Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Customizing - Doing what Toy Companies just won't.

Ah, the art of customizing. I myself have done many of custom action figures. It's a lot of fun to make your own figures the way toy companies just can't. And it's great to see all of the wonderful creations others come up with.

Legos are something that I have always wanted to try and customize, but have never really put any time into trying. There are a lot of Lego fans out there, and it's amazing to see some of the wonderful things creative people can come up with. I've seen everything from Legos built to look like 8-bit NES sprites to amazing and huge Star Wars ships and environments built entirely out of Lego pieces. And then, of course, the most common form of Lego customizing is the figures themselves. Custom Lego-men.

I came across this guy's page today while doing a random search for Legend of Zelda pictures. These are freaking cool! I don't think I have ever seen anyone make Legend of Zelda Legos before. And I know I have never seen custom Lego men that looked this good! These are very professional, almost as if Lego put them out themselves. Just excellent! Check these bad boys out:

I have to say that Princess Zelda is my favorite in the bunch. She just looks so professionally done. It's a wonder how some people can be so precise with their painting. Awesome!

Speaking of action figure customizing, have any of you out there ever heard the name Jin Saotome? Well, if you are a customizer, a shopper of customs on Ebay, or a frequenter of any toy forums, I guarantee you him!

Jin is hands down the BEST action figure customizer I have ever seen! His work is down right amazing! Rarely do you see custom action figures that look like they came right out of the factory. In fact, these look 10 times better than any toy company would ever produce! The level of detail on each of his pieces is astounding! Here are a few examples of his work:

Jin hits a level of detail on his figures that I have never been able to master on my own. His work simply amazes me. People love his work so much, that any figure he lists on Ebay sells int he $100's, just for having his name on it. He pays his bills by making figures. Ah, how I wish I could be so lucky!

One of the coolest things about the guy is that he shares his techniques with people. His website is littered with "how-to" guides. He's all about helping his fellow customizers out. He's given me several pointers personally in the past, and he's just overall a great guy!

Swing by and check out his work! Read his guides! And drop him a line if you'd like! Tell him Mandalorian30 sent you, and did a good job of pimping out his site! ;)

Any other customizers out there who'd like to share your work? Please, post away! I love to see the awesome customs people come up with!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Well, my hometown of Springfield, Illinois may not have won the premeir for The Simpsons Movie, but we did get these nifty posters for free! Limited to only 500, the posters says "Filmed on location in springfield, Illinois" right under the title. Sweet!

Friday, July 20, 2007

When video games run your life!

I think every gamer has been in that place where they have this one game that they are just absolutely addicted. A game that can be played for hours on end, and just can’t seem to be put down. A game that just completely sucks you in to the point that the real world now revolves around your game. You have to make scheduling changes just to make sure you don’t miss a certain item in your game. You cancel plans because you don’t want to give up yet. Yep, all gamers have been there. In fact, I’m willing to bet that most gamers have been there on more than one occasion. I know I have. And I’m there right now.

Yes my fellow VGLosers, I am currently entwined in the universe known as Animal Crossing: Wild World for the Nintendo DS. It’s a world where you are a human trying to make a living in a town full of cutesy animal residents. Don’t look at me like that. I know that a lot of you gamers have picked up this game and got lost in it as well. And for those of you who haven’t, you probably just haven’t given it a proper chance.

Yep, even I have friends who give me crap and like to roll their eyes at me when I tell them what I’m playing. Animal Crossing is a sim game, basically. And although it looks cute and cuddly, it is very in-depth and highly addicting. Don’t believe me? Yeah, I know. You can’t get over the way the game looks, can you? You’d rather be blowing the heads off zombies, or “pwning sum noobs” at Halo 2, right? Well, truth is this kind of a game isn’t for every body. But even if you’re not too big into sim games, I bet that if given the proper chance, Animal Crossing could wrap you up just as it did me.

There is so much to do in this game, it’s ridiculous. So many goals and so little time. The reason there is little time, you ask? Well, that’s because this game is in “real time,” meaning that if it’s 5:00 pm in real life, its 5:00 pm in your Animal Crossing town. And certain things happen at certain times of the day. Certain events take place on certain dates. And certain hard-to-find items may only appear at those late hours of the night, or early hours of the morning. And, unless you’re a dirty cheater and like to change the time on your DS to make things easier for you, accomplishing all of your goals can be quite a challenge.

Some of the goals in this game include paying off your mortgage to get bigger, better house, furnishing your house and finding and buying new and rare types of furniture, planting flowers and trees to get a perfect town, catching bugs and fish to donate to your museum, make friends with the townsfolk, the list can go on and on.

It may not sound like much, but you really find yourself trying to accomplish your goals. You get rewarded for accomplishing certain tasks. For example, catching every fish there is to catch in the game will yield a prize called the golden fishing rod. The problem is that certain fish are only available at certain times of the day, and even still, only certain times of the year! Yep, the seasons change, and so do the fish and insects that can be caught. It makes it hard to reach your goals, but that much more rewarding when you do.

Buying furniture is a lot of fun as well. There is such a huge catalog you can accumulate filled with wallpapers, carpets, shirts, accessories, and different types of furniture. Some items are far rarer than others. For you Nintendo fans out there, you might be happy to know you can even obtain cool little items like the Triforce or a Metroid. I know I love that! Its cool little things like that that keeps me constantly searching, buying, and trading for new pieces of furniture to fill my catalog with.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to do in this game. Meaning, my life revolves around it. I have a daily routine now, it seems. I check the game every morning. I start by watering all of the flowers in my town to make sure they don’t die. I talk to all of my town’s folk, to maintain friendships and keep them from moving. I check the stores to see if there is anything new that I haven’t bought yet. I pull all the weeds that grew over night. If there is a special visitor, I talk to them and try to earn whatever goodie they are offering. I mail any letters that need to be mailed. I check the recycling bin for items I may want to take. I shake trees to look for stashed bells (money), I sell some fruit to earn money, and I look for buried fossils to take to the museum. After that, I do anything else that may come up. If there’s a special event at a certain time, I try to get on at that time. If I need to fish or bug hunt for something I need, I’ll do that. If I want to go wi-fi with some people I meet online and trade items, I may do that. It’s crazy. This game has me planning my whole day around it just to make sure my town stays at its perfect status!

This is not the first time a game has done this to me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. And, in my opinion, if a game can manage to get a gamer like me this wrapped up, then they did something right. If you’ve never given Animal Crossing a try, I’d recommend it. Maybe you won’t care for it at all, or maybe you’ll get sucked in just as much as I did. You’d be surprised. You can pick up either version of the game, for the Gamecube or the DS. Plus, they’ve announced a Wii version of the game coming next year. I can already see my schedule becoming full.

I’m going to end this one off by asking all of you VGLosers out there what games have done this to you? Share your experiences! Tell me what game has got you so sucked in that you didn’t care about the real world!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter Fans Love To Laugh

Last night I attended the midnight showing of Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix. It was a good movie. I can’t say it was my favorite of the Potter flicks, as I enjoyed films such as “Goblet of Fire” more. But, overall, it was still a good film. However, I’m not here to talk about the film. I’m here to talk about the crowd that was there to see it.

This summer has been full of huge, box office hits. I’ve been to so many midnight showings already, more than I think I have ever been to in one summer. Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Live Free of Die Hard, and Transformers…so many big ones this year! This is one summer that has made many nerds have to constantly clean their shorts.

So what was so different about the Harry Potter opening that has sparked writing out of me? Well, to be honest, not much really. At least, as far as what I was expecting goes. A lot of these big movies have a fan following. Being the huge Star Wars fan that I am, it’s not abnormal for me to see swarms of people dressed in costume while waiting hours in line to see the newest installment of their favorite franchise. But there’s something about the Potter fans that seemed different to me. Maybe it’s the age barrier. I’m not sure. After all, Harry Potter does have a bit of a younger fan following. Transformers and Star Wars are of my generation. Harry Potter, not so much.

I do enjoy these movies quite a bit, and being a nerd myself, I cannot really judge when I see Potter fanatics at openings like last night. But during that movie, they acted slightly different than I expected them too. There was clapping at the opening, the ending, and at key scenes. But that sort of thing happened when I saw movies like Star Wars and Transformers. And I gladly participated in it. But I was so confused last night when a majority of the audience laughed throughout the movie.

Yes, there are funny moments in HP: OotP. Every good movie should include some comedy. But these people were laughing at very un-funny scenes. For example, every time Luna Lovegood said anything, the audience would chuckle. Granted, the character was a little odd. But she didn’t always say things that should warrant a giggle or laugh. She would say something completely serious, and the audience would be laughing. I felt as though there was some kind of huge joke that I wasn’t getting.

Then, the scene that really got me was towards the end. Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that there is a scene during the end battle where Harry is going through some torture. It’s a very serious scene…yet there go those Potter fans, laughing away again. What did I miss? This is the part of the movie that is supposed to be the epic battle. The part that is suppose to have us all wrapped up, wondering if the good guys are going to make it through. But are we all on the edge of our seat wondering what’s going to happen? Nope. We’re giggling like we just read a humorous joke.

It was quite confusing, and a bit annoying to be truthful. And the more I think about it, the more my brain hurts. The only thing I can think of is that age difference between fan bases. Perhaps those Potter fans just see something that I don’t. Maybe it has something to do with reading the books. Or maybe Potter fans are just bat shit crazy. Who knows?

Either way, it was a good movie, despite the fact that I didn’t seem to get the big joke.

If you had a similar experience…or maybe if you know what was so funny…leave me a comment!

Friday, July 6, 2007

What is a VGLoser?

Hey VGLosers, Mandalorian30 here! I just wanted to take a moment to cover something that I'm sure will be a a popular topic: What is a VGLoser?

VGLosers.com is not a new site. DiRT, along with others, have kept this site going for quite some time now. But with the site getting a new breathe of life, there's a good chance that it will grow soon. More people are going to find their way here. And more and more people are going to ask that question. Everyone is going to wonder what a VGLoser actually is.

First, take a moment to listen to a podcast that DiRT posted back in February. This podcast is his explanation of what a VGLoser is.

explained a VGLoser as someone who is caught up in what the rest of society would look at as "Unimportant." Something you are so caught up in, you let the rest of life go. Other people may not think it's important, but you sure as heck do!

What are these "Unimportant" things? Well, for us it's Video Games, it's Toys, it's Comic Books, it's Wrestling, it's Movies, etc etc. We are nerds. We are geeks. We are VGLosers!

The rest of society may refer to us as losers because of the things we consider important. But we here at VGLosers.com wear that title proudly! In our eyes, being a VGLoser is a positive thing. It's who we are. It's how we're always going to be. And everyone else will just have to deal.

So, what is a VGLoser? Well, I know I'm one. And I'm proud of it. So I guess the real question is "Are YOU a VGLoser?"


Well, it looks like you have stumbled in to my little corner of VGLosers.com, “It Figures!” Hello everyone, I’m Mandalorian30 and I’m here to ramble on and on about all things nerd! You like toys? Yeah, me too! You like video games? Yeah, me too! Movies? Check! Wrestling? Check! I like it all, and I’m going to talk about it all!

For many of us, our life is often times consumed by things that many people would just call “unimportant.” For some of us it’s action figure collecting. For others, it’s that one video game that you just have to beat. Then there are those people who have to make time to do it all! Those are my people!

I will be using this blog to look into the lifestyle of the nerd world! From the good to the bad! From the nostalgic to the new! We’re going to look at anything and everything that interests…well…me! But, if you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll find it interesting as well! And if you don't, then what the heck are you doing reading my blog any way? Get outta here!

So, for those interested, stay tuned! The updates are a-comin’!