Sunday 29 September 2013

Bringing The Force to LEGOLAND Malaysia

Recently the Outpost Movie Recon Team (MRT) participated in expeditions to LEGOLAND Malaysia in conjunction with launch of the Star Wars themed attractions. LEGOLAND Malaysia was officially opened in September 2012 and located at Nusajaya, Johor within the Iskandar development corridor. It is the first LEGOLAND theme park in Asia with over 40 interactive rides, show and attractions  The park comprises several thematic zones related to LEGO's major product lines such as Kingdoms, City, Technic, etc., circling the MINILAND centrepiece attraction where over 30 million LEGO bricks were used to recreate some of Asia's landmarks such as KLCC twin towers, Beijing's Forbidden City, Cambodia's Angkor Wat, India's Taj Mahal and more. Find out more from the official LEGOLAND Malaysia website.

Star Wars costumers greeting arriving media during launch.

The first expedition took place in late-July for the official unveiling of the LEGO Star Wars attraction in MINILAND. Team of Star Wars costumers from Kuala Lumpur were shuttled overnight to Johor to greet invited media at the morning press conference held in LEGO Academy. General manager of Legoland Malaysia, Mr. Siegfried Boerst, dressed in Jedi attire, presented key features of the new Star Wars attraction.

Force Action Stunt Team (FAST) perform lightsaber duel for media guests.

Members of the media were also treated to a lightsaber duel performance by members of Force Arts Stunt Team (FAST), before heading outdoors to tour the attraction highlight. Read more from the New Straits Times and The Star.

The Star Wars LEGO attraction in MINILAND.

Centrepiece to the Star Wars attraction in MINILAND is the Death Star model floating like a grey moon. The 2.6 diameter model weighs close to 800kg comprising over 750,000 LEGO bricks and taking 5 months to built. Encircling the Death Star is a Rebel X-Wing starfighter pursued by Imperial TIE Figthers.

The Death Star model is 2.6m diameter comprising over 750,000 LEGO bricks.

Accompanying this massive model are several LEGO dioramas depicting various scenes from the Classic Trilogy which took place in the Death Star, such as the epic duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in A New Hope, Luke Skywalker vs. The Emperor in Return of the Jedi, etc. Check out photos of the Star Wars attractions below:

Diorama of Trash Compactor scene from Episode IV A New Hope.

In the Death Star control room, Grand Moff Tarkin tricks Princess Leia into revealing location o the Rebel base.

Epic duel between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Death Star.

Rebel X-Wing starfighter pursued by Imperial TIE fighters in the Death Star Trench Run.

Darth Vader in TIE Advance Fighter targets the lead X-Wing.

"Stay on Target!" Proton torpedoes fire into the exhaust port.

Scene from the Death Star II Throne Room in Episode VI Return f the Jedi.

Following the official launch, LEGOLAND Malaysia conducted a Star Wars Weekend in mid-August with thematic activities over 2-days. Teams of Star Wars costumers from Asia were also invited to attend and delight park visitors as live characters.

Possibly comprising the largest contingent of 501st Legion members in Asia, each day kicked off with an Imperial March lead by Darth Vader accompanied by ranks of Stormtroopers. Balancing The Force, Jedi and other lightsaber wielders from FAST and Fightsaber Singapore mirrored the Imperials, albeit in lesser numbers.

Cue the "Imperial March" as Darth Vader leads the 501st Legion.

501st Legion Stormtrooper contingent comprises members from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, & China.

Jedi and Sith from FAST & Fightsaber SG complement the Star Wars costumers parade.

Mass lightsaber duel among FAST & Fightsaber members.

Jango Fett and Clone Trooper from the 501st Legion.

Lone Rebel Fleet Trooper strikes down some Stormtroopers!

Throughout the day, costumers roamed the park providing photo opportunities with Star Wars and LEGO fans. Park visitors were also given "quest cards" leading them to the various Star Wars activities, collecting stamps to redeem giveaways by end of the day. FAST and Fightsaber also entertained the crowd with lightsaber performances and demonstrations in the LEGO City stage.

Lightsaber show at the LEGO City stage.

FAST members perform 4-way lightsaber duel of Jedi vs. Sith.

Kids are taught basic lightsaber wielding skills.

501st Legion prize awards for Droid Hunt.

Rebel Fleet Trooper strikes again!

LEGO Star Wars products were aplenty with a dedicated temporary shop setup at MINILAND. As the largest LEGO shop in Asia, much LEGO branded merchandise such as key chains, ice trays, display cases, apparel, etc. is also available but seldom found anywhere else. There is also opportunity to buy LEGO bricks by weight and customising your own mini-figures! However most merchandise are at regular prices comparable to local toy stores, except for occasional sale items.

Star Wars LEGO stall at the MINILAND zone.

While most products are at recommended retail price, some limited sales are to be found.

Assorted LEGO bricks sold by weight.

Make your own LEGO Mini-figure set.

To complete the Outpost MRT's mission report, we include some basic coverage on the regular LEGOLAND attractions as follows:

Theme park entrance to LEGOLAND.

Map of LEGOLAND. MINILAND is nested in the middle of other zones.

Aerial view of theme park. Upcoming LEGOLAND hotel seen in the far end.

LEGO replica of downtown Kuala Lumpur in MINILAND.

Replica of KL streets includes vehicles and people.

Spotted Monorail accident, which may or may not be intentional...

The infamous Petronas twin towers at KLCC.

Note a certain web-crawler swinging by KLCC.

Replica of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Spot "mini-stories" in the MINILAND replicas, like this gang of airport crew collecting fallen baggage.

Diorama of Putrajaya.

Cruise ship at Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

Singapore waterfront.

Angkor Wat of Cambodia.

The Taj Mahal.

The Forbidden City in Beijing seems to have a new "moon" over the horizon.

Note that the Death Star attraction is only scheduled to remain in LEGOLAND Malaysia for approximately 6 months before being shipped off to another park. Based on that timing, Star Wars LEGO fans should plan their visit by January 2014.

Darth Vader catches up with the pesky Rebel Fleet Trooper!

For loyal Outpost fans, we are giving away a pair of LEGOLAND Malaysia tickets! Participate with just a few clicks below via PunchTab:

Pair of LEGOLAND entry passes up for Grabs!

Giveaway Terms & Conditions:

1. This online giveaway promo commences 29 September until 13 October 2013.

2. Participation is open to all residents in Malaysia. Outpost personnel are not eligible to particpate.

3. Winner will be randomly selected amongst qualified participants. Each entry method via Punchtab increases chances for selection.

4. Winner will notified within 7 days of promo closing for giveaway collection arrangements. If the winner does not response within 14 days of notification, the giveaway may be awarded to next qualified participant.

5. Outpost as the organiser reserves the rights to change these terms and conditions without prior notice.

Thank you for participating.

Disclaimer: LEGO, Star Wars, and all trademarks are copyright to their respective owners, referenced here for fan service announcements without intent to infringe.

Saturday 7 September 2013

Mission STGCC

Towards the tail end of Hollywood summer season, choices for our kind of fan movies to feature were limited. So the Outpost Movie Recon Team (MRT) undertook an Away Mission instead to the Singapore Toys Games and Comics Convention (STGCC). Held this year again in Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, STGCC was packed loads with pop culture geekdom over the weekend of 31 August & 1 September 2013.

Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre (left) hosted STGCC for the 2nd year.

View of Hot Toys Iron Man exhibition, Walk of Fame, and Main Stage.

As evident over the entrance arch into STGCC, Marvel was on board this year in a big way thanks to its new partnership with Disney. Aside from generous loads of freebies every hour, Marvel also presented guests to share with fans their latest offerings in Comics, Animation and Games. Meet & greet sessions with Marvel artists like Joe Madureira (Uncanny X-Men, Battlechasers) and Adi Granov (Iron Man Extremis) also provided photo opportunities and autographs for fans to take home.

The Marvel booth.

Freebies for Marvel fans every hour.

The Marvel Panels also provided interesting insight into their artists and production process. Audience members pitching good questions even scored freebies, like invites to a special Marvel Showcase event screening previews of upcoming shows like Agents of Shield. One particularly good question:
Fan: "Is Marvel considering a reboot like DC's 52?"
Marvel representative C.B. Cebulski: "No, because our universe isn't broken."

Marvel Panel with C.B. Cebulski.

Marvel Panel with comic artist Joe Madureira.

Joe Mad autograph session.

Marvel cosplayers gather at the booth stage.

One particular Marvel character featuring more prominently than any other in STGCC was Iron Man as another variant of extremis has gripped numerous memorabilia companies to take up the licence and showcase their Stark products. With companies like Hot Toys & Play Imaginative showcasing legions of Iron Men, one could be mistaken for thinking they walked into Stark Expo!

Hot Toys 1:1 scale Iron Man Hall of Armour.

Upcoming 1:6 scale Iron Man franchise figures from  Hot Toys .

And it seems after 3 movies, Iron Man is still hot property with loads of collectors camping overnight to get hold of the Hot Toys Iron Man "Midas" limited edition 1:6 figure; we hear there was even a fight over these?! Alas, it's all high-end Iron Man collectibles with nothing of the Armored Avenger being sold for small change as even an Iron Man stamp collection came to SGD45.90! Perhaps Hasbro to be present next time to service the mass market toy fans and kids. Here's our photo snapshot of the Iron Men selection (if we took one of every Iron Man figure, there would be hundreds!):

Tony Stark's Malibu mansion workshop in 1:6 scale by Hot Toys.

The Armour Vault.

New Iron Man licensee Play Imaginative showcasing their Super Alloy series of collectible figures.

Lots of different Iron Man mark 1 to 42 and beyond.

Super Alloy's Mark 42 figure with Pepper Pots piloting.

Super Alloy's War Machines.

Life-style Iron Man statues brought in by Simply Toys available for purchase.
Yes, that guy on the right is really tall!

1:1 scale War Machine Mark II statue.

Now onto recon of some non-Iron Men eye-candy:

Spider-man epic battles toy showcase at the Marvel booth.

Enterbay's NBA series of collectible figures.

STGCC exclusive Titan-class Metroplex is HUGE!

Preview of upcoming X-Wing miniatures.

Sideshow Megatron statue.

Play Imaginative also has Super Alloy DC 52 characters.

Super Alloy Green Lantern looking good.

Hot Toys upcoming Man of Steel line.

Hot Toys classic Robocop line.

"So how's the Shawarma?"

For Star Wars fans, the massive Battle of Endor display by StarWars.SG would have provided some relieve from overdose of Iron Men. The 3.75in scale display primarily of Hasbro Star Wars toys also included some funny "easter eggs" to delight movie fans; see if you spot them below: 

Cosplay was abundant at STGCC and well populated with Western pop culture cosplayers. Cosplay celebrities Vampy Bit Me from US and Aza from Korea were present for meet & greet with fans as well as share more about themselves during the Cosplay Panel. Here are only a selection of cosplay caught on camera by our MRT Away Team:

Cosplay Celebrity Vampy Bit Me appearing as Jun the Swan of Gatchaman.

Marvel / DC Crossover.

1:1 scale "live" Iron Man!

The Hobbit and Dwarves stop by STGCC en route to the Lonely Mountain.

Daring cosplay as Game of Thrones character everyone loves to hate.

All hail Loki!

Tactical cosplayers or escorts of cosplay celebrities?

Arrow vs. Deathstrike.

Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask!

What's that up this @$$?

Hmm... yeah... bizarre cosplay.

Even pets get to cosplay!

Check out more (higher quality) photos on our Facebook Photo Album.

There's no shortage of stuff to buy from STGCC, only perhaps a shortage of limited edition products no thanks indeed to presence of scalpers aplenty! Other than the anchor exhibitors, toy retailers in the bazaar section provided a wider variety of new to vintage toy collectibles. Bargains were also found as much swag was spotted leaving the convention.

No doubt there was much more happening that our MRT team overlooked but there seemed to be no shortage of fandom over the 2 days at STGCC. To share some of the loot with our fans, Outpost latest giveaway from STGCC is a Thor Dark World Poster together with Marvel button badges and postcards. Just use PunchTab below by 16 September 2013 to stand a chance to win these giveaways.

Till 2014... Mighty Marvel!
(hope that gets DC to jump into the bandwagon next year)

Giveaway Terms & Conditions:

1. This online giveaway promo commences 7 September until 16 September 2013.

2. Participation is open to all residents in Malaysia. Outpost Events personnel are not eligible to participate.

3. Winner will be randomly selected among qualified participants. Each entry method via Punchtab increases chances for selection.

4. Winner will notified within 7 days of promo closing for giveaway collection arrangements. If the winner does not response within 14 days of notification, the giveaway may be awarded to next qualified participant.

5. Outpost as the organiser reserves the rights to change these terms and conditions without prior notice.

Thank you for participating.

Disclaimer: All trademarks are copyright to their respective owners, referenced here for fan service announcements without intent to infringe.