16 Feb 2017

RANT - Community of Whiney, Self-entitled Collectors!!

Had to get something off my chest in what has seemingly become a collecting community of self-entitled moaners that think the world revolves around them.

Lately, there seems to be a lot of collectors that do nothing but complain about the rising prices of toys (yes, all those figures and statues are bloody toys!), where they blast companies for being greedy, or not making things that they like, or taking too long to release something.

Fuck me, has this collecting community really become that self-entitled?!? The fact that we are collecting toys at all is a bloody luxury, not a life necessity!! For sure, complain about governments and big companies that might be able to control oil prices, grocery prices, taxes etc that all impact life's needs. But fucking toys?!?

By all means, complain if there are QC issues and faults where you don't get the quality expected for whatever price point you paid. But if toy prices rise beyond your means, then be adult enough to STOP COLLECTING! Or buy cheaper toys that you can afford! Or shit, maybe even try another hobby!

I'll walk away from collecting whenever it all gets too expensive for me. But just like I don't go shit-canning the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari etc for making cars that I can't afford, I buy what I bloody can (yes, that old Mazda is doing me just bloody fine!) When I buy something that's a luxury such as a car, a coffee machine, a TV etc, I look for a bargain and vote with my wallet. I don't sit there complaining about how companies are trying to rip me off to maximise their profits.

Guess what! Every fucking company exists to maximise profits! I have seen collectors complaining that companies are no longer doing things for collectors, but only focused on profits. Are you fucking blind?! When has any toy company ever existed in the history of toy making that has been purely about collectors?!? NEVER!!! It's the toy BUSINESS for crying out loud. All of them (like all businesses) exist to maximise profits!

So what can collectors do if they don't like the price?! How about voting with your goddamn wallet! If enough people agree that an item is too expensive and sales are down, the toy company obviously isn't stupid enough to keep raising prices because they will lose money! For businesses, it's ALWAYS a balancing act of finding that compromise between customer affordability and profitability. If an item is expensive, but there are enough customers willing to pay the price, then that will become the market rate! Companies will always test that and go with what works for their margin.

Complaining that companies are ripping you off is just bullshit. They're not forcing you to buy the item! You need to buy petrol for your car to go to work. You need to buy groceries to feed your family. You need to work and pay taxes etc. You do NOT need to buy fucking toys!

The stupidest thing I read today from a whining collector was "They're raising prices to make more money that they don't necessarily need" WHAT.THE.FUCK?!?! How the hell does that person know how much the toy company "necessarily needs" to maintain it's profitability?!?

The toy company will charge whatever they see fit to cover their costs in designing, manufacturing, marketing, and shipping that item (in addition to funding future projects)! If you don't like the price, just DON'T BUY IT!! The best way to send a message to the company is to not buy and make them reconsider their pricing. But if enough people buy, then why wouldn't any company set that price?! That's how businesses and market competition work!!

Then there are those self-absorbed people complaining that companies are not making figures they want. Companies will ALWAYS make toys that sell! That esoteric character from that cult movie you love will NOT fucking get made! The faster you deal with that reality the better! Companies do not exist to make specific figures that you want! There are heaps of characters that I would love to have in my collection, but I know sales of those would be far less than mainstream characters. That's not the toy companies fault!!

And there are those complaining that toys take too long to release!? Geezus, do you not have anything else worthy in your life to pass that time away?! Are you literally sitting at your doorstep waiting for that damn toy to arrive?! You need to get some fucking life perspective if that's what you're complaining about all the time! If preorders are 12 months in advance now, noone's forcing you to preorder so early! Preorder later, or wait until it releases! It's not that hard!

To finish, yes this is my rant complaining about other  people complaining. But fuck me, I try to have a positive outlook with this hobby, and seeing all this self-entitled bullshit from collectors really makes me wonder why people are in the hobby if they're so unhappy with it!

I read some good advice once about "don't sweat the small stuff". Surely in the big scheme of things, collecting toys counts as "small stuff"!

7 Feb 2017

Sideshow Collectibles Evil-Lyn Masters of the Universe exclusive statue

Sideshow's three current Masters of the Universe statues were all released in very quick succession beginning in  Dec 2016 with He-Man, then Skeletor in January and now Evil-Lyn. And I have to say they have done an incredible job with each one! There's only one issue that I have with the Evil-Lyn, and that's mostly fixed with a slight modification to the way I've displayed it.

Click through below for my full video review of Evil-Lyn over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel:)



Out of the box, the statue itself looks amazing. The paint app is clean with no bleeding, and I love the makeup and high gloss paint they used on the lips and fingernails. But as I feared from Sideshow's own unboxing video, the statue has an excessive forward lean to her left that was not seen in the prototype sculpt or the official prototype preorder photos.

The pose itself is quite good, and holding just the statue body itself off the base, it's clear it matches the prototype well. Her right leg is mostly straight, in which her weight should be on that leg. Her left leg is the bent one, but with the lean it seems her weight is unnaturally on her left leg.

I think it comes down to how the main statue is placed on the base, or the angle of the base itself, that causes the strange forward lean. Since there's no easy way to fix how the foot pegs fit into the base, the only way I could think to correct the lean was to place some folder paper underneath the front edge of the base to essentially lift up that forward lean and make her more straight.

The folded paper is not too noticeable on display, but makes a big difference to her posture, so I definitely recommend doing something like that to correct the pose. Other than this issue, everything else is pretty much perfect on the statue!




Unlike the hands on Skeletor which were a little loose, the hands on Evil-Lyn are pretty solid, and fit nicely into the arms with strong magnets. You can loop the cape around the wrists and that all hangs together with the magnetic neck piece. The cape is necessary I think to add that signature bit of purple to her, otherwise her outfit looks a little too black, even with the silver highlights.



Some collectors have commented that her legs look a little short. I think that's an optical illusion due to all the black in her outfit that hides her legs and hips. To counter that, you need to futz the front fabric skirt to be more like the prototype sculpt. That sculpt actually showed the front skirt tucked between her legs, that revealed her thighs, and showed off her boots and stockings.

Revealing the skin of her thighs breaks up all that black, and gives her legs and pose a more natural look. I didn't do a very good job in the photo below of tucking it between her legs, but I have since done it and it makes a world of difference in how she looks on display. The skirt tucked down vertically in a natural manner makes the overall outfit and pose look much better.



The exclusive accessory in Screeech the Falcon is a nice solid piece. It's painted and sculpted well, with a nice bit of weight to it too. The base fits perfectly in with the Snake Mountain aesthetic of Evil-Lyn and Skeletor.

Overall, I love the Evil-Lyn statue, and together with He-Man and Skeletor they make for an incredible looking centerpiece for any MOTU collection. I just wish it wasn't going to take so long for the next statue in the series to be released! They've teased She-Ra as the next, but without even an announcement yet, it's looking to be a 2018 release at the earliest. Hopefully they continue this great looking style for many years to come!

Get this evil witch for yourself by clicking the link here to head over to Sideshow Collectibles! :)




6 Feb 2017

Bandai Soul of Chogokin GX-71 Voltron

After getting the Toynami 30th Anniversary diecast Voltron back in 2014, I was pretty disappointed in its lack of quality. But at the time, it was pretty much the best Lion Voltron around in the classic 80s cartoon style.

But then in 2016, the Bandai Soul of Chogokin Voltron was finally announced, and I was told that no company does diecast robots better than Bandai! And I'm glad I put my faith in those collectors advising me, because this new SoC Voltron is so much better it's not even a fair comparison! This is now the definitive Lion Voltron, and will likely remains so for quite a number of years!

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



Since I got mine from Big Bad Toy Store out of the USA, the box comes with an extra outer slip cover that has the Voltron emblem and additional text in English. The actual box itself has the traditional Japanese writing and artwork.



The lions out of the box look fantastic, and the overall improvement in quality over the Toynami is immediately obvious. The ratchets in the legs feel so nice to move, with no weakness or marred chroming. The main body parts of plastic with a metallic finish, but it's abundantly clear this is a toy designed with diecast components where they're needed for strength and stability.

The Toynami made the fatal mistake of upgrading a toy designed for plastic with a lot of diecast weight, resulting in weak plastic joints and heavy bodies. For this SoC version, all the joints and key areas of articulation are all diecast, and the design simply works to perfection!



The stand to house all the weapons is a nice touch, and everything simply clicks together. The design of the lions is awesome, and each can articulate in lion mode to actually pose in the crouching/sitting position. The Toynami had legs that were loose and not stable, whereas the SoC has incredible ball joints and hinges that help with very natural lion poses. Even the feet have ankle and swivel articulation!



Forming the main robot is pretty simple, and nothing feels fragile at all. Even with the legs in place, the weight can be supported by the waist joints so that the legs do not clang together like previous Toynami versions! It is just so well built!

The mechanism to connect and disconnect the limbs is robust, and won't appear to damage to loosen the figure over time. Every little facet about unpegging or pressing a button to release a limb is just well thought out.



The overall proportions of the body are much more cartoon accurate than the Toynami. The torso is much wider, and the thighs have a better width to give the figure bulk and presence on display. Rotating the leg and should joints feels nice and sturdy too, and they hold their poses.



Now I just hope Bandai get the license to make a Vehicle Voltron too! The one I have is the old Miracle Productions MA-01 version. I was lucky to get a later version that had many of the QC issues fixed. But if Bandai are able to make one in the Soul of Chogokin line, there is no doubt in my mind that they would build it to be far superior. If you're a fan of Voltron, do NOT hesitate to get this new SoC Lion Voltron figure. It's a figure built to last for another 30 years! Love it! :)

Sideshow Collectibles Skeletor Masters of the Universe exclusive statue

I loved the first statue in the new Sideshow Masters of the Universe series with He-Man. And this follow up with Skeletor is every bit as awesome! Check out my full video review below over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel :)



I got the exclusive version that comes with the additional swap out cartoon styled head sculpt. With the prototype pics I thought I'd like the regular head sculpt more since it's a more realistic style that complements this new aesthetic from Sideshow. But in hand, the exclusive head sculpt is actually nicely sculpted and painted, and the yellow does not look overly cartoonish. So I think for my display I'll be going with the exclusive head sculpt.

Note that the head of the staff I have rotated all the way down the staff to the hand like it was shown in the prototype pics. Many inhand videos, including Sideshow's own unboxing video, show the ram's head just placed near the top of the staff, which makes it very top heavy and unstable.

All you need to do is adjust the position of the hand once placing the bottom of the staff, and then rotate the ram's head down to the correct location just above the hand. A little pressure is all that's needed, and since the staff is metal, there's low risk of any breakage. Doing so will make sure the staff is stable and the head won't suddenly topple off.




The base is nicely sculpted and painted too. Some early reports indicated there were loose pieces inside the base, but luckily mine is OK with no rattling inside. It all feels pretty solid. The lava paint app looks decent in hand, and the holes fit the foot pegs well to hold the statue in place.



The sculpting and detail of the body and armour is perhaps even better than it was on He-Man. This sculpt just has so much detail, with a great bluish body paint with the black wash in all the right places to accentuate the musculature.

The armour pieces are all plastic, which has annoyed some collectors, but I don't really care to be honest. The paint app looks metallic, and is flexible enough to avoid any damage particularly when placing the neck armour and cape around the shoulders.



The chest armour and shoulder piece look great, again with lots of detail. The cape pegs were a bit of a pain to get in, particularly with the furry pieces wrapped around the peg. But gently prying the plastic piece wider and lining up the peg holes solved that easily enough.

Before putting the cape on, make sure to give it a spray of water and a gentle iron on low heat. It will remove the extensive wrinkles since it is packaged all rolled up. The shiny inner lining will look much smoother and more natural with the wrinkles removed.



There were some complaints about the hands being loose with weak magnets. The hands are looser than on He-Man for sure, but mine aren't too loose to the point I'm worried that they'll fall out. Even picking up to move they felt stable enough, but maybe just remove them when moving just in case.

Again the plastic nature of the armour doesn't bother me. If noone told me, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway on display! The sculpting and paint app make the armour pieces look amazing!




It would've been nice if the sword was made of metal like it was on He-Man. The details are intricate, and would've been a nice touch in metal, but at least it looks nice attached via a magnet on his back.



Under that cape, the excellent sculpting and detail continues to the rear of the armour. The torso, waist, and even lower leg armour really has been sculpted beautifully. It's almost a shame the cape covers it all! I did consider displaying the statue without the cape, but unlike He-Man, this Skeletor looks a little skinny without the cape. The cape gives the statue a bit more bulk and gravitas for this evil character I think.



Displayed together with He-Man, these two make for I think some of Sideshow's most visually dynamic and interesting statues for a long time! The barbarian / fantasy style of these perfectly suit the adults that grew up watching the cartoon, with a sophisticated aesthetic coupled with all the nostalgic cues the MOTU line deserves. I hope Sideshow continues this line for many years to come to release all the core characters from their premium art print! Highly recommended!

Click the link here to head over to Sideshow for all the order details :)