Thursday, February 27, 2014

Official Doctor Who Legos Are Now a Possibility

Through a special Lego on-line program called Lego Cuusoo ( we have gotten a Back to the Future Lego set and will be getting Ghostbuster Legos in the very near future. The way Cuusoo works is that people propose ideas for possible Lego set and if the idea gets 10,000 supporters, it is up for consideration by the Lego company. If the project is doable, then it can move on to being an actually produced Lego set. Very often the reason for a project to get rejected is due to licensing rights. Well up until recently the idea of Legos doing any Doctor Who themed set was an impossibility due to the company Character Options owning the right to Doctor Who toys and producing a Lego like line of Doctor Who building toys.

Lego has just made an anoouncemnt that something has changed.

No actual information as to why they are now allowed to consider Doctor Who themes, as it seems that Character Options still has the rights as they are still posting up dates about upcoming releases.Their building line has been doing well and there are new pieces coming out this year.

It would be interesting to know just what has changed. The possible end results however could be fun. While I like the Character Options line, I will also enjoy it if puts out their own sets.

On a side note, one of the past rejected Cussoo concepts that never should have been rejected was a Firefly themed set. The reasoning given was because the show Firefly did not fit with what Legos wishes to promote itself as. It would have been so awesome to get Firefly Legos. I'm surprised some other company has not tried to follow through with it.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Now We Are Really Excited About The Denver Comic Con

We have now gone to both years of The Denver Comic Con and have our tickets purchased for this year's DCC with our tax refund.

Up until this point I had not been overly excited about any of the guest. Yes, Bruce Campbell is cool and I will try to meet him if the line for him is reasonable. But for whatever reason him being there did not overly excite me.

For a little while now they have been hinting at there being a big time Doctor Who guest and my family has been patiently waiting to learn who it will be. Today they announced that we will be getting Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor. As it turns out my oldest boy is working on a Fifth Doctor's costume, so that is great timing. I just told him about the announcement and he was very excited.

Last year we got to meet Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor. It seems that DCC is going to keep things going strong for us.

Now there is still time for them to announce more guests, as we have a few months before the convention so there is the chance of more guests that we will get excited about, possibly even bigger ones from Doctor Who. For now though, we have one guest that we know we will go out of our way to meet.

Talking About Toy Collecting

About a year ago I started up this little video blog on youtube I called Opening the Package. I did it for a little while with my boys, but then I got sidetracked and left it alone for a while.  Jump to a few weeks ago when I felt like doing a few new episodes for it and now I have started it up again.

Over the course of the episodes I have talked about a wide verity of action figures and toys. I express my views on toy collecting, the good and the bad. I give reviews on various pieces I have picked up. And I open and play with the toys.

If you have an interest in toy collecting and wish to see my ideas on it, go check it out

Some of them are a little long. I try real hard to keep them shorter, but I have a bad habit of loosing track of time when talking about something I am that passionate about.

I'll keep doing these every so often as long as I am having fun doing them.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Knew This Was Going to happen

A little over a year ago the long running comic book The Amazing Spider-man reached issue 700. Marvel comics decided to make it a huge milestone by having Peter Parker die, trapped in Dr. Octopus's failing body. Otto Octavious had taken control of Peter Parker's body. In the end Octavious declared himself The Superior Spider-man, which was the title of the replacement series.  Basically you have Peter Parker's body being controlled by Dr. Octopus, except part of Peter is still in there trying to keep Octavious in check.

I felt from the get go that this was a bad idea. I've read the first issue of The Superior Spider-man and was unimpressed with it. It just was not Spider-man and was not going to work.

Now Marvel has come out and announced that Superior Spider-man is coming to an end and they will be starting The Amazing Spider-man up again.

For me there is no surprise at all here. Comic books are notorious for not leaving characters dead. Every so often it looks like they might go through with it, but in the end it just doesn't happen. When they shot Captain America in the aftermath of the super hero Civil War, I truly though they were going to actually leave him dead. They went through a lot of trouble to confirm that he was dead and gave us a great storyline of how all the other heroes were dealing with it as well as his former sidekick Bucky taking on the mantle of Captain America. It really was one well put together death of a hero with a perfect set up for it all to move on in a new direction. It really did feel as if Marvel was going to once more set a new standard and let a major hero stay dead. I was disappointed when a few years later they went and brought Steve Rodgers back, ruining such a well constructed storyline.

I feel just the opposite regarding Peter Parker's death. Everything about how they killed off Peter was just the opposite of what they did with Captain America. The story didn't work, there was nothing emotional about his death, no follow through storyline of the other heroes dealing with his death (Since none of the other heroes even know he died.) and no sense that the new storylines were going be long lasting.

While I have had to give up collecting comics a few years back, I will be picking up the new Amazing Spider-man issue 1 when it comes out. I doubt Peter's return will be that good (The same writer who killed him off is bringing him back), I just want to know how it starts up again.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Guardians are Coming

This morning the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy was released. For those of you unfamiliar with who these Guardians are, they are group of heroes from Marvel comics who travel around the galaxy. The original Guardians of the Galaxy were from a thousand years in the future, but this movie is based on the newer incarnation of the team that is based in the present.

Check out the trailer here:

This is an interesting addition to the Marvel film universe, as it does not right away seem to fit in with the basic Avengers theme. It slightly crosses over with the Thor movies (I know that The Collector was in both Thor: Dark World and will be in GotG) and may end up with some connections to the end of the first Avengers movie. I don't see anything in this movie fitting in with Avenger: Age of Ultron, which is the move all the other  movies are building up to.

My present theory is that they are putting all the pieces together for an Infinity Gantlet movie to be the end of phase three. The Avengers, Thor: Dark World and GotG all would seem to fit together for that. I am expecting to see more hints for that in the next batch of films. I very much could see them fitting some connection in to the forth coming Dr. Strange movie as well as Thor 3.

This is my speculation on what I want to see as well as what I think would make the most sense. All we can do now is wait and see where it all goes.  Right now we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier to look forwards to here in just a few months.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Let's Disassemble The Lego Movie

Originally we had not planned on getting out and seeing The Lego Movie, but some friends from the Denver Area Science Fiction Association were talking about it last night and I knew my boys really wanted to see it.  So we got out this morning and saw it.

Now yes, it is basically an hour and forty minutes of a toy commercial. Of course now days in truth most animated movies are the same thing, just not as honest about it. Merchandising a movie, especially a kid's movie is no big deal any more and should not be used as a reason to avoid a movie.

The Lego Movie is a wonderfully silly film. Not surprisingly there are a lot of hidden visual jokes throughout, a great deal of which I am sure I did not catch. It was the style of movie that you know  has more hidden elements in it than you can catch in just one watching. At least it is enjoyable enough to watch multiple times.

As a collector of the Lego mini-figures I did enjoy seeing the various characters from the history of the Mini-figure throughout the film. It was part of the elements I was keeping an eye out for. They really used just about every style of Lego character in the film, with the one exception of the Marvel Comic Super Heroes. The film was done through Warner Brothers, who own DC Comics, so the DC comics Super Heroes were a focus in the film.

The basic message is fairly straight forward and there is an amusing level of hypocrisy in them saying you should not worry about following the instructions and instead build based on your own personal creative desires, all the while showing all manner of vehicles that you can go out and buy in a Lego set and follow the instructions in order to build.

There are some great surprises in the movie that really work. I don't want to say much on it so as not to give anything away. I will only say that there are parts that you cannot see coming.

A good ending that worked and fun credits worth sitting through, but nothing after the credits.

I recommend this movie to Lego fans, animation fans and people who just want to go see as fun, silly, entertaining movie that unlike so many others, really does fit in perfectly in both product and overall  nature of the toy line it is based on.

Friday, February 14, 2014

This Is Both Promising and Disappointing at the Same Time

Right now I am looking forwards to getting the vintage style Alien figures from ReAction. They used  the actual prototypes that were made thirty years ago after the movie came out to make the action figures. There were some mild changes made, but for the most part there are the figures that would have been made thirty years ago. They look awesome and they will make awesome additions to my action figure collection.

Then I found out that ReAction had gotten the rights to do Terminator, Predator, Back to the Future, Firefly, Goonies, A Nightmare on Elm Street and more.

Yes, Firefly figures. How beyond awesome is that?

So today they put this out and I was left with mixed feelings. I am not impressed with most of the figures and am hugely let down with the Firefly figures. The heads just do not look good at all. But I love the packaging. There are some great vintage style package designs with these figures, even if some of the sculpts are lacking.

None of the Back to the Future or Goonie figures look good to me. I had no interest in the Pulp Fiction figures, although I am tempted to get The Gimp, just because it would be one of those figures to have. Freddy Kruger and Pinhead look good.

There are pictures out there for some of the others, with the Escape From New York figures looking rather silly and the Sarah Conners figure from The Terminator looking as boring as it gets. I do like the Nightmare Before Christmas figures, even if they could have done a better sculpt.

One thing I noticed is that there seems to be an idea that 'vintage style' for some reason means over sized, under-detailed, inaccurate heads, which makes no sense at all. Some vintage figures did have over sized heads, and they were not always the best detailed, but that in itself is NOT what I would base the idea of a vintage figure on. There were a lot of well detailed heads that were well proportioned and looked like who they were based on. What I am seeing here is just lazy sculpting.

Now I will admit I want the Malcolm Reynolds figure, mostly because of the character and how cool that packaging is.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yes, These Are Star Wars Posters

So here are some interesting Star Wars posters from around the world

Yes, somehow someone watched the movies and they came up with these posters to promote those movies. Makes you wonder what they might have taken before hand, as there does seem to be a hint at possible substance abuse in these interpretations.

I do wonder just what the people who went to see the films after seeing these posters thought they were seeing, as there is little shown in the posters that have anything to do with the films.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Emotional Roller-coaster That Is Catching Fire

Today the family got out and finally saw Catching Fire. I am the only one in the family that has read the book, so it was all new for the rest of them.

I highly recommend reading this series,as it is so well written. The character of Katniss is just one of the greatest characters I have ever seen. Unlike so many other characters, she does not just blow off the traumatic events and move on. Her deep scars over killing and going through so much really gives such a depth to her that you rarely see.

First off, just like The Hunger Games, they did an incredible adaptation of Catching Fire. It caught all the most important aspects of the novel and did a great job in bringing it to life. While I could think of a few a aspects of the book that I would have like to see that got cut, I understood why they were not present and felt they told what was needed to get the story across. Aspect like President Snow's breath smelling of blood are understandably unable to be transferred from the book to the film, yet they worked so well in the book.

Big warning, if you are prone to getting caught up in emotional movies, Catching Fire can easily bring you to tears. Early on you are given some really strong emotional scenes that help set up the greater story.

I could go into the great costuming and make-up and sets design and casting and so on, but I'll just say it all came together so perfectly, giving a truly stunning feel to this world. Katniss' wedding dress is beautiful both before and after it flames up. Donald Sutherland is so convincing as the manipulative President Snow. There are just so many great aspects to this film.

One could also spend a lot of time looking at the political aspects of the film. It is perfectly current with obvious statements about wealth inequality and a government using fear to control the people. A simple line about how the wealthy at the capital make themselves sick so they can eat more while people are starving out in the districts very much fits with the 1% of today.

It is not a pleasant movie at any level. It is harsh, emotional and intense at times. Some of the 75th Hunger Games scenes got to my youngest son.  He needed to hold his mothers hand for reassurance.

The ending is a surprise blast that no one sees coming, as it leads right into Mocking Jay (The 3rd book which is to be split into two movies). Talking with my family afterwards they could put it all together and see how all the pieces fell into place. They all agreed that it was really well done.

My oldest boy loved the film and has been talking about it all afternoon. I'm trying to get him to read the books.

I highly recommend both the books and films for this franchise, as they are strong stories that really hit hard and get you thinking.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Croods = Political Satire?

We rented the animated movie The Croods tonight. Not one I had any desire to see in the theater. In no time at all I very much got the impression that there was a political message to it.

The Croods are a family of cavemen who live by the philosophy that all things new and different are going to kill you. The father pushes fear and ignorance in order to keep his family in line with his beliefs, even to the point of locking them up for days at a time 'for their own good'. They live in darkness, not even having discovered fire, most likely due to having no desire to progress beyond what they have always known.

As far as I am concerned that really sums up your conservative fundamentalists perfectly.

Once they are introduced to reality, by being forced out of their cave due to earthquakes, they are exposed to the beauty and wonder of the world. They now have to deal with the dangers that are all around them, but their lives suddenly start to have meaning.

There is a whole scene with the family being exposed to fire for the first time and due to reacting to it with fear and ignorance, they make things worse.

At one point the diehard conservative father is lost, running in circles while the rest of the family is able to find their way through discovery and growth. The father then gets upset because the rest of the family is embracing change and progressing, instead of allowing him to control them any longer with his promotion of fear.

Of course once the father starts to embrace the ideas of progress and discovery things start to get better and of course it all ends with everyone being better off thanks to him accepting the reality of change.

You really could break down so many aspects of this movie to show the dangers of conservative thinking.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Dance With Dragons

A Dance With Dragons is the fifth of the seven planned novels of George R. R. Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. I recently finished it and can say it was as intense as the other novels in the series.

This book takes place for the most aprt in the same time frame as the fourth book, mostly focusing on places and characters that were not part of the fourth book. It ends having caught up with the fourth book, and getting us back with the events that were going on there.

As with all the books in this series you can not guess as to where the story is going. There are surprises waiting for you in just about all the chapters, and yes a lot of characters do not make it. It ends with the fate of many noticeable characters in question. One of the biggest surprises for me was a couple of characters I thought had died in previous books were alive, although not necessarily well.

As a writer I am trying to look forwards and figure out just where the story is going for the final two novels. I have no doubt at all that there will be plenty of surprises yet to come. We have so many storylines going now that I half suspect that Martin is not going to merge them but let them each play out on their own. There is just so much going on that it is hard to imagine it all get wrapped up in just two more books. We'll see just how good of a writer Martin is now as he concludes this epic series.

Of course after such a massive, intense novel I've cut down to some shorter, more relaxing pieces to read. I have a huge stack of books to read through, so finding such a novel is not hard at all.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reality Shows

I will admit that I started watching reality programing when it was brand new.  I watched the first few seasons of The Real World on MTV (This was back when they still actually played music videos), I caught the first season of Survivors, The Osbornes and many others. My wife got into the VH1 Celebreality fad for a bit, so I caught more of those shows than I would have wished. And there was a lot of really, really bad stuff that came out of that. More and more though I am finding those shows just don't draw me in.

I am proud to say I never once have seen an episode of Jersey Shore.

I am familiar with what is out there for Reality TV.

The only reality show I actually have the desire to catch every episode of is Face Off. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it is a competition show where talented make-up artists have to come up with original character designs every week following all manner of themes. The main reason I love this show is because it focuses on what to me is about the most important aspects of life: creativity and talent. Week after week we get to see what these truly talented individuals can put together in just three days. It is a truly inspiring show as it rewards those who have talent and are truly creative and you really do not see that enough in reality shows.

I am really looking forwards to what looks to be a follow up show with the same basic concept as Face Off, but with making puppets. The show is Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge. If it follows the Face Off style of competition, we are in for something really awesome. Both are SyFy shows.

Another Syfy show, Opposite Worlds, is the actual inspiration for this post and for all the wrong reasons. Opposite Worlds is a really horrible, uninteresting, boring as it gets show. The idea is you have two competing teams, one living in the future and one in the past as a social experiment to see which group preforms the best. It is hard to explain as the set up feels rather harshly thrown together. You need to see it to understand just how weak the concept really is. The first problem is that they have to add way too much unneed filler in each episode to get it to the hour length. Most of what you watch is lacking any real substance. Then it sinks to the level of relying on focusing on a-hole characters and what really feels like forced drama. So instead of giving us anything of value, it goes after all the things that make reality shows so crappy. I can't see it lasting beyond the first season.

I find it best to just avoid most reality shows now days. There are very few that are worth watching.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Superb Owl Radio Shack Ad

I don't watch the game itself and thanks to the internet I can now wait until the next day to get all the commercials with out wasting my time with that sport stuff.

One that stuck out for me was the Radio Shack 'The 80s Called' ad

Looks to be the beginnings of an amusing ad campaign by them (Check out Jason and the 3-D printer). Should be interesting to see where they take this. I've watched it a few times now and love all the 80s references that are there. That was the decade I grew up in and am really familiar with. There were a few I caught that I was surprised to see, like Slim Goodbody. And there were a few I didn't get at all.

Of course I am wondering what I have missed and plan to watch the ad a few more times and see what I can catch. Of course that is part of what makes this a good ad, since you want to watch it multiple times to see if you can find all that is in it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

For Those Of You Looking To Give Me A Random Gift

Right now if you donate $10 to the Make a Wish Foundation you can get entered for a chance to travel to Skywalker Ranch and meet George Lucas and Mark Hamill. A worthy cause and an awesome prize. Well worth trying for.

On the donation page there is the option to make the entries as a gift for another person. Now I am more than willing to let the readers of this blog show me how much they appreciate my hard work here by donating to this worthy cause and putting the entries in as gifts for me.

No matter what it is a worthy cause and a great contest for Star Wars fans.