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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Marking the End ... ...

of the month with a brief look at Hot Toy's Iron Man Mark II. Bought this in 2009 but somehow did not open it as I figured it is similar to Mark III except for the color.

However, I'm glad I decided to open it up today as I discovered something that could give me a heart attack if I open this much later. The packaging is what you expect of Hot Toys; Fantastic!. Hot Toys puts in a lot of effort in making their toys. Even the packaging gets the same attention with great box art. It opens up with 3 panels each splashed with great graphics.

The interior is a plastic tray (which I prefer) housing everything Iron Man needs in place. Every thing that would probably be scratched is wrapped individually in plastics. Nice touch but some parts are still scratched.....

The figure is your standard 12 inch figure with good articulation; it will be great if it's able to do a sit and reach. The paint job is superb as this figure looks metallic but it's 100% plastic. If only the manufacturer is Apple.

It comes with two heads; one is the standard one in the picture above where the eyes will light up. The other is with the gimmick of opening up to expose Tony Stark's face. Hot Toys uses magnetic concept to hold the mask in place; very clever indeed.

The back of the figure has all the fully functional flaps for flight and the details of the pneumatics in the legs shows how Hot Toys goes great length to make this as realistic as possible.

The picture above is a close up look into the legs and you can see the details if you click on the picture. You can even see the different colored wires inside.

Here is the mask which is again fantastically produced. It has all the details; clear plastic for the eyes, microphone for the mouth. The top of the mask are 2 metal plates that will be attracted to the magnet that is inside Tony's head behind.

The mask fits perfectly and the only thing that it doesn't do is the lighting up of the eyes.

The next great accessory is this arc reactor which actually lights up.

With all the 3 switches on, you get a great table lamp! Well, those LED lights are really bright especially in dark places.

A close up of the arc reactor

Decided to take some outdoor shots of Iron Man in a HDB estate

Standing tall

I mentioned earlier that I'll get a heart attack if I open this toy at a later date. In fact, I felt my heart skipped a beat when I opened up the battery compartment. For those who thinks that button cells are perfectly safe to be left alone. Think again.

No wonder the eyes were not as bright as it should be like Mark III.

Maybe all it needed was time ... ...

for the LVF1 (Lumix's EVF, Electronic View Finder) to grow on its user. I took the plunge in purchasing the DMW-LVF1 which cost 1/5 the price of the camera. Read a couple of review which complain about the price (obviously), bad resolution and not user friendly.

Frankly speaking, I didn't quite like it on the first day of use as I find the display indeed too small and there's a tunnel vision effect (see third photo) making the image look so much further. The colour seems slightly bluish and the LCD does a better job in the area.
However, I figure that it takes a little getting use to and after a while, it is quite a handy piece of equipment especially when composing a shot.

The fantastic thing I like about it is the tilting function (See photo below). That allows me to hold the camera down instead of me lying on the floor.

The last complaint about it being user unfriendly is that the toggle button between the LVF and the LCD is difficult to operate. On the contrary, I like it very much as I can toggle the display effectively using my index figure. Perhaps, that reviewer has a really short finger.
Bottom line about the LVF1:
It is an essential item for outdoor shoot under the sun; this is where it proves its worth.
It makes the GF1 less amateurish with a view finder.
It is great for composing shots.
Too expensive for the resolution it produces.
Final Note: Notice the 1 after LVF? Perhaps, Panasonic will improve on it and LVF2 will surface.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things that made you go hmm ... ...

Read from some forum about the DX02 leaking oil in the abdomen and thought it's an isolated case that poor fellow simply ended up with a defective product. Well, it seems to be a worldwide phenomenon with many citing the same occurrence as you can see the oily patches at the abdominal area.

So, poor batsy needs to put on a 'diaper' to absorb the oil and I need to do a daily check to assess the situation. Have contacted customer service at Hot Toys but I doubt there will be a satisfying answer. I'm just hoping for the oil leak to stop soon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Black is cool ... ...

and exclusive in Optimus Prime terms. This is the Takara MP-1B Nemesis Prime. Well, it is basically a repaint from MP-1. Who knows, this may just be the left overs that were not sold and so Takara came up with the brilliant idea of painting it black and earn lots of money from it.

The packaging is about the same for all Masterpiece and I'm really too tired to open this up to take pictures and I pretty much know what it looks like inside.

The back of the packaging is the same as MP-1, the only difference is it is black in colour.

I prefer the Masterpiece over other TF series as it makes it look EXpensive. I guess a toy costing about $200 is indeed expensive.
Pictures in the near future when I have more time and energy. Will have to open this eventually as the I need to remove the batteries for the matrix before it starts to leak.

I'm not a hero, I am what Gotham needs me to be ... ...

said the Dark Knight in the latest Batman movie. This is the same tagline that is used on Hot Toys MMS DX02, The Dark Knight.

It was a layer of surprise after another for me as I opened up the packaging of this wonderfully packaged toy. However, I don't feel comfortable with the foam used in the packaging as similar foams has given me some problem before. Hopefully, this is not going to be the case. Only time will tell.

The cover box art is simple with the bat logo and a backdrop of Gotham City.

The interior holds the first surprise with 3 batarangs (1:1 scale) nicely displayed with the phrase for my opening after the last batarang.

Remove the top tray and the main tray holds the bulk of the toy with the main figure, 2 extra heads with Parallel Eyeball Rolling System (PERS), extra neck (magnetic) for the 2 additional heads, backpack and sticky bomb gun.

The last tray holds the cape, utility bell, smart bomb, batarangs, grapple gun and holster, different hands and a very nicely detailed display base.

The figure has some improvement work done to it compared to the first version. It is a little less fat on the waist. The overall feel is generally the same. The display base come with LED lights to create this spot light effect; a nice touch from Hot Toys.

The first head comes with the Sonar Vision Device and the neck with the LED light pulls the gimmick off nicely. Thus, another neck is needed for the other 2 heads without this feature.

I personally will display this with the backpack instead of the cape to give it a more SWAT kinda feel.
There are many fragile parts on this and it is something I don't really appreciate especially when strength is sometimes required like fitting the hands. I broke one of the blades on the right gauntlet on the forearm within minutes of handling it. The sticky bomb gun is very flimsy and getting it in the right position is a headache.

I was really putting this thing to the test by accomplishing this pose almost forgetting this is a $200+ toy.

I really appreciate the kind of details put into this figure and this is definitely not a toy.

The LED lights presents the figure in another dimension and it is becoming a Hot Toy standard.

Overall comment on the toy. It is indeed a HOT toy and a must get for Batman fans. There are a few problems such as fragile parts and accessories but if you take good care and be gentle, it should be all right.

What's Up Dock ... ...

The iPhone is really a great product and it is greater to manufacturers who are reaping off consumers like us to complement our precious little phone with accessories. I think I've spent to date more than half the price of the phone in terms of accessories.

The latest and most expensive of all is this Philips Radio Clock sound dock; DC315. I've been looking around for a decent sound dock that doesn't burn a hole in the wallet and this is it.

The DC315 comes standard as all radio clocks with 20 preset stations (who needs so many?), 2 alarms (various setting available i.e. weekday or weekend alarm) and auxiliary input.

The sound from the DC315 is great and it can play from the iPhone or iPod. Alarms can be set off playing songs from the iPhone or you can choose waking up to the radio.

In a nutshell, this is a great sound dock if you are on a budget.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Gotta Feeling ... ...

it's going to be a great year ahead with lots of fun challenges! Time really flies and it's already the 5th day of the 2nd Month into 2010. Chinese New Year is upon us and was doing some shopping at Tang's Sale at SUNTEC over the weekend and chance upon this Bandai Chogokin Masked Rider Armed Hibiki. It was retailing at a crazy $5!

I did not watch this series and for those who follow my blog; I'm not a Masked Rider fan and I do not exactly collect human type toys. I bought it simply because it's really cheap and it is a gokin, meaning die cast parts.

Posing this figure is fun. Articulation is decent enough and it's rather photogenic as well.

This is the armed mode, supposedly the most powerful mode as I saw the other two modes on sale too but I chose this as this is the best looking amongst the lot.

Some close up shots to show the details on this toy.

This guy really looks fantastic in any angle

One last macro shot

Bandai normally placed less emphasis on the back of the figure and this is where all the screws are exposed.

I doubt it really does anything to the belt like other Masked Riders but this pose seems like a 'normal' Masked Rider stance.

"Bring it on!"