Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Comic Con Talk

  • Square Enix had several new lines of figures including Kingdom Hearts II, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • Hasbro showed off the first batch of Indiana Jones figures based on the first movie in he series Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now kids at home can melt Nazis with ghosts. Eventually Hasbro will get around to figures of the new fourth movie including Indy's son, whom I'll be customizing into Sam Witwicky.

  • It's taken five years but they finally made an action figure of Padmé in her black off the shoulder dress. Scruffy nerf herders everywhere rejoice.

  • Best Buy will have exclusive three disc steelbook editions of Grindhouse films Death Proof and Planet Terror. Here's a comparison shot with the standard two disc editions.
  • Hasbro has completely nailed the look of the new Transformers animated series, even moreso than the live action movie. The series produced by Warner Animation and is the "cartooniest" depiction of the Autobots and Decepticons ever. Check out Bumblebee.
  • Toynami is bringing back Futurama action figures with Fry, Zoidberg, Leela, Zapp Brannigan, Bender, the Robot Devil and most importantly Richard Nixon's head. Blue Zoidberg is a Toyfare exclusive. The savage Zoidberg with head fin was a convention exclusive and is swollen with male jelly.

  • Best Buy was selling an exclusive version of 300 on DVD that comes packaged with the mask of the Immortals. Screw that, I want the 300 tote bag. Tote bags are the height of convention giveaways.

  • The trailer for The Dark Knight was not particularly revealing but this photo certainly is. Check out Heath Ledger as the Joker. I believe the slits on his mouth are to allow him to open his mouth wider giving him a creepy smile. He also has hair like Tom Hanks in the The Da Vinci Code except greener.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A View from Afar

San Diego International Comic Con is going on as I type this. I feel overwhelmed by the news coming in.

  • Special convention teasers for Iron Man and The Dark Knight were shown and quickly leaked online. Unfortunately the studios have been swift to have these leaks removed. Believe me, I looked.

  • The cast of Watchmen has been confirmed. The only actor in the cast I'm familiar with is Billy Crudup who will play Doctor Manhattan and the actor playing Rorschach who apparently was the "bad boy" in the original Bad News Bears.

  • Tim Blake Nelson has been cast as the Leader in The Incredible Hulk. He's a great character actor. I've seen him in Minority Report and O Brother Where Art Thou.

  • The live action Teen Titans movie rumoured to be in the works is still in the works. The only confirmed character thus far is Nightwing. The script writer wants to put emphasis on young heroes and sidekicks coming of age. I don't know if it can be pulled off if they decide to exclude the older heroes.

  • Blade Runner: The Final Cut will be released on DVD on December 18th. There will be a two disc edition of the Final Cut, a four disc edition which includes the U.S. and international theatrical cuts and the '92 Director's Cut. Finally there is a five disc edition which includes the early workprint version and comes in an attache case which includes goodies like photographs, an origami unicorn, and a Void Comp test. The five disc set will also be available on HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

  • Zachary "Sylar" Quinto has been confirmed to play Mr. Spock in he upcoming Star Trek prequel. In other Trek news the first season of the original season has been announced for HD-DVD on November 20th for $218. Green slave women in high definition? Count me in.

  • A 30th Anniversary DVD of Close Encounters of the Third Kind will be released on November 13th. It will include the 1977 theatrical cut, 1980 special edition, and Spielberg's 1998 director's cut.

  • Futurama returns in their first in a series of direct to DVD movies, Bender's Big Score on November 27th. Bender returns to the past to join Al Gore during the 2000 recount election. These movies will later be cut into individual episodes and aired on Comedy Central.

  • Francis Ford Coppola's film Bram Stoker's Dracula gets a collector's edition DVD October 2nd. Check out the artwork. It's really bizarre but strangely enough I still like it.

  • A boxset of Stanley Kubrick's films A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Shining will be released on October 23rd. These upgraded special edition DVDs will also be available separately. Kubrick's other films Barry Lyndon and Lolita get new DVD releases the same day but get shafted from the boxset for some reason.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End will be released on DVD on December 4th in single disc and two disc configurations, as well as Blu-Ray.

  • NECA has acquired the license to video game Assassin's Creed. They also have new figures for Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, God of War and Castlevania. They've also announced one more 300 figure, a very large Xerxes.

  • Mezco has acquired the license to produce action figures of TV series Heroes.

  • New Naruto figures include Shikimaru, Kiba, Choji, Kankuro and multiple figures of a silver haired fellow I'm not familiar with. Spoiler maybe?
  • 2007 is a great year for fans of the Phoenix from X-Men and its mother and daughter hosts. Collector's will be able to get 12" action figures of Jean Grey Phoenix and Jean Grey Dark Phoenix, and 6" figures of Rachel Summers Marvel Girl, Rachel Summers Phoenix, Jean Grey Marvel Girl (in a two pack with her clone's son Cable), and a Toys R Us exclusive Jean Grey Black Queen. That's a lot of redheads. Not too mention convoluted storytelling.

  • Mattel had a new Masters of the Universe He-Man prototype at their booth. There's no other info as their panel isn't until later. Could it be time for a re-re-relaunch of the beloved 80s property? I hope not. I'm quite He-Man'd out.

  • DC Direct announced a new series of Teen Titans figures based on George Perez' Judas Contract storyline. The lineup includes Robin, Jericho, Deathstroke (Slade) and Terra. Presumably this new series will tie in with the new animated Judas Contract movie being released to DVD next year. In a complete surprise to me DC Direct also announced a series based on Smallville to include Clark, Green Arrow, Impulse, Art (Aquaman), Cyborg, and Bizarro.

  • For a movie that's nearly three months old the amount of Spider-Man 3 toys planned is staggering. Just look at some of this stuff. Vulture! Mysterio! A Stretch Armstrong-esque Sandman! A Venom that vomits Symbiote goop! And I must own it all. Well most of it anyways.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Haul 2 Electric Boogaloo

Today was the start of Burger King's The Simpsons Movie promotion. In the last few weeks this chain of quick service restaurants has given me toys of the Silver Surfer and Optimus Prime yet I was more excited about America's favorite yellow clan for some reason. It's been quite awhile since I've bought any Simpsons merch. I think the way Playmates' World of Springfield line concludled left a bad taste in my mouth. I love Burger King's character selection, not to mention the fact that they talk. Not bad for a giveaway. I think they're nicer than McFarlane's current action "dioramas".

The first Burger King I went to didn't have them. When I reached one that did they were pricier than I expected. I've found that there's no consistent price amongst restaurants for buying the toy separately. Not wanting to spend too much on something that's usually free I had to choose between Lisa, Wiggum and Krusty. My first instinct was to leave Lisa but I figured I should probably buy her since she's a family member. So I left poor Clancy instead. Forgive the crappy cell phone pics.

I also picked up the first series of Toynami's Bleach action figures. I've been drooling over these since I first saw pics at the beginning of the year. I have to say Toynami hit the ball out of the park with these. I had some minor quibbles with the Ichigo prototype but the final product has assuaged my concerns. He comes with his first zanpakutō and both come with display bases. Rukia comes with Kon, two sets of interchangeable hands (including one with her glove), and most awesome of all her sketcbook - complete with her little drawings perfectly replicated in a tiny scale! Series two cannot come soon enough. Must have Orihime...

This will be my last post for the next few days. The internet has been insufferably slow lately and I finally realized why. The San Diego Comic Con is this weekend and everyone is saving their news until then. I'm not going myself but I'll definitely be glued to my monitor ready to comment on all the tantalizing details.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I love the Power Glove. It's so bad.

  • Funimation has announced their first Blu-Ray title, and it's a double feature of Dragonball Z Broly movies. Exactly which movies they're releasing is unknown but I'm betting they're excluding Bio-Broly. This is about only the third anime title to receive an HD release and the first with any kind of mainstream appeal. DBZ may be Funi's cash cow but it's a strange choice nonetheless. I dig the idea of doubling up on the content, but frankly given past experience I expect Funi's remaster to look like crap. I also wonder what aspect ratio they'll be using. Despite being animated in fullscreen Funi could get away with releasing the movies in widescreen since that's how it was exhibited in Japanese theatres way back when.

  • I'm really looking forward to this flick. Robert Downey is a great actor and it looks like the filmmakers have a great sense of Iron Man's aesthetic. In 2008 you will believe a billionaire alcoholic industrialist can use his repulsor ray. (Clearly Paramount needs my marketing genius.)

  • Feeling depressed? Angry at the world? Hate liberals? Well WKTT Radio is for you! Rockstar has launched an official website for a mock conservative radio station where ordinary people can call in and "complain" about America and its problems. A lucky few will then be selected to have their voice recording be used in Grand Theft Auto IV.

  • If this Star Wars Battlefront II themed boxset had come out two years ago, when the game was released I would have been all over it like a geek on Star Wars action figures. (I should really make my metaphors less literal.) Now it seems too little too late. All I really want is the jetpack Clone Trooper and that's because he has a green visor. Green visors are neat.

  • Remember that pic of the yet to be released battle damaged Jazz I posted in a previous blog entry? Well now that I've seen the movie I have to say it's not nearly as impressive as it could have been. Lately I've seen a whole lot of repaints and modifications of the Transformers movie toys, but this custom battle damaged Jazz really takes the cake.

  • It's time to find new jobs now theologians. Here's indisputable proof that there is no God. However the upcoming sequel proves there is in fact a Satan. And his name is Uwe Boll.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hanging with Homer

  • I always thought sword replicas were cool. Personally I always wanted Lion-O's Sword of Omens. Check out this replica of Cloud's sword from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. It's no Thundercats sword but it's still impressive.
  • USA Today is having a poll about which Transformer you want to see in the eventual movie sequel. As of this writing Soundwave is winning the vote. No surprise there. I myself voted for über badass Decepticon Shockwave. I would have voted for Arcee if she was an option, and I'm a bit ticked that she's not. It's a great list besides that; Grimlock, Jetfire, Ultra Magnus, Devastator, Ravage. Frankly I'd love to see any of these characters on the big screen. Except Mirage. I don't get why he's popular, but I don't understand the popularity of NASCAR either. Go and vote!
  • 300 will be released on DVD on July 31st. In terms of store exclusives, Target will have a DVD-ROM that will allow you to download the movie to your PC. Why you can't just put the DVD in your PC I don't know. Circuit City will have a set of collector cards. Unfortunately it seems they come packaged in the single disc edition and not the double disc edition. I've seen ads at f.y.e. advertising a bonus disc, and so far that's the most tempting incentive. Best Buy Canada has a mini Spartan helmet replica for pre-order and it's confirmed Best Buy U.S. will have it too. Updated 7/25/07

  • Here's a few more Kwik-E-Mart pics.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thank You, Come Again.

Eleven 7-11s across the United States have been converted into the ubiquitous Kwik-E-Mart from The Simpsons to promote the upcoming Simpsons Movie. This is the greatest marketing tie-in in the history of marketing tie-ins.

The establishment was well inhabited by everyone's favorite characters.

One of the cooler aspects was the wall of sketches by Simpsons artists. The Sprinklelicious donut is amongst the best I've ever eaten. Separated at birth?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nixon's back!

  • I know in the short time I've had this blog I've already used it to geek out about random Venom merchandise on multiple occasions. What can I say? He's my favorite character and this was a big year for him. I'll try to cut back but I felt this role play set must be addressed. It's very similar to a set Toy Biz made back in the day that I really wanted as a kid. That set however had a chestplate and a far less intimidating web-shooter.
  • In other Venom news...sigh
  • Great image or greatest image ever?
  • Here's the first full color glimpse of the The Simpsons Movie Burger King talking toys. The lineup includes a half naked Bart, new movie character Russ Cargill, and a gold colored chase variant of Homer who's apparently holding a cowboy hat of some kind. The promotion starts July 23rd and unfortunately it won't include Krusty Burgers and Ribwiches, but you can by Butterfinger pie.
  • Entertainment Earth has an exclusive Star Wars Mandalorian warrior themed multipack for preorder. There will be a whopping fourteen figures in the set and six have been revealed so far including a pair of male Mandalorian warriors and the first female one, plus a black Republic Commando and two Clone Troopers. It's kinda neat waiting for the next figure to be revealed. I'm expecting at least one Fett to be included in the set.