UltraMAN! Good Morning sketch
ART! Finally! :))
I was lucky enough to catch the musical play The Phantom of the Opera with my family last Friday. It was amazing! I’ve been a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs ever since I was little and it has always been a dream of mine to be able watch it live on stage.
Here’s my take on the 1925 classic The Phantom of the Opera movie poster. I’ve seen this waaaay back but I could never forget the unmasking scene! Lon Chaney was an amazing actor and indeed an icon! I drew reference from the phantom’s red death costume from the masquerade scene for this design.
🎧 “Past the point of no return!” (Taken with Instagram)
Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t been putting up any art posts lately! I’ve been working on photography! see? and toy bloggin’ :D Will post more art and design stuff soon enough! for now, I leave you with a pics and a review of this bad boy! “ERUPTIIIIING BURNIIIIIING FINGEEEEEEEERR!!!!!”
Master Grade G Gundam Model Kit – First Released 1995
The G Gundam series was quite memorable to many Filipino 90’s kids as it was one of the first series of the franchise to be aired locally. It was released in time with the rise of anime popularity in the Philippines and was followed avidly by kids like me back then.
Those familiar with the franchise will know that G Gundam has always been the oddball in the Gundam Family! It was just… different! Different but fun and really refreshing! Firstly, more than a mecha anime, it was more of a kung fu series! Mobile suit pilots controlled their robots with spandex suits and fought with martial arts moves! It was rock ‘en-sock ‘em robots to the extreme! The robot designs were also quite unique, like say, A WINDMILL GUNDAM?! What was up with that?! Well, all these crazy elements were what really made G Gundam memorable.
Featured here is the MG or master grade level model kit of G Gundam, the lead mobile suit of the series. It was released back in 1995 and was the first of the line to feature an internal action frame. This “action frame” was basically a skeleton which gave the built model kit added flexibility compared to older models from the line. That way, you could mimic the extreme kung fu-esque poses from the show.
The kit came with interchangeable hands: a pair of fists, open palms, a pair to hold accessories and a pair of transparent orange hands that imitates the God Finger move from the show. Being a martial arts focused show, the robots from the G Gundam line don’t really come with much weaponry compared to other Gundam mobile suits. It’s accessories include a couple of beam sabers and a Domon Kasshu figurine! ( Which I have yet to paint )
The articulation of this model kit is amazing! Though I built mine to be a display piece so some of the movable parts my kit have been sacrificed for aesthetics. For example, the “fins” at the back are permanently in that orientation to hold the transparent “energy” ring I made. The back panel is detachable that transforms into a core fighter jet!
I painted mine with metallic sprays with hues of gold paint to hint the hyper mode version of the robot. See, on the show, the G Gundam powers up to the point of turning fully gold! Kind of like Goku turning super saiyan! Bandai released a fully gold chromed version of this kit for this reason.
I recommend this kit to beginner builders looking for something a bit more advanced. It’s a great transition from High Grade Bandai kits to Master Grade being as it’s one of the more basic kits from the line. If you’re a fan of the Gundam series or robots in general, this franchise icon is a must!
Hey Guys! Check out my new toy review to kick of the week! :D
Power Ring Spectrum Set Released by DC Direct
Back in December 2009, DC Direct announced a promotional item to be released with the first issue of their big DC Universe story arc, the Blackest Night series! The whole plot of the series revolved around DC superheroes turning into zombies! Think DC Universe meets zombie apocalypse with the zombie virus coming in the form of one of these Black Lantern Rings! Which I thought was pretty neat! I’ve always been a big fan of DC and at the time, I was really into the whole zombie survival thing so I knew I had to check this out!
Once the first issue was out, I went to a local comic book store to purchase myself a copy of Blackest Night #1 and a Black Lantern ring! Here in Philippines, they didn’t have the ring and the comic bundled, they sold them separately. They were selling the promo rings at $1 a pop. Guess this was fine. If I ever wanted to get myself another ring, I wouldn’t have to spend for another issue.
Getting home and reading issue #1, I was hooked! The comic book itself was a great read so I knew I was getting the whole series. PLUS! Along with the first issue came a pamphlet that announced the release of other power rings throughout the run of Blackest Night. I’ve always wanted my own Green Lantern power ring so this promo run got me really excited. See, in DC comics, the Green Lantern Corps wasn’t the only ring-powered super team in the universe. There were other teams that wielded other colors of the spectrum! You had teams from Orange to Indigo, each with a unique ability powered by specific emotions (yes, EMOTIONAL POWER!).
Now, on to the Power Rings – I love how well done they are despite being give away items! They’re of very good quality; I love the paint job on these things! Especially on the Green, Blue and Violet Lantern power rings which looked metallic compared to the others. They eventually also released a Flash Ring. You know that ring Barry Allen wears around his finger that hides his costume? Yep, that one! I found this a nice bonus to go with the promo! :)
The Blackest Night story arc ended by introducing readers to a new colored power ring; the White Lantern power ring! If the Black ring was powered by death, like how heroes infected with the Black Lantern rings became zombies, the White ones represented life or the power of giving life. They eventually released a White Lantern power ring with the launch of the Brightest Day series which succeeded the storyline of this one.
I had fun collecting these little promo toys! Getting the first few releases locally was easy enough, but I missed out on a number of release dates so I had a hard time completing the set. Tracy, who was lucky enough to attend SDCC 2010, was able to snag me a set so I have her to thank again in completing this little collection! J
I also have a couple of other Green Lantern rings. The movie version came with the Green Lantern movie action figures (which were really bad in my opinion, Sorry DC L ). The other one I got over at SM, a local department store, for free when I got shirts! DC Direct also released light up versions of the spectrum power rings in a set, but was priced way over my budget. I had to miss out on that one. Maybe one day! But for now I’m really happy with my plastic promo Power Rings!
Its amazing what a little bit of luck and a few episodes of Kings of Restoration can do!
I was very very veryyyyy lucky to have browsed through Sulit.com.ph when I did, a few months back! I was randomly looking through “power ranger toys” when I glanced upon a seller, selling a pile of old toys. One bundle he was offering, to my surprise, came with this baby! Not only that, it also came with the blaster blade! It was an instant buy! I didn’t even bother if they were missing a few pieces or if the electronics were working, for the price he was selling them, I JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS PIECE OF MY CHILDHOOD BACK! (Thank you Sulit.com.ph seller! I’m sorry I forgot your name but thank you so so much!) It was a steal I tell you! :D
Now, receiving the morpher, there were obvious problems with it. It was pretty worn out. The decals were pealed, the electronics and the pop-open gimmick weren’t working and it was missing the battery lid. Plus, it didn’t include any power coins! Thankfully, the electronics problem was a quick fix! All I did was take off the battery, sand off the rust from the contact metal plates and pop in a new set of batteries!
In order to find out what was wrong with it mechanically, I had to remove the entire back cover to reveal the parts inside. From the diagram bellow, I indicated the screws that removed the battery lid (If I had one) with blue arrows, the ones that removed the front plates with red arrows and and the ones that removed the back cover with orange.
Upon opening the back, I noticed that one of the X crossing plates that was responsible for the pop-up gimmick had a broken piece which was supposed to hold onto a spring!
This is what the morpher looked like opened up from the back. Basically the red wedge on the left side, locks the crossing plates in place when morpher is closed. This causes the spring, that is held by little pegs in the crossing plates, to expand. When you press the red button on the side, the lock is released, letting the spring pull together the plates which causes the pop-up gimmick! Pretty Cool eh?
After looking around the net. I found tips on where to order parts online fromRangerboards.com (Thank you, Rangerboards for all their helpfull posts!) From there I found Starlight Studios on Ebay who sold not only the replacement plates that I needed but also, METAL POWER COINS! Unfortunately though, they don’t ship products here to the Philippines. I had to ask my friend Misha, who is staying in New York, to order them for me and I had my girlfriend Tracy bring them over from her visit! (Thanks guuuuys!)
For the front plates of the morpher, I had to detach them, peal off the old stickers, sand off weird bulging parts and scratches then spray on with a new layer of paint. I used Tamiya Mika Silver spray for the silver plates. I also put on a layer of Tamiya Clear Red on the translucent red incasement that held in the lights, to get rid of whitening scratch marks. I had to mask parts of the morpher of course, as to avoid getting unnecessary paint all over my toy. :P
Producing and applying the decals were the trickiest parts of this restoration! First, I had to vector the “Power Rangers” typography, and the other decal designs using on-screen references. Then, I had to measure and adjust the size of my images in order to fit accordingly to where they were supposed to go on the toy! I had to print, cut out and try on various decal sizes in order to finally end up with the exact scaled set of stickers! whoooo!
When all the aesthetic modifications were complete, and the parts I needed finally arrived, It was all a matter of putting the parts back together! I was thinking of producing a replacement battery cover using plastic sheets but I don’t really have the parts and know-how to do so yet. For now, good old electric tape should to the job! ;)
This was my first toy restoration project and I’m really glad with how it turned out! I was really lucky to have been able to purchase one, even a broken one, after almost 2 decades since it was first released! I finally have this special piece of my childhood back!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY POWER RANGERS! Now, Here’s a review of my favorite toy eveeeer! :D
Power Morpher From Mighty Morphing Power Rangers - Released by Bandai of America back in 1993
To kick things off, I’d like to start with a review of one of the most iconic pieces of 90’s history ever produced as a toy! THE MIGHTY MORPHING POWER RANGERS - POWER MORPHER!!!
LET’S GET OUR POWER-ON LIKE ZORDON! :D
The first release of this toy was exclusively for Japan back in 1991 by Bandai called the Dyno-buckler. It came packaged with a belt buckle attachment and 5 ranger coins, namely, the tyrannosaurus, triceratops, mammoth, sabertooth and pterodactyl coins. They also released a second version which had all the accessories of the first one but had gold painted face plates and was packaged with the GREEN RANGER COIN! This version of the morpher remains to be one of the most sought after pieces of super sentai merchandise because this was never released internationally.
Bandai of America released their version a bit later, around 1993. The American or international version, the one most of us are familiar with, came packaged with the blade blaster and the 5 ranger coins. In Japan, these two toys were released separately. The American version though, did not include the belt buckle attachment that the Japanese version came with. Another notable difference was in regards to the decals. Firstly, the American version had the words “Mighty Morphing Power Rangers” as the japanese version had “Kyoryu Sentai Zyurangers” - for obvious reasons. And what was particularly weird with the American-International release was that the orientation of the morpher was flipped. If you remember watching scenes from the series, they had the morpher the other way around!
My morpher is a restored American / International version. You may have noticed, I had my decals made to be screen accurate with the words being only “Power” on top and “Rangers” at the bottom.
The main gimmick of this toy was it’s pop-open feature that was accompanied with blinking lights and a continued “pewewewew” sound once you press the red button on the side of the toy. The coins were interchangeable so you could morph into the Power Ranger of your choice! It was pretty simple compared to the toys we have today but in my opinion, it was just perfect! I really love how retro it sounds… “pewewewewew”
I love this toy so much! My first one, I received decades ago from my parents back when I was in grade 2! I loved it so much back then! But being a kid, you eventually get tired of things so it was given away along with a bunch of my toys. (Hopefully though, the kid who got it after me loved it as much as I did :D) It was only years later that I got back into the whole super sentai shabam that I regretted having given it away. Fortunately though, I was able to snag myself one earlier this year (and for cheap too!) and had the chance to restore it just recently!
This toy remains to be one of the most iconic and sought after toys of our generation! and for good reason! It’s simplicity, detail, and nostalgic appeal makes this my favorite toy to date!
And before I forget; POWER RANGERS celebrated it’s 19th Anniversary just yesterday! Happy Birthday Power Rangers!
Next Entry - Power Morpher Restoration Tutorial!
ONE MORE DAY TILL THE FIRST OFFICIAL TOY POST FROM MY NEW PAGE! INTRO! INTRO!
Before everything else, introductions! Introductions!
Hello! The name’s Kiks, I work as a designer and stylist for a small foodie design company called Tender Blender. I’d like to consider myself a pretty passionate guy. Besides my obvious love for the arts, visual design and yummy, yummy food, I’ve always had this deep, unexplainable and at times, almost dangerous obsession with… yep, you guessed it, TOYS!
I can’t seem to get enough of these things! Action figures, Role-play toys, board games, plastic model kits - anything that appeals to the kid in me, I just can’t say no to! And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there! So, I set up this online journal to chronicle my adventures into the world of toys and toy collecting. Besides featuring items from my personal collection and my own experiences, I’ll be sharing stories of friends who also share the same passion! You’ll be surprised just how many toy buffs are out there - From the so called “closet collectors” to the mega hoarders, or people who simply have a special place in their hearts for knickknacks and playthings, we all have our own “toy story” to tell! :D
Alright! Now that’s out of the way, Lezz-do-thiz!
Wish I could have seen this live! Huhu so lucky you are, Tracy :<
Stacked was the first new place we ate at in San Diego! (By “new”, I mean some place I’ve never eaten at before!) This particular branch can be found in Fashion Valley.
Upon entering, the place really captured my interest! It was pretty quirky, with all the colorful wall art,…
My newest effort into building something from something I love… AND I LOVE TOYS! TOYS TOYS TOYYYYsssssss….
Yes, I have a disease and this will be my spreading of it! :D
3 more days till this officially goes live! Watch for it guys!