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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hot Toys First Order Stormtroopers Set (Stormtrooper and Heavy Gunner Stromtrooper)

















After Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in October 2012, Disney announced they will be doing the Star Wars sequel trilogy with The Force Awakens as the first film of the sequel trilogy. Although the Galactic Empire has fallen after the Battle of Endor, a new organization called the First Order has come to power, and this new military junta employs Stormtroopers to execute its orders.

Jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon, Hot Toys has been busy producing figures from the new movie and the fans are loving it! Maybe it is a good thing as we seriously had enough of another Iron Man figure.
Hot Toys have produced a couple of stormtroopers, from the Officer and Stormtrooper set, Stormtrooper Jakku exclusive, Finn and Riot Control Stormtrooper and the one I got, Stormtrooper and Heavy Gunner Stromtrooper set. Deep down we all know the stormtroopers are all the same with just different accessories or markings but we just love them...haha.

It's the same shoe box design we've seen for the license from Hot Toys, a step down from the Sideshow fifth panel boxes.
In the front you have the picture of the 2 troopers. The artwork insert is pretty nice.
Everything is collector friendly with the double plastic tray, one for the figures / accessories and the other for the stands.





































Hot toys is at the top of their game in sculpting and painting human faces.
Most of their human sculpts are first class and top notch.
Even if they do not get full marks in likeness they definitely get it in realism.
So sculpting troopers' helmets would not be a problem for them since even Sideshow does a good job on troopers.
The sculpting is indeed good and the proportion of head to body is also good.
All in all nothing much to complain about.

In the movie, the troopers looked pretty buff in their suits hence Hot Toys tried to replicate the likeness in the figures by adding a fat suit under the black rubber suit and armor. So what does that do...well you guess it...BAD ARTICULATION!
It is pretty difficult to get good dynamic poses out of these troopers.
It is worse for the heavy gunner as I can't even get him to hold his weapon properly.
Accuracy over articulation?
There must be a better balance and I hope Hot Toys figures this out. The price point definitely demands it.




































The weapons can be attached to the side of the thigh by magnets.




































In terms of accessories, there is the First Order emblem, hexagonal figure stand with First Order trooper nameplate and Star Wars logo, pair of fists, pair of relaxed palms, pair of palms for holding weapons (yar right), gesturing left palm, blaster rifle and blaster pistol. These accessories will be for both the Stormtrooper and Heavy Gunner Stromtrooper (except the blaster rifle). The Heavy gunner gets the extra heavy artillery vest and the articulated megablaster.




































These are exciting times for Star Wars and toy collectors.
The Stormtroopers are fundamental Star Wars universe and it is a must to have them in my collection.
However the articulation really gets to me.
It really should not happen.





































First Order Stormtrooper









































First Order Heavy Gunner Stormtrooper


























































Now we know what the troopers are carrying is the vests!



Monday, December 28, 2015

The Dark side of the Force

The Dark side of the Force.
We have Dooku, Maul, Vader, Sidious and now Kylo Ren
Just F$%king Fabulous!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

ZC World Mr Bean


































Mr. Bean is a British sitcom created by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, and starring Atkinson in the title role.

Based on a character originally developed by Atkinson while he was studying for his master's degree at Oxford University, the series follows the exploits of Mr. Bean, described by Atkinson as "a child in a grown man's body", in solving various problems presented by everyday tasks and often causing disruption in the process. Bean rarely speaks, and the largely physical humour of the series is derived from his interactions with other people and his unusual solutions to situations. The series was influenced by physical performers and comic actors from silent films.

I kinda regret missing out on Enterbay's Mr Bean a few years back as I was not fully into collecting 1/6 scale figures at that time.
Year later, Enterbay launched another Mr Bean at 1/4 scale and the updated head sculpt looks super impressive but I was not going to start collecting 1/4 scale figures. Hence the chance to have a Mr Bean in my collection looks bleak.
Fortunately ZC World came along and launched their Mr Bean at the 1/6 scale! There are 2 versions, deluxe and normal.
The deluxe version has an extra head sculpt on top of the 2 head sculpts given in the normal version and an extra body.
I don't need a second invitation and got my hands on the normal version.

The packaging is one nice sturdy box!
The design is simple with a brown background (made to look like leather - like his suitcase) and the white Mr Bean signature.
Nothing exciting but I guess the simplicity works.
In the box there are 2 layers which house the figure and tons of accessories.






































Mr Bean rarely speaks, and relies largely on physical humour hence there a myriad of iconic expressions for ZC World to choose from.
In the end, they went with the smiling and surprised expression.
I am kinda leaning towards the smiling expression as I think this is the more classic Mr Bean facial expression.
The sculpting is definitely much better than Enterbay's older 1/6 scale version but it would be unfair to compare this way as there is an overall improvement in sculpting in the 1/6 scale figures market in general.
But if you were to compare with Enterbay's recent 1/4 scale version, I think Enterbay's version looks much better.

The sculpting is well done and you will definitely recognize Mr Bean!
But there is definitely room for improvement especially for the surprised expression sculpt.
The tailoring of the suit is also well done and fits the body well.
The ZC World muscular body is also solid and the joints are tight.





































This is my first ZC World figure hence I am not too familiar with their body but I am pretty surprised with their solution to fit the head onto the body.
The head fits onto a so called neck connector with grooves on it.
The pro is that it is very easy to change the heads but the con is that it is also easy for the head to come off and the head might not fit bodies from other companies. You might need to get their neck connector...at this point I am not too sure.

Another gripe is that after attaching the head onto the body, I think the head is tad too big for the body.
I went to compare it with my other 1/6 scale figures and it becomes more obvious.



































The thing that is working for this figure is the ton of accessories.
We are given 9 pcs of Hands, a pair of feet, pyjamas, slippers (so you can bash a Mr Bean in pjs), armchair, teddy bear, bath duck, 4 balloons, a suitcase and digital calculator watch.
All the accessories are detailed and well made.
I really like the look of the balloons and the innovative way of how the balloons are made to look like they are floating.

At first I was excited with the sofa...I thought I was going to get some fabric sofa which would be a good accessory for any 1/6 scale photo taking session, but alas it it just one moulded piece.





































I enjoyed the Mr Bean series and sometimes I still find myself laughing when I watched the re-runs.
For now, this is the best 1/6 scale Mr Bean figure in the market






































Mr Bean tries his luck in joining the Avengers!


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