Tag Archives: toys

Toy Chest Theater: Raph, Leo, and a Hell of a Crowd!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The TMNT are back in this second edition of “Toy Chest Theater.” I didn’t necessarily want to do a double dose of Turtle Power. But after seeing this beauty from Jax Navarro at Plastic Action, how could I resist?

I’m a sucker for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. Almost 30 years later, it’s still my favorite take on the concept. So any toy photographer that can find something creative to do with those NECA figures gets points with me automatically.

But what puts this one over the top is that it’s so beautifully random. The Ninja Turtles playing street ball? Pretty damn cool. But the Ninja Turtles playing street ball in front of such a…wide assortment of characters? Awesomeness, personified in plastic!

What’s more, the way some of the background figures are posed is not only very natural, but very in-character. The best example? Han Solo leaning against the wall with his forearm on C-3PO’s shoulder. Even the way Threepio’s body is leaned looks perfect. Harley looks great too. The combination of her behind Thor is odd, but somehow pleasing.

Also, the detail on the background is incredible. It actually looks like a real place. There’s something about that red lighting. It actually serves as a camouflage of sorts for Spider-Man, Red Skull, Superman, and the other characters Navarro has up on that ledge. I actually missed most of them at first look.

For plenty more from Plastic Action, check Jax Navarro out on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter, or email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com!

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Toy Chest Theater: Super Mario and the TMNT

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Trying out a new feature this week. “Toy Chest Theater” will spotlight some of the best toy photography out there. (I reserve the right to be subjective in my picks, of course.) Our inaugural edition features an image by James Gibbs of Harri.Hawk Toy Photography.

The premise here is, of course, a funny one. These six-foot tall Turtles are taken aback by these little men who happen to kick turtle shells around. But what really makes the image work is the way Leo is posed. The way I read it, he’s holding his brothers back, trying to keep them from rushing into a threatening scenario. And you know what? Maybe it is a threatening scenario. Those Mario Bros. have been known to throw friggin’ fireballs, after all. Not to mention those invincibility stars.

Either way, the image isn’t nearly as funny if the Turtles are battle-ready.

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Force Friday, and Confessions From A Recovered Star Wars Addict

B-88 , remote control toyBy Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Naturally, the geek community is buzzing today about “Force Friday,” as the first crop of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys debut in stores. If you’re real quiet, you might even be able to hear the sounds of plastic lightsabers banging together…

But I will not be participating in the retail festivities.

I love Star Wars. I’ll always love Star Wars. It’s hard not to love Star Wars. I spend a decent amount of time writing about Star Wars. And I love Star Wars fans. It’s an immensely creative fandom, filled with people from all walks of life. No matter how old you are, that universe is a still fun place to be. But Star Wars and I have a weird relationship. When I was a tween and a teen, it was pretty much all I could talk about. Nowadays, it’s sometimes rather difficult for me to talk about.

I’ve been a Star Wars geek most of my life. In fact, you might even call me a recovered addict. When I was a kid, it was all Star Wars, all the time. Posters, books, school supplies, etc. I even had all those Pepsi cans with the Phantom Menace characters on them. And of course, the toys. Hundreds and hundreds of mom and dad’s dollars spent on action figures from all the movies. Even that first Princess Leia figure from original Power of the Force line. Remember that one? Totally looked like a dude. Power of the Force Leia was Caitlyn Jenner two decades before Bruce Jenner was…

Padme Amidala, pregnant action figureAs I got older, I stopped spending mom and dad’s money and started spending my own. I even attended a midnight madness sale myself. It was a little more than a decade ago, when the first Revenge of the Sith action figures came out.

Picture this: You’re 20 years old, standing outside a Wal-Mart with dozens of other Star Wars die hards, being told that once you enter the store at these special late hours, you may only shop in the toys section. Once you enter the store, the group starts off at a brisk pace, then speeds up into a full on run as amused store clerks look on. And once we hit the displays, we got grabby. Really grabby.

I’m pretty sure I still have most of those toys. In retrospect, the most notable one was a pregnant Padme Amidala. That might have been the world’s first pregnant action figure.

But as I got into my late twenties, the collecting, and my undying love for Star Wars started to wane. I attribute that to a lot of things. I grew up, of course, and money had to go elsewhere. But I also became more cynical about the franchise, largely thanks to my exposure to Red Letter Media’s reviews of the prequels. Like a lot of fans, I’d somehow convinced myself that the prequels were good movies. I had a terrible case of what I’ve come to refer to as “prequel denial.” But if you’re any kind of open-minded person, and you watch those reviews, it’s pretty tough to argue with what Mike Stoklasa (as Mr. Plinkett) lays out. Once that illusion was broken, I started to look at Star Wars as something entirely new: A business. And business was, and still is, booming. Gradually, I got so turned off by it that I swore off buying Star Wars merchandise of any kind.

I became one of those people who was really bitter about George Lucas, and how he wasn’t the person we all thought he was. Even after he sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney and donated most of the $4 billion to education, I couldn’t help but see him as a cold, calculating businessman whose artistic soul had been corroded. I wrote a scathing column about him on the old Primary Ignition, which resulted in me being taken to task in the comments section. And rightfully so. Ironically, the pendulum had swung to the opposite end of the spectrum. I’d gone from being overly devoted to Star Wars, to being overly critical.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Han Solo, ChewbaccaStar Wars was such a huge part of my childhood. It gave me an entire universe to escape to when my own universe got a little too dark. It held such a revered spot in my heart for so long that when I finally saw it for what it truly was, blemishes and all, there was a certain pain that came with it. I nearly rejected something I’d loved for so long. It’s almost like growing up and getting to know your parents as real people, and then being uncomfortable with the fact that they’ve got flaws just like anybody else.

This brings me to The Force Awakens. This is the first Star Wars movie I’m coming into without rose-colored glasses on. As such, it’s awkward for me to talk or speculate about it with anyone. I’m so passionate about it, but at the same time I’m keeping my distance. I’m not ranting or raving about anything I’ve seen, even when it comes the classic characters. I’m letting the movie speak for itself. Ergo, I’m not buying anything from The Force Awakens until I know if it’s worth investing my hard earned money in. They’re getting a movie ticket from me. But for now, that’s it. And if that’s all I give them, somehow I think Star Wars will survive.

Still, I will always have a special place in my heart for that galaxy far, far away. That’s why, about six months ago, I bought myself a Luke Skywalker action figure from “The Black Series.” I’ve since added Han Solo, Yoda, and even Obi-Wan Kenobi circa Episode III (Ewan McGregor was the best part of those damn prequels.).

What can I say? While it’s not quite the same as it used to be, The Force is still with me.

Image 1 from gizmodo.com. Image 2 from weddingbee.com. Image 3 from geeksmash.com.

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Blatant Insubordination: HGTV, Aurora in Pink, and The Mockingbird Saga

House Hunter's InternationalBy Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

1. HGTV and Stress Porn

Mrs. Primary Ignition loves HGTV. She’ll often put it on while we’re in bed at night, and one or both of us is trying to doze off.

I hate HGTV. There, I said it.

If you’re a newlywed who hopes to be in the market for a house in the near future, HGTV is like stress porn. Plus, that network only seems to have one show. It’s on every time she flips to it: House Hunters International. Each episode takes a couple that wants to buy a homes, documents them being shown three locations, and then they pick one at the end.

Judging from the prices on some of these houses, and how finnicky some of the people are, this seems more like Yuppie TV than HGTV. As I write this there’s an episode on about a couple relocating to Guatemala. Words like “serenity,” “stunning,” and “paradise” are being tossed around. The first house they’re looking at is along the lake, with a bathroom overlooking three volcanoes. But the wife is worried the place might be too spacey…

I’ve actually been to Guatemala. About nine years ago I did some charity work there (Shout out to Potter’s House International.). I helped build homes for Guatemalans. They were shacks made of sheet metal. For people who lived either on or near a landfill. They dug through garbage on a daily basis.

But hey, it was still a landfill in paradise, right?

This is just proof we have too many channels…

Aurora in Pink, Pop! Vinyl2. Aurora in Pink

Last week I was tasked with buying presents for a five-year-old. She wanted some of those Pop! Vinyl figures you see everywhere, with the big black eyes. One of them was Princess Aurora from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. And she specifically had to be wearing a pink dress. The item was described to me as: “Aurora in Pink.”

Perhaps this was just a byproduct of me watching too much Craig Ferguson on YouTube, but that wording struck a chord with me. “Aurora in Pink” kind of sounds like something ladies have…doesn’t it? How the hell was supposed to go to a store and ask for that?

“Excuse me, I’m looking for Aurora in Pink.”
“You and me both, pal.”

Thankfully, Hot Topic had several in stock. Oddly enough, the other one my young friend wanted was Sadness from Inside Out. That’s another odd pairing. The discovery of Aurora in Pink isn’t normally accompanied by Sadness…is it?

Go Set A Watchman3. The Mockingbird Trilogy

Go Set A Watchman has been out for awhile now. Haven’t read it. Don’t intend to.

The backstory on that book is that it was allegedly Harper Lee’s first draft for To Kill A Mockingbird. Fittingly, many reviewers say it reads as such. The book has sparked controversy over its portrayal of an older Atticus Finch, as well as allegations of elder abuse, and the manipulation of the 89-year-old Lee to get the book published.

Earlier this year, Lee’s literary agent said the book was originally intended to be the final installment in a trilogy, with Mockingbird being the first book, and a second shorter book between them.

I’m very reluctant to accuse anybody of abusing or tricking someone who might be vulnerable. But that does sound like BS, doesn’t it? A Mockingbird trilogy? Really?

I know trilogies aren’t a new thing, and that three is a psychologically satisfying number. But considering how bereft we are of fresh ideas these days, trilogies more prevalent than ever. So much so that it’s obnoxious. Suzanne Collins just had to write three Hunger Games novels. Ditto for Veronica Roth and the Divergent series. Did we really need Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy? And in Hollywood it’s even worse. The Hobbit, The Hangover, The Matrix, Christopher Nolan’s Batman flicks, etc.

Harper LeeI refuse to believe that Harper Lee, the woman who refused to release another book for over 60 years, intended for her grand literary masterpiece to be the first in a goddamn trilogy.

Now, if the book were written and published today? Maybe. Today everybody’s looking for the next big blockbuster book series, a la Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, so they can make a bunch of movies and rake in a bunch of money. To Kill A Mockingbird would instead be The Mockingbird Saga, Part I. Think of the casting choices!

Woody Harrelson as Atticus Finch!

Robert Pattinson as Boo Radley!

Shailene Woodley as Scout Finch!

And poor Tom Robinson? Why, Kevin Hart, of course!

Image 1 from crissle.tumblr.com. Image 2 from popvinyls.com. Image 4 from forbes.com.

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