MOTUC Figure Review….Count Marzo

Count Marzo is one of those Big Lots deals….I scored him for only $10, and promptly gave him to SpartanSmurf #1.  He is a figure I had contemplated purchasing before….but somethng always held me back.  But at $10, he was an instant nab.  And I didn’t think twice about giving him to one of my children, so that they can love Masters of the Universe as I do.

The Four Horsemen have said that they received criticism from Mattel about the design of the figure.  He resembled the anime style too much.  That is definitely here….At the time he was released, there Mattel did not have the rights to Filmation, and could not design him to look like that version…So they punted and went with the more Russian version from the Mike Young cartoon, which took its design cues from anime…..and so on.

But I like anime.  See my previous posts!  And I wouldn’t want a Filmation Marzo, who appears to be a “frumpy old man.”  (Yes I said “frumpy,” and meant it.)

Marzo is one of the few characters to get his own torso sculpt.  He’s totally ripped!  His head has big hair, that does hinder the movement of his head.  His cape is very cool, made of rubber that looks like cloth!  It is very nice, and is removeable if you take off Marzo’s head.  One of the first things I did with the cape was try it out on Skeletor!

With this cape, and the powered up staff fro The Faceless One, Skeletor, looks like an anime character!

Marzo comes with an awesome spear-tipped sword.  You could really do some damage with that!

And he comes with the amulet he used in the cartoon to transform him from an old peddler into the powerful wizard!  The Amulet is made of translucent plastic.   Nice touch!  He was the first figure to come with a gripping hand, and holds the amulet nicely with that grip hand.

You will both learn to share…OR ELSE!

I have nothing bad to say about Count Marzo.  He’s boss.  I DO wish we would get the old man version of Marzo, that is the version that transforms with an amulet.  But this figure is certainly welcome as he is.  He gets a 5/5. What is your rating?  I’m waiting to give out some prizes!

MOTUC Figure Review….The Faceless One

The Faceless one is a figure that I found intriguing in the Mike Young cartoon.  I thought, “Hmmm…… Wish I had a figure of that!”  Later when I saw the episode where it was revealed that he was Evil-Lynn’s father, this was a lot more depth than I originally gave him.  And as I watched re-runs on DVD, Netflix, etc, I began to notice similarities between his castle and Skeletor’s Havoc Staff.

The MOTUC version of the figure taps into that.

Time to dig in.

This figure belongs to SpartanSmurf #2….and he’s had it for awhile.  So no box.  But I assure you that it was the standard MOTUC packaging.

You’ll have to find the bio out there on the internet….But in short he is stuck guarding the Ram Stone.  And Skeletor stole the Havoc Staff from him.  And Evil-Lynn has done some time traveling……

The first thing you’ll notice is that he appears to be a little bulkier than the other figures.  This is because of his cape…armor…shroud………His clothes.  They fit over the figure and just kind of sit on top loosely.

The next thing you will probably notice is that he does indeed have a face.  Not a very detailed face…But the face is there.  The Four Horsemen have discussed this at length.  They say they tried a ton of different sculpts, but this is what they liked best.  They were trying to capture what was on the cartoon, which was shadows of his features, kind of, only.  His face sort of glowed, or maybe radiated on the cartoon.  Here it looks sort of like a Roswell Alien.  I personally like it myself.  But it does have a face.  I feel that they could have done other things that would have been cool….made it glow in the dark, or ….. I don’t really know.  But what we have here is fine.  I won’t take any marks off for it.

Back to the armor…or whatever that is.  It is a big sculpted piece that serves several purposes.  It adds a lot of weight to the figure, though, and becomes a factor when standing him, and posing him.  When he is wearing it, he can’t properly raise his arms.  You can raise them, but then the armor covers up his face and just looks wrong….So…..

As mentioned, removing the armor piece reveals the standard male buck.  It is painted black.  He has extensive skirt-pieces hanging down, which are non removable.  I have seen some people use this body to make a custom movie skeletor!  Cool idea.  I won’t be doing that, though.

The Faceless One comes with two other accessories….The Ram Stone and the Havoc Staff.

The Ram Stone was used in the cartoon to “open any door on Eternia” which of course meant Castle Grayskull.  It projected the apparition of a ram, which rammed and rammed at the castle.  The toy version is painted shiny green.  And it resembles a ram.  (duh!)  One of The Faceless One’s hands is sculpted to hold the Ram Stone….It is the same sculpt used on Count Marzo’s hand.  This means his left hand cannot hold a weapon.  But it can appear to be casting a spell, or hold an object like the Ram Stone.

The Havoc Staff differs from Skeletor’s only in color.  It is a two tone purple and translucent pink.  The idea is that it is the staff powered up about to blast someone!  Cool accessory!

The Faceless One continues to have stiff joints, even after a lot of play.  I don’t see any paint chipping or anything like that, even after a good 8 months.

So I rate The Faceless One 4/5.  He is a good mystical fantasy dude.  I am delighted to see him actually as a figure….Who knew one would ever exist?  On the other hand, as cool as his clothes are, they restrict his arm movement, and so he loses a point for that.

What is your score?  Comment on my blog, oh Hub City Geeks!  We’re almost at 1000 pageviews.  If you comment (within a few days), I have a great prize waiting to send you!

“Once you dig in……”

An Endless Waltz Argument

After completing the regular Gundam Wing show yesterday evening, me and my family looked forward to seeing the Endless Waltz movie, all day.

Mixed results from the SpartanNerd family.

This time, the SpartanWife joined in the nerdery.  But she just looked at her phone the whole time……So not much to say here.

Issue #1   Suit design

The youngest, SpartanSmurf #2 could not get past the re-designed gundams.  That alone threw him. He couldn’t understand that the movie retconned the design of the suits. He’s only 7 years old!

SpartanSmurf #1 was highly critical of the designs.  Especially the elaborate Wing Zero.  He liked HeavyArms, his favorite, and TallGeese.  But the others are just too much for him.

The Endless Waltz version of Wing Zero, is, incidentally, MY FAVORITE GUNDAM DESIGN.  So I just let his comments go.  It was “Too dramatic.”  “Supposed to be awesome, but was stupid.”  etc

He doesn’t know.  The first time I saw Endless Waltz, (the first time it aired on Cartoon Network,) some serious personal stuff was going on in my life.  And this angel really helped me.  But aside from that, what’s NOT awesome about his design!  It’s a giant robot angel!

He DOES know that at one time I had a high grade Wing Zero model, as well as a high grade Deathscythe, both from Endless Waltz.  I had kind of an Angel and Devil thing going on on my shelves.  But those models bit the dust long ago….Still, he never forgets things like this.

Issue #2   The Plot

One thing about my boys….they miss important stuff because they talk.  The youngest missed the entire explanation of what the original Operation Meteor was about.  The other asked questions repeatedly, that he would have the answer to if he would just watch!

The oldest rejected that the Trowa Barton we all know isn’t the real Trowa Barton, but he stole the HeavyArms and took the real Trowa’s name.

He also didn’t get the return of Zechs…..Whose side is he on?

And what is the deal with Wufei?

On the other hand, to me this wraps it up pretty good.  At the end we see what happens to everyone.

which brings up the point….

Issue 3 The Finality

Endless Waltz ends with a bang.  That is, the four remaining Gundams are self-detonated, in an effort to rid the world of weapons.

SpartanSmurf #1      HATED this ending.  He felt cheated.  We watch a movie that is less than two hours long, and probably see less than fifteen minutes of Gundam action.  This left a bad taste in his mouth.

I can’t argue that there isn’t much combat.  But what is there is beautifully animated.  And the Gundam pilots fight with their same style, just with updated weapons.

I told him, though, that he had already watched over 1000 minutes of Gundam Wing cartoons, and that all things must eventually end.

I kind of wish that it didn’t end this way.  But it does.  The Gundams apparently outlived their usefulness.  The world became a world of total pacifism.  Not because of Releena, nor the Gundams, or other government force, but because the people demanded it.  The ending supplied here is complete, and is a modern happy ending.

It is just that fan inside that wants more.  So we can agree here, somewhat.

Anyone out there watching these old relics?  How about collecting and making Gundam models or other mechs?  Let me know!  Fire up the comment machine, people..

“Press the button…..”

New AMAZING Drink!

You gotta try this stuff!  Do you like Werther’s Original Candy, or that Toffee stuff you can get in the Brach’s variety shelf at the grocery store?  This tastes EXACTLY like a liquified version of that.  And it’s good for you.  I found it for 99 Cents.  Normally runs for $3.00 ish.

“Try it.  You’ll like it!”

Technology News from the EDGE OF THE WORLD

I have spoken at length about my Mac woes.  Time for some good news!

Here is how I got my MacBook Pro to work again.

It turns out that there is a part inside called the SMC.  This stands for System Management Controller, or something like that.  The SMC works the low level functions of the Mac.  In fact, of most computerized devices.  It controls the Power switch, the battery charging, etc.

What I think is wrong with my Mac, is that when it took its great fall, the Power Management Unit was damaged.  Also, the keyboard is also apparently damaged.

The Mac will turn on, and sometimes make it to the Login screen, but shortly after goes to sleep and refuses to wake up..  If it DOES get past the Login screen, you MIGHT have five minutes of a workable machine, before the keyboard and trackpad stop working.  Then it will also probably go to sleep.

So here is my work-around, at least until I can get a replacement.  (I’m eyeing those MacBook Airs…Maybe even the 11 inch model!)

My work-around is the result of lots of trial and error, I might add, and that a computer repair guy couldn’t fix it.

To reset the SMC, you use the hotkey combination SHIFT-CONTROL-OPTION-POWER.   I turn on the Mac as usual, and then immediately do this combination.  Then turn it on, then repeat.  Then repeat.  Then repeat.  UNTIL….I hear the fan blow.  That’s right.  There is a fan inside a MACBOOK PRO.  Who knew? You never heard it before!

My theory was that if I could make the fan blow, the machine would not go to sleep.  AND I WAS RIGHT!  And then I could figure out what was wrong, fix it, and all would be cool again.   No so much….

You see, the keyboard still doesn’t work in this strange mode.  Also, the machine doesn’t even see its battery.  Bear in mind that it could be running on that battery, but it still doesn’t acknowledge it.  At any time it could cut out on me.  So I keep it plugged in.

Turns out that the USB ports work just fine.  So I can attach a mouse and keyboard….or even better…use that old Apple BlueTooth keyboard that I have laying around.  I finally got that thing to work again!  (True shouts of joy!)

So my Macbook acts like a desktop model.  That is it in a nutshell.  I won’t lie.  It runs a little slower than it used to.

The light is there, at the end of the tunnel.  But we can enjoy our last days together!

Anyone out there had similar trouble in the past?  Let me know!

Magic the Gathering, Core Set 2014….And THEROS

I’ve done two sealed deck tournaments with the new set, the first at a pre-release, the next on release day (booster draft at The Tangled Web.

Let’s just say I’m not too good at drafting!

I haven’t got any of the much wanted cards in a pack yet.  These are the new Chandra, new Garruk, the new Angel, and the new Hydras.  In fact, the rares I have got are throwbacks, with the exception of Strionic Resonator.

The core set is cool though.  I like the new Sliver cards.  And I have the promo Megantic Sliver.  The best sliver, in my opinion is the Predatory Sliver.  Basically a baby Megantic Sliver.

Uhh…  What’s a Sliver???

Slivers stick together.  They share abilities.  The idea is that they are a hive mind, like the Borg on Star Trek.  The Wizards decided to put these in place of some other friends that we have come to love.  (Krenko, Odric, Yeva, Talrand, and Nefarox, the Knights, etc).

I don’t dislike the slivers, though.  And I could see myself making a deck out of them.

Also, the Duels of the Planeswalkers game incorporates M14.  That’s cool.  It gave me a little edge.


Already I don’t like it as good as M13.  Who am I kidding.  Maybe it’ll grow on me.  What I really can’t wait for is THEROS!

I think I’m going to go crazy with the Theros block.  Ravnica has been fun.  Theros.  A Greek Mythology based set.  Ima be crazy!  Do you know that I, the SpartanNerd, have two PERFECT GOD OW WAR GAMES.  I loved GOW and GOW II.  Being a cheapskate, I never got a PS3, much less whatever has come out since then.  AND I have watched 300 fifty-eleven times.  It is no coincidence that I am the SPARTANNERD.  I put the Spartan in SpartanNerd……

But I digress…..

I already plan on getting that Hydra deck that they are going to be releasing (announced at San Diego Comic Con.)  That just sounds like fun!

And I went crazy for the GATECRASH.  I have a fat pack box full of that set alone.  Alphabetized, of course, cause that’s how I roll.  I’ll probably have a full three boxes of THEROS block cards.  Look for me to be a champion!