9 Oct 2017

Mega Construx Pokemon - Carmeleon, Ivysaur, Wartortle, Charizard, Gyarados

My kids have been on a Pokemon craze for the past year or two, being into cards, TV shows, and games of all sorts. So I was looking online for some birthday gifts for them, and stumbled across these Mega Construx Pokemon sets.

I had never heard of Mega Construx before, but they're essentially a build-your-own-toy type brand similar to Lego. After putting these together, I'd say they're every bit as good as Lego too!

Check out the reviews up on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel, where the kids and I give our thoughts on these great sets!

The smaller sets in the Evolution pack are great for kids, and take less than 30 minutes to put together. The larger sets with Charizard and Gyarados are much larger and take longer. The build process is a little more difficult than with Lego, so the kids did not enjoy the build as much. But the final product definitely rivals anything from Lego.

I actually like the unique molds that have been used, and that they print all their decals so no stickers are required. This is one area that Lego really needs to up their game and stop it with the damn stickers!

In any case, if you're a Pokemon fan, then I think you'll love these sets! I've heard that more are coming in 2018, so it will definitely be interesting to see where they take this series.

I have the Pokeball set of 6 coming too since BBTS didn't have them in stock when these first sets released. Will review them soon, and looking forward to more Pokemon sets to be announced soon :)

27 Sep 2017

Upcoming preorders and reviews in Q4 2017

Here's a quick discussion on what I have coming up over the next 3 months leading to the end of 2017. It should be a great end to the year, and really looking forward to some of the things coming out in 2018 too!

Some of the things I have coming up include:
- Hot Toys Dr Strange, Ellen Ripley, Marty McFly, and Doc Brown
- Blitzway Ghostbusters
- Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Darth Maul, Jango Fett, and Shadow Trooper
- Sideshow Zuckuss and Han in Carbonite
- Pop Culture Shock 1/3 scale Ryu
- TF Masterpiece MP-39 Sunstreaker, MP-12+ Sideswipe (Anime version), and MP-15/16E Cassettes

Hope you can all subscribe to the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel and stay tuned for all the upcoming reviews! :)

10 Sep 2017

Hot Toys MMS390 Luke Skywalker from The Force Awakens

It's taken seemingly forever for Hot Toys to finally release I think the last figure from their series of figures from The Force Awakens. Perhaps it was all down to some marketing strategy to release it closer to The Last Jedi hype train starting.

Either way, I think it's a pretty decent release if not something that is going to be overly memorable in the scheme of my collection. It's great to have good representations of old Han and old Luke to offset the other younger versions I have from the original trilogy.

Click through the link below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Scroll further down for more pics and thoughts.

The set doesn't really come with all that much to be honest. The bonus preorder stand is nicely sculpted and painted, but other than that all you really get are a few swap out hands. While we're on the hands, the relaxed hand, force gesture hand and its corresponding mechanical hand all seem slightly over sized. When the arms are at his side, the large hands really accentuate the gorilla look.

But swapping out to the more close fisted hands hides the size issue better, which is what I went with for my display pose. Those hands are more suited for posing him pulling back his hood, which is what many collectors will chose I think.

Aside from the hands, I think everything else on the figure is pretty great. There have been a few complaints about the head sculpt, but I think it matches the prototype photos well, and is a decent likeness from the movie scenes I've compared it against.

Similar to the old Han Solo sculpt though, Hot Toys went with a almost golden sheen look to the hair, whereas a much greyer colour would've matched not only te movie, but the colour of his painted beard too.

The outfit is very nicely tailored, with several layers and different materials. I like that they didn't use a wire for the hood, which makes curving it and using some water treatment a better way to pose it around the head. I still need a bit of work on mine, but you get the idea.

The magnets that hold the cloak to the shoulders could work a little better, and need decent futzing to get the material to lie realistically. I think in the last movie scene, the cloak can be seen to actually be sewn to his tunic that runs down the front of his body, which seems pretty silly. But I guess they need that to make sure it stayed on his shoulders! So Hot Toys' use of magnets is probably as best a compromise as any.

Articulation is decent, and getting the arms up for the pose was straight forward. The large and obvious wrist joint that becomes more visible is a bit of an eyesore, but not much can be done about that. Perhaps look for a smaller wrist joint from other figures that have a similar skin tone, which might work to hide it.

The torso area has some definite foam padding of some sort, that really seems to restrict the articulation in the torso area. But for most poses I was going for, it wasn't too big a deal. The material of the pants doesn't hinder the hips or upper legs, so you could go for wider action poses if you wanted.

There's not too much ankle movement though with the use of sculpted boots. The ankle is separate to the calf area, so you can can some rocking action there, but not too much on mine. It would've been nice if they went with material for the strapping and boots, similar to the previous DX07 Luke Skywalker, but it's not too big a deal.

Standing with the other heroes from The Force Awakens, I think Hot Toys has done a pretty great job with all of these figures. Each of them aren't perfect in their own right, with at least a few things to complain about with them all (eg. Chewie's snout, Finn's excessive height, Rey's lack of height).

But together I think they look pretty amazing. The only figures I really hope they make for The Last Jedi that they missed for the previous movie would be General Leia and Poe Dameron. If they make those two for the new movie, I think I'll be happy enough for the new trilogy.

Up on display with the bad guys I have from the movie, I like the overall aesthetic that they went with. Familiar of course, but at least different enough to be interesting. I'm not sure I'll be tempted to get any more trooper figures, but will be interesting to see how Captain Phasma and Snoke play out in the new movie.

So to summarise, if you were a fan of The Force Awakens and started collecting these Hot Toys figures, I think you'll be pretty pleased with this new old Luke Skywalker. I'm sure there'll be a new Luke released for The Last Jedi, but this one will do for me.

29 Aug 2017

New YouTube channel trailer with photos since May 2017

Here's my quick hack together of the most recent photos I've taken of my collection since May 2017. As always, I put it to the background of Street Fighter music :D

21 Aug 2017

Kotobukiya Kill Bill Bishoujo The Bride

I'm still loving most of the Bishoujo statues that Kotobukiya release, and this new version of The Bride from Kill Bill is no exception! Kill Bill is by far my favourite Tarantino movie, so this statue was a must-have for me.

Click the link below to check out my full review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

Packaging is the usual Bishoujo style with the great concept art by Shunya Yamashita.

Everything about this shows off how great the Bishoujo series can be. Awesome face sculpt and skin paint app. Love the flawless skin, eyes, and lips. Hair could be better, but overall detailing and paint variation is decent.

The sculpted detail in the suit is also nice, with realistic folds and shadow detailing in the creases. The pose they've selected is iconic for the part, and simple and classy.

Love the detail of the Hattori Hanzo logo on the katana. I just wish the katana was longer like it was in the concept art. It seems just a tad too short. Also be very careful when inserting into the hands, or you will snap it off at the hilt. I had to heat the hands up in some hot water, which made it much easier to insert the hilt.

For me this is another winner by Kotobukiya. Get yours here from BBTS!

The next releases I'm most looking forward to are the new horror Bishoujos such as Ash and Pinhead! As for the Kill Bill series, hopefully they don't just stop at one, and make Gogo Yubari and O'Ren Ishii too!

20 Aug 2017

Asmus Toys Lord of the Rings Legloas "Luxury Edition"

Overall I've been pretty happy with the Asmus Toys Lord of the Rings series of figures. I think all their figures have excelled at costume tailoring and use of materials. But one area they have fallen behind other companies like Hot Toys and Blitzway is their sculpting of the head sculpts and hair.

With this new Legolas, I think they've improved a lot with the facial likeness, but then fail in the execution of the hair. Check out my two-part review at the links below to the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.

Part 1 gives the overview of the figure, and Part 2 goes through the main issues I had when trying to put everything together for display. Hope you can check them out and give the videos a like and subscribe to the channel if you haven't already! :)



I preordered the "Luxury Edition" that includes the extra troll head diorama base. The packaging for this set comes in a very large black box that contains the actual Legolas box and the separate troll head box. The troll head is housed in ridiculously bad quality foam that crumbles in your fingers as you grasp to try and remove it from the box. Make sure you have a vacuum cleaner handy!

After removing the troll head, I was further disappointed with the realisation that one of the boots that are meant to be used to stand the figure on the troll head was actually glued into place rather than being removable! Apparently Asmus have indicated this was done for stability, but I don't really see how the figure could be that unstable if balanced correctly and the boot peg was deep enough.

With the boot in place, this removes the ability to display the troll head on its own without the figure on top. There were also reports that the boot actually snapped off during shipping for some collectors, meaning they couldn't even display the figure on the troll head! I think this is one area that Asmus had a decent concept, but was badly executed.

The unboxing of the Legolas figure is a far more enjoyable experience! This figures comes with a nice array of accessories, and as always with Asmus the costume tailoring and material is very nice! This time, the head sculpt itself is pretty nice too, with a good likeness and a decent facial paint app too! It's just all let down by a badly sculpted hair piece that gets in the way of articulation (more on that later).

The bow and arrows are nicely detailed and painted. I especially like the flexible bow string that works very well. The various sculpted hands also work well for holding the included knives or the arrows.

Setting the figure up for display was indeed a pretty frustrating task, even more so than Aragorn for me. The scabbards for the knives are incorrectly oriented out of the box, so they need to be removed and reinserted under the quiver, which was a bit difficult since they're inserted quite tightly.

But the hardest part was actually adjusting the cloak. The head needs to be removed to add the cloak, and is an absolute pain in the arse to reattach once the cloak is in place. There is a gap in the cloak to get over the quiver and scabbards, but getting it adjusted nice and flat with the not-so-flexible sculpted hair was tough. The ball joint on the head sculpt was also quite tight to attach properly to the peg, and the back of the hair kept pushing against the quiver and scabbards to prevent the head going on properly.

Once on, the head is forced to look in a downward position, and cannot be pushed up to look in a straight position. This is OK when the figure is placed on top of the troll head, but for those who just get the regular version, the fact the head always looks down would annoy the crap out of me.

The hair itself is far too yellow, and the fine stranding is badly done so that it looks quite clumpy. Hot Toys figures such as their Thor have far finer and more detailed stranding in their sculpts that improve the realism a lot. There were some photos by a customiser on the Sideshow Freaks Forum that showed the Legolas sculpt with rooted hair, and it looks amazing! Hopefully Asmus see the error of their ways and release a rooted hair version soon.

The troll head is nicely sculpted and painted. I especially like the teeth and the wetness around the nose. It is a little undersized, but that could be a design choice for some camera perspective similar to the way the Hot Toys Boba Fett Sarlacc Pit base was smaller in scale.

Inserting the legs into the boots for the troll head was easy enough. Just make sure to use a small flat tool to push the tights into the boots so that they don't bunch up. The tights are a nice soft material that don't restrict the movement of the legs. The separate boots for the figure have separate sculpted ankle boots that match well with the calf section. This also helps with articulation when not displaying on the troll head.

The best part of the costume is definitely the tunic and undershirt combination that has great stitching and use of material. The only other thing that was annoying was the overly tight strap over the shoulder and chest that covers the tunic. This attaches the quiver, but is too tight that makes the buckle on the front ride up too high. It's all glued in, so the straps are not adjustable without breaking those glue points.

Once all set up on the troll head, the figure does look very nice on display.

It's unfortunate that Asmus haven't been able to get a complete home run on a LOTR figure yet. There's always a few things that count negatively to the overall impression of quality, and it's a shame because overall they do a great job.

Their costume tailoring is great, so if they could just get around the head sculpt issues, they would really be some good competition for the likes of Hot Toys, Sideshow, Blitzway etc. I'm definitely glad that they've announced Boromir and have teased Gimli. This would make them the first company to actually complete the whole Fellowship in 1/6th scale form. That in itself is a pretty amazing achievement, and I think they'll look amazing together.

19 Aug 2017

Collection Update - August 2017

It's been a while since I did a collection update video on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I figured I'd do a run down on the things I've received so far this year across all the stuff I collect. So this covers things from 1/6th scale, Transformers Masterpiece, smaller action figures, and statues!

Hope you can check it out at the link below :)

Hot Toys MMS369 Yoda

Seems like a long wait to finally get a great original trilogy Yoda, and that's what Hot Toys have given us with this new version. Two great head sculpts and diorama make for a great way to display the little Jedi Master!

Click through below to check out my full review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel :)

Box art is the same style as always, but it's interesting that the inside insert art shows the prototype with just sculpted hair. They added a bit of fluffy hair in final production by gluing it to the sculpt rather than rooting the hair. But it still gives a decent effect that adds to the realism.

Comes with a decent array of accessories to justify the high price point. The light up feature is a nice-to-have, but not something I'll use at all on display. The diorama base with tree give a nice little environment for the figure to rest on.

It's a definite improvement over the previous Sideshow version, especially in the head sculpt accuracy. I particularly like the closed-eye sculpt from the scene where he lifts the X-wing out of the swamp. It's perfect for that Jedi concentration look on display, and that's the way I'll leave it! If you're an Empire Strikes Back fan, this is the 1/6th scale Yoda for you!

6 Aug 2017

Bandai S.H.Figuarts Ash & Pikachu and Team Rocket

I personally have no idea about Pokemon, but my kids have been on a Pokemon craze for over a year now. With their friends at school, they've been hooked on the card game and the cartoons. So with my son's 10th birthday recently, I decided to get these two new figure sets from Bandai for his birthday.

The kids certainly love the figures, and I have to say Bandai have done a pretty awesome job with them! They come with a great set of accessories, with swap out face sculpts and hands, and have some pretty sweet poseability too. Highly recommended for Pokemon fans both young and old!

Click through the links below for the full video reviews of both sets, this time with the kids joining in to give their thoughts :)

4 Aug 2017

BigBoysToysHK Street Fighter TNC-07 Zangief

Have loved this Street Fighter series by BigBoysToysHK since they started back with Ryu and Ken. The sculpting and paint detailing is as good as ever! Click through below for my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. More pics are below too :)

Love the packaging art for each of these statue sets! The super-deformed style really suits the characters well.

Great sculpt and paint details. The light up features are nice too giving the spinning effect for his double lariat. I think Akuma and E.Honda are coming up next. Can't wait to complete the original set of World Warriors!

30 Jul 2017

Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Yumi Ashigaru (Archer) Stormtrooper

I've loved this Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization series ever since it started. This new Archer addition is another great trooper to add to the Imperial army!

Click through below for my full review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! And check out further below for more pics.

It's just a shame the bow doesn't come with a string! That's something I never even realised from the promotional photos. Would've been a nice little bit of detail if they had added that.

Together with the rest of the army, this series of Japanese inspired designs really makes for a great Star Wars collection! I'm really looking forward to more figures in this series!

23 Jul 2017

Mezco One:12 Collective Space Ghost

I've been seeing lots of collectors rave about how good Mezco's One:12 Collective range of figures has been, and the pics certainly look fantastic. But I couldn't double up on those characters in different scales, so held off until they released something that I didn't think would be released in a larger scale.

The Space Ghost figure fit that bill perfectly, especially since it was a cartoon that I loved watching through the 80s as a kid! I think the TV series was released earlier in the 60s or 70s, but I grew up watching the re-runs on Australian Saturday mornings and after school. So I had a lot of fond memories and nostalgia for this figure.

Click through below to check out my review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel :)

The packaging art is beautifully done by Mezco, in a simple but classy style. The internal clamshell is also nicely laid out and collector friendly.

It comes with a nice array of accessories, with different options for his blast effects from his hands. The transluscent coloured plastic looks pretty nice. The stand is also nice, with the options to stand on the base or have him in flight poses.

The alternate head sculpt for Space Ghost looks a bit weird, with a somewhat strange grimace. I think the default head sculpt is a better look for display purposes. Blip the space monkey is a little on the large size, but the overall details and paint app are pretty good.

Mezco have done some outstanding outfits for their previous figures, and this Space Ghost is no exception. The full cloth body suit is nicely tailored and textured, and is not so delicate that I'm too afraid to touch it.

Poseability is not hindered by the outfit, and he can get into lots of action poses. The only nitpick I might have is that the feet are a bit over-scaled. Other than that, the details and build quality I find pretty amazing for this smaller scale. I definitely see now why collectors say Mezco are the Hot Toys of the 1/12th scale world!

Highly recommended for fans of the old cartoon series! Hopefully Mezco announce more classic characters like this!

14 Jul 2017

Transformers Masterpiece MP-36 Megatron

It was a long wait for Takara to finally release a new Megatron in their Transformers Masterpiece series. The original MP-5 Megatron was never a great figure, and once MP-10 Optimus was released, everyone was waiting for a new Megatron in the new scale. And finally after around 5 years, Takara have released the definitive G1 Megatron figure!

Click the link below to check out my bot mode comparison video between MP-36 Megatron and the X-Transbots Apollyon. The Apollyon was definitely a good stand-in at the time, but the official Takara version pretty much beats it in all categories that matter!

Takara continue their new direction with the MP figures by including a vast array of accessories straight from episodes of the G1 cartoon. Multiple head sculpts, weapons and items used in the cartoon, and homages to the G1 toy are all included in the set. It's an awesome package amongst the best they've ever released.

I love that Hasbro Asia have brought back the collector coin, so I couldn't resist getting it from Robotkingdom to get the coin. It's a shame the card art is not the original grid style of earlier collector cards, but overall they still look amazing displayed together.

I won't say much more in this quick summary that you can't hear or see in the video on the channel. Suffice it to say I think it's an incredible figure, with amazing articulation, and accurate G1 cartoon aesthetics!

It's beautiful to finally see my favourite G1 Decepticons in Masterpiece form together in the collection! They look incredible displayed together! Now I just wish Takara would announce some Constructicons or Triple Changers. But at least now I have the core team that I loved watching as a kid back in the 80s.

23 Jun 2017

Transformers Masterpiece MP-37 Artfire

For me, the Inferno and Grapple molds were pretty amazing efforts from Takara in terms of engineering design and G1 cartoon accuracy. So the inevitable mold repaint in Artfire was a no-brainer preorder for me despite me having no memory or nostalgia for Targetmaster Transformers.

This Artfire and Targetmaster sidekick Nightstick were originally a Japan exclusive repaint back in 1987 I believe. With Takara going back to their roots in Diaclone repaints and other homages to classic colourways, I could not resist!

Click through below for my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! :)

Box art is same usual style. The accessories aren't as numerous as Inferno and Grapple, but Nightstick is a decent stand-in. I preordered this from Amiami in Japan, so it did not come with the collector coin. I had thought the coins were no longer made since they changed to the silly little diecast figures. But it now looks like the coins are back, so I had to order the coin separately from eBay. And with the coins back, I'll be making future orders from Robotkingdom in Hong Kong where the coins are always included for free!

The biggest relief with this figure is that all the unique decals are tamped on, and not stickers! I was worried that they would include a sticker sheet like with Inferno and Shockwave, but thankfully Takara did the right thing!

And the overall quality of the decals is very well done! They add to the unique look and add nice little details over the figure. The figure looks great in bot mode, and I do like the metallic silver face plate. But I always display my repaint figures in vehicle mode.

And luckily he looks great in vehicle mode too! The use of chrome on various parts is nice, and there wasn't too much paint slop apart from a couple of minor scratches on mine. All in all, it's another great addition to the cast of repaint characters. Now I just hope they announce more of the Diaclone colours like Black Ironhide (and a red Sunstreaker once MP-39 comes out!)

18 Jun 2017

Transformers Masterpiece MP-11ND Dirge

When Takara finally announced all the Seeker coneheads in MP form, I was so happy just to finally be able to complete the original G1 cartoon Seeker cast in MP form. The releases of Ramjet and Thrust were plagued with controversy over QC issues that resulted in incorrect shoulder assembly on Ramjet and loose hips on Thrust.

For the most part, the Dirge release has rectified those previous issues, but it's still not a perfect figure by any means. Click through below to watch my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. More pics and my thoughts are also further below.

The box art is the same classy MP design (thankfully they haven't decided to change that like they did with the collector card art!). Accessories are a bare minimum with the recent MP-11 releases. The cluster bombs are a nice addition for jet mode, but pretty useless to me for bot mode.

Jet mode looks pretty nice, but mine did have a weird issue with the knees that prevented me from being able to get the brown wide panels to sit flush with the wings. I tried various knee angles, but just couldn't get it right. I gave up in the end since I always display the core cast in bot mode.

And overall in bot mode Dirge does look pretty nice. I do wish they had given him more paint application, since he does seem very plasticky. Some premium glossy or metallic paint would've given him a more premium feel.

At least this time there's no issues with the shoulders and loose hips. Everything feels firm and sturdy. I would be very careful with the folding joints on the wings though. I've barely touched mine, but can see small stress marks on some joints already, so be careful there.

I do like the head sculpt, and the overall body proportions I think are the best out of all the conehead variants on the market. The 3rd party choices all have something off about them for me, such as heads that are too small, or bodies that are too short or too tall. I think the MP-11 mold strikes a decent enough balance for cartoon accuracy. Some hate the large knees, but I think they look pretty great.

Together with his conehead brethren, they look awesome on display. There's enough mold retooling to make them interesting, and the differences with the standard MP-11 Starscream mold also sets them apart nicely.

For now, I'm glad they've completed the Seekers I wanted in the MP series. No doubt I'm sure the future will hold some new design, but hopefully that's a few years off and Takara can release more characters from the G1 Season 1 and 2 character list. Definitely looking forward to Sunstreaker!

15 Jun 2017

Lego 75144 Star Wars Ultimate Collector's Series Snowspeeder

After getting the original Lego UCS X-wing and TIE Interceptor back around 2000, I passed on most of the others, including the previous UCS Snowspeeder. But once Lego announced a new version of the X-wing, TIE Fighter, Slave 1, and now the Snowspeeder, I just couldn't resist!

I was actually hoping this year's release would be a new UCS Millenium Falcon, but that was not to be. But Lego have still done a stellar job with this new Snowspeeder!

Click through below to checkout my video review of the new Snowspeeder. Scroll on down for some more pics and thoughts :)

I ordered the set directly from the Lego online store using VIP points that I accrued from the previous UCS sets. They threw in the new 30611 R2-D2 set, which was a nice little build. I thought it was actually just a mini-figure, but the build was a nice treat.

Here's the finished R2-D2, which is pretty nice for a freebie given out with the Snowspeeder! Shame the centre leg can't really retract, but that's a minor nit to pick.

But onto the main attraction! First up, I had no idea who the mini-fig pilots were until I read the instruction manual. I never realised Rogue 2 from Hoth (who located Han and Luke in the snow) was called Zev Senesca. I don't think his name is ever mentioned in the movie. He has the darker helmet of the two, and I still have no idea who the other pilot is meant to be. Both have nicely printed labels on their outfits, and suit the display stand well.

The build for the Snowspeeder was pretty straight forward, and throughout Lego made sure to include some nice moments. There were definitely some engineering design elements that surprised and impressed me. Of note were the way in which the ball joints are used to create the angles at the front of the craft, the way the gears and rear thrusters rotate together to open up the wing flaps, control within the cockpit of the rear harpoon gun, and the design of the cockpit itself.

A controversial point was the use of rubber bands to close the gap of the underside wings against the top folding wings. I worry about the longevity of the rubber bands, but there's not too much tension in them. I still think Lego could've used the usual angle brackets, but I guess they used the bands to make a perfect alignment of the top and bottom wings.

The rear vertical fins fit in nicely and were a separate component to build. Inserting them into the main body was a bit of a pain, so be careful where you put your hands to apply pressure.

As I mentioned before, the front angular panels were created using ball jointed panels, which was a great idea to allow easy adjustment of the panels. Overall I think it makes the front look better than the original set. I also love the subtle angle of the laser cannons on top of the wings. It was great seeing how all the separate parts connected together along the length of the wing.

Perhaps my only other nitpick is Lego's continued use of stickers. I really wish they would just tamp all their decals and save collectors the hassle of trying to align things perfectly. But again, in the overall scheme of things, that's not too big a deal.

On display, the size and detail are right up there with the other recent UCS sets, and make for a great Star Wars display. Hopefully they announce a new Millenium Falcon soon so that I can start saving!