Marvel Universe Collecting – A.I.M. Soldiers and M.O.D.O.K.

We are back in the Marvel Universe, and the showcase for today is: A.I.M. Soldiers & M.O.D.O.K. !

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George Tarleton, an average technician working for the terrorist organisation A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), was chosen at random to undergo a mutagenic process which transformed him into a massive-headed being with superhuman intelligence and extraordinary psionic powers. Originally intended to function as a M.O.D.O.C. (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Computing), Tarleton was enraged by his hideous condition and he slayed his former masters, taking over control of A.I.M., and now assuming the acronym M.O.D.O.K. (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing).

I have always been fascinated by A.I.M. ever since I read about them in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. According to the Handbook, A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is an organisation of brilliant scientists and their hirelings dedicated to the acquisition of power and the overthrow of all governments by technological means.

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A.I.M. soldiers come with a pistol and an arm-mounted cannon each. The heads resemble the beekeeper’s helmet.

So it was rather cool when A.I.M. soldiers were finally given physical form and I had to collect a couple, especially so to accompany the M.O.D.O.K. which I had acquired long time back.

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M.O.D.O.K. in his chair.

M.O.D.O.K. is based on his appearance from the 1994 “Iron Man” animated series, separate accessories can be attached onto his head such as the “Hyperoptic Video Cam”, and the “Gamma Missile Launcher”.

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M.O.D.O.K. prepares to fire a brain blast.

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M.O.D.O.K.’s cardback

A.I.M.’s and M.O.D.O.K.’s frequent enemies in the comics include Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D.

In “Iron Man 3 : The Official Game”, M.O.D.O.K. is revealed to be Aldrich Killian whose consciousness was downloaded onto A.I.M.’s network before he was killed.

Just one more:

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Hasbro reused A.I.M. soldier’s uniform sculpt for several other figures such as Magneto, Star-Lord, Ghost Rider (including another variant Ghost Rider not pictured here), and maybe even more.

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Star Wars Collecting – Luke’s Landspeeder

Hi world, I’m showcasing a truly awesome Star Wars item that I have recently acquired – Luke’s Landspeeder!

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Luke Skywalker owns a X-34 Landspeeder, which has three air-cooled thrust turbines. Luke’s landspeeder is missing its portside turbine cowling.

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Luke’s landspeeder may be old and battered, but Luke keeps his landspeeder in good working order with tinkering and careful maintenance. An external fixture allows Luke to store his rifle on the landspeeder’s starboard side.

After Luke learns of his father’s past as a Jedi knight from Obi-Wan Kenobi, and when the Empire murders Luke’s uncle and aunt, Luke decides to pursue the Jedi path. Luke and Obi-wan, together with the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, travel Mos Eisley to procure transport to Alderaan, where upon their arrival a group of Sandtroopers inspects them.

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“These are not the droids you are looking for.”

Obi-Wan manages to procure passage aboard a Corellian freighter, but to pay for the upfront fee Luke will have to sell his landspeeder, which Luke readily agrees to do so, having decided that he’s never coming back to this planet again.

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Luke accepts an offer of 2,000 credits from Wioslea for the landspeeder. Wioslea remains blissfully unaware that Obi-Wan had performed a Jedi mind trick on her, leading her to pay much more than the landspeeder was worth. As far as Wioslea was concerned, she only wants to go for her joyride.

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“Yippee!”

Star Wars Collecting – Purchase of the Droids

Hello world! Today I’m showcasing a couple more Star Wars figures that have acquired, specifically from the “Purchase of the Droids” scene on Tatooine.

The Jawas have arrived at the Lars Homestead, and they have just lined up six of their droids to offer for sale to the moisture farmer Owen Lars.

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Owen Lars is thinking of getting a couple of droids to help out at his moisture farm for the current season, and his nephew Luke Skywalker tags along to view the droids.

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Uncle Owen selects the red R2 unit, while Luke is more eager to waste time with his friends over at Tosche Station.

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“Something seems oddly familiar about that protocol droid…” and Uncle Owen dismisses that thought.

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Uncle Owen chats with the gold-plated protocol droid, and finds out that the droid not only understands the binary language of moisture vaporators, and it also speaks Bocce. Uncle Owen decides that this is the droid that he’s looking for.

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“Come on Red! Let’s go!”

“Pop – bang!”

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“Uncle Owen, this R2 unit has a bad motivator. Look!”

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Following the protocol droid’s recommendation, Uncle Owen swaps the red R2 unit for the blue one, who also seems to look somewhat familiar…  naaah!

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“Now don’t you forget this! Why I should stick my neck out for you is quite beyond my capacity!”

Just one more:

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“Yes, the droid speaks Bocce. It told me so.”

Star Wars Collecting – All my Landos

Hi world, today I’m showcasing a couple of Lando Calrissian figures that I have acquired.

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Lando Calrissian was an old acquaintance of Han Solo who had also engaged in the shady business of smuggling and gambling. He once owned the Millennium Falcon before he lost it to Han Solo in a game of sabacc. Since then, Lando had a career switch and he became an entreprenuer, setting up a small mining operation and becoming the administrator of Cloud City on the planet Bespin.

During the Rebels’ evacuation of Hoth, the Millennium Falcon‘s hyperdrive was damaged, and Han Solo sought help from his old friend Lando to repair it.

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“You old smoothie”

Unfortunately the Empire had arrived at Cloud City first and forced Lando to betray the Rebels under the threat of taking over the city. But when Lord Vader kept changing his deal with Lando over the custody of Princess Leia and Chewbacca, Lando decided to help the Rebels escape. However, Han Solo had been encased in carbonite and was taken away by the bounty hunter Boba Fett.

Now aligned with the Rebel Alliance, Lando joined forces with Chewbacca to track down Boba Fett and rescue Han Solo.

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Many fans ask why does Lando wear Han’s clothes.

Lando then plays a part in Luke Skywalker’s plan to rescue Han Solo from the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Lando infiltrates Jabba’s palace by posing as a guard, and he later helps Luke, Han and Chewbacca escape during their execution.

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And this was part of the plan?

Lando serves the Rebel Alliance with the rank of General, and he volunteers to lead a fighter attack to blow up the second Death Star.

IMG_4635Briefing on Home One

Lando pilots the Millennium Falcon to lead the attack on the Death Star.

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Lando goes casual for the mission, taking off his cape and gun holster. Even his copilot Nien Nunb changes from his B-Wing uniform to something a little more comfortable.

A task force on the forest moon of Endor, led by General Han Solo, was able to deactivate the energy shield protecting the Death Star. This allowed the Millennium Falcon and other remaining fighters to fly into the Death Star and knock out the main reactor, causing a chain reaction that destroys the entire battle station.

The Rebels then hold a celebration with the Ewoks to celebrate the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star.

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It’s hard to be sure, but Lando seems to have changed his shirt and jacket when he joined in the celebrations. The designs of the shirt and jacket are the same as the ones he wore on the Millennium Falcon, but their colours look somewhat different at the Ewok village. It could also be due to the lighting that they seemed (significantly) different though.

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From left:
OTC Lando Calrissian (Cloud City)
TAC Lando Calrissian in Smuggler Outfit
VC Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit)
TBS Lando Calrissian – which is a repack of VC General Lando Calrissian
The fifth Lando is a custom figure, recipe is as follow:
Head, neck, arms, belt, pelvis & legs – TBS Lando Calrissian
Torso – VC Colonel Cracken

Just one note: If you are thinking of buying a General Lando from the “Tunghori” on eBay, note that he does not come with the gun holster. I should have paid more attention to the display picture.

Bonus picture:
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Here we have a comparison of several Skiff Guard Lando.

From left:
POTF2 Lando Calrissian as Skiff Guard
OTC Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard) – A repack of SAGA Lando Calrissian (Jabba’s Sail Barge)
VC Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit) – This figure gets a bad rap for having too light a skin tone, and being much shorter than other Lando figures.

Star Wars Collecting – Anakin Skywalker(s)

SPOILER ALERT !

Okay, in case you still don’t know by now, Darth Vader, the villain from the original “Star Wars”, revealed himself to be Luke Skywalker’s father in “The Empire Strikes Back”. In “Return of the Jedi”, Obi-Wan Kenobi (in the form of a Force ghost) further explained that Vader once went by the name of Anakin Skywalker until he was seduced by the dark side of the Force. And the prequel trilogy dealt with this part of the story.

For my showcase today, I present a couple of Anakin Skywalkers that I have acquired as part of my awesome collection.

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Anakin Skywalker of Tatooine, podracing champion and former slave who has won his freedom and is about to leave for Coruscant to begin his Jedi training.

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Padawan Anakin wears the attires of the Jedi younglings, under the tutelage of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Ten years later, Anakin has grown up to become a handsome young man, a somewhat brash and arrogant Jedi strong in the ways of the Force. Also, Anakin massacres an entire tribe of Tusken Raiders after they had captured and tortured his mother leading to her death, challenged a Sith lord who cuts off Anakin’s right arm, and marry in secret Senator Padme Amidala of Naboo.

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As the Clone Wars rage across the galaxy, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker arrives at Nelvaan in pursuit of General Grevious. While there, Anakin is sent on a quest by a village shaman. In a cave decorated with primitive drawings, Anakin sees powerful visions of his future. To carry the memory of this experience with him, he has the drawings tattooed on his body. (Happened in the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars, we don’t actually see the tattoos in Episode III.)

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Anakin Skywalker has become battle-hardened after three years of war, becoming a Jedi Knight and having taken an apprentice during that time. He is a political ally of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who offers to teach Anakin ways to escape death and hopefully save the life of Padme, of whom Anakin has visions of her dying. When a Jedi plot to overthrow the Chancellor is uncovered, Anakin turns to the dark side of the force and become Palpatine’s apprentice. Now known as Darth Vader, a duel between him and Obi-Wan Kenobi leaves Anakin severely injured and disfigured…

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Darth Vader was saved by the Emperor, who provides Vader with his new black armour suit. More machine than man, Vader hunts down the remaining Jedi, serving as the Emperor’s right hand man and enforcing the rule of the Empire across the galaxy. That is until his son Luke made a connection to the good still in him, leading him to turn against the Emperor in a final fight to save his son at the cost of his own life.

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And the redeemed Anakin returns as a Force ghost, wait a second… NOOOOOoooooo!!!!!!!

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Now that’s much better.

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The evolution of Anakin Skywalker.

Custom DC Infinite Heroes Figure – The Riddler

Hi world! Here’s a Batman villain whom I’m quite sure has not made it into the 3.75″ realm yet – The Riddler !

P1130034Edward Nygma is a genius who is obsessed with riddles, puzzles and word games. For some reasons he has dedicated himself to a life of crime, calling himself “The Riddler”, employing his talents to wreck havoc on Gotham City, all the while taunting Batman and Gotham Police with bizarre riddles or complex clues which are usually a forewarning of his latest calculated caper.

Recipe:

Head – Weather Wizard
Rest of the body, and hat – The Question

The Riddler is a fairly straightfoward custom. Weather Wizard’s head was used as he wears a domino mask, just like the Riddler. The head was transplanted onto the Question’s body, and the top of the head was sliced off and attached with the Question’s hat. Epoxy was used to fill in the gap on the hat so what it will resemble Riddler’s signature bowler hat. The suit and hat were painted green, while the hands, shoes and mask were painted purple, and the tie black. A “?” sign was also painted onto the hat.

P1130040The Riddler (center), made of parts from The Question (left) and Weather Wizard (right).

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There’s always a “?” somewhere on the Riddler’s outfit

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Batman vs Riddler

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Ensemble shot of DCIH Batman rogues: Catwoman, Killer Croc, Hush, Scarecrow, The Riddler, Two-Face, The Joker, and a special appearance by Harley Quinn from “Injustice: Gods Among Us” by DC Collectibles.

Just a couple more:

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The business suit buck is used by several DCIH figures – The Question, Two-Face, President Lex Luthor. Two other variants of the Question also use the same buck.

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The Question looks rather freaky doesn’t he? Don’t worry, he’s a good guy.

(Photos of Lex Luthor and The Question courtesy of www.cooltoyreview.com)

Custom DC Infinite Heroes Figure – Aquaman

Here’s a custom which I had created some time back, you might have gotten a glimpse of him over here, but I’m showcasing him now – Aquaman !

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From DC Comics, Aquaman is the Atlantean hero. The son of a human and an Atlantean queen, Aquaman had at various times either assumed the throne of King of Atlantis, or abdicated it to pursue his hero path. Aquaman has superhuman strengths, is able to breathe underwater, and with telepathy he talks to the fishes, summoning marine support when fighting against his formidable adversaries.

Recipe:
Head – Lexcorp Trooper (Blond Hair)
Torso and legs – Weather Wizard
Arms and belt – Mirror Master

Aquaman is a surprisingly simple kitbash. Mirror Master’s arms already comes in the required orange and green colours, while Weather Wizard’s green legs only needed painting the black trunks. For my custom I had painted orange over Weather Wizard’s torso. It may be possible to use Mirror Master’s orange torso, assuming you know how to remove the glue marks when removing his scarf and also not damage the torso too much when taking him apart. Mirror Master’s gun holsters were sliced off leaving only the belt, and an ‘A’ symbol was pasted on the belt.

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Aquaman (center), made of parts from Mirror Master (left) and Weather Wizard (right).

And the recipe for custom Aquaman comes from this entry at Figure Realm customs.

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After making his appearance in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”, Aquaman will return in “Justice League” and helm his own solo movie thereafter. Oh, for the record, I had already created custom Aquaman before Jason Momoa was cast for the role, so Aquaman takes after his blond comic book appearance (and with both hands!).

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Aquaman with trident borrowed from Marvel Legends Showdown Namor.

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“Almighty Neptune !” – and the remote submersible bites the dust.