Sunday, October 31, 2010

Canceled Action Figure Cavalcade: Now Playing

McFarlane Toys' Movie Maniacs line consisted of different characters from various films, mostly horror. It was pretty revolutionary in its time and other toy companies have since picked up the torch, trying to contiue what McFarlane started. One of those companies was SOTA Toys with their "Now Playing" line. SOTA released three waves of Now Playing and a fourth Land of the Dead wave but they had more in he works. SOTA hit a rough patch and their Now Playing line was a casualty.

Figures SOTA weren't able to release include a newly sculpted Killer Klown from Killer Klowns from Outer Space.(They had made one already.) There was also Herbert West from Re-Animator and the Leprechaun from Leprechaun. (Sadly there was no news of a Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood variant.) There was also Captain Westlake from what I'm guessing is the 2005 remake of The Fog, because I've seen the original and there weren't any purple skinned people.

SOTA produced a figure of the mummy Imhotep from The Mummy Returns and they were going to follow that with an Anubis Warrior from the same movie. The Anubis Warrior has the distinction of being canceled from two different toylines. Jakks Pacific planned one for their Mummy Returns line but it wasn't released. As you can see Jakks' Anubis was not screen accurate. Jakks probably didn't have finalized reference material to work with, unlike SOTA whose Anubis was coming out after the movie had been released.

One figure in particular was canceled even before the line ended. SOTA was first to acquire the SAW license. It seems something went awry with the licensor and NECA picked up the rights soon after. SOTA's Jigsaw was sculpted in sort of a martial arts stance, which isn't necessarily better or worse than NECA's "boo" pose. I couldn't find a picture of Jigsaw but here's pic of the Billy puppet he would have come with. You can see part of Jigsaw's robe on the left. I guess he was off limits for photography, but like I said I do remember seeing their prototype.

One of the figures in the first wave of Now Playing figures was the Nazi Demon from a nightmare sequence in An American Werewolf In London. SOTA put out a nice figure but it's still an odd choice, particularly for so early into the line. They were likely holding back the werewolf because they knew it'd be a popular release and they wanted to maintain interest in the line. But of course it was canceled before it could come out. David as the werewolf was to come in a two-pack with his dead friend Jack. I'm not sure but I'm guessing this would have been a boxset.

SOTA had a boxset in the works bases on the Tremors movies with Burt Gummer aiming a gun at a Graboid coming out of the ground. Of all of SOTA's stuff to have not been produced I'm most disappointed by this. This was probably our only chance to ever get an action figure of the dad from Family Ties. Oh and the Graboid looked pretty cool too.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Insane October Haul

I'm quite happy with my latest haul. Outside of Christmas hauls this is probably the best I've done in a short time period. Well technically Lockdown was from late September. My attempt to build a Transformers Animated collection so late into the game has been pretty successful though.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pining for Chocula

Another reason I look forward to Halloween is that it's the only time I can get my favorite cereals. This was actually the first time I tried Franken Berry. I guess I avoided it because I'm not a big strawberry fan, but it turns out I really liked it. In fact I think I might like it more than Boo Berry, and that disturbs me. Unfortunately supplies of my number one favorite, Count Chocula, completely dried up before I could get a box. I guess I'll have to wait a whole other year before I can have some. That's what I get for buying Franken Berry first.

This year's boxes have new freaky looking pseudo-3D artwork. Compare them to last year's boxes. I don't think Franken Berry looks too bad like this. Boo Berry on the other hand ditched his classic Casper meets Peter Lorre vibe in favor for a really douchey looking facial expression.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beyond the Pail

Many moons ago, McDonalds restaurants offered McBoo pail Happy Meals. They came with your food served inside and then you could use them for your trick-or-treat ventures. For some reason that was really exciting as a child. Now McDonalds is currently selling a pair of Mr. Potato Head themed trick-or-treat pails. I bought both. I've done worse things out of unchecked nostalgia. How do they stack up with the McBoo pails of old?

There's only two, a green one with a Jack O'Lantern handle and an orange one with a skull handle. Each pail comes with a sheet of stickers with "Potato Head" parts to dress up the potatoes pictured on the side. I'm not really into the stickers but I shouldn't be since none of this is aimed at me to begin with. I would have preferred a plastic lid over the sculpted handles, like the old pails. But one aspect they definitely share with the classic McBoo pails is that they're way too small for any practical trick or treating. I remember having to learn that the hard way.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Soon Approaches

We're in the last week of October which means Halloween is approaching fast. So let's enjoy the season while it lasts.

Over a decade later and Ghostface from Scream is still a costume staple, but it's profile has certainly diminished. Maybe Scream 4 will be able to revitalize it next year. In the meantime there some new variations on the original for sale. There's a "scarecrow" version made of burlap that confounds me. Who would choose to wear burlap? Than there's the zombie mask which I think looks pretty cool. It's silly in concept but as you can see it's more like a "weathered" Ghostface.

I don't know thing one about Yahtzee but this Nightmare Before Christmas set is the coolest Halloween related tchotchke I've seen all season. The dice roller is in the shape of Oogie Boogie's head and the dice themselves are based on the dice Oogie uses in the movie.

I had forgotten why I took this picture. I think I thought it looked like the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3. I don't know why. What do you think?

I thought these were cool. They're bobble-headed candy containers for only a dollar. I think the Rite Aid where I saw these was already sold out. Things are disappearing from shelves and to my detriment in one case.

Drug stores do seem to go all out for Halloween. My local Walgreens is decorated better than most people's front lawns. Look at that giant cat. And there's floating corpse things in the background. That's part of why I dig Halloween. You go to places like this and see cool stuff that you would never see any other time of the year.

Walgreens also had some Freddy and Jason merchandise. As I've written in the past, I'm all for the marketing of '80s slashers to families everywhere. I particularly liked the shrunken heads which were sort of strewn about the store.

Remember what I said about Oogie Boogie Yahtzee being the coolest thing I've seen? I might have to take that back. These wind-up toys poop out candy. I love Halloween.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Slightly More Movie News

  • Disney has acquired the distribution rights to The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Paramount was set to distribute The Avengers and the first two Iron Man movies. They will still be distributing next year's Thor and Captain America. This is also the first announcement that there will be an Iron Man 3. It will come out on May 3rd 2013. Avengers is still set to come out on May 4th, 2012.

  • The Avengers may end up as the first Marvel movie distributed by Disney. Runaways was set to be that movie but now it's been put on hold. Director Peter Sollett is still attached, but his schedule has been freed up so he can make another film. With Disney involved with those other movies, I'm sure Runaways became a less important project to them. That's too bad because cinema needs Molly Hayes.

  • Director Peter Jackson has announced some of the cast for The Hobbit. The big news is Martin Freeman of The Office will be playing Bilbo Baggins. Jackson even describes why Freeman and the other actors are right for the role. I've never read The Hobbit but apparently there are a lot of dwarves in it. That can only be awesome. I'm actually pretty excited about the movie now, which shouldn't be surprising except I just couldn't get interested in it back when MGM couldn't get it off the ground.

  • Universal has picked up the film rights for Naoki Urusawa's Pluto manga. Pluto is a mature re-imagining of a popular storyline in Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy manga. I've never read Pluto but I have read the Astro Boy story that it's based on and it's pretty dark on its own. I can only imagine what Urusawa did with the material.

  • Just in case you haven't had enough Green Lantern shoved down your throat, there's a roller coaster coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain next year. Plus the existing Superman coaster is being refurbished and retitled Superman: Escape from Krypton, which makes me realize what a terrible name Superman: The Escape really is. Escape from Krypton at least makes some sense, even if it's still a weird name.

  • An article on License Global leaked the news that Mattel has the license for Back to the Future toys and Mattel eventually confirmed it.. The same article also revealed that NECA is doing Scarface figures. You know what would have been better news? If NECA had gotten the Back to the Future license and Mattel had gotten nothing. I know Mattel's figures will only be available on their website and have poor quality control that doesn't match with their high prices.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Mon

There's even more Digimon D-Arts figures on the way. There's a set with Agumon and his partner Taichi, the first human to get a figure. So it's disappointing that Gatomon doesn't seem to come with Hikari. Or Angewomon. Either would be awesome. So far all of the figures revealed come from Digimon Adventure, with the exception of the fan favorite villain from Digimon Tamers, Beelzemon and his motorcycle. I could have waited until later before they started making characters from the later series. In fact I wish the whole line would be delayed for some time, until I can afford to buy them all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Comic Book Movie News

There's been a lot of news lately about several superhero comic projects.

Meanwhile at the Fortress of Solitude... Zack Snyder is set to direct the new Superman movie. I was surprised as Snyder has said he's not really a fan of comic books beyond the ones he's already adapted into movies. I don't dislike Snyder's work but I have apprehensions about this movie. I do hope he reels in some of his trademarked sped up and slowed down sequences.

Snyder is still working on Sucker Punch so we probably won't be hearing much more about the movie for awhile. We know it's not going to be connected to the previous movies, which I think is a good thing. David Goyer has written script with Clark Kent traveling the world deciding if he should be Superman. Frankly that sounds like the worst aspects of Smallville amplified.

Warner Bros. is legally obligated to make a Superman movie before a certain point or they'll lose the rights. So we are getting a Superman, regardless if it's good, bad, or rushed.

Meanwhile at the Batcave...We're finally getting some news on the next Batman movie. Tom Hardy has been cast in the movie, but it's not known what he'll be playing. I won't bother trying to recap the entirety of the internet's rampant speculation. Watch him not even play an established character from the comics. Remember the Anthony Micheal Hall as Deathstroke rumors? I'm sorry if you do.

Hardy was in Inception so this continues Christopher Nolan's tradition of working with the same actors. People were banking on Nolan getting Joseph Gordon Levitt to play a role. I guess Nolan threw them a curveball.

Meanwhile at the Daily Bugle...The secondary roles have been cast. Emma Stone has been cast as Peter Parker's love interest, Gwen Stacy. Sony continues their strange behavior while casting the actresses for Spider-Man movies. Emma Stone is a redhead. More importantly her screen presence just seems a better fit for Mary Jane than Gwen Stacy. I was annoyed when I read the news. Now I'm less annoyed but only when I'm not directly thinking about it.

Rhys Ifans has been cast as the villain, Curt Connors a.k.a. The Lizard. I have to feel sorry for Dylan Baker who played Connors in the last two movies. Not getting to become the Lizard must suck, but for the Lizard to be the villain in the very next Spider-Man movie is like salt in the wound.

Meanwhile at the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters... Whlie X-Men: First Class is currently filming, Fox is already preparing the next X-Men movie.

Darren Aronofsky is close to becoming the director of the Wolverine sequel. He's been trying to get into the hero genre for awhile now. He's tried to make Batman: Year One and the Robocop remake. I think Aronosky is a great writer and director (granted I haven't seen The Fountain) and he'd be an interesting choice for a Wolverine movie. Last we heard the movie was about Logan in Japan and perhaps crossing paths with the Silver Samurai.

If Wolverine 2 gets made it will be the sixth X-Men movie. That's a lot of mutants. I think it's appropriate considering the vastness of the X-Men universe.

And what about beyond that? Stephen Lang is rumored to play Cable. I would love for that to happen. Ryan Reynolds has said he wishes Cable would be in the Deadpool movie. You've screwed up a lot of things Fox, but all is forgiven if you can make a Cable and Deadpool movie starring Lang and Reynolds.

Meanwhile as Bill Bixby walks away with sad piano music playing... Apparently a new Hulk TV series is in development. I was a bit surprised at the news but I guess if it worked before they think they can make it work again.

There's also a Cloak and and Dagger TV series being developed. Huh. I can see why they think a Cloak and and Dagger show would work. I'm assuming it would be about super-powered teen runaways fighting drug dealers. But still, Cloak and Dagger?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breakfast Burger

Remember the Good Morning Burger from The Simpsons? Well Carl's Jr. sells it. Except instead of ham there's hash browns. And there isn't as much cheese and bacon. And it's not as huge. And it hasn't been buttered. Okay so it's as reasonable of an approximation of the Good Morning Burger as society will currently allow. And it's called the Breakfast Burger.

I do want to stress that this is a hamburger- a cheeseburger to be specific. It's made with ground beef, not ham or sausage. It's not served on a croissant or a an english muffin, but a standard hamburger bun. And it is served in the morning for breakfast. I'm guessing it's existence is due to Carl's Jr. not wanting to develop too many new products for their breakfast menu, so they combined some existing ones.

The bun, beef patty, and cheese taste the same as the what you'll find on the typical Carl's Jr. burger. I'm assuming the bacon is the same as the kind used in the Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger. It stands out more in the Breakfast Burger. The scrambled egg is decent but nothing special.

You can sort of tell from the pictures that this burger is very ketchupy. This is the most ketchup I've seen pre-applied to a restaurant burger. My guess is they needed a condiment that would mesh well with the egg and hash browns. I sometimes add a it of ketchup to my burgers anyways and it still stood out to me. I didn't really mind overall but I certainly wasn't expecting it.

The most unusual item are the hash browns. They're the same hash browns that Carl's sells as a side item. It's a lot like when you put french fries in your burger when you were a kid. I like Carl's hash browns. By themselves the hash browns are warm and crispy, but as a burger ingredient they taste soggier. They've probably absorbed a lot of ketchup.

It's a very moist burger. It's also sweet and savory. To be honest the best thing the Breakfast Burger has going for it is that's it's a burger served for breakfast. I like the idea of getting a burger in the morning if I want to. I'd probably be just as happy with a normal burger but this breakfastafied version is an interestng variation. I wouldn't eat the Breakfast Burger on a regular basis, but it's a nice to have something different once in awhile.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sugar Frosted Frights

I've been busy lately so I haven't had much time for blogging, but here's a little something to acknowledge the season. It's one of my favorite Rocko's Modern Life episodes.