Monday, March 25, 2013

Lego City Undercover: Unboxing with Chase McCain MiniFigure

What?  Lego City Undercover
System?  Nintendo Wii U
Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us
What Did It Cost?  $49.99 plus tax
What Was Stock Like?  3-4 more copies, Target had ZERO earlier this week

Unboxing and Overview of LEGO City Undercover

While I will admit I enjoyed LEGOs growing up...and think LEGO Land is pretty cool, I have never played a LEGO game.  Not on Wii, not on DS...nodda, nothing, never...

When the Wii U was announced and we saw some of the early release games, I was immediately drawn to LEGO City Undercover.  It looked great...seemingly good (and classic) story line, action, comedy, free roam etc...It kind of reminded me of a PG version of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

It also looks to make really good use of the GamePad...a feature you don't always see outside of (off screen play).  If I have the GamePad, I just assume have a few games that really utilize it.  This seems to be one of them.

I had debated pre-ordering this one because it came with the Chase McCain MiniFigure....I rarely pre-order and held off this time thinking I might land a better deal with a sale.  I had seriously considered picking it up this week at Target where they were having a "Buy 2, Get 1 FREE" deal on all video games.  Sadly, they didn't have any copies and I really didn't want to shell out for another game when Luigi's Mansion was already coming out over the weekend.

The stars aligned as Toys'R'Us had a BOGO 40% Off sale on all video games.  I got LEGO City Undercover (which they did have a few copies of), and then wound up getting Luigi's Mansion for a better price...can't argue with that!

I have been told this game has a pretty bad glitch, but I have honestly not investigated it...

I have mentioned a few times how I have considered doing a blind playthrough of the game...

Only hold ups are: A-will there be framerate issues and B-how much content is there?  I think I saw a few nights ago some review outfit was 40 hrs in and not far along in the progress...that would be killer to record...especially when I have so many other games I've wanted to do...I will maybe play the game an hr or so and see if it records well etc.

That said, I have high hopes for the game as it has honestly had me intrigued since that first trailer I saw.

Being priced at $49.99 it will likely stay put for quite some time, but might drop before the holidays.  I would like to have seen it at $29-$39 initially, BUT if the gameplay hours are there, $50 is still a great deal.

My TRU seemed to have more of the Chase McCain bonus figures than copies of the game, so maybe you can get lucky there if you were hoping to land him for your collection.

As soon as I get the time to play a little I will update this post with my initial impressions.

Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon Unboxing and Overview

What?  Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon
System? Nintendo 3DS
Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us
What Did It Cost?  Retail $39.99...with TRU's BOGO 40% my total for the game was $23.99
What Was Stock Like?  Low at TRU, sold out at GS...Shouldn't be hard to find.

Unboxing and Overview

I have been looking forward to this game for a LONG TIME.  I was pretty hard on Nintendo for not getting it cranked out at Halloween (2012 that is).  I just still don't see much logic in making this a "Spring" game and  having Sticker Star as a "Fall" release.

Since that time, and in the last couple of weeks we have learned that 2013 is the Year of Luigi.  We also learned that Luigi's Mansion was delayed until Nintendo was happy with the online and multiplayer aspects of the game...Putting it on target with Mario Kart is a lofty goal...even falling short, you are in good territory.

I still think this game should have been a mid-October release to cash in on Halloween and then the holiday rush, but oh well.  My personal feeling for why they released the game now was to get it out as most had been expecting it to drop October 2012.

All that aside, if the game is good, and the online gameplay is at the same level as Mario Kart I don't think anyone will mind in the slightest.  You can of course hold out to play it until Halloween, but what fun is that?

This game is a MUST BUY for any LUIGI fan.  It has been 12 years since Luigi's Mansion helped launch the GameCube.  To say the arrival of this game has not been eagerly awaited would be a lie.  Just think...If you were 10 years old when the game launched with the GameCube and you loved it...You are now 22, 4 years out of high school, and likely nearing the end of college if that is the route you went.

The shock most had with the downtime is that it was a very well received game and had, and still has, a very large fan base.

If Nintendo decided to make 2013 the Year of Luigi, they picked a great launch for the campaign.

I was also, however, disappointed with the lack of ANY pre-order bonus.  A Luigi Hat, figure, keychain, heck any Luigi merchandise would have been cool.  Europe apparently get glow-in-the-dark cover art AND a Boo Stress Relief Ball...either would have been awesome in my opinion.

As is, I did not pre-order the game, but rather waited it out...That turned into a good decision as I cashed in on a Toys'R'Us sale that got me the game for $23.99 instead of $39.99 with 40% Off.

I have high hopes for this game and if all goes well I will be mixing it in with my current slate starting (now!).  If it lives up to the hype and anticipation, I will likely revisit the game around Halloween...making it a great value.

I, like so many others, am definitely looking forward to FINALLY playing Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon.

Nintendo really gets you geared up with the SpotPass Puzzle Piece AND the SpotPass arrival of Miyamoto sporting a Luigi Hat.  You can check that out in full detail here:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon: SpotPass with Miyamoto

Sunday, March 24th, 2013 turned out to be quite the day...

I had long planned to pick up Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon on 3DS.

As anticipated, Toys'R'Us put on a "Buy One, Get One" 40% Off Sale.  I can't think of the last big release I wanted that didn't have this going on at launch...I use it as a way to pick up another new game, or one I've been wanting at a much better price.  Usually it is 2 of the same game, one for myself, and one for my nephew...

I debated which "second" game to toss into the mix, but knew Luigi's Mansion was coming home...Luckily they still had a few copies.  Other stores around town were OUT.

Anyway, somewhere along the way I got a StreetPass Tag from X-Man.  I was very excited, especially when I saw his Puzzle Collection!

Thanks for the PilotWings Resort Piece!

After making my way through Find Mii II's Secret Quest, I was alerted to go to the Plaza Gate because there was a new arrival.  I figured somehow I just had a StreetPass from my Nephew has happened a few times before where they will "stack" in really close intervals, although the norm is a few hours between tags.

I was absolutely shocked with what I saw...

Miyamoto in a Luigi Hat!!

No freakin' joke it is special...I'd consider this amongst the holy grail of StreetPass/SpotPass Interaction!

Yes I knew who you were, but thank you for the formal introduction:

Hence why SpotPass should always be on...would have been cool to really StreetPass the legend:

Indeed, nice to meet you as well Mr. Miyamoto!

A perfect introduction for the Year of Luigi:

My default greeting:

Drumroll Please...

Kind of expected that one...

So, I have to say...

Thank You Nintendo!!

It was just a few days ago when I complained how hard it was to complete PuzzleSwap Panels when you live in a largely rural area...While I always hear of people getting 20+ Tags a day, my grand total plaza population is 28...And that includes several Special Miis from Nintendo.  It was funny that earlier in the day the tag from X-Man made me wonder how he had so many special pieces...I'd say maybe 5 of the "out-of-town" tags I've ever had actually had special panel pieces.

This is really cool because not only did Miyamoto have EVERY PUZZLE PIECE OUT, he is now forever part of my Street Pass Plaza.  I can turn to him and my Nephew should the Secret Quest require "Green Magic."  

Miyamoto is behind some of the greatest games of all time, and many of my personal favorite series and games.  This is about as cool as it gets for all of us in "Middle America" that don't get the big conventions, gaming tours, or the like...Honestly, a big deal for me is getting any StreetPass tag...they are that rare.  Some of you in metropolitan areas, or who have large population bases may take this stuff foregranted, but for folks like myself, this is very much appreciated! 

While I would have loved to take a piece from one of the panels I don't have, I felt it was only right to take one from Dark Moon.

So thank you Mr. Miyamoto and Nintendo for helping to make the day extra special!

I am not off to unbox Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon, register it on Club Nintendo, and of course...enjoy the game!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Insanity Unboxing, Overview, and Progressive Review

What?  Insanity, America's #1 Workout
Where Did You Get It?
What Did It Cost?  $144.80

Why Insanity?

Insanity is now America's #1 Workout.  Fitness expert ShaunT put this program together after being approached by BeachBody.  The program's main selling point is two-fold.  First off, they claim you get a full year's worth of results in just 60 Days.  Secondly, they claim this is probably the toughest workout ever put on DVD.

Both points can be debated, but what do you expect from late night infomercials?

Unboxing and Overview on Insanity

As most of you know, I tend to be up pretty late at night as that is my "free time."  I sometimes have the TV on while I work on other things and as you might have guessed, if there is an Infomerical, I've likely seen it.  I remembered ShaunT from Hip Hop Abs (and no, I never ordered Hip Hop Abs).  The guy is in crazy good shape.  He seems very laid back and does a nice job conveying that he genuinely wants you to succeed and will motivate you every step of the way.

I will be honest, I've actually never bought ANYTHING off of an infomercial.  I think there have been a few times I've bought something from a brick-and-mortar store that was "as seen on tv," but I have never dialed 1-800 Something within x minutes, asked about express delivery, or begged to be one of the y people to get z bonuses.  It just isn't my thing.

As most of you should know I really like Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus.  Not so much for the base exercises, but the fun activities...I probably recorded the most comprehensive, commentated playthrough of the series on YouTube.  And yes, I plan to do the same for Wii Fit U (Nintendo, I really hope you kept and expanded Island Cycling, Soccer Heading, and listened to me when I said it would be great to have a "free roam" option on the Running).

I've always been into fitness and enjoy working out.  I've found with age, free time seems to be more and more fleeting...You really have to commit to something to make time for it daily.

I'm confident I could have done my usual routine and gotten back to the shape I wanted to be in, but something drew me to Insanity.

It wasn't just the 60 days to get a year's worth of results, it wasn't all the incredible before and after photos, it wasn't because it seemed like a good deal given the price of gym memberships and fitness equipment, and it wasn't the free t-shirt (which turns out has a lot of stipulations on it).  It was really make a 30% Combination of all those things...

So, what is the other 70%?  What was the bigger deciding factor you ask?


As I investigated the program I saw just as many people "giving up" on it as I did praising the life changing results.  I started asking around locally and was surprised how many people said they had friends that had Insanity.  When I asked how they liked it (I was looking for first hand, second hand info to help justify the purchase) I got the same story every time..."They said it was too hard and quit."  I heard some of the people aggravated knee injuries, or after several weeks just got to a point they were tired of having trouble walking.

This was my 70%.

I've always been one for the dark horse.  I enjoy doing things that people say shouldn't be done...I really enjoy doing things people say can't be done.  Hearing all of the stories of people quiting Insanity, giving up on the program, or having to suspend progression didn't just make me want to try my hand at it...It made me truly believe the stories and results those that dawn the t-shirt espoused.

Every program or product does before and afters coupled with provides some form of credibility.  It is usually these parts of the infomerical where folks like myself see right thru the gimmick.  The model will look looks more like they found fit people and paid them to gain weight etc.  When you view the infomerical for Insanity, and see those results you think it seems genuine.  When I couple that WITH all the horror stories of people dropping the program, or deciding it "really is insane" it gives all the credibility in the world to those testimonials.

So...I was hooked.  I bit the bullet and ordered Insanity!  As stated in the video, I went thru Amazon.  Shortly after I ordered they changed the infomercial.  I thought there was a price drop and I was ticked...However, it is the same price...I also found that shipping from BeachBody was basically the remaining difference between what I paid...crisis averted.

I know just had to wait...

Insanity Arrives

There was quite the issue getting Insanity to my door step, that is for another day.  When it came, it was inside a larger box from Amazon...The little Insanity box looked pretty discrete.  Nothing flashy, rather mundane...

I was happy to see the bold graphics were in-fact just on the inside of the box...I also got all the freebies and bonuses you'd get if you ordered direct.

Here is a quick rundown on what is inside the box:

Intro Letter from ShaunT: Background, program design, and well wishes

Fitness Guide: A quick pamphlet sized overview of the program and how it works

Elite Nutrition Plan: Basically the Insanity Meal Plan

Fit Test Card: Small and easy to fill out

Insanity Wall Calendar: What Workout to do on what day, plus another place to track Fit Test progress

BeachBody Support: Free, just create an account and log on

Quick Guide on How To Get Your Insanity Shirt (Read Online Info too)

DVD Binder: A nice case for all 10 DVDs
-Dig Deeper & Fit Test
-Plyometric Cardio Circuit
-Cardio Power & Resistance
-Cardio Recovery
-Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs
-Core Cardio & Balance
-Max Interval Circuit & Fit Test
-Max Interval Plyo
-Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
-Max Recovery

*Note Cardio Abs is a separate workout, but on the same disk as Pure Cardio
**Dig Deeper & Fit Test are also separate entities
***I assume that will be the case for the "max" DVDs, but have yet to use them

All-in-all this is a well packaged product and I have to say I feel it is worth the asking price.  Here is a final look at all you get:

Insanity Begins

I planned to dive right in...I then saw the workout calendar started on a Monday.  Rather than be off beat 2 days, I decided to just wait it out...great call on my part!

Why?  Apparently ShaunT has a "Birthday Challenge" and it turns out he is doing Insanity and he started on the exact same day as me!  He is pretty active on Twitter and it really helps provide that extra push...Had this arrived when it should have (had a big snow storm slow down the already slow processing from Amazon (see also Super Save Shipping) I would have been a week ahead...

I have to say it is really cool going thru the program at the same time as the creator of it!

My Thoughts

This isn't just me dreaming stuff up, rattling off criticism to promote another workout, or drumming up praise sent to me from the PR department at BeachBody, this is my own, honest evaluation of the program.  Now that I'm posting this (I recorded the unboxing March 1st, 2013...I started Monday, March 4th, 2013...This is  Day 19 Friday, March 22nd, 2013), I hope to provide a little review on each DVD and offer up my opinions on each etc.  I apologize for the delay, but I have been extremely busy...I remember my gripes though so fear not.  Similarly, despite being busy I have made the time for Insanity, even thought that time is usually 11 PM-Midnight.

Here are some early pointers I will give you:

*Get a good exercise mat!  I posted the unboxing and wrote a review on the Altus Workout Mat for a reason...I believe in it!  If you are doing this on a hard surface, you would be crazy not to spring for a good mat...It cuts down on a lot of impact...every little bit helps!

*I tend to go through 3/4-1 bottle of Powerade per workout...and yes, I'm serious.  Those sweaty people in the infomerical?  I can safely assure you that they are not staged actors with on-demand sweat glands.  You'll likely be covered in sweat just by the 2nd round of the warm-up in most videos.  That means you need to re-hydrate!

I like to keep the "sports drink" I alternate between Powerade and Lemon Propel (love that stuff) handy with a glass of water.  The Powerade bottles seem to pack a few more oz. than the Propel bottles.

*If you have time, watch the video first...even if you just skim through it, this will acclimate you to the moves you are supposed to do and might help you avoid stalling and watching.  That said, stalling and watching isn't a bad move when you are covered in sweat and out of breathe...

*Take rest as you need it!  Not only do you catch the workout participants dropping out of the frame from time-to-time, there are a few occasions where ShaunT himself has to pause.  Only stop long enough to catch your breathe, get a drink, or study the move...Keep going!!

*Modify.  If you can't replicate what you see on whatever it is that is as close to what you see as possible.  The success you will see is based on Max Interval need to keep the heart rate up!  Remember, for all the time you spend panting and thinking you can't go on, that is that much less you will see on Day 63.  Don't kill yourself, but push hard and dig deep (sounds cliche I know).  I stop all the time, but I then go hard to try and make up for it.

*As you progress, you will get better.  Take pride in that and use it as motivation!

*If you are really in pain, stop!  I've had a few times my arches have been screaming for mercy.  If you pull something, or press on to the point of injury you will only wind up having to wait till you can resume.

*Document your progress.  Scratch off the calendar and keep tabs on your weight and/or measurements.  While it may not seem like much day-to-day, the goal here is Day 63.  Just envision comparing it to Day 1.

*Stick with it.  Don't give up!  This is hard, no doubt about it....Use that to fuel your drive to make it thru!  Not only will you have results to be proud of, you can take pride in being one of the few to even complete the journey.

And as of that it is 12:15 AM on 3/23 and I need to get my 3/22 workout in!  I have the unboxing going up and I will come back to this post to provide updates and post analysis on each workout.  Stay tuned and good luck!

Workout Reviews

Fit Test Progress

Altus Workout Mat

What?  Altus Workout Mat
Color?  Athletic Gray
Size?  2' Wide, 6' Long, 15mm Thick, or roughly 3/5"
Where Did You Get It?
What Did It Cost?  $24.95

Altus 24" x 72" 15mm Thick Foam Exercise Mat Unboxing and Overview Video

A workout mat can be quite useful.  The best ones can be used for everything from Yoga to a padded area for your work station.  The Altus Athletic Gray Workout Mat is truly one of the best I have ever seen.

I would venture to guess the size is ideal for the vast majority of the population.  Even those who are 6'6" or taller can still make use of it and just have your feet off for crunches or floor work etc.  If your shoulders are somehow broader than 2 Feet, you likely don't do much floor work...If so, you have a few with it, or buy another mat.

Carrying on with the ideal floor size, we have to factor in the utility.  There are a lot of mats, or square tiles you can throw down, but not all are equal.  If you are tight on space, this Altus mat rolls easily for storage.  You can workout in your apartment's living room Saturday morning, roll it up, and entertain Saturday night without any trace that your living area was serving as a gym 4 hours ago.

Similarly, if you are working out in the garage, or a basement, the mat can roll up out of the way for other events, or to simply make room for your car.  I realize, not everyone will utilize the mat like this, but the first time I was laying on it,  I was thinking what a great pit mat it would be!  I bought a folding pit mat last year and love it.  When I need the extra clearance I don't have with a standard creeper, the floor mat often provides the extra little bit to get up under the car and access a drain plug, connection, bolt etc.  I have really enjoyed the pit mat for taking lug nuts off...If you are swapping tires for the season,  sticking slicks on for the track, or servicing your brakes, the extra leverage you get with a floor mat over the creeper is nice...And it sure beats the pounding this puts on your knees!  The other use for a shop space is to treat it as an anti-fatigue mat...rather than spend $75 for those thick rubber mats, you could get 3 of these and be set!

The mat comes with a black carrying strap that features two loops on the end that are elastic.  This allows you to roll the mat up (loose or tight), fix the elastic loops over it, and easily carry it with the handle/shoulder strap.

The mat itself is a nice neutral gray.  One side is ribbed (length wise) and the other is smooth and features the Altus logo.

Where this mat really stands apart is the thickness.  While that $9.99 mat online or at Walmart may seem like a steal, it is likely paper thin.  Before you get wrapped up in the color (bright green, pink, etc), feel it.  Then compress the mat between your fingers.  Did it easily compress?  Did the mat spring back to original thickness, or did it stay dimpled?  If that is pressure you generate between two fingers, think what the mat will do when you are standing on it, or laying down to do crunches.  You want the mat to COMFORT you, not just look neat while you curse the lack of function.

While that may stop you from spending $10 on the bargain mat with a nice design, that by no means suggests you need to spring for the top of the line workout mat with a big name or celebrity endorser.  I would challenge anyone to find an expensive mat (ie $50 plus) that this Altus mat couldn't go toe-to-toe with.  At this price point ($25) you are getting the best of both worlds: A high-quality, long lasting mat at a killer price.

I have a few of those "thin mats" and while they are a slight upgrade over concrete, you will know it is there...I wound up using them under a weight machine.

If you are doing Yoga or Pilates you will love this mat.  It will be a huge upgrade over a solid surface or even carpet or an area rug.  The 15mm Foam (that is over a half-inch thick folks) provides tons of support...and it springs back.

I bought this mat not for the garage (although I think I will get one for that purpose), but for Insanity.  I could tell from the infomercial it would feature a lot of high-impact moves and exercises...that is correct!  I can not imagine going thru Insanity without this mat!  I actually ran out-of-town just into Insanity and believe it or not, I took the DVDs with me.  That night at the hotel I plugged in Plyometric Cardio and it was very rough on me...the hotel carpet is basically just a stain catcher above concrete...I definitely missed this mat...And that made me realize what a true value the mat was.

If a product works and is priced right, it should be supported.  If you workout with this mat for a week and then stop, you will miss it...That is the sign of a good product.  If I wind up going out-of-town again before the 60 Days are up, this mat is coming with me!  That speaks volumes.

I highly recommend this mat.  I can't think of a possible use where it would disappoint.  It is far superior to similarly priced units I have seen and had first hand experience with, yet on the flip side it is just as good as the expensive mats.

This is a great piece of versatile equipment at a great price.  I've had nothing but compliments on it and I plan to continue to enjoy working out with it for years to come!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blog Poll #42 Results: Skylanders Giants Castaways vs Newlanders

After a grueling cycle, Round 1 of our Castaways vs Newlanders is in the book!

Here is a look at the results:

*I will add the blog polls later.*

Please feel free to chime in with how you'd like to see this one continued....

A "season" approach where each Newlander battles every Castaway...

Some sort of means to make it 4 Castaways vs 4 Newlanders and progress etc.

It's pretty late and I've got to get some sleep...I definitely plan to keep this one going, just have to figure out what would work best!  Stay tuned!

Here is the original blog post outlining the series:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blog Poll #46: Newlander Upgrade Paths

Blog Poll #46 asks, "Which Upgrade Paths Do You Prefer for the Newlanders?"

The polls are on the Right Hand side of the blog, just below the Twitter feed.

Here is a video highlighting the polls:

And here are your choices:

Jet-Vac: Bird Blaster or Vac-packeteer

Flashwing: Super Shards or Super Spinner

Hot Dog: Burning BowWow or Pyro Pooch

Shroomboom: Barrier Boost or Paramushroom Promotion

Pop Fizz: Best of the Beast or Mad Scientist

Sprocket: Operator or Gearhead

Fright Rider: Sir Lance A Lot or Joust Jockey

Chill: Ice Lancer or Frozen Fury

Thanks to everyone that votes.  Just pick the path that you like best.  I will likely record the upgrades soon and hope to have the videos up BEFORE the poll closes.  This will help those of you who have yet to upgrade, or who are debating a switch have solid ground to make your decision.  I'm looking forward to FINALLY upgrading the Newlanders and seeing what they are about!

Blog Poll #45 Giant Upgrade Paths

Blog Poll #45 asks, "Which Upgrade Paths Do You Prefer for the Giants?"

The poll will run through April 11th, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST

The polls are on the Right Hand side of the blog, just below the Twitter feed.

Here is a video outlining the Poll:

And here are the potential paths:

Swarm: Barberous Avenger or Wasp Stormer

Crusher: Rock Grinder or Rubble Master

Hot Head: The Burninator or Oil Baron

Tree Rex: Treefolk Charger or Lumbering Laserer

Ninjini: Swords of Might or Ancient Djinn Magic

Bouncer: Robot Rocketeer or I-Beam Supreme

Eye-Brawl: Eye Brawler or Eye for an Eye

Thumpback: Anchors A-Yay or Up Close & Personal

Thanks in advance to everyone that votes!  I will likely upgrade my slew of Giants here in a few days and will hopefully have those vids up BEFORE the poll closes so those of you that have yet to upgrade will have a good look at the paths and can make the best decision to suit your play style.

Blog Poll #44: Do You Want to See Beyblade Content

Blog Poll #44 asked, "Do You Want to see Beyblade Content?"

The choices were:



Both (Unboxings and Battles)


The poll originally closed on March 17th, 2013, but I don't think I let it run long enough...I am re-opening the poll until the end of the month.

I know I had TONS of requests to do Beyblade stuff all through the SSA Playthrough....I just want to see if those same people are still around.

Thanks to those who voted...please spread the word!

Blog Poll #43 Results: Do You Want to See Nightmare Mode?

Blog Poll #43 asked, "Do You Want to See Nightmare Mode?"

I had originally planned on recording Nightmare Mode after wrapping up Giants, but so much time had passed over the course of waiting on the characters and getting all the loose ends tied up, I wasn't sure people would still want to see it.

That said, we had 102 total votes and a very solid 94 of you (92%) still want to see Nightmare Mode.

So, the results speak for themselves...I plan to tackle a few of the upgrade videos and then start in on recording Nightmare Mode.

The cool thing about Nightmare Mode is that I will be using UPGRADED Skylanders and a much more diverse assortment...I tried to use Newlanders as much as possible.  This time I will be using who I prefer and will try to do a good job of mixing everyone in...

Thanks to all who voted...stay tuned for Skylanders Giants Nightmare Mode!

Blog Poll #41 Results: How to Record Skylanders Giants Upgrades

Blog Poll #41 asked, "How Would You Like to See the Skylanders Giants Upgrades Recorded?"

Three options were given:

By Element (Giant, Newlander, S2)

Newlanders, Giants, Series 2


We had 95 Total Votes...

Almost half of you (48%, 46 Votes) voted for the Elemental Route.  That is, you would prefer to see all the characters in the Air Element, followed by all the characters in the Earth Element, etc.

Surprising to me, 34 of you, or 35%, wanted to just see things at random.

15 Voters, conveniently 15%, wanted to see thing structured by character type...Newlanders, Giants, Series 2 etc.

In the Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure playthrough I just did things as they came available. Once the game was complete, I focused on recording the final upgrades, or paths, and Soul Gems for everyone.

This time, in Giants, I was playing it safe in the event of any hard Heroic Challenges (ie Ninjini having something along the lines of Drobot or Double Trouble etc).  That coupled with the fact I was enticed by completing the game with "box stock" Skylanders led me to doing NO UPGRADES in the main playthrough.

I have started to upgrade a few of the Legendaries and a few of the base upgrades on the Series 2 Skylanders.

Obviously, the Newlanders and Giants are of the most interest because everything is "new."  However, the Series 2 Skylanders not only have WowPows to showcase, but give me the chance to explore the "other path" compared to what I picked in SSA with the S1 figure etc.

I think what I am going to do is something along these lines:

Upgrade the Giants
Upgrade the Newlanders

Randomly upgrade the S2 and then highlight their Path and WowPow....likely by element.

I think that pretty well covers a little of everything, so hopefully it will pan out well.

The plan is to include these in the SG Blind Playthrough, although the S2 stuff will likely happen during Nightmare Mode.  I just prefer that Nightmare Mode is straight we go from Ch 1-16 with no introduction or upgrade vids mixed in...

Hope that works for everyone...Thanks for voting!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Ninjini

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Ninjini

What?  Ninjini, Magic Element Giant

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $14.99 plus shipping

What is Included? Ninjini, Sticker Sheet, Web Code for Skylanders Universe

What Lights Up?  Her lower body illuminates a medium blue and her eyes light up white.  However, if you turn the lights out you will see that her face glows blue and her red hair shows up as well...Possibly the best light up effect in the game and no doubt one of the best hidden treats...You really can't see that the face and hair illuminate without turning the lights out!

What Was Stock Like?  She is in-and-out of stock on and Amazon regularly.  She is also showing up not only at brick-and-mortar GameStops, but Walmart,, Best Buy, and within a few weeks should be easy to find...I'd put her on the same time frame as Eye-Brawl and Thumpback.  She may have a wider audience though.  Nonetheless, hold out, be patient, and pay retail!

Quick Character Info :

Slogan: "Any Last Wishes?"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 100/1580
Defense/Armor: 100/150
Speed/Agility: 100/150
Luck: 150/150
Totals: 450/600

Skylanders Giants Ninjini Introduction and Heroic Challenge
Stats, Upgrades, Quests, and More


Skylanders Giants Unboxing Legendary LightCore Chill

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Toys'R'Us Exclusive Legendary LightCore Chill

What? Legendary LightCore Chill, Water Element Newlander, Toys'R'Us Exclusive

Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us

What Did It Cost?  $12.99 plus tax

What is Included?  L-LC Chill, Sticker Sheet, Web Code for Skylanders Universe

What Lights Up?  The base right where her lance pierces makes contact...that is it.  Pretty sad.

What Was Stock Like?  If this wasn't the last one in the store, the other(s) were really well hidden.

Quick Character Info:

Slogan: "Stay Cool!"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 60/1580
Defense/Armor: 100/150
Speed/Agility: 60/150
Luck: 100/150
Totals: 320/600

Toys'R'Us Exclusive Legendary LightCore Chill's Introduction and Heroic Challenge
Stats, Ugrades, Quests, and In-Game Light-up


Friday, March 8, 2013

Skylanders Giants: Unboxing Jade Flashwing

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Target Exclusive Jade Flashwing

What?  Jade Flashwing, Earth Element, Newlander, Target Exclusive

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $10.00 plus freight (no clue why it was $ now $9.99, oh well)

What is Included?  Jade Flashwing, Sticker Sheet, Web Code for Skylanders Universe

What Was Stock Like?  This will have to wait until 3/17.  If you want her, act now!

Quick Character Info :

Slogan: "Blinded by the Light!"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 40/1580
Speed/Agility: 80/150
Luck: 80/150
Totals: 280/600

Target Exclusive Jade Flashwing Introduction 
Stats, Upgrades, Quests, and Heroic Challenge


Skylanders Giants: Unboxing Molten Hot Dog

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Walmart Exclusive Molten Hot Dog

What?  Molten Hot Dog, Fire Element, Newlander, Walmart Exclusive

Where Did You Get It? via Site-to-Store

What Did It Cost?  $9.96 plus tax, free shipping

What is Included?  Molten Hot Dog, Sticker Sheet, Web Code for Skylanders Universe

What Was Stock Like?  Should be very easy to land MHD...don't pay more than retail!

Quick Character Info :

Slogan: "See Spot Burn!"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 85/1580
Defense/Armor: 50/150
Speed/Agility: 70/150
Luck: 80/150
Totals: 285/600

Molten Hot Dog, Walmart Exclusive, Introduction
Stats, Upgrades, Powers, Quests, and Heroic Challenge


March 2013 Channel Update

Hey Everyone,

I've been pretty busy and there is a lot going on, so I figured it was time for a Channel Update.  I know I've covered most of this on the blog and in the playthrough vids, but now it is in one place...and the video will correlate with some people better, so here it is:

The main points to take away from the video are as follows:

1.  I've got a lot of unboxings coming up!
2.  I'll do my best to keep you posted not only on the Skylanders we unbox tonight, but also the unreleased and other in-game variants.
3.  Beyblades!  I had a lot of requests to do "beyblade stuff" back in the day...if any of you are still watching, please take the time to vote in the poll on what you'd like to see.  I may try a few things out just to gauge the response.
4.  Polls!  Some time this weekend I will have polls up regarding which upgrade path you prefer for Newlanders and Giants.  Be sure to cast your vote.
5.  The Castaways vs Newlander Poll Battle has 10 days remaining...some contests are super close, and most remain competitive enough that a slight swing could make all the difference.
6.  The Adventure Packs have been recorded and are ready to upload.
7.  I will start in recording intros and Heroic Challenges with the new Skylanders ASAP.
8.  I plan to take a Newlander, and maybe a Giant, thru all the Heroic Challenges...Chime in with who you'd like to see take on the challenge.
9.  After the remaining intros, I plan to record upgrades.  I am very tempted just to update ALL the Giants and ALL the Newlanders.  The S2 figs could then just fall in place in Nightmare Mode.
10.  Once the Upgrades are wrapped up, I will take on the Time Goals.
11.  After all of that, I'll begin Nightmare Mode.
12.  I will eventually upload Mario Kart 100cc races AND get back and record 150cc.
13.  I've considered Lego City Undercover for the next would be 100% blind.  Let me know what you think...I've got a lot of other things in the pipes.

Now, for those of you that took the link from the video description, or for those of you that just read the blog, I've saved some "extra" news for you.

1.  I have a few more rounds of Sonic Racing All Starts Transformed to edit and upload...none of these will have commentary though.
2.  I have the Skylander Quest Post ready to Publish...However, with the addition of these new chracters (Ninjini, Spyro, Wrecking Ball), I can get them added and have it be 100% COMPLETE.  Be looking for it...I think it will come in very handy for reference.

That is it for now...I've just recorded Molten Hot Dog and Jade Flashwing's Unboxings...I'll edit and upload them NOW!

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Series 2 Spyro

Unboxing Skylanders Giants Series 2 Spyro

What?  Series 2 Spyro, Magic Element

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $9.99 plus shipping

What is Included?  S2 Spyro, Sticker Sheet, Web Code for Skylanders Universe

What Was Stock Like?  In-and-out of stock on, but he is regularly stocking at brick-and-mortar GameStops and should be wide spread and much easier to find within a few weeks.

Quick Character Info :

Slogan: "All Fired Up!"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 75/1580
Defense/Armor: 60/150
Speed/Agility: 100/150
Luck: 65/150
Totals: 300/600

Series 2 Spyro Introduction and Heroic Challenge

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Series 2 Wrecking Ball

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Series 2 Wrecking Ball

What?  Series 2 Wrecking Ball, Magic Element

Where Did You Get It?

What Did It Cost?  $9.99 plus shipping

What is Included?  S2 Wrecking Ball, Sticker Sheet, Web Code for Skylanders Universe

What Was Stock Like?  Not to hard to find online...Should be relatively easy to pick up at a brick-and-mortar GameStop and will likely be widespread and much easier to find within a week or two.

Quick Character Info :

Slogan: "Wreck-N-Roll!"

Card Stats:

Power/Strength: 85/1580
Defense/Armor: 50/150
Speed/Agility: 70/150
Luck: 80/150
Totals: 285/600

Series 2 Wrecking Ball Introduction and Heroic Challenge

Currently Playing

  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • NBA Playgrounds
  • Minelogix-Minecraft PC
  • Stardew Valley - PC
  • Wii Fit U (Wii U)
  • Animal Crossing amiibo Festival (Wii U)
  • Yoshi's Wooly World
  • Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS

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