Smaug the Magnificent Legendary Collection Stein

I’m not a stein collector, but when I saw Smaug the Magnificent I knew that would be one I’d go for if I ever started collecting. That moment happened and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. It absolutely looks and feels like a quality piece (granted, I haven’t held too many others).

Of course, this isn’t meant for anything other than show. This isn’t a stein that you drink out of, and if you can’t do that you can’t do much else with it. You just pick it up every now and then and admire the artwork and the gold ring on top. Maybe flip it open and wonder if the metal lid could break the porcelain if you close it too hard.

CORRECTION: According to the directions, you can drink out of it. I won’t.

Or, get the cheaper version of this:

 

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Sideshow Collectibles Mumak of Harad Polystone Statue

I just got the Mumak of Harad polystone statue from Sideshow Collectibles. For what it is, this is a fabulous statue, a dying Mûmak, storming Minas Tirith on the Pelennor Fields. It’s the AT-AT of Lord of the Rings. Looks great alongside other statues, though its scale is way smaller than most everything Sideshow has made, with the exception of the environments and the fell beast.

I wrote a silly article about this guy for Gunaxin, titled “Mûmakil vs. Imperial Walker. Who Would Win?” The Star Wars geeks blasted me for even suggesting this, but they missed the point: They clicked on the article, and I got paid.

Cool details about this sold out, limited to 3000 statue:

  • The heel gashes
  • The tattoos
  • The flags (though beware – they’re flimsy)
  • The war harness on its back
  • The detail on the base, including helmets and a spear on the ground

A few things that could’ve made it cooler:

  • Something obvious that injured him enough to make him fall, like a spear in the gut. He’s clearly in pain, but from what?
  • Razor wire and spikes on the tusks
  • A little figure of a driver holding on for dear life
  • Arrows sticking out of it (which would no doubt be flimsy and break off)

Also, this is extremely fragile. One wrong flick of the wrist and a piece might break off, such as the tail, the tusks, or part of the flimsy treehouse he has on his back.

Regardless, another cool piece from Sideshow, but likely the only Mûmak statue we’ll see from them. Considering that the Mûmak driver is also a cool-looking dude, it would’ve been great to have him on there, just like the Morgul Lord was on the Fell Beast.

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Sideshow Collectibles Moria Orc Premium Format

Sideshow Collectibles just released the Black Orc of Mordor, another $300 statue that would look great on the mantle. Though there isn’t a single item that Sideshow Collectibles makes in Star Wars or Lord of the Rings that I wouldn’t want, the black orc isn’t high on my list of must-haves. However, the first premium format statue I got was the Moria Orc. You know, the green goblin (not Gollum) in Fellowship of the Ring that came after the fellowship. (I didn’t spend $300 on this guy – got him on eBay for significantly less!).
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Sideshow Collectibles Morgul Lord Premium Format

I rarely pre-order items from Sideshow Collectibles, but I made an exception in the case of the Morgul Lord Premium Format Figure, which was shipped to me today. Typically I get items off eBay for less than the original price, but had no problem dropping the money on this, particularly since I made so much of it off of the action figure of this very same character while selling on Amazon.

I absolutely love this guy. Sure, it would’ve been nice it he was raising his sword in the air, like with the much smaller polystone statue which came out several years ago, but it’s really the mace and helmet that makes this character so cool. The mace is fairly large and you can position it the way you want since it’s attached to a chain. The robes are thick and stained with dirt. The leg armor is great, too, but it’s hidden by the robes.

I’ve got no. 137 of 1000. Love it! I choose not to get the exclusive version because I didn’t like the way the fire looked on the sword.

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A Card Worth Having, and Selling

During the 90s, I spent hundreds, if not a thousand or more dollars on hockey, baseball, football and hockey cards.

It’s no secret that the 90s was the top of the bubble for the sports card industry, when the companies started overproducing them and making young buyers such as myself think we were putting our money into smart investments. You know, because those Chris Webber rookies cards should be worth hundreds today, right?

I lost many cards in the fire three years ago (mainly do to getting wet from the fire hoses), but for some reason, I had several of my ‘good’ sets at my father’s house when that happened.

Recently, I went through the cards to see what they were worth. The answer: Not even enough to sell. Even my Shaquille O’Neal rookies aren’t going for much. One of the problems is finding a buyer. Not everyone is actively searching for Ark Monk rookie cards, for instance.

But then I found one card – JUST ONE – that people were still buying, and paying good money for. It was an Alex Rodriguez rookie card, in a case with his name on it. The funny thing about it was that when he was a rookie, it wasn’t exactly a secret that he was going to be good, and the card was priced rather high back then. I think it was in 1995 when I purchased the card for $30. It shocks me that I paid that much, but perhaps I was thinking the same way with the other guys back then: I need to get their rookie cards because they would be worth a fortune in the future.

Anyway, I just sold the Rodriguez card for $72 on eBay, with 25 people watching. Someone had offered me $50 for it before bidding ended. Sure, it’s possible that the card may be worth more in the future, but I’m not interested it holding onto it even longer in anticipation of that. In fact, instead of investing in stocks, I wish I had spent all that money on A-Rod rookies, held them for 15 years and sold them now.

Anyway, cheers to you, A-Rod. I don’t like you at all and am not a fan of any teams you played for, but you made me some money, and so far, you’re the only athlete to do so.