Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adventurer's Club- April 2014

This month's Adventurer's Club theme is Exotic Animal and we find Lycee engaged in a debate with her subject. She insist he's a blue dragon but he disagrees.

Lycee: Seriously, a Mediterranean House Gekko? Man, you're a Dragon!

No way! Dragons are fantasy creatures and I'm just a common, ordinary lizard.

Lycee: Dude, this is unreal! I've spent a month studying every reptile in this area and you are a DRAGON! Not a Gekko! Gekkos aren't blue, they aren't big, they don't have wings and they can't speak!

I can't believe you think I'll fall for that "I'm just a Gekko" line. I know a blue horned Dragon when I see one and you're it!

Hey sorry lady, I'm no doctor of reptilolgy or whatever! Besides, I'm pretty sure I said Blue Skink and not Gekko... yeah, just a common winged, horned, talking Blue Skink. Not just talking but fully sentient. Or is it sapient? I always get those confused. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

So.... I lied!

Yes, I recently wrote a post complaining about the insanely short pre-order times for Pure Neemo dolls and the near Olympian feats of stamina and retail website stalking needed to secure a purchase. I said I was done with that and I probably wouldn't be buying any more new PN releases for the foreseeable future.

I did say that and I really meant it. But my weakness got the best of me and I faltered... I failed... really, I just lied.

See, Azone just released a new character, Mio, older sister of Mia and Miu and she's very cute. HLJ had her up for pre-order long enough for me to reserve one without major computer babysitting. Did I mention she's cute?

But hey, aren't all Pure Neemo girls cute? Sure they are but Mio just has a little extra something that makes her a little more special and hard to resist. To me, she just stands out from the crowd a bit more... somehow.

There's just this hard to identify aspect that made me HAVE TO buy her....

Sorry, I wish I could explain it but my reasoning is too difficult to articulate and too deeply rooted in the vague yet complex emotional realm. 

*AHEM* So yeah, I pre-ordered another Azone doll. Does that make me seem like a boob... or two? ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another One From The Vault.

OK, so again, I've unearthed an older post from the pre-RoG days.

This particular post comes from July 7, 2010 but seems even more relevant to me now since I now have a young son who is pure rough and tumble little boy but also completely fascinated with "Daws" as he calls them. This was originally titled "HA HA.... You Play With Dolls!"

As a small kid in the early to mid '70s, I had most of the well-known large scale "action figures" of the time. Big Jim, GI Joe, Steve Austin, various Mego characters, you name it. I have always liked this style of figure and was sorry to see its demise in the late '70s followed by the decade-plus dominance of the boy's toy market by the smaller, 3 3/4 inch- 1/18 scale figure.

I was thrilled when, after a few tepid false starts, the modern renaissance of the 1/6 scale, fully dressable action figure started in about 1996 with the release of the GI Joe Classic Collection. 14 years later, the market is much more sophisticated, the individual figures much more expensive and generally aimed at a more serious and demanding adult collector market. Still, whatever you call them and however you choose to view them, the undeniable, inescapable fact remains that they are... DOLLS!

I bring this up because of a recent debate I watched on (a board I no longer visit). There's been a kind of running "joke" there for years about how the use of the term doll sends some members into absolute fits. The reason I use parentheses is because it really isn't much of a joke. Some of the guys there and on other message boards I've visited go to great length to distance themselves from the "doll hobby" as a whole. A significant segment of the 1/6 scale action figure market in recent years has moved towards non-military subjects and there are now several manufacturers selling civilian clothes. One recent manufacturer's preview led a long-time member to quip that it was "like Barbie for men" or words to that effect. When pressed to explain, he opined that it was the "interest in fashion" that differentiates the Barbie-like tendency from the (apparently more masculine) interest in military, historical and media property figures. If I understand this line of reasoning, two identical 1/6 scale male figures would diverge based on the way they're dressed. If one figure wears the latest high speed, low drag military gear in whatever "must have" camouflage pattern is in use this month, he's a 1/6 scale action figure. If another copy of the same figure is dressed some funky "street wear", he's nothing more than a male Barbie doll. (Presumably revealing something about the owner as well?)

As the old saying goes, denial (de Nile) isn't just a river in Egypt! Look man, to the rest of the world, you play with dolls. End of story!

I don't get upset about the term "doll". If you want to say that I play with dolls, quite honestly, you're correct. For me, this hobby is about two things; a fascination with miniatures in general and also, a way for me to have physical representation of the characters and worlds in my imagination. It's also a way to connect to the more pleasant aspects of childhood (hey, isn't that three things?). Dolls or action figures, it's all pretty much the same to me.

As a funny, somewhat related aside, my son was roaming the house yesterday afternoon and while in the living room, I noticed he had gotten quiet. Now, if you are or have been the parent of a toddler, you know quiet is not usually a good thing unless they're asleep. After listening for a moment, I called to him "Hey bud, what are doing?" He replies "DAW!" with much enthusiasm. I was pretty sure that he'd taken all the boxed/carded figures off the shelf he can reach (which is why they're still boxed/carded). I was wrong.... He found my newly acquired Azone Erena and was happily examining her (in her box, thankfully).

Sunday, April 20, 2014

From The Mists Of Distant Time

OK, not really THAT distant but....

I've been going through some files on the home desktop and re-reading old blog posts I had saved from back in the day. The Republic of Geektopia dates back to late 2010 but there were earlier versions, first on Live Journal then Blogger that date back several years before that. I have done this previously here but I thought I would again share some old posts from the days before RoG existed in its present form. When I re-post these older pieces, I'll try to label them with an "Archives" tag, the date of the original post and maybe place them in a quote format. That last part will have to be an experiment since some of  my old posts could be quite "wordy" and I don't want to make them more difficult to read.

To test this out, here's a snippet of a post from December 18, 2010, shortly before I started this blog.
My dilemma over Azone's Pure Neemo line continues. They really are cute but kind of expensive and the licensed characters are even more costly. Kanata from Sora No Woto and Mio and Yui from K-On are at the top of my "want list" but I don't know that I could afford them all. Even getting together the money for one seems daunting.

BTW, I finally got Mio and Yui earlier this year but Kanata has still eluded me.

UPDATE: I think I have the issue with the quoted text size fixed!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Erena- Mission 2

As many long-time readers have noticed, I'm a fan of Obitsu 1/6 scale dolls. Long time Azone fans will also recall that there was a period during he last decade that Azone did 1/6 hybrid dolls using Obitsu bodies. There are some truly amazing (and often expensive) dolls from that era but among my most favorite are the two Erena dolls from 2004 and 2005, especially the "Mission 2" version. In fact, Mission 2 almost made my 2014 Want List I posted HERE.

Briefly, Erena was Azone's foray in to the "action girl" genre, similar in concept to BBI/Takara's CyGirl/Cool Girl line. While most of the other Azone/Obitsu hybrids were based on licensed media property characters or a real person in one case, Erena was (as far as I know) an original character. I guess Erena is some kind of Hollywood-style "butt kicking machine" and possibly a cyborg, since there's a nice brochure included in the box that seems to explain it all. Alas, I don't read Japanese (GASP! What kind of Otaku am I?) so I don't know all the details.

At any rate, I recently happened upon a boxed Erena- Mission 2 for a pretty reasonable price and I just had to buy her. While I certainly wouldn't mind owning Mission 1, this is the version I most wanted. Especially funny to me is that she not only comes in her de rigueur action girl tube top, leather mini skirt and tall boots but she also has a full disguise as a cleaning lady, complete with a toilet plunger! You know at least a bad guy or two is going to get owned by said plunger. Of course, there also the regulation action girl BAP- Big Ass Pistol- for taking out foes in a more conventional manner. No idea if it comes with the bottomless magazine or if she actually has to reload. Also, no info on whether it can shoot down airplanes and helicopters, blow up cars and shoot escape holes through walls, floors and roofs.

I hope to get some better photos of her in the near future (these were taken during a brief lull while my kids were both napping) but these will have to do for now.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Now with added Adventure!

Hey folks, The Adventurer's Club has a new home for those of us on Blogger! Heather set this up to make it easier to keep things organized and also to allow us to contribute our own posts. I'll be posting both there and here at RoG, so please do stop by and check it out.

Also, I gotta say I love the new logo! It makes me want to get some pith helmets for my own Adventurers and it's just too darn cute.