Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
December 1, 2007
It never ends... or does it?
Category: Toys

You can't sneak up on this Dalek!

The Dalek madness courtesy of the Lego Digital Designer continues! Most recently, I revised some of the inner workings to allow for a working waist swivel. It bumps the price up another 30 cents, but I'm totally keeping it.

Party down, Dalek dude!

I added a neck swivel to this one. This modification was mostly for fun, as I knew I wouldn't really like the look of the flat plates required for it (whereas the base pieces are mostly turned on their sides, the torso is upright and would otherwise have the connector pegs sticking up). I even did one with both the neck and the waist swivels, but in addition to the aforementioned flaw the dual swivel really highlights the blockiness of the design (think of how a Rubik's Cube looks when none of its three "levels" are in alignment).

It's good to be a Dalek.

And this was totally just for fun -- I'll probably stick dollar store spiders or tiny octopuses into the actual versions when they arrive. At any rate, this guy looks considerably happier about becoming a Dalek than the folks in "Revelation of the Daleks"! 🙂

And note that I wrote "when they arrive" above -- I actually ordered two Lego Daleks last night, so they should be here in a couple of weeks! Incidentally, you can't actually order Lego Daleks because of copyright infringement rules and whatnot (well, I think people have ordered minifig Daleks without any problems, but those approximations aren't quite as good as mine), so I had to mess up the models considerably and make them look like other stuff before placing the order. I didn't realize this until I tried to upload a couple of Lego Daleks to the gallery and had them rejected for the copyright reasons, so hopefully nobody at Lego will notice that the models have pretty much the exact same pieces and figure out my fiendish plan. Or maybe they will and they won't care. I can see why they wouldn't want to sell models of copyrighted or trademarked material -- especially given that the picture of said creation appears on the box -- but should they really care what I make out of the pieces once they're in my possession? Anyway, I hope all of that goes through without a problem and that my mangled Lego Daleks arrive safe and sound and ready to be reassembled into their original designs.

At any rate, assuming all goes well, the next Lego Daleks you see will be actual photographs! Finally -- finally! -- all of the hours I have devoted to the creation of Lego Daleks will yield tangible results.

The Doctor doesn't stand a chance.

-posted by Wes | 7:34 pm | Comments (3)
November 24, 2007
Oops, I did it again...
Category: Toys

Which do you prefer?

Despite sincerely believing that I was satisfied with them before, I keep redoing the bases on the blasted Lego Daleks. Trying to decide which color I want is bad enough, but the base thing is really downright maddening. I mean, the one design (which is identical to the previous one from an outside perspective, but has been partially redone to increase sturdiness) is a bit blocky, which isn't ideal but is completely in keeping with the blockiness of the Lego Dalek body itself.

Aaaand in red.

And then there's the all-new, sleeker base, which is appropriately less blocky but also leans towards the narrow side and largely fails to match the blockier aesthetic of the rest of the Lego Dalek. It's also roughly 50 cents cheaper -- at least before the addition of the extras -- which is a big plus in my book. Granted, the extras push it up another 80 cents, but since the other one can't support them it would be more economical to go with this one if I decided I could make due.

Read on...

-posted by Wes | 11:55 am | Comments (2)
November 18, 2007
The Doctor in miniature!
Category: Toys

The 9th and 10th Doctors -- times two!

So Transformers aren't the only toys I've been buying lately -- I've also been ordering the occasional Doctor Who figure from Who North America. I've had the 10th Doctor figure on the far right for a while, but the other Tenant and two Ecclestons are relatively recent acquisitions. I didn't really want all of them, mind you -- I would've been satisfied with just one Doctor -- but I ended up getting the other ones because Character Options just kept rereleasing and remaking Doctors. Bastards!

The ''regeneration'' figures.

See, first I just wanted a Doctor -- any Doctor. Had the 9th Doctor been widely available at that point, I would've gotten him and called it a day -- but he wasn't, so I ended up with the trenchcoat-wearing 10th Doctor. But then they finally released the 9th Doctor figure, which up until that point had only been available in a limited-release "regeneration" two-pack and a fairly pricey remote-controlled Dalek battle set, on a single-card in the US. And while I intended to get that, I waited too long and Who NA sold out of it, so I hastily jumped on the concurrent US rerelease of the regeneration set in order to get a 9th Doctor. It left me with an extra Tennant -- which I certainly could've done without, considering that I really could've done without the first one -- but I was willing to put up with him for Eccleston. At the very least, given the decidedly darker outfit, I could use him in a sort of early Valeyard capacity.

Incidentally, a week and a half after I received the regeneration two-pack, Who NA received another shipment of the single-carded 9th Doctor figures. I scowled, but at least I had one now.

But looking at the picture of the regeneration figures, you might have noticed that while the 10th Doctor has a fair amount of articulation, the 9th Doctor is comparatively static. He's got shoulder movement, hinged elbows, a swiveling neck, and limited waist movement, but from the waist down he's a brick. Not ideal, but it was something I could live with... until, just a couple of weeks ago, Who NA received a shipment of another 9th Doctor figure -- this time with a heck of a lot more articulation. In fact, they pretty much stuck the head of the 9th Doctor onto the body of the regenerated 10th Doctor and threw in a couple of bicep swivels for good measure. And blast it, I had to get it.

The Doctor dances.

So now I have two versions of both the 9th and 10th Doctors. And guess what else? Apparently starting in January 2008, Character Options will be releasing figures based on the classic "Doctor Who" series, including the fourth through sixth Doctors -- to say nothing of the upcoming "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures" merchandise. Suffice it to say that Who NA is pretty much guaranteed to get some of my business in the year to come! But luckily -- insofar as Character Options keeps rereleasing Daleks with stupid changes like missing slats and genetic handprints -- I won't be tempted to order the manifold Dalek variants as well.

In other news, I think I've finally perfected my Lego Dalek model (see previous versions here) -- or at least come as close as I'm going to get to it. I still haven't ordered the pieces to make one, namely because I've rightly assumed that I'd keep coming up with new improvements as I revisited the model over time. For example, in recent versions, I've embedded the eyestalk farther into the dome so it doesn't stick out quite so far and added some pieces to the front in order to improve the "slope" of the slats. I also completely redid the base so that it shows a lot fewer connecting pegs.

The last Lego Dalek?

But by far, my favorite improvement is the use of hinged parts for the limb connectors, effectively giving the Dalek limited articulation. It also helps to fix the gun, as I'd been rather dissatisfied with the size and appearance of previous versions. I'm not all that keen on the new shade of grey -- the limited colors available for certain pieces in the Lego Digital Designer necessitated that I switch to a darker grey in order to pull it off (though, as you'll see, the piece is also available in red) -- and I'll likely switch the eye and the "ring" piece to white in keeping with the duller scheme of this Dalek, but that should do it... at least for this particular version.

Which Dalek to pick...?

Of course, there's also the problem of deciding which color scheme to order! The red one does look quite nice, but the darker grey one would be more in line with the Daleks' appearances in some of the classic black and white episodes. I definitely would've gone with the blue bumps before, but I don't think they quite work with the darker grey. Hmm.

Anyway, here are pictures of some of the other Lego Daleks that I've made -- holdovers from an old draft that I never posted.

A Special Weapons Dalek!

I did this one for fun, but I'm totally tempted to order it too -- it's a special weapons Dalek as seen in "Remembrance of the Daleks". Same skirt design, but the torso and dome have been redone in keeping with the modified design of that Dalek. He's packing heavy-duty firepower.

The improved classic Dalek model

This is the classic Dalek model that preceded the latest version. It has the redone base and the front slat changes, but I hadn't come up with the embedded eyestalk and new limb attachments yet. Actually, this was even before I decided to go with the classic torso rather than the newer one with the slats. I ultimately decided that even with the obvious simplifications to the design, the slat design just wasn't at all ideal for the Lego Daleks.

Daleks make every meal a happy one.

I was totally fooling around here -- I decided to make a Dalek with a McDonald's color scheme. I don't know what possessed me to do this, especially since I don't even particularly like McDonald's. In fact, every time that I've been there in the past few years has been way more frustrating than it needed to be, as it seems like roughly one in every four employees there speaks English now. (Incidentally, it was the same during my recent visit to Taco Bell -- which I found somewhat amusing since Taco Bell hardly qualifies as authentic Mexican food.) This means that at any given time there is only one English-speaking person handling all of the customers -- and since that person is almost always a manager, that person is frequently making trips to the back of the restaurant to deal with whatever happens back there as well.


That said, if Daleks came with Happy Meals, I'd be at McDonald's every other evening. Yo quiero Mickey-D's! 😀

Anyway, that's all for now! Next time (or not, but definitely at some point), I'll discuss my thoughts on television this season and whatnot. Until then, suffice it to say that I am not at all disappointed by the fact that the WGA strike has resulted in a truncated "Heroes" season! That show is sucking hardcore these days.

-posted by Wes | 10:32 pm | Comments (2)
September 12, 2007
Many more than meet the eye
Category: Toys

G1 Transformers... sorta.

Somebody stop me before I bankrupt myself!

-posted by Wes | 8:55 pm | Comments (3)
September 7, 2007
The new Daleks on the block...
Category: SC Updates … Toys

Convertors: Avarians Robat -- Knockoff Edition

Wes Crayon (1:03:26 PM): but yeah if I could a) have sex or b) have Transformers, I'd be all about the second letter of the alphabet

I think the person with whom I was chatting at the time was extremely annoyed by the comment -- like in a "ugh whatever you f'n LOSER" kinda way -- but it is so true! Even cheap knockoffs of figures from other transforming robot lines are pretty fun to fiddle with. I'd never have heard of Convertors if I hadn't come across this guy, but now I feel like I've learned something! Nothing exceedingly important or enlightening, mind you, but still interesting... at least if you're me. 🙂

Speaking of knockoff transforming robots from alternate lines, I posted a review of two figures from the Quick Change Dinobots 4-pack over at Scary-Crayon. I should have the other two reviewed sometime next week. And De, your question regarding Slag and Triceradon has been answered -- in depth -- in the attendant SC blog entry. :mrgreen:

All for now, then. This is Wes, converting and creeping out!

-posted by Wes | 8:22 pm | Comments (1)