesome ideas, but I didn’t have a G1 Devastator. Oh noes! I did have a G2 Devastator that I’ve had forever, though, but the main add-on I wanted (the legs) would look dumb on a G2 Devastator. Well, that changed when they came out with the special version that had silver legs. I guess purple would have technically worked, but eeeh. I think it looks better with silver.

So, the legs for the original Devastator was kind of lackluster. He couldn’t move them all. It was just sort of a plate that held the figures together. There was no articulation with it at all. With the CDMW-02* add-on, your Devastator now has full movement of his legs! That’s right! They can go one-infront-of-the-other! Of course, even as cool as that is he kind of has balance issues now. Getting him to stand on his own was a pain in the ass. I’ll just leave it at that–but it’s still a great addition to the G1/G2.

Also, I’d like to explain with the asterisk is for on the CrazyDevy stuff. It’s their way of differentiating the sets. For the most part, it deals with a difference with the knock-off and the original Hasbro productions. The tooling on the originals pegs (for the forearms where they connect) is a different size on the knock-offs, which means it won’t fit if you happen to have the knock-off version. For most of the other asterisked sets, it’s just a difference in the color scheme from what I’ve seen.

The head for this is a definite improvement. I found it looked kind of funky since I was so used to how the original head looked, but this one is more accurate to what it’s shown as on the show and in the comics. Plus! It has an LED inside of it and you click a switch on the back to turn it on. …I didn’t take a picture of it with the light on, but you can imagine. It looks cool–trust me.

The forearms are kind of a throw-away item. I could have certainly lived without them, but the swivel and give him a bit more poseability that really brings the character to life. Not to mention, supposedly if you use the new fists in the old forearms there’s possibly an issue with them not fitting in correctly. Also, instead of the purple forearms of the original, they’re black–which is more G1 accurate, since they’re supposed to be formed from the treads of the vehicle. Or, at least, that would make sense…

The fists are pretty cool. Again, they’re kind of throw-away since you really don’t need them. Also, it comes with an enlarged version of the gun. It makes sense, since the original has such a small gun for such a big robot. The fingers are articulated, but they work on this odd hook-based system. When I was first moving them, all of the fingers just fell off. I feel they could have engineered that a lot better. But, it’s not a huge deal since once my figure’s in its pose, that’s the way it’ll be for a loooooong time.

So, that’s what I think of the add-ons. There is another add-on that makes his arms swivel a bit more at the shoulder, and replaces the mixing barrel on Mixmaster, but I won’t be getting that at all. The only reason I picked these 4 sets up was because I had the cash to throw around (which I guess is the only reason I buy any of this… but… oh well…) I really can’t recommend this to anyone without very deep wallets or a questionably weird lust for Devastator. It’s great at what it does. It makes a classic toy into what it could have been. But, at the price point of $30+ per add-on, you end up having to pay quite a bit just to improve an old toy. And that’s even if you have the old one. If you don’t, then you’re destined to get a knock-off and then buy the parts, or get the Hasbro ones off eBay … and then buy the parts. If you were to buy all of the sets out right now at $30 a piece (some are more) you’d end up spending $150 to fully upgrade this guy according to CrazyDevy’s idea. It’s just really not worth it to me. And, it’s probably the last piece I’ll buy from CrazyDevy unless they release something REALLY amazing. (And 24k gold wing extensions for Predaking don’t count…)

Pros:

  • Great upgrades for a classic.
  • Adds some nice touches and gives the figure “mobility”.

Cons:

  • COST. OMG. WTF.
  • Aside from the legs, it’s all just very minor adjustments and tweaks that make it slightly better.

Skeleton Domo Kun Qee Figure Review

Posted in Domo Kun, figure, Qee, review, Skeleton, Toy Reviews on July 3rd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

This is a mini review for an impulse buy I made for a Domo Kun Qee figure. It’s painted up to look like a Skeleton. I think skeletons are awesome. It can move its arms and legs a bit. That’s about it. It’s a nice desk accessory to pose around. It’s actually sitting on one of my shelves, though. I like it.

Pros:

  • DOMO KUN!
  • Skeleton.

Cons:

  • ???
  • Profit.

Alternity Cliffjumper Review

Posted in Alternity, cliffjumper, review, Toy Reviews, Transformers on July 3rd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

So, here we have Alternity Cliffjumper. There’s the choice between Cliffjumper and Bumblebee for this figure mold. I thought about it for… about a second before I picked Cliffjumper. I think Bumblebee is kind of overdone, so I’m not a big fan of him. It all came down to personal preference. Plus, I think Cliffjumper was a better character in G1, so I got him.

I also think this mold works better on Cliffjumper than on Bumblebee. The red just really stands out and makes this figure. It’s a deeper shade of red than Prime/Convoy.

Just like all the previous Alternity figures, this is a complex piece of engineering and looks great in both car and robot mode. This was actually my first Alternity figure, and I was very pleased with it. From pictures of it, many people hated it due to the chest since it’s kind of overbearing. It all really kind of works out when you look at it in person, though. It doesn’t look off at all. At least, not to me. He comes with 2 gun which hook to the legs.

My only complaint with this figure is that transforming it requires some definite “omg, I’m going to break it” force. Of course, these pieces are die cast and probably won’t break. But it just seems like it will.

I’m keeping this review short because really there’s no need to repeat myself time after time. It’s an Alternity figure. It’s complex, it’s well-made, I’m happy.

Pros:

  • Complex transformation
  • Does the character justice.
  • Die cast pieces

Cons:

  • Price, as always ($50)
  • Feels like you’re going to break it sometimes with certain transformation moves.

Alternity Megatron (Silver) Review

Posted in Alternity, megatron, review, Toy Reviews, Transformers on July 2nd, 2010 by VitaminZinc

So, next on my list on things to finally get the reviews out for is Alternity Megatron. Of course, like everything in this line, it’s all cars. Seeing good ol’ Megs as a car is weird (about as weird as seeing Prime as a car) but it works. Just like all the other figures in this line, it’s a car. Everything’s a car! Arrrgh! Nah, but seriously, it works well enough. I had to get the silver version because it wouldn’t make sense to have a different colored Megatron. For as dumb as it sounds, I have to have them in similar colors to their respective G1 colors. A black Megatron wouldn’t work for me. Just like a Silver Prime doesn’t work (But a white one’s ok! Ultra Magnus! Not racist or anything…)

The box is the standard Alternity packaging. It’s clear plastic with the information printed on the box. The cool thing about this is that you can open it and transform it, then put it back in the box and pretend like it was never opened (aside from the broken tape at the tab). It’s much better than the Alternator boxing since it’s easier to put it back in. It kind of worked with Alternators until they made that horrible domed bubble packaging. So yeah, Alternity boxing is much better.

As far as the figure is concerned, it’s a decent representation of the character. I’m not entirely convinced of certain aspects of it, but I can overlook it, I guess. This figure in particular HAD to be silver for me to get it. It only looks JUST enough like Megatron to pass as him. And then, as you can see, he comes with swords. Seems a bit odd for him to have swords, but again–I guess I can look over that. They go underneath him as exhaust pipes.

Just as all the other Alternity figures, he’s highly poseable. His transformation is a bit tricky, and can lead to some very confusing moments until you really understand what you’re supposed to do. The bad thing about Alternity figures is that they have to be transformed a certain way. There is no deviation on this–or if there is, it’s very little. I do like how complex the transformations are, though. I kind of enjoy the idea of just going at it and trying to figure it out on my own, but then again, it’s never quite that easy with something as complex as these.

So, can I recommend this figure? Well, I mean, if you’re really into Megatron, or if you just have to catch ‘em all (that’s my problem), then sure. Pick it up. Of course, if you have to have it because it’s part of the collection, then you didn’t need to read this at all–you’ve already bought it…

Pros:

  • Complex transformation
  • Die Cast pieces.

Cons:

  • Pricey for how big it is. ($50)
  • It’s a car and it’s Megatron…? Didn’t really work for me.