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Showing posts from September, 2014

DX9 Toys Gives Machine Robo 600 Series MR-01 Bike Robo (a.k.a. Cy-Kill) the Deluxe Treatment

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I haven't kept up with the hobby of Transformers toy collecting, but I have heard recently that many unlicensed third party toy companies outside of Hasbro have been producing and selling their own transforming robot toys. According to Wikipedia, a third party Transformer toys "can be completely original designs, new molds based on existing characters, add-on sets for existing Transformers toys. ... Growth of the third party Transformer industry is largely due to rejuvenated interest in Transformers following release of the Classic line in 2006 and the 2007 Transformers film release. It was targeted at filling the gaps Hasbro's toys demanded by the collectors."

One of the toy companies that has hopped on to the third party Transformers bandwagon is DX9 Toys, and its line of third party Transformers line expanded last summer to include a figure from another transforming toy robot line from Japan: Machine Robo. Thus, Machine Robo fans finally got a deluxe figure based o…

Feel the Power of Revoltech's Darth Vader Figure

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For those of you who are not familiar with action figure collecting, Revoltech is a line of intricate figures produced by the Japanese company Kaiyodo. What sets Revoltech figures apart from others are their unique "Revolver Joints", points of articulation that allow of a wide range of motion and stability. Most Revoltech figures are based on characters from Japanese movie, anime series and video games, although some are based on DC and Marvel superheroes and characters from non-Japanese movies such as Alien, Jason and the Argonauts, and Predator.

This year, Kaiyodo will launch its first line of Revoltech figures based on the Star Wars franchise, starting with Darth Vader. Click below for more details and pictures of this super-poseable figure.

Reimagining Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell in Zeder (1983)

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Whenever a movie becomes a hit, it's guaranteed to spawn at least a handful of blatant rip-offs. However, there are rare cases when a lesser-known film appears that has clearly been influenced by a more popular movie (or movies) but takes the themes of its more well-known counterpart in a familiar but different direction, thus adding something new to the viewer's experience. For example, director Francesco Barilli was clearly inspired by Roman Polanski's work--especially Repulsion (1965) and Rosemary's Baby (1968)--when he made The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974), yet Barilli's interpretation of the themes within Polanski's films is unique enough that Perfume feels more like a variation on Polanski's work and not an empty imitation.

With that in mind, here's my post about Pupi Avati's Zeder (1983), a horror movie that's clearly influenced by Lucio Fulci's "Gates of Hell" trilogy: City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981)…

Arachnids + Advanced Robotics = The T8X Robot Spider

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I've always loved insects and arachnids and I've always loved robots; thus, my life-long infatuation with robots that move like insects and arachnids was inevitable. Unfortunately, battery-powered toys have almost always came up short on meeting my obsessive need: Either they lumbered along using inflexible legs or they had wheels on the bottom with legs on the sides that wiggled whenever the toy moved in an extremely poor imitation of arthropod locomotion. But times have changed, and with that comes a significant leap (crawl?) forward with Robugtix's T8X Robot Spider.

Robugtix has been working on spider-like robots for some time now, and the T8X Spider is one of the latest outcomes of its efforts. T8X has plenty of features, with 26 servo motors that control its movement and Wi-Fi capabilities that allow it to be controlled wirelessly from anywhere; however, what really makes this spider robot stand out is its Bigfoot Robotics Engine. According to the Robugtix T8X web page

A Home Invasion Goes Awry in You're Next (2013)

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As horror and thriller subgenres go, home invasion movies probably have the most difficult time telling unique and memorable tales--after all, what other subgenre has a title that gives away its plots? With such a built-in drawback, writers and directors of home invasion movies have to provide something more original, more intense and/or more shocking than average home invasion fare. Thankfully, You're Next, a 2013 thriller directed by Adam Wingard, meets the challenge with Grand Guignol-esque gusto.

You're Next tells the story of four adult children (and their significant others) who visit their parents' remote estate for a weekend family reunion. As they sit down for their first meal, they are viciously attacked by a group of assailants wearing animal masks and brandishing a selection of deadly weapons. However, as the surviving family members frantically plan to protect themselves against the sudden onslaught, the line between attacker and victim becomes blurred in ways …

The Fractured Personality of Darth Vader

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Just when you think you know everything about a hideously disfigured, Jedi-killing cyborg Sith Lord, something new arrives to cause a disturbance in the Force.

I saw a meme the other day that mentioned how some psychologists are using Vader and his pre-Sith identity, Anakin Skywalker, to explain certain psychiatric disorders to their students. With my curiosity piqued, I did some searching on the 'net and it turns out that the meme was right. According to a 2010 article from livescience.com, psychiatrist Eric Bui and researcher Rachel Rodgers have been using Anakin/Vader to teach their students about borderline personality disorder (BPD). As the article explains, "(Anakin) Skywalker hit six out of the nine borderline personality disorder criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). He only needed to meet five criteria to qualify as suffering from the disorder. ... The researchers also suggested that the success of t…