*Prototype Preview* ThreeZero – Mazinger Z

Intro
I can probably trace the entire basis for my interest in giant fighting robots back to a few years of my childhood in the mid 80’s. As a kid, I lived in a small town in Texas a few hours outside Amarillo. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow my dad found this eclectic little Japanese import toy shop on one of our many trips to the “big city”. He knew I’d love it as I was obsessed with Transformers and Voltron, probably the two most popular robot franchises at that time to most kids my age in the states. But this little toy shop had things I’d never seen or heard of. They had VHS tapes full of this stuff called, “anime” and shelves full of these little backwards comics called “manga”. Most importantly of all, it had shelf after shelf of incredibly, mind blowing giant robots. The existence of that shop hooked me onto everything from Gundam to Godakin! I was instantly obsessed. That shop became a regular weekend destination for us, so much so that the shop owner had a small list he’d keep of all the bots I told him I wanted so my dad would know what to look for if he happened to be hunting a Christmas or birthday gift for me. Life was good and my plate was steadily full of random anime, manga and die-cast giant robots for a solid year. We eventually left the Texas pan-handle and moved away to the Eastcoast.
Despite not having access to a similar, amazing Japanese toy import shop anywhere near our new neighborhood, I maintained a fascination with Japanese robots, watching cartoons and movies that featured them as much as possible. Voltron, Transformers, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Gundam, Giant Robot and the ‘bot known here in the states as Tranzor Z.. the mighty, Mazinger Z.
I’ll admit, it’s been FOREVER since I’ve watched or read anything about Mazinger Z. But the instant I saw him teased by ThreeZero so many of those memories came rushing back. I knew I’d have to have him in my collection.

I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to preview him while he’s still up for preorder at ThreeZero’s shop. I find it a little ironic that the same toy company who is largely responsible for reawakening the toy nostalgia within me a few years back is the same one responsible for bringing such an iconic super robot from my childhood back to life.

Hate reading words? Check out our video preview!

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Review: Hot Toy’s 1966 Classic Batman

INTRO

Nanna nanna nanna nanna.. BATMAN!

That little dity has been running through my head ever since I got in my Hot Toy’s 1966 Classic Batman. He’s infectious. I can hear and see the “BLAM!”, “KA-POW!” and “BOOSH!” onomatopoeia’s popping up in front of my eyes whenever I glance over at him sitting on my shelf.

The review today is actually a pretty big deal to me as it marks my personal first experience with owning a Hot Toys collectible! I’m not sure why the Hot Toys bug has never bitten me before. They do some incredible looking stuff and I’ve always looked admirably at their offerings on Sideshow Collectibles. Perusing through, I always find myself thinking, “That could be really cool to have.”, but then the $200 price tag would flip the safety back on my purchasing trigger finger and I’d close out the tab. It’s not that I’ve never paid $200+ for a toy before, it’s that the Movie Masterpiece subject matter doesn’t generally appeal enough to me to where I felt compelled to.

Well, all that changed at last years San Diego Comic Con when I saw the prototype Batman, Robin and (jaw-droppingly amazing) Batmobile on display at Sideshow Collectible’s booth. I grew up up on Classic Batman and I believe I have a weird obsession with Adam West that’s encouraged even today by his voiced character on Family Guy, Mayor West. There’s something so fun and appealing to the 1966 version of the character that I knew I had to have him.

Robin is apparently shipping out right now as well, but I never really got into Robin. Even at the young age when I used to watch the show I thought it was really weird for him to run around in green underwear.  Coincidentally, Batman wearing his underwear outside of his cloths seemed completely normal. Hey, I was a kid. Continue reading

*Review* 3A SGR JC

Intro:

Check out that flow of acronyms in the title! A little like trying to decipher a foreign language, init? Since we toy collectors tend to speak in our own language anyway, I didn’t think anyone would be too put off by it. Today, I’ll be using that acronym, not only to speed along writing out a character’s long-ish name over and over again, but also because the given name of our featured toy has a filthy, naughty, dirty word right smack in the middle of it. We don’t normally print copious amounts of cuss-based brusqueness over here at RtR..  despite the fact that we review a LOT of toys from 3A/Ashley Wood. Even though we tend to cater to an older audience and don’t take issue with the words themselves, we do our best to keep things pretty kid friendly. It’s been surprisingly easy to do up until now. For those of you who are familiar with today’s figure, there’s no mystery here. The acronym works because you already know his name. But for those of you who have no idea about this guy, it doesn’t. So in the name of journalistic clarity, we decided for at least a moment, we wouldn’t worry about censors and flood the next paragraph with a few, well-placed swear words.

Alright children, you’ve been warned. The next couple sentences hold snippets of the kind of language your Fox News marathoning Grandpa yells at the TV every time a Democrat gets elected into office. Continue reading

THE WORKSHOP: Casting Wooden Bats in Resin by Michael ‘Bubo’ Reilly and Simon ‘Goatballs’ Be

A while ago we posted a step-by-step workshop provided by the ever talented, Simon ‘Goatballs’ Be! To this day, it’s one of the most popular we’ve ever featured. It seems folks can’t get enough of his 1/6 scale wooden bats! Well, today we’re excited to post a follow up, this time by our friend Michael ‘Bubo’ Reilly who worked to cast and produce copies of Goat’s original bat sculpts in resin. 

I’m personally very excited for this little walk-through as it talks about a process that I’ve been interested in for a long while. With a little hand-holding.. I might be brave enough to finally try it myself.

Welcome back to RtR’s  Workshop, and enjoy!

- Knives

Alright, here’s a list of some of the materials you’ll probably want to track down before you get started.

Materials:
  • Foam Core, for building mold walls. You can also use legos, acrylic plastic, or any other non-porous material of your choosing that’s stiff enough to form a wall.
  • 1/8″ thick or thicker wooden (or plastic) boards, to evenly distribute tension on mold when bound.
  • Super Glue (CA Glue), for gluing gates/vents onto model (bat) & onto mold floor.
  • Hot Melt Glue (& gun), for gluing walls of mold together.
  • Toothpicks (or long sharp pokey thing), for getting air bubbles out of silicone mold
  • Electrical tape
  • Disposable cups
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Rubber gloves
  • Monojet Oral 10ml syringes

.. and here’s some of the tools I use, also worth looking into.

Tools:

  • Razor/Ruler, for measuring & cutting mold box
  • Hot Glue Gun, to glue mold together
  • Scale, a gram scale to weigh out materials
  • Air Compressor
  • Vacuum Chamber & Vacuum pump, to de-gas silicone
  • Pressure Pot, a chamber that eliminates any remaining bubbles
  • Old sander or piece of vibrating equipment (to vibrate pressure pot)
  • Flat Chisel & Scalpel (x-acto knife), for cutting mold open

Before we begin, let me say that this is but one of many ways to build a mold. The construction of your mold will depend on the piece you are making a mold of, what kind of process you’ll use to cast it, and what material you will be casting with. For the sake of this project, the item being molded is a toy, it is small and the mold form is very simple. Continue reading