December 18, 2014

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

Remember the little soccer ball droid that rolled around the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer? If you haven't heard, the official name for the droid is BB-8. He (or she) captured my eye because hello, it was adorable. There has been piles of fan art featuring the droid, and someone posted an image of a handmade BB-8 Christmas ornament on Imgur. Look:

I've been wanting to make one from ping pong balls or foam and seeing this ornament only makes me want to craft my own BB-8 decoration more. I'll just add it to my list of crafts I'd like to finish before Christmas (it's a long list!).

h/t The Star Wars Report

December 17, 2014

Review: Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids by Sideshow Collectibles

Remember that set of Star Wars Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids by Sideshow Collectibles I'm giving away? I unboxed a set to review them, and I have to admit these battle droids are way more fun than I expected them to be. As per the usual with any product made by Sideshow, the figures are detailed with paint that adds depth and texture. And the articulation on these guys? Forget about it.

The box comes with two Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids. This is ideal. A single battle droid wouldn't be as interesting; two droids means you can create lots of silly scenes or re-create moments from Attack of the Clones. Plus, having two droids means you can make them crack jokes back and forth while you're posing them - which you'll want to do over and over again.

The packaging was both simple and secure. I had the droids out of the box and in position in about a minute, but that doesn't mean they weren't protected and safe in their box. They were folded up - an indicator of how flexible they are - and awaiting deployment.

Accessories include two guns and two backpacks - the backpacks have extendable (and sturdy!) antennas (or antennae). I particularly like the weathering on the backpack and the droids. Definitely gives the droids the metal appearance just like in the movie.

Look at all those joints waiting to be posed! 

I've never had such a fantastic time posing sixth scale figures before. The design of battle droids means the characters are made to be action figures and collectibles. Practically everything moves. The neck extends and can be pushed down. The head can be moved up and down and side to side. Every joint of the arms and hands move. The elbows stuck a little at first but moved smoothly after I flexed them a few times. The droids' "fingers" are flexible and that makes it easy for them to grip their guns. The hips, knees, and feet can be positioned at different angles with ease.

All of those articulation points made it a blast to pose these droids in every which way. The flexibility gives them a ton of personality since their stances informs the way you interpret their emotions. I couldn't stop switching it up:

I call this the sassy battle droid pose.

The "Oh no, what have I done?!" battle droid pose.

The crossed arms, pouty battle droid pose.

The petulant or nap-time battle droid pose.

The dancing on duty battle droid pose.

The "Did you hear that?" battle droid pose.

The water cooler chat battle droid pose.

And this pose doesn't have a name - I just wanted to show off the articulation.

Who knew battle droids could be this cool? I think I'm going to start incorporating these guys into my regular decor and pose/dress them up for different occasions. As of this weekend, they'll be decorating a miniature Christmas tree and wearing tiny Santa hats.

Here's all the important technical information:
The figure is 12 inches tall.
Dave Whitford is responsible for the paint design.
The set comes with:
Figure Set includes: Two "Battle Damaged" Veteran Battle Droids as encountered on the planet Geonosis
Each Battle Droid has a fully articulated body and unique detailed paint deco
Two (2) E-5 Blaster Rifles
Two (2) Communications Backpacks with Extendable Antennas

You can purchase a set of your own droids for $129.99 from Sideshow Collectibles.

Or enter my giveaway to win your own set of Battle Droids! I think I'm going to have to ask the winner to pose the droids and send me pictures. Related: if you own these droids and have taken any silly pictures, please share them! Post links in the comments or send them to me on Twitter.

Full disclosure: The Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids were provided by Sideshow Collectibles for review purposes. This did not affect my review of the product.

Baby Groot Ornament Will Make Your Christmas Tree Cooler Than the Awesome Mix

It is a truth universally acknowledged that baby Groot makes anything and everything better. The appearance of the moving and grooving sapling version of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those rare magical, unforgettable sort of scenes. It was also one of the cutest moments of cinema in 2014. Now that the holiday season is here and Guardians of the Galaxy is available on Blu-ray and DVD (get it on Amazon!), people are inserting a little Groot into their celebrations. He makes a perfect addition to any Christmas tree because he is a tree. I've seen an incredibly well made Groot tree topper and now, this precious, adorable, cute, insert-more-adjectives here felt ornament.

Instructables user LD_P made this happy little Grootmas addition with felt in light brown, black, green, and red, matching embroidery thread, mini Christmas light trim, and a few other basics. No sewing machine is required - you'll do it all by hand. And honestly, the hardest part will probably be getting the body shape just right.

Learn how to make your very own baby Groot Christmas tree ornament:

Want more geeky holiday inspiration?  I've got a Pinterest board for that.

h/t Instructables

December 16, 2014

Jewelry and More from PopCycled Baubles

You can never have enough jewelry, and that's doubly true if said jewelry includes comic book art. Laura Rosado's store PopCycled Baubles has plenty of options in that category. Rosado uses art from comic books and upcycles panels into wearable art and accessories. She makes pendants, cases, coasters, and compacts featuring everything from the TARDIS to Batgirl. Her products are a great way to incorporate your passion for comics into your outfits or into your home decor. Some examples of her work:

Her shop isn't limited to upcycled art either; she also makes purses. She uses licensed and themed fabrics to create bags inspired by Wonder Woman, Harley Queen, Frozen, and more. And yes, she takes custom orders.

You can shop for all the shinies at PopCycled Baubles on Etsy and keep up with the latest releases on Facebook.

Giveaway: Star Wars Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids from Sideshow Collectibles

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and everyone is in a giving sort of mood. I know I just wrapped up a giveaway, but how about some more holiday cheer? This time you've got the chance to win a a set of two Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids from Sideshow Collectibles - a $129.99 retail value! The sixth scale figure set features the droids seen in Episode II: Attack of the Clones with plenty of hand-crafted and articulated detail. All you have to bring to the party are some battle droid level jokes. Roger, roger.

Look at these figures:

To be clear, here's what you'll get if you win:
Figure Set includes: Two "Battle Damaged" Veteran Battle Droids as encountered on the planet Geonosis
Each Battle Droid has a fully articulated body and unique detailed paint deco
Two (2) E-5 Blaster Rifles
Two (2) Communications Backpacks with Extendable Antennas

This giveaway will run for a week so it will be a nice post-holidays present. Yay!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below or:
1. Worth a single entry: Comment on the post and tell me which Star Wars film is your favorite.

Get more entries with Rafflecopter (note: if you just click "Tweet" when tweeting about the entry, a message I wrote will automatically pop in) - you'll have to use your email address since the Facebook log in is mysteriously not working at the moment:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note this contest is limited to US residents only. I'll notify the winner on Christmas Eve, December 24th.

Good luck and may the Force be with you!

December 12, 2014

Incredible Harry Potter and Other Geeky Paper Snowflakes

When it comes to making paper snowflakes, I'm still at a kindergarten level. Maybe younger. My designs never come out like I intend them to, and I usually manage to massacre one side so that the result is an asymmetrical mess. So, whenever I see the work of artists who create gorgeous pieces of intricate paper snowflake art, I'm always floored.

I was searching for some geeky paper snowflake templates for another post and stumbled across the gallery of beep3rocks on DeviantArt. She doesn't have templates available; she makes one of a kind snowflake masterpieces. She has a few especially impressive snowflakes based on Harry Potter. I can't even wrap my head around what it took to cut out all those tiny windows on the Hogwarts one without ruining the entire snowflake. She's no ordinary muggle! Look:


Harry Potter logo



And some amazing Doctor Who and Firefly paper snowflakes:

Serenity and quotes
All images via Rasa, a.k.a. beep3rocks. I recommend checking out her entire gallery of snowflakes and her Etsy shop.

December 11, 2014

Peter Pan Live's Smee Had a Star Wars Tattoo

I tried to watch NBC's Peter Pan Live. I really did. Giving it my full attention lasted a few minutes though and I pulled out my laptop and started working and only occasionally glimpsed up at the screen. I looked up more once Christopher Walken appeared as Hook because hey, it's Christopher Walken, and soon noticed that Smee had a familiar tattoo on his arm. The skull of a Mythosaur! Sort of. We know the tattoo because it appears on Boba Fett's armor. The tattoo isn't an exact match - it's a little stretched and there are some extra additions that make the ink look like the Bloody Bones symbol from the Legacy comics - but they had to be going for Boba Fett. Look: 

Source: Mark

It doesn't look quite as stretched out in a promo photo from NBC (click to enlarge) so maybe it just got applied in a hurry the night of the show. It's also not on the same arm. Perhaps it got altered so it wouldn't look so much like the symbol on Fett's armor?

Whatever the story, I like seeing that Star Wars is everywhere.

December 9, 2014

LEGO Scientist Minifigs on LEGO Ideas

In 2012, Ellen Kooijman, aka Alatariel Elensar, submitted an idea to LEGO Ideas featuring female scientists in action. It got all the necessary votes and support and was turned into an actual product and made available for purchase over the summer. The set with a paleontologist, astronomer, and a chemist quickly sold out. I was sad I missed out on buying the minifigs. But luckily, Alatariel has a new project on LEGO Ideas with even more scientist minifigs.

This set of three minifigures represents scientists out in the field on adventures/in outdoor work environments. Though one of the minifigs is wearing lipstick, the gender of the minifigs is neutral. The trio is comprised of a geologist, a wildlife biologist, and archaeologist. The description:

Join the scientist on their research adventures!
The geologist explores the mountains to locate important minerals and unravel the processes that have shaped the Earth.
The wildlife biologist is on a jungle expedition to study the tiger in its natural habitat.
The archaeologist investigates bones and artifacts to uncover the secrets of an ancient civilization.
This set consists of three vignettes of scientists in their outdoor work environment. The small settings are built on 6x6 base plates and each scientist comes with a set of tools and equipment required for their research. The accompanying booklet will provide short descriptions of the respective research fields. This set combines an educational aspect with a fun building experience and plenty of play value. The presented set consists of 188 parts. 

I would purchase these right now if I could, but they're still in the support phase at LEGO Ideas. Add your vote and help get this set in front of the LEGO review board!

h/t The Mary Sue
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