Thursday, May 31, 2012

Animation Creation Ep 10 - Behind-the-Scenes Extravaganza!

Episode 10 is the last episode of Animation Creation. Instead of being a typical episode of the animated variety show, we focus on the behind-the-scenes 'world' of the commentary portion. We further develop the characters of the animators and their friends that work on the show. This entire episode features toys out the wazoo. At the time we shot this every female action figure I owned in the 3 3/4" scale was used to form a crowd of screaming fans.

We get to see Harrison Ford negotiate for a higher salary as our production assistant. Animator Brian, who has slowly taken on a bad guy role, got to terrorize the town in the Cobra Buzz Boar form GI Joe. We also get the seen Derek and Kevin get interviewed by members of the "media" about all sorts of topics. This episode also features a funny Lego Animation.

I hope you enjoy all the work on sets and backgrounds. This was something that was lacking on many of our previous Animation Creation segments. We constructed the exterior of several buildings for the outside scenes as well as room inside the Animation Creation Studios. (Keep an eye out for the set of Kevin's late night talk show - I spent a lot of time on that one for so little screen time)

1) The Commentary featuring Kevin & Derek
2) Wage Struggle featuring Kevin, Derek, & Harrison
3) Fundraising featuring Greg
4) Brian's Arrival featuring Brian
5) To the Screening Room! featuring Derek, Brian & Kevin
6) Public Relations featuring Kevin, Derek, Brian, Greg, & the Press

This is over-all my favorite episode of the series. It's also got the most plot!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stuffed Yoda

One of the Middle Schoolers that's on my Robotics Team gave me this stuffed Yoda as a birthday present a few weeks ago. Yoda is very soft and has beans in his bottom to help him sit up.

I think he's pretty funny., and it was very thoughtful of my student. I need to take a picture of my niece playing with him sometime when she is over.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Animation Creation Ep 9 - Police & Thieves

Episode 9 is the last "normal" episode of Animation Creation. The 10th episode has a very different format. Police and Thieves features quite a few segments that use toys. COPS 'n' Crooks, Reservoir Dogs, 90's Star Wars and Custom GI Joes.

The Lupin III toys (Anime figures used in the MUPD segments) worked out very nicely for animating because they are very well articulated. The Peeps (Easter candy made here in Pennsylvania) may be the weirdest thing we ever used in an animation. I think it is funny that I put the Jedi warriors in Stormtrooper armor in this episode long before the clone wars cartoon established this.


1) MUPD pt. 1 Lupin's ATM Heist! (0:58) by Kevin - COPS 'n' Crooks and Lupin III figures
2) Makin' Art; Movin' Tanks (2:42) by Derek - Micro Machine Tanks
3) Brian's Reservoir Dogs, pt. 4 (3:35) by Brian - McFarlane Reservoir Dogs and GI Joes
4) MUPD pt. 2 Vehicular Mayhem! (4:29) by Kevin  - COPS 'n' Crooks and Lupin III figures
5) Summer Yellow Chick Day  (6:31) by Derek & Kevin
6) Kung-Fu Puppets Theater (8:40) by Robert
7) MUPD pt. 3 Mad Science and Amish Crime Collide! (11:44) by Kevin - COPS 'n' Crooks and Lupin III figures
8) Alternate-Universe All-Out Jedi Rumble! (15:30) by Kevin - Vintage & 90's Star Wars Toys
Commentary featuring Kevin & Derek with Brian (22:51) Custom GI Joes

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gobot or Knock-Off?

As a kid I always enjoyed the Gobots. Nothing against Transfomers, but I really liked the Gobots cartoon. I never had a lot of either toy line even though I watched both shows. The articulation always sucked on the toys and the scale was bad in both lines. These were the two big complaints I had about both sets of robot toys.

I got this toy carded at a store in the Richland Mall (a place that no longer really exists) as a kid. I thought he was a Gobot, but since I can't seem to find anything about his, I am starting to wonder if he is a knock-off.

Here he is in robot form. I always wished 80's transforming robots had hip joints. It would have made them far more possible. This guy has knees based on how the truck hinges, but the knees don't do much without hips. This guy has been broken for about as long as I've had him. One time while transforming him his leg snapped off. I used to make my Hot Wheels get into accidents with him a lot since half of his truck would fall off.
So, if anyone knows for sure if he is a Gobot or not please leave me a comments. Like I said, I think he is one, but sometimes you get weird impressions as a kid that you believe to be true later in life.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Slush Head - MOTUC

Slush Head from the New Adventures of He-Man was the second monthly figure for the month of May. He is the third NA character to be released in the MOTUC line. Check out the video review below.


Slush Head features a dome over his head that can hold water. This allows you to recreate his vintage action feature. His accessories include two tentacles and his gun which can double as an ax.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

AFA Credits Preview #2

Derek tells me we are very close to being able to upload Action Figure Adventures: the series. I wanted to try to slip in one more sneak peak at the credits to the show. This stop motion animated series utilizes over 50 different action figures who have speaking parts and a whole bunch more who don't have lines. The voice actors for the speaking characters are represented in the credits as Colorforms.(Those vinyl stick and reuse window cling toys that were popular in the early 80's)

 Barbeque and Alpine come from the 1985 GI Joe Deluxe Colorform Set. Barbeque is a main character in the series while Alpine has a short but important role.

Chuckles, another GI Joe, has an important role is a subplot to the main series. His colorform was created by Photoshopping his appearance in the Marvel Comic series. I had to track down a 70's A-Team Colorform set to get this Mr. T character.

Leonardo, the only TMNT character is the series comes from the Deluxe Ninja Turtles colorform. Leo, Lady Jaye, and Footloose  ( both from GI Joe) are involved in the same episode.

Cobra Commander is really a Photoshopped Cobra Solder. He and Storm Shadow are both from the 1985 Colorform Set.

Scarlett and Outback are both taken from Marvel Comic art. Clutch is from the 1982 GI Joe Colorform. I Photoshopped on the beard to help him match is toy a little better.

 Sgt Slaugter who is one of my favorite supporting characters in the series is modified from a Marvel Comic appearance and Snake-Eys came from the 1982 GI Joe Colorform. Like Clutch's details Snake-Eyes was originally blue, but I made him dark grey to better match the black 1997 Snake-Eyes figure used in the show.

Like I said... hopefully the show will be available online very soon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cardboard Han Solo and Boba Fett

This is a photo from my senior year in high school. Derek was dating a girl (Becky) that worked at the local comic shop and she scored me this awesome display from a Star Wars RPG promotion. These guys were plastered to the wall in my bedroom at my parents house for a long time. They are currently in an upstairs bedroom (that is most of the way renovated) at my house.

It actually took a few days before I stopped being startled by the fact that there was "someone" in my room when I'd turn on the lights. Han Solo and Boba Fett were the first two cardboard cut-outs I ever owned. I considered cutting the "promotional" parts off of Boba Fett a few times, but I was always worried I'd mess him up, so it was best to leave it alone.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stinkor - MOTUC

Here is the first video review I've done for the blog. It includes a short stop motion animation at the beginning. I hope you enjoy it. Stinkor was one of the monthly figures for May from Matty Collector.

Stinkor is a classic character from the vintage line who has been given an amazing update. He come with two heads, a gas mask, a backpack, a shield, a gun. and two different valves.

Please let me know what you think of the video. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue with the videos or what adjustments  to format I may make. The animation is sort of for my own entertainment. Here is a little Buzz Chuck fun fact... I don't have a sense of smell, so there are no comments on here about the stink factor. As a kid I though other people were making it up when they said the vintage Stinkor figure smelled bad.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Star Wars Neck Ties

I'm going to work hard to get a few more substantial posts up in the near future, but today was another crazy busy day. So you're going to have to deal with a quick post.

Today's post is a photo of my Star Wars Tie collection. My Sister actually gave me a majority of these ties. Most of which are Episode 1 ties. The first two years of my teaching career I celebrated Star Wars Tie Friday every week.. Our current Superintendent allows for Dress Down Days twice a month on Friday, so the practice has sort of died. On Dress Down Days we get to pay $5 to wear jeans and a school shirt. The money goes to a different charity or scholarship fund each time.

So the ties...

Top Row: 3 different space battle ties (E1), Yoda tie (Ep 5) Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Dark Side - Sith, Pod Racers, and Jar Jar.

Bottom Row:2 different Battle Droids tie, Ep 1 movie poster tie, R2-D2 and C-3PO (Ep4) cartoon Qui-Gon Jinn, cartoon Obi-Wan Kenobi, cartoon Darth Maul, cartoon Anakin Skywalker, and finally cartoon Jar Jar.

My co-workers think the cartoon Anakin tie is a little creepy. My students like all of them including the Jar Jar ties because they grew up with the prequels. I have a 19th Star Wars Tie, but I didn't have it at the time this photo was taken. Maybe down the road it will get it's own update.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

He-Man Beach Towel

By the power of Greyskull, I have an awesome beach towel! I have had this towel for as long as I can remember. It's marked 1985 on the edge. It features some interesting art. It is very rare that we see Battle Cat without his helmet. It is also interesting to note that Skeletor's outfit is red. I think it is safe to assume that they were limiting the number of colors used in the art and that's probably the reason for the costume change.

I have a very vivid memory of telling one of my family members, as a kid, that my towel say He-Man at the top. I was very proud of myself for being able to "read". My cousin or Uncle replied, "actually it say Masters of the Universe". So in '85 that logo meant He-Man to me. They didn't stress the Masters aspect in the 80's. It was rare for them to call anyone a Master of the Universe in the cartoon and all the figures were labeled as Heroic or Evil Warriors. They could have easily called them Heroic Master of... instead.

Here is a close up of the details. I did get MOTUC Stinkor and Slush Head in the mail today. I'm not sure if I am going to take photos of them and blog about them as usual or if I'll shot a little video for both. I wanted to do some videos for on here... but hadn't really gotten around to it.

Let me know in the comments if you prefer one format or the other.

Monday, May 21, 2012

GI Joe Warthog for my birthday

As I posted recently, it was just my birthday, and so I decided to post a picture of one of the greatest birthday presents I ever received. The GI Joe Warthog with Sgt. Slaughter v3!  This thing was so cool. It was an armored troop carrier tank and the driver was non-other than Sarge. Coolest thing about this version of Sgt Slaughter was his removable hat. I still don't know why, but I love figures with removable hats. Look at how happy I am in this picture.

I can't tell if my sister is wrapping a present or if she got something from one of our aunts and uncles on my birthday.

He-Man fans, if you look closely you can see Panthor and Battle Cat in the toy box behind us.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Modern Lion-O 1.0

I recently posted about the Lion-O figure from the 2nd wave of  modern Thundercats toys. I did some digging around to find my Lion-O from the 1st wave. They did a nice job on this guy. He has the same issues as all the toys from the 4" modern line. They are very shiny and don't have a ton of detail, but they look pretty much like they do in the cartoon.

Lion-O comes with a short and long version of the Sword of Omens. He also comes with the Claw Shield which he can wear on his arm and holster the short sword. Lion-O has nice articulation, other than that his shoulder armor hurts his movement. It keeps him from being able to raise his sword above his head.

His arms do not allow him to pull the Sword of Omens from the Claw Shield while he wears it. Although this would require pretty impressive articulation on a 4" figure.   I think it's pretty cool that in the recent episodes of the cartoon they have explained why the sword is so small and grows to a larger size.

Here you can see how the Claw Shield clips onto his arm. Unlike many of the other Lion-O figures released by Bandai, (Like version 2.0 - as I call him) this shield clips to his hand instead of being interchangeable. It works okay, and was good enough for the vintage figure.

This photo allows you to see the difference between version 1.0 and 2.0. It's kind of a shame that the shoulder joint is the wrong color on 1.0, although I know that this happens a lot with toys. If you look closely you will also see they have different head sculpts. Lion-O 2.0 has more of an angry face, new shoulder armor, and his claw shield is an interchangeable piece and  he comes with a plain hand.

Of course Lion-O 1.0 also has the Thunder Lynx magnet in his back to activate sound and stuff on other toys. The Sword of Omens is very soft, so be careful if you store this figure loose so it doesn't warp. There is a small bump on his hip armor, but I had no luck trying to get the Claw Shield to cling to it. I'm not sure if it might be stretched out from being on his hand for months since I got this figure.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Custom Figures for Animation Creation

If you have checked out any of the episodes of Animation Creation, you've seen the custom GI Joe figures that represent the creators of the show. These figures were made before we started putting together the episodes, and worked well for the commentary portion. The figures actually played a part in controlling the story, because one body had interchangeable heads and as we added animators to the show this feature was showcased. Making for a weird little plot point.

Along with all the stop motion animated videos my friends and I did in high school and college, we also made many live-action videos. The longest live-action project we did was a silent movie called Wanderlust in the Realm of the Dawg. This video is an hour long fantasy (sword & sorcery) kind of movie. It's hard to give it an exact genera. As we worked on this project I started making custom action figures of the characters.

The Wanderer (Derek in Animation Creation) is the main character in Wanderlust. The Wanderer is a stranger in a strange land and disrupts the balance of power as he interferes with the villainous overload, The Dawg, getting what he wants. This figure was heavily features in Animation Creation, because Derek was a main contributor to the show. He created close to half of all the animations in the series and was the editor of the show.

GI Joe part used to create this figure... (He lost head articulation due to the hair)

Head: Duke v3 with hair sculpted on
Torso & Arms: Pathfinder v1
Waist: Spirit v1
Thighs: Frostbite v1
Feet: Shipwreck v1

The Thug is the shape shifting minion of the Dawg. The shape shifting ability was actually added to the story part way into filming because Brian got Lyme disease  from a tick bite one day in the wood while shooting. Greg was picked to play the Thug for the rest of the film. Kevin and Derek also played the Thug for  short bits of the film to allow the character more forms.

So to give the figure a shape shifting ability, I created four different heads that could fit on a pin in the neck. The blonde head attempts to match me (Kevin). Even though I played the Thug the least, I had a ton of screen time in Animation Creation because Derek and myself did most of the animating and came up with the series together.

Brian, the original actor to play the Thug had long dreadlocks at the time the film was made. He pulled them back into a large ponytail for the film.

Brian was the first guest animator on Animation Creation, and the first time we showed the head swap action. I wasn't sure how we should handle the fact that we didn't have different figures of all of us, so I just embarrassed the weirdness. We even started using a Han Solo figure as a stage hand to give Kevin Brian's head. This would later add some humor to the show as we made Harrison Ford our production assistant.

 The third head to be featured in Animation Creation was Greg. I had to sculpt on some additional hair to give this figure Greg's appearance. Greg had a lot of time playing the Thug in Wanderlust, but had fewer (yet memorable) parts in Animation Creation.

The fourth head created for the Thug was meant to match Derek.  This head was not used in Animation Creation, because Derek had his own figure. In the film Derek wore his long hair braided into several long strands and tied back into a ponytail to make his look as much like Brian and possible when shot from behind. (It makes for kind of a cool reveal)

GI Joe part used to create this figure...

Kevin Head: Rip Cord v1
Brian Head: Spirit v1 with hair sculpted on
Greg Head:   Tomax v1 with hair sculpted on
Derek Head: Duke v3 with hair sculpted on
Torso & Arms: Big Brawler v1 with the gloves shaved off

Legs: Thunder v1
Weapon: Wire and the Knife that came with Duke v3

 We made Brian a mechanical spider body out of  quarter machine bubble and some wire to make him more mobile for the 10th episode of Animation Creation.