Thursday, August 14, 2014

Introducing: Hunter Knight's Product showcase

Sunrise FL 2:30 PM 8/14/2014

            "In a world of thousand opinions, the time for the viewer to form it's own has come"

Product showcases are a new way to promote products in a fast paced, visually stunning and unobstructed format, whose main focus is the item being displayed.

This new format allows for the viewer to be the judge of the product. Allowing him to be the ultimate voice whether or not the product is the right for him/her. There is also your quote of humor reflected at the end of the video, intended for the viewer to find his/her voice.

 Think of them as an in depth promo commercial, where both strength's and weaknesses are shown to the viewer, in a fast paced way. They feature no voice overs, so the opinion of the showcaser is not the focus of the video, we point certain aspects via timely placed, short descriptions throughout the presentation.

Product Showcases have time limits, nobody wants to watch a long presentation without anything relevant to show, that is why we think this format is the best option for brand promotion, product placement and more. Also, the embeddable feature allows you to place them in any website you want!

Product showcases will evolve according to the feedback given by our viewers, but will always focus on the merchandise being displayed.

In short, we want to get people talking, we want the products to speak, we want to hear what you have to say about it, that is why with Hunter Knight's product showcase we GET THEM TALKING!

Check our first ever Showcase of Dc Multiverse BATMAN below:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Guardians of The Galaxy commentary (spoiler free)

Marvel's last superhero movie of 2014 closes the year with a bang! What was a huge risk seems to have paid off big time for the studio, who put the launch of the cosmic part of the Marvel Universe on the shoulders of relatively unknown characters (They were to me at least, the only exposure I had was the Universe toy set they launched a few years back)

It begins in 1988 with a very young Peter Quill being abducted by an alien ship right after seeing his mother succumb to cancer, then after twenty some odd years we see him fully grown and working as a sort of Indiana Jones/ Han solo thief from space acquiring a strange silver orb...the contents inside set in motion a whole bunch of events including getting jailed, stealing a man's prosthetic leg and - in true Rocket Raccoon fashion- "Oh yeah" seeing one of the big baddies in the Marvel Universe!

I have been wondering why this movie works. first of all, it doesn't take itself seriously, and incredibly: IT'S FINE! it works, it connects, there are TONS of humor throughout the entire flick, and in most cases in the moments where you least expect them! Even though is a new galaxy, a new universe that we are  unfamiliar with, the pop culture references made by Peter Quill, who was a child raised in the 80's makes the movie totally relatable. Jokes including John Stamos and other stars of the 80's are easily one of the things that connects us to him and makes us care... He is one of us.

And that is the reason why it works -I believe- ,we care more about this group of misaligned misfits  than  the whole plot of "saving the galaxy" and other mumbo jumbo with the Nova Corps, the Kree and the Reavers. The villains are well played, Ronan (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillen) are evil and creepy but is really not about them, it's about the guardians, about how you care for their bond and how in about 2 hours they have become a team much like the Avengers without the egos. Well played Mr. Gunn, well played.

Chris Pratt (Starlord/Peter Quill) is funny confident and coky (not to mention a womanizer who loves to get jiggy with some alien races) Zoe Zaldana's Gamora is cold but at the same time has a heart of gold inside, Rocket (voiced brilliantly by Bradley Cooper) delivers the sarcasm and the other percent of laughs we so much need and I must say his scenes are one of my favorites. I see a barrage of kids asking for Raccoon merchandise (Hope you stocked enough of them Hasbro)  Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel when he is not driving cars and wrecking third world countries)  provides the warmth and tenderness the team needs, but don't think him  harmless: That tree ain't messing around! he can be kind and gentle but it can also slay you with one branch. Finally Drax (Dave Bautista) surprises us with a character not too far from "The animal" (his character in the WWE)  except that  this time, it has a soul, it has a code, and you frankly get to care for him. Many wrestlers turned actors are pushed against the ropes in Hollywood, but not this time, not for Mr. Dave Bautista.

In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy exudes confidence, from the Soundtrack (Oh, the soundtrack) to the dances at the beginning, it tells you immediately that you shouldn't be worried, Feige and company got this! Sit back and relax. Enjoy the wild trip ahead. Your universe is secure.

Oh and stay tuned for the after credits scene....This one is a shocker!

Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theatres nationwide today.


-Chris "Hunter" Diaz-

Monday, July 28, 2014

The fabled Elite Mankind first appearance On Amazon!

Yes Foley fans! The fabled first appearance of the Hardcore legend FINALLY got released as an Amazon exclusive! Sporting elite articulation and the likenes of Mick Foley! Don't wait and get this historical figure now!

Year of the Horse optimus Prime: Silver faceplate tutorial....The road to make him look G1

I have been wanting to fix my year of the horse Optimus Prime for a while now. He came with a black faceplate and gold upper vent from the factory. I mean it's cool, but for those of us who don't own the first release, it's not too pretty.

 Just disassemble the head with a small screwdriver. It will split with some maneuvering into several pieces. Then paint the faceplate using Games Workshop Runefang Steel, (try to do it as if you were dusting the piece rather than slapping the paint, build color in layers) then use Citadel ironbreaker for the upper vent. Let dry and voila!  Now Optimus is ready to roll out closer to G1 style!! Painting his trailer and abdomen sections though.., that will be another be continued...

Want to buy paints for your own custom Optimus Prime Project? Look no further:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mattypalooza 2014 highlights and info yay!

As you know, San Diego comic con is happening now. And one of the most awaited panels is indeed the Mattypalooza panel by Mattel. Here are the highlights:

-Superpowers will be offered in groups of 3 to save you on shipping C&C will be Kalibak
-Real Ghostbusters figures from the cartoon in the works
-2 packs of movie GB figures will have removable packs and proton streams $50 each
-Huge partnership for the comic (it's doing WELL)
-Despara a possibility for a figure!
-New She-ra costume awesome!!
-Heavily centered around promoting the comic book.
-First official sketchbook. Preorder is live now at Amazon (ORDER IT BELOW)
-2015 minis will be offered as a sub (They did not performed well)
-Minis sub can be combined with club eternia
-You can build a mini snake mountain with the new 2015 minis (yay!)
-Motu Giants are 12 inches tall offered also as a sub or bundle
-Price is $75?
-Tung Lashor will have 2 heads: Tongue in and out
-Nov: ARROW (with detachable wings YES!!)
-Nov: GWILDOR (w/staff, prototype and final cosmic keys)
-Dec MERMISTA ( YES! with swappable parts and stand to hold her in mermaid form)
-Dec SPINERELLA (Price higher at $30 cause of all the extra deco and 3 removable hair pieces yay!)
-2015 end of vintage line
-Jan LIZARD MAN! (sleketor sword and ray of disappearance)
-Feb NINJOR (with swappable head)
-Traveling convention exclusive: SKELETOR'S HOVER ROBOTS 3 PK
-Sub exclusive: (teaser wings shown only)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The truths and Myths about sealants and why HKC does not use them

  I get tired of being asked "What kind of sealants you use?" or "Help with spray paint"  and I have said it a hundred times: I don't use sealants on any of my figures cause it's CARCINOGEN (it causes cancer)  carcinogen particles remain on the toy even after the sealant has dried. I don't use spray paint either, cause it's easier for me to just dilute the paint, apply it in thin coats and let it dry by itself. The closest thing I used was airbrush which is fine cause it's the same acrylic paint just pulverized, but the hassle of cleaning the machine, the compressor (dont't use the propellant in spray cans for god sakes...) was just too much  for me, so I dropped it's usage in 2010.

I'm a commercial customizer, I sell my work to other people who pay a hefty amount of money for a unique personalized figure and as such, I cannot even think of using anything that has a "hint" of toxic components in it, whether tested or untested, it's a chance I CANNOT and WILL NOT take. Here is a link to the material safety data sheet from one of the most popular sealants out there, KRYLON Crystal Clear sealant:

As you can see on the composition there are Propane, Butane, Toluene, Naphtha-friggin'-lene!, and more Lenes than Russia...But hey,  jump to sections 3 and 11!! the hazards include, nervous depression, irritation of the upper respiratory system, unconciousness and "possibly" DEATH. I mean, I'm not a chemist, I did take some chemistry classes in my University in Peru, was a lab assistant and all mind you, but I mean come on, I have too much depression already when I watch the news, I'm already irritated at several politicians and no, I don't want to die, so NO THANKS!

There are too many chemicals in this can,  I don't want them in my toys, and certainly I don't want to put them in the toys I'm giving to my customers...Just to be safe you know? Common sense, I don't want to bore you with a chemistry class, but when something harmful arises too many questions, is best to avoid it so you don't spend time trying to find the answers.

"But Hunter, everyone does it!" Well, we live in this amazing country called the USA, you can do anything you want, -it's your right and you are well damn entitled to choose to do it or not-  you can jump off a bridge with a rope, get high on glue, meth, or both, but you know?   It's my choice not to use sealants, and WILL NOT use them on any figures. Out of the more than 1000 figures I have made in my career NONE have sealants in them. It's a choice that I took way back in 2008 When I started HKC.

But enough with the snarkyness and let's find solutions:

 "But how do you get that flat look on the figures Hunter!!??" Easy:  just use FLAT paints. I personally dislike "shiny" finishes on a figure when the character does not call for it (A shiny bat suit? NO, Shiny trench coat on Gambit? NO, Shiny armor on He-man or Red knight? sure! Shiny leather on Black cat? You betcha! )  Several brands make great quality flat paints like Model Masters acryl, Citadel, Tamiya and Formula P3, they all conform with the non toxic ASTM D-4236 standards, since they are non toxic water bourne acrylic paints. (though Model Masters can irritate your eyes) Of course it all comes to personal preference and if you want to make a shiny Batman, by all means!

"But I use Model Masters acryl and they are all shiny!" Well, that is when the wonder of Acrylic paint comes in handy: MIX THEM with other brands!
 All the paints mentioned above can be mixed with each other with no problem at all. But if you still want a flat even look, guess what? a soft cloth is your uncle! BUFF the figure with a soft cloth. The static electricity created will do the rest. Yes, it's free and you don't have to sacrifice your lungs or sanity in the process.

"But Hunter! What about chipping the paints at the joints?" Well, that is another myth I'm tired of hearing: Sealing a figure DOES NOT avoid paint rub/chip at ALL. It's a MYTH it does NOT happen. I can even make a video of it and show you how a figure after many coats of sealant, WILL chip and loose the paint. How do you do it? Disassemble the blessed figure (see picture) and using a Dremel rotary or stylus tool sand each joint to the point that they don't touch each other. If you don't have one, use the 220 sandpaper and sand away! I know, it's a hell of a job, Meticulous, frustrating and boring! You have to try them time and time again to make sure,  but if you want to make a good figure, you have to invest in the time it takes to make it. Your customers will appreciate it, your figures will achieve killer poses and will get you more exposure. All that does not come from the nozzle of a spray can. No shortcuts, Sorry.

If you ask me how to take a figure apart I will blow a fuse....I have done videos on how to do it and won't expand on the subject. Just go to my website  under the "tutorials" section and watch away.

Some people get mad, even betrayed, when I say I don't use what they've been taught by the status quo, which begun way back in the 90's in the old pages of Toyfare, but the hobbie has evolved ever  since, and as time keeps passing, it will evolve even more...(I miss my Toyfare...dammit!!)

I write this small article not to stand above anyone else, on the contrary, I do it cause it worries the hell out of me that  more and more of my fellow customizer brethren are poisoning the hell out of their lungs while making these, I mean come on! these hazards are most dangerous at the moment they are being applied and that is on OUR side of things when we make them. This is a hobbie supposed to be fun, experimental, bring you joy or some extra income and it would blow if you catch some illness out of it, SPECIALLY in these days that getting sick can get you and your family  bankrupt So blame me, unfriend me, or criticize me if I worry about you....(yes, you...the one reading this...)   

Customize away, have fun and enjoy this amazing hobbie...just don't get your lungs melted

P.S:  please...for the love of everything that is holy, Don't use enamel paints...Or you'll be wondering "why hasn't the paint dried after 3 weeks??" That is a whole other subject...

A proper way to prep your figure to avoid paint rub...I know BORING!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Maleficent commentary (spoiler free)

Disney's latest retelling of the "Sleeping Beauty"classic  begins in an awesome fashion, you root for her, you want her to succeed (kudos to Isobelle Molloy who plays a young Maleficent) and kill those treacherous humans. You think you are in for an awesome ride, devouring your pop corn thinking: "this is some Lord of the rings type of s%^&t!"  then when the culmination of all evils is accomplished, (Aurora getting cursed) the whole movie hits the brakes, plot gets diluted, and our great anti-hero makes a turn.

The story is indeed not as we were told, just modernized, with better effects and an impeccable performance by Angelina Jolie and her eyes...(not to mention cheeks and mouth since many shots are close ups, which is fine by me...I can stare at Angie's face forever)  while Aurora is completely robotic, boring and utter accessory for the whole tale. That is what happens when you put a young talent opposing Jolie. And don't get me started on Prince Phillip...Diaval  the crow has a much more compelling part in the whole thing.

We are living an age where Princes are irrelevant (much like in real life) which is fine by me. I do not agree with the ending however, there are some things that are best left UNCHANGED.

Maleficent open in theatres today.
By Chris "Hunter" Diaz

Friday, May 23, 2014

X-men days of future past commentary (spoiler free)

 The mutants are back and in a BIG way!! Director Bryan Singer hits major points with this amazing film, blending all movies together and FINALLY correctting the disastrous X3....

The plot sets our fave mutants in the not so distant future where the Sentinels have taken over and killed every mutant and human on earth, and are hunting the remaining survivors. These sentinels however are not your typical 90's era ones..these are BIG, SCARY, and have kind of a Terminatorish feel to them, yet you see the familiar shapes in their face that will have you screaming in terror every time they do their "thing"

The whole pace of the movie is great although it can feel slow at the middle of it, but when all hell breaks loose, you will be screaming for your favorite mutants. You will see a barrage of new and old muties, nods to every movie in the saga, and stuff that will blow your mind away. Even some crooked politicians like Nixon are played so flawlessly, that you will swear you are seeing that paranoid rat alive in the flesh. (even my favorite  ex president of the US is revealed to be a mutant!)

The best breakout mutant here is Quicksilver played by Evan Peters. This is particularly important cause it has set the bar high on how to portray correctly the fastest mutant in the roster...Marvel laughs at the competition and even took the time to make a music video on how you convey speed, laughs and sass in the big screen. Sorry DC, Marvel just stole the thunder for Flash.

Another cool new Mutant is Warpath, played by none other than Booboo Stewart ( of the wolvies from the Twilight saga) There is also Bishop, Blink, Sunspot and a ton more. All kicking butt like no other mutant movie ever.

On the bad guys we have Bolivar Trask, whose casting was controvertial at first but after seeing the movie, you understand that is the mind that grants power, and can set giant things in motion affecting your future. He is not just a villain for being a villain, he respects and in a way admires the mutants, he just wants to control their power so the homo sapiens don't get extinct. You will also see a young William Stryker, Michael Fassbender twisting things (and a ton of metal) like he usually just don't know when it will happen...and my favorite girl in the world: Jennifer Lawrence as just can't help but love that girl..even in blue she is smoking hot, and does a great role conveying sadness and a misguided sense of justice...I almost forgot Rebecca Romijin played her a while ago. We still love you Rebecca!!

The old cast is back (and i mean it) the story is played flawlessly, the timeline corrected (mostly though)  and from here on I can only see great X-men movies in the horizon...and should stay tuned at the very end of the credits...there is a preview of an upcoming new player in town. Although most people in the cinema didn't understand who he was...I knew his name from the moment I first heard the chants...I have been an x-men fan since the cartoon aired in the 90's and then the Chris Claremont/Jim Lee comics...The x-team is in BIG trouble now and I hope to see another favorite of mine in the next movies!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

John Mallamas (AKA Jin Saotome) discovers how to protect your custom action figure auctions from being targeted for removal

 Not too long ago in November several customizers started to get their auctions removed on Ebay (myself included)  due to some Douchebag (s) in the fandom who started targeting the competence in an effort to eliminate them in a dirty way.

I started trying to find out who he was and unfortunately I ended with several names, but no hard evidence due to Ebay's privacy laws in the US they WILL NOT by any means disclose who targeted you. Turns out I was looking at the problem the wrong way.

It takes a better mind to solve things and that mind is undoubtely a friend and mentor (well, through his online tutorials at least) John Mallamas. He concentrated his efforts on using the system "both ways" since the coward (s) who do this, rely on a broken Ebay reporting interface.

Well, John took the system and made it work both ways ... Now is up TO YOU to help us find the harasser. How? John explains:

(Quoted from John's FB page:)

"Hello Masters of the Universe customizers!

This post pertains to those out there who sell their custom Masters of the Universe figures on ebay and have had their auctions removed. I’m going to explain why, how to stop it, and steps to take when it happens. And it probably will happen to you because there’s an individual out there who is reporting custom auctions. They’re filing the report under ‘...MC999 Brand Name Misuse’. Please note it is NOT Mattel doing this or else you would get a Vero notice. Ebay isn’t searching for custom MotU either because even their toys and collectibles specialists have no idea which figures are part of the line. They have no way of telling the difference between your custom Bash-Rok and retail Moss Man. But the individual reporting them can and they’re focusing on two things: your title and your description. That’s all they have at this point and are using nitpicking your title for the most part to get your auctions removed.

He-Man is recognized as a character, not as part of the actual brand. The real brand name is ‘Masters of the Universe Classics’ and ‘motu’. So a title like ‘Custom Mon-Stra Masters of the Universe He Man Classics figure’ is going to be targeted by the reporter because He-Man isn’t actually in the auction (unless your custom is He-Man in armor or something). There are two ways around this other than the easiest, leaving the name He-Man out of your title. *UPDATE* Some report specialists don't understand MotU or MotUC being part of the title. I was told by two specialists that you can have an acronym so long as the full brand is spelled out in the title, but I'm sure the reporter could try and argue whether it was MotUC or MotU as the real brand. May just want to leave that out.

1. Include a button, trading card, sticker, or anything official with He-Man actually in it. I realize there’s 5000 auctions up listing a character that is NOT He-Man using his name in the title but the person who’s reporting auctions isn’t interested in getting those removed, only yours.

2. Include the words ‘made with’ in the title. Then actually elaborate on this in the description so that there can be no misunderstanding. I was told about this by one of Ebay’s Listings Specialist and we really haven’t tried this yet. They explain it further in brand name guidelines:  So your title can say “Custom Mon-Stra made with a He-Man Masters of the Universe Classics figure” and in the description state “As you can see the legs and body came from a He-Man Masters of the Universe Classics figure and repainted to match”. Their report team uses Google for reference so as long as it looks like you’ve used those parts they’ll ignore the report.

In your description make sure not to list any extra brands and limit using the names of other characters. I know some people like myself like to do creative writing but anything you put in your description can be searched by people using the ‘search title and description’ option and that needs to not have any ‘misleading’ words it in either.  Don’t mention Skeletor, He-Man, Ram-Mans, etc unless you’re implying the character is directly related to them as their nemesis or friend. I’d leave that sort of thing out just to be on the safe side.

Well... even though you did everything here your auction was removed. That’s because the report team are NOT specialists and are often outsourced. In the email/ebay message sent to you informing you that your auction was removed is a link that says “If you have more questions, contact our policy experts” click it and call them. You’ll be given a passcode to enter and for the first person explain your situation briefly. Ask to talk to a Listings Specialist and ask them why your auction was removed. Legally they can’t tell you who reported it but they can tell you what was in the notes the reported added. Inquire about those. At this point ask the Listings Specialist to file an appeal in your name asking for any strikes/flags to be removed. Tell them you’d also like a follow-up sent to you concerning the outcome of the appeal.

If this was the first time your auction was removed let it slide. But if this has happened in the past while you’re on the phone with ebay ask who you can talk to concerning a harassment case by another member. I believe it’s the Account Protection team but they’ll transfer you to whoever it is. Remember EBAY CANNOT HANG UP ON YOU. They can’t say “We’re done here” or “I can’t help you any further”. You can be transferred indefinitely and talk to anyone you want, ask for supervisors if the Specialist isn’t being helpful, or just want to get more information. They’re stuck with you. Be nice and truthful because you’re being recorded. Explain that you have reason to believe someone is reporting your auctions unnecessarily, especially it’s happened multiple times in the past, and you’d like them to look into the reports. Ask that they look for a pattern and see if they’ll tell you how many times your auctions were reported. If they can’t ask to put that in the notes and make sure they understand you want a case opened for harassment that you’re reporting the reporting going on.

You’ll end up with a survey sent to you that day or a day later asking you about your experience. It wasn’t satisfying, trust me. Selecting a 5 or lower will open an option for you to explain why. You have 1000 letters to explain that someone is targeting your auctions, reporting them to eliminate the competition, and that you expect Ebay to protect their sellers against this. At the end it will ask if you want a follow up, select yes and send away.

I’m betting it will take a lot of us to get the individual reporting our auctions stopped or at least protect ourselves from them. They are a coward and a detriment to the Masters of the Universe community and customizers in general. Maybe they think they’re protecting Mattel, or the sanctity of the toy line. What they don’t understand is that we have to buy figures to take apart to make these customs. And that the funds we receive go right back to Mattel when we use them to buy more figures for our collection. I won’t get into the semantics of that here. Customizing is a grey area but in the end it helps, not hurts the fandom. That’s why you don’t see C&D letters flying unless something is being mass produced.

Good luck customizers!"
As you can see, it will take help from us all to file a harassment case, but if enough of us do it, Ebay will see it and very likely will suspend or even worse, Terminate the coward's accounts. I have been out of Ebay since November, working on commissions only, which has-to my surprise- kept me uber busy, for which I have to thank the Motu, Marvel, Dc, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Star Wars community in general, but I plan to go back sometime this year.

 As you remember I listed more than 5 to 7 figures a week, and I will file harassment reports on all of them should they be targeted, until they connect the dots and realize we are being targeted by a malicious bastard(s) (Oh and it doesn't matter that you switch account names when you report us, you scumbag...Ebay records your IP address, LSO's and Flash objects on your computer/browser every time you log in.  And using proxies doesn't help either. Cleaning them now won't help you since at the moment you filed the report, Ebay downloaded everything from you, even the brand of the pc/laptop/tablet you used)

So there you have it guys! Let's help each other and let's hope the community goes back to being the cool, contributive place it once was.

Special thanks to the maestro John Mallamas for this report.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Captain America The Winter Soldier quick and honest review (Spoiler free)

 Last night I was treated to an Imax 3D advance screening of Captain America the Winter Soldier an it was THE BEST of the Marvel phase 2 movies so far. I felt like I was back to watching a thrilling Marvel movie much like the first Iron Man, or heck even the Avengers.

After 2 lackluster movies like the Iron man 3 bomb (extremis...Mandarin...can't get over that crap) or the boring Thor 2 (I fell asleep) this movie actually feels like the Marvel movies we all love, packed with action, laughs, but adds a new element: The spy thriller where you have no idea who to trust.

And this plays on how flexible Marvel movies have become, they grasp different kinds of genres but they still feel part of the same universe. This movie will grab everything you know and turn it inside out. The revealing by Arnim Zola is the core of everything (even Hugo Chavez makes a cameo in the picture flashbacks) and is the tipping point of the entire he said it in the first movie "A masterpiece".

The Winter soldier (whose identity we all know) makes for a great Marvel  villain and the only one who can hand the cap his ass in beautifully choreographed knife to hand battles, however he is only one of many villains, since in this movie there are many threats the cap has to face.

Anthony Mackie's falcon performance is flawless, the guy is a welcome addition to the Marvel Universe although your wish those wings could carry some sort of weapon...he is SERIOUSLY outgunned in the last act.

From the cameos to cap's to-do list (which varies from continent to continent) Captain America the Winter Soldier pits the classic soldier conundrum of doing what your conscience says it's right, not what your orders say, and does it great, the movie is full of surprising twists and plots, what a superhero movie should be. And of course...stay tuned until the VERY end..there are 2 after credits scenes. one in the middle featuring THREE characters you will recognize and a last one.

"To fight a war, you need a uniform"
                                       -Steve Rogers-

Captain America is on theatres now!