Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Review of The Lego Movie Is Here!

        I love Lego!  From the basic sets of my own childhood to the exciting themed sets of today!  There's nothing a creative builder can't bring to life with Lego.  Some builders like to assemble a Lego model according to the included instructions; others just dip into their creative wellsprings and assemble the unexpected.  I was the latter.  Is one method better than the other? That's one of the things The Lego Movie from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures challenges us to consider.
     Our hero is a Lego everyman named Emmet.  A dedicated construction worker living in the city of Bricksburg.  Emmet, like everyone else in Bricksburg, lives his life according to rules and instructions.  Everyone greets the day, goes to work and spends their free time in strictly regimented fashion.  This suits Lord Business; the dictatorial leader of this world just fine.  He orders the destruction of all buildings, vehicles, and monuments that deviate from his idea of normalcy.  He plans to make these changes irreversible with a weapon known as the Kragle.
     After a seemingly normal work day; Emmet comes into contact with a strange relic known  as The Piece Of Resistance. He soon meets a mysterious woman named Wildstyle who believes him to be a legendary 'master builder' known as The Special.  The Special is the only being capable of using the Piece Of Resistance to defeat Lord Business and restore creative freedom to the Lego world.  Problem is, Emmet is a great builder only when he has instructions to work from.
      The pair are pursued through various Lego worlds by legions of robots led by the sinister Good Cop/Bad Cop. On his journey Emmet will be assisted by a vast variety of  master builders including Batman, Metalbeard the Pirate, Benny the 80's Lego Spaceman, and the blind prophet Vitruvius.  Emmet must combine what he knows about building from instructions with the unbridled creativity of the master builders to realize his destiny.
    Despite having a less than subtle similarity to The Matrix;  I loved this movie.  It was amazing.  The combination of cgi and stop motion animation made this film really stand out as  something refreshing.  The voice acting was really impressive.  Will Arnett's portrayal of Batman along with Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius made this movie very enjoyable.  Liam Neeson was also fantastic as Good Cop/Bad cop.  Batman does steal the show though.  The soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh will be stuck in your head long after the film ends.
      I can't recommend this movie enough.  It'll definitely entertain younger viewers and keep adults interested as well.  You'll need a keen eye to catch all of the cameos,  but it's worth it.  Go see The Lego Movie; your inner master builder will thank you.

Popynica Has Got A Lot of GUTS Part Nine: The GUTS Helijet Connery!

      Well, it has taken a loooong time, but I have another Popynica GUTS vehicle to add to the blog.  It's the GUTS helijet Connery. It's a great design, but it only featured in three Ultraman Dyna episodes that I recall. Initially I translated the craft's name as Canary.  This made sense to me since the other craft were referred to as Eagles and  Canary would certainly be keeping with the bird theme.    I've been corrected by more than one source; so Connery it is. 
        I have long been  fan of ducted rotor VTOL craft and the Connery certainly delivers on this.  On Ultraman Dyna, the Connery is shown as a small reconnaissance craft needing only a two-person crew.  The toy, on the other hand; is implied to be a Thunderbird 2 like craft.  The toy has a rear cargo bay with smaller vehicles inside.  The 3 tiny plastic vehicles don't seem to correspond with anything else featured on Ultraman Dyna.  They're certainly neat, but I'm not sure what they're supposed to represent.
        The two rotor wing scan be raised and lowered.  The rotors can also be made to spin with the aid of two dials.  Like the other Super GUTS mecha; the Connery can be docked with the GUTS Eagle Beta.  The Connery is certainly another Popynica toy triumph.  It's durably made, displays well; and is a great edition to my GUTS mecha collection.  Enjoy!
Rotor Wings in raised position for docking with the GUTS Eagle Beta
The Connery in the show never seemed large enough to have a cargo bay or auxiliary vehicles

What the heck are they supposed to be?

Well, one of these is clearly a ground vehicle, but the others are a mystery

Two additional aircraft?  Sea vehicles?  Spaceships?

These vehicles don't appear in Ultraman Dyna to the best of my knowledge.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Toy Hunter Season 3 Episode One Review Is Here!

    Travel Channel's amazing series Toy Hunter with Jordan Hembrough kicked off it's third season last Wednesday and it didn't disappoint. While working his booth at New York Comic Con; Jordan meets Darryl Mcdaniels of the legendary hiphop group Run DMC.  Darryl needs cool  toys for an important childrens charity he works with and Jordan's the only man for the job.  In addition to that, Darryl wants to accompany Jordan on the hunt.  Darryl certainly shares Jordan's enthusiasm for toys, but Jordan knows  to temper his enthusiasm with shrewd business skills. The people they meet and the toys they find are incredible.
     For me, half the fun of the show are the unbelievable toys that people have in their basements, attics, secret rooms, and storage sheds. This episode has some great toys on display including Mego Superheroes,  Mattel's Space: 1999 Eagle, and a rare Marx playset.  Plus, you learn some great toy trivia.  Ever wonder how Mego's Action Jackson doll got his name?  You'll find out in this episode.
      This was a great episode to star the season with.  Jordan's great personality and unrivaled knowledge of toys are all on display.  Travel channel continues to keep me as a viewer.  Here's to another season of cool locations, cool collectors, and of course; cool toys.
Jordan Hembrough at New York Comic Con 2013