Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I like My old Star Wars figures better

Call it nostalgia or call it reality, but I like my old Star Wars figures better. Yeah I was thrilled when they started putting out new figures in 1997, but now that a decade has passed (sheesh), I'm able to be more objective about it. Sure new technology made the 1997 figures more detailed, but like all post Super Powers superhero figures, newer does not mean better (although Justice League Unlimited comes pretty damn close). Something gets lost in translation as the simplistic designs of yesteryear get replaced by "better" designs. Just look at McFarlane and his super-duper detailed figures. It's true that they're uber detailed with complex paint schemes, but I wouldn't touch one with the shit end of a stick. I like my old Star Wars figures better.

More Hasbro stupidness

An interesting merger

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. announced today that is has terminated its licensing agreement with Toy Biz Worldwide Ltd., effective as of December 31, 2005, one year earlier than the license’s scheduled termination date. As a result of the termination, in 2006 Marvel-branded action figures and other toys formerly produced by Toy Biz Worldwide will be produced by Marvel. Now, with full control over Marvel-branded toys produced for sale in 2006, Marvel will be in a better position to effect a smooth transition to Hasbro in areas such as toy development, manufacturing, shipping, and retail space. As a result of this early termination, Marvel will record a one-time cash charge of $13 million - $16 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 related to the early termination and reimbursed research and development expenses. The charge is not reflected in Marvel’s financial guidance for 2005, last provided on November 9, 2005.

Marvel’s Chairman, Morton Handel, commented, “While Marvel will own any inventory produced for 2006, our policy of predominantly manufacturing to order should help mitigate our inventory risk. Commencing in 2007, a wide range of toy and game categories – including action figures, role play and preschool toys, board games and puzzles – will be produced by our new licensee, Hasbro. We are very excited by the business prospects we see in teaming with an industry leader.”

Additional Background on Hasbro License Agreement
The combined percentage royalty and fees to be received by Marvel from Hasbro will be generally lower than those paid by Toy Biz Worldwide, but Marvel believes that Hasbro’s worldwide marketing, promotion and distribution strength should enhance the Marvel brand and Marvel-branded toy sales. In conjunction with the signing of the Hasbro license agreement, Marvel will receive a non-refundable advance of $100 million. There will be no immediate revenue recognition related to the advance payment.

The license is conditioned on its clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

UK Toy Fair: Star Wars

From Action-figure.com, "As Star Wars dominated toy sales last year, in 2006 Hasbro will keep the force strong on the toy store shelves and pegs with a whole new range of toys.

First up is the new Saga range which will have over 80 basic figures from all 6 movies. Every figure will include a new ranndomly packed bonus mini hologram figure (12 to collect) Around half of each wave will utilise previously realeased figures with new additions or paint applications. The rest will be all new figures from all kinds of characters from the saga. On display were some of the Carkoon, Hoth, Geonosis and Coruscant waves. It will even include the odd character from the popular clone wars cartoon series and even a video game based figure in with the mix. Each wave will focus on a famous battle from the star wars saga, starting off with the battle of Carkoon and the battle of Hoth. Figures have already started appearing in some UK stores and selected figures from the 1st two waves are in the current Argos catalogue. The Entertainer, Toys R Us and speciality stores should recieve product on the shelves within the next month.

The 3 3/4" range will also be supported by refresh waves of the popular episode 3 vehicles and a few new supprises later in the year, I was able to confirm there will be a NEW AT-AT, most probibly a redeco of the previous one and a Toys R Us exclusive. Rumour has it that its an Endor version.

In 2006 Hasbro will combine 2 of their most popular brands of the past 25 years transformers and star Wars to bring you the best vehicles from the saga that turn into thier pilots and owners. On display was Ben Kenobi's Episode 3 Jedi Star Fighter and a Mock up sample of the interesting Millenium falcon Hyperdrive 2 pack. Its a bigger vehicle than the rest of the range and looks very authentic but a bit chunky. It will transform into 2 figures 1/2 makes a Han Solo the other 1/2 makes Chewbacca. the first assortment of these have already started arriving in some UK stores

With the popularity of shows like OCC and Pimp My Ride, Hasbro will be releasing Star Wars Custom choppers. Wave one was on display and included Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Boba fett on their own Chopper motorbike. They all have rip and go play feature and are stylised like each characters signature vehicle.

Some of the best selling product of 2005 was the role play products. In 06 we will see plenty more of the ever popular Vader helmet with breathing and voice changer feature. There will also be a brand new lightsaber in the range. A prototype sample was on display, it has a sligtly longer handle but this means that the whole blade can be hidden inside and at the push of a button it pops out and extends plus lights up and makes the ignition noise. A very cool product that I am sure kids of all ages will be clamouring for. The one on display looked loosly based on Luke ESB sabre with a blue blade. I expect more colours will be released later on.

Next up was the new Unleashed minis. Now the UK have not seen any official release of the first two waves of mini figure packs which are out in the USA. You get a blister pack with four 1 1/2" static figures from the saga. Many are army builder packs with clones or wookies etc. A few were on display at the stand and they hope to start shipping them out soon to stores. Also in addition to the blistered 4 packs was a mock up big box that will feature extra components to add to a display. The one shown was a Hoth pack which featured a Turret cannon and radar laser cannon, you will be able to add these to your figure packs to add to your displays.

The cute and popular Galactic Heroes range will continue in 2006 with re-releases and repaints of popular characters in 2 packs as well as figure and vehicle 2 packs in the early assortments. We should see Luke with Speeder bike and Imperial scout Trooper with bike.

In other sections of the Hasbro stand I found the new addition to the astoundingly popular Mr Potato Head range. With the sucess of last years Darth Tater and Spud Trooper the now add to the range with R2-D'Tater who comes with a whole slew or extra accesories and a Super cute princess tater organa mini hologram figure. It looks like the Mr Potato Head range will be big this year with plenty of other items like classic Mr and Mrs Potato Heads and the Star Wars range. Lets hope for a Boba Spud and ChewTater.

Also on display was the Saga DVD Trivial pursuit and the Plug and Play TV Lightsaber game.

There werent any Attacktix on display and I asked if the UK would be getting the second and third assortments of the well recieved table top gaming release. I was informed that the UK should get them in them in a few months. I did a review feature on them last year you can check it out here

So it looks like the force is forever..."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Star Wars Survival Kit

Did you ever get one of these sets? I still have most of the pieces from mine. It was actually a pretty cool promotion even if they did recycle the blasters. I especially liked getting the Yoda backpack so Luke could finally carry Yoda the way he was supposed to be carried (too bad there was never a Dagobah Luke in those days). The Hoth backbacks were also pretty cool. The 1997 ATAT toy actually came with some of these pieces if I recall correctly (or it might have been the Rebel Transport).

My favorite Super Powers figures

I love this Shazam figure, just look at that shit-eating grin! He's basically like, "Yeah, I'm all powerful, but I don't focus on that, what'd you guys do this weekend". One of the best things about the Super Powers line is how colorful it is. If you look at the Star Wars line, for example, you get a lot of dark blues, grays, black, or pure white. The Super Powers line is chock full of every color under the rainbow. Displayed together they make a handsome presentation. I also love this Cyborg figure, although I rarely handle mine because loose he's worth upwards of $200. There was an inferior version made in Spain that chipped very easily.

Captain Indifferent

From Thesneeze, "I was in a hobby store for my son looking for a toy plane that I knew didn't exist (a long story I won't bother you with) when a box for a model kit caught my eye. It was Captain America.
I thought it was an interesting choice that no photo of the actual model appeared on the packaging. Since that's usually not a good sign (or a great sign depending on how you look at these things), I tried to find a picture of it when I got home. I did, and it's all I could have hoped for.

The more I look at this Captain America the more I'm obsessed with him. He's not angry, he's not ready to kick ass, he just looks fantastically disenchanted. Like he didn't get the taxi he was trying to hail, or he's bummed that he has to go crime-fighting in a soggy boot. But it's not just his lack of expression that kills me, it's his actual face. It looks like they hired some chooch to put on the Captain America suit so they could take pictures to create the model kit, and then they forgot to make the model not look like that guy. Another version of the model seems to have him with a crazy Ed Grimley smile. In this one I picture him running after the other superheroes shouting, "C'mon guys, wait up!"

I'd say whichever one you get, you're still way ahead of the game. I'm totally going back to the store to buy one now."

Friday, January 27, 2006

My Favorite Super Powers Figure

I had to think about this one, because as I look at the lineup I want to declare a ten-way tie. Ultimately I'm going with Martian Manhunter as #1 with Dr. Fate as a close second.

These two were the first two I got, and right around that time some c-book store guy had noted the SP line's superiority over the Secret Wars figs, the Marvel equivalent at the time. Secret Wars figures were basically all the same sculpt with different paintjobs, unlike the distinct shapes of the DC heroes. I remember picking up Martian and Fate to investigate this fact, and noting the slightly alien look to MM's biceps. You can't really see what I mean in this pic, but with that one subtle curve the entire scope of the sculptors' skill and effort became apparent to me. I'd say that MM being my favorite superhero and favorite SP fig are two closely connected ideas.

The other figs from this collection that make me drool are:

Green Lantern
Lex Luthor
Red Tornado

Even the figs that one might pass on first glance have amazing elements, like Aquaman's scaly shirt or Hawkman's awesome color combination.

You're all winners!

Super Powers

Is there any line of action figures better than these? Nah. Today I added Jason Geyer's wonderfully comprehensive Super Powers Archive to our links section. I also recommend a peek at the never-made fourth wave. Lots of fun stuff to see, including custom figs based on Kenner's rejected designs. If only, if only.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Superman Returns - first toy appears

Toy Fair - Marvel Legends Monsters

Another sign of the Apocalypse - R2DTater

I picked this 3-pack up last night

The way the Justice League Unlimited 3-packs are packaged seems very random. Some sets contain 1 new figure, some contain 2, but this one has 3 totally new guys - for only $8.99 at Toyrs R Us!

Clone Wars Republic Gunship

You wanted it....you're getting it. The coolest version of the Republic Gunship from the Clone Wars animated series is coming your way in 2006. And if you think you spot a few new figures on the packaging, you're not alone

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Batman Legos! No kidding!

Who's bugging out? I'M bugging out! Apparently this idea has been concrete since last October, but I'm just finding out today. This thanks to fellow blogger Dunechaser (link!), who also made my day by posting some of MY minifig pictures on his blog. (Is this is a good time to point out that you didn't leave even one comment on my post about these very same minifigs? I think it is.)

Look at all this stuff! There's so many pieces and minifigs to look forward to, my brain is fizzing.

I'm psyched. Can you tell I'm psyched? I am.

Aztek -- single carded

I was in a spending mood last night, and along with some Lego sets (about which I may post later), I found this guy. I'm happy to report that he can stand up perfectly and he's a pretty cool entry in a series with a lot of cool entries. I recommend it, if you don't already have one.

I haven't tried his shield to see if it fits. But who cares.

Monday, January 23, 2006

New Kubricks revealed

Lego alternate sets

LEGO have issued detailed photos of the two alternate sets, Dash Rendar's Outrider and Luke's T-16, that are suggested building from the Imperial Star Destroyer (6211). Instructions for these will also be available.

Futurama update

Futurama's Back: Four Movies Greenlit!
January 21st, 2006

Billy West, voice of Phillip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, and others, today confirmed via his website forum that new episodes of Futurama have been greenlit by FOX. The word from executive producer David X. Cohen was delivered to West today, with four straight-to-DVD full-length features ordered, obviously with the possibility of more or even a series revival depending on how those sell. The show's production crew is expected to get back together and start recording the new material at the end of July or August this year.

While news of a direct-to-DVD release was confirmed in July last year, very little has been heard on the topic and we suspect even the show's creators were even in the dark over details. The Simpsons Channel will endeavor to keep you informed on the latest Futurama news despite our Simpsons focus.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I done did it

I bought all these guys from an outfit in Hong Kong that had them for 65 bucks with 15 shipping. There was a seller in Colorado, but the Hong Kong people already had the merchandise and Colorado wasn't getting theirs until February. And it was 5 bucks more. I figured the price would be roughly equal on the two, but the HK ones would be faster.

This is pretty cool. I was looking at my R2 lineup last night and I've got 15 different astromechs, counting the 70's R2 and R5D4. TEN more will be a satisfying boost in population. Rowdy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Goofy Fun

I finally put my Cast of Characters onto my page at MOCpages.com. Check out the narrative ramblings behind these tiny people here. You can rate them and leave a comment/review. Big fun!

Monday, January 16, 2006


There was once a time when I would buy every Star Wars figure that came out. I have every vintage Star Wars figure except Han In Carbonite

I just can't bring myself to shell out for this boring figure.
When new Star Wars figures started coming out in 1995 I was right there. Sure they all looked like they were on steroids, but they were new Star Wars figures for crying out loud! There hadn't been any new figures since the superb Power of the Force line (1985-1986).

Check out this luke. I guess Aunt Beru's blue milk had more vitamins in it than we ever thought.
The quality of Star Wars figures has been slowly eroding since the Attack of the Clones lines. Hasbro is now using cheaper plastic and the figures are just plain cheap looking. These are tough times for the Star Wars action figure collector. Nowadays collecting is all about "cherry-picking" (an expression Summerisle hates but he never goes to this Blog). Cherry-picking simply refers to looking at a new line of toys and only purchasing the best pieces (if there are any). Rather than being a Star Wars completest, which would be too costly given all the variants and repacks, I'm now content to pick up the rare cool figure. For example, In the first photo of the new Coursant line, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for Foul Moudama (Muftak Jedi in giant boots).