Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Edelweiss??? Holy crap!

I may have let out a small, geeky squeal when I saw this at HobbyLink Japan today:

Holy cow! A 1/35 scale injection molded (as opposed to cast resin) model kit of Edelweiss from Valkyrie Chronicles! Even more interesting is that it's from Volks and retails for about ¥5000. While I had trouble staying with the anime series (and never played the game), the tanks from Valkyrie are some of my favorite fictional designs. (Yes, I see all the design flaws but I still like this one.) I'm really tempted to pre-order this but I'm trying to cut back on hobby-related expenditures for the rest of the year. I'll ponder that but in the mean time, I'll just marvel at how cool and totally unexpected this release is.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Don Levine... In Memoriam

It is with great sadness and regret that I write to acknowledge the passing of Don Levine. Levine is the former Hasbro executive who shepherded the development of the original 1/6 scale GI Joe in 1963. While the actual work was obviously a team effort, Levine is often credited with being the "father" of GI Joe. The term "action figure" is also attributed to Levine and his team since, in 1963, conventional wisdom was that boys would never play with dolls.

It took an enormous amount of guts and foresight, as well as a large portion of Hasbro's available capital, to bring GI Joe to market. While GI Joe made Hasbro the multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation it is today, there was a very real risk that it could've destroyed a carefully run, well respected and successful mid-level toy company had it been a failure.

I owe my life-long fascination with all things doll/action figure to GI Joe and by extension, Don Levine and his team as well as then-Hasbro president Merrill Hassenfeld. Don's passing is made even more sad because 2014 is the 50th anniversary of GI Joe, yet "the company that Joe built" has done little to nothing to acknowledge this.

Regardless, I hope that this small tribute will serve as my heartfelt "thank you" to Don Levine. God speed sir and rest in peace!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Something Scary.... Under The House? -May 2014 Adventurers Club-

I have to admit that I rarely crawl around under my house even after living here for ten years. Is it really that scary and what could possibly be lurking in these hidden spaces? Let's see what Mia, our intrepid Adventurers Club member, thinks about this.

We catch up to Mia as she hikes near a building at the edge of the woods.
                      Mia: Man, this heat is already intense! Good thing this trail is well shaded.

      Hey, that's odd. I'm sure that access hatch was closed when I came by here earlier.

Gotta admit, this place gives me the creeps just a bit. I should check it out though, just in case something is amiss.

Allez Oop!
Hey, is anybody there? Degas, is that you? Who's there?

*thinking*(Was that somebody moving? It's too dark to be sure.... Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me.)

OK, that's IT! That place is just too damn dark and scary for me. If somebody's lurking in there, maybe it's better if I don't meet them face to face.

A short time later:
Creepy Clown: Oh silly me, did I leave that door open again? Too bad the little blonde girl didn't stay. Perhaps I could've had her for lunch! hehehehehehe!

I should mention that Degas is a friend of the local Adventurers Club chapter whom you haven't previously met. Hopefully, he'll show up here soon. There's a whole other story about how Creepy Clown came home with us from our recent out of town trip but maybe I'll go into that some other time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Due to *slight* technical issues....

Hey folks! Sorry that this blog has been quiet recently. I've been dealing with some of the dreaded REAL LIFE™ this past month and the wheels have sort of come off the hobby and blogging side of life. Not to bore you with details but this has included helping a family member with a potentially serious health crisis, persistent car problems that refuse to stay repaired and a somewhat ill-advised "vacation" to visit family. Surprisingly enough, traveling with two small children was the least troublesome aspect of the trip!

On the up side, while on my trip, I managed to visit a local liquor store with an amazing selection of things I can't find at home in podunk, so I'm well stocked on mixers for a while!

If all goes according to plan, I should be able to knock out my photo shoot for this month's Adventurers Club challenge within the next day or two. Beyond that however, I'm not sure. It's possible the blog could get quiet for a while although I have a lot of stuff I want to post. Even as a write this, I have a package waiting for me at the post office that includes some figures I hope to document.

Please bear with me and I'll try not to go totally silent in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dolls in Geektopia - Mia

 Mia is one of the Pure Neemo characters that I had really been wanting for the past few years. Although there have been many cute versions of Mia, I couldn't quite find one that fit my image of her until now. I was very tempted by the DS store exclusive version of Majokko Mia and was almost ready to buy one when Azone announced Mia-Spring Rabbit. This version has the newer, more mobile Flection body and her clothes seem a bit more practical for my needs than the Majokko version.

I have a vague idea involving a small group of friends (all PN dolls) who go on various adventures. I knew that Lycee would be one of them, Maya would also be one and a blonde version of Mia would be yet another. I have Lycee (Progression), Maya (Sweets ala Mode) and now Mia (Spring Rabbit), so my little crew is complete for now... unless I can add Yuzuha at some point!

I've had Mia here for several days but I haven't been able to photograph her until now. In fact, the poor girl has been hiding away in her box to protect her from the clutches of a zealous, doll-loving 21 month old!

 I have to admit, this girl is a real cutie!

As you can see, I decided to dress her down a bit since it's already quite warm here. She probably wouldn't need her beret and sweater in 77º F weather. Besides, you can really appreciate the detailing of her dress this way.

Yet another try at the "doll holding flowers" shot that nearly always goes awry for me. This time, it turned out OK although you can tell the bouquet is already starting to fall apart. I pick the flowers at the last moment before the shot so they don't have time to wilt (much) before the photo is taken.

Finally, a bit of lagniappe.... The bouquet is really beginning to wilt and fall apart at this point so this shot is the best of a bad lot. With each successive shot from this pose, there were fewer flowers and they looked sadder. Doesn't take long for that to happen.

Over all, I'm really happy with this girl. Aside from the marathon computer babysitting session needed to pre-order her, I was please with my purchase. With a full set of spare hands and extra clothes and accessories, I think she was a reasonable value. Hopefully, I can take more shots of her in the near future but we shall see about that!