Check out 1000toys 1/12th scale Hellboy 7.5-inch (19 cm tall) action figure Preview Pictures

Hellboy is a fictional superhero created by writer-artist Mike Mignola. The character first appeared in San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (August 1993), and has since appeared in various eponymous miniseries, one-shots and intercompany crossovers. The character has been adapted into two live-action feature films in 2004 and 2008 that starred Ron Perlman in the title role, and two straight-to-DVD animated films, as well as three video games – Asylum Seeker, The Science of Evil, and recently as a playable character in Injustice 2. A film reboot starring David Harbour is set for release in 2019.

From Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comes this 7.5-inch Hellboy created by 1000toys as a 1/12 scale action figure! The sculpt revives the enchanting illustration from Mr. Mignola while a wide range of motion is guaranteed from the experience with joints of 1/12 action figures such as Synthetic Human and Killy. Accessories will include: Gritting teeth face, Weapon holding hand (L), Open hand A/B (L)

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Related posts:
Mezco Toyz 2005 released highly accurate Mike Mignola comic book Hellboy action figure posted on my toy blog HERE
Mezco Toyz 2005 released Hellboy with rocket pack – comic version (pics HERE)

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Still a No Go on Wood

A story this week gave me a flashback moment.  I remembered sitting in a NFRC meeting years ago when one of the people I probably disliked the most stood up and stated that it was just a matter of time before commercial buildings would not use aluminum or steel for framing- it would be all wood or vinyl.  I of course, being the brash, nightmarish person I was back then, scoffed loudly.  Flash forward 12 years and my scoffing was right as to date that effort has not taken off and recently a push on a major wood skyscraper was placed on hold.  Maybe some day wood or vinyl will find a place on the commercial building landscape, but for now, I’m still scoffing, though I’m surely much more mellow than I was then.
The Vanceva World of Color Awards were announced this weekand I simply love the results and winners.  I am sure these projects are not for everyone but I appreciate that there were designers who went for it.  Nice work!  Congrats to the fabricator winners!
There is more and more environmental talk in the news these days and carbon footprints are back in the spotlight.  So much so that St Paul, Minnesota announced that they want all of buildings in their city to be zero carbon by 2050.  I think it’s a great goal and luckily for those who are pushing this that region does have some of the best glass and metal minds in its backyard.  Hopefully they lean on those experts, sooner than later, to start meeting the goals.

This week’s Big 3 Interview, Dan Danese, Sales Representative Thompson IG and Pleotint.

I met Danny (no one calls him that anymore- It’s Dan now) 20+ years ago when I first moved to Michigan.  He was one of many people in the new area of my life that welcomed my family and me and made the transition so much better.  Workwise he was this incredible force of energy and passion for the job and from what I can tell nothing has changed since then!  Danny is a great, caring man and I am grateful our paths crossed and that he’s still out there doing great things in our markets today.

I’m honored that I have known you for many years now, but many of my readers may not be aware of you and the path you’ve taken to the point you are at today.  You just didn’t end up as the excellent sales pro you are today.  How did you get here?

I enlisted in the Marine Corp at the age of seventeen; served three years traveled the world and was out by the age of twenty. I did this to make a change and boot camp did just that!  I learned that we all can do much more than we think, mentally and physically. My first “glass” job was in 1980 at B & G Glass, an upstart fabricator of insulated glass.  A strong work ethic helped me to advance to supervisor positions in multiple in departments then to the front office as production control manager then to plant manager. During this span we had been bought out 4 times, the first by Perilstein Distributing Corp. This (I did not know at the time) would shape, enhance, refine and elevate my knowledge in the glass industry by association with the staff they brought with them. We all need a little luck in life and I was lucky to work alongside industry leaders like Steve Perilstein, Bob Cummings and Rob Taliani – They had a lot to give and I paid attention. In the year 2000 I was asked if I ever thought of moving into sales – I answered yes before they finished asking.

5 years ago, I came to work for Thompson IG (Thanks to Margaret Brune). Here I am still in sales as well as architectural presentations. A bit more luck again as the people at Thompson IG are great to work for.

You are out on the road every day seeing glass shops and glaziers.  What are they telling you is their biggest concern/worry?

The biggest concern and this has been true for a good 5-6 years is a shortage of qualified help – Glaziers, Project Managers and Estimators. A recent PM changed companies after a long stay and remarked that he hoped he didn’t make a mistake, I replied “Don’t worry you can fix that – there are six other companies that would hire you next week!”

I know you are big fan of innovation.  What are the products that really excite you to sell?  I assume it has to be easier to walk into a customer when you have something that gets your blood pumping.

By far ands away it is Suntuitive Dynamic Glass. This is the biggest reason I came to work for Thompson IG. We are owned by the people (a group of chemists and engineers) that developed this technology, a laminated glass with a chemically altered interlayer that self-tints (darkens) when it feels pressure from the sun. We take this laminated glass (colored substrates included) and pair it up with the other leading technologies of the day, warm edge spacer and high performance Low-E and get one of if not the best performing insulated windows in the world.  As an example, the new Masco World HQ completed last year with 18,000 sf of: Guardian Crystal Grey Suntuitive HS Lami / warm edge spacer / Guardian SNX-62/27 Tempered. This IG construct has a starting SHGC of .25 – that’s a good start, then during the hottest parts of the day, when there is peak demand and energy costs are the highest this glass fully tinted will have a SHGC of .12, all while maximizing daylight, preserves the view, blocking 99.5% UV transmittance, STC rating, mitigating glare and is a safety glass.  I call this the “smart phone” of glass – it will be everywhere.  Four years ago, we had installs in 2 countries; today we have over 450 installs in 25 countries. I really see this as the future.

LINKS of the WEEK

Incredible and awesome story.  3 year olds can be clutch and this one was!
Never a dull moment in the world of Uber
Good news/bad News on this candy company?
VIDEO of the WEEK

It was Shark Week and ABC decided to get Shaquille O’Neal to take these on… so Shaq vs Sharks…. 

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Calvin’s Custom showcases new 1/6th Futuristic Military Armor Set @ B.O.A.T, ACGHK 2018

Calvin’s Custom was invited by Winson Ma @ Winson Classic Creation to take part in the 2nd B.O.A.T (Both of the Art & Toys Fair) @ the 20th ACGHK (Hong Kong’s animation, comics and game conference) 2018.

Being the first ever branded Toy Fair booth in his career, Calvin spent 3 consecutive days with 2hrs sleep a day to create 10 brand new fully painted custom pieces for the showcase.

Despite the serious lack of sleep with an non-functional brain, he was very happy to have a mini gathering at the booth on the first day of the show, including designer friend such as Kevin Li of Darkcrown Toys, Kevin’s buddies in the industry, Jiuan from Jiuan Studio (1/6 full metal 100% handmade Samurai Armor) and ZIPCOLO a.k.a Guangyu Shi​, fellow veteran on OSW, as well as Howard Chan the Great, J.C.Hong and his amazing crew and many new friends.

With the aim to give shelved old figures a “second life”, Calvin is showcasing and will be releasing a set of futuristic armor set, available for preorder on his facebook page Calvin’s Custom soon after the show, commission customs using the set are also welcomed.

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Hot Toys 1/6th scale Marvel Studios The Avengers Iron Man Mark VII Die-cast Figure

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The designs of Iron Man suits have always fascinated fans all over the world with its incisive geometric forms and innovative designs.

Sideshow and Hot Toys are delighted to officially present The Iron Man Mark VII (Diecast) Sixth Scale Figure from The Avengers by Marvel Studios. With a more masculine, more progressive and a distinct exterior design, the integrated Suit of Armors promotes its beautifully engineered features that surpass its predecessor.

Inspired by one of the jaw-breaking scenes that presents the suit launching to wrap around Tony Stark momentarily, the brand new Iron Man collectible figure successfully recreates Mark VII’s complicated yet distinctive alternative form – the large suit pod. This is also the first time that Hot Toys has adopted dynamic armor forms in its one-of-a-kind collectible figures, and it is surely a visual highlight that Iron Man fans have been longing for.

As one of the most popular armors in Tony Stark’s arsenal, the screen-accurate Mark VII Sixth Scale Collectible Figure is made with diecast materials and expertly crafted based on its appearance in the movie. The approximately 32.5cm tall figure features a newly painted head sculpt of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, an interchangeable LED light-up helmet, movie-accurate proportion and substantive detailed armor design with great articulations and the unique suit pod mode. The sixth scale figure specially features metallic red and gold painting on armor, interchangeable shoulder and forearm weapon-firing armor parts, LED light-up functions on eyes, palms, and arc reactor, as well as a specially designed diorama figure base!

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Hot Toys MMS500D27 1/6th scale The Avengers Iron Man Mark VII Collectible Figure specially features: Authentic and detailed likeness of Iron Man Mark VII in The Avengers | newly painted battle damaged helmeted head sculpt with authentic likeness of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in the movie and removable mask | Movie-accurate facial features with detailed beard, wrinkles and skin texture | interchangeable helmeted head with LED light-up function (white light, battery operated) | Approximately 32.5 cm tall body with Over 30 points of articulations | Contains die-cast material | Special features on armor: Metallic red and gold colored painting on the sleek and streamline Iron Man armor design, LED- lighted circular-shaped Arc Reactor on chest (white light, battery operated), interchangeable battle damaged mask, interchangeable battle damaged chest armor plate, pair of interchangeable battle damaged shoulder armor, Two (2) sets of interchangeable shoulder armors (normal and missile firing), Two (2) sets of interchangeable forearm armors (normal and laser firing), detachable forearm rockets, Three (3) sets of interchangeable thigh armor (missile, armor & normal styles) | Accessories for alternate Suit Pod style including: interchangeable LED – lighted chest armor plate, pair of attachable specialized accessories for chest armor (placed under LED –lighted chest plate), pair of interchangeable calf legs | Four (4) pairs of interchangeable hands including: pair of fists, pair of firing fists, pair of battle hands with light-up repulsors (white light, battery operated), pair of hands with articulated fingers and light-up repulsors (white light, battery operated), Articulations on waist armor which allow flexible movement, Articulated flaps at the back of armor on legs

Accessories: pair of attachable real-like red-colored lasers accessories, Specially designed square-shaped road diorama dynamic figure base with movie logo and character nameplate

The special edition will offer collectors a Mark VII suit pod hologram that is approximately 7.5cm tall as an exclusive bonus accessory. Exclusive Bonus Accessory for Special Edition: Mini Suit Pod hologram (approximately 7.5cm tall)

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Machine Learning in Google BigQuery

Posted by Umar Syed and Sergei Vassilvitskii, Research Scientists, Google AI, NYC

Google BigQuery allows interactive analysis of large datasets, making it easy for businesses to share meaningful insights and develop solutions based on customer analytics. However, many of the businesses that are using BigQuery aren’t using machine learning to help better understand the data they are generating. This is because data analysts, proficient in SQL, may not have the traditional data science background needed to apply machine learning techniques.

Today we’re announcing BigQuery ML, a capability inside BigQuery that allows data scientists and analysts to build and deploy machine learning models on massive structured or semi-structured datasets. BigQuery ML is a set of simple SQL language extensions which enables users to utilize popular ML capabilities, performing predictive analytics like forecasting sales and creating customer segmentations right at the source, where they already store their data. BigQuery ML additionally sets smart defaults automatically and takes care of data transformation, leading to a seamless and easy to use experience with great results.

When designing the BigQuery ML backend, the team was faced with a dilemma. Transferring large amounts of data from BigQuery servers to special-purpose servers running machine learning algorithms would be time-consuming and would incur an overhead in terms of security and privacy considerations. However, because the core components of gradient descent — an optimization method that is the workhorse of machine learning algorithms — can be implemented using common SQL operations*, we were able to repurpose the existing BigQuery SQL processing engine for BigQuery ML.

Since the BigQuery engine is designed to efficiently scan large datasets rather than randomly draw small samples from them, BigQuery ML is based on the standard (batch) variant of gradient descent rather than the stochastic version. And while stochastic gradient descent is far more common in today’s large-scale machine learning systems, the batch variant has numerous practical advantages.

For example, in-database machine learning systems based on stochastic gradient descent process examples one by one, and can perform poorly when the data is suboptimally ordered. But BigQuery data is often distributed on disk so as to optimize the performance of regular SQL queries, and continually redistributing the data to support stochastic machine learning algorithms would be computationally expensive. In contrast, batch gradient descent is insensitive to the ordering and partitioning of data on disk, thereby completely circumventing this problem. Also, batch methods can be combined with line search techniques from the classical optimization literature, leading to a learning algorithm that is more stable and requires less fine tuning. Using line search with stochastic methods is far trickier. Our implementation also includes support for regularization and preconditioning. For more details, please see our paper.

We hope that you’ll find BigQuery ML useful for many predictive analytics tasks. To try it, visit the BigQuery console and follow the user guide. Creating a model is as simple as:

CREATE MODEL dataset.model_name
OPTIONS(model_type=’linear_reg’, input_label_cols=[‘input_label’])
AS SELECT * FROM input_table;

In the future, we plan to further integrate our gradient descent implementation with BigQuery infrastructure to realize more performance gains. We’re also going to explore other machine learning algorithms that can be easily and efficiently implemented for large-scale problems by leveraging the power of BigQuery.

Acknowledgements
BigQuery ML is the result of a large collaboration across many teams at Google. Key contributors and sponsors include Hossein Ahmadi, Corinna Cortes, Grzegorz Czajkowski, JD Degenaar, Dan Delorey, Mingge Deng, Danielle Hanks, Amir Hormati, Abhishek Kashyap, Jing Jing Long, Dan McClary, Chris Meyers, Ross Popoff-Walker, Girishkumar Sabhnani, Vivek Sharma, Jordan Tigani, Chad Verbowski, Jiaxun Wu and Lisa Yin.



* For example, a gradient vector can be computed using the SUM and GROUP BY operators, and the weights of a model can be updated using an INNER JOIN.

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Hot Toys Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 1/6th scale Darth Maul with Sith Speeder

Pre-order Hot Toys DX17 Darth Maul with Sith Speeder Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – 1/6th scale Collectible Figure at KGHobby (link HERE)

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“At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge.”

A deadly, agile Sith Lord trained by the evil Darth Sidious, Darth Maul was a formidable warrior and scheming mastermind. He wielded an intimidating double-bladed lightsaber and fought with a menacing ferocity. Though he fell in battle against Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Zabrak from Dathomir would prove to be much harder to destroy than originally believed.

Today, Hot Toys is extremely thrilled to officially introduce the 1/6th scale Darth Maul with Sith Speeder collectible figure from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as the latest addition to our premium DX Series!

Masterfully crafted based on the appearance of Darth Maul in the film, the 1/6th scale collectible figure embodies extraordinary workmanship and remarkable high quality details including two interchangeable head sculpts with incredible likeness, meticulously tailored outfit and robe, Darth Maul’s iconic double-bladed lightsaber with LED light-up function, a Sith probe droid, a LED light-up Sith Speeder, a range of interchangeable hands for various posing options, and a specially design figure base!

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Hot Toys DX17 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 1/6th scale Darth Maul with Sith Speeder collectible figure specially features: Authentic and detailed likeness of Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace | Two (2) newly developed head sculpts with iconic Sith Lord eyes equipped with separate rolling eyeballs features | Movie-accurate facial expression with detailed pointed horns, remarkable tattoos and skin texture | Approximately 29 cm tall Body with over 32 points of articulations | pair of black-colored gauntlet | interchangeable left gauntlet with wristlink | Ten (10) pieces of interchangeable gloved hands including: pair lightsaber holding hands, pair of hands for holding telescopes, left fist, Five (5) pieces of gesture hands

Costume: black-colored robe, black-colored sleeveless tunic, black-colored tunic, Two (2) black-colored leather-like belts, black pants, black boots

Weapons: LED-lighted red double-bladed lightsaber (red light, battery operated), LED-lighted single-bladed lightsaber hilt (red light, battery operated), double-bladed lightsaber hilt (detachable into single-bladed lightsaber), single-bladed lightsaber hilt lid, pair of red-colored lightsaber blades in motion (attachable to the hilt)

Accessory: Sith Speeder with LED-light up function (battery operated), Sith Probe Droid, binoculars, Specially designed dynamic figure stand with Star Wars logo and character nameplate

A Special Edition available in selected markets will include a Darth Maul hologram as bonus item exclusively for collectors. Exclusive Bonus Accessory for Special Edition: Darth Maul Hologram

Release date: Approximately Q3 – Q4, 2019

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