Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cancelled Action Figure Cavalcade: Fullmetal Alchemist

There's no shortage of Fullmetal Alchemist figures. Square Enix released FMA figures as part of their Trading Arts and Play Arts lines. There's even a new series of Play Arts figures based on Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Funimation distributed some Banpresto figures in North America. Medicom made some very nice sixth scale figures of Edward and Alphonse Elric. Those figures were distributed over here by Southern Island. Southern Island had more plans for the Fullmetal Alchemist license. They were developing their own original line of figures that would unfortunately not be released.

Compared to the existing Fullmetal Alchemist toys Southern Island's figures were much more typical of action figures in North America. They don't quite match the high quality of the Play Arts figures but presumably they would have been far more affordable. Plus the character selection is second only to the Trading Arts figures. Southern Island's figures were poised to strike a nice balance between the other lines.

The line would have had figures of Edward Elric, his brother Alphonse, and Homunculi Lust and Gluttony. They would have included accessories such as interchangeable heads and hands. I believe a second series was announced but I can't be certain, though I vaguely remember it included Scar. Southern Island was also planning an assortment of "chibi" style figures of the FMA cast.

Southern Island showed off the line at Toy Fair 2006. The company was very open with fans on their website but things cooled down after awhile. They did distribute some Japanese products like the aforementioned Medicom figures and some Samurai 7 trading figures, but their Fullmetal Alchemist toys seemed to take a back seat to Fruits Basket maquettes. It was finally announced in November 2007 that the company had gone bankrupt.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Haul

See what I did there? Sorry. I hate myself sometimes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Sidekick League

At their recent upfront, Cartoon Network announced the debut of a new DC animated series Young Justice. I'm guessing it will be loosely based on the comic book of the same name, which is odd because that comic was canceled in favor of a new incarnation of the Teen Titans to cash in on the Teen Titans cartoon which was new at the time.

Let's not ignore the elephant in the teaser image. Aqualad is black. Clearly Warner wanted to diversify the team a tiny bit. So why change an existing character instead of using an established African American hero? Why didn't they just use Static? Or Thunder? Natasha Irons as Steel? Jason Rusch as Firestorm? It seems to me they were concerned about name recognition. They wanted their roster to consist of characters with links to big name Justice League members. Aqualad is in a weird place where he's more noteworthy than the average teen superhero, but insignificant enough that they could get away with altering him. That's assuming that this is even meant to be the same Aqualad from the comics and not a new character borrowing his name.

There's another sort of character conundrum. The female archer is named Artemis. Green Arrow's female sideckick is named Arrowette, although the current Speedy is also a girl. It remains to be seen which, if any, of those characters Artemis is based on. And why does she have that name? Granted "Artemis" does sound a little cooler than "Arrowette" or "Speedy".

Is the fact that Artemis named after a Greek goddess a coincidence? Sadly there's no Wonder Girl on the show. Is Artemis meant to be the stand-in for her? Apparently there are some issues I don't fully understand that limit Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl's ability to appear on TV. That's why Wonder Girl never appeared on Teen Titans or why Clark has yet to meet Diana Prince on Smallville.

The Wonder Girl situation is especially bizarre considering Superboy is going to be on the show, in spite of the legal issues surrounding him. I'm assuming that this Robin is Tim Drake and Kid Flash is Bart Allen. I hope they don't pull a Teen Titans and refrain from dealing with their secret identities.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Declaration of Xros War

So following up on post from a few weeks ago, we've learned a little more about the upcoming new Digimon series. It's official title is Digimon: Xross Wars, pronounced "Cross Wars" but spelled that way likely because the letter "X" makes everything cooler. The series premieres in Japan in July and I imagine North America will get it eventually. If I recall correctly, there was a fairly long wait before the dubbed version of Digimon Savers debuted over here.

As I said before, the character designs look promising. They do however seem a little derivative of past monsters. Looking at some of these new Digimon, I think I can see some elements of Guilmon, Omnimon, Greymon, Terriermon and MetalKabuterimon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The New New Age of Fighting

Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is coming to the PS3 and X-Box 360 in 2011. Check out the trailer on YouTube.

I didn't think it would ever happen, but a brand new Marvel Vs Capcom game is actually coming. The style of this new sequel seems to borrow too much from Street Fighter IV for my tastes but that's hardly a deal breaker. So far the only confirmed fighters are Iron Man, Wolverine, Hulk, Ryu, Morrigan and the first new character to this series, Chris Redfield. There are however silhouettes of other characters in the teaser image. I can make out Captain America, Felicia, Chun Li and what I think are Super Skrull and Deadpool. I'm hoping I'm right about that last one.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some Post C2E2 News

  • At C2E2 this weekend Stephen Sansweet has said work is underway on the Star Wars films on Blu-ray. He also says to expect them in the near future. I'm guessing they'll be released sometime next year.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men has been officially canceled according to Joe Quesada at a panel at C2E2. He also says the fate of Spectacular Spider-Man is up to Sony, but I think there's been little doubt what the outcome of that will be. On the other hand the update about Wolverine and the X-Men came out of left field. Last I heard a second season had been confirmed. As much of fan I was of Spectacular Spider-Man, I liked Wolverine and the X-Men even more.
  • Classic SNES game Earthworm Jim is being released in high definition on the X-Box Live Arcade this May. You can watch the trailer on YouTube but after some brief footage of the game it devolves into an unfunny skit.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Aniplex Releases the Gunmen

Japanese anime distributor Aniplex is stepping their toes into the North American market. They will be releasing both Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann movies on DVD this July. The first movies is titled Childhood's End and comes out July 1st. The sequel, The Lights in the Sky Are Stars, comes out on July 30th. Both movies will be available as single disc and two-disc limited editions. The limited editions include a 32 page program book, postcards, and a bonus DVD featuring four of the eight music videos from Gurren Lagann Parallel Works each. Parallel Works is a series of original animation music videos inspired by Gurren Lagann. The DVDs will only be available on Bandai Entertainment's online store .

I'm admittedly torn about these. They are fairly pricey. I wish they would at least be made available on . I also really want the limited editions. I think I'm more interested in Parallel Works than the movies proper. I have no idea just how limited these sets will be and I don't know how much time I have to wait before I should order these. Or perhaps I should wait to see if they're released on Blu-ray. That might not be a concern being that they're not available on Blu-ray in Japan.

This is also interesting as yet another example of a Japanese company trying establish themselves in the North American market and cutting out the middle man. Granted they're not being cut out completely. You can only get the discs through Bandai. I wonder how much satisfying for fans it would have been if Bandai Entertainment had licensed these movies and released them themselves. Let's see how successful Aniplex becomes. Judging by the attempts of Kadokawa, Toei, and Bandai Visual to distribute titles directly to North America, I imagine Aniplex has their work cut out for them.

Man, this is shaping up to be a potentially expensive year. The Gurren Lagann movies were announced today and the Haruhi movie was announced yesterday. Let's hope foe my wallet's sake things start quieting down soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Strawberry Scented Bear

  • The last part of Attack of the Show's look at Mattel's Comic-Con exclusives aired today. The only item that hadn't already been revealed or leaked is Lots-O-Huggins from Toy Story 3. He smells likes strawberries. Once again there's nothing I really want from Mattel's exclusives . I wouldn't call myself disappointed. Not wanting convention exclusives just makes one's life easier.
  • While we're on the topic of convention exclusives, Hasbro is rumored to have a Marvelman figure this year. That could be cool. It will probably be part of the Marvel Universe line though, which I don't collect. Well, not yet anyways.
  • Bandai has licensed The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie. They made the announcement in their usual fanciful way.
  • Some TV I'm looking forward to: the premiere of Doctor Who this Saturday, the season finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars featuring Boba Fett on April 23, and 201st episode of South Park which will (hopefully) pick up from where the excellent 200th episode left off. And there's only five episodes of Lost left!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spidey's Eighth Animated Series

Spider-Man is getting an animated reboot in addition to his live action one. Marvel has announced their newest animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, based on the comic book of the same name. It's set to premiere on Disney XD in Fall 2011.

This announcement is pretty much the death knell for The Spectacular Spider-Man. Not that I seriously thought the series stood a chance to be renewed, but I still consider this to be bad news. I'll be looking forward to Ultimate Spider-Man but I'm not expecting it to surpass its predecessor in quality.

Ultimate Spider-Man will have one clear advantage that Spectacular lacked, it can have crossovers with other Marvel characters since it's being produced directly by them. It seems like that's exactly what will happen. If they can turn the series into Marvel's answer to Batman: The Brave and the Bold I think they could have a winner on their hands.

In other Marvel news, Hayley Atwell has been cast in the Captain America movie. She'll be playing Peggy Carter, the woman Steve Rogers falls in love with in the 1940's. Now I'm wondering if her niece/sister Sharon will also be in the movie.

And Joss Whedon is rumored to be the director of The Avengers. I'm not quite sure how to feel about that right now, so I'll wait to see if this pans out before I add my two cents.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Pictures of the TV

Following up on the last post, today's episode of Attack of the Show revealed three more San Diego Comic Con exclusives. They've yet to spotlight the Avatar and Ghostbusters exclusive though.

In addition to the earlier revealed Masters of the Universe two-pack of Mo-Larr and Skeletor, there will also be a set with Prince Adam and Orko. Orko is translucent and turns invisible in warm water. While they were demonstrating this feature you could catch a glimpse of a non-translucent Orko. My guess is that version will be made available on Mattel's website.

The DC Universe Classics exclusive figure is Plastic Man with many interchangeable limbs and body parts. Some are stretchy à la Stretch Armstrong and others are transformed into shapes. The suitcase shaped body will only be available at the Con, and not the website.

The DC Infinite Heroes set is a tribute to The Brave and the Bold issue #28 and the first appearance of the Justice League. The set includes classic styled figures of Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern as well as a giant Starro and smaller ones that attach to the heroes' faces.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mattel Exclusives on AOTS

Mattel's San Diego Comic-Con exclusives will be revealed on Monday's episode of Attack of the Show on G4. However Friday's episode they showed a quick preview and thanks to the magic of the DVR I was able to take these pics.

This is a MEGO style figure of Peter Venkman from Real Ghostbusters. Up until now all of Mattel's Ghostbusters have been based on the live action movie. It's not bad looking and the talking feature makes it more appealing. Still I do hope these won't be the only toys RGB will get.

Mattel already hinted at this Avatar exclusive set recreating the film's final battle. It's a Movie Masters Jake Sully with a new "angry" head sculpt and Col. Quaritch in the AMP suit with a damaged windshield.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Something is Gestating

Apparently these designs are for the Danish set, so there's no guarantee this is what the U.S. set will look like. The Alien Anthology comes out on Blu-ray Disc later this year. There's already a trailer, but it lacks any interesting new info.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Digimon Series Coming Soon

Anime News Network has news on an upcoming sixth Digimon TV series tentatively called Digimon Strap. The Takarajima Create Group has inadvertently revealed its existence when they posted this preview of capsule toys based on the series.

It looks like the character designs are closer to the first four series than Digimon Savers/Digimon Data Squad. I think that alone gives me very high hopes for this one. I'll be looking forward to learning more about Digimon Strap.