Friday, December 30, 2005

Paolo Parente's Dust KV-47 Tactical Armor

Ok, so i'm a little slow. The KV-47 Tactical Armor shown here came out ages ago. Since this is not necessarily a toy news blog, give me a little slack. I first saw this hulking figure a ways back in a toy store when it was going for like $89 and it didn't include any of the extra figures. Recently I saw a version in Hobby Japan that caught my eye specifically because of the tiny German figure with of duck tape as her bra! For those of you old enough, you might remember Wendy O. Williams from the Plasmatics! Finally I saw this set in LA's Chinatown for a very reasonable $59 including the aforementioned Wendy O. Williams figurine, but I didn't buy it. I figured if it was $59 in a retail store, I must be able to get it cheaper online. Alas, this time I appear to be wrong as I see them online for $65 on up. ugh. Damn the retail stores! Damn the web!

So I did a little more research and found out the KV-47 Tactical Armor figure comes from a comic by Paolo Parente called "Dust". It's about an alternate universe where the Germans and Japanese win World War II. I guess if the Germans won, we would see a lot more duct tape on nipples! It's an interesting idea, a popular comic. I love the mecha designs as they look like they belong in WWII, but have a very interesting alternative bi-podal Japanese design aesthetic as well. The sets came in three different versions: the one above left, a winter version and the Wendy O. Williams version. The other figures you see here are custom kits that I don't believe have been released as figures yet.

Joe Ledbetter is Hotter than a Firecat!!!!

So I was down in my hometown of LA for Christmas and while having Dim Sum at Empress Pavillon in Chinatown, I stumbled across this quirky little hipster toy store called Munky King. Munky King is very much in the same vein as Kid Robot featuring Urban Vinyl, mini figures, limited edition artwork, custom toys and figures, T-shirts, etc. Stores like this seem to be popping everywhere as artists are turning to toys as their next art medium. It was behind the counter at Munky King where I first got a glimpse of Joe Ledbetter's Firecat. It was an interesting piece even from afar. It looked like it was a 3D cartoon drawing. I asked the guy: "what is that?!" He said, "oh, that's not for sale - that's Ledbetter's Firecat. They sold out like in the first hour we had them. Only 400 made total."

Joe Ledbetter is a self-taught artist living in LA. You might expect to see his interesting art on a wall somewhere in Santa Monica as grafitti, but he's made quite a name for himself in the art community along with other guys you might know, like Gary Baseman and Tim Biskup. Recently, he released his first two toys: his signature Mr. Bunny in yellow limited to 400 pieces and an ultra-exclusive ice-blue version limited to 100 pieces. He followed this up with his very cool red-hot Firecat in a limited edition of 400 pieces and a super-duper exclusive Icecat version of 100 pieces. I had the benefit of picking Firecat up at Munky King and I have to say, it's a very well-made toy. It's made by those whackos over at Wheaty Wheat Studios. It might be hard to tell, but Ledbetter's toys look like a 3D version of his drawings. They are amazing in their simplicity, yet feature all these cool angles and edges as if Mr. Bunny and Firecat jumped off the page and into your hands.

I did a little research online and apparently everyone has been waiting for this buggers to come out since last June. When they finally did hit the streets for $90 retail, most of them were already sold. A quick search on eBay has Mr. Bunny yellow version going for almost 300% retail at around $275. The Iceblue version will cost you nearly $500. Firecat is going for a bit more reasonable $200, but the Icecat version will cost almost $500 as well. The way I look at it is $200 or even $500 is not a huge amount to pay for a piece of artwork. It is a huge amount to pay for a toy, but not art. It's up to you to decide if it's art or a toy. All I know is I want both Mr. Bunny and Firecat in both versions. I might have to settle for paying $200 for the Firecat on eBay.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bandai's Latest S.I.C.: Akumaizer 3!!!

The latest in Bandai's Superb Super Imaginative Chogokin (S.I.C.) line is another throwback to your yester-year circa 1970-ish. This Trifecta Trio of Akumaizer Three (3) is a terriffic tasting treat featuring three figures in one package! As with all S.I.C. figures, these guys feature some of the best sculpting, paint, accessories and weapons in the business! Akumaizer 3 features multiple heads, hands and weapons to keep you busy. I especially like the Blue guy (except for his kinda gross head). $50 is not bad considering you are getting three detailed and excellent figures. You would normally expect to pay that much just for one! $65 INCLUDING overseas shipping from our friends at Hobby Link Japan. You might get it quicker if order it from our other friends at Action-HQ but expect to pay $79 not including overseas shipping. Click on one of the links to the right, tough guy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chirico Action Figure Gallery

The slow boat from Japan finally arrived and I got my Votoms Scopedog Chirico Action Figure at long last. Made by Yamato, you may remember way back in October, I posted an article about getting the RIGHT Chirico Action Figure as Takara was putting out a microman version of Chirico around the same time as Yamato. The Yamato version shown here is much more detailed, higher quality, nicer paint job and very natural articulation. Chirico comes painted in a nice matte finish with very nice shading to show off his muscles and bunching in his baggy pants. Notice the eyes on the head! The articulation is very nicely done with elbow and knees pads to hide the joints but allowing for some very cool and natural looking positions. It reminds me of the articulation from the original Kaiyodo Evangelion figures which at the time was second to none. Chirico comes with a belt with a working holster for the included blaster pistol. The holster even swivels to allow for this cool cross-draw. I found him very balanced and easy to pose standing up which is not something I can say for all action figures. He

comes with two heads and several sets of hands for each head. If you're into Votoms, this figure is a no-brainer and you probably already own it. It's an absolute must if you have, or plan on getting the massive Scopedog in which this figure sits into. At over $35 for this figure, it's not cheap by any means, but I think it's worth paying for quality.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Only Cool Saint Seiya Action Figure

I'm not a Saint Seiya fan. I don't have anything against Saint Seiya. I'm just not a fan. However, if there was one figure that could make me a fan, it would be this Hades Wyvern Radamanteis figure. This guy is baaaddddassssss. Check out his cool armor in that metallic purple color. You can take it off to create the Hades Dragon as well. It's on sale at Action HQ for $49 BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE the metal insignia plate which is this little coin-like stamp that comes with each figure. There must be quite a market for these plates over at Action HQ as several of their figures don't come with the plate. If you don't care, order away and save some bucks.

New CI Boys: Gundam, Sh:t Fighter and XBOX Characters

CI Boys are at it again. Continuing with their hallmark tradition of imitating popular character series, their latests sets are no exception. Today we have examples from Microsoft's XBOX video game characters, Capcom's Street Fighter, and Bandai's Gundam series. Buy them by the piece or the entire set. They range in price from a couple of dollars for each character all the way up to over $100 for rare sets. My favorite place to buy CI Boys on the web is TallTallCat shop on eBay. They have the greatest CI Boy selection by far and will create sets for you or just sell you individual pieces. This takes the nasty problem of blind assortments out of the picture. Check them out at TallTallCat Shop on eBay

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Fewture EX Gokin Getter 1, 2 & 3 Coming in January, Hopefully

Follow-Up to the post on Black Getter: From the cool guys at Zinc Panic "The EX Gokin series of Getter Robo figures from Fewture Models is planned to include Black Getter, Getter 1, Getter 2, and Getter 3 -- in that order. Black Getter is locked in as a Hobby Japan mail in exclusive, costing ¥24,800. It's not been decided if the other three will or won't be similar magazine exclusives.Black Getter should ship in August, with his cohorts following every other month after. If the others remain magazine exclusives, the price will likely not budge. If they go into the channel, the price is expected to be something in the ¥20,000 range.Black Getter is described as about half metal, also with heavy use of ABS, standing at about ten inches tall."

Do you see these guys??? Holy Gazebo Getter!! Fewture is outdoing themselves with Getter 1, 2 & 3. Look at the details on the arms of Getter 3!! Hey, I think Getter 2 has my drill bit on his left arm. Seriously, i've been looking for that...$200 bones each is not cheap by any means, but look at these things! They look like they could rip you in half! These guys are Baaadaaaaassss!

Macross 1/100 VB-6 Koenig MONSTER

Let's face it, transformable robots are cool. I've always been into Macross since I was a kid. A couple of years ago, I got theMacross Plus DVD movie which is quite good. When Yamato first began making the transformable Valkyries years ago, I was one of the first to pick one up. I was totally enamored with how it transformed into three different modes including Robot, "Gerwalk" (inbetween) and Jet. The engineering is amazing and the high-quality figure made for a fine addition to any collection. Over the years, Valkyries kinda slipped under the radar for me. I haven't purchased any additional Valkyries to add to my collection for some unknown reason. I think my thought process was that once you had one Valkyrie, you kinda had them all since they look similar. Now there are a ton of different versions made by different manufacturers with varying costs, materials and quality. For hardcore collectors such as yourself, I would suggest sticking to Yamato which makes several versions in different price points to suit your needs.

What brought me to this post is that I recently saw a macross toy that I have never seen before. It's not a Valkyrie, but this crazy ship called the "Koenig Monster". This think is AWESOME! It's like the Hummer of the Macross universe! It's some kind of heavy drop ship with unbelievable firepower. Love those canons! I love how beefy and stocky is looks in any mode be it "Shuttle", Gerwalk or "Destroid". This one Macross toy has made me take another look at the whole Macross toy universe and seriously consider picking up a couple of new additions to my Faithful YF-19. The pictures below are some of versions that I might consider including the Koenig Monster of course. Pick up the Koenig Monster at Hobby Link Japan for around $127 not including overseas shipping. Still in stock now!!

Get the HLJ "Early Bird" special on Yamato's amazing new VF-1S Variable Fighter!! From HLJ: "Complete transformation and superb detail, in a size that truly calls for two hands! Yamato's new VF-1S Variable Fighter does jaw-dropping justice to the Valkyrie piloted by Hikaru Ichijo in the movie Macross: Do You Remember Love? ! A pioneer in bringing to us 1/48-scale transforming Valkyrie toys, Yamato takes advantage of the opportunities offered by this immense scale -- such as a detailed cockpit with removable pilot figure, opening cockpit hatch and nosecone complete with radome, and individually posable fingertips! Weapons are included to mount or remove as you please. All in a dramatic window box with velcro-seal opening cover. Full-color instruction booklet is included. The ultimate in Valkyries, and in huge demand--get yours before they're gone!" Get it before January 6th from Hobby Link Japan for around $121 not including overseas shipping.

How about the very interesting and alien 1/60 Queadluun-Rau? "The Queadluun-Rau, customised for Max Jenius in bright blue, is fully completed in sturdy plastic, and painted; it even comes with optional missile launchers. The shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are jointed; the cockpit opens and closes, though no figure of Max is included. Even the manipulators on this snazzy beast are indvidually jointed. Unlike the completed Valkyries that Yamato's released, the Queadluun-Rau is fully-marked, and no stickers are included or necessary. Just remove it from the package and play or display!" I think it's very cool and no Macross collection should be without. They also have an older version in red. Check it out for around $84 not including overseas shipping from Hobby Link Japan

How about the affordable 1/65 version of the VF-17 S Stealth Fighter from Bandai? From Japan Toy Link: "This item is a completed posable action toy designed for collector. Fully-transformable of VF-17 S Stealth Valkyrie from the series "Macross". Can be transforms from fighter to gerwalk and battroid modes, without having to remove any pieces except the gun (gun is included but requires some assembly). Made from tough ABS plastic with metal hinge points. Excellent detail and paint job. It does not require either painting or cement to complete or use." Get it now while in stock for $75 at Japanese Toy Link.

How about the VT-1 Ostrich? "This item is posable die-cast metal with ABS plastic action toy designed for collectors. The two-seater trainer Valkyrie from Macross "Do You Remember Love" comes in 1/60 scale, and fully-transformable from Fighter to Gerwalk to Battroid mode. It comes complete with Fast Pack parts, trademark large propellant tanks and no weaponry. Two figures are included in the cockpit. It does not require either cement or painting to complete or use." Get it while in stock for $95 from Japanese Toy Link

Harder to find Valkyries:

1/72 YF-21 with Fastpack:
1/48 Super VF-1J Miriya Valkyrie

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Black Getter Hobby Japan Magazine Exclusive Coming in January!!!

The long anticipated Hobby Japan Magazine exclusive EX Gokin Black Getter Action figure from Fewture has been victim to several delays due to build quality according to Zinc Panic: "The letter explains: The toy ended up heavier than thought, over two and a half pounds. As a result, the toy is being reinforced, and extra detents are being tooled into the joints. Production time, then, is lengthened, and the toy is delayed. The end of August becomes the first half of November". Another update from the boys at Zinc: "Due to production bugs, the endless strive for quality, and the already maxed out industry shipping capacity during this season, EX Gokin Black Getter is now scheduled for mid January".

This figure part die-cast and part ABS plastic better be good for all the production delays not to mention it's $349 price tag! Yowie! Not sure from the pictures what you get for $350 bones besides a nice action figure. I mean does it transform or something? How about make lattes? I might pay $350 if it made me a latte... You can pre-order it from our new friends at Japanese Toy Link which has quite a nice site dedicated to all the cool Japanese toys that we like and none of the crap that we don't.

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