Sunday, April 23, 2017

Brick Essentials

One of the most important element in sorting and protecting every brick collector's toys - storage!

There are several plastic boxes, mostly clear, sold in the market. They vary in sizes and features, but what I love most are the section cases from a Japanese franchise of general merchandise, known locally for its cheap fixed retail price.

Cleaning lady readies the rooms of minifigures and parts
Each partition comes with a detachable plate to suit whatever size you need for sections. The middle section is one long storage which you can customized by placing crafted section plates, even by using cardboards.

Each case has 12 small sections, which fit one assembled minifigure or 3 disassembled minifigure.

This is a must have! ;)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ok! Doc Ock!

Doctor Octopus or Doc Ock is one of the prominent villains of Spider-man. Famed for his four mechanical tentacles that he control by will, Doc Ock fused with this contraption when a radiation leak from the lab caused explosion. This accident caused him to be insane, committing his life to criminal activities.

As you guessed, turning this character to a minifigure is quite exciting. Doc Ock minifigure will never be complete without the mechanical tentacles. I had fun playing around with these brick arms, as they are versatile, and quite creative, if you just let your imagination free.

Spiders and Octopus
Brand/Model: Pogo 325
Condition: Bought without box in a clear plastic bag

Name: Otto Octavius
AKA: Doctor Octopus
Comics: Marvel
Affiliation: Sinister Six
Superpowers: Technopathy, Danger Sense
Paraphernalia: Tentacle contraption

Doctor Octopus minifigure consists of 57 pieces – 1 head, 1 leg connector, 2 legs, 1 torso, 2 arms, 4 hands, 46 pieces for tentacles, with no baseplate.

The suit is based on the classic look of Doctor Octopus with yellow and green color schemes. Unfortunately, while the legs are not dual-injected, the printing of the yellow boots are not done well. The print has a rubbery, rough texture and the finish is a bit shiny.
Old suit
The printing on the back torso is quite interesting as other Doc Ock minifigures. It has four pins where the mechanical arms are supposedly attached.
Attach tentacles here
The head has an alternate printing - one side has the angry face and the other has the evil-laugh face. What is cool about it is the metal-colored sunglasses and the characteristic thick brows. 
Cool shades!
The completed minifigure  and its mechanical arms are copies of the original brick set - Spider-Man: Doc Ock's Tentacle Trap, where the mecha build of Doctor Octopus has a detachable arms, that can be rebuilt to a smaller version fit to the minifigure.

The hands are yellow, which complete the color scheme. The hair piece is a must have. The round, straight-line hair simulates the classic Doctor Octopus, giving him the mad scientist look.
Ugh! The hair!
Once you attach the mechanical arms, you'd be compelled to pull out all your Spider-man stuff to shoot a scene or two. While it takes time to set them to behave, as you try to balance the position, you'd be thinking that the arms are quite useful for other moc stuff - i.e. studio lights.
Those tentacles look like studio lighting

Like a dead spider!
Until then!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Cat in a Purple Suit

Catwoman is, perhaps, the second-most celebrated female DC character, with Wonder Woman in the lead. Her hero-villain personality makes her a solid character - a thief and a crime fighter, a sinner and a saint.

Born in a tragedy-filled family, she ended up in a juvenile facility. Going back to the streets of Gotham, she became a prostitute and a petty thief. Inspired by Batman, she wandered the streets in costume, after learning how to fight in a ninja academy. In a different world, like Halle Berry's movies, she was revived by the ancient cats with traces back in Egypt, giving her the power of feline empathy.

On occasions, she is presented to have a love-hate affair with Batman, becoming the blur of truth and lie, good and evil, in Batman's life.

Fast and the Feline
Blazing in her purple glory
(Motorcycle from Shengyuan 201C)


Brand/Model: Pogo 106
Condition: Bought without box in a clear plastic bag

Name: Selina Kyle
AKA: Catwoman
Comics: DC
Affiliation: Injustice League, Bat-family, Birds of Prey
Superpowers and abilities: feline empathy, stealth, martial arts, acrobatics
Paraphernalia: motorcycle, claws, whip

Cat in pieces
Now, the cat is out of the bag!

Catwoman minifigure consists of 12 pieces – 1 mask, 1 head, 1 leg connector, 2 legs, 1 torso, 2 arms, 2 hands, 1 whip, and 1 belt. No baseplate.

Purple jumpsuit
Back torso
The level of details in the torso printings are great. The silver and black outlines create an expensive look to the costume, which is an upgraded and modernized version of the tight purple or black plastic-looking ala The Matrix costume we often see in comics and movies. The curved lines are similar to other female minifigures, which make it distinguishable from the male form. The cat head in the zipper detail is a fun addition.

The selling point of this minifigure lies in the much-coveted piece - an added attraction similar to the new batman minifigures - the utility belt. Although unable to latch any other brick piece or weapon, it saves afol's and mocers time and effort to produce the piece to create an enhanced effect of superheroes or military minifigures. I am quite confused though as to which goes to the front - the one with ridges or the one that has a sort of a buckle.

An arm for an arm
The side printings in the arm are as beautiful as the torso's. They follow the same silver-black on monochromatic purple scheme. I think side printings are a thing with minifigures these days.

Alien eyes (leering face)
Alien eyes (tight-lipped)
The head has an alternate face. Both sides have printings of large, green swirling, almond eyes, which create an effect of eerie glow of the goggles (the eyewear a trademark of the 21st century Catwoman). It is not obvious (and I don't have a close up shot), but there is another unique detail in the printing - a mole in the left cheek. I thought at first that it might be a scratch but the alternate face has it as well. The only deal breaker is the quality of the printing. It looks like one of those rubber prints in t-shirts, which come off easily.

The round mask is a beauty. To match the green eyes, the same shape forms in the holes. Of course the trademark cat ears are also molded in this headpiece. The eyes have silver outlines to match the color scheme.

Watch me whip

The purple Catwoman minifigure comes with a whip, similar to her other minifigure versions. I have not seen the latest brick flick but it seems that this version of Catwoman came from The Lego Batman Movie.

Overall, I am satisfied with this buy. Collectors who enjoy mix and match building will have this handy, probably for its cool jacket, belt, and mask.

Until the next blog! ;)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Super-sized Superman

Being used to minifigures, which measure at 1.5 inches, this knockoff Superman figure at 3.5 inches feels like a giant toy. I'm pretty sure it is not a bigfig (big figure). Bigfig usually takes on a bulky character to incorporate unusual shape. See picture below for visual comparison.
Super-sized Superman vs Normal Superman
Brand/Model: DIY 2014-43 H
Condition: Bought with box

Name: Clark Kent
AKA: Superman
Comics: DC
Affiliation: Justice League

The super-sized minifigure (pardon the negation of words) is packed in a colorful box with an instruction leaflet and character card. It comes with a crumpled thin, red cape and a 4x3 black baseplate with studs that can fit in a normal minifigure head.
Nice packaging
This superman version is from the movie, Man of Steel. The design is copied from the original lego minifigure.

The belt and insignia should have been golden but this knockoff painted them too yellow. The back of the torso has the same printing as the front, which is a relief.

The face has an alternate printing - one is serious and one is gritting his teeth. It lacks the red eyes face that appear in other knockoff minifigures and the original ones.

The cape is so paper-thin that I have to retrieve it from under the cabinet when the fan threw it off. It is also crumpled from being cramped in the packaging instead of having a separate packing.
The Krypton Son
The only piece I'm more interested in reviewing is the pair of blue legs. The back of the legs are designed wide open as opposed to the closed ones with gaping holes in the minifigures. Surprisingly, this mechanism works well when connecting with the large-stud baseplate.
Dead legs don't walk
This super-sized knockoff brick minifigure is not too bad to be in anyone's collection, especially for those doing brick scene photography or filming and for those doing customization.

The DIY lot has other DC and Marvel characters as well as Star Wars.
Battle at the Fortress of Solitude
Until then.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

With its worldwide release nearing, Disney's classic animated film made into live action, Beauty and the Beast, is expected to draw audiences in all classes around the globe.

Listening to Ariana Grande and John Legend's version of the classic song of the same title, popularized by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson, over and over, gave me a little of the thrill feels.

When I went to purchase knockoff hauls of new Batman minifigures from SGL Toys in Greenhills, I got my hands on the light blue, nerdy-looking and at the same time badass, Mr Freeze minifigure. Inspired by his clear glass, dome-shaped headpiece, I built a Beauty and the Beast iconic piece.

Ta-da! The rose in the glass jar.

Tale as old as time
Using an intentionally blurred sunset backdrop and official movie logo, I gathered some knockoff pieces from different brands and sets to build the brick scene.

(1) The white arch pieces and clock face are from Wange - Spasskaya Tower of Russia
(2) The beige base of the glass jar and brown cylinder are from Harley Quinn minifigure mallet
(3) The jar's stem is from the hilt of the sword from one of the Shengyuan Ninjago minigures
(4) The flower stem is a gold thorn from Kreo Liftoff minifigure
(5) The red rose is from one of the accessories from Friends minifigure of Shengyuan
(6) The glass is, as mentioned, from the latest minifigure of Mr Freeze

Until then, fellow bricksters! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Transformers: Age of Kreons - Volcanicon (2/5) Farside

Farside, one of Volcanicon's minions, transforms into a dinosaur of stegosaurid species. With similar gold-beige color scheme as other Volcanicon minions, Farside boasts of a spiny stretch of bricks in the back and a geometric headpiece.

Egyptian mummy?
Brand/Model: Hasbro Kre-o Microchangers Combiners
Condition: Bought with box in clear plastic bags, as set
Price: ~2 USD

Name: Farside
Transforming to: Stegosaurid
Planet: Dinosaur

Bare model of Farside
There is nothing unusual or amazing with the Farside minifigure. It  has the same head printed with silvery details to make it look metallic and badass. The legs and arms are of the Kreo mechanism - which enables the limbs to be moved sideways. The torso has awesome prints of robotic details, but has no particular significance to its form. Its back has no printing, similar to Liftoff.

The accessories that come with Farside minifigure consist of 1 helmet (which doubles as the head of the dinosaur), 2 silver curved blades (which are attachable to a red modified 1x1 with 2 clips), 3 pieces of bricks that form into spines, and 4 gold teeth (3 of which are rubbers).

Battle-ready Farside
 By bending an equipped Farside minifigure, it gives the illusion of transforming to a quadruped stegosaurid. The curved blades though are a steal for builders who customized. They can be used for various battle scenes but most notably, they could be used for samurai helmets.
Transformed Farside
Next: Lugmutt

Monday, February 20, 2017

Original Lego Hauls

At times, you have to give in to buying the original stuff, especially when they put them on sale.

Lego laid out all their old models (they said they're 2016) in one big hall with several long tables early this February. 

I got Bionicles characters (unknown to me) at almost 70-80% off. I figured the parts are quite badass for customization. 

I also got the seasonal sets at ~6usd each. I picked Thanksgiving and Halloween instead of Valentines and that artist painting set. 

I also paid for the mammoth Chima because of the blue transparent parts, useful for ice effects. I'm quite disappointed I didn't get my hands on minifigures tribe packs - they're sold out! 

Three minifigures, per person, are available at the checkout counter, so I grabbed Emmett and some cyber police in the Lego Movie, and a Chima bear.

there goes my paycheck