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People, People!
July 1 2004
Built to Rule G.I. Joe Clearance

Some, if not all, Toys "R" Us stores are bumping these down to rock-bottom prices, in many cases 80% off. Check your local store for availability for these construction military toys.

--AP

Germany gets new Masters

Looks like the Germans are getting some new Masters of the Universe toys-- namely, Snake Armor He-Man and Talon Attack Stratos, which as of yet have not shown up in the USA. The two Mecha figures are out as well, and you can read more at He-Man.org. No sign of the new Orko yet.

--AP

Built to Rule Super-Clearances; TransFormers Micromasters and Summer Special Hit Early?

While our local store didn't have them, word has it the giant Summer Special comic as well as three variant covers of Micromasters #1 hit stores today. We, of course, will be doing some searching come this weekend with Free Comic Book Day and all... all our store had were the three new Star Wars books. And the stuff we don't touch with a 10-foot pole.

Also, Toys "R" Us has the Built To Rule toys on the cheap in either the TransFormers or construction sections... or both. Optimus Prime is down to $5, we spotted Smokescreen for $1.98, and Megatron & Cyclonus are now in a giant $9.98 two-pack. If you like these, there's no better time to buy them... as it seems unlikely they would get much cheaper.

--AP

Generation 1.5
July 2 2004
Review: Star Wars Princess Leia Organa (Bespin Gown)

Today at Galactic Hunter we review a remake of the only Leia in the vintage line that has yet to get a true modern release, the Princess Leia. That's the full Hasbro name, but it's a remake of Princess Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) from The Empire Strikes Back. This figure reeks of 1980s sensibilities, and is properly short with some odd but mildly useful articulation. It's great to finally have her in 100% plastic, despite having next to no screen time. Even though she includes a gun she never carried with this outfit, we still dig it, and you can read so much more in today's review.

--AP

New TransFormers Robot Masters Info, Comics, etc.

Apparently Robot Masters is getting a nice big fat push in Japan, and there's commercials, a comic (with fan-made english translation) and oh so much more for you to pour through. For the uninitiated, the line includes a lot of repaints as well as all-new small size Optimus Prime, Optimus Primal, BW Megatron, and G1 Starscream toys. It's a fan wank, in short, but a kid friendly one. Read on for the skinny.

First, Fan2Fan posted a ton of goodies out of HyperHobby, TV-Boy, and TV Magazine from Japan. You can see the Robot Masters with their weapons-- which combine-- and you can see the big focus on leaders right now is G1 Optimus Prime/Convoy and Beast Wars Megatron. Op's robot mode is a lot like the recently released (and recently clearanced) Masterpiece Edition, and in the press photos, his vehicle mode isn't exactly a delight. One neat thing, though, is a comparison shot comparing Convoy to a Microforce figure and to the just-released USA edition Energon Strongarm repaint, showing that the fearless leader ain't all that tall. Unless there's some error in the photo, this new mini-Prime is a bit shorter than the two deluxe-sized ($10ish) Optimus toys from Armada and Energon, making it one of the smaller wide release transforming toys based on the character if not the smallest.

The site also explains the various TransFormers continuities and how this fits in, and surprisingly, it does fit in. This new storyline takes place, according to this, between the original two seasons of the cartoon and TransFormers: The Movie. Also interesting, it says the continuity involving BinalTech/Alternators is a separate offshoot of the G1 continuity and, of course, Armada and Energon are another beast entirely.

And as you know, Universe takes place loooooong after Beast Machines.

A number of the sites, have made mention that Takara will be cranking out more Lucky Draw Brave Maximus toys for Robot Masters. Brave Max is the recolor of Fortress Maximus from the old days, and the Lucky Draw version has all the accessories. The wide release one from a few years ago was missing several of them, but is still an excellent toy.

Not to be outdone, Takara put up their own Robot Masters Web site. On it, you can find Japanese language bios, lots of photos, and even a great little commercial for this toyline. Poke around a little, it's worth it.

Finally, there's a comic. It's spread over this thread at The Allspark, but it's a good thread and the comic is worth seeing if you're interested in this line. It's still a little confusing how it all works, given how tiny Beast Wars Megatron supposedly is compared to the G1 characters, but hey, if it means cool toys I say enjoy.

--AP

Indiana Jones and the temple of G.I. Joe?

Word on the street has it that the toy shown at this link is an actual soon-to-be-revealed Disney park exclusive-- the first American 12" Indiana Jones in a very long time. It could be real, or a hoax-- the accessories are the same as the Mummy's Tomb set released just a couple of years back from the G.I. Joe Adventure Team. Time will tell, and knowing Hasbro, accessories may well be reused. Regardless, it's a neat concept, and Hasbro has done movie Joes before just recently with the dud Sinbad.

Also notable, you can't really see his face.

--AP

Indiana Jones and the temple of G.I. Joe?

The big G.I. Joe convention is this weekend and YoJoe.com has pictures. Some nifty exclusives and other oddities are up now, so be sure to take a look around and see what you missed by staying at home this holiday weekend. And I'm not sure what the deal is with the Dreadnok Camper thing they're showing... although I would like to get one.

--AP

Free Comic Book Day Today
July 3 2004
Cartoon Network TransFormers Energon Marathon Today

Been missing Energon? Six episodes are airing this afternoon at 6 PM eastern. Check your local listings if you have satellite or something else.

--AP

Joe Convention Images, New Exclusives

YoJoe! has shots of the Joe convention this weekend, and even more amazingly, they have shots of new exclusive. If that weren't amazing enough, K-Mart is getting a new exclusive featuring a Crimson HISS tank based on the original HISS mold, as well as a Crimson ASP and three guards! They even have the fan's choice two-pack, and five new three-packs with comic books... and two of those are out at Targets now. (The one with the Cobra Commander, Soldier, and Baronness as well as the one with Zap, Grunt, Snake-Eyes.) One of the real oddities is a recolor of Cobra Commander in a clear "holograph" edition, taking a cue from Star Wars. But hey, it's nice to see something new.

--AP

Target Clearances Xevoz

Even though the line has only been there for a few months, Target already is marking down their Xevoz product by 30% in many locations. There aren't a ton of items available, although they do have the first three basic figures, the first three deluxe figures, and even the Ninja/Mantis two-pack. Worth a look, as these are an excellent deal and are sure to please toy fans if you haven't already got them.

--AP

NPR Interviews Larry David, Robert Weide, Some Dude from The Animals

Terry Gross of Fresh Air put on a great show yesterday with Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Robert Weide as well as star Larry David, plus Eric Burdon of The Animals. Don't miss it, it even explains the "Prognosis Negative" movie from an early Seinfeld in Weide's segment.

--AP

The Declaration of In My Pants
July 4 2004
Old Clearance Stock, New Bionicle Releases

Toys "R" Us stores are apparently some of the first to put out the latest larger sets from Metru Nui. For about $29.99 a pop, you can now find the likes of the Dume & Nivawk.

Target marked down their Rakshi, but the price varies from store to store. Some stores are asking $3.50 or so, while others are still hovering around $6, and both the Target exclusive versions with the purple Kraata and the normal versions are floating around. Some stores have them for $4.50 or so as well, it truly does vary from store to store. Happy Hunting!

--AP

New Energon Hitting

This afternoon at a local Target, we spotted Offshoot, who it seems can blend in, right in plain sight. We walked by the aisle twice and didn't notice him, even though he does look a lot different than his predecessor, Signal Flare.

Offshoot's out, folks, which means Energon Strongarm is as well. As far as Offshoot goes, the Energon weapon is a different shade of red, much more muted, and the toy is on the whole totally recolored. If you dig the mold, may as well get this one too. If not, well, pass.

--AP, Special Thanks to AK (and his camera)

Target Clearances Playmobil

Pretty much every Playmobil item at local Target stores is on markdown for about 30% off, but, again, this varies widely from store to store. The sale does not include Specials or Pals, but does include the fireman, police officer, rescue boat, pirate ship, and viking starter set as well as many others.

--AP

Looking So Good
July 5 2004
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 we look at why you should care about the Original Trilogy Collection vehicles, why I give you my opionion when you ask for it, the eldest Lars, and lots of Trade Federation droids.

--AP

Spiffy New Energon Pics

Looking around the Web, it seems there's a lot of neat stuff to be seen this hoiday weekend. TFW2005 has painted-- and presumed final-- shots of Grimlock and Swoop. Grimlock is a screamingly wonderful G1 reference, while Swoop looks more like a Zoids toy. Word has it they may combine, but as two separate small toys, they're pretty swanky.

Over at eBay you can find an auction for an upcoming toy that looks to be part of a combining Autobot jet team-- nifty! What's neat is you can see two heads on the toy-- and the robot mode looks a little like Energon Starscream. The larger head looks a bit like Armada Megatron. Coincidence? Probably.

--AP

And in other news...

Slim update today because of a few things. One, nobody seems to have followed up on the Indiana Jones thing last week, and the Joe convention is nearing an end. Here's hoping it's not bogus. We're also doing some other stuff for other projects related to this one that we can't discuss much yet, either because you won't care or because, well, we were asked not to. Also, we're tired, and the neighbors upstairs from the 16bit.com offices are quite noisy and we don't get much sleep. As such, happy day off, unless you're working, in which case we'll enjoy the day off... by... uh... doing some more work.

--AP

It is bright out!
July 6 2004
Many More New Energon Pics

The Web lit up this weekend with tons of surprise painted and unpainted figures. Many of these were known to be held back for being revealed at this month's official TransFormers convention, but if you're the type that likes to open their presents early, read on.

This thread at the 2005 Boards has two basic-sized ($6.99) Decepticon construction vehicles and is described as being a combiner. Also shown are a combiner Autobot jet (size unknown) as well as repaints-- Rodimus in SWAT team colors, Prowl as a black-and-white police car... and yes, as promised, Megatron in Galvatron colors. It's quite striking. The thread also seems to indicate that there will be three combiner teams with a total of 15 members. More as it develops.

Over here, you can see Blue Alternators Tracks alongside an unpainted and presumed Universe Ramulus (repaint of a Beast Wars Transmetals 2 figure) and a green mistransformed and presumed Energon constructicon. It appears a new Decepticon homage to Devastator, the construction vehicle team frm the original series, is in the works.

If you're looking for more combiners, see this thread as it has numerous closeups of three Autobot airplanes. Also in this thread are some head shots of the blue construction vehicle Decepticon prototype.

--AP

DVD Today: Batman: The Animated Series

Arguably the best superhero-based animated series of all time, Batman: The Animated Series is expected in stores today with over 20 episodes at a price of around $36 at many stores. There are no known promotions or tie-ins for figures, so just go ahead and snag it where you see it cheap if you're so inclined.

--AP

Clerks X: Dueling Supplement Listings

Kevin Smith's indie opus Clerks will probably be eventually seen as having been responsible for an entirely new kind of filmmaker, but for now, it's just the subject of conflicing supplements on its September 7th bow on DVD. Entitled Clerks X, you get three cuts of the movie with commentaries and all sorts of things. What things? That's a good question. For months, Newaskew.com has been touting items like a documentary from the making of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back as well as the never-before-seen Clerks live-action sitcom pilot... and then they eventually said these items weren't to be included for various reasons. Now The Digital Bits is reporting that they should be included. Who knows?

Bowing the next week (on my birthday) in the biggest DVD month in years is the supposedly great but we can't find a theater with it film, Baadasssss! Melvin Van Peebles made this film as a semi-tribute to his father's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Oh, and my birthday is September 14.

--AP

And in other news..

Lots of fun stories around the Web today, folks! Would you believe Brando was the first choice to play Lawrence of Arabia? That's just what ShowBIZData is reporting today. Apparently he was passed over for Peter O'Toole because, not surprisingly, he was reportedly difficult to work with.

Comedy Central is temporarily replacing Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn in favor of Crossballs, which starts tonight. The premise? Comedians pretend to be experts and debate experts in a variety of newsworthy topics, and there seem to be alumni from Mr. Show and The Upright Citizens Brigade. It airs tonight after The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Tough Crowd is scheduled to return in a couple of weeks.

Not surprisingly, Spider-Man 2 supposedly made a buttload of cash over the weekend. According to the Box Office Mojo the Spidey sequel pulled in $115 million... since Friday. If you count the money the Raimi-helmed visual treat pulled in since it opened last Wednesday, June 30, the total is an estimated $180 million. Wowzers. The flick reportedly cost $210 to make and another $50 million to market, so it still has a little while to go before breaking even.

--AP

My Science was Just Too Tight
July 7 2004
Review: Star Wars Lobot

Today at Galactic Hunter we review a remake of a figure that didn't quite sail in 1998 with the brand new Lobot. With new accessories and articulation, this figure is mostly an improvement over the previous release. In today's review, you can find pictures and see why the figure is an improvement, but not a total improvement over the previous versions.

--AP

Game News A-Plenty

For starters, there's the GameBoy Advance. This article talks about TV shows on a new GBA media format selling in Japanese vending machines for a couple of bucks, which is a heck of a business model. It also talks about possibly working maps and other gadgets into the GameBoy. Meanwhile, The Magicbox has a report with an as of yet unconfirmed list of 10 new Famicom Mini games, better known as GBA ports of old NES games. While half of the lest was never released in the USA, it does include Kid Icarus, Metroid, Zelda II, Super Mario Bros. 2 (presumably the Japanese one), and yes, even the original Castlevania. Here's hoping it's true! Another limited edition GameBoy Advance SP was announced for Japan as well, this time based on the uberpopular ninja anime Naruto.

Also, it seems Square is hiring staff for the next Seiken Densetsu and even leaked some concept art for what we know as the Secret of Mana series.

--AP

More Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs

TVShowsOnDVD.com is reporting a new MST3K set with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and MANOS Hands of Fate will be released on August 31. The price is a fairly low $24.95, and no other MST3K releases were mentioned.

--AP

More Energon Combiner Images

It looks like the new combiners can switch between teams... that, or Autobots can combine with Decepticons. TFW2005 has some images which, well, are pretty slick.

--AP

And in other news..

Lots of fun stories around the Web today, folks! Would you believe Best Buy hates you, so says this article from a San Francisco newspaper. It looks at how customers are supposedly hurting businesses, and while some concerns are fairly notable (customers sending off for rebates and returning the product), others are goofy-- like customers taking too much of a salesperson's time, or customers only shopping at stores based on the lowest prices.

Remember ALF? He's back, on TV Land tonight with Alf's Hit Talk Show. Following that is a minimarathon of episodes of his old sitcom. The talk show may be only a special, so be sure to catch it so you can tell your kids all about it. Check your listings, blah blah blah.

Japanese toy wizards Takara have a booth at San Diego's Comic Con International this year. Ooooooh. No word on if they've an exclusive yet.

--AP

Icarus Fights Medusa Angels
July 8 2004
Nintendo Japan confirms more NES games for GameBoy Advance (aka Famicom Minis)

It's finally confirmed by way of Nintendo of Japan. 10 more titles are on the way to the GBA in Japan, this time with yellow colored carts and based on a theme of the Famicom disk drive. While these games were either unreleased or released on cart only here, they were on a different format in Japan because, at the time, carts didn't have the necessary space. Half the games are totally foreign to North American gamers, but the good stuff includes Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Metroid, Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka The Lost Levels)), Kid Icarus, and yes, the original Castlevania. None of these are confirmed for a USA release yet, and the second series of games will cease production the day these come out in Japan.

These games are due in August in Japan, and odds are they'll be $20-$30 at your favorite importer. We'll be getting a couple of those, for sure.

--AP

DVD Date for Seinfeld?

TVShowsOnDVD.com is listing November 16 as a possible date for a set with seasons 1 and 2. It isn't confirmed, but it's notable!

--AP

Kids in the Hall: Interview Round 2

The folks at The Onion AV Club added part two of their interview with the Kids in the Hall, this time talking with Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, and Bruce McCulloch. A good read, surely!

--AP

And in other news..

The great Stan Ridgway is doing a small tour come August. The former frontman of Wall of Voodoo will be playing Phoenix, Tucson, and Santa Fe-- don't miss it.

--AP

Throw Me The Idol
July 9 2004
Indiana Joe: Confirmed

Now that they're all over eBay, it's neat to see that an Indiana Jones edition G.I. Joe was, in fact, sold at the G.I. Joe convention over the weekend and will be coming to Disney parks later this year, reportedly for $40. As of yet, no good photos exist of the face, so it's hard to tell if this is a semi-licensed product or the full deal. As in, we can't see the face-- is this an Indiana Jones G.I. Joe, or an Indiana Jones doll with Harrison Ford's face? For now, we can't tell, and it seems no collecting sites have one.

Through some forums at Galactic Hunter, we found a link to an image of both figures-- there's two versions. Yup, ethnic variants. Odd, no? This puts a little more fuel in the speculation that it's a Joe in an Indy outfit, meaning that still no company has a license to do a line of movie-authentic Indy figures. After all, there's an Indy-esque Kermit the Frog being sold through ShopStarWars.com.

--AP

Energon Convention Weapons, Blue Alternators Tracks Pics

The fine folks at Hasbro posted a great Q&A on some convention goodies. Looks like some good news for fans of special colored Energon weapons for people going to the convention in Chicago, which, unfortunately, are not us. So if you get spares, do let us know, we like to trade.

Also, there's scores of new pics of Alternators Tracks in blue at the 2005boards. Check this sucker out, it's really slick.

--AP

Top Selling TV on DVD; THX-1138 Digital Revisions

TVShowsOnDVD.com has a neat little story on the top 10 selling TV DVDs, and quantity. Not surprisingly, The Simpsons and Family Guy are doing quite well, but what is surprising is that the fairly expensive Sopranos made the list. Score one for taste.

On the other end of the taste spectrum, depending on your point of view, is this thread at THX-1138.org in which you can see nearly a dozen big changes made to the upcoming DVD special edition of the George Lucas film that you probably never saw, THX-1138. While it appears there may be two separate releases coming out September 14, one of them is going to have new CG shots, new effects, new composites, and so much more-- click that link to see some comparison shots. Even if you have never seen the movie, it's interesting to see what Lucas is doing with before and after, and this may be a precursor to what we'll be seeing on the upcoming Star Wars Trilogy collection.

--AP

Fake Your Death for Comedy

Like weird comedy anecdotes? Boy, are you in for a treat. Adam McKay, former head writer of SNL and co-writer/director of Anchorman dropped TONS of great stories about his time in the Upright Citizens Brigade, SNL, and working in comedy in general in this interview on NPR. It's a hoot, never has someone faking their death as a publicity stunt been funnier.

--AP

Canada has the Power
July 10 2004
Masters Lives On... in Canada

He-Man.org has some good news for you people tonight. Apparently Canadian Toys "R" Us stores are now the nation's exclusive home of He-Man and yes, they are going to get Snake Armor He-Man. The site is also selling cases of new and repackaged figures, including the revised Orko the kids love so much.

--AP

Lord of the Rings: Exxtra Large

While we forgot to report it earlier this week, the gigantic Aragorn and Legolas from NECA are showing up at Suncoast stores. Coming in at $39.99 per, these 18" figures look like oversized McFarlane figures and actually aren't at all bad. If you need really big toys from Middle-Earth, you need these.

Also, rumor has it the extended edition of Return of the King could be hitting theaters in Europe come October. Four hours of fun if it's true, kiddies.

--AP

G.I. Joe Debriefing

Yojoe.com added a wrap-up to the latest convention on the real American hero. Included are word of exclusives shifting from one store to another, release dates, new figures, and photos of all sorts of goodies. If you like Joes, you owe it to yourself to peruse these updates in the Yo Joe! Magazine section.

--AP

Check this ride
July 11 2004
Exclusive Energon Spears

OTFCC is now showing two exclusive Energon weapon recolors. Coming in blue and purple, these are pretty slick. Apparently, you get these for filling out a survey, and there is no known way for non-attendees to get them. (A shame, we really want the blue one.) For more, visit OTFCC.

--AP

More McFarlane Shrek at Wal-Mart

Color us amazed. Last night at Wal-Mart, we spied two new McFarlane toys figure two-packs, each with a NASCAR racer and a recolored or resculpted Shrek figure from the McFarlane run. These seem to be brand new, and we've certainly never seen or heard of them before. One set has a lot of Home Depot swag and is orange and has Donkey, the other is mostly green and has Shrek. If we had a notepad, we'd have more info, but we don't so this is all we have for you.

--AP

Amazing Stories Season One DVD

Both a victim of its own hype and an unsung TV experiment, Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories has now been confirmed by a Universal Studios Home Video news release as coming November 2. Als entioned in the release: many shows you don't want. Also Buck Rogers, Dream On, Sliders, the Munsters, Knight Rider, and yes, more. More here.

--AP

And in other news...

Went and caught The Aquabats at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ with my homeslice Pete. The place's security was nuts for such a small venue, and the ticket prices were raised with a sign that said "don't complain." You might as well tell a fish not to swim. The promised Japanese opening Hawaiian Ukelele girl duet did not show, but we did have some generic opening punk acts. Could've been worse. The Aquabats, now a six-man act, did very well and had a welcome like I've never heard at a show before. I think it's like what The Beatles would have had. Good times.

The band also let it be known that their cover of the Oingo Boingo song "The Controller" would be released on a new Oingo Boingo tribute CD, which may be the first the band has received. This was a total surprise to us, and after having done a little research, we could find no information on a release date, lineup, or any other details.

--AP

Check This Ride
July 12 2004
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 this week, we look at the VOTC 12" Boba Fett, a brief rundown of OTC figures and what's theoretically new, Imperial Officers, and some other stuff. We also revised the Fan's Choice Metrics Q&A article in which we examine what figures were made from those polls and what's coming next. Next up, an article outlining all 38 OTC figures and the major and minor changes they made in the process of repackaging.

--AP

Adult Swim Cancels Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law

Assuming it wasn't a gag, the cats at Adult Swim have pulled the plug on another Adult Swim favorite, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. It was announced prior to the airing of last night's episode, a repeat in which Avenger was replaced. Sort of. It's a shame to see the popular show end, but if they were in a creative rut, maybe it's for the best. The Brak Show and Space Ghost from Coast to Coast were the last shows given the axe last New Year's Eve.

--AP

Rhino on Energon, Headmasters, More

TVShowsOnDVD.com confirmed some neat things, like the Japanese follows-up to the G1 cartoon aren't coming to DVD anytime soon, and that Energon is coming to DVD by way of Paramount. Cover art is posted for the first two Energon volumes, too, probably due in October.

Also news on: Canadian Beast Machines DVDs and Beast Wars Season 3.

--AP

Rhino on G.I. Joe, Visionaries

TVShowsOnDVD.com also has the skinny on the next box set of G.I. Joe. Three discs of Season 2 volume 1 are coming this August!

Also news on: Visionaries, which is not happening. No great loss.

--AP

And in other news...

Con season is upon us and they're still announcing all kinds of exclusives, so be sure to check your favorite fan sites for the latest and bring wads of cash to the shows you're going to. Just don't lose it or blow it on ice cream like you usually do.

--AP

This Guy Is Not A Liar
July 13 2004
Buttload of new Energon and Alternators news

The Mini Cooper Website posted a flash movie and some other stuff of what some fans are speculating is an upcoming Alternators toy. Looking at the transformation, and keeping in mind what happened with Mazda, it's entirely possible. If nothing else, it's cute to see, and it would be most excellent to see toys randomly announced like this if it's true.

While Hasbro usually gets to show off the latest robots in disguise at its official convention, it seems the boys in Hong Kong are putting a stop to that. Today, you can see this thread showing Steamhammer and Jetstorm, at least those are their presumed names. Those figures are the "leaders" of the upcoming construction vehicle team and the jet team, respectively. While these have been seen before, this is the first time they've been seen painted. Also available on this thread are a bundle of images of a test shot of Barricade, the presumed name of the third and so far final combiner team.

More exciting, though, are this image gallery that features prototypes of Swoop and Grimlock, both expected to be part of Energon this year. Grimlock has a second robot head which is presumed to be a combiner head of some sort, but as of yet nobody has shown the two dinobots combined. The gallery has dozens of great shots which, surprisingly, show Swoop to be the larger of the two, at least in robot mode. The figures are, for lack of a better word, fairly cute and apparently quite posable. Lastly, Grimlock has a big purple smear on his nose which may or may not be on the final product-- it's not uncommong for Hasbro to do something weird with test shots, like use a purple Autobot symbol, for reasons beyond our knowledge.

--AP

PlayStation 3 at the next E3

GameSpot and many other outlets are reporting that the third PlayStation will be shown and playable at E3 2005. Also notable, Nintendo is making similar claims about their console, code named Revolution, while Microsoft makes no secret that the Xbox Next should be shown around the same time. Seeing as the PS2 launched in 2000 and the Xbox and GameCube hit in 2001, it looks like this generation received a fairly respectable lifespan.

--AP

Knight's Kingdom Infiltrates America

Toys "R" Us and numerous mom and pop stores have received the large "canned" figures as well as castle sets for the new Knight's Kingdom theme. You may recall we reviewed one of the toys shortly after Toy Fair '04, and you can find our review of Jayko here.

--AP

And in other news...

The new They Might Be Giants album, The Spine, streets today. And surprisingly, the cats at Homestar Runner added a music video of one of the songs, "Experimental Film." Also at the Homestar site are a number of Decemberween shorts, including a couple of hidden ones.

Because merchandising Web comics is the next big thing, you should check out the Joyce plush being sold at It's Walky and if you haven't seen it, the PVP strip has a convention special beanie toy of the troll Skull. Since we already got a The Cheat, all that's left is Choo-Choo Bear of Something Positive fame.

While MTV has established itself as the spigot of pop culture newness, VH-1 is doing a bangup job looking back. Starting last night, the network started airing "I Love the 90's," which is a 10-part look back at a less-than-kitschy decade. So far, highlights have included the easy targets like M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice, and some blink-and-you'll-miss-it fads like the infamous slap bracelets. Two installments air each night this week, and no doubt 50 marathons of the whole series are on tap for every other weekend for the remainder of 2004.

--AP

I Would Have Waited an Eternity for This
July 14 2004
Review: Star Wars OTC Vintage Han Solo

Today at Galactic Hunter we find that Hasbro has taken another step closer to perfection with the vintage version of Han Solo. Now super-posable and with out any fixed unusual stance, fans have the figure they've always wanted, and Hasbro even managed to hide the articulation so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. In today's review, you can find several images of what may be one of the best figures of 2004 as well as the packaging, which takes a page right out of 1978.

--AP

More TransFormers News

Early yesterday morning on eBay, a Japanese seller tossed up the first 10 Robot Masters toys and nine of them sold via buy-it-now within hours. All 10 are packaged in robot mode, and what's especially interesting is that the Convoy toy packaged with the DVD is different than the normal release in that it's metallic and has an Autobot symbol on both shoulders, not just one. If you want to see the images from the auctions, TFW2005 archived them.

Some online stores are taking preorders for a large SuperLink toy called Sperion, which many fans are assuming is "Superion" spelled incorrectly. As such, it looks like the sundry combiner teams will be Energon toys stateside, which is good as the line is supposedly going to run through mid-2005.

TFW2005 is also reporting that someone found shelf tags for the Universe battle-in-a-box two-packs of Armada repaints at Meijer, a midwestern store, for $15.99 each. Odds are other stores will get them as well, but where and when remain to be seen. The repaint of the $10 Optimus Prime as Ultra Magnus has been snagged by Amon, and he posted this photo gallery and another one featuring the white repaint as well as the Energon Rodimus Repaint with some head-swapping for good measure.

--AP

The Con is On... Almost
July 15 2004
Painted TransFormers Alternators Meister

The folks at TFW2005 archived some shots from an auction of the Alternators Meister toy, which, let's face it, is really Jazz of G1 fame. The toy is quite slick, so be sure to check it out.

Hard Hero announced a mini-Bumblebee statue that stands at a mere 7 inches and costs a mere $50.

TFW2005 also posted Omega Supreme from Energon in standard and revised packaging, so box collectors, you've got a doozy coming up.

--AP

Shout! Factory licenses Home Movies

The folks at TVShowsOnDVD.com posted a link to Brendon Small's own web site, where they said they're working on DVDs. So, yay if you care.

--AP

And in other news...

As you know, we're going to be going to Comic-Con International next week to tell you what we see and try and get some exclusive goodness. The Convention site posted a bunch of them, and Action-Figure.com posted a bunch more. Check them out, dawg!

--AP

Run, Luke, Run
July 16 2004
Review: Star Wars OTC Vintage Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi

Today at Galactic Hunter we see the flipside of the coin with the truly lackluster Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi. While he is the most posable of the aged Jedi yet, his cloak is quite bulky and his joints are a little clunky, and after Han Solo, he fails to impress. In today's review, you can see what works, and what doesn't, on the update of this classic figure. It's not that it's awful, it's just that it could be better. Lots better.

--AP

Would You Believe More TransFormers News?

Big Bad Toy Store surprised the world with official photos of SuperLink (Energon) combiner teams Superion and Bruticus. These are the unpainted (or painted) samples we saw earlier, and in Japan, they're selling in box sets. Here, they will be individually released toys. What can we say, but wow!

Looks like Devil's Due is giving out a free TransFormers/G.I. Joe art book in San Diego next week at Comic-Con International. Yipee, eh?

--AP

Greg the Bunny coming to DVD?

TVShowsOnDVD.com posted some interesting but unconfirmed reports that Fox fave Greg the Bunny is coming to DVD. Starring Seth Green, Sarah Silverman, Eugene Levy, and tons of puppets, the show was surprisingly entertaining and very short lived. Since few had the chance to see it, this would be a wonderful announcement for those of you interested in bunnies named Greg or buffed up vampires.

--AP

Half the Battle
July 17 2004
New G.I. Joe Valor vs. Venom Thunderwing with Slip Stream available

Toys "R" Us stores have received the very large and very spiffy Thunderwing with Slip Stream. Like many modern Joe vehicles, it's a little curvy and chunky, unlike the realistic protagonist planes from most of the 1980's. It's very large and has a "pitch and roll" sensor for sound effects, and it looks pretty slick, so if you care for such things be sure to check it out.

--AP

Final Series of The Simpsons Hittong Stores

It seems TRU is also getting in Wave 16 of The Simpsons, a line that started with a thunderous roar and love from the fans only to descend into a much less-than-loving situation over the past few years. Devil Homer, Agnes Skinner, and four other figures are hitting stores for what may have been the most successful animated collector-driven toy line ever, with what must be close to 150+ figures. Word on the street that Toys "R" Us will be receiving some of the rarer, more popular figures from the early days of the line in their original packaging as an exclusive at some point this year, ending the run before 2005. While it's sad to see it go, it's nice to see them trying to help the fans get those last few figures before it ends.

--AP

The Story of Dead End

Fan2Fan translated the story for the BinalTech Dead End, explaining the story behind the Destron (Decepticon) Dodge Viper. It all sounds pretty slick, if a little hokey.

--AP

Up And Let's Go
July 18 2004
Early Clearance for Spider-Man

Target stores are already marking down some brand-new toys, including the just-released comic book based figures from Spider-Man. They're below $5 at many stores already, which is notable because they quite literally just hit stores.

Also being marked down is the 67-points-of-articulation jumbo figure, formerly a little above $20, now roughly $15 at most Targets. It looks to be a gorgeous figure, so be sure to snag one.

--AP

Dune Stinger Sombrero Disappointment from Xevoz

The Dune Stinger, a delightful mutant scorpion, is a great little buildable figure from Hasbro's hit game/figure line, Xevoz. Unfortunately, it comes with a sombrero that cannot be worn on any figure's head because instead of having a hole where the head goes on the hat, it's flat and has a protruding socket joint for a Xevoz ball joint to snap into. In other words, there's no way it can be worn as a hat, but might be able to be used as a foot instead. Buyer beware.

We bought one to give to our in-transit Robot Masters Convoy. As such, the quest continues for a nice little hat.

--AP

TransFormers News Parade Continues

A few reports are coming up that Downshift and Towline from Energon are hitting Kohl's stores. We checked our local Kohl's and not only didn't find them, but found zero TransFormers or action figures of any kind. Shop carefully.

Looks like Takara is taking a cue from Hasbro when it comes to the upcoming Robot Masters toys. They're letting the fans vote! Eight choices are up now-- seven heroes, one villain-- and they're mostly really good. From Beast Wars are Big Convoy (Mammoth Optimus Prime) and Lioconvoy (Lion Optimus Prime). From Generation 2, there's Road Rocket, a laser cycle. Don't worry if you've never heard of him, nobody else has either. From Generation 1 is the Decepticon combiner Predaking-- it isn't known if they would do six separate toys or some sort of hokey single toy that turns into the large Predacon combiner, but it is an interesting thought. From Japan's own G1 sequels are Star Saber, Star Convoy, Victory Leo, and God Ginrai, all Autobot/Cybertron leaders and all excellent choices.

You can find images of the "ballot" poster here at a report on K Festival, a Japanese convention not unlike this week's Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA. The report at Tformers.com also has numerous booth images from Takara, including two new SuperLink Lucky Draw figures (Fire Guts Convoy and a Black Rodimus Convoy) as well as some Robot Masters displays that have a level of detail I wouldn't have expected to see outside a model railroad. Some dude's photobucket account has robot mode and ape mode of the upcoming Beast Convoy toy from Robot Masters, better known as a show-accurate version of Beast Wars original Optimus Primal.

There's even a new Alternators toy that leaked, which is great as we just found Silverstreak and Hound last night. It appears next up is Swindle, one of the Combaticons. Images can be found at, yet again, the 2005 boards.

When recent reports surfaced that the USA would get a Kicker figure from Energon, fans were wondering how-- well, worry no more. The 2005 Boards posted shots of the figure, which appears to be derived from the USA's own 4" G.I. Joe line. Much like Japan has a Kicker for its 30th Anniversary of Microman, we're getting a Joe in the TransFormers line for G.I. Joe's own 40th birthday. As an added bonus, he comes with an extra-large transformable High Wire Mini-Con that he can ride. The toy is slated to be a deluxe and due later this year. How sweet is that?

For Armada, Hasbro repackaged a lot of figures in the Unicron Battles packaging, and they're doing something similar for Energon. This time around, it's The Powerlinx Battles, and you can see many samples of repackaged toys here which is, again, at the 2005 Boards.

Since we love you, we also updated two checklists. One for Energon, and we started a new one for Robot Masters that includes Lucky Draw toys and even the candidates for the Japanese RM polls.

--AP

Our Generation Has Rejected All of That
July 19 2004
Hope for She-Ra?

The folks at He-Man.org are hinting that this figure may be available in some non-convention manner. Could it be another deal like the German Keldors? Time will tell, folks! In the meantime, Prince Adam in Drag will be sold at San Diego's Comic-Con International as well as Wizard World Chicago this summer. Surprisingly, price and edition size aren't exactly widely known yet.

--AP

Auction for a test shot of Kicker and High Wire from Energon

The assumed-G.I. Joe scale Kicker and High Wire are now up for auction and they look pretty slick. Check it out if you haven't seen them before.

The same guy also has an auction for a test shot of what's assumed to be the upcoming Alternators Swindle.

--AP

More on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Bubble Bobble for GameBoy Advance Delayed?

Numerous gaming sites listed this title, and also changed the release date. Bubble Bobble is now listed as coming out in August or September, depending on who you ask. Some sites don't even list it, so it's possible it could be a while.

The Magic Box posted some nice new shots of the Final Fantasy VII animated sequel with all sorts of new character shots.

--AP

Ach Ja or Nicht Nicht?
July 20 2004
Thunderbirds are Go Early

In a bit of a surprise, BanDai's toy line for the upcoming Thunderbirds flick are in stores now. We spotted several items at Toys "R" Us yesterday, all vehicles, which probably means the chance for human toys is slim... which may be for the best.

--AP

Painted Meister from Alternators

The 2005Boards have many, many shots of a fully painted Alternators Meister, which is the Mazda car that looks like Jazz. There is no known red version planned for the USA, this version is white.

Also, TVShowsOnDVD.com posted some details and cover art of the upcoming October 12 releases of TransFormers: Energon on DVD. Each volume should run $16.99 MSRP and have 4 episodes per, and might be available as cheaply as $12 at some stores... while it isn't much of a bargain, it is nice to see that the series might start showing up on DVD before it's forgotten by the kiddie demographic, like Armada. Oddly, the disc breakdown doesn't make sense, as there should be 4 episodes per disc and one lists 3, with Episode #5 missing. So maybe this isn't final.

--AP

Yet Another Limited GameBoy Advance SP

The Magic Box has some shots of the new Emerald edition SP, an upcoming Pokemon Center Online exclusive. Swanky, and green.

--AP

What's That Noise?
July 21 2004
Ghostbusters are Out Now

Today was a big day for clamshell packaged toys. Aside from the McFarlane deluge, NECA's own Ghostbusters toys are also hitting Suncoasts and Sam Goody stores, so you too can have the dogs, Slimer, or Gozer.

--AP

Bonus SuperLink Weapons; Robot Masters Impressions

The great people of TFW2005 have many, many shots of upcoming repaints from SuperLink, including a very G1-looking Starscream and many others. Aside from some of these having not been seen before, they also all include bonus exclusive specially colored energon weapons as an incentive to get the repaints. What a great idea! Now you might have to consider the imports.

The same page also revealed two new Robot Masters to be, as assumed, a repaint of the Dreadwind and Smokejumper toys sold in Generation 2, Beast Wars II, and Robots in Disguise. But with spiffy new deco and spiffier new weapons.

Also, we got four Robot Masters in the mail today-- both truck Convoys, Megatron, and Reije. These come in what most be the most ornate packaging I've seen on a TransFormers toy anywhere in the world, with numerous inserts and windows to hold the figure in place and no twist ties to offend the eye. If you're the kind of fan that likes to store figures in their boxes, this is the line for you. While there's a lot of wasted space and air in the packaging, the presentation is top-notch. As we're still shooting photos, we've only opened the basic RM-01 Convoy thus far and despite the small size, we're most pleased with it. It's smaller than a US Deluxe-sized toy and a little larger than a basic, but it's a lot of fun and will probably bring a smile to your face if you like such things. Reviews will be coming later, of course, but as there's a convention to go to we're a little busy at the moment.

One last note, there's a flyer for a Lucky Draw contest here. Prizes include a batch of clear red RM Energon weapons and the widely reported Brave Maximus. Sweet.

--AP

Greg the Bunny & Other DVD News

TVShowsOnDVD.com posted news on Fox' Greg the Bunny, which is coming to DVD in a 13-episode set on October 19 for a paltry MSRP of $26.98. The site also posted tons of info on other shows, like the upcoming uncut Ren & Stimpy set, more Spongebob, That 70's Show, and lots of other shows of marginal interest.

--AP

Madness
July 22 2004
Masters of the Universe Protos a Plenty

While walking around the Mattel booth, the biggest surprise came from the fact there were unpainted large prototypes for Hordak, Snout Spout, Clawful, and several other figures. Representatives at the booth wouldn't say what they were, when they were coming out, or what this meant for the future of the line other than "do you think we'd spend the money developing these without releasing them somehow?" Hmm. Figures? Ministatues? Time will tell, these looked great. Especially Snout Spout. Heck, even She-Ra turned out pretty great! Looks like Masters still has a little steam left in it!

--AP

Ghostbusters Marshmallow Man Available

While perusing the many aisles of goods in San Diego at Comic-Con International, it would appear the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is making the rounds at $20, not bad for a giant rotocast figure.

--AP

News You'll Love To Hear

The great Alternators Tracks debate has been settled! He's blue! I talked to Hasbro's Andy today, the new bigwig on TransFormers, and he tells me that they found out that since the car he's based on is blue, and Tracks is always blue, in the uSA, the Alternators toy will in fact be blue. Huzzah! A yellow version may eventually happen, but the main release will be blue.

A small comic book was given away, which was a catalog and a translation of one of the comics packed with the SuperLink toys. Neat!

A repaint of Energon Cliffjumper from Energon was on display here in San Diego, but it's an icy blue one. Also, a big giant Energon two-pack of Armada Overload and Optimus Prime was shown, but molded in typical Universe colors-- brown, red, yellow, etc. Doomlock, Command Ravage, and many other items were on display but no previously unseen mold was shown. Wingsaber was shown under his original name, not Wingdagger as he's been called on at least one episode of Energon. It didn't appear much new stuff was out there, meaning they're probably holding some goodies back for the TransFormers Convention in Chicago.

A Decepticon recolor of Landfill will happen in TransFormers Universe alongside the Micromaster version of Devastator, as previously reported on numerous sites.

No Robot Masters were shown and Hasbro tells me there are presently absolutely no plans to bring them stateside. While this may change, it's a bit unfortunate as these are shaping up to be fun toys.

--AP

Sledge Hammer, Arrested Development DVD News

A booth in San Diego is giving out "Sledge Hammer for President" pins as well as big colorful ads promoting the upcoming DVD release of the cult favorite sitcom on DVD. Neat!

Also, TVShowsOnDVD.com has confirmed an October 19 release date for the three-disc set of the wonderful Arrested Development DVD set. Easter eggs, deleted scenes, and horribly dull cover art await you at that link!

--AP

ALIENS Army Men

Palisades had a number of fun surprises, such as a much larger Camilla the Chicken from the Mega Muppets line and yes, the miniature army man-style ALIENS toys. Four different exclusive sets were available with a space marine and Alien xenomorph in one of four poses. For $5 a hit, these seemed pretty slick and one of the best deals at the show so far.

--AP

And in other news...

As our portable workstation is, shall we say, woefully inadequate pictures and such will have to wait. The lack of sleep is keeping the updates thin as well, so more as it develops!

The quantity of free posters is nothing short of astounding, some of which are even good. Some exclusives are shaping up to be quite a hassle to get, but hey, it's only been a few short hours thus far. Some neat games were on display, like the upcoming Xbox Godzilla sequel, while the likes of Hasbro were giving out free demos of the PS2 TransFormers game.

--AP

You've Got The Touch... In 2006
July 23 2004
Surprise Microman Exclusive from Takara

While Takara's presence was a surprise, the real surprise came from a convention exclusive! For $5.00, a special Comic Con bagged Material Force figure was offered up. It's a two-toned figure with a stand and a total of 12 hands, cast from the "blank" Material Force molds used to customize figures. These are usually really pricey, and this was a nice surprise. Figures weren't going fast, and the booth was tucked into a corner and it seems nobody really knows they were there. They had some dolls to sell as well, not to mention a few sales guys on hand to help push their Microman and other wares on potential retailers. We, of course, will be posting a review in the coming weeks.

--AP

Masters of the Universe Microbusts Hit

Looks like the Microbusts, NECA's tiny busts of Skeletor, Triclops, and more, are hitting retailers and convention booths for about $8 a pop.

Also, He-Man.org posted a bunch of images from the currently running Comic-Con International showing the new as of yet unproduced prototype figures. Rumor is that Mattel will license the MOTU brand out to another company, and if the word on the street is true, NECA and Diamond Select are both on a short list to jump on this chance.

--AP

Predator Sam Goody Exclusive Variant

Action-Figure.com has pics and info of a new clear Predator to be offered through the Sam Goody chain of stores. Nifty!

--AP

Movie, New Robot Masters, Reissues, More

Takara has confirmed that their next reissue-- #17-- will be the enormous combining classic, Predaking! Amazing! Not so amazing is the price-- preorders have it pegged at $170.

It appears word is going around that Dreamworks is doing the TransFormers movie, and it's due in 2006. Nothing else yet, and this is attributed to an article that may or may not be reliable... but hey, if it's true, tres cool.

The 2005 Boards have posted what may or may not be a legit list of upcoming Robot Masters. Star Saber, Victory Leo, Victory Saber (combo pack of the previous two), Road Rocket, and Road Big were listed. Who's Road Big? We don't know.

Word on the street is that there will be at least four Robot Masters exclusive repaints to Japanese magazines, including an all-black Beast Convoy which can be seen at Fan2Fan, a Japan-based fan site. There's also a scan from Hobby Japan with good shots of Beast Convoy and Starscream, if you haven't yet seen them. The site goes on to add Figure King has an exclusive repaint of Starscream (Pic at TFW2005), and HyperHobby will receive a Beast Megatron. Dengeki hobby has a nifty Black Convoy.

The upcoming Universe Nemesis Prime (black Big Convoy repaint) is to be a Target exclusive, and this was confirmed at Hasbro's booth at Comic-Con International.

--AP

Return of the King Extended Edition Bonuses Revealed

Bonuses? Yes, two. Sideshow is once again producing one that comes with the box, and another you can send away for. The little Minis Tirith is included, and Minis Morgul is its mail-away companion piece. These were shown in the Sideshow booth at Comic-Con International.

Also at the show, lots and lots of the Toy Biz Fell Beast with Dark Rider figure. Keep your eyes peeled for more!

--AP

Classic NAMCO Dioramas

NCS added some pics of new miniature plastic dioramas based on the Namco family of classic games, including some very interesting representations of Mappy, Pac-Land, Dig Dug, Druaga, and a few others-- even a "secret" one. Check it out for more.

--AP

And in other news...

Despite rampant complaints, it seems the exclusive distribution isn't all bad. While lines for the Mezco booth and Silver Sandtrooper have been, at times, insane (around the booth and out the convention door), it seems they lapse through the day and eventually wane to the point where all you have to wait is just a few moments. We easily snagged a Tikimon (cute!) and Extreme Hellboy (cuter!), both of which are the rotocast whatnot the kids love these days.

Mattel is allowing fans to buy one or both exclusives this year, unlike last year when you had to pick between Batman and Keldor. This year, you can get Bats or She-Ra, or both-- cash only, $20. Not a bad way to do things. They stamp your badge "winner," though, so all other convention goers can point at you like you just came out of a self-esteem camp.

--AP

Yo Soy El Mysterio
July 24 2004
Suncoast Now Stocks Microman

Perusing a Suncoast store today revealed the second wave of Microman heroes for $7.99 per-- a fairly low price for a high-quality import figure.

Also, we're hearing Diamond Select may be importing the Batman figures from Microman-- no word on Spidey yet, though. Here's hoping it's true!

--AP

Mirror Mask Comic-Con International Panel

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean hosted another panel on Mirror Mask, a joint venture between these two gentlemen, Columbia-Tristar, and the Jim Henson company to try and do something else like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Ultra-low budget and seemingly the most random thing at the show, it's hard to tell where it's going, and the fantasy elements look like a mishmash between McKean's collage work as seen on numerous book covers and mid-to-late-1990's multimedia CD-ROM games. The 90-minute panel seemed a little fat, much like the 60-minute panel last year. Some voice talent was mentioned, like Hugh Laurie, and the movie has slipped until at least 2005. The film will get a limited theatrical release, and yes, the panel will be included in part on the DVD it seems. Attendees got flyers and those who asked questions got a shirt or a pin, the same pin was given away at Comic-Con 2003.

--AP

More Movie, More Binal Tech/Alternators, etc.

Don Murphy has apparently been very busy at work on the new TransFormers movie, mainly shooting down disinformation coming from the Web and elsewhere. It seems nobody has been cast, and nothing is really confirmed beyond Spielberg as executive producer and the strong desire to keep it G1-esque as possible. Meaning there could be some super-rad toys from this as long as they don't do something stupid and NOT do toys from it.

Grimlock is coming to BinalTech, as is Swindle and an as of yet unnamed Mini Cooper. TFormers.com has some info and pictures, and it seems Grimlock is, surprisingly, a 2005 Ford Mustang and not a Hummer or some other large-ish vehicle as many have speculated. He looks big and beefy, though, and this is good. Swindle is another Jeep, and nobody knows who the Mini Cooper will be-- or bee, if we're lucky.

--AP

Return of the King Extended Edition Bonuses Revealed

Bonuses? Yes, two. Sideshow is once again producing one that comes with the box, and another you can send away for. The little Minis Tirith is included, and Minis Morgul is its mail-away companion piece. These were shown in the Sideshow booth at Comic-Con International.

Also at the show, lots and lots of the Toy Biz Fell Beast with Dark Rider figure. Keep your eyes peeled for more!

--AP

And in other news...

We're still slogging through the panels and booths to find new fun information for all of you, and we are really enjoying how most of the exclusives are going-- as so far, we've gotten everything we wanted save for the Stormtrooper Luke bust. The Microman is shaping up to be the early favorite and biggest bang for the buck, although the Tikimon is quite nifty too. Time willing, we'll be reviewing every exclusive we can over the coming weeks.

--AP

Hesh Wants Sex
July 25 2004
TransFormers at Tokyo Character Show

TFormers.com reposted some shots of a Japanese toy show showing some new shots of new SuperLink and other TransFormers toys. Exciting stuff! Some new shots of Inferno Super Mode are shown as well, which is a heavily remolded version of the firetruck.

--AP

Adult Swim Swag, News

The Adult Swim panel tends to be filled with 20somethings, and usually a little bit of great news gets out. They had a laundry list of DVD releases which seems to jive with what we heard before, and mentioned that a number of new shows were on the way like more episodes of Venture Bros. and, if we understand right, 96 very short episodes of The Squidbillies, in which there are octopus hicks. Yes, 96. Yes, octohicks.

The panel itself wasn't quite as dynamic as it seemed in 2003, and the voice actors, while fun to see, didn't get to say all that much. For a 90-minute panel, it seemed short and that's a good thing. It was fun to see the infamous M.C. Chris aka Chris Ward aka MC Pee Pants grab the mic and shout into it, or break into the ever-popular "I Want Candy" rap he does... not to be confused with the song from Bow Wow Wow. Also shown was more of Spacecataz, the new Aqua Teen spinoff featuring the Mooninites and the Plutonians.

The real highlight, as always, come from the freebies. This year, there was another DVD with the "Little Orphan Angry" episode of Sealab 2021 and "Mail Order Bride" from Aqua Teen Hunger Force season two. Freebie #2 was a deck of Adult Swim playing cards, and there's some really nice art on these. We'll be reviewing them and yes, even posting scans in the coming weeks.

--AP

And in other news...

Today's brief trip to Kay-Bee Toys revealed an exclusive line called "Jurassic Park Dinosaurs" in which an old dinosaur was packed with an old figure-- repainted, of course. The dinosaurs are from the first two films and the human figures are scaled from the third film, meaning roughly four-inches tall. They're pretty cheap, and there's also some mini-dinosaur two-packs in the line that has repainted pack-in dinos from previous series. All in all, nice stuff.

--AP

Post-Con Madness
July 26 2004
More Microman Comic-Con Edition Info

Sunday morning, we attempted to snag another few Microman exclusive figures, seeing as they were so cool and all, for possible customizing purposes. Well, turns out the $5.00 figures actually sold out-- the booth was free of customers for almost the entire show and it always seemed like nobody was buying them. When we saw the table was vacant, I asked how many units they brought, and the answer was a super-mere 800 pieces. That's right-- 800. Meaning it's a pretty low run item. To make up for it, they sold the Automaster Ryan figure (the green one with the motorcycle) at their booth for $10, which, while not bad, is more than the $7.99 or so it sells for at Suncoast these days.

The full name of the toy? Material Force Special Edition Micro Trainer Machine.

--AP

More On TransFormers Movie (2006)

The site Seibertron.com re-posted numerous tidbits from Don Murphy's Web site combating the many rumors going around about this project right now, including some that were quite asinine. Like Hasbro not wanting to do toys for this project.

Also, not surpisingly, Beast Wars won Dreamwave's Battle of the Robots thing where they let fans vote on that property as well as the Robots in Disguise (aka Car Robots) series. This means we'll be getting a Beast Wars series sometime soon, which is certainly nice.

Lastly, TFormers.com posted more of a recent Japanese Character show-- lots of images of large statues of Optimus Prime (Convoy) and many in-environment shots of recent toys which make for cool little dioramas. It also proves that Starscream's silver missiles will be movable, and able to open and close.

--AP

And in other news...

Comic-Con International was a blast. I posted a ton of stories on the Star Wars side to Galactic Hunter, and as we got in just minutes before Midnight, there will be no Q&A this week because I have to do things like unpack a few things and check mail, and gawk at some Robot Masters before getting off my duff this week and taking pictures for you, the readers, and then some reviews. So, happy trails until next time!

--AP

We Bid You Ennui
July 27 2004
More Xevoz Fun

In addition to Toys "R" Us and Target, now Kay-Bee is stocking the constructable figure line. They're also the first (and possibly only) to carry the Moon Stalker vs. Hemo Goblin two-pack.

A number of new figures for the line were revealed at Comic-Con International, but being busy we didn't get all their names. There was a Hellboy-esque Quick Slinger, a Tiki with an alternate head of a monkey with a red fez on it, which we believe is called a Thunder Shaman. The Crypt Curse was a mummy, and it appears a lot of these are starting to hit stores although we've not seen many of them with our Toys "R" Us being empty and our Target clearing them out.

--AP

TransFormers Energon Omega Supreme Sighted

Today at lunch, we spotted Omega Supreme at a local Wal-Mart. We'd post the traditional box pics of this and the recently spotted Energon Strongarm blue repaint, but we're really tired and spent the last two hours fighting with a camera to get images of these and boxed Robot Masters. So for now, just rest assured these are showing up and go look for them.

--AP

Patton Oswalt on NPR

The fine folks at Fresh Air posted a streaming Patton Oswalt interview that lasts about 50 minutes. It has some of his material, stories about his scripts and script doctoring, and lots more about how you too shouldn't try and become a comic. Good stuff.

--AP

There Is A Man
July 28 2004
DVD Direct G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom The Movie September 14

In what may be one of the biggest DVD release dates of the year, it seems still more titles are making their way to the stores, including one based on Hasbro's toy line. G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom The Movie streets September 14, but for now, nobody knows much more about it.

--AP

Ambition, Thy Name Is Don

Don Figueroa has been busy. Apparently, he has a new lithograph coming out featuring every Generation 1 TransFormer, and some preview images were posted in the TransFandom forums. Yowza.

What could be more exciting than that? Why, a Japanese coloring contest for kids, of course! TFormers.com has the scoop and the entry information, and the prizes are pretty slick. Five lucky winners will receive a gold version of SuperLink Grand Convoy, and ten winners will receive a toy based on the winning entry. That's right... ten.

--AP

And in other news...

Looks like Robert Altman is working on a new movie... and Tom Waits is in it! Click through for the scoop, Meryl Streep and Lyle Lovett will both star in this flick, along with Lily Tomlin, and it's due out at some point in the future.

--AP

Now You're Just a Fish Tank in my Bedroom
July 29 2004
Talking FX Duke from G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom

So far, this new toy has been spotted at Kay-Bee toys and Wal-Mart for about $15 a pop. The 12" figure is loaded with gadgets for the price, and has a skin that allows his mouth to open and close as he talks. Thing is, it sounds like vocal MIDI-- the words follow one another but don't form a very believable sentence. If you want something to amuse your friends with on a toy run, be sure to show them this one.

We've also spotted numerous samples of the Cobra Battle Hornet vehicle from the 3 3/4" scale line around town for about $10 a whack. It looks great, and has a Neo-Viper in bright yellow and black.

--AP

The Batman

The Batman, the 2004 relaunch and reenvisioning of Batman as an animated property, will be airing on Kids WB this Fall. Of course, this means the toys are coming, and as luck would have it, they're here. Several Bat-Variants and a Joker are now hitting Toys "R" Us stores after popping up in the dealer's room at Comic-Con International.

--AP

GODZILLAAAAAAAA!!!

The Godzilla game for Xbox and PS2 coming this fall, entitled Godzilla: Save The Earth, is gonna be cheap-- $39.99. The title was shown in San Diego at Comic-Con International and boasts better graphics, 18 monsters, and if we saw things right, three- and maybe four-way monster battles. Our resident Godzilla fan squealed like a girl when she saw the game, which is more or less to be expected from situations like these. The title is shaping up to be an excellent play on the license, so stay tuned for more on this as it develops.

--AP

And in other news...

Usually the Big Haul of the year in terms of toys starts in August. This means stores clear out old stuff and put out the new. This year, it seems to be starting in July, and we're buried in piles of Star Wars and TransFormers and who knows what else to go through. We also popped open the mailer boxes of our Mattel convention exclusives-- while we're on the subject-- and are highly impressed. The Batman figure has a packaging job so excellent I don't know if I can bring myself to remove it from the box... it's just that good. She-Ra is excellent as well. And yes, we're working on reviews for all of this stuff.

Quick rundown: Star Wars Galactic Heroes are four two-packs shipping, in many cases, three per case. R2-D2 comes with Luke, C-3PO with Chewie, Han with Leia, and Obi-Wan with Darth Vader. C-3PO and Chewie have been modified from previous releases while everybody else was either brand new or heavily altered. Vader's the same as the 2002 Playskool version. The Star Wars Vintage Original Trilogy Collection 12" Figures include Boba Fett, a Stormtrooper, and Luke, and these are all nicely posable and lots of fun. Even though Luke looks like a doll, it adds to the toy-ish charm. Robot Masters includes 10 toys, and in here are only two brand new molds, one of which is repainted. The new weapons are slick, the deco jobs on the Cybertrons/Autobots is amazing, and in a real surprise, Air Hunter is translucent grey! Very cool. And we're going through other junk still so sit tight, we've got some great reading and pictures on tap for you if you don't buy these for yourselves first.

--AP

Going Your Days, Grow Up!
July 30 2004
GBA Sequel to WarioWare In Development; More DS

The Magic Box has posted that Nintendo has confirmed development on a sequel to Made in Wario (aka WarioWare) for the GameBoy Advance. You may recall another one is in development for the Nintendo DS as well.

Speaking of the Nintendo DS, Nintendo has released new photos of the unit along with the final name. The Nintendo DS was merely the development name... but what's the final name? The Nintendo DS. Oh well. Also, GameSpot reports that Square Enix is considering DS ports of older titles, which is odd given their classic titles don't exactly lend themselves to a second screen.

--AP

OTFCC: This Weekend

The Official TransFormers Collector Convention starts this Saturday in Chicago, IL and will last the weekend. It's expected that Hasbro will show the new Grimlocks, combiners, and possibly even a sneak preview of the Cybertron range. While we won't be going because we don't get enough vacation time, numerous other sites will, so we'll be posting links to their news this weekend-- or you can just go look at their sites yourself.

--AP

Harry Potter and the DVD of Azkaban

The DVD release for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been set for November 23, and it'll be a two disc set with a few extras. Once again, it looks pretty lackluster, although it does include some games and other kid-friendly features.

--AP

And in other news...

Here's something random. Action-Figure.com posted a story on a toy line based on a series of British films entitled "Carry On," which I don't believe I've ever heard of. I guess they're after that mad phat Monty Python money.

Also, the Platinum Edition of Neon Genesis Evangelion came out this week to DVD in the USA, and man, does it look great. We've caught two episodes thus far and as we aren't rampant anime fans, we're always glad to see high points from it such as this. The first disc is available alone or with a box which you can fill with future volumes, and it even has a NERV parking pass. Cute. If you have any interest in anime as something more than disposable entertainment, this is something you should check out.

Also worthy of checking out, if you're in Phoenix, is the joint show featuring Neil Hamburger and the Phantom Surfers, a so-called comic and a so-called surf band, respectively. $10, at some Greyhound park or something.

Lastly, a new episode of Real Time with Bill Maher is on HBO tonight, featuring Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, and some people you'd never recognize in a million years.

--AP

Rise From Your Grave!
July 31 2004
Armies of Middle-Earth Final Markdown

Target stores are now finally marking down their Armies of Middle-Earth toys from Lord of the Rings, with the larger playsets at a ridiculous $6.24, making them cheaper than a figure on a horse! There aren't many left at most stores, so be sure to go looking for them quickly.

--AP

OTFCC: Preview Night

The fine folks at TFormers.com started covering this mega-TransFormers event, and they posted dozens of photos showcasing Megazarak, the exclusive repaint of Armada Megatron, and lots of shots of the dealer room and the Hasbro booth as it's being built. As of now, the contents of the Hasbro case were the same as those at San Diego the other week, so odds are they'll drop new things in over the course of the show as they always do.

Over at Seibertron, they posted bios for Megazarak and Sentinel Maximus, the latter of which has been delayed and will ship at some point later. Also shown: the possibly huge lithograph of every G1 TransFormer ever, in its entirety. It's busy, let me tell you.

--AP

Sega Genesis TV Console Controller Game Thing Out

It seems we've remembered enough of the early 1980's with the Atari and Activision controllers with built-in games that plug into the TV, so then we got treated to a special GameBoy Advance SP with 8 NES games. What's next? 1989's Sega Genesis is now available at Wal-Marts and elsewhere as a plug-into-the-TV game, but it ended up being cast in a metallic blue. Games included: Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Vectorman, Phantasy Star, and Golden Axe. For $20-$30, it sounds to be a decent package.

--AP

And in other news...

We're snapping photos for you, the reader. Both of you. Items include: Rotocast Extreme Hellboy, Micro Trainer Machine Microman, She-Ra, an ALIENS set, and yes, some Robot Masters as they represent all that is good about buying import toys. I say this now, and will start cursing them the second they get announced for a USA release. (Although the new brand manager of TFs at Hasbro tells me there's no known plans as of the other week. So here's hoping. They didn't bring out half of Beast Wars Neo or II yet.)

Bill Maher's Real Time program aired last night, and had a few surprises, including the bombshell that they would be airing new shows through November. (Astounding, as they typically went for 10 weeks and vanished.) Also amusing: Maher and Michael Moore had a segment in which they literally got on their knees to beg Ralph Nader, who was a "surprise" guest, to drop out of the election.

--AP

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