Batman: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of a Beloved Superhero

This past weekend there was a back to back marathon of all the Batman movies on ABC Family. I watched them all, in chronological order, cringing and cheering depending on the moment. Is it just me, or did the films get progressively terrible as the franchise continued? It seems that the entire series plummeted downhill after the second one, Batman Returns. Batman and Robin? Come on, people… You can’t have thought that was a good movie. And Uma! I love you, girl.. but what were you thinking?? Not to mention Mr. Freeze and his plastic ice lair…

All of that, put together with a seemingly drunken Batman (George Clooney, I abhor thee), a cartoony Robin and a phoned-in performance by Alicia Silverstone (Batgirl) made for one of the worst experiences I’ve had watching a movie. How is it possible that a stellar cast could collectively do a horrible job?

Now, you know me, I love me some camp. But there’s a distinct difference between the hilariously bad, and the badly bad. The kind of bad that is so bad because the cast and crew just apparently gave up. It’s like they were coasting on the success of the previous films. They didn’t even try.

Now, enter the saving grace of a beloved superhero, 2005’s Batman Begins. This is a much more realistic, much darker interpretation, and thank God for that. Christian Bale takes us on a journey that made billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne into a crime fighting, raspy-voiced lord of the night. I adore this movie. Cillian Murphy as the scarecrow… holy sh&*! Terrifyingly awesome. Liam Neeson? Yes. That guy hasn’t seen a bad acting day in his life. Sidenote: his portrayal of a pervy ghost in High Spirits (1988) is inspired. Such a funny movie, and Steve Guttenberg is in it. Now that is some good camp!

Now that we’ve acknowledged that the Batman franchise has had its ups and downs, we can get back to the amazingness that is the new incarnation. Since Batman Begins, there have been two new films, each incredible in both storyline and execution. The Dark Knight (2008) and the latest in the bunch The Dark Knight Rises (2012) were both great movies in their own right, but that’s a chat for another day…

Right now, I want to show you some of the awesome Batman gear Heavenly Swords has in stock for you. Let’s put away the bad, and focus on the greatness that is Batman today. Here are a few items to get your blood lust going:

Batman Dark Knight Mask

This is a perfect replica of the mask worn by Christian Bale. It has an adjustable Velcro strap so it can be worn on any size head. Made from resin, it is very durable. When you aren’t fighting crime, you can hang it on your wall with the included wall hanger. Just don’t do that if you’re trying to keep your identity hidden…

Dark Knight Rises Bokken

Now you can combine your love for Batman with your love for swords. This is a bokken, which is in itself a great weapon. It’s basically a wooden practice sword. This one would be perfect for cosplay, or just to practice your katana moves without lethally injuring anyone.

Batman Battle Axe Batax

Now this weapon is no joke. It has super sharp stainless steel blades, and is overall about 10” long. It’s the perfect throwing axe, but be careful!

These are just a few of the many Batman products we carry. We have arm guards, throwing stars, and double bladed folding knives, so check us out!!

 

 

Thoughtful Gifts for The One You Love

Sometimes we don’t want to wait until a birthday or holiday to show our appreciation of the people we love. I always considered the random thoughtful gift to be way more meaningful than the hastily bought, obligated gifts of say, Valentine’s Day. A box of chocolates? Wow. How original. Am I right?

So let’s start a gift revolution. Let’s give presents to the people we love just because we want to. Just write something like, “Happy Thursday” on the card. I promise you, the gift-getter will be so happy at the surprise, they won’t even care it’s not a special day. Any day can be special, if you share it with someone you love.

And what’s more, let’s step away from traditional gifts. I swear, if I get one more scented candle, I’m going to throw it across the room. I don’t care who gave it to me. So what can you get someone that is original, unexpected, and unbelievably cool? Heavenly Swords has got your back on that one. Here you can find amazingly clever gifts for anyone who’s ever seen a movie, or played a video game. Pretty much anyone who’s ever been a kid would love this stuff… and correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we all start out that way?

These are just a few suggestions. We’re adding new products every day, so make sure you browse it up!

Cobra Dagger w/ Stand

This guy is pretty and menacing at the same time. Not to mention he’d look awesome on a bookshelf. Any guy or girl who’s into cool looking weapons would love this.

Apocalyptic Zombie Decapitator Sword

Do you love zombie movies? Are you certain it’s only a matter of time before the shizz goes down? Then be ready to kill some undead with this affordable, yet fully functional razor sharp sword. The heavy duty nylon sheath with shoulder strap is included.

Caribbean Gray Pirates Flame Acrylic Sword Cane

Does someone in your life use a cane? Get them this kickass piece of equipment, so they can strut their way down the sidewalk. The dagger style blade is made of stainless steel and doesn’t come sharp, but this cane is still one bad mamma-jamma.

Snow White Sword

The movie was really good. The sword is really pretty! Any girl who’s a fan of Kristen Stewart will want to own the sword that helped her destroy the evil witch (brilliantly played by Charlize Theron), and win her kingdom back. Who says girls don’t like weapons?

Dragon Armor with Samurai Sword Letter Opener

How cute is this miniature! It’s the perfect item to personalize your loved one’s desk at work. The Samurai sword is a letter opener and it’s not sharp, so it’s safe to keep at work. The Japanese armor is a beautifully detailed replica of the kind of armor a Samurai warrior would wear on his way to battle.

We have so many great products, I can’t even wrap my head around listing them all. We have armor, ninja gear, pirate stuff, survival stuff, movie replicas, anime replicas, a crazy selection of katanas and other japanese awesomeness, and we’re adding more stuff every day!

 

 

 

Crazy About Thundercats

When I was a kid, few things brought me more joy than sitting in front of the TV at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning with a giant bowl of Froot Loops. The house would be quiet, since both my parents and older sister liked to sleep in. It was on one of these mornings that I discovered one of the greatest shows in the history of animation… THUNDERCATS. Hoh! God I loved them. Lion-O was my first crush. That flowing orange hair, and those glowing cat eyes? Come on. I didn’t stand a chance!

As I grew up, my love for Thundercats continued. I began to understand the mythology of it more, the allegory of it all, how it reflected human conflict, etc… But also I loved that they had a powerful female character fighting right alongside the men. Cheetara was beautiful and strong. She could kick butt like nobody’s business. I wanted to be just like her. There were also kids who were as cunning and fast as any of the grown-ups, and it made my little-girl heart swell with pride.

It’s the inventive storytelling the kept us going back from week to week, whether we knew it or not. The original series ended in 1989, but was thankfully reincarnated on Cartoon Network’s Toonami in 2011. Boy Meets World’s Will Friedle (older brother Eric Matthews) is the voice of Lion-O! What? Yes. The crush continues.

To this day I squeal whenever I see a plastic Sword of Omens in a toy store. Imagine my surprise when I found a quality, real-life, hand polished stainless steel replica on Heavenly Swords. I can die now.

You can own it too. Arm yourself against any hideous mutants that may come your way with this amazing sword. They also have a shield, and some other stuff you have to check out. I’ve made a little list below to give you a taste.

Deluxe Thundercats Lion-O’s Sword of Omens

Just look at it. It’s incredible. 46” long with a 34” blade. It is hand polished, double edge 440 stainless steel. The Eye of Thundera lights up on both sides when you hold the handle! All it needs is a couple AA batteries, and they’re included. The guard is 7” wide and 1 ¼” thick. This is no joke, my friend. This sword is massive!

Thundercats Shield

This substantial shield is made of cast metal and will complete your Thundercats weapons arsenal perfectly. Now grab the orange hair dye and some eyeliner, we’re going full-on Thundera style!

Heavenly Swords isn’t just for the Thundercats lover. Here you can find weapon replicas from all your favorite movies and shows. Whether you’re into medieval, samurai, ninja, anime, cosplay, or buccaneer wear, we have it all. Do you want a beautiful display, or battle ready armor? Whatever it is, we got it. So check us out now!

2013 Bay Area Renaissance Festival

Florida folks! The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is well underway every weekend until April 7th. Going strong since 1979, this year promises to be the biggest festival yet. It is the largest costumed festival in Tampa, and it’s chock-full of fun activities for grown-ups and kids alike.

Well known for its themed weekends, this festival right on schedule to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Come check it out this weekend while they celebrate “Shamrocks & Shenanigans!” It is the largest St. Paddy’s day party in Tampa, complete with a “Men in Kilts” contest… should be interesting to say the least… FREE beer tasting, Irish Heavy Games, and their very own Celtic Village, this weekend is a must-see!

All that in addition to the other traditional Renaissance fest accoutrements, like jousting, arts and crafts, acrobats, daily high tea with the Queen herself, and medieval market place. You could even have brunch with King Henry on Easter Sunday! The menu includes all kinds of yummy things, and mango mimosas… wink, wink. Yum.

This particular festival is special in that they have real-live mermaids! They swim around in a ginormous tank, and will even wave at you as you walk by. They might even take a picture with you, if you ask nicely.

Admission is $18.95 at the door for adults, $10.95 for kids ages 5-12. Kids under 4 years old enter free. Members of the military get free admission Friday, March 22nd. Mark your calendars! They are open from 10 am-6 pm rain or shine. Check out their website for directions.

They do have a weapon’s policy, which I read. They allow longbows, as long as they are not strung. Swords, knives, dirks and daggers are allowed, but must be completely sheathed and peace-tied. No axes or blunt weapons. Here are a few cool weapons with sheaths and some armor to complete your costume for the festival.

Masonic Short Sword

Turn some heads with this beautifully detailed sword. The handle alone is gasp-worthy. It is 20” long and the handle has a silver finish. Just, so pretty.

Leather Arm Guards

Metal armor might be too much for the Florida heat, but these leather arm guards will complete your Medieval outlaw look with ease. A black cotton shirt, a sword around your waist, or a bow strapped to your back, and you’re looking pretty good.

Blue Medieval Crusader Knight Dragon Foam Shield

This shield is light enough to get carried around all day, but detailed enough to get some attention. Perfect for the festival. Also really good for kids who want to dress up too!

A Renaissance Festival is fun whether or not you wear a costume. But getting dressed up adds to the fantasy of it all, it immerses you in the experience. Keeps the scene going, if you will. Nothing can take you out of the moment faster than looking down at your Metallica t-shirt while watching a jousting match. Enjoy the fair!

 

 

Movies With Swords: 300

“This is Sparta!”

The 2006 action film has left those words imprinted in the brain of anyone who saw it. A visual masterpiece, the film was shot with a “super-imposition chroma key” technique. Don’t ask me what that means, I just know it looked really cool. The movie is based on the critically acclaimed 1998 comic by Frank Miller. The artwork of the comic was so stunningly integral to the story, that the film makers had to adopt a similar look to mimic the environment these soldiers were in. I don’t think this film would’ve worked without it.

The story is narrated by a soldier named Dilios. He tells us what happened from his perspective, and creates a world where fantasy and fact become intertwined. He tells the legend, not the history, and we eat it up.

Dilios tells the story of Leonidas, from the encounter with a wolf that made him a man, to his becoming king of Sparta. When prompted by a messenger to submit to Xerxes, the kind of Persia, Leonidas kicks him into a bottomless hole. This of course, would lead to war… the rest is history. Literally.

Both the comic and the movie were based on the writings of Herodotus, widely regarded as one of the first historians in Western literature. His writings were put together into a book called “The Histories”, and they serve as a record of ancient traditions, politics and important events of the Mediterranean. It chronicles the rise of the Persian Empire, and tells a detailed account of the Battle of Thermopylae, where the real story took place.

The bottom line is, there once was an actual King Leonidas, and he really did battle an army of about 800,000 Persians with only about 300 men. In reality they lost, but his courage and sacrifice lived on. It lived on so long, that Gerard Butler depicted him in a movie almost 2,500 years later… Now that is fame. Not only that, but the tactics he used to fight the Persians are still used in battle today. How awesome is that?

So if you want to honor King Leonidas too, Heavenly Swords has a whole lot of Spartan stuff to help you!

300 – King Leonidas Sword

This detailed replica has a 26”, razor sharp carbon steel blade. It is 34” overall, and comes with a leather sheath and waistband.

300 – Spartan Warrior Shield

This is an exact replica from the movie. It‘s made from cast aluminum with a rubberized backing and has a thick wooden handle and an adjustable nylon strap for a perfect fit.

300 Spartan Helmet

You’ll feel like you traveled back in time when you put this helmet on your noggin.

300 Greaves

Your armor is almost complete with this set of greaves. They’re made of high quality steel and finished in antiqued brass for an authentic look.

And that’s only the beginning. Don’t forget to head over to our movie replica sections to check out the rest of our stuff. You’ll be a complete Spartan warrior in no time. Leonidas would be proud.