Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Marvelee Avengerses 2 Age of Ultron Titan Hero Tech

Marvelee? Avengerses?  They are not the usual typographical errors you encounter in this blog. It's a way around copyright laws, I guess. Some countries have their own versions of copyright laws and I guess in some country they only cover names but not the design. They can copy a design but not the name, I guess. I guess a lot, don't I? I just don't get why they have to change the "Avengers" to "Avengerses" when they kept using the word "Avengers" all throughout the box. I also find it funny and cute how they "translate" Hasbro in Chinese. Harharhar.

front and back of knock off Titan Hero Tech Hulk Buster box

I forgot to take pictures of the earlier 3 Titan Hero Tech knock offs in their boxes before I gave them away. Knock offs need to be documented as well, as a validation of their existence. I have these two left to be given away later on so I decided to document them.

front and back of knock off Titan Hero Tech Thor box

The three earlier characters came in a box similar to the Hulk Buster box above. The back of Thor's box is different. One thing lacking about clones and knock off's is the consistency. It could be because a number of manufacturers are copying the same products and they each have their own recipe. Since they are copying the same product, they generally look the same but some details vary with each copy.

When one buys knock offs, limitations are to be expected. For one, the recorded sounds are not appropriate for the characters. They are actually from a Transformers movie. For Thor, the hip joint is done away with. The metallic plates on his chest doesn't look metal. Mjolnir also has a different color from the original. 

The Hulk Buster on the other hand is too short. The size of the box is totally misleading. It has the biggest box but it has the shortest figure inside! The steel parts which are supposed to be in silver are in plastic gold.  The hands are in gold instead of red. The punching action from the original is not copied. The sculpt is also different from the back, with some details removed. (I forgot to take a picture of that.)

With those limitations, one has to weigh things if these toys are worth getting. Personal criteria may vary but after some thought, I personally think that they are worth the price and is still a better alternative than the original. The intended kids who will play with this don't understand English very well, so the recorded voices will be alien to them. They don't understand what they are saying. The removal of some features (the hip joint and  the punching action) is okay. I've seen how the kids play with these toys and those features adds little value. We don't buy these toys for their articulation or life-like action, right? Moving parts tend to break easily as well so less moving parts, less breakage. As for the different colors in some details, I honestly didn't realized them until I nitpick. The size of the Hulk Buster is a let down but it still is a big figure that looks like a match for Hulk.

The original Titan Hero Tech Hulk Buster retails for about PhP1200+, while the knock off is just PhP350. That is less than a third of the price. The knock off Thor is even lower at PhP250. Original regular (not Tech series) Titan Hero (comics version) are priced at PhP600+. The sculpt on these knock offs are good enough. Personally, I like the sculpt of the knock off  Hulk better than the original. For the price of these knock offs, I can get the original 2.5-inch figures at their current discounted rate but those small toys can easily be lost by the kids I intended to give them to.  Plus, buying these knock offs feels a lot better especially for someone who has been disappointed by Hasbro a number of times.

comparison with Ken doll

Monday, December 28, 2015

Titan Knock Off

I understand the need for less articulation.

I have two nephews. While one can properly play with brick sets, the younger one (age: 3) tends to "ruin" those and lose some parts. It's a good thing that I didn't spend a fortune on their toys. I know sooner or later the toys will be lost or destroyed.

Instead of toy bricks, I wanted to give them something more durable and big, so it won't easily get lost. The Hasbro's Titan Heroes action dolls seems to satisfy all that but they are priced unreasonably. Good thing, there are knock offs!

They cost about a third or less the of original's price. With that, expect the quality to be lower. I picked the Titan Tech Heroes knock offs because they are based on the movie version. Regular Titan Heroes are based on comics version. The "tech" part refers to the light and sound effects. There is a button on the chest and a pre-recorded sound is played as the chest lights up. The recorded sounds do not match the characters on these knock off dolls, though. They also don't have the hip joints and the hollowed plastic is visible from under the feet. Despite all that the kids loved it.

They loved it more than the 12-inch articulated Spider-Man I gave them. They find it difficult to make Spider-Man stand. When kids simulate a fight scene, they don't pose the dolls in different fighting poses. They try to smash the toys together. The jointed body of Spider-Man leaves him posed like a broken doll, looking like he's defeated. The knock offs, without hip joints, retains their strong stance after the "fight", looking very much like a winner.

So having less articulation has it's benefits especially for kids. The same goes for fashion dolls. How often do our dolls need to do yoga poses? Even with higher articulation, have you seen how many people still pose their dolls like the  model muse bodies with one or both hands on the waist? It's like the articulation is wasted.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Looking Forward

During the every of the year a few years back, I was looking forward to the upcoming doll releases. Once it was the Barbie Basics, then the Fashionistas and so on. This year there are a few dolls I'm looking forward to get but not with much eagerness I used to.

If you noticed, I don't blog about upcoming releases. It's a way to control my desire to get the new dolls. If there is one thing I've learned from collecting dolls, it's to not get too emotional.

There is little logic used in collecting toys. A lot has to do with sentiments and emotions in deciding what to buy or dispose. The way we value dolls does not depend on need nor functionality. Emotionally healthy adults can live without dolls. 

I have been too excited about some toys. It wasn't pretty. It was crass actually! I hunted like crazy for the toy everywhere--every physical toy stores and online. When I can't get the toy, I feel sad and then mad at the people who made it impossible for me to get them. Imagine all that energy wasted just to get a desired toy. And for what, a few hours of enjoyment? After which you find another toy to desire so the cycle continues.

When I started to write this entry, I wanted to discuss how not buying any Barbie Look doll could be my greatest hobby-related accomplishment this year. I realized that there is a bigger accomplishment. It's the certain maturity. It's the realization that whether or not you get the toy you desire, things will be fine.

I still look forward to buying new dolls but I look forward to being okay even if I can't have it. I don't want the emotional baggage of wanting something bad. I look forward to not be emotionally manipulated by ads and promotions. I want this hobby to be stress-free.

It's like the recent Ms Universe pageant result. I was fine with Pia not taking home the crown but I 'm okay with her winning. No matter what the outcome, I'll be fine.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lanard Toys The Corps Storm Strike

This is another unplanned purchase. While buying Christmas gifts, I saw this Total Soldier Storm Strike jet. I'm not a fan of military toys but my Marvel Universe action dolls fit in it so I bought it. It didn't come with an action doll so Black Widow will model for us.

There is also an available chopper but it only fits one figure so I'm not interested in that. Plus, a fighter jet seems like a better choice in fighting Marvel supervillains. A toy review in Youtube (posted 4 years ago) shows another variant in black but it's not available locally. I would have preferred the black.

The jet looks stubby with a bulging canopy and short fuselage. The orange color seems funny especially now that I plan to paint the jet black. Black and orange seems Halloween-y. Maybe, I'll just retain the color.

I like that it has variable-sweep wings. The landing gears are retractable but don't roll. The missiles can be easily clipped on the underside. Another cute feature is the light and sound effect for the afterburners.

I still don't know what to do with this toy. Maybe, I should have waited for the sale season before buying this. It is around US$17 (PhP800). 

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Although Mattel didn't make a Muslim friend for Barbie, I can have any doll in my collection be a Muslim. Why didn't I?

I'm not a Muslim and any Muslim doll I make will just be a product of my ignorance. The image I depict may be offensive because of it. Still, I have to do something about the non-existence of Muslim doll in my collection. It's like saying they don't exist, that they're not part of my reality, or simply being apathetic, which is worse than hating. I felt I need to do something.

I'm not a corporation that can hire and consult experts. I have to rely on what I see online and on the streets.

Characterization of a Muslim is difficult and tricky for me so I won't go there. I can only try at a superficial level like the fashion. So, none of my dolls will be a Muslim. They do get modeling jobs for hijab fashion sometimes.

The first to get such job is my favorite doll, Kayla.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Changing Faces

Before moving on to the next year, I'm looking back to my little accomplishments this year. Aside from making doll dresses, I have customized a number of doll faces this year. By customizing, I don't mean just repainting. Most of them underwent head shrinking. A couple had dental extraction. I'm currently happy with how these dolls look for now. Taste change in time so I might modify some of them later on.

As much I like expressing myself by changing the faces of my dolls, hopefully next year, I don't have to repaint a new doll. Repainting new dolls means I'm not satisfied with what I bought. Who buys something only to be not satisfied? Plus, I have a number of old doll heads that could use an update.

I want to be able to use these dolls more, not necessarily to model new doll clothes (as I plan to do doll clothes for other body types) but for something else. There's gotta be more to life than modeling, right? And I don't mean beauty pageants. Excuse me, Donald Trump!

These faces nor the doll dresses are not what I consider my biggest doll accomplishment for this year. I'll talk about that some other time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Comparing Barbie, Donald Trump and Richprime

"Harry Potter" author, J.K. Rowling, recently compared Donald Trump to her fictional villain, the Dark Lord Voldemort, saying the presidential wannabe is worse. This was in response to Trump's statement on banning Muslims from entering his country.

This got me thinking, did Barbie ever had a Muslim friend? There are the Arabian Nights dolls but they are not really in Barbie's circle of friends. Marvel comics is at least trying. They have included a young Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan in a title role. With the lack of Muslim friends, Barbie may not be saying it out loudly but she may be siding with Donald Trump.

Of course, it's not really as simple as that. Mattel sells dolls and they don't want to sell what people won't buy. It's the same for the sole licensed local Barbie distributor, Richprime. They haven't sold any playline African-American dolls since the Barbie Style Resort Grace. Black dolls don't sell well in a country with a lot of people pre-occupied in skin whitening. 

Forget about introducing a different view of beauty transcending skin color or race or religion. Forget about humanity and the spirit of of inclusion, as long as profits are being made. It's all about the money and property--making more and protecting it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Threads

I was on a roll on sewing doll clothes at the beginning of this year.  If only other matters did not need my attention, I would have sewn more. I felt accomplished nevertheless.

The first set had me sewing and styling dolls based on their characters. The second set was about playing with a gingham fabric. The third set is about iteration on a hem design. I wanted pieces that can be mixed and matched so I made a lot of separates. I have other doll clothes made but I failed to get a group photo as I never finished the set. All of the clothes I've sewn this year were for the Fashionista bodies.

In the years of existence of the Barbie Fashionista line, there are only a few clothes that I liked. Most were pink and/or glittery. I wanted to give my dolls with articulated fashionista bodies more fashion options so I focused my sewing projects on them.

Hopefully next year, I can sew for dolls with other bodies. I already have a few pieces in mind but it won't be done in sets. I'll just create what I feel like creating.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


This year saw me accomplish a number of things both in my personal life and in my hobby. I am still refraining to blog about my personal life so let's just talk about the hobby. Before I do, let me share a doll who is in a celebratory mood.

I did the usual head shrinking, dental extraction and face painting. She gives a bombshell vibe with the way she smile her full lips so I gave her a simple bombshell dress. Yes, the shawl usually adds a matronly vibe but I like the pop of color.

I like looking at her. She reminds me of parties. She compliments my celebratory outlook. Maybe I'll just stare at her for a while and talk about the little accomplishments later.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


It was an uneventful All Hallows Eve. A doll head was left soaking in acetone. A non-doll person may find it creepy so I took a picture of it. I find it boring. I added a crumpled red plastic bag to contrast against the doll head others describe as "albino". It's still boring as doll heads soaked in a jar of acetone is something "normal" to me. A lot of people found it interesting.

It was one of those "mema" posts (memapost lang). It was posted for the sake of wanting to post something...anything. There was no intended insight or any info of value to share. There wasn't much thought put into it. "Meh" best describes it but the 86 people who liked it may disagree.

Let's compare it to another photo I posted years ago. I had to consider a lot of things--lighting the extreme difference in color, positioning the dolls for alignment and then editing the shots for more impact than just a side by side comparison.

Both photos were appreciated well but I don't get why the first got the attention. Part of me wants to find out what makes people "like", "fave" or "" something but why should I bother? I have been exerting effort to not be bothered by the feedback. I don't encourage it. I don't engage in discussions. Comments in one account are disabled. If I can ignore a feedback, I would, but sometimes I want to be polite. Emphasis on sometimes.

Plus, these days one cannot appraise the value of a feedback properly. Some feedback are "mema" comments or comments posted for the sake of having to post a comment. There's no added insight or info, just comments. Some "like" or "follow" to get "likes" or followers in return. Apparently, it's like something you can barter online.

I'm done with popularity contest. It's kinda liberating. Popularity contest is like putting a price tag on yourself or your work in the denomination of feedbacks/likes/❤'s, It's like one big delusion. I don't mind not being liked as long as I like what's mine.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Waiting to Sew

The old sewing machine has been finally set up to in our new house. We moved recently and some stuff not used everyday are still in boxes. That means I can get back to sewing but the December will be a busy month. Sewing has to wait.

Plus, I have a lot of dolls that needs rework because I didn't like Mattel's version. Maybe, I can squeeze some sewing... I don't know. We'll see.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lele 79127 Ant-man Final Battle

I'm not an Ant-man fan and I don't like Lele so what am I doing with this brick set? The minifigs' faces and helmets are different from the original but I'm one of those who doesn't care that much given the price.

Maybe, I'll grow to love Ant-man later on especially in the Civil War movie. I haven't seen other bootlego brands releasing this set so I have no choice but Lele.

When my nephews visited, they had fun playing with these bootlegos. The brand didn't matter. Some parts got lost and broken but that's part of playing. That's why I got this set. I know they will enjoy this as much as the other sets.

The only thing that I hate (yes, that strong word) during the build was how some pieces were too tight, specifically the pin connector shown above. It's a literal pain when inserting the pin into the brick slot. I had to use very hot water to allow the pin to slide through.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I like some fashion of the stiff Style dolls but I'm not willing to pay the full since I don't like dolls, so I waited for the discount. Finally, I got them for 50% off. The patience paid off.

I let some of my dolls with the Lea/Kayla face mold (which is still my favorite) wear it. I like it on them more than the original dolls but their skinny legs are starting to disturb me just a little.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Although it was expected that the Northstar figure will be a peg warmer, I didn't wait for the price to drop. I wanted to get him right away simply because he's gay.

I don't know a lot about the character aside from he's gay and is(was?) a member of the X-men. I thought that the story line for his coming out is contrived--having found a baby out of nowhere, then finding out the baby has AIDS which made the baby some sort celebrity and then someone tried to kill the baby for being an AIDS celebrity after the perps gay son died of AIDS without any aid which led to the scene below and Northstar eventually coming out.

It wasn't the best story. It's forgettable really. It didn't made me like Northstar more. Even the much publicized gay wedding didn't have enough meat. Sure there was a lot of action but I didn't find it romantic. There wasn't enough suspense even when partner almost died because you know he won't, because you expect the wedding scene later. But it is cute.

Currently there are lot of unsold Northstar figures in every major toy store. There are a lot of reason not to buy--the high price, the old poorly articulated body, the absence of his twin sister etc. Just wait for the sale.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I could have bought the gray Beast figure for P500 (original price was P750) but I wasn't able to find one at that price on the primary market. I got my blue Beast on the secondary market. I was wondering where the stores are keeping their stocks such that there will be some units left which they are now forced to sell at a much lower price of P200.

The sticker at the back, with Thai characters, could be a clue. Maybe these were initially shipped to Thailand and when it flopped there, they decided to sell it here. Since people who badly wanted (I'm not included) the figure already bought it from somewhere else, they have to lower the price. If they distributed it properly (right time and location), they could have made people like me pay more.

Hasbro has a distribution problem and they need to fix it. But Mattel is worse. They haven't distributed any dark-skinned doll here since the 1st wave of the stiff Style dolls, except for the resort Grace.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


I'm not very interested in getting or making a Quicksilver figure so for me, the Avengers have been assembled.

This moment deserves a class picture before they will be broken apart in "Captain America: Civil War".

Friday, November 20, 2015


After recent toy sales left and right, I expect some toys to run out of stock. Imagine my surprise when I saw the 4-inch Vision from the second Avengers movie peg warming. I have been hunting this toy for months now, checking the same shelves of different toy stores every chance I can.

I wanted a Vision figure and after the first few weeks of searching, I decided to just make one. I didn't like how it turned out so I didn't blog about it. I wanted to change the cape print for one. I was designing the print this afternoon and plan to test it tomorrow. But there's no need for that now.

It has crappy articulation but I might be able to make a better one now that I have better parts. That is if I'm not busy or lazy. For now, I'll just enjoy it, as is. I'm sure Wanda is.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's all 'bout the dum dum duru dum dum

Collectors of the 4-inch Marvel figures are disappointed at the new prices (US$13). We, the Filipino, collectors are partly to blame. We have been buying these toys for about US$16 since this year. If people from a poor nation like ours can buy these toys at a higher price, so can these people with a higher average income. I don't know why we Filipino collectors do it. Maybe because we are not educated in the same way as those in the western world. Maybe because we have more corrupt government agencies like the Bureau of Customs. Whatever the reason, we Filipinos are willing to pay more for the same toys and the rest of the world has to suffer because of it. I'm sorry.

In other news, a lot of those toys are peg warmers in local toy stores, except for Emma and the candy-colored Deadpool. I could help other collectors get the Chameleon but since it costs more here, I don't think they will be interested to buy from here and pay extra for shipping. It's a crappy figure, too, and I don't want anyone to be disappointed like I did when I got it.

And I don't think it's funny.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This entry is dedicated to the Barbie Look (2013-2015)

Below is the photo of all the Barbie Look dolls I have collected. They are basically rebranded Barbie Basics with rooted eyelashes (which doesn't really add to the aesthetics of the doll, but then again, it's subjective). It seemed that the added eyelashes were used as a reason to command a higher price (at least locally) than the Basics. Any self-respecting buyer would not be fooled.

If you're not seeing any photo, it's because I haven't bought any of those dolls. I also didn't appreciate that some dolls  I could have bought weren't  offered locally. Mattel should have realized that if they want their products sold, they should make it easier for the buyers to access them. If sellers don't care enough to do that, buyers who respect themselves should not care about buying.

Self-respect people! Try it some time.

We like posting photos of the things we buy, like it somewhat gives us pride or sense of accomplishment. I'm posting a photo of dolls I didn't buy for the same reason. Not buying dolls can give a certain sense of accomplishment or pride. It feels good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Another Look

Let's have another look at this redhead Fashionista before I store her and desire newer dolls. I like that she can look sultry if her hair partially covers her eye. I posted a photo (not mine) of this dress on another doll and thought no other doll can wear it any better than that pink-haired Nikki. Although Nikki's vibrance matches the dress, this redhead brings a certain maturity to the youthfully colored dress, not there is anything wrong with being youthful. I like things a little mature but not too matronly unless, I'm dealing with vintage molds. I didn't want the dress before. I just bought it specifically for this OOAK doll.

I really like this closed mouth mold for Barbie, especially that they offered it in a littler skin tone and red hair. I wanted to compare it to another redhead I also like and to another mold which is not my favorite for Barbie. The goddess mold looks fat while the Barbie basic looks dead in the eyes. They all have their own charm so I'll be keeping all three.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sheng Yuan (SY370) Attack on Avengers Tower

If real life didn't get in the way, I would have gotten my hands on this set earlier. Now that life is a lot closer to normal, I had the chance to hunt for this at Divisoria. I got mine for PhP 750 (US$16). Others are selling it for as much as 60% more.

The tower looks good from any angle and can be opened up like Polly Pocket houses. The first floor has the sick bay and the Iron Legions (a symbol of how the idea of being the world's saviour can easily be corrupted) deployment area. The second floor has the lab with Loki's scepter being analyzed. It also has the assembly/repair room for the Iron Legions, which Ultron can use to rebuild himself.

The "glass" panels on the first two levels can be opened to allow the minifigs' entry/exit. On the 1st level, the panels are hinged while a lever is used to "blast" open the glass panel on the second.

There is a lounge on the 3rd floor with a viewing deck aside from a control room. The floor of the deck can be opened apart to simulate being destroyed or getting ready for battle with a couple of hidden shooters underneath.

The lounge has a secret compartment for minifig ammunition. This is perfect for Black Widow. The Black Widow and Hawkeye minifigs are not included. I just thought those rooms have been designed with them in mind.

The top most part of the tower has another pair of shooters. It also houses the drone, you know, similar to the ones they regularly use on terrorist regions even is there will be a lot of civilian casualties but they don't really become trending topics. I digress.

I kinda like this set more that the Quinjet. Maybe because I can play house with this set. What more can you do with Quinjets anyways aside from bomb places?