Archives

All posts for the month April, 2014

The 1989 Batman live action movie is considered one of the better batman movies that have been made. With Jack Nicholson playing the Joker, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Tim Burton directing, there was an enjoyable mix of story and action with two great actors bringing their talent to the roles. Being a popular, comic book based movie there has always been a lot of merchandise both at the time of the movie, and after. There have been some good collectibles/toys made (Kenner) some excellent ones(Hot Toys) and then there are Kubricks which fill another different niche all together!

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_01

Name: Batman, Joker
Line: Kubrick
Manufacturer: Medicom
Released: 2004
Price: Then – 1,200 YEN Now – 5,000 – 10,000 YEN
Scale: 3.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Batman – Bat-a-rang, Joker – long nose pistol.

 

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_02

For me the Kubrick figure is a type of toy/collectible I would only ever associate with Japan. Even though it shares similarities with Lego, if I were to put together a short list of toys that instantly make you think of Japan Kubrick would be one of them. Their simplicity is one aspect that really appeals to me; how a character is broken down to about as basic as can be, but still is a great representation of the character. This is definitely part of the Kubrick charm in my opinion.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_03

SCULPTING
Kubricks are made using a base body and then adding extra pieces to them to make up a character. The base body consists of smooth flat surfaces it works well as a blank canvas for the character to be created on. For Batman and Joker they have additional pieces added to them to complete the character: Batman has his cowl, an added chest piece, his utility belt and his cape; Joker has his coat body piece and his hair/hat head attachment. All these parts are fairly simple in appearance and look authentic to the characters they are meant to be.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_04

PAINT
The paint application is the other part of the puzzle to really make Kubricks look great! Batman is limited to his head underneath the cowl, bat symbol on his chest and yellow utility belt. Joker has the most detail, with his clothes and head having a lot of detail added to them. Both Batman and Joker, although simplified, still evoke the characters quite well, so there is no mistaking who they are supposed to be. The head underneath Batman’s cowl even looks like Keaton too!

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_05

ARTICULATION
Kubricks will in most cases share the same amount of articulation unless hindered by an accessory (the Alien space suits for example). Kubricks have the following basic articulation: swivel head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel hands, swivel waist and ball-jointed hips. These joints are meant to mirror human movement and they accomplish that quite well for each joint’s simplicity. You can get some decent pose, but just like the movie batman’s cowl restricts his head movement. Also, Joker’s coat tails restrict the waist a little bit. In most cases the neutral arms down by the sides, legs straight AKA straight out of the package pose works best.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_06

ACCESSORIES
Both Kubricks come with appropriate accessories. Batman has his Bat-a-rang and Joker, his long nose pistol (used near the end of the movie). They are sculpted well and look nice; they are also cast in the colour they are meant to be. They also both fit into the characters hands without much effort and stay put too.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_07

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Not too many things I can think of. Perhaps, losing the tiny accessories or even the hands as they can come out fairly easily. These are made for collectors however, so they should be well taken care of.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_08

PRICE
Here is where it starts to get a little nuts. These figures, as cool as they look, are very small. So when they double or even triple in price, you really have to be asking yourself is it worth it to pay so much for such a small toy? If these were larger figure, I don’t think the price would be too bad. But for their size I don’t think the price inflation is justified, no matter how rare they are considered to be. Anything above $50 AUD for a MOC figure is asking too much in my opinion. Especially if they are loose too. Most other Kubricks go for $30 AUD loose and that is a more appropriate price.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_09

OVERALL
Kubricks in general are always going to be cool. The designs are that perfect combination of simplicity and detail and even the stylized faces still convey the characters quite well. These two figures are great and really look cool together. If you can find them and for a decent price, it’s worth picking them up if you are a Batman fan, but also if you are a Kubrick fan. They are just that good.

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_010

Medicom_Kubrick_Joker_Batman_011

 

Like Mike’s Toy Blog on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts and content!

 

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.

 

The Predator is one of my favorite movie monster designs. I really love the original design by Stan Winston from Predator and to a lessor extent Predator 2. I always liked the end scene in Predator 2 when Danny Glover’s character Mike Harrigan is surrounded by the other Predators from that clan after killing the City Hunter Predator. The uniqueness of each Predator’s design I feel inspires me to try to make my own Predator figures.

NECA has made a lot of predator figures by now and that makes it a little easier to put together a custom one. This is my first custom NECA Predator which I’ve nicknamed ‘Gremlin Predator’ mainly due to the green skin pattern and mask design. I’ve got at least one more custom Predator in the works, which I’ll post when it’s finished

This custom uses parts from a couple of Predators: Guardian/Gort, P1 and Borg/Lost. I repainted the armour brown with a metallic dry-brush to bring out the details. I’ve quite happy with the results.

NOTE: since taking the photos I’ve also added the Predator 1 bone necklaces to help add a little bit more character to the figure.

NECA_Gremlin_Predator_01

     NECA_Gremlin_Predator_02

NECA_Gremlin_Predator_03

NECA_Gremlin_Predator_04

      NECA_Gremlin_Predator_05

      NECA_Gremlin_Predator_06

NECA_Gremlin_Predator_07

NECA_Gremlin_Predator_08

     NECA_Gremlin_Predator_09

NECA_Gremlin_Predator_10

Like Mike’s Toy Blog on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts and content!

Check out my previous NECA Predator custom/repaint HERE.

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.

 

Real X Head is a small Japanese company run by Mori Katsura, who makes vinyl toys. Over the years there have been a number of figures and variations released as well as collaborations with other people or stores. Shinto-san is a larger size figure then the usual RealXHead figures, who shares similar features to a certain anime character who also wears an orange gi, not to mention a colour-way homage too.
RealXHead_Shinto_san_01

Name: Shinto-san
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: RealXHead
Released: 2009
Price: 5,500 YEN
Scale: 9.5 Inches in height
Accessories: None

RealXHead_Shinto_san_02

While looking for other RealXHead products I came across a Shinto-san, a flesh coloured version from One Up Akiba. I ended up buying that and a black and white version too. At a later date I was able to pick up this pink version from RotoFugi (If you get the chance, check out their website as they have some great stuff on there!) which I think looks pretty cool too. Seeing information and reviews are scarce for Shinto-san I decided to share my thoughts on this awesome figure from RealXHead.

RealXHead_Shinto_san_03

SCULPTING

As with all RealXHead products the sculpting is always really well done. On one side of his body Shinto-san has fur-like texturing, while the other side is smooth. I’m not sure why this is the case, but I really like the contrast. The head reminds me a lot of a troll doll mixed with the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys, with funky anime style back swept hair and the small tail is cool too. He also sports a tattered gi and wrist/ankle wraps. Shinto-san is definitely ready to rumble!

RealXHead_Shinto_san_04

PAINT

Shinto-san sports mainly black paint for his outfit, with light pink highlights and red hair with white eyebrows. All paint applications are clean and crisp, with no slop what-so-ever. His skin tone is cast in pink with speckles in it and once again we have those brilliant doll eyes which look so cool!

RealXHead_Shinto_san_05

ARTICULATION

Articulation for Shinto-san is limited with head, waist and both arms at the shoulder being able to swivel 360 degrees. The head is restricted by the top of his gi however. This is pretty much the standard for most RealXHead figures. The articulation allows you to get a few good poses out of him, but as I said before is limited.

RealXHead_Shinto_san_06

ACCESSORIES

No accessories are included with Shinto-san.

RealXHead_Shinto_san_07

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

No problems at all.

RealXHead_Shinto_san_08

PRICE

I paid about $70 for Shinto-san plus shipping, being a larger figure I don’t think that’s too bad, however Shinto-san can be bought for anywhere between 3,500 – 5,500 YEN so if possible it’s best to shop around for a good price.

RealXHead_Shinto_san_09

OVERALL

I like Shinto-san as it’s nice to have a larger Sofubi figure which towers over the other smaller figures on a shelf. As a stand-alone figure, I think Shinto-san is great as its size is impressive and appearance pretty cool in a retro kind of way. If you are thinking about buying one, I would say don’t think about it for too long as Shinto-san seems pretty popular and you won’t regret the decision once you have one in your collection!

RealXHead_Shinto_san_10

Like Mike’s Toy Blog on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts and content!

 

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.

I’m slowly growing a small NECA Predator collection. After buying the Lava Planet Predator I picked up a few more. But top of my list was the original Predator. Unfortunately no perfect version existed, as the only version I could find, made in that translucent plastic, was the version that came with dutch in a two pack and it was “battle damaged” so after replacing the armour needed and a little bit of repainting on the actual figure, I just needed a new head.

I managed to snag a classic predator with open mouth off eBay (Thankfuly not a cheap knock off from china as eBay is swamped with them!) and after a few washes, paint touch up, dry brushing and a clear gloss coat, it matches the new body almost perfectly. Just goes to show the power of good paint application!

NECA_P1_Predator_01

NECA_P1_Predator_02

NECA_P1_Predator_03

NECA_P1_Predator_04

NECA_P1_Predator_05

NECA_P1_Predator_06

NECA_P1_Predator_07

NECA_P1_Predator_08

NECA_P1_Predator_09

NECA_P1_Predator_10

Like Mike’s Toy Blog on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts and content!

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.

 

NECA has been making 6-8 inch Aliens and Predator figures for a while now, and a Dutch figure has been in demand for a long time from fans. We did get one from Hot Toys a while ago, but now  NECA is bringing us a whole stack of 7 inch figures with series 9 of their Predators line they have released two more Dutch variants along with a Predator variant.  One such variant being Jungle Encounter Dutch.

NECA_dutch_01

Name: Jungle Encounter Dutch
Line: Predators
Manufacturer: NECA
Released: 2013
Price: $25.00 AUD
Scale: 6.9 Inches in height
Accessories: one assault rifle, one pistol, one knife.

NECA_dutch_02

I’ve slowly been getting back into the small scale action figure scene, mainly thanks to Mattel with their WWE wrestling figures and now also thanks to NECA with their ever expanding range of Alien and Predator figures. I recently reviewed their Lava Planet Predator update and was quite impressed by it. I knew about Dutch and his many variations but was trying to hold off from buying one. I finally caved in and bought one and once again I’m pleasantly surprised.

NECA_dutch_03

SCULPTING

One of the most critical aspects about this figure is how close Dutch will look to the source material and how close Dutch will look to Arnold Schwarzenegger. NECA have pulled this off quite well and I was very impressed with the likeness of this figure, there’s no mistaking it for anyone else other then Schwarzenegger, in his 80’s glory. The work on the chest and arms is excellent too; not to mention the pants, boots and tactical vest are great. There are many nice details and folds sculpted that all look nice and natural. I was really blown away by how at this scale the figure is really just that good.

NECA_dutch_04

PAINT

The paint on this figure is top notch, NECA have hit this one out of the park. The flesh tones are created by first using a base cast in a white and ever-so-slightly translucent plastic with flesh washes over the top. These washes really bring out the detail and help to make Dutch look as life like as he can get for the price and size. The ‘camo’ on the face looks great too and the pattern on Dutch’s pants is amazing! His tactical vest is cast in black, which is fine as it doesn’t harm its appearance too much. One thing is that the paint apps on the face can be a little hit and miss, so you still have to pick one up in person to make sure you get one you like, but besides this, it’s still a great job by NECA.

NECA_dutch_05

ARTICULATION

Dutch comes with a lot of articulation. Enough to get all the poses you would want out of him without too much trouble, as you can see from the photos I could get a good number of action poses from Dutch, he’s pretty much a dream to pose. The articulation for Dutch is as follows: ball jointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, ball joint wrists, ball joint chest and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel/hinge knees, top of the boots swivel 360 degrees and ball joint/rocker ankles. NECA are doing a great job giving us a good balance of articulation that works with or is hidden by the sculpting. None of Dutch’s joints look odd or unnatural either.

NECA_dutch_06

ACCESSORIES

Dutch comes with his M-16 assault rifle with grenade launcher attachment, a pistol and combat knife. All these accessories look great; the assault rifle is the stand out for me seeing it pretty much oozes awesomeness; the pistol is nice to have, but I don’t really recall Dutch using it much in the movie. The knife unfortunately can’t really be used by Dutch at all, as his hand can’t really hold it properly – best to leave that one in its sheath.

NECA_dutch_07

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

My main complaint is that Dutch wants to fall over every now and then when I’m not looking. This is a typical NECA problem with their figures and sometimes it can get frustrating having one fall over and take out other figures in front of it (The Predator 2 preds and Corporal Hicks love to do this). This is a problem they really need to work on and the other one being their production control on their paint apps – I would love to be able to order NECA figures online, but the risk of getting a horribly painted figure is too great, so I have to resort to buying them in person where I can. There are a lot of companies that can get this right, it’s a shame NECA still struggle with this as it can really hurt the figure big time, especially seeing these figures are aimed at collectors, not kids.

NECA_dutch_08

PRICE

I purchased my Dutch figure for $25.00 AUD from a great store here in Sydney called ‘Anime at Abbottsford’. I was happy with the price and I’m friends with the owners – Bradley and Hansen (they even went upstairs to check if they had any extra figures as the one on the shelf had a bad paint app on it and found two more to choose from!). If you are able to, please check out their store as they really go all out to help you and have excellent customer service. With that said, $25 was good deal for a NECA figure here in Aus.

NECA_dutch_09

OVERALL

This figure was a slow burn for me, as far as purchasing it goes. I knew it existed, I knew it was good, but I didn’t want to pull the trigger on it straight away. Now that I have it, I’m glad I did get it as it fills a void on my shelf of small scale action heroes. If ‘Predator’ is one of your favourite movies, then there is no other choice then to go out and buy this figure ASAP. It’s just that good. NECA deserve a pat on the back for this one and it’s good to see them really pick up their game of late. The figure isn’t without its issues but overall it ticks all the boxes for me. It makes it very hard not to go and pick up a Rambo too now to compliment Dutch!

NECA_dutch_10

NECA_dutch_11

Like Mike’s Toy Blog on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts and content!

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.

Negora is a small Godzilla-like feline, the original design created by Japanese artist KONATSU and the figure being  produced by the American company MAX TOY CO.

Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_01

Name: X-Ray Negora
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: Konatsu/Max Toy Co.
Released: 2013
Price: $50 USD – Now: $100 +
Scale: 4-5  inches in height
Accessories: One fish

Right around the time this figure was released, I became aware of its existence. One thing I knew right away was that I must have it. I’m not a VIP member of Max Toys Co’s website so if I was to have any chance I had to be on the site the moment it went up – I call this phase 1 . I had the slight advantage of being on holidays, in Japan at the time and spent most of my morning checking the web store and Facebook for updates. I’m pretty sure I missed my window of opportunity by 30mins to an hour by falling back asleep. As once I refreshed it was listed and obviously sold out.

Feeling a little bummed about this, I went out that day and bought a Konatsu Negora from Sibuya Manadarke – by chance they had one, which turned out to be one of my favourite Japanese vinyl figures I had bought up to that stage. After this purchase I entered phase 2 saving an eBay search so hopefully it would show up for a decent price.

After  a few months of this fruitless searching due to missing out or auctions going to ridiculous prices $200 USD plus! I noticed that my favourite Sofubi seller, Vicious Fun had one for sale, a bit expensive, but cheaper then what I had seen so far. Being a limited run and considered rare, I was happy with the price, of course this was an instant buy and soon X-Ray Negora was finally on the way into my collection!

So, was it worth the searching and hype? Let’s find out.

Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_02

SCULPTING

The first thing I noticed was that this figure is not the same mould as the previous Negora, which isn’t necessarily bad thing. As with the first Negora, it’s very nicely sculpted, once again in an anime style, there is plenty of nice detailing on the stomach and around the face as well as other small sections on the figure. It’s in a standing pose with its arms outstretched and mouth slightly open, but still a variation on the other figure.

I think this version is great in its own right and even though different to the other one I own, it’s still obvious that this is a very cool looking Godzilla styled feline!

Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_03

PAINT 

Negora is cast in clear vinyl with little bits of paint added to parts of the body. There are semitranslucent yellow eyes (which I think really pops!), red for the mouth, pink paws and ears and a silver spray for the scales on the back. All the paint is expertly applied and there is no slop at all; the paint really works quite well and does a great job highlighting the details.

What really makes the figure stand out, however, is the paper inserts in both Negora and in the fish, these single-handedly elevate this figure from great to awesome! I can’t really explain why, but it just does. It’s that magic combination of idea and execution that has been done so well.

Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_04

ARTICULATION

There is only one joint here and that’s a cut waist which swivels 360 degrees it adds a little play value and doesn’t look too out of place; I don’t find it too distracting. However, it it restricted by the paper insert.
Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_05

ACCESSORIES

Finally I have a fish to go with Negora! It’s a pretty sweet accessory and just seems to add that little bit more play value to Negora.

Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_06

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Not really anything I can think of, unless you somehow scratch the paint, this is one rock solid toy.

PRICE

$100 price tag I paid isn’t really that bad, considering the price some people are asking for ($249! Insane!) and the limited nature of the figure is part of the reason why people can demand such high prices. If you can find this figure at $100 or less you have a great dea;l anything more is really pushing it.

OVERALL

I really like X-Ray Negora, It’s a fun little toy which not only looks cool, but won’t take up too much space either, I feel it looks pretty sweet next to the Konatsu version and the little differences between the two are quite nice.

If you are like me and in the process of filling out your soft vinyl figure collection, at least one Negora should be in your collection and the X-Ray one would be an awesome choice!

Negora_MaxToyCo_XRay_07

Like Mike’s Toy Blog on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts and content!

Check out my previous Negora review HERE.

This page copyright 2014 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.