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A Dying Medium: Compact Discs (May 8, 2017)

05/08/2017 Leave a comment
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Spyro Gyra’s Access All Areas (top) and Hall & Oates’ Rock n’ Soul Part 1 compact discs.

I almost forgot.

In addition to the two Takara Tomy Arts Super Figure Collection Grendizer UFO Gashapons that I lucked out in getting yesterday, I also picked up a couple of used discs: Hall & Oates’ Rock n’ Soul Part 1[i] and Spyro Gyra’s first live album entitled, Access All Areas.

These albums were without their inserts but I knew what I was holding in my hands and scooped them up right away at a fraction of the cost.

To think, this was how everyone used to listen to music.[ii]

Short history lesson 

Back in the early 90’s, Compact Discs (CD) were the thing!  A literal upgrade in quality from the bulky Vinyl, 8-track, and cassette tapes.  It was the only way to get music back then as digital downloads were still in its infancy.  CD’s also had a long lifespan–unless you left them under direct sunlight–and were reported to be good for a couple of thousand plays before encountering any problems.

Well enough of that and back to the albums that I got. Read more…

A Grendizer kind of day: Review of Takara Tomy Arts Super Figure Collection Grendizer UFO Gashapons (May 7, 2017)

05/07/2017 Leave a comment
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Clockwise: Takara Tomy Arts Super Figure Collection literature on the gashapon machine. | The Grendizer Spazer. | The Grendizer part prior to attaching it to the Spazer. | The Grendizer UFO robot pieces after I removed them from their plastic container. | Some new toys to add to my collection.

Exposure to the past

In my book, part of being a good parent is taking the initiative to expose your children to the things that you grew up with.  There are quite a few, starting with: Values, Customs, Interests, etc.

Did I say interests?

Back in the Betamax days and when I was still in single digits, I remember watching a cartoon called Grendizer[i].  It was awesome![ii]  It featured a flying UFO saucer (called Spazer) that spit out a single-pilot robot.  Much like other earth protector robots before him, Grendizer would cut up his enemies by the end of each episode.  UFO Grendizer also had cool weapons like Double SickleScrew Crusher Punch, and Space Thunder!  Lastly, the show even had Mazinger Z’s Koji Kabuto serve as a sidekick of sorts.

As I dial back my thoughts to those moments, we really had the best cartoons…with all due respect to Adventure Time, Rick and Morty, Clarence and whatever else the kids are watching these days on Cartoon Network.

Anyway, I decided to dig up those old Grendizer tapes and show them to my son.  So far, we’ve gone through 1 1/2 episodes so the jury is still out if he is going to like it as much as say The Real Ghostbusters.

Review: Takara Tomy Arts Super Figure Collection Grendizer UFO Gashapons

Read more…

From Filbar’s to Comic Odyssey to Druid’s Keep: My Free Comic Book Day 2017 Experience (May 6, 2017)

05/06/2017 Leave a comment
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Clockwise: The calm before the storm: Leinil’s desk. | First in line! | Leinil signs Page 33 of Supercrooks #4. | My copy of Indestructible Hulk #1 signed by writer Mark Waid, inker Gerry Alanguilan, and now penciller Leinil Francis Yu. | Lenil and Gerry’s signatures at the bottom of the aforementioned Page 33. | Thanks again Leinil!

For many, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) serves as an annual opportunity to get new readers (as well as old ones) into the hobby by offering a wide selection of books that they would not normally pick up.  But in recent years, the status quo of FCBD in the Philippines has evolved beyond its original purpose and into an event wherein the local comic distributors and artists give back to comic book community.

For me, the highlight of FCBD 2017 was being able to attend Leinil Yu’s signing over at Filbar’s Megamall.[i] Without going into great detail, Leinil was very gracious and accommodating.  Thank you again Leinil!

After lunch at Pepper Lunch[ii], I proceeded to Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street where I was able to get free copies of Wonder Woman: Rebirth (Special Edition) #1 and Skottie Young’s I Hate Image before they ran out of stocks. From what I heard, I Hate Image is an amalgamation of a number of Image Comics’ popular titles and that it’s original art Read more…

Happy Cinco de Mayo: Taking part of Fully Booked and Faber-Castell’s Summer Art Buffet with Googly Gooeys [Watercolor Edition] (May 5, 2017)

05/05/2017 Leave a comment
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The Fam and I arrived at Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street. | The perks of being early: Choice seats! | Looks like I killed one of the Faber-Castell watercolor pencils with the splatter technique that they taught me. | Some of the Faber-Castell products on sale during the free event. | Our finished products up for display. | #SummerArtBuffet’s schedule of activities

Call it happenstance.

Call it fate.

Or maybe I knew about the event all along.

How things went down

After a late lunch, The Fam and I dropped by Comic Odyssey in Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street to pick up some books.[i]

We then participated in the hour-long Fully Booked/Faber-Castell #SummerArtBuffet watercolor session located in the Fully Booked function room next door.

The packed class started promptly at 7 pm and although our art teacher tried to teach us several watercolor pencil techniques, we were very much contented with focusing on the heart flower designs that they gave us.

Some learnings and highlight:

Read more…

Review: The Gathering 11th TAGCOM [Toys and Hobbies Convention] (April 29, 2017)

04/29/2017 Leave a comment
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Clockwise: Present and accounted for at The Gathering 11th TAGCOM (Toys and Hobbies Convention). | Looking though the lens of a toy for sale at the convention. | Photo opportunity with Justice PH. | Kong: Skull Island merchandise. | All ready for Disneyland: Some hats that we picked up. | If money were no object, I would have scooped up all of the all of the available Fallout 4 5″ Vault Boy 111 Bobbleheads in a heartbeat.  Pictured are the Melee Weapons, Strength, and Repair Bobbleheads.

I ate my words today.

What I thought would be (at the most) a half-day event–The Gathering 11th TAGCOM [Toys and Hobbies Convention]–turned into a whole day affair.

Yep.  The Fam and I ended up staying from 11 am till closing.[i]  Even I can’t believe it myself.

It was loads of fun.  Lots to see. But we were all dead tired by the end of it all.

A fun and fulfilling kind of tired.

The Sights

Despite only occupying what seemed like a very generous 3/4 of the Megatrade Hall 3, there seemed to be a little something for everyone.  Character beanies and dinosaurs aside, what stood out for me was the amount of Godzilla merchandise spread out among the vendors.  There was a ton and I’m sure they have been around, but for me, it was like they all appeared out of nowhere.

Read more…

Oh How You’ve Changed Monopoly (April 28, 2017)

04/28/2017 Leave a comment
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New Board. Old Board. Always ready for action!

It’s been about a decade since the last time I’ve rolled dice on the old Monopoly board.

A lot has changed since then.

New streets. New railways stations. New prices.  New mortgage payouts.

And after tonight a new winner in a five-year-old first time player.

Congrats Bud!

After our fun, competitive, and entertaining game; I couldn’t help but wonder: Why all the changes?

I mean, the old version has been around since the mid-30’s.  A tried-and-tested product that stood the test of time.

This will take some getting used to.

I guess when it all comes down to it, even a gaming juggernaut like Monopoly isn’t immune from the changing times.

Categories: 2017, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Review: The Walking Dead: Road to Survival (April 27, 2017)

04/27/2017 Leave a comment

Clockwise: Negan before. | Negan after 2nd tier upgrade. | Garrett is injured as part of the storyline. | Rick Grimes. | Face-off against The Governor’s men. | “Congratulations: You have completed all of your daily missions.”

Over the past four days, I have been playing The Walking Dead: Road to Survival game on my iPad Pro.  It’s fun and engaging because I get to use familiar characters like Rick Grimes, Negan, Tyreese, Nicholas, and Dr. Stevens.  But to tell you the truth, it is a spectacular waste of time.

If you’re on Facebook (which you most likely are), you’ve seen the ads[i], “Over 20 millions players.  Join now! It’s free!”

Now, I’ve been putting it off that very tempting offer for awhile now.  Largely in part because I knew that if I got a hang of it: I’d be hooked.  Hey, don’t judge.  It beats catching Pokemon right?

The Walking Dead: Road to Survival game is based on the comic book creations of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, and features a number of characters, weapons, artifacts, and storylines from the book.

The advertisement wasn’t lying though, the game is free to play.  However, a plethora of in-app purchase options are a necessity if you want to progress faster and further along the story mode and leaderboards.  Bottomline, if you are a purist freebie player, you’ll never ever get to top the spenders[ii].  It’s how the game is designed.  It sucks you in.  Gives you hope.  You get the general idea.

Progress

I’ve gone as far as I could go via the freebie route: sub level 6 of Stage 9: Speedway.`  I’ve surmised that I’ll need to pay for bigger guns and stronger characters if I want to progress any further.  I have enjoyed though the game’s other mini-games such as raiding the camps of other players[iii], Daily Missions, and Leveling Up characters.

That’s about it for now.

I’ll keep you guys posted.

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[i] I’m paraphrasing here!
[ii] Spenders – Refers to players who have availed or continually avail of in-app purchases in order to expedite their gaming experience.
[iii] 307 wins and 38 losses as of 5/7/17.