Lex Petros: April 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

88 Miles Per Hour!

“It’s a Delorean!” Marty McFly

The new Diamond Select Toys (DST) Back to the Future (BTTF) Delorean Time Machine Mark I has jumped into Outpost Toys at e@ the Curve. For Marty McFly and Doc Emmet Brown fans, you can now own a piece of the iconic time travelling film series. It’s retailing for RM265.00 or USD 44.99.

I think someone at DST screwed up.

It is however not to be confused with the Mark II as the Mark I is shipped in a BTTF II box. You must be astute to detect “Mr. Fusion” on the energizer matrix, or lack thereof on the Mark I. A YouTube video review of the Mark I reveal a mistake on the box which says “Back to the Future II”. The maker remarks according to, the folks at DST claim that this was not really a mistake as if you remember the scene in BTTF II in 1955 when Marty was attempting an 88 mph temporal displacement threshold on that famous stormy night in Hill Valley, the car featured was the Mark I. These guys have really taken time travel paradoxes to explain away a blatant product misdescription!

Just remember, if it doesn’t have “Mr. Fusion” or hover-mode, it is not the Delorean from BTTF II.

A plastic body means the stainless steel effect is somewhat lacking

Apart from that, the Mark I battery operated lights-and-sounds effects really makes this a good display piece. The temporal flux tubes on the anterior and posterior lights up, so do the headlights, taillights, dash, time-circuits and the flux capacitor behind the seats.

As opposed to its die-cast counter-part by Sunstar, the Mark I is molded in plastic. Details are fantastic, although the paintwork could use a bit of work, in particular the stainless steel body of a Delorean. Copyright and licensing issues also mean that the front grill is missing the iconic “DMC” logo, but that can be easily fabricated. The vaunted gull-wing doors are arrested with clips which prevent them from undesirably swinging open. The toy is missing an engine as the engine bay is used to house the 3 AA batteries and it doesn’t come with the “lightning rod” which Doc Brown retrofitted on the Mark I to harness the 1.21 gigawatts from a bolt of lightning needed to send Marty back to the future in 1955.

Home sweet home...

The scaling has made this collectible more “malleable” in the hands of collectors who prefer to customize electronics and lighting systems. The Mark II would be a good candidate to add on the hover-mode lights on its undercarriage and in the wheels.

DST has yet to unveil plans to manufacture 3 ¾ Marty and Doc Brown figurines for the Delorean citing “licensing problems” (yet again). You could “kit-bash” some 3 ¾ G.I. Joe figurines to solve this problem.

Notice that this prototype of the Mark II does have a “DMC” logo on the front grill.

DST probably dropped that when “copyright and licensing” issues cropped

The dirt on the Mark III is a nice touch. Realistically so since Marty McFly

ploughed through the desert away from a rampaging bunch of red indians.

The Mark II is scheduled to be out in July 2010, as with the Mark III (as seen in BTTF III).

Also available from DST, the Delorean’s “OUTATIME” license plate (if you have a Delorean) through eBay or


Monday, April 26, 2010

Iron Man 2 New Movie Posters

Robert Downney Jr. as Tony Stark/ Iron Man in the "Briefcase" Mark V armor

Count down to screening in Malaysia: 4 days

Mickey Rourke's Whiplash profile


Iron Man 2 Stuff at KFC

The memorabalia fever goes on...KFC is no least a follower.
With every KFC
Showbox Meal (A or B) for RM12.40, get one of 3 Iron Man 2 keepsake:
i) IM2 Glowing Keyring
ii) IM 2 lanyard
iii) IM2 Wristband (War Machine)
RM9.90 a pop with any other purchase (while stocks lasts)

The arc reactor really glows on the keyring!
It comes with a carabiner instead of a ring
and the bright blue LED doubles up as a torch light when you go into the
cinema for the upcoming movie.

The War Machine quarter-body wristband. Made of PVC and comes with
a two-button setting.
Either it fits you or not!
Pudgy people should avoid trying this on...

Finally, the Mark VI Iron Man 2 Bust lanyard,
complete with keyring holder and a string-loop.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Art of The Film Star Trek 2009

I think this 100-pager houses fantastic conceptual renditions and illustrations of film. The Art of the Film: Star Trek 2009 houses palatable paintings utilizing gouache and marker techniques with minimal computer enhancements.

For me, what bears lacking is the screen props used for the filming. Although I am grateful for the working drafts of the Starfleet Phaser and Communicator, there is nothing much beyond one or two photos of the final versions. I thought the addition of detail of Nero’s staff (which deploys into a 3-bladed spear), Romulan and Klingon weaponry would have made the book’s “inventory” more complete. No harm could be done by detailing the shipboard phaser banks, pulse cannons or photon torpedoes. Perhaps those lies in store for the next coming book for Star Trek II said to be scheduled in June 2012.

The artwork and drawings does justice to the visionary ideals of J.J. Abrams in the making of the film. We all know props and sets play a crucial part in any good film and as a tailor’s creed, the suit is only as good as the man wearing it. The landscapes and gargantuan structures which fill them are functional as they are beautiful.

The initial ideas of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 lays present in The Art of the Film as expected with the book now putting on record that according to scale, the Enterprise is about 1200 meters long, putting to rest the discrepancy in length due to ILM’s on-screen rendering which made the ship appear between 760 meters to 1000+ meters long in different screenshots. Leave it to ardent Trekkers to figure the discrepancy and scaling of the flagship.

My favourite work is that of James Clyne, whom I think is a commendable film and conceptual artist having credit in Transformers and X-Men 3 amongst others. As a teenager, I somewhat possessed the penchant for poster colors and pencil sketches. I remember making rough sketches of what I thought the new Starship Enterprise was going to look like after the Original Series and without exaggerating, my visualization on paper was quite close to the USS Enterprise D which made its debut on celestial TV back in 1990 as far as I could recall.

I like this one: Clyne’s rendition of the Enterprise-Narada confrontation. The piece invokes a surreal feeling of David and Goliath with the behemoth and the flagship in orbit against the backdrop of Vulcan’s atmosphere. The movie’s one is almost identical, save as additional shadows and lens flares (a J.J. Abrams signature) creates an intimidating marauder imposing on and completely overshadowing the sized-challenged Federation flagship.

Price at RM109.90 (now available at the Kinokuniya Bookstore, Suria KLCC), The Art of The Film is more worthwhile than collecting Ship of the Line/ Star Trek calendars published by Pocket Books every year which costs about RM70.00 each. Come to think of it, my office charges RM0.50/ page for photocopies and I’m getting 100-pages of artwork and drawings for roughly RM1.00 each from The Art of the Film.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

A smart phone for me?

After work today, I decided to check out some smart phones which the business community herald to be indispensable.

The IPhone 3GS, HTC X2, Nokia E72 are just among the plethora of smart phones now in the market in all their glory. In my office, at least 2 of my colleagues are walking around with an E72 (and my office isn't very big).

The vendor whom I talked to at Success One on the 2nd floor of TC Mall took a look at me and after brief introductions to some other phone modes said that the Nokia E52 would be a suitable cell replacement for my battered-up 3310 classic. My first impression of such a remark is "sales guy talk". I mean, here I am looking at all the more appealing phones on the display and he suggested a mono block phone? Then, he goes no further than suggesting that I do go home to think about it to avoid making any rash decisions, it was then I started the flick the inquisitive switch on and let me defences down. So what's the next best thing than to ask more about the product.

For one, the E52 has a fantastic talk-time of about 8 hours and a standby time of about 6 days (theoratically if your phone just sits in one place with no calls of course). It was not easy to dispute the vendor's views that mono block phones generally have better talk time than touch-screen phones which saps power the moment it's on and more so to power the touch screen sensors . This notion can't get any less believable as the resolution is a mere 252k, although disappointing for high-res junkies.

The phone looks sleek and weighs in at only 98 grams! Comes in black, silver or gold.

At the heart of the E52 is a 600mhz CPU with 160mb-stocked memory, running on a Symbion OS, S60 UI with FP2. This unit comes with a micro SD slot for memory expansion and is already shipped with a 1GB card.

The built-in A-GPS is as fast as the E55´s and the navigational software provided by the manufacturer is Ovi Maps, but you I can always pay a small fee to upload Garmin's software into the unit and load maps and POIs from MFM (Malfree Maps). It apparently has a digital compass too!

The device supports high-speed HSDPA and HSUPA connections.

Getting up and running with email is simple. Support for Nokia Messaging, Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveller make it simple to add personal or work email accounts.

But the 3.2-megapixel, fixed focus camera is nothing to shout about. Then again, it's a business smart phone.

The E52 comes with noise cancellation, so now you’ll be heard clearly no matter where you’re calling from.

These and many more features makes it tempting for this potential 'up-grader'.

The E52 retails for about RM890.00 (from the authorized distributor).

So, I'm taking the 'friendly' advice of the vendor at SC and will sleep on it.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coming Soon: Iron Man 2

The long-awaited sequel is set to be screened in Malaysia on April 30, a week ahead from US screenings.

Looks like the gold-titanium alloy man is bringing with him a whole new range of armor suits and weaponry, namely the Mark IV, V and VI suits and not to mention a new side-kick, War Machine (aka Col. James Rhodes) with a shoulder-mounted chain gun and arm-strapped rocket and grenade launchers. You know it was almost a give-away in the first movie when Terrence Howard (who plays Rhodes) looked at the Mark II for a second, walks away and remarks "next time"....

It looks like the armor variants play an important role both on and off the set. this time Tony Stark would inevitably be developing newer and more state-of-the art armor for dramatic story telling on the screen whilst back here, the toy franchise and licensed merchandisers will be raking in tonnes from toy and memorabilia sales!

Check out HotToys War Machine and Mark IV bust (with lit arc reactor). I hear War Machine will be going for about RM576, with the later release of the Mark IV, V and VI and the half Mark IV bust, you could get for a little over RM300.

The Mark IV armor
(front, side and back profile. Also make reference to the movie poster above)

The Mark V armor
(for some of your who's seen the full trailer, you would notice Tony Start taking out a portable armor in a suit-case...this is t
he one)

The Mark VI armor
(notice the triangular miniature arc reactor on the chest plate)

For those of you who would be buying an army of Iron Man 2 toys for the kids, don't just spend. Redeem free sneak preview tickets at The Outpost, e@TheCurve (for preview screening on April 29th) when you buy RM200 worth of Iron Man 2 toys from Hasbro.

For display (but not HotToys pricing), you may be interested to pick up an 8-inch Mark VI armor of Iron Man or War Machine (retailing at RM44.90 each) or for a little less at RM39.90 each, 3 3/4-inch figurines (personally, i though War Machine looks fantastic in this size, with matte colors). Cheaper than that, there are several 2 inch figurines going for RM14.90 each, r the less indolent kid, there's always the strapped-on Repulsor for kids aging 4 and up...imagine little squirts going around blasting a bright blue light in your face all the time.

Movie reservations and advance purchases can be made 2 weeks prior to the screening.

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