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Topics - Spectre

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I have been trying to find some kind of use for those stupid little mini "holo" figures that are packed in with the current Star Wars figures as they really served no purpose to me as-is since most of the characters depicted are dead by the time of my "Universe" (approx. 9 years post "Return Of The Jedi").

It finally hit me during the design phase of my "Super Secret Customs Project" (which will debut the first week of August!) when I had to come up with several different forms of weathered metal patinas.

Now the useless mini "holo" figures are metallic statues for use in dioramas!


"Ancient Egyptian Gold Artifact":

Tarnished Silver:


Here's a comparison shot with all 4 "alloys":

I made a ton of these guys today. Any that I do not decide to keep will be offered up in my Swap Shop next week :)

With the upcoming unveiling of my "Super Secret Customs Project" in 3 weeks (I had alot of stuff come up that keeps pushing this back, some good- getting engaged and making wedding plans :D, and some bad- exhaustion, accidentially cutting off half of the top part of my right middle finger and having to wait for it to grow back before I could resume customizing 8O ), the finishing up of "Galactic Intelligence: Joint Operations Elite and "The Brotherhood Of the Serpent" by fall (finally :lol: ), and "Deep Sea Danger!" in the winter (Feb/March '07), I am left wondering what my next "themed" line of customs should be for mid 2007.

I have 3 ideas all ready for the design stage but cannot decide which to do first so I'm turning to everyone here for advice as to what you want to see first.

In no particular order:

"No Matter Where You Go, There You Are: The Continuing Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai In A Galaxy Far Far Away"
- After a devestating accident during a test of the all-new and improved Ocillation Overthruster, the daring adventurer/neuroseugeon/rock star Dr. Buckaroo Banzai finds himself thousands of years in the past and billions of miles from home! With the Jet Car and his precious Ocillation Overthruster smashed, Dr. Banzai must build a new way to get home or be forever lost in a galaxy far far away. Luckily his new-found friends, "The Corellian Cavaliers" (name may change to something funnier) are by his side and watching his back.

This line will feature at least 2 versions of Dr. Banzai, the Jet Speeder, a dozen or so "Cavaliers", all-new crime lords to oppose the good Dr., and possibly some Lectroids thrown in for good measure :)

"Beware! The Red Skull!"[/b]
- On a war-ravaged planet in the Outer Rim, an aggressive disfigured warlord subjugates nearby systems with his dreaded soldiers- "The Red Shadows".

Kind of a companion series to "The Coming Of Doom" but also combining the old Action Force villians. This line will have the Skull himself, several classes of Red Shadows troopers and a few of the old British villians mixed in. Also possibly some vehicles and battle droids as well.

"Angels To Some, Demons To Others: The Order Of The Bleeding Wound"
- On the dark and foreboding Corriban, homeworld of the Sith, a Dark Side cult is gaining power. A cult that worships the blessed order of mutilated flesh and piercing metal. This cult is amassing an army of disfigured followers to send across the galaxy and spread their "holy message".

Think "Hellraiser" in the Star Wars Universe but without any of the overly Christian overtones (more like a freaky S+M club than anything else). This line will focus on the hierarchy of the Order, their soldiers, and weapons of torture (possibly as another multi-level playset!).

Modern Classifieds / Help Spectre Pay For His Wedding!
« on: July 13, 2006, 08:48 PM »
As you all know from my Swap Shop threads, I'm liquidating almost every collectible I have in order to pay for my wedding.

Since I will no longer have any collectibles to display, I will no longer be needing my ENORMOUS glass display case! Here's a chance for some lucky local (NJ/NY area) collector to aquire a beautiful case for a fraction of it's value on today's market.

The case measures approx 8'2"(long)x6'6"(high)x12"(deep) and features a mirrored back and sides for that "infinity" effect. There are 2 small imperfections in the form of a cracked piece of plexiglass on the top of the cabinet (invisible to the eye unless you are above or inside the cabinet) and a small sliver of mirror missing from the bottom of one of the mirror slats (also almost invisible unless you are really looking for it).

This thing is HEAVY and somewhat cumbersome so shipping isn't really a realistic option but anyone who wants it and is local (NY/NJ area) can just come to the house and get it (it'll be disassembeled down to it's componant parts and stored in the garage this weekend). I recommend bringing either a station wagon, minivan, pickup, or cargo van though as the top and bottom pieces are over 8'long and do not collapse. You will get all of the pieces and hardware that goes to it.

I'll post pics tonight.

Asking $1,000.00 (or best realistic offer ;) )

Also up for sale:

Approx 12,000 book Comic Collection. Way too many titles to list, but suffice it to say that I collected pretty much everything Marvel from the late 70's/early 80's all the way up to "Onslaught", tons of DC (although not as comprehensive as the Marvel stuff as I didn't collect every title from DC at the time), Vertigo, Dark Horse, Valiant (almost every book they ever published), Malibu, Mirage, you name it. There are alot of really good books in here (12+ year unbroken run of most X-titles, dealer incentive books, key appearance/event books, some 60's Marvels, etc., etc., etc.) and they range from 1952 all the way up to last year. There are more books in this collection than most decent-sized comic stores have in their inventory so it's a great chance for someont to get an instant collection or open their own store (this was actually a dream of mine for awhile :( ). As with the case above, weight is a serious issue here so it's best if there was someone local (NY/NJ area) who wants them :)

Asking $5,000 (or best realistic offer ;) )

Any help would be appreciated :)

Tonight, aside from being my birthday is also my third anniversary with Gina, the most beautiful woman in the world! I decided to celebrate the occasion by asking her to marry me :)

She said yes (of course :lol: ) and now we are officially engaged to be married!

I am the happiest man in the world tonight!

Other Toy Lines / Good To Go Customs Product Preview/Review
« on: May 19, 2006, 09:37 PM »
Good To Go Customs is a brand new company about to open the doors to their one stop customizing shop ( at 9:00 am Thursday, June 1st. Good To Go Customs founding member Bekker was kind enough to send me some advance samples for review purposes.

Samples Overview:

As you can see, I have here an assortment of bladed weapons ranging from a short, futuristic tanto to a massive scimitar-like sword for your enjoyment today. I'll be touching on several points from sculpt to materials throughout the body of the review. The only items that have "official" names so far are the cobra-handled sword ("Serpent Sword") and the scimitar-like sword ("Commando Sword I") so I'll just use descriptive names for the rest of them (I'm sure the "official" names will be revealed when the store opens :) ).


"Serpent Sword"

The sculpt on each of the weapons is top notch! Good To Go Customs employs a mystery toy industry sculptor, referred to only as "The Sculptor", to do all of their original weapons, headsculpts, etc. Each of the samples I have are just covered with tiny, intricate details like the tiny scales on the snakes on the "Serpent Sword"'s hilt (see pic above) to the fierce dragon's head at the bottom of the "Dragon Sword"'s hilt (see pic below).

"Dragon Sword"

The attention to detail is phenominal. A very nice detail, often left off by the major manufacturers, is the beveled edge on each blade! Most often, action figure swords have flat edges while these blades have realistic, nearly functional, blades with working sharp points.


"Hibbins Knife"

The scale on the samples I was sent is very good. My first impression was that the knives were a bit big, but after doing some research I found the knives that they were based on to actually be close to that size in a human hand.

"Davey Crocket Knife"

Weapon Choices:

"Futuristic Stormshadow v1 Swords"

"Commando Sword I"

The selection sent to me covers a nive variety of real world and fantasy weapons. Just in this first batch you have updated of old familiar favorites ("Commando Sword I", "Futuristic Stormshadow v1 Swords"), some highly desired movie inspired blades ("Riddick Blade", "Kroenen Sword"), outright fantasy blades ("Serpent Sword", "Hibbins Knife"- obviously inspired by the work of fantasy knifemaker Gil Hibbins), and an American classic ("Davey Crocket Knife") just to name a few.

"Riddick Blade"

"Knuckle Knife"


These items are cast by hand out of Smoothon 220, a rigid yet strong plastic. I gently flexed the blades several times without cracking them or getting stress marks so they should stand up to some decent playtime :)

"The Neverending Battle"

Paint Apps[/b]:

None, they're made for customizers by customizers so you have to paint 'em yourself :D

"Kroenen Sword" (I really wish I had received 2 of these as this would have been an awsome pic :) )

The Future:

Good To Go Customs is going to start out small by offering hand cast accessories (cast by the multi-talented Master Gunzz and Bekker!), both original newly sculpted and copies of existing items, but plans to expand quickly. Already on tap for the near future are action figure "blanks" (nearly nude, highly articulated base figures for customizers), a line of newly sculpted heads, and all manner of accessories (including the much-loved wares of Marauder, Inc.!).

Good To Go Customs plans to offer much more than just parts though. After the initial launch, they also plan to stock paintbrushes, paints, casting supplies, sculpting supplies, sealants, and just about everything else for the art/hobby of customizing!

Final Impressions:

I'm very excited about the upcoming launch of Good To Go Customs' line of customizing goods! Good To Go Customs looks to fill a need in the customizing community by giving us items that the major companies often miss. There are quite a few items previewed on their site that I cannot wait to get into my hands. Final prices are being finalized at this point and will be revealed when the store opens on June 1st.

As I have said before in this review, these accessories are made for customizers by customizers so there may be some finishing that the consumer will have to do. As anyone who has worked with cast items knows, there is always the possability of small imperfections like air bubbles or mold flash that will have to be filled, sanded, etc. Of the samples I received, there was only one noticable air bubble on one of the snakes on the "Serpent Sword"'s handle while 3 or 4 of the other weapons had some minor mold flash that I had to trim off with a razor blade. There were NO major imperfections found in low quality casts like warping or distortions, these are very high quality casts as we have all come to expect from the hands of Master Gunzz and Bekker.

I give Good To Go Customs the "Spectre Seal Of Approval"!

Other Toy Lines / Hap-P-Kid Toys "Cybotronix M.A.R.S. Heroes"
« on: March 10, 2006, 10:00 PM »
The "Cybotronix M.A.R.S. Heroes" line is produced by Hap-P-Kid Toy, a company best known for their variouse sized battery-powered walking/light-up robots. This line appears to be their first major push into the action figure market. How does this freshmen effort fare? Read on, my friends, read on.

First, a basic overview of the series. There are three factions in the line:

Troopers- armored humans

Aliens- translucent, long limbed creatures from beyond

Megabots- heavily armored droids reminiscent of the "Gundam" mechs

There are no "characters" per se, nor does there appear to be any kind of storyline allowing children to actualy use their imaginations (something sorely lacking from the toy aisles of late).














The packaging is very professional looking with sturdy bubbles and inner trays and a glossy, double-sided backer card. The graphics are crisp and clear and there are no spelling errors present unlike alot of foreign made "cheapy" toys

The sculpts for the most part are fantastic, especially considering that these are "cheap" toys! The details are crisp and distinct, not "soft" or "blobby" as is usual for low-priced toys that are not made by one of the major toy manufacturers.

There are a few downsides though:

The shoulder mounted weapons on the Aliens and Megabots (except for the orange Alien's) are hollow and have no backs as evident in the pictures above.

The Troopers' and Megabots' heads are all over the place scale-wise. They are not even consistant with each other.

There tends to be alot of space between some of the body parts, especially evident in the shoulder and hip joints on the Troopers.

While minimal, the paint apps are crisp and clean with no overspray or bad masks on any of the twenty-something figures I have purchased so far!

These figures sport an impressive 11(Troopers and Aliens)-13(Megabots only) points of articulation! All of the POAs are ball joints as the figures are made to be taken apart and customized a la "Stickfas" or "Xevoz". The figures' construction is actually very reminiscent of the "Xevoz" line with the various body parts being held together by a ball and socket system. The range of movement varies from figure to figure due to the sculpts and differing ball/socket depths but a wide variety of poses are easily achieved.

At first I assumed these figures would be very brittle due to the small, rather spindly joints, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they are actually quite sturdy! I accidentially dropped one of my blue Aliens off of the kitchen counter when I was getting ready to photograph him and he popped apart but did not crack or shatter!

Each figure comes with two highly detailed, slightly oversized weapons(except for the blue Alien who only comes with one big weapon) .

The Troopers' and Megabots' weapons are almost interchangable in designs and are cast in the same silvery gray metallic-looking plastic.

The weapons are very sci-fi in design and would probably look better if they were either smaller or modified to be vehicle-mounted weapons. The small pistol (center row, left) is the only realistically scaled weapon in the line (and my favorite by far).

The Alien weapons appear to be made in the same techno-organic design as their owners.

They are cast in translucent plastic (as are the Aliens) and appear to be very reminiscent of the Covenant weapons from the "Halo" videogames.

This line is 1/18 scale, with a nice range of heights from one faction to another (Troopers are shortest and Aliens are tallest).

As you can see in the photo above, this line will play well with just about any other 4" action figure line.

Price Point/Availability:
These figures are available at you neighborhood Walgreens Pharmacy for the easy on the wallet price of $1.00 each. Go out and buy lots!

Final Opinions:
The Aliens are my favorite figures in the line as they are a great sci-fi design very reminiscent of the Drej from "Titan A.E.", and like the old Hasbro Drej figures are cast in translucent plastic! I'm debating on leaving them as-is or covering the open backs of their shoulder weapons and repainting the figures in metallic paints (same color schemes as their production versions) for an armored look.

The Troopers are my least favorite figures as-is, but could quickly become much more appealing through customizing. My major beefs with them are the heads and the shoulder/hip joints. The size of the heads are not even consistant from one Trooper to another, they range from new-sculpt Joe pinhead (gray/silver) to something that should work perfectly for anyone who wants to customize the upcoming 2.5" "Sigma6" line (red, green). The shoulder and hip problem is that there is a huge, highly visible gap between the torso and the limbs that makes it hard for me to believe that there is a person inside these suits. Swap out the exposed flesh heads with something more robotic (like the green, helmeted head) and it's much more appropriate in my eyes.

The megabots major drawbacks are the hollow, backless shoulder weapons and the oversized hollow feet. A little customizing will fix these issues right up though. The head on the green Megabot is my favorite in the line and I actually plan on army building this one (his oversized "parking meter" shoulder weapons will go in the parts bin though ;) ).

I REALLY like this line and would like to see it continue. It's not without it's faults, but it certainly cannot be beat for the pricepoint.

I give Hap-P-Kid Toys "Cybotronix M.A.R.S. Heroes" the "Spectre Seal Of Approval"!

Modern Trading / Spectre's High End Swap Shop
« on: February 19, 2006, 09:24 PM »
Due to lack of time to update inventory all over the net (trust me, it takes forever to update this thread on 10 different boards :( ), most branches of the "Swap Shop" have been closed. The last 3 branches are still open at the following locations:

I still have alot of great items, including a ton of Clones and Clone parts just added this evening, so stop by one of the 3 remaining branches and have a look around :D

Watto's Junk Yard / 2006 Blizzard Pics
« on: February 12, 2006, 03:14 PM »
The snow had slowed down now (2:45PM) so I decided to go outside and snap a few pics of the snowstorm for posterity. From what I have seen outside, here in Montclair, NJ we have already received 16" of snow and it's still coming down slowly.

Here's a few pics:

Out the front door:

The snow is too thick to walk through as it has not been shovelled by the landlord yet :(

Across the front courtyard:

The last 2 are actually from the window of my Hobby Room looking down 2 stories.

My dog Jack's favorite tree in the front courtyard to pee on:

The back courtyard/parking lot (which has been plowed twice already):

Gina's car completely snowbound:

A closer look at the amount of snow as seen atop one of the trash receptical covers:

I was going to walk around to the oter sides of the complex to get shots of the streets, but there is nowhere that has been cleared enough to pass through easily :( The lot was only plowed because the live-in superintendant has a plow on the fron of his truck.

Anyone else got some cool pics of the storm?

Other Toy Lines / Chap Mei
« on: February 11, 2006, 03:14 AM »
Stopped into the RT4 TRU today and found 3 of these new "Sea Life" sets! I snagged the recolored Giant Squid and the Killer Whale (which I have wanted for some time now but didn't want to pay the $20.00 for the set with the helicopter in it). I passed on the Tiger Shark/sea turtle set as it is the same exact shark (not even redeco-ed :( ) as Razor Sharkie from the "Pirate Expeditions" line (which I have already).

Here's the Giant Squid:

Here's the Killer Whale:

And here's the boxes' backs:

At first glance, it appears that all 3 of the Frogmen are identical except for their vest and fin colors, but they're not! The one packed with the Giant Squid has articulated ankles, a differently molded pair of swim fins, and a working ankle sheath for a diving knife (no knife is included though :( ). Sadly, it looks like Chap Mei really cheaped out on the decos for the Frogmen, they only have 1 or 2 color applications on the entire figure, they don't even have their exposed skin painted :(

They also had a "Knights" set as well! It was the larger dragon previously only found in the K-Mart set and the smaller, blue dragon often seen packed with Orcus The Wizard Count, and the King Leo figure for $14.99. I probably should have snapped a pic of this set (along with the Razor Sharkie repack) on my cell phone, but I was actually on the phone with Rasputin (from JoeCustoms) at the time and didn't think of it until I was back on the road again :(

Saga Collection '06 / Hasbro 2006 Toy Fair Sneak Peek!
« on: February 11, 2006, 02:25 AM » has just updated with a sneak peek at their 2006 Toy Fair display! Check it out here!

The bics are a bit on the small side, but we should see better ones starting Sunday!

Collections / Glass Display Cases- Show 'Em If Ya Got 'Em!
« on: January 31, 2006, 08:10 PM »
NOTHING beats a nice glass case to display some of your your favorite toys in!

I rescued this from a CVS I used to manage (it was where the perfumes were locked up in the cosmetics department):

It's 9' long by 6' 6" high by 1' deep and weighs almost 1200 pounds! They were just going to throw it away when the store was getting it's 1997 re-fit! I went out to my '76 Malibu wagon and pulled out my tool box, went back inside and disassembled the whole thing in about 45 minutes and loaded it into the bed of my wagon (after folding the backseat flat). I had to build a custom support for the mirrored back and metal shelf rails as it was designed to be mounted directly to the wall of the store, so there was no back on it. I've moved it 4 times (home from the store into my first apartment, from my first apartment to my second apartment, from my second apartment to my friend's basement for storage, and now from my friend's basement to my new apartment last December) and the only damage it got was a cracked piece of plexiglass that covers the top (which alittle epoxy fixed right up ;) ).

Feedback / Clone Hunter's feedback
« on: January 26, 2006, 09:09 PM »
Just completed my first trade with Clone Hunter! I'm very satisfied with the speed and communication.

Clone Hunter has earned the "Spectre Seal Of Approval"!

I'm planning for an aquatic themed line of customs that will debut in the fall (yes, I actually plan things out that far ahead ;) ) and have begun attempting to compile a list of all of the suitable fodder for otherworldly undersea life.

The storyline behind the upcoming custom line is something like this (imagine the following passage in the "Movie Trailer Guy"'s voice :D ):

On Aquos, a world deep in the outer rim almost completely covered by water, the inhabitants (in their wooden-hulled hover boats!) are being menaced by an unknown threat from beneath the sea (although our British friends might find this threat somewhat familiar ;) ). At the request of help from the planet's ruling council, the New Republic Intellicence Agency sends Galactic Intelligence: Joint Operations Elite's aquatic warfare specialist, the Quarren code-named Deep Six, to investigate and neutralize the threat. Deep Six has faced both the Galactic Empire's Seatroopers and The Brotherhood Of The Serpent's Hydro-Vipers and been victorious, but he's about to face the deadliest living thing beneath the waves...

So far I've come up with these aquatic beasties:

"King Kong" snakefish (don't have one yet :( )

"Dino Valley" small pleisiosaurus (got about 5 of them right now :) )

"Dino Valley" Luiripidon (never seen one in a store :( )

"Pirate Expeditions" squid (got one :) ), large octopus, and shark (still need these 2)

"Episode I" various sea creatures (got multiples of 'em all :D )

"Waterworld" translucent fish pack-in accessories (don't have any yet :( )

various solid vinyl sea creatures from the company that makes toy animals for zoos/museums/Discovery Channel Stores (I have a pair of awsome deep sea fish that have glow in the dark accents!)

"McFarlane Dragons" Water Clan 2 Dragon (waiting for the enevitable clearance before picking up this guy ;) )

"Alien Resurrection" Swimming Alien (don't have one of these anymore :( )

"G.I. Joe" Hydro-Viper devilfish (stingrays)

Here's where you come in: I need the customizing community here at Jedidefender to put their collective heads together and come up with other lines' sea creature accessories to add to the list (and my want list in the Trade Section ;) ).

There are some guidelines though, they can't be just regular everyday-looking fish. They have to have an "alien" quality to them, think deep sea bioluminesent predators, or chitinous crab monsters. They can be real-life fish, but they have to be really outlandish looking. I'd like to stick to a smaller size if possible just so I don't have to deal with any Leviathan-sized beasts since they'd beharder to display n a shelf, maybe a max length of 6" or 7"?

Looking forward to seeing the results :)

Thanks :D

Modern Trading / To All I Am Trading With...(Updated 1/30)
« on: January 22, 2006, 06:52 PM »
If there are any outstanding packages on my end going out to anyone, it may take awhile to get them out to you as I just got out of the hospital an hour ago :(  I had to have emergency surgery on my jaw. I have to go back in tomorrow for another surgery, but I'll get your stuff out to you by next weekend at the latest.

-Dan (Spectre)

Collections / Spectre's Collection
« on: January 17, 2006, 06:57 PM »
Just before I packed everything up for the move, I took pics of my "Hobby Room". I'll be setting up my new room next month when I have the $$ for the adjustable shelves I want :D

I thought everyone would get a kick out of these pics :D

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