Tag: how to train your dragon

How To Train Your Dragon 2: The Review

Well, the movie’s been out for a couple of weeks now, so I feel it’s only right to finally get around to posting this: a review of How To Train Your Dragon 2.

The plot of the movie, without really giving too much of the story away, focuses on Hiccup becoming an adult and discovering more about himself as he discovers more about the world he lives in.  This movie’s set five years after the first one, and Hiccup is 20 years old at this point – an adult, but still the same Hiccup we grew to knew and love in the first movie.  There’s a lot about HTTYD 2 I want to talk about, so I’ll get the non-spoilery stuff out of the way first.

how-to-train-your-dragon-2

First off, I’d like to gush about the graphics.  I’ve watched both movies pretty much back-to-back lately, and it’s very obvious how much technology has advanced since the first movie came out in 2010.  The textures look so much more real, the characters look more lifelike – at times it felt like I could just step through the screen and into this lush fantasy world.  And, strangely enough, the first thing that stood out to me when it came to just how much technology had advanced was Stoick’s beard.  It looks far better in HTTYD 2, much more realistic…

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It’s not just the beard. Stoick in his entirety looks much better this time around.

Another thing that I absolutely loved about the movie was Toothless’ antics.  When he wasn’t a central character in a scene, he was still stealing the show in the background, with his silly antics and ridiculous cuteness.  I loved him in the first movie, and I love him even more now.  And I’m incredibly glad I’ve seen the movie twice – because I won’t lie, there may have been times where I was paying more attention to Toothless goofing off in the background than I was to the main plot.

How can you not love that face?
How can you not love that face?

After the jump, there will be spoilers.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, and don’t want to spoil the story for yourself, don’t read any further!

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Toothless comes to Build-a-Bear!

Edit 6/24/14: For those of you out there looking for a Toothless of your very own: Build a Bear is sold out! However, you can sign up to be notified when he’s available again via the link, so for those of you still waiting for a Nightfury of your very own, be patient – I’m sure Build a Bear will do a re-release!  (And to show you just how quickly they sold out: I bought mine the first day they were available, and then a friend of mine went to buy one three days later and they were gone!)

Yes, you heard that right – you can get your very own Toothless, right from Build-a-Bear!  And considering the great job they did with the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crew, I had pretty high expectations for BaB’s Toothless plush – after all, you can’t get much worse than this, right?

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Ouch. Toothless, what did they do to you?

No wonder so many of us went and made our own Toothlesses (Toothli?) so we could have a Night Fury of our own to cuddle.  Well, I went to Build a Bear today, and I definitely was not disappointed!

Here he is, with my handmade Toothless for scale.
Here he is, with my handmade Toothless for scale.

He’s about 17 inches tall, not including the tail, and my gosh is he adorable!  Look at those big eyes, that adorable mischievous smile… Yup, Build-a-Bear did a great job with this little guy.  He’s super soft, and very huggable.  I had to resist the urge to carry him around the mall for the rest of my shopping.  There is one weird thing they did with him – his wings are actually detachable.

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As you can see in the image above, he wears his wings like a tiny little backpack.  Considering most Build-a-Bear plush are stuffed from the middle of the back, the detachable wings make sense – otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to stuff Toothless from the usual BaB spot.  I do worry about losing the wings at some point, but right now they’re held on with a plastic tag-holder thing (I never know what to call them, and I even worked at a consignment shop where I stuck a bunch of those things into clothes when tagging items!), and I plan on leaving it in there for the time being.

Along with Toothless himself, they’re also selling a little tiny Toothless hoodie for your bear to wear!  I say bear, because I found out the hard way that it’s not quite suited for a pony.

Toothless and... Toothless?
Toothless and… Toothless?

I had to practically maul Pinkie to get the shirt over her head, and when I wedged her front legs into the armhole, it was pretty clear that this shirt wasn’t exactly meant for ponies or other similar four-legged friends.  Ah well.  If you don’t put the front legs in the arm holes, and kind of use it as a Toothless cowl, it does work, somewhat.  Pinkie looks freakin’ adorable in the Toothless shirt, I will say.  You should be able to find Toothless at your local Build-a-Bear – not sure how long he’ll be there for, though – probably at least through the end of June.  I’d say get him while you can – he’s clearly the best Toothless plush out there!

Embarking on a new cosplay project!

Or, as I’ve been titling this project in my head, “How To Turn Yourself Into A Dragon”.

Toothless is best dragon.
Toothless is best dragon.

Yes, I’m going to try to put together a Toothless costume for the 2014 convention season.  I may even start as early as tomorrow.  And it’ll be my first time assembling a costume this complicated, especially without any sort of pattern!  I’m excited.  And kinda nervous.

I’m no stranger to the world of do-it-yourself cosplay.  While I don’t exactly have the skills for super frilly over-the-top costumes, I know where my strengths lie, and I work with that to make costumes that will look good, even being simple.  Like my Pinkie Pie costume, or my Fourth Doctor costume.  And I have done work without patterns before – Pinkie Pie’s skirt was done completely freehand.  I’ve also done three sailor fukus with no pattern (yes, not only did I dress as Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter, but I also dressed as my own fan character, embarrassing as it is to admit), and an entire Princess Peach costume as well – with varying levels of success.  I know what I’m about to enter into – this isn’t unfamiliar territory.

cute_black_dragon_hoodie_by_calgarycosplay-d31u6dkAnd I do have some visuals to work off of.  I’ve seen this around the internet in a number of places – this is one of them, as well as on DeviantArt – and while I’d love to buy one, I can’t really justify spending $300+ on a sweatshirt.  (And having made a Toothless plush myself, I know that a fair bit of work went into it, I’m quite sure, but is it really $300 worth of work?)  I’d much rather make one myself, too.  I had a blast making Toothless, and I’d love to do something similar, something on a slightly bigger scale, something fun.  And not to mention pretty darn recognizable, especially for the summer conventions, with How To Train Your Dragon 2 coming out in June.

So, how the heck am I going to approach this?  How am I going to start?

Determined dragon is determined.
Determined dragon is determined.

With determination, that’s how!  Heh. I figure I’ll start with stuff I’ve already got – I’ll be using the pattern from the Toothless plush for inspiration on how to construct the head and tail.  I’ll also take advantage of ready-made stuff – such as a pre-made sweatshirt and pair of sweatpants.  And the pictures posted of the sweatshirt give me quite a few ideas of how to construct things.  From there, I can construct Toothless’s little… head tentacles?  Not-quite-horns?  You guys know what I mean.  Anyhow.  I can construct a way to add those to a sweatshirt hood, and then add hand covers and wings and a tail.  (And maybe foot covers, for the sweatpants, if I can swing it.)  The most laborious part will likely be the scales – I have no idea how I’m doing those yet, but those aren’t my main concern anyway.  Those’ll likely be the last things I put on.

But yes.  I am going to make a Toothless costume.  And it will either be epic, or be an epic failure.  I’m leaning more towards epic, myself.  And of course, as I build the costume, I’ll keep everyone updated.  I know I have a lot of fellow Toothless fans who read the blog, and I want to share the process with you guys!

So, stay tuned – Project How To Make Yourself Into A Dragon will start soon.

 

 

How To Make Your Dragon

Okay, in all honestly, this should be named “How To Make Your Dragon: Part Four” – however, the other three dragons haven’t really been mentioned here – I’ll give them all a quick passing glance right now.  First, a little backstory – my best friend Morgan showed me How To Train Your Dragon over the summer, and I absolutely fell in love with Toothless, one of the main characters.  He is a hilarious dragon, and I love him to pieces.  Morgan loves him too, so I made him a giant plush Toothless – the first of many iterations of everyone’s favorite dragon that I’d make.

Toothless-Front Toothless - Side

The second Toothless I made was a crocheted one that I made for myself, over the holiday break – I wanted a Toothless of my own, darnit, but I didn’t want to go to all the work I did for the first Toothless – after all, it did take me a week to make him, and I sewed every moment I had that I wasn’t asleep or at work.  Crocheted Toothless took a lot less time – maybe a few evenings over the course of a week.

Crocheted ToothlessHe’s small, but absolutely adorable!  The third Toothless, I made as a Christmas present for Morgan – it was made out of Sculpey, and it was a bit of an ordeal – the Sculpey that I’d picked up to use was almost dry, and while I figured out how to revive dried Sculpey, it was tough – I spent 45 minutes massaging baby oil into some chunks of black Sculpey, and made a mess of my hands.  It was all worth it, since in the end I came out with this little guy.

Crocheted Toothless and Tiny Sculpey ToothlessAnd tonight, I made a Sculpey Toothless of my own!  He turned out really well.  First off, I picked up fresh Sculpey, which helped immensely.  It was much easier to mold him.  I followed the tutorial here, from LightningMcTurner on DeviantArt – they made the tutorial I used for the first Toothless.  I made him a bit bigger this time around, and improvised a bit as well, but had a ton of fun making him.

OH GOD WHERE'S THE REST OF MY BODYAs I said, fresh Sculpey made all the difference – it was much more easy to manipulate, and easier to assemble all the pieces, too!  I’m really happy with how he turned out.

2013-02-19 18.53.47Here he is just before going into the oven – isn’t he adorable?  I ended up giving him bigger, unfurled wings, instead of the small tucked wings the tutorial suggested.  I’m happy with that choice – I love his wings.  Take a look below at how nice he looks after coming out of the oven!

Sprawled out on the cooking sheetSo, if you love Toothless as much as I do, you should go check out the Sculpey Toothless tutorials that LightningMcTurner has up on DeviantArt, and make some dragons of your own!