Friday, 8 September 2017

Nerdversity Reviews: Thunderbirds Episode 1 - Trapped in the Sky

Thunderbirds was a 1965 puppet TV series that was the brainchild of Gerry Anderson. The premise revolved around 5 brothers who used high tech machines to perform dangerous rescues, that noone else could perform.

Trapped in the Sky aired on 15th September 1965 on UK TV. It serves as a pilot episode to the series. The plot for this episode revolves around  Criminal mastermind The Hood uses his hypnotic powers to communicate telepathically with his half-brother, Kyrano, and learns that International Rescue is ready to start operating. He travels to London International Airport and places a bomb onboard Fireflash, a new, hypersonic atomic-powered airliner due to depart shortly for its maiden flight to Tokyo. The device is set to auto-detonate from the impact of landing. When the Hood anonymously warns London Tower of this threat,Commander Norman orders Fireflash pilot Captain Hanson and his co-pilot to return to the vicinity of London Airport. An X-ray shot of the wing confirms that a bomb has been planted and, making matters worse, the shielding around Fireflashs nuclear reactor is decaying. If the plane is not landed, everyone onboard will die of radiation exposure in two hours. Tin-Tin is just one of the passengers now in mortal danger.  

John taped in the sky
John Tracy has been listening in to radio transmissions from Thunderbird 5. He contacts Tracy Island and Jeff dispatches Scott and Virgil to London in Thunderbirds 1 and 2, the latter carrying Pod 3.When violent aerobatics fail to dislodge the bomb, the crew are forced to try to remove it by putting a man in the wing. Air Traffic Control calls for the assistance of a TX-204 Target Carrying Aircraft
to place volunteer Bob Meddings in the undercarriage. Although they succeed in placing Meddings aboard, he slips and falls through the hatch before he can reach the bomb.

Fireflash landing

Thunderbird 1 arrives at London Airport and Scott assesses the situation. The plan is to bring the Fireflash, with its landing gear up, down onto three High-speed Mobile Elevator Cars - two radio-controlled vehicles operated by Virgil in the third master control car. While the Tracys are organising the rescue, the Hood, disguised as a police officer, takes photographs of Thunderbird 1. Spotted by the Automatic Camera Detector in Thunderbird 1, he flees with the police in hot pursuit, but they lose him on the M1. Scott calls in International Rescue's London agent, Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward.
The Fireflash makes its approach to London Airport, but one of the radio-controlled Elevator Cars suddenly developes a fault and the landing has to be aborted at the last second. With a replacement car in position, the Fireflash makes a second approach as the radiation safety factor on the anti-radiation shield expires. The Fireflash lands on the Elevator Cars without detonating the bomb, but when Virgil applies maximum brakes his master control vehicle goes out of control and crashes. Supported by only a subsidiary vehicle under each wing, the Fireflash finally slides to a halt with only yards of runway to spare. 

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Meanwhile, on the M1 heading for Birmingham, Lady Penelope and her chauffeur, Parker, pursue the Hood in her Rolls-Royce, FAB 1. Coming to a quiet stretch of motorway, FAB 1's grille-mounted machine gun blows the Hood's car off the road and his pictures are ruined as the car crashes down an enbankment. The villain vows International Rescue has not heard the last of him. The passengers and crew on board the Fireflash are saved, Virgil is unhurt and, with the security of the organization intact, International Rescue's first mission is a complete success. 

 For a pilot episode, this was a fantastic introduction to the characters and world of Thunderbirds. As well as original airings in 1965, it was also re-aired on BBC2 in 1992 and by Carlton in 2001.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Nerdversity Reviews: Board Game Super Saturdays (Week One)

In the run up to Christmas, The Entertainer held it's next Super Saturdays event, this time covering several new board games that would prove popular for christmas

This is the booklet for this event. The front tells the collector that by playing the 4 different games over the 4 weeks will earn you a free copy of Connect 4. It also features a new graphic as what's on the box. The back of the booklet reiterates the "win your height in games" contest.

Week One (dated 5th November) was to play the store version of Pie Face Showdown. Other games over the weeks are Jenga, Bop It and Operation.

After Pie Face, a game where players take turns twisting a crank in the vein hope they don't get a pie to the face, proved immensely popular, Hasbro games revamped the concept for the sequel game, Pie Face Showdown. In this one, two players put their faces in the cut outs, and hammer their respective button faster than their opponents. The loser get either a sponge, or whipped cream to the face.

The game currently retails for £29 in Entertainer stores and they also sell replacement cans of whipped cream. They also sell copies of the original pie face for £20. I really enjoyed this game. It's simplistic, yet has enough going to remain competitive between players.

Nerdversity Reviews: Board Game Super Saturdays (Pre-event)

The Entertainer is a widely popular toy store in the United Kingdom. It is widely known for it's charitable nature.

The first part of the pre-event was a flyer aimed at children, where they could fill it in, post it in a special box in store and then win their height in board games. Like all Entertainer contests, anyone over the age of 12 is exempt from entry. 

Also, as part of their 35th anniversary celebrations and part of the christmas promotion, they were also giving lucky children the chance to win the entire contents of their christmas catalogue, which was valued around £13,000. All lucky people had to do, was guess what anniversary they were celebrating and then post the entry into the postbox in store. Anyone over the age of 12 was exempt from entry.

Nerdversity Reviews: Ghostbusters Proton Party Pack Gummies

Ghostbusters is a franchise that has been going on since 1984 and runs to this day. There's talk on whether or not Sony will continue with it.

These proton party pack of gummies was found in B&M stores post halloween. The package is based on the 2016 movie, with the new logo, with the slime dripping down the package and the hazard tape. The package contains 10 treat size packets of gummies.

The bag weighs around 40g and is a treat size. They were based on the new movie universe, as given the grey and red striping on the bottom of the bag. They would be perfect for halloween and given to children.

There are only three types of gummy inside the bag. These being a proton pack, slimer and "no-ghost". The No-Ghost was also used in the "Interactive Gummies", where they were packaged with red insignia as well. 

Transformers Generations Bumblebee (Legion Class)

Transformers Generations is a highly popular line dating back to 2010. It follows on from Classics and Universe.

The Legion Class Bumblebee comes on the same Generations card. This example is the later reissue in the Combiner Wars line. It's the same figure. The card art features the character artwork. The figure is seen in a bubble. The back of the card features a small bio for the figure, artwork of the character and the instructions printed on the back.

The figure stands at the same 7cm height. The figure is modelled after his new smart car style alt mode. The paint apps are yellow, orange and black. Theres silver paint on his face. Transformation is a little more complex, given the way the legs, arms and backpack fold up. 

The figure is a pretty good representation of the figure. The figure is easily found on the secondary market and can be either cheap or expensive, so would be wise to shop around, especially now the Titans Return figure is coming soon.

Transformers Generations Optimus Prime (Legion Class)

Transformers Generations is the current era of Transformers, starting in 2010. It follows on from the 2006 Classics line and 2008 Universe line. The line currently covers all the Generations, Henkei, Classics 2.0, Combiner Wars and Titans Return

The Legion Class Optimus Prime comes carded. The artwork is of the legends figure, a repaint of the Pipes figure. The back of the card has images of the figure, stats and instruction guide. Not that many people would need it, as it's a legion class figure.

The figure is a repaint of the legion class Motorbreath figure. It stands around 7cm tall. He's decorated in a very G1 design. His alternate mode is the classic box cab truck. Transformation is simple. Push the legs together. Twist the waist, fold the arms in a G1 style and then push the head down. The paint applications are very good for being a small figure.

There was a repackage of this figure released in Dollar General that came with a red version of the Motorbreath sword. The figure is exactly the same. Overall, this figure is pretty good and is found very easily on the secondary market for around £9. 

Nerdversity Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo Evolution (Part 5)

Here we are, at the end of the review of this set. These are the final thoughts on it.

I picked up this set when it was on clearance at Tesco. It cost me £6.50. Overall, I found this set worth the price tag. I couldn't see myself paying anymore for the set, but that depends on the overall person. The figures are an interesting overall choice, but do represent key parts of Leonardo's evolution from 1984 - 2015. I do think the 1984 and 1987 figures are the key selling points of the set. Some may or may not be interested in the 2015 or any others in the set.

In all honesty, if you can find this set for a reasonable price, it is a worthwhile gift set for turtle collectors and even children who are getting 3 different Leonardo figures.