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Look For the Enigmatic Truth
May 8 2005
Return of the Son of G.I. Joe

Coming in July: new classic-style packaged G.I. Joe toys. So far, the lineup includes new individually carded figures with classic card art, one vehicle, and two comic book three-packs-- for starters. We talked with Hasbro's Derryl DePriest, former marketing director of the brand and current grand muckymuck of Star Wars, and he informed us that this was just the tip of the iceberg-- although it was not certain just how far down the iceberg goes. He also said that the infamous Comic Pack #9 (Holographic Cobra Commander, Scarlett, and Breaker) is still coming! That's certainly some good news, no?

--AP

New Plastics, Polysics, Boredoms

If you're a fan of Japanese music-- and you should be-- you're in for a treat as several new releases are coming out and due to our continued battle with chronic monolingualism, we aren't able to tell exactly what they are.

New Wave-era band The Plastics is releasing a couple of new CDs this July. (We think.) The first is "Kyoka Plastics: Ultimate 21 + Unreleased 4 = Plastics 25." The title pretty much says what you get-- 21 tracks from the old set, 4 new tracks, and it appears it's also the 25th anniversary of the band. Seems like a good idea, 2500 yen (cheep!) and comes out July 13. A second item has shown up at one importer that appears to be related to the band-- it's called "Hard Copy," is 6000 yen, and seems to be a limited DVD bonus item released the same day. We assume it's a special version of the aforementioned "Kyoka Plastics," but have no way of knowing at press time.

Polysics released a new EP, "Baby Bias," in April. As it's a Japanese release, the three-track CD is about $13-- previous mini-albums have been excellent and often the herald of a new full-length CD. This is available at most better CD importers online. Neither this release or the hypothetical next album are mentioned on their web site.

Finally, noisy rockers and progressive rockers and whatever they see themselves as this week The Boredoms are touring the USA and probably elsewhere to support their new (to the USA) two-track full-length album "Seadrum/ House of Sun." They're coming to your town, if you live in California, Illinois, Quebec, or New York.

--AP

And in other news...

A longer-than-planned unplanned hiatus has prevented us from updating this site or Galactic Hunter due to a variety of reasons, such as relocating to Los Angeles from Arizona, no Internet connection, and our not knowing where the components that make up the 16bit.com Photo Studio reside. We appreciate your patience. We've got ourselves a new job in the toy biz-- not the company of the same name, though. It'll be entertaining, to say the least.

We're also compiling our "for sale/trade" and "want" list. So we're going to point all you people that keep trying to buy stuff to that. You'll find it notable that very little of what we feature on this site will be sold there.

--AP

Roger, Roger
May 12 2005
Review: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Battle Droid

Today, our review is posted at Galactic Hunter. We look at the "new Battle Droid from the latest Star Wars movie-- and it's kinda like something you might already have! While not at all rare, which is nice for an army builder, it doesn't necessarily improve on the materials of its ancestors, but what about the deco? Well, the deco is good. Very good. We've got pictures and the full scoop in today's review!

--AP

Updates to our G.I. Joe Pages

New today:
G.I. Joe Comic Book 3-Pack Article. Includes reviews of all 11 sets and a scan of a magazine advertisement for the line.
G.I. Joe Comic Book 3-Pack Checklist. Includes upcoming releases.
G.I. Joe Main. Updated overview.

--AP

DVD This Week

The big release this week is The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and it seems that in the USA, the best price on it will be at Circuit City-- $22.99 for the Criterion version, $15.99 for the regular. Best Buy is a few dollars higher.

Also coming is a special edition of 12 Monkeys (although we're not sure what makes it new), the third season of In Living Color and Quantum Leap, and a lot of other items of little to no consequence.

--AP

And in other news...

A longer-than-planned unplanned hiatus has prevented us from updating this site or Galactic Hunter due to a variety of reasons, such as relocating to Los Angeles from Arizona, no Internet connection, and our not knowing where the components that make up the 16bit.com Photo Studio reside. We appreciate your patience. We've got ourselves a new job in the toy biz-- not the company of the same name, though. It'll be entertaining, to say the least.

We're also compiling our "for sale/trade" and "want" list. So we're going to point all you people that keep trying to buy stuff to that. You'll find it notable that very little of what we feature on this site will be sold there.

--AP

T-Minus 24 Hours
May 18 2005
Review: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Darth Vader

Today, our first review is posted at Galactic Hunter. We look at the only basic Darth Vader figure from the Revenge of the Sith, and it's different. Not the best ever, and not the worst, this particular release of the Sith Lord has a swinging action with a quality that varies from figure to figure, excellent deco, and lots of cloth bits. We've got pictures and the full scoop in today's review!

--AP

Review: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Wookiee Warrior

Our second review is also posted at Galactic Hunter. We look at the second version of the Wookiee Warrior from the latest Star Wars movie-- and it comes in two versions! We look at the first release, which comes in a white cream color, in today's review! A dark brown version is also available and may be reviewed at another time.

--AP

Game News Ground Zero

It's entirely possibly the biggest week ever in game news-- nearly every major home console has had a big deal announcement this week. Every major game site has coverage, but if you want a quick, lazy rundown read on:

Xbox 360: First out the gate, allegedly this November. Wireless controllers, limited backward compatibility, questionable launch library. Looks cool. Software of merit: Final Fantasy XI, Halo 3. Halo 3 will launch day and date against the PlayStation 3. The system can supposedly connect with the iPod and PSP to provide you a way to listen to your music on your Xbox if you're so inclined.

PlayStation 3 seems to be a turning point. Publicity shots had it in silver, black, and white-- three versions-- and who knows what'll be launched first? The boomerang-like wireless controller resembles previously released third party controllers, and so far there hasn't been too much in the way of software announcements. Notable: the font on the system has been changed, now it uses the same font as the posters and DVD for the Spider-Man series. Fully backwards compatible.

Nintendo Revolution is still a huge mystery, but what little that has been announced has been quite exciting if you're an old fart. For starters, Nintendo's entire library of NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 games are supposed to be available as downloadables. It is unknown if this is part of some free wireless networking thing or a pay-per-download service, but either way it's enough to get your attention. The system itself is a little bigger than the redesigned PSTwo, it's cute, small, and like the other two, futuristic. Backward compatible with GameCube, too. Once again, this sounds the most exciting on paper.

Finally, there's the GameBoy Micro, which looks like a cross between the NES controller and the original GameBoy Advance. It's a facelift-- new screen, new shape, new small size, and a standard headphone jack. The screen quality of GBA titles on a GBA, GBA SP, and Nintendo DS is quite different-- so there's room for improvement, but the original folding GBA SP design is so perfect, could this possibly improve the experience? We'll see later this year!

--AP, special thanks to SC for additional reporting

And in other news...

We're now back with daily updates-- we're settled in enough to include this as part of our new routine. As some of you may or may not know, I'm now employed in the toy industry and privy to all the new hot stuff you'd kill to know. Seriously, if I weren't restrained by an NDA you people would be collectively defecating your pants with the kind of product that's coming to market just before Christmas! And there's a lot of interesting news about recently released and very rare toys that would also be quite notable-- and rest assured it's going to be shouted from the rooftops the second my bosses say I can do so.

And I've been goofing around with Apple's new Macintosh OS, Tiger. So far so good. Widgets are fun. And Newsradio hits DVD this week.

--AP

Go see the damned movie
May 19 2005
Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Um... you are going to see it, aren't you? My employers are sensible enough to not only close the company for the day, but they're also buying tickets. I like it.

Also got some new figures-- a quick rundown before the full reviews.
Target Clone Trooper: It's the Clone Wars mold used for Entertainment Earth's four packs with a ROTS helmet and new deco. Interesting figure, medium quality overall, this should not have been an exclusive. I can tell you right now, it isn't worth the premium.
Clone Trooper #41: The much ballyhooed super-articulated figure is just as articulated as the regular quick-draw Clone, except this has waist articulation. It's as good as the aforementioned Target Clone, but is of a slightly higher quality plastic and deco and has a special removable antenna for his armor. Neat, but not amazing.
Destroyer Droid: It's the same mold as the firing version from AOTC, with newly molded rockets and a changed copyright date. Typical minor batch color variations aside this is the same damn thing and I have a hard time believing anyone would mistake it for a new figure. If you have the 2002 version you can skip this one.

--AP

Transformers Cybertron & More?

It's been a busy few days-- the first toys from this line are hitting New Zealand! This should be exciting but you may recall the same toys being released to Japan in December. Also, Hasbro says they have a big announcement on their web site today at 11 AM Eastern-- our money is on officially naming the director of the movie.

One of the coolest things to surface, though, was a new toy of Soundwave from Galaxy Force, and we hope it makes it here under Cybertron. What makes it so special? Laserbeak! And a G1 Soundwave-esque head! Happy day, indeed!

--AP

And in other news...

Narnia wares from Hasbro are starting to go up on preorder. Just FYI. That's all we got because today's a holiday in our books.

--AP

No really, go see the damned movie
May 20 2005
Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith was really something-- R2-D2 steals the show and Anakin actually has a scene with Padme that has some weight and also won't make you cringe. It's a good time, so go see it and come back next week for more figure reviews.

--AP

Godzilla 2005 TRU Line?

Fact: Toys "R" Us has a line of repackaged BanDai Godzilla figures similar to the ones Kay-Bee had earlier. Fact #2: We don't know if it's exclusive or what. These figures are $7.99 a pop and we personally spotted a redeco Space Godzilla and several pieces of Godzilla 2001 right here in Los Angeles. (Did I mention we relocated? Well, we did.) The back of the package showed what seems to be a new mold King Ghidorah and an old mold Mechagodzilla. The boxes are copyrighted 2005 so this is a new line-- it is not yet known how expansive it will be, but the boxes show only these four figures and there's no evidence there are more items shipping, but hey, G-fans rejoice!

--AP

And in other news...

Not only have we been exceedingly busy, but it's been ridiculously slow as of late-- Star Wars has taken over everything and as such, there's been precious little to report on here in the USA toy scene. The Godzilla news was a real surprise and we hope the first of many in the coming weeks-- there's going to be some very good news for you as the year goes on, it's just that George Lucas rules the summer. At least until Batman.

Anyway, back to MTV's NEXT! for us. This one has a girl and five other girls. (We know, we're such whores for F-grade entertainment.)

--AP

So did you go see the damned movie?
May 23 2005
Review: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Neimoidian Warrior

Today, we first mosey on over to Galactic Hunter. Our review is of the nifty Neimoidian Warrior figure from the Revenge of the Sith, a troop builder that, at most, two of appear on screen. It's a nicely sculpted, nicely articulated toy with a giant gun, removable helmet, and action figure. You can find out a heck of a lot more in today's review-- so go read it!

--AP

G.I. Joe Foreign Figures in the USA

While most likely not a widespread thing, we spotted a case of Valor vs. Venom at Toys "R" Us over the weekend in multi-lingual packaging. Basically, it's a generic cardback with stickers for the names and no character art. It's weird and notable, and the very first we've ever seen of it stateside. We assume it's a fluke.

--AP

Transformers Comic License, Interviews... MORE

First up, as you've no doubt heard, IDC Publishing is putting out the new Transformers comic books, and Simon Furman is going to write the new origin of the series. Issue #0 is $0.99, and ongoing installments are expected to be $2.99. Want to know more from the horse's mouth? There's a big article over at Newsarama and the guy who runs the show, Chris Ryall, posted this thread at The Allspark. And this is the press release.

Fans of BinalTech are in for a treat-- there's a blue repaint of Prowl going around. The slightly remolded toy has no known new name yet and no word of a US release yet, but one can but hope.

And finally, there's some good shots of Live Convoy and Autovolt you can find at TFW2005, or right here. At TFW2005.

--AP

Playmobil Farm Stuff

Coming to Europe in August (and the USA in 2006) are a number of new farm sets which you can see over at Collectobil. On the whole, this is family-friendly fare that should appeal to kids. In other words, snoozefest. Highlights include a family of dogs with a dog house and sausages, a new farm house, and a really neat chicken coop and rabbit hutch-- if you like this sort of thing. There's no drunks or smutty farmer's daughters, but kids might get a kick out of these.

--AP

DVD This Week: NewsRadio

A number of DVDs are coming out this week which should delight pretty much everybody. The biggest release here at the 16bit.com Offices is without question the long-delayed NewsRadio which, if memory serves, was originally on tap for 2002. This set includes the first two seasons and the lowest in-store price we've seen so far is Best Buy at $29.99. Also exciting: Season 2 of Chappelle's Show (also delayed), and of course The Aviator. So in short, hit the DVD store this week, odds are there's a few things hitting stores that you want. Also, Circuit City has DVDs for Attack of the Clones and Clone Wars for $9.49-- oooooh. Ahhhh.

--AP

And in other news...

We're still unpacking stuff here at the home office, and as of yet we're not sure where our mover's assistants put the components of our photo studio. (We also found out that the aforementioned assistants decided to put all our cookware in a garbage can that they incorrectly assumed was a crock of some sort.

--AP

Speaking of the damned movie...
May 24 2005
More Revolution Tidbits, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness Images

If you're as big a fiend for the Castlevania series as we are, you may wish to visit The Magic Box' 4-page preview with screenshots for this new title. We reserve our opinions on it at this time but continue to find ourselves foaming at the mouth for the new DS title, even if it does feature Soma Cruz and not Alucard.

The gaming news and gossip site also alluded to Nintendo's Revolution console by way of an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto. Do check it out-- it speaks of a potential Kid Icarus sequel and the chances the system has with being released in 2005.

--AP

Warning: Transformers G1 Repros

A few months ago there was a slight problem-- a Generation One Beachcomber got out that was a pretty decent copy of the original-- as in, it's a knockoff. One even got graded by the AFA, quite highly, before it was discovered that it was actually a high-quality fake. Yesterday, an email went out from the guys at Big Bad Toy Store regarding a warehouse find of original Cyclonus toys... and a retraction was also issued concerning their authenticity. With the ever-increasing hype surrounding the Transformers brand, a market starved for quality old-fashioned collectibles, and old molds floating around people looking for a quick buck in Asia and elsewhere, people are bound to get duped and it's good that people are discovering the truth early on. If you're in the market for these, keep your eyes peeled and be wary-- C-10+ boxed Transformers are a true rarity, and much like other items (like the folded authentic Revenge of the Jedi posters) some shelf wear might be a better indication of authenticity if you aren't otherwise an expert in such matters. Buyer beware!

--AP

And in other news...

While we're on the subject of low-quality copies of questionable origins, a bootleg workprint of Revenge of the Sith is floating around the digital ether, and naturally we at 16bit.com Labs don't turn down a gawk at something like this when we get the chance. We skipped through to the end on our loaner copy and we can safely say that while neat, the quality isn't there-- timestamps aside, the flick is pixelly, but only just barely watchable. If you have the chance to see it over someone's shoulder-- and it's a safe bet you will-- it's worth a gander as a curiosity but hardly worth the effort to track down and burn to a DVD when you can just go down to a theater and watch it. Unless, of course, it's not playing in your town... insert comment about your ethical slide rule here.

Big Lots stores are getting in holiday-themed Mr. Potato Head toys at somewhat high prices-- if you want "Happy Birthday" Potato Heads or the nifty Vampire version from Halloween, they'll set you back about $7.99 a whack at the "deep discounter." ("Deep discount," my eye. I got my Vampire for $2 even at a Wal-Mart.)

We at 16bit.com Labs also spent a good chunk of the evening continuing our play test of the Hasbro Attacktix "battle figure game" with our pal Shaun (16bit contributor and the guy who ran The Neurotic Eclectic). The game, as we understand it, is supposed to be a game that skews toward younger kids (4-11) as opposed to the miniatures game which skews a little older (11-"adult"). Based on our non-interest in card games and any other stats-driven games, we continue to find dull-- the royal we, Shaun had some experience with these products. We still prefer Hasbro's rocket-firing, sword-slicing figures and at some point an article will likely be synthesized for Galactic Hunter and/or Entertainment Earth by our research department which at this time still finds this to be a great little concept.

--AP

Let's replay this a little slower
May 25 2005
Famous Last Words?

There's an interesting quote from Sony's Ken Kutaragi over at GameSpot-- namely, the new console "is not a game machine." Well, that's interesting-- read on for more on this.

--AP

Coming to America: Transformers Galaxy Force Homages

Numerous sites have linked to reports surrounding some of the Aramada remolds coming to the USA, including what appears to be Runabout (modified Sideswipe) and Buzzsaw (modified Cyclonus) from a typical source for Hasbro prototypes. Could Blurr and Longrack be far behind? We can but hope!

--AP

And in other news...

Want to see a bunch of photos of Hasbro's Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, THe Witch, and the Wardrobe toys? Well, they're up with photos and up for preorder here at Entertainment Earth. There's regular figures, multipacks, little "armies" sets of 2" figures, and a lot of other stuff-- like plushes.

--AP

Final, Shminal
May 26 2005
Squaresville

The guys over at The Magic Box have a whopping three updates with images of new Final Fantasy projects. First up: eight pages, with subtitles, of Advent Children. This animated project will apparently cost the equivalent of $50 in Japan, and a US price has yet to be established. For PlayStation 2 owners, there's six pages of Final Fantasy XII screenshots. Oh, and there's subtitles here too. Finally, there's five pages worth of Xbox Final Fantasy XI images.

--AP

Blues Brothers 25th, Rumble Fish, and in case you need it, Newsradio DVD Review

While we're sitting on a coupon to get ours on the cheap, we noticed a review up at TVShowsOnDVD.com for Newsradio Seasons 1 & 2. It's mostly good-- check it out.

And in case you need it, and you probably do, The Digital Bits has some news for you. First up, Blues Brohters: 25th Anniversary Edition. This has both the extended cut and the theatrical cut, we've seen both and the latter was never on DVD before. It has some new extras and should be worth a look. Rumble Fish: Special Edition may ring a bell for some Tom Waits fans-- it comes out September 13. More news over at The Bits.

--AP

Meanwhile, on Cybertron...

Word on the street has it that the Transformers Alternators Decepticharge toy is starting to hit American toy shelves. Further word has it that Transformers Cybertron is due to hit Cartoon Network on July 2. The toys for this new series are expected in the USA any day now.

Finally, the Collector Club exclusive-- a repaint of Energon Terradive-- now has a name. And it's Terradive. Supposedly, it isn't final, but that's the name on the instructions. Shocking, I know.

--AP

Sweet move, Omega!
May 27 2005
Review: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Clone Trooper

Today, have a review by way of Galactic Hunter. We look at the Clone Trooper figure from the Revenge of the Sith, a super-posable and mostly resculpted version of the same Clone released earlier, but with a communications accessory, no action feature, and some dirt deco. It's super-posable but if you can imagine, it doesn't break any new ground-- so it's good, but not spectacular. Will you want more anyway? Find out in today's review-- so go read it!

--AP

Mo' Joe?

Amazon/TRU.com posted two new G.I. Joe six-packs for preorder, and these come as a bit of a surprise. One is the Crimson Shadow Guard, the other is some sort of Heavy Assault Squad-- here's a thread on it. No pictures yet but it's possible the "Shadow" guys could tie in to recent comic book happenings or Action Force stuff...

--AP

Transformers Cybertron: Leaked?

It turns out the New Zealand sightings were apparently in breach of some semi-official "release date" for the Western markets, which seems a little ridiculous. Apparently American packaged toys have been seen in Singapore as well, so it seems like a good time to just start haunting your local stores for these-- we know we'll be doing just that!

--AP

Leaning back too far in your chair and falling flat on your ass...
May 30 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at questions from as far back as April in today's column because of email problems-- read on!

--AP

Fantastic Four Push

Wal-Mart stores are now receiving loads of new crap for Fantastic Four including basic figures, role playing items, and some rotocast Human Torch figures you simply must see-- the one mold was used for two versions of Jonny Storm. One has him in translucent red, with his flame fully on. The other has some flames painted and the rest of him painted normal, and I have to say, take a good look at his face-- it's so bad it's good. We're going to try sneaking a camera into a store to snap a pic this week, wish us luck.

Also, Toy Biz opened their own eBay Store selling a bunch of toys before they're released to high prices. So much for being fair and stuff, it's a typical high bidding situation instead of something like Hasbro did with a lot of "buy-it-now" items. But hey, you can see some new Marvel Factory Figures as well as the new miniature super-posable Marvel Superhero Showdown line-- cool!

--AP

And in other news...

We've made mention of this in numerous conversations lately and we found it.

Porn Star or My Little Pony?

It's a 12-question quiz from The Brunching Shuttlecocks, a wonderful now-defunct humor page. We scored 4 out of 12. We're not sure what that says about our porn star knowledge or our pony knowledge.

This feature is extra-special because it tells you what kind of pony it was (i.e., Twice As Fancy pony, Flutterpony) or what movie she or he was in (Breastman's American Butt Search. No I'm not making that up.)

This thing tells us that apparently there's a porn star named "Skelator" as well.

--AP

I'm Emo
May 31 2005
Batman 1/4 Scale Rotocast

Wal-Mart had one for Spider-Man 2 and now they've got one for Batman. A giant whopping 18-inch rotocast Batman figure has been released for Batman Begins for about $29.88. Articulation is somewhat limited but given the size, odds are articulation is not the top priority of the shopper. It's huge, it looks pretty nice, and for the money, it ain't half bad.

--AP

Transformers G1 Orion Pax

While Takara continues their G1 Transformers collection, their eHobby reissue repaints are continuing as well. Recently announced was Kup with Wheelie, and he's the Target Master version-- and he's going to be repainted as Orion Pax, in other words, Optimus Prime before he got the new job. It'll be about $40 and you can see the pics thus far at eHobby.

--AP

And in other news...

Working on a new review for this week. We swear.

--AP

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