Saturday, December 15, 2012

You can never have too many zombies...!

After checking out several Toysrus and coming up empty-handed with S.L.U.G. Zombies figures (sigh...why can't we ever get the good stuff up here!?). I scoured Ebay for some, these things are being scalped like crazy on there! I saw 3 of those 3-packs from the Xmas series going for $60! I managed to score a lot of loose figures (series 2 & 4 I believe) for just a little over a buck each, which is not bad. I only have doubles for 2 out of the total 14 figures so that's a plus.

ARGHHH!!! I am sooo addicted to these little figures...want the Xmas packs sooo baaad!!!

Anyways, here's my favourite from the lot. This one seems to be different from the others because it has a hole in the bottom, can possibly be used as a pencil topper? And it's a zombie in three boxes! It's so weird and awesome at the same time haha


Another one of my favs from the lot...funkaay!!

Then I experiment with cranking up the macro-ness on my lens...and here are the results. It's not as crisp as the other pictures yet...but I am working on it!

I just love the expression on this guy!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I think I just fell into another addiction after getting the MODOK vs. Akuma Minimates set. I picked up 2 more sets on Friday and I've been playing with them non-stop even though I am down with a cold right now. I think the coolest part about these little figures are that their parts are interchangeable. I didn't even know until last night that the Iron man figure I got has a Tony Stark head under his helmet, same with Spiderman. It adds to the fun since I can mix and match the parts easily to create some funny characters. The articulation is not bad for these little figures as well, it has enough to recreate some fighting poses. And lastly the fact that some of these include awesome effect parts just tops it all off! Now I have the itch to hunt for more!!! Arghh!!! Ultimate Spiderman JCH_8748 JCH_8749 JCH_8750 JCH_8751

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fast Pigs

Sooo glad I picked up two of these when I was in the states, I've never seen them on the shelves here in Canada!

Speed Pigs

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Time

Futurama style!

These are little fixed-pose figures from Toynami's tineez line. I got this set many moons ago and have not seen a Series 2 for this yet. I hope they are continuing with the line because I love these guys! They look so happy!

Here's Robot Devil...
[Futurama] Robot Devil

and Dr. Zoidberg...
[Futurama] Dr. Zoidberg

Last but not least, what is a party without Bender?!
[Futurama] Bender

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Little figures

Hit up a Toysrus today since I haven't been to one after coming back from Boston. The first thing I noticed when I walked into our good old Canadian Toysrus is that it's very small compared to the two Toysrus I went to in Boston. I was actually seeing if they had any SLUG zombies since I am addicted to those things but getting them shipped from the states make them not worth it because the price becomes out of the range I am willing to pay for them. Unfortunately I couldn't find any of them.

I did end up getting my first pack of Minimates and a pair of blind packed Playmobil figures. I also got another pack of Mega Bloks Mario Kart figure, but then I just got another Yoshi figure.

Love the colors on this guy...

I am really impressed with the quality of these Playmobil blind pack figures. I actually only become interested in these after seeing LEon over at Open the Toy review them. Out of all the blind packs in this price range, I think these ones are the best value and quality. I will definitely be picking up some more of these!

The blog that influenced me to finally pick up my first set of Minimates is Why Did I Buy That Toy?. I always see Minimates reviews on this blog and I was curious about them so I decided to finally check them out and I was not disappointed!

I really liked that Akuma came with the purple flame, really adds to the whole look. I will probably pick up more Minimates in the future, but only specific characters.

I saw this Minimates MODOK and I knew I had to have it, he looks so cute! I am surprised these Minimate figures come with clear effect parts too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nostalgia Time: MM

What does MM stand for? If you guessed Mighty Max, you are correct!

I was very lucky to have a lot of toys when I was a kid. Most of it came from my aunt who worked at Mattel at that time. I use to get literally garbage bags of "samples" on Saturdays almost every month. One of the toys that stuck with me the longest were the Mighty Max playsets. I had TONS of them. Unfortunately, along with 99% of my toys, they were lost when we immigrated to Canada.

A while back when I was suddenly feeling nostalgic and started to hunt for toys that I had as a kid, I got reminded of Mighty Max playsets. I then proceeded to go on Ebay to see if I can get some of them back...but man oh man...they are not cheap! I guess since they came with tiny little figures, there aren't a whole lot of them that are complete out there anymore. I soon forgot about it since it would cost me tons of money just to get back a few of them.

Then a few weeks back, while I was checking out the local Transformers forums. I saw someone selling several sets of Mighty Max playsets. They weren't complete, but there was this one that I had back then and I figured why not ask for the price anyways.

Long story short, I got the lot and here's the main piece I wanted, the others were just icing on the cake!

After some Google, I found out this set is called "Stings the Scorpion".
Mighty Max - Strings the Scorpion

Ohh look who it is!
Mighty Max - Strings the Scorpion

Here's the scorpion opened up to reveal the playset. I was looking at this just now and I thought I must have had a really good imagination back then because I could play with these sets for hours at a time by myself and have stories conjured inside my head with them. I don't really "get it" anymore, but this piece just brings up all sorts of nostalgia for me.
Mighty Max - Strings the Scorpion

I swear, they looked much better than this in my young noggin'...
Mighty Max - Strings the Scorpion

And the coolest part of this set is that there is a scorpion robot that Max can ride on inside! To this day, I still think this is still just so COOL!
Mighty Max - Strings the Scorpion

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toy Portraits #3

Going to switch it up a bit and post up some Rider portraits I've taken in the past few days.

One of my favourite piece of photography gear is the external flash. I use a Nikon SB-600 with the commander mode on my D7000, this way I can trigger the flash externally using the on-board flash on my camera. It's not the best solution, but it doesn't cost anything extra for me so that's a plus. I still find it amazing how the outcome of a photo can change so much just by changing the angle of the flash a tiny bit. It is definitely one of the hardest techniques to master in photography.

The following three pictures were created by trial and error with my flash and multiple white pieces of paper to bounce the light to try and create an even lighting. One of the hardest part is that these figures have reflective surfaces which causes the flash to show up on the figure itself. I use to always tried to avoid having this effect, but now I think that a little of it can actually benefit the picture by making it more 3-dimensional.

Kamen Rider Meteor - I found out after posting this picture that my camera sensor was all dusty. After a quick wet clean with a VisibleDust swab, it is squeaky clean now as you can see in the next two pictures.
Kamen Rider Meteor

Kamen Rider W Luna Trigger
Kamen Rider W Luna Trigger

Kamen Rider Kuuga
Kamen Rider Kuuga

Monday, November 26, 2012

Toy Portraits Set #2

Here's another set of Zombie Portraits haha, I just love these little figures!

By the way, I removed several pictures from yesterday and am going to reshoot them because I wasn't too happy with how they came out.






Sunday, November 25, 2012

Toy Portraits Set #1

Not sure why it took so long, but I finally bought a macro lens. Several of my lenses have macro ability, but they just can't focus close enough for what I want. The lens I got is an Ai Micro-Nikkor P Auto 55mm f/3.5. This is an old lens made back in the 1970's. I figured since the main use for a macro lens for me is to photograph toys, I don't need the autofocus ability of the current lenses on the market. Going the manual focus route also saved me a lot of money as it only cost me $130 for the lens, a Nikon UV filter, and the Nikon M2 extension tube (used to focus down to 1:1, lens alone can only go down to 1:2). A regular macro lens on the market right now usually go for at least $500 and can go up to $1000.

There are actually quite a few advantage to getting old MF lens over the newer AF lens.

1. Build quality: Most of the vintage lenses have a much better build quality than the current lenses. This little 55 3.5 has an entire metal build, compared to what is mostly plastic in today's consumer lenses.

2. Focus ring: Since MF is the main and only focusing mechanism back in the days, they really took the time to make sure the focus ring is of good quality and has a smooth feel to it. The rotation of the focus ring is butter smooth which allows for precise manual focusing, not like the cheap tiny plastic focus rings on the AF lenses nowadays. When tiny increments are needed (ex. macro and astrophotography), the tiny plastic rings are a pain in the rear to get the right focus.

3. Price: These lenses can typically be found on Ebay or used lens stores (ex. KEH, B&H used section, etc.). There are a lot of vintage lens enthusiasts, so the price will depend on the popularity and condition of the lens. I've actually bid on this lens for three times prior to this one and lost them all, so I was very happy to win this one finally.

But before you go out and hunt for some vintage lens, make sure it will fit on your camera. The advantage with the Nikon system is that they haven't changed their mount for a long time, so many vintage lenses can still be used with the DSLR's available now. Although it might not meter on some cameras and the manual mode should be used as auto modes will not work.

For Canon users, there are adapters to use Nikon lenses as well as other type of lenses such as the screw-mount M42 which is another popular choice. I would forget about vintage Canon lens as they use the FD mount which is not compatible with the current Canon mounts. There are adapters for FD-to-EOS mounts, but there is a piece of inferior glass in the adapter which sort of defeats the purpose of having the good optics in the vintage lens.

Ahh I've blabbered on too much about lenses again...this post is to start off a new series of toy photographs for this blog since I got this lens. I am going to take close-up portrait shots of all my toys and post them up in the Toy Portrait series.

I'll start off set #1 with some S.L.U.G. Zombies...




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fine Dining on Liberty of the Seas

It has been a few weeks since my vacation in Europe. I went on a cruise for 8 days starting on the port of Barcelona in Spain. The ship was the Liberty of the Seas from the Royal Caribbean line. We stopped at 6 ports along France and Italy for 6 days. On the 7th day, it was a "At seas" day since the ship needs to return to the Barcelona port. And then we spent the 8th day touring in Barcelona.

One of the best and most enjoyable experience on the ship was the fine dining (at least for me! LOL). Since we joined the excursion on each port, we usually have to wake up around 6am to eat breakfast and then leave the ship at around 7am. The tour usually go until 5-6pm, so you can imagine by the time I got back on the ship, I was starving. Luckily our dinner time was set at 6pm so it was perfect for our schedule.

I have tons of pictures of my trip, but I am dedicating this blog post to only the food served at Michaelangelos Fine Dining on the Liberty of the Seas.

Onto the pictures!


Beef Stroganoff






Mmm...berries and cheesecake

Cranberry Yogurt

Orange Chocolate Parfait








Yes! As you can see, I love my steak and cake LOL!

And all of these were served by our waiter, Reynald, which made the dining experience so pleasant and entertaining throughout the whole trip. Thank you very much for your excellent company! I hope you are enjoying your vacation with your family!

Yup, that's me on the right with my friend Reynald!
Reynald, our awesome waiter

Man...just typing up this post is making me hungry again even though I just ate dinner...LOL