Welcome to The Stormtrooper Effect

This is where i will review and discuss toys, video games and movies. I collect 3 3/4 inch to 12 inch Star Wars, Iron Man, Batman, Halo toys and other movie memoribillia that appeal to me! As of late i am into Hot Toys 12' inch figures. Thank you for visiting my page and I hope you enjoy browsing through my site as much as I enjoy sharing it with you!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Review: NECA Raziel

Presenting a Halloween Special Review for this year, featuring NECA's Raziel from the Legacy of Kain Series. Some of you would recognize him from the video game franchise, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Kudos to Leon of OPEN THE TOY for suggesting the idea of us reviewing this figure back when we met @ STGCC 09', as we both shared the same interest in this particularly dark and brooding figure. You can head down over to his site for some really nice shots of this figure!

On my part, i'd be reviewing and nitpicking the figure as well as imparting as much backstory as i know about Raziel.



Now, where do I begin, with a complex storyline that weaves in and out between perspective time, paradox and reality, this would be a hard tale to tell. Furthermore this videogame story drew heavily upon biblical and angelic imagery.

Raziel, firstborn of Kain's Vampiric lieutenants, and second in command, was cast in the Lake of the Dead an eternal tormenting ground for traitors and weaklings, in what seemed to be an act of treachery for having surpassed his master in the evolutionary process which vampires undergo. Having grown wings before his master, Kain. In his disdain and anger, Kain ripped the fragile cartilage forming the Raziel's Wings.

In Soul Reaver, Vampire's physical wounds are fleeting. Vampire's immortal flesh close upon being cleaved. Vampires need only fear wounds that impale or inflame. Water scorches like acid and sunlight affects vampire fledglings.

So it explains a great deal how and why upon being cast into the lake of the dead, that good ol' Raziel turn up pretty washed up. With his insides, skin and practically almost everything being scorched and melted off. Turning him into the wraith of his former self. From his once pale skin and dark iris, he now possesses glowing eyes and bluish skin. The cape wrapped around his face was all that was left of Raziel's former Vampiric glory, bearing the Razielim clan's symbol of which he was the leader of.


In Soul Reaver 1, much of the plot revolved around Raziel bent on vengeance over his brethren having casted him into the abyss and Kain for the unjust and unwarranted punishment. However as the story unfolds in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, Raziel was not always a vampire. He was once, a Safaran Priest, a member of the high order of the human race, bent on exterminating the Vampires who scourged the lands of Nosgoth.

A little narration into the history of Nosgoth was that it was that it was a land of ancient beings, the Hylden and the Vampires. Having their battle waged aeons over the very grounds humans now trod. The noble Vampires and the dreaded Hylden worshipped a Deity, also known as the Elder God who spins the wheel of life, with every soul upon passing into the spectral realm would be spun and reborn into another form.

The great battle of these elder beings was based on the differences of their beliefs on the Elder God. With the Vampires seeing death as a purfication and path to rebirth while the Hylden saw the Elder God as a fraud and but a mere creature, manipulative and deceiving. the battle waged on and it saw the vampires defeating the hylden. And the Hylden were banished from the land, with the Vampires creating the Pillars of Nosgoth. Nine in total, each with a vampiric guardian. This Pillars were the very fabric holding the Hylden in the banished land and preventing them from ever stepping foot into Nosgoth lest they unleash their vengeance. But it came with a price as the Hylden cursed the Vampires with eternal life, sterility and bloodlust. The vampires in their desperation from being cut of from their sacred process of rebirth, resulted many committing suicide.

It is revealed in the end that the Elder God was but a tentacled creature, scheming and manipulating foolish mortals and ancients alike into doing his bidding to keep his insatiable wheel of life turning.

There upon we come with the paradox of the story. Two of them in fact.
The hylden and the vampires had a prophesied champion. With the Hylden champion bearing flaming eyes and a burning sword (the wraith form of the soul reaver). Bluish skin to boot too! whilst the vampiric champion bore with him the SOUL REAVER.

so what is the Soul Reaver? It is the very blade raziel bears but that its wraith form. The original blade, forged by the Vampiric smiths for their prophesied hero. But kain, who wielded it, upon crashing it over Raziel, caused it to shatter, and unleashing a soul within the blade. A ravenous spirit which devoured the souls of its victims on the end of its blade. ( Note how Raziel is a reaver of souls, with his death transforming his blood thirst into a deeper need, the devourer of souls!)

it is revealed that in the traveling across millenniums and eons, that the soul reaver indeed was RAZIEL'S soul. that Raziel was destined to be trapped into the physical forged form of the blade. The strike on him by kain merely shattered the blade as it, as it had its trapped soul and hence could not consume and imprison its own soul twice. unleashing a wraith form of the blade unto raziel which he does not realise at first that it would be his instrument of doom.

Seeking answers and ravaging through the murky past, Raziel realises that having being spared the wheel of life, being destroyed and yet retaining his soul. he was the only being who had free will to choose his destiny and was unbounded, Hence a prime canditate for manipulation by various characters in the story to help them in their own agendas. EG: The elder god.

even the act of casting raziel into the abyss was foreplanned by kain. An act he did to have the last toss of the coin, in hopes that his prediction that Raziel would be returned, once again with the true power to claim his destiny and redeem nosgoth.

If you're confused, here's one last bit of it. Raziel is and has always been both champions. For the Hylden and the Vampires and his power of free will being unbounded to the wheel of life gave him all the power to change the realm. And his misreading of the prophesy murals resulted him into thinking that Kain was the vampiric hero.

Last spoiler: Raziel in his wraith form killed his human form in his travel back in time, which gave Kain the chance to resurrect him as a vampire eons later. =D

Pardon me for blowing your mind.

Storyline aside, NECA did a spectacular job with this figure. The sculpt i can say is absolutely spot on and the paintjob deserves nothing short of an A+. With every little detail sculpted and painted out perfectly. From the tone, to the colour. I can't quite sing a higher praise.

This figure is peppered with some rubberized parts ( which i fear may degrade in time) for added realism. Eg. the hair, and the tattered wings. As is the cape drapped over his dissolved jaw.

The sculpt and paintwork is perfect. Look at those clawed feet! STARE and gape at those armored boots!

Material plane Raziel with the Soul reaver (unimbuned)


they even added accessories to boot! open claws and one to hold the torch it came with.
what more can a collector as for?


NECA's Raziel by far scores higher than any other action figure i have in my collection. From paint apps to sculpting, this figure scores and blows past all expectations. A serious must have for die hard fans of the video game to even those who take mild interest in it.

Meanwhile, Happy Halloween and happy birthday to me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hot Toy's Next License

Looks like its official that Hot Toys will be doing Blade II for their next license. Darn, i was so looking forward to a Hannibal King from Blade III. Guess i gotta place my bets for a deadpool from X-men Origins Line then.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown Music Video

Green Day's fourth and last single off the 21st Century Breakdown album was officially premiered worldwide @ MTV on 19th October 2009'. Hit Here for the link

was a pleasant surprise that it had been released considering the last official statement was that it was to be due on 21st December. Got tons to catch up on both pop culture and music news having been rather busy the last month.


Directed by Marc Webb, the song makes several references to Green Day's lead singer and frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's upbringing and life, and several lyrical references to musical influences to boot, especially its dynamics reminiscent to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

The video heavily draws inspiration from graffiti art, the same stylized design used primarily in the album artwork.

While this video was a leap from Green Day's usual videos of set pieces and stage videos, and while it was a breath of fresh air, i was longing for real video footage, something like a dissolving of the graffiti art into the real video of Green Day playing, somewhat reminiscent to the iconic scene of (500) days of summer.

And hell, Marc Webb doesn't disappoint..
  • Orange glow of the dawning sunlight - check
  • Billie Joe Armstrong - check
  • Tre and Mike - Check
  • playing the last sentiment of the lyrics which defines the song
  • all atop the roof (what more can you ask for?)

Oh dream, America dream. I can't even sleep, from the light's early dawn.
Oh scream, America scream. Believe what you see, from Heroes & Cons.

oh, and East Jesus Nowhere's got its own video some time back too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Green Day's Rhapsody Advertisement

A fantastic commercial for Green Day's newest album, with references abundantly placed all over.

CAN you spot all the 51 references to Green Day's past to present discography and albums?

hint: ranging from paper lanterns, basket case, time of your life, going to pasalacque, warning, jesus of suburbia, kerplunk, christie road, 86' etc.

possibly the best damn Green Day advert ever.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Stormtrooper Effect: Upcoming Updates and Annoucements!

After an almost 2 month long hiatus and irregular postings, i'm pretty pleased to say now that my schedule has allowed me to post regularly and update on the several hauls over the last months.

Meanwhile i'd like to give a shout-out of thanks to those who dropped me an email about my absence from updating! And pardon me yet again if i replied late!

And to update on the few figures that i have managed to squeeze the time to haul in, along with geek-fan-dom projects that i'd be engaged in for the months leading up to Christmas!


Many thanks to Desmond who helped keep a lookout for this figure for me over at CSC and who successfully turned me over to the DARK SIDE through his fantastic review & photography of the figure, which made me cave in and buy it.

Its my first figure from Sideshow and whilst the base body is loose and may not be on par with that of Hot Toys, i will say that aesthetically and visually it seriously is a figure to grace one's shelves for one to even call oneself a Star Wars Fan. And i simply love the way how the armor hangs off realistically from the figure as opposed to Medicom's glueing of armor pieces to the bodysuit.

Furthermore i'm much happier with the hard ABS plastic armor pieces that Sideshow uses as opposed to Medicom's softer PVC material used. And with a reasonable price of SDG$150+, I purchased mine off ebay from a nice dealer at $165, its pretty much a good deal.



My latest haul as yet, is Hot Toys' John Connor. Its sports its realistic likeness of Christian Bale and Hot Toys doesn't disappoint in terms of quality, nor did they stinge on the amount of accessories, specifically the ammo clips for the M16 and C4 blocks. Every minute detail was realistically captured and i'm very happy with this figure.

Though, i must confess putting on the pouches can be a huge pain in the ***.


And if you're not yet aware, Green Day, the Grammy award winning, punk rock trio hailing from Oakland, California will be hitting Singapore for a one night only LIVE concert @ the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 14th January 2010.

They're embarking on their 21st Century Breakdown Tour starting since July 2009 and ending in early January 2010.

Being a musically influential band to me since i was young, and the sole inspiration which propelled me to pick up an electric guitar, i can barely grasp and wrap around a word to articulate how pleased I am over the news that they're arriving in Singapore for a concert. Had this news been said out loud as words a few years back, most would have scoffed at the improbability and impossibility however much they'd want it to happen.

And with this once in a lifetime chance, i would never let it slip past me. Purchased 6 tickets on the very day ticket sales opened.


so if you're heading there, i'd see you at PEN A! mosh! mosh! mosh!

tickets are still on sale at prices going at $88, $128 & $148.


Saving the best for the last, i am currently embarking on a "bucket-list" thing to do before i get too old to do so. One such thing to do on my list was to build myself a Stormtrooper Armor! being an avid fan of Star Wars and the stormtroopers to clonetroopers, it would be a shame to live a life without an armor to call my own.


and so YES, i have ordered a stormtrooper FX armor kit and am awaiting delivery of the item from UK, it has taken months of careful planning and consideration, be it researching on the materials and items needed to the best kit to use and build up from, namely screen accuracy being the subject of nitpicking.

While i do realise that FX armor isn't entirely screen accurate, and more than often is called and dubbed the bubble headed armor, as the helmet sculpt was purely an original design and not casted off ANH or any other actual movie helmet unlike the TE armor, it is the most commonly used armor amongst the member of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars Officially approved costume trooping fan club.

i do know the long laborious and meticulous process which it will be, to build up this armor, but i'm certain that the end result would be something to behold.

The kit will arrive through FED-EX around this weds-fri, and subsequently i'd be covering/blogging the progress of the Stormtrooper Armor on a weekly basis, basically a chronicling of the process of building the stormtrooper armor, i expect there to be hilarious mistakes and ''epic phailz'' moments along the way.

I hope that by covering this project in my blog, it would serve as a guide for others who are interested in this heading down the path of kit/costume building their own stormtrooper in the name of pure GEEKDOM!

that's all for now, and i will update again on the matter when FEDEX knocks on my door with my package! Meanwhile, i'd be settling the logistics side regarding the tools required, and other materials needed to build the costume, from the mic tips, to the boots, and undersuit.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

GREEN DAY Live in Singapore @ Singapore Indoor Stadium 14th January 2010

There is not a moment that i'm more pleased to present than this, Green Day LIVE @ Singapore Indoor Stadium on the 14th of January 2010.

For years I have waited, with many other fellow musicians and fans alike, for the glimmer of hope that Green Day would come to the small sunny island of Singapore for a gig, and by hell, i guess that dream of Billie Joe Armstrong roaring to the words '' welcome to the 21st Century Breakdown World Tour 2010!!'' can finally come true, right here, in Singapore.
Ticket Sales opened today at 9am online, going at prices from $88, $128 and $148. i took the opportunity to purchase 6 tickets, for myself and friends alike who'd be at PEN A of the free standing area, fondly known as the mosh pits.
Kudos to my best buddy Chin How who updated me about the news as soon as he got wind of it, and followed through by informing me of the posters in the newspapers. You're a real bro mate! had it not been for him i'd be still buried in work daily, not knowing i've let by this wonderful opportunity. ( this explains my long absence from updating too)
so see you there at the GREEN DAY 21st Century Breakdown TOUR!