Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012 Haul

Here's the haul for March. It includes the first official release of Battle Royale in the U.S., thanks in part to a suspiciously similar film currently in theaters. I also got The Wings of Honnêamise which is an amazing set that even has high quality shrinkwrap.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who Do You Call When You Want Some Pepperoni?

  • Our long national nightmare is over: Power Rangers is coming to DVD. Saban Brands has made a deal with Shout Factory to distribute their library to DVD. Whenever there's a beloved TV series that is somehow not available on DVD, it seem to be Shout Factory that always manages to bring it to the fans. The deal includes every Power Rangers series from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Power Rangers RPM. The current incarnation, Power Rangers Samurai, isn't part of the deal but Beetleborgs VR Troopers and surprisingly Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation are. But there's no mention of Masked Rider or Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog. Demand for these shows probably leveled off when they were made available on Netflix, but it's good that they're finally coming to home video.

  • Dicotek is sort of becoming the Shout Factory of anime, bringing out titles that have been long in demand. They'll be releasing Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo onto DVD and Blu-ray. This OVA was given high praise by Mike Toole in a recent column for Anime News Network. Discotek also license rescued the Casshan: Robot Hunter OAV. ADV put this out on DVD but it's been out of print for awhile. I remember wanting to check it out when the live action adaptation was coming out. And their big announcement is Samurai Pizza Cats. I remember watching Pizza Cats and I remember enjoying the heck out of it, but I don't remember anything specific about it, other than the theme song which I watched on YouTube. Discotek will give separate releases to the dub only Pizza Cats and the original Cats Tōninden Teyandē in Japanese with English subtitles. I didn't even know what the Japanese series was called.

  • It looks like Disney will be bringing out Castle in the Sky and Whisper of the Heart to Blu-ray alongside The Seceret World of Arietty. They don't have release dates yet but Amazon has them up for pre-order. I'm really excited to be getting any more Studio Ghibli movies on Blu-ray and these two are among the top of my most wanted list.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vote For The Shark

  • Japanese voice actress Sayuri Yamauchi passed away on March 6th. I wasn't familiar with her but I should have been because I'm well acquainted with her work. She voiced Colonel Une in Gundam Wing, Suzuka in Outlaw Star and Vera in Big O. Those titles are a pretty big chunk of why I'm an anime fan and she was a big part of them. She was only 55 years old.

  • The 2012 Transformers Hall of Fame inductees selected by Hasbro are Grimlock, Shockwave and Jazz. The fan chosen nominations are Beast Wars Megatron, Wheeljack, Arcee, Rodimus and Sky-Byte. You can vote now for which one you want to join the Hall of Fame. I voted for Sky-Byte. I figured Arcee and Rodimus are locks as future inductees and I just find Sky-Byte awesome. He's probably the only representation Robots in Disguise will get unless Scourge gets nominated someday. The best part of the Hall of Fame are the biographies that try to reconcile different interpretations of the characters. Arcee's bio is crazy, but it's not nearly crazy enough. It should say that she shares a link with her sisters Elita-1 and Chromia, is leader of the Omicons, she was a spy who had her memory wiped and Daniel Witwicky is her Headmaster partner. When you summarize everything that Beast Wars Megatron did, he really sounds like the greatest villain ever. I think he could win making the Fan's choice winners a Beast Wars threepeat.

  • I don't know what's going on with Mattel and the DC Comics license. They've reshuffled the "DC All Stars" waves of six inch action figures. The first wave was to have the odd lineup of Superboy Prime, Agent Orange Larfleeze, "Flashpoint" Plastic Man, and a reissue of Batman Beyond from DCUC series 4. The second wave was Red Robin, a repaint of DC Superheroes Supergirl as Evil Supergirl and the New 52 versions of Superman and the Flash. The third wave had not been revealed but we knew it was to include a reissue of DC Superheroes Steel and unspecified versions of Hawkman, Batgirl, and Batman. Now those three waves will not be released in those configurations. The new first wave lineup is New 52 Superman, New 52 Batman, Superboy Prime, and Red Robin. That makes way more sense for the launch of a new line. There's two heavy hitters and two derivative characters of those heavy hitters. If anything it might be too good a lineup, as Batman and Superman could have been used to anchor two different waves. And holy crap it's just a profile pic but that New 52 Batman looks amazing. I hope some of those other figures are still on the way. I was really looking forward to Larfleeze. I don't think many would be bothered if Flashpoint Plastic Man never came out.

  • Hey remember when Mattel quietly solicited a wave of re-releases which was not a part of DC All Stars or DC Universe Classics tailored around the Reign of the Supermen and quickly canceled it? Yeah I don't know what's going on with Mattel. Considering the delays with Masters of the Universe Classics, they might be having manufacturing problems. A bunch of reissues would be a quicker way to get product out there. But they canceled it. And there's no re-releases in the new All Stars first wave. So that theory doesn't completely work.

  • Dan Curto has left the collection of websites he participated with including, The ForceCast, and the Cool Toy Review. I've been reading his work for longer than I could calculate and I'm going to miss his contributions. I don't know why he's leaving but I wish him luck in what he does in the future.

  • Joss Whedon has said that the Skrulls and the Kree are not the alien race in the Avengers movie. He explained that the Skrulls shape-shifting would be an issue which seems like it would rule out the Chitauri. So what's left? The Frost Giants in Thor didn't seem to have access to the technology the alien race in the Avengers do. The Ord seems more possible now.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Time to Customize an Alfie Figure

Well that was fast. Just yesterday I wrote about two Dark Knight Rises figures being revealed by Big Bat Toy Store's listings and today Mattel has offered up pics of both Alfred and "Gotham City Police Department" Blake. Why does Blake's figure need such a description in his name? Is it to differentiate him from another Blake figure coming later? Or is it just so people will have some understanding as to who the heck he is?

Both figures are risking peg warming status. I love Alfred but he doesn't exactly make for an exciting action figure. Blake is more visually appealing being a cop, but he's a new character that people won't know anything about until after the movie comes out. People generally don't want toys of normal looking dudes. I still see a bunch of peg-warming Harvey Dent figures at Toys R Us and the Gordon and Prototype suit Bruce Wayne two-pack is a slow seller. I guess Mattel feels people will buy these to complete the collect and connect Bat-Signal. Check out Matty Collector's news page for more details and a look at the packaging.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hover Boards and Borrowers

  • Comic-Con badges went on sale on Saturday. It was surprisingly easy this time, although I know there are some angry folks out there disagree. I didn't try to click the what ended up being a faulty link in the e-mail. I just went to the webpage directly. See kids, sometimes it does pay to completely ignore the proper instructions you've been given. I am sorry I didn't have the incredible sense of accomplishment that I had when I bought last year's badges. This year I just went back to bed.

  • Somehow I completely forgot to mention this back around Toy Fair, but Mattel is making a replica of the Hover Board from Back to the Future II. It doesn't hover but it does do a lot of other stuff. It is still a work in progress The Hover Board won't be out until late in the year but it's already up for pre-order on MattyCollector.Com. If it doesn't get enough preorders than it won't go into production but I don't see that being an issue. Pre-orders will close on March 20th. There may be a few Hover Boards available on the release date but it will cost more and you'll miss out on the pre-order bonus of a smaller Hover Board scaled for six inch action figures. I don't know if I could plunk down $120 plus shipping for something that's still so far off, or for something hasn't even been finalized. For what it's worth Mattel's prop replicas for Ghostbusters really exceeded expectations.

  • Big Bad Toy Store has Mattel's The Dark Knight Rises Movie Masters up for preorder. The listings give away two of the three unrevealed figures. They are Alfred and Blake who is Joseph Gordon Levitt's character. They join Batman, Bane, Catwoman and the sixth secret figure. So I guess Levitt's character is pretty important if he's getting an action figure.

  • Disney's Blu-ray release of The Secret World of Arrietty is will have both the American English dub and the British English dubs and of course the original Japanese dub. Yes it was dubbed in English twice for different regions. I was interested in the British dub and I'm glad it hasn't been excluded. It doesn't have a release date yet but it is up on Amazon already. I hope that when it does come out it's accompanied by some other Ghibli films on Blu-ray.

  • A season set for Adventure Time is in the works. There's already been two single disc compilations released. I would have figured that was all Cartoon Network was going to offer for the series. Heck I was impressed that they released two DVDs. Really glad I've been proven wrong on this.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

February 2012 Haul

People complained about Funimation packaging Blu-ray discs in DVD sized cases. So now, as in the case of .hack//Quantum they're putting Blu-ray discs in Blu-ray cases in DVD sized slipcovers. This is why we can't have nice things. On the upside I actually found some new Batman Legacy figures and finally got around to picking up Destroy All Monsters.