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Splash Aquatics Walk-Through Aquarium!

Splash Aquatics is something of a huge store on the Gooruembalchi mainland sim. Creator and owner, Kaikou Splash, sells all types of aquatic  mammals, tropical fish and fresh water fish as well as a range of scuba diving gear, landscaping tools and some incredible vehicles! The place is 100% worth checking out and his animals are the most beautiful and realistic available in Second Life™. In addition, the prices are very reasonable.

However, the element I want to concentrate on is the walk-through aquarium, which is just amazing! It’s incredibly well done and showcases the very finest in aquatic animals in game. Completely submerged, you can walk right through a very peaceful feeling tunnel and admire the work of the creator close up.


Take a look for yourself!

I recommend taking a visit to Splash! You can find it by clicking here!

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March 22, 2009 Posted by | Beautiful Places, Miscellaneous, Product Reviews, Shopping, Stores | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Screwball Cartoon Avatars Sim

I confess…I have a soft spot for the Smurfs. Those loveable retro blue midgets bring back some rather happy tv memories. And the massive Smurfy presence on the Screwball Cartoon Avatars sim played a large part in my spending hours on this sim!

This is an entire region of a cartoon theme. The island belongs to Jenee Marten, whose landing point takes you to the front of her avatar store (which is also very cartoony in build). She sells some really cool avatars in there. There’s Looney Tunes, South Park, Smurfs and other well known ones and then loads  of original stuff including some really hilarious adult avatars. She has regular ones, tinies and miniatures. I have a couple of the miniatures from here and I personally haven’t seen better done toon avatars in game or avatars smaller than this in game either. They really are that awesome! There’s a lot of freebies available in the store too, cartoon type slippers etc.

Screwball Cartoon Avatars

Screwball Cartoon Avatars

What I love about this place is the fact that its focus is fun and not just commercial activity. Yes, the store is on there and the store is awesome. But this is a full sim with some really cool cartoon features. There’s a really great Smurf Village (which is perfect size if you’re wearing the Smurf miniature avs), there’s a giant Smurf statue on a hill (I’m going on about Smurf’s a bit too much here aren’t I?). There’s a cartoon style haunted house and little cartoon cottage, as well as a little Peanuts themed area and Winnie the Pooh themed area as well, a little Marvin the Martian  and planety more stuff too!!

South Park Elementary Replica

South Park Elementary Replica

The Smurf Village

The Smurf Village

But it isn’t all just things to look at. There’s stuff to do too! There’s Bumper Boats that you can tour the whole island on and cartoon trivia on one of the decks over the river. For fishing fanatics, probably the best feature will be the 7Seas Fishing Deck. There’s a LOT of custom catches available here. While I was fishing there I caught some really funny original fish (yes they’re cartoony) and others around me caught some pretty cool animated shoulder buddies. There’s a list of all custom catches available to take too, which tells you there’s a SMurf shoulder buddy in there (here I go again with Smurfs), a Devil, Santa amongst others. And, surprise, surprise, they’re all cartoonish!

One thing not to miss is ‘Little Willy’s Porn Emporium’ which is a dirty little cartoon themed porn shop! You read it right! In there you can buy the ‘adult’ cartoon avatars Jenee Marten makes but the concept is original and funny.

Little Willys!

Little Willy's!

All in all this is definitely a must see place. It’s completely different and very original. I haven’t seen a better cartoon sim in Second Life™. For anyone looking for fun stuff to do in Second Life, this is the way to go! You can find the Screwball Cartoon Avatars region here.

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Miscellaneous, Stores, The Weirdly Wonderful | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dandy Store!

No, I’m not talking about the famed comic books. ‘Dandy’ in this sense refers to the male character (particularly written about in Victorian literature and famously so in the works of the incredible Oscar Wilde) who cares about his appearance, pays particular attention to how he dresses and can be flamboyant. But I won’t get into literary definitions or lectures about Wilde!

However, I was handed a note card with information about a Dandy Store called ‘Nachtmusik’ by one of its two owners the other day. The store is owned by Draco Nacht and Theodore Nacht and lies on the beautifully quaint sim of Caledon South End. It caters to ‘Dandy-ish’ male avatars primarily with its elegant Victorian style clothing but also has a couple of female gowns as well.

I went along to take a look, since such an idea is very original in Second Life™ and it is something of a change to see in terms of the saturated clothing market.

The first thing to note it just how well this place is set up. The store is elegant, Victorian in feel and works well with the concept of the designs it sells. The building was created by Gregg Barrymore. Kudos to the owners though for opting to lay out their store in theme. As I say frequently, I really hate to see locations where the items have been thrown out in prims with no thought or care.

The Dandy Store at Caledon South End

The Dandy Store at Caledon South End

Inside Nachtmusik

Inside 'Nachtmusik'

Some of the Dandy Stores Designs

Some of the Dandy Store's Designs

Getting beyond the incredible interior and exterior decor, I took a close look at the advertising pictures for the clothing they create here. This is very much a new store, which explains the relatively limited range of items available. But already there is a certain quality to be seen. The outfits stay very much true to their theme and are incredibly ‘Dandy-ish’ in nature. Many of them can also be sent as gifts, which is a great idea and very convenient. The prices are very reasonable. For example, the ‘Colorful Gentleman’ outfit which is an entire outfit with jackets, pants, shirt layer plus prim parts too, is just L$ 150! ‘The Dandy’ outfit, again a full outfit featuring prim puffed sleeves and cravat is just L$ 200, the same price as the female gowns.

So pricewise, superb. For layout, wonderful. It is very much a niche, however. Few people in game I have seen dress permanently in this style so I imagine it would attract costume buyers just as much as those who choose this for their overall look.

I would say this will be more impressive once it has a larger range, particularly if the new releases will stay as true to theme as the current ones. It’s refreshing to come across a designer who is focusing on a niche like this. I would much rather see someone specialise in their area than become a Jack of all trades and a master of none.

Whether you like your avatar to be permanently a Dandy, or whether you simply require something of this nature for a costume party, this is worth a look as the quality is seemingly high and the products look detailed, not to mention the low prices. You can find Nachtmusik Dandy Store here.

– Broom Andel

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Demoiselle Denimore’s rating is 7/10.
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November 14, 2008 Posted by | Clothing, Stores | , , , | Leave a comment

Hosoi Ichiba And The Great Wall of China

When I opened up a free for all last night, inviting people to submit their low traffic locations to me for review, I had something of a greater response than expected… not that I’m complaining! It gives me plenty of exploring to do!

The first place I teleported to was one submitted to me by Amiryu Hosoi, a Japanese furniture creator who submitted landmarks to two sims, one of which houses her furnishings and the other of which houses her replica of the Great Wall of China.

Teleporting into Virgin Island, the sim on which you will find Amiryu’s Hosoi Ichiba furnishings, the first thing that struck me was the obvious time and effort that had gone into creating an authentic feeling environment from which to sell her products. This is always a positive start and an assurance, in my opinion, that if a creator puts that much effort into the layout of the products, then their quality is likely to be high as well. The sim is worth exploring for its layout alone, even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly interested in this niche of furnishings. As well as the couches and rugs, the ornate lamps, floor cushions and wall hangings are incredibly well designed ‘extras’. By ‘extras’ I mean the little things that you don’t find in every other place attempting to do the same type of thing. In this case I am referring to a number of beautiful Asian Gongs.

Hosoi Ichiba Furnishings

Hosoi Ichiba Furnishings

Hosoi Ichiba Furnishings

Hosoi Ichiba Furnishings

There’s far too many pieces for me to go into detail with but suffice to say that accuracy of the pieces in relation to their theme is impeccable. I certainly would say that there are lower prim furnishings available (as an example a couch is around 20-30 prims) but what has been done with prims here could not be done any other way and is worth it. Besides, there are much higher prim furnishings out there too! In terms of price, at L$ 450 for a gong and on average, it seems, L$400 for a couch, I would put this in line with around average pricing. The prices are very fair, in my opinion.

The next part of the same visit took me just two sims along to the replica of the Great Wall of China on a sim called Mao. Here, you teleport into a small watchtower in which there are vendors on the wall. One of them offers for sale the complete Great Wall of China replica kit… at a staggering L$95000. Ok, so it does have 30 components but I still find this a tad on the pricey side. However, when you step out of the tower and take a look at the replica laid out there on an island terraformed perfectly to fit, it really is breathtaking.

The (Virtual) Great Wall of China

The (Virtual) Great Wall of China

The accuracy with which this has been created is astounding and the quality of the build is flawless. Add that to impeccable texturing and you start to understand the price tag a little more. The quaint doorways, the watchtowers and the rugged way in which the wall creeps over the hills of the island certainly puts this amongst the most breathtaking locations I have ever visited. The pictures will do this far more justice than my words ever will… and a visit there yourself is one step better.

The (Virtual) Great Wall of China

The (Virtual) Great Wall of China

The (Virtual) Great Wall of China

The (Virtual) Great Wall of China

You can find the Hosoi Ichiba furnishings here and the Great Wall of China here.

Definitely, definitely worth checking out.

– Broom Andel

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And of course, no review would be complete without my wonderful partner in crime, Demoiselle Denimore’s rating. For Hosoi Ichiba and the Great Wall of China, Demoiselle’s rating…. (drum roll) 8/10! Where did the other two points go, I hear you ask? Well, Demoiselle tells me it would have been a 10 if she had seen a panda there. (Demoiselle is special)!

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November 11, 2008 Posted by | Beautiful Places, Furnishings | , , , | 1 Comment

La Resistance Modern Furnishings

Furniture in Second Life™ is one of those markets (like so many) that is entirely over saturated. When a market gets like this it becomes increasingly common to find, unfortunately, bad quality stuff and it becomes even harder to find the really good quality stuff. In the current SL™ ‘bot culture,’ traffic stats can be misleading and can also mean that the smaller or newer stores without the bot armies face an uphill struggle to become known.

So it was a particularly pleasant surprise to come across a lesser known and yet very high quality modern furnishings store while out with the wonderful Demoiselle! La Resistance modern furnishings lies on a sim sized parcel on an open space sim called (funnily enough) La Resistance. The furnishings are the creations of Xeit Lane, who has set up here an absolutely incredible store.

The first thing you notice upon entering this store is the ultra-modern feel it has. It’s spacious and laid out well. Every item is set out with other items that co-ordinate with it, meaning that you can essentially get the entire furnishings for a room together and know it will all look like it did in the store! The other great thing is that pretty much everything you see is for sale, from lamps, to plants and artwork so if you see a look for a room that you want, you can replicate it exactly in your own pixel place!

In particular, there is an entire room dedicated to black and white with some pretty unique pieces in there. Again all is laid out so it’s perfectly easy to look around and find what you want. Everything has a very ‘showroom’ feel to it, which always makes shopping easier!

In terms of the products themselves, there’s everything from couches, chairs, to tables, office sets, beds, lamps and plants. The prim usage is economical, with a corner couch (with 3 animations) containing 21 prims or so, up to 40 for a more elaborate one. An animated bed with texture changing for the bed clothes has twenty or so prims. So, admitedly, it isn’t ‘mega-low’ prim, but by the same account it certainly isn’t high prim and the prims that are used are used in such a way as to maximise the quality of the product.

So how much will this stuff set you back? Well, actually the pricing is good! You can pick up sculpted cushions (non-copiable) for L$ 49. The smallers couches are L$ 399, with the most expensive piece I came across (a rather elaborate corner couch with 6 animations) just L$ 499. And, you may notice I have mentioned that everything has animations! There’s perhaps nothing worse than sitting on unanimated furniture… you buy a beautiful couch and then you sit down only to look like a complete prat in your newbie style sitting pose, right? Not here! Xeit Lane’s pieces are all animated.

In all, this is a great place to visit if you are looking for modern furnishings at a reasonable price. I do have one complaint though…. it’s a no fly parcel! I really get irritated by that! Yes, yes, I know I could just enable admin options, I just don’t get the no fly thing!

Other than that, thumbs up!

Visit La Resistance here.

Thanks once again to Demoiselle (sexy) Denimore for the pictures and finding this place!

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Stores | , , , , , | Leave a comment