31 Mar 2016

Rearranging the home theatre display room

It took a while for me to finally get around to finishing off the glass cabinets that I received a while back. But recently got it done and did a big rearranging of the figures to a point I'm mostly happy with it.

I got the two big cabinets you see here by a bit of bad luck that turned out well for me. I had originally only bought one since they're so expensive. But when I went to unpack it for assembly, I noticed that one of the side panels had a dent in the post. So I requested a replacement, and they said they would just send me a new one and I could keep the damaged one!

I tried putting the damaged one together, and luckily the dent was small enough that the panels still slide together! The replacement they sent me did not turn out to be a full replacement, but enough for me to complete the shell. So I contacted them, and they said they could just sell me the additional glass shelves if I wanted to finish it off.

So that's what I did, and ended up with two new cabinets for just over the cost of one! And together with the main 1/6th scale figures I have, I think they look pretty nice together. A definitely improvement over the Ikea Detolfs that's for sure!




For the low wide cabinet that I had from a couple of years ago, I reserved room for the new Hot Toys Delorean. I never got the Hot Toys Batmobile which is a shame, but if you've seen my latest video on the channel, you'll see that I've now added the Lego UCS X-wing into that left side to display with Xwing Pilot Luke there.

I do need to figure out a better way to display my Transformers Masterpiece figures, since the bottom shelf here is starting to look very crowded and too busy. I don't think I can fit another decent cabinet, so will have to rearrange a few more things around and see how that looks.




For the big Ikea Expedit bookshelf, I still regret not completing the cubicles with the glass doors before Ikea stupidly stopped making them. But at least there's enough for some of my smaller figures that are mainly focused around the 80s cartoons that I loved.




Overall I'm fairly happy with the way the room is turning out. Hopefully next year I'll setup the home theatre properly. Still deciding if I want to go with a larger TV or a projector/screen combination. Will think about that a bit more, but will be great once it's all done!

Hot Toys MMS322 First Order Snowtrooper Officer

When I received the my first Hot Toys figure from The Force Awakens in the Stormtrooper Squad Leader, I was pretty disappointed due to the restrictive ribbed undersuit. Fortunately, there's no disappointment in that regard with the new Snowtrooper!

For my full video review, which also compares it to the previous Sideshow Snowtrooper from The Empire Strikes Back, click the link below to head over to the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.



The packaging is the usual classy style in this price range of Star Wars figures. Again, the artwork on the cardboard insert is nice and shows off the figure well.



The figure comes with an adequate array of accessories, all nicely painted and designed. I only got the single figure release of the Snowtrooper Officer, and not the two pack with the Officer and regular Snowtrooper. So I only got the longer rifle and not the standard short blaster. But that's not too big a deal for me.



The binoculars are nicely designed, and fold up almost like a handbag. There are hands that can be used to grip the side handles of the binoculars if you want to pose it with them. The backpack is also nicely molded, and fits onto the back armour plate with a simple hook mechanism. The hands themselves swap out fairly easily, and are nicely molded with details that really make them look like thicker gloves ready for snow.



The pauldron is glued to the chest plate and can't be easily removed unless you break it off or heat up the glue somehow. It may damage the armour so I wouldn't recommend it. I do like this design of the helmet, although such a thin visor to see through seems counter-intuitive to seeing your enemy clearly. But the glossy white paint app and black panel-lining all seems good on mine.

The outfit tailoring and design is definitely the best thing on the figure for me. The various layers and different material used is very nice, and all fits well to complete the overall look. The only nit-pick I could have is to say everything on the outfit looks a little too white and clean. A little bit of weathering would have added a bit to the realism, much like it was used pretty well on the old Sideshow Snowtrooper.


Overall, this is another solid release from Hot Toys in the Star Wars line. They've definitely made the Star Wars line their own, which the awesome figures from A New Hope and then this range of good figures from The Force Awakens. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how they go with Rey, BB-8, and Finn to complete my TFA collection :)

20 Mar 2016

Hot Toys MMS260 Back to the Future Delorean Time Machine

Wow, it certainly feels like a long wait for this amazing collectible to finally arrive! I preordered this on day one at local retailer Popcultcha Supastore, and am so glad it all arrived in pretty awesome condition.

Here's my quick video review of the car, some of the incredible detail, and light up features.



Box was definitely a big one! Will end up having to use it to store other figure boxes though lol!!



There's a bit of minor assembly at the start, with the front bumper and side panels needing to be attached. That's where a had an issue with the front bumper side coming a little unglued when I tried to attach the wires on the front edge. Luckily nothing actually broke, just the factory glue on that little piece wasn't strong enough. But a bit of glue on my part was enough to give it enough strength to hold the wire in and all is good!

The detailing along the rear is where the car shines, with all sorts of wires, molded parts, weathered paint apps etc to give it a nice sense of realism. The only major downer for me is that they went with a goddamn sticker for the number plate!! How Hot Toys came to that decision for an iconic car like this in this size and price range will forever be a mystery. It should have been at least a molded plastic license plate!! Luckily it still looks OK with the sticker in place.



Some stickers are also needed inside the car, which were a bit of a pain to get in. You will definitely need some tweezers to get them straight. They do give spares, which was good since I needed one! For the exterior, it's all plastic I think, but the brushed aluminium look to the paint app gives it a nice metallic finish.

The light-up feature is pretty neat, with the battery compartment under the hood. With the switch on, the headlights, side lights, flux capacitor and other internal lights, and rear lights all come one. The flashing flux capacitor is definitely a nice touch!



I love that the doors are magnetic and rotate on ratchet joints. With rotating and steerable rubber wheels too, the car looks great. It's a shame that more lighting couldn't be done on the internal panel of the car, especially the date readouts.

But in the end, with the Marty McFly figure stepping out of the car, the whole setup just looks amazing. I absolutely love it, and it will be an essential part of my collection forever! Highly recommended for Back to the Future fans for sure!






13 Mar 2016

Transformers Masterpiece MP-28 Hot Rod

A new mold in the Transformers Masterpiece line is always a good thing, and this new Hot Rod is no exception. I would not say that this is a replacement for the previous MP-9 Rodimus Prime figure, but a more accurate representation of the character in Hot Rod form before he changed into the leader.

Here's the link below to my full review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.



Certainly comes with a decent array of accessories, although some are purely for the one-off photos opportunity rather than long-term display I think. The fishing rod and cutting blade are nice homages to the specific scenes from the 1986 movie, but other than that I think I'll be sticking to the guns on display.

The alt mode does look great, but suffers from not being able to roll well on its wheels at all. The clearance is non-existent and rubs on the panels underneath no matter how hard you try. But I guess from a pure display perspective, it does look very accurate from all angles to the movie.



In bot mode, I think the proportions of the body are actually pretty good, and scales well with the other Autobot cars in the MP line. The transformation is not overly difficult, but there are a couple of areas to be careful of that you'll see in my video review.



Some collectors have complained about the squareness or flatness of the chest, but for me I think it looks fine. The way in which most things peg or slot in together makes for a nicely fitted backpack and torso. So no floppiness in this one.



With new molds starting off 2016 in MP-27 Ironhide, and now MP-28 Hot Rod, with MP-29 Shockwave not far behind, it's looking to be a fantastic start to the year for Takara. If they continue the overall quality of these two for the rest of the year, I think collectors are in for a real treat!


11 Mar 2016

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles Ryu Ansatsuken Exclusive 1/4 scale statue

I still remember the preorder time like it was yesterday! I love Street Fighter and Ryu, so once I saw the teaser pics of this Ryu 1/4 scale statue, I knew I had to have it! Being my first PCS statue, I was warned that the preorder frenzy could be very stressful, with website drop outs and cancelled orders etc. Being in Australia, the preorder open was in the middle of the night, so I stayed up until the time it started.

It was a heart-stopping 4-5 minutes trying to enter all the information and push through the payment via PayPal. Luckily for me the timestamp on the order was within 10 mins, as that was essentially the cutoff to get an approved order for the Ansatsuken exclusive version that had a smaller edition size.

I was so happy to secure the preorder, and pretty much sat back for about 21 months for this to finally be released! I had no idea that it would take this long to release, but since the AUD dropped significantly in that period, I was actually lucky to have paid upfront with the upfront discount and much higher AUD!

So was it worth the wait? Click through below to watch my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel and find out! :) Or scroll down further below for more pics and thoughts :)



The packaging itself was simple, yet protected the statue well inside with sturdy foam.



Immediate out of the box still in the foam, it was immediately obvious that the costume (the gi) was a very weathered yellow colour that had been the source of much complaint. Still in the plastic wrapping, I got a sense of what the other collectors were debating, but I hoped for the best when taking it all out for full display.



Before I go further on the yellowing, I must say that I love the underlying sculpt and paint application of the statue. My photos tend to make the statue seem a bit too shiny, but it's definitely not like that in hand. I think it's more to do with my bright cold white LED lighting that gives that effect.



The three head sculpts included with the Ansatsuken exclusive are all pretty fantastic, with my favourite definitely being the angry snarling face. The skin texture perhaps doesn't have that ultra realistic freckling like Hot Toys figures, but it certainly has some texture that looks great up close.



The paint app on the arms in particular is outstanding, with the faint blue of the veins and all the shadowing that accentuates the musculature of the sculpt. Overall I'm really happy with the pose and proportions of the statue.



For the mixed media, I love the fabric head band, and the costume itself is made of a great canvas type material that isn't overly delicate. The intentional fraying around the shoulders and ankles looks quite realistic and is nicely done.

The belt is also a nice material with clear gold kanji on the front. The gloves, although not fabric or leather like, still have a nice paint app that accentuates the detail in the fist and knuckles.



Of course not everything is perfect. I have to agree with many collectors who are complaining about the degree of yellowing in the costume. The prototype pictures certainly show that there is some weathering, but it is much more subtle that was is on the final production costume.

As I show in my video review, the biggest problem I think is that the weathering is not consistently applied throughout. This makes for some jarring transitions between yellow and bright white areas of the costume that give it an incomplete or messy job.

I think that if the weathering was more subtly applied, or at least more consistently applied, then it wouldn't look off in those areas. For what it is, it does come across a bit like Ryu has spilled some coffee on himself. Luckily in most natural lighting, the yellowing effect isn't too distracting.



The costume also have wiring across the front stitching and neck area, so you can futz around with it to give it a looser appearance and show off the great musculature of the torso area a bit more.



In the end, as my first PCS statue, I'm pretty happy with it. The pose is iconic Ryu for sure, and the quality of the paint app is great. The mixed media is also really nice material that is not overly delicate to adjust. With the three head sculpts to give some variety in the display cabinet, I think it's certainly worth the preorder price that I paid. Aside from the yellowing, the only other complaint I have is that now I want the Gouken statue as well lol!! :)

6 Mar 2016

BigBoysToysHK TNC-03 Chun-Li

I'm a big Street Fighter fan, and loved the two previous releases in this line with Ryu and Ken. This new Chun-Li is every bit as good, and I love the sound and lightup effects!

Click through the link below to see my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Having these all together looks and sounds fantastic! :)



The box art is beautiful as always with this line!



The backdrop is the iconic Street Fighter 2 stage for Chun-Li. What would've taken it to the next level would've been the guy on the bicycle as a separate display piece like the barrel on Ken's stage! :)



Love that these things just look awesome from every angle!



The lightup effect that follows the sequence of her leg kick is just amazing. I just love mashing that button for the sounds and lights! :)



The paint and sculpting is again outstanding from BigBoysToysHK. They've really been doing a great job with these little statues in this super-deformed style.



Together with Ryu and Ken really show off how amazing these look. They have teased Guile as the next one out, and have promised to do the entire Street Fighter 2 World Warrior roster. Here's hoping that holds true and make this a Street Fighter collector line to remember!


Fans Toys FT-13 Mercenary (aka Shrapnel)

If there's one company out there that can compete with Takara in terms of build quality and G1 aesthetics, it has to be Fans Toys. I think the company is based in China, and have been releasing very high quality figures for a few years now, including their much-loved Quakewave and Dinobot range.

I jumped onboard with their first Insecticon release with Grenadier (aka Bombshell),which was a fantastic figure. This new Mercenary (aka Shrapnel) follows that trend with another awesome release. In terms of build quality, I'd have to say these perhaps even exceed official Takara figures, with great use of diecast to add strategic weight and a premium feel.

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



I love the way Fans Toys package their figures with the nice foam. This package comes with a decent set of accessories, including the more cartoon accurate insect legs that you can swap out.



The chroming on the pincers is very nicely done. The joints at the base of the head, and around the limbs too, are pretty tight at first, so definitely go slow to prevent any breakage.

The initial transformation to alt mode was tricky for me, especially in moving the bot legs into position on the insect back. You'll see in my video that I almost took some skin off pushing them into place lol!! :)



Posed together with Grenadier gives you an idea on how awesome these figures look. With FT-14 Forager (aka Kickback) coming out hopefully in March/April, the complete original Insecticon team will look fantastic! All I need now is to get some Decepticon logos for their chest plates and I'm good to go!

Definitely recommended, especially since Takara seems a little slow in announcing any further Decepticons this year in the official MP line.


Transformers Masterpiece MP-27 Ironhide

When I first saw the prototype photos for the new Transformers Masterpiece Ironhide, I totally hated the hip panels. Something just looked wrong with them!

But now that I have the figure in hand, the overall awesomeness of this new mold by Takara makes the hip panels seem like only a minor nitpick! This figure is just fantastic, with some great transformation sequences that are great "Masterpiece Moments" for me!

Click through below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!



This is one release that Takara has absolutely stacked with accessories! It's great that the figure itself is an all-in-one transformation, but they pay homage to the odd G1 cartoon scene and toy with the separate weapons platform too.

The alt mode itself is just a perfect representation of the official car, and look so good! Love that they included the homage to the G1 toy face through the windscreen!



Once into bot mode, the size/scale of the figure really shines, with the bulk sitting nicely between that of Optimus and the other smaller Autobot cars like Prowl and Sideswipe. So it makes for an awesome and fairly accurate display straight out of the G1 cartoon!

The head sculpt was another concern from initial prototype pics, where it looked a little skinny. But the final production version seems perfect to me, and the swap out face allows you to recreate his final scene at the hands of Megatron.

Aside from the hip panels, I would say this is as perfect a G1 Ironhide as you could have. The hip panels don't annoy me as much as I thought, but it still would've been nice if they had designed a way in which they could be folded away.

But aside from that, this is definitely another must-have addition to the Masterpiece Autobot ranks! Bring on the new Hot Rod and Shockwave!! :)



5 Mar 2016

Hot Toys MMS320 Kylo Ren

I got the Hot Toys Kylo Ren 1/6th scale figure recently despite being a little disappointed it didn't come with too many accessories. An unmasked head sculpt would've been a great way to add some value for money for this figure.

But on its own, it's still a solid release by Hot Toys. Check out my full video review linked below on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Scroll further down for a few pics and extra thoughts.



The packaging with this Star Wars line has been pretty nice from Hot Toys, especially the cardboard inserts. The artwork is great and shows off the figure and Stormtroopers nicely.



As I mentioned above, it doesn't come with too many accessories. The light up feature is something a lot of collectors seem to want, but I for one hate electronic features and never use them in my display. The light up saber looks pretty nice, but again the swap out is too much effort for me to bother doing it! I've heard the zip on the arm is delicate, so be careful you don't break it when swapping out the forearms.



The stand out feature of the figure is definitely the costume. There is a plethora of different material used and various layers of clothing, all adding a lot to the realism of the figure. When I saw initial photos, I actually thought the pattern on the main cloak looked a little toyish, but in hand it's actually very nice.



None of the costume hinders articulation too much, except perhaps the pants where wide action poses might stretch the crotch area too much. But overall, the poseability of this figure is pretty awesome. The attention to detail in the mask and gloves, with shades of weathering, is also nicely done.



If you're a fan of The Force Awakens, this figure is pretty much a must-have to go along with the Stormtrooper releases. There's probably a battle damaged unmasked version on its way, so be prepared to fork out more for another Kylo Ren figure. But in the mean time, this is another solid release by Hot Toys that looks great on display.

Sideshow Collectibles R5-D4 1/6th scale figure

Here's my look at the recent Sideshow Collectibles R5-D4 1/6th scale figure. Check out the review at the link below to the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel :)




It came in definitely the smallest box I've received from Sideshow. I guess that's understandable since there really isn't too much to the figure.




The most disappointing aspect for me is the fact mine arrived with the centre leg assembled in reverse. But local retailer Popcultcha Supastore sorted me out with a replacement hassle free, so can't complain too much,

It would've been nice if the final production weathering paint app was more similar to the great look on the prototype. The final paint app is very clearly handbrushed on in some areas, especially on the dome.

But on display with Artoo and Hot Toys Luke, and definitely with the Jawa set coming soon, it'll look great and be a worthy addition to the Star Wars collection.


3 Mar 2016

Kotobukiya Marvel Bishoujo Lady Deadpool

I've been loving the Bishoujo line of late, and this new Lady Deadpool is just another awesome addition to this beautiful line of statues. I tried staying away from the comic related statues in this line, but once I got Wonder Woman and Black Widow, I couldn't resist preordering this when I saw it teased by Kotobukiya. Definitely glad I jumped on the Deadpool bandwagon for this! :)

Here's my full video review below on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can check it out! Further down are some more photos of this gorgeous statue.




It comes with a swap out head and hand, but I love the head sculpts on these statues so will definitely display unmasked.



Paint app and sculpting are exceptional as always from Kotobukiya. The facial skin texture is beautiful, and the overall sexiness of the pose really comes through too.



Looks great from pretty much any angle!





If you're a Marvel fan even remotely interested in Deadpool, I'd highly recommend this fairly unique take on the Deadpool character. It's definitely up there with the best of Kotobukiya's Marvel Bishoujo statues.