Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011 Haul

I went a little easier on the wallet this month, but not too easy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dark of the Moon Trailer

  • The Transformers: Dark of the Moon marketing machine is finally getting into gear. There's a new poster, pictured above, and a tnew trailer is up. The trailer doesn't really show anything a whole lot more interesting than what was already in the Super Bowl spot. It's the same action sequences slightly longer and little in the way in plot details. The building collapsing at the end is cool. That and Shockwave.

  • Mattel has released official details of their Comic-Con exclusives, which is necessary because Attack of the Show left out a lot. It turns out Monster High Gouhlia Yelps is a zombie nerd cosplaying as a zombie superhero. So I might have to buy one. There's also a Franken Berry Hot Wheels car. I'm torn between my love of Franken Berry and my apathy towards Hot Wheels. Another Hot Wheels exclusive is a Back to the Future item which is still a secret. Obviously it's a DeLorean, but I guess which exact version is the surprise.

  • It probably says a lot about Star Wars fandom that there's an official site with a countdown until news of the Blu-ray is revealed. I can't judge too harshly because I'm looking forward to the news myself, as the Blu-ray specs will likely determine whether or not I pre-order the set. The news goes up May 4th.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mattel Comic-Con Exclusives

  • Mattel has announced their San Diego Comic Con exclusives. As with last year they were revealed in a segment on Attack of the Show. Unlike last year I didn't watch the show as my cable provider dropped G4. But hey that's why we have the internet. The Masters of the Universe Classics exclusive is Queen Marlena with Cringer. Plus there's a Polly Pocket three pack of She-Ra, Frosta and Catra. I'm sure someone out there is irrationally upset about that. In other girl's toy news there seems to be an exclusive Monster High Ghoulia Yelps although I don't know what makes her unique, maybe just a new outfit?

    The DC Universe exclusive is one that fans have been hoping for: Swamp Thing who is bestowed with Mattel's signature unnecessarily grandiose packaging. We have Superboy in a test tube as seen in the first episode of Young Justice. Movie Masters Green Lantern Kilowog, which we've already seen and knew was coming, seems to have been retroactively deemed a Con exclusive. We get a six inch super-articulated Voltron first Mattel produced Voltron toy. And last but not least is the humongous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. You can watch the AOTS segment here.

  • Kevin Smith is hosting a 20th Anniversary screening of The Rocketeer at the El Capitan theater in Los Angeles. If tickets weren't $50 a pop, I'd consider going myself. That Disney is acknowledging the following for this movie can't be a bad thing. Fingers crossed that a 20th Anniversary Blu-ray is in the works.

  • has an early look at the Savage Oppress action figure. We all knew he was coming and I was surprised he wasn't at Toy Fair. He looks like he's a brighter shade of yellow than he is on The Clone Wars but that doesn't bother me. I love that the facesculpt looks like he's snarling. Apparently there are two Savage figures coming. I'm guessing the other one will have a shirt on and have his double bladed lightsaber.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Canceled Action Figure Cavalcade: Big O

We're extending the Big O love (try not to read too much into that) with a look at a toyline produced by Bandai of America that was never released. Bandai had included Big O and Big Duo toys in their Bandai Anime Collector line, a series that encompassed different Bandai Entertainment licensed anime such as Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop. Soon afterwards they were developing a full line for the Big O. Bandai showed off the line at Toy Fair 2003, the year the second season premiered on [adult swim]. I suppose retailers didn't order enough because Bandai's line never appeared in stores.

Bandai's line was to include the Big O, Big Duo and the underground dwelling Archetype. I'm not completely sure what scale they were to be. I'm guessing around seven inches. In fact I can't be certain that Big O and Big Duo weren't just the existing Anime Collector figures with more detailed paint jobs. The Archetype was definitely an all new figure. Notice the Roger Smith and Schwarzwald on display in these pictures. Those are Kotobukiya trading figures and they did get a separate release. Perhaps Bandai planning to pack these in with the mecha?

Bandai also planned a larger scale figure appropriately named Mega Size Big O. According to the mock-up packaging it would have "spoken phrases" from the show, probably some of Roger's reoccurring phrases. I know this may not seem nearly as impressive compared to Max Factory's Big O, but this was made eight years earlier. Also it would have been available in U.S. stores and been much more affordable, so its cancellation is quite a sad thing. No side.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Big O! Showtime!

Japanese toymaker Max Factory is churning out some merchandise based on The Big O. The series came to an end eight years ago so I can't figure out why that is, but hey let's just roll with it.

Roger Smith's Megadeus has recieved toys in the past. But Max Factory's Big O stands apart from the rest. It's a beast at just under a foot tall and made of diecast. The grapple hooks are on real chains, the chest opens to reveal guns and it comes with a little version of Roger's car. All of it will cost you ove $450.

The Big Fau and Big Duo are also getting figures but they're not quite as impressive. They're meant to be in scale with Big O, but aren't articulated and are made of vinyl. I'd prefer actually these to the diecast Big O, which I'd always be afraid of dropping and damaging both it and the floor. Plus they are more affordable at around $150.

Last but not least is R. Dorothy Wayneright as part of their Figma line. She has a clear standee that allows her to strike some of her dispassionately acrobatic poses. She also comes with her broom and cat Pero. Sadly their doesn't seem to be a disc drive under her headband.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cold, Pointy & Logical

  • Shockwave from Transformers: Dark of the Moon was officially revealed at Yahoo movies. I'm not a fan of the movie Transformers that don't have Earth-based altmodes, but at least this is recognizably Shockwave. Underneath all that scraped metal, he is purple.

  • As part of Christopher Nolan's continuing goal of working with as limited a pool of actors as possible, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have been cast in The Dark Knight Rises. And once again all the geek fueled speculation was for naught, as they won't be playing anyone from the Batman mythos. Cotillard will playing a Wayne Enterprises board member and Gordon-Levitt a Gotham City cop. Okay Cotillard might still end up actually being an incognito Talia Al Ghul.

  • I barely keep on top of video game news, so I learned of the existence of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City when I saw it featured on the cover of a magazine I saw for sale in a grocery store. As you can figure out by the title the game is a return to the setting of Resident Evil 2 and 3. RE:ORC (ever the acronym is long) is a squad based third-person shooter in which you play Umbrella soldiers carrying out missions that include killing Raccoon City's favorite son, Leon Kennedy. I look forward to its release and me not being able to play it.

  • Yet another anime that I never expected to get a continuation but is supposedly getting a continuation is Rurouni Kenshin. Just what the nature of this new Kenshin anime will be has yet to be announced. It seems to be part of a Kenshin 15th anniversary celebration in Japan which among other things include Blu-ray releases of the movie and OAV series. Fingers crossed that those eventually make it to North America.

  • Did anyone else watch The Office? Deangelo Vickers is the Scranton Strangler. I'm calling it now and if I end up being wrong I will eat this blog.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tokyopop Ends plus a Question

Okay I admit this a weird paring of subjects. Bear with me.
  • How did dinosaurs have sex? I was obsessed with dinosaurs as a kid, but not surprisingly that question never really crossed my mind. This Slate article has piqued my imagination and I feel like a kid again, asking some not so kid-friendly questions. Just how big were dinosaur penises? Did dinosaurs even have penises at all? And how do you have sex with something covered in spines or plates?

  • Tokyopop is ceasing publications in North America. They will continue to publish in Germany and will keep open their film division. This news is not all surprising except for the timing. They recently revamped their website and fired much of their staff; moves that seem like they were restructuring to buy themselves more time. Tokyopop ushered in the modern era of English translated manga, making many decisions that would revolutionize the industry.

    There are a ton of factors involved in the company's downturn. Piracy of course is a major problem. Chains that once sold Tokyopop's books, like Tower, Waldenbooks and Suncoast, have closed. Their presence in those stores was part of their success, by being able to reach their target audience who didn't go to comic book stores. Also Japanese publishers are becoming more directly involved in the market and cut out Tokyopop as a potential licensee. Many of Tokyopop's early hits have been re-acquired by other companies.

    Still Tokyopop made a lot of poor decisions that alienated readers. For a company that trumpeted authenticity and pioneered unflopped manga, they were very willing to play loose with translations to create broader material. They also insisted in marketing original comics created by English speaking artists as manga. The sad part is they discontinued many of those English language titles but will sit on the rights in order to adapt them into other media. I'd mock their attempts to become a multimedia company but they do have a Priest movie opening next month. I don't know what demand there was for a Priest movie one has been made. If it's successful we may have to endure a Princess Ai movie.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Burger King Chicken Tenders

For the first several years of my life the only thing I would ever eat from Burger King, besides the fries, were their Chicken Tenders. As I got older I moved on to other menu items. Then at some point Burger King changed their Chicken Tenders, from strips to crown shapes. Feeling nostalgic I ordered Chicken Tenders thinking they were the same recipe as the classic Tenders but in wacky shapes and they were not. It's a classic example of not appreciating something until it's gone. Well the cycle has repeated itself and the Chicken Crowns have been replaced with new Chicken Tenders. I was secretly hoping the "new" Tenders were just the "old" Tenders making a comeback.

I was disabused of this notion pretty quick. Not only are Burger King's new Chicken Tenders not the same as the old Chicken Tenders, they're not really chicken tenders. I consider chicken tenders as strips of breaded chicken. These seem to be chicken nuggets which are emulsified bits of chicken.

I ordered the four piece, which costs only a dollar. Only three Tenders are pictured because I was too impatient to take a picture until after I ate one. They also come in eight and twenty piece servings.

So how were they? Not bad. They tasted a bit like frozen chicken nuggets. That might sound unappealing but by comparison the previous crown shaped Chicken Tenders were closer to school cafeteria nuggets. So in that sense they are a big upgrade. They still don't taste like the classic Tenders, but I'm okay with that. Let's be honest I'm probably remembering them as being better than they were. There was a reason I grew out of them in the first place. This batch did seem like they just came out of the fryer. They were warm and peppery which was nice. Considering the dollar price point I can't say I regret giving them a try and I recommend giving them a shot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Already Mid-April.

Yeah, sorry for the lack of updates recently.
  • Nickelodeon held an event promoting the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and invited some high profile fans. Ninja Pizza has an extensive write-up with details on the preview and some early prototypes presented by Playmates. While I do think the series sounds promising you know I'm more interested in the toys. Playmates is planning a line of super-articulated figures based on the original cartoon. This sounds like one of my dream lines, or it would be if they produce variants based on the original Playmates toys. But if they did that I'd just end up buying nearly every character twice. The toys for the new series actually sound pretty cool as well. Ninja Pizza has all the details.

  • In celebration of its tenth anniversary, the anime series s-CRY-ed is being re-edited into two "volumes", which I'm guessing means direct to video movies. As is common with these types of compilation movies, s-CRY-ed Alteration will feature newly animated scenes. I liked s-CRY-ed and even if it isn't all new material I'm surprised to see it revisited in any form.

  • While we're on the subject of anime from the early 2000s that are receiving long overdue follow-ups, here's the trailer for Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam.

  • Michael Shannon has been cast as General Zod in the upcoming Superman movie. He strike me as an odd choice for the role. He's not quite the Terrance Stamp type. Are we sure he's not playing Non? I would have preferred any villain from the comics to General Zod for the new movie. Except if it's Lex Luthor pulling a real estate scam. I think this is the first time I've written about the Superman movie since Zack Snyder was announced as the director. Just to recap Henry Cavill is playing Superman himself and Amy Adams has been cast as Lois Lane.

  • Hey Dude is coming to DVD. HEY DUDE IS COMING TO DVD. That is stunning. I remember I stopped liking Hey Dude once Ted left the show. Still if Hey Dude can be released then I hope Welcome Freshman isn't too far behind.