Sadly, That’s A Wrap For This Week…

Yeah, I’m going to have to close up shop until at least the weekend.

What began nearly six months ago as some minor renovations has since turned into prime material for Builders From Hell. Back on the week of Thanksgiving, the property management here embarked on a well intentioned crusade to improve the property, which included total renovations to the outside and installing new windows. After a Week of Hell the new windows finally went in, but they left the inside of the new windows unfinished. THAT WAS FIVE MONTHS AGO!!!

They’ve only now come back to redo the frames and that meant I had to pack everything up in my studio, including a sizable piece of my collection to avoid any collateral damage. Most of the work is done, but they still have to come back and paint after the foundation dries. That’s either going to be tomorrow or Thursday. I’ve got enough stuff going on with an erratic work schedule this week (I’ll be pulling at least one overnight), so rather than stress over it, I’m taking the rest of the week off from creating new content.

Hopefully I’ll get everything back together on Saturday and I’ll be able to at least sneak a couple of this week’s planned Features in on the weekend and then get back to business as usual on Monday!

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I screwed up!

So, apparently this weekend while I was laying out and uploading the week’s features, I accidently scheduled today’s Batman piece for yesterday. So, if you didn’t bother checking here on Sunday, you’ve still got something new to read if you scroll down a bit. If you did stop by here Sunday, then you got a free trip to the future to read today’s feature a day early. The “Happy Monday” in the opening paragraph should have tipped you off. I blame this mishap on a combination of whatever virus it is that’s been dogging me for the last week and the copious amounts of alcohol I’m using to try to knock it out of me.

So tomorrow things should be back to normal. In the meantime, I’m taking a sick day to huddle under a comforter, do Nyquil shots, wipe snot on my cat, and spend some quality time with an old friend…

scv4

See ya later, Space Cowboys…

Mass Effect Week Begins…

Who wants to check out some of the new Play Arts Kai Mass Effect figures?

Well, I sure did until photos of the final Shepard and Ashley figures hit the Interwebs. WOOF! The bodies look ok, but instead of going with in game likenesses, Square-Enix decided to go with transvestite Shepard and crack whore Ashley. We’re talking shockingly bad sculpting and paintwork. Garrus appears to be the only one that escaped the factories with his face intact, but then he was ugly to begin with. Zing! Of course, I’ve yet to mention there have also been some reports of unfortunate QC issues showing up on the initial production run. Thankfully, I was in time to cancel my pre-orders and I can always wait and see how Fem Shep and Tali turn out. In the meantime, I needed to look elsewhere for my Mass Effect figure fix.

And that brings us to Big Fish. Who? These are the guys that took over production and distribution of the more mass market orientated ME3 figures after the shit blew up between Bioware and DC Direct over delays in shipping. DC Direct finally got out the first wave under the Mass Effect 2 banner, before the whole show was handed over to Big Fish. But new name or not, these are still essentially DC Direct figures (only now released under the Mass Effect 3 banner), meaning that they’re aimed at a much more mainstream market than the larger and far more articulated Play Arts Kai figures. Now, personally, I’d rather have a less articulated figure with a decent looking portrait, but hey that’s just me. It didn’t hurt that I was able to get six of these figures (plus a Kotobukiya statue) shipped from our brothers in The Great White North for less than the cost of two of the Play Arts Kai figures. In fact, the only two I’m missing for a complete set are Legion and Garrus, and I have no qualms about hunting them down individually for a little more monies.

Usually, new weeks begin around here on Mondays, but with Thanksgiving and Black Friday ahead, I’m going to spend most of this week either crazy busy, crazy drunk, or asleep. There’s bound to be a few days this week, where I won’t have time to update, so I’m hoping that if I start today, I’ll still have a good chance of making it through all six figures before the end of the week.

So strap in, kiddies, and I’ll be back tomorrow to kick it off with the hero of the piece: Commander Shepard himself.

It’s November… It’s 4th Quarter… Release the hounds!!!

Technically, it’s been 4th Quarter for a month now, but November is when things start to get ugly. Yes, my job tends to put me through the ringer this time of year and when you add that to the fact that the Holidays have a way of draining me both emotionally and financially, it can sometimes have a negative impact on the doings here at FigureFan.

Last November, the FigureFan bus not only went on hiatus, it actually hit a speed bump, lost control, swerved off the road into a pile of babies, blowing up that pile of babies, and then sank into a flaming tar pit. This place came to a dead stop for the entire month of November and most of December. It was because my life was the Perfect Storm of stress and complication. Work was running me ragged, there were relationship issues, and the Holidays were seriously stressing me out. When I wasn’t at work or fighting with my psychotic ex, I was planted on a barstool somewhere drinking myself into oblivion and watching cat shows on Animal Planet. Folks, you know you’re spending too much time at a bar when you can ask them to turn the channel from Football to Animal Planet and they’ll do it for you.

Patron to my left: “Hey! I was watching that! What’s with the cats?”

Bartender: “Are you going to drink an entire bottle of Glenlivet? No? Well this guy is, so shut the hell up and watch the cats!”

I don’t think that’s likely to happen this year. I’ve made some positive adjustments in my life. I’m a lot higher up on the food chain at work and my ex has thankfully fled the state to locations unknown. Sure, I’m still bound to get preoccupied with work here and there, but I really plan on using this place as a safe harbor in the stress storm. I also plan on doing most of my medicinal drinking right here at FigureFan Central with FigureFeline so I can positively channel my drunken ramblings into content.

Ok, so with that behind me… let’s talk some toys…

November also means Marshalls and Ross set up their super clearance toy departments! Yes, these havens for budget clothing and home décor expand their usually pitiful offerings of clearance toys just in time for cheap well-intentioned grandparents to get their grandkids all of those toys that were on their Christmas lists… and by that I mean last year’s Christmas list. Last year, these stores were an absolute cornucopia of things that I needed to fill in my collection. Not only did I find almost every Reveal the Shield Transformer I needed, but I also got all the GI Joe 25th Anniversary vehicles and comic packs that I was missing. It was amazing!

Well, I dropped in to both stores on Friday and was pretty disappointed. Ross was just like Ross at any time of the year. It’s always hit or miss. The only thing they had of note was some of the 6-inch Thundercats. I blew out of there pretty quick hoping for better luck at Marshalls.

Last year, Marshalls was the better of the two. They had about six tables loaded with cast offs from the big box’s  action figure aisles and the usually sparse shelves of their Toy Graveyard were now bursting. This year? Not so much. In fact, it wasn’t much better than Ross on a really good day. They only had a few extra tables set up and those were all devoted to Barbies and other dolls. The action figures consisted of a metric shit ton of Iron Man 2 figures, a bunch of Dark of the Moon Voyagers and Deluxes, and more Ban Dai Thundercats.

I was going to pick through some of the Iron Man 2 figures and get a couple of DotM Voyagers, but for some reason the lines were ridiculously long, even at 10:30a on a weekday. I decided that I’d poke around a little more, but unless there was something better, like something I absolutely needed, I would just come back another time and see if they put more out.

Yeah, I did find that one item that made me stand in the line, but I’ll get to toward the end of the week. This week’s features will be back to a state of glorious randomness. Look for some Star Trek, Transformers, Hot Toys, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and even some GI Joe. For now, I’m going to go brood over the fact that my three-day weekend is more than half over.  

Goodbye, Vintage Vault Friday!

Several months ago, I started making Vintage Vault a regular scheduled update because, a) I was sorting through tubs and had a lot of my old stuff available, and b) There was absolutely nothing new coming in for me to look at. Well, it’s been a fun ride and it’s served its purpose, I’ve been through most of the M.A.S.K., Sectaurs, and AD&D stuff that I have in storage and now there’s a lot of new stuff coming in on a regular basis. Those of you who enjoyed it will be happy to know it’ll still be popping up from time to time, and I can always bring it back as a regular when I need it again. Those of you who didn’t give a shit will be happy to know I’m putting it back on the shelf.

I was actually going to try to get one more in today, but then the UPS guy dropped the Perfect Storm of stuff off on my stoop and I figured I should get started before I get buried.

And, yes… I will be back a little later on with some actual content.

Um…. Yeah…

So, I usually like to keep my commitments, but M.A.S.K. Monday is going to be pushed back to Wednesday this week due to some unforseen circumstances (ie. my camera blowing up). I was going to dig out my spare, but I’m getting called in to work to take care of some business. All this, just when I thought I got a new update schedule hammered out, but as they say, “it never rains, but it pours.”

I’ll still do my best to get three updates in this week.

Christ, I hate Mondays.

-FigureFan

Slowing Down for the Summer…

Starting this week, I’m cutting back updates to just three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I will continue to do Vintage Vault on Monday and Friday, for the next two weeks, at which time the planned number of Monday M.A.S.K. editions will have wrapped up and I will just be doing VV on Fridays. There will still be about three weeks’ worth of AD&D installments and after that it will rotate to different toy lines.

The cutbacks aren’t because I’ve lost any passion for doing this nonsense, but because I just don’t have that steady inrush of figures and toys to look at. If it weren’t for pulling out my really old stuff for the Vintage Vault featues, I would have had to resort to this a long time ago. Toss in the fact that I’m now doing the jobs of two managers at my work, the daily updates are too much right now. Maintaining a daily update schedule takes a lot of work, but without new stuff to look at, and having to dig through storage to find stuff to look at, it just becomes too time consuming for me to keep up with.

Eventually, I’ll be back to more frequent updates. The dry spell can’t last forever, and we have some really cool stuff coming out in 3rd and 4th Quarter of 2012. But for the time being, I think cutting back is the best thing I can do to maintain some consistancy for FigureFan and my own sanity. I’m not sure that I’ll ever get back to a daily routine, but Monday through Friday is a happy medium that I’d like to shoot for.

As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll be back tomorrow…

Vacation!!!

Well, not really, but I am going out of town this week starting tomorrow. I should be back early enough on Friday to get some content up before the end of the week, but in the interim Figurefan will be closed from Tuesday to Thursday.

I may also be skipping town for the weekend too, but that remains to be seen. Either way, I’ll try to get back to business as usual by next week.

-FigureFan

Sunday… Ahhh!

Yep, it’s Sunday so I’m taking the day off. Its been a grueling week at work and I’ve got a nice three-day weekend as the payoff. As you read this, I am curled up in a whiskey bottle with a jerry-rigged, steam-driven VCR playing a marathon of slightly garbled old episodes of Bionic Six. A possibility for future installments of VIntage Vault? Hmm… could be…

I might try to get up to Toys R Us this weekend and see if I can find anything new on the pegs because it has been a long time since I’ve found anything current that’s worth buying. On that note, my Voltron Yellow Lion and Hunk figure should be coming in any day now, so we have that to look forward to next week, along with the usual M.A.S.K. and AD&D editions of Vintage Vault, another Marvel Universe Comic Pack, some more Doctor Who, and whatever I can find to fill the gap in between.

See y’all tomorrow.

-FigureFan