Saturday, March 15, 2014

Starbase Olympia Report: Hot Wheels Kilingon Bird of Prey! Into Darkness Version!

     Finally, we're back with more great models from the collection of my close friend Dan Foster in Olympia, Washington.  This time we have the Hot Wheels Klingon Bird of Prey as it was imagined for the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness.  As much as I love the classic Bird of Prey design; the latest interpretation has a lot going for it.  It's less elegant and with a greater degree of venom than we've seen before.  It's definitely what I like to call and angry design.  Hot Wheels brought those qualities into their diecast model.  I'll let the photos do the real talking.  Thank you Dan for once again providing a great contribution to the blog.  Enjoy!


Movie generation Bird of Prey for comparison

A Belated Yet Happy Birthday To Mike At The Project Sword Moonbase Central Blog!

     Tuesday Mar 11 was the birthday of  Mike Burrows (Scoop) from the Project Sword Moonbase Central Blog.  Although I was able to send him a birthday email on the appropriate day; this is was the soonest I could celebrate it here.  Mike is an amazing person with whom I've had many enjoyable Skype conversations.  When I was a guest on Moonbase Central's Swordcast; he was the host.  He and the other Moonbase staffers were also kind enough to appear on our Secret Space Base Podcast as well.  He also shares my enthusiasm for Doctor Who's most notorious enemies; The Daleks!  So here's to you my friend, Happy Birthday!

My Ultimate Saturday Lineup!

        Ah.....Saturday morning.  Best day of the week.   Having reached middle age Saturday means I get to depressurize from the rigors of the work week and relax.  When I was a kid it meant cartoons, toy commercials, and large quantities of sugary cereals.  I have no doubt that if you were a kid in the 70's it was the same for you.  Am I right?  Sadly, the era of the kid centric Saturday morning has long since become extinct.  Today's kids have no idea what they missed out on.  I've decided To resurrect the classic Saturday morning even if it's just for one weekend.  Unlike Saturdays of my long ago youth; I'm no longer subject to what the networks assume are cool cartoons.  It's the 21st century and I can create my own awesome lineup of shows and commercials.  My ultimate Saturday would be composed exclusively of scifi and adventure cartoons with correspondingly appropriate toy commercials.  Now I present to you my ultimate Saturday morning.  Enjoy!

Marine Boy Episode 1

Micronauts Toy Commercial

Stingray Episode 1

Tang Commercial 1

Space Sentinels Episode 1

Mattel Shogun Warriors Commercial

Fantastic Voyage Episode 1

Kenner Star Wars Commercial

Sealab 2020 Episode 1

Crazy Cow Cereal Commercial

Land of the Lost Episode 2

Mego Star Trek Playset Commercial

Friday, March 14, 2014

Go Forth Science Patrol! The Bandai DX Ultraman Jet VTOL Part Two! Space Mode!

     Well, here it is; the second part of my article about the Bandai DX Ultraman Jet VTOL.  On Dec 14, 2013 I wrote about the background of this cool aircraft from the 1966 Japanese SF series Ultraman and about the Bandai toy's basic features.  In this article I want to show the VTOL with its distinctive space booster; known on Ultraman as the Hydrogen Engine.  In Episode 16, Science Patrol Into Space; a civilian spacecraft is attacked by the Baltan Aliens and left adrift in deep space.  The only way to reach it successfully is with the experimental booster attachment.  It certainly looked cool in the show and it looks great on the Bandai VTOL.  Enjoy!

Awesome Japanese Toy Commercials Part 1

The collection featured in the above Bing image is very impressive

     It's no secret that I collect and dearly love vintage Japanese diecast toys.  Whether they are based on popular anime characters such as Mazinger Z or cool original toys such as Nakajima's UFO assortment; I can't get enough.  The commercials for these toys are just as awesome as the toys themselves.  I present for you the first in a three part special featuring collections of Japanese toy commercials from the 70s and 80s.  You won't believe how cool these commercials are.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Marvel's Agents of Shield Returns Tonight!

     After a grueling month long wait, Marvel's Agents of Shield returns for the 14th episode of it's first season.  No one is happier about that than I am.  Despite a great deal of unwarranted nay saying; I love this show.  For a series in its first season; I feel its been doing a great job of keeping me interested in its story and characters.  The fact that it operates in conjunction with Marvel's Cinematic Universe only increases my enjoyment.   It's definitely worth watching.  Below is a sneak peak at tonight's episode featuring guest star Bill Paxton.  Tune in tonight and enjoy!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Forces of Vega Beware! Popynica Grendizer Is Here!

   I love Japanese Super Robots and Super Robot toys!  I was in the first generation of American fans to witness the arrival of the Super Robot stateside in the form of Mattel's Shogun Warriors lineup.  The Shogun Warriors were comprised of several different Super Robot franchises including Mazinger Z, Brave Reideen, Danguard Ace, and, of course; UFO Robo Grendizer!  The toy line included large robot figures and an assortment of diecast vehicles.  It was the diecast line that held my interest then and now.  The vehicles were produced by Popy Popynica and were amazing.  The Grendizer toy I'm featuring today came from that line.
    Grendizer was created by famed manga artist andnime producer Go Nagai in 1975.  It was the epic story of Duke Fleed; the sole survivor of a planet devastated by the Vegan Empire.  Duke escaped to Earth and continues to battle the Vegans with the Super Robot Grendizer.  A fantastic, giant robot that combined with a saucer shaped spacecraft that provided it with additional weapons and greater maneuverability.  Americans were able to watch Grendizer in the form of episode compilations produced by Jim Terry under the Force Five cartoon label.
     This toy was my single greatest find at this year's Tucson Toy Show.  Although it has some paint wear and a damaged wing button, the toy is in very good shape with no missing parts.  Usually when I see this oop the missiles and/or the robot figure are missing.  Not this time.  It's very sturdy, the missiles still fire as does the Grendizer robot itself.  I won't say how much the seller wanted compared to what I ended up paying, but I definitely channeled my inner Jordan Hembrough to score a major win.  I'll let my photos do the talking from here on out.  Enjoy!


Hot Wheels Batman The Animated Series Batmobile! Need I Say More?

     There have been many animated incarnations of Batman and his iconic auto throughout the years.  The greatest was easily Batman The Animated series.  Inspired by Tim Burton's Batman; this caped crusader was darker, tougher, and more driven than any we'd seen in animation.  The truly adult nature of the series startling and paved the way for what we now call the DC Animated universe which would later include  Superman The Animated Series, Justice League, and Justice League unlimited.  The Batmobile that featured in his series was no less impressive than its driver.  Low to the ground, containing no uneccesary surface features, yet still featuring an aft jet turbine; this Batmobile was literally a battering ram against evil.
      Hot Wheels certainly did it justice. no pun intended.  It may not possess any special features, but this toy is certainly accurate and durable.  It's certainly a nice addition to any Batmobile collection. This was my third find at this year's Tucson Toy Show. I'll let my photos do the real talking.  enjoy!

The Amazing Hot Wheels Batmobile From Batman Forever!

   As big a fan of Batman as I happen to be; I still couldn't really enjoy the film Batman Forever.  Having said this; none of my disdain is leveled at the incarnation of the Batmobile featured in this film.  There was something really intriguing in this design.  the unusual ribbing and paneling made this a Batmobile by way of HR Giger.  It also seemed like a reasonable evolution of the Batmobile that originated Tim Burton's Batman films.  It's destruction in the film was so ridiculous I won't bother speaking of it here.
    The Hot Wheels toy is fantastic!  Durable and highly detailed.  The sliding canopy is a very nice touch. Hot Wheels hasn't disappointed me yet.   This was my second find at this year's Tucson Toy Show. The images below speak volumes.  Enjoy!

Quick Robin...To The Batboat! The Hot Wheels 66 Batboat with Trailer Hitch!

      It's no secret that I'm a huge Batman fan!  There is a special place in my heart for the 1966 incarnation of Batman.  After all; it was my first exposure to the character and forever cemented my interest in all things Batman.  The Batboat made its first appearance in Batman The Movie along with the Batcopter, and the Batcycle.  I've featured the Hot Wheels Batcopter and Batcycle in previous artices, and with the Batboat I now have the complete Hot Wheels 66 Batman vehicle collection.
      As with all Hot Wheels diecast toys; the Batboat is very very well made and highly detailed.  It's in scale with the 66 Batmobile and displays nicely.  The boat can separate from the all plastic trailer.  Hot Wheels certainly did a good job with this toy.  It was my first find at this year's Tucson Toy Show.  Enjoy!

Watch the Batboat in action!