Naruto Shippuden does not have a lot of action figure representation, so when Toynami came out with their 4-inch, articulated action figures a couple of years ago, I was ecstatic! I grabbed all of series 1 and the SDCC exclusives. I was enjoying the line and was disappointed when series 2, which was supposed to be comprised of Sasuke, Gaara and Deidara, never came out.
The Toynami Naruto Shippuden line wasn’t perfect, the size was quite odd being in between 3.75 and 6 inch scales, and the sculpts weren’t perfect, but I did enjoy the articulation that they were able to get into the figures, which was the first I’ve ever seen been done with Naruto Shippuden characters. I quite enjoyed the SDCC Exclusive Toad Sage Naruto and Minato, and I thought their Kakashi from series 1 was an awesome figure.
Now, through OMAKASE’s Naruto Shippuden box (available to pre-order by subscribing before January 23), we get a chance to finally get the Sasuke figure that Toynami had first shown as part of series 2 at SDCC a couple of years ago. Let’s have a look at the figure!
Sandman was lucky enough to pick up a couple of the test shots from the Four Horsemen’s Mythic Legions Kickstarter. He says, “They are soo goood man – so glad I backed it! The gray tests have some charm.” – an understatement if I ever heard one.
He sent me a bunch of pics showing off the test shots, their poseability, and how parts can be mixed and matched. The set wouldn’t be complete without some action shots.
I’ve quickly become enamored with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Vinyl line by The Loyal Subjects. The Action Vinyls sport a decent amount of articulation for this category. When you couple the license (TLS also has G.I. JOE, Transformers, and Street Fighter and Masters of the Universe on the way) with the attitude-filled sculpts, consider me hooked.
One of their latest TMNT offerings is this “Radioactive” glow-in-the-dark set, which is exclusive to Hastings. If you’re new to the line, this is a pretty good set to pick up. It includes all four Turtles, which can be a little painful when you’re dealing with blind-boxed figures. And each comes with all the accessories that the blind-boxed figures have, excluding the character cards.
That means I can complete my Thanos Build-a-Figure, who was missing his right arm and both legs. I opted not to pick up Hellcat because I didn’t want to be tempted by the leftover BAF piece – like Spider-Woman, she comes with Thanos’ head and left arm. The completionist tendencies (which I am trying to break) will probably win out in the long run.
I normally don’t spend any time retouching my photos. There’s something very satisfying about composing a shot, lighting it just right, and snapping a great picture. It’s those rare moments that I think that maybe I should start using the nofilter hashtag. But increasingly, I find myself taking the quick and dirty shot – the one where I’ve set up a figure in front of my computer monitor in my poorly-lit home office, holding an LED light in one hand and my camera phone unsteadily in the other. It usually takes five clicks to find a pic that’s even in focus.
It’s those shots that sometimes need help, and the tools, like Adobe Lightroom, are getting better and easier to use. Previously, I’d only used Lightroom to process pictures taken at events on my DSLR in RAW format. It makes the tedious work of cropping, adjusting exposures, and watermarking a little less so. And because I’m a self-taught amateur, I didn’t even know I could use Lightroom to make quick adjustments on the JPG files that my camera phone shoots.
Now, because I want to stay true to the “quick” here’s three Lightroom tips that you can use in just a couple of minutes to clean up that “dirty” shot. I’ll use Jitsu, shot one-handed with my camera phone, as an example. (I recommend maximizing your browser and clicking on the photos, to view them at their largest, with the fewest artifacts from JPG compression.)