Xenom0rph!

If you’re in the collecting world of Hot Toys and the like, you’re almost certain to have seen some of the video reviews done by Andre at Xenom0rph. He bought a couple of my Downlighter lighting kits earlier on this year and after installing was impressed enough to feature them in his collection update video on his YouTube channel. 

Well he’s recently decided it’s time to replace those standard LEDs from IKEA for his other cabinets and this photo will give you a nice comparison so that you can see the difference. I’m looking forward to his next update after he’s finished installing the rest of his kits and got his bank of Detolfs all brightly lit to show off his impressive collection!

Make sure you head over to YouTube and subscribe to his channel and show him support for his terrific reviews. I’ve been promised that there’s more reviews coming very soon after he returns from holiday 😉

Thanks for checking back in and keep collecting!!

Keep Calm and Keep Collecting T-shirt Red

A little catch up

So it’s been a while since I’ve done any proper updates to the site, but there’s all new stuff to come. I’ve recently relocated myself and The Collection Corner back to the UK from Thailand. It’s been a somewhat stressful process and I’m still in the middle of playing catch up and awaiting for things to arrive from the Land of Smiles. The positive thing is that there is a lot of opportunity for me to expand on the LED light kits and promote in the UK and I’m looking forward to hitting all of the Comic Con events that are on here during the year and being able to expand on the product lines. 

There’s lots of changes I’m going to be making over the coming months including a redesign of the site and the addition of new products. You may have already noticed the new branding and logo and the addition of a line of t-shirts to the product pages. 


I want to thank my loyal fans for the support over the last few months and for the positivity that’s been pouring in during the trials I’ve had to face over the relocation. If you’re not already following me on the usual channels, pop along to these links and add me for updates and keep your eyes peeled for the newsletter and other features coming soon. 

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3 point landing pose for the Hot Toys War Machine and Iron Patriot die cast figures.

The new die cast range from Hot Toys is pretty astonishing in its engineering, and with each new iteration, Hot Toys has progressed the design to give collectors the opportunity to achieve poses on figures like Iron Man, that have never been possible before.

Here I’ve made a video to guide you through one of the most coveted poses, the 3 point landing or ground pound/ground punch pose. Numerous photos have done the rounds in the 1/6 scale toy collectors community and there have been many collectors worried about damaging their new figure if they try to create the same pose. So this video should help you through to achieving that iconic Iron Man stance.

Lighting the Fortress of Solitude

Hot Toys Superman, Chistopher Reeve.

Diorama base lit using some simple LEDs.

 

I had a bit of fun the other day and got destructive on my Hot toys MMS152 Christopher Reeve Superman… Well, not THAT destructive 😉
Check out my little video Here on how I dissected the diorama base and added some lovely, cool LED lighting underneath to really finish the look that Hot toys started.

Hope you enjoy.

Satisfied Customer

Ted in the US ordered a couple of my Invisible lighting kits for his Ikea Detolf display cases and he sent me an email to say

I just wanted to say thanks for your product and, more importantly, for standing behind your product. All in all, I’m extremely happy!

He included the picture below, hope you enjoy it 🙂

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Movie Time!!

What an exciting time of year for movies! Especially if you’re a bit of a super hero nut like me. The two most recent being Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Hydra reveal themselves as having infiltrated S.H.E.I.L.D since it’s very inception and Steve Roger’s best friend Bucky returns from the dead as Hydra’s brain washed assassin. And then The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which introduces a plethora of villains for the webslinger to tackle, alongside trying to deal with his ever complicated love life.

Did I enjoy them? Cap, yes, definitely! But I’ll cover that next time. Spidey? Not so much. I left the cinema feeling quite deflated having seen the second instalment of the allegedly “Amazing” Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield behind the mask. It definitely added some depth to Peter’s story and there were some pretty good action sequences, but just like the Toby McGuire movies, too much time seems to be spent focussing on Peter rather than development of the superhero or his villains.

The villains were probably the most disappointing part and mainly because there was no depth to the characters or their back stories. Both Electro and Harry Osborn seemed to simply switched from being pretty good people to ultimate bad-ass super villains in the blink of an eye. Are we supposed to believe that the slightly autistic Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), simply a nice guy who doesn’t get any credit for his work or intelligence, gets electrocuted by eels which immediately makes him think the whole world is against him and now he needs to conquer it? I get it, power corrupts, but seriously, in like 10 minutes?? And as is almost customary in a lot of these movies, Spider-Man tries to help and the villain takes it the wrong way and goes loco. So ensues the inevitable tangled web of gaining power, hurting Spider-man’s loved ones and attempting to take over the city.

I don’t even want to get started on the dribbling little pipsqueak, Leonardo DiCaprio wannabe, that is Harry Osborn/Green Goblin… but I will. Who is he? What’s his history with Peter? Seems like a nice boy wanting daddy’s approval, but how did boarding school affect him? Well you get hints at some of this, but this is what I consider bread and butter for the character (played by Dane DeHaan) and should have been explored.

Harry quickly finds out his dying father’s condition is genetic and as if by magic, the next day he’s developed scales on his neck… Now I know that his old man had been fighting it for years, developing all sorts of ways to prevent his death (he looked pretty old at the end, so I’d say he had a good innings), but as soon as he tells his son, he starts to develop symptoms!!?? GET OUTTA HERE!!! This eventually leads to Harry exploiting Oscorps’ R&D department and all his father’s experimental tech to save his life and inevitably become the evil Green Goblin.

So what about the epic battles we were expecting? Yeah I don’t know what happened there. Goblin was done in after a couple of minutes, upon finally making his appearance, and Electro didn’t prove to be too much of a challenge either, once Gwen gave Peter, the so called science nerd, the idea of magnetising his web slingers to resist the electricity…

Speaking of electricity, is Spider-man completely insulated against electricity? Is it something to do with his new suit that appeared out of nowhere with no explanation of development? Electro kills a couple guys by exploding their hearts with a single bolt, but not Spidey, he’s immune somehow!! Here’s that substance that we really needed in the movie.

Did you think I forgot about Rhino? Don’t worry, only as much as Sony Pictures did. A couple of minutes at the end you see Paul Giamatti’s lovely new suit packed with armour and weapons galore ready for the big showdown with Spidey… Cue credits!!! WHAAAAT?? As much as his acting was unusually wooden and accent pretty appalling, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of this character making up for the other two let downs. Maybe it’s a cliff hangar for the next movie, but it didn’t really have that feel.

So what could they have done to improve the movie? Well for a start, Sony needs to get it through their skulls that we pay to see a Spider-Man movie, not some nancy, teenage, Twilight saga feeling soap opera! (No I haven’t seen the Twilight saga!!!) They need to spend some time telling us about the villains and giving them real character, especially if they’re going to make a Sinister Six movie!! Stop making the same mistakes over and over again guys! Maybe it’s a “too many cooks spoil the broth” kind of thing as there were masses of people working on the story and script!

After catching Spidey, I mooched around the Thailand Toy Expo checking out some great bits and pieces from companies like 3A, Kotobukya, Foxbox and of course Hot Toys. The main thing I’d set my mind on was preordering the new Hot Toys Spidey figure as I desperately need one in my collection… Lo-and-behold, disappointed once again!!!

I know it was only a prototype on display but I’m giving it a wide berth until it’s released. The suit really doesn’t meet Hot Toys usual standard, material was wrong, colour too. And I just can’t get past those hands! The webbing look is far too raised and makes the whole thing look like a cheap toy. Hot Toys are fairly good at redeeming themselves and I hope that will be the case with this Spidey when the final product is released! Or maybe it’s one of those pieces to customise! In the meantime, I’ve got plenty on my collection list, what’s on yours?

 

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Which LED Lighting to use, Warm LED or Cool LED Lights?

Light emitting diodes come in 3 standard colors namely; cool white, warm white and natural day light. On which LED to use, it is about personal choice and preference. The most popular one for homes is a yellowish color of around 2700-3000k though in the past, low intensity red LED lights were in use. Technological advancements have led to production of LEDs that generate a small amount of light ranging from the ultraviolet, infrared and visible wavelengths. Your application and level or type of ambience you want to create determine the type of LED color from one room of your home to another. Most people find the cool white lights too artificial. Cool LED lights are usually incorporated in decorations and displays involving such things as ice, snow and other lighting needs. These have a cool tone.

Natural white creates a natural bright luminosity that is good for kitchen and bathroom settings. This hue is the most popular color because it can be incorporated into home and business applications. The yellowish/golden hues from warm white are mostly used for lounge rooms, hallways and bedroom lighting because it produces somehow a color similar to that of an incandescent bulb. There are quite some differences in color temperature ranging from natural, cool LED lighting and warm LED lighting. Cool LED lights for instance are typically classified from at least 5500 K or more. On the other hand, warm LED lights are classified as being in the range of 2700 to 3000 K. The cool colors are seen as being green to blue while the warm colors are generally viewed as being yellow to red which are below 1000k. Natural white lights of 5,500k – 6,500k resembles the natural light with a perfect mixture of cool and warm light that enhances the room ambience.

Some of the advantages of choosing LED lights are that they utilize edge-lit technology with low power supply. They enable diffusion to disperse light uniformly, use little energy and generate very little heat. LED’s are suitable for ceiling and mounting on the walls, have no mercury or lead hence environmentally friendly. Furthermore, they last longer saving you some money.

Last but not least, consider the quality of light, function and price. LED’s price range from $10-100 per metre. The quality of light will depend on what amount of light you need and its function. You have a choice to make; so make the right choice!

A Good Review!

I do enjoy that warm feeling you get when you’ve helped someone achieve a goal! Bowei from Singapore contacted me after I posted a pic of my Invisible light kit enquiring about having one made. He told me straight away that he wasn’t comfortable with having to perform any disassembly of his Detolf cabinet and so we chatted further and I pencilled him up a slightly different design.

The Downlighter kit proved to be a nice simple installation, with only a little wiggling and realigning to be done before sticking into place.
I received some excited messages from Bowei when the parcel arrived in an unbelievably timely 3 days, and he promptly put the kit in and gave me a fantastic review.

Now, I worked in the retail industry for about 13 years before moving to The Land of Smiles, and I can tell you, I developed a huge customer hate over those years. It happens, as I’m sure anyone in a customer focused environment will agree. But a lot of the time, the main cause is a lack of passion for the job you’re in. I had no customer hate when I worked for Hamley’s toy store… I was working with toys for fucks sake! But managing the shoe department at Primark?? Whole different story.

So when you’re doing something you enjoy and someone else is able to share in and appreciate it too, and then you apply it to a customer focused environment… Well that’s when that warm fuzzy feeling inside let’s you know that it’s good to care about your customer because they share your passion. Confucious say “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Well this isn’t my job, I still work my ass off for a living in an office, this is my hobby, and yours too.

I’ll leave you with Bowei’s review and collection photo.
Thanks for visiting dedicated collector!

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Just received my custom lighting kit from Dave and I must say, i am very impressed!

First saw his post regarding the “invisible” kit from a FB page where he posted it, so I contacted him if he is able to make me one. He took it up without hesitations.

As I am not very good at DIY myself, he proposed another kit which requires less removing of a Detolf shelf door and fixing it back on again since I prefer something easier to fix on.

He took a very short period of time to fix everything up, and took the effort to answer my endless questions which I was curious about. He even put up an installation video on how to fix up the kit on youtube. I believe you can find his link above!

Very detailed and the kit arrived shortly in less than 5 days. He even sent pictures to me regarding everything I needed to know. I am very pleased with the whole setup now, since the usual LED lights are being displayed without anything hiding it, which is not up to my expectations. But with the custom light kit that Dave has made me, I am delighted that I got him to help me do one up.

His efforts into explaining step by step is very much a plus point, something like after sales service which I very STRONGLY recommend collectors who need a custom light kit from him, do look him up as he is one of the best you can find in terms of his service and product! And he has a very nice collection too!

Thank you once again Dave for the efforts and great product you have made, I am so digging it, great for my collection!

Regards,
Bowei

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BECAUSE I’M BATMAN!

Just finished my last mod on the beautiful DX12 Batman. Painted up the straps with a little black acrylic. Sets off the carbon on the abs pretty well. I pinched the idea from The Clipper King, if you don’t know that name get YouTubing now! He’s got an excellent video on modding the DX12 which is totally worth a watch. Word of warning, it’s not a short video!

Enjoy!

What to do, What to do…

So now I’ve got this space to shout about anything I want… What the hell do I shout about? Well, you can be sure that I’ll talk about my collection and upcoming toy and movie releases, but maybe you should be prepared to read my dronings about life in general and things that have sod all to do with this hobby too. It’s ok, I won’t throw you in at the deep end just yet!

I’ll probably bombard The Corner with photo’s of my toys, it’s one thing I’ve really gotten into over the last few months. I’m currently experimenting with a light box and chroma key work in photoshop to get some shots that really demonstrate how lifelike Hot Toys pieces are. I made a large box out of future board (that corrugated plastic stuff) and lined it with green paper. Then I ran some warm LED lights around the floor/ceiling of the box and bought some clip on lights with normal style lamp bulbs.

I’m calling this box the Mk1 as I’ve definitely found things that could be done better. The green paper I used, for example, cast way too much colour onto the subject which can be pain staking to remove in photoshop. I’ve since tried grey and blue and found that I could really do with making the colours interchangeable as different colours work best for different figures. Blue seems to be the best so far, but like lighting gels, changing the paper colour will give me different effects. As does the lighting, I swap between warm and cool light for different feels and detail depths.

Mk2 will commence soon I’m sure, but for now I’ll leave you with some pics of the Mk1 and how I’ve used it.

Thanks for reading, see you again!

 

The Mk1 lightbox
The Mk1 lightbox
A great dynamic pose after wiring the cape
A great dynamic pose after wiring the cape
Ground Punch Pose
Ground Punch Pose
Reloading the thumper!
Reloading the thumper!