action figures

This Sunday Chuckle is brought to you by Samuel L. Jackson

I just think it’s cool that I have two Samuel L. Jackson figures in the same scale from the same toy company and from two of my favourite franchises.

The two figures are Marvel Legends’ Nick Fury (from Captain Marvel) and Star Wars The Black Series Mace Windu (Episode II and III).  They use this new digital facial scanning technology to get the faces eerily accurate.  Which do you think looks most like Jackson himself?

 

 

Sunday Chuckle: The Wisdom of Uncle Meat

This is an excerpt from the Saturday May 23 live stream.  Uncle Meat let us know what he learned that day, specifically about people who play with Star Wars action figures.  I’m sure you’ll find it as enlightening as I did.

 

 

Incidentally, this is the picture that really drove him nuts, the one of Baby Yoda eating the leaf.  He describes these pictures as “creepy, like Weekend at Bernie’s“.

Epic Live Stream – KISS Lists, Guests, and more! 2hr 48m of stream!

Since I already had the 1986 Saga scheduled all week, I didn’t want to schedule a formal live stream for this weekend like I usually do.  Instead I decided to just wing it and go live whenever I felt like it.  Streaming periodically through the day like this, we had almost 3 hours of jibber jabber!

This week’s major feature:  The “Nigel Tufnel Top Ten” KISS albums list!  Special guest star:  Uncle Meat.

Lists submitted by:

Len Labelle also sent a list, but I forgot to write it down so we will do his next week!

If you just want to see the KISS lists, you can skip ahead to 2:06:30 of the stream.

If you want to hear me rip an epic fart point blank into the microphone in stereo, skip ahead to 1:52:30 of the stream.

If you’d like to hear my mom’s reaction to Uncle Meat’s attraction to my sister, skip to 0:57:10 of the stream.

If you want to see Deke move and speak in real life, skip to 2:46:15 of the stream.

If you’re just interested in the Star Wars action figures, you’ll want to watch from 0:12:45 of the stream.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!

 

VIDEOS: Star Wars Black Series 2020 Vignettes (Parts One and Two) – Kathryn Ladano “Masked” and “Contentions”

PART ONE (Vignettes I – VI)

PART TWO (Vignettes VII – XIII)

Lockdown got ya bored? Not me! Today I’m playing with my Star Wars guys.

 

#705: Extra Hands

GETTING MORE TALE #705 Extra Hands

Today we discuss perhaps the most controversial subject ever broached on mikeladano.com.  In the past we have fearlessly tackled bands without original members, whiny fanboys, the far right, and the plight of natives.  Now we go where no one has dared.

Readers here may think that my sister Dr. Kathryn and I have lots in common.  We both love music, schnauzers, and Star Wars.  That’s everything, right?  You’d certainly think so.  We disagree more often than we agree.

Some spans are simply too far to bridge.  This is one of them.

Here is the controversy.  Don’t judge until you’ve heard us out.

My sister and I disagree, strongly, when action figures come packaged with extra hands.

Say what?  I’ll explain.

This issue first arose in 2012 when the Star Wars 6″ Black Series was launched.  This was a series aimed at collectors, packaged to display.  Many increased in value quickly.  Each character was numbered.  The larger size (standard Star Wars figures were 3 1/4″) enabled more detail, better facial sculpting and way more articulation.  Some of these figures look like the actual actors for the first time.  Though quite a few are less than perfect (#03 Luke Skywalker has weirdly bright blue eyes) they were, by and large, exactly what nostalgic fans wanted.  Eventually just about every major character was released (though we are still missing a Padme) with lots of the minor ones too (bounty hunters, Jabba’s minions).  Fans were peeved that it took until now to get an original Lando Calrissian figure, while we already had such dubious characters as “Constable Zuvio”, plus about a dozen Rey variations!  From Star Wars ’77 to Solo, most of your favourites are now available in the Black Series line.

The figure that sparked the controversy is #08, the excellent Han Solo in his 1977 getup:  Black vest, white shirt, cool holster and blaster!  The Black Series also occasionally threw in some bonus accessories.  #08 Han has some of the best.  He comes with his regular gun and holster, plus a Stormtrooper’s gun and belt so you can duplicate the look he had when he was running around the Death Star after escaping the trash compactor.  He also comes with an extra set of gloved hands, so you can have Han as he looked when he was fleeing TIE Fighters aboard the Millenium Falcon.  The hands snap in and out easily with no fear of breakage, still maintaining full wrist articulation.  One of the gloved hands has fingers outstretched, as if Han were hitting buttons on the Falcon’s dashboard.

So what’s the problem?

My sister likes to keep her figures sealed.  She displays them around her desk in her music room at home.  I, on the other hand, put my sealed figures in storage, and sometimes buy a second one to open up and display.  #08 Han is one such figure that I opened.  (My sealed one is in a Cantina two-pack with Greedo!)

I’ve displayed Han in all sorts of ways:  With and without vest, with and without Stormtrooper gear, and sometimes with the gloved hands.  Meanwhile my sister’s boxed figure gets quizzical looks when she has friends over.

“Why does Han have two dismembered hands in the box?”

My sister finds the hands to be an eyesore she’d rather do without.  For me, they are just another display option.  I’ll bag up whatever accessories Han isn’t using right now.  (Currently, my #08 Han is put away, while I have “Old Han” from The Force Awakens on display with Chewie.)

To me, a bigger offender is actually R2-D2.  R2 is loaded with accessories (which is good since he’s half the size of a regular figure but still the same price).  R2 is packed with a sensor scope, an antenna, and a Luke lightsaber that he packs in his dome.  There are also blue dome covers for when you want R2 all closed up looking normal.  But he also comes with jetpacks for his legs.  Many fans consider the “flying R2” scenes to be among the worst in the prequel trilogy.  I’d rather pretend it never happened.

“Those are stupid too,” says my sister of the leg rockets.

Han isn’t the only figure in the series with alternate body parts.  Qui-Gon Jinn has a bonus hand doing a Force movement.  Anakin Skywalker came with two heads so you can do him with two looks:  mopey or angry.  My sister considers all of these to be very poor display pieces.

I guess we will never agree on this issue.  I think the extra hands are a bonus.  If her friends can’t figure out that sometimes action figures come with alternate parts, then maybe she needs new friends.

 

 

VIDEO: Star Wars Black Series random unboxings

Guest directed by: Kathryn Ladano

Gallery: Other Stuff I Collect That Isn’t Music

I collect toys.  Lots of toys.

Gallery: Wilfrid Laurier (Canadian Legends series figure)

Earlier this weekend, a discussion was unfolding in the posting for my Johnny Cash action figure gallery.  I have provided the pertinent text between Aaron and myself:

A:  You know what I want for Christmas? The John A. MacDonald action figure! Yes, it exists. It’s not music-related, but since we’re talking about action figures of our heroes…

M:  At some point in the near future I fully intend to work in my Sir Wilfrid Laurier action figure. I haven’t figured out how yet…but I WILL! In fact I was going to throw it in here as a mind-fuck at the end, but it wasn’t working and wasn’t funny so I axed it at the last minute!

Screw it.  Not music-related?  Wouldn’t be the first time!  This figure, 2006 Nafekh, is from “Series 1” of the Canadian Legends.  “Series 2” never came to be.   (My series 2 would have included Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Terry Fox, and Alexander Graham Bell, if such a thing were ever made.)

Gallery: Johnny Cash figure (Sota toys)

 

This was a gift from Mrs. LeBrain.  Johnny Cash, the Man in Black!  This figure, from 2005, captures a younger, tougher Johnny.  I love the little details like the nylon guitar strings, and the gold dots on his necktie.  Not much articulation here, so this one has some very limited poses.  He does come with a nice, detailed railroad track figure stand.

MOVIE REVIEW: Machete (2010)

In anticipation the of the soon-to-be-released sequel Machete Kills!

“Machete don’t text.”

MACHETE (2010, 20th Century Fox)

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

I really didn’t know what to expect when I bought Machete, sight unseen.  Can you really expand a novelty joke movie trailer into a full length movie?  If so, can you have it remain as funny, as action packed, and creative as that 3 minute spot? Robert Rodriguez answers us, “Yes”!

“They just fucked with the wrong Mexican”

Danny Trejo is awesome as our anti-hero and titular character. An unemployed machete-wielding vigilante, he has been offered a considerable sum of money to assassinate a corrupt senator (Robert DeNiro). However, it’s a double cross! The attempted shooting only boosts the senator’s popularity, thus ensuring his election victory, based on anti-immigrant propaganda.

Machete is not alone. His brother the Padre (Cheech Marin) is a gun-totin’ pot-smokin’ priest with a determination to right some wrongs. Blood, gore, people’s intestines being ripped out and used as a rope…this movie has everything you were hoping for and some things you weren’t. Done in the same campy style as Grindhouse, scratchy film and all, if you’re in on the joke you will love Machete. If you don’t get it, hey that’s cool.  They’re still making Fast & Furious films.

Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Steven Segal round out the cast, and they were all clearly having a blast. DeNiro especially seems like he was having a great time camping it up with his cheesiest character yet. And then there’s the most overrated star of all time, Lindsay Lohan. I’m not sure what she’s doing here, except to attract some more viewers who want to see her frolicking around topless.

Blu-ray bonus features are kind of sparse, but there are deleted scenes. There’s also an audience reaction audio track, and I always enjoy those with a film like this.  It gives you the feeling of being there in the theater.  Still, I was hoping for more bonus features, like another one of Robert’s cooking features. They’re fun. Ahh well.

If you are a fan of this genre, and liked movies such as Grindhouse or Black Dynamite, you will love Machete. If you’re looking for glossy Hollywood action, look elsewhere.

5/5 stars