cloverfield

Cloverfield monster by Hasbro Direct Sales

More images on our Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ragingnerdgasm/sets/72157629899207392/with/7271129160/ .

Cloverfield, released back in January of 2008, was a shitty sci-fi monster movie that could have been so much better. Shot al’a Blair Witch style, a group of friends are present to witness first hand (with their handy-cam) the destruction of New York by an beast of unknown origins. Shakey cam movies belong in the trash, they are a nauseating display of what can be done when you barely have enough money to distribute the film let alone produce it. Anyways, the film follows this group of friends as their farewell party for their buddy gets rudely interrupted by a disembodied head of the Statue of Liberty. Lots of mayhem ensues, people die, billions of dollars in property damage is done and the United States government decides to nuke New York four years prior to the Avengers movie. Outside of the shakey cam I was OK with most of the movie up to the point of nuking New York, I’m fairly sure there’s rules against dropping nukes on US soil. The movie had the potential to be great with a great director, SFX company and production company on board with a heck of a monster design. Why they went in the direction they did will forever be a mystery to me.

2008 was a strange year for me personally. I abruptly ended a job that I had been working for over a decade, spent a good portion of the year unemployed, lost some friends, broke up with a long term girlfriend, made new friends and sold off a portion of my collection to get by. I know plenty of people who sell part of their collection when times are tough but when I look at having to part with things I like, I look at it as maybe a good time to simplify my life and just sell off everything outside of a few key pieces. That summer I blew through about half of my collection by setting up at shows. I made good money and paid bills that would have gone unpaid but the feeling of being responsible didn’t help the fact that I lost some cool things in the process. Things can be replaced and this is how that story goes.

(more pictures of this and more toys on our Flickr account)

I had earlier in 2008 ordered the Cloverfield monster from Hasbro’s online shop. This was rare for me because #1) it was expensive #2) I didn’t even like the movie that much #3) it was a pre-order. I rare;y if never do a pre-order for more than $30, there’s something about someone having control of over $100 of my money without any warning whatsoever. Anyways, in between all my personal tragedies, this behemoth shows up at my front door and suddenly my bank account is damn near empty. I had totally forgotten about the $150 pre-order and I spent a good eight hours just furious with myself and wondering how I could quickly put the money back in my account. Luckily, I guess they just barely produced enough to cover pre-orders and demand was high enough I cleared a decent profit a month later. I felt bad letting go of it, especially seeing other people review the toy online but you can’t pay your rent or electric with a toy.

Several years later I got the chance to replace my dearly departed Cloverfield monster. Not only did I get to replace my Cloverfield but I got it at a cheaper price than I had paid three years earlier. This is one strange monster, I mean for a movie I can’t stand it’s a beautiful piece for anyone who enjoys giant city-stomping monster movies. It’s seriously massive, near 15 inches tall and very wide with a huge arm span. It’s very unique in design, while writing this I tried to look for artist renderings of the creature to see what source material they used since the movie is very vague as to the dimensions. The sculpt is very dynamic and they thought enough ahead of time to include an exchangeable head; one calm and another one enraged and caught in the middle of a roar. The articulation is plentiful but it’s the first generation of ratcheting joints so there is sometimes a little bit of slippage after you get the desired pose.

There’s only really two downsides to the figure. One is the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty. I know it’s more than likely a cost cutting measure but it’s so small that it really throws the scale of the figure way off, and obscures it even more from the movie. The head of the statue in relation to the hand of the monster literally makes this monster big enough to have swallowed 30 of them with room to spare. The other thing is the nondescript lice that comes with the calm head. It was an interesting trick giving the head a trap door to put the few lice they give you in there but it lacks a way to deploy them without decapitating the monster. I know it’s not a kid’s toy but I’m playing with it and I find this to be a serious flaw and I don’t like it. All in all, it’s a great display piece that hasn’t lost any value since I bought it. It’s still a highly desirable piece that doesn’t show up that often in auctions.

       

via Blogger http://ragingnerdgasm.blogspot.com/2014/01/cloverfield-monster-by-hasbro-direct.html

Thrashor figure from 8-Bit Zombie

At the end of July, well known 80s nostalgia website 8-Bit Zombie debuted their Summer releases. Those not familiar with 8-Bit Zombie should really go check them out; the site is full of original artwork plastered on all kinds of merchandise from t-shirts to stickers and hats and posters. Think of it and they’ve probably made a joke on it; Nintendo, cartoons like Thundercats, GI Joe and He-Man, kitschy cult movies and TV shows. They even parodied Garbage Pail Kids, which is something like a parody within a parody inception bullshit that makes my head hurt just trying to figure out that equation. Anyways, the guys at 8-Bit Zombie have always been have always been on my watch list since they were mentioned on x-entertainment about a year ago. Since then the artwork done by the guys has had my full attention, this is the kind of thing I can get in deep with because I love all the stupid stuff from the 80s with a strange passion. It’s somewhere between love-hate and snuggle fuck if I had to verbalize my infatuation with that era.

 

 

Since following them on the social media feeds, I found out they were making a limited edition action figure. With everything else I loved about their site I knew I’d have to buy one when the first pictures showed up. Thrashor, based on their t-shirt design from the previous summer had been realised as a legit fully sculpted figure. What’s Thrashor? Thrashor is a He-Man-esque knock off designed in true 8-Bit Zombie fashion. Snapback hat, blue jeans vest, high tops with mid calf socks, Nintendo Power Glove on the right hand complete with He-Man pageboy hairstyle encompassing his zombie facial features and Masters of the Universe loincloth this toy was sure to be a big hit in my mind. I know I got up an hour before it was scheduled to drop and I hadn’t done this in years, I don’t get up early for internet exclusives but I had set my mind on getting this toy come hell or high water.

I refreshed the page till he popped up and in retrospect I feel like I should have bought a second one because it’s so rad. I must have been there at the right time, the first run is limited to 50 pieces and mine is number 4 of 50 (my buddy one county north of me got number 5) and when it arrived I felt like a kid, no joke. I hadn’t anticipated the arrival of a new toy like this in forever, the box was stamped all over with previous designs from 8-Bit Zombie, images like My Pet Monster and Madballs with the Power Glove and Ruppies from Legend of Zelda. Inside Thrashor lay inside of a poly-bag filled with stickers and a sharp looking logo card. Under Thrashor was another little baggie with a handful of more stickers, 80s trading cards, 3 8-Bit Zombie buttons and a red Buffalo Man from M.U.S.C.L.E. Thrashor wasn’t going to last long being mint in package, toys were meant to be opened and opening is exactly what was going to fucking happen.

 

Freed from his baggie, Thrashor stands 5 inches tall and from what I can tell is made in two parts and joined at the waist. He’s a very pleasing color, a sickly putrid slime green that you would see on an early Nickelodeon game show before they started to suck. There’s no articulation but if you’re a crafty motherfucker you can find places to separate the figure and make him move with a little ingenuity. He comes with a scaled skateboard in the same awesome green color with a really bad ass looking 8-bit Skeletor skull and crossbones motif. The sculpt is just this side of totally amazing and the price was 100% right. Thrashor retails for around $50 which is a steal for an art toy like this, most art toys start at $90 and get progressively more expensive. I always been at those crossroads when getting into designer toys, I love some of these great designs from artist I admire but I can’t possibly afford to toy hunt for vintage toys and buy their stuff too. I think it’s just great because we have aspirations of creating our own toy and it proves they can be made affordable enough that everyone has a chance at them.

 

 

 more pictures here from your friends at Raging Nerdgasm   <—-click that!

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My irrational love for the Presidential Monsters figures- another Raging Nerdgasm moment

(Just a friendly reminder of where you are)

It wasn’t too long ago when I showed off the set of Presidential Monster figures I ordered just before I broke my shoulder earlier this year. Since then, they have quickly become one of my more favorite possessions as of late. Which is saying a lot to be honest because I don’t normally dig newer toys. I think  part of the fact they stuck with me so much is because they are a specialty item only available through limited markets. With secondary market prices on the rise and a piece I read on strangekidsclub.com , the desire for a set of these figures became a dire need and superseded just about everything I was actively hunting down at that very moment. Through a course of fortunate events, mostly because eBay prices were creeping out of my price range, I met a man who led me to his website where he sold complete sets for retail prices. He also happened to be the proprietor of Heroes in Action , the main website for the Presidential Monsters line.

(man, just watching this makes my shoulder hurt again)

To be honest, there is plenty of reasons why this line really struck a cord with me. Mainly I was stuck at home for the better part of a month in a brace and unable to reach my collection and these were the only things I could see on a regular basis without bugging my wife. When I feel bad, I like to surround myself with things that make me happy as I’m sure a few readers do too. I bought them at first for the novelty and figured eventually I’d probably flip them for a decent return since the value of a complete set was constantly on the rise. But getting to sit and study them for a lengthy amount of time, I grew to really appreciate the detail behind each figure. From the patterns on the cloth used for each figure to the scales, fur and rotting skin sculpted on the faces and hands; these were something of an unsung masterpiece in the toy world. Why doesn’t anyone sing the praises of these marvelous toys?

(I guess there was no need for this photo but I like it anyways)

The first set, some still available here, was comprised of 7 Mego-style figures on colorful, character specific cards complete with original artwork. I’m a really appreciative fan when it comes to packaging featuring character specific artwork, it’s the small details that can make me love or hate a series of figures. Not because I’m an asshole (because I am, let’s not forget that fact) but I think a figure should be just as eye catching in the package as it is out of it.

Zom-Bush (George W. Bush)

Everyone’s favorite former head of state parodied for the sometimes dead look on his face during press conferences. The torn and tattered clothing along with the really awesome undead paint scheme really drive it home to be one of my favorites from the line. They were even so nice as to pack in a single sheet Zom-Bush poster which was promptly hung up in our room shortly after receiving our set. I wonder if Bush got one of these or was even aware of it? Next time I know he’s coming to my town I’ll get him to autograph mine, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

The Ronmy (Ronald Regan)

This was one that I wasn’t sold on when I was buying the set. To be honest, I was gauging whether it was worth just buying the ones I want or buying the set outright and parting out the figures I didn’t want. To get the 4 I wanted cost the same amount as it would have to bought the whole set and I’m a sucker for getting more toys for my money. All in all, Ronmy was actually a decent figure. I love the fact they used the classic Mad Monster pajama like bodysuit to pull off the mummy bandaging effect. It makes for a really nice throwback to the classic figure lines that inspired this set.

Wolf Bill (Bill Clinton)

Here’s one I was considering not buying in the first place. I’ve never been much of a Wolf man fan unless it was Lon Chaney. I’m more of a Dracula and Frankenstein fan that and I get the joke they were making but I guess I was hoping for more of a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde sex fiend. I guess I’d go more high brow or maybe I just make jokes no one gets (I’m fairly sure it’s the latter). But, so far there’s a theme with these lat 3 figures I’ve touched base on, none of them have shoes. I do like the sculpting of the fur and how they captured the mid transformation wolf and man hybrid, making him hairy enough for people to get the reference but human enough to recognize hound dog Bill Clinton.

Phantom of the White House (John F. Kennedy)

Our first figure with shoes! Here’s another one I was really sold on till I got it in hand. That’s the problem with online exclusives, I’ve not bought pieces from sets and then seriously regretted it at a toy show when I get it in hand and really get to admire it. Where this figure impresses is the outfit; cape, vest, shoes and pants are really great quality. Also, the sculpt is a dead ringer for JFK without obscuring it for the Phantom joke they were going with. They did give him a tan / peach colored (I’m bad with describing colors) demon mask. I was kind of hoping they would go for something closer to the Red Death mask from Phantom of the Opera but I’m not too disappointed.

Monster from Watergate Lagoon (Richard Nixon)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Gillman, Swamp Monster, Fish Man; no matter what you call him he’s probably my favorite of all the classic monsters. Richard Nixon, Dick Nix, Tricky Dicky; no matter what you call him he’s probably my 3rd favorite president. Two great tastes that taste great together ( that sounded better in my head than it does in print but I’m going to go with it). I really like the head sculpt on this, the bloated gill man head with the predominant nose sells the toy for me. The added touches of webbed hands (molded into the iconic “I am not a crook” victory signs) and feet make this figure one of my top 4 favorite figures from the line.

Baracula (Barack H. Obama)

There is no denying how cool and funny this figure is. Love the man or hate the man, they captured the current Commander and Chief’s likeness and gave you probably the best costume of the line. I’m not sure is the current president can take a joke or not but I’d love to show him this figure if I had a chance. This figure does go for more as a single figure outside of a complete set and most places won’t sell you a Baracula unless you buy the other 6 figures. Truly one of the crowning achievements of the line and I suggest if you buy one figure from this series to seek him out.

Lincolnstein (Abraham Lincoln)

In this series, Lincolnstein and Baracula are just about neck-and-neck my favorites from the line. What an awesome figure. Great costuming complete with top hat and the sculpting is by far the best of the line. Little details like stitches and neckbolts are not neglected, overall the entire run hasn’t skipped on detail and value. Yet again, this is another figure most sellers won’t let you have outside of a complete set so he is another, at least in my opinion, got to have figure.

My only gripe with the series, and I hope the powers that be at Heroes in Action are listening (well, reading), is that to enjoy the figure outside the package you have to destroy the packaging I admire so much. I love what Gentle Giant Toys did with the Jumbo Vintage Star Wars figures and I think more companies should follow suit. Make the package into a semi-clamshell that can be carefully disassembled to display the figure whenever the consumer wishes while also give the owner the ability to put it back in the package and hang it on a wall with ease. Either way I really like the line overall, more so than I ever thought I would. For anyone who thought these figures are as cool as I think they are, they are available in  limited quantities through Heroes in Action, famous online retailers and eBay. I suggest you act quickly, another round of Presidential Monster mash ups are heading to online retailers sometime this year with more amazing concepts as Van Palin: the vampire hunter, Romney the Robot, Teddy the Yeti, Martian Van Buren and Jacksferatu.

(Martian Van Buren)

 

(I really want to know what’s up with the Yeti variant)

 

(I really like this on many levels)

via Blogger http://ragingnerdgasm.blogspot.com/2013/06/my-irrational-love-for-presidential.html

Hordak-Gate: Matty Collector’s biggest scandal so far

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Earlier this week, MattyCollector.com released a figure to the general public that no one in their inner circle even hinted at. The Spirit of Hordak figure has to be, by far, Mattel’s greatest faux pas since the line started just a few years ago. This figure was never formally announced by Mattcollector.com, Toyguru Scott Neitlich (who I think is an incompetent tool who has the charisma of a urinal cake) or any of what Mattel consider’s their inner circle of compensated reviewers (you know who the guilty parties are) . In their defense, Mattel says they hinted the vintage white Horde crossbow on their site for days. But never alluding to the fans, and even worse the subscription holders, that indeed a figure was to be released officially for sale on their website nearly a full 10 days before their next “release date”. I know people have been asking where Raging Nerdgasm stands in the midst of Hordak-Gate, I plan to tell you where we stand within the next paragraph.

(Cherry flavored Hordak)

Firstly, I told you all so. I told you that Mattel was going to screw the fans just as good or even more than years prior. Why? Because the fans hadn’t made a stand against the powers that be. I know that it’s hard when Mattel holds the fate of your collection in their decisive hands but sometimes you have to be strong and make an example. After the plights suffered during 2011’s subscription year, I decided that Raging Nerdgasm wasn’t renewing their contract for 2012 or any lines to come after that. Between backwards or wrong legs on Swiftwind, mailing single figures in envelopes that were padded with what amounted to the consistency of soggy Cherrios, overlooked paint applications and numerous other faults to many to mention in a quick blog; I had made my intentions well known that $20+ figures should be coming out this bad. Marvel Select and Diamond Select figures cost the same and come out flawless, best of all you don’t need a useless subscription to get them all. Don’t even let me bring up the disappointment that is “cottage” Greyskull. It’s small and those who pre-ordered feel cheated as hell. And don’t let this article be misunderstood, the work of the sculpting team behind the line is superb and not buying the line does hurt me because I’ve always admired the work of the 4 Horsemen studios. I just have to get my fix of their work through their direct sales from their personal website. I just refuse to support a Mattel line when they treat their fans so poorly.

(To some, it’s just a shitty repaint. To completists, this is the bane of their existence.)

Some have claimed that Mattel’s actions with the Spirit of Hordak constitute a breach of contract with the subscription. Normally, I’d be behind you rebel rousers but, it does state in your agreement that Mattel reserves the right to change anything they wish whenever they choose (maybe not in those specific words but trust me, I’ve got 3 semesters of business law under my belt.). Not the exalted Toyguru himself nor any of Mattel’s other toadies have stepped forward during this moment of fans screaming out for blood. If you noticed already, other sites out there haven’t issued a statement siding with Mattel or the fans. But, Raging Nerdgasm is willing to take a side. We stand on the side of the fans shafted in this heinous moment of fuckery. But what can you do? You can’t cancel your subscription, right?

(Exhibit A: The scene of the crime)

You can cancel your credit/debit cards filed with MattyCollector.com, you just need to go through the respective banks. You won’t get the rest of the year’s offerings but if you’re mad enough to quit, it’s a good way to bow out. If you are addicted, and I know that feeling, but still feel butthurt you can post on the MattyCollector.com forums about how angry you are and how you won’t let this insult go unanswered. Let your anger be known across the internet; maybe they’ll re-release the toy, maybe they’ll make amends with the fans by the year’s end or maybe when it comes time to throw down on 2014’s subscription you can opt out and claim a lack in confidence in both Mattel and their paid spokespersons.

an added bonus, from Vikor on the MattyCollector,com forum before it was deleted it seems

===UPDATE on Spirit Of Hordak Random Release===

TG address the Spirit of Horak issue……………………….

Vikor wrote on the Matty Forum:

Toyguru,

This is what subscribers were promised:

quote:

Early Access to Non-Subscription Products: In 2013, all Club subscribers get early access to all non-subscription products, regardless of brand! That means you’ll have the chance to purchase hot items not available through subscriptions before non-subscribers, like 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises 8” Batman™ figure and the Ghostbusters™ PKE Meter prop replica. Availability is first-come, first-served, so if products sell out to subscribers during the early access period, that’s it – no additional product will be made available to non-subscribers at that time. 


Your Spirit of Hordak stunt has clearly violated the terms of the contract that was entered into when we purchased subscriptions. There was no clause saying Mattel reserved the right to sell “surprise” items to anyone prior to and outside of Early Access.

I think you should get in touch with your legal department, because you’ve just shot yourself in the foot. People are extremely angry about this and while scalpers are exploiting multiple fans on eBay, you remain silent. How utterly irresponsible. I am inclined to cancel my subscription at this point citing breach of contract, and I know I’m not alone. I suggest you make Spirit of Hordak available IMMEDIATELY to all subscription holders via Early Access as was promised. In the meantime I will be lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Vikor, May 09, 2013 09:50 AM



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