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You're Emo
June 1 2005
Transformers Cybertron Armorhide Revealed

In the case of obvious things escaping us, it seems Entertainment Earth (aka our day job) added the Cybertron Armorhide toy to their web site and it's up for preorder. He looks a lot like G1 Huffer, just different. You can see it here, on the Transformers Cybertron Scout Wave 3 Preoder Page. It's due in July, in theory, and is the middle toy in the bottom row. This is notable because this toy has not yet been announced for Galaxy Force and as an added bonus, this image premiered here first. So, check it out. Keep in mind this is a "basic" toy-- the "Scout Class" is the roughly $6-$8 price point.

--AP

Ed Wood Cuts Confirmed

Some new reviews floating around the web confirm that the Ed Wood DVD released in early 2004 is in fact different than the current release-- while neither version mentions it on the packaging, there's a featurette on transvestites that was cut off of the later releases. It really didn't fit in with the movie and as reported before, is not listed on the new version or the old version of the packaging-- like we just said in the previous sentence. If you wish, you can read the Original 16bit.com Review.

(Our review of Newsradio Seasons 1 & 2 is one of two reviews in progress for the near future. Huzzah.)

--AP

Simpsons Bust-Ups

Because we're diligent pluggers for our employers (and not because we're tired, lazy, and unable to find other content), we also would like to report on Gentle Giant's Bust-Ups for The Simpsons, which are also up for preorder. The first wave has Bart as The Raven, Count Burns, Devil Flanders, and Kang with Alien Maggie. Last we heard these were full-body figures but without photos, who knows for sure?

--AP

And in other news...

Spent the night assembling and, er, testing Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith. Good toy. Worth the $30 if you're into such things.

--AP

I Wish I Was A Pirate
June 2 2005
Masters of the Universe Convention Exclusive Revealed?

Assuming it's legit, He-Man.org seems to have found a report regarding the NECA exclusive for convention season-- a statue of King Randor limited to 2,000 pieces. Interesting, more as it develops!

--AP

New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS

In a frankly shocking move, Nintendo is bringing back 2D gameplay with the new Super Mario Bros. title we just found out about today for Nintendo DS. That link has screenshots and a little information, and it makes us all kinds of optimistic. Significantly more optimistic than these images of A Boy & His Blob make us.

(Our review of Newsradio Seasons 1 & 2 is one of two reviews in progress for the near future. Huzzah.)

--AP

The Office DVD, and Renewal News

Color us amazed. It appears The Digial Bits has news of the US version of The Office featuring Steve Carrell which, we assumed, was cancelled. Turns out that six episodes actually made it to air and that they're being prepared for a "Season One" DVD come August-- check the site for full pricing and information. (And the laughable MSRP.) What was even more astounding was the news that a second season has been picked up, a total shocker to us here at the labs-- but hey, stranger things have happened.

Also, if you missed the memo, the fantastic Arrested Development was renewed and will be airing on Monday nights next season. So odds are it won't be around for a fourth.

--AP

Then I could find my Buried Treasure
June 3 2005
G.I. Joe Winter Ops Available

Last night at a Toys "R" Us here in LA, we spotted six units (a whole case) of the new exclusive 3 3/4-inch Winter Ops set. And yes, Mirage is in fact translucent. No new items were spotted outside new shipments of the Cobra HISS IV.

--AP

Insane Rumor of the Day

eTalk Daily, by way of The Allspark, claims that George Clooney is up for the Optimus Prime role in the new... Michael Bay production of The Transformers, due to hit theaters in November 2006. Producers on the project have expressed a sort of "whatever" attitude toward the voices for the role, even going as far as to state that the original voice actors for Optimus Prime and Megatron were very real possibilities for the roles still. Of course, this isn't to say celebrity involvement might not be fun, as some of you may recall Tom Hanks has expressed interest in the property on The Tonight Show a few years ago.

--AP

You seen Blade Runner?
June 6 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 last week-- because things were working properly. Some good ones this week, so read on, true believers!

--AP

G.I. Joe 3 3/4-inch news

First up: we spotted the Imperial Procession set last week. This includes some funky ugly crimson Cobra guys, and the comic versions of Cobra Commander and the Baroness in red along with a throne and some other stuff. We're still not sure if it's cool or not and have yet to buy it.

The Winter Operations sets are hitting all over and not selling for jack. Solid cases are sitting in some stores so if you want one, now's a spectacular time to go get it. We're also seeing additional shipments of other fine toys like the Ice Sabre, Venomization Chamber, and the HISS IV.

Finally, Hasbro and Amazon have a bunch of Joes up for pre-order that sound like they're new-- that's because they ARE new. Not all of them are things Hasbro has announced yet (or confirmed) but the vast majority of them... yeah. The release date is totally wrong from what we're hearing and of course absolutely everything is always subject to change.

--AP

Target Game Sales

A number of recent and popular releases for various consoles are on sale at Target this week. The dollars-off amount is tiny, but it's not common that people mark down new GameBoy Advance titles. Games on sale include WarioWare Twisted, Super Mario Advance 4 (SMB3), and a bunch of others. The GBA games were about $27.88 which, while not spectacular, is something. (Yeah, we caved and bought WarioWare and yeah, it's still awesome.) The other games on markdown were licensed junk but hey, first party stuff is always a good time.

--AP

Not Far Enough
June 7 2005
Transformers sale at Target

While we aren't yet sure if this is chain-wide, it seems several Target stores marked down some older toys in a temporary markdown move. Universe deluxe toys were $9.99 and are now $6.99. Energon basic toys were $6.99 and are now $4.99. At this time, we haven't seen any other sales, or friggin' Decepticharge.

Also, there's a new licensee in town for the robots in disguise. TFW2005's Interview with First 4 Figures sheds some light on yet another statue license, and it looks like these are going to be connecting statues that are downright expensive. Will they be cool? Time will tell!

--AP

Taiko Drum Master: The Hat

We love crazy Japanese video game merchandise, and this is near king. NCS has images and a preorder up for a hat based on the drum mascots from their somewhat popular Drum Master series-- you have to see these to appreciate them.

--AP

Reach for the sky, honky
June 8 2005
Review: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Tarkin

Today, have a review at Galactic Hunter. We look at the Tarkin figure from the Revenge of the Sith, and despite having just a cameo, the figure is pretty good. His uniform from his two appearances in the Star Wars series are pretty much the same, so this time around, he looks younger and has more joints than ever before. But is that enough to warrant you spending five or six bucks? Find out in today's review!

--AP

Transformers Star Convoy Reissue?

While a direct confirmation from Takara is pending, it appears that numerous online news sources that don't have the courtesy to speak English are saying that Star Convoy is the next big reissue out of Takara. This is an especially big deal because this was the very last Generation One "Convoy" toy, and it's also obscenely rare-- the original toy frequently sold for $500 or more. The reissue will supposedly be 8,000 yen, or about US$80 before import fees and shipping.

...it's entirely possible this will reduce the chances for a more posable Robot Masters release, but we're still hoping for one. And a Hot Rod.

Lastly, posts around the web are citing a first sighting of Cybertron toys at Fred Meyer stores. Keep your eyes peeled, we're right on schedule for a big roll-out of wave one including Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Landmine, and nearly a dozen new toys!

--AP

King Randor Revealed

The guys over at He-Man.org posted a bundle of photos and some information on the upcoming convention exclusive King Randor statue figure. It's the same size as the popular yet ultimately failed line of action figures from Mattel, but this NECA statue will be limited in production and in articulation-- but it looks good and is a fair price, currently slated to be a mere $20.

--AP

Nintendo: The Revolution Will Not Be Free

Ever since Nintendo mentioned they would be putting up their back catalog up for download on the new Revolution system, fans have speculated on the pricing structure-- most of them said "oh, these are old and will surely be free." Well, Nintendo's own Satoru Itawa has a comment about this on GameSpot, and the comment is "no, not free." Dammit. But another quote in this article from someone else says there is no pricing structure and it could be free. So... we're not sure if our panties should be in a bunch or not yet, but of course, the real question is "why are we wearing panties?" The same article has a lot of information on Nintendo DS wi-fi play and more, so do check it out.

--AP

Muppet Show DVD Press Release (Link)

The guys over at TVShowsOnDVD.com posted the entire press release from Disney/Buena Vista on the first season box for The Muppet Show. 24 episodes, 4 discs, some pitch and gag reels, the original pilot, and yes, Jim Nabors. The first season guest list is printed and the highlights for us were Candice Bergen and Vincent Price. Mostly Vincent Price. He rocks.

--AP

Make it yours
June 10 2005
Review: Xevoz Shock Berserker

One of our favorite toy lines in 2004 was Xevoz, a proud line which survived for all of a year with its final toys starting to trickle out in a few retail channels. Today we look at one of the nifty (and very large) figures from Series 2 with the Shock Berserker, a nifty energy being from the Hyperfuries faction. What's particularly notable is that his feet are speaker components, he has a magnet hand, and a crapload of energy bits and pieces to augment his body. It's cool, but is it right for you? Take a look in today's review!

--AP

Best Buy Game Clearances

While your mileage may vary, we found some interesting items at Best Buy today. The Atari Flashback game console, with 20 games loaded in it, was down to $9.99. For GameBoy Advance, the original NES Classics Castlevania was a paltry $4.99, and while other discounted items may be available, that's all we saw. Classic gamers, it may be a good season to buy some stuff.

--AP

BotCon 2005: Texas

The word on the street is that the Transformers convention this year is going to be in Texas from September 22-25. Neat-o.

--AP

Batman Exclusives

For starters, there's two out now or close to it. A Target exclusive Silver Batman is hitting stores now, and we just spotted a gold model at Toys "R" Us for $9.99. And no, it's not worth it.

For convention-goers, Mattel has a nifty Catwoman figure in a particularly cool box. Check out the bank vault packaging and variant statues over at Action-Figure.com!

--AP

I wield the power of Odin!
June 13 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 last week-- because things were working properly. Some good ones this week, so read on, true believers!

--AP

BotCon Toy News & Cybertron Wave 2 in-box

With convention season just around the corner, it seems the season will end with BotCon this September. The first exclusives are announced and it sounds like this has a lot of potential-- seven figures, new box, some new head sculpts. More here.

Also, TFW2005 has Series II Cybertron Gallery images for you to see, including Red Alert, Clocker, and the first set of Mini-Cons! We're hearing the first wave is appearing in Canada... which does us no good at all.

--AP

Clamp Champ!

The third statue in the second wave of Masters of the Universe statues has been revealed-- it's Clamp Champ! Photos and a full announcement are up for you at He-Man.org.

--AP

I got to scream and shout it!
June 14 2005
"Black Zarak" and other Transformers Rumblings

"What's this Black Zarak toy from Cybertron, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did. Hasbro's price lists it merely as "Scorponok Redeco" and has it listed as coming later this summer-- and yes, Entertainment Earth has it for preorder since I added it to the site. The official pictures should be uploaded to that link this week (images of "jet" and robot modes) and it looks just like the prototype on eBay. No packaged images are available, and the names on Hasbro's price lists are, of course, subject to change. (And if you buy it I get like a quarter or seven, I have no idea how this thing works.)

Reports around the web seem to indicate these new Cybertron toys are hitting. They're hitting Canada, which effectively does us no good. (We can't even get a Decepticharge, dammit.) Reports seem to mostly indicate the bigger toys are hitting first, and that's usually how these things work.

This forum has a bunch of information about the alleged sequel to the PlayStation2 Transformers game. Apparently it leaps from Armada to Cybertron and has a compelling story, and will never ever materialize... like most things related to Transformers. Rumor has it the movie may go to Development Hell if Michael Bay passes on the current script. Note, we're talking out of our butts when it comes to the movie and we don't know more than you do.

--AP

Devo Costumes for Halloween

After years of waiting, someone said "hey, maybe we should sell these beyond just our fan club."

Yes, those are links to photos at a shop, because I'm shameless and I work for these guys and I enjoy being employed. The suit includes pants, belt, and even the energy dome-- which does not appear to be a mistake. The dome includes the dome.

These and a whip are coming out this Fall from Disguise, a manufacturer I've never heard of before, either. But they like Devo, so we love them.

--AP

Like Surge?

While we were never fans, we recently found out two interesting things-- the defunct Coca-Cola beverage "Surge" has a huge following and Coca-Cola apparently is attempting to please them and their petition by introducing a new soda called "Vault" and it's in the testing phases now. More here.

--AP, thanks to SC

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Preorders up

NCS' Preorders are up for the regular and limited editions of Advent Children which, we should note, is apparently coming to America for a fraction of the price. The regular edition is $49 and the deluxe set is $305... sure, it sounds worth the $305, but we have to do things like eat, too.

--AP

Buzzer Revealed

While not "officially confirmed," it's fairly common knowledge that several G.I. Joe comic packs are supposedly on the way later this year. And you can see the new Buzzer from the Dreadnok set here.

--AP

I have the power!
June 15 2005
He-Man for PSP

In a real surprise, it appears two sets of Masters of the Universe-- the original 1980s version-- are coming to the UMD format later this year. That's right-- legit episodes of the original cartoon for the PlayStation Portable. What kind of wonderfulness is this? Find out more about the two five-episode volumes along with prices and release dates at TVShowsondvd.com.

--AP

Orion Pax Sidekick Revealed!

Orion Pax, a repaint of G1 Kup in Optimus Prime colors, was announced the other week without confirmation of who his sidekick, a repaint of Wheelie, would be. e-HOBBY confirmed it today with their product page fully updated with Dion, Orion's pal from the G1 episode War Dawn. Sure, he's a little small and it's not a good match for the character model, but Wheelie looks better when he isn't all orange, wouldn't you say?

--AP

MSC Archives: More Posters

While this will interest few or none of you, the Mechanically Separated Chicken page was updated with several previously unposted Posters from the group's brief run.

--AP, thanks to SC

More Old Xevoz at Entertainment Earth

Is it time for a plug? Well, given the items and the prices, we dare say yes. Wave 3 Xevoz are back in stock, briefly-- a small cache of Tomb Wraiths, Cryo Katana vs. Preda Crawlers, Shield Breakers, Quick Slingers, Storm Wings, and many others are in stock-- while they last. For the original prices, too.

--AP

Die in the name of Teddy Ruxpin!
June 17 2005
Muppet Show DVD Packaging to be Fuzzy

TVShowsOnDVD.com has disc art and packaging for the upcoming first season of The Muppet Show, which is, to say the least, interesting. While we're big fans of ultra-fancy and borderline asinine box sets filled with all sorts of extras, making packaging out of a material that will show a lot more wear and tear isn't tops on our list-- but we do give it mucho points for innovation, and we'll be buying when it hits stores later.

--AP

New Comic Pack Joes Revealed on eBay

eBay Seller Powerjedi999 posted a bundle of new and never-before-seen figures from upcoming and still not officially confirmed G.I. Joe comic book sets. You can see Cobra Commander "Fred" sans helmet, Thrasher, Buzzer, Ripper, and new better shots of Zarana, Zartan, and a few others. Don't miss these!

--AP

Miyamoto at WIRED

The father of Mario and Donkey Kong and a pantheon of characters arguably greater than Disney's has a big honkin' interview over at WIRED where he talks about the future and the future of the future. The non-reveal of the Revolution controllers, the future of Mario 128, and numerous other mysteries are addressed, but not all in a manner that would leave you satisfied. Well worth checking out.

--AP

San Diego & Convention Checklist

The guys over at Action-Figure.com put a buttload of work into assembling The Summer Convention Exclusive Checklist-- it's got, like, everything announced so far. Or close to it. We're impressed!

--AP

Xevoz Updates at 16bit.com

We updated numerous areas of our Xevoz Pages, still all in progress. You may wish to check out our almost complete Glyph Checklist or a look at the 2004 New York Toy Fair Display, or any of several other pages linked to from these pages. Check 'em out, more is on the way!

For those of you not familiar with Xevoz, it's a figure line-- like Stikfas-- which allows you to have super-posable figures you can build and customize. The line hit stores in January 2004 and is technically still running as the final kits, originally slated for Holiday '04, begin to trickle out to market worldwide. The line was aimed at a young market, included a game feature, and included a number of superbly clever pieces like extra heads. Extra heads included a Chimpanzee with a fez, a snowman, a teddy bear, a flaming jack-o-lantern, a rooster, and numerous others-- nearly every figure came with at least one or two! They're available on clearance now and online, but they're on the way out as far as we can tell, so get while the getting is good! We'll be focusing more on these stillborn classics in the coming months.

--AP

It's a dessert topping you cow!
June 20 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 last week-- because things were working properly. Some good ones this week, so read on, true believers!

--AP

Beast Wars Redux

Is it a DVD, an action figure line, or a dessert topping AND a floorwax? Well, we're not allowed to say much about the recent Target computer listing but it would seem that it ain't bogus. Odds are more would be revealed at either San Diego Comic-Con International or BotCon, but given the usual timeframe of "item in computer" to "item leaked to eBay," we're betting you'll see leaks from Hong Kong before any official announcements take place.

--AP

Playmobil clearance at Target

...on one item, it seems. We saw a couple of stores mark down 3194, the Polar Researcher from the Dinosaurs theme. It was $6, now it's a little less than that-- just above $4. It has no dinosaurs, so it's a snoozer, but it has a bunch of nifty extras making it a good mark for a superbly low price point, if it makes it there.

--AP

He-Man Mini Statue Packaging Revealed

After much pre-announcement hype, the new packaging for NECA's nifty mini statue line has been revealed at He-Man.org, complete with extra comparison shots of it against standard figure packaging. While we initially heard it was supposedly all sorts of awesome, it just looks like an alternate Universe (and less interesting) version of Mattel's basic (and deluxe) packaging for the figures. For $20, how about a box, eh?

--AP

New Cobra Commander?

A few news sites are pointing to this auction showcasing an as of yet unannounced Cobra Commander that's selling from Hong Kong. Is it legit? And what is it? Well, we don't know. But you can take a look until the auction expires.

--AP

In case you care: PSP Rockman Dash, DS Slime Morimori Dragon Quest 2

The Magic Box has news and images for new games all the time, including some you might dig. For starters, there's Rockman Dash and Rockman Dash 2 for PSP.

If that isn't enough, there's a look at a new Square Enix adventure game-- Slime Morimori Dragon Quest 2, which is a sequel to a game we hear is wonderful but still isn't available in English. Boo, hiss. You get to play as the Blue Slime from the legendary series, which is all kinds of awesome-- and in case you haven't heard, the Blue Slime Controler is coming out for the PS2 in the USA.

--AP

It's a dessert topping you cow!
June 21 2005
Stikfas Awesomeness

We're easy to please, and today at work we got a look at hi-res shots of the new Stikfas. Known to some as highly customizable figures and to others as the things that Xevoz aren't, the company has announced plans for-- along with pictures of-- three new releases, all of which have lots of potential.

The Alpha Male Rock Star and Beta Female Pop Star are going to be huge. It has most of the parts you'll need to make Devo between the two, and let's face it, that's what matters. The Pop Star has pigtails, what appears to be a Moog/Korg style synth, a chair sort of thing, and a bunch of other stuff. The Rock Star has guitars, a bass, several hair styles, a healthy drum set, and a bunch of other parts. We're shockingly impressed.

Fiinally, the Alpha Male Diver with Octopus Set had us choking on our delight. The Octopus has parts to transform it into a squid, and the diver has all sorts of weapons, SCUBA gear, and other accessories to make any fan of the sea flip! It's a good time for fans of figure kits, we were genuinely pleased with these. More as we have it.

Pictures at Stikfas.com.

--AP

Transformers Lost Art, Cybertron at Hasbro, Metroplex

On its own site, Hasbro posted shots of several new toys, namely Cybertron editions of Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Starscream. Nothing you haven't seen by now, but a sign of progression.

Elsewhere, though, exciting new things are brewing! Previously unseen artwork for a number of cancelled Transformers comics projects appeared Monday. Would you believe there's a Cobra-La Galvatron floating around? That's just the tip of the iceberg! The TFW2005 Boards have some shots while you can find Galvatron here.

Rumors abound of Alternators Swerve sightings and possible en masse shipments of Cybertron this week. Interesting.

Finally, we're also hearing (but at press time, not seeing) shots of a prototype "Metroplex" surfacing. See it at Remy's TFKenkon, a fantastic page you should visit often. It's a unique toy to say the least, and you can see what seems to be a prototype Leader-1 Mini-Con by his feet for scale.

--AP

The Packaging Shuffle

The box sets for The Simpsons have been fairly standard and as such, Fox seems to have got bored-- take a look at the new packaging over at TVShowsOnDVD.com. It's different, we'll give it that.

--AP

New Family Guy Direct to DVD?

TVShowsOnDVD.com> has a surprise piece of news, namely a direct to DVD, 83-minute Family Guy episode. Read up on it, as the scoop is worthy of your clickage.

--AP

Cash it in
June 22 2005
Legends of Cybertron Available NOW

My day job received a big shipment of toys today, the most interesting of which to you will undoubtedly be the "Market 6" exclusive Legends of Cybertron, Wave 1. Each set includes four smaller sized transforming figures from Cybertron: Megatron, Hot Shot, Megatron, and Starscream. The price? $16.99. (Buy it through the link so we get a quarter.)

We've also been informed that Legends of Cybertron, Wave 2 is "on the water." Wave 2 has eight figures, the above plus Evac, Leobreaker, Scourge, and Jetfire-- this set is $31.99 and should be in stock in a matter of weeks. So you can preorder that one and that's probably more sensible so you get get the Wave 2 guys were you so inclined.

What's Market 6? Market 6 is a slang term used in the toy biz to indicate the markets that aren't Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Toys "R" Us, or Kay-Bee Toys. So stores like Entertainment Earth, Kroger (Fry's, Ralph's), Kohl's, and your average mom-and-pop shop would fall under this umbrella. Lots of big names, but as you may well know, the bulk of toy sales are driven by the big five in the USA so they usually get a more unique selection of products. Blah blah blah.

Aaaaand... Cybertron Wave 2 is showing up in New Zealand. Metroplex "vehicle" mode revealed. TF Movie teaser from NY Licensing show.

--AP

Stikfas Shilling

One good plug deserves another, right? EE also got in and put preorders up for a variety of new Stikfas products. Ordinarily we don't like to plug unless it's a big newsworthy deal but we like these enough to make a note of them.

In Stock Now:
Classic Alpha Male Phantom Redeco. Glow-in-the-dark reissue of older kit, nifty because, well, it glows in the dark.
Beta Female Windsurfer, also has parts to be a snorkeler. Classy.
Coming Later:
Alpha Male Diver with Octopus includes parts to make a SCUBA diver, a snorkeler, has fins, spears, and all sorts of crap. The sidekick figure Octopus can also be a squid. It's awesome.
Alpha Male Rock Star includes numerous hairdos, a drum kit, a guitar, a bass, and all sorts of crap. Tis awesome.
Beta Female Pop Star includes a chair, guitar, some sort of analog synthesizer, variant size pigtails, and stuff to make the Rock Star look pathetic by comparison.

Pictures at Stikfas.com.

--AP

Buffy: Alice

Fans of American McGee's Alice may be interested to know that Sarah Michelle Gellar has signed on to the film adaptation of the project. Read more at GameSpot.

--AP

And in other news...

Married With Children action figures are coming from Figures Toy Company. We got the sales sheets the other day. There's a bundle of different versions of the four main characters as well as a few others-- fans of NO MA'AM are in for a treat, as are enthusiasts of Grandmaster B. We'll, of course, post photos and assortment info as soon as we can. These will likely be Mego-esque figures much like their Happy Days and Munsters offerings.

--AP

I'm not ripping you off personally
June 23 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter; Swapping

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at questions from as far back as last week-- because things were working properly. Some good ones this week, so read on, true believers!

...Also, in yesterday's Shortpacked, a great strip from David "It's Walky!" Willis, they tackle an issue I've frequently mentioned in Q&A which has flared up on a few message boards recently-- toy swapping. If you are not familiar with the term or why those who do it should be beaten, please do read the strip for the most concise possible way of explaining it.

--AP

Transformers #0 Images Surfacing

A lot of sites, including the TFW2005 site, have new images of lots of variant covers and artwork from the upcoming funny book. Do check it out.

--AP

New Old Stikfas Shipments Surfacing

Color us shocked-- new shipments of older, Hasbro branded Stikfas kits continue to surface in LA area Toys "R" Us stores. We've seen a few over recent weeks, but today we spotted the Beta Female with Dragon and the Alpha Male with Motorcycle for $3.98 a whack. Wow. Good deals, kids-- that's a lot of toy for the buck. A plain Stikfas figure kit with no accessories of any kind costs more than that.

--AP

Kids in the Hall Season 3 DVD

Apparently it's shipping June 24 direct and alter this year in stores, so says TVShowsOnDVD.com. Now you know! This item pretty much vanished from the radars and is thankfully coming out still, which means other great sketch shows like Upright C Citizens Brigade are unfortunately still in limbo. Still, good news for fans of all things KITH!

--AP

Xevoz Wave 4 At HasbroToyShop.com... and then they Sell Out

After going up for sale this morning, The Wave 4 Xevoz toys sold out nearly immediately. While it is not presently known if Hasbro will stock more of these on their own site, we are hearing many rumblings about them continuing to show up in other channels. Stay tuned!

--AP

Shoot the Core
June 24 2005
Transformers Cybertron Released, Wreckloose

The first domestic sightings of Cybertron at one of the Big Five took place yesterday in Maine at a Toys "R" Us. The shocking exploits are all over the web and stores online and off are supposedly expecting them in the coming days-- well, some of them. Word on the street is, like Energon, the Basic/Scout assortment will be delayed a few days or weeks. Unlike Energon, deluxe toys are showing up now. Which is good-- Hot Shot looks good in blue. We're gonna be doing some hunting in the next few weeks.

Also, spx_collecter on eBay has someone to introduce you to. Wreckloose, we presume? The same guy has a Legends of Cybertron Skywarp and Megaloconvoy/Metroplex, a supposed exclusive and a supposed Q3/Q4 release, respectively.

--AP

NES: Special Edition?

A few reports are quoting Satoru Iwata of Nintendo as saying that the classic games being ported to the Nintendo "Revolution" (code name for next console) may feature graphical enhancements with the same exact gameplay. Ooooooh. In the Sony world, rumor has it that Square Enix (by way of EGM) is considering remaking classic title Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation 3. What can we say, other than it'd be neat if it were true.

--AP

G.I. Joe Convention this weekend

Starting today, the Master Collector G.I. Joe convention. All sorts of news is leaking all over the web, so stay tuned to your favorite news outlets for more. Images of several previously unconfirmed-but-rumored items are up on the Joe Sightings Forums. It looks like it's Destro's M.A.R.S. gear vs. the Steel Brigade.

--AP

I cut your brakes
June 27 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 last week-- because things were working properly. Some good ones this week, so read on, true believers!

--AP

G.I. Joe Awesomeness from the Convention

One of the most frustrating things about a convention is if you went, or if you didn't, it's hard to know what you missed. Here's a rundown as best we can do it.

If all you want are photos, check out the coverage at Silent Castle and Yo Joe!. As we have yet to see a full report, and we didn't go, we're going to try to write one ourselves.

G.I. Joe 3 3/4-inch

The rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. The direct market (HasbroToyShop.com, online vendors like Entertainment Earth) will continue to sell product in this scale. Product will consist of repaints, multipacks, vehicles, and new sculpted items. The bulk of the oddball prototypes from overseas on eBay are tied into these.

Most if not all figures shown were displayed on Star Wars Revenge of the Sith stands. These will most likely not be included with the Joe figures.

Convention Exclusives
General Mayhem: M.A.R.S. Invades set. Includes 6 Iron ANVILs, 6 Iron Grenadiers, Destro, General Mayhem, Metalhead. Attendees got an exclusive bonus AGP vehicle. The Parachute figure was a light green version of the club exclusive Jungle Viper. There was also a 200-piece run of the Moray Hydrofoil with Cobra stickers and made of Cobra blue plastic-- very cool.
Steel Brigade. The JOE theme was, of course, based on the classic mail-in figure. The Iron Mech was a repaint of the Defense Mech. Limited to 800 pieces. A Steel Brigade Two-Pack of troops was offered along with a Steel Brigade Three-Pack with a Steel Brigade Commander, Dragonsky, and Gung Ho. Finally, a three-pack of Steel Brigade Skyhawk vehicles was offered. Pretty much all items were limited to 800 pieces.

Classic Single Packs
As the leaks indicated, there were a lot more of these on tap. For the second wave, expect Footloose, Snow Serpents, Range Vipers, David "Salvo" Hasle, and Barrel Roll. A New version of Major Bludd was also shown.

Classic Six Packs
At least three six-packs were shown which are most likely direct market exclusives-- it's hard to tell when you aren't there. A set of black/dark Crimson Guards, a set with B.A.T.s and a silver Overkill, and the Cobra Night Watch, classic Cobra troopers in darker colors.

Vehicles
The new Cobra H.I.S.S. with Pit Viper seems to be based on the original design, but has so many new parts and features that it seems impossible to be a resculpt of the original. There was a new version of the Rhino and the R.O.C.C., both of which are expected around October/November. A G.I. Joe Moray was also shown and is supposedly a Toys "R" Us exclusive.

Comic Book Three-Packs
The rumors were all true. Comic Pack #9 made an appearance in the new packaging with the same figures: Scarlett, Breaker, and Cobra Commander. New, or newly confirmed, were:
Devil's Due #16: The Fan's Choice set with Hannibal, Cover Girl, and Spirit and all-new sculpts all around.

G.I. Joe Sigma Six

While reports are thin, the interesting thing was that concept art for a number of figures and vehicles went on display as well as the first-ever glimpses at some new figures like the B.A.T. Frankly, the idea of a large-scale H.I.S.S. has us all tingly even if the overall look and feel of the line does not. The concept art for Scarlett-- we presume-- looks heavily influenced by the while anime thing, and she doesn't look bad. Ditto with the Baroness. Zartan and a number of other characters were shown in sketch form and it looks like this line has a lot of potential if kids buy into it. What we wanted to see-- and did not yet see-- was a Cobra Commander.

More as we find it!

--AP

Dark Scorponok Revealed, Leobreaker bio too, New Discount Alternators, MORE

The official name for the toy previously known officially as "Scorponok Redeco" is Dark Scorponok, as revealed in this in-box photo at TFW2005.com's boards. Enjoy! This is one of several "remolds" making an appearance in Cybertron.

Also, TFans.com posted scans of the back of Leobreaker's box, indicating that he is, in fact, an upgrade of another character. It seems the bulk of characters in Cybertron get a legit upgrade-- a whole new mold, not just a "Powerlinx" or "Energon" repaint. (Of course, that isn't to say there aren't repaints coming of these molds... stay tuned.)

Fan2Fan posted shots of some new toys, like the Robot Masters set of Skywarp and Thundercracker. We honestly cannot say we're big fans of the toys from these early shots but you never know if the final releases will look a little better. They also show the Blue version of Prowl the Binaltech toy. Check 'em out!

The animated series for Transformers Cybertron, which rumor has it will be dubbed to fit in loosely with the unfinished Energon comic continuity, starts July 2 on Cartoon Network. (Consult your local listings-- we saw it on our DISH guide.) Rumor also has it that a few stores will be resetting this week to coincide with the new show which, we have to admit, sounds cool if it's true. We'll be hunting and sharing what we find with you, our lovely readers.

In the continued realm of the greatly exaggerated demise of Universe, Remy posted Packaged Snowcat in a new Cybertron-esque cardback. He seems to be in Halloween colors and frankly, we're not biting. The thread points out that he's shipping in assortment 27271, which was supposedly the same assortment for Kay-Bee's exclusive redecorated Energon Demolishor and Cyclonus. Could it be a Kay-Bee exclusive? We tend to think so.

Finally, Toys "R" Us has been getting in two-packs of Alternators for $19.98-- previously, these have just been Side Swipe and Smokescreen, but those two are also being packaged with either Swindle or Windcharger. We've only seen these four so far, but they're great toys and well worth the asking price if you're a collector. If you're a kid... maybe not so much.

--AP

Nintendo Revolution Controller Rumor Mill

Would you believe the rumor that Nintendo is developing a controller with a LCD display and a gyroscope? A gyroscope, for those who haven't had the fun of playing with a vintage Marx Toys Mystery Ship (thanks, dad!) is a device that basically makes something feel like it's screwing with gravity. It provides a kind of force feedback like you're probably never going to see elsewhere and it's very cool. Anyway...

So, GameSpot posted a giant rumor rundown of a bazillion rumors just like that one and tries to deny their authenticity, when appropriate.

--AP

That's It
June 28 2005
Trainbots Re-Revealed!

Some blurry photos of a Cybertron-packaged Micromaster six train combiner. Now, some better pictures have surfaced over at the 2005 Boards of the toy now known as Rail Racer. Individual components are named Railspike, Rapid Run, Tankor, Swindle, Overload, and Midnight Express. There's rampant speculation that this is in fact packaging meant for the UK but nobody knows yet-- the future of Universe as a brand is an odd one and it would make sense that these could be sold under either banner to improve sales.

Also, Palisades announced it would most likely be ending its license to produce statues based on Transformers this year, ending the line with a large 12-inch Devastator. There's another company already making statues that just got a new license a few weeks ago, so the market for non-transforming statues of your favorite childhood toys still exists in a different form.

Speaking of Universe, Downshift has just been revealed and it's something interesting. It's in the new Cybertron-esque packaging and it's not a radical departure from the original release in vehicle mode, and the art for the robot seems based off the Energon release. It's potentially cool, so check it out.

--AP

Stikfas Comic Con Exclusive

Action-Figure has the scoop on the 2005 Comic Con teddy bear. Apparently it's a prize at the booth, which will feature some sort of customizing contest activity. It's the same basic design from the Mechana Segmented Robot kit, which means it's pretty cool-- so do check it out.

--AP

G.I. Joe Officialish Gallery

Can't get enough of the new Joes? Master Collector's Convention Galleries sport SEVEN pages of photos from Hasbro's booth spanning 3 3/4-inch, 12-inch, and Sigma Six offerings. Worth a look? We think so. Even if a few things are hard to see.

--AP

Mel Blanc was Heathcliff?
June 29 2005
Want Cybertron with that?

After Disney dumped McDonald's, it appears some of Hasbro's properties jumped ship as well. Jack in the Box has had numerous general "Hasbro" promotions involving their top brands, but it seems Burger King lucked out and got a promotion with both the robots in disguise as well as Care Bears that will start out in mid-July, so reports a few Transformers news sites. No photos of the toy have surfaced yet, but it's an interesting switch and highly speculated to be a result of the Energon Happy Meals being available exclusively overseas. (Also, the McArmada toys looked like crap.) So, here's hoping these will either be nifty tiny toys (not likely given the wow factor of Legends of Cybertron) or just recolored Mini-Cons. And surely, who wouldn't absolutely adore that?

TFormers posted some great stories as well, for starters, packaged images of US Override, also known as Nitro Convoy. It's a nice big scan, so do check it out-- you can actually see some of the details. Also notable was the story on Energon repacks for Universe. As reported earlier, Arcee's coming out in Universe packaging-- and with her, Energon Strongarm and Windrazor. So far. Word on the street speculates that these are bargain basement specials, so odds are you won't be seeing them in your usual toy runs. But since you have them in Energon packaging already, well, there may not be much you're missing unless these end up being super cheap. (And at two bucks a whack, they're must-buys. Hypothetically.)

--AP

PlayStation 3 Pricing Postulation

GameSpot has a story on the pricing of the next generation PlayStation. Apparently the story on the street is the cost to make the unit is $494, and the cost to the consumer is $399. As the rumor is that the Xbox360 should clock in at just under $300, this is a most interesting development, and one you may enjoy reading more about.

--AP

DiC Animation on DVD

As always, TVShowsOnDVD.com manged to unearth some dirt on new DVDs-- namely announcements of a deal between Shout! Factory and DiC animation studios to bring some older 1980's shows back to the viewing public.

The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Inspector Gadget, Sabrina the Animated Series, and Heathcliff were announced. We were particularly shocked by the Heathcliff announcement, not because we aren't huge fans of the character (oh, and we aren't) but because we never realized legendary voice star Mel Blanc provided the orange cat's voice! Color us surprised.

--AP

Stella Stellar

Sure, we wanted to trot that one out. But we really dug Stella on Comedy Central last night. The show features Michael Ian Black (The State, Viva Variety, I Love the [Decade Here]), Michael Showalter, and David Wain (both from The State, The Daily Show) in comedy situations best described as "wacky." It's played fairly straight, but they do fairly goofy things-- it's high comedy and low comedy, a sort of Talking Heads with less music and more funny. The first episode focused on their getting thrown out of their apartments and eventually getting back through performing a botched heart surgery on their landlord, who happened to be escaped Nazi war criminal Dr. Mengele. You can't get this kind of entertainment elsewhere. The jokes were tight and rarely went on beyond their ability to entertain, and we'll certainly be watching more episodes as long as it continues to air.

--AP

Star Wars Vader 500 Now Available Online

Sorta. I saw hundreds of them in sealed cases that were just received yesterday at Entertainment Earth, and they are not yet (at press time) listed as "in stock" on the web site, but they are in fact in stock. The final release is quite gorgeous, you can even move the claw holding the helmet's dome up and down in the meditation chamber-- while the package is still sealed! It also clicks securely in place, and the extra accessories are stowed out of view. It's a good piece and we believe this is one of the first places to have it en masse, so click here to place your "short term preorder" or just order it since they should be in stock and available at this point. They also got in the new Force Battlers Wave 2 with Mace Windu, Clone Troopers, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Anakin Skywalker and some other stuff. So, worth a look.

--AP

I'm lazy
June 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 last week-- because things were working properly. Some good ones this week, so read on, true believers!

Also, Entertainment Earth got some new stuff in that isn't necessarily appearing online yet, so if you're a short-term preorder type person, there's the 500th Figure Darth Vader and the Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader Evolutions Set. I know because I saw the towers of cases in the warehouse.

--AP

New Prowl: Binaltech & Alternators

Ya got options today. P.Prime posted shots of the Alternators Prowl in the box, which we believe are the first sighting. Also, E-HOBBY posted a bunch of images of the Binaltech toy to their web shop.

--AP

Medicom Real Action Hero Spider-Man

If you like your toys big, expensive, and Japanese, Medicom has a toy for you. Over at NCS, they're taking preorders on a new Medicom Real Action Hero Spider-Man. He's 12-inches tall, super posable, and has a Peter Parker head as a bonus. You can even plug webs into his wrists-- and of course, like the awesome Star Wars Real Action Heroes, he's expensive-- $189. Still, check it out.

--AP

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