Friday, December 30, 2011

Canceled Action Figure Cavalcade: One Piece

In 2006 Mattel launched a line of toys based on Eiichiro Oda's One Piece. Unfortunately 4Kids' adaptation of One Piece somehow didn't attract much of an audience, and the Mattel line didn't last long. But they had more planned including new figures of Monkey D. Luffy, Sanji and a bare-chested Roronoa Zoro (or rather Zolo as he likely would've been on the package). There's also new characters Portgas D. Ace, Arlong brandishing his teeth in his hands, and Tony Tony Chopper in his Arm Point form. What figures weren't planned were Robin and Nami, in keeping with Mattel's girl-unfriendly policy. That's a reason why I can't say I miss the line all that much.

Mattel's One Piece action figures were split up into a basic figure and deluxe figure lines, with the deluxe figures having more gimmicks than the basic ones. Dubbed the "P-Ripz", each deluxe figure had an action feature implemented by a ripcord. However the deluxe line was a bit unusual in that they were slightly larger size than the basic figures. While the basic figures were around 5 inches the "P-Ripz" were closer to 6 inches. To this day I think that was one of Mattel's more baffling decisions, and that's saying a lot. One Piece was a pretty small line and they chose to split the figures up into two very close but noticeably different scales, with each grouping featuring unique villains and different show-accurate looks for the heroes. The new P-Ripz figures would have been Zoro in a new outfit and Chopper in his Horn Point form.

Mattel's One Piece role play toys are probably better than the action figures. They were planning to release a Luffy mask and a Luffy fist with what I assume was supposed to be a stretchy arm. Actually maybe it's not so bad that these were canceled. They spared me from buying these things and looking ridiculous chasing the cat as I yelled "Gum Gum Jet Gatling!"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Heavens Day

Merry Heavens Day! If you've been good all year then you too will be assaulted by crazy hobo Santa.

Friday, December 23, 2011

10 Most Anticipated of '12

These lists are always a chore to put together. It's hard to figure out which movies I'm excited for when they're still months away. However this year it seems like I had a lot more to choose from. That's a good thing, and hopefully there's some movies I don't see coming that I end up enjoying a lot.

Honorable-ish Mention:
Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D

I do want to watch Star Wars Episode I 3D to feed the weird nostalgia I have for the prequel and to check out the quality of Lucasfilm's 3D post conversion. I would like to see all of the Star Wars films in theaters again. Releasing them in chronological order should be the logical decision but who knows if people saner than I will turn out to revisit the least popular movie in the saga. If they don't will Lucasfilm cancel plans to release the rest of the movies in 3D?

10. Lincoln

Steven Spielberg has has an Abraham Lincoln biography on the backburner for years. Liam Neeson was cast in the role of the 16th president in 2005, but he eventually left the project. So instead we're getting Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln. I'd say that worked out. Both Spielberg's War Horse and Tin-Tin are getting great reviews proving he's still got the touch. And Lewis is the best actor working today. We will believe a man can wear a stove pipe hat.

9. Skyfall

There isn't a whole lot of info out there about the upcoming installment in the James Bond series. Daniel Craig is back as Bond, Javier Bardem will play the villain, and Ralph Fiennes has an unspecified role. Judi Dench is tying Roger Moore's record for appearances in James Bond movies. Sam Mendes is directing, who is an oddly high-profile choice for a Bond film. Granted the closest thing he's done to an action movie is Jarhead.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man

In the upcoming Spider-Man movie, Peter Parker makes a deal with Mephisto to alter reality, undo his relationship with Mary Jane, make him a teenager again and reclaim his credit for co-founding Facebook. Reboots are synonymous with superhero fiction, so I'm less phased by The Amazing Spider-Man than I should be. The question becomes how will the rest of the world accept it? There's definitely things they could do to improve upon Sam Raimi's films (Mechanical webshooters!) but an involved backstory with Peter's parents is a step backwards.

7. Prometheus

I looove Alien but I don't think it needed a prequel. But it's okay because according to Ridley Scott, he didn't make one. Then again the sound effects in the trailer are awfully familiar. Prequel or not, the movie looks amazing and I'm looking forward to it. Will there be Space Jockeys? Do I want there to be Space Jockeys? I have no idea.

6. Dark Shadows

Johnny Depp continues his mission to re-imagine classic characters as quirky outsiders. This time he's Barnabas Collins, the vampire of Dark Shadows. The original Dark Shadows was a gothic daytime soap opera that ran from the mid Sixties to early Seventies. I can't believe such a show existed and was a success and I'm sorry I wasn't around to see it. I will be around to see Tim Burton's movie adaptation starring his frequent collaborators Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, and Depp his hetero life-mate.

5. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

I was surprised that a Silent Hill sequel was being made. And more surprised that it wasn't a straight to DVD cheapquel. The first Silent Hill was the best video game to movie adaptation which isn't saying much at all, but I'm happy a follow-up is coming which will feature Heather Mason, the protagonist of the Silent Hill 3 game. Like the first film, I expect Revelation will end up drawing from multiple games in the series and invent some of its own mythos.

4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation

It's a little too apparent that Retaliation is trying hard to make a better impression than Rise of Cobra did. With Disney buying Marvel and J.J. Abrams taking longer than expected to make a Star Trek sequel, G.I. Joe suddenly became very important to Paramount. Their problems are our windfall. Cobra Commander is wearing a chromed helmet, and faithful treatment of characters is half the battle.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I was always looking forward to The Hobbit but it wasn't until the fantastic trailer that it really hit home for me. I know nothing of the novel so I didn't know what to expect. The Hobbit already addresses my problem with the Lord of the Rings trilogy; not enough dwarfs. Clearly that's not going to be an issue with The Hobbit.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

The follow-up to The Dark Knight was always going to be a big deal. The fact that it features Catwoman and Bane, two of my favorite characters, is crazy. But neither look quite like how I would have hoped they would. Or sound like, in Bane's case. I still give Christopher Nolan a lot of leeway. Typically the third movie in a franchise is wear things start to go faulty. I hope Joseph Gordon Levitt doesn't end up playing a computer programmer with an embezzling scheme.

1. The Avengers

It's the Super Smash Bros. of super hero movies. (There has to be a better analogy for that.) Part of the appeal of superhero comics was always the idea of a shared universe, the idea that our favorite characters co-exist and can team up together. It was something that was never reflected in the movie adaptations until Marvel began their grand scheme in 2008. Now the payoff is arriving and I can't wait. It's time for our heroes to assemble to take on a grand new threat. Which is probably Skrulls.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Serpentor

The G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer is up. There's the Rock as Roadblock, Ray Stevenson as Firefly, the actress who was supposed to play Wonder Woman as Lady Jaye, Jonathan Pryce as Zartan as the President, Bruce Willis sleepwalking his way to another paycheck and ninjas. Lots of ninjas. The trailer kind of gives away Channing Tatum's death without actually depicting it. Then again maybe he'll just fall into a coma that he'll wake up from off-screen.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Building the Hype

New posters have been revealed for both The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man. The new DKR poster matches the feel of the first one and oddly enough so does the Spider-Man poster. Looks like dark and shadowy is in.

The preview scene for TDKR has been screened for journalists and, like the poster, it focuses on a Bane who has it in for Batman. It also focuses on a Bane with unintelligible dialogue. Reporters are saying Tom Hardy is hard to understand because of the mask he has to speak through. I hope they take this feedback seriously and redub Hardy's lines. The mask covers his mouth, so it's not like they have to worry about proper lip syncing.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

November 2011 Haul

These things are running later and later. The fallout from that is I included some stuff that was ordered in November but that arrived in December. Hey it still counts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lounge Lizard

So apparently this is what Rhys Ifans as The Lizard will look like in The Amazing Spider-Man. It looks like a skinny Killer Croc. Or Voldermort with a tail. What it doesn't look much like is the Lizard as he's been depicted in the comics. He's far too humanoid. It kind of takes some of the fun out of the idea of a lizard man. Lately in the comics he's been depicted as even more monstrous than in previous incarnations. I thought they would push it even further in the movie but it seems like they went in the other direction.

In other news:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ThunderCats 2012 Figures

MTV Geek has the exclusive first look at upcoming six inch ThunderCats figures from Bandai. The new figures include Cheetara and Tygra from the modern series and Lion-O and Mumm-Ra from the classic series. Now the previous classic figures, Lion-O and Tygra, were eight inches. Bandai decided to restart the line at a different scale. I loved the eight inch figures so the scale change is personally disappointing. I understand why Bandai did it. Six inch is a popular scale amongst collectors, and Bandai even chose to use it for the modern ThunderCats figures. Both lines will probably benefit from being compatible scale-wise. The new Lion-O has a head sculpt that looks like he's roaring. It was a good idea to make this Lion-O different from the eight inch one, to lessen the feeling that we're buying the same figure again. Unfortunately the roaring face isn't nearly as good as the one from the eight inch Lion-O.

All that said, the scale change isn't necessarily a deal breaker for me. Hey that Mumm-Ra is awesome. And I do like the idea having both eras of ThunderCats in the same format. Also Bandai did hint that the eight inch line isn't done yet. They hinted at a new figure in the works and that "she is a fan favorite". Fingers crossed for Pumyra! (I know it's Cheetara. Let me have my delusions.)

Updated 11/16: MTV Geek has updated with more new ThunderCats toys. This time they have images of Mumm-Ra's Storm Charger vehicle and the Armor of Omens, a giant lion themed battlesuit for Lion-O.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Who You Gonna Claw?

That Peter Venkman plush in yesterday's post was something I won in a claw machine of all things. Claw machines are like slot machines, in that you have to accept that you're about to throw money away if you're going to play them and enjoy it. And maybe there's an infinitesimal chance that you'll get ridiculously lucky and win some money or better, a stuffed doll.

I came across some Ghostbusters plush in a claw machine at a Toys R Us. I noticed that Peter seemed close enough to the opening hatch to be winnable. It was in my second attempt, that I not only won Peter but on it's way to the hatch, it knocked over a Cat-popping-out-of-a-Jack-O-Lantern plush. So I won two prizes at once. That was insane. (I gave the Cat-popping-out-of-a-Jack-O-Lantern to my sister.) I tried a third time to win a Slimer and lost. That's why you walk away when you're ahead.

Later I sae a claw machine at my local supermarket that was just filled with Ghostbusters plush including Egon, Winston and most enticingly the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I think this is how gambling problems get started.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

October 2011 Haul

Here's October's haul, and it is very late. I've completely abandoned any sense of timeliness. I still have a post from Halloween that doesn't seem worth completing now. I guess I haven't been in a blogging mood lately. Blogger's new layout isn't very encouraging either.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Clown Prince No More

  • There can be no argument, Mark Hamil is the best Joker we've ever had and may ever have. He debuted in the role on Batman: The Animates Series and was perfect for it from the get-go. Hamil has since voiced the Joker in Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventure, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Justice League, DC Universe Online, Batman: Arkham Asylum, even Robot Chicken, an animated storyboard on the 1989 Batman movie DVD and the live action Birds of Prey. Hamil has said that Batman: Arkham City will be his last time as the Joker and has even Tweeted as such. It's sad but I respect his decision to hang up the purple trousers.

    Now I'm not one of those guys who throws a hissy fit any time there's a DC project that doesn't use the original DCAU voice actors. Why the last time I read a Batman comic I was surprised to hear Bruce Greenwood in my head instead of Kevin Conroy. Still Hamil as Joker seems like it's going to be particularly hard to follow up. I'm not crazy about Jeff Bennet's Joker on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Now that's a different type of Joker and it shouldn't sound like Hamil's but I preferred Michael McKean's taken on the classic Joker from an epsiode of TNBA. And I'm really not a fan of Brent Spiner as Joker from last Friday's new episode of Young Justice. Now part of it might be the awful dialogue they gave him but it just struck me as particularly notable in light of the news of Hamil leaving the role.

  • The Criterion Collection will unleash the original Godzilla film on DVD and Blu-ray next January 24th. Their release will include Gojira, the 1954 Japanese classic and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the 1956 re-edit featuring Raymond Burr. Criterion's cover artwork uses neither title. It just says Godzilla, which is technically the name of the 1998 Tristar movie. Yes it bugs me and yes I'm a huge nerd.

  • And just as a reminder, we're getting some other Godzilla movies on Blu-ray. Destroy All Monsters is set to be released next Tuesday. Media Blasters has posted the cover art on their Facebook page. Godzilla vs Megalon will follow on November 22nd

  • And to further the discussion of giant lizard movies on Blu-ray disc, Best Buy will have an exclusive version of the Jurassic Park trilogy this Tuesday. It's a combo set with Blu-ray, DVD and digital copies. The artwork matches that of the Future Shop exclusive steelbook leading some online to speculate that Best Buy's is also a steelbook. We'll learn for sure when Best Buy updates their weekly ad.

  • Updated 10/20: Ok it's a steelbook.

  • The new Halloween pails are now available at Mcdonalds. And the Monopoly game is currently ongoing. And the McRib is back. Congratulations McDonalds, you are in full-on God mode.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hostess Snoballimus

Hostess is currently running a tie-in with Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The promotion includes Chocwave, Hostess Cupcakes themed after Shockwave, and Snoballimus, Sno Balls themed after Optimus Prime. It's the latter that I was intent on finding. Sno Balls are the best thing made by Hostess, well after Chocodiles but those are rare. Snoballimus wasn't easy to find either. I looked everywhere. I kept seeing Twinkies and Cupcakes, which despite having Transformers pictured on the box are just the standard snacks. I finally found Chocwave and Snoballimus at a Target.

So what is Snoballimus exactly? It's pretty much a Sno Ball with some wacky food coloring. Sno Balls are chocolate cake filled with creme and coated in marshmallow. The marshmallow is covered in coconut flakes. I know coconut scares off a lot of people and I am among them. I couldn't eat a Mounds bar if my life depended on it, but the coconut on a Sno Ball tastes fine. It's a flaky shield protecting you from getting marshmallow on your hands.

Here's where the wacky food coloring comes in. The coconut is blue and the creme is red, evoking (with a little imagination) Optimus Prime's color scheme. It tastes the same as a regular Sno Ball. That's all there really is to it. I really didn't need an excuse to buy Sno Balls but having Optimus Prime on the box sure didn't hurt.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Avengers Stuff

Promotion for the Avengers is starting to ramp up. official photos have been released and footage will be shown at New york Comic Con. If you're keeping track, that's one panel at D-23, one at NYCC and zero at San Diego Comic-Con. Me, bitter? Uh, how about that picture of Loki being escorted at gunpoint? That looks cool.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September 2011 Haul

And here's September haul. The long awaited Rita Repulsa figure looks pretty much like she did when Bandai first revealed her. Despite that I was surprised at how happy I was to find her. I guess waiting eighteen years will do that. I wonder if the reason it took Bandai so long to make a Rita so long was because of likeness rights, and their way around it was to intentionally make the figure not resemble any human being who ever lived. Okay now it's time to campaign for a Scorpina figure.

I also picked up all of Jubei-Chan, a series I've wanted for years. After being reminded of the ephemeral nature of anime DVDs, I decided I had waited long enough. I've been in situations before when DVDs I had my eye on go from easily attainable to impossibly rare almost overnight.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ye Olden Days

Hey remember when manga used to be published in the U.S. in "comic book" form with the artwork flipped left to right? Neither did I until I found my Gundam Wing comics back when I was moving. It was like I had a colony of nostalgia dropped on me. I decided to share the thrill on AFOS. Because it's awesome. And I just wanted to post something today since the monthly haul post is going to be late.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Transformers 3 Exclusive Roundup

Transformers: Dark of the Moon comes out on Blu-ray this Friday, on September 30th. Friday releases seems to becoming a regular trend lately. A downward trend on the other hand are retailer exclusives for movies. There doesn't seem to be any crazy transforming cases for the third Transformers movie. But hey you get your choice of what Transformer you want on the cover. The standard release is a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy combo pack and has Optimus Prime on the cover.

Best Buy will have an exclusive double sided slipcover with Bumblebee and Shockwave.

Wal-Mart will have a single disc edition. It doesn't come with the DVD or the Digital Copy, but it does have Sentinel Prime on the cover. It's probably the better choice for fans of Leonard Nimoy and/or firetrucks.

However you might want to hold out for the 3D Limited Edition coming out later. It's existence was confirmed when the HD Room got an early copy of Dark of the Moon with a $10 off coupon packed inside. At least Paramount is trying to take some of the sting off for those who will double dip. The 3D Limited Edition will have "never before seen content" which means it will have the extras that Friday's release does not, so that's something else to keep in mind.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shinkenger Figuarts at TRU

Toys R Us will be selling imported Japanese figures based on Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, the series currently being adapted into Power Rangers Samurai. The figures are from Bandai's Figuarts line. The website currently has Shinken Red and Shinken Gold listed for sale for $34.99 each, although neither is actually in stock. They will eventually be sold in stores. In Japan the other Shinkenger Figuarts were only available as exclusives. I hope Toys R Us carries the exclusives as well just so that more people can get a chance at them.

This is pretty awesome. If it were the Gokaiger Figuarts that were being imported I'd probably buy them. Of course we're only getting Shinkenger because of the Power Rangers Samurai tie-in. However there are a lot of Figuarts I would buy if they were less expensive and available locally, such as One Piece and DragonBall Z. Does Bandai of America still have the DragonBall license? I always thought it was odd that Bandai seemed to give up on Dragonball just around the time the series returned to TV in the form of DragonBall Kai.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rage of the Red Preschool Toys

Fisher-Price's Hero World toyline is sort of a successor to their classic Rescue Hero toys, but Hero World also includes the DC Super Friends sub-line. I like the Super Friends toys. They may not have the character selection of DC Universe Classics, but they seem a lot more fun. Until now DC Super Friends were mostly focused on Batman and his rogues with Superman and Hal Jordan thrown into the mix. But yesterday I spotted several Green Lantern vehicles at Toys R Us. I saw Hal Jordan with a jet, Kilowog on a motorcyle and Tomar Re with ...well the website just calls it a vehicle. It looks like a helicopter without a rotor.

On the back of the packages are pictures of some single carded figures, Green Lanterns Sinestro with B'Dg and Red Lanterns Atrocitus with Dex-Starr. I don't think they're out yet. They're not even listed on the website. Sinestro would have been much cooler as a Yellow Lantern but I guess B'Dg makes up for it. Atrocitus and Dex-Starr are insanely awesome. Would it be too much to wonder if Fischer-Price included a blood vomiting feature?

Update 9/30: Here's a slightly better picture of the new figures.