A review of the Hot Toys – Tony Stark – ‘The Mechanic’ figure

I bet every one of you who is into figure collecting has come across Sideshow Collectables/Hot Toys. I think for me it was 3 years ago when I first saw some of their models and I was amazed (a) by the detail and how good they looked and (b) by the price.

To be honest, it was always the price which put me off of on ever buying a Hot Toys figure no matter how much I liked them. I just couldn’t see why I should pay that much money for a figure…..until….

Well, until I had the chance to get my hands onto the Tony Stark – ‘The Mechanic’ figure for a price that wouldn’t make me feel too guilty. So I ordered it.  I must admit that I was really looking forward to finally getting my hands on one of these premium figures. The box arrived And on Friday it finally arrived! I felt like a kid on Christmas day. (chuckle)

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First impression: NICE! They even have a plastic bag around the box itself for even more protection. I like their thinking.

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And inside we have the wonderful Tony Stark. First thing I noticed here, again, is that all the hands, shoes and the head were all protected with plastic bags to make sure that they didn’t get damaged during transport. A thing that I, as a collector, more than appreciate – how many times have I come across a figure where the paint has been damaged because it was in contact to either other parts of the figure or with the plastic  of the box itself? None of the above is the case here.

Every spare part has its own place which is molded to fit the different bits and pieces perfectly. Now let’s have a look at all of the pieces that come with this figure.

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A nice set of different hands that look amazingly realistic. IMG_0558 Iron Man hand, arm and the improvised Repulsor glove. IMG_0556 IMG_0583 IMG_0584 IMG_0577

And guess what…this arm’s repulsor even lights up! Plus all 5 fingers are fully articulated!

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The armoured leg is quite easy to attach to Tony’s leg as well. And now comes all the little bits and pieces – they really blew my mind.

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Here you have so many objects to choose from. So many options for your figure to pose with. You even have the little kid’s wristwatch, Tony’s sunglasses, a backpack to carry all your equipment and my favourite – the ‘Tony Stark Missing’ newspaper. Now let’s take a closer look at the figure itself. First impression: wow…the figure feels nicely weighted.

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This figure looks AMAZING! Ok, Sideshow….I think I now understand why everyone says that your figures are the best on the market, this figure really is fantastic. Amazing quality through and through, from the material, the sturdy joints, the clothing and the realistic look of the face and skin. Everything is just perfect. I mean, just look at his face!

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Doesn’t that just looks like Tony Stark? It sure does to me. The artist who created this deserves a medal.

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I love these pictures of his face so much! So much detail like the facial hair and skin tone it is almost like the real Tony Stark.

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I must admit that I was more than just blown away.

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And being Sideshow you can of course switch on the Arc Reactor in his chest as well! And blimey the light of it sure is bright!

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Here you can see the Arc reactor and the hand Repulsor switched on. They sure does look sweet!

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Now I can say that Tony Stark likes to hang out in our garden. 😉

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And doesn’t Tony Stark look sexy even as a figure? After I finally had my hands on a Hot Toys figure, I can say that the money they charge for their figures, at least in this case,  is more than acceptable! The quality of the product you get will make up for it and with some spare joints that come with every figure you can be sure that you will have many, many years of fun with it!

So get your next Hot Toys figure from the Model Collector Shop  

My biggest problem now is that I would love to have another one. So feel free to send me some Iron Man or other Tony Stark figures. 😉 Well I guess I am now officially a Sideshow/Hot Toys fan and will start to save up for another one of their amazing figures!

NARF….do any of you know the lottery numbers for next Saturday?

Why???

I’ve got a very curious…erm…no…not curious….weird! phone call yesterday evening. A member of my old club called me, asking why they haven’t seen me in a while and if I’d be ok. He said that the club owner would like to see me again and that from his point of view there wouldn’t be any reason why I shouldn’t come back, since now all the troublemakers have left.

Well, if the club owner would have not , all of sudden, after a big event we were helping at, stopped any contact with me, didn’t reply to text messages, phone calls nor emails then why does he now wants me suddenly back? And if he would have actually read any of my emails he would have known why I didn’t come back and that I had a bloody breakdown because of it!

It’s just not really nice to just get dumped without any word of explanation. I was worried sick that I might had done something wrong during that event and that he broke up any contact because of it. 
But what really makes me angry and what really hurts the most is that he doesn’t even asks for himself! Why does he has to sent someone else to do it? Why can’t he just pick up the phone or come over and just talk? WHY? 

WHY?

I don’t know if I want to go back to the club yet. I really don’t want to be hurt and disappointed again. I don’t really care about my grading or anything else. I loved training and there were times when I couldn’t get enough of it…but for the moment….for the moment it brings back too many emotions and I lost my passion for it…so maybe it’s best to stay on my own for a while and continue the best I can until I know what to do….to return….or to continue on my own.

 

It’s been a while

Just realised that my last entry here was almost a year ago. And I am now again at the exact same point. I am depressed, scared, worn out, sad & angry. Everything at the same time.

Having had am massive attack yesterday I found this wonderful article on IO9 : http://io9.com/are-we-in-the-midst-of-an-anxiety-epidemic-1459542453 about anxiety. While reading this many pennies dropped and I could find me in so many thing in there. Things like: sleeping problems, feeling tired, having difficulty concentrating and so on.

I can’t even name the reason for all this. Although if I am honest with myself I can but I won’t post that here and yet.

But one reason I will mention here and that is the overwhelming feeling of being alone and an absolute outsider. Why you ask? Well, as many of you know I started Iaido shortly after I moved over to the UK. I loved it, but soon ran into problems with some members there, making me feel like crap and keeping away from the club for almost a year. During this time I also lost contact to the trainer and my only friend because of it.

After Neil got us both finally back on one table and talking, and much more important, training together again, things were a lot easier to cope with….until….well…

I don’t really know what happened….but after I helped on an international Martial Arts event here in London on behalf of our Club he broke off any contact. No reasons given. He won’t reply to text msg nor emails. I spent 5 days on that event (which also means that our business lost 5 days of me editing) working hard to show what great things we can archive and during this time I must have done something wrong. What, I have no f***ing clue.

Anyway, it still hurts to been treated that way by someone you would have gone to hell and back, someone you thought to be a friend. And to finally get this thing, which is eating my self esteem (well, or what is left of the nothing that I have) I have written one last email to him, thanking him for everything, wishing him good luck with his new club and all the best for the future.

I hope that will set my mind at rest for a bit…although I still hope to get an answer or at least an explanation…but if I don’t get an answer I think that it is time to let go of it and continue my training alone…never be able to full fill one of my many dreams: master one art in my life.

This may sound very one sided and is probably wrong but….to me it seems as if the British seem to be unable to have a proper friendship. What is it that people here laugh in your face while holding the dagger behind their backs, ready to strike?

This is one of the reason why I struggle to now trust anyone anymore and why I so often feel alone, useless, worthless. Back in Germany I had true friends. Friends that didn’t really live around the corner, but friends I knew would be ALWAYS be there if I needed someone to talk to no matter when or where. They would have moved mountains to make things right if they had to and so would I for them.

I miss the times of hanging out with them over a weekend, watching movies, playing games and talk all night long. Where are those friends over here? Or is it me that is in the wrong? Is that whispery voice in my head right when is says that I am too weird for anyone to want to be friend with me….too German…too bad English speaking….too different?

I think I have to think back and think about all the things I learned back in my group therapy sessions….maybe I can find a way out of my depressions….I managed it onces….although things where different then….MASSIVELY different.

I think I just have to listen to more Tom Baker audios to keep me calm and help me get some sleep again…sorry Tom..but your voice is pure magic for my soul!

Warning! Energy Levels Critical! Warning!

That would be the warning message of my internal system after 3 weeks of very few sleep and even more stress.

I think it really started to go downwards with the news from the VET that Baghira has stomach cancer. I was…well are there even words that can describe how I felt? I blamed myself for bringing him over to the UK, blamed me that he didn’t feel comfortable in the first year, blamed me that all the stress might have been to much for his little body to cope with and so opened the door for cancer. Guilty that I haven’t enough time to cuddle with him during his remaining time with me.
I still can’t believe that this cat, who has such a strong bond with me, won’t be there at some point. A part from me will die at this day as well….

The next thing on my list was my grading. I know that this shouldn’t be a stressful thing but in my weird mind it most certainly was. I was so damned scared of not remembering anything and most of all, to disappoint my teacher. So every evening I went through all the forms and history in my mind.
Well, I passed the grading but not with the result I hoped.

All that plus all the problems I had when I first came over here just kept on creeping back into my mind. Thoughts of how useless I am. Useless because I couldn’t find a job, then got kicked out of one because I was better then the stupid bitch that called herself manager. Then there was the other job I never got, went to a 1st Aid course, bought a car to be able to get there and never heard back from them.

Another failure.

There were other things I mentioned earlier in this blog that all added to my misery. Thanks to all that coming together I sometimes just feel useless, worthless and empty. I lost myself somewhere on that road…no perspective….no identity…no dreams to dream off.

Thanks to all that I have troubles to sleep. 4 till 5 hours is the most I can get and I am now back with sleeping tablets in the hope that this will help.

On the other hand, we have finally our very own studio and Neil seems more then happy with it and the workload should calm down after x-mas as well. So why can’t I just calm down and relax? Why do I still feel bad? Why can’t I get that confidence and strength back that I had so carefully re-built after I left the company I’ve worked 15 years for?
Guess I have to re-learn and re-build all that….because only then I can get my nights sleep back before my energy levels get too low.

So there is a lot to do…not sure how…but I did it before, so I am sure I can do it again.

Let 2013 be a year of gaining strenght and confidence!!!

Monster Pet Supplies’ Cat nom-nom’s

Finally I’ve found some time to review a few products for the MonsterPet Team.

First let’s start with the huge box that turned up: Image

And in it I found all these great cat treats:

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So let’s have a closer look and let me tell you what the gang of 7 cats had to say about all their new goodies.

The gang of 7 judges are:

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Baghira, 14 years young and very difficult to please with new sorts of food.

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Queen Fenny, 4 years young and the one who only likes dry cat food.

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Jiji our 1 year youngster who inhales all sorts of food!

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Agent Manfred, 3 years young and who has to be on a diet to keep his bladder free of crystals.

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Old Rodney who is with his 24!!! years still a real gourmet!

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Schnecke, the 14 year young (and brother of Baghira) pillow cat who prefers only dry cat food nowadays.

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And the heart-breaker Toshiro himself. 1 year young and brother to Jiji, he likes all sorts of food.

 

So lets start with the Go Cat Chicken Duck & Rabbit Cat Food

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This is good value food which all of our guys like and eat happily. The food bits themselves have a good size that isn’t that easy to swallow so that the cat has to chew first. Some of you cats owner will know what I mean. 😉
I think it is a good brand and a good product because all of our judges like it and the bowl is quicker empty then you think.

 

Next one is some premium food from Purina: Gourmet Perle Ocean Delicacies 12 x 85g

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I tried this food with good, old Rodney since is has small bits of meat and a lot of sauce which makes it easier for him since he hasn’t got that many teeth left. Result: he really liked it and still licked the bowl clean after everything was long gone. The smell of this food is not too strong and the bits of meat have a good size for all cats to enjoy. The only thing I personally don’t like is that it seams to be a bit too much sauce in these pouches. But all the boys like it so I can’t complain.

 

Last one is the Felix Goody Bag 60g also from Purina

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Well,…what can I say…this one is an all round WINNER. I mean it’s a bag full of snacks! What else do you need to make a cat happy…well…except from valerian, catnip, fresh fish and so on… 😀
This goody bag will keep your cat entertained and happy as long as it lasts. The bits are crunchy and small which means that even our old Rodney can enjoy them. All the bits are in different shapes and have a normal smell. So if you want to treat your fluffy friend then you can’t do much wrong with these little goody bag!

But enough for now. The gang demands some playtime in the sunshine while it’s lasts.

Have great weekend everyone.

GRRRRR – WARNING – THIS BLOG CONTAINS SOME SERIOUS ANGER

I went to the GP on Tuesday because I had mahoooosive pain in my shoulder. Pain that was so bad that I couldn’t sleep most of the night and that made it almost impossible for me to get out of bed without biting into the duvet. It felt like someone was ripping my arm off. So I went to the GP to get some help but also to start a very odd conversation about breast reduction because I have cup size G and the total weight of the breasts is around 2 kg!

So off I went to talk to him about all that. For the pain he just said take some painkillers and about the breast reduction he said ‘Are you sure?’ while staring at my breasts. ‘Yes I am.’ I answered and he came back with all that bullshit that the NHS never grants a breast surgery anyway and that it wouldn’t even be worth asking or starting the process. Note: he was still staring at my breasts the whole time. That f*****g moron.

So I left the GP with some new painkillers that surely numbed the pain (no wonder because they are Codeine pills) but that still didn’t solve my problem. So luckily Neil decided to make an appointment for me at a local Osteopath the next day.

And what can I say….it was fabulous. The Osteopath was great and I immediately felt comfortable with her. After asking all the usual questions she soon told me that the cause for my back and shoulder problems are my large breasts because their weight strains a lot on my shoulders which then causes all the pain. I then told her what the so called GP said as I mentioned a breast reduction and she couldn’t understand his reaction at all and even offered to write for me a letter with a recommendation for the GP. She absolutely recommends a reduction because it would would really improve my health and life quality.

So can I now go back the this idiot of GP and smack his face? GRRRR! I am so damn angry about the behaviour of this so called Doctor. I mean it already took me a lot to find the right words to start the conversation about my breasts which I find extremely embarrassing and then you get smacked in the face with such an answer. Cheers for nothing moron!

Now Neil and I will change to a different GP and let’s hope that they then at least listen and really try to help you and not just give you some pills a stupid smile and then send you away.

Thanks to the most wonderful Neil I discovered how great an Osteopath is and how freely I can move my head after one session again. Will go back there next week to keep an eye that shoulder.

Will keep you posted and my apology for my rude writing here…but all that needed to be said!

Have a great rest of the week.

Tanja

Something personal

Today’s blog is something very personal and I am not sure if all of you will understand what I’m trying to explain here…but this is who I am and what I think about life.

This is my way of the sword

What does it mean to live the way of the sword in today’s world? To practice martial arts was a dream that I had very early in my life as a kid of 6 or 7 years. Luckily there was a Karate dojo that offered beginner courses and I started to train and my love for martial arts began to grow. During the beginner course, all the other kids who joined with me, left the club one after another because they didn’t had the discipline and the will power to keep focused for those 2 hours of training. I loved it and even trained 3 times a week with the grown-ups and also at home or out in the forest. Karate was my live back then because it gave me self-confidence that I lost after the divorce and all the things that were happening during this process.

Sadly we had to move away from the dojo and after 3 years of martial arts there came too many years of emptiness. I longed to learn how to use a sword and other traditional Japanese weapons but it was impossible to find any training opportunities near where I lived. It was many years later after having a job, my own income and car that I found a Kobudo dojo that wasn’t too far away and had training lessons every Friday evening.
So there I was back on track to make my lifetime dream come true. Every Friday I drove to the dojo, which was a bit more than a one hour drive only to find myself after half a year later without a dojo again.  Why you ask? Let’s just say that the leader of the dojo was a very difficult person, who couldn’t separate her personal live and the dojo.

And so the emptiness in my soul returned.

After moving to the UK I finally found a Master and a dojo that would fill the emptiness. Finally I was able to learn how to use a sword and to cut myself free from my old self.
Holding my Iaito in my hands gives me a feeling of peace, calmness and to be whole. The first couple of times when I started to practice with the sword, it was like my body remembered how to use the sword and how to move. It was like it remembered it from another life, another time.
I don’t know if I will ever be a master of the sword, but to be able to learn and handle the sword makes me happy in a way no other sport or activity ever did.

All I wish for is to spend as much time with my master as I can, and learn as much as possible.

But being a martial artist means so much more. For me it is a way of life. Bushido – The Way of the Samurai has 7 virtues which are:

  • Rectitude
  • Courage
  • Benevolence
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Honour
  • Loyalty

Those virtues have certainly a different meaning in today’s life then it had back in feudal Japan but they are still important and worth having a closer look.

So what do those seven virtues mean to me and how do they fit into my life?

  • Rectitude
    Always think about what you do and how it would inflict others. For every action there will be a reaction so I want to make sure that I do the right thing. This means for me to stand up for others if I see that they aren’t treated the right way which sometimes means that I have to confront colleagues or even boss. It is not always easy but at the end of the day I know that I did the right thing and that makes me feel happy.
  • Courage
    Goes along with the first virtue, Rectitude. It means for me to have the strength to stand up for the right thing but also to take that first step towards something difficult like to apologize to someone or to tell the truth.

 

  • Benevolence

Always watch your temper. Be calm and treat your friends and family kind and in a way you want to be treated. Even be kind and friendly towards people you don’t like because in calmness and kindness lies great strength.

  • Respect

Respect everyone and everything around you. From people to animals even plants. Everything in alive and deserves to be respected and treated the right way. You can’t just throw your rubbish out of the window if you want to have a clean and relaxing environment around you. Respect isn’t always easy to grant to people especially when they treat you badly but see them as living beings, which are loved and treasured by someone.

 

  • Honesty
    Being honest to yourself and others is hard. Especially today were almost everyone in this society wears a mask. Honesty means for me to be honest to myself as much as to be honest to the people around me. Sometimes it also means to admit that there are certain things that I don’t want, so I have to speak up and express and explain why I don’t like things the way they are and how I need them to be to be able to live with them.
  • Honour
    The most difficult virtue to describe. I don’t know if I am an honourable person or not. That is not to me to tell but there are people and ways that I honour, like my family and friends, life itself and nature.

 

  • Loyalty
    Loyalty means for me to stand close to my family and friends, to support them, help and to be there for them whenever they need me. To be honest, it may mean the same like friendship to me and that is something very precious to me.

 

I know that not everyone will agree with my point of view but that is how it has to be. Everybody has a different view and understanding of things. This is my way of life and how I see things. What rules I have in my life to decide what is wrong and what is right. These rules and martial arts are what define me as the person I am and how I feel inside.

This is who I am.

A woman with the soul of a Samurai.