Coraline puppets use Volks hair?

Ho-ly crap. I was browsing the behind-the-scenes photos on the Coraline website when I spotted this:

Click to view enlarged

On the upper right corner, you can clearly see four packs of Volks hair pinned on the wall. LOL. It's amusing this stuff's got Hollywood's stamp of approval! There're a few spools of thread on the table too, so it might depend on the situation.

I found a close-up of the Coraline puppet. Question is, is it Volks' #25 Blue or #27 Deep Blue? I'm guessing it's the latter.

SDCC 08 photos by Randi Mason (flickr)

A neat gallery of some of the puppets on display at the San Diego Comic Con earlier this year. Can't wait for the movie. ^^

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Wouldn't it rock to work on a film like this? Here's a nifty behind-the-scenes look at an upcoming stop-motion film "Coraline".

Coraline is based on a graphic novel written by Neil Gaiman, who's perhaps best known as the critically acclaimed author of The Sandman comic series. The director, Henry Selick, is the guy who directed "Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Henry and the Giant Peach", two movies I also happen to love.

If you're interested, the cast and crew talk about the story behind Coraline in a video clip after the cut. ^^

Check out the official movie website. While it's very interactive and takes awhile to load, poke around and you'll be able to download some very nice artwork.

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Ema Skye custom

This one's for Phoenix Wright fans! Ema Skye is my first proper attempt at a character doll (that is, a doll based on an existing character).

I know her badges are rather over-sized, but I'm too lazy to make new ones. ^^;

この逆転裁判のファンのためです!私は先週末にこのカスタムドールを完了した。バッジが大きすぎますが、私も新しいものを作るに怠惰なんだ。 ^ ^ ;

More pics after the jump.

She's using a Volks 25cm body, which unfortunately isn't as posable as Obitsu. Volks doesn't provide alternate hands for grasping or posing either. I picked Volks though because it has slightly longer arms than Obitsu's 25cm body, and the hand sculpts are more realistic (longer fingers). Minor details, but I wanted to get as close to Capcom's character design as possible. ^^

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Review: Hot Toys Joker x 2

Ladies and gents, boys and girls, heeeeeeere's Bank Robber Joker!

Plus as an added bonus: I've included the first Joker with one of the two new headsculpts. Yulli, the talented lady behind these sculpts, did an outstanding job. Joker looks much more spot on - one head has slicked back hair so you can slip on the clown mask he wears during the bank heist, the other has the petulant, dangerous look of the Joker when he's locked up in the police station's detention cell. I also can't commend the amazing paint job on the heads enough.

I love Heath Ledger's Joker, and these figures are the closest to doing him justice. :)
More photos after the jump!

Gotta love that smirk of his. Everyone knows the line, "why so serious?", but how about the one where he says to Bats: "You complete me". Stealing lines from Jerry Maguire? Atta boy.

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Pure Neemo Miu

Here're some photos to demonstrate the changing of limbs for Pure Neemo dolls. Shown here is Sweet Punk Girls! Miu, with a bunch of clay turtles/tortoises from a quaint little store in Suntec City.

Wot's keeping me from updating lately? I've been busy playing Fallout 3 on the PC (Sket, it's awesome!). XD
But! I've also been productive. Ema Skye is finished and I'll take photos of her tomorrow when I'm back from my trip (long weekend, hey!). Also got to take photos of Hot Toys' Bank Robber Joker which I picked up Friday - it totally rocks!

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Nendoroid Kagamine Rin & Len

Guess what the pup dragged in from Anime Fest Asia? ^^
We have a Christmas tree up at home, and the Kagamine twins decided to hang out and be ornaments for a bit. Len's head does sort of resemble a star, lol.

Kagamine Rin and Len are "Vocaloids". What is a Vocaloid you ask? Explanation and music videos of the twins dancing and singing after the cut. :D

Vocaloid is a synthesized singing program developed by Yamaha Corporation. Crypton Future Media is a third party developer who took the Vocaloid technology, combined it with good character design and came up with a winning formula. The blue-haired, double-pony-tailed Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) was their first release with Yamaha's Vocaloid2 technology, and she enjoyed tons of free publicity thanks to music videos and comics created by her fans. The twins Kagamine Rin and Len (鏡音リン・レン) were introduced about 4 months later.

The following videos were created by fans, although you can find many more examples around Youtube or Nico Nico Douga (requires registration).

PS - Give the Japanese creator of the above video some credit - Vocaloid2 wasn't programmed explicitly for English pronunciation, hehehe.

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Red Alert 3 talent remix trailer

Watch this video, and spot the celebrities!

EA Games released Red Alert 3 last week, and they've cleverly hired several high profile actors to star in the game's live action scenes. If you've ever played Command & Conquer, you'll probably remember the shamelessly cheesy live action cutscenes. Now with 100% more star power and shameless pandering to male gamers (read: cleavage), EA hopes to get more gamers on board.

Since I've been getting into RTS again lately, I'm enjoying this game. Feel free to hit me up if you have an account for multiplayer/co-op online play. My micro's kinda rusty but I'm getting there, lol.

Full list of the actors that appear after the cut:

A list of the actors:

* Gemma Atkinson (Hollyoaks)
* Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
* Andrew Divoff (LOST)
* Kelly Hu (The Scorpion King)
* Jenny McCarthy (Singled Out)
* Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale)
* Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean)
* Autumn Reeser (The OC)
* J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
* Peter Stormare (Prison Break)
* George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes)
* Randy Couture (former UFC champion)
* Gina Carano (American Gladiators)

I only recognised J.K. Simmons (who plays Peter Parker's hilarious boss), Peter Stormare (Prison Break's Abruzzi), George Takei (Hiro Nakamura's dad), Tim Curry (for his voicing cartoon characters, lol) and Jenny McCarthy (perhaps better known as Jim Carrey's girlfriend).

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Review: Construct-A-Bot EVE

WALL-E is an impressive film. A love story between two robots that aren't very humanoid-looking sounds risky on paper, but Pixar managed to pull it off brilliantly.

I'd like to think the strength of the movie also contributed to a healthy demand for the movie-related toys, because boy were they hard to find. I mean, sheesh, Singapore's a small country and all but we probably have more Pixar fans than Toys "R" Us gives us credit for, lol.

Michael Crawford has done excellent reviews of Cube N' Stack WALL-E and M-O, so I'll stick to reviewing Construct-O-Bot EVE.


The Construct-o-bot series basically allows you to dismantle and attach the robot parts by means of magnets. The blurb at the back of the box encourages you to buy both Construct-o-bot WALL-E and EVE, and swap their parts around like some Frankenstein-experiment. I haven't tried that yet, but there's another definite plus point to the magnetic attachments - EVE here has increased posability because the magnetic attachments act similarly to ball-joints. And no need to worry about breaking the joints from over-rotating.

Pressing the button on EVE's back opens the front compartment, where you can stow away the boot with the plant.

As you can see, looks-wise these toys are pretty spot-on. EVE is sleek, and the only downside is that her arms can't be pushed in to go completely flush against her body. Paint ops on EVE are almost negligible, although her eyes are printed very clearly. I guess you could say these toys are priced quite reasonably considering they're aimed at children, although I'm sure a number of older fans have been snapping these up. :P

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Meet the Pure Neemo gang!

From left to right: Aika (black-haired 4th series version), Aika again (blonde-haired 5th series), Himeno (1st version)

Since the blokes on my blogroll have gotten 12" figures pretty much covered, I'll post about the Pure Neemo dolls in my collection. :)

They're semi-posable as they've got no joints in their elbows or knees for aesthetic reasons. Posing them differently requires swapping their arms and legs (they also come with several different pairs of hands).

Blonde Aika is wearing a white duffle coat and pink stockings my friend Iwa helped me purchase while she was in Japan. Thanks so much Iwa! ^^

Himeno is wearing the recently released Bohemian clothing. This photo demonstrates how I prefer to tie the sandals.

Azone has revealed they will release a much more posable Pure Neemo body, called the Flection. So if any of you were put off by their limited posability, now's the time to join the Pure Neemo appreciation club. XD

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Work in progress: Ema Skye custom

Here's a doll project I'm working on: she's the younger version of Ema Skye (Houzuki Akane/宝月茜) from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attourney (Gyakuten Saiban/逆転裁判). I decided to create her when I found I could use Azone's clothing for most of her outfit, plus she's an interesting character!

A bit about her: Ema Skye is a 16 year old student who's into forensics and scientific investigation. She carries around a bottle of luminol which the player may use to spot hidden blood stains.

More photos after the jump.

Her badges and name tag were painted with acrylics, then "laminated" with sticky tape. For the name tag case, I cut out a small rectangular piece from some plastic I had sitting around (I keep packaging/boxes for times like this).

I've also gotten her a bag from Volks, as well as test tubes from Rement. She still needs a pair of socks, shoes and white sunglasses (does anyone have a pair with big round lens to spare?). The body I used for Ema is the 25cm midi body from Volks. Since I enjoy fussing over the details of her outfit, I'll be painting her head last. :3

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Jack Twist custom figure

"Hey cowboy, why so serious?"

Yeehaw! Say howdy to Jack Twist, of Brokeback Mountain fame!

This custom figure was kitbashed with the following:

- cowboy outfit from Hot Toys Movie Masterpice James Dean
- Hot Toys Caucasian TrueType body (2nd edition)
- Jake Gyllenhaal headsculpt from some Hot Toys military figure, I forgot exactly which one

More pictures after the jump.

Thanks JeffL1965 for providing a better line for the Joker. ;)

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Japanese monsters know how to party

Halloween is pretty much a non-event over here, but it's a good excuse to make a post like this. XD

Check out this very creative stick puppet animation by manga artist Masakazu Amahisa!

It features traditional Japanese monsters such as the blue-skinned Konaki-jiji (monster baby with the face of an old man), Hitodama (fireballs), Kyonshi (Chinese vampire), Onyudo (shapeshifting monk), Jizo (guardian deity of children), Noppera-bo (faceless ghost), Rokurokubi (long-necked monster), Kappa (water imp), Hoichi the Earless, and many others.

via Pink Tentacle

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Hotel 626 Walkthrough

From the people behind Doritos (seriously) comes this interactive frightfest: Hotel 626

Despite the fact that the hotel only "opens" between 6pm to 6am, you can change your desktop clock to play whenever you like. Be warned: this isn't for the faint of heart. If you've got the nerve to give it a shot, the reward at the end will amuse you (in a good way). I'll even arm the brave of heart with a walkthrough to guide you outta there alive, heheh. ^_^

The walkthrough is in point form after the cut. It contains spoilers, so stop reading whenever you feel like discovering something for yourself. Oh, one more thing, a webcam and microphone are optional for playing. I recommend using a webcam (train it on a stuffed toy or something if you're feeling shy).

Check out some screenshots from the game if you want to know what you're getting yourself into.


This game can be completed in under half an hour. Whenever you fail a scenario, you can choose to try again or skip. (Skipping everything is fer lily-livered landlubbers!)

- You awake in your hotel room to strange noises, and you decide to go out to investigate.

- You walk along the corridor. Whenever you see a dark shadow massing up in front of you, it's time to duck into a room - any room. Click the nearest door. If the shadow kills you just try again.

- You end up in a darkened toilet, armed with a digital camera. You need to look around to find the source of the strange noise. (Oh-em-gee, it's some pasty lady in a maid outfit.) You've got 9 shots with your camera to take photos of her and deal damage, Fatal Frame-style. Just keep your cool and take the shots whenever you hear her or catch sight of a vague form moving in front of you. If you die you can try again, no big deal.

- Next up, you'll be running down the stairs of the fire escape. Again, keep going until you see a shadowy mass beginning to form in front of you. Immediately mash that mouse button to get through the door on your left.

- Another corridor, and yet another darkened room. This one has a toddler (I'm sure he's a bit old to be a baby, lol) sleeping in a cot on the floor. The objective is to keep the brat asleep. People using their microphone will have to serenade him, otherwise you'll have to use your mouse to turn the knob of the off-screen music box. Just keep the volume/speed in the centre where it's white, do not wind too slow or two fast that it goes into the red zone. Stay cool, a toddler in mascara shouldn't scares the likes of ye.

- After the whole "Rock-a-bye Baby" song is played, you have to quietly make your way out. Just use your mouse to click on either end of the "Balance" meter. You want to stay in the center as much as possible as you make you way to the door.

- Now you're helplessly dragged along the corridor, while the silhouetted people standing in front of open doors do nothing to help you. Your vision comes and goes. Just keep trying to click the doors and you'll eventually enter another room.

- This room looks a bit like a prison cell. And you've got a guy in a straitjacket in there with you. What you have to do here is two-fold.

1) You can pause the game (click on Invite a Friend or something) and listen to the game's soundtrack. You should hear a voice murmurring 3 items. For example, I got "hands", "horse" and "tree". Take note of these 3 items, it's random for everyone. Tip: "hands" and "candles" sound very similar, so listen carefully.

2) Observe the drawings on the walls. The ones with red markings are significant, they represent a certain number (for example, the "horse" has three legs painted red, it represents "3"). The video is consistent, so this applies to everyone. Correct me if I'm wrong about the numbers though.

Horse - 3 legs = 3
Candles - 4 flames = 4
Tree - 4 roots = 4
Hands - 9 fingers = 9
Spider - 8 legs = 8

When you get to the keypad, key in the combination by putting those 2 sets of info together. Mine was "hands, horse, tree", so I had to dial in "934". If you get the combination wrong twice, the guy in the room will suddenly be unrestrained and free to.. eat you alive I guess. Gah.

- After you've escaped, you end up in a dark room with many photos of other people strung up above you. You're inexplicably chased deeper into the room, so look out for your photo (easy to spot if you have the webcam on or if you remember the name you entered), and click on it. If you don't click on your photo in time, you'll have to repeat the scene.

- Now you see a phone in front of you. Players in the States can get a real-life phone call, but the rest of us will just have the phone call playing in the background, instructing us where to turn to escape Hotel 626. Just follow the guy's orders, he's not kidding around.

- It's the ending. You get into your car and stuff, but prepare for a lame twist. Somebody doesn't want to be left behind, lol.

- FINALLY. Your reward for playing: you get to see other people's webcam photos as they sat and played this game (some expressions are priceless). Mine's right in the middle, I used Hot Toys' Joker to stand in for me, hehehe.

Note: the number of slashes on your photo seem to indicate the number of scenarios you've passed (there are 10 in all). Therefore skipped scenarios do not count!

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