Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm back from the grave... with another new toy at tow

How long has it been since my last post?... was it like half a year ago when I did that post on the Star Wars Speeder Bike... yes it has been more than six-months ago since that last update and seriously I feel a bit strange and alienated in front of the blog editor that once became the center of my universe and going through the usual routine was a breeze that I could even go about doing a blog post even with my eyes closed. But now I feel I need to go through some serious refresher course and start from scratch (well, I guess not REALLY starting from nada) or maybe I'm just exaggerating things and all I really need to do is familiarize myself once more with the "ol' routine" and I can say for certain that I'll be back in the saddle in no time.

Since my last post on the Speeder Bike I had eventually stocked up on a few toy hauls to my collection but I have lost track on the sequencing on what did I purchase first, but it really doesn't matter that much to me now and all I need to do is make up for lost time and come up with more new updates, and six-months is a very long time... but nonetheless let's cut the chit-chat and on to my first new post for 2013.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My new Star Wars Imperial Speeder Bike with Biker Scout figure from Kenner/Hasbro Japan (1995)

The current line of Star Wars toys today has come a long, long way from those that came out back in the late 1970's to early 1980's, but nonetheless, the classic line of toys (or more popularly known as 'The Vintage Collection') are still the ones that is in high demand from collectors everywhere.  As a kid I never had that much Star Wars toys in my collection and as far as I can remember I only had the Chewbacca and Stormtrooper figures and this nifty Speeder Bike vehicle which was given to me by a friend sometime around the 1980's. The two action figures are still with me though their individual weapons had been lost over the years and the Speeder Bike just disappeared mysteriously but I'm pretty sure that the two out of the three exploding parts of the bike had been missing ever since. My sister currently holds the record for the most number of Star Wars toys in her collection and it just keeps increasing every time I went to the mall and she'd ask favors from me to get her this and that. But I never realized that this day will come that I'd be reunited with a childhood toy that I truly cherished for the longest time... and I could never be happier.

A couple of days ago I went out to pick up some Star Wars toys that my sister ordered and among the items she purchased, I got for myself the Imperial Speeder Bike from Kenner/Hasbro Japan that came out in 1995 for only Php 600 (roughly around $14.00++). This version of the Speeder Bike has slightly improved compared to the one that I had before in terms of the paint job and its finish is much more detailed and precise unlike the first generation where it is outright plain and just simply looks like a toy. It still has the exploding function where you just press the button located at the back of the vehicle and the toy dismantles into three parts. It has been so many years since I neglectfully lost the first Speeder Bike that I had and this new one definitely brought back a lot of good memories and since I'm much older and wiser when it comes to taking care of my current toy collection, this baby will surely be handled with extra care.

The Biker Scout figure (or more popularly known as the Imperial Scout Stormtrooper) that came with the vehicle somehow changed drastically in 1995 in terms of its physical attributes but the articulation still was limited to bending knees and movable arms though not completely and making it stand straight for display or diorama purposes is no good since the Biker Scout was molded in a semi-slouch position and the legs are somehow stretched wide apart to to make the figure appear to be in riding position... and that's the gist of it. Your only option is to buy a separate Biker Scout figure if you want to play around with the Bike for photography purposes, that is if you can still find a Vintage Kenner figure of it selling somewhere and hopefully getting it at a reasonable price, these Vintage Collection figures can be quite expensive to purchase. But as of the moment, these lovelies will do for now and I'm as satisfied as hell with it! Here are some photos of the Speeder Bike I took yesterday and ain't it a looker? (Sorry guys, child-mode/fanboy in progress hehe) 'Til next time folks, stay safe always!...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Hatsune Miku Experience

Hatsune Miku has been one of the hottest anime characters ever to come out in recent times and every anime fan in this world knows who she is and surely they've got their own treasure trove of Miku items in their collection. Though I got to admit that I'm not that well-versed with this cutesy, green-haired babe and the only thing I know is that she rose to popularity initially as Yamaha Corporation's Vocaloid mascot and most of her toy figures (particularly the ones from Figma and such) are quite pricey nowadays... every now and then when I go to any toy shop you'll never miss the chance to spot a Hatsune Miku figure on display, whether it be the normal one, the Nendoroid version or even the statue version that can fetch a really hefty price tag... Hatsune is just everywhere!

The Hatsune Miku toy figure as a keychain accessory

Though that thought of Hatsune toy figures being expensive and all has prevented me from getting one (or at least gave me that urge to exert some effort to save up for it) doesn't mean that I won't be able to find a way to get myself one at a more "reasonable and affordable" price... as a random toy collector, it never was an issue for me on whether the item is genuine or bootleg (unlike some people I know) what's more important is that I get my money's worth on the toy and basically that's it. One time I was at Greenhills doing some rounds in search of good finds until I stopped by the Comic Alley branch where they were having a sale on selected items, though the shop there wasn't that big so getting to find something to buy is limited or worse, you may not find anything to purchase at all.

Hatsune Miku as display figure sans the keychain

As soon as I entered I began browsing thoroughly on their items on display, then on the center row I happen to chance upon some of these Hatsune Miku Nendoroid keychains hanging on one corner and they were selling for only Php 99.00 each (more or less around $2.00++), since there were like 3 to 4 pieces left on sale, I decided to pick the one with less defects or paint job flaws and bought it immediately. Somehow I can consider this as my very first Hatsune Miku figure though it's not a 6-incher nor a statue or even a genuine one, it still is a Hatsune Miku after all... like I've said, as a random toy collector, the specifics aren't a big factor to me in any way. Having to be a keychain wasn't much of a problem since all I had to do was to twist out the chain screwed on top of the figure's head and she's as good as an anime gashapon on its own. To make it stand, a mini plastic base with stand from one of my old Nendoroid toy figures took care of that problem and voila!... You can now see Hatsune Miku in all of her blissful state holding aloft two celery stalks on both hands.

Back portion of the Hatsune Miku toy figure

Since there isn't much articulation on this figure and basically it is just good for display purposes so I'm limited to these three photos I took of her, but nevertheless I hope you guys like it. So until next time, folks... stay safe always!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nifty toy finds: Crystal Warrior DX Fighter Water from Bandai (part 2)

Recently, I got to feature this cool toy find that I've purchased dirt cheap at the SM Toy Express a couple of months ago which was the Crystal Warrior DX Fighter Magical spacecraft from Bandai, and for those who are not familiar with Crystal Warrior, China took the initiative to come up with their own original Super Sentai heroes to compete against their more popular Japanese and U.S. counterparts.. though honestly it took me a little bit of effort to find out more about them over the internet since there wasn't that much talk about them and I couldn't get to find any website (official or fan-based) to support my blog article.. only from a handful of forums did I manage to get the information I wanted about Crystal Warrior, though it wasn't that much but it was a lot of help. Bandai somehow stepped in to support the creators of Crystal Warrior by handling their merchandising and they came up with a fair number of toys comprising of figures and spacecrafts.. and that's the gist of it.

What caught my attention from the Crystal Warrior toy line being sold on sale at Toy Express were the spacecrafts since at that time the store sold only the bigger versions of the main Sentai characters and getting just a few of them can be a huge nightmare for my already cramped bedroom, the spacecrafts were more manageable and looking for a spot to place them in was easy. Out of the 5 spacecrafts selling, I only got two from the collection... and now I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the Crystal Warrior DX Fighter Water spacecraft.

The price for this baby is the same as the DX Fighter Magical (around Php 60 or roughly around $1.00++) and even though they were both manufactured by Bandai, I really wasn't that impressed with some of the toy's physical attributes, in terms of the colorways and the detailing but you can see and feel that it's sturdy (which is synonymous to Bandai's excellence in toy quality) and not some knock-off toy that can break easily after some time. For some strange reason I got the urge to take out my camera and take snapshots of the DX Fighter Water yesterday afternoon and here are some of them that you can check after the article. Hope you like it guys and 'til next time, stay safe always!

(*Click on the images for larger view and more photos inside)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nifty toy finds: Crystal Warrior DX Fighter Magical from Bandai

It was quite unfortunate for me to have not attended the recently concluded ToyCon 2012 held at the SM Megamall due to unforeseen circumstances last Saturday (the second day of the event) and I couldn't even attend the last day yesterday since I had to stay home for a simple celebration with the family. I guess I'll have to wait for the next ToyCon to be able to do my annual pilgrimage in the land of toys and cosplay... Anyways, it has been quite a while since my last update and I have here now with me another good toy find that I have purchased recently and though at first the item wasn't quite that familiar with yours truly and the toy was literally "shrouded in mystery" from the moment I took it off from the shelves and as I carefully checked the packaging, the only defining factor from its anonymity is the Bandai logo which means that this is legit and in no way can it be some bootleg toy manufactured in some far-flung corner of the world. And I'm talking about the Crystal Warrior DX Fighter Magical spacecraft...

I was at the SM Toy Express (a toy discount store chain here in the Philippines) about a month ago when I saw this plus three other spacecraft variables being sold for only Php 60 (roughly around $1.00++) from its original price of Php 120 per variable. Since these toys were not that familiar with me, I decided to get for myself 2 out of the 4 available spacecrafts and check them out first before I can decide to acquire all of them. As soon as I got home, I did some little research on Crystal Warrior and found out that they are somewhat China's answer to the more popular Sentai heroes of Japan and the U.S. but as of to date, these Chinese Sentai heroes are still quite unfamiliar to most people... or I could be wrong. There were a few personal blogs and forums discussing about Crystal Warrior and since Bandai took them in to handle their toy merchandising, it has somehow, in some other way, helped boost their franchising though it wasn't enough to get them flourishing in today's mainstream Sentai market.

Going back, I decided to unbox the DX Fighter Magical and I must say that the toy item isn't that bad at all, in fact the spacecraft has the resemblance of a crossover between a F-117 Stealth Fighter and an F-2 Stealth Bomber when its wings are clipped. Paint job on the toy is quite average having just the cockpit/canopy glass painted partly in blue while some parts were painted in black and the rest are in white. The item is purely made of plastic though it doesn't give you that cheap feel of plastic toys that you get off the sidestreets from some toy vendor selling bootleg toys or something like that. Overall, it's not that bad nor is it at par with very good quality toys synonymous to the Bandai brand and their products. It is somewhere in the middle where quality is up a notch from average with a price tag that is reasonable to those who are just random toy collectors looking for good bargain finds.

It was only yesterday afternoon that I took some snapshots of the item since I was preoccupied in recent times with other stuff (including some bouts of laziness attacks) and I have managed to come up with a photo set that you can see in its entirety over at our Facebook page. Here are some photo samples of the toy and hope you guys like it. 'Til next time guys, stay safe always!

(*Click on the images for larger view and more photos inside)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Unknown kawaii gashapon...

Hey there folks! It's been quite a while since my last post update and yet again I would like to apologize for my long absence here on Made in X since yours truly have been preoccupied with other things and I somehow sidetracked with all of my blog post updates. Anyways it is nice to know that there are still a handful of you guys out there checking out my blog and I can't thank each and everyone of you enough for doing so, very much appreciated! On today's post I have here another good find that I purchased a couple of weeks ago from the toy shop that I frequent to and since I got it as a loose item for Php 100 (roughly around $2.00 something) I never got any concrete info on this gashapon though the female anime character looks familiar and that's the gist of it, no more, no less. But in any case she is definitely cute... no issues on the paint job and molding as well.

Though I have several guesses on the anime figure but either way I still can't make anything out of it on whether she came from an anime series or a PC/console game, though her outfit suggests that she may be some game character taken from a particular MMORPG but then again I might be wrong so it's identity is yet on a standstill. I have managed to take some snapshots of it and you can find more of the photos after the jump.

So until next time folks, stay safe always and I'll try my very best to give you more toy updates in the coming days here on Made in X. Thank you!

(*Click on the images for larger view and more photos inside)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Marvel Spider Man Classics Juggernaut Action Figure (2008)

The Unstoppable Juggernaut from Marvel (2008)

Ever since The Uncanny X-Men became a huge hit here in the Philippines, I can say that I was one of those very few individuals who never really "rooted" for the main mutant characters belonging to Professor Xavier's team, I mean Wolverine, Cyclops, Gambit et al are cool and all but the guys who were on the sidelines, so to speak, had the most impact on me. I guess I find them more ubër cool in terms of their attitude, aura, physical attributes and mutant powers all rolled into one character... and I have two particular human mutants that I really like. On Professor Xavier's side, Piotr "Peter" Nikolaievitch Rasputin or more popularly known as the mighty Colossus and his arch enemy from Magneto's team, Cain Marko or a.k.a. The Unstoppable Juggernaut. From comic books to the big screen, seeing these two mighty mutants collide was just plain awesome! It is like seeing David turned into a living, breathing chunk of organic steel fighting off a monstrous Goliath wearing a gigantic metal helmet with virtually an unstoppable momentum for total destruction.

When the X-Men action figures came out, I was bent on having one Colossus and one Juggernaut figure sometime soon, up until recently Marvel Select did an awesome job with their version of Colossus and I was just blown away with what they did to the Juggernaut figure as well!... it's huge, massive, very well detailed and worth the money you'll be spending on this item! The only petty issue I got with these Marvel Select goodies is that they are quite big in size and currently there is no way I can display them inside my cramped room and getting myself a new display cabinet may be the possible solution though sadly I can't afford to buy one right now. Having this dilemma is such a pain but a couple of weeks back I was lucky enough to have for myself a smaller version of Juggernaut that I purchased as a good conditioned loose item. It may not be overflowing with superb awesomeness like its Marvel Select counterpart but it is still worth having.

Removing the helmet will reveal his alter ego, the human-mutant Cain Marko

Released in 2008 by Marvel under the Spider Man Super Villain toy line, Juggernaut looks more proportioned in terms of its physical ratio and his built is more vertically lean. The only sole accessory you get to have with this action figure is his removable helmet that you can place over or remove to reveal his alter ego as the human-mutant Cain Marko with his head draped with a leather headgear. So far posing the figure has given me no problems and articulation is good enough to make him go into several action poses. I got the item for Php 395 (around $3.00++) though there are other toy shops selling him (as a loose item) at a more expensive price so technically it was a good steal for me and not quite bad for my first Juggernaut action figure.

Earlier this afternoon I decided to take out my camera and finally take snapshots of Juggernaut inside my tabletop studio. I've posted some of the other photos inside so please do check them out guys and I hope you all like it... until next time, stay safe always!

(*Click on the images for larger view and more photos inside)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yes Virginia, there is such a thing called 'Toy Destiny'...

War Machine from Marvel-Hasbro
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect for this opportunity to come, and just when I thought that I had totally given up in finding a mini 3-inch figure of War Machine to somehow complete my Iron Man 2 collection... there they were... staring literally right in front of me... hanging on display at a famous toy discount store. I was in complete bliss! Where have you been all my life?!.. Is this real?!.. For heaven's sake somebody pinch me and tell me this isn't a dream! Instinctively I grabbed the very first War Machine figure I saw in front of me and knowing that there might be another one hidden somewhere, I began to thoroughly search each and every row I came across and bingo! Saw another one lurking somewhere in the middle section and immediately took it as well.

Before I continue folks, let me give you a brief rundown on the entire story behind my constant search for that elusive 3-inch War Machine figure for all of you guys to know what I have been blabbing just earlier... Marvel/Hasbro came up with this Iron Man 2 line-up of toys (which includes the 3-inchers) during the world premiere of the second Iron Man movie back in 2010. Eventually the excess stocks of Iron Man 2 toys went on sale around middle to late last year (2011) and that was the only time I was able to purchase the Mark III, Mark V and Mark VI since their prices were slashed by half. The 3-inchers were as abundant as it can be and all I had to do was carefully choose the better one where there were no issues with the paint job, cosmetic defects and so forth. And in that line-up, War Machine and the Tactical Assault Drone are also included... but not even one of these figures was to be found selling or even hiding somewhere from the Marvel Toy Section! Talk about "intentional scarcity" where some individuals would hoard the items that they know would be the most wanted by fans and collectors alike and jack-up their prices 2 to 3 times more! I couldn't care less about the Tactical Assault Drone if I don't get to buy it, but come hell or high waters I must have just even one War Machine figure... just one figure to complete my collection and that's it! Sadly weeks turned to months and months into years, and eventually I've decided to give up my search for those War Machine 3-inch figures because for one thing, I know for a fact that there are other toy shops who has those and as much as I want that item, I will not even dare to shell out my money for something that they are selling way too high than its intended retail price. But I guess it was indeed my destiny to cross paths with this baby and all I needed was to wait for a looonnnggg time, but it paid off quite well! I bought the two War Machine figures I found on the spot and went home feeling, as always, like a winner!

Despite being small with several paint job issues, this figure is still worth having!

I've posted some of the photos I took earlier and honestly, despite its small frame and limited posing action, this War Machine figure just looks awesome from every angle you look! No wonder every single War Machine item, from the smallest to the biggest figure, were selling out fast! Iron Man rocks big time no doubt about it, but there's something about the War Machine suit that gains (slightly) the upper hand than that of the other Tony Stark masterpieces... the colors? The payload of weaponry? Maybe these two factors have contributed greatly in making James Rhodes' alter-ego look really bad-ass! 'Til next time folks, stay safe always!

(*Click on the images for larger view and more photos inside)