A fine blend of all things Nuts: Multimedia Collections, Toys, Foods, Concerts, Occasional Petting Zoo Visits, etc.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Viable Options Collection

Here on the Nut Blogs, we’ve covered plenty of Remakes, Reboots, and Reenvisionings. We’ve even tackled our fair share of adaptations (1, 2, 3, 4). As rare as it is for any of those to actually improve on their original works, it could be argued that the chances of them being equally worthwhile are even more astronomical. While these pairs (or, in a few cases, trios) may not share the exact same scores, they are considered to be comparable in quality and veritas by at least one of our authors. They are the narratives and experiences for which multiple incarnations deservedly stand side-by-side on our shelves.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Brimstone and Treacle (1982)

Worlds of Power: Castlevania II — Simon's Quest

















Saturday, December 2, 2017

The First Nut is the Deepest - Music Version

Following on from my The First Nut is the Deepest - Film Version post, this time it's Music. There's no 'Favourites' list on Nut Suite to choose from, so I engineered an alternative. Narrowing music down to a Top 10 would be an impossible task for me, anyhow, so I'm going with a more expansive A-Z instead. It's the First Nut – Music Version A-Z. Which BAND, ARTIST or ALBUM would I pick from my worryingly overstuffed shelves and offer to a willing participant who'd not heard that particular band, artist or album before?
In many cases I had multiple perfect options and just had to choose one or the other. I realise the resultant list probably won't be of interest to anyone who isn't me, but I plan to enjoy it enough for all of us. :D
NOTE: each one opens in new tab, so prob best not to click 'em all at once.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Final Fantasy VII Collection

Admittedly, VII, and the universe that grew out of it, exists exalted in the minds of fanboys and those for whom nostalgia is not only king, but verily, everything. While I do have nostalgia for the game itself, I am not actually one of either of those numbers. I have experienced the below items—that I’ve personally reviewed—multiple times over the intervening years. In fact, I engaged with them, and their myriad faults, immediately prior to the time of this writing. As a critical fan, I see not only their shortcomings, but also the strengths buried therein. I am able to continually find inspiration, joy, and emotional resonance in this world’s characters, without having to turn a blind-eye to the problems the individual releases have as interactive and non-interactive pieces of media.

The track is far from the smoothest, but for me,

"There ain’t no gettin’ offa this train"~

Final Fantasy VII
Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide

Sequel Film:
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete

Prequel Anime:
Last Order: Final Fantasy VII

Spin-Off Game:
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

Copyright-Skirting Costume Accessory:
Spirit Deluxe Wide Blade Sword

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Ju-on Collection

The Ju-on franchise began life in 1998 as two short films directed by Takashi Shimizu that formed part of a TV Movie named Gakkô no kaidan G (1998); they were Katasumi (In a Corner) and 4444444444 (Ten Fours), respectively.
It then moved to V-Cinema for The Curse I II (2000, both) before finally making the leap to a full theatrical release with Ju-on: The Grudge (2002).
Its success was such that Hollywood soon followed with a series of English language remakes, two of which were even helmed by Dir. Shimizu himself.
If you only want to experience the best that each region has to offer, the Nut Blogs contributors recommend number 03 in the Japanese language selection below, and number 02 in the English language selection:

Japanese Language Films:
01. Ju-on: The Curse (2000)
02. Ju-on: The Curse 2 (2000)
03Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
04. Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003)
05. Ju-on: Shiroi Rojo (2009)
06. Ju-on: Kuroi Shojo (2009)
07. Ju-on: The Beginning of the End (2014)
08. Ju-on: The Final Curse (2015)
09. Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)

English Language Films:
01. The Grudge (2004)
02The Grudge: Director's Cut (2004)
03. The Grudge 2 (2006)
04. The Grudge 3 (2009)

NOTE: Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) is a crossover with the Ringu franchise. For short reviews of films in that series see the Ringu Collection.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Spirit Deluxe Wide Blade Sword (2017)

I was pretty sure I was going to learn something from this experience that I honestly already knew: NEVER order from the website. Shop in-person. Though, to be fair, this seems like a bad idea even if you find one without a hole in the tip. The paint is ghastly. Those two giant spots look to have been simply slathered on, after the fact. The support rod isn't nearly wide enough; the outer-thirds are super pliable. Not literally as pliable as, say, the blade on the Spin Sword, but it is the equivalent amount for a blade of this size. There were small random chunks missing from hilt, as well. By far and away, the worst Spirit product I've ever touched. I guess I applaud them for their ambition, but it didn't work out.

If you're impatient, into gambling, and okay with losing out on the shipping charge, you can at least return online orders in-store.

0 QC out of 5

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Neg's Costume Accessory Weapons Collection

While I painstakingly parted with every one of my toku role-play toys (I’ll always miss the Li-Oh Blaster 😣 ), it was the right thing to do. I rarely played with them after receiving them. Besides, I have figure-scale representations of the Rider and Sentai weapons that mean the utmost to me. As is the norm, however, Silent Hill found a way to bend the rules. I’m a huge fan of Spirit brand costume weaponry, and because of that association, I’m a-okay with them being perpetually on display with little responsibility in the way of keeping them clean. It’s only fitting!
I do tend to them every once in a while; It’s who I am.

For the very most part, I recommend examining these carefully, in-person, before purchasing. While Spirit's QC may be a slight bit dodgy, if you can find a well-constructed piece with a level of detailing that appeals to you, I think you'll be pleased. They beg to be displayed long after you've built and worn your costume.

0. Spirit Foam Sledge Hammer (hehe, Spirit Hammer 😄 )

1. Harry and Rose
       a. Spirit Deluxe Katana
       b. TMNT: Leonardo(’s) Katana
       c. Spirit Kitchen Knife

2. Silent Hill 2 spoilers, ahoy!

3. Bladebuilders Luke Skywalker Lightsaber Heather Mason Beam Saber

4. Spirit Bloody Axe w/Holster

5. Kobalt 36’’ Hexagonal Wrecking Bar (For real real, not for play play.)

6. Murphy and Anne
      a. Spirit Horror Double Axe
      b. Spirit Battery-Operated Toy Gun

Also, this. Don't buy one.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Spirit Battery-Operated Toy Gun ()

Remember what I said in my review of the Skull Magnum? All of it is still 100% true, and frankly, it's even more pertinent here. Thank goodness this is the opposite of that toy. I.e., this is literally (financially) worthless and I'll never have to worry about selling it. It will sit on my shelf with the rest of my Silent Hill collection and I will never answer the door with it in my hand. Heed that advice yourself, if you get one.

It's undeniably cheap, but it fits the bill and it won't crumble in your hand. However, I wouldn't drop it. I didn't even know it had a sound! Yes, a single sound. It's more of an extended, violent WHOOSH than a gunshot, but I wasn't expecting anything, so it's icing. I don't have a youtube channel any longer and I'm not going to bother the rest of the Nut Blog crew over it. You can try it in-store. It says you can, right on the packaging. Be kind and replace the plastic tab, if you do. Even if the batteries are dead, the click is heavy and satisfying.

I generally prefer melee weapons, in almost every sphere, but with Anne, there really is no leeway.

2 Obligatory Dick Monsters out of 5

Monday, September 4, 2017

Threshold Oil-Rubbed Towel Tower ()

Oil-Rubbed!?!? I can't 😂  Oooooh, ooookaaay... I don't remember seeing that on the box! Right, so its pretty sturdy, even if you choose to forgo the side-rails like I did. I originally had my Blade weapons resting on the bottom four shelves, in their inserts. That's what precluded the rails. You'll need a Phillips-head screwdriver for assembly, regardless of your desired level of completion. If you really want it for towels, that's cool, and it'll definitely do the job flawlessly. I think its true strength is in storing bladed toys that are too pliable for their own good. Hanging vertically (and level) they won't have the chance to move, and consequently warp, in any particular direction. Assuming their hilts are wide enough to comfortably rest upon two of the rails, and their blades are thin enough to fit between them, this is an ideal set-up. It's five shelves high, so unless you've got a 1:1 scale replica of Sephiroth's Masamune, you should be fine.

I love how it looks loaded up, because it evokes those moments in games where you get to retrieve your inventory, after being separated from it for some back-to-basics/stealth/PANIC! times. Or, if you're Constantine, for the duration of two cutscenes...

5 Less Than One Minute Cleanings with a Dry-Dust Cloth out of 5

Friday, September 1, 2017

Spirit Deluxe Katana ()

It occurs to me that I didn't place the game in my shot of the TMNT katana.
I must have known subconsciously...

I traded up! There’s a good reason: Our neighbor’s grandkid has been going on about how he wants Leonardo’s katanas. Guess who has had one of those~ Alright, there’s two reasons: this is the BEST costume accessory weapon I have ever held in my hands. JEEBUS H. FISTO, it is just shy of perfection (in its tier, of course). Simply take a look at the tip to make sure there isn’t any paint scraped off and you're good to go. The support rod runs just shy of the tip, like something else I reviewed, but the blade is so uniformly thick that there’s no chance of accidental warping. You’d have to deliberately try to wrench it out of shape. It’s super weighty and has a rounded guard!!! There was no way I was passing this up. It was a the-stars-have-aligned situation, through and through.

It has every right to call itself deluxe. Among its peers, it really is the equivalent of Bandai of Japan Deluxe caliber.

4½ Hidden Skills of the Father Made Manifest in the Daughter out of 5

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Spirit Kitchen Knife ()

Apparently, we're not done yet~ I'll ramble a bit below the cut about my collecting decisions, but let's do the job we're here to do, first. This is incredibly similar to the hammer that I've got for Travis. It's painted foam over some manner of support rod. It ends about an inch and a half short of the tip, for obvious reasons. This means that there is potential for it being, or getting warped. If you hang yours vertically through a wire shelf, like I do with my blades, then that potential issue should sort itself out. It's too pliable as-is for me to recommend the hairdryer trick. The bigger issue is one of QC. In this case, it's not the paint you'll want to examine in-person, it's the edge of the blade. I saw a few with untrimmed 'flash.' I DO NOT recommend trimming it yourself. You'll likely cut too close, disrupt the seam, and cause it to split open wholesale. Examine these carefully before purchasing!

I know, I know, the handle doesn't match Rose's. But, we already know that if it works for me, it works for me.

2 Times Jumping Between Buildings Has Actually Been a Good Idea out of 5

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Logitech PSP PlayGear Pocket (Slim;)

I've long bought cases like this for all of my handhelds. As is the norm when there's a single noteworthy problem and a multitude of positives, I'm getting the former out of the way immediately: the material comprising the inserts is strangely almost gummy. This presents no issues in regards to coming into contact with the system, but when detritus ends up on it, you're going to have to basically gouge it out with your nails. It's not nearly as damning as it sounds. In regards to the longevity and structural integrity, I'll let you know that I actually bought mine used. It's awash in scratches. Whoever had it first put it through hell. Yet, it still looks great and the friction on the dual hinges has remained sublime. There are mounds on the back for your fingers to naturally grip onto and the lid is a revelation. Say you're grinding in an RPG and want to watch something while doing so. You can fold it such that it's sitting perpendicular, in the rear (I.e., 270°). In the course of normal play, I keep it up to emulate the top half of a DS/3DS. It does worlds for maintaining immersion, in that position.

As long as you can stomach a bit of effort when it comes to cleaning, and actually have a PSP, and actually take it places, this is a dream.

4 Wolves Pleasingly Mimicking A Sheep's Weight Distribution out of 5

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Magnificent Seven Collection

It doesn't matter to me whether or not the Western genre is representative of how life really was back in the day. I don't care if it's been exaggerated, romanticised or straight up invented. What matters is that it provides a recognisable framework within which many different types of story can be told: the frontier town, the bandits, the selfless hero, the guns for hire, etc, are versatile tools in the hands of experienced writers. The original Magnificent Seven film is that versatility in action. It's a remake that's respectful to both its Japanese source material and its own parent genre, proving that some stories truly can be universal at heart and it's just the telling that changes. The western appropriation of the seven hired hands is so good that it even spawned a number of imitators and sequels of its own:

The Source:
01. Seven Samurai (1954)

The Films:
01. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
02. Return of the Magnificent Seven (1966)
03. Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)
04. The Magnificent Seven Ride (1972)

The TV Series:
01. The Magnificent Seven: TV Series (1998–2000)

Films Influenced By TMS:
01. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
02. The Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)

The Remake of the Remake:
01. The Magnificent Seven (2016)