Monday, November 7, 2011

The Move and the Pin-up Girl


So I am moving. Well, I should say my wife and I are moving. What does this have to do with a pin up girl? Well, not much. But as I looked at my rather bare walls and saw the only art up was my recent line art of an alternative pin up girl, I was saddened a little. You see, since I have been in the illustration field, considering myself a professional self published illustrator, I have done all of that work in this room. My first issue was drawn in this office, not that it matters much. I'll move into a better place, in a better town, and everything will be great. Now I know that this pinup girl will not be the last drawn in this office, but she is to be the first symbol, to me, of a new beginning and better dwelling. Here's to three good starting years at this room to be called the first Red Turtle Comics Studio! Hip, hip, horyeah!
Also, if you want to check out the pin-up piece on my deviantart account, go here: Sarah the Pin up Girl

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Movember Participation

Ok, I have registered to participate in the Movember fund raising program. Here's a little about it. 


ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.



On Movember 1st, guys register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. 

At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Part├ęs held around the world by Movember, for Movember.  



The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research
The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research. 

For more information on the programs we are funding please visit the following:
Prostate Cancer Foundation
LIVESTRONG, The Lance Armstrong Foundation
Awareness & Education
Global Action Plan



Movember - a global movement
Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.1 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas supporting the campaign and men’s health cause across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro to Mumbai, and everywhere in between.

No matter the country or city, Movember will continue to work to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment. 

In 2010, over 64,500 US Mo Bros and Mo Sistas got on board, raising $7.5 million USD. 

Ok, Got it? Now go to my page here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fan Days 2011 Wrap up.

Rob and I's table at the Star Wars Fan Days Convention was a success! I want to take time out to thank everyone who helped make our table a success! I couldn't continue to do the comics and pin-ups successfully without you guys, the fans! I did make enough profit to put money down to get a table for the dates of February 11-12th, 2012 at the Sci-fi Expo at the Irving Convention Center in Texas. So if you are in town then, stop by! For now, here's Star Wars pin-ups that I did at the show! Enjoy-

  





Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Upcoming Masters of the Universe Awesoneness! Also know as my wife is about to hate me...

Hello Everybody! So Currently Mattel is still taking Subscriptions for their mattycollector toylines. One of my favorite toylines of theirs is the Masters of the Universe Classics. So far for the season of the end of 2011 to the beginning of 2012, looks good. So here's what they are putting out.
October-
So for the first run, we are getting another New Adventures of He-man figure in the classics line. I can't express how excited I am to see this. He is definitely on my to get list. If you missed Battle Cat in the previous sales and the all-star super sale back in August, mattycollector.com is giving you another chance. I would like to say that this is the last time he will be available, bu I've passed up the chance to get him like four or five times now. So, I'm not sure if he will come back again, or if this is his last. Unfortunately for me, I don't have the money to get him (unless I drop Flipshot/Icarus). Ok, and then you have Mer-man. As far as I know, nothing on him has changed. He still has the 200X and Vantage head.

November-
So we open up November in a cool way! Snout Spout! This is one of the late of the series figures that not everybody is familiar with. I had him at one point. He's pretty cool. He's also on my to get list. Now, if you are a She-ra fan, the next two releases for November should make you really happy. Swift wind, She-ra's Horse and Bubble Power She-ra. Ok. Well, I would get Swift Wind. If you have She-ra, her horse would be a great addition. I'm not sure of the Bubble Power She-ra. I'm just not sure. No word yet on what the re-issue will be for November.
December-
So, originally I wasn't going to get anything in December. But, since scheduling of some of theses toys releases have changed, so have my buying plans. Originally, the Wind Raider was to be an October release. I was going to miss on Icarus in order to get this. I have always wanted a Wind Raider and now is my chance to get one with wings. So this Vehicle marks the first true Vehicle in the Classics line. I have a feeling that this will sell out really fast. I am keeping my figures crossed to get one. So far with all of the convention pictures being posted, this beauty has out-shined many of the other figures. Hopefully, Mattel will wise up and release the Battle Ram that the Four Horseman Sculpted a year earlier. Next is Demo-man. He looks really, really cool. He does. I don't know anything about him. I do not remember him from the mini comics, and I don't remember him from the cartoon. I'll have to look him up later. So, this next one is for the 200X fans. If you didn't like the Evil Lyn that was previously released, don't fret! So the sculpt for Evil Lyn has not changed from the previous release of her. They have included a new cape and a newly sculpted head that is her without her helmet. "Oh you would like to have that for the Evil Lyn that you have now", you say, buyer be warned, this Evil Lyn has a flesh tone skin versus her sickly yellow skin from the last release.
January-
So, this month could be a good collectors month? It's hard to say so far. The forums are full of mixed reviews for this month. So we open with the Sorceress. She is in the vintage style costume. No world on if a modern 200X version of this character is to be released. If anything, it won't be this year. She will come with the mighty eagle Zoar in her battle armor and perch. If you have the first run Evil Lyn, her pet eagle has the same armor. Just put Zoar in it. I'm a little torn on the Sorceress. She's one of my favorite characters, but I was hoping for a Modern release. I dunno. Next we have the Star Sisters. Again, if you are a She-ra fan, you're gonna love this! They are sold as a three pack. Ther's no way around it. Ok, the last release is the Fearless Photog. Here's the back story of him. In 1986, a contest was held for children to send in designs for new characters. Five finalists were chosen, and people were then allowed to vote for their favorite. In the last page of the Spring 1986 issue of The Masters of the Universe Magazine, they announced 12-year old Nathan Bitner as the winner of the contest with his submission of Fearless Photog. Nathan was awarded a scholarship for 100,000 dollars, plus a five-day trip to Disneyland. This figure starts the 30th anniversary subscription that was separate from the 2012 sub. He looks pretty cool. I am having a tough time with what to get in January.

February-
Ok, hands down, I am getting Fisto! So the big release for this month is Duncan's brother, Fisto. He comes with a 200X version head, and belt. He also comes with this Vintage sword and his fan favorite, but never produced till now, 200X super sword. From the pics I saw of his back, he has a slot to hold his big sword. Looked a little big for the vintage sword though.

March-
So another, right off the bat, hands down, must have for me is Kobra Khan. This Khan has a spitter head, his red blaster and the lizard friend from the 200X series. I can not wait to have him next to my King Hiss! Then we will have the quarterly release, Thunder Punch He-man! If you remember the vintage line of He-man figures, years down the road you got a cap firing He-man; this is the Classics version of him. He won't fire caps, but I do believe that he has a mocked cap ring that will fit on his shield. Now, I'm not entirely sure if he will or won't fire caps. So far, all of the pictures I've seen of him do not show anything on his back, which is where the cap firing mechanism was. Keep your figures crossed. Lastly this month we get Drago-man! This is the first Four Horsemen inspired figure that they have created for the 30th anniversary. Looks pretty cool. If it weren't for Kobra Khan, I would be at arms on who to get.


April-
So I believe that April will be the month that anyone who got a 2012 subscription will receive their Shadow Weaver. She's a really cool figure. I didn't get a sub, so I won't get one. Sad Trombone. But I will get a Stinkor! So we finally get a Stinkor in the classics line. He is supposed to stick. He will also come with a 200X inspired head, and his vintage. He will also, for the first time, come with a stink rifle. Sounds like fun. This is one of those months that I really have to either save up for, or beg really badly. The beast release for this month is the 200X Griffin. So far, it looks amazing!!! I really want to get one. Also included in this month, and I will probably include it in the order, is Snake Mountain stands! Now I have the Castle Grayskull stands. There's not a lot to it, but... these stands make your figures look so freaking cool. I was wanting to order more Castle Grayskull stands, thinking that there would be no other types coming out. Boy was I wrong.

May-
Ok, so another New Adventures of He-man character is to be released this year! My Optikk will no longer be alone. This time, it's another space mutant, Slushhead! I wanted a Slushhead badly when I was younger. When The New Adventures of He-man came out, finding these toys in my town was very hard. So, I never ended up with this figure line. So, Slushhead is on my to get list. So the last character on the list for May is another 30th anniversary release created by the Toy Guru. No not me. Despite what I called myself on We're not Fanboys,  I am not "THE" Toy Guru. The toy guru is Scott Neitlich who designed the Mighty Spector that will release in May. I haven't seen enough of this character to have a strong opinion on him just yet. Scott will also be helping pen some of the mini comics that will release with the 2012 figures this year.

Overall, there are some good choices, and some bad choices here for 2012. I definitely have the ones I want in mind written on a list. As far as the rest of the year, No one's seen any info that far in advance. Who knows, maybe my character design will be picked for the upcoming 30th anniversary sub line. I think that might be dreaming a little too much, but...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Awesome Fan Days Convention and an even Awesomer Art Print.

I should say, that a long, long, time ago... I wrote a toy review and haven't done anything since. True. I reference Star Wars here due to the fact that I (Taylor Lymbery) and Rob Payne will be at the Sci-fi Expo called Fan Days promoting our comic books Unstoppable Force and Xenex the Bug Man. To capture the Star wars appeal, since it's a star wars based con, I have made a Cowboy Clone Trooper pin-up that I will selling in limited quantities there. To be exact, 64 prints. That's it. No more will ever be printed. Now I'm telling you this cause the next year, I'll be doing another print of another Star Wars character in the old west styling. I'll do...let's say...64 prints of that one too. But that's next year.

The print is on Ultra Premium Photo High gloss 8.5" x 11" paper. I have each print tagged and numbered 1-64 of 64. I'll even throw the print in a manilla envelope! All of this for $5.00 us currency at the convention. Now whatever doesn't sell, I'll hold on to for the next convention (whichever that is) before turning it over to internet sales. I'm not sure if that will happen though. So, if you want a print, get to the show and find the table with the Xenex The Bug Man Banner.

Hopefully all of the links work. Fingers crossed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Taylor's Toy Box Review: Mattel's DC Classics Series 16 Robin (Dick Grayson) and Riddler (Classics)

So over the last couple of days, I have been lucky enough to score a Classic Costume Robin and a Classic Costume Riddler. Both are incredible action figures. So now the breakdown.
My Robin and Riddler

Robin: I got Robin first, so I'll talk about him first. So Robin is an all new mold. Every piece I believe has been newly tooled. One of the things that I really, really like about this toy and a couple of others in this 16th series, is that Robin, as well as a couple of others, have double jointing in the elbows and knees. This is a great feature. Now I know that this will not take hold in all of the new upcoming characters, but do expect to see this feature in more future DC Classics. One other really cool feature in articulation on this version of Robin is the all new ball hinged wrist. In some ways, it is a little awkward, but I can see that this feature will come in handy with new poses. Robin comes with a batarang and grappling-gun. The batarang is just a standard piece, but the grappling-gun is a two piece accessory. This is one accessory that I have been waiting on to appear with at least one of the Batman characters. I say that and just realize that the first series 1 Batman has a grapple-gun, but it's just not as cool as the one that comes with this Robin. Robin also comes with the head and crotch of the build a figure, Bane. So out of 5 stars, I give this toy a 5 of 5. 

Robin DC Classics (Vintage Head)

Riddler:
Story of the purchase:
How I got Riddler as a bit of an awkward journey. I have to tell you this story so you can see what  I went through to buy another toy (I say this like it's a bad thing to buy action figures, what I have to keep the toy guru title fresh). Ok, so the day that I got Robin, I dropped his tiny ass batarang in my messy office. I could not see where it'd went, so I started digging in the clutter on the floor. Now I originally had $5.00 in my Batman piggy bank that I had forgotten about until that morning, and $4.06 in my pocket due to change from getting Robin from my local Kroger store. "So, wow!", I said, "I have $9.06!". That is almost a figurine! But I couldn't bring myself to use the money that my Wife and I use for our bills nor dig the money out of my cash box that I use for change at conventions. I figured at this point, I'll just sit on the money until I have collected enough to get my next figure at the cost of $16.19 at the store. So, I decided to look for the fallen batarang on the office floor. I could not find it! Argh! So, then  I decided to look into my backpack due to the fact that it was open and right there when this tiny accessory fell to it's doom. As I cleaned out my backpack I found $4.61 and the Batarang! Dude, this is the fates telling me that this is meant to be. So, now I have $13.67. I end up finding $.10 in the bedroom, which then brings me to $13.77. So I only need $2.42 to make this purchase happen. Do I sell something? Do I panhandle for money on the street? I decide to dig through my wallet and behold, I find a check for $42.40. I decide to go to the bank, and on the way there I find a penny outside my door on the sidewalk and a penny in the back seat of my car. I deposit $40.00 and keep the $2.40 and race, I mean RACE over to my local Kroger grocery store to buy: The Riddler in classic Costume! 
Review:
So The Riddler in classic Costume from this series 16, is a standard Mattel DC Universe Classics buck body. All of the normal articulation is there. The cane is a remold of the cane used in the first run Riddler in series 5. The only new piece here is the head. You know, I really liked the look of the Riddler as him suited and not just a spandex costume, but I must say that between the two Riddlers that are available in this toy line, I do like the Classic Version better. He does seem to stand out and look more uniform with the other Batman characters from the DC Classics line (well, at least on my wall with my collection). The Classic Riddler also comes with the ever cool left arm of the build a figure, Bane, which has an incredible sculpt of the venom injection system on his wrist. I would say that overall, I give this Riddler 4.5 out of 5 stars.


The Riddler (Classic Costume)
Both are great pieces, and I can not wait to put this Bane BAF together. Great job, Mattel!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Taylor's Toy Box Review: Mattel's MOTU Classics The Faceless One

Ok, so here's the breakdown on the Faceless one! So the Faceless one is a character that was exclusive to the 200X or MYP Series that aired between 2002-2004. He looked like this on the series. He is the father of Evil Lyn, as the series has pointed out and continues to be her father as well as a new background written for him stating that he was once a part of the Council of Elders.  Here is his new bio:

The Faceless One™ Bio

Real Name: Nikolas Powers™
As the ruler of Zalesia™, Nikolas Powers™ was entrusted by King Grayskull™ to guard the city’s great magical objects - the Havoc Staff and the mystical Ram Stone. Powers was a core member of Grayskull’s Council Of Elders, great mages from across Eternia® who had the wisdom to tap into the planet’s hidden magical secrets. But by marrying and having a daughter, he broke the Elder’s treaty with King Hssss™ to not produce any heirs. Powers was stripped of his humanity, condemned to never leave Zalesia™ and forced to watch his beloved city destroyed by Serpos. Now called “The Faceless One™,” he asked the wizard-warrior He-Ro™ to use the power of Central Tower to send his daughter Evelyn into the future. There, with his immortality, he hoped to raise her away from the terror of the Great Wars.


So here's the breakdown. At first sight of this figurine on the forums, I was at first, concerned. I had a fear that this great character would not translate well into the Classics line. As soon as I saw the final paint/sculpt, I was very impressed. I checked out a few pre-order guys doing reviews on him and then I was sold. Some of the things that makes this figurine so very cool is a combination of the new body parts, the new Eternian relics, and the great bio newly written for him. 
   One of the big items that a lot of fans are happy about is the Ram Stone. If you are a fan of the 200X series, you will definitely want this piece. The stone is a green metallic and fits right into The Faceless One's hand. And yes, the hands are a reuse of Count Marzo's hands, so they do have fingernails even though he is supposed to have gloves. I know that a load of fans hated...hated this fact with all of their heart. Honestly, I don't mind it at all. Unless you really focus on it, you really won't notice too much. He sports a new waist/belt/skirt sculpt, which is beautifully detailed. It is not too over detailed as you might expect with 200X and not too dulled down. It has the perfect pairing of detail and simplicity to match all of the other pieces within this Masters of the Universe Classics line. This piece is on the soft side so that his legs are not hindered at all for posing articulation with the legs. My one complaint is the cowl/sholder pad/ cape piece. This piece is going to limit the range of how much you can pose his arms and head.  The whole piece comes off so you can reach his head in order to pose, but it is really difficult to reach whilst he has the cape on. But that's not my complaint. My complaint is this, the cape piece sits a little lose on him. I would almost wish that he had a peg that inserted itself into the torso of the figurine. I say this because there have been a couple of times that I have posed my figurine, I felt that the cowl was coming up and covering his face. But that's it! Overall, this toy is a great addition to the Masters of the Universe toy line. I am extremely happy to have him in mine. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Green Lantern Review: There are some people out there that are about to tar and feather me.

So I just got back from going to see the all new film, Green Lantern, and I will have to say, it's not THAT bad. Before you get all angry and decide that you will stop reading my blog or hire a killer to come take me out, please, please hear me out. Overall, I do agree with some of the critics out there in that the film is not the best thing in the cinema, but Green Lantern is entertaining and is worth seeing on the silver screen.
     Now, I think the best thing to start off with are the honesties. First off, the mask is horrible. Please, Warner Bros, please fix it. It just looks awful! I know that when the first news broke about GL being made into a movie, I was a little excited. When I saw the first images of the costume, I was mortified. "Why?! Why, dammit, why?!", I would scream every time I saw it. Ghastly was all I could use to describe the muscle suit that they CG'ed (computer generated) on Ryan Reynolds. The suit and mask got toned down, the mask, not enough. If GL is to be successful with the all of the crowd, the mask needs to be looked at again.
     Second, Green Lantern is not a sci-fi flick. It is a science fiction/ fantasy movie. With that being said, you really (REALLY) have to hang the suspension of disbelief! Just like Geoff Johns writing for the Green Lantern comics, the film is a perfect adaptation of his story telling, and it makes sense considering he is a co-producer on the film. If you like his writing, you will not have a hard time hanging the, "Implausible! That can't happen!", attitude. So think of Mr. John's story telling littered here and there with Ryan Reynold's quietest jokes. The bad jokes are there, do not think that they are not, but they don't stand out so badly as you would expect from a RR flick.
     Last, some of the acting could be a little better. Overall, Ryan's run on Hal Jordan is a cross of Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner: Hal's will, Kyle's goofiness. Hal might seem a bit goofy due to the fact of who he is played by. I know that Mr Reynolds was not anyone's first choice, let alone any spot within a hundred picks from Hollywood, but he is watchable, if you can forget who he is. Ryan Reynolds needs to be written a little more seriously if he is to hold onto the Green Lantern/Hal Jordan mantle in the future. Other than the star, Blake Lively does an ok job as Carol Ferris, and Peter Sarsgaard plays a convincing Hector Hammond. I believe the best roles picked has to be that of Mark Strong as Sinestro, Geoffrey Rush as Tomar-re, and Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur. None of which have a lot of screen time, which is sad.
     So now that some of the negatively honest remarks are out, there are some rather cool things in the film. If you are a Green Lantern fan, hold on! I saw on Oa, besides for the above mentioned, Stel. I know that there was more actual comic book based characters in the background, I just don't know their names. There was also some play on costume design that might indicate that the movies will one day touch up on the Anti-Monitors. Also, if you stay after the first part of credits, there is a cool scene that will tell you where they are heading with some of the GL story. Does this mean we might see Blake Lively in a Star Sapphire costume? I know that there are some boys who can't wait. But hold on, there's more! John Stewart also has a guest appearance in the film played by Nick Jones Jr.
     So film is ok for most, and a lot of fun for fans. It is not the best film out there, and it is not the best story told, but it is a bit of fun if you can afford to let go of reality. I would say that I give this film 3 of 5 stars. I do wish it was a better film, but it is not bad. Now just as a suggestion to Warner Bros. and DC, listen to your fans closely on the next film. Their suggestions and critiques could help you save a new movie character franchise. But as for now, good, average job y'all. Way to go on mediocrity. I'm going out to buy some Green Lantern toys now.
UPDATE: Oh, so I almost forgot! I found the score to be horrific! So bad. There are parts of the film where I forget about the score and just go with the story, and then there are times when the score stands out so much that it just doesn't fit with the movie. I was reminded of this thought as I was putting up the dishes and heard all of the clanking. That should tell you a little about the soundtrack. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Taylor's Toy Box Entry: Kenner's Swamp Thing Transducer Playset: Great Finds and the Inevitable Curse that Follows Them.

Let me just start off by saying that toy collecting is a hobby of mine. It should be for most people, but there are some who have the time and resources to make toy collecting and trade a working business. So, with that being said, when I talk about toy collecting, for the most part I am approaching the subject as a hobby collector.
Acquired Transducer-Incomplete
     So today, I went by a second hand shop and was surprised to see that they had a 1992 Kenner Swamp Thing Transducer playset. Man! What a find, A and B, only being $1.98 I couldn't resist. I ran back home and scrounged up all the change I could find. I haven't seen this set since I was a kid! So, I went back and I got it. I got the set back home and went to getting the piece clean. So, what's the problem? Why is this a curse? Well, here is the problem; the set, like most second hand bought sets, is incomplete. See pics:
Transducer Complete
Depending on what you find and what is missing can be a collectors ultimate nightmare!

Take for example, I collect some of the waves of Mattel's DC Classics. Wave three features a build a figure of Desparo ( a REALLY cool version of Desparo). I was able to get all of the characters in that wave except for the ever hard to find and rather expensive Wonder Woman (sad trombone). So in order to complete the BOF of Wave 3, I have to spend way out of my comfort zone for a toy. Instead after two years of looking, I was able to find just the leg that a nice person was selling on ebay. Thus, Desparo is now complete.
     But, not all collection pieces end in such a radtastic way. Take as another example, my vintage castle Grayskull will probably never be complete, and if I do muster up enough money to replace broken and missing pieces, it will probably get expensive seeing that the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline is no longer in production. The fact that its 30th anniversary is in 2012 is not encouraging either, being that once MOTU's popularity skyrockets again, some vendors can sell their pieces at astronomical prices.
So the ability to finish pieces comes down to it's popularity and production. A piece like Kenner's Swamp Thing Transducer is pretty hard to come by. It was not very popular and was short lived. I have only seen a few complete playsets, all boxed, for sell on collector's sites and amazon. All boxed sets ranging in the fifty to one hundred dollar range. So far no single pieces or opened sets are for sale. Does this mean that I should be discouraged; no. I try not to look at aspects of collecting as a curse. For me, I like to think of collecting as a puzzle that should never have a solution. Some of the fun of collecting vintage toys is that I like looking for these pieces and finding the best deals available.  I believe that collecting in this way gives one a reason to boast and be proud of their collection. This way makes you work for what you have. To me that's a good way to look at collecting, but for everyone else who sees the inability of completing a set quickly as a curse, then yes, it is a curse.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Taylor's Toy Box Entry: Got a toy from a Smoker's Collection? How do you get the smell out of the Plastic?

So, the other day I went to my favorite second hand toy store, Dallas Vintage Toys. I bought a Masters of the Universe Classics Webstor. It's a great piece, except for one thing, he smells of an ashtray! Now I was warned online and in store that he smelled of tar and cigarettes. So I went into a cleaning frenzy when I got home and I've cleaned him three times now! The smell is not 100% gone, and I'm not done cleaning him, but I figured I would share what I used to clean him, so if you end up in the same situation, maybe my info will help. So, this is what I used.

1. Lemon Juice. Basic, environmentally friendly, and strong. I use this to help pull some of the smell out, and take some of the tar off of the plastic.

2. Baking Soda. As with lemon juice above, basic and environmentally friendly. I use this sparingly as to not scratch off the paint or patina.

3. Oxy Clean Pre Fabric Cleaner Spray. Ok, so this stuff is amazing. I used to use the Oxy clean laundry powder back in the day to refurbish the outer shells to Nintendo Entertainment Systems. I am not sure if Oxy Clean is environmentally savvy, but watching the Oxy Clean pull Tar off of my new/used toy was amazing.

4. Basic Dish Soap. I use this to help with smell and to keep the Oxy Clean frothy.

So far, Webstor's smell has improved by about 70%. From what I am smelling, the softer the plastic, the more it seems to absorb the smell. The armor, skirt, and spider legs have been the hardest pieces to get the smell out of them. The harder plastics like the body, rifle, and backback have been great getting cleaned. The smell is almost gone in areas with the harder plastics. I plan to clean him a couple of more times throughout the following week. I hope that this solution works well with him. As I clean him, I'll post more information on what I discover with my solution.










-Tay

Monday, June 6, 2011

Taylor's Toy Box Review: Mattel's DC Classics Lex Luther vs. MOTU Classics Skeletor



So recently I was able to get my hands on this little beauty 2-pack of nerd-filled awesomeness!
Front of Package
So, overall, I shied away from getting this piece for months. I knew that I wanted the Battle Armor Lex Luthor, and I was gunning for the Lex Luthor vs. Supergirl 2-pack.
     I will have to say, the one reason for this purchase was for Skeletor. I am in possession of Panthor from the Masters of the Universe Classics line and knew that this was going to be the only affordable way for me to get a Skeletor to put on the awesome cat. At first glance I was not very happy with the look of Ole' Bone Face in this pack. His face paint is just so bland and plain. Considering that the original release of Skeletor has tons of color fading and a whole palette of tones, I just wasn't happy with this version. But, the more that I looked at my purchase, the more I have grown to love it. 

Now if you are to compare him to the original release classics line, most would not be that happy, but here's the thing, he is not supposed to be a new version of the original, this Skeletor mimics the comic.

He has the same articulation and pieces as the original release, but is missing his Havoc Staff. The sword that he carries with him is a prop from the comic book that he comes with.  He does have removable chest armor and a removable head. His armor is not as multi-toned as the original release, but as I said before, this is not meant to be that. I do like the simplicity of this action figure and I am absolutely in love with what Mattel has dome with articulation on the Masters Classics line. I would say that this toy would be good for kids as well. It is a little more accessible than the Mattycollector versions, being sold at Toy's R Us and not once a month online. I would say that this Skeletor is well worth the half of the costs of this 2-pack (I'll get to costs later). Now the other half. 








Battle Armor Lex Luthor

Alright, now Lex Luthor. Now, as I had said earlier in this review, I was initially after this version of Lex Luthor. I have to be honest here, I am glad that I waited and got this set of Lex and Bones verses the set with this Lex and Supergirl. I'm not as impressed as I thought I would be with this action figurine. This version of Lex is from the Super Powers line from the 80's now modern-ed up and gussied with new sculpt and articulation. He is a nice addition to my DC Classics lineup of toys and looks great next to Superman. So what's the problem? There's a couple of things that could have been done better. First off, the articulation in his legs are great, but his skirt holds back on the hip/leg articulation. I think that this could have been solved with a molded slit on each side of the skirt. It would definitely help with how well his upper legs move. The second problem is his head and where it is. I love, love the look of this armor. I do, I really, really do...but getting to Lex Luthor's head for posing, is a bit of a nightmare. His armor does get in the way. Lucky for us, the back of his armor is opened as well as the front. This does help a bit. He also comes with 4 power stones. Now Lex is not in the comic book. So he's a bit of a stretch for why he's here.

Overall, for collectors, this is a nice piece to leave in package. The printing work and design that went into this 2-pack is nice. The comic is hidden away in an art sleeve that looks like the card portion of the package, so it does not stand out; it blends very nicely. I do like the bio's on the back of the package as well. 
     I got my 2-pack for 3$30.00. Normally the DC Classics line is about $17.00 and the MOTU Classics is about $20.00 (if you get it the day it releases on mattycollector). So, overall, you get two cool toys and you get to save about $7.00. So, in my opinion, I give this set 3.5 stars out of 5. 

Universe vs Master of the Universe 2-Pack Action Figures - Skeletor vs Lex Luthor on Amazon.com




Saturday, May 14, 2011

Xenex in Real Life

So I've started posting a new funny title on the Xenex the Bug Man site, not that I needed to do anymore work. I will warn you, it is extremely bad humor. You have to think of it as entering my imagination and expecting to make since of it. But, if you think that it is something that would interest you, head on over to xenexthebugman.com and look for it under the xenex in real life tab. I'll always display the current episode, but I have an archive button that will take you to the pasts ones. If you want, you can even comment on them. Please be nice.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A New Dose of Awesome! The new "Conan the Barbarian" trailer is out.

I have to admit that the first time I heard of a Conan the Barbarian reboot, I shuddered. All I could ask was, "Why?! Why? Oh, God, Why?!". But, now that I have seen photos, and a decent trailer, I am actually stoked about seeing this movie. I seems right up my alley (being that I am a huge sword and sorcery fan).


I hate to geek out here, but skulls; brooding barbarian; the only thing that would have made me happier is a half naked hot chick holding a cheeseburger whilst wearing He-man armor! From the interviews and reports that I have been reading on the superherohype website, I have heard an on going push to keep this Conan relaunch close to the writing of Robert E. Howard. So, with that being said, I hope that the Arnold/Conan fans can learn to love a super supernatural hack and slash sword and sorcery Conan film. I think I will.



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Duke Nukem: Are we getting ANOTHER media re-boot? Should we really care?

What?! Duke Nukem is finally set with an actual release date! After 12 years (really 14 years) the Nukem intellectual property is set to release Duke Nukem Forever on the current game consoles giving a new generation a look at the over-the-top "all out of gum" a$$-kicking bad boy. But what of the original fans, the now matured (hopefully) crowd that seems to be dogging the game on message boards and comments?


As I watched this trailer for the upcoming Duke Nukem game I was slightly enticed to play it. I would almost say, that I am a little excited to play this game. It looks very silly (silly in the way of the Alphabet of Man book) and over-the-top. So, knowing this, I'm not surprised that the trailer dumbs my I.Q. down a couple of notches to middle-school boy mentality. I'm fine with dumb. I'm not expecting much from this story. But not everyone feels the same about this high octane reboot. Some people feel downright ashamed of this game, but should they? Comments ranged from, "the graphics suck", to "after a decade, who cares". Are peoples' expectations being shattered after waiting for a decade, or are people tired of the over saturation of the same thing? Is the game going to be bad because it's poorly made, or have peoples expectations of various franchises and brands skyrocketed to the impossible. If expectations are too high, will creators and studios be able to deliver a product that will wow crowds again. I know personally I'm a bit tired of the reboot plague and I mean this across the media board. Thundercats is being rebooted, Voltron too. Conan, X-men, Judge Dredd, Captain America, and the we just had a few re-boot releases recently. Many of the original comics, cartoons, and movies carry fond memory from my childhood and I've had many years to day dream about how a perfect movie interpretation would be for (insert title here), thus rising my expectations. And though Green Lantern and Thor have not had a movie made of them till now, they seem too similar to everything else out there trying to capture the attention of the fans. Is there anything that can satisfy the fanboy or fangirl? If expectations are too high, will creators and studios be able to deliver a product that will wow the fan crowds again? Honestly I believe that these movies are set up for the nostalgia in us. As fans we know the movie or game is iffy, but we'll buy into it. The truth, I believe, is that these reboots are for a new generation of fans that will be doomed to repeat what we are going through now. If we are to get through this re-boot phase, I think we are going to have to do as Nukem; dumb it up to just have fun.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Xenex Issue # 3 Available on Indyplanet.com

Just to let anyone know, my comic book, "Xenex the Bug Man", has issue  #3 listed on indyplanet.com for print on demand purchase. It's only $2.50! That's cheap.

POD Xenex #3

If you don't want to wait for the print to come to you by mail, you can also download it digitally for your e-reader or ipad.

Digital Xenex #3

If you are interested in issue 1 and 2 for digital, hold tight. I have sent out the request to have it available on indyplanet digital, so it should be soon.

Mattel's New 2011 Hotwheels' Batmobile: Arkham Asylum

The other day I ventured out to Target and found this, the new batmobile for 2011! It's the batmobile from Arkham Asylum, the last batman video game. I'm always on the look out for the newest hotwheels batmobile, and was surprised to see this. The last released batmobile was, The Batman- batmobile. I never would have guessed that they would choose to release this particular car, but I'm not complaining at all. Right now it is not listed on the hotwheels website. If you like the batmobile series with hotwheels, I would say this is one of the best new models I've seen in a while.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Taylor's Toy Box Review: Matty Collector April Spring Fling Purchase Sting!

What an awesome April at mattycollector!

So, if you know me from the "We're not Fanboys" podcast on itunes, or you know of me from the comic book illustration sites, xenexthebugman, unstoppablecomic, or taylorlymbery.com, then you might know that I am a big Masters of the Universe fan. 

This month (April) I was able to purchase the new and cool, Panthor and weapons rack, and was also able to get the re-issue of Mossman. All three pieces are extremely cool! So, I'll break down each one individually. 

  • Panthor- So Panthor is the fifth creature to be released in the ever cool Masters of the Universe Classics line. He is Skeletor's purple cat (see above pic). What a great piece! His body is a reissue of Battle Cat's body, with the exception of the face. I am impressed with the sculpting of Panthor's face verses that of Battle Cat's; loads different in appearance. The saddle is a reuse of Battlecat's as well, just now with a metallic green paint job. So, what makes this cat great since the only new part is the face? Well...it's the helmet. For the first time ever, Panthor has a helmet, and it fits his personality very well, as you can see from the pics above. One thing to look out for, Mattel recently talked of having more environment friendly packing techniques. I believe Panthor is the first to utilize this. Instead of wire wraps, he is bound to the box by bailing string. Kudos to Mattel for trying out something new, like... going slightly... green. Now my cat did not come with toe nail paint on his right front paw. That's ok, he is still very cool, but that is something to look out for if you are able to get one off of ebay, or it re-releases. Panthor sold for the first time on mattycollector.com, April 15th 2011 for $30.00, and he's worth every penny. Great piece. 
  • Weapons Rack- Now, I have to start by saying, this piece has no moving parts or articulation. It is a simple weapon rack, but a great looking piece. So this ten piece toy, in my opinion, is a must have for the Classics line collector. It you take your figures out and pose them, and you have the Grayskull stands, there is no reason you should not have this piece. What I really like about this is that it is set up to look like the original weapons rack that came with Castle Grayskull. Obviously, this one is bigger than the original and has a better paint job. But, this time, the pegs are not a part of the toys initially pressing. Let me explain. The pegs on the original were molded onto a fragile piece of orange plastic. This one's pegs are seperate. Saying that, the pegs on this new piece have less chance of breaking off. So, if you look at the pic above, you will notice that some of the weapons are red. This is paying homage to Man-E-Faces with weapons pack that released back in the 80's. I do have a couple of let downs. First some of the rust red paint did come off of a ray gun onto the package. Just be aware, if you get this, some paint might come off. Second is that the small ray gun, and the small axe, do not fit on the rack very well, or at least, I haven't found a good way to put them on there. I will have to admit, for $12.00 I feel that this piece is well worth the money. It looks great with the MOTUC figures and stands. 
  • Mossman- Ok, so the last piece is Mossman without ear flocking. Mossman is a re-issue. The package actually came with a white mailer box, and has "the original" stamping on the internal packaging (that states that it is a second run toy). I had been hoping that Mattel would re-release this guy... I had really been hoping, and oh is He great! Overall, the flocking of "moss" on him is well done, covering his body in most of its entirety, and yet giving room for his joints to move. I love that this time he has a vine sling or side pack with a knife that comes out, verses the 200X figure and the Original figure. His body is a re-issue of Beastman's with a new head and assesories. Now his vintage head is the same mold as Beastman's MOTUC head, but his other interchangable head is a new sculpt by the Four Horsemen Toys. It is based on the design of the 200X Mossman in the comic and the TV series. I love the new head over the vintage, by the way, This is a piece I am glad to have been able to get the re-release of. 
So, all three pieces in my opinion are extremely good. I did miss Sy-Klone, but I might get him if they re-release him. I would say that I think April has been the best month for the MOTUC roster on mattycollector. I know Panthor sold out in a matter of 2 hours ( I'm glad I got mine). The other Masters items dragged through the rest of the day, but eventually sold out. Right now, now the only places to get these items are from online toy stores, ebay, and amazon.