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.