In Austin, traffic is heinous enough to make you give up driving forever if a) it’s Frid… more
Posts Tagged ‘review’
By Daddy Clay Monday, June 17th, 2013
In Austin, traffic is heinous enough to make you give up driving forever if a) it’s Friday afternoon b) it’s a holiday or C) it’s raining. So there we were in a monsoon at 4pm the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, me, my tween daughter, and 9-year old son on our way to a “travel” soccer tournament. I use “on our way” and “travel” loosely. There we sat.
Which gave us time to take in our automotive surroundings. We found ourselves seated in a 2014 Kia Sorento SXL. And we would be putting it through its paces. As a matter fact, I challenge any automotive magazine to come up with a better test for a midsize SUV than the one we had in store. Hundreds of miles on Texas Interstates to visit previously unexplored soccer fields in the wilds of suburban Houston, torrential rains, then on to muddy ranch roads as we stopped in to visit a friend’s ranch in the Texas Hill Country, and, as an encore, we traversed the fastest stretch of road in the country on our trip home. Read the rest of this entry »
By concretin_nik Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
I still haven’t seen the movie, but I know I’m gonna dig it. Because Robert Downey, Jr. IS Tony Stark. Perfectly cast. And the idea of Iron Man? It’s just fantastic. Bruce Wayne money coupled with engineering genius, wrapped in “full tilt diva.”
So, when asked if I wanted to review some new Iron Man 3 toys from Hasbro, do you really think I hesitated, even for a second? I did not. For TheBoy’s sake, of course.
First up, the iconic mask. The ARC FX Mission Mask is made for kids, but it fits my skull perfectly. (Of course I checked. As if you wouldn’t.) TheBoy being built like he is, did not at all look like a bobble head, which is often the case with masks like this. There are 4 missiles that shoot out, 2 at a time, from each temple, but we didn’t mess with those too much, knowing they are destined to end up in an a/c grate or under the fridge. They will shoot across the room, and yea, they do pose a bit of an eye threat if you have a lil’ bugger that won’t listen when you say, “Don’t shoot these at anyone.” TheBoy was more enamored with the eyes and targeting lights that come on at the touch of the missile launch buttons. I know we’ll be setting up some paper cups for target practice in the not so distant future. The red targeting light shows cross hairs on the wall (if it’s dark enough). I thought that was a nice detail. And even if it didn’t light up, or talk, or make missile shooting sounds, it simply LOOKS cool. Stark would be proud.
The perfect companion to the mask, is the Motorized ARC FX Gauntlet. This forearm gauntlet shoots lil’ foam discs with the squeeze of a fist trigger. We(okay, I) played with this one a lot! The discs are very soft. You’re not gonna put an eye out with them, and only the smallest of knick knacks are in any danger of a wayward shot. Also, you can load five at a time, so when shooting at targets (Perhaps an AngryBirdsStarWars AT-AT?), you don’t have to reload after only 2 shots like the mask. The ‘glove’ comes with 10 discs, and yes, these too are destined to disappear under the couch. But I do have a complaint, the same complaint I’ve read from other reviews… The whir of the motor is LOUD. Not ear piercing, I wouldn’t even say intolerable, but you won’t be sneaking up on any bad guys, that’s for sure. It’s not clear to me what the motor is even for, because I know I’ve seen disc shooters without one. Again, the sound is not a deal breaker for playing with this thing. Fun, fun, fun.
Last, we have what served as our(my) victim of the above mentioned target practice more than the Angry Birds. The ARC Strike Iron Man action figure. This was actually a disappointment and I use the term action figure loosely here. It’s 10″, or Barbie doll size, though it’s not a doll (HUSH! It’s ALL plastic and it’s IRON MAN dammit!), but action figure IS generally reserved for 4″ figures. With a push of a hip button, Iron Man lights up, in all the appropriate places. This actually looks REALLY rad. He also speaks several battle appropriate statements, Jarvis even chimes in. (But without the correct voices from the movie actors, they both sound weird.) When you tilt him horizontal, for flight, his head tilts just right and “take off” sounds are automatic. And when brought back to a standing position, there’s that familiar metal *clank* of an Iron Man arrival. His wrists do twist, so you can see the Arc palm pulsars (sorry, I don’t know the proper term, I only speak a lil’ bit of geek), and you can raise his arms up and down at the shoulders. Unfortunately, that is all the articulation this guy can muster. And there in lies the big disappointment. No elbow movement, no waist twist, no knee or foot bending. Hell, he can’t even turn his head. The only ‘personality’ I could get out of him is the “‘Sup” head nod. This makes the “action” part of action figure a bit of a stretch. But hey, kids ARE supposed to use their imaginations during play, right? Right.
I’d rather see a lot more moveable joints and zero talking. But the lights are great. And even with all of the let down of such little articulation and wrong voices, I still dig it. (And TheBoy doesn’t seem to mind at all.) I just can’t help it. It just LOOKS so freakin’ cool! Especially lit up. IF this ARC Strike Iron Man lives through TheBoy, I absolutely see it having a new life as a lamp fixture on my desk, in my yet to be constructed Cretin Cave. And a kickass lamp(and cave) it shall be.
Micro Bonus: Hasbro also threw in a couple of the Micro Muggs. Itty bitty Iron Man figures. TheBoy loves these as well. And see, told ya the lights were cool!
Disclosure: DadLabs was not compensated for this post, but I did receive the toys to review free of charge. These are MY opinions. Your mileage may vary. Thank you Hasbro!
By Daddy Clay Thursday, April 11th, 2013
That’s the dynamic I was afraid of when a the bright red 2103 Mazda3 with SkyActiv was delivered to my driveway for review.
You see, my daily driver is a 2011 Mazda3. No SkyActiv. Grey. And not recently washed.
Would this new iteration make me fall out of love?
I can tell you why Mazda3 owners are such a devoted lot — the car consistently delivers great driving fun for the buck without sacrificing practicality, and the 2013 continues in that vein. The steering feel and handling make you feel completely connected with the road. The brakes are predictable and grippy. The acceleration isn’t neck snapping, but it’s still fun. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daddy Clay Sunday, March 17th, 2013
I sometimes suspect that when some people welcome the arrival of our new robot overlords, they’re being less than sincere. So it is in our ironic age.
I’m also pretty sick and tired of people screaming “SkyNet!” every time they see a dog-shaped robot flinging cinderblocks.
Everybody is so sure that we are sowing the seeds of our own destruction with every technological advance that they sometimes forget that robots totally save the universe. Where will we be without R2D2? Slaves of the Empire, that’s where. And for every Terminator, there’s an Iron Giant (and also the other Terminator). Why do we automatically think the worst when we see technological advances? Read the rest of this entry »