A Great Breakthrough

This week we’ll start with something other than glass… but it was something many people in the glass and glazing industry really got behind and supported, so you all deserve a pat on the back.  What I am talking about was the news that the money raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge that took place two years ago led to a major breakthrough in the research of the ALS disease.  The money raised during that time… a staggering 220 million… funded the biggest study ever and during that study researchers identified a gene that they had not previously and has given them a jump start on cure and therapy.  Obviously a long way to go on this one, but positive news and something that so many of us can say we had a part in.  The Ice Bucket Challenge really was like no other event I can remember in bringing people together and also allowing them to have their moment of fun for all to see.  All while raising money and now succeeding in helping fight this disease.  So to all of you out there who read this and did it- congrats and thank you!

Elsewhere….

–  The latest edition of Glass Magazine is out and as always some “must see” items are in there.  First and foremost it’s the 2016 Glass Magazine Awards issue- so surely worth checking out the best of the best and those who were talented enough to win the most prestigious recognition our industry has.  The main takeaway from this award issue is that we have great companies, who innovate at so many levels.  This is one surely to be proud of.

–  Also catch the continuation of the “succession” series and a nice piece on the class act Mammen family as they take a new step with their company. 

–  The ad of the month?  Security Lock Distributors wins it with the “Technical Assistance” play.  The ad was smart and bold and made me stop and read.  I don’t know this company well at all, so it shows the ad was effective in catching my eye.  So whoever there worked on this one- congrats on a job well done!

–  One of the award winners in the magazine was the new Minnesota Vikings stadium that opens this month.  This week I ran across an article that I thought did a good job of running down the timeline of the building of this structure and the various issues that ran into it.  Take a look and especially see the comment section as a local architect surely did not agree with the article… at all. 

–  For my Denver readers- I came across this piece breaking down the redevelopment of the old Stapleton airport area.  Sounds like things are progressing.  So does Denver have the roadmap for other municipalities to follow in the future?  I guess only time will tell but nice to see the moves to redevelop the area are in motion.  Especially since I currently live in an area (Metro Detroit) that has struggled mightily to do the same.
–  Last this week… Normally this sort of story would go in my “Links” section but I had to put here because it’s just too hard to believe.  Used cooking oil is a hot resource in Chicago.  I’m floored by this one. 
LINKS of the WEEK

–  Last week we had the cheerleader threatening to sue after not making the team.  This week, it’s worse- a teacher who can’t speak Spanish suing because school won’t let her teach Spanish…
–  I don’t understand the whole “Pokemon” craze but I do love Police are using to catch criminals now!
–  Going to share this one with my kids… the use of the word “fair”
VIDEO of the WEEK

The big news around my house is the reboot of the “Gilmore Girls” series on NetFlix.  Which means two things…1- I have to get NetFlix… and 2- I won’t see my wife or daughter for as long as this series is on as they are addicted to it.

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Preview Soldier Story 1/6th scale " SPECIAL DUTIES UNIT (Assault Leader)" 12-inch figure

The Special Duties Unit (Abbreviation: SDU; Chinese: 特別任務連, nicknamed Flying Tigers 飛虎隊) is an elite paramilitary tactical unit of the Hong Kong Police Force. Established in July 1974, it is a sub-division of the Police Tactical Unit (PTU). Its primary functions include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue and dealing with crimes (usually involving firearms) which are considered too dangerous for regular police to handle. The unit was formerly trained by the British SAS before the handover of Hong Kong to China.

Soldier Story 1/6th scale ” SPECIAL DUTIES UNIT (Assault Leader)” 12-inch figure will come with the following: HEADGEAR – MICH2000 helmet, COT NVM-14 NVG helmet mount system (metal plating), MSA supreme Pro IV headset, ESS NVG goggles, Black tactical Hood; HEADSCULPT – Modern Special Duties Unit police life-like head sculpt; BODY – S2.5 BODY, Bare Hand (1 Pair), Bendable Hands (1 Pair), Bare Feet (1 Pair); UNIFORM – Nomex overall assault suit, Black T-shirt, Hatch knee pads (1 pair, sewing), Tactical rappel gloves (1 pair, sewing), GSG-9 (3.0) Assault boots (1 pair, sewing). TAC GEAR – Releasable Assault Vest (Body armor system), Foam shoulder pads (1 pair), Molle G36 single open magazine pouch x 3, Molle Admin panel, Molle Medic pouch, Molle Radio pouch, Molle Canteen pouch (utility pouch), Molle OC aerosol pouch, Molle small utility pouch, Molle drop leg panel, Molle 5.56 double magazine pouch, Molle 9mm double magazine pouch, Baton pouch, PA System gas mask pouch, Assault seat harness, Tactical rappel rope bag (attach on the leg), Tactical Rappelling rope, Belt loop safety lock, Avon FM-12 gas mask with Gas mask filter, Expandable Baton (metal), Cable tie x 2, G-Shock watch, Carabiner, Climbing ring, Figure 9 Carabiner, Rescue Figure 8 Ring

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WEAPON – G17 9mm pistol, G17 9mm 17-rd magazine x 3, G17 Pistol safety lanyard, M3X Tactical light (attach to G17 pistol), Model 6004 Tactical holster with light | G36KV assault rifle, G36 Top rail, G36 rear and front sights, G36 5.56 Magazine x 4, Harris bipods (short), Leupold mk4 CQT rifle scope, G36 Tactical sling | M870 folding stock with tactical fore-end light & breacher muzzle (metal parts), Shotshell x 6, M870 Bungee sling, MK13 Mod 0 BTV-EL Flash Bang x 2, N225 Tear gas grenade x 2, MK-4 Stream OC aerosol, MKIII assault knife & sheath

PATCH SET – SDU subdued embroidered patch with hook velcro, SDU 40th Anniversary embroidered patch with hook velcro

COMMUNICATION – Motorola MTS tactical radio, Motorola MTS radio antenna, Motorola (TEMCO) Voice-reducer

The SDU has enjoyed quite the exposure in 1:6 scale, though not as much as the Navy SEALs but they were one of the first few special force units to be released as 12-inch action figures, all thanks to Dragon Models Limited (DML) more than 16 years ago. Check out my toy blog post HERE of the Dragon Models SDU team. Hot Toys caught on next and released their muscled bodies SDU duo (posted HERE and HERE). The muscle bodies didn’t last – see “Hot Toys SDU all cracked up!” post HERE but thankfully, except for the body, all the parts could be saved. See “Hot Toys 1/6 SDU 12-inch Assaulter Figure Redo” pictures HERE.

Check out my post “1/6th scale S.W.A.T. 12-inch Action Figures – We really need more of them to form a bigger team!” HERE with lots of police guys in tactical gear.

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Check out the PHICEN PL2016-M33 1/6th scale Super-Flexible Male 30cm tall Seamless Body

Pre-order at KGHobby (link HERE)

From PHICEN:
Dear clients, here comes a new member, PL2016-M33, our fourth 1:6 scale seamless male figure body with stainless steel skeleton following its three seniors: PL2015-M30 (action figure review posted on my toy blog HERE), PL2016-M31 (bought but yet to post review – see my haul post HERE) and PL2016-M32 (Asian version previewed HERE), which are broadly acclaimed by clients all over the world.

PL2016-M33 stands 30cm, to satisfy different DIY (kitbash) needs. We included a pair of feet connector / adaptor with which you can make it 1cm taller. As for the physique, it’s beautiful in the sense of being muscular in a very well-proportioned way, check out the pics to see that for yourself please.

If you ever had your hands on any of our first two models, then you know how flexible / posable / durable they are, how the skin feels like and despite some aspects to improve, how aesthetically beautiful and anatomically scientific the bodies are. As mentioned above, the first two models have got loads of attention and reviews, good and bad, we appreciate them all. They guide us the right direction to go. Combine that with our strong R&D and manufacturing strength, we could do better with higher efficiency.

If you’re new to our 1:6 scale seamless male figure body series, below is the basic info for you to get started:
PL2015-M30: of muscular build, has enjoyed great popularity since it’s debut.
PL2016-M31: of regular build and taller than PL2015-M30; stands approximately 31cm.
PL2016-M32: physique of Asian men, slim with very tight muscles. Will be available by end of Aug.
Similarities they share: Boasting human-like skin texture, and being super flexible, posable and durable.

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Detailed info:
Its internal skeleton armature is made from durable stainless steel to withstand playability without being easily damaged or corrupted. Each armature has 28 points of articulation, using ball-jointed system, for maximum flexibility and movement. Each joint is designed to move freely and consistently with 90% accuracy. With the slightest effort, this body is capable of making countless dynamic poses to imitate any posture of any character.

The stainless steel armature is wrapped with a non-toxic, environmentally friendly medical-grade material specially developed for Phicen bodies. The material features durable, anti-cracking qualities that are easy to clean, but not easy to stain or dye. Additionally, the skin texture is designed to deliver a tactile experience of real skin.

While built for playability, this Phicen seamless figure body is NOT a toy – it is a sophisticated 1:6 scale model designed to realistically simulate the real human by using superior materials and quality execution. Anatomically correct though, it’s not designed to be a sex toy either. They are used in the aspects of character design, cos-play, modeling, photography, painting, anatomy, or simply figure collection.

PL2016-M33 Parts List: M33 male super flexible seamless body with metal skeleton, interchangeable hands x 6pcs / 3pairs, removable flat-heeled feet x1 pair, feet connector / adaptor x2 pcs / 1pair, shorts, wrist band x 1 pair, ankle support x 1 pair

NOTE: These products include NO head sculpt. They all come in suntan, the skin tone matches that of most head sculpts from other mainstream 1:6 scale action figure companies.

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Easy & Simple 1/6th scale Z.E.R.T. Advanced Machine Gunner Juggernaut "SULLY" figure

The M240, officially Machine Gun, 7.62mm, M240, is the US military designation for the FN MAG (Mitrailleuse d’Appui Général, meaning general-purpose machine gun), a family of belt-fed, gas-operated medium machine guns firing the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. The M240 has been used by the United States Armed Forces since the late-1970s. It is used extensively by infantry, most often rifle companies as well as ground vehicles, watercraft and aircraft. Despite being heavier than comparable weapons, it is highly regarded for reliability and its standardization among NATO members is a major advantage. All variants are fed from disintegrating belts, and are capable of firing most types of 7.62 mm (.308) NATO ammunition.

The M240L (or M240B Weight Reduction Program, formerly the M240E6), reduces the weight of the existing M240B by 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). To achieve 18% weight savings the M240L incorporates titanium construction and alternative manufacturing methods for fabricating major components. The resulting improvements reduced the soldier’s combat load while allowing easier handling and movement of the weapon.

Easy & Simple 1/6th scale Z.E.R.T. Advanced Machine Gunner Juggernaut “Sully” 12-inch figure will come with E&S Body with Sully Headsculpt, Typhoon Camo Pattern Frog Shirt (Black Shirt, Black Multicam Forearm Guards), Typhoon Camo Pattern Reinforced Pants (Black Reinforcement Builtin Knee Pads), Cobra Belt, FAST Helmet with V-Lite x2 & NVG Mount, Black Multicam Cloth Helmet Cover, Helmet Chops & Flip up Visor, “Tacdip” Chewing Tobacco & Holder for Rear of Helmet, Vest (Wolf Grey Vest with Light Grey MOLLE Strapping), Shoulder Pads (Wolf Grey with MOLLE), Neck Guard (Wolf Grey), Groin Plate (Wolf Grey – with “Get Some” written in White), Triple M4 Mag Pouch (Wolf Grey), Medic IFAK Pouch (Wolf Grey), P220 Pistol (Grey Slide, Black Lower) & Tac Light & Pistol Mags x3, Pistol CQC Holster with MOLLE Attachments (Black), Double Pistol Mag Pouch (Wolf Grey), Double Frag Grenade Pouch (Grey w/ Black Buckle), Drop-leg Panel x2 (Grey w/ MOLLE Strapping), SAW Ammo Pouch (Grey W/ Black Buckle), Double M4 Ammo Pouch (Grey W/ Black Buckle – Used to Hold Smoke Grenades – Right Dropleg Side), Frag Grenades x2, Red Incendiary Grenades x3, Smoke Grenades x2, Folding Knife, ZERTified M240L Machine Gun (Grey Receiver, Black Parts), Rifle Sling (Black), Red Dot Optic & Rifle Suppressor, Ammo Backpack MICO Belt Fed, ZERTified Combat Boots, ZERTified Combat Gloves, Sully Approved Patches

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Z.E.R.T. (Zombie Eradication Response Team) is an organization that uses “Zombie” as a metaphor for any natural or man-made disasters that will occur in our lives; Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, criminal attacks or any type of situation where being prepared, trained and most importantly, armed with the proper mindset is required to see you and your family through to safety. Z.E.R.T. was officially launched in Las Vegas, November 2011 and now has 10000+ members in 35 different countries! Over 600 of these members are located in Las Vegas Nevada USA.

Related posts:
Z.E.R.T. (Zombie Eradication Response Team) 1:6 scale Jameson Deathridge 12-inch Action Figure Review posted on my toy blog HERE and HERE
Review of Easy & Simple (E&S) 1/6th scale Zombie Survivor set (aka Brad Pitt in World War Z) posted HERE and HERE
Review of E&S (Easy & Simple) Assault Rifle 416 Special Forces set E (Frostbite) – pictures HERE
Kitbash 12-inch Snow Trooper with MC Toys 1/6 Snow Space set and E&S HK416 Frosbite Rifle – post HERE

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Mira Control Surface Patch with High Res MIDI

A Mira control surface patch with high resolution MIDI support. 

The MIDI mapping is as follows:
• Keyboard: MIDI notes 24 – 53
• Buttons: MIDI notes 60 – 72
• Pitchbend slider: 14-bit pitchbend
• Modulation slider: 7-bit CC #1
• Dials: 7-bit CC #2 – 3
• Toggles: 7-bit CC #4 -15
• Touch X and Y: 7-bit CC#16 – 17 (paired with CC#48 – 49 in 14-bit high res mode)
• Multislider with 8 sliders: 7-bit CC#18 – 25 (paired with CC#50 – 57 in 14-bit high res mode)

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Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Variant Batman: Rogue Series Two-Face Batman action figure

Pre-order

Square Enix does produce some pretty cool figures and I’ve collected a few over the recent years even though I’m a 1:6 scale 12-inch figure kind of guy. Square Enix Play Arts Kai action figures are about 1:7th scale and they usually stand at around 11 inches tall which allows for some very nice detailing to be put in. The most recent Square Enix Play Arts Kai action figure I got was the DC Variant “Batman: Timeless – Sparta” Batman action figure which was reviewed on my toy blog HERE and HERE.

Square Enix has a new line and it’s called “Rogues Gallery Series.” The line of figures will reimagine how Batman would look when combined with his most iconic foes so instead of getting a Batman and villain figure, now you can get two for the price of one. Square Enix has just released official photos and some details for the Two-Face Batman action figure. And this is one character / action figure that is both creepy and awesome at the same time.

Following in the footsteps of the traditional Two-Face character, the figure is half normal and half disfigured. The normal Batman half looks like a traditional Play Arts Kai Batman, while the other half looks like he has been dipped in acid and then mutilated. On the Two-Face side, the jaw, teeth, and eye are exposed, and you can see exposed muscle parts all over his body where the costume has been ripped or dissolved by the acid. Even his armor and cape are warped and mutilated. What a sight!

Pre-order

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The Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Variant Batman: Rogue Series Two-Face Batman action figure will be approximately 11.4 inches (29 cm) tall, and will come with an alternate head sculpt, multiple interchangeable hands, a Batarang, a grapnel gun, a figure base and other accessories.

In their own words:
The DC Comics Variant Play Arts KAI line announces its latest collection: the Batman™: Rogues Gallery series! This mashup of Batman’s classic silhouette with the beloved villains of his Rogues Gallery results in a never-before-seen design collaboration — East meets West, Good meets Evil. Our debut Variant Play Arts KAI for this line is Two-Face. The right half of his body resembles the classic Batman design, but the armor and suit are slightly melted and warped. On the left half, however, the color scheme and form are totally transformed, resulting in a Two-Face design applied to a Batman outline. A charred, scorched paint effect has been carefully reproduced, along with eyes made with transparent parts for a haunting expression, set in a visage of half-melted flesh. The figure includes an interchangeable grinning face and hand parts, so that Two-Face can be posed doing his signature coin toss. This figure’s novel design hopes to give the best of both worlds, simultaneously heads and tails, for an unlikely but delightfully evil Two-Face action figure.

ETA: November 2016

Pre-order

The Batman / Joker mash-up will be the next figure in this series. I’m really curious as to how Square Enix will interpret the character.

Related posts:
Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant “Batman: Timeless” 1/7th scale Bushido Batman action figure posted on my toy blog HERE
Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant 1/7th scale Batman figure by Tetsuya Nomura revealed HERE
Preview pictures of Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant 1/7th scale Batman Timeless: Steampunk Batman posted HERE
The first Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant 1/7th scale Batman: Timeless Wild West Batman (pictures HERE)

Other Square Enix Play Arts Kai Batman and Batman-related figures:
Square Enix Play Arts Kai DC Variant “Batman: Timeless – Sparta” Batman action figure reviewed on my toy blog HERE and HERE
Action Figure Review of Square Enix Play Arts Kai “Batman: Arkham Knight” 1/7th scale Arkham Knight figure posted HERE and HERE
Square Enix Play Arts Kai “Batman: Arkham Origins” 1/7th scale Deathstroke 10-inch action figure posted HERE, HERE and HERE
Review of Play Arts Kai Square Enix “Batman: Arkham Origins” Batman 10.5-inch action figure (pictures HERE and HERE)

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VTS Toys (VM-018) 1/6th scale The Darkzone Agent Renegade 12-inch figure is a punisher

This is the second Darkzone Agent to be released by VTS Toys. The first figure was previewed on my toy blog HERE. You can compare the two and see how different they are :)

Tom Clancy’s The Division is an open world third-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft. The Division is set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic; the player, who is an agent of the titular Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply “The Division”, is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division’s operations in Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combating criminal activity in its wake. The Division is structured with elements of role-playing games, as well as collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer.

VTS Toys (VM-018) 1/6th scale The Darkzone Agent Renegade 12-inch figure will come with: real-like head sculpt, narrow shoulders action body, pair of feet, tactical gloved hands x3. Costume: pro-tec helmet, fire resistant jacket, pyrovatex antistatic coverall, t-shirt (black), BDU belt, pair of boots, ULPC plate carrier. PLUS a ton of other stuff! Talk about being loaded to the hilt.

But the bonus of this 12-inch figure set is the head sculpt. Fans of Netflix Daredevil season 2 will be most pleased :) I know I am!

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Weapons: AK74M rifle with AK74M 30-rd mag x3 and 60-rd mag, T rail vertical grip, ACOG ECOS, ACOG killflash | KSG shotgun, KSG shotgun shell x3, BCM rail vertical grip, M rear sight, M front sight, tactical sling | PMR-30 pistol, PMR-30 mag x2+1 | flare gun, flare gun holster, flare x2, flashbang x2, seeker mine, machete and sheath

Accessories: gas mask, backpack, pair of arm pouch for patches, waist bag (black), drop AK74M mag pouch, drop leg pistol holster, AK74M pouch, PMR-30 mag pouch, knee pads, elbow-pads, descender, transceiver, watch, medical aid bag, carabiner A, carabiner B, hazardous dump pouch, ID patch x 3, tool forceps, tool forceps pouch, glow stick x5, GP pouch, grenade pouch x3, shotgun shell catch, oxygen bottle, oxygen bottle pouch, flashlight, Gel pen x2, tri-fold restraints plasti-cuffs (red) x2, combat application tourniquet, “c” hydro pouch (black) with tube, shotgun shell catch, iron chain, figure stand

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