Category Archives: Geek Chic

Necomimi: Unboxing hours of nyan~!

11 Jul , 2012,
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When Japanese company neurowear first announced the necomimi in their promo vid last year, we were a little skeptical. Like you know, cute model and concept aside, cosplay kitty ears that wiggled and perked up according to your mood was just too good to be true, right? XD

Well, we decided to put in a mail order for one of these babies the minute they were launched (they go for about $120 on eBay), and here’s our review:

Big things come in small packages, or so they say.
What’s more, it’s good, clean fun for Ages 14+!

First thing you see when you open the package is this nifty little instruction sheet.

And here’s what’s inside – your ears, the headband, and a healthy number of other gizmos to get you nyanning.

And there’s only minimal assembly required! XD

Necomimi come ready to play right out the box, though some minor assembly’s required. It’s fairly intuitive process however, and all you really need to do is to pop in four AAA sized batteries, slip on the cat ear shaped sleeves, and strap it to your head to get started.

How it works is that it reads your brainwaves (you’ll need to make sure the ear clip’s fitted to your left earlobe and the main sensor’s placed above your brow for it to function properly), and the ears either move up, or down, depending on your mood.

If you’re relaxed, the ears will droop down, and if you’re thinking about something, the ears will perk up. If you’re in a state of high interest or concentrating intensely, the ears will also start wiggling to boot.

It takes awhile to get the necomimi calibrated (it took only a couple minutes on Crimson, but we didn’t get a reading from Angelus or our pack Elk till some 10-15 minutes later). After that’s done, though, it’s time to nyan~!

We played 20 questions while wearing these cat ears, and true enough, they seemed to work like a charm.

The ears were in a state of high interest each time we mentioned food (key words being ramen and yakitori) while Elk was wearing ’em, and it went the same for comic books (especially Gambit) on Angelus and games (MMORPGS) on Crimson.

We’ll definitely be wearing these ears to conventions a lot more often, especially with customization options and different ear designs from neurowear in the works. We can also imagine this being a real hit with cosplayers, especially those portraying cutesy cat girls or characters from titles like Loveless and Lamento.

Necomimi add a healthy dose of realism to your cosplay for sure, but it’d help if there was a way to mute the sounds made by the motors or a more effective way to streamline the size and shape of the mechanisms.

As it stands, it’s hard to hide the main sensor unless you’ve got really long hair, or are wearing a wig with a long enough fringe (which means these ears won’t work for just any old character), and the battery pack stands out a little too much for our liking.

Of course, that’s not to say you can’t modify the designs on your own (we’re working on steampunking ours up) to suit your look.

All told, it’s a great novelty item and potentially awesome cosplay accessory. If you’re into kitty ear bands, and don’t mind the cost or shipping, you just might wanna check it out.

1000 Steampunk Creations

22 Jul , 2011,
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If you’re as crazy about steampunk as I am, then you’ll probably fall instantly in love with 1000 Steampunk Creations, showcasing the best in steampunk from around the world and the web.

I was sourcing for inspiration for my latest costume at Planerds – a re-imagining of my Victorian vampire garb, when I chanced upon this title and flipping through the pages just totally blew me away.

It’s hard to describe what’s in this book (since it’s full of pictures) save that it aggregates everything from steampunk home appliances (like that crazy re-skinned Mac computer) to fashion and accessories. What’s more, it covers all aspects of steampunk so there’s plenty to ogle at. Vintage aeronaut, adventuring gear, chic Victorian couture and dystopic togs – it’s all in there.

Just take a look at these awesome examples:

It’s really cool isn’t it? XD

A Geekalicious Free Comic Book Day

8 May , 2011,
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Some of my phat FCBD 2011 lewts. XD

Free Comic Book Day yesterday was a blast – a round trip activity that saw me hit Kinokuniya, then Planerds, and G&B (though it was really, really late and I missed the Gary Erskine signing x_x;; ). Hell, I even managed to sneak in a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) session with the boys in between.

My first stop was actually a quick grab with my sister at Kinokuniya, where they were handing out swag to members between 10 am to 12 noon. Of course, it was a great opportunity for me to capitalize on the member discount, so I picked up a D&D novel and the second volume of the World of Warcraft:  Shadow Wing manga too.

This was  followed by a quick detour to Sunshine Plaza and then to 313@Somerset, where I made it just in time for the Harris Planerds opening.

Shawn Yap, with Koh Heng Teng in the background at the Planerds Opening. XD

When I visited Planerds a week ago, I was impressed by how they’d tried to be an all inclusive geek store. It was heartening to see that they’d expanded on that, adding a fair volume of books to their repertoire since.

It was also fun to chat and rub shoulders with local artists such as Shawn Yap (who penned the noir detective story Jack Doe) and Koh Hong Teng (Gone Case, the Graphic Novel), who were there to do signings.

The Association of Comic Artists Singapore folks were there too, to promote their VACC manga.

Joey purchased the latest Fables trade paperback, and we netted ourselves a funky discount because we were in costume, while I got a fantasy art book I’d been eying for a while now on the cheap. (Incidentally, the costume promo’s still on today, if you’re dropping by the Gantz Cosplay Party later, and want to just pop on over).

TPBs on sale at Harris Planerds. 😮

I dropped by at G&B after D&D and dinner, but by then, it was almost closing time. Didn’t stop me from going on a Radical spree though. It’s hard to beat their dollar-for-dollar deal. XD

It was a great day, really, so thank you, Free Comic Book Day organizers. I had a blast!

Let’s do this again next year! XD

Free Comic Book Day – The Quick and Dirty How-to Guide

6 May , 2011,
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It's Free Comic Book Day tomorrow!

It’s Free Comic Book Day tomorrow, and if you haven’t planned your comic crime spree yet, here’s a quick and dirty guide to having a swagtastic time.

1. Books Kinokuniya (Takashimaya Shopping Center, #03-10/15). ETA: 10 am

For a start, head down to Books Kinokuniya at Takashimaya, which is participating in Free Comic Book Day for the first time. It opens its doors from 10 am, and members get to pick up their trove of comic goodness if they flash their cards. There’s also a 20% storewide discount, just for members.

The 501st Legion Singapore Garrison will also be making an appearance for a photo-op in the late afternoon, so if you’re a Star Wars geek, don’t forget to bring along a camera and lightsabers!

2. Harris Planerds (313@Somerset, #04-25/28), ETA: 10.30 am

If you don’t have a Kino Card, you can always hop over to Harris Planerds, just down the street at 313@Somerset. Free Comic Book Day is also the official launch of this brand new geek store, so in addition to loads of freebies, there’s also some fun to be had.

You can also pick up a Planerds membership with a minimum $20 purchase, and if you’re dressed to kill as a comic book, manga or pop culture character, you get a 20% discount. Local comic artists will also be at the launch, where there will be a meet-and-greet, and signing session. The launch is really a two-day affair too, so if you didn’t get enough on Free Comic Book Day, you could always hit it again on the 8th.

3. G&B Comics (Blk 1 Rochor Center #02-500, Singapore City, Singapore 180001), ETA: 1 pm

And of course, who can forget G&B Comics? G&B opens its doors from 1 pm, giving you ample opportunity to stalk and shop in Orchard before heading down to their premises in Rochor. In addition to a Dollar-for=Dollar (USD to SGD) promo on TPBs storewide, members can also count on getting exclusive t-shirts (while stocks last), and an appearance by comic book giant Gary Erskine. How cool is that?

And that’s that.

Free Comic Book Day is still hours away, and I’m excited already. Here’s to a great day tomorrow, folks.


It's Planerdtary

2 May , 2011,
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Harris Planerds - Store Frontage

Fanboys, rejoice, because there’s a new comic shop in town.

Situated on the 4th level of 313@Somerset, Harris Planerds is a geek’s paradise that carries a bit of everything – busts and statues, toys and collectibles, comic books, graphic novels and manga, sci-fi and fantasy literature, boardgames and RPGs (role-playing games) and more.

I visited Planerds over the May Day weekend, hoping to catch a glimpse of what the hype was about, and was amazed by just how close it was to my kinda dream comic store. It was well lit, with a comfortable ambience, meticulously labeled shelves with an intuitive layout, and a wide enough selection of books from both East and West to satisfy both my comic book and manga cravings.

An AD&D Sourcebook! I haven't seen one of these in years! XD

And this Amano book's a steal, too! XD

It helped too that there was a decent selection of Dungeons and Dragons material (including some rare, and now out-of-print Advanced Dungeons and Dragons gems), a respectable art section, and whole shelves dedicated just to private imprints, academic texts on pop culture studies, and even local, small time publications.

And this was during the store’s soft launch, with only a partial inventory. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to be like when it goes official this Saturday (7th May).

And since we’re talking about Saturday, Harris Planerds is one other venue you can go to for Free Comic Book Day (I wrote about that here).

Saturday also sees local artists such as Sonny Liew and Troy Chin making an appearance at the Planerds opening.

So if you’re a fan of their work, and if you’d care for an autograph or something, be sure to drop by Planerds.

And get this. Here’s a perk for cosplayers – especially if you’re also a big comic fan like I am. If you’re suiting up for the Gantz Cosplay Party at The Heeren on Sunday (8th May), consider popping by Planerds before, or after.

You’re entitled to a hefty 20% discount if you make a purchase while you’re in costume, especially if your costume has something to do with comic books, manga, or geek chic in general.

For more information about Harris Planerds and its opening day activities, check out their Facebook page here.

In the meantime, here’s a couple more piccies from my visit.

Just look at all those comic books! 😮

There's also a pretty extensive manga section...

...drawing guides...

...and even gaming literature! XD

Planerds also stocks character t-shirts...

...and collectibles, amongst other things. XD

Awesomeness on a stick… tube… thing.

7 Jan , 2011,
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Behold the Ophion! XD

Here’s a shout out to Kit, the genius behind Kitsabers who made me this kickass lightsaber, which I’ve dubbed the Ophion.

I commissioned this bad boy from him back in December, when I started messing around with FightSaber, a local theatrical group that does Star Wars themed combat choreography live, on stage.

While I handled the schematics and design, Kit was the one who put up with my unreasonable demands, and cobbled everything together, and just in time for Singapore’s EOY2010 too.

Kit’s lightsabers are stunt ready, capable of handling full contact sparring thanks to the super resilient polycarbonate blade (polycarbonate is a material used to make bullet proof glass and industrial grade components).

They’re also incredibly balanced, some three inches above the hilt, which traditional swordsmiths will attest, is the perfect pivot point for a real blade. How cool is that?

He can even stick in sound boards, strip lights, and frills that will make your lightsaber look and sound as authentic as the real deal.

A closer look at the handle and curved hilt.

Note the grip and the thumb guard. XD

If you’re into Star Wars, and don’t feel like being a generic Jedi with your LucasArts endorsed Force FXes,  or if you want a custom piece that screams you, you, you that you can show off to your friends, be sure to check out Kit’s work.

The Force is strong in him, IMO.