May 18, 2016

Kotobukiya Captain Phasma Art FX+ Statue


Before The Force Awakens opened, the pre-orders went up for the Hot Toys Captain Phasma figure. I hear about Hot Toys all the time on the collecting podcasts I listen to and had just been waiting for the right one to come along. Like a lot of people, I got sucked up in the Phasma marketing pre-movie release and loved the look of the character.

Knowing Hot Toys often sell out during pre-orders I decided this was the one and put in my pre-order. I could not wait to get my hands on a Hot Toy finally! And then about a month and a half later, I made the choice to buy a new car. Despite hoping beyond hope that Phasma will come back with a vengeance in Episode VIII, I cancelled my pre-order.

Then I found the Kotobukiya Art FX+ statue up for pre-order. I have a few of these already and think they're a great deal for the price and quality. So, no Hot Toy but something still very cool for a third the price? Sold!

I busted her out of the box to show her off. If you want to see really good photos of this statue, go ahead and Google it. Lighting shiny things properly is one of my weak areas.


As you can see, she comes with blaster, cape, and a total of four arms, two for each side. She has waist and chest articulation and a good range of head/neck movement when she isn't wearing the cape. All the pieces snap together to make a solid looking figure. Koto does a fantastic job at hiding the seams on these statues. Once they're put together, you can't tell by looking at it that it's a vinyl piece.

All their figures also come with a matte black square base. While it's nothing special visually, the figures have magnets in their feet to attach them to the base so you don't have to worry about them falling off a shelf. Plus, it allows you to put multiple figures close to one another.


She doesn't look that bad without the cape, but she does look like just another variation of a stormtrooper, albeit with a slightly longer neck. I didn't take a photo of her back but she does have the traditional 011 markings on the back of her armor and a grenade at the back of her belt. The figure is 1:10 scale and stands about 7 4/5 inches. She's about a half head taller than the Clone Troopers that I have.


And here's the cape giving her a decidedly more bad ass look. The right arm can be a bit troublesome to swap out while the cape is on but it's very easy to pop the head off, remove the cape, and swap out the arm.


I was going to use my chromakey app to put a Star Destroyer bridge or Jakku scene as the background but given how shiny the armor is, it didn't turn out that great.


One crazy detail I almost didn't notice is that the foregrip on the rifle is articulated and can be swung down for a two handed grip! This piece is also not attached, so if you get one of these and play with the grip, be careful not to drop it. Once you move it though, it does become a little loose and wants to swing down on its own. It's not a huge deal as I don't plan on having her not hold it with both hands. I gave it a squeeze where the hinge is to tighten it up a bit. 

If you like the idea of high quality statues but not the price tag associated with them, Kotobukiya Art FX statues are the perfect middle ground. They never slack on the detail and the interchangeable parts give you a few display options to keep things interesting. They look just as good as more expensive pieces when on display.

You can order this awesome statue from Entertainment Earth.

May 11, 2016

Labyrinth 30th Anniversary!

There's been a recent explosion of news regarding it being the 30h anniversary of the movie Labyrinth this year. Or maybe it's been trickling out slowly and I just found out about everything all at once. Either way, I'm bringing it to you in case you missed it.


First up, the Labyrinth board game from River Horse Games is up for pre-order. The game will set you back $50 USD. You can order directly from the game company's site or from CoolStuffInc (which is currently out of stock) for $32 USD.


If you've got an hour to spare, here's a play through video so you can see it in action.
Also, if you leave a Labyrinth limerick in the comments of this video, you could win a 3-Up Jareth figure.

There are three comic collections coming from Boom Studios' Archaia imprint.
You can read a great interview about those at EW.com.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Special in August.
A 48-page comic showcasing some favorite Labyrinth characters.


Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Tales in September
This book takes you into the lives of some of the Labyrinth's notable inhabitants including Ludo, Hoggle, and Sir Didymus. It will be similar to the 30th Anniversary Special but be in a more kid-friendly format.


Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Artist Tribute in November.
A whole bunch of artists provide their own illustrations and testimonials.


Then, in October, we have Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History. This is the one I'm really looking forward to the most! It promises interviews with cast and crew, concept art, some of Henson's notes, and plenty of behind the scenes goodness.


As to be expected, the film is getting a home video release with new content on September 20th! There's also an Amazon exclusive package that looks totally amazing (above). However, I don't know about schilling out $75 to get this multi-format set. I'll probably stick with the BluRay which will have all the same features.

And the icing on this absolutely delicious cake is a theatrical re-release set for September 11th-14th. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to Magic Dance my butt down to the local movie house! Baby slapping optional.

I would not be surprised to see more Labyrinth related merch hitting the shelves over the summer.
In fact, I'm hoping for it!

May 4, 2016

Topps Star Wars Sticker Album

A happy May the 4th to all my fellow Star Wars fans out there!


I was very excited to find the new Topps Star Wars Sticker Album in Target recently. I think for a lot of us collectors, we like being able to revisit things from our childhood that brought us so much joy from a simpler time in our lives.

Of course, back in the day (and even now) I've collected my share of Topps Star Wars trading cards. When checking my local big box stores for the latest cards, I've always come across other Topps sticker books for sports or properties I had no interest in and I'd get a little reminder "Oh yeah, they used to make those for Star Wars." And now, they're finally back with the release of a new sticker series based on The Force Awakens.


It could be my memory, but the book seems to be of higher quality than I remember the original ones being. They've done something pretty cool with the pages instead of just retelling the movie. A lot of pages, like this one, tie the new movie back to some aspect of the originals. I think that's a great way to bring everything together.


I've only grabbed a few packs of stickers but so far it seems like there are 4 types of stickers: two sizes of movie shots, larger holofoil-ish sparkly ones, and...text? Who thought text stickers were a good idea? The first one I came across I thought they had started putting text on the back of the stickers like they do for trading cards.

As a kid, when I had extra stickers, I'd put them on notebooks or anywhere else a Star Wars sticker would look cool. Which, let's face it, is pretty much anywhere!

Collecting cards is fun but I like the sticker albums better. You can cross cards off your checklist as you get them, but there's something more satisfying about being able to flip through your completed sticker album and not see any empty spots. Plus, you have the added interaction of placing the stickers in the book. I remember when they used to have puzzle images that took multiple stickers to complete. The kid brain doesn't stop to think maybe you should wait until you get all the pieces before putting them in the book.

The only thing missing is a mail order form they used to include so that you could send away for those last few stickers that you needed. I think with the internet, I can get by without it.

For today, May 4th only, head over to Richard Cheese.com to grab his album "The Lounge Awakens" recorded live at the Mos Eisley Cantina for free!

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