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Where they fit
August 1 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap.

We also started on next week's, and there may be two updates this week-- keep the questions coming. Also, we have a review of R2-D2 with the new sound effects coming too, so

--AP

Final Fantasy: XII Images & Names, Dirge of Cerberus

If you like Final Fantasy titles on the PlayStation 2, boy are you in for a treat. The Magic Box posted six pages of photos and news on the game, showing a character name, loads of new scenarios, and a design aesthetic not unlike that of Final Fantasy X, so if you dug Yuna and Spira and all that crap, you're in for a treat.

If you preferred the world surrounding Midgard, though, there's also numerous images of Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus, the action shooter featuring Vincent Valentine and, apparently, Cait Sith.

A big giant report was also posted at Gamespot on the recent Square and Enix shindig in Japan. News on release dates, new games, and loads of photos await you if you're still a fan of the RPG powerhouse.

--AP

G.I. Joe Shadow Crimson Guard Available

Last Friday, we spotted the new Shadow edition of the Crimson Guards at Toys "R" Us here in Los Angeles. The set includes numerous ninja-themed accessories, removable helmets, and the same damn ethnicity and hair color on each and every figure. $19.99, of course, and it's supposedly the last (or second to last) one of these sets to be sold at Toys "R" Us.

--AP

Transformers Rumblings

Numerous sites are linking to images of Arm Bullet, a remolded and/or repainted Land Bullet, which was sold in the USA as Crumplezone. It looks different enough to grab your attention, but it doesn't look like a superior toy by any stretch of the imagination.

--AP

Target Changes Seasons

Target stores in the USA are currently clearing out old stock, and some stores-- not all-- marked down a number of items to 75% off last Thursday. A lot of stores are still plodding along, so if you're in the market for some cheap toys, do visit Target and be sure to scan anything interesting with an orange price sticker on it. You'll probably be glad you did, what with Playmobil dinosaurs, Star Wars Jedi Force, and other fine toys on extreme markdowns at some stores.

--AP

Clutch the Skull
August 2 2005
Final Fantasy VII Remake for PS3?

It's no secret that one of our all time favorite games in Final Fantasy VII. We tracked down the BanDai figures from Japan almost a year before the game hit the USA. We had a big section on our old, pre-16bit.com news page showcasing them. We played the living hell out of the game and bought the soundtrack and thought Cloud was just the coolest thing ever. (Remember, this is before absolutely every game featured a brooding pseudo-anti-hero.) While this paragraph is a wee bit narcissistic, it's important that we make sure you understand that Final Fantasy VII is an awesome video game, even though it's an old PlayStation title from 1997.

There have been rumors about a rerelease, a special edition if you will. GameSpot has some information on a recent tech demo for the PlayStation 3 that seems to be the first stage in a possible rerelease. Nothing is confirmed, but it seems pretty optimistic. Read on, and hey Konami-- pay attention and give me another Symphony of the Night. One that isn't on a Nintendo portable.

...and while we're on the subject, there's also a trio of new figures (of sorts) coming out for Advent Children which you can see at NCS. The new toys? An airship called the Shera Spaceship, Bahamut Shin, and Jado Gripper. Assuming the translation is right, which is what we're currently doing.

--AP

Playmobil Target Theme: Magical Unicorn Crap

It looks like the bulk of the Fall 2005 offerings for Target stores will be split between two themes. One of which is already available in Germany, and it's Barbarians, a series of purple-hued pseudo-medieval sword and horse sets. The other? Magical Unicorn stuff. There are several pink sets with girls and horses with horns. So for fans of irony, you've got a lot to skip. The new Pals-- which we have not spotted yet-- reportedly include the Ghost Pirate (which we reviewed in its first release from Specials) so that should be a good batch of stuff.

...of course we realize these are toys aimed at preschoolers. Yes, we're fully aware that the average age of a contributor to 16bit.com is about 25. What's your point? Don't judge us.

--AP

Microman Updates

The marvelous Microman Forever added a ton of new info and images. Happy stuff. There's a shot of an octopus armored figure, a sort of mermaid figure, new exclusives, and much more-- check out the news area and enjoy! Or rather, be frustrated that some of the finest toys will be some sort of book pack-in exclusive that you'll never see!

--AP

Batman: 1990s DVDs Confirmed

Redefining the term "mixed bag," Warner Bros. will be releasing the previous four Batman DVDs come October. The Digital Bits has the full scoop on Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin, which, of course, get progressively worse. The story has info on commentaries, featurettes, and more. Sadly, there's no MST3K commentaries on the latter two, which we feel would greatly improve sales for these items. Surely you agree.

--AP

Transformers Universe Constructicons

In 2004, Hasbro showcased a set of repaints of the Car Robots/Robots in Disguise Build Team combiners (later sold all in yellow) in Constructicon Green and Purple as a Wal-Mart exclusive. Because, as their slide show indicated, "because YOU demanded it!" While we don't like being blamed for such things, it seems that the assumed cancelled exclusive has found an outlet, as the Hasbro panel stated at Comic-Con International last month-- HasbroToyShop.com. We are currently working to find out if these will be a shared exclusive like the direct-to-consumer Joes or an actual exclusive, but until then, you can see the fairly priced listings for them. Rather than selling them as a set, they come in pairs-- Longhaul & Hightower and Bonecrusher & Scavenger. This is the first of supposedly several such items that will be sold online in smaller quantities.

And if you haven't seen it, the first Transformers Battlefield statues are up for previewing, and their site seems to actually be online now. It's a very comic influenced pair of statues, with Optimus Prime duking it out with Megatron, both in their G1 forms. As this is the fourth pair of statues based on these characters in fewer than as many years, it's an interesting product, nothing to sneeze at but a market that we weren't sure actually existed. Definitely worth a look.

--AP

From the makers of Shortpacked...

If you've had the fortune to have read the highly amusing and often superbly sharp web comics Roomies, It's Walky, or Shortpacked, you may be in for a huge treat. Creator David Willis is starting a new project, Joyce & Walky, based on the two characters which have permeated most of his projects so far. It's a fairly cheap micropayment system with free stuff on the site, and while we ordinarily don't plug such things, we're always willing to promote quality whenever possible, and the guy's stuff is usually fantastic. So go read it.

--AP

Why Not?
August 3 2005
Review: Revenge of the Sith R2-D2

Over at Galactic Hunter, we posted a look at R2-D2, the electronic version of the classic droid that once again trots out the same old mold. Is he worth it? And does he really come with tons of sound effects from the original trilogy and not the latest film? Find out in today's review!

--AP

Marvel: Figure Factory, Superhero Showdown

Last night at a LA area Toys "R" Us, we spotted two newish assortments. One was Superhero Showdown, this time in the form of individually carded figures. Each one has missile firing craziness, stands, and more... for $7.99 each, which is about the price of the far superior and significantly larger Marvel Legends toy line. Also shown were Marvel's Figure Factory, which we could not discover the price due to several destroyed price scanners and a lack of patience to tracking someone down to ask them. These are more or less blind boxed and we believe them to be in the sub-$10 range. Either way, happy hunting-- you've got options this coming season if you're a Marvel fan.

--AP

Transformers Galvatron Reissue: Reformatted

It seems that Takara wasn't content to merely reissue the original Galvatron toy this year-- they decided to retool the face, repaint it purple, and add a bunch of electronics! Japanese supersite Fan2Fan has pictures and the full scoop... he even has the Matrix!

--AP

Target Reset

Numerous, but not all, Target stores reset over the past few days. A number of clearance items remain, but it looks like there's a lot of space for Star Wars, no space for Joes, and a decent (but small) chunk of Transformers real estate. Should be good. Lots of new LEGO items, Playmobil stuff, and pretty much anything else you can expect to see are available, so start hunting. (And no, we haven't yet found a lot of NEW new stuff.)

--AP

Regular Soft Serve Cone
August 4 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap. That's how we roll.

--AP

Zoids Returns... on Nintendo DS... in Japan

With American news on Zoids pretty much over and done with, you may be pleased to know that Tomy is not only supporting the toy line in Japan, but the video games as well. Zoids Saga: Legend of Arcadia will come out in Winter, so says The Magic Box. What will it be like, well, we don't know. But we hope it's good.

--AP

Transformers Cybertron Goodness

Hasbro's Fan Forum, hosted by the omniscient Vector Prime, had some more slow-pitch softball action today which you should check out. It's amusing.

There's a photo gallery of Exigeyser, the upgrade of Excellion, at TFKenkon. This is a powered-up Hot Shot, and it's pretty great looking. The robot mode is strikingly similar to Hot Shot, but the vehicle mode is totally different.

Finally, packaged images of Brushguard and Longrack from Cybertron were both posted to TFW2005. Worth seeing? We think so.

...but for those who really like slow-pitch softball, there's an interview with former Dreamwave head honcho, Pat Lee, up at Newsarama. It's not especially revealing, but for those that care, there you go.

--AP

Family Guy Volume 3 Part 1

TVShowsOnDVD.com has information on the upcoming three-disc, 13-episode box set of Family Guy. Not a bad deal, but read the article for the full scoop.

--AP

Overweight blobs of grease
August 5 2005
Star Wars Droids Revealed at Entertainment Earth

Because we are nothing if not completely shameless, the Star Wars Astromech Droid exclusives have been revealed (and are now up for sale) at Entertainment Earth. Click and buy them through here, and you support the site, and the guy who developed it along with Hasbro and EE and Lucasfilm, which would be me. So, click. You can buy them by the case, in packs of five, as a set of all 10, or as a big honking case of 50. There's also a bundle with the Holiday Jawas. I'm done pimping, but I'm pretty proud of these little guys.

The sets introduce 10 new figures: R2-M5, R2-C4, R4-A22, R4-E1, R2-X2, R2-Q2, R2-A6, R3-Y2, R2-T6, and R3-T2. On to the real news.

--AP

Joe 12-inch Club Exclusives

By way of this press release at the Raving Toy Maniac, you can see the new exclusive 12-inch Collector's Club G.I. Joe exclusives. These include some otherwised unreleased 12-inch 40th Anniversary products, and if you're a 1/6 fiend, this is something you should probably check out as they are limited to 4,000 pieces per. Sure, there aren't any cool aliens or weird Yetis, but for fans of military this could indeed be neat stuff.

--AP

Transformers Micromasters... Superion?

Color us shocked! While we love a good fan wank as much as the next guy, we were positively shocked and delighted to see the preview images of Superion in package at TFW2005. The gallery shows all six toys packaged and close-ups of the complete giant robot, which is a recolor of Sixwing which looks a lot like the original G1 Superion. For those keeping track, this leaves the USA Universe Micromasters team ratio at 3:1 in favor of Autobots over Decepticons.

Also, the Botcon exclusive preview page updated with two bios for Fallback and Buzzclaw, which means, sadly, no new toy preview this week. Seeing as we were insanely looking forward to a new toy this week, well, we're a little disappointed, but surely illegible low-res JPEGs with smudged text are just as good.

--AP

Muppet Show Season 1 DVD Review at DVDFile

DVDFile.com has reviewed The Muppet Show, the first season of which hits DVD in the USA next week. The price for the set is shaping up to be just under $30 at most stores, it's just a hair over a buck an episode plus features. We're interested, and you should be too.

--AP

Red Robot, You're The Reason, It Takes Action to Act
August 8 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap.

Never before have I received the same question so many times in such a short period of time. "Where's R5-D4," you all keep asking me. Well, I don't know. So I move we all ask Hasbro. Join my crusade of the week, won't you? Also, I've been writing about toys on the Internet for 10 years-- my first online publication was penned on August 1, 1995-- the same date I found the first modern Hasbro/Kenner Star Wars item, which was a Froot Loops box advertising the Han Solo Stormtrooper offer which wasn't even rumored before it hit the stores. Toy journalism has come a long way, folks!

--AP

G.I. Joe Final TRU Gift Set Available

Last Friday, we sighted the Toys "R" Us Exclusive Heavy Assault Squad for $19.99 at an LA TRU. You get three greenshirts and three Joes (Snake Eyes, Roadblock, and someone else we can't read in our notes) with numerous accessories. It's a bit of a whimper for the Toys "R" Us exclusive Joe program to end on, but it was a great run and we hope fans worldwide will continue to enjoy Joes new and old on the secondary market and direct-to-consumer level... because they're still awesome. Have you seen that new HISS tank? Holy crap.

--AP

Transformers Repaint Arcee and Others

The TFW2005 Boards posted photos of three unique Arcee redecoes. It's assumed that one or all will be convention items, but this has yet to be confirmed. One is a black flaming motorcycle with tampographed flames. Another is more or less a seafoam Paradron Medic repaint with green energon bits. The third is essentially "Fire Guts Arcee." Robot modes were not revealed and it is unknown if we should expect new heads here.

Another thread reveals packaged Cybertron Blurr and Buzzsaw, as well as a look at an unknown repaint Cyberjet with flame detailing not too different than that of the aforementioned Arcee repaint. Are they a team? Perhaps a convention two-pack? It remains to be seen, so stay tuned!

--AP

Everything you could ask for, and less
August 9 2005
Transformers Repaint Arcee Robot Modes; Ironhide & Ratchet

The TFW2005 Site posted photos of three unique Arcee redecoes AND the newly revealed mystery Cyberjet in both robot and vehicle modes. Two of the Arcees have unpainted heads, leading some to speculate she may end up having a retooled noggin upon her eventual release, which is assumed to be as a convention exclusive.

Also revealed were test shots of Ironhide and Ratchet, also assumed to be part of the various convention sets. These are both repaints of the Energon toy Tow-Line and are, to say the least, a little uninspired-- Ratchet is pretty much all white, and Ironhide is pretty much all red. Those hoping for darker accent colors aren't going to see them here, and as these are merely test shots, the final product will likely vary. These, too, are assumed to be revealed by the Botcon people in the coming weeks.

--AP

G.I. Joe: The Swords

Just when you think Hasbro couldn't find new ways to license out its core properties, two companies joined forces to launch G.I. Joe Swords, a future web store that will sell just that. Swords based on designs used by Snake Eyes and Stormshadow are both previewed, but wait, there's more! Another company, First4Figures, announced they got the Resin Statue license. First4Figures recently made a big splash by announcing and revealing its first two Transformers statues while their web site was beaten to death by the traffic caused by curious fans. Characters for the statues are presently unknown.

--AP

DVDs Today: Thundercats, Muppet Show

Fans of two shows should be pretty happy today, as the first volume of Thundercats and The Muppet Show are hitting DVD stores today. Both have lots of episodes of these old shows and should delight hardcore fans and to some extent, confuse everybody else.

--AP

I'm a winner
August 10 2005
Transformers Cybertron Override, Red Alert Spotted

Last night at a Los Angeles Toys "R" Us, we spotted two new deluxe toys from Cybertron. Red Alert is essentially a new version of the Armada toy of the same name, but different. Think Red Alert, downsized, and with less in the way of extras. It has a great transformation, good sculpt, and is in perfect scale with Armada Hot Shot and Optimus Prime in case you were wanting to make a little display of the three playable characters from the video game. Override is neat, but not as cool-- her robot mode actually kinda sucks, although the car mode is quite awesome. (I'm sure more than a few fans are thinking of Arcee customs.) While Red Alert is enough fun in both modes, Override is really just a superbly nifty car with great looking wheels and a rather clunky robot mode. Her transformation is partially automated, which is quite nifty. Odds are you'll end up buying both if you see them but if you're cutting corners, cut Override.

--AP

Target's New Playmobil: Christmas in August, New Pals

While we did not jot down prices, names, and item numbers due to time and our being technically late for work, we did see new Target exclusive (we assume) Playmobil items today.

First up, two new houses. Like the fold-out Pirate Treasure Chest, there are now two new playhouses, both share the same basic mold with different figures and accessories. One is a Doll House, with all the doll stuff and furnishings and it's pink. The other is basically Santa's Workshop. They fold up nicely, come with tons of stuff, and sell for about $29.99. Not a screamingly great deal, but good enough, surely.

New Pals surfaced, including the repackaged Ghost Pirate, the American (or Canadian) Football Player with the Wildcats logos, a woman with a shopping cart, and a few others. Still $1.99.

--AP

Thundercats, Volume 2

TVShowsOnDVD.com has news of the release date for the second volume of Thundercats. It's this year, so you might as well go check out their brief story.

--AP

She Picked Up Everything I Threw At Her
August 11 2005
Transformers Cybertron... with DVDs!

Yesterday at work, Hasbro emailed us and told us some exciting news-- this Fall, there would be two Transformers Cybertron Deluxe assortments shipping with DVDs with one episode of the series. Unfortunately, it's all the same DVD-- you get one episode, "Hidden." It is not currently known if there are any DVD-ROM extras or other goodies on the disc, but we're crossing our fingers for some toy commercials as those things are usually a hoot to watch.

If you'd like to preorder these cases, or see the full assortments, kindly click the following:
Transformers Cybertron Deluxe Wave 3.5 with DVD
Transformers Cybertron Deluxe Wave 3.5 Rev. 1 with DVD

These assortments contain the four Armada remolds, Sideways, Snarl, and in some cases, two older toys. Not a bad mix! They're expected in October/November.

--AP

Bionicle Bootlegs

It took a while, and while these are not direct rip-offs, BZ Power has a thread going on a new line of knock-offs. They're from a company called "Blocko," which should make a few Simpsons fans grin, and the page for the company in China is slow. Really slow. But check it out anyway.

--AP

Xevoz Wave 4 at Entertainment Earth

TVShowsOnDVD.com has news of the release date for the second volume of Thundercats. It's this year, so you might as well go check out their brief story.

Hyper Guardian, $8.99
Infil-Traitor, $8.99
Frankenpunker, $8.99
Thunder Shaman, $12.99
Fire Drake vs. Rune Slayer, $12.99

--AP

She's Easy
August 12 2005
Review: Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker (Fried)

Over at Galactic Hunter, we posted a look at Anakin Skywalker, the third basic version from the movie and one that you can really knock the crap out of-- you can cut off his legs, change his head, and leave him for dead at the side of the volcano. Now, is it all really as cool as it sounds? Find out in today's review!

--AP

Botcon Exclusives & Transformers Cybertron New Releases

While they came and went pretty quickly, Entertainment Earth received three new Cybertron toys. Mudflap, Dark Scorponok, and Leobreaker all ship at one per case in their respective assortments, but as the line is still relatively new this means they shouldn't be too difficult to get in the long run.

Also very exciting were the official reveal of two new BotCon exclusives over at Master Collector. The biggest surprise appears to be that Ironhide-- who you may have seen previously-- seems to have a remolded head! Ricochet, the other new figure, is a G2 Cyberjet repaint, meaning it's a great mold but one you likely own once, twice, or many times over. Bios for both have been added as well, and with three toys to go, speculation remains rampant on just what this little box set will include!

--AP

DuckTales to DVD!

For fans of the old Uncle Scrooge comics or kids that watched a lot of Disney TV animation, TVShowsOnDVD.com has some great preliminary news on an upcoming three-disc set based on the former cornerstone of "The Disney Afternoon," DuckTales. We're quite excited. Read on for more!

--AP

Is This Your Car?
August 15 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap.

Clones, Expanded Universe, all that crap. Read on!

--AP

Transformers Alignment Online

Legendary Transformers scribe Simon Furman penned a brief tale on the final days of G2 and the first days of the Beast Wars for a UK convention... and now you can read it online! Or print it out and read it on the crapper, which is what we plan to do.

Also submitted for your approval, an auction for Sky Lynx, a Japan-only limited repaint of Flame Convoy (aka Scourge) for Galaxy Force (aka Cybertron). Note the price.

--AP

More (unconfirmed) DuckTales DVD News

TVShowsOnDVD.com posted an as of yet unconfirmed episode list for the upcoming three-disc box of DuckTales. Interesting is a notable absence-- the first five episodes which comprised "Treasure of the Golden Suns" are NOT there. Boooo.

--AP

Vikings coming to the USA

VICTORY! LEGO has decided to import the Bionicle-compatible Vikings line to the USA and Canada as a Toys "R" Us exclusive. Read more at BZPower.

--AP

We Can Dance
August 16 2005
Xevoz Deals & Stuff

For starters: Some, if not all, Toys "R" Us stores are having a big "green tag" sale which includes a heck of a lot of Xevoz. We've personally spotted Shadow Blade vs. Bone Cutter sets for $3.48, various Basics for $2.49, and some deluxe sized figures for who the heck knows because the stupid barcode won't scan. It stands to reason that the likes of the two TRU exclusive sets are about $3.50 as well. So after Toys "R" Us blows out their stuff, all that's left are stragglers at Kmart and (possibly new) clearance stock at Kay-Bee... and some stuff at online merchants!

We just got our review samples from Entertainment Earth of the rest of Wave 4 of Xevoz, and so far we like what we see. For example, the Franken'Punker has a monkeywrench, a ball and chain, a giant metal girder, an axe, a guitar, an executioner's head, and a backpack with a very creative on/off switch. Reviews are, as always, in some stage of development.

So, between new stock at Entertainment Earth & HasbroToyShop.com and clearance fodder out the butt, the vast majority of the line is still available and often on the cheap. Get while the getting is good, kids.

--AP

BotCon Deathsaurus Revealed

TransformersClub.com posted the fifth figure in the seven figure box set, and it was only mildly a surprise-- Deathsaurus. It's basically Gigatron (aka Robots in Disguise Megatron) but with new colors and a new head. As a fairly obscure fan wank, it's pretty interesting, but the head doesn't evoke the very typical late 1980's aesthetic sported by the original which was never released in the USA. And this new version isn't a "breastforce" figure either.

This convention set is said to have three new head molds, and so far, we've been shown two-- the other one was on Ironhide. Where will #3 surface? Who knows.

--AP

The Gore The Merrier
August 17 2005
Xevoz Deals & Stuff

Follow-up from yesterday-- it seems Toys "R" Us stores are now down to 50% off green tagged items, which include Xevoz and Zoids and what have you. We saw the TRU Exclusives for about $3.50 a pop, and we have to say we think they're worth it. As we're suckers.

Also cracked open our Hyper Guardian and Infil-Traitor. Neat. Huge. Not as awesome as one might hope, but excellent enough to track down. Snag 'em if you see 'em.

--AP

New Zelda: 2006

A bunch of Nintendo tidbits were posted at Gamespot, the most notable and disappointing was that the new GameCube Zelda title won't hit until 2006. The good news, though, is that the GameBoy Advance SP is getting a $20 price cut and the GameBoy Micro is coming out on August 21. There's more, of course, so you should read it.

--AP

Dark Scorponok at Wal-Mart

Last week, Entertainment Earth received Leobreaker, Dark Scorponok, and Mudflap. Last night, a LA-area Wal-Mart received Dark Scorponok, meaning he's there for the taking. (We did not yet buy it due to the $27 price tag.) It looks spiffy, and those who have not yet bought the Energon version would be well served to snag this one.

--AP

And Sing!
August 18 2005
Review: Revenge of the Sith General Grievous (Exploding Body)

When you release nearly 70 figures in less than a year, you're going to have some hits... and you're going to have some turkeys. And to General Grievous (Exploding Body), we say "gobble, gobble." He's super white clean. His legs bend over when he stands up because the plastic is weak. And what's with that cloak? With so many Grievouses... er... Grievances... or... Grevii on the market today, you may no doubt think "I should be the best ones I can!" And good for you. Read more in today's review!

--AP

Transformers Tidbits

Well, Hasbro released some new news today to stores, some of which we have up, the rest we're getting up at Entertainment Earth. The biggest news was that a whopping THREE all-new "lost" Transformers Universe toys are up for order. Transformers Universe Ultra Assortment 7 contains the lost Devastator made off of a modified (repainted) Build Team as well as Repugnus & Overbite, a repainted Fuzors Buzzclaw and Beast Wars II Hellscream, respectively. The latter has us giddy to see again because it's a great set. And if you click through here to get it, hey, you're supporting the site and our employment.

Also good: Metroplex & Galvatron are coming in the Fall. More as it gets posted there as, well, it needs to get posted.

--AP

Playmobil Pals at Toys "R" Us

The last series of Playmobil Pals came and went pretty quick from Target stores in the USA, and this makes us extra happy to see them again at Toys "R" Us stores for the same price, a paltry $1.99. Highlights include The Mummy, and of course The Black Belt. Another great figure (that we just bought two days ago at TRU) was a formerly Europe-only store exclusive pirate, so if you're like us, you may wish to go get it before some other collector realizes it's out there!

Also the next new series is out at Target, which includes a reissue of the Ghost Pirate which we reviewed and totally love for two bucks.

--AP

Pink!
August 19 2005
Japan GameBoy Micro Details

In the USA, we'll be getting the new GameBoy Micro in black and silver. They're getting that in Japan, and also getting blue and pink. The full details on the hardware and some software can be read over at The Magic Box.

--AP

Transformers Botcon Craziness

For starters, the folks behind Botcon updated their convention preview! (That's good!) They decided to post that they would add all seven figures, and the box, for the convention boxed set shortly. (Huzzah!) And to prepare for this, they removed each and every single figure preview that was up previously. (Baffling.)

Also notable: Blue Buzzclaw and Yellow Buzzclaw eBay auctions. These are expected to be attendee purchase items for Botcon as part of a "troop builder set" that allows them to "clone" the insecticon and get a few miles more out of the mold.

Also, the Burger King kiddie meal promo has started in the USA-- so you can get a third-rate miniature transforming Cybertron toy with lunch if you get a kid's meal. (We might go do this tomorrow.) Worth a look if you like food that includes entertainment.

--AP

Entertainment Earth Clearance

At my day job, we're clearing out old stock-- you can Shop Entertainment Earth for clearance stuff. There's a big banner with about 500 items on markdown as low as a buck, and there's a few good deals on some formerly high-dollar busts that are actually going lower than the best eBay closeouts I've seen. And some other items aren't quite as cheap. But if you're bored, go look it over and you can probabl find a few items so cheap you'll go "dammit, I'm out five bucks!" and then you'd fork over the five bucks. Lots of one lefts, lots of old stock, a little bit of newer stuff. Overall, not a bad chunk of junk.

--AP

Single Star
August 22 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap.

So much crap, in fact, that we have to do two updates this week AND next week-- so come back on Thursday to see more!

--AP

Mystery Mini-Con, Botcon Exclusives & Transformers Cybertron Push

As surprises are fewer and fewer these days, this auction for an unknown Mini-Con should get your attention. It's a translucent pink aircraft with two opaque blue marble-shooter missiles. Is it the girl who loved Powerglide? Or just some random transforming test toy we'll never see in stores? We don't know, but we expect it to be part of Wave 2 of the upcoming Cybertron Mini-Con assortments later this or early next year.

Some Wal-Mart stores are receiving giant (read: hundreds of figure capacity) aisle displays for Transformers Cybertron. So far, we have personally spotted one of these, with hundreds of units of the first four Deluxe figures (Hot Shot, Thundercracker, Landmine, Dirt Boss) and the first six Scout figures (Mini-Con Recon Team, Scattorshot, etc.) So if you still haven't been able to find all of these, we advise you check the Wally World and while you're there, get a Hardtop. It's cool.

In Japan, there's a big toy and character convention and you missed it. Thankfully, Fan2Fan went and took their cameras. You can see a 1/6 scale Misha figure, tons of new shots of Galaxy Force Soundwave, the black repaint of Robot Masters Lioconvoy, and all sorts of goodies.

Also, you've no doubt seen the Botcon 7-Figure Boxed Set Preview which shows all seven figures and the box. We're of two minds about this piece, as an absentee package (which is really all that matters if you can't go) is $265 and that's really all that matters if you're a solitary fan looking to buy some new toys. Here's what you get, and what it originally was and cost:
Deathsaurus (retooled Robots in Disguise Megatron/Galvatron, $20)
Ironhide (retooled Energon Tow-Line, $10)
Chromia (retooled Energon Arcee, $7)
Fallback (repainted Energon Strongarm, $7)
Ricochet (repainted Generation 2 Jetfire, Hooligan, and other figures, $6)
Buzzclaw (repainted Fuzors Buzzclaw, $5)
Dirge (repainted Fuzors Buzzclaw, $5)

So what you're essentially buying is a big (and fancy) box with $60 worth of toys. It should be noted that "fair" convention exclusive markup ranges 200-300% of original prices to cover the fact it's a limited run, so it's a little more than you might bargain for. (I'll leave the argument on your paying admission to a convention you won't be going to and missing a bonus eighth toy for another discussion.) It's a very big expensive set and comparably priced to the G.I. Joe 3 3/4-inch 15-figure set (which you can figure at $7.99 per "two pack" times 7.5 "two packs" for $60 worth of plastic), and nobody seems to complain about those despite their being straight (but very cool) repaints with few if any new parts from year to year.

So, is it worth it? I think the secondary market will be the judge of that. G.I. Joe has had superbly cool sets like Operation: Anaconda over the years and those don't tend to go for a lot of money compared to their initial asking price, so it will be a most interesting market to watch as fan interest in this seems to be all across the board. We like it... we just need to raise a lot of capital before we try and get one. Brother, can you spare 2,650 dimes?

--AP

Update: Complete Xevoz Power Glyph Checklist

Our move to a more complete Xevoz section marches on with timely updates to all of our checklists, including the Xevoz Power Glyph Checklist! Now featuring hundreds of the most disposable parts of your favorite parts-swappable action figures, this checklist has the names and numbers of every Glyph produced by Hasbro, right down to all the errors in numbering. Did you know that They're NS-14 and no NS-13? Do you care? Of course not. But you can see all of this crap in the Xevoz Power Glyph Checklist!

--AP

Announced: The Complete Legend of Zelda Animated Series DVD

Who's up for a painful trip down memory lane? Back in the late 1980's, there was a show called "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show" with live action and animated components featuring the two plumbers of what may well be the best-known and most-loved game series in history. On Fridays, the Mario shorts were replaced with The Legend of Zelda, based on a video game with significantly more room for storytelling but not quite as large a fanbase-- or so we thought. TVShowsOnDVD.com has the horrible, horrible cover art and full press release for this upcoming title which will take you back to the days where playing top-down blocky games was considered state-of-the-art and TV animation could be both horrendous and something you waited for with a significant amount of glee. But seriously, have you seen the cover art? Does this not remind you of some of the second-rate envelope art that appeared in (and most likely still appears in) Nintendo Power magazine?

--AP

You Are Just Business, You're Worthless
August 23 2005
Passing: Bob Moog

There are few instruments named after their inventors, and one of the most recent (and best known) examples of such an occurrence is-- or was-- Bob Moog, the guy responsible for the Minimoog and countless other synths to bear his name. He died of brain cancer recently, and was 71. Read more at the BBC or CNN. For the uninitiated, the Moog instruments were often a big part of many great bands from the 1960s and 1990s, so if you're old or a hipster, the significance of this mad genius' passing will no doubt strike a chord. (Sorry for the pun.)

You can hear Moog's instrument on such great albums as "Return of the Rentals" (quoted above) from The Rentals, "Strange Days" by The Doors, and any of a number of great early work from Man or Astro-Man.

--AP

Return of G1 Soundwave and the great Waspinator

If you like villainous fan wanks, man, is today your day! Two of the heavy hitters from the original Generation One series as well as Beast Wars are in the news today.

Despite the description on the auction, Waspinator is not a Botcon exclusive! While Hasbro has yet to announce him, all signs point to him being a part of an upcoming (and also unannounced) Beast Wars assortment later this year. The rumor is that a number of characters will receive some sort of upgrade, which you can see in the auction shots. Aside from a basic recoloring job, you can note that they actually painted up the "mutant" head (the original was a crappy grey color) and added a nice big purple tampographed Predacon logo on the back. It looks like as far as repaints go, this will be a good one. Even the "robot" head looks wonderful!

Next on today's news menu, there's a cameo of G1 Soundwave in Galaxy Force, aka Cybertron. It's brief, but very cool to see. There's a very obvious cassette tape inside his chest, so be sure to check it out-- there's video clips so you can have a look-see.

Fans can also drool over an unpainted testshot of the planet mode of Primus over at TFKenkon. Is it worth seeing? We think so.

--AP

Nintendo Fall Line-Up

Woo-hoo! Gamespot added a giant story with Nintendo's plans for most of the rest of the year, which includes the oft-delayed Metroid Prime: Hunters for Nintendo DS. Which has been delayed until 2006. Mario Kart and a number of other games are listed, like Metroid Prime Pinball (with vibrating cartridge) and a lot of other titles that slipped by us in the past. Do check it out. As cheesy as it sounds, the screenshots for this new Metroid Pinball are nifty.

Also, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow hits Japan this week for the Nintendo DS and we still don't know its US street date. But some stores are saying October. We're hopeful, but we'd rather have it for our birthday next month.

--AP

Preorders on G.I. Joe DTC Cobra HISS

As always, full disclosure for the plug: we work at Entertainment Earth by day. We added some new items to the site recently in the midst of the wacky crazy clearance sale, like the new Cobra HISS-- the fancy pants new one shown at the recent Joe convention and San Diego. It's available individually or in a collector-friendly and slightly cheaper half case. Buy it through the link and support the site, blah blah blah.

Other items should be added to the site shortly, like the Night Watch set and other new releases. And yes, there will be more discounts for those who like to army build-- we understand where you're coming from. EE is also still running a sale with tons of blow-out items from G.I. Joe, like a $28.70 Cobra Commander Statue, a $14.90 Destro Bust, and that oh so funny $9.90 12-inch Talking Duke from last year. It IS funny, by the way, and if you have a brother or sister with a kid and would like to torture any of them, we strongly recommend this item as a gift.

--AP

We're Just Telling You What You Want To Hear
August 24 2005
Buttload of Japanese Transformers News

It's beginning to look like a great time to be an American fan of the robots in disguise. Fan2Fan has a massive update with lots of new tidbits and new images of new products. In Japan, it seems Galvatron will be a limited edition repaint. There's also some very spiffy pictures of Soundwave and his little sidekick, Killer Condor. And there's Binaltech Asterisk figures, the Star Convoy reissue (with new deco), Chromia White Version, and a heck of a lot of other things. Oh, don't miss Soundwave.

--AP

Thundercats Volume 2 Box Art

So it's a slow day. TVShowsOnDVD.com has box art and more info on the upcoming second volume of Thundercats on DVD.

--AP

Oh Happy Crap
August 25 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap.

Come back on Monday for yet another Q&A update, and see the EE news bit below for a shameless plug on the now-preorderable final 12 Revenge of the Sith action figures!

--AP

Famicom Edition GameBoy Micro Faceplate

Because Nintendo likes to torture foreigners with ridiculously cool limited GameBoys, there's going to be a Famicom II Faceplate for GameBoy Micro. See it at The Magic Box and please tell us where one can find one to buy.

--AP

Transformers #0 Preview Online

The fine folks at Newsarama added five preview pages of the new IDW Transformers book-- check it out!

A number of preview images of packaged and unpackaged Cybertron figures were added to TFormers. Of note: Packaged Cybertron, and the US Terrashaver still looks like crap. Granted, the rest of the line is shaping up to be wonderful, so it's picking a nit, but.

The same site has a big gallery of figures from the recent Character Festival, including many wonderful shots of the Binaltech Asterisk figures. Be warned-- you might want them after you see them, as it appears the figures were designed as both stand-alone and as drivers!

Finally, the Botcon folks updated their preview with images of the seven toys' instruction sheets. (No, really, they think people are itching to see these.) Of note, the series name: Transformers Timelines. Interesting and notable.

--AP

Reminder: G.I. Joe Sigma Six Animation This Weekend

If you get the 4KidsTV animated package in your market-- and if you live in the USA, you probably do-- you can see the new Joe show this weekend! It should be on Saturday, unless your local affiliate is doing something funky, which is not uncommon. So, check your local listings for the preview!

--AP

Final ROTS 12, More Sale Stuff at Entertainment Earth

Ah yes, the shameless plugging continues. 101 items (no, that's the actual number) were added to Entertainment Earth's big wacky toy clearance sale, as well as the latest assortments of Revenge of the Sith. So if you want a 501st Tactical Ops Trooper at 3 per case, or if you want 12 Star Wars Figures for $39.90, you're in luck. As always, just click the giant sale banner and see what's cooking. Sale ends September 5th, I think, blah blah blah. For you fans of all things Bundy, there's also a deal on the Kelly Bundy Maquette-- $49.00 even. Not bad! Statue and bust fans, if you've ever said "man, that's cool, but I'd buy that for half the price" then let me reiterate: there are some very good deals to be had here. And some not so great deals. But there are good deals.

--AP

Twice the price
August 26 2005
The Greener Japanese Transformers Grass

Remy at TFKenkon has a preview gallery showcasing the Japanese Galaxy Force EX Collection-- Legends of Cybertron in the USA. The Japanese versions are on modified US packaging with what appear to be superior paint ops. Take a look, but the price probably won't appeal to many but the most import-happy.

TFormers also posted Evac in his UK Cybertron box-- and boy, does it look off. It's unknown if this is basically the same as the US version, but you'll note the portrait on the box looks a little funky.

Finally, Fan2Fan has images of (and is taking orders for) Dark Ligerjack, the black-and-greenish repaint of Ligerjack (aka Leobreaker). Nifty.

--AP

Play-Yan Redux

IGN.com has images and info on the Play-Yan Micro, a new doohickey that's really an old doohickey that lets you watch music and videos on your GameBoy Advance, or Micro, or whatever. Read more.

--AP

Beavis & Butt-Head DVD Extras

TVShowsOnDVD.com has info on what you get on the upcoming Beavis & Butt-Head Volume 1 DVD set. 40 shorts, 11 videos, "director's cut" episodes, and other tantalizing tidbits are listed, which you may as well check out.

--AP

Rip, Tear, Expose, Horrify Friends
August 27 2005
Found: Lost Blues Brothers Songs

Proving the importance of novelty music once again, it appears that someone dug up an old Dr. Demento show where John Landis, director of The Blues Brothers, brought three songs ultimately cut from the classic film The Blues Brothers which have pretty much faded away into obscurity. The Digital Bits has them up as part of their DVD review of the new 25th Anniversary DVD of the movie, in MP3 format. Check 'em out!

--AP

Metroid Prime Hunters to be Online, Halo Triple Pack

Item: Nintendo has delayed Metroid Prime Hunters for Nintendo DS. This title was available as a free demo with the 2004 launch of the system. Now Nintendo through this Gamespot article confirms that the game was delayed so it could incorporate wi-fi online play-- so if you have a hotspot, you can take Samus online. While we are not fans of delays, we are big fans of incorporating zany multiplayer extras... especially if it doesn't involve a pay-per-play service. Which, well, it doesn't say.

Item: Bungie is releasing a three-game Halo set. Gamespot has the scoop, but the skinny is the two Halo titles and an expansion pack will all be in one handy $60 set.

--AP

Plug: Troop Builder Discounts at Entertainment Earth

Who doesn't love shameless plugs disguised as filler content? I know I do. Yesterday at work, we added some more "Trooper Discounts" on G.I. Joe items-- the new DTC items. So if you're the kind of person that prefers their Cobra troops in the dozens, have we got some deals for you!

Cobra Night Watch Set (1 6-pack), $19.99
Cobra Night Watch Case (15 6-packs), $269.99
BAT Attack Set (1 6-pack), $19.99
BAT Attack Set (15 6-packs), $269.99
Cobra HISS Half Case (6 vehicles), $99.99

Basically, if you buy the 15 6-pack case, you get 90 figures at an average of three bucks a pop. If you really like Cobra troopers or BATs, these might not be bad deals.

--AP

Tales from the Office I: The RC General Lee

Today at work I got a box of some nifty samples to peruse. One of which I'm going to waste your time telling you about. I got sent a movie edition General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard, a show I didn't care for as a kid and a movie I didn't bother to see as of right now. The toy itself was actually pretty cool-- headlights light up green (??) when it goes forward, the red lights in the back light up when you reverse, and it's pretty durable for a plastic toy. How durable? I slammed it head on into a metal table leg-- a solid one-- and all that happened was that the label fell off. Durable stuff. It came from 21st Century Toys, but has some other imprint on the box I can't seem to find at the moment. The windows were solid black, the deco was pretty great, except that the roof of the car actually had the words "General Lee" on either side of the confederate flag. I'm not sure if this is authentic or not, but the toy seems to be fun enough to warrant your attention. Since I don't have the actual info on how to get one or see images if you're so inclined, you're SOL until I look at the box again on Monday. I don't remember the price either. (Hey, I was testing it. Phase I involves a lot of intensive research. And Google searching ain't helping me here.)

If you're the "gift item" type, this is something to keep an eye out for-- if/when it gets added to the EE product line, I'll be sure to post a link here. Also, it has a shot of Jessica Simpson on the box along with the two other guys from the movie. Yeah, I know who they are, I'm just highlighting that they put the movie cast on the box to appeal to the demographic that really digs those with a famously low degree of mental dexterity.

--AP

Superstar!
August 29 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. We look at all sorts of crap.

So much crap, in fact, that we have to do two updates this week-- so come back on Thursday to see more!

--AP

Black Widow BinalTech Notes, Soundwave In Box

So the cats at TFans have many shots of the new Galaxy Force Soundwave's box. The great thing about it is that it shows how most of the wacky features work, and really, when you're dealing with Soundwave, that's what you want to know. Aside from how they turn a character known and remembered for being a cassette player (and lamppost) into something new. Check it out.

Also, Doug Dlin (world-famous fan of Transformers and supposedly cool guy) made a posting to alt.toys.transformers with some information from Takara employee Hirofumi Ichikawa, also world-famous and a supposedly cool guy. In it, he confirms some interesting facts about supposedly cancelled toys, spin-offs, confusion, and all the crap that you assume you knew about the toy industry but can have confirmed here if you were skeptical.

--AP

We [heart] Katamari

It's Monday, and you know what that means-- right, filler. The sequel to Katamari Damacy comes out September 20 and it's called We Love Katamari, minus the word "love" and instead having a little heart. Awwww. We're looking forward to the new Playstation 2 game, and you should be, too. If you haven't already read them, GameSpot has impressions of the Japanese import.

--AP

What should we do, Master Anakin?
August 30 2005
Review: Star Wars Jedi Temple Assault (Or, Kmart Hates You)

Today at Galactic Hunter, we look at one of Kmart's two exclusive Battle Packs. The Jedi Temple Assault set is the one that doesn't suck. In today's review, we look at this five figure set, which contains Darth Vader, a Clone Pilot, and three unique-to-this-set Tactical Ops Clone Troopers... and these are the reasons you'll buy this set. We're not being cute here, these three Clones will sell you this set.

At the end, I go on a tirade about how much Hasbro should make original small Clone vehicles for our vast Clone armies. So far, the only Clone vehicles have been the awesome-but-hard-to-find Republic Gunships and the ARC-170 Fighter, neither of which are really up to the high standards (and I mean this without irony) set by the ISP-6, INT-4, MLC-3, and modern Assault Vehicles from Episode I. (The MTV-7 can suck it.)

--AP

Cybertron to Go On Hiatus (or, Cartoon Network Hates You)

Woody Allen made a joke in Annie Hall that went something like this: two old women are sitting at a fancy Catskills resort. One says "The food here is terrible!" And the other one says "Yeah, and such small portions!" As you may have guessed, this means Transformers Cybertron is already departing from the airwaves according to numerous sources. It won't be on through September and there's no known target date for its return. The show will continue to air in Canada on YTV, it will be released on DVD (some episodes, at least), and Hasbro claims there will be an option to watch episodes online. What does the future hold for the Beast Planet, plucky little Jolt, and the many hordes of freedom fighters throughout the galaxy? Well, we don't freaking know, because they decided they aren't going to tell us! (Not in the USA anyway.)

--AP

No VHS For Batman, Sith, More (or, The Future Hates You)

Internet industry mag Video Business has a story with a headline that will no doubt grab your attention-- Fox Releases Sith On DVD Only. Fans of VHS seem to be out of luck, and this is just one of many movies this year skipping the classic Betamax basher. If you would like to know the reasons for Sith, Sin City, and Batman Begins passing VHS by for more digital pastures, read on!

--AP

Collect toys? Want to be on basic cable? (or, Pop Culture Hates You)

Adam Carolla's people called me at work today asking if I was someone or I knew someone that wanted to be on his late-night Comedy Central show, Too Late with Adam Carolla, so I'm passing the buck to you guys. If you're in or near Hollywood, Lexi would like to hear from you! Send her an email to adamcarolla@hotmail.com and let her know you collect toys... if you're one of the people who can make us look good as a demographic. We're counting on you. And no, I forgot to ask if it pays, but feel free to do so yourself if you send her a message, and also feel free to let us know if you make it on the show and we'll tell our vast readership of seventeen people that they should be on the lookout for you on late-night TV.

--AP

Sweet
August 31 2005
Napoleon Dynamite Figures to Talk

We were on the horn yesterday morning with the fine folks of McFarlane Toys and found out something that was announced but that we totally missed-- apparently all the Napoleon toys are going to have voice chips!

You can read the full story at Spawn.com or order them or read the following quote list for these guys:

Napoleon in Prom Suit: "Took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip," "Sweet," "So me and you are pretty much friends by now, right?"
Napoleon in "Vote For Pedro" T-Shirt: "You're such an idiot," "Gosh," "This one gang kept wanting me to join 'cause I'm pretty good with a bo staff."
Tetherball Champ Napoleon: "Yes, yes, yes, yes," "Hey Summer, you want to play me?"
Kip: "Peace Out," "Don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day," "I'm training to become a cage fighter."
Pedro: "If you vote for me all of your wildest dreams will come true," "So you got my back and everything?"

Neato.

--AP

Revealed: Cybertron Downshift?

Those interested in 1970s muscle cars, Wheeljack, and things that are green should check out this auction. The toy is a presently unnamed (and unannounced) toy seemingly designed for Cybertron and according to numerous rumors, could be one of many USA exclusive molds.

Also, despite rumors to the contrary, we would like to confirm we are seeing buttloads of Cybertron Dark Scorponok toys here in Los Angeles. So far, I've personally held samples at Entertainment Earth, two Target stores, at least three Wal-Marts, and two Kmarts. They're around, and as low as $24.99 at Target and as high as $33.99 at Kmart. Happy hunting, fans of the would-be Black Zarak!

--AP

MST3K Volume 8 Details

Confirmed by the Satellite News, the official Mystery Science Theater 3000 web site, the next set of DVD episodes! The new additions: Phantom Planet, Hobgoblins, Monster A-Go-Go (with Circus on Ice short), and The Dead Talk Back (with The Selling Wizard short.) More at Satellite News.

--AP

Zoids: Full Metal Crash game with Bonus Toy

...in Japan. NCS is taking preorders with what appears to be a photo of the toy and I'm not entirely sure which one it is as I'm a little behind on the latest and greatest out of Tomy at the moment. (Not seeing lots of new photos, you know.) It appears to be a dragon/bird/dinosaur thing, and the GameCube import game and toy cost $65.

--AP

Classic NES/Famicom Cell Straps, Keychains, Pixel Towels

Also at NCS: images and preorders for a bunch of Japanese NES/Famicom miscellany. This page has the listings and images and on the whole it looks pretty neat, although larger images would have been nice. Apparently the keychains feature pixel characters from old Nintendo games, and feature special NES sound effects. How nifty is that?

--AP

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