Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Auric of the Great White North Kickstarter Funko Pop! figures completed!

Our friends from Auric Of The Great White North showcasing the 5 completed Pop! customs we made for their Kickstarter campaign. All five heads (from Ajani Goldmane) were sculpted individually with slight differences to make them unique. The bodies however, had to be identical so only one prototype was made and then it was sent to be cast by the super talented Plastic Curves who translated every detail from the original sculpt into the super hard resin that withstands the weight of the heads. The figures were then painted and sealed with our in house brush-on sealer for that semi gloss toyetic look. I hope everyone who pledged is super satisfied with these figures as they represent months of work from several people. Thank you!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Black Friday toy hunt at Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise Florida with Hunter Knight

If you missed my IG story shenanigans on Black Friday, I made a video with the footage in correct order (IG butchered the timeline) with some added footage of my haul. Check it at: http://bit.ly/2AekQmQ (check the description cause it has some useful links)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Custom Funko Pop! SHADOWCAT (Kitty Pryde) figure by Hunter Knight Customs

Next up is Shadowcat in Funko Pop! Style. She was made as a commission for a customer out of the regular NYCC exclusive Kitty Pryde, and sculpted parts. It was a fun project to work on. Check her video at: http://bit.ly/2z9xkuG
Funko Pop Shadowcat (Commission) check her video at: http://bit.ly/2z9xkuG

Shadowcat (Commission) check her video at: http://bit.ly/2z9xkuG

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Justice League movie review

[Warning: This review contains plot details from the film that could be considered spoilers.]

The latest installment in the franchise building epic from DC Comics is a fun ride, but is not without a set of flaws.

The movie is a Frankenstein mishmash of two contrasting visions: Zack Snyder's dark and gritty vision and the cheerful, lighthearted and colorful style of Joss Wheddon. It 's very speculative to try and discern which one was shot by who, but you can tell that the funny jokes and light moments came from Wheddon's vision, while the cinematic spectacle came from Snyder, but was carefully chopped together to try and make a cohesive, paced story.

Unfortunately, Justice League pays the price for Dc's lack of patience for not having established solo movies for the 3 characters it tries to introduce, and the feature suffers tremendously for it, since we are treated to a series of scenes about origins and scenarios that do very little to advance the main plot:

Ezra Miller's Flash is the most delightful part of the movie, playing the role of "cowardly lion" at the beginning, but finding his footing later on. Ray Fisher's Cyborg plays a brooding half human, half IOS machine who is also trying to find the extent of his powers and purpose in the whole thing. Lastly, Jason Momoa's Aquaman is the character whose backstory you will know the least. We don't know if he is an ecologist? a Prince? a bro? (not to worry kids! personality TBD on 2018's Aquaman, so stay tuned!!) In this movie, Momoa got paid to play himself, and since he is such a likable person, we are cool with his version of Aquaman.

These 3 characters play major roles in the movie, but unlike Gal Gadot in Batman V Superman where you could afford to just tease us with her, you really cannot get away with that same formula here with almost no character arc in them. They just seem like interchangeable pieces to make the poster bigger and sell more toys.
And then comes the villain: Steppenwolf voiced by Ciaran Hinds (YAS! Mance Rayder from Game of Thrones sans the cool accent) is completely wasted as an empty, one dimensional McGuffin whose only role is to unite the league and to serve as a punching bag for our heroes. But to be honest, due to the length of the movie, this is as much as you can get. A Parademon wielding, mother box seeking cliche and super predictable villain whose only goal is to destroy the world. (yay!)

Gal Gadot is great as usual in her Wonder Woman role, being probably the only light (along with Ezra Miller) in the flick, this time playing a motherly/mentor role to Cyborg and later on -thanks to some buttons pushed by Batman- a leader role. However, without Patty Jenkins' vision we are left to awkward camera angles and subtle butt shots. Still, Gal is a delight to watch, being the brightest spot in the whole DC Universe and this movie does no harm to her character. If anything, it expands it a bit more.

Ben Affleck continues to improve as Batman, though not as epic as Burton's or realistic and scary as Nolan's he makes the role it's his own, playing a Dark Knight riddled with guilt over Superman's death, but lightened thanks to the carefully placed jokes here and there that can sometimes be too excessive for a character like Batman. Still, a lot of room to improve. (If he stays as Batman that is)

Finally, Henry Cavill's return as Superman (yeah...it was obvious) is a soft reset for the hero. We are treated to a joyful, smiling, and warm (though not at first) son of Krypton that was never established as such in the previous 2 movies, but eh, I'll take my wins wherever I can find them. And yes, the CGI erased mustache is WAY too obvious and you are treated to it at the immediate beginning of the movie. Still, you can see the dude is happy to be alive, and this time he is enjoying his life, for the very few moments we get to see him.

The Score by Danny Elfman is epic, but the much publicized Batman and Superman fanfares are barely heard. You can only hear them if you are really looking for them. (First one in the first Bat-Signal scene and the second one on the batmobile run) The John Williams score for Supes is barely heard.

In the end, Justice League suffers for the amount of information that it tries to cram in it's barely 2 hour feature time. A formulaic and predictable plot that is miles better than Batman V Superman, not as magistral as Wonder Woman, but still an enjoyable comic book superhero adventure meant to sell a lot of action figures. An amalgam of opposite visions that surprisingly manages to do what it was meant to: Start the second phase of the DC solo movies. I would hope that this time, Warner manages to take their time, and build the DC Universe we all want to see. The next one will be better....that is all we can hope for.

Stay after the credits roll. There are 2 good scenes that must not be missed.

Justice League is in theaters now and is rated PG-13

Chris "Hunter" D.

Get Justice League collectibles and figures:
Hot Toys Justice League: http://bit.ly/2zrb8QT
Mattel Dc Multiverse Justice League ( Amazon) http://amzn.to/2AanZHp
Mafex 6 inch Justice League Figures: http://bit.ly/2gMPVcj
S.H. Figuarts 6 inch Justice league figures: http://bit.ly/2vrem4y
Mezco Aquaman: http://bit.ly/2AWlfKI

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mortal Kombat Masters of the Universe Crossover figures by Funko?

OMG! These are either gonna generate absolute love or total hate: Funko went for the jugular with these MOTU styled Mortal Kombat figures, featuring the vintage style battle ready pose that we all know and love, with the chunky plastic nostalgia. They even used a recolored Fright Zone playset as a backdrop for the promotion (Wink, wink!) Where are you in this matter? Love them ? Hate them? Will Scorpion fight He-Man? will Kitana Join forces with Teela? Is Sub Zero an evil warrior or a Master of the Universe? FIGHT! (but keep it civil. No fatalities allowed)
Get them at:
BBTS: http://bit.ly/2zJ0sKI
Ent Earth: http://bit.ly/2jqYTwH

Friday, November 10, 2017

The fall of Funko: What can cause the vinyl giant's demise?

 For years I've wondered and marveled at the success of a company like Funko: From humble beginnings, to the massive fan base it has now. But I finally can see where the danger lies in their new business model: The HEAVY reliance on exclusives.

But exclusives are fun aren't they? Well yes, they used to be. When there were only one or two.

The upcoming Black Panther movie wave for example, has FIVE exclusives, aside from the "regulars" and they will no be easy to find: The Blue-Glow version of the MAIN character will be a Target exclusive. A place where the employees themselves scalp the vinyls which never reach the floor.

TWO chases of the regulars, Black Panther and Killmonger (which could be randomly included on any online order you place, cause you are sure as hell not gonna find them in the wild) and of course, your Walmart exclusive find a glow version of Killmonger, and finally a Funko Store exclusive Okoye which if you don't live in Seattle, you will pretty much have to pay scalper prices on Ebay for her.

The worse part is that before, the chases were just color variants or alternate poses of some of the main characters which you may or may not care but now, the chases seem to be the most desirable designs in the whole wave. They are  the best versions of the main characters and /or villains with glow in the dark functions, poses etc. 

Black Panther is not even the final movie of the Marvel saga, but is the one that will bridge us to the Infinity War. Can you imagine how many chases, variants, mystery box exclusives, drugstore one of a kinds and Seattle one hit wonders they will shaft their fans with? I cringe in horror if you are a Funatic.

Luckily for me, I'm a cherry picker and never collected any wave in it's totality, but for the most part I feel like the entire year of 2017 I have been hunting their chases, which of course are the only ones I want or care for, not cause I'm an elitist, but because they are the best versions of the  characters I like.

The Funatics are a tough bunch. They love, live and breathe vinyl and they will be there for a long time to come, but in the circles I move around, there are winds of tiredness and annoyance and anyone who works in customer service will tell you: An unhappy customer is not a faithful customer.
reward their loyalty with elitism and you will alienate them  to the point of not caring anymore. 

Heed my words and take them to the bank Funko: No company sits  too high on his chair. And a chair made of vinyl could bend and fall if you sit on it for too long. Come down from it and make your fans happy. We all root for you. We all love you. 

What are your thoughts? Funko Funatic for life? or cherry pick and run?

Chris -Hunter- D.

Get the "regular" Funko Pop! for the masses at: http://bit.ly/2iIzieB (The ones in the picture below are NOT for you, you entitled Funatic! How DARE you!) 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Custom Red Lantern BLEEZ action figure (Dc Universe Classics) by Hunter Knight Customs

Next up is the Angel of the Red Lantern Corps: Bleez! She was made in the DC Universe classics style as a commission for a customer, mixing several parts for a comic book style look. I wanted to sculpt skeletal bone wings for her, but due to budgetary reasons the Black lantern Hawkgirl's wings were used. (Not a bad fit, but they have been used to exhaustion in this type of figure) Wanna make your own? Check the parts list on her video at: http://bit.ly/2m8Udwu

The Angel of the Red Lantern Corps: Bleez!

Happy to bring you: DEATH!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Thor Ragnarok review (Non Spoiler)

Thor Ragnarok was a super enjoyable and unexpectedly fun movie. It had a lot of comic moments (sometimes too many I would say) but is a well deserved twist on a hero whose last solo movie made me sleep halfway through it (Dark Elves? Aether? Yawn!) You’ll see none of that here, thank the gods!

Cate Blanchett SLAYS (literally) as Hela who is as frightening as those horns she carries on her head. I was expecting a cookie cutter Marvel villain but she really projected the menacing presence and power of her character to a point where I felt literally scared for our heroes.

Tessa Thompson is a bit stereotypical as Valkyrie but that quickly vanishes as you delve deep into her story, and at that point, she becomes one of your favorite characters and you cannot wait to see more of her. Karl Urban does a good Executioner, but I'm surprised he even got paid for a speaking role since his lines were really very few, but well delivered.

Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster is an adorable and enjoyable Tyrant whose world of Sakar you cannot wait to leave cause of the hideous color contrasts (done obviously on purpose to convey the sense of desperation to you, the viewer as well) However, the movie spends too much time in this weird locale while a ton of important things are going on elsewhere.

Finally, our main characters give you the same heroes (and villains) you know, but with added layers of anger, confusion, desperation, fear, depression, and even alcoholism. But that is where Thor Ragnarok wins: In it's essence is a SUPER dark movie, it's the most catastrophic of Thor movies! But the comedic sprinkles, make you go through it without you even noticing the true magnitude of what is happening with Thor's world. You are taken through this terrible set of situations in an amenable way without insulting your intelligence or respect for the characters. Without the fun factor, this would have been a depressive suckfest of Man of Steel proportions, but the brilliancy of the writers , direction and production make Marvel win. (Again. Though, is it any surprise?).

Props to my man Korg, (voiced by Taika Waititi, the Director!) he is one of the best new characters in this movie and cannot wait to have at least a POP! figure of the rock giant. (A Marvel legends would be better, but eh, a man can dream) His demure made him a great contrast in the middle of all the ensuing chaos. Also look for cameos of Sam Neil, Luke Hemsworth and..MATT DAMON!

Thor Ragnarok opens in Theatres across the US today and is rated PG-13

And of course what do us geeks do after watching a movie this good? GET THE BLOODY MERCH!! and there is plenty of it everywhere:

One:12 Collective Thor at BBTS: http://bit.ly/2hdrgh7
Marvel Legends Thor Ragnarok wave on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zvzo49
Marvel Legends Thor Ragnarok On BBTS: http://bit.ly/2lNHXRL
Funko Pop Thor Ragnarok on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zyaWis
Funko POP Korg on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2zcSysD

Chris “Hunter” D.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Netflix Castlevania review (spoiler free)

The year was 1993 in a cold July in Peru, (it’s winter there) I was on my school break, bored to bits, when a friend borrowed me a NES copy of Castlevania 3 Dracula’s curse: A game none in the neighborhood had been able to complete, and me being a sucker for lost causes, accepted the challenge for the very first time.

The world would not hear from me until I emerged from my catacomb of gameplay a month later, for I had entered the eerie and wonderful world of Castlevania and I could not leave it until I had explored every corner of that creepy and magical 8-Bit world contained in that sweet rectangular grey plastic case.

This was the first ever game I completed (In all routes) and taught me everything I needed to become a gamer until I retired in 2008. Needless to say, I had to play every Castlevania game in existence: From Simon’s Quest, to the Game Boy versions...I wanted to know every game I missed since it first debuted in 1986 (In Peru, things used to arrive quite late in those days)

Of course, Castlevania fans, were treated to a majestic evolution of the franchise over the years, with titles like Castlevania 4 (SNES) Dracula X (SNES) , and the crowning achievement that was Symphony of the night for the PS1, plus the numerous Game Boy sequels.

Years passed and we never got any other forms of Castlevania entertainment. After a thousand chronology retcons, movie rumors and Konami’s demise, we thought the days for good vampire killer fun were over.

But just like the world of Castlevania, nothing is what it seems: Enter Netflix.

In July 7th of 2017 Netflix debuted a 4 part animated series based on the very same NES game I played and let me tell you, I was afraid that after many failed videogame adaptations, this series was going to be amongst the huge pile of disgraces we have seen since the Mario Bros debacle, and for once, I’m SO glad to be wrong .

This series is an anthem to all things Castlevania: It’s gritty, dark, sweary, with a hint of Game of Thrones here and there, (just for scent mind you) but above all: It’s SUPER gory (Thanks Adi Shankar!) and artistically influenced by series like Ghost in the Shell, Akira and more in the genre. The subjects it touches are definitely not for kids (please don’t watch it with your 5 year old) But that is where the series shines the most: The tale of how Dracula (voiced by Graham McTavish) becomes this insatiable and vindictive beast is so well fleshed out, that for the most part of episode 1 you are on team Dracula, and let me tell you, not just any series has the power to humanize and justify the villain in the way this one does. When that happens, you know you struck storytelling gold.

Of course, every masterpiece is not devoided of controversy, and for Castlevania comes in the faithful adaptation of what the Catholic church was in those days: Intolerant, criminal, dictatorial and corrupt. (wait, did I said “those days”?) Naturally, that depiction did not sit well with some groups, specially in some South American countries, where “papa lindo” will punish you for watching the truth of how his church worked in those days...how dare you Netflix? How dare you! But we geeks know better right?

Episodes 2 and 3 dwell deep in the introduction of Trevor Belmont voiced by Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and Sypha Belnades, voiced by Alejandra Reynoso (Winx Club) Fleshing out their characters while giving you a ton of exposition and backstory with several gory action scenes carefully placed so as to keep the pace going. Finally, episode 4 picks the pace back up in a glorious bloodbath, a very familiar stage and the confrontation with another fan favorite: Friggin’ Alucard voiced magnificently by James Callis.

Season 1 ends in a cliffhanger that has left many wanting for more and we cannot get it soon enough, but fear not Castlevanians, season 2 was given the green light almost immediately and is expected to drop sometime in the first quarter of 2018 and will have 8 episodes of varying length.

In the end, Castlevania is a series that manages to be his own glorious thing, hindered technically and musically a bit (budget maybe?) portraying the legendary fight of the Belmont clan vs Dracula in a compelling, less unidimensional way that makes villains and heroes justified by their own means, while discovering their purpose in the middle of tragic, unfair or violent circumstances. It’s pure and symphonic American anime made by people that understand the characters, the lore, and in one sentence: They seem to know what the heck they are doing.

You can bet your last bottle of holy water that I will be binge watching season 2 and rooting for Houses Belmont and Tepes....THAT is how complicated things are... Will we get to see Grant Danasty? (That would complete the Drac-vengers team!) guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Castlevania is magistrally written by Warren Ellis with the direction of Sam Deats, music by Trevor Morris and is streaming now on Netflix.

Chris “Hunter” D.

P.S. Ever since I watched the show I created the Castlevania Netflix fan page to make the wait for season 2 a bit more bearable, so come join our fellow Castlevanians! (we have pot roast straight from the walls!) : https://www.facebook.com/Castlevani...