Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dead Space: Isaac Tonal Tee - Black (T-Shirt) Review

If you signed up on Facebook and "friended" Dead Space, then you'd know that the Visceral Games Store is up and running.  Earlier on, they gave a preview of apparel that were going to be sold via their online store.  Unfortunately, I was late to the party (so to speak) and missed out on the "crowd favorite" Vintage Comic Tee.  Stung with bitter disappointment, I reluctantly purchased this t-shirt.

The Good: 

  • This shirt was both packaged and shipped nicely from Treehouse Brand Stores, LLC.  The t-shirt was neatly folded and actually packaged in a separate plastic baggie.  There was no big [wasteful] cardboard box, but a thin but sturdy plastic wrap.  Now, that's great customer service!
  • Isaac Clarke's [three-slit] visor is made with "glow in the dark" ink.
  • The entire front of this t-shirt is a picture of Isaac Clarke from the amazing Dead Space video game.  This image is the same as the one used on the cover of the "limited edition" The Art of Dead Space: Designing a Nightmare art book, which was given out as a bonus at the time of the game's release. 

  • T-shirt makers, take note: no tag t-shirts are the best.  Don't you always get annoyed by the "bump" on the back of your neck from the tag?
  • Although the t-shirt itself is thin (enough to wear on a hot sunny day), the feel and quality of the shirt is pretty good.

The Bad:
  • Isaac Clarke's [three-slit] visor is made with "glow in the dark" ink.  Although the concept is cool enough, aren't we pass the time and age where anything "glow in the dark" is used?  Just something about that "feature" that sounds really childish.

  • The back of the shirt has "Visceral Games" near the top middle area (right under the back of your neck).  I think it would've been better if it just said "Dead Space" instead, just like on the cover the video game. 
  • At first, I wasn't a big fan of the overall design; it seemed to "showy."  I would've preferred to see a smaller front print of Isaac at either the bottom left or right.  And on the back, have a Necromorph on the opposite bottom left or right lurking around to "ambush" Isaac.

The Ugly:
  • If anything is ugly, it's the price of these shirts.  Luckily, this shirt isn't as ridiculously expensive as the Vintage Comic Tee (but it's still on the "pricey" side).  With the money being spent on this, you'd expect it to do more.

Additional Notes:
  • This shirt comes in all sizes: small, medium, large, extra large, and extra extra large (just like pizza).

I looked everywhere on eBay before going through with my purchase in Visceral Games [online] Store.  I really didn't want to pay $24.00 (which doesn't include shipping and handling charges) for a shirt.  Can you blame me for that?  I had some reservations about the design of the shirt before (for instance, I wasn't convinced that the oversized front print of Isaac was a good idea; I figured it would've been better if the size of the print were a bit smaller and placed near the bottom left or right).  However, once I received this in the mail and got to view this shirt up close and personal, I was immediately won over.  I paid a total of $30.00 (which includes the shipping and handling fee of $6.00 for "domestic standard" which takes 3-5 days for delivery).


For a t-shirt, this is definitely on the pricey side.  However, if you're a big fan of Dead Space and want to show the world (without embarrassing yourself with your little or big action figure collection), then I'd recommend getting this shirt.  If you want to spend a little more cash for a shirt, I'd most definitely recommend on getting the Vintage Comic Tee instead (here's the link for the same-styled shirt for women).

Score (out of five):

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (T-Shirt) Review

**Note: Although this is a[n] toy/action figure review site, lately, I've been more and more interested in t-shirts as well.  Whatever t-shirt that may tickle my fancy, I'll post a review here as well.  I hope you enjoy it.  As always, feel free to e-mail me or leave comments on this site.  Thanks.**

This is one of the few amazing things that happened at last year's San Diego Comic Con.  Like many others, I was unaware of this until the SDCC event started.  Although I love collecting action figures, this t-shirt was (and still is) a MUST-HAVE for two reasons: (1) I'm running out of shirts to wear and (2) The novelty of having a "zombie" face to wear and freak out your friends and neighbors never gets old!

The Good:
  • A definite amazing surprise for Comic Con attendees who waited on line to be one of the first to try out the [then] unreleased Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles [Wii] video game.
  • It was finally available via Capcom's [U.S.] store front for purchase after several agonizing months of longing for said t-shirt.

  • A nice "minimalist-approach" design on the front and backside of the shirt.  The front reads: "Let Your Darkside Out" with several flesh-eating zombies lumbering for fresh human meat in the background. 

  • On the back, near the top middle area reads: "Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles" (in the same font as on the front cover of the Wii video game).

  • The best part of this shirt is what lies beneath the front-side of the shirt: the decayed zombie face!  (An extremely ugly face that only a zombie mother could love.)  

The Bad:

  • The Capcom Store is selling these t-shirts for $24.95 each!  These aren't exactly "designer" t-shirts now, are they?  But $24.95?  Really?

The Ugly:
  •  Ha!  In my case, the shirt arrived in an over-sized [cardboard] box, not wrapped in any sort of protective plastic layer or such.  Whoever packed my shirt just tossed it in the box and then added the [usual] crinkly brown paper on top of the shirt with the packing slip and taped it shut.  You can imagine my surprise when I opened up the package to see that my shirt was already dirty.  Bits and pieces of cardboard was smothered all over the shirt.  All I can say is that it was a real pain in the ass to remove.  To make a long story short, I sent a complaint e-mail offering to return the shirt.  The customer support team at Digital River (not the best service out there) apologized and told me I could keep the shirt for free.

Additional Notes:
  • This shirt was given out for FREE at the San Diego Comic Con 2009 for those lucky attendees.
  • The same t-shirt (separately packaged in a polybag) was also given out FREE as a "pre-order bonus" if you pre-ordered a copy of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles Wii video game from Gamestop.

I initially purchased my first t-shirt off of eBay (before Capcom decided that it was a good idea to cash in on these shirts) at an inflated price of $50.00 ($5.00 for shipping and handling).  Why did I end up buying another (this time from the Capcom Store)?  To make a long story short, my cousin loved it (unfortunately this shirt isn't sold overseas where he lives), so I gave it to him.  I paid a total of $34.45 (shipping and handling charge of $9.50) purchasing it from the Capcom [::cough:: rip-off ::cough::] Store.


If my review hasn't deterred you from purchasing this item, you're in luck because the Capcom Store still have them in stock... at the same price!  These shirts come in all sizes: small, medium, large, extra-large, and extra-extra large.  Overall, I love the novelty of this shirt (referring to the "hidden" zombie face underneath the front-side of the shirt).  Also, it's another way of showing off your love for the Resident Evil series.

Score (out of five):

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Star Wars: The Vintage Collection 2010: Dengar Figure Review

    Late January 2010, Hasbro released news of their upcoming Star Wars: Vintage Collection.  Frankly, I wasn't interested in any of the vintage-style figures mainly because Hasbro is known to re-release the same figures over and over (just look at their upcoming "new" re-release of their 2010 "Saga Legends" line).  However, once I heard about a thoroughly newly-sculpted Dengar figure, I couldn't resist (damn you, Hasbro!).

    The Good:

    • Dengar has 14 points of articulation: ball-jointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, ball-jointed waist, swivel hips, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles.
    • Dengar comes with only 4 accessories: 1x blaster pistol, 1x BlasTech DLT-19, 1x backpack, and 1x (removable) crotch armor w/ belt attached.
    • Although I really don't recognize Dengar's face, the level of detail is just amazing.  His face is noticeably scarred while his stern, eye-piercing gaze shows what an angry bad-ass he is.

    • I definitely don't recall ever seeing Dengar's "backpack" or gear but the level of detail is just amazing.  Nothing about the sculpt is out of place here.

    • There are a few paint [mis]applications but nothing too major that it detracts any value from the overall figure.

    • I was glad to see Hasbro finally sculpt a fully functional holster that can hold the entire blaster pistol snugly without it ever falling out.

    • Although both of Dengar's pre-posed [gripped] hands look tight, they surprisingly can hold all of his weapons quite nicely. 

    The Bad:
    • It's not too much of a big deal, but I don't know why Dengar's "crotch armor" is a separate piece from the rest of his body.  Maybe the Hasbro factories in China forgot to glue it on?  We won't know until this figure is released later on in the U.S.

    • This isn't necessarily a bad thing either, but if you examine Dengar's left foot, you can see that his left sole isn't flat.  Hasbro's sculptors probably did this in order to keep Dengar's balance and prevent him from tipping over.

    The Ugly:
    • Nothing ugly about the figure here.
    • I'm not too thrilled with Hasbro's attempt to cash in on SW fans' nostalgia by offering a "mail-in" vintage-style "rocket/missile firing" Boba Fett figure.  I'd rather have another updated figure instead.

    Additional Notes:

    • Interestingly, the BlasTech DLT-19 accessory is not the same weapon Dengar is seen holding aboard the Executor (in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back).  This particular gun is used by a fellow bounty hunter 4-LOM.
    • This figure won't be available until later this summer or early fall.

    I purchased this figure from eBay at a reasonable price of $11.99 (this included the Vintage Collection 2010: 4-LOM figure).  If you don't want to pay full-price for a packaged figure, just purchase them online via any one of those eBay sellers located in China.  Most likely, these figures are legit, because that's where all the Star Wars figures are produced.  Just becareful when you go shopping for these goods, because sometimes these sellers charge a bit more than buying them locally.  However, if you don't have the patience, then by all means, go ahead.  If you do want to purchase these locally, then your best bet would be to go to your local Toysrus or Walmart.  While online retailers (like BigBadToyStore) aren't so bad, they tend to place premium prices on figures they think will sell fast.


    Generally speaking, the price of figures have gone way up.  Last I heard, the 2010 "vintage-styled" Star Wars figures will have a price tag of $7.99 which is quite expensive for something scaled so small.  However, judging from the level of detail work done on this particular figure, the $7.99 doesn't seem too unreasonable.  However, unlike the previously released "vintage-styled" figures, the upcoming ones will no longer come sealed in clamshell packaging.  It's not too much of a big deal, but for collectors who want everything in mint condition, they will have to be extra careful when purchasing these figures.  I had promised myself not to purchase anymore Star Wars figures, but with these babies out, this may be one promise I will have to compromise on.

    Score (out of five):

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom Figure Review

    Images of The Temple of Doom action figure line were released during the San Diego Comic Con 2008, which created quite a stir in the action figure community.  Without a doubt, everyone wanted two or more of each.  Unfortunately, I missed out on these when they were finally released months after Comic Con (I blame work and my forgetfulness; both an equally lethal combination, especially when it comes to collecting).  It took about several months before I (gave in) and paid an inflated price for the entire Wave 4 (Temple of Doom) line.  All I can say is that it's a real shame that it took three waves of the Indiana Jones action figure line for the level of sculpt to reach new and amazing heights. 

    Flavor Text:

    "Fleeing the Temple of Doom with an army of Thuggee hot on his heels, Indy is suddenly cornered on the treacherous edge of a ravine.  As the trained, red-turbaned fighters advance on him, he reaches for his pistol, only to find it has disappeared during his frantic flight.  All he has left to use against Mola Ram's fanatic army is the sword in his hand.  He backs out onto the ancient rope bridge over the ravine, preparing for the fight of his life."

    The Good:
    • Indy has 13 points of articulation: ball-jointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel [left ]wrist, swivel waist, swivel hips, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles.
    • Indy comes with only 4 accessories: 1x coiled bullwhip, 1x sword, 1x satchel; and 1x "hidden" [Easter Island statue] relic (and sticker of said relic).
    • I thought the facial sculpt of the Indiana Jones (King of the Crystal Skull) figure was amazing, but this Indiana (Temple of Doom) figure is just spectacular.  I'm not sure if it was intentional but Indy's face expresses some concern about something, instead of the typical "neutral" face.
    • It's really nice to see that Indy's joints are surprisingly tight, despite all the bending and twisting I've put him through for action poses.
    • I just can't stop adoring the sculpt on this figure.  Everything about is just amazing!  The tattered "open" shirt reveals Harrison Ford's slight muscular build.  His right arm is also sculpted to show his muscular arm (it even has a vein sculpt!).
    • The sculpted-on lashes (found on his back) that Indy has endured during his time in the Temple of Doom is a really nice touch (definite plus for paying attention to this type of detail).
    • What was an especially nice surprise is that Indy's satchel can be opened to reveal [two] Sankara Stones.  The sculpted details (on the outside) of the slightly "bulging" satchel is also a nice touch.
    • Although there are a few spots where dried paint "chips" fall out (mainly because they're on the joints), overall, the paint application is well done.
    • What really impressed me was how and where the paint was applied: take for instance, the tattered edges of Indy's shirt.  Upon closer examination, one can see the paint application is expertly applied to give off the impression that that part of Indy's shirt is drenched in sweat.

    The Bad:
    • The major drawback is that Indy can't hold onto his sword accessory.  The sword handle should've been a bit thicker to accommodate Indy's slightly large pre-posed "open-grip" right-hand.

    • On the inside of Indy's right-hand, you'll notice that the bandage has mysteriously "disappeared."  It's possible that Indy could've had a better grip on the sword were the sculpted-on bandage continue to wrap around his hand.

    • Indy's sword accessory a bit on the thin side (both the blade and handle).  However, it's plagued with another problem: the blade's tendency to curve to one side.
    • In terms of movie-accuracy, I'm pretty sure Indy had more than two Sankara Stones in his satchel before his final fight with Mola Ram.  During his fight with Mola over the ravine, most of the Sankara Stones fell out.  This leaves me wondering why Hasbro sculptors decided on having two Sankara Stones in Indy's satchel.

    The Ugly:

    • At a brief glance, one can already tell the level and quality of the sculpting on this figure is far superior than its predecessors.  I wonder why it took so long for Hasbro to come out with these sculpted figures of this particular caliber?  There are just too many questions regarding how Hasbro handled the quality and distribution of the Indiana Jones action figure line.
    • If there's anything ugly, it's the packaging: (1) The design looks as if to appeal to a much younger age group (and probably is, otherwise there would be no guarantee this line would make that much money to justify continuing production of Indiana Jones figures) and (2) The amount of effort to remove the figure is a bit excessive.  Do you know how many pieces of tape and plastic I had to get through just to get the figure out?  That's far too many.
    • Although I can understand how some may view the inclusion of "hidden relics" as a neat idea, but it seems rather.... childish.  I wish Hasbro would stop including such things and instead use those materials to further improve their figures rather than worry about including something "extra" (aka unnecessary).

    Additional Notes:
    • Just a few gripes: (1) I really wish Indy came with an alternative "hat-less" head; and (2) It would've been really nice to include at least one removable Sankara Stone that could be placed within Indy's satchel.
    • Unfortunately, this line has been long DEAD.  To make things harder, this particular (TOD) line was VERY popular and HIGH in demand due to both the small supply and amazingly sculpted details of these figures.  You will have a far harder time tracking these figures down and getting them at any reasonable price.

    This figure was purchased as a "Temple of Doom" set online via eBay at an inflated price of $86.89 (includes S&H charges).  From what I've just seen, your best bet is to shop for it on eBay.  However, if you'd rather get is from somewhere within the U.S., I reluctantly recommend Brians Toys because they always sell their action figures at highly inflated prices even when the figures are available at other retail stores.  Because this figure was released sometime in 2008, they're no longer available at BigBadToyStore or at Entertainment Earth.


    After careful browsing of the Internet and other toy sites, I settled on purchasing this particular Indiana Jones figure as well as others.  Despite the negatives I've listed above, overall, I think this figure is well-balanced and [fairly] indicative of what to expect from the rest of the Indiana Jones action figure line.

    Score (out of five):