Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Captain Spock.

A while ago when I told a friend that I got a Captain Spock figure I got this response:
"Since when was Spock ever a Captain?"
I had never been more ashamed. He called himself a trekkie, and didn't believe me when I said that Spock was a Captain from the Wrath of Khan until he became an ambassedor. He told me he didn't know Spock was ever an ambassador, either. I have since forgiven him.

In my last post I was writing about the time I went to the Comic and Toy expo, and I mentioned this figure: Diamond Select: Star Trek II Wrath of Khan collection, Series 2: Captain Spock.

He looks so mighty, with his novel and communicator.
This particular figure is my favorite, because he looks so sharp and in control. Also, I loved these uniforms! They made everybody look amazing, unlike those in the Motion Picture. Those were just terrible, and they knew it.

There's just something about those ears.
Surak: the father of Vulcan philosophy. Ozhika: logic.
The book was plain when I got it, but I wrote on it with a toothpick and whiteout to make it more meaningful. No longer is it a mere book, but it contains the words of Surak. The symbol underneath "Surak" is the Vulcan Script for "ozhika" or "logic".

Captain Spock also came with interchangeable hands, a communicator, and a phaser.

I wish I had interchangeable hands. I have plaster copies of my hands, but it's not the same.
I would love to get the rest of the WOK collection, but they are just so bloody expensive - I would need hundreds of dollars just to get those remaining, and I would rather spend that money on items that I can learn from, such as novels and DVDs.

Knowledge is power.
The more you know.

They're not dolls, they're action figures!

I was at the Comic and Toy Expo a couple of months ago, dressed in a home-made Vulcan Priestess costume modeled after T'Lar. It was an amazing experience; I got to talk to Tim Russ and Robert Picardo and get my picture taken with them. They truly are two of the nicest people I have met - and such character!

Aside from striding up timidly (yes, I can stride timidly!) up to celebrities and getting my picture taken by strangers in costume, I had a great time browsing though comics, cards, and action figures.

I came home with bags of merchandise, but one of my favorites was the Star Trek: Amok Time: Kirk and Spock Two-Pack Action Figure Set. Now some people say that I am not much of a collector because I take the sets apart, but I really enjoy my figures - to the point of re-enacting scenes from Amok Time while humming the music loudly and dramatically.

I'll bet that music is playing in your head right now. It just has to be.

These figures are very well made, when compared to Playmates or any of the other Amok Time figures I have seen. And look, the carpeting in the pictures looks just as realistic as some of the backdrops in the unretouched original series! Now THAT is dedication on my part, right?

Now Spock, deep in the Plak Tow, grasps his lirpa menacingly...

Live action shot!
And then we see Jim Kirk, with a strange looking crotch and a slashed chest:

Because his shirt just had to get ripped somehow.
The pack also came with the ceremonial hammer and gong. The gong is great, because it actually breaks apart and can be put together again (these details make all the difference).

Strangely enough, these were actually my first Star Trek figures, along with Captain Spock (whom I will get around to later). I remember really being into Star Trek when I was very young, but then it faded as I grew older. I only really got obsessed again this year - and when I like something, I research it to no end. I read all of the novels. I search the internet. I watch everything remotely related.

It wouldn't have taken you long to realize that just by reading on, though.
I will leave you with this:

Movies are just so much more exciting when turned into interactive pop-up books.

I tend to frequent antique book shops for the unique Star Trek books they get in. I recently got this Motion Picture pop-up book for a mere ten dollars: (click images to enlarge)

Best find ever. I will read this to my children.
The story is vague almost to the point of error, but the book is fun to look at none the less. Allow me to take you on a magical journey into the world of pop-up magic.

You walk home from the antique shop, holding on to your prize and trying to keep it dry in the rain. Finally you find some shelter, and give in - you open the book.

Suddenly, two Klingon cruisers jump out at you! Gee-whiz, the effect is so real!

It's like they're coming right at you. Or something.
You turn the page, anticipating fun-times galore. You are not disappointed - pull tabs appear! You spend ten minutes making the travel pod travel to and from the enterprise, and opening the sticky door.

True to the movie, the door only opens part way. Now that is what I call quality.
You finally turn another page, engaging in childish delights. You see... the transporter room! My goodness, it is like you are right there! But wait... there's trouble! you pull the tab back and forth, replicating the transporter trouble that killed poor Vice Admiral Lori Ciana (misspelled Ciani in the novelization) and Xon/Sonak  

Note: there is some discrepancy as to whether the character was Xon or Sonak. In the Motion Picture novel he is named Sonak, however many other sources name him as Xon, the Vulcan who was to replace Spock in the planned series, Star Trek: Phase II.

The drama! Starfleet should have checked with the Enterprise before beaming people up. I blame them.
What intense interactive surprises await us on the next page?

None. But there is a pop-up enterprise.

It just doesn't measure up.
You don't worry too much about that lack of excitement, however. As you turn the page you see that you, you yourself, must assist the enterprise in blasting the wormhole! You pull the tab, folding out an explosion. It is a technical masterpiece, and you marvel over it for hours. Wormhole. Pull... KABOOM!

Interactivities, gaze in wonder as with a swift motion I blast a wormhole into oblivion. I am all powerful.
Cower at my might, puny earthlings.
You then look to the other side of the page, and come face to face with one of your favorite Vulcans - Spock. He controls his emotions, but you find that YOU are in charge of his eyebrows. Hilarity ensues as you pull the tab controlling his reactions, and the eyebrows go high above his bangs (they do go higher than shown in the picture).

Mr. Spock reacts to all the excitement in his usual way...
My golly, that is quite the expression! I wish my eyebrows looked like that. Or not.

Turn the page, and you can control the "mysterious ship", teasing the Enterprise for hours on end. Pull the tab, and it opens... but will it stay open long enough for the Enterprise to get through? You realize that you are in control of that now, and the enterprise just sits there, waiting.

And of course, we all know what is through the opening right?
If you don't, you are about to find out!
Finally - flip to the last page, and the final scene rises - slowly, just to be dramatic. You see V'ger, surrounded by the landing party in all their glory. Spock is on the far right, but the illustration makes his cheeks look bizarre and chubby (once again, click to enlarge).

The landing party finally finds V'ger!
The book ends there, leaving out much of the story. I would have liked to see at least a couple more pages, but it is still an epically amusing book.

Note: I was watching Trekkies the other day (for the first time) and I noticed as one boy was going through his collection that he had the pop-up book as well. I don't know why, but I found that really exciting and special. Human emotions are illogical.

You are superior in only one respect... You are better at dying.

I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, going back to William Hartnell 1963. I may not have been born early enough to see the classics, but thanks to today's technology and copyright infringements, most of the episodes are available online.

My favorite species (along with the Timelords, Ood, and Sensorites) are definitely the Daleks; anybody walking into my room for the first time comes to that conclusion in an instant - Daleks line my shelves and battle on my walls.

I took a few of them down today (with my TARDIS) for a special photoshoot, but it didn't work out so great because of the lighting. That aside, here they are:

In all of their glory, guarding the TARDIS for some reason. Waiting for the Doctor to return?
This TARDIS is actually a piggy bank, given to me by my mother for my birthday. Open the doors, and one of several quotes will sound from the third series of Doctor Who.

I don't know why Martha looks so smug... the Daleks have her surrounded.
I always tell people that I have a semi-functional TARDIS. It sounds really impressive, until you realize that by semi-funtional I mean that it makes sounds, lights up on top, and holds spare change. Still, I am sure it can travel through time and space if you use your imagination. I know I have.

Anyways, the "engines" start up when the doors are closed back up. If at any time the Doctor actually does make it over here, I won't know now because I will just assume that somebody is playing with my piggy bank again. It sounds that real.

It lights up! And for some reason, the Daleks just look on...
These three Daleks are from the Doctor Who: Classic Dalek 3-Pack. For those of you who don't know, the light grey Dalek is as first seen in 1964's "The Dead Planet", the gold Supreme Dalek as seen in 1973's "Planet of the Daleks", and the dark grey Dalek is as seen in 1975's Genesis of the Daleks.

This is the last picture of them, I swear.
I find the first Daleks more aesthetically pleasing than the more modern versions, especially those introduced to the eleventh doctor in "Victory of the Daleks". These new designs made them look like the Power Rangers, a bit laughable, and extremely clunky.

I leave you now with my favorite Dalek-Cyberman conversation. Enjoy!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Tonk'peh, ma etek natyan teretuhr lau etek shetau weh-lo'uk do tum t'on.

Welcome to Vibrant Oxymoron, the official Sci-fi blog as written by a dorky girl who looks almost exactly like Tina Belcher.

I relate to her in almost every way. She is the worst best kind of autistic.
Now I know that at this very moment you are exclaiming loudly to no-one:
"Holy cheese-and-gravy-sandwiches, Batman!"
in anticipation of what is to come. Doctor Who and Star Trek pictures and scans of my collection, videos, and whatever I happen to find interesting at the time.

Sochya eh dif!