13 Oct 2018

Collection update video and pics - Transformers and 1/12th scale

If it's been slow for me with 1/6th scale figures this year, it's been even slower on the Transformers front! G1 related Masterpiece releases have been very slow this year, so I have picked up a few 1/12th scale figures in the meantime, amongst a few other things too.

Click through below to check out the collection update video over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel to see all my upcoming videos :)


I love Street Fighter, and there have been some nice 1/12th scale releases from Bandai and Storm Collectibles this year. I decided to go with the slimmer style from Bandai in their S.H.Figuarts series. Together the figures look great and have some nice articulation. I especially like the new Sakura.



My kids have loved Super Mario ever since we got the WiiU with games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, and Mario Party making them love the characters. So I also decided to get some of the S.H.Figuarts Super Mario figures and accessory sets during the recent Big Bad Toy Store sale.

Despite Bowser being far too small in scale compared to the other characters, they do look amazing posed up together. My son loves having these on his own shelf!


For me, I love the 1/12th scale Star Wars Movie Realization series. The latest release of the Snowtrooper is an incredible set and I think a must-have for fans of The Empire Strikes Back! I have pretty much all the figures released in this series, and it continues to be a unique stylised representation of the characters that drives a lot of discussion when friends come over to see the collection.




With the MP releases being so slow, I have tried out some manula camera settings recently with some of the Decepticon figures I have. Can't wait to get the repaints of Megatron and Shockwave later this year. I should get the repaints of Prowl and Sunstreaker by the end of October, so stay tuned for more review and pics then!



These coneheads certainly had issues during release. Luckily mine turned out mostly OK, I think they are the most cartoon accurate versions of the coneheads released by any company.



And I still love MP-36 Megatron. Based on what I've seen of the cartoon recently, the extra height on Megatron is actually quite accurate to the cartoon, where there were many scenes showing his standing taller than Soundwave.



Hopefully next year when the new Optimus Prime releases we can have the two leaders standing next to each other with the perfect cartoon aesthetic. With Hound also coming next year and a repaint of Wheeljack, it should be a decent year. I'm still hoping for a couple more announcements that will take the year to another level!

12 Oct 2018

Collection update video and pics - 1/6th scale and statues

It's been pretty slow this year on the 1/6th scale and statue front. But with 3 months left in the year I figured it was time for me to do a collection update on that side of the collection. I do have a few more figures and statues coming toward the end of the year, so I go through that as well.

Click through below to check out the collection update video over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel to see all my upcoming videos :)


I've also had a go at trying out some manual camera settings and trying to take some better photos. The toy photography people post on Instagram and Facebook is pretty amazing these days, so I was inspired to pick up my photography skills.

It's definitely been an exercise in trial and error in playing with the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. I think I'm starting to get a feel for the ways in which the different settings affect the quality of the photos. I do need to get a bit more creative in posing and angles of shots though!

Check through a selection of the photos I've taken recently. Hopefully I can improve and continue to take better photos over the coming months!

The new Hot Toys Royal Guard looks fantastic. The classic outfit just pops on display!


The original movie Iron Man Mk3 suit is still one of my favs. The mix of red and yellow for this style I think is a great mix of comic origins and movie creativity. It's a shame the figure is scaled too small!



I also love the original Ant-man outfit from the first movie. I think the Civil War costume was terrible though. Luckily they went back to a more classic style for Ant-man and The Wasp, and I think that new suit is a better mix of the old and new. I might still consider picking that up next year, but there's still plenty of time before that releases.



The War Machine Mk1 diecast figure is still a damn beast. It's almost too big, with a head sculpt that seems slightly too small. Still an amazing figure that photographs so well!



The old DX11 Joker is still a pretty nice figure too. The outfit and all it's layers still ranks right up there with the best from Hot Toys.


Here I'm testing out different areas of focus. The macro shots do bring out all the amazing details in these great figures!


I've barely touched the classic Tobey Maguire Spiderman figure over the past few years. It's just been standing in the Detolf cabinet all this time. Despite that, the ankle joints have crumbled, which has been a common problem with this figure. Still, I was able to get it into a stable fairly dynamic pose. Again, it's still a pretty nice looking figure by Hot Toys!



I do have more 1/6th scale figures coming this year, such as Jedi Luke and The Emperor. I also have statues like Orko from Sideshow's Masters of the Universe series and Evil Dead Ash from Kotobukiya's Horror Bishoujo series. Hope you can stay tuned for those reviews coming up soon!

10 Oct 2018

Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Kanreichi Snowtrooper

Bandai seem to be taking it very slow in their Star Wars Movie Realization series. I really wish they would speed things up and just release the figures from their concept art, but they seem determined to drag things out for collectors.

Luckily when a figure is released, it's normally worth the wait. And for these new Snowtroopers, the wait was most definitely worth it! I'm glad I preordered two! Click through below to watch my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel - make sure to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe too! 😃


Usually the troopers come with a larger variety of hands. But this time, Bandai has put those hands aside and given us an amazing rendition of the E-Web cannon. I for one am totally OK with that because this thing is beautiful!

The cannon comes in separate pieces, with the main barrel, three legs, and central join all needing to be assembled together. It all clips or slides into place easily and firmly without ever feeling like something will break.

I especially love the cannon handles that are on little ball joints so that they can have a bit of movement. This really helps when placing the provided gripping hands onto the handles. You should definitely heat up the hands in some hot water to make them more flexible.



The design itself is perfectly in keeping with the samurai aesthetic of this series. I love the little pointy tips on the feet, and the massive style of the cannon is reminiscent of the massive rifle of the Sandtrooper. The cannon can tilt up and down, and also rotates on top of the join.

The silver paint application is nice and metallic. There is also a fairly consistent rusty paint wash over most surfaces to give it a nice weathered appearance. Connected together on the tripod with a Snowtrooper at the helm, this E-Web just makes for an awesome interpretation of the attack on Hoth.


The Snowtrooper itself is mainly a reuse of various parts from previous figures. The only major differences of note are of course the head sculpt and the chest/torso piece. I love that they provided the option of having the face cowl on or off, with nice details on both.

I decided to use the cowl for the Snowtrooper handling the cannon, and having it off for the sword wielding Snowtrooper to show off the uncowled details. I do like the black stripes on the face that contrast the stark white of the rest of the costume.

The chest plate is nicely detailed, and the paint app is very sharp. I particularly like the bright red spots as highlights and the silver centre section. I'm not sure how closely that matches the actual Snowtrooper chest plate, but it's a nice variation from the standard Stormtrooper chest plate.


The figure also has a pouch on the side that's nicely weathered and textured. It comes with a unique backpack that has the same silver metallic paint app as the E-Web. The rusty wash is also applied, but it seems only to the main top part of the backpack. It would've been nicer if it was evenly distributed to the curved surfaces to the bottom and sides, but that's really a pretty small nit to pick.

I think all other parts of the figure, from the shoulder and forearm armour, to the kama and longer skirt, are all taken from previous figures such as the Royal Guard and Sandtrooper. I think the boots may be a slight variation, but overall the figure keeps with the consistent style whilst having enough differences to be interesting.


Posed up, these Snowtroopers are incredible to look at, and are a welcome variation to the Movie Realization series. The E-Web cannon is a standout feature, and fans of The Empire Strikes Back should jump on board to get this set ASAP!

With Threepio coming early 2019, I really hope Bandai announce more characters from the original trilogy. We still haven't seen anything regarding a Scout Trooper yet, so that would be the next logical choice for a trooper variant. If they decide to do that and announce some sort of horse as a mount, that would absolutely blow my mind! One can only hope Bandai get their act together! 😃



9 Oct 2018

Hot Toys MMS469 Royal Guard

It's always a good day when a Star Wars original trilogy figure is added to the collection! This new addition from Hot Toys may seem like just another trooper, but the beauty of this Royal Guard is in its simplicity! It's just a simple figure, done very well is all the areas that it needs.

Click through below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a like and to also subscribe to the channel :)


The packaging is the usual style with the front cover art and the inside cover insert. There aren't to many accessories, but I'm not sure what else Hot Toys could have included. The staff and array of hands work well. The base has a lighter grey floor covering instead of the nice darker black floor for the Tarkin figure. I would've much preferred that over this one.


The outfit has a number of layers, including the pants, boots, long skirt/shirt and belt, all covered by the nice robe and topped off with the high gloss helmet. The darker maroon of the undersuit is fantastic, with a beautifully soft material  that is nicely tailored. The pants are made of the same material, and it all allows for great articulation.

The boots are also a nice material. It doesn't really look like faux-leather, but is again soft and allows for great ankle articulation. It does suffer from the same sort of folding around the ankle joint, but doesn't look too bad if futzed.


The part that needs the most futzing is of course the red robe. It has all the pleats and folds tailored in, but comes quite wrinkled straight out of the box. As with many collectors, there was an area near the left knee that seems to have been pressed against the clamshell in the packagem resulting in a spot on the robe that appears like a lighter coloured stain.

It is not really a stain, but just the pile of the material being crushed slightly against the packaging. The easiest fix that remedied most of the issue was simply putting a bit of water onto the spot and gently rubbing. After that dried I found most of the spot cleared.

The best remedy, that not only removed the spot but also the wrinkles, was doing a light iron on the cloak. I simply used some steam from the iron, and used a white shirt to place between the iron and the cloak. I then gave the inner side of the cloak an iron. This removed the wrinkles, but you do need to be careful about where the designed pleats are located. You want to keep those pleats and also the folds near the chest area directly under the helmet.


Once all setup, either in the classic staff-holding pose or a more dynamic pose, this figure really pops on display. The bright red outfit, along with the perfectly glossy helmet make for a figure that draws the eye in the collection. I can certainly see why many collectors will get two to stand either side of the Emperor.

I really hope that Hot Toys continues to make classic trilogy figures. I still have the ROTJ Luke and the Emperor to come this year. Hopefully 2019 is a big year for more Star Wars announcements!

6 Oct 2018

Bandai S.H.Figuarts Street Fighter Ken and Sakura

I love Street Fighter, and these Bandai S.H.Figuarts figures have scratched the itch to have some smaller figures to pose up. The overall quality has been great, and the recent releases of Ken and Sakura are no different.

Click through below to watch my full review of both warriors over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to give the video a like and also subscribe to the channel :)


As you'd expect, Ken is a very similar figure to Ryu and Akuma. The range of articulation is essentially identical, and the sculpted details are nice. I'm not that big a fan of the head sculpts, but this smirking one I used in the photo below is my favourite.

The skin tone on the face is a lighter shade than the body, which is really my only other complaint about the figure. The accessories are decemt, and he looks great posed with the others.



Sakura turned out to be a great figure! I especially love the way they designed the shoes so that the range of ankle articulation is not affected. The front and rear tops split as they normally would, giving a great range of motion.

The knees are nice like Chun-Li's, and not the terrible ones used on Cammy. I think the face sculpts are nice too, and I prefer the broad smiling one I used below. The paint app on the costume is sharp too, and the skirt design didn't hinder any movement.



Together, the gang looks pretty damn good so far. I just saw the other day that Blanka has now been shown at toy conventions, so a preorder for that should be soon. Hopefully we see other classic characters like Guile, E.Honda, and Zangief in this series too. If they're able to make the original cast from Street Fighter 2, I'd be very happy!


I've been playing around with some manual camera settings recently to get my photography skills up. These figures certainly made for great test subjects!




22 Sep 2018

Bandai S.H.Figuarts Super Mario figures

My kids love MarioKart, Mario Party, and Super Smash Bros on the WiiU, and love the Super Mario characters. With the recent Big Bad Toy Store sale, I decided to get the Bandai S.H.Figuarts Super Mario figures.

The kids loved the previous S.H.Figuarts Pokemon figures, and I've liked their series of Street Fighter figures too. These Super Mario figures turned out pretty nicely too, and look great on the kids' shelf!

Click through below to watch my video review and thoughts on the figures! Hope you can give the video a like and subscribe to the channel! :)


19 Sep 2018

BigboystoysHK Street Fighter TNC-09 Vega

BigboystoysHK have done some great work with their Street Fighter series. I've got all the main characters from the series, and am glad that they're committed to completing the core characters from Street Fighter 2.

Their latest is now the first of the original boss characters with Vega. Again, they've designed the pose and light/sound features beautifully to capture that classic fighting move from the game. Click through below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!



Packaging is the usual fantastic style, with great artwork on the front. They've had consistently awesome artwork with this super-deformed style, and the covers do indeed look fantastic displayed together.





There is a bit of assembly to put the statue together, and it does get fiddly this time. The wrists have little posts that fit into holes in the lightup base. Out of the box, the base is a little too wide, so you do need to stretch out the arms slightly and push the base ends together to get the wrist pegs to fit into the holes nicely.

Just go slow and you shouldn't snap or break anything. I'd suggest putting one arm in first slightly, and then squeeze to place the other arm in. Then push down to firmly place both arms in. Once all set up, the set looks fantastic!



The background is Vega's classic game stage, and the pose captures his flying attach move perfectly. The sculpting and paint app are the usual high standard. The face mask is also removable, and attaches via a magnet near the top of the forehead.

It fits pretty well, and his unmasked face looks suitably "pretty" for the character. I prefer the mask on look which befits his attack move. The sound effect is the clip when he perfects the move, and the lightup effect is nicely time-sequenced with the sound.



Overall, if you're a fan of the original Street Fighter 2 game, you will love these statue sets as much as I do. I still need to figure out how to display all the characters together, and they do look amazing all displayed with each other. I can't wait to see how they do Sagat, Balrog, and M.Bison to finish off the original bosses!

18 Sep 2018

Lego 21311 Voltron (Lego Ideas #22)

Lego has released some interesting sets in their Lego Ideas range, and I do have the Delorean and ECTO-1 sets. When this Voltron was announced, it was definitely a set I had to have just purely based on the nostalgia I have for the cartoon. I also wanted to see how they would tackle the set from an engineering perspective.

Overall, I think Lego have some a pretty good job with the set. However for the price, I expected a bit more in terms of articulation and accessories. Click through below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel, or scroll on down for some written thoughts!



The box art certainly shows off the set to its best, with a great front on shot of the fully assembled robot. More photos on the rear show the lions and individual parts. The biggest disappointment for me with the set is that it does not include any mini-figs at all. I would have thought at this price point, including mini-figs for the pilots would be a no-brainer! That would have taken the set to another level of collectibility, and it's a real shame that Lego did not include them.



It's good that they separated the instructions for each lion with their numbered bags, so the build can be done concurrently with multiple people. I had my son and daughter help me out which they enjoyed.



The builds for the yellow and blue lions are pretty similar as expected for the two legs. There are enough variations to keep things interesting. One thing I continue to hate is Lego's insistence on using stickers! On sets in this price range, full use of tamped on decals should be the norm, not bloody stickers! It's really disappointing that they use tamped on decals on some parts, but then make you apply stickers on other parts.



For the legs, I do like how they built the heads of the lions, and the legs give some articulation. However I was a bit disappointed in the lack of any sideways movement in the head or torso area of the lions. The lack of movement in the head results in zero ankle rocker or pivot action in robot mode, which detracts from a more natural look in robot mode.



The red and green lions also have a similar build as expected for the arms. This time due to the elbow joint in robot mode, there is at least some sideways movement in the torso area of the lions and some head rotation. Again there are enough differences between the two to be interesting, and I do like the lion heads on these too.




The black lion is definitely the most complex lion to build. In order for stability in the robot mode waist, there is no articulation in the rear legs of the lion. The legs are pegged securely into place, and have to be removed and repositioned for robot mode.

I was hoping to be able to pose the black lion sitting down on the rear legs, but that is impossible with the design. The front legs also have to be taken out and repositioned to form the chest of the robot, but at least the lion legs have some articulation. Still, the head movement is pretty lacking, so all in all the black lion isn't as nice looking as I hoped it would be.



I do already have the Bandai Soul of Chogokin Voltron displayed in robot mode, so I might actually keep the Lego Voltron in its separate lion mode. Together they do look decent, but some weapons from the cartoon would've been nice to have to display with the lions.



In full robot mode, the size of the set really does become apparent. It's a towering set that is about 40cm in height. The robot head swivels side to side, and the head design is decent. The arms can rotate forward and backwards, but there is no ability to swing the arms out to the side at all. Even just a bit of sideways movement would've been nice to give a more natural stance instead of having the arms right down near the sides.

As I mentioned before, the legs do not move at the waist at all, and there is no knee bending action either. This is a set that is purely for static museum display only. I really wish they had worked out a way to build in some ankle rocker motion so at least the lion head feet could be flat on the ground. As it is, the legs are fixed in a splayed position with the heads at an angle, which isn't a very natural pose.

All that being said, the set does command a lot of presence on display because of its size. The silver paint app on the chest pieces are nicely done, and the sword is pretty nice too (although one side shows the back of the Lego pieces so it really can only be displayed from one side).

If you're a fan of the 80s cartoon and Lego, then this is still a set worth having in your collection. I do think Lego missed an opportunity to really make this a set for the ages. Just adding some mini-figs would've elevated this set to legendary status for me. But in the end, it's a great looking set that will stand proudly in many collections for years to come!