Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dusting off the blog...

It's the middle of summer and I am FINALLY getting back to blogging!  I have some big things planned for the Nerd Cave:

Tabletop Tuesdays will return in August!
This weekly series of blog posts reviewing and detailing different tabletop games ran from May - September 2015. I am resurrecting it as a bi-weekly series, beginning in August 2016. Planned posts include a feature on creating an RPG adventure, a month of zombie themed games in October, and plenty of miniature-based games! As always, I am on the lookout for new games and would love to hear about your requests!

In October I will be attending New York Comic Con for the first time. It seems like there are fewer resources devoted to attending NYCC than there are for SDCC (how to navigate the con, information on offsites, how autographs work, etc) so I'm going to consolidate the information I learn as I prep for this convention here on the blog. And of course I will be posting about my adventures at the con itself! (Mission #1 - learn about autographs - because CARRIE FISHER is scheduled to attend!)

Star Wars Legends: Thrawn Book Club
If you were following Star Wars Celebration last weekend, you might have heard that a fan favorite character is returning to canon and joining the cast of Star Wars Rebels characters: Grand Admiral Thrawn!  This character debuted in the 1991 Star Wars novel Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, the first book of the Thrawn trilogy. That book was decanonized and made part of the Star Wars Legends collection of stories in 2015 with the release of Star Wars Episode VII.

In the lead up to Rebels season 3 and a new book release, Thrawn by Timothy Zahn in April 2017, the Tosche Station podcast is planning a re-read of the Thrawn Trilogy - and I am planning to follow along! More information, such as the start date of the re-read, is coming. For now I am planning to post my thoughts on the books here on the blog. Who else is planning to follow along?

And plenty of cosplay, crafting, and comics-related posts!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hot Toys Princess Leia Figure

A couple of months ago I received my sixth-scale Princess Leia figure from Sideshow Collectibles. This figure is made by Hot Toys, a brand known for their amazing detail. She retails for $204.99.

Leia was made available for pre-order in August 2015, and was originally scheduled to ship in November and December of that year. Her release date was pushed back a few times, until finally she arrived at the end of April 2016.

I saw an early version of Leia at San Diego Comic Con in July 2015 and immediately fell in love. Leia is my favorite Star Wars character, and it was so exciting that such a detailed figure was finally being made! Of course, I pre-ordered her within minutes of the listing becoming available.

The quality of the Princess Leia figure is very typical of Hot Toys. Stunning, realistic face sculpt. Full articulation of the body. Interchangeable hands for holding props. And an accurate Episode IV costume. She also comes with a figure stand and, if you managed to pre-order the Sideshow exclusive version, a backdrop of the Tantive IV corridor where we first see Leia giving the Death Star plans to R2!

Princess Leia comes with the aforementioned stand and bonus backdrop, as well as:

  • a blaster rifle
  • a blaster pistol
  • interchangeable hands
  • extra wrist posts


Her hood has a wire so you can shape it around her head - perfect for reenacting the beginning of the movie! Otherwise you can have it hang down her back. Her hair is sculpted, which means you won't accidentally ruin her hairstyle by dusting her or changing her pose.

I found it very difficult to pop her stand together, and was nervous that I would break the plastic. The arm is a very tight fit into the base and I needed to use a flat surface to get some leverage.

The plastic bags covering her shoes and hands were tightly fitted to protect her in the box, but the tape used to keep the plastic secure was very sticky and hard to remove. I ended up using a pair of scissors to cut the tape - otherwise I was getting tape residue on my fingers, which could have transferred to her white dress. Just a warning to be careful!

Overall, I am still in love with this figure! She is perfect, and is currently hanging out with my sixth-scale R2-D2 made by Sideshow Collectibles!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

SDCC Tips!

If you're attending SDCC this year, here is a list of tips I've found helpful!

Be sure to check out the Unofficial SDCC BlogCrazy4ComicConThe Nerdy Girlie, and An Englishman in San Diego for more helpful tips! Their knowledge made me feel excited and prepared for my first SDCC in 2014!

SDCC Survival Pack (originally posted August 2, 2014)
Pack a backpack or other easy to carry, comfortable bag with some necessities - like water, snacks, sunscreen, Purel, band-aids, pain relievers, a poster tube, a notebook and pens/Sharpies for autographs and sketches, and anything else you might need throughout the day. Days can be long, with few chances to access your hotel room!

Follow the SDCC Schedule and Plan Ahead! (originally posted June 24, 2015)
I hate planning my vacations down to the minute, but I hate going anywhere unprepared even more.

For SDCC I like to use Excel and create a schedule of panels and events. I collaborate with The Boyfriend, asking him to pick panels he wants to attend, and then I see where our interests overlap so we both get to do something we like. Once we have decided what panels we'd like to see, we plan for when we should get in line, when we should hit up the exhibit hall, and when we should check out all those awesome off-site events!

I use different sheets in Excel to create plans A, B, and C in case we get shut out of a panel, but basically I like doing this for one major reason: it creates a great visual calendar, telling me when and where different things are happening, making it easier to change plans on the fly. You should also have a convention center map handy, either from the guidebook or on your phone.

Use Your Phone!
Twitter, email, and Instagram have all been extremely useful when I've attended SDCC before. If you follow convention-related accounts (like the blogs linked above) and official company pages you can learn about wait times, giveaways, events, and other convention tips!  There are also official apps for the convention and offsite events, like NerdHQ, as well as travel apps (if you're using the trolley between Hotel Circle and the Convention Center).

But most of all...

Enjoy Yourself!!!
There will always be something else going on at a convention as large as SDCC. With so much going on inside AND outside the convention center, that is just the nature of the beast. So if you miss something you wanted to see, don't let that ruin your con! Find something else amazing to do instead!

Geeks Go Glam party, SDCC 2015

Agent Carter flashmob, Marvel stage, SDCC 2015

Fighting a dragon at the Geek & Sundry offsite event, SDCC 2015