July 17, 2009

Some cool–looking Star Wars toys and action figures

As a lowly webmonkey I rarely get to see the actual physical products we sell. I could buy them, but I’m not rich enough for that. So unfortunately I can only really go based on the lovely pictures that get loaded onto the website.

Since we’re supposed to be well-known for selling Star Wars things, and that we rank pretty badly for it, I’ve decided to find what I think are the best-looking upcoming Star Wars toys. This is all part of the experiment.

I’ll start with my personal favourite, this is the one that caught my eye and made me decide to make this post.

Imperial Shock Trooper

Technically this is related to the prequels (or clone wars cartoons) so by rights it should be rubbish. However, it looks bloody cool. The design is somewhere between clonetroopers and stormtroopers so I imagine it’s supposed to be a gradual progressions. But apparently this guy is a Shock Trooper, that sounds pretty impressive so I like to pretend he shoots lightning (rather than going with the boring conventional definition of shock trooper). The red colouring is what makes this figure stand out, and apparently he’s fully articulated. That’s right, not just partially articulated, but fully. Is there some sort of quality assurance board that governs whether an action figure can be considered fully articulated? I ask because I very much doubt he has a completely accurate human skeletal frame with all joints and motions.

He’s not cheap (about £70), but if you’re the kind of person who’s inclined to buy this kind of stuff, he’s worth a look.

Deluxe Imperial Shock Trooper at Forbidden Planet

Next up it’s the….

Sandtrooper

Quite similar to the Shock Trooper, but it’s a true original trilogy style Storm Trooper, who happens to be a bit dirty, this makes him into a Sandtrooper apparently. Since this stuff is all made up anyway, I guess I can accept that a Sandtrooper is different to a Stormtrooper and this isn’t just an attempt to cash in by making numerious variations of exactly the same model.

He’s more expensive than the Shock Trooper (coming in at a hefty £75) and doesn’t look quite as cool, but still worth a look if you have more money than sense.

Deluxe Imperial Sandtrooper at Forbidden Planet

Ultimate Quarter Scale Figure: Mace Windu

Yeah that’s right, it’s Mace “I’m going to crash your party, bitches” Windu. The guy who made purple lightsabers the height of manly fashion is apparently now available as an “Ultimate Quarter Scale Figure”, whatever the hell that means. I can only assume it means he’s quarter the size of ol’ Samuel L himself, which would make this figure pretty big. By the looks of things he’s trying to force persuade you into buying his action figure, I guess he’d have to since it costs £75. Apparently he also has 25 points of articulation…

It looks like he also come with real cloth for clothing, this basically means you’re paying £75 for a Barbie.

Ultimate Quarter Scale Figure: Mace Windu at Forbidden Planet

Challenge time

Find me the highest number of points of articulation that an action figure has ever had, you are not limited to humanoids. I guess some sort of giant worm or dragon action figure might be the winner here.

There’s lots of other things, but frankly these were the ones that looked the best to me. If you’re really interested in seeing everything else, I guess you could always visit this convenient link that lists all of the Star Wars toys that we sell on the interwebs

Not everything costs as much as £70, though some of it a lot more. £50-70 seems to be the sweet spot for things that look good but are also in the realm of affordability.

I was serious about the points of articulation thing, I want to know.


Pondering Ponderousness

I’ve been wondering what to do with this blog for a while, mostly because I have a proper site (that happens to be being rebuilt) as well.

I’m thinking I might start using this blog for general rants, whilst keeping my main site as a more professional gubbins. I’m also thinking I could use it to highlight any cool stuff I spy my company selling. We sell all sorts of cool action figures, statues and comics, some of which look pretty cool – even if I can’t actually afford any of it myself :(

I’ve been trying to push the idea of a more community-oriented section of our site for over 2 years now. The main argument being that by providing valuable content, you are going to encourage a lot more inbound links as well as a positive attitude towards the company. When you compare this with sending our numerous newsletters per week which just list products, and have a site with over 20,000 products but no opinion… the benefits are obvious. In this day and age, transparency and a human face are going to do a lot more for boosting traffic than wearing out your existing customers.

My previous 2 posts here were largely to prove a point (though the results are obviously skewed due to the obscenely high scoring that Google seems to give .ac.uk domains). Permitting for different Google servers (each server has different rankings for pages because changes take a long time to propogate across them all), I’ve managed to boost us from page 4 to 1 of UK searches and from virtually unranked to page 1 of worldwide. Obviously this is only for a very specific set of keywords and I had to write some very targetted content (and links), but I hope it’s proved my point – inbound links are everything, and if you provide content that people want to link to, you’re on to a winner.

So I’m tempted to keep using this blog to push certain parts of the site, but only to the stuff I genuinely think is cool. I have no intention of turning this into a marketing portal and I would kind of like to return to the entertaining kind of posts that used to be so common across Warwick Blogs.

BYE THEN.


July 08, 2009

Uh oh, I did it again :( (more Urban Vinyl and Art Toys)

Follow-up to Designer Toys / Urban Vinyl / Art Toys are expensive and look cool from Andy's Dumb Ramblings

...I bought 3 more Monskeys

Monskey Army

Apparently the red one loves nature and hates waste. The diver one loves diving and hates sharks. Personally I think he picked the wrong sport if he hates sharks.

I’ll try not to buy any more, 4 is enough methinks…

I also have a secret agenda here, I’m testing the effect a blog post has on google rankings. Trying to encourage my employer to interact with the internets a little more proactively. Though to be honest, I think it would be worthwhile even if it didn’t affect our rankings in any meaningful way.

I’m curious as to whether Warwick Blogs are still as powerful in Google as they used to be, I remember when I was the number one search result for Threats to Global Peace.

So here’s the rest of our Urban Vinyl


July 06, 2009

Designer Toys / Urban Vinyl / Art Toys are expensive and look cool

Hello, it’s me again.

Why am I posting here and not on my real site? Because I’m redeveloping it. And when it’s finally launched, you too will be able to see that it should never have taken as long as it has.

Anywho, in the last couple of years I’ve been slowly exposed to the scary world of Designer Toys / Urban Vinyl / Art Toys (whatever the hell you want to call them). No, I’m not talking about edgy urban music ‘records’. I’m talking about the odd craze where artists take a prefabricated vinyl (plastic) figure and art the shit out of them (yes, that is a technical term). Sometimes they’ll even design their own vinyl figure first, and sometimes they won’t even use vinyl, they’ll make plush toys. What a crazy world.

Anyway, I finally took the plunge and bought one of the cheapest vinyl figures I could find. It’s a “Monskey” and his name is “Teakia”. According the packaging he likes fire and hates noise. He also believes we all have psychic powers. In many ways he’s a lot like me.

Here’s a picture of him:

Unfortunately there’s also a boatload of almost identical monskeys with different designs, this is why I’m going to be very poor. Even more poor than I am thanks to living in London and earning a non-London wage.

Here’s a link to a whole bunch of other urban vinyl monskeys

There’s an unbelievable amount of urban vinyl, so it’s lucky I’m not one of those guys who gets hooked on collecting stuff. No wait, you’re the one who doesn’t get hooked, I’m the one who does… Unfortunately most of it costs a fortune. You can even get a 18 inch tall white monkey thing that you can doodle all over designer toys, art toys, and urban vinyl 18 inch Mega Munny at Forbidden Planet) ... seriously, who comes up with these ideas?

Also, it’s my birthday soon so buy me lots of nice things. Yes Mannion and Widge, I mean you.


April 24, 2009

Star Trek is a good reboot, if slightly inconsistent

Title:
Star Trek
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Woo, first entry in over 2 years!

This Wednesday I saw the new Star Trek film, having seen the trailers and casting choices I had high hopes, thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

The film does its best to be a logical reboot, basically it is designed to transition from the time period (and events) of the TNG/DS9/Voyager era to the date of Kirk’s birth. It’s not a huge spoiler (since it happens in the first 5 minutes), but basically the circumstances surrounding Kirk’s birth change significantly creating a whole new Trek universe without the heavy-handed erasure that happens with most reboots.

There are a few inconsistencies that can’t be explained by the reboot, like why the standard starfleet insignia is the enterprise one before the events of TOS, or why Spock is now the creator of the Kobayashi Maru test when Wrath of Kahn implies he didn’t (debatable though). The way Kirk wins it is changed too, he still cheats but the approach taken demonstrates the difference in his upbringing, and the consequences are very different.

The casting is for the most part excellent, Spock and Kirk in particular. Characters like Uhura, Checkov and Sulu are fleshed out in such a way to demonstrate that they really are the best at what they do – something that never really featured heavily in TOS or the old movies. Leonard Nimoy’s appearance as Old Spock isn’t just fan service, he is fairly integral to the plot. Scotty is very much just Simon Pegg playing a stereotype. Despite being entertaining, he’s character who’s played furthest from the original.

The main issue with the plot is that it basically exists as a method of justifying the reboot, if the events of the film didn’t happen there would be no reboot universe to speak of. What unfolds during the film significantly changes the balance of the Federation to the degree that future films (and even televion series) can be made without the feeling that you’re just rewatching the story you’ve already seen on TV years ago.

Despite the dark events of the film, it’s very lighthearted in tone. It’s very much an entertaining (and humorous) action-adventure that doesn’t really touch on the heavy political issues and serious plotlines of the later shows.

Summary: Watch it, even if you’ve never seen or don’t like previous Star Treks.


February 14, 2007

Valentines

Dear You,

Happy Valentines Day!

Link!

From Andrew.

(Image obtained from VGCats.com)


February 11, 2007

Horrible Video

Here is a video of a mouse being eaten by a giant centipede. It’s icky.

Video doesn’t allow embedding, so clicky on it to watch it at youtube.


February 08, 2007

Public Service Announcement 2

I still hate snow, it’s still rubbish.


February 04, 2007

World Also Needs Graphs

Graphs allow us to see how properties vary as other properties change, magic!


World Needs Diagrams

The world needs more diagrams, here’s an example of a diagram. As you can see, the diagram makes the process much easier to understand.


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