Sunday, 28 March 2010

Project BM! ~ 1/6th Kaneda Bike (Bandai Soul of Popynica x Medicom)

...braving strong winds and rains to collect Kaneda's red bike at BTS. After months of anticipation and drooling over pics released on online forums and selected toy blogs, the iconic red bike as ridden by Shotaro Kaneda (金田 正太郎) in the classic, ground breaking 1988 anime movie AKIRA (アキラ) has arrived on this part of the world, courtesy of xl-shop. Produced by Bandai and Medicom, with collaboration from AKIRA creator and director, Katsuhiro Otomo (大友克洋) to ensure accuracy, this nearly 20 inches/50cm long die-cast bike is one of the best replica in recent memory (previously, the "best" version, in my humble opinion, would be another Bandai production equally under its Soul Of Popynica banner, released in 1998 but in 1/12th scale, also in die cast). The nameless red bike (rumoured to be a Honda) comes with removable ABS panels (for those who prefers the naked bike look), which are attached onto the bike via magnetised points, and features light up functions in both front and rear wheels (to capture the twin ceramic coil discharges), left and right signal lights, tail lights, head light (reminiscence of HID light), and the onboard computer central console panel (which features digital speedometer etc.). There are rubberised front and rear tyres, feet rest panel and seat, as well as if the right side accelerator pedal is pressed, the bike will play the sounds of the engine "ignition" and "travelling". Press the left brake pedal, the sounds of "bike sreetching to a halt" will comes about. In the movie, the bike's unique sound is produced by splicing together the sound of a Harley and a jetplane. Accordingly, the first batch release comes with additional set of panels and stickers for customisation, based on the cover of the DVD. I wonder if Joker's (leader of the rival bike gang, The Clowns, not THE Joker of Batman) bike would be released (now, that's a menacing bike, incidentally looks like a modded HD Fat Boy)...then it would be fun to have them play "chicken" as in the movie, along the highways of my mind. Curiously, the bike spec on the box ommitted "equipments" and "statistic" sections as printed on the 1/12th version box earlier. Perhaps comparatively, current speed-iest production bikes (such as the Hayabusa i.e. hyper sport bike category) average century sprint average at about 3 secs (!) with max speed (limited) at 300km/hr which compared to Kaneda's bike at a ~yawn~ 8.7 secs, max speed 248 km/hr (which is still fast). But darn, it comes with an eye watering 12,000 rpm on each of the dual drive wheels. Anyhoo, I think I am not "qualified" to truely comment, as all my life, the fastest vehicle I got into (apart from a Boeing taking off on the runway) usually comes with a 12 sec century sprint and max speed 180km/hr (if I risk destroying the engine.....). And at least Kaneda's bike runs on clean energy (which curiously, in the manga, the bike is clearly depicted as having a gas/petrol tank). And I read somewhere that Kaneda's bike is possibly a futurist cafe racer instead, thus any comparison might be un-fair.

Here's a re-cap of the bike's official spec :
Overall Length : 2.947mm
Overall Height : 1,171mm (incl. shield)
Overall Width : 831mm
Seat Height : 340mm
Wheelbase : 2,194mm
Ground Clearance : 76mm
Dry Weight : 154kg
Number of Riders : 1
Braking Distance : 9.9m (Initial Speed : 50 km/h)
Minimum Turning Distance : 3.4m
Tire Size : 18 inches (front), 19 inches (rear)
Power Generator : Cold Superconducting Generator
Maximum Power : 83 kw/12,500 rpm
Maximum Voltage : 12,000 V
Steering System : Power Support System
Front Axie Caster Angle : 39°12', Rear Axie Caster Angle : 3°00'
Frame : Ceramic Box Frame, Cowl : FRP and Carbon
Energy Consumption at Rest : 2.3w
Maximum Speed : 243 km/h
Drag Coefficient : CD=0.24
Equipped with ~
Computer Controlled Anti-Lock Brakes
Auto-Navigation System
Forward-Looking Radar
CD Player
Glove Compartment.
Headlamp : 100w Neo Halogen Laser Light (can switch to fog lamp)
Statistics ~
Speed : 0 to 400m : 9.8 sec, 0 to 100 km/h : 8.7 sec
Battery Charger Time : 1MW every 40 sec (can run for two hours at full throttle on fully charged battery

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Chloe!

Running own retail business is fun, particularly in retail sector. But it takes too much of my time. As such, I could not attend Chloe's 3rd birthday. Esther organised a little party at McD for the kids, and a simple, cute cake. I would want a fancy nice cake like the one we got for her on her 1st year old but Esther vetoed it. She took some nice pics, and both precious were havin great times with their cousins.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Hail in Solaris Dutamas ~ Raining Ice...

Finally rains after a period of intense heat wave...with a twist. Right in front of the shop at Solaris Dutamas, a wave of ice dropped on everything along with a furious rain. It's fun to see the boys and girls of the hardware shop beside me running about and snapping pics of the ices. Pity those fancy cars parked in front though...luckily it is not as large as the infamous Sydney ones couple of years back, and not as intense as the one encounter two years ago (?) in Subang. Accordingly, hail encounter in the tropics, though rare, is not unusual. When there is a sudden strong rise of hot air into clouds, particularly the cumulonimbus type, will cause small, irregular lumps of ice known as hail stones to form and fall along with the rains, usually between half mm to an inch in diameter. Thus far, have experienced hailstones personally three times, one in Perth, the Subang one, and now here in Solaris Dutamas. Three is such a lucky number. Should buy 4D. Wonder what is the number for hail stone?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Storm Warriors.

...this movie is about, uh, arhm...I not sure honestly. Watching it is like going through various clips of some Cantopop videos spliced together...lotsa great hunky dory poses by the actors, special effects and heroic psycho babbling one liners...but from the beginning till the end, I am not sure what is actually going on. Having suffered from the handicap of not being able to read nor write any chinese, I have never had any opportunity to follow on the comics. The Storm Warriors or Storm Riders (in its first celluloid incarnation a decade ago) or Wind & Cloud, is nevertheless, an extremely popular (and endless storyline), epic, martial art fantasy story, courtesy of Ma Wing Shung. I remembered back in the Ipoh years, whilst waiting for my turn to get a haircut, I would browse through the stacks of magazines on the bench, usually consist of standard fare like men and women hairstyles and gossip mag. What interests me whilst tolerating the pungent smell of someone perming their hairs, would be Old Master Q, and Wind & Cloud comics. I am really impressed with Ma's artwork during that time. The guy could really capture the intensity of the actions. Years later, his artwork would somehow reminds me of the same guy whom illustrates the Crying Freeman and Santuary manga series (what's his name again?). Although the movie disappoints, I nevertheless look forward the release of 1/6th scale version of the characters from Enterbay...which, by the way, is notorious for postponing their supposedly release date.


The sequel to one of the best horror movie in recent memory, the 2007 Spanish horror caper, [rec], reveals more informations pertaining to the supposed virus infection and its relation to the possession of the original patient zero, the crazily emancipated girl, Medeiros. Loves the way the story link all the questions raised in the first movie together in this sequel - the virus, its relation from theological and biological aspect, hidden doors and pools (which serves as "portal" to another world/dimension) which could only be "seen and access" in the dark. Oh, and the twist in the end, darn, how could I miss that? Perhaps the onset of nausea due to the shaky, shaky camerawork...contrary to the "tradition" of sequel curses i.e. "it sucks", [rec]2 does not disappoint and makes me look forward part 3...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Charles Mingus ~ Better Git It In Your Soul

Have been listening non-stop to this track by the formidable Charles Mingus (April 22, 1922 ~ January 5, 1979), a double bass jazz pioneer, composer, bandleader and activist...also known as "The Angry Man of Jazz" due to his high expectations of his fellow band members and temperament. "Better Git In Your Soul" is also memorable for the numerous "yelps" and "shouts" which could be audibly heard coming from the background, courtesy of Mingus himself.

Leon The Professional.

Revisit Leon (1994 - Luc Besson). It is one the all time favourite "assassin" movie (others - Bangkok Dangerous (the Thai version), The Day Of The Jackal and Collateral) by Luc Besson. I always thought Jean Reno would make a natural looking Penquin for a Batman movie...and Gary Oldman gives one hell of a performance as a sociopath captain of the DEA. And of course, Natalie Portman in her movie debut. Who could have thought she would went on to portray Luke and Leia's mother in the first three episodes of Star Wars?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Brother Production ~ Blade Hunter (Blade Runner).

Name : Rick Deckard.
Age : Unknown.
Occupation : Former member of the Blade Runner Unit (registration no. B-263-54), Replicant-Detection Division, LAPD.
Std. Armaments : Voight-Kampff (a form of lie detector machine which measures contractions of iris muscle and the presence of invisible airborne particles emitting from body. Used primarily by a Blade Runner to determine whether a suspect is truly human or Replicant, by measuring the degree of his/her emphatic response through a series of carefully worded questions and statements); Shimago Dominguez PKD (Plager Katsumate series-D) blaster, Adidas Official (Blade Runner special issue version) tactical boots ;)
Current status : Unknown.
......................................... this lately, produced by the "mysterious" Brother Production (which lately, has gotten within my radar for 1/6th figure, due to their knack for producing some interesting characters - Vincent from The Collateral and coming by end of this month, Roy Batty - tend to be overlooked by major producers due to lack of interest or "arsenals" perhaps?). I got to know the existence of "Blade Hunter : The Future Hunter" (obviously due to licensing right, or lack of), via toyhaven (perhaps one of the few, most reliable/info packed toy blog around) and knew back then that I have to get one. Accuracy is nearly there, from certain angle, you could feel that this is Harrison Ford (including the scar on the chin). The clothing (trench coat comes with wire at the bottom), accessories (the PKD blaster, wallet with ID and pics of Ford as Deckard and badge, an analog wrist watch, which I left alone due to the "pain" of making it wear on the figure, and of course the "Deckard is a replicant, end of discussion" unicorn origami) are OK but not spot on (well, admittedly I have been pretty much pampered by the higher QC of Hot Toys and others). I don't quite like the holster though, but I am leaving it alone for now. It comes with an alternative "battle damage" head sculpt, but again maybe for later. The one thing which I cheekily change immediately are the shoes. Now, we all know the brand with three stripes is the preferred choice for Blade Runners of 2012 LA (the question is whether it is Official or Stan Smith, well, who cares?), so I swapped it with a tactical version (could not find any 1/6th scale of Official and Stan Smith, in full bodied black) easily available currently, which I think adds "flavour" to the figure. Overall, a satisfactory addition to the "plastics". Beggar can't be chooser, isn't it?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Sesame Street ~ C is for Cookie.

Now what starts with the letter C?
Cookie starts with C!
Let's think of other things that starts with C...
Uhh...Ah, who cares about other things!
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
Ohhh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C.
Ohhh, C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
Ohhh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C.

Hey, you know what?
A round cookie with one bite out of it looks like a C.
A round donut with one bite out of it also looks like a C.
But it is not as good as a cookie.
Oh, and the moon sometimes looks like a C
But you can't eat that, soooo...

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.
Ohhh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C


Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C

Oh boy!

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with Ceeeeeeeeee.....

(Cookie monster eats his cookie)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Absolute Justice DC ~ Alex Ross & Jim Krueger

Finally got me grubby hands on this. Originally published as a 12 issues limited series back in 2005..but alas, the excitement waned as I progressed through the entire all in one collection under the Absolute hardcover slipcase edition series. Ross' photo realism artwork still rocks but the storyline felt kinda...flat. No, this is definitely not another Marvel or Kingdom Come (as much as I want it to be...). Ross had mentioned that after Kingdom Come, he wanted to take a break from those type of storyline i.e. superhuman wars and instead focus on stories which are akin to The World's Greatest Super-Heroes oversize collection of one-shot individual stories about the main core members of JLA. Overall it is about JLA vs Legion Of Doom, a super group comprising a number of supervillians headed by Lex Luthor, with Brainiac working behind the scene. The plot is simple, bring down the existing superheroes (and super heroines) one by one quietly, whilst promoting in the eyes of the public about the new changes the bad guys (and girls) are bring to the world - helping and resolving the world's problems, like giving out prosthetic limbs, creating lakes and foods in famine struck countries etc. Luthor announces to the world that JLA has failed in their role for not using their mighty abilities and gifts to resolve issues which has been besetting the world. Using "black globes" which are given to him by Brainiac, Luthor intends to create new utopias for the human race. However, Brainiac, being a living computer/AI, has a more sinister plan than this and it does not take two shakes of a lamb's tail to figure out what he intends to do eventually. Of course the good guys emerge unscathed and victorious in the end, but the portrayal of certain characters, particularly Superman, somehow irks me...Supes kinda come across as a whiny big blue boy scout. Bright moments include some humourous exchanges between some of the characters, a particular scene involving Green Arrow and Black Canary when they are ambushed by Clayface, and where Aquaman has part of his brain removed by Brainiac. Overall, still alright, just that it kinda fall a tad short of my expectation of what it should be.