Awesome Toy Collection: More Batman Add-ons!

I have acquired a few more Batman items. Here I shall showcase them:
I have found this Bane variant from the movie “Batman & Robin”. I bought it as a loose figure, it was originally part of the “Brain vs. Brawn” two-pack as shown in the above right picture. The right side of Bane’s body appears translucent, while his left arm and leg seem wrapped around with green plant vines. Maybe Bane’s power had been augmented by some of Poison Ivy’s potions. Bane’s accessories are unfortunately lost, the two-pack shows that Bane originally had a crane hook weapon, and the Venom injection tube. Perhaps I can fashion the injection tube out of whatever material I can find. I would also need to touch-up some colours as the paint is worn off in several places, especially on Bane’s face. Below is a comparison of the definitive Bane and the variant.
 The Bane variant (right) should have a similar injection tube that connects his head to his left hand.
Remember Mr. Freeze’s henchman Frostbite? I have managed to find a loose Frostbite that still possesses all his accessories. Usually, when someone opens up his toy package to play with his action figures, sometimes the additional accessories that accompany the figure gets lost over time. Fortunately, the previous owner had managed to keep this Frostbite’s accessories altogether. After scrutinising Frostbite’s pictures on the packaging card in another toy shop, I have established that Frostbite in his full battle armour looks like this:
Frostbite’s accessories are fashioned after the armour worn by ice hockey players, following from the ice hockey costume design on Frostbite himself. I think the so-called armour seems more of a hinderance than help when Frostbite needs to wear all that while fighting with Batman.
This is a surprise find, the Riddler’s question mark cane. I had earlier bought the Riddler as a loose figure without the cane. But when I recently bought some other items from the same shop, I found the question mark cane packaged together with these items instead. The most logical explanation is that the items and the Riddler came from the same seller, who mistakenly packaged his items wrongly, with the accessories going with the wrong figures.
I digress a little bit. I would preferably try to collect loose figures as compared to unopen figures still in their packaging, as loose figures allows me more leeway in display purposes (so that I can play around with them). But I would also hope that the loose figures still come complete with all their accessories so as to get my money’s worth. I am a bit hesitant about opening unopen toy packages as the unopen figures are more valuable, unless I can figure out a way to open them that does not damage the package significantly and is still possible to make it look as if the package was still unopen. This is not always possible, depending on the design of the package.
 Batman sure has got his hands full today.

Chivarly, why bother?

Some time ago, I was having drinks with some of my friends, one of whom mentioned that he often invited his female colleagues out for dinners, catch a movie, and watch musicals or dance performances, usually with him footing the entire bill. I suggested that he was trying to invest in his friendships, but he corrected me, saying that he was only being chivalrous. That remark left me rather startled, and has got me into thinking as to exactly in what context does chivalry still exists as in this day and age.
Being chivalrous means strongly believing in doing one’s duty towards all women in general, usually in the form of being courteous or gracious. Chivalry has its origins during medieval times, when Christian knights would do their duty to God, and pledge their service to their Kings or Lords. By extension, the knights would also serve the lord’s lady. Over time, this service has come to be extended towards all the other court ladies as well. By modern times, chivalry has evolved into its present form of extreme gentlemenly behaviour towards women, going beyond just basic courtesy to also include great generousity and graciousness.
Perhaps I shall give some examples to show the distinctions between courtesy, generousity and graciousness. When a guy accidentally bumps into a girl and he apologises or helps her up, that’s basic courtesy which is expected of everyone. When a guy offers to pay for the girl or girls the dinner costs, or whatever costs, that’s being generous in the chivalry context (if guy pay for guy, that’s only being generous, there’s no chivalry involved). And if a guy goes out of his way to help a girl (for example, to do a particular task), that’s a demonstration of kindness and graciousness. The above are excellent examples of chivalry, and just as the knights of long time ago, chivalrous men of the modern day probably still carry out their self-declared duty to women with the same great fervent. Some things almost never changes.
But some things most certainly have changed. Women nowadays are more empowered as compared to the past. Many women work and earn a living, they can afford to pay for their own expenses, and when guys offer to pay for the girls’ dinner or movie expanses, such offers are sometimes turned down, with girls insisting on paying for themselves. Women are also now more able to perform tasks all by themselves, and would often reject offers of help from guys. Any semblance of assistance from guys are simply unwanted by girls, especially by those with a skewed sense of self-reliance. I am only guessing that acceptance of help somehow indicates a sign of weakness on the girls’ part, or that girls do not want to been perceived as owing guys anything.
Any chivalrous guy would tell you that his offering of assistance to girls is not about exchanging for any favours from girls, it has more to do with doing it out of goodwill, performing a good deed for it’s own sake. But of course, in many cases, girls do not appreciate guys doing anything generous for them, since they simply have no concept of chivalry. Chivalry isn’t exactly something that is taught in schools anymore, and there is no corresponding equivalent for chivalry in the female sense. The nearest thing that comes close is the general sense of kindness and courtesy that is expected of everyone, regardless of gender. As a result, if a chivalrous guy still thinks that it is the thought that he’s trying to help that counts, I hope he will not be too disappointed since the girls are going to regard his offer of payment or help as something that is only expected but not particularly appreciated. In other words, he’s only being kind, that’s all.
Sometimes I see guys who accompany his female friends, and the guys act funny or say funny things to make the girls laugh or irritate them. Strangely enough, he seems to think of himself as chivalrous in the sense of offering the girls his companionship and entertaining them with his antics. Personally, I think that he is only acting like a clown. If he is trying to impress the girls with his so-called chivalry, then I can only say that he seriously does not know what chivalry means. One does not behave chivalrous in anticipation of any type of reward, but rather for the satisfaction to have done one’s duty to women, regardless of whether his efforts goes unappreciated.
Of course, nobody’s perfect. When one does good to others, naturally you would expect some good, or at least some appreciation in return, especially so in this give-and-take world that we live in. So, if you want to be chivalrous in this society, by all means go ahead, nobody’s stopping you. If you are truly chivalrous and willingly perform your duty to women out of your own good heart, good for you. But if your ego is unable to handle nothing in return for all your efforts, or if you do all these with some motive or agenda in mind, then stop calling yourself chivalrous. You are hardly a knight.

Awesome Toy Collection: Add-ons for Babylon 5 and Batman

Hello world, this is a showcase on some of the figures that I have recently collected:
I have acquired the Babylon 5 figures Ambassador G’Kar, and Ambassador Delenn. This Delenn is the Minbari version, not the Human-Minbari hybrid version.
G’Kar is a representative of the Narn race, a reptilian-like species who had recently overthrown nearly a century of Centauri occupation. G’Kar served as the Narn Ambassador to the space station Babylon 5. Initially G’Kar was a hot-tempered and angry person, often nearly coming to blows with Centauri Ambassador Mollari. Then an event enlightened G’Kar, causing him to become a deeply spiritual individual whose philosophy inspires a huge following. G’Kar would no doubt be upset that an action figure in his likeness has been created, just as he broke into two an unauthorised idol of him in one episode.
Delenn is a member of the Minbari race. In season two of Babylon 5, Delenn undergoes a transformation which changes her appearance into a half-Human, half-Minbari hybrid. She did so in an effort to bring the peoples of Earth and Minbar closer together, following in her beliefs that the destinies of Humans and Minbari are somehow intertwined. Here is a comparison of Delenn before and after her transformation.
Ambassador Delenn in golden robes (Minbari version), and in purple robes (Human-Minbari hybrid version)
I don’t often collect Batman figures belonging to the Batman cartoon series, since they appear rather cartoonish and are somewhat lacking in texture or realism as compared with the figures from the Batman movies. But in this case I make an exception. This is Harley Quinn, the Joker’s sidekick who made her first appearance in “Batman: The Animated Series”. Harley was a psychiatrist assigned to analyse the Joker while he was interned in Arkham Asylum. Instead, Harley found herself fascinated by the Joker’s character and fell in love with him, eventually helping the Joker to escape and become his partner-in-crime. Harley remains slavishly devoted to the Joker despite the Joker’s frequent abuses towards her, a true indication of her insanity. Harley Quinn proved to be such a popular character that she was even incorporated into the Batman comic storyline. In fact, Harley Quinn’s popularity has made her a highly sought-after figure, and I decided to collect her especially since she’s a rare one to find.
Here’s two Robins from the movie “Batman Forever”: Transforming Dick Grayson, and Street Biker Robin. Among the accessories that come with the first figure include a Robin suit that can be attached to the figure and transform Dick Grayson into Batman’s sidekick, Robin. And the second figure shows Dick Grayson in a street biker outfit. Normally, I wouldn’t want to get too many variants of the same character, preferring to collect the character in the version he or she appeared as in the movie. But there are exceptions to this, such as if the character appeared in different outfits during the same movie, as in this case.