Welcome from the Ugly Shire!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Uglydoll Action Figures on the way

I had to open with a photo from Uglyblog. Just look at them. They are the upcoming Uglydoll Action Figures. They are more than mere vinyl. They move at the waist. So cool. And the colors are extraordinary, as are their perfect little shapes. I imagine their size will fit perfectly into my hand. In the vinyl action figures world, these will be superstars.

So far it looks like price will be between 8.00 and 9.00. They will be available separately, and in a complete set of one each. I'm going for the complete set myself, as soon as they are available. My experience with getting just one piece, and trying to pick up the rest of a set as times goes by has always left me paying higher prices, and sweating it out on ebay auctions. So with the pre-release info in hand, I know it is time to save up and be ready.

There is something to be said for purchasing one at a time. It stretches out the Ugly pleasure over a series of months. You debate, then choose the next member of the clan. You order, you wait, the packges is in the mailbox. Everyone runs to the dining table for the grand arrival of the newest Ugly. A brief moment of danger as too many cutting tools come flying, but soon the package is ripped away. Ah. Bliss.

With the complete set, it's like a sonic wave of enjoyment. The Fun Meteor doesn't break up and fall to earth in pieces, but hits our dining table full throttle and in one piece. Bam. They're all there standing before us. No doubt we'll all compare, appreciate, evaluate, bond, and discuss the individual virtues of each piece. We'll pick favorites, change our minds. The camera will come out and we'll pose them around the house, the property, and all around town. After all, they are posable action figures.

Receiving them is a tasty moment, but anticipation tastes pretty sweet itself.

Keep watching for their release on the Uglydolls web store and grab yourself a new buddy, pronto. You won't be sorry.

From info I've gleaned here and there, they will be out in early 2009 to the general public. However, I am no Uglydoll official, just a big fan, so the date is my guess.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

If you are a Firefly or Serenity fan, or simply like creative, original material that makes you laugh, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a must-see video series. It's back on Hulu at the moment. If you miss it there, you can get it from iTunes.

You may notice some familiar faces amongst the cast, like Nathan Fillion, our beloved Capt. Mal from the Serenity. A sharp eye at the end of Act III will notice Liz Vassey, Capt Liberty from The Tick. Not intended as a spoiler, but she's changed sides.

I read an interview with Dr. Horrible creator Joss Whedon, who said a sequel is possible, due to the success of the first installment. So don't get left behind. Go check it out!

Joss Whedon also brought us the TV shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly, plus the fabulous movie, Serenity, based on the equally amazing Firefly series.

Want something fun to do today?

How about getting your hands on a powerful, remote control telescope complete with a camera to capture the best the sky has to offer? Too pricey for most of us as individuals. Not to mention most of us live in so much light pollution we'd be hard put to see much.

The good news is, where a membership gives you access to two domes of eye-popping telescopic magic high atop Mt. Teide in the Canary Islands. You can view the 5 to 10 minute missions for hours at a time, taking up to 3 shoots per mission with their built-in camera. The photos are saved to your own folder where you can sort them, make notes, and post the the highlights to your Slooh Gallery. Here's my gallery. If you've always wanted a big, fat telescope, here's your chance. It's one of the best times you can have without leaving your seat.

Soon will open a second observatory in Chile. That will be double the fun.

I took this photo with the telescope.
Notice a white heart in the nebula.

Ugly Dolls

Ugly Dolls. Just the title brings a smile to the face. My first encounter with an Ugly Doll was at a local grocery store. As I often do, I began to wander as my partner went through the checkstand. I scanned for eye-candy. Pottery from Russia, lovely but too busy. I could only tolerate one piece of it in my kitchen. Carved wood ships in the traditional faded red, white, and blue. Possible Father's Day gift? Little interest for me. Mine is dead. And besides, he was an Air Force guy. Mug. All manner of mugs. Nothing pretty. Nothing funky. Nothing classy. Nothing comfortable. Bad mugs all around. Maybe I'll wait outside.

But WAIT. What is this? I reached into a bucket to retrieve....something. Could I believe my eyes? It was brown. We can say that for sure. And softish, like fleece. It had great, round, saucer eyes, a straight, black line of a mouth that spanned most of his face, and a pair of downward facing teeth. A pair of ears stuck out like half-dollar pancakes. His arms were low, way too low, and his feet were too tiny. He was odd. Very odd. He was ugly. He was perfect. I squeezed him. My heart melted. It was love.

Chuckanucka was his name, and he was an Uglydoll. As excited as could be, I thrust him at my partner. Look, I said. Can you believe this? Isn't he wonderful?
Ok, it wasn't love at first sight for Chuck and my partner. However, the money was plopped down, Chuck came home. My partner is now more than on board the Ugly Train. More than.

And so began a relationship with a doll that has grown into a passion. I don't know how many people stop with just one Uglydoll. But that certainly was not to be for us. The care, adoption, and admiration of Uglies is a major part of our lives. We plan, we play, we watch ebay auctions, we read about them, chat on forums, study their history and variations, set them up for photo shoots, take them for rides in the car or on the bike, and enjoy the heck out of ourselves doing it.

I was never one for traditional dolls. In fact, you could say I loathed them. In my childhood, stuffed animals ruled. When I was told I was too old for toys, I never agreed. Stop playing? Why?

As a young adult, my toys moved with me, slept with me, traveled with me. I was devastated to discover most of them were stolen while I was away. It seemed nothing could replace my trolls, action figures, and other great companions. Replacing them with the toys of the day held zero appeal for me. My heart was broken and did not heal for many years. Until Chuck. He gathered up the pieces, and together we got my groove back.

Chuck is now part of a growing Ugly Family. In the photo, Chuck is in the upper left corner, top shelf. Big Chuck, as we call him, is a 2 foot Tall relative of his in the bottom right corner. Isn't he wonderful?

He's waiting for me in there right now.