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LIST OF INTERVIEWS

Monday, June 26, 2017

HULK, HULK BUST AND HULKBUSTER

The figures I am more interested about are related to Hulk. Unfortunately I believe only one will be affordable to me so I will begin with this one. I just happen to love the Hulk from SS Avengers Assemble line. It’s true that the head sculpt could be better but all the rest is top notch, the dynamic pose, the proportions, the anatomy, everything is quite perfect in this Hulk, well balanced and full of movement. I guess the price will be affordable as will not pass the $500 threshold, after all is a 1/5 figure. To be honest it should be the same price as Thor ($450 max) because is a much simpler piece to produce even though is bigger. It would be the perfect Hulk for me if the head sculpt was done right. Let’s wait and see. I don’t believe they will change the head sculpt so far along in the development process but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.




Going to the realms of dreams now there’s XM Hulkbuster. It’s not really Hulk but boy it’s really a stunning piece. And must be gigantic since there’s an 1/4 (I believe) Iron Man going out of it. Ingenuous design and right now already candidate for statue of the year. The model is extremely detailed and is supposed to have an alternate display with the armor all closed (though I’m not certain about this). Think about an ambitious project. The only pieces that could beat this one are the X-Men and JLA maquettes promised by XM, which I don’t know if are still in development or proved to be a too audacious undertaking. Which I believe they are, the cost would be astronomical and few would have place to display such gargantuan pieces even if the proportion is 1/6. And there were people wanting these pieces to be 1/4 mind you. But back to Hulkbuster. I just love the idea even more with its alternate closed display if proven to be true. But it ain’t come cheap either, as none of XM pieces are to US residents due to all importing hurdle and deal with flippers and all the process of acquiring XM Studios pieces require. I have a sister that lives in Germany, I don’t know if things are better that side of Atlantic. I would like hear about that from the readers. I’m sure hyped by this new XM marvel and if I have to choose one piece from XM to have that would be it. Unfortunately, I cannot see it coming for less than 1k sans shipping and fees. So, in fact, I will contempt myself in seeing pics of it from the lucky fellas who bought it posted on the Facebook groups. But would still like to know if it easier to get XM pieces overseas in Europe nevertheless.






Last but not least, the one I am most hyped about, even though I don’t like the format, is Hulk life-size bust from SS. I thought the sculpture, which I believe was handmade, not digital, so full of personality, so expressive that it became I must have for me. If it comes for around $700. It’s all I’m willing to pay. I know I said I have given up collecting with Malavestros, but I think I would cancel it if the Hulk bust come for a friendly price. It’s sure a huge piece but it’s not a very complex one to produce. So, I’m eagerly waiting for the full reveal to make plans according. I also need to know when it will launch and when flex payment begins. To not overlap with my other order, Killer Croc. I guess I’m just dreaming here too if Thanos came for 1,2 k I believe Hulk bust will come for around this price which is more than too much for me. Not to mention the shipping cost.




I was astonished as how many members of the groups disliked the sculpt, wanted something more traditional, less creative and expressive than the piece is. In this I’m against the trend because I found it to be a perfect rendition of Hulk. Hope this general dislike motivates Sideshow to lower the price in an attempt to grab consumers. So here too I got my fingers crossed even more harder than with Hulkbuster because I believe I’ll never own that piece due to the price and hardships to get one and because if I have to choose one of the two I would go with the bust. And that would be definitely the last piece I would buy. Since I don’t have place in my room to display anything else. I was counting and I have about 15 to 17 1/4 and 1/5 statues not to mention countless smaller figures from Black & White Batmans to Evangelion girls (lots of them) and a bit of everything in between. And my room is not big. I will have to make a reform in order to make them all fit. I live in Brazil in an apartment, so, there’s no basement to make a man cave (even though I know girls also collect statues) and the only place I have to display them is in my room, the other rooms are occupied by other family members. My brother lives in the US and every piece I buy I send to his house, so to avoid the ludicrous taxes from importing them directly to Brazil. Every now and then when we go there or they come here, we bring one or two statues to me but I still have more statues in States than here in Brazil which is pretty sad and pretty lame, I know. However, to finish this post I have to mention that from my favorite heroes the only one I don’t have any statue is The Incredible Hulk. And I’m definitely wanting to fill this gap with the bust. I just don’t know where I will put my printer since the only place I can imagine Hulk to be is where it is. Lol. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

IS THE MARKET FIGURES GETTING COLDER?

Maybe it’s the time of the year but things seem very slow on the collectible figures market right now. There’s no big news, nothing that grabbed my attention in the last couple of months. Maybe this is a sign that the market is overpopulated with new figures and stocks are full of unsold statues, I don’t know what exactly it is but I feel the market is a bit stale. Maybe they’re waiting for the next big event, maybe our hobby got overwhelmed with so many launches from the ever increasing number of players and companies decided to take a brake, slow things a little bit so they can empty what’s already stocked. My impression is that 2017 is being a much less exciting year than 2016 was. Maybe the boom of the market finally show it’s signs along the industry. What figures are you excited for? What new announcements are making you drool? On my side, apart Malavestros and She-Ra, there’s really nothing exciting on the horizon. I can’t wait so see She-Ra revealed – if ever – so I can decide which figure will be my swan song on collecting, her or Malavestros. Oh and there’s Thanos on Throne, the last big thing that made some waves on an otherwise very quiet pool. In all fronts, everything looks a bit slow, maybe too slow. Does anyone know something about the gigantic dioramas XM was preparing for X-Men and Justice League? Never heard a thing about them anymore. I must admit I’ve been absent from the groups for several months so I’m sure not well informed about the cool things going on right now. I just visit some groups for a couple of minutes and saw nothing new. Not that it concerns me anymore since I’m leaving the collecting bandwagon. But an update from you guys would be a great deal to me. If you can, please name three pieces you can’t wait getting launch. Would you?

Monday, April 10, 2017

THINGS LIKE THANOS PRICE...

Come and get me, jerk.
Things like Thanos on Throne Maquette price and it’s huge acceptance are what make the market come out with these crazy prices. I thought that the market – aside Prime 1 whose new character from the Batman series jumped from 1k to 1,5k (besides other price atrocities like Venom and Anti-Venom) – things had being quite stable for some months. Had. At least at Sideshow front. Now Malavestros costs 600 bucks, a character from an IP Sideshow owns. So no extra IP costs here. It’s a magnificent piece for sure. One of the last pieces almost entirely sculpted by hand (except for the scroll). But man, 600 bucks when months ago we were complaining of Deadpool $699 price tag…

Apart from one last piece to spend my hard-earned reward points (which I thought it could be Malavestros but now I begin to believe will really be the new She-Ra) I’m off the collectible statues bandwagon. It’s too much for me. I think if prices continue to raise this way they will alienate the ones who helped this market flourish at first place. Now it’s becoming a Richie Rich limited club. And Thanos is not a 1/3 statue. It is a big 1/4 statue for sure but still smaller than Prime 1 1/3 offerings. And by the looks of it, it will be almost all hollow as Sideshow’s last set of Hulks. It’s a pretty impressive piece nonetheless. Massive and detailed. I will not deny it. I believe – if Thanos comes detached from the throne (what everyone expects) – it will come in two boxes or on a very, very big one so the shipping costs won’t come cheap too. Be prepared to spend at least $1,300 for it. Still a distance from Prime 1 new Mr Freeze but not that far. Scarily not far. And collectors asks for more of it so the sky is the limit for statue’s prices. Again. And again here I am complaining on the prices of statues. When I remember I bought Captain America Allied Charge on Hydra PF, an astounding piece, for $399 I know how off the prices had gone. They can argue what they want, that manufacturing is becoming increasingly expensive, that the pieces are more detailed due to being computer generated but at the end of the day this industry seems to walk against market rules, where the more the competitors the lower the prices. In collectible figures industry it doesn’t matter the increasing number of competitors the prices keep on rising. Incredible. 

Malavrestros or She-Ra. One of them will be my farewell to this. It seems a plausible assumption to me that in maybe three to five years, if the industry don’t collapse meanwhile, an average 1/4 figure will cost $800 and there will be people still buying them. Wait. There are already 1/4 figures costing more than $800! Unbelievable.


Well, when the plateau reaches this high I’ll be long off and will just watch with a mix of pity, sinful joy and perplexity who are paying for these prices. As many may already be doing the same thing behind our backs right now. Very wise of them. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ABANDONING THE ADDICTION

My last acquisition. Or so I hope.

I thought it would be harder. To stop buying collectible figures. But once the decision was taken it was extremely easy for me to give up. I still have circa $150 in reward points on Sideshow that I intend to spent most probably in the She-Ra they’ll launch. Maybe it was easier than I thought because there hasn’t been any new statue that really grabbed my attention. This certainly helped me a lot. It also helped the fact that I don’t have any more free space to display new statues appropriately. I’ve put “Blackstar” from Bowie on the CD player because this was the album I used to listen when writing for this blog when it was the most important aspect of my life and I used to publish several posts a week. Always to receive heavy criticism from you, fellow collectors. I think the prices rise have come to a halt nowadays, at least at Sideshow side of things, stabilizing around the $500 for the average figures. This is a good thing. But the money I spent last year in figures almost broke me (another reason that pushed me to stop). I realize that, besides the lack of free space, collecting such expensive pieces was above and beyond my financial reality. I’m Brazilian and Economy is not going all too well around here. But even if it was going all fine it would still be unbearable to me to spend so much money on said figures. Want it or not $500 is not small money and can make a huge difference in one’s budget. Let alone if you spend this amount every two months average. Sometimes spending over 1k in one month. I confess I was a bit out of control in the past two years. And realize that collecting is like an addiction and decided that I needed to stop for the reasons aforementioned and because no addiction is good. Am I satisfied with my collection? Of course not. That are several pieces I would like to have and many will come that will get me drooling over them but one needs to know when to draw a line of what is sane and what is sheer insanity. I was insane about figures didn’t measuring the consequences of my urge to have the next cool piece that appeared. I am addicted to other things, heavy stuff, and had to put myself together, utilize a great deal of self-criticism, self-control, discipline and will to stop them. That was not easy at all. By comparison, to quit collecting figures was a piece of cake. Even though I love my collection, I still get myself thinking in the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on the pieces with astonishment. And what boggles me the most is what people will do with this figures when I’m no longer here? Of course my family will not want to keep them nor know the value of said statues or how fragile and delicate they are. So, I don’t know which end they’ll have but most certainly will not be a good one. And if I happen to move to another country, which is a great possibility, how will I take them with me? And where will I display them if I get to live with my brother in the US? There isn’t space to display them in his house and of course will be impossible for me to bring them all with me on a plane. So the statues can become quite a burden to me and my family. I never took all of this in consideration when I bought them. Have you?  In order to solve this I will be obliged to sell them for a price way below the market average since I will have to compensate the shipping costs from Brazil to US lowering the price to make them an attractive sale. But this is the future and problems that concern only to me, it is not the general scenario of the collectors.


Another thing that turned me off collecting is that from now on every statue will be computer generated and not hand sculpted, given scarce exceptions. Even though this means more detailed and fast produced pieces it also steals a great deal of the magic these statues have to me. Even though is the same artist doing his thing on Z Brush, I believe pieces created by hand to have a more artistic and limited flavor. Maybe I’m being a bit conservative here but that’s because I started collecting quite a while ago in mid 90’s. I will not blind myself to the benefits of technology and denial that there’s still artistry in modelling statues digitally but to me it steals part of the “soul” of the statues. The sum of all these factors made me abandon the addiction all the more easily. It was a blast to participate of such a vibrant and passionate community even though my posts were more bashed than praised. That’s not a definitive goodbye, since I’ll still follow the community and the market because I still love statues. But it will be like an alcoholic entering a bar and asking a Coke. I may or may not write a new article here and there but that is not an exciting piece of info to you as I’m aware. Excuse me for my broken English. As I said time and time again, I’m a self-taught English speaker so I don’t know even the basic formal rules. Sorry for that. And happy collecting to you all. :) 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I WILL NOT BASH ANTI-VENOM PRICE



I guess bashing Anti-Venom is what you guys are already doing all over the web. I come here today to comment about the failed attempts from Sideshow of make portraits of actors and actresses. Even though Loki looked promising. It’s infamous to compare the 1/4 renditions of Star Wars female characters Rey and Jyn Erso, with the supreme 1/6 Hot Toys versions. They look like unfinished prototypes when compared with the smaller versions. Stop. I’m being hyperbolic and untrue here. I have to admit that Sideshow Rey bears more resemblance with the actress than the Hot Toy’s version, but the lack of detail in comparison with the smaller version is what strikes me. I don’t know if it is the limitation of resin as raw material that impedes more detail in the molding or is simply that Sideshow don’t go that extra-mile to achieve what is possible in a much smaller figure. Jyn Erso is an absolute failure. When one compares the head sculpt with Hot Toys version is laughable. I don’t know how this statue will ever sell. Strangely, when Sideshow goes with their fictional faces this looks less apparent. I don’t know if it is because we don’t have no one to compare the face with or they just excel on their own creations. Take Captain Marvel, per example, it’s a superb face sculpt, more lifelike than Jyn Erso. Even Dark Phoenix has more personality and a more humane face than Rogue One protagonist. Superman The Man of Steel PF resembles the actor also but also looks too blocky, squared. This blocky face fits to fictional characters but in a market that have Hot Toys as plateau of comparison, Sideshow’s actor-based characters fall short. The last Captain America is another tremendous failure with its cockeye and almost no resemblance to the actor at all. I think the best effort so far is the Heath Ledger Joker but the makeup facilitates things a lot. Anyway, the point of the matter is that Sideshow should not stick its nose in this realm. Or if does, does it right. Joker and Rey are two steps in the right direction but about the rest, they are still miles away of what one expect of a fourth-scale representation of a beloved movie character should be.


And no I wouldn’t pay 860 bucks on Anti-Venom statue. It’s abusive, it’s unjustifiable, it’s just too expensive for what the figure is and the character it represents. Total pass. As Jyn Erso.



Jyn Erso Star Wars Premium Format(TM) Figure



Captain Marvel Marvel Premium Format(TM) Figure



The Joker The Dark Knight DC Comics Premium Format(TM) Figure

Monday, January 9, 2017

IS NOT THAT PRIME 1 IS BAD AT HUMAN PORTRAITS...

… Is only that Hot Toys became masters of it. The all-new Prime 1 rendition to Suicide Squad Harley Quinn bears little resemblance to actress Margot Robbie. I know is not as bad as Sideshow’s tentative of recreating Jyn Erso (that ended up more cutter than the actress imo) that bear almost none resemblance to the real person, but you got to admit that Prime 1 version dimmer is comparison with Hot Toys version. Of course, Prime 1 (as Hot Toys) inserted all the millions of details and tattoos the character carries with ultimate perfection but the face left a lot to be desired. It's difficult to represent beautiful people because they don’t have many distinctive traces. Prime 1 Will Smith is a much more faithful representation because the actor has distinctive traces.



If you go for Prime 1 Harley Quinn by the likeness with the actress then don’t. But if you’re a fan of the movie and want a character perfectly recreated to the minimum detail standing tall in your collection is that what Prime 1 offers you. And the bubble gun face helps a lot in disguising the non-likeness with the actress. One have to admit that there’s no competition in the market to match Hot Toys. The only statue I saw to come close was one from Rocky Balboa and his dog. Once again Stallone has very specific facial traits what turns easier the work to make a figure that resembles him. But this Rocky Balboa excels the norm and almost reach Hot Toys astounding work.

The problem is not Prime 1. They did a pristine job replicating a difficult beautiful face. The problem is that we grow used to Hot Toys pieces and their fidelity to the source material (actors and actresses) that is unmatched to this day. That’s why I don’t put much faith on the new Sideshow Wonder Woman based on BvS. Unless Sideshow was able to hire one of the top sculptors from Hot Toys! Lol.

On a side note, the first bust I’ve ever wanted to buy was this Hulk. It is absolutely breathtaken. Stunning piece of work. Of art. But I already know it’ll going to cost around (or over) 1k (not to mention the expensive shipping of such a heavy piece) so I don’t even get too excited. I think my collection really ends with SS Killer Croc. A much-underestimated figure if you ask me.

I want this so badly...

I think I will give up trying to reach the milestone for the petition pleading that Sideshow’s Payment Plan begins as soon as the pre-order is out diminishing this way the cost of the monthly fees and giving more time for average collectors to be able to acquire their desired figure(s). But I give it another try, since we’re close to the milestone. So, if you think these ideas are interesting, click on the link below and sign the petition. It will only take a minute and can make a huge impact in one’s hobby.




And in case you want to order your Prime 1 Harley Quinn right now, here's the sponsored link:


Harley Quinn DC Comics Statue

Thursday, January 5, 2017

12 DAYS OF SIDESHOW OVERVIEW

Here’s the full list of announcements/launches did by Sideshow on 12 Days of Sideshow:

1 – Thanos on Throne maquette;
2 – Wonder Woman PF (based on movie?);
3 – Pre-order Captain America Avengers Assemble statue;
4 – Alien Warrior statue;
5 – Pre-order Deadpool life-size bust;
6 – K-2S0 PF;
7 – She-Ra statue;
8 – Catwoman Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau statue;
9 – Thor Jane Foster PF;
10 – Gethsemoni Shaper of Flesh PF and Oglavaiel Legendary Scale bust;
11 – Ghost Rider sixth scale figure;
12 – Deathstroke PF.

The first thing to notice on this list is the big number of female characters: five (Wonder Woman, She-Ra, Catwoman Stanley Lau, Thor Jane Foster and Gethsemoni among the 13 pieces shown during the event. I don’t know if we can count K-2S0, Alien Warrior and Oglavaiel as male characters, but if count them out we’ll have the same number of male and female characters what shows that Sideshow is investing hard on the female front.

The other thing that got my attention was the great number of statues (smaller than PF): four (Captain America, She-Ra, Alien Warrior, Catwoman) against 6 PF statues, what maybe shows a new tendency of Sideshow to make more affordable pieces to the average consumer.

The four pieces with most wow/hype potential in my opinion were Thanos on Throne (by far the greatest revelation of the bunch) followed by Deadpool bust and Deathstroke PF and finally Thor Jane Foster.




Thanos on Throne is a sure bet to be a hit regardless the price tag. It may be PF size but it must be big to really grab collector’s attention. For the little the rendering reveals one can perceive that Thanos is not on a straight pose, leaning his head to the right, what is a breath of fresh air regarding figures on thrones that are always seating straight looking up front. Figures on thrones are an enduring trend I really don’t get, but collectors seem to love.



Deadpool life-size bust is a fun very well done sculpt. One can almost see the deformed face oddly smiling behind the mask. Pretty cool. Busts aficionados will undoubtedly jump over this one. It may very well be the first bust ever to the collections of many. The price is salty but nowadays is not really that expensive comparing with other pieces out now.



Deathstroke PF was a bold move from Sideshow since the Prime 1 version was so acclaimed by the public and sold a lot. Nevertheless is a great addition to Sideshow’s Batman series and brings a more realistic and yet more close to the comic books version of the character. Great piece altogether, as far as the picture reveals it. Hope it to be in a more dynamic pose than Prime 1 museum-posture 1/3 figure. Curious to know the price tag of this one. Hope it don’t hit the $ 700 range that is slowly being established as the norm price for 1/4 figures now.




Thor Jodie Foster PF is a beautiful new addition to the expanding hall of great female statues Sideshow is putting out (Dark Phoenix, Captain Marvel, Red Sonja, Black Canary). A couple of years back Sideshow wasn’t that good at female faces but nowadays they’re really nailing it. Jane Foster is another proof of that. And I loved the detailed armor. It can be a kind of heretic character for diehard Thor fans but the statue is turning out very nicely besides that.



Another that shows promise is She-Ra. Even though we get to see only the silhouette of the figure, the traces are very pretty. I am sure she will turn out another beautiful addition to female host of Sideshow. I am planning not to buy any new figures this year but must confess that She-Ra got me tempted. I hope she doesn’t end up so well as I expect her to so I can stick to my plan! Lol.



Catwoman Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau didn’t make the cut to me. It looked more like a toy than with a statue. The plastic glasses/mask (or whatever material it is) really broke all the magic of the piece. Besides that, all Artgerm female portraits seems to have the same face. It’s like having a Barbie with different figurines to me. It may be a too harsh comparison but it’s the way it feels to me.  




Wonder Woman PF is a hit or miss figure (with big chances of miss) since it looks like it’s based on the movie character and Sideshow is not good in replicating actors and actresses faces. One that grow used with Hot Toys perfection (or even Prime 1 1/2 WW) will most likely get disappointed with the end result of the head sculpt of this piece. Unless Sideshow outdoes itself in this piece. The armor and sword, on the other hand, looks amazing. Let’s hope for a big good surprise on this one. But I would not grow great expectations.



I don’t know why but the Avengers Assemble line didn’t hit the spot to me so far. I didn’t like Iron-Man and the same goes to Captain America. Maybe the case with Cap is that I believe I have the best statue ever made of him which is Sideshow (something) Against Hydra PF. I don’t like the head sculpt of this one and I don’t like the gigantic pouches on his belt. And it doesn’t seem very detailed either. I don’t know what’s going wrong here, I guess is the art direction Sideshow is giving to the characters because the Masters of Universe, albeit also 1/5, are as detailed – if not more – as any PF figure. What is not the case with Avengers Assemble line. But I didn’t loose the faith yet. Hulk seems to be very cool and Thor seems not bad either. Maybe it was just a rough start. Well, anyway, Captain America didn’t capture my attention.



In the Court of the Dead department, they will launch their most humane character yet in the shape of Gethsemoni. They showed only a concept art of her that resembles me of Shard. But I’m not into Court of the Dead (only character I would consider investing would be Malavestros) so I’m biased to talk. I’m sure she will please the fans.



I loved the bust of Oglaviel. Even though it is a piece that doesn’t match my collection, everything on it is fantastic with or without the jaw. Loved the head and the base. Only thing I didn’t like was the black cane in between them. I found a very poor simplistic solution given the level of detail of the rest of the piece.




One can’t go wrong with K-2SO. I believe that Sideshow may even had access to the movie 3D model of it.  But even without the aid of LucasArts or Disney it’s not a difficult sculpture to do especially working with 3D software. So it’s a carbon copy of the funniest and probably the best character of Rogue One.



 One can only do so much when the subject is Alien. Let’s hope the pose brings something new to the table, otherwise it will be difficult for this figure – that it’s not even a PF – to stand out from the several earlier iterations of the iconic creature.



Finally the little one, sixth scale Ghost Rider. It seemed a little bald to me, if you know what I mean, but it attends to the demand of the fans who wished the fire to be made of translucent material. It’s not the most impressive figure I’ve ever saw and of course it pales in comparison with XM’s statue. I really wonder who is the public for this piece and can imagine no one. It’s like they needed to do a sixth scale figure for their line and came up with this.


Well this was the overview of the 12 Days of Sideshow. Once again I beg to you sign the petition below asking payment plans to begin with the pre-order, lowering this way the monthly fees (because the value will be divided in more months) and giving more flexibility to us. Click the link below. It only takes a minute. And can make a great difference to all of us collectors.




Deadpool Marvel Life-Size Bust


Captain America Marvel Statue