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Cobra Commander Examined, Frasier for Senate
October 1 2003
Review: G.I. Joe Cobra Commander, Version 14

Packaged alongside the action figure Switch Gears, this figure appeals to fans of the original toy line, TV series, comic book, video game, or almost anything spawned from Hasbro's military toy line from the 1980s. And, of course, here's our review. A review of Switch Gears is in the works for a future article.

--AP

TransFormers Armada: Variant Prime?

Cosmic Rust is reporting findings of an Armada Super-Sized Optimus Prime with the red components colored gold. This figure showed up earlier, but now it appears it may be a K-Mart exclusive. Visit their site for the full story.

--AP

Bionicle Video Sales, Toy Clearances

Mask of Destiny is reporting that the Hollywood Reporter listed the recent direct-to-video Mask of Light feature bowed at #1 on VHS and #4 on DVD. It was beat out on DVD by The Two Towers, Anger Management, and Sleeping Beauty.

Target stores have added a bunch of new items to the clearance bins, including this year's Bohrok Kal sets. Currently, they seem to be roughly two dollars off, but it is the beginning of this clearance cycle.

--AP

Star Wars Clone Wars Yoda Reviewed, Cartoon Figures Revealed

In addition to Cobra Commander, a review of Hasbro's Clone Wars Yoda action figure was added over at Galactic Hunter. Click here to check it out!

Also, GH posted an article featuring the upcoming Target exclusive animated figures, so be sure to check that out as well.

--AP

And in other news...

Frasier for senate? Apparently Hollywood is going Washington for a change. In this story, MSN reports that he has yet to lay out official plans, but is eyeing a seat on America's most elite and prestigious legislative body outside the voters for American Idol.

Offbeat Movies for the Fall. Kevin "Tom Servo" Murphy gives his two cents on the Fall film season in an NPR segment via streaming audio on that link. Films reviewed include Bubba Hotep, Once Upon A Time in Mexico, and others.

Ain't It Cool News is reporting that Return of the King has a runtime of three and a half hours, for what it's worth.

Lastly, the Matrix: Reloaded DVD review embargo ends today, and reviews are expected to start appearing on your favorite DVD review sites. As such, be sure to visit a few DVD pages today.

--AP, special thanks to EK

Switch Gears Review
October 2 2003
Sale: G.I. Joe 12" Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow with DVD
Review: Switch Gears

Wal-Mart stores have marked down this pair of 12" figures, which comes with the DVD of G.I. Joe Spy Troops: The Movie to $17.84. Not a bad deal.

Also for your amusement, a review of Switch Gears, the figure packaged with the latest issue of Cobra Commander. While nowhere near as cool as his nemesis, this figure is a fairly interesting release in its own right. After all, he can be dressed up as Overkill, a member of Cobra and leader of their B.A.T. army.

--AP

Playmobil Returns to TJ Maxx, Marshall's

Several gift sets, a few new sets from Playmobil, and some older sets are currently hitting TJ Maxx and Marshall's stores, as are a few LEGO sets and some other interesting items.

Early highlights of Playmobil sets include the New York Fire Department issue fireman for $1.99 (usually $3.99 at Toys "R" Us) and the pirate rowboat with a shark for $4.99 ($9.99 at Target and Toys "R" Us.)

--AP

See the Amazing LEGO Homer Simpson Sculpture

A LEGO enthusiast produced a pretty amazing set, a four-foot tall LEGO Homer Simpson. Containing over 10,000 pieces, he took a little initiative and went the extra mile to produce a second sculpture that's available for sale. The price? $4500.

While the price is up there, it's important to note that it's a large, solid sculpture that takes a lot of time to produce as well as a lot of effort. Oh, and it's sculpted to hold a beer can.

--AP

Energon Rodimus Prototype Images at Cosmic Rust

Cosmic Rust, a fantastic little TransFormers page, has posted several shots of the upcoming Rodimus toy prototype. This unpainted sample from TransFormers: Energon appears to incorporate elements of the modern Hasbro design aesthetic alongside that of the second leader of the Autobots, Rodimus Prime. Its exact name and release date are unknown, but hey, get a load of those pictures.

--AP

Xbox, GameCube, Playstation games 50% off at Fry's Marketplace Stores

Fry's Marketplace, a larger version of Fry's Food and Drug Stores that's owned by Kroger, has marked down their entire stock of video games for the three major consoles. Knights of the Old Republic, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and F-Zero are marked down to about $25 each. The duration of this sale is unknown, and it is unknown if this sale extends beyond Arizona's borders or in Kroger stores of a similar size.

--AP

And in other news...

PVP #4 Available. Image Comics shipped Scott Kurtz' latest this week, and it should be available at your local comic shop.

Christopher Walken on Conan Tonight. That pretty much says it all.

The Far Side returns to newspapers. Gary Larson's one-panel wonder is returning to papers for 91 days as part of a promotion for his new book, The Complete Far Side. Assuming you haven't seen every strip 128 times on a t-shirt while in high school, be sure to check these out. The book contains over 4,000 strips and is priced accordingly-- MSRP for the hardbound edition is $135. If that's not good enough for you, try the leatherbound edition. Only $750.

Matrix Reloaded, Alien Saga DVD reviews. The Digital Bits posted reviews of both of these DVDs.

Star Wars Auctions Hijacked. In what would have been a very interesting promotion, it seems somebody just had to ruin it. Hasbro's Jedi Master Points auctions are being toyed with by bidders who don't much seem to like the idea of the promotion. As such, it remains an event worth watching.

For those not in the know, Hasbro is running a series of auctions that are employing its own Jedi Master Points, a clip-and-save currency by the toy's bar code. In the past, these things were used for free action figures, posters, and accessories. For these auctions, points were the only required currency-- no additional money was required for shipping or handling charges.

The Onion Updated. The Onion updated on Tuesday with its usual array of stories and features.

Homestar Runner Puppets. Homestar Runner updated on Monday with a short video of a puppet show involving the title character and the ever-popular The Cheat.

--AP

The Best Lord of the Rings Toy Ever
October 3 2003
New Armies of Middle-earth Revealed

Prepare Thyself. Action Figure Xpress revealed numerous new Armies of Middle-earth toys, including the super-spiffy Osgoliath Ruins with Winged Nazgul set. If you don't scream with delight over this image, there is something wrong.

Numerous other items can be found on their AOME page, including upcoming waves of figures with Easterlings, Sauron, and many others. There's a Gondorian Catapult, new packs of figures with horses, and an announcement of an expected larger set which will include Shelob. While the former all have images, the latter does not.

--AP

Two Spy Troops Bonus Packs at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is offering clamshell two-packs of two action figure two-packs or a set with one action figure two-pack and a small electronic vehicle with a figure for roughly $10. The figures are as recent as Series 7 of the new line, which includes the new chrome-headed Destro figure.

--AP

Armada Minicon Double Packs at Wal-Mart, Dinobots Return

Wal-Mart is currently selling sets of two packs of Minicons in a large plastic clamshell for $9.99. Each set contains a total of six of the little TransFormers.

It appears some, but not all, Wal-Mart stores are receiving additional cases of its summer exclusive-- the Dinobots. The three two-packs were repaints of toys dating back as far as 1995, and contained two figures previously unreleased outside Asia.

Lastly, another auction on eBay is showing the first glimpse of the Energon Ultra Magnus toy with the bonus Minicon Space team. Originally this set was slated to be packaged with a redecorated Street Speed Team, and several packaged samples of this set were leaked. It appears the Street Speed version, which was highly praised by fans, will now go down as a legendary collectible.

--AP

Beast Man, Trapjaw repainted

An auction on the Bay of E has surfaced with a redeco of each of these two He-Man villains. Trap Jaw appears shirtless with some recolored garments, but he's very similar to the previous release aside from those changes. Beast Man seems very tastefully done, with many non-hardcore fans unlikely to be able to tell there was a change. They're no Bling Bling Skeletor but still notable.

--AP

Star Wars Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker Reviewed

A review of Hasbro's Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker action figure was added over at Galactic Hunter by yours truly. Click here to check it out!

Also, GH posted an article featuring the upcoming Target exclusive animated figures, so be sure to check that out as well.

--AP

And in other news...

Bob Odenkirk to Co-Host Jimmy Kimmel Live. After next week's sting with Bobcat Goldthwait, Kimmel will be bringing in half of the team that fronts HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David. David Cross co-hosted alongside Kimmel earlier this year.

Star Wars Auctions Un-Hijacked. Apparently Hasbro has managed to resolve this problem. Good for them, we're glad to see this kind of initiative taken to solve the problem.

Review Pile Coming Next Week. Starting next week you can see a review pile on this site so you have a rough idea of what's coming up. So now all three of you who read this can move back from the edge of your collective seats. While this may be the first announcement that is announcing announcements to come, allow16bit.com to assure you it won't be the last.

Surprisingly, our first few weeks are a little heavy on G.I. Joe products. This may change, as we like to mix it up a little more.

--AP

The Junk Keeps On Comin'
October 4 2003
More Kay-Bee Clearance Zoids

Fans of Zoids are in for a continued treat. In addition to existing free VHS casette, free Z-Builders, and clearance promotions, it seems Kay-Bee is furthering its parade of cheap plastic by stocking new, large Zoids at clearance prices. Spotted so far is the Death Stinger, formerly a $30-$40 set, at $9.99.

--AP

Bonus Packs at Wal-Mart Update

Wal-Mart is not offering sets with a figure two-pack and a vehicle as previously reported, but rather is offering a set with a small vehicle with a driver packaged with a new (and seemingly) exclusive CD-ROM set. Figures like Firefly, Roadblock, Recondo, Dr. Mindbender, and more are packaged with the discs, and were not sold in such a manner before.

--AP

And in other news...

Back in 2001, Toy Biz surprised the world with its first series of Spider-Man Classics figures, with the webslingers sporting nearly three dozen points of articulation.

Our reviews got a little lost in the shuffle, but today they're back. Three of the first four figures have had their reviews re-added to the Toy Archive. They are:
  Spider-Man
  Spider-Man (Black)
  Venom

--AP

Promotion Season Is Back
October 5 2003
For Exclusive Bionicle, Make it a Blockbuster Night

Blockbuster Video stores now have at least two exclusive packs of Bionicle products. The first is the entire series of Toa Nuva, the heroic characters in can-like packages, and they're packed with the formerly Toys "R" Us/Legoland Billund copper Mask of Victory. The second item is a two-pack of the brand new Matoran sets, which are smaller figures of Bionicle "villagers." The two-pack includes a special, apparently exclusive, mask from the Mask of Light movie. Each of these promotional packs is $7.99.

The first Matoran toys were exclusive to McDonald's restaurants, and were available in 2001. We previously reported on them starting in August of 2001, and the promotion started that September.

--AP

Agent Faces Mail-In

Hasbro announced a mail-in Agent Faces figure a few months back on its Spy Troops figure packaging, but until just now, there were no photos of how he would look. Thankfully, Hasbro posted a page explaining the offer, complete with pictures showing Agent Faces in Crimson Guard armor, surely making this the hit of the season as far as mail-aways go. As it was one of very few, if not the only one, it wasn't especially hard to be the top offer of the season.

16bit.com will be obtaining samples of this figure for review (most likely when everybody gets theirs in the mail), so stay tuned for more. Much like the Star Wars Han Solo Stormtrooper figure from Hasbro and Froot Loops back in 1995, this is sure to please a great many fans.

--AP

Energon Prime, Unicron Images

Cosmic Rust posted some fairly decent images of the now purple Unicron and the combined mode Optimus Prime. It appears the image provided to them of Unicron's planet mode was awkwardly transformed.

--AP

Roboto, new He-Man and Stratos appearing

Reports around the Web of these new figures surfacing leaves this news editor befuddled, as figures from previous waves, namely Buzz-Off and Evil-Lyn, still have yet to hang for more than a few minutes in our neck of the woods. Regardless, start looking if you aren't already.

--AP

Bootlegs are Back
October 6 2003
Bootleg TransFormers at Big Lots Stores

A line of bootleg TransFormers figures is popping up at US Big Lots stores. Included are knock-offs of:

 Flash Lioconvoy- a translucent Optimus Prime-like robot that turns into a lion from Japan's Beast Wars II line
 Heinrad- a time-travelling Tanuki (raccoon-like dog) from Japan's Beast Wars Neo, available in two color schemes
 Air Attack Optimus Primal- a scaled-down, wildly miscolored version of the Beast Machines character that was released in Robots in Disguise

Each toy is about $4.99 and appears to be fairly junky, although one of the Heinrad sets looks nearly identical to the original Japanese release.

--AP

Playmobil Light-Up Apartment Exclusive

Collectobil is reporting a new exclusive Apartment with Interior Lights set is being offered to a German store. Check out Collectobil for the scoop.

--AP

Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly yet again.

--AP

G.I. Joe vs. Cobra Action Figure Waves 9, 10 Revealed

Yo Joe! is reporting a tentative lineup of characters for the next two waves of figures in their Magazine section. While tentative, it appears Cobra Commander, Kamakura, Destro, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, the Baroness and many others will be making repeat appearances in these sets. Pictures were unavailable as of the moment.

--AP

Evil-Lyn Reviewed Here, Smokescreen Reviewed Elsewhere
October 7 2003
Smokescreen Reviewed at Ben's World of TransFormers

BWTF.com has reviewed the upcoming/available Alternators/Binal Tech Smokescreen figure, and in both its Japanese configurations.

This line of high-end, collector-minded robots in disguise seems to be the hit of the season, so if you haven't read about them already, be sure to check out his review.

--AP

GameCube: Selling Again

A number of online news outlets are reporting that the market is responding well to the new MSRP of the GameCube in the USA: $99.99. Apparently it's gone from roughly 15,000 units per week to over 60,000.

--AP

Toys "R" Us: Now In Albertson's

Previously, Albertson's grocery stores have partnered with the likes of Osco Drug Stores and Office Max to "power" certain areas of their store which had previously been lacking. Now, Toys "R" Us has a mini-aisle in Albertson's, which was a bit of a surprise. Their selection of action figures is decent, but the prices, sadly, are similar to those of Osco/Sav-On/Walgreen's. That is to say, high.

For example, Masters of the Universe figures were $9.99, Star Wars figures were a whopping $7.99, and Zoids & TransFormers were a couple of extra bucks each. While they don't have the same selection as other grocery stores with significant toy sections, it is a vast improvement over what one usually expects of such a toy section. Which is to say, they have something versus the usual nothing.

--AP

MOTU Evil-Lyn Reviewed

For your enjoyment, we continue to fill a much-needed void in Web reviews with a review of the Masters of the Universe villainess online, complete with pictures. Sure, she came out last summer, but as we just found her last week, she gets a review.

--AP

And In Other News...

Coming later this week here at 16bit.com is a review of Buzz-Off from Masters of the Universe which, interestingly enough, was finally found at Albertson's. Also on tap for review in the near future: the recent G.I. Joe vs. Cobra 12" Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow set with exclusive Spy Troops The Movie DVD, a Japanese Zoid that was found in a Phoenix area gift shop... from 1986... in July 2003. All this and more, which should please/annoy the six of you who read this.

At Galactic Hunter this week, reviews of Lt. Dannl Faytonni and WA-7, two recently released Star Wars figures, are coming on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

Comedy Central's The Daily Show will be live tonight to cover the California Recall. Tomorrow, their guest will be New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Quentin Tarintino will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC on Thursday of this week. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Also, don't forget to visit Homestar Runner for a new Strong Bad Email.

--AP

Vintage Zoids Kit Review
October 8 2003
Geruder (1986) from Zoids Reviewed

While not a popular kit, a classic kit, or even a cult kit, Geruder is one of the very first Zoids kits from the Imperial side of the toy's storyline. This kit from roughly 1986 was recently found, sealed in its original Japanese packaging, at a Phoenix gift shop. This review looks at the toy and the original packaging, which is worth a gander if you are unfamiliar with old Japanese toy boxes.

--AP

Star Wars Review: Lt. Dannl Faytonni

Lt. Dannl Faytonni is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. The figure has three accessories and a whopping 14 points of articulation and, to the right person, could be the start of several excellent custom figures. Check it out.

--AP

And In Other News...

The Onion updated on Tuesday with its usual compliment of comedy and a review of Kill Bill.

Green Acres and Mr. Ed are now in development for an upcoming DVD release. Seriously, this isn't something I'd make up.

We're looking into shooting some Playmobil stuff for the site. Why? That hobo that's on every page needs a tribute now that the Zoid got one.

If you didn't hear already, Tom Baker is running around stating that Eddie Izzard, British comedian, transvestite, and actor, is tapped for the title role in a new Dr. Who series. If the name doesn't ring a bell, he was one of the Disco Boys in Mystery Men, a flick that also featured the likes of Tom Waits.

Lastly, in case it isn't painfully obvious, we're still learning the new camera here.

--AP

Masters Minicomics, Buzz-Off Review Online
October 9 2003
We Review Buzz-Off
He-Man.Org Adds Minicomics

Another old toy gets a look this week, but in this newer form. Buzz-Off is a great and fairly obscure member of the Masters of the Universe cast, but of course not the most obscure. With posable wings and an axe that can shoot, there's a lot he can do. Standing up, sadly, is not on this list. Check out the review for images and more!

Also, He-Man.Org, the most powerful Masters site in the Universe, added a complete archive of the original comic books that were packaged with the toys in the 1980s. Be sure to check it out if you're so inclined!

--AP

Muppets Series 5 Available, 7 Revealed

Series 5 of Palisades' wildly popular plastic representations of these puppets has hit GameStop and EB Games stores. Now available are Janice, Gonzo with Camilla, the Muppet Newsman, and Pepe.

Palisades also posted images of Series 7 to their Muppet Toy Web Site. Included are Captain Smollet (Pirate Kermit), Boy Scout Robin, Beauregard, and Johnny Fiama.

--AP

TransFormers: The War Within: The Dark Ages #1 In Stores

Dreamwave's latest foray into the early days of Optimus Prime is now in stores. Issue #1 follows Grimlock, Kup, Bludgeon, and others after Optimus and Megatron disappear. The series has a new artist but retains the existing character designs from The War Within and even addresses the notion of toys based on these designs.

The answer, sadly, is it's entirely up to Hasbro. Hasbro stated previously that influences from the series will make its way into the toy line, such as the upcoming Energon Starscream.

--AP

Kay-Bee Toys Lawsuit Settlement Sale

As a result of a settlement against Kay-Bee Toy stores involving deceptive pricing practices, a 30% off sale is currently going on through October 14. If you spend $30 or more, you get 30% off. Considering the stores are getting in new shipments of old Zoids, and considering that this sale can be combined with existing sales, it might be a good time to buy TransFormers too, as they're already 25% off.

The sale, called the "You Win" sale (if you can believe it) is basically because it was determined that their pricing practices were deceptive. How? Lots of items had an old price crossed out in red ink and a new one written in, which used to be how they priced older items. As of late, several items were both new and on clearance prices with the "old price" being higher than it should have been, so now you'll see a new style of price tag with significantly lower "was" prices. Some of which are lower than Toys "R" Us, Target, Wal-Mart, or any of the toy discounters have ever charged.

In a piece of pointless news, despite the "You Win" signs and the fact that this story is all over the toy Web, the store I had visited the other night insisted this was nothing more than a Fall clearance sale and basically said that I was full of crap. Well, I got three Zoids kits and a Mothra that would cost $35, $35, $20, and $8 elsewhere for a grand total of like $26. So they can call it whatever they please for all I care.

--AP

Video Game News Roundup

1. Sony announced pricing of its PSX console, which is a hybrid progressive scan DVD/TiVo clone/PS2/online set top box/DVD burner all in one. It uses USB ports as well as the Sony Memory Stick to save data and to connect to controllers... and it costs $719 or more, depending on the size of the hard drive. While this seems obscene, competitive boxes with similar offerings from other consumer electronics manufacturers cost nearly twice as much, so it turns out this is actually a decent deal. Assuming, of course, you need one.

2. Nokia launched its N-Gage portable gaming device today, which integrates MP3 and cell phone technologies into a fairly compact GameBoy clone. At $299.99 plus monthly service plans, interest seems low-- many local stores report receiving quantities in the single digits with presells being a handful of units.

3. Additional reports are surfacing on the Nintendo GameCube Zelda Bonus Disc which is said to include the original NES Zelda titles as well as the two Nintendo64 games. Word on the street is now that it will be exclusive to Nintendo's online store to people who order a GameCube unit direct from the manufacturer. Considering the core market for this disc is people who are hardcore gamers, odds are there will be a lot of upset fans.

4. A new series of figures has just been released, somewhat stealthily, from Joyride Studios. Having previously brought us Luigi from Luigi's Mansion and Samus Aran from Metroid, they just put out a set of Mario and Yoshi from Mario Sunshine and some nondescript characters from Medal of Honor.

--AP

And In Other News...

Toy Wishes Magazine (published by Wizard Press) announced their Top Toy List by way of CNN today, and it includes some interesting, obvious, and highly dubious choices. We'd like to take issue with their prediction that TransFormers: Built to Rule made the list while traditional Armada toys did not.

--AP

Cat in the Cereal Box
October 10 2003
Now Available: Cat in the Hat Cereal

Kellogg's has released a new special limited edition cereal as a pre-movie-tie-in. The box art is similar to the orignal Dr. Seuss designs and not the revamped Mike Myers version of the character that will appear in theaters this holiday season. As to if it's good or not, well, heck if I know.

--AP

Many New Lord of the Rings Toys Surfacing

Toys "R" Us stores are receiving numerous new toys lately from the upcoming finale of the Lord of the Rings series including a talking Gollum/Smeagol toy with interchangable heads, an armored Cave Troll, and a rotocast Aragorn that, sadly, may be one of the best sculpts yet. The paint job, of course, still leaves something to be desired. Other figures are trickling in and new items are starting to show up elsewhere as well, so be sure to keep an eye out for these.

--AP

Zoids: Small Japanese Promotional Kits

Fans of Tomy's Japanese line might be interested in a few promotional Blox (Z-Builders in the USA) sets.

First, a very small set called the Blitz Hornet was distributed with a recent issue of Japan's Dengeki Hobby magazine. The set is built around one central block piece and is no larger than a fairly sizable MicroMachines vehicle. The magazine itself typically goes for about $10 from importers.

Next, no less than two series of gashapon (capsule toys) of Blox expansions are available in Japan's gumball machines. Taking the forms of simple robotic creatures, plants, and even expansion weapons, these sets are showing up at both obscenely cheap and obscenely expensive prices. These sets are showing up on eBay and, so far, nowhere else as far as the domestic market goes.

There is no decent photo archive of these items outside of the images used in eBay auctions at this time although 16bit.com is looking into obtaining these sets for review. The first series of gashapon should be up before the end of the month.

One last thing... Kay-Bee stores are restocking several toy lines, including this one, in fairly decent numbers. So be sure to take a look if you're looking for sets from 2002 or earlier.

--AP

Kids in the Hall Season 1 DVDs A-Coming

The Kids in the Hall, Canada's finest comedy troupe, are coming to DVD and they set up a Web site where you can leave suggestions for what you want to see on the discs. Longtime fans of the group have been waiting for this for a long time.

Some of the things they ask about include: outtakes, deleted scenes, merchandise, what kind of questions you'd ask the group, so it's probably a good opportunity for the fans to communicate with the group. Be sure to take a moment and remind them you'd like a Special Edition of the Brain Candy DVD.

--AP

Star Wars Review: WA-7, Waitress Droid

WA-7 is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. She can't stand on her own, falls apart easily, and without her stand, looks like she's dead. But she's still a pretty great droid. Be sure to check out this latest feature from our friends-- namely, me-- at Galactic Hunter!

--AP

And In Other News: The Final Hand-Drawn Disney Film?

Home on the Range is set to be Disney's final foray into theatrical hand-drawn animation, and this link has some information on who's making it, who's in it, and even sports some images of the characters.

--AP, thanks to ZB

Eternia is in Peril
October 11 2003
He-Man Needs Your Help

He-Man.org has realized that since the departure of the former Masters of the Universe brand manager, news of the official sort has been sorely lacking in this line. Despite the virtual love-fest that the board gives those associated with the brand, Mattel representatives have been far and few between as of late, which seems odd given as these are some of the most polite fans on the Web when it comes to interacting with the company that produces their favorite items.

As such, the site is instituting a Call Mattel Day. They also give the phone numbers which, in most cases, are toll-free. Even if you're not a fan, it's hard not to appreciate a fan site that's going out of its way to keep its visitors informed. He-Man.org, we salute you!

--AP

Kay-Bee Exclusives, More Armada Mini-Con Packs

Kay-Bee Stores are starting to receive their newest exclusives, Megabolt and Jhiaxus. Both are repaints of Beast Machines molds, the latter being the smaller Jetstorm toy and the former being what was eventually released as Megatron Megabolt in Robots in Disguise.

In addition to the Special Value Mini-Con Two-Packs reported earlier, Wal-Mart is receiving larger TransFormers: Armada toys bundled with additional Mini-Cons. If you're in the market for Predacon, Powerlinx Red Alert, Scavenger, Thundercracker, or toys at a similar price point, be sure to hit Wal-Mart before buying them elsewhere.

--AP

A Real American Hero: Yo Joe Adds Items to Archives

Yo Joe! has added a number of new items to its archives, including many not yet in wide distribution.

Highlights include the new Tomax and Xamot as well as the Crimson Command Copter, the new Mission Disc sets, and some previously unreported variants.

--AP

And In Other News...

Kill Bill is incredible. If you can stomach cartoonish levels of blood, it's well worth a gander.

The Ben Stiller Show, a short-lived Emmy-winning sketch comedy show from Fox, is coming to DVD after several delays this December 2. For those unfamilliar with the program, the main four players were Ben Stiller, Janeane Garafolo, Andy Dick, and Bob Odenkirk, the latter of which will be co-hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live next week starting on Monday.

--AP

Proto-Palooza
October 12 2003
Alternators Sideswipe Proto Photo Shoot

Cosmic Rust has been directed to a folder containing numerous pictures of the unpainted VSPs (a late-stage preproduction piece) of Sideswipe and Smokescreen. Included are what may be shots of the former being properly transformed for a change.

--AP

And in other news...

The Aquabats are releasing a new DVD entitled "Serious Awesomeness" this November that collects a full live concert, videos, and other live material recorded over the band's history. As they haven't done much lately, this is sure to please anyone paying attention.

NECA is getting Kill Bill. The company has the rights to action figures, statues, prop replicas, and busts and it is said these will start to hit in 2004, hopefully in time for Volume 2.

--AP

New Section, Sales
October 13 2003
Toys "R" Us Sale

The world's biggest toy store has a number of items on sale this week, including $2-$5 off most Zoids kits, buy-one-get-one-free board games, and more. Of note is that the new Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit is in stock for $34.99, and yes, the game does carry spoilers from the movie version of Return of the King.

--AP

Energon Jetfire Pictures

Cosmic Rust delivers the goods again with previously unseen shots of the new TransFormers Energon Jetfire toy.

--AP

Sears Catalog: Crimson Attack Tank, Patriot Grizzly Tank, BAT Set

The new Sears Holiday Wishbook is out, and in it are some particularly notable items. Two highlights for G.I. Joe are as follows:

5210345 Crimson Attack Tank $19.99
5210342 G.I. Joe Cobra Six Figure Set (BAT Troopers) $14.99

While nothing that can't be found elsewhere, it's still quite interesting to see the BAT set in a more mainstream outlet. You can order from the catalog in the USA at 1-800-488-3211.

--AP

Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly yet again.

--AP

And in other news...

Our Music Archive is now up, spawning articles and reviews from an uninformed critic. As the late great Frank Zappa once said, it's "people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

Our first feature is 2002's Flight 0713 by Pilot Scott Tracy. PST is two former members of The Causey Way producing music that sounds like business as usual, which is a good thing. Our aim is to add at least one music item per week, but keep in mind we're lazy and the 16bit.com focusis more on plastic items.

Our friends over at The Neurotic Eclectic updated with a brand new feature, be sure to check it out!

Coming later this week at 16bit.com: a quick look at an old Q*Bert toy as well as an extended look at the Playmobil Hobo that graces the top of our page design.

--AP

Q*Bert Toy Feature, Alternators Smokescreen Packaging, Exclusive Indiana Jones Bonus DVD
October 14 2003
Alternators Smokescreen US Packaging Revealed

Transfandom added packaged images of the US Alternators Smokescreen as well as TransFormers Energon Rapid Run (Armada Sideways repaint) and Treadbolt (Armada Scavenger repaint.)

--AP

Q*Bert, and in other news...

Q*Bert was a phenomenon of sorts for about a week in 1983, and one of the things to sprout from it was a small Kenner toy line. Today, we present images of Q*Bert on a Skateboard with a Walkman.

The Indiana Jones DVD Box Set has been reviewed at The Digital Bits and DVD File. Also take note that Best Buy stores have an exclusive fifth disc, but it's a little lacking-- just an old featurette. Still, it's something Best Buy has that nobody else does.

Homestar Runner updated with a new email.

--AP

Ugliest Exclusive Ever, ARC Trooper Review
October 15 2003
Masters Snake Teela... With Snake Skin

The site He-Man.Org posted Wizard Entertainment's next exclusive, Snake Teela/b>. The figure seems identical to the first release except she has a recolored sword and shield, and her normal pinkish skintone is now a snake pattern. So, I guess she's a sleestack. It will be available through an upcoming issue of Toy Fare, and is available now through Wizard if you order it with a magazine subscription. (This costs $40-$50 for the toy and a magazine for a year.)

--AP

Armies of Middle Earth Series 2 Arriving

Select Target Stores are receiving the newest waves of AOME toys which include three packs with Uruk-Hai as well as Merry, Pippin, and Boromir. The new rider sets, including a new Warg, are showing up as well. Check your local stores for availability.

--AP

Star Wars Review: ARC Trooper

The ARC Trooper is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. With a good amount of articulation and accessories, this non-movie trooper has a decent amount of play value and, unfortunately, only one weapon. Still, it's a nice toy, so be sure to check out the review. Coming Friday: A review of the Hailfire Droid.

--AP

In other news...

The Onion updated with the latest edition, including a review of the film Bubba Hotep, now in limited release.

--AP

Pac-Man Party, Hobo, New Zoids
October 16 2003
Review: Playmobil Policeman & Tramp

Originally a Victorian-era Dollhouse set from 1989, this Policeman and Tramp exists to prove that pretty much anything can happen in a toy line outside the USA. This set includes a cop as well as a shoeless, homeless, drunk plastic man. While it's not a cult classic toy yet, we're hoping it eventually will be. Check out the review for images and more!

--AP

New Zoids Revealed

Hasbro's Zoids Page added images of several previously unseen toys, including Holotech Warshark, Holotech Shield Liger, and some new action figures.

Also of note, there were some items appearing on the Zoids main page that did not appear in their product listing, namely a Dimetrodon and a Tyrannosaurus type kit. Turns out the Dimetrodon, which was released in Japan as "Dimetrodon," and the other one has yet to be rereleased in Japan. Originally, it was called "Dead Border," and it was one of the earlier Guylos Empire battle team sets.

Entertainment Earth has updated their listings with picture-free entries for what appears to be these two toys. They have been renamed Dimetrodon (or Dimetrodom according to some sources) and Battle Rex. The Dimetrodon set was a dark red color in Japan, and currently available photography shows it as being made in a dark purple. Battle Rex was originally black and green, and this new version will be black and green as well, but the colors have moved around some.

--AP

Multiplayer Classic Pac-Man Coming Soon

A story at Gamespot has confirmed the release of a new GameCube version of Pac-Man that allows three players to play as the ghosts. In it, a player uses the GameBoy Advance to play a classic Pac-Man game while three friends use their controllers on the GameCube to play as the ghosts out to get him. The story has additional information on how to get it and when it will be available.

--AP

Transformers & G.I. Joe #2 Available

Dreamwave's World War II epic featuring Cobra and those robots in disguise hit comic book shops on Wednesday, and the story focuses on everybody's favorite ninjas as the refugees from Cybertron wake up after a few million years. Worth a look if giant robots and fake terrorist organizations are your bag, and they should be.

--AP

Hailfire Droid Review
October 17 2003
Star Wars Review: Hailfire Droid

The Hailfire Droid is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. It's a big vehicle-sized droid with two wheels that don't roll especially well. With 32 missiles, it looks heavily armed... although 16 of them can't fire and the rest can't fire very well. Still, it looks neat, and you can find out more in today's review.

--AP

Ninja Gaiden NES Returns, PSX Editorial, N-Gage Sales

The new issue of Game Informer is reporting that all three classic NES Ninja Gaiden titles will be included somehow in the Xbox game Ninja Gaiden that's coming soon. Someone knows their fans!

The site Gameforms posted an editorial on Sony's upcoming PSX, an all-in-one box that combines gaming, a TiVo, DVD burning, and more. It's good food for thought if you are unfamilliar with the device.

Reports around the web continue to say the Nokia N-Gage is doing somewhat poorly. Apparently in the U.K., it's only moved a few hundred units while the GameBoy Advance sold 15,000 in the same time period.

--AP

Playmobil 2004 Advent Calendar

Game Informer has posted the 2005 Playmobil Advent Calendar. As always, a German department store called Vedes received them a year early. While it doesn't exactly contain a bumper crop of fun, a hobo, or a pirate, it does seem to be fairly robust.

Included is a Santa figure, a roast turkey, a dining room table, a tree, a fireplace, and a whole family of figures... but no father. One of the neater pieces included is a Playmobil-sized gift which is a miniature boxed Playmobil pirate ship.

Still, it isn't like it has a dinosaur or a ninja or something.

--AP

It Never Ends
October 18 2003
More Zoids Hit Kay-Bee Clearance

At least some Kay-Bee stores are receiving additional clearance product, including Liger Zero, Blade Liger, Gun Sniper, Dibison, and many others. If you're looking for a cheap thrill, try looking these up. (As a result, our Zoids section will probably be spun off of the Toy Box in the coming weeks.)

This applies to retail stores only, their Web site has relatively few items and all are full price.

According to the employee we spoke to, this just arrived on Thursday, after the recent settlement sale ended.

--AP

G.I. Joe vs. Cobra Mission Disc Series 2 at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has the six new Mission Disc figures at several locations for roughly $3.96 each. This time around, the figures include Beachhead, Recondo, Dr. Mindbender, Firefly, Roadblock, and Wild Bill.

--AP

CastleVania CD, F-Zero Advance Again

Nintendo is preparing a new GameBoy Advance F-Zero title. Falcon Densetsu is based on the F-Zero anime and is due this November.

A promotional music CD for the upcoming Playstation 2 CastleVania: Lament of Innocence is making the rounds on the web and contains music from new and old games. As it's a Japanese promotional item, it is not expected in the USA at this time. No US-based promotional items for this game are known at press time.

--AP

Bionicle 2004

BZ Power added this article with the 2004 line-up. It's shaping up to be an interesting list, if you're familliar with the character names. It appears that several new Toa are finally being introduced.

--AP

In other news...

JAKKS Pacific received the license for Van Helsing toys in 2004.

--AP

Marvel Boxes at Wal-Mart
October 19 2003
Urban Legends Box at Wal-Mart

The large box set containing a super-articulated Spider-Man, Daredevil, Elektra in her white dress, and a Punisher as well as a really big poster is now available for about $29. An X-Men set is on the way as well, and these figures are all based on previous releases in Marvel Legends or Spider-Man Classics and not based on any movie designs.

--AP

Middle-Earth Returns to Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart also seems to be in the process of resetting, with some stores adding additional toy space for action figures and more. Figures like Eowyn in her dress and Prologue Bilbo are starting to show up, albeit in small quantities.

--AP

Coming Soon to 16bit.com...

We've got a set of the Yujin Zoids Blox Gashapon here for review early next week. These sets are basically small-- but not that small-- kits compatible with Tomy/Hasbro Blox/Z-Builders sets, and add extra weapons, wings, pilots, and more. If you're a fan of Zoids, you won't want to miss this feature, especially since you can find out if they're worth getting now they're on eBay on the cheap.

This is "Part 1" of the series, and we have discovered there is a Part 2. Part 1 includes two insects, two weapon/robot sets, two plants, and... something we can't quite identify beyond just being a sack of parts.

For the record, these are not the small prepainted miniature Zoids figures Yujin has sold in the past-- these are small Blox-based kits.

Current ETA for this feature is Tuesday.

--AP

FFVII: Advent Children Trailer
October 20 2003
Square's Latest Online Now

A bootleg trailer for the upcoming Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has been posted to the site www.gametrailers.com. Thanks to ZB for the heads-up.

--AP

Batman Hot Wheels

Mattel is making the most of their Warner Bros. relationship with a new line of Batman Hot Wheels cars. Currently, a three-pack of vehicles has been spotted at K-Mart stores for about five dollars. At least one of the cars seems to be a previously released Hot Wheels car with a bunch of Batman logos and drawings. Previously, Mattel used the Batman brand to make a Catwoman in their Barbie line.

--AP

Energon Painted Rodimus Prime, Unpainted Landmine

Cosmic Rust has linked to a painted TransFormers Energon Rodimus Prime toy as well as the first-ever look at a new toy called Landmine.

--AP

TV Funhouse Returns to Comedy Central

Now appearing in Comedy Central's late-night Sunday TV Museum: TV Funhouse. This is the show brought to you by the people behind the animated SNL segments of the same name as well as Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Check your local cable listings and tune in at your own risk.

Also appearing in the Sunday Night Comedy Ghetto: The Critic, a former ABC and Fox program starring Jon Lovitz; Gary & Mike, a road-trip clay animation show from the creators of Celebrity Death Match; and Duckman, which needs no introduction. The lineup should change in about a week.

--AP

Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly yet again.

--AP

And in other news...

Our Music Archive now features 2002's Take It To The Spotlight by The Marc Moreland Mess. Moreland is best known for his guitar work in the 1980s band Wall of Voodoo, and this is his first solo project, and the final release before his death.

Coming later this week at 16bit.com: an extended look at the Zoids Yujin Blox Gashapon and a look at a bootleg wind-up Jack Skellington toy.

Coming later this week at Galactic Hunter: a review of the Geonosian Fighter vehicle from the Clone Wars line and a review of the Han Solo Unleashed figure.

--AP

Zoids: New Review, New Toys Revealed on eBay
October 21 2003
Zoids Fans: Today's Your Day

First: Today, a review was added of Yujin's Zoids Blox Part 1. These are licensed by Tomy and compatible with Zoids Z-Builders and Zoids Blox toys as add-ons, custom parts, and freestanding extras. The seven-piece set includes two insects, two plants, two weapons, and a sack of pieces. It should appeal to Zoids fans for certain, and is most definitely something to take note of. (Especially if you're Hasbro, these are pretty nice.)

Second: A bunch of Hasbro US Zoids hit eBay from seller gogoitem, including many new US-only items and classic kits from Japan that have yet to be reissued in Japan. The following sets are expected in American stores before the end of the year. They are:
Gravity Ptera: A new US-only release in the same assortment as the currently available Gravity kits that sell for about $15 each.
Battle Cougar: This was sold in Japan under the same name near the end of the original line, and later reissued in the USA as Storm Tiger in Techno Zoids from Kenner. The new version is a brightly colored red and yellow. Like Battle Rex (a reissue of Dead Border), there are no known plans for a Japanese release.
HoloTech Shield Liger: First packaged image of an upcoming US-exclusive. This is merely a recolor of the classic Shield Liger kit sold in both the USA and Japan.
Dimetra Ptera: A new Z-Builders kit currently only slated for release in the USA. Has the ability to convert from a Dimetrodon to a Pteranodon.
Bold Guard: A new Z-Builders kit that is available in Japan, but is only now finding its way to American shores.

With the offering of the Battle Cougar kit, it appears many other end-of-the-line Japanese Zoids from the old days could be coming to the States soon, if colored a little oddly. Stay tuned for more!

Finally, 16bit.com obtained a vintage Sea Panther set which is currently being examined for review next week.

--AP

Indiana Jones with Bonus DVD at Best Buy Today, Spike Jonze Coming, Tick Reviewed

Best Buy stores in the United States are selling the Complete Adventures of Indiana Jones for pennies under $45. They're also including a bonus fifth DVD featuring a short featurette on the making of Raiders of the Lost Ark from 1981.

Also, MusicTAP posted cover art for the upcoming Spike Jonze DVD compilation. A complete list of which videos were to be included was not available at press time.

Finally, TheDigitalBits posted a review of the super-shortlived The Tick live action TV series on DVD. They take a look at all nine justice-filled episodes.

--AP

Snake Men Revealed

He-Man.Org has posted packaged images of the first 11 figures from the upcoming Snake Men assortments. It looks like Fisto wasn't the only character to lose his old name-- Rattlor is now The General. It is presumed that this might be related to the G.I. Joe vehicle, the Cobra Rattler.

Also, it should be noted that two of the first 11 figures are merely repackaged Tri-Klops and Whiplash. Several new and revised characters round out the assortments.

--AP

Rotocast Legolas Now Available

A few weeks ago, a hollow plastic Aragorn showed up to Toys "R" Us stores from Toy Biz. Now, a Legolas is appearing from the same series. While the sculpting is exquisite, the paint job leaves something to be desired. Also, it appears for every dozen or so Aragorns, there is only one Legolas. It is not yet known if this is due to the assortment, the popularity of the new figure, or merely a glut of Aragorns from earlier.

--AP

And in other news...

It appears Matrix Revolutions is opting out of advertising. A mere two weeks and change away, and it's all quiet on the western front. Tickets for the film finally started to go on sale in Arizona today, so those looking to score seats at their favorite local screen are advised to make a trip for tickets this week.

--AP

Unleashed Han Solo Figure Review
October 22 2003
Brother Bear Merchandise Hitting Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Disney Stores

The rollout of Brother Bear products is going according to conventional wisdom, preceding the film by several weeks. Hasbro is making toys in addition to whatever manufacturers The Disney Store have making their own wares.

Spotted so far are electronic bears, plush bears, and a plush character four-pack. And don't worry-- the moose characters aren't being neglected.

Also notable: while the toys are being released in a conventional manner, the film itself is not. In what may be a first for a film of this nature, it's opening on a Saturday.

--AP

Mummies Alive! on DVD

While it has been out for a while, it's worth noting that the animated program Mummies Alive! is now available in holiday-themed DVD bins at Wal-Mart no less than a decade and a half before any possible nostalgia for the show could kick in. The show was yet another Hasbro/Kenner toy line tie-in, and the plastic Mummies themselves have been absent from their final resting places at Kay-Bee Toy Stores for quite some time now.

--AP

Star Wars Review: Han Solo Unleashed

The Han Solo Unleashed figure/statue is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. For a statue, it's pretty good, and as figures based on Han Solo go, it's quite excellent. Be sure to check it out.

--AP

Muppets of Oz?

The movie fan hub Ain't It Cool News is reporting that The Muppets are supposedly in production with their latest film. It appears the original Wizard of Oz novel has been optioned for an upcoming film, but it is not known if it will be a telefilm or a feature. Since it was the book that was optioned, the songs from the MGM classic will most likely not appear alongside Gonzo, Kermit, Pepe, and Fozzie.

--AP

Kid Notorious Premieres Tonight

The Comedy Central original series Kid Notorious, a supposedly semi-autobiographical series surrounding film producer Robert Evans, airs on Comedy Central tonight after South Park. Evans is best known as producer of The Godfather and was the subject of the recent film The Kid Stays In The Picture which is now on DVD.

--AP

And in other news...

The Onion updated on schedule with its usual cavalcade of whimsy, as has Homestar Runner.

--AP

Should Kid Stay In The Picture?
October 23 2003
X-Men Action Figure Box Set Arrives

Toy Biz, hot on the release of their Urban Legends set, has just shipped their X-Men boxed set of figures from the Legends line. It includes a brand new exclusive Rogue as well as modified Beast, Magneto, Wolverine, and Gambit. The cost at Toys "R" Us was $39.99, which seems expensive but is about right when you consider it included five $8 figures.

--AP

CastleVania: Lament of Innocence Arrives on PlayStation 2, Buy 2 Get 1 Free GameCube Games

The latest from Konami is showing up in stores now. As it's supposedly the finest game in the series since Symphony of the Night, you should be sure to not miss it.

Also, it appears Toys "R" Us is currently in the midst of a buy-two-get-one-free sale for its GameCube software.

--AP

Did You Call Mattel?

Super Site He-Man.Org is continuing their campaign for better fan relations with Mattel by extending their Call Mattel Day by a few more days. Be sure to stop by and check it out.

--AP

New TransFormers Energon, Armada Images

Cosmic Rust has added links to some most excellent shots of Energon Starscream. There's also a shot of a translucent version of the Japanese Armada Overload which, I presume, is an upcoming Japanese exclusive. There's also a nice shot of the upcoming Treadbolt, which seems to be a pretty nice repaint of Scavenger, as well as packaged images of the Energon Unicron which seems to have turned out far nicer than previous images would have indicated. It appears that not only Minicons, but also Energon Weapons can also connect to the toy's planet mode.

--AP

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Special Edition Coming to DVD

The final voyage of the classic crew will come on a new two-DVD set on February 27. Commentaries and featurettes are expected, but additional details are still as of yet unannounced.

--AP

Review: Bootleg Wind-Up Jack Skellington

An oddity from the end of the 1990s were a large number of pseudo-Super Deformed unlicensed wind-up toys. While the Star Wars ones are probably the best known, there were also several figures from comics and other films, like this Jack Skellington. Be sure to take a look at today's review.

--AP

In case you missed them...

The South Park season premiere was last night and, amazingly, the creative duo behind the show is still great at keeping their fingers on the pulse of pop culture. This week's target: NBC's slate of programming that came from the wake of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.

Also, Kid Notorious was on for one of at least four airings this week. The star is film producer Robert Evans, who tends to stand out like a sore thumb alongside the other voice actors. The show is oddly amusing enough to make for worthwhile viewing at least one or twice, but doesn't seem like something that has a lot of inertia out the gate like, say, South Park. The animation quality seems like high-grade Macromedia Flash, and it also may have contained the first-ever basic cable appearance of a small kitten taking a hit off of a bong. In other words, it has all the making of a future cult classic. Of course, that isn't the same as me saying that it's especially good.

The first episode is about the creation of a Broadway hip-hop musical based on The Godfather. Sound appealing? Then be sure to catch a repeat in the coming week, or perhaps you can wait for the retooled version of the show that's bound to happen by Spring.

--AP

Energon Megatron on eBay
October 24 2003
Star Wars Review: Clone Wars Geonosian Fighter

The Geonosian Starfighter figure/statue is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. Despite seeming uninteresting, there's quite a bit of play value to be found here, and the pilot shows that Hasbro's thinking about new ways to improve its offerings.

--AP

N-Gage Sales

Not surprisingly, Nokia is giving a much more rosy picture of the sales of its game/phone device than other resources. While news outlets are saying fewer than 5,000 units have sold through in the USA since the launch, Nokia claims sales of over 400,000 worldwide. Obviously, this is not a huge number, nor is it a sold-through number, meaning that somewhere under 395,000 could well be still sitting in stores somewhere.

--AP

New TransFormers Energon Megatron at Auction

tkfung, an eBay seller, is currently offering an unpainted preproduction sample of Megatron on an eBay auction. While it's a little steep, it is nice to see the toy finally, even if it is unfinished.

Also, many auctions for finished, unpackaged Energon product are currently running, with some having fairly low prices before shipping.

--AP

American Splendor Special Edition Coming to DVD, Other News

Indie comic film American Splendor is slated to street on Feburary 3, 2004. Finding Nemo and Hulk have been reviewed by DVD File while The Digital Bits put up a review of the upcoming Looney Tunes Golden Collection, an enormous volume of dozens of classic Warner Bros. animated shorts.

--AP

New Zoids Figures Announced

Entertainment Earth is now listing action figures-- not kits-- of four new Zoids today. These include the Matrix Dragon, Chimera Dragon, Gojulas Giga, and Dimetrodon. Dimetrodon will be purple, like the US issue of the model kit, and this was the only one that was posted with a picture. The picture looks a lot like the upcoming model kit, so either Hasbro has really improved their action figure sculpting for Zoids or this is, in fact, the model.

--AP

Bionicle: Infected Hau Nuva Exclusive

Mask of Destiny is showing a U.K. exclusive pack of toys which isn't particularly notable, except for an infected Hau Nuva mask. It's the same as the standard Hau Nuva mask, which is packed with Tahu Nuva, except it has some green on it.

--AP

More US Zoids Revealed
October 25 2003
New Zoids Images at Online Store

Entertainment Earth has added a few more Zoids to their catalog today, including new photos which show changes from the upcoming Japanese releases.

Zoids Action Figure Kits
Energy Liger: This set has been recolored considerably from its mostly-red Japanese version. This one seems to be heavier on black instead of red, and the weapons seem to have been recolored. Both releases are due in November. While it does look like the Shield Liger or Blade Liger has merely been given some new armor, a closer observation would lead me to believe the Energy Liger is a completely new kit.
Battle Cougar: Same toy as linked to on eBay earlier this week, but a clearer photo. It appears this kit does not have some of the weapons that were included in the Techno Zoids Storm Tiger kit.
Gorilla Tron: First look at a new Z-Builders kit. Presumed a US exclusive, at least for now.
Cannon Spider: First look at a new Z-Builders kit. Presumed a US exclusive, at least for now.
Bike Wolf: First look at a new mega-sized kit.
Gravity Ptera: Official photography of a kit shown on eBay earlier this week.
Battle Rex: First shot of the new, presumed US-exclusive recolor of the classic Dead Border kit. Seen previously only on the Hasbro site's menu.
Battle Rex: New shot of the new, presumed US-exclusive recolor of the classic and reissued Dimetrodon kit. Seen previously only on the Hasbro site's menu.
Bold Guard: Official Hasbro shot of the Japanese Blox kit. Nothing new if you've seen the import.
Leo Striker: Official Hasbro shot of the Japanese Blox kit. Nothing new if you've seen the import.

Zoids Action Figures
Geno Breaker: Official shot of a new or recent release.

--AP

Lord of the Rings Returns to All Targets

After months of only appearing in the larger Target stores in North America, it seems Lord of the Ringsis making a big comeback, annexing much of the shelf space previously set aside for Hulk items. As such, LOTR fans, you now have one more place to hit regularly.

--AP

Fraggle Rock... Again
October 26 2003
New Playmobil Specials Available in North America

Several new Specials sets were spotted at a local purveyor of Playmobil tonight, including the Sheperd, Blue Knight, Chimney Sweep, School Child, and Bandit. The sixth special from this series, the Mother and Child, was not seen.

--AP

New Fraggles Found

Hot Topic now stocks a variety of 20th Anniversary Fraggle Rock merchandise.

A variety of small, PVC figures of Doozers are available in small boxes for roughly $6. At least two different plush Fraggles are available for $13 each. No other notable Fraggle merchandise seems to be available at this time.

--AP

Fellowship of the Ring Horses Return

A number of Fellowship horses from Toy Biz are showing up at Target stores once again. The most abundant ones are the Ringwraith with horse and Arwen & Frodo with horse.

--AP

And in other news...

This week at 16bit, we'll be taking a look at the vintage Go-Bots toy for Leader-1 as well as some other thing. Probably from Bionicle. Also, come back Monday for a review of The Plastics' CD Forever Plastico.

Meanwhile, you can expect to see a review of Star Wars Empire #12, the 12" Gamorrean Guard figure, and Acklay Battle Obi-Wan Kenobi at Galactic Hunter this week. And, of course, Q&A will be posted tomorrow.

That is all.

--AP

Welcome Plastics
October 27 2003
Looney Tunes Cereal

While no big surprise to anybody, it's interesting to note that a Looney Tunes Back in Action cereal is now showing up in stores to promote the movie and, apparently, the video games. The box has a bizarre tiki theme that doesn't seem to have to do anything with the movie or characters, and a mail-in offer for a cereal bowl. The back of the box has Brendan Fraser and who I believe to be Jenna Elfman in a stupid hat.

Also spotted: a new Kellogg's cereal called Smorz. You can guess what it is. And you can also guess that a review is coming.

--AP

Old Spider-Man, New Packaging at Blockbuster Video

If you hit your local Blockbuster Video, you might find an interesting small toy section. If you can get past their frightening Legally Blonde 2 toys, there's a decent variety of other goods that may grab your interest. Of particular note is a 10" carded version of the multi-jointed Spider-Man figure from the 1990s animated series line from Toy Biz. While these and other 10" Marvel figures have been blown out at Kay-Bee toys time and again, some fans may be interested to see this old figure once again.

--AP

PlayStation 2: Buy Two Get One Free

You may want to check your local Toys "R" Us this week, as they're running a sale on their PlayStation 2 software. Check stores for details on this seemingly good offer.

--AP

Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly yet again.

--AP

And in other news...

Our Music Archive now features 1993's Forever Plastico by The Plastics. This is a band from Japan from the era of Devo that inspired many a group from modern day Japan, such as the Spoozys, the Polysics, and other fantastic acts you'll never, ever hear about. This album contains their entire first release and six tracks from their second, and for fans of unusual Japanese art pop, is a definite treat. Check out our review today!

You may have noticed a button on the right for Ha Ha Food, an event being held in Tucson, Arizona by some good friends of mine. On November 21st, New Kevin and three other comedy groups will be performing for your amusement and, to be more precise, to help feed the less fortunate by way of the Tucson Community Food Bank. It's for a good cause, so if you're in the neighborhood, don't miss it!

--AP

Stalin: The Candy Toy;
We'll Miss You, Rod!

October 28 2003
Wackiest Busts Ever

NCS posted images of what must be the goofiest busts/candy toys ever. The selections: Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, the Mona Lisa, a Van Gogh, and Boticelli's Venus. High art and low art collide once again in Japanese candy boxes this Winter. At press time, NCS said it would not stock them and unfortunately we do not know where to obtain samples for review.

--AP

TransFormers: News Blast

ITEM: The Official Transformers Collector's Club membership information is now online. For $35 and $5 shipping and handling, you receive four quarterly 24-page magazines and a superposable Skywarp non-transforming figure based on a Japanese Starscream from the same mold.

ITEM: The Transfandom forums an upcoming PREVIEWS solicitation list. Of note: a Universe version of Triceradon is coming, the fourth since the toy arrived in Japan back in 1999.

ITEM: The Cosmic Rust posted a packaged image of Energon Starscream as well as information on 2004 product including two possible candidates for the next Alternators toys.

FINAL ITEM: TransFormers Armada box sets on DVD are coming in 2004, so says an advert appearing in Hasbro-licensed comic books this month.

--AP

G.I. Joe vs. the TransFormers #4 Now Available

It shipped last week, but the neighborhood comic store didn't get it. As such, we can now safely report that it is in finer comic stores everywhere. In this issue, Optimus Prime and Megatron finally duke it out for total supremacy while Cobra loses control over the alien robots. Chaos ensues, a splendid time is guaranteed for all fans of 80's toy properties.

--AP

N-Gage Price Drop

Apparently due to the current sales climate, Nokia is running a $100 instant rebate offer on its N-Gage portable device. It should be fun to see how sales go now that it's only triple the cost of a GameBoy.

--AP

Toy Review: Go-Bots Leader-1

Leader-1, the obviously named leader of the heroic Go-Bots from GoBotron from the 1980s toy series, is the subject of today's toy review. It's old, and most recently, the name was used by Hasbro for a toy in its TransFormers Armada line. Want to know why? Find out in today's review!

--AP

And in other news...

It has just been confirmed that the announcer of the long-running daytime game show The Price Is Right has died. The 66-year-old Rod Roddy has been with the show for nearly 20 years, and additional information on the announcer is in this story at Yahoo!

Homestar Runner did not update today, but some interesting news about the site appeared in the latest issue of Spin Magazine. On page 62 of the December installment, a brief interview gives the usual information as well as two interesting things you may not have known. First, there's a CD coming by the end of the year. The real surprise, though, was that a DVD is in development for a December release. News to us.

--AP, special thanks to EK

Fugitoid Returns
October 29 2003
Playmobil Taxi Sale

Target Stores have a few sets on sale this week, including one especially good deal. A domestic mass-market version of the Taxi cab is available with additional figures for a mere $9.99. Surely, a good value and a fine way to transport your hobo after he's been thrown out of town.

--AP

Borhok Markdown Continues

Target Stores have also marked down their Bohrak Kal Bionicle sets to 50% off or more at most locations. Now may be a good time to buy, as all six varieties are now headed out the door.

--AP

Energon Landmine Photo Gallery, 20th Anniversary Prime Release Date and Price

Cosmic Rust is hosting numerous images of a test shot of the upcoming Landmine toy from the new TransFormers Energon line.

Also, TransFormers.com supposedly announced a price of $75 and a release date of December for the 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime toy, but heck if we can find that information on their site.

--AP

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Toys Revealed

Action-Figure.com has revealed dozens of new TMNT toys, including scores of minor characters. Highlights include a revised version of Fugitoid, a six pack of Mousers, and a few interesting Shredder figures in new varieties. While the line doesn't seem to be reaching out to fans of the original line, it sure does look like they're gunning for today's youth, and with the likes of a Triceratron General they may well succeed.

--AP

Many New G.I. Joe Comics Coming

Yo Joe! is reporting that several new comic products are on the way dealing with the neverending battle against Cobra. Be sure to check it out for the full scoop.

--AP

Star Wars Review: 12" Gamorrean Guard

The Gamorrean Guard is the subject of today's review at Galactic Hunter. Sure, it came out over the summer, but better late than never I always say. It seems to sport an awe-inspiring sculpt with a paint job that should make fans wince. Check it out!

--AP

And in other news...

The Onion has updated yet again this week. Also, their AV Club has updated with a new Savage Love, an interview with Will Ferrell, and a review of the new Indiana Jones DVDs.

Homestar Runner added some new content today, so be sure to stop by and check it out.

--AP

Two Reviews Today
October 30 2003
Two Towers Extended Footage Revealed

The Digital Bits posted a list of the new footage to be inserted into The Two Towers, and it does seem to have quite a bit of new material. Be sure to check it out.

--AP

Energon to be called Super Link in Japan

Numerous sources are reporting that the new line of TransFormers is to be called Super-Link in Japan. It is not known if this will come before or after the Japanese launch of Beast Machines.

Also, from the look of the line as it stands today, we'll be trying our best to provide extensive coverage to the Energon toy line as it appeals to the 16bit.com sensibilities. Actually, it's really just one sensibility-- appeal to our sense of retro-liciousness. With the likes of Hot Rodimus, and Starscream seeing good looking toys at a $10 price point alongside the first-ever transforming Arcee toy, what's not to love? If you have an interest in those electronic warriors from Cybertron, it's worth your while to hit your favorite TransFormers fan pages and do some research, because it's starting to look quite good.

--AP

Toy Review: Bionicle Vorahk

Vorahk from Bionicle is today's toy review, so be sure to check it out if you don't have one of these already. He's nicely jointed, has a couple of great action features, and even has that construction element so popular in toys these days. If you haven't built a Bionicle toy lately, give one of these a try.

--AP

Comic Review: Star Wars Empire #12

Empire #12 is the subject of today's review over at Galactic Hunter, which as always is penned by yours truly. In this installment, we follow Luke's buddy Biggs Darklighter in the days following his mutiny on the Rand Ecliptic and his subsequent adventures leading to his officially defecting to the Rebel Alliance. If that doesn't mean anything to you, you should skip this review.

If you're a fan of quality Star Wars fiction, this is on the better end of the spectrum, so check it out.

--AP

And in other news...

The Neurotic Eclectic has updated with two new features, be sure to check them out.

On Tuesday evening, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog made an appearance on Late Night rapping a phat track from his new, must-miss album coming to stores soon. As you may have guessed... you can miss this one.

House of 1,000 Corpses figures are now arriving to the Suncoast family of stores. Spotted tonight was a gift set of three figures. Check your local stores for availability and pricing.

--AP

Happy Halloween!
October 31 2003
Largest Action Figure Ever?

Action-Figure.com is reporting a series of 30-inch tall Green Teens are on the way. No prices or release dates were given, but they did show pictures and say the shells would be removable so kids could wear them.

--AP

Mystery of the Batwoman Review

DVD File posted a review of the latest direct-to-video adventure of the caped crusader. If you're so inclined, find out what they have to say about the Mystery of the Batwoman.

--AP

Hasbro Reveals More Energon Product

If you haven't seen it, it's new to you. Transformers.com added official photography of the following Energon toys: Jetfire, Super Optimus Prime, Starscream, Scorponok, and Unicron.

--AP

Star Wars Review: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Acklay Battle)

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the subject of today's review over at Galactic Hunter. The figure came out early in 2003, but I'm just now getting around to the review. Despite a nice array of weapons and an action feature, it really doesn't quite work, but makes for a nice display piece. Find out more in today's review!

--AP

And in other news...

NPR added Kevin Murphy's audio review of the ALIEN theatrical rerelease to its Web site. If you're a fan of a quality review, of NPR, or of Tom Servo, you need to check this out.

NECA will be producing collectibles derived from Pirates of the Caribbean.

16bit.com has purchased a new background. Combining a 40% off coupon for Joann Fabrics with a cloth clearance rack resulted in a pretty spiffy background for pennies above $2. After using it to take some images of new product, I have to say, the results are a significant improvement in many cases.

Why should you care? This may well allow for a faster turnaround of image editing, which takes the bulk of the time when working on this site. As such, more content may be coming each week, so if you like this site, this should be good news.

--AP, special thanks to EK

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