Love Toys and Superheroes? Check Out Mancave Cafe and Collectibles @ Bandar Puteri Puchong

Normally I’m not into the whole hype thing with new cafes because I hate lining up (so many better things I could do with my time… play computer games, for instance. lol) but this one, I really wanted to go to after seeing a friend’s Instagram post.

That’s because MANCAVE Cafe and Collectibles in Bandar Puteri Puchong is home to dozens of lifelike toys and figurines from superhero/fantasy/sci-fi comic books, novels and films. A place where you can eat/drink AND admire these figurines at the same time? It’s literally a nerd/geek’s wet dream come true.

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Mancave is tucked on the first floor of a three-storey building within BP’s commercial district, just down the road from McDonald’s/Starbucks. I think because it’s still new it was quite empty during our visit.

Like the village idiot, I literally went ‘Wahhh’ when I entered the place. Toys and figurines lined the center island, which was surrounded by bar stools. The space had a dash of steam punk married with purposefully unfinished design elements: a metal grille separating the dining area, coiled steel lamps, a cool black and grey colour scheme, balanced out by warm yellow lighting, wooden floors and exposed brick walls.

Chose to sit right in front of The Hulk. It was so lifelike it looked like it would have readily smashed its fist into my face at any moment. Everything from the seemingly real tuft of hair, the crease of the Hulk’s indestructible pants (have you never wondered why he never rips them but goes through his shirts like nothing?) down to the figurine’s toenails and individual teeth were done to minute detail. It’s no wonder die hard collectors are willing to shell out RM15,000 for this.

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Next to Hulk was the Black Panther, complete with a background piece. This was comparatively cheaper at RM3,000++ lol.

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Other Marvel superheroes, the likes of Thor, Captain America and Ironman.

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Tore myself away from the figurines for a bit and went to check out what they had on the menu. There’s an interesting-looking ‘moss cake’, muffins, bagels, croissants and juices. Patrons can also choose to order pizza, pasta and waffles, although the menu is quite limited atm.

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Cosy lounge area.

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S ordered waffles, which came with a side of vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was nice and creamy, not too sweet, and topped with some marshmallows and a mini pretzel. Waffles were also nice and fluffy, drizzled over with some chocolate sauce.

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Just had dinner earlier so went for a hot chocolate. Again, not too sweet or cloying, which was just the way I liked it! The chocolate was thick and milky, and they serve it in a nice big mug.

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Another section of the cafe, dedicated to the Dark Knight.

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Different version of the Bat.

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This area looked like a long vanity mirror. Good for selfies, not so good for Eris I would not eat while looking at myself as if I don’t know I’m fat enough omg. Some decorative busts sat overhead.

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The other side of the fence had some DCU characters.

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Harley Quinn from Arkham Asylum. Love the ruffles and the boots!

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Transformers fans can feast their eyes on this majestic figure of Megatron. Only RM10k. lol.

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Then there is this wooden cabinet housing more Batman items, as well as some Lord Of The Rings figurines.

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If I had the money, I would legit get one of these, put it on an altar at home and fk with my kids’ friends when they came over to visit and see a Gandalf shrine.

“Your mom worships this?”

This is why I shouldn’t have kids

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I am a fan, but not big enough of a fan to correctly identify what troll this is and which part in the series it appeared in

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Smexy Deadpool. I found the latest movie kinda meh tbh.

Spent some more time sipping the hot choco and admiring the sights, then we ended up at McDonalds anyway because I wanted fried chicken.

All in all, a really cool place to hangout! I suggest visiting while they still are still relatively quiet now and not yet swarmed with crowds.

MANCAVE CAFE AND COLLECTIBLES 

17-1, First Floor, Jalan Puteri 7/13A, Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor.
Business hours : 2pm-12am (Mon-Fri), ;12pm-12am (sat-sun)
Tel: 012-260-9512

facebook.com/mancavecafecollectibles/

 

 

 

Teddyville Museum @ DoubleTree By Hilton Penang, Malaysia

**Note: Photo heavy post! Video at bottom.

Here’s some good news for teddy bear fans: you don’t have to fly all the way to South Korea to visit their Teddy Bear Museum. We have one right here in Malaysia, and it’s pretty awesome!

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Tucked within DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang at Batu Feringghi is Teddyville Museum, a fun and interactive space that features the iconic, well loved toys that have been (and still are) a comforting companion to generations of children and adults for over a century. Covering 9,000 square feet, the museum is a good place to learn not only about teddy bear history, but also the story of Penang island.

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Don’t forget to pose with this giant teddy at the entrance! It stands (or sits) at a height twice as much as an average human, namely me. lol.

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The first section of the museum is dedicated to classic bears, some of which date back to the 1900s! The teddy bears of today have a pretty standard look, but classic teddies varied in material and appearance, and came in all shapes and sizes – like the one above which had very long strands of ‘fur’, next to two carved wooden ones.

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TEDDY TRIVIA

Have you ever wondered why they call it a ‘Teddy’ bear? The toys were named after US President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt. The story goes that the president was on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902. Roosevelt’s assistants cornered and tied a black bear to a willow tree, and suggested he shoot it, but viewing this as unsportsmanlike, Roosevelt refused. News spread about the ‘big game hunter’ who refused to shoot a bear – and it was immortalised in a caricature published in the Washington Post.

By Clifford K.Berryman.

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It is perhaps for this reason that early bears were depicted with ‘sad’ expressions, having been spared of a grizzly fate (grizzly/grisly geddit? i amuse myself sometimes ha.)

It wasn’t until the 1920s that bears started having happier expressions.

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World War I soldiers often brought teddies along as companions. Sadly, not all (both teddy and human) returned to their loved ones.

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Some of the most expensive pieces in the house include this 1925 ‘Peter Bear’ by Gebruder Sussenguth, valued at RM21,000 (5000USD!). It had a hollow head with movable eyes and tongue, and was made from a moulded type of plaster called composition.

It may be 21k but to me this looks like the Annabelle of Teddies. I wouldn’t want to have it in the room, let alone sleep with it!

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The original Winnie the Pooh bear!

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In the 1940s, World War II came and due to a shortage of materials, teddies were made with shorter snouts and limbs. This is much closer to the version we see today.

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Rolling into the Rock N’Roll era, we have an Elvis-inspired teddy, complete with the singer’s signature white studded jumpsuit with flared collar.

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The Teddy Ruxpin series, which were fitted with casette tapes and could ‘read’ stories, became best selling toys in the 1980s.

The next few sections of the museum tell the story of Penang from its inception. I loved this section and spent well over an hour exploring the displays and noting small details. It really showed how much heart and effort was put into the making of these teddies and sets! 🙂

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(Above) Arrival of the British, as told through miniature teddies. Was super impressed with the level of detail !

For those not familiar with Malaysian history, Penang island was ‘founded’ in the 1700s by Captain Sir Francis Light, an Englishman for the British East India company. Foreign powers were expanding quickly in the Malayan Straits and Southeast Asia, and everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Penang’s strategic location allowed it to become a bustling centre of trade and commerce – so kudos to Light for having the foresight to ‘book’ the island under British influence.

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A large teddy version of Light.

Stories go that he was a bit of an ass though, as he leased the island from the Sultanate of Kedah with the promise that British forces would help if Siam attacked the kingdom, but then bailed on his promise. He died from malaria at the age of 54, and visitors to the Protestant Cemetery in Penang will find his tomb there.

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The next section highlighted the three main races in Peninsula Malaysia, namely Malay, Chinese and Indian.

The miniature Indian teddy set was done like a Hindu temple, complete with an intricate silver chariot pulled by bulls, kavadi-bearing teddies, temple priests, tiny coconut shells to represent the real ones used during religious festivals, and of course, teddies dressed in traditional Indian cultural garb.

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The large kavadi-bearing teddy in saffron robes and a metal rod skewered through its cheeks.

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A traditional ‘kampung’ (village) setting was used to highlight Malay culture. The ‘female’ teddies even wore tudungs, lol. In a corner (not pictured) were teddies cooking food in a kawah (cauldron) – a scene familiar to festivals and events in the kampung, where everyone pitches in to help with the preparations.

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Immensely amused that the ‘Chinese’ teddies had slits for eyes lol.

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Scene based on Penang’s famous Taoist/Buddhist temple, Kek Lok Si.

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Moving on to landmarks in Penang, we have a recreation of Siam Road’s famous char koay teow stall. They even have the owner’s grumpy expression down pat! (PS: The owner of the stall is always grumpy looking coz he has a lot of customers to serve.)

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Mini set of Gurney Drive’s hawker stalls. Again, super impressed with the level of detail. The teddies aren’t just in the same poses – we have teddies taking pictures of the food, teddies ordering, etc.

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Penang is an island after all, so of course the museum has to have a set featuring its beaches.

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Another famous attraction – Penang Hill – featuring the funicular train.

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Lol school trip with cikgu and students in uniforms.

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I could spend hours looking at the tiny details: teddy kids holding lollipops, a group of (presumably) teenage teddies with a miniature iPhone taking selfies, teddies looking through the observation binoculars.

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Typical scene at a Chinese kopitiam in Penang.

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We also have a teddy dedicated to Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who popularised Penang through his beautiful street murals.

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The process of making traditional batik.

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Teddy decked out in the Penang International Marathon runner’s tee. I have one of these 😀

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The dragon boat festival is one of the highlights of the island’s annual calendar.

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The museum also gives a nod to Penang’s industrial side, with these factory workers assembling electronics.

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Paying tribute to our national sporting heroes. Can you guess who they are? 😀

Here’s a short video I put together:

I really enjoyed my visit to the Teddyville Museum and it exceeded my expectations with its beautiful sets, meticulous attention to detail and wonderful showcase of Malaysian heritage. I think it’ll be a great place to take the kids to and teach them in a fun and educational way about Penang’s history and culture.

TEDDYVILLE MUSEUM

56, Jalan Low Yat, Puncak Ria, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang

*Located within DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang

Entry: RM36 (adults/MYKAD), RM25 (children/MYKAD)

Open daily: 9AM – 6PM

Paper Castles and Cardboard Animals – Carton King Creativity Park, Taichung

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Stepping into Carton King Creativity Park in Taichung City is like taking a trip to a make-believe Wonderland. There are colourful baubles hanging from wooden rafters at the entrance, with a host of bright yellow flowers to the left, and fat little bunnies and alpacas at the end of the narrow path. Catch is – they’re all made from corrugated paper and cardboard! 🙂

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The fun family-themed attraction has several branches around Taichung, each with its own unique displays. The one we went to was in Dakeng District, which is also their biggest.

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Paper bunnies; real leaves.

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The Carton King ‘Zoo’ area had different types of animals. Good likenesses! Like a lot of attractions in Taiwan, descriptions were in Chinese. Which I can’t read. Sigh.

When you buy your entry ticket (NTD 200$ – about RM29 or USD6.50), they give you a paper with empty stamp slots. You’re supposed to hunt around the place for stamp ‘stations’ and stamp your card. Once complete, you can then exchange it for a souvenir. The ticket is rather pricey imo, but it also includes a NTD100$ voucher for you to buy gifts, snacks or drinks.

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Beyond the Carton King Zoo area is a large open space, divided into several sections. I initially thought the white mesh-like canopy was only there for aesthetic purposes, but saw that there were people walking on it. Climbed up the stairs and voila !

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The canopy is made from criss crossing steel wires so they can bear the weight of visitors walking around, and it has been fashioned like waves so the surface is uneven. Trees poked up from beneath at intervals. It was quite difficult to walk around without tripping though lol.

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The canopy extended past several elevated attractions, forming bridges to the second floor of buildings nearby. The wooden platforms housed cutesy box-shaped characters – is that Dora the Explorer in a pink dress?

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View from the upper floors. There was a shop selling honey and honey-based products, with – guess what – bee figures made from paper and cardboard honeycombs. There were also real bees in glass tanks.

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Back downstairs.

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Stopping for a quick snack of fried oyster mushrooms, which I used up my coupon for.

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Cikgu Lim

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The main compound, which has large paper replicas of attractions from around the world, including the Coliseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Great for selfies, if you’re into that sort of thing 🙂

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Popping in to the souvenir shop.

20170213_140206-tileThe L’arc de Triomphe.

Managed to collect all the stamps and got a simple paper house set which I could assemble at home. All in all, a fun place to visit for people who like taking photos – although there’s not much in way of culture. Families, especially those with kids, will probably enjoy this place.

CARTON KING 

No. 1, Lane 281, Section 3, Xitun Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407
Opening hours: 11AM–8PM
PS: Been trying hard to schedule posts daily, but things have just been hectic. Hopefully I’ll be back to regular programming soon! 🙂

Transformers: Autobots, Roll Out to 1Utama!

While I was pretty gender neutral when it came to watching cartoons, I never really liked robot animations – hence, I missed out on the Transformers animated series, as well as well-loved classics like Astro Boy *gasp!*, Evangelion *double gasp!* and Gundam *what blasphemy!!* 

What I did watch was Beast Wars, a spinoff of the original Transformers. But other than that, I only got familiar with the brand when the movies came out.

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Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of the cartoon/movie/toys by Hasbro, come check out the Transfromers on display at 1Utama Shopping Center, happening from now til June 5. And who says it’s just for kids? If you’re a collector or grew up watching the show in the 80s, it’s a good walk down memory lane. 🙂

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Transformers Platinum Edition: Dinobot’s Figure Pack. I’m impressed by the level of detail in the figurines. I am also impressed with the price, which can cost as high as RM30 for a small, simple figurine. Whatever happened to RM5 toys?

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RM34.90, wut? 

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As part of the launch, they also had Transformers PS4 games. I realise I am out of touch with today’s generation when my character repeatedly died by jumping off cliffs… because I wasn’t familiar with the controls. Meanwhile, 10-year-olds were playing with the skill and dexterity of master gamers, their fingers moving skillfully while their eyes remain glued on the screens.

Ah, to be young again. I remember a time when I was a master gamer with 64-bit games, which you had to plug into the TV with a console, playing the likes of Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Tank. Good times.

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Optimus Prime collection.

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There was also a demonstration called ‘Fast Fingers’, where participants put together different figurines and combined them into large Transformer-bots.

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Last but not least, special appearances by Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, as well as the unveiling of the yellow Camaro similar to the one used in the films!

The Transformers event is happening until June 5 at Centre Court, Old Wing, 1Utama Shopping Centre.

Of Dolls and Disney Princesses

So I got home from work yesterday and my mum showed me a (rather crumpled looking) Toys R’ Us paper bag.

“Open it.” she chirped enthusiastically.

“Uh, sure.”

So I opened the bag….. and found a bunch of Disney princess dolls with clip-on dresses, complete with plasticky dressing table and a flower-patterned changing screen.

“So wtf is this.”

“One of my kids gave it to me,” said mom. She refers to her kindie children as ‘her’ kids.

And since I had nothing to do, I decided to be five again.

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Even as a kid, I was never one for dolls – so it was funny that I was playing with dolls as a grown-ass 25-year-old woman.

“Do you remember your Barbies?” my mum said as I fiddled with the sparkly dresses for Ariel, Belle and Elsa. “You drew over their faces with blue pen and cut off their hair. We never got you any more dolls after that.”

“It wasn’t my fault. They were supposed to be Amazon women, fighting against Ninja Turtles.”

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Many little girls dream of becoming Disney Princesses.

Although I watched a lot of Disney cartoons as a kid, I never dreamed of becoming a princess, because I was never a a girly girl who liked skirts and pink and sparkly things. My toys were mostly gender neutral like Lego and Play-Doh.

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Kids will love dressing up the princesses in different costumes.

Well, it beats playing on the computer all day, right?

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It’s now my third day at my new workplace. Haven’t had much to do yet but the stuff is coming in fast. Going out for my first interview tomorrow. Anyway, if you’re wondering how my workplace looks like:

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Yeah….looks like someone’s house. The publishing arm is actually an offspring of a property company so we used their showroom because there wasn’t enough space. I really like it though – I can rest on the sofas when I’m tired and it just feels a lot cosier than a rigid office environment.