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Autobot Landmine (Deluxe-class)


9 comments posted
I hate my camera...

Now, you see- this is why I hate my digital camera... That toy is usually no less than 1-2" away from that wall, and the damned auto-focus (which I cannot manually override) still insists on focusing on the most-irrelevant part of the picture! Pisses me off to absolutely no end, and it's been a constant battle for me since Day One here at CDX. On top of which, I do not have the space, experience, or money to get real shooting equipment like a light box that Josh or Atom uses. Or- heaven forbid!- a wall that is painted plain-ass white instead of greasy yellow sh*t.

(FYI, it's a Nikon CoolPix 2500. It ain't even mine, but without it, you wouldn't even know who I am here in CDX.)
CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 15 March, 2008 - 04:29
I feel your pain. About the

I feel your pain. About the auto focus : try to focus on something close to the detail. It might sound stupid, but sometimes, by focusing on something else, the autofocus focus exactly where you wanted in the first place...

Christopher Andre's picture
Posted by Christopher Andre on 15 March, 2008 - 17:12
Yeah, I've noticed that a

Yeah, I've noticed that a few times, though it doesn't always work.

Sometimes I place a large piece of white construction paper behind what I'm shooting, and that helps trick the camera.
CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 15 March, 2008 - 17:50

I've been less than thrilled with my pics lately, too. Even with the light tent, I've been experiencing too much glare and I've always struggled with consistency to begin with. I took a bunch today that seemed ok, but I'm not sure why one day they seem fine and another they don't. I'd love to be able to grab a good camera this year at some point.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 16 March, 2008 - 18:20
Your page

Awsome how can I get my toy review to look exactly like this page?

rafael_07's picture
Posted by rafael_07 on 16 March, 2008 - 17:49
O.O! Did- did I just hear


Did- did I just hear someone call one of my reviews... "Awesome"? And then-- And then, ask how they can model their reviews after mine...???

(*faints*, falls to the floor with a crash!)
CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 16 March, 2008 - 20:40
I'll do a broad overview...

(recovers after Josh holds smelling salts under his nose)

I'm not quite sure what exactly you liked about this review, so I'll do a broad overview of my reviewing process... and hope someone doesn't steal it and use it against me. :P

Well, first of all- and this is nothing against any of the other CDX writers- I find that a toy review with a bunch of pictures but no detailed text seems to lack a bit of depth. When I want to know about a toy or model or somethin', I look forward to what they say as much as they shoot. And I use that philosophy when I write my reviews.
The other big thing is to know what the hell I'm talking about! Some things, for example, I have no verse in, so I do a bit of research before [and while] I begin writing. A good example of this would be the Power Animals line from Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger (2001)- the 25th-Anniversary Super Sentai series. I have never seen a single minute of GaoRanger, but I looked in a lot of my online sources for episode and toy reviews by others. Then, once I feel confident and sufficiently familiar with the material, I begin.
In that same vein, I find that improvization can be useful at certain times where a lack of information is present. Most of the "real-life" overviews I've done for the [entire] Lego Exo-Force line are not official statements, facts, and published materials from The Lego Group; I make a lot of that stuff- strategies, weapons, why the Battle Machines are made, etc.- up simply based on what I've read and what I see in the toy's shape and function(s)! But, at the same time, I do my absolutely darned-best to stay within continuity as I improvise so as not to conflict with the original materials [too much].

For me, it is very important that I have some kind of opinion of what I'm writing about before I even consider writing. Even if I hate something, that's often enough to motivate me to find the words to describe it to y'all. But, if I were to go an review, say, a vinyl toy (like that CDX-exclusive Sky Deviler), I really don't think I could do it since that is in no way interesting to me. I might be able to write something, but it wouldn't be with nearly as much enthusiasm as I normally have. And that is a very big part in my motivations to cover something. I need to be able to tell you why I have the opinions that I do.
I also always try to reserve writing about my personal judgments and opinions until the last paragraph-or-two of the review: I remain objective as I describe the details and functions, and then I let loose.
I don't swear above PG-13 (and even then sparingly), and I always, always use proper English, and never netiquette. (Personally, with a very few exceptions, I can't stand netiquette and IM-speak. Abso-friggin'-lutely hate that!)

Once the review is written up on MSWord, I make a physical copy to keep by my side as I take the all-important digital camera up to my bedroom-

(*jaws of CDX readers drop*)

-and shoot the pictures.

(notices all the weird looks directed at him)

Alright, alright, alright... don't let the flies in. -_-;

Since I am fortunate to have a 15sec silent video capability, I use that sparingly to demonstrate larger moving features. (Which also means that I get a lot of odd and negative comments when they're viewed out-of-context on YouTube...)
I always make sure that I have lots of all-around lighting when I shoot- including natural daylight (sunny or overcast) through the windows, and the room's own lights overhead- to eliminate shadows and bring out details. Then I- heh- attempt to adjust the shooting properties with the camera's own [inadequate] settings. I then use the the printed review to guide me as I shoot, and to remind myself of what I was thinking as I wrote. When I first started writing for CDX about three (now four?) years ago, we had a pictures-per-review limit of eight, so we had to be real choosy what we shot. But since then, Josh has given us free reign to take as many as we want. (Well- I mean, he hasn't complained since he lifted the limit... so I guess I'm doing okay so far!)

In the past, when I was just a newbie at writing here, I would e-mail all my pictures and text to Josh, and then he would post it under my name for me. (He still does that for others, BTW.) But since I got an elevation in access privileges about two years ago, I can post and review as I see darn-well please.
When granted that new access, I had to learn some of the programming codes, to do things like make Italics and bold, center text, insert pictures, create links, and separate paragraphs.

I hope I've answered some of your questions (and others'), but- again- you weren't very clear in what you liked about the review above. Oh- that is also something that I really crave when I'm writing: that feedback from other readers! the more I get... the less I faint. ^_^;
CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 18 March, 2008 - 23:30
I certainly take no offense.

I certainly take no offense. It's all a matter of personal taste and opinion. What do you want to get out of CDX as a reader and what do you want to get out of it as a contributor? Although in depth reviews are great, I like that CDX functions as a database as well. I'm sure I have published (and will publish) reviews more to say "Look, this exists" than anything else. Sometimes it's with a certain audience in mind and sometimes just to show something different. Like I might want to show a machinder collector a rare or strange bootleg that I found. Maybe they'll say "Hey, I don't have that. I'll start looking for it". Or maybe they've found it and want to check theirs against mine for variations, etc.. I think there's great value in just having the pictures online, especially for vintage stuff and oddities.

Personally, I find too much text to be a turn off when I'm not thoroughly interested in a toy line. If a reader isn't interested in the stuff I publish, it doesn't take them long to look over it and move on to something more in line with their interests. I want to have enough to please the fans, but not so much that it scares off the people who are only mildly curious.

And of course, 99% of what I collect is incredibly simple anyway. I've got some reviews in queue for toys with exactly ONE point of articulation! How much can I possibly describe that?!?! HAHAHA

Anyway, I think we've talked about this in email before. It's the great thing about the site. With so many writers now, you get all sort of different styles, viewpoints and toys. :)

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 20 March, 2008 - 15:03
I recall that someone here

I recall that someone here reviewed a 12" Frankenstein's Monster non-poseable doll a few months ago. I actually got mine from a Japanese exchange student years ago as a birthday gift. As one of those really awkward presents that you can get on birthdays or X-mas that you aren't allowed to refuse or snicker at, I quickly migrated it to a box in my closet where it remains to this day. I can't even get it out of the house as a white elephant, ya know? (Our only other previous Japanese student got me a transformable Brave Saga robot that was then-new that was perhaps the beginning of my collection as it exists today.) Anyways, there's no possible way I could review that, let alone a figure that only has a waist or head joint. I can think of only an extremely-few exceptions...

Anyways, I try to get in as many pictures as I can get away with nowadays. I also include text links inside the review, along with thumbnails 'n such to break up the monotony. I know I can go on-and-on once I get started! When I'm done with the first draft, I also try to shorten or remove things a bit.

Of course, if people left more frequent feedback when I ask for it, I would have been able to adjust my habits early on...
CollectionDX Staff

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 21 March, 2008 - 19:04