Feb 26, 2012

GAME OVER!! A 21 Game Salute to the Arcade!

As I stated in a previous post... (The one before this one) The era of the Arcade is long gone.
Now in Memory of the Arcade, here's the top 21 games that ate a LOT of My Quarters:

Mazan: Flash of the Blade
Think Time Crisis in Feudal Japan, but with a sword instead of a Gun... This is one of those games where I improved a bit after taking some Sword fighting lessons... It was kinda cool to play this game without slashing wildly and almost looking like a pro... I had more encounters with Mazan than I had with the Konami game Tsurugi a.k.a. Blade of Honor...

Dance Dance Revolution
Well, while I may not have the moves as those players; I DID try DDR... I absolutely hate it...
My feet aren't that coordinated... gimme a D-Pad any day...

Crazy Taxi
Ah, Crazy Taxi... one of the 5 reasons to own a Dreamcast (The other 4 are Shenmue, Soul Calibur, and MVC 1&2) For some reason there was one at every movie theater... I even saw people miss out on their movie cause they were playing Crazy Taxi...

Speed Racer
Now this game was something that I'd rarely see, but I'd play it cause it's Speed Racer! Did I tell you how much I suck at Arcade games?

X-Men! Welcome to DIE!! Ah, one Side-Scrolling beat-em-up! game... Between Capcom and Konami I spent a LOT of quarters on these... Starting with Konami's X-Men!

The Simpsons
Using Homer, Marge Lisa or Bart... maybe you and 3 friends/strangers joining up to beat this game! This game was never ported to any home console as far as I'm aware of... Too bad though...

The Punisher
Kinda like Final Fight, but you can use guns... and obviously it's based on The Punisher! The few times I encountered this game, I pumped it with a couple of my quarters!

King of Fighters '95
King of Fighters '95... The first SNK game on my list. I already had played Fatal Fury, but the SNES port... This was one of the 3 SNK titles I usually found (The other 2 were KOF 94 and KOF 96)

Vampire Savior: Darkstalkers 3
The "Lesser" Capcom Fighter, but I sometimes preferred to play this game instead of the more Popular X-Men vs Street Fighter... Demitri or Morrigan FTW!! (OK I also love Lilith... SHOWTIME!)

Street Fighter Alpha 2
Two Words: Dan Hibiki!! Wait I spelled Sakura Kasugano wrong! This was the perfect time waster... I could beat the game without using a continue... when no other player challenged me.

X-Men vs Street Fighter
The First Capcom Crossover... (Aside Akuma being a hidden character on X-Men: Children of the Atom) with Marvel. Although I like MSH vs SF (Mostly cause of Spider-Man) X-Men vs Street Fighter was BEATABLE without using continues... (I frigging hate Cyber Akuma)

Silent Scope
This game was odd... It gave you a feel of what a Sniper is, but at the same time it gobbled quarters like crazy... I would have played more of it if it wasn't so frigging expensive!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
Pizza Power! How can I make a list of arcade games without mentioning the TMNT... This game was cool, but the SNES version was better... now if we could get a port of the SNES version with the capability of 4 Turtles, then it would be perfection!

Mortal Kombat
That's all you need to know... The birth of the ESRB just cause HOLY CRAP! He just ripped that other dude's head AND SPINE!! I only played the first 4 MK games at arcades (MK, MKII, MKIII, UMK3)

Captain Commando
Now, this game was rare... but whenever I found it, you know that it ate a couple of quarters... I remember back in 7th grade I missed half a field trip while playing this game with a few friends... (yes, we sneaked out of the group to play Captain Commando...)

Hang-On!/Super Hang-On!
Ah, Yu Suzuki, he gave us so many old school SEGA games, Virtua Fighter and Shenmue... Now this was my favorite old school SEGA game EVER!!

Time Crisis
I'm not too fond of shooters... but Time Crisis added the Cover Element, which was interesting. Also it's the first one that I've played without weird "Digitized" actors...

Normally, I'd find this hybrid machine and had to play both games... We could say that...

Capcom vs SNK
My college days involved classes and playing this game at a nearby arcade... (a bit shady arcade, but this was the only nearby place that had THIS game...)

Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
I wanna take you for a ride! Pick Cable and 2 losers... Spam the Hyper Diaper Beam... Lather rinse repeat, you beat the game... Now try playing the game without Cable you frigging jerk! Oh you're playing vs mode? Lemme guess Cable, Dr. Doom and Strider?

I would have chosen Super Street Fighter II but There's a lot of different Street Fighters here (Alpha 2, X-Men vs SF, MVC2 and CVSNK...) So in First place is:
DONKEY KONG!!! How High can you get?

Honorable Mentions:
Star Wars Arcade Racer
You may hate the Phantom Menace... but this game will make you say "Yippee!" when you play it...
Final Furlong 2 or the weird Horse Racing game... Horse Racing game dude... what else would you want!?
Mario Kart Arcade GP Mario Kart + Arcade... Quarter munching... sadly I barely had time to play it cause it was always full...

Farewell Arcade, you brought me fun for many years... For that I thank you...

Feb 24, 2012

Insert Coin(s) PRESS START is a thing of the past.

I knew that Arcades were dying a long time ago, but Today it hit me very hard when the largest and oldest Local Time Out closed and now a big chunk of empty space lies in its place.
I dropped on my knees and yelled "NOOOOOOOOO!!" just as I did many years ago when KB Toys closed down. (I know it sounds a bit melodramatic and over the top, but these two places had a special place in my heart.) Now who's going to teach kids that drugs are bad!?

Or, Hell... That means that there's no more of THIS!

OK, I hate the DDR Douches, but still, they WERE a part of Arcade History!!

Things like these are a thing of the past... Now Everything is Online Multiplayer Experience...
Sure, Online can bring us "closer" as we can... I'll Let Jim Carrey explain it:

Call me old-school, but I DO miss the Arcade... sure, they were Quarter guzzling traps, but it WAS fun...
I mean, playing Hang-On while Riding a Bike-like Contraption surely beats the crap about doing it with a Sega Master System Controller... Or Teaming Up with the 4 Turtles to defeat Shredder and Krang instead of being just two Turtles on the NES... Or how about the first Fatality! Now Arcade sticks like the NES Advantage and the others that came after it (to their respective consoles) won't make sense to modern kids...

It's kinda sad that this is almost a reality...
I used to have braces and from 97 to 2000 my Orthodontist's office was at a mall with 2 ARCADES! (The more expensive one near the food court and the "lamer/cheaper one on the first level) So, every last Friday of each month, I left school early for my appointment (also the monthly Teachers' meeting meant that school was over at noon) and from 1:00 till 4:30 the Mall was my Playground... Guess where I spent most of the time...
Marvel Superheroes, X-Men vs Street Fighter, Darkstalkers 3, King of Fighters 95 and 96 were my biggest time killers...
Even in my first year of College I spent a lot of time at the Arcade... (This one was a bit too shady, but it had DDR that only required 1 coin per game...) There it was Marvel Vs Capcom 2 and Capcom vs SNK that got most of my coinage.

Where am I going with this? Simple... The Arcades are dying... All the games go straight to consoles now... Can you picture how awesome it would have been to play an ARCADE version of MVC3, Street Fighter Cross Tekken, or any recent fighter? Heck even playing some older games like Silent Scope or Time Crisis the way they were MEANT to be played...

The only true element missing from the arcade in this online world is the face-to-face social experience with the other player(s)... which is in part the BEST PART of the Arcade experience... something that no headset or keyboard will replace.

Feb 18, 2012

It Came from the Toy Chest: Not Full-Version-Man

As you may have guessed... or not! Demo-Man has arrived!
Demo-Man? Who is this Demo-Man? Well for everyone who is not following MOTUC Closely, here's a quick view on Demo-Man!

OK, Demo-Man is the Concept Villain created by Mark Taylor for this Toyline for boys called Fighting Foe Men. The toyline went through some changes and the Concept Hero was changed into what we know today as:

Demo-Man became Skeletor... Or that's how the history of Demo-Man goes.

But in a Parallel Universe, THESE are our He-Man and Skeletor!

Now in the MOTUC canon, Demo-Man is pretty much a "spirit" that was Merged with the dying Keldor... Taking some cues from the 2002 Origin of Skeletor.

Basically, The Bio Writing Team pulled a Ghost Rider on Keldor... Hopefully this won't bring a "Keldor's redemption" angle to the storyline.

Now let's
look at Skeletor and Beastman's "Father"... No, they have no biological relations, but look at "Demo-Man" and tell me that you can't see the Beastman elements on him...
Mandatory picture mimicking the Original Sketch... I did it with Vikor, so I HAD to do it with Demo-Man...

Well, that's the concept art that gave us Demo-Man and it evolved into Skeletor...
Now let's look at the toy... He's Green, I'd say Almost Anti-Freeze Green... If I could describe his color with a Celebrity, I'd say his Green is a Gilbert Gottfried. Now moving beyond the green...
He gives off some sort of aura... The beard, the little bone and the somewhat skull face coupled with his badass cutlass remind me of something...

So, What does Mr. Demo-Man bring to the table... Aside his head...
Alright, He's got a really cool Armor piece that could work on an Army Builder set... Like the Snakemen Army Builder set.
He's got a ratty shirt that covers his entire torso... I wonder what it would look like on Preternia He-Man...
He's got a brand new ratty loincloth... Super soft and super short.
Obviously his cool cutlass, a morning star/flail... I think the spike ball is reused on Sir-Laser-Lot...
The calves might be the ones used on The Fearless Photog. The feet are brand new... Here's a Hint Mattel: 200X Skeletor with Demo-Man feet!
The arms seem new. The spiked bracers are obviously new... (They're a separate piece to the arm...)
The Spiked Arm Armor on his right bicep is new
The hands are new.
The Extra Mini Comic Skeletor head is new.
(I can almost hear the bean-counters at Mattel crying right now...)
Alright, with that said I think we should move to the ratings part: 1 = teh crap and 5 = teh awesome!

Something doesn't add up...
Keldor + Demo-Man = Skeletor?

Demo-Man has Pretty much the standard articulation minus 2 points on the legs. Like Beastman or Stratos before him, having a bare leg costs him 2 Points of Articulation... At least his thighs can rotate unlike 4 Female Figures (3 that I don't own yet and Battleground Teela)

Paint and Sculpt:
Well, the sculpt as you can see is pretty much the basic buck with a few new pieces. Those new pieces bring this sculpt to life. Curiously enough I thought that his body would be the furry body like Beastman. (The tuft of hair on his back and the shading suggest some sort of hairiness to him...) Now Paintwise, there's a couple of issues.
Demo-Man's crotch is green but painted red. This causes some paint to rub off on his inner thighs. There's also some red or copper paint on his left thigh.
Now on his face they used a really dark green to accentuate the shading on him. Sadly, the contrast in colors is too much and it kinda looks like he has some weird War paint thing going on. Also his ears have an excess of this wash that makes him look a tad odd.

Demo-Man has his Cutlass, his Morning Star, the "Secret" Alfredo Alcala styled Skeletor head, The little Skull prop (That COULD be popped on his head if you'd like, but it looks silly without a lower jaw. The head does not sit right on the body.)
The only real drawback is that his Morning Star/Flail is a bit too heavy and his hands are too soft, so the flail decides WHERE it wants to go on it's own...

The D-Man gets an Overall of 3.67 as his score. The paint issues on my figure were the reasons why he lost some points. Now don't get me wrong, he's a cool figure, but I have no special place to put him. KG, He-Ro, Vikor, Even Wun-Dar have my Grayskull display of the Chamber of Power.
We know nothing about Demo-Man, which limits our display options. The Skeletor head is the True star of the show here...

Feb 17, 2012

Wait... I thought Ninja were Japanese...

It's been ages since I've been able to use the NINJAS tag... (I know it's NINJA, but I messed up with the tags...)
Well Iran is making an army of female Ninja... Wouldn't that be an army of Kunoichi?
Well in any case, Iran is making a Kunoichi Army...

While the Government is not officially doing this, it' still kinda creepy and badass at the same time... I mean it's 3,500 freaking Female Ninja!!

Wait a minute... Isn't Iran what was known as Persia?

Jake Gyllenhaal they're coming for you... No sands of time or Bear Grylls will save your moviestar butt...
Now to pad out this short rant with Ninja!!

and hopefully they will be GOOD Ninja and not evil Laughing Ninja!

Feb 15, 2012

Celebrating 30 years of He-Man? I don't feel it.

Mattel made a sub-line for Masters of the Universe Classics: The 30th Anniversary Line.
It's 6 Figures! Starting with the never before released Winner of the 80s Contest: The Fearless Photog. After that 4 Spots have been used by The 4 Horsemen, DC Comics' Geoff Johns and the remaining 2 have gone to Mattel's Scott "Toyguru" Neitlich and Terry Higuchi.
1+1+1+2 = 5... what's the 6th spot? Well, that spot belongs to the Winner of the 2011 Character Creation Contest (Available to MOTU Fans on the Continental 48 states... I've mentioned this already and probably had an OF COURSE! reaction from Bison...)

Yes I seem to have done that when I ranted about the Purple Avenger, Time Traveler Extraordinaire, Possible Gary Stu that may out-Mary Sue Bella Swan... The Mighty Spector!
Well, New York Toy Fair was this weekend and we finally saw the Creation that Geoff Johns made!

Sir Laser Lot.

Now here are the other 2 figures (one created by Mattel's Scott "Toyguru" Neitlich):

The Mighty Spector

Draego-Man who was created by the 4 Horsemen

I've already mentioned that Spector has a bit of trouble fitting into the line and how I would have tweaked him to fit better. If I liked Cobra Commander with Pinkie Pie's Tail as a Headdress at all, I would have made a full topic about that. I absotively posilutely HATE this character.
But Geoff Johns made it when he was a kid!
But it's still Geoff "Fricking DC's Chief Creative Officer" Johns!! You mean to tell me that with all of the creative power at his disposal (from both DC and Mattel) this was made!?
Now To be fair, Johns' creation DOES have the Name/Look/Action Feature link that is supposed to be in MOTU. Still his colors give off a Superman meets Cobra Commander vibe.
Now with that out of the way, let me explain why I don't feel that this line celebrates 30 years of MOTU...

First there's the approach to this sub-line. I agree with having Photog and the winner of the new contest being the bookends of the sub-line. The 4 Remaining spots is where I'm a bit of a disagreement with the way Mattel managed it.

Draego-Man looks cool. It has a name/Look/Action feature (theoretical) link that works for MOTU. He even helps balance out a section that was heavily underrepresented... Evil Flyers.
The good guys have Stratos and Buzz-Off... If we add Flipshot that's 3 Flyers... 5 if Flutterina and Sweet Bee join the ranks.

I may not be that fond of the character. (Due to his role in the story.) But he does have that Early MOTU Vibe. With him you can see that a LOT of thought was put into making the character. He fills out an area of the evil warriors that was lacking (flying characters), he's also a Dragon, a HUGE piece of traditional Fantasy that was sorely missing in the line.

Sadly the same thing cannot be said about Spector or Sir Laser Lot.
We already established that his name and Tagline don't mesh with his look or action feature. (Draego-Man's is something about fire, cause he's a Dragon). Sir Laser-Lot looks like there was a bit of thought put into him by being a Laser Knight with a bad pun as a name... (Fisto, Clawful Two-Bad, etc.) Sadly his Color Combination AND his head is what turns people off on this guy... Or makes people think that he ONCCCCCCE WASSSSSS A MAN!

Others see a Medieval Version of the New Superman... (Red cape, Red Boots, Blue body suit...) To make matters worse this design comes from the DC guy that has nothing to do with MOTU...
(I'll touch up on that later. I promise...) So, DC guy brings forth a SuperMan-Esque design...
While there was a Knight in the Line (Extendar) The idea of more than one Knight is not that far-fetched. So, maybe there was some more thought put into him that I thought.

Now the problem with these 2 figures (Spector and Laser-Lot) is that they are pretty much Kid Designs. Now, If these were $4 figures like in the 80s I wouldn't pay much attention to this issue. (Not cause I was a kid in the 80s) but, the MOTU Classics is an "Adult Collectible" line with $22 figures (More like $33 and change if I factor in S&H and taxes to the mix.) and we're expected to welcome these bland, generic looking designs?
The reason I don't Mention Photog here is because of his Historical Significance as being the Original Contest Winner. (He also has a Gimmicky 85-86 MOTU Characters)

Now, we still have one figure left before the Next Contest Winner... I am a bit worried if the trend of "Kid Designs" keeps on. Let's face it not all kids are great character designers.
Aside the Contest "Bookends" I don't feel like this sub-line is celebrating 30 years of MOTU.
If I had been in control I would have gotten in contact with people who worked on the original lines and ask them to contribute a design to honor their contribution to the brand. Apparently Mattel said no cause they wanted to promote current employees. (Also, some of these people wanted to get paid...) If that didn't work out... I have another plan... (Although I recall that 1 or 2 people who worked on the 200X Comic would have donated stuff for the line if possible... But something something Mattel has a grudge against those guys...)

Since the Idea of using people involved in the history of MOTU was axed, how about doing a prototype or concept character from Each Era while Keeping the Contest Winners as bookends?
Sure it would require that some Mattel Employees would have to work overtime on a few Fridays, then again Friday Overtime would mean anything After 1:00 PM (13:00 if you're into the whole 24-hour clock)
Like a Concept Vintage MOTU Character a Concept variant or a Mini Comic Character like the Red Beast, Geldor, or the Horde Armor Skeletor just to name a few.
A Concept PoP Character or a Mini Comic Character that did not get a toy like The Seer, the Bubble Carriage driver or Josh!
The Same Thing with a New Adventures Character Like Darius or a Concept that eventually became another character.
And at last but not least the same thing with a 200X Character... (Hint: Illumina)

If that would require TOO MUCH WORK... How about this:
Special Deluxe Versions of certain characters:
Star with the Basic Buck but with more interchangeable parts than the normal figure.
-Swappable boots: for both the Normal Boots and a barefoot look. (It will give him a slightly ugly cut joint on his leg, but it's a small price to pay for the Ultimate He-Man figure)
-A new Belt-less Loincloth (for the Barbarian He-Man Look): The Vintage Belt and 200X Belt could work like Fisto's 200X Belt.
-Swappable hands AND Bracers. The Bracers might be slightly tougher but it's possible. (Vintage He-Man mismatched Bracers, 200X Symmetrical Bracers and Nude Arm "Bracers")
Hands would be:
Sword Aloft Right Hand, Count Marzo Left Hand (With the Normal Right Hand it's perfect for an I HAVE THE POWER!! Pose) Normal left and Right hands, pair of Fist hands
-2 Harnesses (200X and Vintage)
-3 Heads: Vikor's head with He-Man's hair for a more "Barbarian" He-Man, The Normal He-Man head with a new longer hairpiece for that Mark Texeira look from the He-Man Meets Ram Man mini-comic, and last but not least a classicized MYP He-Man head.
-3 swords: One based on the First Mini Comic (He-Man and The Power Sword) by Alfredo Alcala, The Normal Power Sword, The Techno Sword.
-Axe, Shield, and the Barbarian Spear from the first Mini Comic (He-Man and The Power Sword)

Like He-Man start up with the basic buck.
-New bare Loincloth with swappable belts:
MOTUC style Front tassels only, Tassels on front and back (for the early mini comic look and 200X)
-Swappable boots: Normal 3 Toed feet, Boot Feet, 5 toed feet
-Swappable arms: Normal "Evil Arms", "Whiplash Arms" "200X Arms"(Spiky near the elbow but with symmetrical bracers
-3 sets of hands: Normal hands, Spellcasting hands, Wide Grip hands (For the Havoc Staff)
-2 Harnesses (One in classic colors and the other in 200X colors)
-2 Power Swords (Alcala Style and Normal sword)
-200X Twin Swords
-Havoc Staff 200x colors

She would require a New Torso, but her body would be mostly based on the Female 2.0 Buck (With a Skintone as pale as Adora)
Normal Dress Without insignia... Dress might need a hole in the chest to lug the correct insignia.
-Swappable insignia/bustier (Filmation style with the symmetrical "boob wings", Vintage Toy style)
-Swappable Belts: Vintage Toy Style, 200X Style
-Slip-on Armbands for the 200X look)
-Swappable Boots: BP She-Ra, Teela Boots
-Swappable hands: Right Sword Aloft, Left "Catra" hand (For the I am "SHE-RA" pose), Normal hands.
2 Capes: Filmation Cape, New Vintage Cape with frills
-3 Heads: Holey head, Filmation Head, BP She-Ra head
-2 Tiaras: BP She-Ra Tiara, She-Ra 1.0 "Vintage" Tiara
-3Swords: Vintage Toy (NOT BP Sword), Filmation Sword, 200X Sword)
-3 Shields: Vintage Shield Gold (White Gem) Vintage Shield Silver (Blue Gem) Teela's Shield in gold

Well He'd pretty much be Classics Hordak with a swappable Right Arm (For The Filmation Arm Cannon)
Normal Hordak Buck (Minus swappable Right Arm)
-Hurricane Hordak Hood
-2 Capes: One Vintage Based, One 200X Based
-New "200X" Belt
-Alternate Blaster Arm (Hurricane Hordak Arm)
-2 Horde Crossbows (One in Bone White, The other in Gunmetal Black)
-2 Heads: Normal Hordak Head, New Open mouth Angry head (200X)
-2 Torso Armors: Normal torso Armor, BuzzSaw spitting Armor
-HH Spinning Attachments
-Rolling Buzzsaws

I'm not going with six characters because these super deluxe guys are super deluxe.

Now if the ONLY Alternative was choosing what Mattel did... I'm sure as Hell I would NOT Have given a spot to Geoff Johns... I would have given it to someone who HAD/HAS Something to do with MOTU... Or 2 Spots Mattel, 2 Spots the 4 Horsemen... No need to look for the Green Lantern... Oh... I see... This might be Payback for the Nite-Lik Red Lantern...

Now after that long winded detour, let me return to reality here. As I was saying, the "Kid Designs" don't sit well with Adult collectors since these toys are more expensive and the line is mostly "Nostalgia driven". Now, with that said I kinda wish that Scott and Geoff had done "More Research" and had put "more thought than Hey this is cool!" into their character submissions.

If I had a spot for this, TRUST me that I would have done some research into the universe BEFORE grabbing a pencil and a piece of paper...

To express better what I mean I'm going to reference this picture of a concept character designed by Emiliano Santalucia... Might Bite:

Now, I don't know what process Mr. Santalucia used to create this character. IF (and that's a big IF) I get a chance to speak with him, I might ask him.
Could He work as a MOTU Character? YES He Can!
Let's look at the Horde for a Moment:
Hordak = Nosferatu (with a bit of a Tiki Mask vibe)
Leech = a Giant Leech/Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Grizzlor = Grizzly/Werewolf
Mantenna = Mantis/Giant insect Monster
Dragstor = Drag Racer/ Possible Reference to Christine the 1983 book and movie? (I may be stretching it here...)
Mosquitor = Giant Mosquito

So as you can see the Horde seems to have a Horror/Predator/Bloody vibe to their characters.
So a Humanoid Great White Shark has 2 out of 3.
It also helps the Horde with an Aquatic Character.
If he were to be Classicized He'd reuse a couple of parts:
Normal Buck (New Torso to add the Shark Tail)
Hordak boots with Evil Warrior feet.
Normal Legs, Preternia Loincloth,
Hordak Flat ab piece.
Right Arm would be the Evil Arm with Mer-Man's hand.
Left Bicep would be the Hiss Bicep, while the Left Arm would be new, yet Similar to Trap Jaw/Roboto, etc. (If done correctly it could be reused as part of 200X Trap Jaw's Mecharm)
Head, Armor and Tailpiece would be new.
So let's see:
New Torso for his new Tail Piece (2-3 pieces) New Left Arm (5) New Armor (6) New Head (7)

Now what would have I done IF I Had a spot. The easiest Factions to think up a character for are: Horde and Snakemen... That is because they have a pretty obvious theme going on. Unlike the Heroic or Evil warriors that almost anything goes. The hard part is making sure that the other side has some sort of counterpart to your character.
Snakemen are pretty much Snakes, so it's kinda easy... A Snakewoman... Based on the Black Mamba. So what do we know about black Mambas?
Fast, quick deadly, Black mouth. Why a Snake Woman? We don't have one. Also a lithe frame like the Female Body makes sense for the quickest snake, that is highly venomous. And their colors range from dull yellow-greenish tones to Gunmetal black. That gives us an idea on palette. and possible weapons.

While in Optimum Conditions I'd use a brand new buck with scales (That could be reused on Snake Teela) I'm sticking with the Create a Character Contest rules about reusing as much as possible... So her scales might need to be created by paint application.
Here we go: Female Buck 2.0 is the base for Mamber: Swift Striking Snakewoman Corny Portmanteau of Mamba and Amber... So I got that name, tagline/Look connection. If she had an 80s action feature it would have been like terror claw's Skeletor, linking name, tagline to look and action feature.
OK Back to the topic. Fembuck 2.0, Teela Shoulders/Biceps, BGEL arms and normal Teela hands.
1.0 Legs for articulation. Catra Boots with Teela feet (No high heels for Mamber...)
Her Dress would be new, so would be her head and weapons.
Her body is gray with a light underbelly like the snake and her clothes have the dull yellows, greens and gray colors of the Black Mamba. And yes, her dress has a not so subtle nod to Kobra Khan. (Cause Mambas and Cobras are on the same family)
While the Katara (Her weapons) are originally from India, the style to use them requires great agility.

Point that I'm trying to make is that in order for me to "create" Mamber I had to look at the Snakemen, what their ranks consist of, what were they lacking and try to fill the hole in the team with my concept. Same thing if I were to make a Hordesman:

Look at the characters if they have some sort of theme (We already established that Horror seems to be the main theme of the Horde) So, looking at horror movies, I see that we lack a Slasher type of character. So, let's think of the big 4: Freddy, Jason, Meyers, Leatherface.
OK, Leatherface is TOO dark visually for MOTU with the mask made of victims so, he's out.

Mike Myers and Jason are too similar, but Jason has a more impressive main weapon the Machete (which Grizzlor already has one). Now both Meyers and Jason have something in common (also Leatherface to an extent) they hide their faces behind a mask. So, that means that our character should have a certain degree of Facelessness. Now, all we have left is Freddy. So, what could we borrow from him? The claw... Instead of being an obvious Freddy rip-off, let's have one Arm that can swap attachments like Trap Jaw or Roboto. There we add a "claw" as a nod to Freddy, a small knife as a nod to Chuckie, he has the Grizzlor Machete as a nod to Jason.

Most of his palette should be dark... Probably using Maroon as one of the colors (nod to the blood without being too explicit) with a lighter colored area on the head (Mask or something that hides the disfigured Monster within). While a Cool idea, it might be TOO DARK for MOTU.
It would need some tweaking to make it fit. If that doesn't work, then I'll have to discard it.

The Rebels are a bit harder. They seem almost Fairy Tale like, but at the same time they are pretty rounded as a Team and have the unwritten limitation that Rebels must be beautiful.

The Horsemen's character was well thought out and it shows. Sadly the other Reveals show that they weren't THAT well thought out. I guess it's a good thing that it's only 6 characters on this sub-line... but at the same time these guys could show up in the next MOTU cartoon...

Feb 13, 2012

Happy Hearts and Hooves Day!

V-Day is coming... Or as ponyfolk would say: Hearts and hooves day is coming...

So I got me some V-Day cards... This is what I found...

Well you already know that I LOVE My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic...

Well with that out of the way, let's check out the cards... Which they appear on the back of the box...

Notice something? The lack of somepony?

Why is there no Rarity? Heck! Even Celestia got a card made in her place... WTH!?
But fear not! The Hub Website has saved the day with their MLP Valentine's day Card creator!
Problem Resolved!

Now I have a Valentine's Day card that would make Spike feel envious... But that's not the point. The point is HOW THE HECK do they LEAVE OUT A MANE Character like Rarity... She might be my least favorite pony, but Come On! Valentine's day is more suited to her than say Applejack or Rainbow Dash!!

Feb 11, 2012

Farewell Whitney...

Whitney Houston has joined the ranks of people who Haley Joel Osment sees. Ho-Ly Crap!
No one knows the cause of death, but almost everyone is suspecting that it was: Drugs...
and I shall not post the infamous "crack is cheap" clip.

May she rest in peace.

Feb 10, 2012

Pinkie Pie is a train conductor... Among other stuff...

Pinkie Pie is a Train Conductor... Sweet Mother of Celestia! What have they DONE!? Giving Pinkie Pie control of a train is an invitation to chaos... Especially since this train can run off-track... The extra carts are not included with the toy... So you have to rebuy Fluttershy and Sweetie Belle... (If we bought the Fluttershy nursery and the Pinkie Pie/Sweetie Belle Sweets Boutique, that would mean we'd have an EXTRA Pinkie Pie, Sweetie Belle and Fluttershy... after we buy the train versions... Why not Scootaloo? She needs to be more out there aside the School set with Cheerilee... Or maybe more Apple Bloom... OK Scootaloo needs it more than Apple Bloom...)
BTW... WHY IN CELESTIA'S Name, Applejack is having some sort of slumber party with a filly that is NOT her Sister Apple Bloom!? I would've understood if she was with Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo... Who the heck is Star Dreams? I mean, seriously Hasbro! WTF!?

OH COME ON!! I bought Princess Celestiazilla AND The Twinkling Balloon just to be slapped in the face with this! A Celestia IN-SCALE with my little ponies in lighter Pink (closer to her toon look) a Spike AND A Twilight Sparkle with her Element of Harmony Tiara!? I'm waiting for Derpy and Big Mac...

I'll tell you what went wrong Derpy... Hasbro is almost ignoring characters from the show while making "G4 Versions" of either Older Generation ponies, or just background ponies instead of the supporting characters... I'm surprised that Cheerilee was able to make it... (Well she was important in G3, so maybe that helps her...)

I'll talk about the Valentine's Day Cards on Hearts and Hooves Day... (The Pony Valentine) Until then Stay Bronies...

Feb 8, 2012

Spider-Man Spider-Man can he do better than a Tobey can?

The Trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man was revealed this week... Spike! Roll clip!

That's it... Just by the freeze frame before press play I can start to describe things that worry me about the movie...
-The Suit... Oh my goodness! Once again, you expect me to believe that this kid made this suit at home? Remember that Peter does NOT have a huge amount of money to pay for the high end quality materials for this suit.
Dear Hollywood if you expect us to believe that Peter made this suit on his home on his spare time then:

Thank you Mr. Takei!

-UNMASKED!? Sheesh!This thing of keeping the Actor's face at most times CAN be a tad annoying... Yes, I know that actors use their body to act... non-verbal reactions to express their feelings and all that. Something that they can't convey with a full mask, blah, blah, blah... But Peter Parker's whole mask thing is CAUSE HE WANTS TO PROTECT HIS LOVED ONES FROM DANGER!! Hence the full body suit that leaves no bits of Parker exposed...

But instead it looks like they're going to commit the same mistake as the Sam Raimi Tobey-Man movies...
Showing Parker's face a lot... Also this Peter looks a bit like a Douchebag...

What did I do now!?
The Lizard... Don't get me started on him... Also, Why is he naked!? I mean really... Humanoid Lizard in a lab coat and pants... How hard is that to screw up!?

Now on a more positive side: WEBSHOOTERS!! Now it's cool that Peter's inventive side is shown, but the movie web shooters look to High-Tech and fancy with their lights and stuff.

I will try to watch the movie but so far, I'm not THAT excited for it...

Feb 6, 2012

Super Bowl? More like He-Bowl!

Apparently yesterday was the Super Bowl... Movie Trailers, weird commercials, like Matthew Broderick's Day off... But that's not what I'm here to talk about...
I'm here to talk about the Two things that brought He-Man to my mind...

MetLife has an interesting ad with a ton of Cartoon characters used to promote Life insurance... This is nothing new for them since they've been using Charlie Brown and friends to promote the same thing for ages... This time they went ALL in and brought Voltron, Teh Scooby Gang, Fat Albert and THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE UNIVERSE!! among the characters shown...

3 things bugged me with this ad:

-Why is Fred such an A-Hole?
I mean look at him: Driving the Mystery Machine with Velma... Where is Daphne? (We find out later on the ad.) Or Shaggy and Scooby... That's Right Fred Ditches Shaggy and Scooby to fend off the Ghost... OK it's Casper, but still Fred Drives off with Velma while Shaggy and Scooby have to follow them ON FOOT while running away from a ghost!? It's not like Shaggy said: "Gee Fred, I'll like walk all the way to the meeting point while you drive away in the van!"

-What was Daphne doing with Richie Rich?
In the back of his Limo and Richie's face watching her leave does hint that he may WANT to do some naughty things with her or he TOTALLY DID some naughty things on the back of his limo...

-What the Heck He-Man and Voltron are doing there!?

Now the other thing that drew my attention was Madonna's Dress for the Half-time show...

It kinda reminds me of something...

Hey! I'm not the only one thinking that... Search Twitter for She-Ra and you'll see!

Feb 3, 2012

Is he a Turtle, a Lion or a Talking arm? A Very special thanks to Cam Clarke from my Childhood and Beyond!

I haven't done a special rant about childhood heroes or idols from the 80s... Since the Playmates reveals of Turtley goodness I thought to start with the man behind the 80s Leonardo voice: Cam Clarke, also known as Jimmy Flinders.

Cam Clarke HAS been doing VA throughout the 80s and beyond. Before TMNT, he was Kaneda from Akira, Max Sterling from Robotech, Dirk Daring from G-Force.

Not the crappy guinea pig movie...
My first time hearing Cam Clarke was with TMNT... and he was also Rocksteady on the same show... Funny thing is that in the California Raisins show he plays a character named Beebop... (Both Bebop and Rocksteady are types of music... hmmm...)

He also was part of the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Cartoon playing Igor Smith and Tomacho... Holy crap! I can't believe it! He's EVERYWHERE!!

He Even WAS in Captain Planet... He played a guy named Ooze... heh! am I the only one who finds this funny? A guy who played a Ninja Turtle plays a guy named Ooze!!

He's also done plenty of voice work for Disney TV shows and movies... I'm going to refer to his work as Simba now... He was Simba's singing voice in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

and Simba on the TV Show Timon and Pumba... (Eventually he'll return as Simba in Kingdom Hearts games...)
Eventually he ends up playing Mr. Fantastic in Spider-Man: The Animated Series (with Quinton Flynn as Human Torch and David Hayter is playing Captain America here... The relevance to this will be revealed soon if the La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo allow it! Forgot to Mention Jennifer Hale as Black Cat!)

Ah yeah! Xenogears... The Tale of Two Leonardos fighting for the love of the Referee from Guts!
Cam Clarke was Krelian here...

Now for the One role many videogamers ARE waiting for me to touch upon...

While Mr. Clarke did a lot of work between the two MGS games (Star Trek stuff, star Wars stuff, He was even Flounder in a Little Mermaid Sequel) everyone wants to talk about Liquid! I mean his performance was a bit hammy and over the top especially with that British accent, but that's WHY people love Liquid that much. I really wish I could have seen Cam Clarke's face when he first read the line "I Live on Through this arm!" There is no way that Cam Clark could top this off now... He was a member of G-Force, a Ninja Turtle, Simba, Mr. Fantastic, Freaking Liquid Snake! He'd need something like the Power of Grayskull to top off all this awesomeness...

Come on! If by now you weren't expecting the 2002 He-Man intro then you haven't been paying attention... I pretty much gave it away...
So let's recap: Cam Clarke has been all that stuff I mentioned AND He-Man too! Holy Crap!
Oh yeah! He was in one of the Steve Oedekerk Thumb movies... The Godthumb playing the Adopted Lawyer Son... I guess Thumb Hagen would be too obvious... The Talking arm is now a talking thumb... This is starting to get freaky man! Skip forward a few years and a lot of projects and we Land on Marvel Ultimate Alliance:
Here he is Thor... DareDevil and Weasel (Deadpool's hacker buddy) He even was Hercules in God of War II... (And Debi Mae West was Atropos... Eithere there aren't that many VAs or the Metal Gear Solid VAs are following each other... Another Tidbit Prometheus was played by Skeletor!! The Original one...)
He also shows up in Star Wars: The Old Republic... Let's see who else is in this...
David Hayter... So the Twin Snakes meet again, eh? Jennifer Hale!? Tasia Valenza!? Paul Eiding!? Quinton Flynn!? Phil LaMarr!? Peter Lurie!? Vanessa Marshall!? Holy ass-crackers this is starting to look like a Metal Gear Solid 1 &2 Reunion! Also Moira Quirk is in this game... (Xenogears) and not to mention Tara Strong (Drawn Together, Fairly Oddparents, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) OK I will not keep checking out this or I'm going to go into a VA overload!!

All I can say is WHOA! Cam Clarke, you rock!

Feb 1, 2012

Tonight I dine on Turtle Soup!! Or some awesome TMNT Toys!

Cowabunga Dudes!

Guess who's come back in Toy form?
I'll give you a Hint: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Not only that, but the Turtles are taking the Thundercats approach! 2 Lines: One based on the new toon and the other based on the Oldest Toon! (I have to say Oldest, since 2003/FF/BTTS have taken the Old spot) Click on the links to see the original article.

Now here are my thoughts on the new show Turtles Toys:
At first I was disappointed when I read the whole scale of the line is 4.25" to 4.75" that varies between figures... Until I measured my Commemorative Turtles... They're 4.25" So, in theory the old turtles should be compatible with the new ones. (Sure the new ones have better articulation, but the old ones do not have that ugly third toe!!)
There seems to be very little parts reuse on the Turtles, which is cool... Also check out the amount of detail in them... I haven't seen detailed TMNT since the 1990s... The last few Turtle toys were lacking a lot of detailing... (Stupid CGI Movie!!)
Well, it seems that Playmates IS bringing their A Game! Aside the normal Turtles, they also have a set of Turtles with Action Features... eh... I'm a bit worried about this... Playmates can be a bit crazy and weird in the gimmick department...
Deluxe Power Sound FX Figures:
Talking Turtles. It seems that if you hold an arm or a leg back, it'll say a phrase until you let go of the limb. Not my cup of tea, but these may be the TMNT for the kids and kids DO like these...

Vehicles!! The Party Wagon got a Badass Makeover and is now called the Shellraiser. Looks like a Train Wagon mixed with the VW Type 2 that was the Original Party Wagon.
A Turtle themed Motorbike is coming as well... It's called the Rippin' Rider. They have Donatello riding it... Its 2003 Counterpart was ridden by Raphael... But don't worry Raph, you seem to have your own ride!

Meet the Ninja Stealthbike... Seems incredibly impractical... It's not like they're giving Michelangelo an Oversized Skateboard... probably based on the Vintage Cheapskate... Wait, they actually GAVE MICHELANGELO a ridiculously oversized skateboard!? Sewer Spinning Skateboard... It does tricks... I guess by using something similar to Jakks Pacific's GX Skate toys...

There's a Bike for The foot clan! The dragon Bike... It allows the Foot Ninja Riding it to do a flip and land in front of it...

Ho-Ly Crap!! They have a Playset... not just a playset, but a Ginormous Multi Story Monstrosity that has a bit of an alley and a Super Tall Sewer base. Sure The playset is mostly a back wall with some ledges but that thing looks like it is almost 4 feet tall!! Picture a multi tiered humongous battle there... We also got a sneak peek at how the characters look! I have to do a bit of research on the show now... cause all I know is that Leonardo is voiced by the guy who *bleep!*ed an apple pie...

-Jason 'I had sex with an Apple Pie' Biggs is Leonardo.
-Sean Astin is Raphael... I don't want to make a Lord of the Rings reference here... His father played Professor Gangreen in the Killer Tomatoes movies... and was the Original Gomez Addams... Crap! Encino Man Reference it is... He's the one that is not Brendan Frasier or Pauly Shore...
-Greg 'Beastboy' Cipes is Michelangelo... That's all I got...
-Hoon Lee: Master Splinter... I seriously have no idea who he is... imdb is not helping me here...
-Mae Whitman: April O'Neil, she was Tinkerbell in the Tinkerbell movies, Katara from The Last Airbender and my favorite Ninja from Wutai, Yuffie Kisaragi! (except in Kingdom Hearts 1 where Yuffie was played by Kim Possible)
-Oh yeah I'm forgetting Donatello! He is crude but cool! Gimme a break! ...wait I thought that Donatello does Machines... Ugh! Rob 'The Original Raphael' Paulsen is Donatello... NARF! Yes, Rob Paulsen has been in a LOT of VA work... Pinky and the Brain, Original TMNT toon, Animaniacs, Metal Gear Solid, GI Joe, heck! he even was Hadji! Holy crap! he WAS Hydro Man? Now I know... and knowing is half the battle...
-Wait! I'm forgetting the Shredder... Kevin Michael Richardson... I want to avoid references to The Cleveland Show, or Armless Panthro... So I'll go with the Kingdom Hearts version of Sebastian the Crab... Or maybe Commander Scott Dolph from MGS2 Sons of Liberty... Nah! I need something more recognizable... General Aguila from the awful TMNT Movie!!

Nice cast they got for this show and so far it has zero Equestrians!

No, I have NOT forgotten about the Classics!
They HAVE A LOT OF Articulation... I'd say more than the NECA Turtles... Looks like they have Individually Articulated fingers... (That may pose a problem with the weapons.) But they look like a Hybrid of the Old Toon with the Vintage toys... I really spent a lot of time hyping the new stuff, but the Classics is what I'm more interested about...

Top 10 Figures I wanna see in the Classics TMNT Line: (That are NOT The Turtles)
1: Splinter
2: Shredder
3: April O'Neil
4: Casey Jones
5: Rocksteady
6: Bebop
7: Foot Soldier
8: Leatherhead
9: Baxter Stockman (Mutant Fly)
X: Krang