IN PHOTOS: Unboxing my first-ever Funko POP! Alien Remix figure

As many of my loved ones already know, I am a huge fan of the Toy Story franchise. From the moment Pixar introduced the animated characters back in 1995 to its final movie in 2019, I have loved every part of this four-part film series. So, when the Funko brand announced that they were releasing their second set of Alien Remix POP! vinyl figures to celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary, I was rightfully excited to get my hands on some of these collectible toys. 

Luckily, my brother decided to give me one item from the second wave of the Alien Remix POP! figures and one POP! keychain from its previous collection, as a birthday present for me this year. So, this is the first time I’m unboxing and reviewing them.

Please note that this is a personal review and not a paid, branded post. And I’ll be starting with my thoughts on the figure and then, the keychain. 

With that said, let’s begin unboxing… 

On the POP! Alien Remix figure 

The POP! figure was encased in two boxes. The outer box was just a regular box that showcased details about the item (this was most probably a spare box from the store as it said that the figure was from “Pretty Woman” when it really was not). The second box featured the logo of the store where the item was purchased from. 

Upon opening, I found that the figure my brother had chosen to give me was the Pixar 25th Anniversary Alien Remix #759 Sulley Pop! Vinyl Figure.

The item was securely intact within its clear protective covering and there were no damages on the box itself and its protector. 

The plastic covering was also very strong and sturdy–so, it took me a while to get the POP! figure out of it. It’s also good to note that this POP! protector is ideal for customers who want to keep the collectible safe inside its box. 

The POP! figure itself was in good condition. The head was easily moveable and Sulley’s features–his furry eyebrows, neck fur, purple spots, and even the gray ridges on his back to his tail–were perfectly captured in the figure. 

I particularly liked how the designers were able to seamlessly showcase the Pizza Planet alien’s annoying (yet very likeable and endearing) personality through the figure. It’s almost as if you can hear its nasal-ly voice saying “The claw” as you look at the collectible toy. 

Overall, I am very happy with this collectible figure and if I were to rate it, I would give the item a solid 10/10. 

On the POP! Alien Remix keychain 

The keychain was wrapped in a few layers of bubble wrap when it arrived at my house. Although it seemed to be properly wrapped, there was a dent on the box probably made when the item was still in transit. 

Now, this is definitely a deal-breaker for collectors who want pristine casing. However, I was okay with it since I really plan on taking the keychain out of its box packaging. 

The keychain I got was a POP! Alien Remix of Russell from the first wave of the Funko POP! Alien Remix collection.  

Upon closer inspection, the keychain was very detailed–even more so than the #60 Funko POP!  Russell figure

Compared to that POP! figure, the remix version has a bit more detail, particularly in the back where it showcases Russell’s backpack of knick knacks. This is impressive especially considering the size of the keychain compared to the standard four-inch vinyl figure. 

And much like the Alien Remix version of Sulley, I liked how this one also exemplified the Toy Story character’s quirky personality.

Through it all, I really do like the appearance of the keychain. Though one part I do question is the hole found at the top of the figure’s head behind the keychain pin (as seen in the right most image). 

After some research, I found out that that is where the alien’s antenna should be. Here’s a comparison of the one I received to one being sold at Amazon. 

Given this product defect, I’d have to give this specific item a rating of 7/10.

Via Giphy

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Fans are going to love these new Star Wars-themed postage stamps

For years, the Star Wars universe has delighted fans with a series of epic adventures. From Han Solo, Luke, and Leia’s  first mission to destroy the Death Star in Episode IV: A New Hope to The Mandalorian’s exciting quests with Grogu (a.k.a. Baby Yoda), it’s understandable why many viewers can’t seem to get enough of the franchise. And with Disney+ announcing a new lineup of shows for the fandom to enjoy, it’s safe to say that the Star Wars phenomenon will just continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.

Via Giphy

That’s why it’s not surprising that many companies have decided to capitalize on its success, creating collectible figures, clothing pieces, and even footwear inspired by the George Lucas films. But now, fans have another thing to consider adding in their collection of Star Wars memorabilia–and it’s this new set of Droid postage stamps.

This is not an actual picture of the stamp but a creative representation. To see the full set of designs, visit the USPS website here.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced the new line of Star Wars-themed postage stamps last January 26, 2021. According to their website, the stamps will feature the following droids: “IG-11, R2-D2, K-2SO, D-O, L3-37, BB-8, C-3PO, a GNK (or Gonk) power droid, 2-1B surgical droid and C1-10P, commonly known as ‘Chopper.’” 

These stamps come in a timely manner as the Star Wars franchise is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

Via Giphy

More than that, these stamps will reportedly help support Lucas Films and Disney’s efforts in further promoting STEM learning amongst the youth via the organizations “Star Wars: Force for Change” and “FIRST” (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

As of now, there has been no formal announcement on the release date of these Droid postage stamps. So for now, I guess fans should stay put in and enjoy re-watching their favorite Star Wars movies and television series. May the force be with you all!

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‘Bridgerton’ fans might enjoy these underrated Jane Austen screen adaptations

If you are anything like me and you are obsessed with regency era films and television series, then you’ve probably already binge-watched Netflix’s Bridgerton.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/netflixph

The first season of the historical drama followed the whirlwind romance between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). And through its eight episode run, viewers were able to see how the two turned from friends to eventual spouses. 

Understandably, many people were drawn into the Duke of Hastings and the eldest Bridgerton daughter’s love story. And many of them–including myself–are eager to see more of the Bridgerton romances unfold. But until the streaming platform can confirm a possible next season, here are a few Jane Austen book-to-screen adaptations that Bridgerton fans can enjoy as they wait for more news on the show. 

Emma (2009)  

Through the years, there have been many screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma. From Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1996 version to Anya Taylor-Joy’s 2020 adaptation, many Austen fans have seen different versions of the titular character portrayed on both TV and film. However, out of all of these adaptations–many of which I have seen–the BBC 2009 mini-series was the best one of them all. 

Not only did it gradually showcase the friendship-turned-romance between the two best friends, but Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller seem to be the best embodiments of Emma and Mr. Knightley. 

Garai’s tenacious and effervescent portrayal of Emma made the character very likeable and Miller’s stern yet endearing Mr. Knightley will leave fans rooting for him throughout the series’s four-episode run.

Photo Credit: David Venni via IMDB.com

Why Bridgerton fans might like the show: Much like Lady Whistledown or Queen Charlotte, Emma enjoys meddling into the love lives of those around her. So, fans might take pleasure in watching her succeed–and oftentimes, fail–at her attempts in matchmaking, whilst realizing all along that she herself has found her perfect match and it was the man standing right in front of her. 

Northanger Abbey (2007) 

Although this is one of Jane Austen’s less popular novels, I enjoyed Northanger Abbey for its unconventional hero, Mr. Tilney. Unlike the likes of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley, Mr. Tilney is not always so formal and likes to tease Catherine quite a bit. And the movie version of the Austen hero is not far from how the author described her character to be in the book. 

Played by JJ Field, Mr. Tilney presents a comical and amiable persona that complements Felicity Jones’s portrayal of the shy and naive Catherine. And it’s through their meetings in Bath and subsequent stay in Northanger Abbey that the two realize their true feelings for one another. 

Photo Credit: IMDB.com

Why Bridgerton fans might like the movie: I think fans might enjoy the “rich vs. poor” kind of love story the 2007 film shows. Because like many of the socialites in Bridgerton, Mr. Tilney’s father wants to make an advantageous marriage for his son. But upon learning that Catherine has no money to her name, he forbids a possible union between her and Mr. Tilney and sends her away. But little did he know that Mr. Tilney will do a lot more for the woman he loves… even if that means disobeying his father’s wishes and giving up his inheritance. 

Persuasion (2007)  

Persuasion focuses on the romance between Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot. 

Frederick and Anne were two young people in love. However, Anne’s parents refused the union, noting Frederick’s lack of fortune and title. So, the two parted ways. 

Eight years later, Anne’s family is struggling with their finances and Frederick has now become a wealthy and recognized Royal Navy Captain. With their heart-wrenching parting still lingering in both of their minds and with the tables turned, it begs the question: is there still a possibility of romance between the two despite everything that has happened?  

Starring Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins, Persuasion reignites the viewers’ belief in the possibility of second chances, when it comes to love. 

Photo Credit: IMDB.com

Why Bridgerton fans might like the film: Fans might be able to appreciate Captain Frederick Wentworth’s unwavering love and devotion to Anne, in spite of the hardships he faced while being with her during his younger years. And despite having more options for a partner when he returned, he still chose her above everyone else.

Moreover, if fans loved the Duke of Hastings’s “I burn for you” line in the show, wait ‘til they hear Captain Wentworth’s “I am half agony, half hope” spiel–as he pours out his immense love and affection for Anne even after all these years. 

Via Giphy

NOTE: This review is not sponsored by Netflix or any other production houses. This was written purely from the perspective of the writer as a fan of these TV shows and movies.

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For media invites, partnerships, or writing collaborations, you can contact me at cmilitarwrites@gmail.com.

Holiday royal romance movies are cheesy and predictable–but that’s what makes them so fun to watch

Almost all of my family and friends know that I am a sucker for this subgenre of romance movies. For years, I have watched a lot of these kinds of films from Hallmark and most recently, Netflix

So, when my good friend Niña came across this video of YouTuber Jack Douglass discussing the “terrifying world of ‘Princess Christmas’ movies,” she knew I had some thoughts on this matter. 

First off, I actually agree with everything Douglass had to say about these movies, especially on the following points: 

– These kinds of movies revolve around three plots, namely the “ordinary woman becomes a princess,” “a princess pretends to be an ordinary woman,” and “a princess and an ordinary woman swap places.” 

–  The names of these movies sound similar (if not the same).

– All of the royal romances take place in imaginary countries that all sound the same–citing examples like “Belgravia,” “Aldovia,” and “Maldovia.”

– The Prince always seems to have a “pronounced english accent.”

– How these kinds of movies use the same actors and actresses in other films that feature the same plot. 

He even makes a valid point in saying how strange it is to know that even though these movies follow the same formula, they manage to become franchises–citing the Christmas Prince films as an example. 

With all of this in mind, you, as a viewer of his video, would even start to wonder, why would anyone want to watch these films after knowing this? 

Now, I can’t speak for everyone… but as someone who has seen many of these holiday royal romance movies (and would probably continue to watch them in the future), what entices me is its predictability, overall feel-good vibe, and Christmas spirit. 

From the get go, I can already tell many of the things that are going to happen in these kinds of movies. For instance, I know there will almost always be some grand ball wherein the prince will be left in awe over the girl’s appearance or that the prince will always choose the “normal girl” over his betrothed. 

But it’s this cliched storyline that keeps me interested because there is a certainty that it will always end in a “happily ever after.” And in this world where anything can go wrong, it’s nice to watch something that promises a happy ending.

Via Giphy

Moreover, these are the kind of feel-good movies that won’t leave you stressed or worried about the characters. Since it’s predictable, you won’t have to agonize about the girl not getting the guy or of someone dying during the course of the film. It’s almost like the ideal kind of thing to watch when you are tired from work or household errands and you just want to relax.

Via Giphy

Lastly, it features a picture-perfect version of the holidays, where everyone is happy and together. And I am guessing this is almost everyone’s ideal scenario when it comes to Christmas.

Via Pixabay

So, before you write off holiday royal romance films, I recommend you try watching a few of them first. You never know, you might even end up actually enjoying them!

When it comes to Disney sidekicks, Charlotte deserves more recognition

Through the years, Disney has created some endearing sidekicks to our favorite animated princesses. From Snow White’s seven dwarves to Elsa and Anna’s silly snowman Olaf, we, viewers, have enjoyed their antics and overall lovable personalities. 

But in this lineup of side characters, there is one that doesn’t get enough recognition as the rest–and that’s Charlotte La Bouff from the Princess and the Frog.

Via Giphy

Unlike other members of the Disney sidekick group, Charlotte doesn’t get talked about as much. And despite her hilarious personality and selfless nature, she doesn’t even get a spinoff short film like that of Olaf (and she rightfully deserves one!). 

So, in honor of one of the most lovable characters in the Disney cinematic universe, I am listing down three reasons why Charlotte deserves the title of “everyone’s favorite sidekick”. 

She is one of the funniest characters in the film

Just from the start of the movie, you could already tell that she was a quirky character. And her overdramatic demeanor and crazy responses to events gave the film its much-needed comic relief. 

One of her funniest moments was her reaction to seeing Prince Naveen for the first time. In the scene, she immediately stopped crying, touched up her makeup, and went down the staircase like the queen she truly is. 

And sure, Louis was entertaining but Charlotte was the one that gave viewers all the laughs in the film.

She treated Tiana like her equal

Charlotte and Tiana obviously came from two different social classes. Charlotte was the daughter of a sugar baron and could buy almost anything she wanted, while Tiana’s family worked hard just to make ends meet. And yet despite their differences, Charlotte always treated Tiana as her friend and her equal.  

In fact, when Tiana’s dress got ruined at the party, Charlotte generously lent Tiana one of her dresses. She even completed the look by placing a tiara on Tiana’s head–prompting Prince Naveen to think Tiana was a princess.

Now, I know some people have wondered why didn’t she just give Tiana the money to start her restaurant. To explain this, I found a video from YouTuber Story Diver that explains how Charlotte and her father may have possibly offered Tiana the money. However, given Tiana’s can-do attitude and belief that to get what she wants, she must work hard for it, Tiana must have denied the offer and chose to save up for her dream restaurant. 

I believe this theory is highly probable considering Charlotte’s final act of kindness in the film (which I will talk about in the next section). 

She selflessly gave up her dream of marrying a prince to help a friend

When Charlotte finds out about Tiana’s true feelings for Naveen, she immediately gives up her dream of marrying the prince and without hesitation, kisses Naveen in an effort to break the curse. This is evidenced in the movie when she tells Tiana, “I’ll kiss him for you, honey. No marriage required.” 

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/PrincessandtheFrog

This selfless act of friendship on her part shows that she is more than just the “spoiled, rich girl” that everyone makes her out to be. She has a heart of gold and she is one that deeply cares for her loved ones. 

All of these reasons put together is what makes Charlotte such a great character. And I hope you will include her in your list of favorite sidekicks!