The Tundra Bull support campaign

The Tundra Bull support campaign
I currently have my Tundra Bull moc running on Lego Ideas, please click on the picture and cast your vote to help it reach the 10.000 mark!

vrijdag 27 februari 2015

The haul of the past days

Okay, so we close of this unscheduled `all about toys` day with the haul I scored both yesterday and today.

And it has a bit of everything in it...

Of course, there is Lego, as I got my hands on one of the Joker Bumper Cars, currently not available here in Europe, and which is just to cool to pass up.

Coming as a gift with it, the seller also send me this cute little button of the Joker, I might be trading that one away some day, but it is a great looking piece.

But today I got myself some more Lego, as Kruidvat started running another promotion, and now the recently released Legends of Chima tribal packs are only 7.99 over there, a nice 20% off their regular price, and a bump for my budding army as I snatched all three boxes of Polar Bears they had.

Now this is something old, and a bargain.  I scored 10 lots of 2 booster packs of the old Marvel OverPower card game for around 1 euro per lot, so that is 10 euros for 20 boosters.  They are all from the Mission Control expansion, which isn`t the most spectacular they released, but as they are booster fresh cards to go into my trade binder for the doubles (yes, I collect the series myself), they also tend to go online around 1 USD for a card, so basically if I sell of 12 of the doubles, I`d not only would have gotten all my money back, I would also have a lot of new additions for my collection already.
Since Age of Ultron is coming soon, and the set has no less then three of the MCU Avengers in it with the Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Vision, this might turn out a nice little deal.

The final addition I got just a few hours ago, after the bet was placed.  I went to the local goodwill like store, and picked up this nifty little game for younger children.

The Lion King dice puzzling game.  This is basically a game in which you have to complete one out of 6 possible scenes from the movie, using pieces you can pick by the dice result you rolled.

It`s simple, it`s easy, and it is aimed at younger children, but it is also from one of the most popular Disney Movies.  It costed me only 75 cents, and I hope to get only a measly euro for it.  Surely, 25 cents is hardly worth it you might think, but this is all about `feel good` and get the first item turnover in some exchange or trade somewhere...

The Starmax Challenge Budget: -0.75 euro, remaining 4.25 euro

Only time will tell though if this is something worthwhile or I will be crying a river over it later on... so to make the following quote the tagline of the whole Starmax bet...

...Let's get it done!

A Bet over my Head?

Starting with this

And armed with this


I`m getting this


Or that`s the plan at least. 

Following the post I did earlier today about StarCom and the likes, I got talking with an italian friend of mine, whom I got my italian Saint Seiya ccg cards from.  See, he runs this toy and collectible store in the wider Bergamo area, and we know each other for about 10 years now, at first as me being his client, but over the years we became what we could call `internet buddies`, often chatting about toys, cards, cartoons and the likes.

Now, he made me a bet.  See, I know my `stuff`, having never gotten over it when growing up that I tossed all my cool toys from the 80s away, and often wanting to start recollecting them.

And like I said, I want to re-own a Starmax Bomber...

So there we where chatting away, when he came up with this really cool bet.  Since I always claim I know what to look around for at yard sales and second hand stores (my best score ever once was a 1 euro, with missile included Scorponok Transformer from Beast Wars, which I paid 1 euro and traded away for 75...), he came up with this.

I can start with the amazing amount of 5 euros.  That is, mind you, NOT a lot at all, even at junk sales and such, BUT...

He gave me until the end of december to hussle and hassle together enough, not counting any postage, for a Starmax Bomber, using only the stuff I manage to trade around until I can exchange something for the said toy.

Now, knowing the chances are rather slim for a Black Lotus sitting in a yard sale, this means I am going to have to be creative... and very lucky.   Classic 80s in good shape are the best bet for this to get it off to a start, and knowing I don`t have to search for the big one in one go, but will be trading around upwards in small margins until I can get to an item that I can trade for the StarCom vessel.

Which, if eBay is anything to go by, is somewhere around 300 USD these days...

So out comes my trusty lucky trenchcoat, my Doctor Who pen and a small notebook to see what is around and what is rare on forums and such to take along with me, and I can begin hunting, and generally trying to be a charming person that gets it done.

But wait, this is a bet right?

Weeel, sort off, in that I can`t loose anything bar face.  But IF I succeed, I am getting something as a gift from him, that I have had my eye on for some time but just haven`t gotten around to buying before actually.  Now he is putting it aside for me.

A Mint on Card Dash Derringer figure, easily worth around 35 - 40 dollars.  Now, countering his offer, I pledged to buy it if I didn`t make the bet though, being it only fair he is putting it away for 10 months, but that doesn`t mean I ain`t going to do my best and get me a nice and sweet free figure then ;-)

But now, I got some research to do ;-)


The first month... and StarCom

Huge celebrations with only myself in attendance this morning, as I quit my unhealthy habbit now for exactly one month!

Olay!

But this has also hit me with a sort of nostalgia.  Recently, I have been watching and rewatching the ones I already saw, episodes of Toy Hunter.

Basically, Jordan Hembrough, is a guy who runs a (vintage) toy store and goes to seek out collections to buy up and sell at fairs, and make a nice dollar out of it.  He, and his business model even more so, has always been a sort of a `grown man` hero of mine (okay, so is Hugh Heffner), but if you look through second hand websites in Belgium...

... you realise this is way to silly to even try and implement it over here and do something like that.  Not only are we small, we have a limited number of sortlike events, but also, people just ask WAY to much for old, half smashed toys.  He is also coming to Antwerp Convention this year, and I`m going to try and get a chitchat in with him!

For example, 10 euros for an old beat up, weaponless Star Wars figure is no exception, i don`t know what exactly they try and gain from them, but I think a lot of them will die with their collection in their garages still.

That said though, the show did respark one pure nostalgic feeling for myself: StarCom.  Being a product of the 80s, I watched a lot of cartoons whom where actually created to support toylines.  And StarCom, with it`s powered functions and magnetic locking figures, always has been one of my favorites.

Now, an odd fact was that this series, sub titled the US Space Command, was actually far more popular overhere in Europe then it was in the States, a bit like the old 80s anime cartoons and toys.  Now this also means, the chances are real I might find some things left or right to rekindle my collection again.

I really want to re-own a working, nearly mint condition Starmax Bomber again with Dash Derringer to pilot it...

So I am going to spend time again trailing along used goods store, yard sales, and the likes to try and find the stuff, and when I find some other great items, I`ll be most definitly be showing them off and sharing them with you guys as well!

But now, I`m off to go drool some more over my catalogues of 80s figures... and cry at those I once had...

donderdag 26 februari 2015

Building the Cabin

When I see Friends in the discount racks, I just buy them.  They have some great elements, the pastel colours always come in handy, and being a non franchise range are pretty cheap to boot.

One of the latest sets in the range I got this way, was a copy of set 41031 - Andrea`s Mountain Cabin, and seeing the squirrel for one, I would have picked up more should they have had them.

Opening the box, we get two bags of parts and the instruction booklet.

We get Andrea as the included minidoll figure together with the cute and handy little pet.  And she knows the way to Mordor...

She also has a picture camera to make snapshots in the outback.

The first part of the build is this small sitting tree trunk with flower pieces.  Caramel pieces, green plate... nice


Second of the small accesorry builds is a campfire, again full with handy MOC elements.


We then start work on the `cabin`, which in all honestly is just a glorified bench.  But again, look at the nice colours and elements for a fantasy builder in this set...


Adding in the window and small balcony, it is then getting the start of a roof...


To this, we are hanging a bar supported lantern

And then we start closing up the roof by putting plates in the hinges.

And so the set stands completed, and it is a real bomb for the 3.51 euros I paid for it at Kruidvat.  I can get Andrea away on the secondary market, making the price per piece even more intresting.

If I bump into more of these at that price, I`m hauling them out by the armfulls!

Even the few extra pieces are more then handy:


woensdag 25 februari 2015

Santia Sho volume 1

A new series to be translated in french of the Saint Seiya franchise, this series details the hand maidens of Athena.

Not forced to wear masks to hide their feminimity, these are the personal servants of the godess, but also bronze level protectors.

When Kyoko ansd her younger sister Shoko are separated five years ago, the younger sibling has no idea what has been going on, and why does she keep dreaming of being attacked by a serpent with a golden apple, only to be rescued by a man in a golden armour?

Later, it is revealed her elder sister went to become one of the Shantia, wearing the bronze Equuleus cloth, together with Mii, the bronze Dolphin warrior.  The odd thing though is that while this actually takes place BEFORE the Galactic Wars, where the original series starts, Saori is aware of her reincarnation, while originally this happened only near the end of the tournament.

Shoko has been destined to become the bodily recepetable for Eris, but her sister intervenes taking her place, revealing that the dream was in truth a repressed memory.  Shoko then decides to take her place as a hand maiden of Athena.

A promising series start, looking to be one of the `background ops` that might be going on while the original Legendary Saints go about their story arc, I am rather curious how it will run along, especcially with the Eris line who should have reincarnated twice then with different bodies, and within half a year...

Time will tell!

dinsdag 24 februari 2015

Building the Avengers Helicarrier

Ladies and Gentlemen, WELCOME to SHIELD



The big arrival of the first half of 2015, the UCS (Ultimate Collector Series) Helicarrier is upon us... 

This beast of a set went available online for us europeans the 19th, so the 20th it was on my doorstep, and after building on it for 7.5 hours spread over the friday night and saturday afternoon, it now graces my shelves with it`s huge mass and heavy weight, going in around 5 kilo`s spread over almost 3000 elements.

And I love it!  I loved the way the Avengers movie tackled the looks of Nick Fury`s famous flying command ship, and it is just great to have it in Lego now.

I normally do my build reports from this year on on thursdays, but I`m adding this one early and inbetween the planned ones, as I`m already down into July with the sets I`ve been putting together lately...

The set comes with about 30 polybags of parts, a sticker sheet and a manual hefty enough to smack someone seriously around, going in at just under 500 pages of instructions.


We start the journey on this set with building the SHIELD logo display base, on which the five included minifigs will be posted.



Build up in overlapping layers, we get a good idea of the eagle style of the symbol.


As we make the foot of the display base,


both sides are added together and now we can start putting up the figures as we come along them in the various bags.

The next thing we are going to make is the display base for the big boat to rest on.  This is made mostly by Technic beams and pins for additional support without turning into a huge stack of bricks.




Once the pillars have been raised, the decal with the tech specs of the mighty vessel is added, and the Helicarrier can be displayed in it`s 'cloaked' mode ;-)


But then we are off.  The first thing is going to be the nose of the vessel containing the command bridge with it`s lines of computer screens.


And we also get the first of our figures now, Hawkeye, in the same style of suit he will be in for the new Avengers line coming out next month.

The walkway of the bridge is being build up

The technique here is like of a sort of pirate ship `deluxe`, as due to the fact that it is a heavier vessel that will be lifted of the ground to display, it will need a very solid base to build on.



The computer screens are added to the bridge.

As we start work on the main inside hull section where the mechanics are going to be installed, the SHIELD logo is featured behind Fury`s observation platform.



The whole inner section is filled with Technic beams and axles, as these will allow the rotors of the engines to function, and provides place afterwards for the incorporation of the Lego Power Functions should you choose to.


The whole build uses intresting SNOT and inverted techniques.




The turning handle.  This will allow you to manually spin all four engine rotors in concert.




Next up are the armoured side plates to the hull, with the decals showing it`s serial number.


As you can see, the inner workings of the set are starting to look complex.

The second minifigure we come across is Maria Hill, unique to the set and with the SHIELD logo awesomely printed on her uniform arm as well.

Next up are the engines, we start by one and then afterwards we will be making a mirrored build for the one on the other side.




Now, this how you should have them installed in sequence of the instructions, but I left off the dark blue ring until the large transparent rotor assembly was actually connected in, giving you more finger space.  And I personally even have long sleek fingers, and found it already very hard.



The mirrorred front fans.

Third up is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.  Though I do not remember he actually had a 'soul patch' in the movies so far?

The hind engines are up next, once again coming with a mirrored build for the other side.




Here you can see how exactly the ring is added on top of the rotors.


With all four engines installed, if you turn the handle at the back, they spin around.

Nick Fury is next to our collection of Minifigures, coming in the Ultimate version like in MCU, and sporting his long black trenchcoat.

Black plating is used to cover up the mechanical inner workings and start working on the landing deck.


The engines are then build, again using some nifty techniques and mirrorring each other.


And then attached to the back side of the vessel... not the simplest of jobs though, as it is already getting weight by now and you need to lift it up a bit to click them in place.  I just hung it`s butt over the table edge.

The main flightdeck and base of the command tower is the next part on the list.



We extend the deck by adding an additional lane to the nose, together with the necessary sensor arrays.



The whole deck is covered up then, but the SHIELD printed plate can be taken off to show the bridge of the vessel.


We then finish up the nose section by adding armoured plating here as well.


The final minifigure of the set is Scarlett Johansssssgrrrrlllg... I mean, Black Widow.  This puts our rather nice division of `SHIELD agents` from the movies nicely together.  Still no Coulson though...


We continue with the second runway as the next part of the build.



Again, this uses a mostly Technic frame covered up by the printed plates (which where specially made for this set, so expect them to cost a dot for the moment on the secondary markets...)

Once covered, this is added to the main body and really bulks and lenghtens out the whole ship now.

To get an idea, here she is next to Benny`s Spaceship, whom is a rather long set in her own...

Now, these are ubercool.  They are the `award sized` figures minifigs sometimes carry, and now they come printed!  I especcially like micro Iron Man, so I put him on the front antenna to be `flying` in front of the carrier.


The final bag is all about the details.

We get the road barriers to mark of landing lanes and such.

Microscale cargo loaders and tanker truck


Jet fighters

Aaaand... no less then 3 pretty cool looking Microscale Quinnjets.


The final part of the actual ship build is the viewing tower.





With a set this big, you get quite a few additional pieces of course...


And then she is concluded, and berthed on one of my Lego shelves on display now!



This was just such a great set, and I found it worth it`s 350 euros for one. 

But... there is more.

Not only did you get the Demolition Drill for City this second half of the month if you spend more then 30 euros on the store, the Helicarrier also came with his own, not advertised before you see it added to your online shopping bag, Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier minifigure!


I doubt I`ll ever bother about the drill as City isn`t really my thing and it`ll end up sorted out in my boxes, but Bucky is a great addition to the superheroes collection for sure!