The Toys Story Collection – Part 2

Continues from The Toy Story Collection – Part 1, this is part 2 of my Toy Story Collection post. In Part 1 I covered my recent acquisition of Thinkway Toys’ Toy Story Collection’s Woody and Buzz Lightyear. These two are the characters from the first movie Toy Story. Now in Toy Story 2 two new characters are introduce as part of the “Woody’s Roundup” gang – Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl and Woody’s Horse Bullseye.

Let me start with Jessie. Just like Woody and Buzz, Jessie carries a price tag of $60 CAD at my local Toys R Us. I’d like to reiterate that the price tag is definitely more justifiable as a “collectable toy” than a simple child’s play thing. There are other Jessie dolls that does similar things that are priced at $30 CAD or below. The whole selling point of Toy Story Collection is that this is supposed to be a premium quality exact replica of the toys in the films.

Let’s hope that Jessie will bring me some joy where Woody and Buzz have failed…

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The Toy Story Collection – Part 1

In my previous post ‘Tribute To Steve Jobs‘, I’ve mentioned that I really love Pixar Studio’s animated movies. And I’s also posted that I think Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) are two of the best animated films that Pixar has ever made. So one would expected me to own some Toy Story collectable toys. But, in reality, it is not the case. The main reason, as I look back, is because Disney kept on putting out toys that looks like they are some bootleg figures from hell. For example below to the left is an authentic Disney’s Talking Sheriff Woody doll. While to the right is a screen shot of what Woody looks like in Toy Story 2. Now as you can see the resemblance is remote at the best. Disney’s toys look like something coming out of a horrible Halloween costume party.

Well no wonder while I was a fan of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, I’ve never purchased any Toy Story merchandise. But all that was about to change…

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Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur~

Believe it or not, as much as I am a Saber fan, I actually only own a single Saber figure in her standard armour – Clayz 1/6 Saber. The Clayz figure is a really old figure released back in 2005 and not particular the best Saber sculpture that was done. With a movie version of Fate/stay night anime announced, Good Smile Company soon announced a new 1/7 scaled Saber PVC in her armour. And that is Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur~. The figure is supposed to be released in July 2010, but it was delayed month after month. Finally it is is scheduled to be released on September 2010. Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 30, 2010. And soon after, there comes my new Fate/stay night Saber figure.

Saber ~Triumphant Excalibur~ 1/7 PVC by Good Smile Comopany (セイバー ~約束された勝利の剣(エクスカリバー)~). Original sculptor Tokunaga Hironori(徳永弘範). Released on September 2010 with an MSRP of ¥9,800.

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MegaHouse G.E.M. Gintama Hijikata Toushirou

I don’t own many male figures, and I don’t own any other Gintama (銀魂) figure. But after seeing the pre-order picture for this Hijikata Toushirou PVC from the Gintama series, I placed an order for him. Maybe it’s his cool looks, or maybe it’s the extravagant mayonnaise display (see details below). Either way the Shinsenguimi number two now joins the rare group in my figure collection. MegaHouse isn’t exactly known to make really great figures. For the Gintama series, they have previously released Sakata Gintoki in April of 2010. The Gintoki figure really did not impress me. I thought they have really done a poor job on the series’ main character. But this Hijikata figure seems to be much better than Gintoki especially in terms of the face sculpture and the paint. Another figure in the same series Sougo Okita is slated to be released in October 2010.

G.E.M. Series Gintama Hijikata Toushirou 1/8 PVC by MegaHouse (銀魂 土方 十四郎).Original Sculptor Moriwaki Naoto (森脇直人). Released on June 2010 with an MSRP of ¥6,600.

Still in the box, front and back.

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Figure/doll photography 121 – How to produce white background

This is another one of my figure/doll photography 121 post. A few months ago, I’ve posted an article on how to produce a true black background without the use of any black background material and/or image editing software. I wrote about the black background because I find most people does not know how light works its magic in a photography sense. The people I talk to tends to instinctively come to the conclusion that if a photo’s background is black, then there must be something black behind it. If you have read my article, then you would see that a true black background actually resulted from a lack of light coming towards to your camera. Today I want to look at the opposite side of the gray scale — how to produce a white background?

Well again a lot of people instinctively think that a white background is the result of placing some kind of white material behind the subject. Below is a photo that I took in front of a white fabric backdrop. However, when compared to the white frame that borders the picture, you can clearly see that the actual background is not 100% white. In fact if you load it into an image editing software, you will see that the background is somewhere between 96% – 92% on the gray scale. On the gray scale there’s only one white point which is at the very end of the gray scale. Anything that’s not 100% on the gray scale, or 255, 255, 255 in RGB value is not pure white. And 255, 255, 255 RGB value is what the background must be if we were to call it a true white background. Anything less is just a different shades of gray.

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