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We Love Triplets
February 1 2004
Energon Airs, Good Show Too; Remaining Beast Wars, G1 DVD Information

The first episode of TransFormers Energon aired on Cartoon Network last night and was a pretty good show. As a sequel to Armada, upgraded and/or repainted versions of older characters were on hand to do battle with Unicron's new Terrorcon army. A few new characters were introduced like Ironhide, Alpha-Q, and Kicker, but there was no sign of Scorponok or the new Megatron. In short, it was a decent program as far as a 30-minute toy commercial goes.

Also notable: the repainted Demolishor which has appeared in the Japanese toy line but has yet to be released stateside appeared in the episode, but we didn't notice the companion Cyclonus. We also noticed a number of nameless characters and the return of several of the kids from Armada, although in lesser roles which allowed them to do something other than gawk and allow other characters to explain what's happening.

It's over, Prime. TVShowsOnDVD.com confirmed the remaining episodes of the original TransFormers cartoon are coming to DVD in one nice big set on March 9, 2004. They also report that on March 23, season 2 of Beast Wars will be released. It was previously assumed that it would contain both seasons 2 and 3 since each contained 13 episodes, but without an episode listing or MSRP it's hard to know what will be on it. Rhino confirmed to us last year at San Diego's Comic Con International that Beast Machines is also in the works, at the time they said probably early 2004 but this seems to have changed.

And one more thing... 20th Annviersary Optimus Prime is out. We had to bold that. The figure was spotted at an area Wal-Mart for pennies under $64, which is a pretty slick deal. It has just as much metal and the same weapons as the import version, but has shortened smokestacks and some extra dirt, grime, and soot as well as a little battle damage. As such, consider the hunt to be on.

--AP

And in other news...

This week, we're going to tackle Energon Unicron on Thursday and also review those He-Man Hot Wheels, finally. Come back Monday for our review of Music for TV Dinners, an album full of those tunes from 1950's television ads. It's more exciting than you might think, especially if you're a student of media.

After Monday's Q&A column, we'll be reviewing the standard Clone Wars Asajj Ventress as well as the new Unleashed Chewbacca, which rock and do not rock, respectively.

The film Triplets of Belleville received a wider release this weekend, perhaps due to it being nominated for a few Oscars. The film has very little dialogue, which is good, as absolutely none of it is dubbed or subtitled. The P3-13 animated French film is full of unique designs, fluid animation, and a sequence with Josephine Baker's infamous "Banana Dance" as well as Fred Astaire being devoured by his own shoes. The story is really unimportant, as your attention will mostly be captured by the astounding visuals and excellent sound work that manage to create a children's storybook that older and perhaps more liberally raised younger audiences might get a kick out of.

Aside from the most innovative manner of frog hunting I've ever seen, the film manages to combine new and old animation techniques and create a final project that, not surprisingly, manages to prove that films made to resemble hand-drawn style are still relevant.

If Triplets is gracing a screen in your town, it's probably worth your while and six to eight dollars to go see it. It's one of the three contenders for Best Animated Picture, and as there were only three pictures released last year you owe it to yourself to see at least one more of them.

There was also a trailer for the latest Coen Brothers film, The Ladykillers. In it, you can see Tom Hanks be amusing and demand waffles while a bunch of thieves attempt to make a robbery happen.

--AP

I'm Off To Another Awards Ceremony
February 2 2004
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by me. As always, new questions are welcome and encouraged.

--AP

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus DVD Impressions

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus hit DVD in North America last week and last night, we watched it. And now, some information for your perusal.

The disc is fairly devoid of extras. Aside from some trailers for other films, the only real special feature is the ability to choose between an english dubor the original Japanese language track. Of course, subtitles are available. The print is pretty good, and as it's a relatively recent movie anything less would be unacceptable. The film itself is quite amusing, with man once again foolishly attempting to prevent the king of the monsters from demolishing Japan. This time, the weapon du jour is a miniature manmade black hole.

Magaguirus is a giant mutant prehistoric insect and fans of all things cheesy will get a big kick out of the visible wires in some sequences. The bulk of the effects seem to be practical, and as such, are bad. The film isn't nearly as fun or lively as Godzilla 2000, but fans of the genre will like it and I've seen far worse ways to spend just over 100 minutes.

--AP

And in other news...

Remember those goofy, happy songs in old educational films and commercials from the 1950s? That's what the CD series Music for TV Dinners brings to the table. Overly chipper orchestrations and happy soundscapes bring a generic, non-threatening soundtrack to any drive you may take in your car. Read more about this first volume in today's review.

--AP

Who Ya Gonna Call?
February 3 2004
Review: Masters of the Universe Hot Wheels

MOTU Hot Wheels are on today's review menu. We look at four cars released individually by Mattel as part of the regular Hot Wheels line in early 2003. In it, you can find cars with decoration of Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, He-Man, and Ram-Man. See the pictures and (very) brief commentary in today's review.

--AP

Microman News

Fuyoh!, a site of which we were previously unaware, has a bundle of images and info on upcoming Japanese Microman product. As we'll be covering some of it soon, and it's great, you might want to check it out.

--AP

Ghostbusters Movie Toys: 20 Years Later

The Raving Toy Maniac posted some images and info on NECA's long-awaited toy line based on the original 1984 comedy. There, you can see Gozer, two Terror Dogs, and of course, Slimer. Also mentioned is a 15" rotocast Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Peter Venkman and the crew were not named or pictured, but we're still hopeful.

--AP

More 2004 Bionicle Previewed

BZ Power posted images, names, and set numbers of nine new Bionicle sets due later this year. They say these might not even be the finished sets, so check them out before they change them! Included are six characters in the usual colored canisters and three larger boxed sets. They look quite nifty, but the images are small and you never know what will change between preproduction and the final releases.

--AP

Hard Drive to be Absent from Xbox 2?

The Mercury News posted some info on the next Xbox. Apparently Microsoft has confirmed it won't have a hard drive which, while unfortunate, is a cost-cutting measure for an element that most likely won't go missed.

--AP

Pizza in an Xbox
February 4 2004
Review: Clone Wars Asajj Ventress

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the "movie" version of Clone Wars Asajj Ventress. Ventress is a totally new figure with a heck of a lot of articulation, lightsaber holsters, removable blades, a removable cloak, a ball-jointed neck... heck, there's really nothing more you could ask for, and you can read all about her in today's review. Sure, it's an older toy, but this is by request, and we love to answer requests.

--AP

XBox Pizza Box?

GameSpot! posted an article with a picture of the latest Xbox stunt in Japan... Xbox Pizza Boxes. The pizza box is decorated with graphics making it look like the gargantuan console, right down to the green jewel on the top. Also notable is what they charge for pizzas in Japan. Who knew the USA had it so good?

--AP

Energon Landmine Shipped; Black Gun for 20th Prime Confirmed

Numerous reports, sightings, and images have surfaced today confirming that Landmine has started to invade Texas Wal-Mart stores. As such, keep your eyes open and see what all you can find. (We, of course, are still looking and are quite impressed by what we saw online.)

Also, we personally spotted four of the black gun variation of 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime at a Phoenix area Wal-Mart last night. The gun has the same blue and silver paint as the grey gun used in the Japanese and previous American release, but the plastic is black. Variation hunters, keep your eyes and wallets ready.

--AP

Ed Wood DVD Fiasco

Reports from readers, local stores, and all over the Web have confirmed that the only thing screwier than the world of Edward D. Wood Jr. is the release of the DVD based on his life story. Most stores around town have stated that the film was recalled and they will be fined if they sell the copies they have in store for reasons unknown. A few stores told me they sold out first thing Tuesday morning and they knew of no recall. It appears FYE and Borders stores were the places to be, and a reader from another site of mine has apparently came through for us. (And for this, we are truly thankful.)

Buena Vista's official answer was posted to Video Business, which we can't link to because it wants a password. Thankfully, The Digital Bits posted the gist of it, and the gist of their gist is that Disney says "they're looking for a better date to release it on DVD." This, of course, sounds like hogwash. The Bits go on to say that they heard the recall was due to Burton being unhappy with the supplements, and at least one of the stores I had visited said they heard that it has to do with footage not cleared for distribution in Region 1. Regardless, it looks like there's a very good chance we'll be able to give you a review of this disc in the next few weeks.

--AP

Playmobil at German Toy Fair, 2004

Collectobil has added information on new 2004 sets (for Europe, anyway.) Highlights include a Bank Counter, a Hair Salon, and numerous other sets from off-road racing to various other food shops in City Life. Fans of mundane plastic fun, check these out. These will give numerous places for my hobo to visit in the future.

--AP

And in other news...

The Onion added some especially amusing articles on the recent American election activity as well as its usual fun compliment of columns and satirical features, including an interview with the famous Alex Roth.

Also, Homestar Runner added a few meager updates and a game on Monday, so check them out if you're so inclined.

--AP

Crontastic
February 5 2004
Review: Energon Unicron

Today we look at the biggest domestic TransFormers repaint ever, Unicron. Unicron is the same toy released near the end of Armada with a brand new paint job and lots of new coloring. The final product is actually quite slick, despite being more or the same. Is it worth springing for? Maybe. Find out in today's review!

--AP

Microman Microforce Impressions

Today in the mail, we received the four Microforce figures as well as the Gatchaman figure based on the same design. For those of you that may have heard of these, everything you heard is true. They are, in fact, super rad. Each figure has twelve interchangable hands and scads of accessories, and yes, we'll be looking at them in depth next week. If you didn't get these before, they're new to you!

The same body design is being used and repainted for the upcoming Super Link Kicker toy.

--AP

Xevoz Buy One Get One Free at Toys "R" Us

Xevoz, the new toy line based on the Skitfas design, are now on sale at Toys "R" Us stores. As the headline says, you buy one, you get one free. Not a bad deal.

--AP

Classic Ninja Turtles DVD News

TVShowsOnDVD.com has posted information on the upcoming TMNT cartoon disc with the cartoons from the 1980s. The episodes are from the very beginning and end of the series, and well, read the story for the rest of the details.

--AP

Season One Samurai Jack DVD Box

TVShowsOnDVD.com also reports on the surprise release of the long-awaited Samurai Jack DVD box set. Read on for the full scoop!

--AP

Yet More Markdowns

What we have to assume is the final batch of markdowns seems to have happened at area Wal-Mart stores. We're seeing the double-packs of G.I. Joe figures (so 4 figures) as well as the double Mini-Cons packs from Armada for $3.50 a hit. We're seeing $30 LEGO sets and Adventure Team Joe figures for $7. We're seeing the Armada Scavenger, Predacon, and Powerlinx Red Alert for $6. If you're in the market for toys, check your smaller, crappier Wal-Mart for their clearance aisle, because you can get some great deals for yourself, Toys for Tots, or other reasons.

--AP

More Energon Name Dropping
February 6 2004
Review: Star Wars Unleashed Chewbacca

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at one of my favorite characters who, for reasons unknown, quite often results in my least favorite toys. Unleashed Chewbacca has a fully functional arm joint, but aside from that is a nice big plastic statue. He's heft and has a nice shelf presence, but has an odd face and the pose isn't for everybody. Of course, you can find out more and see tons of pictures in today's review!

--AP

More Energon Leaked; Universe Decepticon Sideswipe

TFW2005.com posted an article with a big list of several new Energon toy names. While not complete and probably not final, here are some of the more notable entries:
Bulkhead
Slugslinger
Sharkticon
Energon Hot Shot (in addition to just plain Hot Shot
Galvatron
Ironhide-redeco

Looks like repaints aren't a thing of the past after all. Still, some neat items here, that's for sure. Odds are images will show up over the next few weeks. And of course, these names aren't yet confirmed, nor is the validity of this list.

Also notable, an auction for a TransFormers Universe Sideswipe. It's the Armada toy retooled and realigned as a Decepticon. Interesting, no?

--AP

Playmobil Nun Coming?

Rumblings of various Playmobil forums hint that a new Specials series in the works and one of the new releases is supposedly going to be a nun! No images have surfaced at press time, but this is one that everybody is going to need. Score one for the Playmobil Hall of Fame if/when it happens, and of course, more will be posted as we hear something.

--AP

More Energon Sighted
February 7 2004
Found: Energon Basic Wave 2, Landmine; Hasbro Q&A Updated

Numerous sightings and a few eBay auctions have hinted at what we now know to be true. A Phoenix area Toys "R" Us yielded Divebomb, Cruellock, Perceptr, and Signal Flare yesterday. At a Phoenix area Wal-Mart, Landmine was found (and surprisingly, marked up a few bucks.)

Landmine is notable because on his box, there are two different pieces of artwork. His trading card and most panels on his box show his normal robot mode, while the side of the box reveals art for his Powelinx Landmine mode. Like many toys that have come before him, he splits into two pieces to form battlestations, bigger robots, and so on.

With these releases and other recent leaks and announcements, our semi-official Energon Checklist has been updated for your enjoyment and/or mirth.

Also, Hasbro's Q&A for TransFormers has been updated with a level of detail usually alien to official sites. All sorts of wonderful and useful tidbits were dropped in this update, so be sure and check it out.

--AP

Nifty New LEGO Castle, Knight's Kingdom, Harry Potter 3 sets

Classic-Castle.com posted tons of official shots of Harry Potter sets as well as new classic style Castle sets and the new Knight's Kingdom figures. All in all there's a lot to like here, but it appears that LEGO has moved away from the classic yellow figures and is now making the Harry Potter guys in fleshtones. This may be my imagination, but it sure doesn't look like it.

--AP

New G.I. Joe Stuff

Spotted today at Toys "R" Us stores around town: a 12" Kamakura, the new ninja character, as well as a six-piece Night Force set which repaints classic figures.

--AP

Playmobil Toy Fair Updates

Collectobil updated its German Toy Fair coverage with a few new additions, namely a spiffy Western 30th Anniversary set and yet another boat. The Western set is notable because it includes 1974-style figures (but with hand articulation, which came later) as well as the original style of horses, which are stick figures compared to the modern releases.

--AP

Ed Wood, who Wouldn't?
February 8 2004
Sideshow Gets X-Files Toy License

Sideshow posted a page with a teaser image of their upcoming 12" figures of Mulder and Scully. The likenesses look excellent, and we can't wait to see them up close. Be sure to check them out.

--AP

Energon Ultra Price Increase, Gold Prime Price Drop; Stickers

After hitting a few toy stores over the past few days, it appears both Wal-Mart and K-Mart stores have bumped up the prices of the Energon Ultra assortment by a few dollars. Wal-Mart stores bumped up the assortment by roughly US $2.00 to $26.76, and K-Mart has gone from $24.99 to $29.99. This assortment contains toys such as Scorponok, Tidal Wave, Landmine, and Ultra Magnus.

Also, it seems that K-Mart stores have bumped down the price of the TransFormers Armada gift set with the gold Optimus Prime as well as the regular Jetfire, Adventure Team Mini-Cons, and bonus Longarm Mini-Con. It was $59.99, now it's $48.

Lastly, a number of Generation One and Armada sticker sets with a copyright date of 2004 have popped up at Waldenbooks clearance racks. For under $5, the box boasts over 175 stickers. Included are character portraits, faction logos, and the usual goodies.

--AP

Yet More Playmobil Toy Fair Updates; Nun

Collectobil strikes again. Highlights include a painter, a native American child with a pony, a Civil War Union Soldier, a Red Musketeer, a Nun, and a Roman Legionary in the Specials range. That means $2-$3. Also introduced were two new Castle themes, the Royal Knights and the Dragon Knights. While there are no nuns in these series, they are notable nonetheless.

Be sure to take special note of the decoration on the Painter, as he's covered in paint splotches. This kind of detail is not unheard of on these figures, but it is unusual and totally welcome.

--AP

And in other news...

A shout out to Justin J. for helping us get the recently recalled-before-release Ed Wood DVD. The one-disc Special Edition will be reviewed here in the next two weeks, most likely a week from Monday. Up for review this week: the Gatchaman Microman, a look at a particularly nifty Emperor's New Groove toy, and the magnificent-but-unrelated-to-Ed-Wood Plan 9 from Las Vegas CD from Department of Crooks.

Meanwhile, we'll be reviewing Unleashed Luke Skywalker and Clone Trooper figures at Galactic Hunter in addition to our usual Q&A feature.

--AP

Giant Apples
February 9 2004
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by me. As always, new questions are welcome and encouraged.

The column may be taking a break next week due to Toy Fair coverage.

--AP

Classic TMNT DVD News

TVShowsOnDVD.com has a brief report on the contents of the upcoming DVD of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series from 1987. For a change, it's good news: the studio has confirmed that the release will present the episodes as originally aired and not as a feature-length movie.

--AP

Winter Specials from Playmobil Revealed

Collectobil added more additions to its Toy Fair coverage, with a grey coat Confederate Soldier as well as a Fire Fighter, a Pediatrician, a new Corsair (Pirate), and a Crusader. As in, the Crusades. If you haven't seen them, they're new to you, so check 'em out.

--AP

Hot Wheels in Cheerios

While we're not sure how new this is, Cheerios cereal is offering a free Hot Wheels car in the box. One of ten appears in each box and if you like cereal premiums, this sounds like a decent one.

--AP

And in other news...

One of the many overlooked gems of the 1990s was Plan 9 From Las Vegas by The Department of Crooks. This trio culled numerous music styles from new wave to alternative rock, but mostly new wave, to create a truly unique, enjoyable, and very uncommon musical experience. Read more about this fantastic (and often cheap) release in today's review.

Also at Wal-Mart last evening before this update was posted, something notable was spotted. Namely, a caramel apple... that costs $6.99. Sure, it looked like $7 of confectionary, but seeing as it's a Wal-Mart that was selling it, we were more than a little surprised and amused by the discovery.

--AP

Bad Llama!
February 10 2004
Review: 100 Years of Disney Kuzco from The Emperor's New Groove

Today we look at one of the few, proud pieces of Emperor's New Groove merchandise with this review of Emperor Kuzco. The figure is a nicely painted McDonald's premium with no meaningful articulation, but should please fans of the movie or Disney collectors. Read more and see some images in today's review!

--AP

Discount Stikfas

Some but not all GameStop locations have marked many of their Stikfas kits to half price. As they were one of the few places to get the motorcycle, it might be worth your while to check their prices on these fine figure kits at your next available opportunity.

--AP

Snake Men at ShopKo, Roboto at Kay-Bee

He-Man.org is reporting that ShopKo stores are stocking the Snake Men action figures from Masters of the Universe, which is indeed good news. Also, we've heard reports of and confirmed that Roboto and Evil-Lyn are hitting Kay-Bee stores for about five bucks a hit. Good times indeed.

--AP

Metroid Zero Mission, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Released

The two games mentioned in the headline are now showing up across the country. We have yet to spot Metroid but Crystal Chronicles is being sold at some stores in our area as of Monday night.

--AP

Shrek 2 Appears on eBay

A number of auctions showed up and ended on eBay, and we just had them brought to our attention. If you're curious for what to expect from the sequel to one of Dreamworks' few huge hits, check these out.
Donkey, includes waffles
Princess Fiona (Human)
Puss in Boots
Shrek

Some look good, some are just adequate. Be sure to take a look before the auctions expire.

--AP

And in other news...

Homestar Runner updated again with an always delightful update. Be sure to check it out!

--AP

Bad Llama!
February 11 2004
Review: Star Wars Unleashed Luke Skywalker (Pilot, Hoth)

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the first figure in Unleashed to get a totally new sculpt when released a second time. Unleashed Luke Skywalker was previously released as a very striking Jedi Knight, but now comes in his flight suit as seen on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Lots of images of the figure, including his base are in today's review! The base even has part of a footprint of an AT-AT, so you can be assured it's cool stuff.

--AP

G.I. Joe 12" Snake Eyes vs. Storm Shadow with Spy Troops DVD Sale; New Figures on eBay

The two-pack of ninjas with the DVD was stocked everywhere this past holiday season and in many locations, really stacked up. Target stores now have the once $20-$25 set down to $9.49, a great deal even just for two 12" action figures, let alone good ones with a DVD.

Also, seller mimidog4428 has a bundle of new Joe figures that haven't yet been seen, including a new Baronness, so be sure to check those out.

--AP

Freaks & Geeks Ultimate Edition Preorder

Freaks & Geeks is up for order now, and the special limited edition is $120 and ships April 12. A regular edition is also coming, but this has additional features as well as more deluxe packaging. As such, choose wisely.

Also important, Star Wars was finally confirmed as coming to DVD. All three films, presumably special editions, are coming September 21.

--AP

Energon Omega Supreme blurb

Hasbro posted a press release with all sorts of tidbits about all of their major brands yesterday, including this blurb on the upcoming $50+ Omega Supreme toy:
As the AUTOBOTS battle UNICRON, the OMEGA SUPREME character is the ultimate combiner in the quest for ENERGON. The figure stands at an incredible 16" in robot mode and it is actually two vehicles -- an awesome aircraft carrier and a battle train -- that combine to make a super robot. OMEGA SUPREME is action-packed with electronic lights and sound, additional mechanized features, firing projectiles and holds MINI-CON figures. OMEGA SUPREME can also combine with the new OPTIMUS PRIME figure for even bigger ENERGON play. (Approx. $49.99;

--AP

And in other news...

The Onion updated with its usual hysterical content, so be sure to check it out.

--AP

GameCube: Expiring 2005
February 12 2004
Review: Microman Gatchaman from Battle of the Planets

While there's a ton of Battle of the Planets merchandise out there these days, we were particularly pleased with Takara's Gatchaman which was released as part of their Microman line. With nearly 30 joints, a great paint job, and a nice amount of attention paid to detail, there's a lot to like. Read more about it in today's review!

--AP

New Batman Cartoon: The Batman

An article on The Batman, a new animated series based on the classic superhero, has been posted with some information on voice actors and a few pieces of artwork. Not to be outdone are some action figures including a very freakish looking Joker.

--AP

Creepy: Playmobil Easter Bunnies

Collectobil added yet more coverage, this time with some figures with rabbit heads as part of an easter promotion. It's creepy and disturbing, and you can see it today.

--AP

SCTV DVD to be Pricey

TVShowsOnDVD.com has some information on the upcoming five-disc SCTV set. Coming in at under $100, the five-disc set contains nine 90-minute episodes and some extras. So it's a little up there, but considering how much show is involved, it's not that bad of a deal.

--AP

20th Anniversary Optimus Prime: Making The Rounds

This fantastic, large toy is starting to show up at several American toy discounters at prices that are surprisingly varied. Wal-Mart is asking pennies under $64, Target has it at $69.99, and Toys "R" Us stores are asking the highest price at $79.99. For variant hunters, I've seen the grey gun at Wal-Marts and Targets with the black guns showing up at Toys "R" Us and Wal-Marts. Assuming stores get reorders, the black guns should eventually be everywhere.

--AP

Nintendo's New Consoles: 2004, 2005

Gamespot reports that the successor to the GameCube will be shown at E3 2005, meaning the rumors that it would make an appearance this year or in 2006 were wrong all along. Of course, they still have a big card to play in May when they finally reveal the recently announced Nintendo DS system, which is a new portable with two LCD screens.

--AP

Offer Expires While You Wait
February 13 2004
Review: Star Wars Unleashed Clone Trooper

Today at Galactic Hunter's review table we look at another great Unleashed figure, the Clone Trooper. Actually, you sort of get two Unleashed Clone Troopers as one is marching on toward victory while another has been shot dead beneath the still-breathing one's feet. Several images and some extensive commentary can be found in today's review, so be sure to check that out.

--AP

New Batman Cartoon: The Batman

An article on The Batman, a new animated series based on the classic superhero, has been posted with some information on voice actors and a few pieces of artwork. Not to be outdone are some action figures including a very freakish looking Joker.

--AP

TransFormers Official Site Overhauled

Yesterday, Hasbro completely redesigned their TransFormers page and added a king's bounty of new art, bios, and names, even confirming that the name of the new green Springer-like helicopter toy is Bulkhead. There's also a bio and art for Arcee and art for Shockblast and several other new figures.

TVShowsOnDVD.com also posted cover art and some information on Beast Wars: Season 2 on DVD. Good news for all you fans of Dinobot.

--AP

Harvey Pekar on NPR

Fresh Air will be broadcasting a show with American Splendor writer Harvey Pekar. It's most likely an older show, but if you haven't heard it, it's new to you.

--AP

And in other news...

Barbie & Ken to split. Who knew? Apparently it's time to bring in new more marketable beaus for the aging, mostly plastic former beauty queen.

--AP

Kill the Grand Poobah
February 14 2004
Xevox Two-Pack Out

Yesterday at Toys "R" Us we spotted a Xevoz two-pack of Shadow Blade vs. Bone Cutter, a ninja and a mantis. The set costs $14.99 and looks pretty spiffy, we may well buy one to review in the very near future since our initial experience with this range has been largely positive.

--AP

Cobra Infantry Now Available

Also at Toys "R" Us, it seems their exclusive six pack of Cobra soldiers has hit for a fair price of $19.99. The figures include one commander and six troops of varying ethnicities. It's good to know that out there in the world there are terrorist organizations that aren't afraid to embrace diversity. Kudos to you, Cobra Commander!

--AP

Masters of the Universe Clawful Statue

In a bit of a surprise, there's a statue coming of the character Clawful. This is particularly notable because it's a $150 or so statue of a character Mattel has yet to deem worthy of making into a $8 action figure. You can find more on this piece at the Four Horsemen site.

--AP

Toy Fair 2004

We, and by we I mean me, are on the way to New York. Stay tuned for reports as we have them.

--AP

And in other news...

Off to go get ready. I'm happy to report that our regular features will continue as planned next week, as we have reviews of the Ed Wood DVD completed as well as an extended look at the Metroid action figure, Samus Aran. More is being worked on as you read this, but as usual, who knows if we'll get to it? We're also going to be covering all the Toy Fair stuff we can, and as of now, we don't know what that is.

At Galactic Hunter, we'll be providing massive coverage of Hasbro's Star Wars offerings for 2004 on Sunday, and later in the week we've got a look at the Hall of Fame series of action figures as well as a review of the new animated Clone Wars Yoda.

--AP

Make Him Cry Like A Woman
February 15 2004
Toy Fair Early

A number of companies are getting started early, so we've got some great news for you all tonight. Read on for the greatness!

--AP

Advance Star Wars Coverage

While Hasbro has yet to play their card at their booth, Mike and I over at Galactic Hunter added photos of items from Gentle Giant, Code 3 Collectibles, and more for you to check out early. We also have the news-- or rather non-news-- of LEGO's offerings, or so we hear.

The biggest highlight so far has been yet another idea that started in Japan with Gentle Giant's Micro Busts. Basically, it's a $4.99 super-detailed minibust that's the same scale as Hasbro's small action figures, only with significantly better decoration and no legs. They were giving out a sample Clone Trooper with blue decoration, and I must say, I'm quite impressed by the concept and price point. More as it develops over at Galactic Hunter.

--AP

Energon Previews

As promised, Hasbro posted some new items which we presume will be in their booth at Toy Fair. Now you can see Omega Supreme, Bulkhead, and two Omnicon repaints. Energon Strongarm is a repainted Strongarm, and Offshoot, a repaint of the just-released Signal Flare. On the whole, these are pretty slick, but Offshoot doesn't seem all that different. Still, we'll be buying one.

--AP

Lone Gunment DVD?

We love rumors, and TVShowsOnDVD.com has a doozy. Apparently the short-lived but still entertaining series The Lone Gunmen is being considered for release on DVD after X-Files finishes its run.

--AP

And in other news...

Well, we were on a plane most of the day. Amusing, yes. Had some other adventures as well, but those you don't need to know just yet. More will be posted soon, so come back for more Toy Fair 2004 coverage soon!

--AP

Toy Fair & Ed Wood
February 16 2004
Toy Fair News

Having visited with Mattel, Playmobil, LEGO, Hasbro, and other vendors today, we received a lot of great new information and images which we're still pouring through. While images will have to wait, we're happy to share some information with you now, including the fate of He-Man.

--AP

Full Star Wars Coverage

Over at Galactic Hunter, we now have images and information from a variety of companies with more being added as this update is posted. Find out the latest from Master Replicas, LEGO, Hasbro, Code 3, and Gentle Giant. All in all, good stuff.

--AP

TransFormers Energon & Alternators News

Hasbro's showroom had quite a bit to share, but unfortunately most of it was old news. Omega Supreme looked excellent in person, with the final product looking huge and a lot like Energon Optimus Prime in some ways.

The back of Omega's box revealed the alternate mode for Shockblast, a tank. We didn't get an image of this so be sure to check out your favorite other sites for that. No new Energon product was shown beyond the stuff that's already made an appearance on eBay.

For Alternators, the only "new" item shown was Tracks who was, as expected, a yellow vehicle. The Mazda vehicle which apparently still has no name was not shown, and no additional product (like the Decepticons) were discussed. On the whole, either the company is doing a great job keeping us posted on the Web or doing a rotten job of stuffing a Toy Fair booth. Take your pick.

--AP

Playmobil Surprises

In addition to items previewed in Germany a few weeks ago, Playmobil showed off some great new stuff including a new series of Easter Egg sets and another 30th Anniversary release. The new set is a knight with golden armor with a horse, and this set comes blister packaged, which is fairly unusual for the series.

Other than the new specials, which will be released only a short time apart from Europe, the new Easter Bunny family sets were confirmed for a 2004 US release as were most if not all of the items shown for release in Europe last year. The booth had a freebie as well, a female keychain figure of a female airline pilot.

--AP

The Game of Life: Simpsons Edition, Exclusive Bendy Bart

Another nifty piece of licensed merchandise was Hasbro's Simpsons Edition of The Game of Life. There are some pieces specific to The Simpsons as well as reused parts that those who know the game should recognize.

Also, manufacturer NJCroce gave out a small, individually carded and hand-numbered Bart Simpson bendy figure. The figure on this package is limited to 2004 pieces. Pictures to follow.

--AP

Batman: Hush 2 Figures

Also on display, but with no photos allowed, were the new HUSH Batman action figures. There's a new Harley Quinn that's sure to knock your socks off, but due to an agreement to show them elsewhere first, the press was asked not to shoot them at this time. The lineup, which includes a particularly striking Catwoman (not shown except as art), should be coming later this year. The DC merchandise area was pretty slick, and we hope to present more as the week goes on.

--AP

DVD Review: Ed Wood

Released to a recall, nobody's really sure why Ed Wood got yanked off the market so quickly since so many reasons were given and the most unlikely of all came directly from Disney. Since a few copies leaked, we can present today's review which takes a look at the disc and its extras. As far as we can tell, it's a fine release. Be sure to check it out.

--AP

And in other news...

We've got a lot of stuff to prepare for this week, and unfortunately we also lost a memory card's worth of photos. As such, we may not have images for absolutely everything, but we do have a lot and will get it up as soon as possible. Some great advance samples were made available to us and we want to share them with you, our loyal readership. So, please stay tuned for more as the week goes on and we get settled back in our usual offices.

--AP

More Toy Fair; SR388
February 17 2004
Toy Fair News

Well, as we're burning the candle at both ends we're not quite ready with images just yet. but will be shortly. We also realized we left off He-Man yesterday. Read on for more.

--AP

Fate of the Universe

As requested, we located and spoke to some Mattel representatives on Sunday. We were told that no plans for any Masters of the Universe merchandise shipping through their normal channels exist past Fall, at which point product that was produced may be cleared out through an as of yet undetermined channel. What this means is it's possible the Snakemen waves could show up on closeout somewhere.

The Mattel folk also didn't know about the petition going on at He-Man.org, but did mention that it's really on the bottom of the totem pole as far as sales go. The only new product was shown in a binder hidden out of view, and the new figures won't be new to many. The supposed final assortment of Masters is a wave of heroes that will include a revised Orko, He-Man, and Stratos. The He-Man shown was the snake armor version, and as such was most likely a holdout from a previous wave. The Stratos, I believe, was shown at San Diego last year and is different from the revised Stratos that shipped late last year. Orko seems to be the same figure with a new stand and accessories. Please note: we do not have images of these at this time, and the only image shown at Toy Fair was hidden in a binder.

The representatives were careful to not use phrases like the line is dead or has been cancelled, but they did say that with no new product planned it will probably wither away within the year, only to come back as retro-hip again at some point down the road.

--AP

Toys of Middle-Earth; Ready to buy LOTR DVDs again?

While touring Toy Biz' room on Monday, we heard and read an interesting detail. In 2005, there will be new DVDs of all the Lord of the Rings flicks with additional footage and what have you. I asked if these were just repackaged extended editions, and was told that these are like "extended extended editions." You might be saying "wait a minute, Adam, I didn't hear this anywhere else!" Well, neither did we.

Numerous figures were shown from all three films and images are coming soon. Some interesting highlights are a figure-scale Fell Beast with Dark Rider (with a massive wingspan) as well as a figure of Peter Jackson as a hobbit, similar to Jorg Sacul (George Lucas as a Rebel Pilot in Star Wars.) A new Elrond and over a dozen new figures were on display, and we'll have images soon.

Last but not least, more roto figures and a new carrying case. Toy Biz seems to be aiming for the combo playset/storage market and is making a new case with scenes from the film that will store your collection.

--AP

Marvel Highlights

Toy Biz had an insane array of new Marvel based goodies which should delight and amuse. In addition to the Punisher flick, there's also a Man-Thing movie this summer and while neither will have complete toy lines, both will appear as upcoming Marvel Legends.

Spider-Man is shaping up to be huge in 2004 with all sorts of new role-play toys, action stunt toys, and villain figures based on the comics. There's a new Rhino, and so much new product that it'll make your head spin. There are large scale water-squirting Spideys, small-scale Spideys that duke it out in a subway car, a truly hillarious plush talking toy, and much more. Sadly, pictures are still on the way.

Also of note were a series of super-deformed wind-up toys. Based both on Marvel comics and movies, these are similar to bootleg toys offered in Hong Kong and elsewhere since the late 1990s. As these feature incredible head sculpts, we can't wait to show you these. There will also be Lord of the Rings versions of them as well.

Also seen were a roto Doctor Octopus and a carry case/playset that unfolds into a cityscape playset. Nifty!

--AP

Review: Samus Aran

Before (and after) Lara Croft, there was Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter that rarely seemed to collect bounties. This figure was released a while back, but with the recent release of Metroid Zero Mission for GameBoy Advance, it seemed prudent to look at the only known action figure of this classic heroine. You can see images of the character as well as comments on if she's worth tracking down in today's review.

--AP

And in other news...

As usual for a Monday, Homestar Runner updated yesterday with a great new cartoon.

We're still going through stuff. Sorry about all this, but as this was our first Toy Fair, we aren't exactly old pros. We were very pleased with how Toy Biz treated our reporters, especially given how we didn't even have an appointment. (They are excellent people in our books.) Some other companies which shall remain nameless weren't quite so polite, but the vast majority of all the people there were great.

--AP

Tuesdays with Duncan
February 18 2004
Yet More Toy Fair News

Today, we've got some shots to share of some of the Toy Fair exclusives we've snagged. Plus some more news, which we hope you'll dig.

--AP

Masters at Tuesday Morning

Everybody's favorite oddly smelling closeout store is now stocking various Mattel toys, including what seem to be European cases of Masters of the Universe. They're getting what seem to be random figures for $3.99 each. We spotted Stratos (first edition), Buzz-Off, He-Man (first edition), He-Man (Shield Strike), Man-At-Arms, Skeletor (Repaint), and Triclops (Repaint.) It is unknown if this will be one of the places that eventually gets the Snakemen, but we'll be watching.

No vehicles or playsets made an appearance, but there were YuGiOh toys for those so inclined.

--AP

More Dummies

The next batch of The Incredible Crash Dummies figures hit, which means you can now get cats, dogs, and skunks to run over with your other toys if you're so inclined. Sightings are happening mostly at Wal-Mart stores.

--AP

New Energon, Universe Sighted

Reports around the Web are confirming that Energon Megatron is hitting some Wal-Mart stores. This is particularly notable because the character has yet to receive any official announcement in the USA, and was not shown at Toy Fair, Hasbro's Web site, or elsewhere.

It also seems that four exclusive Universe toys have hit, and have been personally spotted by our crack staff. The orange Ruination has arrived for just under $25, and the repainted Prowl and Sideburn were each just under $10. The biggest surprise was Sunstorm with Perceptor, which came in at a whopping $19.76. Considering this is a repaint of a $7 toy and a $10 toy, both of which were recently closed out on the cheap, the price seems a little high, but as fans dig the Armada Thrust mold from whence Sunstorm came, who knows? Might be worth it anyway.

--AP

Toy Fair Zoids Report: Zippo

This year at Toy Fair, the most notable thing about their Zoids showing was its complete absence. My tour guide at Hasbro's showroom informed me that she was "unfamilliar with the toy line" and actually seemed like she had never heard of it. As such, no toys were on display, and Tomy's press materials made no mention of it at their booth. In 2003, Hasbro did show several items at their media event, although the presentation and display was such that you probably wouldn't assume the line would be around for long. So while you shouldn't assume that Zoids are dead, odds are getting new information about them might prove difficult unless you're following the Japanese toys.

--AP

Freebie: Toy Fair Bart Simpson; Conan to do DVD Commentaries

NJ Croce gave away 2004 Bart Simpson small scale bendy figures. It's roughly the size of a Kubrick figure, and it's also hand-numbered.

The company showed a number of products from Gumby to Simpsons, but nothing seemed to be anything that hasn't been available at Urban Outfitters or Suncoast stores for some time. As such, we present this figure to you for your viewing amusement.

Also, TVShowsOnDVD.com cites an interview in which Conan O'Brien confirmed his involvement with the Season 4 DVDs. This is important for numerous reasons, one of which is actually confirming these DVDs are going to happen in the near future.

--AP

Preview: Knights Kingdom Jayko

One of the samples given away at Toy Fair was this nifty Jayko figure from Knight's Kingdom. Combining elements from classic castle sets, Bionicle, Galidor, and new things, this seems to be a line with a lot of potential if it clicks with the kids.

These are available for sale now in Europe, but for us ugly Americans, they're brand spankin' new. A review of this item is coming next week after we wrap up our Toy Fair coverage.

--AP

Review: Star Wars Hall of Fame Assortment

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the new Hall of Fame Assortment. These twelve figures are repackaged figures based on existing molds, and all of which have at least minor changes from previous releases. Some are a little more significant, though, and you can find out about them in today's review!

--AP

And in other news...

Don't forget to visit The Onion as they updated on Tuesday afternoon.

--AP

Energon Six Packs
February 19 2004
Toy Fair Section Starts Friday

OK, so it's taking a little bit longer than expected, but starting tomorrow we'll be posting a big and yes, even organized feature on what we saw in New York. It will contain new images, new information, and yes, reviews of some of the freebies. This should continue with updates here and there through the week, so please stick with us!

--AP

Energon Mini-Cons Six Packs

Are you looking for more of the same? Well, you're in luck. Wal-Marts are getting packs of six Mini-Cons for about ten bucks. There are two of them, and each has previously released Armada toys, such as the Space Team, Night Attack Team, and recolored Race Team and Destruction team. Coming in at roughly $10 a pair, it is assumed these are Wal-Mart exclusives.

Each set has art for all six toys, which the Armada releases were missing. As such, these should be a great addition to anybody collecting packaging variations.

For the record, this makes at least six items having hit Wal-Mart in the past week as exclusive TransFormers toys between Energon and Universe. This exceeds their entire exclusive offerings in the year 2003.

--AP

Valor vs. Venom at Toy Fair

While there was much in the way of product involving G.I. Joe and Cobra, very little was previously unseen. The two new items were a talking Duke with a "skin" head that had a moving mouth when he talked and a 12" new character called Vemomous Maximus, who looked like some sort of armored green vampire guy. Apparently he's the head of the whole "Venom" aspect of the line, which involves the enemy being genetically spliced with venom that gives them powers of certain creatures of nature. The Joes are basically equipped with their sense of do-goodery.

If you haven't seen the new figures on eBay lately, then their showroom has some new stuff. New items include another new Snake-Eyes, a new Kamakura, and most exciting of all, a new Jinx. It's very unlikely that this is the entire 2004 lineup, though, so stay tuned for new store exclusives and other surprises that are bound to happen before 2005.

--AP

Return of the King DVD Announcement: March 8

With numerous rumors indicating that this film will receive a different release pattern than the other two, fans are looking forward to the just-made announcement at the official Rings site that an announcement will be made on March 8. So, stay tuned for the announcement, as this was merely an announcing of the announcement.

--AP

On and on and on...
February 20 2004
Toy Fair Section Begins

We're getting our stuff together, and as you can see, it starts today! So, be sure to check it out and stay tuned for images over the weekend and into next week.

Right now, it's a compilation of what has been posted thus far. More is on the way, and what's up now is mostly skeletal. Dig that crappy graphic.

--AP

Universe Spychangers; Hasbro News

In what we have to assume are the final Wal-Mart exclusive TransFormers for a while, last night we spotted the new Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus sets. Each set contains one of each of the larger toys as well as a smaller repainted vehicle. They run about $5.96 per, and they bring the total of exclusive TransFormers packs at Wal-Mart that have shown up in the past week to eight.

Also, some Wal-Marts around the country are now getting their new TransFormers section up, in which about half of an aisle is dedicated to the brand. Good times, surely.

Hasbro also updated their official TransFormers site with two new Q&A questions and a few new Energon and Universe toy previews. From Energon is Sharkticon and the Energon Hot Shot repaint of the original Hot Shot. Universe has a number of repainted toys, including some Armada Mini-Cons, Beast Machines Battle Unicorn, and Machine Wars Sandstorm. Check them out!

--AP

Valor vs. Venom Mechs Available; G.I. Joe vs. Cobra at Tuesday Morning?

According to Yo Joe!, the new Pulverizer and Defense Mech toys are now out, and they have a pretty extensive photo shoot for you to enjoy as well.

On this evening's toy run, a genuine surprise was spotted at a local Tuesday Morning that wasn't there previously. A 12" blue armored Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe vs. Cobra was marked at $9.99, which isn't a bad price considering you just can't find the figure anymore. He has since been given Masterpiece Convoy's Megatron gun and seems to be pretty happy. Check your local stores for availability.

--AP

Review: Clone Wars Animated Yoda

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the newly released Clone Wars Yoda. He's short, but as a new take on a classic character and the only original trilogy character to not look too significantly different from his new and old outfits, he's sure to appeal to many. He looks great, but is a wee bit on the short side. You can find out if he's worth your $6.99 at a US Target store in today's review!

--AP

Steve Carell to go to The Office

The Daily Show's on Produce Pete, Steve Carell, is going to work on the US version of the BBC sitcom The Office. An article at the BBC has a little bit more information for your enjoyment.

--AP

Scotty Doesn't Know
February 21 2004
New Godzilla Plush

While we didn't make it to their booth, Toy Vault had a showing at Toy Fair. Numerous new plush Godzilla images showed up at Altered States Magazine, including one of our personal favorites, Hedorah the Smog Monster.

--AP

Another TransFormers Tank Coming

Hasbro updated their official TransFormers site again with another Universe repaint. This time, the Beast Machines Tank Drone has been repainted as a new character, Stockade. Apparently the folks at Hasbro are big Arizona State fans.

--AP

And in other news...

We caught the new flick Euro Trip last night, which came from the folks behind Road Trip and Old School. While it certainly lacked the "zing" provided from the Old School cast, the film was largely entertaining if you can appreciate it for what it was, which was a college-y comedy that hinted at making fun of the extremes of Europe without going all the way. The film has numerous cameos which make for the most recognizable talent, and a significant amount of gratuitous nudity. On the whole, it worked for what it wanted to be, but came off as being a weaker version of a much better film. Worth seeing if you need something to do and won't get carded.

--AP

Clearance Beckons
February 22 2004
More MOTU Markdowns

K-Mart stores have some of their Masters of the Universe product on markdown, while other items are full price with clearance tags. We scored a He-Man Eagle Fight Pack for $1.00, and spotted numerous figures for $5.99. For the record, that's the same going rate for figures at Kay-Bee Toys these days, and many are selling at Tuesday Morning for $3.99. Back to K-Mart, their Beasts (Panthor, Battle Cat, etc.) are still $14.88 with the War Whale/Attack Squid assortment at $14.99. It should be noted that despite clearace tags with these prices, these are their normal store prices.

--AP

G.I. Joe Playset Sale

Target stores bumped down the Conquest of Cobra Mountain playset to $19.98. This was a modified Star Wars Geonosian Arena playset and includeed a figure of Shipwreck that could be disguised as Cobra Commander. The price is expected to drop some more in the coming weeks, but $20 is a nice price for what it is.

--AP

And in other news...

This coming week, you can expect reviews of the new LEGO Knight's Kingdom Jayko figure we got at Toy Fair as well as of some other stuff we have yet to determine. We're also going to get up all our Toy Fair content this week. (We swears it.)

At Galactic Hunter we're reviewing animated Durge and Star Wars Republic #61 in addition to our usual Q&A on Monday.

--AP

"Only When Surprised"
February 23 2004
Japanese Cybertron Happenings

Fan2Fan, a Japanese-oriented TransFormers fan site, updated with a ton of new information regarding Super Link toys and the final few Armada release, including a particularly awesome translucent green Shining Unicron limited edition. Definitely worth a look if you're a fan of such things.

--AP

Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly and, as always, I'm eagerly looking for new questions. So, feel free to send any in.

This week's highlights include a special Clone Trooper and figures that may or may not be cancelled, entitlements, and a look at the Hall of Fame figures and just why we need them.

--AP

More Adult Swim DVD Releases

TVShowsOnDVD.com posted news on Sealab 2021 and on Aqua Teen Hunger Force 2, both of which with pretty nice cover artwork. Both are due in the middle of June.

--AP

And in other news...

The 1990's were full of bands in just about any mindset you could imagine. Men from space, superheroes, a cult, and many other styles were put on small rock groups to help them get a name for themselves, and one of the most innovative of these was Servotron. This group decided they were robots who were here to help destroy all humans, including you. It makes for a great listen and is filled with bleeps and references to science fiction from decades before, so I Sing! The Body Cybernetic should appeal to many different ears if they're not totally ignorant on such topics. Read more about it in today's review.

We're having numerous problems with obtaining our images from Toy Fair. As such, thank you for your continued patience with the delayed coverage.

--AP

Modestly Hot, My Eye!
February 24 2004
Spring Reset

A brief tour of a couple of local Toys "R" Us stores revealed an action figure section in flux, with some older product being shuffled out with popular items getting more floorspace. TransFormers was given a huge section at one store plus an endcap, meaning there's an obscene amount of room for new releases. One of the two stores had all Masters of the Universeproduct in stacks next to the shelves they formerly occupied or in shopping carts to be moved elsewhere, while the other had everything left pretty much as-is. There seemed to be quite a bit of remaining Armada stockas well, and it seemed Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Zoids, and other staples didn't get any more space than they had previously.

It should be noted that of the toy lines getting less shelf space, none of the prices are being reduced as of yet.

--AP

Review: LEGO Knight's Kingdom Jayko

Our first look at this new line of construction figures from LEGO is Jayko, the brash young pastel blue knight from Knight's Kingdom. He's part of a new line of LEGO product that includes smaller scale figures along with castles as well as a new trading card game, but today's review only covers this particular figure. Please note: these toys are available in Europe and this sample was obtained at Toy Fair and as of this posting, this item is currently not available in the United States.

--AP

Yet More Lord of the Rings Gift Sets

In the 1970's, there were numerous specially packaged Star Wars multipacks and it seems Toy Biz is giving collectors another chance at this kind of product for Lord of the Rings. Toys "R" Us stores have two three-packs of figures, one for Mount Doom with Frodo, Sam, and Gollum and the other with Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. The packaging styles are from Two Towers and Return of the King respectively. The much smaller window boxes are dated 2004, so these are, in fact, newly packaged versions of old product.

With the continued popularity of this line and no end in sight, it seems there's going to be a niche for collectors that enjoy their product packaged.

--AP

Found: Energon Megatron

While there have been quite a few sightings around the United States, we're glad to say that we found Megatron in our own little neck of the woods. A Phoenix-area Wal-mart had one lone Megatron on top of some Optimus Prime toys, and at this time we're not sure if Megatron is sharing an assortment with Optimus.

The toy is electronic and has a few sound effects that require your having "AAA" batteries.

It includes the bio card and not the cards with the statistics as previous releases have had. As such, if anybody gets one with the stats card and wants to make a quick five bucks, please email us.

Initial impressions: this is a big, fun, noisy toy. Simple yet innovative transformation, good coloring and sculpt, big awkward weapons. Megatron will now be known for his subtlety. There seem to be two sound effects, one sword sound and one projectile sound. While it's really neat that Hasbro scultped in a place for his sword to be stored, he can't hold it without inserting it in the back of the tank accessory. Ah well. More on this piece later.

--AP

And in other news...

Homestar Runner updated again this week, and now they're selling a plush "Kick the Cheat" toy that makes noises when you abuse it. Cute concept, and we'll have images and impressions shortly. There's also a great new Strong Bad Email, but you knew that.

--AP

Have More Fun With Games
February 25 2004
Review: Clone Wars Animated Durge

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the another cartoon figure with the recently released Durge. He's a big guy with some great exaggeration in his design, but our sample wasn't exactly assembled properly. We've also got images galore, so be sure to check out today's review!

--AP

Super Link In-Package Desert Jaguar; More Comics Revealed

The 2005 Boards have a thread showing this new release. While early images showed the Energon Weapons as being orange, the final release has them being more of a yellowish green color.

Also, Newsarama published an article explaining the new Summer Special comic book that has a new Beast Wars story!

--AP

Another Samus Aran Metroid Figure Coming

Looks like a sequel to the previously released Metroid figure is on the way. A redesign of the toy as she looked in Metroid Fusion is on the way this Spring from Joyride Studios. This page features more information and a scanned image from a catalog that shows her to be mostly if not entirely constructed from new parts.

--AP

John Waters on NPR Today

Say kids, are you a fan of John Waters? Sure you are. The director will be on NPR's Fresh Air program today, check your local stations or their Web site for a schedule and/or online feed.

--AP

And in other news...

We're in the midst of a techical crisis now. As such, our planned Toy Fair coverage has been partially lost, and our hardware is currently failing us. We will be providing reviews of some of our samples, but much of our digital archives are lost. As such, don't expect too much more in the way of showroom images. We believe that one of our press CD-ROMs may have been infected and the cause of the problem.

On the lighter side of things, The Onion updated with a particularly amusing update, including some news from Cybertron. Well, "Cybotron," but you know what they mean.

--AP

The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre
February 26 2004
DVD: Sledge Hammer!

The fine folks at TVShowsOnDVD.com posted the scoop-- Anchor Bay is releasing the series on DVD this summer. I hesitate to say "classic" series, but fans of the show are undoubtedly in for a treat as Anchor Bay tends to do a great job with these kinds of releases.

--AP

Super Link In-Package Desert Jaguar; More Comics Revealed

TransFormers World 2005 posted a blurb on the continuation of Hasbro's Built to Rule product line to incorporate Energon characters. Construction seems to make sense as a play pattern for Energon, with its sundry combining characters gimmick.

Also, Newsarama posted more information on that upcoming comics Summer Special which will feature two really awesome characters. Do check it out.

--AP

PlayStation Portable Delayed?

Numerous outlets are reporting that the United States launch of the new Sony portable game system has been delayed until 2005. This means Ninendo's new dual-screen item would have a holiday market all to itself, which could really hurt Sony's chances if Nintendo's latest gambit turns out well.

--AP

G.I. Joe Toy Fair, Sales

Well, in an amazing burst of luck, we got our pictures. So today, you can look at our revised Toy Fair coverage of G.I. Joe, which includes new large and small figures as well as some new small vehicles. The information on the page was also updated.

Also, in case you missed it, the Conquest of Cobra Mountain playset is still $19.98 at Target stores.

--AP

And in other news...

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ opened Wednesday and it seems everybody that has seen it has a big opinion on it. Today's main headline came from a review we heard on the radio, and it seems that, on the whole, the movie only provokes extreme reactions. It should be interesting to see how extreme the box office take is.

--AP

Today we saw Professor Smallen find a great treasure
February 27 2004
New Cartoon Network, Adult Swim Announcements

A press release is making the rounds announcing all the new Cartoon Network programming for the coming months. Notably absent: Masters of the Universe. Aqua Teen Hunger Force is being expanded to multiple nights a week, and a lot of other new shows are coming, so if you watch any televised animation odds are you'd find out something of value through this release.

--AP

Review: Star Wars Republic #61

Today at Galactic Hunter we look the story of Princess Leia's adopted father as he debates things in the senate and dodges an attempt on his life. While not the most exciting story to be told in the Star Wars universe, there's a few great nods to other tales and odds are most fans will get a bigger kick out of this than other recent comics. Be sure to check it out in today's review!

--AP

New Universe Items, Wal-Mart Energon Comic; Beast Wars Comics Revealed

The fine folks at the Official Hasbro TransFormers Site added shots of some new Universe toys for your amusement. Included are Fireflight, another recolor of Beast Machines Spy Streak, as well as Firebot and Thunderwing which are both recolors of Mini-Cons of the same names. Last, but not least, is a recolor of Beast Machines Strika dubbed Nemesis Strika.

TransFormers World 2005 and several other sites are reporting Wal-Mart is selling an exclusive comic/poster set from Energon, and it's selling for a fairly pricey $4.95.

Once again, Newsarama posted more information on that upcoming comics Summer Special, this time with information on the Beast Wars story.

--AP

NES Classics Ported to Cell Phones

GameForms and elsewhere are reporting that Square Enix is porting upgraded versions of NES classics to cell phones. I'll repeat that-- the former pinnacle of gaming technology has had upgraded versions of its games ported to cell phones. Of the screenshots circulating, it seems to look pretty slick. Surely, this is going to change how cell phone games are perceived in the future.

The games in question so far are Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. They will be available to gamers via their phones for a small fee, just under the equivalent of US$5.

--AP

LUGNET Fundraiser

LUGNET, the best resource for LEGO information on the Web, has had some recent problems with its servers and could use your help. Visit them today and see if you can offer your assistance.

--AP

The Lightning Will Give My Car Life
February 28 2004
Seinfeld, Bobby's World, More

Our friends at TVShowsOnDVD.com posted some great news on the involvement of the entire cast of Seinfeld in an update posted yesterday as well as, if you can believe it, Bobby's World.

--AP

RX-8 Named, Micromasters Comics Revealed

The fine folks at the Official Hasbro TransFormers Site just confirmed the name of the Mazda RX-8 Alternators toy, and it's Meister, which was the name of Jazz in Japan in the old days.

What seems to be the last update for a while at Newsarama focuses on the new miniseries, Micromasters. These little guys never really had the storyline or legendary status of other toys from this line, so this will basically be an all-new tale to tell.

Lastly, the first sightings of Energon Arcee and Insecticon were made in Hong Kong. So check those local stores within the next few weeks, kiddies.

--AP

Stephen Colbert, Bill Keane Interviews

If you're like me, you've got a love/hate relationship with the funnies. KJZZ, the NPR station here in Arizona, talked with Family Circus scribe Bill Keane about his long-loved strip. It's particularly amusing because this online audio interview has him talking about how his strip is unique because it isn't always funny. No kidding.

On Monday, Fresh Air has a segment scheduled with Comedy Central and Daily Show correspondant Stephen Colbert. You should probably listen to this one.

--AP

And in other news...

A bunch of local comic shops, Sam Goody stores, and Suncoast stores are getting a bunch of figural Hellboy merchandise. Mezco's action figures are showing up for about $10 per as well as a number of high-end items.

If you have HBO, Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher featured Ralph Nader, love him or hate him. Repeats will be on all week, so be sure to check it out if you're so inclined toward such things.

We'd also like to lament what seems to be the passing of the comic strip Charlie. Not to be confused with Peanuts' Charlie Brown, this one-panel strip offered a head-scratching experience to those who dared read it during its run before it seemingly vanished from the Web and already vanished from numerous newspapers. It was a bafflingly unique comic, and we hope to find it again some day soon.

--AP

You're Much Scarier In Person
February 28 2004
Battle Ravage Variant, Super Link Galvatron Size Confirmed

The people behind The Allspark boards posted some great news. Item one is that the Japanese version of Energon Megatron, Super Link Galvatron, is indeed a smaller toy by about four inches. There you have it.

Item two is that the American mold of Battle Ravage has been tweaked like its Japanese counterpart to allow it to be transformed just a little bit easier with an added peg to keep it in robot mode unless you're wanting to transform him. Good news, to be sure.

--AP

And in other news...

This week, we're going to look at the Shockini figures from Shocker Toys. We were given a couple of samples at Toy Fair and we'll be looking at both of them later this week. We also will review the recently released Optimus Prime from Kay-Bee toys. This little guy is the size of a Hot Wheels car and is, of course, fully transformable. On Monday, we will review a little-known gem, WWCD by the now defunct and absolutely wonderful band The Causey Way. We'll also be adding more Toy Fair coverage, even if it is a little late.

At Galactic Hunter, we're going to review the animated Count Dooku figure and the amazingly amazing Clone Trooper Lieutenant Bust-Ups microbust from Gentle Giant. Also, on Monday we'll be posting our regular Q&A feature.

Lastly, if you're really bored, I uploaded some advertisments that I and my pal Shaun did as members of Mechanically Separated Chicken. Included is my favorite, the Yakov Smirnoff poster, as well as a bunch of other goofy sardonic images that will probably not interest you in the slightest.

--AP

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