Sunday, July 29, 2012

So Comic-Con Happened

And I was there to see some of it. I had a pretty great time this year, even by the standards of Comic-Con awesomeness. Things got less awesome when I got home. Scrounging around in a single room with thousands of people isn't great for ones' health.

I took a bunch of pics at the Con, most of which came out terrible. Here's a bunch of pics that are somewhat passable.

Square Enix had a pretty elaborate setup for their Play Arts Kai line. They really seem to be amping the line up with figures in the pipeline for Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter, Arkham City including a Frank Miller inspired Batman, and Cowboy Bebop which has been long overdue for some action figures. Still there's no denying that the best they had on display was Kingdom Hearts' Sora and Riku in Tron gear. I still can't bring myself to take the plunge on the line. mostly because of the price and partly because they have terrible knee joints.

I was really excited to see Hasbro's new Marvel Legends figures and while I wasn't disappointed, I wasn't really blown away either. There's no Build-A-Figure in the third 2012 wave and the Build-A-Figures in 2013 will be mini-figures. I rarely put together Build-A-Figures so it doesn't really affect me much either way, but for what it's worth Hit-Monkey is more appealing to me than Terrax.

I would also like to see a new classic Captain America, even one that's just a redeco of US Agent from wave three. I might have to settle for the upcoming Ultimate Cap. It's the same guy but with more pockets and jingoism.

I think Comic-Con was the first time Hasbro officially acknowledged the existence of the six inch Amazing Spider-Man figures. They've already turned up overseas so we've known they were coming for awhile. These are Wal-Mart exclusives, as all six inch Marvel movie figures unfortunately are these days. The unmasked Spider-Man was a brand new reveal and I prefer it to the masked version, mostly because the masked version's sculpt looks not quite right.

This photo is of some excellent Tenth Doctor and the "Doctor's Wife" cosplayers. I didn't take any cosplayer photos at Comic-Con compared to Anime Expo. Part of it is that there's more distractions, but the AX cosplaying tends to be more impressive.

Okay so there's a lot of drama going on around Masters of the Universe Classics and how it's not meeting the necessary subscription rates to continue further. I'm not enough of a fan to start mourning the line but I'm still sorry to hear about this news. I had a weird experience at the Con, staring at display trying to figure out who some of these new characters are. I guess that's part of the problem, but new doesn't mean bad and I think it's lame that more people out there would rather have Ram Man than more interesting looking goons like the Fighting Foe Men, Fang Man or Castle Grayskullman.

People complain about the crowds at Comic-Con but it wasn't too bad this year. One mob of people I did experience was the crowd taking pictures of this Posion Ivy statue at the Sideshow booth. I can't judge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Classic Anime, Classic Monsters and More Con Exclusives

Hoo boy, there's a lot of stuff I'd like to cover. Let's get through this.
  • Japan is bringing the love to those of us who grew up in the '90s. The 20th Anniversary of Sailor Moon will bring with it an all new series to launched worldwide. I'm really excited for this, but it will probably be a long time before we know any real details.

    That's not all, a new DragonBall Z film is in the works. Toei will release the movie on March 30th in Japan. Series creator Akira Toriyama is participating in the production. Apparently this is the most he's been involved with a DragonBall anime as he'd mostly stuck with creating his manga and providing the occasional character design.

    There's also going to be a new Jojo's Bizarre Adventure TV series. Jojo's is another long running staple of Shonen Jump that has somehow never had a TV adaptation, although it did have an OVA that was released in the U.S. by Super Techno Arts.

  • Universal has announced the Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection, a Blu-ray boxset of eight of the classic Universal Monster films. The set has Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Creature From the Black Lagoon and the talkie remake of The Phantom of the Opera starring Claude Rains. The set also has the Spanish version of Dracula and the 3D version of Black Lagoon as extras. What isn't included is the silent version of Phantom starring Lon Chaney or any of the many sequels besides Bride of Frankenstein. The Universal Monsters on Blu-ray has been one of my holy grails. This is definitely a set I plan on getting and I hope Universal eventually releases more classic horror on Blu-ray, or at least sub-licenses them to Scream Factory.

  • Bandai will have their first Power Rangers Comic-Con exclusive this year and it's a nice one. It's a boxset of the Super Mega Rangers, except for the Red Ranger who's in Mega Shark mode. They all have metallic paint jobs and with fully painted Mega Blade accessories, and coolest of all they all come with their Megazord cockpits. This set is being limited to only 300 pieces and will be sold at the Namco Bandai booth.

  • The Bridge has offered up a first look at their upcoming toyline for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which will be coming in 3.75" and 6" scales. They're not bad looking particularly if these images are of the smaller 3.75" figures. They will also have a Comic-Con exclusive Invisible Bilbo figure for sale at the Gentle Giant booth.

  • DC Collectibles (formerly known as DC Direct) will be debuting a new 3.75" line at Comic-Con. The debut figures are Kyle Rayner and Kilowog in a two-pack that will be sold at the Graphitti Designs booth. They look really great. Unfortunately it seems that DC Collectibles will only be selling their 3.75" figures at conventions. Good luck collecting that line. So what do they have cooking for general release? A $90 Darkseid action figure. No thanks.

  • Playmates' new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures are hitting stores. I'm very impressed by the Turtles based on the upcoming Nickelodeon series. I'm not sure which I prefer, those or the 6" classic Turtle figures aimed at collectors. There will be an exclusive repaint of Leonardo in a Night Shadow deco at Comic-Con at the Nickelodeon booth. This is in addition to the 10" Turtle figures Toys R Us will be selling as part of their many Comic-Con exclusives.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Anime Expo 2012 Part Two

So enough time has passed since Anime Expo that my body has fully recovered and I can feel comfortable talking about it. I'm kind of a veteran of AX at this point, my first was ten years ago, but 2012 was the most time I actually spent at the con. I held up pretty well until the last day when my body started giving up on me. I'm sure my ten-year-younger-self could have kept going for a week straight. Still I had a lot of fun, got some swag, went to some panels, watched some new-to-me anime, and took a lot of blurry photos. And here they are.