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Virtual Wealth Acquisition Manager
October 3 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Enjoy!

Topics include the march to 2018, Titanium's availability (or lack thereof), repaints, and all that crap. Read on!

--AP

Transformers Cybertron Mini-Con Waves 1, 2 Official Hasbro Images

As promised again, Entertainment Earth added tons of images of the Wave 1 Set, Wave 1 Case, Wave 2 Set, and the Wave 2 Case. Check them out if you haven't already, the Adventure Team recolors in Wave 2 are quite colorful and I daresay well worth scoring.

--AP

Reissued: Wall of Voodoo's Index Masters

Once fetching a pretty penny on eBay, the fine folks at Rykodisc, best known for their green jewel cases, reissued this classic EP with tons of bonus tracks-- exactly as it was released in 1991. The packaging of Index Masters seems to be a low-resolution reproduction of the orginal CD's art, but all the live bonus tracks and the entire original Wall of Voodoo EP seem present, so numerous live tracks are available, and if you have the original, the packaging makes it seem this is just a well-deserved reissue. Except that at first glance it looks like a bootleg.

We reviewed this album in 2004, and you can read up on it.

Still unavailable are the various post-Ridgway albums and the great Dark Continent, an album of which you may be able to purchase a semi-legit bootleg from Stan Ridgway himself if you catch his shows. (It has bonus tracks from the US Festival too, including the unreleased and awesome "Fun Zone.")

--AP

Hudson Does Retro for GameBoy Advance, Micro, etc.

Fans of the classic Hudson games are in for a huge treat, if you live in Japan anyway. For the low-low price of 2940 yen (about $30 US) you can have a collection of Bomberman games, Lode Runner games, Adventure Island, and many others. There's six themed collections and the most shocking thing of all is a reissue of the ultra-obscure and oft-referenced (but rarely played) Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom. We're thrilled to see the GameBoy Advance become a beacon to classic gaming and we cross our fingers Nintendo will push out more reissues, collections, and then push HAL Laboratories to put out a compilation of the wonderful Adventures of Lolo series. You know you loved it too.

--AP

Happy Trails

We just heard about the engagement of our pal Dan to our pal-in-law Ali. Congrats! May you two crazy kids have the finest of all fine... finery.

--AP

Don't The Twist
October 4 2005
Transformers Sales

Kay-Bee and Target like you. Kay-Bee is selling Ultra and Mega-sized Energon toys (the $20 ones and the $25-$30) ones for $9.99 until further notice, meaning you can get Landquakes, Quickstrikes, Alpha Quintessons, and other goodies on the cheap. Also, Target has 10% off all Transformers this week. If that doesn't bring a smile to your face, I give up.

--AP

New: Drywall's Barbeque Babylon

It's no secret we're shameless fans of all things Stan Ridgway, from his 1980s band Wall of Voodoo to his solo acts to his new supergroup of sorts which has been around for about a decade now, Drywall. While "Work the Dumb Oracle" from Drywall was one of our favorite dollar bin finds in recent years, it turns out he's got a new one which we have yet to snag called "Barbeque Babylon." That's just a FYI, we have no idea if it's any good as of yet.

--AP

Get a hug from Konami: Castlevania DS This Week

If you've ever doubted that someone up there likes you, doubt no more. Konami is releasing a 2D sequel to the GBA game Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for Nintendo DS, called Dawn of Sorrow. While it's easy to mock the name and anime redesign, well, we're still hopeful. We have yet to read a review of the English version but it comes out today (October 4) or October 5, depending on where you shop. It's $30-$35 and we'll probably be getting it. Because we're suckers for portable goodness from Nintendo and friends.

We were unable to find reviews of it, but we did find some other interesting DS info for you cats. Namely, two reviews of the new and apparently blah Lunar game (IGN, Gamespot) and some random factoids on Seiken Densetsu DS. Also, Square Enix posted on their Japanese site that there's going to be a Final Fantasy IV GameBoy Micro face plate. Great. That's what we need. ANOTHER reason to overpay for yet another "collectible" GameBoy thing.

--AP

New Harry Potter, Vikings LEGO Hitting

We hit a LEGO store here in LA (Glendale Galleria, to be precise) which we didn't know existed and we pleased to see that the new Harry Potter LEGO sets were available. As such, happy hunting, they should be hitting fine brick retailers near you soon.

Also, the Vikings kits have arrived at many Toys "R" Us stores alongside giant point-of-sale displays showcasing the entire line in the stores, as well as some of the new Dino Attack sets. It's neat stuff, the kind of thing to make you wish you were a kid in 2005 and not 1985. Until you realize these kids will never have a shot at LEGO Pirate cannons that actually fired, but you were old enough to get some in your Forbidden Island set, you lucky dog, you. Also notable, the vikings were NOT available at the LEGO store yet.

--AP

Waspinator has a headache in his whole body
October 5 2005
Transformers Beast Wars: Photos & Assortments

Yesterday afternoon the new Beast Wars assortments were posted at at Entertainment Earth. The first wave of Beast Wars Anniversary figures is available by the set or the case, and the case has 2 each of Cheetor, Waspinator, and Rhinox. Each has all-new deco and added faction logos.

The Wave 1 Set is $46.99 and includes 1 each of Waspinator, Rhinox, and Cheetor. The Wave 1 Case has 2 of each and... has the wrong price at press time. Our bad. We'll fix that.

Each figure includes a piece of Transmutate and a bonus DVD of a Beast Wars episode. To build the entire Transmutate (or Trans-Mutate, so says the boxes), you need to buy the first two waves. Wave 2 is not yet available to order but is said to feature Dinobot, Transmetals Rattrap, and Tarantulas.

--AP

Peter Jackson confirmed to executive-produce Halo flick

While rumors have gone around regarding the New Zealand native and all around super-genius behind Lord of the Rings on the big screen and the upcoming Kong remake, numerous outlets have confirmed PJ is going to be behind the new Halo movie, which is, to say the least, promising. Read more at GameSpot. The movie is slated for summer 2007, where its competition currently includes another feature starring some robots. In disguise.

--AP

Kong in stores

Starting this week, you'll see King Kong (or just Kong merchandise from Playmates Toys. On Monday, we've seen items at Entertainment Earth and Kay-Bee toys, notably the "action figures," which are basically action sets. Each pack has things like tiny humans, giant dinosaurs, and Kong-- you get a lot for your money, which is about $13 per pack.

EE has had (as they sold out but are going to reorder) those and the following:
King Kong Action Figure Assortment
King Kong Deluxe Action Figure Assortment
King Kong Deluxe 14-inch Figure

--AP

Phone-it-in day
October 6 2005
A Closer look at new DTC Joes

The guys at Yo Joe added new images of the new comic book GI Joe figures, including Breaker, Scarlett, Cobra Commander, and more. Well worth a look, we hope to have ours shortly.

--AP

New DS games, Final Fantasy V and VI confirmed for GBA, Castlevania DS Available

After checking no less than a half dozen stores, we scored Dawn of Sorrow at a Toys "R" Us. Early impressions are favorable, as this is pretty much a souped-up version of the previous game in the series which was sold on GameBoy Advance. The "seal" thing is a little weird, as it requires you to draw on the screen during a boss battle to finish it off. Overall, though, it's fun so far and I hope it remains so for long enough to beat it.

But anyway, the good stuff can be found right here at The Magic Box including dozens of new Nintendo DS announcements. Highlights include Taito's Rainbow Islands DS, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Final Fantasy III, "Dracula Castlevania," Sudoku, Super Monkey Ball DS, and a lot of other stuff that will no doubt excite and amaze. Also posted was confirmation that Square Enix is porting chapters V (sold in the US on the original Playstation) and VI (Super NES FF3) to the GameBoy platform. Hooray!!

Finally, NCS posted impressions of Gunstar Super Heroes for GameBoy Advance. These are highly favorable. The US port of the game is supposedly due October 25, so you may as well hold off on importing it as the US edition is reportedly $30 while the Japanese one is about $49. Or you can get a used Genesis cart of the original for like eight bucks.

--AP

New & In Stock from Entertainment Earth

As I work there, I see what comes off the truck. Highlights include:

Star Wars Collection 1, Wave 7, Revision 2 with Commander Gree, Bly, etc.
Transformers Legends of Cybertron Wave 1 Set
Transformers Alternators Hound
Star Wars M-Pire Plastic Figures

Good stuff to have in stock, surely. Worth a gander if you don't have it. Hundreds of new items are listed on the new items page, of course, so if you have nothing better to do you might find something of interest.

--AP

Nee Jabba no Badda
October 7 2005
2006 Bionicle Revealed

A line we love and hate has always been LEGO's Bionicle, one of two very '80s toy lines released in the past few years-- at least in terms of its spirit. (The other being Xevoz.) Anyway, Brickshelf put up preview images of tons of new sets for 2006, including new Matorans and some sort of weird monster things. (Obviously, we're not the ones that watch the DVDs or play the games.) They look cool and lame, so check them all out and odds are you'll like a few of them. No signs of new Toa yet, unless those are what the larger kits shown here are...

--AP

Serenity DVD News

Browncoats take note-- the movie based on Firefly hasn't even been out for a week and we already have two conflicting possible release dates for Joss Whedon's space western thing. The latest issue of Previews from Diamond Comics has an ad for the upcoming collected Serenity Trade Paperback with all three comics that boasts "Look for the DVD in Spring 2006." Also, The Digital Bits posted this rumor mill entry regarding the alleged 12/20 release date and the list of possible features.

So far, the movie has done so-so. Over the weekend, it cracked $10 million which, according to most box office take estimates, means it can expect about $20 million domestic at the box office. We figure the studio knows the money's in the DVD sector for this reportedly $45 million movie, so be sure to buy the DVD if you want to see a sequel. And with the trends in Hollywood these days, a direct-to-DVD sequel (or series of them) is indeed a possible product if it does well-- DVDs are a cash cow like no other!

--AP

Saga Collection Wave 1's Up & Other Crap

Yeah, this is filler. Whatever dudes, we're tired. Anyway, at work we added tons of new Star Wars crap to Entertainment Earth, including the new Saga Collection Wave 1. As these are the first-ever official images and the first word of the case breakdown, you might want to check out Star Wars Saga Collection Action Figures Wave 1. Here's some other new stuff, preorder a case, support the site, and we get like six shiny nickels.

Star Wars ROTS Galactic Heroes Wave 3 (501st, BARC Trooper, etc.)
R2-D2 Wrestling Buddy (with Vader)
Syphilis Snack Box (features old posters, including one that reads "Whom have you exposed to syphilis?")
The Cubes Copy Center Playset
Deluxe Jesus Figure

There's a few dozen new items on the "New Images" page. Our crack staff (or rather, EE's) added images to a lot of them so you can see the new Jesus figure with glow-in-the-dark hands and "turns water to wine" action. There's a fine line between "graven image" and "kitschy knick-knack" and we're happy to safely say that we don't know what this would be. Other new items of note include the Obsessive Compulsive and Avenging Unicorn Play Set with a unicorn that impales mimes on its horn. Yes, mimes. On the horn. Fans of irony may also enjoy the diverse selection of tin metal lunch and snack boxes, like this retro looking Bathing Beauties Snack Box. We are amused.

--AP

Watching You Watching Us
October 10 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Enjoy!

Topics include the repackaged figures of 2006, why your local stores suck, gunships, and new vehicles for the kids.

Oh, and read this. It's funny because it's true.

--AP

Transformers Generation 1 Toys at 1980s Prices

In a bit of a shock, we went to a few Tuesday Morning stores over the weekend and saw the Toys "R" Us exclusive Transformers from Generation 1. Well, reissues, but still. For $7.99 each, you may find Rodimus Prime and Ricochet (aka Targetmaster Jazz, aka Stepper) as well as clearance priced Universe and Energon toys. And other stuff, keep reading.

--AP

Valor vs. Venom Toys for cheap

Some random G.I. Joe toys are also showing up at Tuesday Morning. Comic packs, small vehicles, 12-inch figures, and other toys are showing up for about 40-60% off. Also note you have to do some serious digging to get through the piles of crap at some stores-- some aisles are orderly, and others are about as organized as a ten-year-old's closet. So, give yourself some time to do some searching if you go.

--AP

...LEGO too

And, of course, there were tons of LEGO sets at Tuesday Morning as well. Highlights included mini-sets from the Pirates line that we've not seen elsewhere, Spider-Man 2 movie LEGO kits, numerous Star Wars sets, Bionicle items, and more. Prices started at about two bucks a whack.

--AP

Star Trek Tek Phaser Returns

A short, supposedly final run of the Star Trek Tek Phaser from Art Asylum has been produced again. While we've heard rumors about these appearing elsewhere, so far we've only seen these one place-- yes, our employers at Entertainment Earth. These come in the same boxes as last time, cost $24.99, and include batteries. There's knobs to twist and a removable "hand phaser" component, and it's actually better than the Playmates Toys Classic Star Trek phaser in our collection. Well worth buying, we'd say. Well, if you're a fan of such things at least.

--AP

What Happens If You're Bad
October 11 2005
TransTech Cheetor, Starscream Revealed

This never-realized sequel to Beast Machines inexplicably causes a lot of excitement among Transformers fans, and we assume it's the same syndrome that causes Star Wars fans to want the unreleased Ewoks & Droids animated figures from 20 years ago-- namely, that they can't have them. This excitement has reached a fever pitch now that some decent images were finally posted of these toys, which have largely never been seen outside Hasbro's inner circle and retail partners.

First up at Behind the Toys is Cheetor, seen in vehicle mode and, at press time, mid-transformation. The toy is a rough prototype but gives a good idea of what was to never be, and will no doubt remind fans of some designs seen on Velocitron, the Speed Planet from Cybertron.

Also shown is the oft-seen but not in this detail Starscream. The images are crisp and clear, and we're unsure if it would have made a good toy compared to what we eventually got, which was Armada and its spawn in the form of Energon and Cybertron. It's an interesting toy, for sure, and looks like it might have made a better Depth Charge or perhaps Skyquake/Machine Wars Starscream/King Atlas. Either way, it's a neat piece of toy history! (One we'd buy if it saw plastic as part of the never-materialized alleged Fan's Choice Transformer that Hasbro mentioned once.)

--AP

Chronicles of Narnia Toy Impressions

If there's one thing we absolutely love about our job, it's getting to see new toys before the rest of the world, and if something gets in the warehouse before street date, we get to look at them anyway. Yesterday, that meant The Chronicles of Narnia from Hasbro. It's not often we have the opportunity to see something so awful that we have absolutely no intention of shelling out dime one for it, but there you have it.

The only items I got a look at were the "mini" figures, which were obviously meant to capitalize on the scale used for Play Along's Armies of Middle-Earth line and the upcoming new and tiny Unleashed Star Wars figures. The packaging was the first offense-- it looks cheap. The bubbles were a little scuffed, the designs were dull, and the color choices, well, lame. If they changed out the logo and replaced the figures with ice cream, it could be some sort of home role-play ice cream thing. The toys were badly painted, which is not to say they're awful, but more to say they look like they came out of the 1970s or 1980s. Marx Disneykins were more interesting to look at, and Hallmark's Merry Miniatures had better deco. If you picked these up and looked at them, you would not believe they came out of the 21st Century-- this hardly looks like post-McFarlane work except for the fact Hasbro painted the whites of their eyes.

We could go on, but eh, no. We just didn't like it, and we're the kind of fans that actually liked things like Transformers Armada and Playmobil. So keep that in mind. Fans of the movie may enjoy these toys, but "you get what you pay for" rears its ugly head and we advise die-hard fans consider keeping their money or instead spending more of it on the statues Weta is distributing through Dark Horse. Hasbro also has a plush line coming out which we have yet to see in person but have hopes for, as Hasbro certainly didn't spend a lot of time with these. (That, or all the good designers are on Joe, Star Wars, or Transformers.)

--AP

Oh, and then there's Kronk's New Groove

While we are not big Disney fans, nor are we fans of America's direct-to-video/DVD animation, we are huge fans of The Emperor's New Groove, a rare treat in Disney's animated canon in that it's actually funny and Pixar has nothing to do with it. Various DVD sites and stores confirmed that a sequel with most if not all the original cast entitled Kronk's New Groove is coming in December. There's no word of any merchandising, which disappoints us greatly, but as we have yet to see the movie we dunno if this is a good move or not.

...either way we'll probably buy it. We heard all about the original from an ex-Disney employee while we did time at Tucson's University of Arizona. Nothing quite beats hearing that Disney had a movie recognized internally as a failure, that was rewritten on the fly, and featured David Spade as a talking llama. And we swear that's all the press we're giving Disney directly today.

--AP

Final Fantasy IV edition GameBoy Micro & Game up for Preorder... and a Pokemon edition Micro too

First, the shocking news: we're getting the GameBoy Advance/SP/Micro port of Final Fantasy IV in the USA a few days before Japan. The US release date is about December 13, and in Japan, it's December 15. For those that want it in Japanese, you may also want to pick up the special edition GameBoy that NCS is now preselling and has a photo to gander at. The unit with the game is bundled and priced at $175. I'm assuming it's Cecil and Kain on the face of the unit but the art is, shall we say, less than clear. We'll be passing for the time being, although if they put a little 16bit pixel character or two on a plain black face we'd cave like the little fanboy bitches we are.

Also, The Magic Box has a shot of a Japan Pokemon Center exclusive GameBoy Micro. It's red and has a black faceplate with a white Pikachu on it. Get those reservations in early, Pokefanatics, and prepare to plonk down about US $120 on it.

--AP

Arrested Development Season 2 Today

Season 2 of one of our favorite shows hits DVD in the USA today. We've seen few reviews and little advance buzz, but it sounds like bonus features on TV DVDs are fast becoming an endangered species. There don't seem to be any particularly good deals on this 18 episode set, either-- Target is asking $27.99, Best Buy wants $29.99, Circuit City thinks $34.99 is fair, and we have no idea what Fry's Electronics or the Wal-Martians want as of yet. The show is good, and the second season was quite funny, although we're spoiled and we like our DVDs at $19.99 or less.

--AP

Time's-A-Wastin'!
October 12 2005
New Nintendo Bundles

Been waiting to buy a Gameboy or Gamecube? Well, there's some options to consider. One is the superbly cheap Party-In-A-Box Gamecube bundle with the console, Mario Party 7, and two games for $99.99. The price of two controllers and the game is about $100, so tossing in the console is a nice bonus

Sega's releasing a bundle of Sonic games for Gameboy Advance, if the blue hedgehog has yet to sicken you. For $30, Gamespot reports, you can get Sonic Advance & Sonic Pinball Party on a single cart. Not a bad deal, surely.

--AP

A DVD Review, You Will Get

We got our review copy of Revenge of the Sith in the mail yesterday and are in the process of going through it for an upcoming review that we hope to have posted ASAP. More as we have it. This is not what we'd consider to be a particularly eventful day, but the DVD itself is interesting to say the least.

--AP

Lost Time
October 13 2005
Transformers news A-Plenty

The fourth wave of Cybertron Scout figures is out-- we saw a case at Entertainment Earth. And we went through it. And added bios to the Wave 4 Product Page. (This item just sold out.) New figures included Backstop, Wreckloose, the Street Speed Mini-Cons Team, and Brushguard.

We also spotted the Starscream vs. Vector Prime set at Toys "R" Us. $34.99, and this week, any $19.99 or more purchase of Transformers gets you a free Scout-sized figure at checkout. We were waffling but this made us buy it. We never got a Ransack, now we got one.

Ben Yee, who had a big hand in developing the 2005 Botcon exclusives, put up a big gallery and pseudo review explaining how they were developed and some of what he did to help out. It's a great read!

And finally, we'll be posting many new assortments tomorrow.

--AP

Simpsons DVD Season 7 Extras

Want to know what episodes to expect from Season 7? How about a list of extras? TVShowsondvd.com has all of this, a release date, and info on which packaging you can expect-- well worth the look!

--AP

Corpse Bride & Gentle Giant

If Japanese dolls and McFarlane figures weren't enough, Gentle Giant confirmed they're doing 3 statues and a case of Bust-Ups for Corpse Bride! None of these are coming until Spring, but preorders are up now for many of them, like the Corpse Bride, Scraps, and Maggot. (I am assured images will be up shortly.)

Gentle Giant Studios has a page up as well.

--AP

Harry Potter & Gentle Giant

Preorders and images were also released for Dementor Mini Busts and Dobby Mini Busts. Prices are about $50, you know the drill, buy it from Entertainment Earth and guarantee us a shiny nickel.

--AP

Kingdom Hearts II: The Fan Wankening

What other game could have Square characters fighting alongside Captain Jack Sparrow and have an entire area of the game based on Steamboat Willie? These shocking developments (with lots of screen shots) can be seen at The Magic Box and let us just say, it all looks very very cool.

--AP

What's that show?
October 14 2005
Transformers Transtech Preview Continued

The chaps at Behind The Toys added information on Transtech Megatron, and there are pictures, too! We love the vehicle mode, we must say.

--AP

New Toa Available

We're not totally sure if this brand new Special Edition Guardian Toa set is an exclusive, but LEGO's online shop has them. You get Toa Iruini and Toa Norik, Norik being a new one. $17.98 for the pair, and we look forward to seeing the newcomer in stores!

--AP

Reviews & Crap

Since we took the initiative to start stocking e-Hobby exclusives at work, we're probably going to start reviewing them. (You know, since we can get them sans S&H now.) We got an Orion Pax coming out way shortly and that seems like a good place to start. The gimmick, if you didn't know, was that Takara redecoed Kup to look like Optimus Prime, sorta. Neat idea-- but the fact it's a Targetmaster version made us demand it be carried. We saw a packaged one and it's pleasant, so yeah, we'll probably work extra-hard getting that one up ASAP.

So, uh, yeah. Now we gotta find us a way to get those damned e-Hobby minibots since we passed on them the first go-round because we're FOOLS.

Also, our pal Pete penned a review for us we should be having ready next week. It's a DVD.

--AP

Freedom is the right of... something...
October 17 2005
Review: Transformers Generation 1 e-HOBBY Exclusive Orion Pax with Dion

Brand new from Japan and awesome, it's Orion Pax with Dion! Orion Pax is a character that's Optimus Prime before he became Optimus Prime, and his toy is a repainted Targetmaster Kup. Dion is Orion's pal, and he's based on Wheelie. The Targetmaster Barrelroller is another repaint, although he looks a lot like Armada's Overrun or Go-Bots' Leader-1. Regardless, this box set was a Takara exclusive for the e-HOBBY Shop and is supposedly limited, although we are unaware of the quantities to which it will be limited. It's pretty awesome and an interesting interpretation of a character that looks little like the mold on which the toy was based. Is it a winner? Yes. Is it worth $60 or so? Well, read on.

(...but we like it.)

--AP

Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Enjoy!

Topics include expanded universe (again), clones (again), upcoming products, and some fun tidbits you may find interesting.

--AP

Square loves you: GBA Final Fantasy IV-VI images

The folks at The Magic Box have some shots of the upcoming remakes of the classic Super Famicom (Super NES) titles Final Fantasy IV, V, and VI for GameBoy Advance. There's also some new information and a shot of the faceplate for the GameBoy Micro.

--AP

Mirrormask

An ongoing project that I've heard a lot about since 2003 was Mirrormask, a film made by Jim Henson's production company, Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Dave McKean (Sandman's covers), and about $4 million. (After three weeks, it hasn't made anywhere near that.) The idea was that movies like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal are these huge cult things that sell lots and lots on DVD and the studio wanted another one of those. Ignoring things like "nostalgia" or "20 years of word-of-mouth" or even "the magic of Jim Henson's puppets," a lot of time, money, and energy went into this supposedly direct-to-DVD movie, which is now enjoying a limited theatrical release.

More or less, it was an interesting looking movie and a fine example of what can be done on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, the shoestring budget shows from time to time, but the film's surreal quality tends to let you look past things like there being very few cast members with lots of CG floating around, and that it takes too long for anything interesting to start happening. While this is supposed to be a fantasy movie for the ages, it often comes off as something that people who enjoy partaking of various substances would very much enjoy while others might watch it and say "you know, this would have made a better episode of 'Amazing Stories'." If you can see it, you probably should-- if it works, or if it didn't, it shows a lot of imagination in a year where pretty much all the good movies are remakes or genre pictures, although we don't know where we'd put Corpse Bride... although we dug it. The film doesn't necessarily strike you as something for the ages, but hey, it might.

Limited Mirrormask merch is coming out and some lady called us at work last week informing us her company is doing a prop replica on the cheap. Of course, more as we hear it. Some PVC figure box sets and busts are available now, and a reflective Mirrormask pin was handed out at some conventions. There are also numerous books based on Mirrormask stuff on the market right now, so check your local better book stores for those if you like such things.

--AP

You may start your landing
October 18 2005
Tuesday Morning Playmobil

End-of-the-road retail haunt Tuesday Morning has been receiving a lot of pink boxed Victorian Playmobil sets, from what we can tell, as far back as 1995 as of late. While selection varies from store to store, we are seeing a large number of "doll house" sets as well as blue boxed goodies like the large Viking sets and numerous cars, boats, and other packs. (No specials, pals, or ultra-cheap stuff though.) While it's a little shocking to see discounted toys at $100 or so, they're still pretty good deals-- well worth a look. Fans of ridiculous toys may be disappointed by the total lack of pirates, ninjas, or plastic representations of the homeless, but fans of the line at large may be in for a treat.

--AP

The Big Lebowski DVD Today

We bought the first DVD in 1998, and are somewhat pleased to hear a new edition is coming out today of the 1998 masterpiece The Big Lebowski. It seems the new DVD will focus primarily on better image and sound without too much in the way of new features, althoug there's an "Achiever Edition" gift set with a towel, some coasters, and photographs for about $50. While we love the movie, and advise everyone to see it, it does not appear the new released hitting stores today offer anything truly groundbreaking. Or if it does, they're sure as heck not letting their marketing people know about it.

--AP

Plugs: Transformers Star Wars & Saga Collection Wave 2 Preorders

In the interests of full disclosure, we work at Entertainment Earth, so we tend to enjoy announcing new stuff as it comes in. Today was one of those days. (Order through these links and we get a shiny nickel!)

First up: The Saga Collection Wave 2. This new case has eight different figures, three of which are 100% new sculpts, one has some new bits added to it, and the others are apparently rehashes. Brand new: General Veers, Major Derlin (aka John Ratzenberger aka Cliffy from Cheers), AT-AT Driver. New bits: Power Droid with new fancy hat. Repaints: General Rieekan, R2-D2, Snowtrooper, Darth Vader. It appears R2-D2 is based on the marvelous new "sneak preview" ROTS sculpt that was used for two Revenge droids and six of the ten Entertainment Earth exclusives. Vader is apparently the VOTC mold.

Next up: Star Wars Transformers Wave 1. These are transforming vehicles that turn into giant character-themed mechs driven by tiny Action Fleet-sized pilots, thus making them more or less nifty. The first wave includes Darth Vader, General Grievous, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Future waves will include the likes of X-Wing Luke and a Slave I/Boba Fett set. Or so we hear.

--AP

Fight or something
October 19 2005
Transformers Cybertron New Releases, More G1?

It appears that the Takara Transformers reissue program will continue. HobbyLink Japan put up a preorder page for Generation 1 Broadcast, better known in the USA as Blaster. While things like this have come up before and were yanked, it's an interesting thing to see. (Although our G1 Blaster is still pretty minty from our childhood days.)

Also notable: Cybertron sightings of the "rehash" wave-- Blurr, Longrack, and their ilk are showing up-- and there's proof at The Allspark.

--AP

Mr. Show Complete DVD

While it seems it'll be a few places, it appears Best Buy has a complete Mr. Show DVD box set for a paltry $56. Give or take. Each set was originally $30 or so, so it's decent savings for some superbly funny stuff if you've never seen it.

--AP

Nintendo + McDonalds = Gaming's Future?

Nintendo signed a deal with McDonald's to provide wireless access points so you can go there to play your Nintendo DS games online for free. No joke. Lots of sites, like GameStop, are reporting this unusual deal-- but it isn't unprecedented. McDonald's has been experimenting with wi-fi access for laptop users for some time now and the infrastructure is so cheap, it's almost a no-brainer. McDonald's had (and here in LA, still has) a deal where you could try the latest Nintendo 64 games in the restaurant. The funny thing is there's still quite a few stores with signs boasting this, and no new Nintendo 64 titles have been produced since roughly 2001. Amusing, no?

The important thing here is that Nintendo is serious about online gaming and we certainly hope all friends of 16bit.com have the means to spring for a Nintendo DS so we can play them on Mario Kart over the internets. (We have two of them.)

--AP

All Fall Down
October 20 2005
Godzilla Final Wars DVD

Mark your calendars: December 13. That's the day Godzilla Final Wars finally comes to the USA. Basically going to DVD directly, this film has gained its fame through a fabled fight between the man-in-suit Godzilla against a CG Godzilla based on the 1998 USA design as seen in Ferris Bueller vs. Godzilla. The DVD is up for preorder, numerous news sites are mentioning its release, and it's going to be under $25 at most stores-- significantly so in some cases.

--AP

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season 1 Part 1 DVD

Before we forget to mention it: the first volume of the season box sets of Masters of the Universe hit stores this week and goes for about $35, roughly a buck an episode. Not a bad deal for a fairly entertaining if astoundingly schlocky piece of 1980s advertainment.

--AP

More Transtech "Revealed"

In case you haven't seen them, Behind the Toys posted a Transtech Optimus Prime Study Board (repainted Gundam toys a conceptual designs) as well as a concept drawing for the vehicle mode of Transtech Silverbolt. Both are somewhat interesting, but not interesting enough to... well, not all that fancy. What can we say, we're not feeling snappy at the moment.

--AP

Assistance

For about six months, when we were in the gung-ho review-every-day period, we spent a lot of time in the 16bit.com photo studio along with three other residents, one of which is pictured here. Rose was a guinea pig we picked up on January 1 2004 and has been fairly sick ever since that following summer. A fairly significant amount of money has gone into treating her and as of now, well, she's got hours to live at best. She's the one that typically took a bit of interest in what we were doing on the site, sticking her nose around and examining what it was we were shooting at the time. Odds are she'll be gone by the time you read this. But, she brought a bit of brightness in a time that was fairly miserable for the staff, and for that, we salute her. We'll be taking Friday off from posting.

--AP

Let's Play Funny/Not Funny
October 24 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter, Sith DVD Review

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Enjoy! It's a long one.

Also, the review to Revenge of the Sith on DVD has been posted. You know you want to read it.

--AP

Transformers Cybertron Deluxe Waves 3, 3.5 Sighted

While sightings abound, we personally sighted six new toys over the weekend: Snarl, Sideways, Blurr, Longrack, Runamuck, and Buzzsaw. Impressions of the four Armada remolds and the bonus DVD included with these toys can be seen here as I made a posting on them as it seemed out of place to do it here, kinda, but hey, we're still figuring out what format this page needs to take going forward. We just don't know yet.

At least two Targets in the LA (Canoga Park-ish) area have received cases, and most of ours came from a most helpful lad at Target who actually said "yes" when we asked "got any more in the back?" We can't remember the last time we either asked or were told "yes." So there you have it.

We also updated the 16bit.com Cybertron Checklist, and it's... getting complete. It has everything that's out, much of what has been announced, some of what hasn't been announced yet, and more will be added as we go through some paperwork at work, we think. Go ahead and let us know if we're forgetting something.

--AP

Developers on Nintendo Revolution

The guys over at IGN posted a big article on Nintendo Revolution, namely, the controller and what developers think of it. Given the lack of software and the fact the console itself is a year or more off, it's amusing-- to say the least-- to read, and quite informative.

--AP

It's French
October 25 2005
Snake Face MOTU Statue

The cats at He-Man.org posted six preview images of the upcoming Snake Face "micro statue," or "crappy action figure." It's a glimpse at a toy that was never meant to be, and frankly, we think Mattel made the better designs as toys when it comes to the Snake Men. Still, worth a look, as this dude's in series 4 which will be out... eventually.

--AP

Xbox 360 vs. Wal-Mart

Gamespot has a story on how the Xbox 360's controllers aren't playing nice with Wal-Mart's systems, resulting in demo kiosks being pulled down less than a day after they were unveiled in stores. Read more or die.

--AP

Work Stuff

So for those that care, there were some changes on some Cybertron assortments. Hasbro axed the Metroplex & Galvatron case of Cybertron Leader-size (read: $40-$50) toys for the time being and replaced it with Galvatron and Optimus Prime. Meaning Megatron's pretty much done for the time being. While there are no images, you can see the breakdown of what is now considered to be wave 2 at Entertainment Earth, and you can either import a Megalo Convoy now or wait for Metroplex, supposedly, next Summer.

--AP

And all its moons
October 26 2005
Purple Galvatron Revealed, & More

FanToFan posted many new shots today, including those of a purple reissue of G1 Galvatron! Also shown: Coby's Ramble from Galaxy Force, more Hybrid Style G1 Convoy, and some other stuff. We're excited for Convoy has he has a trailer and we love us some trailers.

--AP

Castlevania PS2, Xbox Sequel Pics & Revolution Goodies

The great guys at The Magic Box posted a bunch of shots of the upcoming PS2 adventure Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, coming to the USA and Japan this November. (USA first.) It looks striking, to say the least, and with four pages of photos, you can see that they're spending some serious time on the art here. Good show.

Also interesting: Gamespot has a blurb on the upcoming Nintendo Revolution launch which is now expected some time after April. Their main news page also has shots of the console in multiple colors. Apparently, they're going for a worldwide release. Hmmm.

--AP

Simpsons Bust-Ups Out, Warnings

The Simpsons Bust-Ups are now hitting stores, and are based on the Treehouse of Horror concept. Each figure is packaged in a plastic coffin, which is awesome, that identifies which character you're buying. That's the good news. The bad news is that there are "chase" clear red plastic Bust-Ups which, as far as we know, were secret before just this week, so you could be stuck with a booby "chase" figure which you may or may not want. Sucks.

Also, wave 2 is up for preorder and is due in the Spring. Wave 2 sports a "fun with food" theme and characters like Chief Wiggum, Apu, Sanjay, Chief Wiggum, Bart, Marge, and of course Homer.

--AP, thanks to Tony & Kevin for the heads-up

Huggable Overweight Blob of Grease
October 27 2005
David Bowie is The Goblin King

ToyFare #100 confirmed this, and we assume it isn't a joke. Apparently Palisades has captured the David Bowie license, which was separate from the Labyrinth license. And their first order of business, now that they have both, is to do a Goblin King figure in 2006. We're quite astonished and we're looking forward to this release.

While none were ever produced, a handful of samples of Kenner's plush Labyrinth line made it to the collector market in recent years and they looked pretty decent. We fully expect Palisades' efforts to be mind-blowing and awesome.

--AP

Evac's out in the USA

Entertainment Earth received what we believe to be the very first cases of Transformers Cybertron toys with Evac yesterday, and they're in stock. (And yes, it's where we work.) His key code is V49u, and if you punch it in at Transformers.com, you get some cool bio info and concept art.

--AP

More Kingdom Hearts 2 Niftiness

The guys at The Magic Box posted a bunch of shots for Kingdom Hearts II, which shows more Squall, more Nightmare Before Christmas, and generally just more reasons for you to want the game. It looks good!

--AP

DuckTales DVD Episode List (and Disc Breakdown) Confirmed

The guys over at TVShowsOnDVD.com have posted the official, final list for the DuckTales DVD set coming out November 8. 27 episodes of Duckburg adventures! It looks pretty good.

--AP

Shameless Plug: A few hundred new arrivals at EE

We got a few hundred new arrivals at work today and in recent days. Darth Vader Minibusts are in stock, as are more like Yoda, and hundreds of new DTC G.I. Joe items, Transformers Cybertron toys, talking presidents figures, anime stuff, E-Hobby Transformers, Predator stuff, plush Fraggle Rock... I could go on. But if you go to the "new items" page, you'll see all the new crap, which should give you an indication of what will be in your local stores if you don't like to shop online. (Although we wouldn't be so sure about Vader.)

Also notable for you Star Wars fans is the arrival of an item Hasbro, as far as we know, never really made available or announced or talked up-- the R2-D2 wrestling buddy. (We weren't even sure this would ever come in, as Hasbro has made mistakes in the past.) Unfortunately, it's only available in a case. It's a big huggable beeping R2-D2 and we have to say we were impressed enough to get one ourselves. It's a good gift item, if you can find a home for his companions-- two plush Darth Vaders. They just got a few and we're not sure if more are coming, but it's a neat item and we sincerely hope it will be widely available as it's pretty damned cool.

--AP

They're Taking the Hobbits to Isengard!
October 28 2005
Toy Biz Exits Middle-Earth

At work today, our Toy Biz rep let loose a bomb we most certainly were surprised by-- Toy Biz isn't renewing the Lord of the Rings license for 2006. What's out now is basically it, a few SKUs are going to ship through the end of the year and that'll be that. So, that's all folks! We're presently unsure of the status of the other licensees, but we're told more Mini-Mates are still coming, and the future of the less-than-amazingly-successful Armies of Middle-Earth line is a mystery to us at press time. But Toy Biz? Not happening. (Which is a shame as a rerelease of the Fell Beast was planned for 2006.)

So if you have a preorder out on something somewhere, you might want to watch out for cancellations.

--AP

LEGO Signs Batman, Nickelodeon

He lives in a pineapple under the sea. He fights crime at night in dark spandex. Can they get along in the city?

After some luck with licenses such as Star Wars, Disney, and Dora the Explorer, The LEGO Group snagged two more licenses. One is Batman, previously held by Art Asylum as part of their line of Mini-Mates and C3 block toys. As for Nickelodeon, word on the street hints for Spongebob Squarepants kits, which we must say have us giddy.

--AP

More G.I. Joe Club Sets

Over at Cobra Island, there's some information on new, quarterly Fan Club exclusive figures and vehicles. To say the least, it sounds interesting and, of course, there are no pics yet. Read on!

--AP

16bit.com Podcast
October 30 2005

16bit.com Podcast: October 30, 2005

Who says we're behind the times? 10 years ago we started a Star Wars Action Figure newsletter distributed by email, and issue #1 was sent to 4 people on AOL. Today, we launch the 16bit.com Podcast, and we expect it to do at least half those numbers.

We're trying to figure out if this is a worthy format for future toy news distribution, and are planning on doing podcasts from Toy Fair in New York in the Spring if this takes off. So, feel free to email your comments in to us, as we'd like to know if this is worth doing.

--AP

Contents

This week, we have five (technically three) segments. They are:

0:00 - Introduction
0:38 - Fall Toy Fair 2005
3:40 - Mirrormask
4:39 - David Bowie & Labyrinth Toys for 2006
4:58 - Transformers Cybertron Scourge
6:59 - Goodbye

How to sign up

For starters: You do not need an iPod to hear a Podcast. Podcasting is just a fancy word for "hack job internet radio show," which is exactly what we're aiming to produce here.

If you have iTunes 4.9 or above: You can subscribe to it for free. Just go to "Subscribe to Podcast" and paste in "http://www.16bit.com/podcast.xml". And you should be all hooked up.

If you're using an RSS reader: Subscribe to this feed: "http://www.16bit.com/podcast.xml".

If you are using Safari: click here.

A Podcast Archive page is in the works so you can just download it directly. But we advise you try out iTunes as it's a fairly efficient and useful free program. We also love Apple.

Anti-Full of No Empty
October 31 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, blah blah blah you know you want to read it.

--AP

Transformers Cybertron Deluxe + Bonus Mini-Con @ Wal-Mart (eventually)

Over at TFW2005, there's a thread showing in-box (yes, box) images of Wal-Mart's upcoming Deluxe Cybertron figure with Tiny Tin Mini-Con assortment. It's all Wave 1 and Wave 2 characters, so if you put off buying them, keep holding off until you see these. They're neat, and as far as packaging goes, these seem pretty excellent.

--AP

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