Category Archives: Geek

The Official Star Trek Starships Collection from Eaglemoss

As a die-hard Star Trek fan, I have always wanted to see small scale models of all the various starships seen in the various Star Trek movies and TV shows. And a company called Eaglemoss is doing exactly that.

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Called the Star Trek Official Starships Collection, Eaglemoss is producing highly detailed die-cast models of popular starships from Star Trek paired with a magazine for each starship. The magazines give you all the details on a specific ship including awesome background and design work from the shows or movies.

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You can buy these issues with the starships in stores like comic book shops, etc. But Eaglemoss also lets you sign-up for a magazine subscription. And this is REALLY awesome. They release 2 starships every month and with a subscription, you can get those two starships delivered to you. Having a subscription essentially means you are part of the “Collector’s Club” and that brings benefits:

  • You get digital copies of the magazines.
  • A binder for all your physical magazines.
  • On your 6th shipment of issues/starships you will receive a U.S.S. Enterprise dedication plaque (these are the bridges of most starships in Star Trek).
  • On your 10th shipment you will receive the future U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D as seen in the episode “All Good Things…”
  • On your 16th shipment, you will receive a (giant) Borg Cube that lights up.

As part of having a subscription, another really good perk is you’ll also receive variant model starships. Recently, they released Deep Space Nine as Special Issue #1.

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The starships are actually made with a combination of die-cast metal and high quality ABS which are then hand painted to get the right details. And the details on these starships are incredible.

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For example, on the Enterprise-D you can see windows, escape pods, and the hull paneling.

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On the Romulan Warbird, you can see varying colors of green on the ship and all the tiny windows.

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And look at all the detail on the Klingon K’Tinga-class battlecruiser!

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I have noticed however that the level of detail can vary between the starships. You saw all the great details I noted on the above starships but when you look at the U.S.S. Voyager, you’ll notice that the detail isn’t as good. You don’t see painted windows for example.

I pre-ordered a subscription right before the Star Trek Collection launched in the Untied States so I am receiving the latest and greatest starships as they are released in the United States. I received my 5th shipment (U.S.S. Defiant and Borg Sphere) last week. For my next shipment, I am expecting to get my U.S.S. Enterprise dedication plaque, the U.S.S. Reliant and Akira class starship. Over 70 starships are planned. You can see the list here. I highly recommend a subscription if you’re a Star Trek fan like me!

I did want to offer up some additional thoughts and feedback to Eaglemoss and general thoughts about having a subscription.

Eaglemoss launched the Star Trek Collection in the U.K. first then the U.S. a few months later. So there is a few months of a gap between U.K. subscribers getting their starships and the U.S. subscribers. I believe Eaglemoss is a company based in Europe so it makes sense that they would launch in the U.K. first but it feels like the gap between the U.K. and U.S. is really big and could be smaller. Folks in the U.K. have already reached their 16th shipment and receiving their Borg Cubes while here in the U.S. we’ve just had our 6th shipment. Unless for some reason I’m behind on my shipments, seems like a big gap to me. I pre-ordered before the U.S. launch to make sure I get the latest and greatest starships once they hit. I see a lot of shit on their Facebook page from folks complaining about this very issue (and doing so very rudely). I think an easy solution to this is simply better customer communication overall.

On Special Issues, for Special Issue #1 which was DS9 – we (in the U.S.) were supposed to get DS9 right around the holidays but subscribers received an email from Eaglemoss saying that DS9 would be delayed. This was great customer communication. However, Eaglemoss has announced Special Issue #2 which will be the U.S.S. Enterprise as seen in the J. J. Abrams movies and a date for the U.K. and Ireland (March 6th) but no date for the U.S. First off: I would love to see more direct email communication with subscribers to keep them informed on releases. Second, it would be great to have communication as a U.S. customer on when I should see Special Issues since its a perk of the subscription, right?

And finally, I need to say that Eaglemoss’ customer support has been phenomenal. I’ve had a few shipments in which starships arrived broken. My first shipment actually arrived with the engines disconnected from the Enterprise-D for example:

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Eaglemoss promptly responded to me via email and replaced the shipment with new starships. This has happened a few more times and each time, the customer service in replacing the broken starships has been great. My DS9 Special Issue came with a broken docking pylon. But I ended up being able to easily glue it back to place and all is well. These starships are well built but are small and have tiny parts connecting things together due to their size. As they are tossed around in transit, some damage is bound to occur. In my opinion, this should not reflect poorly against Eaglemoss. I applaud Eaglemoss for their support in this regard.

So I stand by my recommendation on getting a subscription if you want the most kick-ass detailed collection of starships from Star Trek ever made.

Note: Photos of the starships used in this blog post were taken of my collection using my Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone.

Dear Sony, please don’t make Ghostbusters 3

With the passing of Harold Ramis yesterday, naturally the next Ghostbusters movie is a topic of discussion amongst the movie sites today. Harold Ramis played the character “Egon Spengler” in the original Ghostbusters movies and my favorite Ghostbuster.

Ghostbusters 3 is in the works at Sony and was supposedly scheduled to shoot this year with director Ivan Reitman directing who directed the first two Ghostbuster movies. Apparently the script for Ghostbusters 3 is going to be “tweaked” due to the death of Ramis according to THR. The involvement of the original Ghostbusters has been said to be “minimal” – likely as cameos with the story focusing on a new group of younger Ghostbusters (Bill Murray has actually opted out to appear in Ghostbusters 3 all together). Here is what Dan Aykroyd says the plot of Ghostbusters 3 is:

“It’s based on new research that’s being done in particle physics by the young men and women at Columbia University… Basically, there’s research being done that I can say that the world or the dimension that we live in, our four planes of existence, length, height, width and time, become threatened by some of the research that’s being done. Ghostbusters — new Ghostbusters — have to come and solve the problem.”

Dear Sony, DO NOT make this Ghostbuster film. I’m begging you. This isn’t Ghostbusters. This is a completely different movie. Ghostbusters is about 3 crazy scientists (parapsychology professors in the original) who figure out a way to catch ghosts and then market themselves like pest control but for ghosts (which makes it all fun and entertaining). Not stopping threats to our existence from other dimensions and things like that.

There are critical things you must have for Ghostbusters that is part of the magic formula that captured people’s imagination back in the 80′s and early 90′s. Catching ghosts is one of those things. Then you’ve got the proton packs, PKE meters, Ecto-1, their firehouse headquarters, Janine, and Slimer. Not to mention the amazing dynamic all the characters. You’ve got the smartass ladies man Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz who is overly excited about ghosts and catching them, Egon Spengler who is super nerdy and brainy, and Winston Zeddemore who is there just because it’s a job.

Sony, if your intention is to expose a new generation to the Ghostbusters, you mind as well reboot and start over and take the best parts that made Ghostbusters what is was – the characters, the proton packs, the catching ghosts – and do it again with a modern twist. How would Ecto-1 look today in 2014. How would proton packs look in 2014? That would be interesting to see. But the movie you are supposedly planning to make as Ghostbusters 3 based on what Dan Aykroyd has said is not a Ghostbuster movie.

That one time when I saw Wil Wheaton at a Star Trek convention

I have no idea why I felt compelled to write about this tonight. I was reading my favorite blogs and winding down from an awesome day at work. And I read this post from Wil Wheaton about people who stake out at airports and other places to try and get him to sign something of theirs. Not that it matters because I’m not a famous person like Wil is but I agree with everything he said. Kind of messed up people do that to him and can totally see how he might be really uncomfortable.

Anyway, his blog post reminded me of when I first saw Wil in person at a Star Trek convention in Pasadena, CA I think back in either 2004 or 2005 - I can’t remember.

He was there signing copies of his book Just A Geek. He had a small table tucked away in the back. It was a few tables away from Rod Roddenberry’s booth/table setup of incredible Star Trek replicas (remind me to tell you my story about meeting Rod and doing some work for him sometime!).

It was super early so folks were just beginning to pile in. I was there helping out for something so I was in before they started letting everyone else in. This moment though was the perfect chance to go up to Wil and say hi before the chaos began. Ask him how he was doing, about this book, etc. And I didn’t. I stopped myself. He was clearly deep in thought, writing stuff down on a notepad he had. Wil was going to be meeting people like me for the rest of the day and the next two days. I convinced myself not to bother him.

And I kind of regret it now. Because in reality he is a geek like me and a cool guy (read his blog).

So my point is this: if you ever see Wil Wheaton out in public like at an airport or some other place and not at any sort of convention, don’t approach him. Just leave him be. But if you’re at a convention and have an opportunity to say hi to Wil Wheaton – do it. And don’t ask him stupid shit about Wesley Crusher. Ask him about being a geek.

My first blog

I stumbled upon backup files of my first blog from 2004 this evening and had a good laugh. At the time, I had not found my “focus” yet in terms of blogging which of course eventually became Microsoft and Microsoft-related technologies (my first “real” blog was MSTechToday.com).

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I designed the website by hand using Microsoft FrontPage 2003 and a bunch of HTML coding. I wasn’t using any sort of blogging platform like WordPress. My “blog” was simply a collection of HTML webpages I linked together unsophisticatedly. Because there wasn’t any platform behind the website, whenever I wanted to add a update ( essentially what would be a “blog post”), I would create a new webpage, upload it, update the frontpage (index.html) with some sort of update linking back to the new webpage. Not really the most efficient way of doing things. I’m very thankful WordPress came along!

The content of my first blog was, as you can see in the above screenshot, a collection of just random life stuff. In 2004, I was a sophomore in college and worked at the local shopping center (a JCPenney store). The last “entry” or update I posted was 8 years and 2 days ago today and was an inside joke with a fellow co-worker.

The website was designed with my favorite colors at the time – I recall really liking greys and shades of blues. I also incorporated elements of my life into the design such as my family dogs, my bird, me and a banner ad for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (new at the time). I did all the graphics work using Microsoft Image Composer 1.5. I loved this app. It originally shipped with Microsoft FrontPage 2000 which, if I remember correctly, was the only way to get the app.

It’s interesting looking back at this and remembering how much I enjoyed not just posting stuff to a website but working on the website itself. I had a lot of fun. In 2004 I was just beginning to realize how powerful a website and eventually a blog could be to reach people and share thoughts and opinions that would lead to discussions and engagement with people all around the world. Blogging is a powerful tool even today.

Of course, I look at my website from 2004 and my blog of today and really do think I need to update my blog’s lame design.

First Nerd Trivia Season of 2012 has begun!

A new season of Nerd Trivia has begun! Follow @NerdTrivia on Twitter and start answering questions!

This season will feature “theme days”. You can track your points and achievements on the Nerd Trivia website.

Nerd Trivia is a side project by work colleague and friend Laura Massey (@lauralollipop). Laura is regularly a co-host on Major Nelson’s Xbox podcast. Throughout the day, nerd-related trivia questions are asked via @NerdTrivia and followers have a certain amount of time to answer the question to earn points and achievements. Laura runs the show, I’m just a minion helping create some nerdy questions for people to answer.