Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review: Transformers Classics

Last December, while doing some christmas shopping, I found a couple of neat looking Transformers. I decided against getting them right then, but still, I was set down the road to start a modern TF collection. Henceforth, a toy review!

This is Optimus Prime, Voyager size, from the 2006 Transformers Classics line. As a trailer truck cab, Optimus has a modern, aerodynamic silhouette. Of note is the addition of a wind vane on the roof, and a repositioning of the smokestacks. An autobot symbol is present on the right door, the kind which changes color when rubbed. While the truck really does looks great, the lack of a trailer is somewhat disappointing, and when placed next to other autobot cars, I wish Optimus was slightly bigger.

As a robot, Optimus has a well sculpted form, with great balance and loads of articulation that allow for dynamic poses. He has two guns: the first is a huge red canon that transforms from his wind vane; the second is a short shotgun that transforms from his smokestacks. The only downside here is some kibble on his forearms, from the doors of the truck. Overall this is a great toy, both for playing with and for display.

Next up is Megatron, also a Classic Voyager. Unfortunately, U.S. law is not kind to Megatron, forbidding any realistic looking gun modes. Instead, he's brightly colored and looks like a nerf gun. With those limitations in mind, Megatron is actually a fairly decent (toy) gun; it's enjoyable to point him around and click the trigger.

In robot mode, Megatron is also well-sculpted, with a good amount of articulation. There are some departures from his TV series look: there's a lot of purple in his color scheme, and he has Energon green wings at his back. His eyes are light piped, meaning that they glow when he's backlit. He has no detachable weapons, relying on his huge arm blaster. Megatron is not as posable as Optimus, due mostly to balance problems that arise from having a lot of body attachments. Overall, despite having issues, I'd say that Megatron is almost as good as Optimus and is certainly a lot flashier.

EDIT: Later on, I was so enamored of the light piping that I decided to use it as an avatar.


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Monday, January 22, 2007

Pre Release

Last Saturday, I went to the Planar Chaos prerelease. It works like this: You get a 75-card Time Spiral starter deck and three 15-card Planar Chaos boosters. You then use these cards to play in a sealed deck tournament where each win gets you yet another Planar Chaos booster.

So anyway, I arrived at Galleria at around 10:15 AM. I got in line for registration at Neutral grounds. Met Jem, who had preregistered. Got in line again, because apparently I was in the wrong line. Finally got to pay my 1k, received a ticket for flight "J", which I was informed would start at 4:30 PM. ... What!?!

I spent the next few hours drifting in and out of the tournament area, killing time by watching other people play. Unexpectedy, I found Ruben in a Starbucks, sketching on his laptop. We watched an episode of Dethklok, an animated band which is reminiscent of Gorillaz. Or perhaps Beavis and Butthead. After a while, Hiyas came and I decided to get back to the tournament area.

Wandering the tournament zone, I also managed to find Manchester Sy, a friend who I haven't seen since high school. I chatted with him a little, found out that he had just returned to the Philippines less than a week ago (apparently for good). I got his number; it's always good to have another friend, particularly one that plays magic.

Eventually, the call for flight J players got sent out. While the organization of the registration was kind of poor, things went smoothly once we actually sat down and got our cards. I was pleasantly surprised that there were enough copies of the special prerelease card to go around.

Looking at my sealed pool, there were a couple of great bomb rares in red and white, but the colors were otherwise shallow. Blue and Black, on the other hand, had a surplus of solid commons. There was also a Red-White-Blue dragon. I could have gone for such a three color build, but I chose to make a rareless Blue-Black deck instead, valuing consistency and removal over splashy bombs.

This isn't a tourney report, so I'll cut to the chase. At around 10:15 PM, it was the middle of the fourth round. My record was two wins and a loss. Right before the deciding game, the janitors start turning off the lights, and my opponent offers to just split the last pack by color instead of playing for it. We agree that I would get Green, Black and Artifact/Land. So we go over to the judges and I claim my two prize packs of Planar Chaos, plus a third one to split. We open it, and my share is... three green commons. What!?!

Jem watches as I open my two remaining packs... to reveal the chase card of the set.


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Friday, January 12, 2007

The Beach!

Over the holidays, Chico, Tesla, and I got to go with the Manasan family to Boracay for a beach vacation for three balikbayan aunts. We stayed there for four days and three nights, where we did nothing other than eat, sleep, swim, and shop! ^_^

Tesla loved the sand! She kept mashing it around her hands and feet, until she decided to try tasting it. XD We also tried dipping her into the pool, and being the water-lover that she is, she enjoyed every bit of it.

Here are a couple of pictures:

So what else is new? Mainly this new (and thoroughly unfinished) blog format, which would hopefully allow us a wider width for pictures and paragraphs. Still need to change some of the colors - we don't really like the red header - and that would entail trying to decipher the template. *sigh* Any help is welcome! Not to mention trying to restore the blog roll, which I had unthinkingly deleted when I was messing with the set templates. XD


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