Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hauly Jolly Christmas

Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a great holiday. I'm having one. Check out my Christmas haul. That's DC Universe Cyborg tucked behind Luigi. He's the last figure I needed to complete Collect 'n Connect Despero. I also got the Megazord. That's awesome!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Taste the Rainbow

Today Mattel revealed wave 17 of DC Universe Classics, confirming the widespread rumor of it consisting of the Lantern deputies. In the comic crossover Blackest Night a group of established heroes and villains receive power rings from the various Lantern Corps. There's Blue Lantern Flash, Star Sapphire Wonder Woman, Sinestro Corp Scarecrow, Indigo Tribe Atom, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor and variants of Hal Jordan as a Black Lantern and a White Lantern. This is the first true themed wave of DCUC. It's a controversial decision (or at least as controversial as a wave of action figures could be) since not everyone is into Blackest Night. Plus DC Direct is still in the process of releasing versions of these characters. Usually Mattel and DC Direct go in different directions.

I'm not sure Mattel needed to make another Hal Jordan figure, much less two. He's giving Batman a run for his money in terms of amount of action figure, and it's only going to get worse when the movie hits. Since Hal was a living Black Lantern he doesn't even have the cool zombie thing gong for him. The problem with the Hal figures is that they took the place of Red Lantern Mera. Mera, if you're not familar with her, is Aquaman's wife. Unlike any of these other characters, Mattel has yet to make any Mera figures. And she's gotten a huge profile jump because of her prominence in Blackest Night and Brightest Day.

While I'm sorry there's still no DCUC Mera figure, I understand why they included the Hal(s). He's basically the existing Hal figure with new head sculpts, which must have been easy on the budget. I think Blue Lantern Flash might be a straight repaint. Indigo Tribe Atom looks pretty elaborate. It does suffer from the Indigo Tribe's terrible fashion sense. Oddly enough he'll end up being way easier to find than the regular Atom. I'm sure Star Sapphire Wonder Woman shares some parts with the upcoming Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, but her design is different enough that she has a lot of unique parts.

The Orange Lantern Lex Luthor is a modified version of the DC Superheroes Lex Luthor. The obvious difference is it's translucent orange. I can't tell if the head is a new sculpt or just a new paintjob. It has a new skirt and a new upper torso. The collar and chest plate are separate pieces, unlike the DCSH Luthor. I think this is so they can swap the chest piece with the Orange Lantern symbol with one accurate to the Super Powers Lex Luthor. I think a new Super Powers inspired Luthor is likely.

I do wonder if Mattel will release a new regular Scarecrow. I love the head sculpt on Sinestro Corp Scarecrow. And I've loved the idea of Scarecrow in a trenchcoat on account of his excellent New Batman Adventures design. But in order to turn SC Scarecrow into a normal version he'd need an entirely new body and forearms. Mattel might try to cobble one together with the DC Superheroes Scarecrow. I should probably just learn to live with this new one.

The Collect 'N Connect figure is the Anti-Monitor. Mattel went with modern version seen in Brightest Day, instead of his classic Crisis on Infinite Earths look. That's another thing that likely miffed some collectors. I don't really care much either way but I think this Anti-Monitor looks cool enough. I guess that's my whole outlook on this wave. They look good (Scarecrow looks great) and I don't dislike them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spy of the Sky

Here's my haul for December and November. It's an embarrassing amount of stuff.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pandorica Puzzle

There's a wave of Doctor Who figures coming where each figure will come with a piece of the Pandorica. Each wall of the Pandorica has a CD with half of an audio book story. I feel sort of unsure about this. I love the idea of a Pandorica toy. I think releasing one as a "Build-An-Accesory" is a clever idea. I can live with the Pandorica toy being a hollow box, without the interior. And I appreciate the extra effort of packing in the CDs as an extra bonus. But having the Pandorica as a glorified disc holder is a little underwhelming. The art on the CDs is not quite the same as having actual deco on the toy.

I'm pissing in the wind by complaining about this, since I'd still very much like to own it. Of course I probably never will either. The figures themselves are nice which is always a bonus with a "Build-A" series. There's a mix of reissues and new figures. My favorites are The Doctor with his fez and mop and the battle damaged Cyberman. It's probably too much to ask that the Cyberman's head be removable, but it's cool enough already. Toy News International has pictures of the entire wave.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hammer Bro

This has become the week for teaser trailers. Thor's trailer will be online later today. I'll update this post once it's available. In the meantime check out this newly revealed poster.

Update: The trailer is now up at Yahoo Movies. The Destroyer looks cool. I'm also happy to see Thor's helmet even if he doesn't seem to wear it often.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beardface of the Moon

The teaser trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon is up on the Apple trailer website.

So who is the Tranformer we see at the end? My first thought was Alpha Trion, the Autobot who built Optimus Prime. Internet speculation seems to suggest Sentinel Prime or Vector Prime. Vector would make sense based on what we think we know about the movie, considering he's a guardian of time and space. This all supposes there's any sense to the depiction of characters in the Transformers movies.

Friday, November 26, 2010

BK Double Stacker

Some technical difficulties derailed food week but I'm going to wrap things up as I originally planned. The BK Stacker has been around for a couple of years at Burger King, but this was the first time I had one. The blog is encouraging me to try new things. I'm not sure if that's a good thing though.

The Stacker features two beef patties, two slices of cheese, and two pieces of bacon. The bacon is cut in half so it looks like you're getting four pieces. The Stacker also features Stacker Sauce. Apparently Stacker Sauce is a variation of Thousand Island dressing, much like the other 90% of secret sauces.

I was surprised by how much I liked this. The bacon was a little tough but good. Stacker Sauce doesn't really taste like anything. I scarped some off with a french fry just to be sure. I think I was fortunate enough to get a fresh bun because it was unusually warm and soft. I wish they usually arrived like that. It's a really tasty explosion of meat and cheese. You can also get a Triple or Quad Stackers. Those might be too much for me, but I think I would try a Double Stacker again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Philly Cheesesteak Burger

I've never had a genuine Philly cheese steal sandwich but I've always enjoyed the reasonable approximations that I've had. Not too long Carl's Jr. introduced a Philly Cheesesteak Burger which could be called an unreasonable approximation. They sell it in single, double, and Six Dollar burger varieties. I went with the single.

The inside is not pretty. You get two slice of cheese, Swiss and American. Between the cheese are onions, bell peppers and steak. And it's all piled on top of the hamburger patty. It's pretty messy.

This was the first thing I've eaten to review that I just flat out did not like. I suppose I wasn't too kind to Carl's chicken tenders, but they weren't that bad. The Philly Cheesesteak Burger I had a problem with. It was all just too much. And nothing in that conglomeration of ingredients really stood out. I sort of remember tasting the peppers. Mostly I just remember the thick moistness of the burger. It's like eating a used mop. I was hungry at the time so I did finish it, but one Philly Cheesesteak Burger was more than enough for me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jack in the Box Funnel Cake

Food week resumes with the first desert item to be featued here, funnel cake from Jack in the Box. Jack in the Box introduced it earlier this year. They sell it for only a dollar. Who doesn't love funnel cake? It's not quite the classic funnel cake you're probably used to (Faux-nel cake?) but I still wanted to give it a shot.

Well they really skimp on the powder sugar. I hardly got any. I ordered my funnel cake along with a meal. I rarely order deserts and with good reason. By the time I was done with the meal I didn't want to eat anymore. Plus by that point, if the funnel cake was served warm it wasn't anymore. I ate it anyways and found it to be decent. It was a little too chewy but maybe I was just reluctant to chew at that point. I would like to try it again. It seems like it would be a great between meal snack.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carl's Jr. Chicken Tenders

Food week continues with the new Chicken Tenders available at Carl's Jr. This is a relatively new menu item, particularly for this slow paced blog. Carl's Jr. sells their new Chicken Tenders in either three or five pieces.

So how are they? The breading is okay. It's flaky and reminds of KFC but not as flavorful. The chicken is kind of rubbery. They're far from the worst chicken tenders/strips/nuggets/wings I've had. They're just not particularly good. Now that I've satisfied my curiosity about them, I don't know if I'll order them again.

The Chicken Tenders come with barbecue sauce in a clear plastic cup with a lid. The strange thing is the BBQ sauce tastes exactly like the kind Carl's Jr. serves in standard packets with their Chicken Stars. So I don't know what purpose the cup with lid serves other than to class things up. Carl's Jr.'s BBQ sauce is a tangy and paste-like sauce. I don't really care for it but I'd rather have it than eat the Chicken Tenders dry.

Angus Bacon & Cheese Snack Wrap

For months now I've been taking pictures of the atypical fast food menu items I've eaten, but I never get around to posting reviews. So I figured I'd make Thanksgiving week, "food week" at AFOS in order to burn through my backlog. I'm starting with the Bacon and Cheese Angus Snack Wrap from McDonalds.

McDonald's Angus Snack Wraps are an offshoot of their Angus Third-Pounder Hamburgers. It's half of an Angus beef patty, (I'm sure the other half ended up in someone else's Snack Wrap.) with bacon, cheese, ketchup, and red onion. It all comes grilled in a tortilla, as opposed to the Third-Pounder's giant fluffy bun.

So how was it? I'm not a big fan of red onions but otherwise I liked it. I've never had the Angus Bacon and Cheese Third-Pounder Hamburger, so this was a decent way to try it out. The Angus beef tastes good, better than McDonald's standard beef. The bacon was nice and crispy, but maybe I just got lucky there.

The question becomes is this Snack Wrap worth the $1.99 when you could just as easily get two items on the dollar menu? It depends. If you just want to get as much food for as little money as possible you should probably stick with the McDoubles. It does works as a less filling alternative to the Angus Burger, which is what I was looking for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Eckhardt, Sir

  • Entertaiment Tonight aired what amounts to a preview of a preview for the Green Lantern movie. We get some glimpses at Rynan Reynolds in costume, Kilowog and what might be the planet Oa. The full preview will air on the show on Tuesday.

  • For a genuine preview here's the trailer for Disney's new Winnie the Pooh movie. It looks like Pooh goes on a serious honey bender. Has Christopher Robin always been that British?

  • Director Darren Aronofsky revealed the title for the sequel for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It will be called The Wolverine. It would have been weird to just call it X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 seeing as how the origin has already been told. Calling it Wolverine 2 or simply Wolverine might have been best, because I can't recall him being refereed to with "the". I think maybe Aronofsky might be trying to follow a bit too closely in Nolan's footsteps.

  • Starz has picked up a live action series produced by Sam Raimi based on the anime Noir. I don't think anyone could have seen that coming. While Noir probably could translate into live action, who knows if it'll be made. Of the live action adaptations of anime that are announced only about one in twenty ever get made.

  • I spent some of my weekend watching Naruto Shipp┼źden for the first time in forever. I had let episodes of the Disney XD broadcast accumulate on my DVR for moths, so now I've been marathoning through several episodes. I liked finally returning to this world. The fight between Sakura and lady Chiyo against Akatsuki member Sasori was particularly good. I'm currently at the point when the new Team Kakashi is being formed. I already hate Sai.

  • Speaking of shonen series I watch, last night I was channel surfing when I caught Goku fighting Frieza on Nicktoons Network. When did they start airing new Dragonball Z Kai episodes? Why wasn't I told about this? Who's in charge here?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dark Knight of the Moon Rises

My life's been a bit more hectic lately so I haven't been keeping up with the latest developments in nerd cinema. So I'm going to play catch up. None of this is new news, but hey humor me.

  • The first production photos of Captain America: The First Avenger were revealed. The outfit Chris Evans is wearing doesn't look like the one seen in the concept art but I think the costume will go through some different looks. The image on the cover of Entertainment Weekly looks like the same outfit, but it's hard to tell without the helmet. There's also pictures of Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, Toby Jones as Armin Zola and what I'm guessing is a chamber for the super soldier serum. Plus there's some Hydra troops on motorcycles. Those will make cool toys.

  • The Transformers movie website has updated with the official title and logo of the third movie. It was said to The Dark of the Moon but apparently it's just Dark of the Moon which is marginally less awkawrd sounding. The logo looks cool. It seems to jibe with the rumors that the new movie will feature space travel.

  • Speaking of title reveals, Christopher Nolan revealed the next Batman movie is called The Dark Knight Rises. It's a bit clunky but I'll get used to it. I guess calling it The Dark Knight Returns would be misleading. Nolan also stated that the Riddler won't be in the movie. Fair enough, but I'd rather find out who will be in the movie.

  • On the Spider-Man reboot front, Martin Sheen has been cast as Uncle Ben. This isn't Sheen's first time in a comic book adaptation. We all remember his starmaking turn as Jason Wynn in Spawn. Sally Field is in talks to play Aunt May. Those are quite different choices for those roles compared to Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris.

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.