Ultimate Edition Ram Man…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

The announcement that Mattel was passing MOTU off to another, smaller company, Super7, was scary, scary news.

I (and everyone else who cares) was aware of their work, and none of it was of collectors style figures along the lines of Masters of the Universe Classics.

Their stuff was cool…just not highly articulated figures.  They carry on the legacy of M.U.S.C.L.E.  And 3.25 inch scale figures.  Plus some pop vinyl things, shirts, all infused with pop-culture goodness.  (For instance, Aliens M.U.S.C.L.E., and Street Fighter M.U.S.C.L.E.). Puzzlingly…they have their own characters and things as well.  And I wonder how they sell that stuff?  It’s not that it isn’t cool.  But when you are selling something that feels generic next to a beloved liscenced character, I wonder how that works out?

But Super7 is going all out with Masters of the Universe.  They are making a TON of figures.  Just dropping them into their other lines…as well as reviving the vintage style figures (YES!) and also carrying on with MOTUC.

Way back in December, Super7 offered their first pre-order…the Ultimates.  You could order He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Faker, or Ram Man.  They were costed out at about the same price as Mattel was offering figures, but with the promise of a different shipping handler (no more digital river), and the figures came with basically everything that was ever offered to outfit each figure.  For instance, with Skeletor, you got Keldor’s head, cape, and all of Skeletor’s basic weapons.  Teela got her armor set, blonde head, and blaster.

But Ram Man promised to be the same thing Mattel offered.  Just with card-back coloration.  Why Ram Man anyway?  Mattel sold him out in under 30 minutes back in 2013.  And really never offered him again.  This made the after-market price of Ram Man around or even over $200.  So Super7 was doing us all a favor by increasing the amounts of Ram Man out there.  Sure, that red vintage toy paint job will still be pricey to get, but I think the figure will go down.

Ram Man was the only ultimate that I bought, and I have a little bit of sadness that I didn’t order Faker now.  I started to, but it was too late, and the pre-order window closed.

So here is my unboxing and review of the first ever Masters of the Universe Classics style figure made by someone else!

Ram Man came in this shipping box.  It is similar, but of lower quality than Mattel’s box I think.  I don’t care either way.  Just saying.  On the bottom is the conspicuous Super7 instead of Mattel.

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I don’t know why, but Super7 opted to go with different packaging.  I’m glad they did!  This box is very reminiscent of the vintage toyline box.  You can see what you get clearly.  Ram Man in vintage cardback colors (orange instead of red.)  His ax, and his alternate head.  This is the exact same product that was offered before…I went back and checked old reviews, etc.  Besides the coloration and package, you get the same Ram Man.

or do you?

Before flipping the box over…what’s that?  A MINICOMIC?  (I already knew it was faux)

But the presence of that item back there is very, very welcome.  Mattel could have done this while all that time people were asking for minicomics.  Super7 really shows some genius in that they are quite aware of what fans are into.  If you are a MOC collector (I’m not) then it is splash like this that makes a big difference.

 

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The back of the box.  Take in the awesomeness.

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It’s like they perfectly captured the feel of the old boxes!  You get to see lots of upcoming Super7 MOTUC goodness.  There is a comic art scene at the top.  There is even instructions for swapping Ram Man’s head, with arrows and everything.

Again I must scream.  HOW HARD WAS THIS TO DO, MATTEL?

Don’t get me wrong.  I have been a fan of MOTUC.  I was sad to see Neitlich go.  But this on card packaging is perfect! Super7 is showing a lot of promise.

Now let’s open him up.  I just throw away the boxes anyway.  (If I want to look at them, I will just go back and read my blog!)

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Remember that “minicomic”?  It is really a small poster.  This I will keep!  And for those people upset that there was no “bio” for Ram Man on the back, if you flip this poster thing over, you get this!

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This is over TWICE AS MUCH INFORMATION as the Mattel bios gave you.  And then they signed it “Scrollos.”  Can we stop crying with joy yet?

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Here is Ram Man right out of the box.  Unfortunately, he has that “pee plastic” smell.  It has worn off (I’ve had him in hand for three days.), but that doesn’t ever give a good impression.  The smell of urinal cake in your incredibly expensive collector figure.

Ram Man looks great, though.  I like how there is a gold paint-hit all around the studs on top of the boots, and even on the cleats on the bottom.  That same paint-hit goes around his skirt.  Ram Man has “Michelin Man” pants on.  This is what the vintage and 200x version had.  So it is a part of who Ram Man is.  The cloth pieces of the armor are sculpted with little laces…very nice.  The “metal” parts of the armor are just flat silver.  Which is boring.  At least is shiny, if it is done in matte.  The skull on his belt needs more paint or something.

Ram Man’s face is very impressive.  There doesn’t seem to be that much age-range in MOTU.  If a character has gray or white hair, they are old.  Otherwise they seem to be mid twenties.  Filmation differentiated them by making their voices sound different.  (Man-At-Arms, Randor.)  But in toy form, you lose that.  The wrinkled, grizzled face of an old veteran knight suits Ram Man perfectly.  And it takes a character who is usually billed as a “moron” somewhere new.  Somewhere respectable.

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The back of Ram Man is what you would expect.  The back of the knees are unsightly, but I’m not sure that could be helped.  You can see the little hook on his back as well to hold weapons.  Maybe more flare could have gone into this?  I understand that some of this torso had to be re-tooled.  The Ultimate Editions are obvious re-use of the tools Mattel had.  But we were told early that something was wrong with Ram Man’s shoulders.  If they re-tooled this, maybe they should have made more of a big deal out of this little clip.  Of course, I might be completely off base.  Maybe this part of the tool was fine, and they saved some money.  It’s just a small gripe.

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I would never display Rammy like this.  But I wanted you to see the articulation points.  Ram Man has everything you would expect.  But his armor style restricts the movement somewhat.  Ram Man won’t be sitting down or manning vehicles.  He has boot cut swivel, as well as knee swivel and rocker ankles.  His arms have ball joints at the shoulders, swivels on the elbows, and rotating wrists.

He can twist his torso above the belt.  And it seems that he has a rocker joint for his upper torso.  But I can’t make that joint move, and I am afraid of breaking him if I force it.  I don’t see a reason to move that joint, I’m just saying.  Ram Man isn’t a yoga master.

His head is on a ball joint, and you can get a surprising amount of movement out of it considering that it has such a large helmet sculpted on.

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WE INTERUPT THIS RAM MAN UNBOXING WITH A RANDOM PICTURE.  Help!  Squeeze has BattleGround Teela in a figure eight hold!

Back to business…

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Tell me this isn’t a classic image!  (Proving AGAIN that the rock that came with Marvel Select Thor is the best part of that action figure…)

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Ram Man has two accessories.  The un-helmeted head, and the axe.  The alternate head has the same face-sculpt, but you can see the ears, and you can see the metal piece that is the top of his skull, explaining his super power.

What I don’t like is the neckline…it seems that his head is floating on top of a silvery-gray nothing.  I don’t know what the solution could have been, but for such an outstanding figure, this feels like the shoddiest part.

The axe is well done…but fits loosely in the hole provided in the fist.  It has a dark coloration on the handle, which is nice, and for the record it fits snuggly on that clip on the back of the figure.

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And here is the classic team from Filmation.  It seems like Ram Man, Orko, Teela, and He-Man found themselves in a disproportionate amount of episodes, with Man-At-Arms featured somewhere as well.

And just to humor that new Bio story…

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Anytime we can use Draego Man is a fun time!

So how do I rate this figure?

I feel like the basic figure plus the packaging deserves all 5/5.  The alternate head (no-neck) issue is a problem, but it isn’t how most people will display Rammy.

Opening this package hit that special note…rarely hit anymore.  The feeling of opening a vintage figure fresh from the store.  I just want to say thanks to Super7 for doing such a fine job in that department.  The nostalgia is thick here, and if you like MOTUC, you should get Ram Man or look into getting more of their classics offerings.

I hope they put out more ultimate editions.  If they put out an ultimate Fisto, I’m the first guy that is going to sign up to buy!

The SpartanNerd rates Ultimate Edition Ram Man from Super7 at 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd…250 Blog Posts!

Yep.  The SpartanNerd is getting on up there in age!  250 posts.  There have been ups and downs.  I have covered “all things nerdtainment” that I could afford.  I have made mistakes, as well as hit home-runs.  I’ve had times of not being inspired or having energy or time, as well as times where I felt a real need to blog.

I thought I would celebrate this milestone with a little pastiche of different stories of interest!

My first ever customized MOTUC figure.

Teela

My own Teela, of course!

It has bothered me for some time that I didn’t have a female figure worthy of wearing the extra bit of snake armor that came with one of the weapons packs.  I always felt that it could fit Battleground Teela;  I was reluctant to remove her hair.

Well I’m glad I did.  You can see from the picture that it worked out pretty nice.  It took me over an hour of using a hair dryer and other tools to remove the hairpiece, which is really a hard piece of plastic glued on with some incredible adhesive.  Unfortunately, it left a hole in her head all across the back.  You can’t see it from the front, which is what is important to me.  I might try and customize a backside to the hood sometime to completely cover the ugly.

Yes, I can put the hairpiece back on!  So its like I have two Teela figures now!  pfffttt to all you people who own one figure that cost over $100!

I know what else you’re thinking, and yes I DID remove the bra-armor piece to see if I could make her appear more comic accurate.  The problem is…it just doesn’t look right on this figure.  She seems too…Well, your eyes go right to her bust.  And then it doesn’t look right.  She isn’t “that accurate,” ahem.  She looks better with her stock armor underneath the hood piece.  And no, I’m not interested in doing ANY painting on this figure!

Moving on, moving on.

Unicorn vs. Sinanju

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The SpartanTeen hasn’t played Magic the Gathering in quite a while.  This is fine.  I have had to find other ways to bond with him.  One of those ways is the appreciation for Gundam models.  Here is a pic of his best two.

He got the flight stands in the mail, and put them in this pose.  We kept them this way on the kitchen table for several days!  I love the action that you can sense between the two characters, Gundam Unicorn and Sinanju.

Speaking of MTG,

I bought a box of Battle for Zendikar.  And I have been incredibly pleased with my investment.  I don’t generally buy cards for their monetary value, but you just can’t overlook it when each pack gives you a full-art land, (in time will be worth $1.00-$2.00.)  But aside from that, you also get a rare as in every Magic booster.

But I have been blessed.

I’ve opened TWO Gideon, Ally for Zendikar, and one of those was a “bounty” at The Tangled Web!  (They give you a second copy if you open one.)  I traded both in for a Snapcaster Mage, which I really NEEDED.  (I figure Gideon will come and go.  Snap is forever!)

Then I traded the other for an Ugin today, to build this deck for Standard….A Re-Animator deck.  It needs some work.  Suggestions are welcome!  (I modeled it after the four-color reanimator I have been playing in Modern…where the snap caster went!)

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The SpartanKid also built a Standard deck (with my help)….He is quite pleased with it.  The only thing we tried to do really was use the colors of Omnath, Locus of Rage.  We put a lot of landfall in there.  And Scythe Leopard and Sliderunner have done all of the work pretty much!

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While on the subject of MTG cards and customizing stuff, check out what I did with my Father’s Day present…I made a Commander deck, and used the inadequate deck box that “Graveborn” came with to pretty up a Commander box!

New stuff….

I bought a Battle Droid figure at Mighty Dollar for $1.00.  The full real thing!

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I purchased and intended to review the Deckbuilders Toolkit for Magic Origins.  Maybe I still will.  But I’m not feeling it.  Here is a pic of the janky deck I put together with it though!

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I made a chessboard for MOTUC and similar figures!  Don’t steal my idea!

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The SpartanKid purchased this incredible item at Toys-R-Us…

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You get all of this variety of Halo mini-figures.  And a ton of weapons.  It comes with a display stand to boot!

Some parting thoughts….

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Remember the unfortunate situation with this very expensive figure….  He is still holding up after all this time!  His wrist hasn’t let go even once!

The SpartanKid wanted me to mention his Mega-Man Art Book.  I have never reviewed this item.  So here are two pieces of art…

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I about shouted for joy when I saw this page of a recent He-Man and the Eternia War comic!  That comic keeps surprising me with its twists and turns!  A review of issue #10 is coming soon!

Death of Hordak

Vikor remains my favorite MOTUC figure.  Maybe my favorite action figure of all time.  While I give serious props to Marvel Select Deadpool, Vikor is continually all that an action figure should be.  Incredibly detailed and articulated.  Fits any fantasy.  Is a MOTUC design.  Armed to the teeth.  I love to photograph him!

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So will the SpartanNerd make it to 500 blog posts?  Time will tell!  Hopefully the upcoming Star Wars season doesn’t make me go broke!  I keep getting tempted to purchase new things.  But I have decided that I will only purchase the best things.

So keep reading, Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book

This product is AMAZING!!!  I can’t recommend it enough!  I never purchased an art book before for myself, but the SpartanKid has Mega Man Star Force Official Complete Works.   I think that is fine…but the He-Man book blows that away!

(Many thanks to Daniel at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg South Carolina for giving me a discount!  What a great store!)

Obviously, I can’t just take a bunch of photos of each page.  (I wonder how long it would be until Dark Horse/Mattel sent me an order to take them down?)  Instead, I will summarize why I think this book is great, and include just a few pics.

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The front and the back cover are the least spectacular parts of the book.  Why does DreamWorks have a credit?  Barely mentioned here is the Power and Honor Foundation, who owns/houses/curates the art!  (I believe Emiliano Santalucia and James Eatock have a lot to do with this organization.)

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There are several document scans as well as scans of early work.  This book serves as a great visual documentary.  Most everyone has seen this image, that “Vikor” was eventually modeled after.  The original He-Man!

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You get a piece of reproduction cell art!  And you can put the image over different Filiation backgrounds!

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No one will ever deny that Earl Norem was the GREATEST MOTU ARTIST!  This book has several prints of Norem’s work.  This one is my LEAST favorite, and it is amazing!  The more I look at Norem;s work, the more details I notice!

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Here is another Norem.  There are several pieces of movie art.  And that is surprising to me.  Rights to stuff that deals with that movie always seems to be a point of contention.

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Unsurprising, there is lots of 200x art.  Here is Eternos Palace from the show.

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I have this art card.  I really like it!  I think it came with a DVD or something.  I have had it taped to my office wall before. The art book lets you see it extra large!

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The MOTUC Castle Grayskull Box art by Rudy Obrero is preserved here.  It folds out to reveal the entire MOTUC classics card back cross-sell art.  (Up to the point of printing, of course!)

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Something I never thought I would own…the MOTUC maps!  Only Masters of the Universe Classics subscribers received these, or people who purchased certain products.  (Castle Grayskull comes to mind.)  Every map is presented in this book!

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The book takes you all the way from Mark Taylor and Roger Sweet to the modern age of comics!  SpartanNerd readers know I love the new comics!  Here is one of the covers they presented in the book.  There are several other pieces of modern DC comics art as well!

The last part of the book was looking ahead, concept art, etc.  I wonder how much of this is DreamWorks.  (That is who is working on the current movie project, right?)  At least we already know that the gold plated Battle Cat armor is being used in He-Man and the Eternity War storyline.  But what about Skeletor at the bottom?

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The book takes you on a grand trip through the history, present, and future of Masters of the Universe.  I neglected to show you…

New Adventures art

Pre-Ternia art

Princess of Power art

An early Beast Man (too similar to Chewbacca)!

MV Creations work (Looks like Emiliano and Val put there differences aside for this project)

Sculptures

And oh so much more.  If you like Masters of the Universe, this is the book for you!

Can I say anything negative about the book?  I wish it had the full art of Norem’s He-Man and Skeletor’s epic fight, where Skeletor commands elephants and He-Man is riding a lion!  This is the first piece of art you see when you get past the gift-wrap print that is found on the hard-cover backing.  But it is partial.  (That is one of my favorite Earl Norem paintings!)

The other thing is…and maybe I’m wrong.  But the book is 400+ pages.  And the pages are HEAVY WEIGHT.  I am concerned that the book may fall apart over time with lots of use.

I give the Mattel/Dark Horse/Dreamworks He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book a solid 5/5!  Hopefully the Power and Honor Foundation will be able to continue putting out books like this in the future!

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review….Masters of the Universe Classics “Modulok”

Growing up, the SpartanNerd and his brothers had maybe 85% of Masters of the universe stuff.  We had most of the figures, most of the vehicles and accessories, and most of the playsets.  A few items really stood out, however…Modulock was one of those items.  I specifically owned Multi-Bot, and the combinations you could make with the two of them seemed endless.  Modulok and Multi-Bot both scratch that “lego-itch” but in a cool action figure kind of way.

So.  Onto the review!

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Modulok came in the brown shipper.  Notable only because it is brown instead of white.  The actual box is painted and photo-shopped, not photographed.  Th front features a conspicuous picture of Modulok in his suggested default pose, as well as many other suggestions.  (You can make tons more, however)  The back of the box gives us a new bio for “Gaelen Nycoff,” and shows off other Horde members.

I am keeping this box to store Modulok’s pieces, rather than feeding Oscar the Grouch.

Taking the product out, you can see Modulok with his monster head, human arms, and human feet.  He reminds me of “Meat” from Mortal Kombat.  Though if you look close, rather than being bare muscle, he is more crustacean like.  And then you can see that he comes with (top to bottom) two tails, three double sockets, one middle piece, two monster arms, two blasters, and four extra legs, with varying colors and claws.  Oh yes.  And another head.

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I prefer to get as much of Modulok together as I can.  This leaves behind only an extra tail.

But I have already spent about two hours, me and my children, making different arrangements.  Here are some below.

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Here is a list, left to right, top then bottom.

  • Imagine opening your door and this little imp standing outside holding a blaster…
  • SpartanKid made this first thing.  “Look!  A slug!”
  • we could make one product into two figures if they included another torso.  But they didn’t.
  • You can stack those double sockets into a chain to make long necks, joints, tails, or whatever.

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I really like making a scorpion style tail.  On the left, you can really see that.  On the right he is showing that he can hold all three power swords that i own!

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Modulok’s heads are the only part that don’t have pegs besides the torso.  The heads have the same socket that all of the other figures have.  Here you see I replaced the bug-eyed head with another bug-eyed head, and the monster head with another monster head.

My rating of Modulok…

No doubt, Modulok is one impressive figure.  I will show you the remnants of my vintage toy…it is technically Megabeast, the combination of Modulok and Multi-Bot.  And then we have a place to reference first.

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Every one of MOTUC Modulok’s joints is articulated the same way the other standard figures in the line are.  Very impressive.  You can see in the above picture that the old version had arms and legs that only moved at the shoulder, and then only up and down.  And then add in the ab crunch, which no vintage figure had as well.

Modulok is “finger food.”  You can’t really put him down.  You can make tons of things.  He is straight out fun, and that is a 5/5.

But there has to be an asterisk.  You only get one torso.  And the torso doesn’t separate from the waist.  Bummer.  And one more thing…maybe to accommodate the parts swapping feature…he feels a tad more rubbery than the other figures.  Not really a mark against, but it is worth mentioning.

Still, it is amazing that we even got a Modulok.  Considering how much this tooling must have cost, and it doesn’t appear that they skimped on the paint either.

So, the SpartanNerd gives Modulok a 5/5!  Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments.  I am gonna leave you with a few more fun pictures.

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Come work for me now…

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I need another Bug-Eyed head….

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Merry Winter Solstice from the SpartanNerd. (this was his birthday present.)

 

 

SpartanNerd Review Update…Customized Ultra-Pro Pro-Tower Deck Box!

Faithful readers, go back and read my review of the Ultra-Pro Pro-Tower Deck Box, first, and then read this article to be more informed about what product I am talking about!

So, I actually DID get the SpartanWife to do some work on the box for me!  I chose art from some comics I had doubles of, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #8 and #9,” cut it out, and she decoupaged the art to the box.  See my results below!

1 BACK

 

This is the back of the box.  I chose a splash page, so that I might have a large image of He-Man holding his sword.  When you open the box, you get to see the full image!

2 STAND UP

This large image is SOOO IMPRESSIVE!

I chose smaller art for the two sides.

3 RIGHT SIDE 4 LEFT SIDE

 

And instead of comic art, I chose the paper branding from a MOTUC figure that I hung onto for some occasion someday, such as this!  When the box is closed and you are looking at it, there is no mistake what brand of entertainment I am into!

5 FRONT FLAP

 

As far as ease of project…I cut out the art that I wanted, and then she trimmed it up.  The splash page cut the sword into two, but she was able to work it so that it appears seamless.  She decoupaged with “Mod-Podge,” and it feels really natural, like it was branded there at the factory!  The intricate texture of the box didn’t hamper the process at all, as some people seemed to be afraid of when I mentioned this project to them.

And as far as the results I got at the Magic tournament on Saturday, many people said WOW when they saw it!  A few people wanted to touch it, which was cool…It was dry and all.  And I had double the EDH matches, so it worked for getting attention as well!

The SpartanNerd give the SpartanWife a full 5/5 on this project!  Please leave comments and let me know what you think.  She would also like to hear from you, oh Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd Christmas Thoughts.

I am really in the season already.  Considering that most years I feel overworked, directing all kinds of music, this year I feel more relaxed.  Maybe because I am really into the play I am helping direct this time.  Or maybe because the church Christmas cantata really does it for me.  I don’t know.  But today is Thanksgiving, and I am just about ready to put that tree up!

Hub City geeks are probably wondering what it is I might actually want for Christmas.  Well I already know some things coming my way.  Or at least towards me so that I might review them here at SpartanNerd.com.  So here’s the list!

1.  I am getting a foil Windswept Heath for my anniversary.  Those of you who REALLY know me will appreciate why I like this card so much!

2.  The Dual Deck Anthology is as good as pre-ordered!  I will review it as soon as I get it, guys and girls.  I am absolutely psyched!

3.  SpartanKid jumped me on this one.  He wants the new “Nihiri, the Lithomancer” Commander deck!

4.  And the same kid is asking for the new set of Mega-Man cards!  (Will keep my readers posted as I can review things.)

5.  Looks like I missed out on getting a Battle Ram…:(  Regardless, I will have my eye on the MattyCollector Flash Sales on Cyber Monday.

6.  Oh yes.  It seems it is time for a big upgrade.  The SpartanNerd family is moving from the “old school” style of TV to the flat screen style!  Now we can enjoy modern games the way they should be enjoyed!

In other news, I am actually thinking about NOT subscribing to Batman comics anymore.  Not because I don’t like them.  But because I feel out of the loop.  The subscriber is punished for his loyalty.  Sure, you get a better deal on your comics.  This year has been great in the value department.  But on the other hand, sometimes the books are WEEKS late.  Also, at least one issue was lost in the mail this year.  And occasionally they arrive beat up.  I intend to keep reading them, but cherry picking.  And I suppose paying newsstand price.  I find myself buying comics weekly anyways, with Batman Eternal and Futures End.  Those will be wrapping up in the spring, just about time for my subscriptions to run out.  If I want to really serve the blogosphere, then I should make this change.

What do you think, Hub-City geeks?  Let me know in the comments!