polychrome_pen: (Brandon and Sky Phantoblades)
Almost by accident (fate?) I happened to walk into Target on Force Friday. And was forcibly reminded by a million displays that (if I wasn’t already aware from the news articles that seem to come out minute-by-minute) there is a new Star Wars movie coming out this December.

So I think I’m gonna party like it’s 1999. Because that was definitely the last time Star Wars was given such a huge push in our collective cultural consciousness. I remember seeing products for The Phantom Menace everywhere from Taco Bell to Pepsi cans (only a few years ago we unearthed the character-specific cans from Episode I at my parents’ house and finally got rid of them. Heh.)

I feel lucky to have come to the Star Wars franchise at a point in time where it had ebbed in popularity. I first saw Episode IV in the early 90s when my Mom bought it on VHS as a gag gift for my Dad. Well, suffice to say my brother and I were hooked from the moment the Star Destroyer came onscreen. This gag gift led to many years of renting (over and over again, as Mom is quick to remind us) The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi from our local Star Video.

The only thing at that time for Star Wars fans outside of dusty VHS copies was the excellent Timothy Zahn trilogy: Heir of the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. (I actually only read those books all the way through a few years ago.)

Then came the now-reviled Special Editions, which really kicked off the modern era of Star Wars as a franchise, eventually birthing the Prequels, comic books from Dark Horse, tons of novels, and action figures galore.

Star Wars is pretty much knitted into the fabric of who I am as a person. I think it was really the first story that I fell in love with, and certainly the first story where I absolutely wanted to know what happened next.

Yet somehow, I never got deeply into the Star Wars EU, and truthfully, by the time Disney bought the franchise and decided to nuke the EU to make continuity less of a pain, I could totally understand their reasoning. Truthfully, I was actually kind of excited. Much like DC Comics and their New 52 reset, rebooting the Star Wars EU meant that I would finally have a good jump-in point to start enjoying Star Wars expanded universe material again.

And of course, I was tickled by the idea that the new material is now considered “canon.” Yes, there are things I wish they had kept like Shadows of the Empire and several of the Prequel-era stuff like the Jedi Apprentice children’s book series, but reading through the five books pictured above made me realize how great it was to read material that was informed by the Prequels, The Clone Wars series, Rebels, and even hints at the new trilogy. Little throwaway comments like the age of a beat-up old ship being “Clone Wars era” instantly helps you date things now. It adds a beautiful cohesiveness to the universe that simply wasn’t there before.



I’m trying to not let myself get completely swept away with Star Wars mania again this time around (unlike 1999, haha). But boy, is my inner kid practically quivering with excitement to find out what Luke, Leia, Han and all their friends have been up to for the last 30 years in a galaxy far, far away.

And after reading those books, I think it’s going to be a fun ride.
polychrome_pen: (Ken)
I fully intended to do a whole picture-heavy post for this, but kind of ran out of steam.  Let's just sum it up this way: OVERWHELMING.  Between Monster High, Ever After High, Winx Club, Masters of the Universe Classics, Integrity Jem & the Holograms, random Disney Store purchases, some Pullips, and lots of Vocaloid Figmas....I need a break from toys for awhile.

I have so much stuff still in boxes that needs to be dealt with.  (You know, when I feel I have to "deal with" toys, I think there's a significant problem going on here.)  But seriously, things that remain in the boxes take up so much more space that I'm almost entirely out of room.  Sure, there are some things - like stuff Integrity produces - where I'll always keep the boxes, but lots of other stuff needs to be deboxed like whoa.  I should take a few of my next days off and just have a deboxing/photo party.

But taking a line-by-line look at things.

Ever After High: This is probably currently my favorite line out of everything.  The dolls are full of great details, and I love the universe and characters of this franchise.  I am reminded of how I felt when Monster High was a new thing, and it feels nice.  But I go into EAH with more of a game plan.  Only new characters and a maximum of one other version (right now that's Legacy Day because THEY'RE  AWESOME).

Monster High:  I feel that with Ever After High coming along, my interest in Monster High is starting to wane a bit.  The line has been going for 3.5 years now, and while I wouldn't say they're running out of steam by any means (some of the most recent lines like New Scaremester have been some of the best!), my ability to keep up is just not there anymore.  I still have so many of them in the boxes going all the way back to the Wave 2 (aka "School's Out!" line).  I'm entertaining the idea of culling the herd at this point and only keeping 1-2 versions of each character (sans the boys, of course - I'll pick up every release of them).  I just need to corral this into something a bit more manageable.

Winx Club:  Added lots here this year, with the Harmonix, Sirenix, and Dark Sirenix Trix lines!  Jakks makes nice dolls for Winx, but I really with they had better character selection and could still be found outside of Toys R Us.  These were a pain in the ass to find for me.  I'm not sure what the future is for Jakks-produced Winx, but it doesn't look too good.  Still, if they go I'll be sad to say goodbye to Winx again.

Masters of the Universe Classics:  Against my better judgement, I signed up for the 2014 subscription.  I did the quarterly shipping option this time, however, in hopes that I can deal with the packages better four times a year instead of twelve.  I really want my complete She-Ra line, though, and that's really why I signed up.  They continue to be awesome figures pretty much all around as well.  The crown jewel of the year was Castle Grayskull, though.  That thing is huge and I have no idea what to do with it.  XD

Integrity Jem & the Holograms:  This is a gorgeous line.  All the attention to detail is amazing.  Integrity's prices blow, however.  Glitter & Gold are the only character duplicates I have, and I'm probably going to try and keep it that way.  All of these are still boxed too, which makes me sad.  They definitely deserve display space.

Japanese toys: This was the year I started getting into Figmas and Nendoroids.  They're really adorable and poseable.  They different faces and looks add a lot of personality as well.  For the moment I mostly just have Vocaloid characters, though I plan on adding the Sailor Scout figures as they come out.
I picked up a couple Play Arts Kai Street Fighter figures as well.  They have great sculpts, but the joints are a bit wonky.
I also added several new Pullips/Taeyangs this year as well: Batman, Catwoman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, and Peter Pan!

Disney: I caved to several of the Fairytale Designer Collection sets.  I got  Snow White/Prince, Rapunzel/Flynn, and Aladdin/Jasmine.  I wanted the others, but they got snatched up crazy fast.  I also picked up the set of four Frozen dolls, and they're tons of fun (especially next to the cheap Mattel versions).  Hans jacket is actual corduroy!

Barbie: Not much in 2013.  A few of the Life in the Dreamhouse dolls (Ken, Midge, and Raquel), a few of the Fashionista guys, and some collector dolls (Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a few Twilight dolls, and Batman '66)

Anyway, I picked up other tidbits throughout the year, but just looking at the list above makes me a little sick.  It was way too much.  January has brought several more purchases, but I definitely need to step back and take a good long look at what I have/catalog it.  I'm pretty much out of space for display and enjoyment now...and without that why continue buying?
polychrome_pen: (EAH Hunter & Daring)
Greetings all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and accomplished everything they hoped to this year!  The tail-end of 2013 has felt ridiculous fast to me.  Perhaps because I spent November in a NaNo-induced haze and a late Thanksgiving shortened the Christmas season?  IDK, but I somehow feel flabbergasted that New Year's Eve is already here.

I guess the only place to start with a true review of 2013 would be to go back and review the goals and plans I made for the year at the end of 2012:

Cut for long ramblings! )

Whew!  That was super long!  Anyway, onto goals and generic year-long plans.

January: Finish posting Heart Stone, finish and post Queen Kale.  Start Paleo eating.
February-August:  Work through How to Think Sideways.  Self-publish a flash fiction collection.  Take a bloody vacation somewhere (Anime Expo?)
September-December: NaNoWriMo prep for original story.  Start revisions from first novel.  Self-publish second flash fiction collection or short story collection.

Big goals: Follow paleo eating plan for three months, then evaluate.  Shift original fiction writing into gear.  Spend way, way less money on toys.
polychrome_pen: (MOTU - He-Man and Teela)
Big surprise! I broke my buying moratorium. Were you shocked? Me neither. XD

BUT. I did not break it for just anything. Oh no.

TONNER finally made something that I desperately HAD to have, and of course it was a Comic Con exclusive, sold through a different company, and in a limited edition of 300.

Look behind the curtain to see this beauty! Also includes after-show toy-related blathering! )

On a completely unrelated note, I passed both of my Pharmacy Licensure exams! Now I get to wait impatiently for the Board of Pharmacy to issue me my license number.

And also a big thank-you to [livejournal.com profile] iyreia for the awesome souvenir from the zoo! It's beautiful! I hope to pick you up something just as awesome when I head to the Walt Disney museum soon. :)

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