Awesome Toy Collection – Disney 7″ Indiana Jones

Two of my good friends went for a holiday in the US earlier this month, and since they mentioned that they were going to visit Disneyland, I asked if they could help me look out for any of the Disney-licensed Indiana Jones items. My friends have returned, and they have gotten for me this awesome figure: The Disney 7″ Indiana Jones !
 
Being an Indiana Jones fan, I am always on the lookout for rare or hard-to-find Indy items. So, it is a real treat for me to be able to collect this Indiana Jones figure, since I think it cannot be found in Singapore, and I don’t think that I would be visiting Disneyland anytime soon. I am very happy to have received this figure, and I’m very grateful to my friends for having brought it all the way back from the US.
 
 Just in case you were wondering about the relative sizes
of the 3 3/4″ Hasbro Indy, and the 7″ Disney Indy.
 

Awesome Toy Collection – Indiana Jones figures part 4

And now, I’ll roundup the showcase of my awesome Indiana Jones collection by presenting the figures from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.
 
 The figures from “Temple of Doom” are the last wave of figures released by Hasbro, for now.
 
Not many people realise that “Temple of Doom” is actually a prequel to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”Temple of Doom takes place in 1935, one year before the events of Raiders. Indy was in Shanghai, negotiating an artifact exchange with an underworld boss when things goes horribly wrong, and Indy was forced to escape with his sidekick, a Chinese boy named Short Round, and dragging along the gangster’s trophy nightclub singer Willie Scott. Indy’s getaway plane crashes in India, but the three of them survive by parachuting off in an inflatable life raft.
 
 Short Round is an orphan from Shanghai who tried to pickpocket Indy.
Instead, he became fast friend with Indy and now serves as Indy’s sidekick.
Willie Scott decides to flee with Indy after she realised that her nightclub boss held no regard with her life.
 
Indy arrives at an Indian village, where the village elders claimed that destiny had brought them here to save the village. An evil force from the nearby Pankot Palace had burned their fields, kidnapped their children, and stolen their sacred Sankara Stone. The village elders believe that Indy would recover the sacred stone from Pankot, which would restore prosperity to the village. Indy decides to investigate the villagers’ plight, and the three of them travel to Pankot Palace, where they were treated as guests by the Maharaja. However, after Indy narrowly escapes from an assassination attempt on him in the middle of the night, Indy decides to sneak around. Indy soon discovers that the palace’s mines were being used as a place of worship by the Thuggee Cult of Kali, witnessing a human sacrifice ritual.
 
 Mola Ram is the High Priest of the Thuggee Cult. He plans to recover all five Sankara Stones,
which would give him ultimate power, and allow him to spread the worship of Kali around the world.
  
More members of the Thuggee Cult:
The Chief Temple Guard, and a generic Temple Guard.
 
 
Indy finds the Sankara Stone.
 
Indy retrieves the Sankara Stone, but he becomes outraged when he saw that the village children were made to work as slaves in the mines. Indy gets captured by the Thuggee when he tries to save the children. Short Round and Willie were similarly captured. Indy was made to drink a potion that put him under a spell and become a Kali worshipper. Just as Willie was about to be sacrificed to Kali, Short Round burns Indy with a torch, which inadvertently breaks Indy free from the spell. Indy fights back the Thuggee and frees Willie and Short Round. Indy then decides to challenge the entire Kali cult and free all the children.
 
Indy is damned pissed off, he arms himself with a sword,
slashing and hacking at every Thuggee guard he sees.
 
The child slaves were inspired by Indy’s actions and they revolt against the Thuggee, breaking out from the palace. Indy confronts Mola Ram in a final showdown, even as they hung onto a collapsed bridge by a cliff. Mola Ram tries to steal the Sankara Stone again, but his hands were seared when the stone glowed white-hot in his grasp. Indy snatched the stone back, just as Mola Ram lost his grip and fell into the river below and is devoured by the crocodiles. Indy, Short Round and Willie soon return to the village with the Sankara Stone, and they bring along the village children, returning them to their families.

Awesome Toy Collection – Indiana Jones figures part 3

In this entry, I’ll continue the showcase of my awesome Indiana Jones figures collection by going through the figures from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
 
 These are the figures from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
 
The Last Crusade is set in 1938. Indy received news that his father, while working for a wealthy American named Donovan, had gone missing in Venice during a search for the Holy Grail, the sacred cup that is said to have once held the blood of Jesus Christ and grants immortality to whoever who drinks from it. Indy travels to Venice, where he rendevous with Dr. Elsa Schneider, Donovan’s associate.
 
Indiana Jones and his Dad, Henry Jones Sr.
 
After some thorough investigation, Indy learns that his Dad is held captive in Austria by the Nazis. Indy breaks his Dad out of the castle prison, but the two were betrayed by Elsa. It turns out that both Donovan and Elsa worked for the Nazis, who also coveted the Holy Grail so as to tap into its mysterious powers. Indy was lured to Austria as he had his Dad’s diary, which holds valuable clues as to the Holy Grail’s location.
 
Colonel Vogel served as the Nazis’ liaison with Donovan in the search for the Holy Grail.
Loyal only to the Nazi cause, Vogel is ruthless in his determination to obtain the Grail for Der Führer.
 
 Dr. Elsa Schneider is a historian hired by Hitler to search for the Grail.
She manipulates both Indy and his Dad in order to achieve her goals.
 
Indy and his Dad escape from the Nazis in a daring motorcycle chase, and they steal the Grail diary back from Elsa. However, Donovan and the Nazis had already obtained enough clues to determine the location of the Grail Temple. Indy catches up with Donovan and Elsa at the temple, but Donovan deliberately shoots and mortally wounds Indy’s Dad, forcing Indy to solve the temple’s booby traps in order to retrieve the Holy Grail, since only the healing powers of the Grail can save Indy’s Dad. Indy survives the traps, and comes face to face with the guardian of the Grail, a 700-year-old knight whose immortal duty is to protect the Holy Grail.
 
 The Grail Knight, who has attained immortality by drinking from the Grail.
 
Donovan and Elsa follow Indy into the chamber, but many other cups and chalices were also present, and Donovan could not figure out which is the true Grail. Elsa selects the most elegant chalice for Donovan, who drinks from it. However, Donovan had chosen poorly as he quickly ages and dies when he turned into dust. Indy realises which is the true Grail and he drinks from it, and he lives. Using water from the Holy Grail, Indy heals his Dad’s wounds and saves him. Despite the knight’s warning not to take the Grail away from the temple, Elsa tries to do exactly that and incurs the wrath of God, resulting in an earthquake which causes Elsa to fall into a chasm, killing her. The temple is destroyed and the Grail is lost within it, but Indy and his Dad escape and come away with a greater appreciation for each other.
 
 
Indy finds the Holy Grail.
 
As a last pic, this is Young Indy, who appears in the beginning sequence of The Last Crusade,
which explained how Indy got his fear of snakes, started to use a whip, and how he got his hat.

Awesome Toy Collection – Indiana Jones figures part 2

Continuing with my awesome Indiana Jones figures collection, here I showcase the figures from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
 
These are the figures from “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
 
KOTCS takes place in 1957 at the height of the Cold War. Soviet agents are combing the world in search of valuable powerful artifacts which they intend to use to control the world. A Soviet team led by Irina Spalko kidnaps Indiana Jones, and forced him to retrieve for them a secret artifact from a US Government warehouse, later revealed to be alien remains.
 
Soviet agents led by Irina Spalko (center). On the left is Colonel Dovchenko, to the right is a Soviet soldier.
 
Indy narrowly escapes from his captors, but he quickly embarks on another adventure, when a delinquent-looking guy named Mutt Williams informs Indy that Oxley, Indy’s old acquintance, is possibly in danger, having gone missing in South America while in search of a mysterious crystal skull. Following a trail of clues, Indy and Mutt arrive at Nazca, Peru where, after clashing with a couple of cemetary warriors, Indy is able to find the crystal skull in an ancient tomb.
 
Mutt (in black jacket) throws his switchblade at the cemetary warrior, who catches the switchblade and is about to attack Mutt with the blade, before Indy whips it away from his hand. This scene got deleted in the movie.
 
Indy holds the crystal skull.
 
Just as Indy and Mutt were leaving, the Soviets arrive and capture them. Spalko reveals that the crystal skull is a powerful psychic weapon of alien origin, and they plan to use the skull to find the lost city of Akator, where more secrets await them. Apart from Oxley, Indy finds out that the Soviets had also kidnapped his old girlfriend Marion, who happens to be Mutt’s mom. Indy then learns that Mutt is his son with Marion. After a lengthly confrontation, Indy and his friends escape from the Soviets, taking the crystal skull along with them.
 
Mutt and Spalko draw blades during the fight for the crystal skull.
 
Indy and Dovchenko slug it out even as they are surrounded by man-eating ants.
 
Indy’s greatest fear is snakes. He now defends himself with a RPG.
Note: I made up this scene, it never happened.
 
 
The Soviets pursue Indy and his friends to Akator, meeting fierce resistance
from the Ugha Warriors, the guardians of Akator.
 
At Akator, Indy discovers a chamber with 13 crystal skeletons, with one missing its skull. Spalko arrives and reclaims the crystal skull. She returns the skull to the skeleton, which re-animates itself and offers a gift in return. But Spalko demands that the crystal beings reveal all their secrets to her.
 
“Tell me everything you know! I want it all!”
 
However, the knowledge from the aliens overwhelmed Spalko and she burst into flames. The Akator complex began to fall into pieces, but Indy and his friends get out, and see a flying saucer emerge from Akator and vanishing into another dimension. Returning home, Indy and Marion rekindle their romance and they get married. And the adventure continues!
 
More pictures of the KOTCS figures can be seen in the photos section!
 

Awesome Toy Collection – Indiana Jones action figures

All right, this has been a long time coming, and now at last, I am showcasing my awesome Indiana Jones action figures collection!
 
The toy company Hasbro, in conjunction with the recent Indiana Jones movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, has produced a whole new range of action figures based on characters from all four Indiana Jones movies. And I have been sufficiently inspired to collect them all!
 
I’ll start with the first movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Set in 1936, the Nazis are on the verge of discovering the Ark of the Covenant and are hell-bent on unleashing its powers to conquer the world. The US Government hires adventurer-archaeologist Indiana Jones to find the Ark before the Nazis could. Braving the deserts and the high seas, Indy teams up with his allies in the race for the Ark, fighting against the Nazis and the fierce determination of an old rival.
 
Indiana Jones (center), with his ally Sallah (left), and his old flame Marion (right).
 
As Indy and Marion arrive in Cairo to begin their search for the Ark, the mysterious individual known as
the Monkey Man spies on their every move, using his pet monkey to infiltrate into Sallah’s household.
 
The Nazis hire local thugs to ambush Indy and Marion as they shopped in the bazaars of Cairo.
 
The Cairo Swordsman challenges Indy to a duel,
and Indy figures out the easiest way to win this clash of civilizations.
 
The Ark of the Covenant. Said to contain the remnants of the original Ten Commandments,
the Ark is believed to wield enormous power, capable of leveling mountains and laying waste to entire regions.
 
At the center is René Belloq, Indy’s professional rival. Currently hired by the Nazis, Belloq has
dressed up in the ceremonial costume worn by the ancient high priests, as he prepared to open the Ark.
Two German soldiers flank Belloq on either side.
 
These are the figures from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. It would be a bit exhausive to showcase every one of them
in a single blog entry, so I have loaded their pictures into the Photos section. Feel free to view!

Showcase Movie – 2012

This is a showcase of the upcoming movie "2012".
 
 
As a general rule, I do not find out too much about the storyline of an upcoming movie just so that I can keep myself surprised and amused as the plot unfolds when I go watch the movie. And even if I should know any details about the story, whenever I showcase a movie to someone I will not reveal anything more than what had already been presented in the movie’s posters and trailers. It would be very rude of me if I should spoil the movie to anyone who has been looking forward to watching it. Therefore, as you can surmise, 2012 is most probably some sort of disaster movie, with huge ocean waves crashing into major cities and destroying many famous landmarks. In fact, the trailer for 2012 shows giant tsunamis that exceed even the heights of the Himalayan Mountains, with a Tibetan monastery facing imminent destruction.
 
Most likely, the movie is set in the year 2012, the year in which the end of the world is predicted by some to occur. It is said that the ancient Mayan calender will come to an end sometime in December 2012, coinciding with the end of the world. Even more recently, a set of medieval pictograms attributed to the famous astrologer Nostradamus is said to predict the end of the world as occuring in 2012, when (as the pictograms suggest) the motion of the sun across the sky coincides with the position of galactic axis as seen from the Earth. Certain other doomsday theories also predict some sort of cataclysmic or transformative event as going to happen in 2012, ranging from planet collision, black hole alignment, geomagnetic reversal, or even a spontaneous shifting of global consciousness.
 
It should be said that most of the above theories about the end of the world as we know it in 2012 have little or no scientific standing, while the incessant sensationalism of pending apocalypse in 2012 by the media in the forms of documentaries and movies, can only serve to make a nearly-baseless prediction sound more and more like a matter of fact. So, I believe that the movie 2012 would no doubt be capitalising on people’s interests in the end of the world by presenting a vision of what is to come. And I myself am looking forward to watching 2012 when it opens here next week, to see what is going to happen in the near future, at least, according to the script of the writers, and the movie’s special effects.
 
2012, coming soon…

I like you just the way you are

Recently, one of my friends announced that he has found a girlfriend. For reasons that I will not go into, I wasn’t particularly sharing in the joy of my friend’s newfound happiness. But anyway, my friend suggested to me that, since I am currently still in search of a life partner, I may wish to use this time to consider what qualities would I look out for in a potential life partner, to know what I want to expect from this person, and maybe from my criteria recognise the person suitable for me.
 
Strangely, I felt that my friend’s suggestion was somewhat lacking. Whatever happened to the concept of accepting a person the way she is? And respecting that fact, understanding that each person’s personality and behaviour is unique and possibly different from your own. People are who they are, each person’s character and values are shaped by their life experiences and the situations that they had faced. And whenever we interact or associate with our friends or even with the people around us, we should accept them for who they are, provided that there is nothing evil or criminal involved.
 
Not everybody’s character or interests are going to be exactly the same as yours, and quite often when we make friends, we do not limit ourselves to those who are your exact clones, but also befriend those having personalities different from our own. What’s more important is that we can get along with each other just fine, and also have fun doing so. And should any conflict or difference in opinion occur, we should respect each other’s different point of view, "agree to disagree" so to speak, or maybe even try to see the issue from the other person’s perspective, gain some new hindsight, as long as we do not let the issue stand in the way of friendship.
 
Come to think of it, my methodology towards companionship does seem a bit too idealistic. Perhaps I should give an analogy: Suppose that amongst your friends you have found someone who you see as potential life partner and that person similarly likes you. It is up to you to decide for yourself whether if you are magnanimous enough to accept her for who she is, even if she is a person who nags and complains incessantly about every little thing, is totally unappreciative towards you for all you do for her, wants everything to be done in her own way, and thinks that she is right all the time. After all, you may have to put up with this for the rest of your life, and for your own good you probably need to know whether if you can handle it.
 
And somehow if there is a part within you that hopes that she can overcome her shortcomings so as to make you like her more, I would suggest that you do not waste too much of your life waiting for such a miracle, especially so in this day and age whereby you are SUPPOSED to be respectful and accepting of each other’s views and differences amongst friends and acquaintances. And just as much as I cannot compell a person to like me against her will, I do not assume that I have the right or authority to demand of any change in someone else’s behaviour or beliefs. Any change for the better has to be done out of the person’s own accord and it cannot be forced upon, only then can such a change be genuinely done from the heart.
 
I am going to have to conclude this rant by saying that nobody is perfect, and we can always try to improve upon ourselves by making changes for the better, such as correcting our own personal failings, or developing a tolerance towards the flaws of others. Decisions such as choosing a life partner should not be taken too hastily, and being in a relationship should be a fun process for either side, it could even be a learning experience. More importantly, try to recognise what is it in the person that you like about. Sometimes the reason cannot be put into words, but it could be something as simple as a friendly character or a good nature.
 
May the one you like be someone that you can stand, flaws and all.