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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Hot Toys Age of Ultron Hulkbuster will bust Hulks, Wallets



Avengers: Age of Ultron is all about going big. Hong Kong-based collectibles company Hot Toys got the memo, so they set out to make their most ambitious figure yet: the mighty Hulkbuster!

Hot Toys just unleashed some truly mouth-watering preview pics of the Hulkbuster Armor, seen in the trailers of Avengers: Age of Ultron as the armor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) uses to go toe-to-toe with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)! Standing at a whopping 21 inches tall, the Hulkbuster is bigger than Hot Toys Hulk. Bigger than even a Hot Toys Iron Monger. It'll be like holding a small child. Madness.


It's got LED lights out the wazoo, and it looks articulated enough, but let's hope it's more articulated than the pics make it look, or that they can fit an entire Hot Toys Iron Man Mk.43 in there just like in the movie. It's certainly freaking imposing, though. I mean, 21 inches? That's almost 2 freaking feet tall. You could put it on a stroller like an armored baby.



Me? I'm just glad I live in a time where something as awesome as the Hulkbuster in collectible figure form exists. Check out more pics over at the official Hot Toys page.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Jason Momoa as Aquaman Revealed!

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is more than a year away, but director Zack Snyder just tweeted one of the most interesting pics to come out of DC's upcoming cash cow.



Captioned with the line #unitetheseven, the picture shows Game of Thrones alum Jason Momoa looking grim and all tatted-up Samoan style. I'm loving the intricate armor and the familiar four-pronged trident he's holding. And he's even got the Aquaman logo on his belt! How nice of you, Zack!

What does Unite the Seven mean? Is he going to be the catalyst that brings all the major players together? Or will all the characters in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice have this on their pictures? One thing's for sure: the upcoming DC movie just got real.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Time of the Doctor Collectors' Set Toy Review


Have you ever seen a character don a costume that made you go "I like that. I want a toy of that." That was me when Matt Smith exchanged his professor tweed for the very sexy Purple Frock Coat of Awesome in Doctor Who. I've had a version of it made to wear in conventions, but it would be amazing if I had a toy representation of such a cool costume. Underground Toys tried with their 3.75" line, but they left much to be desired. Until now.

It took a while, but Underground Toys finally released the definitive Eleventh Doctor action figure in their Time of the Doctor Collectors' Set, which I will be gladly reviewing today!


I like the box it comes in. It's made to look like the TARDIS, with the doors able to swing open to reveal the figure inside. It's a nice touch, and the plastic window lets you view the figure in all it's glory. But why settle for a window when you can take it out and play with it?


Standing at 5" tall, the figure captures the look and feel of the Eleventh Doctor in his Series 7b costume nicely. While some manufacturers can't seem to get characters wearing coats right, Underground Toys blows them out of the water, with the Purple Frock Coat of Awesome looking like actual clothing instead of bulky crap. The detail is amazing for a figure of this scale, right down to the texture of the purple cashmere of the frock coat. As a fan of this costume, I am more than pleased.


Of course, this being a toy of the Eleventh Doctor, I'd expect it to at least have a resemblance to Matt Smith, the actor who plays him. Thankfully, the sculptors did a bang-up job capturing Matt's likeness. The paint softens the detail a bit, but from a couple of angles, this figure is undeniably Matt Smith in all his 5-inch glory.


I was actually a bit hesitant to get this figure as I don't know how Underground Toys does articulation. The Eleventh Doctor, being the adorably uncoordinated giraffe that he is, deserves to have a toy that can move as spastic-ally as he does.  It was a pleasant surprise then that this figure has enough articulation to pull off some signature Eleventh Doctor poses.



As pretty as this toy is, the articulation does look downright ugly in some angles (check out that arm swivel!) as Underground Toys sacrificed function to get those sleeves to look realistic at this scale. But at this point it can be forgiven.

The Time of the Doctor Collectors' Set is packed with interesting extras that give a smidgen of a bang for your buck. There's an Aged Doctor head you can swap in if you want a Doctor who's [SPOILERS!] battled the forces of evil in Trenzalore for 900 years. There's a cane accessory included, for that extra Old Man Doctor feel.


And of course, this set wouldn't be complete without a swappable head of Peter Capaldi, who made his debut in The Time of the Doctor as the Twelfth incarnation of the renegade Time Lord.


The Capaldi head has this whimsical look to him that doesn't jive with the Attack Eyebrow'd look of Twelve in the episode, though. Would have been nice if he had those.

If you noticed that Capaldi doesn't sport the iconic bowtie in the picture, then I'm glad you're actually looking at my pictures! But yes, you can actually swap out the vest and shirt part of the figure for a bowtie-less look for Capaldi, with the inside of the frock coat pegging into the torso so it doesn't move around too much.


Be careful though, as the swapping part is harder than it sounds. The vest and shirt part is a bitch to remove, requiring you to wrench the frock coat's collar apart with considerable force to pull it out.


There's a tiny Sonic Screwdriver included in the set, which is a must for Eleven as he just waving that thing around (cue the fangirl squee). It's soft plastic and more detailed than the paint makes it look.


And of course, a set based on The Time of the Doctor won't be complete without Handles the Cyberman head, who was Eleven's constant companion for a couple of centuries in Trenzalore (and is the longest-serving companion in terms of years!). The detail is great, with the paint really bringing out Handles' banged-up state. You can recreate the poster for The Time of the Doctor by putting Handles in Eleven's hand, but the figure's hand can barely grasp Handles' tiny, uh, handles. That shot you see there is the fruit of minutes of cursing under my breath trying not to snap that soft plastic in half trying to get the damn hand to hold it.

And now comes the difficult part: the price. The Time of the Doctor Collectors' Set clocks in at a hefty $35++. As only specialty stores can get it in my country, I got it worse, paying much more. Awfully expensive for a 5-inch figure with scant accessories, but for die-hard Eleventh Doctor fans like me, it doesn't get any better than this.



The Time of the Doctor Collectors' Set is a godsend, giving us an awesome figure of a god-tier costume of an amazing Doctor. If you're a fan of the Eleventh Doctor or even of Doctor Who in general, you'd want to have this in your collection.

Do you miss Eleven like I do? Do you like Eleven's purple frock coat? Leave a comment below and let's talk about it! I hope you enjoyed reading this review as I did writing it. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Wrestlemania Lives in this Lucky Me! Pancit Canton TVC


Local ads have been a jingle-heavy bore fest for the past few years, but the latest ad for Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Chilimansi blows them all away with 24-inch pythons!

Dressing up Edu and Luis Manzano as pastiches of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior, respectively, Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Chilimansi lovingly recreates the nostalgic feeling of one of professional wrestling's greatest matches to sell us the fact that Chilimansi is a match made in heaven. The whole thing is amazing; it's like Wrestlemania VI but with pancit canton...they even got frikki'n Carlos "Sonny" Padilla Jr. to referee! Kudos to the creative director and everybody involved in this project. More like this please.

Watch and learn, advertisers. This is how you make a commercial to remember.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Hot Toys Age of Ultron Artist Mix is Wallet-Bustingly Cute


Hot Toys, the Hong Kong-based high-end collectible company, is teaming up with pop artist Touma to release a series of figures based on the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron film. Dubbed Artist Mix Collection, the 14cm-tall figures combine the cool designs of the Avengers with Touma's super-deformed art style, and the result is cute and wallet-bustingly collectible.


The first series includes figures of Ultron with Sentries A and B, Iron Man Mk. 43, and Captain America in his Age of Ultron gear. I've never heard of Touma, but his style is right up my alley. Ultron is freaking cute for a murderous robot, and Cap's stoic expression is adorable in its cartoony-ness!


But the biggest sell (literally) of the series is that Hulkbuster, all hot-rod red and gold and appropriately massive. At almost 8 inches tall, it will tower over his series mates, and rightly so! 

Hot Toys is poised to pump out a goodly amount of Age of Ultron merchandise leading up to the movie's premiere, and their Artist Mix Collection is a good way to get in on the action without breaking the bank on their hyper-realistic figures. No release date as of yet, but you can check out more pics over at the Hot Toys fanpage.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Marvel Contest of Champions for Android

Marvel's latest 3D fighting game Contest of Champions finally lands on Android, and I got the chance to play for a bit. Okay, maybe not just a bit. Okay, I admit I've played this game practically the whole day, and I'd like to share my thoughts on what must be a godsend for Marvelites itching to have a mobile game with the same caliber as DC's mobile port of Injustice: Gods Among Us.


MOBILE FIGHTING AT ITS SUPERHEROIC


Marvel Contest of Champions uses the familiar swipe-based gameplay used in some mobile fighters, more popularly in DC's Injustice: Gods Among Us. You tap the right side of the screen for a light attack, swipe right for a medium attack, or tap and hold right for a special strong attack. You can also block or dodge by tapping and swiping the left side of the screen. Easy to learn, difficult to master, but once you get the hang of it you'll be kicking and punching dudes senseless in no time.


Each character (or Champion as the game calls them) has their own unique special moves that you can access when your energy meter fills up to maximum by attacking or getting hit. Deadpool can slice you up or get a comedic cutscene before he blows your brains out, or Rightclops Cyclops can unleash the whole fury of the punch dimension into your solar plexus.



Fights can get a bit repetitive though, since some characters have virtually identical movesets, in which case the Champion that's been upgraded more will prevail. But though the beat-em-ups blend into each other, there's one thing I like about the game that stands out.


A COMIC BOOK GAME


Marvel Contest of Champions looks and sounds fantastic. I love the beefy look of the characters that make them look larger-than-life. The stages you fight in are even ripped straight from the comic book page (like Asgard's treasure room and Avengers Tower), and the game is chock full of little details that breathes life to the world you’re fighting in. The Eye of Agamotto stares at you while you fight your battle in the astral plane, and you can take in the majestic views of the Savage Land while Master Mold looms in the distance. It's enough to make any Marvel fan weep.


Of course, this ain't a comic book game if there isn't a story to go with it. Here, you gain the role of the Summoner, chosen by the Collector to represent Earth and battle Kang the Conqueror in a cosmic game of chess, using Earth's mightiest heroes and villains as your Champions. Having played some of the levels, the story so far is simple yet interesting, and gives you a good reason to punch other heroes or villains in the face with minimum setup. Bravo!

But while the game looks and feels good, there's one thing that's keeping it from greatness...


NOT SO FREE-TO-PLAY



Marvel Contest of Champions is free-to-play…to a point. The game suffers from a lot of the same complaints gamers have with "freemium" games, like the fact that early into the game you'll find yourself tediously grinding for consumables because half your team's dead or their level's too low, in which case you'll be forced to wait four your energy to recharge...or pay out the nose with real-world currency to get them sooner.


So instead of getting to play the game as often as you want, you'll spend time waiting for your energy to recharge so you could go on missions, or wait for your Champions to regain their stamina to fight in Versus mode, or wait for daily Crystals where you may or may not get consumables or new Champions. That's a lot of waiting.

Not to mention the fact that you can't just buy your favorite Marvel characters as Champions...Hero Crystals give you a chance at a random hero! Frustrating when you get the same character as last time, but uber satisfying when you get someone new.


Oh, and have I mentioned you need to be connected to the internet to play? Oh yeah, you really want me to play this game a lot, I can tell.

THE VERDICT


I admit, I'm just sticking with the game because it looks amazing and I'm simple enough to please that beating Captain America senseless with an a-hole Cyclops multiple times is my idea of fun, freemium pay wall be damned. From what I've seen so far, it's safe to say that Marvel Contest of Champions is a simple yet fun mobile fighting game that captures the essence of superhero comic book battles better than most.

Marvel Contest of Champions is now available for free on Android and iOS devices. Who's your favorite hero to use? How's the game treating you so far? Drop me a comment below and let's talk about it. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

4 Reasons Why Benedict Cumberbatch is Perfect for Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch is reportedly in final talks to play Doctor Strange, a Marvel character steeped in magic and a little bit of we-don't-know-what-the-hell-to-do-with-him-right-now thrown in. People are surprisingly divided with this news. Fangirls are predictably going wild, while people living under a rock are going "Benedict Cumber-who?" or thinking this is the worst casting news since Keanu Reeves got cast as Constantine.

But for me, I don't see where all the hate is coming from. This is nothing but GOOD news for Marvel, the fans, and everyone involved in Doctor Strange. And I have four good reasons why.

Photo by Frederick Brown/Getty Images
1. It's Benedict Cumberbatch.

Guys like Chris Evans and Chis Hemsworth only became household names thanks to Marvel's movies. But an already-established name like Benedict Cumberbatch attached to Doctor Strange is big news for Marvel as they look towards expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From his breakout role in the Stephen Hawking biopic Hawking, to BBC's Sherlock and his roles in Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Hobbit to name a recent few, Benedict Cumberbatch has paid his dues in the industry, and him starring in a superhero movie will be what people will be talking about for years to come.

Photo from PopSugar
2. It's Benedict Cumberbatch.

Benedict Cumberbatch is a BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee and an Emmy and Critic's Circle award winner, and it's not just because of his cheekbones. The dude obviously has dramatic chops that will lend the gravitas needed to portray a broken and human Stephen Strange and his rise to become Sorcerer Supreme. To say that people won't be excited to see how he brings Strange to life is nothing short of a bald-faced lie.


3. It's Benedict Cumberbatch.

Now, before you think he's all stuck-up for an award-winning actor, bear in mind that this is the same Benedict Cumberbatch that photobombed people at the red carpet of the freakin' Oscars. There's a good chance he won't go all snooty after the cameras stop rolling. His shenanigans and sheer humanity are sure to endear him to the people who've never even heard of him, which would translate to more eyeballs on the Doctor Strange movie.


Photo courtesy of Hollywood Reporter
4. It's Benedict Cumberbatch!

Benedict Cumberbatch's cheekbones have their own Facebook fan page. There are Tumblr blogs dedicated to his tight shirts. When the man did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, it broke the internet. The fangirls (and fanboys. We don't judge) attached to Benedict Cumberbatch are some of, if not the most passionate fans you'll ever see, which can mean only good things for Marvel. Can you imagine the entire CumberCollective excited to watch Doctor Strange on day 1?


So yeah, Benedict Cumberbatch for Doctor Strange. Humanity needs this more than you know. And keep him British.


So what did you think of the news? Let's talk about it in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!


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