Monday, March 29, 2010

Recent Anime Newsbites

  • Awhile back [adult swim] stated they had acquired broadcast rights to three anime series. Everyone assumed one would be Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and another was Inu-Yasha: The Final Act. We were proven right on the former and we may still be right about the latter. There was a lot of speculation about what the third series would be and now we know it's one few would have guessed of. [adult swim] will premier Viz Media's Kekkaishi in May. I'm not personally familiar with Kekkaishi but this seems in keeping with the network's pattern of airing oddly obscure series and complaining of the results later on.
  • The Tokyo Internation Anime Fair was held this weekend and featured all sorts of announcements. Surprising no one a new version of the latest Evangelion film, titled Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, is coming to DVD and Blu-ray in Japan next month. Would it be too much to ask that it be released in the U.S. within a year? Also at the fair were trailers for the Gundam 00 movie, Black Lagoon OVA , and Toei's CG Gaiking movie.
  • Warner Bros. is developing a live action Bleach movie. I'm guessing that the movie will languish in development hell for years, not that it would stop fans from discussing it. If it's ever actually made it won't be until long afterwards and it will be released to little fanfare. Okay one could make the argument that adapting an anime or manga into a live action Hollywood movie is a bad idea. But a live action Bleach movie strikes me as a particularly bad idea. Even by anime and manga standards, it's very much of it's country of origin. Bleach's world is highly influenced by Shintoism. And how do you properly introduce the number of unusual concepts and characters in Bleach to a whole new audience in two hours? It takes the first several episodes of the series just to set the stage for what's to come.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cancelled Action Figure Cavalcade: The Legend of Zelda

Toysite had a third Nintendo line on display at Toy Fair 2000, one based on The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. There were to be figures of adult Link, Princess Zelda, Ganondorf, Darunia the Goron, a Staflos warrior, Shiek with the hookshot, a set of Ganondorf on his horse, and young Link with a Skulltula. Ocarina of Time actually got a couple of figures from different companies, but none had the character selection that Toysite's line did.

So what happened? I can only speculate. Maybe Toysite felt they were taking on more than they could handle? Maybe it was more than the market could handle? Video game action figures were very popular at the turn of the Millennium but things quicky cooled off. You would think retailers could see the value of the Nintendo characters over the countless other video game lines that were on the shelves. Did Toysite have difficulty dealing with Nintendo? It's not unheard of for a licensor to put the kibosh on the licensee's plans. There's actually another aspect to the story of Toysite's withdrawal that has nothing to do with Nintendo or video games, and we'll take a look at that another day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cancelled Action Figure Cavalcade: Donkey Kong

Here's part two on a look at Toysite and their unreleased Nintendo action figures from ten years ago.

It's not as though Toysite was some fly by night company, incapable of releasing product. Before 2000 they released a line of toys based on the Donkey Kong Country games. It included figures of Donkey, Funky, Diddy, Cranky and Kiddy Kong. A second assortment was to follow based on Donkey Kong 64 with new characters Tiny, Lanky and Chunky Kong. There was also to be a Kremling villain and Donkey Kong in a mine cart. Series 2 along with the rest of Toysite's Nintendo planned figures were cancelled, but the first series of Donkey Kong stands as an example of what could have been.

As much as I like Donkey Kong he wouldn't have been my first choice of Nintendo characters to receive a dedicated toyline. I would have loved an extensive Star Fox line complete with Arwing and Landmaster vehicles. I guess that would've been too much to ask for considering Toysite didn't even release the one Fox McCloud figure in the "Mario's World" line.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cancelled Action Figure Cavalcade: Mario's World

Today's entry of Cancelled Action Figure Calvacade hits particularly close to home. As a kid there wasn't very much I wanted more than action figures based on my favorite Nintendo characters.

Back in 2000 little known toy company Toysite was previewing an extensive collection of figures based on Nintendo characters at Toy Fair and E3. They were never officially released. One of the series Toysite had planned was "Mario's World", a loose collection of Nintendo characters mostly focusing on those from the Mario Bros. games.

Mario and Luigi came with "plumber weapons" which amusingly enough is something they have in common with the Mario and Luigi figures from the Ertl toyline based on the live action movie. Toysite did have an eye for game accurate details. The Metal Mario had an action feature that allowed it to sink in water.

Of particular note is the Banjo and Kazooie figure. Because of the falling out between Nintendo and Rare, there's no way a Banjo figure would be included in a Nintendo line today.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Johnny Storm is Steve Rogers

Chris Evans has signed on to play the title role in Captain America. Evans is of course best known for playing another Marvel superhero, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four. Evans made for a pretty good Johnny but Cap is a very different role. We'll find out if he has the chops to pull it off when the movie is released next year.

Still not as weird as Deadpool being Hal Jordan.

Quick update @ 5:08 PM: I think I hit that "Publish" button too soon because more thoughts on this have been sinking in.

One important bit I neglected to mention is that Evans would also be playing Cap in 2012's Avengers movie. I wonder how he'll play off Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. So the cast will consist of a veteran actor, a rising star and an unknown. This makes me all the more intrigued about Thor. I don't have any expectations about Hemsworth or how he'll be as Asgard's favorite son.

Here's a useless bit of trivia. Chris Evans has brown hair and in the comics Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers are both blond. He didn't dye his hair for the former role and I don't expect he will for Captain America either. Interestingly Jessica Alba who played his sister in the Fantastic Four movies did dye her hair blond. I suppose hair color is considered more important for female characters then.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Giant Haul Backlog

I haven't done a haul post in some time, largely due to a mix of technical issues and plain old laziness. So here's a bunch of pics featuring stuff I got recently, some of it from as far back as before Christmas.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Most Anticipated Blu-ray Discs

I’ve been impressed with the amount of titles that are already out or have been announced as coming soon. For example Shout! Factory has said they’re working on a Blu-ray release of the 1987 animated G.I. Joe: The Movie. Who could have expected that? There are still a number of other titles that have yet to be announced that I want to see released. I think Jurassic Park would be my top choice and I doubt I’ll have to wait long for it. Other personal favorites would be The Rocketeer and Super Mario Bros. Those might take longer.

There are plenty of series yet to come out on Blu-ray including the Alien teratology, Back to the Future trilogy, and the Star Wars hexology. It could be a long wait for that last one, but I’ll wait as long as it takes.

There’s some classic films I’d like to see on Blu-ray, King Kong, Citizen Kane, and The Seven Samurai. I think they all have a good chance of coming out eventually.

The Weinstein Company doesn’t have a great track record for Blu-ray releases. Among the movies they’re sitting on that I want to see released are Suspiria, the theatrical cut of Grindhouse, and Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair.

I’m looking forward to more Disney animated features but there are a few I want to single out. Aladdin was a part of the earlier Platinum edition line but isn’t part of the new Diamond Edition line. It was replaced by Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. I don’t see the point in needing to replace certain movies with other ones. They’re putting unnecessary restrictions on themselves with their practices. They don’t even stick to their carefully planned schedule. The Diamond Edition of Dumbo should have been out already, and it is out in other countries, but Disney pushed it back a year in the U.S.

Another one is Alice in Wonderland. Disney has a new Special Un-Anniversary Edition coming to DVD but not on Blu-ray. Why do studios even bother with DVD only releases these days? Hopefully the Blu-ray is coming later. Maybe later new live action movie comes out.

It’s a safe bet that TRON will be released on Blu-ray later this year when TRON Legacy opens in theatres. Then again if Disney didn’t bother with Alice in Wonderland on Blu, I guess it’s possible they could hold off on TRON too.

Lastly I want to mention some anime films that I’d like to have any sort of upgrade on, Blu-ray or not. End of Evangelion and Perfect Blue are currently only available as out of print non-anamorphic DVDs. Princess Mononoke could use a special edition. Only Yesterday needs to be released period. And I really want the early Pok√©mon movies in widescreen but I don’t know if that will ever happen.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mad Dolls

I like to call Mad Men my absolute favorite show that doesn't have any robots in it. I think that makes it my 48th favorite show overall.

Mattel is producing a line of Barbie dolls based on Mad Men, and frankly I'm not loving them. I understand that what makes for a good Barbie doll is very likely completely different than what makes for a good action figure. The dolls don't look like the actors but in at least the women's case it's intentional. The Joan and Betty dolls are styled after the older Barbies of the 1960's when the show takes place which I actually think is kind of a nice touch.

The problem is they shouldn't be sharing the same body type. Christina Hendricks is a stunning woman and that Barbie frame captures none of that. To be fair to Mattel they did do a great job with Joan's hair.

Betty's hair isn't as nice. It looks too voluminous to be specific. It's ironic that Mattel couldn't even nail her in doll form, as the character is essentially a living Barbie doll.

As for the men, Don and Roger don't look like Ken fortunately. Yet they don't look much like John Hamm and John Slattery either. To paraphrase Liz Lemon, John Hamm looks like a cartoon pilot. He doesn't look like a mannequin.

You know what would have made these dolls more appealing? If they talked. I want a Roger doll that makes dry pithy remarks to me when I pull it's string.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Steelbook Collection Part Three

Here's a new update of my collection of steelbook collection. Check out part one and part two as well.

One of these days I should try taking a group shot. The least I could do is take new pics that will be organized better.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Judging A DVD By Its Cover 13

Remember the Nineties? I know you do!

The Ghost Writer cover is clever and it fits the spirit of the show to a T. I'm almost as nostalgic for composition notebooks as I am for the show itself. Honestly though as much as I might have liked Ghost Writer I had forgotten that it even existed.

The Family Matters cover is priceless. The family is small and off in the background, with a giant Urkel up front. It epitomizes the entire series.