Sunday, May 25, 2014

For Those Days When All You Want Is A Relaxing Game Of Chess

As a kid, I used to love playing Chess. I remember learning the game in elementary school at about 8 years old from one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Chappy. Funny enough, it didn't take me long to learn the game and whenever I wasn't playing sports, reading comics or watching TV, I was playing chess. I loved playing it and beating my friends and cousin on a regular basis.

Nowadays, I'm not the good chess player I was as a lad. I haven't really played a game in several years except for the time I played with my young nephew. I know your supposed to let the kids win, but that's not how I learned to play and I wanted to pass that along to my then 6 year old nephew. Unfortunately, that did not go according to plan. One arm swipe and the game was over. I haven't played a game since.

I never really considered collecting chess pieces at all, but that was before I started watching my good friend, Stew Murray's Superman videos on his YouTube channel. He has some very nice Superman Eaglemoss Superman related chess pieces in his collection. I liked them so much that I decided if Eaglemoss ever made a Spider-Man piece, it would be in my collection at some point.

Look what I found today:

I happened to find this at a comic book shop I shop at in Scarsdale, NY called Alternate Realities. There was a table with a ton of nice stuff and this beauty just happened to have been front and center. Of course, resistance was futile and I snatched this piece up to add to my collection.

The chess piece came with a magazine and a pamphlet, which is shown in the picture above. It pretty much gives you a run down of what pieces Marvel will have to offer at some point as well as gives you a description of what you can expect to see in the magazine.

Although I'm only interested in just the Spider-Man related pieces, there are some nice pieces in the Marvel collection. I'm really digging that Red Skull piece. I bet the detail in that sculpt is incredible.

Here are the pieces that will be released. First, the White Team (The Heroes).

And The Black Team (The Villains)

On the villain side, I will be picking up Venom, Lizard, Electro, Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus for the collection. Those Mandarin and Loki chess pieces look great though.

I am looking forward to reading the magazine. The magazine has a profile about Spidey as well as a poster of the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #40. It also has a section to teach you the game of chess as well as gives you some key phrases used in the game and the meaning behind them. The magazine even lists three key Spider-Man stories as well as strategy on beating Doc Ock.

The fact that the magazine uses the actual art from the comic books is a huge bonus for me. I could look at Spidey drawn by John Romita Sr., Steve Ditko and Todd McFarlane all day long, every day.

And here is the chess piece. I have to say I am quite impressed with it. These pieces are hand sculpted and painted so there is very little room for error when creating these pieces. I have seen some videos where there were some paint issues on them, but I can honestly say there wasn't any flaws on my piece. I was actually pretty worried about that, but was able to breathe a sigh of relief when I opened the package and saw that there was none to be found.

Take a look at that sculpting. I really think Eaglemoss and it's sculptors and painters did a fantastic job with this piece. Maybe they could have painted in the web-lines on his suit, but it's not that much of a big deal to me. Not big enough to detract how awesome a piece this is. The spider symbol on his chest s sculpted on. It's not painted on and I think that's awesome. It shows how much effort was made to make this a pretty quality chess piece.

The piece is made of metallic resin, so there is a bit of weight to him. He's not too heavy, you can easily feel that the weight is on the base of the piece. Still, I would try my best not to drop this piece as I don't know how sturdy it really is.

Here is a back view of Spider-Man. I love the black wash that's in the blue. Little things like that are what I am really digging on with this piece. The spider symbol on the back is not sculpted on. It seems to me that it was painted around, creating the symbol on his back. Am I making sense? Spidey Sense? No? Perhaps?

The base of each piece gives you the symbol of the chess piece it's representing on the chess board. In this case, Spidey will be one of the Knights on the chess board. The other Knight will be Wolverine.

Under, the base is lined with a felt material. This is to give the piece a better grip on whatever surface it's on. Or so I'm guessing. There also a number assigned to each piece. Not sure if the numbering means anything other what number piece you have off the production line. I really have to find out if these pieces are numbered to a certain amount and will cease being in production once it reaches that number.

Once again, I am thrilled to add a new and unique piece to my Spider-Man collection. Maybe if I start playing again, I will get a set just for play. Even if I don't, this piece is going to look insane on my shelf with my other Spider-Man items. I can't wait to hunt down the villains to add as well. Again, I never thought I would want to pick this up, but I'm glad I did. Having an open mind to certain things can really diversify a collection and really make it stand out.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I just downloaded a chess game to play on my tablet and I'm going to kick some computer tail. What, checkmate? Already? Damn!