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#1643: Admiral Kirk & Duty Uniform Scotty

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 08:55 PM PDT

ADMIRAL KIRK & DUTY UNIFORM SCOTTY

STAR TREK MINIMATES

The first three series of Star Trek Minimates were entirely based on The Original Series' three season run.  While that was quite alright for the first two, there was no denying that by the time of Series 3, they were starting to run of fumes.  As such, DST expanded the reach of the line, turning it to focus more on the other shows and films.  Today's set comes from one of the movies, funnily enough, one of the ones starring the original crew.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Admiral Kirk and Duty Uniform Scotty were released in Series 4 of Star Trek Minimates.  This pair were supposed to come from The Wrath of Khan, considered by pretty much everyone to be the best of the Trek films.  Given that these were the only TWOK-based figures in the line, the pairing does seem slightly…odd.  There was a variant version of this set, which featured Scotty in his maroon dress uniform.

ADMIRAL KIRK

This is the second time I've looked at a movie Kirk Minimate, but chronologically the first of the two.  His later 'mate was based on his jacketed away team look from later in the film, while this one is based on his standard uniformed look.  The figure is built on the standard 'mate body, and as such stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He has add-on pieces for his hair and jacket, both of which were new to this particular figure (though the hair has seen subsequent re-use).  The jacket works quite nicely.  The details are pretty sharp, and it matches up well to the movie.  The hair is less impressive.  Admittedly, Shatner's hair from this period has always been slightly difficult to pin down, but this one just seems to miss it.  Kirk's paint is reasonable enough.  The uniform in particular captures the scheme seen in the movie, and the application is mostly pretty clean.  The face doesn't have much Shatner to it, I'm afraid.  I think the later attempt had it down a bit better.  Also, the tampo of the face seems a bit too high on the head block as well.  Kirk was packed with a movie-styled phaser.

DUTY UNIFORM SCOTTY

Scotty's place in this set is definitely weird.  I mean, the guy's important in the movie, but producing him over Khan, or even Spock, McCoy, or David Marcus, all of whom are more pivotal to the film, seems sort of strange.  I guess maybe they wanted a variety of uniforms?  But, of course, even then, with the variant set, that excuse was lost.  I'm back to no idea again.  This is the standard release of Scotty, which is in his slightly more exciting Engineering uniform, which is what he spends most of the movie wearing.  Also, since these were one of the few designs to stick around from The Motion Picture, he'll also fit in with Series 5's Decker and Illia, so that's cool.  He's got sculpted add-ons for his hair and chest piece.  Both of them are definitely well handled pieces.  Scotty's hair in particular is a much better match for Jimmy Doohan's style from the movie.  The paintwork on Scotty is pretty solid, apart from one slight issue.  See that slight pink discoloration on his forehead?  Well, that's *supposed* to be blood from an injury, but it seems the wrong color was used, making it look more like there's just a slight flaw in the plastic.  Beyond that, it's actually pretty decent work, though, with the details of his uniform being quite well-defined.  The burn damage to his suit is also pretty awesomely done, and keeps him from looking too boring.  Scotty is packed with a pair of engineering gloves to swap for the standard hands.  Shame we never got Spock to steal them from him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was always a little behind on collecting this line, so I didn't get this set new.  Instead, I picked it up a little after the fact from the Record & Tape Traders in the town where my family vacations.  They'd been marked down, so I ended up with a full Series 4 set, this pair included.  They're both okay Minimates, but neither's really much to write home about.

The Blaster In Question #0050: Vulcan EBF-25

Posted: 21 Apr 2018 09:00 AM PDT

BlasterInQuestion1

VULCAN EBF-25               

N-STRIKE

vulcan1

I told you I was bad at this whole scheduled posting thing but you didn't believe me.  Well here we are, BIQ review #50 and boy is it a good one.  It's not my ultra-rare black chrome rubber band gun (teaser for #100), but it's still quite a special blaster. If you read the title of the post or looked at any of the pictures before you started reading this like a normal person might do, then you're probably aware that I'm reviewing the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 machine gun.  Aside from blasters like the Centurion, this is probably one of the most specialized, purpose-built blasters in my collection, and that purpose is absurdity.  Let's take a look at that absurdity.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

vulcan2The Vulcan EBF-25 was released waaaay back in 2008 as part of the original N-Strike line.  No Elite here.  The whole thing is just… I mean, it's a machine gun.  What more do you want?  Instead of using a magazine or rotating cylinder, the Vulcan actually uses a belt to feed darts into the action which, itself, can be operated in two ways.  The primary method being full auto because come on, it's a machine gun.  Provided you had installed the 6 D cell batteries in the tray, you could then load in the belt, flick the switch just above the firing grip, and hold the trigger down making the blaster fire repeatedly with a rather noisy "wheeee-CHUNK! wheeee-CHUNK! wheeee-CHUNK!"  While it was technically full-auto, the rate of fire was not exactly impressive.  With good coordination, you could easily out-pace it by cycling the bolt manually which had the added benefit of not requiring the aforementioned 2 cubic tons of batteries to work.  You could, in theory, run the blaster entirely without batteries.  Just leave them in a little pile over there… just 2 cubic tons.  While it undoubtedly made the internals of the blaster a lot more complex, it is a feature I'm disappointed didn't make it to later electronic blasters like the Stampede.  The ammo belts, I feel a little differently about.  There is a certain level of novelty in using a legit ammo belt in a toy blaster, but man, are vulcan3they a pain to reload.  Maybe if there had been another blaster that also used the same belts, I might like them a bit more, but the novel factor goes away after the third or fourth time you have to reload the dang things.  It's not just a matter of putting the darts back, when the belt is emptied, it falls out the right side of the blaster, or if you want to reload without firing off all 25 shots, you need to pull the remaining belt out of the action in order to reset it.  Once you have a loaded belt, there's still the process of setting it in the ammo box attached to the left side of the blaster in just the right way that the feed gear can actually pull the belt into the blaster, and THEN you have to open the top hatch on the blaster body to seat the first link onto the feed gear, close everything up again and prime the bolt.  Once you've done all of that, now you can shoot.  BUT WAIT!  Now you have to decide, are you going to carry the blaster by hand and fire from the hip like some kind of sexual tyrannosaurus, or are you going to mount it on the included tripod, realize the tripod kinda sucks, and opt for the Blaine method anyway?  But what does Mr. "The Lovebird" Ventura have to say about that body?  Probably something rambling and largely incoherent about having to keep him away from it, but it's worth noting that the Vulcan has all original sculpt work which includes a vulcan4hinged top handle for use in the "Old Painless" style of carry and a detachable ammo box for holding the belt while in or out of use.  The front end of the Vulcan also sports 3 Nerf accessory rails, but I can't honestly think of what you could possibly want to put on them.  There are, in fact, a set of sights along the top of the blaster that you're welcome to use if you think it'll help.  Sadly, these days, the Vulcan doesn't quite stand up to other blasters in terms of range or power.  If you play your cards right and rely mainly on the shock value of busting into your younger siblings' room holding this, they might not even notice that the shots aren't hitting very hard.  The Vulcan comes packaged with the tripod, the ammo box, two belts, a sling which I have since lost, and 50 whistler micro darts.vulcan5

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Oh how times have changed.  I remember going to purchase this blaster from a local Wal-Mart and thinking to myself, "Wow, $50 for a Nerf blaster sure is a lot.  I can't possibly imagine spending more than that on a Nerf Blaster."  BAHAHA foolish child.  While the performance isn't quite where I'd like it to be, the Vulcan succeeds on raw novelty and gimmicks and I think that's part of why I like it so much.  That and the potential to stick it to the roof of my car and drive around with someone standing up through the sunroof.