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Wookiee Rage!
December 1 2004
LEGO Parks Closing?

While we have yet to find a confirmation from a second source, NPR's financial program, Marketplace. This link has a blurb and an editorial on the decline of the parks but it's not exactly clear if the parks are closing, are merely being sold off, or when any of these things may happen. More as it develops, and yes, we will be going on a road trip to cover the park should it actually close down.

--AP

Godzilla Gets His Star

It took dozens of movies and 50 years, but this story has the photos and news of Godzilla getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Congrats, Gojira! Couldn't have happened to a nicer lizard. There's a little Godzilla in all of us, after all.

--AP

Katamari Damacy Sequel, GBA Final Fantasy Out Today!

Item #1: This GameSpot report has word of Namco officially announcing a sequel to the surprise sleeper hit, Katamari Damacy. It's expected in Japan in 2005.

Also, the GameBoy Advance Final Fantasy 1&2: Dawn Of Souls should be in fine stores everywhere in the USA today! Prices vary, the lowest we've seen it advertised is $24.88 at Target while it's $29.99 at Circuit City and Best Buy and more elsewhere. Happy hunting!

--AP

Palisades on Statue Size, Exclusives, More

While Hasbro and Takara usually own the show when it comes to news of the Cybertronian robots in Disguise, Palisades posted an article you may find interesting that incorporates their shift to smaller statues, some repainted exclusives, and more. Good reading, check it out.

Also, numerous sites are reporting Wal-Mart will be featuring the Energon combiner teams in their stores with massive amounts of product, but apparently this is happening before any full team is released. So if you want, you can get the middle portion and two of the four limbs. Pictures are up at TFW2005.

--AP

NPR Talks to Pee-Wee Herman

Making sure that they always offer something to everyone, NPR interviewed Paul Reubens on Fresh Air on Monday. That link is to the show's archive of a streaming file for the nearly 50-minute interview, which had a lot of information on Pee-Wee's Playhouse's creation, design, and two (count 'em) two future film projects in the works for the character. Amazing stuff.

--AP

I, Garland, Will Knock You Down!
December 2 2004
LEGO New Releases

New Bionicle, new Pirates. The Bionicle Rahaga are hitting Toys "R" Us stores for $3.99, and are sized accordingly-- they look like mini-versions of previous villains and, while neat, we did not secure a sample.

For those seeking pictures of the 2005 Bionicle range, this article at Mask of Destiny has SEVERAL shots of new Toa, the Rahaga, and several other sets we haven't seen elsewhere yet-- and we've looked. A little, anyway. Check it out.

Also available at Toys "R" Us and at the LEGO stores around the USA, there's a new range of 4+ Pirates. These have the larger figures and simpler constructions, so keep your eyes peeled if you have a need for items such as these.

--AP

Ninja Knights Turtles

All four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were spotted in their new Ninja Knights costumes at a local Wal-Mart today. They sport articulated fingers-- a nice touch-- and chrome armor. They're the same price as basic figures and should be in your area any day now. (Maybe, I don't know.)

--AP

Who Are You? edition GBA released, apology expected

This year, Nintendo has released several store- and country-exclusive GameBoy Advance consoles, and the USA got one that embodied awesomeness with the NES edition. To make up for this, Nintendo has just released the "Who Are You?" edition, which has a badly written "Who Are You?" scrawled on a black GBA SP.

Also, the Nintendo DS lineup expands with the announcement of an entry in the Xenosaga series. An apology from Nintendo is expected for these two items shortly.

--AP

Tceles B Hsup
December 3 2004
Top 10 Most Violent Games

Every year, some uppity group decides to hijack religion in the name of stopping fun, and this year they put out a list of video games. IGN has one flavor, and The Christian Post has another. While some of the games are pretty violent, they neglect to mention a couple of things-- one of the games has yet to be released (and won't be out until 2005) while another is only out in Japan. And it's a sequel to a Japanese game that has its first game still off in the horizon for a US release.

Their toy lists are usually quite funny, but as of yet, the big names in fun stoppage have yet to announce the action figures that will infect your soul, curve your spine, and stop the country from winning the war. But since in the past they've included Galidor and Zoids, we're surely in for some fun.

--AP

TransFormers Armada at Ross

Armada Supercons (like Optimus Prime, Blurr, and Smokescreen) are hitting Ross stores for $4.99. Ross is a clothing store with a fairly tiny selection of toys, but if you missed them the first time around, there are deals to be had-- we spotted the very first version of Optimus Prime with the silver headlights and no Autobot insignia. But wait, there's more!

--AP

Masters of the Universe at Ross, too

While it's mostly doom and gloom for MOTU as of late, He-Fans can find tons of packaged figures at $3.99 a whack at Ross stores. Deluxe and regular figures are the same price, and there's also a few vehicles for $9.99 each, too. No Snakemen, though, just older stuff like Sy-Klone and Skeletor's Battle Ram Charriot. Still, good deals if you're so inclined.

--AP

Dial This
December 4 2004
More Godzilla DVDs

DVDFile.com has a report of two more Godzilla flicks hitting DVD on February 8. Both Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II are due on fairly feature-free discs come a week before Valentine's. Nice.

--AP

TransFormers SuperLink Toy's Dream Project Ariel

Over the past few years, the Toy's Dream Project label has been affixed to various Japanese toys that were imported US issues or Japn-only repaints, and while we still don't fully understand how it all works, the next release is Ariel-- aka Arcee. It's unknown exactly what she will look like, but the very pink Japanese version could be recolored in any of a variety of ways, or even just be a US-import. Who knows? Stay tuned.

--AP

Masters of the Universe Fundraising Auctions

Over at He-Man.org, they're auctioning off several rare and hard-to-find items including mail-away figures and giant standees of Skeletor. Check out their homepage for the latest items.

--AP

End of the line?

While the line has had its ups and downs all year, it looks like things are winding down for the great constructable Xevoz action figure line. Both Kay-Bee and Toys "R" Us have marked their entire selection down to 50% off, if not more. So that means you can get the two-packs, vehicles, exclusives, and more on the cheap-- and the line is fairly spectacular, especially for half price. So far one item has been released that hasn't hit mainstream channels, the Thunder Shaman. It is unknown what the future of this and other products will be given the recent markdowns.

Many Wal-Marts have clearanced out their selection of Xevoz, as have several Targets-- although both have, in some cases, received new product since then. So, happy hunting kids.

--AP

Arkansas Twist
December 5 2004
Knight's Kingdom Bonus Pack

Fans of the Knight's Kingdom line have a nice little bonus pack at Toys "R" Us these days. In it, you get a Castle set and a large foam sword and shield for $29.99, the weapons effectively becoming freebies. The gift set's ID number is 65642, and the set it includes is The Grand Tournament (8779).

Also, Lego.com has this Toa Hordika preorder page promising a January delivery. So you Bionicle fans, feel free to order today or wait for the inevitable deluge come the new year. Or perhaps right after Christmas, as LEGO is known to ship things like this.

--AP

Playmobil at Ross stores

Just recently, we had a small report on the Ross clothing stores' toy sections. In it, we mentioned you could find a limited number of nifty older toys-- we'd like to add Playmobil to the list. A small number of sets (so far, one) have been spotted and this is notable because the German toy line doesn't tend to appear many places, yet this makes several different clothing discounters at which you can find it.

--AP

Robot Masters Lucky Draw Arsenal Force & Galaxy Force Catalog

A few months ago, several red colored weapons were shown to be contest prizes for Robot Masters. Today, TFormers.com has a photo gallery of these red weapons which we would totally buy if we knew how to get them.

As an added bonus, the site also has scans of the Galaxy Force in-package catalog. It has some nice shots of toys you've seen as well as a couple you may have not.

--AP

Our Kids Will Hate It
December 6 2004
Review: Post-OTC Star Wars Rabe

Today at Galactic Hunter we examine a much-requested but oft-delayed figure from The Phantom Menace, Rabe. In this review we look at the first and so far only orangey robed handmaiden from the planet Naboo. While rumors popped up to the contrary, this is the only one Hasbro's confirmed so far-- but hey, you can do a lot with a new head sculpt. Read on to see if this figure's any good.

Also, the site has posted numerous preview shots of Revenge of the Sith figures over the past few weeks, like the new General Grievous figure, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and more. Check 'em out!

--AP

TMNT Usagi Yojimbo now available

Keeping the proud tradition of making new versions of old characters, you can now get a new, updated, and frankly quite nicely done Usagi Yojimbo as part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles range. The rabbit samurai was spotted at a few stores here in Phoenix, and as such we assume they're in fine mass-marketers near you.

--AP

Zoids Statues

While the Zoids range in Japan is pretty much coming down to repaints, repackaged items, and US-releases, there are some nifty new high-end items coming down the pike, like these polystone statues. These four statues feature four items from the latest range of Zoids and actually look pretty neat. Current items include Liger Zero, Buster Fuhrer, Gojulas Giga, and Liger Zero Phoenix.

The line is still pretty much dead in the USA, although Hasbro has mentioned they may bring the line back in 2005. (For the record, Hasbro at Toy Fair 2004 said that they never heard of Zoids, so who the hell knows.)

--AP

Godzilla: Final Wars Audience Reactions

The AP by way of Yahoo has a story on the "final" Godzilla flick. In it, there's a quote from the director's view on the future of the franchise and a lot of fan outpouring in hopes of the future of the franchise.

A few months ago, an announcement leaked that a new Godzilla movie featuring the Smog Monster Hedorah is being produced for IMAX theaters. Which, really, says it all.

--AP thanks to SC

Buy Now
December 7 2004
TMNT DVD Bonus Packs Everywhere

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart had an exclusive assortment with specially packed action figures from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a special DVD. Now, there's another assortment of DVD bonus figures that initially hit only Wal-Mart stores, and has since been spotted at Kmart and now Toys "R" Us as well. So, if you're looking to buy something a little extra for someone this holiday season, keep your eyes open for that.

--AP

New Masterpiece Figure, Generation One In-Store Price Drop (except Ricochet)

By now, you've undoubtedly heard that no mold is sacred and Takara will be repainting the Masterpiece Edition Convoy in white and blue and selling it as Ultra Magnus. It will include all the same accessories and no new ones-- so you can't make it look like Ultra Magnus ever did in the cartoons, but you can do the once-cool-but-no-longer out-of-armor appearance from the Dreamwave comic books. There is no word if Hasbro will offer a similar item in the USA, but the Japanese release is expected in March-- and Archonia.com has a preorder which we are currently assuming is not a joke.

If you haven't seen it yet, Toys "R" Us stores are dropping most if not (almost) all of their Generation One TransFormers. Most Autobots are down to $13, while Silverstreak and the Decepticon jets are around $20 and Rodimus Prime is a little more than that. Ricochet, a new release, is still full price. We are not sure if prices vary from store to store or if this is an across-the-board thing. Either way, we got an Inferno for $13, and after futzing with it, we're fairly convinced it was worth about $13. (We much prefer the Energon toy of the same name.)

Lastly, the 2005 Boards added the first packaged image of any Galaxy Force toy on the web-- click through to see it!

--AP

Xevoz Expanded Selection at Kay-Bee

While not necessarily good news for fans of Hasbro's socket-popping action figures, Kay-Bee Toys has received pretty much every price point on clearance. The basic figures are $3.99, the deluxe figures are $4.99, the two-packs are $7.99, the Transcorcher with Street Punk is $9.99, and the carry case with Iron Spectre is $12.99. It should be noted that the third assortment of products (Quickslinger, Crypt Curse, Cryo Katana vs. Preda Crawler) have not yet appeared in Kay-Bee stores in our area.

As an added bonus, all action figures are 20% off at Kay-Bee for the time being-- we're not sure how long this sale lasts, and it's off the lowest marked price. Which is pretty good.

--AP

I Read a Very Nice Pamphlet about Ovarian Cancer
December 8 2004
LEGO Sale at Toys "R" Us

All LEGO product at Toys "R" Us is buy one, get one half off. With the recently released Rahaga and lots of other new and old sets, it's a good time to buy something or beg your parents to buy something. Either way, good times.

--AP

New Galaxy Force shots from Takara; Beast Wars Comic Synopsis; Energon Overcast

Similar, yet different. If you haven't seen these already, be sure to drop by this gallery at TFormers.com which shows the first batch of TransFormers Galaxy Force toys. This includes four Destrons, two teams of Mini-Cons, and six Cybertrons.

There's this new interview over at Newsarama that has a bundle of info and art on the upcoming Beast Wars comic book from Dreamwave. It takes place after the final episode of the show and incorporates some characters that never made the program, and at least one that was used in Beast Wars Neo from Japan. Excited yet? Read on.

Finally, there's a new gallery of Energon in-package shots, including the first real shots of Overcast. Click here to see 'em.

--AP

And in other news...

A new host of The Late Late Show on CBS has been named after Craig Kilborn left the show earlier this year. It's Craig Ferguson, better known as Mr. Wick from The Drew Carrey Show. The comedian has been on numerous shows over the years and is a real surprise choice-- we look forward to seeing how it turns out. Read more at ShowBIZ Data.

--AP

This is What You Want
December 9 2004
2005 Wave 1 at YoJoe.com

The cats over at Yo Joe! posted shots of the first batch of 2005 Joes-- there's 12 of them, many of which appear to be repaints friendly to army builders. It also sports the fairly cool Fan's Choice Poll winner featuring Sgt. Bazooka vs. Dreadnok Torch. Impressive!

--AP

New Nokia ad with Optimus Prime; Energon #30

TFW2005 has a scan of a new Nokia ad with a slightly photoshopped 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime (short smokestacks, it ain't Convoy) and a cellular phone. Cute. They also posted a biography and background story for the recently released BinalTech Grimlock toy.

Also, TransFormers Energon #30 hit comic book shops yesterday. In it, Megatron and Scorponok duke it out for total supremacy. And not much else happens.

--AP

And in other news...

Playskool started selling exclusive Star Wars items on eBay, and their first really different item (rather than a specially packaged one) hit-- and we got one. It's a variant deco X-wing Fighter from Jedi Force that has been recolored-- the blue stripe on the guns is now orange, the yellow stripe is blue, and the red stripes are orange. In short, it looks like they did it in my high school's colors. It costs $35 shipped, there's 5,000 of them, and it's on eBay now. It includes two figures and I daresay it's worth it-- a full review (or more impressions) will be posted to Galactic Hunter soonish.

We'd also like to go on the record-- again-- saying that Hasbro (and now Mattel) are really missing out by not releasing Batman in this scale. Toy Biz figured it out with Spider-Man and the Marvel roster of heroes. Where the heck is my kid-friendly Batman?

--AP

This is What You Get
December 10 2004
Still More Playmobil at TJ Maxx

We went scouting some more today and found yet again that no two discounters have the same stuff. A Scottsdale-area TJ Maxx had a big Police set (3263) that involved several smaller sets in one big box for $29.99-- an excellent price. Also, a local Marshall's had a buttload of "First Smile" Playmobil sets. For the record, those are the preschool toys that are too childish. As opposed to... well, nevermind.

--AP

More Metal Gear Solid 2 Toys?

NCS added a preorder page with photos of Konami's next set of trading figures based on Metal Gear Solid 2, and this is especially interesting as these import figures are coming out just as the third entry in the series will hit Japan. Odd, no? The set includes a number of friendly faces and should excite fans of the second game. Both of you.

--AP

Ross gets More MOTU

While trying (and failing) to score Armada beasts, we noticed some interesting items at our local Ross stores. For starters, the Skeletor Chariot and He-Man Tank vary in price from store to store-- we saw them as low as $6.99. We also noticed the figures as low as $2.99 and that the stores are getting in later assortments-- we saw several repainted Ram-Mans, Battle Glove He-Man, Power Gauntlet Man-At-Arms, and a chase Buzz-Off all for about the price of a Happy Meal. Happy hunting!

--AP

And in other news...

Word has it that Hasbro cut a whole mess of jobs out of their toy, game, and corporate divisions. Not exactly great news, but not exactly unexpected. Toy makers are really hurting, Takara announced a restructuring plan the other week and Nintendo is cleaning up with the likes of the NintendoDS.

--AP

Sithtastic
December 11 2004
Sneak Peak: Revenge of the Sith Collection 2

Over at Galactic Hunter, there's a big huge scan of the second known main line Revenge of the Sith Cardback, this time showing Collection 2 and figures #13-24. The bad news? Every single character from this batch of 12 has been made as an action figure (although possibly in a different costume) since the POTF2 days. Without giving too many spoilers, there are characters from the original trilogy which have not previously appeared in the prequels as well as new versions of friendly faces from the prequels. Kit Fisto looks... weak, but C-3PO looks so far above par that we secretly believe our eyes are deceiving us. The added soft goods and joints in this new series looks excellent.

--AP

PSP Hits Japan This Weekend

Sony's PlayStation Portable storms out the gate this weekend with expected (and most likely planned) shortages, a thin lineup of launch titles, and a battery life that's shaping up to be worse than previously established if the stories around the gaming press are true. Word on the street has it that the markup for import units is going to be obscene in the short term, and early adopter importers may be best served by waiting a couple of weeks unless they can get a good deal from a good importer.

--AP

TransFormers the Movie 2006 Info

Lots of news today-- first, you can see an interview with producer Don Murphy over at Tformers.com. In it, he doesn't say much... but it gives you a hint at the direction they aren't going in.

Also, he was quoted on his boards as saying this: "Unicron is mentioned in film one and may show up in the third." Before you get too excited, word on the street has it that Catwoman was planned as a trilogy, too.

--AP

And in other news...

We got tix to a sneak of Lemony Snicket's today so we'll have impressions of that for you tomorrow. Also, they posted the War of the Worlds teaser at Apple's site. This is the Spielberg/Cruise vehicle.

--AP

Lemony Snickers
December 12 2004
Pre-Post-Xmas Clearances at Target

While Target is notorious for blowing out a lot of its stock, including newly released items, right after the holidays we found a little surprise this year-- namely, they're clearacing various items now. These vary from store to store but we did see a surprising selection of items outside the male action category on markdown, so keep your eyes peeled-- we fully exect to see a few lines go away before 2005.

--AP

Return of the King Extened Cut streets Tuesday

In what will most likely be the last hurrah for Tolkien fiends for a little while, this Tuesday will mark the release of Return of the King in its extended cut. It'll be sold in a big giant gift set and alone, so happy hunting and enjoy-- this is gonna be pretty much it until The Hobbit.

We'll post a price round-up soon-- the ads aren't available at press time, but we presume, as usual, Best Buy will probably have it cheapest.

--AP

And in other news...

We did indeed get to see an advance free screening of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and as we were totally ignorant of the property, we can safely say it met our expectations. Jim Carrey plays Count Olaf, an actor playing an actor that just happens to be one of the best villains in a kid flick I've seen in quite some time. We don't want to spoil some of the cameos, but there are two that stuck out like sore thumbs in the otherwise great movie. Fans of ultra-stylized and fairly bleak movies in terms of set design will find lots to love here, as the movie seems to be at least partially inspired by whatever it was that got Tim Burton going lo these many years ago. It opens wide Friday and we'd like to say it's worth seeing.

Of note: the preview screening had no trailers. Just annoying local DJs.

--AP

I'm on bad mushrooms!
December 13 2004
Energon Galvatron Spotted, G1 Combiners at Walgreen's

Currently available at Walgreen's drug stores at buy-two-get-one-free (or $5.99 per) are some robot teams-- not officially TransFormers, but one is obviously Superion, another is obviously a yellow Devastator, and the third looks a heck of a lot like Defensor. These are all-plastic and most likely made from molds made from the original toys. The samples we saw had no G1-style stickers, so if you want an Autobot logo on it you're going to have to supply that yourself.

In addition to these, they still had the oft-recolored Devastator knockoffs on individually packaged cards for $3.99 each. These feel like there is some metal in them and the colors and labels border on ridiculous-- but hey, it's not like you can't paint them.

Also, we found a Galvatron from Energon at a Phoenix-area Wal-Mart. (Pics to follow.) For reasons beyond our comprehension the item rang up with a flag on it that basically had no price in the computer, which was seen as a goof-up and rather than running a price check, the lady decided to just make up a price on the spot-- $10. The toy looks great, the packaging art has a face that looks closer to the G1 animation model of Galvatron than any recent Galvatron art I've seen specifically based on the character, so happy day indeed!

Lastly, we updated the 16bit.com Energon Checklist to reflect new confirmed (and mostly confirmed) release dates and available items. The 16bit.com Armada Checklist has been updated with more bonus packs that we've seen for sale but don't remember seeing during Armada's 2002-2003 run-- if you can verify that you bought them at a particular store, please share.

--AP

Return of the King Extened Cut Prices

We did some research, and while your mileage may vary here's what the weekly ads have in store for the third Lord of the Rings' Director's Cut this coming Tuesday:

StoreEE Disc OnlyGift Set
Best Buy$22.99$49.99
Circuit City$24.99$49.99
Target$24.99$69.99
Wal-Mart
(Online)
$23.88$55.83

Wal-Mart's in-store prices are wildly different from location to location, and will not sync up with their web prices as listed above. We know of no other large chains of mention at press time, so feel free to share if you know of any.

At this time, we are not aware of any stores offering freebies (batteries, magazines, etc.) with these sets.

--AP

New Bionicle Vahki Bonus Packs

Target has their latest exclusives-- all six Vahki, each with a bonus pair of pieces. The first is a Disk of Time, an orange frisbee looking thing. The second is a new Mask of Time, the same one offered at Walgreen's and elsewhere before-- except this time it's gold.

--AP

And in other news...

It looks like BanDai is releasing a CD player with transforming CDs as part of its Kamen Rider brand. This thread at the 2005 boards has a shot of several CDs which transform into various animals-- a wolf, hawk, gorilla, crab, and lion. Color us curious, we're most interested in seeing a CD player transforming toy of some sort to go with them.

--AP

You'll never disturb your partner
December 14 2004
Review: Post-OTC Star Wars Pablo Jill

Today at Galactic Hunter we examine a background character from Attack of the Clones, Pablo Jill. In this review his movement ability, excellent sculpt, and overall lack of characterization. What you see is what you get, folks, and if you don't like the design, odds are you won't like the toy. But we dig him, and you can read more in today's review!

--AP

Simpsons Last Hurrah

The history of The Simpsons from Playmates toys has been a fairly turbulent one, and one that finally ends right at the beginning. As a last hurrah, the company has just released several classic figures from the first few series as Toys "R" Us exclusives on what appear to be unchanged packaging-- so if you want a first-run Milhouse or Lisa, you may be in luck. The figures we've seen are selling for a super-low (and not clearance) $2.95, although your mileage may vary.

--AP

Pokemon Trainer's Choice series & PSP Scalping

While we thought it improbable, Hasbro cranked out another batch of new Pokemon toys, this time being large electronic Trainer's Choice figures. We spotted a Charizard and Pikachu at a Wal-Mart in Scottsdale, both of which rang up for "see associate for assistance," much like Galvatron the other day. As such, we do not have a price for you, but we can say the action features and electronics were pretty excellent and if these were priced right we could have totally sprung for a couple.

Meanwhile, Japanese gamers got their hands on Sony's Playstation Portable over the weekend, and American distributors are being raked over the coals-- the unit is selling for as high as $512 with games in the ballpark of $60. (For the record, it should be closer to $200-$300 and $40-$50 by most indicators.) Factor this in with territorial lockouts, and we'll happily wait for this unit to come to North America.

--AP

More Masters Auctions

To raise some money, He-Man.org and MVCreations has more items up for grabs, many of which are truly awesome. A number of bronze colored giant busts are up for sale, including a look at one of the many conceptual heads almost used for He-Man in the modern line showing him with long hair. You can't miss these-- go to He-Man.org for a link to the currently running items.

--AP

Comics Packs 6, 7, 8

The next three G.I. Joe comic book three-packs are packaged and available for viewing over at Yo Joe! While no agents of Cobra are shown, there are numerous green shirted Joes as well as a new Oktober Guard!

Also, new images are going around the web showing 2005's new Valor vs. Venom figures, and they're reaching into the past with some great picks this time around. Highlights include an all-new Croc Master, a new Cobra Viper, and yes, Snake Eyes with his wolf buddy! Can you ask for more? Probably. But you also have to put up with more repaints of Duke and Cobra Commander, so it balances out.

--AP

Chip Punk
December 15 2004
Two Wariowares for 2005

Box art and release dates abound! For GameBoy Advance, it appears that the Japanese title Mawaru Made in Wario has been retitled WarioWare Twisted! for the US market, and will be released in March. The NintendoDS Wareioware Touched is still due on February 14.

--AP

More NewsRadio Maybe

Originally scheduled for February 2003 was a three-disc set of the first two seasons of NewsRadio, one of the funniest shows to have some sort of laugh track. The set was delayed indefinitely due to the producers wanted to record commentaries and extras, and now this story at TVShowsOnDVD.com is reporting it will be out in May 2005. And that's it's a three-disc set, despite cast members having confirmed that extras were recorded. The three-disc thing is a bit of an oddity because there are 28 episodes spread over three discs, and unless they're devoid of any fluff, there's no way you can get extras on that few discs.

This older story from the site may refresh your memory on what happened before, and as such, we would assume that some part of this new announcement is in error.

--AP

They've gone from Chipmunk to Chip-Punk!

Today on NPR's Fresh Air was special guest John Waters who came on to promote a CD of his favorite (often so-bad-they're-good) Christmas songs. You can find the entire show online, but there was one thing we found particularly amusing that was unrelated to the holiday, and we did some research on it.

It's called Chipmunk Punk, and as you may have guessed, there's no punk on it. It's from 1980, and of course you can see the cover on eBay. Makes a great gift, folks.

--AP

Military Microman Archived

The great Microman Forever has updated with shots of the new Military Microman toys-- check them out, they're pretty slick!

--AP

You said it was pretty here!
December 16 2004
US Batman Microman Figures Available

Diamond Comics has finally shipped out the Takara Batman Microman collection in the USA. The set includes a flight gear Batman as well as a standard version, Catwoman, and a Batman & Batgirl two-pack. Prices may vary, but check your local comic shop or older-skewing toy sellers for these.

--AP

Energon Bonus Bundle

Toys "R" Us has a new holiday Mega Bundle exclusive for TransFormers Energon, and yes, they do refer to it as a Mega Bundle. You get two different Super-sized toys-- Optimus Prime and Megatron-- for a fairly low $44.97. We've seen the toys in both the red and the black boxes, and so far we have not spotted Galvatron in these bundles.

We've also heard AND confirmed bundles of two mega-sized toys bundled together at Wal-Marts. We spotted sets with Jetfire and Ironhide shrinkwrapped together with a "bonus value" tag on them for $19.76. This is presumably done by Hasbro. While there has been speculation that Hasbro just took back and re-bundled unsold figures, these were in perfect condition, meaning the chances for them being previously distributed product are very low. Rumor has it Mirage has shown up in these sets as well.

Finally, we're now reading that the Masterpiece Ultra Magnus is slated to include a "papercraft trailer," whatever that means-- it's possible it's merely the same one that came with Convoy, or it could be a new one true to the character. We don't know, but we'll let you know more as it develops!

--AP

More Valor vs. Venom Vehicles

At a Phoenix area Target today, we spotted two new G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom vehicle repaints. One, the Desert Humvee. Two, the Night Adder in blue. Neither really leapt off the shelf, but you may notice them on your travels.

--AP

End of the Universe

It just doesn't get much better for the He-Fans, as He-Man.org has announced the end of the Masters of the Universe comic book. The company has had a turbulent past couple of years, as the He-Man license hasn't seem to have done especially well. Short of convention exclusives and the upcoming line of mini-statues, it doesn't look like there's much on tap for the sub-$20 price point from here on out, outside of eBay and, as reported earlier, a trove of older figures at Ross stores for $2.99 per.

--AP

Military Microman Archived, Again

Once again, Microman Forever has updated with shots of the more new Microman toys-- this time, the Techno Wave figure.

--AP

There they are against the wall
December 17 2004
MP3s on DS, GBA SP

It looks like Nintendo of Japan is working on yet another add-on for its portable systems. This article at GameSpot mentions the new device, its features, and the fact it can only be ordered via Nintendo's Japanese web site. So if you want to play MP3s and MPEG4s on your Nintendo portables, make some friends in the land of the rising sun.

--AP

Energon Kicker Sighted, more old Armada at Ross

Once again Toys "R" Us surprised us with a whopping three Energon Kicker with High Wire toys on the shelf, of which we bought one. Kicker does in fact have the new Joe-style construction with a wee bit of metal in his hips, and we hope to have pictures for you soon. For the record, the Toys "R" Us was in Scottsdale, AZ. We later spotted a Kicker at a Phoenix area Target.

As a follow-up to yesterday, we're now hearing reports of bundles of Ultra-sized toys as well as basic-sized toys. We'll keep you posted!

Ross seems to be getting yet more Armada deluxe toys, and we've seen a few new ones-- keep your eyes open for Wheeljack, Hot Shot (yellow), and Hoist. We're still hunting for the beasts and Powerlinx repaints, so we'll let you know what we find!

Finally, Fan2Fan added shots of the Robot Masters Convoy and Starscream special edition black exclusive repaints-- check 'em out!

--AP

Home Movies Season 2

TVShowsOnDVD.com has a report that says the second season of Home Movies will hit DVD on May 10. Good news, no?

--AP

Find Godzilla: Tokyo SOS Cheaper

Those looking to find the cheapest brick-and-mortar store price of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS might be best served by the least likely stores. Both Target and Wal-Mart stores in our area have received the disc for pennies under $20. Best Buy is asking $23..

--AP

Everybody Becomes a Rabbi
December 18 2004
PSP Region Lockouts, Metal Gear Acid Released

While plenty of whining has gone on about the game before its release, Metal Gear Solid is out and early impressions are.... well, they aren't exactly glowing.

Also, the word on the street by way of GameSpot and elsewhere is that while PlayStation Portable games will be free of region-based lockouts, music and movies will be locked down to specific territories. Booooo.

--AP

Energon Bonuses Again

After finding a bundle of two Super-class toys at Toys "R" Us and a bundle of Mega-class toys at Wal-Mart, we have spotted a third (of supposdley four) classes of bonus pack. This time, it's two Ultra-class toys for $26.87 at Wal-Mart. The ones we saw had Scorponok and Landmine, although rumor has it Landquake and Bulkhead are making it into these sets as well.

Also, a new book was released showing pictures of several released (and some unreleased) TransFormers from the old days, including what they claim to be the real Arcee prototype. You can find pictures at Fan2Fan.

--AP

And in other news...

Twas the week before Christmas and the shelves were bare. Numerous stores are out of video game consoles like the Nintendo DS, PlayStation2, and Xbox-- and supplies of Our Favorite Figures (TransFormers, Star Wars) are pretty low in a lot of stores. As such, if you put off buying that gift for a special someone into fairly nerdy plastic goodness, you might have some serious work cut out for yourself over the next week.

(Don't forget, Toys "R" Us stores are open until midnight and lots of other places are going to be open later. Good for night stalking. Er, stocking.)

--AP

Shark Hunter
December 19 2004
Better Late than Never

According to uber-news site The Magic Box, Capcom is cranking out an Xbox port of Mega Man Anniversary Collection for March 2005. There's no word if there's anything new on it, but we're crossing our fingers for the Mega Drive cart. You know the one.

The same site also reports a four-DVD collection of bonus materials for Metal Gear Solid 3 is in the works for Japan. Overkill? Sure. But hey, why not. It also includes a History of Metal Gear book.

--AP

Godzilla: SOS Tokyo DVD Impressions

We got through the 2003 film Godzilla: SOS Tokyo yesterday as well as the film's extras. The film itself wasn't much special as far as G-flicks go and odds are will not make any favorites lists. One of the four monsters made an appearance only as a corpse, and the fun human element (or ridiculousness as a result of it) was sorely lacking. The film itself was pretty plodding, and while the disc does boast some Toho-produced featurettes, they're without any subtitles-- or voiceovers, for that matter-- and tend to plod a great deal. While the disc is by no means terrible, fans of Godzilla will probably have to see it out of curiosity and others will be left flat. SOS Tokyo isn't a good place for new (or recent) converts for the series to start, and as such, we'd like to put another plug in for the far superior and often cheaper (bargain bin fodder) Godzilla 2000.

--AP

DVDs this week

This week is going to be a big week for DVDs, so be sure to consult your newspaper (or web) circulars for sales on The Simpsons Season 5, Napoleon Dynamite, and all sorts of crap hitting stores this week. Mostly crap though. We'll be posting sale prices overnight/on Tuesday.

--AP

And in other news...

Finding new content is a little difficult this time of year because stores are trying to move old stock like there's no tomorrow-- because for the retail biz, that's more or less true-- and as such, there's going to be less news until the usual post-Christmas flood of new releases and such. We'll be providing some more Original Content this week (yeah, we used to do more of that) so stay tuned for some goodies.

--AP

And There Was Much Defecation
December 20 2004
Review: Vintage OTC Star Wars Chewbacca

At last, Galactic Hunter (by way of me) has a review of the mighty Chewbacca. In this review we look at the super-posable walking carpet, his weaponry, his packaging, and what makes him a $10 figure, if anything. We dig him plenty, though, and you can read more about the fairly large figure in today's review!

--AP

Energon Quickie Gallery

Better late than never, right? Here's a look at some packaged shots of some recent releases from Energon.

First up, Galvatron, one of the final very large repaints of the line. When the first shots of the toy appeared online a little over a year ago, fans speculated that if it weren't initially released in this purple-and-orange color, it would be eventually-- and of course, here it is. Unfortunately, the hands still have holes that are too small to carry most weapons without modification. They aren't as small as Grimlock's woefully bad hands, but they're usually to small to serve much of a purpose. Then there's Kicker.

One of very few deluxe Autobots that can't combine with anything, Kicker and High Wire go together fairly well like a G.I. Joe figure and its vehicle. While the scale is off, most TransFormers really don't scale well together-- and as such, well, enjoy it for what it is. He doesn't have a screw in his back like most Joes, so once that rubber band breaks, that's it-- he's done for.

--AP

New G.I. Joe Comic Pack Previews

Store Smalljoes.com has previews of three upcoming comic book figure three-packs from G.I. Joe. The ingenious line continues with the likes of Serpentor, Destro, a new Stormshadow that looks like the first one, and more-- click to see the figures, but unpackaged.

--AP

And in other news...

It's Christmas, which means we actually have some content for you this week. Tomorrow, a review of Robot Masters G1 Convoy from Japan, one of our favorite toys of 2004. On Thursday, Energon Galvatron. We think-- we're working on the pictures. We've also got a review of Polysics' Kaja Kaja Goo, a great little EP from Japan that, frankly, you need to have.

--AP

Don't bogart that stuffinged ham either
December 21 2004
Review: Robot Masters G1 Convoy

After a short break, we return to reviewing today with a look at this year's nifty and small G1 Convoy from Robot Masters. Like the original toy from 1984, he turns into a truck and carries a large weapon-- but this time, there's no trailer, and there's extra weapons. The nicely posable and well-detailled toy doesn't appear bound for the USA, but it's still at importers and you can read all about it in today's review.

Also, those hunting might be interested to know that Kay-Bee stores are getting in a lot of new cases of old toys. We saw Skyblasts for the first time in weeks (if not months), so happy hunting! They were, of course, full price.

--AP

DVD Price Round-up

This week's two most interesting DVD releases are The Simpsons Season 5 and Napoleon Dynamite. Since a few stores aren't forthcoming with price information (and others are), we can safely say that the best place to buy both of these is Best Buy unless your local Wal-Mart enacts a price war to save a few pennies. Best Buy will carry The Simpsons for a fairly low $29.99 while Dynamite will go for $15.99. If we find a lower price, we'll keep you posted.

--AP

New G.I. Joe stuff from Diamond Select Toys

There's YoJoe! Press Release has news of the latest licensor-- Diamond Select Toys. They're aiming to make a lot of non-toy collectibles. Like... snowglobes. Exciting.

--AP

Metal Gear Surprises

Not only is a nifty very expensive limited edition box of Metal Gear Solid 3 available in Japan now, but online store NCS dug up this Irouois Pliskin figure from the second game in the series which, before now, we honestly never knew existed. Take a look, it's purty.

--AP

Make It Rain
December 22 2004
Review: Vintage OTC Star Wars R2-D2

Since we recently looked at C-3PO, it only seemed fair that Galactic Hunter examine the ever-popular droid R2-D2. In this review we look at the small toy and his various gadgets to examine just what $10 will get you in the way of an astromech droid. Is there enough value here to warrant the purchase? Find out in today's review!

--AP

Latest Alternators Found

Courtesy of a little help, we now have located Grimlock and Swindle at a Phoenix area Wal-Mart.

Grimlock is two per case, Swindle is one, and the fourth slot in the case is filled with Meister.

As for early impressions, Grimlock may be one of the most long and involved transformations this line has seen aside from maybe Tracks. The end result is fairly cool, despite some unique color changes on the head. Swindle is essentially a tricked-out Hound, and as such, is quite cool-- according to the BinalTech storyline, the head may have been originally designed for Trailbreaker.

Also, all four black repaints of the first four new molds from Robot Masters have been released! We have updated our Robot Masters Checklist to reflect this and the other new Robot Masters due out between now and the end of the year.

Finally, eHobby posted a page showing their next exclusive-- a two-pack of Decepticon tapes... recolored Lazerbeak and Ravage, this time in blue. The cost is about 2000 yen, so who knows what it'll run at the importers.

--AP

New Invader Zim at Suncoast

Suncoast stores (and presumably others) are now selling the standard line for Invader Zim. All five figures are available for $14.99 each plus tax, although we only saw Dib and Bitters in our initial searches-- presumably, this is what you'll be seeing marked down to $2.49 come February.

--AP

Final Wars Toys: Update

While we are working hard to bring you photos, there are a bundle of new Final Wars toys hitting Japan for the new "last" Godzilla movie. For example, in the large 6"-9" plastic figures, there are two flavors of Gigan. One is the new design for the movie while the other is a "powered up" version with additional features, like chainsaw hands-- you heard that correct. There are several new characters like Alien X as well as a new Kaiser Ghidorah, Minya, Rodan, Mothra, and several others. There's also a recently released set of High Grade capsule figures (gashapon) with several monsters, and as far as we can tell, the super-nifty Microman Godzilla toys from Takara are temporarily delayed.

--AP

Pedro for President
December 23 2004
Review: Kaja Kaja Goo EP by Polysics

One of our recent favorite bands is Japan's great group, Polysics, and today we look at their latest EP, which was released in 2003 before a full album and a new best-of compilation which will be hitting the USA in 2005.

Kaja Kaja Goo was an EP with five tracks (six songs) that came out just before Polysics' full album National P, which we will most likely cover at a later time. It has six songs on it, five of which currently don't appear on other albums, and as such is worth tracking down if you're a hardcore fan. But what if you're not? Find out in today's review.

--AP

DVD Surprise

While hunting for a copy of Napoleon Dynamite here in Phoenix, we found something interesting-- nobody has it. We checked Blockbuster Videos (rent and sale), Wal-Marts, Suncoasts, Targets, Borders, Circuit Cities... and nobody has it. They checked other locations around town and except for places in the extreme outreaches of the city, jack squat. So if you got one, enjoy, it seems to be a hot item this year!

--AP

New Galaxy Force in Japan & Packaged Shockblast Alternator

The first new TransFormers have hit Japan first by what appears to be several months, and most TF news sites have pictures (or links to them), so feel free to check your fave sites for shots of Galaxy Convoy, Master Megatron, the new Minicons, and Axcelerion-- or whatever the kids are going to end up calling the guy that looks like a cross between Blurr and Hot Shot from the Armadaverse. (Try The Allspark for pictures of the new items.)

Also, The Allspark and other sites are showing boxed images of the upcoming Alternators toy Shockblast in his box-- which is, if you missed the memo, Meister retooled.

--AP

First DST G.I. Joe Product revealed

Oh, and boy is it exciting. One day after the official announcement of the license being granted, Yo Joe has a shot of the first item-- and it's a big sign of the G.I. Joe logo. Exciting? Uh... sure. I guess it'll look great in someone's collection room or in a store.

--AP

Removes the toughest stains
December 24 2004
Bionicle Toa Hordika Sighted

Numerous Phoenix and Scottsdale-area Toys "R" Us stores are now stocking the Toa Hordika at about $8.99 a pop. They come in the usual six colors and are basically beast-like upgraded versions of the Toa Metru from earlier this year. (You can find a review of Vakama here.)

We do not plan on covering these at this time, so consult your favorite Bionicle page or drop the nine bucks and snag one-- they look pretty good!

--AP

More Basic Two-Packs of Energon, Repro Swindle Weapons

This may be your last chance at these, but we're spotting two-packs of basic Energon toys that seem to include most of the figures packaged in black packaging and most of the variations-- we even spotted a Command Ravage with the Decepticon logo on its shoulder. So far we've seen Arcee, Insecticon, Perceptor, Energon Saber, Skyblast, Strongarm, Cruellock, Divebomb, and Signal Flare. Offshoot and Energon Strongarm have yet to surface. These packs are currently exclusive to Toys "R" Us and about $8.99 each, only $2 more than one basic figure.

Also, someone's taking advantage of the knock-off producers and has produced modified large size weapons for the Alternators Swindle toy based on their oversized reproductions. Thanks to Dave's TransFormers Page, we found this link showing the new weaponry-- nice stuff! Here's hoping it gets produced.

--AP

And in other news...

It appears to be crunch time, and as such, all the toys are gonna disappear. 11th-hour shipments of new action figures are flying off the shelves, and it appears things like the season's hottest DVDs are around-- in short supply-- if you're willing to drive around a bit. (Napoleon Dynamite is in huge supply in markets that are not Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson, AZ.)

To all of you last-minute shoppers, we wish you the best. And to you people who got everything done in October, stop gloating, nobody likes a show-off.

--AP

There's Waffle in 'em
December 25 2004
Delay for the Invader Zim Boxes

While the mini-DVD releases for Invader Zim are still on for January, the boxed sets (with and without discs) have been delayed until Spring, so says TVShowsOnDVD.com. Not the best holiday news, but better to know what's the score, right?

--AP

Takara Adds Robot Masters

Since they're all coming next week, Takara has added pages for several new Robot Masters to their web site. They are: Road Rocket, Double Face, Delta Seeker & Ixgunner, and Burning Beast Convoy.

According to our sources in Japan, these should street December 28.

--AP

Volume 7 for MST3K coming

This report at TVShowsOnDVD.com has a release date for the next volume in Rhino's popular boxed sets of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It's coming in Spring, but what's coming? Well, they don't say yet.

--AP

And in other news...

Happy holidays, kids! Come back tomorrow for yet more crap, we should be able to dig something up. We'll be spending the day with loved ones, and playing Final Fantasy I on our GBA. So, have a good one!

--AP

Where's My Spy Camera?
December 26 2004
Nitro Convoy Revealed in color; First Galleries for TransFormers Galaxy Force

Since they hit Japan, people have been clamoring to see the latest images of the latest TransFormers line, and guess what? They're up.

A frequent poster to the likes of the 2005 Boards added three galleries, and they are:
Galaxy Convoy: The big guy is larger than his Energon/SuperLink counterpart and probably the nicest proportioned Convoy since the Armadaverse started.
Master Megatron: Despite drawing a hefty amount of criticism from fans, it seems the vehicle modes look pretty neat and the robot mode is bigger than his Energon counterpart Worth checking out for its unique if somewhat off-putting aesthetic.
Starscream: Since new versions had been cranked out, few characters have gotten similarly good treatments. Both modes look great and are similarly sized to his Armada/Micron Legend version.

Also up, the first picture of Nitro Convoy in vehicle mode and in color. Speed Racer fans, take note... this may be one for you. Also, word on the street is that it's a she.

While rumors are going around that Hasbro didn't show any Universe product to buyers in recent product unveilings, there's still stuff showing up-- like shots of Frostbite, a fairly nifty snow wolf themed repaint of Beast Wars Transmetals 2's own Jawbreaker. Especially notable: the inclusion of a shot of his instructions, meaning he's probably far enough along to be released. (Currently MIA in Universe are two Cheetors, Spacewarp, Hot Shot as Smokescreen, and many many others.) Links to the images did not work at press time. UPDATE: This link has the aforementioned Frostbite and Cheetor images.

--AP

And in other news...

We'd post more, but we can't find anything and spent the day with loved ones, and playing Final Fantasy I on our GBA.

...although we can say that we saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and enjoyed it. The flick had a great cast, great soundtrack, and a lot of little surprises animated by Henry Sellick, best known for his work on James and the Giant Peach, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and... Monkeybone. Good flick, go see it.

--AP

Here's Your Stupid Spy Camera
December 27 2004
Target Clearances

Tis the season. With the varying stores having their own clearance methods kept secret, it's time to start hunting. Target started their clearancing process a little early this year, and a lot of items are already gone and in some stores, aren't even marked down yet. As such, we're a little in the dark as to what's really on markdown, although it seems there's a ton of King Matthias from Knight's Kingdom from LEGO, a number of Star Wars toys at about 30% off, and word has it that a lot of TransFormers Universe stuff is seeing mardowns at various stores-- in our journeys, it seems that it's all vanished so we can't check.

While last year had tons of exclusives, the exodus of He-Man, and a lot of Bionicle and Playmobil toys being blown out IN ADDITION to the vast dumping of Clone Wars and TransFormers Armada, it doesn't look like that's going to happen this year.

--AP

New for PS2: NeoGeo Joystick

We don't know how we missed it, but apparently Sega & SNK Playmore are developing a PlayStation 2 controller that's a spitting image of the old NeoGeo home system controller. GameSpot has the scoop, as well as some pictures. Of course, it appears to be Japan-only.

--AP

Napoleon Dynamite

As our copy is currently on loan, we'd like to point out that the DVD for Napoleon Dynamite was indeed worth the vast trek around Phoenix, Scottsdale, and elsewhere ultimately leading to Surprise, AZ. The film, while short, is a highly amusing mishmash of events that culminates in yet another event which itself doesn't necessarily seem to fit the rest of them, and this event-- a full five minutes-- takes place after the credits are done rolling. The set features numerous features (some on the widescreen side, some on the fullscreen side) and unlike many DVDs we've seen as of late, the deleted scenes are actually quite good and flesh out some bits in the movie that otherwise don't seem to fit in with the rest of the film. As such, go get it if you can find it.

--AP

Pimp Some Other Ride
December 28 2004
Review: Post-OTC Star Wars Sly Moore

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at another recent Prequel-era release with this review of Sly Moore. She's thin, bald, painted oddly, and covered with feathers. While we're all huge fans of new figures of never-before-made characters, sometimes they can disappoint a little, as you'll read in today's review.

--AP

New Galaxy Force & Robot Masters

This gallery has about a hundred photos of new Galaxy Force toys, including new additions Exillion, Vector Prime, and Thundercracker. It also has Starscream and Master Megatron as well as Galaxy Convoy. It appears the entire range of the launch lineup is pictured packaged as well.

Also appearing online are packaged shots of the latest Robot Masters: Delta Seeker vs. X-Gunner, Burning Beast Convoy, Double Face, and Road Rocket. Check eBay or TFW2005 for the latest-- these are looking great, and we updated our checklist accordingly.

--AP

Playmobil 30-50% Off at Target

Depending on where you end up, your local Target store may have a post-Christmas treat for you. The Christmas-themed Playmobil sets, like the Advent calendar, are 50% off at many locations, while a number of other sets are 30% off. Still, many other sets aren't on sale at all-- you'll have to check and scan items and see what's there and on sale.

--AP

New Figure Series for Ninja Turtles

In the post-Christmas void, some new items have surfaced-- two new lines. One, Air Ninjas, has six full-size figures with some sort of flight gear. They include the four TMNTs, Shredder, and a Foot Soldier. The other, Turbo Bashers, includes the four green teens in addition to Shredder and Zanruman, a Triceradon soldier of some sort. These are smaller figures which sit on top of a top, and seem to be gunning for that ever-dwindling Beyblade money.

--AP

New Ninja Battles Available

Yo Joe posted a big update with the new G.I. Joe Ninja Battles gift set-- five figures, a comic, and a DVD plus a playset. That's a lot of toy.

--AP

And in other news...

So we were home today and as such had to pick something on TV to watch while taking care of business-- the "Pimp My Ride" marathon. At one point they just threw out the car because it "wasn't safe." Hogwash.

--AP

I Wanna Be a Pharmacist
December 29 2004
Markdown: Energon Bonus Packs

Wasting no time, Wal-Mart stores have already marked down their so-far exclusive twin packs of TransFormers Energon toys. The "mega" sized two-packs featuring Ironhide and Jetfire were $15.00 even at a Scottsdale-area store, while the "ultra" sized set appears to be $21.00, and this included Scorponok and Landmine. We hear selection varies by store, but we have yet to see any other configurations of these sets. Also note, Wal-Mart clearances are not chain wide and appear to be at the discretion of the management, meaning each store in town could have a different price.

--AP

Old School or Middle School: Kids Hate It

This article at 1up.com has a story in which 12-year-olds (or thereabouts) play, view, and comment on games of generations gone by like The Legend of Zelda, Adventure or Street Fighter II: Championship Edition. The comments contain a certain level of greatness culled from the knowledge of the young gamers-- and especially the lack of said knowledge. Worth reading.

Also fun, NCS threw up some nice shots of the new series of blind boxed Metal Gear Solid 2 figures from Japan. Click here to see Iroquois Plisskin, Emma, and the whole gang.

--AP

Date for Animated Star Trek, Sorta

One of the least frequently seen aspects of Star Trek (aside from Enterprise) was the old Saturday morning animated show. While it featured most of the original vocal cast and had writers that went on to bigger and better things, the show is mostly a footnote in an otherwise impressive (and widely distributed) body of work. Now, TVShowsOnDVD.com has information about a possible unconfirmed release date this Spring-- read on for the scoop.

--AP

That's Sick
December 30 2004
Revisited: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutations

Last year, Playmates Toys revisited (retooled) their old transforming "mutating" turtles by releasing the likes of the four green teens with a can of ooze. They have rereleased them and instead of ooze, you get a second figure-- some figures are repeated in these two-packs which are now appearing at Targets and Wal-Marts.

--AP

TransFormers: Now it's "ITFCC"

Master Collector, the people that do the usually highly praised G.I. Joe conventions, received the license to do what they're now calling the International TransFormers Collector Convention. They also received the rights to the fan club, and how this will change the landscape of fandom, well, who knows.

--AP

Adult Swim DVD Updates

The answer is April. The question has to do with the release date for Space Ghost volume 3 and Harvey Birdman Volume 1, and those links over at TVShowsOnDVD.com have the exact dates, pricing, and extras. Both of these have pretty spiffy cover art.

--AP

Dioramas for Nintendo's Game & Watch

The guys over at NCS threw up a page with photos revealing the recently released (and mostly black) Game & Watch dioramas, featuring such classics as Octopus. Nifty, kitschy, and kinda pricey, we'll see if we find them during convention season.

--AP

And in other news...

BanDai's latest property, DICE, has hit stores like Target as of yesterday. This new "multimedia property" will feature games, toys, and all that sort of stuff. Some vehicles and action figures have surfaced, and the toys allow dinosaur-like robots to turn into vehicles that have a minor dinosaur flair. Odds are you won't care about them yet, but if it takes off, you might be asked to buy some of this new pseudo-sentai show come Christmas.

--AP

Dead Boy Runnin' Scared
December 31 2004
Playmobil Dinosaurs at Target, Xmas Clearance

We've got some good news for Playmobil fans that shop at Target. The new entries in the Adventure line are, in fact, repackaged (but otherwise seemingly identical) Dinosaur excavation sets. The four we saw at two Targets (both in Scottsdale, AZ) are as follows:
3170, $19.99 (T-Rex)
3184, $29.99 (skeleton, polar bears)
3191, $19.99 (ankylosaurus)
3193, $9.99 (hatchling)

Each set includes some humans in cold weather gear, various tools, and in most cases, some sort of Dinosaur component. Enterprising toy fans can get on our good sides by sending us the lot of them.

Also, Target and Toys "R" Us (more or less) marked down their Christmas offerings. (We'd say "holiday," but who are we kidding.) The 2004 Family Advent Calendar was pennies under $8 at every Target we checked (down from $14.99), while Toys "R" Us had it ring up at $15.99 despite the shelf it was on saying it was half price. As such, buyer beware. Lastly, we have confirmed that the few Targets that still have "Photo Santa Claus" (5753, a mall Santa set-up with photographer) marked them down to a pretty good $4.99. We'd also like to point out that the blurb "lots of presents" is a load of crap, it has only three.

--AP

$40 GameBoy Advance

Wal-Mart is currently running an advertised special on the original GameBoy Advance-- not the SP, which is the version you would want. The old units are marked down to about $39.87, which is in theory a great deal if you have a well lit room to play in or are OK playing under a lamp... or want to buy someone a gift that shows you almost care. 16bit.com Labs still advises you to spring the money to get an SP for visibility reasons and for reduced battery waste, as the SP has a rechargable power source built-in.

--AP

Justice League Unlimited

Target stores are now stocking figures from Justice League Unlimited, the Cartoon Network series featuring everybody's favorite Warner-owned Superhero team. These come on new, smaller packages that are even less intricate than the last round and feature a lot of neon green and accessories like goggles. As such, your interest may vary.

--AP

Cheapo TV DVD at Amazon (Again)

Because we're lazy, we'll just send you to this link that has dozens (well, one dozen) season one box sets for a deep discount at Amazon via TVShowsOnDVD.com. Sets include X-Files, Simpsons, 24, Angle, Futurama, and more.

--AP

Now Available: Microman Godzilla

Now on eBay and at importers are the oft-delayed Microman Godzillas-- two of them anyway, the original version of the King of Monsters and the version as seen from Final Wars. We're pursuing samples but as of yet have not seen them below $20 a pop. The premise is that your Super-Posable Microman figure can wear this nifty rubber Godzilla costume, just like an actor in the movies.

--AP

Omega Sentinel Clearance from Energon

Last night at Target, we spotted Omega Sentinel from TransFormers Energon for a little over $31. This is especially notable as this was not the price at this location three days ago. (Don't ask why we keep hitting the same stores, you're best off not knowing.) Also, numerous toys were bumped from roughly 33% off to 50% off, as such it might be worth your while to see what is left and buy accordingly.

It does not appear Targets are marking down additional TransFormers at this time, however we did spot Alternators Grimlock and Swindle (and Meister) at one in the morning on Thursday.

--AP

And in other news...

While not quite as shocking as the revelation that Fresh Prince's own Uncle Phil voiced Shredder on the old Ninja Turtle cartoons, this is a doozy for children of the 1980's. Alex "Bill S. Preston Esq." Winter has found work on the other side of the camera. How do we know this? Well, Jimmy Kimmel Live has been running a show about how the show works this week, and they showed their directors, one of which was-- you guessed it-- Alex Winter. Neat, eh?

--AP

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