Saturday, 5 September 2009

34: A World Without Beer: Weeks 11-12

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh lanugage and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The end is in sight, folks. We're into september, and I can see Sunday 27th leering at me from my Mighty Boosh calendar. This time of year is usually reserved for me being a little more introspective, and thinking about the summer just past which (every year) I seem to spend most of indoors. September's sunny-but-cooler days bring that feeling of melancholy, literally transcribed in the title Last of the Summer Wine (a subtle title often overlooked with the distraction of three old men falling down a hill. In a barrel.). For some, it's a time for looking forward to Christmas and cosy nights in over the Winter months, but for the pessimistic bastard I am, it's been a time more for thinking about the things I didn't get done over the summer.

Anyway, fuck all that, I can start drinking again soon! I'm visiting my buddy this weekend, and we're finally going to have that pint for his birthday that we didn't have at the Zodiac the other week. Nothing too mad, honest, but I haven't been to Margate since I started this damned fool idealistic crusade, and I think he's got a bit of steam to blow off, so let's play it by ear, yeah?


In other (geekier) news, I popped into Toys'r'Us last weekend for the first time this year. Considering how many SW 30th Anniversary Collection figures I got over 2007-08, it's been a bit of a jolt to the system that I've only bought two action figures this year. That being said, given that I started the year unemployed, and spent the first eight months of the year temping for crap (read: better than no) money, it's probably not that surprising. The fact is that I can't really be arsed with the current output of Star Wars figures. There are a few in the A/W09 collection that I'll want, but I can't see them hitting these shores for a couple of months yet. The Clone Wars line is a littlg e to spindly for my liking, with too much articulation. The Legacy line (ie the movies and anything else outside of the CW line) is patchy. Some good figures, some bloody awful ones. For some reason, everyone at Hasbro seems to have forgotten what Mark Hamill looks like. The ones that are good, I've probably got earlier (often better) versions of anyway. They're also ferociously expensive. £8 is pretty ridiculous for a 3¾" figure; you can get larger scale Marvel and Doctor who figures for the same price, with the scupting being equally good (okay, sometimes better).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up, there's just not too much there to hold my interest at the moment. But that doesn't deter me from other, great looking toys. I'll generally go for the 3¾" scale, just so I can stand them with my SW figures, and have some cool mash-ups. So, the only beauties which have caught my eye (ie wallet) this year are:

Mola Ram and The Terminator! Terminator's slightly under-scale, but still works pretty well. Since 1977, 3¾" figures have been practical on many levels: Cheaper to produce, cheaper to purchase, therefore you can make more and they have a greater "collector" mindset. Which leads to the problem with many 3¾" toy lines; Ultimately, the range of characters.

Where Star Wars has a rich spread of characters who look good in plastic, it's a sad fact that Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Narnia just don't. You'll get two or three great figures from each line, and the rest will be mediocre at best. Terminator Salvation's a good example where the manufacturers couldn't secure the rights to Christian Bale's image, so his figure has a cloth over his face with goggles on top. For absolutely no fucking reason.

So, the cyborg based figures were okay, the human ones were pretty drab, and the only real corker was the one you see above.

Indy's only slightly better. The figures look good, but the characters themselves aren't that interesting, outside of Dr Jones and his main adversaries. Sales got so low that Hasbro has actually cancelled the line now. I thought I wasn't going to get Mola Ram at all for a while, there.

So, there's a picture of where I am. No beer, no coffee, and not much in the way of toys. Maybe I should take up fannying about with cars..?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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